Has Neighborhood Farming Gone The Way of the Plow?

Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

PlowMost agents when they think of real estate marketing leap to neighborhood farming. It seems basic enough. You pick an area that you know or want to know and you bombard the homes with newsletters, door hangers and postcards. You do it once, twice maybe three times and if the phone doesn't ring you give up and move on. Once upon a time some brokerages even protected "farms" for their top producing agents. If they had been mailing in to the area for years it was considered their territory whether they were doing significant business or not.

Marketing gurus will tell you all about the number of impressions it takes before you will catch the attention of the consumer. Unless you do something that just jumps off the page, good or bad, then a large percentage of what you mail into a community goes unnoticed. In fact the trash can in the kitchen is the usual recipient for most of the mailings that go out today.

At a marketing seminar a few years ago one of the speakers showed example after example of agent postcards and ads. Now of course they wanted you to buy their expensive package of services but the impact of what they were showing was how interchangeable agents could be to consumers. Take a picture of a house and insert your picture and mail it out. It was no wonder that farming falls flat for many agents or why consumers think that we are just interchangeable talking heads.

So how do you do something different to get yourself noticed? In our current market it seems to make sense to take your neighborhood marketing on line. The nice thing about moving neighborhood information on-line is the ability to frequently update the information and create an interactive forum for neighbors to comment and update. It takes far less time and once you get the basics going and there are many different approaches you can take.

Build the story for the consumer:

The County

Nearby Attractions

Transportation Options

Housing Styles


Buying and Selling Tips

The Listing

With Google looking for new information every day chances are good that your listing will be picked up not once but multiple times. Put away the old plow to build your farm and instead supercharge your efforts by building a story about a location and property and it will get noticed. Your clients will be more impressed than one JUST LISTED card that lands in the trash.
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                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Integrity Real Estate Group
Real People*Real Life*Real Estate

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia




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Joe Adams
Major Mortgage USA/Branch Manager - Montrose, CO
Doing something to stand out, Yes; but I read a very interesting thing in a class I took.  "it will take 8 contacts before a prospective client will remember a broker"  most if with a amazing stand out moment will only make 3
Oct 30, 2007 09:22 AM #1
Sarah Nopp
South Sound, WA

This is an excellent How TO post! I am going to flag it for being so good. Great stuff!

Of course, it means I now have more work to do.

Oct 30, 2007 09:43 AM #2
Ronald Stead
Valley HomeSteads - Woodstock, VA
Your HomeTown Real Estate Professional

Good info. post.  I am starting to build my web presence and I will make sure all include all the mentioned items.  Keep this type stuff coming for all of us.




Oct 30, 2007 12:36 PM #3
Sarah Nopp
South Sound, WA

So... I just found out that my City Council is hosting a How To Build a Neighborhood Website for the different neighborhood associations :) I will be going and attending with others from all over the city, on behalf of my own neighborhood. I think that is a good place to start.

Oct 30, 2007 01:19 PM #4
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Cindy, I just flagged this one and told them I'd given it Pat's "5 Wow" rating.  I've seen so many agents try to pick a farm out of the blue and send lots of junk mail, and it just doesn't work - unless maybe you live there and are active in the community.  You have to establish a presense, and sending post cards every month or so just doesn't do it.  Terrific post!
Oct 30, 2007 01:25 PM #5
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a
CINDY...you are absolutely right about using the Web.  I must confess I also use post cards.  RE/MAX has a feature called Design Center where agents can use templates in order to customize many different types of marketing materials.  I started with the flyers for my listings and also tried the post cards.  To my surprise I got some responses.  If I spend a few hundred dollars and get a listing for a waterfront home THAT SELLS I'm earning well into the five figures for a small investment.  The truth is, I really have fun designing some of this stuff.
Oct 30, 2007 04:26 PM #6
Martinelli Caputi
Martinelli Caputi & Associates, Ltd. - Warwick, RI
& Associates, Ltd.
Cindy:  Thanks for the excellent advice on marketing yourself as the knowledgeable community agent!  :)  All of your links were on point!  Great job! 
Oct 31, 2007 04:50 AM #7
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

As I've learned since my early days on Active Rain.  Responding to comments is important to generate dialog.

Oct 01, 2010 12:54 PM #8
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Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
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