Should Agents Have Protected Farms?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.

This subject of protected farms has come up for discussion in my office not once but several times. Farming is an agent way of marketing themselves, I have seen some agents have up to 5000 homes that they farm. This is where the subject matter gets sticky, when an agent actively farms they invest a lot of time and money in the hopes that when a person in this farm is thinking of selling or buying they will contact this agent. Here is where the rub is with so many website's and Internet promotions, how does one handle when a lead comes in from a farm that you do not farm.

This just happen ----- a lead came in on this agents website and when he contacted the party they wanted to discuss selling their home, he listed the property, well, well, well, when he announce in the office meeting that he had a new listing the agent that farms that area was instantly upset.

So, my questions are as follows;

  • Should agents have protected farms?
  • With blogging and agents having multi-websites, how does one handle a lead that comes and it is in a farm area of an agent that is in your office?
  • Should everything be all fair in love and war?
  • Should the agent share the listing with the agent that farms that area?
  • Is it fair that this agent that got the lead should have to share?



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Jo Soss
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt - Stevens County
Consumers get to choose who they will work with. This consumer contacted someone on a personal website from what I understand. That has nothing to do with farming. I have been in an office where farms were "protected" when it came to "mail-outs" but that was that. So does an agent put a "alert" on their personal website not to contact them if they live in these "5000" homes? I think not. The person that farms that area needs to step it up - they didn't get that listing for a reason. I think it sounds crazy that they should even think it is theirs.
Mar 02, 2008 06:48 AM #1
Don Eichler
Eichler Properties - Granbury, TX


The answer to question number one of course is NO-NO-NO.  No one owns an area sorry to burst someones bubble but in my office we use the rule "HE WHO WRITES CONTRACT GETS PAID".  Next thing someone would want to protect the post office area or the library or the church, get real.

Don Eichler

Mar 02, 2008 07:01 AM #2
Richard Parr
ADT Security Services - Slidell, LA
Home Security Specialist - Greater New Orleans, Louisiana

Answer #1.   Absolutely NOT!! 

Answer #2.   If a lead comes in on your website it is yours!!!  The agent's farming didn't create it, your blogging and your website (YOUR MARKETING) did.  Should I get part of someones listing because I am farming the the entire planet?  I have a website, doesn't that entitle me to a piece?  The idea is ridiculous. 

Answer #3.   Life is  NOT fair!  Sorry, but that's the truth!

Answer #4.   Again...Absolutely NOT!!! If the farming agent didn't get the call, they should not get the listing or any part of it.

Answer #5.   Once Again....Absolutely NOT!!!  When you are farming in agriculture, you own the land that you harvest.  In this are scattering some seeds and hope they grow.  You do not have rights to the land or the harvest.

Mar 02, 2008 07:13 AM #3
John Hokkanen - Encinitas, CA
Encinitas Real Estate

Many brokerages had protected farms, but I don't think that they do it now.  I don't know if the rules on independent contractors prohibit them or if there are other reasons (i.e., no desire to self-impose restrictions on who you can hire).  Each member of my team has a designated area.  It may not be an officially protected farm but is instead a unofficial designation that no one would think of violating.

Mar 02, 2008 07:46 AM #4
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert

Someone in our office posed this same question.  She didn't want to farm an area that another agent was farming.  OK, I understand that to be her preference.  However, this area in question is HER neighborhood.  I would most certainly farm my own hood over.

Mar 02, 2008 08:13 AM #5
Charlie Arthur, CCIM
RE/MAX FIRST, INC. - Port Townsend, WA
NO.  what if my mother lives in your "farm"??  My client moves into your "farm" after I represent them in the purchase...NOPE.  having exclusive farms is counterintuitive to sales.  the agents that think that it is ok
Mar 02, 2008 08:19 AM #6
Sallie Williams
Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS - Baton Rouge, LA
REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge
I have been farming my  neighborhood for 6 months.  In that time period at least 5 homes have been listed by someone else (one in my own agency).  Should they have been mine --- no! The sellers might have contacted a Realtor friend or family member.  Jo is right that if a lead comes from a website it has nothing to do with farming a particular area, and the lead belongs to the website owner.
Mar 02, 2008 08:45 AM #7
I've been a full time Realtor since 1987 and "back in the day" our office did implement some basic guidelines but the "farmer" had to submit all materials that were distributed and depending on the consistency there would be a percentage of protaction. Unfortunately (in some ways) times have changed and there is less and less loyalty as a whole in this business.
Mar 05, 2008 12:38 AM #8
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