Special offer

I Have a Farm

Real Estate Agent with Crown Key Realty


Like many RE agents my career and most years seem like a roller coaster ride. After receiving my license in the spring of 2006 I was in a serious accident. By the time I was ready to resume work it was the summer of 2007 and the market was in free fall. My business did OK after that but was largely based upon referrals and what I have come to call coffee shop marketing. This year though has been slower than what is acceptable so, I am taking the Old McDonald approach and starting a farm

My farm consists of 97 homes in a neighborhood that is upscale, has had moderate rate sales of properties. The average home is around 2500 sq.ft. and sales have averaged a bit over $170.00 per sq.ft.

For my farming efforts I have produced 1500 door-hangers that have my picture, and a brief synopsis of my RE experience. I have also created from the door-hangers a postcard with the same picture and same information. I have 500 of those.

My plan is to distribute the door-hangers every two weeks for three weeks and then follow-up with the postcard. I will repeat this until my supply of each is exhausted. This process will take me well into 2015. In addition I will knock on each door several times and I will have a neighborhood newsletter as a handout. The newsletter will include neighborhood sales stats, a gardening tip, and a recipe.

That's my plan. My hope is that if your reading this and have had farming success you will please take a moment and comment with suggestions to tweak and improve my plan. In advance I thank you for all of your thoughts and ideas.

My name is Dale E Bledsoe with Crown Key Realty and as always I may be reached at 209-481-6031.









Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Good for you for having a plan.  Think about what you can do to bring value to the homeowners.  IMHO, people who are willing to go outside the "I asked my friend, relative, fellow church-goer, etc" to list my home are seeking professional services and someone focused on providing value to them. 

Jul 09, 2014 11:51 PM
Claudette J. Davis
Keller Williams Preferred Properties - Upper Marlboro, MD
"All Your Real Estate Resources Under One Roof"

Dale, consistency will pay off.  I am a big fan of door knocking because most people still prefer personal communication.  If no one is at home, I do not leave any information behind but I do visit them at another time.  After awhile, you become a familiar presence in those communities.

Jul 10, 2014 12:01 AM
LaRonica Fisher
Aspire Hometown Realty - Tracy, CA
Fisher Premier Group - Aspire Hometown Realty

Great job on deciding to farm! I found the keys to farming to be consistency and personal touch. I tried the "paper at the door" approach and watched 3 For Sale signs go up in my neighborhood. Good luck and much success!!

Jul 10, 2014 12:30 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Dale - Don't just tell them who you are - focus on THEM. 

I'm glad to see that you're planning to deliver a newsletter with sales stats. That's a good start. In addition, you could offer to do a market analysis so they can decide whether now is a good time to sell. In other words, offer some service without obligation. 

Once you get a listing in that territory, be sure to send just listed cards, under contract cards, and just sold cards. 

I'd also recommend becoming involved a bit more personally. Attend their yard sales, have coffee at the local shop, go to the kids' ball games - always wearing something that identifies you as an agent. 

Jul 10, 2014 01:26 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

As mentioned by a number of people consistency is the answer. I also would market to more then 97 homes.

Jul 10, 2014 02:09 AM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Dale-kudos for your farming.  The biggest producers in Silicon Valley are farmers.  I've farmed, trained farming and watched farmers since 1976 and here's my thoughts: 

Newer tracts have higher turnover rates than older ones.  Face-to-face is best.  People want to see a newsletter that shows how much homes have been listed and sold for in their immediate nieghborhood (not two tracts away) because they can relate to it--include a small street map of the farm area to help them relate.  Have a great listing presentation so you can convert calls to listings.  The more they see you and your name the better (you need "top of the mind" awareness), so include just listed/just sold post cards, open house anouncements and signs with your name, personal invitations to open houses nearby.  drip, drip, drip, drip.  Have patience, consistency and tenacity.  Preview all homes in your farm area and watch when and for how much they sell.  Use that knowledge in your CMAs.  Never stop learning more about the farm and about RE because it's always changing.  Concentrate on the work activities and the money will follow.  

Jul 10, 2014 02:24 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Combine it with your on line marketing approaches.  Do a face book page for the area.  Maybe a small dedicated web site.  Or at least blog on the area and provide an easy web address to that set of blogs.

Jul 10, 2014 02:27 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Dale, this is a top notch plan!  I love the idea of tying the door hangers and postcards to the unique neighborhood website.

Jul 10, 2014 03:28 AM
Virginia Youngblood
DO-STAGE! LLC - an ASPM® Home Staging Company - Charlotte, NC
DO-STAGE! LLC - Home Stager - ASPM®

Dale, thanks for this excellent post as you've shared, from your heart, your marketing plan. This is great!

I would highly recommend  that you have in place an ASP (Accredited Staging Professional) from your area and a professional photographer.  These a 2 VERY IMPORTANT 'tools' to have in your  'toolbox' and on your 'team'.  You and the ASP stager could farm the neighborhood together!

Go to www.stagedhomes.com/do-stage to see an example of what you would get by using an ASP Home Stager in your area - the stagedhomes site gets over 10 million hits per month from buyers searching for homes. This is a FREE marketing tool for the agent and homeowner who uses the ASP stager that they choose in their area to stage their listings! I wish I were in Tracy, California to help you!!

I'm so glad, by the way, that you are completely healed from your serious accident in 2006.  Blessings to you in all of your real estate endeavors.

Jul 10, 2014 04:13 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great idea to start a farm and build a campaign around it.  I didn't read all the comments but thought it might be a great idea to start a Facebook page about the community.  Search out and find neighbors and invite them to join so they can share neighborhood thoughts, etc.  You can help plan an event or charity drive or something that is significant for the community.  Good luck!

Jul 10, 2014 06:54 AM
Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

Fantastic post today, really enjoyed the read, I'm gearing up for another exciting weekend, hope you are as well. Have a good one.  Liz in Chandler

Jul 10, 2014 10:19 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I think that going back to the old fashioned face-to-face type of farming is a great idea. 

Jul 10, 2014 10:35 AM
stephen lyall

When you meet people in your farm area find out about them and what they do for a living. Start a business referral network where you can all help each other. When you get your first listing knock around it and have a special open for the neighbours, invite them all in. Do this the day before each open.
On a successful sale offer the sellers a going away party where you cover the cost of the food and get to meet the neighbours and have the sellers advise what a great job you did. If their reluctant to offer the buyers to have a house warming and you provide the food. Meet the neighbours and the new owners friends

Jul 10, 2014 01:32 PM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Farming is a great method to becoming an area's expert. 

Jul 12, 2014 02:28 AM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Hello Farmer Dale. Thanks for sharing your plan. I like it. We've farmed before with some success. I found that combined online with offline was very powerful. I would write monthly market report blogs, and send postcards. One of our sellers said she called because she saw me everwhere!

Now I'm thinking we need to get back to farming that neighborhood!

Jul 14, 2014 02:38 AM
Jeff Jensen
The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states - Greenwich, CT

My company AnnieMac offers complimentary course on farming to our Worx referral partners.

Jul 14, 2014 07:57 AM
Joyce Barnett
Realty Executives - Riverside, CA
Corona, Riverside

Dale, I have been in the business since 1992 and if you do what you say you are going to do I really think you will be successful and you will get business.  Face to Face contact is allways the best.  Hang in there and dont get down.  This business will get you down believe me I know I have been on the coaster ride for 22 years now. 

Jul 14, 2014 03:11 PM
Dale Bledsoe
Crown Key Realty - Tracy, CA
Realtor in Tracy, California

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of you that responded to my post regarding my efforts at farming. Some great ideas and a lot of encouragement. Some of the suggestions are so good I was embarrassed I didn't think of them myself. Once again the Active Rain community goes above and beyond to help a Realtor become better. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you.

Jul 18, 2014 02:20 AM
Eren Millam
Realty World Cosser & Associates, Inc. - Chehalis, WA
Certified Negotiation Expert

Hi Dale,

I haven't sent out any mailers, but I have had some success going door to door. I pick up a client for every hour I knock, haven't closed any yet, but that is better than waiting for them to come to you! Good luck!

Jul 26, 2014 09:39 AM
Cheryl Eskridge, ABR, CRS GRI, PMN, Broker Owner
Eskridge Real Estate - Wimberley, TX
Licensed in TX and WI

Hi Dale,

Great idea for farming. Consistency, bulls-eye marketing and personal presence. I think we all fall prey to the "farming" is a waste of time and the internet is the answer. Well I think a selection of both still work quite nicely depending on your type of market. I know for a fact when I do a postcard mailing I get listings!! I really think it totally depends on your market what will work the best. Good luck and I hope you will have great success.

Jul 26, 2014 10:35 PM