We're not creating Facebook farms on Farmville here, but instead providing a very effective, step-by-step method for creating real estate farm markets in only 50 days. We successfully utilize this same method within our brokerage, LinkUp Realty, with our 50-Day Farm Program. Any agent who follows this step-by-step plan will be branded by the residents as a community expert in any neighborhood they choose and have an opt-in email and contact list of 8%-20% of the residents in an entire community in under 50 days. The long term results can be as much as a market share of 20%-30% of all of the seller and buyer sales in any neighborhood or area. Yes, this does take some work and capital, but will create a lifelong stream of real estate business for anyone who follows it thoroughly.
Goal - Create a Real Estate farm market for any community and any agent that will 1.) Produce an opt-In Email and contact list of 10%-20% of ALL residents in a specific community, 2.) Permanently brand any agent as an expert within a specific community by a large portion of the residents, and 3.) Create a resource that the residents in the community utilize consistently, all within 50 days.
Phase 1 - Set up and design stage (first 25 days)
Create a community specific niche website complete with - All community, subdivision and area information, builder floor plans, homes for sale, a pop-up lead capture form, embedded custom video of community, photos of amenities, covenants and restrictions, buyer and seller resources, brokerage and agent information and any other content deemed appropriate and within reason. Examples of additional content can include but are not limited to a blog, additional videos, local and community contact numbers, school information and other local resources. The www. domain name of the actual website should ideally have the neighborhood name in it, giving it the appearance of a "community website". If you do not have the ability to create all of this yourself, this will be the most costly step in the process, and can range from $500 to $5,000 or more. Here are several community websites that we have created to give you some ideas: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4, Example 5.
- Create a custom video showcasing the community and website, and place video on YouTube. Make sure you post a link at the very top of the video description to your website to help also with search engine optimization. Example 1, Example 2.
- Create a 3-Year long, agent branded, drip email campaign consisting of at least 25-30 emails. Automation is critical here. Once somebody signs up on your website and is prompted to "sign up for a FREE community e-newsletter", or some other pop-up with an added value incentive based call to action, you should have a hands OFF system in place to keep your face and name in front of them. There are several email services available, we use Diverse Solutions DSAgentReach. We utilize their contact forms, IDX, email and back end systems as well. Here are examples of a few community newsletters for a specific neighborhood. Duplicating emails spread out over time is a good idea, as residents are unlikely to notice. Once a large email contact list is established, it is easy to email all residents at any time.
- Create and post marketing advertisements for Trulia.com, Activerain.com, Backpage.com, and any other websites where you can post HTML based advertisements. These advertisements discuss both the community and your website, with clickable links back to your website. These advertisements and blogposts with links are excellent to help with some "Google Juice" to your website. An agent who is willing to learn can easily create advertisements like this. Sample 1, Sample 2.
- Create and maintain a Facebook community page specific for the farm area. This Facebook page will have automatically recurring daily posts and content, and links back to the community website. There are many services that can be used to create reoccurring posts to take the work away from you. Make sure when setting up the page you use the address of the amenities center, or a central location where people can "check in" on the page. Also, make sure you title the page (Community Name) Community in (City / State). This is critical for search engine optimization. Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3
That is all for the set up and design phase, and, with very little maintenance, is all the actual content that you will need to establish and maintain your farm market. Unfortunately, most Real Estate agents are extremely gullible and actually believe that websites generate business and leads. That is not true in any way. Effective and efficient websites convert traffic into leads. No traffic = No leads. In order to successfully establish your farm market, you must get the word out and drive people to your community website. This brings us the the second phase, Mass Marketing.
Phase 2 - Mass Marketing (Second 25 Days)
- Design a post card to send to all current residents announcing community website. Post card will encourage all residents to immediately go to the website and register for the community E-Newsletter. This is best accomplished by an added value proposal and impression that it is important to do this to keep up with community news. Initial post card should be sent out immediately after website development is complete, at approximately day 25. Cost for printing each postcard is approximately 11-14 cents/card. Cost for mailing is approximately 18 cents/card. Total cost for printing and shipping is 29-32 cents per card/residence. $290-$320 per 1,000 residents.
- Design and print 18X24 or 12X18 signs to be placed around community and on any company listings within the community that display ONLY the community website/domain name. Remember, these signs are not offering real estate services, so in most states it should be legal to only put the website name. Also, be aware of sign ordinances, but don't be afraid to take a risk that may reward you handsomely. Cost for sign printing is approximately $8-15 each and a minimum of 10 should be ordered and promptly posted throughout neighborhood area, 3-5 at a time. This should be done once per week during the entire 25 day marketing period.
- Canvass the neighborhood. After reading those last three words, if you are like most agents that I know, your immediate, pre-trained reaction is probably something like "yeah...right...". This is a critical step in establishing your farm market that should not be overlooked. Depending on the size on your neighborhood, and your ability to recruit others to help you, this can take anywhere from several days to several weeks to complete. Bring plenty of business cards and most importantly, a flyer or post card for your website with a call to action on it. Offering them an incentives to "sign up for the community e-newsletter" on your website is critical to growing your contact list in your farm area. People want to keep up with community news and events, but also love to get coupons and deals. If you can partner with any neighborhood businesses, offer coupons also as a tool to encourage people to sign up online for your e-newsletter.
- Design a second post card to be mailed out to the entire community at Day 45. At this point, you are starting to see some of the fruits of your labor. Now its time to go after some more listings. A second postcard with a saying like "Thinking about selling? Make sure your home is featured on the XXXXXXCommunity website" is sure to get some attention! Don't forget to mention again the benefits of signing up for the community e-newsletter!
After the initial marketing period is complete, periodic post cards and even canvassing expeditions are a good idea to continue to establish and grow your sphere of influence within the community. With all of the internet marketing and SEO building and gradually improving over time, you will also enjoy multiple positions on the first page of the search engines for most keywords relevant to your farming area. Cost for entire program including costs to mail out and print two post cards, and create 10 corrugated signs is approximately $700-$800 for a 1,000 resident community/area. This cost of course excludes any design costs you may have.
Though this will take some work and capital for a season of your life, it is proven to provide a lifetime of results! I hope you have found this helpful, and I hope you find the drive and focus needed to get this DONE! Go here for more information about the 50-Day Farm Program at LinkUp Realty, and please share this with others.