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My Best Farming Technique - From Start to Finish

Real Estate Agent with Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 228209

My Best Farming Technique - From Start to Finish

Do I farm neighborhoods? You bet! I do procure business from my monthly mailings to perfect strangers but, when you work on a nearly 90% referral basis from your sphere, the bulk of your business is going to come from the people who know, love and trust you. 


Establishing a robust sphere and managing it with a robust CRM is the first step. I'll share my two strategies - marketing to my sphere and marketing to target communities.



How Did I Establish My Sphere?

Be yourself
That's the easiest part of this business for me!  I'm a people person - I also have a nursing background and an inherent drive to 'help' others. I realized with my very first sale that by reaching out to my sphere, the referrals would come. It really didn't require research - just being myself.  Simply being knowledgeable, giving, caring and compassionate - just works for me!



Who is in my Sphere of Influence?

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Current Clients
  • Past Clients
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Business Associates

You see, clients are like family in my book! I show them gratitude and appreciation, just as I do my own family. When you provide an incomparable service, your clients become loyal and over the years, they will continue to use you in their own transactions as well as sending your name to everyone they know who is thinking of buying or selling real estate. 


Show your gratitude for their loyalty by keeping in touch with them...



How Do I Market to My Sphere?


This part is quite easy - it begins with keeping in touch! 

  • marketing strategyI pick up the phone and call them
  • I break bread with them
  • I have many of them to my own home
  • I visit them
  • I send them cards
  • Holiday mailers
  • Monthly mailers
  • I host parties at different venues for THEM!
  • If they are in a business that lends itself to referrals, I do everything I can to help them promote their businesses as well.


Here's a simple example of how I promoted one of my clients via social media - another referral marketing avenue that is often forgotten! If you're wondering how to better do this, check out Anita Clark's blog - she is the queen of this style of marketing!


We do have to remember, in the referral business, it's all about them - when we remember them and focus on them, our own businesses flourish. 



Farming Your Sphere of Influence -  Don't forget about the BASICS of business. Here are a few more details of the farming/keeping-in-touch plan that work well for me:
  • Don't forget to CALL YOUR SPHERE!Contact 5 - 10 people in your sphere every single day of the week.  After 1:00 in the afternoon works best for me.  Don't talk about you, talk about THEM!  Chances are, THEY will turn the conversation to real estate...something that just sold in their neighborhood, 'how's the market doing?'...
  • Don't forget birthdays--even if it's just an online birthday card...send one!
  • Don't forget anniversaries; one trick that works for me is phoning the husband a week prior to the actual anniversary and 'remind' him!  Not that all husbands forget anniversaries but, sometimes they will use you to bounce gift or trip ideas off of when you call.  Remember, you're their trusted advisor!
  • Keep your buyers in touch with their local market.  Send monthly market updates--here's where combining your online presence and real life work best:  Let them know how the market in their community is doing by sending them to your site for a recent market report.  They LOVE these and with every single mailing, many of my sphere reach out to ask how I'm doing and thank me for the information!
  • Monthly American Lifestyle Magazines are mailed to my sphere.
  • From Your Friends cards are also mailed to my sphere.
  • Remember to "break bread" with at least one member of your sphere each week.  
  • And, please, please, whatever you do, don't forget that the sale is NOT over at the Closing table--those clients need follow-up...forever! And, yes, they are now in your sphere - forever!


Winter Soiree

*This is something that we do a couple of times each year to benefit our charities. This particular one was held to benefit the Humane Society, Charlotte. We had over 100 people in attendance and collected two car-loads of blankets & bedding that were delivered the next day to the shelter!

This type of niche/sphere farming has served me quite well through good and bad markets! If you think about it, your sphere a very inexpensive niche to farm!  Own it, spoil it and farm it - you'll be glad you did...for the rest of your business life!




Farming to Strangers! (Neighborhood Farms)

Here are a few things that I do for my neighborhood farms:

  • Host a builder open to highlight a builder who has either built from ground-up or done a major renovation.
  • Host a staggered open house. The neighbors love to stop in anyway and it's a great way to meet a group of neighbors and spend some time together. Besides business from my sphere, I have picked up more listings from this practice than any other form of farming. So, invite the neighbors from 1-3:00 and the public from 3-5:00. It's a 4-hour block of time well-spent!
    • You're invitedInvite the entire neighborhood via post card announcement, phone call or door-to-door door hangers or flyers
    • Invite the public via MLS, social media, sphere as well as web leads who are looking in the area.   *NOTE: These web leads should ALL be in your CRM as soon as they register on your site.
  • New listing postcards to the area residents:
    • Coming Soon!
    • Just Listed
    • Under Contract
    • JUST SOLD!
  • Farming postcards to your target communities:
    • Evidence of success (see below postcard)
    • Area sales
    • Market updates
    • New listing postcards - from coming soon to sold
    • Neighborhood news
    • Local announcements

Maxwell House Group Evidence of Success



Farming - embrace it, it WORKS!


Farming to your sphere is the single most important thing that you can do for your business - farming doesn't just mean sending out postcards. It takes SO little time to reach out to our sphere, in person, on a quarterly basis. A FORD call (asking about their Family, Occupation, Recreation & Dreams) goes a long way to maintaining client loyalty.




Love on them and they'll love on you...for an eternity!



This blog post was written as a submission to the ActiveRain Challenge - My Best Farming Technique (Sponsored by SmartZip). If you would like to share one of your favorite farming techniques (and earn up to 10K ActiveRain points as well as a chance to win a free ticket to a Ben Kinney Training event) head over to the blog post announcing the challenge.


© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | My Best Farming Technique - From Start to Finish


Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

This was such a good post, Debe, and I'm glad to see it continuing to be in the spotlight for others to learn from it! There are so many good ideas here!!


Jul 09, 2018 08:24 PM
Flavia Brown, Hermosa Beach

Very generous of you to share your great ideas. Thank you.

Jul 09, 2018 10:43 PM
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates - Roanoke, TX
Roanoke Homes for Sale - Roanoke Neighborhoods

Debe, what a great post, thank you for the many tips and tricks. Bookmark for sure.

Jul 09, 2018 10:51 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

Debe Maxwell, CRS 


Yes...I am shouting that!!  I have a new agent who I will definitely share this with!!

Great ideas and tips for new and old alike!!!    Thank you!!

Jul 10, 2018 06:43 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

Excellent tutorial on how to have business for years. Congratulations on a well-received post and I too predict a winner here. Thanks for sharing this Debe, I know many agents who will prosper if they follow your advice. D 

Jul 10, 2018 07:30 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

You are AMAZING!!!

Jul 10, 2018 10:00 AM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

This post is an absolute home run Debe Maxwell, CRS! There is no mystery why you are such a successful Realtor! While we do many of the things you listed on a regular basis, I see areas where we need to improve. This will be a great impetus to get going on those things! Thanks for sharing.

Jul 10, 2018 11:01 AM
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

So much great farming information shared here. Thank you Debe Maxwell, CRS > I really need to remember the to promote my clients' businesses. Such an easy way to show our appreciation for them.  

Jul 10, 2018 11:54 AM
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

I just read your "meet the builder" post. Such a great idea. I wasn't sure what you were talking about until I read the post and it is such a creative idea. Love it.

Jul 10, 2018 11:57 AM
Bandele Oguntomilade, Top REALTOR
Bogun Realty and Luxury Homes - Woodland Hills, CA
Your Woodland Hills Real Estate Agent 818-825-6996

This is a very valuable post. Thank you, Debe Maxwell.

Jul 10, 2018 10:07 PM
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

Debe, thank you for sharing your recipe to Real Estate Success! It's a great one and I will certainly try some of your great ideas. Aloha!

Jul 11, 2018 08:53 AM
Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Contacting people gets you appointments... that's where you convert prospects into clients for life. It all starts with farming!

As always, great blog post Debe. I'd expect nothing less ;-)

Jul 12, 2018 07:27 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Thanks, Brad Andersohn! It was great chatting with you yesterday - as always, thank you for your sage advice, my friend. 

And, yes, it's all about the 'farming!' I've taught agents this over the years and the ones who actually do it are killing it! Sadly, only about 1% of agents actually follow the 'recipe.'

Talk to you soon! 

Jul 12, 2018 07:31 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Thank you all for your comments - I will be back to catch up on comments after I've read your blogs!

Jul 12, 2018 07:32 PM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

This is such a great post I keep referring back to it. Thank you!!!

Nov 02, 2018 08:01 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Great ideas here Debe to keep you busy and in the green.  The person to person contact is so important.  

Nov 20, 2018 10:00 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Well, thank you, M.C. Dwyer! I'm so glad you found it helpful!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nov 20, 2018 10:16 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Yes, it absolutely is THE most important thing I do, John Henry - but, it's the part of my job I enjoy the most since I love people!

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nov 20, 2018 10:17 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Debe Maxwell, CRS Happy Thanksgiving to you also!

Nov 20, 2018 10:46 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years


Thank you for sharing these in-depth methods you use to successfully farm.

Jul 01, 2019 07:35 PM