Guys it's a brave new world out there without a doubt and there is a ton of technological advances that bring the statement, WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER, to mind. But in all honesty, while that is truly great to use to your advantage, for me, I go a little old school as far as farming is concerned. Certain things will always be good for business. It's just like Novocaine, if you give it time it always works.
So first and foremost, I like to find an active and get active in it. In fact, if you follow my blog at all, you have likely figured out that the community I farm the most in Columbia, SC is Lake Carolina. It's a prime example of what I mean when I say an active community.
The community is actually a large subdivision with about 31 individual communities within it. This gives me a lot of ground to cover. In addition to the size and popularity of Lake Carolina, the community has a lot of events throughout the year and a very active HOA. So what do you get when you put all this together? Opportunity.
Make Your presence felt in the community. Lake Carolina will have several charitable activities throughout the year such as canned food drives for Harvest Hope Food Bank and toy drives for Toys For Tots and other charities around the Columbia area. Volunteer to help with these activities. Offer to drive to peoples homes to pick up toy or canned goods and wear your name tag.
Take a Walk.
Walk around the community. I know that sounds simple and believe me it's part of the long game, but having your face seen through the neighborhood is a good thing. Just don't go out there the first time thinking that someone is going to grab you up and ask you to list their house immediately. Print out Market reports for the community and talk to people when you see them out and about as well. Lake Carolina has miles of trails and sidewalks so it's easy to do here.
Sponsor Events in the Community and the Schools.
If a community has events throughout the year, this offers an opportunity to be a sponsor. We have tons in Lake Carolina and one example is the seasonal farmer's market. We always have a table for little ones to do crafts and the community always this as a sponsorship. There is also a polar bear plunge at the lake each January and a stand with hot chocolate and a banner with your business can get a lot of attention on days like those. Schools have events throughout the year as well and these sponsorships are not very expensive, plus the get right in front of the people you want to see your name and your business. Again, they are great for name recognition.
As far as technology is concerned, write market reports.
That speaks for itself, but it works. Write monthly market reports about the community that you want to farm. I write monthly updates for every individual community in Lake Carolina every month. It has been great for SEO and people really read them. You can also share these throughout social media platforms to extend their reach. Seller love them and so does Google, that's a win win where I'm from.
Make a Facebook Page or Group For the Community.
Invite people you know who to like it and let them add others to the group or page. This gives you an additional opportunity to reach potential sellers and a chance to stay in front of residents that join the groups and like the pages. These are again places that you can share your market updates each month along with happenings in the community.
Host Your own Events and Parties.
My Halloween parties and 4th of July cookouts have been somewhat famous for years now. I like to cook and have a good time and this allows me to do so and keep in front of past clients and neighbors. You don't have to go as overboard as myself, maybe just a drop in will do, but I am a firm believer that if something is worth doing then it's worth over doing.
So believe me, these are not magic bullets, but when done correctly and given time, they will work. You just have to put in enough work yourself.
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.