11 Secrets to Geo Farming Success

By
Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

11 Secrets to Geo Farming Success

Many real estate agents utilize geographical farming to build a strong predictable lead generation system. It is easy to send postcards to your farm and call it good but is that getting you the results you want?  If not, then it is time to make some tweaks to build a strong PERSONAL PRESENCE.

When I started geographical farming, when I first started selling real estate, I began with sending postcards which was a great start but I sent out the same thing month after month. My message was okay, but it didn't get me the kind of results I wanted as I needed to get up and running fast. After learning what did and didn't work for my farm, I eventually had a winning formula. Here are the secrets to my farming success:

Mix It Up

I learned early on that sending the same size piece could become too predictable. My formula was simple, four times per year I sent an 11 x 17 large folded brochure type report for my Quarterly Report, six times per year I used an oversize postcard format and the other two times I used an 8.5 x 11 article type template. The key was to mix up the sizes to create interest.

Get Involved

I worked hard in all my farms to get involved with what was going in the area and to get home owners involved. One way I did this was to have a For Sale By Owner section in my larger newsletters that allowed people to advertise things they wanted to sell. This turned into an incredible community resource. It was a fantastic way for me to get to meet and talk with homeowners when they were placing their ads. Today's agents might consider utilizing social media for something like this.

Connect Connect Connect

When someone placed an ad, I then would use this as a great excuse to send them a personal card to inquire if they were able to sell their item and to just connect. I would find any excuse possible to send out a card.

Show Up

This is by far one of the THE most important things you must do when you have a farm. You need to show up to any neighborhood events, tour any new homes that come on the market (don't forget to leave your business card), and get inside every open house so you get to know every house in the neighborhood. Showing up also means that you show up with great research on an annual basis that gives every homeowner a very clear picture of how their neighborhood did during the year. I did this by creating an Annual Neighborhood Review, an intensive research rich document that every homeowner got. I wanted each homeowner to know that I was the expert in the area, and I proved it with very detailed and thorough research.

Use Neighborhood Events

As you show up to the local events, document those events. My farm area had a Christmas Light Decorating Contest every year and I photographed every home and then posted them in my newsletter. I even gave out prizes and had the neighbors vote on their favorites, this event proved to be an incredible business-building event for me every year. I got to meet so many neighbors and they loved having me photograph their home. And when I made photo books for my winners of the Christmas Light Contest I even had my brand and contact information listed prominently in the book.

Use Great Branding

Anything I sent out to my farm had my brand on it, I wouldn't mail anything without it. And I don't mean only my firm brand. I'm talking about a complete, consistent, visual style that is unique to my business and that memorably represents who I am. I want to be unique from the field of look-alike agents and show that I'm serious about my business.

Use Color

Color is by far one of my favorite ways to capture people's attention. Although I had the color palette that I developed with my brand, I used accent colors to match the seasons or a particular event. While I don't recommend going crazy with color, consider including a photo that represents the seasons or event and take your cues from the colors in that photo. For example, if your branding color palette is red, black, and gray, adding a summer photo with water and a kayak might provide an opportunity to include a light blue that can be found in the water so the whole piece feels cohesive, but different than what you sent the previous month.

Use Content

You will never win over anyone in your farm area if your content is not compelling. Compelling content include data, timely information on recent activity in the neighborhood, local, regional and national news that pertains to real estate locally. Find content that creates engagement. I had about 10 things that were my go-to pieces of content and I would mix and match – what sold, active and pending numbers, 10 year comparison, months of inventory, interest rate watch, median sales price watch, information from your local planning office, and more. What pieces of information are relevant for your area?

Keep it Research Rich

One of the smartest things I ever did was create what I called my Farming Bible. It included printouts of the last three years of sales, information on median sales prices, price per square feet, property taxes, etc. It was a robust binder that I brought to every listing presentation and open house and it showed anyone that came across it that I meant business when it came to research and I was clearly the local expert.

Be Available

You can do all the work to build a farm but if you don't respond quickly you will lose the opportunity to be interviewed for the job. I can't tell you how many times I won listings over my main competitor in the farm because home owners would call me after calling my competitor and they would hire me because I responded right away. Many times I would hear horror stories about other agents not returning sellers calls for days. I always responded immediately.

Signature Touches

I went out of my way to make every sale I had in the neighborhood memorable and I always did something very special for every neighbor that moved out of the farm. I had change of address cards made for them, I had their home professionally cleaned so their move out was easier and I always gave them a personal gift. The feedback I got was incredible and the other neighbors soon learned that I was a real pro.

If you want to dominate in your farm area, this is your checklist for success. Your farm area can be your consistent lead generation faucet for years with a little extra effort.

 

By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.
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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Marte Cliff 05/10/2019 09:41 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Location:
Washington King County
Tags:
community
branding
community events
community involvement
real estate
denise lones
the lones group
community resource
geographical farming
geo farm
zebra report
monthly mailing
monthly mailer
custom mailers
database mailers
farming mailer
mailer content

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,503,205
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This is  fantastic blueprint for success in geo farming. Every agent who is serious about creating their own territory should read and heed.

May 10, 2019 09:37 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,389,914
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Excellent information! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I love your Items for sale by owner idea, and all the other ones. Bookmarking for future use.

May 11, 2019 02:58 AM #2
Rainmaker
2,943,213
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Denise... what a fantastic post. I'm recommending it to Carol Williams for her next Second Chance Saturday post.

May 11, 2019 05:36 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,267,187
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Denise,
Thank for another excellent article with great tips.  More new agents need to learn to Get Involved and Connect on a personal level instead of looking for the digital answer to lead generation. 

May 11, 2019 07:04 AM #4
Rainmaker
493,559
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

You put a lot of work into your farming and it works!

May 11, 2019 02:25 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,453,085
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That was really good and you've obviously got it working for you.  Thanks for some great ideas.

May 13, 2019 11:52 PM #6
Ambassador
1,938,224
Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!
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

Denise,

Thank you for your timely and informative blog post-I appreciate the info.

May 16, 2019 10:12 PM #7
Rainmaker
3,166,663
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Quite the very well thought out farmng/marketing map...great job !

May 18, 2019 02:55 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,828,535
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Denise - this information is spot on  It is important to create you presence and be present.

May 18, 2019 03:59 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,139,544
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Denise Lones - Lots of good points to take advantage of. Love the "Get Involved" section. and the Christmas Lights contest. 

May 18, 2019 06:20 AM #10
Rainmaker
3,218,284
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Denise - discovering "what works" is a light bulb moment" for sure.  

May 18, 2019 06:47 AM #11
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Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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