Attracting Leads to Your Pipeline with Geographical Farming
What is your lead pipeline like in real estate? Especially in this market, as we continue to see challenges with inventory and competitive buyers, we have to figure out a way to attract leads. You need a lead magnet!
One of the best lead magnet systems I know if is Geographical Farming. When I was a full-time agent, geographical farming was one of my most successful ways of generating leads. But there have been new challenges over the last few years, and a lot of agents have completely stopped farming.
Why do they stop? They start with picking a farm and doing the research to verify that it's a strong farm. Then they put together their content and stats, and start sending it out. So many agents hope and cross their fingers for something to come through right away. When it doesn't, they start slacking off on their consistency, because they're not getting the return they wanted. Eventually, they get discouraged and give up entirely and just stop sending anything. Giving up is the worst thing you can do!
The best things you can do with your farm mailing are:
- Make sure everything is on brand—your personal brand, that is. You have to stand out and provide visual impact.
- Make sure everything you send out is compelling, data-driven, informed, and valuable to your readers. It should teach your readers about the market. Make sure you are addressing current events and housing concerns.
- Make sure you are consistent. If you're sending something out the third week of each month, don't get sloppy with your timing.
- Finally, it's all about the faith factor. If you're going to start a geographical farm, you have to keep going. If you haven't heard anything after 12 or 16 months of consistent mailing, you could be near your big break and you would never know it. If you stop now, your chances of getting a lead from your farm are zero.
I have never seen a farm that didn't eventually bring fruit to the agent unless the agent was sending out content that didn't resonate with the recipients. For example, I had an agent come to me said, "I've been consistently mailing for 19 months, and I haven't gotten anything." So we took a look at everything she had sent out.
Right away, it was obvious that the content felt generic. A lot of the materials not about the area she was farming, but were about regional issues and trends. Regional news about real estate is something I can get on my phone. It's not what I'm looking for.
I'm looking for a local, micro-market expert. Your content should be local and relevant to the area you are marketing to. If there is any news about home ownership (taxes, levies, zoning), you need to be the one to let them know!
Starting a geographical farm is easy. Keeping it going, especially when you don't get a response right away, takes hard work and faith.
Moving forward in 2022, we're going to see that listings are harder to get. I know it feels like old news, but we are still in an inventory shortage. Any agent that has listed recently knows that homes are selling quickly. A quick sale is nice for the listing agent, but then they need to refill their lead pipeline just as quickly. As a result, getting those listings is getting more competitive between agents.
Also, homeowners are getting more and more letters. I'm getting one almost every day! I have never received so much garbage mail all at once before. Almost all of these letters and postcards say the same thing, which is "You have a great home. It's worth lots of money. I would love to talk to you about selling your home. I have a buyer interested in a home like yours." Sellers are getting inundated with bad, generic, money-grabbing marketing, and they're tired of it.
Now, if you are an agent that has consistently provided relevant, local information on a consistent basis for a long time, (and presented in your beautiful personal branding,) you will stand out from that slush pile of junk. Maybe the homeowner hasn't been ready to sell for the last 18 months, but when they are ready, they will give you a call.
Trust me, geographic farming is really a great way to solidify your reputation in an area by providing great information and data. You will be rewarded for your work and perseverance.
Do you need help getting started with geographical farming? Do you need materials that can help you dominate your farming area? My company, The Lones Group, has helped agents for over two decades with branding, coaching, and prospecting. Schedule an free consultation with us today!
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.