Farming 101

What’s farming, and why should I farm?

farming-arial-neighborhoodA farm is any area where you can plant your seeds for success, nurture them and reap the harvest of your efforts. The reason for farming is simple: the ROI! The average commission far outweighs your investment. It’s an efficient use of your time, energy and resources because it builds your credibility, both within your farm and beyond.

How do I choose a farm?

Identify a good area: one you know well or perhaps even live in, with 10% or more turnover per year and no strong farmer currently in place.

What should my game plan be?

First of all, understand that it may take 12-18 months of steady farming before you “harvest” anything! Use a Farm Activity Calendar, and stick to it. Here are some suggested activities to fill up your calendar:

  • Form a database using neighborhood directories, MLS or courthouse records or database companies. You can even create your own database from scratch by going door-to-door and asking for permission to market to residents. Ask for their email address so you can set them up on action plans or MyNeighborhood reports.
  • Stay highly organized with a three-ring binder of all listing activities. Learn floorplans, local builders, values and issues.
  • Send a short and direct introduction letter. Then, systematically follow up with a phone call or visit and record contact notes.
  • Face-to-face is vital! Ask for leads and referrals from them — don’t necessarily always ask for their business.
  • Hold yourself and ReeceNichols up as the experts. Offer proof, such as statistics, service comparisons or charts. Write a real estate column for the newsletter. Suggest lenders or Zaarly service providers.
  • Don’t forget to offer services, too. Edit the neighborhood newsletter, hold buyer and seller seminars, volunteer for HOA duties, sponsor charitable events, form a welcome committee — just get out there!
  • Give your farm something tangible with a long shelf life, like calendars, notepads or magnets. Label yourself as an area specialist and put your name, face and ReeceNichols logo on everything.

I finally got a listing call! How do I prepare?

Always be prepared by having the basic facts at your fingertips. Always tour competitors’ listings and take their handouts for your files.

Also, don’t show up empty-handed. Any agent can wing it — show the prospect you’re different. Don’t assume they’re just talking to you. Ask before you go so you can study the competition and compare your marketing tools with theirs.

Once you’re at the meeting, don’t give away your expertise all at once. Tease your prospect with some past results or client testimonials. Don’t cut your commission to get their business, or you will always have to. Stress why you’re worth the price and why you’re more driven to excel. Provide your stats or ReeceNichols’ stats with charts, cartoons and worksheets.

Now get out there, and farm away!

Written by Pam Baker
Managing Broker
ReeceNichols Real Estate, West