By Brandon Doyle
Establishing a geo-farm in a local neighborhood that you’re familiar with is a great way to gain additional listings. This is something that takes time and a commitment, but can be very rewarding.
The first thing you’ll want to do is pick an area to farm. It should be close enough to your home or office that you’re able to keep an eye on what is going on and provide the best level of service. Many agents will farm the neighborhood they live in, though some sellers will not want a neighbor knowing their personal info.
What I did for my geo-farm was search the MLS for an area where the average sales price is a reasonable amount and where there is a decent turn over. You don’t want to take on too large of an area since it costs time and money to market to them. Frequency is more important than reach. If you were to ask 10 people for business 10 times, you will have better results than asking 100 people just once. If a home owner isn’t considering selling at that time, they may just toss your marketing away. However, if you are contacting them multiple times with mailings, two things happen: First, the consumer will start to recognize your name, and you will develop a brand. Second, the more often you send out marketing, the more chances you have for success. The home owner may not be selling today, but they might three months from now. Don’t assume that people will hold on to your marketing, it may get lost in the shuffle or, heaven forbid, thrown away.
Now that you’ve established a geo-farm that you can hit at least once a month, you need to decide what to send them. There are all sorts of companies out there that will try to sell you marketing to use, including recipes, sports schedules, and seasonal/holiday related items. I like to give the consumer something of value, like market stats for the area or recent sold comps. They may find a value in the recipes, but hyper-local market stats are more relevant.
Remember that people are very visual, so try to keep your marketing consistent to develop a brand. An infographic is a great way to convey your message in a meaningful way. I’m a big advocate of just listed and just sold cards. I also like to personally invite neighbors to my open houses within my geo-farm. If there is another agent in your office with a listing in your geo-farm, ask them if it would be okay to hold an open house there.
Brandon Doyle, ABR, e-PRO, is a second generation real estate pro with Edina Realty in the Twin Cities. Learn more about Brandon at www.doylerealestateteam.com.