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Archive for farming postcards

Maximize the Impact of Real Estate Postcards

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Postcard Marketing

Do you send real estate postcards as part of your marketing campaign?

It’s a great way to increase your exposure and build up the number of “touches” you accomplish. As a result, people will get used to seeing your information and be much more likely to hire you!

So how do you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to postcards? Here are three things to keep in mind.

Be Consistent!

Boy, I feel like a broken record sometimes, but folks sure struggle with this one.

You can’t order postcards, send them out once or twice, and call it a “failure” if you get no new clients.

Postcards are part of an overall brand-building strategy. You have to consistently show up, time and time again, before you start to be recognizable. Folks need to say, “Oh, I’ve heard of that person,” and start to feel they know you.

Ideally, you’d sent postcards 4 or more times per year. With holidays and a variety of other seasonal options, there’s no shortage of opportunities!

Use Great Real Estate Postcard Design

At Printerbees, we make this part easy for you. We have tons of beautifully designed postcard templates that you can use. We offer farming postcards, Just Listed, Just Sold, and more.

However, you want to personalize it and make it your own. Of course, it should include your picture and contact information. But what about offering useful tips, a coupon from a local company, or another incentive?

You can also run an online contest that you advertise with postcards. Invite folks to come to your website and sign up for a drawing or other event. You’ll gain more contact information and be able to grow your email list and more!

Think Outside the Box

Folks aren’t so interested in getting a bunch of postcards that say, “Hi, I’m a local Realtor®” (although that’s certainly better than not doing any postcards!)

Instead, think outside the box about how you can make your postcards fun, memorable, and useful. What about inspirational postcards, or recipes several times a year?

You can also use postcards to give updates about the real estate market in your area, or to target a specific market.

Postcards Make an Impact

It can be challenging to measure the exact return on investment you get from postcards, because it takes time to appear. Sometimes the goodwill you generate over several years of marketing will carry you through dry spells, and you won’t even realize it.

If you’re interested in measuring specific campaigns, consider using QR codes or asking readers to visit a specific website link. You can find out how many people follow through on that specific call to action.

Over time, however, you want to simply become the local Realtor®. People don’t think about McDonald’s advertising very often, but when they want a burger it can be the first place they think of. Have that kind of brand in your local area!

 

Ready to get started with postcards? We’re here to help. Contact us today!

Where to Start in Real Estate Marketing – Farming & Direct Mail

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Starting Out - Direct Mail

Sometimes we assume too much.

One thing I’ve realized is that, while many of us take for granted the techniques we’ve used for years, new Realtors® come out of the gate struggling.

This series is for those new real estate agents – and for old hands who could use a refreshing reminder of the basics!

The Importance of Direct Mail

At Printerbees, we are big believers in the power of direct mail.

Email marketing and real estate websites and social media are all wonderful – and we’ll talk about those! But they are also very crowded marketplaces and it’s hard to stand out.

On the other hand, there is very little competition in the mailbox. You can stand out by simply being consistent and mailing postcards several times a year to your focus area, or farm.

Let’s talk quickly about how to make this happen.

How to Get a Mailing List

Step one – who do you send mail to?

You have to decide on a focus area, or farm, and then reach out to them.

There are two primary ways to target your farm area through direct mail – mailing lists and EDDM.

Mailing Lists

First, you can decide on the neighborhoods you’re interested in and buy a mailing list.

This can help you if you want to offer targeted marketing using the prospect’s name. It can also help you learn more about your farm area, since the mailing list provider will probably have a variety of demographic information available about those households.

You can also build a direct mail list without buying one – check out our helpful guide here!

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)

Secondly, you can skip the mailing lists and use EDDM instead. Every Door Direct Mail is a service offered by the US Postal Service. They allow you to send mail to everyone on a mail route without needed names or addresses.

EDDM can save you a lot of time and money. There are specific requirements about how the pieces are handled – let us know if we can help!

Isn’t Direct Mail Expensive?

One thing that holds Realtors® back from getting established in direct mail is they are nervous about cost. However, direct mail doesn’t break the bank, if you do it well.

Direct mail is ONLY EXPENSIVE IF:

  • You buy postcards and don’t send them
  • You don’t target your mailings to a farm neighborhood
  • You are inconsistent with direct mail – which leads to no results
  • You feel like you have to send a completely unique postcard every time
  • You don’t combine your mailings with other outreach and marketing techniques

Let’s break these down.

When you buy postcards, be sure you have a plan to use them! This includes having a mailing list or using EDDM. At Printerbees, you can even have us mail them for you so you don’t forget!

Target your mailings and be consistent. We put together a great guide to choosing the perfect farm. Send out several postcards a year so they see your name regularly!

Reuse the same postcard designs. You can get a great deal on 1,000 postcards, and break them up into chunks. Buy two sets and alternate throughout the year to save cash!

Do the full work of farming. Direct mail is only part of the process. You also want to be present in your target neighborhoods in a variety of other ways. You’ll see incredible results if you do!

Get the Mailings Sent!

If there’s one place we see Realtors® struggle the most – whether they are new or experienced – it’s in execution.

That’s where Printerbees can help. If you struggle to get mailings done on time, or simply don’t have access to a money-saving bulk permit, let us take care of it for you. Contact us for information today!

Now you know how to get started in direct mail. What questions or concerns do you have? Let us know in the comments!

Why Farming is Essential in Real Estate

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Why Farming is Essential in Real Estate

Do you have a farm? If you’re a Realtor®, you probably know that I’m not talking about acres of corn or hundreds of cattle.

A real estate farm is a specific geographic area where you develop your business. A neighborhood or group of neighborhoods become the place you focus your marketing efforts.

If I were to ask you right now, “Where’s your farm?” you’d probably be able to answer me. But what if I asked a few more questions?

When is the last time you sent postcards to your farm? How often do you reach out? What’s the newest development in your city that affects your farm area?

Do you know?

It’s Not a Farm if You Don’t Farm It

I’m not trying to be a jerk here, but one thing I’ve noticed is that many people have “farms” that they aren’t active in. I have a good friend who lives in the Midwest, and she points out that if you don’t farm your land, it quickly fills with weeds.

Weeds, in real estate, like competing Realtors®. Local groups that don’t know who you are. A complete lack of awareness of your name and brand.

You can’t let your farm go. If you do, someone else will show up, take over, and it won’t be yours anymore.

What Can a Farm Do For You?

So why bother? Maintaining a farm area takes a lot of time and effort. You have to be consistent and active in the community. People need to know who you are.

What are the benefits of having a real estate farm? 

Convenience of Location. When you cultivate a farm area, you save yourself from having to run all over the place to serve clients. While you’ll probably have some customers outside the farm, having a local area of focus allows you to list and build relationships more easily. You can get more done in less time when your focus is on a specific area!

Build Deeper Relationships. It’s no secret that relationships take time. If you spread your efforts all over your city, you may have a lot of relationships, but none of them will be deep. The more consistent you are with your contacts, the more loyal they will be. A farm makes that easy.

Become the Go-To Realtor®. This is the #1 reason most real estate agents have a farm. When you become top-of-mind to the point that you’re the go-to agent in an area, you can get incredible results just by maintaining your efforts. You don’t have to sweat so hard to get business! You’ll also become the first person the residents think of when friends or family ask for a Realtor®, so you’ll get great referrals too.

Be a Better Expert. A farm area is localized by definition, so you don’t have to have your finger on what’s happening everywhere in your city. You can know a few things around town, but be an absolute expert in your farm area. New store? Change in local government? Zoning questions? You’ll know it all because you only have to know everything about a small area.

Farming is Worth the Effort

I’m not going to pretend that real estate farming is easy. It takes time and effort, just like regular farming. This is especially true if you’re starting from scratch.

You put in a lot of work, including:

  • Farming postcards several times a year
  • Participation in committees or local charities
  • Door Knocking
  • Cooperative marketing with local businesses
  • Brochures
  • Sponsoring charity events
  • Sending a newsletter

But you get an incredible harvest. When you have a consistent stream of clients and referrals coming from a single area that you enjoy and can easily get to — nothing’s better!

Choose the right farm and then put in consistent marketing. Be patient. The fruit is worth the work!

Fall is a great time to reach out to your farm area. Send a farming postcard or seasonal postcard. Remember, it’s OK to use the same farming postcards multiple times!

 

Unique Marketing is Overrated

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Unique Marketing is Overrated

Do you feel like every single postcard you send out and every single marketing message you write has to be different than the last? Do you think that your marketing has to be absolutely unique to be effective?

If so, I’m here to take a huge burden off of you.

Unique marketing is overrated.

Yes, you need to stand out from your competitors. But you’re not competing against yourself! 

So don’t think that every message has to be different. In fact, repetition can be very powerful.

What Do the Big Boys Do?

How many different commercials does Pizza Hut really have? Or even GEICO, known for its various storylines?

If you said, “a lot,” you’ve probably been noticing them for a long time. At any given time, a GEICO has about half a dozen different commercials running. And that’s a LOT compared to most other brands.

You see the same six over and over and over…

And for most brands, you see the same ONE over and over.

Why?

Messages are more effective when they are repeated.

It’s that simple!

If Pizza Hut has six commercial slots during a two-hour span on a channel, they are not creating six unique ads. They have one commercial, targeted for the consumers of that television show, that they show six times.

And it works.

The Effectiveness of Repetition

Let’s look at some iconic phrases in advertising:

  • Got milk?
  • Just do it!
  • Good to the last drop.
  • Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

If you’re like most Americans, you know the exact brand each phrase represents. The reason is that you’ve heard them over and over for YEARS.

“Got milk” has been used since 1993. “Just do it” was used for 26 years, starting in 1988. “Good to the last drop” was used for almost 100 years, starting in 1917. “Melts in your mouth” was used for over 60 years, starting in 1954.

These brands burned their message into the American psyche. How? Not with uniqueness… they used repetition. 

So what does this have to do with you?

Are you holding back from marketing your real estate business because:

  • It’s too hard to think of new things to say
  • Buying different postcards is expensive
  • Your farm is too small to buy 1,000 or 2,000 postcards
  • You don’t have time to come up with new images or phrases for social media

If so, it’s time to drop the excuses. You don’t have to do any of those things!

Buy 1,000 postcards for your 300-home farm area. Use the same postcard three times throughout the year.

Put up the same image and marketing message on social media several times a week for months.

Craft one really great marketing message and repurpose it over and over.

People are more likely to believe a message they see over and over, presumably because it becomes familiar.  They remember it, believe it, and start to think it’s a popular opinion.

You will get bored before the consumer does. Don’t let your own annoyance with a repeated message stop you from reaching the effective frequency and making an impact. You see the message every time – your consumers see it infrequently, and notice it deeply even less often than that.

Consistency Beats Uniqueness

The key point in marketing is that being consistent with one message is better than being original occasionally. Take the pressure off yourself. Create one great message, use it multiple times in various ways, and don’t be afraid to repeat!

Are you ready to get your marketing moving? Our farming postcards are ready to deliver your message. Check out our selection today!

How to Find a Farm Area That’s Right for You

Finding a Farm Area

Real estate farming involves making your presence known in a particular area. You choose a neighborhood and send regular postcards and fliers. You may target the area with Every Door Direct Mail, or go door-knocking there. You may drive through the neighborhood looking for FSBO signs and give them a call.

In short, you’re building your brand and your business in a particular geographic location. But how do you choose the right geographic area? Most real estate agents operate in cities with many, many available options. Here’s how to narrow it down.

Is it Close to Where You Live?

You may not want to farm a neighborhood next door to your own home, but you probably also don’t want to drive two hours to do an afternoon of door-to-door visiting. Finding someplace close enough that you are motivated to spend time there is essential.

You won’t be a successful agent in a neighborhood you never want to visit. Find a farm area that’s within a comfortable distance from where you already live.

Does Another Agent Already Dominate the Neighborhood?

Every neighborhood will have some kind of competition, but if there is another Realtor® who already dominates that market, you probably want to find a different area. Check the MLS and see who has sold the homes in that area in the last year. If 80% of them are the same agent, you’ve found a successful farm. It just isn’t your successful farm.

If someone already seems to own a neighborhood, you’ll spend a lot of time and money going head-to-head with them. Instead, move into an area with a less clear go-to agent.

Is There Enough Activity at a Good Price Point?

For once, Zillow can work for you. Check the market conditions in the neighborhoods you are considering. How many homes are currently listed? What are they listed for? How many have sold in the last year, and at what price point?

There may be regions near you that have beautiful homes that you could sell for an excellent price, except that no one ever moves in or out of the area. Make sure you understand the volume of home sales, the prices, and the time on the market.

Do You LIKE the Neighborhood?

A friend made me laugh one day when she said, “If you hate your target market, you’re probably in the wrong business.” So, think about the area and who lives there. Are the residents folks you can relate to? Are they the type of people and homes you would enjoy working with?

If you hate working with first-time home sellers and buyers, you want to avoid an entry-level neighborhood. If elderly clients drive you crazy, keep that in mind when choosing a farm area. Every Realtor® has these types of preferences, even if you don’t ever voice them. Be sure to choose a farm you’ll be excited to go into.

When you select a farm, you’re making a long-term commitment. Do the research to make sure you’re happy with your choice. After you pick a neighborhood, make a marketing plan. It should include getting to know people, attending community events in that area, sending farming postcards, and more.

Are you ready to make your farming and marketing more consistent? We’re here to help. Check out our large selection of farming postcards today!

How to Build a Real Estate Direct Mailing List

Build a Real Estate Direct Mailing List

Spring is one of the BEST times of year! Not only is it finally warmer and sunnier in much of the US, but it’s also the ramp-up to the most productive and fun time of year in real estate.

One thing you should be thinking about – ALL year, but especially now – is how to market to your target real estate market. People are thinking about buying and selling, and YOU want to be on their radar!

Many Realtors® purchase a real estate direct mail list, and that’s certainly one avenue. But this article is specifically about how to reach out through the mail outside of purchasing a list.

Build Your List with Freebies

Most business owners, including Realtors®, are very familiar with the idea of building an email list by offering a free resource. In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

  • You create a high-value free report or giveaway
  • You offer it in return for a prospect’s email address
  • The enter their email address, it goes on your list, and they get the free report

You can use this same technique to build a physical mailing list. The key is to offer a physical freebie. It can be a physical copy of a report, a small book, a CD of useful information, and more.

You could also go a different direction and hold a contest to give away a physical prize. When the prize has to be mailed or delivered, it makes sense for you to ask for everyone’s address!

Build Your List with Known Contacts

Realtors® can always start with a mailing list based on who they already know. Reach out to your circle of influence with a simple, “Hey I’m updating my address book. Can you please send me your physical address?”

You can also ask for referrals, including addresses, of folks they know from work/school/the gym that have talked about moving lately. Don’t just ask “Do you know anyone,” because that’s too broad. Add a location, and you’ll get better results.

Of course, if you post this on social media, ask for them to use a direct message so the information doesn’t go to people they don’t know.

Skip the List and Use EDDM

Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM, is a great workaround when it comes to list building. Because people move so often, it may be hard to keep your direct mail list “clean” unless you spend time on it every year.

A great alternative is to let the post office do it for you. With specialized EDDM postcards, you can reach out to an entire zip code or geographical area with your marketing. This can be done very inexpensively, and you don’t need any addresses!

I’ve talked before about how incredible EDDM is for Realtors®, and the price as of April 2017 is only 17.7¢ per piece!

Take Advantage of Direct Mail Marketing

However you choose to build your list, it’s vital to take advantage of direct mail marketing. There’s a lot of focus right now on email marketing and social media marketing, and I’m not opposed to either one of those.

However, you stand out a LOT more in the mailbox than in the inbox.

 I can’t even tell you how much email spam I get every day. But I promise I get less direct mail marketing in a day than I do email marketing in a single hour. Use this to your advantage by building a high-quality direct mail marketing list and using it!

If you’re ready to get consistent about your farming and outreach, take a look at our farming postcards and EDDM postcards. Both can help you connect with your target market on a regular basis.

Don’t have time to mail them? We get it! At Printerbees, we can take care of mailing it for you for a small additional fee. No more money wasted on postcards that just sit around your office! Contact us today for more information.

Making an Impact With Real Estate Postcards

Making an Impact With Real Estate Postcards

Effective real estate marketing never focuses on a single channel. While having online marketing strategies is great, it will be far more powerful if combined with print marketing and in-person outreach as well.

Real estate postcard marketing is a vital way to farm a neighborhood, introduce new listings, and share useful information with prospects. There are so many ways to reach out with postcards, and there’s far less competition in the mailbox than the inbox!

Real Estate Postcard Marketing With EDDM

Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM, is a huge benefit for Realtors® because it allows you to use postcard marketing without having to buy a mailing list. You also save a significant amount of money on postage using EDDM – so really, it’s a win-win!

The best use for EDDM is for farming outreach and for advertising new listings. You can target the zip codes and postal routes in your desired area and reach every home on the route, without needing names and addresses.

Consistent EDDM is a great way to send useful information to help others know, like, and trust you, without having to pay a fortune for mailing lists and postage.

The Just Listed – Just Sold Postcard Campaign

Some Realtors® have the unfortunate habit of simply mailing postcards occasionally and never making a real system of it. While some mailings are better than none, the reality is you have to be consistent to build your brand.

The Just ListedJust Sold sequence is an excellent way to advertise a listing with several postcard mailings in a row. The way it works is:

  • Coming Soon. You send a coming soon postcard to just the neighborhood around the new listing, to generate buzz and let them know that you’re active in the area.
  • Just Listed. When the listing is official, you may want to buy a mailing list so that you can cast a wider net during your marketing phase. You can choose lists based on age, location, family size, and more.
  • Open House. Using the same list as before, advertise the open house with a simple postcard. This helps remind your prospects that the home is available and invites them to see it.
  • Just Sold. Done! Let everyone, both the neighborhood and your prospects, know that you have successfully sold the house. This will build your brand as well as let potential buyers know they should act quickly next time.

Use Postcards to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Raise your hand if you get way too much email. Oh yes, that’s everyone. Thank you.

Instead of using email as the only way to encourage customers to visit your website, include your website and other contact information on a postcard that you use in your marketing. Make the postcards informative and entertaining, and they’re more likely to be kept.

You can also drive traffic to your website by using postcards to promote a drawing or contest that recipients can enter online. Don’t make the mistake of only mailing once, though – sending one or two reminders is an important way to maximize participation.

Just Have Fun With Real Estate Postcards

Another avenue you can take with real estate postcards is simply to have fun. Celebrate a holiday, send a recipe, or simply share an interesting and less-known fact.

If you can make these postcards especially relevant to your target neighborhood, that is even better. Share a fact about the history of the city, or the anniversary of an important sports win or local event. If your area tends toward a certain demographic, consider sharing something they would find particularly interesting.

The reality is it takes multiple contacts before someone feels like they know you well enough to work with you. Focus on a small area, like one or two target neighborhoods, to maximize your budget. Don’t just choose one of these postcard ideas, mix them up. Keep things interesting by providing a variety of information to your prospects.

If you’re ready to get started with a real estate postcard campaign, we’d love to help! We can work with you to map out a strategy, set up EDDM, and even make sure your postcards are mailed according to your schedule. Contact us today!

Real Estate Marketing – Farming for Fun and Profit!

Real Estate Farming for Fun and Profit

Real estate marketing can be tough, and determining which marketing techniques work best can be even tougher. And in an increasingly digital world, are old-school real estate marketing methods still relevant and useful?

Do people still pay attention to non-digital marketing and advertising?

We’re talking specifically about postal mail farming for new leads, and yes, this strategy absolutely still works in today’s world.

Why?

Because there’s just something about direct mail campaigns that will always be effective.

What is Farming in Real Estate Marketing?

Farming essentially involves selecting one specific target area or neighborhood at a time and hitting that area hard with various mailers and promotions. Then, once you’ve generated a steady presence and ongoing leads in one area, you can move on and focus on another neighborhood full of new potential leads.

Farming is a key way to build your visibility in desired neighborhoods. You can do anything from advertising just listed or just sold properties to sending a monthly newsletter full of interesting information and upcoming events. You’re only limited by your imagination!

Why Does Farming Work?

What is it about postal mail that really gets through to potential clients? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons farming really works:

  1. Leaves a Tangible Message – While digital messages such as email, texts, online advertisements and social media postings work well, they are gone as soon as you shut down your computer. And generally the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” begins to kick in. But, with a physical mailer – like a postcard or flyer – you’re giving potential leads something tangible to remember you by, keeping your business in the forefront of their minds.
  2. Specifically Targeted – By choosing to send targeted mailers based on location, you have the unique opportunity to customize your advertisements in a way that you might not be able to do online (where generally you are appealing to a much larger audience). Farming allows you to take your real estate marketing to the next level by giving you the opportunity to touch on very specific pain points, struggles and needs of your immediate audience.
  3. Opportunity for You to Sell Well – A postcard or flyer gives you as a realtor quite a bit of blank space to really let your marketing skills shine. Take the opportunity to create something really eye-catching that appeals to your target area. Just remember not to be too over the top – you don’t want potential clients to think you’re too unprofessional to work with. Aim for a balance and always promote yourself as a qualified real estate expert.

Getting Started is Simple and Easy!

Interested in incorporating farming into your own real estate marketing plan? Getting started is simple, easy and quicker than you might imagine.

Locate specific areas and neighborhoods in your region that could be targeted. Think about areas where the real estate market is doing well, and figure out what might motivate someone to buy or sell. Once you have the specifics in order, it’s time to actually create your farming mailers like postcards and flyers.

This is where you get to be creative and really help your business stand out from the crowd. And if you need any help creating the perfect real estate postcards or flyers, we have a large selection of unique options for you to choose from and customize!

Remember, even though digital media seems to be dominating the real estate marketing field, direct mail is far from obsolete. Don’t neglect farming in your market!

Don’t Lose Marketing Momentum this Summer

Marketing Momentum in Summer

It’s summer, and that means that most Realtors® are very busy. It’s easy to leave behind your marketing efforts during the summer, especially when you feel you’re overwhelmed with clients as it is. However, the only way to still have clients and active leads in the fall, winter, and spring is to stay consistent with your marketing efforts every summer.

Pay “Mark” First

Keeping a consistent budget is important in any business, including real estate. Your budget should include a specific amount for marketing every month. If nothing else happens, be sure to pay your marketing budget – “Mark” – every month. It’s the only way your business can stay healthy year-round.

Maintain Your Farming Efforts

I know you’re busy with clients, but you want to make sure you maintain your farming efforts. For farming to be effective, it has to be consistent over time. Fortunately, this can be done fairly quickly once your mailing list is set up. Summer is the most important season to stay visible in your farm, since it’s the time of year people are most likely to buy or sell a home. If you’re tired of the feast-or-famine cycle of real estate, keep your farming efforts consistent with postcards and fliers during the summer.

Keep Websites Up to Date

As you work with clients each day, don’t forget to keep your website updated with recent listings and “just sold” testimonials. You may be very busy, but clients are still looking online for real estate assistance, and you want to make sure your site stays fresh and active. Keep pictures current, and especially make sure that you keep your listings updated, so someone doesn’t try to view a home that’s already sold!

Ask Clients to Post Reviews

As you build up another batch of satisfied customers this summer, ask them to leave online reviews for you on your website or on real estate portals. Having happy client reviews that are very recent will do a lot for you in terms of attracting new customers.

Keep Up Your Email Marketing Efforts

Writing dozens of emails is probably the last thing you have time to do this summer, but remember that an automated email marketing program can do all the hard work for you. You just set it up, and it can automatically follow up with leads on a specific schedule while you focus on the client that’s in your office today.

Recognize Holidays in Your Marketing

We have a variety of holidays throughout the year that give you ready-made reasons to reach out. A Fourth of July postcard in late June can be a seasonal, easy way to connect with your leads and prospects without taking a lot of your time or effort. Mother’s Day, Flag Day, and Father’s Day are other well-known summer holidays, and there are likely local fairs and festivals in your area that you can use as outreach opportunities.

Many Realtors® find themselves in a feast-or-famine cycle of being busy during the summer and very slow at other times of year. Much of the time, this is related to the fact that they market regularly all year, except during the summer. So take some time to “pay Mark” – get some postcards, some fliers, and spruce up your email campaigns. In the fall, you’ll be glad you did.

What makes it hard for you to keep your marketing momentum in the summer? Share in the comments!

How to Farm Your Area for Maximum Success

Community Farming

Some real estate agents don’t commit to farming a neighborhood or area. They rely on their brokerage’s leads and hope that friends and family will make up the difference. Unfortunately, they often don’t. The most successful Realtors® are those that actively farm their area and achieve name recognition in their market – BEFORE the customer is looking to buy or sell.

Fortunately, farming is not that difficult and pays huge dividends for the effort committed. While the principles are easy, it does take time and investment. Those who are willing to invest the time and money in their business are the ones who are positioning themselves for success.

Pick an Area You Know Well – or Want to Know Well

A big part of farming is knowing an area like the back of your hand. You want to know all the places to eat, all the community events, all the neighborhoods… you name it, you want to know it. When you can feel the pulse of a community, you can connect to it much more authentically than a Realtor® who comes in cold. If it’s an area near you – and it’s much easier if it is – start being seen around the neighborhood. Walk your dog there. Visit local restaurants. Go to the farmer’s market or 4th of July parade. You’ll get to know people naturally, in a non-sales related way.

Consider Neighborhood Turnover, Price Point, and Equity

Every Realtor® will have their own preferences in what types of areas they want to farm. Some like areas with higher equity, so they won’t have stressed buyers trying to force a high price point. Others like neighborhoods in the lower-to-mid level price range, ensuring that the homes are affordable for buyers and sell quickly. And some Realtors® will want to target higher-income neighborhoods, specializing in the type of marketing it takes to move a higher-priced home. Think about what your specialties and comfort levels are, and choose accordingly.

Keep an Updated List of Interactions

A software program can definitely help with this, but even without one it’s important to track interactions. Remember who you met and where, what you talked about, what their pet’s/child’s/spouse’s name was, and what they said about their housing situation. Follow up with people you meet regularly. You will likely want to group your contacts and follow up quickly with anyone who expresses a real estate need or referral. Those who don’t express those needs immediately should still be contacted, but perhaps less often or in a different way.

Start a Neighborhood Newsletter

You can get mailing address for homeowners in your area and create a neighborhood newsletter branded with your name and picture. Talk about things happening in the area and have a section for new listings. Don’t create anything lowbrow, however, like a gossip newsletter. It’s also best to stay away from politics. You can target homeowners with one newsletter to gain listings, and renters with another newsletter to gain buyers.

Real Estate Farming Postcards

The year is full of holidays, both big and small, and all of them are a reason to reach out to your neighborhood. Choose 4 – 6 times per year to send branded postcards with a seasonal flair, letting them know that you are available to help residents buy or sell. From Easter to Earth Day to Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there are plenty of opportunities to reach out – and very little Realtor® competition in the mailbox! Order your farming postcards today.

Volunteer

Volunteering with neighborhood organizations or home associations can be a great way to become known in a community in a very positive way. There are a few considerations, though. Be sure not to volunteer in a position that will take so much time it will hurt your real estate or family commitments. Be sure not to put yourself in a position that will cause a conflict of interest if you market to, list in, or sell in that community. And finally, don’t be invisible professionally – make sure people know you’re an agent and you’re available to help them!

Go Door to Door

You might think that in the internet age, going door to door is no longer relevant. To the contrary, it’s more relevant than ever. A personal, real contact is so rare today that it’s cherished and remembered far more than a Facebook post or Pinterest image. Along this line, cold calling can also be extremely effective. By connecting and having a live conversation with someone in your neighborhood area, you’ll be able to introduce yourself and stay top-of-mind.

Email Marketing

Far from being dead, email marketing is more effective than ever – if it’s done properly. By properly, I mean that email messages are targeted, relevant, and sent to a group that has agreed to hear from you. To build your email list you can run contests, host giveaways, or create an email newsletter. Then, send targeted and relevant messages to your list to advertise listings, celebrate holidays, or let them know about something new in the neighborhood.

Farming a neighborhood or geographic area is a very important way to build a strong brand presence and build up a significant client base. These clients will not only come to you to buy or sell, but they will refer friends and family who need real estate help as well – especially if you ask! By using the techniques above, you’ll be able to build a strong presence in whatever community or neighborhood you choose. To your success!!

Do you currently farm an area? Why or why not? Share in the comments!