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Realtors: How to Farm for Leads

By Megan Rutherford | September 12, 2013

If you are a realtor then you may be familiar with the term ‘farming’ but not everyone is acquainted with what farming really means if its not used in the context of growing vegetables and other types of commodities. Farming in real estate simply means that an agent has a specific community in which they solicit the majority of the neighborhood for business. In essence farming is meant to establish and brand the real estate agent as a community expert and develop relationships that will result in business.

When an agent decides to farm it’s not just a one time shot and multiple results are recognized, but rather farming takes time to build a presence and recognition in a community. Consistency is king when farming. You as a realtor must provide the farming area with up-to date information and position yourself as the local expert so that you will be thought of first when real estate comes to mind for those in the market to buy or sell (or refer).

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Real estate farming means that you grow your business by establishing and growing you reputation and connections to a specific neighborhood. Typically a minimum of 500 homes is a good and manageable size to mail to and will yield fairly good (crop) results. Identify what the average turnover rate is for the community. A brand new development probably will not yield many, if any results right away as the typical homeowner will move between every 4 to 6 years. Thus you want to make sure that there is an 8 percent minimum turnover rate for the community. Next consider what other ‘farmers’ aka other real estate agents are established in your farming area. This will be your direct competition to the farm territory. Lastly, be sure to classify what the demographics are of the farm area, is it primarily made up of young families, seniors, or?

There are three key steps to farming:
Step 1:
Prepare the soil. Identify your real estate farming area and do as much research on the area as possible.
Step 2: Plant and nurture your seeds. Send out your promotional materials at least once per month and try to be as consistent as possible.
Step 3: Harvest your crop. By building and maintaining regular contact with your target area you will establish yourself as the ‘go-to’ person for anyone’s real estate needs.

Think of your farm area as your garden which you will need to water regularly (as well as weed) but you will reap a terrific harvest once your crop has been established. Good luck planting your crop and farming!

Megan Rutherford is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer

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