Harness The Power of Face-to-Face Interaction
Some real estate agents think geo farming means mass marketing to a neighborhood. In fact, it’s been getting a bad rap because many agents don’t love “going door-to-door” or “wasting their money on expensive flyers.” If that’s you, we hear you. But, we also know that for a real estate business to succeed, you must build relationships within a community. And whether you like it or not, that’s called geo farming. There are many tactics for geo farming out there, however none are a substitute for in-person interaction. This article explores in-person geo farming techniques that work. Keep reading to find out how you can connect with more people and grow your sphere of influence. And all without facing rejection or breaking the bank.
If you would like a refresher on what geo farming is and what it is not, check out this article. Included are the top geo farming strategies for 2023. However, if you’re interested in a deep dive into how you can improve your in-person farming game, stay here.
The Importance of Building Relationships in Real Estate
There’s no question about it: real estate is a people business. But, do you really have to invest in building relationships with the people you want to work with? Isn’t it more effective to be there, at the right place at the right time? After all, time is money. And you want to spend yours providing real estate services rather than connecting with people over their interest in tennis… Consider the following statistics by the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
What this all means
The overwhelming majority of business in real estate comes from past clients or referrals. What’s more, these numbers have remained more or less constant for years. Other methods of lead acquisition such as advertising, newspapers, and direct mail made up 3% of sales…put together! So, there’s no way around it. You must get in front of people and build those relationships if your goal is a thriving business in real estate.
Cold Calling & Door Knocking
If you found that door knocking and cold calling can be demoralizing, you’re not alone. This method of lead acquisition is ripe with rejection. And the fact that it’s a rejection in response to direct interaction feels all the more personal. Nevertheless, you might be surprised to learn that this method has led to 4% of total real estate sales (NAR). That’s more than advertising, direct mail, and newspaper listings combined. That said, 4% isn’t necessarily something to write home about. And while you can get better at this by honing your sales skills, surely there are better ways.
In-Person Geo Farming Tactics That Work
The hardest part of in-person geo farming is simply starting the conversation. Or rather, it’s sustaining a conversation with a willing and enthusiastic participant. Turns out the trick to that is no trick at all. You simply have to talk about something that the other party is also interested in talking about. And if, in that time, you’re able to add something of value, you will start to earn their trust. Do that over and over, and you’re well on your way to establishing a good relationship.
9 Creative In-Person Geo Farming Ideas
We’ve spoken to countless agents in our network and aggregated their top secrets for in-person geo farming success. Here’s a countdown of our favorite tactics that don’t involve knocking on doors or soliciting neighbors.
9. Sponsor or participate in a local fundraising event in your community
Community organizers are people who are as passionate as they are well connected. As you work on establishing yourself in your community, it’s a good idea to know who these people are. And it’s an even better idea to align with their goals, whenever there is natural synergy. So, if there’s a good cause that you also happen to care about, get involved! By doing this, you do some good, meet people, and telegraph a bit about who you are and what you value.
8. Help someone set up a yard sale
Is there someone in your neighborhood who has good taste and perhaps a surplus of collectibles? Perhaps there’s someone you know of who has become too good an Amazon Prime customer and could use a hand getting rid of a few things. Hosting a yard sale is a great way to turn unwanted items into valuable dollars and value for others. As the local agent, you could help promote this yard sale if not organize it. These type of things are a great way to meet and really connect with neighbors.
7. Participate in or sponsor a local sports team
If there’s a particular sport you’re passionate about, one way to add value to your community could be to coach or sponsor your local team. This is a great way to get to know families in your community and forge deeper connections. However, it’s also time consuming and resource intensive. Nevertheless, this could be a great name to build real trust in your community and get to know people. Consider this if it’s in line with your interests and generally something you would enjoy.
6. Participate in or sponsor a local parade
During the COVID lock-downs, local parades in support of our frontline workers were a lovely gesture of support. As our world changes and our neighborhoods evolve, there may be other opportunities like that that you could partake in. These types of events represent great community building opportunities as well as demonstrate your own personal values.
5. Participate in a community garden
Perhaps it’s a little on the nose, but your community garden offers a great opportunity to nurture your geo farm. Community gardens bring people together, reduce environmental hazzards, and imbue communities with positive vibes and wholesome values. They are less time consuming than coaching a local sports team. But, they still require interest and a time commitment. Get involved with yours if it’s something you believe you might enjoy, and reap the fruits of your labor.
4. Organize a community clean-up effort
A garbage collection effort for your local community is not only a great way to bring people together, it helps build community pride. Show your neighborhood that you care by announcing on your channels that you’ll be doing a “spring cleaning,” get some garbage bags, and go collecting.
3. Volunteer at your local church of community center
Churches and community centers often represent the meeting grounds for members in a community. They also offer many opportunities for members to get involved, from patronage to volunteering. As with all of the ideas in here, make sure you pursue this tactic if it also aligns with your personal values. But, if it does, this is a great way of connecting with people, on their terms.
2. Hand deliver open-house invitations
Open houses represent a great opportunity to market the home you are selling as well as your skills and personality. However, many agents don’t invite neighbors to come because they probably aren’t looking to buy that home down the street. This is a mistake because anything that builds buzz around a sale has the potential to help. Plus, when people buy a home, they also buy the neighborhood. So, get out there and invite neighbors to drop by. Your results might surprise you.
1. Promote a local business
This is perhaps the best kept secret to in-person geo farming. Local business owners are often people who have made a serious investment into your community. They know and care about the people who live there, and they’re very happy to talk about what they do. In our experience, when you help them get their message to your (shared) community, they return the favor in spades. Consider featuring them in a segment of your newsletter, your website, social channels, or all of the above.
Parkbench helps agents network in their communities by implementing some of these tactics in a novel way. They’ve built a platform that combines the best of Groupon, Eventbrite, and Yellow Pages for every community. They do all the work to maintain and update the website. Meanwhile they teach you how to leverage their prospecting system to become the Local Leader® of your neighborhood. What’s more, their system works so well they’re willing to back it with a double-your-money guarantee. If you try Parkbench for one year and don’t generate at least six transaction, they will not only give you your money back, they’ll double it.
Disclaimer: only one agent allowed per neighborhood.
The best way to learn more about Parkbench is to book your free demo. However, if you want to learn more first, follow the link below.
The key takeaways for mastering in-person geo farming
- Overcome any aversion you may have to starting conversations with strangers. If you want to succeed, you must expand your sphere of influence. And in order to do that, you must meet people.
- Get involved in hyper local community activities over common values and interests. Don’t sponsor a sports team if you couldn’t care less about sports. The goal shouldn’t be to get name exposure. It should be to build relationships. So, get out there but stay true to yourself.
- Build community opportunities if there aren’t enough out there organically. Don’t be afraid to hang out your shingle and organize a local event. The more you do it, the more people will grow to trust you.
- Become a local leader by connecting with other local leaders. Community organizers, business owners, and neighborhood socialites are often well connected. The more people you know, the more value you could bring to your community. And this is to say nothing of the opportunity you will have to promote yourself.
- Document everything you do and share about it through your channels. This not only helps people get to know you better, it makes all your efforts easy to find. And, if you’re involved with enough interesting local things, it gives people a reason to follow you. So, treat your social channels as a platform for community building rather than self-promotion.
Overall, there’s no way around investing in relationship building if you want to have a successful business in real estate. And while there are other lead generation tactics out there, everything pales in comparison to in-person interactions. This is the single most important skill you must master if you want to succeed in your business. So, no matter your sales style, it’s crucial that you get out into your local community and get to know the neighbors. We hope the tactics above give you some inspiration on how you can get started or expand your in-person geo farming strategies. For more great tips and insights, sign up to our newsletter.