Choosing a geographic farm area is not an easy task even for experienced real estate professionals. There are several factors that are at play when you are deciding what area you want to generate prospects for your real estate business.
Most real estate professionals are doing some sort of marketing targeting a particular zip code or a bunch of communities. In rural areas some agents focus on the entire county but the common thread here is that agents like to focus on a particular geographic farm area and be known as the go to real estate professional of choice when someone decides to buy or sell in their home.
Step 1: Make A List Of Some Of The Areas That You Would Like To Prospect (no research yet)
The first step is to list a bunch of areas that you are looking to farm. Keep in mind that at this stage you are simply writing out areas that you THINK are ideal. It’s okay to write down multiple geographic farm areas (at this stage) because you will use the next few steps to evaluate which area is right for you.
Step 2: Find The Turnover Rate For Each Of These Areas
The “turnover rate” for any neighborhood gives you the data on how many people are likely to list their homes in a particular area each year.
Bonus: Check Out Our Guide On How To Calculate The Turnover Rate For An Area
Make a note of the areas you are interested in farming and the turnover rate of each one. For simplicity purposes, we recommend that you go via zip codes as it may be easier to get the number of homes sold for a particular zip code.
The areas with a higher turnover rate clearly indicate where people are selling the most. Go focus on those for your geographic farm area (but read the next point first).
Step 3 : Analyze Competition For Your Selected Geographic Farm Area
The turnover rate data gives you a clear indication of the most active areas that you are interested in. However, in most cases you will realize that these areas are often targeted by most agents as well.
Unless you are living in a rural county with a few agents covering it, most areas with higher turnover rates are farmed by top producing agents. We are not saying that you should avoid these areas. In fact, before selecting a particular area do a study of how many agents are targeting it.
Three clear indications that a geographic area might be harder to farm include the following:
- Most MLS listings are from a particular agent or team
- There are multiple local agents running Facebook and Google Ads for the area (excluding zillow and other big companies). You can easily do a local keyword research and find this data.
- The target demographic is not your core strength. Meaning if you specialize in pre-construction condos and you are going with a detached wealthy area, it’s kind of a mismatch.
Step 4: Create A Marketing Plan For Your Geographic Farm Area
Now that you know the area that you are targeting it’s time to create a marketing plan for your geographic farm area so that people think of you when they are planning to buy or sell.
There are three key elements for creating a successful marketing strategy and we will cover each of them in further detail.
01. Decide The Marketing Message For Your Geographic Farm Area
The most important thing to consider when creating any sort of marketing collateral for your real estate business is your marketing message for a particular area.
One of the biggest mistakes agents make is that they go too generic and salesly on their marketing content.
Instead, focus on WHY someone should hire you as their go-to agent. Have you sold something in that area before? How fast did you sell it? Did you sell it over asking, if so how much?
Get a testimonial from people who listed with you in that area or at least close to it if possible. A video testimonial works best but you still need a text version for offline marketing.
Most importantly the marketing message has to be consistent across all of your marketing channels. (more on this on the next point below).
02. Deciding The Marketing Channels For Your Geographic Farm Area
There are lots of ways you can promote yourself as the go-to real estate professional once you know the area you are targeting. However, spreading yourself too thin across multiple channels or not using enough marketing channels to get the message can lead to a “not so good” ROI.
The key is to understand what marketing methods work best and double down on that to get you more face to face meetings with prospects in your local community.
Start with a few offline channels like banners, flyers and door hangers. Once you start distributing these, go run an online campaign targeting local homeowners in your farm area. The online campaign should have a similar message to your banners and flyers.
Finally, go door knock the area and create original video content for your community to build trust among local residents.
Soon, you will start getting people who are interested in your service and you will find out which marketing channel is generating more leads. Create dedicated URL’s for different marketing campaigns and double down on the channels that are working for you.
03. Analyzing & Scaling Your Sales & Marketing In Your Geographic Farm Area
Once you track all of your different URL’s and figure out which marketing channels are generating more leads and face to face meetings with prospects it’s time to double down on them.
Like we mentioned before use specific URL’s for individual channels to better track where leads are coming from.
For online leads targeting your community use separate UTM_trackers to find out which of your ad variations is actually converting into face to face meetings.
Write out your marketing plan for the month in a spreadsheet so that you have a clear picture of when these campaigns are launching for the next month.
If you are running campaigns in multiple geographic farm areas make sure that you create a separate tab in your spreadsheet for each one, or create a tab for the month and arrange the sheet into different areas (up to you).
Dominating a geographic farm area is not easy and does not happen overnight. Instead it’s a long term play where you use marketing to provide value to your community and get face to face meetings with people to build trust.
The goal should be to give them something of value in exchange for their email address so that you can nurture them via drip campaigns or retargeting campaigns.
If you are more into face to face meetings you should still get their email address and add it to your CRM so that you can follow up with them to stay front and center.
Consistency is the key to geographic farming. There is no better feeling when your marketing efforts in a particular geographic farming area leads to that first listing or even someone recognizing you on the grocery store.