Real estate agent farming… Should you do it?
Well, that depends on what your overall strategy and goals are. Lets first examine what real estate agent farming is so you can get a better idea and see if it’s something you should do or not.
Real estate agent farming, is traditionally when you pick a certain geographic area and consistently direct mail its residents. Traditionally post cards were the most common marketing piece to use for real estate agent farming, but things are changing. Today you can social farm areas through Facebook ads for example, but that’s another blog post.
The strategy is based on maintaining a presence in the area so that you are the first agent they think of when they think of real estate.
YES, this works, but plan on committing to it long term. This is a great way to build a market presence in the area, but some of it’s downsides are that it can be expensive and take a while to see the results.
We can go into all kinds of strategies about the content of the postcard and the call to actions within it, but that’s not the point of this article.
The entire goal of implementing a real estate agent farming system is to remain on top of mind to trigger ready, willing, and able clients through maintaining a consistent presence.
So if marketing people you don’t know works, why the hell are real estate agents not farming their relationships the same way?
Here’s why you might want to consider taking the concept of real estate farming and applying it to your relationships.
These numbers came directly from the National Association of Realtors. Does your entire rolodex of relationships remember or know to refer you business?Think deep, do they automatically think of you when they think of real estate?
A recent poll done in Lab Coats Agents Facebook Group reflected similar findings…
Here’s another fact on agent sourced business again from NAR. This came right out of the 2015 Home Buyers and Sellers Report.
Real estate is a referral dominated business, but a large majority of real estate agents chase business with advertising activities looking for “leads” instead of nurturing their largest asset where over 60% of all agent business comes from!
The best real estate agent farming market to hit is all the people you know, not complete strangers!
Real estate is a belly to belly business where overwhelmingly people want to work with someone they know, trust, and like, but so many real estate agents place their marketing efforts on shiny objects they are told will create business for them.
Here’s where most real estate agents think they should be doing.
- Buy an expensive zip code or online lead platform to keep “leads” coming in.
- Get a mega website they don’t know how to use or drive traffic to.
- Cold call cancelleds, expired, and FSBO’s constantly. They are told that it’s a numbers game and once they get 10 rejections they are one step closer to getting a “YES”.
- Get a super duper email autoresponder to “drip” on people until they respond to you.
There’s a reason people in general don’t like real estate agents. When a large majority of our industry is Glen-Garry Glen Ross, boiler room, Wolf of Wall Street hard selling the crap out of people, it can give the industry a bad rap.
As a matter of fact in August of 2015 Inman News stated the largest threats to the real estate industry.
- Low quality agents
- A poor consumer experience
I’m not saying those activities don’t work. Constantly looking for new business is necessary in real estate. I am saying that you can focus your marketing efforts on where over 60% of ALL agent business comes from by taking the same concept of farming and applying it to your database. Relationship marketing should be every agent’s #1 marketing activity because the numbers don’t lie.
Any logical business owner would place the majority of their marketing budget and energy towards the largest source of business, but for some reason that’s not the case in real estate.
When your database forgets what you do for a living, they forget to refer and use you.
People refer real estate agents for 3 reasons.
- They have to like the agent they are referring them to;
- They have to like the person that is asking or suggesting for a referral for an agent; and
- The person referring the agent has to notice that an ongoing conversation is taking place (about real estate) and they have to THINK OF YOU (this is the key).
If you are interested in the psychology of referrals, read the rest of this article below;
It is our job to remind our relationships what we do for a living. It is not their job to remember to refer business to us.
I don’t want to be salesy!
Don’t be. It would be cheesy if you did. You cannot get nervous about consistently marketing your database. That’s why you have to apply a “sell without selling” type of approach. You can consistently market your brand without doing this very easily.
Just tell your daily real estate story…
The goal of marketing your database is not to generate a lead or create an opt in, it’s to not be forgotten.
You might want to check out some of these articles in the link below if you want to know more about some relationship marketing strategies.
Here’s the main point!
If real estate farming works, imagine how it would work with people you actually know. Staying on top of mind as the go to real estate pro amongst your database pays off big!
These are the facts. If 15% of people you know, or know of you, are moving this year, how many of them remember you are in real estate?
The primary reason you are marketing your database is not for their direct business, although that’s nice, but to get their referrals because everybody you know, knows someone who is moving this year. That’s a fact.
When you become the “real estate guy/gal”, you’ll get their referrals and repeat business.
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