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RISMEDIA, May 16, 2007-Geographic farming is a marketing technique that is often taught to agents looking to expand their sphere. The idea is simple, select an area and start mailing to the area. However, to farm is to hold yourself out as someone that knows more about a particular neighborhood than a typical agent, otherwise why would a consumer elect to use your services over the another agent farming the neighborhood?

Beyond showing your expertise, by knowing these top 10 items, you can better market your listings by formulating your marketing plan and material to appeal to the generation that is currently living or buying homes in your neighborhood. From a buyer’s perspective, neighborhood knowledge will enable you to make sure your buyer is purchasing a home that will work for them on all levels, not just financially.

Here are the top 10 items you should know about your neighborhood:

1. History of your neighborhood; when it was developed, who developed it, what was there before it was developed? Be able to have basic knowledge of the history of your neighborhood and how it fits into the surrounding community.
2. Improvement Information; home types, styles, models and builders. Know the home models offered and the specification for those models; square feet, beds baths … know the product. This is not always possible in older areas or custom communities, but at least know the range of properties.
3. Know about any building hazards that might be prevalent in your neighborhood. Pull a Hazard Report to help you find information about potential building hazards.
4. Know about natural disasters that affect your neighborhood. Additionally know the cost to the homeowner and frequency the natural disaster has occurred and any insurance that may offset such costs.
5. If your neighborhood has an HOA or Community Bylaws know the most important rules and regulations that would affect your consumer’s enjoyment of the property. This could come in the form of restrictions on remodeling, or visitor or play area restrictions, pet rules. Nothing is worse than purchasing a property and not being able to use it as you see fit.
6. Know the current tax issues affecting properties in your neighborhood. Are there any pending tax issues? If your client is out of state be able to relate to their experiences with taxes, are they is an area that has higher or lower tax rates compared to your neighborhood?
7. Know about any building projects that might impact the value of homes in your neighborhood. This impact maybe positive or negative. Know what is going on and be able to have an intelligent discussion on possible impact a building project could have on your neighborhood.
8. Know the demographics of the community; income, education levels, occupations and number of children in the neighborhood. Remember you are not just selling a house but a neighborhood.
9. Know the owner/renter occupied mix in your neighborhood and the average rental price, even if you are not in the rental market.
10. Know details about the schools. Since home values can often vary significantly on the quality of the school district, knowing school information is critical.

It is not an oversight that sales statistics are left off from this list. Anyone with access to the MLS can investigate sales information about a given neighborhood. But sales statistics in-and-of-themselves does not make you an expert. Farming a neighborhood involves knowing the details of that neighborhood and being able to pass that information onto your client so they can make the best decision for themselves. Being able to regurgitate sales stats does not help someone make a decision about how they will enjoy the neighborhood; it just lets them know if it is a good deal.

Make sure you are the neighborhood expert in your area.

Information provided courtesy of the RealtyU Online, leading providers of online education and training.

For more information visit