When it comes to real estate, finding prospects and converting them to leads is one of the most important jobs you have. In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Nick Baldwin and Tristan Ahumada teach you how to do just that in “Farm Like a Boss.”
A 20-year real estate vet, Baldwin has been a residential real estate agent for 12 years and is the CEO of Superior Homes Group. Ahumada specializes in luxury real estate and has been an agent in Los Angeles and Ventura County for 15 years. In this webinar, Baldwin and Ahumada shared how to become the go-to agent in your neighborhood in seven steps.
Farming Is All About Patience
Baldwin opened the webinar with this preface: “If you’re not interested in waiting for great business to come your way, then farming is not for you. The wait is worth it.”
Correctly farming an area takes time and investment. He states that you need to wait 3-4 months for people to begin recognizing you. He notes that it’s important to be frequent and consistent at the beginning, because you’re building your familiarity. At 6-8 months, people will begin to remember who you are. Finally, at 9-12 months, as long as you’ve been consistent, you’ll be in their mind when they’re ready to sell. In addition to this, Baldwin states that the No. 1 mistake agents make when farming is trying to be in too many places and failing to create a solid brand presence in one location. He notes that it’s better to be in one place a lot than many places a little so that you can be known as the local expert.
Step 1: Choose Your Area
Before you begin farming, you need to choose the area you want to work in. Consider what kind of client you want to target. It’s also important to start small (an area of 500 homes) so you won’t spread yourself too thin. Study your map and learn as much as you can about your demographic, who lives there and how often they move. In addition to this, you should pick an area that fits your lifestyle and motivates you to stop by. Your farm should be convenient and make you want to visit, knock on doors and host events.
Step 2: Study Your Farm
It’s important to know who you’re working with so that you can determine when and if the people living in your farm will be selling soon. You need to learn which homes are selling, expiring, cancelled and withdrawn. You should also become the local expert and know these facts as soon as someone asks. Be ready to share why listings aren’t selling, because people will ask. There’s nothing worse than saying you need to get to your computer first when someone asks a question about your area.
Step 3: Study Your Competition
It’s important to know what your competition is doing. Do a SWOT analysis to find out their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For their strengths, find out what they’re doing well. Find information about their listings, commission, marketing, etc. It’s also important to know what they’re not doing well, such as taking any listings or not marketing on social media, and then figure out how you can fill that hole. Take their weaknesses and turn them into opportunities for you to get more listings. For example, if they’re not staging homes, you could offer a consultation for sellers. Finally, consider any threats or what could go wrong with your plan. Be sure what you’re offering is profitable and scalable.
Step 4: Create Valuable Content
In order to show prospects that you’re there to help, you need to create a website showcasing what’s special about the area and highlighting your ties to the community. One way to do this is by sending out a weekly (or monthly, if you’re short on content) newsletter to keep in contact and tell your followers what’s happening in the area. Another idea from Baldwin is to create videos about businesses that are led by people who are impactful in the area. Think about the area you want to break into and the content you can give back to the community through video. Finally, you can also go door-to-door to drop off materials or send out mailers.
Step 5: Engage
Engagement is key to being top-of-mind in any farm. Here are some ways that Baldwin and Ahumada suggested: door-knock, send mailers, create a social media page or website, generate press releases and host community events.
Step 6: Automate and Leverage
Both Baldwin and Ahumada emphasize the use of automation to save time. One example is to have cards sent out automatically or to automate CTAs for incoming leads. When considering how to automate or leverage your tasks, Baldwin and Ahumada note that you should try to engage in a different, meaningful way. For instance, instead of just saying that you’re the best agent in the area, send cards about the best parks in the area or what you’ve learned from living in that neighborhood. Again, show that you’re the local expert and create a connection. Finally, drip campaigns can also be a good way to keep in touch with people in your farm and update them on how the market is doing.
Step 7: Re-Analyze
The last step is to re-analyze everything you’re doing. Baldwin and Ahumada suggest that every six months, you evaluate your position and progress. They suggest asking the following questions:
- How is your farm size?
- Is your branding and content setting you apart from other agents in your area?
- Are you hosting enough events?
- What can you automate to make your life simpler?
Then, adjust your approach accordingly.
To learn more of Baldwin and Ahumada’s farming tips, you can join the Secrets of Top Selling Agents Facebook Group here. For more free real estate education, including best practices, visit the Secrets of Top Selling Agents website.
Joe Sesso is an author and national speaker for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.