One of the strongest ways to generate a consistent stream of business is geographic farming. There have always been challenges with establishing and executing such an important and potentially profitable system.
The challenges include selecting the right farm, budgeting for the potential expense, the constant production of creative marketing material, and the long term commitment required. Some of these challenges are mitigated by participating in the system our office provides.
But, there is more than one way to tackle these challenges. You either have check equity, or you have sweat equity.
We’ll tackle both. The real difference is in the method of delivery for those marketing pieces.
Preparation – Is This System Right For Me?
- SELECT THE METHOD OF DELIVERY
- UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT FARM
- COMMIT TO YOUR SUCCESS
- SOME RULES
Select The Method Of Delivery
I’ve Got Sweat Equity
If the challenge is a limit of funds, the method of delivery? That’s you. Humidity and heels (the dudes will have an advantage here), be damned. But, this system is still doable for those that have an extraordinary level of commitment.
I started this way. My partner and I delivered 500 pieces every 2 weeks. For NINE MONTHS. Nada. Nothing except for calls to ‘stop delivering your stuff’ at the door. Fine. But, if it was a question of commitment, we won.
Nine months later our come-list-me-call came in. We were the only agents called.
Delivery of 100 homes takes about an hour. Start with 400 hundred homes and deliver for 2 hours a week.
It may not be fun, but ultimately, if your resolve is strong enough, it will be profitable.
I’ve Got Check Equity
Well, this is easy. Our office has designed the most cost effective way to farm. And the best thing is that we do it for you.
The Stellar System
We have researched the printing solution and the most affordable method of delivery. Our intention is for you to sign up, set it, and as for the marketing, forget it. The system… <drum roll>
1. Every 3 weeks a personalized marketing piece is delivered to your farm. Those in The Woodlands will get a postcard branded for the area. Those in the surrounding areas will have a piece that will speak to a broader Houston area market. The marketing will be designed to be the types of things that people either hold on to, or things that might grab their attention. The focus will be on messaging and calls to action that work. Clean, simple, sophisticated.
2. The piece will printed by a local printer and delivered using Every Door Direct Mail through the United States Postal Service. The printer we have chosen understands the specific requirements for this system and is sensitive about making sure it is delivered on days that are not known as junk mail days (Wednesday and Thursday).
3. You benefit from economies of scale. In my years of farming, I used to order cards in bulk orders of 10,000 to get a reasonable rate. Every order was a little painful to the wallet, especially in the early days before I got traction. Good news. You won’t suffer that. Ken is going to order large bulk orders of the shells for the office. You benefit from that bulk price. The back is personalized to you for every run. And, you only pay as you go. The cost is a mere thirty nine cents per piece and the company will pick up 25% of your total cost per mailing. Woot.
Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. You’re welcome. 🙂
4. Leveraging your success just got easier. Once you start having success, you want people to know. Not to worry, because we have that covered, too. Just Listed, Just Sold cards are also bulk ordered. Showcase your success to that same farm through the same mail and printing source. And, we’ll do it for you.
5. We create the piece, we get it printed, we get it mailed, we bill your credit card every 3 weeks. There is no mailed farming strategy that is easier and less costly than the one we have created here.
SELECTING THE RIGHT FARM
1. Select a farm. The economical nature of this system is driven partially by the method of delivery. With Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) you must select a mail route. The following video tutorial will show you how to select a route that works.
These are some of the other things you may want to consider in the selection of a farm.
- Turnover (7 to 10% over the last 3 years)
- Do you like the homes?
- Is there an agent that has done 20% or more of the listings in that farm in the last 3 years? (It will take longer to break in)
- Variation in price points can ensure that you always have some movement
- Do you understand the demographic makeup of the area?
- When you do have success, will it be visible?
- How easy would it be to expand into adjacent areas?
- Have you had success there already? Or do you have potential for success based on your existing network?
Commit To Your Success
This is a system that requires commitment. It’s not for the faint of heart. It takes time. It could be six months … even a year before it you get that first come-list-me call. But, once you begin to get a foothold in a neighborhood, it can be a lasting and consistent source of listings. Listings beget other listings, and potential buyers. And, being a strong listing agent is at the heart of a successful real estate practice.
We are handling the marketing, but you still need to commit to your farm. If you want to accelerate your growth, there are things you can do.
- Whenever possible do open houses in that farm
- Preview EVERY new listing in that neighborhood. Don’t just say you are the expert in that neighborhood. BE ONE.
- Door Knock. Seriously. Door knocking works. See me if you need tips on how to do this.
- Be seen. Work at their Starbucks or donut shop. Sound crazy? Read Click. People develop a natural affinity for those they see.
“…people are exponentially more likely to form a relationship – to click- with people who live or work close by. Even passive contacts can be a powerful influence on whom we click with.”
1. Minimum 6 month is required. Farming is something you cannot ‘dabble’ in. You have to be committed. This is not an overnight result, but the philosophy is more along the lines of ‘slow and steady’ wins the race. I didn’t get my first listing for 9 months. If you aren’t committed for the long haul, this may not be the system for you right now. And, because we are ordering large bulk runs, knowing our mailing commitments will influence our orders.
2. There are no restricted territories. I can assure you, there is no negotiating on this particular rule. There is plenty of business to go around and if you are determined to farm in an area that someone is already working, you are still free to explore ways to do that, but we cannot create an environment where this becomes a point of negotiation.
In an effort to have full transparency, we are showing you what routes are currently being farmed by GG agents so that you can evaluate your financial investment, and weigh the pros and cons of taking on a particular geography.
3. If your credit card declines, we remove you from the program and remove you from the list of routes. If you need to update the card, not to worry. But we cannot front costs. With a program this large, we simply cannot extend an accounting aspect to its management.
List To Last
List to last is something you often hear. There is a real reason this phrase sticks in our industry. You can have 10 listings at once, but managing 10 active buyers is another matter. He who controls the listings, controls the industry. The best part is that listings beget other listings. They are also the source of your buyer leads.
This system is designed to put you in the listing driver’s seat.
To your continued success!