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So You've Picked Your Geographic Postcard Farm -- Now What?

June 18 2015

la picked farm now whatSo after countless hours examining neighborhoods in your marketplace, analyzing the turnover rate, making sure it's an area you love, and finding an area with a good spread of agents representing the sellers in the area, you're all done and things will fall into place, right? YOU'RE WRONG!

While you should congratulate yourself on working hard to pick the perfect geographic farm area for your real estate farming postcards, it's important not to lose sight that this is only the first critical step to success in your farming efforts. The next and possibly even more critical move is to take the following steps, ensuring that your campaign itself runs smoothly, reaches homeowners in your farm area CONSISTENTLY, and is well received by them.

1) Define Your Brand

Many agents are so excited to get their first pieces out to their farm area that they simply go with "any old piece," opting to use some generic template, or even some corporate template offered by their broker. I get it. It is easy to do this and you can get them out quickly. The thing is that these do you no justice at all.

A generic template that you can buy off an online web-to-print store will make you look like every other agent that uses those templates. A template from your broker, while better than a generic template you buy online, will always focus on advertising the brokerage first and the agent second.

You need to stand out as an individual. If your pieces look the same as every other agent that is sending cards to your marketplace, you are just going to blend into "the noise" and not be recognized by homeowners at all. You want a defined, unique brand identity that burns your image into homeowner's heads, making you who they think of when they think about real estate.

2) Research Your Marketplace

Another trap we frequently see agents fall into has to do with the type of content they are sending to homes in their farm. Again, it may seem easy to send something like food recipe cards or drink recipe cards to your farm area, but the law of averages says that the majority of the people in your farm area couldn't care less about these pieces and will simply throw them away.

Before you decide on the specific pieces you are going to send to your marketplace, you need to take the time to build personas for your farm area. Personas are semi-fictional stories about your ideal clients. They describe who these people are, their education and interests, where they are in their lives and what their needs are.

Using this information to draft a plan will put you head and shoulders above the rest of the other agents vying for listings in your farm area.

3) Draft a Marketing Plan

Now that you have your personas built, you actually need to put pen to paper and draft a COMPLETE marketing plan. Too many times we see agents trick themselves into thinking, "I know what to send to these people and don't need to plan it out." The thing is, though, that you WILL get busy and you will forget to do the next marketing piece and your inconsistency will ensure you fail in your farming.

Unless you absolutely can't afford it, find a real estate marketing agency that can help you with this. A good agency will not only help you put together your client personas, but also draft your marketing plans and keep you on track.

4) Stick to Your Marketing Plan

As I have written about multiple times in the past few years, no matter what else you do with your postcard marketing, you have to be RELENTLESSLY CONSISTENT in everything. Again, any good marketing agency can help you stick to your marketing plan.

5) Make Sure Your Campaign Is Measurable

Another critical, yet often overlooked, element of postcard marketing is the ability to assess if your campaign is actually working or not. Many agents have the misconception that "I'll know the campaign works once the phone rings and I get a listing." The fact of the matter is that geographic farming is a process. It can take 6-8 months to build momentum in an area and start to pick up listings. In the interim, if you can't track results as your pieces are going out, how will you know if your momentum is actually building? What if your pieces aren't targeting correctly, aren't being paid attention to, and then after 6-8 months you still have no results? You will have wasted a bunch of your hard earned money.

While there are a few ways you can monitor the effectiveness of your real estate farm postcards, capture code marketing happens to be my favorite way to track your postcard response rates in real-time. Whatever method you pick, you need to have some sort of system in place.

Successful real estate farming is definitely a process and you have to work diligently to cover all your bases to ensure success. Hopefully, these tips will help get you on your way, ensuring your grow your real estate practice to new levels in ways you never before thought possible.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blogLeading Agent blog.