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3 Mistakes Agents Make When Planning a Real Estate Farming Campaign

August 12 2015

marketing strategy

We regularly run across agents that are making critical real estate farming mistakes.

I say these mistakes are "critical" because many of them end up costing the agent a bunch of money. They also hinder agents from getting new business. When you combine those two issues, the health of an agent's business can suffer and, worst case scenario, they could wind up going completely out of business.

So today, I'll share the top three most common mistakes we see agents make when planning a farming campaign.

1) Picking a farm that costs more money than you can afford to market to EVERY month

This is something we see time and time again. Kind of like runners describe the high they get after finishing a great run, agents planning their new marketing campaigns, many times, experience a very similar thing. Excited that they have finally decided to get going on their marketing campaign, they want to take on their market place and dominate it. In the process, many agents think that exposure is more important in building their market share than anything else.

The problem with this is that it becomes very, very expensive. It also takes time to build results in a geographic postcard marketing campaign. Before that can happen, an agent may opt to quit doing the campaign all together. This does no justice to the agent and, in the end, only wastes a bunch of their hard earned money.

2) Expecting to get listings after only the first few mailings

The one thing that you can never, ever forget about postcard farming is that geographic marketing is a process. This means that you need to go into this thing with a long-term frame of mind. The first critical step to ensuring you are able to do this is described in point #1 when deciding the size of the farm you are going to be marketing yourself to.

Farming is a process for two main reasons. First off, homeowners are constantly inundated with marketing pieces. They get marketing from tons of other agents wanting to sell their home, from local restaurants and stores, and the value pack type mailings that have oil change discounts, etc. Because of this, they need to see your marketing pieces and your brand roughly six to eight times before they are going to think of real estate and naturally have your name and face pop into their minds.

Second, the fact is that you cannot force someone to sell their home. They are only going to contact you to sell their home when they are ready to move. The law of averages says that a homeowner is going to call three agents for listing appointments. That means that you need to regularly put your pieces in homeowners' mailboxes with the idea being that when they are ready to finally sell, they not only are aware of who you are, but also just recently received a marketing piece from you, further embedding you in their minds, so they call you for a listing appointment.

3) Thinking "If I just sell one listing, this campaign will pay for itself"

This is something we frequently hear from prospective clients after we present our marketing ideas to them. They consider everything we talked about, and in one flavor or another, say something to the effect of, "Okay. This makes sense. And, besides, as long as I get one listing, this campaign will pay for itself."

This IS NOT the right frame of mind when going into a geographic postcard farming campaign. Look at the numbers of that statement. Why would you work hard all year and spend a bunch of money simply to break even? If you do that, that means you are not making any profit. You DID NOT get into real estate to operate as a non-profit company.

As an agent, you are your own boss. Everything you do costs money. Your hard earned money. You need to use your money wisely. When it comes to marketing, for every dollar you put out, you should be getting additional money back, above and beyond your investment. What the right return on investment is can vary between your market place, the types of listings you are selling, etc. But the take-home message here is that breaking even is for suckers. You need to, and deserve to make money.

There are many elements to a successful real estate farming campaign. If you start out with these three things in mind, you will be starting off on the right foot--and have the biggest chance for success.

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