If you’ve ever visited the Midwest or the Great Plains of the American heart land you probably have some idea about what farming is all about. However, until I met my wife’s family from a small farming community in western Minnesota I had no idea how much that occupation was embedded in the very fabric of who that person is. Farming is NOT an occupation!!! It’s a way of life! If you want to be a successful real estate agent, you MUST look at your farm community the same way wife’s grandmother looks at her small town. Don’t worry there are a TON of Real Estate Resources out there that can make you efficient and effective.
#1 Coffee Shop Farming
You must view that corporate Starbucks on the corner through the same lens that my wife’s grandmother views the small café on main street. She goes in multiple times a week with multiple purposes. The #1 purpose is to support the local people working there (a close 2nd is catching up on the gossip). To ensure that the doors will stay open and the town will continue to grow. This purpose is so heart felt and genuine that when second café opened up she ended up increasing her weekly visits and began alternating between the two shops. In our weekly telephone conversations, you could just sense the pride and excitement that she felt when her small town of 1,500 people was growing. And this spry 87-year-old was going to make sure that she did her part to help it grow.
As a realtor this is your task! You are the parent of your city, your zip-code, or your subdivision. You are there to inject yourself in and be consumed by it. That Starbucks is great starting point. Each day you have a multitude of task to accomplish. I’m sure one of those task takes roughly 30-45 minutes. Spend those 30 minutes at Starbucks. Set up shop in an area close to outlets, at a big table…anywhere people might be looking to join you. Be open to conversations. Start conversations…be engaging! (if you need some pointers on how to be engaging refer to my previous Blog) Be invested in the community and work to build relationships!!! This is the “planting season” for a realtor.
#2 Schools Farming
Living in a town of 1,500 people with the nearest Walmart is over an hour away, Grandma is not necessary inundated with recreational activities and social gatherings. However, there is one establishment that provides an opportunity for everyone in the town to get together AT LEAST once a week. THE HIGH SCHOOL. My wife and I have been fortunate to be able to visit the small town of Wheaton, MINN once or twice a year for the last couple of years. Let me tell you that High School is a HOT BED of activity!!! We’ve been to games of every sport, socials, carnivals, and fairs. You name it…we’ve attended! We’ve even gone to a Girls’ Basketball Summer League game. Each school event is an opportunity for people to get together, catch up, and build relationships (and gossip).
Even in a big city the local school’s activities drive the community. Be part of that driving force! Get involved. You don’t HAVE to have kids to help your community (…middle age men, watch the creepy factor). Bottom line is this. If you truly care about your clients, you need to care about the things that they care about most. KIDS are the top of most parent priority list. By being involved and knowledgeable about the local schools (elementary and high school) you are demonstrating your commitment to a client’s core values.
Believe it or not, Grandma has quite a bit of gas left in the tank. When we visit, every night we do a nightly walk with good old grandma. She may not be setting and land speed records, but she still covers the same ground she always has. In our nightly travels, we probably come across 5-7 people that we stop and say hello, and catch up with (gossip). It’s crazy the insight that Grandma has about the history of this town and the people in it. These nightly walks are her Google searches.
As an agent committed to an area you have to be present. Farm YOUR subdivision! Do nightly walks in YOUR neighborhood! Visit YOUR local parks at night and on the weekends! If you don’t have kids…take your dog! As you touring your farm be engaging; say hello, start conversations, ask questions. This type of questioning will bring up return questions…like… “What do you do?”. JACKPOT!!! You are now prospecting your farm as a realtor!!!
As you’re in the coffee shop, at the local school, or walking the neighborhood have some type of promotion material on you. I think a casual t-shirt with your name and logo on it is the best. It allows people to identify what you do without being as forward as a name tag or a massive sticker on your laptop/magnet on your car.
#4 Facebook Farming
Create a Facebook Community Page for your Farm (subdivision). A ton of realtors put in that sweat equity of door knocking their farm. The problem with this is they are looking to take from their farm before they’ve invested. You’re asking for your neighbors to give you business and send you referrals before they’ve gotten to know you or seen what you can do. That could definitely put some people off. However, if you do your door knocking as an invested member of the neighborhood with an idea that benefits the whole. You are now planting seeds within your farm. Not only that, but you’ve put yourself in a position where you can easily water, fertilize and nurture your farm from the comfort of your own home. Here are just a couple of the ways that you can promote yourself as a realtor on your Community Page…
- Market Analysis
- Comparable home values of your subdivision versus homes in neighboring subdivisions
- Battle of the Subdivision
- Your amazing Facebook promotions.
Invite the teachers/administration of your local schools to be in the community page. This is a great way to stay in the loop of the upcoming school activities, but it also allows you to make additional connections to other communities.
These are just a couple of thoughts that could help you more effectively farm your focus area. With these methods of outreach to your farm you must have your mind focused on the core idea of farming. This is a slow, multi-level promotion of your real estate business that could end up paying huge dividends. Just the other day I was talking with one of the agents on our office and he commented on how he really needs to get back to farming his subdivision. That comment was followed up by a mind blowing comment… “I bet I closed at least one deal a month just by farmer my neighborhood.” DO THE MATH…one deal a month at your median price point!!! Not a bad revenue stream! AND you will be making a huge positive impact on the people around you. This type of farming is a WIN-WIN!!!
Here’s a sample flyer that you can handout to your neighbors to promote your Facebook Community Page!!!
…and it’s for FREE!!!