Real estate marketing is all about focus and intent. There is nothing more focused than learning to market to a farm!
Direct mail marketing to a farm – Okay, this is admittedly my favorite! Using mail to market to a farm area allows you to consistently connect with people in particular geographic region. One suggestion from KW Realty is to do a 6X6 mailing, six pieces in six weeks to “introduce” yourself to the neighborhood. Another suggestion from Hobbs Herder is to send the exact same piece into homes, once a month for six months. I like the best of both worlds, 6 months of direct mail pieces, highlighting all of the different aspects of your business (working with buyers, sellers, area expertise, technology, neighborhood news and local stats are all pieces you can send).
Walking the neighborhood – This can take two different methods, either door knocking or dropping off neighborhood flyers. I am not a particularly aggressive kind of marketing kid so I did not feel comfortable door knocking (although it does increase effectiveness IMMENSELY!) What I did do was to drop off door hangers in person, being seen and meeting a lot of the peeps in the neighborhood.
Open houses – I KNOW, you hate open houses BUT there is no better way to meet and greet neighbors in your farm area. Doing two open houses a week in your target neighborhood can make you a neighborhood expert FAST! I combined open houses with walking the neighborhood and invited the street to attend a “neighbor’s only early showing”.
Garage sales – I am not sure that I approve of doing work that is not real estate related, but I have heard of agents organizing farm area garage sales.
Facebook or blog community pages – I am up in the air about this one, I have seen them done brilliantly and also have seen agents put A LOT of work into building a page that no one ever comes to. If you are considering doing a neighborhood page or blog, just know that you need LOTS of pictures, LOTS of contacts to get names AND a way to capture email addresses. This method is actually called internet marketing and requires that you build a database of names and emails, do targeted marketing campaigns, still do mailings and basically spend A LOT of time managing it. I tend to think that there are much easier ways to accomplish the same effect without such a huge time commitment.
Interesting ideas – While speaking in South Florida, I had an agent walk up to me and say that he had a great neighborhood marketing concept. He was the guy who would put flowers around their yard sign and all the old dears would call and ask if he was the realtor who would make their yard signs look better!
What DOESN’T work…
Now, I am not generally negative but I do know what happens in the real world. Sending refrigerator magnets, sports team schedules and notepads is one of those old school ideas that rarely works. I talk to A LOT of listing agents who giggle and say that they take A LOT of listings, sitting at the kitchen chair while looking at another agent on the fridgie. Now, I am not saying not to mail into the neighborhood, I AM saying that you could send two OR three mailings for the cost of sending “stuff” that just winds up in the circular file or on a icebox cluttering up space.
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