Picking the right farm is as important as what you do once you’re there. Farming is an investment of your time, money, and patience, so you want to make sure you’re doing it in the right place.
The first thing you need to do when you decide to do geographic farming is find the farm that’s right for you. To do it right, you need to do three things: research, research, and…you guessed it…research.
It’s super-important that you understand the area’s turnover rates, demographics, price points, and who is already in that territory providing competition. You should also consider whether you want to farm your own neighborhood (there are pros and cons to doing this). You may also want to consider whether there’s room for later expansion to an adjacent zone. Lots of questions to answer before you start.
Let’s break down some of these issues:
What percentage of homes have turned over in the last 2-3 years? A good rule of thumb is that least 4.5% turnover works. Try using analytics to help you identify the top 20% of homeowners who fit the profile of “most likely to move,” then target them. Analytics will not, obviously, predict death, divorce, or other financial problems, but sometimes social media metrics can help you discover those kinds of leads, too.
Some farmers like to stretch to the upper end of the price range that’s turning to increase their per-listing profit. It’s important to be in an area you know well and feel comfortable in, so if you decide to go to the upper end, you may want to go as high as you can while staying in a range that still has decent turnover.
While it’s not absolutely necessary that the farm be close to your office, proximity does make it easier to work your farm. If your office is nearby, people may think of you as more of an area specialist.
You Own Neighborhood
Some agents like to farm their own neighborhood, and that can work well because you may be well connected to the community and activities in the area. Also, the homeowners may be a bit friendlier when they realize you’re a neighbor. It’s really up to personal preference.
It’s important to know how much competition you have and who that competition will be. It’s nearly impossible to find a farm where you’ll have zero competition, but some competitors are fiercer than others. If you do decide to take on a veteran, determine where they’re weak. Are they sporadic in their efforts? Do they have many expired listings? Do they only do mail or only door knock?
In the end, where you set up your farm will have a serious impact on your future business, so take the time to learn the area’s ins and outs, so you can reap a rich harvest from your farming efforts! To discover much more about geographic farming from top expert Debbie De Grote and other contributors, download our FREE eBook, Geographic Farming in the Digital Age.