Real estate farming seems straightforward at first. If you can stay on top of outreach tasks, then you’ll be successful—right? How hard can it be to regularly send postcards and call prospects?
The truth is a little more complicated. All the tasks from project management and marketing know-how required to successfully farm a territory can become overwhelming. I will cover the top six real estate farming challenges and offer practical solutions for successfully overcoming these issues.
1. Staying consistent
Consistency is essential for long-term success. Buying or selling a home is a big decision, and circumstances in your prospects’ lives can change overnight. It is important to create a marketing strategy that includes multiple channels to stay top of mind for a path to success and stay committed to it.
2. Picking the wrong farm size
Choosing the right farm size is equal parts art and science. Too large, and your farm will be too difficult or costly to reach consistently. Too small, and you may not strike the right balance between healthy inventory, absorption, and turnover rates. Aim for a farm size of between 300-500 total homes depending on the density in your geography.
Remember that there are costs (e.g., resources and time) associated with saturating your target farm region, including:
- Taking time for personal emails, phone calls, and meetings with prospects
- Monthly direct mail outreach
- Event hosting/workshops, etc.
- Sponsorships for local schools/sports teams, etc.
- Much more!
3. Using only one or two marketing tactics
The right mix of marketing channels is essential for building brand recognition and converting prospects. Agents need to use a variety of traditional and digital methods to stay top of mind. When building your brand in the best way, sprinkle the below in your marketing plan:
- Social media
- Direct mail such as postcards or letters
- Open Houses
- Online ads
- Customer Events
4. Failing to understand the psychographics, demographics and housing market in your real estate farm
It is important to develop a deep understanding of the homeowners, property types, community, growth, demographics and other important regional features in your chosen farm.
Without a complete knowledge of your farming territory, your sales efforts could completely fail to connect with the target audience or be perceived as disingenuous.
5. Selecting a farming territory that’s oversaturated with the competition
There’s no worse feeling than scouting your farming territory and seeing “For Sale” signs from one or more competing real estate agents. Excessive competition can significantly increase the effort required to establish your presence in the region, which means more marketing expenditure and time invested in face-to-face meetings.
Plus, if prospects in your real estate farm territory already have a good relationship with a realtor, they are unlikely to switch unless they have a bad experience. Be sure to take a deep dive into the market research over the past 2-5 years to ensure you are making the right choice for the best ROI.
6. Farming an area with low inventory or absorption rates
Some areas might seem promising at first due to high home values and low competition. However, there may be a reason competition is low. It’s crucial to understand the rate at which homes are bought and sold within a specific zip code of farming territory. These two measurements, known as the turnover rate and absorption rate, will help you accurately forecast the anticipated number of potential listings, and how quickly homes might sell.
Overcoming Real Estate Farming Challenges
Inadequate prospecting and failure to maintain contact relationships are top reasons that agents fall short of their goals. Real estate farming is a critical sales and marketing approach that, if done properly, solves the problem of consistently developing and nurturing new prospects. Strategically, real estate farming is an approach that relies on focused, repeated outreach efforts within well-defined, high-opportunity geography.
If you are ready to take your marketing to the next level, reach out to us today for a demo!
Robert Reardon is General Manager for Constellation Data Solutions. He is an entrepreneur and operator with a background in finance and technology. He is passionate about building real estate technology products that bring together real estate professionals and consumers in meaningful new ways.