Published by Kartik Subramaniam
How to Dominate a Farm in Real Estate
You've finished your real estate classes and passed all the tests. It's official: You're now a licensed real estate agent. All those sleepless nights filled with studying alluvium soil and the laws of the land have added up and paid off. After you put the blast the good news on Instagram, the question hits you: What next?
Starting off in real estate is at once the most exhilarating and scary times you'll find yourself in. After all, real estate agents aren’t in short supply, especially if you’re in Los Angeles or Orange County. The question becomes how do you pick a specific market area and get the majority market share in that community?
Breaking into high-end, luxury real estate isn't for the faint of heart nor for those who are off put by the idea of getting their hands dirty. This market is especially challenging for those with no prior experience, connections or repertoire. However, this doesn't mean there isn't a way to to get the job done. I’m warning you: It's will take work. (But hey, nothing worth having comes free — or in this case, without immense effort on foot.)
In order to get your name out there for those in your target market, your first step is to farm that area.
What Is Farming in Real Estate?
Farming a market is when you select a geographic or demographic area to focus on in hopes of growing your brand and ultimately your market share in that area. As time passes, you consistently nurture the market you've selected to farm through various marketing tactics that, over time, allow you to be seen as a trusted member in the community. Though geographic farming (as opposed to demographic farming) is generally thought of as the more common of the two forms of farming, both can lead to big breaks for newcomers to the realty world.
Consistency Is Key
To successfully break into your target market by farming, you need to be consistent. Farming is a long-term investment — not just financially. It's all about building and maintaining relationships with those in the community, and that takes consistency on a regular basis.
While you strive to make your name a well-known one in your selected area, you can work on building trust and connections by means of consistent communications. You can keep members of your selected community up to date with any new trends or events in their neighborhood by sending biweekly postcards — appropriately branded.
Knowledge is King
It's now a basic job requirement to stay on top of any and all changes that may occur in the market you're farming. Know if there’s a new shopping center being built in the area. Understand any new zoning changes that might be taking place in the near future. Keeping up on these changing market dynamics can be critical in continuing to bring value to your farm area. For example, door knocking with the latest pumpkin pie recipe is great around Halloween, but what about communicating recent sales in the area? If prices have risen or fallen it would be valuable to share this with owners in your farm area.
People love talking real estate - especially if it directly impacts their community.
Plan For Return On Investment (ROI)
When you're first starting out, it can seem like you're constantly dodging bullets and climbing hills. Needless to say, things can seem pretty daunting with a minimal client pool and little experience. Hey, that's why you're farming, after all! There's nothing to be ashamed of about being the new agent in town, but that's no reason to remain stagnant. The great real estate agents know that having a plan and executing it properly is mission critical. Make a budget and set achievable ROI goals. While time, progresses and your year march on, you can alter your initial plan with the insights you've gained thanks to new connections within your farming area and a better understanding of the people within the market. It’s also important to bear in mind that farming by definition is a long-term thing.
Awareness Is Key
Being seen as the go-to source of knowledge in the area you're farming is the end goal. It means you're trusted and respected within the community, and have proven to be a reliable source.
Once you've established your role as the neighborhood's professional real estate agent, you'll have direct lines to various homeowners in the area. By coming around consistently and sharing valuable neighborhood and household insights, you're raising awareness about you, your brand and the service you provide. Also possible - the more people you know the more referrals you are going to get.
Keep in mind the law of numbers is alive and well - especially in real estate sales. At times, your real estate journey may seem daunting, but with proper farming, you'll have a positive rapport in the community and numerous satisfied clients in your phone. Follow up with them with intent and determination.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from nearly 20 years in this business is that consistency is king.