Real estate is all about location. Inevitably, buyers want the perfect property in the perfect spot; but sometimes agents want a perfect spot of their own, too. Take a look at why and how agents establish their own geographic farm, also known as a unique territory for doing business:
What is Geographic Farming?
Geographic farming is the concentrated effort by which real estate businesses market their services to clients in a particular geographic area, listing and buying properties, as well as advertising their services, in only one fixed neighborhood or regional enclave.
Why Focus on Geographic Farming?
Focusing on a single neighborhood or geographic location allows real estate businesses (and their agents) to become acutely aware of that area’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as its inventory, inhabitants, and ideals. As a result, these businesses become experts in a specific market and are sought after by those needing real estate services within its boundaries.
How to Dominate a Geographic Farm
The success of any geographic farming endeavor depends on a variety of factors, all relying on the business or agent’s ability to:
1. Choose the Right Area
First and foremost, a successful geographic farm is one with which a company or agent is familiar and able to establish a recognizable presence (i.e., there isn’t an already established dominant agent). It is usually able to be conveniently reached by the agent (i.e., within a normal commuting distance from his or her home and office) with properties that are in high demand and are listed for sale often. The number of properties in any one farm should be manageable, often ranging from 500 to a few thousand, depending on the budget and time of the managing agent. The right size geographic farm will be easily and consistently reached, making the expense of its upkeep profitable when compared to its ROI.
2. Create Valuable Content
To dominate a geographic farm, real estate businesses must remain top of mind with consumers. And the best way to garner notice in any field (outside of delivering quality products and services) is to provide something of interest to consumers. There are thousands of players in the real estate industry; the ones with a profitable geographic farm are the ones who know their communities and who provide the people living in them with valuable content. In fact, many of the agents with the most successful geographic farms partner with a database provider like Haines, who can supply detailed property owner information so that they are able to devise customized marketing and prospecting materials that not only inform potential clients in their areas, but that actually interest those people, as well! With the right data, agents can target a specific area with emails, mailings, ads, reports (and more) that don’t automatically get trashed or dismissed because they aren’t valuable in some way.
3. Commit to Long-Term Investment
Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither is a profitable geographic farm. Just like with any productive farm, to reap reward with a geographic farm, real estate businesses must make a long-term commitment to its maintenance, remaining diligent in — and patient with — its care. Agents can’t just buy the farm (so to speak) and think the seeds will plant, grow and harvest themselves. On the contrary, geographic farming demands just as much care as agricultural farming. Agents must use their skills to stay abreast of changing market conditions. They must nurture relationships with valuable content over and over again. They must identify possible challenges for the future, and they must change strategies when needed.
Choosing the Right Tools for a Geographic Farm
It’s always easier to tend a farm with the right set of tools. Thus, to maintain success with their geographic farms, smart agents use the most up-to-date geographic farming systems. Our Criss+Cross system here at Haines, for example, offers real estate agents access to one of the most comprehensive database tools on the market today. We help our clients nurture their geographic farms and reap powerful — profitable — rewards. Please contact our team at Haines to learn more.