As a real estate professional, you need to be able to set yourself apart from your competition in a positive way. For most agents, this means strategically developing and growing their personal brand.
There are countless different ways that you can do so, but one of the most effective techniques for standing out is to become known as an expert within a particular community or neighborhood.
By specializing in a particular locale, you can hone your marketing efforts to generate much better results than if you were broadly trying to cover your entire real estate market.
Getting business from your farm area
Although selecting the right area to specialize in can seem like a hefty challenge on its own, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re new to the farm area or are up against other agents vying for the neighborhood, it can take a lot to establish your reputation as a leader in the community.
If you want to see the best results from your farm area, there are three different things you need to focus on: general best marketing practices, offline farm area marketing and online farm area marketing.
1. General best practices
If you want your marketing campaigns to be more effective than your competition’s, you need to be taking the right approach to connect with clients. No matter whether you’re marketing online or going door to door, leading with these best practices can help improve your overall success rate.
Be a source of knowledge
First and foremost, you need to be knowledgeable about the neighborhood where you work. You need to understand pricing trends, buyer demand and plenty of other important specifics. Plus, you need to be able to communicate this knowledge effectively to others who are less familiar with the buying and selling process.
Focus on attractive statistics
When marketing yourself, no matter what the channel, try to focus on statistics that make your personal brand look good.
Are your listings selling quicker than the norm in your market? Do your sellers wind up averaging 98 percent of their listing price? Always be honest about your results, but don’t hesitate to point out where you stand out.
Keep your marketing consistent
Establishing a reputation in your farm area isn’t an overnight process. It often takes months — if not years — of repeated interactions to start gaining familiarity with homeowners. Mailing them or networking at community events occasionally just isn’t going to cut it — you need to be consistently reaching out to each resident at least once a month.
Share reviews from past clients in the area
Once you’ve successfully closed a couple of deals in your farm area, it will probably become much easier to find new clients. That’s because word of mouth spreads quickly in a small community. After each deal, try to get a review that your client would be OK sharing with friends and neighbors in the surrounding area.
2. Offline farm area marketing
Contrary to what some industry gurus might claim, offline marketing is far from dead. Although the search to buy and sell real estate has largely moved online, reaching out to potential clients in the real world creates a sense of trust and connection that simply can’t be duplicated digitally.
Mailings and postcards
Mailings and postcards are great for getting your brand in front of homeowners. One reason is that most people deal with a lot less physical mail — even direct mail — than they do emails and online advertisements. Contact by letter or postcard can have an effect over time with consistently frequent mailings.
Want to make yourself known in your farm area? Make real connections by attending and participating in community events. Whether just stopping in to network or volunteering, face-to-face contact is still one of the top ways to attract new business.
3. Online farm area marketing
There’s no denying the fact that the Internet is the most powerful marketing mechanism today. It makes it easier for real estate agents to get in touch with a wider market of prospective clients than anything else we’ve ever known. But online marketing can be confusing to agents who just aren’t sure where to begin.
Mastering social media
It’s no secret that social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all rank among the most visited sites in the world. If you don’t already have social media profiles for your real estate business, now is the time to get started building them and connecting with your target market.
Creating a community blog
Social media isn’t the only way you can reach out online. Try building a community blog for your farm neighborhood. Post information about events going on locally and other topics your target demographic would take an interest.
Setting yourself apart on review sites
Before choosing a real estate professional to work with, 2 out of every 3 clients research potential candidates extensively online first. By focusing on building your profile on review sites, you can make sure that homeowners are finding plenty of good things about you during their searches.
However, sometimes the most effective marketing techniques involve combining your offline and online marketing into a single campaign. This tactic provides clients with something both tangible, whether it’s an event they attended or a letter they received in the mail, along with the convenience and capabilities of the Internet.
For example, social media consultant Katie Lance suggests: “It is a proven fact that postcard marketing to farming neighborhoods still works. How about making it work a little better, though? In your postcards, include a link to your website just for that farming area.”
Bringing it all together
For the real estate professional trying to increase exposure, focusing efforts on a specific geographic area is one of the most effective ways to improve business. By becoming known as a knowledgeable expert in your market, you’re in a much better position to grow your sales.
But not all neighborhoods provide the same opportunity, making it crucial that you carefully select the right area to farm. By analyzing the number of homes, their median sales price and the frequency in which they come to market, you can set yourself up for success by choosing a promising locale.
The bottom line is that becoming an expert in your farm area isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to take constant communication, a commitment to growing your business and the dedication to rise above your competition, no matter what problems come up along the way.