Many realtors think geographical farming is sending direct mail to homeowners, which is geographical farming, of course, but only one variation.

Geographical farming is fully practiced when a realtor focuses on and creates market share in one specific area. Which is what real estate is all about.

Some of the many was this concept can be practiced are direct mail, door hangers, circle prospecting, door knocking, open houses, Facebook ads, expireds, FSBO’s, etc. The most power strategy, of course, is when a combination of these strategies is employed. For example:

Example #1:

#1: Call expireds and FSBO’s inside your geographical farm area to get a listing.

#2: Once you have a listing, send out a “Just Listed” post card to the closest 500 neighbors.

#3: Three days after the postcard hits the mailboxes, circle prospect, aka call those same 500 neighbors.

#4: Hold open houses at your listing.

#5: Repeat #2 and #3 once your listing is sold but as a “Just Sold.”

Example #2:

#1: Hold open houses in your geographical farm area. If you do not have a listing inside your area, ask other realtors to hold theirs open, for example.

#2: Four days before the open house, deliver 500 neighborhood open house flyers to the closest 500 neighbors.

#3: Three Days leading up to the open house, run a paid targeted Facebook ad to your geographical farm area.

So, as you can see, direct mail is one way to farm, but it’s not the only way!

But why is focusing on a geographical farm area so important? Think of it this way: you are identifying an area which you want to work and gain market share in. Let’s say you are doing open houses. I will outline two options to show the power of geographical farming. 

Option 1: Identify an area (a geographical farm) which is within a one square mile and contains 15,000 homes. Every weekend that you are doing open houses, everyone in that area is seeing your signs, your name, your face, and your website. They are also getting the invite flyers you put out before the open house, and also your weekly Facebook ads are showing up in their newsfeed. On top of that, they are seeing your for sale signs in the front yards of homes in that area. You very quickly build brand recognition. The more frequently people see your name, the more confidence they have in your services.

Option 2: You do open houses all over your county. Anywhere you can get an open house will do. Different areas of the county see your signs, flyers, ads, etc. You are not building the hyperlocal branding that you are building in Option 1.

Also, think of your time investment. You might be able to work with four Clients in a day in a focused area, but if you are having to drive from one side of the city to the other, you might only be able to work with two. Not only is geographical faming effective, it also can be extremely efficient.

Now, let’s discuss the critical element of how to pick a geographical farm area. I have a few requirements I follow, which have proven to be very successful.

Recommended Requirements/Research To Perform In Picking a Geographical Farm Area

#1: Identify your ideal client. Who do you like working with? Who do you connect with the most? Of all your past clients, who sends you the most referrals, and what are the commonalities? As an example, maybe you find out that your ideal client is 30-45 years old, second and third time move up buyers, who are married, and with a young family.

#2: Identify to where your ideal client is moving. What cities in your county? What zip codes? What subdivisions?

#3: Once you identify where, then determine the house turnover rate in that area. Most successful geographical farmers like to see 8-10%+ yearly. To identify the turnover rate, take the total number of homes in the area and divide by the total amount of sold homes in the past twelve months. Example: 1,000 total homes, divided by 100 home sales equals a 10% yearly turnover rate.

#4: Research how many dominant realtors are in the area. I define dominant as a realtor who has sold more than 20% of the listings in that given area. A good rule of thumb is to pick an area with no more than one dominant realtor. I don’t want to plant a limiting belief in your mind that you can’t succeed in an area with more than one, but gaining market share is much easier and quicker in an area with one, or ideally zero, dominant realtors.

Once you have identified your geographical farm area, go to work and start implementing your marketing and prospecting strategy! 

Thanks for reading!  

Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily