Q: “Denise, I am going to start a geographical farm (yeah! Finally!). I got a list of 500 names and addresses in my target neighborhood from my title company, but I am having second thoughts about starting with that many people. Any ideas on how to find the best choices in a neighborhood?”
What a great question! This is something that many agents starting out struggle with. There is no right answer here because it is all based on the timing of the target client, but here are a few strategies you can employ:
1. The Route Plan – With this plan, take a look at a map of your target area and determine the routes that most people drive to get in or out of the neighborhood. If you are targeting a development, usually these have main routes in and out. If you target the homes on the main routes as opposed to the smaller roads or even cul-de-sacs, when you get a listing, more people further back in the development will have to drive by your signs which spells exposure.
2. The High Equity Plan – If your title company can determine the amount of equity – or the loan to value ratio of a property, then you could also choose to target homeowners who have low loan balances or a high amount of equity. These could be prime candidates to either move up OR they may be ready to downsize as they have been in their homes a very long time.
3. The Owned a Long Time Plan – If your title company can determine the last sale date of a property, you can target homes that have been owned by the same person or people for the longest.
4. The Common Interest Plan – Do you like dogs? I like dogs! Therefore, since I include something about dogs in each of my mailers, we may have a connection. It is amazing the type of information that is available to make a list from. If part of your marketing strategy is focused on a particular interest or niche market, consider finding those people in the farm area.
5. The Similar Types of Homes Plan – If you target single story homes, historic homes, homes on acreage, or even homes with solar panels, you can create a very specific niche list based on the property amenities.
Again, prospecting is about building relationships and the route to success is all about their timing. There are different programs out there that indicate they can target the properties that are most likely to pop in the next three to six months. But I believe that it takes time to build relationships. Don’t jump ship if your list doesn’t produce right away. You need to give it nine months to a year or even more before anyone may be ready to do anything. But stay consistent. Mail monthly. And I think you are wise to start with a smaller number and mail consistently rather than mail to thousands for three months and then give up.
Good work on employing strategy when making your farming prospecting plan!