Q: “Denise, I have been marketing to a farm area for about six months now and I am very happy with what I am sending out – meaty market info, information on sold properties, etc. It is all stuff that is really relevant to the area. I have had a call, but things just aren’t selling in here right now. Last year was busy which is why I chose it. This is definitely my long-term farm but I am wondering if you have any tips to jump-start this?”
A: The problem with a farm is it is all about timing. Your timing is that you are ready for them to be ready now, but they are not ready now. You are right- if you continue what you are doing, they will call you. But my advice would be to dig a little deeper and find if there is low-hanging fruit in there that just hasn’t made the call yet. Here are four things you can do that can add another layer of connection:
- Determine if there are any vacant homes in your farm area. You would not believe the number of homes that are vacant in the US. A vacant home is an opportunity for you, especially in areas that have high demand. That home can be sold or rented and often it is vacant because the homeowner just doesn’t know what to do.
- Determine if anyone has their property taxes in arrears. This could be a sign of financial stress or it may be a simple clerical error. In either case, reaching out to the homeowner with solutions (not a sales pitch) shows that you are a service-based individual and looking out for their best interests.
- Determine if there are any out-of-area owners. These might be landlords, vacation property owners, or even owners of vacant homes. Provide them with updated information about the neighborhood and their investment as they may not be up-to-date about what is going on.
- Find homes with deferred maintenance. It can be expensive to upkeep a home and the homeowner may not realize their home has appreciated to the point where they can sell and be free of a home that is no longer in good repair.
And there could be a number of other situations in which you can be of service. My advice is to choose maybe two or three of these and keep your eyes open for these opportunities. A well-formed personalized letter along with your monthly mailer can be a great way to turn heads AND perform a valuable service.