Q: “Denise, ugh! I am so frustrated by my farm area! I have been sending out postcards every few months for a year and no bites! I did the research and the numbers indicated this is a hot area and I should be seeing listings. What am I doing wrong?”
A: First of all, don’t get frustrated. This is a tough market to start a farm, but you need to remember that you are sowing seeds now that will be harvested later, so don’t feel like you have done anything wrong, but I do have a few things I want you to tweak:
- Take a look at your budget: I recommend that anyone starting a farm figure out what they are comfortable spending each month for a full year assuming you will get NOTHING in return. Nada. Zip. The challenge with this market is that people are staying in their homes longer, so that math you did to determine the probability of getting listings has changed. So determine a budget and think of it as your initial investment.
- Rethink your frequency: In any market when you are trying to build relationships by mail, unless you have an extremely compelling message and call-to-action, you need to be mailing monthly. So take that budget and instead of dividing into four (because you said you were mailing every few months), divide by 12. Remember, although you have been mailing for a year, you have only sent a handful of mailers and that is not enough to adequately judge a result.
So if your budget was $3500 and you divide that by 12, your monthly budget is $292. Then think about how best you can spend $292. Is it mailing a postcard to 340 people or is it sending a more-robust report to 157? You may need to make some adjustments there.
Then finally, take a good hard look at your content and make sure it is engaging enough. Take a service approach, not sales.