Q: “Denise, what is more effective for a farm: postcards, letters, or social media advertising?”
A: Great question! When I think of the most effective type of farming, I like to think in terms of layers and the more layers you can add, the more effective your connecting with the people in that farm will be. Remember, most of those folks don’t know you so it isn’t just about getting the information out – it is about creating a personal connection and sharing your expertise with them.
Any of the items you listed are fine in and of themselves, but consider how powerful they can be if you use them together. If I were farming today, I would put together a plan like this:
Monthly mailing that includes local market stats, an update on sales in the farm, and a personal message from me. That might be a large postcard or it might be an 8.5 x 11 foldover mailer. But it shouldn’t just be a half-page postcard. People get so many of those and for a few cents more, you can have more impact with a larger size.
Letters to specific segments of the farm for specific messages. For example, let’s say I am mailing to 500 people in the farm and one house just sold very quickly and for multiple offers. That is a great opportunity to send a letter out to 50, 100, 200, or even all 500 of the farm to let them know that the home sold quickly and there are buyers who missed out on purchasing that property. That might mean there is opportunity if they have thought about selling. Or maybe a listing with another agent expired and you want to do a specific campaign for them. Or maybe a zoning change for certain properties means they can add an ADU. Letters are a great supplement and a lead generation faucet that you can turn on and off as you need to generate some business or there are timely topics to share. And remember, since this looks different than your standard monthly mailer, it is going to stand out.
Social Media communication is also another way to get your voice out there, although if it were me, my focus would first and foremost be on joining any local groups and participating. That will have much more impact than advertising, although if you are doing an open house in the farm, boosting a post about that open house with dates and times might garner you some face-to-face time with the neighbors.
Open Houses, even if they are not your listings, are a good way to supplement your other activities and it allows for name recognition and personal connections.
Some people even put advertising on their cars, sponsor local events, participate in local HOAs, and even advertise in local publications. Each of these is another layer that reinforces your local presence.