As you saw in our previous post, Farming is the process real estate agents working or prospecting an area of interest for sellers and buyers. For a refresher on Prospecting, check out our post called “What is Prospecting, Why is it Necessary, and Why it Scares Most Agents.”
Once you have selected the area you want to farm using the criteria outlined in the previous post, you will need to do some more research. You have now selected an area you may want to farm based on your feelings or first impressions, now you need to see if the data back up your notions.
What should you look for when researching the area you want to farm?
1. Write down every listing in the area and who has it.
Be aware if there is one dominant agent. You shouldn’t, however, let yourself be intimidated by a prominent agent. You know what you are capable of and what your strengths are, and there is no way one single agent has every niche covered. Find a way to enter the niche in the market and expand from there. However, if there is not already a dominant agent, that only means you can become the dominant agent.
2. Make your own directory of the area you plan to farm.
You can order this directory any way you like to make the information easier to understand based on your goals and preferences.
3. Tour homes currently on the market.
This helps you increase your intimacy with the market in a way that you probably can’t get by looking at listings online. The more intimate you are with the farming area, the more easily you can sell it.
4. Use sold information to track activity over the past two years.
We would usually say to track this information all the way back to five years ago (in this case it would be 2007), but the listing information from before the bubble burst will not be helpful. Remember, it’s better to work smart rather than work hard.
5. Become familiar with major points of interest in the area.
Is there a large shopping center? Is there a baseball spring training facility nearby? Is there a park in the neighborhood? The more information you know about the farming area, the better off you will be.
When you do choose your farming area, and you are out prospecting for new buyers and sellers, remember to keep in touch with past clients. If you keep track of where they are at in their lives by staying in touch with them on a regular basis. People will remember the simple action of sending a card or giving them a call and will remain loyal to you as an agent.
Using these ideas for research, you will be better equipped to decide if an area is suitable for you to becoming your farming area.
Open house tips: Part 1
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