Fast Farming 8×8
In our business, we rely on our databases, our sphere of influence, and local connections. I run across an agent occasionally who is really new to the area, just getting started or for some reason has never developed enough contacts to sustain a business.
I’ll share a method that’s a riff on a tried and true system but that usually takes a year to produce significant results. We want to do it in 8 weeks to reduce costs and increase productivity. Most of the tried and true systems can be tweaked to work by referral if you’ll just think about how to do it.
Farming usually involves mailing to a specific geographic area that can produce deals. The farming systems involve postcards, flyers, and letters mailed frequently enough to begin to capture some mind share of the residents located there. You want to make sure the geo area you pick can produce listings at a volume and type you want to work with. That’s another article for later but reach out to me if you want to chat on that one.
So, step by step we’ll get the following info.
- Get a list of all the addresses in the geo area you want to work. This can come from tax records and should include owner names and maybe phone numbers.
- Get a list of phone numbers to go with the addresses. You might need to pay for that via RedX or Mojo but there are free resources that produce some good numbers. Check out FastPeopleSearch for a good example.
- You’re going to be mailing out a few things over the next few weeks so use that time to scrub the list for Do Not Call numbers and make sure you’re pursuing this legally. Many ‘coaches’ and ‘trainers’ say you can ignore the DNC list but I don’t recommend it. We’re trying to build relationships so being ethical is important to building trust.
Now to the list of things you’re going to do for the next 8 weeks.
The 8×8 in the title refers to a Keller Williams system that involves 8 touches or contacts in 8 weeks. This is proven to elevate your message and image and increase your mind share with the target audience.
Your materials ought to have a brand of sorts. Keep it simple but consistent. Services like Fiverr.com can be helpful to create a logo. Don’t struggle to much over this. You are your brand, not a logo. If you are a part of a big national company, include that because people will see their logo everywhere an eventually think of you when they see it. I have a story about that I’ll share later.
Use your business card as a start and develop something that will have a similar appearance when it travels from the mailbox to the trashcan.
Yes, I said trashcan.
Truthfully that is where most of this stuff ends up but you’re going to do a couple of things that will prevent that for at least 3 of these touches. The idea is to get the geo audience to recognize you and your name at least as a real estate agent that works their neighborhood.
Here is the list of 8 touches and rational behind them.
- A handwritten, hand-addressed note to each address on the list. Included is 1 business card as part of the announcement of who you are and what you’re doing. Keep it simple, keep it short but make it clear you’re an agent who wants to do business with them. Don’t cheat on this and try to fake handwritten. That is what ensures at least one piece gets opened.
- Create a report of the last 12 months in real estate for their specific geo area. Include your name, phone, and email address with a simple ‘call to action’ message. Less is more here. Don’t make this too busy or confusing.
- Create a local events calendar they might want to save. Include your name, phone, and email address with an invitation to an online version of this. That might garner a few email addresses. You’ll need a landing page and CRM but that’s for another article.
- Create a featured business or food establishment item of value. The vendor you choose might be willing to help with the cost so make contact and ask for coupons or special deals just for your geo area folks. Be sure to include your name, phone and email address, and a simple ‘call to action’.
- Create a current listings report or quick CMA with your branding on it. Send it out so the folks in your geo-target know what their home is worth.
- Send 1 more item of value, newsletter, or another mailing piece that gives them an example of what you’re going to provide on an ongoing basis. Tell them in it you’re going to call them to follow up so you can ask them one question.
- Make that call. Remind them who you are and ask permission to ask that one question. It goes like this “If you were thinking of buying or selling a house or had a friend or family member who was, do you have an agent you’d refer them to?” The goal here is to listen.
- If they say yes, congratulate them on having someone they trust and keep the conversation short. You’ve just eliminated the waste of money on future contacts.
- If they say ‘No’, tell them you’d like to be that person. Ask “Would it be ok to stay in touch with information similar to what you’ve sent in the past?” If they say yes, ask for an email address and make sure you have the best number to contact them with. A cell phone is ideal.
- Send a handwritten thank-you note to each contact, even the ones that said they’d use someone else but scratch those off the list that you spend any more money on and I’ve seen some of these come back to me just because I wrote the notes.
In 8 weeks you now have added a few people to your database. Keep track of the conversion rate and I’ll bet you find it’s a lot better than the old tried and true farming method.
Add them to your 33 touch system (another KW tool but you can build your own) to build relationships, create connections, and stay in touch as you promised. No waiting a year for them to contact you.
Once you have 100 good connections in your database you can expect 20-30 deals a year from systems like this. It’s a great way to start working in neighborhoods you want to be in and it grows from there. Take care of people, remind them you work by referral and that you’re never to busy for them.
I’d be happy to talk about this with you if you want. You can also come to check out the Facebook Group I have just for agents who are working every day in this business.
If you want to schedule a call click on this link. It will take you to a calendar where you can request a 30-minute time block. I’ll accept and we’ll get on Google Meet to talk face to face. I’d love to strategize with you on this and help if I can.
Thanks for listening,
- 2: Picking a Broker
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