By Craig Noftle
It doesn’t matter what your preferred choice of lead generation is, it’s all farming in one way or another. Continued and specific newsletters to your sphere of influence and/or your past clients; using Google Adwords and stealth sites or picking a specific geographical area to focus on, it’s all the same concept.
How do you choose a geographical farm area? That’s really up to you – it should be somewhere you will be comfortable spending a lot of time which may or not be where you live. Personally, we don’t farm where we live as it’s nice to be able to go home at the end of the day and be home. It would be hard to ignore the phone and the door if people could tell when I’m home because my car is in the driveway, and it’s nice not to be judged on my real estate acumen if my lawn isn’t golf-green perfect.
Generally speaking, you want to pick a farm area that mirrors a postal walk (or two) from Canada Post. You can take a look at how the neighbourhoods are broken down here: https://www.canadapost.ca/cpotools/mc/app/tpo/pym/targeting.jsf
Take a look at the turnover rates – the number of homes in the area divided by the number of sales per year – because really, there is no point farming an area where people don’t move very often. The target rate should be >10%, and the easy way to determine this is to use a map search on your MLS system and draw the postal walks you are interested in. The information from Canada Post tells you how many homes there are; MLS tells you how many sales there have been. There are other third party programs which can help with this as well, such as Vimo.
We hear all the time “But Realtor X is already farming that area, I need to find an area where no one is farming!”. Here’s a little tip for you: if no one is farming an area, it’s probably because it’s not worth farming! The most important thing to do is pick your area and start to learn the area inside and out. There is nothing more impressive to a potential client than you walking in the house and already knowing the model/square footage and being able to see the modifications that were made to their particular home.
When you start knowing the models and square footages, it starts to become a lot easier to price homes. You know what the one across the street sold for because you sold it (or at the very least, you walked through it so you can speak about it as a comparable when a similar model comes up) and you know why this one should be priced at this price. Knowledge is power!
It’s a lot easier to learn an area of homes, the community resources (parks, arenas, walking trails etc.) nearby, the schools complete with EQAO rankings and the closest shopping centres when you are constantly focused in the same spot.
Know what else is really powerful? Having two, three or four ‘For Sale’ or ‘Sold’ signs within four or five streets instead of spread all across town. People will see your name, and they will start to know you.
With that kind of traction, advertising decisions become much clearer and easier to track. You will be able to run community-specific campaigns and the return on your investment will practically figure itself out!
Hopefully you’re able to see the benefits of geographical farming. In our business, there are a lot of different ways to generate leads. They will all work if you choose to work them. We just happen to think this one is the best one.
This blog contribution comes courtesy of Craig Noftle. Craig is a full time Realtor®, and has been actively involved in real estate investing since 1997. His Accredited Buyer Representative designation, Re/Max SUCCEED™ training, and formal studies in the field of negotiation from the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor makes Craig one of the industries’ foremost negotiators.