Geographical farming is the act of marketing your real estate business to a neighborhood. This technique has proven to be an effective way for Realtors® to brand themselves as a neighborhood expert, while also providing opportunities to connect systematically with homeowners. But what should you think about when selecting your farm area? What type of property and market data will you deliver to homeowners? And where will you turn for all of their questions? The answer is RPR®. Let me show you…
Do Your Research
It’s important to ensure the geographic farm area meets your criteria before making a selection. Is the neighborhood nearby and easy to get to? Is the number of homes manageable for a consistent marketing outreach? What are the current sales trends? Does the area have an acceptable turnover rate? Does one agent currently dominate sales activity for the neighborhood or have homes been sold by many different agents? The wrong answer to any of these questions could affect the overall successfulness of your efforts.
Saving a geographic area in RPR
To look closer at homes and metrics within a geographical farm area, start by saving the precise geographic boundaries of your farm. Then when you want to pull sales activity and metrics like turnover, year-to-date sales or even year-to-year comparisons, running the numbers will be quick.
Using the RPR website, begin by searching the neighborhood or zip code of your farm. From the search results, navigate to “Map View” and zoom into your farm area. Use the polygon map tool and draw the boundaries for your farm. Once you’ve connected the last point, choose “save” and enter a name for your farm. Once complete, the search boundary has been saved and can be accessed later.
Running the numbers
Now begin to collect the key metrics of your farm area. Type the name of your saved farm area directly into “All Properties” search box. Expand the advanced search by entering Jan. 1, 2015, through the current date in the “Sold Date” fields. Also, uncheck “Active” and “Pending” and then click search to generate a count, representing the number of farm sales in your area within the selected date range.
For a period-to-period comparison, adjust the “Sold Date” field and compare the YTD sales with the same dates from the previous year. You can also take the total number of homes in your farm area and divide that by the number of solds in year to determine the turnover rate.
Continue experimenting with the faceted search found below the map. Are you interested in monitoring pre-foreclosures? If so, from the same search results page uncheck “Non-distressed” and check “distressed.” Also make sure the “Sold Date” field has been updated to “Anytime.” Click “Apply” and the result will show “Distressed” homes in your farm area. By clicking into each property you can look closer at the distressed actions.
Regular Market Updates
Providing regular and timely market updates to your geographic farm can help build your credibility. For this purpose, RPR has remarkable digital reporting tools such as the Market Activity, Neighborhood, and Property Reports.
TIP: To optimize delivery, work on getting the email address of your local residents. One way is to create a postcard highlighting the reports you offer, then direct people online to your website where they sign up for these monthly email updates.
Being seen by the homeowners in your farm area is important as well. Many agents will walk their farm, looking for the opportunity to connect with homeowners. Make sure to have RPR Mobile™ installed on your phone for these instances. The mobile app will provide answers to homeowners questions while you are on-location.
For example, RPR Mobile™ can quickly reveal the owner’s name and status, property details, estimated value, mortgage history, and local school scores. The list goes on and on.
Tip: Impress prospective clients with answers on the go. Prior to walking your farm area, generate and save an RPR Market Activity Report. Then when you strike up a conversation with a homeowner, and want to share recent neighborhood sales activity, you can instantly email or text the report to the homeowner without skipping a beat. This is a great way to show your technical know-how, which is likely to impress your prospect.
Quick Access to Property Notes
As you connect with homeowners and learn more about each home in your farm area, having a good place to put these notes is very? helpful. Use the RPR Mobile™ note taking feature to store text, photo and audio notes with any property. These notes are accessible only by you, and can be easily included on RPR generated reports.
For further personalization, add photos from your phone to the cover page of reports.