How Do You Start Real Estate Farming if You Do NOT Have Any Listings?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

How Do You Start Real Estate Farming if You Do NOT Have Any Listings?

Real Estate farming is probably one of the oldest methods to attract new buyers and sellers and make your phone ring.

What is Real Estate Farming? This method without a doubt is one of the tried and proven ways to make your phone ring. Ask any successful agent! By “farming” you are planting seeds for future business. As a REALTOR®, you become the “Go-To REALTOR®” for real estate related information. This could be done within a zip code, geographic area or within a subdivision.

How is Real Estate Farming Done? You would choose a method or methods you are comfortable with and well received in your marketplace. Keep in mind, what works in Beverly Hills CA may not work in Belpre OH. You could do a mail out when you have new listings, under contract listings as well as sold listings, announce an Open House, send out monthly newsletters, door knock, email, call..whatever you think would fit you as an individual as well as a REALTOR® and acceptable in the area you are about to farm.
Before you pick up your phone and start dialing phone numbers, be sure to verify the numbers you are dialing are NOT on the DNC list. That goes for subdivisions as well, in my area, most subdivisions have “No Solicitation” signs at the entrance which means..NO DOOR KNOCKING. I’ve heard agents say they’re not selling anything so this doesn’t apply to them, think about that for a are soliciting by knocking on their door as you are offering a service. This is my opinion, please check with your Broker before you hit the pavement.

What if you don’t have any listings? This applies to new real estate agents as well as some seasoned ones who have been off the radar for a while. See, for a farming to produce, you have to water the seeds...consistently. I found twice a month to be successful, test it and see what would work. If you don’t have any listings, you can simply let the neighborhood know what’s selling in the area, very similar to market reports you see on ActiveRain but a shorter version. Don’t use addresses, just a simple card with Number of Solds, Number of Active Listings, average sale price and always have a call to action. You can not do this once and expect results, you must do it consistently, at least once a month.
When I was a brand new agent with no listings back in 2002, it seemed like every subdivision in then very small City of Clermont were taken by the veteran agents in the office. There was a neighborhood map by the copy machine with all the taken areas. I decided to go west, two cities over and decided to farm in a subdivision called Courtney Park in Mascotte FL. The postcards I mailed out were so cheesy, every time I think about it, I want to hide under my desk. I purchased very bright, colorful postcard paper from OfficeDepot, the front had a picture of a random home with a message that read “Thinking About Selling?” and my contact information, on the back listed number of homes sold the previous month and what was active. I printed them in the office myself, hand-wrote the addresses and mailed them out. I received two listings in the first week they went out and six in total within the first 30 days. Then, a bank contacted me to list two REO homes, an investor contacted me who purchased one of them and he is still my client.
Two weeks after the postcards went out, I mailed a newsletter which was horrible when I look back but in it, I wrote a quiz and offered a $10.00 gift certificate to the first two winners who called or emailed me with an answer. The response rate was over the top! Then, I put together “Back-to-School” bags together with some pens, pencils, paper, erasers and send out a postcard with a specific time and day when I will be at the entrance to the subdivision to give out fifty bags. Well, by month two, I listed nine homes on one street alone. This was a very productive farm for me!
What I did was to consistently send out something to the neighborhood, yes, they were beyond horrible but it worked!

Think of some creative ways to become “famous” in a certain subdivision. How can you establish that relationship with the homeowners? Write them down and make a plan. Your plan should include two touches a month to stay on top of mind.

Is this hard work? NO! Is it work? ABSOLUTELY! Will it cost you money? Yes, however, it won’t cost you as much as not having any business or paying a company with the hopes of receiving leads that are sold to hundred other agents.

Aside from direct mail, be active on Social Media. Remember the 80/20 rule. 20% business and 80% of other types of posts.
If you have not become a Rainmaker with ActiveRain, do yourself a favor and change your status from “Rainer” to “Rainmaker”. WHY? Don’t you want your posts to be seen by the public? You know by know what it takes to write a post and we as Rainers may comment but guess what, it is very unlikely you will receive a call from another REALTOR® to list with you.
I boosted a post on FB on Friday which I had written a post on ActiveRain on Thursday, also have a video, that post reached 2481 people, liked by nine and shared by three. When I checked to see where most were coming from, 69% came from ActiveRain..WOW! That is beyond AWESOME.

Whether you are a new agent or a veteran one who’s been in the funk, today is the day it is going to change. Believe it! Plan Your Work..Work Your Plan!

How Do You Start Real Estate Farming if You Do NOT Have Any Listings?



Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 07/06/2017 04:42 AM
  2. Ginger Harper 07/06/2017 07:52 AM
  3. Sybil Campbell 07/06/2017 10:53 AM
  4. Marte Cliff 07/06/2017 11:25 AM
  5. Frank Rubi 07/06/2017 06:57 PM
  6. Will Hamm 07/08/2017 02:48 PM
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Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Beth Atalay - to be successful - in any field - one needs to put in work - smart work and at times, hard work! Now you see the results and it is relatively easy for you get listings.

Farming indeed is a proven method for ages!

Great post for those who want to 'capture' a neighborhood....

Jul 07, 2017 10:35 PM #61
Karen Hellier
Freelance Writer - Big Canoe, GA
Freelance Writer for Professionals, North Georgia

Great information and a very well thought out post, Beth. Thanks for sharing!

Jul 08, 2017 11:53 AM #62
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Beth, 

Another great post!  There are so many wonderful ideas in your blog. This should be used as a blueprint to get listings!

Jul 09, 2017 05:15 AM #63
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Great post Beth!  I just shared it with a new agent I have coming on board.  Thanks!

Jul 09, 2017 11:43 AM #64
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Those are really great examples. I liked the school bag  - very smart!

Jul 09, 2017 01:29 PM #65
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Farming is such an important part of what we do. Good job, Beth. 

Jul 09, 2017 02:57 PM #66
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

Beth, thank you for sharing those great ideas... I particularly like the one about the contest and think I might try it! Aloha,

Jul 09, 2017 11:44 PM #67
Theresa Akin

Some tips just don't get old.

Jul 10, 2017 01:06 PM #68
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

Hi Beth--what great ideas!  I love that you did these things when you were a 'newbie' but they worked!  The school supplies idea is especially creative.

Jul 10, 2017 01:24 PM #69
Nancy Middleton
Counselor Realty, Inc. - Excelsior, MN
Nancy Middleton, Counselor Realty, Minnetonka, MN

I love your enthusiasm and willinness to do the work consistently. Your reminder that what works in some cities and neighborhoods doesn't work in others is good. So you've done a great job of figuring out ways to meet and communicate with people with creative ideas. Go Beth, Go.

Jul 10, 2017 01:37 PM #70
Jeremy Marquez
J Marqeting - Key West, FL
Freelance ISA

It can be done!

Anybody need to delegate calls my way, I am available for agents in PST, Hawaii and Alaska right now.

I am good at what I do.

I call you contact and close.

I work from my home office in Florida.

Jul 11, 2017 10:08 AM #71
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Wow! These are stunningly fantastic ideas. Note to self: Start implementing immediately!

Jul 11, 2017 08:53 PM #72
Alexander- Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate

Hi Beth, great ideas and very much appreciated to hear how you had success with a simple strategy, implemented with "cheesy" :) items!

Jul 16, 2017 03:51 PM #73
Donna & Larry Johnson
Keller Williams Real Estate - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County

Theses are all great ideas and thanks for sharing. You are so right it is not hard work but it is work and the results are worth it!

Jul 21, 2017 07:37 AM #74
Jason Anderson
Platinum Realty - Jenks, OK
Realtor®, Organizational Expert

Great post, lots of good ideas! Thank you.

Aug 01, 2017 07:37 AM #75
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

If it worked when you were new, it will work for old timers too. Great post. 

Aug 04, 2017 06:30 PM #76
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330 - Enterprise, AL
email: / cell: 334-494-7846

I like the back-pack idea. The 2 touches a month also is an excellent tip!

Oct 03, 2017 12:50 PM #77
Glen Swaby
Solid Source Realty GA - Snellville, GA
Real Estate Agent Serving the Atlanta area

Great tips Beth. Consistency is the key.  Love the contest idea...something small doesn't have to be anything big. 

Mar 15, 2018 08:56 PM #78
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Broker

Here in Manhattan I always tell my agents to start with 2-3 buildings in their neighborhood.

May 09, 2018 01:25 PM #79
Scott Hoen
Looking for Opportunities - Yorba Linda, CA
VP, Marketing Systems & Sales Tech, 714-270-9607

Connect with your Title Company and ask them for your farm.  Take the data and create an advertisement on Facebbok by uploading that farm to target them specifically -- track your success over time and compare to Direct Mail to see what works - maybe both of them.

May 09, 2018 02:03 PM #80
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Beth Atalay

Cam Realty of Clermont FL
Sell or Buy Homes in Clermont FL
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