Real estate farming is the secret sauce of the bigwig agents who rack in megabucks in RCI year in and year out. But you already know this, so let’s skip the money part and talk strategy first.
How do you execute digital real estate farming effectively, generate tons of local leads continually, and position yourself as the local expert in your farm area? At Curaytor, we understand digital real estate farming can feel new and challenging, especially if you’ve been successful with offline farming over the past years.
What Is Digital Real Estate Farming?
Real estate farming is a marketing strategy where you niche down on one area or demographic and focus all your marketing efforts to attract real estate leads over time. When you apply online techniques to do geographic and demographic farming, we call it digital real estate farming.
With geographic farming, you use digital outreach tactics to target real estate leads in a specified area (farm area). It could be a specific zip code, neighborhood, or town. For demographic farming, you employ online marketing tactics to cultivate leads among prospects who share attributes such as income levels, careers, and professional associations, hobbies and interests, age group, and other pertinent demographic traits.
Curaytor generated 2,127 seller leads from Facebook last month. Want success like that? Let's connect.
I Do Fine With Offline Farming. Why Do I Need Digital Real Estate Farming?
True, you may have accomplished much using offline farming strategies like mailing monthly real estate farming postcards, door knocking, leaving door hangers, and gifting swag bags — so far, so good.
The average American household receives 454 pieces of marketing mail per year.
Utilizing online strategies will help you stand out in that crowded mailbox and fortify your offline dominance. Which will get you more local listings over time.
And in a market where most sellers start their buying journey online, digital real estate farming is a top priority. Good thing you can use these online tactics alongside your offline farming techniques sustainably once you set them up.
Let’s explore these strategies for digital real estate farming.
5 Next-Level Online Tactics for Real Estate Farming
These digital real estate farming strategies should be on your must-do list.
Create Website Content Targeting Your Farm Area
Your website is often the first point of contact between you and your clients. Especially first-time home sellers whom you haven’t had a chance to interact with on a personal level. But this is commonplace to the more than 70% of licensed realtors with a website. Farm-tailored content is what makes a big impact.
You’ll want to dedicate a specific page on your website where you post the happenings of your real estate farming area. If you have segmented your geo-farming area into smaller subdivisions, create content for each category. The point is to have relevant content for every prospect that visits your website.
Picture this. A prospective seller in your geo-farm pops into your website and finds you’ve posted about a just sold in their neighborhood and they personally knew the seller. Immediately, the prospect calls the seller(your previous customer) and enquires about their selling experience with you.
If you did a good job, your past client will recommend you. In fact, 70% of most agents rely on referrals for new business.
And, just like that, you’ll have earned a new customer, all because you took the time to post about an everyday deal most other realtors would overlook. That is what farm-tailored content can do for you.
Consider Having a Welcome Gate
You can design a welcome gate that first-time visitors see when they click on your website. A welcome gate helps you convert website clicks into leads faster and in a more engaging way.
What About a Neighborhood-specific Website?
It’s worth designing a website with your neighborhood’s URL to attract the selective sellers who would skip your personal website, assuming it’s only about you. Such sellers would readily click a website with their town’s or area’s URL because they’ll feel the website is about them. Remember to include this URL in the postcards or flyers you mail your prospects.
Engage Prospects, Current, and Past Clients on Your Socials Using Neighborhood Hashtags
Posting on your social media( Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others) without using hashtags(#) sells your posts short because there’s no guarantee they’ll reach the audience in your farming area. You can drive high engagement with your social media posts but fail to get leads if you don’t reach your target demographic and geo-farming area.
For instance, if you’re farming Manhattan, using #New York hashtags to engage on your socials may get you traffic but not necessarily from Manhattan. You’ll attract prospects from all over New York, where thousands of other realtors are farming, thus decreasing your chances of scoring leads. Conversely, using #Manhattan hashtags will engage prospects in Manhattan who are more likely to convert.
Micro hashtags are niche and have a smaller reach, less than 100k. Do some research into the micro hashtags that are relevant to your area. They are a great opportunity to stand out and have some longevity in the newsfeed.
Another benefit of using neighborhood hashtags on your socials is longer engagement. Hashtag posts last longer on social media feeds and timelines than plain posts because they’re often reused. Social media platforms have varying guidelines regarding the use of hashtags. As such, you should be aware of the best practices for each platform, so you use hashtags effectively.
Create or Join Facebook Groups in Your Farming Area
Most likely, there are existing homeowner association Facebook groups in your farming area. You’ll want to join these online communities and start contributing meaningful and engaging real estate content that members will find helpful.
You can use your membership privilege in such online groups to organize online or in-person real estate workshops or distribute your eBooks for free. Even if none of the group members is currently selling, they’ll acknowledge you as the local real estate expert they would go to if they need to sell their house in the future. Also, they’ll readily refer their friend to you because they’ll keep you top of mind.
Don’t Dismiss FSBO Real Estate Facebook Groups
In the age of DIY, For Sale By Owner (FSBO) websites and groups are snowballing. However, going by these stats from the National Association of REALTORS®, it’s not always smooth sailing for FSBO sellers as:
- 11% have challenges understanding and filing paperwork
- 14% struggle to set the right price for their house
- 17% have difficulties prepping their home for sale
If you join FSBO online circles and share your knowledge with them, you’ll be the go-to realtor for those FSBO sellers who have a change of heart and decide to go with a realtor. Also, those who complete the FSBO process but find it too taxing will call you next time they’re selling.
Attend Virtual Real Estate Events Within Your Farming Area
Find and join online real estate events in your farming area and create an impression. Your goal here would be to contribute thought-leadership content and hopefully earn a keynote speaker spot. Virtual events, just like in-person conferences, are a great platform to get noticed by the right crowd and attract qualified local leads.
Email Customized Market Updates To Your Farming Community
Do what most realtors skip. Filter through your email list and segment it per the buyer’s journey. At the very least, separate past clients and prospects. This will help you customize your email newsletters and updates to keep them relevant to every recipient.
For instance, your newsletter to a past client would read — Hello, Mr/Mrs. X . Since we last spoke, house prices in your market have increased threefold……
To a prospect — Hello, Mr/Mrs. X. I know you haven’t decided on selling yet, but I wanted to let you know the house prices in your neighborhood are at an all-time high. If you sell within….
Such personalized emails will eventually earn you more leads and referrals as long as you keep at it.
Email list segmentation and personalized emailing have been the most effective email strategies since 2017 -DMA
Digital Real Estate Farming Success
These online tactics are solid and practical, but only if you implement them effectively.
Commitment and consistency to your marketing efforts, including digital farming, will be the key to your success.
Let's get to work.