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November 23, 2011

The Three Keys to Building a Community Business

by mark mclean

This past Monday, we had a guest speaker come in and talk about building community contacts. For agents just getting started, when we talk about communities, we are really talking about a geographical farm area. It can be a few condo buildings or a few city blocks. It actually doesn’t matter how big your farm is. What is important is how you work it. Believe it or not there is a science to geographic farming. At the beginning of the month, in response to a Mastermind meeting, I wrote a blog about competing with established players in a neighbourhood. You can check it out here; but it occurred to me that I really should backtrack a bit and talk about choosing a farm area.

It seems appropriate that agents tend to work in areas that they either currently live or grew up in. That’s a good place to start.   Obviously it is important to know your farm area, but it is  more important to understand that you need to play to your strengths. Here is what I mean; you may have grown up in Rosedale or some other exclusive neighbourhood but the people who buy there are in their forties and fifties. They may not beyour peers. They may be your elders. Consider farming in neighbourhoods that are more your age demographic.  You have a better chance building rapport with the people you hang out with.

Keep your farm area small. It is easier to grow your farm area as you get more established and successful, but starting out big and scaling back is simply a waste of money. Flyers, love them or hate them, can work. But with just seconds to make an impression, it is important to keep the message memorable and short. Remember that a small market creates efficiencies of delivery and repetition. The key to successful farming is to keep delivering the message. So, it may be better to create 12 really good cards and deliver them to 500 homes than to create 3 cards and deliver them to 2000 homes.

Finally, your reputation is on the line every day. It is your best weapon for building good will. To maximize your exposure, to keep in the forefront of everyone’s mind, you need to be out and about. Act like you are running for office. Shake lots of babies and kiss lots of hands. Wait. I mean shake hands and kiss babies. The only difference between you and a politician is that your goal is to keep the promises you make.

So there you have it. The three keys to successful farming. Choose the right area, keep it small and show them how good you are. The first two should be easy enough, but if you are having problems with the last one, don’t sweat it. There is a blog post for that. 

Have a great week!


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