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Posts tagged ‘farming’

4
Nov

Mastermind for November 2nd. Competing with Established Players

Wednesdays, also known as Hump Day, is one of my favorite days. It’s a chance for me to listen to what is going on in the real estate world. Our Mastermind sessions are not just about the agents learning from the experiences of others, it is a phenomenal learning experience for me, as a manager, too. What better way to get a handle on who’s doing what out there. Our company runs three Mastermind sessions every week. Two on Wednesdays, and one each Thursday that is dedicated to new agents. The current of each one is a little different and while some talk about 5 or 6 topics, at Queen St we usually only handle a couple. At this week’s meeting the topic centred around agents competing with the long-established agent in their farm neighbourhood.

To illustrate the point, look at Facebook for one minute. It is a long-held (or at least as long as Facebook has been around)  belief that consumers are more likely to buy a brand of shoes if all their friends on Facebook are recommending them. We tend to value that recommendation more than any advertisement can. That same mentality exists in the real estate world. Sellers are more likely to choose the agent that is the dominant player in their neighbourhood. They seem to think that because that person has the most signs, they are the best agent to sell their home. Certainly there is SOME truth to that but the reality is that even the best agents don’t get 100% of the listings in their farm areas.  So, what can you do if you are the new kid on the block? Here are a few tips;

1. Expand your on-line presence. Check to see if your competitor’s website is outdated and inefficient. You can get an instant foothold in a neighbourhood by out-shining your competitor with a better website and blog. 

2. Build your presence on Social Media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Lots of older agents I know don’t use any SM at all.

3. Rely on testimonials to drive your business. Just like Facebook, people will be more likely to use you if other people talk about the positive experiences they had with you.

4. Be more active in the community. Be outside. Visit stores. Network. Make connections. Be social. Get to every open house. Leave your card around.

5. It’s hard to outspend some of the big players who are constantly sending out just listed and just sold cards but you will make quicker inroads into a neighbourhood with a different approach. Try door knocking…it’s free. Also try being more creative with your materials. Studies show that the average person looks at junk mail for 3 seconds. That means you have 3 seconds to make an impact. Be creative. Be 3 dimensional. Be personal.

6. Use management software or develop a system to stay in touch with the people you meet. The ultimate goal is to have people think of you when they think of real estate, not the other way around.

7. Advertise the fact that your service is more personal. Clients deal with you, not an assistant. You are available, and while knowledge of the area is important, honesty goes a long way.  Don’t sell yourself short by comparing yourself to others. Develop your own style and approach. Find your own unique value proposition.

8. If you are just starting out and haven’t really established a track record than promote the track record of your firm (if there is one).

9. Take the time to know your competition. If you are going to work in an area, chances are you will eventually sit across the table from them. A good rapport will go a long way in the negotiation process.

10. Remember too that even the best agents drop the ball every once in a while. Prove to consumers that you can be an alternative. Each step you take brings you closer to being the NEW dominant realtor in your neighbourhood.

If you think of any other ways to shine, please feel free to share them with me. Have a great weekend!

24
May

Balanced Real Estate Farming Techniques

Last week I met with one of the newer agents in my office to discuss farming areas. Earlier in the month we talked about the need to actively farm neighbourhoods as part of an overall strategy to build business. He had concerns that by picking a farm area he was actually sending a message to his own contacts that he only worked in one area of the city. I thought he made an interesting point.  Is it possible to pigeonhole yourself so much in one neighbourhood that potential clients may overlook you because they want to live somewhere else?  If the general understanding is that people list their homes and buy homes with agents who “specialize” in one neighbourhood because they understand unique area idiosyncrasies does that mean you might lose a potential client if they are outside your core area?

Not necessarily. Check out the graphs below.  I tried to demonstrate to the new agent that while it is important to have a strong understanding of your farm area, the breadth of your knowledge has to resonate throughout the city. How do you do that? It’s simple. You can learn a lot by being involved. Networking, participating in office meetings, following other agents through social media and getting out there. Nothing beats pounding the pavement, and reporting on market conditions. Going to every open house in your farm area is a good start but to be a real purveyor of knowledge, you have to broaden your horizons. This is a full time job.

So, the question is asked. If we are building our neighbourhood expertise, how much effort do we put into actively farming our area versus the rest of the city? The answer is clear. Devote your time to your core business. Learn everything there is to know about your neighbourhood and make sure people know about you. Door knock, drop flyers and buy billboards. Successful agents know that it is as much about being a smart marketer as it is about networking. Business outside of your farm neighbourhood will come once you have proven that you are knowledgeable in the market as a whole.

Finally, it is important to realize that successful agents are always building their business. Whether it’s your farm area or your network of friends and associates, your daily routine involves giving everyone a little nudge, just a little reminder that you are out there to answer questions or spring into action. Spend your day actively getting business for the Spring or Fall markets but remember to stay in contact with people who will be a source of business to you well into the future.

The views expressed here may or may not represent the views of Bosley Real Estate, Ltd, Brokerage.

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