Sunday, September 9, 2007

Realtor Farming techniques.....the way it works

I spend most of my time as a Realtor® farming different neighborhoods for business. Taking listings in todays Real Estate market can be challenging. With over 35,000 homes for sale in Broward County Florida....there is an abundance of properties just sitting on the market for longer periods of time. It is a big difference from 3 years ago when there was less for sale and more buyers willing to purchase their dream home. But I still believe that if you can take as many quality listngs as you can then you will have enough inventory to sell and that will eventually translate into instant income.

Below are a few techniques that have worked for me and the process I go through getting to my initial goals.

Objective : My main objective is to list homes. My partner handles our buyers which we cultivate through print ads and through the Internet. I have been consistently farming the same neighborhoods for the last 9 years. I was looking for something different. I was looking for something that would catch a sellers eye. I felt that every other agent I was competing against was using the same old marketing ideas. Most of them were sending out post cards that would say for example.... "Just Listed" or "Just Sold". I even get anywhere from 2-5 of those a week and I generally throw them in the garbage without even looking at them. I was looking for something that would be fresh and to the point but to catch their eyes. I started thinking and I thought that if I could incorporate a few different things into one than that might work.

Fresh Content : I started to experiment with many different things I could mail out. And after some trial and error........... I started to produce my Real Estate Market Review. This newsletter will not only supply the homeowners with quarterly updates on the recent sales in the neighborhood but it also includes an intro to my listing presentation without going into it in too much detail. It was just enough to catch their eye with a teaser that most certainly will get them to want to inquire further. I also include information on the current market and my opinions. I generally write something different every quarter but sometimes I will repeat some 6 months later. Now I am even incorporating my blogging into what I write about. My reason for the repeat was that my results on some were so estounding that I keep a draft of past letters so I can use them again and for other neighborhoods. Another great thing I was able to do was to offer to feature any property in my next issue if they listed with me. It includes photos and a short description of the property and the price.

Appearance : When I first used this system...I would have a mix of a two page letter with color logos and black & white text which was printed on plain paper and mailed in a window envelope. That worked pretty good until my work was stating to be copied. The cost was a concern as well because of the printing and the first class postage. So I decided to change my format I went out and bought Microsoft publisher and started producing my templates and found a printer who would be able to produce the finished product. I also went to bulk mail and had it mailed at postcard rates. I also found a person who would pick up my production and use my mailing lists and put mailing labels on all of them and deliver them right to the post office. It has now been transformed into a 4 page glossy newsletter with updates and photos. Please see the sample to your right.

Consistency : Getting someone to notice you is not the easiest thing. It takes time to get people to read and react. Sometimes people are just too busy to read everything you put on paper so generally they will throw it out as junk mail. You need to make sure that you do this on a consistent basis. The way I do it is by producing the letter on a by-monthly basis. It is done 6 times a year. I generally was thinking of producing it every month but I thought that would be over kill and the cost would be too hi versus my rate of return. All I needed to do was to sell one and one half listings a year to cover my costs for the entire 6 mailings. If I look back...I can tell you that I am still way ahead of the game. The key to consistency is to keep repeating it so all the homeowners keep seeing your face...your name and your "free information". Don't use the "hard sell approach".Just state that you are sending them information with your compliments and that they should keep this information in their files so they can look back and compare the different market trends. If you do it that way then they will appreciate it even more. If you continue to go with the program you should start to see results within your first 3-5 mailings. but if you stop and do not do it consistently then you will be wasting your time. You want to get your foot in the door.

Getting there : Receiving a call is the most exciting thing. My first call actually came the day after my very first mailing went out. I was so excited that someone called me that I almost blew it. You better know your facts and you better be able to answer the questions over the phone. Remember you are on stage and you better hit your mark or you will look stupid. The idea is to get past the call and get the appointment.

This whole process took me a while to get results and it takes a lot of time and energy. There are plenty of listings out there. SELLERS NEED REALTORS NOW MORE THAN EVER .They need our knowledge as Realtors®. Don't just look for the quick fix...look at the future of your business.

Neal Bloom : Real Estate Market Review Copyright 2007

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