If you have another agent consistently farming your target neighborhood, here is some advice… MOVE ON. Look for another farm. There are far too many targets out there for you to consider. While it may be a blow to your ego or pride, it will be far more cost effective to alter your plans for neighborhood domination by a mile or two rather than slug it out with an agent that already has a head start on you.
During our marketing consults with agents, I use the following analogy: Don’t play against the New York Yankees if you don’t have to. If you have one agent that has the lion’s share of the market in a neighborhood, move on. While one agent sending a monthly mail piece to a farm (and has done so for several months… at least 6 months) scares me away from a farm, several agents sending inconsistent mail is no problem.
Several agents we work with have adopted the following strategy; get a listing… send a postcard to that subdivision, when it sells, send another. While that may be a good idea, it is not a farm.
In a survey conducted by Sonoran Title, 65% of agents said they don’t farm consistently. In another survey conducted by Sales and Marketing Executives International showed that 90% of agents gave up after the 3rd contact attempt.
In the same survey, the number of deals derived from direct mail campaigns showed the following:
After the 1st contact: 2%
After the 2nd contact: 4%
After the 3rd contact: 6%
After the 4th contact: 10%
After the 5th contact: 81%
With 90% of agents stopping after the 3rd attempt, you can see why I say this is not for the faint of heart.
We’ve discussed that you need to determine the average sales price in your target farm and other recon work to analyze the percentage of absentee owners. Additionally, you need to determine the farm turnover rate and to see if another agent is actively marketing to your target farm.
To insure you have the best possible farm, pick 2 more potential farms and run the numbers against other potential farms. Don’t fall in love with the first farm you find. Test the numbers vs. other farms to insure you are setting yourself up for success. Consider the following table to streamline your thoughts:
Category Farm 1 Farm 2 Farm 3
Average List Price
Farm Turnover Rate
Percentage of Absentee Owners
Number of Agents Farming
Congratulations, you now have a farm! The easy part is over… yup the EASY part is done. Here is where 90% of agents fail – developing the message, and actually sending out each piece… month in, month out, year in, year out.