According to the National Association of REALTORS®, there are just over one million active real estate licensees in the United States. With new agents joining the market every day, competition can be fierce. Becoming a real estate agent can be both exciting and highly rewarding, but it can present potential challenges as well.
As you begin to work toward your real estate goals, one of the most important things to remember is that your marketing, selling and conversion strategies should be a long-term plan. When it comes to real estate, finding prospects and converting them to leads is the most important job you have. A great way to begin digging up new clients is by farming a specific area. Geo farming involves focusing on a specific market (neighborhood, zip code, school district), where you solicit the majority of your business. By doing this, you’ll be able to establish brand identity and develop relationships within that community. Here are four tips to help you get started.
Time blocking is critical to success
Because you could be called for a listing emergency or a showing at any time, it’s important to set aside time each day devoted to farming. Time blocking, or time management in general, is vital to your prospecting efforts and is an effective way to keep your lead generation goals on track. For example, spend time researching changes being made in the area you’ve selected, such as new restaurants, events or businesses, to brush up on your local knowledge. You can also create personal branding pieces or work on connecting with prospects on social media. Your activities don’t need to be the same every day, but it’s important to schedule your block for the same time each day. It may seem tedious at the beginning, but if you stick with it, you’ll realize its importance for generating new leads.
Research an area before you select it
Since you’re new to real estate, it’s better to find an area you already know. This will make it easier for you to talk about, and it’ll be easier for clients to believe you’re the expert. Also, look for a location with people you already know. Remember, before committing to an area, check it out. Even if the neighborhood seems great, it may have a low turnover rate. As Tom Ferry says, you can’t “fish where there are no fish.” Look for an area where the annual turnover is more than 6 percent. Also, avoid including neighborhoods that are too far from you or too big for one person to manage. The goal is to learn everything you can about the area and form relationships with those who live there. Once you work your way in, past clients can refer you to friends or family in the area, who can turn into future clients.
Use local keywords to reach out-of-town prospects
Generating new leads from geo farming is about more than just pounding the pavement. Digital farming is also a very resourceful way to connect with new clients. While in-person techniques can help you find clients in your local area, digital farming can help you connect with those who are looking to move to it. If you have a website, optimize it to show up in small, specific locations. Include text specific to your area or what you do (blogs are great for this). Writing personal reviews, promoting upcoming events or focusing on local businesses and then posting the material on your website or blog can help search engines recognize you as an authority in a certain area. This means that, when people search for the area, you’ll be more likely to show up. Since you’re just starting out, it’s better to focus on a specific area than trying to immediately rank first in Google searches for your whole city.
Plant seeds through your social profiles
In addition to this, it’s important to build your social presence. Join a few Facebook Groups to find out what’s happening in your area. Build connections within these groups and start commenting on local events and opportunities. If you’re on Twitter, search for hashtags specific to your area and use them in your posts. Or, retweet content posted by local businesses. If you use Instagram or Snapchat, take pictures of local events and share them on your main feed. For Instagram, tag your location or use local hashtags to connect with others looking in your area. On Snapchat, geofilters put your content in front of local viewers’ faces.
Keep in mind that lead generation is about the law of the harvest—if you want things to grow, you have to plant the seeds. This means, instead of dropping ads in your feeds, join the conversation. Get your face in front of local prospects so you can brand yourself as a local expert.