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Agents should use this ‘old school’ prospecting strategy 

During a webinar hosted by T3 Sixty, consultants and guests discussed how tried-and-true tactics like geo-farming can help agents get more deals.

April 11, 2024
3 minutes

Key points:

  • Geo-farming — where agents focus on a specific area such as a neighborhood or subdivision — can be a valuable lead generation strategy.
  • Agents can narrow their efforts even further by focusing on specific home types or price points.
  • But don’t expect to see immediate results: “It's really kind of going back to the old school,” explained Nest Realty’s Jonathan Kauffmann.

Advancements in tech and AI have led to an abundance of products and services to help real estate agents with prospecting and closing deals, but some of the most reliable lead generation methods are still hands-on.

One example is geo-farming, where agents focus their prospecting methods on a specific geographic area.

Geo-farming, and how agents can utilize it as a strategy for lead generation, was a core topic of a webinar hosted this week by real estate consulting firm T3 Sixty. (Note: T3 Sixty and Real Estate News share a founder, Stefan Swanepoel.)

What is geo-farming?

While some prospecting and lead-gen methods rely on casting a wide net, geo-farming involves targeting a specific geographic area such as a neighborhood or subdivision. An agent can narrow the target even further by focusing on specific price points or property types — say, townhouses instead of detached single-family homes.

But don't expect geo-farming to produce quick results or be a shortcut to success, said Jonathan Kauffmann, founder and strategy director of Nest Realty, who was a featured guest during the webinar.

"Geographic farming and sphere marketing is not going to get instant gratification, like most people right now are used to instant gratification," he said. "This is not AI and it's not sexy, and it's really kind of going back to the old school."

Dean Cottrill, EVP of brokerage and team consulting for T3 Sixty, described his previous experience with geo-farming.

"I had a farm of 5,000 homes that I had built up over three to four years," he explained. "I was generating a ton of listing inventory from it and inquiries and all that stuff, and it was just a feeder to me and my business. It was awesome, but it didn't happen overnight. It took time."

Cottrill also suggested that the substantial increase in inventory across many major metro areas makes market conditions better for geo-farming. "Active listings are up 25% year-over-year across the country, and because of that, we're also seeing an increase in sales units," he said.

How to be successful with geo-farming

Lisa Piccardo, VP for brokerage and team consulting, highlighted some ways agents can be successful with geo-farming, but warned against doing things just to "see what sticks." To be successful with this method, she said, consistency is key.

"You have people say, 'Well, I did direct mail once and that didn't work.' Well, once doesn't work," she explained. "You have to hit those people every month or sometimes more than once a month." 

Another suggestion was to focus on "high turnover" areas or subdivisions that feature starter homes where first-time buyers are typically more active. This might require some research and manual digging through sales data to understand where homes are reselling more frequently. 

Agents will also want to also be mindful of where other agents may already be geo-farming and have a dominant position. Kauffmann highlighted this theme through a hypothetical scenario.

"Let's say there were 100 sales within a community and one listing agent had 45 of them," Kauffmann said. "Well, that may be a longer-term return on investment versus if there's a community with 100 sales with 95 different listing agents."

And another back-to-basics way to be successful in geo-farming? "You just need to be at events, and you need to be really entrenched in that community," said Piccardo. 

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