Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Real estate farming letters are just the beginning

Real estate farming letters have been the mainstay of most agent’s marketing programs since the industry began. These, coupled with other online and off-line initiatives can be a great resource in the continual fight to differentiate yourself from the competition.
A lot of agents search for free real estate farming letters, or templates that they can modify to suite their own needs. This approach may have some benefit, but if you are trying to differentiate yourself from every other agent out there, I would recommend approaching your farming letters and your entire marketing plan from a completely different direction.

Most agents do not realize that it takes more than five exposures to their name and offer before a mail recipient will even recognize their name. If you don’t believe me, just think about how you answer most of your junk mail. In order to stand out from the crowd, take a much more strategic approach to your direct mail and incorporate it into a much larger marketing campaign. If you have an area that you are farming, try to find a way to expose every target client to your message at least five times in a relative short period. A simple way to do this is to send everybody on your list a direct mail message in an envelope. I recommend including a piece of candy or something in the envelope to ensure that it gets opened. The next week send out a postcard with an offer or raffle as your call to action. Next place signs at the entrances of the communities that you are farming (be sure to get the proper permits, or plan to have you signs taken down by the city.) For the next week, send out another round of envelopes and place your flyers on the bulletin boards of the local grocery and library. Follow that week with door hangers that have another call to action and offer.

This is a very basic approach to marketing, but it will start the ball rolling. The goal is to get everyone in the community that you are farming with your letters to recognize your name. After that, you just need to remain active enough in the area to maintain your brand awareness in the minds of your target client. By maintaining a top of the mind awareness with your prospects, you will ensure that you will be their first phone call when it is time to call upon the resources of a REALTOR.

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