Tips for Working Your Farm

1. Mail "just listed/just sold" fliers. You can do a series of letters. Here's one simple and very effective example. "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Martin, I just wanted to keep you up to date on what's been happening in your neighborhood." Show a chart of properties sold during the previous month and new houses listed for sale during this same period.

This is great because all you have to do is send out one of these letters every time you list or sell something. You might also want to send this out on a monthly basis. You don't have to do any other fancy, schmancy mailings. Very simple!

Now, hopefully, you're either listing or selling one property a month. If you're not, you can say, "Here are all the properties that have sold in your neighborhood from this date to this date." Does it say that you sold all those properties? No. But if your face is on the stationery, what does it suggest?

Here are samples of letters you can mail out each month:

Re: Another home sold by Darryl Davis Dear [Name],

I am delighted to announce that I have sold the home located at: 5 Las Lomas Drive, Power City

We still have many qualified buyers looking to own a home in your neighborhood. If you are contemplating a move or know of someone who is, please contact us.

If you would like to find out if you qualify for a FREE Over-the-Phone Market Analysis on your home, simply call me at (631) 929-5555. There is no obligation. Sincerely, Darryl Davis

Farm Letter No. 1

I thought you might like to know the following homes have sold in your subdivision.

2367 Powell Avenue 3099 Power Court 2479 Christopher Lane

If you would ever like your home SOLD instead of JUST LISTED, give me a call. I have a marketing program that works very well in getting homes sold in your neighborhood.

If you would like a FREE Over-the-Phone Market Analysis on your home, simply call me at (631) 929-5555. There is no obligation. Sincerely, Darryl Davis

PS. If your home is currently listed for sale with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Farm Letter No. 2

I just wanted to keep you up to date as to what has been happening in your neighborhood.

Properties sold from January 1 to January 31:

2367 Powell Avenue 3099 Power Court 2479 Christopher Lane

New Houses listed for sale during January:

4568 Jennifer Way 2755 Easy Avenue 1379 Concord Lane

If you would ever like your home SOLD instead of JUST LISTED, give me a call. I have a proven marketing program for getting homes sold in your neighborhood.

If you would like a FREE Over-the-Phone Market Analysis on your home, simply call me at (631) 929-5555. There is no obligation. Sincerely, Darryl Davis

PS. If your home is currently listed for sale with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Farm Letter No. 3

I've just made farming extremely easy for you. Each month, you could have your computer "spit out" these letters and all you would have to change is the property information. I would rotate among the types of letters each month. Quite frankly, if you didn't do anything else that I teach in the book from this point forward, you could still see some great results just from doing these letters (if you have at least 500 people in your farm).

2. Survey calls. After you've been doing mailings for a few months, you call everybody in your farm. Instead of saying, "Have you thought about selling or do you know anybody who is selling?" it would go like this:

Darryl: Hi, this is Darryl Davis from Power Realty. Oh, you've been getting my mailings? Great. The reason I'm calling is we're doing a survey. How long have you lived in the neighborhood? What do you like best about it? What do you think the most attractive feature is about the neighborhood?

Watch this one:

Darryl: If you were to think of moving, where would you move? Oh, when would you do that?

Homeowner: Oh, we were thinking about moving in maybe six months. Darryl: Good thing I called when I did. If you were thinking about hiring an agent in the future, what would you be looking for in that agent?

Great technique! A different type of survey call would ask what changes they would like to see in their neighborhood. I know some agents who have had stop signs, lights, and speed bumps installed in a community because they asked for suggestions in the survey and residents responded. What a great way to get your picture in the paper, "saving the lives of our local children"!

3. Find bird dogs. That's a polite way of saying "nosy neighbors." There are certain nosy neighbors who listen to everybody and talk to everybody and would love to tell you about it. So these are good people who can find out for you if somebody is thinking of listing or selling. And, of course, if they give you several leads, you should consider giving them a thank-you gift.

4. Sponsor a children's sports team. You can work the crowd by showing up at the games and being in the stands, furnishing the refreshments that the parents normally furnish each game, and networking. Plus, you get your name on their uniform and an ad in the local paper that supports them. (Usually they put out a booklet for the organization.) Also, whether your team does well or not, you can mail a "Congratulations!" letter to all of the parents involved. They say the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I don't know how true that is, but what is true is the best way to parents' hearts is through their children.

5. Car magnets. When driving through your farm, have those suckers on. When you go to your supermarket, have them on. This is also true for open houses, previewing, showing, the children's sports games, etc. And don't forget about using unique vanity plates too.

6. Deliver a buyer or seller seminar. I have two tips for you about a buyer or seller seminar. One idea is you should not do it alone; you should do it with one or two other agents. The reason is that it's better to have others there working with you. Plus, when you combine your farm with other farms, it's more numbers for your mailing. The other tip is to have three or four guest speakers. Consider mortgage brokers, attor neys, home inspectors, remodeling companies, roofers, landscapes, title companies, movers, pest control people, and home food delivery businesses. Anyone who can help buyers or sellers to save money in any way. The guest speakers should pay a few dollars to help offset your promotional expenses. You should promote the seminar with an ad in the paper with their photos and their titles, so it's worth it to them. Now, if you have four guest speakers and each one talks for 15 minutes, that's an hour. You could lead into the session for 15 minutes and then conduct a 15-minute question-and-answer segment at the end. That's a one-and-a-half-hour seminar.

7. Welcome new neighbors. Here's how you welcome new neighbors:

■ Dinner. When people move in, they don't have the time or the food. You can bring dinner over or give them a coupon to a restaurant.

■ A welcome package. Put together a package with a basket of cleaning stuff, light bulbs, change of address cards, and so on.

■ A combination. Along the same lines, you might buy an aluminum pan, pasta, sauce, cheese, so it's a welcome package ... but it's dinner. All they have to do is cook it.

8. Use mailings. Remember, these are for cold mailings—people you've never done business with before. Mail once a month, the letters I mentioned earlier or any of the following:

■ Testimonials. You might send a letter to a prospect with a copy of a testimonial letter on the back. To get testimonials, you can call up your client who just closed on the house and say, "Debbie, can I ask you a question? Were you happy with my service? Great. And would you recommend me to other people? Would you mind doing me a favor? I'd like for you to write a short testimonial letter saying how great I am to work with and so on, because I'd like to mail it to the neighbors and let them know." The letter should begin with "Dear Neighbor" rather than "Dear Darryl." Then you take this letter and use it as a testimonial in a mailing.

■ Note pads. Make sure you put your number on it to encourage people to call you for more when they run out.

■ Magnets. An oldie, but a goodie. You should see my refrigerator: Power Program students galore. I don't feel right throwing them out.

■ Articles. For example, if you're specializing in waterfront property and you see an article on boating, cut it out and send it to everybody. Or if you're specializing in colonials and Tudors and you see some thing about these types of homes, clip it and send it out. Also, if you see anyone in your farm in the papers (local or otherwise) for some accomplishment (making the dean's list, winning a trophy, or whatever), with a photo, make copies of the article and send it as a warm congratulation to that person's family (in your farm). Send it to the whole farm so they know that "one of their own" made good.

■ A neighborhood directory. To generate a sense of community, create a directory of all the neighbors and what their jobs are. Call people in your farm telling them you're putting together a directory of the neighborhood and everyone's profession, so whenever residents need a particular service, they can keep the business in the neighborhood. Then ask them if they would like to be listed in this directory. Of course, make sure you include yourself and be very visible. If your farm is geographic, this is a great one.

■ Calendars. You can buy the yearly calendar, but one of my student Power Groups came up with the idea to do monthly calendars. It's a foldout piece with a month on one side. Every month, they mail out this calendar. That's one way to make sure you stick to a schedule! What's awesome about this is you could have your whole year's worth of mailings already printed and give them to a mailing house to mail out for you. You now are mailing to your farm once a month consistently and you only had to set it up once for the whole year.

■ Seeds. I know these top producers who mail out seeds with a slogan, "Come grow with me."

■ Post-it® notes. You can have Post-it® notes made up with your company name and logo.

■ Brochures. Make sure these are written and designed professionally.

■ The CMA mailing. Instead of the traditional comparative market analysis, there are a couple of unique things you can do.

■ Add on the CMA, "See if you qualify for a free market analysis." The qualification is whether the homeowners are selling in six months or less; otherwise, prices would change dramatically and not be worth their time. This approach creates perceived value, as it's not giving away something for free.

■ Offer a "FREE Over-the-Phone Market Analysis," which I covered in great detail in the Chapter 2, "The Art of Prospecting." My students get tons of listings because of this. If people know they don't have to sit through a long-winded sales pitch, they'll be more apt to call you. So it makes the phone ring. Remember, the trick is to make sure you tell them a wide range—"based on this information, I would estimate that your house is worth between $300K and $350K." The only way to narrow it down is to physically see their house, which inevitably would turn into a listing conversation. ■ Use the line, "You'd be amazed at how much your home is worth!" It's a simple line, but very effective. Of course, use this in a hot market only!

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