Aren’t real estate prospecting and farming the same thing?
Almost, but not quite.
When you send prospecting letters, you’re hoping to find someone who wants to sell right now.
When you send farming letters, such as the geographic territory letters, you’ll be glad if someone needs you immediately, but you’re really building long-term relationships. You’re creating mind-share, so that those homeowners will think of you first when they think of real estate.
Prospecting is digging for gems – or panning for gold.
Farming is planting the seeds, then nurturing the plants until they bring forth a crop.
Prospecting is often short-term. For instance, if you’re going after short sale or notice of default listings, the sellers have only a short window of time in which to act. The same might be true of probate or divorce listings.
Prospecting can evolve into farming…
Depending upon your niche, what begins as planting the seeds through prospecting can turn into farming. You’ll nurture those prospects as you continue to stay in touch over the long term.
If you’re developing a geographic territory, writing to owners of vacation homes, or trying to establish yourself as the go-to agent for seniors who wish to relocate, then it is in your interests to develop ongoing relationships. They may not need an agent for years, but when they do, you want them to think of you first.
And then there are the hybrids..
Some prospective sellers fall in between. Expired listings and FSBO’s come to mind. When you first reach out, they may not be ready, but if you’re persistent, they may decide to list. That’s why my original Expired and FSBO letter sets each have 10 letters. It’s also why the set of letters to sellers who told you they plan to list before too long has 12 letters. You want to stay top of mind with them!
What about past clients and people in your sphere?
They are crops that must be nurtured. You have to follow up and keep following up or they’ll go the way of flowers that you forgot to water. If you take good care of them, you’ll get repeat business and referrals. Treat them with care because they can become the foundation of your business.
Yes, my webpage filled with real estate letters says “Prospecting,” even though it contains prospecting, farming, and follow-up letters. To say all of it in a title would be too cumbersome.
And what about buyer prospects?
Nurture them until they turn into clients or tell you to stop.
Fortunately, the majority of them will likely come to you via email. A good capture form could bring as many buyers as you can handle, so you won’t have to spend money on stamps.
However, as you’ll see if you read this list of real estate buyer letters, some might require a letter in the mail. For instance: newlyweds, apartment dwellers, and those who are relocating to your community.
Before Midnight Friday night…
Check your income and expenses for the year. Check your tax bracket. Then decide if you should make some last-minute purchases to lower this year’s tax bite.
In addition to prospecting/farming letters, you might need office supplies (stamps for those letters?), more fuel in your car, a new laptop or tablet, new software, or ? You might even want to make a deposit on a new agent bio.
Remembering the time value of money, and considering the unpredictability of our people in government, it could be wise to get your deductions in for 2021 instead of waiting.
And consider this – if spending an extra $2oo or $300 today would move you from the 32% bracket down to the 24% bracket, wouldn’t you want to do that?
Whatever you do, I wish you a …
Happy New Year!