- Episode 43 -
From the minute you decide to become a Realtor you are instilled with the idea to farm an area to prospect for future buyers and sellers. Your real estate trainers tell you this, your Brokers insist on it for your business, and every association makes it a point to have class after class highlighting the benefits of marketing to a specific area. Over and over again you send out your mailings until the residents know you by name (or at least by your monthly or quarterly newsletters).
But when you are first starting out and don’t have the money to fund the often expensive, ongoing marketing campaigns to communities, I found a way to get the word out on a budget and have been using it ever since.
When I first began my real estate career, I didn’t want to lock myself into a certain location or development, but I wanted to learn a little about a lot and found myself listing properties or driving around buyers in three different counties in South Florida. While I am always the “rebel”, I eventually come back to the basics of what I was told. And after all types of farming where some worked and others didn’t, I developed quite the following with one of my more unique campaigns.
A favorite farm area of mine has become a higher end rental community of about 450 condos and townhomes. These are very transient people who tend to stay between 15 – 18 months and then are anxious to find something permanent to call home. While rental rates are at all-time highs throughout most of the country, these communities are great sources for potential buyers and sometimes even referrals to sellers or other renters. And renters I find are very loyal to their agents.
Across the street from this community is a strip mall consisting of a pizza parlor and various other food outlets, nail and hair salon, bike store, as well as two coffee houses and a vapor shop. Because of the close proximity to the rental community, I actually went to these retailers and asked them to partner with me on my marketing pieces to the development that was within walking distance to them.
I had my figures all set out with the statistics of the community and drafts of what I wanted to send out once a quarter. I would develop the marketing piece with my information on one side and the store’s details on the other highlighting a coupon or offer for something in the shop. And we would split the cost to have it printed and mailed but I would do all the work for them.
It was a win/win.
My first taker was the pizza parlor who wanted to showcase a coupon for $5 off a $20 order. About two weeks after the first postcard was mailed, I got a call from the manager of the restaurant who was thrilled with the results. In the first 10 days he received over 75 coupons from my mailing resulting in hundreds of extra dollars for his restaurant. He immediately wanted to sign up for all my future mailings.
Unfortunately he had to wait his turn since I had already sold the upcoming spots to other vendors in the mall. He is now on the calendar as a regular sponsor of my mailings and has been just as successful after each. The other participants are just as happy with the outcome – and now pretty much all of my costs are covered by my partnering shops across the street.
Thinking outside the box and becoming creative with your marketing not only allows you to be able to do campaigns on a budget but get the prospects that you want to build on for your future business – one slice at a time.
Kay Conageski is a professional Realtor® with The Keyes Company based in Plantation, Florida. Check out her RESAAS profile ›