The New Age of Farming
The market is shifting to a new age of farming using social media channels like Facebook, because of lower cost, tracking ability and increased exposure.
Farming in real estate has been used forever and is used by agents to target and market to specific neighborhoods and become the agent of choice in that community.
Traditional Farming Costs Too Much
Let's look at postcards as one example. If you have a neighborhood of 2,000 homes and let's say you have a good deal on postage and printing, design, etc. and you pay $0.50 per postcard, multiply that by 2000, you're looking at about $1,000 to mail those out. Some of you may opt to send the more expensive stuff, like recipes, magnets, seasonal items, magazines and what not, which can substantially drive up the costs.
How often do you need to do this for someone to remember you?
What is the response rate?
How many people looked at the postcard?
How many people threw it away?
To get past these challenges, a lot of agents hire people to deliver door hangers and such directly to the homes because this way everyone will at least see it, right?
This "door to door" strategy is something you might hire a company to do for you. Hiring someone yourself is possible too, but probably not worth the risk (because if they got hurt, you're likely held responsible for their workers comp or worse medical bills and we don't need that extra stress, right?!).
Flyer distribution services cost about the same as mail but also vary based on the delivery areas, so in some cases can cost less! Not a bad plan, but still can be expensive, and you still end up with the same questions.
What about if you just went door to door yourself? Well, that used to work, but in case you haven't noticed, people don't want to answer their door anymore! Plus factor in the cost of your time and opportunity cost and it's even more expensive... plus who wants to do that anyway
What's left? Block parties and events? Sponsoring little league teams? Open houses? Cold calling? Ugh!
Sounds time consuming and expensive, doesn't it? The bottom line is traditional farming just doesn't work like it used to.
How to Farm for a Fraction of the Cost
What if you could get in front of qualified prospects for less than a penny? Wouldn't that be awesome?!
That's where social media sites like Facebook come into the mix. Essentially, you could choose a target area to farm and just create ads with the same stuff you send out in the mail.
But what if it could be even better? What if you could also target people who have been living in their home for a certain number of years? Maybe 3+, 5+ or 6+ years? What about other demographics like household income, home value, occupations, homeowners, renters and almost anything else you could think of?
But wait, it gets better... what if you could also target people who have been showing behaviors as if they are likely to move?
You're probably wondering, "What the heck? How do you know if someone is likely to move?"... and Facebooks' quick answer is, "I know a guy...".
Create Highly Targeted Audiences on Facebook
Below is an example of a farming neighborhood one might market to, using some of the demographic and behavior targeting features within Facebook:
(NOTE: You’ll get a downloadable version of the Ad Blueprint we use and access to a “tutorial video” at the end of this article.)
Track Your Ads Performance and Engage with Your Audience
Now that you have a target audience, you can advertise your "Just Listed", "Sold Listings", or "Open Houses". Not only that, but now you'll know exactly how many people saw them, how many clicked on them, "liked" them, commented, or whatever.
Plus social media is more engaging and interactive. So people are more likely to ask questions, comment, or engage with you on Facebook, then with a postcard in the mail.
Get Way More Exposure for a Lot Less Money
Not only does the new age of farming get you tons more exposure, with cheap impressions and clicks, but it also provides an opportunity to generate more leads than ever before.
Let's review the sample campaign below in a Seller Ad Campaign that we used to farm for potential sellers:
In this campaign, you can see that the cost per 1,000 impressions was $12.80. That comes out to a little over $0.01 per impression or 2.5 cents per unique impression.
This is an Actual Ad Campaign That Started Generating Leads Within 24 Hours
As you can see below, for about $21, we were able to generate 12 total addresses for our mailing list and 6 for our e-mail list. Some even provided phone numbers to follow up by phone...and that was in ONE DAY, for about $10/day.
If I ran this campaign every day all month, I could expect to see anywhere from 150-180 contact leads and 300-360 addresses to my mailing list (that part is optional). This is just the beginning because we haven't even started re-targeting (which we explain more in the Seller Ad Blueprint, which you can DOWNLOAD on this page).
Many of these campaigns have been able to generate over 100 leads per month.
Market Your Open Houses Like Never Before
We've also seen other campaigns, like Open House campaigns, and such do amazingly well, with very low costs per impression AND generate leads, like the one below.
For this ad, the agent spent about $70 or so. This cost less than half a cent to reach each person. Plus the comments we're filled with potential buyers, people looking to qualify and of course increase attendance at the open house.
Why Would Anyone Farm the Old Fashioned Way Again?
Clearly, Facebook is much cheaper, probably cheaper than virtually any other form of advertising available for the money. Plus you know if it's working or not, allowing you to quickly make adjustments. With postcards, you can't stop the campaign mid-way through because the copy or photo on the postcards aren't converting.
Plus you can see how many people saw your ad and track the results, cost per click, per impression, per action, per conversion, whatever matters to you.
With the lower cost, you can advertise more often to ensure people are more likely to remember you.
If this is where the market is going, with cheaper ad costs and more exposure, then what happens to you if you're still doing it the old way, which is more expensive and least effective?
I'd say it's time to evolve because as you can see, "farming" will never be the same again.
Download the plan we use to "farm" neighborhoods for sellers AND fill our client's pipeline with hundreds of potential sellers every month! Learn how to effectively advertise on Facebook using Facebooks secret home seller database.
This proven method will teach how to generate new and qualified leads for cheaper than the OLD way of farming!