The Wow Factor: Geographic Farming

The Wow Factor: Geographic Farming

Mar 2, 2020
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Industry expert Nicole Nicolay talks about how to discover and refine the farm area that will yield the best results for your business, then REALTORS® Property Resource® (RPR®) staff break down how to use RPR® to put Nicole's advice into action and show you some tips on the latest tools available in RPR®.

Hello, everyone, from Realtors Property Resource®. This is the Wow Factor. I'm Reggie Nicolay and I'm joined by my co-host Jeannie Willett and we're here to apply our 20-plus years of marketing experience to help you identify practical tips and winning strategies that help gain the attention of your potential clients.

Each month, we are going to explore a new topic. We're gonna have an interview with an industry expert and we're gonna break down "how to" — the quick tutorial. We're launching in 2020 because hopefully everyone will see the industry a little more clearly.

Nice dad joke, but all joking aside this is a big moment. We've heard so many great success stories, Jeannie. Over the years, people are using the tool in their business in all these exciting ways, and we're gonna be able to document that here on the show, so for all the viewers and listeners out, there we have a lot of topics on tap and we're gonna explore them for you, but we want to hear from you. Right, we want to know what you want to hear about, so let us know. Let us know how you're using RPR® in your business. And where should they do that? Well, they should definitely subscribe to our YouTube channel which hopefully there's a subscription button somewhere around here, maybe about here, right here over here. We'll let you know and then I can, you know, they'll be all over, so let us know on Facebook, let us know on the blog, you know, email us. But we'd love to hear from you on what you want to hear about. That's it, so we expect some comments. Let us know.

Let's kick this off, Reg. So, for the first show, we wanted to start with a question that every one of you wrestles with —What should I be doing to grow my business? — and we know that after talking with enough agents it really comes down to having successful systems, and a lot of it comes down to consistent outreach, and there's one formula that's really worked for a lot of folks, and that is marketing to a neighborhood or having a geographic farm area.

I imagine as a REALTOR®, it's really easy to feel overwhelmed when you start to define your farm area. How much is too much? What is not enough? Should I market to everybody so I have a better chance of sales, or am I spreading myself too thin? What criteria should I even use when I, like, begin to set my boundaries, you know, how do how do I even start? It's, it could be difficult, you know, we've heard from agents floundering in that part. They're all over, they don't really know, and when it comes down to it, there are some things they should consider, and it really comes down to, you know, hey, are a lot of people selling in that neighborhood already, and is it already a defined agent's that are marketing their, maybe you should consider that. Is it an area that you like marketing to? What are the metrics, the drive, the neighborhood, like, turnover? And then don't give up too quickly. You know, I see some agents that market just for a few months and then they expect results. It's just not going to happen like that.

Yes, so I think that's going to take us into our interview today. So we're gonna speak with an industry expert on how they defined their farm area and then just to let everyone know how this is gonna go after that, we'll take a quick break with our "What's New & What's Next" guys, and then Reggie will come back with "how to" of actually how to do this on RPR®. So this is where, hopefully, we're bringing in our great success stories and then showing you, like, the, you know, the behind-the-scenes of how this is actually done in RPR®. So yeah, let's get started. I'm pumped. Let's do it. Today we'll be talking with Nicole Nicolay, who in five short years has built a thriving real estate brand by focusing on the details.

Hi, Honey! Hi Honey and Honey! Hey, you guys, I'm so excited to be here. Well, obviously we had to start our first interview with Nicole as our first guest. She's my wife, but she's also a rock-solid REALTOR® with a great work flow in RPR®, and I think she's gonna be fantastic as our first guest today.

Nicole why don't we level-set and let everyone know how long have you been in real estate. So I'm going on … this is my sixth year. Actually, I started out working with my parents, who have been in the business for 30 years, but they said go go find your own business. So we know that you could take us through a lot of different amazing strategies that you have in your business, but we're gonna focus in on farming today. So can you take us through some of the broad strategies you carry out to market your business? Well, first can I start by telling you what I did wrong, possibly? Next question! Really? Well, when I started all those years ago, everyone told me you got to get a farm, you got to get a farm area, so I went out, didn't do a whole lot of research, I just looked at the most expensive area in my city and with the most beautiful homes, and I thought, "Oh this is, this is such a sexy neighborhood! I'm going straight for this one. I picked a huge area, bit off way more than I can chew. It just, it wasn't successful. It wasn't having the results I was looking for. I was wasting a lot of time.

So I turned to RPR® and I decided I needed to dive into individual neighborhoods and really understand who was living there, how many homes were a part of these little neighborhoods, because we have a lot of neighborhoods, I can't even begin, like, maybe 60–70 neighborhoods here in Livermore where I live, a city of just under a hundred thousand people. I was trying to find the neighborhoods that would yield the best results if I put the effort into it. So to do that, I needed some data. I didn't know where to turn at first but I had been exploring on RPR® using the mapping tool, you know, in printing neighborhood reports for my open houses. I started using that map quite a bit and that's when I realized the drop-down menu and I could select micro neighborhoods, intermediate neighborhoods, and really understand not only where these neighborhood boundaries were located, but I could click in and start finding out how many homes were a part of those neighborhoods, maybe a thousand, maybe 200, what the turnover rate was. So how often were these homes actually selling? How many listings were actually on the market? How many sold in the last year? So I was able to really dive into the data and understand really so much more about all these neighborhoods and then put them side-by-side and really compare what was gonna make the most bang for my buck.

I mean, how long do you think the analysis took you to build? When you do that, when you compare your neighborhoods, I would say probably not longer than an hour, and that really surprised me because, like I said, I had put very little time and effort I just was like that neighborhood, in that neighborhood, and I want those two neighborhoods because, again, they look like the Big Daddies of all the neighborhoods, right? That's where all the successful REALTORS® are working, and that brings me to another point, which is there were a ton of REALTORS®, in terms of competition, tons of established REALTORS®, you know, that were already fighting over these neighborhoods and we're already blanketing these neighborhoods. So, and I really just thought, well, you know, that's them. I shouldn't worry about anyone else. Well, yeah, maybe you should worry about someone else, and so that was another thing.

When I did the side-by-side comparison after we analyzed, you know, the turnover rate and the percentage of how long these homes had, you know, you know, how long it was taking to sell and what was on the market, etc, after we picked we also did one more round of, like, narrowing down exactly because we actually picked, I think, I want to say about 10 or 12 neighborhoods and then we narrowed down from there. So we had a group of neighborhoods and then from there we said, okay, we know that there are not very many REALTORS® that are spending a lot of time on the north side. They don't want to come over to this side of town; they spend all their time on the south side of town. So even after we did that initial analysis, that didn't take very long, we were able to even go a little step further to really pick the ones that are gonna make the most, you know, greatest effect for our business. This is gonna make a great how-to section when we break it down. Yeah, break it down. Show them how. They all don't have a Reggie. Oh, wait, now they have a Reggie. Guys, you know that my greatest, I have to say that my the greatest secret strategy that I've got Reggie here. So I come home with these half-cocked ideas all the time and I'm like, "Hey, babe, wouldn't it be great if we could do this and this and this?" and then he's like, well, you know, that's in RPR®, right? No, I appreciate that. I mean, that's what we're hoping the viewers really get from this.

Well, thanks so much for talking with us today. Is there anything that you wanted to plug here? I know you have a lot of different aspects to your business. Anything that your listeners should be following along at home? Well, gosh, just if you've got clients that want to come to the Livermore area, I help them love where they live even more. See you at dinner, Honey. Okay. Toodles.

Why, hey everybody this is Mike at RPR®. I am the marketing communications guy, the content writer guy, and now the "What's New" guy. I'm here to let you all know about the latest news, articles, product enhancements from RPR® that we come out with.

We're gonna kick it off with some news about ShowingTime. If you're not familiar with it, ShowingTime is a really popular showing management tool. It's basically an application, an app that our REALTOR® used when I sold my house and to give it to their clients, and you both set up your showing appointments through this real convenient app. It's super easy to use. Thanks to this product integration, RPR® users can now schedule a showing directly from RPR®. Once the feature's turned on by your local MLS, you simply go into RPR® and pull up the property details page and Bam!, click on the ShowingTime icon and you schedule showings  directly from the RPR® website and mobile app. Really excited to deliver it to you.

One other quick thing: we just recently published our annual real estate apps article on our blog page. It's a really informative piece that can help you be more efficient, more productive, and it'll help you offer more value to your clients and stand out from your competitors. It's a really good read and I'm not just saying that because I wrote it. You're gonna like this article. You're probably gonna learn something new. Check it out, click the link below and learn a little something today.

So that's what's new. Now I'm gonna pass it over to Aaron and he's gonna tell you all about what's next. Awesome. Right. Thank you. I'm Aaron and I'm gonna be sharing what's next with RPR®. First up we have a brand new webinar series in RPR®, coming to you in April. We're calling it "20-Minute Tuesdays." We'll be sharing helpful tips that you can use right away in your business and make the most out of this spring market.

In the light of everything that everyone's aware of, last Wednesday, March 18th, NAR announced its Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, also known as the mid-year meetings, will be moving to a virtual format. That means no in-person meetings will be held May 11th through the 16th. Committee meetings, key sessions, elections in alternative ways for state and local associations to participate as they normally would, with in person meetings will all now be conducted online. For the latest information, members can go online to to find out more.

And that's that for What's Next from RPR®. And now for the breakdown. In this segment, I'm going to show you how to compare neighborhoods like Nicole explained earlier. To do this, we created a few helpful resources. First, we have a Google spreadsheet like you see here, and this is really a great template for you to use to input the calculations that I'll show you in the following steps. This will then automatically calculate things like turnover rate and even your cost per mailing, so follow along.

Alright, let's get started. Visit RPR® at From the home page, select the "All Properties" search and then enter the general area for your search, and in this case what I'll do is I'm going to search Pleasanton, California, and I'll go ahead and then use the map to find the neighborhoods that we're going to analyze.

So let's start by putting in the city and we will choose "Search." You can take all the defaults. Now here's the map loads up there's a few different ways to carry this out. What I'm going to show you is how to use the neighborhood overlays. In this case, I'm going to choose the intermediate neighborhoods, and what this will do is it will put all the known neighborhoods on the map and I can actually select on one of these neighborhoods and it will name it. In this case, a Pheasant Ridge. Now if Pheasant Ridge was one of the farm areas I wanted to compare, I would follow in a series of steps. I would start by looking at how many properties are in that area so, for example, in the first neighborhood, we want to know what is the total number of homes, and then we want to get the total number of properties that have sold in the last twelve months, and then we also want to look and see if there's any current listings, and then after that we want to put in what we think each of our mailings will be.

So let's go ahead and get these numbers for three neighborhoods and then we'll compare. Alright. So here we are, back in RPR® at the map, and I've selected Pheasant Ridge in this case. Because I did an "All Properties" search, I'm now going to search this geography, and the count below the map on the left hand side here will show me the total number of homes in that area. In this case, the number's 236 for Pheasant Ridge. Two hundred thirty-six. And now we can go ahead and look in the next neighborhood and we'll repeat. This will overlay the intermediate neighborhoods, and in this case I'm gonna choose this neighboring area here, Golden Eagle. Search now in Golden Eagle, we see there's 293 properties. Two hundred ninety-three. And now for the third neighborhood, we'll go back to RPR®, we'll overlay our intermediate neighborhoods, and now I'm just gonna go right up here and I'm gonna actually grab this neighborhood, The Preserve, and we'll search 151 homes in this case. One hundred fifty-one. Then, now, we're gonna go back through and we're gonna find for each of these how many homes have sold in the last 12 months.

Now for this we can actually use the same search. The biggest difference is we're gonna put the filter on, here on the left side, at one year. And then I'll choose "Apply." Now, because The Preserve was still selected, I've applied the filter for The Preserve neighborhood. You can see four homes have sold in the last year, so let's write that down. Four homes. We'll go backwards now, and you can see I'll go back here to Golden Eagle, do the same, 16, and Pheasant Ridge, Select, and Search. Eight … and eight. So now, as you can see, we have the turnover rate for each of these areas. Typically, you want to see a turnover rate between five and seven percent or at least five and higher. In this case, we have a few of the areas that have a pretty low turnover rate. Golden Eagle is looking pretty good.

Now we can go ahead and come in and look for how many current listings are in each of these neighborhoods. For this, we need to go back and do a different search. We actually want to do the "For Sale" search for the same area, Pleasanton, California. Now here we are, and in the search results, just like last time, I'm going to use the map overlays to show intermediate neighborhoods and then go back here to Pheasant Ridge and search. And as we can see, there are no current active listings in Pheasant Ridge. So we can repeat those steps for the next neighborhood we did, Golden Eagle, search. In this case we have three, and then we'll go ahead and go to our last neighborhood that we're comparing, and of course you could compare as many neighborhoods as you want, there we go, one. So let's go back and write that in our document. Zero, three, one.

Okay we're almost done with the base version of the spreadsheet now. What you can do is estimate your per mailing cost. Let's just say it's 80 cents. Now what you have is a nice comparison of the different neighborhoods, their turnover rate, how many current listings are there, and you can see about what it costs you to get a mailing out each month. Couple other things you might consider while you're in here. Look a little deeper and look at things like median days in RPR®. What are the top agents in the neighborhood? How about median estimated list price or median estimated sales price? You could even look at months of inventory in each of your neighborhoods. These are all great numbers to know. And with that, that's the breakdown. I hope this helps.

That was awesome, Reggie. Some really great strategies for working your farm area and using RPR® to do it. So that brings us to the end of our first show. How do you think we did? Well, you know I may be a little biased but I think we did awesome. It was a great show. It's definitely fun. So I guess the most important thing is what did you think, our viewers?

Please leave your comments below. Was it helpful? Did you find more or less the topic was what you wanted to hear about? Let us know. Yes, and for this month's topic we have so many resources to help you: articles, video tutorials, webinar success stories, and so much more, all based around farming your area.

Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up to date on all things RPR®. Thank you, everyone, for joining us. This is Reggie and Jeanne and we're with the Wow Factor, signing off.

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