Basics for Farming in Real Estate

Step One

Choose an area where you would like to work. A subdivision with 150-250 homes is best. Before you decide on a specific area, check MLS for activity. Make sure it is an area where people are moving in and out of. Make sure the days on market are fairly swift too.

Step Two

Create a database of homeowners in your area. Grab the names from tax records and put them into your database system. You can use Microsoft Outlook, Top Producer, Wise Agent or there are a multitude of options to choose from. You could also ask your favorite title agency to put a list together for you, but you would need to be able to transfer the names into your own database system. Eliminate other Realtors that live in the area if possible.

Step Three

Kick off your farming campaign with a season-appropriate postcard or other mail-able piece. For the end of the year or just at the beginning, calendars are a good idea. Towards the middle of summer you might send a football schedule. You can buy these type products from a company called Magnet Street and they are ready to go, you just need to stick your business card to the top.

Step Four

Send a mailing out every thirty days for three months. Then send something out every other month for the next nine months. After the first year mail something four times a year and also your own Just Listed and Just Sold announcements of neighborhood properties for sale and sold. Patty Carrabio at Old Republic Title will make some of these things for you and even mail them out for a cost that is cheaper than what you would pay.

Mailing Pieces

Mailing pieces should vary. Some should be postcards, some newsletters. When you focus on a certain area you can make sure that your mailings are relevant to this group. For example, you could send out a school calendar ( you can get the school dates from the district website), and your newsletter could include recent real estate activity in the neighborhood.

Consistency is the key. It is necessary for each home to get to know you are the expert in their area and to have your face and info right in front of them when they need it. You should start to see some activity from your farming in about six months.


In addition to the mailings, you can also create sub-division specific websites and blogs. You can let your neighborhood know about these things in your monthly mailings. On your website, offer to keep neighbors updated on real estate activity through emails and this way you will be able to capture neighborhood email addresses as well. If you can put door magnets on your car and drive through the neighborhood frequently so that everyone sees you are out working. Check out all the newly listed homes so that you really do become the neighborhood expert.

How Much Will This Cost?

This process is actually quite affordable and especially if you have a great title agency to help you. The trick is to keep your farm areas small and manageable and to take them on one at a time. Don’t try to take on more than 250 homes in the beginning unless you have unlimited funds.

Below is a sample of how much you will spend using this plan based on a farm made up of 150 households.

Year One

Printing $50-$100 X 7 mailings $350-$700
Postage $67.50 $810

Year Two

Printing $50-$100 X 4 mailings $200-400
Postage $67.50 $270

Or… can use an alternate method to deliver your farm materials!