An Interview with Todd Robertson
By Julie Escobar
Time and experience tells us that there are two marketing segments that can’t be ignored, neglected, or inconsistent if you are eager to enjoy a long, profitable, and productive career in this industry: Your Sphere of Influence and Geographic Farm. Statistics tell us that your SOI will contribute one transaction (listing, sale, or referral) for every twelve folks in your sphere of influence IF, and only if, you consistently stay in touch. These are the people that already know you, like you, and trust you enough to do business with them. How much business you can determine from a geographic farm really depends on the farm area. For that we turn to our Market Dominator Director Todd Robertson who has conducted a series of webinars in the past for us on how to DOMINATE in a geographic farm!
Here’s an excerpt from our interview:
Q: Let’s start out with this common question from readers: How do you choose a geographic farm?
A: I work with a lot of agents to help them really fine tune what area they want to market. Even if you find a geographic farm that you think works for you location wise with commission-friendly price ranges, you still need to be mindful of two other factors: The turn-over rate, and the competition. Ideally, we want to help position you to receive a 20% market share in a geo farm. If you start in a farm where another agent already has that or higher, you’re going to work much harder and have to be at it longer to see the results you’re seeking. Finding an area where any one agent has less than 10% market share is preferable, or if you see an area where a previously aggressive agent has slowed or stopped their marketing. In terms of turnover rate, ideally you want a one that is at least 10-15%. You can easily determine the turnover rate by dividing the number of homes in the farm by the number of homes which have sold. Agents may want to watch your recent webinar with the folks from ReboGateway – they had some excellent strategies for choosing the right farm area.
Q: Terrific! So, why should REALTORS geo farm in today’s market?
A: Honestly, not just in today’s market – but ANY market, geographic farming has been and will continue to be a savvy business decision. When you are consistently farming an area, within even six months, you can begin to cultivate a better life. Why? Because you take the guesswork out of your business plan. You aren’t constantly chasing new commissions, you’re instead working a system. And that? Will help ensure that you DON’T end up like 85% of agents out there who continue to struggle month to month.
Q: I totally agree! So, how should they follow up on their marketing and how often?
A: This is the perfect season to get out and about in the geographic farm you are marketing. Forward thinking agents don’t sit behind their social media or at their desk waiting, waiting, and more waiting for something to happen. They take ACTION. I worked for some time with the amazing Tony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” It’s so true. Action begets more action. Get out there with door hangers, or your extra Market Dominator pieces, or free reports, and meet the people. Make your name, your face, and your brand as visible as possible. Just as with your sphere of influence, your goal is to help people know you, like you, and trust you enough to do business with you. You can’t do that just sitting in the office. We know that statistically it takes 27 ‘touches’ or contacts to create that kind of branding. Send people marketing pieces at least once a month. Call them at least once a quarter. See them at least once a quarter. That canvassing the neighborhood thing is NOT old school – it’s competitive in a market where so many agents are simply relying on email to spread the word.
Q: Great advice. I know door knocking and canvassing are back in business, what else can agents do to support their marketing efforts in a geographic farm?
A: I always suggest that agents automate their just listed/just sold marketing. That way EVERY time they list or sell a home those cards announcing their success and savvy are going out to that neighborhood. Why? Because people want to know if they are going to list or sell their home with anyone it is someone who 1) knows the neighborhood, and 2) gets RESULTS. I also suggest hosting aggressive open houses. I know that idea has gone out fashion with a lot of agents as well, which I believe is all the more reason to do them. Done right, you can generate an incredible amount of leads, position yourself as THE expert in the area, and even generate agent referrals. Email or call me to learn more.
Q: Terrific. Todd, tell our readers why it is so important to have a system put in place?
A: Well, the best reason is that the top 7% of agents in the country are there because of the systems they put into place. Hands-down. They aren’t leaving things to fall through the cracks. They aren’t chasing the next commission. They are following a solid, systematic plan to generate business from their sphere and farm. I often talk about agents who are one-dimensional. In other words, they only have one prospecting system or tool in place. That, unfortunately, can lead to dry months with zero commissions. That takes a lot of the fun out of life, doesn’t it? Instead, I share with agents how to put multiple systems (dimensions) in place so that their marketing is layered, and so are their results. Think about it. If you had a sphere of influence that had say, 600 people in it and one in twelve resulted in business – that would be FIFTY prospective deals a year. Now take a farm area that has 600 homes that had a 10% turnover like we talked about, and you could take10-20% or better of that, you’re talking about an additional 6-12 deals all because you are POSITIONED to win. To be THAT positioned month after month? Takes systems. That’s one of the reasons our Market Dominator system is so powerful — especially for strong agents who are not afraid to aggressively compete.
Q: So true. Todd, I loved how in your recent webinar you talked about future pacing and how a simple paragraph can impact how an agent’s year will turn out – can you share that with our readers?
A: Absolutely. Future Pacing is a Strategy the top psychologists in the country use, and often charging their clients $750 an hour to share it. We deliver it free at our events/webinars at ProspectsPLUS. It’s actually so simple, it’s complicated. What’s funny is that most people who learn this strategy will still resist because it may not initially be comfortable or they might not believe they deserve greatness. Or that they can close 75 Transactions a year or more. But you can. You absolutely can. With the right mindset and systems in place. Here’s what you do:
Write a Paragraph. State it in the present tense as if it has already happened. For 90 percent of people in the country who complete this 15 minute assignment, 80% percent of what they write comes true. Why? Because the human mind does not know the difference between the conscious and the other than conscious mind. So it sets about making the statement a reality. I’ll give you an example: “I’m in the best shape of my life. I have ten good, quality, right-priced listings in my Inventory at all times. I closed 35 transactions this year. I have $30,000 in savings. I live a terrific life and love what I do each day.” Write it down – whatever that dream statement looks like to you. If you want, email it to me or share it with an integrity partner so that it’s REAL and out there for others to know. I think you’ll surprise yourself about how well it works!
Q: Great stuff Todd. How can agents get hold of you if they have questions about dominating in a geographic farm?
Awesome, Thanks so much Todd for sharing your insights with us today. We hope all of you reading took an idea or three from this and are eager to get out there and dominate a farm area of your own. Know that we are here to help you in any way we can. You can always visit us at www.prospectsplus.com or call our support and marketing team at 866.405.3638.