Prospecting versus farming is a topic that should to be touched upon in this horrendous real estate market. Farming is a task that requires "time" to see results. Usually the results are not immediate. It's a process whereby one plants a seed and nurtures that seed caringly and eventually one would hope to see some positive results from that nurturing. Just as a farmer plants his crop from a seed, so, too, will a real estate agent get his big toe in the door of a potential future client by farming an area.
Prospecting for business is within that same category, but it's a much faster process and is performed on a much larger scale. We dig for leads with a backhoe not a teaspoon when we prospect. We dig for leads just as miners dig for gold. When we prospect, we contact the masses and the results may be a very small percentage, if we do it properly. But the results are immediate.
I prospect for leads. I do not farm anymore. When I was new in the business, I farmed for leads and created a database of names and numbers to continually contact in a variety of ways. I did this task with recipes professionally printed for me in a booklet form. That database has now become a database for prospecting, and it has been included in the database I use for the entire town of Franklin MA. Direct mail marketing is my favorite method of prospecting and my database is the town. I mail every month and there are results every month. In the summer months, there are typically fewer responses, but the mail will continue to be sent.
Prospecting cannot stop or slowdown. It needs to be consistent, and, if done properly, it will result in new business. In my opinion, when times are good, farming is a reasonable marketing task. During these tough economic times, I want to see fast results, so prospecting is my preference, and I do it every day, in one form or another.
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