Applying 'The One Thing' to your Real Estate Marketing - You can bet the FARM on it!

February 10, 2014 by SmartZip in 

Gary Keller released his book "The One Thing" in 2013 to great fanfare, particularly amongst the realtor community who look to his sage advice for not only inspiration, but specific tools that can be leveraged immediately in one's own business.

Although this recent book is not 'real estate marketing-specific' like his previous books 'The Millionaire Real Estate Agent' and 'Shift', the co-founder of Keller Williams managed to fit in some gems that - although written for all business-minded people - work well in the real estate arena. More specifically, several principles reflect ingredients for success with respect to geographic farming for listings.

Three points in particular stood out, reminding me of the perseverance and focus required to become the dominant agent in an area:

1. "Productive action transforms lives."

All salespeople - realtors included - love when business comes to them. That's why working the sphere of influence for referrals can land you in your happy place, if the outcomes are consistent and steady. But for the realtor looking to have a regular stream of listings, farming is the tried and true strategy. If done well, with consistent connection to the farm through mail, door-knocking, social media, as well as prompt follow up; relationships build. You can rely on a stream of business from the listing side which can turn into a geographic domination that may be impenetrable. This is the type of 'productive action' that builds businesses and 'transforms lives'.

2. "The key is over time. Success is built sequentially. It's one thing at a time."

When speaking with new agents about farming, as well as seasoned agents who want to up their game and start taking more listings, I remind realtors that farming is a long-term strategy.

However, if done correctly, it can be the best part of your career. Of course, when the rewards are reaped, consider your success a great accomplishment. But like all great accomplishments, success is built over time by breaking big steps down into mini-steps. Over time, by making those connections, building those relationships, creating or re-creating your brand, success will come to you…built sequentially. One thing at a time.

3. "Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you make your focus."

I am especially fond of this one. Call it the old '80/20 rule', if you will. It is what we do here at SmartZip. We take a farm and break out the top 20% of the homeowners most likely to sell based on our data, in order for you, the agent who owns that particular farm, to hyper-focus on them.

When you are able to get strategic, to focus in an area of higher propensity for transaction, everything changes. You get inspired, get creative, get working! The 'work' that goes into farming not only gets easier…it gets fun! When one goes around randomly knocking on the doors of just about anyone in the neighborhood, albeit with the best of intentions, the ego, the soul and the psyche get worn down. Burn-out can set in, and procrastination is right around the corner because we 'hate' to do something that feels unproductive - especially when doors get shut in our face.

Rather, having a strategy offers you the confidence to tell yourself, 'I only need to focus on 20% of this farm. These people are considerably more likely to sell'. That changes everything. The farming day has a quick start: the bed is made as you are jumping out of it. There is a spring in your step. There is an endless well of energy. The mailing/phone calling/door knocking/follow-up can be done with gusto and with the expectation that a great accomplishment is considerably closer to fruition because you are spending your time on the 20%. It's the sweet spot…so expect a higher return.

So there you have it! Applying these three principals to a farming strategy allows you to confidently focus by reminding yourself of the simplicity of farming. Hard work, properly focused with a goal in mind is the overall take away and one of the many I absorbed from Gary Keller's The One Thing

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