Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : 6 Steps to Farming a Neighborhood

6 Steps to Farming a Neighborhood

When I first became a REALTOR® back in the fall of 2005, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing.  One thing I did know was that I wanted to dominate the neighborhood where I lived.  I lived there, I liked the neighborhood, and I already knew many neighbors...

So the first thing I did when I got my box of shiny new business cards was to put them on every door in my neighborhood.  Honestly, it wasn't very effective, but it was a first step.

Over the years, through trial and error, I have developed a system to farming neighborhoods...

Keller Williams

6 Steps to Farming a Neighborhood 

  1. Door Knocking

    Door knocking won't be for everyone, but there is no more effective way to market a neighborhood/generate leads than through door knocking.  I spent one very cold winter door knocking several neighborhoods.  I am still working with some of those leads today.

  2. Neighborhood Newsletters

    Newsletter on a door in Naperville                     

    The written word has tremendous impact.  Write a newsletter for your farm area.  It doesn't have to be fancy.  Whether you mail the newsletter, or hang it on doors, you will become the neighborhood expert over time. 
    I walk my farm neighborhoods every quarter, hanging my newsletters.  Each time out, I see neighbors that I know and meet a few that I don't...

  3. Create Facebook Pages for your Farm neighborhoods

    Facebook Logo

    Facebook continues to be the dominant social network.  Build a page for your farm neighborhood.  The pages are free, and effective.  Post market activity, pictures, open houses, etc...

  4. Host open houses in your farm area.

       Open House Signs in Naperville         Open House Sign in Carrolwood, Naperville       

    Host open houses early and often in your farm area.  It leverages the impact of a every listing.  Make sure you use plenty of signs, personalized with your name and phone number.  Your sellers and their neighbors will appreciate the effort.  Let the neighborhood know that you are the hardworking neighborhood expert...

  5. Write online neighborhood market reports   

                 ActiveRain real estate agent network                                      

    I started writing neighborhood market reports on my blog less than 2 years ago.  I post them on Active Rain and Trulia.  Some of those posts are approaching 2000 reads.  That is a lot of readers looking for specific real estate information.  Buyers that are searching by neighborhood are getting close to buying.  You want them finding your information online.

  6. Just Listed/Just Sold cards

    Neighbors want to know you are active in their community.  Just Listed/Just Sold cards accomplish this.  I send these cards out with every sale and new listing in my farm areas.

Developing a neighborhood into a farm area takes consistency over time.  It isn't easy, but neither is selling real estate... 


Related Links
Read my post "Door Knocking"
Read my post "Two Keys to Making Every Open House a Success"
See my newsletter, The River Bend View
Visit the River Bend, Lisle's Facebook Page
See my River Bend, Lisle Market Report

Comment balloon 26 commentsKen Tracy • August 04 2011 10:19PM


Thanks for posting.  It was very enjoyable to read.  I will recommend it to others.

Posted by Tara B. Downing, Homes For Sale - Mineola Port Washington (Village Properties ) almost 8 years ago

Hey Tara.  I am glad you liked it!

Thanks for reading,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 8 years ago

All very good tips, Ken.  This definitely puts some good ideas in my head to start getting my name and face out there in my neighborhood.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Howard Weiss, Arlington & DFW, TX (Fathom Realty) almost 8 years ago

Ken - I agree with you door knocking is the probably the best way to get to know the people in the neighborhood. My husband does this faithfully every month. He has met a lot of wonderful people and it works to get listings.

Posted by Linda Urbick, Selling San Ramon Valley - 925-786-5132 (RealtyOne Group) almost 8 years ago

Good advice on all counts Ken. I've done the same things over the years.  Best of luck to you.

Posted by Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES, Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate (Long Realty West Valley) almost 8 years ago


Like it.  Great information and like you links at the bottom to previous posts to related topics.  I thing that is something I will be adding to mine. 

Posted by Bob Force (REALTOR®), The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate (Weichert - McKenna & Vane) almost 8 years ago

Great Ideas!  Great Post, very helpful. 

Posted by Pam Hills, ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work (Innovative Artistry) almost 8 years ago

Ken, i am in awe of your marketing efforts. I can see you everywhere.  I would love to buy you lunch sometime to hear how you have grown your business with these tech tools.

Posted by Ridhi Raheja, FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan (Movement Mortgage (Illinois)) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for the great ideas.  It was very helpful.  I will be sure to recommend it to others.

Posted by Sheri Cambareri (Village Properties of Mineola, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Great post Ken.

Posted by Sham Pathania (Zolo Realty, Brokerage) almost 8 years ago

I door knock also.  I liked the idea of distributing a newsletter.  I will also include my notepad and comparables.  People are always curious about what has sold in their neighborhood.  Thank you for your post.  I appreciate it.

Posted by Joanne Louise Stevens, Realtor - Serving Brentwood and Surrounding Cities (Keller Williams Realty Los Angeles-Brentwood) almost 8 years ago


This is an excellent system.

Featured in the group "Whacked!!!" and suggested for AR feature.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 8 years ago

You mention the one thing that many miss and don't want to do, Ken with consistency.  Consistent effort is needed, no matter what approach(es) or methods of marketing you choose.  Be consistent and you earn and eventually rule your market. 


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 8 years ago

Hi, Ken -- wonderful post that was a good refresher for me.  I have bookmarked it for subsequent review, as well.  Have a great weekend!

Posted by Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®, Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona (DPR Realty LLC) almost 8 years ago

Hi Greg, Linda, Jerry, Bob, Pam, Ridhi, Sheri, Sham, Richard and Gene.  Thanks so much for reading...

I wrote an outline to this post a few weeks ago.  Today, I added the fun stuff...

Ridhi, are you buying lunch?

Gene, consistency is the key.  I have been hanging my newsletters for 5 years in my first farm.  It does take awhile, but I know I am doing the right things...

Richard, thanks for the feature and suggestion!

Linda, if I was cool enough to continue door knocking, my business would be much greater...

Thanks again everyone!



Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 8 years ago

Ken, Good post.  Thanks for the ideas and reminders!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) almost 8 years ago

Hey Tony and Eric.  Thanks!


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 8 years ago

Ken, solid tips although for me at least the Just Sold/Just Listed cards seem to be much less effective than years ago. It is all about numbers and exposure.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago


I'm happy to see a post about farming.  Many agents seem to avoid it.  In Santa Clara county it still works and I've seen agents make lots of money farming their neighborhood.  I like how you combine low and high tech by creating a FB page for each farm area.  I clicked suggest to remind people this is a viable prospecting method even in a slow market.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) almost 8 years ago

Hi Gary and Lloyd.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Gary, nothing works great right now.  Most can't afford to move...

Lloyd, thanks!  It gives me a chance to cross market.  I use print to hype the tech, and tech to promote the print ads...

Thanks again guys!


p.s. Thanks for the suggestion, too!

Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 8 years ago

Ken,  Obviously some great tips and they work!  It does make me realize I need to work my neighborhood more effectively.  I was already doing a monthly newsletter/market report but I really like the FB page idea.  Thanks!

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) almost 8 years ago

Hey Ken-getting back to basics and following through makes a big difference in successful farming.

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) almost 8 years ago

Hi Marco and John.  Thanks so much for reading...

I have a lot of time for marketing.  I need more customers!

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 8 years ago

When I sold real estate, I loved farming!  It was A LOT of door knocking, but once I cracked it, I maintained about 80% of the listings for that community.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) almost 8 years ago

Great post!

Posted by Leticia Cortez, Chicagoland Real Estate (Su Familia Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Love this. I'm going to check out your neighborhood market reports. New in the business, but already see the value of farming my own neighborhood to save time and increase efficiencies. 

Posted by Eric Sztanyo, Cincinnati & NKY Realtor® | (Keller Williams Advisors Realty) about 1 year ago

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