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RE Moments

Geography Is Dead, So How Big Is Your Farm Area?

If you’re following the plot, I live in Connecticut. Plus I have an occasionally, um… “quirky” I believe is the positive word for it real estate photography/agent blog.

Okay… go off to Google Analytics if you haven’t already been there. Just a crap load of stats you can get once you put the little widget on your blog somewhere. (I recommend embedding it in the footer somewhere).

Anyway – check out this map of America.

Map of the US

The darker the green is, the more website visits I get from that particular State.

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So you can see some generally minor across the country interest, likely mostly all other RE bloggers.

Connecticut is a nice dark green, so that’s good. Means I’m hitting my State pretty well.

Hang on… California is a huge readership.

I’m bigger in California than in Connecticut?!?! Wow, maybe I should get licensed there. (Relax, I’m only 4% serious on that count)

Anyway… moving on to the next point I’m going to make – we’re walking, we’re walking.

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I got contacted my one of my Connecticut blog readers – yes an actual live consumer – to come take photos of his house in Wallingford. Now Wallingford is about 35–40 mins drive south of where I live in Bristol. Plus I’m talking 85% of that drive time is on I-84 and I-691.

I have never been to Wallingford before.

Vroom---vroomBut all I’m doing is the photographs. I’ve got one drive to get there, clicky clicky, and return home. (NB* “clicky, clicky” refers to 2.5 hours of effort shooting, staging and smoozing with the seller.) Anyway the story comes out that seller is mucho unhappy with their agent. For some very legit reasons too. Listing expires Dec 31st. We’ll limp out the year with what we got, after that please take the listing.

Anytime I get a check to do a listing appointment, I count that as a win. 🙂

Here’s the thing though – I don’t really need to know overly much about Wallingford to sell a house there. One or two trips down and I’ve shot photos, got a lock box in place, visited Town Hall, met the sellers, signed the agreements etc etc. 99% of everything else I’ll be doing is by phone, fax and Internet. If I’m the least bit worried about pricing I’ll spring for a CMA from a local agent, heck maybe even a proper appraisal, though based on showings and their price I am pretty mentally firm on where they should be already.

Ding Dong, Geography Is Dead. Why bother keyword crunching to win a tiny little neighborhood when the whole State is within reach? Admittedly Connecticut is geographically petite, so I can count the whole State as my farm area, your mileage (groan) may vary.

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As a caveat though – buyer side 40 miles away? Are you fluffy bunnies crazy?!? Refer that out.


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  1. Teresa Boardman

    December 9, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I get what you are saying but I keep my content focused on a small geographic area because that is where I want to work. I do get people who are relocating from the coasts, and yes real estate agents visit my site too. I don’t want to list homes that are more than 10 miles from my own and prefer that they be within five miles. I live in a densely populated urban area and there is more than enough business with in one mile of my home.

  2. Benn Rosales

    December 9, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    I see what you’re saying, but the types of calls we get from our local blog are generally from out of state, investors or relocating. So remaining focused for re purposes only makes sense, they aren’t going to google austin’s thoughts on Georgia markets. Now, re photograhy may be a whole nother matter in and of itself.

  3. Athol Kay

    December 9, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    It all depends on what you define as local I guess. “Bristol” = 60,000 people, average home price is around $200,000. Just seems like too small of a pond to try and fish from.
    I seriously do not want someone 40 minutes drive from my house reading the blog, loving my stuff, wanting to use me, but not calling because they just assume it’s too far away for me.

    It’s whatever works for the individual agent that’s important. 4% of my readership are reading from India – I have no clue why, and I don’t quite want to travel that far, but the blog goes everywhere. Just don’t limit yourself without it being a purposeful choice for something.

  4. Benn Rosales

    December 9, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    oh, when we talk about Austin, you’re taking central texas, we cover 10 cities, but I still get your point.

  5. Ines

    December 10, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Miami is HUGE so we do cover a large part of it, but still refer the south to colleagues (just referred 6 listings to a fellow AR blogger)

  6. Mariana

    December 10, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Technically I can do the real estate thing all over my square state, but I limit it to places that I really DO know (and like for that matter). If it is in an area that I would potentially get lost, I refer it out. I stick to my city (proper) and the immediate outlaying “cities” that are really just an extension of my city. If I can’t drive there in 20 minutes, I refer it out.
    Ultimately it is just doing what you are comfortable with.

  7. John Harper

    December 10, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    No need to drive to California to take pictures when you get the call, I can do that for you!

    Our farm is going to increase to Europe this next year.

  8. Ryan Hukill

    December 12, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    True, we could cover a huge area, but I too try to limit my area to what I know best. Sure, I could take every deal that comes along, but I feel I serve the client better by referring them to an agent who intimately knows the local market, and thus can concentrate my efforts more on properly serving my local clients. That and I don’t like driving 30 minutes to check in on my listings or to drive a client around an area I’m just not knowledgeable enough in. JMO.

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