Down by the Farm

Craig Valine
2 min readNov 5, 2020


Here’s something you’re probably familiar with. Every Memorial Day weekend or Fourth of July, a local Realtor comes by your house and does something nice, like leave a plant or a flag with their business card attached to it, and then they leave and you never hear from them again.

The strategy they are attempting to do (very poorly) is called “Farming.” Farming is a marketing term from the real estate profession which basically means, “taking a small, carefully selected target market (your neighborhood), and nurturing it with frequent, repetitive contacts and exposure, so as to become the dominant presence in your category of business, in as short a time as possible.”

The fact of the matter is, this is a brilliant strategy done very poorly by more than 90% of all Realtors.

However, this strategy is absolutely appropriate for any type of business, including yours. First, you have to stake out your “Farm Territory.” That means organizing a manageable list of people who could either directly use your product or service or are key influencers who might refer customers or give access to media or other opportunities to promote yourself..

Your list might include past and present clients or owners of certain types of businesses you are best suited to.

This strategy also has another name: Your Dream 100 (or 20, or 50, or…)

The key to making this strategy work is to:

  1. Identify your target market — your Dream customer list, and then
  2. Set up a system for frequent communication with them. (A personally written newsletter might be a good tool for this).

Mix it up as best you can. A coaching client I recently worked with who already does direct mail to a list of over 2000 is doing this. I recommended he narrow the list and alternate between letters and follow up calls. He is also working on adding a newsletter and email communications to reach the future clients he most wants to work with.

Are you thinking about how you can use this strategy in your business? This is direct marketing at it’s simplest. All you have to do is start doing it.