By Michael Krisa

Most agents destroy their chances of success when farming before they even begin because they select the wrong target farm (market area). The first “secret” to farming successfully is to select the right market. Michael Krisa explains how in this short video. A print verision is here.

Michael Krisa has a unique style that demystifies video marketing and helps brokers and agents alike implement this powerful strategy into their marketing mix, using nothing more than their mobile devices. Michael received his real estate license in 1989 and is a licensed real estate broker, a syndicated columnist and a freelance internet marketing consultant. As a sought-after speaker and trainer, he is best known for helping to utilize video and video marketing in a way that actually works to make Realtors money! With over 400 interviews to his credit, Michael has become recognized as “That Interview Guy”. Send him an email.


  1. New to real estate? New to your city? Don’t know anyone there? No friends, no relatives and have never worked in the area at a “real job?” And can’t speak to area history?

    Well, that was me nearly forty years ago. We were in the west end of the city because my spouse had taken a job in the SW and was tired of the long drive from the NE in rush hour traffic. So we checked out properties to the west of his work location. Areas located in traffic jams of a different kind appeared.

    Using a hands on map and a pair of dividers/protractors, I established a small radius within which an acceptable drive would be most likely. And in so doing was trying to figure out where “I” might like to live. And work. Since I had “been allowed” by my ex to start a new career, in real estate, I wanted some say in the “move-to-where” decision.

    You see, I had just got my real estate licence. I was busy reading real estate books, any and all I could get my hands on. I went to seminars and trainer-courses. I volunteered for Board Committees, but only after I had sought out Board permission to sit in on a couple committee actual meetings, because I had no idea what went on in those meetings. Apparently no one had ever made such request. She’s a really odd-one.

    The first one I attended, I learned a lot. Mostly that I was not welcome to be there. I didn’t “fit in.” (Story of my life.) I discovered committees were made up largely of men; old men who saw no reason for women to speak. Lesson one: don’t ask questions. Questions just cause eyes to glaze over. No one was in the habit of entertaining questions. That’s not what Board meetings were held for.

    Having been a precocious why-child, I grew into a why-adult. I figured I could deal with almost anything in life if someone could tell me: why?

    Why, because why is a question. A question usually means there is an answer out there someplace. Learning curve applies to all arenas in life.

    Back in Moses’ day, as I sometimes refer to how long ago I got my licence, it felt to a newcomer that all many agents were interested in was party time, socializing, golf tournaments, (and there were even committees for that), and hanging out at the local “boathouse,” for a drink and releasing their stress created I learned by their working long hours door-knocking and phone canvassing. And presenting offers late into the night, in all kinds of weather.

    The few women in the business hung with them, mostly. I wasn’t an antisocial person, but that lifestyle had never been part of mine, and I didn’t quite understand how it fit into the real estate world, often being out late into the night on offer presentations, with someone else’s husband, driving hither and yon, so I was odd man out and didn’t join in the trips to topless bars and such. There seemed to be an abundance of them in our town. How had I missed that information in my stat-building? Of course I never would have dreamt to research that. I hadn’t discovered the relativity in my research, which was almost comical. Who knew? I never would have guessed.

    In my research, what I did learn as an aside was that a lot of airlines people lived in the area due to the close proximity to the airport, twenty minutes away. I later learned the executives got transferred in and out every few years. I learned to “farm” the airlines, among other corp giants. I learned our then small, almost obscure, city was a “bedroom-community” to many international corporations.

    My, how things have changed; read: grown. The city compared to back then is really almost unrecognizable.

    So in the experience of looking for a home, I realized there were only a limited number of subdivisions that were considered “move up, always wanted to live there, type locations” sought out by newcomers and in particular by transferees.

    There were adjunct locations that my stats-studies showed me also brought buyers from those nearby areas. You could easily determine that by keeping track of the “mailbag” information sheets and “reading” the always out of date MLS “catalogues.” I formed a picture in my mind’s eye, and “studied” those stats religiously.

    It didn’t take long until a clear farming vision began to take shape. Each of my farms, in different price ranges just so happened, had about eight hundred homes. There were other unrelated specific “streets” tucked away that fit the same description, what I referred to as relo patterns.

    People wanted to live there and would wait (sometimes three years) till a just right property would come for sale. I recorded on their index card when they shared such information, and guess who I contacted right away when the perfect subject-property came on the market. The one in my reliable coloured card system, of course.

    The pictures of the real estate puzzle were taking shape in my mind, but it didn’t happen overnight. I needed to “study” more. And I needed to develop some tangible pictures I could physically show. So I started making charts and graphs. Pretty basic at first. The more time I spent driving the streets and sitting behind my desk, both in the office and at home, the more I learned. And once my phone started ringing with sign calls and as calls, it never stopped. I was so blessed that I had made a decision never to door knock or phone canvass.

    One thing I noticed was that when a for sale sign appeared, often within weeks, (sometimes within days) another for sale sign appeared and another. Then one would sell. And in a few weeks another for sale replaced it in my stats.

    I used coloured Rolodex cards by the gross. The base of my system, pre-computer database management systems. I learned a wheel was too cumbersome to carry in my briefcase. So I found the perfect size cardboard tray, later a firm plastic one. I used the small size cards, and bought plastic multi-coloured slipcovers and easy dividers to help me designate who had just sold and for how much (history-building information), who was a CMA (and perhaps not moving “till next year”), who was currently on the market, (and the expiry date), but to help me at my fingertips to suggest to a would-be buyer, and I needed to employ the tell-twenty system I’d learned about in some seminar. That system doesn’t just apply to your own listings, I learned.

    If you are new to the office you can say “our-company” just listed a property or just sold a property.” Neighbours always want generic information, sometimes just to be nosy, but think of those nosy-neighbour contacts as future clients. Yours. Are newbies told that by their managers?

    Carolyne L 🍁

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