What is in this article?:
- Landlord Lessons | Treat Your Customers Right With Strategies That Pay Off
- Keep Landlords In The Loop
- Know what landlords want
Think Different: Community outreach is one area in which Rob Richards of Indy Family Farms thinks differently about its business. In addition to participating in Habit for Humanity and the Chamber of Commerce, the business is also certified by an independent auditing firm for meeting environmental and safety standards. One goal of such audits is to be able to trace all products that comes on or leaves the farm.
"We're trying to keep ahead of the game and be unique in a positive way," Richards says. So when traceability is mandated someday, “we can get a premium because we can trace and document our crop. It's challenging and it's hard work, but the audit makes us feel good about what we're doing."
Keep Landlords In The Loop
The FamilyFarms Group offers operators a formal training class on Landowner Relations; a structured 17-point program to help ensure acres are retained as part of being a FamilyFarms Group member. Among those points:
- Collect important information: This helps ensure smooth communications. Include: name, phone numbers, agronomic information, personal information, emergency contact information, rent due dates, etc.
- Know landowners’ priorities: Each landowner has different needs and wants to be communicated with differently. Tailor your communications.
- Pay on time: Obvious!
- Send newsletters: A periodic newsletter can help you communicate general information to all your landowners more efficiently. Viability of this option depends on the number of landowners you have.
- Create an annual report: Summarizing farm activities after harvest reminds the landlord of the value you bring to the relationship.
- Conduct a landowner satisfaction survey: You won’t know what landowners think unless you ask. Formally survey landowner-clients to learn whether they feel you provide good service, read your newsletter or visit the website, if they want information you’re not communicating, etc.
- Host field visits: Not all landowners want to ride the tractor, but some will welcome the opportunity to see equipment on their land. This is also a good time to educate the landowner in farming practices, changes in technology and improvements you’ve made to the land.