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Ranch Marketing: It’s Time Ranch Brokers Understood ROI

Understanding ranch marketing ROI for ranch brokers

What? Brokers do not look at returns on their ranch marketing dollars spent? You just fronted $14,000 on the ranch listing you just took on. How soon will you get that money back? What is the ROI on that ranch marketing investment? This article is probably going to be a “duh?” article that we all read …one where it states the obvious on a subject we already knew but what the article does is formulate the thought and process into an actionable list for ranch brokers.

I’ve found that the ROI calculation for ranch brokers is simple, but where you get tripped up is costs. Allocating costs to a listing isn’t always clear and straight forward. What is cost of goods sold (COGS), operating costs, marketing costs, etc. I’ll hold off on allocating costs discussion until the end of the article to maintain the simplicity of our example below.

Let’s begin with high level ranch marketing budget. The best way to develop a marketing budget is to treat that budget as if it’s an investment, i.e. something that delivers an expected return. Your listings represent the portfolio of investments.

Review last years ranch marketing spend and calculate the ratio of cost to revenue to give you a benchmark starting point in the new year. So if your firm did $500,000 in fees and spent $100,000 in marketing (yes you need to include fees from outside vendors) then your marketing cost ratio is 20%.

Now, there is a catch. If your brokerage let’s say carries 10 ranch listings on average your ranch marketing cost ratio is likely higher than if your brokerage carries 30 ranch listings on average. The ranch brokerage with more average listings count gets an economies of scale in most cases because resource costs are spread over more listings and higher total revenue. An example of this is print advertising where larger ranch brokerages put more listings on their full-page ad. A smaller brokerage may only be able to put 4 listings in an ad whereas another brokerage may have 10 listings in the ad.

Another example would be somewhat fixed service costs such as SEO or social media. Whether you have 10 listings or 30 listings those services may not increase with more listings.

I see marketing cost ratios vary from 10% to 25% depending on the total revenue of your brokerage and other variables. The important data point here is get your benchmark ranch marketing cost ratio from last year and use to measure against going forward. This is a measurable key performance indicator (KPI) for any brokerage.

Now that you have your ranch marketing cost ratio, let’s get into an example listing and ROI. I like round numbers so let’s start off with a property for sale at $1,000,000. It has 400 acres with a nice cabin to add some liveability. That’d make it $4,000 per acre.

Easy commission calculation is $1,000,000 x 3% = $30,000. So if your marketing cost ratio was 20% last year then your planned ranch marketing spend could be up to $7,500. This listing marketing budget doesn’t mean allocating all of it to paid ads such as print, social, video, etc. You have to leave plenty of room in there for services.

NOTE: I don’t like to plan commission percentages on “double ending” deals. The best practice would be to budget a marketing spend around representing one side or the other on a transaction.

The next number we need is “average days on market”. Take each listing that sold last year (or last several years) and individually calculate days on market from listing creation date to closing date. Sum the days on market for all these sold listings and divide by total number of sold listings in your data set.

I personally prefer to look at months so take your average days on market number and divide by 30. You probably won’t get a whole number so just keep it to 1 decimal place.

Let’s presume that your brokerage average months on market is 10 months. This means that your $7,500 investment will likely come back to you in 10 months. If all goes well the brokerage commission will be $30,000. This would be net return on investment of $22,500 or 75% Return on Investment (ROI) or 360% annualized yield.

Now take this a step further …your brokerage has 30 listings and each listing has $7,500 in marketing costs tied up in them. That totals $225,000. So presumably you’d have about a quarter of a million dollars tied up at any given time in marketing of ranches. If you’re running this as a line of credit with a bank then there is a carrying cost associated with these allocated funds.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Benchmark your marketing cost ratio. Work from there moving forward. Possibly work to lower it with more efficient ranch marketing spends that can achieve better or same results in sales as in past.
  2. Benchmark your average months on market. All brokers want to sell listings fast but in many cases the velocity at which a listing sells is largely due to a number of factors …months supply of similar listings in that area, popularity of an area, proximity to major metro areas, income production, land amenities, and much more.

By benchmarking your ranch real estate brokerage you’ll be able to target new listings that fit your formula for marketing cost ratio and average months on market. Any time you can make a more informed quantitative decision, the more likely you’ll realize the anticipated ROI.

Quick notes on allocation of costs to listings …

I’ve found it hit or miss that a brokerage will assign direct costs to specific listings. Here are some simple practices to start allocating costs to listings accurately and some suggested practices.

  • When you purchase a print ad and receive an invoice from the publication, enter the invoice into your financials then itemize the total to each “product” aka listing. By itemize, if the total print ad cost $3,000 and included 6 listings then each listing would get charged $500 when itemizing the invoice.
  • You’ll also have direct costs from outside vendors that can get directly charged to the listing such as professional photographer/videographer, surveyor, GIS mapping services, soil samples, etc. When you have these direct service costs, assign the invoice to a specific listing.

Ranch marketing expenses that appear to be operational expenses:

  • SEO services
  • PR services
  • Social media services
  • Brochure design services
  • Website hosting
  • Online classifieds subscriptions (i.e. Lands of America)

These ongoing marketing expenses can be consistent or fluctuate depending on how you operate your brokerage. My suggestion is take your monthly average spend on services used monthly and divide by average # of listings you carry at any given time. So if your monthly services average $5,000 per month and you carry 20 listings on average then each listing costs you $250 per month it isn’t sold. Then if your average months on market is 10 months that equates to $2,500 per listing of services carrying costs for the year.

Remember the $7,500 marketing budget from earlier? Well, there goes $2,500 of that budget in marketing services carrying costs. Now you have $5,000 left in the budget.

Bank fees and interest. There is always interest cost if running your brokerage on a line of credit (LOC). That interest is certainly entered into the financials each month during reconciliation. Again, you can chose to average it out based on months on market to arrive at a month finance fee to charge to each active listing that has money tied up in the LOC.

If your brokerage has an in-house bookkeeper, controller, or CFO then you should make absolutely sure your business begins measuring these number every month, quarter, and year. If you use outside financial services, then make a point to set down with your bookkeeper or accountant and get a game plan together to begin tracking these numbers and measuring against your brokerage benchmarks. This is how efficient business are run!

Get started benchmarking ranch marketing cost ratios and listing average months on market. Take a deeper look at how best to allocate costs to individual listings and establish cost averages where fees are spread over all listings.

To learn more about ranch broker marketing, visit http://www.realstack.com/digital-marketing

Ranch Real Estate Market Metrics

Ground breaking metrics for every ranch real estate brokerage to operate by

I’m going to introduce some new concepts to the ranch real estate market. These concepts are standard in many financial and commodity markets but I’ve applied them to our market for farms, ranches, and land.

Now you may be saying we are not in a “commodities” market, and I 100% agree. The challenge I see in the ranch real estate market is there is little quantitative metrics that provide any value to the seller, buyer, or the market in general. With my metrics you’ll be able to have meaningful conversations around prices with buyers and sellers and ultimately sell more ranch real estate listings faster and be able to win more ranch listings with prospective sellers.

I’m going to be introducing 3 concepts or calculations that any ranch broker should begin using on their portfolio of listings.

  1. Price per Acre to Market (PPATM)
  2. Price per Acre Rank (PPAR)
  3. Total Price Rank (TPR)

So now I hear you saying …”there are no two ranches alike. They are all unique and impossible to compare.” Rightfully so. Then why when negotiations come down to making a deal is it always price per acre? Because it matters what a buyer will pay, what a seller is willing to take, and what a lender is willing to lend on ranch real estate.

The next objection I hear is “sale price is really what matters. The asking price really doesn’t help us compare our listings to the market.” Then why price it at all? The asking price is roughly where the sellers market is at during any given period of time. The price sellers are willing to entertain in exchange for their property. So …asking price does matter.

One final point to make as to my logic for introducing these concepts is often times the buyer and or seller are high net worth individuals. They’ve spent their career handling millions of dollars of operating capital, reviewing financials, looking at large ROI opportunities, understanding yield, and more. We as an industry do not build the case with real metrics and data to support our claims. Brokers usually rely on their reputation and good looks to convince the buyer or seller that their claims or advice are accurate.

This has to change!

We need to substantially improve our service level to clients with real-time data and analytics to best inform them of buying or selling decisions.

Ranch Real Estate: Price per Acre to Market (PPATM)

PPATM is the percentage of a listing price per acre to the average price per acre for similar listings in that market.

See example 1-1 below. First you’ll need to know that the Average Per Acre price is 100% of market, meaning that is the going rate for per acre asking price. In this case, it is $5,073.

Comparing your listing or other listings to this market average as a percentage creates a meaningful data point for your clients. The tighter the acreage group the more valuable the data point but by comparing the per acre price vs total price, statistically it enables us to look at a wider range of acreage to compare.

Ranch Real Estate

What I’ve learn while pouring over listings and their numbers, listings that have a PPATM greater than 110% of market are very difficult to sell and have a high months on market total. In broker speak, this usually translates into an “over-improved” property. The house is massive, too many buildings on the land, the livestock or equine facilities are extravagant, its use is very specialized such as hunter jumper equestrian facilities, or other.

Regardless, for both the buyer or seller this gives a quantitative number to compare listings in all different ways and scenarios.

If meeting your brokerage goals is important, you need to be inside of 105% of market at most. You simply don’t realize how many prospective buyers pass over your listing before they ever ask for a showing simply because they know the seller has an inaccurate view of the market asking prices.

As the broker, you’re goal is get your marketing investment back as soon as possible and balancing that with representing your seller with best possible sale price. For the efficient broker, targeting your average months on market for your brokerage is important. We’ve found that to maintain this KPI for your brokerage, the listings need to be 95% of the market or lower.

For brokers and prospective sellers, this number creates a lot of value when supporting your suggested asking price for their property or gives you the analysis to evaluate salability and if you’d consider taking on this listing.

Ranch Real Estate: Price per Acre Rank (PPAR)

Simple as it sounds: a numerical ranking of listings in the dataset from highest price per acre to lowest price per acre. If price per acre of a listing within the group of comparable listings is the highest then it will rank #1 in PPAR.

Why is this metric important? When your listing is setting at the top of the market in price per acre, then you either A) need to have property amenities to really back it up, or B) lower your price per acre if you expect to get an ROI on marketing dollars spent.

Don’t get me wrong, it feels great to set a record for price per acre within a county, but if you are focused on selling listings, turning your listing inventory, getting an ROI on marketing spend, then you need to be in the middle of the price per acre rank. Again, buyers are either mentally or in a spreadsheet tracking price per acre. Even if they are not ranking them as REALSTACK does, they are mentally processing this price per acre against their comparable properties.

From the brokers perspective, it is another metric to evaluate your price in the market at any given time. If there are 5 comparable listings, then you want to rank 3rd or better when possible. This helps you get leads, showings, and transactions. When taking on listings you evaluate that the ranch real estate property will fit in this metric to help contribute to your ROI and lowering your months on market averages.

It is important with PPAR to have tighter bunch in acreage per listing. In most counties as the acreage goes up the price per acre declines. In example 1-1 above we have an outlier with 1922 acres. We had to include this property because it was one of our ranch brokerage client listings and within Bosque County, Texas there were no other ranch listings within +/- 1,000 acres of it.

Ranch Real Estate: Total Price Rank (TPR)

Another simple comparison but deep value: a numerical ranking of listings in the dataset from highest overall price to lowest overall price.

Why is this important? In studying the data of ranch listings, I found gaps in acreage within certain counties. Not surprising, but statistically this has meaning. Let me explain.

If a county has a heavy set of inventory between 200 and 500 acres but no listings between 501 and 2000, then the Total Price Rank becomes significant because total price of a large acreage ranch can present a challenge in certain areas of the United States.

Let’s take Bosque County, Texas as in example 1-1 above. It is a popular county for high income earners to get a weekend retreat who are based out of Dallas-Ft. Worth. They can afford and are most interested in property +/- of 100 acres. Ranch real estate they can afford, enjoy, and maintain. When you jump out there with a 1,900 acre place your total price for that market can present a challenge to what the demand for that county will bear.

The months supply for acreage in this range will be high and the absorption rate will be low therefore stretching out your marketing investment before you’ll realize an ROI. Remember your goals for your brokerage on ROI and average months on market? Well it is statistically likely that this listing will not meet those brokerage goals and objectives.

There are a lot of things in the ranch market you can’t control such as oil prices, overall demand, stock market, and more, but you can control Price per Acre to Market, Price per Acre Rank, and Total Price Rank.

Conclusion

In business, cash flow is king! If you take on fast moving ranch real estate listings and price accurately, then your return on capital will be most efficient. Efficient capital equates to more dollars returned to your brokerage faster! Return on capital will be another article for ranch brokers.

Price per acre to market, price per acre rank, and total price rank are key factors in managing for the most efficient use of your marketing capital that gets tied up in every ranch real estate listing. Start measuring and re-evaluate your current portfolio of ranch real estate listings to watch your cash flow and gross margins begin to sore.

Visit http://www.realstack.com

Blake Hortenstine Feature Interview with Chad Polk

Listen in as Blake Hortenstine of Hortenstine Ranch Company provides incredible insight into becoming a top broker in the state of Texas, keys that improve the value & marketability of the land, and state of the Texas recreational land market.

To learn more about Hortenstine Ranch Company visit http://www.hrcranch.com.

To learn more about REALSTACK visit http://www.realstack.com

YEAR END Lands of America Advertising Assessment

Have you ever truly evaluated your Lands of America advertising with real analytics?  You can now …

It’s that time of year when brokerages are evaluating their marketing spend and performance. Lands of America advertising performance will certainly be one of the top segments evaluated in a brokers marketing mix.

For many brokers, just being online is enough. But with today’s online buyers doing months of research and monitoring for land listings and brokerages, the online presentation (merchandising) is the critical starting point for a buyer.

Lands of America works for a lot of brokers and agents, but critically evaluating the data and how you merchandise property on this network of sites can result in thousands of dollars in new found money. In this article we are going give you key analysis techniques and data points to evaluate Lands of America advertising and better yet tips to improve your brokerage merchandising of land listings on Lands of America.

Lands of America Advertising Analytics
lands of america advertising assessment templateLike most online classified websites, Lands of America provides some basic analytics for your land listing performance on their site. They provide some simple metrics such as Searches, Views, and each of these data points over time with a line chart. Ok, great, but really how do I evaluate performance of my brokerage or individual listing?

If you get 10,000 searches on a listing …is that good? What if you get 1,200 views …is that good?

These are good for showing sellers that they are getting online activity on their listing, but individually they really don’t demonstrate much in the way of results in most cases. Now, if we compile some of these data points we’ll get incredible performance insight as to how your listings are performing against others by calculating averages, rank, and per day analysis.

Let’s unpack this data to better assess its performance.

I’ll start by explaining that when a visitor searches LandsofAmerica.com and listings display on screen, the default sort is price highest to lowest. This inflate your “Searches” total. You see, if your are one of the largest acreage listings for a particular county then it is very likely that you are one of the highest total price listings. That means you are by default at the top or near the top of the list. Also, if you are in a county that has very few listings then it is more likely that you’ll be page 1 or at the top.

The important point here is you want to be on page 1 of typical searches you believe the buyer will perform. There are countless articles and research to support that being on page 1 of a search result is critical. We’ll save this topic for another article.

Being at the top of the list has value no doubt, but I just want to be clear that it inflates your “Searches” data point for this listing. Searches (for Lands of America) is the quantity of times a listing appears in a visitors search results. A Searches rate on LandsofAmerica.com can vary widely because of demand or popularity within certain counties and as already mentioned being one of the top ranked in total asking price.

So overall, Searches on its own for individual listings isn’t much of a value …which brings us to combining it with the next data point to create a real meaningful Key Performance Indicator (KPI).

Lands of America uses the word “Views” to mean the number of times a listing is clicked aka viewed. This is pretty simple, Listing A appears in the Search Result and a buyer clicks on Listing A. That click counts as a “View”.

As with Searches, Views are generally interesting, but as a single data point not very insightful because it can vary by thousands based on days on market, county demand, and total price rank.  Check out #1 below for a better performance indicator.

Ok, time to really pay attention!! Here is the important metrics of four key performance indicators.

4 Key Performance Indicators for Lands of America Advertising

lands of america ctr

1. Click Through Rate (CTR) – this is number of views divided by number of searches to give us a percentage rate that site visitors click on a listing.

Based on general marketing click through rates, a good CTR average should be 3-5%. There are several factors that play into your CTR though. Consider your marquee photo displayed, did you use video, or is your written copy compelling?

So evaluating yourself and your brokerage here is key. Spend some time critiquing your own listings compared to others in your market. The best performing listings have professional photos with professional color enhancement or display video as marquee photo, and have compelling intro sentence about the listing.

Which listing would you click on?
lands of america photos

Actually the question is which one would you NOT click on …B!  You are asking the full market prices and $2.8M, but you can’t even get the photos done well.  So B is obvious, but lets critique A & C.  Photo A is ok, but it really doesn’t sell me any value.  It is shadowy, the road really just looks like a worn path, and trees don’t lend to picturesque scene.  Every ranch has a scene like this one pictured, but surely there is a better scene somewhere else on property …you have 800 acres to pick from.  I don’t know this for fact but I bet the agent took this photo or unqualified photographer.

Now take in photo C.  The tree line is perfect horizontal centered, the water feature is clearly large, sky is awesome blue bird day, reflection on the water is enchanting, water totally calm, and there is fish habitat on the shoreline …ok, I’m interested …click.

Just for the exercise, read the description excerpts of each listing A, B, and C.  Are you starting to see a better merchandised listing surface?

I took some description excerpts from other listings as well just to focus on my point.  Here is a comparison of example written copy:

  1. 560 Acres WKL RANCH, BLANCO COUNTY 181 Pape Lane, Blanco, Texas 78606 DESCRIPTION: Conveniently located just 2 miles west of the town of …
  2. Spectacular acreage tract just west of Blanco. Gorgeous spring-fed creek and Pond on the property, along with incredible views in all directions

I’d go with listing #2. It is more intriguing to get me to click with talk of spring-fed creek, a pond, and views. This excerpt is the first words you put into your description. Choose your words carefully and be persuasive to get the click …something advertising experts have been doing for decades.

lands of america

2. Searches per Day – this is the most accurate way to compare listings in your portfolio. It takes out the “totals” and evens the comparison by accounting for days on market. Easy calculation is number of searches divided by days on market.

Your average searches per day should be between 100 and 200 per day on average.

The important assessment for your own listings is comparing it to your average. Download the REALSTACK spreadsheet for easy calculations here.

lands of america views

3. Views per Day – this is where it matters to a broker or agent. Again, we factor in days on market to give comparisons a common denominator. Simple calculation is total views divided by days on market.

In marketing, when a visitor clicks on a listing this is a behavior. A behavior in this case demonstrating that they are interested at some level. We don’t necessarily know where they are in their shopping process or marketing funnel but statistically it does help us gauge market interest. Most importantly, this data point helps us benchmark each listing against a consistent average.

Your average views per day should be between 5-9 per day. Although views per day can vary from brokerage to brokerage depending on your portfolio of listings. It is important to establish YOUR averages.

Download the REALSTACK spreadsheet for easy calculations here.

lands of america leads

4. Leads per View – now we’re talking …leads, people who engage with your online listings.  Just as views are a behavior, so are engagement.  Engagement meaning a visitor to your listing inquires, shares, prints flyer, visits your website, or views your phone number.  This is a slightly stronger behavior than a view right?  Absolutely and as marketers we’d say they are moving down the marketing funnel and hopefully on their way into the sales funnel.

Leads per view is import metric because we must understand why people are engaging more or less than other listings.  To calculate, take number of leads divided by number of views.  This will give you a percentage of leads per view.

Your leads per view should be between 1% and 2%.  Remember this is based on views total for a listing not searches.

Self assessing your marketing is a must-do activity that any business has to do. Land brokerages are no different. I encourage you in 2016 to make statistics and analytics part of your quarterly evaluation of the business and your portfolio of listings. Start simple and grow from there.  Getting a baseline for averages will be the key starting point.

I’ve created a spreadsheet intended just for you to get started in the new year at evaluating your brokerage performance with Lands of America advertising. Get your download copy today and be on your way to better decisions and marketing practices with your land brokerage.

 

Click Download button to get your Lands of America Advertising Assessment template spreadsheet.

lands of america advertising assessment

 

 

P.S. There are two other factors that directly impact your online marketing results …Price per Acre to Market (PPATM) and Price per Acre Rank (PPAR). Often times these can be the 2 most important factors for marketing results.  People just don’t waste their time on overpriced land and if you are priced correctly at price per acre but in the top of total price then you’ll have to exercise some patience.

Definitions:
Searches – the quantity of times a particular listing appears in the search results.

Views – the quantity that a listing is clicked or viewed

Click through rate (CTR) – the ratio of times a listing appears in search result compared to number of times a listing is clicked. LDV / LSR = X%

Price per Acre to Market (PPATM) – percentage of a listing price per acre to the average price per acre for similar listings in that market.

Price per Acre Rank (PPAR) – numerical ranking of listings from highest overall price to lowest overall price.

Feature Interview with Hall & Hall’s Jeff Buerger

Our founder, Chad Polk, had the opportunity to set down with Hall & Hall’s Jeff Buerger recently for an interview. Listen in as Jeff unpacks some incredible insight into pricing mega ranches and rare assets in the ranch real estate business.

Transcript

Thank you for joining us. I’m Chad Polk with REALSTACK and ….

Today with us we have Jeff Buerger, partner at Hall & Hall. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jeff on several projects throughout the years and I know by the end of our conversation the audience will know he is passionate about this work.

Jeff, thank you for joining us today!

Jeff: You bet, thank you.

Chad: For those of you who may not know, Jeff and Hall & Hall have made a name for themselves marketing and selling an asset class that often times is top in the market. For example, Jeff recently closed on the sale of Great Western Ranch which was marketed at $60MM. Jeff, if you can explain how you even begin breaking down the amenities, improvements, and value on a mega ranch.

Jeff: Sure Chad. Not an easy question to address obviously. Especially the asset classes that we operate in. Each deal is unique to the market and needs to stand on it’s own merit. Great Western Ranch was 176,000 deeded acreas and 116,000 of state and BLM lease land which is pretty unusual in the market. 457 square miles. So in reference to your question, our model at Hall & Hall is relatively simple. Our goal is to represent largest investment quality properties out there.

As an example, the primary drive of Great Western Ranch was it’s size. The rarity of a property like this will always drive the value for the market segment …the one-percenters of the one-percenters. The buyers can afford something like this begin the primary driver of its size. Also helpful that the ranch was not heavily improved. The area of a ranch possessing abundance of improvements, in my opinion, has really faded.

I personally think land owners are trending away from investing too much capital in infrastructure. Basically today, less is more.

Chad: Interesting you make note of too many improvements. We see that trend as well because you don’t know what the next owner has in mind. Too many buildings, facilities, and improvements can often times narrow your market.

Jeff: Thats exactly right. No matter what you do to a property, the next owner is going to want to do something different. The days of 10,000-12,000 sq ft homes has all but gone away. People are looking to be sustainable and protective of the environment. Buyers are more discerning now about improvements on a property. Over improvement simple creates diminishing value.

Chad: We’ve come into an age where I define the land market as becoming efficient. Efficient meaning that buyers are as equipped with as much information as sellers and their brokers. How has this changed your role as ranch broker in the last decade?

Jeff: You know. I think what you ultimately see is from a brokerage perspective. What is too much information and what is not enough. As technology continues to advance rapidly as it does, the accessiblity of information becomes easier to acquire. We take the disposition to providing the most information to both buyers and sellers as possible.

A buyer can now adequately research a properly and truly study it prior to coming on property. This has value in saving everyone time and money.

Also, now fully equipped on a property with information, all parties can make informed decisions. It creates a streamline process.

Chad: You put a lot into marketing a property …effort, outside resources, and market dollars. What characteristics does a ranch have to have for you to consider taking the listing and does salability factor in?

Jeff: Great question. I’d tell you in my line of work. One of the reasons why I like being Hall & Hall is we are synonymous with doing the best of the best ranch deals. When you look at our online presence and properties we are offering, you can see we developed that reputation.

One is the acreage. We want to represent prominent deals in the Western US and Internationally. Great Western Ranch served to fits a combination of models, but certainly fits the acreage criteria.

Others would be a significant water resource, privacy and seclusion, resident herds of wildlife …as a whole, I look for what surrounds the property and what physical characteristics stand out.

Chad: Often times within your asset class of listings, you don’t have an actual comparable listing recently sold or on the market. What forms of models and exercises do you go through to price a property?

Jeff: Pricing a property is both an art and science. Throughout this process if we have a seller that will sell if “I get this amount of money”. That typically doesn’t work. There has to be a provable model for value.

If we are valuing a ranch that has 50% of the sub surface mineral estate. If there is an opportunity to sell those rights, that’s going to impact how a ranch is valued on a per acre basis.

Let’s say it has both banks of a significant water resource, I’m valuing that property on a per river mile basis. Is it a tailwater fishery, what are the flows, has their been enhancements.

In terms of farmlands, we can use a lot of data with lets say water applications, how many head of cattle can be run per acre, hunting tags …the Great Western Ranch had 130 elk tags …that could be a quarter of a million dollars in revenue annually from this ranch just on hunting rights. Livestock production ranches is directly tethered to livestock market and how it’s performing.

Reality of it is, we deal in very complex assets that have influence of external forces and data from income opportunities. Each deal us unique and different in terms of how it’s priced. Comparable sales are only 1 dimension.

I recently listed a property that owns 3 1/2 miles of both banks of the San Miguel River. That value is directly tethered to its rarity. What that really means is the profile of buyer understands only something like this is really hard to acquire.

Chad: The common thread among all those amenities is: water. Water drives production, wildlife, livestock, fishing, and on …

Jeff: Good point …

Chad: Marketing and selling in the ranch industry has substantially changed … most important though marketing on the internet. Now we have electronic maps, digital photos, smart phones, videos, and now aerial video. At the end of the day has this made it easier for ranch brokers to get more qualified buyers on property?

Jeff: I’m biased towards an answer. I’m very much in favor in the advances of technologies in the land business. Reality is we are not going to change how technology evolves. It’s a double edge sword. Informational flow, advances in technology if used properly are advantageous to everyone involved.

For example, what better tells a story of investment properties than an aerial perspective. The number one goal here is to educate perspective buyers and to educate them with as much information as possible on the front end. It simply helps them make a decision. The story and information help save the seller and broker immeasurable amounts of time and draws in the most qualified buyer.

The one caveat though. Nothing replaces boots on the ground. So we use a combination of all these marketing efforts to help tell a story, be informative, be creative, and hopefully will be influential for buyer to come look.

Jeff, you’ve packed a lot of insightful information into a very short period of time. YOu are certainly an expert at your craft. Thank you for the insight.

Jeff: Always a pleasure talking with you Chad. Thank you.

To learn more about Jeff Buerger and Hall & Hall, visit hallhall.com. They provide incredibly great service to both buyers and sellers of farm and ranch land. Thanks for listening in.

To learn more about REALSTACK, visit realstack.com.