Get the latest news and trends in the ranch real estate market from the experts at RealStack.

Mossy Oak Properties Land Summit Recap

The REALSTACK summer 2018 opened up with the Mossy Oak Properties Land Summit in Starkville, Mississippi and the hospitality was felt as soon as we crossed the great Mississippi River.  This year Mossy Oak Properties hosted over 250 agents at the Land Summit.  We were fortunate to get an invitation from David Hawley, Franchise Sales Manager, as a solution to help his franchisees with land brokerage websites and lead management.

Opening day was filled with a great line up of speakers along with food and fellowship.

Guest Speakers

Dr. Kevin Elko
Don Parrish
George Thornton & Doug Saunders
Ben Maki, SVP Chief Marketing Officer at Mossy Oak

While at the event we were able to get a number of great video interviews with business leaders that serve the land broker industry.

MapRight CEO Steve Roberson

LandBrokerMLS Land Broker Co-op

TerraStride CEO Lanford Holloway

Looking forward to the 2019 Land Summit.  Thank you Mossy Oak Properties.

Lands of America Property Types Change

Lands of America property types change may be somewhat painful early on, but this is a great move by the awesome folks over at Lands of America.

lands of america property typesWe believe it is a great change because forever it seems Lands of America property types were “Acreage” and “Acreage w/ house”.  LOA have now separated these in the most perfect way and added attributes that can apply to all new property types.  The bulk of property types will apply to these new Lands of America property types:

  1. Farms
  2. Ranches
  3. Timberland
  4. Horse Property
  5. Undeveloped Land

There are other property types, but 1 through 4 above will cover the bulk of listings land professionals market on

The next great move by LOA is what we call “sub-types” because any of these can be selected in addition to the above property types.  Collectively LOA is calling these Waterfront sub-types.  These sub-types are:

  • Riverfront
  • Lakefront
  • Beachfront

The final great move they made was making “House” applicable to any Lands of America property type.  Adding a house to any property type is a simple checkbox in the property control center.

Ultimately they’ve made it easier for the consumer to find the property they are shopping for much easier.  Secondarily, they’ve now made it easier for land pros to find similar properties on market.

LOA agents and brokers need to login to their property control center and update listing types for each of your properties.  They have migrated many of the existing listings, but the migration isn’t perfect.  For example, many timberland tracts are not marked as such and riverfront tracts are not completely accurate.  Definitely login and make sure all the property types for your listings are correct with the new features.

So from us over at REALSTACK, we want to give kuddos the the team over at LOA for a great move on Lands of America property types.

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.


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.


Mark Dotzour Quotes from 2015 Outlook for Texas Land Markets Conference

Mark DotzourThe Texas A&M Real Estate Center put together some power packed speakers last week at the annual Outlook for Texas Land Markets held in San Antonio, Texas. My 3 favorite speakers of the conference were Mark Dotzour, Detlef Hallermann, and Charles Gilliland. Talk about some power packed presentations …these guys know the economy, land, and oil industry.

If you’ve not had an opportunity to attend this annual Texas Land Markets conference, you’ll want to make sure to put it on your calendar in 2016. Highly recommended if you are interested in land values and market indicators.

Instead of summarizing these keynote speakers, I thought you’d be interested in some key quotes from Mark Dotzour and links below to related sites and event sponsors.


Great quotes from Mark Dotzour at Texas Land Market Update:

  • American’s are fighting wars on 5 fronts
    • Hot war in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan
    • Cyber war on with Russia and North Korea
    • Currency war with China, Japan, and Europe
    • Carbon war with OPEC
    • Mortgage war with Dodd-Frank regulators.
  • Average expansions since 1950 is 61 months.
  • We’ve only had 10 recessions in last 64 years and they only last an average of 11 months.
  • What would you do with the money if you sell your land? If you don’t have a plan for that money from the sale of your land, then it is not time to sell.
  • 16% of bonds on earth have a negative yield.
  • Almost 40% of all auto and new car loans in 2014 wet to sub-prime customers.
  • Americans have personal net worth of $83 trillion.
  • The Exogenous Shock – something that has a low probability of happening but the payoff is high. It just happened to the United States …OPEC says to US “we want to destroy your energy industry.”

In case you missed the event, here is the link to the information page …look for the 2016 event.  Outlook for Texas Land Markets

I also want to thank the sponsors for making this conference possible for all of us!
Capital Farm Credit
New Story Media
Crockett National Bank
Lone Star Ag Credit
United Country Real Estate
Lands of America

Hottest Counties for Texas Ranch Sales

Charles GillilandLast week I had the privilege of listening to Charles Gilliland speak at the Outlook for Texas Land Markets in San Antonio and he never disappoints. Mr. Gilliland is a Research Economist at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center and just has a power packed presentation every time on stage.

Recently he published an article in Lands of Texas Magazine that had to be shared with our RealStack clients. Mr. Gilliland offers that the economic expansion will continue. Texas land prices rose 9% in 2014 to $2,354 per acre and a 33% increase from 2009. That stat doesn’t really help our land broker clients as they are usually geographically focused so we took some of the data in his article and created our table of hottest counties in Texas ranch sales for Spring 2015. Mr. Gilliland’s data shows the top 5 most active counties for December 2014, January 2015, and February 2015. We’ve tabled those counties below and listed number of times they appear in the top 5 list.

Henderson 2
Llano 3
Burnet 3
Gillespie 3
Kerr 2
Bandera 1

No surprise, the Texas Hill Country is hot. To view the market report click here

With the collapsing oil prices and weakened commodity prices, it did have some impact on segments of the market. Oil-based recreational buyers are putting their purchases on hold, farmland supply is low as commodity prices weaken, and cattle inventory is low as result in recent years of drought which has affected income producing ranch sales.

So as Mr. Gilliland sums it up, some see a quick resolution to weakened oil prices, but not so much for agricultural commodities. With the expanding worldwide supply of oil, some see a prolonged decline in land sales. After coming off of a banner year in 2014, no one seems to have a firm position on the next six months.

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