How To Succeed At Ranch Marketing

The importance of marketing is well understood in real estate. To successfully sell a property, you don’t just need a winning personality and a repertoire of connections, you need to highlight the land’s unique benefits. While this is equally true when it comes to selling small residential plots or larger properties such as ranches, ranch marketing requires a different approach. With a ranch, there’s a lot more to show; you have to take into account the soil health, recreational activities, leasing rights, structures, productivity features such as irrigation, and much, much more. That isn’t to say successfully marketing a ranch isn’t possible — quite the contrary is true — you’ll just need a different set of weapons in your arsenal.

The Basics Of Marketing A Ranch

Choose The Right Price

When it comes to pricing a ranch, finding the right balance isn’t easy. It’s rare that a landowner wants to lose money on a sale, but pricing too high isn’t much better; no matter how impressive your ranch marketing is, it won’t make any impact if no one can afford to buy the land. 

If you aren’t sure what the property will sell for, one of the first things to look at is comparable sales, as this will show what similar properties in your area are going for. The challenge is that comparing properties is a bit more complicated with ranches than it is with homes. To start, there are many more features that could impact a ranch’s value; you can’t just look at properties with the same number of bedrooms and square footage. For this reason, you may want to opt for mapping software when comparing properties. With MapRight, you can easily turn parcel data into a comparable sales feature group, track any data that impacts the value of the land, and choose which attributes you’d like to show (price, acreage, animals the land supports, etc.). 

Once you have a fairly clear idea of what your ranch is worth, comparable sales will yet again be hugely beneficial, as one way to decide on an asking price is to look at similar properties in the area and see how much they sold for versus how much they were listed for. With this information, you’ll be able to estimate how large a gap there will be between the listing and selling price. Then, you could choose to either set the asking price higher than you expect to sell for, leaving a little extra room for negotiations, or set the price at or below what you expect the property to sell for, potentially speeding up the process. 

Tip: Since many factors influence the value of a ranch, it’s usually a good idea to get an appraisal from a qualified professional (and perhaps a second opinion as well). 

Understand Your Buyer

Another crucial aspect of ranch marketing is understanding your buyer — who you’re directing your marketing towards — and in recent years, that buyer has started to change. A report conducted by Texas Real Estate Research Center found that the purchase of rural lands by Texas city residents reached an all-time high in 2020; people are beginning to see rural lands as not only a place to raise livestock, but a potentially very profitable investment, a great area to build a second home, and an escape from city life. 

According to the 2017 census, the average farmer is 59.4 years old, and that number has been on the rise for the past four decades. The census also found that female producers jumped up 27% since 2012, making up 36% of all farmers by 2017. However, that’s just the average rancher; regardless of the buyer’s age or gender, what matters is what they would likely use the ranch for and why they’re buying a ranch in the first place, as knowing this will help you highlight the features that would be most important to them. 

Tip: If you plan on marketing your property to different audiences, tailor your marketing to each group. Those who are looking to use the land to raise castle are likely looking for different features than those looking to use the land to host events.

Highlight The Benefits

When marketing a ranch, you’ll want to make its benefits apparent; a brand new barn or a state-of-the-art irrigation system won’t do you any good if buyers don’t know about them. So, in addition to the size of the property and the houses located on it, prospective buyers should be made aware of any infrastructure or improvements, access to utilities and roads, proximity to shops and restaurants, and of course, the capabilities of the land itself.  

That being said, ranches tend to be massive properties compared to most real estate sales, and highlighting every benefit of such a large tract of land can be challenging, to say the least. Luckily, mapping software makes ranch marketing significantly easier. To start, with MapRight, you’re able to create a soil report in seconds for any section of the land you choose, allowing prospective buyers to see what types of soil are present, how productive the land is, and what crops will excel there. 

In addition, you can make precise measurements of the entire property or individual pastures, helping prospects get a feel for exactly how large segments of the land are, and utilize icons to help them visualize where key features lie (barns, wells, feeders, blinds, horse stalls, troughs, etc.). Plus, with a GIS-based map, you’ll be able to add a layer for access to critical utilities such as electricity, phone lines, cable, and high-speed internet. And since a ranch’s location is often a benefit in and of itself, you could use an interactive map to highlight entry points and nearby roads, or even show proximity to local shops and recreational activities. 

Every property is different, and what is worth highlighting will depend on that property’s unique characteristics, but with an interactive GIS map, you have the ability to add a layer for anything and everything you deem relevant.

Tip: Depending on how many layers you add to your map, you may not want to show all of them to each buyer. Instead, send them a customized version with the layers they are most likely to care about. (Ex. parents of young children looking to raise horses and live at the ranch full time would likely care most about school districts, proximity to shops, and property improvements that support horses such as barns and pastures)

Utilize Imagery

Imagery is incredibly important when it comes to real estate. Cision stated that homes with high-quality photography sell 32% faster, spending an average of 34 fewer days on the market than homes without. And the benefits of utilizing imagery are only projected to increase. As technology advances, the number of people searching for properties on the internet has jumped up, and more and more people are purchasing properties sight unseen. Since a growing number of buyers are basing their judgments entirely on what they find online, you’ll want to make sure your ranch marketing paints them a clear enough picture of the property to come to a decision. 

Traditional photos go a long way, but to really show off the property, consider taking the imagery a step further. You could create video tours to guide prospective buyers through ranch houses or barns, include 360-degree panoramics to show off all angles of the property, or upload aerial photography to give them a birds-eye view, allowing them to better understand spatial relationships. With MapRight, you can attach these photos and videos to specific locations on your interactive map, creating a cohesive, immersive experience. 

Tip: Clean up before you take pictures! A tidy home, a fresh coat of paint, a bit of landscaping, and cleared roads make a world of difference.

Personalize Your Ranch Marketing With A MapRight Map

Ranches are complex properties with a great deal to show. One way to ensure that buyers see all of the characteristics that make your ranch unique is to create an interactive, layered map of the property. With MapRight, doing so is simple. You can add layers for any data you think appropriate, compare properties based on specific attributes, upload immersive imagery, and help prospective buyers gather insights that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. The best part is, once you’ve mapped your property, you can easily upload the fully functional, interactive map to your ranch marketing site with the embed script we provide. 

Ready to set your ranch apart from the rest with the power of GIS? Sign up for a 14-day free trial today!

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