A Great Way to Purchase or Sell Recreational Property

By: Amos S. Eno
Posted on:07/22/2011 Updated:07/23/2011

This post is a continuation of my recent discussions with Rans Thomas of Tecomate fame, concerning his new consulting business, Thomas Resources Wildlife and Land Enhancement.

Rans’ wide-ranging ideas about how to properly manage land do not stop at the parcel boundary.  “The industry has definitely changed since I started out,” Rans explains.  “Today a big buck on the wall, a few magazine articles and a web site seems to be all you need to put up a shingle as a land management expert.  In addition, there are now nationally recognized companies in the hunting industry who are certifying real-estate agents as land experts.  For the land owner or buyer, it’s really a ‘buyer beware’ market out there."

In the Market for Recreational Property?

Rans continues, “I once had a client who told me, ‘if I’d met you a year ago when I was looking for property, I would have asked you to scout for me.  I spent so much time away from work and family to look at over-advertised properties!’  Of course, that gave me the idea of working as a land scout and recreational property inspector.

“I provide a fee-based service to scout and inspect recreational properties.  I will combine all of my resource management expertise with comparative property values and pricing to evaluate the properties a client is considering.  Current and potential value rarely balance out.  On a scale of 1 to 10 a pre-developed, often overpriced property may have a current value of 6, but growth potential of 2.  On the other hand, a nice, raw but often lower-priced tract may have a current value of 2, but a potential of 10 - it just needs improvement.

“As an added incentive for accuracy, I will come back and set up the management systems for a property I’ve scouted at no additional charge to a client after purchase!”  

Selling Property?

Of course, the real estate market is terrible right now, but Rans told me there are buyers out there, waiting to see how low prices will go.  He feels certain “they’ll start buying when prices hit rock bottom or they find a property they really like.”

“So, there’s another way to flip this coin,” Rans says.  “When an ad for land says ‘great water, great food plots, deer stands, and quail,’ you know that’s a glamorized amateur opinion.  I can work with real estate agents to assess property.  I will map it out using aerials and GIS, produce a high quality DVD of the wildlife and myself discussing specific aspects of the property, and create a marketing package that can help move the property.  I can also meet serious buyers and tour properties with them.  

If my client, the agent, gets a buyer through my marketing services, then I’ll provide free consulting to the purchaser for a specified time that we’ve agreed upon.  In this case, my fees are based on the property value, which of course gives me an incentive to bring out the most in each property.

“Right now I’m also trying to put together my own website, with information and videos about managing private recreational lands.  Nothing new, but I hope to do it better than most and provide a site where landowners can go to get credible, cutting edge information."

Check back next week for tips about what to look for when hiring a consultant to improve the recreational and wildlife value of YOUR land.