Below are eight tips to market your rural real estate in 2020 and beyond. But keep in mind…
Determining how you will implement these strategies depends on the scale of your sale. Are you marketing a smaller farm or a larger farm? Are you looking for a wealthy investor or another farmer to buy the land?
While all of these strategies are effective in acquiring potential buyer leads, how you implement depends on your unique circumstances. So get creative as you read and consider how you’ll apply these strategies to your specific sale.
But first, it’s helpful to know what the impact of COVID-19 on rural real estate has been when evaluating how you might use these strategies. Because understanding the climate you’re about to sell in is the best way to make a plan.
It’s important to understand the effect COVID-19 has had on demand for agricultural commodities; things like corn, flour, & rice. Due in part to the decrease in eating out at the restaurants that purchase large quantities of these commodities, demand for agricultural commodity items has gone down.
It’s not that the demand for food itself has gone away… people still need to eat. It’s the large quantity ordering that has diminished.
Knowing this might persuade some land owners to put their land up for auction or undercut themselves when coming up with a selling price. If that’s you, remember to keep the long-game in mind. Americans still need farm & ranch land, and while there are no guarantees, historical trends point indicate that the declining markets in the United States will rebound. Since 1980, there have been 31 corrections of 10% or more in the market. 90% of the time the market has been higher 1 year later by an average of 23%.
With that perspective in mind, let’s look at X ways to market your Rural Real Estate in 2020 and beyond.
Specific Keywords & Attributes
It’s time to do homework on your keywords…
People who are ready to buy are generally searching for a very specific type of rural land. So when creating your listings, running ads, or messaging your email list, clarify the specific attributes of the land you’re selling with the right keywords.
Rather than saying “100-acre ranch in Central Texas” you might specify “recreational land” or “hunting property” or “lake cabin” or “mountain home” or “waterfront property,” followed by “on a 100-acre ranch in Central Texas.” By doing so, you’re appealing to the buyers who are interested in that specific type of land.
The more granular you can get with the specific attributes of your land, the better. People are looking for something that’s just for them.
Articulating the specific attributes of your property will help you market it better, but it doesn’t guarantee that those ideal buyers will find you. This is where a targeted advertising campaign meant to find those people comes into play.
Today’s largest digital advertising platforms, Google & Facebook, are exceptional at letting you target people with very specific interests. For instance… If you’re selling a water-front property with access to a lake, you can use Facebook to target people who are interested in lake activities like boating or water skiing, and further target them based on their interest in pages associated with those activities. This helps you confidently place your listings in front of the most relevant audience.
It also helps to build a list of these people you can personally message on a regular basis with relevant updates and listings. And one interesting way to do that is with… Quizzes to Qualify.
When you find your target market on one of the various online channels, maybe you don’t have a listing to show them. But you can entice them to join your list. One of the really effective ways of doing this is with qualifying quizzes. It’s 15-20 questions about a person and their rural land interest to disqualify them as potential buyers. We say “disqualify” If they’re not truly interested in rural land, they’re not going to answer all the questions. But if they do answer all the questions, you just got a qualified, interested lead that you can communicate with on an ongoing basis.
When creating your qualifying quiz, ask questions related to:
If you’re searching for deep-pocketed investors to purchase your land, tailor your message to the financial benefits of owning the land. Investors are focused on financial returns, so messaging related to the ranch lifestyle and clean air may not resonate as strongly with an investor as it would with a lifelong farmer.
Once you’ve got leads on your list and in your pipeline, you need to follow up. It’s incredibly rare for a rural land buyer to commit to a seller or even make an appointment on the first contact.
Luckily, the internet and apps make it possible for us to rekindle conversations with buyers wherever they are. Common tools working today include:
People like to communicate through various channels, so being there in those channels to follow-up with buyer leads after your first contact can give you a major leap in closing more deals.
The purchase of rural land requires extensive research. You don’t need to be told that buyers making this kind of purchase don’t just waltz in with a couple million dollars in their back pocket ready to put pen to paper. They’re spending weeks, months, and even years in some cases doing research before making any purchase decisions.
So, one of the best ways to generate interest in buying from you is to develop your reputation as an expert in the field. Start a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, Facebook page, email newsletter, or some other media channel to share your knowledge with potential buyers. Answer their deepest questions. For instance… You might write a blog post about the essentials for a buyer to know when evaluating rural land for sale. Or a podcast episode interviewing land owners who have been through the purchase process numerous times. Or maybe you record a video giving tours of properties that are for sale, evaluating the pros and cons of each so that buyers can develop trust in your selling process.
With a trustworthy reputation built on your knowledge of the rural landscape, eventually, buyers will come to you when they’re ready to pull the trigger.
All of these strategies won’t be possible to everyone. Those with more money in the marketing budget can probably afford to build a list, advertise to their target audience, pay for help with their keywords, and build out automated follow-up messaging on the various available channels. Those with less cash to spend may be more limited.
The good news no matter which side you fall on is that effort costs nothing but, well, effort. Selling agents on a small budget still have access to the same audience and messaging channels, they just need to spend more time doing the work manually.
As a parting word of guidance, selling agents should remember context when connecting with buyers. COVID-19, for example, is a touchy subject that selling agents have to navigate with great care right now. But in the future, the conversation will shift another industry-influencing discussion.
Developing the skills to have conversations that are persuasive and helpful will aid selling agents in acquiring more leads and closing more deals.