Rural Land Is in High Demand in Texas
Entering a new year offers a much-needed fresh start, and finding a new niche market to enter can rejuvenate your career while expanding your business. There is a myriad of niches you could explore, but why not start from the ground up? Texas is rich in many areas, particularly in terms of the massive amount of land available in the state. Buying or selling land will remain a hot market in Texas, and savvy real estate agents can reap the benefits for years to come.
A report by the Texas Real Estate Research Center said the purchase of rural land in the state by city-dwelling Texans reached a record high in 2020 of 552,707 acres purchased for a total of $1.69 billion.
The demand for rural land in Texas continued well into 2021. First-quarter sales of large acreage rural properties grew more than 50% in West Texas and 37% statewide year-over-year.
“This vigorous demand has sent the statewide price 9.5%higher than 2020 prices to a record high at $3,251 per acre," said Dr. Charles Gilliland, a research economist and rural land expert for the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University in a press release. “These developments mark one of the most active times in the history of Texas land markets as urban-based buyers seek out rural retreats.”
As Texans seek to escape the problems faced by those living in cities and urban areas, the price per acre for land and demand will continue to rise. If you’re interested in entering this niche market, our tips can help you get started.
Understand Who Your Audience Is
Selling vacant land presents different challenges compared to selling a home. Typically, a homebuyer is looking for a property in a certain price range that meets their needs. However, when selling land, an agent must evaluate what the buyer’s intended use of the lot is to find the most suitable plot.
Creating a buyer profile is crucial to your success and ultimately the sale of vacant land. Strive to find answers to the following questions to help the process run smoothly:
- What is the property you are trying to sell?
- Is the land developed?
- Where is it located, and what are the environmental conditions?
- Would the ideal buyer want to build a new home on this land?
- Are they a developer looking to build a commercial property?
- Or are they looking to use the land for farming, raising animals, or recreational purposes?
- How does lending typically differ for raw land, unimproved land, and improved land?
Once you’ve identified who your ideal buyer is based on what the lot has to offer, create a marketing plan that caters to them and their intended use.
Dial-in Your Marketing Strategy
Now that you’ve defined your audience, you can spend your time and money on the right channels that will generate the most leads for your business. Instead of trying every lead-generating tool, focus on four prospecting pillars based on your audience and location.
1. Start by marketing your listings online to buyers looking for lots and vacant land. Most MLS sites feature already-built homes, but there are search filters that help interested buyers find vacant lots and land for sale.
2. Beyond online leads, marketing your listings on social media with messaging tailored to developers, farmers, hunters, or entrepreneurs is a smart strategy to reach savvy buyers.
3. Put some boots on the ground and place signs that tell the story of your listing and accurately depict the benefits it has to offer.
4. When selling a home, it doesn’t make sense to market your listing to someone in the neighborhood, but in the market of land sales and acquisitions, speaking with a neighboring property owner is a great strategy. They may want extra land as a buffer for privacy, or they may simply want to own more land for ranching, leasing, or development opportunities — so don’t be afraid to reach out!
Stay Connected and Keep Your Clients Informed
This tip may seem obvious, but real estate agents drop the ball all too often when it comes to staying connected with their clients. Adding a CRM into your arsenal of tools is a great way to keep your clients organized so you can better connect with them over time. Exchange contact information, then enter this information into your CRM and assure your client that you will reach out to them on a regular basis.
Outside of the occasional check-in, consider how to stay top of mind for your clients. Perhaps you could start a newsletter that keeps your client base up-to-date on local news and market shifts. If you have someone who is actively seeking land or a vacant lot, consider texting them on a weekly or as-needed basis to share links to new listings. You can even check in via text to gauge their interest without bogging down their voicemail. Just remember to balance being present with being annoying; no one likes to be bothered day-in and day-out. Establish communication expectations with each client, note their preferences in your CRM, and then reach out as agreed upon.
Beyond sending a text, calling, or emailing, being available is the key to keeping clients and eventually making a sale. The life of a real estate agent goes beyond the typical business hours, and for those veterans in the industry, you know client questions can pop up at all hours of the day.
Be prepared to answer questions at any time to show them your commitment and market insight, and you could be closing Texas-sized deals on vacant lots in no time.