If you only read one, make sure it is Part 4. It drills down into the fundamentals of valuing a ranch and explains why ranch values must be based on data, not on emotion or pie-in-the-sky hunches. It’s an important subject that many in the ranch brokerage world do not (or choose not to) fully understand.
This past weekend, my wife and I spent a classic Colorado weekend in one of my favorite valleys in all of the American West - The Upper Arkansas River Valley.
On Saturday night, we attended the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust’s (“CCALT”) annual Sunset BBQ. This year the event was held on the historic Hutchinson Ranch, just outside of Salida, CO. The Hutchinson Ranch has been owned by the same family since the 1860s (seven generations!) and was recently preserved by a CCALT conservation easement, ensuring that it will remain a rural working landscape in perpetuity. Great people, excellent food, in a wonderful western setting. For more info, head to the Mirr Ranch Group blog: Ranch Brokers Attend Conservation Events
After the BBQ, we drove up the valley past Buena Vista, took a right up into the Sawatch Range via the Clear Creek drainage, and camped out for the night on the banks of Clear Creek. The next morning, we began hiking up Missouri Gulch with the goal of summiting the 14,197-foot Mt. Belford. Fall was definitely in the air as we ascended toward timberline, with some of the aspens already beginning to change. There was some fresh snow above 13,000 feet, and it was chilly enough up top that we had to wear gloves, warm hats, and light jackets on the summit. Despite the cooling temperatures, the valley floor was still green and lush with grass and wildflowers.
This morning’s sunrise over Phantom Lake Ranch.
It sounds simple and obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many times I come across residential real estate agents with absolutely no experience in ranch or land brokerage trying to represent landowners or buyers of multi-million ranches.
Given the ridiculously low barrier to entrance into the real estate brokerage business, the market is filled with clowns who generally have no idea what they are doing and bring no value to (or deduct value from) the sales process.
The bottom line is simple - Make sure your ranch broker has verifiable, applicable experience!