On The Ranch, It’s In The Handshake

Native Texan and top-producing KW associate Tara Stark recently added recognition as the 2015 #1 Real Estate Sales Associate and #1 Listing Agent for the DFW Metro SW market center to her list of accomplishments. In a Family Reunion session with Christian Chatellier and Kasey Mock on Feb. 14 titled, “Marketing for Farm and Ranch Listings,” Stark shared insight into how to win farm and ranch clients.

“Out here, it all begins with your reputation – it’s the backbone of the farm and ranch world,” Stark said. “Oftentimes, these properties have been in families for multiple generations. There are emotions, there are memories and even legacies built on these properties. Having an understanding of what these unique listings represent is important; understanding the mindset is the key to success in farm and ranch.”

Even though Stark came from a farm and ranch family, you don’t have to in order to be successful in this area. But you do need to build a repertoire with the community. “Marketing these properties is built on a well-respected and trustworthy reputation,” Stark says.

Types of Farm and Ranch Properties

There is more to farm and ranch than just open land. Types of farm and ranch properties include:

  • Luxury/ranch properties
  • Agricultural land
  • Timber land
  • Ranch land
  • Recreational land
  • Equestrian estates
  • Land development
  • Hunting land
It’s a Different World Out There

There are more chapters in rural real estate; there are different tax and financial planning issues that agents need to be aware of. There are different tax rates that apply to various assets involved in the sale of a farm and/or ranch. How you allocate the sale price to these different assets will impact the tax you may pay.

Agents working in farm and ranch must also have an understanding with regard to water rights, mineral rights, environmental issues, land surveys, easements, building liabilities etc. They not only need to assess the property’s beauty, but the agricultural and recreational value as well.

Stark says it is important for agents to also:

  • Possess experience
  • Have a track record of success
  • Maintain a reputation for honesty, integrity and professionalism
  • Be well connected with the target audience
Put Away the iPhone Camera

When marketing these properties, Stark draws attention to the top three focal points of the property. “With acreage, barns and other land enhancements, we have a lot to cover in a listing.”

Use Your Client’s Preferred Communication Method

As cutting edge and current as she is, Stark says she has to remember that many people in her area still rely on direct communication. “I use a lot of direct communication to reach my market. I pick up the phone, email and I put out my ‘Stark Social’ monthly newsletter. I keep my Facebook page up to date, but I must realize many people don’t care about social media – let alone use it.”

Submerse Yourself in the Market

Every November, for three weeks, Stark laces her cutting horse career with her real estate business and holds a real estate booth at the NCHA (National Cutting Horse Association) Futurity World Championship Show in Fort Worth. This three-week event is brilliant advertising for her business and it gives her the opportunity to network with potential clients.

When asked, “What is the best thing about the farm and ranch market,” Stark replies, “The land. Getting out on these properties – to feel and walk a beautiful piece of land. There is nothing better than that.”