Working in the niche of ranches and large estates is a uniquely complex corner of the real estate industry. This market is different from your average sale of a residential home; the amount of experience and knowledge needed to navigate this incredibly complicated field would surprise most people. However, as a real estate professional in this niche for over 35 years, I know how experience makes all the difference when purchasing a ranch or rural estate.
Here are some of the requirements for working in this sometimes tricky specialty.
Knowledge of the Niche
So much knowledge, research, and information are required for these types of transactions. For example, an agent needs to know about neighboring ranches, including water tables, soil, wind directions, history of past sales and ownership, where to go to find permitting work or absence thereof, septic information, easements, and how to read through underlying documents on the complex title searches. Knowing about the Williamson act, a California Land Conservation Act from 1965 that allows local governments to create contracts with private landowners to restrict specific parcels of land for agricultural or related open space use, can be vital and important information for new prospective owners.
And while you can research different aspects of this real estate process on the web, there is simply no substitute for having your hands on the ground. I like to say that there is a lot of information on the internet but not a lot of wisdom. Anyone can relay information, but wisdom comes from lots of experience.
Along the same lines, working in this particular real estate area requires meticulous record-keeping and the ability to sort through massive stacks of paperwork. All those previously mentioned reports come in paper form, which involves documentation and organization and the ability to work through the information with clarity. My last sale alone filled a whole banker box full of 4-5 accordion files of paperwork. The transaction resulted in almost a thousand emails and hundreds of pages of paperwork, all of which required sorting and keeping track of in an organized format. My team is an expert at doing this process, deal after deal. sort through and keep track of. I say this all to paint a more accurate picture of what it takes to be successful in this area.
Commitment to the Work
There’s no way around it: you must love what you do to stay committed in this line of work. Part of the reason I am so passionate about my job is that I truly live and breathe the ranch lifestyle on a daily basis. The Santa Ynez Valley is my home, and my animals are my family; I can’t imagine any other life. It brings me so much joy to help my clients achieve this idyllic lifestyle, which drives me to keep working hard through the more demanding aspects of this market.
While the requirements to succeed in the business of ranch real estate may be steep, it is a challenge I have plenty of experience tackling. I have worked in the real estate industry for over 35 years, and have lived in the Santa Ynez Valley for over 27 of those years. Recognized for my expertise in negotiation, creativity, navigating deal complexity, and unsurpassed knowledge of the local real estate market, I was the #1 Agent in Santa Ynez Valley for many years.