I am writing this letter to commend Greg Liddle of Hayden Outdoors for his outstanding job of marketing and successfully selling my 4,325 acre property in Southeastern Colorado. Greg lives 7 hours away from the property by truck, but that did not deter him from frequently driving to the property in person to show it to qualified prospective buyers and other ranch brokers. Greg even drove to oversee the work of contractors working on the water wells, piping, roads, and so forth. When I’ve purchased ranches in the past, it was surprising how few agents and brokers took the time (and fuel) to meet qualified buyers at the subject property – I cannot imagine how a property could be sold for top dollar if a knowledgeable senior selling agent/broker is not present to point out a property’s strong features and expertly answer buyer questions. Greg took the time to explore the property from corner to corner before he took any prospective buyer on a tour – this ensured that he didn’t get lost or turned around when showing the expansive property. In my previous ranch buying experiences I was shocked at how often the junior person guiding the tour didn’t even know his way around the road system.
Greg’s particular expertise lies in the area of game management. He worked tirelessly to search out the game trails and install game cameras to document the trophy big game present on our property. He coordinated “range management” to balance selective, limited cattle grazing with the food and water requirements of the game to optimize the condition of the property for recreation. By the time my ranch went under contract to sell, Greg’s efforts paid off by drawing 30” mule deer and a herd of approximately 80 elk onto the property. With so much of the surrounding territory overgrazed, it seemed like half of the elk in the county were finding their food on my property! (I already miss the place.) Greg frequently checked the game cameras for fresh images of monster bulls and bucks … by emailing these pictures to previous ranch viewers he was able to reinvigorate their interest and bring them back into the mix of potential buyers. He is proactive. He wasn’t just sitting around waiting for someone to write on offer!
Greg respected my money as he would respect his own money. He recommended expenditures on only the improvements that were absolutely necessary to broaden the appeal of the ranch and maximize its resale value. On several occasions I asked his advise about certain improvements to enhance the property’s marketability. On most of those occasions he adviseagainst the expenditure. As a result of his efforts at spending my dollars carefully while also maximizing the property’s recreational value through game/range management, we were able to sell the property in October 2011 for more than its 2007 purchase price. We recouped not only the purchase price, but also the cost of improvement and the cost of carry, with enough left over to show a profit. Given the frothy real estate market of 2007 and the economic weakness of 2011, we were obviously pleased with this result.
Other brokers I spoke with in the area were impressed with how many qualified showings Greg was able to schedule. It seems like everyone in the state knew of the listing. He was bringing in prospective buyers from all over the USA, and even had inquiries from overseas. I don’t know the details of exactly how Greg did that; I’m sure he could tell you. It was very obvious he didn’t just put the property on a website and wait for his phone to ring!
Greg’s expertise also spans a working knowledge of state game and water regulations, legal aspects of the transaction, mixed use land optimization, neighbor relations and local community relations, and even weather considerations. Although my ranch sale was a cash/no contingency transaction, it was apparent that Greg has a working knowledge of recreational property lending sources – he was able to introduce a couple of prospects to a leading ag property lender.
All of my experience with Greg is as a listing agent. However, if we decide to purchase another recreational property within Greg’s market area, I will probably utilize his services as a buyer’s agent, given his strong overall knowledge of the market and his insights into the “levers of value” for trophy properties.
Mark A. Jensen
PrimaLend Capital Group, Inc.