Whitetail Properties Expands Westward as Recreational Land Market Shows Signs of Steady Growth
In the American West, the real estate market includes a range of real estate types from luxury second homes in popular sanctuaries like rugged and rural Montana to lush, large agriculture acreage like Washington State’s vast apple orchards and pastureland.
And as you might imagine, the real estate expertise for these property types runs deep.
Still, what we’ve experienced at Whitetail Properties is a region that’s underserved when it comes to recreational land types. These properties require unique expertise. And this holds true whether you’re buying or selling a piece of land. First, accessing land value for recreational land requires a different set of skills than what’s considered typical in real estate. Factors like the property’s wildlife populations and habitat quality can be big difference-makers for a property’s appeal and overall value. And real estate professionals must have the background and education to aid buyers and sellers on how to boost recreational land values through wildlife management and conservation practices.
So we feel there’s a clear need in the western U.S. for the expertise that can fill this void; and we’re excited to introduce our brand of real estate to the region. Recently, we’ve expanded our operations to the Pacific Northwest. We’re now serving clients in Montana, Idaho and Oregon, with plans to soon add Washington State. Already, Whitetail Properties serves states in the western U.S. including Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
What Buyers and Sellers of Land in the Pacific Northwest Can Expect
This secluded Oregon property features multiple tillable fields, creeks, ponds, scenic ridge top and a large lodge. It's one of a growing number of Whitetail Properties listings located in the U.S. Northwest.
Aaron Milliken, Northwest principal broker for Whitetail Properties, says in recent years many of Whitetail Properties’ clients in other states have expressed interest in buying and selling rural properties in the Northwest.
“We bring added value for sellers because we have a large pool of buyers for recreational properties,” he says. “Here in the Northwest, many real estate firms look at land mainly for cattle ranches or agricultural production. But we understand the recreational value of rural land in addition to its benefits for farming and ranching.”
In fact, a Land Market Survey conducted by the Realtors Land Institute and the National Association of Realtors, showed land sold for recreational use in 2019 had a year-over-year increase of 2.7 percent, outpacing land sold for industrial and office/retail use, which rose 2.4 percent.
These numbers fall in line with the steady growth we’ve experienced at Whitetail, both last year and since our inception in 2007. Most recently, we managed to outperform our own benchmarks when Texas Land Specialist Joey Bellington listed and sold an 18,054-acre South Texas ranch in just 26 days. This recreational hunting property, which featured three luxury lodges and a 5,000-foot paved and lighted runway, was the largest transaction in our company’s history.
La Bandera Ranch, a recreational hunting property featuring three luxury lodges and a 5,000-foot paved and lighted runway, was the largest transaction in Whitetail Properties' history. The property sold in 26 days in 2019.
“In the last decade, rural America has seen an increase in land values, specifically for recreational and outdoor-lifestyle properties that provide solitude, heritage, sound investment and a quality of life that’s not easy to duplicate,” says Milliken.
With just under one million acres sold by Whitetail Properties in the last five years, our formula is straight-forward. Our clients’ needs and goals are first, period. Our agents utilize the latest technology, multi-platform marketing initiatives and our extensive databases to provide the best hassle-free experience possible. What allows us to draw even more attention though, especially in today’s market, is the specialized community of buyers who have come to know Whitetail Properties over the years, since the company was launched. Because of this steady, authentic approach to growth, our buyers aren’t just buyers, they’re qualified buyers and investors of rural real estate.
Buying and Selling Recreational Property Is a Nuanced Affair
While accessing land values by soil, timber and ag-yield quality is nothing new, our team also accesses recreational land value based on the quality of a tract’s wildlife population.
This success underscores what we’ve experienced and come to know first-hand: Buying and selling recreational land is a nuanced affair that requires something different of its real estate agents. Something our Land Specialists have built their lives and careers around.
While accessing land values by soil, timber and ag-yield quality is nothing new, our team also accesses recreational land value based on the quality of a tract’s wildlife population. Our Land Specialists take inventory of a property’s habitat types, and they’ll consider how diverse the terrain is and/or how diverse it could be. These value assessments are all considered part of a thorough land management plan. And it’s the quality of the plan that determines how successful a landowner is in enhancing a property’s value.
Of course, it’s important to unpack what indicates quality when you’re sizing up a land management plan. It’s the professional accreditations of our Land Specialists, their background and experience that are most often the differentiators. Our team is trained to maximize land value through science-based land management practices to support and attract wildlife onto a property, which effectively enhances each property’s appeal as a recreational land type.
This custom-built log home was built in Montana's Madison Valley not far from Madison River and its storied trout fishing. It's listed by Whitetail Properties Land Specialist Aaron Milliken.
Dan Perez, a broker and Whitetail Properties CEO, said the company has wanted to expand westward for some time. “We’re so excited because these states have some of the best farming, ranching and recreational land in the world,” he says. “At Whitetail, we all have a passion for the outdoors, so we relate to our clients. We are cut from the same cloth in so many ways. We share passions for the outdoors, improving habitat, maximizing production of the land and enjoying it with our families. It's who we are.”
These professional nuances, unique to the larger real-estate industry, are the attributes that have allowed us to grow and build a community of like-minded buyers — qualified buyers, who are drawn to the expertise our company was founded. So now, here we are. In the West. It’s an opportunity we consider tailor-made for our team.