Late last week, we closed the sale of the Jensen Ranch, a 174-acre National Forest inholding located near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. The following is a description of the property and our customized marketing strategy that led to the sale.
Ranch Background: Thanks to the vigilant stewardship of the Jensen family over the past 60+ years, the Jensen Ranch has remained an unspoiled Rocky Mountain retreat that is rich with wildlife, plant life, and scenic views. The property is completely surrounded by Roosevelt National Forest which provides the owners with a great deal of privacy, but is only located three miles from the village of Red Feather Lakes, which has amenities including a grocery store, restaurants, and a gas station. The ranch is bisected by over a half mile of Elkhorn Creek, with numerous beaver dams that create a series of fishable pools that support brook trout. The healthy riparian corridor is also prime moose habitat, with both bulls and cows regularly inhabiting the property. Finally, the property has a small cabin and garage; both meticulously cared for by the owners.
Potential Challenges: While the Jensen Ranch has many exceptional attributes, there were several items that we needed to consider when searching for the perfect buyer.
First, the ranch was permanently protected with a conservation easement, which prevents the property from ever being subdivided or developed beyond the current one cabin, one garage configuration. Although conservation easements are one of the best tools to ensure that a property’s plant and wildlife are preserved in perpetuity, they do shrink the pool of buyers significantly. Many buyers – even conservation-minded buyers – do not want to purchase conservation easement-encumbered properties, because, simply put, easements can limit future options for landowners.
Secondly, there are areas in northern Colorado that have been affected by the pine beetle infestation, and certain buyers are wary of how the beetle kill may affect a property. Thankfully, the Jensen Ranch owners diligently cared for the trees on their property – spraying, thinning, and systematically burning – so there are few diseased or dead trees scarring the deeded property.
The Target Buyer: Considering the ranch’s numerous positive attributes and the few potential challenges, we determined our ideal buyer to be a person or family looking for an idyllic Rocky Mountain retreat with no interest in building a massive mansion or subdividing and developing the ranch. This buyer could possibly be a hunter or a fisherman, or simply a family that enjoys general outdoor recreation and is fond of nature and wildlife. As always, we prefer to deal with well-qualified, cash buyers, as they generally streamline the due diligence process. True working cattle-ranchers, developers, families looking to build multiple houses, and resort-skiers were not the targeted buyers for this ranch.
End Result: Ultimately, our combination of extensive print media and electronic, web-based marketing, combined with targeted, personalized correspondence and networking on a local and national scale, yielded the exact buyer we had hoped to find – a conservation-minded family, looking for a private retreat where they can explore, hunt, and enjoy the property’s extensive wildlife. Once again, Mirr Ranch Group’s proven marketing expertise and strong work ethic helped us to close another successful ranch transaction for one of our Colorado ranches for sale.