Jeff Boswell of Republic Ranches: Increasing Return by Enhancing the Land
In the real estate realm, people will find just about everything. But when it comes to finding the right real estate brokers who not only know the area they represent, but are also true land stewards at heart, it is Republic Ranches that stands alone at the top of the pack. There are many reasons for this, but the one that definitely makes them unique is the long-term assistance they provide to their clients.
Jeff Boswell, one of the four Republic Ranches’ partners, is the ‘land steward’ focusing on the Coastal Texas area of this Texas and Oklahoma licensed farm and ranch brokerage firm. He not only represents both buyers and sellers of farms, ranches and other rural properties, but he also has a long history when it comes to geology, rehabilitating land, restocking land, and helping to bring back natural resources.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Boswell, and his background in both aquatic and land rejuvenation is outstanding. And his ideals of sticking with his customers for their long-term needs, and utilizing his enviable source of contacts to make sure the landowner has access to skilled people in all areas of land management and improvement, allow Jeff to stand out as being one of the best brokers in all of Texas.
Jeff, I would like to begin with your extensive background in land conservation:
I am very dedicated to working for and with my clients to developing properties that not only help bring back natural resources in abundance, but also enhance the value of the property for the owner.
You have a history of developing properties along the Gulf Coast?
Yes. I have owned and operated an 800-acre duck hunting club with rice/crawfish rotations along the central gulf coast for the past 22 years. And my background, although multi-tiered, includes over twenty years of wetland work.
Just based on personal experience, you must have developed an extensive list of ‘experts’ in various fields of land management.
Absolutely. I’ve been in the position for a long time as a land steward, and one of the benefits is that I’m able to work with vendors and engineers in all areas, creating a contact base I can rely on. Which then, of course, I can pass on to my clients.
In other words, once the ‘dotted line is signed’ you remain the individual your buyer/seller can turn to for assistance?
Exactly. A large part of Republic Ranches is our service and how we stay with the new buyers to answer questions and help them improve their property. This would include everything from lake building to quail enhancement work – all different strategies they can use to increase the value and return of their land. As an example, a person could spend $20,000 on wetland improvement and literally increase the value of their property by $50,000, considering that having water features on land in the State of Texas is something every buyer seeks.
Conservation has certainly become a focus in the past two decades, with the ‘green’ movement being an important part of our culture. Would you say that with this focus, a large percentage of your clients are looking to purchase land that’s more investment and recreational than, say, cattle ranches?
I would definitely say that. With cattle ranches, for the land to show a reasonable return, it must be run by a pro. The buyer must be extremely well-suited for that type of property. Recreational and investment properties are greatly sought after in Texas. Well-stocked hunting and fishing areas, conservation, ecology – these are priorities. In this way, they not only use their land for recreational means, but they’re also making a great investment.
When it comes to the real estate market issues of the recent past, there are a great many who say that Texas did not feel the ‘hit’ nearly as hard as other states. Can you comment?
This is the truth, actually. Sales volume of large ranches selling in Texas saw a slight drop, but prices remained strong. In addition, there were very few loans; cash sales being the majority of the Texas market. In all areas of the state, clients trusted purchasing raw land, and again, bringing conservation to the table, thereby increasing their investment.
And the specific areas of the state you cover?
The gulf coast largely, between Houston, San Antonio and Austin. Republic is also licensed in Oklahoma, and there is a new venture on the horizon that will allow us to add New Mexico in September.
Which means more clients to bring overlooked land back to life, so to speak?
Yes. In my mind, private landowners are the best stewards when it comes to bringing health back to the land. For instance, gulf coast properties owned by private landowners would amaze you. With wetland work and other enhancements, wildlife and plant life that have been sorely missing have returned in abundance. Which is a fantastic thing to see.
In addition, invasive species must be taken care of in order for land to not wither away. Take for example the issue of wild hogs in Texas and the hardship their overpopulation brings to the landowner. Undisturbed land that may have been extremely healthy at one time is now in serious trouble, and these private land stewards are the best way to bring back those habitats by stopping negative effects immediately.
The world has certainly changed…
Exactly. There are locations where a species, such as buffalo, used to roam and help with the ranges. But when the wildlife is in short supply, this opens the door to allow invasive species of plant and/or negative wildlife to take over—essentially killing the land that was once healthy. Therefore, we have to adapt to these situations and stop a problem before it becomes out of control. Private land stewards want to enhance the land, they want to increase the value of their property, which means the natural habitats are enhanced and brought back to life with their hard work. Choosing to ‘leave things alone’ and let ‘nature take its course’ is no longer an option for maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
I wish to touch on just one more issue. Your client is really a ‘lifetime’ client. Can you speak a bit as to why?
It really goes back to the privilege of being able to work with those specialists, engineers, vendors, who know their job and can help our clients. As a broker, we not only want to ‘fit’ you with the right property that best meets your needs, but we also make sure to be there when you need us. I visit ranches and properties that I’ve sold years ago to see how and what the land steward is doing. I make suggestions, see if there’s anything I can do or contacts I can bring to them that will help get the projects they want done. This is really what established that long-term trust between myself and my clients. Short-sightedness (i.e., taking a commission and walking away without helping the client understand the land they’ve purchased and how they can make it even better), is not the way to establish trust.
Our system works extremely well for our clients because we also work well with each other. We’re unique in the fact that we all share the property listings, as well as the passion for land in all parts of the state; which means we’re all on board to make that client as happy and successful as possible
The simplest definition? Republic Ranches is a true ‘team’ in the state of Texas that can boast being top-notch brokers, but also take it a step further. They are the long-term partners you need to get the best return on your investment!
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com