Is Land the Great Insulator? | Interview with Eric O’Keefe and Greg Fay
Q: Regarding COVID-19, what do you see as the most impactful effect on the land industry?
Eric O’Keefe: The importance of the keyword ‘home’ has been validated. Folks that thought about buying, but never pulled the trigger are now reassessing the value of this asset class. They want safety, security, and sustainability for their families.
Greg Fay: It seems everyone is asking ‘where do I want my family to be when the next crisis hits’? Many people are considering land, which has caused a surge in the market.
Q: Is land the great insulator? What are you seeing from coast to coast?
Eric O’Keefe: We are seeing a trend of people leaving high-density areas to embrace life on the land, in a way that brings this newfound advantage to their family, and friends. We are seeing landowners touring properties with their land broker, representing their friend that is isolated in a condo in New York, just waiting for the right time to pack up and head to their new ‘home’. These are not clients that are looking to take on an agriculture operation. They want to experience the value of the land for what it is and enjoy it. Not only do they want to enjoy it, but today’s buyers also want to provide an opportunity for future generations.
Q: Ranch Broker to Ranch Owner. What additional value has your own escape brought your family over the last four months?
Greg Fay: Our hearts go out to the brave men and women on the front line of this horrible pandemic. Living on a ranch in Montana without another human within a mile of our house, it is hard not to feel like that reality is a world away. Everyone who lives on land will understand; our family took social distancing seriously, but it did not change much about our daily life. Like parents everywhere, we are home-schooling our kids, which has its challenges. We did not see friends for several weeks and haven’t been to a restaurant in many weeks. Most importantly, however, we all felt safe, and we could go outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine without putting ourselves or anyone else at risk. When the next crisis hits, I know that the safest place for my family is on our ranch. From coast to coast, it appears more people are recognizing land as the great insulator.
As one client mentioned, “Social distancing has been an attractive component of land for centuries. Right now, being in a place where the distance from your neighbor is measured in miles and not feet, sounds pretty good. I also wouldn’t be cooped up in this house all day.”
For those looking for a retreat away from high-density areas, we’re happy to assist you in finding a special place where you and your family can remain healthy and happy.
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