Transforming land into valuable real estate sets realtor apart from the competition
Tondo Waldron of Leawood, Kansas, loves his work so much that he compares himself to former Kansas City Royals first baseman Billy Butler. “I would be doing this even if I wasn’t getting paid.”
Waldron is a land specialist with Whitetail Properties, a real estate company that specializes in farm, ranch and hunting land. A longtime hunter and farmland owner himself — he has more than 2,000 acres and a hunting lodge in South West Missouri — Waldron works with buyers and sellers to maximize land values, from clearing and staging land in preparation to sell, to sculpting land into prime hunting or recreation property.
Using satellite mapping, trail camera data, site walk-throughs and drone aerial photography, Waldron present clients a range of habitat and agricultural options to enhance the wildlife and increase property value.
Recently, Waldron worked with fourth-generation landowners to improve their 300 acres of farmland and increase its value prior to selling. “We selectively cleared the overgrown land and reestablished the tillable soil,” he says. “Where once there was scrubby, overgrown vegetation there are now substantial acres capable of growing corn or soy beans.” This tillable acreage makes the land more valuable to potential buyers, including those looking for prime hunting property.
Waldron does similar work for buyers. “In the past, I would tell the buyer what I thought they could do to make the property more valuable,” Waldron says. But most buyers are from out of state and don’t have the resources to convert the property. Waldron saw this as an opportunity to create a niche. “I offer this service to further differentiate me from the typical real estate agent,” he says.
Waldron knew the work wouldn’t be easy, but he was already using a compact track loader and Vail X Series attachments to transform his own acreage.
“The Vail X Series products are a game changer,” he says. “I’ve spent far too much time beating myself up in the woods with a chainsaw pulling around limbs. Now I sit comfortably in the cab of the loader transforming more land than I would have ever imagined in a fraction of the time.”
Waldron closes about 12 real estate transactions per year: None of them are less than 40 acres, and many are more than $1 million in price. He estimates he spends 20 hours a week visiting client properties and discussing improvements, 10 hours a week online researching properties, and 10 hours per week on the equipment.
He also spends time improving his own acreage, which he has had for eight years. “I was able to do more in 22 hours with the Vail X Series attachments than I accomplished in eight years by hand,” he says. “Transforming property is no longer a daunting task.”