Land – Safe Haven Asset

“Last month, the LANDTHINK Pulse posed the following question to our audience: When the stock market becomes volatile, how likely are you to invest in land?

Our informal online survey revealed that 40.6% of respondents are VERY LIKELY to invest in land amid stock market uncertainty. The stock market has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with worrying volatility. As fears around the coronavirus spread across the global economy, investors are looking for the calm in the coronavirus storm and are moving out of stocks and into safe haven assets like land.

Many people’s hard-earned investment portfolios have already taken a beating. Stock markets around the world suffered historic losses in the first three months of the year; the S&P 500 lost 20% during the quarter, its worst since 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its biggest quarterly drop since 1987, plunging 23%. The global turmoil has investors seeking out safer, non-traditional ways to diversify their portfolio.

For those who prefer a more stable, consistently rewarding avenue of investment, land real estate could be the answer. There are good reasons you should consider it in your portfolio:

Limited Supply and Increasing Demand
There is a finite amount of available land making it a very attractive commodity in a world where the population continues to increase exponentially. If you choose to invest in a growing area, land will become even more scarce and therefore, more valuable. Remember that smart investors invest for the long haul. Land is not liquid. Investing in land can tie up your liquid assets until you’re able to sell the property, but if you’re in the market for a solid, long-term investment, it’s worth the consideration.”



Selling Land in Alabama

Welcome to the first part of a series entitled Selling Land In Alabama. In this first article, we discuss the John Hall and Company Advantage when it comes to selling land across Alabama. Pete Hall outlines why hiring one of our agents gives you a good return on your investment

At John Hall and Company, we have one simple goal for selling your land. We endeavor to command the highest possible return on your investment. That is to say, we market to a class of buyers who are willing to pay a premium for the time, effort, and stewardship you have poured into your property.

A Family Land Legacy

Selling land is not just a job to me and our agents. It is a call. Moreover, serving our clients is our reward.

I am a 4th generation landowner.  My great-grandfathers shaped my values and love for the land. One great-grandfather farmed cotton and owned a cotton gin in North Alabama. The other great-grandfather bought acreage for his timber and cattle operations in Montgomery County. My father, John Hall, was raised on property outside of Montgomery. He taught his three sons to hunt and care for the land. Certainly, the lessons we learned through conservation and good stewardship fueled our passion for the land.

Selling Land In Alabama Is Our Passion

John Hall started our company 35 years ago upon the foundations of INTEGRITY, SERVICE, and THE GOLDEN RULE

From the beginning, my father hired specialists whose passion reflected his own. Our agents adhere to the core values he outlined so many years ago. Both our staff and clients benefit from the legacy my father established from 35 years in commercial real estate. Likewise, the relationships of goodwill he cultivated with landowners and everyone in the industry have made us the company we are today.

Clients have a significant advantage using our first-hand understanding of all types of land transactions in Alabama. We have decades of experience selling:

  • Hunting plantations
  • Timber investments
  • AG and cattle land
  • Conservation easements
  • Mini-farm
  • Land investments

We know what it takes to make our clients succeed in selling all types of properties in Alabama.

The Right Real Estate Agent Is Important

After deciding to sell your land, the most important decision you will make is the Real Estate Broker you hire. Currently, the industry is overcrowded with corporate land companies hiring weekend warriors or anyone willing to get a real estate license to sell land. The industry has lost its heart and soul. You deserve a real land specialist with the local market knowledge and technological marketing expertise. And, you deserve the difference that results from using John Hall & Company. 

Choose An Agent Who Knows The Local Market

There are a host of influences that can affect your property’s market value. Some influences you can control, but others you cannot control. You may not be able to choose the timing you sell or costs like pine pulpwood.  However, a good broker is one who has a firsthand understanding of the market. They assess all the variables on your behalf. 

Who sells your land makes a direct difference in your net profit.

At John Hall and Company we understand the significance that the power of information has on your net profit.

Click here to learn more about our free “Broker’s Opinion of Value” we offer future clients.

3 Advantages to Hiring JHC to Sell Your Land in Alabama

Firstly, our agents have an intimate familiarity with the markets we serve. We put boots on the ground. 

Secondly, we understand there are outliers and characteristics of certain properties that are rarely taken into account by most brokers and appraisers. For instance, there are certain areas where we find micro-markets within the same county.  This allows us to justify a much higher bare land value than another property.

Examples include:

  • Soil- Better soil on the land will produce better food sources and ultimately, bigger wildlife.
  • Location- The Bird Dog Field Trials started in 1920 in Union Springs have influenced the value of the properties in the area. Over time, the Field Trials attracted a wealthy clientele of purchasers willing to pay a premium in this coveted area.
  • Surroundings- A seller may own a smaller hunting tract. However, their land is surrounded by larger landowners who manage their plantations for trophy wildlife. This increases the value of the hunting land.

Lastly, we help sellers take into account higher building costs. Including, permitting issues associated with creating a lake and other amenities.

These are just a few of the areas we take into consideration with assessing the land’s worth and determining the market value. We justify the best price possible for your property.

Relationships and Data Matter

We have relationships across the state within the real estate and land industry. My father has over 35 years of investing in Alabama by treating people fairly and running our business with intergity. In addition, our trusted relationships with appraisers and financial institutions allow our clients to get excellent customer service throughout the selling process.

John Hall and Company has an incredible database of comparable sales that we have collected from transactions spanning three decades. The data, knowledge, and experiences give us an advantage over other brokers and agents. Most importantly, when negotiating a price we have the years of data to justify it.

Holistic Marketing Plans

The biggest tool in our arsenal is our holistic marketing plan we have implemented to help identify and target buyers. Quite simply, our strategic reach is second to none. We are continually educating ourselves to remain on the cutting edge. Marketing in this day and age is constantly evolving. After creating a personalized brochure of our client’s land, we advertise the listing on a host of aggregator websites. This provides us the opportunity to expose your land on a local, regional, and national level.

Digital marketing is important, too. We attract the right buyers by utilizing social media campaigns, Search Engine Optimization, drone videos, and interactive mapping software. In addition, newly listed properties are blasted out via email. The email blast reaches thousands of past clients and persons interested in acquiring land. Plus, every land broker and residential agent in the state receives a copy of the marketing brochure. We encouraged them to bring all offers to the table for consideration.

Start Today

Our agents love the land and understand that the value of investing in land is more than financial. Memories are made for a lifetime. Families pass down their values through hunting and good stewardship. This cannot be measured in dollars and cents. Subsequently, the financial gain that results from investing in a hunting plantation is realized when the land is sold.

In conclusion, when it comes time to sell your land you can trust John Hall and Company to guide you from the initial assessment through closing. I welcome you to take advantage of our knowledge and unique skill set in order to maximize your investment. Call me today to get started with John Hall and Company.

-Pete Hall, (334) 312-7099

Read additional articles in this series:

 How Does Selling Land Work? by Hoke Smith (Part 2: Selling Land In Alabama)

Selling Land in Alabama–  What is My Land Worth? by Josh Hall (Part 3: Selling Land in Alabama

What Does it Cost to Sell Land in Alabama? by Robert Smith (Part 4: Selling Land in Alabama)

Preparing Your Land To Sell to a Recreational Buyer by John. E Hall, Jr (Part 5: Selling Land in Alabama

Alligator Season Registration opened June 2

“Alabama will celebrate its 15th alligator hunting season in 2020 as a remarkable recovery story continues for the American alligator.

Early in the 20th century, alligators in the U.S. had diminished to alarming numbers. Unregulated alligator harvest during this time prompted Alabama to protect the animals in 1938. In 1967 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the American alligator as an endangered species.

“Alabama was one of the first states in the Southeast to protect alligators,” said Chris Nix, Alligator Program Coordinator with the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division.

Conservation efforts by the affected states allowed the alligator population to rebound so that by 1987 it was removed from the Endangered Species List but continued to be a federally protected species.

Alabama’s alligator population has grown to the point that it can sustain a limited harvest, allowing state residents a new and exciting opportunity. WFF officials decided to start with limited access and increase the opportunities when possible.

“I had joined Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries two months before that first season in 2006,” Nix said. “We had 50 tags that year, and the hunting area was strictly the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. The south border was the Causeway; the northern border was the CSX Railroad; the west border was Highway 43, and the east was Highway 225.

“It was a very small hunting area that first season. The reason is that managing alligators is a lot different than managing white-tailed deer or wild turkeys. If you overharvest deer one season, they can rebound from that pretty quickly. Alligators are not like that. It takes a lot longer for alligators to return to previous populations.”

While maintaining the integrity of the alligator population was the cornerstone of the conservation efforts, WFF surveys showed the hunting opportunities could be expanded to other parts of the state.

Registration for the 2020 alligator season opens June 2 and runs through 8 a.m. July 8. A total of 260 tags will be issued in five hunting zones.

Registration is $22 per zone, and individuals may register one time per zone. Selected hunters and others accompanying or assisting in any vessel are required to have a valid hunting license in their possession while hunting.”

Click here for the full article

By DAVID RAINER, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Vertical Farming, is this farming’s future?

“With the world’s population projected to reach 9.7 billion in the next 30 years, having a stable reliable food source is more important than ever before. With land suitable for farming running low, a new concept of growing food indoors has caught on in the past five years. It’s called vertical farming and the idea is to produce more crops on smaller areas of land, vertically.

The definition of vertical farming is simple. Instead of growing crops in a single layer across a large area of land, crops are grown in enclosed structures stacked on top of each other in an attempt to save space and produce food in challenging environments. It uses a mixture of LED lighting and natural light and won’t need soil. Instead, it is done hydroponically, or using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent, to reduce the weight and eliminate water run-off.”

Click below to read the rest of the article:

written by: United Country Real Estate


Land – The Ultimate Investment During Uncertain Times

As Alabamians began returning to work, the reality of the new normal began to take shape. I, for one, was excited to get a haircut and to grab a meal from my favorite restaurant, but it quickly became clear that the new economy looks vastly different than what we are used to.

Safety measures are being enforced. Social distancing is in effect. Bars, restaurants, retail, and the service industries are limited to the number of customers allowed in their stores.  Don’t even think about going to Costco without a mask! Gone are the days of cubicle farms as the down-sizing of office space continues. Similar precautions are in place everywhere from the dentist to manufacturing plants.  And how long will it be this way? By all reasonable accounts a vaccine will not be created, tested, and available to the masses for a year to 18 months.

In fact the more we open the economy, we find there are more questions than answers. What will universities and schools look like next fall? Will the manufacturing and supply chains throughout the country bounce back quickly or will there be enough demand? Will the stock market continue to vacillate wildly on any given day? Is my portfolio sufficiently diversified? Is my 401K safe?

Tony Robbins, the great motivational speaker has an insightful quote that says, “The quality of your life is a direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably tolerate.”

So how do we respond? We focus on what we can control and find ways to help our fellow man. We make sacrifices both large and small to protect one another as we adapt to the new normal finding dependable resources in the process.


These tenants are not new to John Hall & Company. For 33 years we’ve built our business around them. And because we implemented a holistic marketing strategy before the epidemic hit we were well situated to flourish in the new normal. In fact, our clients have found that we have been able to provide the same level of customer service they have come to expect and depend on.

Fortunately, our team has not experienced a disruption in our productivity as land outperforms other investments. We continue to list land and market our customers’ property through a variety of digital marketing techniques including social media campaigns, email blasts, and Search Engine Optimization. We have been able to show land to potential purchasers through drone videos and interactive mapping software. For our sellers, we still go out and physically evaluate their land to provide an assessment of value. We provide comparable sales data and up-to-date market analysis, and then maximize their return by exposing the property to the right buyers. And despite the shut down of “non-essential” businesses, we still close transactions electronically and continue to connect our clients with services they need such as closing attorneys, surveyors, foresters, etc.

What many may not realize is that while the stock market continues to fluctuate and other commercial investments falter land values have remained strong. In fact, we have seen as much or more interest in recreational hunting and timber tracts than ever.

My father, who started John Hall & Company is 75 years old and has had a few health scares over the last three years. He personifies the category of those most vulnerable to the virus. While he took all the necessary precautions, isolated, and worked remotely the single biggest blessing we realized was the family farm. The farm provided a safe place for him to go and find purpose. He drove out there several times a week, strategized with a consulting forester about our timber cutting program, fixed up roads, worked on the fishing lake, and managed all those small projects we talk about doing but never quite get to. I can’t think of one other investment or asset that can provide a place of refuge, financial security, and purpose other than owning a piece of land.

If you have been thinking about buying land in Alabama there’s never been a more prudent time. Call us and let our company find an asset that will allow you to pass down your values and create a legacy to leave for future generations.

Pete Hall

Accredited Land Consultant

John Hall & Company

Invasive Plant Species – What To Look For

As a landowner, you spend countless hours working to reach the full potential of your property.  Many times, a tract of land can be overrun with invasive plant species in a surprisingly short amount of time. This can cause a detrimental effect on your timber value and the recreational/aesthetic aspects of your land. There are countless numbers of undesirable plant species that could be found on any one piece of property, but being able to identify and manage the more problematic types can be very beneficial.

The first species that comes to mind and that arguably has caused the most impact in Alabama would be Kudzu. During the spring, kudzu can grow nearly a foot a day and can cover anything from trees to buildings. It is vital to begin herbicide application during the early stages before taking over pine plantations or any other desirable areas.  Originally introduced as a favorable species for erosion control and forage for cattle and livestock, it is now commonly known as “mile a minute vine” that has invaded the southern landscape.

The second invasive species that has had a significant impact on the South is Cogongrass “imperata cylindrca”.  Like kudzu, this plant is highly invasive and has had adverse effects on our plant and animal communities. Identification is the first step in the proper control but can be tricky due to its similarities with non-harmful native species.  Its most commonly found along road-sides but this pesky plant is also known to completely take over pine plantations and can adversely affect cash crops such as corn and cotton. Many undesirable species are often controlled by fire, but cogongrass, naturally causes the plant to thrive in its environment. This causes increased fire intensity resulting in damage to existing timber.  Persistent herbicide application is the most effective way to manage along with early detection.

These are just 2 of the important undesirable plant species that can affect a tract of land. Other plants of note to consider when managing property or purchasing a piece of the property include Chinese Tallow Tree, Chinese Privot, Mimosa (silk tree), autumn olive, and even aquatic species. All of these can negatively affect wildlife and the investment potential of a tract of land. Detecting these undesirables early allows for cheaper eradication control and more time spend doing the things we enjoy in our great outdoors.

Robert Smith

(251) 564-1312