So, You Listed a Zoo?
Eric Andrews, an Accredited Land Consultant with RLI of The Carolinas, never knows what will happen when he steps into his office and hears the phone ring. Back in August of 2021 he received a call from a woman that told him she had a very interesting property for sale. She was a retied banking executive and had done some research to help her choose her selling representation. She determined she needed a professional with the ALC designation and Eric happened to be the closest one. Much to his surprise she told him it was an actual working Zoo!
Eric and the Zoo Owner made a time for me to go out there and do an evaluation. As he entered the iron gates and drove in, he passed several ostriches, emus, cranes, giant swans, ducks, geese and capybaras. The long driveway meandered past several donkey and a dozen zebras. The large brick home was in the center of the property. The seller came out with a baby kangaroo in a sack wrapped around her shoulder. She showed Eric the other animals. There were adult kangaroos, wallabies, pot-bellied pigs, parrots, some giant tortoises, an artic fox, a sun bear, monkeys, two camels, dozens of pheasants and peacocks and many other exotic birds. Eric was amazed by all the animals that were so up close and in person.
She explained to him that she her business had taken a large hit from the pandemic. Without the area schools open she had very few large tours. It was getting very difficult for her to find help. They toured the entire 100 plus acres and he gave her a rough idea of what I thought the property was worth and how his firm would market it differently
from a residential agent. His team created some marketing materials and featured the property on some acreage specific websites. It got a lot of calls but no offers. It ended up being featured in the local paper. That got it a brief uptick in activity but still no acceptable contracts.
Eric came up with the idea of dividing the property in half. That allowed the seller to reduce the price significantly. They consulted with a local surveyor and when the new price came out, the property received a lot more activity. In February of 2022 the property went under contract. Eric told the story to several other land brokers at the National Land Convention in San Antonio and they suggested he submit an article on the sale. The buyer ended up being a non-profit organization that rescued mustangs from the Rockies and had them tamed and trained by Veterans suffering from PTSD as part of their own therapy. The seller sold most of her animals to other zoos, kept a few of her favorites and moved to the remaining acreage. Eric remarked it was one of his most interesting transactions ever!