Three years ago, Mike and I set out to build farm management software (FMS) to help farms make better business decisions by making better use of their farm data. We realized early on that while farms were using Granular FMS to optimize their existing operations, they also wanted tools to help them grow their farms.
Helping Farms Grow Bigger with AcreValue
Our customer had to make a big land related decisions. These are just a few examples of the hard questions farms had to answer:
What rent should I pay for my existing land?
Do I have the right profit margin and management controls to expand?
If so, what ground can I add to my operation and at what price?
How do I market myself effectively to prospective new landlords and capital partners?
That’s why Granular acquired AcreValue and launched it as our second product in January 2016. Patterned after Zillow and similar tools in residential real estate, AcreValue aggregates real estate and agronomic data on every parcel of farmland in the U.S., offers valuation estimates and publishes comparable sales.
Farms commonly use AcreValue to foster relationships with their landowners. When they are looking to rent or purchase land, they come to the table with professional AcreValue reports on the value of the land, soil ratings, crop history, sales data and more. This puts them in a much stronger position to market themselves to a new landowner or a capital partner and have a successful negotiation.
Launching New and Powerful AcreValue Features
AcreValue has taken off in the last year, attracting not just farmers, but also landowners, brokers, appraisers and bankers. AcreValue’s 30K+ registered accounts visit the site over 100K times each month and usage has been doubling every six months.
Over the next few months we will be adding valuation estimates in more states, water rights data, custom mapping tools, and sale listings. We will also be launching a paid version of AcreValue, called AcreValue PRO, with powerful search tools that allow users to prospect for land nationwide using screening criteria like owner, valuation, size, soil quality and more. With both its FMS and AcreValue products, Granular is working to give its farm customers a competitive advantage in the modernizing land market.
Integrating AcreValue with Granular FMS
The farmland real estate market and the farming market are both professionalizing and consolidating. Both markets are becoming less local, less relationship-driven and more business-oriented. We believe that the relationship between landowner and farm operator is going to become more professional, more transparent and more data-driven over time.
Granular FMS already helps farms share production data with landlords, calculate share rent, and analyze rental rates relative to yield history. Using our relationships with large institutional land investors, Granular has brokered many introductions that have helped our FMS customers connect with institutional capital partners interested in their geographic area. But this is just the beginning.
In the coming months, we will launch advanced AcreValue features that are only available to farms using Granular FMS. These features will allow Granular farms to market themselves on a confidential and pre-qualified basis to landlords and get early notification on land coming up for sale.
We believe Granular FMS and AcreValue together give our customers the right tools to manage better (profit per acre) and bigger (more acres) farms.