We’ve been approached by many institutional farmland investment groups asking for introductions to our customers, because they know that we work with the most professional, expansion-oriented farm operators in every region. These investment groups are also attracted to working with Granular customers because they want complete, digital production records on their leased land. To facilitate these introductions between investors and our growing network of producers, Granular launched Land Connections today. Over 30 professional investors joined the private directory at launch, providing Granular customers with their direct contact details and geographies of interest.
Connections to professional farmland investors are key to rapid expansion
Institutional ownership of farmland is still quite small as share of total ownership in most regions, but is growing fast. These investor groups account for most of the activity at the high end (i.e. high-dollar, high-acreage) of the farmland real estate market where a change of ownership often brings a change of tenant operators. That’s why Granular customers are focused on developing relationships with investment groups who can help them expand their operations by thousands of acres a season.
Local, experienced operators are key to successful deals
Institutional investors look to people in the local market to help them source and evaluate land deals before they hit the market. Operating on one million acres in 30 states and Canada, Granular customers are plugged into local farmland markets in most key agricultural regions of the country. Increasingly, we are seeing situations where Granular operators source deals, bring them to investment groups and sometimes co-invest in the land purchase. As the industry continues to professionalize and consolidate, we expect to see all kinds of new partnership models emerge between the capital and operating sides of the business.
“In a short amount of time, we have been able to meet and build relationships with high quality operators across the country using the Granular network,” said Dan Little from Homestead Capital.
Granular’s first goal is to build farm management software that makes each individual customer’s business simpler, more efficient and more profitable. But, beyond that, we are working on the opportunity to build a network of the best producers, connect them to each other and connect them to partners who can help them grow. Historically, farmers were “networked” by relationships and reputation in their local communities. But to win expansion opportunities in today’s market producers need to extend their networks to New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Granular’s Land Connections is an important step in that direction.