While rural properties require a lot of maintenance time and effort, they can provide a lot of monetization opportunities, too. In this Backyard Life video, iconic outdoorsman Joe Thomas opens up about just how to monetize your rural property using his Milford, Ohio homestead as an example.
“I think anybody that maintains a big piece of property realizes that it takes a lot of time and a lot of money to keep things nice,” remarks Thomas. “We were kind of in that position, as well, and I got to a point where I thought it’d be nice if it could give us a little bit back if we were able to monetize this beautiful place that we have.”
Here’s what Thomas and his family have done to monetize their rural property after building a home on it.
From ideation to monetization.
When building their place, Thomas and his wife did so with some forethought. First, they built an in-law suite. Then, his wife came up with the idea of converting it into a couples retreat. Although at the time, Thomas admits, “I kind of looked at her sideways,” their timing amidst the AirBnB and VRBO craze couldn’t have been better. But, Thomas kept asking himself, “Who’s going to come to Milford, Ohio?” As it turned, plenty of folks did! “Well, I want to tell you something: the property’s what it’s all about. The suite’s nice,” says Thomas.
Thomas quickly discovered that people from the city—sometimes as close as 12 miles away—liked to come out and experience a bit of country living. And, it’s the very same lifestyle that Thomas says he and his wife sometimes take for granted as rural land owners.
“It’s actually been a tremendous hit. The place is booked all summer and most weekends throughout the year, and it’s been a tremendous source of income,” says Thomas. And with that extra income, he and his wife have done several more things to make their property even more desirable.
Beautification and diversification.
To enhance the attractiveness of their property, Thomas has focused on maintaining and enhancing its walking trails. He’s also leveraging his lake’s recreational opportunities by purchasinging a small boat and kayaks for guests to use. “Kayaking is big right now, and people love that,” Thomas remarks.
Little things add up.
Thomas has learned the value of small things like, “A simple little bench on a dock at sunset is a big deal when you live in the shadow of the city.” Likewise, he points out that, “The hot tub has been a big hit. I like it too, because, when they’re not here, I’m in it!” Another property hit, says Thomas, is their chickens. “We have chickens, and—believe it or not—people love them. They like to watch us collect eggs and other perform other tasks involved in raising chickens,” he says.
Thomas understands that not everyone has a suite or cabin that can be monetized. But, even if you’ve got a working farm, Thomas says there are people that will spend money to experience it. “You just have to keep an open mind and allow your property to work for you,” he says.