Could This Tool Help You Negotiate Cash Rents?

January 19, 2016 07:34 AM

Homeowners and homebuyers like to use Zillow, a real estate data website that lists homes for sale, but that also lists values for houses not even on the market. Granular wants to create the farmland equivalent of Zillow with its free AcreValue service. With land costs proving year after year to be the largest expenditure for farmers, Granular, a business software company for farms, developed AcreValue to help create transparency between farmers and landowners on the value of land.

Users can access publicly available soil data and production history with an easy-to-use, intuitive display. Then, as 20 field-level and macroeconomic data variables are filtered through AcreValue’s Automated Valuation Model (AVM) users can view the estimated price and generate reports that provide additional insights, such as land value over time, field size, annual rainfall and growing degree days, and more.

“We train the model on real data on farmland value and prices, and we regularly get feedback from users to see where we are relative to the market,” says Tamar Tashjian, general manager of AcreValue. “We’ve found we’re really close.”

Tashjian adds that local market dynamics can disrupt the product’s accuracy, but it does a good job of assessing fundamental yield capacity. Indiana farmer Chris Hudson agrees.

“Of course, the market may bear out differently, and values can change simply based on who shows up at a particular sale or auction,” he says. “But it is a great starting point.”

Hudson says AcreValue has become a good research tool when evaluating potential new property to rent or purchase. Moreover, it’s a tool that can help his relationship with current landlords, he says.

“We’ve pushed landlords to look at it,” he says. “We’ve generated reports for them, too. And as we prepare for cash rent negotiation, it will be good to have this information readily available when starting these conversations.”

AcreValue is currently available in every state but Florida, Alabama, Alaska and Hawaii. The AVM is currently available in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota. For more information, visit

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