How to choose the right Managed farmland partner

Buy land, they aren’t making anymore of it. – Mark Twain

 

Buying the land is a momentous occasion for anyone. It doesn’t matter whether it is a residential plot or an agricultural land, acquiring land has always been an auspicious and joyous occasion. A piece of land signifies new beginnings, a resource to support life, a real and physical asset like no other and a legacy for generations to come. While land is one of the best resources one can acquire, it is also one which tends to be daunting and needs some careful fact-checking. Some of the stumbling blocks for most of us are – how to choose the right piece of land, how to ensure that the documents are genuine and valid, how to trust the seller and how to ensure that the purchase is secure for years to come. 

There are a bunch of companies that offers the best services but making a  decision can be extremely challenging and overwhelming. There are many factors that need to be checked and verified before purchasing the land irrespective of the developer. 

 

Identify the right entity to deal with:

A bit of online effort can go a long way as a lot of information can be found on the internet. It is always recommended to try and find more information about the founders or directors of the firm you are purchasing the land from and try connecting with them if they are on LinkedIn. Take a look at the company’s website and verify if the content is original or is it just stock photos and fancy content. Hence verifying the information mentioned on websites, social media pages and other platforms is an effective way to get a true picture about the company and the work it does. Try and look for actual photos of the property. One should see a live preview of the upcoming and the completed properties.

 

 Online Reviews (The Biggest fad):

People think that the easiest way to establish a company’s credentials is by checking for the reviews online and checking what other people are saying about the company. Many times 90% of the reviews will not be genuine and may include paid and fake reviews. In case of fake companies it can be easily made out by checking the profile of people who have reviewed them. Online reputation management has become a big business and companies pay to have good reviews written about them and bad reviews hidden or camouflaged . ook on websites such as mouthshut.com, glassdoor.in and others as they typically have a lot of negative reviews which can help one get a good indication about the company or the brand. Look for live testimonials, video perhaps with real customers and not models.

 

 Selling the same land to multiple customers:

This is one of the most common issues that people face while buying real estate and it’s often realized after a couple of years. Here, the firm sells the same land to multiple customers by providing them with information and documents of a neighboring land. In many cases a booking amount of 10% is taken by 20 customers for the same land and the customer is also ok to wait for a long period as he has only paid a few lakhs and is in the hope that his land is secured for him. Don’t fall into this trap. In karnataka you can use the Dishank app to exactly locate the survey nos of the land when you visit the property. Most times you see a nice parcel of land and you’re registered in the neighborhood which is barren and bad.  Unfortunately, fly-by-night operators and shady companies have hoodwinked many people using this method. To ensure that this does not happen with you check if the layout is mapped onto Google Earth / Google Maps or do they have a real time booking sheet. Hiring a lawyer to verify all the legal documents like 7/12 uttara can help establish the true ownership of the land and avoid any scams and legal issues in future. First verify the survey numbers and the RTC.

 

 Make a site visit:

Visiting sites can help buyers to be reassured if the property claims are as it is as promised by the developers. It helps the investors to know more about the actual arrangement of the property and also keep a check if there’s any divergence from the actual promised claims. Believing what one sees is our basic temperament but as owning a property involves a huge amount of money to be invested, one must assess the property very vigilantly before the actual purchase. Also it is recommended to do a surprise visit and speak to people who live next to or nearby the property that you intend to purchase. This will help to get actual and real time information about the land as sometimes owners share false information or hide crucial information. 

 

 Asses company strength and management:

Verifying the authenticity of the company from where you intend to purchase the land is the most important step before the actual purchase. Try and visit multiple properties from the same company to see how they are being managed.  In the case of agriculture, a lot of care and diligence needs to be maintained. Especially with farmlands, the on-ground teams become vital. Here, the staff has to be passionate, knowledgeable and trained about the work they do. It is also recommended to enquire about the number of people managing a certain farm. Checking certain things like whether there are agronomists and project managers assigned, is the team strength sufficient for the size of the property and what are their views about the company would provide an actual picture of the organization.

 

Farmlands are completely different from other real estate:

Farmlands pose challenges that may not be apparent at the outset but create many hurdles at later stages. Many issues that are not associated with normal land purchase  like identifying resources of water, good soil, labour, Irrigation & mechanization systems, etc come into picture here. Generally, It is very easy to show calculations on an excel sheet about how much return can be expected from a certain crop, but doing it in reality is another story. Unlike other businesses, farming is not an input vs output kind of concept as you are dealing with nature and there are no absolutes. All the success stories we hear about farming is just perhaps a minuscule portion of the community while the failures are a million times more. As farmlands have such a unique set of challenges and is a long term investment asset, doing background checks and getting thorough about all the legal procedures become very important and should be performed with utmost care. 

 

With the human population on the rise, there will always be a need for farm derived resources like food and timber. Owning a farm also facilitates a getaway from city life even if just for a day or two. It is a getaway from all the noise, pollution and dust – as a way to detox via breathing in clean air, quiet surroundings amongst nature and eating organic fruits and vegetables. These benefits of health and well-being are not something that can be calculated, rather these are essential and priceless to all. 

 

Growing a food forest or owning farmland is not like owning just another asset. It’s a family legacy and your memories on the farmland are priceless. Make sure you choose the right partner. Returns are important.. But remember capital and your money earned is more important. Preserve the capital and enjoy the farm life, returns will automatically come.  There is no better return than Peace of mind and waking up to those chirping birds.