3 Ways to Monetize Your Land and Maximize Real Estate Revenue

Real estate is more than the building that sits on it. Sure, most of your revenue will come from renting residences and commercial spaces to tenants, but the land you own can be a source of revenue itself. Below, we break down three ways to maximize the revenue your real estate investment produces by monetizing the land itself. Below, we break down which kinds of landlords are a good fit for each option, how to get started with the opportunity, and how much you can potentially earn.

Monetize Spare Land

Are you a good fit?

Monetizing spare land applies mostly to landlords in rural areas, but there could also be opportunities for landlords in metropolitan areas if they have adequate land. It’s all about figuring out what makes sense for your unused land.

Possible uses for the land include livestock, fruit trees, shade trees, beekeeping, local gardens, and more. When choosing how best to use your land, you should consider what the available space allows, related laws, how it will affect your current tenants, and what would offer the best profit.

How to get started:

  1. Assess your land. Determine what would work well in the space and what wouldn’t. You might even be able to grow produce or monetize the land in a way that doesn’t require you to rent it out to someone else.
  2. Advertise the available land. Find someone that would benefit from renting your land if necessary — long term rentals are ideal.
  3. Determine a price. This will vary based on how much land your renting out and how the land will be used.
  4. Create a formal agreement. Just like renting out units to tenants, you will want to ensure that the terms of the agreement are finalized and legally binding.
  5. Maintain the land. In between rentals, it is important to keep the land looking nice and ready to go for its next use.

How monetizing spare land will increase your revenue:

What you’ll pay: $0-500 depending on how much work is required to begin renting out the land.

What you can charge: $50-400 per month; large swaths of land will rent for more.

Revenue Summary: Although there may be somewhat of an up-front cost, $50-400 will go directly into your pocket each month. The more land you rent out, the more you can make.

Lease A Billboard

Are you a good fit?

Most landlords should consider leasing a billboard as a potential revenue stream. While there are zoning laws to consider, you likely already have the space to sell advertisement space to local businesses, events, and non-profit organizations. Your fencing, siding, roof (especially if near an airport), tree line, grassy front yard, and porch railings all offer you the ability to rent out ad space.

Although billboards are a low time commitment for landlords, the zoning laws can be tricky to work around. Laws dictate where billboards can be placed, how big they can be, how long they’re allowed to stay up, and the types of organizations that can advertise. It might also be difficult to find long-term leases, which can be a headache and result in loss of revenue.

How to get started:

  1. Read zoning laws in your area. Zoning laws vary greatly from place to place.
  2. Assess your space. Figure out where advertisements would work best and how big they can be.
  3. Hang your own advertisement. Hanging an “Advertise Here” sign with your phone number is a great way to reach potential renters. You could also contact local non-profits to get started.
  4. Create a formal agreement. Renters should sign a contract that formalizes all of the logistics such as price, duration of contract, and size of advertisement.
  5. Collect rent. Providing the option to pay via cash, check, or digital payment services will encourage renters to advertise with you.

How renting storage space will increase your revenue:

What you’ll pay: $50-5,000; you may only have to pay for marketing, or you might decide to erect your own billboard.

What you can charge: $100-4,000 per ad per month; smaller advertisements will rent for less than actual billboards. Your location will also affect how much you can charge.

Revenue Summary: Depending on what you have to work with, you might experience a hefty up-front cost, but your potential revenue of $100-4,000 per ad per month deposits right into your bank account.

Lease A Cellphone Tower

Are you a good fit?

Not all landlords will have the space required to lease a cellphone tower on their property, nor do all landlords live somewhere in which service providers are looking to build new towers. But if both of these facts are true for you, leasing a cellphone tower on your property could lead to a considerable profit.

Zoning laws surrounding cellphone towers can be intense and difficult to meet. Service providers also have strict requirements, and they might ask you to jump through hoops. Again, while this might sound like a headache, the promise of a long-term, well-paying contract might be too sweet to pass up.

How to get started:

  1. Do your research. Are any service providers even looking to put in a tower near you? If not, save yourself the time of looking too far into the topic.
  2. Assess your land. Cellphone towers require anywhere from 500-5,000 square feet of land.
  3. Read up on zoning laws. The laws will be different in every city.
  4. Know your worth. If everything works out and you’re able to begin the process of leasing a tower, don’t go into price negotiations without knowing the average price. You wouldn’t want to lose potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars just because you didn’t do your research.
  5. Sign the contract. The standard contract to lease a tower is 25 years.

How leasing a cellphone tower will increase your revenue:

What you’ll pay: $175,000

What you can charge: $1,300-2,500 per month.

Revenue Summary: You have the potential to profit $215,000-575,000. You’ll pay the up-front cost of $175,000 for building the tower, but your monthly rent over the typical 25 year contract period will earn you $390,000-750,000.

Conclusion

The most successful investors not only find smart investments but manage them smartly as well. One of the easiest and smartest ways to find additional revenue in your real estate is by finding ways to monetize the land itself.

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