Classic Western Slope Farms and Ranches Are on His Radar


Mark Shaffer

Who would you talk to about buying the ranch? It would have to be someone with succinct knowledge on the area, complete understanding of the local market, custom-made banking skills and long roots in these valleys.

I guess the listings say it all, and at Shaffer Real Estate in downtown Austin, Colorado, farms, ranches and recreational properties are anything from run of the mill. Mark Shaffer sees to that.

“It is vital that the needs of buyer and seller are clear. This is essential to major purchases, especially agricultural property in Western Colorado,” said Mark Shaffer. “But never forget: We are selling the lifestyle, the snowcapped mountains, wide open spaces, and the public lands. Cattle and sheep ranches, hay fields, organic markets, vineyards, row crop farmland and not to forget some of the best hunting, fishing, hiking and camping – all Western Slope culture, quality of life.”

Preserving the Culture

Despite the transfer of ownership and the socio-economic shifts of the past ten years most of these properties that are offered are pegged to remain intact. This is due in part to the value and unique character of our real estate and the specific needs of today’s land owners. Significant new residential or business development is unlikely in the next few years. In the robust agricultural market we see as much or more “assemblage” or owners adding to their holdings, as parcels being broken up.


7X Ranch

“The diversity of ag operations and in the land itself in Delta County can be astounding and is a real benefit and feature to be recognized. It’s not like monoculture corn fields, or pine trees as far as one can see,” said Shaffer. “These diverse properties are a part of our heritage and if the past is any indication they will remain that way. The emerging agri-tourism industry is reliant upon our existing strong commercial agricultural industries. The selling prices, strategic geographic locations and long growing season dictate that culture should remain for decades.”

The business day in Austin includes inquiries from interested parties from all over the nation however mostly from Coloradoans. There are people all over the world looking at our valleys but a decent percentage of clients come from local area. Everyone has a vision and set of needs and every property is different. Listening is of course paramount in putting the two together. Then from Austin hit the road to review farms and ranches over Shaffer’s’ 6 county territory.

So what do these clients want from you?
Crawford Hay and Cattle Ranch

Crawford Hay and Cattle Ranch

“Most buyers are sophisticated and want to be involved in the transaction but rely on a broker for guidance. They want to talk to someone about the land investment and operations but also about what it might be like to live here. You remember a lot of the people you meet, especially the more eccentric ones. Out of area buyers spending a few million dollars also need some leverage, insight and local advice. I need to take particular care of both the buyer and the seller as reputation and return customers are essential in this business. They just need someone to put it all on the table and deliver some reliable assurances. These new owners are not looking to turn a dollar. They are looking for a long term investment and roots in Colorado. Sellers are looking for knowledgeable and professional representation.”

“This part of the world is special. The people that I want to work with and help are paying attention and see what our area has to offer. It’s like seeing the water flowing out into the green fields below mountain vistas and recognizing real value.”

Broker Mark Shaffer
He can be reached at 970-835-9350
22044 Main Street P O Box 220 Austin, CO 81410
Agricultural and Recreational Properties: Delta, Montrose, Garfield, Gunnison, Montrose, and San Miguel Counties.

-Kevin Haley

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