Do you know what your landowners expect most from a tenant? In some cases, it is the top dollar, period. But in many cases it's something else – maybe even something small you haven't thought about.
Carma Parrish did a survey of landowners in her area to find out. Parrish and her husband, Ryan, operate Pro Ag Communications. Their goal is helping farmers communicate better with their landowners, hoping that will head off situations where an uninformed landowner decides to rent his farm solely on top dollar cash rent bids, even if it means letting go of a long-time tenant.
"We found a wide spectrum of answers when we did our loyalty survey," Carma says.
For some it was mowing roadsides without being asked and keeping the place looking good. To one landowner it was as simple as bringing his wife a poinsettia at Christmas each year. That was something their tenant started doing, and it grew to have special meaning to the landowner and his wife.
For another it was as simple as the tenant plowing out the landowner's driveway whenever it snowed, never asking for payment. In another instance a farmer gives landowners a gift card to their favorite restaurant at Christmas.
These may seem like little things, but Carma says they matter. It also matters that you do your best to tell your story through social media and through other means. A Website can help you tell others what you do, and newsletters to your landowners as a group can keep them up to date with what's happening in your operation. Parrish says it's something that is worth devoting more time to, even though your schedule is busy.