If you’re not a land owner or farmer with a field you can use, then the idea of setting up a secure dog exercise park might feel like a far off dream, especially if you’ve already taken a look on the popular property listing sites. With land prices at an all-time high and land being sold even before it gets to the open market, finding the right bit of land to buy or rent can be a real challenge.
We’ve been in the market for land for over 3 years and having rented land for dog fields, and gone through the process of buying in a very competitive market, we can sympathise with the frustrations of anyone whose dream is just to have a small secure dog walking field. Here we’re going to share some of the resources we use on a daily basis to find suitable land.
Places you can find land for sale for a dog field business:
- Major Property Listing Sites
- Local Estate Agents
- Rural Listing Sites
- Facebook Groups
- Reach Out To Your Community
- Land Agents
Finding land to buy or rent for dog field business requires tenacity, patience and grit. We have viewed hundreds of fields and plots of land in the last 3 years and a very small number are suitable on further inspection. Before you even begin to look for land we strongly recommend that you arm yourself with all the information you need about what kind of land is actually suitable for a dog field. This also applies to land owners or tenants looking to choose a spot for their field. If you’re new to the dog field business, check out this article – how to set up a dog field – it covers the important basics and will help you understand if a dog field is an enterprise that will suit you and your lifestyle.
Major Property Listing Sites
These are the big guys. With the largest database of properties for sale and to rent in the UK, Rightmove and On The Market feature a lot of the commercially available land. Both should be on your search list but have their limitations when it comes to finding the right kind of land. It’s not often that one has more properties than the other but occasionally one will move faster to feature a property and in this climate, this timing can be critical.
The search filters aren’t designed for land hunters and don’t enable you to search by acreage or refine the land type in any way. For these reasons they both have limited use but do throw up some interesting opportunities from time to time.
We use these two property listing sites to gauge land values in areas we are interested in and this can be a very useful negotiation tool when it comes to understanding the market value of the plot you’re interested in.
Local Estate Agents
Most estate agents post the properties they are selling on the big listing sites however, the market is moving so fast that many properties don’t even reach the stage of being publicised. This means that making contact with your local agents can be a helpful process. Many estate agents have mailing lists you can join where you can opt into alerts based on your specific criteria but we’d also recommend getting personal – find a member of their team who knows your specific requirements and make sure they call you first when anything suitable comes on the market.
Rural Listing Sites
There are a number of listing sites that specialise in rural properties. Urban dog fields are few and far between and are far harder to gain planning permission for which is why most people are looking outside villages, towns and cities for plots. If you search the following listing sites, you’ll find you spend less time trawling through land that is earmarked for commercial or residential development which is rarely suitable or affordable as a dog field investment.
You might be sceptical about the value of using Facebook to find land but if you have the time, it can be a treasure trove. The value of this method depends a lot on your location but here are our tips for using Facebook to find land for sale or to rent:
- Do not post ‘land wanted’ listings in Facebook Marketplace – they don’t work and people renting land do not need to chase prospective buyers – it is a sellers market and you have to do all the work
- Join groups in the area you are looking either by searching ‘Land for sale/rent…. XXXX location’ or community groups. Once you have identified an area, you can keep an eye on these groups or let people know what you are looking for.
- When you see a potential plot, contact prospective owners directly and avoid the comment section where hundreds of people will request further information – don’t get lost in the conversation. If you didn’t already know, this is the point at which you will realise that the hardest thing about setting up a dog field if you don’t already have land, is sourcing it.
Reach out to your community
It might seem old fashioned (especially as many communities have active Facebook groups) but a bit of face to face canvassing can go a long way. When we first moved to the area we now live, we spent a good amount of time networking – finding out who owned what land and how we could make contact with them. Indirectly, this is how we found our first field.
Land Agents are companies who specialise in sourcing land for clients, and selling or leasing land on behalf of land owners. They have a wide network of contacts – some are national and some focus regionally but either way they have dedicated individuals who have areas they cover and know intimately.
Using a land agent is one of the best ways to source a plot of land if you are serious about building a dog field. If you’d like recommendations for local rural land agents in your area with experience of sourcing land for dog fields, get in touch via email and we can point you in the right direction.
Finding More Information
If you’ve been searching for land for more than 5 minutes you will know that it’s a brutal market – more ruthless than competitive hot dog eating and even once you’ve had an offer accepted, you’re not out of the woods.
Having wasted a lot of time and money, experienced a lot of heartache and misery whilst trying to find land for our dog field business, we have refined our technique and learned how to navigate this market as well as is possible.
If you’re looking to take your dog field business plans forward and you don’t want to make any mistakes, take a look at our consultancy services here. We offer a range of planning and advice services from an initial consultation where you can find out more about whether this is really a business for you, through to a complete design and execution service for those looking to hand over the reigns entirely.
Working with us, however involved you wish us to be, will save you time and money and has helped dog field owners across the UK hit the ground running with successful businesses from day one.