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Entrepreneurship Making Money

8+ Ways How To Lease Your Land Out

How to lease your land out for $1,000's per month.

Here’s what you should know:
  • 8+ Ways How To Lease Your Land Out:
  • Cell Phone Tower
  • Horse Boarding
  • Farming
  • Billboards
  • Hunting Lease / Rental
  • Solar Farm
  • For Activities and Venues
  • Oil And Gas Drilling

There are many ways how to lease out your land for extra income. About 60 percent of all U.S. land is privately owned by individuals and corporations.

Below is a list of 8+ ways to lease out your land out for extra income every month. Depending on the type of lease, you can partner with a company or even lease the land directly, for some.

Each land leasing idea below will also answer the following:

  • How much can money can you make?
  • How much land is required?
  • Is your land geographically the right fit?
  • How long does a typical lease last for?
  • How do you do it?

Tip: Make sure to include escalation clauses in your rental agreements. This provision is inserted into contracts to account for things like inflation and appreciating property value over the years. So when these things increase, your rent from rental agreement also increases.


8+ Ways How To Lease Your Land Out For Extra Income

#1. Lease Your Land For Cell Phone Towers

Wireless towers in the US have grown 4.7% per year on average between 2015 and 2020, adding 4,693 new cell towers in 2019 alone.

How much can you make?

The U.S. national average of all cell tower ground leases is $1,223 per month.

Although, how much you can make per month leasing your land to a cell company will vary greatly depending on where you live. Metro areas like New York and Dallas can see rents up to $2,500 per month while rural areas can be far less.

Note: Higher populated areas = more people = more data usage = more tower value = more rent revenue.

How much land is required?

A cell phone company will typically need about one-quarter (1/4) acre, or 100′ x 100′, for a cell tower.

Is your land geographically the right fit?

There are a few prerequisites that will determine if your land is a good fit.

(1) Make sure there is not already another tower within a few miles radius of your land and (2) check to see if your property’s zoning codes will allow a cell tower structure to be built on your land.

How long does a typical lease last for?

Cell tower lease agreements are often structured long-term, sometimes up to 90 years.

How do you do it?

You can have a wireless site acquisition agent from the cellular company to visit and scout your land.

Here is a list of the top cell tower companies to reach out to in the U.S.

Cell tower lease agreements are usually between the owner of the land and a cellular provider, like Verizon Wireless and AT&T, or sometimes, with the tower company directly. The agreement allows the cellular provider permission to operate equipment on the property owner’s land in exchange for rental income.

#2. Lease Your Land For Horse Boarding

There are over roughly 2 million people in the U.S who own horses, many of which are boarded. Leasing your land out to owners to board their horses is a great revenue stream without having to do too much to the land itself.

How much can you make?

There is no set price to boarding a horse, though it can range from under $100 per month to over $1000 per month depending on if you’re near a major metropolitan area and services offered.

How much land is required?

The number of acres required boils down to how big of a boarding operation you want to run – how many horses do you want to board?

For example, a good rule of thumb is two (2) pasture acres per horse. So a horse boarding facility of 16 horses will require at least thirty-two (32) acres and roughly 6,000 square feet (0.13 acres) for a 16 stall barn/stable.

Is your land geographically the right fit?

You’ll want to make sure your land has:

  • Flatland
  • Pasture acreage (foilage)
  • Zoning permits for horses, stables, etc.

How do you do it?

You can partner with a horse owner(s) or trainer(s) to run the facility or you can start your own horse boarding business.

Tip: You can grow and expand the horse boarding business into horseback riding and horseback riding lessons.

#3. Lease Your Land For Farming

According to the USDA, approximately 39 percent of the 911 million acres of farmland in the U.S is currently rented or leased.

How much can you make?

The average rate to rent cropland in the United States, in 2019, was $140 per acre.

  • Irrigated cropland: $220 per acre
  • Non-irrigated cropland: $127 per acre

How much land is required?

The average farm size in the U.S. is 444 acres, although 51% of farms have an average of 81 acres.

Is your land geographically the right fit?

Check out USDA’s crop production maps to see where certain crops are grown by regions and states in the U.S. This will give you an idea of the most profitable crops you can expect to be grown on your land.

How long does a typical lease last for?

Most agricultural leases run year to year with an option to renew, though some leases can run longer.

Check whether your state has a minimum and maximum lease limit for agricultural leases.

How do you do it?

The most common type of lease in agricultural land is a land lease, with (1) cash rent leases and (2) crop-share leases being the two most used types.

You can lease your farmland directly to the farmers.

Tip: You can locate farmers by going directly to farmers’ markets. You can find every farmers’ market in the U.S. by using USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory.

#4. Lease Your Land For Billboards

There are roughly 340 thousand outdoor billboards throughout the United States. In 2018, outdoor advertising revenue earned in the United States amounted to roughly 8.56 billion U.S. dollars.

How much can you make?

You should expect to receive 15% to 20% of the gross monthly revenue the billboard generates for the outdoor billboard company.

How much land is required?

The biggest billboards are only about 48 feet wide.

Is your land geographically the right fit?

Outdoor billboards come down to one thing: impressions. The more eyes the billboard can attract boils down to higher rents, value, and leverage you have as the property owner.

If your land is located near or next to a highway, or a busy intersection or street in a heavily populated metro area it may be worth it. If it’s not, it may not be.

Another big thing is you will want to check out the zoning laws in your area to see if you’re allowed to add this type of structure to your land.

How long does a typical lease last for?

A billboard lease can run between five (5) to twenty (20) years, or more.

How do you do it?

Simply, Google the phrase “outdoor advertising companies” and reach out.

#5. Hunting Lease / Rental

Leasing out your land for hunting is very popular; roughly 225 million acres of land in the United States is leased out for hunting, according to the 2001 National Survey of Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.

There were approximately 15.69 million participants in hunting in the United States in 2018, with the most popular types of hunting being deer, turkey, squirrel, duck, rabbit/hare, pheasant, dove, elk, quail, and grouse/prairie chicken, amongst a few others.

How much can you make?

The price will be determined by location, amount of acres, time of year, length of lease, wildlife availability, and exclusivity.

Some lower quality areas can lease for $2 to $10 per acre, while some high-quality areas can go for up to $30 to $40 per acre.

Note: During the offseason, you can lease your land out for other things while your hunting lease income will only be available during the hunting season months, different for each state depending on which state your land is located in.

How much land is required?

You will want at least ~10 acres to shoot a gun to keep your neighbors at safe distance. And as for hunting, around ~50 acres+ is a good amount.

Is your land geographically the right fit?

Depending on which state your land is located in will determine the quality of hunting grounds. Check out which states have the best hunting by animal.

Your land should be in accordance with the hunting regulations, zoning, neighboring lands.

How long does a typical lease last for?

Hunting leases can last for a day(s), weeks, seasonally, or annually depending on multiple factors.

How do you do it?

You can lease the land out yourself directly to hunters.

Here are four (4) marketplaces to list your land for a hunting lease:

#6. Lease Your Land For Solar Farms

Solar farms, also known as photovoltaic power stations, are responsible for creating 1.66% of the United States’ total electricity and there are more than 2,500 utility-scale solar farms in the United States, as of 2018.

Utilizing your land for a solar farm is a good way to produce income as well as being environmentally friendly.

How much can you make?

Leasing your land for a solar farm can earn you anywhere from $250 to $2,000 per acre, per year depending on multiple factors.

How much land is required?

The average utility-scale solar farm has a capacity of 2 megawatts (mW).

A general rule of thumb is 1kW of solar panels per 100 square feet of land. So 2 megawatts (mW) would require roughly 5 acres or 200,000 square feet plus all the solar equipment.

Is your land geographically the right fit?

Solar panels typically do best in locations that are sunny and cold. The cold temperatures allow the solar panels to produce more voltage, leading to more electricity, resulting in more income generated.

How long does a typical lease last for?

Solar leases are long-term agreements, usually anywhere between 15 to 50 years.

How do you do it?

Get in touch with solar developers and have them send out a surveyor to take a look at your property. If the property passes the surveyors’ evaluation phase of the property, you and the solar developer can then draft a solar lease agreement to negotiate on.

#7. For Recreational Activities and Venues

Here are a few ideas of fun recreational activities and venues you can lease your land out for:

  • Apple picking
  • Horseback riding
  • Shooting and archery range
  • Winery

#8. Oil And Gas Drilling

If you’re fortunate enough to have oil under your land, leasing it to an oil company can earn you monthly royalties.

“Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous mean resources of 1.8 billion barrels of oil and 117.2 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Upper Ordovician Point Pleasant Formation and Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province.” – USGS.gov

How much can you make?

Landowners receive two (2) forms of compensation for leasing their minerals.

One is called a ‘bonus’ which is typically a $200-500 per acre signing bonus. The other is royalties, which traditionally pay out 12.5% annually, but more recently around 18% – 25%.

How much land is required?

An oil and gas well will typically require 5-10 acres at the well location and sometimes can take up to 15 to 20 acres to set up.

Is your land geographically the right fit?

Odds are, if you had oil under your land, oil companies would have already known about it and reached out.

But if you want to be proactive and check into it yourself, you can consult with a geologist to come out and survey the land for you.

Here is a USGS national map with all of the potentially untapped areas for oil and gas in the U.S.

How long does a typical lease last for?

Oil and gas leases are commonly divided into two parts, (1) a primary term and (2) a secondary term. The primary term is usually for a set of 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10 years.

The leases issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have a “primary term” of ten years.

How do you do it?

If you are confident there is oil beneath your land and an oil company hasn’t reached out to you. Consult with a geologist to come out, survey your land, and determine the possibility of oil.

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