Office: (541) 934-2946       America’s Land Specialists

Julie Mansfield Smith has been listing and selling property in Eastern Oregon for 30 years. The stories she could tell, and that is fitting, because the land sale broker based out of her ranch in Kimberly sees each sale as an opportunity to add the next exciting chapter for each of her buyers.

“When I first came here, I started freelance writing and that is what I try to do for my clients,” she said. “I want to write that next chapter for them and give them all the information they will need to find what they are looking for.”

Smith credits her longevity to one simple truth: She has lived the life most of her clients now seek. With her husband, Brad, the co-owner of Cupper Creek Land Company, Smith brought the first Mossy Oak Properties franchise to Oregon by focusing on large agricultural, farm, ranch and recreational riverfront and timbered retreats.

“When we first came here in the mid-80s, we managed a few different ranches in Dayville,” Smith said. “We usually ran 200 head of cows and put up 400 tons of hay. It was a thankless, 24/7 job for Brad and I.

“It was a college education I did for free and learned all the aspects of the ranch life on a horseback. There were hunters coming in from across the globe on one outfit and we would take them out on guided hunts where I cooked meals in an old cabin with a wood stove. I live the lifestyle I sell because I have done it.”

Living in the finest hunting, fishing and recreational areas in Oregon gives Smith firsthand knowledge in listing and selling raw land in a variety of acreages. This allows her to cater to client desires that range from off-grid getaways, cozy cabins or majestic mountain retreats.

As much as the world changes, Smith sticks to simple truths.

“People want to do what we do, they want to enjoy that simple, natural organic lifestyle,” she said.

A local touch

Smith focuses on land in Grant, Baker, Union, Wallowa, Umatilla, Harney, Wheeler and Morrow counties, but the bulk of her buyers come from surrounding states and across the nation looking for that piece of Eastern Oregon that will provide refuge from their daily lives. She is adept at selling everything from quality homes on small tracts of land to large farms or recreational properties for those looking to get away and enjoy time with nature.

“I rarely take a listing more than two to three hours out of my radius,” Smith said. “I will make exceptions for that truly special property, but I believe to be successful you have to be knowledgeable about the property and the community it is in.”

Smith separates herself from larger brokerages on the west side of the state through the personal touch she provides every listing. She said buyers want more than land or the house, they want to know about the community, the area and what schools are like and which church to go to on Sunday. Smith has them covered.

Visit her website to view property and it is different than almost any other broker. There are no guessing games or hooks to try to get you interested. There is only information. Lots of information. Listings have a file up to 20 or more files. It can include water rights, well logs, zoning approvals, surveys, fish and wildlife contracts, tax assessments, title reports, easements, property disclosures, agency relationship forms and more.

“I want to eliminate as many questions for my buyers as possible so all they have to do after reviewing documents is go look at the property,” she said.

Smith also partners with a photographer to provide multiple maps of the property and a look at it from above with an aerial view courtesy of a drone. She provides comparable sales data to buyers and sellers and offers a free market evaluation to clients.

Smith also takes continuing education classes to keep up with trends in land markets, economic predictions and legislature affecting real estate in Oregon.

Success is repeat customers

Many of the people Smith finds land for become friends, which has led to her selling and reselling numerous properties over 30 years. It is a category of clients she lovingly refers to as “The Fivers.”

“It is pretty common for 50% of my inventory to get it relisted every five years,” she said. “What we sell is primarily hunting and recreation and I have been able to assist in helping my clients get a better return on their investments when they resell.”

Smith’s clientele spans six generations because she sells to the younger generation and gets the relistings from older clients who are entering another phase of their lives. Smith’s manner often brings cash buyers who are often looking for a getaway to enjoy what Eastern Oregon has to offer.

“Now I see more clients retaining ownership longer as they are not making any more land,” Smith said. “Demand can be high, supply can be low and that drives prices up.”

What to expect

Smith deals with high-end, remote property that may feature rugged terrain, but depending on your ability, prepare to saddle up or sit on the ATV and get a close-up look at what is possible. If dirt roads, timber and a little seclusion sounds good to you, Smith can help you find your next home or getaway.

“So many of the people just want a big piece of land with no obstructions to view and to watch the sun come up and the sun go down. That is it,” she said. “That is what I do.”

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