About that dead land market in SL…

… I just won an auction today for a 512m lot, for L$14,510.

Ouch.

But if you think I’m crazy, three other auctions for lots smaller than 1000m on moderate land went for over L$100,000. I didn’t bookmark them and don’t know how to find recent auctions once they end – that’s the rate they were at 30 minutes prior to auction end when I stopped looking at the general page and focused in on just my lot.

So yeah… the market is completely, totally, utterly, no qualms about it, dead.

Right?

That’s what we keep hearing.

So what gives?

Well those three pricey lots were in Bay City, on a little finger of a peninsula. If you got all 3, you’ve just won 4 sides protected in Bay City. If you got the one at the end of the finger, 3 sides. The middle 2 sides, the other end 3 sides (one side of which being road).

My lot? water adult land that my existing land wraps around… no idea how it went from owned to for auction without ever passing through abandoned. But to whoever did give it up: you just lost $14,510L that you could have made off of me.

LLs got it instead.

And I bought it for the sole purpose of not building much of anything on it other than probably extending my collection of water lilies… :)

Meanwhile some lots went for rock bottom prices, and I’ll bet there were a few that didn’t even sell – I forgot took though I must add that I thought they all had at least 1 bidder this time (sometimes they don’t).

What has happened to land in SL is that its become particular. Land with value has well… value… protected, water or water side, roadside, hilly (flatland is more for new users, and today those people get linden homes), good shape, and so on.

Look at all the abandoned lots around mainland. Go and really look at some of them. There tend to be two trends:

First you will see the obvious: rows of bad cuts or flat land in a grid. People abandon bad cuts for the obvious reason that they are bad cuts. As in, the lot is hard to use for anything, too skinny here, zig-zap shape, or whatever… have to get very creative to build a building. Sometimes so bad (like a 256m long, 4m wide strip) that not even a creative person could use it (when Zindra was new I saw a 128m long 4m wide strip used by an ad-farmer, who had to suffer daily ARs as a result – just in case anyone is getting that idea right now).

The second seems baffling: very large posh looking pieces of land. They control all the key points around them – protected, maybe water, maybe road, maybe a pleasant hill or cliff, and so on. The reason is there, but its something many miss. Too big.
- Bite off more than you can chew… and sooner or later it gets you.

These folks could save themselves by slicing it up properly and selling off in pieces – but ego or refusal to accept less than they paid results in them instead giving up and accepting back none of what they paid.

I got out of Campion, where I had just shy of 8000m of land, by slicing off most of it and selling it for rock bottom to the bots – then sitting for a while on the exclusive mountain top view until a buyer who wanted it enough showed up. It took longer than it should have because I failed to cut out a perfect tier breakpoint for the exclusive part. I also held out despite repeated offers of 10L/m, I waited until I got about 20L/m – but probably lost the difference in the extra month of tier.

I did this because I was ambivalent about selling in the first place
– pro tip for the ‘not a pro land seller’. If you are not in the business of flipping land, don’t try to be. Don’t sell to sell now… set your land to sell before you actually want to move out… Ok yeah, how will you know that…
- But I have found that I have only done well in moving when I did it at a time where I did not feel a crisis of ‘must move now’ but rather felt a ‘I’ve lost that loving feeling with this place, but maybe I can get it back.’
- Set for sale then… and if nobody buys maybe you will fall in love with your land again and take it off market… but if they buy, you are just enough over it that you can move on… and because you weren’t in crisis mode, you haven’t yet resorted to bot prices. Or maybe like me you used bots to cut off the chaff and leave yourself with the wheat over which to be ambivalent.

Land flippers will call that insane. But then that is because they move volume. Land users on the other hand… if you try to swim with those sharks, they’re going to see a seal in the water… Better to sell when you have time to wait it out, and in pieces that look ideal after you shave off the chaff.

My oldest friend in SL is also currently one of the largest land flippers in SL. When I speak to this friend and hear how they talk about land and choices they make… I realize that this person could absolutely crush me like a flea if I tried to compete in their business – not just in terms of reserve capital, but more importantly; in terms of know-how.

(And I also have an idea of how rough it was for this person to enter the business – you basically have to jump in as a seal in a pool of sharks, and grow teeth before they, often very politely, finish you off.)

Which points to another thing: a lot of that abandoned land you see… that’s sometimes the seals after the sharks are done with them.

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One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mera
    May 14, 2012 @ 07:44:58

    Great posting! And true! A lot of land is for sale of the reasons u mentions and also for the reason of “ok if i sell its good and i can move but if i dont sell i stay” sort of. Very common. So it looks a lot worse on the map that it is.

    I know a landflipper too and I agree, sharp teeths and claws are a must in that business :O)

    Congrats to your awesome land in Bay! x

    Reply

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