Turning Colorado’s Green Rush into real estate bucks

Turning Colorado’s Green Rush into real estate bucks

There’s already one person in Colorado who has created a niche for herself moving pot-friendly properties to people who want to grow in them.

Her name is Rona Hansen.

She advertises her services in Denver’s alt-weekly, "The Westword," and on craigslist. She’s one of the very first people to advertise herself as a “MMJ-friendly Realtor®” and, according to Slate, she’s getting up to 10 calls a day from both landlords with MMJ-friendly homes to rent and people looking to relocate to Colorado.

Money really does grow on trees.

Marijuana is big business in Colorado. According to some estimates, the MMJ industry is worth $2B in revenue a year. There’s money to be made selling legal pot to patients and, now, recreational users.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Like during the gold rushes of yore, there are hundreds of ancillary products and services the industry needs in order to run smoothly.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

Colorado is an entrepreneurial goldmine (or should we call it a forest?) of undiscovered markets.

Real estate professionals are getting hip to the game, too. The “Green Rush” is creating a new niche of real estate agents and brokers who cater to clients who want to buy or rent homes optimized for growing a private stash.

Clandestine, black market growers have been gutting houses to mass produce marijuana since the advent of the high pressure sodium light bulb. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people who want a room in their home outfitted to produce enough weed for their personal use.

That’s legal here in Colorado

The Federal government ignores it, especially small-scale growers who operate in the confines of their own homes and don’t ship their stash out of state. That’s the reality of living in Colorado.

People from out of state want to be a part of it.

It used to be a grow room made you a criminal. Now it means pot-smoking homeowners relocating to Colorado will seek out and pay more for “420-friendly” homes. A 420-friendly home is a house with a grow room already installed or a house with the perfect room to build a grow room.

Need room to grow?

Some rooms are better for growing marijuana than other rooms, and not all houses have them. A good room is tucked away from the rest of the home’s living space and has easy access to electricity and running water. Basement rooms with attached bathrooms work best. Some bathrooms are large enough to be converted to grow rooms by replacing the shower and tub with tile and keeping the floor drain. A floor drain is one of the essential elements of keeping a clean grow room. Growing in a room with a tile floor is optimal because small spills over time don’t destroy tile like they do carpet.

Houses with secluded outdoor spaces fit for growing are in high demand, but they are a lot rarer. Ideally a buyer would find a seller who has already grown successfully—without offending their neighbors—in the backyard of the property they’re selling. There’s a lot less risk in doing something you know has already been done before.

Not so fast!

Real estate agents looking to turn a quick buck from the “green rush” will find it difficult if they think they can simply find a 420 friendly buyer, point to a room, and say “this one would be perfect for your grow room!”

Smoking weed might be legal in Colorado, but that doesn’t mean it’s all the way out of the closet or accepted by everyone, everywhere. There is still a huge need for discretion and authenticity in any business deal where marijuana is a factor, even an indirect one.  

It’s important to be fluent in cannabis culture, to speak the language, or else you run the risk of being perceived as a phony by the people you’re trying to sell to.

Are you ready for the green rush?

Most real estate professionals would kill to get 10 calls a day asking about their services. Yet most real estate agents are ignoring the enormous potential presented by a state-regulated marijuana market because they don’t know enough about cannabis culture to cater to its people. If you’re a real estate agent looking to cater to this market, start reading High Times, hanging out with dispensary owners, and talking to people who already live and grow in Colorado.

You might find yourself profiting from what you learn for years and years to come.