Looking for ways to make money from raw land?
Like all real estate, raw land is valuable, and what you choose to do with the land you own can make it all the more profitable.
Depending on where your raw land is located, what resources you have available, and how much you want to invest, you can quickly make money from your raw land.
Exploring business ideas for rural vacant land can help you invest and earn some cash.
Below is a list of ways to make money from raw land to get you started.
Please note that what you can do with your land will depend on its size, terrain, location, zoning and other attributes.
Be sure to check all local regulations, including zoning and building codes, before committing yourself to any one strategy.
1. Sell your land
This is the simplest way that you can make money from raw land you already have.
Keep vacant land the way it is and put it on the market.
Once someone else takes interest, you’ll instantly make a chunk of change you didn’t previously have!
You can also offer owner financing if you want a medium-term cash flow.
For example, we buy and sell raw land across the U.S.
Visit our Sell Land page to learn more about the process (you may also want to check out our video on the top mistakes land buyers make to ensure you are giving your buyers all the information they need).
2. Use the land as boat storage
While people love recreational activities like boating, it can often be hard to find storage for those items, especially if they live in cities or tight suburban areas.
Offering your raw land as boat storage is a great way to make some extra passive income.
Before offering your land, be sure to have proper storage facilities available.
You can also build them after gauging interest.
3. Forest timber on the land
Harvesting timber is a popular way to make money.
You can find out what your timber is worth by visiting the United States Department of Agriculture.
The value of timber depends on a variety of factors, so be sure to do research before selecting this option to make money from raw land.
4. Use the land as RV storage
Just like boats, RVs are often difficult to store.
Therefore, you can build storage facilities or utilize existing storage facilities to make money from raw land.
Offer these to people at a competitive price in your area.
If you’re conveniently located, you’ll be shocked at how quickly they get snatched up.
5. Create a campground
Everyone loves camping!
Create a cute campground with all the necessary resources, and you’ll have people flocking to your vacant land.
6. Invest in solar energy
The construction of solar energy is expensive, but in sunny locations, solar farms can be incredibly profitable.
Not to mention, this would be passive income, which means you’d be watching money roll in without needing to do anything additional.
7. Build horse stables
Boarding a horse is a pricey part of being a horse owner.
On average, it costs $400-$500 (but up to $1200-$2500) in metropolitan areas.
Building horse stables allows you to target this lucrative market as long as you have the space and facilities to do so.
8. Rent plots to build a community garden
Bring the community together by creating a garden on your raw land.
Renting plots gives everyone the ability to take ownership of their section of the garden and also gives you a little financial boost.
Easy and beautiful way to make money from raw land.
9. Grow flowers to sell at a farmer’s market
If you love the idea of growing something and also want to make money from raw land, why not grow flowers?
You can grow flowers on your land and then take the best cuts to a local farmer’s market to sell.
10. Create a pet sitting business
Everyone hates the idea of their pet being locked up in a cage while they’re gone.
Why not use your raw land to create a pet sitting business?
All the free land to roam seems like the perfect way to spend time while owners are away.
11. Offer indoor and outdoor storage
Storage, storage, storage.
It seems no one has enough space for their stuff.
If you have the space, rent it out to other people.
Offer indoor and outdoor storage on your raw land to make extra money each month (you can find more information in our video below).
12. Raise livestock and sell their products
This a bit more hands-on, but if you’re ready to welcome some new animals to your raw land, you can raise cows for milk or goats for cheese.
Both can be incredibly profitable.
People love having locally-grown products.
13. Offer tours or classes on farm life
If you’re already growing crops or raising livestock, you’re equipped to teach how you’re doing it!
14. Breed animals to sell
Breeding animals to sell can make you money as well.
If you have the time and space to do it, why not?
Just make sure you’re complying with local laws and treating all involved ethically!
15. Plant crops
Enough said. Corn? Cotton? Up to you!
16. Offer outdoor fitness classes
If you love yoga or Zumba, why not become an instructor and offer large outdoor fitness classes?
Especially when social distancing is in play, this is a much safer option than indoor fitness studios.
17. Build a building for a fast-food franchise
You never know who wants to use your raw land depending on where you’re located!
18. Raise livestock to butcher
For example, raising pigs can be profitable.
Again, just make sure you’re following local laws and being ethical.
19. Open up your home as a bed and breakfast
Have a beautiful piece of land and a large home already built? It’s a B&B all ready to go.
A trendy way to make money from raw land, is to set up a glamping tent, cabin or trailer for guests who are looking for a more rugged AirBnB experience.
20. Start a marijuana growing business (if legal)
If you’re in a state where it is legal, you can start growing marijuana to sell.
It’s a profitable industry to be in.
21. Build wood furniture from timber on your land
Remember all the timber you were going to sell?
Instead, hang on to it and make something out of it.
22. Raise worms for bait
You’d be surprised at how some of the smallest things can make you the most money.
23. Rent out land for festivals
Festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza always require big open pieces of land.
There are a ton of smaller, more local festivals that also need raw land as well.
24. Build a separate rental property
If you don’t want to host people in your home, you can also build separate, long-term rental properties to make money from raw land.
Another alternative would be to place a mobile home on the lot if it is allowed by zoning and other local regulations (you may want to check out our video on how to build on raw land).
25. Allow tiny houses to rent
Renting individual tiny houses is now a trendy way to get away for a short period of time.
You can post these on Airbnb or a similar online marketplace.
Just keep in mind that you have to comply with all local zoning regulations.
26. Look into harnessing wind energy
Just like solar panels, harnessing wind energy can be expensive initially.
However, if you are located in the right climate, it can also be incredibly profitable.
27. Plant a vineyard and bottle your own wine
Who doesn’t love wine?
Plant grapes, harvest them, bottle wine, and sell!
You can also provide vineyard tours and activities for those who want to experience a local vineyard.
28. Set up a shooting range
Set up a shooting range on your raw land (if legal).
Read more about this here, How to Own and Operate a Commercial Shooting Range.
29. Start a farmer’s market
In addition to selling at farmer’s markets, why not create one of your own?
If you have the space to set up stalls, this is a great way to make money from raw land!
You can even charge your vendors a small fee. Easy money.
30. Create mini shops near the road
You may not be ready to jump into a full-fledged business and that’s okay.
That said, people love the idea of buying local fruit or other items as they’re running errands.
Like kids selling lemonade, set up a small shop or stand near the road.
If you make some extra money with stuff you already had, you’ll be thrilled!
31. Allow the city to build through-roads
Sometimes the city needs your land to build roads for the entire community.
However, they’re often willing to offer the owner compensation.
Make money from raw land by allowing these roads to be built on property you may not be using.
32. Set up a drive-in movie theater
How fun is it to go to the drive-in?
Not as many exist these days as they used to.
It’s a fun and unique business idea that you can offer seasonally.
33. Rent out advertising space on your land
Advertisers may be interested in your raw land.
Allow billboards to be built so passersby can see the product or services advertised on them.
34. Charge admission on seasonal activities
There are a number of seasonal activities that you can take advantage of.
This is a great way to make money from raw land because you’re not always on the hook for running this business.
It can easily be a side hustle in addition to whatever job you’re working.
Here are just a few ideas:
35. Start an ATM business
An ATM uses up only a small amount of your land, but it can be profitable, nonetheless.
How many times have you been driving and needed an ATM?
If it’s well done, you can have one on the side of the road and only have to invest a little bit of money to get it started.
36. Build a gas station
This a much bigger investment, but if you have vacant land on a long stretch of the highway where someone may be playing “gas sweats,” then you could have a booming business in no time at all.
Just make sure that zoning allows you to do this.
37. Start a flea market
Just like a farmer’s market, you just need space to create a flea market.
After that, you can make a profit by charging a small fee to each of the vendors who want to use the space to sell their wares.
38. Create a hostel business
A hostel can be a profitable business if built correctly.
You need to build a building that can accommodate at least 25 people.
Often, hostels have rooms with bunk beds along with enough bathrooms to cater to that number of people.
On average, you should install 1 toilet for every 8 people and enough sinks and vanity space to match.
A dining room, kitchen, and social space are also necessities.
While you don’t have to be experienced in travel or tourism to start a hostel business, you do want to make sure you’re organized if you decide to go this route.
Again, you will also want to make sure you are complying with all local zoning regulations (you can check out our video below for more information on zoning regulations).
39. Raise bees
Raise bees so you can harvest their honey and sell it at a farmer’s market.
You can also rent out your raw land to beekeepers looking for a place to put their hives.
40. Create your own ziplining park
Now we’re getting creative!
People are always looking for fun recreational activities to do.
Create your own ziplining park and watch people flock to come and enjoy it with you.
41. Start a car washing business
No one likes a dirty car.
If you have raw land that’s more centrally located, start a car washing business to make some money.
42. Create a wedding venue
The farmhouse wedding venue is becoming more and more popular.
If you have vacant land that’s particularly pretty, create a wedding venue.
After all, it’s lucrative to be in the wedding business.
It doesn’t take long to create a good chunk of change.
43. Consider hemp farming for CBD oil
Did you know it’s possible to get up to $75,000 in revenue for just 1 acre of hemp grown for CBD oil?
CBD oil is all the rage and growing tremendously in the market.
Get in on this deal when you can, so you can make money from raw land you already have.
44. Build a public swimming pool
Summertime is coming up! Who doesn’t want a local pool nearby?
Build a pool on your raw land and charge an admission or membership fee.
45. Use the land for a shopping mall
Building a shopping mall is expensive (millions of dollars!).
However, if you think you have a good plot of raw land in a solid location, you may be able to engage local developers in a conversation about using your land for a shopping mall.
46. Build an amusement park
Likewise, building an amusement park is also expensive, but developers may be interested in your plot.
If they are, they’d be willing to compensate you for it.
47. Start a summer camp for kids
Summer camps require nature.
If you have a large area of land, you can build a summer camp and charge a fee for attendance (some summer camps go for thousands of dollars!).
48. Build a concert venue
Concert venues that have lawn seating require a great deal of land.
Use your raw land for this purpose and make a lot of money in the process!
49. Build an ice rink
Another excellent seasonal activity! Set up an ice rink and then charge admission.
50. Invest in building a golf course
This is another idea that requires a lot of investment.
However, if you’re located in the right area and have the right resources, you’ll see a high return on that investment.
It isn’t cheap to golf.
Make money from raw land by building a golf course and then charging fees for those who use it.
51. Discover any minerals you may have on the property
You never know what may be valuable!
Please note that you will need to check whether you own the mineral rights to your property if you want to take advantage of any existing minerals.
52. Create an outdoor gym
Just like outdoor fitness classes, outdoor gyms can be a fun way to incorporate fitness and nature.
53. Build athletic fields
Or you can build athletic fields with all the space you have!
Baseball, soccer, football, lacrosse, and more all require wide-open space to play.
54. Create a paintball course
You can also create a paintball course and advertise online.
People who love paintball will flock to your raw land to play.
55. Build fishing ponds
If you love fishing, why not invest in creating some fishing ponds (or use what you already have!).
Then, open up this space to others and charge recreational fees.
Raising catfish or other suitable fish species is relatively easy, just throw in some fingerlings each year and toss the guys food every now and then.
You can make money by charging a fee for entrance, renting out fishing poles, and selling simple snacks.
Also, check out our blog post if you want to learn how to build a private lake on your land.
56. Create a pop-up marketplace
Similar to a farmer’s market or flea market, pop-up marketplaces or pop-up shops are becoming increasingly more popular.
All you have to have is space and advertising prowess.
Before you know it, your pop-up space will be full of vendors.
57. Build a parking lot
Do you live somewhere that constantly has events?
Create overflow parking and charge a small fee per car.
It’ll be a booming business before you know it.
58. Farm snails
Global snail farming currently achieves $12 billion in sales annually.
Snails are high in protein, iron, and water.
Farming them and then selling them can be incredibly profitable.
59. Rent your field to metal detecting clubs
Metal detecting clubs are all about looking for long lost treasure.
If you have a large area of raw land, they may be interested in hunting on your land and seeing what you may find.
You can make money from raw land by renting your property to them for a meeting or two!
Bonus, if they find something, they’ll probably want to come back again and again.
60. Create motocross tracks
Motocross is off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits.
To race, there needs to be tracks created.
You can create tracks for official races or for practice and charge a fee for use.
As long as you don’t mind the noise of course!
61. Allow a cellphone company to build a tower on your land
If your raw land is located somewhere that a cellphone tower would do well, reach out to a service provider.
They may be willing to compensate you for putting a tower on your property.
Investing in trails for hikers or cross-country skiers is another good way to make money from raw land.
You can also add picnic tables or other amenities for community use.
Some landowners offer horseback riding, snowmobile tours or ATV tours for the adventurous types.
You can increase your price by including pickup and drop-off services from local hotels with stops at farm stands or other area attractions.
If you have a larger plot of raw land, you can also make money by renting out your land to hunting enthusiasts.
65. Specialty produce
Not every farm venture needs to be a full-scale operation.
A simpler way to make money from raw land is to grow small specialty products (such as shrubs or trees for landscaping) to sell to local homeowners or markets.
Herbs are a hardy option that won’t take much effort and will give you a nice seasonal income stream.
Another interesting option in certain climates is a cut-your-own Christmas Tree farm.
If you believe in the importance of protecting our natural heritage, you can let your raw land return to nature.
In some locations, you may be able to sell your land or its development rights to local conservation groups.
A more elaborate option to make money from raw land through conservation is to set up a conservation center for an endangered species.
While this is a more expensive option, there are grants and local/national groups that will help with funding and management.
67. Lease the land for grazing
For a more passive strategy, you can also lease the land to local farmers so they can graze their livestock.
68. Bushcraft education
Many school programs and organizations are looking for outdoor learning experiences for students.
If you know how to thrive in the bush or natural environment, you could teach these life skills to students.
You could charge for a day of bushcraft excursions, and demonstrate the diversity of important skills for living in the bush.
69. Dog park
This can be ideal if there are no dog parks in your area and your zoning laws allow it.
44 percent of families in America own dogs, according to the 2017 American Pet Products Association.
There is a growing need for more dog-friendly spaces, so why not join in on this upward trend.
Have your dog park properly maintained and fenced if outdoors.
You could charge for admission, parking, and even participate in fundraising events to acquire like-minded sponsors.
70. Photography classes
Photographers are always looking for a unique backdrop so why not invite them on your property for a photo shoot.
You can charge for the hour or per session.
Reach out to local studios letting them know your land is available for photoshoots.
71. Drill for oil
Should you happen to have oil on your land, look into drilling.
But first, you will need to determine if you have the mineral rights to the oil.
If everything is in order, you can lease your land to a drilling company for a monthly or annual fee.
72. Donate your land
Voluntarily donate to a land trust or a government agency and you will receive a charitable tax deduction on your federal tax returns.
The charity may even ask you to sell the land on their behalf.
73. Drill a well
If you have a large lot with plenty of water, you could consider drilling a well for your community or neighbors.
This is a way to gain clients and provide jobs for the community.
Just make sure you get all of the proper permits and hire the right professionals for the job.
74. Build a fallout shelter
Build an underground shelter to protect yourself from exposure to hazardous chemicals.
In the event of a disaster, fallout shelters provide enough sustenance to survive provided they are stocked with preserved food and water.
Even if there is no disaster, you can rent out a decked-out fallout shelter to clients.
They can finally have that doomsday bunker experience!
75. Build an earth-bermed home
This is a home designed to blend into the landscape.
You typically build this kind of home using the existing soil and terrain to form the walls of the house.
An earth-bermed home allows you to live quietly and enjoy that fun hobbit-life vibe.
It would also make a unique Airbnb experience.
Just make sure the local building code allows this type of construction.
76. Spiritual resort
Nowadays there is a lot of stress placed on mental health.
Set up your land as a spiritual retreat for those interested in reconnecting with mother nature.
You can advertise on sites like Airbnb and bookretreats offering a tranquil zen experience.
Although this may be an unsightly option for you and your neighbors, consider the large amount of garbage generated daily with no place to go.
Space is a commodity, and no-doubt people will want to give you their trash.
If a landfill is allowed on your land, build it and people will come to dump their trash for a price.
You could also set up methods of capturing methane gas for additional profits.
Some people are just waiting for others to buy their unwanted items, like vehicles or computers.
You could lease your land out to a collector of usable items.
This is a way to repurpose old technologies without tossing them in a landfill.
Just keep in mind that this is another use your neighbors probably won’t be thrilled about.
79. Community park
Consider repurposing your land for greening the community.
This provides a place for families to connect with nature.
You can make money by renting out grills, picnic areas, and establishing stages for outdoor events.
You could also build a safe playground for children.
80. Landscaper supply store
Rent out your land to a contractor or landscaper that doesn’t have room for their materials.
Reach out to them and see if they need more storage space.
81. Outdoor obstacle course
This is an exciting recreational activity fit for the whole family.
Do your research to determine if this kind of use can be commercialized in your area.
You could charge for admission to each activity and even set up a concession stand for an after-workout snack.
82. Scenic overlook
If you’re located on a beautiful cliff or waterfall, you could set up a scenic overlook for travelers to stop and take pictures.
To make a profit, you could charge an admission per vehicle for visiting or set up binoculars.
If you’ve ever had an interest in brewing your own beer, kombucha, or wine, think about setting up a microbrewery.
So try it out and you might just be the next ‘Budweiser’.
Just make sure your lot is suitable for this use!
84. Training facility
Companies often need open space to train employees in construction, landscaping, or other specialized activities such as drone operation.
You could build a facility with restrooms and water access, then rent it out for company activities.
85. Temporary sporting events
If you have a big lot, you could rent it out to outdoor sporting events that need open terrain.
These are events like marathons, bike competitions, scavenger hunts, etc.
You could charge for parking as well.
86. Rent out your land for research
If your location is remote and provides a unique resource, you can look into leasing out your land for research.
For example, some astronomy research requires large telescope installation in a non-light polluted area.
Other biology research may even pay to lease an area for installing wildlife study cameras.
87. Restaurant garden
With the boom in clean eating and farm-to-table restaurants, you can lease your land to restaurants to grow their own produce.
88. Water access
If your land is attached to a lake, you could build a boat launch and charge for its use.
89. Racing or dragstrip
If your land is long enough to support a 1000 foot dragstrip, why not?
Dragstrip racing interest is on the rise and there aren’t many locations for dragstrips.
If you are up for managing a motorsport business, build an area for racing participants and spectators and you will be on an accelerated path to a successful business.
Some racing strips offer test and tune sessions for those wanting to see how upgraded their cars are.
90. Waste-to-energy incinerator
Landfills are a growing problem.
So instead of dumping trash into landfills, these waste-to-energy plants utilize trash to produce electricity.
Please note, there are environmental concerns around the pollutants emitted as well as the odors associated with incinerating solid-waste.
However, with new technologies, waste-to-energy incinerators treat gas with steam, activated carbon and lime to remove harmful substances and particles.
Also, research your municipal solid-waste incinerator laws before constructing a waste-to-energy plant or incinerator.
Create a perpetual care cemetery to take care of the burial sites of the community’s loved ones.
Most cemeteries profit from opening and closing burial sites and selling plots, and a little of that can go into a perpetual care fund to ensure proper maintenance in perpetuity.
92. Botanical gardens
If you have a green thumb or are an enthusiast for botany, open up your own botanical garden.
You can support the preservation of native species and the collection of plants for education.
Most botanical gardens even keep butterfly sanctuaries and tropical greenhouses.
Botanical gardens can be admission-based and can even be rented out for events such as weddings.
93. Food trucks
Your plot of land can be the next mecca for food truck aficionados.
Food truck owners can either park on your lot, or you could open up a daily food truck market for adventurous food-goers.
94. Build an event hall
You can set up a temporary exhibition or event hall to cater to a variety of events.
Reach out to companies that could use your land as a promotional space or viewing gallery.
95. Public art
Public art murals and installations are popping up all over each major city.
These works of art beautify the city and engage the community in social behaviors like hashtagging.
You could charge for taking a photo or monetize on the advertising in your space.
The possibilities are endless.
96. Animal sanctuary
Animal shelters often run out of space.
Let them turn to you for extra space.
You could open up an animal sanctuary, hire licensed veterinarians, and establish a business valuing the life of each pet.
97. Establish a community land trust
Many cities are facing an affordable housing crisis.
To ensure permanently affordable housing, vacant land can be made a community asset by placing it in a community land trust.
In this scenario, all members of a community share in decisions around the development and growth of the land.
98. Community compost
Communities can promote composting by having one centralized site.
And they can lease this land from you.
You can provide a method of reducing waste while engaging and even employing the community by building a community compost site on your land.
99. Passive-solar greenhouses
You can increase the production potential of your vacant land with a passive greenhouse.
Greenhouses using hydroponic technologies can contribute as much as traditional farming can.
Employ this small-scale style of producing food and then sell your produce to restaurants and the community.
100. Greenway boardwalk
If your location is near a lake or waterfront, you can construct a community greenway or boardwalk.
This will green the community as well as provide foot traffic for nearby businesses.
Looking to make money fast?
Your vacant land is the perfect way to do so!
There are all these ways and more to make a profit.
And if you are looking to sell your land, visit our page on how to Sell Your Land.
If you are interested in land investing, you can check out our article on How to Get Started in Land Investing.
You can also check out our article on where to find Free Land as well as our Free Land Giveaway.