Todd Renfrew: How a Childhood Dream Created California Outdoor Properties

Todd Renfrew

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Having dreams of living on a ranch is not uncommon for kids raised in the Pacific Northwest or the Midwest United States. It is an appealing lifestyle that is glorified in western movies and American culture. Hearing somebody mention this as their dream makes you picture a lot of things, but a kid who was raised in San Francisco, graduated from Princeton University with a degree in history, and played college football as a linebacker is probably not at the top of your list. However, this is exactly who Todd Renfrew is and he has been wildly successful in realizing his dreams. 

Todd spent his first few years after college working in construction and engineering in the telecommunications industry. It was a good job with one problem, he was miserable. He was spending too much time at work and too little time in the outdoors or with his family. His childhood dreams were still alive and well and Todd purchased 700 acres down a seven-mile California dirt road. He finally had his ranch. Without the benefit of growing up around the industry, Todd also decided to take a leave of absence from the telecommunications industry and work full-time as a ranch-hand on a nearby operation for $10 per hour to learn the ropes. Before he knew it, Todd was soaking up information on the cattle industry, water rights, solar power and land rights. He even started his own solar business supplying the needs of remote ranchers like himself.

In 2006, Todd Renfrew was browsing a copy of the Western Livestock Journal and read something that changed his life, an ad for Cabela's Trophy Properties. His job as a construction and engineering district manager was not filling his needs and when he saw an opportunity with Cabelas Trophy Properties he did not hesitate. Before he knew it, Todd was a business owner, starting California Outdoor Properties as a broker for Cabela's. 

Starting a real estate career in 2006 was difficult at best due to the real estate financial crisis. In Todd's words, "I learned by doing everything wrong and I'm grateful for that." He made mistakes in the best way possible, by failing up and learning from those missteps. In his first year, Todd didn't sell a single property. Money was very tight for his family of seven. Often, he was packing his twin daughters with him in the back of his truck to show land and meet clients. He started investing in advertising and separated himself by showing a willingness to simply outwork everybody else. Todd takes the stance that if you do the right thing for people, you will eventually find success. The philosophy worked and business picked up quickly in 2009. 

Always hungry for information, Todd took a gamble in 2010 and invested heavily in a website and put emphasis on SEO optimization. This paid off and his website was soon performing extremely well and generating business. His philosophy of doing the right thing for others paid dividends as well and former clients often returned to do business or refer friends and family. In 2010, Todd was awarded The Real Estate Achievement Award from Cabela's Trophy Properties for best exemplifying dedication to the industry while retaining Cabela’s core values of integrity, honesty, respect, and quality service. In 2014, a new opportunity presented itself as Cabela's Trophy Properties sold to another company. Todd Renfrew became a founding member and owner of LandLeader, one of the real estate industry's most prestigious networks of ranch, farm, hunting, and fishing properties. 

Todd Renfrew

Todd Renfrew's love for ranch land has grown into a full-blown obsession. He specializes in the sales of ranch land, farmland, and recreational land for hunting and fishing. In other words, Todd has found the perfect combination of his passion for the outdoors and his professional career. It's the kind of thing that makes those who are stuck in cubicles very jealous. His reputation has grown due to his extensive knowledge of luxury real estate, land valuation, agriculture, and ranching. Todd also holds the distinction of the Realtors Land Institute's Accredited Land Consultant designation, making him one of the most effective experts in his field. 

If you talk to Todd about his business practice, the one thing you won't hear is a mention of business, commission, or finances. Rather, you will hear tales of those who he has helped, unique properties he has encountered, or stories from the ranch. He has a singular focus on helping those in need of his knowledge and services. Todd Renfrew views his role as a land matchmaker. "Knowing the value of a particular piece of land is difficult," said Todd. "You really have to work, learn the property, know the market, and you really need to get to know the customer. You can't pair somebody with a property that doesn't fit their needs, this is a relationship business." Getting to know people is easy for Todd. He is a quiet man who speaks directly. "God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason, to listen," he said. 

Todd and his wife, Marty, have 5 children and own land with cattle, chickens, and horses. He has expanded his business and now owns Outdoor Properties of Nevada in addition to California Outdoor Properties and his ownership in LandLeader. His daughter, Susanna, now works with him full time as his marketing manager. Being a founding member and owner of the LandLeader network has given him access to some of the best minds in the land industry. Having a national network of like-minded individuals keeps his knowledge fresh, has increased the resources at his disposal and provided opportunities for mentorship that could not be achieved anywhere else. 

If you have paid any attention to land for sale in California, chances are you've seen Todd Renfrew's properties. The videos produced by California Outdoor Properties have won awards with their sweeping scenery and VoiceOver work by a narrator who is a dead ringer for Sam Elliot. The productions have a quality more reminiscent of a Hollywood production than a typical real estate piece. This is all Todd's vision, making the quality of his work speak louder than his ads or his mouth. It's worth your time to look through the videos on his site californiaoutdoorproperties.com whether or not you are looking to buy or sell land.

Todd's highest achievement to date is fitting of his work ethic and upright nature. "I take a lot of pride in my relationships. When I get a call from somebody I worked with 5 or 7 years ago who wants to do business again; it's the highest form of compliment and tells me that I am doing something right." Selling and buying land is a complex and time-consuming process, but it is very clear that you are in good hands with a professional like Todd Renfrew. 

Todd Renfrew's Accolades: 

  • 2011-2020: The Land Report, America's Top Land Brokerages Award
  • 2018: Realtors Land Institute APEX Top 20 National Producer Award
  • 2018: Luxury Real Estate, Best Marketing Video Award
  • 2017-2018: LandLeader Top Sales by Individual Award
  • 2016: Todd and Marty start Outdoor Properties of Nevada
  • 2015-2016: LandLeader Runner Up, Top Sales by Individual Award
  • 2015-2019: LandLeader $10 Million Club
  • 2014: One of the founders and President of LandLeader
  • 2012: Receives the prestigious Accredited Land Consultant designation from the Realtors Land Institute
  • 2010: Cabela's Trophy Properties Real Estate Achievement Award
  • 2008: Todd & Marty start California Outdoor Properties
  • 2006: Todd starts first Cabela's Trophy Property office in Califonia