After years of working independently, John Diamond, Travis Driscoll and GT Nunn have joined forces at Beaverhead Outdoors based in Elephant Butte, New Mexico.
Our goal is to become the premier ranch real estate brokerage in New Mexico—and then the Southwest,” said Diamond, a New Mexico native who is the firm’s qualifying broker.
Coming together under the banner of Beaverhead Outdoors allows the trio to leverage their individual skill sets, experience and expertise collectively on behalf of their clients.
“Beaverhead is a small brokerage with big marketing muscle,” said Driscoll, who spent more than 27 years working in advertising handling local, regional and national accounts at several ad agencies including Mudhouse, the firm he founded in Albuquerque. “We can do big deals in a highly personalized way with boots-on-the-ground knowledge and service.”
As one example, Diamond brokered the deal when New Mexico’s famed UU Bar Ranch changed ownership in 2018. At 160,000 acres, the transaction, which also included some adjoining acreage from the Vermejo Ranch, was one of the largest in the United States that year and the largest real estate transaction in New Mexico.
“I’d estimate that 90 percent of what I’ve sold has been off the market—and in most instances, I’ve had the privilege of representing both buyers and sellers,” said Diamond, who has sold more than 33 ranches since earning his broker’s license in 2008. “In any business, success is equal parts what you know and who you know. What and who I know are based on what I’ve lived—and loved—in New Mexico.”
“Compass is a dynamic company with a strong—and growing—presence in the luxury market across the country,” Brosche said. “In Texas, it makes sense that they have a ranch and land presence, and Brenda and I are eager to help craft that presence.”
The long-time colleagues and friends, who helped launch the Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s Ranch and Land Division, are excited about the opportunity to break new ground together again.
“I came to Compass because I wanted to be on the ground floor of building something spectacular for ranch real estate clients,” said Moerschell, who spent 35+ years working in the Park Cities luxury home market as well. “This opportunity allows me to create something new—and continue to get in my truck and show clients exceptional rural properties, which is my passion. Jim’s presence confirmed that it is the right move at the right time.”
Rooted in New Mexico
Lifelong friends Diamond and Nunn’s New Mexican roots are measured in generations and anchored in the traditions of ranching and outfitting. In fact, the name Beaverhead can be traced to the Diamond’s family ranch near Beaverhead, New Mexico, founded by his grandfather in the 1960s, and his father’s outfitting business, which over its 40-year history has grown to one of the largest in the state. Diamond began guiding commercial hunts when he was 18 years old.
“GT and I grew up the same way, working on our families’ ranches and guiding hunts,” said Diamond, noting that Nunn through his business, Frontier Outfitting, has earned a reputation as the state’s preeminent guide service for sheep hunting, a pursuit where the tags start at $150,000. “We know New Mexico from the inside out. Our knowledge comes from a lifetime of first-hand experience.”
A lifetime of experience is Beaverhead’s competitive advantage.
“When it comes to land, ranching and hunting in New Mexico, I’m confident no one in ranch real estate here brings more knowledge to the table than we do,” said Diamond, who frequently gets calls from other land brokers asking questions about prime hunting units or changing wildlife regulations. “Regardless of what people will tell you, it’s impossible to truly know a place and its people when you come in for a day or two and then go back home—to another state.”
Working as an outfitter not only provides an unsurpassed introduction to land and wildlife, it delivers an immersion course in customer service. Successful outfitters work with people from all walks of life and hone their people skills as surely as their woodcraft.
“Obviously, outfitting is about hunting, but it’s also about hospitality and meeting people’s expectations when important variables are out of your control,” Diamond said. “In outfitting, you have to deliver a good experience because you can’t guarantee an animal. I learned a lot of people skills in the mountains.”
Ranch real estate, like outfitting, is a relationship business. In fact, Diamond became a ranch real estate broker when his father’s outfitting clients began asking him to help them acquire ranches. While Diamond still helps on the ranch and in the outfitting business, real estate is his sole business focus.
My strong suit is bringing people together,” Diamond said. “I value relationships that are real and lasting.”
A shared respect for relationships and integrity is the common ground on which Diamond, Nunn and Driscoll operate. Diamond and Driscoll got to know one another in 2018 when they closed a $5.5 million transaction, with Diamond representing the seller and Driscoll representing the buyer. Prior to this sale, the real estate professionals knew each other only by reputation.
“Travis kind of came out of nowhere and made a name for himself [in ranch real estate],” Diamond said. “It impressed me because that’s really hard to do.”
Unlike Diamond and Nunn, Driscoll, a native of southern California, got to New Mexico by happy accident. In 1992, he was en route from Colorado back to California when his Volkswagen bus broke down in northern New Mexico. He hitchhiked into Albuquerque—and liked what he found.
Driscoll accepted a job at a local advertising agency that was supposed to last one year. It stretched to four. He got married, founded his own agency, had children and claimed New Mexico as his home.
“While I love Albuquerque, I’m a country boy at heart,” Driscoll said. “As my children got older, I began looking for a way I could make a living in the country.”
He was fishing in northern New Mexico when he saw a ranch real estate sign.
“I had grown to love the land and the lifestyle—and I knew my advertising and marketing background could serve me well,” said Driscoll, who earned his real estate license in 2011. “Ranch real estate was my answer.”
It took Driscoll two years to secure his first listing. A friend introduced him to her father whose ranch had languished on the market. The owner wanted a new approach. Driscoll sold it in six weeks, and then, in short order, sold a second ranch located in Colorado for the same man. One referral led to another until he found himself across the table from Diamond.
Because of some potential complications, the deal that brought Driscoll and Diamond together required both acumen and attention to detail as well as good faith promises backed up by a handshake. By the time the transaction was complete, the buyer and seller had become close friends and the real estate professionals recognized they share the same value system and philosophy.
“We believe in a no-nonsense way of doing business that is based on truth and complete transparency,” Driscoll said. “Our clients’ interests come before our own.”
Over time, Diamond and Driscoll’s discussions turned to the ongoing consolidation within the ranch real estate industry. Big agencies cast large shadows over many states. Independent agents find themselves either joining the big outfits or struggling in the shadows.
“None of us—Travis, GT or me—are going to work for someone else,” Diamond said.
While their clients admitted to being attracted to out-of-state firms’ flashy marketing packages, the clients also reported being disappointed by the out-of-staters’ lack of accessibility and boots-on-the-ground presence in New Mexico.
The light bulb clicked. Combining Diamond and Nunn’s home state advantage and vast networks with Driscoll’s marketing savvy would allow them to go toe-to-toe with the big outfits’ marketing efforts and nimbly outmaneuver them in the custom service arena. Beaverhead Outdoors was born.
“New Mexico is our territory—and we’re staking our claim,” Diamond said.
The Land of Enchantment
Historically, land serves as a strong, safe investment. Land in New Mexico is especially appealing.
“New Mexico is grand, diverse, beautiful and accessible,” Driscoll said. “You can experience the majesty of alpine meadows and high deserts within a short, easy drive of one another.”
And the history of the Old West is alive and well.
“In New Mexico, our western tradition is intact and undiluted,” Driscoll said. “Ranching is still tied to the history of the Old West. It’s possible to spend days on ranches with a direct connection to Billy the Kid and Jesse James.”
Ranching culture continues to flourish because New Mexico is ranching friendly.
“People can operate with more freedom here than some other places,” Driscoll said.
Despite its natural charms, New Mexico remains under the radar, which creates an opportunity for savvy buyers.
People who buy in New Mexico love the aesthetic, but there’s still value to be had,” Driscoll said. “Land values in our neighboring states have skyrocketed, so in New Mexico, buyers are getting a lot more land for the same money. They’re purchasing at a price where they can realize a profit on their investment.”
Inherent in the Beaverhead team’s hands-on experience is the ability to identify the untapped potential in a property, especially when it comes to recreation.
“A lot of the places that I’ve sold have tripled in value since they have been purchased because they went into the hands of people who knew how to manage for wildlife resources that were previously undeveloped,” said Diamond, noting the state’s landowner system of hunting creates incentives to purchase ranches because recreation can provide an additional income stream.
For people accustomed to high property taxes, New Mexico’s system is a pleasant surprise. Driscoll recalled a client whose property tax bill in northern California was about $100,000 annually. On a similar size property in New Mexico, the property tax assessment was about $2,000.
“According to our state motto, New Mexico is the land of enchantment,” Driscoll said. “It’s also the land of opportunity. At Beaverhead, we’ve got the team, the expertise and the integrity to bring the best to our clients.”
7 Mustang Drive, Elephant Butte, New Mexico 97935
John Diamond, Qualifying Broker
Travis Driscoll, Associate Broker
GT Nunn, Associate Broker