When you're one of your companies best selling divisions, and you can't find ground fast enough to keep up the torrid pace, you'll try practically anything to find land. It's this thinking that prompted Toll Brothers to run a three-column display ad smack dab in the middle of the stock market tables in Florida's Naples Daily News.

“Thinking of Selling Your Land?,” the advertisement asks under the company logo. “Toll Brothers is actively seeking to purchase land in Southwest Florida...Toll Brothers' staff is trained to maximize the value of your land. Free up your assets for retirement or investment.”

Not once, but once a week. Every week. For the last couple of years. With nary a nibble, at least so far. But then, you never know, says Ralph Reinert, president of Toll's Southwest Florida region.

“I can't say the ad has brought me anything yet because we don't really track it,” says Reinert. “But I do know that land is getting tougher and tougher to come by. So for the pennies it costs us, if it brings in just one deal, it would be well worth it.”

OPEN SPACES: With prime parcels getting tougher to find, builders are getting more creative with their land acquisition strategy. A 34-year building business veteran, the last 14 of which have been spent with the Horsham, Pa.-based company, Reinert has not tried this approach before. But when he saw other ads in the same place, the proverbial light bulb went off in his head.

“I thought it would be a good place to be,” he says, calling the ad “just one more way” to mine the hinterlands for real estate. “Most people who read the business pages are substantial,” he reasoned. “Maybe they have some land to sell.”

Not that Toll is running out of ground in Southwest Florida. It just purchased a couple of big spreads in Collier County — one of 1,200 acres that will yield 1,500 units and an Arnold Palmer Golf Course, and another of 1,500 acres that will turn into 400 large-lot single-family houses.

Those projects are two years away. But between now and then, the company has enough to keep busy. Besides finishing up several few hot sellers – including 200 or so villas, four and eight-plexes at Aviano that were sold largely by lottery – it is now previewing 112 villa homes at Firano in Naples and 800 units at Colonial Lakes in Ft. Myers.

“We're not hurting for land, but we're always looking,” says Reinert. “So I'm going to keep running the ad.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Naples, FL.