2016 Summer Terra Firma

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SUMMER 2016 | VOL. 70 NO. 2


The Designation That Gives Brokers and Their Clients the Confidence to Buy and Sell Land.

REALTORSÂŽ Land Institute 430 North Michigan Ave. | Chicago, IL 60611 P: 1.800.441.5263 | E: rli@realtors.org Register for LANDU Courses at: www.rliland.com



Summer 2016 Vol. 70 No. 2

News Brief from National

17 Education 20 Government Affairs Briefing 25 Drones: Navigating the Rules and Regulations of Legal Use 31 Recruiting and Developing Our Most Valuable Asset 37 The Art of Buying and Selling Vineyards


40 The Path to the ALC Designation 42 Wildlife Management 101

46 Social Media and the Land Realtor速 48 Unlock the Door to Your NAR Member Benefits and Resources 51 Crop Diversification: Finding the Right Mix for Your Farm 55 5 Ways to Maximize Your Listings 58 The Real (E)State of Print Advertising in the Digital Age

37 Summer 2016 Edition Vol. 70 No. 2 Published by the REALTORS速 Land Institute 430 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611 Telephone: 1.800.441.5263 Fax: 1.312.329.8633 E-mail: rli@realtors.org Website: www.rliland.com

Publisher Aubrie Kobernus, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Vice President Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director Jessa Friedrich, Communications & Marketing Manager Contributing Editor Amanda Jenkins, Professional Development & Project Manager

Cover Photo Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Views expressed within the publication are not necessarily endorsed by the REALTORS速 Land Institute and information should not be construed as recommendations for any course of action regarding financial, legal, or accounting matters.

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NEWS BRIEF FROM NATIONAL RLI LANDS NEW CEO/EVP Bob Turner, ALC, 2016 REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) National President, announced Aubrie Kobernus as the Institute’s new Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President during the 2016 National Land Conference in Dallas in March. Kobernus brings fourteen years of experience in multiple facets of the real estate industry including association/non-profit management, governmental affairs, public policy, affordable housing, and community development. She has extensive experience in program development and management, culled from working at the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS®, where she managed three divisions: Governmental Affairs and RPAC, the Commercial Council, and the MAAR Benevolent Fund Corporation. “I am thrilled to be chosen as RLI’s next Executive VicePresident. I am excited to work in partnership with RLI leadership and our exceptional staff to return RLI to being a member-driven organization with the tools and resources to make our members the best in the land business anywhere in the world,” Kobernus stated.

Rogillio, ALC, and Chris Rost, advocating NAR’s talking points, which included the retention of 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges. Fifteen members represented RLI on NAR Committees throughout the week, and we had a strong showing at the NAR Commercial Reception on Thursday night! It was a week filled with learning, advocacy, and lots of comradery. The National Association of REALTORS® has been a long-time advocate of commercial and land issues. It is important for RLI to show our support of NAR’s efforts by having a visible presence at the NAR meetings, especially the Legislative meetings each May. Please join us in May 2017—and don’t forget to identify yourself as a member of RLI when registering! -Aubrie Kobernus, CEO / EVP, REALTORS® Land Institute

2015 RLI AWARDS RECIPIENTS The following members were presented with the Institute’s prestigious awards at the 2016 National Land Conference in Dallas, Texas, last March:

Meeks Distinguished Service Award

RLI LEADERSHIP ADVOCATES IN DC In mid-May, approximately two dozen RLI members joined with fellow REALTORS® from across the country in Washington, DC, to participate in the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Expo. The purpose of the meetings is to advance the real estate industry and public policy by participating in special issues forums, committee meetings, and legislative activities. I am proud to say, RLI made a strong showing this year in DC! For 2016, Institute President Bob Turner, ALC, and RLI Leadership wanted to ensure that the REALTORS® Land Institute had a visible presence at the meetings. We kicked that off on May 10 by having our RLI Member Meeting in the morning, and having our Annual President’s Social for RLI members in the lobby bar of the Marriott Wardman. With a ropedoff area in the thick of the action, our event was the place to be! On May 11, RLI was well-represented on the Hill with members, including Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs) Bob Turner, ALC, Brandon


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Otto Sprenger, ALC

Porter Martin, ALC

Land REALTOR® of America Award

George Clift, ALC

ALC-to-ALC Networking Award

IMPORTANT ALC UPDATES ALC Advanced Program / Designation Discontinued

David Hitchcock, ALC

Clay Taylor, ALC

Land Rising Star Award

The Board of Directors has approved the discontinuation of the ALC Advanced designation in an effort to strengthen the brand and value of the ALC designation. As of February 1, 2016, the ALC Advanced designation may not be used by ALCs, even those who had previously earned the designation.

Code of Ethics Requirement Postponed The Board of Directors has approved the postponement of the ALC Ethics Requirement. At this time, ALCs do not need to register for the course until further review of the program has been made by the Board of Directors.

Professional Development Requirement Postponed

Aaron Graham, ALC

Excellence in Instruction Award

The ALC Professional Development Requirement has been postponed. At this time, ALCs do not need to work towards fulfilling the requirement until further review of the program has been made by the Board of Directors


Steve Anderson, ALC

Andre Van Rensburg, ALC

Chapter of the Year Award

RLI Illinois Chapter

Chapter Administrator of the Year Award

Molly Suarez, Iowa Chapter

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RECORD NUMBER OF MILITARY TRANSITION PROGRAM MEMBERS IN 2016 The REALTORS® Land Institute Military Transition Program (MTP) has grown to new levels with over twenty active members currently involved. The program is designed to assist transitioning service members into the land real estate industry. It offers unparalleled networking and comradery amongst land professionals as well as the ability to learn from fellow members’ knowledge and years of experience. The Military Transition Program is for anyone who has served in the US Military starting in 2000 or later and offers benefits valuing over $1,800:

The REALTORS® Land Institute is working with our partners at The Wall Street Journal to bring increased national exposure to the Institute and the prestigious Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation. The Institute has published ads in the Mansion Section of the Wall Street Journal on April 15 and May 13 so far this year. Another ad will be published on September 30—keep an eye out! Plus, as part of the Institute’s Member Advantage Program (MAP), the WSJ is offering a discount to RLI members. Members can log-in to rliland.com to take advantage of these exclusive rates.

RLI TWEETS FOR TREES The REALTORS® Land Institute celebrated Earth Day by raising money to plant trees through the Trees for the Future Foundation. The donation that was made on Arbor Day will plant over six-hundred trees, helping families across the globe to create a more stable future. “The Institute is excited to have the opportunity to give back to the land that supports us all,” stated 2016 RLI National President Bob Turner, ALC. “As an organization whose members are the most passionate land professionals in the country, we are proud to be giving back in a way that helps both the land and the community at large”. Thank you to all who supported us!


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• • • •

First year of membership—FREE! ($445 value) Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage course—FREE! ($445 value) One additional LANDU elective course—FREE! ($445 value) The John Eshenbaugh Military Scholarship ($500 value)

For more information about this program, visit www.rliland.com or contact the Institute at 1-800-441-5263.



brokerages signed up between the two courses offered. After the courses, brokers stayed to share property listings and buyer needs at the marketing session. Several showings were scheduled in the coming weeks as a result. Chapter President Jonathan Goode, ALC, recognized Clint Flowers, ALC, and Calvin Perryman, ALC, at the meeting for earning the prestigious ALC designation.

Carolinas Chapter The Land Education Foundation (LEF) contributes funds to students of the REALTORS® Land Institute’s LANDU educational programs and their Military Transition Program. They also contribute to other activities and educational conferences promoting Land and the ‘wise utilization thereof’ in the industry. Please be reminded that there are $500 scholarships available through LEF to RLI members. If you or someone you know might be interested, applications and more information on the Land Education Foundation can be found at www.landeducationfoundation.com

RLI CHAPTER NEWS The REALTORS® Land Institute offers strong and engaging chapter programs because of the superior commitment and dedication of its volunteers. Institute Chapters routinely offer local LANDU courses, information, networking opportunities and an array of professional development programs. Members of the Institute can elect to join one or more RLI Chapter organizations and benefit from participation on a regional or local basis. Members must be in good standing with National to join chapters.

Alabama Chapter

The Carolinas Chapter successfully hosted the Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage LANDU Course. The course was taught by LANDU Approved Instructor Lou Jewell, ALC, on May 25-26 and attended by ten students. For more information about the Carolinas Chapter, visit www.carolinasrli.com

Colorado Chapter The Colorado Chapter will be holding the newly updated Mapping Technologies and Techniques course October 6-7 in Breckenridge. Mark your calendar and make plans to attend the class! Plan now to make it a long weekend or vacation and view the “changing of the leaves”. More information and registration for the class is available at www.ColoradoRLI.com The Colorado and Kansas Chapters are planning a joint meeting in July, along with Institute members from Nebraska. The meeting will take place in McCook, NE, and a tour of Valmont’s Irrigation Manufacturing Plant is on the agenda for July 21. More information can be found on their Chapter websites.

The Alabama Chapter met on April 14, at the Mobile Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR). More than sixty real estate professionals from thirty-five different

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Georgia & Carolinas Chapter

Iowa Chapter

The Georgia and Carolinas Chapters presented a twoday training and networking conference in May which provided a LANDU Timberland course for sixteen ALC contact hours and ten Georgia real estate continuing education (CE) credits to over thirty attendees. The event was held at Unicoi Lodge & State Park in Helen, GA. The event afforded land professionals an opportunity to network during hosted meals between the in depth course on timberland, taught by LANDU Approved Instructor Bob King, ALC, CF. A Thursday evening networking & marketing session also offered the group of attendees an additional opportunity to share with fellow land professionals. For more information about the Georgia Chapter, visit www.georgiarli.org

The Iowa Chapter held its Spring Seminar in conjunction with the Iowa Chapter of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. One-hundred and thirty people attended this educational event in Ames, Iowa, on March 30. Topics presented included: Understanding Changes in Farming: Opportunities and Challenges; The Impact of Poultry Production on the Iowa Ag Economy; Spring Land Trends and Value Survey Results; Community Banking Insights into 2016 Producer Financing; Ground Water Availability for Rural Iowa; and Factors Affecting Farmland Markets in 2016 and Beyond. For more information about the Iowa Chapter, visit www.rlifarmandranch.com

Illinois Chapter

Kansas Chapter

On March 17, Illinois Farm & Land RLI Chapter in conjunction with the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers held the 2016 Land Value and Lease Trends conference and delivered the results of the land value and lease trend survey. The information was put together by farm managers and real estate brokers across Illinois. For more information about the Illinois Chapter, visit www.rliillinois.org

The Kansas Chapter hosted the three-day LANDU Land Investment Analysis course in January. Licensees from Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado took part in the required ALC designation class which was instructed by LANDU Approved Instructor Ben Crosby, ALC. The course was approved for nine hours of KREC elective continuing education (CE) credit. For more information about the Kansas Chapter, visit www.ksrli.com


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Missouri Chapter The Missouri Chapter held a very successful Continuing Education RLI Day on April 19 in conjunction with the Missouri REALTOR® Business Conference. The Chapter had twenty-eight attendees for each class. Classes included Understanding the Farm and Vacant Land RE Transaction taught by Attorney Steve Graham, Legal Counsel for the Missouri REALTORS®, and Barry Upchurch, ALC, President of the Missouri RLI Chapter. In the afternoon, Greg Smith, from IPX, taught a wellreceived Tax Deferred 1031 Exchange class. After, Norma Nisbet, ALC, Past RLI National President, led the group in a live Haves & Wants session. The Chapter also held their semi-annual meeting in conjunction with the Missouri REALTOR® Business Conference on April 21 and had speakers from NAR, including Emily Line, Director of Commercial Services, RPR, and Erin Stackley, Policy Representative for Commercial Real Estate.

The course was taught by LANDU Approved Instructor Sam Kain, ALC, and brought in twelve attendees, of which three joined the Chapter and started on their ALC designation. The Chapter will also be hosting the Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges LANDU course on September 20-21, 2016, in Pasco, WA, and will be taught by LANDU Approved Instructor James Miller, Esq. The Chapter welcomes brokers from Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, Utah and northern California and invites them into their fold. For more information about this Chapter, contact Chapter President Flo Sayre, ALC, at fsayre@farmersnational.com

Texas Chapter

Oklahoma Chapter A successful Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges LANDU course was held in Edmond last February. Licensees from Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas took part in the class. A number of ALCs also took the class as a refresher. This year, the Oklahoma Chapter instituted quarterly webinars on timely topics for the members. Brian Pugh, an OK State University Agronomist, led a webinar on May 17 speaking about Weed Control, discussing how to get out in front of the weeds before the growing season. The Chapter will have a booth at the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® state convention on October 6 in Tulsa. The Chapter will be promoting the benefits of becoming a member of RLI. For more information about the Oklahoma Chapter, visit www.okrli.com

Pacific Northwest Chapter

The Texas Chapter had a big year with the 2016 National Land Conference being held in Dallas last March. The Chapter was a partner and Chapter President Cathy Cole, ALC, gave the welcome speech at the event. The Chapter also hosted the opening cocktail reception at the Texas A&M University 26th Annual Land Conference in San Antonio which had an attendance of about fourhundred and seventy-five attendees.

Virginia Chapter The Virginia Chapter installed Bill Burruss III, ALC, as the 2016 Virginia Chapter President and Joel Kramar as Chapter Vice-President. The board consists of Alex Long, ALC; Bill Throne, ALC; David Williams, ALC; and Bill Baker. During the Virginia Association of REALTORS® Legislative Convention, the Virginia RLI Chapter and the VAR hosted Colonel Paul B. Olsen, USA (Retired) P.E. to speak on Jurisdictional Wetlands.

Wyoming Chapter The Wyoming Chapter held the Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage LANDU class in June at the Wyoming Association of REALTORS® offices in Casper. LANDU Approved Instructor Kirk Goble, ALC, led the students in learning the basics of land brokerage.

The Pacific Northwest Chapter held the Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage LANDU course in Pendleton, OR, at the Five-State Marketing Conference.

The Chapter will be holding the Water Law 101 class on September 14, in conjunction with the Wyoming Association of REALTORS® state convention being held in Cody. To register for the Water Law 101 class or to find out more information about the Wyoming Chapter, visit www.wyoming4land.com

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CONGRATULATIONS NEW ALCS Drew Ary, ALC Williams & Williams Worldwide Real Estate Auction Company Tulsa, OK Drew.Ary@williamsauction.com Drew Ary, ALC, is a Land Consultant for Williams & Williams, and is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with sellers that seek a timely and transparent exchange of their farm, ranch and land real estate. Drew holds a B.A. in Accounting from Northeastern State University. Paul Bottari, ALC Bottari & Associates Realty Inc. Wells, NV paul@bottarirealty.com Paul Bottari, ALC, has owned and operated Bottari & Associates Realty for twenty-three years. His specialties are agricultural properties and land. Bottari has listed and sold properties throughout Northern and Southern Nevada. He was also the recipient of the Nevada Association of REALTORS® Distinguished REALTOR® Award in 2008. Terry Dean, ALC Upper Midwest Management Corp Hutchinson, MN mtdean@hutchtel.net Terry Dean, ALC, has over thirteen years of experience as a licensed real estate agent, and eighteen years of farm management experience. He is proficient in listing, selling and leasing properties, along with marketing and promoting those properties. Dean has had involvement in private treaties, sealed bid auctions, and conventional public auctions. Fargason Erb, ALC Burch Realty Group Olive Branch, MS ferb@burchrealtygroup.com Fargason Erb, ALC, graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1995. After spending fifteen years in the financial services industry, Erb followed his passion for the outdoors, hunting, and connecting people, to a successful real estate career. He utilizes this passion to help clients find that special piece of property or sell a current property.


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Jenna Hawkins, ALC RE/MAX Land Team Graham, TX jenna@hawkinspump.com Jenna Hawkins, ALC, has been in real estate for ten years, with RE/MAX the last six, and is the Team Leader for RE/MAX Land Pros. Hawkins specializes in Land Brokerage and often handles Lake Resort and Residential properties. In 2014 she received the RE/MAX Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Award which less than one percent of REALTORS® ever achieve. Wendy Johnson, ALC RE/MAX Landmark Terrell, TX wendy@rmlandmark.com Wendy Johnson, ALC, is a Land Team Agent for The Frank Roberts Land Team located in Terrell, Texas. The Team specializes in the listing and sales of land near the Dallas-Fort Worth area in East Texas. Johnson joined the Land Team specializing in farm and ranch land, equestrian properties, commercial, and residential real estate. Shawn Massey, ALC The Shopping Center Group Memphis, TN shawn.massey@tscg.com Shawn Massey, ALC, is a partner in the Memphis office of The Shopping Center Group where he handles tenant representation, landlord representation and consulting assignments in the MidSouth region. Massey began his real estate career in 1987 and joined The Shopping Center Group in 2003. Peter Mazeine, ALC Providence Land Advisors, LLC Charlotte, NC pgm@pla-llc.com Peter Mazeine, ALC, is the Senior Investment Advisor for Halderman Real Estate Services, Inc. and Managing Member of Providence Land Advisors, LLC. He specializes in the agricultural land sector. Mazeine also possesses a strong background in commercial real estate development, transitional land, gas and oil lease negotiations and conservation easement monetization.

Let’s Make Deal$ land marketing sessions are online marketing venues for members of the Institute to present their properties to other Institute members and to potential buyers to make deals happen. The first thirty members who register will have the opportunity to present a listing for ninety-seconds to potential buyers. Members are welcome to invite buyers to be participants. Let’s Make Deal$ will take place triannually. The next session will be July 21, 2016. Archives are kept of all Let’s Make Deal$ sessions and are posted at www.rliland.com/lets-make-deals

Thursday, July 21 | Noon CT Submit Properties by July 15 Members, register to present your HAVES and WANTS at no cost! Invite potential buyers to listen in on the call for free! For more information, go to www.rliland.com/lets-make-deals

REALTORS® Land Institute 430 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 800.441.5263 | www.rliland.com | rli@realtors.org

Lisa Moden, ALC Ebby Halliday REALTORSÂŽ Whitesboro, TX lisamoden@ebby.com

Brandon Stafford, ALC Lile Real Estate, Inc. Little Rock, AR bstafford@lilerealestate.com

Lisa Moden, ALC, is a Farm and Ranch REALTORÂŽ, and a professional in the Equine industry. Moden is an approved Judge for AQHA, APHA, NRHA and NSBA. She primarily works with acreages and clients wanting to buy or sell equine property in North Texas but also specializes in lake property.

Brandon Stafford, ALC, began to work for Lile Real Estate, Inc. in 2004, and quickly made a name for himself selling agriculture, recreational, and timberland properties. Stafford holds a degree in marketing from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and is no stranger to the rural real estate business.

Tim Rogers, ALC Tim Rogers Real Estate Services, Inc. Dubois, WY tim@trresi.com

Bob Stalberger, ALC Whitetail Properties Rochester, MN bob.stalberger@whitetailproperties.com

Tim Rogers, ALC, is a dedicated Real Estate Broker licensed in the state of Wyoming. Rogers specializes in recreational, forested, fishing, hunting, and ranch properties in the Upper Wind River Valley of West Central Wyoming. He has also worked as a Professional Forester, Resource Manager, and log home builder for over thirty-five years.

Bob Stalberger, ALC, began working with Whitetail Properties in the summer of 2006. Stalberger specializes in agricultural, dairy farms, fishing properties, high fence properties, horse farm/stables, hunting, natural forests, pastureland, and ranches.


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Randy Thibaut, ALC Land Solutions, Inc. Fort Myers, FL rthibaut@landsolutions.net Randy Thibaut, ALC, is the Owner and Founder of Land Solutions, Inc. Thibaut has over twenty years of experience in the Southwest Florida real estate industry in sales, construction, project management, residential sales, etc. He has personally brokered over half of a billion dollars in real estate transactions.

RLI MEMBER NEWS Brian Andrus, ALC, Broker/Owner, Stonebridge Real Estate Co., Inc. in Florida, received the Pinnacle Award for his commercial real estate production in 2015 from the Florida Gulfcoast Commercial Association of REALTORS®. Paul Bottari, ALC, Broker/Owner, Bottari & Associates Realty Inc. in Nevada, received the Bert Gurr Presidential Award in recognition of service, dedication, leadership, and commitment to professionalism. Bottari serves as the RLI Representative to the Land Use Committee on the 2016 Government Affairs Committee. Bo Burkes, RLI Member, Managing Broker, Starkville Tom Smith Land and Homes in Mississippi, was named “Best New Business” by Starkville’s Main Street Association for 2015 and they continue to be number one in land sales and listings by volume. Burkes was also the number one land sales agent for the Golden Triangle Association of REALTORS®. He also serves on RLI’s 2016 Future Leaders Committee. Jason DurJava, ALC, Broker/Owner, Century 21 M&M and Associates in California, was awarded the #1 Sales Associates Award for Commercial Production by Century 21.

Jonathan Goode, ALC, Broker/ Co-Owner, Southeastern Land Group in Alabama, was featured on The Land Show, reporting back from the 2016 National Land Conference held in Dallas, TX. Goode is the current President of the Alabama RLI Chapter. George Harvey, ALC, Owner/Broker, The Harvey Team in Colorado, was installed as the Regional Vice President (Region XI) of the National Association of REALTORS®. Harvey serves on the Institute’s Government Affairs Committee as the Institute Representative to the NAR Global Business and Alliances Committee. Lou Jewell, ALC, Broker/Owner, Land Pro Real Estate, Inc. in North Carolina, was elected as the 2016 Chairman of the North Carolina Realtors® Commercial Alliance. Jewell is a LANDU approved Instructor for the Institute. Rusty Lowe, ALC, Broker/Owner, Century 21 Harvey Properties Inc. in Texas, was awarded the #5 Sales Associates by Century 21.

Danny Smith, ALC, Owner/Broker, Smith & Smith Realty in Florida, was recognized in the Top Ten Producers and as Top Producer in Sumter County by the Central Florida Commercial Association of REALTORS® (CFCAR). Smith serves as Vice Chair on RLI’s 2016 ALC Designation Committee. Minor Taylor, ALC, Broker/Owner, Property Connections Real Estate in Texas, received the 2015 Lands of America ‘Land Star’ Award which recognizes top professional brokers in the land real estate market for their accomplishments. Taylor serves as Vice Chair of the 2016 Government Affairs Committee.

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Member Advantage Program (MAP) Exclusive Offers for RLI Members to MAP Success

Save 23-27% on Listing Space

Explanation of Perk: The Wall Street Journal is pleased to offer a print advertising discount to RLI members. Discount Offered: 23-27% discount on ad space (discount rate depends on ad size purchased).

Receive a 3-Month Free Trial

Explanation of Perk: To further enhance your branding and increase your exposure, we offer the finest print titles in the industry. Discount Offered: Any Institute member that is not currently a member the LandsofAmerica.com network can get a 3-month free trial membership.

Receive A 30-Day Mapping Platform Free Trial

Explanation of Perk: Created by GIS instructors and experts, MapRight puts the power and skill of a GIS professional in the hands of the everyday user, produce professional quality farm and ranch maps. Discount Offered: 30-day free Trial

Save 10% on Mapping Platform Subscription

Explanation of Perk: Leverage this mapping platform to quickly create and share online maps, access parcel overlays and data, view and edit maps in the field using mobile devices, and embed interactive maps on their websites. Discount Offered: 10% off a TerraStride Pro Premium Account Subscription

30% Discount or 3-Month Free Trial of List Management/Sydnication

Explanation of Perk: Land Data Exchange is a Listing Management and Syndication provider. Take advantage of an efficient automation of listing uploads to the leading land advertising websites. Discount Offered: 30% Discount or 3 Month Free Trial for Institute Members

Member Benefits Property Marketing Tools Let’s Make Deal$

The Let’s Make Deal$ marketing sessions help members extend their reach and make more deals! This property marketing tool is a venue for members to sign up as ‘Sellers’ with 30-seconds in the spotlight on a conference call to present a current property listing to buyers. All sessions are recorded and made available on the Institute website to extend their reach.

Member Marketing Kit

The Member Marketing Kit offers advice and worksheets on how to build business by marketing on social media, through press releases and during media interviews. It also contains a variety of online resources and tools available to land professionals wanting to enhance their marketing efforts

e-Properties Platform

The e-Properties marketing tool gives members access to share and receive current property listings with other members via a unique email platform.

The Land Connections

The Land Connections is the official listing site of the REALTORS® Land Institute and available at no cost to all members. ALCs using THE LAND CONNECTIONS listing site receive special recognition of their esteemed designation on their properties to increase traffic and help them make more deals.

Knowledge Resources Terra Firma Magazine

The bi-annual Terra Firma Magazine is the Institute’s official publication, which all members receive at no cost. This publication features articles from industry experts, information on the latest industry trends and legislation, and more! Members may also be asked to write articles for the publication.

Government Advocacy

The Institute has a voice in DC. DC Updates are regularly provided to members on key issues and legislation impacting the land industry. The institute is dedicated to educating Washington Officials on the effects of legislation on the industry.

Institute Emails

Institute Emails include a bi-monthly e-newsletter, a monthly Land News Recap, monthly education updates, and time-sensitive government affairs bulletins.

White Papers

White Papers written by members are available free of charge to all REALTORS® Land Institute members. These papers are focused to be of particular interest and use to purveyors of the Land profession.

Annual Land Markets Survey

The Annual Land Markets Survey, conducted jointly by the REALTORS® Land Institute and the National Association of REALTORS®, contains the most up to date information in the industry gathered from land professionals across the country.

2016 Education & Event Calendar




Hybrid Course

Hybrid Courses


Land Investment Analysis

Agricultural Land Brokerage & Marketing

Mineral, Oil and Property Rights

Google Earth for the Land Professional

Online Course

Events & Classroom Courses Events & Classroom Courses 1: New Year’s Day 2-10: ALC Advanced Applications Due 4: Awards Nominations Submitted 20-22: Land Investment Analysis Witchita, KS 18: Martin Luther King Day Holiday


Hybrid Course

11-12: Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges Edmond, OK 15: Presidents’ Day Holiday


Hybrid Course

Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges NEW Strategic Planning for Your Business


5-6: Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage Pendleton, OR 11-12: Mapping & Practical Navigation Round Rock, TX 21: Let’s Make Deal$ Marketing Session


NEW Mapping & Practical Navigation

Online Course

International Aspects of Real Estate


2: Hot Topic Web Seminar: Drones Navigating the Rules and Regulations of Legal Use 11-13: 2016 National Land Conference: THE BEST STOP HERE! Adolphus Hotel, Dallas, TX White Paper Course Option


June Hybrid Course Auction Tool


5-13: LANDU Education Week plus Little Rock, AR 9-14: REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & 16: MTP Conference Call Trade Expo 16-17: Land 101: Fundamentals of 18: ALC-ALC Teleconference Land Brokerage 19-20: Timberland | Helen, GA Casper, WY 30: Memorial Day Holiday



Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage

Hybrid Course

Hybrid Course

Marketing Strategies

NEW Intro to Land Valuation Timberland

Hybrid Course

Online Course Events

Online Course

11-13:LandInvestmentAnalysis|SanAntonio,TX 21: Let’s Make Deal$ Marketing Session Essentials of Negotiation 27: Webinar: Institutional Investors in Agriculture



Hybrid Course

Hybrid Course

Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges NEW Mapping Technologies & Techniques NEW Strategic Planning for your Business Transitional Land Mineral, Oil & Property Rights

Online Course Events

20: Let’s Make Deal$ Marketing Session 26: Webinar: Conservation Reserve Program


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13-16: REALTORS® Conference & Expo 24: Thanksgiving Holiday

Land Investment Analysis Google Earth for the Land Professional


Institute Community GIVE BACK 5: Labor Day Holiday 20-21: Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges Pasco, WA

December Events

25: Christmas Holiday

EDUCATION LANDU EDUCATION WEEK PLUS Land and real estate professionals from around the country met in Little Rock, AR, for nine days of professional development at the 2016 LANDU Education Week plus. Students completed between one and six courses which included: Land 101, Land Investment Analysis, Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges, Site Selection, Agricultural Land Brokerage and Marketing, and Timberland. Students and RLI Members had a chance to relax and mingle at a social on Tuesday evening. The social was hosted by the Lile Real Estate team who served up delicious southern BBQ and sweet tea to attendees as they networked. Thank you to the RLI Arkansas Chapter and the Arkansas REALTORS® Association for hosting the 2016 LANDU Education Week plus. A record number of students turned out to attend all six of the courses that were offered. Congratulations to all of the students who attended and completed courses towards the ALC designation! “LANDU week was a wise investment worth both the money and time. I have made wonderful new friends from all over and added tools that will help me throughout my career. I can’t wait to finish the ALC designation process,” said Jeffrey Hignight, Partner, Glaub Farm Management, LLC.

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GET ON THE FAST TRACK TO THE ALC DESIGNATION Have a professional designation from another organization or college degree in an industry field? If so, check out the ALC Fast Track Program. The following designations and/ or degrees qualify for the ALC Fast Track Program: • • • • • • • • • • •

CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) SIOR (Industrial & Office Realtor) CRE (Counselor of Real Estate) AFM (Accredited Farm Manager of ASFMRA) ARA (Accredited Rural Appraiser of ASFMRA) RPRA (Real Property Review Appraiser of ASFMRA) AAC (Accredited Agricultural Consultant of ASFMRA) MAI (Member, Appraisal Institute) CAI (Certified Auctioneer Institute) SR/WA (Senior Right of Way Professional of IWRA) Those who hold either a B.S. or M.S. with a major in real estate or a program related specifically to land will also be able to Fast Track to the ALC Designation.

Fast Track Applicants only have to take Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage, Land Investment Analysis, and Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges, as well as complete and submit an ALC official portfolio. For more information contact the Institute at 1-800-441-5263.

LANDU COURSE DELIVERY Expanding your land real estate knowledge and career has never been easier. RLI’s LANDU education program offers courses in two formats tailored to meet your educational needs. Take a course in the classroom with expert instructors and network with other students or complete a course online, allowing you to never miss a day in the office. Online courses are offered as a hybrid format with instructor-led webinar lectures, an online format with instructor-led chat discussions, or as an independent study format with no instructor.

ALC-TO-ALC TELECONFERENCES The Institute’s Education Committee hosts three teleconferences a year exclusively for ALCs. These teleconferences are provided to all ALCs to network, share experiences, and build relationships. The teleconferences cover a current subject, allowing the attendees to share best practices and tips on the topic. All ALCs are welcome to attend and will receive an email prior to the event with call-in details.

How to Be Productive and Safe in the Car Let’s face it, most land professionals spend more time sitting in-front of their steering wheel than sitting at their desks. During this call, ALCs discussed the different

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ways they have found to work productively and safely while working from the road. On May 18, 2016, ALCs participated in a teleconference covering How to Be Productive and Safe in the Car. This teleconference was co-hosted by Jeramy Stephens, ALC, and Luke Worrell, ALC. Read more on this topic on the RLI Blog at www.rliland.com/blog

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How to Promote your ALC Designation Congratulations, you’ve earned your ALC! Now, how do you let others know why the ALC designation makes you stand out above the rest? ALCs will discuss their best tips for promoting their ALC consistently, and how marketing their ALC made them the best land professional in their area. On July 20, 2016, ALCs are invited to participate in a teleconference on How to Promote your ALC Designation. This session will be facilitated by Wendy Forthun, ALC.

New Apps for your Business Apps and mobile devices have changed our lives and how we do business. This teleconference will give ALCs the confidence to use new apps that can make their businesses more efficient and successful. On October 19, 2016, ALCs will discuss the best New Apps for your Business. This session will be led by Casey Berley, ALC.

2016 HOT TOPIC WEBINARS Drones—Navigating the Rules and Regulations On March 2, attendees joined host Caleb McDow, Crosby & Associates, to learn about the power of drones as a resource and incredible tool for land real estate brokers. Facilitator and Section 333 certified drone operator Caleb McDow showed how using them legally is vital in a professional real estate practice. They learned about the history of drone regulations, the Section 333 Exemption and how to obtain one, the FAA’s current and developing regulations, and more. A recording of this webinar is available for purchase by contacting the Institute at 800.441.5263.

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Conservation Reserve Programs: What You Need to Know On October 26, the Institute will host a webinar on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The CRP is a land conservation program from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). This webinar will help land professionals learn how to see if their clients qualify for these multiyear programs. The webinar will also show attendees what they need to know before applying for the program.

Institutional Investors in Agriculture On July 27, 2016, join expert Stephen Kenney of Hancock Agricultural Investment Group for a webinar about Institutional Investors in Agriculture. With institutional investors’ growing interest in farmland as an investment option, this timely webinar will reveal information that can help land professionals council their clients. Institutional investors are looking to

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GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS BRIEFING Russell W. Riggs RLI Government Affairs Liaison National Association of REALTORS ®


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SUPREME COURT HEARS TWO CASES RELATED TO PROPERTY RIGHTS Hawkes vs. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers The Supreme Court recently heard the Hawkes vs. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers case, which questions whether and when the Army Corps of Engineers’ “jurisdictional determinations” (JDs)—an official decision as to whether or not a wetland is regulated by the federal government— are subject to judicial review. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) believes these JD decisions harm landowners by not providing for a proper or timely appeals process. NAR, along with the National Association of Home Builders, submitted an amicus brief on the case. The primary argument is that these JDs are final actions that can be reviewed by the courts and that the current process to appeal a JD is long, costly to property owners, hinders economic development and hurts property rights. Update: On May 31, the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., set a precedent that landowners may challenge the Corps’ jurisdictional determination specifying that a piece of property contains a “water of the United States.”

Murr vs. Wisconsin The Court recently agreed to hear Murr vs. Wisconsin, which concerns the liability of a government land-use agency to monetarily compensate real estate owners for a “taking” of private property, as the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires. Supreme Court precedents hold that when government regulation goes “too far” and wipes-out or significantly diminishes the economic use of land, just compensation is due to the aggrieved owner. A coalition of real estate organizations, including NAR, filed an amicus brief to explain that the case has significant implications for developers, particularly those who own waterfront parcels. At issue are two separate, legally subdivided lakeshore lots immediately adjacent to each other. The Murrs wanted to sell one lot and use the proceeds to develop the other. However, local zoning regulations treat the two separate lots as a single, aggregated unit; as a result, the owners could not sell “Parcel E” unless they also sold “Parcel F”. Ultimately denied a variance to sell or use just one of the lots as a separate building site, the Murrs sued for an uncompensated taking and lost in state court.

The Wisconsin court absolved the government of liability— deciding the relevant parcel for the takings analysis was all of the land in common ownership, and that each separate plot did not stand on its own. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will review this lower court decision to determine the appropriate “denominator” in the takings “fraction”: Did the government’s zoning deny only partial economic use of the whole parcel, thereby avoiding liability for a taking? Or, did the zoning law deprive 100% of the use on legally subdivided Lot E, thus triggering the need to pay just compensation to the Murrs? Oral arguments are expected to take place in the Fall of 2016.

SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE CARBON DIOXIDE REST WITH AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY A climate pact signed by more than 170 nations, including the United States, underscores the importance of the agricultural and forestry sectors to reduce Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions and encourages countries to help these sectors do more. Much of the attention given the climate agreement has been directed at the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, though it also emphasizes the need for adapting to changes that are going to take place, and the sustainable production of food, feed and fiber that will be needed to support a global population. In terms of mitigation, the agreement looks to lowand no-carbon renewable energy solutions as a key to reducing the amount of GHG emissions that are going into our atmosphere, trapping heat and creating weather patterns that impact agricultural production, shoreline stability and public health. This goal can be realized only if the United States embraces sensible

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policies that incentivize further biofuel development and reward agricultural producers and foresters for sequestering carbon. The ability of biofuels to significantly reduce carbon emissions has been demonstrated by recent data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), showing that ethanol made from corn and sorghum has provided nearly half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions achieved during the first five years of that state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program (LCFS). Elsewhere, road transportation accounts for a sixth of all global carbon dioxide emissions. But a new analysis from Lux Research finds that the emergence of low-carbon fuels, including biofuel blends, and vehicle efficiency will cut emissions by twenty-nine percent in 2030. In addition to providing the biofuels and biomass that can help meet climate change targets, it is estimated that the U.S. agriculture and forestry sectors serve as carbon sinks, removing an estimated eight-hundred and fifty million metric tons of CO2-equivalent from the atmosphere each year and offsetting sixteen percent of annual industrial emissions. The reality is that agriculture and forestry offer big weapons in the fight against climate change and policy makers should give credit to, and harness, these solutions.

FAA CONSIDERS MICRO UAS RECOMMENDATIONS The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Micro Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) released its recommendations earlier this week. The purpose of the ARC was to write recommendations for the Administrator of the FAA, Michael Huerta, to consider as the FAA moves forward in its UAS rulemaking. The ARC was assembled by invitation only and NAR was the only real estate group to participate.

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The recommendations specifically address micro UAS operations over people, and were developed using the Small UAS Rule Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) as a basis for operational and educational requirements. Operators would still have to comply with stated requirements of that rule to operate over people, such as education, training and registration of operator and aircraft, and flight near airports is still prohibited. The Small UAS rule is the minimum set of requirements for operation, and this next rulemaking will be the next layer. Manufacturers will bear the burden of compliance to determine what use categories an aircraft may be used for. The next step is for the FAA to digest the recommendations of the ARC and start putting together the rulemaking process for micro UAS flight over people.

SENATE INTRODUCES PATENT VENUE REFORM BILL On March 17, Senators Flake (R-AZ), Gardner (R-CO) and Lee (R-UT) introduced S. 2733 a bill that would address the issue of venue reform in patent litigation cases. Last year, nearly half of all new patent infringement cases filed in the United States were filed in one judicial district. The high volume of cases filed in this district is not a coincidence. Patent Assertion Entities, otherwise known as patent trolls, take advantage of broad interpretations of current law that allow them to file their lawsuits where local rules and practices, along with physical distance, make it very expensive for companies to defend themselves. NAR supports venue reform along with a comprehensive set of patent litigation reforms aimed at curbing patent troll abuses. About the author: In his position with the National Association of REALTORS®, Russell Riggs serves as the Institute’s Government Affairs Liaison in Washington, D.C., conducting advocacy on a variety of federal issues related to land.




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DRONES: NAVIGATING THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF LEGAL USE By Caleb McDow Land Specialist, Crosby & Associates Drone. It’s a word that elicits different feelings for different people. Some people love them, others hate them. Some people see their incredible potential while others wish they didn’t exist. Headlines range from “Drones are saving puppies” to “Drones are ruining my life”. The issue can be polarizing.

As a land professional, a drone can be a powerful and effective tool for your business. The current and potential uses are varied and creative. The opportunity is huge and it’s important to be well-informed regarding the proper use of drones.

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As with any “hot-topic” issue, there is a lot of bad information that gets into public view; and having bad information can result in poor decisions, lost business, and even legal penalties. I am writing this article because I want you to be an informed, intelligent, and passionate ambassador for drones and their incredible potential in real estate. As such, I want to provide specific, reliable, and accurate information on how to legally operate a drone in your business. I also want to provide you with resources for further research and up-to-date information. To achieve that goal, I am going to focus on the nuts and bolts of completely legal commercial drone flying. I’m not going to tell you which drone to buy, how to get the best shots, or what time of day offers that epic cinematic effect. I am going to tell you exactly how to operate within the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) rules and guidelines for commercial drone use. Below are three basic overarching maxims that are central to all legal, commercial drone operations. These are presented as fact, insofar as they are published in FAA guidance, law, or other official means. So, regardless of what you’ve heard on the news, read on the Internet, or been told by your brother-in-law, here is the scoop:


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THE ONLY LEGAL WAY TO OPERATE A DRONE COMMERCIALLY IS THROUGH A SECTION 333 EXEMPTION ISSUED BY THE FAA The FAA is currently using an EXEMPTION process to allow legal commercial drone use. This process is filling the gap until full-fledged regulations can be finalized and published. Until recent years, “model aircraft” have been used almost exclusively for recreational purposes. In the past decade, inexpensive drones with the ability to capture high-quality video and photographs have flooded the market. This has given the FAA a lot of heartache, because they did not yet have rules in place to regulate “commercial model aircraft”. The exemption process is the only avenue currently available to operate legally for hire. In order to receive an exemption, you must apply at www.regulations.gov. Instructions for the application process can be found here: https://www.faa.gov/uas/legislative_programs/ section_333/how_to_file_a_petition/

This is how it’s done: read through a few petitions, copy someone else’s petition, personalize it to yourself or your company, include the necessary documentation, and submit. It’s not college English class so plagiarism is not only allowed, it is actually encouraged. You want to make it as easy as possible for the FAA to say yes by submitting an application very similar to one that is already approved. When I applied for my exemption, the FAA’s stated processing time was ninety to one-hundred and twenty days. I received my approval in eighty-seven days. It was the first time in my life a government entity had done something faster than advertised. Some people have hired lawyers, others have hired so-called “Section 333 Exemption Companies” to write and submit the application for them. That is unnecessary. The process is simple and the instructions are clear.

THE OPERATOR OF THE DRONE MUST BE AN FAA LICENSED PILOT After reading number two, you may be thinking, “I’m not a pilot. I’m never going to become a pilot. Why should I apply for this exemption?” The person applying for the exemption DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A PILOT. The person OPERATING the drone DOES have to be a pilot. Of the over five-thousand exemptions granted to date, many of them have been companies or individuals who are not licensed pilots. You can have a pilot working for your company, or contract with one who can legally fly the drone. This will allow more flexible and on-demand scheduling to keep your costs lower. The exemption will require a certain level of drone training and logged flying hours. But any level of FAA license will do—from Airline Transport Pilot all the way down to Sport Pilot.

THE DRONE MUST BE REGISTERED, COMMERCIALLY, AS AN AIRCRAFT Because the FAA, with the input of the courts, has determined that a drone is an aircraft (Google: Raphael Pirker Drone), it must be registered. For commercial drones, this once meant filling out a paper form (carbon paper included) and sending it, along with other documents, to the FAA. Luckily for all of us living in 2016, in April of this year that process was moved online. In order to register your drone, you must visit https://registermyuas.faa.gov, pay a five-dollar registration fee, label your drone with the registration number provided, and you’re good to go. This is the FAA’s way of finding you when you crash your drone on the White House lawn. Flyers beware!

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(As a side note, recreational drones also require registration if they weigh over 0.55 pounds). When you receive your exemption, it will be accompanied by a long list of dos and don’ts that you must abide by. These requirements range from preflighting your drone to maximum altitudes you can fly. Here are some of the basics: • • • •

No flights above four-hundred feet Above Ground Level (AGL) Drone must remain within Line-Of-Sight (LOS) If operator is using First Person View (FPV), looking at the video feed instead of the drone, he must have a Visual Observer (VO) to maintain LOS No flights within five miles of an airport with a control tower or within three miles of an airport without a control tower, UNLESS a Certificate Of Authorization (COA) has been issued and the Operator has coordinated with the airport control tower Must stay five-hundred feet away from nonparticipating persons at all times

Below is a list of resources where you can stay updated on everything contained here. This an ever-evolving issue. Be sure to check back often for updates and changes. • •

A one-stop-shop for general info on rules, safety, registration, etc.: www.knowbeforeyoufly.org Here is where you file your Section 333 Exemption: www.regulations.gov

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• • • •

Here are the instructions for filing: https://www. faa.gov/uas/legislative_programs/section_333/ how_to_file_a_petition/ Here is a link to my exemption: http://www.regulations. gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-1605-0001 Here is where you register your drone: https:// registermyuas.faa.gov Here is the FAA’s UAS homepage (Unmanned Aerial Systems): https://www.faa.gov/uas/

Now, I’m certainly not naive enough to believe that none of you have ever flown a drone commercially without the required exemption, licensing, and registration. It’s true that thousands of people have taken aerial video and photography this way; and the vast majority of them never face any issues from the FAA. However, I would submit that as land professionals and REALTORS®, we should all strive to operate within the rules. We need to be doing things the right way, every time, all the time. To their credit, the FAA is taking steps to make things easier for everyone who wants to operate a drone. I have seen at least two examples of LESSENING of restrictions for Section 333 exemption holders in the past few months. These include an increase in the allowable altitude from two- to four-hundred feet and the publishing of a blanket list of drones you can fly once you receive your exemption (previously each petitioner had to list all drones intended for use and provide all documentation for each drone).

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So, what does the future hold? Good news! The proposed rules going forward provide for approving drone operators WITHOUT a pilot’s license and WITHOUT a Section 333 Exemption. Applicants for a Drone Operators License (for commercial operations) will be required to complete online education, pass a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background screening, and pass an FAA knowledge test. These proposed rules are still being vetted, discussed, and debated to determine the final rules. However, the rules are a great framework to lessen the burden of legal operation while still maintaining appropriate training and safety measures. Plans are also moving forward to allow flight over non-participants—as long as the specific drone being flown meets certain industry standards. The timeline on the final rules is uncertain. Yet, industry stakeholders and individuals alike are putting a lot of pressure on the FAA and Congress to get it done. For now, we have to operate within some tight restrictions, but drone technology, uses, and regulation are all evolving very quickly. If you haven’t already, get ready to join the world of drones—an exciting industry with virtually unlimited potential! About the author: Caleb McDow is a Land Specialist for Crosby and Associates in Winter Haven, FL, with a Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) and is a FAA Certified Drone Pilot. McDow joined the institute in 2014 as a Military Transition Program (MTP) member. He serves on the Institute’s 2016 Future Leaders Committee and regularly blogs on real estate issues.

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RECRUITING AND DEVELOPING OUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET By Dan Perez CEO/Chief Broker, Whitetail Properties You know it isn’t very difficult for an agent to shine in the real estate profession. In some cases all they have to do is return a phone call or follow through on something they promised. I think it is pretty sad that the bar is set that low‌

You can have a beautiful building and offices, state of the art website and office equipment and you can spend a fortune on PR, social media and marketing. However, at the end of the day, if your company is not represented by professional real estate agents you are hurting your business, your brand and the real estate profession as a whole.

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Make no mistake, when a real estate agent, regardless of who he or she is licensed with, represents himself in less than a professional manner due to his or her poor work ethic, lack of skill or dishonesty, every single one of us in the real estate profession pays the price.

recruit agents away from other brokers does not feel anymore ethical to me than calling another broker’s client. If agents from other companies call us, we are more than happy to talk to them; however, we will never call them first.

One very common real estate business model is to hire as many agents as possible, offer them a large split and let them beat it out. Meanwhile, whether those agents know what they are doing or not, they may acquire a listing or two simply because a friend or family member feels obligated to list with them. This approach is strongly why over seventy percent of the real estate agents will quit this profession within two years. I feel this business model is extremely unfair to the agents; unfair to the public; and catastrophically harmful to the image of our industry.

The prospective agent’s initial phone interview is with our HR executive (we provide her with the qualifying criteria). If the prospective agent makes the cut, HR then sets up a second phone interview with our threeperson interview panel. We then rate the candidate on a scale of one through ten on a ten-line score sheet. If the candidate makes the second cut, we then setup an in person interview. If the candidate gives a good personal interview we sign them up for the next orientation after they’ve obtained their real estate license. It’s important that they attend orientation before we allow them to represent our company and our brand.

Forget the representation of your company for the moment and consider the amount of money that exchanges hands along with legalities, complexities and the consequences associated with the sale and purchase of land. I believe our objective as brokers and leaders should be to hire the best people and support them through training, marketing and structure. In essence, we pour everything we can into them to ensure they are successful and, in turn, we will be successful because our relationship will be bilaterally equitable.

RECRUITING Our primary recruiting resources are online companies like, Monster, Indeed and Zip Recruiter to name a few. We target the nearest major metropolitans to the areas we wish to populate. These companies cast pretty large nets in that they often have sub-chapters/ boards and communities that extend their radius. Our collateral resources include: our own career page on our website; social media; LinkedIn careers; The Outdoorwire; outdoorindustryjobs.com; AGcareers.com and AgHires.com to name a few. What we do not do at Whitetail Properties is try to recruit/steal-away other broker’s agents. When you consider that we work in an industry where we work together through co-brokers and referrals, trying to


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BASIC FOUNDATION There are a lot of real estate companies that will hire anyone who has a pulse and the ability to acquire a real estate license. I believe that this, along with a lack of training, is why many people stereotype real estate agents as a bunch of incompetent crooks. We have four basic cornerstones when considering a new agent: First and foremost, the prospective agent has to be an honorable person; the prospective agent has to be passionate about land and every aspect of land; the prospective agent has to have a strong work ethic; and the prospective agent has to be professional. We can teach real estate, but in my opinion by the time human beings reach adulthood we can’t make them love land or teach them to be honorable! Additional Prerequisites: • • • • •

Financially Stable Ability to work full time Self-motivated Accountable Trainable


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sell the listing but rather to provide our clients with the ultimate land buying or selling experience, we will sell more land. In addition, we will receive more referrals and elevate the image of our company and of the industry.

We are accountable for and to our agents. For this reason, we do not allow our agents to represent our company until they have attended orientation. At Whitetail Properties’ three-day orientation, our goal is to give our agents everything they need to start their career on a successful path.

There are too many real estate companies who feel making the sale is more important than working in their client’s best interest; more important than building a relationship; more important than being a professional and even more important than being honest. This has to change.

Weekly Webinars Our weekly webinars provide our agents with solid career building knowledge. The topics cover everything from utilizing your sphere of influence to recognizing a property’s highest and best use. Training is not something that you do once in a while. Training has to be scheduled and repeated on a regular basis. The key is to keep it fresh, informative, relative, productive and entertaining.

Maintaining Pro-active Contact It’s important to maintain regularly scheduled calls with agents in order to review, mentor and coach them. You see, the agents who contact their brokers for assistance are generally the ones working deals. However, the agents who typically need help the most are the ones we don’t hear from because they are not working anything. So, it’s very important that we reach out to them and explore what they are doing and how we can help them.

Support Every member of our staff is employed for the sole purpose of helping our agents become successful and continue to grow their businesses. In addition to the office and administrative staff, the following employees are at our agents disposal: we employ our own graphic designer, marketing director, advertising team, creative director, production department, IT department, compliance officer, accounting department, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive Officer as well as team leaders and brokers. Of course we did not start off with such an extensive staff. We realized early on that in order to grow our business and our agents’ businesses, we had to develop a formula where we employed key staff members for every X number of agents.

The Experience The most important thing we teach our agents is that our client’s experience is the single most important part of their jobs. None of us will sell every tract of land we list, but when our ultimate goal is not necessarily to


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OUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET Our agents are unquestionably our most valuable assets. However, we can’t just wind them up and turn them loose. Through explanation and repetition we have to instill our company’s core values in our agents. Our company’s ideology is the foundation from which we’ve grown our business. Without a solid foundation based on integrity you are not developing or nourishing your most valuable assets. As I mentioned before, we have to provide a consistent training program. We have to take every opportunity to mentor and guide our agents and we have to teach our staff how to best assist our agents to ensure their success. Along with this, we don’t allow agents to simply “hang their licenses” with us. If we teach, train and mentor our licensees they become our most valuable assets. However, if we do not teach, train and mentor an agent, that agent becomes our biggest liability! We take our obligation to our agents; to our clients; to the public; to the States where we are licensed; and to all of our fellow brokers and agents in the industry very seriously. Although as brokers we are held responsible and accountable for every one of our agents, there is no possible way that we can be present every single time our agents interact with buyers, sellers, customers or clients. However, we can pour into our agents on a regular basis to ensure they conduct themselves, knowledgably, honestly, professionally and responsibly. After all, they are our most valuable assets. About the author: Dan Perez, RLI Member, is the CEO, Chief Broker, and one of the Founding Owners of Whitetail Properties Real Estate as well as the host of the ever-popular Whitetail Properties television show. Dan is passionate about the land business and driven by hiring and developing real estate agents to become multi-milliondollar land specialists.


Have a spectacular property for sale? Contact your Farm & Ranch West Regional Sales Manager today to reserve your space for next issue at a special rate for RLI Members. 866.936.4299 or Myra@FarmandRanch.com

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THE ART OF BUYING & SELLING VINEYARDS By Flo Sayre, ALC Managing Broker, Farmers National Company

THE ART OF BUYING A VINEYARD So you think you want to own a vineyard, do you?!? There is much romanticism in buying and/or owning a vineyard. However, let’s take a look at the facts and attempt to put some sense into the process. Vineyard land or vineyard potential land is not all the same. First, one must get some questions answered. What type of grapes is the buyer interested in growing: table grapes, juice grapes or wine grapes? If it is wine grapes, of which variety? Does it have irrigation water, and is there enough water for a sustainable crop? Which way does the air drain? By that, I mean, is there a slope or is it flat land? If the land is flat, then one needs to do substantially more research before committing. Land with a slope (even in any direction) allows for natural air drainage—either up or down the hillside. If there are undulations in the land (hills and valleys) there could be cold pockets subjecting spring bloom to potential frost. In the industry, these are referred to as “frost pockets”. Juice grapes are hardier than wine grapes or table grapes. Their growing season is short enough to allow them to be grown in nearly every northern state in the US. Table grapes have both a longer growing season and a tender blossom. They are grown a bit mid-line across the US to the more southern areas—usually in the foothills to valley floors in the eastern and western coastal inland areas of the US like California or the Carolinas and Georgia. Both of these varieties strive for high production and quantity, needing substantial water for finishing.

Wine grapes, on the other hand, are much more temperamental. They need some water, but not too much. There is a very fine line between not enough and too much water for irrigation. A smaller berry, starved slightly for water, produces a better quality wine in the end. Slopes are nearly always preferred for wine grapes, regardless of variety. Red varietals can take colder winters than the whites and are more susceptible to some diseases. One should make note of the local weather patterns, spring and fall freeze dates and frostfree growing days. Also, take note of the types of crops grown in the surrounding area. Know the standards of practice for spray application to the neighboring lands. Grapes are very much negatively affected by certain sprays, causing bloom drop and loss of production. Bees are an important factor to consider as well. Grapes do very well in areas where orchards and nut groves are prevalent for pollination. The bees tend to linger longer where there is ample blossom time and fresh nectar. Take a look at the soils. Vines do not like to have wet feet, so, well drained soils are a major factor. Have the soils tested for nutrients as a part of your ‘due diligence’ prior to closing the sale. Know and understand the nutritional needs of your chosen varieties, and if the soils need amending to reach the plant requirements, find out what the cost will be to reach that goal. You may determine that a nicer looking property may cost you more than your second choice if the cost to get the soils amended to optimum levels is cost prohibitive. Find a crop consultant in the area who specializes in grape production to help you with your research. You may also find a Land Grant University with agricultural specialties in the area that has a team or department with ties to the vineyard industry. Always look for local, regional or state grower associations for advice and/or assistance. Have a financial plan! This is one of the most frequently miscalculated and misguided parts of the farming business in general. Vineyards do not produce the first year, or the second year, and possibly not even the third year. Know the cost of trellising, planting, pruning and


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training the vines before production. Determine if hand picking or mechanical harvest will be done. If you are not sure, plan for both. Height, row spacing and endrow turnaround space are critical. Plan out plantings in phases so that you can optimize the land and the expense calendar. Order the vines from a reputable nursery. ALWAYS ask for the patent and copyright certificate for the vines you purchase! If the nursery says they don’t have one or that you don’t need one, go elsewhere. Permanent plants are patented and copyrighted just like photographs, parts and paintings, and there are substantial fines and penalties associated with ‘patent infringement’ in America. It is also against the law to make cuttings of patented plants for expanding your own growing area. Just be aware! Most of all…plan for disaster years; they will happen in agriculture, regardless of the crop. One cannot control Mother Nature! Next, know the varieties and the demand. Remember, the ‘sipping public’ changes flavor trends often and suddenly. Reds are always popular; however, popular taste may vary from light to heavy, oaky to clear, and whatever other flavors can arise in the process of fermentation, or whatever the marketing ploy is at the time. Whites can vary widely from dry to sweet; there are cooking varieties, sipping varieties, and dessert and aperitif whites. It is important to know the market, the demand, and watch the industry trends before getting financially buried in the vineyard business. Get to know the other growers and vintners in the area. They will be your biggest resource and greatest fans. Wine growers, unlike hop growers, are extremely generous with sharing information about practices, operations and what’s new. Plus, they’ll give you advice–solicited or not! You have done your research, completed your due diligence, developed a master plan, and found a circle of friends, consultants and advisors…now, you must have a passion in order for your plans to meld into your life and future. If you don’t have passion, one can give up or give in and the project can easily fizzle at the first bump in the road.

THE ART OF SELLING A VINEYARD Although it is somewhat romantic to purchase a vineyard, it can be stressful, emotional or drudgery to sell one that you have put your life and soul into and worked at for years. A buyer may not have the same passion as the seller. Vineyards sell for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the owner has improved it to the point of capacity and

wants a new challenge. Perhaps there is a death in the family and the succeeding generation does not have the desire or passion to continue. Possibly a vineyard has produced some exceptional grapes for wine or juice and a major player wants the label and juice bad enough to pay an exorbitant price for the vineyard. Perhaps there is financial difficulty that dictates moving on.

weed-free and presentable to the buying public. First impressions make a HUGE difference when buying a piece of property. Remember, sellers… Buyers often rely as much on emotional connection to a property as they do on business sense. A clean and showy place makes all the difference–especially if there is more than one property that a particular prospect is considering.

Juice grapes hold very little, if any, additional value for the variety. That land is considered similar to row crop land except that the vines need to be scraped off to make way for a higher and better use. Unlike merely a few years ago, when grape cooperatives had shares and the shares in the co-op held some value, the co-op shares are nearly worthless in today’s market. The returns are lower than most any other crop, especially in the western states, and growers are actually losing money in places. There is approximately a $1,000 to $1,500 cost to pull the vines and remove the infrastructure from a site. Sellers may take a hit in price for this reason unless the buyer has a higher use for the land.

Vineyard sellers would also be wise to have in their possession (or at least make available or have access to) the weather data, seasonal harvest dates, freeze data and so forth in order for a buyer to make an informed decision about the property. The varieties, number of acres planted, age of vines, type of root stock (if they are grafted cuttings), row spacing, plants per acre, type of trellis, type of irrigation system, etc. are all pertinent to the sale. In addition, a recent soil analysis and pH analysis are very helpful to potential buyers and their brokers. The most important part of disclosures is to BE HONEST! If there has been a disease or problem in the vineyard, disclose it even if it has been corrected. Detail any environmental concerns such as being downwind from a processing facility, excessive dust from a gravel crusher, dairy nearby (fly spots on berries), etc. The more honest, complete and accurate the disclosure is, the less liability the seller shoulders in any transaction.

Table grapes, on the other hand, tend to retain their longevity as a crop. Disease and urban encroachment are the largest factors confronting sellers of this type of land. Wine vineyards have exponentially more hurdles in the selling process. Much of it is emotional; however, location within a specific American Viticulture Appellation (AVA) lends higher or lower value to a vineyard. One in demand can, and usually does, sell at a substantially higher value than the same plantings across the road if they do not sit within the desired AVA. Red Mountain AVA in southeastern Washington, is one of the smallest AVA’s known. The prices for vineyards and vineyard potential land can command one and a half to two times the price as a similar land parcel merely across the road—simply because of where someone drew the line for the AVA! When selling, there are specific disclosures required. The disclosure most often overlooked is the five-year crop pesticide and chemical use records. There are also production records, income and expense records, labor hour records and sales contracts to disclose. Much of this type of information is disclosed only with ‘confidentiality agreements’ signed by potential buyers. Plus, there are state mandated disclosures that vary from state to state. In addition, some sellers may demand potential buyers to be registered and pre-qualified with a lender’s letter in hand before they will show or release any information about the property. If there are homes, buildings, or commercial parts to the sale, then, separate disclosures may be required for each endeavor.

Also, sellers should think through the end of the transaction. What are they going to do with the money? Bank it and pay capital gains, convert the sale into an IRS 1031 Tax Deferred Like-Kind Exchange, split a partnership or family holdings? Bring in a qualified Certified Public Accountant early in the process so there are no last minute surprises--and be prepared for a long ride. Vineyard listings, especially wine vineyards, either sell very quickly or may take several years. If the numbers fit the return profile, they may sell quickly. If not, it may take a while. Investors don’t usually jump into the buying process on smaller acreages unless they have other similar property in the area or the holding and profit margin are substantial. As with most familyowned vineyards, that is not the case. You may need to take an additional harvest or two before you find the right buyer. Hang on for the ride! About the author: Florence “Flo” Sayer, ALC, has been active in the land business for over forty years and licensed in the real estate industry for over twenty. A member of RLI since 2008, she is the current RLI Pacific Northwest Chapter President, the Chair of the ALC Designation Committee and serves on the RLI Board of Directors.

One of the most important aspects of selling a vineyard (or any property for that matter) is keeping it clean,

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THE PATH TO THE ALC DESIGNATION By Drew Ary, ALC Land Consultant, Williams & Williams In 2012, I began searching for a professional organization in hopes of enhancing my knowledge and growing my network. One of my college professors told me something that has always stuck with me, “to be the best, you need to surround yourself with the best.” With that in mind, I began attending several conferences and trade shows across the US to help expand my network and increase my opportunities for future business. My roots are in the Auction business. My main goal is to meet and educate brokers and agents on the benefits of auctions. I went to the National Agricultural Bankers Conference, several Farm Shows and, at last, RLI’s National Land Conference in Charleston, SC. I knew immediately that my search was over. RLI members are known for being the best in the business and as we all know, the best typically use every tool available to them. Several agents I spoke with in Charleston said they would be extremely happy if they never had another listing expire and I explained how the auction process can help make that a reality! I quickly realized the opportunity to develop trusted relationships AND become educated through one institution was exactly what I was in search of finding. Becoming the tenth Oklahoman to obtain the prestigious ALC designation immediately became my top priority. The members I met at my first conference were inviting and the speakers were intriguing. The legendary Mac Boyd had a booth across from me and knowing it was my first event, he kindly began introducing me to everyone that passed by us. I felt right at home and immediately began building relationships and getting business cards for potential referrals. The conference allowed me to meet several like-minded professional land agents and brokers across the US and even a few of the Whitetail Properties agents whom I later secured a partnership with. After the conference, I signed up for the 2014 LANDU Education Week that was to take place in Chicago. A month or so before LANDU week I listed four-thousand seven-hundred acres for auction, ended up shifting my focus to that auction and could not go to Chicago. The Institute worked with me and I ended up attending LANDU week in Memphis the following year. I strongly believe this was a blessing in disguise.


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Aside from the education and information, the relationships I have made becoming an ALC are priceless. RLI President Bob Turner, ALC, welcomed us to Memphis with arms wide open. He checked in daily to make sure we had everything we needed and was an absolutely wonderful host. He and his incredible wife, Wendy, smoked some of the best BBQ I have ever had and welcomed ALL of our class to their beautiful farm. It was a great time and really illustrated the culture of what this organization is comprised of: great people who truly want to help you grow and treat you like family while doing it. You cannot put a value on relationships that will last a lifetime. Getting the ALC designation was far from easy and definitely not cheap, but then again nothing in life that comes easy has much, if any, value. I learned more applicable information, through the courses and attending conferences, than I learned obtaining my Accounting Degree! That is a powerful statement and I truly believe it. The ALC designation has opened up doors that I never thought possible. Our generation is based around technology and web presence, the courses and conferences available through RLI help keep members up to speed, which is so important. Obtaining the ALC designation has been well worth the time, money and effort. The instructors, Ben Crosby, ALC; Jim Miller, Esq., and Randy Hertz, ALC, were awesome! They worked hard to make sure that we understood the content and applied the information to real life scenarios as much as possible. Each class lasted most of every day, some until ten at night, and each instructor was committed to providing relevant information to keep our focus. At the end of each course we took a test and once all courses are completed, you must then pass the comprehensive ALC Exam. The comprehensive test is a bit of a challenge and I would urge you to take it immediately after you complete the required courses. You will be exhausted but it is so rewarding and I promise you will not regret it! Once all of the mandatory and elective requirements are met, you then start putting together your portfolio. It is so important to remain organized and keep all the transaction history and Settlement Statements/ Commission Statements to prove your experience/

ten million dollars in sales. Having quick and easy access to your transaction information will make the portfolio process MUCH less labor intensive. In fact, if you plan to become an ALC (which I hope anyone reading this already is or is signed up), I would print the requirements (http://www.rliland.com/alc-designation), hang it on your wall and start saving the items you may need in a separate folder on your computer (you will thank me for this later). Assembling the portfolio and writing the Narratives for each transaction helped me realize how much I have grown and the things I would have done differently had I been through the courses prior to each transaction. The portfolio process helps put each transaction into perspective and helps you realize how to better serve your clients in the future. The narratives also act as a reminder for following up with past clients.

ALC CODE OF CONDUCT Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) are honorable land professionals who recognize the importance of land to life. ALCs share in the responsibility to conduct themselves with high morals following the ALC Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORSÂŽ. 1. Protect and promote the best interest of clients

If there is one thing you take from this, I want it to be clear that the time and money invested is well worth the return. Not only will you gain confidence and build a network, you will have the opportunity to expand your business and become much more marketable. The ALC designation will differentiate you in the marketplace and keep you performing at the highest level with a strong focus on ethics and integrity. ALCs trust ALCs and you will likely get referrals because of the designation. I just referred a property TODAY to Dwayne Anderson, ALC, up in Illinois and it was worth over one-million dollars.

2. Display high moral and professional standards

ALCs understand that serving your clients interest above any other interests, including your own, will make you successful in this business. Always do the right thing and the money will follow. Since receiving my ALC at the Dallas conference, several opportunities have presented themselves. I am excited for the upcoming changes in my personal career and look forward to giving back to the organization through our local chapter and as a partner to the Institute. I hope to see you there, please come introduce yourself!

6. Enhance the integrity and professionalism of the industry

If you have questions about completing the portfolio or anything related to the ALC designation, please feel free to call, text or email me anytime at 918-282-2524 or DrewAryALC@gmail.com. I can confidently say that obtaining the ALC designation has paid for itself tenfold and is changing the trajectory of my career. I hope to meet any and all current and future applicants!

3. Avoid exaggeration and misrepresentation of relevant facts 4. Treat all with honesty and respect 5. Stay current in industry knowledge and trends

7. Cooperate with fellow real estate professionals 8. Follow local, state, and national laws regarding disclosure 9. Will not condone or participate in discriminatory practices 10. Support, understand, and champion Institute policies

About the author: Drew Ary, ALC, is a Land Consultant for Williams & Williams. Ary helps manage auction projects all across the United States. He also holds a B.A. in Accounting from Northeastern State University.

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WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 101 By Garrett Zoller, ALC Managing Principal Broker, Record When learning that RLI had an interest in publishing an article on wildlife management, I have to admit, I was more than hesitant. My reservations didn’t stem from a “lack of knowledge,” my reservations were derived from “the knowledge I have,” and the criticism I’m aware it may attract. Success doesn’t come easy, nor without trial and error or a failure or two, and sometimes it doesn’t fit within a traditionally accepted box. Wildlife management consists of so many factors, that the series of books, videos and blogs about the subject are literally overwhelming. Politics, legislation, social perceptions and opinions, environment, mathematics, chemistry, biology, regions, species, habitat and disease are all just a few on a lengthy list of complicated factors that affect managing wildlife. In a nutshell, wildlife management is ultimately about conservation; the guardianship and best practices of safekeeping our greatest natural wild resources for future generations. It also provides an extraordinary enjoyment through a passionate relationship between land and property owners, and justifiably continues to be a motivating factor for folks who purchase land! I’m extremely fortunate to own, manage and control a respectable tract of leased and deeded ground in the Pacific Northwest. Taken with a laugh, my personal experience, hasn’t been learned easily, nor done inexpensively via traditional venues. Private land wildlife


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management practices are commonly dominated by Whitetail deer, a little waterfowl and an occasional fish or upland bird topic. To be candid, the folks in the Midwest and down South are hands down, far ahead of the curve in regards to wildlife management. Whitetail deer are routinely the primary topic of choice. Justifiably, the Whitetail deer geographically dominate North America by the location they reside. Non-profit and traditional organizations such as the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) and Tecomate have done a fantastic job of promoting and making wildlife management materials available. However, I humbly believe, the Whitetail species is a much easier species to manage than many others, and another reason why I chose to write on this subject. I know, I know... I’m sure I’ll never live that comment down (laugh). Okay, how about this, because there’s more information available on Whitetail wildlife management, justifiably because it’s the dominate nonmigratory game in North America, I feel they’re easier to manage and understand (and should be) than other species with less availability and a broader migration range... and they’re easier to harvest than blacktail deer...KIDDING!...sheez…relax, just trying to keep ya’ll interested in reading!? In the early 2000’s, after reading an in depth QDMA book, frequenting blogs, watching videos and living the lifestyle we sell, I made the commitment to start managing wildlife on our family’s ground about forty minutes outside of town. Easy right? Just install a few food plots and feeders, develop water sources (if they’re not already there) and voila, the wild game will come flocking in! Yeah? Not so much! As with many topics in life, a person can read all the books they can find, but real life experiences, both good and bad, are the world’s best

teachers. In general, the basics are the same: provide a superior food source, water, and lush habitat. Doing this, is without question, enticing to wildlife. The primary difference between my management practices and traditional wildlife management practices are dictated by my region. The wildlife management industry started to flourish in the early 2000s. Game cameras were few and a new “hot item” and feeders were on hunting shows everywhere—plus, they were all over the internet. Ever hear the saying, “Never test the depth of a river with both feet first”? That’s good advice! My original thought process was methodical, and focused on the generals; to enhance food, water and habitat within drainages that naturally lent themselves. Logically, it made sense to research and purchase available products that have worked so well for others? So I was off... Feeders! Cameras! Food plots! …and all the associated equipment! Little did I know that I was in for a completely different education, and all the equipment would eventually be destroyed with minimal results of what I was trying to manage—big Blacktail deer, elk and turkey. The failing factor wasn’t a lack of genetics, nor wildlife population. It boiled down to my regional location, and the lack of experience managing wildlife in this location. Our terrain isn’t flat to rolling like the South or Midwest, where flatter open plains and pockets of creek bottom thickets monopolize regions. It’s the opposite where I manage wildlife. We have timber covered mountains, drainages and ridges as far as one can see; small pockets of open

meadows monopolizing the terrain in hopes to get a glimpse of something. That situation also positions the ultimate unmanageable factor; multiple species of wildlife, including and not limited to, abundant predators! Most importantly, learning how and where those species habituate throughout the year and how to best manage my terrain and climate was a game changer for me.






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Being new and few, the first few game cameras I purchased were “top of the line,” nothing but the best... HA! I’ve never been accused of catching on too quickly. After countless dollars in cameras being destroyed, no matter how well I concealed them, a light came on in my head: never set a trail camera after eating without washing and deodorizing your hands in Black Bear country! Their eyesight is poor in comparison to their smell and hearing. Regardless of what slight scent is on my hands when I set cameras, they’ll wind it—and evidently, bears think trail cams taste like chicken!

Traditional feeders? UHG! My three-hundred pound metal feeders were knocked over, ripped open and crumpled up like cheap little tin cans. It’s unbelievable how strong Black Bear are! So, I improvised by designing and installing “Bear-proof feeders”. Ah-ha--Gotcha! Only to learn that feeders, if used too consistently, work like a dinner bell for our abundant mountain lion and predator populations. Luckily, I check my cameras frequently, and DID catch on quickly BEFORE witnessing any lion kills on camera. Embarrassing as it is, at first, I was like, “hey, there’s another mountain lion on camera? I didn’t know they’d come into feeders also after they go off?” Then, a Wait!? Ruh-Row-Shaggy! light bulb came on. So I now only use the feeders, installed in different drainages, sporadically throughout times of the day and week and primarily during the winter when natural feed and food plots sources are dormant from deep freezes and snow. Late fall, winter and into the spring are the most crucial times of year for wildlife management in my opinion. The does are pregnant and bucks are either rutting or later shedding their antlers. It’s truly the best time to provide a solid protein source, vitamins and minerals to the males for recovery, during the rut and horn growth before they migrate to higher elevations. While essential nutrients to impregnated momma’s throughout the birthing and nursing process is pertinent.


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All that being said, the most productive source of wildlife management that I’ve consistently witnessed by all types of wildlife are my licks. The food plots are nice, but there are a lot of natural competitive sources for deer and elk to browse in this area. Ours are primarily frequented by does and younger bucks while the mature ones are at a higher ground, only passing through. My licks aren’t the blocked type purchased and shipped online. Those don’t last long around here. Bear will pick those up and even haul them off like little tennis balls in their mouths or sometimes eat them in one sitting like candy. I use a formula I found online years ago, posted on a blog by a retired biology teacher out of Missouri, called “Mo’s Lick”. I’d sure like to reconnect with that gentleman again to thank him and follow up.

...there is no perfect solution or magic wand in managing wildlife. He’d posted a detailed story about only being able to afford a five-acre tract of creek bottom ground to lease and hunt on. He knew there were good genetics in that region, but relying on those deer to reside within his creek bottom without purpose was an unreasonable hope. Similar to our mountainous country, his tillable food plot ground was limited by access and terrain. So, in turn, he started his own biology project using licks. His first deer harvested, and a common size in that thicket scored in the one-hundred and twenty inches, if I recall. By the fifth year, he’d harvested a one-hundred and eighty-six inch Whitetail! He never concluded whether he’d thought the original smaller deer were just young, underdeveloped and grew into mature bucks being under nourished prior to his lick supply or if the previously mentioned mature, good genetic bucks from the region frequented and resided his creek bottom more often because of the licks. His only conclusion was, he’d leased the ground for several years prior, constantly scouting smaller bucks. After several years of consistently using the “Mo’s Lick” formula, the average buck’s antler size changed dramatically and more consistently within that thicket. I have used Mo’s lick since, and found great results. I have pictures of all species using Mo’s Lick: squirrel, fox, turkey, elk, deer and more. However, once again,

our regional terrain plays a big role in consistency. We don’t routinely see the same bucks over and over like many Whitetail managers. When fawns hit the ground and the weather starts warming, the Blacktail deer bachelor up and head for higher elevations where it’s cooler—typical males, right? Babies are still young and can’t travel the distances or terrain that mature bucks go each summer. In turn, I know what I call “my girls” by name when I see them on camera as spring progresses. I keep a fawn count, who’s had how many, a buck to doe ratio and so forth, while watching them grow up, or disappear to predators—when Mama appears on camera at the lick or food plot alone later in the year. By the time the babies are strong enough to make the migration to higher ground, fall is upon us again, days get cooler and the need to migrate higher becomes less and less desirable. As winter storms blow in and the rut approaches, the mature bucks start heading to lower ground. Depending on which direction the storms blow in and the amount of snow that falls on which facing slope, this can dictate the drainage taken by those mature bucks over previous years. (Bear in mind, our ground isn’t flat, a grid of one-hundred and sixty acres can be three-hundred and twenty plus acres of surface ground, it’s just not flattened out on grid view). The younger bucks stay local for a couple years. Then, start to migrate each spring with the other mature bucks as they mature. Every year we get mature bucks on camera that we’ve never seen before, and likely may never see again. Cattle have been known to do similar. Oregon is an open range state. We’ve often had cattle in our drainage, with tags belonging to a rancher whose range is three drainages over. As feed thins, they start heading down the drainage they’re in. Oregon is extremely diverse. I’m aware of an area, ten miles away as the crow flies, that buddies of mine manage who find the same deer sheds every year…? Those deer also migrate and only frequent the area in late fall and shed in winter. The difference is that there’s really only one major drainage option, a highway and a river that I believe naturally funnel those deer back every year.

For me, the wildlife management learning curve has been an expensive and dedicated commitment worth every second and cent spent. My advice is that there is no perfect solution or magic wand in managing wildlife. If there was, the book would have been written and no more needed. Consider your terrain, species and the final results you’re seeking to obtain, before buying a bunch of things that have worked well in other regions and species. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used, continue to use and try new wildlife management products all the time—because they work! However, keep in mind that each area possesses different circumstances. Talk to others in your region that have been successful. What’s worked for my region, may not work for your region. Most of all get out and do it, enjoy the process. Management practices can change, but the goal should always stay the same. Best practices of safekeeping for our greatest natural wild resources, for future generations. Mo’s Lick Recipe (1) 50lb bag of Di-calcium phosphate (21% or more) (1) 50lb bag of Trace Mineral Lick (fine) (1) 50lb bag of Rock Salt (fine) Dig a hole near a year near a water source, pour and mix ingredients well. I’ve added Selenium to the mix in higher elevations and received a good response from Elk also. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and best of luck! About the author: Garrett Zoller, ALC, is the Managing Principal Broker of Record, and a founder of both LandAndWildlife.com and LandLeader. Garrett’s hands-on experience in the development of real estate, with strength in rural and commercial properties, administers an expert knowledge of recreational, agricultural and timber real estate.

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SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE LAND REALTOR® By Nobu Hata Director of Digital Engagement, National Association of REALTORS ® I’ll be straight with you all: If you haven’t figured out how to use Facebook or Twitter—and built a sizable audience by now—don’t worry about it. The saturation of sameness of real estate social media is palpable and, frankly, your audience might not be there. However, from beginners to advanced users, there are ways to leverage social media in your business. Here are some tips:

FIRST, AUDIT YOUR AUDIENCE Before you use social media you must know whether or not you even have an audience there. Go online to your social media accounts, subtract all your friends and family. Now, is your target audience for your marketing there? If you’re an agent dependent on referrals from residential agents, are your partners there? How much time do they spend there? Researching what you have will determine what you will do on social media, so do a deep dive into your audience.

AUDIT YOURSELF If you’ve started accounts on Facebook or Twitter, is your website, contact information and status as a REALTOR® or ALC obvious? Too many agents don’t take the time to complete their profile and add a current picture of themselves to the public elements of their social media, which is akin to not having a profile at all. Whether you choose to use social media actively or passively, make sure a potential client can get ahold of you should they stumble upon your social media accounts. Chances are, your social media will outrank almost any of your other web presence, so it’s just plain good business. Use a Google Voice number generic email address (info@yoursite.com) to track the effectiveness of your accounts and to keep the spam emails and phone calls to a minimum. Don’t forget about your website. Does it have the “Like” and “Tweet” buttons anywhere on it? Make sure your website is shareable on social media, especially if you’re creating content on your site that’s WORTH sharing. More on that later.


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REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION WEBSITES ARE SOCIAL TOO! Cementing your reputation by starting profiles on Google (google.com/business), Yelp (biz.yelp.com) and LinkedIn is something everyone should do. LinkedIn, especially, is made for business-to-business relations and is the most business centric social platform online right now. Complete your profile with a current pic, and don’t forget your contact information and website!

CONSIDER “GROUPS” In an effort to keep business away from personal lives, Facebook groups have become a major source of networking amongst professionals. Most local and state associations, real estate designations and certifications and offline networking groups have a presence on Facebook. “Search” on Facebook’s search bar for your local association or group. NAR has a national group that can be joined here (facebook.com/groups/ NARMembers/). Make it a habit to go through groups— especially real estate groups—to see if an agent has a need. The more active the group is, maybe post in it once a day.

USE TWITTER LIKE A MEDIA RESOURCE Twitter isn’t for the meek and takes an active commitment to make its use worthwhile. One of the best ways to quickly build an audience to engage with it is to follow local journalists, television news-people and pay attention to what they have to say. Are they talking about real estate value? Are they looking for stories on community development? You can have meaningful conversations with people who move the needle in your local markets and grow your sphere while doing it. Follow the more active residential agents in your area who are almost always looking for land and commercial real estate partners, as well!

USE VIDEO AS A MARKETING PLATFORM In my mind, the most relevant social platform available to a land agent is video, preferably on YouTube. Whether you’re speaking on camera about tips to buy and develop land, using it to convey the size and scope of a land offering or re-envisioning what that land can be via digital mock-up recorded on video, the options are many. The one thing about video that makes it stand out against its brethren is that it’s not viewed as a “toy” and a time-suck like Facebook and Twitter can be, plus YouTube’s little red “play” button has universal—and multi-lingual—appeal. To wit, look no further than this video, created to be a vision of a potential mixed use development: youtube. com/watch?v=xXRMtKsGpUg&feature=youtu.be. Parking videos like this on YouTube and then your website ramps up your organic search engine optimization. They are “social” in that anyone can share it to their social media if wanted, plus they can be viewed on a laptop or a smart phone alike.

PAY-TO-PLAY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA AND GOOGLE ADS Residential real estate is experiencing a bit of a paid marketing renaissance when it comes to effectiveness online and on social media due to the business models of online media and their need to make money. The key to optimizing paid media, however, is to have content

worth the click—from the internet browser’s point of view. As mentioned above, a social site with social content turns your website into an online destination, regardless of where the ad is placed—social media, Google, or otherwise. Did you audit your audience? Also mentioned above, that audit will determine where you should spend your ad money. If it’s social media, direct your ads to those who have “liked” elements of your local market or even your city’s social media presence, or other businesses in the area complimentary to yours. If it’s Google, explore the search trends of your market here: google.com/trends/ and direct per-click ads to the relevant audience. Ads are not for the meek. It takes investment in a high quality website and content to really leverage it properly. Talk to a local small business online expert in your town for details. So whether you are actively or passively leveraging social media in your business—or doing something in between—be social. Think about whether or not what you’re doing—marketing-wise—is worth someone sharing it on social media. Have a visible, social profile and reputation and be “out there” if someone needs your expertise. About the author: Nobu Hata is the Director of Digital Engagement for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). As a real estate technology and new media expert, he brings value-added information to NAR members, brokers and associations.

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UNLOCK THE DOOR TO YOUR NAR MEMBER BENEFITS AND RESOURCES By Jacob Knabb Communications & Member Services Associate, NAR Commercial In today’s world of rapid-fire technological shifts and constant email churn, it is often the case that you don’t have time to explore all of the wonderful benefits you can enjoy as a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) member. By virtue of being an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designee, you are a member of NAR and can benefit from a plethora of commercial resources and services, as well as partner offers with the REALTOR Benefits® program. Let’s take a quick look at all of the splendid services, educational opportunities, engaging networking, and more NAR is offering you.

ADVOCACY With nearly 1.2 million members, NAR is one of the largest advocacy groups in the United States and we put those numbers to work, fighting hard for real estate professionals & property rights at the Federal, State, and Local levels. Staff works closely with elected officials in Washington to advocate public policy established in the annual Public Policy Priorities agenda, which is informed by members of NAR whose voices are heard across the country. As a member, you can stay informed with the Federal Issues Tracker, which allows members to see how their businesses are being affected by shifts in policy, and the Commercial Issues & Actions Brief, regularly updating members on issues including 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges, Water Rights, and Flood Insurance that have an impact on your business. The Washington Report is a wonderful source of information on governmental matters touching on real estate. But the fight doesn’t stop at the national level as NAR also provides REALTOR® Party initiatives closer to home, lobbying at the state and local levels to ensure that someone is looking out for our members. RPAC works tirelessly to monitor and inform officials in your corner of the world so they know what their constituents need and can ensure that those needs are met. Members can become involved in our Broker Involvement Program to have


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an even louder voice in these policy conversations. Put simply, REALTORS® are heard and respected by government officials everywhere.

RESEARCH NAR has a world-class research arm, providing a slew of cutting-edge work designed to empower members through access to robust case studies and reports. Commercial Real Estate practitioners enjoy expert research and analysis through NAR’s annual Lending Trends Report, quarterly Marketing Trends and Outlook Reports, and the Expectations and Market Realities in Real Estate Report. NAR understands the complexity of all disciplines within the commercial real estate industry and prides itself on providing powerful tools to its members. You also benefit from local case studies, bringing a century of research know-how to your backyard to examine local issues and provide answers. This top-to-bottom research approach is a core commitment and something that will never change.

EDUCATION & NETWORKING NAR strongly believes that REALTORS® should be connected to the best educational tools and the most dynamic real estate practitioners in the world. You already know first-hand about the exceptional education from the REALTORS® Land Institute; you can also dive into resources from the other affiliate organizations (CCIM Institute, Counselors of Real Estate, IREM and SIOR), which offer a robust blend of educational opportunities designed to accommodate even the busiest practitioners. Members can take advantage of online and traditional courses designed to enhance their understanding of the industry, to provide vital continuing education credits, or to polish off a REALTOR® University Master’s Degree. Achieving additional discipline specific designations, including CCIM, CIPS, CPM, CRE, and SIOR, will boost your expertise, and potentially your income.

If You Wear this Pin, You are a Member of the National Association of REALTORS ®

As a member, you have access to these benefits and more. • Exceptional advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues • Valuable savings and discounts through the partners in the REALTOR Benefits® Program • Industry-leading research and technology



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PUBLICATIONS & RESOURCES In addition to the superb Terra Firma magazine you already receive, NAR provides you with a host of other print and digital items bursting with valuable information. Commercial Connections, a NAR publication mailed directly to you, provides a treasure-trove of helpful articles and industry-specific coverage. Identifying your specific “Field of Business” in the National REALTOR® Database System (NRDS) automatically subscribes you for this excellent resource and also for the Commercial Digest monthly e-newsletter. Your NAR membership gives you access to ample legal and risk management resources as well as proprietary field guides, both of which can guide you through complicated changes and trends in Commercial Real Estate. NAR’s Library provides free eBooks, Journals, and Audiobooks, a perk for which many ALC designees might not know they qualify. NAR also provides a wide array of templates for business letters, official letter head, and commercial forms through REALTOR Benefits® Partner zipLogix™.

TECHNOLOGY & DATA NAR understands that many of its members strongly desire access to powerful databases with property information, demographics and listing information. The CommercialSearch™ platform is an invaluable access point for marketing available listings, with nearly 500,000 commercial properties to search—all at no charge. REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR), the parcel-centric property database, available as a free benefit to REALTOR® members, provides rich demographic data, property reports and more on all parcels in the United States. Adding the rapidly expanding Xceligent® Research & Property Data Platform results in a trifecta of complimentary commercial technology that is right at your fingertips. Our CRTLabs are always working to foresee emergent technologies and the NAR REach® Technology Accelerator Program Companies aligns members with forward thinking companies sure to be at the front of the next wave of commercial real estate technology.


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One thing is certain: at the end of the day there is a mountain of member benefits that are yours for the taking. Realtor.org/Commercial is a great starting point on your journey to all of these amazing options. Open a new window in your browser to discover the value and of the array of benefits that you have access to as a NAR Member and begin taking advantage of them right away. About the author: Jacob S. Knabb is the Communications and Member Services Associate for NAR Commercial, editing Commercial Connections and running social media. Follow NAR Commercial on Twitter @commsource to see his tweets about the latest in the commercial real estate industry.

CROP DIVERSIFICATION: FINDING THE RIGHT MIX FOR YOUR FARM By Phoebe Moll Vice President / Director of Marketing, AgAmerica Lending In February 2016, a study was conducted by AgAmerica, on a broad range of growers, to gain insights regarding how they decide which crops to plant every year and which crops not to plant. For many growers, changing crops from year to year or every two years is standard operating procedure to bolster soil health. However, other challenges lurk and force an increasing number of farmers to change their crop plans. Crop diversification means making challenging decisions about which crops offer a profitable future and which need to be replaced. “You need to change often to stay ahead of the competition and to satisfy the marketplace,” noted a fruit grower with upwards of one-hundred acres. He notes having added multiple new crops in recent years and continues looking for crops that are unique to his market but that fit with other crops on his farm.


“Climate conditions in our area just call for greater diversity in terms of what we grow,” shared an older grower adding butternuts and figs to his farm this year. “Our climate extremes mean some crops will fail every year, so we need to plant a range of crops to ensure having something to sell.” The challenges facing agriculture of late can be seen in growers’ approach to the crops they grow. Slightly more than half of the respondents to this survey report they have diversified their farms by adding at least one new crop in the last thirty-six months. Plus, many farmers have been even more aggressive—fifteen percent report adding two new crops while another fifteen percent say they’ve added three or more new crops. And while thirty-six percent of the growers say they have no plans to diversify, another twelve percent report they plan to make changes to their farms in 2016. This clearly goes beyond traditional crop rotation.




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pointing to a problem shared by many of the survey respondents planning for new crops in 2016. This grower is taking out grapes in favor of row crops that are harvested mechanically and require less manual labor. For some growers, pesticide regulation has limited their ability to control destructive pests, so they need to move away from threatened crops. A number of growers cited the removal of Transform from the market and resulting challenges controlling aphids on sugarcane as the driving force behind their upcoming changes. The list of crops that growers are moving away from in 2016 is nearly as lengthy, and it’s topped by squash, wheat and grain sorghum. For most farmers, changing their planting plans to reflect changing markets and evolving growing conditions is just part of being a farmer. In fact, more than seventy-one percent of the growers report that the degree to which they’re changing their operation for 2016 is consistent with how they have historically managed the farm. Of the remaining growers, roughly eighteen percent of them report they are changing crops more often of late, while eleven percent report changing less often. Generally speaking, the growers avoid wide-scale changes in just one year. Nearly two-thirds of them who plan to add a new crop in 2016 report they will change less than ten percent of their total production. “We’re not going to stop growing any crops this year, but we are going to add a couple of rows to trial a new crop that we may plant more of in the future,” shared another farmer. Only nine and a half percent of the respondents note they will change more than thirty percent of their acreage this year.

“Moderately diversified operators who focus on their core strengths make for the strongest loan candidates,” explained Bryce Philpot, AgAmerica’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Finance. “If you’re too extreme, are you really the expert at anything?” Growers identified twenty-eight different crops being added to their farms this year. The size of the market for corn, peppers and tomatoes makes them the most popular new crops for 2016, but none of those big three are being added by even ten percent of the respondents. Rather, growers clearly seek a variety of different crops that can deliver profit to the farm. Consider that beets, sunflowers, hops, okra, persimmons, and gourds are all going in the ground on new farms this year. Other farmers plan changes they hope will help address another challenge. “Our changes are all about the lack of labor and the low productivity of labor,” noted one fruit grower with more than twenty-five hundred acres,


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One could understandably assume growers switching out of a crop were doing so for financial reasons, and that is true in many cases. (Interestingly enough, we evaluated the nearly five-hundred responses in a number of ways, including looking at responses according to the number of acres planted by each grower. Unlike with most surveys, this research found tremendous consistency in the results, regardless of the size of the farm). In fact, the inability to sell their harvest at a high enough price is the number one factor influencing many growers’ decision to move away from a crop. However, growers offered a surprisingly broad range of reasons for their decision (see table). Chief among them was economic concerns (prices have dropped too low, input costs have climbed too high, etc.), but labor requirements, climatic challenges and disease pressures made growing certain crops seem unsustainable to many growers. Not surprisingly, then, strong market demand was the primary factor growers pointed to when explaining why they selected the new crops they’re planting this year.

that certainly may be influenced by the crops being put in the ground this spring). Roughly one-third of the growers report they will wait three seasons before evaluating this year’s new crops while another thirty percent report they will make their decision after two years and the remaining thirty-seven percent will decide in one season or less. More crop diversification may well be in the cards for many of these growers, especially if their 2016 plans don’t play out as they hope. More than forty percent of the growers who have diversified their crops in the last three years say they don’t feel the need for additional changes. Another twenty-one percent of growers report that they would diversify further if they had additional capital and another twelve percent would do so if commodity prices were more consistent. The need for capital investment limits crop diversification on many farms—more than twenty percent point to it as the biggest reason they don’t make bigger changes in 2016. Quite simply, diversifying their plantings further would require more land than they have. One other obstacle stands in the way of many farmers’ plans for diversification, and it’s no surprise given the aging farmer population—it’s their own age. “I’m getting too old to start with a new crop,” admitted one Southeastern cotton grower with no plans on crop diversification.

But these growers clearly also looked to add crops that complement other crops they’ll produce this year as well as crops that aren’t as widely grown in their area. One older fruit grower with about seventy-five acres in Oregon is very honest about how he decides which new crops warrant a shot in his farm: he looks at what is happening around him. “I follow the lead of other growers in my immediate area, on a modest scale,” he said. “I respect their insights.” Farmers are used to dealing with challenges, so they’re not going to change crops from one year to the next just because they have one difficult season. While most of these growers note they’re looking for healthier revenues as a result of their change, many also hope to accomplish bigger-picture goals with their move. For example, nearly thirty-five percent of the respondents made this change to diversify their portfolio while another thirty-three percent report they did so to protect their profitability. The key question all of these growers who add new crops in 2016 will have to answer is whether or not they made the right decision. And there’s no obvious consensus regarding how soon they’ll know (a timeline

“I intend to retire soon,” said a farmer with more than one-thousand acres in the Mid-Atlantic. “Our plantings have been fairly consistent for the last few years, and they’ll stay that way.” Yet farmers focused on their future and committed to maximizing their profits over the next few years and beyond know that diversifying their plantings can be a key part of their success. “I need to find a new crop that will make money in our area,” noted one fruit grower. “Regulations change, the weather changes, markets change,” observed a fruit and vegetable grower with more than twenty-five hundred acres. “We have to change, too.” About the author: Phoebe Moll is the Vice President / Director of Marketing for AgAmerica Lending. Moll is responsible for telling the AgAmerica brand story. She joined the AgAmerica team in November 2014, bringing twelve years of professional brand management experience.

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What is The Land Connections? The Land Connections is the official listing site of the REALTORS® Land Institute and its membership. The site has over 14,000 listings from best in the business land professionals looking to make deals and promote their clients’ properties!

Who can list on the site? This property marketing tool is available to all active RLI Members at no additional cost. Members can upgrade their listing to receive front page positioning at an additional cost. ALCs get priority listing.

How to list on the site? RLI Members can submit their listings by contacting the Institute at rli@realtors.org or 800.441.5263 to get more information. If you are a Lands Of America user, your properties can be linked to automatically populate on The Land Connections listing site.

Do Business With The Best In The Business


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REALTORS® LAND INSTITUTE 430 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 rli@realtors.org | www.rliland.com | 800-441-5263

5 WAYS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LISTINGS By Jean-Paul LaCount Head of Marketing, Lands of America I have seen a lot of amazing property listings underperform or flat out fail from a lack of understanding how to best represent them online. Most of these tips apply to advertising property in any medium—digital or print, but will serve you particularly well online. In our increasingly digital world, there is a lot of noise that can drown out your listing, but with these easy steps, you can stand out and drive buyer interest and leads like never before. Here are my top five tips for how to maximize your online property listing.



It should go without saying, but a complete listing and profile is essential. The property should be mapped accurately; titles and descriptions filled out completely; a generous number of photos uploaded; but also, pay attention to the smaller stuff. Things

like categories and property types can have a big influence on who sees your property and where it shows up in searches. Often these modifiers work as filters, so if your farm isn’t tagged as a ‘farm’, it won’t show up in a ‘farm’ search. You could be missing out on a massive amount of property searches by leaving these blank. Same with property features like house size and bedrooms. Even if it isn’t the property focus, some buyers will be happy to know there is a habitable structure on the property. Water availability, utilities, property access, proximity to a town, etc. should be addressed if not obvious, and often even if it is. At a minimum, when there is a text box to fill out or drop down to select while creating your listing, you should be entering information into it.

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You want your listing to impress the pants off of people, no matter the property. The best way to get an initial response is through great photos. You generally see a two to three times greater response rate from listings with professional photos because they capture people. I’ve seen a weedy lot with a decrepit structure transformed into a landscape you would want to hang on your wall. You don’t want to deceive buyers, but you do want to represent it in the best possible way. If a professional photographer isn’t in your budget, read up on how to take better pictures. All photos should include a focal point such as a structure, fence, tree, lake, livestock, or even a flower. Look at your photos. If you don’t like your photo, neither will a buyer. The technology landscape is changing. Aerial photography and video is becoming more common thanks to drones. 3D tours and street-view technology have made their way into real estate. Mapping technology can orient you to the property terrain and features. All of these technologies are improving the way we tour a property remotely and adding some flash and excitement, but really it is about experiencing the property through a computer or mobile device as if we were physically there.



The title and description of a listing are nearly as important as photos because they frame the image of the property and fill in the gaps. Think of the photos and title as a hook, and the description as a line- you aren’t going to catch a fish without both. The title should be descriptive and evocative at the same time. The interested buyer isn’t physically at the property, so they need to experience it through your words and photos. What are the properties main features or resources? ‘Elk hunter’s paradise’, ‘mountainous’, ‘vistas’, ‘wilderness’, ‘fertile’. What does the property ‘feel’ like? Use descriptors like: ‘tranquil’, ‘remote’, ‘vast’, and ‘sweeping’. Be creative and come up with your own that fit the property. These words will help form an emotional connection with buyers beyond just seeing a piece of land. Use language and phrases that will resonate with your intended buyer to help them experience it from their computer. Similarly, the description should tell a story. Include all of the essential details—structures, acreage, crops or resources, and make these clear, but go beyond that. What is the history of the land? Who owns it now, and


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what is their story? What improvements have been done, and why? You want the buyer to care about this piece of land, and a story makes it special (even if it isn’t a very good one).



Not only do you want the buyer to care about the land, but you want them to care about you as well. Establishing trust and conveying confidence up front goes a long way to obtaining a lead, and ultimately securing a deal. You are your brand and vice-versa, so it should be treated and promoted like you would promote yourself. Your logo or photo should be everywhere you are; it shows people you are present in the region and an icon in the industry. The more they see it, the more they will feel you are an established and trustworthy business. Not unlike building a reputation within your community, your reputation and brand online are important to your business. A profile photo and bio can form a further connection. People will recognize you, and may even feel as if they already know you. You are no longer a faceless entity; you are a person, just like they are. If there isn’t a place for this on your listing, add it to the description.



You have created a place for the information, now you need to drive people to see it. Post it on social media, add it to your website, print off some flyers and pass them out, pay for a featured ad, send some emails. Promoting the listing is the single biggest contributor to any listing’s success. It is also helpful to review your listing performance to get an idea how many people are seeing your property, and what actions are being taken. Give it thirty days, then take a look at listing views and lead count. These numbers can be helpful in telling you what the interest is like for your property. High listing views means that you are promoting it well, or it is popular in searches. If you are getting lots of leads, then you are doing well, but pay attention to the quality of those leads. Are they just kicking the tires, do they lose interest, are they responding to your attempts to contact them? These could be indicators that you are getting the wrong kind of traffic, appealing to the wrong audience, or potentially misrepresenting the property.

TAKE AWAY To follow up, your property listing should have all of these qualities to reach maximum potential and performance:

• • • • •

Fully Completed Listing—Check all the boxes and enter all the information Transport the potential buyer to the property with your words and photos Convey an emotional connection, tell a story about the land Establish trust and form a connection Promote like crazy, and monitor listing performance

Online property advertising reaches a huge audience, and expands the buyer pool to include the entire country, or even world. When used correctly, it can be the most effective property selling tool in your arsenal. Implementing these tips will allow you to maximize your property listings, and lead to more deals closed in less time. About the author: Jean-Paul LaCount is the Head of Marketing for Lands of America and Land And Farm. LaCount has been a digital marketer for the last twelve years.

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THE REAL (E)STATE OF PRINT ADVERTISING IN THE DIGITAL AGE By Marti Gallardo Global Head of Advertising for Real Estate and Vertical Markets, The Wall Street Journal More than one real-estate agent, borrowing from humorist Will Rogers, has advised, “Put your money in land, because they aren’t making any more of it.” When it comes to where to advertise that land, the adage does not hold so true. Plenty of media vehicles are launching all the time—a vast, renewable resource of print, broadcast, outdoor, online, mobile and social-media outlets to explore. A marketer could be forgiven for wondering exactly where to invest the finite resources of an advertising budget. The trick lies in putting the money where it matters most, where it will connect with people who’d be most interested in that newmodel car, custom shirt maker or ranchland for sale. While data-rich digital platforms offer new ways to target individuals, traditional media, such as newspapers and magazines, remain a vital part of a successful marketing budget and continue to offer distinct advantages.

In the midst of the digital revolution, newspapers and magazines continue to deliver, and so does print advertising. A wealth of research shows that the printed-and-published-on-paper word still resonates today, extending to favorable demographics, longer interaction times, greater trust and other indicators that make a positive environment for advertisers. The combination of print and digital often make an ideal partnership, particularly in real estate marketing, where print advertising introduces a property and peaks interest, even among people who may not be actively looking, and digital draws prospects in further with virtual tours, slide shows and all the important specs. In 2015, consumer neuroscience researchers at Temple University released a study that explored how people responded to print and digital advertising. They concluded that each medium had its strengths, with digital grabbing sustained, focused attention and print ads engaging better emotionally. The study, produced for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, included test subjects looking at advertising in print and on digital screens, while receiving functional MRIs of their brains. While looking at paper ads, the MRIs revealed more activity in the areas of the brain associated with desire and motivation, indicating subjects had a more positive, subconscious response for the item being advertised—a great way to kick off the sales process. Print and digital go hand in hand in other ways, too. A Wall Street Journal reader study found that subscribers read the print edition in the early morning (six in ten read the newspaper in print, according to the 2015 Ipsos Affluent Survey), later logging on to the digital version from a desktop or laptop during the workday and checking in throughout the day via their mobile devices. Broader audiences display similar behavior. According to the Pew Research Center, citing a Nielsen Scarborough 2014 Newspaper Penetration Report, more than eight in ten people read the newspaper in


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LAND, RANCH AND RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES. The Wall Street Journal produces special advertising features reporting on the benefits of investing in the various land categories. From ranches, farm, timberland and more, reach your target market by advertising on a local, regional, national or global level. Our audience is primed to purchase–39% of the WSJ audience owns an investment or rental home, and 17% are looking for a farm/ranch home as their next secondary property.

Issue Date: September 30 | Close Date: September 23 Issue Date: November 2 | Close Date: October 26 For more information on advertising opportunities, please contact: sales.realestate@wsj.com | 800.366.3975

Source: WSJ. Insights Mindset of the Luxury Homebuyer Survey

Š 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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print—fifty-six percent of people in print alone—with the remainder including online and mobile platforms through the day. With morning tending to be the most popular time to pick up the newspaper, even in a world of twentyfour-hour news cycles, a print paper still provides an environment for advertisers to present their own big news. Reading the print edition is an engrossing interaction, a lean-in experience, with people engaging forty-five to fifty minutes a day with the print edition of The Wall Street Journal. In today’s content landscape, that is an incredible length of time to hold an individual’s attention. Magazines have also retained vibrancy in the digital age. Samir Husni, the director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University Of Mississippi School Of Journalism has tracked trends in the industry for thirty years. Husni was happy to discover that during the first quarter of 2016, one-hundred and ninety-nine new titles launched, seventy-seven in January alone, compared to one-hundred and ninetyone which had debuted during the same period in 2015. In a blog on his website, Husni said, “One thing that I’ve noticed this year in following magazine media and the marketplace, no one is saying that print is dead anymore. That mantra has vanished.” So who is the print reader? Demographics trend favorably to being able to make bigger purchases, with affluent, well-educated people indicating they read newspapers. A 2016 Ipsos study revealed newspaper readers have an average net worth that is thirty percent higher than total affluents—$1.64 million compared to $1.27 million. The same distinction holds true at The Wall Street Journal, where print-only readers report net worth of $1.8 million, twelve percent higher than total brand readership. Wall Street Journal print readers have net worths that are sixty percent higher than television viewers. Environment counts in real estate and it counts in advertising, too. A Pew Research Center study found numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Economist, ranked high in consumer trust across differing political philosophies, outpacing newer digital news outlets like BuzzFeed and Yahoo News. With readers, right demographics and environment in place, today’s advertisers use print to capture attention and craft the right image and digital to drill down the details. In addition to capturing the attention of people who are looking for real estate and those who originally were not, print ads also elevate the brand identity of the brokerage and sales agent.

These objectives would be difficult to achieve in a digital-only campaign, as online, people tend to search for specific things or enter actual web domains— behavior is more directed. Print showcases the property, hooks the prospect and directs him or her further down the sales funnel with digital listings, virtual tours, property slideshows and agents’ websites. In this era of information overload, another way print is evolving is through creative executions. A clean, simple style—not too wordy or crowded with different elements cluttering the layout—works best to draw the reader’s attention and spur action. According to researcher GfK MRI Starch, the qualities that work best in successful print ads are: • • • •

Simplicity: A minimalistic design with not a lot of clutter. Copy that is equally simple to read. Boldness: Judicious use of vivid color to grab attention. Clarity: Memorable, direct headlines and similar body copy. Contrast: Visual play of light and dark tones to create sharp contrast.

According to a recent study of Wall Street Journal readers, more than eight in ten read the weekly Mansion section, appearing in the Friday edition. Further, a 2014 Wall Street Journal proprietary study conducted with Ipsos Media CT, revealed twenty-two percent of The Wall Street Journal’s print readers had contacted a real estate broker as a result of a Wall Street Journal real estate ad. As for what real estate advertising stood out best in the section, according to Starch, top-scoring ads featured ample use of white space, putting the headline, copy and key images in crisp isolation. Of special note, contact information was easy to see and not buried at the end of a copy block, as real estate advertising, more than anything, is a call to action to visit the website and contact the broker. Starch’s best real estate ads also featured compelling, professional photography. Layouts that featured one, dominant photograph, or a main shot with one or two minor images, scored well. A 2015 REAL Trends survey, done in partnership with industry image and virtual-tour maker Virtuance, found ninety-four percent of agents “felt passionate” about using professional photography, believing it attracted buyers to their websites and burnished their brand images. Headlines, sometimes as simple as the property’s name or address, or maybe a few descriptive details, succeeded in their simplicity, directness and ability to grab readers’ eyes. Copy urged readers to take action,

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often directing them straight to the property’s website for details and video. Successful print ads look a lot like strongly performing digital ads, which were even sparser and cleaner—one key image, a headline and a caption often sufficing. As for mobile ads, with minimal screen space comes more simple layouts and little copy. Real estate marketers have more tools than ever to sell a piece of land, and print complements a broader campaign that might begin with a sign on a fence post and end with an online 3D showcase.

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One does not replace the other, as history has shown. The popular media of Will Rogers’ era—newspapers, magazines, billboards and radio—are still with us, but today they work in harmony with digital, satellite, virtual reality and whatever is to come. About the author: Marti Gallardo is Global Head of Advertising for Real Estate and Vertical Markets for The Wall Street Journal. She and her team work with real estate professionals on smart marketing solutions, helping them connect their luxury and investment properties with qualified prospects.

Learn more by visiting blog.narrpr.com/commercial.


Summer 2016

Terra Firma

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