Terra Firma Magazine | Summer 2017

Page 1



The Four New Realities of Washington, D.C. Teaming Up to Transform Your Business Title Reports & Boundary Surveys

SUMMEr 2017 | Vol. 71 No. 2


Focus Only An Expert

ALC Can Provide.

Land transactions require the specialized expertise of an Accredited Land Consultant. REALTORSÂŽ Land Institute 430 N. Michigan Ave | Chicago, IL rliland.com/find-a-land-consultant


THE VOICE OF LAND Table of Contents



Summer 2017 Edition An Official Publication of the REALTORS® Land Institute Published by the REALTORS® Land Institute 430 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611 Phone: 1-800-441-5263 Fax: 1-312-329-8633 E-mail: rli@realtors.org Website: www.rliland.com


Publisher Aubrie Kobernus, Chief Executive Officer Editorial Director Jessa Friedrich, Marketing Manager Contributing Editor Amanda Jenkins, Education Manager Contributing Editor Bill Stanton, Chapter & Membership Specialist

News Brief From National


RLI Chapter News


2017 National Land Conference Recap


Education Update


The Four New Realities of Washington, D.C.


Title Reports & Boundary Surveys


Teaming Up To Transform Your Business


The Evolution of Residential Land in the North East


Crowdfunding for Agriculture


Is Now an Opportune Time to Purchase Land?


Four Tips For Finding a Land Real Estate Mentor


RLI Lands A Brand New Brand


Copyright 2017. 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® Land Institute and information should not be construed as recommendations for any course of action regarding financial, legal, or accounting matters.




REALTORS ® LAND INSTITUTE LANDS BRAND NEW LOGOS The REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI), “The Voice of Land,” proudly announced two new logos—one for the REALTORS® Land Institute and one for its elite Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation–as part of the new brand release at the 2017 National Land Conference in Charlotte, NC, last March. The redesigned logos are just one of many initiatives, and perhaps the most visible, to stay ahead of the curve and reinforce the organization’s strong position within the industry as “The Voice of Land.” See page 51 for more information about the new brand.



RLI 2018 VP & Director At-Large Nominations At the beginning of every Summer, rlI seeks candidates to run for Vice President. This year, there are additional opportunities for members to influence the direction of rlI and step up as a leader within the organization. As part of the new rlI Bylaws, a new board structure, which includes three At-large Director positions, has been put in place to give members more representation on the board and more input into their discussions and decisions. Keep an eye out in your email for information about how to run for open positions, the nomination period will close on July 21.

2017 LAND MARKETS SURVEY Every year the rEAlTorS® land Institute and the National Association of rEAlTorS® research Department publish a land Markets Survey to get a pulse on what is going on in the land market. This year’s survey revealed that recreational and residential land sales accounted for fifty percent of all closed land transactions between october 2015 and September 2016. Broken down, sales increased at the largest rate for timberland at five percent and residential land at four percent, with the northeast region of the U.S. leading the way for both types of land. In turn, land prices increased the most for timberland at five percent and residential land at three percent. The survey also predicted an average growth of two percent across all land types through october 2017. View the full survey results and past surveys at rliland.com. read more about the results in the Is Now An Opportune Time to Purchase Land? article on page 46.




ASK YOUR RLI STAFF The REALTORS® Land Institute staff is dedicated to serving our members, because the best deserve nothing but the best. Aubrie Kobernus, MBA Chief Executive Officer 312-329-8837 | akobernus@realtors.org As the CEO, Aubrie is responsible for the overall management of RLI. This includes working together with the Board of Directors to develop the vision, goals, objectives, and related policies for the organization. Within that framework, Aubrie organizes and directs the staff, programs, financial performance, and activities of RLI. Members may contact her if they have any questions or concerns. Karen Calarco Manager of Operations 312-329-8287 | kcalarco@realtors.org Karen manages expenditures, invoicing, and member records. Members may contact her for assistance changing their profile information, paying dues, and answering financial questions about their account. Jessa Friedrich, MBA Marketing Manager 312-329-8353 | jfriedrich@realtors.org Jessa serves as the staff liaison for the Future Leaders Committee. Members may contact her with any member news regarding awards or accomplishments, for opportunities to author in Terra Firma or on the RLI Blog, and with questions about logo use, the website, or the Member Advantage Program (MAP).

UPDATES TO THE ALC DESIGNATION APPLICATION PROCESS To more efficiently approve applicants, rlI has implemented a couple minor changes to the AlC portfolio submission process. Applications will now be reviewed quarterly for approval with submission deadlines of March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1. In addition, a $25 fee will be charged if the applicant does not submit a complete portfolio and/or if the applicant chooses to submit a hard copy version of their portfolio.

Amanda Jenkins Education Manager 312-329-8441 | ajjenkins@realtors.org Amanda serves as the members’ staff liaison for the Education Committee. Members may contact her with any questions regarding the LANDU Education Programs, including the courses, webinars, and teleconferences. Chapters and corporate partners may contact her to schedule their LANDU courses. Bill Stanton Chapter & Membership Specialist 312-329-8519 | bstanton@realtors.org Bill serves as the staff liaison to the ALC Designation Committee. He is the lead contact for RLI’s chapters across the country. Members may contact him with general inquiries about membership, LANDU courses, the ALC Designation, and the Military Transition Program (MTP).




WHAT’S HOT SO FAR IN 2017? RLI’s Top Social Media Posts Enhance your networking and stay in the loop with the latest industry news real-time by following RLI’s social media channels. Twitter (@rliland)

RLI SETS ITS SIGHTS AT NAR LEGISLATIVE MEETINGS RLI leadership and members headed to Washington D.C. to attend the 2017 NAR Legislative Meetings last week. Over twenty RLI members attended the event to discuss key legislative issues for land real estate professionals on the NAR Committees they serve. At the top of the list was protecting 1031 Like-Kind Tax Exchanges. RLI and NAR continue to work tirelessly to educate members of Congress on why 1031s are essential to the industry and U.S. economy as whole. For more information about how to take action on this issue, visit rliland.com/advocacy RLI members were very involved in the meetings. On May 16, RLI hosted a reception for its members at the D.C. meetings. The event drew a great turnout and helped to increase awareness of our organization attending the conference. On May 18, RLI sponsored the NAR Commercial Reception. RLI members were able to network and generate awareness about the issues most important to members of our organization. Many RLI members were able to participate on NAR Committees to dive deeper into business and legislative issues directly affecting the commercial and land real estate sectors. On May 18, Jimmy Settle, ALC, 2017 RLI President-Elect, participated as the land expert on a panel during the Commercial Leadership Forum. The NAR Legislative Meetings are an important opportunity for RLI members to take an active role in advancing land issues within public policy and the real estate industry.



Facebook (Realtors Land Institute)


RLI’s Top Blog Posts The RLI Blog is a hub for the latest industry articles, news, and expertise to converge. Check back weekly or subscribe to the blog to stay updated. Interested in writing for the RLI blog? Contact Jessa Friedrich, Marketing Manager, for opportunities to share and promote your expertise. Visit our blog at www.rliland.com/blog.


The Top Three Real Estate Title Issues REALTORS® Need to Know Authors: Timothy Grooms & R. Seth Hampton Before committing to purchase an interest in real estate, due diligence in the form of reviewing a title commitment and current survey is imperative. Visit the RLI Blog to learn more about the top three considerations you need to make when it comes to title issues.

Drones for Commercial Use: Taking Real Estate Businesses to New Heights

The Military Transition Program is for anyone who has served in the U.S. Military starting in 2000 or later and have completed their service. The program offers benefits valuing up to $1,800: • first year of membership – frEE! ($520 value) • Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage course – frEE! ($445 value)

Author: Caleb McDow, RLI Member The use of drones across all sectors has exploded in the past three years. The FAA estimates that over 600,000 drones will be flying commercially in the US in 2017. Read more on the RLI Blog about using drones to market your properties.

The rEAlTorS® land Institute Military Transition Program (MTP) is designed to assist transitioning service members into the land real estate industry. It offers unparalleled networking and camaraderie amongst land professionals as well as the ability to learn from fellow members’ knowledge and years of experience.

• one additional lANDU elective course – frEE! ($445 value)

The Value in Using a Land Real Estate Expert Author: Fred Hepler, ALC Accurate, reliable, and timely information is vital to effective decision making in almost every aspect of human endeavor, whether it be for personal or business gain. Check out the RLI Blog for more information you can share with potential clients about using a qualified land agent.

• The John Eshenbaugh Military Scholarship ($500 value) for more information about this program, visit www.rliland.com or contact rlI at 1-800-441-5263.




THE LAND CONNECTIONS The Land Connections is the official listing site of the REALTORSÂŽ Land Institute. The page has a fresh updated look and a new robust mapping feature which makes searching for properties on-the-go easier than ever. With over fourteen thousand prime property listings from the best in the business land professionals, this is the place to find and post properties. RLI members are able to post listings to this page at no cost as a member benefit thanks to our partners at Lands Of America and LandBrokerWebsites.com To add your properties, please contact RLI at 1-800-441-5263. Thank you to Lands of America for providing the information for our Top Properties. Learn more about these properties and others on the Land Connections at www.rliland.com/the-land-connections

Top 4: Largest Properties On The Land Connections Continental Divide Ranch, Rawlins, WY | 96,447 Acres | $9,950,000 Listing Agent: Bart Miller, ALC, Mason Morse Ranch Company

The Continental Divide Ranch features 96,447 acres in one contiguous block of land situated in the Haystack Mountain Range and along the North Platte River. The ranch offers over five miles of North Platte River frontage, which is a source for irrigation and blue-ribbon fishing; an established cow/calf operation; and opportunities to hunt deer, elk, and antelope.

Cielo Vista Ranch, San Luis, CO | 83,368 Acres | $105,000,000 Listing Agent: Mirr Ranch Group

LoneTree Land and Livestock, Upton, WY $36,000,000 | 69,458 Acres Listing Agent: Rob Pfister, ALC Pfister Land Company

The 83,368-acre Cielo Vista Ranch is one of the largest, most pristine private properties in North America. Descriptions of Cielo Vista need not be laden with embellishments and hyperbole. This is, quite simply, an opportunity to own one of the most distinctive properties in the West.

Marton Ranch, Alcova, WY | 69,550 Acres | $28,000,000 Listing Agent: Mirr Ranch Group

The Marton Ranch is a significant working livestock ranch with an extraordinary recreational resource that is without 6


comparison in this part of the Rocky Mountain Region. The ranch consists of approximately 69,550 total acres and includes an array of rangeland habitat, along with an approximate eight miles of incredible river frontage on the North Platte River. This tail-water section, Grey Reef, of the North Platte River is world renown for producing incredible size and quantity of rainbow and brown trout, and is considered by most avid anglers as the best wild trout fishery in the state of Wyoming.

The LoneTree Ranch consists of 69,458 +/ total acres, of which 45,352 +/ are deeded acres. This is an old-line, legacy ranching operation and is currently the largest holding of deeded acres for sale in the state of Wyoming. It supports approximately two thousand cow/calf pairs and has four sets of outstanding living and working improvements. The ranch is also blessed with an abundance of hunting opportunities with trophy sized elk, mule deer, and antelope.

Join the Largest Network of Online Marketplaces for Rural Real Estate

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RLI CHAPTER NEWS The REALTORS® Land Institute is putting a focus on building strong chapters so they can offer engaging programs to members on a local level. RLI Chapters routinely offer in-person LANDU courses, property marketing sessions, networking opportunities, and an array of professional development programs year round. RLI members may elect to join one or more of RLI’s Chapter organizations and benefit from participation on a regional or local basis. Members must be an active member of RLI National to join a chapter.

Carolinas Chapter The RLI Carolinas Chapter was pleased to host a Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage course with over seventeen eager students from across three states in their region. The class was held in Charlotte, NC, prior to the kick off of the 2017 National Land Conference. LANDU Instructor Lou Jewell, ALC, stated, “Land education is truly the basis for all real estate. All seventeen attendees acknowledged that they wanted to join RLI, if they were not already members, and all seventeen pledged to work towards the ALC Designation.” For more information about the Carolinas Chapter, visit www.carolinasrli.com.

Colorado Chapter

Alabama Chapter Led by J. Craig King, CCIM, CAI, AARE, 2017 Chapter President, more than thirty land professionals attended the RLI Alabama Chapter's Spring Meeting on beautiful Lake Guntersville in Northeast Alabama from April 20-21. A panel discussion was held with topics such as photography, social media, valuing timberland, and working with auctioneers. The afternoon ended with a marketing session followed by a dinner. The next morning, a three-hour CE course was presented by Ron Levitt, an attorney specializing in conservation easements. On August 3-4 the RLI Alabama Chapter Conference will be held in Montgomery, AL. The chapter will host the ALC-required Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage course. For more information about the Alabama Chapter, visit www.alabamarli.com.

The past few years, the Chapter has held an RLI Summer Ag Meeting with participating RLI members from surrounding states. A feature of those meetings always includes an agricultural tour. Past tours allowed attendees to visit unique places like a buffalo ranch, modern dairy, cheese plant, or center pivot irrigation manufacturer. The tours are always well received and enjoyed by all attendees. This year's tour and meeting will be held July 20-21 in Greeley, the heart of Colorado production agriculture. A guided bus tour will allow attendees multiple stops for in-depth tours. They'll see Weld's Beef and Crop Enterprises, dairies, feedlots, vegetable production, irrigation systems, and more. They also intend to visit a barley farm with a maltster, stop at a hops farm, tour a hemp farm, and end the day with a brewery tour and beer tasting, hence the title, “Grain to Glass, and a Little Grass.” For more information about the Colorado Chapter, visit www.coloradorli.com SUMMER 2017



Florida Chapter

Kansas Chapter

The RLI Florida Chapter is proud to introduce the new board members for 2017-2018. The new leadership was inducted in Orlando and included recent RLI Rising Star Award winner and Military Transition Program (MTP) participant, Caleb McDow, as their new President. Other inductees included William Rollins, ALC, President-Elect; Jib Davidson, Secretary; and Clay Taylor, ALC, Treasurer.

The Kansas Chapter was excited to have the annual LANDU Education Week in their home state this year. Sponsors were secured for the courses and members of the Kansas Chapter were at each class to welcome attendees, answer questions about Kansas, their Chapter, and anything else they could do. The Kansas Chapter also applied for and received continuing education credit for all the courses held at LANDU Week.

For more information about the Florida Chapter, visit www.rlifl.com

Students had the chance to unwind a little at a reception held on Friday evening hosted by the Chapter. Attendees included students, instructors, sponsors, and Kansas and Missouri Chapter members. Thanks to the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORSÂŽ for agreeing to hold the LANDU Education Week at their facility. Thanks, also, to the Missouri Chapter for helping secure sponsorship and for your participation. For more information about the Kansas Chapter, visit www.ksrli.com

Iowa Chapter On March 22, the RLI Iowa Chapter held its spring seminar in conjunction with the ASFMRA Iowa Chapter. Nearly one hundred people attended the one-day training event. Topics included Factors Influencing Agricultural Markets; Renewable Fuels/Health of Ethanol Industry with Falling Oil Prices; Spring Land Trends and Value Survey; Land Valuation and Leasing Trends; and Looking Forward at Agricultural Lending. The Chapter also held its annual dinner and meeting that night. The following Chapter Awards were presented to members: Troy Louwagie, ALC, received the Volume and Acres Sold for the Year Award; Troy Louwagie, ALC, Kirk Weih, ALC, and Mike Downey, ALC, received the Deal of the Year Award (pictured); Travis Smock received the Rising Star Award; Sam Kain, ALC, received the Longtime Dedication to RLI Award; Chris Smith, ALC, received the Farm and Land Broker of the Year Award; and Molly Zaver received the Good Neighbor of the Year Award. For more information about the Iowa Chapter, visit www.rlifarmandranch.com 10


Mississippi Chapter The RLI Mississippi Chapter had a Social Chapter Membership Meeting at Hal & Mal's in Downtown Jackson, MS, on Wednesday, May 17 from 4-8pm. Bo Burkes, ALC, and John Dean, ALC, spoke at the event. The pair shared history about RLI as well as the benefits of joining. Thirty-one people attended from all around Mississippi. The Chapter also hosted a successful June membership drive.


Oklahoma Chapter

Texas Chapter

The Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage course, held by the Chapter in early May, was an overwhelming success. Thank you to LAND Magazine for sponsoring the printing of the course manuals.

In January, the RLI Texas Chapter put on an extremely successful Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage course in Rockwall. Forty attendees met at the Keller Williams Realty offices to gain expertise from instructor Sam Kain, ALC. The course offers sixteen-credit hours towards the ALC Designation as well as sixteen state CE credits. The Chapter also put on the Transitional Land Real Estate course in San Antonio in April and the Google Earth Mapping for Real Estate course in Lubbock in May.

Twenty attendees were instructed by Kirk Goble, ALC, from Colorado. For eighteen of these attendees, this was their first introduction to the REALTORS® Land Institute. Some of the feedback from the students about the class and the instructor included: “Outstanding!” and “Lots of info. Very knowledgeable instructor,” and “I enjoyed and learned,” and “Awesome class and instructor – highly recommended, great course!”

For more information about the Texas Chapter, visit www.texasrli.com

The Chapter hopes to see some of the attendees in other LANDU classes they plan to hold and as future Chapter members! For more information about the Oklahoma Chapter, visit www.okrli.com

Wyoming Chapter Pacific Northwest Chapter The RLI Pacific Northwest Chapter hosted the Timberland Real Estate course taught by Rick Taylor, ALC, in Pendleton, OR, April 24-25. With a sold-out room, there were thirty-seven attendees and, unfortunately, some others had to be turned away due to a shortage of space. The Chapter followed the education with a two-day Property Marketing Session, salmon feed, and Cowboy Auction. Attendees came from across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. A seasonal Board of Directors meeting was also held where conducting a survey and ratification of the bylaws were the main topics.

The RLI Wyoming Chapter was pleased to offer the Wyoming Water Rights 101 & 102 courses for REALTORS® and Appraisers in Wyoming. The Chapter held both classes along with Water Right Searches by Legal Description and Survey Type on June 27-28 in Buffalo; this was the first time this course has ever been offered. The Wyoming Chapter is planning to offer all three courses in locations throughout the state. For more information about the Wyoming Chapter, visit www.wyoming4land.com

For more information about Pacific NW Chapter, contact Chapter President Flo Sayre, ALC, at fsayre@farmersnational.com SUMMER 2017



CONGRATULATIONS NEW ALCS Charlie Powers, ALC Powers Land Brokerage Sheridan, WY charlie@powerslandbrokerage.com Powers is a fifth generation Wyoming native and holds a BS in Business from the University of Wyoming. He has firsthand experience with production agriculture, timber harvest, subsurface development, water rights, and conservation agreements. He is currently licensed in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, and is the current Owner/Broker of Powers Land Brokerage, LLC. Bill Short, ALC Southeast Land Consultants Tampa, FL bshort@southeastlandconsultants.com Bill grew up on a farm in the “Wheat Capital of the World” nurturing an appreciation of land at an early age. Upon graduating Embry Riddle postgraduate program, Bill was anxious to return to his first love, LAND. Bringing together aviation and land, he adequately services his clients with a professional level of knowledge, experience, professionalism, perspective, and enthusiasm. Bill Short is also an active Certified Flight Instructor teaching two hundred hours a year. Michael Dreyer, ALC Dreyer & Associates Indian Harbor Beach, FL michael.e.dreyer@gmail.com First licensed in 1978, Dreyer pursued a specialization over the past thirty-five years in the sale and leasing of investment income property to include retail, office, industrial, with an emphasis on land acquisition and its’ development potential and/or preservation. Michael is a local business owner, a contributing member of the local EDC, Homebuilders Association, ICSC, National Association of REALTORS®, Florida and Space Coast Association of REALTORS®, as well as the recipient of both the CCIM and ALC designations.



Travis Robeson, ALC Fridrich & Clark Realty Brentwood, TN Twrobeson@gmail.com Robeson is a Franklin, TN, native. He grew up on a farm and has always loved being outside on the land. He started full time in land sales in 2005 shortly after purchasing his own farm. Development is a reality these days, but he enjoys seeing farms kept large and tries hard to match up like-minded buyers and sellers who share a passion for the land. David Thien, ALC Thien Farm Management Inc. Council Bluff, IA david@tfmgt.com Thien holds a BS in Agricultural Business and Management from Iowa State University. He is the President and Owner of Thien Farm Management, Inc. in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Specializes is farm management, agricultural real estate, rural appraisal, agricultural consulting, and wetland mitigation banking. Michael Downey, ALC Hertz Farm Management, Inc. Mount Vernon, IA miked@hertz.ag Downey joined Hertz Farm Management in June, 2000, at their Mount Vernon office. In 2010, he received the “Early Career” Award from both the State and National levels of the ASFMRA. He received his BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois. He continues to manage, appraise, sell, and acquire rural properties for clients in East Central and Southeast Iowa. Jeffrey Heil, ALC Whitetail Properties Genevieve, MO jeff.heil@whitetailproperties.com Heil’s love for the outdoors began in his late teens when he got the opportunity to hunt whitetails on a friend’s family farm. This passion for the


outdoors has motivated him to purchase his own farms through the years. He is now fortunate to own and manage many farm and hunting properties. As a member of the Whitetail Properties team, his goal is to now use his experiences to help other buyers and sellers achieve their goals around the purchase of incredible Midwestern farming and hunting land. Jacob Hart, ALC High Point Realty & Auction Decorah, IA Jacob@hpraa.com Hart is a licensed real estate broker and auctioneer in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. His firm specializes in land sales and management of agricultural row crop and recreational ground. He attended SDSU in Brookings, SD, then, he studied at World Wide College of Auctioneering. Michael Lauher, ALC Hancock Farmland Services Savoy, IL mlauher@hnrg.com Lauher has over twenty years of experience managing farms in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. He specializes in Farm Real Estate Sales, Appraisals, and Ag Project Consultation. He graduated from Illinois State University with a BS in Agribusiness.

RLI MEMBER NEWS Sage Andress, ALC, is a Broker for Sunmark Realty, Inc. in Tampa, FL. Andress was named the 2016 #2 Regional Top Producer in Land by the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of REALTORS® in his region.

Paul Bottari, ALC, is the Owner/Broker of Bottari & Associates Realty, Inc. in Wells, NV. Bottari was honored with the Nevada REALTOR® Active in Politics Award by the fifteen thousand member strong Nevada Association of REALTORS®

Christina Asbury, ALC, is a Broker for Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in Sneads Ferry, NC. Christina received the 2016 Exceptional Service Award from the Jacksonville Association of REALTORS® recognizing her tireless dedication, outstanding personal and professional commitment, contributions, and enthusiasm given to their Board over the years. Chris Bowers, RLI Member, is an Agent at Eshenbaugh Land Company in Tampa, FL. Bowers was named the 2016 #3 Regional Top Producer in Land by the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of REALTORS®. Ray Brownfield, ALC, is the Managing Broker/Owner of Land Pro, LLC. in Oswego, IL. Brownfield received the Illinois State University 2017 Alumni Achievement Award. Ray graduated from ISU in 1965 and still serves on the Dean's Advisory Board. George Clift, ALC, is the Broker/Owner of Clift Land Brokers in Amarillo, TX. Clift received the Graduate of Distinction Award from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. This award, presented annually since 1949, recognizes graduates who have compiled outstanding records of achievement and service. Jib Davidson, RLI Member, is the President of Columbia Timber Company and an agent for United Country Land & Lifestyle Properties in Gainesville, FL. Davidson was elected chairperson of the Florida Society of American Foresters and will serve as the senior leader of three hundred certified foresters operating statewide.




Luke Worrell, ALC Worell Land Services, LLC Jacksonville, IL lukew@worrell-landservices.com Luke of Worrell Land Services in Jacksonville, IL, was named the 2016 Illinois Farm & Land Broker of the Year by the RLI Illinois Chapter. Luke is the youngest recipient of the award since it began in 1979. Allan Worrell, ALC, received the same award in 2015 and was given the honor of presenting the award to his son on behalf of the chapter. G. Kent Morris, ALC, is the Associate Broker and a Registered Forester for Bickerstaff Parham Real Estate, in Pine Mountain, GA. Morris recently passed the FAA 107 Knowledge Test and received his Remote Pilot in Command License from the FAA for flying drones commercially. Ryan Sampson, ALC, is the Managing Principal of Eshenbaugh Land Company in Tampa, FL. Sampson was named the 2016 #1 Regional Top Producer in Land by the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of REALTORS速 in his region. Dean Saunders, ALC, is the Owner/Broker for Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate in Lakeland, FL. Saunders was named the 2016 National #1 Top Producer in Land by the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of REALTORS速. Minor Taylor, ALC, is the Owner/Broker of Property Connections Real Estate in Houston, TX. Taylor was presented with an award for the Texas Land Broker Network Agent-to-Agent Highest Dollar Volume Transaction for 2016.



Garrett Zoller, ALC, is the Broker/Owner of LandAndWildlife.com in Medford, OR. Zoller negotiated a deal on the entire Town of Tiller, now under contract, gaining him international media attention.

Caleb McDow, RLI Member, is a Land Consultant for Crosby & Associates in Winter Haven, FL. McDow was named the 2016 National #3 Top Producer in Land by the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of REALTORS速. Frank Roberts, ALC, is the Owner/Broker, of RE/MAX Landmark in Terrell TX. Roberts was recognized as the #1 RE/MAX Commercial REALTOR速 in Texas for the fifth consecutive year. Roberts was also the #8 RE/MAX Commercial producer in the U.S. and #22 in the world (RE/MAX Commercial is in 45 countries).

26 Jan


1 1TH ANNUAL L AND I NVE STMENT E XPO # / & ! 6 P ' + 2 / 6 9 = P 9 A 8 ?

| 0 % " / 1 , + % , 1 " ) P 4 " 0 1 ! " 0 * , & + " 0

Less than two weeks after the event and we had already put a deal together with someone we met at the Expo. There are a couple others that will likely turn into a deal throughout the year.

PAUL PITTMAN Chief Executive Officer Farmland Partners

e ar ly b i r d t icket pr ice just $3 7 5


Chairman of O’Shares Investments and Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank



Real Estate Economist and Speaker

Farmer, Banker and Host of Market to Market

We hope you will make plans to join us next year for an exciting day of learning, discussing, debating and networking. We promise another wide range of expert speakers and educational breakout sessions that will challenge your thinking and provide new cutting-edge ideas. Register today: LandInvestmentExpo.com



2017 NATIONAL LAND CONFERENCE RECAP 2 0 1 7 N AT I o N A l l A N D C o N f E r E N C E r E C A P

auctioneers took the floor at the Cowboy Auction to raffle off trips, unique handmade items, and even an apple watch, which alone collected over $3,200 worth of donations, to support the Land Education Foundation (LEF). With the air still buzzing from all the excitement, attendees were then lured over by live music to the Shindig in Charlotte Bash where they enjoyed drinks, southern-style food, and an open dance floor.

NLC17 Celebrates a Success at the Finish Line Land professionals from across the country gather to share their experiences and gain expertise at the annual National Land Conference. This year, the event was hosted in Charlotte, NC, from March 31- April 2, and boasted well over two hundred land professionals—ninety-three of which were ALCs, twenty-seven were industry partners ready to help attendees grow their businesses, and over thirty were expert speakers. In addition, seven distinguished RLI members received awards through the esteemed REALTORS® Land Institute Awards Program. From sessions on using 1031 Tax Exchanges and an update from The Hill on legislative issues affecting the industry, to sessions on becoming an effective communicator and using commercial drones for marketing properties, attendees were kept on the edge of their seats to hear the latest industry trends. The conference is always a hub for sharing advice. Whether from industry renowned speakers or fellow expert land professionals, all attendees were able to leave with valuable takeaways that they can apply in their own businesses. The event also provides opportunities for attendees to build relationships with old and new friends at the various networking events. This year, after warming up their engines at the Let’s Make Deal$ LIVE Property Marketing Session, attendees headed over to the Welcome Reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The next night, the energy in the room was palpable as 16


During the RLI Town Hall, 2017 President Brandon Rogillio, ALC, and CEO Aubrie Kobernus took the stage to present key elements of the new three-year strategic plan that ties together reviewing ways to improve membership growth and value, an education deep-dive to enhance our course offerings, a plan to increase our brand awareness as “The Voice of Land” in the industry, a set of initiatives for chapter development, and a goal of focusing on staff capacity and development, all into one neat package that is designed to take RLI to the next level. On target with the strategic plan, Marketing Manager Jessa Friedrich, MBA, presented the new RLI brand and logos to attendees. Throughout the conference, the positive buzz about the new logo spread quickly as attendees sported their new ALC pins and RLI branded tumblers and shirts! Chapter logos were also released during the Land Conference Chapter Meeting on the first day which attracted a room full of attendees dedicated to seeing our RLI Chapters succeed. Bill Stanton, RLI’s Chapter & Membership Specialist, led the meeting alongside CEO Aubrie Kobernus to reveal all of the new initiatives National is moving forward on to strengthen the chapters. From updated Chapter Model Bylaws to a new

2 0 1 7 N AT I o N A l l A N D C o N f E r E N C E r E C A P

website template that interfaces directly with the RLI national database to better allow chapter leaders to grow and manage their membership, attendees couldn’t wait to take all of the news back to their chapters. Thank you to all who attended NLC17 and to RLI’s dedicated staff for putting on a valuable event. Make sure to save the date for NLC18 in Nashville, TN, next March 12-14!

2016 RLI Awards Recipients

“With a membership full of the best in business, receiving one of these awards means beating out some tough competition. We are proud to have these elite award winners as a part of our ranks, elevating the level of expertise, camaraderie, and prestige of our entire membership.”

Ben Crosby, ALC Excellence in Instruction Award Crosby & Associates, Winter Haven, FL

Kyle Hansen, ALC ALC-to-ALC Networking Award Hertz Real Estate Services, Nevada, IA

Troy Louwagie, ALC ALC-to-ALC Networking Award Hertz Real Estate Services, Nevada, IA

Caleb McDow Land Rising Star Crosby & Associates Winter Haven, FL

– Brandon Rogillio, ALC, 2017 RLI National President Mac Boyd, ALC (posthumously) Robert C. Meeks Distinguished Service Award Arcola, IL Ray Brownfield, ALC Land REALTOR® of America Award Land Pro LLC., Oswego, IL

Maggie Thomas Chapter Administrator of the Year Award Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming Chapters Kirk Weih, ALC ALC-to-ALC Networking Award Hertz Real Estate Services, Nevada, IA



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Being a CENTURY 21 Farm & Ranch® Specialist takes drive, confidence, and tenacity to get the job done. It’s why we utilize every tool in our bag — from a global network of offices and sales associates to the latest technology and support. In today’s market, you need someone who has your back — any time, any place…that’s a CENTURY 21 Farm & Ranch Specialist.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT COMMERCIAL.CENTURY21.COM OR CALL 844.494.1167 © 2017 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. CENTURY 21 Farm & Ranch® and the CENTURY 21 Farm & Ranch Logo are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office is Independently owned and operated.

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The Land Education Foundation The 2017 Cowboy Auction held at the National Land Conference in Charlotte on April 1 was a successful evening brimming with fun, excitement and, most of all, amazing results which directly benefit the Land Education Foundation’s (LEF) mission to provide education opportunities for the “Wise Utilization of Land.” Since payments are still trickling in, the exact amount of donations taken in during the event is not yet finalized. However, recognition is given below to those donors whose payments have already been secured and started benefiting LEF: Karin Arellano Pau Bottari, ALC Sam Bowers, ALC Ray Brownfield, ALC Karen Calarco Patti Davis, ALC John Dean, ALC Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC Tommy Funk Terry Garmon Ted Glaub, ALC Kyle Hansen, ALC Larry Harb Roger Hayworth, ALC Roger Heller, ALC Randy Hertz, ALC David Hitchcock, ALC

Jan Hope Terri Jensen, ALC Wendy Johnson, ALC Sam Kain, ALC Joel King, ALC Kim King Aubrie Kobernus Zurick Labrier, ALC Jesse Lane, ALC Nancy Lane Aaron Lloyd Fletcher Majors, ALC Tyler McConnell Caleb McDow Caresse McGee Kasey Mock Rod Osterloh, ALC

Four people will be making the trip to Kinsale, Ireland, and seven will be on their way to see all of the exotic animals the South African Safari has to offer. The auctioning off of a trip to Argentina, fishing trips, relaxation trips to Mexico, South Dakota, Southern Minnesota, and so much more added to the excitement of the evening. There were so many unique hand crafted items included in the silent auction that LEF will list them in a complete summary in the near future.



Terry Pauling, ALC Stuart Peterson Flo Sayre, ALC Jimmy Settle, ALC Danny Smith, ALC Chris Smith, ALC Jay Stortzum Winnie Stortzum, ALC John Stratman Maggie Thomas TJ Thompson Bob Turner, ALC Jim Van Sickle Pamela Walters Susie Westbrook Chuck Wingert, ALC

Members also made generous donations out of the goodness of their hearts, many of whom made their pledge in memory of a loved one. Once the final figures are available, all names of donors and successful bidders will be added on the Land Education Foundation Website at www.laneducationfoundation.org. Without RLI members, LEF could not offer the amazing scholarship opportunities to further people’s education in the land business. LEF is truly humbled by your generous support.

A special congratulations to Kevin May and Marty Sampson on each winning a five hundred dollar LEF Scholarship, to use towards obtaining land education, during the raffle at the ALC Luncheon!

“I’m very excited to have won a five hundred dollar scholarship at the National Land Conference in Charlotte. After spending many years in the commercial real estate and technology fields I'm eagerly learning more about the land business every day.” – Kevin May, President, LandHub.com

“Lindsay Corporation would like to thank the RLI and LEF for this scholarship and we look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with the RLI membership, including their ALCs.” – Marty Sampson, Lindsay Corporation 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. There are five hundred dollar 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




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MANY THANKS TO RLI AND CONGRATULATIONS on a very successful 2017 Land Conference.

The m o s t r e s p e c t e d p u b l i c at i o N for showcasing

e x c e p t i o n a l p ro p e rt i e s

Over 5,000 Select Rural Real Estate Properties

O p e n F e n c e s. c o m


LANDU Education Week

“LANDU week exceeded my wildest expectations!

The education for the Accredited Land Consultant Designation was like attending a real estate MBA program in nine days. As serving our Corrigan Group clients is our highest priority, this education and training now allows me to bring an even higher and more complete level of expertise and analysis to all real estate including residential, commercial, farm, ranch and equestrian transactions. Clients deserve a professional that knows how to gather and assess vital information in order to make wise and sound real estate investments. I would highly recommend this training to any Realtor® that is a serious professional. This was more than worth the time and money investment!” – Sandy Corrigan, Co-Founder and Principal/ Co-Owner of The Corrigan Group Enrich your career and expand your expertise with the exclusive professional development opportunities available through the REALTORS® Land Institute world renowned Land University (LANDU) Education Program. Gain valuable insights from industry experts with years of experience in land real estate through courses, Hot Topic Webinars, or ALC-to-ALC Teleconferences. Thank you to all who work hard on the 2017 RLI Education Committee to provide these benefits to the RLI membership. 24


RLI Members and land professionals from around the country came together in Kansas City, KS, for the 2017 LANDU Education Week. This annual nine-day boot camp provides the opportunity for attendees to complete up to 104 hours of education towards earning the Accredited Land Consultant Designation. It also gives ALCs a chance to continue their professional development and establish themselves further as the best in the land business. Ten students completed all six courses: Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges; Land Investment Analysis; Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage; Real Estate Site Selection; Land Real Estate Development; and Real Estate Mapping Technologies & Techniques. Congratulations to the following attendees on completing all of the education requirements towards the ALC Designation in Kansas City—you are one step closer to being an elite ALC!

• • • • • • • • • • •

Jim Bineau Blake Bridevaux Sandra Corrigan Jamie Esquibel Tim Hadley David Hanson Edward Harvey Kenny Herring Mike Lansdell M. Melissa Lee John Robinson

Thank you to the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® for hosting this event at your facility and for all the support provided to make it a success. Another big thank you to the RLI Kansas Chapter for hosting a wonderful reception on June 9 for all attendees and instructors.

January Hybrid Course

LANDU Calendar | 2017 February

Hybrid Courses



+Land Investment Analysis +Timberland Real Estate +Google Earth Mapping for Real Estate +Real Estate Auctions

8 Free Webinar: Elevating Your Elevator Pitch


31 The National Land Conference:

19 Webinar: Trail to the ALC Designation

April Hybrid Course

+Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges +Land Real Estate Development


20 ALC-to-ALC Teleconference: Mastering Real Estate Negotiations


8 Webinar: Using an IRA to Invest in Land

May Online Course

+Mineral, Oil & Property Rights

Hybrid Course

+Ag Land Brokerage & Marketing


10 Free Webinar: Excel Tips & Shortcuts for the Land Pro

July Online Courses

+Mastering Real Estate Negotiations

Hybrid Courses

+Transitional Land Real Estate



THE BEST STOP HERE! Charlotte, NC | White Paper Course Option


June Events

4-12 LANDU Education Week +Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges +Land Investment Analysis +Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage +Site Selection +Land Real Estate Development +RE Mapping Technology & Techniques 14 Webinar: Public-Private Partnerships


Hybrid Course

Hybrid Courses

Online Course


+Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage +Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Professionals

+Land Investment Analysis +Introduction to Land Valuation

13 Free Webinar: Mixed Use Urban Land Developments

20 ALC-to-ALC Teleconference: The Transition for Transitional Land



Hybrid Courses

Online Course



Boundary Surveys

Being Your Best – Reduce Stress, Maximize Productivity, Stay Healthy

+Google Earth Mapping for Real Estate +Legal Aspects of Real Estate +Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges +Mineral, Oil, & Property Rights

11 Webinar: Title Reports &

16 ALC-to-ALC Teleconference:

REALTORS® Land Institute 430 N. Michigan Ave Chicago, IL 60611 rliland.com | 800-441-5263


RLI Hot Topic Webinars

Mixed-Use Urban Land Development Wednesday, September 13 | Noon CT Free to RLI Members Presenter: Alfred Fraijo, Jr., Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP When is a mixed-use development right for your community or downtown area? This webinar will dive into the unique challenges and opportunities with mixed-use developments. • Gain a deeper understanding of the latest trends on how to package the development. • Discover best practices to develop partnerships and secure financing sources to create exciting new residential mixeduse developments that produce strong returns. • Find out what unique land use, entitlement, environmental, financing, and other challenges these developments face. • Access tools and strategies for understanding and planning successful mixed-use developments in a diverse context. Presenter Bio: Fraijo grows his expertise on cutting edge real estate transactions for public, private, and nonprofit developers as well as multi-national corporations in the United States and abroad. He has significant experience in obtaining and negotiating land use entitlements for complex housing and mixed-use development projects throughout California, including advising clients with innovative, urban renewal projects in the inner-city and other sectors with emerging markets.

What you Need to Know About Title Reports & Boundary Surveys Wednesday, October 11 | Noon CT | $59 for Members

not necessary – for everyone involved to understand what that role is, what it is not, and what support surveyors can provide to assist in the realization of a successful transaction. In this webinar, we will examine the surveyor’s role in the commercial transaction, which primarily revolves around the ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey, the title commitment, and the dynamic between the parties to the conveyance. For a sneak peek, check out Kent’s article on page 30. Participants of this webinar will be able to: • Identify the primary elements of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey and explain how each supports the party’s needs in a transaction. • Outline the relationship of the ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey and the title commitment from the surveyor’s perspective. • Gain the knowledge needed to explain what a surveyors’ certification can say, what it cannot say, and why. Presenter Bio: Gary Kent is in his thirty fourth year with The Schneider Corporation, a surveying, GIS and consulting engineering firm based in Indianapolis, and with offices in North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Iowa. He is the long-time chair of the committees for the American Land Title Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors that are responsible for the ubiquitous ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey standards.

Archived Hot Topic Webinars An exclusive benefit to RLI members is exclusive access to previously recorded webinars. You can access the following for free: • How to Create Successful Public-Private Partnerships for Land Development • Elevate Your Elevator Pitch • The Trail to Becoming an ALC

Presenter: Gary Kent, The Schneider Corporation When a Land Title Survey is ordered, a collaborative effort is set in motion typically involving a surveyor, a title company, a seller, a buyer, a lender, and the respective attorneys. Surveyors normally play an integral role in that process and it is helpful – if 26


• Excel Tips & Shortcuts for Land Professionals • Tax Reform 2017: Threats to 1031 Exchanges As an RLI Member you receive discounts on previous webinars available for purchase. Some of the topics include:


• ABCs of Easement Valuation • Institutional Investors in Agriculture • Using an IRA to Invest in Land • Video: The Future of Real Estate Marketing • Drones: Navigating the Rules and Regulations • Conservation Reserve Programs To purchase or view any of the LANDU Hot Topic Webinars, contact Amanda Jenkins, Education Manager, at 312-329-8441.

Exclusive ALC-to-ALC Networking Teleconferences

RLI invites all of its prestigious ALCs to attend tri-annual exclusive teleconferences for ALCs to network, share experiences, and build relationships. Each teleconference has a theme which attendees are able to discuss, sharing insights and tips on the topic. The calls are designed to help AKCs gain further expertise and information that will help them grow their business and increase success. All ALCs are welcome to attend and will receive an email prior to the event with call-in details.

The Transition for Transitional Land Thursday, July 20 | 11 a.m. CT Facilitated by Terri Jensen, ALC

ALCs will share their best ideas for transitioning a property from one use to another. Whether this is a corner five-acre piece of land ready to be a gas station, or a gas station being transitioned back to raw land, find out how it is done. Join your peers to hear their unique ideas to transitioning a piece of land, the steps you should take, and how to determine the best use.

Being Your Best – Reduce Stress, Maximize Productivity, and Stay Healthy

Four Updated Courses Now Available Four LANDU Instructors met in October 2016 to rewrite, update, and improve four LANDU courses. Instructors Ben Crosby, ALC, Jonathan Goode, ALC, Fletcher Majors, ALC, and Kirk Goble, ALC, spent five days on the campus of Texas A&M University working with Education Manager Amanda Jenkins. Their main goal was to ensure our courses reflected the latest trends and technology in the land business. The group focused on updating the Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage; Transitional Land Real Estate; Real Estate Site Selection; Agricultural Land Brokerage & Marketing; and Land Investment Analysis courses. The group was joined by two university agricultural real estate students who helped with research and shared the trends their generation wanted in education. These newly update courses are available for RLI Chapters and Corporate Partners to offer now. Contact Amanda Jenkins at ajjenkins@realtors.org to schedule or register for one of these courses.

Thursday, November 16 | 11 a.m. CT Facilitated by Norma Carleton, ALC With the holidays right around the corner, most professionals are rushing to tie up end of the year projects, buy gifts, and plan holiday events. Let ALCs share with you how they reduce their stress during busy times, maximize their productivity when deadlines loom, and stay healthy while being social. SUMMER 2017


The Four New Realities of Washington, D.C. By Russell W. Riggs This space in Terra Firma is usually reserved for a brief update on public policy issues of interest to REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) members and land professionals. However, the election of Donald Trump to the highest elected political office in the land has scrambled the usual political dynamics of Washington, D.C. – the rulebook has been thrown out and we are in uncharted waters. Given the unusual political environment we find ourselves in today, I thought it might be helpful to identify some of the factors that now make up the new reality of Washington, D.C. and how these factors might impact issues that RLI members care about. So here they are, the four new realities of Washington, D.C. 1. New Administration. The Trump Administration was elected to achieve several big priorities: immigration reform; comprehensive tax reform; construct a wall on the southern border; and repeal and replace Obamacare. Smaller items on the agenda include reforming existing trade agreements and repealing Dodd-Frank. The Trump Administration is still finding its way on how to achieve its policy priorities, but eventually, they will find their footing. When they do, tax reform could be the issue they turn to for a legislative win. Of all of these issues, tax reform could pose a threat to RLI’s most important legislative issue: preserving the 1031 Like-Kind Tax Exchange. 2. New Congress. While the Republicans have captured both the House and Senate, they did so with small majorities and increased ideological polarization. Practically speaking, this is a recipe for legislative gridlock as congressional leaders discover it is difficult, if not impossible, to cobble together enough members to pass legislation. However, this could work in RLI’s favor. While legislative stagnation means that some bills RLI members might support don’t get passed, it also means that other bills, such as tax reform that harm 1031s, might never see the light of day.



3. Executive Order (EO) Governance. A recent trend for presidents is to issue Executive Orders when they are unable to achieve their policy agenda in Congress. This occurred quite often during both the Clinton and Bush Presidencies, then, accelerated quickly during Obama’s presidency. Trump has used them even more frequently to achieve early momentum on some of his key policy goals. While EOs are limited in scope because they only impact activities of the federal government and not broader corporate or social institutions, they can be used in a targeted way to achieve a specific result. One recent EO directed the EPA to begin the process to rescind and replace the controversial and damaging Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation. If Trump does nothing else as President, rescinding WOTUS will help RLI members more than anything else. 4 Deregulatory Environment. President Trump has made it clear to all the federal regulatory agencies that they need to establish a process for reviewing and rescinding unnecessary or antiquated regulations. This has also been the subject of several EOs as well. While deregulation of the private sector is an important goal, this strategy has limitations as well. First, the process for repealing a regulation is cumbersome and time-consuming. Second, these only apply to regulations that originated in the federal agencies. For example, the WOTUS and the Clean Power Plan regulations were initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), without any statutory direction from Congress, so they can only be repealed by the EPA. Regulations implemented under the direction of Dodd-Frank or the Affordable Care Act were initiated under the congressional authority, so they can only be repealed or modified by Congress. Deregulation will unburden RLI members and their clients as well as help spur innovation and economic development. About the author: In his position with the National Association of REALTORS®, Russell Riggs serves as the RLI’s Government Affairs Liaison in Washington, D.C., conducting advocacy on a variety of federal issues related to land.

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Title Reports & Boundary Surveys By Gary Kent In order to really understand what a Land Title Survey is about, one needs to understand the land tenure system in the United States and the role of title insurance. The single most important aspect in that regard, is that in the United States, there is no guarantee of ownership of real property. A deed is, in fact, not proof of ownership of real property, it is only evidence of ownership. There is no “proof.” Overcoming this problem and being able to confidently buy real property, or to obtain a loan to buy or develop real property, requires some sort of assurance that one’s investment is not at risk. This is accomplished in the United States by virtue of title insurance. Before agreeing to loan money to purchase or develop real property, a lender in the United States will require that there be a title policy in order to ensure its investment (the real property collateral) is protected. In addition, the lender will require that one of the standard exceptions to the coverage afforded by a title insurance policy — the “standard survey exception” — be deleted from its policy. The exact wording of the standard survey exception varies, but an example is: “Rights and claims of parties in possession, boundary line disputes, overlaps, encroachments and any other matters not shown by the public records which would be disclosed by an accurate survey and inspection of the property.” 30


This is a standard exception to title insurance coverage because of the myriad of potential problems that could be detrimental to the integrity of a property's title which would otherwise remain unknown unless a Land Title Survey is performed. When the title company is provided with an acceptable Land Title Survey, it will remove that standard “blanket” survey exception, and write exceptions for the specific conditions identified on the Land Title Survey that represent potential title problems that it will not cover. By virtue of the subsequently issued title commitment (aka title binder), the buyer and lender are put on notice as to those issues. In order for all of this to work effectively, the title industry must be confident that the surveyor will provide a survey disclosing all of the potential title problems (to the extent that they can be observed by the surveyor). Hence, the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys were developed, first in 1962, and revised eight times since (most recently, effective February 23, 2016). The standards are jointly developed and adopted by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS). This collaborative effort is required to assure that the needs of the title industry are addressed while necessarily taking into account what it is possible to accomplish, at a reasonable cost and within an acceptable time frame, by a professional surveyor.

A Land Title Survey is, first and foremost, a boundary survey but it also includes many requirements above and beyond simply just surveying the boundary.

Within that context, the actual process of conducting the survey can be more readily explained. As a part of that explanation, it is important to note that in the United States, professional surveyors do not “determine” boundaries, they furnish a professional opinion as to a boundary’s location. Very often, those opinions are based on conflicting and ambiguous evidence, which is why surveyors sometimes disagree. A Land Title Survey is, first and foremost, a boundary survey but it also includes many requirements above and beyond simply just surveying the boundary. The ALTA/NSPS requirements focus on the surveyor collecting and documenting data from the records, and on the ground, in order to support the needs of title companies. This is because of the need to identify all of those potential title problems outlined in the standard survey exception above. Achieving that end is, from the professional surveyor’s standpoint, a multi-part, multi-dimensional exercise. First, there must be extensive research both into the public records and into relevant private records. If the survey is of an existing parcel, it is called a “retracement” and the surveyor's job is then to “follow in the footsteps” of the original surveyor of the parcel. Often, that original survey was decades, or a century or more, in the past. So, finding the relevant records may entail a lengthy search through public and quasi-public records; what is sometimes a fruitless attempt to find information from private surveyors that might relate to that original survey. Once the desired and necessary records have been located (or not) the survey process moves to the field investigation. A diligent search for original survey markers, or those set subsequently, is made; including the controlling or reference corners upon which the boundary lines and corners are dependent. Except when the property is a lot in a platted subdivision (and often even in that case) those reference corners and lines are typically some distance from the property. In many cases, they may be up to a mile away. In addition, those reference corners are very frequently buried anywhere from a few inches to several feet beneath roadway pavement or under or around trees, fences, walls or buildings. The necessary evidence may

also be very difficult to find and ascertain, like long-abandoned roads, railroads, or canals upon which the corners and lines of the boundary are dependent. Finding the relevant evidence so the surveyor can develop a defensible opinion as to the boundary's location is typically the most difficult and time-consuming part of the survey. Once that field evidence is located and documented, the analysis of that evidence begins. The evidence is almost never in perfect congruence with what the records say, and the surveyor must then run through an extensive, time-consuming, iterative process of sorting through the evidence, weighing it, conducting calculations to test it, and finally applying the appropriate boundary law principles to the evidence in order to arrive at the location that he or she believes best represents the boundary as established by that original surveyor. In the process of collecting the field evidence of the boundary, the surveyor will also locate the many other features required by the ALTA/NSPS standards such as the building locations, access points, evidence of use of the property by others, possible encroachments, fences, drives, utility features, water features, parking lots, parking spaces, etc. All of that fieldwork is conducted using a wide variety of tools at the disposal of the modern surveyor. Field conditions and other factors, like the size of the property, the amount and density of improvements, and extent of vegetation, will typically dictate the appropriate tools. They may include electronic total stations, robotic total stations, magnetic locators, GPS, groundpenetrating radar, utility locate technologies, aerial mapping, aerial photography, remote sensing, laser scanners, and unmanned aerial vehicles (aka “drones”). More mundane tools like shovels and pick axes are also usually required because the evidence that needs to be found and located is frequently beneath the surface. After the boundary corners and lines have been retraced to the satisfaction of the surveyor, the surveyor will return to the field to set or reset any missing corner markers. The plat/map of the survey is then prepared to document those boundaries and all of the located features. The plat/map is typically prepared using any of a number of popular computer-



Of course, presenting all of that data in a legible, readily understood form necessarily takes some manual adjustments of labelling locations and other “clean-up.

Once the plat/map has been completed and any issues related to boundaries and easements resolved to the surveyor’s satisfaction, it is sent out for review and comment by the interested parties (i.e. the title company, lender, and client/buyer). Any comments received will be reviewed and addressed if necessary, and the final plat/map is then signed and sealed by the professional surveyor and sent to the interested parties.

aided drafting (CAD) programs. Such programs can automate the process by using metadata on field-collected features to automatically create line work, connect up the related lines, place the appropriate symbols, and even label boundary lines. Of course, presenting all of that data in a legible, readily understood form necessarily takes some manual adjustments of labelling locations and other “clean-up.” The plat/map must also show any gaps or overlaps with adjoining properties as revealed in the records, and the location and extent of any easements identified in the title commitment. There are many notes required on a Land Title Survey such as those related to the depicted easements (e.g., recording information, whether shown, and, if not, why not), identifying problems or ambiguities relating to the boundary, and water boundaries. 32


If the surveyor deems it appropriate to prepare a new property description based on the results of the survey, that effort will be undertaken with great care to not inadvertently create new title problems or confusion as to the boundaries and corners. A new description may be written to indicate new corner markers that were set or to reflect higher precision in measurements and dimensioning than the old description (which may have been prepared decades or even over a century earlier). It should be noted, however, that just because there are differences between measured and record dimensions, that most assuredly does not necessarily mean the old description is bad and needs rewritten. Like boundary locations, legal descriptions are a function of legal principles, not mathematics.

Depending on the size and location of the property, the complexity of, or problems with, the legal description, the number and clarity of easements, and the amount of improvements and utilities on the property, the fee for a Land Title Survey can run from two thousand dollars at the very low-end, to several hundred thousand dollars at the highend. The effort could take anywhere from about a week to several months. About the author: Gary Kent is in his thirty fourth year with The Schneider Corporation, a surveying, GIS and consulting engineering firm based in Indianapolis, and with offices in North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Iowa. He is the long-time chair of the committees for the American Land Title Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors that are responsible for the ubiquitous ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey standards. He has presented programs on surveying and title topics in all fifty states and can be contacted at gkent@schneidercorp.com

Teaming Up To Transform Your Business By Jonathan Goode, ALC What is the best way to achieve the highest level of success in your land brokerage career? The answer to that question varies greatly depending on your definition of success. Many brokers would like to see an increase in income earned, number of transactions closed, quality agents hired or retained, or any combination of other metrics used to define success. There are many definitions of success that do not have their own column in your firm's P&L sheet, such as: spending more time with family, creating a steady stream of income, or dominating your local market. Figuring out the best way to achieve those goals is a real challenge for real estate salespeople. “If you want to succeed, buckle down and work harder. You need to make more calls, set more appointments, and spend more time in front of decision makers." This is good advice, but at a certain point in your career it becomes unproductive to pour yourself into more of the same. You can reach a plateau where spending more hours at work does not yield the desired results. In economic terms, this concept is called “The Law of Diminishing Returns.” In 2013, my co-worker, Robert King, ALC, and I candidly discussed our goals for the year and how our numbers were tracking to date. Robert shared how his goal for the coming year was to increase the size of his average transaction to raise his total commissions earned. At the time, Robert was closing forty land transactions per year and was one of the top producers for Southeastern Land Group. The next year, he and Randall Upchurch teamed up and formulated a plan to increase their business and target a market segment that was largely under-served in Alabama. They focused on marketing and selling poultry farms across the state. Poultry is the leading agricultural product in our state, and both Robert and Randall had previous experience with poultry operations and real estate brokerage. In 2014, they formed PoultrySouth to focus on marketing poultry farms. It took only two years for Robert to not only increase his commissions, but he was also able to more than double them as a result of teaming up with Randall. This is a perfect example of how two REALTORS® Land Institute members can partner to totally transform their business.



“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – UNKOWN

Randall is grateful the partnership has worked so well and, as he recounts their success, he does not take it for granted. “By working together the past three years, Robert and I have helped our clients close twenty-five poultry farms for a total of about fifty-five million dollars in sales. We currently have six pending farm deals, and are working on others.” Robert explains the upside of their partnership this way, “The benefit of two minds working through the issues of real estate transactions is a multiplying effect, not merely additive.” King continues, “Having slightly different perspectives focused on the same goal is a win-win for agents and clients. Additionally, we have seen the unexpected benefit of being able to multiply our effective handling of listings. Randall and I could probably only manage twenty-five or thirty listings apiece. Together we are able to handle one-hundred or more listings, while providing good service to our clients.” The financial success of the partnership at PoultrySouth has opened doors for Robert and Randall to add cattle to their personal herds and each have purchased additional acreage for their family farms. The benefits from their business have overflowed into achieving goals for their families and farms. They are the perfect example of how real estate teams are supposed to function.

travelling great distances with maximum efficiency because of the cooperation of all the individuals. Each member of the flock benefits from the cooperative efforts of the group. This collaborative effort only works because each individual is clear on the objective, their responsibility, and they expend the effort to achieve the desired result. There are many ingredients to creating a great team, but there are three essential elements that this article seeks to address. In order to form a great partnership, you must ACT like a team. Agreement – “Can two walk together unless they are in agreement?” This question was posed by Amos, a shepherd turned prophet, that lived about 750 B.C. This question is still relevant millennia later. For a partnership to be effective, the partners must hold a common vision and agree on implementation of their strategy. The objectives must be clear so that everyone knows what they are working toward and how they will achieve the desired result. Communication – Operation without communication leads to frustration. Sharing frequent updates, addressing problems jointly, and asking accountability questions helps ensure that the partnership stays on track. No member of the team should blindly assume that everyone has the most recent information or is acting on it. There will be hiccups in every partnership, but as a mentor often told me, “Communication covers a multitude of sins.” Receiving information makes people feel important and in the loop, so, be sure to share all that is appropriate with your teammate to increase the chances of mutual success.

How do we achieve the positive outcomes we desire in our careers? One way is to align yourself with like-minded people. The power that comes from working together to achieve a common goal cannot be overstated. Fletcher Majors, an ALC from Alabama, has done a great job fostering an atmosphere of cooperation at Great Southern Land, both internally and with outside agents. In early 2015, Fletcher and three of his agents worked tirelessly to help one of their clients sell 6,477 acres in forty-five different tracts to thirteen different buyers in a single bid sale. Calvin Perryman, an ALC who works with Fletcher, explains why they believe in the team approach, saying “We often use a teamwork approach on special projects as well as everyday listings and appraisals. We believe having multiple opinions and ideas along with additional boots on the ground helps us better serve our clients.”

Trust – The single most important ingredient to a well-functioning team is trust. Working with people that you know unquestionably have your best interest at heart frees you to focus on the challenge before you, and not on defending yourself from the people around you. Trust is very difficult to manufacture or bestow, and is generally built gradually and methodically through shared experiences. Trust breeds loyalty. Loyalty begets a willingness to work hard and take risks together. Working hard and taking calculated risks together is the formula most successful entrepreneurs use to achieve their goals.

Each winter, nature demonstrates the power of teamwork when we see the V-shaped formations of geese as they fly south from Canada to warmer climates. The flock is able to survive by

RLI’s 2016 ALC-to-ALC Networking Award was recently presented to three ALCs from Hertz Real Estate Services in Iowa. ALCs Kirk Weih, Troy Louwagle, and Kyle Hansen SUMMER 2017


teamed up to close a $12,263,100 transaction on 998 acres. This size and type of transaction requires that teammates have a lot of trust. Kyle's advice for creating this type of success is, “Remember why you are working with another broker. It isn't because they provide the highest referral or pay the best commission; it is because they can provide the best service to you and your client. We are in business to provide the best product and experience possible. To do that, you need to work with the best brokers possible. That's why I like to work with Accredited Land Consultants and agents that I trust. That is what our clients deserve.” A quick search in the “Book” category on Amazon.com for "Team" returns about 310,000 entries. With that much written on the topic, the best this article can hope to do is highlight a few essentials to creating positive teamwork for land brokers. There are dozens of free resources on teamwork available at the National Association of REALTORS® website. We face a challenge when we take a competitive vocation and ask individual agents to work together; however, good brokers know this is the formula for long term success. “Our industry is unique in that it helps to have salespeople that are fiercely competitive, and yet be able to work well as a team. In many land brokerage companies, the agents are independent contractors and not traditional employees. In that type of relationship, you mandate only what is necessary and encourage your group as much as you can,” says Dave Milton, ALC and President of Southeastern Land Group. Dave adds, “For agents to succeed in this business, brokers have to do all you can to create an atmosphere of trust that leads to a strong team. The best way to help new agents launch their career is for them to team up with someone more experienced. Hiring the right kind of people is the best way to ensure buy-in from existing employees and protect the continuity of your team.”



Experience the Inland Difference Creative. Well-Structured. Differentiated Alternative Public and Private Real Estate Securities. For more information, please visit our website: inland-investments.com or call 800.826.8228.

inland-investments.com FOR INSTITUTIONAL USE ONLY. Dissemination to prospective investors prohibited. This is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy any security, which can be made only by an offering memorandum or prospectus that has been filed or registered with appropriate state and federal regulatory agencies and sold only by broker dealers and registered investment advisors authorized to do so. The photographs shown are properties that are owned by programs sponsored by Inland Real Estate Investment Corporation (Inland Investments) and its affiliates that have closed offerings. The companies depicted in the photographs are tenants of such programs, may have proprietary interests in their trademarks and trade names and nothing herein shall be considered an endorsement, authorization or approval of Inland Investments, its affiliates or investment programs they may offer. The Inland name and logo are registered trademarks being used under license. This material has been distributed by Inland Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC, dealer manager and placement agent for programs sponsored by Inland Investments and Inland Private Capital Corporation.

A wise writer of antiquity once observed, “Two are better than one for they get a good return for their labor.” My hope is that by hearing other brokers involved with RLI share stories about the success they have had by teaming up, that you will find new ways to foster teamwork in your land brokerage business. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Here's wishing you all the best as you “Go together!”

About the author: Jonathan Goode, ALC, is an active member of the REALTORS® Land Institute. He is a Coowner of Southeastern Land Group, LLC (SELG) and is the Responsible Broker for the company in Mississippi. He is passionate about helping people buy and sell land.



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The Evolution of Residential Land in the North East By Michael Durkin, ALC

Northeast land values: What has happened and can we see the future? I have been a practicing REALTOR® for thirty-eight years. I started selling real estate while in college and never looked back. My primary market is thirty-five miles west of Boston. The state of Massachusetts is really divided into these parts: Route 128 and inside, Route 495, both sides, to Route 128 and Worcester east to 495; and, then, Western Massachusetts. Massachusetts has a myriad of permits and land use regulations which are some of the most restrictive in the country, in my opinion. As a young REALTOR® starting out, I did all types of land sales. My marketplace was dotted with family farms. Most of these, as a teenager, I would hunt, fish, and drink beer on (of course with land owner approval, or one of their sons/daughters in tow). When asked to write this, I thought of what story would be best to tell. The approach I’m taking will, hopefully, be applicable across your marketplace. In the late 1970s and the early 1980s, land could be bought for forty-five dollars per lot as an Approval Not Required Under Subdivision Control (ANR) lot. An “ANR lot” means that the lot complies with the dimensional requirements for public way frontage and the required minimum lot size. For backland, you could buy a forty-acre piece in the “raw” for ten thousand dollars per lot. Once under contract, you could begin the necessary permitting. The rule of thumb in practice at that time was that twenty percent of the land tract had to be given up to regulatory prescription; in this case, eliminating eight acres. At that time, my thoughts were that the entire regulatory morass was put on the landowner to the community's benefit. Alas, to this day, I still feel the same. New homes were being built for fifty dollars per square foot, the lot included. A finished twothousand square foot colonial was one hundred thousand dollars, or thereabouts. During the early 1980s, we had an escalating economy and prices on homes and land were rising dramatically. The state of Massachusetts started buying the developmental rights to family farms and paying them not to build, but to continue to farm. In Northborough, two of the biggest farms on the highest point in town, overlooking the new 1974 I-290 highway, were bought. Over five-hundred acres were kept from development and, until this day, serve as a reminder of why some regulations are necessary.

In addition, a certain amount of lots were allowed to be kept for family members in the future. Now, the third and fourth generations of farmers have their homes here and a vibrant farm business has grown, and keeps growing. In 1987, Massachusetts had a banner year selling farms at a price of forty-thousand dollars per lot in the raw while an ANR lot ran about seventy-five thousand dollars each. Then, we had a market adjustment and the local economy all across the Northeast was hit with a slowdown. It was during this time of slow, or no, growth that the regulations were revamped and revised to “protect” the environment and the school district. Zoning referendums were created and placed from community to community, as each town had different and more onerous restrictions in place. From aquifer laws, contiguous uplands, and open space as a minimum fifty percent, to revisions of soil standards, increasing sizes of subdivision roads, and increased setbacks. All of these regulations put a severe crimp on land values. Despite tremendous efforts by landowners, builders, and REALTORS®, these regulations are now a way of life, to this day, in all our urban areas. When the “powers that be” implement new zoning, it has a tremendous effect on land values. In the mid-1990s, another piece was passed known as The Rivers Bill. This bill precluded development within two hundred feet of any SUMMER 2017


[There’s] truth in the phrase that "Under all is the Land,” and it’s our duty to protect private property rights. meet the affordable income limits as defined by the State of Massachusetts. Since 2005, thousands and thousands of apartments have sprinkled the highways and byways, as this law allows you to bypass local planning boards and apply directly to the State.

listed stream and tributary in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Some of those listed were two feet wide at maximum and the only relief was if it dried up for three or more consecutive days so could you film it. Now, we have arrived in the late 1990s. With ANR lots at $110 per lot and raw land at sixty thousand dollars per lot, finished two thousand square foot homes are sold from $350 to $375 thousand (or around $175 per square foot) all in, inclusive of land. The builders then decided that in order to make money and increase their corporate financing, they would build bigger homes. Starting in late 1999, prices rose and house sizes were 2,800 to 3,200 square feet. Around this time, I did a seventy-lot former gravel pit, where pricing ran from $399 thousand for



a 2,700 square foot colonial to $475 thousand for a 3,400 square foot colonial. Now, twenty years later, those resales sell for $680 to $800 thousand with no new lots in sight. In my primary area, we have reached build out. There are no longer any fifty to one hundred lot subdivisions, only five to ten lot ones are available from the I-495 area eastward to the sea line of Boston. In addition, for the last ten years, builders have taken advantage of a law in Massachusetts called Chapter 40B. This law was created in 1969 to increase affordable housing throughout the Commonwealth. However, it did not get any traction until 2005 or so. This law allows for an increased maximum density for apartments, as long as twenty-five percent of the units are for people who

While many benefits are apparent, the adverse impact comes on the older two to four family units as they have to compete with sleek new more modern apartments offering dry cleaning services, gyms, pools, and all the other upscale benefits. Demographics within these units are primarily young urban singles or couples, with older divorcees, and a transient population waiting for newer homes in the Central Massachusetts market. Many are buying duplex halves and, now, the communities are putting moratoriums in place as more and more of these units are built. These two thousand square foot duplex halves are selling in the mid to high four hundreds. However, no one realizes, except the REALTORS®, how the marketplace has changed. Many millennials prefer new construction. Most don't want to have to change storm windows or paint their new homes. Some just want to live in a new home with little or no exterior maintenance so they may enjoy their free time. Yet these communities who have implemented moratoriums are crimping their ability to buy new, and restricting the value of the land owners’ equity. You can still buy an ANR lot in western Massachusetts under one hundred thousand dollars, but the access to corporate headquarters and city services is a day trip away.

As for the rest of the Northeast, in every major urban area within thirty-five miles of an airport or big city, land prices tell the same story. Land prices are escalating higher and higher to the point of spiraling out of control. Installing new roads are costing a thousand dollars per linear foot. Remember the seventy lots in Northborough neighborhood? Well, I just sold the eighty-one year old owners last remaining four acres for one million dollars and the builder is getting five ANR lots. Homes of three thousand square feet will start at $750 thousand and we expect them to all sell upon release.

protect private property rights. By virtue of our profession, the duty falls on all REALTORS® to fight restrictive zoning and ensure that our elders can retire with the equity they expect and deserve. All of us in the business of buying and selling real estate have an obligation to participate in the public process for new zoning. We have an obligation to be cognizant of all underlying land use and we must defend and protect the ability to adapt our land use to meet the new requirements of the marketplace and the next generation.

About the author: Michael L Durkin, ALC, CBR, has been recognized as one of the Top REALTORS® in the country by many of the major companies: Top 300 Coldwell Banker; Top 10 GMAC Real Estate; and Top 80 RE/MAX. He has twenty-five years’ experience in his office and is an author and former radio host for WTAG. He has served on the NAR Land Use and Property Rights Committee for a total of ten years.

What a difference three decades make. When I attend the RLI meetings I hear similar stories from across the country and realize the truth in the phrase that "Under all is Land,” and it’s our duty to



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Crowdfunding for Agriculture

By Allison Spence Agriculture is a broad, ever changing field. The agricultural system is rapidly advancing to keep up with its global consumers, mainly by evolving technology to increase yields and profits. From GPS tracking devices navigating tractors with centimeter accuracy to drones checking calves in the middle of the night, technology has changed the game. A more slowly evolving factor in agriculture has been access to finance. New options, such as equity crowdfunding, have emerged for producers to get their farm up and running, or keep their farm afloat. Equity crowdfunding is the process by which people invest in an early-stage company not listed on a stock market, in exchange for an ownership interest in that company. If the company does well, the shareholders will profit, and if the company fails shareholders could lose some or all of their investment.

Choosing the Best Crowdfunding Option Small scale or hobby farmers looking to raise smaller amounts of money might investigate donation-based crowdfunding. In donation-based crowdfunding, people who wish to support farm projects contribute money without much of a reward expectation besides the gratitude of the beneficiary or project

creator. There are many popular donation-based crowdfunding platforms, such as GoFundMe that have supported small farms. Barnraiser is a site where donors can contribute money to small scale farmers for the social benefit and, in return, receive an incentive like a t-shirt or opportunity to tour the farm. Kiva is another site that helps farmers in developing countries with small injections of capital in the form of a micro-loan. On the other hand, farmers who need to raise more significant amounts money to fund the launch or growth of their project can pursue equity crowdfunding. The JOBS Act of 2012 eased security regulations to legalize equity crowdfunding and allows platforms to list deals in a wide variety of investments, for example, investing in agricultural opportunities. Often, these companies go on to raise money from angel investors or venture capitalists. Two of the most popular equity crowdfunding platforms in the U.S. are Realty Shares and Seedrs. Realty Shares allows people to invest in turnkey real estate deals, such as apartment buildings. Seedr is more like an angel capital platform, which provides investors access to startup companies. Generally, the investors in a crowdfunding project are passive, limited partners while the land-owner is the active partner, making all the decisions to include what to grow, when to plant, and where to sell the harvest, or pay a manager to do these things.



Crowdfunding as an Alternative to Traditional Banking Now, why wouldn’t landowners just go to the bank and get a traditional loan to start up their business? There are many factors that go into this decision, including the landowner’s financial status, the desired mix of debt and equity, and the potential profitability of their farm or ranch. Fortunately, farms aren’t nearly as leveraged as they were during the 1980s farm crisis, which saw many people lose their land. But leverage always adds an element of risk, as well as the potential for increased returns. Bringing in equity investors via crowdfunding enables a landowner or producer to realize economies of scale and reduces the risk of foreclosure during commodity downturns. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, beginning farmers are more likely than established farmers to have at least a four-year college degree. Put yourselves in the shoes of those young legacy farmers right out of college. For most people, coming out of college involves stepping into the “real world” and realizing they’re: 1) broke, and 2) in loads of debt from student loans. Debt financing is most likely the only option to choose from for young farmers to begin, but how many banks will let a young adult take off with a $500,000 loan to start their row crop operation while still drowning in student loan debt? 44


Other beginning farmers may not be coming right out of college, but they could be growing products that take several years to produce revenue; for example, tree crops. These farmers won’t see a profit from their investment for years. Imagine using your life savings plus a huge loan to open a restaurant, only to have to keep the place dust free and running smoothly with no customers for five or six years before you can open the doors and see a profit from your hard work. That’s the reality that new orchard growers deal with in terms of turning profit after years of hard work and care. Then, there are those farmers who are current land owners who want to trade some of their land for cash to pay bills. Unfortunately, agriculturalists work with an element named Mother Nature who decides how much rain she wants to give, or not give, the crops, so some years may be better than others. Disease is another major risk. Thankfully, crop insurance can mitigate some of these uncontrollable events but, in the end, most of the money is coming out of the farmer’s pocket to stay afloat in hard times. On the opposite side, sometimes business is booming and farmers want to expand an existing operation. It’s like a mini start over financially but they have their practices established and just need the funds to keep up with the growing demand.

Raising Money Takes Money Private equity firms and farmland real estate investment trusts commonly pool money from outside investors to purchase large portfolios of income producing agricultural assets. These capital raises typically involve hundreds of millions of dollars and require thorough knowledge of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. Crowdfunding uses the same basic model, just on a smaller scale more appropriate for many producers. Chris Rawley, CEO of Harvest Returns, an online crowdfunding marketplace for agricultural investments launching in

2017, sees an underserved middle market for agriculture finance. “Because we’ve already done the legal and regulatory legwork and built a base of investors interested in ag, we can be a cheaper source of capital for producers who would like to raise anywhere from a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars,” Rawley explains. “We allow farmers to bring in equity investors, which keeps their debt to asset ratios lower, reducing the risks to the grower from events that might normally result in a farm foreclosure.” The Harvest Returns platform draws investors interested in agriculture together with a wide assortment of investment agriculture products. With as little as five thousand dollars, these investors are able to own interests in farms, timberland, or orchards in different parts of the world, each with their own risk/return profile. Landowners and sophisticated investors are familiar with the benefits of investing in agriculture. Now there are ways for the average American to put a portion of their investment portfolio towards agriculture, arguably, the world’s most important industry. American farmers need every cutting edge solution they can get today, on the production side and on the financial side. Increasingly, they’re competing not just with the farm in the next state and county, but with farms in Brazil, Russia, and other emerging countries. The agricultural industry, especially producers, must evolve to fit with today’s globalized marketplace. About the Author: Allison Spence is the Digital Media & Marketing Specialist for Harvest Returns. A majority of her professional experience is in agricultural journalism and digital marketing with an emphasis in strategic communications writing.

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Is Now an Opportune Time to Purchase Land? By Jessa Friedrich, MBA Predicting return on investment when purchasing land can be hard to nail down. While no one can truly predict what the ROI of an investment will be, looking to industry indicators is a good start when choosing where to place your hard earned money. The good news is that there are resources available to those in the market for land real estate. In addition to finding a qualified land consultant, looking to industry surveys and reports can provide the guidance needed to purchase a property. Every year, the REALTORS® Land Institute and the National Association of REALTORS® release a Land Market Survey to help buyers and sellers of land, as well as agents, make the most informed decisions possible. With responses from land real estate professionals across the country, its results are indicative of which overall land real estate market trends to pay attention to when making investment decisions. A large percentage of the participants are Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs), the most esteemed, experienced, and well-educated brokers/agents in the industry, lending further credibility to the survey results.



Now, let’s dig into why now is an opportune time to purchase land real estate. According to this year’s survey results, released on February 14, 2017, the industry’s top land professionals predict an average growth in sales volume of two percent across all land types through October 2017, with a three percent growth expected in each sector for timber, residential, and agricultural greenfield development land. As far as prices of land, an increase is also seen across all sectors defined in the survey. The highest predicted sales volume increases are attributed to timberland and residential land at a rate of three percent, closely followed by agricultural land at two percent and commercial land at one percent. Yes, these are all predictions. However, when compared with actual transaction data from respondents, the trends fall in line with past sales data. As reported in the survey, overall prices of land across all sectors averaged a one percent increase, with the highest price increases in timberland at five percent and residential land at three percent. Another important take away is that the average time on the market for a piece of land was reported as one hundred days, selling more quickly for agricultural non-irrigated, timberland, and recreational properties.

The annual Land Markets Survey is a tool for real estate land professionals and those looking to buy or sell land in all sectors of the business to use for bench-marking and as an informational resource when conducting business. This year marks the fourth consecutive year that the survey has been conducted to reveal current trends and the ever-changing state of land markets within the industry. The REALTORS® Land Institute has made the full survey available for free online at RLILand.com/about-realtors-land-institute/land-markets-survey.

Brandon Rogillio, ALC, 2017 REALTORS® Land Institute National President, stated, “We are seeing a lot of very positive things happening in the land market. Like any industry, the different sectors will fluctuate up and down but seeing an overall two percent growth in transactions across all types of land real estate is a good signal. The increase in recreational and residential land sales is an especially encouraging sign of our economy’s strength over the last couple years with an increased demand for housing sales and ‘luxury’ activities like hunting. The growth in timberland also vouches for this as much of the timberland purchased will be used for either recreational purposes or timber for residential housing—it really all ties together nicely into one bigger picture. Predictions for continued growth through 2017 are encouraging for those looking to invest in land or sell it, as well as, for the real estate professionals involved in the transactions.”

So is now an opportune time to purchase land real estate? Make sure your clients know to contact you — their local land consultant — to see what opportunities are available! About the author: Jessa Friedrich, MBA, is the Marketing Manager for the REALTORS® Land Institute. Jessa has a BS with a dual major in Business Administration and Marketing as well as a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing with a specialization in Social Media. She has been with RLI in the land real estate industry for over two years and is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the valuable benefits of a RLI membership to the land real estate industry.

Land Brokerage | Land Auctions | Land Investing | Property Management Ray L. Brownfield, ALC AFM Managing Broker | Owner 630.258.4800 ray@landprollc.us Chip Johnston Broker 815.866.6161 farms1@comcast.net Pat Tomlinson Broker 217.864.5733 pat@landprollc.us

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Four Tips For Finding a Land Real Estate Mentor By Jacob Hart, ALC

I listened to Zig Ziglar say once “The fastest way to get what you want is to help other people get what they want.” I didn’t understand this until I had a real estate mentor for a couple years and realized what Zig said was true. Whether you are the mentor or mentee there are great benefits to the relationship that can be established. When I was looking for a real estate mentor, four things came to mind when I started my search that I felt were important. The first thing that was important to me was finding an individual who was successful. The success that I was after was not just in the finical category but rather a list that I constructed when planning who I wanted to surround myself with. Successful to me was an individual who worked with integrity, spent time away from work with friends and family, was healthy, financially very well off, and had a process and system to their business. I have learned you can make more money than you can count. However, if you do not have a passion or dreams to go after with that money, more is actually less. The second thing I looked for was someone who was not going to be a “card holder,” which also meant that this individual I was after probably was not going to be a direct competitor. When someone is a direct competitor, or sees you as a threat to their business or their current way of life, they most likely will not show all the cards and truly want to help you along your road to success. My mentor choice was a couple hours away and almost never worked in my area which also made it easy when it came to referral opportunities on both sides. The third thing I looked for was time. How much time am I willing to give to my real estate mentor and how much time is he or she going to give to me. I have a very tight structure to mentor meetings. I want this person’s knowledge and friendship, and know I need to appreciate their attention like it is gold when they offer it to me. First, I list out all my sales numbers, transaction types, goals, and executions. Second, I listen to what they have to say or ask about whatever I have documented. I usually try to keep the time with them to one hour or less and write down three to four action items that I am going to do between the meeting and the next time we meet.



The fourth thing I found important was knowledge outside of my typical “sell more farms intentions.” Once I find the money, what can I do with it so I don’t have to go find it again? How do I make it find me? The mentor I was looking for needed to be an investor with lots of tax knowledge. If you are going to make money to waste it, you can skip the making step and save yourself lots of time. I was looking for someone that had answers to investment and savings questions as well. If I was going to find another real estate mentor, I would use a simple set of questions for myself. ‘What do I want?’ ‘When do I want it by?’ ‘Who do I know or can I meet that will help me to best help myself get it?’ and when am I going to set up and appointment with that person? In my experience, with the right mentor for you and documented goals, there is nothing the land business cannot provide. About the Author: Jacob Hart, ALC, is a licensed real estate broker and auctioneer in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. His firm, High Point Realty & Auction, specializes in land sales and management of agricultural row crop and recreational ground. He attended SDSU in Brookings, SD, then studied at the World Wide College of Auctioneering.

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RLI Lands A Brand New Brand Have you seen it? The REALTORS® Land Institute has a new company logo and a new logo for its elite Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation. After over a year of researching, crafting, and planning with input from RLI Leadership, members, and key staff, RLI revealed their new brand at the 2017 National Land Conference last March which was received with excitement and buzz. Our new brand is more than just a couple of new logos, it is a fresh new perspective among leadership and staff to create a better experience and additional opportunities for our members. As Seth Godin said, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” With that in mind, RLI has set a strategic plan in place to become “The Voice of Land” and make it known that this is the place to be for all land professionals seeking camaraderie, expertise, and resources to be the best in the business.

Why a New Brand—and Why Now? Shortly after the initiative was kicked off in mid-2015 by the RLI Board of Directors and staff, a brand consulting firm was commissioned to conduct market research on our membership and provide guidance on next steps. Their findings confirmed the need to rebrand using two separate logos while creating a fresh new look for the organization that would enhance our standing in the industry and bring recognition to our membership.

With this in mind, two separate task forces were created to provide insights and guidance for redesigning the logo. Their main objective was to provide insights and perspective on designing a logo that could eliminate the confusion identified in the industry and create a better distinction between the REALTORS® Land Institute brand and that of its ALC Designation. The logos also needed to be designed to help RLI to stay ahead of the curve, attracting the next generation of land professionals to discover the benefits of its membership, education, and designation. Over thirty designs were considered in total, presented by contracted professional designers. In the end, none of them quite embodied our membership and organization into a logo. With input from members, staff took over the design phase and from it bloomed a logo fitting of the professionalism, high standards, and personality of our organization. The imagery and fonts were established and all that was left was the color. A lot of thought and testing went into the color selection of the logo. The color needed to be something that would stick out to be easily recognizable in the marketplace while still reflecting the essence of the industry. Green, a color that is associated with various meanings related to our industry from land and nature to wealth and professionalism, made it an easy decision when all variables were considered. The two shades of green used together have a deeper meaning with the darker green representing the core of our membership and our history and the lighter green representing growth as we move towards the future. Who knew a color could mean so much?

Why This Logo?


Further review of the market research results also showed that while there was confusion and an opportunity to increase brand recognition in the industry. The RLI brand, and that of the ALC Designation, as a whole, was beloved amongst its members. This made it an easy decision to not create entirely new logos, but to evolve the current logo that already had brand value and recognition within the organization. To be consistent, it was also determined early on that the brand needed to carry over across both the REALTORS® Land Institute logo and the ALC logo, making it obvious they are affiliated.



A New Direction While a new look is the first step in the right direction, RLI leadership and staff are working hard to embody the new brand on less visible levels. Establishing ourselves as “The Voice of Land” will take time and hard work, but anything worth doing does. Leadership and staff have created a strategic plan to move RLI forward and achieve this goal. As part of the plan, RLI has already secured the organization and its members promotion in key publications like The Wall Street Journal Mansions section, LAND Magazine, Farm & Ranch West, Open Fences, and others. With a multi-channel,

multifaceted approach RLI aims to take its communications and marketing efforts to the next level over the next few years in tandem with the overall organizational strategic plan. Download the new RLI and ALC logos as well as the Visual Standards Guide in the Members Only Section of www.rliland.com. While only ALCs in good standing are permitted to use the ALC logo, all active RLI members may now use the REALTORS® Land institute logo to promote themselves as members of the organization. For more information about the new logos, branding, or marketing efforts, please contact

ALC Jessa Friedrich, Marketing Manager, at jfriedrich@realtors.org.

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