2020 Summer Terra Firma Magazine

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THE VOICE OF LAND Table of Contents RLI News Brief From National


RLI Membership News


RLI Chapter News


RLI 2019 Award Winners


Getting To The Top: Tips From The Nation’s Top Producing Land Agents


Property Ownership: A Bedrock 40 of the Economy in Troubled Times



The Future of The Land Brokerage Industry


Diving into Water Rights: A Primer for Land Agents


Winning Large Listings



Summer 2020 Edition An Official Publication of the REALTORS® Land Institute

Publisher Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE, Chief Executive Officer

Published by the REALTORS® Land Institute 430 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611

Editorial Director and Contributing Author Jessa Friedrich, MBA, Marketing Manager

Phone: 1-800-441-5263 E-mail: rli@realtors.org Website: www.rliland.com

Contributing Author Amanda Morrone, MSHC, Education Manager


Copyright 2020. 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.




RLI News Brief From National A Message From RLI’s CEO Hello Everyone! It is hard to believe the year that 2020 has been so far. What started off pretty normal quickly turned, with the country and world coming to a screeching halt because of COVID-19, and then, just as we began to emerge from our mandated self-isolation, the death of George Floyd brought to focus the often over-looked issues of race and disparity in America. With the country still reeling yet attempting to return to normal, the only certainty is that whatever the new normal will be, it will be very different from the normal we were used to before COVID-19 and before nationwide protests forced us to look in the mirror. Despite COVID, we have all found a way to connect and do business differently. And because of George Floyd, we have an opportunity to fully realize the intent of the Declaration of Independence proclamation that ALL men are created equal. Here at National RLI, we have been working hard to ensure you have access to valuable information and tools to help make the most of the downtime and prepare you for success. While we unfortunately had to cancel our conference in San Antonio, we were able to shift gears and hold our first-ever Virtual National Land Conference, reaching over 600 registrants! We have also debuted free monthly webinars, a new podcast series called The Voices of Land, and several virtual roundtables on hot topics like The Impact of COVID-19 on the Land Market and Industrial Hemp. All of these resources are available in the new Land Expertise Hub through the member portal of rliland.com One of the tenets that RLI is built upon is camaraderie. While this year has brought us all many firsts, one thing that has not surprised me at all is how RLI members have supported each other and their communities during this time. This has been and will continue to be a trying time for many Americans who have lost so much: loved ones, jobs, financial security, and much more. RLI members are there for them – not only helping sellers sell distressed properties and helping investors buy at the right time, but also donating masks and meals to front-line workers, supporting local food banks, and going above and beyond to help wherever needed regardless of race, color, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. That is the essence of what RLI members stand for. 2


Those who know me know that I am one to always look for the silver lining. I am thankful that these last few months have allowed me an opportunity to slow down a bit, look in the mirror, and focus on the most important things to me. I am healthy. I have a healthy, loving family. We are happy. I have a wonderful job where I work with wonderful people (you!). I thank God every day for these blessings, for truly nothing else matters. I am now more aware than ever before that it is up to each of us, including myself, to actively create a world where everyone has the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What are the most important things in your life that are being brought to the forefront as we face the challenges this year has brought to us all? How will you grow as a person and a land agent with this heightened awareness? As we all re-emerge to face the new normal, life will start to get busy and hectic again. When it does, don’t forget what is most important to you. And don’t forget that RLI is right here with information, tools, and resources to help you now and in the future. Sincerely,

Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE RLI Chief Executive Officer

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Meet Your RLI Staff Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE 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 and implement 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 the organization. In 2017, Aubrie achieved the REALTOR® Certified Executive Designation conferred by NAR. Members may contact her with any questions or concerns about RLI. Aubrie has been with RLI since March 2016. Gerry Berish, CAE Chapter & Membership Relations Manager 312-329-8519 | gberish@realtors.org Gerry manages the relationships between RLI National and its chapter organizations as well as serves as the main point of contact for RLI members. In his role, Gerry also serves as the Chapter Leadership Council liaison. Members may contact him with general inquiries about RLI or about starting or joining an RLI chapter. RLI chapter leaders and administrators are encouraged to use Gerry as their main point of contact at RLI National with any inquiries related to managing or developing their chapter and its programs. Gerry has been with RLI since September 2019. Karen Calarco Operations Manager 312-329-8287 | kcalarco@realtors.org Karen manages RLI’s expenditures within the budget, member records, and billing. Members may contact her for assistance changing their profile information, paying membership dues, and answering financial inquiries about their account. Karen has been with RLI since September 2007.



Jessa Friedrich, MBA Marketing Manager 312-329-8353 | jfriedrich@realtors.org Jessa manages all aspects of RLI’s communications, branding, and marketing efforts; including for events, courses, the designation, and the organization as a whole. She also serves as the staff liaison for the Future Leaders and Government Affairs committees. Members may contact her with any member or chapter news for recognition, for contributing to Terra Firma magazine or the RLI Blog, or with questions about logo use. Jessa has been with RLI since March 2015. Amanda Morrone, MSHC Education Manager 312-329-8441 | amorrone@realtors.org As the Education Manager, Amanda oversees all matters pertaining to RLI’s LANDU Education Program. She is responsible for scheduling courses and webinars as well as managing instructor relationships. She also serves as the staff liaison for the Education Committee. Members may contact her with any questions about the LANDU Education Program. Amanda has been with RLI since March 2019.


Report Available: 2019 Land Markets Survey

RLI’s ALC Designation Now Qualifies for the CCIM Fast Track

The REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) and National Association of REALTORS® Research Group released the results of their latest Land Markets Survey in January. While the market conditions have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the information captured in the survey is still beneficial for benchmarking.

The REALTORS® Land Institute and CCIM Institute, both commercial affiliates of the National Association of REALTORS®, are working together to elevate the prestige of their designees with the approval of the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation into the CCIM Fast Track criteria.

The 2019 Land Markets Survey showed sustainable growth in both national land sales and land prices between October 2018 and September 2019 compared to the previous period. Survey respondents reported a rise in sales for all types of land, led by residential and recreational land. The median price per acre of land transactions during that period also increased to $5,500 from $4,500 compared to the prior twelve-month period. The increase was attributed to a higher price per acre of residential land as demand for single family homes, and the land it is built on, continued to increase. View the full 2019 Land Markets Survey at rliland.com



With its approval, real estate professionals who hold RLI’s elite ALC Designation can now earn the esteemed CCIM designation at an accelerated pace as a Fast Track Institute Candidate member. Given their proven expertise and experience in commercial transactions, an ALC can now earn the CCIM designation without needing to meet the traditional elective credit and portfolio requirements. Learn more in our Press Room at rliland.com


Education Committee The 2020 RLI Education Committee has taken on a new function now that our LANDU Education Program courses are all updated. The committee will now be responsible for working with staff to regularly review, update, and enhance all of our courses. The committee has also been extremely involved with the process of recruiting and approving new LANDU Instructors. In the first quarter, they approved, for both the in-classroom and VILT-Online formats, one instructor to teach the Subdivision Development course and another to teach the Transitional Land Real Estate course.

2020 ALC Networking Retreat: The Best in the Business Miss networking in-person this year at the National Land Conference? Get your fix at the 2020 ALC Networking Retreat! All ALCs are encouraged to join us in Kansas City, KS, from October 7-9 for a few days of educational and networking sessions that will allow attendees to build relationships with fellow ALCs from across the country. We hope to see all of our elite ALCs there! Keep an eye out in your email for more information coming soon about the event schedule and registration.

RLI 2020 Committee Updates ALC Designation Committee In the first four months of 2020, the ALC Designation Committee has approved 18 new ALCs. At their last meeting, the ALC Designation Committee revised the ALC application process for appraiser applicants. They retained the criteria that appraiser applicants must be licensed state-certified general appraisers with a portfolio of at least 30 land appraisals in the previous three years totaling at least $10M in value. The portfolio requirements for appraiser applicants has been revised with an updated appraisal log sheet and a new appraisal narrative form that must be submitted for each appraisal submitted.

As another initiative, the committee continues to make recommendations and revisions of the current policies and procedures in place for making course updates and enhancing instructor development. These changes will help ensure the LANDU Education Program continues to provide the most relevant and up-to-date content to course attendees.

Future Leaders Committee The RLI 2020 Future Leaders Committee is busy implementing their initiative to increase recognition of the ALC Designation in the industry while also investigating ways to better educate and mentor young agents in the industry. So far, the committee has released a virtual round table titled COVID-19 Impacts on the Land Market, featuring a panel of ALC experts. They also hosted a well-attended RLI Hot Topic Webinar titled COVID-19: Impacts on the Residential Land Market. The committee plans to release additional virtual round tables throughout the year and also provide ALCs and RLI members with respective marketing templates in various formats to help them promote their affiliation with our organization.

Government Affairs Committee The RLI 2020 Government Affairs Committee signed on to a letter with NAR to advocate for an extension on 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange deadlines in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The extension was granted, extending the deadline to July 15. The committee continues monitoring numerous other federal issues such as Opportunity Zones, the new version of Waters of the US (WOTUS), issues related to the Endangered Species Act, and the legislative developments impacting land agents related to the pandemic. SUMMER 2020



Top RLI Social Posts The best in the business follow RLI on their social media pages for the latest updates and educational blog posts relevant to the industry. Stay at the top of your game by following RLI on social media and further positioning yourself as a land expert by sharing our posts.

Follow us on: instagram.com/realtors_land_institute facebook.com/RLILand

Top Facebook Post


Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/RLILand


Date Posted: 1/22/2020


Top Instagram Post Follow us on Instagram at realtors_land_institute Date Posted: 2/11/2020 Post Title: Buyer Beware: Five Myths About Purchasing Hunting Land. Post Content: Prospective land buyers purchasing hunting land will want to see through common myths that many ďŹ rsttime buyers fall prey to during the process. A diligent, fact-based approach with the assistance of a qualiďŹ ed land expert is always best. Read the full post on the RLI Blog at rliland.com



Post Title: Newly Released Report Shows Slow But Steady Growth In Land Market Post Content: The newly released Land Markets Survey from RLI and NAR Research shows sustainable growth in both national land sales and land prices. Read the full report today!


Top Twitter Post Follow us on Twitter at @rliland Date Posted: 1/22/2020

Top RLI Blog Post

Post Title: RLI Land Markets Survey Post Content: The newly released Land Markets Survey from @RLILand and @NAR_Research showed sustainable growth in both national land sales and land prices. Read the full report! #realestate #land #landvalues #realtor #landmarket #landvalues

Date Posted: 4/29/2020

Top LinkedIn Post Follow us on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/realtors-landinstitute Date Posted: 5/4/2020 Post Title: Will Americans Trade-In Their Urban Lifestyles For Rural Ones In The Wake Of COVID-19? Post Content: Will Americans move to greener pastures (literally) with the realization that we now live in a time when social distancing and self-reliance play a more crucial role than ever in staying healthy?

Post Title: Will Americans Trade-In Their Urban Lifestyles For Rural Ones In The Wake Of COVID-19? Post Author: REALTORS® Land Institute Post Content: The COVID-19 pandemic will encourage a lot of people to rethink their urban lifestyles. In a time when social distancing and self-isolating play crucial roles in health, consumers living in urban centers find it nearly impossible to follow the rules for safety and are realizing they are at a much greater risk of being impacted by such an outbreak. Read the full post at rliland.com/blog

If the recent Coronavirus pandemic has you more seriously looking to relocate to a rural area where you can live on a few acres and produce your own food, make sure to use a qualified land expert to assist with your search!




Four Most Expensive Properties on the Land Connections

2 Sunbreak Farms | $79,500,000 | 10,331 Acres |

Fort Pierce, FL

The Land Connections is the official members’ only listing site of the REALTORS® Land Institute. The page has a robust mapping feature which makes searching for properties on-the-go easier than ever. With prime property listings from 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 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 rliland.com/the-land-connections 1 Bull Springs Skyline Forest | $127,000,000 |

33,000 Acres | Bend, OR

Listing Agent: Dean Saunders, ALC, SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate | dean@saundersrealestate.com This is an exceptional opportunity to purchase fully-improved land that has been laser-leveled and prepared for farming a variety of crops. The property includes a 1,440 +/- SF office building, 4,400 +/- SF maintenance facility, pumps, reservoirs, a shell-based road system, and holds valid water permits through 2025. Currently operating as corn silage, this site has tremendous potential for a variety of very viable uses including hemp production, farming, water farming or storage, residential development, and conservation. A complete inventory of equipment is available from the broker. This property is available for sale or lease.

Listing Agent: Robb Van Pelt, Mason & Morse Ranch Company | robb@ranchland.com Bull Springs Skyline Forest, located just minutes west of Bend, OR, is an active tree farm and recreational property that covers 32,995+/- contiguous, deeded acres and borders the Deschutes National Forest. The property has significant longterm appreciation potential with opportunity for sustainable timber management, and abundant recreation in combination with residential and mixed-use development.




3 Florida Agricultural Portfolio | $ 72,383,275 |

11,100 Acres | Indian River City, FL

4 N3 Cattle Company | $68,000,000 | 50,500 Acre |

Livermore, CA

Listing Agent: Dean Saunders, ALC, SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate | dean@saundersrealestate.com

Listing Agent: Listing Agent: Todd Renfrew, ALC, California Outdoor Properties, Inc. | info@caoutdoorproperties.com

The Florida Agricultural Portfolio offering is a unique opportunity to acquire large-scale agricultural landholdings with significant appreciation potential in one of the fastest-growing areas of the United States. The 11,100-acre collection of 13 parcels spans Indian River, St. Lucie, and Desoto Counties with contiguous tracts as large as 2,622 acres. Many of these parcels are in a developmental phase with a significant upside. They include a diversified portfolio of income-producing fresh and processed citrus groves, farms, and agricultural properties in warm, easily accessed locations. Each property is institutionally managed. The facilities are well maintained and include fixed assets such as barns, pumps, irrigation, and drainage systems.

The iconic N3 Cattle Company is on the market for the first time in 85 years. This beautiful and expansive California property spans 50,500 acres through four counties, making it the largest land offering in the State of California. Located just south of Livermore, and east of Oakland and San Jose, it is easily accessed from San Francisco, the Peninsula, and the East Bay. The Ranch is completely private and uniquely preserved, healthy and wild as it has been for hundreds of years. It is a vital and rare haven of original California landscape and wildlife. The property encompasses 80 square miles of diverse terrains, flora, fauna, and important watersheds and creeks. The N3 Cattle Company has been a working cattle ranch for 85 years.




RLI Membership News

Congratulations New ALCs! Rich Baugh, ALC Whitetail Properties Mount Pleasant, IA

Chip Bubela, ALC Bubela & Associates, Inc. Schulenburg, TX

Charles Camp Jr, ALC Whitetail Properties Shelby, NC

Wendy Cline, ALC Wendy Cline Properties Group Houston, TX

W. Randy Cosby, IV, ALC Commonwealth Commercial Partners, LLC Glen Allen, VA Matt Davis, ALC Cushman & WakeďŹ eld San Diego, CA



Ted Gerard, ALC Whitetail Properties Webster Groves, MO

Chris Jenkins, ALC Commonwealth Commercial Partners, LLC Glen Allen, VA

Gregory Good, ALC Clift Land Brokers Perryton, TX

Jack Koehler, ALC Eshenbaugh Land Company Tampa, FL

Rachelle Heller, ALC Hertz Farm Management Washington, IA

Jason Lestina, ALC Land Pro LLC Oswego, IL

Russell Hickey, ALC Bachman And Associates La Veta, CO

Susan Myers, ALC RE/MAX Real Estate Group Colorado Springs, CO

Scott Hicks, ALC Whitetail Properties Wendell, NC

Scot Oliver, ALC Mason & Morse Ranch Company Glenwood Springs, CO

Jennifer Janet, ALC Coldwell Banker Professional Associates Perryville, MO

Steve Purvis, ALC Ledger Purvis Real Estate LLC Vicksburg, MS


Jeff Scott, ALC Century 21 Goodyear Green Edmond, OK

Brock Thompson, ALC Tru Land Realty Group Amarillo, TX

Matthew Vegter, ALC Hertz Real Estate Services Nevada, IA

Larry Story, ALC Total Care Realty, LLC Greensboro, NC

Ronald Van Pelt, ALC Mason and Morse Ramah, CO

TJ Williford, ALC Partners Realty Montgomery, AL






United Country Real Estate, America’s leader in land sales, is selling more land than ever. The two leading divisions of the company, UC Ranch Properties® and Realtree United Country Hunting Properties®, have achieved significant year-to-date growth in land sales. COMBINED CATEGORIES OF RANCHES, RECREATIONAL & HUNTING LAND SOLD INCREASED UNITED COUNTRY AUCTION SERVICES, THE LARGEST AUCTION REAL ESTATE TEAM IN THE NATION, EXPERIENCED STRONG GROWTH IN LAND SALES OVER


LEARN MORE BY CONTACTING THE INDUSTRY LEADERS 844.415.8959 | GrowWithUC.com JoinUs@UnitedCountry.com



HIGHLY TILLABLE FARMLAND Cedar, IA | 338± Acres | $3,540,000

PRODUCTIVE CATTLE RANCH Falcon, MO | 762± Acres | $2,200,000

PREMIER HUNTING RANCH Hurtsboro, AL | 338± Acres | $1,300,000

GUADALUPE RIVER PROPERTY Comfort, TX | 67± Acres | $1,240,000

MOUNTAIN VIEW RANCH Collbran, CO | 158± Acres | $948,000

TIMBER TRACT & RECREATIONAL PROPERTY Greenville, NC | 340± Acres | $875,000

If you’re interested in selling more land, contact United Country Real Estate today. We provide the tools and support you need to grow your business, including unmatched technology, national property marketing, an opt-in database of nearly 1 million buyers, extensive training and more.


RLI Chapter News The REALTORS® Land Institute enjoys strong and active chapter programs because of the superior commitment and dedication of our chapter volunteers. RLI Chapters routinely sponsor LANDU courses and host an array of professional development programs and special events locally for land professionals. Active members of RLI National can elect to join one or more chapter organizations. Thank you to our dedicated chapter leaders and administrators who bring so much value to our members at the local level and serve as our boots on the ground in spreading the word about the value of RLI.

including the future plans for those properties. After, the RLI Florida Chapter and CCIM Florida Chapter will conduct a joint marketing session.

RLI Colorado Chapter With Stay-at-Home orders in place, the RLI Colorado Chapter ventured online and held its first virtual Marketing Session on May 7! It was hard to be apart, but great to see so many smiling faces. Additionally, the annual RLI Colorado Ranch Tour had to be postponed, however, the chapter invites everyone to join them later this year when it is rescheduled. The date, time, and location will be announced as soon as possible so be sure to check the RLI Colorado Chapter website for more information.

RLI Arkansas Chapter The RLI Arkansas Chapter plans to host a Let’s Make Deals property marketing luncheon in the fall. This will be open to all REALTOR® members. The event was a success last fall and the chapter looks forward to seeing new members in attendance at the next one when it is held. For additional details, please contact Chapter President Brandon Stafford, ALC, at bstafford@lilerealestate.com

RLI Georgia Chapter

RLI Florida Chapter The RLI Florida Chapter has scheduled an event for August 6-7 in Helen, GA, featuring education and networking for land professionals. This is a joint effort with the RLI Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee chapters. At the Mid-Summer Florida REALTORS® Convention, the RLI Florida Chapter has a board meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 27 at 8:00 am. Following the Board Meeting, a presentation will be made on several significant land transactions that were recently closed,



The chapter was planning to host the Subdivision Land Development LANDU course in-person over the summer, however, the chapter is now looking into moving the class to the fall. Visit the RLI Florida Chapter website for the latest information about upcoming courses and events.

The RLI Georgia Chapter is collaborating on a late-summer Tri-State event with the Tennessee and Florida chapters from August 6-7, 2020 in Helen, GA, at the Unicoi State Park and Lodge. The collaboration is a scheduled two-day TriState Educational and Networking Meeting which will host attendees from Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. The two days of educational instruction will feature an Understanding Land Contracts presentation by Ben Crosby, ALC, covering the elements needed in a land purchase, sales agreement, and land listing agreement. Additionally, CCIM’s Chief Economist KC Conway, MAI, CRE, will speak on the current state of the economy and what lies ahead. The


RLI Georgia Chapter plans to also offer a late-summer Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage LANDU course to be held at the Coweta Board of REALTORS® in Newnan, GA. The chapter would like to give a big thank you to their 2020 sponsors at Farm Credit Services, Farm & Ranch, and LAND.com Network.

RLI Illinois Chapter The RLI Illinois Chapter will be offering the managing broker renewal course in early December. Details will be announced on their chapter website as soon as they are available. The chapter would also like to recognize their RLI Illinois Chapter member and current RLI Illinois Chapter Secretary/Treasurer Ray Brownfield, ALC, with Land Pro LLC in Oswego, IL, for receiving the 2019 Robert C. Meeks, ALC, Distinguished Service Award at the Virtual NLC20 event from RLI National. In honor of long-time Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Robert C. Meeks, the Distinguished Service Award is presented to an ALC in recognition of their longterm commitment and service to fellow members, the land profession, and the community. Ray, the RLI Illinois Chapter congratulates you!

RLI Iowa Chapter

RLI Louisiana Chapter

The RLI Iowa Chapter is honored to announce the recipients of the 2019 RLI Iowa Chapter Awards: Troy Louwagie, ALC, Volume and Acres Sold for the Year; Matt Vegter, ALC, Rising Star; and Terry Pauling, ALC, Longtime Dedication to RLI. These awards are typically presented at their Spring Seminar and Annual Dinner in March. However, due to COVID-19, these events are rescheduled for September 23. The chapter will also hold a Land Ethics class on September 24 in conjunction with the Iowa Association of REALTORS®. More information is available on the RLI Iowa Chapter website.

The RLI Louisiana Chapter continues to grow and develop through partnership opportunities. During the lock down, the chapter hosted a Zoom call with the Louisiana CCIM Chapter to discuss partnering for upcoming events and education. Through this partnersihp and with the new ability to help CCIMs earn the ALC Designation through the Fast Track, the chapter has been able to grow and spread the RLI brand. The RLI Louisiana Chapter will be hosting an ALC-required LANDU course this fall and is looking for leadership volunteers to assist with some of the event planning and fundraising for putting on that course. For more information or to volunteer to assist, please contact the Chapter President Bradley Cook at bcook@stirlingprop.com

RLI Kansas Chapter The Industrial Hemp – Impacts to Real Estate class with instructor Kirk Goble, ALC, that was scheduled to be held on April 17 was postponed, as many classes and conferences were, due to the Coronavirus outbreak and related lock down. Be sure to check the RLI Kansas Chapter website for information on the rescheduled class date later this year. They hope you will be able to join them at the rescheduled event.




RLI Minnesota Chapter

RLI Oklahoma Chapter

The RLI Minnesota Chapter held quarterly conference calls in January 2020 and April 2020. The meetings included discussion of market conditions as well as a haveand-wants property marketing session. The chapter’s Annual Conference is tentatively scheduled for July 27, 2020 (COVID-19 permitting). The chapter’s Board of Directors continues to work on Strategic Planning objectives, including planning to offer education. Chapter President Terri Jensen, ALC, applied and successfully received approval for the chapter as a Real Estate Education Provider in Minnesota.

The RLI Oklahoma Chapter held a successful Recreational Land Real Estate LANDU course in February, before the social distancing order was put in place and group size limitations were enacted. Thirty-five registrants attended the class and spent two days learning and absorbing a great deal of information that will aid them in their business.

The chapter’s other priorities for 2020 include membership development and attracting new members; updating the chapter website with Stripe payment processing for taking online registrations and payments; developing a three-hour course to introduce land to non-RLI members; continued branding and marketing to all Minnesota real estate associations; working with the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® for annual tax filings; and becoming financially sustainable through investigating new potential revenue streams; and most of all – to be member-centric! Congratulations to the RLI Minnesota Chapter members recognized as part of RLI National’s APEX 2019 Producers Club: Terri Jensen, ALC; Wendy Forthun, ALC; Bob Stalberger, ALC; and Kirk Swenson. 20


RLI Mississippi Chapter The RLI Mississippi chapter had a successful Land Symposium in Stoneville, MS, with 40 attendees. Their objective is to continue their program plans when reconvening is possible. They installed their 2020 Board Members, including Michael Mitchell, President; Joel McKee, Vice President; Steve Purvis, ALC, Secretary/Treasurer; John Dean, ALC, Northern Director; Adam Hester, Central Director; Edna J. Murray, Southern Director; and Stephen Butler, Past President. Michael Mitchell was recognized at the Mississippi Association of REALTORS® (MAR) Convention in Biloxi, MS, as the Mississippi Land REALTOR® of the Year by 2019 MAR President Adam Watkins, and chapter member John Dean, ALC. Michael was also selected for this year’s MAR Leadership Program. The chapter is also excited to announce that they have several members who are well on their way to completing the ALC Designation requirements.

RLI Pacific Northwest Chapter During the first quarter of 2020, the RLI Pacific Northwest Chapter was working hard designing a new chapter website! We hope this tool will be a helpful resource. As future events and classes are scheduled, they will be announced on the site. There are links to various resources and partners, a featured Member Spotlight section, and much more. Additionally, chapter members can find a section dedicated to COVID-19 with information from each state in the Pacific Northwest region. The content on the website will continue to evolve, so be sure to check it often! Visit the new site at rlipacificnorthwestchapter.com


RLI Tennessee Chapter In January, the RLI Tennessee Chapter held a very successful Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage LANDU course in Chattanooga, TN, where they were able to share their knowledge and camaraderie with others, resulting in three new chapter members. In February, the chapter also had a well-attended chapter meeting where members helped each other with any obstacles they were facing with their listings and discussed current land issues.

RLI Texas Chapter

RLI Wyoming Chapter

The RLI Texas Chapter would like to congratulate its members recognized by the RLI National APEX 2019 Awards, including Andy Flack, ALC, as the APEX 2019 Top National Producer and Broker of the Year in Timberland Sales; Joey Bellington as the Broker of the Year in Recreational Land Sales; and Luke Rogers for being in the APEX 2019 Producers Club.

The RLI Wyoming Chapter was excited to present the Recreational Land Real Estate LANDU course last April. However, it was unfortunately cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. It is anticipated that the class will be rescheduled for the early fall and a new date will be announced as soon as possible. The chapter leadership looks forward to seeing everyone in person again soon.

The chapter is also excited to announce its plans to offer the Land Investment Analysis LANDU course in Georgetown, TX, from July 15-17, instructed by Ben Crosby, ALC. Land professionals can register for this course on their chapter website at rlitexaschapter.com

The RLI Tennessee Chapter is ready with a new presentation booth to educate members and to recruit new members at various events across the state and beyond! With their current and future member's best interest in mind, the chapter can't wait to put its new tent to use at classes and expos once the time is right! Find the RLI Tennessee Chapter on Facebook and Instagram @RLILandTN.




LANDU Education Update

New LANDU Education Program Instructors

Interested In Becoming An Instructor?

Congratulations to Bobby Mink on being approved as a new LANDU Instructor. Bobby is now approved to teach RLI’s Subdivision Development Real Estate course.

Be a part of the team that makes the best in the business the best in the business! RLI’s LANDU Instructors embody the networking, camaraderie, and expertise that ensure our membership thrives. LANDU Instructors are more than teachers, they are mentors, leaders, and experienced experts in their field looking to give back to the organization and the industry.

Bobby Mink has been in business management for over 20 years. Over those 20 years, he has had the opportunity to manage multiple types of locations, all types and levels of staffing as well as managing sales and marketing, from Project Manager and General Manager to Vice President of Operations and Development as well as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Chief Operations Officer. Mink is also a Train the Trainer for the National Association of Home Builders which allows him to teach classes for the NAHB like Scheduling, Quality Construction, Sales and Marketing for builders and others. He is also an instructor for the Georgia Board of REALTORS® Education Department; a Member of the Institute of Residential Marketing (MIRM); a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS); Certified Sales Professional (CSP); Certified Marketing Professional (CMP); Certified Graduate Builder (CGB); and Graduate Master Builder (GMB). He is currently President of Choice Consulting. Additionally, along with teaching the new Recreational Land Real Estate Course, Justin Osborn, ALC, is now approved to teach the Transitional Land Real Estate course. And Rick Taylor, ALC, has been approved to teach the new Recreational Land Real Estate course, as well as the newly updated Timberland Real Estate course.

Why Be A LANDU Instructor? “After seven years as an active RLI member, I saw the way my business thrived as a result of my professional connections with RLI contacts across the country. When I was asked to consider being an instructor for the organization, I immediately knew that it was a way for me to give back to both the organization and my peers. The networking that has come from being an instructor is fabulous. It is fun and enjoyable being able to be in front of students that choose to be in a class, as opposed to those that are required to be.” – Justin Osborn, ALC, LANDU Instructor “Being on the RLI faculty is a great opportunity to be seen as an industry expert, provides networking opportunities with other land agents, and offers me a chance to expand my knowledge base by interacting with program participants. As an RLI instructor, I have an opportunity to give back to RLI and the land brokerage industry, while being compensated for my time. I am happy I joined the RLI Faculty. I believe the courses are valuable, and the experience is rewarding both personally and professionally. I invite you to join us as I believe you, too, will share the same rewarding experiences.” – Phil McGinnis, ALC, LANDU Instructor SUMMER 2020



The Land Education Foundation The REALTORS® Land Institute’s Land Education Foundation (LEF) seeks to provide financial scholarship grants for assistance in land-based education opportunities, including the pursuit of the elite ALC Designation through RLI’s LANDU Education Program.

LEF Scholarships Available RLI’s LEF seeks to provide financial scholarship grants for assistance in land-based education opportunities, including the pursuit of the elite Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation. Scholarships of up to $535 are available per person, per year. If you or someone you know might be interested, please download and complete the full scholarship application.

Congratulations 2020 LEF Scholarship Recipients! • • • • •

Benjamin Bogardus Altimese Dees Stephanie Gordon Jonathan Kennedy Andrew MacVittie

Land.com Network Sponsors Five LEF Scholarships LEF Board Of Trustees

RLI is excited to announce that our partners at the Land.com Network are providing five scholarships for land professionals to use in pursuit of land education through RLI's Land Education Foundation. "The Land.com Network is proud to partner with RLI to increase knowledge and professionalism in our industry. The value of RLI’s educational content is outstanding. We are pleased to provide scholarships to help more land professionals access training and become industry leaders," said Grant Taylor, Interim President of Land.com Network. To take advantage of one of these scholarships through LEF, please download the LEF Scholarship Application from rliland.com to view the criteria and apply. RLI would like to thank the Land.com Network for their donation!

Thank You 2020 LEF Donors! • • • • • • • •

Ray Brownfield, ALC George Clift, ALC Beth Cristina, ALC Dan Crocker, ALC Patricia Davis, ALC Clint Flowers, ALC Gary Giles, ALC Andrea Goodhart

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Kal Gorton Glenda Hall, ALC Max Hansen George Harvey Jeffrey Hignight, ALC Jacob Holloway Lanford Holloway Geoff Hurdle, ALC Stephen Davis Terri Jensen, ALC Wendy Johnson, ALC Tim Kellogg

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Kevin May Brian Meece, ALC Chris Noonan, ALC Kathleen Owen, ALC Dean Saunders, ALC Flo Sayre, ALC Danny Smith, ALC Sheldon Snyder, ALC Grant Taylor Lar Voss, ALC Chuck Wingert, ALC Tucker Wood

Thank You For Your Service 2020 LEF Trustees! • Minor Taylor, ALC, Chair • Fred Hepler, ALC, Co-Chair • Aubrie Kobernus, CEO • John Dean, ALC • Dan Hatfield, ALC • Randy Hertz, ALC • Johnny McAllister, ALC • Flo Sayre, ALC • Llyod Thomas • Bob Turner, ALC • Chuck Wingert, ALC

• • • • • • • • •

RLI Colorado Chapter RLI Illinois Chapter RLI Iowa Chapter RLI Minnesota Chapter RLI Oklahoma Chapter RLI Pacific NW Chapter RLI Tennessee Chapter RLI Texas Chapter RLI Wyoming Chapter



V I R T U A L 2 0 2 0 N AT I O N A L L A N D C O N F E R E N C E ( N L C 2 0 ) R E C A P

2020 Virtual National Land Conference (NLC20) Recap While our originally planned in-person NLC20 event in San Antonio, TX, was on track to be our second largest National Land Conference ever, we are excited to announce that our expectations were greatly exceeded by the turn-out for our Virtual NLC20 event which hosted over 600 attendees. We want to give a BIG thank you to all our attendees, partners, and speakers that made this virtual event such a huge success! All RLI members now have free access to the event’s session recordings in the new Land Expertise Hub when logged on to rliland.com. Don’t miss gaining expertise from recordings of these hot sessions: • American Agriculture In A Global World | Keynote Delaney Howell • The Impact of Current Events on The Land Industry | Keynote Mark Dotzour, PhD • The Future of the Land Brokerage Business | Aaron Graham, ALC • How DSTs Can Help You Generate More Listings | Joe Michaletz • Emergency Action Plans for Real Estate Professionals | Greg Glosson • Building Your Global Real Estate Business | George Harvey • Winning Large Listings in Today’s Market | Richard Thompson • RPR For Land Professionals | Andrea Goodhart • Transitional Land: From Crops and Cows to Kids and Cars | Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC • Water Rights and Real Estate Brokerage | Charles Porter, PhD • Land Expert Campfire Chat | Kasey Mock • Finding the Opportunity in Opportunity Zones | Bob Turner, ALC Additionally, you can watch recordings of our RLI Townhall, RLI Awards Programs, and annual Let's Make Deals Property Marketing Session. Don’t forget to save the date for the 2021 National Land Conference (NLC21)! We hope to see everyone for NLC21 in Louisville, KY, from February 21–24! 26


Virtual NLC20 by the Numbers 600+ Total Attendees 19 Industry Partners 13 Expert Speakers $13,445 raised for LEF through the virtual Cowboy Auction






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Member Advantage Program (MAP) Exclusive Offers for RLI Members

The RLI Member Advantage Program (MAP) is designed to introduce the industry’s best services, technologies, and publications to RLI Members through exclusive offers from RLI’s partners and af昀liates.

Farm & Ranch Magazine Receive a coupon code for 50% off an annual web membership that will allow you to upload UNLIMITED listings. Once your web membership is activated, you will receive a $500 credit for premium ad spots throughout FarmAndRanch.com to push the exposure on your special listings.

LandGate Get a free two-month trial of pro-view subscription - a $400/month value! Our subscription service offers access to our revolutionary property rights valuation service as well as extensive well and production data for mineral rights transactions.

LandHub.com RLI Members get two months free! Get your properties listed on LandHub.com, plus a FREE social media analysis, for only $59 per month (cancel anytime)! Our unlimited plan includes all your properties and we’ll promote them on Craigslist plus all our social media pages.

LandSearch With LandSearch it’s free to publish unlimited listings and pro昀les, however, our promoted plan increases your exposure by up to 10x. As an RLI member, you have access to one free month of promotion on any new account.

The Land Report RLI members can take advantage of purchasing ad space in The Land Report magazine at an exclusive discounted rate! Full page ads, normally $7,060, can be purchased for only $4,500; and half page ads, normally $4,235, can be purchased for only $2,500.

U.S. Land Broker Co-Op Get a free custom cover or $200 discount toward advertising in Land Broker magazine. The Co-op will mail 250 copies of the magazine to your clients and prospects at the Co-op’s expense, compliments of you! The total number of custom covers is limited per issue and requires one page ad. In addition, for each RLI Member newly joining the Land Broker Coop, the Co-op will donate $25 into a benevolence fund.

REALTORS® Land Institute 430 N. Michigan Ave | Chicago, IL | 60611 rliland.com/members/member-advantage-program-map Note: Any MAP offers outlined in this 昀yer are only valid through December 31, 2020.



RLI 2019 Award Winners

2019 RLI Leadership Award Winners Four RLI members received awards through the esteemed REALTORS® Land Institute Leadership Awards Program during the Virtual NLC20 event. All award recipients are nominated and selected by their peers based on their accomplishments.

Robert C. Meeks, ALC Distinguished Service Award Ray Brownfield, ALC, with Land Pro LLC in Oswego, IL, received the 2019 Robert C. Meeks Distinguished Service Award. In honor of dedicated, long-time Accredited Land Consultant Robert C. Meeks, the Distinguished Service Award is presented to an ALC in recognition of their long-term commitment and service to fellow members, the land profession, and the community.

Land REALTOR® of America Award Paul Bottari, ALC, with Bottari & Associates Realty Inc. in Wells, NV, received the 2019 Land REALTOR® of America Award. The Land REALTOR® of America Award recognizes RLI members for their effort and work expended in the interest of their fellow members, their profession, and their community.

Rising Star Award Matt Davis with Cushman & Wakefield in San Diego, CA, received the RLI 2019 Rising Star Award. The Rising Star Award recognizes a member approaching a mid-level in their career who is on their way to making significant contributions to the land profession and to RLI.

Excellence in Instruction Award

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Kirk Goble, ALC, with The Bell 5 Land Company in Greeley, CO, received the RLI 2019 Excellence in Instruction Award. The Excellence in Instruction Award recognizes RLI’s Land University (LANDU) Instructors for their exceptional teaching skills, contributions to the professional development of our students, and volunteerism for the LANDU Education Program.

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© Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Realtors Property Resource, LLC® is a member benefit of the National Association of REALTORS®.




Chapter of the Year Award The RLI Oklahoma Chapter was awarded the RLI 2019 Chapter of the Year Award. The Outstanding Chapter Award recognizes one RLI Chapter that has demonstrated excellence and creativity in the following categories: member retention and development, course and other educational offerings, volunteerism to national RLI, technological achievements, and outreach and collaboration with other RLI chapters as well as NAR local and state organizations.

Chapter Administrator of the Year Robert Campbell with the RLI Missouri Chapter was named the RLI 2019 Chapter Administrator of the Year. The recipient is chosen by RLI staff and the choice is based on performance that builds a stronger RLI chapter—such as helping to enrich member experiences, provide support and benefits to members, applying for continuing education credit for LANDU courses, and displaying a high code of conduct and ethical standards.

RLI APEX 2019 Awards Winners The annual RLI APEX Awards Program, sponsored by The Land Report, celebrated its third year with a record 105 applicants, totaling a combined $2.65+ billion in qualifying transaction volume and 3,535 sides represented. Congratulations to our APEX 2019 Award Program winners!

APEX 2019 Top National Producer The APEX Top National Producer Award is the program’s most coveted and prestigious award, recognizing the applicant with the highest qualifying transaction volume in the country. Andy Flack, ALC Homeland Properties Huntsville, TX

APEX 2019 Wrangler The APEX Wrangler Award recognizes the agent with the largest number of closed transaction sides in the country. Troy Louwagie, ALC Hertz Real Estate Services Mt. Vernon, IA




APEX 2019 National Broker of the Year (by category) The APEX National Broker of The Year Award is presented to the agent with the highest qualifying transaction volume in each of the seven specified land categories.

Broker of the Year in Timberland Sales Andy Flack, ALC Homeland Properties Huntsville, TX

Broker of the Year in Ag Land Sales – Crops Troy Louwagie, ALC Hertz Real Estate Services Mt. Vernon, IA

Broker of the Year in Commercial Land Sales Ryan Sampson, ALC Eshenbaugh Land Company Tampa, FL

Broker of the Year in Ag Land Sales – Ranches Dean Saunders, ALC SVN Saunders Ralston Danzler Lakeland, FL

Broker of the Year in Residential Land Sales Marty Domres, ALC Domres Real Estate Inv., Inc. Riverview, FL

APEX 2019 ALC-to-ALC Networking Award In recognition of the tremendous networking opportunities available to RLI Members, especially those that have earned the elite Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation, the APEX Awards also features an ALC-to-ALC Networking Award.

APEX 2019 Largest ALC-to-ALC Transaction Ryan Sampson, ALC Eshenbaugh Land Company Tampa, FL

Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC Eshenbaugh Land Company Tampa, FL

Broker of the Year in Recreational Land Sales Joey Bellington Whitetail Properties San Antonio, TX

Broker of the Year in Auction Land Sales Steve Bruere Peoples Company of Indianola Indianola, IA




APEX 2019 Top Twenty National Producers APEX Top Twenty Producers are those applicants who, based on qualifying transaction dollar volume in closed land sales, are among the twenty highestproducing agents in the country. Joey Bellington Whitetail Properties

Marty Domres, ALC Domres Real Estate Investments

Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC Eshenbaugh Land Company

Ryan Hostetler, ALC AGPROfessionals

Dan Kevorkian, ALC Pearson Realty

Steve Bruere Peoples Company of Indianola

Jeff Cusson SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate

Andy Flack, ALC Homeland Properties

Clint Flowers, ALC National Land Realty

John Knipe, ALC Knipe Land Company

Troy Louwagie, ALC Hertz Real Estate Services

Matt Davis Cushman & WakeďŹ eld Walter Hatchett, ALC Jon Kohler and Associates



Mark Mommsen Martin, Goodrich & Waddell, Inc


William Rollins, ALC Land Solutions, Inc.

Andrew Zellmer Peoples Company

Bill Davis, ALC, Colorado Luxury Rand & Land; Keller Williams Foothills Realty Matt Davis, Cushman & Wakefield Cal Dickson, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services Marty Domres, ALC, Domres Real Estate Investments, Inc.

Ryan Sampson, ALC Eshenbaugh Land Company

APEX 2019 Producers Club Members of the APEX Producers Club have proven a minimum of four million dollars of qualifying transaction dollar volume in closed land sales.

Michael Dreyer, ALC, Dreyer & Associates Real Estate Group Forrest During, National Land Realty Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC, Eshenbaugh Land Company

Matt Adams, Peoples Company Dean Saunders, ALC SVN Saunders Ralston Danzler

Lar Voss, ALC Western Water and Land LLC

Ben Wellons Wellons Real Estate

Eric Andrews, ALC, Realty World Carolina Properties

Andy Flack, ALC, HomeLand Properties, Inc.

Jessica Armstrong, Armstrong Properties

Bradford Fletcher, Newmark Knight Frank

Drew Ary, ALC, Ary Land Co. KW Advantage Land

Clint Flowers, ALC, National Land Realty

Valerie Bahm, ALC, Johnson Moore REALTORS®

Wendy Forthun, ALC, 1 Stop Realty, Inc Kyle Gable, ALC, Pioneer Land Group

Daran Becker, Peoples Company Joey Bellington, Whitetail Properties

Christine George, Deitra Robertson Real Estate, Inc.

Brent Bidner, Hertz Real Estate Services

Paul Gonwa, ALC, Overby Land Brokers

Sam Bowers, ALC, Bowers and Burns Real Estate

Greg Good, Clift Land Brokers

Ray Brownfield, ALC, Land Pro LLC

Jonathan Goode, ALC, Southeastern Land Group

Steve Bruere, Peoples Company Jared Chambers, Peoples Company

Chandlar Graham, Larson & McGowin Properties LLC

George Clift, ALC, Clift Land Brokers

Brent Graves, Alliance Auction & Realty

Wendy Cline, Wendy Cline Properties

Kyle Hansen, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services

Jeff Cusson, SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate

John Hardin, ALC, Southeastern Land Group




Jeff Hardy, ALC, Southeastern Land Group

Chris Miller, ALC, American Forest Management, Inc

Bob Stalberger, ALC, Whitetail Properties

Suzanne Haslup, ALC, Meybohm Real Estate

Kasey Mock, The Mock Ranches Group at Keller Williams Realty

Jeramy Stephens, ALC, National Land Realty

Walter Hatchett, ALC, Jon Kohler & Associates LLC

Mark Mommsen, ALC, Martin, Goodrich & Waddell, Inc

Winnie Stortzum, ALC, Farmers National Company

Rachelle Heller, Hertz Real Estate Services

Jeff Moon, ALC, AgWest Land Brokers

Kirk Swenson, 1 Stop Realty, Inc.

Dan Murphy, ALC, M4 Ranch Group, a division of Team Murphy Realty LLC

Jeff Switzer, Rocky Mountain Ranch and Land

Justin Osborn, ALC, The Wells Group Real Estate Brokerage

Minor Taylor, ALC, Taylor Land Investments

Chris Peacock, ALC, Halderman Real Estate Service, Inc.

Kevin Tolbert, Keller Williams Advantage III Realty

Hadley Perkins, Clift Land Brokers

Randall Upchurch, Southeastern Land Group

Scott Henrichsen, Hertz Farm Management. Inc. Kenny Herring, ALC, Peoples Company Ryan Hostetler, ALC, AGPROfessionals Geoff Hurdle, ALC, Hurdle Land Company Terri Jensen, ALC, National Land Realty Ryan Kay, Hertz Real Estate Services Dan Kevorkian, ALC, Pearson Realty Edward Kiefer, Hertz Real Estate Services Robert King, Southeastern Land Group Dave Klein, ALC, First Mid Ag Services

James Peterson, RE/MAX Roundup Clayton Pilgrim, ALC, Century 21 Harvey Properties Todd Renfrew, ALC, California Outdoor Properties, Inc.

John Knipe, ALC, Knipe Land Company

George Renz, ALC, Renz & Renz Investment and Commercial Brokerage

Thomas Krajewski, ALC, National Land Realty

Deitra Robertson, ALC, Deitra Robertson Real Estate, Inc.

Michael Krause, ALC, Hertz Farm Management. Inc.

Luke Rogers, Texas Land Associates

Zurick Labrier, ALC, Mason and Morse Ranch Company Eric Leisy, ALC, Great Southern Land


Calvin Perryman, ALC, Great Southern Land

Matt Vegter, Hertz Real Estate Services Lar Voss, ALC, Western Water and Land LLC Russ Walters, Southeastern Land Group Ricky Ward, ALC, RE/MAX Champion Land Brokers Trina Ward, RE/MAX Champion Land Brokers Rob Warmbir, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services

Billy Rollins, ALC, LSI Companies, Inc.

Kirk Weih, ALC, Hertz Farm Management. Inc.

Ryan Sampson, ALC, Eshenbaugh Land Company

Ben Wellons, Wellons Real Estate Andrew Westlake, Peoples Company

Eric Lonnevik, Peoples Company

Dean Saunders, ALC, SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate

Troy Louwagie, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services

Flo Sayre, ALC, Farmers National Company

Rusty Lowe, ALC, Century 21 Harvey Properties

Ryan Schroeter, ALC, National Land Realty

Jim Martin, California Outdoor Properties, Inc.

Danny Smith, ALC, Smith and Smith Realty, Inc.

Tyler McConnell, ALC, Comey & Shepherd REALTORS® – Southern Ohio Properties

Chris Smith, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services

Eric Zellers, Ary Land Co. KW Advantage Land

Travis Smock, Peoples Company

Andrew Zellmer, Peoples Company


Eric Wilkinson, Hertz Real Estate Services Tucker Wood, Farmers National Company Luke Worrell, ALC, Worrell Land Services Douglas Yegge, Peoples Company


“As the nation’s premier land magazine, The Land Report’s partnership with the REALTORS® Land Institute provides invaluable public recognition of excellence through the annual APEX Awards. The professional expertise of RLI brokers across the country becomes even more vital for

landowners during challenging times. The Land Report and RLI are dedicated to the education and service ethic that keep the land industry thriving as a foundation of our nation’s economy.”

—Dean Saunders, ALC, Saunders Ralston Dantzler

“RLI, The Land Report, and our industry is built on relationships, professional knowledge, integrity, and capability. Whether you are a top producer at KW, Dean Saunders, or an independent brokerage, all of the featured professionals that are part of the APEX Awards are neighborhood players, building and bringing communities together. I feel very fortunate to be an active participant in RLI and The Land Report’s APEX Awards since its inception; winning the National Top Producer one year to ‘thank you for playing’ the next year. No matter what our individual

production is year to year, a program such as the APEX Awards helps bring national focus on the huge impact our industry brings to our regions and the US economy. The APEX Award Program gives each of us an opportunity to define, encourage and appreciate the hard work and stunning accomplishments of what are considered ‘True Land Professionals.’ Set your goals, define your markets, encourage success, make an impact, and be a part of APEX.”

— Dan Murphy, ALC, M4 Ranch Group

“Support shown by The Land Report for RLI through the years has been tremendous! Sponsoring the APEX Awards is a perfect example of the strategic alliance between two extremely important partners for land

professionals. The Land Report continues to be ambitious and create both value and insight for every land professional in the business.”

— Dan Ward, ALC, Legendary Land Co.


Getting To The Top: Tips From The Nation’s Top Producing Land Agents “To be successful at anything one must become knowledgeable, whether by education, experience or both. At the same time, persevere, be consistent, and exhibit high integrity and a hard work ethic. Excellence in all facets of your profession. And also, successful people know that ‘no’ is a powerful word and a complete sentence.”

– Andy Flack, ALC, HomeLand Properties, Inc., Huntsville, TX, APEX 2019 Top National Producer and APEX 2019 Broker of the Year in Timberland Sales

“Listen to what your client’s goals are and, once you truly understand them, work your behind off to make them a reality. You are only as good as your client’s success.”

– Ryan Sampson, ALC, CCIM, Eshenbaugh Land Company, Tampa, FL, APEX 2019 Broker of the Year in Commercial Land Sales



“My best piece of advice is to stay client focused and help them accomplish their goals. In the words of the late Zig Ziglar ‘You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.’ So our job is to really understand our clients’ goals and objectives, and to help them meet those goals and objectives.”

– Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM, SVN Saunders Ralston Danzler, Lakeland, FL, APEX 2019 Broker of the Year in Ag Land Sales – Ranches

“Collaboration and abundance are two things that are a huge part of our culture at Peoples Company. There is no shortage of opportunities to pursue and, when you open up communication with others in the industry and within your own office, it creates more opportunities for everyone. This recognition is more about the collaborative culture at Peoples Company and a reflection on our team more so than an individual achievement. Most of our auctions have 10 to 15 of my colleagues involved. It’s truly a team effort and wouldn’t be possible without the abundant culture and collaborative efforts at Peoples Company and others in the industry.”

– Steve Bruere, RLI Member, Peoples Company, Clive, IA, APEX 2019 Broker of the Year in Auction Land Sales

“I personally don’t think there is one single piece of advice that I can give. There are several things that need to happen to be successful. The first piece of advice, is to learn everything you can learn about real estate, learning is a never ending process. The more you learn the better you get! Persistence definitely pays off! Don’t give up! Concentrate on building long term relationships. You have to be useful, by providing information, a product, or a service. I can’t tell you how many times property deals have come back to me. Last, always be honest! If you don’t know, tell the client you don’t know, but you will get back to him with an answer as soon as possible! These are the things that have worked for me. I hope this advice helps you!”

“Helping buyers and sellers acquire and sell farmland continues to be a people business. Buyers and sellers rely on their Land Broker to be their Trusted Advisor. We do this by providing professional services above and beyond what is asked. This is done by treating people with integrity and honesty. Also, by keeping up to date with what is going on in the land market and by communicating it with your clients at all times. Making this a top priority builds lifelong relationships. If you do these things, everything else will fall into place.”

– Troy Louwagie, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services, Mt. Vernon, IA, APEX 2019 Broker of the Year in Ag Land Sales – Crops and APEX 2019 Wrangler

– Marty Domres, ALC, CCIM, Domres Real Estate Investments, Inc., APEX 2019 Broker of the Year in Residential Land Sales

“I know this advice may sound very basic, but sometimes the basic things are the best things! It is this: always put the interests of your client before your own. As brokers, we have so many different ways we can handle our business – some ways are good, some are bad. Usually the simplest way for me to stay on the right track is to do my business with integrity, and then simply put my clients’ interests first. When a broker learns to do this well, that is when they are really building a career they can be proud of, instead of just closing one sale.”

– Joey Bellington, RLI Member, Whitetail Properties, San Antonio, TX, APEX 2019 Broker of the Year in Recreational Land Sales SUMMER 2020




Property Ownership: A Bedrock of the Economy in Troubled Times

By Russell Riggs, NAR

It’s been a rough few months for the economy, and we could all use a little good news. For America’s millions of home and property owners, here is some: While retirement accounts and the stock market may have cratered, property values are hanging tough.

unemployment assistance not normally available to the selfemployed or independent contractors are helping them weather the storm. Congress deserves credit for responding in a bipartisan and lightning-fast way even if the rollout of those programs was less than perfect.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported in May that the median existing-home price for all housing types was up 8%. And with a proper recovery and the right policies, there is a great chance that home values will remain fairly stable even as home sales temporarily fall while Americans shelter-in-place.

If real estate is still viable, land real estate may be in an even better position to take advantage of changing social trends and shifting demographics. Increased time inside close quarters during the coronavirus pandemic is causing some urbanites to consider moving toward the suburbs and even further, a recent survey shows. A survey from the Harris poll showed that nearly 40% of U.S. adults living in urban areas indicated they would consider moving “out of populated areas and toward rural areas,” compared to 29% of overall respondents. Anecdotal evidence from agents in Seattle and along the West Coast indicates that smaller cities in the region like Boise, ID, are becoming increasingly attractive. This demographic movement could encompass the development of new communities that cater to telecommuters and to new resort developments. Developers will be searching for land that will enable them to build properties that enhance “community” but also cater to a buyer’s desire to spread out. Virtual tours of neighborhoods, homes, and land are among the new tools that are helping to facilitate the interest.

The pandemic also hasn’t stopped business activity outright like in many other sectors. A recent NAR survey of members found that one-quarter of REALTORS® had at least one client go under contract during the second week of April without physically seeing the property. Deals are proceeding with the growing use of new technology like remote notarization. Even those pausing their real estate transactions still plan to buy and sell once again within a few months. Property ownership is turning into a financial pillar for many Americans during this crisis, and in a surprising show of alacrity and bipartisanship, Congress went to great strides to help protect that investment. For those who can no longer pay their mortgage, new mortgage forbearance rules allowed them to put off payments for up to a year without impacting their credit. Other new benefits like forgivable small business loans and

Of course, the pandemic may also create unknown economic dynamics that could negatively impact land and real estate



“…it has never been clearer that property ownership is still one of the best and safest investments an American family can make.”

markets in the future. Fears of COVID-19 could exacerbate the trend towards online commerce and away from greenfield brick and mortar developments. This could reduce the demand for large, new commercial developments. There could also be severe long-term impacts on the agricultural sector. As we see growing levels of concern, recommendations for social distancing, reduced travel, avoiding crowds, and other protective practices to slow the spread of COVID-19, consumers will be making tough choices about food, eating away from home, and overall spending. This will likely have an impact on markets and prices. Concerns about the impact of the virus on the broader economy may have an even larger impact on dairy prices. Many countries of the European Union were already hovering just above a recession prior to the viral outbreak and this event is likely to push them over the edge.



As supply chains and logistics are disrupted, the agricultural sector will continue to be impacted. We have already seen livestock euthanized and crops plowed under because of the inability to get these commodities to market. All of these trends could disrupt the farm economy for the long-term. Despite the possible adverse impacts on land real estate markets, it has never been clearer that property ownership is still one of the best and safest investments an American family can make. Economic downturns and public health crises—no matter how severe— will never change this fundamental fact. But what has become even more apparent is that, during this crisis, home has become more important than ever.

About the author: Russell Riggs, in his position with the National Association of REALTORS®, serves as RLI’s Government Affairs Liaison in Washington, D.C., conducting advocacy on a variety of federal issues related to land. If you would like additional information on any of these issues, he can be contacted at 202-383-1259 or rriggs@realtors.org

The Future of The Land Brokerage Industry By Aaron Graham, ALC



We must embrace the impact technology is making in every industry, especially in new ways of connecting and presenting valuable information to our consumers.

As nearly all businesses are forced to pivot quickly in order to meet consumer expectations amid the coronavirus pandemic, a glimpse into the land brokerage industry—which has been evolving rapidly due to technological advancements and changing consumer behavior—is extremely relevant today.

Technology’s Disruption of the Land Brokerage Industry, and the Coronavirus Pandemic Acting as a Catalyst Prior to COVID-19, technology was already making a noticeable impact on both our businesses and personal lives. Technology has forever changed communication, shopping, banking, education, entertainment, and, recently even how we visit with our doctors. But we didn’t fully understand how suddenly the benefits of technology would shift from being a convenience to an absolute necessity. Most of the world came to a screeching halt a few months ago. Meanwhile, the

innovative, forward-thinking businesses have proven they don't need to stop their dribble to pivot; they’re going straight to the hoop for the score. Those effectively wielding technology are dominating the marketplace, whether we like it or not. Before the pandemic, it had been predicted that 40% of both blue- and white-collar jobs would be lost to technology over the next 15 years. Since the onset of COVID-19 and the shutdown of our economy, it’s become clear that loss of American jobs to technology will occur more rapidly than originally predicted. And the real estate sector is no exception. Long before Coronavirus had become a household name, massive disruption had been going on in the residential real estate sector. Companies effectively leveraging technology, data, google rankings, artificial intelligence, and social media were covering ground faster than Murder Hornets. That’s why we must learn from these residential companies.

They are changing the industry’s message with marketing slogans such as “Real Estate, Made Simple” and “Finally, the Way Real Estate Should Be.” Some of these businesses are demonstrating how the residential real estate industry has been ripe for disruption. On a related note, businesses in general are seeing consumers demand more transparency. Consumers expect relevant, accurate, free-of-charge data to be at their fingertips to assist them with their decision-making process. If businesses are unable to meet their expectations, they’re on to the next vendor.

The Future of the Land Brokerage Industry: 86% of real estate agents will be replaced by AI over the next 20 years A recent Oxford University study predicted that 86% of real estate agents will be replaced by robots over the next 20 years. This statistic could be scary, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The real SUMMER 2020


question is, will you be part of the 86% pushed aside, or will you be part of the elite 14% who are taking the time to learn how to stand out, stay relevant, and remain valuable? If real estate professionals can better serve clients by providing exactly what they need on a personal, emotional, and technological level, while saving them time and money, we become invaluable. As real estate brokers, our path ahead may not be as easy as it has been in the past, but it’s important to seek opportunity in every challenge; do not sit victim to the changing circumstances. Be coachable and seek mentorship from others who can provide valuable tools and insight into changes and updates in the industry. As consumers take the lead in communicating what they want from land brokers, it’s important to go above and beyond to protect our brands and reputations, at all costs. Take caution: enabled by tools like Yelp, Google, and 46


Facebook reviews, the service industry is being placed under a microscope more than ever before. Consumers will have access to how well or insufficiently we’ve performed, and they’ll base their buying decision on that information, and for many of them, that information alone.

The Bottom Line There is no way to slow the pace of technology. We must embrace the impact it’s making in every industry, especially in new ways of connecting and presenting valuable information to our consumers. They are the ultimate shot caller, deciding who wins and who loses. Only those companies that can reach and provide the best consumer experience will win. Participation trophies in the land brokerage business are a relic of the past.

About the author: Aaron Graham, ALC, is Partner and Chief Innovation Officer with National Land Realty. He’s a licensed real estate broker in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. Since he entered the real estate business after retiring from a successful NFL career, he’s brokered over $300,000,000 of land transactions throughout the Midwest.

Diving into Water Rights: A Primer for Land Agents

By Charles Porter, Ph.D.



Today’s REALTORS® must understand the human-water interface and the foundational role water plays in the quality of life of their communities.

“Water is the ultimate zero-sum game; the volume of water used by one right holder sourced from our common pool of water ultimately diminishes, to some degree or other, the volume of water available to other water right holders.” – Dr. Charles Porter, 2014 Nothing is more basic to successful human congregate settlement than the management and sharing of freshwater resources; the way in which Americans manage their freshwater resources defines the overall quality of life. Today’s REALTORS® must gain a working knowledge of water rights in their geographic area of practice.

Who Owns the Water? The first question that arises – who owns water in the United States, the public or the individual citizen? The answer is an eternal favorite – it depends – on the geological container in which the water resides. Ownership of water varies from state to state but is always categorized in three geological containers in which water resides, surface water, diffused surface water, and groundwater. Surface water is water that exists naturally in a river, creek, or stream. Most states own their surface water and describe it as water in a “watercourse” that is generally defined as: …a channel, comprising well-defined bed and banks, a current of water, and a permanent source of supply. The flow of water need not be continuous, and the channel may be dry for long periods of time.

There are two state-by-state variations of surface water rights in the United States, riparian rights and appropriative rights. Riparian water rights are based upon ownership of land appurtenant to surface water; riparian rights tend to be the basic water law in states east of the Mississippi River. Riparian rights are usufructs only, or rights that allow use of the water but not ownership of the water. Appropriative rights are based upon a grant or license from the state to use the water for a certain purpose. Appropriative rights tend to apply to those states west of the Mississippi River. In most western states, appropriative rights are further permitted based upon first-intime, first-in-right, a concept referred to as prior appropriation. The United States “Americanized” the traditional English Common law riparian concept in 1826. According to Professor of Law T. E. Lauer the origin of the American riparian doctrine was rendered by a United States District Court in Tyler v. Wilkinson: The origin of the American riparian doctrine of water use, whereby each owner of land upon the banks of a watercourse has the right to make a reasonable [emphasis added] use of the water, is customarily placed shortly after the year 1825. Traditionally, the creation of the riparian doctrine has been ascribed to two of the greatest early American jurists, Joseph Story and James Kent. The introduction of the reasonable use idea is the driving concept in the permitting of surface water in most states and in some states, even applies to legal uses of privately owned groundwater. As opined by Jurist James Kent in 1828, the American definition of the reasonable use of water is: SUMMER 2020


All that the law requires of the party, by or over whose land a stream passes, is, that he should use the water in a reasonable manner, and so as not to destroy, or render useless, or materially diminish, or affect the application of the water by the proprietors below on the stream. What constitutes a reasonable use of water is regularly a matter of hot debate between up-streamers and downstreamers. The situational aspect of reasonable use is subjective and determined in the eyes of the beholder; the same specific use can be usually be argued for or against easily and credibly. Most states broadly define reasonable use of water as water used for irrigation, municipal, domestic and livestock, and industrial purposes. The second geological container is “diffused” surface water, or water that runs across the surface of the land either from rainfall, snow melt, condensation, or caused by other atmospheric conditions. Diffused surface water is owned by the



private landowner in some states such as Texas, but not so in other states. Private ownership of diffused surface water ends when the water enters a surface water watercourse or in some states, when it disappears into the ground and becomes groundwater. The third geological container is groundwater. Groundwater is “water that exists underground in saturated zones beneath the land surface.” Groundwater rights are owned by the public in many states but owned by the private overlying landowner in other states. Private and absolute ownership of groundwater is recognized in Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Texas. In other states with no comprehensive groundwater regulations, ownership is illdefined in their statutes or in their state constitution. Some states may claim to own the groundwater yet allow unlimited withdrawals without any liability to neighbors, making the practical matter of ownership in those states moot.

The geological containers of water exist conjunctively in the hydrologic cycle. Surface water, diffused surface, and groundwater are, have been, or will ultimately be in union with one another. Diffused surface water feeds both surface water and groundwater. Groundwater feeds surface water both in the underflow and via natural springs. As water flows downhill above or below ground, the containers feed and deplete each other visibly and invisibly. A single molecule of water is like a chameleon as to its ownership, changing legal status as it flows through the hydrologic cycle. Another fact of water is that it ignores political boundaries. Setting workable public water policy based upon surface political boundaries and not upon the natural boundaries of the water itself is problematic. A shared common pool water existing in several political boundaries risks conflicts between regulatory agencies weakening prudent management of the resource.

Why Land Agents Should Know Water Rights Basics Why is it so important that real estate licensees in the United States have a working knowledge of water rights in their practice area? First, land with water is more valuable than land without water. The sales price we recommend to our clients to ask and offer is significantly impacted by water rights and water availability. Second, it is our duty to assist our clients in determining the characteristics of any given tract they are selling or are interested in buying. We, of course, cannot provide legal advice, engineering advice, or hydrologic advice to our clients unless we hold licenses in those professions. A prudent REALTOR®, though, assists clients in finding the professional help they need.

Yet another fundamental concept in water rights is ‘beneficial use’ which is generally accepted to be the use of: … the amount of water which is economically necessary for a purpose authorized by this chapter when reasonable intelligence and reasonable diligence [emphasis added] are used in applying the water to that purpose and shall include conserved water. A vexing question arises – what is reasonable intelligence and reasonable diligence? Of course, my use of water, and yours likely as well, is always based on reasonable intelligence and reasonable diligence, right? Beneficial use varies from state to state, clearly defined in some but loosely defined in others. The California legislature so clearly defined beneficial uses of water that their list is five pages long!

Third, often overlooked but of high importance to our overall civic duty, is the significance that water has on the fair market value of land and its resulting impact on the ad valorem tax base that is so important to the quality of life of any community. In most of the United States public school education through the 12th grade is the most cherished social value, and most often is funded by ad valorem taxation. Some hospitals and other critical public services derive their funding from ad valorem taxation as well. As the water resources in a rural city are sold or leased to an urban area, now more than ever a battleground of conflict nationwide, the ad valorem tax base in the rural city inevitably declines leading to a decline in public school funding and other public services. This, in turn, creates a downward spiral of quality of life in the community. Frustratingly, there is no “one size fits all” water law or policy that can be applied to a country with such wide geographic diversity as ours. The federal, state, and local governments all have and/or claim some jurisdiction over water, with policies

and jurisdictions that exist in open conflict. The route to understanding water rights is challenging, but essential to the value REALTORS® add to their clients’ transactions. REALTORS® should begin their search by reviewing their state’s constitution and seeking help from the state and local agencies responsible for water use permitting. Some states have county agriculture extension agents that are a great source for water rights information as well. Many states such as Texas recently created statutory duties requiring real estate license holders to become “geographically competent” in the region or area in which they work; competence in water rights therefore is now the law. Today’s REALTORS® must understand the human-water interface and the foundational role water plays in the quality of life of their communities. About the author: Charles Porter, Ph.D. is an award-winning author, speaker, testifying real estate expert in over 600 cases nationwide, and has served in various faculty teaching roles at St. Edward’s University since 2008. In 2016 he earned a Ph.D. in Economics and Business from the Universitat Jaume I in Spain with “Cum Laude” distinction. He is also a wellrecognized water rights expert. He was recently appointed to the Education Standards Committee of the Texas Real Estate Commission. If you have any questions related to the content in this article, Charles can be reached at crporter@sbcglobal.net



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Winning Large Listings By Richard Thompson



You must consistently communicate your message to those who own the kind of property you want to sell and use every opportunity you have…

Having spent over 40 years in the land business, I am occasionally asked about the biggest change I’ve seen in those four decades. The answer is one we can all be proud of, and it’s an excellent starting point for this article on winning prime land listings. It’s the change in the culture of our profession. With RLI leading the way through offering the ALC Designation, LANDU Education Program, annual National Land Conference as well as regional and state chapter events, the level of knowledge and expertise of the average land professional has improved dramatically. The expansion of knowledge and expertise have allowed us to keep pace with rising seller expectations. As land prices have increased, sellers have become increasingly particular in the process they use to select a listing agent. It’s assumed the agent will have the level of skill and knowledge needed. Land education that was once considered optional is now a must. A major shift in the thinking of the seller has changed the way we now present ourselves and our services to them. Not long ago a listing presentation was 75% about the agent and their company, and 25% about the seller’s property. Today its 25% about the agent and their company and 75% about the seller’s property. The person who is able to articulate differentiation more clearly will win the listing almost every time. This is especially true for large properties. As the price goes up, the need for differentiation becomes even more important.

“Better is not Differentiation” – Shark Tank As a rule, brokers and agents create differentiation one of two ways. They show value by putting together a strong detailed presentation illustrating how they are different and uniquely equipped to help the seller sell their property, or they cut their commission. That’s the big picture but each presentation will involve finer points of differentiation, as well, that need to be emphasized or countered. For example, a competitor may have more experience than you, the seller wants to auction and you don’t do auctions, your competitor has the same marketing tools you do and you are not much different in any way. You need to be prepared to address these and other points that will arise. Let’s look at experience first. After my presentation for RLI’s Virtual NLC20 event, someone asked “How do you get in front of the seller to present in the first place?” I get that question a lot. Some have the misconception that other REALTORS® are just invited to present. If they are invited, it is only after a lot of hard work. You must consistently communicate your message to those who own the kind of property you want to sell and use every opportunity you have to show that you are relevant in that market. If you are doing that and still being looked over it’s almost always about experience.



This is common, many agents skip an all important step and try to compete for prime listings before they are ready to do so. It sounds odd but the first step in getting prime land listings is to get experience. It’s extremely hard to win this type listing until you are proven. So, how do you get experience when sellers won’t list with you because you don’t have experience? You find someone who has experience you can partner with; you borrow their experience. The truth is you need an experienced partner for the same reason the seller wants experience. There’s a lot more likelihood you will get the property sold. Establish a network of people (RLI is an excellent place to start) you can work with on specific properties. Get a partner for each property type: farms, ranches, recreational, timberland, commercial, etc., and for separate geographical areas. In Texas, for example, selling property in West Texas is different than selling in East Texas so get someone who knows the territory. Often when you cross a state line things change, so having a partner in the state will be helpful. Also look for opportunities to gain experience. Work with other agents in your office on large Listings. Help them gather information and build a package or prepare a listing presentation. If your company does auctions, help show buyers around on inspection day. Your focus should be to do everything you can to add that deal as one you worked on as part of your experience. Selling someone else’s land listing is a great way to get the credibility to win more listings. Get to know the players in your area, tour their listings when you have the opportunity, know the inventory in your market so you can work with buyers. It doesn’t take many sales at this level to make a big difference in your resume. Sometimes you will find yourself in a presentation where it appears you are not really much different than some of the others you know you will be



presenting against. The level of experience is close to the same, they’ve had some nice sales of similar properties and you have too and you both use almost exactly the same marketing tools. If you know the competitor that well, you probably have an idea how they will present and how you can present differently. If you think they may just show a website or publication, you dig deeper. Know how many visitors the website has or how many subscribers the publication has. Know the kind of followers the source has and why they are the kind of people who might buy the seller’s property. Show examples of properties similar to the seller you’ve sold or that others have sold through that source. If nothing else, prove that you pay more attention to detail and are more thorough that your competitor. There is no better example of differentiation than trying to convince a seller to give you a conventional listing when they have a reason they need to sell at auction. That scenario literally defines differentiation. Remember, differentiation is giving the seller something they want that your competitor can’t do for them. While every property is not right for auction, many of the deals that do go to auction are large properties with a motivated seller. When I had my brokerage, the biggest sale in my market almost every year would be an auction. I wanted that business but, even with auctioneers charging a significant upfront marketing fee, I was never able to win a single listing from an auctioneer. The seller simply had needs that could only be met by the auction method. For example, auction allows the seller to choose the day the property will sell. Auction allows the seller of a prime property to get more than they might have listed it for conventionally because the seller does not have to disclose his asking price first. Auction allows the settlement of ownership dispute or estate liquidations with more

transparency. Auction provides a cleaner “as is” sale without contingencies, and auction compresses the marketing period and accelerates the sale time. All those things are extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a conventional broker to do. The only way you can win part of that business is to find a good proven auctioneer to work with and offer auctions yourself. It’s unlikely that you will be able to recruit the kind of auctioneer you will need as an associate. You will probably have to work on a co-op basis, with you finding the auction and bringing them in to help negotiate the contract and do the sale. Experience is extremely important in the auction business. A failed auction can cost you credibility and take years to recover from. Do your homework. Choose an auctioneer that has a history of success and fair dealing then work hard to hold up your end of the bargain and form a long and lasting partnership. “Don’t act like an amateur and expect to be paid like a professional” – Jared James All these things should come together in a formal presentation. Remember, your presentation is the seller’s first glance at your work as it relates to their property. It’s hard to spend the time and resources preparing when there is a chance you might not win the listing, but you have to. It’s game day and not a time to hold anything back. Your goal should be to have the most professional presentation the seller is going to see put together in a way that highlights the seller’s property and your differentiation. By now, I hope it’s evident that winning the best listings is a long-term commitment. It won’t happen by accident. Create a plan with a timeline for getting the training and education you will need to deliver the highest level of service. Form and maintain a strong network of professionals by specialty and geographical area, build an exceptional listing presentation and learn to express your value in terms of how you are

different, and how and why that difference will help get the seller’s property sold. Aim for excellence every day. It’s hard work but, in the end it’s well worth it. About the author: Richard Thompson began selling land in 1974 and joined the management team of United Country Real Estate where he now serves as Executive Vice President in 1988. He participated in hundreds of land transactions as an agent and broker and assisted with many others nationwide in his current role. His experience includes farming wheat, soybeans, cotton, milo, rice, hay and cattle which helps him connect with a broad range of sellers. His specialty is listing and seller representation.

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