WINTER 2014 Vol. 68 No. 1
TerraFirma Under All Is The Land
See Inside: Special 70thth Anniversary Edition
OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE REALTORS速 LAND INSTITUTE
At the Historic Francis Marion Hotel Charleston, South Carolina March 12-14, 2014
Be thereâ€”where the best in the land business learn, network, and make deals. www.rliland.com
CONTENTS President's Message ...............................................................................................................4 News Briefs from National......................................................................................................5 Member News ......................................................................................................................13 Chapter News .......................................................................................................................16 Newest ALCs .........................................................................................................................24 Education .............................................................................................................................34
TerraFirma Winter 2014 Edition Published by the REALTORS® Land Institute 430 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611 Telephone: 1.800.441.5263 Fax: 1.312.329.8633 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.rliland.com Editor/Publisher Michele Cohen, Executive Vice President
FEATURES Government Aﬀairs Briefing ........................................................................... 10 Russell W. Riggs, RLI Government Affairs Liaison, National Association of REALTORS®
Editor Kate E. Noble, Communications and Membership Development Specialist
Key Ratio Indicator Could Help Navigate Correction in Farmland Values............. 12 Mike Walsten, Editor, LandOwner Newsletter Changing Government Policies & Impact to New Solar Project Development...... 17 Jesse Tippett, Senior Project Developer, Borrego Solar Systems Albie Fong, Key Account Executive, Talesun SolarUSA William Hugron, ALC, Ashwill Associates The Generational Impact: Consumer and Agent ............................................... 19 Nancy Gardner, President, nGardner Group 70th Anniversary .......................................................................................... 28 Frederik Heller, Manager, Library & Archives, National Association of REALTORS® Threads that Create and Bind REALTORS® Land Institute ................................... 31 Kate E. Noble, Communications and Membership Development Specialist, REALTORS® Land Institute Wind Farms Harvest More Than Just Energy ..................................................... 38 P. Barton DeLacy, MAI, CRE, FRICS, Principal, DeLacy Consulting LLC China Investing in American Real Estate .......................................................... 41 Mark Dotzour, PHD, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Texas A & M University’s Real Estate Center
Copyright 2014. 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.
CELEBRATE THE CULTURE I am honored to be the 2014 Institute National President. This year is the 70th Anniversary of the REALTORS® Land Institute—known in 1944 as the Agricultural Institute—and its connection with the National Association of REALTORS®. The history of the organization even goes back further—to 1920 when it was called the Land Men REALTORS® Committee. The rich history of this esteemed organization continues; and, each year, richness is added. As we celebrate the culture, we recognize that which has taken place throughout history regarding land, that which is taking place now, and that which will leave its mark in the future—turning into history. George Clift, ALC 2014 RLI National President
The organization helped bring me to a level in my career that is beyond a dollar amount. I have built my business by combining the organization’s benefits with my personal business direction. The knowledge, relationships, friendships, deals made through organization connections, and marketing of the esteemed Accredited Land Consultant designation have all been the pieces brought together to reach desired business goals.
The Institute is dedicated to staying positioned to provide land professionals with opportunities to gain expertise and knowledge while building relationships and adhering to a strong code of conduct. With “land under all,” comes a responsibility to provide accurate information and to service clients with the most current information. Members drive an organization. We have been fortunate to have and to have had strong stewards whose commitment to the land business brought forth a rich history which we celebrate and upon which we continue to build. New initiatives have been rolled out in 2014 with plans being developed for the direction of 2015 and beyond. •
2014 National Land Conference: If Land Could Talk: The "bar continues to be raised" for this event with world renown presenters on topics of relevancy to the land professional. This has become the “don’t miss, marquee” conference for land people. Knowledge is shared, networking takes place, deals are made, and fun is had.
LANDU: Seventeen best-in-class courses make up the LANDU curriculum. In 2014, four new courses are being provided: The Auction Tool; Building Business Through Technology; Mineral, Oil, and Property Rights; and Marketing Strategies. Remote and faceto-face course deliveries are available. Three complimentary ALC-to-ALC Teleconferences will take place, and three “Hot Topic” Web Seminars are scheduled. In addition, LANDU Week will return to Chicago on June 22-30.
THE LAND CONNECTIONS: Do Business with the Best-in-the Business—Rolled out in January, this is an exclusive members' only listing site that has swiftly gained the attention of clients and land professionals.
ALC Advanced: The ALC Advanced was introduced last year with 2014 being the first year to be eligible. Congratulations to those who earned this recognition indicating current awareness of land issues and professional development through Institute volunteerism and courses.
Future Leaders Committee: Added to the bylaws in 2014, this Committee will bring fresh ideas by overseeing current technology and trends for members and the land professional and to suggest programs by anticipating generational needs and directions.
Communications: Increased exposure of the Institute, the ALC designation, initiatives, and member accomplishments will be spread on key media platforms.
2014-2017 Institute Strategic Plan: The vision, goals, and action steps have been reviewed and updated.
2014 Member Directory: In the production stages as an electronic and hard copy tool.
If you have questions or would just like to chat, feel free to contact me. Let’s celebrate the culture in person on March 12-14 at the 2014 National Land Conference: If Land Could Talk. We will celebrate the Institute’s yesterday, today, and tomorrow while building bonds, adding to knowledge, and making deals! Sincerely,
George R. Clift Accredited Land Consultant 2014 Institute National President
NEWS BRIEFS from NATIONAL
Meet RLI’s 2014 National Board of Directors George Clift, ALC 2014 National President Clift Land Brokers Amarillo, TX firstname.lastname@example.org
Danny Smith, ALC Accredited Land Consultant Designation Committee Chair Smith and Smith Realty Wildwood, FL email@example.com
George Harvey Government Affairs Committee Chair The Harvey Team Telluride, CO george@TheHarveyTeam.net
Terri Jensen, ALC President Elect Farmers National Company Omaha, NE firstname.lastname@example.org
Flo Sayre, ALC Accredited Land Consultant Designation Committee Vice Chair Farmers National Company Pasco, WA email@example.com
Kirk Weih, ALC Government Affairs Committee Vice Chair Hertz Farm Management, Inc. Mt. Vernon, IA
Bob Turner, ALC Vice President Southern Properties Cordova, TN firstname.lastname@example.org
Renee Harvey, ALC Education Committee Chair Century 21 Harvey Properties, Inc. Paris, TX email@example.com
Dan Flanagan, ALC Future Leaders Committee Chair Flanagan Realty, LLC St. Charles, IL firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles“Chuck”Wingert, ALC Immediate Past President Wingert Realty & Land Services Mankato, MN email@example.com
David Hitchcock, ALC Education Committee Vice Chair CFO Real Estate Services, LLC Winter Haven, FL firstname.lastname@example.org
Ex-Officio Board Members John Pierpoint Institute Treasurer National Association of REALTORS® Chicago, IL email@example.com
Russell Riggs Institute Legislative Staff Liaison National Association of REALTORS® Washington, D.C. firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Cohen Executive Vice President REALTORS® Land Institute Chicago, IL email@example.com
2014 Institute Representatives to NAR Committees Jesse Lane, ALC Business Issues Policy Committee
Bob Turner, ALC Executive Committee
Brandon Rogillio, ALC Danny Smith, ALC Commercial Committee
Cathy Cole, ALC Federal Financing & Housing Policy Committee
Randy Hertz, ALC Commercial Legislation and Regulatory Advisory Board George Clift, ALC W.H. Burruss, ALC Commercial Real Estate Research Advisory Board
George Harvey Global Business and Alliances Committee George Clift, ALC Terri Jensen, ALC Bob Turner, ALC Institute Advisory Committee
Paul Bottari, ALC Charles Wingert, ALC Land Use Property Rights and Environment Committee Terri Jensen, ALC Professional Standards Committee Randy Hertz, ALC Public Policy Coordinating Committee John McAllister, ALC Resort and Second Home Real Estate Committee
TerraFirma Winter 2014
NEWS BRIEFS from NATIONAL RLI Day at the NAR Annual Meeting in San Francisco
Institute Committee Meetings and the Board of Directors Meeting took place on the morning of RLI Day on Thursday, November 8, at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco, CA. Russell Riggs, RLI’s Government Affairs Liaison, gave a special Government Affairs Briefing covering the status of the farm bill, drone use, flood insurance, taxation, and water rights. Following the briefing, the 2014 Executive Team was inducted at the Installation and Recognition Luncheon sponsored by the Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR). Chris Polychron, 2014 NAR President Elect, had the honor of conducting the oath of office to the 2014 officers: George Clift, ALC, President; Terri Jensen, ALC, President Elect; and Bob Turner, ALC, Vice President. Dan Hatfield, ALC, 2010 Institute President and 2013 TAR Chair, conducted the pledge of allegiance followed by a welcome from Travis Kessler, TAR President/CEO.
Distinguished Award Recipients The Meeks Distinguished Service Award recognizes an ALC who demonstrates long-term commitment and service to fellow Institute members, the land profession, and the community. Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC, Eshenbaugh Land Company, was the recipient of the 2013 Meeks Distinguished Service Award. This high honor is bestowed on an ALC who demonstrates a long-term commitment and service to the Institute members, the land profession, and the community. Eshenbaugh is a leader, mentor, educator, philanthropist, and advocate for the advancement of the land professional. He continually supports education through funding scholarships for students, creating training programs, presenting and facilitating several Institute events. Eshenbaugh will be facilitating a round table at the 2014 National Land Conference on the topic of Tips for Entrepreneurs and will be leading a discussion session exclusively for ALCs at the Conference on Differentiating Yourself with the ALC. The Land REALTOR® of America Award recognizes members of the Institute for their effort and work expended in the interest of their fellow Institute members, their profession, and their communities. Kirk Goble, ALC, of The Bell 5 Land Company, was the recipient of this award which is a prestigious honor among land professionals nationwide. Goble is a valuable contributor to the advancement of technology and education in the Institute and his community. While serving as the Colorado Chapter President, the chapter earned the Chapter of the Year award, and he has twice received the Colorado Chapter Land REALTOR® of the Year award. Goble is a well-respected leader, educator, speaker and agricultural broker worldwide.
2014 Future Leaders Committee: Thinking Beyond
The traditional “Passing of the Gavel” ceremony took place with past presidents passing the gavel to each other and, eventually, to the new president, George Clift, ALC. Presidents taking part in the ceremony were (from left to right) Dan Hatfield, ALC, 2010 President; Ray Brownfield, ALC, 2012 President; Jesse Lane, ALC, 2011 President; John Dean, ALC, 2003 President; John McAllister, ALC, 2007 President; George Clift, ALC, 2014 President; Norma Nisbet, ALC, 2004 President; Roger Heller, ALC, 1998 President; Mac Boyd, ALC, 2002 President; Chuck Wingert, ALC, 2013 National President; and Mark Cumbest, ALC, 1995 President.
Dan Flanagan, ALC, is the Chair of the new Future Leaders Committee (FLC). In 2013, the Institute Board of Directors approved the addition of this strategic group to the bylaws with a direction to create and oversee technology and trends for members and the land professional. With this comes the anticipation of generational needs and directions to suggest programs and events to position the organization to build future Institute Leadership and Institute strength by “thinking beyond.” The committee had its inaugural meeting on January 6, 2014, moving forward with brainstorming and “rethinking.” The FLC members are Linda Pillard, ALC; Kyle Hansen, ALC; Christina Asbury, ALC; Aaron Graham, ALC; and Jeramy Stephens, ALC. As plans of action are created and programs put in place, the Institute will continue to strive to best serve member needs.
NEWS BRIEFS from NATIONAL Midyear Meetings in D.C.—The Institute has a Voice The National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Meetings and Expo will take place in Washington D.C. on May 12-17. REALTORS® Land Institute will have strong presence at the committee meetings to represent the opinions and priorities of all land professionals (see the NAR committee members on page 5). Opportunities exist for attendees to speak with government officials on the Hill. On May 13, the Institute will hold a Government Affairs Update meeting at 1-2 p.m. at the Marriott in DC. Russell Riggs, Institute Government Affairs Liaison through NAR, will cover relevant and current government affairs topics. To see the latest information, visit the website at http:// www.rliland.com/dc-updates. The Institute has a voice.
The 2014 National Land Conference: If Land Could Talk…It would say “Be there!” The best-in-the business will convene in Charleston, SC for what will be the biggest and best National Annual Land Conference in history. On March 12-14, land professionals representing diverse backgrounds from around the United States and Canada will arrive in Charleston, SC to share experiences, learn from experts, build relationships, have fun, and make money! Highlights include: • •
• • • • • • • • • •
Citadel Color Guards and Pipes Ceremony Experts in economics with professional viewpoints sharing information and having a “barstool” chat with each other— which is sure to be animated—especially with Dr. William Emmons and KC Conway on the stage at the same time Professionals presenting current information in the areas of marketing, ranch investments, mineral rights, technology, government affairs, international business, timber market trends, auctions, hydraulic fracturing, and more. Attendees will gain information necessary to serve clients, build business, and be the “best they can be” A new Meet, Greet, and Make Money event to build relationships, self market, share property information, and start deals Relevant topic round tables facilitated by Accredited Land Consultants and other experts Recognition of new ALCs The 2014 President’s Inaugural Bourbon and Boots Reception The Institute's 70th Anniversary Luncheon Celebration The 2014 Rip-Roarin’ Greatest Cowboy Auction on Earth Companion Plantation Tour Carriage Tour Gullah Music Surprises!
If Land Could Talk, it would say “Be there!”
THE LAND CONNECTIONS: DO BUSINESS WITH THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS It’s live and it’s BIG! The exclusive listing site for members of the Institute, THE LAND CONNECTIONS: Do Business with the Best
in the Business successfully launched on January 3. It is the “go to” site for land listings with over 9000 land listings and counting. Take a look at the site today at www.thelandconnections.com or access it from our website at www.rliland.com. To find out how to place your properties on the home page of the site or to learn about the opportunities to promote on the site, call 1.800.441.5263 or visit http://www.rliland.com/sponsor-opportunities.
Salute to Our Military Transition Program Members As a thank you to those who have protected our land and who are interested in the business of land, the REALTORS® Land Institute launched the Military Transition Program (MTP). The MTP category of membership is designed for those who served in the military starting in 2000 and are now looking to build or enhance a career in the land business. Qualified candidates receive the following for the first year of membership: a one year free membership in the Institute, one free LAND 101 course, and one free elective LANDU course of the member's choice. We are pleased and proud to introduce the Institute’s first Military Transition Program members: Patrick MacNeil Joseph Blackburn Johnson City, TN Enterprise, AL Tyler Boley Albia, IA
Luke Murphy Tallahassee, FL
Brandy Brown Colorado Springs, CO
Michael Nall Lakeland, FL
Jonathan Filarsky Durand, WI
William Titterington Houston, TX
Michael Gill Lampasas, TX
Grant Wyffels Richmond Hill, GA
Caleb McDow Gainesville, FL A special thank you is extended to Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC, who created the Eshenbaugh Land Company Military Course Scholarship. This Scholarship provides five members of the Military Transition Program with a free LANDU course of their choice, valued at $445 each. The courses count toward earning the prestigious Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Eshenbaugh created the scholarships in honor of his brother John, who was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for valor.
Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) ALLIES The Education Committee through LANDU has developed ALC Allies. To be rolled out in March, ALCs who volunteer for the program will be posted on the Institute website and in various communications as professionals to whom outreach may be made to learn about the value of being connected with the organization and of earning the unique designation. ALCs who volunteer and participate in this program will receive five (5) hours towards the ALC Advanced. More details will be distributed in February.
TerraFirma Winter 2014
NEWS BRIEFS from NATIONAL ALC Marketing Tools In 2014, the Institute will be spreading the awareness of the ALC designation to potential clients. Quarterly, the Institute will design promotional pieces that will be personalized for Accredited Land Consultants. ALCs will be able to use these to brand themselves and bring awareness to clients about their unique strengths as a result of being a designee. The marketing tools may be posted on websites, sent to potential clients, placed in a newsletter or magazine. Contact staff at rli@ realtors.org or 1.800.441.5263 to request your first flyer for free. The cost for the remaining three will be $30 total. If you would like to receive these, please call us at 1.800.441.5263 or visit the General Store at rliland.com.
2014 Institute Calendar of Events January
January 6-31: Essentials of Negotiation ONLINE Course January 6-31: Land Investment Analysis HYBRID Course January 30-31: Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges, Round Rock, TX
February 3-28: Agricultural Land Brokerage & Marketing HYBRID Course February 3-28: Mineral, Oil, and Property Rights ONLINE Course February 19: Google Earth for Land Development Professionals Hot Topic Web Seminar
March 12-14: 2014 National Land Conference, Charleston, SC
April 7-May 2: Marketing Strategies ONLINE Course April 7-May 2: Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges HYBRID Course April 21: Advanced Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges, Denver, CO
Stay up to date with Institute benefits, professional career tips, and market trends by connecting with the Institute on our social sites. “Like” us on our Facebook page--REALTORS® Land Institute; “Follow” us on Twitter--@RLILand; and “Connect” with us on LinkedIn—REALTORS® Land Institute/Accredited Land Consultants and the member exclusive listing group Lands for Sale Network. Contact the Institute at 1-800-441-5263 if you need assistance signing into the social media sites. Who knows—you might make your next deal as a result of social media contacts.
May 5-16: The Auction Tool HYBRID Course May 5-30: Legal Aspects of Real Estate ONLINE Course May 21: The Positives of Team Conflict Hot Topic Web Seminar May 12-17: NAR Midyear Meetings & Expo, Washington, DC
June 2-13: Basics of Eminent Domain Law HYBRID Course June 22-30: 2014 LANDU Education Week, Chicago, IL
July 7-August 1: Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage HYBRID Course July 7-August 1: Essentials of Negotiation ONLINE Course
August 7-29: Building Business Through Technology HYBRID Course August 7-29: Site Selection HYBRID Course
September 8-19: Advanced Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges HYBRID Course September 8-October 3: Tax Implications of Real Estate HYBRID Course
October 6-31: Mineral, Oil, & Property Rights ONLINE Course October 6-31: Timberland HYBRID Course
November 3-December 4: Land Investment Analysis HYBRID Course November 3-December 4: Marketing Strategies ONLINE Course November 5-10: NAR Annual Meeting Conference and Expo November 6: Leadership Day, New Orleans, LA
*Note: Additions and modifications may be made throughout the year. Visit www.rliland.com for updates.
AFFAIRS BRIEFING Russell W. Riggs RLI Government Aﬀairs Liaison National Association of REALTORS®
News and Notes from Inside the Beltway Rep. Luetkemeyer Urges Flexibility in Business Accounting Techniques Congressman Luetkemeyer (R-MO) is urging the House Ways and Means Committee flexibility to allow more small businesses to utilize easier accounting techniques. This could have implications for farmers and ranchers, and thus Institute members who have these operations as clients. The Committee is currently engaged in on-going, long-term discussions on comprehensive tax reform. The Committee's small business tax reform discussion draft includes two items of interest in this area: (1) The draft expands the gross receipts cap from $5 to $10 million, a reform that allows more small businesses to use the less arduous cash accounting method rather than the accrual method of accounting. (2) The draft subjects all small businesses to the gross receipts test, requiring businesses that go over a $10 million gross receipts threshold to transition their accounting methods from cash to accrual. This reform limits the use of the easier cash accounting technique for a number of small businesses including farms and ranches that go over the $10 million threshold. The change proposed by the Ways and Means draft is bad news for farming and ranching operations with average annual gross receipts over $10 million; but good news for every other kind of business, because it increases the threshold for using the cash method from $5 million to $10 million in average gross receipts. The Institute would like your thoughts and feedback on these proposals, especially on how it might impact your clients and your individual businesses. We will integrate that information into information we are sending to the Committee as they continue their tax-reform discussions. We will also send this information to Rep. Luetkemeyer as well.
distances (spatial) and time (temporal) as well as across landscapes and regions in an attempt to understand the variety in hydrology and biological and chemical connectivity across these waters. The panel made its comments at the end of a meeting held December 16-18 to discuss the draft of the EPA’s wetlands study, “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters.” The study was sent to the Science Advisory Board for review September 17. These recommendations are in response to concerns raised by representatives of the mining, real estate, homebuilding, and agricultural industries. On the second day of its three-day meeting, the panel said the agency incorrectly concluded in its draft wetlands study that insufficient evidence exists to generalize that geographically isolated and other wetlands and open waters located outside flood plains are connected to downstream waters. The panel said the evidence the agency included in the draft study didn’t match the conclusion. The panel of scientists was selected by the SAB to review the so-called draft connectivity study and make recommendations. Although still in draft form, this study is providing the scientific rationale for the joint EPA-U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed rule that is now undergoing interagency review at the White House Office of Management Budget. During the three-day meeting, the panel overwhelmingly rejected one of the draft study’s three main conclusions—that insufficient evidence existed for generalizing that isolated wetlands and waters located outside of flood plains were connected to downstream waters. Environmental advocates had criticized these findings in the draft. The decision by the scientific panel to incorporate the degree, magnitude, and intensity of connections of wetlands and streams to downstream waters underscores the concerns raised by various coalitions representing agriculture, real estate, mining, road builders, home builders, and municipal water utilities that the agency might bring all waters and wetlands under federal jurisdiction by showing the mere presence of a connection with downstream waters. Panel chairwoman Amanda Rodewald summed up the discussion, saying there was a need for the EPA to write the study with one voice and to remove inconsistencies in definitions and in the conclusions presented. At the conclusion of the three-day meeting, Rodewald said the final recommendations are due to the Science advisors Board by January 31, with a draft report released to the public for review and comment in mid-February. Following comments, the board will hold a public teleconference to discuss the comments in mid-March and to "hopefully reach consensus" in mid-April, Rodewald said. She said the goal of the panel is to submit a final report based on the recommendations to the EPA administrator by mid-June at the earliest. The EPA has said it will not finalize the jurisdiction rule before finalizing the connectivity study.
Scientific Panel to Advise EPA to Consider Link Between Wetlands, Downstream Waters
No New Farm Bill in 2013
An EPA Science Advisory Board said it will recommend the agency consider the degree, magnitude, and intensity of connections that isolated wetlands and other water bodies have with downstream waters in its scientific study of such linkages. The panel will advise that the EPA should look at how these connections with wetlands vary across
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a stopgap farm measure on Thursday, December 12 to avert a potential doubling in dairy prices next month while lawmakers wrap up a new farm bill that cuts food stamps for the poor and expands subsidized crop insurance. Lawmakers passed the bill, which extends current law
10 Winter 2014
Feature until Jan. 31, on a voice vote and sent it to the Senate, where the Democratic leaders oppose it and chances of passage are low. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, says a sizable number of senators oppose the extension because it may trigger $5 billion in “direct payment” subsidies to growers. The new farm bill would end those subsidies. The four top farm bill negotiators hope to agree soon on a framework for the new law so it can be passed when Congress returns to work in the New Year. The Farm Bill Conference Committee, composed of congressional representatives from the Senate and House, has been working since October but as yet has failed to agree on what should be in the bill. The Senate and the House have each passed their own vastly different versions. Dairy support programs, the subsidy payment basis and nutrition assistance (the SNAP program) have been the most heavily debated issues. Congress is more than a year late in replacing the 2008 farm law, which expired in fall 2012 but was extended until September 30. Dairy subsidies will revert on December 31 to terms of an underlying 1949 law that would double the price of milk in grocery stores.
Federal Ruling Upholds EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Standards On September 13, a U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay. Corn Growers joined the American Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural organizations in 2011, and since then have been challenging the legality of the EPA-established TMDL which standardizes how much sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorous can be discharged into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Agriculture groups stated the Chesapeake Bay TMDL goes beyond the scope of Clean Water Act authority, that the science used by the EPA is flawed, and that the regulatory process lacked transparency. The federal judge’s decision agreed with the EPA, stating the agency has broad federal authority under the Clean Water Act, and that the act is “all-encompassing and comprehensive statute that envisions a strong federal role for ensuring pollution reduction.” Agriculture groups argue that non-point load allocations should have been left to the affected states and are concerned with the implications of this ruling on other bodies of water. The Clean Water Act has authority over ‘point sources’ but not non-point sources. Agricultural groups have sixty days to decide whether to file an appeal with the Third Circuit Court in Philadelphia. Corn Growers are disappointed with the Court’s decision and are evaluating options with our coalition partners on how to proceed.
Broad Based Real Estate Coalition Comments on Senate Tax Reform Discussion Draft
accounting. This discussion draft included several proposals that would be devastating to commercial real estate, including: • • • •
Lengthening the depreciable life of real property to 43 years; Repealing section 1031 like-kind exchanges; Taxing gains on the sale of depreciable real property at ordinary income rates instead of the current-law 25% rate, to the extent of all prior depreciation; Repeal of the section 179D tax deduction for energy efficient buildings.
A broad-based real estate industry coalition commented on this draft listing of proposed tax reforms. The primary message is that these kinds of tax increases on real estate ownership and investment would have a chilling effect on real estate activity, lower real estate values, and stifle the real estate industry's ability to continue creating new jobs just as the economic recovery shows signs of picking up steam. While the Coalition applauded the objective of creating a modern, simpler, and fairer tax system to jumpstart economic growth, the proposals put forward would neither promote tax neutrality nor stimulate job growth in the real estate sector, which contributes nearly one-fifth to our Nation's GDP. On the contrary, if enacted in their current form, the proposals threaten to derail the main engine of the economic recovery, real estate activity and investment. In the letter, the Coalition recognized the need for reform. "The members of our organizations look forward to working with the Committee in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that tax reform helps strengthen the economic recovery and spurs job creation by removing unnecessary tax obstacles to real estate investment and activity.” Excessive tax complexity is an artificial and unnecessary burden that can suffocate small businesses and entrepreneurs. Special tax preferences interfere with capital allocation and distort investment decisions. The discussion drafts are a critical procedural step on the road to tax reform, and the Coalition expressed its desire to work closely with the Committee as it considers changes to other tax rules that significantly influence real estate investment, jobs, and growth, such as capital gains preferences, the deductibility of business interest, and reforms to pass-through entities.
About the author: In his position with the National Association of REALTORS®, Russell Riggs serves as Institute’s Government Affairs Liaison in Washington, D.C., conducting advocacy on a variety of federal issues related to land. Riggs will be a presenter at the 2014 National Land Conference in Charleston, SC, taking place on March 12-14.
In November 2013, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) released a tax reform discussion draft addressing cost recovery and tax
TerraFirma Winter 2014 11
Key Ratio Indicator Could Help Navigate Correction in Farmland Values Mike Walsten, Editor, LandOwner Newsletter
With commodity prices down sharply from a year earlier and Midwestern farmland prices showing signs of flattening, even correcting somewhat in select areas, current landowners and potential land buyers are asking how much of a setback in land values could be ahead. Obviously, no one knows. But this ratio may offer some guidance. Developed by Dr. Danny Klinefelter, Texas A&M University, it is the ratio of U.S. farm business debt versus U.S. net farm income. These figures are compiled and released by USDAâ€™s Economic Research Service. It shows the very key relationship between farm income and debt, and more importantly, the ability to service existing debt. The experience of the 1970s and early 1980s shows how the ratio is useful. The ratio remained under 4:1 through the early 1970s. Then it moved above 4:1 in 1976 and remained there well into the 1980s. Land values continued to surge in the late 1970s but the ratio worsened as incomes failed to keep pace with the rise in debt levels. Basically, U.S. agriculture was adding debt faster than it added the ability to service that debt. The ratio rose above 6:1 in 1980 when farm income was sliced by more than 40%. That income cut came in the wake of implementation of a grain sale embargo to the former Soviet Union. Farm income struggled going forward and was unable to service the massive debt accumulated in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Farmers re-financed and re-structured debt hoping farm income would rebound, but a sharp spike in interest rates engineered by the Federal Reserve Bank, designed to end inflation, sent financing costs soaring. Farm incomes did not recover and the sharp decline in farmland values created the collapse in agriculture Land values bottomed in 1987 as the ratio slipped under 4:1 for the first time in 11 years. The ratio has exceeded 4:1 only once since then, in 2002. Farm incomes surged in 2003, and the ratio has held under 4:1 ever since. (It approached that mark in 2009, however, as the nation struggled with the financial crisis of 2008.) The ratio currently stands at a healthy 2.4:1 and should remain positive for 2014. This suggests farmland values could stagnate or even correct somewhat without damaging their long-term uptrend.
12 Winter 2014
The key will be how farmers handle debt during 2015 to 2017. If incomes are constrained and farmers lay on debt to maintain spending, the ratio could surge above 4:1. That would be a negative warning. If the ratio climbs above 4:1 and remains there for three or more years, that would suggest farmland values are in for a major set-backâ€“possibly as severe as the decline posted in the 1980s when Iowa farmland values declined more than 60%. However, if farmers keep debt levels under control, farm incomes could drop nearly 40% and still keep the ratio under 4:1. If the ratio stays under 4:1, that would suggest farmland values will go through a typical 20% to 25% correction and then resume their long-term uptrend.
About the author: Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 35 years. Walsten has lived, reported, and analyzed the impact of volatile markets on farm and ranch businesses and on land prices. He applies his extensive background and analytical skills to todayâ€™s surprising farm and ranch market as editor of LandOwner. LandOwner is a partner/sponsor of the 2014 National Land Conference on March 12-14 in Charleston, SC.
Ray Brownfield, ALC, 2012 National Institute President, was featured in This Week in Agribusiness on November 23, 2013. In the interview, Brownfield discussed the value of farm land over the past three years and his expectations for 2014. This may be viewed at http://farmprogressamerica.com/ video.aspx/week-agribusiness-november-23-2013part-2-14-1921.
John A. McAllister, Jr., ALC, 2014 National Land Conference Chair was a panelist at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo on November 9 in San Francisco, CA. The session Mission Impossible: Make Money with Referrals was conducted by a panel of experts delivering referral tips to attendees. McAllister is the emcee of the 2014 National Land Conference.
Bob Turner, ALC, participated in Shark Tank Memphis on September 24, 2013. Based on the popular TV show, this event, organized by the Urban Land Institute Memphis and the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® Commercial Council, brought together area real estate entrepreneurs who vet their proposals to a four-person panel of “sharks”—expert investors with decades of experience.
Rodney Rogers, ALC, of South Carolina, was honored with the National Association of REALTORS® 2013 National Commercial Award for his local accomplishments. The Spartanburg Association of REALTORS® Inc chose him as the award recipient. They also awarded him with the 2013 Accredited Land Consultant of the Year award.
Christina Asbury, ALC, has been selected to participate in the North Carolina Association of Realtors® Leadership Academy. This program is designed to foster a new generation of association leaders diverse in age, career, experience, culture and gender—a generation that wants to be involved, make a difference and become the visionaries of tomorrow. Asbury also serves as the Carolina's Institute Chapter President and is a member of the Future Leaders Committee. Jon Hjelm, ALC, presented Real Estate Auctions: The Real Deal on November 9, 2013 at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco, CA. Hjelm interpreted the benefits of auctions, how they are conducted, and how to increase buyer competition through property packaging and target marketing. Hjelm will be “at the helm” leading the 2014 Auctioneer Dream Team during the Greatest Cowboy Auction on Earth on Thursday, March 13 at the 2014 National Land Conference in Charleston, SC as well as facilitating the roundtable discussion on Tactics for Land Auctions on Friday, March 14.
Clay Taylor, ALC, received the National Association of REALTORS® 2013 National Commercial Award for his local achievements in the commercial real estate industry. His commitment and successes were acknowledged when he received the 2012 Florida Land REALTOR® of the Year award. Taylor, of Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate in Lakeland, FL, serves as the REALTORS® Land Institute Florida Chapter Treasurer. Nancy Surak, ALC, presented at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo on November 8, 2013 in San Francisco, CA. The session, Current Trends in Transitional Land, focused on lessons learned working transitional land deals over the last decade in Florida and offered advice to other REALTORS® across the nation. Surak will be leading the Online Marketing round table discussion on Friday, March 14 at the 2014 National Land Conference.
3430 I-40 West Amarillo, TX 79102
806.355.9856 Seven offices and 20 sales associates make Clift Land Brokers the obvious choice for your agriculture real estate needs. Specializing in farms, ranches, large agriculture facilities, and commercial real restate.
George Clift, ALC Sheldon Snyder, ALC Zurick Labrier, ALC Headquartered in Amarillo, Texas Branch Offices
Dalhart ~ Hereford ~ Littlefield ~ Pampa ~ Perryton ~ Stratford Licensed in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska
Winter 2014 13
Member News ALCs Represent Honor and Integrity Professional integrity is the cornerstone of credibility reflecting high principles and standards of practice. The Code of Conduct for Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) provides guidelines for making ethical choices in the conduct of their work. Each year, designees revisit and sign the ALC Code of Conduct.
Preamble Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) are honorable land professionals who recognize the importance of land to life. ALCs share in the responsibility to conduct themselves with high morals following the ALC Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS速.
ALC Code of Conduct 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Protect and promote the best interest of clients Display high moral and professional standards Avoid exaggeration and misrepresentation of relevant facts Treat all with honesty and respect Stay current in industry knowledge and trends Enhance the integrity and professionalism of the industry Cooperate with fellow real estate professionals Follow local, state, and national laws regarding disclosure Will not condone or participate in discriminatory practices Support, understand, and champion institute policies
The Institute is proud of ALCs who bring the highest level of integrity to the business of land. Below is a list of the ALCs who in 2013 signed the Code: Andrea Anderson, ALC Stephen Anderson, ALC Sage Andress, ALC Eric Andrews, ALC James Anselmi, ALC Jesse Armistead, ALC Stan Armstrong, ALC Christina Asbury, ALC Sandra Bahe, ALC William Barnett, ALC Stan Bennett, ALC Terry Bickel, ALC William Blalock, ALC Robert Bole, ALC R. Max Boots, ALC Max Brand, ALC Alan Bridevaux, ALC Edwin Broussard, ALC Ray Brownfield, ALC Robert Bugg, ALC Patricia Burns, ALC Sheelah Clarkson, ALC George Clift, ALC William Crenshaw, ALC R. Mark Crews, ALC Benjamin Crosby, ALC Candace Cummings Ball, ALC John Dean, ALC Richard Delisle, ALC Andrew DeSalvo, ALC Cal Dickson, ALC Robert Dikman, ALC
14 Winter 2014
Marty Domres, ALC Don Ellers, ALC Stephen England, ALC Rick Epperson, ALC James Erlandson, ALC William Eshenbaugh, ALC Wendy Forthim, ALC Wade Fitzgerald, ALC Karen Fried, ALC Dale Fulk, ALC Edgar Gaddis, ALC Charles Gayre, ALC John Gibbs, ALC Gary Giles, ALC Kirk Goble, ALC Richard Gonzalez, ALC Aaron Graham, ALC Alan Grimm, ALC Kyle Hansen, ALC Charles Hawley, ALC Howard Haynie, ALC Roger Heller, ALC Hunt Hellums, ALC Tom Herbert, ALC David Hitchcock, ALC Jon Hjelm, ALC John Hopkins, ALC Ryan Hostetler, ALC Alan Howard, ALC Gerald Huffman, ALC William Hugron, ALC Marvin Huntrods, ALC
Darrell Hylen, ALC Larry Ilfeld, ALC Franklin Jamison, ALC Terri Jensen, ALC Ivan Judd, ALC Samuel Kain, ALC Patrick Karst, ALC Dan Kevorkian, ALC Robert King, ALC Craig King, ALC David Klein, ALC Michael Konstant, ALC Donald Kracke, ALC Mike Kuppenbender, ALC Zurick Labrier, ALC Michael Landreth, ALC Jesse Lane, ALC Charles Lathem, ALC John Leezer, ALC Mark Lewis, ALC Alexander Long, ALC Jorge Loredo, ALC Troy Louwagie, ALC Michael Lunn, ALC Brad Lyle, ALC Fletcher Majors, ALC Paul Marsh, ALC Curtis Marshall, ALC Gordan Martin, ALC John McAllister, ALC John Mccrocklin, ALC Daniel McFadden, ALC
Mike Mcginnis, ALC Philip McGinnis, ALC Eric Mcsweeney, ALC Brian Meece, ALC James Menzer, ALC Rick Merrill, ALC Bart Miller, ALC David Milton, ALC Mark Mommsen, ALC R. Michael Moore, ALC G. Kent Morris, ALC LeeAnn Moss, ALC Kevin Murray, ALC Thomas Niewohner, ALC Jerry Norwood, ALC Wayne Novotny, ALC Luke Olson, ALC Leah Olson, ALC Carl Olson, Sr., ALC Glenn Parks, ALC Yvonne Perkins, ALC Jeff Ratliff, ALC Roger Rebman, ALC Bob Reese, ALC Todd Renfrew, ALC Frank Rock, ALC Henry Rogers, ALC Williams Rollins, ALC Dennis Saffell, ALC Dean Saunders, ALC Florence Sayre, ALC Eric Schlutz, ALC
Jimmy Settle, ALC Daniel Smith, ALC Thomas Smith, ALC A. Souza, ALC Jeramy Stephens, ALC Michelle Stone, ALC Winnie Stortzum, ALC John Taylor, ALC William Taylor, ALC Douglas Terry, ALC Tim Thomas, ALC Glenn Thomas, ALC William Throne, ALC David Vanderlaan, ALC Jeffe ry Waddell, ALC Jerry Wallace, ALC Dan Ward, ALC Keith Waterman, ALC Kirk Weih, ALC Eric West, ALC Craig Wetterlund, ALC Judson Wilhoit, ALC David Williams, ALC Charles Wingert, ALC Murray R. Wise, ALC Robert Wood, ALC Allen Worrell, ALC Daphne Zollinger, ALC Kim Collier, ALC
2014 Tertile Membership Drive The time to refer a new member has never been better! When membership grows, so does the strength of the organization. Share with peers and colleagues the benefits of joining the Institute and the value of the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation and WIN the following: • • •
Recruit two new members and receive a $50 cash card Recruit three to four new members and receive a $100 cash card Recruit fi ve or more and receive a free 2015 National Land Conference Registration or a $200 cash card
**New members must indicate the member who referred them in the referral section on their application. A special thank you to the following Ambassadors who brought valuable new members to the Institute: Aaron Graham, ALC Brian Rose Cathy Cole, ALC Chuck Simpson David Jirasek, ALC Dean Saunders, ALC Deitra Robertson, ALC Flo Sayre, ALC
Frank Roberts, ALC George Clift, ALC Hines Boyd Jeff Phelps John Hjelm, ALC John Lile, IV John Walenciak Jon Hjelm, ALC
Kem Winternitz, ALC Ken Richardson, ALC Mac Boyd, ALC Myers Jackson Rob Langford Roger Johnson Stephen Ferrandi, ALC Steve Anderson, ALC
Terri Jensen, ALC Terry Pauling Tom Percival Troy Louwagie, ALC Wayne Cooper, ALC Ben Adler
Congratulations to the winners of the Fall 2013 Membership Drive: Myers Jackson—$100 American Express gift card Frank Roberts, ALC—¼ page advertisement in TERRA FIRMA ($300 value) Jon Hjelm, ALC—Charleston Carriage Tour at the 2014 National Land Conference ($34 value) Rob Langford—$100 LANDU gift card to use towards a course of choice.
The official land listing site of the REALTORS® Land Institute
www.thelandconnections.com *The server for the site is Lands of America (LOA). Those active members who have accounts with LOA will have their properties displayed on our listing site. If you are not a current subscriber to Lands of America and are an active Institute member, you will have three months free on LAND CONNECTIONS. After three months, you would need to have a level of a subscription to stay posted on the listing site.
Winter 2014 15
Chapter News Arkansas Chapter
The Institute is pleased to welcome our newest Institute chapter—Arkansas Institute Chapter “Number 8.” Thank you to Jeramy Stephens, ALC, of Mossy Oak Properties of Stuttgart who was a driving force in forming this chapter.
On September 19, 2013 the Iowa Institute Chapter installed its 2013-2014 officers. Chuck Wingert, ALC, 2013 National Institute President visited to swear in Terry Pauling as President; Eric Schulz, ALC, as President-Elect; and Dave Pluim as Vice President. In addition, the chapter recognized performance of members from January-December 2012 at the Lands
The chapter officers are as follows: Jeramy Stephens, ALC, 2014 President Joel King, ALC, 2014 Vice President Gar Lile, 2014 Secretary/Treasurer Colorado Chapter Art Girten was named the 2013 Colorado Land REALTOR® of the Year. Girten of Girten Land Company of Breckenricge, CO, was honored for his demonstrated competency, production, and excellence in the area of land brokerage and for his contributions to the Institute. He is actively involved in the ranch and land business and serves on the chapter’s board of directors. Georgia Chapter This fall, George Clift, ALC, 2014 National Institute President visited the Georgia chapter to install the 2014 incoming officers. The 2014 officers are Charles “Charlie” T. Lanthern, ALC, President; Wayne Groover, Vice President; FD Brown, Secretary; and Harold “Huddy” R. Hudgens, Jr., ALC, Treasurer.
Property Films•Photography Agency Promotional Films•Brochures NEWSTORYMEDIA.COM
16 Winter 2014
Trends and Values Press Conference and Awards Luncheon in Iowa. Matt Adams: 2012 Rookie of the Year Eric Schlutz, ALC: 2012 Deal of the Year Steve Bruere: 2012 Farm and Land Broker of the Year Kansas Chapter The Kansas Chapter of the REALTORS® Land Institute met for a Meeting and Marketing Event on November 6-7. Attendees met new acquaintances and took away resources to better their business. Jason Lamprecht, Acting-Director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, was the featured speaker and the event was sponsored by Charted Territory. Texas Chapter On October 24, 2013, Scott Doggett, Esq., taught Eminent Domain Law for Real Estate Professionals in Round Rock, TX. The course hosted by the Texas Association of REALTORS® provided participants a thorough review of the historical development of eminent domain law in the United States, an overview of eminent domain procedures, sources, and the elements of compensation.
Changing Government Policies & Impact to New Solar Project Development Jesse Tippett, Senior Project Developer, Borrego Solar Systems Albie Fong, Key Account Executive, Talesun SolarUSA William Hugron, ALC, Ashwill Associates
One megawatt (MW) of solar power requires roughly six to eight acres of land, and each MW equates to approximately 164 homes powered according to recent findings by SEIA. It therefore comes as no surprise that utility scale solar projects require an abundance of land. Sites for these big projects have ranged in size from as little as five acres to as large as a few thousand acres. The development timeline for bringing a solar project to commercial operation can be anywhere from two to four years. Each piece of this process—from obtaining site control and approval of interconnection and local use permits to securing a power purchase agreement and ensuring the project can be financed—is critical and requires a confidence of not only execution, but also presence of another key factor: stable policies and regulation. As the development of a solar project requires significant time and capital, it is no wonder that stable policy is a key ingredient. The decision to begin a project is not taken lightly, and one must have every certainty that a regulatory framework will provide a longterm foundation. For the last six years, and until the end of 2016, the federal government has provided financial incentives to solar projects of all sizes, consisting of a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC). Coupled with accelerated depreciation (MACRS), together they can offset nearly half of a project’s costs. The eight-year extension provided in 2008 spurred healthy and continual growth to the current market, which now boasts more installations of solar per year than in several of the early years combined. In just the first half of 2013, 1,557 MW of solar was installed, which equates to more than three billion dollars in investment. Today, we are only two years away from the end of the ITC, and after this eight-year extension, the incentives could plunge from 30 percent to 10 percent if Congress does not propose another extension. With this looming, large deadline where projects may have a significant hit on the rate of return after 2016, there is uncertainty in the market for development. Projects have relied on a known structure, and while there has been strong growth, some might argue that solar technology is still young and that it is too early to lift the support for a burgeoning industry. Let us remember that climate change arguments aside, it is hard to argue against the fact that solar energy in the U.S. can create energy independence. If a new project were to start a two- to four-year development process today, and no federal incentive policy is approved, the project must contend with a huge potential change in economic viability. Instead, today’s project developers are being conscious of taking on too many new projects while being mindful of the amount of upfront development costs, including the cost of leasing or optioning project sites. From a land owner’s perspective, it is likely that with unclear federal policy, project developers will choose to enter into a short-term land
option agreement instead of purchasing the property. Additionally, a land lease with an option to cancel will become fairly common; this includes basically anything that offers less long-term financial liability with the looming federal incentive uncertainty. Project developers will also be more careful to target new sites closer to transmission lines and perhaps smaller sites, which have a higher likelihood of timely interconnection and don’t necessitate building extensive amounts of transmission lines, which require added costs, lengthy approvals and right–of-way permits.
Private Land vs. BLM It is clear that the trend in recent years has been to go with private land over Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. Colorado, for instance, has provided some great examples: because of the increased permitting time it takes to bring a project from initiation to operation, private land has almost extensively been chosen. One glaring example from Colorado displayed solar industry stakeholders not wanting to develop on public lands. A late 2013, competitive auction of three federal land sites—which totaled over 1,000 acres per site—gained no bids. These sites were designated as Solar Energy Zones (SEZ), which were identified to be more suitable for solar development due to the environmental site characteristics and access to transmission. The initial request from BLM generated nine applications from five companies and more than two dozen “expression of interests.” Even with the minimum bid set at five percent of the land value for one year, no one showed up when the formal auction came up last October. The minimum bid was $63/acre, and still no one came to the auction table. The clear message is that with an uncertain regulatory environment especially on projects that will perhaps take longer to develop, project developers are unwilling to take on projects which have a substantial amount of risk at almost any cost.
New Markets Federal policy is pertinent to consistent general growth in the solar industry and throughout the country, but the implementation of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) can provide expansion or implementation of new solar facilities in states that have had little history of solar installations. An RPS is a state level regulation that requires power utilities to obtain a percentage of their electricity from renewable resources and in some cases, a carve-out will be specified for solar. From the land perspective, it is important to watch closely the implementation of an RPS within a state to dictate the future demand for land for solar energy projects and determine if the growth will be more shifted around the residential, commercial, or utility scale market (each having different land or rooftop
TerraFirma Winter 2014 17
Feature requirements). RPS levels in various states range from 4 percent to 30 percent, with California, Colorado, and New York having some of the most aggressive targets for major RPS milestones targeted between 2015 and 2020. Some states still have no RPS. While there has been much news about the desert southwest and even New Jersey over the last few years, some of the fastest growing markets seen are North Carolina and Massachusetts. Of the two, North Carolina has been the location for a larger abundance of utility scale projects. In just a few years, the installed capacity in North Carolina is estimated to surpass 285 MW by the end of 2013 and has catapulted to become the fifth largest solar state in terms of installed capacity, in the first quarter of 2013. Looking toward the future, there are certain markets like Minnesota and Georgia that should be seeing exponential growth in the coming years. Minnesota is not known as a sunny state, but state legislation would require local utilities to add 1.5 percent of their generation of energy from solar. Georgia does not have a state RPS but provides an interesting scenario that includes a voluntary solar initiative where Georgia Power’s utility scale program would procure 60 MW per year over a three-year period, and an additional 30 MW would come from rooftop distributed generation. “Project developers have historically been attracted to the California market due to the high RPS, and those that have been able to overcome the strict environmental permitting obstacles have been successful and completed large projects,” stated Solar Energy Sector Manager Nicolas Figone of Ecology & Environment. “But the recent trend is that more developers are moving out of California and into emerging markets with less permitting red tape.” The best way to capitalize on land’s beneficial characteristics to project developers is to make sure that these sites are being promoted in the solar market well before project’s energy bidding occurs to the utilities. This is because usually site control is required in order to make a bid to a utility. After a project developer has secured a power contract with a utility, it usually has little flexibility to change the site, as the project is firmly associated with a particular parcel or collection of land parcels.
Value of Land In some ways, the value of land for solar projects has followed the cost of solar systems, which has dropped significantly over the past few years. But the value has also followed the certainty and time left on the “incentive clock.” Remember that many solar sites are just big, unwanted sections of vacant land. That said, in 2008, some projects had inked deals for high per-acre values in excess of $15,000-$20,000. “Location, location, location” still dictates price of land, but at the end of the day, the lower cost systems of today combined with the looming incentive deadline on 2016 have adjusted land prices to more reasonable and less speculative levels. The wind industry has been hit constantly with the same “start” and “stop” situation on incentives, which the solar industry hopes to avoid. Rest assured, however, if long term federal policy be enacted, or even long term state RPSs, land that is vacant and perhaps unusable for any purpose other than for solar will see an increase in value overnight.
18 Winter 2014
Best Practices and Things to Avoid As land is the first piece of a long development process it can be a big part of an initial “Go, No-Go” decision and one of the first conversations about land is often between landowners and developers about price. If issues will arise, they are likely to present themselves at this initial stage so it is important to manage expectations and for both sides to be honest about what they each need for the deal to work for them. If both sides are in line with the markets and working in good faith its likely they can get to a deal. After coming to commercial terms on the land agreement, the next part of a project’s development cycle will be about the energy contract and in parallel the permitting process. This part of the process is often the one where patience is required. For groups or individuals not familiar with the project development, it can be confusing and seem like not much is getting done or things have stopped altogether. Again, communication is important between the developers managing the process and the landowners. Its not uncommon that the landowners local connections can come into play to help dislodge development roadblocks when they are informed. The cost to construct a project is really a key variable and the earlier in the process it is defined the higher likelihood of success and this is where experienced constructors or EPCs can add value. These groups can help to minimize the impact of site issues that may arise like poor quality soils or even helping to fit a project into a small site footprint avoiding sensitive areas (like cultural zones or important habitat areas).
Who Can Help to Market or Sell Land Private landowners may have energy development experience, but for those that do not and are interested in using properties for this purpose, seeking expert advice to determine a site’s value is important. Land brokers experienced in the field can be a great resource. Jesse Tippett is a senior project developer at Borrego Solar Systems where he is currently seeking 1-20MW solar projects to finance - build own and operate.
Albie Fong is the Key Account Executive of Talesun Solar USA, a leading PV module manufacturer. With Tippett, he co-authored the book “Project Development in the Solar Industry.”
William Hugron, ALC, is a commercial broker in California. Hugron who is a partner in Ashwill Associates and is in involved with solar and other alternative energy brokerage.
The Generational Impact: Consumer and Agent Nancy Gardner, President, nGardner Group
If real estate companies want profitability they must first understand the consumer today. A generational overview will help provide guidelines for ways to be adaptive to each generation and their preferences. The differences among the generations affect the real estate industry twofold: the consumers we seek to serve and the agents who work with us. I am amazed at how little training and application is done in this area that is so critical to customer satisfaction. Your approach is important – our brains are wired differently through education, parental involvement, historical perspective, the economy, and the ways we learned to get information as well as how we communicate it. Generational characteristics are not right or wrong, just different.
Traditionalists/Matures: Born before 1945 THINK RADIO Patient and respectful, self-sacrificing – they were a part of WWII – if not directly, they felt the effects of the war at home as children. They set the course for modern America. As consumers, they expect you to take the time to communicate directly with them. Do not rely on email or text messages and even voice mail can be tricky. Home ownership is a big deal to this group and they believe it warrants the time and effort required. They are generally very fair and amenable to negotiate with as they are logical and fair minded as a rule. They like organization, systems, and a rational approach with explanations. This is also a male dominant group - a more traditional role model, keep that in mind in your approach. As agents, the traditionalists like a well-run office that has logical and fair policies and procedures. They are respectful to management, prefer a “top down” approach and expect leadership to do the right thing. They understand doing the best for the most. They are loyal, long-term members of the team and not as outspoken as those their junior. They tend to take a more conservative approach and see technology as a necessary tool, but not an answer to everything. They want and expect training. As a rule, coaching is not for them and prefer to be well trained.
Baby Boomers: Born 1945-1964 THINK TELEVISION Heaven knows when the majority of boomers will retire as they are defined by our accomplishments, live to work, are materialistic and tend to spend everything they make. Boomers are great at building relationships – they had to be – when they all hit the school system after their fathers returned from the WWII, they had to find some way to manage all of us and so we were graded on our ability to get along well with others. Boomers were naturally socialized as children; mothers stayed at home and if they wanted to play with someone, they hit the screen door running and found plenty of kids within the neighborhood who were more than happy to oblige. As consumers, Boomers value relationships and will forgive a lot to keep them intact. Most like being recognized by name; respond
well to phone calls and voice mail; email to a degree and limited texting. Since they were taught to be sociable, they expect the same from those they work with – the relationship is the basis for everything. They understand that technology is necessary in today’s world, and many have come to terms with its importance –about one half of Boomers have assimilated technology to near Generation X levels. People matter most. One caveat, do not under any circumstance think that the relationship will survive incompetence–and the importance of being knowledgeable practitioners is required as never before given today’s market conditions and angry consumerism. As agents, Boomers love recognition and feeling a part of an office identity. We view work as also social (since we tend to spend all of our time there) and the environment should be supportive. Boomers are generally loyal and team minded to a point and expect management to be knowledgeable and provide trusted leadership as well as keep things fun and directed. Good training is highly valued. Coaching may get a lukewarm reception until they experience the benefits. Important to note, it will be interesting to see how well Boomers will transition into the new world of real estate business people. They must accept and understand they have a job to do based on skill and their ability to get results in a challenging marketplace and that they will be measured by their ability to get results instead of their ability to bond. In short, moving from all personal relationship to a respected skill based relationship backed up by the ‘numbers’. One last point about Boomers is that you would do well to remember that no matter how old - Boomers still consider themselves “cool”.
Generation X: Born 1964-1980 THINK PERSONAL COMPUTER Gen X’ers are not typical of any group we have known – and there are some very good reasons for that. X’ers are self-reliant and independent and come across as always looking out for “me”. When you take into account that they were the first real generation of divorce, had working mothers, little adult supervision and pretty much raised themselves, their traits are not hard to understand. They witnessed the Challenger explosion; the Gulf War, learned that they could die from having sex (AIDS), saw corporate and political leaders fail under their own doing– no heroes for this crowd. And since they saw their parents worked themselves into divorce and disease, only to be down sized, they are not about to give everything to work. They want a good balance between work and home and strive to create the stable family life that they didn’t have growing up. They are not a trusting group and no wonder, as the two people they loved the most lied to them and ended up apart - why should they be? As consumers, they want correct transparent information the first time and they will make decisions accordingly. They don’t trust relationships
TerraFirma Winter 2014 19
Feature the same way Boomers do – you’ll earn all of that by the knowledge, advice and counsel you give them as well as following through on what you said you would do. They expect networking as a part of conducting business. If you don’t include them in your networking, don’t expect to get their business because they “know” you. If you want their business, work for it and let your results speak for them. Again, they will choose based on what’s in their best interests – not yours. It’s just business. As agents, Gen Xer’s expect knowledgeable management that can teach them how to earn the living they expect in this business. They want coaching and believe that it’s the best approach for increased production. Training must be updated and relevant and delivered by someone who knows what he or she is doing. Training videos should be available for review, understanding that the video is no substitute for a dynamic, relevant, and knowledgeable trainer. Some believe that X’ers want to do everything on their own. I disagree. Training requirements ARE valued IF the training is worth their time. Once you have earned their respect and trust in this regard, getting them to attend is not an issue. Coaching a Gen Xer should focus on the attainment of their goals and increasing their freedom. Keep in mind that their time is valuable (think time away from loved ones) and if you show them ways to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness, they will value you.
Millennial: Born 1980 – 1997 THINK INTERNET I call this generation ‘digital in diapers’. If they can’t “Google” you – then you must be in the witness protection program! As a group, their childhood was generally affluent. This group did not carry the stigma of divorce, it was the norm. The way we divorced changed too – think joint custody. After school was
planned as well, lots of activities and plenty of socializing with play groups and sports. As a result, friends are very important to this group, often giving them what their families could not. By this time, parents had turned into helicopters and the Millennial child was raised in an environment that revolved around them. As consumers, this bunch works through strong connections. If one person in their sphere worked with you and liked you; then all of them will. Here again, networking is highly valued. They may choose to work with you because their parents did. Consider them peers and treat them as you would any respected client. Technology is expected and you better be able to text on a regular basis. Web sites, smart phones and tablets are a given as well as a presence on social media sites. Think “Connected” to the “nth” degree. As agents, Millennials tend to expect to earn a lot of money quickly, and want to feel they are making a contribution. Coaching and strong training are a must. They expect flexibility and a dress code can be a challenge. About the author: Nancy Gardner teaches real estate management how to run highly productive and profitable companies. Nancy is an author, public speaker, and has successfully coached hundreds of real estate owners, general managers, and managers in the practical basics of running highly skilled, competitive and profitable companies. She is the author of the recently published: “The Brokers Bible – the way back to profit for today’s real estate company.” Her second book, “Results Matter” will be published first quarter of 2014.
LEADING COMMERCIAL EXPERTS BEST COMMERCIAL PRACTICES IN 15 MINUTES
20 Winter 2014
Listen or Download: REALTOR.org/CCP follow us on twitter @commsource
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Partners/Sponsors REALTORS速 Land Institute extends special recognition to the partners/sponsors of the 2014 National Land Conference for their commitment to the organization and to land.
Exhibit and Session Sponsors
If you would like to partner with the Institute for the 2014 National Land Conference, a range of opportunities are available and customized programs can be developed. Visit http://www. rliland.com/sponsor-opportunities or call 1.800.441.5263 for more information.
IF LAND COULD TALK 2014 National Land Conference
The Historic Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, S.C. March 12-14, 2014
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS See y’all in Charleston, S.C. where the best-in-the-land business will learn, network, and make deals!
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12 PRE-CONFERENCE Institute Committee and Board Meetings 8:00–8:45 am (concurrent meetings) • RLI Government Affairs Committee • RLI ALC Designation Committee
9:00–9:45 am (concurrent meetings) • RLI Education Committee • Future Leaders Committee
Discussion: Differentiate Yourself with ALC
Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC, 2013 Meeks Distinguished Service Award Eshenbaugh Land Company
2014 CONFERENCE BEGINS 2:00 – 4:30 pm 2:00 – 4:30 pm 4:45 – 5:45 pm
Conference Registration & Exhibits Open Partner Exhibit Visits Citadel Color Guards and Pipes Charleston Where History Lives–Welcome
Wil Riley, President of Trident Association of REALTORS®
Doin’ What Comes Naturally 1:30 – 2:15 pm What REALTORS® Need to Know about the Natural Resources Conservation Service Leonard Jordan Associate Chief for Conservation USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
5:45 – 6:15 pm
6:30 – 8:00 pm
Meet, Greet, and Make Money
Open to all registered conference attendees. Come prepared with a “one-minute” elevator speech about you and your business. Bring marketing materials and plenty of cards.
Bourbon and Boots
2014 RLI President’s Inaugural Reception
THURSDAY, MARCH 13 Rise and Shine 7:00 – 7:45 am 8:00 – 8:10 am
Continental Breakfast Mornin’ Everyone
John McAllister, ALC, 2014 National Land Conference Chair
State of the Economy 8:10 – 9:00 am The Economic Outlook for 2014
9:00 – 9:45 am
9:45 – 10:30 am
10:45 – 11:15 am
William Emmons, PhD Assistant Vice President and Economist Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
State of the U.S. Real Estate- “Wipe Out or Thriller Ride?”
KC Conway Executive Managing Director of Real Estate Analytics Colliers International
Entertaining Insights in the Energy Sector: From Red-Hot to Luke-Warm
Detlef Hallermann, PhD Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Finance Texas A&M University
Farmland: More Room to Run?
Brent Gloy, PhD Professor of Agriculture Economics Purdue University
Leveraging the Credit Union to Your Benefit: Victoria Gillespie, National Director The Scoop on 1031 Exchanges: James Miller, Esq. Regional Business Environments: South Central Region: Rusty Lowe, ALC Northwest Region: Flo Sayre, ALC Southwest Region: John Stratman Southeast Region: Bob Hatcher, ALC Northeast Region: Bill Burruss, III, ALC North Central Region: Kyle Hansen, ALC
Opportunity Knocks 8:45 – 9:40 am The World is Your Oyster... How are You Going to Shuck it?
As Hot as a $2 Pistol 2:15 – 3:00 pm When Someone Says AUCTION, What Words Come to Mind? Go...
9:30 – 10:15 am
3:00 – 3:45 pm
10:15 – 10:45 am
4:15 – 4:55 pm
Salute to 70 years
Chris Polychron, 2014 President-Elect National Association of REALTORS® Greetings and Recognition Event George Clift, ALC--2014 REALTORS® Land Institute National President
Barstool Chat with Economists
Moderator, Bob Turner, ALC, 2014 RLI Vice President
Celebration Time…Come On!! Noon – 1:15 pm 70th Anniversary Luncheon
RLI Board of Directors Meeting
PRESENTATION EXCLUSIVELY FOR ALCS 1:00 –1:45 pm
11:30 – 11:50 am
Brent Wellings, CAI, Auction Manager Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company
Google Earth for Land Development Professionals
Eric Pimpler President Geospatial Training Services
Be in High Cotton Concurrent Sessions (Choose one to attend) Using Search Engine Marketing in Your 5:00 – 5:45 pm Business
5:00 – 5:45 pm
Myers Jackson, CAI, AARE, CES, ATS Real Estate Auction Specialist United Country Certified Real Estate
RLI Has a Voice 11:00 – 11:20 am
Goin’ Once, Goin’ Twice, Sold! 6:30 – 7:45 pm Greatest Cowboy Auction On Earth 7:45 pm Dinner on Your Own—Enjoy Charleston Cuisine
FRIDAY, MARCH 14 Southern Hospitality 7:00 – 8:30 am Hot Topic Breakfast Round Tables
AGLAND Trends: Randy Hertz, ALC On the Fracking Edge: Mac Boyd, ALC Generational Differences and Connections: Renee Harvey, ALC Online Marketing: Nancy Surak, ALC Tactics for Land Auctions: Jon Hjelm, ALC The International Market: Minor Taylor, ALC Technology and the Land Business: Myers Jackson Land Values: The Appraiser’s Role: Terri Jensen, ALC, 2014 National Institute President-Elect Land Income Producing Opportunities: Ray Brownfield, ALC Tips for Entrepreneurs: Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC Government Affairs: George Harvey Regional Variations in the Timber Market: How This Affects Land Values: Dean McCraw, Certified Forester More on Mapping: Fletcher Majors, ALC Chat with NAR Commercial Staff: Jean Maday, Director Spreading the Word to Clients: Kate Noble, RLI Staff Future Leaders: What Works? What Doesn’t?: Dan Flanagan, ALC How RPR Can Help Your Business: Emily Line, Director
Samuel Boxerman, Esq. Partner Environmental Practice Group of Sidley Austin LLP
1031 Exchange Applications that Benefit Land Owners and Their Real Estate Brokers
Our Man on the Hill
Russell Riggs, Government Affairs Liaison of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Roots of American Music 11:20 am – Noon Magnolia Singers
Participate in the universal music of Gullah through which jazz, blues, and ragtime have their roots.
What are the Future Markets for Southern Timber?
Dean McCraw, Certified Forester, President of McCraw Energy, LLC
Hydraulic Fracturing: Regulations and Risks
James Miller, Esq. Senior Vice President; Attorney and Manager – Southwest Region Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc. (IPX1031)
A New Ranch and Recreation Investment Fund: Turning Distressed into Delightful
Jay Ellis Founder and General Partner Sporting Ranch Capital
David Wyant Owner and Instructor Across Borders School of Real Estate
Gone Fishin’ Noon
Terri Jensen, 2014 RLI President-Elect
POST-CONFERENCE ACTIVITY March 14
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Companion Tour March 13
Charleston Carriage Tour
(separate registration) Limited space available
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Companion Plantation Tour (Includes Box Lunch) (separate registration) Limited space available
Schedule is subject to change.
The Francis Marion Hotel: 387 King Street, Charleston, S.C. 29403 (conference rate upon availability) For reservations call 843.722.0600 and ask for the REALTORS® Land Institute Conference Rate (Code REALTORS).
Congratulations to the Newest Accredited Land Consultant Designees of the REALTORS® Land Institute Tim Carroll, ALC Mossy Oak Properties Sunbelt Land Brokers, LLC Moultrie, GA 229-985-0014 firstname.lastname@example.org Tim has an extensive agricultural background and understands his client’s connection to the land and their love of the outdoors. In 2013, Tim was selected by the Moultrie Board of REALTORS® as The REALTOR® of the Year. Roger Hayworth, ALC Farmers National Company Lafayette, IN 765-742-5900 email@example.com Hayworth is the Managing Principal Broker in the state of Indiana for Farmers National, along with holding a Managing Broker’s license in the state of Illinois. He is responsible for real estate licensed farm managers and sales associates in the East-Central Region. Eric Skolness, ALC Farmers National Company Glyndon, MN 218-233-1333 firstname.lastname@example.org Eric grew up and worked on a family farm near Glyndon, MN in the Red River Valley growing a variety of crops. Today he is a Professional Farm Manager and Real Estate Salesperson for Farmers National Company, serving the Northwest Minnesota, West-Central Minnesota, and North Dakota territories.
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Jo Ann Holba, ALC Heritage Tx Prop. Bellville, TX 979-865-4443 email@example.com Jo Ann has 30 years of experience and knowledge of real estate in Austin County of Texas and surrounding areas. She specializes in residential, farms, ranches, acreage, and commercial properties. She was the company– wide Top Producer in 2006, 2008 and 2011. Tom McDonald, ALC Westmark Realtors Lubbock, TX 806-776-2825 tmcdonald@ westmarkrealtors.com The commercial production leader in 2008, Tom specializes in commercial investment properties, including multi-family residences, multi-tenant oﬃce properties, as well as farm and ranch properties. He maintains a large data bank of available properties and investors in the Lubbock and the High Plains area of Texas.
Travis Bradt, ALC M. Travis Bradt Properties, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK 405-590-3836 firstname.lastname@example.org A recognized leader in ranch sales, Bradt Ranch Group sells a wide variety of investment grade rural real estate throughout the Rocky Mountain West. Chris Carothers, ALC Hickman Realty Group, Inc. Jackson, TN 800-748-9254 Ccarothers@hickmanrealty.com Chris provides real estate solutions for buyers in Jackson, Tennessee and Medina, Tennessee. With 15 years of experience in new construction, he helps select lots and design to build.
New Candidate Members
Welcome New Members/ALC Candidates They are more than real estate people…they are land people! Keith Allison Weichert Realtors Advantage Plus Knoxville, TN Keith@theallisonteam.com
Michael Gill DH Land Company, Lometa Texas Lampasas, TX email@example.com
Rusty Lane South Auction and Realty Swainsboro, GA Rustylane82872@yahoo.com
Matt Armstrong Alta Terra Realty & Auction Paris, TX Matt.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Giuliani Newmark Grubb/Pearson Commercial Visalia, CA email@example.com
Michele Lesher Express Realty South Mustang, OK Homesinokc@gmail.com
Bill Baker United Country Real Estate Clarksville, VA firstname.lastname@example.org
H Slade Gleaton Avison Young Mount Pleasant, SC Slade.email@example.com
J. Gardner Lile, IV Lile Real Estate, Inc. Little Rock, AR firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Beach Peoples Company Clive, IA email@example.com
Sam Harper Pro Crop LLC Royal, IA firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick MacNeil Johnson City, TN Patrick@tcigrouphq.com
Courtney Bishop RE/MAX Landmark Terrell, TX Courtney@rmlandmark.com
Christine Hauser Town & Country Realty Corvallis, OR Christine@christinehauser.com
Joseph Blackburn Tutt Land Company Enterprise, AL email@example.com
Keldah Hedstrom United Country Peaceful Escape Real Estate Corvallis, OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler Boley Mossy Oak Properties of the Heartland Albia, IA email@example.com Vivian Bridaham Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty Bozeman, MT Vivian@bridahamcollection.com Brandy Brown Nextage Pikes Peak Property Colorado Springs, CO firstname.lastname@example.org Brad Butler Butler Land & Timber Co. Birmingham, AL email@example.com Jonathan Filarsky Weiss Realty LLC Durand, WI firstname.lastname@example.org
Clara Herrera Clara Herrera Realty Orlando, FL email@example.com Wendy Johnson RE/MAX Landmark Terrell, TX firstname.lastname@example.org Robert King Alalandco Dadeville, AL email@example.com Nick Krier Land Pros Realty Lenexa, KS firstname.lastname@example.org Danny Ladd Fred Dacus Associates Realtors Jonesboro, AR email@example.com
Mark McWhorter Mirr Ranch Group, LLC Denver, CO mac@MirrRanchGroup.com Luke Murphy Southern Land Realty Tallahassee, FL firstname.lastname@example.org Lorna Murray RE/MAX Equity Group Beaverton, OR Lorna@portlandlistings.net Michael Nall United Country Certified Real Estate Lakeland, FL email@example.com Paul Penrod RE/MAX Elite Mt. Vernon, IL Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Percival Percival Land& Timber Consultants, Inc. Lumberton, NC email@example.com Jaynell Roberts L.I. Spencer Real Estate Emory, TX firstname.lastname@example.org Joe Samuels Jos. T. Samuels, Inc. Charlottesville, VA email@example.com
Shannon Schur United Country – Schur Success Realty & Auction, LLC Monument, CO Shannon@SuccessRealtyAuctions.com Dan Specht New Harvest Land Brokers, LLC Yankton, SD firstname.lastname@example.org Robert Stafford Lile Real Estate, Inc. Little Rock, AR email@example.com William Titterington KW Commercial Texas Gulf Houston, TX Bill.firstname.lastname@example.org Steven Tubbs Midwest Management Services Maquoketa, IA email@example.com Ben Ulmer JD Johnson Realty & Investments Madison, MS Ben@jdjohnsonrealty.com Ben Van Dyk Real Estate Centre Taber, Alberta Canada firstname.lastname@example.org Greg Walker RE/MAX Elite Castle Pines, CO email@example.com Daryl Weems RE/MAX Centex Realtors Waco, TX firstname.lastname@example.org Jeff Wolpert Newmark-Grubb/Pearson Commercial Fresno, CA email@example.com Grant Wyffels Richmond Hill, GA Grant.firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter 2014 25
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70TH ANNIVERSARY ""Land is eternal, and a safer investment"": How the REALTORS
Land Institute was started
Frederik Heller, Manager, Library & Archives, National Association of REALTORS® “Only the soundest and most skillful advice is acceptable today in farm land transactions. This specialized field calls for a high degree of technical knowledge. It shall be the purpose of the Agricultural Institute to make available to farm land brokers the best information about agricultural operations in order that they may offer professional guidance of the highest order.” With these words, read by thousands of real estate professionals across the country in the REALTOR® Headlines newsletter in early 1944, National Association of REALTORS® Executive Vice President Herbert U. Nelson announced the creation on January 15 of a new national organization focusing on the concerns of farm and land real estate specialists. The Institute hit the ground running when it was formally launched in June, recruiting new members, setting up state chapters, and building educational resources for farm brokers. The seed that eventually became today’s REALTORS® Land Institute was planted over two decades before that day in 1944, however. The National Association of REALTORS®, known at that time as the National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB), was founded in 1908 to promote the interests of real estate brokers across the country. Farm brokers were the first group within NAREB’s membership to recognize themselves as a specialty, with business methods and needs that were different from the more generalized practice of most real estate brokers. By the late 1910s, organizations for farm brokers had formed in several states, and the groups were ready to take their efforts to the national level. According to a report in the June 7, 1920, issue of the National Real Estate Journal, a Missouri farm broker named Wilbur J. Mansfield discussed the options with leaders of the National Association and “took upon himself the responsibility and the expense of sending invitations to 7,000 land men throughout the country to attend at Kansas City a conference with a view to national organization.” Several hundred farm brokers responded and gathered for the first time at NAREB’s annual convention in Kansas City in June 1920. Out of the Kansas City meeting emerged a nine-member group called the Land Men Realtors Committee, charged with the responsibility of creating a division for farm brokers that would operate within the National Association. The Farm Land Division of NAREB was in place and fully active by 1923, sponsoring educational sessions and other events at the National Association’s annual conventions, fostering the formation of more state-level farm brokers groups, generating research reports, and lobbying Congress for legislation supporting farms and the farm population. From an initial membership of about 200 at the end of 1923, the Division swelled to over 1100 members within two years. By the end of the decade, however, the Farm Land Division’s membership had dwindled back down to 200 brokers, due in part to economic conditions (including the Great Depression) and to changes in the National Association’s membership requirements (in 1923, NAREB eliminated a category allowing for individual membership, stipulating that Realtors had to be members of their local board; the majority of farm brokers operated in areas outside the jurisdiction of local real estate boards, and thus could no longer be members). Efforts
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to transform and revitalize the Division over the next few years failed. In 1935, the National Association’s Executive Committee entertained a proposal to shut down the group. The proposal was tabled for a year, then two years, then three. In 1940, NAREB’s Executive Committee finally closed the Farm Division, merging what was left of it into the association’s Brokers’ Division. At NAREB’s 1941 annual convention in Detroit, only ten minutes of the three-day event was spent discussing farmland -- and that was to tell about a single land transaction in Lansing, Michigan. That, of course, was hardly the end of the story. George L. Domm, a farm specialist from Flint, Michigan, was particularly displeased about what had happened to the Farm Division and began a campaign to put things right. Over the next two years, Domm held informal talks with various NAREB leaders, who convinced him to test his ideas at the state level. Domm took up the challenge, organizing a group of 20 farm specialists in Michigan for a five-day education session at the Michigan Agricultural College, covering everything from farmland appraisal to cattle production. The Michigan Agricultural Institute formed soon after, which by November 1943 had 80 members. George Domm’s groundwork proved attractive to the National Association, which showed a renewed interest by devoting an afternoon to farm property issues at its 1943 convention in Cleveland. A resolution was passed at the farmland session, formally requesting that NAREB’s Board of Directors authorize the creation of a new national organization for farm and land specialists. Domm presented the farm brokers’ case to the Board at their meeting in Chicago on January 15, 1944, which approved the proposal and installed Domm as the Agricultural Institute’s first president. The fledgling organization began its work with an aggressive agenda. In June 1944, George Domm gave his first progress report to NAREB's directors, reporting that state chapters had been established in Michigan and Iowa; chapters in Nebraska, Illinois, and Ohio were being organized; membership brochures and applications had been distributed to all state associations of REALTORS®; the first member bulletin had been published, addressing "G.I. regulations on farms and equipment"; educational sessions on farmland appraisal were being prepared; and the Agricultural Institute had decided to change its name to the Institute of Farm Brokers. By year's end, the Institute had 178 members in thirteen states. George Domm remained at the helm as president of the REALTORS® Land Institute for two years before turning over the reins to Denver broker, Charles Brosnahan in January 1947. During Domm’s tenure, the Institute’s program of activities got off to a flying start. In addition to sponsoring a series of educational programs at agricultural colleges and distributing bulletins on topics of importance to farm property specialists, the Institute also began work on a farm brokerage handbook, produced local radio programs for farm brokers, secured farmland experts to speak at NAREB’s annual conventions, established ties with the Farm Credit Administration and other federal agencies, and cooperated with NAREB’s legislative committee in supporting and opposing legislation on rural housing and farm policy issues. The issue of membership, however, was one that confounded the organization almost from the start. Since most farm and land real estate specialists still operated in areas not represented by a local
70th Anniversary board of REALTORS®, the Institute turned over every leaf it could think of in order to attract new members. Attempting to meet a goal of 500 members by the end of 1945, the Institute's directors tapped real estate brokerage firms, insurance agencies, farm appraisal departments at community banks, tax assessment offices, and other potential sources in their home states. Nine state chapters were formed by November, and the membership total stood at 321 -- far short of the 500-member goal, but almost doubling the number of brokers recruited during the Institute’s inaugural year. Even so, a new goal of 1000 members was set for 1946. When they gathered in Atlantic City in November, the Institute’s board of directors was extremely disappointed to learn that total membership for the year was just slightly over 500. In the discussion that followed, much of their frustration was centered on NAREB, which, according to some of the directors, had shown little interest the Institute’s growth and success since the organization’s launch in 1944. Just as the tone of the gathering was beginning to deteriorate, the meeting minutes report, it “was interrupted by the presence of Mr. Boyd Barnard, president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, and Mr. Herbert U. Nelson, Executive Vice President.” Barnard and Nelson explained that the difficulties faced by the Insitute were no different from those of NAREB’s other affiliated institutes when they started out, encouraging the group to keep growing and to realize that “there are great opportunities still undiscovered by them and for them.” “Every acre is becoming more valuable,” Nelson told the group. “The proper management of the land we have is the one basic asset we have and about the biggest job. Nothing I know of in our whole economy is as important as this field.” When the meeting eventually ended, the Institute’s leaders left with a renewed enthusiasm for the value and potential of their organization. The National Association, for its part, pledged to provide better resources and financial support to help the farm brokers get the word out about their activities and services. In the years that followed, the REALTORS® Land Institute began to assume more of the features that its members enjoy today. One of the most prominent of these was the newsletter, now known as Terra Firma magazine, the Institute’s direct connection with each of its members all over the country. The bulletin originally instituted by George Domm as one of the Institute’s first member services in 1944 was issued on an irregular schedule, sometimes with original reports written by farm broker members, other times reprinting announcements or articles from the Department of Agriculture. Under the direction of 1949 president Otto Knudsen, the bulletin was transformed into a more useful newsletter, The Rural Realtor, full of practical tips, event announcements, news on land use and farming trends, and updates from members and state chapters. The first issue included articles on military veterans buying farms and the new concept of MLSs for rural properties, among other topics, and arrived in members’ mailboxes in February 1949. In 1948, the Institute facilitated the creation of specialized multiple listing services for farm and ranch properties in California and Colorado. Other state chapters soon took up the idea, and in 1952 a national MLS was established. “This Service is available to all members of the Institute on an actual cost basis and provides the means of bringing to the attention of fellow Realtors all over the country, those properties which do not have a ready market locally,” Institute president Don W. Reed told NAREB’s Executive Committee in September 1952. To participate, Institute members described available properties in a form developed jointly by the Institute and the National Association’s Multiple Listing Committee, and the details were mailed out to
members on a flyer every ten days. In this era before online listing systems and digital photographs, the property listings were basic text, but with its national scope and focus on farmland real estate, the MLS was progressive for its time and became a primary selling point in attracting new members. Even as its programs and services developed and evolved, it still took some time for the Institute’s membership to build up to hoped-for levels. The roster increased to 911 members in 1948, but was knocked back down to 673 the following year, when the organization’s annual dues were doubled from $5 to $10. The scene from the 1946 directors meeting was repeated again in November 1950, when several directors expressed their concerns with the Institute's slow growth (the Colorado chapter even threatened to withdraw). New assurances and further brainstorming of publicity plans reinvigorated the board members, though, and the membership levels soon began to climb. In 1952 the REALTORS® Land Institute's roster finally broke past the one thousandmember mark. One more key to the REALTORS® Land Institute's long-term success began to take shape in May 1953, when Arthur W. Stormes, representing the Institute's California chapter, presented a proposal to raise the educational standards of farm brokers by offering a professional designation. Inspired by the achievements and popularity of professional designations offered by a few other NAREB institutes (notably the Institute of Real Estate Management, which began its Certified Property Manager designation program in 1932), Stormes proposed "a program of education and training leading to a degree or certificate [...] which would elevate the professional standards of our business." After further meetings and discussions regarding selection criteria and requirements and other logistics, in February 1954 the Accredited Farm Broker (AFB) designation was established. Now known as the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation, the first 57 designees completed the program in November 1955. With a strong program of educational offerings, publications, national and regional conventions, multiple listing service, network of state chapters and other benefits finally in place, the REALTORS® Land Institute found itself on a firm foundation to help members face the rapidly changing agricultural landscape. In 1956, Institute President Elton Boudreau was able to paint an optimistic picture for the organization’s future: “The National Institute of Farm Brokers is continuing to carry out the plan for which it was organized: ‘To be of benefit to the rural broker by assisting him to serve well in both a business and civic way the interest of his community.[… ] Despite droughts and scarcity of available arable lands for sale, our membership increases, our hopes for the future are bright. Exchanges are no longer a sideline. Swapping rural and city properties is now a vital part of a farm broker’s daily, busy schedule. We keep abreast of financial conditions. Land is eternal, and a safer investment.”
About the Author: As manager of the Library & Archives at the National Association of REALTORS®, Frederik Heller is working to preserve many of the key documents from the real estate industry’s past and make them available for future use. Before moving to Chicago in 2006, he was manager of NAR’s library in Washington, DC. Heller will share the history of the organization at the anniversary lunch celebration on March 13 in SC at the 2014 National Land Conference.
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30 Winter 2014
Threads that Create and Bind REALTORS® Land Institute By Kate E. Noble, Institute Communications and Membership Development Specialist
Introduction: As the current Executive Vice President of REALTORS® Land Institute, I am honored to be part of the 70th Anniversary Celebration of this unique and historic organization that overflows with pride and history. “If Land Could Talk,” it certainly would have many stories to tell about how our members’ passion and expertise have been instrumental in protecting land use rights and have helped many clients fulfill goals and build a history for themselves and their families. Congratulations, REALTORS® Land Institute, on your impact and commitment to land, on your history of dedicated members who build relationships that last a lifetime, and for your high sense of integrity. —Michele Cohen, Institute Executive Vice President Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the REALTORS® Land Institute stirs a sense of curiosity to hear from those who led the Institute through its remarkable history. An interview with four past presidents, G.Edmond “Ned” Massie, ALC, 1989 National Institute President; Roger Heller, AFLB (Accredited Farm and Land Broker), 1998 National Institute President; D.L. “Gooley” Orr, ALC, 2000 National Institute President; and Randy Hertz, ALC, 2006 National Institute President provides the opportunity to— as George Clift, ALC, 2014 National Institute President states— celebrate the culture—while learning from their experiences, and understanding the threads that bind the organization together. G. Edmond “Ned” Massie, ALC, 1989 National Institute President, Grant Massie Land Company in Richmond, VA. How did you become involved in the Institute? My first day as a licensed agent in Virginia was November 1, 1972 I grew up on a farm in Virginia so cared greatly about the wise use of land. Land brokerage and land development seemed to be the combination that addressed those interests. After about one year of brokerage, I attended the Institute’s (at that time Farm and Land Institute) Land and Brokerage Overview, a one-day seminar in Charlottesville, VA with Owen Hall, ALC, from Ohio. After that, I joined the Institute and became an ALC in the late 1970s. What is your most positive memory about the Institute? I have so many strong feelings about the Institute, its members, and the network of Accredited Land Consultants. When I was president in 1989, I did some traveling to five or six different states. It was fascinating to meet members that did not attend the national meetings. As the Vice President in 1987, I chaired the Education Task Force that matched Texas A&M together with our ALCs that wrote the eight courses of the RLI Land University. We held the first RLI Land U in 1988 in San Antonio, TX to rave reviews. How did the Institute make a difference in your life? I have chosen to give so much time to the Institute because it taught me how to be a land broker and develop land. Now, fortytwo years later, I am still doing both, and for the most part, it has been financially good to me. The wise use of land is extremely important to me and applying the knowledge the Institute taught me has been beneficial.
What advice can you give to land professionals? If you want to be a land professional, you need to be an ALC and be active and up-to-date. The ALC designation gives you recognition in the marketplace and teaches you the tools needed to be effective for you clients. And 85% of business comes from referrals. Courses are taught by practitioners and provide practical knowledge that students can apply to turn around and make money. Finally, stay active because the market is dynamic and always changing. What are you most proud of from your presidency? Seeing the culmination of working with, and then leading a team of dedicated ALC’s and staff over several years that increased RLI member benefits. Our team started with a new “high tech” service, a quarterly cassette tape sent to all members updating them on land market trends in 2007; brought the RLI Land University into reality in 2008; and then installed new systems that gave the Institute’s leaders better management information to grow programs for the members. Roger Heller, AFLB, 1998 National Institute President, Heller Group, 1 Stop Realty, Inc. in Olivia, MN. How did you become involved in the Institute? I received my real estate license in 1963 (Roger recently celebrated 50 years in business). After that, a member of the Institute, Francis Kelly of Redwood Falls, a neighboring town, stopped by and told me I had to belong to the Institute, which at that time was called the Farm and Land Brokers. I signed up right then and there. What is your most positive memory about the Institute? There are so many, and it really is a draw between receiving my designation and the bonds built when critical decisions were required. Leadership was committed to building a strong future for the Institute because we are a close-knit organization and we are here for each other. How did the Institute make a difference in your life? It gave me a strong sense of belonging and a strong sense of professionalism. The high standards, educational programs, and people who care-- from members to officers and staff-- make me proud to be a member. As a Minnesotan, I was honored to be asked by Chuck Wingert, ALC, 2013 National Institute President, to install him as president. You learn to admire each other. It was a pleasure.
TerraFirma Winter 2014 31
70th Anniversary What advice can you give to land professionals? Get involved in your chapter and with national; they complement each other. National provides quality education, the Accreditation, and the National Land Conference which has blossomed into a wonderful event that attracts strong speakers. If you are active in your chapter, you will benefit from networking with brokers in your state. Involvement brings strong value to your membership. Also, continue your quest to learn and improve and practice impeccable ethics. This will help you to become part of network that helps you succeed. And finally, because this industry is cyclical, manage your finances to save and invest when activity level is high, so you are secure when activity level is low. What are you most proud of from your presidency? I don’t take personal pride, but I have pride in the organization. Throughout my presidency and the time I spent on committees, the cooperation received from chapters, members, committees, and staff was excellent. Everybody did his/her part.
D.L. “Gooley Orr, ALC, 2000 National Institute President, ORR and ORR Real Estate in Kerens, TX. How did you become involved in the Institute? My wife, Virgie L. Orr, ALC, who had her Master’s in Education from Baylor University, Waco, obtained her real estate license in 1978. I got tired of answering phones so I obtained my license in 1980. I was encouraged to join the Institute, previously known as the Farm and Land Institute, by Arland Brown, ALC, who was active in the state Chapter. I served as president of Texas Chapter 22 in 1991. What was your most positive memory about the Institute? In 2000 when I served as the National President, I traveled to many chapters, including once to Canada and twice to Mexico. Overall, we covered about 8,000 miles by car and 25,000 miles by air. A highlight was the two trips to Mexico. The first trip to Monterrey, Mexico, was with Jacob Casanova, ALC, and I was to install the first Realtor Land Institute Chapter in Mexico. The second trip to Leon, Mexico, with members of the Texas Association of REALTORS®, I was asked to speak through an interpreter at their meetings. Later that year I was invited by the Canadian Land Institute Chapter to attend Education courses in Calgary. Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC , Patricia Bedry, ALC, and I took a road trip to northern Canada. Other trips I made for Chapter visits included Pendleton, OR; Memphis, TN; Des Moines, IA; Ann Arbor, MI; Columbia, SC; New Orleans, LA; San Francisco, CA; and Orlando, FL. How did the Institute make a difference in your life? I will never forget the many friendships I have made and the professional involvement I have with the REALTORS® Land Institute. There is a warm place in my heart for the Institute and its members. The state chapters always made us feel welcome and let us participate when we visited. My wife, Virgie, and I appreciate the friends we have made most. We still keep in touch with them. What advice can you give to land professionals? 1. You will get many returns for what you put into the Institute. 2. The accomplishments and rewards will be yours if you get involved.
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3. The money and time you spend on education will not be lost. 4. The friendships you make will last a lifetime. 5. The older you get, the truer the things above will become. What are you most proud of from your presidency? Dave Hemingway, ALC, and other past RLI National Presidents had always encouraged RLI members to give to the National RPAC fundraising efforts. Some of our RLI auctions on the National level were donated to RPAC. I was a candidate to NAR RPAC Hall of Fame. This involved me being a Sustaining = Golden R and a member of the Presidents Circle. Some discussion had been made at the National level that the Institutes, Societies, and Councils should have a representative on the RPAC Trustees. The representative would be chosen from the membership of the ISC’S. NAR President, Martin Edwards, appointed me to serve as the first representative from the ISC’S to serve as the RPAC Trustee. What a rewarding experience that was for me and the RLI Membership.
Randy Hertz, ALC, 2006 National Institute President, Hertz Farm Management in Nevada, IA We know “land” runs in the family—your father, Carl V. Hertz, AFLM, served as the 1980 National Institute President and your brothers, Joel Hertz, ALC, and Thomas Hertz, ALC, are land professionals; but, how did you decide to become involved in the Institute? I became licensed in the mid-1970s. I enjoyed it very much and found the farm land segment very unique. On July 1, 1978, I joined Hertz Farm Management, the business my father, Carl, started on March 1, 1946. Shortly thereafter, I joined the Institute. I enjoy learning, and RLI has the best land courses in the world, and members willing to share their knowledge and experience. What is your most positive memory about the Institute? The people. I think back to all the delightful people involved in the Institute and the friends I have made all over the country—people like Mac Boyd, ALC, 2002 National Institute President; Ned Massie ALC, 1989 National Institute President, a thoughtful, southern gentleman; Fletcher Majors, ALC; and Porter Martin, ALC, a tall guy, with a big smile who had a strong presence in the Robert Meeks, ALC country. And to know Bob (Robert) Meeks, ALC, 1991 National Institute President... Coast to coast, the Institute is comprised of a unique set of individuals who share the same interests. They are a network of people that are helpful and willing to share. How did the organization make a difference in your life? The Institute has made a significant difference in my life. Having the opportunity to teach for the Institute in 32 different states was a treat because I was exposed to many people with unique interests. When I teach, I learn from every student and have built relationships that last a lifetime. There is collaboration and unique sharing that extends into other parts of life. Also, the developments in education have pushed the Institute to a new level.
70th Anniversary What advice can you give to land professionals Know your market. If you know your market, you are the expert. Know the buyer, and know why the seller is selling to help shape your client’s expectations and make good choices. If you are an ALC, you already have a huge head start from others because they don’t have the same knowledge you do. What are you most proud of from your presidency? We helped build RLI. There were challenges and a lot of fun things; it was a real privilege. I am proud of re-energizing education, my part in moving the Institute forward and that I had the opportunity to meet with chapters, install officers and teach RLI classes. Past Presidents: 1944-66: George L. Domm, AFLB-Grand Blanc. MI 1947: C.A. Bresnahan-Denver, CO 1948: Frank L. Huffman-Modesto, CA 1949: Otto Knudson -Humbolt, IA 1950: Ralph A. Hunt-Los Angeles, CA 1951: L. Louis Gairaud-San Jose, CA 1952: Don W. Reed, ALC-Dallas, TX 1953: Owen W. Sherril, AFLM- Georgetown, TX 1954: Charles J. Happ-Doylestown, PA 1955: Frank W. Baumann-New Ulm, MN 1956: Elton L. Boudreau-New Orleans, LA 1957: J. Vernon Groff, ALC- New Orleans, LA 1958: R.A. Capshaw, ALC-Ponca City, OK 1959: R.A. Seden, AFLM-Vista, CA 1960: Wayne Adams, AFLB-Roswell, NM 1961: Leonard P. Kayne-Pittsburgh, PA 1962: Don L. Temple, AFLM-Kenton, OH 1963: Stephen Dorcich, AFLM-San Jose, CA 1964: Jack Justice, AFLM-Miami Beach, FL 1965: L.M. Bushart, AFLM-Liberal, KS 1966: Bert C. Hanson, ALC-Pocahontas, IA 1967: John L. Currell, AFLM-Woodbury, MN 1968: Quentin Williams, ALC-Lubbock,TX 1969: George A. Simon, AFLM-Miami, FL 1970: Wayne D. Phipps, AFLM-Boulder, CO 1971: Lester R. Arie, AFLM-Phoenix, AZ 1972: Burr Brown, AFLB-Fresno, CA 1973: Dwight W. Jundt, ALC-Blowing Rock, NC 1973: Harry A. Finkelman, ALC-Middletown, OH 1974: Thad S. Cwik, ALC-Flemington, NJ 1975: Owen V. Hall, ALC-Celina, OH 1976: Robert W. VanArsdale-Mulberry, FL 1977: Cy Kuefler, ALC,-St. Cloud, MN 1978: Bake Young, AFLM-Nampa, ID 1979: Ron Bentz, ALC-Stayton, OR 1980: Carl V. Hertz, AFLM-Nevada, IA 1981: Judge B. Fite, ALC-Dallas, TX 1982: A. Tom Lund Sr., AFLM-Hamilton, MT 1983: Richard E. Beaty, ALC-Huntington, IN 1984: Richard G. Palmer-Danby, VT 1985: John E. Cyr, ALC-Stockton, CA 1986: J. Alvin Hawbaker, AFLM-State College, PA 1987: Otto Sprenger, ALC-Antioch, IL 1988: Jerry Brewer, ALC-Senatobia, MA 1989:. Edmond Massie, ALC-Richmond, VA 1990: Lawrence B. Caldwell, ALC-Ithaca, NY
1991: Robert C. Meeks, ALC-Sylacauga, AL 1992: David Hemenway, ALC-Cottage Grove, OR 1993: Robert E. Rhodes, ALC-Tuscaloosa, AL 1994: Stephen R. England, ALC-Kearney, NE 1995: Mark Cumbest, ALC- Pascagoula, MS 1996: Pierre Vining, ALC-Dunkirk, MD 1997: Barbara Douglas, ALC-Winter Haven, FL 1998: Roger Heller, AFLB-Olivia, MN 1999: JR Larsen, ALC-Douglas, WY 2000: D.L. “Gooley” Orr, ALC, CRS, CIPS, GRI-Kerens, TX 2001: Robert Hatcher, ALC-Marble Hill , GA 2002: Mac Boyd, ALC-Arcola, IL 2003: John Dean, ALC-Leland, GA 2004: Norma Nisbet, ALC-St. Louis, MO 2005: Sam Kain, ALC, GRI-West Des Moines,IA 2006: Randy Hertz, ALC-Nevada, IA 2007: John McAllister, ALC-Columbia, SC 2008: Michael Landreth, ALC-Eagle, CO 2009: Keith Morris, ALC-Memphis, TN 2010: Dan Hatfield, ALC-Comfort,TX 2011: Jesse Lane, ALC-Jackson, MS 2012: Ray Brownfield, ALC-Oswego, IL 2013: Charles“Chuck”Wingert, ALC-Mankato, MN Past Robert C. Meeks, ALC, Distinguished Service Award Winners: 1999: Harry A. Finkelman, ALC-Middletown, OH 2000: Judge Fite, ALC-Dallas, TX 2001: Carl Hertz, AFLM-Nevada, IA 2002: Roger Poppen, ALC-Nevada, IA 2003: Gooley Orr, ALC-Kerens, TX 2006: Roger Heller, ALC-Olivia, MN 2007: Jerry Brewer, ALC-Senatobia, MS 2008: David Hemenway, ALC-Cottage Grove, OR 2009: Ned Massie, ALC-Richmond, VA 2010: Carl Maier, ALC-Beaverton, OR 2011: Randy Hertz, ALC-Nevada, IA 2012: Norma Nisbet, ALC-St. Louis, MS 2013: Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC-Tampa, FL Past Land REALTOR® of America Award Winners: 1964: Allan A. Stamler, JR., AFLB-Bakersfield, CA 1965: Duane W. Sandage, ALC-Ames, IA 1966: R.D. Selden, AFLM-Vista, CA 1967: Wilfred. Raynor, AFLB-Warnick, NY
About the author: As the Communications and Membership Development Specialist, Kate E. Noble handles member and press communications, and member and chapter outreach for the REALTORS® Land Institute. Noble was born and raised on a farm in rural North Dakota. Her professional experiences include association and real estate brokerage marketing.
1968: Bert Hanson, ALC-Pocahontas, IA 1969: Harry A. Finkelman, ALC-Middletown, OH 1970: George A. Simon, AFLM-Miami, FL 1971: John J. Brennan, AFLM-Lakeland, FL 1972: Lester R. Arie, AFLM-Phoenix, AZ 1973: Burr Brown, AFLB-Fresno, CA 1974: John L. Currell, AFLM-Woodbury, MN 1975: Wayne D. Phipps, AFLM-Denver, CO 1976: Lyle Erickson, ALC-Bell Vista, AR 1977: Cy Kuefler ALC-St. Cloud, MN 1978: R.A. Capshaw, ALC- Ponka City, OK 1979: Bake Young, AFLM-Nampa, ID 1980: Thad S. Cwik, ALC-Flemington, NJ 1981: Ron Bentz ALC-Stayton, OR 1982: Owen V. Hall, ALC-Celina, OH 1983: A. Tom Lund Sr., AFLM*-Hamilton, MT 1984: Judge B. Fite, ALC-Dallas, TX 1985: Carl V. Hertz, AFLM-Nevada, IA 1986: Frank W. Geiger, ALC-Delta Junction, AK 1987: John E. Cyr , ALC-Stockton, CA 1988: Otto H. Sprenger, ALC-Antioch, IL 1989: G. Edmund Massie IV, ALC-Richmond, VA 1990: Jerry G. Brewer, ALC-Senatobia, MS 1991: Mark Cumbest, ALC-Pascagoula, MS 1992: Robert C Meeks, ALC-Sylacuaga, AL 1993: Robert E Rhodes, ALC-Tuscaloosa, AL 1994: Mac Boyd, ALC-Arcola, IL 1995: Porter Martin, ALC-Decalb, IL 1996: Fletcher Majors, ALC-Wetumpka, AL 1997: Dan Bock, ALC-Lincoln, IL 1998: John Dean, ALC-Leland, MS 1999: Carl Maier, ALC-Clackamas, OR 2000: David Hemenway, ALC-Cottage Grove, OR 2001: Roger Heller, AFLB-Olivia, MN 2002: D.L. Gooley Orr, ALC-Kerens, TX 2003: Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC-Tampa, FL 2004: Winnie Stortzum, ALC-Arcola, IL 2005: Keith Morris, ALC-Somerville, TN 2006: Norma Nisbet, ALC-St. Louis, MO 2007: Dan Hatfield, ALC-Comfort, TX 2008: Tony Rickard, ALC-Matthew, NC 2009: Sam Kain, ALC-West Des Moines, IA 2010: Randy Hertz, ALC-Nevada, IA 2011: Bob Turner, ALC-Cordova, TN 2012: Danny Smith, ALC-Wildwood, FL 2013: Kirk Goble, ALC-Greeley, CO
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Education ALC Advanced—Moving Forward to 2015
2014 LANDU Week
Congratulations to the Accredited Land Consultants who will achieve the ALC Advanced category in 2014. Your commitment to continuing professional development is what makes you the “Best in the Business.” Those who earned the ALC Advanced will be recognized at the National Land Conference on March 12-14. For those working toward the ALC Advanced, the next submission period is January 2-10, 2015.
The dates have been set! LANDU Week 2014 will be taking place in Chicago this summer from June 22-30. During these nine days of bestin-class education, students will have the opportunity to complete up to six LANDU courses. All courses count toward earning the prestigious ALC designation and for the ALC Advanced.
The Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation is an indication of a professional who is the most accomplished, the most experienced, and the most knowledgeable land expert. Staying current in trends and information is inherent in being the “Best in the Business.” The ALC Advanced is designed to offer opportunities to ALCs to stay current in the area of land, giving them the tools to assist clients through up-to-date knowledge.
ALC designees have the option to participate in 30 hours of continuing education within a three-year period, starting with the year 2013. If fulfilled, the participant would become an ALC Advanced for a three-year period. The following counts toward the required hours. All of the below must be from options available through the Institute: • One-day courses: 8 contact hours • Two-day courses: 16 contact hours • Three-day courses: 24 contact hours Sunday, • Annual Land Conference (2013 or Later): 16 contact June 22 hours Land • Presenter at the Annual Land Conference: 5 Investment additional contact hours Analysis • Presenter at NAR Annual Conference and Expo: 20 1:00-8:00 p.m. contact hours with Andre • 2013 RLI Day: 8 contact hours J. van • ALC-to-ALC TeleConference Facilitation: 2 contact hours Rensburg, • ALC-to-ALC TeleConference: 1 contact hour ALC • Web Seminar Development and Facilitation: 30 contact hours • Web Seminar Attendance: 1 contact hour • Comprehensive Course Updates: 15 contact hours • Minor Course Updates: Based on updates submitted • New Course Development: 60 hours per completed course • Short Course Instruction: 5 hours per session (maximum of ten hours per year) • Institute Executive Committee: 30 hours a year • Board of Directors: 2 hours per meeting attended • National Committee Chairs: 10 hours per year • National Committee Vice Chairs: 10 hours per year • National Committee Members: 1 hour per meeting attended • Article in TERRA FIRMA: 10 contact hours • ALC Allies Program: 5 contact hours • Other Institute-related activities: Must be submitted to the Insitute Education Director for approval at least sixty days prior to submitting the three-year report.
LANDU Week's 2014 schedule consists of the three required courses and three elective courses towards earning the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation. Combined, these six courses total 104 hours, the total required hours needed for the education portion of the ALC Application. This is also a unique opportunity for designees to earn hours toward the ALC Advanced. NEW to LANDU Week and to the LANDU curriculum is the Marketing Strategies course. This course provides students the opportunity to use marketing to create a competitive advantage for their land business. In addition, June is a terrific time of year in Chicago. Fit in a Chicago Architectural River Tour, some first-class restaurants, see a show at Second City—the home to many Saturday Night Live Alum—cheer at a White Sox or Cubs game! See the full schedule for LANDU Week 2014 and make your plans to attend. Monday, June 23
Tuesday, June 24
Wednesday, June 25
Thursday, June 26
Friday, June 27
Saturday, June 28
Sunday, June 29
Monday, June 30
Land Investment Analysis 1:00-8:00 p.m. with Andre J. van Rensburg, ALC
Land Investment Analysis 8:00 a.m.3:00 p.m. with Andre J. van Rensburg, ALC
Site Selection 8:30 a.m.2:30 p.m. with Andre J. van Rensburg, ALC
LAND 101 Blended 8:30 a.m.4:00 p.m. with Ben Crosby, ALC
Agricultural Land Brokerage & Marketing 5:00-10:00 p.m. with Ben Crosby, ALC
Tax Deferred 1031 Blended 8:30 a.m.5:00 p.m. with Jim Miller, Esq.
Marketing Strategies 8:30 a.m.5:00 p.m. with Madeline Johnson, PhD
Marketing Strategies 8:30 a.m.5:00 p.m. with Madeline Johnson, PhD
Site Selection 4:00-8:00 p.m. with Andre J. van Rensburg, ALC
Agricultural Land Brokerage & Marketing 5:00-10:00 p.m. with Ben Crosby, ALC
“I found LANDU Week to be an excellent method of condensing needed training and education into a focused package of data and information within a relatively short time span. The interaction with the other student participants was also a learning experience, as well as a valuable networking tool. In addition, the frequent presence of the RLI staff complemented the learning experience. The instructors were well prepared and knowledgeable in their respective fields. I highly recommend LANDU.” —Michael Sharp, ALC Candidate, Louisiana
ALCs will submit their 30 hours with proof of attendance and/or completion of the activities once a year to the Institute. These will be collected between January 2-January 10 on the year following the due date. (i.e. For 2014, the records would need to be sent to National for credit between January 2-January 10 of 2015). If an ALC Advanced designee desires to keep that designation category, he/she must submit proof of having fulfilled the requirements every three years (i.e. If an ALC Advanced, submits the fulfilled requirements in January 2014, he/she would need to reapply in January 2017 with professional development taking place in 2014-2016).
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Education LANDU: What’s In It for You? Whether you are working toward earning your ALC, are an ALC working toward the ALC Advanced, or simply want to gain knowledge in certain areas, LANDU has options for everyone. Four new courses developed and instructed by experts in their respective fields have been added to the LANDU curriculum—bringing the total to seventeen courses.
LANDU Course Choices 2014 National Land Conference Choice Option (16 contact hours)
Land Investment Analysis* (24 contact hours)
Advanced Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges for Land Professionals (8 contact hours)
Legal Aspects of Real Estate (16 contact hours)
Agricultural Land Brokerage and Marketing (16 contact hours) NEW The Auction Tool (8 contact hours) The Basics of Eminent Domain Law (8 contact hours) NEW Building Business Through Technology (16 contact hours) Essentials of Negotiations (16 contact hours) LAND 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage* (16 contact hours)
NEW Marketing Strategies (16 contact hours) NEW Mineral, Oil, and Property Rights (16 contact hours) Practical Navigation for Land Professionals (16 contact hours) Site Selection (16 contact hours) Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges* (16 contact hours) Tax Implications of Real Estate (16 contact hours) Timberland (16 contact hours)
*These courses count as requirements toward earning the prestigious Accredited Land Consultant Designation. 104 total course hours are required toward earning the designation. They also count toward earning the ALC Advanced.
Additions to the LANDU Curriculum Four courses are being added to the LANDU Curriculum in 2014: Auctions: A Marketing Method, Sam Kain, ALC, Instructor; Building Business Through Technology, Myers Jackson, Instructor; Marketing Strategies, Madeline Johnson, PhD, Professor; Mineral, Oil and Property Rights, Kurt Stanberry, Esq., Professor, Terrill Williams, AAPL, and Alan H. Morgan, AAPL. Auctions: A Marketing Method with Sam Kain, ALC, Instructor Counts 8 credit hours toward earning the ALC Designation and toward the ALC Advanced Auctions are a key sales tool in the land market. They are tools that can bring the desired price point for the buyer and for the seller. This provides an overview of the auction method of marketing real estate. The areas covered will be the growth and new image of the auction indu stry’s niche, how auction firms work with sellers in marketing and selling property at auctions, and how those on the sell or the buy side can partner with auction firms. This course is organized in four modules: Real Estate Auction: The Opportunity; Analyzing Sellers, Properties, and Markets; Proposal to Closing; and Getting Started in Real Estate Auctions. Building Business Through Technology with Myers Jackson, Instructor Counts 16 credit hours toward earning the ALC Designation and toward the ALC Advanced Prominence on the internet for real estate professionals is especially critical as statistics consistently report the large majority of real estate buyers begin their search online. The goal of this course is to empower participants with the knowledge to become involved leading to understanding the techniques necessary to employ or execute successful internet campaigns. Students will be introduced to the basic mechanics of how internet search engines operate and gain insight to the type of algorithms and logic utilized by providers. This session serves as a baseline for learning proper utilization of tools necessary to manipulate website content to become more easily found online and drive traffic to each user’s website—resulting in more buyers and happy sellers.
Marketing Strategies with Madeline Johnson, PhD, Professor Counts 16 credit hours toward earning the ALC Designation and toward the ALC Advanced This course provides students the opportunity to use marketing to create a competitive advantage for their land business. The course will cover defining business goals, identifying opportunities, creating a brand, and developing a marketing plan. Learn to think like a marketing expert to determine strategies that best fit your business. Analyze tactics such as advertising, direct marketing, social media marketing, websites, search engine marketing, and word of mouth marketing. Additionally, the course will discuss key fundamentals when dealing with buyers and sellers. Mineral, Oil, and Property Rights with Kurt Stanberry, Esq., Professor, Terrill Williams, AAPL, and Alan H. Morgan, AAPL Counts 16 credit hours toward earning the ALC Designation and toward the ALC Advanced Land professionals must understand the foundational principles and basic laws of oil, gas and mineral rights to best guide clients. This course will provide an introduction to the historical basis of wealth related minerals, types of ownership including mineral and royalty concepts, the rules that surround these concepts, types of conveyances and title transfers, curing land titles and the oil and gas lease. Get up to speed on pooling, exploration and drilling, fracking, and the state and federal laws governing oil and gas ownership and development.
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Education LANDU: Types of Courses
To learn more about the ALC-to-ALC Teleconference Series, contact the Institute Staff at 800.441.5263 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
The courses of the REALTORS® Land Institute are for real estate professionals who specialize in, or who seek to specialize in, land. These courses are open to all.
ALC Designation Update
LANDU offers courses through the traditional classroom, online classes, hybrid courses, and independent study opportunities.
The Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation Committee is charged with creating and overseeing policy that relates to the ALC requirements, the application process, and approval of candidates.
Traditional Classroom courses are held across the country and offer participants the chance to attain knowledge while networking with like-minded professionals. HYBRID Courses combine independent study with instructor-led phone lectures and discussions via a live web seminar format. Notravel is needed. ONLINE Courses are in an online classroom setting. Asynchronous interaction takes place with the professor and the students on demand—24/7. No travel is needed. Independent Study involves no instructor or classmate interaction. Students have 90 days during which to complete the course. Students may apply to take one LANDU course as an Independent Study through LANDU. *Note: LAND 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage is currently offered to all in an independent study, self-paced, delivery with the materials on an online platform. No instructor or student interaction is involved.
Hot Topic Web Seminar Series Google Earth for Land Professionals On February 19th, Eric Pimpler, President, Geospatial Training Services presented “Google Earth for Land Development Professionals.” The Seminar focused on using Google Earth to visualize and create land development projects. Also examined was how to use Google Earth to better understand the terrain of a land parcel and the viewable area of a property from any point. Finally, Pimpler presented techniques for sharing Google Earth information with clients. The presentation was captured on a link and a CD and may be found in the Institute General Store on the website at www.rliland.com . The Positives of Team Conflict All experience conflict and misunderstanding with coworkers, clients, customers and superiors in the work environment. Conflict management skills are essential to one’s well-being and progress within and outside of one’s professional life. Learning to read the “signs” of conflict management is a key to understanding the hidden issues behind the conflict and to experiencing greater success in your career. Positive conflict stimulates and promotes greater innovation and productivity in a team. These concepts will be explored during the “hot topic” web seminar presented by REALTORS® Land Institute and facilitated by Andre J. van Rensburg, ALC, on May 21. www.rliland.com/hot-topic-web-seminars.
ALC-to-ALC Teleconference Series The REALTORS® Land Institute's Education Committee sponsors the ALC-to-ALC Teleconference Series, exclusively for ALC Designees. These free conferences, facilitated by ALC designated members of the Education Committee, are opportunities to bring together ALC designees to share experiences, stories, and best practices—while connecting with colleagues. Topics on the 2014 Teleconference Series calendar include Best Practices and Leveraging Auctions.
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The following are some updates approved by the ALC Designation Committee and/or the Board of Directors: • Two NEW categories for applying for your ALC designation were added: Certified Professional Landman (AAPL) and NonTransactional Land Professionals. • The Committee went green allowing ALC applications to be submitted in either the traditional hard copy version or via online format. • The ALC Advanced tier was added. • The Committee extended the 7-year window for the ALC Applications Volume Requirement to January 1, 2015--giving ALC candidates 7-years to complete either $10 million in land sales or a minimum of 25 separate land transactions.
• A requirement was established to enable a Certifi ed Professional Landman (AAPL) to earn the designation. This requirement states that the professional must be a Certified Professional Landman (AAPL) with three (3) years of experience. The portfolio must substantiate the applicant’s participation in no less than 25 closed land consulting cases of which no more than 80 percent involve residential lot sales, or a comparable level of volume dependent upon the land specialty and type(s) of real estate services provided.
ALC Designation Fast Track A “fast track” to the ALC designation is available to real estate professionals who hold the following designations:
• • • • • • • • • • •
CCIM (Certifi ed Commercial Investment Member) SIOR (Industrial & Offi ce Realtor) CRE (Counselor of Real Estate) AFM (Accredited Farm Manager of ASFMRA) ARA (Accredited Rural Appraiser of ASFMRA) RPRA (Real Property Review Appraiser of ASFMRA) AAC (Accredited Agricultural Consultant of ASFMRA) MAI (Member, Appraisal Institute) CAI (Certifi ed Auctioneer Institute) SR/WA (Senior Right of Way Professional of IWRA) Those who hold either a B.S. or M.S. with a major in real estate or a program related specifically to land will also be able to Fast Track to the ALC Designation (transcripts must be submitted and approved be the ALC Committee prior to working towards the designation).
Individuals who apply for Fast Track consideration must provide proof of holding one of the approved designations or degrees AND successfully complete the three LandU required courses--Land 101, Land Investment Analysis and Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges. To find out if you qualify for Fast Track call the Institute at 800.441.5263 or visit www.rliland.com/ fast-track-program.
Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Allies The Education Committee has instituted the ALC Allies. ALC Allies will be available to field questions from designee candidates about the Institute and the value of the Accreditation. The ALC Allies will be available beginning in March. An invitation to be part of the ALC Allies will be distributed to all ALCs and will be an opt-in opportunity. The time commitment is minimal but the connecting and information sharing is invaluable. An invitation to participate has been extended to the esteemed ALCs.
Greatest Cowboy Auction on Earth! Giddy-Up with Our Sharp-shootin' 2014 Auction Dream Team
...to the Greatest Auction on Earth! These fine Institute Auctioneers—some of the best in the business will be runnin’ the show during the rip-roarin’ event at the 2014 National Land Conference on Thursday, March 13 from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at the historic Francis Marion Hotel. The REALTORS® Land Institute and the dream team are waitin' for your donations—maybe a trip, artwork, subscriptions, or a local dinner or whatever suits you! Contribute today by calling the Institute at 1.800.441-5263 or emailing email@example.com Make your donations by March 1 and add to the Institute’s Greatest Cowboy Auction on Earth!
The Institute Auctioneer Dream Team
Jon Hjelm, ALC, Team Lead
George Clift, ALC
Kyle Hansen, ALC
Wind Farms Harvest More Than Just Energy P. Barton DeLacy, MAI, CRE, FRICS, REALTOR® University Article Contributor, Principal, DeLacy Consulting LLC
Why Real Estate Matters to Wind Development The siting of proposed wind farms touches the real estate industry in several ways: • • • •
Land must be bought, leased or optioned Local zoning or permitting approval obtained The basis for property tax assessment negotiated Local road and grid infrastructure upgraded or modified
However, before all that, the location must be confirmed to have a suitable wind resource. Although the U.S. Department of Energy (the DOE) publishes wind maps showing general patterns, the adequacy of a particular site can only be confirmed after a yearlong monitoring of wind strength with strategically situated meteorological towers (met towers). The long-term impacts of wind turbines on birds, livestock and surrounding property values remain unresolved, yet many jurisdictions will require Environmental Impact Studies to site a large-scale project. In some cases where habitat threat is known (presence of the Indiana bat, for instance), then tower placement will be adjusted to mitigate the intrusion. However, the whole arena of potential human impact from health to hearth remains open to debate, particularly in the permitting phase. No longer an exotic curiosity, the siting of utility scale wind farms ever closer to populated areas has met growing resistance. Chief among opponents are uncompensated proximate residents fearing drops in property value, if not adverse health effects. As debate intensifies, so too builds the arsenal of studies cited by third party experts to quantify or deny claims of damages. This article will discuss the emerging body of literature on both sides of the issue, so that the real estate professional might better advise clients potentially affected by such intrusive developments.
Introduction A 300-foot wind turbine, a latter day windmill, is an electrical powergenerating machine. The value of such a generator will depend on the sustainability of the power it produces, and the price paid for that power over time. So is the real estate the tower occupies of any consequence? Certainly location is key; the speed and duration of wind varies from place to place. However, a utility scale wind farm, with turbines distributed over thousands of acres, may take less than 5% of that land out of production. Farming or grazing may continue unaffected. Nevertheless, opponents, concerned with adverse impacts on property values are leveraging the local siting process to block or delay further development. Both sides are touting a growing body of evidentiary studies. This article intends to explore the sufficiency of impact reporting and direct the reader to resources as the body of knowledge evolves. Presently, there may be a hiatus in wind farm development as a temporary extension of Federal tax credits expires. However, so long as the Obama administration supports continued development of renewable energy resources, siting controversies may soon resume.
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Although the author has worked around the country and monitored the industry for over a decade, the zoning law has yet to be written that allows “big” wind as an outright use. However proscribed, windfarm placement is most always vulnerable to public challenge and ad hoc approvals.
Siting challenges in rural areas To any who have driven along a seeming miles long placement of wind turbines, one can see that the building of such a project is no small undertaking. While most projects can actually be constructed during a single building season, the planning and permitting process may take years. As the industry has matured, so too have the arguments and studies purporting potential damages or denying such. The siting of so-called LULUs (Locally Undesirable Land Uses) in rural areas often triggers public review. The potential impacts on local property values must be addressed as one of the criteria for project approval. Windfarms are treated no differently than landfills, or nuclear waste dumps, for that matter. Not surprisingly, contention rises whenever windfarm proposals approach settled areas, as opposed to remote windblown deserts. The approval process varies across jurisdictions. In New York, individual townships have say, while Washington State devised a statewide siting council that could override local county planning boards. In most places it is at the county level that planning boards or commissions are sufficiently staffed to evaluate contending claims. In essence, wind developers look to build, collect fees and move on to the next project, leaving the local landscape dramatically changed. In the process of tying up land (given that a sufficient wind resource has been identified and project financing secured), the developer will attempt to broadly compensate as many landholders as possible, thereby removing opponents, if not currying outright goodwill.
Feature Opposition typically begins with proximate landowners who are not otherwise compensated. They will allege adverse property value impacts and often health fears. This NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) gambit is familiar to any real estate developer who must obtain project approval through a public process. Motive is always suspect and standing to protest will vary with jurisdiction.
The Bones of Contention The siting process often involves teams of dueling experts assembled by both developers and opponents to marshal evidence alleging or refuting claims of potential damage. The fact is, the record is too short and the data too scant to effectively demonstrate affects either way. Nevertheless, the body of knowledge grows, perhaps elevating the erudition of the debate. First, follow the money. Wind developers have evolved as a cottage industry because of the financial incentives funded at both the federal and state levels. The incentives were created to promote environmentally responsible policies encouraging energy independence while lessening domestic dependence on fossil fuels. The financial incentives are necessary because the capital cost to build generators that use renewable fuels is significantly greater than building the equivalent that can burn coal, gas, or oil. These policies enjoy broad political support so long as someone else pays the bill, and the power generator is built somewhere else. Wind developers thus offer clean, green energy and economic benefits. Their opposition at the community level includes aggrieved property owners and the occasional environmentalist concerned about bird kills and habitat impacts. How long wind turbines will remain depends on technology, energy markets, and consumer demand. The machines themselves are typically warranted for up to 25 years. Some first generation windfarms built west of Palm Springs in the 1980s have been decommissioned, but not removed. Turbines are most often sited on leased land where the underlying agreement usually calls for removal and restoration of the site at the end of a coterminous Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). However ironclad such agreements appear today, there can be no assurance bankruptcy or some unforeseen economic restructuring could render such liability moot. How many superfund sites were created by now defunct companies, if not industries? At a cost of $2 to $3 million apiece, installed, a utility scale windfarm can represent an investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Advocates will tout the economic stimulus this might represent to a small community, yet well over half the cost is in the component parts, typically manufactured elsewhere. Local labor is seldom employed while the parade of tractor-trailers conveying parts, one blade or nacelle at a time can be disruptive. The major long-term investment benefit of a wind project may be its contribution to the local tax base through property taxes. Alternatively, developers will often negotiate a PILOT, or Payment in Lieu of Taxes. PILOTs can be lump sums or annual payments often targeting schools or infrastructure support. In some cases, PILOTs will be phased out and property taxes substituted at later dates. Finally, while utility-scale windfarms are billed as powering so many homes, the implication being that the turbines outside your door are a significant local source of energy, the power generated is offloaded to the grid and dispatched on a regional basis.
Opponents to permitting windfarms allege stigma, loss in property values and adverse health effects. Interestingly, environmental opposition is stronger in non-farming areas, perhaps because the industrial agriculture of the Midwest has already eliminated sensitive habitat. Adverse health impacts include reports of turbine noise; sleep disruption and shadow or flicker effects. The latter supposedly caused when spinning turbines create a strobe effect when the sun is on the horizon. Health claims arising from indirect and somewhat remote influences are difficult to substantiate, however graphic or compelling. They are anecdotal at best. Funding for clinical studies is always limited and goes to the most egregious claims. No pattern of permanent debility from wind farm placement has yet emerged. But given enough time, who knows. However, adverse property value impacts from LULUs (like windfarms) have long been subject to debate. The literature is rich with academic, industry, and government sponsored studies addressing the perception, measure and duration of such impacts.
A Resource Overview Real estate impact studies fall into two categories; micro-economic studies based on paired sales and hedonic studies based on statistical sampling and multiple regression. The former can be prepared by real estate appraisers using local multiple listings and assessor records. The latter analyses are much broader in scope and often require foundation or government funding to support. Some peer-reviewed studies addressing “disamenities” (an academic term for LULUs) on rural home values have found modest impacts when high end or custom homes are involved (Kroll and Priestley, 1992). Some studies directly addressing windfarm impacts in the United Kingdom (Sims, et al. 2007, 2008), McLean County, Illinois (Hinman 2010), and Lewis County, New York (Heintzelman and Tuttle 2012) suggest negative impacts are too insignificant to measure. Other studies have suggested negative impacts dissipate over time and can be most significant in anticipation of construction, compared with post-construction transactions. In most zoning cases, local appraisers are hired to demonstrate property value impacts of a proposed windfarm project. Appraisers will typically rely on a paired sales analysis, a technique commonly used to gauge price appreciation over time or measure how much to adjust for varying characteristics, like extra bathrooms or house size. In theory, one compares qualified arm’s length sales of two identical properties, save for a single differentiating feature. The implication being that the difference accounts for the variance in price. The simplest example is the sale and resale of the same house. Absent changes to configuration or remodeling and assuming similar physical condition, any change in price over time might be attribute to appreciation (if the price went up) or depreciation (if the price dropped). This approach is only as valid as the data allows. Paired sales have most relevance when the data set is homogeneous and there are lots of transactions or “observations” in statistical parlance. Paired sales would be an ideal and logical tool, if only houses were pencils. But every property is fixed in place and unique. Houses, even when seemingly identical, eventually come to reflect the style and habits of the occupant. No home is ever really an interchangeable commodity. Hence, the paired sale methodology, at best is an anecdotal tool that the appraiser relies on, not as absolute proof, but only as evidence supporting her findings, otherwise based on her judgment and years of experience.
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Feature And, as any appraiser will admit, sometimes the data does not cooperate. Two sets of paired sales might show just the opposite. Data can be scrubbed, outliers explained, but in some cases, there is simply no accounting for personal preference. However, statistical theory recognizes this and deals with it two ways: increase the number of observations, or even better, randomly sample a vast population.
Going back to finding out whether windfarms affect property values, the analyst is now confronted with sparse settlement across a rural settlement where variability is high in terms of size, age, quality and utility of individual dwellings. Further, rural residences are seldom sited on uniform sized parcels akin to a lot on a block in a subdivision. The best solution is to significantly expand the scope of study.
Dale, Larry, Murdoch, James C., Thayer, Mark A. and Waddell, Paul A, “Do Property Values Rebound From Environmental Stigmas?” Land Economics, May 1999, Vol. 75, No. 2 pages 311-326
To date, the most significant body of work studying windfarm impacts at a macro-level has been undertaken by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Berkeley Lab is based on the University of California campus. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy (the DOE) has sponsored ongoing research. This research has consistently found “no statistical evidence” that home values near turbines were affected post-announcement or post-construction.1 The type of model the Berkeley Lab deployed is technically called “spatial hedonic analysis.” While the detail and process are described at length in a pending white paper, cited below, the lay reader simply needs to grasp the concept. An hedonic model attempts to assign values to characteristics operating from the premise that choice can be inferred from price.
Conclusion The wind energy industry has been nurtured, and arguably reached maturity, under a supportive regime incentivizing development of renewable energy resources in lieu of carbon-based fuel; i.e. coal, oil and gas. Today, this paradigm may be changing. The apparent abundance of natural gas undermines energy pricing, if not biased environmental policies. To be fair, no energy resource has developed without subsidy. However, the dramatic slowdown in wind development may augur premature obsolescence for these obtrusive machines. From a real estate perspective, uncertain economics may lead to blight and lost value. Agricultural land brokers may need to be as mindful of the price of kilowatt-hours as bushels of corn. Whether an impact can be gauged to be statistically significant is not the same as denying it exists. The problem is measurement. The best academic studies referenced here repeatedly find no measurable impact from wind farms on proximate home values. Yet, their database is limited and perhaps inconclusive. Each transaction is inherently unique. Advocates on both sides will find evidence to support their interests and argument. What shall policy makers, confronted with wind farm siting decisions, look to? Perceived economic benefits should be carefully balanced against long-term costs. Can tower removal be secured once the machines become obsolete? Since the power generated by “big wind” is offloaded to a regional grid, are assessment practices fair and sustainable to help support the local economy? Finally, if inverse condemnation is alleged, perhaps developers should simply acquire at market value affected properties, then resell them post construction. What better proof that impact is negligible then the resale at market prices of such homes? 1 Hoen, Ben et al., “A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working paper, 2013
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Bell, Randall, Real Estate Damages, Applied Economics and Detrimental Conditions, 2nd Edition, The Appraisal Institute, Chicago, IL, 2008 Bottemiller, Steven C. and Wolverton, Marvin L., “Further Analysis of Transmission Line Impact on Residential Property Values,” The Appraisal Journal, The Appraisal Institute, (July 2003), pp. 244-252
DeLacy, P. B., “Renewable Energy: Headwinds Ahead?” Real Estate Issues, The Counselors of Real Estate, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2011 DeLacy, P. B., “Wind Farms- A Valuation Primer,” Appraisal Journal, Appraisal Institute, Winter 2011 DeLacy, P. Barton, “A LULU of a case: Gauging Property Value Impacts in Rural Areas,” Real Estate Issues, Fall 2004, Volume 29, No. 3. Gamble, H. B., Downing, R. H., “Effects of the Accident at Three Mile Island on Residential Property Values and Sales”, Pennsylvania State University for Division of Safeguards, Fuel Cycle and Environmental Research, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U. S. Nuclear regulatory Commission, April 1981 Heintzelman, M. D., and Tuttle, C., Values in the Wind: A Hedonic Analysis of Wind Power Facilities, Land Economics, 2012 Hinman, J. L., Wind Farm Proximity and Property Values: A Pooled Hedonic Regression Analysis of Property Values in Central Illinois. Master’s Thesis, Illinois State University, 2010 Hoen, Ben, “Impacts of Windmill Visibility on Property Values in Madison County, New York,” Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Bard College, Annandale on the Hudson, New York, 2006 Hoen, Ben et al., “A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working paper, 2013 Jordal-Jorgensen, Jorgen. “Social Assessment of Wind Power: Visual Effect and Noise from Windmills-Quantifying and Valuation” AKF- Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark, April 1996. http://www.akf.dk/eng/wind0.htm McCluskey, Jill J. and Gordon C. Rausser, 2003. “Hazardous Waste Sites and Housing Appreciation Rates,” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 45(1): 166-176. McCluskey, Jill J. and Gordon C. Rausser, 2003. “Stigmatized Asset Value: Is it Temporary or Long-term?” The Review of Economics and Statistics 85(2): 276285. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, “Impact of Wind Farms on the Value of Residential Property and Agricultural Land”, An RICS Survey; November 2004 Schulz, Steven and Nick Schmitz, „Viewshed Analysis to Measure the Impact of Lake Views on Residential Properties, The Appraisal Journal, The Appraisal Institute, Summer 2008, pp 224-32 Strathman, James G.; DeLacy, P. Barton; Dueker, Kenneth J., “Creative Financing “Concessions in Residential Sales: Effects and Implications,” Housing Finance Review, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., April 1984, pp 149-163 Wiser, Ryan, et al., The Cost of Transmission for Wind Energy: A Review of Transmission Studies, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, February 2009, http://eetd.lbl.gov/EA/EMP Yergin, Daniel, The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World, Penguin Press, 2011
About the author: P. Barton DeLacy, MAI, CRE, FRICS, Principal of DeLacy Consulting LLC, brings 35 years of valuation advisory experience on all property types. Focusing on the real estate implications of power generation, DeLacy has built valuation models and studied property value impacts for geo-thermal, solar, wind and coal-fired power generation. His articles have been in publications for “REALTOR® University”, “The Appraisal Journal,” and the “Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies.”
China Investing in American Real Estate Mark Dotzour, PHD, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Texas A & M University’s Real Estate Center Foreign investment in real estate is still rolling in at a rapid clip.
Money is flowing into American real estate from countries all over the world. The reasons are many. First and foremost, there are many parts of the world where the local currency is depreciating rapidly with associated high rates of inflation. Then, there are other countries where the government leaders threaten to confiscate wealth from their own citizens through higher taxes or nationalization of privately owned assets. These are the traditional reasons why money flows out of one country and into another. America has long been viewed as the international “safe haven.”
Bank of China Ltd. became the first Chinese lender to participate in the sale of U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities, known as CMBS. They joined a group of banks in a $950 million loan to finance a 43-story building at 1290 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan.
America is seen as the place where the rule of law matters, a place where private property rights are honored. It has been viewed as a place where government confiscation of private wealth is unthinkable. The U.S. dollar is something that can always be used to purchase goods and services around the world. I realize that events in recent years have caused people to question whether these tenets still hold true, but the fact is that America is still the “prettiest pig at the trough”. China is making a big entrance into the U.S. real estate market. We have known for years that China is a huge buyer of U.S. government bonds and there is no magic reason why this has happened. They buy our bonds because they don’t buy enough goods and services that are made in America. Ultimately, they HAVE to buy something American in order to keep their currency artificially low. Japan has the same problem. As long as China and Japan feel the need to keep their currency low so American firms can’t compete with them on price, they will buy American real estate, American companies, and U.S. government bonds. China has decided it’s time to diversify the massive wealth it is accumulating from U.S. consumers. They have a wealth of U.S. Treasury bonds, and now are looking for something different. Here is some evidence of China’s new entrance into American real estate that I have observed in recent stories of The Wall Street Journal. October 2013 State-owned property developer Greenland Holdings of China agreed to buy a majority stake in a 15-tower apartment project in Brooklyn. This is the largest commercial real estate development in the United States to get major backing directly from a Chinese company. October 2013
March 2013 Bank of China Ltd. had $3.7 billion in commercial property loans outstanding in its U.S. branches at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012 . . . almost four times the level in the same period of 2009. “They are like the 1,000-pound gorilla in the room where they have the capital to lend at very competitive terms.” March 2013 A group led by one of China’s leading developers is in advanced stages to buy a 40 percent stake in the General Motors Building in Manhattan. The deal would rank as one of the largest purchases of a single U.S. property by a Chinese investor. If the deal goes through, it would value the building at about $3.4 billion. Do you see a pattern here? China has decided to make a major push into the real estate markets in America. They are moving into housing development. They are moving into CMBS lending. And they are moving into direct real estate lending with their branch offices. This is a huge new source of capital for the real estate market place. To keep things in perspective, the 15-tower Brooklyn apartment project may be the biggest development in the country right now, but it’s no big deal for Chinese developers. Here is one more WSJ article for your consideration: July 2013 Between 2000 and 2013, China added 10,800 square miles of urban space, the equivalent of 322 Manhattans, much of which was devoted to industrial development and housing. About the author: Dr. Mark G. Dotzour is the Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Real Estate Center at Texas A & M University. He conducts market research to monitor how global and national trends are likely to impact commercial and residential real estate markets.
Chinese have invested $1.7 billion in U.S. property in 2013, up from $22 million in 2008. May 2013 China’s currency-reserves manager has set up a New York operation to invest in private equity, real estate and other U.S. assets. China has slightly reduced the amount of Treasury debt it owns.
TerraFirma Winter 2014 41
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