Is New Technology Replacing Land Brokers?

Are real estate land brokerages going the way of the dinosaur?

With the advent of drone videos, Google Earth, digitized County GIS records, and property advertising websites, are the traditional services of rural land brokers still needed? This article is my attempt to address that question.

If you are a part-time or mediocre land agent who only does an occasional land deal, you should be worried about how necessary you are going to be to consumers going forward. Your services will probably not continue to be as relevant in the near future. Brokers that continue to get better at their jobs and excel in professionalism have a bright future ahead.

My conclusion comes from observing craftsmen in their trades. A mediocre cabinet maker with access to fine tools, will continue to make substandard cabinets. A master with ordinary tools can accomplish surpassing quality because they pour their heart and mind into their work. It isn’t the tools that do the work, it is the expertise and discipline of the craftsman.

Websites, videos, mapping systems, UTV’s, and internet access to information are all tools of the land brokerage trade. There have been immense advancements in technology in my short 8 years in this business. Mapping technology is infinitely easier to use than when I entered the field. Now every buyer has access to Google tools that allow them to zoom in and out, draw boundaries, measure distances and area, and determine distances to their home. This is no longer proprietary information that consumers rely on brokers to obtain. There have been similar developments in finding property listings and also about obtaining county tax assessor information on parcels.

A conversation like this begs the question,  “What do land brokers really do?” If you are a broker and your answer to that is that you put properties online and in the newspaper, then your days in this business are likely numbered. I answer it this way, “I help people buy and sell land.” The emphasis in that sentence is on, “I help people.”

Consumers like to work with people they trust.

Our job as brokers is to give people all the information they need to make the best decision possible. For our clients, we also provide advice as to the proper course of action for their situation. In order for a broker to be able to provide expert advice, one must continue to learn and develop professionally. It takes a deep level of commitment to follow current trends, join professional organizations, network with others in the business, and constantly reflect on issues and trends that affect our industry.

My feeling is that brokers that are in this career for the long haul should join an organization like the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI), and work toward earning their Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation. The Institute was founded by and for land brokers to promote the level of professionalism and increase the level of service to our customers and clients. Our members take an oath to conduct business in the most ethical manner, and agree to be held to a higher standard in their daily practices. The ALC designation is earned by those who demonstrate a commitment to obtaining the education and exercising proficiency in serving people who buy or sell land.

A consumer may be thinking, “But brokers are not necessary because I can use the internet to do what you do.” A portion of that statement is true, the internet is helping to educate consumers. There is an ample amount of good information from Toyota on how to change the timing belt on my truck. Is that something that I would personally try? Probably not. My feeling is to leave that to the experts, because messing up such an important task could cost me more than it would save me. WebMD is filled with information on diagnosing many important health conditions. Is it a good idea to diagnose and treat yourself based merely on the range of symptoms contained in the two paragraphs you read?  No. You should seek out the person with the training and knowledge to help you diagnose and treat the actual condition.

We should work hard to offer our clients the best possible service that leads to the best possible outcomes for them. Those brokers who take the time to get the proper instruction, master the tools of the trade, and do their work with expert skill will have a successful career. There will be changes in our industry, and some among our ranks will be weeded out. Make a commitment to do the things necessary to help you excel in our profession and elevate the reputation of our industry. There will never be a replacement for a passionate person, driven to excellence who excels in serving people. Those are the brokers consumers will line up to work with.

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

REALTORS® Land Institute Lands New EVP As They Look To The Future

March 18, 2016 (Chicago, Ill.)- Bob Turner, ALC, 2016 REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) National President, announced Aubrie Kobernus as the Institute’s new Executive Vice President (EVP) during the 2016 National Land Conference in Dallas last weekend. The change comes as the Institute pushes to bring members added value to their membership in an effort to further enrich their careers as land professionals.

Current RLI President Bob Turner, ALC, expressed “Aubrie has the talent and skills to lead The REALTORS® Land Institute into the future. She is a member-driven leader that has tremendous organizational knowledge and skills from her experience with the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR). We are truly lucky to have a leader with such strong core values and extensive experience within the REALTOR® Family. I think she is the perfect choice to lead the Institute into the future!”

Kobernus brings fourteen years of experience in multiple facets of the real estate industry including association/non-profit management, governmental affairs, public policy, affordable housing, and community development.  She has extensive experience in program development and management, culled from working at the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS®, where she managed three divisions: Governmental Affairs and RPAC, the Commercial Council, and the MAAR Benevolent Fund Corporation.

“I am thrilled to be chosen as RLI’s next Executive Vice-President. I am excited to work in partnership with RLI leadership and our exceptional staff to return RLI to being a member-driven organization with the tools and resources to make our members the best in the land business anywhere in the world,” Kobernus stated.

Kobernus will be moving from Tennessee to work at the REALTORS® Land Institute’s headquarters in Chicago this April.

National REALTORS Land Institute LogoAbout the REALTORS® Land Institute
The REALTORS® Land Institute is the professional membership organization for real estate practitioners who specialize in land transactions. Over 100 years old, the Institute provides a wide range of programs and services that build knowledge, relationships, and business opportunities for the best in the land business. Through its best-in-class LANDU curriculum, the REALTORS® Land Institute confers its Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation to only those real estate practitioners who achieve the highest levels of education, experience, and professionalism. For more information, visit rliland.com or call 800.441.5263.

2016 National Land Conference Draws Best In The Business

March 16, 2016 (Chicago, Ill.)- Over two-hundred and fifty land professionals from thirty-one states gathered in Dallas, Texas, from March 11-13 to attend the 2016 National Land Conference hosted annually by the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI). Ninety-six Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) attended the conference and over twenty 2015 ALCs received their ALC pins at the conference’s ALC Luncheon. During the conference, the Institute presented seven distinguished ALC members with esteemed Institute Awards.

George Clift, ALC, of Amarillo, Texas, received the 2015 Land REALTOR® of America Award. The Land REALTOR® of America Award recognizes members of REALTORS® Land Institute for their effort and work expended in the interest of their fellow Institute members, their profession, and their community.

Aaron Graham, ALC, of Gretna, Nebraska, received the 2015 Rising Star Award. The Rising Star Award recognizes a member approaching a mid-level in his/her career who is on his/her way to making significant contributions to the land profession and to the Institute.

Porter Martin, ALC, of Traverse City, IL, received the 2015 Meeks Distinguished Service Award. In honor of dedicated, long-time Accredited Land Consultant Robert C. Meeks, the Distinguished Service Award is presented to an ALC in recognition of long-term commitment and service to fellow-Institute members, the land profession, and the community. Otto Sprenger, ALC, was also recognized at the conference as a recipient of this award in 2003.

Steve Anderson, ALC, and Andrew Van Rensburg, ALC, were both posthumous recipients of the 2015 Excellence in Instruction Award. The Excellence in Instruction Award recognizes REALTORS® Land Institute instructors for their exceptional teaching skills, contributions to LANDU professional development, and volunteerism for the REALTORS® Land Institute education program.

David Hitchcock, ALC, and Clay Taylor, ALC, both of Lakeland, Florida, received the ALC-to-ALC Networking Award after working together to complete an $8,150,471 transaction. The ALC-to-ALC Networking Awards showcase the range of referral opportunities available to those land professionals who have achieved the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation.

The Institute also awarded the RLI Illinois Chapter with the Chapter of the Year Award and Molly Suarez of the Iowa Chapter as the Chapter Administrator of the Year.

National REALTORS Land Institute Logo

2016 Land Markets Survey Points to Prosperous Year for Land Professionals


January 27, 2016 (Chicago, Ill.)-
Prices of land real estate sold in the U.S. rose by three percent between October 2014 and September 2015 according to a newly release Land Markets Survey published by the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) and the National Association of REALTORS®. The survey also predicted an average growth of two percent across all land types through October 2016, with a six percent growth expected in brownfield development.

 Land Real Estate Industry Survey InfographicThe survey also took a close look into the type of land most commonly being bought / sold in the last part of 2015. Individual/Families were the major buyers of recent land transactions both in the US and Canada up to fifty-five percent of buyers. The second largest buying group was investors at twenty-eight percent—up eleven percent from mid-2014. The survey also revealed an increase in foreign and corporate buyers as well as a decrease in buyers who are expansion farmers.

Bob Turner, ALC, 2016 Institute National President of REALTORS® Land Institute, stated “Our RLI land survey showed positive gains with momentum building in all land sectors across the country. Our members are seeing Agriculture land volumes up by two percent with a price gain of one percent, Commercial land volumes were up by three percent with a price increase of five percent, Residential land volumes were up by four percent with price increases of three percent. This survey shows that our members are seeing growth in demand and pricing which, once again, proves that land is a solid investment. The largest sector of buyers are Individuals showing they purchased sixty percent of the transactions. This is a very positive survey for our businesses and our members to continue to see price and volume gains in our most precious commodity “LAND”. Call a REALTORS® Land Institute professional member to help you with your next land purchase!”

The 2016 Land Markets Survey is a tool for real estate land professionals in all sectors of the business to use for bench-marking and as an informational resource when conducting business. This year marks the third consecutive year that the survey has been conducted to reveal current trends and the current state of land markets. The survey includes responses from over six-hundred and fourteen expert land professionals including respondents from across North America. The Institute has made the full real estate land markets survey available for free on their website.

National REALTORS Land Institute LogoAbout the REALTORS® Land Institute

The REALTORS® Land Institute is the professional membership organization for real estate practitioners who specialize in land transactions. Over 100 years old, the Institute provides a wide range of programs and services that build knowledge, relationships, and business opportunities for the best in the land business including the Annual National Land Conference.  Through its best-in-class LANDU education curriculum, the REALTORS® Land Institute confers its Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation to only those real estate practitioners who achieve the highest levels of education, experience, and professionalism. For more information, visit www.rliland.com or call 800.441.5263.

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Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation Grows to New Heights in 2015

January 6, 2016 (Chicago, IL)—The REALTORS® Land Institute announces 2015 as a record year, marking the highest number of Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) to be designated in a single year over the last ten years. The Institute congratulates the following thirty-two real estate land professionals who have accomplished earning the esteemed Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)designation through the Institute:

Albert Allen, ALC, New Ulm, TX; Brian Andrus, ALC, Clearwater, FL; Blair Bachman, ALC, New Braunfels, TX; Casey Berley, ALC, Rockwall, TX; Jeffrey Bernson, ALC, Midvale, UT; Steve Bilicek, ALC, Richmond, TX; Jason DurJava, ALC, Turlock, CA; Andy Flack, ALC, Huntsville, TX; Clint Flowers, ALC, Mobile, AL; Chip Fortenberry, ALC, Winter Haven, FL; Carell Freeman, ALC, Humble, TX; Boyd Harris, ALC, Centralia, MO; Tom Howard, ALC, Moultonborough, NH; Lance Langenhoven, ALC, The Woodlands, TX; Michael Matre, ALC, Albany, GA; Mehdi Mostaedi, ALC, Victorville, CA; Christopher  Peacock, ALC, Winchester, IN; Alan Noy, ALC, Vernon Center, MN; Calvin Perryman, ALC, Camden, AL; Jason Robbins, ALC, Asheboro, NC; William Sheridan, ALC, Mason, MI; Debbie Solano, ALC, Tulsa, OK; Sue Stephens, ALC, Lubbock, TX; Brad Van Weelden, ALC, Des Moines, IA; J. Gardner Lile IV, ALC, Little Rock, AR; John Debitetto, ALC, Fort Myers, FL; Douglas Meschko, ALC, Fort Myers, FL; Tommy Stroud Jr., ALC, St. Simons Island, GA; Jeff Wolpert, ALC, Fresno, CA; Janet Martin, ALC, Sulphur Springs, TX; Chris  Miller, ALC, Charlotte, NC; and Michael Price, ALC, Fort Myers, FL.

Earning the ALC designation is an indication of the most accomplished, experienced, educated, and highest performing land experts in the industry. ALCs work hard to complete the rigorous LANDU education requirements, build a proven track record of success in the business, and pass an evaluation and approval process by the Institute’s Designation Committee and Board of Directors. ALCs are the most trusted land professionals as a result of their commitment to professional development and a strong code of ethical conduct.

National REALTORS Land Institute LogoThe REALTORS® Land Institute is the professional membership organization for real estate practitioners who specialize in land transactions. Over 100 years old, the Institute provides a wide range of programs and services that build knowledge, relationships, and business opportunities for the best in the land business, including the Annual National Land Conference being held on March 11-13 in Dallas, Texas.  Through its best-in-class LANDU curriculum, the REALTORS® Land Institute confers its Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation to only those real estate practitioners who achieve the highest levels of education, experience, and professionalism. For more information, visit www.rliland.com or contact Jessa Friedrich, Communications & Marketing Specialist, at jbertinetti@realtors.org.

Download a PDF of this release.

Land Markets Survey Shows Individuals and Families Continue to Invest in Land

Land Markets Survey Shows Individuals and Families Continue to Invest in Land
The REALTORS® Land Institute

September 2, 2014 (Chicago, Ill.)- While overall median land prices steadily rose 4 percent, individuals and families continued to invest in land and account for 58 percent of buyers in land sales transactions, according to a 2014 Land Markets Survey, conducted jointly by the REALTORS® Land Institute and National Association of REALTORS®. In addition, the survey also revealed that 17 percent of land purchasers are corporations/partnerships, 17 percent are investors, and 10 percent are expansion farmers.

The 2014 Land Market Survey is the first of many biannual reports aimed to develop accurate information on current trends in the land markets and on the general state of land sales. The results are representative of over 625 land professional respondents from across the United States.

According to the survey, 43 percent of the purchases where individuals/families were buyers were purposed for farm and ranch (24 percent agriculture and 17 percent ranch) and 31 percent for recreation. Of those surveyed, expansion farmers purchased 98 percent of land for farm and ranch (85 percent agriculture and 13 percent ranch). Investors purchased a diversified portfolio of land (21 percent agriculture, 20 percent timber, 17 percent development, 14 percent commercial). Of the 17 percent of land purchased by corporations, development land accounted for 30 percent, commercial land accounted for 26 percent, and 17 percent accounted for timber.

Terri Jensen, ALC Advanced, 2014 Institute National President-Elect of REALTORS® Land Institute, states that the findings “follow my experience in that 70 to 85 percent of land buyers are expansion farmers/individuals/families; the balance are investors and/or 1031 exchange buyers.”

The results appropriately correlate to the findings that responding land professionals across the United States primarily focus their practices in agriculture (69 percent) and recreation (59 percent). The market and growth for land is steady. The survey recorded that over the past twelve months, ending in July 2014, the median land price change is growth of 4 percent.

According to Jensen, “Land prices are noting stable versus rapidly rising prices with decreases noted in some areas. Most decreases were less than 10 percent of responses and reflected 0 to 10 percent decreases and increases. The 0 to 5 percent increase in 50 plus percent of responses note the change to stability versus rapid changes up or down.”

The 2014 Land Market Survey was based on data collected in July 2014. The survey was emailed to 1,000 REALTORS® Land Institute members and approximately 9,500 non-members and generated 629 usable responses. The full survey is available for free online.

Brandon Rogillio, ALC, Named 2015 Institute National Vice President

Brandon Rogillio, ALC, Named 2015 Institute National Vice President
The REALTORS® Land Institute
An affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®

June 13, 2014 (Chicago, IL) –The REALTORS® Land Institute is proud to announce Brandon Rogillio,ALC, as the 2015 Institute National Vice President. As an experienced Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) with a passionate commitment to the land industry, Rogillio will be a strong addition to the Institute Executive Leadership team. This honor confirms he will serve as the 2017 Institute National President.

Rogillio is the owner/broker of Rogillio Real Estate in Baton Rouge, LA and began practicing real estate as a profession while studying economics at Southeastern Louisiana University. In the spring of 2009, he earned the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation, an indication of the most accomplished, experienced, educated, and highest performing land expert in the country. He has completed a rigorous education program and has a proven track record of transaction performance. Among the marketplace, Rogillio is one of the most respected and trusted land experts.

Over the past six years, Rogillio held several Institute leadership roles including the Representative to the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial Committee, an active member of the Government Affairs Committee, and the 2011 Co-Chair of the National Land Conference. His experiences have allowed him to see firsthand the importance of the Institute’s political voice in Washington.

Rogillio will be inducted on Thursday, November 6, 2014, during the 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Conference and Expo in New Orleans, LA.

Statistics show Accredited Land Consultants earn $100,000 more

Statistics show Accredited Land Consultants earn $100,000 more
REALTORS® Land Institute 2013 survey uncovers remarkable results

June 6, 2014 (Chicago, IL) –The results of a REALTORS® Land Institute survey indicate that the average Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) earned $373,925 in 2013, which is approximately $100,000 more a year than the average non-designee respondents. The largest ALC transaction in 2013 was $80 million and the largest ALC transaction reported to date in 2014 is $562 million.

The results are a clear indication of the value and benefits of working with an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) when participating in land transactions. These credentialed professionals have completed a rigorous education program and have a proven track record of transaction performance. By leveraging an in-depth understanding of the land market, they are the most qualified to create solutions, add value, and build wealth for clients.

ALCs are current on legislative and regulatory issues that impact land, understand a range of financing, tax, and estate planning strategies; provide thoughtful, educated analysis of land values; and are committed to ethics, integrity, and professionalism. Among the marketplace, ALCs are the most respected and trusted land experts.

To work with an Accredited Land Consultant, visit www.rliland.com/find-a-land-consultant or call 800-441-5263. To learn more about attaining the designation, visit www.rliland.com/alc-requirements.

REALTORS Land Institute Honors 2013 Award Winners

REALTORS® Land Institute Honors 2013 Award Winners 

The REALTORS® Land Institute
An affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®

Chapter, Instructor, and Networking Awards Given at the 2014 National Land Conference

March 25, 2014 (Chicago, IL) –The REALTORS® Land Institute named the award winners for the 2013 Outstanding Chapter of the Year, the 2013 Excellence in Instruction awards, and the 2013 ALC-to-ALC Networking awards, at the 2014 National Land Conference in Charleston, SC, on March 12-14. The awards are an honor among the REALTORS® Land Institute and prestigious Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) professional community.

The Institute recognized the Iowa Chapter #2 of the REALTORS® Land Institute as the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Chapter of the Year award. This honor recognizes a chapter that has demonstrated excellence and creativity in member retention, education, volunteering, technology, outreach, and collaboration. The Iowa Chapter is known for “doing it all” and “doing it well.” The award was accepted by Kyle Hansen, ALC, 2013 Chapter President; Terry Pauling, 2014 Chapter President, and Molly Suarez, Chapter Administrator.

The 2013 Excellence in Instruction awards honored Randy Hertz, ALC Advanced, and Jim Miller, Esq. Both LANDU instructors bring quality, timely, and accurate information to their students. By updating courses and providing up-to-date technology and discussion on current industry laws, they capture the true spirit of businessmen who share and believe in the importance of knowledge and professional development.

The ALC-to-ALC Networking awards recognized Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) with the most lucrative peer collaboration during 2013. The deals are a clear indication of increased productivity and business expansion from networking among ALCs. Murray Wise, ALC, and Ben Crosby, ALC, won both the 2013 Largest In-State ALC-to-ALC Transaction by Sales Volume, and the 2013 Largest In-State ALC-to-ALC Transaction by Total Acreage. The Largest National Referral for an ALC-to-ALC Transaction by Sales Volume was awarded to Randy Hertz, ALC Advanced; Terry Rupp, ALC, and Troy Louwagie, ALC. The final award, the ALC-to-ALC Networking Award for Overall Collaboration was presented to Ben Crosby, ALC; Squire Smith, ALC; Clay Taylor, ALC; and David Hitchcock, ALC Advanced.

Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) are more than just land professionals, they are the most accomplished, experienced, and highest performing land experts across the country. They specialize in agricultural land, timberland, ranch, and recreational properties, or vacant land for developments.

2014 National Land Conference Attracts Land Industry Experts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For additional information contact:
Kate Noble
800-441-5263
knoble@realtors.org

2014 National Land Conference Attracts Land Industry Experts
The REALTORS® Land Institute
An affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®

Institute Continues its Commitment to Building Knowledge and Promoting Business

March 19, 2014 (Chicago, IL)- The 2014 National Land Conference: If land could talk, attracted  professionals from across the nation to learn from experts, connect with industry peers, and make deals. The conference, presented by the REALTORS® Land Institute on March 12-14 in Charleston, SC, hit record attendance and incoming reports indicate it was the best conference yet for professionals in the agriculture, timber, ranch, recreation, appraisal, auction, farm management, site selection, and land investment industries.

Attendees expanded their knowledge base from world renown experts on hot topics including the economy; energy, hydraulic fracturing, and mineral rights; marketing and new technology; land conservation opportunities for land owners; 1031 exchanges that benefit land owners; and international business opportunities. Presenters included Leonard Jordan, Associate Chief of Conservation at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; William Emmons, PhD, Assistant Vice President and Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; and Samuel Boxer, Esq., Partner of the Environmental Practice Group of Sidley Austin LLP.

Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) met during a preconference with Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC, to discuss how to utilize the ALC designation in business strategies and provide the best service to clients. TheAccredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation is an indication of the land professional who is the most accomplished, experienced, educated, and highest performing land expert. It requires successful completion of a rigorous education program and a proven track record of success. They are the most trusted land professionals as a result of their commitment to professional development and a strong code of conduct.

ALCs were honored with awards for peer networking and making deals. For 2013, the recipients of the National ALC-to-ALC Networking Award for sales volume collaborated on a $77,300,000 transaction. Other honors awarded included the Chapter of the Year award and the Excellence in Instruction awards. The Institute also recognized the 23 ALCs who were awarded the ALC Advanced for their commitment to lifelong professional learning and stewardship for success of an organization.

The 2015 National Land Conference will take place in Tucson, AZ, on March 23-25. For more information visitwww.rliland.com/2015NationalLandConference.

About the REALTORS® Land Institute
The REALTORS® Land Institute is the professional membership organization for real estate practitioners who specialize in land transactions. An affiliate organization of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Institute provides a wide range of programs and services that build knowledge, relationships, and business opportunities for the best in the land business. Through its best-in-class LandU curriculum, the REALTORS® Land Institute confers its Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation to only those real estate practitioners who achieve the highest levels of education, experience, and professionalism.

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