Let’s face it, buying or selling land real estate can be terrifying. There have been countless times I have noticed visible anxiety on people as they contemplate a transaction. We live in an era where one “bad apple” can spoil the whole bunch. The news of bad real estate experiences travels fast. The value an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) can bring when purchasing or selling a property is becoming increasingly more substantial. There are many reasons to never buy land without an ALC, but let’s focus on four.
This is kind of like hitting a baseball on a tee, but it can’t be said enough. Society tends to hear the horror stories and it can be hard for people to feel a sense of trust from a real estate agent. Right or wrong, sometimes us agents get lumped into the over-generalized stigma of used car salesmen and attorneys (comment not intended for the fantastic attorneys with whom I work!). There are far more honorable agents than bad ones, and that is distinctly the case within the REALTORS® Land Institute. Someone who has taken the time to obtain the ALC designation learns through education and experience that you are often only as good as your reputation. The backbone of becoming an ALC is defining yourself as a trusted professional with high moral character.
When it comes to selling land, I am absolutely convinced that ALCs are the best in the business. For starters, you can only become a designated ALC after you have proven yourself in the field. ALCs are given countless opportunities to hone their craft in negotiations and property presentation. Through the National Land Conference, Summer Education Week, Online courses, Webinars, ALC to ALC teleconferences and the top-notch staff at the national office, ALCs are given the tools to grow. A rookie coming into the major leagues for the first time doesn’t stop practicing, and likewise an ALC doesn’t rest on the three letters of the designation. We are all a work in progress who uses the tools available to get better every day.
I am not a self-proclaimed intellectual genius by a long shot, but I can tell a client without a shadow of a doubt that I am smarter in my field and better equipped because of my ongoing ALC status. The diversity of knowledge I have obtained through my involvement with the REALTORS® Land Institute is impressive to be honest. That statement has nothing to do with my IQ or ability to retain information; it has everything to do with what is offered to each and every ALC. What about your competitor at John Doe Reality down the street whose staff hasn’t pursued the ALC and LANDU’s education? Do they know about Delaware Statutory Trusts, 1033 involuntary conversion exchanges, Timber REITS, current legislation challenges, natural resource negotiations, etc., etc.? I am confident that an ALC is much better-rounded in knowledge than your typical non-ALC agent. I don’t see any avenue that would lead me to achieving this vast knowledge without being an ALC.
When I attended the 2011 National Land Conference in Nashville, I was green as grass and very new to the real estate game. I remember hearing people talk about the networking and being able to swing all of these deals because of the platform being an ALC provided them. I have to be honest, that part of me wanted to think these comments were “fluff” or “humble bragging”. Time and experience corrected me. Just this year, I was able to help close on one of the largest deals I’ve had the privilege of working on. The ONLY reason it happened is because of a friendship through RLI. The large farm wasn’t even being advertised, but my sellers had mentioned that if the right investor came along with a lease back possibility, they would listen. I made one call. It was a winding road from there, but it got done and only because of RLI and our bond as ALCs. Similarly, I have a client moving out to Wyoming. I have been to Wyoming a couple times, but my knowledge of Wyoming begins and ends with knowing it is out West and is gorgeous. With that said, I can confidently refer him to several ALCs from the Wyoming chapter. This is a people business. Knowing like-minded professionals throughout the country is a huge asset that not many agents can provide.
These reasons all sound so simple and in some ways they are. But, you could delve further into each of these reasons and find sub categories (and sub categories of those sub categories!) on how valuable an ALC can be in this industry. I shudder to think about how my quality of service would be if I hadn’t made the decision to give it my all within the REALTORS® Land Institute. Maybe I would be oblivious to my shortcomings, but knowing what I know now, I can’t possibly recommend someone buy a property without the help of an ALC.
Contributor Luke Worrell, ALC, Worrell Land Services
Luke Worrell, ALC, is a Broker and Accredited Farm Manager in Jacksonville, IL. He specializes in agricultural real estate and land management in west central Illinois. Luke enjoys all things sports and traveling. He resides in Springfield, IL with his wife Allison and two sons Kale and Benson.