Five Questions To Help You Find The Perfect Hunting Land

Hunting for game is fun, hunting for the perfect hunting property can be less fun. Buying a hunting property requires an extensive knowledge of land, wildlife, and what is necessary for a great hunt. Here are five questions you should always ask before buying hunting land.

1.Does The Land Provide Food Sources That Will Attract Game?

Food sources are key for attracting prey to your land. Providing animals with a reliable food source is a promise that animals will come to your land again and again. Depending on the type of animal you are trying to attract, you’ll need to adjust the food sources. Here are a few suggestions, by animal, that can help:

Deer: Deer love chestnuts, acorns, apples, clover, cow peas, and wheat. They have also been known to munch on marijuana plants.

Ducks: These birds aren’t picky, but you can lure them to your property with greens, oats, peas, and seeds.

Rabbits: Wild rabbits prefer fresh foliage over anything dry. Their diet is mostly clover, grass, and wildflowers.

Wild boar: These omnivorous beats will eat pretty much anything, but have been known to love acorns.

If the land you are looking to purchase doesn’t have these plants growing there currently, don’t abandon this property just yet. You can grow almost all of these crops on the property as long as the soil type is right for it (If the soil type isn’t conducive for growing what your game needs to eat, it’s a great time to consult with a land professional about whether or not this property would be right for you

2. Do Hunters Have Easy Access To The Land?

Some hunting spots can be a real pain to get to. Long drives or unmarked land can force hunters to spend all their time hunting for the land instead of hunting game. Hunting is supposed to be a recreational, fun activity, and if getting to the hunting land is too much of a hassle, people will go elsewhere. So, if possible, avoid land that would be difficult to get access to for hunters.

If you do purchase a property that can be difficult to access, there are steps you can take to make access easier for hunters. Clearly marked signs, directions on your website, and keeping boats by the water instead of in a shed are all great ways to make hunting on your land smoother.

3. Does The Land Generate Income Outside Of Hunting?

With a national decline hunting and uncertain land values, very few landowners are able to make all their money off of hunting fees alone. If you are looking to seek returns on your land, you’ll need to find multi-purpose land. Timber is a great export, if you can spare the trees from your hunting land.

4. Will The Neighbors Help or Hurt My Hunting?

As a land owner, your neighbors can be the biggest asset or biggest threat to your hunting land. Neighbors that are conscious about which bucks they harvest and the impact each kill has on the genetic pool are the best neighbors. Watch out for neighbors that shoot at anything that moves. Not only is that selfish, it also weakens the future generations of game. Try to meet some nearby landowners to get a sense of how they handle wildlife management.

5. Will Animals Want To Live Here?

The key to buying hunting land is to have an environment where animals want to live. Having food sources, as we mentioned in the first point, is a great start, but you need more than that . To attract the best game, you need to think like them. What do they need to feel safe? What do they need to settle down and start a family on your property? There needs to be coverage where deer or other game can feel safe, sleep, and start a family. They also need spots they can hide. Look for properties with shrub thickets or grass fields that will help the critters feel at home.

Open space in hunting land can look beautiful, but it is a deterrent to game. Animals are smarter than we give them credit for. They know how venerable they are in open spaces.

If your land has too much open space, this can be fixed. Plant shrubs and trees on your property to give your game more coverage. Here’s a great tip from Bow Hunting on how to create cover for deer:

“To start, locate a few areas that are situated on top of a rise with a view, or level areas with relatively open views that point away from the prevailing winds. Hinge-cut a tree by cutting halfway through it and letting it topple. The tree will continue to grow for a few years from the downed tops, creating thick growth. Deer, and bucks in particular, will often bed right at the base of these trees looking out into the open areas. That way they can smell predators from behind them and see anything in front.”

The perfect hunting land can be a huge boon to you and your kids. Great hunting land can be passed down through generations, providing a source of income and fun for years. Using an ALC can answer the above questions and make buying hunting land a much smoother task. Happy hunting!

 

About the author: Laura Barker is Marketing Assistant for the REALTORS® Land Institute. She graduated from Clark University in May 2017 and had been with RLI since October 2017.

In What Ways Do Soil Types Affect Land Use?

Soil deserves a lot more attention than it gets. Few people talk about how much soil types affect land use The right kind of soil can help a land owner grow great crops or build houses that last a long time. The wrong kind of soil can result in stunted crops or houses being swept away during floods. While soil types might not seem important at first glance, they just might be the factor that makes or breaks your land property.

Because of the unique chemical make-ups of each soil type, the practices used on a plot of land must be matched to the land’s soil type. Each soil type is unique and has its own benefits and drawbacks. Some are best suited for crops, while others are better for buildings houses and barns on.

If you are new to soil types, here’s a quick Soil 101 on the different soil types you could find on your land real estate:

  1. Clay. Clay soil has excellent water storage. Thanks to this, it holds onto plant nutrients and is great for roses, leafy vegetables, peas, and tomatoes.
  2. Chalky. This low moisture soil is typically found over limestone beds and chalk deposits. This soil type is not ideal for planting crops, as it can result in stunted or yellow plants. However, finding this soil type on your land doesn’t mean you can’t use it at all. Adding acid-rich materials (such as peat or manure) can help balance out the more destructive elements of this soil type.
  3. Loamy. Loamy soil is a combination of sand, silt, and clay. It’s a favorite among farmers, thanks to its high calcium and PH levels. You can grow just about anything in this soil type.
  4. Peaty. Dark brown or black in color, this soil type has a high water content that is great for crops that require a lot of moisture. However, it does dry up quickly in the summer, so Southern farmers might want to be careful with this soil type.
  5. Saline soil. You’ll probably find this soil type if you are living in an extremely dry region. Its high salt content makes it a poor choice for growing most crops.
  6. Sandy. This free-draining soil dries out faster than any other soil type on this list. Any nutrients that crops may need can be washed through the soil during wet weather.
  7. Silty. Silty land has small particles and is smooth to the touch. It has great moisture retention, but drains poorly. Similar to peaty soil, this soil type can be great for crops that need a lot of water, but crops that don’t will likely drown.

With all these soil types, how on earth is anyone supposed to know what soil type is right for their land?

There are three options for finding out what soil type your land has. One is to get a soil map. You can go to the USDA’s Natural Resources and Conservation Services (NRCS) page. They have soil maps and data for more than ninety-five percent of the nation’s counties. All you have to do is click on the link and zoom into your zip code (like you would in Google Maps) or type in your address. Click on the ‘Soil Survey Area’ tab on the left-hand side and you will be given a record of what types of land are in your area.

You can also ask local soil experts who are familiar with the soil types in your area. Soil experts, also referred to as extension agents, can help you figure out what type of soil you have on your land and what sort of improvements can be done to your soil. This personalized help is great for land owners who have multiple soil types on their land property.

Soil testing gives you an exact breakdown of what is in your soil. In the fall 2015 edition of Terra Firma, Kirk Goble, ALC, explains the benefits of soil testing on page twenty nine.

“The soil test lab report provides valuable information on the makeup of the soil, its pH (acidity or alkalinity), and cation exchange capacity (CEC),” says Goble. “CEC is a determination of the ability of the soil components (primarily clay and humus) to allow for the absorption and transport of soil nutrients from the soil to the plant roots. It is essentially a measure of the soil’s ability to hold nutrients and feed the plants.”

After testing, you’ll be given advice on what crops are best suited for your soil type and recommendations on how to improve your land. “Fertilizer recommendations are based on the results of a proper soil test,” says Goble.

Soil types are incredibly important to land real estate and are far too often overlooked. Soil types affect land use more than most people think. With all these tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to figure out the soil types on your land and use them to your advantage.

About the author: Laura Barker is Marketing Assistant for the REALTORS® Land Institute. She graduated from Clark University in May 2017 and had been with RLI since October 2017.

In Memoriam: Jimmy Settle, ALC, 2018 RLI National President

Jimmy Settle, ALCIt is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our 2018 National President Jimmy Settle, ALC. Despite his positive attitude and determination to fight, Jimmy lost his battle with cancer on the morning of April 1, 2018.

 

There are few more passionate than Jimmy was about land, assisting clients, and RLI. Jimmy once said, “There’s nothing like creating solutions and helping a client find that perfect piece of land. Being outdoors is my lifestyle, I do my best thinking sitting in a deer stand or riding my tractor. I get such satisfaction in sharing this passion with family and friends. It’s only natural for me to help others who wish to become outdoor enthusiasts and land owners.”

 

Being so passionate about the land industry, Jimmy found a second home and even a second family at RLI in 2000. Four years later, he earned the elite Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation on January 26, 2004. He continued his involvement by serving on various committees at the national level including the ALC Accreditation Committee, the National Land Conference Planning Committee, and the RLI Government Affairs Committee. Then, as an active chapter member, in 2016 he served as the RLI Tennessee Chapter President. Jimmy’s dedication to RLI and serving land professionals still didn’t stop there. He ran and was elected by his fellow RLI members to serve a four-year term on the RLI National Executive Committee in 2016, starting as Vice President in 2016, then serving as President-Elect in 2017, and, finally, beginning as 2018 RLI National President last November.

 

During this time Jimmy was a beloved friend and leader, always looking out for the best interests of RLI, its members, and its staff. He worked closely with members and staff in the planning of the 2018 National Land Conference, which hosted 42% more attendees over the previous year. As president, he was a true advocate for RLI’s members, ensuring that the strategic plan continued to serve their best interests and adhere to a members-first philosophy.

 

In addition to serving RLI, Jimmy was also very involved in his local Clarksville Association of REALTORS® (CAR) serving as their 2007 President. He was a driving force behind the purchase of land and in building their association’s facility. The association stated in a post on their Facebook page honoring him that “He was a mentor to countless members of CAR and a friend to everyone who met him.”

 

Jimmy will be remembered by family and friends for his kindness, thoughtfulness, and friendly sense of humor. He was a pillar of his community and well-respected in the industry for his expertise on land transactions. The RLI Family sends its thoughts and prayers to his family during this difficult time and wishes they find comfort in the love that returns to them from the lives that he touched. Read Jimmy’s obituary here.

 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at Hilldale Baptist Church. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, from 2:00-8:00 p.m. at Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home. More information.

 

In the wake of this news, RLI will follow the procedures outlined in our official bylaws. RLI’s 2018 National President-Elect Jeramy Stephens, ALC, will take over as National President of the organization to serve the remainder of the term. “It is with a heavy heart that I take over the reins from Jimmy. He was a close friend and I will do my best to fill the big shoes he left behind and continue to execute his vision for RLI through the rest of his term,” said Jeramy upon induction.

The Top Land Blogs to Follow!

Buying or selling land can be confusing and complicated at times. It helps to partner with a land professional. You the client need to be educated about the process, intricacies around land ownership and many other facets surrounding all things LAND. There are many blogs out there that cover these topics and a lot of this information is available to you through blogs. Experts in the field often write blogs where they have an opportunity to share their knowledge….so why not take advantage.

I wanted to mention just a few, I hope you find these helpful.

 

 

Lands of America Blog

One of the leading website for rural land searches. Their post are written from many land professionals around the country and contain information you need to know!

 

 

LandThink

A great website full of information. This is the parent company for LandFlip.com a great site for searching for land and farms. The content often contains surveys from land professional across the country. Want to get land savy? Read their blog.

 

Southeastern Land Group Blog

Great content from their land agents. The content often covers topics about buying and selling land, transaction process and a wide variety of great information. One of my favorite bloggers is Jonathan Goode.

 

 

 

REALTORS® Land Institute Blog

Institute of  Land Broker professional from across the Country. Their Blog post come from members with a diverse background including Forestry, Agricultural, Farms, Ranches and a lot more!!

Land Blog.. Get the Dirt!

I had to plug my own blog. With over 35 years of experience in the timber, land management and land brokerage business, I love to share information to help buyers and sellers! My blog is narrowly focused to cover land, real estate and forestry topics!

 

Kent Morris, ALC is a Registered Forester and Associate Broker who has experience in fields such as timber appraisals, harvesting, thinnings, and timber sales. He writes articles about these fields and more in his blog Land Blog…Get The Dirt!

How NLR GIS Helps Land Professionals

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are all around us in daily life. From searching and getting directions for the nearest gas station on your Apple Maps to checking into a restaurant to share with your friends on social media, we are consistently using GIS technology. GIS is used in many industries by many different types of professionals, but in the land industry, GIS serves as a tool to better help land agents find that perfect property for a client.

Today’s land buyers know exactly what they want. They have specific requirements and goals they want to achieve with their property. Whether you have a client looking for a recreational tract over 100 acres or you have someone searching for a smaller property with a pond and a field to build a dove field on, the GIS team at National Land Realty (NLR) has the ability to match them with a tract that fits their specific needs.

NLR GIS helps land professionals in many other ways. It can help you drive business growth, enhance performance in existing markets or streamline/update operations. NLR Land Broker, Greg Greer, who recently used NLR’s GIS technology to help a land buyer achieve his goals, shared his experience.

“When I had a large client searching for a statewide conservation project, the GIS team quickly provided the sites that met the parameters like no other land brokerage had been able to do. They couldn’t believe what we were able to produce and on such short notice when the timing was crucial for their funding approval. The GIS team is a tremendous asset and tool to our agents. The support and turnaround time on projects they provide are essential when it comes to meeting our clients’ specific needs. We truly have a capability and competitive advantage no other land brokerage can provide to buyers and sellers. It’s what really distinguishes NLR from the competition.”

Our team of Geographic Information Systems and data professionals, database analysts, and web developers can generate GIS platforms using client driven criteria, statewide and national datasets, parcel data and market trends. With this technology, our team can quickly and efficiently sift through multiple data layers to see clear opportunities for your clients. We are revolutionizing the land brokerage industry and delivering amazing results to our clients every day!

National Land Realty is a full-service real estate brokerage company specializing in farm, ranch, plantation, timber and recreational land across the country. NLR currently represents land buyers and sellers in 20 states. To learn more, visit www.nationalland.com.

The Benefits of Land Real Estate Education

Some people think all they need to succeed in the land industry is a love of land and a few years of experience under their belt. Both of these are great to have, but once you start working, you’ll be faced with questions that even some of the most seasoned professionals might not know how to answer. Would you know what to say if a client asked:

  • In what ways do soil types affect land use?
  • Can I use a tax deferred 1031 exchange to my advantage?
  • How can I gain community support for land use projects?
  • What kind of returns can I expect from this property over the next ten years?
  • What are the tax results of my land real estate investment?
  • What is the highest and best use of this property?
  • What is the most efficient way to title real estate assets for a future wealth transfer?
  • What does the current US property rights system guarantee a landowner?

Gaining expertise through professional development and continuing education prepares agents to answer the tough questions before a client even asks them. But that’s not all. There are a lot of benefits of land real estate education.

The REALTORS® Land Institute is the gold standard when it comes to land education. No other provider offers as wide of a selection or as in-depth of courses as RLI’s LANDU Education Program. Here are the top four ways a LANDU Education can help you every day in your business to more confidently conduct transactions and close more deals as a land agent:

1: Expertise From The Best

If you look at RLI’s Instructor Center, you’ll see over thirty instructors with countless years of experience between them. You’ll truly be learning from the best in the business. These teachers have been handpicked and approved by RLI based on of their knowledge and expertise in their field of specialization.

2: Learn Your Way, At Your Pace

When you work with RLI, you choose the way you want to learn. There are online classes for folks on the go, independent study courses for those who to choose the pace they learn at, or traditional classroom classes for people who want to learn and network at the same time. If you want to get the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation quickly, you’re in luck. RLI’s 2018 LANDU Education Week is June 2-10 in Arlington, TX. Complete all of the course credits required to earn your ALC Designation in one place, including the three required courses and three elective courses which ensure attendees meet the ALC Education Requirements upon completion.

3: Stay Trendy

We aren’t talking about hitting the closest Cabela’s to check out their clothing line or buying the latest Yeti accessory (although they are trendy!). The land real estate industry and the technology tools available to agents are constantly changing, making it crucial to stay update on the latest trends so you have the strategies and knowledge needed to adapt. RLI offers Hot Topic Webinars throughout the year to make sure agents can stay ahead of the curve. Many of which are free for members to attend.

4: Increase Your Client Base and Referral Network

Getting the ALC Designation is a great way draw more and get referred more clients. Having the ALC shows your clients and other agents that you have the expertise and experience needed to successfully conduct land transactions. Plus, as part of a nation-wide network of ALCs, there is no shortage of referrals happening.

Even without earning the ALC, RLI’s Find a Land Consultant tool, which is an online public directory of RLI Members, is a popular way for potential clients to find you. In fact, if you Google ‘find a land consultant’, the very first thing that pops up is RLI’s Find a Land Consultant search tool. Even Google knows RLI Members are the best in the business!

To wrap up, there are more benefits to land education than just getting a gold pin or three letters after your name – although we highly encourage you take advantage of their added power as well. You can expand your client base and referral network and learn from the best in the business about the latest need-to-know information for land agents all in a way that’s customized to meet your needs.

About the Realtors® Land Institute                    

The Realtors® Land Institute, “The Voice of Land,” continually strives to maintain its status as the acknowledged leader for all matters pertaining to the land real estate profession. RLI endeavors to remain the essential membership organization for the extraordinary real estate professionals who broker, lease, sell, develop, and manage our most precious resource: the land. The Realtors Land Institute, provides the expertise, camaraderie, and valuable resources that are the foundation for all land real estate professionals to become the best in the business. For more information, visit rliland.com or call 800.441.5263. It’s the best time to join the best!

Seven Land Real Estate Social Media Marketing Tips

As a land agent, social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When used correctly, land real estate social media marketing can be a great (and free or low cost!) way to stay connected with people in your industry and drive traffic to your business. However, it can be very easy to lose potential clients or waste hours of your day if you don’t know what you are doing. Below, we’ve listed some tested and true ways to make sure you are in control of your social media, not the other way around.

1. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr – who has time for all of it? Trying to have a presence on all of those platforms can be overwhelming and take up all your free time. Remember: the companies that are on all of those platforms (Google,McDonald’s, Geico) all have entire departments dedicated to Twitter alone. Your best bet is to pick two or three different platforms and focus on those. “You don’t need to be everywhere, you just need to be in the places online where your time and effort will have the most impact,” says Jessa Friedrich, MBA, RLI’s Marketing Manager. “You need to find your audience on social media. To get started, take a look at where your competitors are and what channels they are spending the most time engaging on to get an idea of where you need to be to have the most impact.”

2. Use Tools like Hootsuite to Make Social Media Less Time Consuming

One of the biggest problems with social media is how much time it eats up. You’ll post something on Facebook in the morning, scroll through some friends’ photos, comment on a funny video of a cat riding a horse, and before you know it it’s time for dinner.

Tools like Socializer and Hootsuite can help. These easy-to-use apps allow you to schedule posts on various social media platforms. You can plan out your posts days or even weeks ahead so that you don’t have to be checking Twitter every single day. Just don’t forget to be social, too!

3. Figure Out What Your Brand Is

To make the most out of your social media presence, you need to have a good sense of the image you want to project to your potential clients. Figuring out what you want your current and potential clients to see can help you determine what to post. Are you trying to:

  • Raise awareness of new products/services?
  • Raise awareness of current products/services?
  • Network with other professionals in your business?
  • Increase traffic to your website?
  • Position yourself as an industry expert and resource to landowners?
  • A combination of all these ?

Having a clear sense of what you want to get out of land real estate social media marketing can help you focus on what sort of content to produce.

4. What Are The Best Times To Post?

Timing is everything when it comes to social media. Even if you craft the perfect post, if there’s no one online to see it, all that hard work will have been for nothing. According to Sprout Social, a social media management group, these are the best times to post on each social media channel:

  • Facebook: 12-3 pm
  • Instagram: 3-4 pm
  • Twitter: 9-10 am
  • LinkedIn: After 4 pm

Posts during these times have gotten the highest amounts of interactions and feedback from users. When you first start on social, try posting on social media during these times to increase your likes and shares. “After a while, it’s also a good idea to do some A/B Testing by posting at different times to see which posts get the most engagement. Then, start scheduling your posts at those optimal times specific to your audience,” Friedrich says.

5. Use Video

Videos are visually appealing and require very little work on the part of the consumer – you just have to press play and enjoy! Nobu Hata, the director of Digital Engagement for the National Association of REALTORS ® says that video is one of the most relevant social platforms available for land agents.

“Whether you’re speaking on camera about tips to buy and develop land, using it to convey the size and scope of a land offering or re-envisioning what that land can be via digital mock-up recorded on video, the options are many,” says Hata. “The one thing about video that makes it stand out against its brethren is that it’s not viewed as a “toy” and a time-suck like Facebook and Twitter can be, plus YouTube’s little red “play” button has universal – and multi-lingual – appeal.”

6. Keep It Professional

You might not want to go to your teenage niece for advice on your professional social media accounts. Posting personal drama or your political opinions doesn’t come off as professional and can turn off your followers. That doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. You can post as many funny photos as you want, but remember that once you press ‘send’, that post will be on the internet forever.

7. Follow Like-Minded Professionals

No matter what platforms you choose, there will be other like-minded professionals to follow. Here are some great social media Twitter accounts if you want to get into the land industry social media scene:

Social media can be a double-edge sword. It can be a great way to reach out to new clients and interact with other professionals, but it can also be a huge time drain if not done right. We hope these tips will help you make the most out of your land real estate social media marketing.

About the author: Laura Barker is a Marketing Assistant Intern for the REALTORS® Land Institute. She graduated from Clark University in May 2017 and has been with RLI since October 2017.

 

Common Misconceptions about Land Values

Land values have been all over the place in 2018. Some articles say that land values across America are up. Others say that values are sinking and will continue to do so. It’s no wonder that there is so little agreement on the current state of land values. So far, 2018 has been a whirlwind year with a jumpy stock market, new land and trade laws, and an unpredictable winter that created an uncertain market for land values. While we here at RLI can’t control the weather or the stock market, we can clear up some common misconceptions about land values to help you get a better understanding about land values in 2018.

1: The stock market is the best indicator of what will happen to land values

It used to be a general rule of thumb that land values mirrored the stock market. However, as we’ve seen in 2018, that’s not always the case anymore. There are many factors that impact land values. These include natural disasters, local and national laws, commodity prices, rate of return, and more. While the stock market is still a great way to get a general indication of the economy, it cannot be the sole thing you look to for understanding land values.

2: A higher demand for crops/livestock means higher land prices

Not necessarily. Even when a certain crop or type of land is in high demand, there are many outside factors that can prevent the value of the land from rising. For example, Nebraska has a booming cattle industry and has become a top beef producer for both America and China, but a severe drought has hurt the value of the land. Even though the demand for cattle is strong, the land values have not risen to meet it. Even high quality land can be impacted by forces outside of the land owner’s control. Forest productivity can be hurt by this too. https://www.rliland.com/site-index-measure-forest-productivity

3: Overall drops in land values mean all land values are suffering

While most land markets are interconnected, there are many types of land that can thrive even when others are suffering.  In the 2017 RLI Land Markets Survey the average change in the price of U.S. Land sold for Non-Irrigated Agricultural land was a modest one percent, while the average change in price for Development Greenfield land was an impressive four percent. A decrease in hunting has lowered some recreational land values (although recreational land remains the second most popular type of land sold, but timberland is expected to post strong growth rates at three percent.

4: There is no way to predict if land values will go up or down.

Looking at the state of today’s land values, it’s easy to think that they are unpredictable.

While there is no crystal ball that will predict exact values, there are some overlooked indicators that can give you an insight into which way the market will go. For example, land values will go up if lots of people move to one specific area. The amount of land will stay the same as the population goes up increasing the demand for land. This drives up the desirability and price of the land.

One thing to look out for if you are worried that land values are down is what the areas local land laws look like. Investors and businesses are skittish. They like to research local governments to see if there are any restrictive laws being discussed that could potentially take money away from their business. A lack of interest from outsiders can severely harm the land value of an area. Contact your local lawmakers to let them know the impacts of their laws.

Land values can be tricky. They rely heavily on each other in both bull and bear markets, but can also be independently impacted by dozens of different factors.  They may be hard to track, but understanding the common misconceptions about land values may be able to help you understand the value of your own land a little better. As much speculating as can be done based on the topics mentioned in this article, the best way to learn more about a property and its value would be to Find A Land Consultant. Land transactions require the specialized expertise of an experienced and knowledgeable agent.

APEX Awards

Nation’s Top-Producing Land Agents Recognized by Realtors® Land Institute APEX Awards Program

March 21, 2018 (Chicago) – The Realtors® Land Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors®, is proud to announce the winners of its 2017 APEX Awards Program, sponsored by The Land Report, as the top-producing land agents in the nation. The APEX Awards Program is designed to recognize the excellence and performance of the best in the business by distinguishing agents with these prestigious production-based awards. All APEX Award Winners were announced by RLI CEO Aubrie Kobernus as well as The Land Report’s Co-founders Eddie Lee Rider Jr. and Eric O’Keefe at a special awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 13, during RLI’s 2018 National Land Conference (NLC18) in Nashville, TN.

RLI recognized a two-way tie between Michael and Dan Murphy with the M4 Ranch Group a division of Team Murphy Realty, LLC in Colorado for the program’s most coveted and prestigious award, the APEX 2017 Top National Producer.

RLI is also proud to recognize the accomplishments of the APEX 2017 National Broker of The Year recipients in each of the following seven distinct land categories:

Ag Land Sales – Crops: Troy Louwagie, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services
Ag Land Sales – Ranches: Dax Hayden, Hayden Outdoors, LLC
Recreational Land Sales: Dan and Michael Murphy, M4 Ranch Group
Timber Land Sales: Clint Flowers, ALC, National Land Realty
Commercial Land Sales: Ryan Sampson, ALC, Eshenbaugh Land Company
Residential Land Sales: Danny Smith, ALC, Smith & Smith Realty
Auction Land Sales: Troy Louwagie, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services

In addition to being named Broker of the Year in two categories, RLI also awarded Troy Louwagie, ALC, of Hertz Real Estate Services in Iowa with the APEX 2017 Wrangler Award for largest number of transactions closed in 2017.

All applicants are members of RLI and have at least four million dollars of qualifying dollar volume in closed land sales in 2017, making them among the top-producing land agents in the country. Each applicant was also recognized as part of the RLI APEX 2017 Producers Club with the twenty highest producing applicants awarded as an APEX 2017 Top Twenty National Producer.

The Top Twenty Producers included:

Rick Bourne, Southeastern Land Group, AL
Ray Brownfield, ALC, Land Pro LLC, IL
Steve Bruere, Peoples Company Of Indianola, IA
Jason DurJava, ALC, Century 21 M&M and Associates Ag and Ranch, CA
Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC, Eshenbaugh Land Company, FL
Clint Flowers, ALC, National Land Realty, AL
Kyle Hansen, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services, IA
Dax Hayden, Hayden Outdoors LLC, CO
Ryan Hostetler, ALC, Agprofessionals LLC, CO
John Knipe, ALC, Knipe Land Company, ID
Troy Louwagie, ALC, Hertz Real Estate Services, IA
Kasey Mock, KW LAND, Mock Ranches, TX
Dan Murphy, M4 Ranch Group a division of Team Murphy Realty, LLC, CO
Michael Murphy, M4 Ranch Group a division of Team Murphy Realty, LLC, CO
Billy Rollins, ALC, Land Solutions, Inc., FL
Ryan Sampson, ALC, Eshenbaugh Land Company, FL
Dean Saunders, ALC, Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate, FL
Danny Smith, ALC, Smith & Smith Realty, FL
Bob Stalberger, ALC, Whitetail Properties Real Estate, LLC, MN
Minor Taylor, ALC, Taylor Land Investments, TX

The 2017 APEX Producers Club included: Matt Adams; Daran Becker; Rick Bourne; Sam Bowers, ALC; Ray Brownfield, ALC; Steve Bruere; Jared Chambers; Brad Chandler; Bill Davis; Mike Downey, ALC; Jason DurJava, ALC; Devin Dye; Brenda England; Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC; Clint Flowers, ALC; Wendy Forthun, ALC; Jonathan Goode, ALC; Kyle Hansen, ALC; Dax Hayden; Kenny Herring; Ryan Hostetler, ALC; Marv Huntrod, ALC; John Knipe, ALC; Stan Lierz, ALC; Troy Louwagie, ALC; Rusty Lowe, ALC; Kasey Mock; Dan Murphy; Michael Murphy; Justin Osborn; Calvin Perryman, ALC; Clayton Pilgrim; Billy Rollins, ALC; Ryan Sampson, ALC; Dean Saunders, ALC; Chris Smith, ALC; Danny Smith, ALC; Travis Smock; Bob Stalberger, ALC; Jeramy Stephens, ALC; Winnie Stortzum, ALC; Tommy Stroud, ALC; Kirk Swenson; Minor Taylor, ALC; Derrick Volchoff, ALC; Kirk Weih, ALC; Jim Wirth; Luke Worrell, ALC; Jason Zeigler; and Andrew Zellmer.

“The APEX 2017 Award Winners are the crème of the crop when it comes to conducting land transactions. RLI is proud to be partnered with The Land Report to give these land agents the national, industry recognition as a top-producer that they deserve,” said RLI’s CEO Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE, about the new program.

The APEX Awards Program celebrated its inaugural year with fifty applicants totaling a combined $1B+ in qualifying transaction volume. For more information on the award winners, make sure to get a copy of The Land Report, one of the industry’s leading magazines for landowners and land professionals, which will be publicizing winners in their upcoming Spring 2018 issue. All land real estate professionals are invited to join RLI and apply to the prestigious APEX Awards Program next year. Learn more at https://www.rliland.com/national-land-conference/rli-apex-awards-program

 About the Realtors® Land Institute                          

The Realtors® Land Institute, “The Voice of Land,” continually strives to maintain its status as the acknowledged leader for all matters pertaining to the land real estate profession. RLI endeavors to remain the essential membership organization for the extraordinary real estate professionals who broker, lease, sell, develop, and manage our most precious resource: the land. The Realtors Land Institute, provides the expertise, camaraderie, and valuable resources that are the foundation for all land real estate professionals to become the best in the business. For more information, visit rliland.com or call 800.441.5263. It’s the best time to join the best!

Breaking Down Mineral Rights

Mineral rights are so complex that most of the time, people would instead hire a lawyer to deal with them. The bad news is, there is a lot of truth in that statement. Mineral rights can be tied up in tricky deeds going back generations. The good news? We’ve collected the most commonly asked questions about mineral rights to help you get a better understanding of one of the most complex issues in the land industry.

Q: What exactly are mineral rights?

A: Mineral rights are the legal rights to the minerals in a property. Whoever owns a property’s mineral rights has full legal rights to mine for and profit from those minerals.

Q: What kind of minerals are included in the term “mineral rights“?

A: There are lots of minerals that you can make a profit off if you own mineral rights. These include oil/natural gas, coal, precious metals (gold/silver), non-precious or semi-precious metals (copper or iron), and specialty earth elements like uranium.

Q: What minerals do I NOT have access to?

A: This is where mineral rights can get tricky. Sand, gravel, limestone, and subsurface water are all not covered by most mineral rights. These elements are typically considered part of the surface area of a property. Whoever owns the surface rights also owns the rights to the sand and limestone.

There have been many legal battles over what counts as a mineral. Here are just a few examples. To keep your mineral rights out of the courtroom, be sure to be explicitly clear with whoever you are buying or selling your rights to.

Q: Are mineral rights profitable?

A: Yes, but not as profitable as you might think. Private mineral rights owners received an estimated $22 billion in 2013. The government also makes a pretty penny off of mineral rights. In 2016, the U.S. government received roughly $2 billion in mineral productions (which includes oil, gas, and coal) on federal land.

However, the growing number of legal battles between states and landowners over mineral rights is starting to rack up a hefty tab. In some cases, the price of the lawyers and time in court can drain more money than the mineral rights are worth.

If the minerals in your land are oil or coal, you are competing with solar and wind energy. The rise in renewable energy sources also has the potential to lower the value of the oil or coal in your land.

Q: What are the most common ways that mineral rights are held?

There are three common ways that mineral rights are held. The first and most common is a unified estate. In unified estates, the mineral and surface rights are held together, so whoever owns the deed to the property owns both mineral and surface rights. A severed or split estate means that the mineral ownership is sold separately from surface ownership. In this case, whoever owns the surface rights does not own the mineral rights. The last type of estate is fractional. As the name implies, fractional estate is when you receive a portion of the mineral rights. Fractional estates are often used for inheritances, so that each heir can split up the profits equally.

Q: How do I know how much my mineral rights are worth?

Finding out how much your mineral rights are worth can be difficult. The value of mineral rights can vary day-by-day, because the market value of minerals is determined by calculating how much buyers would pay for mineral rights today. There’s no easy way to calculate how much your minerals rights are worth. One of the best ways of knowing the current value is to list mineral rights for sale and see how much people are willing to buy them for.  You can also list them on US Mineral Exchange.

Q: Will mineral rights increase my taxes?

Yes – if you are currently making a profit on those minerals. Unexercised mineral rights (if you are not currently making money from the mineral rights) are not taxed. If you sell those rights, you have to pay taxes on the proceeds. Income made from the minerals is taxable income.  But having valuable minerals and oil on your land can also increase your property value, which will be helpful when it comes time to sell.

Q: What are common mistakes people make when selling their mineral rights?

One is accepting the first offer on mineral rights. Don’t accept the first offer you get. Offers are the best way to gauge the price of mineral rights, so wait until you have a few offers to figure out what your mineral rights are worth and the best price for them. Mineral rights can be incredibly valuable, so take your time finding the best buyer. Another mistake is listening to rumors. Many people think the best way to figure out the value of their mineral rights is by asking their neighbors about their mineral rights and assuming yours will be similar. DO NOT DO THIS. The minerals in land range wildly from property to property.

Q: Can I buy the mineral rights to a property that isn’t mine?

A: Yes! This is becoming more common as the value of oil and minerals goes up. You need a real estate deed that details the mineral rights as well as proof of ownership of the mineral rights, a warranty deed, and legal documents. Learn more about buying mineral rights here.

Although we have covered a fair amount in this article, it still only scratches the surface of everything there is to know about mineral rights. Mineral rights are complex, but understanding the basics is a huge step forward to becoming a mineral rights expert.

About the author: Laura Barker is Marketing Assistant for the REALTORS® Land Institute. She graduated from Clark University in May 2017 and had been with RLI since October 2017.