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Five Tips for New Land Professionals

The timber business has always been in my family. Growing up, my dad owned his own timber brokerage company. It was something I was really familiar with. Being on land, buying, selling and trading it, were all things that I was accustomed to. But it was a career path my dad said I should never take.

I always wanted to do what my dad did, so when he sold his business I wasn’t sure where to go with my career. I ended up going to the University of Alabama and graduating with an environmental degree. And soon after, got a job in Mobile, working for an environmental company where I did safety and environmental consulting. I continued that line of work for about four years before I decided to go part-time with them and obtain my real estate license.

I had been looking for a different career opportunity for a while. Somewhere where I could grow and be my own boss. So, in April of 2016, I went to work for National Land Realty (NLR). The opportunity came up through a mutual friend who happened to be a broker for NLR. And I went full speed ahead with only the knowledge and experience in land I had gained while growing up. But it was a challenge I was driven to overcome.

Starting out at NLR as a Land Professional, the first listing I got was in Choctaw County, Alabama. I never really knew how many people were interested in buying land until I got that listing. I ended up generating over five sales on five different properties from that first listing. Closing on that first deal made me more motivated than ever before.

My biggest challenge thus far has been gaining trust within my clients. But trust comes from hard work and doing exactly what I say I’m going to do. Like making sure I talk to the previous landowners, spending more time on each deal… It’s about going above and beyond. And not being afraid to get out there and get muddy.

As a younger and newer Land Professional, I want to offer advice to others out there who are just starting out and want to reach that next level. Here are my top 5 tips on how to get there:

  1. Be persistent.

If I could only offer one piece of advice, it would be to always be persistent. You have to go out and get the business. You can’t just sit around and wait for it to come to you. You’ve got to go dig it up each and every day. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask other professionals for help and don’t take no for an answer.

  1. Network, network, network!

Networking is key in the land real estate business. It’s about keeping your name in front of people – creating your personal brand. So, make sure to attend all the outdoor events you can. Get on different outdoor committees and even go to city council meetings. Don’t be afraid to stop at your local bank, coffee shop or co-op store to market yourself and your business. You want to create a culture of, “That guy knows what he’s doing.”

  1. Find a mentor.

Finding someone who’s been in the industry for a while and can show you the ropes can benefit you greatly when you need that extra bit of knowledge on a certain topic or just a boost of motivation. A mentor can also help you see areas where you may need some improvement.

  1. Go above and beyond.

To be successful and get to the next level, you’re going to have to put in the time and the effort. Working longer hours, making those extra phone calls, going to those late-night meetings – all these will pay off in the end.

  1. Be honest and thorough with clients.

Always keep your word with a client. Spend that extra time with them going through each step of the process so they feel confident. You’ll be able to gain their trust and build a relationship with them that could last for decades to come!

Forrest During is an RLI member and land professional at National Land Realty who specializes in acquisitions, sales, recreational, timberland, and conservation properties. This post was originally published on the National Land Realty blog in August 2017.

The Value of Finding a Mentor in the Land Industry

This article was originally posted to the National Land Realty blog

Getting started in the land industry can be daunting. From knowing about the latest land laws to networking to juggling a work/life balance, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Having a mentor in the land industry can help you succeed as a land agent in more ways than one.

Wisdom You Can’t Learn In A Classroom

Although land education is extremely important, to the point of being necessary for agents that want to maximize their earning potential, there are some things you can only learn from experience — such as how to deal with difficult clients or learning how to balance your time as a land agent. These are things you can learn from mentors. A mentor can also guide you away from mistakes they’ve made in the past and learned from, saving you from making those same mistakes as a newer agent.

The benefits of mentorship can go beyond knowledge in the land industry.  A mentor can also guide you towards success beyond a dollar sign.

“‘Successful’ to me was an individual who worked with integrity, spent time away from work with friends and family, was healthy, financially very well off, and had a process and system to their business,” wrote land expert Jacob Hart in a guest post for RLI. “I have learned you can make more money than you can count. However, if you do not have a passion or dreams to go after with that money, more is actually less.”

A mentor can do more than just help you succeed in the land industry. They can help you define and thrive for success in life as well.

Networking

The land industry is a people-driven business, so networking is essential for a successful career. However, meeting new people can be hard, especially if you live in a remote location or are networking when new to the industryFinding a mentor in the land industry opens the door to meeting their partners, colleagues, and clients, which could grow your own client base. Your mentor will know what events are best to meet clients and other land experts. They can also connect you to people on social media or add you to their social media groups.

Your Field of Expertise

Mentors are especially important if you specialize in a unique type of land or service.
If your specialty is in land auctionsvineyardstimberland investment, or mineral rights, not just anyone can be a mentor.

vineyard

There are so many benefits of having a mentor that we couldn’t list them all in one article. We hope this article has inspired you to seek out a mentor to help carve out a path for a successful career in the land industry.

Interested in finding a mentor near you? You can use RLI’s Find a Land Consultant tool or get in contact with one of our RLI Chapters to get started finding land experts who have expertise in the same field you’d like to be involved in or who are in your area. We may be biased but we also recommend becoming a member of the REALTORS® Land Institute. The biggest membership benefit we hear about from our members is the networking and camaraderie that their RLI membership continues to bring them year after year which basically makes the membership pay for itself because of the referral and knowledge sharing opportunities.

About the Author: Laura Barker is a freelance writer based out of California for the REALTORS® Land Institute. She has been with RLI since October 2017.

Finding Your Niche

The word “niche” has several definitions, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll be using the definition from dictionary.com that means “a distinct segment of a market.”

At National Land Realty, we have land professionals across the country who have their own “niches” or specialize in certain areas of the land industry such as forestry, auctions and prescribed burns, among many others. This not only helps them serve their clients better but gives them the opportunity to help other agents help their clients in that particular area. It also helps them stand out amongst the competition!

If you’re a land professional who doesn’t already have a niche, don’t worry, there are many areas you can choose from. The list is truly endless, but what it’s really about is finding something you’re passionate about. As corny as that may sound, there is so much truth in it. Finding what you enjoy, what you see yourself still being passionate about five years from now will make all the difference.

Finding your niche also depends on the area you live and serve in. For example, timber properties are mostly found in the Southeast region of the U.S. Therefore, you probably wouldn’t want to specialize in forestry if you’re a land professional based out of Arizona.

Here are some other examples of areas to specialize in:

  • Pond management
  • Wildlife management
  • Farm management
  • Agriculture
  • Solar development
  • Commercial development

If you’re ready to find your niche, start by jotting down areas you’re experienced in or have had a close interaction with. Think about any subjects you’ve taken classes on in the past that you found interesting or feel knowledgeable in. It’s really just that easy to get started!

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.

Want to Sell Your Listing Faster?

Do you have an amazing property that’s been sitting there for weeks and you’re not getting any real movement? The amenities the property offers are everything any landowner could want, but you’re starting to think the listing may need a little tweaking? Here are some things you can do to boost your listing and get it to the finish line faster!

1. Maximize Your Social Media Reach

You may have already shared the property on your personal and business Facebook pages, but don’t forget to also share it on other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. Remember that each platform has a different audience, so you’ll be able to reach all kinds of people – some that are more visual (Instagram) or others that just want a quick read (Twitter). You can even post a short video clip on Instagram of things such as the water running through a creek on the property or a prescribed fire that just took place. And don’t forget you’re also able to post multiple pictures and videos in one post on Instagram!

2. Use Descriptive Language

The title is the first thing a person sees when looking at your listing, so make sure you’ve got a good one! Go back and re-check it to make sure it’s clear and concise and is a good description of the property. Use words that are strong and describe the property well. (It sounds so simple, but it’s something that’s easily forgotten!) So, if you have a property with 50 acres of timber, you’ll want to use the word timberland in the title and description. Missing little things like that in your listing can have big consequences, so make sure you’re using your words wisely.

3. Use Technology Tools

There are a multitude of tools at your disposal nowadays. Thank goodness for the age of technology! Of course, you’ll already have numerous pictures of the property, but don’t forget about other visual elements you can add to your listing such as property highlight videos with drone footage, panoramic images, interactive tours of the property and 3D virtual indoor tours of any homes that may be on the property. Just remember you want to cater to all types of buyers and different kinds of situations, like buyers that are located out of state who want to look at the property in person, but perhaps can’t at that time. That’s when tools such as our new interactive touring technology, Land Tour 360™, come in handy.

These three tips won’t guarantee 100 percent that you’ll sell your listing faster, but they will definitely help it go farther, reach as many people as possible, and help you sell it faster!

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.

Top 3 New Technologies for Land Agents

As the land real estate industry continues to mature, it’s essential to keep up with the ever-changing and nonstop growth of it all. Using the latest technology not only allows you to better help your clients but also makes it easier to communicate with them and get to the closing process even faster. Here are the top three new technologies land agents can use to benefit their clients and their business.

Matterport 3D Virtual Tours

Is there a mesmerizing home on your client’s property that you just can’t seem to describe with words? The ability to tour the entire interior of a home is easily available with this new technology! Matterport, a 3D media technology company, offers a 3D platform consisting of the Matterport Pro 3D Camera, Matterport’s cloud services and the Matterport Web Player. The coolest part of the platform is the camera, which scans a home’s interior, stitches all of the images together and creates a virtual tour of the home! Travel through the home from your phone or computer and experience it all with this technology.

Land Tour 360™

There’s nothing worse than a client getting out on a property and realizing it wasn’t what they were expecting to see. They spent valuable time looking for the perfect listing online and made time in their busy schedule to go see it in person. And now they can’t help but feel a little despair. Fortunately, we’ve got just the tool that alleviates that problem. Land Tour 360™ is our latest technology that allows individuals to tour a property without ever having to step foot on it! Explore the entire property by moving around a 360-degree aerial image of the tract that includes boundaries, as well as pictures and videos taken on the tract that reveal vegetation, bodies of water and even wildlife! Like we like to say, “it’s the new way to tour land!”

HelloSign

This technology doesn’t involve any virtual touring, but it is one of the best tools out there for agents who are always on the go. HelloSign is an electronic signature processing service that allows users to sign, fill out, send and receive documents on a computer, eliminating the need for printing out endless amounts of paper. Securely sign documents that you’ve received or request an electronic signature from your client – it’s seriously that easy.

Have you added any of these technology tools into your “toolbox” yet?

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.

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.