M4 Ranch Group Blog

Reflecting on Relationships in Land Sales

As seen in LAND (Fall 2022) by Land.com MAGAZINES FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE LAND

By: Dan Murphy, ALC, 2022 RLI Colorado Chapter President and 2023 RLI Vice President

Within the real estate industry, ranch brokerages are unique. The professionals who successfully help clients buy and sell rural properties must develop a different skill set than their colleagues who deal in residential or commercial real estate.

We in the ranch industry must understand and navigate a wide variety of complex issues on the national, state, regional, and local levels. It’s not inconceivable for a ranch broker to contend with a large variety of issues such as water rights, mineral rights, conservation easements, environmental studies, crop programs, grazing rights, wetland issues, ditch rights, access easements, undocumented historic uses, not to mention the ever-changing ramifications of the Endangered Species Act, or the waters of the USA, etc.

While the skills and knowledge base of a ranch broker obviously set our segment of the industry apart, I believe that the relationships are the foundation of ranch brokerages making us truly distinctive in the real estate business world. In fact, as I look back at my years in ranch real estate and the development of M4 Ranch Group, personally, it is clear that our successes, big or small, resulted from a relationship with a client, a fellow professional, and intimately knowing the land.

Whether it is dealing with clients or other ranch brokers, we are not in the business of one-and-done. (It’s no secret that repeat clients and referrals are our collective bread and butter.) To be successful in the long-term, our individual businesses must build a network- and the strongest wire in that network is trust.

Now, this seems obvious to those of us with more than a few miles on our chassis, but it bears repeating for those of you who are new to this industry. The relationships that blossom from doing this business well-from truly knowing the land, the buyer and the seller-are life-changing. It’s not unusual for former clients to become treasured friends.

When we’re buried in a mountain of paperwork it may be tempting to see these transactions as business as usual, but we have to remember these deals– no matter the size–are high water marks in each and every client’s life. With that in mind, it is easy to bring passion and enthusiasm to each and every transaction.

At RLI, our commitment is building a network of educated ranch and land brokers that strive every day to assure each client receives personalized and dedicated expertise that extends beyond the property closing.

As I mentioned earlier, our relationships aren’t limited just to our clients. As it says on the RLI website, “RLI, the Voice of Land, works to elevate the level of professionalism in the land industry by offering all land professionals the credibility, confidence, and connections that are the foundation for becoming the best in the business.” Recently, at the RLI National Land Conference, I witnessed those connections in action.

I enjoyed seeing an older generation of stand out land brokers with gray hair hiding under their cowboy hats laughing with a young group of ranch brokers who called themselves the “non-AARP brokers.” Young and old, there was a great deal of experience in that room. What a joy to see, the best in the land industry collaborating, learning, and relishing one another’s company.

Let me take a second to brag on the “non-AARP brokers.” RLI, has some of the nation’s top young up-and-coming land agents. This group includes many highly educated ALC’s (Accred Land Consultants) who grasp the historic nuances of conservation easements, western water rights, minerals, wind, ag, grazing, and recreation. These younger RLI (ALC) land brokers are also on the frontlines of defining tomorrow’s value in land that includes transitional grounds, solar, wind, battery storage, future tax implications of new energy uses, endangered species, future water demands and the technologies that better define success on any land use. The network of RLI has established the strongest land network in the world, building a “rising tide raises all ships” attitude.

As that list of emerging values and issues illustrates, the ranch/land real estate industry will constantly change to meet the demands of a changing world. With that said, I believe that the need for relationships is a constant now — and forever. If we as leaders in this industry have on responsibility, it is passing on the legacy of relationships.

To say we are in this business are blessed by people and by land is a huge understatement. We are, every day. I am proud to be an RLI broker, RLI officer and even more proud to wear the ALC designation.

Read the Fall 2022 Issue here: https://issuu.com/land-magazines/docs/l22_3/24

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