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NLR StoriesOwning Land

Do You Need a Land Professional?

March 24, 2023

One of the questions land agents are frequently asked is whether or not a home or landowner needs our services. In the Kansas City metro, high demand and sparsity of availability as well as a lack of understanding of the long-term management options available to landowners can lead many to make big mistakes in the sale or purchase of their property. You can undervalue your property or overvalue it, and you may also not know about government plans that will impact your land resulting in serious changes as to what is possible without the help of a Land Professional.

Recently, a property owner came to me and was interested in selling the whole of his property. An older gentleman with a big heart, he had not attended meetings of his local city and did not realize that the city had already made plans to use eminent domain to cut his property in two for a roadway connecting new development on the other side. This significantly changed his outlook on what was possible.

What is a Land Professional?

Providing landowners with all of the relevant information about their land lets them make informed choices and decisions that could prevent them from legal entanglements later on. It allows them to protect their long-term financial and family goals. Being a Land Professional is about empowering your clients to make educated decisions about their future.

When it comes to selling a home, a buyer can walk through and see the rooms and imagine where their furniture will go, the color of paint they may want on the walls, and small changes they may want as they move forward. This is an exciting time.

The purchase of land, however, requires a different approach. Looking out at an empty piece of land takes a great deal of imagination and foresight. What will this land become? What will it look like after I am finished? What do the city, county, and state want to develop in this area? What zoning issues are in effect where this property resides? How can I find someone who can help me navigate through the entire process?

Earlier this month, I attended the REALTORS® Land Institute conference in Colorado. Within the Realtor’s Land Institute, I serve on the Governmental Affairs committee which works to help develop policy and positions for the RLI at every level of government, from local to federal. These policies impact property owners’ rights and help us understand how to get the most out of our land while protecting the future.

Land professional

I presented land growth opportunities within Kansas and through committees and programs, we discussed where land development and growth will happen in the future and what we can do to make the process better for everyone involved.

What Do Land Professionals Do?

Land agents serve many roles, from finding good agricultural ground and hunting ground to future development and commercial opportunities. I focus on commercial opportunity and the development of economic growth. These specializations are the result of significant training and an understanding of what your partners are looking for and the ability to find and satisfy their needs.

This is where land agents provide something unique in our ability. We commit ourselves to ongoing work around making sure that we understand how to get the most out of the land that is available. As I talked to RLI, I felt incredible bringing to the table over $37 million in land list availability this year for the Kansas City metro under the National Land Realty banner.

What makes that possible is the ability to navigate the needs of the metro and the vision to see where our community is heading, and what federal, state, and local pressures may have in store. Using land tools and working with nationwide investors helps my clients see where growth is possible and how they can benefit.

Land agents like myself provide unique tools and skills that take time and significant work to maintain. It’s important for a land agent to have knowledge of the current status of federal positions, state positions and local government, as well as federal programs like CRP, wetlands, protected species programs, and Waters of the United States impacts (WOTUS). 

On the state level, we look at long-term state development plans, including expansion of the electrical grid, internet availability, roadwork, and planned waterways. Within the local community, zoning, limited access, easements, entitlements, and long-term planning are key factors. And at the individual level, you may be looking at mineral rights or other lease programs including cellular towers, solar, wind, and other programs that can generate ongoing income or allow you to split and divide your land to get the best value.

These are discussions I have with every one of my clients to make sure they have the most informed view.

As we discussed at the conference last week, land agents provide value because we focus on areas that require unique skills. There are many within the REALTORS® Land Institute who focus heavily on agriculture and hunting, skills which require specific knowledge of both the valuation of crops and hunting legalities of the local counties. When you decide to work with a land professional, you’re getting access to their vast knowledge base, and it’s important to find someone whose specialties align with your goals.

Land is about our dreams. In the early 1980s, in southern Johnson County, a farm stood with a tire rope swing, picnic tables, and farm animals. Along highway 35, the farmer was in a position where developers wanted the land badly and paid him to purchase the land. He moved his family and his farm to another part of Kansas and with the profit proceeds, he was able to grow and succeed. These are moments where an understanding of the future of what land will become can make a huge difference to your family, and this is why I love being an RLI land agent at National Land Realty.

If you’d like to know what a Land Professional can do for you, get in contact with your local National Land Realty Land Professional!

About the Author
Being a Transitional Commercial Land Professional, a registered lobbyist, and a former elected official, I develop land, write policy, and create new opportunities by writing legislation and protecting landowners. In my home life, I tend to horses and cattle beef ranching. Selling land is more than just a listing. The due diligence, different contracts, and disclosures required to prepare the land for its showcase take a skilled land expert to make sure everything is being transferred with the sale and you are getting the highest and best value the land can produce. If you are in the Kansas City area and want to make this your next place to buy land, I would love to show you the best BBQ places the locals know and help you find the right piece of land.