Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Message Regarding COVID-19

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Fellow Co-op Members and Industry Peers,

Considering recent developments surrounding the spread of COVID-19, it has become clear that the world is facing an unprecedented event. We understand the country will continue to have housing and land acquisition needs, but clearly it is not business as usual for any of us.  We believe that when this passes and normality returns it’s likely that we will see a surge in rural living that should result in new business.
 
Within the next two weeks the Co-op will be mailing out dividend checks to all Members with the Co-op Member Annual Report.  Although these checks will not be life changing, they are indicative of the reason the Co-op is such a powerful and critical organization. We are all stronger together in friendly competition.  Take some time to re-visit LandBrokerMLS.com.  As we begin work on the new 2.0 site, we would love to hear suggestions and ideas that should be included.  It’s also a good time to submit a request form and review the three options for health insurance that the Co-Op can offer to its Members – https://www.landbrokermls.com/insurance.php.

Now is the time to reassess your business from head to toe and be sure you are truthful with yourself about your business.  Bring a greater sense of clarity, priority, and focus to your work… evaluate the organizations you’re participating in and make the commitment to engage with those that can help you generate new business and affiliate with peers that share your vision.  

Just remember times of crisis are times of opportunity and now is a good time to add some new tools and relationships to your business model and remember that life is much more important than money.   Make sure you take care of yourself, family and friends and if you have an opportunity to help a senior (especially a senior land broker/agent) take the time to do so… they may have some ideas to help you with your business.

The following pages have a few ideas to think about during these days of “Social Distancing.”

Stay safe and healthy,

These can be the best of times or these can be the worst of times and you are the one that gets to choose.  None of what is written here is new and most of it has been taken and plagiarized from those that have passed before us and lived through similar troubling times.  When markets are changing, they always create great opportunities for those that pay attention and act decisively.  

The obvious advantage of meeting a client in farm and ranch real estate is the wide-open space, which is a huge positive.  Make sure your clients understand that you have a well thought out plan for keeping both you and them safe during showings.  Ask them to leave the kids at home. Think about taking separate vehicles to and from showings, keep some distance between you while showing property, transfer all documents, listing information and closing papers digitally, keep hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes readily available, have Kleenex, soap, and water available.  If the client is coughing or otherwise showing signs of illness, do not hesitate to reschedule the showing in three weeks.  Clean your vehicle daily with disinfectants when showing clients, make sure to clean high touch areas such as seat belts, door handles, dashboards, etc.  Business does not have to stop during these trying times, but you need to work smart and stay safe.
 
Now is the time to take a good hard look at your own business.  If you thought your database of clients was important before, during hard times it becomes absolutely invaluable.  Start mining your clients for institutional investors, folks who want to pick up a good deal, or people you think will have spare cash to invest in a down market.  Also, look through your database for people who have been highly leveraged over the past five years, these are potential sellers that could have a real need of your assistance.  As you ponder how you may help your clients and over-leveraged folks in your market, compile a mailing list of them and have the Co-op mail 250 copies of Land Broker magazine’s next issue to them “Compliments of you”.  This program helps remind them of you when they have a market need and that time may be now.

When it comes to buyers and sellers during times like these, sellers are frustrated and confused, while buyers are fearful and reluctant – master the art of seller pricing so your listings are always “in the market.” Show sellers the financial risks of being overpriced and missing the window of opportunity and chasing the market to the bottom. Talk to potential sellers about setting up a runway to launch a new listing, timed with the inevitable market upswing that will follow, by getting them signed up but delay the release of the listing as part of a bigger plan…

You need to help buyers overcome their reluctance and help them acquire a genuine sense of urgency. Become their local economist of choice, help them tap into their “why” and show them the hazards of trying to time the market. Narrow the field of available listings and provide “best buy” lists so they see the opportunities that exist in their market.
 
Make sure you understand financing in this marketplace and be ready to help your clients through creative financing solutions.  This could be the time that seller financing makes a transaction work, or that a short sale is a necessity.  Know your way around all types of financial instruments and be creative in combining different ways of financing today’s transactions.  Know all you can about foreclosure, REO and how the banks and lending institutions process them from beginning to end. If a portion of your friends are not bankers, lawyers, and accountants, then it is time to make some new friends.
 
Lastly, make sure your transactions are rock solid, do not leave anything to chance.  Take nothing for granted. Set seller and buyer expectations upfront, involve yourself in the selection and supervision of all vendors, lenders, be personally involved in inspections, repairs, and any final negotiations, and employ a step-by-step process to address buyer or seller “remorse.”  Do not assume that anyone in this market is going to do what they say they are going to do, the price of closing is vigilance, constant vigilance on your part.

We are all in this together and the Land Broker Co-op is here to help you lower your business costs and to bring you more business in the most affordable manner.  We’re here for you!

U.S. Land Broker Co-op to acquire Open Fences Magazine

Friday, January 17th, 2020

Houston, Texas, January 17, 2020 – U.S. Land Broker Co-op (“the Co-op”) has announced it is seeking to acquire Open Fences magazine, the country’s premier publication for the rural real estate market.


Dan Murphy, Co-op President & owner of M4 Ranch Group, said, “The Co-op is committed to expanding the services provided to its Members and is seeking to acquire the best national rural real estate publication on the market. We’ve analyzed the print advertising space and found Open Fences magazine to be the publication where our Members consistently get the best response, with the most qualified readership, so it became a target for acquisition. Our Members, who are all equal owners, will share in the ownership of the magazine, bringing many compelling opportunities in the world of print. The addition of Open Fences will complement the pending launch of a new website later this year.”


As a movement by and for brokers and agents, the U.S. Land Broker Co-op was launched in 2018 by acquiring LandBrokerMLS.com. The Co-op enables its Members to take control of listings data and advertising costs and provides other valuable benefits, including health insurance options, that result from group buying power. The Co-op helps foster change, as every broker and agent who joins shares equal ownership and holds a unique voice. The Co-op’s philosophy of equal ownership and voice for all is beneficial for everyone involved.


Open Fences magazine Publisher and Founder David Light, said, “This is the next step for Open Fences magazine and a game-changer for the industry. A broker and agent owned magazine is the first of its kind. This acquisition puts another arrow in the quiver to provide extraordinary services to Co-op Members, and the Members to provide extraordinary services to their clients.”


For the past 10 years Open Fences magazine has been synonymous with premier rural real estate. The showcasing of exceptional rural properties coupled with distribution to the Who’s Who of buyers and sellers throughout the world has made Open Fences a key marketing partner to many of the most distinguished rural real estate brokers.


An official announcement is expected in the near future.

LAND BROKER CO-OP Partners with Century 21® Adding 20,000 Additional Land Listings to LandBrokerMLS.com

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

The Land Broker Co-op and Century 21 Real Estate announced today a new significant partnership that adds an additional 20,000 land listings to LandBrokerMLS.com, the nations only broker-owned land listing website.*LandBrokerMLS.com*

Century 21® has joined The Land Broker Co-op as a National Affiliate partner, offsetting the cost of Co-op Membership for its affiliated brokers and agents nationwide. All Century 21 affiliated brokers and agents joining the Co-op will enjoy significant discounts, equal ownership and voting rights, collective buying power, and shared participation in profits. 

The Land Broker Co-op is a movement by and for rural real estate professionals to take control of listings data and advertising costs, and to provide other benefits that result from group buying power.   

Dan Hatfield, a Texas Broker and Co-op VP of Sponsor Development, said, “With vast real estate experience and nationwide coverage, Century 21 brings added value to all Members and owners of the Co-op. The addition of these new listings brings supplementary leads, views, and increases online engagement.” 

Randy Workman, Senior Director at Century 21, said, “We are proud to be an Affiliate Partner of the Land Broker Co-op and recognize the many benefits they bring to brokers in the rural real estate industry. We strongly believe in their vision of data control and ownership.”

The additional 20,000 listings will be added to LandBrokerMLS.com over the next few weeks, with leads going directly to the brokers/agents.*agents. *

Dan Murphy, Co-op President & owner of M4 Ranch Group, said, “We are delighted Century 21® is joining the broker led movement in their support of the Co-op. The addition of these 20,000 land listings is yet another reason why the future is bright for our broker/agent Member -Owners.”

About the Land Broker Co-op

The Co-op was formed to create an avenue for rural real estate professionals to join forces and mutually enjoy benefits normally offered to larger organizations, while also working to regulate technological changes in a manner that maintains listings data integrity and ownership.  The historical protocol of direct broker/agent to buyer/seller relationships is critical to the mission of the Co-op, without such relationships being intercepted, tolled and re-distributed by technologists. For those unsatisfied with the current state of real estate advertising, the Co-op helps foster change, as every broker/agent who joins the Co-op shares equal ownership and holds a unique voice. The Co-op’s philosophy of equal ownership and voice for all is beneficial for everyone involved.

As a true cooperative, 100% of the Co-op is owned by Member brokers and agents, who enjoy equal voting rights, group buying power, and shared participation in profits. Although the mission of the Co-op isn’t to generate a profit, any profit is equally shared by Members as patronage dividends.

*Disclaimer: This is an approximate number, exact number varies month to month.
© 2019 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. CENTURY 21® and the CENTURY 21 Logo are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.

LAND BROKER CO-OP Welcomes Whitetail Properties as National Affiliate Partner.

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Whitetail Properties has joined the Land Broker Co-op as a National Affiliate Partner, resulting in the addition of over 1,000 land listings to LandBrokerMLS.com, the only broker-owned land listing site in the nation.

As a National Affiliate Partner, Whitetail Properties has offset a significant portion of the cost of Co-op Membership for its affiliated brokers and agents nationwide. Whitetail Properties brokers and agents joining the Co-op will enjoy equal ownership and voting rights, collective buying power, shared participation in profits, Member only insurance options, and significant discounts across multiple categories including: personal vehicles, office and school supplies, computers and accessories, personal finance, promotional products, security and risk management, travel and entertainment, apparel, and more.

Whitetail Properties joins a strong list of Co-op National Affiliate Partners, including LandLeader, Mossy Oak Properties, and Sports Afield Trophy Properties in their support of the Co-op as a movement by and for rural real estate professionals to take control of listings data and advertising costs, and provide other benefits that result from group buying power.

Dan Murphy, Co-op President & owner of M4 Ranch Group, said, “An essential part of the Co-op’s mission is to preserve the direct broker/agent to buyer/seller relationship without additional interference from technologists. We are thrilled Whitetail Properties has joined the Co-op as a National Affiliate Partner and look forward to assisting them bring together buyers and sellers of hunting, ranch, and farmland.”

About the Land Broker Co-op

The Co-op was formed to create an avenue for rural real estate professionals to join forces and mutually enjoy benefits normally offered to larger organizations, while also working to regulate technological changes in a manner that maintains listings data integrity and ownership.  The historical protocol of direct broker/agent to buyer/seller relationships is critical to the mission of the Co-op, without such relationships being intercepted, tolled and re-distributed by technologists. For those unsatisfied with the current state of real estate advertising, the Co-op helps foster change, as every broker/agent who joins the Co-op shares equal ownership and holds a unique voice. The Co-op’s philosophy of equal ownership and voice for all is beneficial for everyone involved. As a true cooperative, 100% of the Co-op is owned by Member brokers and agents, who enjoy equal voting rights, group buying power, and shared participation in profits. Although the mission of the Co-op isn’t to generate a profit, any profit is equally shared by Members as patronage dividends. The Co-op distributed $10,873.59 to its 2018 Members.

How To Make Money off Your Land

Thursday, July 18th, 2019
how to make money off your land

Whether you already own land, are looking to invest, or add on, you no doubt would like to generate some income, or extra income from it. No matter how large, or small, a property and what area of the country you live in, there are a variety of ways to make money off your land. A lot of it depends upon your interests, time, and dedication.

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How to Bring Utilities to Rural or Undeveloped Land

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

When considering investing in vacant land or acreage, one potential cost that should not be overlooked is that of getting utilities to the rural property. This can be expensive, or relatively moderate, depending on a variety of factors. When looking at a particular property be sure to investigate how close the nearest electricity lines are to the property, if there is natural gas available, and whether there are any municipal water and sewer lines accessible.

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The Do’s and Dont’s of Buying Rural Land

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

If you have decided you want to buy rural land whether for your home, a second home, or investment property, you will need to do a lot of research.
It is important to know what you want, what you don’t want, and your limits. Consider all your options before making such a big decision. Here are some do’s and don’ts of how to buy rural land to keep in mind during your search.

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Things To Know About Owning a Ranch

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
owning a ranch - landbrokermls

For many, the possibility of owning a ranch is simply a dream. But, for some, it can become a reality, if you are willing to do your homework ahead of time, and work hard once you purchase. Life on the ranch is a great place to raise a family, and owning ranch land is something that can be passed down to future generations. But, there are a lot of considerations to take in before you just go out and buy land on a whim! Examine why you want a ranch and what you expect out of it.

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Red Flags When Buying Land

Thursday, June 20th, 2019
Buying rural land

There are a lot of benefits to buying raw land. Buying ranch property is usually a sound investment. It won’t go anywhere and you can only improve upon it in the future.

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The Next Generation of 1031 Exchanges

Friday, July 13th, 2018

I am a big fan of old western movies. Regardless of the movie, either a cowboy or the 7th Cavalry always came to the rescue at the last moment to save the day. Predictably, one of my favorite actors is John Wayne. Whether he was chasing the bad guys in the old west, defending the Alamo, winning the Civil War, fighting the Japanese at the Battle of Midway or fighting our enemies at D Day, he always seemed to come to the rescue. That’s what I loved about him and I always wished that in some way, I could do the same.

Well, now I can. I may not be saving Shinbone from Liberty Valance or Europe during WW2 but I can come to the rescue when a property owner is going to sell a property that will create a large tax liability. That works for me. And for you.

When selling a great property, you can either pay taxes on the gains or transact a 1031 exchange to defer taxes. The first isn’t a good option and the second is not always appropriate or has limitations to be completed.

But here is where I come to the rescue. There are numerous ways to defer taxes using the next generation of 1031s. Our Section 453 tax deferral strategies have a 20-year track record of successfully deferring taxes between 2000-2500 times with the largest transaction being $120 million with a tax deferral of $50 million.

If someone wants to transact a 1031 exchange and can complete it that’s great. To be on the safe side, we can guarantee that if a 1031 fails, the sales proceeds will NOT be sent to the seller which now creates a large tax liability but rather that taxes will be deferred, and the client now has unlimited time to find a replacement property.

Consider the following examples.

One of the main limitations in an exchange are the 45 and 180-day time periods. Supply of real estate properties can be elastic.   Sometimes there is a great supply of replacement properties and sometimes there isn’t. What if there were no time constraints to have to deal with.

What if you could sell a property today, defer taxes today and have unlimited time to find a great replacement property. Would that work? Absolutely.

But let’s take that thought to the next level. When transacting a 1031, you buy low and sell high but because of the 45-day period, you may have to buy high when market conditions may be less than favorable to your buyers. What if after you sold high, you had unlimited time to buy again so you could wait until market conditions became more favorable to buyers. Would that work?  Absolutely. And even better, while your buyer is waiting for market conditions to become more favorable, we will pay him a cash flow of 5-6% while he waits. So, using the next generation of 1031 s, you can buy low, sell high and buy better.

Say you have 4 owners of a property and all the owners want you to list their property BUT 2 of the owners want to take their proceeds and run to Vegas…not necessarily a bad strategy and the other 2 want to defer their taxes. Until you get everyone on the same page, you can’t list the property. Get your paperwork ready. The 2 that want to take the money and run can do so and the 2 that want to defer taxes can use our proprietary trust to do so. You get the listing and you owe me lunch. Preferably in Vegas.

Say that there is a property owner that has had a property in the family for 50,60,70 years and longer. He would like to sell but almost the entire sale will be capital gains and depending on where he is domiciled, taxes can range from roughly 25-40% so instead of selling, he decides to keep the property until he passes on and then his kids get the property with the stepped basis.

That’s not a bad strategy for everyone but you because you now can’t sell the property. Instead, what if you could explain to the prospect that you can sell today, defer taxes today, move closer to the grandkids today and receive a higher retirement income than if he sells and pays taxes first. And he can do all of this while alive.

You have a client that has transacted 1031 exchanges for decades and now that he has accumulated wealth, he would like to sell and retire. Unfortunately, he now has to sell and use the basis of the first property to determine taxes and the tax bill will be a whopper.

What if you have a 1031 Exit Strategy. That’s right. By using our trust, he can sell his property and defer taxes for the rest of his life and into the next generation if he chooses to do so.  By deferring taxes, he can enjoy the fruits of his labor by receiving a larger retirement income than if he would have sold and paid taxes first. You are his new best friend.

One last idea. Say that you come across someone that has a high end primary residential property and they want to sell. However, the sale will create a large tax liability to the sellers. You can sell their residence, defer taxes using our trust and help them buy another property any time in the future. That’s a great deal for them and you made a new friend.

These are just a few of our tax deferral strategies so call me so I can come to your rescue. John Wayne would be proud. It shows True Grit. I can’t believe that I typed that. Until the next time, Happy Selling.

 

David Fisher is the managing partner at Creative Real Estate Strategies, a national firm that specializes in deferring taxes in situations where a 1031 isn’t appropriate or can’t be completed. He can be reached at 713-702-6401 or david@cresknowsrealestate.com