An Affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®
Joseph (Joey) C Burns
Colorado RLI President
Lone Eagle Land Brokerage 970-249-4300
Clear Sailing Ahead!! This was the opening slide of Dr. Mark Dotzour, renowned economist from College Station, Texas as he began his presentation for brokers attending the 2018 National Land Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Unemployment is at a record low, our economy is on fire and the newly approved tax bill is like pouring gasoline on an open flame. Dr. Dotzour was quick witted, entertaining, and admittedly a pessimist at heart. In my opinion, his forecast of the US economic condition was worth the entire trip to Nashville. His best advice, stop watching the news!! There is so much hype, propaganda and unfounded opinion wrapped up into what we are allowed to see, the fantastic economic condition of our country is incorrectly colored with negativity and fear. Our economic forecast looks great and this is good news for ranch sales.
The National Land Conference had many highlights. First, Nashville is incredible. They took great care of us. The food was top shelf, hospitality was around every corner and the musical talent was off the chart. Thank you, Nashville!! Second, the Apex awards were presented to outstanding broker sales nationwide. Team Murphy of our own Colorado chapter was this year's big winner in nationwide total volume and recreational ranch sales. Congratulations guys!!
Third, the introduction of the newly formed Broker COOP stole the show. This broker-owned, broker-run, nationwide cooperative garnered great attention. The idea of a ranch marketing site, which acts as a multiple listing service for brokers to track sales nationwide and is a powerful marketing tool for the public, resonated throughout the room. Brokers will be in control of their data with the client's best interest first and foremost in mind as they aggressively claim a footprint on the World Wide Web. Exciting times!!
My take away: This is the 5th National Land Conference I've attended but my first as the President of Colorado RLI. It was amazing to me to sit in round table meetings with other chapter leaders who continually recognize the Colorado Chapter as a template of how a chapter can run. The combination of effective marketing meetings combined with educational classes that continually build knowledge and sharpen skills has built our chapter. These skills give us the tools we need to be effective counselors for our clients and provide the insight they demand. In addition, our yearly ranch tour along with our multi state agricultural meeting are treasures that our chapter exclusively provides. What a privilege it is to be recognized as the Colorado president knowing full well the hard work that has gone before me to build such a great organization.
Recently I was asked if ranch values are back up to the same level prior to the 2008 crash. In Western Colorado, we're not even close! The stage is set for an economic explosion with values well below their all-time highs. Yes, the residential market is back on its feet but if a ranch is in your future, there is no better time to make that jump into ranch real estate.
A new component will be added to our marketing meeting in May! The wealth of knowledge amongst our chapter members is amazing; so, the board of directors thought it would be wise and beneficial for all members if some of that knowledge is shared. We have quite a few members that could speak on a variety of topics with quite a bit of knowledge, and those are the ones we know about!
It would follow somewhat of a round table discussion, but instead of it being at tables, a few brokers would be front and center of the room, provide a couple minutes of introduction about themselves and their topic and then open it up to questions from the attendees. Not sure exactly what to call this part of the meeting, so if you have a suggestion, we would like to hear it.
Which brings me to ask, "is your bio complete on the national website"?
RLI Members are the most qualified land real estate agents in the country to assist with land transactions, so let people know what your qualifications are when they search under "Find A Land Consultant". Whether its farmland, ranch land, timberland, land for commercial or residential development, or recreational land, transactions benefit when a land real estate agent with experience and expertise in the field is used for the transaction. The "Find A Land Consultant" search tool is designed as a place for landowners and those looking to become landowners to find an expert land real estate agent to assist with their transaction.
Log into your account and complete your bio. Let people know what your experience and expertise is when dealing with land! And who knows, maybe you'll become one of the guest brokers for a session at an upcoming Chapter meeting!
I recently attended a three-day Range Beef Cow Symposium in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was loaded with up-to-the minute research findings and data pertinent to the cattle industry. While my husband soaked in all of the practical applications to our high mountain cattle herd, I found the legislative and advocacy presentations applicable to both my ranching profession and my ranch brokerage profession. Being a new member of the National RLI legislative committee, I'll share some of my key takeaways that may help farm and ranch brokers when they sit across the table from their clients.
The estate planning landscape has changed-in a good way-at least for the next 8 years. The estate tax exemption has doubled to roughly $11M for an individual and $22M for a couple. This new exemption certainly affects succession planning and how we as ranch brokers help farmers and ranchers achieve their acquisition, disposition and transition goals.
1031-exchange provisions survived the proposed overall chopping block but didn't come away unchanged. Most notable to us is that real estate (which generally appreciates) and buildings are still allowed while breeding livestock and some equipment (which generally don't appreciate) are no longer allowed.
The new tax law increases the deduction for breeding stock, race horses, and equipment to 100% for property placed in service after September 2017. The ability to expense breeding cattle could be significant for buyers who purchase a ranch that is being sold with livestock.
WOTUS is a topic I've followed for years; its implementation would have had far reaching effects and could have hugely affected me and my ranching neighbors. On January 22, the US Supreme Court unanimously decided to give federal district courts jurisdiction over WOTUS. This important decision shifts the focus away from federal regulation and is a tremendous victory for water users who have challenged the rule in court. Also, on January 31 the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers officially delayed application of the 2015 WOTUS ruling for two years. This will give the agencies time to provide long-term regulatory certainty about which waters are subject to federal regulation or to possibly repeal it altogether.
98% of consumers have no connection with productions agriculture. They don't know what we do on a daily basis and many consumers are exposed to one-sided information. Although many ranch brokers don't have to get up at 2 a.m. for the middle-of-the-night calving check, they are directly involved in agriculture because they're the ones helping farmers and ranchers trade in and out of the land. Anytime the benefits of agriculture can be shared by those involved in the industry, we tip the scales back toward the realities of feeding large populations with limited resources and maintaining the scenic, open landscapes that characterize rural America.
The agriculture industry like the real estate industry is constantly changing. New rules affect both industries and we can be better brokers when we are aware of the changes affecting the lives and businesses of many of our clients.
Christy Belton owns Ranch & Resort Realty in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She is also a rancher and with her husband operates a commercial cattle and hay business in the Elk River Valley and adjoining Routt National Forest.
Q & A with Aubrie Kobernus, CEO
In effort to continue open communications between our Colorado chapter, it's members and the National RLI organization I recently asked Aubrie Kobernus, National RLI Chief Executive Officer, several questions surrounding RLI National strategic planning for the years ahead. Below is the dialog between Aubrie and myself on behalf of the Colorado chapter.
Bart Miller, ALC
Mason & Morse Ranch Company
Colorado RLI Chapter Board Member Bart@ranchland.com
Bart Miller; This past year two new marketing logos were created for RLI. An RLI member logo and an ALC logo. How is National using these different logos for the benefit of RLI members and ALC candidates/members?
Aubrie Kobernus; We wanted to ensure that all of our members had a way to show they are part of RLI - not just our ALC members, so we created an organizational logo that any member can use, and an ALC logo, that only ALC members may use. However, the logos were only one piece of our overall rebranding initiative. Just as the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has long been "the Voice of Real Estate", RLI is working diligently to become "the Voice of Land". This will enable us to raise awareness of RLI and our members as the "go-to" resource for anything related to land real estate. We are doing this through the promotion of our national Land Markets Survey; through our new APEX Production awards which is sponsored by the Land Report and will be debuted at NLC18; through our increased social media/digital advertising and more diverse blog posts; and, of course, our continued advocacy efforts on issues that matter most to our members and the land industry as a whole. All of this together will make the RLI and ALC brands more widely recognized and established in the industry, thus making it more prestigious and valuable to be part of for our members.
2. The ALC "application" process has historically been lengthy and complicated. What changes will we see by National specific to the application process?
We are excited to say that we have been working to simplify and clarify the ALC application process, and will be rolling out our new ALC policies and application at NLC18! Our esteemed ALC Designation will still require the same level of experience, education, and production as before, but the application will soon be much easier to understand and will not have so many hoops to jump through when people are ready to apply. Please note, for those that have already begun coursework towards the ALC, all of your courses will count towards your application whenever you are ready to apply!
3. Education is a major benefit for RLI members. What is RLI working on to bring relevant classes and learning opportunities to members and state chapters.
Education is a core component of what we offer our members, and is what sets RLI apart as the "go-to" place for anything related to land real estate. Through the recent deep dive of our education program where we reviewed every course that was part of the curriculum, RLI decided to focus on 11 key courses and have an outside consultant work with our instructors and subject matter experts to completely update each of the 11 courses. Some of our courses will simply be refreshed, while others will be totally rewritten, and at least one focused on recreational land will be a completely new addition to our curriculum. We are also working to improve the delivery of our hybrid courses so the courses are more interactive and facilitate a higher level of learning online. Finally, we will have a new learning management system (LMS) that will debut along with our new courses, which will make managing education easier and more streamlined for both our chapters and our members. We are very excited about our new LANDU education program and how it will continue to make RLI and our members "the Voice of Land".
4. With recent changes approved in the tax code how has national been instrumental in lobbying for laws that benefit members? What government policy changes will National continue to support/defend and update members on for 2018?
I've always said real estate is one of the most heavily regulated and legislated industries there is, so it is important to be involved! RLI is fortunate to be affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS® and have a dedicated legislative liaison, Russell Riggs, who works on our behalf in DC. Through out the recent tax reform debate, there was debate and concern about losing the ability to use a 1031 exchange for land or real estate. Land was even more in jeopardy than traditional real estate because they were allowing immediate expensing for traditional real estate, but land cannot be expensed. RLI worked tirelessly to educate our members and legislators on the negative effects that the proposed tax reform would have on land sales, on the livelihood of farmers and ranchers, and on the rural communities throughout our nation. Fortunately, our message was heard and 1031 exchanges were retained for land and real estate. In 2018, we will be monitoring actions on Waters of the US (WOTUS), infrastructure spending, and the 2018 Farm Bill.
5. What is National RLI doing to help support its Chapters and make them successful?
We are working to rebuild our relationship with our chapters and provide resources that will help make our chapters successful. We hired a full-time employee, Bill Stanton, to work as our Chapter and Membership Specialist. This past year, we rolled out optional website templates to make it easy for our chapters to have a branded online presence; a way for our chapters to access the National RLI member database; created a chapter leader manual to help prepare our incoming chapter leaders; and developed a chapter leader resource page on our website where we will continue to add templates for chapters to use to make their marketing efforts easier. At NLC18, we will debut a new Chapter Leader Council – an advisory group for chapters composed of current chapter leaders and administrators to further identify needed resources National can provide to our chapters and give our chapters more of a voice in our organization. Chapters are the lifeblood of RLI and we must work together to make sure our chapters can be as successful as possible.
I want to remind everyone about our RLI Colorado Chapter and OPEN FENCES Ranch & Land tour to be held June 7th -8th. This annual ranch tour has evolved into a significant event with 50+ RLI Land Brokers attending. Last year Joey Burns with Lone Eagle Land Brokerage presented us a wide range of properties both in price and variety. We viewed ranches around Montrose from Grand Mesa, Ridgeway and the Uncompahgre. It certainly is a great way to become familiar with various areas of Colorado. Probably more important, it is an opportunity to spend two days networking with the best land brokers around. So save the date and plan on attending.
In this newsletter you will find the guidelines for application for this year's Land Tour. If you or you and another RLI member have properties that would be beneficial for our group to tour, please submit your property to myself or Maggie Thomas before April 15th. It is a tremendous opportunity to get 50+ RLI Brokers familiar with your seller's properties.
Also, our spring meeting is May 3rd – 4th in Pueblo this year. Registration information is on our website www.coloradorli.com, as well as marketing session materials. Please send Maggie your marketing sheets and any PowerPoint presentations prior to the May meeting. Finally, don't forget our buyer board session where you can present all your buyers to our group.
Please contact me for further information about this year's Ranch Tour or the May Marketing Meeting.
Incorporating demonstrations and tours into our RLI education program has become very attractive and informative for our members. Over the past few years, members have had the opportunity to attend the Ranch Tour to visit large ranch properties, the CSU research station in Grand Junction, Ag tours with opportunities to see irrigation systems, bison, dairies, Leprino cheese factory, crops, malt barley, industrial hemp, and others.
By request, we are planning another demonstration and tour at our meeting in Pueblo on May 4th. The topic will be Precision Agriculture for Land Brokers and will be hosted and conducted by 4Rivers Equipment.
Topics and demonstrations will include:
Overview of Precision Agriculture and GPS
Implement Guidance and Control
VisionTrac Camera Guidance & Sensing
Soil Moisture Sensors for irrigation control
Electromagnetic mapping for soil type, depth, density
Variable rate seeding for different changes in the field
Use of Drones for precision ag
Infrared Sensing for crop health
Equipment demonstration and tractor walk-around
Farm visit to see direct application of precision ag techniques
This should prove to be an interesting and informative session planned for 8am - noon on Friday, May 4. The chapter has made application to the CO Real Estate Commission for CE credit and hope to have that approved in time for the class.
Please plan to attend our Pueblo meeting and stay for this course on exciting new technology in the agricultural industry.
Join Us on May 3 & 4 for Our First Marketing Meeting in Pueblo!
Hotel reservations at the Courtyard by Marriott Pueblo Downtown, 110 W 1st St/City Center Drive, and the Thursday meeting will take place at the Pueblo Convention Center. RLI Colorado Chapter hotel special group rate is $105/per night — Book your group rate for Realtors Land Institute. Last day to make reservations is 4/11/18.
See information on Friday's education in Kirk Goble's article.
Registration for the May Marketing and Education is open. Get registered today!
RLI Colorado Chapter and Open Fences Ranch Tour in June!
Who knows where in our great state this year's ranch tour will be on June 7th and 8th? Where ever it ends up, it is bound to be another great ranch tour.
Come to the May 3rd meeting in Pueblo and find out the location of the tour and get a preview of the properties that will be on tour.
Welcome New Members!
The Colorado Chapter has had quite a few new members join later part of 2017 and 1st quarter of this year. We want to send a warm welcome to all of them. Welcome: Joseph Garcia – Crested Butte; Cindy Flanigan – Denver; John Angelico – Fairplay; Mitch Petersen – Denver; Kent Lindell – Fort Morgan; Jason Pavlovic – Broomfield; Kiley Flint – Crested Butte; Joe O'Brien – Pueblo; Scot Oliver – Ordway; Bert Sibley – Cedaredge; Casey Stayman – Windsor; Jeff Switzer – Colorado Springs; Dee Bundy – Fort Collins; Joshua O'Shea – Boulder; Olivia Cain – Greeley; Jake Hubbell – Hotchkiss; John Feeney – Loveland and John Herrity – Windsor