Written by Brandon Rogillio | Courtesy of the REALTORS® Land Institute
Born and raised in Louisiana, Brandon Rogillio, ALC, began practicing real estate as a profession while studying economics at Southeastern Louisiana University and is now the Owner/Broker of Rogillio Real Estate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Rogillio is known among his close friends and family for his humility and “quiet strength.” He is family man and can often be found bringing his son along to his local golf club in the little spare time he has leftover between running his own business and working for the community.
After devastating floods tore through parts of his hometown last August during a thousand-year-rain event (over 150,000 homes and structures were damaged), Brandon felt a responsibility to assist his community on a whole other level. “There isn’t anyone I know who wasn’t affected by the flooding,” said Brandon who grew up with the awaiting location of the Comite Diversion Canal, infrastructure that would’ve significantly decreased the destructive impacts of the flooding, basically in his backyard.
When approached to have this story written, Brandon was very humble about the work he has been doing on behalf of private land owners and his community, saying “I didn’t save any lives.” While that is true, his dedication and commitment to improving his community and preventing this type of flooding from happening again should not go unmentioned, as it someday could save lives.
As the only Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) and CCIM in Louisiana, his expertise in land and commercial real estate transactions as well as on legislation relating to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) has empowered him to take action advocating on behalf of the people in his community. Brandon has strong feelings opposing the WOTUS rule, stating that “our country is founded on private property rights and land is the foundation of all real wealth in America. The government should not be able to regulate that or take it away from citizens.” He went on to explain that “government regulation has become the biggest impacting factor on land ownership; attempting to dictate everything from how people can use their land to how much their land is worth.”
Since 2014, Brandon has been chosen by the Louisiana Land Owners Association to serve on the Comite River Diversion Canal Project Task Force created by the Louisiana State Legislature. The Comite River Diversion Canal Project has been talked about for over 33 years and has now been in the “planning stages” since funding was approved by tax payers in 2000. However, the process has been slowed significantly by the US Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency’s rules because of the need to purchase mitigation land and access federal funding.
He explained that federal law that requires developers to offset damage to wetlands in one area by creating/restoring them in another. “One of the big problems we encountered was that the place they wanted to establish the wetlands is home to 75 private property owners who would have lost their homes through the government’s power of expropriation.” Brandon has worked to assist the state in successfully passing legislation to stop the government from being able to acquire the land through eminent domain, saving these families their homes.
In addition to fighting for private homeowners’ rights, Brandon is working on another front to ensure the canal is built to prevent future flooding from having the same destructive effects, reducing up to 25 percent of the damage done by flooding in the area. Brandon works closely with U.S. Representative Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, as the National Association of REALTORS® Federal Political Coordinator and a leader on securing funding to aid in the community’s recovery efforts. “What is so frustrating about this is that you spend billions of dollars after a disaster instead of millions of dollars before,” Graves said in a phone interview with the The Advocate news outlet last August. Brandon looks forward to working closely with Graves moving forward to continue restoring the community and advocating on their behalf.
In the land real estate industry, Brandon has used his “quiet strength” to build his own business as well as become an active leader within the REALTORS® Land Institute—a membership organization that strongly supports NAR’s efforts to advocate against legislation like WOTUS and 1031 Tax Reform on behalf of land professionals and private property owners. Last month, he was inaugurated as the 2017 National President of RLI where he plans to continue using his voice and expertise as an ALC to advocate and improve the legislative environment that so many work and live in every day. So, while he may not have “saved any lives,” Brandon’s work continues to have a huge impact on his community and the industry as a whole.
This article appears in the winter 2017 issue of LAND magazine. Visit www.landmagazines.com to read more and subscribe to future issues of both LAND magazine and TEXAS LAND magazine.