Our Key Takeaways from RLI’s Virtual National Land Conference

Now more than ever, it’s important for us land professionals to stay current on trends impacting the rural real estate industry. That’s why we partnered with Realtors Land Institute in hosting their first ever virtual National Land Conference (March 20 – 21, 2020).

Every year, the National Land Conference is the place to get together and exchange the latest information in the industry. This year, if you may not have been able to tune in, we’ve summarized some of our key takeaways and session highlights for you.

Delaney Howell

Opening Keynote – “American Agriculture in a Global World” by Delaney Howell

Main Takeaway: Generally, during times of economic recession, agriculture thrives

  • Agricultural land remains one of the largest real estate investments
  • Domestically, land purchases are increasing, production is growing, and government is pushing expansion and development
  • China is the largest foreign land investor in the United States, and is expected to invest $21 billion USD in land purchases by 2025
  • Land value has remained stable, despite the drop in commodity prices because of low interest rates, lower than normal supply, and other factors
Aaron Graham, ALC

“The Future of the Land Brokerage Business” by Aaron Graham, ALC

Main Takeaway: We need to focus on the impact of technology on the land brokerage business

  • This video by Inside Edition depicts the power technology is having on children, and on generations to come
  • GIS mapping software, cameras, aerial imagery, augmented reality, land care/livestock apps, etc., are just some of the pieces of technology impacting the land industry today
  • There are more real estate agents in the United States than there are doctors (more than 2 million)
  • The residential real estate business is ripe for disruption/change, because of issues such as it’s complexity and lack of transparency
    • Disruption is occurring via massive investments in technology, commission compression, and a focus on end-to-end platform
  • There’s a good chance technology could replace the job of real estate agents who aren’t bringing value to their clients
    • What can we bring to our clients that technology won’t?
      • Expertise, keeping pace with technology, being an information consolidator, finding opportunity in challenges, being coachable and flexible, protecting your brand, etc.

“Emergency Action Plans for Real Estate Professionals” by Greg Glosson

Main Takeaway: Successfully navigating emergency events requires a plan of action.

  • Nobody can foresee what is going to happen, but those who plan ahead can come out of troubling times more successful than others
  • Real estate professionals need to be prepared to react to emergency situations such as:
    • Natural disasters (fire, weather, earthquake, cold/heat)
    • Human events (medical emergencies, technology events, violence)
    • Health hazards (widespread illness, pandemic, mental illness)
  • How can real estate professionals prepare for emergency situations?
    1. Identify your risks and know what kind of emergency is most likely to affect your business
    2. Save early for disaster costs and check your insurance coverage
    3. Safely keep digital copies of important documents
Russell Riggs

“The Legislative Land News From Inside the Beltway” by Russell Riggs

Main Takeaway: Coronavirus Relief Package information directly from lobbyists, research staff, and legislative and regulatory analysts.

  • Small business relief includes Economic Injury Disaster Loans for small businesses and can be used for:
    • Sick leaved related to COVID-19
    • Payroll
    • Rent/mortgage
    • Debt obligations due to lost revenue
    • Increased supply chain management, operations, and material costs
    • Utilities
  • Unemployment benefits cover those who are affected or who are self-employed
  • Business tax provisions include an employee retention credit, payroll tax deferment, and extension of net operating losses which can be carried back 5 years with the 80% limit temporarily suspended
  • Payments and relief for individuals include direct payments, penalty free COVID-19 related distributions from tax-favored retirement plans, and waiver of requirement on minimum distributions from retirement plans and IRAs for those over 70.5 years of age
  • Federal agency appropriations include investments in rural broadband, USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service, transit infrastructure, and deferment of government backed mortgages for up to 360 days.
  • For detailed information about the relief package, please visit the U.S. Department of Treasury website
George Harvey

“Building Your Global Real Estate Business” by George Harvey

Main Takeaway: It’s important to understand global and regional market nuances.

  • Everything must be considered when interacting with other cultures, referencing global cultural differences in “Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands” by Morrison and Conway
  • Understand the organizations that represent different markets
  • Currency and exchange rate issues, including purchasing power parity (country-by-country, region-by-region)
    • Real estate laws and property rights in the US are very strong, which helps to stabilize the dollar. This can be viewed as a hedge against riskier investments
  • The US wants seller to pay taxes on their gains if they made gains, while in other places such as Japan, it is okay for foreign nationals to buy and own property, however there is an 8% tax that must be paid at the time of closing.
  • So what’s the best way to develop a global real estate practice?
    • Small budget:
      • Get in touch with the State Office for Economic Development & International Trade
      • Network with the global councils in the United States
    • Large budget:
      • Get global CIPS training internationally
      • Get CIPS designated

The information and content provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is provided ‘as is’, ‘with all faults’, and ‘as available’.

We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of such information and content.


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    Case Horton

    Thanks for the great synopsis on what we missed for those of us who couldn’t make it.

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