This article is featured in the Spring 2022 issue of LAND magazine. Click here to find out more.

What person with what kind of drive and commitment do you want to help you accomplish a life’s goal? How do you select that person or team who can assist you in establishing the best land purchase, the most substantial conservation valuation, the future energy demands, the acquisition of the following transitional lands? This person or team will help you invest in a strong tomorrow. 

As a buyer, your purchase, searching for the right property, and accomplishing your goals is the highest and strongest motivation to find a qualified land professional. No matter how many closings a company or a broker has, this one, yours, is by far the most important in your life. You are completing the culmination of your life’s hard work and finally attaining that dream; acquiring the type of property that not only has been a life goal, but a property some use to build a family legacy: a ranch, a luxury estate, a shared ranch, or maybe a dream beach house.

Searching for a tried-and-true ranch and land professional is not an easy task. Many companies produce a great website and even spout big sales numbers and large transaction totals. While these are positive factors, many do not realize the dedication and responsibility that it takes to get to a level where both a broker and a company earn the opportunity to represent those unique and impressive properties.  With experience, time, and a ton of hard work, comes a commitment to be better educated to perform at the next level in the Ranch and Land Brokerage.

Many successful Land Professionals have a variety of backgrounds, coming from many different paths in life to find their calling as Ranch and Land Professionals.  One common thread that has been seen in this industry is professionalism in brokers who pursue their Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation through REALTORS® Land Institute. ALC’s are committed to being a step up, being better educated, and are committed to diversity in understanding a ranch or land’s highest and best use. A broker earning the ALC designation must be accomplished in sales to pursue this designation, in addition to the educational needs and life experiences to get to this point.  An ALC has over 104 hours of specific land training, focusing on courses such as The Fundamentals of Land Brokerage, Land Investment, Tax-Deferred 1031 Exchanges, Mapping and Technology, Subdivision Land Development, Site Selection, Agricultural Land Brokerage and Marketing, Timberland Real Estate, and most recently, Valuations and Transactions of Energy and Environmental Assets, to name a few.

There are great Ranch and Land Professionals who come from various backgrounds. Still, one great place to start your search for a proven Land Professional is to find a name with the ALC designation next to it.


  • Dan Murphy has called southwestern Colorado home his entire adult life. His dedication to understanding issues at the heart of western Colorado has been exemplified through his service in numerous arenas. Dan’s work commitment, positive outlook, and approach on wildlife and domestic issues have brought forth progressive, positive, and life altering changes. He has spent a lifetime understanding rivers, western lands, wildlife, and the issues they face. He is currently the Owner/Broker of Team Murphy Realty and M4 Ranch Group a division of Team Murphy Realty, specializing in ranch and recreational properties in Colorado and New Mexico.

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