In the ranch brokerage business, as in any profession, there is no substitute for experience gained through focused, consistent, hard work. No two ranches are alike and every ranch deal is different; so it is vitally important that brokers have plenty of exposure to a wide array of issues that can emerge during the marketing and sales process.
Experienced gained through years of transactions allows brokers to 1) develop the hard skills to solve commonplace issues that arise during the sales process, 2) hone their creative problem solving ability to work out the unique, one-of-a-kind challenges that will undoubtedly arise, and 3) develop a “sixth sense” to foresee and resolve problems before they actually occur.
- Hard Skills – Some of the more common issues that occur in the majority of ranch transactions are: title issues, access issues, acreage discrepancies, environmental concerns, water rights, mineral rights, public land leases, etc. Simply having a real estate license is not enough. The education required for state-issued real estate licenses is almost exclusively focused on residential transactions, so there is no way to learn about these ranch-related issues other than direct, first-hand experience. The skills must be acquired “in the trenches,” through mentorship, research, and years of experience doing deals.
- Creative Problem Solving – No matter how much experience a broker has, he/she is guaranteed to encounter at least one new, completely unique issue during every ranch transaction. While it is impossible to know the answer to all possible scenarios, brokers can hone their ability to solve complex problems to keep deals moving forward. Through repeated exposure to high-pressure and complicated situations, brokers can fully develop their ability to stay cool under pressure, brainstorm creative solutions, and solve problems while on a tight timeframe.
- “Sixth Sense” – This is the most difficult skill to learn, but the ability to foresee issues before they become full blown problems can save clients millions of dollars and avoid a great deal of anxiety. For example, adjusting the wording in the “Additional Provisions” section of a purchase contract can mean the difference between a smooth transaction and a drawn out lawsuit. Proactively fixing an abnormal exception on the title commitment can mean the difference between having a private ranch access or having the public careening through your property in ATVs. Everyone can agree that most of the time it is easier, cheaper, and more pleasant to solve “small issues” before they become “major problems.” You just need to make sure your broker has a knack for identifying the issues.
Finally, ranch buyers and sellers come from varying backgrounds and can have very different goals for their property: agriculture, conservation, hunting and fishing, development, wildlife enhancement, financial return, etc. Ranch brokers with previous professional experience in any of these fields can add a great deal of value to the sales process due to their deep understanding of their clients’ goals and thought processes.
For example, a broker with extensive professional experience in wildlife enhancement will add significant value for a buyer searching for a ranch with excellent enhancement potential. A ranch with development potential would be well served by a broker who has worked in development and understands how to communicate the value to potential buyers. Conservation easements can be complex and confusing, so who better than a former professional conservationist to guide a buyer through the process. The examples could go on and on.
At Mirr Ranch Group, we pride ourselves to the deep and diverse experience of our team. All of our brokers bring a wide variety of individual skills and experience, and collectively our team experience in unmatched.
Check back next week for Ranch Broker Essential Characteristic #2: Education.