Trending: Leasing Land By the Week and Subsurface Valuations

National Land Realty (NLR) and LandGate (LG) have announced a strategic partnership to expand services, data intelligence, and marketing capabilities within the land industry.

The combination of LandGate’s data intelligence and NLR’s network of agents will become the leading marketplace for all land transactions with the largest number of listings from farmers, ranchers, and landowners. The partnership will provide an estimated value for every parcel of land including multiple resource segments such as minerals, solar, wind, water, recreation, and more. The valuations, nearby listings and sales are provided to both buyers and sellers for transparent and easy online market transactions.

REAL Trends spoke with Jason Walter, CEO of National Land about the new partnership and trends in the land market nationwide.

Jason Walter

“LandGate has developed incredible tools and valuation models for mineral, wind, solar, water, and other resource segments that will allow National Land to offer our customers an end-to-end source for land services,” said Jason Walter, CEO of National Land. “We are looking forward to adding additional resource listings to our site and begin incorporating mineral and resource data for a new and exciting platform.”

Walter says the vision for National Land Realty as to become, “like Google is to the Internet. When you talk about the land industry, you think about us.” For the first 12 years, the company worked on building a national platform of agents. “Starting last year, we added supporting businesses that support the platform, like lending and title. Now, we’re getting more specialized with the valuation models for mineral, wind, solar, water and other resources,” he says. “Valuing the subsurface rights is very complex. Historically, sellers have been taken advantage of in that world. LandGate’s specialty is valuing those subsurface rights.”

Walter shared his thoughts on trends in the land arena. “July was our largest month ever, and August is bigger than that. We’re noticing that people want to be more active and they’re looking for land outside the city where they can have space. They’re looking for 10 or 15 acres,” he says.

Although the company has had record sales months, Walter says, “I’m still uneasy. There’s so much uncertainty out there, especially in an election year and with COVID-19.” The good news, he notes, is that 50% of land buyers borrow money to buy their property. “Therefore, it doesn’t have the volatility that other real estate sectors have where the majority of properties are financed.”

For National Land Realty, the next big focus, says Walter is on leasing. “In the past, when you leased a property for hunting or recreational use, it was on an annual basis. We’re looking at it like an Airbnb or VRBO model, where you can lease it by the day. The dominant part of that business will be camping, four-wheeling, fishing, hunting or biking—all massive industries.”

In the age of COVID-19, Walter feels that land leasing is the next big thing. “You can go to Wyoming, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, or somewhere else and rent 10 or 20 acres for a weekend. Outdoor recreation is a huge opportunity.”