What’s on the Horizon for Land With RPR Commercial

RPR® is committed to meeting the needs of all real estate segments, including a focus on what got this industry started … land. The strength of this all-important sector is unmistakable. Last year, RPR recorded more than 450,000 on-market land listings in its database—across both residential and commercial segments.

That’s a large enough number to command anyone’s attention, including RPR’s commercial team who recently surveyed land industry experts from across the country. Their goal was threefold: 1) Learn what tools are most helpful to practitioners, 2) Identify their current challenges, and 3) Set a path for how RPR can help. Here’s what the team came up with:

What should be simple, isn’t.

Searching for a parcel of land without an address can be an exasperating and sometimes futile exercise. And finding one true method is nearly impossible with most platforms.

Our focus group delivered this constructive criticism loud and clear, so we listened. What if RPR offered that “one true method” by building in the ability to search via section, township and range? Stay tuned. We’ll work on it.

Whoever said a picture is worth a thousand words never worked in the land sector.

Viewing a picture of grass, dirt or trees does little to reveal the true characteristics of a property.

In response, RPR is looking at two ideas: first, allow agents to modify a map by adding borders, points of interest, etc., and second, also allow agents to upload a video to RPR’s Property Details page.  

Finally, the dirt.

Limitations on land, based on soil composition, can be problematic as well. Although accessing the information is easy enough, sites like the USDA Web Soil Survey  are not as user friendly according to end users.    

Where do we go from here?  Based on the helpful feedback received from our focus group, along with support from the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI), RPR has identified a few key places within its system where meaningful improvements can be made. “Here at RLI, we’re committed to sharing expertise that could further enhance RPR technologies and provide additional benefits for REALTORS® who specialize in land deals,” said 2016 RLI National President Bob Turner.

Now, we turn to discovering how to integrate those solutions into our system.  

Want to share your ideas? Tell us what tools you are using and what you like/don’t like about them. Comment on this article or email Nathan Graham at nathang@narrpr.com

13 replies
  1. Jerry Hoagland
    Jerry Hoagland says:

    You should consider including in your database the delivery source for water and sewer for a particular piece of land.

    • Emily Line
      Emily Line says:

      Thank you for sharing, Jerry. Do you have a source for this data you recommend us researching? A particular service you currently use that we should explore for potential integration?

      We appreciate your support and insight!

  2. Leora Hartman
    Leora Hartman says:

    The Colorado Division of Water Resources (DWR), also known as the Office of the State Engineer, administers water rights, issues water well permits, represents Colorado in interstate water compact proceedings, monitors streamflow and water use, approves construction and repair of dams and performs dam safety inspections, issues licenses for well drillers and assures the safe and proper construction of water wells, and maintains numerous databases of Colorado water information I suspect there are similar offices in every state.

  3. Dean Eshelman
    Dean Eshelman says:

    Typically Section, Township and Range as a search method is not useful. An area/map search with the location of the property Geocoded is more useful. I have 700 acres listed with multiple section, township and ange numbers, but I can Geocoded a location on the property. Would also be nice if there was a method to highlight the parcels numbers included in the acreage. If a parcel is subdivided, the ability to select part of a parcel.

    I like the other items you mentioned.

    • Nathan Graham
      Nathan Graham says:

      Great idea about Geocoding. I think the key is to have multiple options that help an agent search and find the parcels of land they are looking for. Geocoded searches are going on the list!

  4. Dan Hatfield
    Dan Hatfield says:

    Look at the search engine at Lands of America and some of the other land advertising networks, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel just make it better. These types of sites are what have evolved for land practitioners over the past decade and are a good place to start because they are what grew up outside of the Realtor influence (NAR, state associations, etc.), purely market driven in nature. It is about time that NAR has realized how big of a market that land sales are and are going to start serving the needs of its many members that work in this arena.

    • Emily Line
      Emily Line says:

      Dan, great feedback! Thanks to a few of your fellow RLI comrades connecting in recent, conversations with LOA have begun. It’s terrific to know we’re in the right direction with product chats. We’re incredibly excited to continue work towards creating more efficiencies for the land business. Thank you again for connecting.

  5. Arvid Martin
    Arvid Martin says:

    Zoning is also valiable and is available in MIchigna as part of the public record. If the Realtor has a listing or is in the process of listing, they should have the TAX or Parcel IDs. Provide a way to allow the input of this information.

    • Nathan Graham
      Nathan Graham says:

      That is a good point, we do have public record data for a lot of the US, however if there isn’t a street identifier associated with that land I am curious how we can link those records to that parcel. This might go back to Dean’s suggestion of geocoding.

  6. John Keller, Founder FireMLS.com
    John Keller, Founder FireMLS.com says:

    https://www.firemls.com/?landing=59868 see a GEOCODE- based “market space” in Montana
    https://www.firemls.com/?ln=14000955 see a typical Listing with multiple GEOCODES

    Nathan, I have read your “What’s on the Horizon for Land With RPR Commercial” with great interest….especially the discussion around GEOCODE(s).
    Take a look at the Listing Service we have recently introduced in Montana. Click through ALL of the different MAP LAYERS to find a “Landscape view” you like, then see each Listing to “compare neighborhoods”.
    See also an example of multiple GEOCODES in a single Listing. Click through the different DOCUMENTS & LINKS to see an example of the “open end” for relevant due diligence details.
    Today, more than one-third of the land listings in Montana fail to map on Zillow, Trulia,R.com, and Franchise websites. Most of the ones that do map show only a “punchpin” on a monolithic landscape.
    We believe the future of Real Property Information should be GIS-based, data standards based, and with a single interface shared by Real Estate Professionals, and the public.
    So far, the Local Boards around the State remain reluctant….pretty much for the wrong reasons.


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