Finding comps shouldn't be more difficult than appraising land

"Finding sales is my biggest task," says Jim Rothermich, MAI, ARA & Vice President at Iowa Appraisal and Research Corporation. "Some of the assessor websites for researching sales are extremely difficult – so you need better avenues. FarmlandFinder is one of those avenues to access farmland comps."

Folks in the farmland industry have a nickname for this forward-thinking appraiser: The Land Talker. He's rightly earned this name, because he's oftentimes the first phone call to a broker after an auction, asking about the results so that he can do his job. The Land Talker spends a lot of time on the phone to get auction results, but there are only so many hours in a day. Over the years, The Land Talker has built up a database of auction results and land sales, which helps him do appraisals more quickly. "With my database, I've built up about ¾ of what I need… it’s the additional handful of sales I'm missing that I need to help shore everything up. FarmlandFinder helps me find those additional sales."

"At the end of the day, it saves me time and I have more efficient access to information."

Not only does FarmlandFinder provide auction results, but it also has active listings. "I can use those to my advantage to see what a farm is listed for. Having all these listings and past sales in one spot helps me better do my job," says The Land Talker.

Current & Accurate Data

"There was another farmland website that I signed up for, but it wasn’t user friendly and their data wasn’t current. If the website is hard to use and the data is inaccurate, it's no good. With FarmlandFinder, you get those auction results and the information is current. That makes a big difference!"

When asked what he would do if he didn't have FarmlandFinder as a tool, Rothermich says, "I would probably be spending more time digging through the assessor records or picking out a realtor in an area to get as much price and market information as I could."

Top 5 Reason's The Land Talker Uses FarmlandFinder

  1. Spend less time researching
  2. Easily find more comps
  3. It is user friendly
  4. The data is current and accurate
  5. Quickly access listings from all brokers in one spot

A More Efficient Tool

When asked what he thinks about the future of the farmland appraisal industry, The Land Talker shares some key challenges for the industry. "There are going to be fewer people. More people are retiring than are becoming new appraisers, which means that fewer people will have to do more work in less time. Efficiency when doing appraisals will have to be better." Given all the change he's seen in the industry, The Land Talker has an idea of what the solution will be.

"I think technology will be the solution. We will be able to use sites like FarmlandFinder to access information we need in a timely manner. Residential real estate has a lot of these tools already – I think we’ll be getting some of those tools in ag appraisal, too."

Credit: Interview with Jim "The Land Talker" Rothermich, MAI, ARA

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