Ranch Investor Podcast

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Episode 1 | Unleash the Power of Technology to Maximize Your Land’s Value


Discover the world of urban development, agricultural land use, and the challenges of striking a balance in a growing population with Colter DeVries and Gore Bolton. Dive into how technology, particularly Bolton’s platform “Land Intelligence,” revolutionizes land development.

Explore topics like repurposing properties, the heat of community meetings, and how those with various backgrounds, including attorneys, can use Gore Bolton’s platform for land-related projects.

We’ll also touch on the platform’s cost, data privacy, and the importance of engaging in land preservation and recreation.

Join us for an insightful and engaging conversation on data-driven land development in a growing urban landscape.

Colter DeVries: 0:02
I’m Colter DeVries, owner of Ranch Investor Advisory and Brokerage Services. I’m an accredited land consultant with the Realtor Land Institute and proud member of ASFMRA.

Ranch Investor : 0:13
The Ranch Investor podcast is the most downloaded and informative industry-specific content that intrigues while entertains.

Colter DeVries: 0:22
Coming on to the podcast, gore, yeah, great to talk to you. Colter, tell me about land intelligence. What is land intelligence?

Gore Bolton : 0:31
Oh yeah, so it’s basically an outcropping of basically work over the last 30 years in the land space and primarily, you know some people call it transitioning land, land development you know, every year in the United States, a million acres gets turned into something new places where we live, work and play across the country and so I decided to focus on a tech solution that basically culminated, you know, years of years of doing this work all across the country, finding property, developing new things, and then doing that in a little bit smarter way. So we, with the advent of some of the AI stuff we’re working on, we decided that intelligence was a good standard for us. So the name was chosen very intentionally from the standpoint of being able to automate the industry, and what we’re up to is automating the land development industry.

Colter DeVries: 1:27
Well, you put me in a difficult spot, gore, because generally my values and how I approach this podcast and our audience and the people I align myself with, we thinking holistically. I’m just generally against urban sprawl, oh yeah. But I’m very free. You know I’m pro-free market, pro-capitalism, so I will never deny highest and best used transitional real estate. It’s not something where I think it should be regulated. I don’t have the answer to urban sprawl other than you know. I think I’d like to see gray areas, brown areas, become denser, taller, more efficient, and so your product. You know we are a ranch investor and that includes, I mean, land held for investment, for appreciation, probably going to experience a different highest and best use. Somewhere along the way it will transition and I don’t want to be. I don’t want my audience to think I’m shilling for DR Horton here.

Gore Bolton : 2:37
No, not at all. Actually, I think the two go hand in hand, right. I mean we, as one of the things I’ll say typically at public hearings is yeah, we wouldn’t be here if people would stop having children. And so if people would stop having children, I’m not pro-population control, by the way, Right exactly right. So if you’re, if you’re, if you’re, if you don’t want to control the population, you may as a population, right, it’s no different. I grew up on a farm hunting. You had to thin to her. We kind of can’t do that right, and so if we do, we get in a lot of trouble and there’s a lot of debates about that. We’re not going to talk about that on this show, but no, generally we’re all about Effective calling.

Colter DeVries: 3:19
Yeah, right, exactly Plan, plan calling and compulsory measures.

Gore Bolton : 3:24
Yeah, yeah, well, one of my papers actually when I was in college, one of my English classes actually, I got a sign dealing with China’s population control mechanism. You know what they were doing and that was, you know, 30 years ago. But but the reality is, if you think about it from the standpoint of intelligence and our name, it is dealing with that hard balance, right? How do you deal with reusing something versus knocking down something existing or knocking down something new? So, yeah, I grew up on a farm. I still own a farm that has been in my family for several generations. I have no intention of developing it, right? None, I have every intention of monetizing it. And so you know, whether it’s hunters or ecotourism or other things that we can do to be able to handle those generational transitions. You know, those are a lot of times in my mind, part of the land intelligence. But but if you think about that, right, when people make those decisions to put things in historical trusts or conservation easements, or they want to put it in something that’s going to be in their family to enjoy for generations to come, that massively affects the market. And so people who are building high rises and shopping centers and you know we’re re-doing shopping centers now across the country we’re infilling golf courses that aren’t being used as much. You know those types of projects. They need to know that that landowner made a decision that they’re not going to put in a parking lot, so to speak. Right and that’s part of the intelligence that we track is okay. That property is going to stay a ranch. It’s in a generational trust, or it’s in an environmental trust, or it’s in some sort of tax credit trust. It’s in some sort of thing that is actually going to increase the demand over here on this part of the neighborhood, and so I think that’s you know, people will find that balance, but you have to know that information in order to make decisions in a market.

Colter DeVries: 5:25
And that’s so. I mean getting back into the philosophy of of your product. I do believe, in the long term, technology will help with density, efficiencies, infill, brown zones, gray zones, urban sprawl. You know you have a tech solution here for transitional real estate and I do think technology is is key. It will help because one thing that keeps coming up is the West End of Billings, montana, or the West End of Bozeman or the Treasure Valley of Idaho. People say why are we developing our best farmland for homes? And well, one, one of my. And then then they get into the issue of well, I can’t we just regulate that zone that out. It has to stay open, has to stay ag or has to stay natural, wild, park, wilderness, whatever the case may be, other than other than condos and basements. And to me it’s like well, I would hate to steal from that one farmer that’s his entire life savings, his entire work, his entire 401k portfolio, and you can’t just limit his value and take away his future and his children’s future. Again, I don’t have the answer here for what’s fair, equitable, fair, the F word, the big F word. Fair, equitable, equal. I do think that technology will win out though.

Gore Bolton : 6:53
Yeah, and the challenge there, right, is you get into food supply, you get into air quality, right. You get into pollution, right. Water rights I mean that’s a bigger issue in parts of this country than it is in some. Some parts that’s a much bigger issue based on scarcity of water. And so you start getting into the issues that affect all of us food supply, water, clean water, clean air all of those things are all tied to what you use the dirt for, right, and depending on what you use the dirt for, it drastically affects that. So I think I think, in an overall way, we’re going to have population increases. I mean, look at what’s happening right now in Florida and California right, you’ve got insurance carriers, so this isn’t even zoning. So current events we’re not arguing about the local politicians changing the zoning and that kind of stuff. We’re talking about people who have massive investments in states that cannot. Their end users can’t get insurance. So you want to talk about stopping the market? You know, make it to where people have to self-insure more than their personal net worth. That’s actually, you know, think about that. That’s kind of scary to think that they can’t get insurance for something that we’ve been able to get insurance, for it’s kind of an afterthought. You just kind of sign up and that’s kind of it. It’s kind of the same thing with food, right, we don’t want to get to a point where we’re worried about our food supply, and so I think those are valid things to push back on development envelopes, right. I think those are absolutely, you know, absolutely critical things. I mean my family, you know, in our region on the East Coast where I grew up, you know it was tobacco. I mean you know we grew tobacco or cigarettes, and you know many of my family went to college on tobacco money, right, and now they don’t, and so that there had to be a way to wean people off of, you know, selling something that you know everybody decided was a bad thing to sell, and and so I think agriculture goes through that. I think a lot of times, you know the agricultural and the more rural areas deal with that issue Obviously a lot more, because you do, you have somebody who the matriarch or the patriarch is getting on in life. You know they’ve educated their children, they’ve left a lot of them, they’re not necessarily taking over the family farm, and so I think there’s, I think there’s opportunities for that and I think there’s opportunities for info. I mean, right now, one of the one of the big push backs on the urban areas is all the conversions of Commercial space in the residential. There’s people that have raised billions of dollars in investment capital to do exactly what you’re Saying is to take the unused concrete and steel buildings that are already up and convert them into things that will lessen urban sprawl. And I will say this we’re, we’re a when I would call logical growth. I don’t like using the word smart growth because I think that’s sometimes been overplayed, but logical growth, right, the shopping centers Nobody goes to anymore because they order online. Those are getting redeveloped now. The the sewer treatment plants that were put in for a golf course and there’s just not as many people playing golf, so that’s ripe for redevelopment.

Colter DeVries: 10:13
I think those are the types of things that are going to be interesting in the coming decades but when you talk about how there’s changing, whether it’s consumer tastes and preferences driving the market from the demand side, or or government regulation, government intervention, it does affect rural areas, as we know what let’s get technical here land intelligence. What are you seeing for? Are you able to assist and facilitate help with Wind and solar? That’s a big one in the, in the rural parts.

Gore Bolton : 10:46
Yep, yep, lots of wind and solar, you know. And of course, those introduced their own issues, right. So, yeah, so we have solar clients specifically that have to overlay a tremendous amount of information in order to figure out where to put their next solar farm. Same thing with wind right, you got to be able to get to the grid. You still got to plug in somewhere and you got to make sure that’s economical. You got to understand the rate structure of not only where you’re putting it, but also where you’re supplying to. Are there any overlay, incentives or tax? So it’s kind of what I like to say is we help take the financial model and Turn it into data layers so that you’re making location decisions faster, right, so you can get those out of the ground faster and get them done. And we actually have some some pretty interesting folks in that space that are that are combining income, producing Solar as well as agricultural. So there, it’s not just you know, they’re rethinking, kind of. You know, like most things right up, we’re gonna do this like McDonald’s and we’re gonna take a field and we’re just gonna put solar fields everywhere and we’re gonna cover it with solar fields, and that’s the best thing to do, right, optimized the efficiency of the number of panels per square inch. Right, they’re figuring out that maybe isn’t the best thing to do and maybe there needs to be some other Uses on the property as well that can generate Income for the property and balance between the solar. So we’re seeing some kind of interesting evolution of that. You know, obviously, when it started, everything aims for operate, operational efficiency, and now what we’re seeing is some innovation being applied in that space. You know pretty well, I think you know, that the wind, the wind stuff, I think, is Much more of a visual issue for people. It’s also A maintenance and a replacement issue. I think that’s a bigger issue than people have realized. So it’ll be interesting to see how that evolves over time. I think solar is one of those things where it gets. It’s easier to see how that gets better every 18 months. Right, the wind? The wind doesn’t seem in, at least from my view. Doesn’t seem to be innovating at the same rate as solar has been, and maybe that’s directly result of you know of investment and capital investment and adapt, you know, adapted to that, you know adaptability. But I think those are, those are big differences.

Colter DeVries: 13:08
Well, let’s get. Let’s get technical further to help me understand land intelligence. You have a, you have like a title product, correct? So you? You look at the conditions, covenants and restrictions. You look at zoning regulation. You take, you take a parcel and you analyze it For highest and best use, or a or a particular parcel. Take me through the process, because don’t you have A capital market as well, where people can can market their deals?

Gore Bolton : 13:39
We do so our, our, our, our main software product that we have out there it’s called land suite. It’s basically an operating system for people that are in this, in this market of Really managing land assets, more so than it doesn’t always get developed right, and so we have the ability to basically track and research every property in the country. We have a couple flagship reports that we generate out of that. The first was our land facts report, so I think, car facts for land, where we can basically tell you kind of the the 20 to 30 go or no go issues that you need to be worried about as far as Converting that property into something new, and we actually, surprisingly enough, we get a lot of listing agents and owners that actually want to get that information before they actually post it. You know, think of it as kind of knowing what the potential buyer is going to see as problems. It’s almost like getting your the. The equivalent in the residential market is, you know, get a home inspection before you put it on the market, go ahead and knock all the stuff out before you even worry about that. Like that kind of stuff. It’s kind of like staging a home right, get it ready for the sale, um, and then on the other side of it, uh, we have, um, uh, basically a market report and a uh and a government report. The market report really looks at the absorption of what you’re trying to do. Uh, so you know you mentioned housing, but obviously housing is only about 40 in the land development market. There’s lots of other stuff, you know, everything from mini storages to shopping centers and restaurants to get put in. So, whatever, whatever it is you’re trying to do, we have, we have franchises, like you know subway franchises, restaurants and places at many storages. They’re all looking at you know what’s the market activity in that area. And, most importantly, uh, inside of that to know is what is the absorption rate? You know how long if I build, if I get an approval for this, when is it actually going to be in market and cash flowing? And so if you’re, if you’ve got 10 years worth of projects, you know, in a community ahead of you and you’re starting a new project, you know the question is, why you? Why now, right at that point, there’s already people in line, there’s entitlement processes, there’s approvals, they’ve got to build schools, they’ve got to build water and sewer facilities. I mean that all takes time. Uh and so, if that, if that market isn’t ready for you and it’s not going to absorb at the right rate, you’re not going to hit your financial returns. And then, and then the the third one, the government, I mean, we actually will find, uh, government, you know, appointed people. A lot of people don’t realize there’s three appointed boards Generally in most jurisdictions that control everything the planning commission, the board is owning appeals and liquor board. Those are generally the three non-voting appointed positions that generally control 100 of the value of your property. And, um, most people aren’t active with those groups. They don’t know that they exist and they’ll know the power that they exhibit. So we really dig into that government side of who really controls it and this gets into some pretty interesting conversations. This gets into fraud, this gets into things like bribes. Uh, this gets into all you know who’s related to who with the other developers that are operating in town. Uh, those are some of the interesting stories. Uh, we had, we had one story a couple months ago where, you know, literally two planning commission members got in a fist fight about whether to approve a project or not. I mean it wasn’t an argument, they literally came to blows, had to call the police, I mean, you know. So it gets kind of, it gets kind of my kind of public meeting.

Colter DeVries: 17:11
Yeah, right right right. Yeah.

Gore Bolton : 17:14
I used to as an expert witness. I used to say I had a tomato clause in my contract, right, and it was basically look, I’ll be your expert witness, but I’m just gonna tell you if my suit gets ruined by tomatoes hitting it, you got to buy me a new suit.

Colter DeVries: 17:29
I love, I love those divisive community meetings, those planning boards, regulations, I mean, whether it’s Uh gravel pit here in montana or an adu accessory dwelling unit In an in an urban zoned area. Boy, those get heated. They get personal quick, don’t they?

Gore Bolton : 17:49
Oh yeah, yeah, no, I’ve done saying the gravel, I’ve done rail spurs. Uh, you know new, new stations I mean you name it something new that’s highly controversial, new, you know new bypasses that are gonna. You know, of course all the local shop owners come out and say the bypass is going to kill my business. You know the construction normally kills it in and of itself if you’re trying to do an upgrade, for you know as long as it takes to do that stuff. Um, but yeah, those are the. Those are the meetings where actually the town gets the town and the counties get created and a lot of people just don’t realize how much movement is there. I mean, these people normally meet on a very regular basis. It’s not on an election cycle and they’re the ones that are, in my mind, affecting the value of somebody’s property far greater, uh, than anything that could happen at the federal level.

Colter DeVries: 18:39
Well, it seems like so. I’ve been listening to uh the guy who founded Picasso, which is, it’s uh, syndicated, crowdfunded, fractionalized second home ownership. I think the minimum buy-in is 350,000, but it’s a usually at least, or at most at least, a 1, 8th interest for a second home in places like Palm Springs, aspen, ibiza, london, wherever. And one of his arguments was Gory, you talk about logical development and how much these areas like San Francisco, san Jose, they hate short-term rentals. It’s driving, you know the populist people believe that it’s driving up the cost of housing. We have a housing shortage. The poor millennial has been priced out of the market and the sad story for the millennial. But when you go to do a redevelopment project or a density project, no one these, these councils are not approving it in ADUs. I can speak from experience on an ADU. I thought I had a great relationship with my neighbors until I filed for an ADU.

Gore Bolton : 19:56
So yeah. So I basically had a friend of mine, ceo owns a construction company road construction, so heavy civil, so the type of stuff that builds new neighborhoods and she wanted to basically create a path to homeownership for everybody in her company. So think laborers, you know, operators you know, you know skilled tradesmen, even you know masons, you know all that kind of stuff. And she did an analysis of their payroll as to what they could afford, and so she hired an architect and they decided to come up with housing that these people could buy. And so then we helped them find a piece of property and we came up with a site plan and a design that would meet the budget, that would get these people a single family home more than a tidy home, right. So think of like the old school craftsman style homes, but made a little bit smarter so that the costs are down. And we went to meet with the agencies and they said we can’t approve that. And we said why not? It meets, you know, it meets all the fire codes, it meets all the electrical codes. Like well, yeah, but it doesn’t meet our site standards, it doesn’t meet our parking regulations, and so this is what I tell most people if you don’t like urban sprawl, the number one offender of urban sprawl is normally the local jurisdictions. It’s normally the planning office and the zoning office and the rules that they have made. That is what encourages urban sprawl. I’ve had this, you know, one of my long time shopping center customers. When we would go meet with a planning agency, he would say let me tell you all something. Y’all are telling us how the aisle widths need to be and the parking spaces need to be, and where the landscape spaces need to be and where the entrances need to be, and all this You’re driving my cost and size of this project up by 20 to 30% over what it needs to be. And he said, I can promise you I’m far more concerned about my customers getting in and out of my store safely, quickly and easily and having a nice place to park than your ordinance ever will be.

Colter DeVries: 22:06
Well, and that gets back into developing the best farm ground outside of Billings and Boise and Bozeman is government regulation, red tape. It forces people to leave the city and go to the county where there are less restrictions and, case in point, we are trying now to move to the county where we will probably buy a bare vacant lot and build a house. And I will have to be a hypocrite because I’ve just developed what was once a sugar beet and malt barley field and I put my home on there. And you know I’m a hypocrite and I’m part of the urban sprawl because the city of Billings just pissed me off so bad that I can’t put an ADU on my lot because someone’s feelings were hurt about it.

Gore Bolton : 22:57
There it is, there it is. It happens all across the country, and we hear these stories all the time from our customers and from people in the industry, and it really you have people who are well intentioned right, they’re well intentioned but the intention becomes tension and there’s really no reason for that, and that is. I firmly believe there are two things causing the housing issue in this country, and it really boils down to two things. Number one everybody that knew how to do this got wiped out in 2008, and the ones that survived are terrified to go back into it. That’s right, and that’s number one. Number two because of that, we basically have almost an entire generation of people, so 15 years now, since 2008, we have almost an entire generation of people who didn’t get into the industry, that have no idea how to run these projects, and so that’s one of the reasons why we’ve created the software is there’s lots of knowledgeable people who know enough. They’ve got some chops, they flip some houses, they own a construction company, they maybe have a farm in a construction company, some rental properties, and they’re trying to move up, and so that’s why we have the financing mechanism that we have to help people get it financed, because that’s the other thing is the number of project sponsors that could do the work, get the right professionals, they have the chops and sophistication to do it. But the traditional banks and community banks say, well, how many of these projects have you done before? And they go well. But I’ve done all this kind of points me in that direction and then they go well. I’m sorry, you know you’re sponsoring experience right, and you sit there and go and that’s why we have six million units short in the country.

Colter DeVries: 24:43
Well, you mentioned your customers. Who are your customers? Because it seems like I could be a wholesaler which Colter DeVries does not promote wholesaling. I would never do it. I think it’s a huge conflict of interest having a real estate license. Colt wholesalers are market makers and they do provide liquidity. I’m not going to talk down on wholesalers. I think you, if you’re going to do it, you should do it without a real estate license. Take on the risk yourself, be an entrepreneur and wrap it into some other program you have. But is is your product? Is it for real estate brokers, wholesalers, dr Horton, the massive developers, who’s your Sure? So half yeah.

Gore Bolton : 25:30
So half of so half of everybody in the industry does not go through an agent or a broker, right, half of everybody that buys raw land for development. Most land development projects go through three or four trades by the time it gets to the end user. So you’ve typically got some. And there’s a couple reasons for this. The first reason is after Dodd-Frank was passed, after the 2008 crash, they created Mark to Market. So now the publicly traded companies have, if they have, an option contract on a multi-million dollar piece of property, they have to assume they have that liability to pay today, even though they don’t. It’s an option contract. So if all of a sudden, you’ve got millions and millions and millions of tens of, if not hundreds of millions of dollars under contract and you’re a publicly traded company that creates a liability with no offsetting asset, that’s bad for your stock price, right. And so the wholesalers or even I would call the acquisition guys, the bird dogs, the landmen you know the guys that are out there hustling the deal. They know the farmer, they know the community. They’re getting the contracts on. They’re necessary in the market because the laws have made them even more necessary than they were prior to 2008. And so basically, those folks are the ones that typically get an under contract, and so what I like to say is we’re for everybody along the food chain, right. We basically provide a stable, consistent platform for information to be shared and truthful information to be shared so that people can collaborate on projects and move them on to the next person in the value chain. There’s a whole ecosystem of people that basically put things under contract, get them entitled. I call them paper builders or paper developers. Some people will call themselves real estate investor at that stage, which they are they’re taking risks and they’re improving the property because they’re getting through those planning commission hearings. They’re willing to go take, you know, those slings and arrows, and I think that that’s one of the issues in the marketplace, right, we have a different generation and mindset coming up that completely avoids confrontation, and so they don’t like going and arguing that they feel like if the government is going to say so, that’s what I must do, that’s what I was taught in school, and so here’s my assignment, this is what I have to do. So I think it’s going to be really interesting in the coming, you know, five to 10 years, as the, as the next generation kind of takes over these roles. And I’ve already seen it. I’ve already seen some of our customers who are, you know, in their early 30s, right, and we tell them what they’re about to go through when they go, what, what, and you know, and it’s what I have to like stand, you know, I have to like articulate my value proposition, and they might not like what I say, and we say, yeah, that’s what’s going to happen. So, so there’s a couple of reasons for that and I, you know, I don’t think we’re going to, I don’t think we’re necessarily going to change it. Look, we have a lot of realtors and brokers, we have a referral program for realtors and brokers, and so we, what I like to say is we kind of, we kind of operate to help everybody with the facts about what’s going on with the land and the deals, because, basically, if everybody doesn’t work together, we don’t solve the problem. Nothing gets exchanged, and and we just, we view it as a platform for the ecosystem.

Colter DeVries: 28:45
Yeah, so take me through, take me through the process here. I’m, if I’m a, if I’m a real estate investor, developer, speculator I’m going to go out and get an option on transitional real estate. I’m going to pay the landowner 5% and have the option to buy it for, let’s say, $20,000 an acre within the next five years. I can execute that option at any point. But really, what I’m going to do then is take it through the the planning and the approval process, and so I do that. I get it through the planning and approval. Two years in projects ready to go. Interest rates have gone up on me. It’s going to be a little harder to to cash flow. Do I put it on your marketplace? You’re the capital allocator. Are you bringing me equity or debt? Yeah, both.

Gore Bolton : 29:39
So so what I like to say is we’re a big land angel group. So if you’re familiar with angel investing, which it’s private people have to join on both sides of the fence and what we do is we have people that are looking to place equity into either private or private projects and we have people that are looking to either projects or syndicates or funds right Either all three and we also have debt providers that are looking to primarily finance projects. They will, some of them will do portfolios if you have several things going on at the same time, but for the most part, it’s research the property, do all the risk analysis, do get through all the entitlement process, get through whatever level of permits you’re, move things along. The second thing is all the financing, equity debt, all the underwriting, and we’ve built the system to basically take all the questions that you ask when you’re buying it and going through the entitlement process and feed over into the financial underwriting and we have deals. I mean, we got a guy right now who has a you know, $140,000 piece of property for 80 units that he’s working through the entitlement process right now, but it’s in Florida. Well, it’ll be a good question to see how they’re going to deal with insurance. We’ve got another guy who’s in Tennessee. He’s got a $25 million project he’s putting together. Got another group. He’s got a $100 million project in Dallas. So what I like to say is you know the address, the due diligence or their wetlands or their underground storage tanks, like all that stuff has to get answered before you’ll ever get somebody else’s money, whether it’s equity or debt. And so we put all that information together so that, a if there’s a problem, you can solve it. B, if there’s a problem you need to solve, it’s identified and disclosed before you take on other partners or debt capital. And then also that that information is transmitted to everybody that needs it for underwriting. So you know, our tool basically allows you to track any property in the country, run it like a CRM for your deals as far as keeping in touch with people. You know owner information, you know all of that kind of stuff. So it’s a map of CRM, due diligence and financing tools so that you can get through it. And what’s nice about our, what’s nice about our exchange is that you can be working through that and kind of have your deal posted at the same time. So that way if somebody, you know, somebody just exited a deal. Maybe the timing is right. You know, timing is everything, and so what we like to do is, instead of treating it like a linear process, we try and encourage people to run it as a parallel process because, generally speaking, that’ll speed things up.

Colter DeVries: 32:16
How about, just hypothetically here? I get these calls quite a bit actually coming out of California where, as we know, short-term rentals are being hammered by city council zoning regulation so people are looking to go around, find a back door and do the syndication route. That’s direct ownership, it’s not a short-term rental, it’s private property rights. It’s a yeah.

Gore Bolton : 32:47
I mean, it’s basically for lack of a better term, it’s basically a time share, quite honestly.

Colter DeVries: 32:55
Could your platform do a ranch or a farm, because I’ve got people asking about hey, the rural areas within an hour of a major metropolitan area are presenting great opportunity for farm stays, a regenerative ranch, maybe a little recreation, with some hunting, kayaking, some Scottish Highlander cattle out there. You know there’s this agritourism aspect that seems to be taken off within an hour of large metropolitan areas and that is transitional real estate. I mean it’s probably going from some grazing or farming operation to amenity conchiaire type services. Can I promote a ranch syndication on your platform?

Gore Bolton : 33:48
You can If it makes money off of real estate. Our syndications portal. Here’s the property, here’s our business plan. We’ve got tens of thousands of investors that look at deals on our site every day. Again, they’re all opted in right, they’re a member of the club and we operate it like a private angel group, not an open crowdfunding platform. So we’re not open to non-accredited investors. This is for folks that want to do kind of what you’re talking about, where they want to know what’s going on, they want to diversify maybe they want to. They want to place their bets right. They don’t want to be all in on one big project. You know, we’ve done my family’s done agritourism right. So we’ve taken a farm that was heavy into production corn, soybeans, labor-intensive cantaloupe, watermelons that type of stuff is now a lot of. It’s now a vineyard, right, it’s converted into that. I had a, my brother and I, just outside of Washington DC. We used the flight line for migratory birds was I-95. And so on the I-95 side, towards the ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, you had a higher bird limit right, so you could kill more birds, doing more geese and duck during season, and our farm was on that side. And to go to the Eastern Shore was an all day trip and guys, you know politicians sporting people, lobbyists, everybody entertaining, or somebody’s in town and Washington DC doing lobby trips, they’d wanna go, they’d take people to these things and you know they were all day. You’re wore out, you gotta stay an extra night. You know it’s a long day and it pushes you into an extra day on your trip. So we kind of figured out that we could. We had a buddy of ours that had a limo service and we kind of figured out that we could go talk to all the conferences and events there. Our farm was only an hour and 15 minutes from the Capitol and we could have a limo show up there at 5 am. They were in the goose blind before the sun came up. Still they could do a half a day hunt, basically limit out, and they were back in time for lunch and either if they had meetings that afternoon or flying out that afternoon, they could kind of weave in their trip. And you know they would pay us the same amount as a full day hunt because it was convenient.

Colter DeVries: 36:22
Absolutely, and that’s growing. I see that growing, so let’s work another hypothesis I have here. Let’s say I’m an attorney outside or I’m an attorney in Dallas. I’m not your traditional real estate entrepreneur. I’m an attorney but I have $200,000 and I have two buddies that have $200,000. So we have 600,000 to put into a ranch three hours outside of Dallas to hunt morning doves and whitetail deer. The ranch is 6 million, so we’re coming with 10%. Can we promote our own deal on your platform and, if so, would I?

Gore Bolton : 37:09
Yeah, no, that’s what the financing mechanism is for. It’s basically, if you’ve got a business model whether it’s cash flowing or whatever the exit plan is right. If the exit is to hold and finance, it’s basically to find other people to potentially partner, either equity or debt and what I would say is you would probably find some folks that are interested in the longer term play on the property that, if it’s got some cash flow, and you, at the end of the day, with Royal Land especially, the big issue is somebody’s got to tend to it right, somebody’s got to write the insurance policy, somebody’s got to make sure the finance lines are maintained. Yeah, there’s a cost to that. And so I think a lot of people think, oh, I’m just going to invest in Royal Land and I really have nothing to do. Well, no, wait until somebody rides an ATV across your property illegally, breaks their neck, you’ll find out. You have something to do right. And so those are the types of things that I would say sure, I think that’s an absolute good use case, but remember, these are investors. They’re looking for some sort of a return, not a donation.

Colter DeVries: 38:17
Who takes yeah, definitely not charity on your platform. Who takes care of like, the Reg 506C, filing Reg 506B, the partnership agreement, the LLC formation? Who handles all that?

Gore Bolton : 38:32
So we have. So our co-founder is an attorney and so we’re not your lawyer or anything like that, but we obviously have template forms and kind of guiding documents and we also have relationships with lots of attorneys that do that. So normally we advise people bring your own attorney who understands real estate and then generally we can, between your attorney and our team, we can normally help you thread the needle to get that done. But obviously you know legal advice is on your own and we have a lot of attorneys that look for work on our platform and service providers that look for work like this to help people in this situation, so we have resources for that as well.

Colter DeVries: 39:11
Someone can help me write the PPM is what you’re saying.

Gore Bolton : 39:14
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Again, the attorney and you. You know it’s your attorney, right, not us, but we have enough of them in our library and we have kind of a form fill out where it’s kind of hey, this is what we’re thinking, and that makes it easier to go to your attorney with your plan because the first thing the attorney I’ve done enough of these deals where first thing the attorney says is well, what are y’all doing Right? And so basically what we do is help with that and we’ve got enough historical information to normally help with that strategy and planning stage that the attorneys you know need some answers on before they can give you advice.

Colter DeVries: 39:52
So one thing I’ve been hearing from farmers with big data and the centralized intelligence, centralized data solutions, is that you guys are gonna use my data Like so, case in point, farmers don’t necessarily want to be loading their yields, their land, onto something, some platform, where they think Sanjenta Dow, john Deere, is going to have access to it, and I know some land people are hesitant to put their deals online because they’re like I bet there’s a bean counter in some high rise who’s just waiting for this to get flagged and then he’s going to move in on my deal, right?

Gore Bolton : 40:40
Yeah, well, that’s always a consideration, right, I mean data privacy. I mean we’re pretty clear about that in our, in our terms, as far as privacy rights. We do use data for aggregate purposes, right, I mean. I think that’s to everybody’s benefit. I think that most of transparency in markets right, when you start talking about the open market you know, the NASDAQ, the Nisei public markets I think what’s happening is overall and it all started with, you know, it all started with social media, right, but, and that’s and that’s changing, right, I mean that’s changing people are starting to recognize, you know, hey, some of this is gone too far and I think that’s going to stay a conversation in general and anytime you have innovation in an area, that’s going to stay a conversation. I think, overall, the reason we’ve had the real estate crashes we’ve had is because of the lack of transparency in the market, and so, on one hand, we need transparency, on the other hand, we need privacy and I think those that ying and yang dance is going to continue long after you and I are gone, but I think, right now, it’s a push towards transparency and I think I think the push towards transparency is a good thing. I also think the ability for people to be able to maintain their privacy is a good thing as well. You have a right to privacy in this country, right, but we also have the right. We also have the right not to have somebody do something that screws up your rights. Right, your rights end where mine began, right. And so if, if, collectively, we are doing all these things that impact us, like giving loans out to people who don’t make any money in 2005 and six and seven, you know that impacts everybody. So, yeah, do you really need all that extra data from that applicant? Well, I think we found out. We did right, and so what point is that privacy and what point is at what point is it then everybody else paying the bill? So I think that’s the. I think that’s the challenge.

Colter DeVries: 42:40
Let’s get down to brass tacks, gore. What does this cost me if I’m? If I’m a landowner and I’m like, hey, I don’t want to capitalize on my land today, I actually want to find a partner and develop this. Or if I’m a speculator and I’ve got 100 acres under option non refundable, I got to execute on it in the next five years. What is this going to cost me to go through your process with?

Gore Bolton : 43:04
Yeah, sure so it absolutely scales with the project. So it’s absolutely, you know, part of the project costs and budgets that are put together. Our software starts as free. So anybody that’s just looking for money they can get on our platform for free. So think of it as kind of rocket mortgage for land financing. You know we don’t charge people to take their application. And then if people need you know need to use the software, we have several different packages that go up to a couple hundred bucks a month and then if people need support, activity behind the scenes, professional services, we price those based on what they need on the project. So so we have kind of an interesting business model in the SAS and in the professional and in the in the tech space. We kind of start with the software kind of the SAS premium model. People can figure out where they are, they can get help when they want it. So we have support packages and then we also have project initiatives and somebody’s working on a large scale project. Like I said, the. We have people that are doing smaller deals, we have people that are doing larger deals and the technology is allowing that to get put through the system and, quite honestly, it’s given investors and sponsors a faster way to get their deals done.

Colter DeVries: 44:16
So the best place to start is just head to land.

Gore Bolton : 44:19
intelligence- Yep Land intelligencenet, you can sign up for your free account and get started, get through the onboarding process, see which plan is potentially right for you, depending on where you are at your stages. It’s kind of designed to meet you where you are right. If you’re just starting out or you, you know we’ve had people that have onboarded like, hey, this project under contract, I’m already in permits, now I need my financing right. So we’ve kind of we’ve kind of you know you show up at the grocery store right. Either you have a menu or you browse around. Well, we know which one they’d rather you do, because they know which one you end up spending more money on right. If you come in with a game plan, it’s a lot faster. If you need help developing your game plan, we have some people that are doing that where they’re like hey, I’m trying to put together my acquisition strategy right now, and so we’ll. We’ll help them with that as well. So we we kind of meet customers across the country, wherever they are, and and help them grow the portfolio that they want to grow.

Colter DeVries: 45:15
Well, thanks for coming on. What, what are there? Any final thoughts, any words of wisdom?

Gore Bolton : 45:22
We need you right. If you’re listening to this podcast and you’re in the industry whether it’s agriculture, right Agriculture, transitioning, land preservation you know it. It, all of it is important and so you know not making any more of it. Everybody knows that in the land business and you know we’ve got. We’ve got a. We’ve got a problem right now in our country relevant to how we’re managing this asset class and how we’re converting it in new places or, you know, next generations and housing costs. So we need you, we need people that are potentially going to come into this asset class over the next decade, because there’s a lot of work to do and you know to your point, there’s a lot of what I would call social balancing that needs to happen so that we can go hunting, so that we can, you know, preserve places to kayak and hike and do all that stuff. I grew up doing that, so I don’t want to see everything paved right. That’s a lot of people think when you’re in the land development business oh, you just want to pave everything. No, not at all. We want. We want things to be done well and we want it to be you know, here for generations. So so, yeah, we need you. That’s my call to action. This industry needs a lot of people in it right now.

Colter DeVries: 46:36
Well, and I think transitional real estate can mean many different, many different things and potentially this this highest and best use of recreation amenity concierge kind of like you brought out the duck hunters from DC, kind of a concierge type service that you know we’re certainly seeing that across the West that highest and best use is not grazing cattle and farming, it’s recreation.

Gore Bolton : 47:04
Yeah, because it can’t. You know it’s hard to get that. You know, as I tell people. You know Central Park’s nice but it doesn’t look like that. I don’t think they’re going to put Central Park on the side of a beer can.

Colter DeVries: 47:20
Well, Gort, thanks for coming on, and if anyone has any more questions for you or myself, questions or comments, we do have a Discord channel and you can post to the Ranch Investor Discord channel anonymously. So trolls are welcome. Come talk shit. We’re happy to, we’re happy to hear it.

Gore Bolton : 47:40
And we like a good laugh too.

Colter DeVries: 47:42
Yeah exactly, but legitimate questions. They could probably reach out to you on land intelligence or LinkedIn or something, and and also we want to hear them hear the questions on on our Discord channel as well as social media and send this to. If this has piqued your interest, send it to someone you know.

Gore Bolton : 48:04
Yeah, absolutely. I reiterate that. Yeah, engagement, engagement and communication. You know, people talking to each other solves things.

Colter DeVries: 48:12
Absolutely Well. Thanks for coming on, gort. If there’s anything I can help you with in the future, please let me know. Absolutely, koltr. Thanks for having me have a good day. We wanted to take a quick break to mention that we have a Discord channel for Ranch Investor, where we are going to be posting some behind the scenes content, as well as some upcoming blog posts. As always, if you have any recommendations or feedback, please let us know. Thanks for tuning in.

Ranch Investor : 48:42
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