Land Brokers

Inventory of a Land Agent’s Truck

Inventory of a Land Agent’s Truck

Before going to go preview rural land with a real estate agent, ask them what’s in their truck. I never was a Boy Scout. I would have loved to have been one, but just never got the experience. The Scout motto, “Be Prepared” resonates deeply with me. So take a look at the inventory of my truck and hopefully you will see what I mean.

  • 2 Compasses
  • Handheld GPS
  • Plat Books for the 8 surrounding counties
  • Gazetteer for Alabama
  • Sundry assortment of aerial and topographical maps
  • Blank copies of contracts to purchase and listing agreements
  • Dozens of Real Estate Consumers Agency and Disclosure (RECAD) forms
  • 3 bottles of water
  • 2 blaze orange vests and hats
  • Come-along
  • 30 feet of heavy chain
  • 20 foot tow strap
  • 3 AlaLandCo signs, 4 directional signs (2 pointing right, 2 to the left)
  • Shovel
  • Post hole diggers
  • Large and small pruning shears
  • Pickaxe
  • Hatchet
  • Bolt cutters
  • Pruning saw
  • $20 bill for emergencies (such as paying someone to pull you out of the mud)
  • Pistol with extra ammo
  • A bundle of keys to various properties
  • 2 walking sticks
  • Digital Camera with extra batteries
  • Flip Cam
  • Smartphone w/charger
  • Rope, ratchet straps, and bungee chords
  • 2 rain jackets
  • Gerber multi-tool
  • Roll of flagging tape
  • Wasp spray
  • Insect repellant
  • 2 pairs of binoculars
  • Laser range finder
  • 1 pair of snake boots
  • 1 pair of taller neoprene boots
  • Small towel

When I look at this list it shows there are 4 main scenarios I prepare for:

  1. Know exactly where you are; don’t get lost.
  2. Make your customer comfortable and safe.
  3. Don’t get stuck.
  4. Be prepared to do business if they are ready.

Most land companies have tools at their disposal such as ATV’s or UTV’s to make showing land easier. Many agents use laptops and tablets to aid in mapping and navigation as they travel a property. The point of this article is for consumers to know that not all real estate agents are equally competent about land transactions. If you are meeting an agent to preview some rural land and the agent shows up in their Mercedes sedan, you might want to consider taking a look with someone who specializes in land sales. I tell people not to trust an agent with a clean truck. It means they are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing: showing land. Look for some dents and a little trail-pinstriping that is proof they know their way around the woods.

It is not helpful at all to see a piece of property with someone who wants to “paint a picture from the road” and describe what the land is like. You have to get out on it and touch corners and see the ups and downs of the tract. It burns me up to see agents advertise land and only post two maps and a picture from the road. I lost a listing to another agent last year that offered to sell some land at a lower commission than I did. Once the listing was secured, the agent posted 5 pictures on their personal website and offered a 7 word description of a $500,000 tract. Now tell me if the sellers were better served by this agent at a lower commission or by paying a little more and getting exceptional marketing and service.

Let me also dispel the notion that women are not qualified to be land agents. I know some knowledgeable and real land pros like Marisa Morgan Dallman from Kansas, Susan Morrison from Alabama, Jennifer Beecher from Georgia, and Beverly Callaway with AlaLandCo. I am not ashamed to say that Beverly is a better hunter than I am too. She has lots of experience in the woods, is very knowledgeable about land-related issues, and has helped transact some large deals in the past two years. The biggest land deal in my county this year was put together by Kay Beckett with Bill Mackey Realty. She made lots of other agents in the area envious when she sold nearly 4000 acres of ground this spring.

The key is finding an agent that has the knowledge and skills to offer you the best advice and who you feel has your best interests at heart. You have worked way too hard for your money to lose it in a land deal because of an inexperienced or unqualified agent. Find an agent who can be your trusted advisor for all things pertaining to land, and get out there with an agent who is prepared and buy some dirt.

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About the author

Jonathan Goode

Jonathan is passionate about helping people buy and sell land. He is an associate broker with Southeastern Land Group, LLC (SELG) and is the Responsible Broker for the company in Mississippi. Jonathan is an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC), working with Southeastern Land Group (AlaLandCo) since 2008, serving Alabama and Mississippi. He is a member of the Alabama and Mississippi chapters of the Realtor’s Land Institute (RLI), and is currently serving as Vice President of the Alabama Chapter. Jonathan specializes in marketing rural properties online, and is a contributor for LANDTHINK.com, writing articles focused on helping people buying and selling rural land.

12 Comments

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  • Great article! The inventory of a Land Agent’s truck is a great way to identify a professional. My truck is as equally stocked as yours but I also carry a chainsaw to clear downed trees from trails and a first aid kit, TP, and a change of clothes. But after reading your article I will now add the post hole diggers and extra ammo.

  • This a really informative article for potential land buyers and sellers, Jonathan. Thank you for the compliment, I certainly strive for satisfied clients. I don’t carry quite as much as you do…but you forgot to mention a first aid kit, wet wipes, snacks, and a ThermaCell. The mosquitoes are awful here in Georgia!

  • So I definitely need to add a first aid kit, because I am a safety first kind of guy. The chainsaw is really helpful, but very easy to get legs and walk off from my truck. I had about $1500 worth of tools liberated from my toolbox a few years ago. That is why I carry extra ammo now….

  • I took mental inventory of my truck as I read yours. Most of those items have just become part of my vehicle over the years. I have been studying the notion of buying a large come-along recently. Only once have I been stuck with customers…and I sold them the property we got stuck on. (high centered the Tahoe)….hmmm maybe I should try that again!

  • I was concerned with someone “walking off” with my tools but I now a have a hard tonneau cover that locks with the tailgate when I lock the doors. The extra ammo is great and I should add it, but I do carry a 38 with snake shot along with my concealed carry.

  • Hey, you are obviously ready for any contingency, but if I had that much stuff, I would not be able to carry any passengers in my 4 door Ford F150. Sorry, it’s about organization. While I do carry much of what you do, I don’t take a comealong. I stay out of the mud whenever possible and take an ATV (5 passenger too). A good soils map would help, and one essential – cell phone with maps loaded.
    Good article

  • Hey Jonathan,
    People have invaded a foreign country with less equipment than that! Way to be prepared. I don’t carry that much but one thing I carry that I believe you missed is a flashlight. A lot of the rural properties I show have homes or cabins and since they’re second homes, the power is often shut off and the light gets a lot of use.
    I too am amazed by agents that list 100 acre properties and have 3 pictures- two of which have their truck mirror in the corner!
    Keep up the good work.
    Jay

  • Thank you for the nice mention. I do have the Kansas Gazetteer in my truck. I recall seeing on a post that most people do not even know what that is but it is a life saver when the GPS starts displaying yellow lines to nowhere and saying guidance cannot be provided in this area! We use ATVs but nothing beats walking a property. We also carry those emergency ponchos that are about the size of a wallet. Had to use them more than once when a Kansas thunderhead popped up in the sky out of nowhere. As always a great post! Happy New Year.

  • Good list but I prefer the winch on the front of my turck to a come-along. I also like my “ON-STAR” satellite phone for those out of the way places where cell service is hard to find. I also carry jumper cables, lubricating oil for those padlocks that are rusted, chain repairs links (in case I have to cut one, and my favorite, a “bumper dumper” and fresh wipes.

  • GREAT LIST! I’d like to pack in my way-back a cooler with water, trail mix, and half-a-dozen organic apples (locally-grown and harvested, of course) …I didn’t know about the WD40! I’ve used lemongrass oil spray…with some success)

  • Great article! As I read along, I cross-referenced with my own Mountain Land Company inventory of field equipment. In addition, I carry a small backpack with many pockets that I dubbed my ‘safety pack’, which I throw on when hiking a large property, or toss on the back of our Polaris Ranger when riding property. In it, many of the items already mentioned above, plus a few added extras in case I get stranded and need to stay overnight. Extras may include disposable thermal blankets, batteries, large & small LED flashlights, waterproof matches, snakebite kit, multi-tool, and my trail mates: S & W (.44mag).

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