How to lose a guy in 10 days
When we are training our new agents on leasing etiquette there are several “Dos and Don’ts” that we teach. While some of the lessons seem to be common sense, we have learned the value in educating our agents thoroughly.
Hot and Cold:
A landowner needs attention. It is important as agents that we are readily available (within reason) to answer the landowners calls and questions. Silence is a project killer. Remember, we are approaching them with an ask. It’s important to stay engaged and show the landowners they are a priority to us and the project.
Listen, don’t let the dirty boots and accent fool you. Farmers and ranchers are some of the most well-rounded humans in the country. They are agronomist, accountants, welders, mechanics, and perhaps professional gamblers. They know when you are not being sincere.
One of the rudest, most sabotaging tactics leasing agents mistakenly make is to try and pull one over on a landowner. Be genuine, sincere, and as upfront as the situation allows. You will make headway much sooner.
Know your Seasons:
There is no worse time to track down a landowner than during harvest or planting season. I know project timelines are sensitive—I do, but this landowner waited for the perfect rain with perfect forecast that they can’t be sure to get again. Either meet them in the field or let them be until they are finished.
One of the largest advantages we have over any negotiation is our agricultural background. While not every agent grows a crop or raises cattle, it is helpful to know the commodities. When you are negotiating with a landowner you will quickly learn some feel their land is worth much more than their net profit shares. It is our job to tactfully rebut any over evaluations and find a middle ground.
Perhaps the most common questions are the ones most easily missed in the field. Any agent worth his/her salt knows the handful of questions that are most common, and has a well-rounded education on how to correctly answer. As agents we need to convey confidence to the landowners. Knowing the answers before the questions are asked is a sure way to instill confidence as the negotiation moves forward.