The list is based on the self-reported sales volume of brokerages’ land transactions in 2011. Because many of the deals involved confidentiality agreements, the magazine used listing prices to gauge sales volume for closed deals. Brokerages that represented both buyer and seller could claim double the sales volume.
Properties that were primarily residential, commercial or industrial were excluded from the tally.
Farmland values have been spiking of late, reaching all-time highs across much of the Midwest in the fourth quarter, the magazine reported. In Nebraska and Kansas, for example, the value of nonirrigated farmland rose 37.8 percent and 24.1 percent year over year, respectively.
Farmland values in the Seventh Federal Reserve District, which consists of the state of Iowa and parts of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, saw farmland values rise 22 percent in 2011, at least partially due to rising crop values — the biggest annual increase since 1976, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
The Land Report surveyed more than 100 brokerages, and 70 were chosen for the list. The top brokerages by region are listed below.
- Cabela’s Trophy Properties (more than $100 million in 2011 sales): Global network of real estate brokers specializing in recreational property, including land for sale, hunting land, fishing properties, land auctions, farms and ranches, and waterfront and lake homes.
- Farmer’s National Co. (more than $100 million): An employee-owned company offering professional farm management, real estate sales, and landowner services.
- Mossy Oak Properties (more than $100 million): A franchise network of rural land brokers. Most offices also offer forestry, land and resource management consulting services.
- United Country Real Estate (more than $100 million): The network of conventional and auction real estate professionals has more than 4,000 agents and about 700 offices specializing in rural real estate.
- LandVest: more than $100 million
- Earth Asset Partnership: less than $50 million
- Hertz Real Estate Services: more than $100 million
- California Outdoor Properties: $50 million to $100 million
- Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty: less than $50 million
- Bates Sanders Swan Land Company: $50 million to $100 million
- Dakota Properties: $50 million to $100 million
- Sheridan Realty & Auction: less than $50 million
- A&M Forest Consultants: less than $50 million