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RealX, an online property rights exchange that connects landowners with energy, communications and building materials companies who are looking to lease their properties for solar, wind, oil, gas, timber, cell towers and other mineral rights, has partnered with The Land Broker Co-op, a rural broker cooperative founded in 2018.
Although the Co-op has its own multiple listing service, the deal will provide the Co-op’s 16,000 “land-focused” real estate agents with a platform where they can connect directly to companies interested in leasing property rights and thereby help their landowner clients generate income from their land, according to a press release.
“RealX has organized and modernized a highly-fragmented multi-billion-dollar marketplace,” said Dan Murphy, president of the Co-op, in a statement. “They are providing a vehicle for agents and their landowner clients to proactively market their properties directly to the buyers within each vertical, giving themselves the best opportunity to unlock additional income.”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based RealX requires buyers and sellers to register in order to use the platform, at no cost. RealX makes money through success-based transaction fees charged to buyers and sellers. The company only charges landowners if a transaction closes. The buyer’s fee, which depends on the property rights and location of a parcel, is displayed next to each parcel on the platform.
RealX CEO Luke Glass expects Co-op agents will register millions of acres across the U.S. in the RealX exchange, eventually making them the top agents in the country transacting property rights, according to the release.
“Our goal is to unlock the value of every property for both the landowner and the company leasing the property. Energy companies on the exchange can search, compare, and connect to landowners and their agents in just a few clicks — no more cold calls, postcards, or knocks on the door. We build trust, transparency and control into what was once a complicated and opaque process,” Glass said in a statement.
At an Inman Connect Now session on Tuesday titled “Brand New Revenue Streams Through Better Tech,” Glass said agents who are already familiar with their communities who know landowners are the best positioned to make the leasing of property rights as seamless and as easy as possible.
“We expect over $500 million in commissions to be created transacting these millions of acres over the next decade,” he said.
“Think about an agent getting 5 percent on that one revenue stream. If you get a couple of those deals done, it really becomes a long-term revenue stream for agents and a whole new way to generate income that’s kind of been unavailable to them up until now,” he added.
While RealX will most likely appeal to agents who regularly sell rural land, there are other types of agents that may also find the platform useful, according to Glass. “If you have a little bit of access to commercial rooftops, if you’re [in] luxury, sometimes you touch big landowners across the country. Sometimes Realtors are connected to universities or bank trust departments or churches that control big tracts of land,” he said.
Co-op agents told RealX what they wanted was competition to help their landowner clients get the price they want, according to Glass.
“What we’re really doing is creating a marketplace for both sides to make sure there’s a much more fair and transparent exchange. We all know the name of the game to getting the best price is competition. So if you have multiple solid offers competing, you’re going to get a better deal,” he said.
And for agents, RealX has taken out much of the work and complexity of dealing with property rights, according to Glass.
“You don’t need to be an expert at solar, wind or oil and gas. Your job as the agent is to bring the landowners. We bring the technology and all of the buyers and together we close. Everything in our system validates the data. We do all the research. Really it’s a wizard that takes less than five minutes to collect the data,” Glass said.
“For agents, it’s relatively easy compared to your life. There’s no showings, no lockbox, no photos, no signs, no aerial photography,” he continued. “Once you register the property, we take care of all the rest, getting the data uploaded and making sure it works and getting all the buyers in the platform. At that point, your job is to then shepherd the landowner through the process, and we’re right there beside you to help you do it.”