• By Michelle Pelletier Marshall

15 Minutes With… Tyler and Amy Bruch of LandRenter

(This article was originally published in GAI News, a sister-publication to the Oilseed & Grain News)

In their frequent travels around the world to implement agricultural projects, Tyler and Amy Bruch were met with a resounding theme: that it was very difficult for landowners to find new tenants outside of traditional methods. To that, they answered with creating LandRenter to provide an online solution to the ag land and hunting land rental markets by cultivating rental connections that are grounded in transparency, honesty, and efficiency. And as sixth generation farmers themselves who own and operate Cyclone Farms Inc., an irrigated organic farm in Nebraska, they know a thing or two about trying to make connections in the sector.

LandRenter’s platform reach is unmatched in cultivating connections between landowners and interested farmers, and boasts customers in nearly all 50 U.S. states. Through an unreserved, online auction, licensed real estate agents facilitate sales that provide fair market value while providing all a chance to bid. LandRenter has opened up the market to include thousands of potential bidders across the globe, ensuring fair market value when leasing land, or hunting property.

GAI News sat down with the couple to learn more about their new offering and its potential in the sector.

1). Can you tell us more about the international travels that led you to start LandRenter?

Together we have worked on ag projects/farms in 15 different counties on four different continents over the past 17 years. Our roles ranged from full feasibility studies for economic viability all the way to developing and managing large operations. In general, we have worked and been involved in all aspects of agriculture systems all over the world.

A common challenge many landowners/groups have is finding qualified tenants, and we find the inverse also to be true where qualified tenants are looking for expansion opportunities. The solution was to create a platform that allowed both parties the ability to find new partners/land deals in a setting that creates transparency and honesty for both sides via our proven unreserved rental auction system.

2). LandRenter is powered by BigIron, a first-class and world-renown agriculture auction company with a state-of-the art auction platform, security, and historical experience. Can you explain how this partnership creates better opportunities for your customers?

LandRenter has partnered up with BigIron, a trusted company with 30 years of experience in equipment and real estate auction that comprises over 300,000 users. As a part of the Big Iron family, farmers and landowners know that working with us, we will be professional, honest, and transparent. LandRenter leverages the Big Iron platform to ensure that our potential customer reach for new deals is unmatched by anyone else in the industry.

We believe the future of farm rentals and farm management can be more efficient, more cost effective, and produce better results than using traditional methods.

LandRenter summarizes all of the farmland pertinent data, creates a drone tour of the property and displays the contract terms for the property, so all interested bidders can have access and understand all rental terms and requirements in advance. We then advertise the property to thousands of potential renters, in multiple states simultaneously. For those who want additional oversight on their property, we also offer a complete farm management service as well. At the end of the day, we simplify the process for the landowner and we open up many possibilities for tenants that traditionally don’t exist.

Unlike traditional farm management companies that only reach out to a few people when finding a tenant and charge extraordinary fees for their services, which are generally based on the gross revenue of the farm, LandRenter reaches out to thousands of interested farmers and charges modest fees based on the rental price.

We feel that LandRenter is the best solution to make rental connections in the 21st century that are efficient, transparent, honest, cost-effective, and allow for the best opportunity to achieve fair market rent on properties.

3). What are some of the most memorable land deals that LandRenter has helped secure?

The most memorable deals involved making connections for land rentals that wouldn’t have been made through traditional methods. We know this because farmers reach out to us thanking us for the opportunity to bid on a property they would not have otherwise known about. Many times, these are the farmers managing smaller farms (100 to 1,000 acres) who are interested in adding to their property to bring a son or daughter home to farm, but have not had the chance to hear about all the properties for rent. With our platform, everything is conveniently online so they get the same opportunity as all other farmers to peruse the available listings. Through the traditional method they might have missed out because farm management companies do not have the time to ask every farmer in the county or surrounding counties if they are interested in renting a farm - it’s just not feasible.

Another example involves a bidder that was a considerable distance away from the rental property. The bidder was interested in the property for his nephew who wanted to return home to farm. It’s making connections like these that really reinforce LandRenter’s value to the rental sector.

LandRenter’s transparent process and excellent market outreach provides everyone the opportunity if they are able to meet the financial requirements and the contract terms.

4). What do you estimate to be the size of the market utilizing your services?

Our market potential is unlimited as our platform will function both domestically as well as globally.

We all know the greatest transformation in farm assets in the U.S. will pass down in the next 10 to 15 years. Some of the new landowners will be absentee and will not live close to the land that they own. LandRenter will be there to help make the rental process as efficient as possible through transparency and true price discovery.

5). Have you seen any shifts in land deals based on the increased focus on sustainable and regenerative agriculture?

This is a great question – often landowners hope a new tenant might implement regenerative or organic practices to incorporate more sustainable practices for the land. The question is how in a traditional scenario would those farmers be found? We know all of the land in the U.S. being farmed organically or regeneratively is less than 1 percent, so there are not a lot of farmers to choose from. It’s far easier to let those farmers come to the opportunity. Through our LandRenter platform, the land lease is customized and landowners can indicate specifics on how they want their farm land to be managed.

6). You are a first-time sponsor of Global AgInvesting this year (thank you very much), is there an investment opportunity or message that you’d like to convey to our audience?

It is important to keep innovating as we look to solve challenges. Farmland rentals have been conducted similarly for the past 50 years or more. With the power of the LandRenter platform, farmland rentals can be conducted more efficiently than ever, ending in better transparency, connections, and results in discovering fair market rent.

LandRenter is a business built by a team of ag professionals with more than 100 years of international and domestic agriculture experience, leveraging our knowledge to provide the path forward for asset/rental management. We are hands down the leader when it comes to online land rentals, and we will only continue to grow.

- Michelle Pelletier Marshall is managing editor for HighQuest Group's Global AgInvesting's GAI Gazette magazine and its WIA Today blog, as well as a contributor to GAI News and the Oilseed & Grain News. She can be reached at mmarshall@highquestgroup.com.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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