What is a Land Professional and Who Are the Good Ones?

Nov 7, 2021

The exciting launch of Part & Parcel means the unveiling of a new industry term: land professional (or land pro for short). And, since you’re likely new to us and what we do, allow us to introduce ourselves. Part & Parcel is a career platform and marketplace that connects land professionals and businesses across multiple industries for the purpose of facilitating land rights agreements or purchases.

Our career development platform and marketplace for land professionals and companies respectively were created by experts in the field. Our depth of experience helps us address the struggles both land pros and companies face when looking for or staffing new projects. But enough about us, let’s get to the nitty-gritty about land professionals, what they do, their qualifications, and how you can become one.

Man in a red hat with a city behind himWhat is a land professional?

A land professional is a company employee or a hired contractor who represents another entity to secure real estate property rights from landowners. Typically, land professionals work on property rights or infrastructure projects within the energy or infrastructure sectors – pipelines, power lines, wind farms, solar farms, etc.

Land professionals are responsible for researching property rights (by leveraging technology or in-person at county courthouses). They are also responsible for deeply exploring the property for the purpose of uncovering fatal flaws at the site. Ultimately, they are responsible for reaching out to landowners and negotiating an agreement to secure the rights needed for the project.

professional looking woman with red hair in an officeLand professionals and their many names

As mentioned earlier, you might see or hear a land professional referred to as a land pro. Land agents are another commonly used term. In oil and gas, land professionals are typically called landmen. In the telecom industry, they’re called site acquisition agents. When it’s linear projects, they’re often called the right away agent. In renewables, they are called land agents or leasing agents.

Additionally, there are specific roles under the land professional umbrella – title specialist, title analyst, lease analyst, etc. And, when there are multiple land professionals working together, there can be titles that denote hierarchy like landman one, landman two, junior, or senior.

Young man with dark facial hair on a grey backgroundWhat makes a land professional good at what they do?

Since a land professional is the face (or the boots) on the ground for explorative land deals, it’s crucial for them to have good personal or soft skills. At their core, land professionals need these foundational qualities to be successful:

  • A drive and willingness to continue learning
  • A passion for nurturing relationships. After all, they’ll be engaging companies and landowners who have something near and dear to them – their property)
  • Masterful communication skills with an eagerness to get involved with hands-on tasks
  • A self-sufficient, organized, and detail-oriented work style
  • The ability to see the big picture and a drive to see the opportunity through to the end for their company or client
  • Not afraid to do on-the-ground work such as visiting the landowner and the courthouse

The qualities of an experienced land professional

Experience goes beyond the number of years a land professional has been in the industry. Truly experienced land pros have continued to learn over the years and are willing to keep learning. Experienced land professionals will have the following:

  • References and/or testimonials from previous work experience
  • Clarity about their decision-making process
  • Personal experience with negotiating in different scenarios
  • Experience with drafting contracts, doing courthouse work, and obtaining approvals for projects
  • Memberships (e.g. AAPL), professional certification(s), signs of continued education, and subscriptions held

In terms of background, good land professionals come from a variety of backgrounds. But it’s not shocking that many successful land pros come from agricultural and sales backgrounds.

Nonetheless, today’s land professionals should be eager to leverage technology to get the job done. Technical skills will be even more important for the success of the land professional of the future.

Middle aged gentleman in casual clothing with the sky behind himA peek into the future of the land professional

At Part & Parcel, we want to make it easier for experienced and aspiring land professionals to find work opportunities and for companies to find the perfect talent for their needs. Standard job websites aren’t built to communicate the unique aspects of the land industry. We believe the future of land professionals is centered around professional development –– that’s why we created a platform to make the right connections between land pros and the companies that need them.