Just like any other large purchase, acquiring and managing timberland assets has its own lifecycle. Landowners have a lot on their plates. There needs to be a plan in place for use and management of the property. Further, will landowners manage their own property or find a subcontractor to support them? Will they provide public recreational opportunities? The questions are endless. Having to handle all of these roles can be a lot of work for land managers. This is why Orbis services’ are designed to alleviate the burden of timberland management.
Part of understanding timberland management is understanding who could play a role in it. There are four major groups. First, are timberland investment management organizations (TIMOs), who essentially act as a broker for their clients. These organizations help aid investors by simplifying the management processes for them. Next, are real estate investment organizations (REITs), who own income-producing real estate of any kind, including offices, apartment buildings, hospitals, and more.
Beyond the TIMOs and REITs, there also prominent private/family owned companies and field service providers (FSP) that acquire and manage timberland assets.
Step by Step
Owning a timberland property is a lengthy process and involves a large investment of a landowner’s time. Each stage comes with its own set of challenges; to help, Orbis offers services throughout different phases of a property’s ownership.
Stage 1: Defining an Investment Strategy
During the first stage of the timberland investment life cycle, companies spend their time defining an investment strategy. This mainly involves declaring the risk and return expectations of buying into a property. Most of our clients have already finalized this stage before working with Orbis.
Stage 2: Acquiring Assets
The second stage includes the placement of capital and determining the form of investment. This can last up to two years. It is also where we primarily begin our relationships with our clients by reviewing their property and inventory data. We are able to do this through our Land Investment Technical Analysis service (LITAS), which provides a visual confirmation of the property that is being purchased.
Stage 3: Managing the Property
Post purchase, the property data transfers to operations. Here is where management takes place and where the bulk of the property’s life span is. This stage showcases a lot of executive roles, such as forest planning, management and budgeting. It can last anywhere from 8 to 15 years. Since this is such a long stage in the life cycle, we offer a wider array of operational management services.
First, our Forest Information Portal (FIP), which has nine modules that our clients can choose to customize their forest management needs.
For operational needs during this stage, we suggest our Atlas Land Records service (Atlas), which provides our clients continuous access to the information curated on LITAS.
Another module that our clients find useful during this time is our property tax management This is a portal that compiles all of the information our clients need to manage and maintain the thousands of property taxes they have to deal with. It essentially helps them do everything expect paying the bill.
Stage 4: Selling Small or Large Tracts/Properties
Finally, to further assist with this stage, we offer a Recreational License Management System (RLMS). If you own a huge tract of land, it is highly unlikely that you will just let it sit there. Whether it’s hunting, camping, or access permits, you are probably going to be selling licenses to individuals for recreational use. Our RLMS alleviates the administrative burden from our clients. This way, they can get away from the desk and back to where they want to be: on the property.
They say all good things come to an end, which brings us to the fourth and final stage. This final stage can last up to two years and is the disposition and closing of a timberland property, which is highly dependent on having legal preparation and practicing due diligence. Clients utilize LITAS during this stage to ensure that data is clean and ready for a disposition to take place.
Your Best Life(cycle)
At Orbis, we have the privilege of assisting our clients for a vast majority of a property’s life. Should you or your company be interested in taking advantage of Orbis’ services, please do not hesitate to reach out in our Contact Us form. We are always willing to determine the best management practices for you.