FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. (Nov. 21, 2019) — AcreTrader, the farmland investing company, has hired Joey Bland of Memphis, TN., to act as principal broker of its real estate brokerage subsidiary, AT Real Estate.
Joey has brokered high-value farms and commercial real estate for the last 25 years in several states including Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. With deep-seeded roots in agriculture and farmland, Joey is a natural fit for the AcreTrader team.
“AcreTrader could not be more excited to have Joey on the team. Joey’s exceptional talents are backed by a longstanding history of providing expertise, character, and a true partnership mentality to his clients. I have known Joey for many years, and our team has gotten to know him very well both personally and professionally as well. We are thrilled to have him lead AT Real Estate’s brokerage activities,” said Garrott McClintock, VP of Farm Operations for AcreTrader.
We sat down with Joey for a Q&A to learn what inspires him about agriculture and motivates him to work on the growing AcreTrader team.
What led you into the field of real estate and land brokerage? My 25+ year career in real estate has led me from homebuilding to land development to multi-family development to commercial real estate and finally to agricultural land brokerage. All of these transitions were based on motivating opportunities. Living in the middle of 13 million acres of some of the best agricultural land in the world made the transition to agricultural land brokerage a natural choice.
What is one thing everyone should understand about farmland real estate? Land is one of our most important assets and therefore the preservation of it should be a top priority. All of us are tied to the land, whether it's the enjoyment of soil pouring between one's fingers or our daily nutritional consumption of food. When I tell people what I do for a career, almost every person begins to talk about their own connection to land either by their family’s roots or their personal interest in land. I hope everyone will have the same passion about preserving land as they do about connecting with it.
You also have a background in recreational and hunting properties, how does that complement the work you do with farmland? The Mid-South region, and especially the Delta, wildlife and agricultural ground are intertwined. Due to the bountiful water and food sources, wildlife thrives in our region. The complement of recreational/hunting properties and agricultural ground allows landowners to maximize their returns and positively affect the environment when managed properly.
*What kind of books would we find on your bookshelf? * Reading has been an acquired taste for me that has evolved over the years. My mind has become dependant on the stimulation that reading provides. My annual goal is to attempt to read a book a month. Some recent reads have included; Principles by: Ray Dalio, When Helping Hurts by: Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert, Cigars, Whiskey & Winning Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant by: Al Kaltman, The Unsettling of America by: Wendell Berry, and my annual vacation reading of The Old Man and The Sea by: Ernest Hemingway.
What is your general approach to life and work? My general approach to life and work is best summed up in a quote by Robert Lewis, “reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously and expect the greater reward”. Personally, I experience more success and fulfillment in life when I am less concerned about my agenda and more concerned about living with an abundance mentality. Every situation, positive and negative, is an opportunity.
What do you like most about AcreTrader? For years people have asked me how to invest in agriculture and there has been no easy answer. When Garrott first told me about this start-up he was joining that provided an investment platform opportunity in agricultural land for every investor I told him, “you guys will be successful.” People are naturally connected to the land and as interest grows in food - how it is grown, where it comes from - interest in investing in land will increase. I love that AcreTrader gives someone totally disconnected from agriculture and farming an opportunity to not only invest in land, but own land.
What have you enjoyed working on so far in your time at AcreTrader? The AcreTrader team is motivated, creative, driven, and most importantly character based on how they approach their business. This was the most important factor for me in joining AT. I’ve also enjoyed seeing the flow of deals pouring in and the amazing opportunities to help people monetize their assets as well as invest in something meaningful to them.