Scott Land & Lease Celebrates 100 Consecutive Quarters As Top Crown Land Broker

While it is rare in any business to be on top every year, let alone every single quarter in a 25-year period, that is nonetheless the milestone Scott Land & Lease Ltd. is celebrating as the company reaches 100 consecutive quarters as top Crown land broker.

“To consistently be top land broker, the firm has to be stable, reputable and trusted,” said president Gregg Scott. “It needs to have strong relationships both in the field and in downtown Calgary, with a depth of knowledge of all land matters. That’s us.”

He added: “It should be noted that Scott Land & Lease recently acquired our 50,000th freehold mineral lease, which is another significant milestone and probably a record too.”

The land sale business is very competitive, Scott noted. Usually, there are about 150 to 250 bidders in any given year — both land companies and oil companies. Each quarter for the past 100 and on behalf of its clients, Scott added, Scott Land & Lease has been at the top of that list, sometimes exceeding the next 10 to 15 bidders combined.

“It’s not easy. The land business is very competitive. There are over 40 land companies of all sizes, so we had to differentiate ourselves many years ago. It starts with the calibre of our management and staff, many who have been with us for over two decades.”

According to Scott, the milestone of 100 consecutive quarters as the top Crown land broker is significant on a few levels. For one, he said, it is gratifying that clients have consistently entrusted Scott Land & Lease with their land sale bids in a business of rigid deadlines and no room for error.

While land sale revenues are often overlooked in contributions the oilpatch makes to the economy and government coffers, Scott noted, they are indeed a massive component to the industry.

“You hear about royalties, but a lot less about land sale revenues,” he said.

Land sale revenue can be a leading indicator of potential future activity and a proxy on the state of the industry, suggested Scott. While land sale totals are up thus far in 2017 versus the same point last year, they are still down dramatically from 2014 levels.

“In addition to land sales, oil companies also shell out hundreds of millions of dollars in freehold lease bonus considerations and surface compensation,” said Scott. “This can really drive the economy in rural Western Canada.”

Focused primarily on the oil and gas business, Scott Land & Lease has grown from about 20 staff in 1992 to more than 120 currently, dealing with some of the largest and most complex projects in the oilpatch — from oilsands to big-inch pipelines to some of the largest drilling and freehold leasing projects.

Since the oilpatch can be quite cyclical, the company diversified in the 1990s to provide land services to other industries as well, including telecommunications, renewable energy, potash, power and water, Scott said. “This has smoothed out the ups and downs while providing our staff with a variety of interesting work. I believe this strategy has contributed to our longevity and our high staff retention rate.”