Land Management

How to Pick the Right Land Partner

How to Pick the Right Land Partner

Over the last few years, industry fluctuations have accelerated a major shift in the way many companies manage their land functions. The days of mega in-house land departments have given way to a leaner approach to land management. Energy companies of all sizes are weighing financial considerations, market uncertainty, and staffing challenges as they re-imagine how they get business done. 

We have been an outsourced land partner for large energy companies, small management teams and everything in between for decades. In this article, we will help you identify if land outsourcing is right for your company or team and what you should look for in a land partner. 


Does Land Outsourcing Make Sense for Your Team?

When we talk about land outsourcing, we are describing any situation in which a company uses an external resource for land-related support. The relationship may provide complete land department functions for an operator with an active development program or simply be in the form of fractional support for a few key skill sets. In either case, the drivers for outsourcing include the following:

  • Fluctuations in your immediate and future land needs
  • Needing fractional access to multiple skill sets
  • Desire for flexibility
  • Overhead expense reduction
  • Entering a new region or line of business
  • Not wanting to manage multiple people
  • Lack of office space

When is outsourcing not right for your company? It’s often a matter of management preference, but if none of the above needs or constraints impact your business, outsourcing may not make sense.

How to Identify the Right Outsourcing Partner

It’s no secret that we think good land management is important. We believe good execution and high-quality deliverables make a tangible difference, and help our clients reach their goals. For that reason, we view our role not only as a service provider but also as a partner that supports our client's objectives. In our experience, we recommend looking for the following capabilities to create a successful partnership with a land provider.

  1. Related Experience: Does the team have specific experience related to your project? Some groups specialize in certain areas (e.g. title research, due diligence) or regions. Other groups have broad-based experience. Identify teams that frequently work on projects similar to yours.
  1. Land Knowledge and Data Savvy: The “technical” knowledge required for title and land management is just as important as the data management associated with modern land practices. Land work entails various kinds of information and documents from multiple sources. Even small title projects can amass a very large amount of digital data. Groups with subject matter expertise and mastery of data management tools and practices often work more efficiently and provide deliverables that are easier for you to use.
  1. Bandwidth: Do you need one landman or 20? Does your project have a compressed timeline? Do you want the A team or the B team? Land companies have very different capacities. Communicating service expectations with a prospective partner can help you figure out if they are a good fit.
  1. Technology and Data Security: There are safe ways to share data and not-so-safe ways. We believe all data should be handled with care and appropriate security protocols. Cinco invests in data management services to help our teams and clients access and share information securely. We highly recommend discussing data management practices with prospective land partners.

Where to Start?

Every company and team has unique land needs and business practices. If you have land tasks that are always on the backburner or upcoming needs that are time-sensitive, it might be a good time to start a conversation with a prospective land team. Using the tips above will get you a solid head start in finding the partnership that is right for your team.

We love helping to solve problems and tackle new projects with confidence. Cinco helps companies across the US with land and title issues related to oil and gas, renewable energy development, legal matters, insurance and more. If you’re thinking about land outsourcing or need help walking through options, reach out to us today. If we can't help you, we will try to find you the resource who can.


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