Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering makes sure the trip to ranch ownership is a dream

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“At the end of the day, we take a common sense, calculation-backed approach to delivering tailored solutions. “ ~ Rikki Altenburg

Featured article from LAND magazine

By Lorie A. Woodward

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By partnering with ranch brokers and their clients at every phase of ranch real estate transactions, Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering can ensure that the journey to ranch ownership is a dream rather than a nightmare.

“From due diligence and engineering to construction, we have the expertise to identify and deliver what new owners want – and help them avoid any pitfalls along the way,” said Rikki Altenburg, who, with her husband Ryan, owns and operates Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering. “We are a customer-focused company that brings a common sense approach to problem solving. ”

Although the company is relatively small in number, it is significant in terms of bottom line.

“Unlike large companies which can be cumbersome, we pride ourselves on our responsiveness and adaptability,” said Rikki. “The land is different. Customers are different. Dreams are different. Cookie-cutter approaches have no place in an industry where no project is the same. ”

By calling a single point of contact at Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering, brokers can access the expertise of a real estate division as well as civil and agricultural engineers and construction professionals who can turn all of these detailed plans into physical realities.

“We understand the formalities and technical details of real estate transactions and are equipped to handle all the research necessary during due diligence in areas such as water rights and permits and resolve any issues we find,” said Rikki. “With our in-house surveyors, engineers and construction teams, WH Companies is a one-stop-shop for farm, ranch and recreational property development.”

Each division of the company works in synergy with the others. The civil engineering group creates the foundation for the ranch’s infrastructure. In their wheelhouse, the team improves access roads, improves drainage, and designs and installs the systems that will provide water, electricity and other utilities to homes and other improvements.

The agricultural engineering division tackles land-related issues such as the location and design of fields, irrigation systems, reservoirs ranging from small ponds to large lakes, and reclamation of streams for wildlife habitat. The construction division provides turnkey design and professionals with the skills to build homes, barns, shops, indoor arenas, aircraft hangars and everything that will make a ranch a unique destination. for the buyer.

As a bonus, all members of the firm’s team live the Western lifestyle. The company’s ranks are filled with people whose roots run deep in agriculture, ranching, hunting, fishing and the outdoors.

“We live the realities of the country and we know the rules and regulations,” said Rikki. “In this context, we have the ability to obtain permits, design and construction effectively and efficiently. ”

In addition to its in-house professionals, Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering, based in Casper, Wyoming, has a network of affiliated talent, such as water rights lawyers and technical professionals, who are vetted. and subject to the same rigorous standards.

“Brokers don’t have to struggle to find a full team of technical experts, we’ve amassed it – and expertise is never just a phone call away,” said Rikki. “Once they make that first phone call, customers discover our greatest strength: we deliver what we say we will do, when we say we will. ”

And the team keeps its promises, the Western way, thanks to its determination and courage.

“Not only do we adapt and overcome, but we just get the job done,” said Rikki, noting that their investigative team often works when temperatures drop to 40 degrees below zero or when the mercury rises above 126 ° F like he did it during a recent job. in Arizona. “Our employees are tough guys who do the job for our customers with enthusiasm, attention to detail and pride. ”

The process

As is the case with the people of the earth, the WH team like to keep things simple, straightforward, and as efficient as possible.

The process begins with a phone call from a broker or potential ranch buyer.

“The first phone call is very general,” said Rikki. “Sometimes it’s nothing more than, ‘We’re looking at 10,000 acres near X-town, MT, the money is starting to firm up and it looks like it might fit. “”

The introductory phone call invites a conference call to discuss the property and the project in more detail. If after the call, the broker, client, and WH team all agree, vision planning begins, and more often than not, a site visit to the property is the next step.

“We spend a day or two with the broker and the client riding the ranch to get a real feel for the property and the client’s goals and visions,” Ryan said.

During this tour of the ranch, the team begins to understand the client’s motivations. Is he an avid angler who wants to restore streams so that they and their families can fly fishing? Or is the project an investment in agricultural productivity, so it will require irrigation systems and other infrastructure? Or does the vision include big game hunting and hunting outfitters?

And the team is starting to get a literal idea of ​​the terrain, its potential, and the challenges that come with it. First-hand knowledge of the property fuels the brainstorming which is an integral part of the work process of Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering.

“We have some initial ideas and then we just let them ‘simmer’,” Ryan said. “Often, after carefully considering the options, a team member will have an eye opener and say, ‘We have to give up on the first idea and pivot because that’s actually the best approach. “”

While part of the Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering team focuses on ‘what can be’, another part tackles ‘what is’ as the transaction goes through due diligence.

“When it comes to research, we know where to look and what to look for,” Rikki said.

The rigor at the front avoids unpleasant surprises at the rear. In the West, water rights are equivalent considerations. In early August, for the first time in history, an appeal was made on the Colorado River and its rights.

“Now more than ever, senior and junior water rights and their rank are important,” said Ryan. “The availability of water can increase or decrease the value of a multi-million dollar ranch and dictate land use plans. People cannot afford to guess what they have.

Rikki continued, “Our goal is to avoid problems by finding the facts and fixing any issues early in the transaction. When we work upstream, our clients have options. When we are not called upon before the back-end, our customers may face surprises and have to settle for plan B.

While no one likes to break bad news, the professionals at Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering believe honesty is the best policy. They are about facts and doable solutions, not hopes and maybe sugar coated.

“If it’s bad news, we deliver it. If it’s good news, we deliver it, ”said Rikki. “Either way, our customers can count on an honest and factual response. ”

Recently, they had to tell a client who had hired them upstream that the gravel mining he relied on as a source of income for the newly acquired ranch was not a viable option. Instead of leaving it dry, the team identified wind power as a viable solution for the property.

“We adapt to many different scenarios and challenges, both expected and unforeseen,” said Rikki. “At the end of the day, we take a common sense, calculation-backed approach to delivering tailored solutions. ”

While the team has primarily worked in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Arizona, Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering has left its distinguished mark across the country and the world.

“If a car, plane, train or boat can get there, we’ll come,” Rikki said.

Once the due diligence is done, the deal is negotiated and signed, the final transition takes place. The broker’s client becomes the client of Western Heritage & Engineering. Any plans that were developed as the transaction unfolded go out of their records and are immediately implemented.

“On the day of the sale, our team puts their boots on the pitch and begins to make this collectively developed dream a reality,” said Rikki. “From start to finish, we strive to make the journey to ranching a dream come true. ”

For more information on Western Heritage Consulting & Engineering, visit westernhce.com or call 307-215-7430.


PAID BY WESTERN HEITAGE COSULTING & ENGINEERING
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