Get to know our Minnesota Brokers: Close~Converse Properties

Meet Rod & Jody Osterloh of by Close~Converse Properties in Brainerd, MN

Close~Converse Properties is uniquely suited to help recreational property buyers in northern Minnesota, reflected by the fact that broker Rod Osterloh has received the prestigious Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation from the Realtors Land Institute.

The brokerage has been helping land buyers for more than 30 years, and to Osterloh, the ALC designation reflects how Close~Converse’s land division has kept up with the times and the evolving needs of buyers.

SUMMER 2017: Close~Converse’s Rod and Jody Osterloh kayaked with friends on the River Corrib at Galway, Ireland! You can see the ruins of Menlo Castle in the background as well as the Irish down-pour clouds.

“It’s important to keep up with technology and make sure you are using it to make the buying experience efficient,” said Rod, who works with his wife Jody and assistant Tanya Digiovanni in the brokerage’s land division. “But it’s also important to have experience and knowledge. In that regard, being involved in the Realtors Land Institute is important for us, because it helps us share information with many of the nation’s top recreational real estate brokers.”

Close~Converse specializes in the northern Minnesota area, focusing on areas near towns including Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Park Rapids, Wadena, Brainerd, Walker and Aitkin. The brokerage sells tracts anywhere from 10 to 10,000 acres, but many northern Minnesota recreational buyers want to buy 40 to 80 acres.

So many factors go into a recreational land purchase, from considering the value of the timber on a property to determining how the property rates as a hunting and recreational spot. To Rod, nothing is a substitute for experience in finding the answers.

“The value in a property may be the quality of deer, or the quality may be in how the land is good for growing trees,” he said. “We have done hundreds of land transactions at Close~Converse over the years, and in doing that, we have become experts in knowing how to determine values of recreational property.”

Close~Converse has been doing business with Potlatch since 2005, and Potlatch’s timber properties are a good fit for many of the brokerage’s buyers.

“We are finding that more people want to consider both the value of the land and of the timber on it,” Rod said. “Potlatch properties provide that, along with tremendous recreational opportunities.”

To meet Rod and Jody in person or check out their Potlatch listings,


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Land Report Voices features Potlatch Land Sales

Great feature interview in the current issue of Land Report‘s monthly newsletter about Potlatch.
[Click the article for a reader-friendly PDF]To read the full Land Report newsletter – click here.



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Being Thoughtful with your Trail Camera Pays Off!

What’s the best way to know about the deer on your property? That’s simple: Install trail cameras in key spots, using a careful, methodical approach as you set them up.

An Outdoor Life post by Craig Dougherty walks you through things to consider as you put up your trail cameras, from deciding how many cameras to use, to using your photos as you make hunting plans.

Some of the key tips:

  • Get familiar with cameras before you put them out in the field. Use them in your yard so you can understand how to target them effectively.
  • Face cameras north when possible, to avoid sun glare, and put them 10 to 15 feet from the target area.
  • Set up one camera for every 50 to 100 acres, and look to place them in prime feeding areas or along corridors where wildlife travel back and forth.
  • Start documenting the deer early, so you will have time to figure out their habits and travel patterns as you make your plans for hunting season.
  • Study a buck’s behavior, to help determine if he is just passing through or whether you have a good chance of finding him when you head out into the woods.

Like everything else in successful hunting, planning ahead is important. And if you don’t already own a hunting property, now is a great time to think about it.

Get started by contacting one of the experts in the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network, who know how to match hunters looking to buy land in Minnesota, Idaho, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi with the properties of their dreams.

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Our Summer Newsletter is hot!

Summertime fun.  Whether that’s camping with family, spending a day at the beach, getting out on the water with friends or simply getting ready for your Fall hunt, there’s something for you in our latest newsletter!   In this issue…

  • How a little planning (and some useful tips) can make your summertime fun even better!
  • Did you know that Potlatch also buys land?  Learn more in this issue’s “Into the Forest” feature.
  • Meet Close~Converse – one of our Preferred Brokers from Brainerd, Minnesota.
  • Don’t miss the Property Showcase to see some of the best land-buying opportunities.  Image result for video icon
  • All this and more… don’t miss a single tidbit!

You’ll find all these great articles in this issue of The Property Perspective ONLINEor PDF (to read, just click on your preferred viewing format).

So, whether you’re a first-time buyer just getting started or you’d like to expand your property holdings, we’re glad you’re here. Before you go, we invite you to:

  • Click here to tell us a little more and we’d be happy to introduce you to a member of our team – each an expert in their neck of the woods and the perfect partner in your search for your dream property.

Have questions or not sure how to get started?  Send us an email.

Happy hunting!

Posted in Hunting, Land Buying Tips, Lifestyle, Potlatch, Uncategorized Tagged , , , No Comments

Potlatch Corporation Announces Campfire Burn Ban on Idaho Property




SPOKANE, Washington – July 19, 2017 – Potlatch Corporation today announced effective Monday, July 24, 2017 that no campfires or open burning will be allowed on its property in the State of Idaho due to increasing fire danger in the region.  The burning ban on Potlatch’s Idaho properties will remain in effect until conditions improve.  Additional information about Potlatch’s Idaho properties can be found online at  Potlatch urges all visitors to Idaho’s forests to exercise extreme caution in regards to fire while recreating this summer.



Potlatch is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with approximately 1.4 million acres of timberland in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota and Mississippi. Potlatch, a verified forest practices leader, is committed to providing superior returns to stockholders through long-term stewardship of its forest resources. The company also conducts a land sales and development business and operates wood products manufacturing facilities through its taxable REIT subsidiary. More information about Potlatch can be found on the company’s website at


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Want to sell your rural property? Here’s some helpful tips.

If you are thinking about selling your rural property, there is certainly plenty to think about. But to make it simple, focus your thinking around one goal – making your property appealing to buyers.

You’ll want to do everything you can to ensure that potential buyers see the value of your property when they visit, and you’ll want to make sure a buyer will have everything in place for a simple, easy closing.

In our work in recreational property sales, we have seen a number of things that successful rural land sellers are doing on the front end of the sales process. Here are six tips gained from that knowledge:

  1. Make sure you understand the true value of your property. Evaluating the value of a rural property is far different from valuing a house, since such factors as timber values and quality of wildlife come into play. Work with rural real estate experts who understand these factors, as opposed to simply working off comparable land sales in nearby areas. Comparable sales are certainly important, but don’t come anywhere close to providing the whole picture.
  2. Patience is a virtue in selling rural property. Understand that rural sales often take longer than home sales. The field of buyers is more geographically diverse, and it often takes buyers a while to visit a property, evaluate the timber, etc.
  3. Make sure there won’t be any issues with a closing. Make sure that legal access is in place, and that there won’t be any other undisclosed legal issues when someone is buying the property.
  4. Understand that marketing a rural property should involve more than just putting up for-sale signs. More and more, rural land buyers are starting their search online. Often, a buyer will go online, find appealing properties in a geographic area they find desirable, and then contact the broker who handles those properties. With this in mind, make sure the broker you choose is using a combination of channels to market properties, from posting signs to doing hyper-local advertising to having a solid internet presence.
  5. Take steps to ensure that the property will show well. Take the time to clean up the entrance areas to the property. Clear any trails that might be needed for a potential buyer to tour the area. Ensure that there isn’t any trash in areas where you’ve camped. And make sure you or your broker spends the time and money to get quality photos of the property, which will make it stand out as potential buyers search online.
  6. Work with professionals who understand rural properties. Whether you are hiring someone to clear trails, to market your property, or to offer advice on timber volumes and values, make sure you partner with people who have experience in working with rural properties in your area. Every property is unique, and there is no substitute for experience.

“Doing some well-thought-out planning on the front end will make your sales process go much more smoothly,” says Jim Lemieux, Senior Manager, Idaho Real Estate for Potlatch, who is working with Potlatch’s Ben Ballard to run the Idaho buying initiative. “Buying and selling rural real estate requires a special skill set, so it’s important to work with experts.”

In addition to selling quality recreational property, Potlatch has always been in the market to buy property as well. This ties into our overall goals of continuing to have a strong selection of properties for our timber operations, while also having strategically adjacent properties that fit into our recreational property sales program.

So, if you are looking to sell quality rural property in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho or Mississippi, contact us.  Let’s start a conversation.

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Happy 4th of July!

If you cannot reach any one of us, it’s because we’re celebrating
the holiday with family and friends.  Please visit with us online or
try us again on Wednesday, July 5th.   Thank you!
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Summer preparation will pay off in Hunting Season

A lot of factors go into a successful deer hunting trip, from setting up in the most advantageous location, to easily reaching your favorite hunting spot, to having all of your equipment in prime working order.

North American Whitetail has a good list of 10 tips for deer hunters as we head into summer. As a way to get started, think about organizing your planning around topics related to your hunting property, your equipment and your knowledge about area wildlife.

To enhance the property you hunt on, consider hunting-related practical considerations. Are the trails easy to get through, for example, and if not, does overgrowth around them need trimming? Also, how hospitable is the land is for deer, turkey and other wildlife? And in certain areas, now would be a good time to think about planting food plots.

Whether you hunt with a bow or rifle, now is a good time to check all your equipment to make sure it’s working properly, and to make sure you have all the ammunition you’ll need. Of course, it’s also a great time to practice and improve your aim. (That’s one of the tips among the 25 offered in a qualitylist on the website.)

Summer is also a great time to deepen your understanding of the area around your property, such as understanding the movements of area wildlife and how everything from fallen trees to water sources can impact the habitat. Installing game cameras is always a good idea.

And as you get your property and your equipment ready, check to make sure your hunting license is up to date, and brush up on the hunting regulations in your area.

Certainly, it’s easier for your logistical planning if you own your own property to hunt on. The experts in the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network are excellent resources in finding the spot that will be the perfect home base for your hunting trips and all your recreational activities. Summer is a good time to contact one now to get the process started.



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Time to get your Fishing Gear ready for Summer!

Summer’s here!  Are you ready to go fishing?  If you haven’t already dropped a line, or think you need to get your tackle and fishing life more ready, here are nine tasks you should consider doing now:

Charlie Chernak, Minnesota Preferred Broker, reeling in the big one!

  1. Take an inventory of your lures, hooks and everything you use on your excursions. Check for signs of wear and tear, including older lures that are tried and true but might need some work. (In some cases, you may just want to buy a new lure that matches that well-worn favorite.)
  2. Even if you think you are well-organized, go through your equipment and storage boxes to be sure. There’s nothing more frustrating than being out on the water and wasting time looking for your favorite lure or other equipment you need. Make sure everything is well marked, so you don’t have to remember where every item is.
  3. Show your rods and reels some love. Check the spools and if needed, replace the line. In particular, monofilament has a relatively short life span, so think about replacing that type of line every year.
  4. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of an expert. If your rods and reels need more than basic upkeep, consider having the work done by an experienced technician, which can save you hours of time.
  5. Make sure you have everything you’ll need to be safe. Double-check that you have such items as personal flotation devices, rain gear and sunscreen available on the boat.
  6. You need to be legal. Some outdoors enthusiasts lose track of their boating registrations and fishing licenses. Think about this before you get out on the water.
  7. In checking your fishing poles, make sure the eyes are in good shape. This can be easily skipped over, but a defective eye can be disastrous if you have a fish on the line.
  8. Sharpen your hooks if they need it. Hooks should be razor sharp; there are a number of hook sharpeners on the market that you can use if needed.
  9. Do your research to widen your world. Check out resources like your state’s Department of Natural Resources site to find potential new fishing spots. Take the time now to check them out. This will help you have a wide range of choices this summer, ensuring that you won’t get bored.

Many of the recreational properties sold by Potlatch are near excellent fishing spots or have them right on the property, and owning your own piece of property for a cabin or campsite could save you loads of time in getting back and forth to the water.

A good place to start in your search is with an email or call to one of the experts in Potlatch’s Preferred Broker Network.

“The brokers in the Potlatch network are highly experienced in matching up a piece of property to someone’s interests, whether it’s fishing, hunting, hiking, or just relaxing,” says Charlie Chernak of Bear Island Land Co., which sells Potlatch recreational property in northern Minnesota.

Contact us and get the process started. There’s still plenty of time to have a place to call your own this summer, close to great fishing or most anything you like to do outdoors.

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Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Potlatch!

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