When J.D. Neeley’s father started a forestry consulting business in southern Arkansas in 1972, the company was managing 20,000 acres. Now, United Country – Neeley Forestry Service manages 220,000 acres.
And that knowledge plays well into the family business’ work in recreational real estate.
J.D. joined the business in 1985 and has overseen its growth and expansion into timberland appraisal, property appraisal and real estate sales. The most recent expansion started five years ago, and United Country – Neeley Forestry topped $10 million in gross sales last year. “We feel very blessed to have had such a good year,” Neeley said.
Located in what’s called the “wood basket” of south Arkansas, Neeley said his prospective buyers are often looking to invest in timberland. “Financing is still looking good for those wanting to purchase property,” he said. “It’s a good time to buy, and we’re expecting to see a return to historic averages in pine saw timber pricing.”
Other purchasers are looking for land to hunt, camp or ride their ATVs on. Neeley’s familiarity with the area comes in handy when folks are seeking land for recreational use. “I’m an avid outdoorsman,” Neeley said. “I love to hunt!” During the last hunting season he happily boasted that “we’ve been racking up the ducks”.
Tying nicely into his work, Neeley’s entire family embraces the outdoor lifestyle. “We have a cabin back on our old homestead,” he said, “and we spend a lot of time there.” And in keeping with the company’s history as a family enterprise, J.D.’s son Daniel recently joined the company, making it a three-generation business. Daniel recently completed his forestry degree and is working on his MBA.
The United Country – Neeley Forestry Service team is made up of nine experienced team members, including registered forester and executive broker Josh Barkhimer and executive broker Brenda Kirkley, who brings 30 years of brokerage experience to the company.
“In terms of management, we do a lot of work with multi-generational family property,” Neeley said. “Often, we are working with land that we originally managed for parents, and that we now manage for their children and even their grandchildren.” These kinds of ongoing
relationships add great satisfaction to his work, he said.
But what he finds most enjoyable is seeing the company’s clients enjoy their property and what it can bring to them, both recreationally and financially. “I love to see properties well-managed and producing good timber revenues,” he said. “Helping people maximize their returns is very rewarding.”
To connect with the Neeley Forestry team, and to learn more about its Potlatch land listings in Arkansas, call 870-836-5981, or visit www.ucneeleyforestry.com.