Land acquisition, done well, is hard. It works best when--amid the clamor of competitors, asymmetries, over-payments, and sugar-rushes of cash--both a seller and a buyer accomplish a goal. Toll Brothers' acquisition, earlier this month, of Shapell Industries made winners of both buyer and seller.

Relationships may have played a part. Here's Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek's Seth Lubove and John Gittelsohn reporting on how Vera Guerin, daughter of Nathan Shapell, emerged as a billionaire last week after Toll agreed to buy her family’s business.

When all is said and done, distressed land deals are becoming fewer and farther between, and in the rush to get a lot pipeline populated for 2014 and 2015, many costly mistakes are going to happen. Land acquisition experts with relationships to boot are going to be one of home building's hottest human talent commodity's over the next couple of years.