To: New Attorneys – Experienced Attorneys
To: Attorneys Who Are Real Estate Licensed
To: Attorneys Willing To Become RE Licensed
I am inviting you to get your real estate license and join my attorney-broker team at Keller Williams. You can be anywhere in the USA or Canada and join the JR Deal Attorney-Broker Team.
On the local level I am looking for a new attorney who wants to become a broker and be my assistant, who might eventually become a partner and buy me out.
I am also looking for a new real estate broker, a person who will contact the dozens of contacts that I have not had time to contact.
(Here in Washington there are no more real estate agents. We are all called brokers now.)
I have more clients than I can service. I need help.
This is not a salaried position. I will give you work on real estate deals. When they close and I get paid, you get paid, a percentage of each deal you have worked on.
On a broader level, for attorneys who are not in Lynnwood and maybe in another state, I am looking for attorneys, new or experienced, to become attorney brokers and join my extended JR Deal Attorney-Broker Team. You can keep your law practice and grow into brokering. The local team will handle the yard signs and fliers.
The sale of real estate is the practice of law. Cultum, 103 Wn.2d 623, 1985. Brokers can practice law as real estate paralegals. The sale of real estate by real estate brokers is the “authorized practice of law by non-attorneys”. The brokers must stick with standard, attorney-approved, fill-in-the-blank forms. They must refrain from giving legal advice or answering legal questions. Their malpractice insurance does not cover them when they exceed the scope of the limited practice. Real estate brokers are like paralegals. They are limited practice lawyers.
An attorney-broker is not so limited. An attorney-broker can write complex deals and answer clients’ legal questions. When I list or sell, I provide legal advice relating to the transaction for no extra fee, from beginning to end and for no extra charge, other than a 3% commission. Legal review is easy if I am also processing the sale. That’s because I will already know the issues. Note: I am not agreeing to handle litigation.
For a person who is both a broker and an attorney, it is completely appropriate for the attorney-broker to accept payment at closing as a real estate commission instead of payment by the hour as a legal fee.
I am both a real estate attorney (WSBA 8103) and a real estate broker (DOL 27330). I prefer to work as a broker. It gets me out of the office. I see geography get to know the areas where I work. I get to see how people live. I spend more time with them and so get to know them better. It involves salesmanship and creativity. It is more fun. I get paid better. Because I get paid better I can afford to spend more time on each transaction. Working for a flat fee payable at closing means I can deliver a more comprehensive service.
When working as a broker, there are more ways to be paid. I can help brokers and sellers. Brokering has no-agency agency, meaning I can accept commissions from brokers, buyers, and sellers in the same deal. I handle this by preparing proposed documents and turning the docs over to the buyers’ and sellers’ attorney for approval.
You are at a disadvantage if you are a real estate agent but lack a real estate license. If you do not have your estate license, you cannot advertise that you are in the regular business of brokering real estate. And you cannot have access to the Multiple Listing Service tools.
My MLS dues are $480 per year. My WSBA dues are more. But I get much more service from the MLS than form the WSBA. They are always available to answer questions.
(Here in Washington there are no more real estate agents. We are all called brokers now.)
Back when I worked primarily as a real estate lawyer and charged $300 per hour, buyers and sellers usually came to see me after they were already in a hole. Digging clients out of a hole is sometimes not pleasant work. So I prefer to charge a flat commission payable at closing. Everybody likes a flat fee payable at closing, even if they pay more. Because they only pay for a job well done.
But when I serve as attorney-broker, my clients are hiring me at the beginning, before they get into trouble, and because something good is happening in their lives. When the deal closes, they are happy.
Back when I charged buyers or sellers by the hour, they usually wanted to save money by skimping on keeping me informed. They did this because they were thinking that $300 per hour is too much to pay. Funny how they think $300 per hour is too much to pay but 6% is not too much to pay.
When I work as broker I get paid better. With better pay I can deliver a more comprehensive service to my buyer or seller, from the very beginning to close of escrow.
You can truthfully say to buyers and sellers: The other side will take you more seriously if you have an attorney representing you. Most people either admire attorneys or are intimidated by them. For that reason an attorney-broker can often negotiate a better deal for their clients.
Another reason for getting your real estate license is that you will learn an enormous amount about real estate law. In law school I studied Property 1, Wills and Trusts, and Mortgages. That’s it. Going through the real estate course will inform you about many legal issues.
And becoming a broker will teach you the customs and rules relating to real estate sales. You learn the context in which the legal rules are applied. I maintain that you cannot be an effective transactional real estate lawyer unless you understand the customary procedures of the MLS and the broker industry.
Every law office should have at least one attorney-broker on staff. Real estate deals will fall into your laps. If the firm gets a 3.0% listing commission or 3% selling commission on a $700,000 sale, that is $21,000. The sale of real estate is a basic and lucrative area of law. We lawyers should take it back.
I am encouraging you to get licensed as a real estate agent or broker and join Keller Williams under my umbrella. As the broker who is recruiting you, I would serve as your mentor, wherever you are in teh US and Canada, and explain how being an attorney-broker has worked well for me. I will have incentive to help you get into the business because I would get a rebate on all your sales.
If you are in the Snohomish County area or anywhere in Washington state, you could be part of my immediate team. The good thing about teams is that non-attorney agents on your team can take care of the non-legal, routine work. The non-attorneys on the team can run comps, stage houses, order signs, take photos, prepare fliers, and sit open houses. For that support service you will give up part of your commission. You can focus on examining all the paperwork from beginning to end, title review, Form 17 disclosure, inspection, contingencies, escrow review, attending closing.
Being an attorney-broker can be compatible with regular law practice. It can start off as a part time job. You can keep your existing legal practice. I do some legal work myself. But I predict that before too long you may want to become more broker than attorney.
I work with Keller Williams in Everett. KW has training. It has helpful technology. Agents are sharing and helpful. KW encourages us to form teams, train our teams, and help everyone be a success.
Keller Williams is unique in that it has profit sharing, which can turn out to be a retirement plan. Half of company profits are paid back to the brokers. Sub-commissions are calculated based on sales produced by brokers you have recruited to KW. Sub-commissions are paid down seven levels. Typical: My wife sold a house and received an $8,600 commission. I got a check for $290. The broker who recruited me got a check. And so on down seven levels. Broker who have big downlines receive large monthly checks.
If you retire, you will keep getting your sub-commissions. When you die your heirs will keep receiving your sub-commissions. They will keep receiving them until all the people you recruited – down seven levels – have died or quit selling. That could pay for your grandchildren’s college. That’s the Gary Keller formula, and it explains why KW has more brokers in the USA than an other brokerage. Read Gary’s Million Dollar Real Estate Agent.
If you become an attorney-broker, some listings and sales will fall into your lap without your even trying. And if you try, you will get even more listings and sales, simply by letting all your clients know you can broker for them. Your advantage is that you will provide the legal review for no extra charge for a small extra charge.
Another advantage to being an attorney-broker is that it can lead to real estate litigation. It can feed an escrow practice. It can lead to estate planning and LLC formation.
The best way to market yourself is to offer a free consultation to potential buyers and seller. You would review their real estate plans, talk about down payment assistance, talk about their self-directed IRA owning real estate, talk about their estate plans, discuss their possible need to set up an LLC, and suggest that they form partnerships in order to have enough qualifying income. They might then hire you and pay extra for such services.
And there is another source of business: You will be asked by other brokers in your office to co-broker with them on their challenging transactions. If they co-broker with an attorney-broker, that will give them credibility and help them get listings and faithful buyers. They will get listings and buyers they would otherwise not have gotten.
You could join the KW commercial group, get your commercial certification, and co-broker with other agents needing your commercial abilities.
So, I am looking for fellow real estate attorneys who are also brokers or are willing to become brokers. I am inviting you to join my attorney-broker team. See www.WashingtonAttorneyBroker.com/become-an-attorney-broker.
To those who are not attorneys:
If you are an experienced real estate agent or broker, I invite you as well to join Keller Williams as part of my team or downline, even if you are in a different state. You do not have to be an attorney to be part of my team or my downline. I would have a financial stake in your success, so I would be helping you along.
If you are a new agent, I can also invite you to join my team or downline. For the first two years you must be supervised by a managing broker. I am a managing broker.
Feel free to call me at 425-774-6611. We can discuss the many benefits of joining forces with me and KW.
Warning: I am a Green. You don’t have to agree with my Green politics, but you should at least be willing to put up with it. See www.JamesRobertDeal.org.
James Robert Deal , Attorney & Broker
PO Box 2276 Lynnwood WA 98036
Law Office Line: 425-771-1110
Broker Line: 425-774-6611
Cell and Text Line: 425-670-1405
KW Everett Office Line: 425-212-2007
Cell phone real estate app: app.kw.com/KW2V4HP64/
Desktop real estate app: jamesrobertdeal.kw.com