Continuing growth in new Lee & Associates offices, brokers and services coupled with an improving economy will make this month’s Lee Summit in Las Vegas the most well attended event in company history.


More than 400 are registered for the Sept. 28-30 program at the Encore hotel. The breakout session on what world-class public developers look for in a broker – featuring Goodman’s Shannon Hondl and Kim Snyder of ProLogis – has attracted the most interest, so far. But there are 10 other sessions covering all property categories, new technology as well as explaining new investment and referral fee opportunities that are exclusive for Lee brokers and multiple training sessions for younger agents.


Lee agents also will enjoy many collegial networking gatherings and gain insights on teamwork from the keynote luncheon address by veteran Navy Seal Curt Cronin. The registration deadline is Sept. 26.


I remember the first annual meeting I attended,” said Jeff Rinkov, Chief Executive Officer. That was in 1997 and, being new in the business, it gave me the first glimpse of some of what was going on in the company beyond my cube and my office.

In those days, Lee was known as largely a regional company with a lot of top talent. Even then I discovered a network of support with a shared sense of high performance that’s imbued in our culture of ownership. That was the first time I realized what the potential was for a productive person at Lee & Associates. For me it was transformational, Rinkov said.

One of the fruits of Lee’s ownership culture is represented in the Associates Equity Fund, which will be presented in a breakout session.

Now funding its fourth tranche, the AEF’s innovative investment philosophy was distilled in the minds of Lee veterans Scott Ostlund and Jeff Smith in Ontario, California, and is aligned perfectly with the Lee & Associates model.

Ostlund explains that, whereas most funds raise money before buying the asset, the AEF operates in reverse and aims to make the opportunity affordable.

We have 800 Lee agents who can bring us deals. The values so far have ranged up to about $3 million. Each deal we do is such high quality that we put it in escrow with complete confidence it will be funded by as many Lee investors who subscribe as possible,” Ostlund said.

Another breakout session, Financing the Deal (and getting paid to do it!), is being presented by Gary Sopko and Matt Snurr from Lee’s office in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.

It’s a new service line, structured finance, that we’re offering to Lee agents,” said Brian Lynch, a Principal broker in New Jersey. Any Lee agent can earn a referral fee. Gary and Matt are going to explain the different types of financing they can provide – private, traditional, insurance, CMBS.

The larger the transaction – the larger the referral fee. A $50-million deal will earn the agent $100,000. So far this year they’ve closed about $400 million Lee referrals,” Lynch said.

Like many of Lee veterans, Rinkov says he’s looking forward to renewing old relationships with agents in other offices.

Veterans come because there’s an element of energy generated by a group that has bought into a culture. Our culture is simple. We believe in a service platform that incentivizes clients to join with us. I think a senior broker who has reached a level of prominence has an opportunity to complete that circle and share his experience with newer agents.


But the overarching goal is to meet people in other offices that can lead to an exchange of business. You can be the guy or gal in Dallas, Chicago, Oakland or Orlando who goes to the conference, puts a lot into it and gets a lot out of it.

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