Published November 19, 2002
Volume 10, Number 11

Lee & Associates Brokers Share in the Company’s Success
Lee & Associates
The Hacienda office of Lee & Associates will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of their founding next year.

By George Walsh
Special to Network

Most successful business owners will tell you that, when employees receive monetary rewards directly based on their employer’s financial success, they are much more motivated to help the company succeed. Whether the reward involves company stock options, profit sharing, or bonuses, allowing employees to reap the benefits of their hard work is a powerful incentive. 

Commercial real estate brokerage company Lee & Associates takes the concept of profit sharing a step further than many companies by making its brokers the owners of their branch office. Founded in 1979, the company has twenty independently owned and operated offices in California, Arizona, Nevada and Illinois.

Lee & Associates’ Pleasanton branch, located at 5960 Stoneridge Drive here in Hacienda Business Park, was founded in March 1993 by current president Len Magnani along with seven other local real estate brokers. The company now has 13 brokers who are owners of the company, four associates, and three staff members in its 4,500 square foot facility. Lee & Associates East Bay Inc. began when Magnani learned about the company from a newspaper story. “I read an article about Lee & Associates and about the way the brokers owned the company. Reading the article, I thought it was the kind of organization that we should have, where the salesmen get to keep most of the fruits of their labor.”

At the time Lee & Associates East Bay Inc. was founded, the real estate business was experiencing a slump, but the organization’s structure proved a valuable asset to Magnani and his partners. 

“We actually got our venture capital money to start the company from Lee & Associates,” Magnani says. The money Magnani and his partners received to start the company with was provided by other brokers in the Lee & Associates network of brokerages, and Lee & Associates East Bay Inc. is paying them back over the course of time. All the companies are individually owned and the self-financing within the overall organization helps the owner/operators get started.

Magnani says that having the brokers own the company makes it more profitable for all of them as individuals. “We’re more organized like a law office than we are like a real estate brokerage company,” he says. “Typically, in a real estate brokerage company you have a split with the house. The house gets some money and the broker gets some money. We split 50/50 all year and then, at the end of the year, we take whatever profit we make and give it back to the brokers based on what they contributed to that profit. It’s in our best interest to want everybody else in the brokerage to succeed.”

Lee & Associates East Bay Inc., which recently represented ValleyCare in leasing it new office building on West Las Positas in Hacienda, represents both building owners and tenants who are looking for a place to do business. Because Lee & Associates East Bay Inc. serves a market area that includes Hayward, San Leandro, Union City, Walnut Creek, Concord, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Livermore, and Dublin, Magnani sees its office at Hacienda as a positive asset. “The reason it’s good for us is the reason it’s good for everybody else. Transportation is very good on or off the freeways. It gets us to our marketplace very well. Hacienda is a good business environment and has all the services and amenities we need.”


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