Lee & Associates founder Bill Lee dies

CRE giant started the firm in California in 1979

National /
Apr.April 09, 2021 02:00 PM
Bill Lee (Lee & Associates/YouTube)

Bill Lee (Lee & Associates/YouTube)

Bill Lee, who founded the commercial real estate brokerage Lee & Associates, died on April 5 at the age of 78.

His eponymous firm confirmed the news via an obituary on its website. The cause of death was cancer.

Lee founded the firm in 1979 in Orange County, California, out of a 4,000-square-foot office. It’s since grown to have 65 locations throughout North America, with more than 1,300 employees. It also claims to be the largest broker-owned firm in the United States, with a profit-sharing model that “allow[s] agents the opportunity to maximize their deals in terms of commission dollars,” according to the firm.

It transacted approximately $14 billion worth of real estate in 2020.

“I revisited all of the reasons I started the company, and I realized that I did it because the future was more valuable to me than the present,” said Lee, reflecting on his journey in a 2019 interview with Jeffrey Rinkov, the current CEO of Lee & Associates.

Lee retired from the company in 2008.

Born Oct. 22, 1942, in Santa Monica, California, Lee earned a physical education degree from Cal State Northridge before getting his start in real estate, according to the Orange County Register. He worked at the brokerage Grubb & Ellis for nine years, earning SIOR designation in 1977.

[The Orange County Register] — Orion Jones


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
New York skyline
Rising interest rates will dampen city’s investment sales market this year
Rising interest rates will dampen city’s investment sales market this year
135 West 50th Street in Manhattan in NYC with George Comfort & Sons CEO Peter Duncan (Google Maps, George Comfort & Sons Inc.)
George Comfort & Sons inks 62K sf tenant in Midtown
George Comfort & Sons inks 62K sf tenant in Midtown
Schenectady City Council president Marion Porterfield (Facebook, iStock)
Destructive tenants driving upstate landlords to despair
Destructive tenants driving upstate landlords to despair
ABS Partners Real Estate founder Earle Altman and 270 Madison Avenue (ABS Partners, LoopNet, iStock)
NY Public Library leases 41k sf for Midtown offices
NY Public Library leases 41k sf for Midtown offices
Legion Investment Group's Victor Sigoura and 26 East 84th Street (Getty Images, Google Maps, iStock)
Old-guard landlords cash out in Manhattan, Bronx multifamily deals
Old-guard landlords cash out in Manhattan, Bronx multifamily deals
Ben Shaoul and 1457 North Main Street (Getty, LoopNet)
Ben Shaoul plans 376-unit complex near L.A.’s Chinatown
Ben Shaoul plans 376-unit complex near L.A.’s Chinatown
CHIP executive director Jay Martin (LinkedIn, iStock / Photo illustration by Priyanka Modi)
Landlords called it: Vacancy rate jumps, rent-stabilization stays
Landlords called it: Vacancy rate jumps, rent-stabilization stays
331 Elmora Avenue and 103 Ryan Street (Kislak Realty)
Tri-state deal roundup: Multifamily, industrial still hot
Tri-state deal roundup: Multifamily, industrial still hot
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...