December 18, 2007
December 17, 2007
Office of the Chief Counsel
Attn: Nancy M. Morris
Division of Market Regulation
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street. NE
Washington, D.C. 20549-6628
Re: File No. S7-26-07
Dear Ms. Morris:
When deciding if real estate licensees should represent and advise TIC clients, please consider the following:
1. The clients money to invest in the TIC property is coming from an investment property he/she purchased years ago, probably with the help and guidance of a real estate licensee. Considering the client purchased, financed, managed and leased this property for years, he/she is likely more knowledgeable than selling agents about benefits, operation and how to choose the right investment property. What the client needs to make an informed decision is accurate property and area information from an unbiased third party and the information in a format he/she understands.
2. Is the clients best interest being served, if they can only deal with securities agents who in most cases do not have the knowledge of what makes a good real estate investment and in the past most likely tried to steer the clients away from real estate vs. the real estate agent who has a history of guiding him/her?
3. Current and past TIC real estate investments have failed for many reasons, inflated prices, unreasonable terms, mis-management, high syndication fees, bad financing, over optimistic projections, etc. not because of who sold it to them
4. Currently, neither securities nor real estate agents, are required to understand the principals of owning, buying, financing, managing, leasing and selling real estate or what makes a good real estate investment.
5. These principals are the same whether the properties are small or large, located in one state or another and whether an apartment, retail, office or industrial property and should be understood by selling agents, thus enabling them to be in a better position to bring clients TIC investments that make economic sense.
6. A TIC investment in real estate is real estate no matter how you package it and must be a good real estate investment to be profitable for client.
a. Allow real estate agents to sell TICs.
b. Require agents to take the following investment real estate courses:
i. Investment real estate analysis for all property types.
ii. IRS code 1031 requirements, benefits and alternatives.
iii. Group ownership for investment real estate – pros and cons (this course should have an expanded section on TICs.
c. Courses need to be given by an independent organization, not TIC sponsor or brokerage organization selling the TICs.
d. Education requirements suggested by the report are too restrictive. There are a number of other good designations and courses that can and should be included for approval as fulfilling educational requirements.
e. Past investment real estate transaction requirement is also too restrictive. Most professions exempt experience if the individual has fulfilled educational requirements.
In conclusion, I respectfully request that you include all agents who have completed the requirements for the CCIPS real estate designation from CCIPS Institute, as having the education necessary for selling securitized TICs. Detail information for obtaining the CCIPS designation can be found at www.ccips.net.
Richard Lombardi, CCIPS, GRI