December 14, 2007
As a Registered Representative and having met with hundreds of real estate agents in the states I am licensed over the past years, I believe that the concept of a real estate professional receiving an "advisory fee" or "referral commission" is viable from a high level perspective. However, the issues involved in a securitized transaction are specific and well defined. From the Reg D issues, private placement sponsor policies, best practices within TICA and FINRA, due diligence process, contemplation considerations, suitability, pre-existing relationship guidelines, accountability, liability, and ongoing documentation of the relationship throughout the transaction life, it seems to be a task that would be almost impossible to manage from the SEC and FINRA perspective. In fact there may have to be another self regulatory organization formed to oversee this specific industry in which securities would be commissioning non-registered professionals? The issues would not be apparent on the release of the exemption, but down the road when Mr. and Mrs. X investment didnt perform. Who holds the responsibility and liability? If a real estate agent was to receive a commission without the guidelines or responsibilities, then wouldnt it be a lucrative business to only be a real estate agent and receive the commissions without the securities guidelines we must follow each day? With over 2.4 million real estate agents in the USA and approximately 1.2 million with NAR what are the guidelines for all parties. Keeping it simple is the best approach. The guidelines to protect the investor should be the upmost important issue on the table, not the issue of commissions. A simple suggested solution: get licensed.