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June 14, 2024
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Lee & Associates Founder Bill Lee Passes Away


Bill Lee passed away after a long battle with cancer and cancer-related complications last night. He was 78 years old.

Bill Lee founded Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in 1979 in Orange County, CA. The company now has 65 locations across North America and employs over 1,300 people, with a year-end consideration value of over $14 bil in 2020.

Bill set up the Lee & Associates model in a revolutionary way that has perpetuated the company's growth, with each office having a vested interest in the other offices. One of the key elements is that agents at Lee & Associates have the ability to make an investment into the growth of the company. Culturally speaking, how the offices are tied together because of the co-investment has cultivated a legacy of collaboration that still permeates the organization today.

Lee strategically designed capital at Lee & Associates to operate in smaller components to allow the company capital to operate more efficiently than other existing methods at the time, and allow agents the opportunity to maximize their deals in terms of commission dollars.

Notably, Bill Lee represented some of the largest companies in the world. He was a market-leader in the industry and earned his SIOR designation in 1977. Outside of his commercial real estate career, Bill was a published author and coached youth basketball. In recent years, Bill in his spare time became an avid gardener who grew all of his own fruits and vegetables for a restaurant and inn he owned. He enjoyed spending time with his family. Lee is survived by his four children, Robb, John, Ryan, and Katie, and nine grandchildren.

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