Although Tingus has engineered the expansion of the Lee &Associates-LA North/Ventura operations, he says that a nationalexpansion requires someone who is dedicated to that task alone. Hesays Royster, who will be based at the Sherman Oaks office of LeeLA North/Ventura, fits that bill because of his 35 years in theindustry and his experience in leading expansions.

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[IMGCAP(2)]Lee, which is headquartered in Corona, CA, nowoperates 33 offices with more than 500 agents located inCalifornia, Arizona, Nevada, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Texas,Wisconsin and Idaho. Its expansion will include new offices inCalifornia as well as in the East, the Southeast, the Southwest andthe Midwest, according to Tingus. He says that although the companyalready brands itself as a national firm, it is looking for astronger presence in markets where it is not as well known as it isin California, where Bill Lee established the firm in 1979.

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Tingus tells GlobeSt.com that Lee typically attracts brokerswith 10 to 15 years of experience because of the appeal of thecompany's business model. "We're a broker-owned company, whichmeans that in your particular market you do what you need to do toexecute your business plan," Tingus tells GlobeSt.com. "If youdon't need appraisal, you don't have appraisal, if you don't need afinance group, you don't have one, if you don't need corporateservices, you don't have it."

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Tingus says that the Lee model means that the individual officesdon't have to worry about someone in corporate management cuttingservices or shrinking staff in down times because the individualoffices determine their own levels of staffing and services. "Ourrevenues are off this year versus last year, but that doesn't putus in a position where we have to cut any support staff ormarketing materials or open houses," Tingus says. "In other words,we don't need to shrink the profitability."

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Tingus notes that Lee has opened 15 of its 33 offices in thefive years, with a 16th soon to be announced. He says that the firmhas identified a dozen or more offices that are within four to sixmonths of opening, part of a total of 20 to 30 that could possiblybe opened in the next 12 to 24 months.

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"It takes a lot of time and expertise to put these officestogether, and when Phil became available, we saw an opportunity tohave someone dedicated full time to the task," Tingus says.Royster, who left Grubb & Ellis after that company's mergerwith NNN Realty Advisors last year, has joined Lee & Associatesin the newly created position of president of strategic growth.

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Royster will work with a Lee expansion committee including JimPlaney, president of Lee & Associates-Chicago; Jon Savoy,president of Lee & Associates-Michigan; Jim Watkins, managingprincipal of Lee & Associates-Phoenix; and Ken Wesson, SIOR,managing principal of Lee & Associates-Dallas/Ft. Worth. In theLee & Associates business model, these company presidents fromaround the country act as facilitators, identifying successfulbrokers in their respective markets.

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Royster, whose 35 years in the industry includes 25 years withGrubb & Ellis, from the early 1990s through 2003 created anddeveloped the company's affiliate program. The affiliate programrecruited top-ranked independent real estate services firms aspartners providing integrated consulting, strategic planning,management and transaction services to multi-market clients acrossthe US and Mexico. Royster joined Grubb & Ellis as vicepresident and managing director of the L.A. South Bay office andheld positions as senior vice president, regional manager andpresident of the Western Region.

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