DEA Meeting: Keller Williams Commercial

Ron Schulz asked who has signed a commercial lease and who actually read the lease.  Commercial leases are like mortgage applications: really thick and no one reads them.  Ben Dalton is not only a commercial Realtor, but also an attorney, which is a real asset to help avoid the pitfalls inherent in commercial real estate.

Ben Dalton is a commercial agent at Keller Williams and also an attorney.  Keller Williams Commercial has over 1800 agents world-wide with over $10 billion in transactions last year.  If there is anything you need done or any questions concerning commercial real estate, we can do it!

Ben graduated from TCU and SMU Dedman School of Law.  He was a public defender doing family law for two months; after seeing how terrible people can be to one another, he decided to change careers, and worked with Keller Williams Residential for four years.  He realized he could use his law degree a lot more in commercial real estate and went to work with TIG Real Estate, recently going to Keller Williams Commercial to have more freedom and hopefully make more money.

Ben is married to Kate with two kids:  James is turning 2 and Jane is 5-weeks old.  He enjoys reading, The Puppies and good television.

Some of the similarities with residential and commercial are:  property searches, commissions, marketing strategies, ethics and agent’s work.  Some of the differences are:  MLS fragmentation (only 70% of commercial listings are even online), comps availability (most contracts are confidential), property valuations, contracts (promulgated forms are not very good, depending on your property there can be holes in it), leasing (term, value, title policies, etc), client’s perspective, and lingo.

Ben can do what other commercial agents do.  However, since Ben is also an attorney, he can also provide legal advice, some conversations can fall under attorney-client privilege, and he can customize leases and contracts.  Ben also has higher ethical standards; he is required to zealously represent the client’s interest, whereas an agent is just required to put the interest of the client above his own.  He does not charge for any of these additional services!

His clients have attorney-level services from the very beginning of their transaction to the end!

For his bread and butter, Ben does office leasing, sales and leases of professional office suites, industrial property and raw land.  He does both sides of tenant and landlord representation.  He also does both sides of purchase and sale agreements.  For most of his work, he starts with North Arlington and goes northeast to McKinney.  He can work outside of those areas, but generally does not.

An “A” lead is someone who already has commercial real estate.  A “B” lead is someone who has money and is looking to acquire real estate.  If they are going to be using the real estate, it is probably good for them to have at least $150,000 in the bank.  If they are looking to invest, they probably need to have at least $500,000 in the bank in order to get a good real estate investment.  A “C” lead is someone who knows a lot of people who would be a good “A” or “B” lead, like a CPA or a highly-networked individual.

Join us for the Keller Williams Commercial’s Open House this Thursday from 4-7 at Remarkable Affairs Cafe!


If I retain you to re-negotiate my lease, who pays you?  Theoretically, the landlord; if not, I don’t get paid.

What is the #1 pitfall you see people make when signing a lease or looking for an office?  Not hiring an attorney!  There are so many ways the landlord can run you through the coals.

What do you see as the forecast of the commercial pricing in Frisco?  Success begets more success; we are in year 7 of a bull cycle that could go for a very long time.

When should you renegotiate your lease?  A year before your lease is up; that gives you time to move if you need to.

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