“We Don’t Compete, We Simply Dominate” — The Lofty Aspirations of Milwaukee’s Newest Boutique Real Estate Brokerage
The big REALTOR shops of Milwaukee have a new competitor — and from the hustle, track record, and enthusiasm of the founder, they had better watch out.
“I’ve always seen Shorewest, Keller Williams, and Coldwell Banker real estate signs everywhere in my neighborhoods,” Residual Acres Realty founder Bendell Lee said, “and I said to myself ‘That will be my sign sitting in front of a house one day.’”
Launched in August 2022, Residual Acres Realty just acquired its first Milwaukee office space. But Lee has no intention of stopping there.
“I plan to expand to more states and have one of the biggest brokerages in the United States,” he said.
Like a Phoenix From The Ashes
Don’t bet against him. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI like many of his high school classmates, and friends Lee aspired to a basketball scholarship. Unlike many of his classmates, he actually received several scholarship offers.
But Lee fell in with a bad crowd, spent time in jail, and emerged determined never to go back. After a few failed business attempts and with a young son to support, he eventually got his real estate license and discovered that the life of a REALTOR very much suited him. A born salesman and problem-solver, Lee flourished as a REALTOR.
Wholesaler, Author, and Mentor
In the course of doing business, Lee learned about real estate wholesaling — getting motivated sellers under contract and then flipping the contract to investors with money. It was a way to build his real estate business without needing to use his license or put a lot of money on the line.
Lee went on to build a seven-figure business wholesaling real estate in Milwaukee. He documented his success on Instagram (@bendell.lee) and soon built up a large following — with many of his followers asking how they could follow in his footsteps.
To service the unexpected demand, Lee began offering private coaching for aspiring REALTORs, wholesalers, and investors. He also published the e-book Real Estate Entrepreneurship — How to Flip Property When You’re Broke.
In the e-book, Lee describes how he hesitated to start wholesaling.
“Whenever I saw the opportunity to do a wholesale deal,” he said, “I would get cold feet, list the property, and be satisfied with a commission that was a fraction of the money I could have earned by wholesaling the property.”
“Finally, after dragging my feet for six months, I covered my eyes, said a quick prayer, and jumped into my first wholesale deal. I had to risk about $10 … Five days later, I was $10,000 richer. I was stunned.”
A Passion For Minting First-Time Homeowners
Despite his success as a wholesaler, Lee has never given up realty altogether. He is passionate about helping new buyers acquire their first homes.
“Everyone loves me because of our expertise helping first time home buyers,” Lee said. “I do not need clients to buy or sell to put food on my table, so I can be overly honest without any personal fiscal needs getting in the way.”
Additionally, Lee has built his reputation on personal attentiveness to his clients. His wholesaling wealth gives him the luxury of even more personal attention.
“I only work with one or two clients at a time, ensuring my full attention is on serving them,” he said. :I have a genuine desire to help people and I truly care about what the clients want and need to be happy which is why I pay attention to detail.”
“My approach is from that of the client and I educate them and guide them thru the process while being there for every question and helping find answers.”
Family Man, Family Business
But Lee was accomplishing something else while helping all those first-time home buyers — gradually building up the experience necessary to qualify for a broker’s license. As a real estate broker, he could set up his own shop, hire junior REALTORs, and do business his way.
In 2022, that aspiration became a reality, and Residual Acres Realty is the result. Lee purchased his office space instead of leasing it, adding to his commercial real estate portfolio and emphasizing his intention to serve the commercial real estate market as well as the residential real estate market.
For Lee, it’s not only an opportunity to take his realty services to the next level and set the tone for the agents under his purview — it’s also an example he can set for his family, which has grown to include a second son.
“I’ve been teaching my son about how money works,” Lee said, “and now it’s much easier for me to show him because I’m the person writing the checks out.”
“No One Works Harder Than Me”
The office space includes common areas, private office space for REALTOR associates, and conference rooms for client presentations.
For prospective REALTORs who want to join his team, he offers buyer and seller leads, digital and print marketing, listing preparation, listing marketing, transaction management, signs, lockboxes, meetings, events, education and professional development.
How do they plan to compete? Lee puts the big fish on notice: “There is no competition. Residual Acres Realty does not compete, we simply dominate. We set the pace and let others try to duplicate us.”
“Preparation. Attention to detail. Professional competence. A grasp of the process. And no one outworks me!”