General Information For COMPANIES
How does it work?
IIC can empower your company to be charitable in a creative new way. IIC is a free broker-referral service for companies that want to lease office, retail, or industrial space, and for their employees who want to buy or sell a property.
Our Referral Platform
When a property is bought or sold, or commercial space is leased, a portion of the broker’s commission is often paid as a referral fee. By law, referral fees can be paid only to other brokers. IIC is licensed as a broker, so that it can legally receive these fees. Our mission as a nonprofit is to empower companies and their employees to choose a charity to receive the referral fees generated by these transactions.
The transparency of IIC’s funding distribution process enhances our credibility as well as yours. An association with IIC will help build recognition for your favorite charity. In exchange for referring an opportunity to the broker chosen by a company or an individual, IIC receives a fee. As a nonprofit social enterprise created expressly to fund charities through real estate transactions, IIC passes on at least 70% of the referral fee to a registered charity chosen by the company or individual.
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We will undertake to identify up to 3 brokers with the appropriate experience based on the specific details of your desired transaction (residential or commercial, office or industrial, etc.), its approximate size, and its geographic location, not on how charitable they may be. And, you choose the one that you prefer to handle your transaction as your Representing Broker. Only you make that final decision. And, you can use IIC even with a broker that you already know.
If you would like a particular brokerage firm or a particular agent (licensee) to represent you in your upcoming transaction, then when completing the Broker Referral Request Form please indicate “Yes” to the question “Have a Broker in Mind?” and provide us with the requested information about your preferred firm and/or agent. Be sure to register your transaction with IIC before you contact any brokerage firm or real estate agent, and before you sign a brokerage contract with any of them, so that IIC will be in a position to refer your transaction to them and earn a Referral Fee. If you do not have in mind a particular brokerage firm or agent, then please indicate “No” to this question, and we will introduce up to 3 appropriate brokers for you to choose from in selecting your Representing Broker. The final selection of your Representing Broker is always yours to make. And, remember that you can use IIC, even with a broker you already know!
Just register your real estate transaction with IIC before contacting or engaging any real estate broker to represent you in your transaction. Registration is fast and free – you simply complete our online Broker Referral Request Form at https://www.iiconline.org/request-a-broker/.
How is it possible for IIC to enable me to support a charity of my choice at no cost to me? (hint: It’s not because we magically find charitable brokers!)
It’s not magic. It’s IIC’s social mission plus ever-present marketplace forces that make it all possible.
IIC’s model can work because of factors that appear to be structural to the residential and commercial real estate brokerage industries across the country. These factors include fierce competition among licensees, local market knowledge, specialization usually in a single category of real estate, and state-by-state licensure, coupled with regulatory constraints that govern the business conduct of licensees, with regard to how they can and can not pay referral fees.
Leveraging all of that, IIC’s charitable mission enables home buyers & sellers and companies leasing, buying, or selling commercial property to support a charity of their choice, at no personal or company expense, using virtually any broker, including one they already know!
Yes. IIC is licensed in Illinois as a real estate broker. This allows sponsoring brokers in any state to pay us a Referral Fee in full compliance with their state’s licensing regulations. But IIC has not in the past, and has no plans in the future, to act as the licensed real estate fiduciary (Representing Broker) of any party in any real estate transaction.
No! When you register your transaction with us by completing our Broker Referral Request Form, you are not entering into a brokerage relationship with IIC. Instead, you are simply authorizing us to introduce you to brokers who are appropriate for your consideration because we’ve determined that their respective realty practices are a match for the property type, location, and general price range of your desired transaction. You choose one of them and they will be solely responsible for representing you as your fiduciary (your Representing Broker) in your real estate transaction.
We exist to help you make the world a little better, in a way that costs you nothing to make that good happen.
IIC provides a program, via a web based platform, (the “IIC Program”) for individuals and companies that are socially-minded to leverage the power of their real estate transactions to support a charity of their choice (an Eligible Charity) at no expense to themselves. In this way IIC provides Eligible Charities with a new fundraising resource – all at no cost to charities and their supporters!
IIC serves as a middleman between consumers and brokers, thereby making it possible for virtually any brokered real estate transaction to fund a charity of the consumer’s choosing, at no cost to that consumer. That’s because the philanthropy occurs when IIC gives most of its referral fee to a charity of the consumer’s choice. IIC does this by finding appropriate brokers for each consumer’s upcoming transaction and/or referring consumers to a broker they may already be considering. In either case, IIC is then paid a referral fee by the broker that the consumer chooses, 70% of which is given by IIC to that consumer’s Favorite Charity.
What portion of its Referral Fee will IIC pay to my Favorite Charity? (How much of the commission does that equal?)
We will pay at least 70% of the Referral Fee that we receive in connection with your registered transaction to your Favorite Charity, as a Charity Support Payment. We will retain 30% of the Referral Fee to cover our operating costs, and to pay Introduction Fees to any Introducing Charity with respect to your transaction (discussed below). As IIC grows, we intend to increase the percentage of Referral Fees that we pay out as Charity Support Payments. 70% of the referral fee equates to approximately 18% of the commission that either the seller’s broker or the buyer’s broker will receive if both the buyer and seller have a broker. Even if there is a single broker, IIC will pay out as a Charity Support Payment at least 70% of its referral fee. Although in that situation, the percentage of the total commission may be other than 18%.
Referral Fees vary by property type, size, and local market.
For residential transactions, we’ve found that 25% is the most common referral fee that residential brokers offer to pay to any broker for the referral of a buyer. For the referral of a seller, multiple brokers have told us that 30% is acceptable.
The referral fee is calculated as a percentage of the commission that’s paid to the company at which your Representing Broker works.
In general, if the referral is for an inexpensive home, the referral fee percentage will probably be lower than for an expensive home.
For commercial leasing, there is no such “rule of thumb” because leases for commercial space vary widely in length and commission is determined, in part, by length of lease. The largest commercial IIC transaction, thus far, was a 10 year office lease for 24,000sf that generated $42,000 of unrestricted funding that was split by 15 charities.
No! IIC is not a marketing engine for brokers. We do not accept payment from brokers, in return for our calling them first. Instead, IIC is a resource for consumers – a new way for individuals and companies to use brokered real estate transactions to support their Favorite Charities at no personal or company expense, regardless of which broker they choose for their transaction.
No money and only as much time and effort as you want to tell your world that you are investing in communities! And, if you let us know how and when you share IIC, we’ll write about that in our social media. It’s more exposure of the best kind for your company. IIC will let you know whenever your company gets credit for a new transaction; then you can share the news and burnish your reputation, each time. As an IIC Company Member, you will have access to a range of communications tools that you can use when sharing IIC with your employees, customers, clients, suppliers, etc.
If you feel comfortable asking people to buy tickets to your charity golf tournaments, ask the same people to use IIC, for free, to support your charity.
IIC can be a platform for your CSR goals. It provides a new way to engage with your team and your community. Maybe there’s a charity you currently contribute money to and your employees could amplify that with their own transactions. Or if you have an upcoming real estate transaction, your employees can vote on which charity or charities to benefit.
More and more people want to do business and work for companies that want to make the world a better place. IIC gives you a tool to demonstrate that yours is that kind of company.
Odds are that employees at your company are buying and selling homes. Each time someone affiliated with your company has an IIC transaction, your company receives credit in our social media for that transaction. By sharing IIC with your employees you can cause funding to go to charities that otherwise would not. And you are recognized in IIC social media, each time that happens!