Managers at Kale Realty, a Chicago-based brokerage sponsoring nearly 400 agents, failed to properly supervise employees and allowed agents to work without licenses, according to a ruling by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The ruling issued by the Illinois state regulatory agency effectively bars the 65-year-old brokerage from operating and will force the agents sponsored by the company to seek new licenses through another sponsor, according to an IDFPR official.
“The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has revoked the license of Kale Realty LLC of Chicago,” said IDFPR spokesman Terry Horstman in a statement to Inman issued on Tuesday. “The revocation is based on findings of unlicensed practice by their employees, lack of proper employment agreements with brokers and insufficient supervision of employees.”
During a 10-year period between 2007 and 2017, Kale Realty owner Nick Patterson and current managing broker David Bovyn failed to supervise several agents under their charge, some of whom engaged in deceptive advertising practices or operated without licenses.
Patterson and Bovyn “had a duty to supervise the licensed activities of those licensees sponsored by Respondent Kale,” according to a consent order filed by the state regulatory agency last week. “Respondents failed to supervise the conduct of sponsored licensees.”
In one episode between 2012 and 2015, Kale real estate agent Danny Lewis used the moniker “The Lewis Real Estate Group” without properly indicating Kale Realty as his sponsor. Another agent, Bruce Stafford also used deceptive advertising when he used the moniker “Good Life Leasing Group” in 2014 and 2015, according to the consent order.
Kale agent Michael Kang, meanwhile, continued to handle listings after his license terminated in March 2016, and later that year agent Delight Lora Cherry was hired by Kale Realty and identified on the company’s website as a “broker” despite having no real estate license.
In January 2017, Kale real estate agent Lara Ulanowski “advertised real estate on trulia.com using information which was inaccurate, misleading and contrary to the provisions of the Real Estate License Act of 2001,” according to the consent order. “Respondents failed to properly supervise the real estate activities of Lara Ulanowski.”
In a decision on Thursday, Abraham Zisook, a staff attorney for real estate prosecution at the state regulatory agency, revoked Kale Realty’s license and levied fines of $10,000 apiece on the company and Patterson. Bovyn, meanwhile, was suspended from practicing for two years.
Founded by Sol Kale in Chicago about 65 years ago, the real estate venture now known as Kale Realty has ballooned to include approximately 400 real estate agents across three locations in Chicago and its suburbs. Patterson, Kale’s grandson, took over in 2006.
Emails to Patterson and Bovyn were not immediately returned.
Email Jotham Sederstrom