California law does not recognize the concept of the land trust. To wit:
- The "land trust" concept is not referenced in Miller & Starr, California Real Estate, except generally as follows: "An express trust may only be created by a written document. A trust can be created in real property by either a written document signed by the owner and declaring the owner as trustee or by transferring the property to another as trustee for the benefit of designated persons. Title may also be conveyed to a trust that is a separate legal entity formed to hold title to assets for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. [¶] ... [¶] When property is transferred to a trustee in trust, the legal title to the trust property is vested in the trustee, subject only to the execution of the trust. The beneficiary does not have any legal estate in the property, but only has the right to enforce performance of the trust according to the terms of the trust instrument." (3 Miller & Starr, Cal. Practice Guide (3d. ed.2000) § 8:33, pp. 62-63; fns. omitted.)
The reason why a land trust does not work under California law is because a beneficiary who exercises a right to control trust property (aka "power of appointment") is actually the trustee of the trust, and when a trustee and beneficary are the same person, the trust terminates and merges into the property of the beneficiary.
BotXXXXX XXXXXne, while your proposed business model may have some viability in Illinois or Massachusetts, it will fail in California.
Concerning a minimum amount of real estate sales sufficient to avoid the need to have a real estate license, California law has approved a "finder" fee, where an unlicensed individual introduces a buyer and seller (or landlord and tenant) to each other and then the finder exits the transaction. The finder's fee must be fixed at the time of the introduction, and not based upon whether or not the parties actually consumate a transaction. Otherwise, the finder is earning a sales commission, and that violates the real estate license laws.
Thus, at least two of the elements in your business model are problematic. Consequently, I don't see how you can make this work. But, then again, your description of the model is extremely simple -- almost as if it were self evident that the model is legal and something which is done routinely in California.
This leaves me at a bit of a disadvanage, because from my perspective, your model is legally impossible. The only thing I can think of at this point is that you are considering a business model developed in a different U.S. jurisdiction, and that the model is not viable for California.
If you have a citation to legal authority, or a treatise/white paper from a California law firm that demonstrates the model's viability, then I will be happy to review it and comment further.
Otherwise, my answer here must be that you will need a different strategy.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.