As the son of a homebuilder, Ian Sinderhoff JD'11 has been enthralled with the industry since childhood. For him, it was a treat reading plans in his father's office and visiting job sites.
It's a natural fit, then, that Sinderhoff works as a land broker for the Land Advisors Organization in the Irvine, Calif., office. He helps homebuilders, investors and developers with the acquisition and disposition of residential land, from unentitled property to finished lots.
"It is always exciting to obtain a listing, work the listing and hopefully close a deal at the end of the day," he says.
Sinderhoff knows that no transaction is completely smooth.
"I enjoy trying to solve various problems that can hamper a deal," says Sinderhoff, who previously was an environmental lawyer in Chicago. "There are always issues that arise during negotiation or due diligence that can put pressure on the transaction."
His Vermont Law School education gives him an advantage in his work, including with contract negotiations. He cites Professor Susan Apel and the General Practice Program, which has evolved into the Experiential Advocacy Program, as being particularly useful.
"Because of my education at VLS and transactional experience in Chicago, I more quickly pick up and handle issues that pop up during the negotiation and execution of purchase and sales agreements," Sinderhoff says. "I can potentially work on deals that might otherwise be too difficult or complex for the average land broker."
As a lawyer in Chicago, Sinderhoff also worked on difficult and complex cases.
In one, he led the environmental review of a portfolio of more than 100 gas stations to determine the group's potential liability. For a week, he worked 20-hour days to finish the review, which typically would have taken months.
"It was a little stressful, but we completed the review on time. The client was able to complete its portfolio purchase under very trying time limitations," Sinderhoff says.
As a land broker, he has had memorable achievements, too.
He recalls his first transaction as the lead broker, during which he obtained the listing on his own and closed the deal.
"It was not the prettiest deal," he says, "but it was my first beginning-to-end transaction. It was a proud moment."