Prepaid Legal Business Opportunity – A Third Party Assessment

If you’re looking at the Prepaid Legal business opportunity, or indeed any MLM, it is important to get some knowledge on where the company came from, what it is doing today, and whether or not it might be a good fit for you.

Company
The Prepaid Legal business opportunity was started by Harland C. Stonecipher after an accident in 1969 left him with large legal bills. The idea was to create the piece of mind for the members that if anything should happen they already have legal advice to hand. Prepaid Legal began using the MLM marketing model in 1983, and has been one of the leaders of the MLM industry ever since. They market solely through network marketing, and today have over 1.5 million members in the U.S. and Canada.

Products
Prepaid Legal offers legal service plans utilizing a large network of law firms across North America. The plans typically offer free legal consultation, document preparation, will preparation, and defence for various auto related charges. They have also more recently added identity protection as a possible added bonus in their membership packages. While these products can be incredibly valuable, and have no doubt helped many people, not everyone who buys a membership would if there were not an opportunity attached. It is important to consider if this industry and these products are something you can get really excited about before joining the company. It can be somewhat similar to selling insurance packages in that you are simply selling piece of mind.

Prepaid Legal Business Opportunity
Prepaid Legal uses a direct sales compensation model. So when you make a sale, you get a commission. They pay daily, which is something they are particularly proud of, and you get advanced commissions. When you sell a membership for $26 a month you get a commission between $25 and $182.50 depending on what level of qualification you have, this represents the commission you would receive on the membership for the entire year. The downside of instant commissions paid in advance is if your memberships get cancelled within the first year, the company will initiate a chargeback and you will have to give back any advanced commissions that you didn’t earn. Remember with this type of MLM opportunity the more people you recruit, the more money you make as you also make percentages based on the sales that are happening within your organization.

The downside of this opportunity is that it is a little bit outdated. They recommend talking to friends and family, and primarily promote selling the plans and the business on a face to face basis. While this did work well when the company first started, this method of advertising will make you fail, and fast. You need to be able to leverage your time and efforts using the internet and the tools that are available to marketers today. If you don’t have a strong marketing plan, and you aren’t using the power of the internet you are unlikely to recruit people into your business, as they will join a company that is more up-to-date and can help them learn to build an online business empire. With all the options out there today, you need to be able to offer a clear, easy, and efficient way to market for your recruits.

The Irish Human Rights Commission

The Good Friday Agreement 1998 conferred an obligation on both the British and Irish Governments to establish a Human Rights Commission in each jurisdiction, This took a couple of years to implement.

Although the UK Human Rights Act was passed in 1998 it did not come into effect until 2nd October 2000 and the ECHR was incorporated into Irish law on 1st January 2004 (ref European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003).

It is interesting to note that whilst Ireland was one of the first states to sign the ECHR in 1953 it was the last state to (partially) incorporate the provisions of the ECHR into domestic law.

The Good Friday Agreement also made provision for the establishment of a Joint Committee comprising members of the NI HR Commission and the HR Commission of the Republic of Ireland. This Committee meets alternately in Dublin and Belfast to discuss issues such as migration and racism.

The first Irish HR Commission served from July 2001 to June 2006. The Irish HR Commission was established by the Human Rights Commission Act 2000 (as amended by the 2001 Act). It has the following main roles:

1) Keeping under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in Ireland

2) Consulting with relevant national and international bodies

3) Making recommendations to Government

4) Promoting understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights

5) Offering expertise to the Irish courts

6) Conducting enquries into possible abuses in Ireland

7) Taking legal proceedings

8) Providing legal assistance to people taking legal proceedings

The HR Commission is made up of 15 people (at least 7 must be male and 7 female). The current Commission was appointed on 31st August 2006.

The HR Commission is only able to help people take proceedings in a limited range of circumstances. For example the complainant will need to prove that he has made reasonable efforts to get legal assistance elsewhere ie. Criminal or Civil Legal Aid. The Commission is not an adjudicator body – it cannot overturn court or tribunal decisions or award compensation. It’s main remit is to conduct and enquiry to find out whether existing law or practice meets human rights standards.

I read an interesting article recently by Gara LaMarche (Atlantic Philanthropies) entitled “Ireland’s Economic Problems – No Excuse to Send Human Rights into Recession”. The budget for the Irish HR Commission was cut by 24% in 1999. She says that the Irish HR Commission is a small and traditionally underfunded organisation, nonetheless praised consistently as a strong and independent voice for human rights by the United Nations, the Council of Europe and others but that recent budget cuts will seriously undermine its work.

Real Estate Agency Best Practice – Protect Your Commission Before You Give Out Details

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the commercial real estate market is like all others when it comes to the competition in your area and people taking your business away from you. Be mindful that contact details given to the wrong person and without some written protection of your commission will likely mean that you loose the deal or loose the client or both.

Trust no one when it comes to your commission. Get all verbal facts and agreements in writing before you release your prospect information; and it’s not just the other agents that you need to worry about.

Experience proves that even clients will take verbal information and use it to their advantage if they can to close the deal directly and avoid commission. This means that you must have a paper trail that supports your claim on commission and the introduction of the prospect. You appointment to act for the client or that of the other agent should be valid and in writing. There is only one way to do things and that is the right way.

If you are approaching another agent to do a conjunction deal on one of their listings, do not presume that they have a valid appointment to act. Ask for some proof or commitment from them before you offer to work with them in conjunction.

Can you trust a verbal agreement from the client or another agent that your introduction of a prospect will be honoured when it comes to commission? No, is the simple answer.

Always back up any verbal agreement by supporting it in writing before you release details of the deal or the prospect to others. Money speaks many languages and influences many decisions. If commission can be saved because the deal with you as the real estate agent is not in writing or evidenced in some way, then expect that such will be the case.

An agreement is not a solid agreement until you have firmly tied it down with written instructions. Many people conveniently forget what was said when it comes to contracts or leases involving lots of money. In commercial real estate that is just about every deal. Expect disagreements and problems, so protect yourself and your commission at all times.

Take your own notes from any verbal instructions or agreements but then take it to the next level and put it in writing. It is quite common to have legal battles when it comes to commercial property, clients, and real estate agents. Critical statements and information must be checked and evidenced back to the source.

In any conjunction with another agent there is a temptation to act on a verbal agreement that the other agent will work with you if you introduce a qualified prospect to their listing. If you know the other agent, the temptation is to do the deal and do the paperwork later. So many commissions have been lost simply with this one situation.

Many clients have said that they will pay you commission if you bring them a purchaser for the property at the right price. Heard that before haven’t you?

So the way you can protect your commissions with other agents is to create a well-crafted letter of conjunction or agreement that can be sent to the other agent at a moment’s notice. It should contain key descriptive details on:

  • Name of the agents involved
  • Details of the owner or of the property
  • Details of the commission
  • Details of how the commission will be paid and by when
  • Date of agreement
  • Signatures of all key parties

Acting on unchecked or incorrect property information will also open the door to debate and legal claim. If you are in the property game long enough, you will be involved with such disputes, and the only way you can protect yourself is by diligence to detail and the evidence of everything. Stay legal and stay safe. You will create better deals.