While most of the world was shut down in 2020, real estate attorney Edward “EJ” Schneider never stopped working for his clients. Whether he was passing documents through windows during “drive-by” closings or shouting the terms of a deal from across an 8-foot-long conference room table, he did what he always does: Anything that is necessary to close transactions with as little stress as possible.
Still, he admits it was a strange time and now, thankfully, it is behind him. Schneider, Partner and managing attorney of the Boston Office of Dalton & Finegold, LLP, focuses his practice on the representation of high net-worth individuals, families and professional athletes in and around Boston. EJ continues to earn the respect of Boston’s top real estate Agents by consistently making himself available 24/7 and delivering a personalized approach to each transaction. He has built a reputation within the Realtor community that clients are in good hands with EJ and his team. EJ makes all buyers and sellers feel important, communicates with them in the way that they prefer, and always maintains the anonymity of his high-profile clients through a variety of estate planning and corporate options. “Privacy is important to many of the buyers and sellers I represent,” Schneider says. “A blind trust or corporate formation helps create an anonymous holding vehicle for the property, while also providing other tax and estate planning benefits for the client.”
At just 29, Schneider is the youngest attorney to make Partner in Dalton & Finegold’s 22-year history. His referral partners have noticed. “EJ is 100% the real deal,” says Tracy Campion, principal and owner of Campion & Company Fine Homes Real Estate and a client of Schneider’s. “Time is of the essence in real estate: Time kills all deals. That man understands it and is on it. He is in it for his clients.”
Schneider began his career at Dalton & Finegold in 2013 as an intern and a year later, took a full-time paralegal position, working his way up Dalton & Finegold’s rank while attending law school at night. “I understand the file from front to back,” he says. “Most attorneys went to law school full-time, got a job and trained to be a lawyer,” he says. “They really know the legal side, but most of the questions clients ask are not legal questions; they are questions about the process that the best paralegals know the answer to. Unless you’ve trained in that seat, you probably don’t know enough background or context—and rely on others to answer for you.”
There are so many things about real estate law that Schneider likes, including the fact that clients are always happy when engaging his services, because it means they are most often moving on to a new and exciting venture. For many people, the acquisition or disposition of real estate is the vehicle to a new opportunity. Schneider also enjoys the transactional nature of his job. “Most areas of law are litigious; there’s a winner and a loser,” he says. “In our case, we are always looking to have 2 winners.”
Schneider lives in the Seaport District with his girlfriend Timea and their goldendoodle puppy, Charlie. Boston Agent recently spoke with him about his career, how he adds value to the transaction process and keeps the referrals coming.
Boston Agent: How can agents benefit from working with you?
EJ Schneider: I rely on top real estate Agents to trust me enough to refer their clients to me. I don’t take any referral for granted. The last thing I’m going to do is jeopardize a deal. The agent is the quarterback. I communicate regularly with the agent and empower them in their role on each transaction.
BA: What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
ES: There is always someone richer, and always someone poorer — you treat the janitor the same way you do the CEO.
BA: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about the industry?
ES: Boston is a small real estate world. Keeping a good name, being honest and ethical, and always treating people with excellence serves you well in a business rooted in referrals.
BA: What book is on your night table?
ES: “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger” [Random House, 2019].
BA: Where is the market headed?
ES: So long as Boston enjoys “Meds and Eds” — the best universities and healthcare in the U.S. — coming to and from Boston, then the market will continue to be strong. Couple that with low interest rates, demand exceeding supply, and the influx of companies like Amazon and the biotech boom in greater Boston, I expect my top Agent partners to stay busy for a long time!