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Vitals: Crye-Leike REALTORS®
Years in Business: 42
Size: 117 residential offices, 3,183 sales associates
Regions Served: Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Little Rock, NW Arkansas (Bentonville-Walmart country); Huntsville, Jackson, Miss.; Atlanta
2018 Sales Volume: $6.5 billion
2018 Transactions: 30,550
www.crye-leike.com

Harold Crye and Dick Leike joined forces in 1977 to start Crye-Leike REALTORS® (No. 8 in closed residential transactions in RISMedia’s 2019 Power Broker Report) in Memphis, Tenn. Over the last 40 years, they have grown the firm to one of the top in the nation, with more than 3,100 agents and 139 offices serving markets in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi. Here, Crye, the firm’s president, explains how the firm has created a sustainable success plan for the long term.

What sets your firm apart most in the marketplace?
Harold Crye: As a major regional company, we have all the tools that agents need to be successful, but still have the family feel that agents desire. We have strong brand recognition, and we provide thousands of leads to our associates through our membership in Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and through our award-winning website. National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) surveys indicate that most buyers prefer a company that has all the services needed in the transaction, and Crye-Leike is a one-stop shop for all these services. We own a very successful mortgage company, title company and insurance agency. We also have commercial sales and property management. In these changing times, our residential property management has been very successful.

How did your market fare last year, and what factors contributed to this?
HC: 2018 was a challenging year. Sales in most of our markets were either flat or down, while company-wide sales volume was up just slightly at $6.5 billion. A serious shortage of inventory, especially new houses, will continue to slow sales in 2019.

Are you planning to grow your firm this year?
HC: Crye-Leike has been growing for over 40 years and we will continue to grow in 2019. In addition to opening new offices in the Atlanta region (Buford, Peachtree City, Douglasville, Lawrenceville, etc.), we’re also opening two new offices in the Northwest Arkansas region (Fayetteville and Rogers).

What are some of the biggest challenges you’re currently facing?
HC: Not only is the industry in transition, but technology is quickly changing the way we operate. Therefore, our challenge is to transition to the new world while making sure we don’t move so fast that we lose great sales associates who are still operating a traditional model, but have great people skills and many happy past customers in their sphere of influence (SOI).

What are the biggest opportunities for increasing business right now?
HC: Successful agents should be focused on working with builders who can provide them with houses to sell. These are mostly the small-volume builders who don’t have their own salesforce. They should also be focused on their raving fans from their SOI. Many Crye-Leike agents are using our new CRM program, MoxiWorks, to maintain contact with their past customers.

What do you look for in someone new coming into the company?
HC: Energy and passion are great attributes, but I learned many years ago that you cannot always see what may be driving a person to achieve great success. Not all great agents look like they just came out of central casting.

How are you preparing your salesforce to meet the expectations of today’s consumer, especially first-time homebuyers and millennials?
HC: We’re now hiring many millennial sales associates. Crye-Leike, through its real estate school, has access to millennials that are getting their real estate license. We’ve hired a social media director and additional staff to help with training all our associates on the latest tech tools.

Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.

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