Tennessee's own Crye-Leike Inc. was recently ranked among the nation's top 10 residential real estate brokerage firms, according to REAL Trends Magazine, a publication for residential real estate industry executives. Its nationwide study, entitled the REAL Trends 500 Report, surveys the 500 largest residential real estate firms in the United States and ranks them by closed transaction sides and closed sales volume. The survey, which includes all firms regardless of affiliation or ownership, represents the most comprehensive collection of data assembled on leaders in the residential brokerage industry.
Crye-Leike, Inc. ranked No. 10 in the nation, a three-notch move upward from last year's No. 13 ranking, closing 23,231 transaction sides in 1999 with 46 offices.
As a privately owned and independent real estate firm, Crye-Leike also ranked No. 3 in the nation among the 161 largest privately owned independent real estate companies.
"The list is dominated by firms affiliated with national franchises, " said co-editor Steve Murray of REAL Trends. "Franchised firms represented 70 percent of those listed in the REAL Trends 500 Report while 30 percent were independent firms."
Only two other privately owned independents in Tennessee qualified for inclusion in the Real Trends 500 Report. Bob Parks Realty of Murfreesboro ranked No. 52 in the nation, with 4,397 closed transaction sides and 10 offices. Shirley Zeitlin & Co., REALTORS? of Nashville was No. 142 with 1,158 closed transaction sides and two offices.
Crye-Leike, Inc. ranks No. 16 in closed sales volume at $3.3 billion when REAL Trends re-ranked the same top 500 real estate companies. This ranking represents a 36 percent increase over its 1998's sales volume of $2.4 million, placing Crye-Leike, Inc. fifth in the nation in terms of percentage of growth.
There are several factors that chief executive officer Harold Crye of Crye-Leike, Inc. feels have attributed to the company's move up in its national ranking. "We have embraced the changing technology of real estate and continue to ride the wave of innovative marketing techniques. This has certainly sharpened our name recognition factor," said Crye.
"Crye-Leike has evolved into a full service real estate company, offering a variety of ancillary services that support the home buying or selling process," said Crye. "We also spend time, money and effort into investing in the latest technology to serve our clients and sales associates which has led to the company's increased activity and production in existing offices."
Crye notes several of the company's state-of-the-art marketing features for the sophisticated buyer, such as online virtual tours and automated attendants called "SmartLine" which allows buyers to access information on a property immediately by dialing a phone number listed on the for sale sign. Its computerized appointment center networks all listing appointments within Crye-Leike and is open 12 hours per day, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Its in-house training program for sales associates provides instruction on basic computer skills and applications that are utilized within the real estate industry, such as the Multiple Listing Service.
Other factors that have attributed to Crye-Leike's steady growth, notes Crye, is the company's entry into new markets in Arkansas, East Tennessee and North Georgia as well as acquisitions of existing firms, like Folk-Jordan, Inc. Better Homes & Gardens of Nashville and the newest, White Realty Company in Jonesboro, Ark.
NRT, Inc. led the REAL Trends 500 Report as the largest residential brokerage company in the country. The firm, which owns 730 residential real estate offices across the United States, closed 362,368 transactions in 1999 with a sales volume of $94 billion. Established in August 1997 as a joint venture between HFS Inc. (now Cendant) and Apollo Management LP, NRT acquires residential real estate brokerage firms and operates them as franchised brokerages of Century 21 Real Estate Corporation, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation and ERA Franchise Systems Inc.
According to the report, the 500 largest residential real estate brokerage firms in the nation controlled nearly 2.5 million residential sales transactions with a value of nearly $476 billion during 1999.
Numbers within the REAL Trends 500 Report were documented by outside accounting firms. Due to 40 ties, there are actually 540 companies listed in the top 500, says Murray.
Other Tennessee real estate firms that ranked in the top 500, along with Crye-Leike, Inc., include: Bob Parks Realty of Murfreesboro (No. 105); Realty Executives Associates of Knoxville (No. 113); RE/MAX Elite of Brentwood (No. 137); Realty Center/ Better Homes & Gardens of Chattanooga (No. 242); RE/MAX Preferred Properties Inc. of Knoxville (No. 246); Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace of Knoxville (No. 251); Coldwell Banker Barnes /Snow & Wall of Brentwood (No. 260); Prudential Professionals Realty of Clarksville (No. 359); Coldwell Banker Conroy, Marable & Holleman of Clarksville (No. 388); Shirley Zeitlin & Co., REALTORS? of Nashville (No. 453); and Realty Executives Fine Homes of Nashville (No. 455). See Exhibit I for detailed rankings.
Crye-Leike (www.crye-leike.com) has over 2,200 sales associates who operate in 46 branch offices, located in 16 counties and four regional areas of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Johnson City, Memphis and Nashville, along with select Crye-Leike offices in Arkansas, Mississippi and North Georgia.
Tennessee residential real estate brokerage firms that ranked in the top 500 nationwide in residential sales transactions in 1999 as released by REAL Trends newsletter in its REAL Trends 500 Report, May 2000 issue:
Company Name, Headquarters & 1999 Sales Volume
Rank by Closed Sales Volume, Rank by Closed Transaction Sides
Crye-Leike Inc. $3.3 billion (Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga)
Bob Parks Realty $614 million (Murfreesboro)
Realty Executives Associates $574 million (Knoxville)
RE/MAX Elite $550 million (Brentwood)
Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace $ 409 million (Knoxville)
Realty Center/Better Homes & Gardens $305 million (Chattanooga)
RE/MAX Preferred Properties Inc. $277 million (Knoxville)
Coldwell Banker Barnes/Snow & Wall $259 million (Brentwood)
Shirley Zeitlin & CO. REALTORS $254 million (Nashville)
Prudential Professionals Realty $158 million (Clarksville)
Realty Executives Fine Homes $186 million (Nashville)
Coldwell Banker Conroy, Marable & Holleman $132 million (Clarksville)