Category: Crye-Leike in the News
286 articles included in Crye-Leike in the News
By TAVIA D. GREEN The Leaf-Chronicle, December 1, 2008 Crye-Leike Realtors, along with The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville Department of Electricity Lightband and the Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation are sponsoring the annual Clarksville Christmas Lighting Contest. Homes decorated with lights and other creative decorations can be nominated until Dec. 10. Ann Marshbanks, chairwoman of the contest, said there has been a Christmas Lighting Contest in Clarksville for as long as she can remember. This year Crye-Leike will send up to a dozen judges into Clarksville and Montgomery County to judge creatively decorated homes. There will be first, second and third place winners for the county and another set of winners for the city. "We do visually look at every house that is entered and we encourage people to call in and enter their homes," Marshbanks said. "Any home can be decorated. You can take the largest home and it shines, or the smallest home and it shines." Marshbanks encourages folks to nominate friends or neighbors. Marshbanks said judges look for lights that can be seen from the streets, the presentation, creativity and neatness. Judges will be looking at homes on Dec. 10, 11 and 12, from 5 to 10 p.m. Marshbanks said a home can win first place one year, but can only win second and third place in the next two years. A winner who has placed three times in previous contests will become a grand champion if they win first place again. The grand champion receives a plaque and can't be in the competition anymore, Marshbanks said. There are three grand champions in Clarksville and Montgomery County, she said. The prize money for the county will be given by CEMC and the city prize money will be given by CDE. The winners will be announced in The Leaf-Chronicle the weekend after judging. The cash prizes are $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place. A commercial winner will get $50. "We hope a lot of people will nominate homes so we can have a good competition," Marshbanks said. Nominations can be mailed, faxed to 647-0104 or called into the Crye-Leike Realtors office at 2512 Wilma Rudolph Blvd., 647-3400. Tavia D. Green can be reached at 245-0742 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crye-Leike Featured in the Collierville Herald - Crye-Leike agents jump for Marines to make their holidays brighter
Story Reported By The Collierville Herald Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 7:22 pm Sometimes real estate agents make life-lasting impressions on their clients and for Crye-Leike, Realtors Vice-President Affiliate Broker Kay Paul, this was recently the case. "A former client of mine, Nelson Crook, recently contacted me after 12 years, needing my services again but in a very different way this time," said Paul. "He needed help shipping Christmas stockings to 1,500 Marines serving their country during the holidays, which included his son, Kevin. Nelson knew he could count on Crye-Leike once again." Once Paul received the request, she turned to friend and co-agent Joyce McKenzie. The two worked together to help bring holiday cheer to Lance Corporal Kevin Crook and his fellow Battalion Landing Team BLT 2/6 like they do every day getting homes sold. Soon, the agents had boxes of Christmas goodies on the way to Camp Lejeune, N.C., to be stuffed into stockings, made by the Marines' mothers, for shipment to the combat zone. "Our clients know that they can count on us, and it's our goal to be an extended part of their families," said Paul and McKenzie. "While working with them to find their perfect home, we form a close relationship and share dreams of their future. It is such a compliment to be thought of in their time of need and it makes us proud to be realtors with Crye-Leike." Paul and McKenzie are located at Crye-Leike's Collierville branch at 435 New Byhalia Road. - Mike Machak/Crye-Leike, Realtors
Reported by Todd Dunn - WKRN News 2 in Nashville Posted: Nov 24, 2008 05:43 PM CST Updated: Nov 24, 2008 06:01 PM CST Crye-Leike, one of the largest real estate groups in the Southeast, has launched a new program aimed at encouraging realtors to identify families in the community facing foreclosure and help them find a solution. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, 50% of those who lose their homes to foreclosure have never once contacted the lender. Jai Lipscomb has been a realtor for six years. She said she was shocked to learn so many people facing foreclosures didn't ask for help. "It is over whelming that people are not asking for the help when it is sitting right there," she told News 2 Monday. "All of our agents are equipped and ready to help and resolve this situation; help them resolve it." Collectively, Crye-Leike agents like Lipscomb feel they can make a difference, one family at a time. Click here for more information on the Save the Dream program. Visit HUD.gov/foreclosure or HopeNow.com for information on how you can avoid foreclosure.
Monday November 24th, 2008 By ERIC SMITH | The Daily News About a week ago, a woman called Ellis Rankin, an associate broker at Crye-Leike Inc., about one of his advertisements offering help with lease/purchase transactions and rental homes. The woman needed a place to live, and as Rankin began asking her questions, she told him her home was scheduled for foreclosure in January. The woman, who lived in her house for 20 years, had fallen behind on her payments and figured there was nothing to do but look for a place to rent. Rankin visited the woman at her house and suggested she call the bank about ways to avoid foreclosure. Rankin even spoke to the bank on her behalf, saying the woman wanted to stay in the home and would need some kind of loan workout or modification to get back on track. After more phone calls, and some back-and-forth paperwork using Rankin's own fax machine, the bank agreed to a workout - and a Memphis homeowner avoided foreclosure. Rankin said it was a blessing the woman called him in the first place, but finding a resolution for the problem was simple. "The main thing was getting a dialogue with (the mortgage company) and letting them know that she was still there," Rankin said. It pays to help That kind of situation inspired Crye-Leike founders Dick Leike and Harold Crye to launch the company's "Save the Dream" initiative, a grassroots effort that calls on agents to reach out to at-risk homeowners and help them prevent potential foreclosures. "When it comes to houses, Realtors are the best economic advisers," Leike said. "We need to take more of an active role there. If you think about it, sometimes our homeowners don't want to tell us when they're in trouble." The national Mortgage Bankers Association reports that 50 percent of at-risk homeowners don't contact their lenders about a modification. With real estate professionals working the front lines, so to speak, Leike figures they can be the first line of defense against a growing epidemic. "Maybe we can give them some ideas as to what to do," Leike said. "I don't think any real big push has been on to educate these folks as to what they should do in this case. That's what our thoughts are on it. Here we have 1,100 agents in town and we're doing a good part of the business here in town." As Rankin sees it, being in the real estate business makes him a stakeholder in the fight against foreclosure. So does being a resident of the city and a neighbor to those in need. "If I can help someone before that happens, I want to do that because all of us are being affected by this," Rankin said. "We think we're not because we're paying (our mortgages), but then it's lowering our property values so it's going to affect you sooner or later." Giving back Corky Neale, research and innovation specialist for the RISE Foundation (Responsibility, Initiative, Solutions and Empowerment), said workouts like the one Rankin's client received are becoming more common as mortgage lenders look to reduce the number of homes they have to reclaim. "Typically they're reducing the interest rates, they're freezing the interest rates where there was an ARM (adjustable rate mortgage), they're putting some of that principal on the backend of that loan, saying, ?We'll recover it when the property sells,'" Neale said. Neale is supportive of those efforts, but he added that a grassroots-only campaign won't get the job done - that more sweeping changes in the lending process have to be enacted. That's something he and others are working on at the state level. Still, these measures are making a difference in Memphis neighborhoods. "For some homeowners, they've got to get that help to begin working with their servicer and their lender," Neale said. "From the homeowner's perspective, all they can do is take care of their own business." Rankin likes the idea of real estate agents helping homeowners. It's good for business, sure, but it's also good for the community. "(Foreclosure is) tearing down the fabric of the neighborhood," Rankin said. "If we can show that we're concerned about our neighbors, that we want to save their homes, that will eventually show the good faith that our company is not just concerned with selling your home but you keeping your home."
RISMedia, Inc. Real Estate Magazine 69 East Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851 RISMEDIA, November 21, 2008 - To most observers, the legendary Space House on Signal Mountain, Tennessee sold to the highest bidder during a highly publicized Reserve Auction back on March 15, 2008. In reality though, the home never formally changed hands and the apparent lucky new owner never took possession. Not long after the auction gavel fell on that cold and rainy afternoon in March, the top bidder failed to pay in full for one of the solar system's most fascinating and photographed pieces of real estate. "In real estate terms he defaulted," said Tony Young, an Auctioneer with the Crye-Leike Auction Team in Cleveland, Tennessee. "This was probably one of only several hundred auctioned properties we've handled recently where the buyer failed to come up with the cash or financing to complete the purchase. It's an oddity that it didn't sell." The unnamed buyer, who placed the top bid by phone from Ohio, agreed to pay $135,000 for the Space House in March 2008. By failing to pay the agreed upon price he ultimately forfeited a nonrefundable 10% down payment. The final bid/sales price was clearly well below the minimum the owner was looking for. A Realtor had recently listed the property, located at 1408 Palisades Road on Signal Mountain for $184,900. "This time it will sell with absolutely no minimum and no reserve," said Young. "The owner knows the sale on December 14th at 2:00pm will be final and it will bring whatever the public is willing to pay." The Crye-leike Auction Team doesn't require verification of funds or a pre-approval letter up front at its auctions. For this Absolute Auction of the Signal Mountain Space House a 20% non-refundable deposit will be required on the day of sale and the balance will be due in 15 days. Auctioneer Young says the current owner wishes to remain unnamed. "He's a local investor who purchased the property in a traditional sale back in the fall of 2007," said Young. "He owns the Space House free and clear and due to health issues he's liquidating all his local property and holdings with plans to relocate to Florida." Since it was built in 1970, the landmark Space House remains a home like no other. The large white saucer shaped structure, built of steel and concrete, is suspended one full story off the ground on six large re-enforced cement pillars. The foundation columns appear like landing gear, concealing the home's utilities high atop a paved parking area underneath and situated on a wonderful lot with breathtaking views. "This unique space ship house has been recognized throughout the United States and featured in many news publications and television programs and is now available for a new owner," said Eric Spencer an Auctioneer with the Crye-Leike Auction Team in Cleveland, Tennessee. "The home has a view of the Tennessee River as well as beautiful views from Signal Mountain, one of the region's more upscale communities." The Space House has nearly two thousand square feet of living space, three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, kitchen, living room and large open bar/entertainment area. "This is an opportunity to own a unique property and is ideal for that weekend get away," said Spencer. "This is truly the most unique property we have ever sold." From Chattanooga the home is located a short drive along I-75 South to I-24 West, Exit 178. Follow 27 North to the Signal Mountain Road Exit #127 North; turn left on Palisades Road and you will immediately spot the Space House. Two additional properties to be sold at auction from the Space House include: 140 Hickory Street, Dunlap, TN 37327 and 815 Chickamauga Avenue, Rossville, GA 30741. The Cleveland Auction Team members are Full Service Auctioneers who are designated Graduate REALTOR Institute (GRI), e-PRO Certified Internet Real Estate Specialists, members of the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The Team offers a combined 50 years of experience in real estate sales as live Real Estate Liquidation Specialists, with a focus on real estate & personal property, farm & business liquidations and machinery & heavy equipment. The Cleveland Crye-Leike Auction Team is located at 4627 North Lee Highway in Cleveland, Tennessee. For your real estate auction needs or personal referrals, please contact Tony Young, Eric Spencer, Johnny Lewis and Terry Posey at 423-473-9545 and you can find them on the web at www.crye-leike.com/auctions. RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to: email@example.com.
Friday, November 21, 2008 By GINA HANNAH Times Business Writer firstname.lastname@example.org Crye-Leike Realtors, which has an office in Madison, is working to help homeowners keep their homes during tough economic times. The Memphis-based agency last week launched a companywide campaign, asking its agents to each help one homeowner who is facing foreclosure. "Foreclosure is such a hot topic these days," said Rob Hatchett, regional vice president for Crye-Leike. Hatchett oversees Huntsville, Chattanooga and Atlanta. "We'll identify homeowners (near foreclosure) and take them through the steps to avoid it. We can't call the lender for them, but we can take their hand and say 'here's what to do.' " In a letter released last week, Harold Crye and Dick Leike, the agency's owners, encouraged agents to participate in the "Save the Dream" campaign by finding people in their communities who are nearing foreclosure, and helping them avoid it. "We believe we have both an opportunity and an obligation to help our neighbors and our communities by trying to prevent as many foreclosures from occurring as possible," the letter states. Memphis-based Crye-Leike has offices throughout the Southeast. The agency has an office in Madison, on Madison Boulevard, with 19 licensed agents, and plans to break ground on a new building on Hughes Road soon, Hatchett said. The company is slated to open an office in Huntsville in January on South Memorial Parkway and recently purchased Farm and Home Real Estate in Fayetteville, Tenn., which it plans to convert into a Crye-Leike office during the next few weeks. The firm closed on 30,000 homes last year, generating $5.6 billion in sales. "If we get all of our 4,000 agents to help one family, that will be 4,000 families that don't lose their home," Hatchett said. "Banks don't want to foreclose. I think a lot of people are just giving up on their homes, and they don't have to." In October, Madison County had 97 homes in the foreclosure process, an increase of more than 200 percent from the previous year. Agents will seek homeowners to help by sending letters to friends and family members, asking for referrals. Hatchett said that approach is more private, less intimidating than holding seminars on foreclosure. Sometimes avoiding foreclosure is as simple as a phone call; the letter to agents notes that some 50 percent of homeowners who lose their homes to foreclosure never contacted their lender. Sometimes a counseling agency can help the homeowner get a lower interest rate or refinance their home. In addition to that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from helping others, homeowners avoiding foreclosure is good business, Hatchett said. The presence of bank foreclosures in a neighborhood can drag down prices of surrounding homes for sale. "America got into this foreclosure crisis one house at a time," Crye and Leike say in their letter. "We need to resolve it one house at a time."
Reported by: Jason Reynolds Thursday, November 20, 2008 The Space House is up for sale ? yet again. "This is an opportunity to own a unique property and is ideal for that weekend getaway," said Eric Spencer, an auctioneer with Crye-Leike Auctions. "This is truly the most unique property we have ever sold." The landmark house on Signal Mountain previously sold in auction on March 15 to an unnamed buyer in Ohio, but that sale fell through, said Tony Young, a Crye-Leike auctioneer. "This was probably one of only several hundred auctioned properties we've handled recently where the buyer failed to come up with the cash or financing to complete the purchase," Mr. Young said. "It's an oddity that it didn't sell." The house will be offered again on Dec. 14 at 2 p.m., this time at absolute auction, meaning there's no minimum bid and no reserve, said Crye-Leike auctioneer Terry Posey. The Ohio buyer, who participated in the auction via phone, had pledged to pay $135,000, newspaper records show. The current owner is Bob Carmical, records show. The successful buyer on Dec. 14 will be required to pay 20 percent down that day, Mr. Posey said, with the remainder due by Dec. 31. There will be a 10 percent auctioneer fee, he said. The Space House has nearly 2,000 square feet of living space, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room and large open bar/entertainment area, according to a Crye-Leike statement. Two additional properties will be sold at the same auction: 140 Hickory St., in Dunlap, Tenn., and 815 Chickamauga Ave. in Rossville.
Wednesday,November 19, 2008 MEMPHIS ? Crye-Leike, REALTORS has launched a program called "Save the Dream," which asks the firm's brokers and sales associates to reach out and help a distressed homeowner. "There are now hundreds of thousands of families all across America facing foreclosure because they simply cannot afford their mortgage payments, or they owe far more than their house is currently worth," wrote Harold E. Crye and Dick Leike in an open letter. "With this stark reality in mind, we are writing you today to initiate as system-wide call to action to the more than 3,500 brokers, managers and sales professionals who are affiliated with us. "We are asking each of you to help 'Save the Dream' of home ownership for just one family facing foreclosure. This 'Save the Dream' initiative may require several hours or even a few days of your time, but we are confident the end result will be well worth the effort, both personally and professionally." Specifically, Crye and Leike are asking Crye-Leike professionals to find one family in their local community who are facing foreclosure, and help them reach out to their lender or a housing counseling agency so they can begin exploring a loan work-out solution and, hopefully, stay in their homes.
Crye-Leike Realtors are always interested in selling homes, but right now they're also focused on keeping people in the ones they already own. Company owners have sent a letter to all their brokers and sales associates about helping clients 'Save the Dream.' That letter asks agents to find just one family who may be facing foreclosure and help them reach out to their lender or housing counseling agency. The hope is that with the help of Crye-Leike, homeowners can begin process of exploring a loan workout solution. Such a process has already worked for George Woolford of Sherwood. His ex-wife's default on a divorce agreement left his house near foreclosure and his credit standing in peril. Realtor Keisha Brown helped him craft a deal that worked for him. He wanted to be able to be current enough to sell his house and preserve his dream of owning again in the future. That's just what's happened.
Crye-Leike Realty announced Friday that they will launch a new program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Crye-Leike's founders, Harold E. Crye and Dick Leike, sent out a company-wide letter urging all brokers and realtors to contact by phone those in danger of losing their homes. According to the letter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports that approximately 50% of home owners who do lose their homes to foreclosure have never once contacted their lender. The letter states, "Specifically, we are asking each of you to find just one family in your local community who may be facing foreclosure and help them reach out to their lender or a housing counseling agency so that they can begin the process of exploring a loan workout solution and hopefully stay in their homes." Two sources that homeowners can use when faced with foreclosure are the Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure (U.D. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and The HOPE NOW Alliance and the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline (1-888-995-HOPE).
Crye-Leike scraps Huntsville, Ala. plans but will proceed with Midtown office - Memphis Business Journal
Memphis Business Journal - by Einat Paz-Frankel Staff Writer Wednesday, November 12, 2008 Crye-Leike Inc. will not build a new office in Huntsville, Ala., due to market conditions. Instead, the Memphis-based real estate firm is putting a 2.3-acre site ? which currently houses a restaurant ? on the block. "Given the market, it doesn't make sense to bulldoze this restaurant," said Crye-Leike spokesman Mike Machak. "We might sell it. If we can't, then, when the market turns we'll build as planned." In contrast, the firm is moving forward with the rehabilitation of the former Anderton's Restaurant on Madison. The nearly 12,500-square-foot space will serve the Midtown market, replacing its Union office. "The project is still on," Machak said. "We tie it to the expiration of the lease on Union. The objective is to finish the building a year from now when the lease is up." Over the past year, Crye-Leike has closed two Memphis offices, four Nashville offices and one office in Chattanooga. Last year, Memphis Business Journal reported that Crye-Leike planned to open 13 new offices in several states. Since then, the firm has opened three new offices in northwest Arkansas; two in the Atlanta market; one in Jackson, Miss.; one in Little Rock, Ark.; one in Nashville; one in Madison, Ala.; and one in Fayetteville, Tenn. The total number of active Crye-Leike offices is 120, down from 132 in 2007, Machak said. The company's sales are off 30 percent from 2007, when it recorded $5.7 billion in volume. The number of its sales associates has decreased from 4,100 to 3,500. email@example.com | 901-259-1764 All contents of this site ? American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.
Find the Commercial Appeal online at www.commercialappeal.com By Cassandra Kimberly Memphis Commercial Appeal Saturday, October 25, 2008 With existing home sales on the rise in September nationwide, local real estate professionals are hoping the data is a sign the housing slump has finally hit bottom and the market is on the way up. "I think what we're seeing going on right now is we may be running along the bottom of the trough," said Dick Leike, co-founder of Crye-Leike, Realtors Inc., the largest residential real estate firm in Memphis. "We may see an increase in sales beginning anytime." The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of existing homes rose by 5.5 percent in September compared to August, the best showing since a 5.6 percent increase in July 2003, during the five-year housing boom. September existing home sales -- including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- were also 1.4 percent higher than the same month in 2007 marking the first year-over-year increase since 2005, according to the report. Memphis, however, seemed to lag behind national trends in September with total existing homes sales at 1,107 -- down 5.7 percent from August and 3.1 percent from September 2007, according to the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Historically, Memphis feels the impact of the national market much later than the rest of the country, said Doug Collins, president of the Memphis Area Home Builders Association. "This downturn in housing started in some parts of the country in 2005, but we didn't feel it until 2006," he said. "And we didn't see the pullback or the huge decreases because our market is a much more stable market and our housing values are much more affordable." Median sales prices in Memphis also decreased by 11.1 percent in September over last year, bringing prices down to $120,000 compared to $135,000 in 2007. Nationally, the median sales price has dropped to $191,600, down by 9 percent from a year ago. A mix of low rates, low prices and tax credits makes a perfect opportunity for first-time home buyers and investors to jump into the real estate market, said Steve Brown, vice president and general manager ofCrye-Leike's Memphis region. Buyers will find the biggest discounts in foreclosures and distress sales, he said. However, they should expect to find major discounts on home sales due to "normal life events" such as empty-nesters moving to a smaller home or job transfers. "Those people are only discounting their houses by 5 percent..." he said. "Those big discounted prices are available, but you don't find them in nondistressed homes." While brokers hold out for the best, the changes in Memphis may not be seen until after the elections and the holidays, Leike said. "I really believe the real estate industry is headed for better times, I just don't know if it's going to be at the beginning of the year or midyear," he said. Contact Reporter Cassandra Kimberly: 901-529-2786
Thursday, October 16, 2008 Memphis Business Journal The National Association of Realtors' chief economist gave Thursday a mixed outlook on home prices and sales as potential homebuyers in the southern U.S. remain on the sidelines. Lawrence Yun spoke Thursday at Crye-Leike Inc.'s national conference in Sandestin, Fla., according to a company release. He said the tightening credit market and pessimistic buyer psychology are the two key factors in the nation's current housing slowdown. "I see tighter credit availability and buyer psychology as the two key ingredients holding people back from buying homes today," he said, according to a transcript. "I believe the confidence of buyers has been shaken by the current crisis on Wall Street and the ongoing housing slowdown. It has resulted in many buyers remaining on the sidelines in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and across the southern U.S. region served by Crye-Leike, Realtors." Speaking to 400 Crye-Leike agents, Yun said the nation will be in an economic recession for the next three quarters; however, the current climate will not translate into a further downturn in home sales and values. "While the economy will be sluggish for the next three quarters, we can already see recovery out west in California, Nevada and Arizona and we're also starting to see an increase in home buying in South Florida," he said. "At the present time I do not see prices leveling off or sales increasing in Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and other markets in the South served by Crye-Leike, Realtors." Yun presented indicators that suggest the country is on the verge of a housing recovery, Crye-Leike said in a statement. The southern U.S. will eventually see a leveling off of prices and an increase in home sales as buyer confidence is restored by further government action, he said. However, he said the $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit doesn't go far enough to spur more buying. "Myself and the NAR leadership are strongly encouraging the U.S. Congress and the President to support the homebuyer tax credit with no repayment," he said, according to the statement. "In its present form, a first-time buyer must repay the tax credit over a 15-year period. While in its current form it is a tremendous benefit, I believe if the repayment feature was removed many more first-time buyers would jump into the market. Our hope is that the next President and new Congress will address this." Based in Memphis, Crye-Leike is the nation's fourth-largest real estate company with a network of 4,100 sales associates and 132 corporate and franchise offices located in eight states.
Posted to www.northfulton.com on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 Crye-Leike, Realtors, announced that Abby Jones of White Columns is the winner of the gas grill grand prize give-away by the company at the recent Milton Round Up. Dale Jackson of The Windward Law Group donated the grill. Realtors from Crye-Leike were among the many businesses, restaurants, clubs and organizations that joined in the 2nd Annual Milton Round Up to celebrate the community's anniversary as an incorporated city.
Nashville Business Journal Tuesday, October 7, 2008 A new 15-unit townhouse community in West Nashville has opened its model home to agents and buyers. West Nashvillian Mark Yarbrough built the Haven West Luxury Townhomes, which start at $189,000. "There has been a need for more economical pricing that still includes all the great amenities and luxuries that people want to have in their new homes," says Becky Meagher, a Crye-Leike agent handling the sales. "So much of what we've put together as standard, other builders would be charging extra for." The open house will be held Oct. 16 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 5934 O'Brien Ave. off Charlotte Pike.
Last updated Friday, September 19, 2008 6:44 PM CDT in Business By Kim Souza THE MORNING NEWS SPRINGDALE -- Connie Stephens of Gentry thanks her lucky stars each night. Stephens is grateful because she got into her new home before the U.S. Government pulls the plug on seller-assisted down payment programs Sept. 30. "There is no way I could have bought my dream house without the down payment help, totaling roughly $8,000. Doug True, my Crye-Leike agent, and my lender were able to get me into the house with very little out-of-pocket costs because of the seller assistance programs," Stephens said. In the last year, Stephens is one of dozens of local homeowners who have used programs offered by Austin, Texas-based Genesis, or Sacramento, Calif.-based Nehemiah Corporation. The programs let sellers contribute up to 6.5 percent of the home's sales price to cover the buyer's down payment and closing costs. True said instead of sellers reducing the price of the house, buyers usually pay full asking price in return for the seller covering the down payment and all closing costs. He said sellers of both new and existing homes have used the practice in order to secure a contract and complete a sale in the recent slower market. The practice is legal and has been widely used in the local real estate market with qualifying buyers using FHA loans, said J.P. Sexton, president of the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Sexton, a loan manager at Liberty Bank in Springdale, estimates that about half of all the FHA loans he has underwritten in the last year have used such programs. He said the government's upcoming ban on the practice will no doubt keep some people from being able to buy a home. True said all but one of the buyers he has represented since last fall have used the programs. Richie and Lacey Shaw of Springdale also recently took advantage of a similar program. The couple saved for more than a year, living in a small two-bedroom duplex with their two children in hopes they could eventually purchase a home of their own. In June, the family learned of the Nehemiah program through their Crye-Leike agent, Jan Holland. "Even though we had some money to put down, Arvest recommended we use the seller-assisted down payment and keep our savings for emergencies," Lacey Shaw said. She said it came in handy when the couple had to replace an electrical box and hot water heater in the first couple of months. "We are very grateful to have had the program. It saved us about $7,000 in down payment and closing costs, and it's sad that more young families won't be able to take advantage," She said. Sexton said Congress' reason for banning the seller assistance programs is a direct consequence of the massive number of foreclosures underway in the national housing market. Language to ban the practice was part of the National Housing and Economic Recovery Act that was passed in July to help homeowners facing foreclosure. "Time-tested data indicates that seller-funded down payment assisted FHA loans have a very high default rate," Sexton said. The National Association of Realtors Web site said the default rate on seller-funded down payment loans was more than 28 percent in 2007, roughly three times the default rate on FHA loans without seller-funded down payment assistance, according to government data. FHA is the only mortgage program that has allowed seller-funded down payment assistance, Sexton said. "Before we had seller assistance programs, we still managed to get people financed, but it's becoming clear that a minimum 3.5 percent down payment will likely be required by most lenders, except in lower-income Rural Development loans and Veterans Administration loans," he said. Both Genesis and Nehemiah Corporation have lobbied Congress to extend the program. House Resolution 6694 was introduced in committee last month. Sexton said the comprehensive housing legislation which banned the practice is so new, it is doubtful that Congress will act to amend it any time soon. In the same legislation, Congress also granted certain first-time home buyers a $7,500 tax credit, which essentially works like a zero-percent interest loan, as the credit must be repaid within 15 years. Income limits and purchase dates are used to qualify home buyers for the credit. Stephens is glad she won't have to worry about those details. The pediatric nurse at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock wanted desperately to settle down near her daughter and three young grandsons in Gentry. The move would mean a commute to Little Rock each Thursday night for her three-day shift until she can retire in a few years. But it also allows her to keep her grandchildren Monday through Thursday, which is the best gift of all, she said. "I am like the egg yolk inside the shell, in this home that fits me perfectly," Stephens said. "I can't believe the program is being discontinued. How fortunate I am to have gotten in when I did."
NASHVILLE, TN.- Crye-Leike, REALTORS Broker Denise J. Beard appears this month as a guest and real estate market expert on the NewsChannel 5+ Urban Outlook television program. She will be discussing the issues and opportunities in the current residential housing market. Denise is a Broker in the company's new Midtown branch office located at 1819 Broadway, Corner of Broadway and 19th Avenue. "I was really excited when I was asked to participate on the Urban Outlook show to talk about the real estate business and the changes taking place," said Denise. "Being with Crye-Leike and working out of our new Midtown branch I feel very knowledgeable when it comes to discussing the current issues and opportunities facing buyers, sellers and homeowners in the market right now." Beard's taped guest appearance can be seen on NewsChannel 5+ on Thursday, September 11 & September 25 at 9:30am, 12:30pm & 10:30pm. The segment will also be broadcast on Sunday, September 13 & 28 at 4:30am, 7:30am and 1:00pm (CST). "I'm asked quite frequently about the Federal Housing Relief act and whether this is a good time to buy or refinance," said Denise. "Show host April Eaton and I cover a lot of ground in our conversation about the Nashville market, home values and of course the relief act. The program will definitely help viewers make some sense of all the recent news and how they might benefit as a buyer, seller or homeowner looking to refinance." Denise is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Tennessee, assisting buyers and sellers in and around Davidson County. She specializes in all types of residential real estate sales. Denise has taken more than 200 hours of real estate courses and is a Graduate Realtor, Institute (GRI). Denise lives in Nashville and has lived in Tennessee for 16 years. She is a graduate of Hendersonville High School and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition to GNAR Denise is a member of the Tennessee Association of Realtors (TAR) and National Association of Realtors (NAR). One of the many ways Denise gives back to her community is through her weekly Real Estate Column in the Tennessee Tribute newspaper. Her timely articles offer guidance and advice to thousands of readers each month. For all your real estate needs and personal referrals please contact Broker Denise J. Beard by phone at 615-491-0503 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and on the web at www.denisejbeard.com. Harold Crye and Dick Leike established Crye-Leike, REALTORS in Memphis in 1977. Today, Crye-Leike?, the nations 4th largest real estate company, has a network of over 4,100 sales associates and 132 corporate and franchise offices located in 65 counties through-out the eight-state southern region of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Carolina. Crye-Leike is a full-service real estate company offering buyers and sellers services in the following areas of specialty: residential sales, mortgage lending, title, insurance, commercial business and investments, property management, development and construction, builder resources, REO bank-owned properties, relocation, auctions, and home services referrals. In 2007, the Crye-Leike organization attained sales of $5.7 billion with 32,500 closed transaction sides.
Hundreds of thousands of people may get a hand from the Housing Rescue Bill. Once President Bush signs it, the bill could send a lifeline in the form of billions of dollars to lenders and prospective and current homeowners. The Senate passed the bill over the weekend and the White House says as soon as the President gets it, he'll sign it. Brandie and Greg Henderson are almost homeowners. Saturday, the U.S. Senate approved the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act. It's supposed to help the housing market by getting more people to decide what the Hendersons have. "We were tired of putting our money into something we didn't own," explains Henderson. The measure will give first-time home buyers who make $75,000 a year or less, a tax credit of $7,500. "As a first-time home buyer, we really don't have that much money to spend right up front, so that's going to be a big help," says Henderson. Her broker Karen Crowson with Crye-Leike Realtors says the bill is needed. "You saw so many foreclosures coming on the market that it was scary to a lot of first-time home buyers especially," says Crowson. Homeowners who qualify can refinance into government-backed mortgages. Some critics say the measure will cost too much and not offer enough. It could keep up to 400,000 people from losing their homes, but some estimates put the number of potential foreclosures in the next few years in the millions. "But it's certainly a move in the right direction. We've seen a lot of people hurting, losing their homes and I'm glad to see that we're stepping in and doing some measures that's going to help them a little bit," says Crowson. "Congratulations! Y'all just bought a home," she says to the smiling Hendersons. As for the newlyweds, they say investing in their future is incentive enough.
By Cassandra Kimberly, Memphis Commercial Appeal Saturday, July 26, 2008 Dick Leike knew he had a challenge when his residential real estate company bought the former Anderton's East restaurant on Madison last year. Preserving the original structure at 1901 Madison wasn't going to be easy, but keeping the historical nature of the building would mean a lot to Memphians and the neighborhood, he said. "We feel like we're doing good for the neighborhood ... and trying to do it in such a way that we don't change the real architectural design of the building," said Leike, co-founder of Crye-Leike Realtors. Doing good has come at a price for the company -- a "couple million" dollars in fact. From day one, efforts to save a piece of Memphis' history have been complicated by a series of misfortunes. The company found the kitchen had rusted-out over the many years of serving oysters and the wooden roof needed to be replaced. Asbestos filled the ceiling. But those things were not surprising, considering it is a 70-year-old building, Leike said. To compound the problems, thieves have raided the old building for its copper wiring and vandals busted in glass doors and marked the walls with graffiti. Then the biggest blow came Feb. 5, when tornadoes ravaged the Mid-South. The storms caused the wooden roof to cave in, taking the wave-like ceiling inside with it. Today, three walls and a broken concrete floor are the only pieces of Anderton's left on the Madison site. "That storm wiped out anything worth saving inside," Leike said. "The saving grace is the beautiful tile." Crye-Leike is determined to preserve it, he said. Anderton's East, which opened in 1956, was known for its unique design and d?cor. When the restaurant closed its doors at the end of 2005, the insides were gutted and sold leaving only the building's shell behind. Anderton's old boat-shaped bar, its iron chandeliers and its oyster shucker, Chuck Williams, now have a home at The Cove bar on Broad. But even the "saving grace" of the building, which the Memphis Fire Department has deemed "structurally unsound," has caused a slight setback. If the original, seafoam-green terra cotta is damaged, Anderton's is history. "The materials that make up that existing facade are no longer available, so we're having to be real careful as far as the design in using those existing materials," said project designer Jack Rainey of Rainey Contract Design. "It's not like the terra cotta that you and I think of today." Rainey said he has been working to find building materials that would not only match the original facade but also reinforce the existing exterior to "fill in" the entryways along Madison. "The side that faces Madison would actually be the rear of the new building," he said. Designs are still in the works, but the vision is to create a 12,000-square-foot Class A office building using the existing walls. Crye-Leike plans to move its Midtown offices from Union to the new site when the renovations are scheduled to be complete at the end of 2009. Before the storm, the company was able to preserve a large piece of stained glass bearing Anderton's name, which will be incorporated into a conference room, Rainey said. Photos of the restaurant will line the wall, and a new entrance will adjoin the 35,000-square-foot parking lot to the building. Putting a historic property to use is a new venture for Crye-Leike, and the efforts have not gone unnoticed, said June West, executive director of Memphis Heritage. "I think the fact that the significant component of that building is the facade and maintaining the integrity of that faade will keep the place that we have known for the last 75 years," she said. "Even with modern materials inside, you still have the continuity of what was there. Dick Leike needs to be given an award for what he's done." Contact Cassandra Kimberly at 529-2786.
Find The Morning News Online @ www.nwaonline.com Last updated Saturday, July 26, 2008 4:10 PM CDT in Business By Kim Souza The Morning News SPRINGDALE - Area home sales fell nearly 30 percent in the first half of the year, but three local real estate veterans believe the market basement is visible. "The local market is bouncing along the bottom in terms of both sales and prices" said George Faucette, president of Coldwell Banker Faucette Real Estate. Pat Harris, president of Harris McHaney Realtors, sees the floor in front of him. He said financial markets are correcting and real estate will follow by year end. Harold Crye, an owner of Crye-Leike Realtors, said the market correction is firmly under way. "Northwest Arkansas will likely struggle to put the genie back into the bottle for the balance of 2008," he said. The three have more than 100 combined years of experience, and all agreed the fundamentals of abundant inventory, pricing and low interest rates make now a good time to buy a home. They understand that consumer confidence has plummeted to a 25-year low, which could further reduce investor demand. However, the experts said people still need to buy and sell houses even during a recession. The trio's predictions were not all candy-coated. They discussed interest rates, credit tightening, changing industry trends and expectations for the balance of 2008. Right-Sizing The industry is experiencing a contraction in the number of agents and sales, which makes covering overhead expenses for these owners tough at times as agents' demand for services and support rises. The 16 percent decline in sales volume between 2006 and 2007 cut agent and broker commissions by $13.81 million across Northwest Arkansas. In the first half of 2008, agents and broker commissions were down $11.89 million compared to the year-ago period. Crye and Faucette said some agents have taken part-time jobs to cope with declining income. "I expect to see a further reduction in the number of agents who renew their licenses for the coming year," Faucette said. Harris agreed the agent pool is shrinking after nearly doubling in size from 2002 levels. Faucette reports 150 active agents, compared to 171 at the end of 2007. Harris said he has roughly 200 agents compared to 227 last year. Crye, who is still building his local agent base, reports 140 agents to date, up from 130 in December. All three said expenses are at an all time high, while revenue is down to levels earned in 2002 and 2003 when the market was heating up. Crye is spending at least $15 million on buildings in the Northwest Arkansas market. He said the company is committed to its expansion here, but is "right-sizing" in other markets such as Memphis, where he closed two offices earlier this year because of the pull-back in subprime loans. He said the company's expansion in Atlanta has also been slowed. "We knew Northwest Arkansas was an overheated market when we came onboard, but we believe in the underlying fundamental strength related to the region's population and job growth," Crye said. "I don't expect to make a penny for the first three years, while we are growing this business from the ground up." Buyer's Market Tighter credit standards are making home loans more difficult for some borrowers to acquire, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, according to Harris, Faucette and Crye. "We are seeing more normal underwriting procedures that truly qualify a buyer for a loan that he can repay," Crye said. Harris and Faucette agreed the loose underwriting tactics employed in recent years put too many people into homes they couldn't afford. They said while Northwest Arkansas was not an area that proved to have a large number of risky loans, both Benton and Washington counties have seen a steady uptick in foreclosures. Benton County ranked first in the state in foreclosures in June, reporting 206, a 47 percent jump from June 2007. The number reflects one foreclosure in every 393 homes in Benton County, substantially higher than the U.S. average rate of one foreclosure in 501 homes, according to Realtytrac.com. Washington County reported 129 foreclosures in June, up from 116 a year ago. Realtytrac said June was the second straight month with more than a quarter million properties nationwide receiving foreclosure filings. "We have not seen the end of the foreclosure crisis, although government intervention should lessen the overall impact by mid next year," Crye said. Real estate experts said abundant inventory favors the buyer as sellers are motivated to negotiate prices. One signal to Harris that the market floor has been reached is that existing median home prices have fallen only 2.2 percent in the first half of the year, despite a 30 percent decline in sales and some of the worst financial news in recent history. New home prices dipped roughly 1 percent from the year-ago period. Median home prices in the region averaged $154,350 in June, down 1.3 percent from $156,496 a year earlier. This is significantly better than the national numbers. The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday the median price for a home sold in June dropped to $215,100, down by 6.1 percent from a year ago. "Prices are moderating from unsustainable levels in recent years, which is better for the overall health of this market," Harris said. One benefit for buyers is that interest rates are still hovering around 6 percent. But experts worry that domestic inflation pressures and rising rates in Europe will send interest rates higher toward the end of the year or early 2009, diminishing buying power. Industry Consolidation Economic pressures on the real estate industry is forcing market consolidation, the experts said. "When we came into this market in December 2006, we were surprised that more consolidation had not already happened," Crye said. Faucette said during the boom of 2003 to 2006, small agencies were popping up at record speed as more agents came into the profession. During the record years of 2004 and 2005, there was enough business for everyone. Faucette said many agents who became brokers operating small offices were top performers, but managing busy offices left little time for selling. When the market hit a wall in late 2006, the time was right for consolidation. Faucette has purchased two small agencies since 2007, and has plans to acquire more. Just shortly after Crye came to town, he purchased Siena Group Realtors in Bentonville. He expects to see more consolidation of smaller agencies. Crye and Faucette said agents are looking for more support services, benefits and higher pay as today's buyers are becoming more educated and demanding. Other recent consolidations include Springdale-based Griffin Company Realtors' acquisition of Benchmark Realty. Clark Long & Associates of Fayetteville recently joined New Jersey-based Weichart Realtors. Carter Clark said the alliance to a national firm provided broader systems and training resources that would help the 20-agent office grow. He said the company has already expanded with a Bentonville office and has roughly 50 agents with plans to add more. Expected Recovery All three experts see the Northwest Arkansas real estate market in a holding pattern until after the presidential election in November. It doesn't make any difference who is elected, traditionally real estate markets pause ahead of changes in administration, Crye said. All three said consumers are worried about disposable income amid inflationary prices of both fuel and food, which will likely keep those who don't have to buy or sell on the sidelines, despite low interest rates and favorable pricing. Crye expects the second half of 2008 to be marginally better with some slowing into 2009. Harris was a little more optimistic saying a real estate market is a reflection of the community. He is encouraged by the recent strength displayed in the report that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted a 5.2 percent increase in sales, while Tyson Foods Inc. and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. reported respectable corporate earnings during a tepid Wall Street bear market. "We are not recession-proof, but there is still some pent-up demand that will eventually decide to get off the fence," Harris said. Harold Crye, co-owner of Crye-Leike Realtors Inc. Residence: Brentwood, Tenn. Education: Bachelors of Business Administration, Arkansas State University Real Estate Career: 31 years Recommended Reading: Jack Welch & The G.E. Way, by Robert Slater The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump. Pat Harris, president of Harris McHaney Realtors Residence: Rogers Education: Bachelors degree in marketing, University of Arkansas Real Estate Career: 36 years Recommended Reading: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey George Faucette, president of Coldwell Banker Faucette Real Estate Residence: Fayetteville Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Arkansas Real Estate Career: 39 years Recommended Reading: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
Nashville Business Journal - by Jenny Burns Nashville Business Journal Friday, July 25, 2008 Crye-Leike Realtors recently closed four of its Nashville-area offices due to slumping sales, resulting in 34 local layoffs and a dispersal of some agents to other local offices. Still, the nation's fourth-largest real estate company -- and Middle Tennessee's largest -- recently opened a new Midtown office in Nashville and is building a new office in southeast Davidson County, near the former Starwood Amphitheater. The offices closed in April and May were Gallatin, Springfield, Bellevue and one in Murfreesboro. Crye-Leike, which had two Murfreesboro offices, closed its Church Street location and consolidated at the firm's Broad Street office. Agents at the three other area offices that closed moved to the nearest open office. Gallatin agents went to Hendersonville, Springfield agents went to Goodlettsville and Bellevue agents went to Green Hills. Closings were based on the sales performance of offices and whether there were nearby Crye-Leike locations, company officials say. "We're just trying to run a business and when business is down, you have to tighten your belt," says Harold Crye, CEO of Crye-Leike Realtors. Home sales in Nashville have been down about 28 percent since last year. In Tennessee, the company also closed two offices in Memphis and one in Chattanooga. Cutbacks have also affected sales rewards. Crye-Leike canceled its company trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, because it couldn't justify spending the money on the luxury. Layoffs were in many sectors, from office administrators and receptionists to marketing and IT people. Offices that have bucked the slow sales trend are the new midtown office's REO division, which sells foreclosed properties for banks and Crye-Leike's Clarksville office, says Mike Machak, Crye-Leike spokesman. Mandy Wachtler, president of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, says she thinks the closings are more of a re-arrangement, enabling the company to go where the sales are. "You tend to want your office close to where your business is," Wachtler says. email@example.com 615-846-4276
For the first time in its 31-year history, Crye-Leike Realtors has shuttered branches without plans to replace them, proof the housing crisis is gaining strength as real estate companies shrink their footprints to reduce overhead and cope with the downturn. The longtime realty firm recently closed two offices in Memphis, four in Nashville and one in Chattanooga, Tenn., as a direct result of the slumping real estate market, company officials told The Daily News last week. Crye-Leike within the past two months closed branches at 1396 E. Shelby Drive in Whitehaven and at 3634 Austin Peay Highway in Bartlett. Agents at those offices were consolidated into nearby Crye-Leike locations but not all employees survived the closures. Crye-Leike this year has laid off 24 support-staff employees in Memphis, its largest region, and 89 company-wide. Most of the layoffs were in office administration and reception, company officials said. Founded by Harold Crye and Dick Leike in 1977, the company has grown into the largest real estate firm in Tennessee and the fourth largest in the nation. But this year's declining home sales took a toll on the bottom line, and the owners decided to dissolve underperforming branches. "This is the first time we've ever had to close offices," Leike said. "If you're not getting the calls, you're not getting the contracts, then you don't need the same support staff you need for 25 percent more business. We've had to trim those in areas. That's just another thing that you're doing to try and right-size your business model to the market conditions." Lose some, gain some The market conditions are indeed grim for Crye-Leike and everyone else in the business. Residential sales declined 18.9 percent in the second quarter of 2008 (April through June) compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Just 4,492 home sales occurred in Q2, down from 5,536 in Q2 2007, which in turn was down from the same period of 2006. Also, the average sales price and total sales volume dropped significantly. Some Crye-Leike branches especially had been slow this year, Leike said. "When you walk in these offices and you don't have them full of people making deals and so forth, you have to start cutting back," Leike said. "I don't know that we have any other plans, but we'll see what the marketplace does." The Whitehaven and Bartlett branch closings aren't Crye-Leike's only changes. The company also closed its Millington office, although it then opened a branch in nearby Atoka, in Tipton County, so that registered neither a net loss nor a net gain. And while four branches closed in the Nashville area, one recently opened and another one is coming soon. Also, in the Atlanta metro area, while the company closed three branches, next month it will open two, showing a net loss of one office for that market. Mike Machak, public relations director for Crye-Leike out of the company's Brentwood, Tenn., office, said laying off employees was a difficult decision for the company, so it was performed with careful consideration. "Crye-Leike doesn't take a ?cookie cutter' approach with layoffs," Machak said. "They are the result of evaluating all the many ways a company can reduce expenses - in this case, when the market is down 30-plus percent. One measure for determining staffing is a ?units per staff' approach. Staffing is determined based, in part, on the number of units an office generates that will dictate the workload for employees, office administrators and staff." Not just Crye-Leike Of course, Crye-Leike isn't alone in the contraction - or consolidation - of offices. Re/Max Elite has closed two offices in the past year, one in Cordova and one in East Memphis, moving agents in those offices to its Collierville locale, said company owner Harry Baker. "With the reduction in sales volume like it has been, we wanted to tighten things up a little bit so we reduced our overhead," Baker said. Jules Wade, executive vice president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, said the organization hasn't seen any widespread closing or consolidation of offices in spite of the downturn, but that's mostly because MAAR doesn't track that trend. Still, he said, it's a common occurrence in the business. "That happens day in and day out all the time," Wade said. "There's nothing unusual as far as the numbers of those happening." Wade pointed out that affected real estate agents - who are independent contractors - typically move to other offices, meaning there is still a place for them to practice real estate. But, he added, the membership rolls at MAAR have dipped this year, which might be a better indicator of the slump. "It does mean something that the overall number of members of MAAR is shrinking, and we think that's a good thing," he said, citing an over-saturation of agents in a tight market. "I think that, from my perspective, is the most accurate way of tracking what's going on in the marketplace." Industry reality Despite a round of high-profile closures, many said they believe it's just another reality of the industry - that tightening up is needed when demand declines - and companies again will prosper when the market turns. "The business goes up and down in cycles and that's what you have when the economy goes down a little bit," said Baker, a 26-year industry veteran. "You have a change in agents and in business. But it will come back, though. We're in it for the long haul." Likewise, it's not all doom and gloom at Crye-Leike, which is moving forward with plans to convert the old Anderton's restaurant on Madison Avenue to its new Midtown office. The company also plans to open an office in Oakland to tap into Fayette County's growth, Leike said. And while the closures and layoffs are disappointing to Leike, he said similar trends are occurring in other industries. It's simply a necessary reaction to a slowing economy. "We think we're doing a smart thing; we think we're keeping the company on a sound financial basis and it's just like any kind of business," Leike said. "When your demand is down, you've got to adjust costs to deal with it."
By Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Staff 6/30/2008 Crye-Leike Realtors CEO Harold Crye has not kept quiet about his intentions to become Northwest Arkansas's largest residential real estate firm. And judging by the number of new offices and staff, Crye is well on his way. But to become No. 1 in the market, Crye-Leike will have to knock off market giant Lindsey & Associates. Crye-Leike hasn't yet been able to duplicate Lindsey's sales numbers but has encroached on another aspect of Lindsey's real estate business - its title company. Lindsey and Crye-Leike own title agencies that are both, coincidently, named Realty Title. The distinction between the two names comes after the ampersand. Lindsey's company is Realty Title & Closing Services while Crye-Leike's company goes by Realty Title & Escrow Services. Crye said he noticed the names when his company opened its Rogers title office, located just down the street from Lindsey's title office on Walnut Drive. Both names are registered with the state so there is little either company can do, legally. But it looks like this could cause some confusion at the bank.
June 30, 2008 By Arkansas Business Staff www.arkansasbusiness.com Crye-Leike Realtors of Memphis is still expanding its Arkansas operations after building the largest market share among residential realty firms in the state. The company is set to open an office in southwest Little Rock in August and another Springdale location in the fall. Crye-Leike also is about to break ground on a Bella Vista branch expected to open during the first quarter of 2009. Next year should see the opening of new offices in Bentonville and Siloam Springs on sites the company already has secured. But wait. There's more. "We have some other thoughts for locations," said Harold Crye, the firm's namesake chief executive officer. Did you know that Crye-Leike also bought two northwest Arkansas residential companies while adding its own network of offices? Those firms would be GlobaLink Realtors of Fayetteville (22 agents) and Jerri Jenkins & Associates of Springdale (12 agents). Crye-Leike has 641 licensed agents and brokers in Arkansas, who amassed a combined sales and listing volume of $837 million during 2007. That figure is more than twice that of its nearest competitor, Lindsey & Associates of Fayetteville.
Last updated Saturday, June 28, 2008 5:17 PM CDT in Business By Kim Souza The Morning News When Jennifer Grandon bought her Prairie Grove home in 2005, gas was $2.15 per gallon and the one way 23-mile drive to work was a compromise made to find a larger house she could afford on her single income. Grandon was moving up from a small starter home she owned in Fayetteville. Now that gas is pushing $4 per gallon, she would like to sell and move closer to her workplace in Springdale, eliminating the 230-mile weekly commute. "I kept my house in Fayetteville as a rental and I would move back in a heartbeat if I could only sell my house in Prairie Grove," Grandon said. The problem for Grandon and dozens of others in similar situations is homes in outlying areas are in generous in supply but short on demand. Land and new home prices in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville have declined in recent months, said Jody Hendrix a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Faucette in Fayetteville. He said in many cases home owners who bought near the market's peak in mid 2005 could owe more than the house is worth at today's value. An analysis indicates building has stalled in Centerton, Pea Ridge, Elkins and Prairie Grove - areas that were construction hot spots in 2005. Houses, new and existing, are piling up as home sales have decreased an average of 63 percent from May 2005 in these outlying communities. Jason Smith, agent with Crye Leike Realty in Springdale, said buyers are taking a methodical approach. "Everything matters right now. Buyers are looking at proximity to work, shopping conveniences, the days the property and subdivision have been on the market (to make sure resale is possible)," Smith said. He said the market correction and high gas prices hurt outlying areas that were booming a few years ago. Centerton was one of the region's most active with a new home inventory of 161 homes listed for sale between March and May of 2005. The market had a healthy 4.9 months of inventory, and closing 110 sales in that three month period. Fast forward three years, the same market had 139 new homes listed for sale with 11.6 months of inventory. The city is in a deep buyer's market, closing 31 sales between March and May of this year, according to data supplied by Paul Bynum, statistician with Coldwell Banker Faucette Real Estate. Vickie Briolet, agent with Crye Leike Realty in Rogers, is the listing agent for a bank-owned home in the Char-Lou Estates in Centerton. She said after five failed contracts and six months on the market, it looks like they finally have a buyer willing to pay $180,000 for the new home built in 2006 and never occupied. Other homes in the subdivision are priced at $230,000, but those sellers who are investors, not banks, are willing to owner finance buyers with credit problems with little or no money down, she said. Briolet said the bank marked their property down to $180,000, roughly a $50,000 decrease, and it still took six months to sell. Agents say this is an indication the Centerton market is overbuilt with many properties overpriced. An interesting phenomenon is that median home prices in Centerton are up 12 percent in the last three years to $159,900, Bynum's data indicated. Other agents warn that the numbers by themselves rarely depict the whole story. "Home prices are being artificially inflated by sellers and builders who are subsidizing all the closing costs and downpayment for many buyers," Hendrix said. Recently he represented a seller who took a check for $30,000 to closing, covering all the closing costs and downpayment subsidy for the buyer in order to sell the house. The buyer agreed to pay full asking price for a contract sale price of $300,000, but the seller received less than $273,000 because 9 percent of the contract price went to cover the closing and downpayment for the buyer, before he paid his listing and selling agents. Hendrix said the buyer got a great deal, at the expense of the seller although the sales statistics gleaned from the Multiple Listing Service Web site don't disclose that detail. Elkins is another market saturated with new and existing homes for sale. Between March and May of this year only four new homes were sold. The average days on market for builders with new homes to sell in Elkins is 299 days, up 288 percent from 77 days in 2005. New home inventory is at 15.5 months, compared to 2.9 months during the same period in 2005. Bynum said more than 6 months of inventory indicates a buyer's market. Hendrix said the surplus inventory and slack in demand has put downward pressure on prices in Elkins and the entire Northwest Arkansas market in general. He said it's only a matter of time before the MLS begins to register the price reductions. The Prairie Grove new construction market has 48 homes listed, an inventory equal to 8.5 months at the going sales rate. Between March and May, 15 new homes were sold with an average of 79 days on the market. This is roughly half the sales pace in 2005. Fred Rausch of Rausch Coleman Homes built and sold 65 homes in Centerton before he left that market in 2006 to focus on Southwest Fayetteville and Prairie Grove. He said the Centerton market priced itself out of the realm where his company felt they could be successful. Catering to first-time home buyers Rausch Coleman developed Walnut Crossing between Farmington and Fayetteville on Arkansas 62 and purchased the Valley View development in Prairie Grove out of bankruptcy in 2004. Rausch put the Valley View development on hold while he developed and built the Walnut Crossing subdivision where homes are priced between $130,000 and $160,000. Rausch said his company is completing the development for about 42 homes priced between $130,000 and $160,000 in the Valley View subdivision. He expects a model home will be up for showing by the end of this summer. Realizing that Valley View is further off the radar screen than other similarly priced new subdivisions in both West and East Fayetteville, Rausch said he hopes to cater to people looking to live near a golf course with golfing privileges and scenic mountain views for an affordable price. Another outlying market suffering from excess lots and slower sales is Pea Ridge. The city of roughly 4,000 people had 66 new homes for sale in May, equal to a 15.2 month supply. The 14 sales occurring between March and May of this year was about 2.5 times less than the 34 homes sold in the same 2005 period. Briolet, who also lives in Pea Ridge, said real estate sales in the town have slowed along with the rest of the region. She said the two large subdivisions located along It'll Do Road off Arkansas 72 tell the story. Developers worked to get the agricultural land re-zoned and developed with roads and utilities in 2006. But now just two homes are occupied in the area. She said dozens of lots and roughly 20 new homes sit vacant in the almost forgotten subdivisions.
By KRISTEN FISHER KATV Channel 7 Little Rock, AR Aired 6-25-2008 10pm News Despite high prices at the pump, many Arkansans are still choosing to commute from surrounding communities. The growth in Saline County--especially Benton and Bryant--is not what it was a few years ago. But they're still growing faster than many cities in Arkansas. Diane Barsotti has been a real estate broker in Bryant for the past 16 years. She's watched it become one of the fastest growing cities in all of Arkansas. As a broker with Crye Leike Real Estate, she's also watching how Saline County is handling the nationwide housing crisis. (Diane Barsotti, Crye Leike Realtors) "We kind of go, 'Wow, we're so blessed.' We're really not seeing that or feeling that." Crye Leike sales in central Arkansas are down about 6%. But sales in Saline County are as good--if not better--than last year. It's those kinds of figures, coupled with years of record growth, that have both Benton and Bryant racing to annex new land in time for the 2010 census. (Rick Hollard, Benton Mayor) "It's kind of a once-in-a-lifetime-type opportunity. I think it will be another 20 years before you have this kind of setup, where it's really important for your city to have your population numbers up, because you get state turnback money related to that." It's a big deal for both cities because it has the potential to boost revenue. But, for developers and real estate brokers, the reason is a bit more simple. Both cities are trying to grow north by annexing the North Lake community. Benton will be holding a special election on the issue on August 12th. The Bryant City Council has approved a special election, but a date has not yet been set.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 REBEKAH HEARN | The Daily News Harold Crye, Crye-Leike Realtors' chief executive officer and co-founder, is a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Regional award winners will be eligible for consideration in the Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 national program. Crye, along with Dick Leike, established Crye-Leike Realtors in 1977. Today, Crye-Leike is the nation's fourth-largest real estate company.
By George Waldon 6/23/2008 Crye-Leike Realtors remained atop the list of largest residential real estate agencies in Arkansas. The company continued to expand its operations in the state as its combined sales and listings volume totaled more than $837 million in 2007. While Crye-Leike was tallying a one-year increase of nearly 19 percent in Arkansas, other firms were posting declines and even shutting down. Lindsey & Associates of Fayetteville (No. 2 at more than $407 million) endured a 30 percent decline. Dallas Real Estate Services (No. 16 at nearly $125 million in 2006) kept its doors open but closed its residential operations last year. Also exiting were Terminella & Associates of Fayetteville (No. 44 at almost $49 million) and ERA Vision Realty of Springdale (No. 53 at nearly $43 million). Sales volume plunged by more than 50 percent at Griffin Co. Realtors of Fayetteville (No. 12 at $125 million) and plummeted by almost 43 percent at Re/Max Real Estate Results of Bentonville (No. 10 at $139 million). Two northwest Arkansas firms on the list allied themselves with national franchises. Clark Long & Associates of Fayetteville (No. 19 at nearly $50 million) joined the Weichert Realtors family, and Northwest Arkansas Real Estate LLC of Bentonville (No. 40 at $42.6 million) became a Prudential Real Estate affiliate. A real estate slowdown and increased competition from Crye-Leike were two market forces at play in northwest Arkansas. The 2006 roster included 57 firms with combined sales and listings topping $35 million. In 2007, the list was pared to 50 firms with a sales threshold of $31 million.
By DAVID PENDERED The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 06/19/08 Allyson Roberts is a wife and mother in Alpharetta, and a Realtor whose business is evolving ? if not evaporating ? before her eyes. So she did what anyone might do to keep a job that has provided a good income for 23 years. Roberts changed her business strategy and cut back on personal spending. She didn't want to be among the real estate agents who are bailing out of the business in large numbers, according to records of the state real estate commission. "I dumped the Lincoln Navigator ? period, end of story," Roberts said. "One night in November, I couldn't sleep and turned on Fox News. They said gas was going to $4 a gallon. I believed it." Now Roberts, 42, wheels clients around north Fulton County in a Nissan Maxima. But only after they've narrowed down their list by browsing through her Internet page. There's no need to window shop for a house that may be pretty but won't meet the buyer's needs, she said. And she doesn't have as much use for her leisure travel books. "The vacation two years ago was Hawaii for 10 days in a beach resort that was to die for," Roberts said. "Jet Ski and horseback rides. Mountain climbs and boat rides and snorkel and scuba dives. It was amazing." This summer's trip isn't one to sneeze at. But it's different, she said. "This year, it's four days at my in-laws' house at the beach [on Florida's Panhandle], and we're driving," Roberts said. "It will be walks through the neighborhood and tennis and the pool. Much, much different." Different indeed. Roberts intends to outlast the current slump in housing sales that seems to be driving out thousands of her colleagues. Numbers dropping In the past 12 months, Georgia marked its first decrease in licensed agents since the early 1990s, according to the Georgia Real Estate Commission. Records show there are 2,820 fewer real estate licenses than this time a year ago and that 3,311 licenses went inactive during the same period. Bob Hamilton, chief executive of the Georgia Association of Realtors, said agents who intend to stick it out are going to have to work harder than they have in years. "We've been through some years recently where there was a tremendous demand for single-family housing and selling wasn't that hard," Hamilton said. "Now Realtors are having to learn, or relearn, skills they weren't having to use for a while." Roberts, who's associated with Crye-Leike, Realtors in Sandy Springs, said she's developing specific strategies to survive the downturn. First and foremost, she's not waiting idly for a rebound in the sales market. She is avoiding local buyers who need to sell a home before they can purchase. Instead, she's zeroed in on buyers relocating from other states, paying Realtors in those markets referral fees that are higher than the norm. She wouldn't disclose the bonus for competitive reasons. "Buyers from other states are still coming here, so it's a question of finding them and getting their business," Roberts said. Also, Roberts said she's accelerating use of virtual home tours. Using the Internet may be a fact of life for younger clients, but not always among Realtors, who believe in the value of curb appeal in closing a deal. The strategy carries its own risks, she said. "I've had to fire some clients because they didn't follow protocol or went around me," she said. "If they call the listing agent direct, or look up tax records and call the owner, it's unethical, and I won't work with an unethical client." Finally, Roberts said, she is all about staying in touch after the sale. Postcards, community updates ? anything to help clients remember her name. Repeat business and referrals are her path to success. Roberts said the shock waves in metro Atlanta's housing industry will continue for up to five years. She'll be 47 by then, and she and her husband expect to have one child close to finishing college and another in middle school. This market, although bad, isn't the first downturn she survived. Roberts navigated the home-rehab boom of the 1990s, when people fixed up their houses instead of moving up, mainly by representing builders. "If I could move to Canada and get a license and make a bunch of money and move home, I'd do that," Roberts said. "But I'm staying here and changing my strategy. It's a matter of thinking outside the box, or you're doomed."
Nashville's NewsChannel 5 WTVF-TV (CBS) features Crye-Leike, REALTORS in its report on the drop in people taking the state exam to become licensed Realtors.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Selling real estate conjures up images of fancy cars, lots of money, and short work hours. Of course, that's not always a reality, especially during this slow real estate market. Across the mid-state, a lot of people are re-thinking a real estate career. Some people are leaving the business. Others are becoming inactive agents until things pick up. But others feel it's the perfect time to get into a business that only pays when they sell. "Got a closing coming up next month. Had a couple of transactions recently. Could be better, could be a lot worse," said Pat Edwards. Edwards graduated from real estate college three months ago. He's one of the many real estate agents who see this as the perfect time to enter an industry where sales are slow everywhere. "If you stay focused and positive and keep going at it, the sky's the limit," said Edwards. Local real estate leaders say positive attitudes and proper training get agents like Pat through the tough times. "It's off right at 30 percent in Middle Tennessee. That's not a good number, it's a bad number. "But it's worse off in other markets," said Harold Crye of Crye Leike Realtors. Crye said the negative figures translate to a negative image of selling real estate. The number of people enrolling in local real estate colleges, like the one Pat attended, is down by 50 percent compared to May 2007. "The people who get in, stay focused, show up every day and are hard working, they're making more than some agents who have been around for a long time," said Crye. Crye said fewer active agents combined with a large inventory of property for sale can mean more business for agents who know how to close deals. "Over 65 percent of our people are making more money this year than last year," said Crye. Other real estate agents said the real satisfaction in what they do comes with helping clients find the right property. Nashville's real estate market is slowly bouncing back as summer begins. Many local realtors believe sales will become very active again after the November elections. The sky is the limit on real estate agent earnings. Crye-Leike Realty reports its average agent with experience earns $45,000 to $50,000 per year.
Last updated Friday, May 30, 2008 7:00 PM CDT in Business By Kim Souza The Morning News Northwest Arkansas grapples with record foreclosures and banks and mortgage lenders find their real estate portfolios growing. It's a combination that has some buyers presenting lowball offers. "I have never seen buyers so educated. Many are not looking for just a good deal, they often want a steal," said Vickie Briolet, real estate agent for Crye Leike Realty in Rogers. There are nearly 400 bank owned homes in Benton County and another 390 properties set to auction in the next 30 days according to Realtytrac.com. Briolet said there are so many distressed homes on the market it's hard to find properties in some price ranges that aren't. She said there are good deals for patient buyers, but closing in a timely manner has been a problem. Her experience indicates many bank owned properties involve cumbersome closings that could be streamlined to more effectively move the property. Briolet recently worked with a couple who relocated to Northwest Arkansas because of work. She said the couple was shopping in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range and looking for a good deal. The fully-qualified buyers with stellar credit and a substantial down payment found a bank-owned property and submitted an offer. The needed a quick turnaround. "We waited two weeks only to have the bank turn down their offer. That house still has not sold. This left us scrambling to find another home in their short 30-day window for closing and moving," Briolet said. "You would think with the sheer number of bank-owned properties out there that financial institutions would find some way to streamline a process to get the property sold." Joanie Stell, a relocation director for Coldwell Banker Faucette Real Estate in Fayetteville, said bank-owned properties take longer to close. Home Steps handles mortgages foreclosed by Freddie Mac and has up to 45 days to work out a closing, Stell said. This is information prospective buyers who are bargain house hunting need to consider, she said. Stell said many bank owned properties are also "sold as is," which means if problems are discovered in the inspection, a buyer will likely want to re-negotiate the sales price, which can take several more days. Stell, who processed 210 relocation transactions in and out of the area last year, said many house hunters don't have time to purchase a bank- or corporate-owned property, but want the bargain basement price. Briolet said many bank-owned homes in the region belong to national lenders like Countrywide Mortgage, Citicorp and Wells Fargo and require long distance negotiation. Larry Kelly, a broker and real estate veteran in Bentonville, also has expressed his own concern about how banks and mortgage lenders handle the situation. Kelly, who survived the real estate meltdown in Houston during the 1980's oil and gas bust and also the savings and loan crisis, said local banks are not employing any of the strategies he saw during those dire times. He said banks could do more than simply take the write down and put the property back on the market at a lower price, which ultimately reduces the price of neighboring properties. Most of the real estate owned by local banks is typically new construction financed for area builders or developers now bankrupt. At the end of March, 22 banks doing business in Northwest Arkansas reported a total of almost $117 million in real estate owned among them. This compares to $46 million in real estate owned a year ago. Kelly said some area bankers, anxious to unload the property, reduce the price as much as 20 percent - a builder's cut - to move it off the books. "In the 80's, bankers weren't so quick to dump the property. Many would refinance it for qualified buyers which was better for the bank and better for the overall market," Kelly said. Area bankers said they have been able to move some property quickly. Unfinished property and residential developments off the beaten path present more of a problem. Four bankers contacted on the issue said they do not employ a blanket solution to moving the real estate off their books, but look at each situation independently. Kelly was recently surprised to find a local bank reject an offer priced $28,000 below the asking price, but at the mortgage payoff amount. The property had been on the market for more than a year and the offer was the highest received on the property, Kelly said, but the bank was unwilling to take the shortfall. That seller now faces foreclosure and bankruptcy, which results in all parties losing, Kelly said.
Nashville's WSMV-TV Channel 4 News features Crye-Leike, REALTORS Foreclosure Property Investors Bus Tour
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- New numbers released on Wednesday show home foreclosures are up 65 percent nationally, and the people losing their homes aren't just the poor and disadvantaged. Channel 4 got a first-hand look at foreclosed homes on the market in some of Nashville's nicest neighborhoods. A tour bus loaded with real estate agents and investors was cruising in West Meade on Wednesday, hoping to cash in on homes that were lost to foreclosure. With Tennessee's first quarter foreclosures up 72 percent over last year, real estate agents are traveling by bus looking for good deals. But Nashville's not as bad off as other parts of the state. "Nashville's not experiencing the increases other parts of the country are. Memphis for example has three times the foreclosures that Nashville does," said Cindy Stanton Fey of Crye-Leike Realty. That still leaves nearly 1,600 local foreclosures in just the first quarter. It's the result of questionable lending practices that saw many under-qualified buyers biting off more than they could chew. "There were a lot of exotic mortgages out there. There were no income disclosures, no asset disclosures. So, they may have thought they could afford it, but they never qualified," said Dianne Payne of Magna Bank. One in every 194 households in the U.S. received a foreclosure filing during the first quarter of 2008. Tennessee ranked 13th for bank repossessions, default notices and auction sale notices.
Crye-Leike, REALTORS featured on Nashville's NewsChannel5 WTVF-TV showcasing Foreclosure Property - Investors Bus Tour
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tough economic times continue in the housing market. Tennessee remained in the Top 20 for home foreclosures in April, according to RealtyTrac's report on foreclosures. California-based RealtyTrac monitors default and auction sale notices as well as bank repossession. Economic experts said the outlook for the remainder of the year doesn't look much better. But the current period could create opportunity for the right person. A Nashville real estate agent with Crye-Leike, Realtors is offering a special bus tour of foreclosed homes. "We're on our No. 3 home as far as flipping and there's always something to learn," said C.C. Wiserman. Wiserman and her husband, Phil Wiserman joined a large group of investors that toured several properties Wednesday. "Most often the properties are distressed, which allows an investor to purchase them below market value," said Cindy Stanton Fey, a real estate agent with Crye-Leike, Realtors. Fey said possessing knowledge is key in this turbulent housing market. In the first quarter of this year, foreclosures in Tennessee were up 72 percent over the same period last year. "What we're seeing is homeowners that honestly just bought a little more house then probably they should have. A little more mortgage payment than their monthly budget can really afford," Fey said. Experts said if potential investors research properties to determine if they can fix them up, find a buyer and make a profit, it is possible buy them in the current market. Profits are possible if they do their homework, find a good location and don't sink too much cash into the property. "People want to buy a home, but if they don't have excellent credit and if they don't have money to put down, it's a lot harder to do that now," Wiserman said. Some people on the trip Wednesday said they were hopeful that they could find a good property, but they also viewed the trip as a learning experience. Each step along with the way, they received tips about buying homes, looking for problems with properties and legal advice. Although Tennessee's housing market is worst than last year, but other states have higher foreclosure rates. Last month, more than 7,000 went into foreclosure in Nevada. This is up 95 percent from a year ago.
Last updated Friday, May 9, 2008 6:11 PM CDT in Business By Kim Souza and Tara Muck The Morning News A year ago it took about $43 to fill the fuel tank of Realtor Tami Fagan's Mazda minivan. Fagan is a real estate agent with Crye-Leike Realty in Fayetteville. That cost today is $55 per tank, a 28 percent hike in the last year, according to Fagan, a real estate agent with Crye-Leike Realty in Fayetteville. The Mazda is often parked with Fagan grabbing a helmet and doing some of her work from a motorcycle. "Obviously, I can't take clients house hunting on the back of my bike, but I do a lot of scouting, previewing, flyer running and business related errands on a daily basis," Fagan said. "It is doable now that the weather is getting warmer, and though it doesn't do much for my hair-do, my pocketbook loves it." She drives about 14,000 miles a year in work-related trips and said the motorcycle will cut her fuel bill by more than half. Jason Smith, broker with Crye-Leike in Springdale, said he too has parked his Land Rover in favor of his motorcycle any time the weather and situations allow. Logging about 20,000 work-related miles annually, for Smith the fuel savings are substantial. Lindsey & Associates agent Christine Cook was ahead of the fuel curve last summer when she traded in her Toyota SUV for a Toyota Prius hybrid. Despite some initial ribbing from colleagues, Cook said during the last year there has been more interest in the Prius than in real estate, at times making her feel more like a car salesman than a home sales professional. These agents admit that lower sales revenue and higher operating costs are prompting changes in the industry. Total sales commissions in 2007 for agents in Northwest Arkansas were an estimated $17.1 million less than in the previous year. In the first three months of 2008, commission are down another $5.5 million. Mike Machak, director of public relations for the Memphis-based Crye-Leike Realty, said across the company's markets in 12 Southeastern states rising gas prices are having an impact on the way people buy, sell and shop for real estate. "The days of the Realtor playing tour guide are becoming a thing of the past, Machak said. "Some folks are rethinking a move out to the country for more land and lower prices and a buyer must absolutely be pre-qualified before they ever get in an associate's car." Austin Bivens, an agent with ReMax Partners in Springdale, said he recently withdrew services from a couple after several weeks of touring the region's inventory, because they just wanted to play the "looking game", a drain on both his time and money. Roger Wingert, managing broker at Crye-Leike Realty in Rogers, suggests that customers sit in comfort with a cold drink and see homes via virtual tour on large flat screen monitors in a meeting room at the broker's office. The buyers can begin the process of elimination, set appointments and then drive to see only the ones they are most interested, Wingert said. That virtual approach is something Realtors in the Fort Smith area advocate, and its something more house hunters are using. "We're seeing, in general, more and more people doing their searches on the Internet," said Ken Efurd, vice president of sales for Ron Calhoun & Associates in Fort Smith. "There was a time when 60 percent of all our calls were generated from signs seen while driving around. But we have seen that go way down and Internet inquiries go have gone way up." EXIT Realty Associates gives potential homebuyers a chance to see virtual tours, said broker and owner Karen LeRosen. "We have visual tours in our office where we can have them look at it before we take them out," LeRosen said. "A lot of our buyers - 80 percent - shop on the Internet before they ever contact a Realtor." LeRosen said many buyers get a list of homes from the Multiple Listing Service after reviewing them online and then have their Realtor show them in person. That cuts down on the amount of trips taken to different homes. Another way Realtors are trying to cut down on gas consumption is making sure their clients will be able to secure a loan for particular houses. "Our position is you don't want to take someone out there if you know they're not qualified," said Bill Oberste, executive broker at Kralicek Realty in Fort Smith. Because Realtors are all independent contractors and pay for their own gas and mileage, it's up to them whether or not they choose to drive as much as they have been. But for many Realtors, it's just part of the job. Efurd said he keeps tabs on how much he spends on gas since prices started rising but that he hasn't changed how he sells homes. "I do think about trying to save a trip here and there," Efurd said. "I know it (gas prices) enters into it, but I haven't experienced it that much." Ethan Nobles, director of media relations for the Arkansas Realtors Association in Little Rock, said there has only been talk about the gas prices but not much he's seen on actions on the part of Realtors. "Gas prices are hurting Realtors just like they're hurting everyone else," Nobles said. "It's something we all have to deal with no matter what we do." The only positive from rising gas prices that can be seen for the Fort Smith region is that more people who live outside the city are looking to buy inside to be closer to work. Efurd said he had two couples who lived in Poteau and Mansfield looking at homes inside Fort Smith this month to cut down on using more gas than they need to.
Bank foreclosing? Don't abandon your home; it's not that simple - from the Chattanooga Times Free Press
Reported by: Jason Reynolds Saturday, May 3, 2008 It may be tempting for someone facing foreclosure to turn the house over to the bank, experts say, but doing so is hard to accomplish and could leave a homeowner with huge liabilities. "You can't always just walk away," said Cindy Walker, managing broker of Crye-Leike Realtors' REO (real estate owned) Division, which sells bank-repossessed homes. "The lender has to accept the deed." Companies such as Crye-Leike that deal with foreclosures are seeing an increase in people who mail their keys in to the lender thinking that handing the house over will relieve them of their debt, Ms. Walker said. Such a practice, called "jingle mail," has to be approved by the lender before the homeowner does it, she said. The lender typically requires proof of financial difficulty, she said, and will want to know why the homeowner is having trouble. Jingle mail is another name for deed in lieu of foreclosure, said Keith Sanford, executive vice president of First Tennessee Bank. The homeowner could be held liable for the difference in what he owed and what the bank re-sells the house for, he said. If $100,000 was owed and the bank re-sells it for $75,000, the owner would owe the bank $25,000. Banks don't like to foreclose, Mr. Sanford said, because foreclosures hurt an area's property values, which affects banks' other mortgage holdings. And banks incur expenses from repairing, maintaining and marketing foreclosed homes for resale, he said. Mr. Sanford said the homeowner should talk to the lender and ask for help. The lender may allow a delayed payment or refinance the loan at a lower rate. "We work with them as long as they are willing to work with us," he said. "Ignoring the lender is the worst thing you can do." Struggling homeowners also can try working with a real estate agent to do a short sale, Ms. Walker said. Short sales happen when an owner facing foreclosure sells the house in an accelerated timeframe for less money than is owed. A homeowner thinking of doing a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure should talk to an accountant to see if there could be a tax liability, she said. To avoid a foreclosure, you may also consider talking to a counseling service, Ms. Walker said. Homeowners contacting a counseling agency should make sure it's certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, experts say. Such agencies don't charge for their services, said Tracy Johnson, educational specialist at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service. Ms. Johnson's agency is part of the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, and does various types of financial counseling in addition to foreclosure counseling, she said. The agency serves residents in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Consumer Credit Counseling Service can do the most good if a homeowner contacts the agency soon after he starts having problems paying the mortgage, Ms. Johnson said. "We like talking to them before they get a mailed notice saying it's going to be auctioned," she said. "At that point there's not much we can do. But if you come to us early, we have tools." ON THE WEB U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: hud.gov Partnership for Families, Children and Adults: partnershipfca.com Crye-Leike Realtors' REO Division: crye-leike.com/reo
As reported By Derek Dellinger at WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9 in Chattanooga, TN House hunting in a nationwide foreclosure crisis can be good if you're the buyer, but bad if you're the seller. How does the Tennessee Valley compare to many of the region's hardest hit by the housing crunch. Jonathan Charlton is a relatively recent arrival to the Chattanooga area. He's got a lease on a home in Ooltewah, but he's looking for a place of his own. Charlton said, "I'm looking at a couple of houses, maybe on the other side of 58, Harrison, and in this neighborhood right here. I'm looking for something that has a yard for my dogs." The nationwide foreclosure crisis has made a rush of homes available. Some of which Charlton has looked at recently. "For the money, I've looked at 3 or 4 foreclosure homes because you can get a good house cheap," he said. "And there's been a lot of houses in good shape, you know." The Tennessee Valley isn't totally immune to the housing crunch. According to the website Foreclosure.com, Hamilton County now has around 179 foreclosed homes available. In Whitfield County, there 72 homes. In Bradley County, 37. And in Catoosa County, 20. The numbers, according to Crye-Lieke Realtors president and CEO Harold Crye, aren't discouraging. In Chattanooga, the overall number of sales in the market are down, but the houses prices haven't shown much of a depreciation at all," he said. Crye says that's part of the reason he opened up 2 realty offices in the Ooltewah area just today. We're in Memphis, Memphis market's off about 20 percent. We're in Nashville and it's off about 18-30 percent. We're in Atlanta and it's off 25 percent." And Crye-Lieke broker Jay Young, who specializes in foreclosed homes, says that despite the development, foreclosures are still coming in. There's more out there," said Young. "I mean, I know of more than I probably did a year ago at this time, but I don't think it's anything alarming." Charlton says, even in his subdivision, there are a lot of people looking to sell their home, and he doesn't know what the future will bring. But that's not stopping him from shopping around in what realtors are calling a buyer's market. I'm looking now," he said. "Hopefully I'll have a house by the time my lease is up." Property assessors in both Hamilton and Bradley Counties tell us so far this year, they've had a total of 324 foreclosures. That compared to just over a thousand for all of last year. In Bradley County, they've already had over 2-hundred foreclosures this year. It is not as much as Hamilton County, but that's compared to just 174 for all of 2007.
As Reported By Bill Mitchell at WDEF News 12 in Chattanooga, TN The main difference these days is, home buyers will have to bring along a little money. HAROLD CRYE, CEO CRYE-LEIKE REALTORS "A year ago, he didn't have to have any cash..he could bring in his check stub that says here's how much money I make..and he could buy a house with no down payment." Harold Crye has a message for prospective home-buyers: you will have to come up with some money on the top. But he says the door has always been wide-open for financially responsible working people. His Crye-Leike Realtors is a major player in the south. The company opened two new offices in Ooltewah today against the day the flood gates open and more Americans are able to afford a home. What role should the government play? CRYE "My concern is every time the government gets involved in something they have a way of messing it up..because they go from one extreme to the other." The Chattanooga area has not seen the huge drop in home sales experienced in larger cities. And it goes against the grain in others ways. TIM HARALSON, REAL ESTATE APPRAISER "In this market..around Chattanooga which covers all the tri-state areas..there are some areas where the median values and sales went up in the latter part of 2007." But there is another economic factor that is now impacting the housing market: medical costs. LEEANN BOHNER, MORTAGE BANKER "A medical situation is not something you went out and you asked for or you chose to do..it's something that happens and a family has to deal with that." Even without the federal government and the FHA looking for ways to assist with those troublesome down-payments, lower interest rates have already started luring buyers back into the market. But it's been a bumpy ride lately. HAROLD CRYE "If you want to look for any kind of silver lining to the cloud there is usually a little bit of good ..That it tends to clean up some issues and shift the market and we've needed that." Harold Crye says overall, he doesn't expect a major housing breakthrough until 2009.
Crye-Leike, REALTORS Associates Julie Chamberlain and Heather Maharrey represent Avenue 3 project in downtown Chattanooga
A new residential project continuing in the revitalization of the Main Street district is offering incentives to those seeking a home near downtown Chattanooga. Avenue 3?developed by LIN Homes, a division of LMF Holdings, LLC?is offering financial incentives for pre-sales. The first 14 owner-occupied purchases can receive a $10,000 incentive and other seller-provided incentives until April 26, officials said. Federal HOME Funds in the amount of $25,000 are available toward the purchase of a home at Avenue 3 to the first four pre-sales that qualify according to family size and income. Additional financial incentives for qualified buyers include a Jefferson Heights incentive and an artists incentive, dependent upon availability. There are eight townhouses and 16 courtyard flats available, ranging from one to three bedrooms. Some of the units have penthouse and roof terraces at the third floor level. Prices range from $97,020 to $286,902. Avenue 3 is being designed and built for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, a green building rating system that emphasizes sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials/resource selections and indoor environmental quality. Environmental benefits include the conservation of natural resources and the improvement air and water quality. LEED Certified homes also have economic benefits as operating costs are reduced, it was stated. Avenue 3's first homes are projected for December completion. For more information about this housing project, to purchase a unit or to learn more about the incentives, please contact Julie Chamberlain, Crye-Leike Realtors at (423) 756-0771 or (423) 240-6811 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Heather Maharrey, Crye-Leike Realtors at (423) 505-5589 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Crye-Leike, REALTORS Associate Dianne Patton represents seller of Historic Recording Studio Purchased in Nashville
As reported by Laura Pyle firstname.lastname@example.org, CoStar GROUP Real Estate Information, www.costar.com Pegula Limited Partnership has purchased 12 Music Circle South, a historic music studio built by Roy Orbison in Nashville for $2.05 million, or approximately $213 per square foot. The two-story, 9,627-square-foot building was constructed in 1970 and is located in the Green Hills/Music Row submarket. The studio was purchased years ago and renovated by country singer Ronnie Milsap. Named "Ronnie's Place" in honor of Milsap, the buyer, an entity of music industry veteran Raymond Termini, plans to use the property as recording space for new record label Black River Music Group. The seller, 12 Music Circle S LLC, was represented by Dianne Patton of Crye-Leike Realtors. Donna Baumgartner of Keller Williams represented the buyer. Please refer to CoStar COMPS #1495968 for more information on this transaction.
Friday, March 28, 2008 Street Talk - From staff reports Memphis Business Journal Despite an ongoing decline in the housing market, Dick Leike, Harold Crye and 250 of their closest associates were spotted tanning at a five-star resort in Cancun, Mexico, earlier this month. That's just how Crye and Leike like to reward their top producers. "We've been taking a company trip since we started the business 32 years ago in Memphis, and it's something our associates work hard to make," says Leike, president and co-founder of Crye-Leike Realtors. "Our first trip was aboard two vans for an overnight stay from Memphis to Hot Springs, so we've come a long way from those days." As part of the trip, Crye-Leike's top sales associates participated in jungle adventures and toured Mayan ruins. The company made a decision this year to carry on the tradition despite the housing slump. "Many companies have scaled back or stopped offering a reward trip to their top producing sales associates," says Crye, CEO and co-founder. "We feel like as long as the company is doing well, we should share our good fortune with our sales team and celebrate our successes together." Crye-Leike sold $5.7 billion worth of homes in 2007, down 6.5% from $6.1 billion in 2006, its best year on record.
Space House On The Side Of Signal Mountain Sells For $135,000 - reported by Judy Frank at Chattanoogan.com
The nationally recognized Space House located off the S turn on the road leading up Signal Mountain has a new owner. A woman in Cincinnati, Ohio, who wants to remain anonymous purchased it for $135,000, according to employees for Crye-Leike Auctions of Cleveland, Tn. The woman, who was one of only three bidders on the property, did not attend the auction held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the concrete pad directly under the house. She cast her bid by telephone. Like many of the buyers who were present, her interest was attracted by a nationwide publicity campaign which culminated in newspaper and TV reports from California to Massachusetts. During the hours prior to the sale, braving slashing rain and lightning strikes, dozens of curious men, women and children toured the Space House to get a look at the unusual property. By sale time, the thunderstorms had ended. Cars and trucks from as far away as Ohio and Michigan lined the roadways around the house and approximately 50 would-be buyers were on hand for the sale. The house, which sits on three-quarters of an acre of land about halfway up the mountain, was built in the early 1970s by C.W. King, who referred to it as a "House of the 21st Century." The builder and his family hoped it would become the prototype for numerous homes built across the nation, according to newspaper stories at the time. But money problems ensued, and it remained a one-of-a-kind landmark which attracted visitors from across the nation. Area residents grew accustomed to seeing tourists parked across the road, taking photos of the structure. And during the 1980s - when Steven Spielberg's movie "ET" was a major boxoffice hit - word spread among the small children on Signal Mountain that the Space House was ET's home. The unique structure contains 1,954 square feet of living space. It is built of steel and concrete, and plumbing and electrical connections are made through the support legs under it. It is heated by propane heat. Inside, it is divided into three levels. Entering the house, visitors first see a built-in bar in front of a curved wall lined with mirrors. A short flight of stairs above is the primary living area, which features an open living room and kitchen area. A small deck overlooking the infamous S turn on Signal Mountain Boulevard opens off the area. There are also two bedrooms and a bath. The master suite - which is round - fills the third level, and contains a bathroom with a luxurious tub. The house went on the market in early 2007 for $184,900, but no buyer materialized.
CINDY PRATT JOINS CRYE-LEIKE, REALTORS AS AN AFFILIATE BROKER IN THE COMPANY?S OOLTEWAH TENNESSEE NEW HOMES DIVISION
OOLTEWAH, TN., - Crye-Leike, Realtors is proud to announce Cindy Pratt has joined the company as an Affiliate Broker based out of the Ooltewah Tennessee - New Home Division Office located as 8121 Ooltewah-Georgetown Road. "I'm thrilled to be joining Crye-Leike, Realtors," said Pratt. "Given the outlook for growth in Ooltewah and across the region, I look forward to offering home buyers and sellers experience and the excellent customer service they come to expect." Since 2004 Pratt has been a licensed associate in Tennessee and Georgia working with buyers and sellers in and around Hamilton County. She specializes primarily in residential real estate with a focus on new home construction, condominiums and town homes. Pratt is a member of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors (CAR), the Tennessee Association of Realtors (TAR) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Pratt lives in Ooltewah and has a son Nicholas (20). When she's not assisting her clients she enjoys exercise, gardening and reading. For your real estate needs or personal referrals, please contact Cindy Pratt by calling: 423-902-4414 or email her at email@example.com. Harold Crye and Dick Leike established Crye-Leike, Realtors in 1977. Today, Crye-Leike?, the nations 4th largest real estate company, has a network of more than 4,100 sales associates and 132 corporate and franchise offices located in 65 counties through-out the eight-state southern region of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Carolina. Crye-Leike is a full-service real estate company offering buyers and sellers services in the following areas of specialty: residential sales, mortgage lending, title, insurance, commercial business and investments, property management, development and construction, builder resources, REO bank-owned properties, relocation, auctions, and home services referrals. In 2007, the Crye-Leike organization attained sales of $5.7 billion with 32,500 closed transaction sides.
Friday, January 25, 2008 Nashville Business Journal - by Jenny Burns Nashville Business Journal Nashville's largest real estate company didn't make its 2007 sales goal in a housing market that flattened mid-year, yet CEO Harold Crye is making moves to reposition the company. Crye sees opportunity. He's pumping up agent training, opening new real estate offices and ?considering buying other agencies to keep the company competitive in 2008. Crye admits that $7 billion in sales was a lofty goal for the country's fourth-largest real estate company, Crye-Leike Realtors, to set for 2007 as national reports of the market sliding in other areas were starting to roll in. The company did what turned out to be its best year of $6.1 billion in 2006. "We suspected it could get to us sooner or later," he says, adding agents thought the goal of $7 billion in 2007 had a good ring to it after doing $6 billion in 2006. Crye-Leike came in at $5.7 billion across its eight-state footprint, a number that represents 32,500 transactions. With the slow market, Crye says he would have been thrilled with anything that was above $6.1 billion, but it still ended as the company's second best year on record. His Nashville market's sales were only down 9 percent. Memphis was down 18 percent. Overall in the Nashville area, home sales in 2007 were down 14.5 percent from 2006. It was June or July when sales stopped keeping pace with 2006, Crye says. At a time when Crye says most real estate companies are sitting still, he's moving two of his offices to new locations to cash in on growth and opening two offices in the Nashville area. "I suspect there will be companies closing or merging unless sales pick up or get stronger," he says. Crye says he's looking at buying companies outside of Nashville - cities such as Atlanta where sales are down 25 percent. Competitor Shirley Zeitlin, owner of Zeitlin Co. & Realtors, says she hasn't decided whether to open new offices, but is banking on her rebranded image, Web site and specialty divisions to send sales above last year. She expects says she expects 2008 to surpass 2007 sales. Crye-Leike is focusing agent training on skills needed to sell homes in a slow market, such as marketing, the art of negotiating and technology training. "About 50 percent of agents have gotten in the last five years, and these folks have never known a slow market," Crye says. Today's home seller wants weekly updates on their home showings and interest and Crye says he's surprised he hasn't gotten as many "your agent didn't sell my house" calls since he says people are "reading the papers." But he's optimistic about 2008, saying it's times like these when consumers choose to go with a big company. This, he says, will grow his market share in 2008. Crye-Leike's goal for 2008 is $6 billion. The company has bought 1.5 acres in Thompson's Station at State Route 840 for its first office in that town. It's also building a new office near the Starwood Amphitheater to serve Antioch, Cane Ridge, La Verge and Smyrna. He's moving two offices for expansion and better growth spots. Crye bought land to move the Bellevue office from highway 70 to highway 100 near a new Publix grocery store because that's where he expects westward growth. Crye and Zeitlin say they feel there's pent up demand from folks who've been waiting for the best time to buy. "People who've been planning (to buy) or have put it on the back burner, you can really only do that for so long," he says. firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-846-4276
CRYE-LEIKE, REALTORS WELCOMES NEW SALES ASSOCIATES TO BRANCH OFFICES ACROSS THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE REGION
BRENTWOOD, TN., Crye-Leike, Realtors is pleased to welcome its newest sales associates to offices across the Middle Tennessee region. Lisa Climer - Smyrna Branch Office Sabrina Hudgens - Smyrna Branch Office Nancy Olson - Columbia Branch Office Harold Crye and Dick Leike established Crye-Leike, Realtors in 1977. Today, Crye-Leike?, the nations 4th largest real estate company, has a network of over 4,000 sales associates and 132 corporate and franchise offices located in 65 counties through-out the seven-state southern region of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi. Crye-Leike is a full-service real estate company offering buyers and sellers services in the following areas of specialty: residential sales, mortgage lending, title, insurance, commercial business and investments, property management, development and construction, builder resources, REO bank-owned properties, relocation, auctions, and home services referrals. In 2007, the Crye-Leike organization attained sales of $5.7 billion with 32,500 closed transaction sides.
REAL ESTATE OPENING Reported By: Anita French Last updated Saturday, December 1, 2007 7:59 PM CST in Business In Fayetteville, recent arrival Crye-Leike is opening another real estate office in Northwest Arkansas. The company is building an 18,900-square-foot facility on North Remington Drive at a cost of around $1.47 million. Construction is expected to be completed by late spring. The new office is replacing a temporary one on Front Street in Fayetteville, said company spokesman Mike Machak. Crye-Leike will occupy around 7,000 square feet of the new Fayetteville building and lease out the remaining space, Machak said. About 60 people will work at the site, he said. Crye-Leike already has offices in Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and Gentry, despite being so new to the area it's not listed in the telephone book yet. It is a full-service real estate company started in 1977 in Tennessee by Harold Crye and Dick Leike and is the nation's fourth-largest real estate company with sales of more than $6.1 billion last year, according to the company's Web site. Machak said Crye-Leike also is in the final stages of negotiation for building another office near the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Little Rock-based Bell-Corley Construction is building the Crye-Leike office. Another of its local projects is the Shoppes at the Mill in Johnson, a $1.3 million multi-use facility. Owned by Maverick Properties, the commercial project is expected to be completed by February 2008, a Bell-Corley spokesman said. Anita French is a business reporter with The Morning News. If you have new business or development news, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Last updated Wednesday, November 28, 2007 11:00 PM CST in Business BY THE MORNING NEWS Memphis-based Crye-Leike Realtors of Northwest Arkansas will host a holiday open house of giant proportion -- showcasing 100 homes in the two-county area. The one day event is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Bankers and real estate professionals say the excess number of homes in Northwest Arkansas and low interest rates has resulted in a buyers' market. A complete listing and map of the showcase properties can be picked up at any of the area's Crye-Leike offices or Arvest Bank locations, First National Title and Cornerstone Mortgage. The list will also appear in Sunday's The Morning News.
By Katie Stockstill 10/22/2007 www.arkansasbusiness.com Memphis-based Crye-Leike Realtors recently opened its second Springdale branch at 2704 American St. in east Springdale. The office was formerly home to Jerri Jenkins & Associates. Jenkins and her staff will be joining the Crye-Leike family with Jenkins serving as the branch's managing broker. But the 3,000-SF office is only a temporary home for the staff. Around the first of the year the office's team of two staff personnel and 12 licensed Realtors will be moving to a new 6,000-SF office in Lowell. Crye-Leike director of public relations Mike Machak said the move to Lowell will allow the office to nearly double the number of licensed agents. On Oct. 1 Crye-Leike broke ground on their new, 14,000-SF west Springdale office, which is located at the intersection of West Sunset and Founders Park Drive. The office will house the west Springdale Crye-Leike branch and a new branch office of Realty Title and Escrow, which is also owned by Crye-Leike owners Harold Crye and Dick Leike. The temporary west Springdale location currently houses 20 agents. The number will increase to 75 with the completion of the permanent location. The team, which is lead by managing broker Kendall Riggins, has about 300 listings.
BRENTWOOD, TN - Crye-Leike, Realtors, the Mid-South's largest full service real estate company, brings together their associates and employees for a fun and informative expo in beautiful Sandestin, Florida October 23 - 25, 2007. The Sandestin Hilton Hotel will be hosting this year's annual event and the theme; very fitting for the season is "Monster Mash." "Appropriately there will be opportunities for attendees and exhibitors alike to celebrate the Halloween season in costume with games, prizes and give-a-ways," said Dick Leike, Crye-Leike, Realtors Founder and President. "We are expecting a great turn-out with well over 700 real estate associates and related service personnel to attend." The conference will include programs by two of the industry's leading sales coaches. Mark Leader and John Hamilton will offer agents motivation and proven strategies to increase sales and techniques to enhance their service and negotiation skills. Product and service companies will also be on hand including: Dell Computers, AT&T, Kinkos, MagnetStreet and many more showing off their latest technologies and special programs and services available to Crye-Leike, Realtors associates. "Our three days in Sandestin will be both informational and fun for our associates," said Harold Crye, Crye-Leike, Realtors Founder and CEO. "We have many exciting activities planned too including; sandcastle building, volleyball, a golf scramble, an amazing race and our very own Crye-Leike Idol Talent Show. There's even a special event where one of our associates will have the chance to win up to $2,000." Of course the company's founders, Harold Crye and Dick Leike will be on hand to share in the conference and offer their insight and encouragement to the associates and employees that make up the Mid-South's largest full service real estate company. Crye-Leike, Realtors was established in 1977 by Harold Crye and Dick Leike. Today, Crye-Leike?, the nations 4th largest real estate company, has a network of over 3,900 sales associates and 125 corporate and franchise offices located in 65 counties through-out the eight-state southern region of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Carolina. Crye-Leike is a full-service real estate company offering buyers and sellers services in the following areas of specialty: residential sales, mortgage lending, title, insurance, commercial business and investments, property management, development and construction, builder resources, REO bank-owned properties, relocation, auctions, and home services referrals. In 2006, the Crye-Leike organization attained sales of $6.1 billion with 35,498 closed transaction sides.
BRENTWOOD, TN - Crye-Leike, Realtors Affiliate Broker Amber Carlson feels a bit like a survivor after successfully completing the Chicago Marathon Sunday October 7, 2007. Carlson's journey started ten months prior, when she registered and began training for her first full marathon run. "With a few triathlons and many 10K's and a couple half marathons under my belt, I felt I had no more excuses," said Carlson. "I wanted to complete a full marathon before I turned 30. It scared me, but I had to go all the way." Carlson's training partner is her sister in law Angela Thurmond (pictured). Together they worked up to Carlson's first full marathon with 5am runs several times a week, when Carlson admits "It's the one time of the day I don't feel guilty about not having my cell phone with me." Fast-forward to the Chicago Marathon race day and Carlson says she felt good, despite waking up the night before ever hour to make sure she had not overslept. Carlson started the race at the 10-minute mile race marker - a good place to start in her mind. "The sun was gracious at first but the humidity was so thick I could have cut it," said Carlson. "By mile one I was already pouring sweat. I was thinking isn't this the Windy City?" It was at mile 21 Carlson says she heard a Chicago police officer over an intercom say the race had been canceled. "I asked the guy next to me if I heard right," said Carlson. "I asked a spectator why they had canceled the race and her comment was because of the heat? and I replied, HEAT? this is nothing compared to what I trained in." Carlson learned then of how many runners had collapsed and succumbed to the conditions, and would later hear of a runner who died. As she reached each water station, which was quickly followed by a Medic Tent she could not believe the scene. She saw people lined up all over the sidewalks, lying on the ground and throwing up. "I did not come to Chicago to run a marathon and have to stop," said Carlson. "They were re-routing everyone to the Finish Line? so I kept telling myself out loud - I Will Finish - I Will Finish." Feeling better when she jogged - even though it was encouraged to walk at this point - Carlson said her breathing was under control, her sunglasses blocked the sun, the ice cubes from spectators helped and she felt strong. Soon the finish line was in sight and so were thousands of spectators cheering her on. Carlson crossed the finish line - her first full marathon in five hours and 22 minutes. It was indeed an emotional journey she will never forget. "I am very determined, self motivated individual? always have been in my personal life and also with my work ethics so quitting was and is NEVER an option, said Carlson. "So, another goal checked-off and another race finished? what next?" Carlson has been a Crye-Leike, Realtor Affiliate Broker since 2006 working with buyers and sellers in and around Sumner and Davidson counties. She specializes in residential real estate with a focus on investment properties, first-time homebuyers, new construction and land, condominiums and town homes. Carlson is a member of the Sumner Association of Realtors, the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, the Real Estate Buyers Agent Council and the Tennessee Association of Realtors. Carlson's community service includes participating with TRAC, a temporary residence for children and youth in crisis and a homemaker for the Senior Citizens of Hendersonville Crye-Leike, Realtors was established in 1977 by Harold Crye and Dick Leike. Today, Crye-Leike?, the nations 4th largest real estate company, has a network of over 3,900 sales associates and 125 corporate and franchise offices located in 65 counties through-out the eight-state southern region of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Carolina. Crye-Leike is a full-service real estate company offering buyers and sellers services in the following areas of specialty: residential sales, mortgage lending, title, insurance, commercial business and investments, property management, development and construction, builder resources, REO bank-owned properties, relocation, auctions, and home services referrals. In 2006, the Crye-Leike organization attained sales of $6.1 billion with 35,498 closed transaction sides.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 ERIC SMITH | The Daily News Since its creation two years ago, YouTube has evolved into an Internet phenomenon. In a short time it has become the place to watch clips of football coaches ranting about sports columnists or weepy teenagers ranting about Britney Spears, just two of the more recent offerings. However, besides serving as a forum for indie music videos, family vacation clips or stupid pet tricks - not to mention the antics of a million stupid people - YouTube has become a place of commerce, too, where companies of all sizes can market their services. At age 64, Dick Leike, cofounder and president of Crye-Leike Inc. - the state's largest and nation's fourth-largest real estate company - might not be the likeliest candidate to use YouTube for business purposes. But Leike, who heard about YouTube two months ago, now has his own video playing alongside hip comedy bits and hilarious celebrity bloopers. "I guess that's part of the younger generation," Leike said. "I don't know that I relate to the humor or entertainment of YouTube, but at the same time as you're moving along in this world, you've got to pay attention to the young 'uns and see what's happening." Connecting with the front lines What's happening is YouTube reaches millions of users each day and is free and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Its ubiquity prompted Rob Hatchett, Crye-Leike's director of franchise recruitment and agent development, to suggest that Leike join the Internet revolution and tape a company message to be posted on YouTube. So Leike did. He improvised a 47-second speech directed at Crye-Leike's associates spread across eight states - a sort of presidential address. In the clip, Leike touts the relative health of Memphis' real estate market despite the doom-and-gloom headlines that dominate national news. He also issued words of encouragement to the Crye-Leike employees on the front lines and closed with a message about the company's coming convention in Destin, Fla. Leike said he expects he and company cofounder Harold Crye routinely will use YouTube to send messages to their employees. "When you're spread from north of Atlanta to Northwest Arkansas ... with 120 offices and almost 4,000 associates, it's a way to get our face out there and let our associates know that we care and we're proud of you," Leike said. "It's another way to communicate. I'm sure not everybody's using it, and not everybody's looking at it, but at least they've got the ability to pick it up and listen to a short presentation and see Dick and Harold or anyone else we want to put up there." Countering the news Technology has done its share to damage consumer confidence in residential real estate. Who probably hasn't read a Yahoo!, MSNBC or CNN story - perhaps with a Florida or California dateline - chronicling the disastrous home sales in those locations? As Leike and others are quick to point out, all real estate is local, and though Memphis is suffering a down year like almost every other community in the U.S., the city is still on track to record its second- or third-best year in history. That's why Realtors are looking to technology to counter what they perceive as unfairly negative news, whether it's a Web site campaign to buy homes or an e-mail blitz to showcase their listings. Leike said the YouTube clip is another means of getting the right message to people. "Technology is one of the things where we have to stay on the cutting edge," Leike said. "It's a neat experience, and we'll see how we keep improving it. We're always trying to think of how we communicate." Stanley Mills, vice president and Crye-Leike broker, said he likes the way his boss has used YouTube to communicate with the company. "I think it's a good place to put it because people are going there," Mills said. "Crye-Leike is staying on the cutting edge and has done that for years." Mills also is using technology in creative ways to drive up business. He is working on a MySpace page as another tool for getting his listings and services out to the world, and he already incorporates the Internet by creating a Web page for each of his homes. "That's just trying to stay on top of technology," he said. Entertaining education And the technology is working. Leike's clip already has received more than 2,300 views as of early last week, and as more people hear about it, the number surely will rise. Leike said despite his newfound presence on the site, he hasn't had time to surf YouTube's offerings, which range from the inane to the insanely funny. "I'm trying to just take care of e-mails most of the time," Leike said. "But I could entertain myself, I'm sure, ad nauseam with that thing." Still, he's happy to be in the midst of this online craze, which he believes will be good for business. Likewise, Mills is certain that getting one's name and face out to the masses can only be positive. "It's not who you know," Mills said, "it's who knows you." And with YouTube, that's becoming much easier.