Monday, April 6, 2009
Crye-Leike Number One Again
Nashville Business Journal reported last Friday that Crye-Leike, Realtors still holds the top position in sales for Middle Tennessee, despite the decline in the housing market. I am very honored to be a part of Crye-Leike. Our success is due to the emphasis we put on customer service.
Since you have to be a paid subscription member to read the entire article, I've copied and pasted it here:
Real estate climb to top rocky
For top residential real estate performers, road to top has been fraught with challenges
Friday, April 3, 2009
Nashville Business Journal - by Jenny Burns Staff Writer
An excruciating year for most Nashville real estate firms was marked by mergers, the shedding of agents, office consolidations and the demise of the area’s 10th largest firm, ERA Pacesetter Partners.
Big firms have closed offices, shuffled agents around and say they emerged from a dreadful 2008 leaner, better and hopeful the market will show some resilience in 2009.
ERA Pacesetter aside, Greater Nashville’s top 10 firms, as ranked by the Business Journal based on sales volume, are struggling with sales declines about as large as the overall market, which fell 29 percent last year as compared to 2007.
Village Real Estate Services, ranked No. 6, had the smallest decline in sales volume at 14 percent. Village went from 1,894 transactions in 2007 to 1,620 in 2008. For the same period, sales dropped from about $466 million to $401 million.
Owner Mark Deutschmann attributes his company’s relative success to its urban niche, one he says became more desirable when gas costs spiked in 2008 and people returned to the city to live.
Village also was the best at keeping its agents. It was the only firm in the top 10 to gain agents by posting a 6 percent increase. The firm did lose some agents in 2008, but Deutschmann recruited 22 agents with two or more years of experience in the fourth quarter, giving him a net agent increase.
Re/Max Elite had the largest sales volume decline at 41 percent, from 5,114 transaction sides in 2007 to 2,983 in 2008. In the same time, the company’s sales slipped 44.5 percent from more than $1 billion to $608 million.
Owner Robb Campbell attributes the drop to his strategy of moving out underperforming and part-time agents and starting the new year with a group comprised of experienced, full-time agents. Re/Max Elite also lost the most agents last year, posting a 32 percent drop.
“This will put us a in a strong position to be able to capture a huge amount of the market share. We are already seeing our agents picking up market share and listings,” Campbell says.
Today’s sellers want experienced agents who know the intricacies of short sales and the tricks to get homes sold, he says, and that’s what he says he repositioned Re/Max Elite to do.
The Realty Association had the second worst sales performance of the top firms, posting a 38 percent drop in sales volume to 1,207 deals in 2008. In the same period, the firm’s sales dropped to $194.9 million from $339 million.
“As bad as the numbers are, we’re reasonably happy with them,” Realty President Jim Coffer says of the locally owned firm, which lost 7 percent of its agents.
With only one office for its 337 agents, the real estate firm had operated fairly lean before the market downturn and brokers rushed to combine offices.
Harold Crye, president of Crye-Leike Realtors, which remains in the top spot again this year in sales volume, says not as many small firms merged with larger agencies in the Nashville market as he had expected, which occurred on a larger scale in other markets.
“There’s going to be some consolidation in the industry,” says Crye, whose company’s sales dropped 28 percent. “I haven’t seen as much as I thought we might.”
Bob Parks Realty, which had a 30 percent sales volume drop to 3,355 in 2008, ranking No. 3, did not acquire any smaller firms last year, but owner Bob Parks says he is talking with several companies to acquire in 2009.
Another strategy for Re/Max Elite is the creation of a separate company where non-active agents can hang their licenses but they can’t sell or list real estate. This allows them to get a referral fee for sending business to an active agent, but it doesn’t weigh the company down with agents who are not producing, Campbell says.
“I’ve noticed other companies starting holding companies too,” he says.
Keller Williams, ranked No. 2, had several small firms merge with the agency in 2008, says owner Bill Haggard.
“You have to be large today to be strong in the industry,” he says. “It’s difficult to be medium-sized and have the economics work. It’s a high-volume, low-margin business.”
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