Grand Opening for First Franchise in Tennessee

Monteagle, Tenn. – Crye-Leike announced the grand opening of its first franchise in Tennessee, Crye*Leike 1st Realty, located in Grundy County at the corner of Highway 41 and 41A  in Monteagle, Tenn. which is halfway between Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, approximately 45 miles a part. Grand opening ceremonies were held on Thursday, April 26, 2001, where local dignitaries were in attendance.

Crye*Leike 1st Realty ( will serve the counties of Marion, Franklin, Grundy and Coffee. Its office accommodates up to 16 sales associates who specialize in finding buyers for primary or secondary homes, retirement homes, land, commercial and investment real estate.

Jerry Argo of Monteagle, a Crye-Leike sales associate in Franklin, Tenn. for eight years, and Greg Maloof of Sewanee are franchise owners of Crye*Leike 1st Realty with over 60 years of combined real estate experience. Argo will serve as managing broker. Maloof will remain owner and managing broker of Plateau Realty, Inc. in Monteagle, Tenn., which has been reorganized to specialize in property management and rentals.

Sales associates of Plateau Realty, Inc. are now affiliated with Crye*Leike 1st Realty. They are: Chad Argo, Jerrie Argo, Andy Baggenstoss, Myra Reilly and Bill and Lethia McCollum, all of Monteagle; Joe Milner of Sewanee and Kay Luttrell of Winchester.

Crye*Leike 1st Realty is currently serving as the exclusive real estate company for Cooley’s Rift, a gated community, located on Davey Crockett Highway 41 between Monteagle and Sewanee, which offers 80 residential lots on a mountaintop preserve within the Southern Cumberland Plateau. The community is currently being developed by The Raoul Land Co. of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Argo is one of Crye-Leike’s veteran sales associates who took his real estate business to an ownership level by purchasing a Crye-Leike franchise. “To remain competitive, real estate brokerages have to change with the times, ” said Argo.

“It is becoming increasingly more difficult for real estate offices to provide a sales force with the marketing tools they need to stay competitive. The infrastructure is in place at Crye-Leike, like comprehensive agent training, state-of-the-art online services and access to an international relocation network. Franchising with Crye-Leike provided a way for us to grow and build our network and better serve our clients,” said Argo.

Crye-Leike began franchising operations in 1999 with Crye*Leike Franchises Inc., a real estate franchisor subsidiary of Crye-Leike, Realtors. The division focuses its marketing efforts on establishing franchises in smaller populated areas within Tennessee and those states surrounding Tennessee.

Monteagle, Tenn. was the third franchise secured by Crye*Leike Franchises, Inc. of Brentwood, Tenn. Six other franchises have joined the Crye-Leike network, creating awareness of the Crye-Leike brand in markets where it would not normally open a company office because of market size and location. Franchises are currently located in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee with future plans to expand into Kentucky and Alabama, notes Randall Hall, national sales manager for Crye*Leike Franchises.

The first Crye-Leike franchise was established in Oxford, Miss., Lafayette County. Blytheville, Arkansas in Mississippi County was the first franchise in Arkansas and also co-founder Harold Crye’s home county. Other established Crye-Leike franchises include: Pickwick Dam, Tenn. in Hardin County; Kingston, Tenn. in Roane County; Tupelo, Miss. in Lee County and New Albany, Miss. in Union County.

Crye-Leike (  is the largest real estate company in Tennessee and the Mid-South with a network of over 52 branch offices, 2,100 sales associates and over 480 employees. As a privately held company, it attained sales of nearly $3 billion corporatewide in 2000, the second best year in the company’s 23-year history. Nationally, Crye-Leike is ranked No. 10 among the nation’s top 500 residential real estate brokerage firms, as reported in May 2000 by REAL Trends Magazine.