First Franchise in East Tennessee

Brentwood, Tenn. – Crye-Leike, the largest real estate company in Tennessee and the Mid-South, has sold a Crye-Leike franchise in the county seat of Kingston, Tenn., making it Crye-Leike’s first franchise in East Tennessee, announced Harold E. Crye, chief executive officer of Crye-Leike.

Rare Earth Realty LLC, owned by Bob and Elaine Bowen, is now named Crye*Leike Rare Earth Realty LLC, located at 1212 N. Kennedy Street on the north side of Kingston in Roane County. Bob Bowen is serving as managing broker.

Crye-Leike has 52 branch offices in a four-state Mid-South region: Tennessee (Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville), Arkansas (Jonesboro, West Memphis), Mississippi (Hernando, Olive Branch, Southaven) and North Georgia (Ft. Oglethorpe). Its Kingston, Tenn. franchise joins the growing list of six other Crye-Leike franchise offices in New Albany, Oxford and Tupelo, Miss., Blytheville, Ark., and Monteagle and Pickwick Dam, Tenn.

This fall, the Bowens plan to double the existing 1,000 square feet of office space to accommodate up to 12 sales associates. Sales associates currently affiliated with Crye*Leike Rare Earth Realty are: Sheila DeRossett and Victor Zammit of Rockwood and Jack Friedli, Patricia Miller and Stan Tilley of Kingston, all of whom are serving communities in Roane County as well as in the surrounding counties of Rhea, Loudon, Knox and Anderson.

The Bowens were in real estate sales and marketing for 15 years with a nationally known land developer before purchasing last winter Rare Earth Realty LLC, a 25-year-old real estate company. “By purchasing an established real estate company, we were able to expound upon its solid foundation,” said Bob. “We implemented a more aggressive advertising campaign, utilizing national newspaper media, which increased our listings from $99,900 to over $6.5 million within seven months.”

Additionally, the Bowens decided to consider franchising as an alternative to remaining an independent. “Most of the real estate firms represented in Roane County are franchised,” said Bob. “With franchise real estate offices dominating this market, the future success of our firm would be jeopardized if we weren’t a franchise.”

Even though there were two national real estate franchises not spoken for in the area, the Bowens chose to go with a Crye-Leike franchise. “We don’t feel threatened by the other national franchise real estate firms represented in the area,” said Bob. “We know Crye-Leike is a recognized and respected name in Mid-South real estate and currently is ranked No. 10 in the nation. We were also impressed with the Crye-Leike sales associates we met at Realtor? continuing education classes held in Chattanooga and Nashville; their agents were very upbeat and always stood above the rest.”

Crye-Leike began franchising operations in 1999 as 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. “Franchises are currently located in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, with future plans to expand into Kentucky and Alabama,” notes Randall Hall, national sales manager of Crye*Leike Franchises Inc.

Crye-Leike (, a network of over 52 branch offices, 2,100 sales associates and over 480 employees, 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.