Crye-Leike Enters Florida Real Estate Market with Destin Franchise


Nashville, Tenn. – Crye-Leike, the largest real estate company in Tennessee and the Mid-South, is entering the Florida real estate market with its first franchise sold in Destin, Fla., announced Chief Executive Office Harold E. Crye, a move that broadens Crye-Leike’s market presence into six southern states and positions the company within the leading real estate market in the nation in terms of new housing start ups and existing home sales.

According to the National Association of Realtors, Florida led the nation in new housing start ups in 2001; Texas ranked second, followed by California, Georgia and North Carolina. Florida ranked No. 3 in the nation in existing homes sales for 2001, with California ranking No. 1, followed by Texas as No. 2.

A Crye-Leike franchise agreement was signed between co-owners Penny Worley and Wanda Duke, both Crye-Leike sales associates, and investor John Paulsen, to operate Crye*Leike Coastal Realty in Destin, Fla., making it one of 13 Crye-Leike franchises company wide. Crye-Leike’s Florida franchise office will serve Okaloosa and Walton counties.

Crye*Leike Coastal Realty is located in Okaloosa County, directly on Highway 98 at The Plaza, 4507 Furling Lane, Suite 106 in Destin, Fla., just east of the Mid-Bay Bridge. A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of Crye-Leike’s Destin franchise office will be held on Thurs., October 3, 2002, 5 p.m. as a social event for the Tennessee Association of Realtors’ annual state convention, which is being held in Destin at that time.

Known for its sugar white beaches and emerald waters, Destin is a fishing village and premier resort destination located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is home to the largest and most elaborately equipped charter boat fleet in Florida, fishing events and festivals held in Destin year-round. The 100-Fathom Curve draws closer to Destin than any other spot in Florida, providing the speediest deep-water access on the Gulf.  Florida is the only southeastern state without a personal state income tax, boasting a low cost of living.

Crye*Leike Coastal Realty becomes Crye-Leike’s second resort franchise. It joins Crye*Leike Pickwick Lake, a resort town in Counce, Tenn.

“As retirement homes become more popular in lake and beach areas, these Crye-Leike franchises can fill those needs,” says Worley. “Developers predict beachfront property to average $600 per square foot by the mid-2000s, making Destin property an excellent choice for investing.”

Duke and Worley are joining a growing number of other Crye-Leike sales associates who want to operate their own real estate office under the Crye-Leike brand name and its established marketing program.

“With their strong commitment to success and their huge list of supporters, including all the Crye-Leike agents, Wanda and Penny are sure to surpass the expectations of their peers,” said Crye.

Paulsen plans to add a property management division within the first year, a first for the Crye-Leike franchising system. “In keeping with Crye-Leike’s mission statement, ?a passionate commitment to unsurpassed service,’ condominium and resort property management will allow Crye*Leike Coastal Realty to become a full service real estate company, offering vacation rentals and property management to its customers, not just real estate sales,” says Paulsen.

“Penny and Wanda are not the company’s first agents to buy into our Crye-Leike franchise system, “says Randall Hall, national franchise sales manager of Crye*Leike Franchises, Inc. “They know the sound infrastructure and winning marketing system of Crye-Leike and feel comfortable investing in a Crye-Leike franchise.”

All three owners are native Memphians and have vacationed in Destin since childhood.

“Both Wanda and I have owned homes and property in Destin, Fla. for years, and we always said that we would move here from Memphis [Tenn.],” says Worley. “We knew it would be a matter of time. When we learned about Crye-Leike’s franchising program, it became instantly clear that buying a Crye-Leike franchise was the answer to us getting to Destin sooner. Imagine moving to paradise and being able to continue working under the Crye-Leike brand name.”

Crye-Leike (, a full service real estate company for 25 years, is the nation’s 13th largest real estate company and the largest serving Tennessee and the Mid-South.

Crye-Leike has a network of over 2,200 sales associates and 62 branch and franchise offices located in 30 counties throughout a six-state region in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky and Florida. Crye-Leike attained sales of $2.95 billion and 20,768 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2001.

Crye*Leike Franchises Inc. (, a real estate franchiser subsidiary of Crye-Leike, Realtors, focuses its marketing efforts on establishing franchises in smaller populated areas where it would not normally open a company office because of market size and location. Crye*Leike Franchises provides comprehensive training, management, administrative and marketing support for the Crye-Leike franchise system. Crye*Leike Franchises is currently comprised of 13 independently owned and operated franchise brokers who are located in five territories within the United States: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Florida, with future plans to expand into contiguous states.



Penny Worley, who has been affiliated with Crye-Leike, Realtors for seven years, is serving as managing broker of Crye*Leike Coastal.  A recipient of the National Sales Award for the past six years from Realty Alliance, Worley also was recognized for her sales achievements as a life member of Crye-Leike’s Multi-Million Dollar Club for annually selling in excess of $1 million and as member of its Circle of Excellence, one of the highest levels of professional and personal achievement in the real estate industry where she is awarded the honorary title, vice president of Crye-Leike. A native of Memphis, Tenn. and a mother of three, she holds numerous national professional designations including: the accredited buyer representative (ABR); the Graduate, Realtors Institute (GRI) which signifies mastery in residential brokerage; certified builder specialist (CBS) with over 15 years of new construction experience; and, certified residential specialist (CRS), the highest credential awarded to Realtors? in the residential sales field.

Wanda Duke, who has been affiliated with Crye-Leike, Realtors for the past two years, is serving as sales manager of Crye*Leike Coastal. A native of Memphis, she brings to Crye*Leike Coastal over 25 years of sales and marketing experience and over 10 years in loan origination which enables her “to inform clients on various loan programs available and educate them throughout the loan process,” says Duke.  Upon her first full year in real estate, Duke was listed in Crye-Leike’s Top 25 Club; obtained her accredited buyer representative designation (ABR) and qualified for both Crye-Leike’s and the Memphis Area Association of Realtors’ Multi-Million Dollar Clubs. She was the No. 1 sales agent at Crye-Leike’s Germantown-Exeter branch office in 2001.

John Paulsen of Memphis, Tenn. is serving as an investor and advisor of Crye*Leike Coastal. Paulsen is currently affiliated with Paulsen Printing where he has been the sales leader year after year. He and his wife, Ann, plan to move to Destin as soon as their son, John David, graduates from high school. Paulsen is currently attending Success Real Estate School to obtain his Realtor-associate license.


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