Second Real Estate Firm in Mississippi Joins Crye-Leike’s Franchise System

Memphis, Tenn. – Crye-Leike, the largest real estate company in Tennessee and the Mid-South, has sold its second franchise in Mississippi to Crye*Leike Properties Unlimited in Columbus, Lowndes County, becoming the company’s 13th franchise to join the Crye-Leike franchise system. Columbus, located in northeastern Miss., borders the state of Alabama.

Crye*Leike Properties Unlimited, co-owned by Hilbert Williams and Rick McGill, managing broker, is located at 3499 Bluecutt Road, just east of Highway 45 North, on the north side of Columbus.

An open house is planned for November 1, 2002 at 11 a.m. at which time a ribbon cutting ceremony will be conducted by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

Its office accommodates up to 16 sales associates who specialize in relocation and market residential properties, commercial investments, farm land, river properties and multi-family units in Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay and Noxubee counties in Miss.

Real estate partners Williams and McGill combined have over 42 years of real estate experience. Their real estate firm has matured over the past 16 years since Geraline Holliman, Rick McGill and Hilbert Williams purchased McCrary Real Estate in 1986. The firm increased its share of the business between 1986 and 1996, which led to a name change as Properties Unlimited McCrary Real Estate. Continued growth between 1996 and 2000 prompted further expansion of the firm’s business operations to its current location in Columbus with another name change to Properties Unlimited. In July 2002, Williams and McGill purchased Holliman’s share of the business.

Williams and McGill chose the Crye-Leike franchise system to gain a greater share of the market, says McGill who is 2003 incoming president of the Golden Triangle Association of Realtors. “We were ready to carry our real estate company to the next level. We have been an independent real estate company for years and felt the Crye-Leike name would give us more exposure than other real estate franchises.”

About the Crye-Leike Franchisees.    Williams and McGill are very active in economic development, and their community and state and local boards of Realtors which brought both of them recognition as recipients of the Realtor of the Year award during their real estate careers.

Williams is a member of the board of directors for the Columbus Lowndes Economic Development Association, serves as an executive committee member for the Mississippi Chamber of Commerce and was past president of the Golden Triangle Association of Realtors in 1999.

McGill is a lifetime member of the state board of Realtors’ Million Dollar Club, a distinction that recognizes his sales achievements of annually selling over $1 million. He holds the Graduate, Realtors Institute (GRI) professional designation which signifies mastery in residential brokerage. McGill also is past president of the Columbus Lowndes Recreation Authority.

About Columbus, Miss.        Columbus-Lowndes County, Mississippi is poised for accelerated industrial growth. Among their industrial community are internationally-known companies such as Weyerhaeuser Company, a printing paper manufacturer, and Sanderson Plumbing Products, makers of bathroom seats. Manufacturing in the city and county provides for more than 5,000 jobs, and there is ample room for more industry to find a home there, notes Williams.

Columbus, Miss. is located on the nation’s newest waterway system, the Tennessee – Tombigbee Waterway, boasting the country’s best bass fishing on a 234-mile long waterway connecting 16,000 miles of inland waterways to the Gulf of Mexico.

Columbus also is rich in history. It is known for: its numerous antebellum homes, over 100 structures on the National Register of Historic Places where they were spared by Union General Sherman’s march to sea during the Civil War; its Friendship Cemetery which is the site of the first Memorial Day celebration in 1866 for both Union and Confederate troops; being the birthplace of award winning playwright Tennessee Williams and being home to the Columbus Air Force Base, one of only four Air Force pilot training facilities in the United States.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are 61,586 people living in Lowndes County, with an additional 64,881 people living in the surrounding counties of Clay and Oktibbeha.

Crye-Leike’s co-founder Dick Leike and his wife, Jo Anne, recently purchased an antebellum home in Columbus’ South Garden district as their vacation getaway.

“We have been visiting friends there for the past two years and have admired the town for its friendly citizens, marina, history and pilgrimage and proximity to Memphis, making it an easy four-lane drive for a getaway place,” said Dick. The Leikes plan to make any necessary restorations to the home while maintaining the home’s architectural integrity.

“It is great to have Properties Unlimited join Crye-Leike as a franchise; Rick and Hilbert are quality people,” said Dick Leike, “Our company will lend any support needed to make this an exciting and prosperous adventure.”

Agents at Crye*Leike Properties Unlimited are flattered that the co-founder of Crye-Leike, the 13th largest real estate company in the nation, chose Columbus as his second home. “Being in real estate, Dick could have chosen any place in the United States as his vacation destination and he chose to move to Columbus for his vacation home,” said Williams.

Crye-Leike (www.crye-leike.com), 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. It has a network of over 2,300 sales associates and 63 branch and franchise offices located in 32 counties throughout a six-state southern 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., (http://franchises.crye-leike.com ), is the franchisor of Crye-Leike, focusing its marketing efforts on establishing franchise territories 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 comprised of 13 independently owned and operated franchise brokers in 12 counties and five territories in the United States: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Florida, with future plans to expand into Alabama, Georgia and into other contiguous states.