Crye-Leike Establishes REO Division in Central Arkansas
Little Rock, Ark. – When you hear the word “foreclosures” within the banking industry, it has become synonymous with Ann Ball because of her diligence in bringing this specialty market of the real estate industry to new heights over the past two decades, and this year is no exception.
A resident of Maumelle and native Arkansan, Ball who owned and operated Ball Asset Management and Ann Ball Realtors for the past 23 years has decided to merge her foreclosure and real estate management operations with Crye-Leike, Realtors, the largest residential real estate company in the Mid-South as well as No. 10 in the nation.
Crye-Leike’s CEO Harold E. Crye has named Ball as president and managing broker of Crye-Leike REO Foreclosure Services within its Central Arkansas Region. Her new role will allow her to continue specializing in the sale, marketing and management of foreclosed properties as well as continue to provide full asset management services to banks, asset management companies, clients and investors, but now under the Crye-Leike name.
Crye-Leike established a market presence in Little Rock, Arkansas in May 2002 and has since opened eight offices and recruited a sales force of over 200 sales associates.
“It was Crye-Leike’s innovative ways of doing business and being aggressive and dominant in the marketplace that prompted me to consider such a merger,” says Ball.
“Having access to all of Crye-Leike’s marketing tools and systems and its professionally trained sales force has afforded me the opportunity to generate a greater volume of business,” says Ball. “All in all, nothing has changed from the way I conduct business with banks and asset management companies, it’s just that I’m doing more of it.”
Crye-Leike Foreclosure Services is a relatively new division of Crye-Leike that has experienced phenomenal growth in sales since its establishment four years ago. Crye-Leike’s regional foreclosure offices are located in Nashville, serving Middle Tennessee and in Memphis, serving West Tennessee, with Little Rock becoming its third operating center that will cover Central Arkansas, including Faulkner, Pulaski and Saline counties.
“Ann’s years of experience in the foreclosure business will give our young division a jumpstart and will add a whole new perspective and dimension to Crye-Leike as a full service real estate company,” says Crye-Leike’s CEO.
Crye-Leike Foreclosure Services works directly with banks, mortgage lenders and asset management companies to assist in the sale of their foreclosed properties. The division also works with families in financial distress to help them sell their residential properties before foreclosure becomes the last resort as well as assists local investors in finding foreclosed properties available to rehab or rent.
The foreclosure business has changed, observes Ball. “Twenty years ago, blue-collar workers were the largest percentage going through foreclosure. However, in recent years, more higher-end homes are being foreclosed with many properties across the nation being priced in excess of $1 million,” says Ball.
Ball attributes the ease in obtaining credit as one reason more foreclosures have occurred in recent years. “Obtaining credit has become too easy and has almost been taken to absurd levels,” says Ball. “So many people are living beyond their means and from paycheck to paycheck. If they lose their jobs or illness occurs, they have nothing to fall back on.”
Another notable change within the foreclosure business, notes Ball, is the way in which banks, asset management companies, mortgage lenders and clients have changed the way they do business. “The Internet has allowed many of these companies to go completely online,” she says. “With the technological revolution in full swing, a much faster pace is required to accommodate the client. This new technological edge allows real estate owned (REO) properties to be worked faster and in a ?paperless’ medium.”
There are several misconceptions regarding foreclosures, says Ball. “For instance, some buyers think they can assume the former owner’s loan and pay only what they had left owing on the property, which is not so. Buyers of foreclosed homes would need to obtain financing the same way as other properties.”
Another preconceived notion the general public has regarding foreclosures is that they will be able to buy the property way below value. This is not necessarily true as most asset management companies and banks try to sell their properties within 95 percent of the appraised value. The asset management companies obtain a broker’s price opinion from a licensed Realtor as well as an appraisal to determine what the market value of the property is.
Ann Ball first entered real estate as a licensed agent in Dallas, Texas in 1972. In 1973, she obtained her broker’s license and opened her own company in Richardson, Texas.
Within two years, Ball expanded her business by opening a second office in Plano, Texas. Later, she formed Ball Asset Management to maintain foreclosed properties through the asset management, marketing and outsourcing of REO assets on a nationwide basis. In 1998, Ball transferred her business operations to Maumelle, Arkansas, out of a desire to return to her roots and be closer to family.
“When I first got into the foreclosure business, I used to say to myself how this business couldn’t possibly last long,” she recalls. “But 20 years later, not only have I experienced the foreclosure business lasting, but also thriving with the number of foreclosed properties increasing considerably over the years.”
Crye-Leike of Arkansas, Inc. has nine corporate and franchise offices in Arkansas and over 200 sales associates who market residential, commercial, investment property, farms and acreage sales in Craighead, Faulkner, Garland, Mississippi, Pulaski and Saline counties. Crye-Leike’s Arkansas regional headquarters is located in Little Rock with additional branch offices in Benton, Bryant, Conway, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Maumelle, North Little Rock, West Little Rock and a franchise office in Blytheville.
Crye-Leike (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for 27 years, has a network of over 2,800 sales associates and 68 branch and franchise offices located in 36 counties throughout a six-state southern region in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky and Florida.