Surging Home Sales Pump Up the Volume

By George Waldon, staff writer – Arkansas Business


As appeared in the special edition of Arkansas Business entitled, “Arkansas’ Top Real Estate Firms and Agents”, June 14, 2004.


Residential sales among the 10 largest realty firms in Arkansas totaled more than $2.1 billion during 2003.

The figure represents a whopping one-year change of 40 percent, which was boosted in part by the combination of two Pulaski County firms: Coldwell Banker Advantage Realty of Little Rock and Real Estate Central of North Little Rock.

The acquisition propelled Coldwell Banker Advantage, led by Wayne and Paulette Richie, from No. 24 in 2002 (more than $54 million in sales) to No. 5 in 2003 ($182 million).

Real Estate Central ranked No. 7 in 2002 with sales of $118 million. The firm was the dominant player in North Little Rock home sales and also operated offices in Jacksonville, Cabot, Conway and Little Rock.

The ranks of the state’s top 10 residential firms were shuffled with the addition of another new name: Crye-Leike Realtors.

Crye-Leike’s Arkansas operations, based out of Little Rock, generated sales of more than $260 million during 2003. That performance moved it to No. 4 statewide, up from No. 11 based on sales of $110 million the previous year.

The Memphis-based chain also expanded its central Arkansas presence with offices in Bryant, North Little Rock, Maumelle and Benton.

Aiding the Crye-Leike cause were operations in Hot Springs (started with the 2002 purchase of Prudential Lakefront Real Estate) and a new Conway office that opened in early 2003.

Both Crye-Leike and Coldwell Banker Advantage reported 175 active licensed agents and brokers, the largest tally among residential realty firms in Arkansas.

Adkins McNeill Smith & Associates Inc. of Little Rock registered a 41 percent leap in sales during 2003. The move was linked with the addition of two big producers formerly working at Chenal Properties, Gene Eberle and Cindy Loux-Cole.

Harris McHaney Realtors of Rogers claimed a 29 percent increase in annual sales, climbing from $240 million in 2002 to $310 million.

Other 20 percent-plus sales gains were reported by a trio of Fayetteville firms: Bassett Mix & Associates Inc. (24.6 percent), Re/Max Associates Inc. (23.8 percent) and Coldwell Banker Faucette Real Estate of Fayetteville (21.2 percent).

The 2003 list of top-producing residential real estate agents in Arkansas grew from 190 to 270. The increase is notable because the minimum requirement for inclusion remained $5 million in combined sales and listings.

The very top tier was dominated by producers employing the team-sales approach.

Among the big movers in 2003 are Steven Blackwood of Blackwood Realty of Cabot, No. 95 to No. 9; Jack McHaney of Harris McHaney Realtors of Rogers, No. 102 to 29; Dale Carlton of Lindsey & Associates of Fayetteville, No. 93 to No. 37; and Mike Mycka of Re/Max Real Estate Results of Bentonville, No. 80 to No. 36.

New names joining the list include Linda O’Brien, No. 14 ($20.9 million) and Victoria Robertson, No. 27 ($14.9 million), both of Re/Max Real Estate Connection of Cabot; Jenny Talley of Dixie Real Estate of Fayetteville, No. 44 ($12 million); Linda Williams, No. 46 ($11.9 million); Bobbie Miller of Ron Calhoun & Associates of Fort Smith, No. 52 ($11.4 million); and Amelia Eldridge of Lindsey & Associates, No. 57 (nearly $11 million).

Two deaths will leave their mark on the next roster of top residential real estate agents.

Lanny Grissom of ERA Henley Real Estate Inc. of Conway died in January.

The final production of more than $9.7 million for his team ranked at No. 80. Grissom was credited with $17.2 million in sales, No. 16 in 2002.

Carolyn Vernetti of Century 21 A-1 Realty of Bentonville, the No. 1 producer at the firm, died in September 2003.

Vernetti, a leading residential seller for years, cranked out more than $7 million in sales in less than nine months. She ranked No. 27 statewide in 2002 with $14 million in home sales.