Crye-Leike closes 4 area offices, lays off 34 and disperses others – Nashville Business Journal
Nashville Business Journal – by Jenny Burns Nashville Business Journal
Friday, July 25, 2008
Crye-Leike Realtors recently closed four of its Nashville-area offices due to slumping sales, resulting in 34 local layoffs and a dispersal of some agents to other local offices.
Still, the nation’s fourth-largest real estate company — and Middle Tennessee’s largest — recently opened a new Midtown office in Nashville and is building a new office in southeast Davidson County, near the former Starwood Amphitheater.
The offices closed in April and May were Gallatin, Springfield, Bellevue and one in Murfreesboro.
Crye-Leike, which had two Murfreesboro offices, closed its Church Street location and consolidated at the firm’s Broad Street office. Agents at the three other area offices that closed moved to the nearest open office. Gallatin agents went to Hendersonville, Springfield agents went to Goodlettsville and Bellevue agents went to Green Hills.
Closings were based on the sales performance of offices and whether there were nearby Crye-Leike locations, company officials say.
“We’re just trying to run a business and when business is down, you have to tighten your belt,” says Harold Crye, CEO of Crye-Leike Realtors.
Home sales in Nashville have been down about 28 percent since last year.
In Tennessee, the company also closed two offices in Memphis and one in Chattanooga.
Cutbacks have also affected sales rewards. Crye-Leike canceled its company trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, because it couldn’t justify spending the money on the luxury.
Layoffs were in many sectors, from office administrators and receptionists to marketing and IT people.
Offices that have bucked the slow sales trend are the new midtown office’s REO division, which sells foreclosed properties for banks and Crye-Leike’s Clarksville office, says Mike Machak, Crye-Leike spokesman.
Mandy Wachtler, president of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, says she thinks the closings are more of a re-arrangement, enabling the company to go where the sales are.
“You tend to want your office close to where your business is,” Wachtler says.