Crye-Leike celebrates selling nearly $1.2B of property in Memphis area in 2011 – Reported by The Commercial Appeal

The city and state’s largest real estate agency nearly reached its goal of $1.18 billion, selling 6,822 properties totaling $1.04 billion in the Memphis area for 2011.


The near-miss in such a harsh market hardly dampened the mood for Crye-Leike’s 35th annual kickoff event for 2012.


Hundreds of agents practically danced themselves into ballroom at Holiday Inn-University of Memphis to the high-volume, blood-stirring recordings of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta a Feeling.”


“We’ve had an economy we’ve never seen before,” co-founder and president Dick Leike told the crowd. “You guys have done a terrific job making lemonade out of lemons.”


In its entire seven-state region, Crye-Leike sold 24,470 pieces of property totaling $3.8 billion.


Judy McLellan got her annual exercise workout, walking back-and-forth to the stage to receive awards for the year’s highest sales volume and related honors.


A living legend in the company, McLellan has led Crye-Leike in total dollar sales for 15 years.


The husband-wife team of Jimmie and Bob Tapley continued to make a remarkable mark of their own, for the number of their sales.


They sold 450-plus homes during 2011. They do handle a lot of distressed sales, but regular ones, too.


Last year, the Tapleys sold a house in Germantown for $925,000 and one in Frayser for $1,000.


“I don’t put my eggs in one basket,” said Jimmie Tapley, a seven-day-a-week worker who says her personal record is showing a client 54 houses in one day.


Even robbery doesn’t defeat the Tapleys. Bob Tapley was held up on Belvedere last year — robbed of his car, wallet and camera — while photographing a house. The couple still sold that house, another house to the seller, and a third house to a policeman on the case, Jimmie said.


Crye-Leike has goals for this year, including increasing Memphis-area sales by 3 percent to $1.08 billion.


The company also expects to roll out a new website with a “cleaner, simpler look” early this year, executive vice president Steve Brown announced.


He challenged agents to embrace social media in their work, especially Facebook.


“There are over 800 million active users of Facebook,” he said.


Post something once or twice a day, offer useful information, and “know that people expect you to be” on Facebook, Brown said.


Also this year, Crye-Leike will focus more training on sales involving foreclosures, bank sales and other “nontraditional business,” Brown said. They make up more than a third of real estate sales and are expected to stay strong for two to four more years, Brown said.