Crye-Leike Florida Opening Coincides With TAR Convention

Ribbon-Cutting at Destin Office Planned as Meeting Event

  • Thursday, September 26, 2002

Tennessee-based Crye-Leike Realtors is entering the Florida real estate market with its first franchise in that state sold in Destin, Fla., where Realtors from across Tennessee will assemble Tuesday for the opening of the five-day Tennessee Association of Realtors (TAR) convention.

The Destin franchise was announced by Crye-Leike Chief Executive Office Harold E. Crye who noted that this move broadens Crye-Leike's market presence into six southern states and positions the company within the leading real estate market in the nation in terms of new housing start ups and existing home sales. Crye-Leike is reported to be the largest real estate company in Tennessee and the Mid-South.

According to the National Association of Realtors, Florida led the nation in new housing starts in 2001. Texas ranked second, followed by California, Georgia and North Carolina. Florida ranked No. 3 in the nation in existing homes sales for 2001, with California ranking No. 1, followed by Texas as No. 2.

More than 50 Realtors, affiliates and spouses from the Chattanooga area are expected to be in Destin for the state convention which will include a wide variety of seminars and educational sessions and meetings of various Realtor organizations.

The Destin Crye-Leike franchise agreement was signed between co-owners Penny Worley and Wanda Duke, both Crye-Leike sales associates, and investor John Paulsen, to operate Crye-Leike Coastal Realty in Destin, Fla., making it one of 13 Crye-Leike franchises company wide. Crye-Leike's Florida franchise office will serve Okaloosa and Walton counties.

A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of Crye-Leike's Destin franchise office will be held on Thursday at 5 p.m. as a social event for the TAR convention. Coastal Realty is located in Okaloosa County, directly on Highway 98 at The Plaza, 4507 Furling Lane, Suite 106 in Destin, just east of the Mid-Bay Bridge.

Known for its sugar white beaches and emerald waters, Destin is a fishing village and premier resort destination located on Florida's Gulf Coast. It is home to the largest and most elaborately equipped charter boat fleet in Florida, fishing events and festivals held in Destin year-round.

The 100-Fathom Curve draws closer to Destin than any other spot in Florida, providing the speediest deep-water access on the Gulf. Florida is the only southeastern state without a personal state income tax, boasting a low cost of living.

Coastal Realty becomes Crye-Leike's second resort franchise, joining Pickwick Lake, a resort town in Counce, Tenn.

"As retirement homes become more popular in lake and beach areas, these Crye-Leike franchises can fill those needs," says Worley. "Developers predict beachfront property to average $600 per square foot by the mid-2000s, making Destin property an excellent choice for investing."
Paulsen plans to add a property management division within the first year, a first for the Crye-Leike franchising system. "In keeping with Crye-Leike's mission statement, ‘a passionate commitment to unsurpassed service,' condominium and resort property management will allow Crye*Leike Coastal Realty to become a full service real estate company, offering vacation rentals and property management to its customers, not just real estate sales," says Paulsen.

All three owners are native Memphians and have vacationed in Destin since childhood.
"Both Wanda and I have owned homes and property in Destin, Fla. for years, and we always said that we would move here from Memphis [Tenn.]," says Worley. "We knew it would be a matter of time. When we learned about Crye-Leike's franchising program, it became instantly clear that buying a Crye-Leike franchise was the answer to us getting to Destin sooner. Imagine moving to paradise and being able to continue working under the Crye-Leike brand name."

Crye-Leike (, 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.
Crye-Leike has a network of over 2,200 sales associates and 62 branch and franchise offices located in 30 counties throughout a six-state 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.

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