• Home
  • >
  • Business
  • >
  • Crye-Leike – From Humble Beginnings to One of America’s Largest Real Estate Companies

Crye-Leike – From Humble Beginnings to One of America’s Largest Real Estate Companies

Daniel Richardson, MVP News

Crye-Leike is a real estate company that started in Memphis, Tennessee in 1977. Today, it is ranked #3 of privately owned real estate firms in the nation and the largest real estate company serving markets in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi, with a network of more than 3,200 licensed sales associates, 600 staff members, and over 130 branch and franchise offices throughout the region. Crye-Leike also has a franchise location in Puerto Rico.

The history of Crye-Leike is one of perseverance and innovation. The company was founded by two men, Harold Crye and Dick Leike, who started their careers in real estate working for a company called Sterling. They eventually decided to start their own company and opened Crye-Leike in December of 1977.

Over the years, Crye-Leike grew in size and became the top real estate company not only in Memphis but also in the states of Tennessee and Arkansas. It was also ranked number one in Mississippi. Today, the company has expanded its operations to include eight states with more than 3,200 sales associates and 600 staff members. In 2022, the company did about $9 billion in sales company-wide in about 30,000 transactions. Crye-Leike is the third-largest privately owned real estate company in North America.

Core Values of Crye-Leike

Crye-Leike has several core values that have guided the company throughout its history. These values include integrity, full service, responsiveness, diversity, passion, good neighbor, and growth. The company has remained committed to these values throughout its growth and expansion.

Innovation and Adaptability

One of the keys to Crye-Leike’s success has been its persistent willingness to change and innovate. As Steve Brown, President of Residential Sales, explained in a phone interview, the company has innovated time and time again because it has to stay in business. Crye-Leike has expanded into other businesses such as property management, insurance, mortgage title, and even auto insurance. The company is a full-service real estate company that brokers for about ten different significant insurance companies in the country and manages houses.

Harold Crye (left) and Dick Leike at a ribbon cutting mid-80s.

When the real estate market turns down, Crye-Leike’s REO department and property management departments do well. When the market is good, all the other divisions do well, including mortgage and title. The company has a stable foundation, and this has helped it weather tough times.


Crye-Leike also has a franchise system that allows private contractors to franchise with the company and use the Crye-Leike logo. These franchisees agree to certain policies and procedures and have access to training and online tools. Crye-Leike has franchises in several states outside its footprint and operates about 35 franchises in addition to 100 company-owned stores.

Innovation Continues

Crye-Leike continues to innovate to this day. The company was one of the first in America to set up a computerized appointment system that allowed agents to make appointments seven days a week, including weekends and nights. This gave the company a competitive edge, and today it is still innovative, with the first and only real estate company in North America that has a retirement program for its agents. Crye-Leike’s retirement program will pay their agents for 15 years with what they call retirement benefits, which is like an annuity. Crye-Leike continues to differentiate itself and remains a leader in the real estate industry.

Crye-Leike is also unique in offering a retirement program for its agents, which is the first and only program of its kind in North America. Agents who qualify for the program can receive retirement benefits for 15 years, with 180 equal installments of the average of their best three years, totaling up to 25% of their best three years. Over 90% of top producers are enrolled in the program, demonstrating Crye-Leike’s commitment to the financial security and well-being of its agents.

Looking to the future, Crye-Leike shows no signs of slowing down. With a strong foundation and commitment

to innovation, the company is poised to continue its growth and success in the years to come. As the real estate industry evolves and changes, Crye-Leike is prepared to adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the game.

For those considering a career in real estate sales, Brown offers some valuable insights. He emphasizes the freedom and flexibility that comes with the job, but also notes the importance of being self-motivated and persistent. Real estate agents must generate their own income and cannot simply rely on a name badge to bring in business. However, for those who are willing to put in the work, the rewards can be significant, both financially and personally.

Crye-Leike is a company with a rich history and a commitment to innovation and growth. What began as a small real estate company in Memphis in 1977 has grown into one of the largest real estate companies in the nation, with a network of over 3,200 licensed sales associates, 600 staff members, and over 130 branch and franchise offices across eight states. Crye-Leike’s core values of integrity, full service, responsiveness, diversity, passion, good neighbor, and growth have remained the same over the years, while the company has continued to innovate and expand into new areas of business. With its unique retirement program, commitment to its agents’ financial security, and dedication to staying ahead of the curve, Crye-Leike is a company that is built to last.

Related Posts

The Collierville Herald-Independent strives every day to bring the people of Collierville news that impacts their lives, allowing them to make more informed decisions on a daily basis.
Contact us: [email protected]