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Executive profile: Harold Crye

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Harold E. Crye In 1973, Harold Crye "wandered" into real estate fresh out of the U.S. Army and discovered he had a passion for the business. He worked for a real estate brokerage for four years before co-founding his own company with Dick Leike in 1977. He was 31. "I felt like there could be a better way. I felt like the agents were being treated like employees at the last place and I felt they could be given more freedom as independent contractors," Crye said. "I thought we could set up a company that was a little more agent-friendly, give them more tools they needed, a more fun place to work, more camaraderie. Just a better environment."Today, Crye-Leike, Realtors has 3,200 agents and 113 offices in nine states: Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The company continues to grow: last month, it expanded into the Knoxville, Tenn., market.Crye-Leike is the sixth largest...