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VOL. 126 | NO. 45 | Monday, March 7, 2011


Crump Commercial Sets Sights on Continued Success

By Allison Buckley

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To many Memphians, the name Crump is a familiar one.

Crump Commercial, a commercial real estate firm, includes Jess Ossorio, from left, Richard Faulk, Treat Macdonald, Robert Harrell and Charles Sevier. (Photo: Lance Murphey)

The legacy of former Memphis mayor E.H. “Boss” Crump is felt across the political landscape and can be seen in everything from a boulevard to a football stadium

It’s also the namesake of Crump Commercial LLC, a longtime commercial real estate firm that was originally called E.H. Crump & Co. before merging with the Edward LeMaster Co.

Crump Commercial is a locally owned, full-service real estate brokerage company that is active in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

And thanks to its affiliate with CORFAC International, its reach extends well beyond the Mid-South. Crump Commercial has been able to establish relationships with companies such as Wal-Mart, Sysco Food Services Inc., AT&T Global Information Solutions, Firestone and Chrysler Corp., just to name a few.

Because it is a small firm with just eight professionals, Crump Commercial aims to differentiate itself from the competition by focusing on relationships, said the firm’s chief manager Charles Sevier.

“The key to everything is servicing the client,” Sevier said. “You need to be focused on serving the client and everything else will come.”

Sevier has been with Crump Commercial since 1979 when it was still known as E.H. Crump & Co. In 1986, the firm’s commercial division was going to be sold. The company asked Sevier and two of his coworkers, including principal broker Treat Macdonald, if they would be interested in purchasing the company.

After little deliberation, the trio decided they would be interested and created E.H. Crump Realty Inc. in 2001.

From there, E.H. Crump Realty merged with the Edward LeMaster Co. and became what it is known as today – Crump Commercial LLC. Since then, Sevier and his fellow brokers have been busy working in all aspects of commercial leasing and sales.

That specialization in different areas is another thing Sevier attributes to Crump Commercial’s success.

“For instance, Richard (Dick) Faulk became partner in 2001,” Sevier said. “(He’s one of the) best brokers in Memphis handling free-standing industrial buildings.”

Alongside Sevier and Faulk, Macdonald concentrates on brokerage and management of industrial real estate. Together, the three principals at Crump Commercial have established an outstanding team of employees.

“The people that we have here are very experienced in what we do,” Sevier said. “It’s a group where everybody is striving to do the best that they could do at their job and we learn off each other.”

And there has been a lot to learn, especially when hard times hit the real estate industry in 2008. In the beginning, Crump Commercial’s focus was geared more toward sales than leasing. Now, in an effort to move where the market is heading, Crump Commercial’s focus is about 90 percent leasing and 10 percent sales.

“We’re reactionary,” Faulk said. “We can go out and create our own situations. We try to adjust according to what the economy dictates.”

Crump’s success is also due to its affiliation with CORFAC International, an organization created out of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors that partners with independently owned companies in major markets for referrals.

Because of its affiliation, Crump is able to provide real estate services throughout North America, Europe and parts of Asia.

Sevier said this affiliation has been helpful specifically because there have been so many changes in the real estate industry over the years. Through meetings and conferences with CORFAC, Crump Commercial is able to ask questions and form relationships with other businesses in the industry.

“I consider (becoming affiliated with CORFAC) the smartest decision that I made,” Sevier said. “(CORFAC is) what I consider one of the best organizations because it’s based on transactions and ethics.”

Recently, Sevier was named president of CORFAC, something he called a tremendous honor.

“I admire him for stepping up to the table,” Faulk said. “It is a lot of work … but he will do a great job.”

Sevier is also optimistic; his personal goal for this year is to sell five buildings and keep Crump Commercial focused on the future.

“This recession we’re in now – it is as deep as I have ever seen it,” Sevier said. “My future goal, for sure, is to look at this recession in my rearview mirror.”

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