Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 22, 2022

Tucker joins Real Estate Commission

Broker is first Chattanoogan on TREC since 1970s

Crye-Leike managing broker Kathy Tucker is the newest member of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission and the first Chattanooga real estate professional to serve on TREC in several decades. - Photograph provided

Crye-Leike managing broker Kathy Tucker is doing what no other Realtor in Chattanooga has done since the 1970s – serve as a member of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission.

The five-year appointment makes Tucker one of the nine commissioners in Tennessee who are responsible for executing the mission of TREC, a state government agency that registers and regulates real estate firms, brokers and affiliate brokers.

Created in 1951, TREC also enacts rules that address professional conduct and standards of practice for the more than 43,000 licensed real estate agents in Tennessee.

TREC Executive Director Caitlin Maxwell says the commission handles nearly 1,000 complaints ranging from contract disputes to trust money disbursements each year.

Tucker’s 45-year tenure as a real estate agent in Tennessee and her extensive record of volunteer service prompted officials at Tennessee Realtors – the statewide professional association for real estate agents – to recommend her when a seat on TREC became available.

Gov. Bill Lee appointed Tucker to the position at the recommendation of TREC.

Licensed since 1977, Tucker is the managing broker of the Crye-Leike branch in Hixson, where she manages over 40 agents. She’s led the office since 1997, when Crye-Leike purchased Huffaker, the real estate brokerage with which she was working at the time.

Tucker says her most important responsibility as managing broker is to teach her agents “to do the right thing.”

“I train my agents to follow the Code of Ethics and always do what’s best for their buyer or sellers. Representing a buyer or seller isn’t about earning a commission, it’s about doing a good job so you get repeat business.”

Tucker says her desire to have a voice in the real estate industry compels her to volunteer at the local, state and national levels.

Locally, Tucker has served two terms as president of Greater Chattanooga Realtors – first in 2004 and again in 2006. Her accomplishments included spearheading a fundraising endeavor that enabled Habitat for Humanity to build three homes in Chattanooga and having a leadership role in the construction of a new association headquarters.

Tucker has also served as the local MLS president and been a member of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors board of directors since 2004.

“I can’t say no,” she quips.

In recognition of Tucker’s contributions, Greater Chattanooga Realtors presented her with the George Kangles Community Citizenship Award in 2015. The award honors a member of the real estate community who’s made a positive impact on Chattanooga Realtors as well as local homebuyers and sellers.

Tucker has also served as a board member of Tennessee Realtors since 2003. Her other statewide activities include serving as Tennessee Real Estate Education Foundation president in 2015 and Tennessee Realtors president in 2019.

Expanding her reach beyond the state, Tucker has been a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Realtors since 2013.

Tucker says serving her profession not only gives her a voice in her industry but also keeps her up-to-date.

“Being involved educates me about the changes that are taking place in our industry. For years, I’ve preached getting involved to my agents. This can lead to leadership and having a broader voice.”

TREC consists of nine commissioners. The commissioners are drawn equally from East, Middle and West Tennessee. At least two of the commissioners must be a member of the public and not a real estate professional.

The most recent member of TREC from Chattanooga was Johnny Horner, a local pastor and civic leader whose term expired in 2020. TREC’s records do not extend far enough back to identify the last Chattanooga real estate professional to serve on the commission.

The obituary for Chattanooga Realtor Elgin Smith indicates he began a four-year term on the commission in 1972.

A May 2000 article on The Chattanoogan.com indicates local Realtor Jim Worthington also served as a TREC commissioner but does not provide the dates of his term of service.

Regardless, Tucker joins a short lineage of Chattanooga Realtors who have been a TREC commissioner. She joins the commission at a time when local housing inventory is finally swelling after lagging during the pandemic, mortgage interest rates are pushing the cost of housing upward and the number of new real estate agents in Tennessee is growing.

Since 2017 alone, TREC has seen a 33% percent increase in the number of licensed real estate agents in Tennessee, according to the commission.

During the same time period, TREC has decreased the licensing time for real estate agents by more than 60%, decreased its response time by 75% and increased consumer outreach.

Maxwell says she’s believes Tucker will help the commission achieve even greater things.

“Ms. Tucker’s experience and knowledge will help us to better serve and protect Tennessee’s citizens.”

Likewise, Tucker is looking forward to stepping into her new role when she attends her first monthly meeting in Nashville in August.

“My career has prepared me to serve on this commission. I’m looking forward to working hard to fulfill the responsibilities of this appointment.”