Keller Williams’ commercial sales in Chattanooga top $100 million and more business news

Keller Williams commercial sales exceed $100 million

Keller Williams Realty commercial agents completed more than $100 million of real estate sales in the Chattanooga market last year for the first time with a mixture of properties including retail, office space, multi-family, industrial, and more.

“We are proud of the year we’ve had, despite all of the impacts on the market,” KW Commercial Managing Director Lisa Brown said Monday in an announcement of the record sales volume. “We grew our organization to 17 members, and one agent alone—Joe Pleva—closed more than $30 million himself in commercial volume.”

KW Commercial includes agents from the Keller Williams Greater Downtown and Greater Chattanooga offices located in Downtown and East Brainerd respectively. Less than 20 agents produced over $100.3 million in closed volume in 2021, with the agents at Keller Williams Greater Downtown accounting for 82% of that production.

Keller Williams Realty is the largest brokerage both nationally and in the local Chattanooga market. More than 750 residential and commercial agents work under the KW umbrella in the greater Chattanooga area.


TVA gives $1 million in STEM school aid

The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with its retiree organization Bicentennial Volunteers Inc., is awarding $1 million in grants to educators in public schools to develop science, technology, engineering, and math education projects across the Tennessee Valley.

“TVA is committed to supporting STEM education to help develop today’s students into tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and IT professionals,” said Jeannette Mills, TVA executive vice president and chief external relations officer.

The competitive STEM classroom grant program is operated in partnership with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network managed by the Battelle organization. The program received 336 grant applications this year, and 233 were selected for funding. More than 106,000 students across the Valley will be directly impacted by the program.

In Southeast Tennessee, STEM grants were awarded to the Chattanooga School for Liberal Arts, Chattanooga School for Arts and Sciences, East Ridge Elementary, Soddy-Daisy Middle, Lakeview Middle in Rossville, Lookout Valley Elementary, Ridgeland High in Georgia, Cleveland High School, Waterville Community Elementary in Cleveland, Athens Elementary and Athens City Middle School.


SmartBank net income drops from merger costs

SmartFinancial Inc., the parent company of SmartBank, boosted its per-share operating earnings in the fourth quarter by 31%, but net income was still down primarily due to merger expenses from its purchase of Sevier County Bancshares as the Knoxville-based bank continued to grow across the Southeast.

SmartBank said Monday it had net income in the fourth quarter of $6.7 million, or 40 cents per share, down from $9 million, or 59 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. But adjusted earnings after merger and restructuring costs were still ahead of Wall Street expectations.

The bank holding company posted revenues of $39.6 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $36.7 million, also exceeding Street forecasts.

For the year, the company reported a profit of $34.8 million, or $2.22 per share. Revenue was reported as $137.3 million. Total assets for SmartBank grew last year from $3.3 billion to over $4.6 billion.

“We couldn’t be more excited about where we are as a company,” said Miller Welborn, chairman of SmartFinancial. “Our team is poised and ready for 2022.”

Nonetheless, shares of SmartFinancial fell 5.1% in trading Tuesday to $26.70 per share in an overall down day for the market.


D.C., states sue Google for deceiving its users

The District of Columbia and three states are suing Google. They allege the internet search giant deceives consumers and invades their privacy by making it nearly impossible for them to stop their location from being tracked.

In the lawsuit filed in a District of Columbia court, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine says Google has “systematically” deceived consumers about how their locations are tracked and used. He also claims Google has misled users of its services into believing they can control the information the company collects about them.

The attorneys general of Texas, Indiana and Washington state are filing similar lawsuits in their state courts.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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