Times have certainly changed since Herb Baugh and Rex Ennis opened the doors of American Way Real Estate in 1972 with 3 eager agents. In those days the real estate companies didn’t show each other’s listings only their own. That changed in the mid-80’s with the development of the local Multiple Listing Service. In 1972 there were only a handful of local real estate companies now 72 companies are members of the local REALTOR association. American Way has not only grown along with the industry but has blazed the trail with new innovations.
Today, American Way operates out of a state of the art facility on the busiest street in Cookeville, TN. After all if you’re going to put your product on the shelf in a “store” you want that store to be seen. They use the most up to date methods of conducting business and communications available. The MLS book has long since been replaced by an online version. They use electronic lockboxes, digital signatures on emailed documents and a social media presence they continue to grow by leaps and bounds. However, high-tech doesn’t take the place of high-touch, this is a very personal business and American Way doesn’t forget that people make the difference. They also print and distribute 120,000 full color 40-page magazines each year. They print the magazine because they believe if a customer puts enough trust in them to list their property with American Way it doesn’t need to be diluted by advertising with other companies and for sale by owners. Their business model evidently works because in 2015 the company closed over $128,000,000 in sales and nearly 1,000 transactions. That means they were involved in 1 out of every 3 transactions that closed in 9 counties.
Jeff Jones is the face and voice of American Way Real Estate Co. Jeff joined American Way in 1989, accepted the position of sales manager in 1996 and assumed an ownership position in 2004. He grew up in the excavation and trucking business and knew how to operate heavy equipment before he was old enough to drive. After graduating from Tennessee Tech in 1985 with a degree in accounting he had a short career in that field but soon decided crunching numbers behind a desk wasn’t how he wanted to make a living. His experiences from his father’s business of building roads, working with contractors and developers and those contacts made a career in the real estate business a natural fit. Over the years Jeff’s been a buyer, seller, builder, developer and agent so he knows the business inside out.
Jones served for 12 years in every capacity including President of the Upper Cumberland Association of REALTORS board of directors. He served 2 terms as a director for the Tennessee Association of REALTORS and a 1 year term as director for the National Association of REALTORS. Jeff has volunteered with the American Cancer Society and served twice as the event chair of the Relay for Life. He also works as a volunteer and ambassador for the TSSAA Blue Cross Bowl. Jones serves on the board of directors for Genesis House. Jeff also currently serves on the board of directors and as Vice-Chair of Organizational Development for the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce. Maybe more important than any accolades or success he’s had, Jeff thinks his two daughters (and soon to be grandchild) are his proudest accomplishments.