Raider Realty Teaches Students Ins and Outs of Real Estate Market


Raider Realty, LLC is a real estate brokerage created for Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) students and run by the students as a means to learn about the business hands-on, according to their website. It is a for-profit business that lists and sells homes in Rutherford County. Although this is a business comprised exclusively of MTSU students, faculty, alumni and supporters, it is not owned by the university.

It was created by Dr. Phillip A. Seagraves, an Associate Professor of Finance and Real Estate at the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, in late 2015 to give students a chance to get a jump forward in the business. Soon after the brokerage was formed, Kathy Jones of Parks Realty took the lead as the Principal Broker. “It was great when Kathy was running it,” said Seagraves. “She has retired as broker and I’m now interim broker.” Formerly named “Blue Raider Realty”, we now do business as “Raider Realty.”

Seagrave’s vision is to remain a channel for a select group of students who are self-motivated and determined to put in the work to graduate already licensed and headed into a brokerage career. According to Seagraves, there is a constant “flow” with roles mostly as agents. The number of agents goes up and down, with the peak hitting five agents.

“Now,” said Seagraves, “we have one undergrad active, one grad student, a few alumni and two under grads in the pipeline. Melanie Hall is our current undergrad agent. We have another agent, Chad Hamby, who is in MTSU’s Master of Finance program. He moonlights as Operations Manager for the brokerage while working full time at a mortgage company.”

The program is supported by scholarships for licensing costs and ongoing fees to be an agent, with a continuing goal to have the brokerage run day-to-day by a full-time real estate broker and students. Past listings have come from student contacts, networking, and Middle Tennessee State University professors.

Student-brokers can help buyers and sellers, and complete all necessary processes tied to a sale. Currently, the program is mostly focused on their relationship with new home builder Ole South Properties, with student-agents serving as relief in their model homes, helping visitors to their neighborhoods, and generally learning the business.

“A career in new home sales can be life-changing,” said Trey Lewis, Vice President, Sales, Ole South Properties, Inc.  “It is a great privilege, and obligation, to share knowledge of the industry and to provide opportunities to students willing to explore them. Even more rewarding is watching these students excel in a life-changing career.”

“While this is a great learning opportunity,” said Seagraves, “and we appreciate our relationship with Ole South, we’d really like to get a local broker back at the helm. I’m keeping the ship afloat, but we need a true pro to take it forward!”

Seagraves wants to grow Raider Realty to provide more students with firm foundations and marketable skills. It has been formed as an LLC, and he wants to recruit a board and possibly get some help forming a non-profit so it can be placed into the hands of the local real estate community.

Profits from past sales have paid for student-agent licensing costs, been donated to local non-profits, and held on to for future student-realtor expenses in the MTSU Foundation for Blue Raider Realty scholarships.

More information about Raider Realty can be found at They have just completed the sale of Bell House, a historic property owned by an investor group of which Seagraves is a member.

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