A Storied Career
Meet F.C. Tucker CEO Jim Litten
For nearly five decades Jim Litten has worked in the real estate industry, having started as a sales associate for F.C. Tucker Company and eventually securing his current position as the company’s CEO.
Through those decades, Jim’s passion for the industry has never abated.
“Being in a people business like real estate, if you really do enjoy being with others and establishing relationships, I think you’re always going to stay interested and thrive,” Jim says.
Originally from eastern Ohio near the West Virginia border, Jim attended Ohio University in Athens on a football scholarship and studied physical education. After graduating, he became a lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1968 and served in Vietnam throughout most of 1969. Upon finishing active military duty, Jim took a sales job in Louisville with Hunt-Wesson Foods, eventually transferring to Indianapolis, where he’s been ever since.
“Hunt-Wesson was going to move me again in 1972 but I decided I liked Indianapolis, so I decided to stay and get in the real estate business,” Jim says. “That’s when I joined F.C. Tucker, and I’m sure glad I did. It’s been a great company to be a part of.”
Litten says even back in the early 1970s when he decided to settle in Indy – before the northside was as bustling and commercially developed as it is now – he saw potential in the area.
“I wanted to have roots and a place where my kids could grow up, and even though it wasn’t the Indianapolis it is today, the quality of life was good here,” he says. “And I knew I’d like to be independent and in control of my own destiny, so I thought real estate sounded intriguing.”
Jim called the agent who sold him his first Indy house and offered to take him to lunch. After picking that agent’s brain and then obtaining his real estate license, Jim got to work as a sales associate for F.C. Tucker, based out of the company’s Castleton office.
“I didn’t know anyone here back then, but I just worked hard and did everything I was taught in training, and good fortune happened to me,” Jim says.
Jim was offered a management position with Tucker a few years after joining as a salesman, and in 1979 went on to manage the company’s Keystone at the Crossing office location.
By the early 1980s, Jim was doing strategic planning for the F.C. Tucker along with Fred Tucker and David Goodrich, which he says prompted the three men to buy the company in December of 1985.
“When David retired in 1998 Fred and I bought him out, and then Fred retired in 2010 and I bought him out – so I’m sort of the last guy standing,” Jim says with a laugh. “It has been such a joy. The associates, the management team – working with everyone has been delightful.”
Jim, a Carmel resident, feels proud of the residential and commercial growth throughout Hamilton County over the past few decades.
“We have a lot of the big-city, major-market amenities here without the problems they have,” he says. “And the cost of housing here is another good thing – Indianapolis is in the top third of affordability of the major metropolitan markets in the United States, and our taxes are reasonable compared to most markets.”
Jim enjoys playing golf in his downtime, and dining at various north side restaurants like Anthony’s Chophouse.
“There’s so much to do for families up here,” he says. “My wife and I try to frequent all the restaurants as much as we can. We have an office on Veterans Way by Sun King, so a lot of times at the end of the day we’ll pop by the office and then go have a drink and maybe a pizza.”
According to Jim, F.C. Tucker Company, which currently includes nearly 50 offices in Indiana, did approximately $4 billion in real estate sales in 2019 – a far cry from the approximately $250 million per year back when he, Tucker and Goodrich bought the company in the ‘80s. He says it’s all due to the quality of the F.C. Tucker staff throughout the state.
“There are so many people who we all know that dread getting up in the morning and going to work,” Jim says. “I can honestly say that 99.9% of the days, I can’t wait to get to work and be with all the people at Tucker. Everyone here is dedicated to their clients and treating people the right way. I’ve often said that people who have character don’t have to worry about their success, and I think that’s the culture at Tucker.”