Quick Interview with Murray Balkcom
Broker Associate | Realtor for 30A Local Real Estate
- Can you tell us about your experience in the real estate industry? I have been working in the real estate industry in the greater 30A area for over two decades and have gained extensive knowledge and expertise in the local area. After simultaneously managing three of the top producing 30A residential real estate offices and one top commercial brokerage for NorthWest Florida, severn years ago, I transitioned back to what I enjoy best, working with sellers and buyers of residential and commercial real estate in the 30A, Freeport, Destin and Panama City Beach area. For over fifteen years, I served on the MLS Committee for the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and I continue to expand my network of professional and social contacts. I am a licensed Broker Associate and Realtor with 30A Local Real Estate, which is a top-performing real estate brokerage firm in the greater 30A area.
- What do you believe sets you apart from other Realtors in the 30A area? What sets me apart from other Realtors in the greater 30A area is my dedication to providing exceptional service to my clients. I have a deep understanding of the local market, which allows me to provide valuable insights and advice to my clients. I also prioritize building strong relationships with my clients and ensuring that they have a positive and stress-free experience throughout the buying or selling process, maintaining life-long clients who refer others to me.
- How do you ensure that your clients have a positive and stress-free experience when buying or selling a home? To ensure that my clients have a positive experience, I focus on open communication, attention to detail, and a personalized approach to each client’s unique needs. I also have a team of experienced professionals, including lawyers, inspectors, and contractors, who can provide additional support and guidance throughout the process.
- Can you provide an example of a particularly challenging real estate transaction you’ve handled and how you overcame any obstacles? One particularly challenging transaction I handled involved three adjacent properties which were in a non-recorded subdivision. The original subdivision was sold in the 1970’s and the seller’s father was the original buyer of the 3 properties. Walton County
was not acknowledging that there were three lots, saying there were only two. Apparently, the third lot was sold a few months after the first two, but the sale was never recording in public records with the Clerk of Court. I was able to track down the original seller who was 91 years old, still living in our area. When meeting with him, I approached it from a neutral fact-finding perspective and simply asked him to tell me about what he sold. He clearly remembered selling two lots, then shortly after, selling the third lot. He even remembered the daughter (who became my seller) as she was with her father when he shook hands on the deal. He agreed to sign a quit claim to the deed. Still Walton County was not recognizing the property at all without the subdivision being recorded. I spoke with so many people at the county trying to resolve the ongoing matter. Finally, someone directed me to the Defuniak Springs Clerk of Courts and told me who to talk with. The Clerk had a very old, faded yellow hand drawn sketch of the un-recorded neighborhood. It had so many layers of different color pencil labels, many of which were faded. The clerk informed me that it’s the unofficial unrecorded guideline they have on file and sometimes had to refer to. I had to run the scan through different photo filters to see the faint details showing the three lots, just as I had been told they were. We escalated the request for acknowledgement to the top official at the Planning Dept and based on all the information that I had tracked down, he approved it to officially be recorded as the three lots we thought we were selling all along. This process took course over many months, but I persisted in working on it trying to resolve it with hope and dedication. We closed after about 18 months of working on sorting it out and the seller and buyer were both very pleased in the end with my work in resolving it when no one had any answers. My ability to stay calm under pressure and think creatively helped me overcome the obstacles and achieve a successful outcome.
- How do you stay current on real estate market trends and changes in the 30A area? Staying current on real estate market trends and changes in the 30A area is a top priority for me. As a lover of math, I’m drawn to charts, graphs and statistics. I’d guess that 90% of buyers don’t care much about the market trends, but I like to keep a pulse on the market by running monthly stats and I have kept market spreadsheets going back to when the MLS first started offering them in 2002. Other agents often rely on my market updates to inform their own clients on the state of the market. I also regularly teach real estate classes to other agents and brokers, attend industry conferences, continuing education classes, read industry and financial publications, and network with other professionals in the field. I keep a close eye on local market data and economic indicators to help my clients make informed decisions about buying or selling property.
- What do you consider to be the most important qualities for a successful real estate agent? The most important qualities for a successful Realtor include strong communication skills, attention to detail, a deep knowledge of the local market, and a commitment to providing exceptional service to clients. It’s also essential to have a positive attitude, be adaptable to change, and have the ability to think creatively and critically to foresee and solve issues before they become problems.