Real Estate Mogul Talks Business with the AFRO

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It’s safe to say that Keith D. Murray has a mind for the housing market. The founder and president of PCV Murcor, Real Estate Services has provided home appraisal services for the last 30 years, growing the company from a local southern California product into a nationwide service. His most recent venture, Vendor Resource Management (VRM), has been running steadily for the last five years by helping to erase marketing time while maximizing loan recovery. Murray’s register of real estate services is extensive. Along with its primary duties, VRM also counters against loss mitigation and provides short sales analysis along with pre-marketing, closing, and title service solutions. Despite the expanded workload, Murray found time away from rescuing the real estate market to sit down with the AFRO and provide some insight towards his flourishing networks.

AFRO: With PCV Murcor already established and running strong, what influenced the additional blueprint for VRM?
Murray: The obvious need for accuracy evaluation space is what drove us to VRM. [And] there were [also] a lot of opportunities that we saw to increase what we were dong by way of trying to bring some stability to the communities which are hardest hit and that’s communities of color. If you’re going for a new mortgage it’s critical from the bank’s perspective to make sure that the property making the loan on it is accurate. And if you’re a homeowner in the market place where properties are being sold around you then you want to make sure that properties are being sold at an accurate value and not below market because at the end of the day that hurts neighborhoods.

AFRO: The last few years have been especially rough for the housing market and those associated with it. What challenges are your companies currently facing in trying to maneuver through the dry spell?
Murray: I think the biggest challenge is in making sure we continue to have our pulse on the dynamics of the market. The market is more dynamic than it’s ever been in my 30 years, there’s so many different forces that are having impact on value. For us, the biggest challenge is to make sure that we understand what’s going on in markets across the country and we do all we can to make sure our business partners have a clear understanding of what’s going on [but] it’s happening so fast.

AFRO: Besides the two businesses, what other projects are currently in the works?
Murray: VRM In Motion. We travel around country to foreclosed areas and do recruitment for real estate professionals, brokers and real estate agents to add onto our broker network. Over 60 percent of our broker-owned network is of women and minority-owned businesses. It brings economic development back into the communities where foreclosures are most prevalent.

AFRO: With your clear understanding of the market, what’s perhaps the biggest thing that new home buyers neglect when they go into purchasing? And if it’s one piece of advice you could give to them what would it be?
Murray: In relation to buying a home it’s definitely more than one piece of advice I’d say is don’t over commit to what you can’t afford [and] don’t look at the purchase of a home as a short term investment. Look at the opportunity to own a home as the opportunity to plug into a community which is more than going to a home and taking care of it but participating in the PTA and other things that make a community vibrant.