Celebrating Black History Month
As perhaps the only nationwide black-owned Appraisal Management Company (AMC), PCV Murcor history is Black History. To celebrate Black History Month, we sat down with PCV Founder, President, and CEO Keith Murray to ask who inspired him and played a role in his success in growing PCV from a California-based operation to nationwide over the past 40 years.
His main inspirations were, and still to this day, family and community. Keith’s father, Anthony, and mother, Joan, were among the hard-working members of the community that made an impression on him.
“My Dad drove a truck and was a teamster; I credit him for my work ethic. I remember waking up early often, hearing him get ready for work in the background, every day, at the same time every morning. I have fond memories of him sometimes letting me ride in the truck with him,” Murray shared. “The impression he gave me was that you need a routine, or a sense of consistency, going to work with your nose to the grindstone, which I’ve carried with me through my career as an appraiser and running a company.”
“My Mom worked multiple jobs. She was the ultimate multi-tasker, a necessity in the business world,” Murray added. “Most importantly, she always had a kind word for those she encountered, no matter what their role was.”
Beyond family, Murray would also find inspiration in his immediate surroundings.
“As a young kid in South Los Angeles, I was inspired by people who I encountered in my everyday life; they were who I admired the most,” Murray said. “South LA, then, and to this day, is about community.”
Playing in his neighborhood as a child would go on to influence his life’s work.
“You know it’s funny, I can recollect my interest in real estate starting when I was probably around 10 years old seeing Realtists®* from NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Brokers) driving through my neighborhood,” Murray recalled.
NAREB, founded in 1947, is an equal opportunity and civil rights advocacy organization for African American Real Estate Professionals, consumers, and communities in America.
“I have such a clear visual of seeing their magnetized placard signs on the side of their cars. Some of them were friends of my parents. I recall asking my Mom’s friend, Eleanor, what she did for a living, and that sparked my interest in real estate,” Murray shared. “Many people know I am an appraiser, but few know I am a broker as well. The real estate professionals in my community were the first example I saw of black entrepreneurship.”
Murray’s participation in youth sports would provide him a valuable lesson in life, as well as for running a business.
“When I was a kid playing Pop Warner Football, the Los Angeles Police Department’s officers would be involved in the program as coaches for inner-city teams. One of my coaches was Bernard Parks, who would later become LAPD Chief of Police and the Councilman for LA City District 8,” Murray said. “I took from this experience to make something successful that it takes a village, whether that is bringing inner-city kids together to play football, or in business. As I’ve shared before, it has been PCV’s ability to hire a diverse and talented staff that has made us successful over the past 40 years.”
For Murray, his inspiration has always been deeply-rooted in family.
“I’m blessed with a great family. My inspiration started early on from observing my Grandmother Margaret; she taught me how to walk the walk. I saw her do this in how hard she worked as the house manager for a prominent LA family and also her involvement in her church,” Murray said. “Her sense of faith, community, and generosity resonated with me. I try to follow these same principles with my family today. You can see those principles also throughout our philanthropic efforts.”
Murray honors what he learned from his Grandmother by recognizing an employee every year with The Margaret Murray Award.
“When the organization came to me with the idea of naming an award after me that would recognize an employee that has gone above and beyond, I thought… ‘why name it after me; it should be named after my Grandmother because she is the one who taught me that it’s not just what you do, but also how you do it that makes you successful.’”
*A NAREB member is called a Realtist and represents all professional disciplines within the real estate industry. Realtists promote the highest standards of professional integrity and follow a strict code of real estate industry ethics, including making certain that communities of color are treated with dignity and respect.
Other features on Keith and PCV you might find interesting:
10 Things You Might Not Know About Our Founder, CEO and President Keith Murray
PCV Murcor Commemorates 40 Years in Appraisal and Valuation Management