Walter J. McCarthy began what is now McCarthy Real Estate on Feb. 2, 1957.
The business started as a single proprietor realty agency and was called Walter J. McCarthy, Realtor.
Current owner Steve McCarthy said his father started the business as a single proprietor and built his staff afterward.
Times file photo
This photo, taken in July 2005, shows original proprietor Walter J. McCarthy right before his 90th birthday.
Photo submitted by McCarthy Real Estate
The staff of McCarthy Real Estate gather for a group photo, circa 1960s.
"He owned and operated the business, and I started in January 1980," he said.
McCarthy said after 32 years, in 1989, the business became incorporated, and became McCarthy Real Estate, Inc.
"My sister Kerry, brother Mike and I became owners of the business," he added. "I have been managing broker since then."
About McCarthy Real Estate
Current owner: Steve McCarthy.
Address: 318 Second St., Marietta.
Feb. 1957-McCarthy Real Estate begins as Walter J. McCarthy, Realtor.
1960s-A branch opens in Belpre.
1971-The business moves from 218 1/2 Putnam St. to its current location, 318 Second St.
May 1989-After 32 years, the business becomes incorporated. Kerry, Mike and Steve McCarthy become owners.
2005-The business joins Real Living franchise.
McCarthy said both his brother and sister have left the business.
"(Mike) was essentially our appraiser; he started our appraisal department," he said, adding that the business was once one of the only realty companies with an appraisal department.
In 2005, the business joined the Real Living franchise, which took effect in 2006.
"At the time, it was the fastest growing real estate network in the country," McCarthy said. "It was based out of Columbus. It combined the top three agencies in Ohio, one from Cleveland, one from Columbus and one from Cincinnati that we really needed for our agents."
McCarthy said he still thinks the move was a great one.
"I liked their business plan and philosophy," he said. "I think it was a positive move; we're still with them."
McCarthy said currently there are 13 agents and appraisers among three offices: Marietta, Belpre and Williamstown.
Penny Ward is one of those agents. She's been with the company for about 15 years and loves her job.
"A favorite part to me is first-time home buyers," she said. "Getting them into their first house is such a thrill."
Ward said she has seen several changes in the way business has to be conducted.
"It seems as though every year there's a change in how we list and how we sell," she said. "We have to keep up to date with ethics...And with fair housing, you have to be careful not to discriminate against race, color, creed or sexual orientation, which we've never had a problem with, ever, but it changes, it evolves."
McCarthy said some other changes have occurred.
"Even in 1989, the technology changes drastically how we do business," he said. "The Multiple List Service (MLS) gathers listings from all realtors of members. The Parkersburg and Marietta board or realtors combined to form one MLS so that it's very efficient...That was a dramatic change."
Ward said one fun thing she's been involved in is a team with another realtor.
"I'm a team with Mary West," she said. "We're the only true team in Marietta. We're Team Westward. It's probably one of the best things I have done. We can have a life outside of real estate...It's very common in bigger cities, but not here."
McCarthy said the success of the business has been in part to two things: "Lots and lots of hard work and being surrounded by lots of good people," he said. "We're very proud of our staff. If you want to be successful, you surround yourself with good people. It sounds totally cliche but it's the truth."
Looking forward, McCarthy said the future looks bright, not just for his business, but for others as well.
"I look for our market to be good here, based on the fact that the local economy is coming back," he said, adding that if the oil and gas business takes off like predicted, "It's going to be a robust market here."