Thad Gray, the owner of Martinez Realty Co., says he's a firm believer in the clich that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Thad Gray, the owner of Martinez Realty Co., stands outside of his Martinez office. Gray's company is celebrating 50 years of service this month.
Photo by Quandra Collins
Although it's not his business's original location, Gray now uses the Martinez home he grew up in as his business office.
"It still feels like home," he said with a laugh about the 4200 Washington Road location. "I think about the times I had to mow the grass out here ... and I still do it."
Through the years, Martinez Realty has worked to help people find a home. This year marks the business's 50th anniversary.
"We've hung in there. I don't know the exact date, but I know it was the week after tax season," Gray said, adding that he plans to commemorate the celebration with memories from the past. "I'll probably sit at the old desk and I might get out a bunch of old photos or whatever and lay it around if anyone wants to come and look at it."
Gray said he remembers when business matters were simple, less hectic and manageable. But now, that doesn't seem to be the case.
"There's a lot more stuff you have to be aware of now and there's more paperwork to fill out as far as the legal end is concerned, and that's a pain in the butt. Years ago, you could pretty much do things on a hand shake. That's changed now. Nobody trusts you."
In the late 1970s, Gray said, he remembers when people would buy acres of land to build a single-story house. Nowadays, he said, there's a high demand for bigger house and less land.
"It's almost like they want a much bigger house, but they don't want to have any yard work to keep up. So, they want smaller lots."
Before he inherited the business from his father, the late M.T. "Buddy" Gray, he majored in business and minored in science from the University of Georgia, hoping to one day work for NASA. But after he found out that NASA would suffer a multimillion-dollar budget cut issued by Congress, he said, he reassessed his career plans.
"That wasn't a time to be trying to find a job there, so I thought I'd come back home and work."
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