Brian DeMaria owns Quality Investments and Brokerage Inc. He has a wife of 33 years. Some of the most important things to Brian are honesty and truthfulness, which is perfect for the real estate world. Brian has seen a lot of amazing things in the world when he was a marine merchant, spending a lot of time at sea.
Brian absolutely loves living in the area and said that this is one of the few areas in Escambia where you can fish during the day and go hunt deer or turkey in the afternoon. He also loves that the cost of living is fantastic and that he loves the lifestyle here. He says he’s truly blessed to be here and you really just can’t beat living here.
What inspired you or led you to your current career/owning your business?
Well, my profession initially was a merchant marine. I spent 6-10 months a year on a ship. After a few years of doing that, I realized I missed life on land. I came to Pensacola where my family lived and met a man named Frank Faddis, who was in the real estate brokerage business. I went to work for him part time, in-between shipping and got my real estate license. So, I basically got into the real estate business out of necessity to make a living.
How long have you lived or worked in Pensacola?
My parents moved to Pensacola in 1977. That was the year I graduated high school. I went to college for 4 years. In Maine and Texas. Then I went to work in the industry and didn’t see Pensacola for probably 4 years. So, it was probably about 1984.
Who is the most interesting person/business owner you’ve met here in Pensacola? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Pensacola?
Well, I’ve been fortunate. I classify that question as who were my mentors in town. Frank Faddis was my first mentor in real estate. Then I went to work for Doug Halford, who taught me a lot. Then I went to work for Ed Chadborne Jr, my father in law, who also taught me a lot. I went into real estate on my own, and partnered with Steve DeGallo, who was a city councilman and county commissioner. I would say they all taught me to be who I am today, in a lot of respects, in terms of business particularly.
What advice would you give a crowd of people? (Or someone starting their own business?)
Be prepared to work hard, never sacrifice your honesty to make a deal, and a good deal has two winners. You must be fair to both sides, as well as build your relationships. You have to be truthful and honest at all times and have to know what you are doing. If you don’t, don’t pretend you do. Another thing that is very important, and a lot forget, is mind the shop yourself. You need to be involved in everything upfront, especially when starting.
What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about (or what is most iconic in) Pensacola?
I think the Blue Angels and the Naval Museum are great. Also the Gulf fishing pier and Seville Quarter. You also can’t forget the beach.
Where do you see yourself (and your career/business) in 5 or 10 years?
I’m really very happy with my life right now. I want to enjoy seeing my children just as happy as I am and fulfilled. I also want to continue to be a good influence on those around me.
What is your favorite restaurant in Pensacola, and what do you love there? (What is your favorite dish, and where do you get it?)
Well, I’ve gotta get it once a week- it’s Peg Legs. I get the oyster rock-a-feller. Also I would have to say the Grand Marlin, for their grilled fish on greens with salsa verde.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
Keep in mind, I’ve been to a lot of crazy places and seen some crazy, beautiful things. I would like to share time with my wife, and go cruise the east coast of the United States and the Great Lakes. Also the Hudson river. I would go on my own boat.
What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
I would have to say when I was young, keep in mind, we had 3 channels in black and white. But, I would say Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
What is your favorite thing or something unique about Pensacola?
The quality of the people.
Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Pensacola would you have lunch?
I would say probably Quint Studer. He has a lot of things I respect him for doing. I would like to see what motivates him as well. I’m curious to see what makes him really tick and why he’s doing what he’s doing. Also, Ray Russenberger.
What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
I like all music. I love music. It’s a passion. Even rap. Everlast is pretty good. I’d have to say my favorite is “The Band”. I love JJ and MoFro, Eric Clapton, and Larkin Po. That’s one of the things I like so much about Pensacola; the music scene.
(Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
Well, I would just say the fact that I was a merchant marine and spent quite a few years at sea. The most interesting place I’ve been is the Puerto Ordaz, 120 miles up the Orinoco river in Venezuela. That was a very interesting trip. I did that on a tramp tanker(that means we didn’t know where we were going until someone chartered us to haul a load). We went to Puerto Ordaz and up this winding jungle river. We would trade things like jeans for lobster and fish. Dugout canoes would come up alongside the vessel. We loaded what they called bitterman, which is asphalt cement, and took it to Dundee, Scotland, from Venezuela. I did a lot of stuff like that. I even went to Nigeria and El Salvador. I’ve traveled around the entire coast of South Africa.
One of the most amazing things I saw was when we did a circumnavigation of South America on a ship I was on, and went through the Straight of Magellan. Which is a little passageway just North of the Horn. It winds around between Chili and Brazil and it takes about 2 days to go through. You have to go through at very slow speeds, 3 or 4 knots, max. It’s always inclement weather. There are a wrecks of ships that didn’t make it. It was named by Magellan when he sailed through it. But on the Atlantic side, there is a place called Tiara Del Fuego, “The Land of Fire” and you can see fires at night, burning on the coastline, because the natural gas seeps out of the ground and gets lit by lightening and other things. So, there’s a natural fire on the shore. It’s got to be the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen.
What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Love, peace, and contentment.
If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
Besides Tom Cruise, probably Tim Allen. That or, despite his raunchiness, Charlie Sheen would be great.
If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?
Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
Probably a trainer.
To learn more about what Brian does, check out his website!
Address: 21 E Garden St UNIT 207, Pensacola, FL 32502
Be sure to check out what our other nominees have to say!