30A Pioneer: Larry Davis of Davis Properties

By Sarah Murphy Robertson

One could say the communities of South Walton are grounded by the people who first loved and helped establish them. Each one is a dream realized.

Such pioneers migrated from all over, and upon glimpsing these emerald waters, decided to make their home along this once lesser-known coastline.

Larry Davis arrived in 1987.

His older-by-18 years half-brother, Robert Davis, encouraged him to consider a relocation and a career in real estate. Yes, that Robert Davis – the visionary founder of Seaside.

But of course, Larry’s story begins a bit earlier. He was raised in Macon, Georgia, living there until the age of 16 and then moving to Arizona to finish out high school. He earned a degree in Business Management from Arizona State and scored his first job in electrical sales for Westinghouse, which helped hone his natural selling skills. Larry was very driven and was quickly promoted to a slightly larger market: Los Angeles.

“I only have one speed, and that is GO,” he confessed.

But with the untimely passing of his father – and the resulting renewed relationship with his half-brother, Robert – a move to Florida’s sleepy panhandle won over. In fact, he arrived on the very same night Robert and Darryl’s son, Micah, was born. That was just over 30 years ago: November 5, 1987.

Larry started working with Seaside Group Sales and Cottage Rental Agency. In 1990, he earned his real estate license and began a sales career with Abbott Resorts in Seagrove Beach. Two years later, Larry decided to branch out on his own, and he founded Davis Properties of NW FL, Inc., which still serves this region over 25 years later.

Larry was also very influential in the design and development of the Rosemary Beach neighborhood. He established Rosemary Beach Realty and was the founding broker of record from 1995 through 2001.Today, Larry seeks inspiration and goal-setting quotes from scholars like Ussher and business gurus such as Steve Jobs. He believes strongly in the importance of face-to-face introductions and establishing a personal rapport with others in the community. He seeks out new personal connections every day, and says that simple technique has always served him well.

In his thirty years as a South Walton resident, Larry has unique insight on the evolution and growth of these beloved communities. He thinks some of the most important issues to tackle today include parking and improved public transportation.

“As Robert has been known to say, every great city has a parking problem,” he smiled.

Larry feels strongly about a whole litany of topics, from diversifying our local economy to the creation of affordable housing options, for both first-time home buyers and local retirees.

A devoted family man first, he is thrilled his son Hunter and family have recently moved back to the area, and he relishes giving real estate licensing advice to his daughter, Chandler. He even paused our interview to answer a call from his beloved wife of 26 years, Melissa: “Please excuse me, that’s my boss calling.”

Regardless of who’s really calling the shots, one thing is certain: The indelible mark Larry Davis has made on the communities of South Walton will be evident for generations to come.

Larry Davis is the Founder of Davis Properties of Northwest Florida.

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