By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
After dabbling with a part-time interest in the industry, Matt Barriger decided in mid-2005 to accept the challenge of making a full-time career in real estate. By the end of that year, he was working for the Kenneth Johnson Agency.
With a strong mentor in John Eichenlaub to guide him along, Barriger secured his footing in the industry. He strengthened that foothold further through the added guidance of the agency’s owner, Barriger’s father-in-law Phil Johnson.
Through a series of mergers over the next 10 years, Barriger worked for three agencies, kept on board each time as a new agency was formed from a merger that had encompassed the previous firm.
BARBERMurphy Group opened in 2005 when former Kenneth Johnson Agency professionals Wayne Barber and Paul Murphy branched off and started their own firm. Noted by Barriger as the “largest commercial real estate firm south of Chicago,” he added that the firm now has a team of 16 brokers who “work together with a great camaraderie, always helping each other meet whatever expectations each one of our customers have.”
At the agency, Barriger focuses on representation for sellers, buyers, tenants and landlords in all aspects of commercial real estate; including office, retail, industrial, land, multi-family and investment properties. He is also an Illinois licensed and approved fee negotiator, providing land acquisition services for both private and public entities.
When asked what is most rewarding about his job, Barriger said, “Developing the kind of long-lasting relationships with customers that results in us sitting together at the closing table or at a lease signing. Or assisting a property owner with the sale of his property. Watching and being a part of someone’s dream coming true.”
Prior to the 10 years he has now spent as a full-time broker, he worked for six years as a route sales associate for Landshire Foods. His experiences there allowed him to develop relationships with a culturally and socially diverse array of customers and clients, drawing upon his customer service expertise to meet their expectations.
In addition to memberships in various industry professional associations, Barriger serves as vice-chair of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. Married for 12 years, he and his wife reside in his hometown of Belleville with their 4-year-old twins, Max and Vivian. He enjoys golf, baseball and softball.