616 Realty Agent Ken Murillo: From serving his country, to serving his fellow veterans

Before becoming a real estate agent in 2018, Ken Murillo served in the Marine Corps first as an armorer and then as a recruiter. After 22 years in the service, and after being nudged by another 616 agent (Darcy Fritsch) to consider real estate, he decided to give it a try. “I wanted to be able to help people in the community.”


Once a Marine, always a Marine

Considering that the Marine motto is Semper Fidelis-‘always faithful’ and they believe in an “eternal and collective commitment… …(to the) steadfast loyalty of the fellow Marines we fight alongside,” Murillo has become dedicated to helping veterans find a home at “home”. “I knew I wanted to help veterans utilize their benefits. I made it my personal goal to learn the ins and outs of VA loans. There aren’t a lot of agents out there who understand VA offers. Brad Stinson of The Veteran Home Home Front powered by Benchmark Mortgage taught me everything he knows. I have pretty much made it my job to become a VA specialist, and now 85-90% of my clients are veterans utilizing the VA loan.”

It isn’t without its challenges, but it is certainly worth the rewards. “It is challenging educating agents that aren’t familiar with the VA loan. They can go their whole career without working with a VA offer or loan. …But working with veterans brings me back to the service. We relate with each other and tell stories of active duty. We love each other and have each other’s backs.”


One of the best days ever

“One client had gotten denied by a mortgage company for a loan. Brad helped him to get his credit straightened out. He started out in Section 8 housing. He was struggling with depression. But, he was able to move in with his sister, get his life together, and was given full custody of his daughter. They had to share a small room at his sister’s. I helped him get into a brand new remodeled home. He was able to give something to his daughter that he never thought he would be able to do, to provide a home over his daughter’s head. That was one of those days, where I said this is why I am doing what I am doing.”

Hold the applause; there is more…

Not only has he excelled at helping vets, but his list of accomplishments in the real estate community is continually growing as well. “My first-year goal was to have one closing a month.” He may have sold himself a little short, as he accomplished much more than that. “Fortunately, I was chosen to be the 2019 Rookie Agent of the year for GRAR (Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors).” He was also one of the Top 300 GRAR sales agents for 2019. “That wasn’t even on my radar, but it happened.” He also led the agents at 616 Realty with the most sales. “In 2020, I sought to be better than I was in 2019, with the whole pandemic, I thought things would slow down. It was the opposite, it went a lot better than expected.”

“I credit the Marine Corp for all the success I have now. I learned the intangibles… leadership skills, discipline… in the Marine Corp. Whether you are in the service for four years or 20 years, you are going to gain those intangibles. Those are the things companies are looking for to be successful.”

Ken Murillo

Mentorship matters

Being one of the leading agents in the area wasn’t his only goal. He wanted to help other agents become successful in real estate. “In 2021, I didn’t make a goal to lead in sales… but my goal was to create a team-Homes with Ken. I have three agents under me now, two Marines and one Army. I told them it would be great if they could stick with me for a year, and then if they want to go out on their own, I would wish them well.” Murillo’s dedication to mentoring agents is important to him, and he continues to do it not only with his Homes with Ken team but with other agents at 616 Realty.

616 Realty

He attributes a lot of his success to Scot Kellogg and 616. “One of the most important things I learned from Scot is you have got to be yourself.” Murillo also believes that even though 616 Realty is certainly growing, its success is in part due to its small agency feel. “You get to know each other. Other agencies are so big, they don’t even know which agent works in what office. It has grown, but it is still the same…”

Advice for first time home buyers

“Don’t be in such a hurry. When you walk into a home, you are going to know if that is the one for you. Do not fall in love with a house based on the pictures online.” 

Advice for sellers  

Be patient and trust the recommendations that are given by an agent. Sellers have seen these properties fly off the market. With me, being a listing agent, I list the properties where they should be listed. I am not going to list it too low, so you get 35 offers. I would much rather have 5 legit offers… You have to trust in the recommendations.”

Not only are Murillo and 616 Realty helping veterans find their dream homes, but they believe in giving back in other ways. He has been the president of 92for22, a nonprofit that works to help struggling veterans, and, 616 Realty has been a sponsor for two years as well. “It’s pretty awesome when your employer backs you in things other than real estate.”


If you are looking for a real estate brokerage firm and agents who have the backs of veterans, their clients, and the agencies that are working to help those in the community, 616 Realty is the place for you. Contact us today. 

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