Miles Barkley says he has the distinction — good or bad — of being part of a dying breed. He grew up in downtown Charleston, attended Porter Gaud School and enjoyed summers on Sullivan’s Island, that is until leaving for Up With People to travel the world. After a year on the road, he started a wonderful four-year experience at Centre College in Danville, Ky., realizing that there was more to life than Charleston, SC but also never abandoning the desire to come back to live and to work in the lowcountry.
His father, Rufus Barkley, a Charleston businessman and owner of The Cameron & Barkley Co., a local and family owned business at the time until 1975 when it became employee owned, urged his children to “blaze their own trail.” Between that edict and the nudging of his mother Nella, who as a career and management coach, knew how to instill confidence, Miles took off.
With a love of music and writing, he came back home in 1982 and spent his early days as a radio DJ at WKTM 102.5 until he took up his dad’s advice and that of his friend Hal Ravenel to play music on the side and at age 25 go to work in the real estate business full time. It proved to be a good decision at just the right time in Charleston’s ascent. After all, he had grown up with real estate as a discussion topic around the dinner table because it was a parallel interest of his parents. He started his career with Frank Brumley at the Brumley Company. You may recognize him as part owner of the Barkley Fraser Real Estate Company, where he and his partner blazed a 20-year trail. Perhaps you know him as one of the original “40 under 40” business owners, or as part owner and co-founder of the Charleston Battery Professional Soccer Team from 1989 until its sale in 2016, or you had the fun of attending one of his “Barkley Bash” Labor Day Weekend parties for 25 years—proving music, friends and jello can make an evening! Whatever it’s been, since 1984, Miles has invested 34 years and has committed his professional and personal life to making friends, helping clients, and creating value in the lowcountry by promoting sensible and profitable growth.
As a native Charlestonian, Miles has seen first-hand the changes and history that make Charleston special. From a local community strongly influenced by a military presence, history, and Hurricane Hugo in 1989, to a favorable business environment and location for people to migrate southward, Charleston and the surrounding communities have become an international tourist and business destination, an international arts community, and a destination for the culinary, travel, leisure world. “I have grown along with Charleston, sharing in its prosperity,” Miles says.
Being in the business for a while has provided Miles the experience to know that what goes up, comes down, and eventually goes back up again. In the severe downturn of 2009, Miles redirected his focus from brokerage to asset and partnership management where he spent his time on helping his clients to manage their real estate strategically, creating value in the process.
In 2012, Miles could see that Charleston was remerging and it was time for him to do the same. Having oriented his previous full service firm locally, he saw early on the trend of aligning with a larger real estate market to sell Charleston on a larger scale. This enabled Miles to do what he does best: use his talents and knowledge of the community combined with his experience as an owner, broker, manager and developer of commercial and investment properties to build relationships into partnerships as a part of a longer term strategy. This led to his partnership with Lee & Associates Charleston (formerly Anchor Commercial Real Estate) in 2012. Being familiar with the local owners of this firm, he had a close relationship with both Bob Nuttall Jr. and with his late father, having served with Bob Sr. on the St. Philip’s Church vestry, where Miles served twice and once as Senior Warden. This made joining up with Bob Jr., Milton Thomas and Reid Davis a natural business progression. They merged their philosophy as well as business: “People First, Properties Second”, as well as a relational approach that has proven to be a successful business model in both good times and not so good times.
With a strong spiritual and family foundation with his wife Neyse and their two sons Miles Jr. (25) and James (22), Miles appreciates the never-ending quest for balance of the four F’s: faith, family friends and finances. Miles combines the number one rule on his father’s, “Integrity, first, last and always”, with his own “work hard and play hard, and treat people as you want them to treat you” to create a central philosophy guiding the way he lives his life.
Miles is building on his experiences of the past and focusing forward at Lee & Associates Charleston. We know him as a successful business man, a fan of concerts and a lover of outdoor activities. He can be often found on his deck at home with his wife of 26 years watching Molasses Creek flow by, thinking about the wild life and the next real estate opportunity. We like it when people put Miles to work, putting his experience to work for you. Rest assured that Miles and his team at Lee & Associates have your best interest at heart and will help you come up with the right real estate strategy for what you want to accomplish.
J. Miles Barkley
960 Morrison Drive, Suite 400
Charleston, SC 29403