Barkers have a new part­ner

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALITY - By Paul Wei­de­man

War­ren Sacks, who en­tered the real-es­tate busi­ness just a decade ago, re­cently ac­cepted a 20 per­cent mi­nor­ity in­ter­est in Barker Re­alty| Christie’s In­ter­na­tional Real Es­tate. For­merly the firm’s vice pres­i­dent, he is also now its chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer. The com­pany, started nearly 50 years ago by Laughlin Barker, is headed by David and Lisa Barker, who bought it in 1985. They re­tain con­trol. At the an­nounce­ment made dur­ing a com­pany party on Dec. 12, the own­ers made it clear to their bro­kers and staff that David Barker is not re­tir­ing.

“War­ren is great in op­er­a­tions and he brings a young, en­er­getic en­thu­si­asm and a lot of in-depth knowl­edge about in­ter­net, com­puter tech­nol­ogy and sys­tems,” David Barker said. “It just re­ally strength­ens what we’re do­ing here in our com­pany, be­cause it’s all about our cus­tomers, and our cus­tomers are our as­so­ciate bro­kers and their buy­ers and sell­ers.”

In an in­ter­view, Lisa Barker re­called that Sacks came to the com­pany straight out of col­lege. “His fa­ther, Rudy Sacks, who is our tax at­tor­ney, asked if we’d con­sider giv­ing hi­man in­tern­ship. I said, ‘Rudy, I’ve never had an in­tern be­fore. I don’t knowwhat to do with a 20-year-old kid.’

“War­ren showed up his first day in a suit and I told him to go home and change and I had him clean out the base­ment,” she said. “Then I or­dered 60 new desk chairs, which came dis­as­sem­bled in boxes and his next task was to put them all to­gether.” Sacks worked the front desk for a time and later be­came li­censed. Just be­fore the au­tumn 2008 crash, he ran The Alameda condo project that Barker Re­alty listed.

“In 2008, we brought War­ren into our man­age­ment fold,” she said. “He just over those years showed such tremen­dous man­age­ment and op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity, it was a no-brainer. Now we have this sort of knight in shin­ing ar­mor with the tech­no­log­i­cal, cut­ting-edge, in­no­va­tive knowl­edge of some­body who’s 30, and our 35-year vet­eran Mer­lin, David. It makes for the most dy­namic man­age­ment sce­nario in the mar­ket­place.”

The firm’s own­ers met in Santa Fe when Barker Re­alty was housed at Ra­dio Plaza on Marcy Street. Lisa, orig­i­nally from San Fran­cisco, was work­ing for KTRC Ra­dio. David is a fourth-gen­er­a­tion Santa Fean. His great-grand­fa­ther, N.B. Laughlin, ran out of money in Santa Fe while trav­el­ing on horse­back from Texas to Colorado and went on to serve on the supreme court for the Ter­ri­tory of New Mex­ico. He be­gan in­vest­ing in real es­tate in the early 1900s. David’s fa­ther, Laughlin Barker, was a U.S. Navy avi­a­tor for two decades be­fore start­ing out in the real-es­tate in­dus­try.

At the be­gin­ning of this mil­len­nium, Barker Re­alty had about 20 agents. To­day there are 45— still in line with a de­sire ex­pressed by the cou­ple in a 1999 pro­file in this mag­a­zine to main­tain the com­pany at a medium size. But it is grow­ing. In 2012, the re­alty, lo­cated in the his­toric Gross Kelly Ware­house on Guadalupe Street, ex­panded at the south end, adding 15 desks. The fol­low­ing year, Barker af­fil­i­ated with Christie’s, in­creas­ing its list­ings visibility to high-end, in­ter­na­tional clien­tele. Now the com­pany is poised to un­der­take an ex­pan­sion that will give it an­other 10 desks. “We are ex­pand­ing into the space at the north end of the build­ing that now has Sta­tion Cof­fee,” Lisa Barker said. “They have many loyal cus­tomers, in­clud­ing peo­ple who use the Rail Run­ner, and it was a hard de­ci­sion to make. Peo­ple are sad­dened. We tried to find them an­other space in this build­ing.”

Barker Re­alty used to have that space and added an in­te­rior wall to cre­ate room for ten­ant Sta­tion Cof­fee. The remodel will begin on Jan. 1.

“We are grow­ing and I think that is due in part to some of the more in­no­va­tive things we have pro­vided our bro­kers with,” she said. One is the trans­ac­tions co­or­di­na­tor the firm brought on to han­dle all of the de­tail work af­ter a prop­erty goes un­der con­tract. And just last month, Barker also hired a list­ings co­or­di­na­tor, who han­dles all the de­tails of a new list­ing, in­clud­ing mar­ket­ing forms, get­ting signs in the ground, and fin­ish­ing up pa­per­work. “When I started in the busi­ness,” David Barker re­mem­bered, “the pur­chase agree­ment, which was the mem­o­ran­dum of con­tract, was one page. Nowwe have a pur­chase agree­ment that’s about 15 pages long, with all kinds of dis­clo­sures and in­for­ma­tion sheets and re­quire­ments im­posed by the Real Es­tate Com­mis­sion and the City of Santa Fe; it just goes on an on.”

He said the Sacks pro­mo­tion “was a nat­u­ral. No, it’s not a con­trol­ling in­ter­est in the com­pany, but it’s a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion and no­body’s more de­serv­ing than War­ren, with the ded­i­ca­tion, the hard work, and the changes he’s helped us make. I think it’s go­ing to help us be­come a much stronger, bet­ter com­pany.”

Asked if the re­cent changes will al­low him to re­lax a lit­tle, Barker re­sponded, “No, this is about what we can pro­vide that’s more ef­fec­tive for our as­so­ciate bro­kers. It’s ramp­ing up the game.”


War­ren Sacks (left) with Lisa and David Barker

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