After more than a half-century of specializing in Santa Fe’s real estate needs, Barker Realty has joined a prestigious international real estate arena — Forbes Global Properties.
Now, Santa Fe’s most luxurious properties can enjoy the attention of potential buyers all over the world on a specially designed online platform.
The origins of Barker’s family-run business hail back to N.B. Laughlin, who moved to Santa Fe in the 1880s and later served as a territorial Supreme Court judge. His grandson, Laughlin Barker, founded Barker Realty, and 50 years later, Laughlin’s son David is president of the company. Together with his wife, David and Lisa Barker continue the family legacy of representing and preserving the essence of Santa Fe properties.
As the City Different has seen more people moving here from out of state, David Barker and his associates recognized the need for a more national — maybe even international — lens.
“We noticed over the last two years, as Santa Fe has started to enjoy more publicity and limelight nationally, there is keen interest from some national brokerages on gaining representation and a foothold in the Santa Fe marketplace,” says David Barker. “So, we’ve been having lots of conversations and doing our own investigation. Was there a better platform out there, to help us and our clients, represent luxury properties?”
In December, well-known media brand Forbes launched the Forbes Global Properties consortium, an exclusive worldwide real estate network. The invitation-only enterprise, with a goal of approximately 100 members worldwide, provides high-end real estate shoppers a curated list of well-regarded regional real estate companies and a platform on which to view some of the most stunning properties around the globe.
Having joined as the 18th member on that list, Barker Realty is the exclusive representative for Northern New Mexico and at the moment is the only Forbes Global member in the state.
Forbes Global Properties Chief Executive Officer Alex Lange points out Santa Fe is a desirable market for the consortium’s network and clientele.
“Santa Fe has this lifestyle offering that’s world class and has had for decades,” he says.
Barker Realty was a perfect fit for the Forbes Global initiative, and not just for their experience with luxury properties, Lange says.
“Barker has their stuff together. They’re innovative and like to try new things,” he adds. “They are trusted and have a focus on philanthropy. They really lean into the community. That makes them an ideal partner. The name is important, not just pretty houses.”
Though it fluctuates regionally, the network’s focus is on homes that are generally $2 million and higher.
“When they reached out to us looking for strong independents to represent their platform, it was a conversation worth exploring,” says Barker Realty’s chief operating officer, Kyle Klain. “We were impressed with what they planned to do. The timing was right to make a partnership happen.”
A critical factor for Barker Realty was Forbes’ commitment to employing detailed analytics to drive the platform. “We’ve instrumented everything,” says Lange. “We can measure down to every click, every impression, and we have a very robust analytics program on the back end.”
That sealed the deal for Barker Realty.
“The platform that Forbes Global Properties was putting together was really the first one we’d seen using smart marketing and analytics to drive their decision-making, compared to other organizations that might be relying purely upon name brand recognition. The Forbes group looks at data and makes decisions based on that. That got us particularly excited about an affiliation with them,” says David Barker.
Despite their new association with the prominent, international Forbes name, Barker officials say locals can expect the same hometown, personalized touch for which the company takes pride. Joining the network won’t change how it operates.
“They don’t have any sort of influence on how we conduct our business here in Santa Fe,” says Klain. “We’re still an independent, family-owned operation and will continue to be so in the future. This is strictly a marketing platform to help elevate some properties on a stage that hasn’t been available in the past.”
That platform will benefit both sellers of luxury Santa Fe properties and those looking to buy one, Klain says.
“We’re excited to be able to showcase these homes on one of the largest web and print platforms out there,” he says. “That’s a big offering for clients. We’re excited to give them that.”