Broker Spotlight: Stefan Lark

Broker Spotlight / Barker Realty

Broker Spotlight / HOME January 2019 article“After 30 years, I am still deeply in love with Santa Fe”


Real estate runs deep in Stefan’s veins. “Both of my parents were real estate brokers for 45 years and I lived it every day growing up!” In his 20s, Stefan began his real estate career with a developer in San Antonio, TX, for whom he managed commercial building projects for 9 years. In 1988, because of the S&L crisis, Stefan moved to Santa Fe. He explains, “One day the developer I worked for had projects and the very next day they didn’t because the banks weren’t financing any more.”


Stefan remembers his first year in Santa Fe as being so much fun! “Honestly, I said I would stay in Santa Fe for a year, and here I am 30 years later! While I was beginning my career in mortgage lending, I also worked at the French-California restaurant ‘Nectarine,’ where Cowgirl is now. Long-term residents of Santa Fe will remember it. During the day I built my lending business, and at night I waited tables and met the most interesting people.” Stefan worked for a local mortgage broker and after four years, when he realized he was doing 70% of the firms business, he opened Aspen Mortgage. Over the next 25 years, Aspen Mortgage became one of the top firms in Santa Fe, guided by Stefan’s background, knowledge, intuition and impeccable reputation.


Stefan’s desire to transition into yet another area of real estate came when he realized the mortgage industry was changing the role that lenders had in the process. “Over the years with Aspen I won a couple of national awards for my creativity in bringing deals together. But over time rules changed, and once I lost the ability to negotiate and be creative it wasn’t as much fun. I made a move into sales because I recognized that a good real estate broker is deeply involved in the process of helping people purchase their new home. I enjoy, immensely, helping people decipher the maze of choices and information.”


A few months ago, Stefan made the move to Barker Realty. “The support system at Barker is really strong. The energy of a place starts at the top and the ‘How can I help’ attitude embodied by every member of the staff comes directly from David. I had a crew like this at Aspen Mortgage for several years, and not only was it a lot of fun but also extremely productive. Plus, the in-house education offered to the brokers here is unparalleled.”


After 30 years, Stefan is still deeply in love with Santa Fe. “What’s not to love about our climate, the immediate availability we have to outdoor activities, the art and food scene…and it’s all packed into a town of less than 80,000!” Stefan is an avid mountain biker, skier and restores antique trucks. He has recently earned his Shodan blackbelt in Aikido. Stefan’s volunteer work with local charities has included the National Dance Institute, the local Diabetes Chapter, the Children’s Museum, and the NM Centennial Ball committee in 2012.