“I love teaching people about our community.”
Tom’s deep love for Santa Fe has been passed down to him from the three generations before, and passed on by him to the fifth generation of Santa Feans he and his wife have raised. His great-grandfather moved here in the 1870s, and Tom feels very attached and connected to Northern New Mexico. “Santa Fe is one of those places that is just different from anywhere else,” he says. “I find it hard to even consider living in other places, knowing I would miss it deeply and want to come back and be a part of the local culture. I compare every place I have lived or visited to Santa Fe.”
After several years away from Santa Fe in Washington D. C. as a squash professional, and in Denver as a licensed contractor, Tom moved back to Santa Fe to join the family business. Healy-Matthews Stationers was founded by his father in 1954 and, after his father retired, Tom morphed the business into Matthews Office Supply. It was the preeminent company in Santa Fe serving Northern New Mexico businesses for 15 years. Desiring a change, Tom and his wife sold the company in 2013.
“Real estate seemed like a natural fit. I never lost my love of houses and construction, and wanted to pass that along to others.” One of the aspects Tom enjoys most about his real estate career is matching people with their ideal homes. “There is a mystery there that you get to help them solve!” Tom laughs. “At the beginning, people are rarely able to describe exactly what it is they want. Usually that keeps evolving as they are introduced to different areas of town and property types. It’s a bit of a detective story! For clients moving into Santa Fe, before I show them houses, I generally take several hours to drive them around to various neighborhoods so they have a better sense of our community and which areas most closely match the lifestyle they are seeking. They need that information before they can make a reasonable decision and, of course, I love teaching people about our community!”
The connection between Tom and the Barker family goes back generations. After a brief stint at another company, Tom moved over to Barker Realty and is happy every day to have made that decision. “Barker Realty has a very different business model than other Santa Fe real estate companies,” Tom explains. “David and Lisa are deeply conscientious and 100% committed to the Santa Fe community. They run their business like I tried to run mine, by establishing and nurturing relationships based on integrity and trust. They are very helpful to, and protective of, all the brokers and staff who work for Barker Realty, and their philanthropic involvement in the community they serve runs deep. David has been incredibly supportive of me and my family, and I can’t say enough about him.”
“One of the real draws that keeps people moving to Santa Fe — from Europe, California, New York, Texas, basically anywhere — is that they are free to live life the way they want. There is no judgment here — we live in a very peaceful and free way. Back when Santa Fe started becoming a mecca for artists, they were drawn to Santa Fe in large part because they were able to leave behind the social pressure and status, and to create and live as they wanted. Santa Fe continues to offer this to all of us.”