You’re only as good as your weakest link.
Peter Barker is a passionate, experienced owner of Barker Management Inc, with the drive for providing exceptional service and positive experiences to his staff and clients.
He was born in Orange County, California. Today, Mr. Barker resides in Orange County . While he was young, his aspirations varied. Peter decided he would apply to and was accepted into the Political Sciences Department of UCLA. While he was attending college, he realized he wasn’t pursuing his passion, but he wasn’t positive what that passion was just yet. After college he evaluated several other options but came back to property management.
In 1968, his father joined a large development firm that ran into trouble. He took the management assets and opened Barker Management in 1969. Peter Barker takes great pride in the history built by his father’s efforts. He knows the foundation set in the early days of valuing the client, and providing great services is ideal to grow on. Over the years since he has headed Barker Management, Peter has been able to grow that foundation to increase the portfolio to over 10,000 units under management. He has earned numerous accolades and created a positive, empowered work environment that encourages his team to challenge themselves.
When he is out of the office, Mr. Barker spends time with his wife of 30 years and their two children.
Where did the idea for Barker Management Inc. come from?
It was a sensible name for the company. My father picked it years ago when he founded the company. With our name and what we do combined it was a natural choice. We’ve built up our reputation since then making our name stand for quality, good experiences, and a caring team.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Each morning is full and busy. I spend a little time with my wife and at the gym before going into the office. Once there, I oversee all the big picture projects. That means allowing my team to do what they do and enabling them to do it at their best. I give them the tools they need, and they produce the results. I have a fantastic team. By the end of the day we are preparing for the next by communicating, following up, and reviewing data.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It takes a lot of communication to bring any idea to life. We spend the time collaborating with my team, then laying out an action plan together. Once we know what we want to do and how we want to do it, I make sure the team has what they need. My team enacts the plan. It is an enjoyable, productive, results driven process.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Technology and what it can do to make a task or series of tasks move smoother excites me. I have seen so many changes over the years and today, it is possible to run a company entirely paper free. That is huge. You’re able to track projects, maintain communications, and hold board meetings all from the same location. There is nothing like it in history.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I continue to rely on my team. I trust them to do what they know how to do and provide them with the tools they need to accomplish this. It enables me to focus on the larger projects, building and maintaining client relationships, and organizing our goals.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to focus on what I know and not to take things seriously. It’s far more fun to enjoy what you’re building than it is to make it the only focus. Know you love what you’re doing and empowering others. Then enjoy all of it!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I know technology is going to continue to make things better and to improve upon where it is today. We are empowered by the connectivity of the internet. It is possible to create and manage a large organization and connect with people everywhere with the right bandwidth.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I meditate. It clears the mind and really allows me to manage the day. It is something I have spent time discussing with my team to do as well.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I would say one of the two things that has really helped me to grow my business is placing my focus on the client relationships. Learning what is working for them and what they need enables me to provide it for them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I was faced with a client who was uniquely demanding. It was a longtime client, so I made every effort to accommodate them. This even led me to change some policies just to keep them as a client. What I have learned is that isn’t how a business is run. We have policies for a reason. They shouldn’t be adjusted because of one unhappy person. Instead, if you really aren’t the right fit for that client, they should find the right fit. That will make everyone happy.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If someone could create a portal that connects the tenants to their management company or the landlord that would be fantastic. The open communication would allow people to pick the assistance they need and get connected to the best person for the task.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I believe in staying healthy. Staying fit helps me to keep a clear mind. That in mind, I just purchased a new pair of workout sneakers.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Smartsheet is a versatile project management software that we have been able to use in a wide variety of projects. We would be lost without it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The first book that comes to mind is Principles. It was written by Ray Dalio. It allowed me to consider our company carefully with a focus on how we were running it. He really provides a lot of insights into business innovation for company management.
What is your favorite quote?
“The future depends on what we do in the present.” Mahatma Ghandi
• You’re only as good as your weakest link
• We work hard to empower our staff
• We ask everyone to challenge themselves to grow
• We provide our staff with the resources to grow
• The use of technology isn’t to replace people, but it helps make people efficient
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.