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Rawhide: Evoking memories of the West

The Rawhide Company, REALTORSÆ is an independent, family owned and operated real estate company, with a presence in Falcon since 1994. Board Chairman Kenneth Barber, after an impressive career in the military, started the company in 1973.Barber served in the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot and flew over 300 combat missions in Korea. He also was a member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic Modern Pentathlon team. Near the end of Barber’s military career, he was one of the initial cadre instructors at the U.S. Air Force Academy.After his stint in the military, he chose a second career in land development.Barber and two partners, Bob Moore and Jack Wogan, found a rancher willing to sell them some land in the “middle of nowhere” for their first project, which eventually became Arrowood 1 in Monument, Colo. Their partnership became known as Wakonda Western Inc., and they went on to build numerous subdivisions in Monument and Black Forest.Barber formed another company with Bill Poleson to develop and sell thousands of acres of properties in Park County. In 1973, Barber and his partners went their separate ways, and he formed The Rawhide Company to sell his land developments. Over the years, the company has evolved into a full-service brokerage firm.In 1975, Barber’s son, Doug, joined the company. The younger Barber holds a degree in real estate and construction management from the University of Denver and currently serves as the president and broker of the company. He also is the director of the Pikes Peak and Colorado Associations of Realtors.One of Doug Barber’s favorite activities is serving as a senior instructor for the state association and teaching ethics, professional standards and mediation classes. He also provides pro-bono mediation and arbitration services for both associations. Along with training salespeople for Rawhide, Barber provides real estate and development consulting and counseling services and testifies as an expert witness in court cases.Today, The Rawhide Company has two other locations besides Falcon: Colorado Springs and Black Forest.”Rural property is very different than city lots,” Doug Barber said. “We wanted to serve the ranchers.” A lot has changed in Falcon since then. As of June 1, there are 187 homes for sale between three miles north of Woodmen Road and a mile on each side of Meridian. Prices range from $166,500 to $529,900 with an average price of $287,626. The average days on the market for a home in this area is 74 days, he said.What has made Falcon popular to homebuyers?“It’s far enough away from town to have a country feel, but close enough to make work commutes bearable,” Barber said. Many subdivisions, such as Falcon Hills, parts of Woodmen Hills and Meridian Ranch and Paint Brush Hills, have homes on a half-acre or more.Property values have increased and can be compared to many areas of Colorado Springs.However, there is always the bad with the good.”The water supply and schools are the two questions we are asked about,” Barber said. “We rely on the state engineer and land developers for those answers, but the truth is that nobody really knows.” Schools, on the other hand, are an individual choice. “I believe the key to a great education for your children is parental involvement,” he said.Barber credits the company’s success to the people who work for him. “We are blessed with high-quality people,” he said. Most of the brokers who work at Rawhide have been there for 12 to 20 years.Barber also stresses continuing education. Almost every week there is a training session for the brokers and occasional half-day and full-day courses at no cost to them. Barber has set the example by earning his Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager designation, a Graduate Realtors Institute certification, a Master of Real Estate and the e-Pro for technology expertise designations.Educating their clients is important as well. “A great deal of our time is spent educating clients on things, such as interest rates and actual property values,” said Rawhide broker Mark Wittrup. “Buying and selling property is a very emotional experience,” added Barber.Barber talked about a commitment to honesty and integrity. “It is the foundation of our business,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to us how great a salesperson you are, if you don’t place personal integrity and honesty above all else, you do not belong here.” With six brokers based in Falcon and an additional six who crossover from the Black Forest and Colorado Springs offices, the eastern plains are well covered by Rawhide.Barber also encourages community involvement. He supports youth sports, his church, Compassion International, and as an Eagle Scout himself, the Boys Scouts of America. Barber also serves as a notary and “Meals on Wheels” driver for Silver Key Senior Services. When seeking new agents, he looks for people active in civic affairs, he said.In the tradition of Ken Barber, the family has continued to grow the company, Barber said. It now includes Rawhide Homes Inc., which focuses on building custom homes. Chuck Van Fosson is the general contractor and licensed real estate broker for that company.”We are large enough to provide all the resources; yet, small enough to be personal and, above all, care about doing it right.”For more information on The Rawhide Company call 495-9835 or visit their Web site at

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