At Invest West, we manage properties in Clark, Cowlitz, and Clackamas counties, including the Portland and Vancouver metro area. We specialize in single family homes, condos, duplexes and apartments, along with HOA communities throughout Oregon and Washington.
Today, we’re chatting with company owner Chris Barber about the history of the company, how it was established, and where it’s going in the future.
Invest West and Property Management Leadership
Chris’s father, Steve Barber, founded Invest West in 1979 as primarily a rental management company. We managed single family homes and apartment buildings. Chris came into the business in the early 1990s and did some of the groundwork. He was pulling grass, painting houses, and doing other projects that the company wanted to do. He moved into the corporate office in 1999 to grow the HOA division. At the time, Invest West only managed a couple of HOAs. But, after growing that part of the business, we now manage 80 or 90 HOA and condo communities in Washington and Oregon.
Chris’s leadership comes from having valuable experience. He understands his clients and employees better because he’s done every job in the company. He’s done manual labor and cleaned bathrooms. He’s been the controller and primary accountant as well as an assistant.
What Sets Invest West Apart in the Industry and the Market?
We are unique when it comes to managing properties.
Our experience is broad and our size is special. We aren’t a small management company, and we’re not a large, corporate giant. We’re a boutique firm providing the benefit of our longevity, our experience, and our relationships. We provide a personal touch that most owners appreciate. We know all of our clients, and Chris knows all his employees.
Employee Retention Means Better Client Service
In property management, there is high employee turnover. Invest West has been fortunate to retain key employees in critical positions over the years. Recently, we celebrated the retirement of an employee who has been with us for 25 years. Several employees have been here for 15 or 20 years. That’s a real benefit to the company and our clients.
Continuing Education and Professional Designations
Ongoing and continuing education is vital. Designations are available in this field, and Invest West supports employees in achieving those professional designations. Chris is a Certified Property Manager (CPM), which is the highest credential offered by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). Managers and assistants receive ongoing education similar to what brokers have to do to maintain licensure. We promote education and cover the cost because it benefits us and our clients. We are the most educated company in the industry.
Invest West also holds the Accredited Management Organization (AMO) designation from IREM. Only a select number of firms in the country maintain that designation. To achieve it, a company has to be run by a CPM and meet other insurance and education requirements.
Service to the Community
Education and experience is important, but we’re also committed to the community. Recently, we participated in an event at a local food bank. We had over 20 team members packing 16,000 pounds of food, which provided 9,000 meals. In the future, we’ll continue on our current path. We are growing manageably and staying on top of the trends and developments in the industry. We look forward to expanding our property management family internally and with our clients. Commitment to excellence and community service are important to us. If you have any questions about who we are and what we can do for you, please contact us at Invest West.