A Foundation Homes client achieves financial success through our detailed bottom-line management and long term, ethical wealth-building strategies. We provide not only delightful customer service with every transaction--we're raising the bar in next generation property management and real estate.
Broker / Owner
Darcy Alkus Barrow
Managing Partner / Owner
Diane "Dee" Marotta
Director of Leasing / Luxury Leasing & Relocation Consultant
Christopher Barrow is the co-managing partner/co-founder of Foundation Homes International (FHI) along with his wife, Darcy Alkus-Barrow. In 2010, they created the firm, which now manages more than $140 million of long-term, single-family residential rental property, primarily in Marin and San Francisco counties.
A licensed real estate broker and current President-Elect of Marin/Sonoma NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers), Christopher oversees leasing, investment property management and relocation services for the company. He also regularly represents buyers and sellers in local real estate or investment-related transactions.
Together the Barrows co-manage the firm's team of agents, property managers and support staff.
"Our entire business is geared toward successfully matching highly-qualified tenants with the area’s top properties," said Christopher. "The decision to hire our management company is a lifestyle choice. Darcy and I both manage and actively work within the company to support our client’s visions and long term growth.”
Christopher is a third generation San Franciscan who was raised in Marin. He has been in the real estate industry since 2005, consistently a top-performer in his market. Christopher has served as an expert witness in real estate court cases, a speaker for Genetech/Novartis, as well as a speaker for local NARPM chapter. He is a local Toastmasters member, and member of the Wake Up Warrior (http://wakeupwarriormovie.com) movement. He is a frequent participant in local and national real estate conferences and education seminars, a 2019 Platinum Tony Robbins Partner, as well as Bigger Pockets Professional member and local Bigger Pockets meet-up host. He hosts quarterly Landlord Education Seminars for investors in Marin and San Francisco.
An avid fitness enthusiast and two-time survivor of Stage III colon cancer, Christopher is an advocate for holistic cancer support and a participant in various cancer organizations and fundraisers. He currently serves on the board of local non-profit Cleaning4Kids.org which helps children going through chemotherapy. He was featured as “Mr. March” in the fundraising 2007 Colon Cancer Survivors Calendar, and several other cancer related publications. He sits on the board for local nonprofit Cleaning for Chemo Kids. The Barrows also run their own non-profit, The LifeBoost Charitable Fund, dedicated to supporting People, Places and Pets locally and beyond.
Among his other community activities are:
Marin Foster Care Association events --including annual company sponsorship of MFCA’s family summer picnic and annual holiday party.
Sparkle Annual Holiday Drive
The Taylor Lynn Foundation (a San Rafael based non-profit offering microgrants for under privileged children)
The Marin Humane Society
Operation Underground Railroad
When not working or with his family, you’ll most likely find Christopher at the gym, running or cycling, listening to a podcast, or yelling loudly at a Golden State Warriors game. He and Darcy reside in his hometown of San Rafael with their three dogs and daughter.
Darcy Alkus-Barrow is the co-managing partner/co-founder of Foundation Homes Property Management along with her husband, Christopher Barrow. In 2010, they created the firm, which now manages more than $150 million of long-term, single-family residential rental property, primarily in Marin and San Francisco counties.
In her role, Darcy oversees marketing, operations and the companies’ philanthropic pursuits. She produces the firm’s videos and vlogs and manages the website, social media and community support. Together, the Barrows co-manage the firm's staff of property managers and agents.
“The change we want to make is to see successful achievers get out of their own way when it comes to managing their property, making more space for their personal lives, while creating a new mindset where hands-off property management goes hand-in-hand with financial - and personal - freedom for years to come.”
“We’ll know we’re successful,” says Darcy, “when the only word associated with ‘property management’ in our clients minds is ‘freedom’”.
Known for her no-stone-unturned marketing philosophy, both she and Christopher are actively involved in overseeing the company's book of business from start to finish.
As part of her role in the community, Darcy sits on the Board of Directors for the Marin Foster Care Association (and runs the annual spring fundraiser), and hosts/sponsors several foster child and at-risk youth drives throughout the year. She also serves as an advisor to Adopt-a-Family, and serves as content editor and columnist for nonprofit Southern Marin Mother’s Club print magazine, The Crier. The Barrows also founded their own local start up non-profit, the LifeBoost Charitable Fund, coming later this year. She and Christopher are in the process of becoming Foster Parents and have two children, one of whom is adopted. “We’re very open about our journey,” she says. “Our daughter wasn’t easy to bring into this world. I don’t like to dwell on the number of needles and hormones I’ve stuck into my body to start our family.”
Darcy, a Malibu native who moved to the Bay Area in 2000, comes from an entertainment industry family and background. “Yes,” she laughs, “almost every stereotype you can think of about growing up in Malibu is true.”
In the business since age 24, and together with her husband 19 years and counting, success for Darcy often appears to be an easy process; behind the scenes it has not always been so simple. While switching careers to real estate, Darcy and Christopher tangled with a devastating medical diagnosis for Christopher, who was twice diagnosed and treated for Stage 3 colorectal cancer while still in his 20’s. They both agree it shaped much of their path.
Today, Darcy’s passion remains on overseeing personal growth for her team, growth for her business, and increasing the philanthropic footprint she believes we can all make together.
“I am a shameless optimist. Whatever the challenge, there’s always another way, and there is always room to find the gift.”
Michael D. Kass is the Portfolio Manager and a Senior Leasing Agent at Foundation Homes in Marin County. He specializes in single family home management and has a wealth of knowledge about all things maintenance-related for higher-end homes throughout Marin County.
Michael, born and raised in Marin, joined the firm in 2010 after a career in sales and marketing with several Marin County companies. CCRM certified, he handles property mangement and leasing throughout Marin.
A graduate of San Marin High School in Novato and Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Michael has extensive knowledge of Marin County. In his spare time you'll find Michael hitting the trails on his mountain bike or perusing the local Farmer's Markets with wife Maggie.
"Michael Kass, our agent, found the perfect tenant for our unusual home in the San Anselmo hills. All through the process he was communicative, thorough, on time and completely professional. He is trustworthy and does what he says he going to do. He knows his market, the intricacies of his business and his clients. I can't wait to refer him to my friends and acquaintances!"
Industry veteran Victor Mitrani is the Portfolio Manager at Foundation Homes. Victor, a longtime San Francisco and Bay Area resident - and homeowner himself - has been working in the property management industry in San Francisco and Marin County for over 8 years. With a background on the maintenance side of management, Victor prides himself on prompt and accurate communication.
Dee Marotta has done it all: whether it's live on a houseboat in Sausalito, a home in Tiburon near the bay, or enjoy the California warmth of San Rafael, she knows each town in Marin like the back of her hand. With over a decade of local Marin real estate experience, you're in good hands when you're with Dee.
When not working, you'll find Dee enjoying time hiking through Marin's backtrails, cooking for her teenage son, or playing with her adopted kitty.
Shawn Walker is a Director of Leasing / Luxury Leasing Consultant and comes to Foundation Homes with a history of luxury property management, leasing, and consumer relations. He’s managed over 350 units in San Francisco ranging from small single family homes to medium sized apartment buildings and is an expert at leveraging technology to provide an amazing experience for landlords and residents alike.
A Southern California native, Shawn has spent the last decade exploring Marin County. On his days off he can be found on a road trip through wine country, running the trails of Marin, exploring the local dog parks with his German Shepherd, or enjoying trendy local spots like Bar Bocci with his new fiancée.
Heidi Smith is a Director of Leasing / Luxury Leasing Consultant at Foundation Homes International, striving always to offer the utmost customer service possible while utilizing technology to maximize the client experience. Originally from San Diego, Heidi comes from a real estate industry family background. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from San Francisco State University and obtained a Master's Degree in Culture, Environment and Sustainability from the University of Oslo in Norway.
After living abroad for nearly a decade, Heidi moved back to the Bay Area in 2010. Heidi is passionate about travel and runs a nonprofit cultural exchange program based in Marin County. In her free time, you'll find Heidi bodysurfing at one of Marin's gorgeous beaches or spending time with those she loves.
Languages spoken: Spanish, French, German, Norwegian (including limited Danish/Swedish)
CA DRE #01885922
Phone: (415) 507-9600 ext 111
Born and raised in Marin, Vanessa graduated from Pepperdine University in Southern California where she double majored in International Management and Marketing. She also had a successful career in pharmaceutical sales and later software sales. Vanessa joins the team at Foundation Homes as our Client Concierge / Portfolio Associate.
"My professional experiences have provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to develop the organizational skills that are required to support the goals of high net worth residential property owners and investors," she says.
Vanessa is actively involved in the community, holding past positions such as president (and president-elect) of non-profit Southern Marin Mothers Club, and works with Foundation's team of agents and property managers to provide services to its client base throughout the area. When not working, you'll find her volunteering at her children's schools or enjoying game night with her husband and friends.
Sharon Alkus the accounting coordinator for Foundation Homes. She graduated from San Jose State Univ. with a business degree and minor in Real Estate. She is a third generation CA native, and a member of the Daughters of American Revolution.
At the beginning of her career, Sharon successfully ran one of the first pioneer programs using the giant IBM “bookkeeping computer”, via data“cards” to run the accounting for five local offices. (Sharon adds, "Back then that was a big thing!") In the 90’s Sharon was the operations manager and bookkeeper for a west coast company that interfaced with banks to obtain real estate marketing opinions across the United States creating the forms, accounting systems, and utilizing the then new technology of computers, to track the reports.
In 2000, Sharon continued doing accounting, working in the computer/marketing industry and also branched out to do photography, professionally working for a local newspaper. She won cover photo for the California Country Magazine, and various county fair awards.
In 2014, she moved to the Bay Area area, where she began utilizing her strong accounting skills at Foundation Homes. She's also in charge of much of Foundation's professional photography!
Sharon lives in Greenbrae with her dog Paris ("my little helper") and two kitties, and spends as much time with her young grandchildren as possible.