Gary Barker shuns Boomin to join Connells

Gary Barker, a widely respected figure in the property industry, has joined Connells as group chief technology officer, five months on from his Boomin U-turn.

Gary Barker

Barker agreed to become CEO of Boomin in July last year, and left his position as CEO of The Reapit Group, a property software provider of CRM and property management solutions, to take up the new post. He had been a member of the management team for 13 years, growing the business into a market-leading platform.

But in September, Barker decided not to take up the role of CEO of the Bruce Brothers’ portal venture, Boomin.

In a statement at the time, Michael Bruce, executive chairman and founder of Boomin, told EYE: “Gary has informed the Board that he is now unable to take-up his position as CEO owing to unforeseen personal family reasons. The entire team at Boomin wish Gary and his family all the very best at this difficult time and leave open the opportunity for Gary to work with Boomin in the future when the time is right. In the near-term I will lead the business as we build to launch.”

According to a press statement issued by Connells yesterday, Barker will now look to drive the Group’s ‘innovation in technology as it continues to invest in this space, transforming the way IT supports and enables the business to work smarter and supporting long term plans to further evolve and expand in this area’.

Michael Bruce

The appointment coincides with Connells Group’s recent announcement that, as well as reaching an agreement with the board of Countrywide plc to acquire the business, Countrywide shareholders have voted in support of the acquisition, with completion expected by the end of Q1 2021.

Barker has more than two decades experience in the property industry, having previously served in senior finance and IT roles at Countrywide.

Commenting on Barker’s decision to join Connells Group, Michael Bruce told EYE last night: “Gary has always been a friend to Boomin and remains an active supporter and advocate for change.

“He looks like a good choice, for what is likely to be a big project and on behalf of the entire Boomin team I wish him well.”


EYE NEWSFLASH: Gary Barker will not take up role of Boomin CEO


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  1. Chip Wiffler

    Janus he is not……..bravo GB, bravo.  Will the truth be revealed, I wonder?

  2. Robert_May

    I know not everyone shares my opinion and this appointment will  attract polarised opposite opinion but I am pleased that Gary’s talents and experience is going to be put to very good use by an absolute behemoth of an agency that is obviously thinking about what it has to do to make the merger  of  the two organisations a success.

    Both Gary and Jon joining Connells is a real coup  for  David, David, Anthony and co. I congratulate  them all.

    That is a very strong and experienced operations executive to deal with the change management the merger creates.





  3. DerekSharpham

    Dumps Boomin for family reasons and then moves over to Connells.

    I’m sure we should all be congratulating on his integrity and loyalty…?

    UK estate agency at its best.


    1. KW

      Not sure he has dumped boomin, check out his LinkedIn activity and likes. Might have been a strategic move.

    2. Murray Lee

      A “lie” will always come back to bite you.

      Hence why I never tell porkies


  4. Charlie Lamdin

    Reapit was the single largest factor behind the demise of Countrywide, with the possible exception of the actual decision to buy it. Cornell’s will need someone who knows about the 13+ separate versions installed to unpick it. Not a fun job.

    1. Robert_May

      What an absolutely incredible thing to claim!!!

      Reapit is common software across most of the  largest and most significant agencies in the country if what you are claiming were true, surely they would all  be in the same boat?

      By their nature the enterprise level CRM systems are more complex than SAAS for a single office. The challenges of innovating it and supporting it are on a different level too.

      The well documented back story of Countrywide, which as  attracted a lot of comment from informed insiders has not on any occasion I can recall cited Reapit as a factor for the change of fortune let alone “the largest factor in its demise”


      1. Charlie Lamdin

        All I can tell you Robert is that that came to me directly from two separate sources at the very top, on the inside.

        1. Robert_May

          Bear in mind  I watch stuff, in detail, I can categorically tell you I was observing  stuff 3 and 4 years ago that  was more to do with change management than ever it was a SAAS system.


          I’m sure there are things Reapit doesn’t do and like any of the enterprise solutions they inch forward at the speed of a glacier but for any senior executive to say the CRM system is the single largest factor in their demise is saying more about them than the system they recognise as flawed but failed to change.


    2. AgentQ73

      Wow, Guess you’ve not worked for Countrywide at any point since about 2007……

  5. WatchingwithInterest

    Looks like a good move for Connells and CW.
    Charlie your info isn’t up to date.

    1. Charlie Lamdin

      My info was from 2018, then 2019, separate sources with access at board level, both saying the same thing. I will quote the precise words: May 2018 “Countrywide is ***ked, ***ked, totally ***ked” [because of it’s fragmented tech]. I know that improvements were made more recently, but some might say that was too late for CW.
      So perhaps my info isn’t up to date, but for CW that’s irrelevant now. The decision to implement Reapit at the start was signing it’s death warrant. I was there when it happened 20 years ago.
      The dozens of agents over the years who became clients of mine who were former Reapit users all said the same thing, it was like working with one hand tied behind your back, virtually zero automation, inflexible and very expensive. I met with a CW tech manager in the early 2000s and predicted this outcome then.
      Reapit may be a much better product today, but the bar was low, and the improvements didn’t come soon enough for CW. 

      1. AgentQ73

        If that came from Board level it shows you how out of touch the board were. I can assure you the biggest gripes and issues at office level were not tech based……
        Countrywide could hve had the best tech in the world and it would still be in the same state it is now.

        1. Charlie Lamdin

          I don’t dispute that at all, that’s a separate matter I can’t comment on, but I suspect the rot at the top was probably the cause of it all. 

  6. OneManBand

    “ Gary has informed the Board that he is now unable to take-up his position as CEO owing to unforeseen personal family reasons.”

    Bruce bothers spin at its best. I seem to recall another senior figure at PB leaving suddenly for the very same reason a few years ago

  7. Cyberpunk35

    Reapit was the single biggest factor in the sinking of the titanic. I know a lot of people presume it was an iceberg and lots of water coming in through the leaky bits, but Charlie Lamdin knows otherwise. We wish Captain Barker much luck on navigating the murky, arctic waters of his next venture and hope that the icebergs of contractual restrictions are now well out of harms way.

  8. Scottish_Mist42

    Good move by Connells

  9. Woodentop

    …… leaving a sinking ship that is capsizing before it launched?

  10. Herb


  11. OverHalfWay

    ‘Gary Barker shuns Boomin’ he’s not the only one, Many Estate Agents do to.


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