In business, staying connected with your team can result in positive results for not only the team member but the organization as well. No business knows this like The Collier Companies, the largest private owner of student housing in the nation and a leader in the multifamily housing field. Founded in 1972 by Gainesville-based Real Estate Developer, Nathan S. Collier, The Collier Companies currently has a team of over 400 who manage the 12,000+ apartment homes owned and developed by the organization.
The organizations focus on team member development and communication is displayed through a number of their initiatives, including the personal “Meet The Chair” chats that have become a greatly anticipated opportunity for the entire team. The “Meet the Chair” series offers their Founder/Chairman, Nathan S. Collier, the opportunity to sit with Team Members in a casual setting with the objective of open-communication and feedback. Known for transparency among the team, the series began in 2019 at the urging of Mr. Collier, as he desired face-to-face time with onsite team members whose thoughts and opinions he may not hear on a daily basis.
“I have the greatest admiration and respect for the front line TMs who take care of our Customers and Communities and the final analysis,” explains Collier. “The whole purpose of the Home Office is to support the field. As a leader, I take my responsibility to all stakeholders seriously and I would love to be able to have every TCC TM have a chance to attend at least once a year.”
Among these discussions, some even focusing on plans of growth among the internal team and the organizations’ portfolio, these interactive sessions allow a roundtable discussion between the Founder and team who he deems as half of the “investment holders” of the privately-held business. The other investment holders being the organizations’ residents who Collier doesn’t dare refer to as “tenants”, citing them as the most important part of the business. Sessions happen on a varied basis, often being held at a local community and including Community Managers, Service Managers, and their Assistant Managers.
“I always enjoy getting the opportunity to speak with our chair, Nathan Collier. You never know what you are going to get from him that day or which direction the discussion is going to go in. It may be his personal drive and motivation or it may be a teaching moment where you are going to learn something. Most times, his unique perception of the world makes you think about things from a different point of view. He is always looking to share his knowledge and have you think outside the box,” explains Senior Community Manager and Team Member of 6 years, Nicole Brass. “The most obvious solution is not always the one that is the best solution. I have learned so much from my time with TCC. I loved the open discussion he had with us during our lunch and previous Meet The Chair events. It gives the team members the opportunity to bring up challenges within our organization that is not always known to the executive team without feeling there will be repercussions for speaking up. You learn more than just about TCC, he is open to speaking about all his life lessons and what has made him who he is today.”
The culture cultivated and provided at The Collier Companies is one that comes from Founder, Nathan’s experience being in the shoes of every team member, as he once fulfilled the maintenance requests of residents, served as Accountant, CEO, and Leasing Specialist – all at once. A firm believer in “servant leadership”, the leadership team at The Collier Companies continues to increase the opportunities to not simply lead their team but to learn from them as well. The organization plans to continue the “Meet the Chair” series as they focus on their “2X” initiative which will see not only their development pipeline ramp up in the coming years but also their internal team.
The Collier Companies currently has two ongoing developments within 2020. BLVD 2600 in Orange County between Maitland and Apopka, and their upcoming 310-apartment luxury apartment home community in Port Orange, FL named, “The Atlantic” which opens its doors in Spring 2021. The Collier Companies owns and manages over 11.000 apartment homes in the states of Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma. For more information about The Collier Companies, please visit colliercompanies.com.