In December of 1972 Nathan made his first investment when he was just twenty years old: a single-family house several blocks north of the University of Florida’s Law School. He substantially offset his college expenses by living upstairs and renting out the downstairs and personally doing most of the maintenance. For the next seven to eight years, Nathan continued to buy houses within walking distance of the University of Florida at the rate of three or four a year, using every “no money” down technique in the book. Nathan’s father, a civil engineer, had raised him to be hands on with a DIY (Do It Yourself) approach. As a result, Nathan was a pretty fair jack of all trades handyman and was able to do most of the maintenance on his houses
By 1980, Nathan was up to 25 or so rental homes and realized “that dog don’t hunt,” or in business terms – it was not a scalable business model. Each home was unique with plumbing fixtures and appliances and had to be shown individually and while occupied. Pivoting, Nathan began to focus on the College Park neighborhood just north of the University of Florida where, employing the same low/no down owner financing techniques, over the next decade he was able to cobble together an institutional sized apartment community consisting of dozens of sperate developments spread over a neighborhood. This formed the basis for what is now The Collier Companies: a portfolio of 12,000 Apartment Homes with a commitment to doubling in size in the coming decade through new development.
From the very beginning, Nathan was committed to The Collier Companies being a different kind of company, one that embraced the Social Contract concepts of cooperation/interdependence and mutual respect and was committed to sustainable Principled Profit and Main Street America values, best understood as the complete opposite of Wall Street’s short termism/beggar thy neighbor/greed is good ethos.
Feeling that The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People encapsulated many of these concepts, Nathan embraced 7H as the cornerstone of our company culture and new Team Members are given a copy and asked to read it in their first 90 days and write a short reaction paper sharing their insights and thoughts.
What We Do
The Collier Companies is an owner, manager and developer of apartment communities based in Gainesville, FL. Beyond our philosophical foundation of Servant Leadership; our Business Model is unique in three respects. In an industry where short term holds (3 to 7 years) are the norm, we hold for the long term. This adds wonderful stability to our portfolio and our team and we continuously reinvest in our communities to keep them competitive. Second, we are privately held by a single individual and believing our efforts add equity value, we self-manage and manage only what we own. Third, we are self-funded and maintain a strong, liquid balance sheet; we do not seek or need outside equity. This, combined with private ownership allows TCC to think long term, be flexible and move fast to take advantage of targets of opportunity.
Art of the Long View
In business, everyone wants to be a winner, to be an Alpha Dog, in the Top 1%. TCC shares that ambition but our definition is slightly different. We just want to be in the Top 25%… EVERY YEAR FOR 25 YEARS! And that will easily put us in the top .1%
TCC’s Mission Statement was created in the early 2000’s in Manhattan at a Team Member brainstorming flip chart session and reflects our core values. A person’s home is central to their life, it is a place of rest, relaxation and renewal, far more than just four walls and a roof, it also connects to their emotional and spirit wellbeing. We are honored that our Customers entrust us with providing their homes and consider it duty to be fulfilled; one that gives noble purpose to our work.
We are committed to being life long continuous learners and on going Book Clubs are a TCC tradition.