Good evening Mr. Collier,
I hope life is treating you well. When you get a moment could you please answer the below question?
Thank you for your time!

Do you hire the people before you build a business or do you build a business then hire people? Or can you build a business without people?

No one answer! I did it simultaneously; since I was cautious re overhead and fixed expenses and a control freak, I waited until the need was great and obvious and then hired. The benefit of that is that there would always be so much that clearly and obviously needed to be done that creating job description/task lists/setting goals was easy!

That said, there were a few times a real terrific person showed up on my doorstep out of the blue and I hired them because I didn’t want to miss the opportunity and I knew they would find a way to add value.

All hires should be Accretive to Earnings: This phrase means that every new investment, every new hire, must create more value than they cost including the desired return on capital. For REITs, which live and die on quarterly earnings/dividends, someone must, at least in theory, add value immediately. If you hire the people before you build the business, better build it fast or your “burn rate” (rate you burn through cash if not positive cash flowing) will put you out of business!

In this day of the internet, gig economy, and outsourcing, I suppose it is possible to build a business without having traditional employees; you still need people/relationships you can trust/depend on, that believe in you and your passion.

The Team Member Wall is a prominent feature of the headquarters lobby of the Collier Companies, featuring pictures of Team Members in order of start date (it takes 6 to 9 months to work your way on to the wall). To this day, I cannot look at the wall without feeling a powerful surge of emotions, gratitude and humility, for the astounding quality, dedication, and commitment of the people that have chosen to join the Collier Companies.

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier