When I hit 25 houses, the logistics started to get away from me. Each house had to be shown individually and while occupied, there were no economies of scale; all the appliances and fixtures were different. In southern parlance, ‘that dog don’t hunt’ or in business speak it would not ‘roll out’ or ‘scale up’. I needed to do something different, pivot and revise my business plan, – though I did not know or understand those terms at the time – so I began to focus on College Park.

The College Park neighborhood, just north of the University of Florida, was an eclectic mix of small developments owned by individuals, mainly out of town. I went down to the courthouse and compiled a list of owners from the microfiche records (no internet much less Zillow back then!) and began ‘farming’ the area; sending out a quarterly newsletter, calling up owners and ask for help getting streets paved, more night lighting etc. Over the next decade, again with little or no down and seller provided financing, I was able to assemble apartment community of institutional size within a few square blocks and manage them as one community.

It was slow, slow going in the beginning; it took close to twenty years to build the foundation of the Collier Companies, eight or so years get to 25 houses and other decade to assemble College Park but to provide an awesome launch pad for what The Collier Companies is today, more than 50 years after my first real estate investment: 12,000 Apartment Homes and fully dedicated to the 2X Challenge: doubling in size in the coming decade via new development.

– Nathan S. Collier