Providing the Best in Student Housing

The Collier Companies

One thousand dollars doesn’t go far today. But that’s all it took Nathan Collier in 1972, as an initial investment to grow The Collier Companies. The Collier Companies (TCC) of which Nathan is Founder and President, is the largest privately held student housing provider in the United States. More than 20 percent of off-campus University of Florida students call The Collier Companies properties home.

A combination of an entrepreneurial spirit and a keen sense of how an organization should be run also enabled The Collier Companies to be named one of the 350 biggest privately held companies in Florida according to July 2012’s Florida Trend magazine. Nathan has also been recognized in Forbes magazine and as an industry leader by the National Multi-Housing Council.

Nathan’s initial $1000 investment was on a duplex in Gainesville, Florida, the company’s corporate office, while he was still an undergraduate at the University of Florida. It wasn’t long after that he secured his reputation as a low risk borrower and he began purchasing three to four houses a year. He soon increased his real estate portfolio to 25 homes located north of the University of Florida.

Like most young entrepreneurs, Nathan initially managed all aspects of running his small company – he served as maintenance technician, groundskeeper, accountant, and landlord. He has made milestone advances in his 40 plus years as a real estate investor, still actively involved at age 62, in securing acquisitions and moving the vision of his company forward. He possesses a wealth of experience as a lawyer, real estate broker, CPA and building contractor.

Now with a staff of over 400, The Collier Companies provides affordable student housing. The company manages and owns more than 43 properties, and over 10,000 apartments in Gainesville, Ocala, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa and other Florida locations. Other ownership is found in Norman, Oklahoma and Athens, Georgia.

The Collier Companies is investing and continuing to expand into familiar markets in the southeastern U.S. – markets with rapidly growing student populations in colleges and universities – and the company has capitalized on meeting the needs of university students, particularly the demand for off-campus housing.

Nathan epitomizes the self made man. His strong track record of acquisitions and a fundamental critical approach to development opportunities complemented with a rigorous approach to superior management expertise has secured his continued growth. His company ranked seventh out of the top 25 student housing management companies according to 2013’s Student Housing magazine.

His approach to the purpose of an organization such as The Collier Companies, “Is to create systems that enable ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results,” he’s been noted to say. The Collier Companies’ culture fosters and encourages learning, dedication and striving to achieve the best in customer service.

Company culture

The cultural cornerstone of The Collier Companies is founded on Dr. Stephen Covey’s 1989 bestseller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, a self help business book outlining an effective approach to achieving goals – required reading for all new Collier employees.

The student housing market is a very competitive one, and The Collier Companies acknowledges that in order to remain in the mainstream market they have to outshine the rest. And apparently they have; word of mouth is probably the most critical marketing tool for any company and The Collier Companies make every effort to ensure that residents’ needs are taken care of in a timely manner and ensure that the best in customer service is delivered on a daily basis.

The company’s subsidiary, The Collier Companies Management Team, Inc. (CCMT), believes in delivering exceptional customer service through the utilization of effective and proven property management skills. And they are provided with the resources to do so. CCMT members are invited to upgrade their skills in decision making and leadership through regular seminars and lectures aimed at increasing and developing effective managerial and financial decisions.

Encouraging knowledge and insight

The Collier College program was designed to help facilitate a positive ongoing learning environment for Collier Companies’ team members. The program was designed by and most often taught by Nathan and promotes not only a means to fine tune one’s professional skills within the company, but also promotes personal growth – a realization of one’s own capabilities.

This program focuses on each Team Member regardless of his or her role within the company. Those in IT, finance, service and maintenance or human resources, for example, will benefit from the program’s focus. The program is a prerequisite for advancement within the company upon successful completion.

Finding a bud with RoomBug

Moving away from home for the first time to attend university can be an overwhelming experience filled with mixed emotions. There’s the need to go out and experience life on one’s own coupled with the inclination to stay where life is safe and secure. The Collier Companies makes the transition to university a little easier with an online roommate matching platform on Facebook. Initiated in 2011, RoomBug is The Collier Companies’ first white-label application allowing prospective and current residents to find roommates in any of the 25 Collier Companies properties in Gainesville.

As a further indication of The Collier Companies’ commitment to customer service, the company introduced a customized feedback platform in 2012 called We Care. We Care enables open two-way email communication between The Collier Companies’ communities and offers a forum where residents may voice concerns or acknowledge the merits of Collier Companies Team Members.

Nathan believes in giving back to communities and has supported a number of causes. He believes in the power and freedom of higher learning and wants others to acknowledge the potential that may be found within themselves. He is a generous supporter of the arts, supporting endeavors such as Gainesville’s State Theatre, Dance Alive National Ballet, the Phillips Centre for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Natural History.

The Collier Companies continues to grow and realize its vision of the future. Nathan will continue to be at the helm, steering his company into the straits of tomorrow, and epitomizing the words of John Maxwell: “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”

For more information about The Collier Companies, please visit

June 20, 2021, 9:40 AM EDT