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NCC Member Spotlight: Matthew Follett

Matthew Follett
Follett Investment Properties, Inc.
Gold River, California

Can you give us a brief profile of your company?

The Follett Investment Properties, Inc. (FIPI) portfolio currently includes 25 Manufactured home communities with 6,298 homesites and two self-storage facilities. The current value of the portfolio is approximately $145,000,000 with communities in California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Montana, South Dakota and Georgia.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I founded FIPI in 1989 to specialize in the brokerage of manufactured home land-lease communities. After earning a bachelorís degree in economics from the University of Utah, I began my career in the manufactured home land-lease business in 1987 as a broker associated with First Union Investment, a large commercial real estate brokerage company in the San Francisco bay area. Since 1989, I have been directly involved in the ownership and management of manufactured home communities. My continued focus is improvement of my portfolio through the acquisition of quality assets and disposition of non-core properties for my company. In 2000 and 2001, I was designated a "young lion" by the manufactured home industry in recognition of the dynamic growth and expansion of my company. I have forged strong and lasting relationships with sellers, buyers, lenders, and brokers during my years in the business, and these relationships enable my team and I to work through any issues that may arise during a transaction to create a winning solution for all involved.

What is your company philosophy?

To approach each transaction with integrity. To be straight-forward and honest and consistently deliver on all promises to everyone involved, sellers, brokers, lenders and homeowners.

What are you most proud of about your company?

I have created a team of well-rounded, highly educated and experienced professionals with the highest integrity and strive to surround myself with these types of individuals in all aspects of my life.

What are some of the challenges currently facing your company?

The biggest challenge is finding fairly priced communities to purchase.

What do you see as the most pressing issues facing manufactured home communities today?

Aside from the loss of chattel financing in our market, low interest rates creating affordable site-built homes has created a significant lack of demand for the industry. I truly feel that as an industry we are improving, as interest rates rise and the cost of raw materials to build single family homes has exponentially increased, our future gets brighter by the day.

Can you name someone in the industry that you admire and why?

Bill Williams of CWS Communities, because he sold his portfolio three times, increasing the value for himself, his family and his partners each time.

Who are your personal heroes?

Jesus Christ, because through his atoning sacrifice, all people can return to the presence of our heavenly father. Also, people who have overcome major life-threatening diseases and gone on to accomplish significant goals like Ruthe Upton and Lynda Fox, who fought and won the battle with breast cancer, and Lance Armstrong, who overcame cancer and proceeded to win the Tour de France four times.

Can you tell us something about yourself that people may find surprising?

One of my first entrepreneurial businesses in high school and junior college was owning over 400 beehives. I would move bees by night once a month from one type of agricultural crop to another in Californiaís central valley. This venture allowed me to be paid by the farmers for pollenating the fields and then again as I was able to sell the honey produced by the bees.

Matt Follett can be contacted at mfollett@follettinvestment.com.

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