Former Iowa quarterback Nathan Chandler thriving in real estate business

Following in his father’s footsteps, the Texas native has worked his way up in real estate.

Nathan+Chandler+is+sacked+by+MSU+linebacker+Mark+Goebel+during+the+second+quarter+of+play.++Chandler+had+9+carries+for+negative+24+yards.+Nicholas+Wynia%2FThe+Daily+Iowan

Nathan Chandler is sacked by MSU linebacker Mark Goebel during the second quarter of play. Chandler had 9 carries for negative 24 yards. Nicholas Wynia/The Daily Iowan

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter


When things get tough at Chandler Real Estate Investments, CEO Nathan Chandler remembers getting booed after being down 14-0 to top-10 ranked Michigan at Kinnick Stadium in 2003.

Then the starting quarterback for the Hawkeyes, Chandler led his team back for a 30-27 win that few expected, which was the first time the Hawkeyes had defeated the Wolverines in Iowa City since 1985.

Later that season, Chandler led Iowa to a win in the 2004 Outback Bowl, and the Hawkeyes finished No. 8 in both the AP and Coaches Poll.

When his playing days were over, Chandler went back home to Texas and started working at his father’s real estate business, Colonial Southern Group, in 2006.

“I grew up around real estate,” Chandler said in an email to The Daily Iowan. “My dad developed self-storage facilities throughout the South, and he would take us on his site visits. I have fond memories of accompanying him to auctions for abandoned units and less fond memories of performing random upkeep around the properties that were too strenuous for the managers.”

One time, Chandler mowed grass because his father thought the landscaping company was overcharging. The grass was waist high, which clogged up the mower every couple steps.

Still, Chandler went into the field, and learned about site selection, underwriting investment opportunities, and negotiation. When the recession hit at the end of 2007, the company negotiated a deal with a real estate investment trust.

He moved to Copper & Stebbins as a consultant. The group had developed the Southlake Town Square in Southlake, Texas, which was a downtown atmosphere in the Dallas/Fort Worth suburb.

“The retail aspect of the development had been a huge success, but the residential component had stalled, and they brought me in to research and create a residential strategy that could be more successful,” Chandler said. “I was able to create a plan that selected the most applicable floor plans and architecture from various walkable communities and present it to the owners.”

Due to the recession, Chandler’s strategy was put on hold and would be used 10 years later.

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Again, Chandler was on the move. He found himself as the CEO of Heatley Capital.

“Heatley had primarily invested in raw land and the training I’d received from my dad put me in a position to be able to present the analysis to support a diversified portfolio including income producing development and acquisition,” Chandler said.

He and his brother, former Hawkeye and NFL tight end Scott Chandler, started their own firm in 2017. Chandler Real Estate Investments primarily invests in Texas and Iowa.

Scott is the primary contact for new investors, underwrites potential deals, and develops relationships with real estate professionals, while Nathan oversees deal selection, partnership structure, and asset management.

“CREI weighs market direction, conservative projected returns, and associated risk levels to build a diversified portfolio comprised of many different product types with achievable returns that can withstand unpredictable outside factors,” Nathan said.

That has paid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their investments haven’t been heavily hit, and they don’t have any hotels in their portfolio, which helps.

Like other businesses, their biggest issue is figuring out when the economy will recover from the pandemic, but Nathan is optimistic for the future.

“I hope that 10 years from now our diligence in deal selection and commitment to work through the issues that present themselves endear CREI to those that have entrusted us with their investments,” Nathan said.

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