Business Transformation

Who is Tampa-Based Real Estate Mogul M. Patrick Carroll?

Michael Patrick Carroll, chief executive officer of Carroll Organization (Photo: file)

Entrepreneur and real estate mogul M. Patrick Carroll has found extraordinary success. From an early age, real estate entrepreneur Michael Patrick Carroll has been able to leverage opportunities into unparalleled business triumphs.

Today, as the Founder of the eponymous CARROLL, headquartered in Atlanta, M. Patrick Carroll has overseen a business that has grown exponentially. CARROLL has found continued evolution, even during the challenging business climate brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.

Today, CARROLL has more than $5 billion in managed assets and owns more than 30,000 commercial and residential properties along the East Coast of the United States. Since its founding in 2004, Michael Patrick Carroll’s company has acquired more than $7.6 billion in assets and sold more than $4.2 billion. It has also developed more than $200 million in properties for its institutional partners, private investors and principals.

An Early Eye for Real Estate

With drive, determination and a savvy perspective on opportunity, he has become a titan of real estate. Born in 1979 in Richmond, Virginia, M. Patrick Carroll grew up in Tampa, Florida, and after high school, moved to Atlanta. There, he bought his first property, a condo, with a 100 percent mortgage. Shortly thereafter, he flipped this inaugural purchase. Seeing initial success, Michael Patrick Carroll soon began buying and flipping properties regularly.

Eventually, Carroll began building homes. By the age of 27, M. Patrick Carroll utilized profits to  develop and sell a 150-unit housing development, just as the recession struck. With the liquidity he had gained, he bought three property management companies. These included the 5,000-unit Affordable Realty Management in 2009, the 9,000-unit Hediger Enterprises (2010), and the 8,000-unit Miles Properties Management Company (also 2010). Within a year, his company was overseeing 20,000 units across the United States.

Michael Patrick Carroll’s acquisitions were initially focused in Florida and Georgia, but gradually expanded throughout the Southeast to North Carolina and South Carolina. Finance was always an area of fascination, and Carroll recalls reading a Forbes magazine list of billionaires and saw the high number of those listed who worked in real estate, private equity and hedge funds. He knew he wanted to be a part of that club.

Michael Patrick Carroll, chief executive officer of Carroll Organization (Photo: file)

What Sets CARROLL Apart

The company he runs is privately owned, which allows for more agility and adaptability. CARROLL and M. Patrick Carroll are not beholden to Boards of Directors or shareholders. Instead, he focuses on raising private capital from some of the world’s largest institutional investors.

The structure also allows CARROLL to avoid the herd mentality that has others following the industry’s largest players as trends emerge. M. Patrick Carroll embraces outside-the-box thinking. Instead of following the herd, his company often looks at what opportunities those migrations mean, and then he moves swiftly to fill the void. It also drives his hiring strategy. Michael Patrick Carroll tends to hire those who are ambitious go-getters and mavericks with the right mindset to work hard.

Carroll has a strategic approach to hiring that has helped to propel CARROLL forward. He recently told a Forbes roundtable of business leaders that one of the cores to his success has been “truly reflecting our resident base when we hire employees.” His multigenerational leadership team includes those in ages representing everything from Generation X to Millennials. The hiring approach helps ensure broad representation around age, gender and ethnicity. “We don’t want to simply cater to demographics, we want our workforce to mirror the markets we work in,” he noted.

At CARROLL, there are four pillars – focus, integrity, passion and excellence. Those beliefs have been firmly on display during the pandemic. M. Patrick Carroll noted that the company, like many others, had to quickly shift to a remote operation. However, Carroll had believed the business was headed toward that workplace modality and the health crisis only accelerated that work out of necessity.

Michael Patrick Carroll made sure that he supported the partners, employees and those living and working in CARROLL properties during the pandemic. For Carroll, the pandemic hit home when he contracted COVID-19 himself.

Battling the illness has changed his perspective on the world and his leadership style. For one, Carroll has realized the importance of remaining calm, even when he may be afraid, to be supportive and set a good example for his three children, employees and investors.

Michael Patrick Carroll, chief executive officer of Carroll Organization (Photo: file)

Michael Patrick Carroll’s Commitment To Philanthropy

He’s also made a commitment to those affected by the pandemic. Throughout Atlanta, M. Patrick Carroll has donated to at least 10 food banks and sent meals to area hospitals. He’s also contributed more than $100,000 to combat hunger among Atlanta families.

His generosity also includes partnering with The Heart Fund to provide Easter meals to families across Ukraine. M. Patrick Carroll even started a social media campaign, #billionaireschallenge, to encourage others with means to support those in need.

Philanthropy is an important part of Carroll’s being. He donates to more than 50 charities worldwide with a particular focus on health, wellness and early childhood development. He is a Board member for the Boys and Girls Clubs in Tampa. Michael Patrick Carroll is also active in Habitat for Humanity. He has served on the National Multifamily Housing Council and the Urban Land Institute. He provides scholarships for students at his former high school, Jesuit High School in Tampa, and regularly serves as a motivational speaker for youth, looking to inspire them by sharing his story and emphasizing the importance of wellness. He encourages his employees to give back, too.

A Post-COVID Investment Strategy

As the economy returns to some semblance of normal post-pandemic, Carroll sees opportunities for evolution. In the last recession in the mid-aughts, Carroll grew his company by buying properties and companies that were considered distressed assets.

He sees the same happening today, with single-family home prices dropping as values plummet and owners struggle to pay their mortgages. In a post-COVID nation, however, the direction of migration is likely to be different.

After the Great Recession, people moved into urban areas, drawn by convenience and amenities, Carroll noted in a recent column. The opportunity, Carroll wrote, was in what was left behind – suburban property.

This time, consumers are going to continue to flock back to the suburbs, but are likely to expect the same conveniences and perks that city living provides. Buyers will be seeking no-maintenance living, heightening the value of multifamily rental properties. If work-from-home trends persist, the properties that can deliver will continue to be popular. Amenities that are walkable and access to large outdoor spaces will be drivers for success.

The remote workplace will mean an added emphasis on larger floor plans with flexible layouts that can accommodate the need for a home office.

In addition to looking for residential real estate opportunities, M. Patrick Carroll is thinking deeply about what the pandemic will mean for the way we live. Shopping centers and movie theaters, for example, are not very good long-term investment opportunities right now. Properties that cannot adapt to a more virtual way of living and working, with less reliance on physical space, are also likely to struggle, Carroll notes.

He’s also looking at non-real estate opportunities, such as apps that improve efficiency and wellness products. He is particularly bullish on wellness products and services that help with overall health, diet and exercise that allow for remote access. With a fierce drive for success and an eye on opportunity, Michael Patrick Carroll is poised to continue his remarkable path of success.


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Anna Papadopoulos
Vice President & Executive Editor. Anna Papadopoulos is the Vice President and Executive Editor of the CEOWORLD magazine. In that role she resumes responsibility for the CEOWORLD magazine newsroom, setting daily news priorities, and directing all of CEOWORLD magazine's news-gathering teams. Previously, Anna was the senior supervising editor of CEOWORLD magazine's International Desk. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn. Email her at AP@ceoworld.biz