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September 10, 2019 31 min

In 2010, Matt Fleming and his friends had money—but no deals. They were looking for a physical place to safeguard their cash, and Matt had the foresight to buy several projects with the intent to hold and maintain the properties until the real estate market came back. One of the unique communities Matt invested in was The Groves, a neighborhood in Temecula Wine Country with 2,400 citrus trees that he has transformed into a revenue-generating, licensed organic citrus farm.

Matt is the founder of Fleming Communities, a premiere boutique builder based in Southern California. The firm specializes in developing unique communities in the state’s most scenic locations, and the hallmark of their success lies in homes with timeless design and enduring quality—built in areas of great natural beauty.

Today on Founders Club, Matt joins Oliver to discuss his background in real estate and the uncommon attributes of the developments he decided to keep. He shares the details of The Groves, explaining how the community’s citrus farm generates revenue for the HOA, how he purchased the property from the bank, and what he did to maintain the property until the time came to build. Matt also describes the pick-a-lot, pick-a-home program at The Groves and the custom options available to buyers. Listen in to understand Matt’s biggest challenges in working with the county and incentivizing subcontractors and learn what inspired him to become a resident of the community himself!

Key Takeaways

[1:21] Matt’s background in real estate

  • Family in construction industry
  • Owned mobile home businesses
  • Bought several projects in 2010
  • [3:02] Matt’s foresight to buy and hold

  • Lucky enough to survive downturn
  • Aligned with great partners
  • Intent to sell when market turned
  • [6:31] The features of the developments Matt held

  • Location and/or uncommon attributes
  • The Groves = income-producing citrus farm
  • [8:18] How the community’s citrus farm generates revenue

  • Grapefruit harvest three weeks per year
  • Utilized by HOA to lower dues, apply to projects
  • [11:47] How Matt purchased the property from the bank

  • Drawn to wine country setting, paths already cut
  • Bought note from bank and settled with borrower
  • [13:57] Matt’s initial action plan for The Groves

  • Paved road, installed gate at substantial savings
  • Fence around 110 acres to secure asset
  • [17:15] The impetus for Matt to build at The Groves

  • Pent-up demand (build only if pre-sold)
  • Pick-a-lot, pick-a-home program
  • [20:03] How The Groves buyers customize their homes

  • Choose lot, location/direction of house
  • Pick from among three available models
  • 8-month timeline from YES to move-in
  • [24:13] Matt’s biggest challenges with The Groves

  • Getting site reapproved with county
  • Incentive program to keep subs on job
  • [26:22] Matt’s advice for aspiring developers

  • Understand process of BRE
  • Surround self with good people
  • [27:43] Matt’s decision to live at The Groves himself

  • Bike/walk to wineries, unique setting
  • Heavily involved in community/HOA
  • Connect with Matt

    Fleming Communities

    The Groves

    Connect with Oliver

    Big Block Realty

    Oliver on Facebook

    Oliver on LinkedIn

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