Claremont Companies – An Interview with Patrick Carney, Chairman and CEO

claremont companies patrick carney owner

Author: Michaela Sayce, BSU student

Q. Where are you from? Are you from around Bridgewater?
“Yes, southeastern MA… New Bedford, Dartmouth area…pretty close” 

Q. Why did you choose this field of business?
“Always had an interest in construction. That led me to an interest in real estate. My father died young and my family needed to find a way to create some income and that’s what gave me an incentive to start out buying three deckers in New Bedford…And that’s how the company began.”

Q. What year did you start your company?
“1968”

Q. What was the toughest part in the beginning of the business?
“Lack of capital. But you got to start small and create equity. Any new business that’s always the big problem is getting capital for growth. What really got the company started was the formation of the MHFA (Massachusetts Housing Financing Agency) … I was a student at Boston College and was able to go there (to MHFA) and basically get 100% financing to build and renovate apartments. I started out with very limited capital but because of the agency we were able to get exceptional financing and then we would sell interest to high earning limited-partners who wanted tax-shelter.”

Q. If you could start over, what would you have done differently?
“I would say to keep too much of the same. Been a good strategy, led us to the world of conventional financing and conventional deals… Just more of the same, build and buy assets, build a portfolio and overtime the values will grow.”

Q. What’s the toughest part about doing business in 2020?
“I would say the toughest thing today is the high cost of construction and the high prices to buy property… We, as a company, refuse to pay some of these ridiculous prices people are paying because what are you going to do when interests rates do go back to the norm. Disciplining ourselves to not always be the highest bidder has been a good formula for us. The biggest problem is if you want to have a career in real estate is don’t overpay for assets and don’t over leverage assets.”

Q. Has technology played a part in the growth of the company and its success?
“Technology makes everything quicker; you can get information quicker and communicate quicker with emails. It puts everyone in highspeed. There’s positives and negatives, the negative is you get glued to the emails… Technology I think has changed every business.”

Q. Where would you like to see the business in six months to a year future?
“We’re on a growth trajectory now. Keep expanding while we have these low interest rates.”

Q. Do you think of yourself as a passive or non-passive owner?
“Active owner. I like to concern myself with the details. And if you don’t there’s going to be problems. I think all business owners should be concerned with the details, not just the big picture.”

Q. Would you like to expand internationally?
“No… No country in the world has the opportunity we have in the United States. Ireland properties more for “fun”, places I like to visit. The US has the best opportunities and stability. Investing in the US has lowest risk. Maybe if I was younger I would’ve.”

Q. What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in this field?
“Make sure you like what you’re doing… most important recommendation.”

Q. What has been your favorite part of your career/journey?
“Seeing the growth of the company… the gratification to see the successful results.”

To contact Claremont Companies:

Telephone: 508-981-4300
Email: info@claremontcorp.com
Website: www.claremontcorp.com
Address: 2 Lakeshore Center, Bridgewater, MA 02324

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