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John McLaren

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John McLaren | President & Chief Operating Officer Sun Communities

Leading Voices in Real Estate
Leading Voices in Real Estate
John McLaren | President & Chief Operating Officer Sun Communities

This week Matt’s guest is John McLaren, President and Chief Operating Officer of Sun Communities, a REIT and the largest owner/operator of manufactured housing communities. John and Matt explore the different facets of the manufactured housing business in general, as well as a deep dive into Sun Communities’ business. John lends particular insight to manufactured housing as part of the affordable housing toolkit and its ability to address the financial and social needs of people from a variety of income levels. 

On the subject of manufactured housing providing different options for housing affordability, we also refer you to a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post from a friend of Matt’s, Daniel Weisfield, from Three Pillars Communities, about misperceptions about the manufactured housing industry, its overall impact on housing affordability for its residents as well as having inevitable rent increases in the business. Here is a link to Daniel’s post via LinkedIn…..

Before Matt and John went on air for this episode, John shared that he unintentionally fell into the real estate and mobile home park businesses. He went on to say that his career has been a great blessing in which he has achieved success, and it’s clear from the way he talks about it that he has found a great deal of meaning and purpose in his work. Matt connected with this because he often feels the same way — he fell into real estate early on and then fell into recruiting mid-way through his career, both of which he grew to love. Sometimes a deep sense of purpose comes from career paths you don’t expect, so it’s worth it to keep a flexible mindset.

The heart of this conversation lies in John’s vigilant commitment to the communities he serves. He believes that for a community to thrive, it must be built on a foundation of stewardship. Everything from relationships with manufacturers to innovating more aesthetically pleasing housing is done with the local community and its member’s quality of life in mind. Intentionality of this degree is one of many reasons why Sun Communities enjoys around a 99% resident retention rate — an example to which many in the industry should aspire.


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Meet your host, Matt Slepin

Matt Slepin is the Founder and Managing Partner of Terra Search Partners, a national executive search firm dedicated to the real estate industry. Terra Search Partners’ mission is to provide a highly consultative service, highly focused with expertise and passion in the real estate business, with both a client-centric and candidate-centric approach that ultimately leads to better results.

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About Terra Search Partners

Matt founded Terra Search Partners in 2006 to provide a highly consultative and both a client and candidate centric approach to real estate search. Prior to forming Terra Search, Matt was a Partner with several executive search firms, including Heidrick & Struggles and Ferguson Partners. In addition to leading the firm, he advises clients and manages senior level searches for many of Terra’s clients.

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