Nelson Brothers a Model of Intelligent Risk Taking


With boldness as a hallmark trait, the Nelson Brothers have found success in a reliable investment niche

Brian and Patrick Nelson were bold risk-takers from the start.

Eleven years and many bold decisions later, the principals of Nelson Brothers and Orange County-based real estate firm have acquired over 40 properties across the country totaling more than $750 million. Their success has earned them a semifinalist spot for this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year program in Orange County, which honors “entrepreneurs whose boldness drives them to do things differently and change our world in the most unexpected ways.”

How did they achieve these world-changing results?

By being bold–and smart. In general, real estate is considered a risky investment. But Nelson Brothers invests mainly in student housing properties, for which there is a growing need. This investment type and a focus on value-added investments, cost efficiency and revenue maximization have proven a reliably profitable risk for their clients.

In addition to investing, Nelson Brothers also manage property, including taking care of rehabilitation and ground-up development of their student housing properties. These properties range in value from $3 million to $44 million nationwide. They are changing the landscape of student housing in 14 states, particularly in Utah, where students in Provo, a major college town, can’t drive on the freeway without passing the Nelson Brothers logo on a student housing complex.

“We have been working hard not only to be successful as a business but also to help elevate the entrepreneurial community as a whole to a new level,” said Patrick Nelson. “We are grateful to be part of this community that values the spirit of entrepreneurship.”

The Entrepreneur of the Year program showcases businesses that highlight that spirit of entrepreneurship. This year’s finalists will be announced the week of May 14.



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