Mobile Home Park Investing Newsletter

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March 1st, 2015

Memo From Frank & Dave

The one break-through that this industry needed has finally materialized – 21st Mortgage’s Community Rental Program, also known as “CRP”. We believe that this will grow into the biggest deal since sliced bread for park owners that have vacant lots and are trying to find the most cost-effective way to fill those lots. Under this program, 21st underwrites the entire cost of filling your lot – even the move, set and skirting – and puts that into an affordable monthly payment for the park owner. You then rent the home for the same or more, and you have effectively filled a lot without using any of your cash. We had faith that Warren Buffet (who owns 21st) would come up with a brainstorm like this – we just wish he’d launched it 12 years ago! Stay tuned in this newsletter for more information on this revolutionary development in filling vacant lots.

The Secrets Of The Greatest Park Manager Ever

We have a park manager that is so good that we won’t even tell you which park they are at, for fear that someone will try and steal them. We won’t even tell you which state. Under torture, we would not even reveal what gender they are. This manager is probably the best one in the U.S. So how are they so good?

A 90 Day Plan

This park manager is the only one we have ever seen that produces their own “90 Day Plan” each quarter, which outlines what they hope to achieve and how they are going to accomplish it. The very process of hatching a “plan” brings focus to what’s being done, as well as keeping the park owner in the loop on the direction the park is headed. We are big on plans of all types – daily, weekly, monthly, annually – so having a park manager that is also a planning nut is a huge asset.

Personally meeting the tenants

This manager believes that the first thing any new manager should do is to go door-to-door and introduce themselves. That’s the only way to set the atmosphere of mutual respect and working together. It also sets the tone for a manager who is directly accountable and on top of things. They personally met every tenant within two days.

Establish trust

This manager believes that the park manager and tenants must respect each other. To accomplish this, we build trust by meeting our obligations, and we expect the tenant to follow suit in paying their rent on time. When you treat the tenants as adults, it often spurs them on to behave better. When you treat the tenants like they are hopeless, they respond in kind.

Walk every inch of the property

This manager walks around every trailer every month – not just down the streets, but the sides and the backs, too. This allows them to spot any “hidden” rules violations, as well as spot water leaks. The manager has lost 35 pounds since they started, from all that walking. And that’s a win/win.

Treat people with respect, and they will return it ten fold

Rather than yell at a tenant “your yard is disgraceful, you pig!” this manager has found that treating people professionally elicits them to do a better job out of guilt rather than hatred. If you expect the best from people, sometimes they deliver. Talking to them in private and being careful with word choice can be the difference between the angry tenant who begrudgingly throws away a tire in their yard, and the happy tenant who then goes down to Hope Depot and builds a rose garden.

Set your schedule to meet your customer’s

This manager understands that the customers are king. When showing a vacant home or a vacant lot, the customer dictates the meeting time, not the manager. If the tenant needs to come by Sunday at 5 PM, then that’s the time the manager will be there. The manager will not say “I’m busy Sunday, come by some other day”.

Excitement is contagious

This manager always answers the phone with “I’m the proud manager of the mobile home park”. They then pepper the caller with tidbits of why the park is better than any other, and nice things that are currently being improved on in that 90 Day Plan. This manager even keeps a mirror on the wall to make sure they’re smiling when they answer the phone, or meeting with a resident. Because they are so “up” at all times, you can feel a more optimistic vibe coming from the tenants, too.

Never stop the effort

This manager takes their business cards around and puts them in every restaurant and store they go to. They are talking about the park on their free time. As a result, the park has found all sorts of new tenants from the most unlikely spots. This manager literally has no off button.

The proof is in the pudding

So how good is this manager? Look at the stats. Collections: 100%. Existing park-owned home occupancy: 100%. The RV section occupancy is up 700%. And we have five homes moving to ours from other parks, just from people who like the manager and believe in their talents. What’s the value of five occupied lots? In this park, around $125,000. OK, can you deal with those stats?

Conclusion

If there was a game show for park managers, this manager would surely win it. But there are lessons there for all the less successful managers to adopt and improve their level of play. Nothing makes or breaks a park like a good manager. So see if yours can compete with this one and, if not, either retrain them or move to the next. Remember our favorite motto: “it’s easier to change people than to change people”.

The Importance Of Having A Great Attorney

Of all the alliances you have to forge in successfully buying and operating a mobile home park, one of the most important is your attorney. There are many different attorney profiles, and you must select the one that is best suited for the task at hand. The most common occurrence, for most park buyers, is the attorney to read and protect your interests regarding loan documents and questions that come up on title and contract issues. Like anything else in life, if you chose a bad advisor, you will have a bad outcome. So how do you find a terrific lawyer well-versed in mobile home park law and issues?

The best corporate lawyer we have ever used is Dave DiMarco at Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP. We have used him exclusively for all of our conduit loans, as well as traditional bank loans. What we love about Dave DiMarco is that he knows what we are trying to accomplish (get the loan closed quickly and inexpensively) and he can quarterback the situation and push it to the goal line without us having to bug him or worry about our progress. How many attorneys have you had to nag, or even worse, call 100 times to get them on the phone? With Dave DiMarco, you don’t have to worry about if he’s making progress – he’s typically bugging you to push you along on your part of the equation. We have given Dave some extremely complicated, time-sensitive tasks and he has successfully completed them on-budget and on-time. He also has terrific people skills and can take charge of a rogue bank attorney and bring them back around both in speed and complexity. Our success rate with Dave DiMarco has been 100%. We get calls all the time from people looking for a good lawyer, and we always tell them to call Dave. If you need a lawyer to represent your interests in a transaction, then you will be well served to call Dave DiMarco at (585) 987-2833. And, yes, he’s the brother of Anthony and Gerry DiMarco – the #1 mobile home park loan brokers in the U.S. This is a family that definitely shapes the industry.

New Parks for Sale on MobileHomeParkStore.com

Mobile Insurance Is Our Insurance Expert!

Whether you are simply in need of an insurance quote or you have the unfortunate, yet common task of filing a claim, Mobile Insurance is ready and waiting to take your call.

They offer you the best mobile home park insurance coverage when you need it. Being able to contact them when you need them is just as important. Shopping for insurance or setting the wheels in motion to get your damaged home or your business back on track is not easy. At Mobile Insurance, they work to make the whole process easier with greater value for your money. Call them at 800 458-4320 or email [email protected]

Another Historic Gem From My 1955 “How To Build And Operate A Mobile Home Park”

How To Build And Operate A Mobile Home Park

Chapter 11 of this book is dedicated to “Buildings in a Mobile Home Park”. Here’s is an excerpt from this chapter:

If your park is some distance from a shopping area, a small store may be an excellent addition. If it handles grocery items – together with soft drinks, candy, cigars, cigarettes, notions, cosmetics and a small grill – it can be made to carry the entire overhead of the recreation building and may even make a contribution to net income”

OK, let me get this straight. The park manager is going to run a grocery store, and cook hamburgers and fries, throughout the day to serve to your tenants. Any ideas on the ramifications of this scheme today? I’m imagining on Monday you get a lawsuit for food poisoning. Tuesday, the chips all go missing (you find the wrappers in the maintenance man’s trash two days later, which is a mystery that has never been fully solved). Wednesday, the grill catches the building on fire, with the total damage to the building, after insurance, standing at $9,000. Thursday, the manager puts his hand in the fire while trying to retrieve his NASCAR hat, and goes to the emergency room. And then on Friday, you find that all the money the store made for the week has disappeared, so your net income for the week was around negative $12,000 (plus the legal bill for the food poisoning and the hospital bill for the manager which have not come in yet).

Ah, those good old days!

Warren Buffet’s 21st Mortgage Announces The “Community Rental Program”
And The Mobile Home Park Business Will Never Be The Same!

We all know that Warren Buffet is the second richest person in the U.S. And we also know that the reason Buffet is so rich is that he develops great ideas and then acts on them. Well, one of the best ideas he ever had has made its way to the mobile home park industry. And this idea is the Community Rental Program, also known as “CRP”. We believe that this program will become a mainstay of the industry going forward, as it finally unlocks the door for park owners to fill their vacant lots without using any of their own money, and is supported by the endless financial resources of Warren Buffet. If you own even one vacant lot in your park – or are looking at buying a park with vacant lots – then you need to pay careful attention to this new program and see what it can do for you. We will be having a Lecture Series Event with question and answers on this topic in the next few weeks. Be watching for the announcement.

A Testimonial For Renz And Associates

I wanted to share my recent experience with Mike Renz. Jeff and I needed a Phase I completed for a mobile home park purchase late last year. I shopped around, including Mike Renz as one of my quotes, and eventually chose a local consultant to perform the work. The savings was on the order of $300, and the local guy was "local"--meaning, he should be familiar with the area databases, industries, geology, etc.

In my initial conversation with Mr. Renz (and during every presentation he's given for you), he mentioned that regardless of who I chose, if I had questions, to call him. His advice would be free of charge.

The report I received from the local consultants was pretty bad. Being an engineering consultant in my prior life, I was expecting a much higher quality report. The local guys didn't really do any consulting, and worse, made blanket assumptions, suggested scientific theories that were incorrect with no supporting data, and worst of all, erroneously listed recognized environmental conditions (REC). I called Mr. Renz--he immediately/graciously reviewed the report, talked me through his major concerns, and provided a detailed email with a list of talking points that helped me discuss the report with the local consultant. With the talking points, I was able to reason with the local consultant. The final product was a Phase I report that I felt comfortable with, and more importantly, that the bank accepted.

Needless to say, next time Jeff and I need a Phase I, we're calling Mr. Renz.

As always, Jeff and I appreciate your help and advice and your willingness to share your experiences. After listening to Mr. Renz' presentation oat the Summit, I wanted to thank you again for bringing professionals like Mr. Renz to our attention.

-Jill S.

You can contact Mike Renz at (614) 538-0451.

The First Indoor Mall In The United States Has Been Converted Into Micro Housing, And Is Only The Latest Sign Of The New Craze For Smaller Dwellings

Arcade Providence Microlofts

The Providence Arcade in Rhode Island is over 200 years old, and is credited as the first indoor mall in the U.S. However, the passage of years was not too favorable for the structure. It became impossible to attract new tenants into tiny retail spaces and the infrastructure was falling apart. There appeared to be no solution until developers came up with an outside-the-box solution – to make the upper two floors into “micro apartments”. These apartments measure only 225 to 300 square feet in size – about the interior size of a small RV. The mall has now developed a huge clientele of young people who have just graduated from college and are looking for a first apartment. In fact, many of the retail store owners on the first floor now live in the tiny apartments above. While we don’t see this market coming to most of the parks we own, we believe that this demand for small, urban dwellings will definitely have an impact on the mobile home park industry in the years ahead, if your park has the right location.

Security Mortgage Group Is Our Banking VIP

We did a lot of conduit loans -- and regular bank loans -- last year. A common feature of those loans was Security Mortgage Group. If you are buying or financing a mobile home park, let Security Mortgage Group get you the loan. They'll get you better terms than you'll ever be able to find on your own. That's why the win the industry mortgage broker award virtually every year from MHI. If you have any loans you need help on, you can reach Anthony or Gerry at (585) 423-0230.

The Market Report

Mobile Home Park Stocks

Equity Lifestyle Properties - 70.27

Sun Communities - 74.03

UMH Properties - 13.26


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