For many years, the mobile home park industry had no available information except for a few ancient books like the 1955 “How to Build and Operate a Mobile Home Park” by L.C. Michelon. It was a lonely existence for park owners with nobody to bounce ideas off of or to share experiences. And that’s as recently as the 1990s. Today things have changed. So where can you go to get answers to your mobile home park questions?
Frank and Dave
The New York Times called Frank Rolfe “the human encyclopedia of all things mobile home park” and that theory is tested constantly by those who contact Frank with their questions. He has over 1 million words in print and over 500 hours of videos and CDs available, along with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank & Dave have been instrumental in taking the industry out of the information dark ages, being the first to use the internet to distribute information on the industry in a professional manner.
The Forum on MHU.com is a simple way to ask questions and network, as it allows you to post and answer questions to a wide audience of fellow mobile home park owners and buyers. It has also become over time the #1 source of deal assignments in the U.S., among other things. If you have not checked out the forum recently, you’ll find it here. Frank is the official lifeguard of the forum to make sure that discussions go the right direction.
Your state MHA
Every state in the U.S. has a “manufactured housing association” (also known as MHA) with the exception of Hawaii. These groups are on the front lines of defending park owners’ rights and to help foster productive legislation. They also are repositories of information on state laws and other fine points of community operations. Dues are low and you can always get free information if you ask.
Neighboring park owners
Never be afraid to ask other mobile home park owners in your area how they approach things. Many old timers love to give the younger generation their thoughts, and younger owners like to network and build a support network. Often owners will get together to share costs on such things as legal challenges to unfair city practices, or to help a contractor get a foothold as a mobile home repair person. I have never had a negative conversation with a park owner – they are the friendliest people on earth.
Just as Frank is considered the encyclopedia of mobile home parks, Mike Renz is considered the ultimate nerd on all things underground. He is an environmental engineer that does Phase I reports for mobile home parks, but has built a reputation as an expert on everything from pollution to private utilities. Like Frank, he happily answers questions all the time. You can reach him at [email protected].
If you have a question on mobile home park insurance and risk mitigation, then the top expert to call on is Kurt Kelley, who is not only an insurance expert but also an attorney. Kurt has been giving free information to park buyers and owners for years, and also moonlights as the editor of the Manufactured Housing Review magazine. You can reach Kurt at [email protected].
You don’t have to feel isolated anymore as a park buyer or owner. There is a network of people who care about what you do and will answer your questions on the industry. You just have to ask.