Here We Go Again, & Again….

February 28th, 2020

Blog # 573 @ 28 February; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com and visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal? Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: There’s a LOT to digest in this blog posting! First, I’ll be asking you to embrace ‘findings’ documented 29 years ago by a presidential commission looking into exclusionary land use regulations – akin to what HUD is preparing to do today! And while you’re at it, don’t miss reading the March 2020 issue of The Allen Confidential, containing 18 specific regulatory barriers to affordable housing – again; identified 29 years ago! And Part II. A cost effective way to get your firm’s product & service message in front of 500+/- portfolio owners! Finally; hope you’re as excited as I am we’ll get to network with one another during the MHCongress! We’re already working on something very special to share with you there….gfa

I.

Here We Go Again, & Again….

HUD & Others Seek to Reinvent the Wheel of Exclusionary Land Use Regulations

What follows here, is quoted from the October 2019 issue of the Allen Letter. “During the past 50 years there have been at least five “presidential commissions and federal initiatives to eliminate local barriers to housing development”. The most comprehensive of these enterprises was the 1991 HUD-appointed commission to “investigate the nature and extent of regulatory barriers to affordable housing” – with final report released in early July 1991. Have you ever seen or read it? Well here’re some particularly pithy extracts from Anthony Downs’ (of The Brookings Institute) summary of those findings.

• “The main problem concerning regulatory barriers to housing affordability was not whether they existed, or how large they were, but how to overcome the great political obstacles to reducing them.” P.1097. Think NIMBY, LULU & BANANA.*1

• “Regulatory barriers raise housing costs much more than most people realize.” Some say 50%! Remedial strategy? “Emphasize state government pressure on local governments.” P.1098. Year 2020 has federal government pressuring local governments

• Several key perspectives: “Deal with big-city and suburban barriers to housing affordability”; “the problems low-income households have in paying for decent housing without spending more than 30 percent of their income for shelter”; and, “difficulty many households have in buying their first homes, regardless of income.” p.1099

• Here’s where ‘the rubber meets the road’; “Why local governments retain regulations that raise housing costs.” It’s “a common error in social policy analysis: a mistaken presumption of common goals.” P.1100. Again, think NIMBY,LULU, & BANANA*1

• “Local zoning codes (that exclude almost all moderate or high-density housing developments, including most multifamily housing)”, and “other specific regulations: building codes, subdivision codes, environmental regulations, the Endangered Species Act, historic preservation regulations, and labor regulations.” P.1101. And there’s more!

• A list of 18 ‘Specific regulatory barriers to affordability’- well known since 1991, will be published in toto, in the March 2020 issue of recently reconfigured newsletter: The Allen Confidential. You don’t want to miss this, as it presupposes results of “HUD’s impending study, designed to identify and assess local barriers to the siting and utilization of HUD-Code manufactured homes.” From MHARR Press Release dated 18 February 2020.

• Here’re three thought-worthy observations contained in the afore-referenced 1991 report: First, “…eliminating all regulatory barriers to housing affordability would not come close to ending the existing housing affordability problems of America’s low-income household. Those are caused more by poverty and low incomes than by high housing costs.” P.1105. Second, “…any requirements for minimum unit sizes of above, say 500 square feet per unit, or for maximum densities of below, say 35 units per acre, are the result of local government regulations, not of physical requirement for satisfactory living.” (Here think Tiny houses, park model RVs, & other types of Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs). P.1009. And third, “…current housing quality and density standards in many communities are set unrealistically high in relation to the true economic capabilities of millions of American households.” P.111 In other words, “…a crucial way to reduce the costs of building housing is to reduce the quality standards such housing is legally required to meet.” P.1112.

Once again, you will want a copy of the aforementioned list of 18 Specific regulatory barriers to affordability, soon to be featured in the March 2020 issue of The Allen Confidential. It’s as close to ‘the school solution’, as we’ll get – and it’s been around now for 29 years! Makes it an historic document, a template for planning and action, and provides HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities, a ‘leg up’ in affirming our long respected place as this nation’s best factory-built, unsubsidized housing alternative to solve the perennial affordable housing crisis!
End Note. 1. NIMBY = ‘Not in My Back Yard’; LULU = ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’’; and, BANANA = ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone!’ All three are today being pressured and modified as: YIMBY = ‘Yes, in My Back Yard!’; LULU = ‘Locally Useful Land Use’; and, ‘Build Appealing New Apartments Near Affordable housing need areas!’
II.
How to Put Your Firm’s Message in Front of 500+/- Portfolio Owners/operators of Land Lease Communities in North America!
Wager most of you don’t know this unique service exists in year 2020!. Well it does, and here’s how this one-of-a-kind direct mail marketing program works to serve you and 500+/- portfolio owners/operators of land lease communities domiciled throughout North America.
First off; the 600 direct mail communiques you prepare, are sent, via EducateMHC, directly to the decision-makers of portfolio firms. We exercise this exclusive, highly confidential mailing list several times a year, and always use first class postage – so delivery accuracy is near 100%! Why 600 rather than 500 pieces? While there are 500+/- sole proprietor owners, partnerships, corporations, and three public REITs in this property portfolio data base, we include another 100+/- ‘players’ whose property count does not yet qualify them as a portfolio (e.g. minimum of five standalone land lease communities, and or 500+ rental homesites in one or more properties).
The typical, though not mandated communique you prepare, can be a letter on your firm’s letterhead, accompanied by a descriptive brochure; sometimes even a bounce-back postcard – encouraging recipients to respond, even if not ready to respond to your product or service offer or request for information.
Who uses this direct mail marketing program? A wide variety of land lease community-related firms:
• Lenders and loan brokers specializing in land lease community mortgage origination and or refinance
• Independent, third party chattel capital lenders
• Real estate brokers with land lease communities, or portfolios, listed for sale
• Would be land lease community investors seeking one or more properties to acquire*1
• Land lease community owners/operators interested in selling one or more properties in particular local housing markets
• Insurance companies
• Aftermarket suppliers of product and services for manufactured housing
• National advocates for manufactured housing and or land lease communities seeking to increase their membership
So, what’s next, if interested in availing yourself of this valuable marketing service? Contact Erin Smith, MHM, via Educatemhc@gmail.com. Then prepare 600 pieces of direct mail. Envelopes must be stuffed, sealed, and stamped with first class postage stamps – not postage meter impressions. Then ship the package, along with requisite payment, to EducateMHC @ 170 Commerce Dr., Franklin, IN. 46131.
End Note. *1. Some of the largest property portfolio firms in business today, got their start ‘decades ago’ by exercising this unique data base of 500+/- land lease community portfolio owners/operators domiciled in the U.S. and Canada.
III.
Special Advance Notice!
Apparently I’ll join many of you at the MHCongress in Las Vegas @ 6-8 April 2020. Why am I telling you this? Plans are for me to participate in a professional property management panel presentation – which I hope you’ll attend! But I also have something else in mind to share with you as we network throughout the event. Based on material created and used during plant tours and home sales seminars, held these past several years at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Indiana, we’ve printed an ‘In-community, HUD-Code Housing Marketing & Sales Tool’, available nowhere else! Hint. It contains latest FMR (Fair Market Rent) methodology; Six Right Ps of Marketing; and, uses of AMI (Area Median Income) & AGI (Annual Gross Income) to affordably ‘size’ new homes and rental homesites desired by homebuyers/site lessees!
George Allen, CPM, MHM

MHI 2.0

February 20th, 2020

Blog # 572 @21 February; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com, and visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal? Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM Class!

INTRODUCTION: The three parts following here are self-explanatory in their own right. In brief; embrace the ‘MHI 2.0’ focus for year 2020; continue to watch for progress with the CrossMod™ home and GSE’s two DTS $ programs designed to support sales thereof; and finally, let elected and salaried leaders, among all three trade advocacy bodies, know you’d like to see the manufactured housing product and land lease community lifestyle promoted during the weeks and months ahead….

I.

MHI 2.0

In my opinion, Dr. Leslie Gooch well-walked the fine line between micromanagement and getting the job done. In this case, given group discussion participation by gathered members, she oriented and focused the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) going into year 2020 and beyond! How did she do this? By pretty much dominating every division meeting with her description of, and request for input about, what she labeled ‘MHI 2.0’. On one hand, this was akin to micromanagement; but was necessary for everyone to hear and discuss, to achieve ‘buy in’ among three areas Leslie emphasized:

• MHI’s team is 930+ members strong, plus staff. Leslie expects everyone to be on board during the weeks and months ahead as the institute advocates for the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class. What was really novel, to me anyway, was her insistence considering legislators, as well as government agencies and regulators (e.g. GSEs) to also be part of the MHI team.

• How to best tell our manufactured housing story going forward? That means doing things that are newsworthy and needed, e.g. being part of the solution to our nation’s ongoing affordable housing crisis. Also continuation of the Innovative Housing presentation on the National Mall later this year. Some even suggest revisiting the land lease community evaluation and recognition program of the late 1990s.

• How to grow manufactured housing markets? This was a lively topic among all division meetings, as ‘how to do so’ can, and will, take on many visages – each tailored to particular segments of the manufactured housing industry. One oft-visited line of thinking had/has to do with identifying and removing local housing market regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing.

No question about it, ‘MHI 2.0’ is Dr. Leslie Gooch, CEO, & President Mark Bowersox’ orientation for year 2020. Suggest you watch weekly newsletters from MHI expanding on this theme. And if not already aboard, as a member, become a member of the team!

II.

CrossMod™ Is Not a Modular Home

Modular Home Builders Association (‘MHBA’) Lashes out, Claiming MHI Usurping Popularity of ‘Modular’ Type Factory-built Housing!

In a recent online communique, Tom Hardiman, executive director of MHBA takes MHI to task, in his view, for misleading prospective homebuyers. How so? Quoting MHI’s research on the matter, allegedly “The term ‘manufactured home’ only appeals to nine percent of potential home buyers. But add the ‘undefined use of mod’ to the name, and suddenly it (the appeal) jumps to 46 percent!”

Hardiman goes on to say, “Putting a manufactured home on a permanent foundation, adding a pitched room and a porch doesn’t make it modular. It makes it a damn nice (HUD-Code) manufactured home. And that’s nothing to shy away from. Take pride in your own industry and own it! But don’t high-jack our industry because your marketing team thinks it will help with sales.” Which, by the way, has NOT been the case to date. According to GSEs, during a recent Listening Session in St. Louis, their MHAdvantage and Choice MH finance guarantee programs have seen little to no traffic where new CrossMod™ homes have been concerned!

MHBA, via its’ Hardiman, calls upon the “…Manufactured Housing Institute to stop marketing this product and to stop misleading the public. (And) We are asking the public to ask one simple question when considering this product: ‘What code is this built to?”.”

This is not the first time MHBA and MHI have crossed horns. Nor is MHBA the sole national trade entity claiming to represent, and or advocate in behalf of, modular homes. There’s also the 1) Building Systems Council (‘BSC’) of the National Association of Home Builders (‘NAHB’), 2) Modular Building Institute (‘MBI’) – a commercial buildings trade group; and, in the event you didn’t know this,3) the National Modular Housing Council (‘NMHC’) of – yes – MHI. Confused yet?

And so, unless MHI reverses direction relative to marketing CrossMod™ manufactured homes fabricated to the HUD-Code, and I don’t see that happening at this point in time, expect to see and read more of this battle continuing into the building season this Spring and Summer.

Post MHI Winter Meeting Observation on this topic? CrossMod™ was a topic of conversation, just never excitedly that I heard, during said meeting. Two things. I did remind one audience how ‘manufactured housing’ has been down this road (i.e. ‘Big Box = Big Bucks!’) before; in 1998, when we shipped 372,943+/- new HUD-Code homes, a.k.a. Developer Series Homes. Our Achilles Heel then? Independent (street) MHRetailers not trained or equipped to be site prep contractors needed to ensure safe, secure installation of these homes! And, as far as I know, that situation has not changed where CrossMod™ homes are concerned. Also, it was good to hear, via Dick Ernst, the two GSEs are working to meld characteristics of their two DTS programs, MHAdvantage & ChoiceMH, so as to cause less confusion among prospective homebuyers. Bottom line? Status quo continues with the CrossMod™ HUD-Code product.

III.

‘MHIndustry Image Improvement & More New Home Sales via Public Relations & National Housing Brand Advertising’

This was the topic of focused and lively conversation during the conclusion of the 28th annual Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN., in early September 2019. Unfortunately, the conversation among 20+/- businessmen and women, did not continue beyond that venue – except for some thoughtful and inspiring ideas put into writing by Paul Martens, principal of QND Properties, LLC, in San Diego, CA.

Where do you think we should go with this line of thinking, and eventually planning and implementation? I’ve been around the manufactured housing industry long enough to have seen this singular matter discussed and shelved, almost with regularity, during the past three decades. Why does it go no further? There are reasons. One of which has to do with HUD-Code housing manufacturers being perennially concerned about financing (sponsoring) a (national) program that might wind up helping non-MHI member firms sell more new homes! Seriously. And until we get past that selfish hurdle, there will be no MHIndustry Image Improvement & More New Home Sales via Public Relations & National Housing Brand Advertising!

Post MHI Winter Meeting Observation on this topic? Unless I, somehow, totally missed progress on this subject, there’s really been no planning or movement in this area of MHIndustry image improvement & more new home sales via public relations & national housing brand advertising! And that’s NOT due to the lack of funds available….

***

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
EducateMHC
170 E. Commerce Dr.,
Franklin, IN. 46131

Increasing Affordable Housing Supply (&) Maybe PCE is Answer to your Marketing & Opns. Challenges…

February 13th, 2020

February; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com, and visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal? Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: This week’s blog posting contains two questions: ‘What Measures Did You Recommend?’ for eliminating barriers to affordable housing; and, ‘Is there a Professional Community Evaluation in Your Future? In the first instance, that’s still a viable opportunity if you decide to participate. In the second instance, perhaps a PCE is what your property or properties have needed for some time now.

I.

& What Measures Did You Recommend?

As you likely recall, during November 2019, HUD published a Request for Information (‘RFI’) targeting how to ’Eliminate Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing’ that artificially raise the costs of affordable housing development, and contribute to shortages in America’s housing supply. Every national advocate for manufactured housing, including EducateMHC, responded to the RFI, and some of those measures were shared here, and previous blog postings. Even the Institute for Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) participated. Here’s a summary of their proposal:

• Encourage private insurance companies, by reforming regulations, to write more flood insurance in flood zones. This’d lower costs, making the property more affordable.

• Combat rent control by introducing legislation that’d restrict localities from receiving Community Development Block Grants (‘CDBGs’) if they adopt rent control programs

• Increase Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (‘LIHTC’) by 50 percent, in each state, to encourage more affordable housing development throughout the U.S.

• Encourage more incentives to voucher landlords, e.g. security deposits to match those of conventional tenants, quicker inspection times, reserves for damage, etc…

There’s still quite a buzz ‘out & about’ where these measures are concerned. Remember what I shared with you last week about the changing foci, with NIMBY becoming YIMBY, and evolution of LULU and BANANA – traditional anti-affordable housing shibboleths (‘password or slogan’).

II.

Is There a PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY EVALUATION in Your Future?

There certainly should be, if you own and or manage one or more land lease communities anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. The Professional Community Evaluation (‘PCE’) is professional property management’s equivalent to one’s annual physical health examination, or review of one’s corporate financial wellbeing. But first; how did PCE come about, where land lease communities are concerned?

Mystery Shopping (of income-producing properties) examine and grade (then) manufactured home communities until the late 1970s. At the time however, it was a routine means of observing and evaluating on-site telephone interview, and in person performance of apartment leasing consultants, their proficiency at ‘making (units) ready’, and maximizing curb appeal. Early Mystery Shopping assignments involving land lease communities covered much of the same territory, as leasing of rental homesites was the primary work focus for on-site staff. By the time of the REIT mini-wave in the mid-1990s, Mystery Shopping, at least among larger property portfolio owners/operators, became a near routine performance review practice.

Focus changed however, at the turn of the century, when it seemed ‘everyone discovered land lease communities’ as investment vehicles. Then Mystery Shopping assignments morphed into what many called ‘pre-due diligence inspections’ of properties soon to be acquired. Here the emphasis changed from evaluating leasing performance to ‘sales know how’, with less focus on curb appeal, but much more on infrastructure condition. And as some novice investors bought too quickly, remedial Mystery Shopping, and post-due diligence consulting, became commonplace. Bringing us to now…

Professional Community Evaluation or PCE, to some extent, follows procedures characteristic of Mystery Shopping and pre-due diligence inspections of the past, but with improvements. And all PCE assignments are conducted in the utmost of confidence.

• Documentation and analysis of etiquette and sales/leasing skills during anonymous, unscheduled telephone conversations with the property’s on-site staff. Tip. Anyone who answers the Information Center telephone MUST know how to qualify prospects and schedule a home sales and or site leasing appointment on-site!

• Documentation and analysis of signage (on & off-site), curb appeal, condition of housing, and other visual clues to operational efficiency and property rules enforcement, or lack thereof…

• Documentation and analysis of in-person sales/leasing skills observed during anonymous, random on-site visits to the property’s Information Center. Tip. Anyone who conducts an on-site interview MUST know how to qualify prospects and sell or lease a home and rental homesite!

• Functionality review of social media and website effectiveness. This platform is fast becoming the most strategic marketing tool for land lease communities nationwide.

• Comparison and analysis of property’s Operating Expense Ratios (‘OERs’) with land lease community published norms. Also use of other performance formulae, e.g. physical & economic occupancy, turnover, traditional 3:1 rule for evaluating site rent, etc…

• Investigate property-owner targeted concerns and make recommendations as appropriate.

• Preparation of a written narrative of findings (i.e. including photographs, and samples of material handed out on-site), and appropriate suggestions for corrective action.

• And when desired, provide professional property management training in toto (e.g. one day Manufactured Housing Manager Certification class) or in part, e.g. home sales, site leasing, advertising design, resident relations, and more…

As you might suspect, this highly specialized and valuable service does not come at a bargain rate. Most assignments of this nature require a minimum of a couple days’ time, plus travel expenses.

To learn more about PCE and you, communicate to EducateMHC@gmail.cm or phone (317) 697-1717.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master

ERRATUM

February 7th, 2020

Blog # 570 @ 7 February; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.cm and visit www.eduatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal? Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Correcting one’s errors can be instructive, even humorous. Part I describes a recent error with an instructive correction. A decade ago I penned a booklet on MH finance; a misprint therein suggested using ‘pubic finance’, when I meant to say ‘public finance’. Part II is serious stuff! I’ve been around this (MH) business for 40 plus years, and current threats of landlord-tenant legislation are the most widespread experienced to date. Pay attention! And Part III was kinda fun to write. I’ve known Ralph Cochran ‘for decades’ and admire what he’s done in the field of Christian education. Maybe if we’re fortunate, he’ll return to the land lease community investment fold one of these days…

I.

ERRATUM

We corrected an ERRATUM (misprint @ blog # 568) in last week’s (#569) posting; so, why do so again, here in # 570? Ha! Making mistakes is NOT my habit or amusement, but it does happen from time to time. Here’s the latest misstep and it’s a doozie:

Pull out your 31st annual ALLEN REPORT and turn to page # 6, where the list of 100 land lease community portfolio owners/operators begins. Look at year 2020 ranking # 2, listing SUN Communities, Inc. In the 7th column across, where we show 266 communities – the correct number is 382. Why the difference? When compiling the ALLEN REPORT I missed seeing a small print footnote at the bottom of the data questionnaire indicating: In addition to 266 land lease communities, the firm now owns/operates 116 RV parks; for a total of 382 MH&RV communities! Hence, total should have been 382 and not 266. Certainly underscores the decade long emerging trend of including recreational vehicle rental sites and properties in heretofore ‘land lease community only’ portfolios.

Sorry ‘bout that oversight. But since the ALLEN REPORT is now distributed digitally, all copies henceforth will have the correct total in place! Speaking of which, if you have yet to purchase your copy of said report, visit www.educatemhc.com to order. You’ll be glad you did, as there’s no more comprehensive a compendium of realty asset class stats and trends available anywhere else in the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry!
II.

Be Aware & BEWARE!

I’ve used that headline before and now, for good reason both times!’

What you’re about to read here, are summaries of a half dozen landlord-tenant legislation regulations now in place in at least one state, where rent control was anathema (‘something accursed’) just a year or so ago. You ready? Here goes:

Landlords prohibited from refusing to rent to a tenant on grounds he/she was the subject of prior eviction proceedings.

Attorney’s fees, in behalf of landlords, in landlord-tenant proceedings, are no longer collectable from the tenant if landlord is awarded judgement based on tenant’s default.

If landlord charges a fee for conducting a background or credit check, the total amount cannot exceed the actual cost of the background and credit checks, or $20 dollars, whichever is less.

Unless landlord can prove to the court a tenant is ‘objectionable’ (‘whatever that means’), a warrant of eviction, and collection of costs of an eviction proceeding, may be stayed by the court for a period of not more than one year, if court finds tenant cannot, within the neighborhood, secure suitable premises similar to those occupied by said tenant.

Illegal evictions prohibited. Prohibits landlord from using or threatening force, interrupting or discontinuing essential services, or ‘engaging in a course of conduct which interferes with or is intended to interfere with or disturb the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of the occupant in the use or occupancy of the dwelling unit…

Limit security deposits to one month’s rent, only.

So, are you shocked at what’s happening to leaseholds in some parts of the U.S.? All the more reason for you to take steps now, so as to not have this occur in local housing markets you serve with your land lease community or communities! How to effect these steps? Several measures come to mind:

• Join and be active in your state manufactured housing association! And extend that membership status and activity to the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division. Anything less is counter-productive.

• Have your community operators trained and certified as professional property managers! Easiest and most economical means of doing so is enrollment in the popular one day Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) class. Visit www.educatemhc.com

• Join local Chambers of Commerce wherever you have land lease communities! Encourage local staff to attend events and cultivate a positive local image wherever and whenever possible. Success? When chamber sends you prospective homeowners.

• Purchase a copy of Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry for every land lease community! MHM class participants receive this book as a matter of course. It addresses most on-site management challenges. Has to be best text available, now that Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) stocks and sells it to Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) members & AMO organizations. Visit www.educatemhc.com

I realize, as many of you do, our unique income-producing property performance hiatus, and unwanted legislative attention, is as much to blame on ‘outsiders’ acquiring communities ‘at whatever cost’, then increasing rental homesite rates to whatever level necessary to pay operating expenses and inflated debt service payments. So it behooves you, as an owner/operator, to do whatever you can to protect your investment and job – starting with the four bullet points just articulated. If you have additional suggestions, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

III.

Ralph Cochran Rides Again!

Not everyone reading these lines is old enough to recall, nearly two decades ago, when Ralph Cochran was identified as one of our realty asset class’ Young Wealth builders, a.k.a. Young Lions in the ALLEN REPORT. After a few years run, Ralph liquidated his property portfolio, and headed off in a different career direction, founding and growing classical Christian schools back East.

A couple months ago, Ralph released his new book, Story Marketing for Christian Schools, ‘The Expert’s Guide to Growing Enrollment through Word of Mouth Marketing, Story Telling, and Inbound Marketing’. I read the book recently, and was pleasantly surprised (?) – no, encouraged, to read Ralph suggesting a formula similar to one used by land lease community owners/operators to market and sell new HUD-Code homes on-site. Here’s what Ralph has to say on the subject of, what he calls, Inbound Methodology:

“To effectively market the Right Way to the Right Audience at the Right Time and achieve your marketing goals, you also need a working knowledge of the inbound methodology, a four-phase process:”

• Attract the right visitors to your school website ( or land lease community website)

• Convert visitors into school enrollment leads (Convert inquiry phone calls into on-site visits & visits into completed applications!)

• Nurture those leads through the Buyer’s Journey to the enrollment decision (Using ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ to ensure buyer purchases the house he/she can afford!)

• Delight your enrollees to the point they become your WOM (‘Word of mouth’) marketers (Cultivate good resident relations to generate referrals & encourage retention!)

See what I mean? The parallels are clear. And, if Christian schools are of interest to you, consider buying a copy of Ralph’s book. It’s available online.

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

One Story You’ll Likely Not Get To Read….

January 31st, 2020

Blog # 569 @ 31 January; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource and communication media for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE served U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing &^ land lease communities as U.S> source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Part I describes a worthy ‘read’, but you’ll have to chase down the manuscript on your own. Part II is, in large part, a repeat of material shared last week re YIMBY, LULU & BANANA. Part III invites you to exercise your writing ability and share your knowledge. Part IV. The near weekly peek at what’s contained in the text that belongs in every LLCommunity!

I.

One Story You’ll Likely Not Get To Read….

It’s not so much a narrative, but a 30 question interview with Mark Weiss, 25 year president & CEO of MHARR in Washington, DC. conducted by a representative from online trade media.

What’s covered in this multiple page review of manufactured housing topics and issues?

• Attempts to compel full compliance with major reform aspects of MHIA@2000
• Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) provisions of Housing & Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (‘HERA’)
• Post-production debacle re: zoning issues and lack of home-only financing
• Diversion of GSE attention to ‘new class’ HUD-Code homes & realty-secured financing
• Hint of need to regulate perceived business monopoly in manufacturing & finance
• Call for an independent, national, post-production association to advocate nationally
• FHA Title I program a non-starter due to lender regs and lack of $ data sharing

If you want to obtain a copy of this Q&A document, contact Mark Weiss (202) 783-4087.

II.

Meet NIMBY, YIMBY, LULU & BANANA

Yes, I mentioned these long-used, anti-affordable housing acronyms in last week’s blog posting (#568), but enough of you requested further explanation, I decided to run them past you again.

There is indeed a fledgling movement among affordable housing advocates these days, to change land-use policies and practices in a manner resulting in more instances (i.e. increased presence and volume) of all forms of affordable housing, workforce housing in particular. The most popular change-handle has been YIMBY or ‘Yes, In My Back Yard!’, more than a symbolic 180 degree turnaround in attitude regarding affordable housing, i.e. away from the long-lived NIMBY or ‘Not In My Back Yard!’ shibboleth!

Now, LULU and BANANA, to date, haven’t attracted that much attention, but their built-in negative messages have been pointed out, repeatedly, as being ripe for change. So, don’t be surprised, in time, to learn LULU, has morphed from ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use!’ to ‘Locally Useful Land Use!’ and, the all-encompassing BANANA slogan of ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone!’ has evolved into ‘Build Appealing New Apartments Near Affordable’ housing need areas!

Now those are healthy and helpful changes to local land planning and use regs we can work to implement and build-to during months and years ahead! Already, some housing industry observers are predicting “…single-family housing starts to average around 1 million annualized this year (2020).” Quoted from the HousingWire AM edition dated 24 January 2020.

III.

ERRATUM

In last week’s blog posting (#568) we announced beginning preparation of a new edition of the manufactured housing industry classic, How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, published by J. Wiley & Sons in 1996. However, when I meant to say “We’re NOW in the process of recruiting new contributors to this text”; it came out as NOT doing so. Let’s be clear: If you possess writing skill and hands-on experience in one or more realty-related specialties related to land lease community marketing, acquisition, management and new home sales and finance, please let me know of your interest in joining the writing team. Via (317) 346-7156 or gfa7156@aol.com

IV.
ANSWERS to Internal Challenges Occurring Within Land Lease Communities…

Using knowledge gleaned from Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry

‘How to Market & Sell New Homes Within Land Lease Communities’

During the past four plus decades I’ve enjoyed and appreciated numerous opportunities to contribute to the land lease community pool of knowledge. This has included articulating the first Industry Standard Chart of Operating Accounts & Operating Expense Ratios (described in a previous blog posting), proofing the New Rule of 72 as a means of estimating capitalized income value of an average land lease community (for a future blog posting), even the widely-used ABClassification of Communities, to pinpoint property quality as being A, B, or C grade (also already posted). And yes, of course, the weirdly-named ‘Ah Ha & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ – now a standard means of calculating new and resale housing price points for homes to be sited on realty conveyed fee simple or on a rental homesite within a land lease community. All these tools are part and parcel to the text: Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry –available via www.educatemhc.com

A couple years ago I saw the need to educate land lease community owners/operators how to market, sell, and seller-finance new HUD-Code homes on-site in their properties. Hence, the ‘two days of plant tours and seminars’ was birthed at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. While I’ve since relinquished control of this seminal annual event to the IMHA/RVIC (Indiana), some of the ‘basics’ remain, e.g.

Four steps to selling & Financing New Homes On-site Within Land Lease Communities =
• Getting Ready!
• Buying Homes!
• Selling Homes!
• Financing Homes!
Part and parcel to these four steps are the Six Right Ps of Marketing! An expansion of the original Four Ps of Marketing, taught at most universities, the manufactured housing industry has seen the practical value of adding two more Ps to the classic list of product, place, price & promotion. And all this can be found on page 58 of the above-referenced text

The next plant tours and seminars event will occur 4 & 5 August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. For more information and to register, phone (317) 247-6258.

***

Responses to Request for Information Pursuant to Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing

January 24th, 2020

Blog # 568 @ 17January 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ’mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource and communication media for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSHNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@ao.com , & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Call this a potpourri of topics today! Part I is your glimpse of packages submitted to the White House council on eliminating regulatory barriers to affordable housing. Part II summarizes what occurred at the semi-public meeting of land lease community owners/operators during the Louisville MHShow. Part III is your hint of a resource possibly to debut during year 2021. And Part IV; well, it’s my need for input from you, relative to a unique career pattern among MHIndustry & LLCommunity executives. Enjoy!

I.

Responses to Request for Information Pursuant to Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing

At least one real estate, and two manufactured housing-related, national advocacy bodies have prepared and submitted formal replies to the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing! Copies of packages were received from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), The Real Estate Roundtable*1, and EducateMHC. At this writing we can only assume the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) submitted a like formal reply to the White House Council request for input. As an MHI member, I’d have liked to seen and read it along with the three just mentioned.

Frankly, everyone in the HUD-Code manufactured housing business should read the comprehensive response researched, prepared and submitted by MHARR. It is textbook-like in presentation and content, and useful to boot (‘in addition’). To request a copy, phone (202) 783-4087. Talk to Mark Weiss and tell him ‘George Allen sent you!’

Four topics stood out in The Real Estate Roundtable white paper: support for more manufactured housing; YIMBY not NIMBY; need for GSE reform; and rent control as a non-solution. Specifically:

• “Promote strategies to increase production of manufactured housing.” Or, meet dire Need with more Supply! While recommendation described only one of the two (i.e. Freddie Mac’s Choice MH program, but not Fannie Mae’s MHAdvantage) realty-secured DTS (Duty to Serve) programs, it made NO mention of the continuing need for reasonable access to chattel capital by hundreds of owners of land lease communities nationwide, except for the following remark:

• “Deploy GSE reform efforts with a focus to improve liquidity for mortgages serving low and middle income homebuyers, and prioritize middle-income rental housing creation.” Chattel capital should be the focus of the second round of DTS program planning, but will it be?

• “Support ‘Yes in My Backyard” (‘YIMBY’) land-use policies….” – just as is the case with contemporary ‘zoning reform’. But why stop with morphing from NIMBY to YIMBY? Let’s also flip LULU from ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’ to ‘Locally Useful Land Use!’, and BANANA from ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything’ to ‘Build New Apartments (or Assets) Near Affordable’ housing need areas!

• ‘Rent Control is Not a Long-Term Solution to Address the Housing Crisis” Amen to that.

There was much more contained in The Real Estate Roundtable submission. Perhaps, in time, more of the content will appear publicly.

Then there’s the response submitted by EducateMHC. The distinguishing feature here, unlike the two aforementioned replies, was the point to carefully and clearly define the concept of ‘affordable housing’ in general, then Low Income Housing (‘LIH’) & Very Low Income Housing (‘VLIH’) in particular, followed by the six widely-used measures of said concept:

• Housing Expense Factor or HEF, commonly used in manufactured housing sales environments, using the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Form’ for estimating housing price points.
• Housing Opportunity Index or HOI; formerly NAR & NAHB’s ‘Housing Affordability Index
• Housing Wage or HW measure
• Workforce Housing or WFH measure
• Income to Home Value Ratio or IHVR measure
• ‘One, or anyone, who believes they live in affordable housing’, a matter of perspective.

Much of the remainder of this response had to do with citing examples of how HUD-Code manufactured housing, and its’ sister lifestyle, the land lease community, when allowed to do so, outperform traditional, site-built housing time and again.

End Note.

1. “The Roundtable brings together leaders of the nation’s top publicly-held and privately-owned real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms with leaders of the major national real estate trade associations, to jointly address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy.” From correspondence date 17 January 2020.

II.

LLCommunity Owners Convene During Louisville MHShow

It wasn’t a big meeting, it was not intended to be a big meeting. Rather, an opportunity for interested land lease community owners/operators to convene in a semi-public meeting, to identify and discuss various industry/asset class issues and emerging trends, troubling and otherwise.

What happened? Nearly 20 individuals met for 1 ½ hours late morning on the 16th of January.

• Dr. Leslie Gooch, CEO of MHI, and the institute’s VP of Communication were present and assured everyone of improved communication and advocacy, especially via the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division.

• Some talk about MHI’s ‘new type’ HUD-Code manufactured home. identified as a CrossMod™, and appropriate for GSE’s realty-secured loan programs (i.e. MHAdvantage & Choice MH), but not for home-only financing needed for in-community placements.

• Passing mention of self-help measures, to influence and pressure acquirers of land lease communities from outside the industry, who have been raising site rental rates flagrantly.

• The most passionate conversations occurred when Spencer Roane, MHM, of Pentagon Properties in Atlanta, GA., called for a National Advertising Campaign – one funded with floor fees from manufacturers, to promote manufactured homes nationally, and land lease communities locally!

No plans were made for a future ‘continuation’ of this meeting. However, it was noted, every time land lease community owners caucused nationally in the past (e.g. 8/31/1993; 2/27/2008, 2/27/2009 & more), significant progress occurred, resolving troubling issues such as need for improved national advocacy; an ‘action plan’ to revive ‘everyone’, following the year 2009 nadir; and, agreement on the need for a Community Series Home design. So, continue to follow the news shared in this weekly blog posting series to be the first to hear of ‘the next time we get together’!
III.

Is It Time?

In 1996, John Wiley & Sons, New York publishers, revolutionized the marketing and acquisition of (then) manufactured home communities, with the release of the first case bound text ever researched and authored on the specialized investment realty property type.

The 500 pages book, How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, when released, sold out within six months, there was so much demand for this information. A second printing sold out in another 12 months, and today the text is out of print – though used copies continue to be sold on amazon.com, often for a higher price than the $95.00 charged 25 years ago! So, is it time to readdress this timely and strategic topic?

Given there are no quality HOW TO acquire land lease community texts on the market these days – discounting collections of real estate broker ‘war stories’ masquerading as guidance, consideration is indeed being given to preparing a new edition of the 1996 tome.

If YOU believe you have bona fide ability and experience in one or more skill areas, where land lease community marketing and sales is concerned, let me know – in writing via gfa7156@aol.com You see, the first edition featured input from more than a dozen individuals with such specialized skills in this area, but most have since retired or left the realty asset class. So, we’re not in the process of beginning to recruit new contributors for this project. Interested?

IV.

Allen Legacy column in MHInsider Magazine…

I’m seeking to identify manufactured housing industry executives and land lease community owners who served in the U.S. military during the 1960s & 70s, and served a combat tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam during that timeframe. If this describes you, or you know someone with this background, please let me know via voicemail: (317) 346-7156. I think this would make an interesting and appropriate Allen Legacy column during the months to come.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

Three Times in (Land lease) Community History, Owners/operators Have Convened to Plan & Effect Their Collective Business Future

January 8th, 2020

Blog # 567 @ January 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-=HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! MHM class: 1/14/2020 in KY

INTRODUCTION: One of the intriguing things about being an industry and realty asset class historian, is sensitizing oneself to historic happenings before and as they occur. Year 2020 finds us on the cusp of circumstances potentially affecting the near and interim futures of manufactured housing, and land lease communities – large and small – coast to coast. Read on….

I.

DID YOU KNOW?

Three Times in (Land lease) Community History, Owners/operators Have Convened to Plan & Effect Their Collective Business Future

First time was 31 August 1993 in Indianapolis, IN. Then, 19 owners/operators, anticipating the REIT wavelet of 1994 & 1995, formed an Industry Steering Committee, to ensure better national representation and advocacy as a viable realty asset class! RESULT? On 1 January 1996, MHI launched its’ National Communities Council (eventually) division. The NCC story is told in Bruce Savage’s 2013 book, The First 20 Years! available at educatemhc.com

Second time was 27 February 2008 in Tampa, FL. Then, 100 owners/operators, dismayed by the continuing HUD-Code housing shipment slide (81,889+/- that year), met for the first time, in a National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucus. RESULT? Five Strategies & Action Areas: Need to improve political influence & community advocacy; need for an advertising campaign; importance of value proposition re housing product, loan terms, and rental homesite rates; need to improve resident relations practices; and, need for reasonable access to chattel capital for home-only loans on-site, plus creation of a secondary market. A decade later these five strategies and action areas continue to influence the business model.

Third time was 27 February 2009 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. Then, 100+ owners/operators and HUD-Code housing manufacturers convened for a second NSAC caucus, to address the now precipitous housing shipment slide (49,789+/- that year). Two RESULTS? Agreement on a new housing design for HUD-Code homes going into land lease communities. These were singlesection and modest-sized multisection homes with WOW factors, and durability-enhancing features to speed ‘make ready’ between owners and or renters. This new model, later that year named Community Series Home, replaced the Developer Models (a.k.a. ‘big box = big bucks’ units) of the mid to late 1990s. Second RESULT? In 2009, only 24% of new HUD Code homes (i.e. 12,000 units) went directly into communities; by year end 2014, the volume increased to 40%, or 26,000 new HUD-Code homes! Today? Likely plateaued, and…

Once again, Land Lease Community Owners/operators Are Expressing Interest in Convening, to Plan & Effect Their Collective Future

The informal, semi-public open discussion meeting planned to occur during the upcoming Louisville MHShow in Kentucky, on 16 January 2020, is NOT intended to be large like the three historic meetings just described. Rather, it will be a dozens gathering, during which a decision will be made whether to plan and facilitate a major national convening of land lease community owners/operators, and interested parties, mid-year 2020. If sincerely interested, and have ‘skin in the game’ as a HUD-Code housing manufacturer executive, or community owner/operator, even a GSE or NGO rep, let me know, via gfa7156@aol.com or Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Attendance is somewhat limited by meeting space availability.

So, what matters appear to be precipitating this push for a major national convening of land lease community owners/operators, mid-year 2020? Here’re some of the key factors brought to my attention of late:

• To direct, dues-paying members of MHI’s National Communities Council, the division appears to be askew, given recent departures of key NCC staffers; especially one who’s kept members abreast of Federal Fair Housing matters. And there’s still no NCC-dedicated news media published on a regular basis.

• Given that CrossMod™ HUD-Code homes meet GSEs MH Advantage & CHOICE Homes DTS program requirements for real estate-secured lending, what will present & future access to home-only (chattel) loans be, during this second round of DTS program planning?

• In days of yore, say the 1970s, when ‘mobile home park’ owners increased site rent unconscionably, other investment property owners in the same local housing market, would visit the offending party and entreat them to ‘back off’ or face blackballing. What might be practical and effective remedies today, when outsiders (some say interlopers) likewise abuse their homeowners/site lessees?

And there’s more, much more that could be penned here. If interested in the complete list of 13 Evergreen (‘always present’) Issues worthy of industry and asset class leadership action, read them in the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT, distributed by EducateMHC during January 2020. To obtain your copy, visit www.educatemhc.com

In summary, the goals of meeting together informally, in a semi-public, open discussion venue during the Louisville MHShow are to:

1) Gauge interest in participating in a national convening of land lease community owners/operators during mid-2020. Who is interested in leading & facilitating?

2) What are the ‘hot topics’ to include in the meeting agenda? Does not have to be restricted to the known and publicized, albeit perennial, Evergreen Issues. Have you noticed? No one else is asking!

3) One or two day program? Involvement of MHI, MHARR, NAMHCO, EducateMHC?

4) Preferred locations? Probably Midwest, to attract coastal owners/operators. Chicago, RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN, Indianapolis, etc..?

Finally, and again; if desiring to participate in the Louisville MHShow meeting, you must let me know via email and or telephone this week! On or before Friday, 10 January 2020! Remember, attendance is limited! And if unable to attend, but interested in staying abreast of national meeting plans during mid-200, let me know likewise, via email. GFA

***
POSTSCRIPT

Be aware, The Allen Confidential! Publication, effectively a merging of the Allen Letter and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletters is much more, content wise, than the two predecessors. We’ve really ‘pulled out all the stops’ to get you the latest land lease community news; photos you’ll see nowhere else; muckraking – when need be, not effected by anyone else; and, so much more! Visit www.educatemhc.com today and become a subscriber if not one already! CLICK HERE for BASIC EDITION OR CLICK HERE for PRIME EDITION. GFA

George Allen , CPM, MHM (317) 346-7156
EducateMHC
Franklin, IN

31st annual ALLEN REPORT a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!

January 3rd, 2020

Blog # 566 @ 3 January 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! MHM class: 1/14/2020 in KY

INTRODUCTION: Most owners/operators of land lease communities, large & small, throughout the U.S. & Canada, are familiar with the annual ALLEN REPORT. After all, it’s researched and reported on community portfolios for more than 30 years. And frankly, a high proportion of the 500+/- portfolio owners/operators purchase the report each year to stay abreast of benchmark statistics and trend identification needed to manager their properties professionally and well.

ANSWERS to Challenges in Land Lease Community Ownership/Operations continues to point out key passages, within the 8th edition of Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, that make this 250 page tome a MUST HAVE reference on-site in every land lease community throughout the U.S. & Canada! Have you purchased copies for your on-site and regional property managers yet?

On a similar subject, know the next one day Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) training and certification class is scheduled for 14 January in Louisville, KY. To register, phone (317) 738-3434 and or visit www.educatemhc.com

I.

31st annual ALLEN REPORT
a.k.a.
‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!

Year 2020 celebrates the beginning of a New Era for land lease communities, large & small, nationwide! For the first time in the 80 year history of the realty asset class, there’s now a dedicated source for community-focused products (books, directories & newsletters) and services (Professional Community Evaluation & property management training/certification). Heretofore, community owners/operators relied on print material I produced and distributed via GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. Henceforth, EducateMHC, will cover all those bases, and more, digitally. All ten of EducateMHC’s invaluable Resource Documents are identified in this ALLEN REPORT.

The written history of the land lease community property type begins during the mid-1980s, and is summarized in this 31st edition of the ALLEN REPORT. Did you know, in 1989 we knew of only 38 portfolio owners/operators? And today we know of 500+/- such firms; 100 of which are ranked by total rental homesite count, and profiled by home office location and more, in this ALLEN REPORT.

Did you know there are now, no fewer than five national advocacy entities serving HUD-Code manufactured housing in general, land lease communities in particular? Well there are, and they are identified by name, along with their telephone number for contact purposes.

To assist the ‘first time reader’ of an ALLEN REPORT, we’ve included two paragraphs; one summarizing the types of factory-built housing and related shipment volume history, along with other related statistics and curiosities. The other paragraph focuses on the land lease community income-producing property type, and the spread of that 50,000+/- community inventory throughout the U.S.

Then, the ALLEN REPORT proper begins, covering these major categories of land lease community portfolio operations information:

• State summary of portfolios, relative to where portfolio home offices are located.

• Overall summary of rental homesite tallies, and number of communities in portfolios

• Top Ten reporting portfolio firms, by total MH & RV rental homesite count

• Presence of rental units and contract sales within land lease communities

• Average national physical occupancy, from year 2014 to present day

• Average national operating expense ratios (‘OER’), from year 2010 to present day

• Evergreen Issues. Debuted in 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT and continued here! Nowhere else will you find a more comprehensive recitation of ‘always present’ issues and obstacles affecting manufactured housing and land lease communities nationwide !

And that’s not all that’s featured in the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT. The firm, DATACOMP, has supplied Figures, again, showing average rental homesite rents in MSAs throughout the U.S. and a list of the number of land lease communities estimated to be in every state of the union.

It should be obvious to you by now, that if you own and or fee manage one or more land lease communities, you need to acquire a digital copy of the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT. To do so phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or subscribe to the Prime Edition of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL. The report is available as a standalone purchase (after January 8th), or in conjunction with obtaining 12 monthly issues of the newly-formatted Allen Confidential business newsletter as a Premium Subscriber.

II.

ANSWERS to Challenges in Land Lease Community Ownership/Operations…

Good resident relations within a land lease community is a key indicator professional property management is an important and routine effort effected by the owner/operator, and appreciated by homeowner/site lessees, a.k.a. residents. But getting to that desirable end requires knowledge, and takes effort to achieve! How? Well first, a quick look at the beginning and history of resident relations in this unique, income-producing property type.

It didn’t occur until mid-1993, when 19 (then) manufactured home community owners convened in Indianapolis, IN., to lay plans for achieving better national advocacy and representation – before the REIT wavelet would begin in 1994. Among matters discussed at the meeting, there was concern community owners/operators take steps to foster good resident relations, in a manner similar to what was routinely observed within apartment communities.

Enter (now retired) Martin Newby of Newby Management, headquartered in Ellenton, FL. Newby Management, was and is, a 100% fee management company, specializing in land lease community operations. The firm, under Martin’s leadership, had unique resident relations enhancing practices in place, e.g. 24 Hour Rule, where any problem on-site, brought to management’s attention, would be fully resolved within 24 hours, or a written commitment to do so provided to the resident at the time! The firm also had a chaplain on staff who traveled among the firm’s all adult communities, meeting residents’ needs of all sorts, performing marriages, etc.. And on-site managers routinely collected rent from shut-ins, by going from home to home on a golf card, distributing fresh donuts to residents as they went.

Though Martin is long retired, his firm’s cutting edge resident relations efforts continue unabated via top management succession of Tim Newsy, and now Todd Newby.

How can YOU effect practices fostering Good Resident Relations? Buy a copy of EducateMHC’s Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, 8th edition. by Allen, McCarty & Smith, all certified Manufactured Housing Managers! Chapter # 5 of the text is dedicated to this timely and vital topic; and teaches the ‘Six Rs of Resident Relations’ as a training aid! If not familiar with these six practical practices, you need the book, and you need to apply the unique formua!

To order the book, visit www.educatemhc.com

***

Re-Introducing The Allen Confidential publication

December 27th, 2019

Blog # 565 @ 23 December 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! MHM class: 1/14/2020 in KY

INTRODUCTION: A new year is close upon us; and with it comes both change and opportunity. Change in the nature of the longest running print-now-electronic business newsletter, offering you even more industry news and information than ever before. And opportunity. You’re likely aware of the conversations taking place, coast to coast, these days, relative to the ‘new type’ manufactured home and the impact it might have on land lease communities; threat of national rent control; and other such challenges. The opportunity? To meet together during mid-January in Louisville, KY.

I.

Re-Introducing The Allen Confidential publication

EducateMHC is celebrating a full year of growth and transition, and are now excited to announce the evolution of George Allen’s monthly newsletter publications. Those of you who are currently ‘Basic Edition’ Allen Letter subscribers will begin receiving more rich content than ever before, with a preview of, and access to, monthly Resource Documents! Those who are currently ‘Prime Edition’ subscribers to the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! will continue to receive the ‘Prime Edition’ chock full of MHIndustry hot-off-the-press findings, given George’s unique perspective and access, as a 40+ year veteran and activist in the industry and realty asset class. “Prime Edition’ subscribers will also receive the coveted annual ALLEN REPORT and 12 monthly Resource Documents in their entirety. The two levels (Basic & Prime) of this business journal will be delivered electronically as a PDF, via Email to subscribers. Monthly editions and subscriptions are available via our website www.EducateMHC.com

Beginning January 2020, George Allen’s MHIndustry Business Journal Publications:

The Allen Confidential: Basic Edition @ $240 for 12 monthly issues
(Annual ALLEN REPORT & monthly Resource Documents sold separately)

The Allen Confidential: Prime Edition @ $544.95 for 12 monthly issues
(Subscription includes annual ALLEN REPORT & 12 monthly Resource Documents)

All the aforementioned Resource Documents are listed here for your consideration:

• The annual (31st in 2020) ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Portfolio Owners of LLCommunities Throughout North America!’ MHIndustry’s longest running data report!

• Official State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class. Covers ALL data points!

• 21st National Registry of ALL Lenders, includes real estate-secured and chattel capital

• ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2020?’. Only directory of freelance consultants nationwide

• Directory of MH & LLCommunity Print & Online Media (+) all State MHAssociations

• Official MHIndustry & LLCommunity Lexicon & Glossary of Trade Terminology

• Official MHIndustry & LLCommunity Directory of GSE & NGO Organizations (+) Property Management Training & Certification Programs

• MHIndustry & LLCommunity Trending Topics (+) Definition of Affordable Housing

• MHIndustry & LLCommunity Directory of National Advocacy & Related Organizations

• All HUD-Code Housing Manufacturers; also Community Series Home & CrossMod™

• Industry Briefing Sheet. Only statistical compendium covering industry & asset class

• Statistic Sourcing & Valuable Formulae for MHIndustry & LLCommunity Research

And, from time to time, when a new Resource Document is created, it will be included as a preview in the basic edition of the Allen Confidential, and in its’ entirety in the prime edition of the Allen Confidential.

II.

Will You Help Articulate Solutions, or Be Part of the Problems Affecting Our Industry?

Since I first floated the idea of an industrywide, informal, semi-public meeting of concerned businesspeople, on 1/15 or 1/16, during the Louisville MHShow (Kentucky), I’ve had more than a dozen individuals commit to be present.

Present for what? To identify new and evergreen (‘always present’) issues affecting the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities nationwide. Topics already requested include:

• Desire for more information about CrossMod™ homes – and, whether this emphasis might be a return to the land & home package debacle of the mid to late 1990s.

• Whether GSEs will, soon and finally, effect Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) programs in 2020, restoring reasonable access to chattel capital for home-only loans in communities.

• What’s can be done to ameliorate the threat of national rent control, now that three states have adopted this form of landlord-tenant legislation.

• Where does the work of the understaffed NNC division of MHI leave off, and lobbying effort of the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners begin?

The foregoing gives you an idea of what’s on the minds of concerned MHIndustry & LLCommunity businessmen and women these days. All good reasons for convening an industrywide, informal, semi-public meeting on 1/15 or 1/16, during the Louisville MHShow in Kentucky.

If you are seriously interested in participating, let me know via email (gfa7156@aol.com) or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Details of the meeting location and time will be shared at that time.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

Deep Thinkers Respond to FHFA Frustration: ‘Too Few ‘new type’ Homes Financed to Date’

December 19th, 2019

Blog # 564 @ 12 December 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!. Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! MHM class: 1/14/2020 in KY

INTRODUCTION: This week’s blog posting (#564) is how I’ve long wanted this online communique to function; as a means of two way communication between you and me! In Part I we have three bona fide Deep Thinkers, from the manufactured housing industry, sharing their considered views on a lively and timely topic. Wish every week was like this! And Part II? One more clear example of how the 250 page text, Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, is the One Stop Resource for anyone owning and or operating a land lease community in North America today. If you don’t already have a copy of this tome in hand, you should! GFA

I.

Deep Thinkers Respond to FHFA Frustration:
‘Too Few ‘new type’ Homes Financed to Date’

In other words, ‘Why so-few CrossMod® home loans effected, to date, via Fannie Mae’s MHAdvantage & Freddie Mac’s CHOICEHomes DTS programs?

YES, that was the question raised in last week’s blog posting (#563). The sole answer offered, at the time, was this: “Along with new type of homes comes a new class of home seller – the Developer. Their projects don’t develop quickly.” Along with this answer came this apt caution, based on sorry historic (1989-2002) precedent: Independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’, envisioning themselves as contractors, must indeed be capable, experienced and motivated to do this complicated and expensive work properly and expeditiously!

Ended Part I of last week’s blog discussion with an open invitation to share ‘your take’ on this and related matters.

And respond ‘some of you’ did! Interestingly, three ‘deep thinkers’ from three distinctively different, and geographically distant-from-one-another local housing markets (i.e. Southeast, Midwest, and West) did so.*1 The important point here, to keep in mind, is how ‘all real estate is local’. With that said, here’s a summary of salient points made by these sage individuals:

• “Not at all thrilled with the CrossMod® name.” No aesthetic appeal whatsoever!

• “Manufactured housing is a housing type. Why purposely diminish that type, by creating a subset whose purpose is to say it is better?” Think about that. Revives the question: Is manufactured housing the epitome of ‘affordable housing’, or simply ‘big box = big bucks’ housing? Difficult to both well simultaneously.

• “The ‘new type’ (manufactured home) will not make a significant impact until developers begin to use the product in subdivisions of many homes.”*2

• Independent (street) “MHRetailers have never succeeded in attracting, in any meaningful way, conventional homebuyers. Conventional (home) buyers don’t go to a (sales) lot to buy; they go to a (subdivision) development.”

• In one region, “…the market for traditional manufactured housing remains strong”; so, “No motivation to expand into new markets” using ‘new type’ homes!

• In that same region, “…there has been push back from homebuilders (re) Fannie’s 4:12 & Freddie’s 5:12 minimum roof pitch requirements” as lower sloped roof pitches are preferred.

• And again, in that region, “…manufactured housing is zoned out of many urban and suburban areas….”; and, though legal challenge is favorable, ‘no sense of urgency at this time’.

• In a distinctly different and distant housing market, ”Recently a number of rental home developments have been site-built here. They are renting like hot cakes. (Perhaps) This is the model” for placement of CrossMod® homes.

A lot to ponder here! Do these eight summary points stimulate further thought, on this matter, from your perspective? If so, let me know ASAP, via gfa7156@aol.com

Now here’s a troubling thought. If we, as an industry, are unable to popularize CrossMod® homes now and in the near future, will said ‘failure’ provide pause and excuse for GSEs, NOT to work further on similar chattel capital DTS programs for home-only loans on new HUD-Code homes going into land lease communities onto rental homesites?

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. HUD-Code housing manufacturers, MHRetailers, land lease community owners/operators, even a rep or two from the FHFA and GSEs have asked me to arrange for an informal, semi-public, face-to-face meeting of concern-minded individuals (i.e. Relative to present day and future of manufactured housing shipment volume, and land lease community operations where the threat of national rent control, are involved!). If YOU are sincerely interested in participating in such a meeting, on 15 or 16 January, during the Louisville MHShow, let me know; again, via gfa7156@aol.com. Once I have the meeting location and times established I will let you know.

End Notes.

1. Deep thinker, in this instance? Present day and recently-retired business executives, each with a minimum of 35 years experience in the manufactured housing business; and, two of whom are RV/MH Hall of Fame members.

2. This deep thinker went on to say, These are “still trailers in the minds of some purchasers, and a significant marketing effort will be needed here. For example, in the Midwest, basements are essential and these (CrossMods®) are equivalent to slab on grade site-built homes that lack storage available in basements.”

II.

ANSWERS to Challenges in Land Lease Community Ownership/Operations…

Did YOU Know? There is an Official Quality Classification System for Land Lease Communities, Large & Small, Nationwide?

Yep, there sure is. But first a little history. Back in the 1960s, up through the mid-1970s, a company called Woodall’s published a telephone directory-like reference listing all mobile home parks throughout the U.S. The company had a staff of property inspectors, who doubled as advertising salespersons, and routinely visited these properties to categorize them as being of 1 Star, 2 Star, 3 Star, 4 Star, & 5 Star quality, with 5 Star being the highest level.

Then these inspectors would ‘change hats’, so to speak, and sell these same communities ads in the Woodall directory. (Hmm. Wonder if bigger ads resulted in a better grade?) This system worked well enough for a decade or two, as long as mobile homes were small enough to be towed behind personal automobiles, and those relocating benefitted from such a directory. This cozy arrangement came to an end around 1976. Since then, at least until the mid-1990s, there was no follow-on property quality grading system. Unfortunately, many real estate brokers have continued the Star Rating myth, to their ends, for the past 40 years.

Enter the ABClassification System for Manufactured Home Communities. This new ‘do it yourself’ evaluation system features seven areas of quality measurement: Appearance (i.e. ‘curb appeal’), Layout, Individual Homesites, Individual Homes, Infrastructure, Amenities, and Community Management. For each of the seven areas, user is challenged to determine whether the property is A = One of the Best; B = Better than Most; C = Good or Average; or D = Fair-Poor. And within each of the seven areas evaluated, the user allocates 100 points; all to one category, or more often than not, split between two adjacent quality grades, e.g. Appearance = A @ 100 points; or maybe B = 50 points & C = 50 points. When all seven areas have been ‘weighted’, the point totals under each of the four (A,B,C,D) categories are totaled, providing an overall ‘value’, often split unevenly between two adjacent values (e.g. A&B or B&C, or C& D…)

The ABClassification System is easier to use than perhaps it sounds/reads. And it does provide a far more detailed quality summary of any given land lease community, large or small.

The system has had an interesting history. First proposed to MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) for adoption, during the late 1990s, it met covert resistance from one or more of four existing REITs at the time. Why? There was concern, Wall Street analysts, already wreaking havoc with unrealistic quarterly profit expectations (i.e. treating illiquid real estate assets as growth stocks), would seize upon a quality grading system to fine-tune buy-sell stock recommendations of said REITs and property portfolios. So there was no approval or adoption forthcoming from the NCC.

But ever since then, for the past two decades, a standard form used to effect A, B, C, D quality gradings (also referred to as being of 1, 2, 3, 4 ‘diamonds’ quality), has been a popular professional property management tool among land lease community owners/operators wanting to categorically know their property(ies) quality firsthand, rather than relying on a real estate broker’s opinion, oft times couched in defunct STAR grades.

The ABClassification System is featured in the Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Community textbook as Appendix # 47. To order the text, visit www.educatemhc.com

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC