Archive for January 30th, 2011

This Weekly Blog Draws Much Response; Here’re YOUR RESPONSES…

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

This Weekly Blog Draws Much Traffic; YOUR RESPONSES to…

High Site Rent, an Intellectually Honest Debate, the S.A.F.E. Act & My Sayonara!

(Note. Don’t miss reading the final paragraph of this blog; it contains a Special Deal for purchase of the 50+ page, 22nd annual ALLEN REPORT! Maybe only time offered..)

If anyone told me two years ago, when I started blogging, electronic media would become a rich and ready forum for discourse among friends and associates throughout the MHIndustry and landlease community asset class, I wouldn’t have believed them. But that’s what has occurred. I pen this 125th consecutive weekly blog, knowing we’ll receive a dozen or so thoughtful and oft provocative responses by this time next week. And that number doesn’t include plenteous email messages that arrive daily, addressing a wide variety of industry/asset class matters. Yes, the community-investor.com website has become the intellectual and communication oasis for manufactured housing executives and landlease community owners/operators nationwide. Here’s a sampling of typical daily and weekly commentary…

I.

The ‘No NSAC – III caucus in February’ announcement attracted a flood of response – but of a totally unexpected nature! I’d been hearing, for some time, peer angst regarding ‘too high homesite rents’, at some or many properties owned/operated by mega – sized LLCommunity portfolio owners/operators. Here’s a sampling of those blog responses:

• “As far as the secondary focus on high rent (at postponed NSAC – III caucus) is concerned, it may just end up (being) a bitch session. However, I would like to hear from the offenders: ______________, ______________, and ___________, as to what their strategy is? Specifically, in the _________________market, their LLCommunities are emptying – out, yet they’ve just raised the rent another $25 per month! They don’t take care of them (the properties) anymore; (homeowner) residents have no equity; they (the owners/operators) pay extravagant incentives to move people in; and then, residents can’t afford to keep up their homes and pay the high rent. I simply don’t see the strategy, if there is one.” D (edited. GFA)

• Responding to the two reasons I gave for not having NSAC – III (i.e. “…largest portfolio ‘players’ have programs in place and eschew distraction” & “Thanks to the federal S.A.F.E. Act and variegated state implementation thereof, most everyone else favors a ‘Wait & See’ attitude, before doing anything.”), one blog flogger (reader) opined: “Don’t believe the reasons you’ve been given! The MHIndustry is paralyzed by fear of anyone learning what steps have been contemplated and taken, to keep their present jobs – at the expense of the balance sheet; and, contrary to any reasonable understanding of the true cost of ‘buying occupancy’ in marketplaces where new homes cannot be sold, except at great loss…” P (edited. GFA) Whew! Do ya think maybe ‘site rent is too high in those marketplaces’?

Keep the dialogue going! Anyone care to ‘splain’ the strategy of having market – leading rental homesite rent when a LLCommunity’s physical occupancy is 80% and dropping?

II.

‘Encouragement for a national, Intellectually Honest Debate about what’s brought the noble HUD Code MHIndustry to its’ knees, then brainstormning what it might take to get it back on its’ feet again’, continues to show up on our PC, laptop and netbook screens. For example:

“The need for an industry wide national forum for discussion, and (formulation of) action plans is as obvious as the 12 year slide from nearly four hundred thousand new HUD Code homes shipped annually, to the 49,000 level we’ve been stuck at for the past two years! This would be an appropriate and timely meeting theme and focus for small, mid and large – sized businesses alike.” K Are our elected and salaried leaders at MHI, the NCC, MHARR, and ULI’s MHCC listening? If you’re a member, tell ‘em!

III.

S.A.F.E. Act related commentary seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. Here’s one LLCommunity owner/operator who plans to ‘carry his coals to Newcastle’ next time MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) meets. After talking about the various home finance alternatives relative to the S.A.F.E. Act, and state implementation thereof, he/she goes on to observe: “One of the problems with the NCC, is the age – old difference in priorities, operation, etc., between large and small (LLCommunity) operators. Everyone is inclined to think the big guys know it all. When in fact, most execs have never been in the trenches, and there are 25 – 50 ‘little guys’ in our asset class for every one of them! Too bad the NCC continues to be dominated by a few big guys….” R`

IV.

“I’m still having a hard time with thinking about you not being involved in this business. I know you need a life, and I do too, but it’s hard to ‘cut bait’, as the saying goes. I too am assessing my options, as a LLCommunity owner, which is hard to do when I’m so busy with day – to – day business demands. So I understand what you mean.” N

Let me say, it’s still early in the process of finding new home(s) for the work products and services we’ve created and grown ‘together’ during the past three decades. I’m cautiously optimistic all will work out in the end, hopefully before December 2011. My ‘ideal’ outcome is pretty well known, if you’ve been reading recent blog postings here, and articles in the Allen Letter professional journal. My worst case scenario however, is not to have found a capable, industry experienced, motivated national successor(s); then having to decide whether to continue in trace another year or two or three; or, as the writer quoted in the previous paragraph puts it, simply ‘cut bait’. Hopefully neither of the last two options will come to pass. In the meantime, know there’s been lively interest to date, in the assets of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing; with two ‘intents’ expressed, one firm written offer received to date, and face – to – face meetings scheduled and effected. You seriously interested? Contact Susan McCarty, during working hours, using a not – blocked phone @ (317) 889-6465 & request a Confidentiality Agreement to sign, the first step in participating in the process.

V.

The 50+ page, 22nd annual ALLEN REPORT has been flying out our door! Initial print run of 300 is more than half gone one month after the report’s initial release1 There is no plan for a second printing. So, if YOU want a copy of what could well be the last ALLEN REPORT researched and published for the LLCommunity asset class, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or (317) 346-7156 right away. While the cover price is $450.00/copy (postpaid), there’s a Special Deal available for the 137 LLCommunity portfolio owners/operators listed in this year’s edition; as well as for those who donated funds in 2010, to partially cover the cost of researching and preparing this year’s report! The Special Deal? Only $250.00/copy, and if you’re not already a paid subscriber to the popular Allen Letter professional journal, a new ‘free’ one year subscription, to the newsletter, will be included in that amount as well! GFA

VI.

Speaking of the Allen Letter professional journal. In light of the seriously faux ‘Top 100 List’ published this month, in the only other print trade publication serving the MHIndustry, and as businessmen or women requiring accurate (Not firms long gone!) and timely (Not portfolio stats five years old!) information, begin your paid subscription ($134.95/year for 12 monthly issues) to the Allen Letter professional journal TODAY! Use contact information in the previous (‘V’) paragraph. Credit Card Orders Welcome.

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George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®Emeritus, MHM Box # 47024
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry & Indianapolis, IN. 46247
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class (317) 346-7156