Archive for June 17th, 2012

Landlease Community Owners Meet, Provide Direction for Future

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Perspective. ‘Landlease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’ GFA.

‘Landlease Community Owners Meet, Provide Direction for the Future!’
Special Announcement for LLCommunity Owners/operators Nationwide…

“This time next year, expect to see, hear & network with someone else – or for a short time, someone beside me, where ‘comprehensive resource servicing’ is concerned. And don’t be surprised if there’s a new or existing ‘for profit’ OR ‘not for profit’ entity involved, operating akin to GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing (i.e. publisher of the Allen Letter professional journal, 23rd annual ALLEN REPORT, etc.) today. In any event, there’ll likely be a new face and existing or new national platform, providing ‘all the resources needed and routinely used by LLCommunity owners/operators nationwide’, maybe even including Canada.” GFA

So reads the opening paragraph of the feature story in the July 2012 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, summarizing the 12 June meeting of the ’18 New Pioneers’, at SaddleBrook Farms in Grayslake, IL. If you’re a subscriber, you’ll learn about the perennial resources in play, WHO met and ‘brainstormed’ alternatives affecting 50,000+/- landlease communities nationwide, and HOW all this will likely impact your business future! It’s a story you don’t want to miss. And if you’re not a subscriber, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 (AL = $134.95/year).

With that said, not everyone was pleased with the outcome of this historic meeting. Some expected more, much more, and in a different direction. For example, this communiqué from a participant shortly after the meeting:

“I appreciate your efforts organizing the event held Tuesday at SaddleBrook Farms. Here’s some candid feedback. I was extremely disappointed in the outcome. I envisioned something quite different. Labeled as ‘Pioneers’, I thought we were going to build on the tremendous work you have done for so many years, and begin development of a more comprehensive industry resource – finally, a bona fide analyst firm, or respected Think Tank, providing a unifying factor to a very disparate industry and realty asset class!”

“What we got was a recommendation we need to find a replacement for you. Something we all knew before arriving at SaddleBrook. We could have saved ourselves a lot of time and money.”

“But I’m not writing to pass blame or complain. What occurs to me is that the outcome is somewhat systemic to our industry as a whole. The manufactured housing industry simply doesn’t think ‘outside the box’. It doesn’t take itself seriously. It doesn’t like to break from tradition. My opinion is that the traditions of this industry are not all that glamorous, so let’s get over it. Look folks, we are offering a very valuable product – affordably priced housing. A product that everyone agrees should experience a skyrocketing demand in the near future. If we want to succeed, we need to take ourselves seriously, and provide a layer of sophistication to those watching our industry. Although Tuesday wasn’t ‘the answer’, perhaps it’s the beginning of a ‘call to arms’.”

“I am willing to dedicate some time to this effort, but firmly believe it needs to incorporate an eclectic group of committed individuals, from several key sectors of the industry and asset class, with equity interest in their respective businesses. Not really concerned whether this is a ‘not for profit’ Think Tank entity, or a ‘for profit’ one.”

That being said, those comments and recommendations deserve a thoughtful rejoinder. First off, many of us in the landlease community business agree, ‘analyst’ & Think Tank entities are long long overdue, where HUD Code manufactured housing and our unique type income – producing property type are concerned! Second; a Think Tank – like focus was indeed what some founding members had in mind, when the Urban Land Institute’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council was formed in 2004. Unfortunately, that goal was never fully realized, though the MHCC continues to convene when the ULI meets semi – annually. And thirdly; as far as the need for an ‘analyst’ entity is concerned, that’s half the reason for founding the Center for Manufactured Housing Studies this year – to engage in ‘research’ & ‘analysis’ of manufactured housing & landlease community statistics & related data! Know what? My guess (hope), is that once the CMHS has its’ director in place, funding is secured, and charter set, IT will become the long – awaited and much needed industry/asset class Think Tank and ‘analyst’ the writer presently and rightly laments!

So, you’ve just read the tantalizing introduction to next month’s feature article in the Allen Letter professional journal; how can you not want to read the rest, and learn ‘how’ you’ll benefit from ‘comprehensive resource servicing’ in the future? Plus, you’ve just read, how as an industry and asset class, we’re finally ‘scratching the surface’ of enabling Think Tank and ‘analyst’ presences, to serve the manufactured housing and landlease communities nationwide! But frankly, none of this will likely and fully occur until YOU are willing to step forward, just as the anonymous writer expresses his interest, and become an integral part of the organizing, participatory, and funding process. If that final statement describes YOU, then let me know by phoning the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or email: gfa7156@aol.com

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