Archive for August, 2012

MHInitiative, new MHMantra, Confrontaton or?

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Blog # 209 Copyright 2012 26 August 2012

Perspective. ‘Land lease liefestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Do YOU, Like Me, Feel an ‘MHInitiative®’ Coming On, During the Next Few or Several Months Ahead?

We haven’t even been to SECO yet, the 21st Networking Roundtable, or MHI’s annual meeting, and folk are calling for an MHInitiative® caucus.

Why?

&

What Would YOU Do, if This Scenario was Yours?

Ever find yourself betwixt & between? That’s the uncomfortable, but maybe timely and necessary state faced by some of us today, in the MHBusiness….

&

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Allenisms

a Triple AAA array of computer and manufactured housing communication.

I.

Do YOU Feel, Like Me, an ‘MHInitiative®’ Coming On, During the Next Few or Several Months Ahead?

First off, what’s an MHInitiative®? Long time readers of this blog likely already know; but for everyone else, an explanation is certainly in order.

MHInitiative® is the contemporary trade term describing what was previously known as the National State of the Asset Class caucus. The first NSAC caucus was held 2/27/2008 in Tampa, FL., the second, 2/27/2009 in Elkhart, IN. These historic events provided asset class focus and new product design, for land lease lifestyle community owners/operators, and the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry, respectively.

During the initial (2008) caucus, 100 LLLCommunity owners/operators articulated and agreed upon ‘Five Action Areas to guide their Business Future during years ahead. Specifically, they agreed on the Value of political influence and Advocacy at local, state and national levels; Necessity & timeliness of National Image Improvement and local housing market promotional campaigns; Fair interplay of housing product pricing, financing, value and rental (homesite) rents; Measure customer satisfaction via resident relations, resident referrals, and resident retention; and Prevalence of financing and servicing new and resale home transactions on – site; and Identification of realty mortgage financing sources for properties.’ Quoted from Landlease Communities…2011, p.16. Four and a half years later, those Five Action Areas continue to guide the business decisions and actions of LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide.

The following year (2009) an eclectic mix of 100 HUD – Code home manufacturers, along with their land lease lifestyle community owner/operator counterparts, caucused at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s new Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN. Here, the challenge was, ‘How to Sell More New HUD – Code Homes into LLLCommunities’?! The caucus answer? Design a new line of manufactured homes, tailored for on – site installation, within this unique, income – producing property type. Well, the manufacturers did so, and in time, this new line of homes (i.e. oft singlesection, along with smaller multisection configurations) have come to be known as Community Series Homes or CSH Models. And to a degree, they’ve supplanted the behemoth multisection homes of the late 1990s, a.k.a. Developer Series Homes, designed back then, to compete with larger, site & stick – built homes. Also, a new job title and description appeared on the scene, to market CSH Models, the Business Development Manager or BDM. A free list of CSH Model characteristics, and the plants from whom to purchase them, is available via the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. For in depth information about CSH Model homes, contact Don Westphal @ (248) 651-5518.

So there’s the brief, recent and successful history of NSAC caucuses. Since 2011, however, a new label, that of ‘MHInitiative®’, has been used to describe this informal, grassroots – driven, national manufactured housing meeting phenomenon – the very mention of which, has already prodded national trade bodies into similar action of their own. Lately however, some have been suggesting it’s time to caucus again; this time, to consider, and take on the major challenge of considering the rebranding of HUD – Code manufactured housing on the whole, including the industry’s land lease lifestyle community component. Specifically, to plan and effect a national, industry wide paradigm shift in the way we refer to our business model, market and advertise our affordable housing product lines, and promote our desirable realty – based lifestyle.

When might the next MHInitiative® occur? That depends on our elected leaders and salaried executives at the national Advocacy body level. An obvious place to start, in this industry observer’s opinion, would be the Manufactured Housing Institute’s annual meeting in San Antonio, TX., @ 7 – 9 October 2012. And there’s precedent for this; recalling a similar Strategic Planning Session during MHI’s annual meeting in New Orleans, nearly a decade ago. But if such an initiative was to occur this Fall, there’d have to be soon, widespread and effective ‘getting the word out’ to institute members and non – members nationwide, unless such an effort was going to be kept in – house. What might derail an industry rebranding effort this Fall? For starters, MHI and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s (‘MHARR’) ongoing feud. However, if it’s true more than 80 percent of U.S. manufactured housing market share lies with three MHI manufacturer members, maybe the institute could and should ‘go it alone’! and caucus over this matter. What do you think? If a direct, dues – paying member of MHI, let Dick Jennison know, via (703) 558-0678. Me too.

And if MHI doesn’t seize the initiative to plan and host an MHInitiative® – like caucus this Fall? Well, the ideal, even historic time to do so would be sometime around the 27th of February 2012. But guess what? That week is already filled with manufactured housing industry events: MHI’s annual Legislative Conference in Arlington, VA. @ 24 – 26 February; a Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® professional property management certification class in Oklahoma on 27 February; followed by the Great Southwest Manufactured Housing Show, also in OK., 28 February – 2 March! So, no, we’ll have to identify another date and location – unless everyone wants to travel to Oklahoma ‘to do the show’ AND rebrand the manufactured housing industry at the same time!? The next best alternative, would be to caucus somewhere ‘down South’ during mid – March; or simply wait and do so, at the annual Manufactured Housing Congress in Las Vegas, NV. All it’d take is a separate hotel meeting room and widespread national publicity. Whaddaya think? Send me an email: gfa7156@aol.com or phone the aforementioned MHIndustry HOTLINE. Or are you OK with the status quo?

In case you missed the point earlier, the rebranding of manufactured housing’s real estate component has already begun! How so? Well, you already know how ‘manufactured home community’, the realty asset class’ moniker, replaced ‘mobile home park’ two decades ago. Just this year – actually only a month or two ago, ‘land lease lifestyle community’ refined the ‘landlease community’ label we’ve been using during the past several years. While it’s certainly going to take awhile, know that ‘land lease lifestyle community’ will indeed ‘stick’; in part due to alliteration, in part because it makes perfect sense. So, in time, it will become the realty term of choice within and outside the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry, OR, whatever new name ‘rebranding’ gives the industry during the months ahead….

II.

What Would YOU Do, if This Scenario was Yours?

You’re a regular member of an athletic team. It’s comprised of several dozen players, who’ve played and competed together ‘for years’. And everyone – at least when the going gets tough, and in social environments, gets along well. In fact, everyone is so talented, it’s sometimes difficult to identify a particular leader; at least that was the way things were until recently.

Having competed together for more than a decade, experiencing the usual mix of successes and lapses, a subtle but obvious change in the tone of leadership, even team focus, has been felt and observed by some, if not most, team members. No longer do players get equal playing time, nor are team members overtly helping ‘the other guy’, when the game gets tough, as had been the case in times past. And, there’s little to no skill training available anymore, and others are expected to keep and publish game ‘stats’ for the team.

As it stands, a couple players, really good ones at that, have started making playing decisions pretty much on their own, and in a fashion that appears to favor a few of the more visible team members, rather than the entire team. When this was pointed out; that such favoritism is looking more and more like a clique, the notion was ridiculed. But the subtle change, nonetheless, is apparent to all.

What to do?

Confrontation or something else? Few team players want overt confrontation with other team members, as that flies in the face of camaraderie, cooperation, and simply getting the job done. Perhaps though, since the leaders of this team are elected to their playing positions, by the whole team, maybe other players need to step up to the place and make their desire to lead and change the team’s focus known, and campaign for the top leadership positions….

Or, given the significant differences in size, visibility, and playing ability of some of the dominant players and leaders, maybe form a new team to compete in the same sport, but on a different level? Now that’s a possibility. But, do we really want two teams from the same home town competing in the same sport, even at different levels? Other situations, of the same divided nature, in the sport, have not fared well in the long run. So, who will fans and supporters support when competition begins? Or is there yet some other way the two factions can ‘play well together to win’, during the months and years ahead?

The right answer to this sports metaphor quandary? Guess it depends on whether one is wholly satisfied with present leadership direction and team focus; whether one is inclined to challenge the status quo; or, frankly, see a brighter future playing opportunity, by separating from one’s old team and starting anew, with like – talented, experienced, motivated players, in a league of their own. Again, what would YOU do under these circumstances? Confront or play elsewhere? As they say, ‘inquiring minds would like to know’….

III.

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Allenisms

BTW (‘By the way’), during this politically – charged POTUS (‘President of the United States’) election season, bet you hoped you’d heard the last of the ACORN (‘A Completely Obsessive Really Nutty Person’) folk and MSMD (‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’) politicians.

But no, nothing much has changed, as WYSIWYG (‘What You See Is What You Get’) occupy elected offices from coast to coast, causing responsible citizens to complain, AWGTHTGTTA (‘Are We Going To Have To Go Through This Again’) WTSDS (‘Where The Sun Don’t Shine’)?

But hey, as an industry and realty asset class, we’ve had more than our fair share of image slams over the years. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have to face down acronyms like CRAP (‘Cheap Redundant Assorted Products’); NIMBY (‘Not In My Back Yard’) you don’t; LULU (‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’) around here; or the land planner’s ultimate put – down, BANANA (‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything’). However, when so many of our struggling homeowner/site lessees are SITCOM (‘Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage’) folk, DINK (‘Double Income No Kids’) retirees, even FWBs (Friends With Benefits’), we’ve gotta expect to take some flack at times.

Some abbreviations, like USP (‘Unique Selling Proposition’) and RSVP (‘Respondez Sil Vous Plait’) go back years and years and years; also ASAP (‘As Soon As Possible’), CEO & COO job titles, and not to forget KISS (‘Keep It Simple Stupid or Sweetheart’).

There’s even some old military abbreviations and acronyms, out and about in the business world these days: AWOL (‘Absent WithOut Leave’), MIA (‘Missing In Action’), KIA (‘Killed In Action’, now a brand of automobile), EOD (‘Explosive Ordnance Disposal’ or ‘End Of Day’ or ‘End of Discussion’), NAVY (‘Never Again Volunteer Yourself’), USMC (‘U Saw Me Coming’, or as Carolyn likes to opine, “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children’, and one that can’t be printed here), RHIP (‘Rank Has Its Privileges’), SNAFU (‘Situation Normal, All Fouled Up!’), SWAG (‘Strategic Wild Assed Guess’), and WILCO (‘Will Comply’), and more….

Present day, constant exposure to email writing shortcuts has been educational as well. I’m OK (‘OK’) with LOL (‘Laughing Out Loud’ – or is it ‘Lots of Love’?) and TNX (‘Thanks’); but FOFL (‘Falling On the Floor Laughing’) is a new to me, as is NRN (‘No Reply Necessary’), which I find myself using more and more. And then there’s CUL8R (‘See You Later’), and RU (‘Are You?’).

Remember GIGO (‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’) of ‘years gone by’, when computers were behemoths and not laptops? How ‘bout this latter day variation, BIBO or (‘Beer In, Beer Out’). Not quite the same.

By now, most blog floggers (readers) are familiar with my unique brand of abbreviating, and then using, industry terms. In general, we call’em Allenisms; and when relating to manufactured housing, MHAllenisms. Here’re a few of the common variants: MHIndustry (‘manufactured housing industry’), LLLCommunity (‘land lease lifestyle community’), MHRetailer (‘manufactured housing retailer’), MHInitiative® – you met this one earlier in this posting; and MOPHEAD, an acronym I use from time to time, to describe ‘manufactured housing opinion/editorials’. And there’re these two word bastardizations: manufRactured housing – used when describing a dumb, self – inflicted wound within our MHBusiness environs! Then there’s this title to a blog posting earlier this year: ‘MHI (‘MY’) MHARRvelous Dream for the MHIndustry!’ wherein I fantasized our two national Advocacy bodies would finally be getting along, and working together for the good of our entire industry. Not!

Had enough yet? How ‘bout the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh!’ label on the popular calculation worksheet, using AMI (Area Median Income) and or AGI (Annual Gross Income), to estimate ‘affordable’ and ‘risky’ Price Points for new and resale homes destined for in – LLLCommunity placement, or sited as land – and – home packages. Anyway, the first four letters are direct abbreviations of the words Affordable Housing & Housing Affordability. And ‘Uh Oh!’? Seems reasonable to cite the unfortunate exclamation one might expect from someone who’s bought more house, or signed on for a larger mortgage, than they can afford in ‘risky’ fashion, rather than with ‘affordability’ in mind. And there’s more to this story than meets the eye here. For a free copy of the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, again, just phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE.

Hey, here’s another way abbreviations, acronyms, and Allenisms can serve the manufactured housing industry and land lease lifestyle community asset class. Two abbreviations suggest this (tongue in cheek) ‘fight cheer’ of HBASTD & HITAKS! Goes something like this, “At 50,000 homes a year, we’ve ‘Hit Bottom And Started To Dig! our way out, as we ‘Hang In There And Keep Smiling’!

*****

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

How to Increase HUD – Code Home Sales NOW!

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Blog # 208 Copyright 2012 19 August 2012

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

How to Increase HUD – Code Home Sales NOW!
It seems everyone is climbing on this bandwagon, are YOU?

‘But First, an important announcement, for individuals attending the
21st International Networking Roundtable, in San Diego, CA., @ 12 – 14 September: Registration has been so heavy for this seminal event, that rooms at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa are now limited. Overflow, if it occurs, will be handled by the nearby Crowne Plaza at 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego. If necessary, phone (888) 233-9527 and request a room reservation in the Networking Roundtable courtesy block.’ GFA

I.

Ever since this weekly blog post, on 8/5/2012, at community-investor website, described

‘HUD – Code Manufacturers Showing Renewed Interest in Selling New ‘Community Series Homes’ into Land Lease Lifestyle Communities’,

our offices have been awash in phone calls, email messages, faxes, even visits from BDMs (Business Development Managers working for said home manufacturers), requesting copies of the blog manuscript, subsequently recast as a ‘drop in’ feature in September’s edition of the Allen Letter professional journal. Are YOU a subscriber yet? If not, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Why this sudden and intense attention? Because the timing is right – even critical, for HUD – Code home manufacturers to finally realize they MUST turn out truly ‘affordable’, oft singlesection manufactured homes (a.k.a. Community Series Homes or CSH models) designed for in – land lease lifestyle community placement – to survive! Behemoth land – and – home multisection homes (a.k.a. Developer Series Homes, or DSH models of the late 1990s), for the time being, have been and continue to be ‘dead in the water’ in most local housing markets, unable to compete, price wise, with hundreds of thousands of repossessed, devalued stick – built homes sited on realty conveyed fee simple. And now that 21st Mortgage Corporation has rolled out it’s C.A.S.H. Program, and SACU, it’s One – Step Program, in – LLLCommunity financing of new (and eventually resale) manufactured homes is once again possible and feasible!

And that point, is but one of ten steps identified in the aforementioned blog, describing how HUD – Code manufacturers can sell more new homes into land lease lifestyle communities! Here’s some more unsolicited response to this particular blog posting:

“Well done! I am a ‘porchy’, as were my parents and grandparents. In late August, my sisters and I will be at Mom & Dad’s house, to sit out on the porch and solve the problems of the world, just as we have all these – OMG – years! What a great reminder, sir, and Thanks! You are right; non – threatening debate has, and will always be, the way to the truth and compromise that wins.” NB These remarks are in response to the Phillip Gulley quote used to begin the blog, and the fact that one of the most popular Community Series Home or CSH model designs, these days, is the singlesection manufactured home featuring a front – loaded porch. For a list of the HUD – Code manufacturers producing CSH models these days, phone the above – referenced MHIndustry HOTLINE.

Remember, that Ten Step to Increased Home Sales list will be a drop – in feature in the September 2012 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. You owe it to yourself to read and USE it, and certainly pass a copy onto the HUD – Code home manufacturer, even plant, of your preference – along with the suggestion to ‘Get with it’ NOW!

II.

Then, there was this interesting suggestion. ‘How to boost home sales and save on taxes at the same time?’ This drill may or may not work in your state – so check first. But the way it works, as I was told, goes like this:

A land lease lifestyle community owner, who’s also a properly licensed MHRetailer, orders a new home, installing it on rental homesite within his property. The transaction, for the time being, is tax exempt, as it’s merchant inventory, being held for sale. The home, once properly installed on a rental homesite, is first rented to a lessee, or family, for at least one month. As a ‘rental’, the home is not taxable. Then sell the now next – to – new home as a ‘resale’ home, and that transaction is not taxable either; or, if so, only partially – depending on laws in a particular state. Taken together, this routine saves several percentage points, or thousands of tax dollars, on the sale of said home. But remember, check this out in your state, before proceeding. RK (Edited. GFA)

III.

Then there’s this sobering indictment of land lease lifestyle community owners/operators who do NOT properly, if at all, TRAIN on – site staff to effectively sell new and resale homes, let alone lease vacant rental homesites:

“Agree with everything you said in your recent blog posting, but feel you missed one important requirement (for selling more manufactured homes on – site), and that is training sales staff! The average salesperson, in a land lease lifestyle community, was hired to collect rent and take care of the property, where curb appeal, rules enforcement, and resident relations are concerned. They generally receive NO sales TRAINING whatsoever. The prevailing erroneous mindset, among HUD – code home manufacturers, and LLLCommunity owners alike, is ‘…the housing product is so superior it will sell itself!’ NOT!” GS (Edited. GFA)

My comment here? The writer is right! As a rule, operations – capable people are generally hired to staff land lease lifestyle communities. Rarely are they as good at sales, of any kind, as they are at ‘taking care of (property management) business’. And only when a property is large enough (In this industry observer’s opinion – with more than 150 rental homesites, and 10 – 15% of those vacant), can it afford to hire a commissioned sales person. And then, where do we get appropriate training? Historically – again, in my experience, not from the manufacturer or their regional sales representatives. And LLLCommunity owners/operators already know capable, experienced, motivated sales trainers, of the sort we need, are as rare as ‘hen’s teeth’ in the manufactured housing industry. The answer? Maybe, as described in two of the aforementioned Ten Steps: HUD – Code home manufacturers should seize the initiative and retrain their trainers to teach how to effectively sell Product & Lifestyle on – site, not just the former. And while they’re at it, somebody should be putting together the first ‘How to Sell Manufactured Homes in Land Lease Lifestyle Communities!’

So far, two weeks have gone by, and I’ve yet to hear from a HUD – Code home manufacturer that they defiantly plan to follow up on these two specific recommendations. Though I will say, I did have one in – plant visit and interview where the matters were at least discussed.

IV.

Changing the subject a bit, If you haven’t already read this very interesting MHVillage – conducted survey, quoted in Ken Rishel’s free, online Chattel Finance Newsletter, or elsewhere for that matter, go to mhvillage.com/ and read it ‘right from the horse’s mouth’. It’s worth the effort, and you’ll be glad you did.

Recommending this ‘read’, by the way, touches on yet another, related and telling matter.

Surely you’ve noticed! Most ‘new (MHIndustry & LLLCommunity) news’ you read these days comes from two trade press sources; Rishel Consulting’s two online finance newsletters, and aforementioned Allen Letter professional journal. NOT including the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! here, as that subscriber – supported, monthly print business newsletter deals solely with ‘insider MHBusiness information’ available nowhere else! For example; where else would one learn firsthand, details of a possible hiatus coming to post production Advocacy, Research & Resources? Or read a critique of ARA Manufactured Housing’s 2012 National Manufactured Housing (report)? Think about it. The Manufactured Home Merchandiser, Modern Home, Automated Builder, and Factory – built Housing magazines are all gone. So, here’s an acid test by which to measure ‘what’s left’: Do they announce, let alone report on, key events like the upcoming SECO Symposium in Atlanta, GA. @ 29 August; or the 21st Networking Roundtable in San Diego, CA., @ 12 – 14 September? Hmm?

V.

Speaking of the SECO Symposium, YOU barely have time to get in under the wire. That’s right; appears well more than a hundred land lease lifestyle community owners/operators, HUD – Code home manufacturers, and home finance resources will congregate at the Hilton Doubletree Atlanta/Marietta Conference Center all day , 29 August 2012. For room reservations, phone (770) 272-9441. For more information about the four part program, and to register, contact Chris Nicely via (865) 385-9675 or cnicely929@aol.com I plan to be there, not as a presenter, but as a land lease lifestlyle community owner who wants to learn from other land lease lifestyle community owners!

***

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 462437
(317) 346-7156

Introducing LLLCommunity and New Block of Speakers

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Blog # 207 Copyright 2012 12 August 2012

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.”

Trade Terms; They are a Changing! Have YOU Noticed?

What’s With This ‘Book of Numbers’ Debuting in San Diego?

New Twist @ Great Southwest MHShow in Oklahoma, Feb. 2013

Go to SECO on 8/29 in Atlanta! I’ll be there; how bout YOU?

Be Aware! Hotel Rooms Nearly Full & Many Registered for 21st Networking Roundtable @ 12 – 14 September in San Diego, CA.

Record Response to Blog Posting Last Week Leads to Exciting Feature Story in September’s Allen Letter Professional Journal….

I.

Trade Terms; They are a Changing! Have YOU Noticed?

If you’re a regular blog flogger (reader), following the weekly postings at this website, you got a hint of trade term changes last week, when it was pointed out Bruce Savage, interim head of MHI’s National Communities Council division, convinced this industry observer to start penning ‘HUD – Code’ with a hyphen, and to divide ‘land lease community’ into a three word property type description rather than the two words previously used.

Then it ‘hit me’ this past week; there’s a further refinement to this property type description, that plays well to perennial efforts at image improvement and favorable brand identity. And it doesn’t hurt, that the addition of another word, beginning with the same letter ‘L’, adds alliteration to the happy mix.*1 So, until someone convinces otherwise,

LAND LEASE LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY, or land lease lifestyle community, and its’ abbreviated moniker, ‘LLLCommunity’, works image, brand, and phonetic wonders for our oft beleaguered real estate asset class!

With that said though, I’ve decided NOT to incorporate this new alliterated trade term into the soon – to – be – introduced ‘book of numbers’, described in the next paragraph of this week’s blog posting. Why? As ‘good as it reads and sounds’, the new three letter ‘L’ term, ‘land lease lifestyle community’, needs to appear in trade literature for awhile, and become commonplace in routine correspondence, press releases, advertising, and other printed and online matter, before it becomes official industry and asset class terminology.

End Note.

1. alliteration: ‘repetition of the same initial letter or sound in two or more nearby words.’

***

II.

What’s With This ‘Book of Numbers’ Debuting in San Diego?

The working, now actual title of said ‘book of numbers’ is the Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures, ‘mostly for land lease lifestyle communities & HUD – code manufactured housing….’

At this blog posting, there are six chapters and three appendices. Don’t know yet whether we’ll have time to add an index to the mix. The chapters titles?

• Land Lease Lifestyle Community Statistics. Property Valuation and Operations Management

• HUD – Code Manufactured Housing Statistics, & New/Resale Housing Price Point Calculation Methodology

• Commercial Real Estate Investment

• Realty Mortgage Origination

• Affordable Housing & Housing Affordability

• Bringing It All Together! (Actually, that was the original ‘working title’ for the chapter; since then, it’s been changed to ‘So, How Did We Get Here?’

The appendices? 23rd annual ALLEN REPORT©, the ABClassification System©, and Official MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Glossary©

Best Part of All? Presuming the perfect bound books are printed and ready to ship to the Hilton San Diego Resort Hotel, before 12 September, everyone registered for this year’s 21st annual International Networking Roundtable, will receive a FREE copy, as this year’s ‘special gift’. And know what? Word has it, there’s yet another ‘special gift’ being readied for distribution to this year’s 200+ land lease lifestyle community owners/operators and their preferred realty mortgage lenders. And hey, don’t delay! As one of today’s blog headlines says,

Be Aware! Hotel Room Block Nearly Full, as Many Register for Networking Roundtable @ 12 – 14 September in San Diego, CA.

To obtain an agenda and register, go to community-investor.com or phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

***

III.

New Twist @ Great Southwest MHShow in Oklahoma, Feb. 2013

Every state manufactured housing association executive, and governing board chairman, might want to pay attention to what follows here.

This year, on 27 February 2013, the MHA of Oklahoma is hosting the popular, day long Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management training and certification program, for its’ members and MHShow participants! The MHM® class occurs the day before the Great Southwest Manufactured Housing Show actually begins. This way, land lease lifestyle community owners and operators can more than double the takeaway value for attending this newly expanded event!

Newly expanded event? That’s right. Not only will LLLCommunity owners/operators have the unique opportunity to become certified as professional PMs, but the next day, at the MHShow, there’ll be at least two presentations, maybe three, that have not been available in years past:

• Representatives from Rishel Consulting will be describing ‘How To Prepare to Deal with Regulators When They Come Knocking!’ So, if concerned – and you should be, regarding the S.A.F.E. Act, AML, CFPB, and more, be on hand on 28 February at the Great Southwest MHShow in Oklahoma.

• George Allen, CPM® & MHM® will present the most comprehensive ‘State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, & Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class’, available anywhere, from anyone else! And if asked, will describe how to use the popular ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, using AGI (annual gross income) & or AMI (average median income) as starting points, how to calculated the ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ Price Points for new and resale manufactured homes to be sited within land lease lifestyle communities, or outside on realty conveyed fee simple. Where else are you going to learn those key basics of our housing business?

How can you not plan to attend such a symposium of industry knowledge and asset class education? For further information, contact Deanna Fields, PHC® via (405) 634-5050

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT for State MHAssociation Executives & Governing Board Chairmen. Why should New York (Think Symposiums the past three years); Georgia (Think upcoming SECO); and now, the Great Southwest MHShow corral the Best manufactured housing and LLLCommunity programs? The programs described in the previous paragraphs, along with additional presenters covering ‘lease option’, and various property management topics (e.g. marketing, collections, resident relations, etc.) are available to Your Association! And the programs are cost effective. For information, phone the aforementioned MHIndustry HOTLINE!

Frankly, this unique seminar program belongs on the agenda of every regional MHShow, in Tunica, Louisville, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. Why? Because it’ll bring land lease lifestyle community owners/operators out to learn together, and see new homes on display!

***

IV.

Go to SECO on 8/29 in Atlanta! I’ll be there, how bout YOU?

Doncha love it? Land lease lifestyle community owners planning a day of education and discussion of industry issues for land lease lifestyle community owners and operators? Frankly, I can hardly wait to get to Atlanta, GA., and participate in a networking get together the evening of 28 August; and, day long program on 29 August, that includes:

• Marketing Audit Reports on four land lease lifestyle communities, complete with observations, recommendations, remedial actions taken, and end results!

• 21st Mortgage Corporation’s exciting and ground – breaking C.A.S.H. Program will experience its’ first regional presentation to land lease lifestyle owners!

• Roundtable Discussions led by Southeast land lease lifestyle community owners, will identify and parse the Biggest Issues facing the realty asset class today!

• Introductions of a new, broad – based media advertising program designed to drive qualified homebuyer prospects to communities selling new homes on – site!

Join US at the Hilton Doubletree Atlanta/Marietta Conference Center. Phone (770) 272-9441 for room reservations and visit www.seco12.org

***

V.

Record Response to Last Week’s Blog Posting Leads to September feature in the Allen Letter professional journal: ‘How HUD – Code Manufacturers Can Markedly Increase Home Sales into Land Lease Communities Now!’

Hadn’t even turned off the PC last Sunday, when responses to last week’s blog posting at this website (community-investor.com) started pouring in – and every single message was positive and encouraging. As you’ll likely recall, the gist of the post identified ten measures HUD – Code home manufacturers can do NOW, to start selling more new homes into land lease lifestyle communities.

Well, during the past week no fewer than six HUD – Code home manufacturers have requested appointments to review the aforesaid ten points, and in several cases have already directed their Business Development Managers to interface more with land lease lifestyle community owners and operators. And firms which have not, to date, had Community Series Homes or CSH models, available to order, are now adding such community – friendly homes to their product availability mix.

So, if this topic interests you, either scroll back into the blog archives at the community-investor.com website, or be sure to receive the September issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Not yet a subscriber? Phone the aforementioned MHIndustry HOTLINE. Only $134.95/year for 12 monthly issues of the business newsletter.

And Yes, there were additional responses to this How To blog posting, from state MHAssociation execs, sales consultant/trainers, and MHIndustry veterans. We’ll likely share some of those interesting and thought provoking messages in a future blog posting.

The only ‘downer’ occurred when a ‘reformatted – for – print publication version’ of the ‘ten measures’ was emailed to two national trade advocacy bodies serving the manufactured housing industry. It was suggested the ‘ten measures’ be forwarded on to their HUD – Code home manufacturer members. Did they do so? If you’re a home manufacturer reading this, you’ll have to tell me. In one instance, the request was turned down flat, with the excuse ‘they’ are a national advocacy body and unwilling to tell their members what to do or how to do it (i.e. Increase new home shipments into land lease lifestyle communities!). Go figure.

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George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

How to Sell More Manufactured Homes into Landlease Communities NOW!

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Blog # 206 Copyright 2012 5 August 2012

Perspective. “Landlease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & before that, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.” GFA

HUD – Code Manufacturers Showing Renewed Interest in Selling New ‘Community Series Homes’ into Land Lease Communities!

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Where to Find the Mobe Dog Millionaire, our ‘Watchdog of Manufactured Housing’, & Water Meter Princess, All in One Story

&

More about Influential Person(s) Input & Breakfast Tomorrow in Elkhart, IN. ‘Have YOU sent in your recommendation(s); & will I see YOU at 8AM Monday, at the Golden Egg Restaurant?’ GFA

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Have you blog floggers (readers) already noticed two significant changes to the punctuation and word usage in this blog posting? As we edited the soon – to – be – released Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb & Helpful Measures ‘mostly for Land Lease Communities & HUD – Code Manufactured Housing….’, Bruce Savage convinced me to hyphenate ‘HUD – Code’ and opt for ‘land lease community’, rather than past practice.

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I.

HUD – Code Manufacturers Showing Renewed Interest in Selling New ‘Community Series Homes’ into Land Lease Communities!

“Several years back, I was visiting an elderly woman in my Quaker meeting. She was reminiscing about her childhood. I asked her what she missed the most. She closed her eyes for a moment, thinking back, then said, “Porch talk. I miss the porch talk.” “

“Social scientists and preachers offer a number of reasons for the decline of civil society; broken homes, poverty, disease, television, and increasing secularism, to name a few. I believe all that is wrong with our world can be attributed to the shortage of front porches and the talks we had on them. Somewhere around 1950, builders left off the front porch to save money, and we’ve had nothing but problems ever since.” From Philip Gulley’s easy to reed book, Porch Talk, Harper One, 2007., p.1.

Well, guess what? The HUD – Code manufactured housing industry already has an AFFORDABLE CURE for these SOCIETAL ILLS: the ‘front porch – loaded, single section Community Series Home! That CSH design, along with the inherently ‘affordable’ nature of our factory – built housing product, should or could, along with accessible chattel financing, spark a new and much – needed renascence for our industry and realty asset class!

Maybe yes, maybe no. But tell you what; during the past week, between 30 July and 3 August, I fielded no fewer than three telephone calls from Business Development Managers representing three different HUD – Code home manufacturers: Clayton, Champion, and Cavco.

What did these BDMs want to discuss? ONE THING. How to effectively market new HUD – Code manufactured homes, as well as Community Series Homes, to land lease community owners and property portfolio operators nationwide! I’ll be meeting personally with each of these BDMs during the weeks ahead, and here’s the gist of what we’ll be discussing:

• Be prepared with elevation drawings and floor plans of homes that’ll fit on rental homesites in older and newer land lease communities. This means small singlesection homes, even RV ‘park models’ (where allowed) for properties with a plethora of functionally obsolete sites (i.e. built ‘years ago’ & too small for today’s generally larger homes). Also larger singlesection, and smaller multisection homes, for land lease communities built during and since our industry’s too short – lived renascence in and around 1998 – 2000.

• Have a selection of Community Series Homes designs and floor plans available, especially for land lease community owners/operators who’re buying new manufactured homes for use as rental units or occupied using lease option agreements. If you need a list of specific durability – enhancing features characteristic of, and preferred in, CSH model homes, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to request a FREE copy of the CSH/BDM list.

• Be where land lease community owners/operators congregate to network this Fall! For starters, patronize the gala SECO event in Atlanta, GA., on the 29th of August. This Southeastern (Land Lease) Community Owners Symposium is being ‘planned by land lease community owners for land lease community owners’. Miss this, and miss a prime new home sales opportunity in that region of the U.S. Visit www.seco12.org/

• Excuse the self – serving nature of ‘this recommendation’; but if a HUD – Code home manufacturer with a national presence, you can’t afford not to be at the 21st International Networking Roundtable in San Diego, 12 – 14 September 2012. There’ll be upwards of 200 land lease community owners and operators present, along with their preferred lenders. It’s the only time each year, when land lease community aficionados come together for education, networking, deal – making, and interaction with CSH manufacturers. So, visit community-investor.com to register or phone the above – referenced MHIndustry HOTLINE

• When exhibiting new manufactured homes in Kentucky and Oklahoma this Winter, display as many new home designs/floor plans land lease community owners/operators ‘want to see and buy’ (e.g. CSH models), as you – the manufacturers, ‘hope to sell’ to land/home package contractors and MHRetailers specializing in developing scattered sites conveyed fee simple. Everyone knows this would be a major break in tradition, for sure, but will also clearly signal manufactured housing finally recognizes an increasing part of its’ future prosperity is tied to a return to truly affordable housing and placement of new homes in land lease lifestyle communities!

• Be ready and able to teach and assist land lease community owners/operators, not yet actively marketing new manufactured homes on – site, How To Do So! And we’re NOT talking about the old independent ‘street’ MHRetailer & ‘company store’ approach either! Rather, you (and we) need marketing professionals and sales trainers who understand and teach the promotion of ‘community lifestyle’ as much as they do ‘product’. IF and when you can do so, you’ll be the most popular HUD – Code manufacturer in town! For that matter, let me know and I’ll tell the 1,000+/- blog floggers of this weekly posting how to contact YOU for help.

• Convince yourself, and the land lease community owners/operators you teach, to sell ‘lifestyle’ and housing ‘product’, there’s No Long Term Advantage For Either Of You to Sell More Home Than Buyers Can Truly Afford! With that said, be prepared to explain ‘How to calculate affordable housing Price Points based on one’s local housing market’s (Defined by postal zip code) Area Median Income or AMI, or customer’s or household’s Annual Gross Income or AGI. Methodology? Simple. Use the popular, strangely – named, ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ – with examples, available FREE, via aforementioned MHIndustry HOTLINE. Understand; our industry’s penchant for ‘NOT including household utility expenses’ in the widely – applied 30% (of AGI) Housing Expense Factor or HEF (i.e. PITI = principal, interest, taxes, insurance), is a primary reason there’re more ‘risky’ housing finance deals these days! For that matter, a mortgagor’s (i.e. borrower’s) HEF will approach 50%, when PITI and household expenses are totaled together, after the housing mortgage has been underwritten and effected.

• Advertise where land lease community owners and property portfolio operators read! Today, that’s pretty much restricted to the Allen Letter professional journal, a subscriber – supported trade publication. This is the only publication focused on serving the information needs of land lease community owners/operators nationwide, without regard to national association membership of any kind. Also know it’s possible to engage in a Direct Mail campaign to 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators who own/manage an average of 27 land lease communities apiece, with average sized property containing 219 rental homesites. For Direct Mail campaign details, phone the MHIndustry HOTINE. Mailing list is 95+% up to date, and addressees are the portfolio decision – makers. Why aren’t any other print publications mentioned here? Well, they’re either no longer in print or….

• Finally, and at this point in time, the most important thing to have available, is a source of chattel (personal property) financing for the homes you sell! And if this is not available via your firm, be prepared to walk your new home sales customers through the lease option process, if legal in their state; and if necessary, put them in touch with someone with successful experience leasing manufactured homes on – site as apartments. For lease option information, visit leaseoptionhmesales.com For rental unit background, ask for a FREE reprint on ‘renting’ when phoning the aforementioned MHIndustry HOTLINE.

• Want to corner the ‘on – site new home sales in land lease community market’? Research, write, publish, and distribute, for a price or for free, the manufactured housing industry’s first HOW TO guidebook on this very subject! Seriously. No one has done so to date. Be the first to do so, and do it well (I’ll be pleased to assist, via editing, printing, & binding, if asked.), and there’s a market of between 7,500 and 50,000 land lease community owners/operators ‘out there’ who’d likely buy a copy from YOU! How do I know? Landlease Community Management, since 1988, has gone through eight editions and sold tens of thousands of copies to date. J. Wiley & Sons’ Development, Marketing & Management of Manufactured Home Communities, though published way back in 1994, continues to sell well when ‘raw land development’ is in vogue. And their How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, published in 1998, continues to be ‘the Bible’ on that rarified topic. The Manufactured Housing (Chattel) $$$ Primer, distributed two years ago at the MHCongress ‘sold out’ within six months. And Wells Fargo Bank’s Manufactured Home Community Finance Handbook is one of the most popular handouts at every MHCongress! So why not be, as we used to say in the military, recognized as the ‘duty expert’ on setting up and managing on – site home salescenters within land lease communities? Someone’s going to do it someday; why not now; why not YOU?

II.

Where to Find the Mobe Dog Millionaire, our ‘Watchdog of Manufactured Housing’, & Water Meter Princess, All in One Story

I’m often been called on, by family, friends, and business associates, to pen memorials and eulogies for loved ones and acquaintances. This past weekend, I was working on The Commodore’s Homecoming, a tribute to Ron Richardson, who died on 5 July 2012. a couple thoughts occurred to me. Many land lease community owners/operators throughout the U.S. knew and liked Ron as a friend and business associate. He is also the first of the original 18 Pioneers, who met on 31 August 1963, in Indianapolis, IN., to found the national advocacy body that’d, 2 ½ years later emerge as MHI’s National Communities Council, now division.

So, decided to craft a fictional short story describing who might have participated in a wake or memorial gathering, in Ron’s honor, if we’d had the opportunity to do so. Well, I made a collection of nearly a dozen nicknames of well known and, at times colorful, individuals I’ve known in the MHBusiness during the past three decades, and wrote them into a fictional shot story that begins,

“The Commodore’s business buddies decided he deserved a manufactured housing – flavored sendoff. So, the Colonel stepped up to the trailer hitch and….”

The story is featured in the August issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. If you’re not a subscriber, but would like to become one, to read this tale, and regularly read ‘all that’s worth reading about our MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class’, phone me at (317) 346-7156.

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III.

More about Influential Person(s) Input, & Breakfast Tomorrow in
Elkhart. IN. ‘Have YOU sent in your recommendation(s) & will I
see YOU at 8AM Monday, at the Golden Egg Restaurant?’ GFA

Really not much to add. The List of 25 Most Influential Persons in the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class continues to grow. So, if YOU would still like to input, do so this week, via the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or email: gfa7156@aol.com
Remember, ‘the list’ will likely be published in January 2013, as part of the 24th ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’). Regarding that Signature Series Resource Document (‘SSRD’), know that it’ll also likely be distributed as a lagniappe in that month’s Allen Letter professional journal. To subscribe ($134.95/year = 12 monthly issues), call the MHIndustry HOTLINE. Also know the questionnaires used to research the annual ALLEN REPORT will be in the mail sometime during late August and early September, before we all get together at the 21st Networking Roundtable in San Diego, CA., @ 12 – 14 September.

Finally; do hope to see some blog floggers at breakfast tomorrow morning, at 8AM, at the Golden Egg Restaurant on the NE edge of Elkhart, IN. Those who participate will receive an industry & asset class – related gift from me. See you there!

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George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156