Archive for September 22nd, 2013

Networking R’table Success; NEW ERA Redux

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Blog # 264 Copyright 2013 22 September 2013

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

Purpose of this blog. ‘To be a national Advocacy voice, statistical Resource reporter, & communications Resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!

Opportunities to respond. ‘Critiques, reactions, & suggestions for future blog coverage: gfa7156@aol.com or Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.’

I.

Roundtable Begins New Manufactured Housing Tradition!

II.

Fall Meeting Schedule Mucked Up All the More…

III.

A Contrarian View of NEW ERA Dawning for LLLCommunities?

IV.

25TH ALLEN REPORT will be distributed 1 January 2014, as a lagniappe in that month’s issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, if YOU return your completed land lease lifestyle community questionnaire by 30 September, via (317) 346-7158

***

I.

Roundtable Begins New Manufactured Housing Tradition!

And that’s not all it did – not by a long shot. If you’re reading this, and are an owner/operator of land lease lifestyle communities, you missed ‘the big one’! How so? Read about the 22nd Networking Roundtable in Bruce Savage’s upcoming lagniappe feature, enclosed with the October issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Not a subscriber? Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to do so – today! By the way, Bruce’s story will contain the names & contact information for all 20+/- presenters at this year’s event, making the article a ‘keeper’, for future reference.

‘Celebrating 20 Years of Camaraderie!’ among LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide, set one heckuva positive, friendly, and productive tone for this year’s 22nd annual Networking Roundtable. That tone was enhanced by YES! Communities’ founder and chairman Gary McDaniel; accompanied by distribution of Bruce Savage’s new book, The First 20 Years! to everyone present. And the icing on the 2 ½ day legacy cake was sweetened by the presence of the chairman and executive VP of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame, Museum & Library in Elkhart, IN. Indeed, ‘History Was All Over the Place!’ at this year’s venue….

Traditions. Given 22 years of history behind it, it’s not surprising to learn there’re at least four such commemorations are in place every time LLLCommunity owners/operators from throughout the U.S. come together for their annual Networking Roundtable. Two of them have been in place since the event was postponed in 2001 due to the ‘911’ national tragedy. To this day, every Roundtable event begins with the audience standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag! And Friday morning, at 7AM one to two dozen Roundtable participants gather for an informal prayer meeting for our nation and its’ leaders.

The other two traditions? One’s unusual and one isn’t. During the first session of every Roundtable, everyone – usually around 200 individuals, stands and introduces themselves to the entire group. And that’s how the Networking bets jump – started! Then, throughout the 2 ½ day event, someone representing the Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI, usually Rick Rand, ACM, from Great Value Homes in WI., collects thousands of dollars for the institute’s PAC Fund. Maybe not a ‘tradition’ in some folk’s eyes, but surely is where LLLCommunity owners/operators are concerned.

This year’s New Tradition? ‘A Toast to the Community Owner!’ was composed, and first shared publicly, on 23 August 2010, in honor of the late Bud Zeman, a Chicago multi -community owner. At that time 24 of his peers came together for dinner at the famous Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont, IL., to socialize and honor Bud’s memory. Since then, the poetic toast has been slightly revised and embellished. It goes like this:

Until every homesite is filled, and every bill paid.
With mortgage refinancing approved and dollars on the way.
We’ll ply this trailer trade, selling & financing affordable homes, factory made,
Knowing lesser men truly fear this business we embrace with our peers.
‘So, to community owners everywhere, I offer this toast to our worthy trade’:
“May hitches hold, site rent flow, and all our homes be sold!”

Hopefully, the public offering of ‘A Toast to the Community Owner!’ will become usual fare, a tradition, at every venue where land lease lifestyle community owners/operators gather.

II.

Fall Meeting Schedule Mucked Up All the More….

Three meetings have come and gone, one has been postponed. Yet there’s still at least 14 national, regional, and some special statewide ones to occur before 8 November 2013. Whew! Why do we do this to ourselves?

29 September – 1 October @ MHI’s annual meeting in Carlsbad, CA. (703) 558-0678. If you’re a direct, dues – paying member of MHI, make it a point to attend yet another high – priced venue.

30 September, 1:45 – 3:45PM @ MHI’s National Communities Council meeting, also in Carlsbad, CA. (703) 558-0666. As we’ve hinted before, ‘a NEW ERA for land lease lifestyle communities’ might begin at this ‘first full membership meeting of the NCC in a year’! If you missed reading the NEW ERA Mission Statement in last week’s blog posting at this web site, go back and review it before attending the NCC meeting.

8 – 10 October @ 3rd annual SECO Super Symposium in Forsyth, GA. (865) 385-9675. This is ONE MEETING THIS FALL I’ll sorely miss – that I HOPE YOU ATTEND! Why? It’s been planned, and will be hosted, 100% by LLLCommunity owners/operators – and no one else. It’s replete with timely seminars on cutting edge topics (e.g. Where & how to find chattel $ capital for home sales on – site, and much more), PLUS there’ll be at least eight new HUD – Code homes on display! What other manufactured housing trade show this Fall can boast such as program? NO ONE! Oh, and it’s, by far, the most cost effective (i.e. economical) regional/national venue this Fall!

9 October in Indianapolis, IN., IMHA/RVIC’s annual (luncheon) meeting. Not a regional event, but one that generally manages to attract a fair share of national talent relative to the RV/MH sister industries. (317) 247-6258.

10 – 11 October. MHC of Arizona meeting and seminars in Tucson, AZ. (470) 345-4202. Susan Brenton has planned this venue to be ‘land lease lifestyle community – heavy’, with emphasis on the ‘5 – RPs of Marketing’, relative to new and resale home sales on – site, and the leasing of rental homesites via: RIGHT Product, Place, Price, Promotion, People!

15 – 17 October @ WMA’s annual convention & expo in Reno, NV. (916) 448-7002, and talk to Sheila Dey. Does this state association ever bring anyone in from outside California to interact with their members?

15 – 19 October @ Institute of Real Estate Management’s Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. (312) 329-6000. Frankly, this event should see several dozen LLLCommunity owners/operators in attendance each year, but there’s rarely more than a handful – that’s how far afield, as a realty asset class, we are from embracing professional property management. How many Certified Property Managers® do you have on your regional and executive level property management staff?

16 – 18 October @ MHI’s National Communities Council division’s Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago, IL. (703) 558-0666. Sam Zell is the publicized draw for this high – priced meeting. Will be interesting to see what transpires at this ‘second NCC meeting in little more than two weeks time’, and where none of the presenters’ names and credentials have been made public to date. Wonder why?

17 & 18 October @ Legacy Homes’ first of two sequential plant shows in Fort Worth, TX. Mark Ledet via (817) 632-3351. Why is this cited as a national or regional event? To highlight the fact this HUD – Code home manufacturer, unlike its’ competitors, is routinely reaching out to market new homes to land lease lifestyle community owners/operators. They were well – represented at the Networking Roundtable a month earlier, as well.

20 & 21 October @ Legacy Homes’ second sequential plant show in Fort Worth, TX. Mark Ledet via (817) 632-3351. Guess if you missed the first one – by being in downtown Chicago at the NCC’s Leadership Forum, you can catch this one. And know there’re celebrity guests at both events.

23 & 24 New York Housing Association’s annual meeting at Turning Stone Resort in New York. (518) 867-3242. Talk to Nancy Geer. Not one of Nancy’s usual Super Symposium events, this time around; maybe next year.

29 October @ Michigan MHAssociation’s annual meeting, featuring that entity’s possible entry into the world of for – profit financing of manufactured housing, recreational vehicles, self – storage facilities, and more. If a Michigan businessman or woman, phone Tim DeWitt for info: (517) 349-3300X18

5 – 7 November @ London Computer’s annual Rent Manager® Conference on Marco Island, FL. Primarily for Rent Manager® users. Contact regional sales rep for details and an ‘invite’, if qualified. Here too, I’ll be covering the ‘5 – RPs of Marketing’ new and resale manufactured homes on – site in LLLCommunities, and leasing of vacant rental homesites.

5 – 8 November @ Urban Land Institute’s Fall Meeting in Chicago, IL. Manufactured Housing Communities Council or MHCC, to meet during that time frame. Randy Rowe of Green Courte Partners is co – host of ULI’s meeting. Sam Zell, again, is a guest speaker.

So, how much of this mucked – up Fall schedule of mostly MH – related meetings will you be attending? I’m planning to be present of six of them. See you there! GFA

III.

A Contrarian View of NEW ERA Dawning for LLLCommunities?

Last week’s ‘Status Quo Slow or Game Changer Quick’ lead posting touched more than one nerve among the blog’s readership. In fact, one might opine, the ‘status quo slow’ folk remain in the driver’s seat.

“The change you promote (i.e. Dawning of a NEW ERA for land lease lifestyle communities), from my perspective is this: ‘LLLCommunity owners to collectively band together? Not Likely! Management companies comprised of LLLCommunity owners to come together? Not Likely! REITs to join together with all other LLLCommunity owners? Not at all likely! Why? Too many are selfish distribution – minded folks living in the past, clinging to old business models, seeking guidance from HUD – Code home manufacturers and MHRetailers – neither of which are ‘solutions ‘for LLLCommunity owners. Heck, they’ve probably never seen a P&L for a LLLCommunity. The LLLCommunity ‘big boys’ (i.e. large property portfolio folk) are consolidating. Why is that? Well, the writing – for ending chattel $ – is on the wall! The future is rentals! How so? Close the GSEs first, then eliminate chattel $, continue to promote elimination of the mortgage interest income tax deduction or cap it, and do away with ‘motor vehicle titling’ for homes going into LLLCommunities. A lead indicator? Hedge Funds now own tens of thousands – or more, rental homes across the country. Hey, just follow the money!” (Lightly edited. GFA)

Too simplistic a view to be universally right? Perhaps. Perhaps not. As we participate in various state, regional, and national MHIndustry & LLLCommunity – related venues this Fall, let’s Make it a Point to Observe, from afar & up close, how often or rarely, various LLLCommunity segments, large and small, identified in the previous paragraph, ‘play well together’ or Not! I’m certainly hearing more ‘consolidation disparity talk’ than ever before – even as We ‘Celebrated 20 Years of Camaraderie!’, at the recent 22nd annual International Networking Roundtable. Perhaps an inclination toward ‘Game Changer Quick’, but don’t get too comfortable with that thought.

For when a well known industry leader tells me, in effect, ‘expensive national meeting venues ensure the most financially successful businessmen and women retain continued primary control regarding which trade advocacy matters are addressed and how’; well, that’s clearly ‘Status Quo Slow’, a long long way from ‘Game Changer Quick’, dontcha think? So, in the weeks and months ahead, to the end of year 2013, Pay Close Attention! ***

George Allen, CPM & MHM, Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN> 46247