Archive for October 13th, 2013

New SSRD & More #s & $s from MHI Mtg.

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Blog # 267 Copyright 2013 12 October 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 the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communication resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!’

Ways to respond: ‘Critical responses & helpful ideas for future blog coverage, via email gfa7156@aol.com or Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.’

I.

COMING SOON: ‘From Park to Community & Beyond…’

II.

Updated & New ‘Signature Series Resource Documents’ in November issue of the Allen Letter professional journal!

III.

More #s & $s from MHI’s Annual Meeting, Carl$bad, CA.

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I.

COMING SOON: ‘From Park to Community & Beyond…’

‘Contemporary Archetype of Truly Affordable Housing in the U.S.’ didn’t start out to be ‘the defining document of what’s good & not-so-good about HUD – Code manufactured housing (finance), and its’ realty component, land-lease-lifestyle communities’, but that’s what it’s becoming! How so? Not long after it was published as a feature in the Allen Letter professional journal, and shortly before being showcased in chapter # 6 of Bruce Savage’s new book, The First 20 Years!, a national realty finance publication picked it up, to eventually make a major statement regarding our industry’s chattel finance imbroglio, and its’ effect on land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide.

During the negotiation stage of this international publication opportunity, the question kept coming up, ‘To be consistent, what term should we use to describe this realty asset class that’s, heretofore, been associated with HUD – Code manufactured housing?’ That’s when the decision was made to begin researching, and now soon publish, a second article in what’s become a three part series, this one tentatively titled, ‘From Park to Community & Beyond…’

Most of the work is done. The retrospective traces this unique realty asset class’ terminology from “…trailers and trailer camps or parks; in the 1960s & early 70s, mobile homes & mobile home parks; from the late 1970s through 1980s & 90s, manufactured housing or manufactured homes, & manufactured home communities.” To today’s houses & homes, in general; Community Series Homes or CSH models in particular; and, land-lease-lifestyle communities or simply, communities.

Did you notice? The hyphenation of land-lease-lifestyle communities? Now that’s a very recent adjustment, appearing for the first time right here, suggested by grammarians who were consulted for advice in the matter. You’ll learn more about the adjustment when this second of the three part series of articles is published in an upcoming issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

The third article? Still in the design stage, though likely to do with a sorry bit of manufactured housing history, finally identified with a label, in Part II of this blog posting.

If you haven’t yet obtained a copy of The First 20 Years!, or need to subscribe to the Allen Letter professional journal, so as not to miss ‘Contemporary Archetype of Truly Affordable Housing in the U.S.’, and ‘From Park to Community & Beyond…’, simply phone the above – referenced Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. In the meantime, get used to ‘land-lease-lifestyle community’, or LLLCommunity in short. It’s an apt word sign for today, and a precursor of our business future.

II.

Updated & New ‘Signature Series Resource Documents’ in November issue of the Allen Letter professional journal!

First the old being updated, then the new. Most readers of this weekly blog posting know there’re – until today, a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents, or in short, SSRDs. These begin with publication of the annual (25th anniversary in 2014) ALLEN REPORT (A.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land-lease-lifestyle Community Owners/operators Throughout North America!), in January; thru the popular Lenders’ Registry; and, eventually the industry historian’s ‘Paradigm Shifts of Mobile & Manufactured Housing….’, featured in the November issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. For the first time, all SSRDs are published ‘under one cover’ in chapter # 5 of Bruce Savage’s new book, The First 20 Years! Got your copy yet?

There’re two significant adjustments afoot. This year’s update of the industry’s paradigm shifts, designates years 1998 thru 2000 as being manufactured housing’s Enronesque Period. For readers who ‘lived & worked’ through that troublesome period in our industry’s history, you know ‘why’. If not, suggest you go back and reread ‘Upside Down in a Mobilehome Park’, an expose’ published in the July 2000 edition of the Allen Letter. (Phone 317/346-7156 for a FREE copy of the article if need be.) Then the label will make more sense; as enronesque (an adjective), is generally defined as relating to accounting methods meant to deceive, e.g. Business owners are cautioned to ’avoid Enron-esque Retirement Plans.’

The second significant adjustment – or in this case, addition, to the SSRD identifying paradigm shifts, has to do with announcing year 2014 as the start of a NEW ERA for land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, large and small, nationwide! This has to do not only with LLLCommunities becoming an increasingly cash business, given the difficulty securing chattel capital for qualified new/resale homeowners, and finding qualified prospective homebuyers; but other apt reasons as well. For the interesting details, read the October issue of the Allen Letter professional journal! And no further information here, until after NCC’s Fall Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago later this week.

The new, #13 SSRD? As yet unnamed; but an expansion on manufactured housing and LLLCommunity data and statistics contained in the highly popular Industry Briefing Sheet complement to information published online by the Manufactured Housing Institute. This new SSRD, tentatively titled ‘Past & Present Statistics, Trends & Consolidations throughout the HUD – Code Manufactured Housing Industry & Land-lease-lifestyle Community Real Estate Asset Class, during Two Distinct Periods in MHIndustry & LLLCommunity History: pre – HUD Code & post – HUD Code’. Some of this timely and salient statistical data is available nowhere else! Watch upcoming issues of the Allen Letter professional journal for the debut of this new and informative #13 SSRD.

III.

More #s & $s from MHI’s Annual Meeting, Carl$bad, CA.

$6.95 for a candy bar and $5.95 per minutes of online time, in the resort/spa’s business center. That’s how I’ll remember my two day visit at LaCosta, the high – priced site of MHI’s annual meeting a couple weeks ago.

Already told you, in last week’s blog posting, for the first time in four or five years, MHI finally attracted more than 100 (actually 116 per registration list) attendees! Of that number, there were at least 25 state manufactured housing executives present – the most highly represented segment of the MHIndustry – and for good reason. Why? Ask them.

And where land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators are concerned, there were approximately nine ‘owners’ & eight ‘operators’ listed, but only seven of each category could be accounted for during the National Communities Council meeting on 30 September. Also interesting that eight ‘new’ NCC members were identified as having joined the division since the last (‘closed’) NCC meeting in February of this year, while 10 members resigned – plus at least one more since the aforementioned ‘rejected proxy’ election that day , for a net loss of three. Bottom line? After 17 years of representation and advocacy in behalf of an estimated 50,000 LLLCommunities nationwide, total NCC membership count continues to languish at ‘less than 100’ individuals and corporations.

Here’s a triplet of interesting $ facts. Given MHI’s 2014 preliminary operating budget of slightly more than $2,000,000., the manufacturers’ division is expected to contribute 60 percent of that amount in dues (floor fees) – DOWN from the 75+ percent, of decades past; and, the NCC is expected to contribute 17% of the total amount – UP from 0%, 17 years ago when there was no NCC division – and that’s from fewer than 100 direct, dues – paying members! Makes one wonder how the political complexion at MHI might/would change, if/when LLLCommunity owners/operators saw enough VALUE to join the institute en masse. For example, 400 NCC members dues (Versus the fewer than 100 members today!) would likely equal or exceed the 60 percent expected of manufacturers today. Hmm. Perhaps said VALUE would be recognized and appreciated if and when 1) timely & useful research (e.g. annual ALLEN REPORT), 2) helpful resources (e.g. 12, now 13 SSRDs!), 3) print & online communication (e.g. pithy newsletters every month, along with blog postings – like this one, every week), 4) superb peer networking & deal – making opportunities (e.g. annual Networking Roundtable & periodic FOCUS Groups), along with 5) a professional property management education & certification program (e.g. Manufactured Housing Manager® with nearly 1,000 MHMs® already in place), exists and thrives, supplementing national advocacy efforts already in place!

However, with ‘big property portfolio players’ now in control of our collective future, for yet another year, don’t look for ALL that to happen anytime soon; certainly not within the confines of existing national trade bodies. The end game? Whether this Measure of VALUE will eventually be adopted within said entities, or be forced to continue, in a ‘for profit’ or ‘not for profit’ manner, elsewhere?

Oh, by the way, there were far more insurance firms and executives present at this year’s MHI annual meeting than there were independent ‘street’ MHRetailers.

A Final Thought. If you’re planning to attend the NCC’s Fall Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago this week, make and take along a copy of Part III of this blog posting; and Be Prepared & Gutsy Enough, to enter the VALUE measure into group discussion at the appropriate time – if there is an appropriate time! Who knows, YOU alone might be the catalyst to alter the very nature and timing of the aforementioned ‘NEW ERA for land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, of all sizes, nationwide’, in the offing for year 2014. Are YOU up to the challenge? I’ll be there to support you! GFA

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