Archive for November 17th, 2013

MEETING FATIGUE Triggers Insight…

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Blog # 271 Copyright 2013 10 November 2013

George Allen Writes About Key MHBusiness Interests & Concerns – & More….

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 Welcome for future blog coverage; gfa7156@aol.com; Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

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In Cape May, NJ, last weekend dining on fresh seafood, then attending 50th high school reunion; so, no blog posting on Sunday. Sorry bout that.

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I.

Meeting Fatigue

INHALE! Nearly two dozen manufactured housing industry – related national and regional meetings have finally ‘run their course’. EXHALE! Between the RV/MH Hall of Fame Banquet in early August, and two meetings occurring a couple weeks ago (LCS’ Rent Manager User Conference in FL., & ULI’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council in Chicago), we’ve endured ‘meeting hell’, while seeing the latest MHIndustry ‘new trend’ unfold….

Oh, the old standbys are still with us – as they should be. One of them, the RV/MH Heritage Foundation is the protector and perpetuator of ‘our legacies’ relative to manufactured housing and recreational vehicles. Were you among the 400+/- aficionados at this year’s Hall of Fame Induction Banquet? You should have been! More important though; are you a faithful financial supporter of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation? You should be! Phone (800) 378-3466 to donate & become a Wall of Fame lifetime member.

And one has to expect the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) will always have its’ annual meeting in the Fall, along with its’ now 17 year old National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division – even if only a dozen members of the latter attend.

But here’s where the aforementioned ‘new trend’ surfaces in grand style, showcased by three gatherings, one regional and two national, sharing this ‘telling’ common denominator: Not one was planned or hosted by a state or national manufactured housing – related trade or advocacy body!

The 22nd annual International Networking Roundtable took place, this year, in the Chicago region, enjoying its’ second highest attendance ever, at 222 attendees – mostly land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, and their favorite realty mortgage originators, from throughout the U.S. Planner and host? GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, and community-investor.com

Then came SECO2013. This is at least the third year in a row land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators domiciled in Georgia, pulled together to put on a terrific display of product (i.e. More than a half dozen new HUD-Code manufactured homes of the Community Home Series or CSH Models), along with pithy seminars dealing with various aspects of self – finance of on – site home sale transactions, using private investor funds, all the while being compliant with the plethora of state and federal finance regulations! Why can’t our state and national MHAssociations do the same? For info on future SECO gatherings, contact Spencer Roane, MHM® via (678) 428-0212. He’s, by the way, our industry’s expert on use of lease-option (leaseoptionmhsales.com).

And, for that matter, if you want someone to bring a chattel finance compliant workshop to your ‘neck o the woods’, contact Rishel Consulting via (217) 971-3968. He and Donna will be hosting a day long seminar on 21 January, the day before the annual Louisville MHShow begins. It’ll focus on ‘selling manufactured homes’ effectively and in accords with today’s regulation – rich business environment! Know what? I plan to attend and learn more about this timely and pithy subject. See you there!

And this past week, London Computer Systems, of Ohio, held their Rent Manager User Conference on Marco Island in Florida. 400+/- ‘users’ from a variety of multifamily and commercial property type applications were in attendance – including a dozen portfolio owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities!

Know what all three latter (post RV/MH Hall of Fame banquet) well – attended ‘industry meetings’ had in common, besides being planned and hosted by grassroots businessmen and women, product and service vendors? Not a single representative from any of the national advocacy bodies was present as an attendee, or seminar leader, or special guest at any of these (and other) ‘new trend events’.

Is it any wonder, or surprise, this ‘independent meeting trend’ is growing throughout the manufactured housing industry? Answer? No. Think about it.

During conversations this past week – and earlier, in downtown Chicago; among manufactured housing purists and land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, this very question was the focus of attention. And know the common strain of logic that emerged? Simply this:

National manufactured housing trade advocacy bodies continue to be ‘dominated by HUD-Code home manufacturers’ – a few large ones in one instance, many smaller ones in the other. And of late, the division formed, years ago, to represent land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, large and small, has also become ‘dominated by a few large property portfolio firms’, seemingly with little to no sensitivity to the needs of the far greater number of smaller property portfolios and LLLCommunities throughout the U.S.

Is there a resolution to these lopsided representation and power issues? Sure; maybe in time. But only ‘if & when’ MHI’s bylaws are rewritten to – among other things – allow absentee members (i.e. Those who can’t afford – or won’t ‘waste $’, to attend national advocacy association meetings held in extravagant, high – priced venues) to execute Proxy Votes, making their leadership preferences known! And, there must be more emphasis on recruiting new members, once this ‘voter playing field’ has been leveled, and smaller ‘players’ truly made Welcome and assurance their needs will be met.

How do YOU feel about this and other issues being discussed by your peers around the country? To respond, use the contact information listed at the beginning of this blog posting.

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