Archive for November, 2018

MUSINGS you’ll want to read!

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Blog # 510; Copyright @ 23 November 2018; community-investor.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and
‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter and online communication media for all North American land lease communities!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764; or email via gfa7156@aol.com

COABA7 Motto: ‘U Support US &WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media = to not only inform & opine, but to transform and improve manufactured housing performance.

INTRODUCTION. A belated Thanksgiving Greeting to All of You! As I edited blog # 510 yesterday morning, I identified a few Blessings for which Carolyn and I are Thankful this year. Besides being appreciative of reasonably good health as great grandparents, we looked forward yesterday, to more than a dozen family members coming to our home to share Thanksgiving dinner with us. And then there’re our family’s business interests; all of which appear to be enjoying prosperity, right along with our improving national ‘Make America Great Again!’ economy. Friends and distant relatives? We have many, and look forward to communicating and visiting with all of them, as often as possible.

Yes, we are indeed a blessed people and nation. So much to be Thankful for this year! GFA

Now, enjoy the blog narrative that follows here.

MUSINGS
The hectic Fall meeting season is finally over. Think Networking Roundtable, MHI’s annual meeting, SECO conference, NCC’s Fall Leadership Forum, & RentManager’s annual soiree. There are more, but you get the idea. The seasonal holiday season is now in full play. Hope you enjoyed a memorable Thanksgiving celebration. We sure did, with more than 15 family members present for dinner at our home on Thursday. Much to be thankful for these days, despite difficult times and circumstances!

This has also been a tumultuous couple weeks for two popular manufactured housing leaders. Joe Stegmayer, is no longer chairman of Cavco Industries, Inc., but now heads another key department in the firm. Joe is also chairman of MHI & the RV/MH Hall of Fame. And Jay Zandman, LLCommunity owner, an insurance agent with Manning & Novick Insurance – recently acquired by Brown & Brown, has retired early. Jay is one of the founders of the rapidly growing SECO conference.

Did you realize the manufactured housing industry has slipped from the ‘new home production pace’ needed to eclipse 100,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped during year 2018? Official new home shipment total for September 2018 was 7,519 units! That’s below September 2017pace of 7,580; and way below the 9,157 units shipped during August. What’s going on? I don’t know, and the two manufacturer-dominated national advocates MHI & MHARR aren’t talking. We should be doing better!

30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT questionnaires are ‘in’, and we’ll compile portfolio data during next couple weeks. That gives me two weeks to pen the narrative, and for pre-press to craft the ranking of 100+ land lease community portfolio owners/operators domiciled in North America. Report will be enclosed in January’s Allen Letter to Option II & III COBA7 affiliates. Want a copy of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT? Phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Best & Last One?

On 27 November, I’ll be in Washington, DC. Attending the National Housing conference Focus will be on ‘Solving the Affordable Housing Crisis in the U.S. Today’ This is my second visit, and I expect to be frustrated again, as one of the few Free Enterprise businessmen & women in the audience, amongst many public policy ‘housers’. But that’s OK. Why? Because they’re now seriously interested in making manufactured housing & land lease communities part of the affordable housing solution they seek!

Something for you to consider. On Tuesday, 28 January, COBA7 will host the one day Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training & certification class in Louisville, KY. That’s the day before the Louisville MHShow begins. Only $295/MHM candidate. Join nearly 1,500 MHMs already owning and managing land lease communities throughout the U.S. & Canada, by being in this class! To do so, simply phone (317) 346-7156 to register. Best available PM training available today!

While the MHM class is taking place, I plan to meet with manufactured housing & land lease community veterans who realize they have personal and corporate legacies to share! And if they don’t pen their memoirs (i.e. short stories & adventures) now, it’s likely no one else will either. So, if spending a few hours learning the legacy writing basics with me interests you, let me know via email: gfa7156@aol.com Then I’ll send you a free copy of the helpful booklet, ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy? Answer: You!’

Are you reading the Allen Letter professional journal every month? It is the ONLY national print media focused on industry information and practical HOW TO needs of land lease community owners and managers. $134.95 Option I affiliation with COBA7 gets you the newsletter! $544.95 Option II affiliation gets you the newsletter and a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents, e.g. ALLEN REPORT. And $944.95 Option III gets you all this, plus the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! newsletter. Phone (317) 346-7156.

OK, enough musings for one blog posting. So much more to share with you though. Like the increasingly complicated MHIndustry alphabet of MHARR, MHI, COBA7 & NAMHCO. Becoming like FUBAR (‘Fouled up beyond all recognition!’), or SNAFU (‘Situation normal, all fouled-up!’), all on our way to creating a fasgrolia (Huh?). According to ‘Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure & Preposterous Words’ (by Josefa H. Byrne), 1974; a ‘FASt-GROwing’ Language of Initials & Acronyms’. Get it? FASGROLIA. Ha!

***
George Allen, CPM,MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

To Party or Persuade? – MHShipments Flounder – Good bye D&R?

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Blog # 509; Copyright @ 11 November 2018; community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHindustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHousing performance!
_______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION. Much to pay attention to in this week’s blog posting (#509). How I favor representing you to the affordable housing crowd in Washington, DC., rather than networking at MHI’s NCC division/s annual Fall Leadership Forum. Do you realize new HUD-Code housing production, during September, fell well off the pace to shipping 100,000 new homes by year end? And there’s a ‘breaking story’ I can only titillate you with at this time. Finally, a couple responses from last week’s OPEN LETTER to My Friends in the MHIndustry.

I.

To Party or To Persuade?

‘Why I did not participate in MHI’s NCC Division’s Leadership Forum this week.’

The choice has been clear for awhile. It was clear last Fall (2017), when several manufactured housing industry businessmen (Spencer Roane, MHM; Paul Bradley, MHM, & me) attended the National Housing conference in Washington, DC., to input: ‘Solving the U.S. Affordable Housing Crisis’. And it’s just as clear this Fall, as I prepare to participate in the 2019 NH conference. Frankly; as a small businessman, I cannot afford a high-priced networking conference in Chicago one week, then participate in an affordable housing solutions conference the next, in Washington, DC. It’s that simple.

Bottom line for me? Far more important to persuade ‘housers’ – including legislators and regulators, of all stripes, how HUD-Code manufactured housing& land lease communities make for the most practical of affordable housing solutions available in the U.S. today! Someone, in my opinion, has to step forward to make the case – and it’s best done by those with ‘skin in the game’, someone not ‘paid’ to do someone else’s bidding.

So, Yes, I missed seeing many friends and colleagues at MHI’s NCC division’s Fall Leadership Forum in Chicago; but it’s money much better spent advancing the cause of manufactured housing – with an eye to further increasing the new home shipment volume we’ve experienced YTD 2018. Anyone disagree with that line of thinking? Didn’t think so.

Speaking of money. The funds used to pay for these trips to Washington, representing manufactured housing & land lease communities among affordable housing ‘housers’ is coming solely from COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. No one else! Point? There needs to be an influx of $, from somewhere, if this good work is to continue. If not; well, our industry & asset class presence & favor, among the affordable housing crowd, will diminish rather than grow. Do we want more new HUD-Code homes shipped than at present? If interested, phone me @ (317) 346-7156.

II.

Are YOU Paying Attention?

– to fluctuating MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ this past Summer headed into the Fall?

If not, you should be, and here’s why. The number of new HUD-Code homes shipped during September 2018 was 1,638 fewer than shipped the previous month, i.e. 9,157 (-) 7,519 (=) 1,638. And not only that, this September new home shipment total is also 61 units fewer than shipped during September 2017! What’s happening?

Another way to look at it is this. If we don’t do better than shipping 7,519 during each of the next three months (October, November & December), our possible year end total of new homes shipped 3,000+/- fewer than the 100,000 new HUD-Code homes anticipated during the past several months, i.e. 7,519 (Sept.) X 3 months = 22,557 (+) 74,354 new HUD-Code homes shipped YTD (=) 96,911 or 3,000+/- homes fewer than targeted!

III.

D&R Shipments to End, On-site Inspections to Begin?

HUD-Code Housing Manufacturers to Eschew D&R Shipment Policy of Past 70 Years, in Favor or On-site Inspections of New Home Site Preparation, Home Installation & Setup!

It’s certainly not a ‘done deal’ yet, but the Big 3-C HUD-Code housing manufacturers are talking about how to curtail the astronomical home service and warranty $$$ expenses oft caused by poor to marginal site preparation, home installation and setup.*1

How ‘big’ is the $$$ problem? Informed sources put the total, when talking about the Big 3-C HUD Code housing manufacturers, at hundreds of millions of dollars per year!
So, what’s the solution? That’s the next step. Federal regulation of installations hasn’t worked, and there’s been no real or effective self-policing to date; but there are practical alternatives:

ENDING THIS ‘BREAKING STORY’ HERE, FOR THE TIME BEING. Will likely continue as the lead story in the December issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Now, picking up where this story left off in the previous paragraph…

And there are likely other implementation alternatives not identified here. For the time being, it’s enough information, and to know, this is becoming, if not already, a Major Hot Topic among HUD-Code housing manufacturers…finally.

III.

Responses to ‘An OPEN LETTER to My Friends in the MHIndustry’

Relative to leadership of the manufactured housing industry & land lease community real estate asset class:

“Oh! the community side of the business has a leadership gap? Nope. There are plenty of leaders…(just) in their own businesses. The void really is leaders willing to step onto the national scene to lead the industry as a whole. You named many of them! But where is the next generation?

I think they are there, they just need a push. My solution is simple. Since the industry has rebounded, it’s time for the states to return to sending expense-paid delegates to MHI and other national gatherings. That is where the last generation stepped out of the shadows, both as community and retail leaders.”

These insightful remarks and suggestion offered by a retired state association executive still passionately interested in the healthy future of the industry & property type.

And then there’s this poignant tale from a long retired entrepreneurial business executive.

“Mine was a sudden, and complete break from participation. I was bought out, stayed to help for a couple years, retired to caretake my wife and travel in our RV.

My legacy lies in the products people are still enjoying, the few real friends from the MHIndustry that still call/speak/write to me and in the successes and happiness I see in so many of our former employees.

To you I say, stay or go; and in either case, your curiosity will serve you George. You have your family and your legacy. So, when you see it is time, you will take a walk away, not look back, and go to that which is next. No fear my friend.”

That last line certainly sets the stage for me to say, ‘Now is the time!’ But it isn’t. Geesh; before year end I’ve got to compile and publish the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, attend the National Housing Conference in Washington, DC., representing manufactured housing & land lease communities to the affordable housing ‘housers’ from throughout the US., and more….

Speaking of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT. If you’re reading this and are a property portfolio owner/operator of land lease communities, it’s not too late – just yet – for you to submit your property and rental homesite counts for inclusion in said report. Just do so via gfa7156@aol.com. And if you completely fill out the questionnaire (Ask for it when you email me) and return it, you’ll receive a FREE copy of the ALLEN REPORT when it is distributed during January 2019. That’s an immediate savings of $544.95!

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COB A7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247

Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD.HSNG or 633-4764:

An OPEN LETTER to My Friends in the MHIndustry

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Blog # 508; Copyright @ 4 November 2018; communiity-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOHTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal for its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHousing performance.
_______________________________________________________________________

An OPEN LETTER to My Friends in the Manufactured Housing Industry &
Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class

In 1978 I discovered professional property management (‘PM’) as a career alternative and opportunity, when working for a firm owning/operating apartment communities, mobile home parks, nursing homes, farms and mines. I was not pleased, however, when my boss reassigned my PM responsibilities from apartments to mobile homes. But know what? That marked the beginning of my 40 year experience in land lease community management and ownership, as well as writing and publishing books, newsletters, and this blog.

Now, in 2018, I’m contemplating what to do with the rest of my career and life. I no longer own land lease communities; have relinquished responsibility for teaching the Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) PM training and certification program; and think I might have a home for future Networking Roundtables – or not. So, for the time being, I continue to pen and post a weekly blog, and publish and distribute two COBA7 affiliate-supported monthly business newsletters: the Allen Letter professional journal & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!. But what about ongoing research required for the annual ALLEN REPORT, National Registry of ALL $ Lenders; and, directories of trade groups, GSEs & NGOs, trade publications, and freelance consultants? It’d be downright wrong to allow 30+ years of such information to disappear overnight, for lack of interest and effort.

While I shared several personal memoirs in SWAN SONG last year, here’re more memories from past decades:*1 Hopefully, these and more stories will eventually find their way into print as a legacy biography or autobiography.

• Returning 350 rental manufactured homes, scattered among four ‘mobile home parks’ in two states to profitability, by changing from monthly to weekly rent collection. And later learning the advantages to collecting site rent by mail.

• Acquiring my first (then) manufactured home community of 500 rental homesites, with only 20% occupied, for $400,000 – then selling it two years later for $2 1/2 million cash. Ah, the reward of risk taking and ‘sweat equity’.

• Penning & self-publishing Mobile Home Park Management in 1988. Now in its 6th edition as Land Lease Community Management, and centerpiece for the popular Manufactured Housing Manager program, with nearly 1500 MHMs trained and certified to date throughout the U.S. and Canada.

• Collecting & continually updating an exclusive, confidential data base identifying 500+/- land lease community portfolio owners/operators in North America; and making said list available for direct mail contact and marketing by lenders, insurers, investors, and more.

• Researching, compiling & publishing the annual ALLEN REPORT (1989-2019), identifying major portfolio ‘players’, along with pertinent benchmark statistics.

• Articulating the asset class’ Industry Standard Chart of Accounts, including 19 Operating Expense Ratios and widely cited Allen Model OERs. This resource compiled while on active duty, as a Marine officer, based in Honduras during Operation Desert Storm.

• Hosting a strategic planning meeting of 19 manufactured home community owners intent on improving realty asset class’ national advocacy and representation, before the mini-REIT wave of 1994 began. Their Industry Steering Committee was the forerunner of MHI’s National Communities Council division.

• Co-authoring Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities, with David Alley & Edward Hicks. First such tome in more than 20 years! Still sought and bought, via amazon.com, after more than 25 years.

• Editing How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. First and only comprehensive text on buying, valuing, selling this unique, income-producing property type. Oft referred to as the ‘bible’ of community acquisition. Now out of print, but used copies sometimes available at amazon.com

• Crafting, with daughter Susan McCarty, the ‘Valuation Calculation Worksheet’, or VCW, a do-it-yourself valuation tool for any size and condition land lease community in North America. And later added to this, an ‘ABClassification’ form, for measuring and labeling A, B, C or D quality levels on this income-producing property type. Replaced long defunct Woodall Start System, last updated in 1976.

• Articulating the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, for estimating ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices of new & resale homes, of any type, on building sites conveyed fee simple, and placed within land lease communities on rental homesites.

• Launching of Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, as a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. In reality, a rebranding of heretofore ‘free’ products & services long provided by GFA Management, Inc.

• Creating the ‘New Rule of 72’, to facilitate valuation of ‘average’ land lease communities at100% occupancy (maximum value), OR any lesser percentage of physical occupancy; e.g. 200 sites X $300/month rent X ’72’ = $4,320,000 or $21,600 per occupied rental homesite.

• Defining affordable housing (‘AH’), to include Low Income Housing & Very Low Income Housing, as well as all six measures of AH, being HEF, HOI, HW, WH, IHVR, & ‘One, or anyone, who believes they live in affordable housing’

• Bringing logic to heretofore conflicted annual new HUD-Code manufactured housing shipment volume reporting, using Institute for Business & Technology Safety (‘IBTS’) data – though differences in said public reporting continues via HUD, MHARR & COBA7 versus MHI..

• Documenting of 21st Century paradigm shift in manufactured housing distribution, from independent (street) MHRetailers to in-community home sales & finance.

So, were to go from here?

That’s somewhat ‘up to you’. The following paragraph (actually two) concludes the November 2018 issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter. Not asking you to agree with me; just read and ponder what the next decade – and longer, will look like if

1. Our realty asset class remains, again in my opinion, relatively leaderless; and,

2. The research & print resources – and more, just described, ‘simply go away’….

Now, here’s that paragraph, rendered as two:

“I’m concerned…about the dearth of asset class leadership among land lease community owners/operators nationwide. I have never viewed myself as such a leader, rather as a gatherer and purveyor of statistics and information via COBA7….Furthermore, I don’t see LLCommunity representation and advocacy, envisioned by aforementioned 19 owner/operator peers 25 years ago, faring any better! (Their hope) MHI’s NCC division…is insular (‘detached, provincial, narrow-minded’) & .(For proof, read page # 97 in SWAN SONG, to compare NCC’s contemporary presence with their 1993 Mission Statement & Objectives). And MHARR has never figured into this leadership void, as their membership is strictly limited to HUD-Code housing manufacturers. Now NAMHCO appears on the national advocacy (lobbying) scene. Too early to judge their leadership potential.”
&
“As I travel nationwide, I meet and interact with individuals who’re already bona fide leaders in their own right (i.e. entrepreneur owners/operators & some salaried PM executives). But therein lies their constraint: ‘taking care of (their) business first’! Here I’m thinking the likes of Mike Sullivan, CPM; Paul Bradley, MHM; Spencer Roane, MHM; Steve Adler; Stephen Braun; Brian Fannon, CPM; Randy Rowe, Kevin Shaughnessy, et .al. So, there’s talent afoot, and the need is great, but as a realty asset class we continue to be hopelessly (?) adrift.”

Frankly, I hope this blog posting becomes a topic of lively conversation at the upcoming NCC Fall Leadership Forum, 7-9 November, in Chicago, IL. It should be. Why there? I understand that event attracts ‘hundreds’ of participants, while NCC membership meetings, in my experience as a founding board member – just resigning last month, attract maybe a dozen owners/operators, way down from multiple dozens two decades ago. Hey, a leadership renascence,, among land lease community owners/operators, has to begin somewhere….

End Note.

1. To order a copy of SWAN SONG, ‘George Allen’s History of the Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class (1970-present day) & Official Record of Manufactured Housing Shipments (1955-present day)’, for $34.95 ()postpaid), phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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

POSTSCRIPT

If you or your firm owns and or fee manages a minimum of five stand alone land lease communities or 500+ rental homesites (in one or more properties), the portfolio qualifies to be included in the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Owners/operators Throughout North America!’. To input this seminal document, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request a copy of the questionnaire used to compile this data. Then complete it in full ASAP, and return via FAX, to (317) 346-7158. Completely filled-in questionnaires get you a FREE copy of the 30th ALLEN REPORT in January when distributed as a lagniappe in the Allen Letter professional journal. Questions? Email: gfa7156@aol.com

***