27 February 2012 Fallout Continues; an Emerging Trend; and, much more….

27 February 2012 Fallout Continues; an Emerging Trend;
& Much More….

I.

Sampling of Peer Response to Last Week’s Blog: ’27 February 2012 akin to 27 February 2008 & 2009?’

Here’re a few of the near immediate responses to our blog posting of 4 March:

“As always, your weekly blog postings are tremendously helpful and informative. This past Sunday’s (3/4/12) was particularly good, as those of us who were unable to attend the MHI Legislative Conference appreciate the updates and information sharing. As to your epiphany, and search for the ‘new 18’, you are absolutely right! It is critical we support your ongoing efforts to ensure we have data, communication, and numerous other services and resources you unselfishly provide our industry in the long – term. I’m available to assist you in identifying how we seamlessly transition to the next provider(s) of these critical services, once you decide to phase into retirement. Thanks again for everything you do for us.” A Pacific Northwest businessman. (No edits. GFA)

“Good post George. Obviously you can count me among the ‘new 18’ – if you feel I can contribute. And ‘formerly known as’ or ‘f.k.a.’ better describes the trade term transition from ‘manufactured home community’ to ‘landlease community’.” A Middle Atlantic states LLCommunity owner/operator.

And this. “I’ve copied (your blog posting to) a couple friends, since I’m not sure my instinct is correct. But here it is: ‘It appears all manner of things continue to get in the way of ‘How to Save Our Industry?!’, and we/the industry just continue to accept the state of affairs. And Okay George, you say we need the DC (advocacy) experience in lobbying, to deal with legislation and regulatory matters. Perhaps the reality is that DC cannot save us! We will, as an industry, be saved by producing and selling products that fit our customer’s needs and their ability to buy, period. Financing will, in time, fix itself; especially when we assure (product) quality, and service to our customers. Sounds too simple, I suppose, but this continual delay just plain ‘ain’t right’!” A Midwest businessman.

Bottom line? As I penned earlier, the MHInitiative® is ‘on hold’ for now, as we give Dick Jennison, MHI’s new president and CEO, “…space and opportunity to ‘learn our various business model(s)’; then address this (if still) timely and potentially fatal issue.” – that of ‘How to Save Our Industry?!’ GFA

II.

A Word about that ‘Wholly Unexpected Personal & Corporate Epiphany!’

The epiphany? “18 years ago, it took 18 (then) manufactured home community owners, to convene, on 8/31/1993 in Indianapolis, IN., to get their realty asset class’ national advocacy movement started!’ AND “As of today, 27 February 2012, I begin the quiet search for a ‘new 18’ veteran and successful landlease community owners, motivated and capable of ensuring their property owner/operator peers, large and small, throughout the realty asset class, have sufficient statistical data, educational opportunities, communication resources, networking and deal – making opportunities, now and into the future!” GFA

Within 24 hours of the Sunday blog posting, several landlease community owners stepped forward, via phone and email messages, volunteering to be among the ‘new 18’!

So, if YOU own one or more landlease communities, and are willing to commit, as these businessmen and women have, to meet later this Spring, and begin the planning process, to ensure the future of products and services needed in the everyday operation of our unique income – producing properties, as well as enhancing our industry’s reputation as a primary source of Affordable Housing, and our communities’ Lifestyle, let me know via the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or email.

Frankly, I’m already humbled by the quality and character of landlease community owners who share this similar – but – different vision, from the one embraced by 18 forebearers, nearly 18 years ago! Will YOU be one of the ‘new 18’? I hope so.

In the meantime, know that the ‘original 18’ are already part of the recorded history of our industry and asset class, having been identified for posterity in the books: How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, in 1998; and recently in Landlease Communities, Manufactured Home Communities, Mobile Home Parks, Trailer Courts & Camps, and Affordable Housing, in 2011. For a list of their names, read End Note # 1. The question now is, will your name, in time, also become part of our industry and asset class’ recorded history, as preservationist of landlease community data, resources, communication, education, networking, and deal – making?

III.

An Emerging Trend?

It went public on 2 February 2012, when Ms. E. Dickens of the Manufactured Home Owners’ Association (‘MHOA’), at a Congressional Hearing – convened to examine WHY the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000’ hasn’t been fully implemented by HUD, unexpectedly slammed landlease (f.k.a. manufactured home) community owners/operators, for a variety of perceived affronts relating to rent increases and other matters. Ms. Dickens blatantly abused her member status, on HUD’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (’MHCC’), to mount this bully pulpit in behalf of tenant rights, or as she seemed to view them – a lack thereof; a topic completely afield from the stated purpose of the Congressional Hearing.

Anyway, ‘the word’ out and about in Washington, DC., during MHI’s recent Legislative Conference was, with the retirement of Congressman Barney Frank, long a supporter of ‘manufactured housing – as – affordable housing’, tenant activists would likely no longer be held at bay, and could be expected to launch new initiatives against perceived abuses by the industry and realty asset class. Is this true? Only time will tell.

But in the meantime, a word of advice. Now is as good a time as any, to take a good hard look at all one’s landlease community operations! While doing so, pay special attention to the professional property management tenet: Ensure Good Resident Relations! Remembering though, that is just a third of the whole; where the ‘Six Rs of Good Resident Relations’ include Good Resident Relations = More Resident Referrals = Maximum Resident Retention! Is this being practiced at all your properties?

We have this opportunity to stop the threat of an emerging trend in its’ tracks. Is your business worth preserving, by taking the appropriate professional property management steps, at all levels, and among all on – site functions, to set matters aright? If your on – site and regional property managers have not yet been trained and certified as Manufactured Housing Managers® or MHM®s, now might be the time to ‘get the job done’! For more information, use the aforementioned MHIndustry HOTLINE. For that matter, are your rental homesite rents truly in sync with rental rates charged by other multifamily rental properties in each of the local housing markets your properties serve? If you don’t know how to do this, let me know….

IV.

f.k.a. does a better job than a.k.a. and completely eliminates ‘nee’….

Huh? Maybe you should reread last week’s blog posting tidbit on this subject. But then, it’s easy enough to ‘splain’ once again.

For a long time I introduced newsletter, book, and blog readers to the timely segue from ‘manufactured home community’ to ‘landlease community’, in trade terminology, by penning: landlease (nee manufactured home) community, the first time used in a narrative; then, from that point onward, simply ‘landlease community’, even ‘LLCommunity’.

Well, at MHI’s Legislative Conference in late February, chairman Joe Stegmayer (also CEO & chairman of Cavco Industries, Inc.) pointed out to me, ‘nee’ is an incorrect word choice (Go ahead, look it up; it’ll be worth the effort), and recommended I switch to a.k.a., as in ‘also known as’. Initially that sounded and read ‘OK’, but the more I thought about it, I knew a word was needed that suggested ‘manufactured home community’ was passé, and not just ‘also known as’.

Soon after last week’s blog was posted, as you already saw in one of the samplings quoted earlier in this blog, alternatives started arriving, namely f.k.a. (formerly known as) and p.k.a. (previously known as). Well, I’ve opted, as stated earlier, for f.k.a. to replace both a.k.a. and nee. End of story.

V.

The Young Turks, as in ‘the young and the restless’

Was prepared to conclude this blog posting, by introducing a new asset class trade term: the Young Turks. This won’t come as a surprise to long time readers, who’ve been introduced to Young Lions (i.e. Aggressive property consolidators & or portfolio builders) in past editions of the annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Landlease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’*1); even the Daring Dozen, a ‘bakers dozen’ of new investors, from nearly a decade ago, who started their LLCommunity firms during the most difficult of economic times – and today, only a few of whom continue in this business model

But I’ve decided the time isn’t quite right for this introduction. For that matter, if I wait awhile longer, I’m confident there’ll be additional names to add to this list of ‘the young and the restless’. Will give you a hint though: they differ from their present employers – often pioneers in our asset class, and who’ve often been their mentors, in several significant ways. The clue? With one notable exception, a lack of formal real estate and professional property management training and credentials.

*****
End Note.

1. The ‘original 18’: Jeff Kellogg; Randy Rowe; Gary McDaniel & Jim Grange; Jerry Ellenburg & Scott West; Thomas Horner, Jr.; Martin Newby (retired) & Dick Leiter; Ron Richardson: Bill Williams; Kamal Shouhayib; Lynwood Wellhausen (retired); Bill Geary, CPM; Martin Lavin; Eugene Landy; Brian Fannon, CPM; Ed Zeman; and, George Allen, CPM – the 19th & organizer.

2. To order the 23rd annual ALLEN REPORT (distributed 1/1/2012), subscribe to the Allen Letter professional journal for only $134.95/year (12 monthly issues) and receive it for FREE; or, buy said report for $134.95. Call the MHIndustry HOTLINE cited earlier.

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