Blog Has Name! & NCC Forum = Precursors?

Blog # 268 Copyright 2013 19 October 2013

‘George Allen Writes About Key MHBusiness Interests & Concerns!’

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.

Did You Notice? This Blog Now Has a Name!

This popular weekly blog, with more than 300 postings to date, to 1,000+/- weekly readers, needed a working name, to be featured by Amazon.com. So we penned a word picture of what the posting has been doing for the past six plus years: ‘George Allen Writes About Key MHBusiness Interests & Concerns!’ in behalf of HUD – Code manufactured housing industry aficionados & land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, large and small, nationwide!

And it seems apropos, to inaugurate this formally – named presence, during the same time frame MHI’s National Communities Council hosted its’ first Fall Leadership Forum, in Chicago, Il; featuring #s, summary and commentary info regarding the event.

II.

NCC’s First Fall Leadership Forum;
a Precursor, in More Ways Than One?

A month ago, the 22nd International Networking Roundtable attracted 220+/- land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators and their favorite realty mortgage lenders to the Chicago suburb of Bloomingdale.*1 Last week, Spencer Roane, MHM® and a half dozen or so Georgia – based LLLCommunity owners hosted at least 110 of their peers at the annual SECO 2013 Symposium in Forsyth – where no fewer than eight new HUD – Code Community Series Homes, or CSH Models were on display!*2 Also last week, the Manufactured Home Communities Association of Arizona, under the leadership of Susan Brenton & Neil Haney, rallied 100+ members, for two days of seminars and networking!*3 An easy to miss common denominator: Nary an MHI or NCC elected or salaried leader was present at any of these three events, attracting more than 400+ MHIndustry & LLLCommunity businessmen and women.

On the other hand, less than a month ago, on 30 September 2013, the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division meeting in Carlsbad, CA., convened with only 14 land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators in the room (out of 17 registered for MHI’s annual meeting – which drew, by the way, 116 in toto, from all segments of the MHIndustry d& LLLCommunity asset class).

Now, a scant two weeks following NCC’s meeting/elections in CA, the council has hosted its’ first Fall Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago, IL. Promoted as ‘Building a Vision for the Future’, the event attracted 149 registered attendees (with, I’m told, 31+/- sign – ups at the door). When the final session, a panel led by Randy Rowe, and titled, ‘The Future of the Land-Lease (Community) Business Model’ occurred mid – morning Friday, 50 individuals remained in attendance.

First ‘the numbers’; related solely to the aforementioned 149 registration list – which, by the way, contained NO helpful contact information for anyone. Go figure.

70+/- of the 149 individuals listed, were land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators from 22 property portfolio firms (out of the 500+/- known nationwide), plus 19 small, or Mom & Pop – sized property owners. Taken together, 41 LLLCommunity sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, and two REITs were represented. Furthermore; of the 22 portfolio ‘players’ present, half – or ten of them (i.e. along with their 31 executives) hailed from Chicago and the city’s surrounding suburbs! And of the same 22 large portfolio firms, nine ranked among the 20 largest LLLCommunity firms identified in the 24th annual ALLEN REPORT.*4 Who was missing from that august Top 20 ranking? One REIT, four California – domiciled firms, two Canadian portfolios, and one company each from FL, WA, & MI. These numbers, by the way, are ‘off by one’, due to liquidation of ARC.

Who rounded out the 149 registrants? 20+ lenders ‘of all stripes’ (i.e. chattel & real estate mortgage originators), 14 HUD – Code home manufacturers (e.g. multiple reps from Clayton Homes, Champion Homes, Cavco, Adventure, Skyline, & Fairmont), nine freelance consultants & seven real estate brokers (at least three of whom doubled as single LLLCommunity owners), seven insurance agents, more than a half dozen attorneys, five state MHAssociation executives, and several ‘your guess is as good as mine’ hangers on.

What was learned during this two day forum? That’ll be covered in more detail in an upcoming issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.*5 For now, however, suffice it to say:

• When listening to ‘What the Industry Can Learn from the Small Operators’, some walked away with a better ‘feel’ for compensation packages now in play around the country, based on the number of rental homesites in a land-lease-lifestyle community, variety of job responsibilities – including ‘new & resale home sales’, put on the shoulders of on – site property managers, and other considerations. Details to follow.

• During another panel, ‘Tackling the Obvious: More Action, Less Reaction’, at least one really good ‘refurbishing of manufactured homes’ tip was shared and had everyone’s pen moving at the same time. Details to follow.

• For many in the room, the most informative and thought – provoking hour of the entire forum, occurred when NCC chairman David Lentz, & HAS Capital’s J. Peter Scherer, co – presented ‘Home Financing in the Future’. They first provided statistical background information as to ‘Where we’ve been’, as an industry; then, ‘Were we’d like to go’, but don’t know – at this point – how to get there! They diligently sought to identify a New (chattel capital) Lending Model for manufactured housing and on – site housing sales within LLLCommunities – even creating a new paradigm if need be, that’d also facilitate ‘third party financing’ of new and resale homes, based on ‘risk’ and ‘alignment’. Bottom line? NO answers – but some enlightenment in two areas: FIRST, ‘What we must do individually and collectively (re: property portfolio $ policies and procedures), to entice chattel capital back to our industry; and SECOND, ‘Why we’d best step back, and realize that ‘this bird that quacks like a duck is likely a duck’, and call it – this New Lending Model, what it is and will continue to be: ‘The 15%’er Solution!’ How so? Well, there’s ‘more than a hint’, as to why, elsewhere in this blog posting. But for the complete, albeit blunt description of said New Lending Model, read the Allen Letter professional journal – the only MHIndustry trade publication that’ll share this hard truth with you!

Oh Yes, there was more. More than we’re going to cover here, or in the aforementioned newsletter. But for now, suffice it to say, Nathan Smith’s interview with Sam Zell was another highlight of this forum. In it, Zell commented briefly on the lease-option fad (my word choice, not his) popular with single family site – built housing these days; probable future of the GSEs; how ‘low interest rates are addictive, even suicidal when consistently lower than the inflation rate’; his views on RVs & MHs in the same mixed use land-lease-lifestyle community property; Washington’s ‘wealth redistribution track’; and finally, three of his ‘Thou Shalt Nots….’ Again; details to follow in the Allen Letter professional journal.

Finally; try this on for size. First; re read the fifth paragraph of this Part II to the blog posting (“70+/- of the 149…”). Done? OK; now ask yourself the following question, in light of this inaugural event being in downtown Chicago and 50 percent of property portfolios present, being from ‘the Chicago area’: Was this the second attempt, during the past few years, to suggest moving the seat of land-lease-lifestyle community power Westward from the nation’s capitol? Frankly; I wouldn’t have remembered or thought about that possibility, if it hadn’t been for three LLLCommunity owners suggesting it privately during one – on – one conversations. Think about it.

***
End Notes:

1. For an ‘invite’ to the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable in early September 2014, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-5764.

2. For an ‘invite’ to the annual SECO 2014 Symposium, during the Fall 2014, phone (678) 428-0212

3. For an ‘invite’ to next Fall (2014) meeting(s) in Arizona, phone (480) 345-4202

4. 24th ALLEN REPORT available FREE, for a limited time, by phoning the above referenced (End Note @ 1) Official MHIndustry HOTLINE. The 25th anniversary ALLEN REPORT will likely be published as a lagniappe in the January 2014 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. HINT. Suggest you subscribe to the newsletter ASAP – before the NEW ERA dawns in January, when a whole new Business Model for serving the research, resources, communication, networking, deal – making, and professional property management training/certification needs of LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide, is implemented….

5. Ibid

III.

With NCC Outa the Way, a NEW ERA to Begin

The NCC Fall Leadership Forum inspired Three Exciting Projects to likely occur during year 2014. And all three relate to the increasingly talked about Dawning of a NEW ERA for land-lease-lifestyle communities:

• A Spring Retreat for owners/operators, patterned after two decades of land-lease-lifestyle community FOCUS Group gatherings. Likely in late March or early April, at an inexpensive, easy-to-access hotel in a relaxing, resort setting. Never been to a FOCUS Group before? Well, we solicit ‘your choice’ of hot topics, schedule five of them, then convene ‘the night before’, at a restaurant for a group networking meal, followed by a day of Open Group Discussions led by LLLCommunity – experienced moderators. Sometimes even held on – site if a LLLCommunity clubhouse is located nearby. Seriously interested in being on the ‘invite’ list? Let me know via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE or via email: gfa7156@aol.com

• 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, to be at a ‘killer time’ this year, and featuring a Surprise – but – obvious choice, actually maybe two, for keynote presenters! Looking closely at a lower Midwest location often requested by past INR devotees…

• Exciting Theme for a New LLLCommunity Book! To be comprised of writings submitted by successful land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, willing to share their personal and corporate Lessons Learned, as well as Secrets of Their (& Firm’s) Success, along with Pithy Insights realized with their business peers. Want to participate? Open to owners/operators of LLLCommunities ‘of all sizes’, nationwide, even our peers in Canada. Also; interested in underwriting the printing cost of the new book – like Marcus & Millichap did with Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years! ? If so, let me know. Call for submissions will occur within a future issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

That’s all for now. There is much more to come; but for now, ‘read between the lines’! GFA
***

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

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