Archive for October, 2009

A Consultant’s Lament

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Ever plan a party and not have everyone show up? Worse; ever schedule or facilitate a business education and networking event, only to find those ‘who need it most’ absent? Well, if you answered the second query with a ‘Yes’, you’ll understand and appreciate the frustration embodied in the following paragraphs…

This particular annual multi-state association business, education and networking meeting was not my event. However, I’d been asked to deliver the keynote ‘State of the Industry & Asset Class’ address one day, and the same educational session twice the following day. Don’t misunderstand; overall meeting attendance was healthy, with more than 200 businessmen and women present, and 50 eager learners in each of the two like sessions I taught.

But here’s the rub. With HUD Code manufactured housing experiencing an historic nadir of annual new home shipments, and many of the asset class’ largest landlease communities struggling with high turnover and marginal occupancy levels – in large part due to too high rental homesite fees, it’s time to face and resolve perennial image, finance, and customer service issues! But guess what? Some, no – make that several, of the most notorious issue offenders, though invited and encouraged to participate in this timely regional affair, declined to do so!

Why? I doubt we’ll ever know for sure, but I’m confident their reason or reasons are included among the following excuses, as they…

• View themselves as being ‘above the fray’, even while suffering along with their peers; but counting on the business cycle to eventually return them to prosperity

• Know it all! After all, they’ve been in business for decades, if not family generations; so what could they possibly learn from or with their peers?

• Have heard and tried or discarded ‘corrective formulae and solutions’ before, so figure there’s nothing new to learn under the sun.

• Have been enthused, in the past, with ‘one or another or more’ regional and national business improvement initiatives, only to watch them die – for a variety of reasons (e.g. lack of funding, focus dispute, even selfish feuding), before ever getting started.

The unfortunate truth is, with sole exception of the last excuse, they were wrong not to attend and learn, as well as support their state trade presence! A special effort was made by meeting planners – and maybe just inadequately communicated, certain key performance indicators, in some cases mathematical formulae and models, would be shared ‘for the first time’, enabling attendees to evaluate present business holdings against industry and regional norms (e.g. homesite rent level ‘acid test’; an Industry Standard Chart of Accounts with Operating Expense Ratios or OERs); and, how to affordably price new and resale homes marketed on site in LLCommunities, using AGI (annual gross income) or AMI (area median income) as starting points; and, ‘How to Negotiate an Effective Three Party Financial Partnership Among One’s Local Bank or S&L, MHRetailer, and Landlease Community Selling New & Resale Homes On-site!

Frankly, this insider, and previously proprietary, confidential information deserves as broad and timely coverage as possible. Encourage your state MHAssociation executive to plan and host a one or two day Super Symposium & Showcase of New HUD Code Homes during 2010! For meeting planning guidance, contact George Allen, CPM & MHM @ (317) 346-7156 or Jim Keller of IMHA/RVIC in IN. @ (317) 247-6258X12.

End Note.

* lament, as to ‘regret’. Webster

Influencing What Does & Doesn’t Happen to the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Aset Class!

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

George Allen’s Official Info Blog for the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class!

PRINT & SAVE THIS BLOG – for your use today, tomorrow & beyond!

Title:

‘Influencing What Does & Doesn’t Happen
to the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class’

Whether a veteran purist, dedicated Luddite, or forward–looking visionary in the HUD Code manufactured housing industry – or sister segments sometimes called the ‘aftermarket’, and the landlease (nee manufactured home) community real estate asset class, YOU have a responsibility to influence what does and does not happen to all of US! And now, given the content of this Info Blog, here’s a practical resource with which to truly influence what does and doesn’t happen to US! The question is; are you, and will you, exercise this ‘responsibility to influence’, on regional and national business scenes through active participation in state and national MHAssociations and other means; or just lie back, content with what’s going on around you; or at worst, pursue proprietary MHBusiness interests with no ‘giving back’ to the industry and asset class where you make your living?

Following are the major opinion shapers, government lobbyists, trade bodies, and education outlets serving the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class. The list is near complete and comprehensive. Think someone or something is missing? Maybe they are. But ask yourself; ‘When was the last time I saw or heard said entity present and working on behalf of our industry and asset class on the regional or national scene?’ Following bodies are not listed in any particular order:

• Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), a.k.a. MHIndustry’s ‘watchdog’ in Washington, DC. Comprised only of HUD Code home manufacturers & interested state MHAssociations. (202) 783-4087. Danny Ghorbani. Call & ask to receive their periodic FAX messages & reprints.

• Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), headquartered in Arlington, VA. Advocates in behalf of every segment of the HUD Code manufactured housing industry, including most state MHAssociations. (703) 558-0400. Thayer Long. Call to join the organization and attend periodic meetings during the year.

• National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division of MHI. Sole representative for 50,000+/- LLCommunities throughout the U.S. & sponsors an NCC Forum @ MHI’s annual MHCongress in Las Vegas. (703) 558-0678. No director at this time. Most effective means for LLCommunity owners to influence their future!

• Urban Land Institute’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘ULI’s MHCC’) in Washington, DC. Described as MHIndustry’s de facto ‘Think Tank’ and LLCommunity owners/operators’ ‘foot in the door’ with U.S. land developers (248) 645-1077 Call Kenneth Lipschutz, chairman, to join ‘best & brightest’.

• Manufactured Housing Educational Institute (‘MHEI’) education arm of MHI; developing and effecting trade training programs for MHRetailers, LLCommunity managers (e.g. ACM) & others. (703) 558-0400 Ann Parman or chairman Joe Adams @ (828) 891-3911. Suggestions for a webinar & other training programs?

• Community-Investor.com nee PMN Publishing. Sole source of professional property management, development, and investment textbooks, standard forms, and Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) certification, all geared to LLCommunity asset class. (317)346-7156. Susan McCarty

• Manufactured Housing Executives Council (‘MHEC’), de facto council serving state MHAssociation executives; meets during MHI meetings. (919) 872-2740. Brad Lovin, chairman. This is the body to encourage to participate in national trends like the Super Symposium & New Home Showcase, on the state level!

• Factory–Built Owners of America (‘FBOA’) in TX. Sole quasi – consumer (i.e. manufactured home owner) & MHBusiness body actively working to bring these parties together in a positive fashion through education and communication. (210) 258-1674. Contact Deb Ahrens to join and receive their newsletter.

• The RV/MH Heritage Foundation, Inc., Elkhart, IN. The only legacy body in North America preserving the history of the RV & MH industries and their respective realty ‘aftermarkets’. Annual Hall of Fame induction banquet in August at the museum, library facility. Donate $! (574) 293-2344. Carl Ehry

• Systems Building Research Alliance (‘SBRA’) in NY, is a non–profit organization developing new technologies to enhance factory–built structures. Think: the SOILS Project! Have ideas or questions? Give them a call! (212) 496-0900. Emanuel Levy, director.

• Small Community Owners Forum (‘SCOF’) in IA, not a formal, organized body at this time, but the beginning of a national presence for owners/operators of ‘100 sites and smaller’ LLCommunities. (319) 378-6786. LLCommunity owner Joanne Stevens, ACM, PHC, CCIM. Contact & encourage her to this end!

• ‘Community series’ manufactured homes. Another recent, needed debut on the national MHIndustry scene. Donald C. Westphal of MI., heads this timely effort to research, document, and describe the unique sizes, features and specification characterizing new homes to be sited within LLCommunities. (248) 651-5518.

• Annual ALLEN REPORT is undergoing gradual transformation. For 20 years it’s been: ‘Who’s Who Among LLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators in North America!’ Efforts afoot to take its’ benchmark statistics to a higher level. To help? Contact George Allen (317) 346-7156 & Bruce Nell (614) 540-2950.

• Business Development Managers (‘BDM’), a national trend among HUD Code home manufacturers to market more new homes to be sited in LLCommunities. No formal organization, but Official BDM list is updated several times each year. Want to be included? Call (317)346-7156.

• George Allen’s Official Info Blog for MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class. Only electronic cum print, business to business, trade media compiled and published daily (via email), weekly (via this blog) & monthly (via Allen Letter & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!) by a Realtor®, CPM® & MHM® fully engaged nationally, in this industry and asset class, for 30 years! (317) 346-7156.

Know what? There’re additional organizations, trade bodies, and business entities that could be included in this ‘responsibility to influence’ enabling list. And perhaps, when the day comes that these groups step forward from the manufactured housing underground, where they educate about ‘mobile home parks’ and publish material by folk not associated with the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class, and become actively involved, as dues–paying members, in existent trade organizations, trade bodies and business entities that influence our collective future, we can double this list in size! If you know of any of these folk, encourage them to become ‘influencers’ on the national scene…

As usual, your response, critique, and suggestions are welcome!

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

Official State of the Manufactured Housing & Landlease Community Asset Class

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Official State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class!

The unabridged title of this frequently requested public presentation goes like this:

‘Present State of the HUD Code Manufactured Housing Industry & the Landlease (nee manufactured home) Community Real Estate Asset Class!’

At least for the time being, HUD Code manufactured housing is returning to its’ affordable housing roots. How so? It’s a long but interesting story with some twists and turns…
From the mid 1940s thru mid – 70s, 80+/% of annual new home shipments (Remember, we count ‘shipments’ in this business, not new homes sold) were ‘singlewide’ mobile homes and 20+-% ‘doublewides’; and, 80+/-% of said homes were destined for siting in ‘mobile home parks’, the remaining 20+/-% on scattered building or subdivision sites owned fee simple. Note. This was a 30+/- year period in U.S. housing history when the concept and term ‘affordable housing’ meant affordable housing and a truly affordable lifestyle!

25 years later, by year 2000, those percentages reversed! Now 80+/- of annual new home shipments were ‘multisection’ manufactured homes and 20+/-% were ‘singlesection’ homes; and, 80+/-% of said homes were destined for siting on scattered building or subdivision sites owned fee simple, and generally referred to as Land & Home Packages; the remaining 20+/-% of new homes went into manufactured home (nee mobile home park) communities. Why? Our unique, homegrown type of factory–built housing had become more ‘homelike’ over the years and increasingly desirable to the homebuying consumer, who could not afford the $200,000.00 price tag on new site–built homes, and chattel (personal property) loan financing was plentiful. Note. This was also the 25 year period in U.S. housing history when the concept and term ‘affordable housing’ became bastardized, to mean whatever government bureaucrats and housing marketers, activists, academics, and journalists wanted it to mean, at the time, and for whatever selfish purpose – but all to the detriment of the homebuying citizen!

Another decade has almost passed, and the two 80/20 percent manufactured housing configuration and siting paradigms, referenced in the preceding paragraphs, are reversing again! That’s right, the number of new singlesection manufactured homes continues to increase while the number of multisection homes decreases. And an increasing volume of new manufactured homes, both singlesection and smaller multisection models – now commonly referred to as ‘community series’ homes*1, are purposely marketed into landlease (nee manufactured home) communities by dozens of Business Development Managers (a.k.a. ‘BDM’s) working for a dozen or so of the remaining HUD Code home manufacturers – more about this later. Why? First; the scattered and subdivision building site market has dried up, for a variety of mostly financial and economic reasons, for the time being; yet, there are an estimated 500,000 vacant rental homesites to fill in the approximately 50,000 LLCommunities in the U.S. today! And smaller manufactured homes are inherently more ‘affordable’ than behemoth multisection models; and certainly fit better, on otherwise functionally obsolete rental homesites within these unique income–producing properties. Furthermore, owners/operators of these ‘recession proof’ properties know, if willing to take on more risk and pay closer attention to daily management operations, they can ‘add value’ to these properties by acquiring, reselling and self–financing new and resale homes on–site within their properties. Note. It’s futile to define or describe ‘affordable housing’ these days, as the same players cited in the previous paragraph, refuse to acknowledge and correct their gross perfidy applying this key and timely housing concept–making it a near useless benchmark in today’s housing marketplace.

So, are there key, and otherwise important trends associated with the aforementioned paradigm shifts within the HUD Code manufactured housing and landlease community real estate asset class? Yes there are….

Many LLCommunity and MHIndustry purists date recognition of this latest shift – now – trend, to the 27 February 2008 National State of the Asset Class caucus held at FountainView Estate LLCommunity in Tampa, FL. 100+.-, when LLCommunity owners/operators attended. Result? A five part Action Plan to revitalize the asset class and, hopefully, breathe ‘home sale life’ into a severely contracted MHIndustry. One action area involved opening lines of communication between LLCommunity owners/operators and MHIndustry manufacturers.

One year later, to the day, 100+/- HUD Code home manufacturers representatives and LLCommunity owners/operators convened at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame, Museum and Library in Elkhart, IN. for an Historic SUMMIT Meeting. Most of that day, 27 February 2009, was spent discussing ‘back and forth’ what the former could build and ship; and what the latter needed and desired on–site in their properties. Result? The soon redesign of housing product to be ‘LLCommunity–friendly’, now known as ‘community series’ homes. Read on…

Also during late 2008 and throughout year 2009, another emerging phenomenon, maybe someday to be identified as a paradigm shift, has taken root. Beginning simply as a Super Symposium, early venues were day long events, in IN, OH, GA, & IL., where LLCommunity owners/operators, lenders and third party finance specialists, and HUD Code home manufacturers convened to learn together ‘How to Market, Sell, and Self–finance New and Resale Homes On–site in LLCommunities!’ Now that basic seminar agenda has morphed into a multi–day affair, featuring not only education, but supplemented with several new HUD code ‘community series’ homes on display for participants to inspect, with the expectation they’ll order new home stock for placement on–site in their properties. Such Symposium/Showcase events have recently been held or are planned in IL, GA, NY and TX. Is your state planning to revitalize our industry and asset class in like manner? Perhaps you should contact your state executive and suggest they do so.

At the same time, several regional mega MHShows have become casualties of marketing and finance ill effects of the two (HUD Code & site–built) housing boom–bust cycles here in the U.S. The annual Midwest MHShow in Louisville, KY, is the latest decades–old event to fold.

So, are there any other realities and trends afoot affecting the MHIndustry and LLCommunity asset class? While time and space, here, does not facilitate discussion, they include:

Lack of floor plan (wholesale) financing for HUD Code manufactured homes
Paucity of qualified prospective homebuyers for manufactured homes
Lack of strong, unified national advocacy @ MHI & MHARR
No widespread manufactured housing ‘resale market’…valuation, multilist…
No national ‘image improvement’ & or ‘product promotion’ campaign to date
Diminished trade press presence with demise of Merchandiser & Modern Home
Uneven implementation of HUD home installation and Safe Act regulations
Future uncertainty of MHIndustry by dint of continued corporate consolidation
Slow growth of MHI’s National Communties Council division
Uncertain role of ULI’s MHCC ‘Think Tank’ for MHIndustry & LLCommunities
Lack of support for property management professionalism re CPM, MHM, ACM
Emergence of a Small Community Owners Forum at the 18th annual Roundtable

Believe it or not, there’s still more that could be included here. As usual, I appreciate your feedback. Hopefully you’ve made this Blog, at www.community-investor.com your Monday touchstone for all things pertaining to the MHIndustry and LLCommunity asset class! Let me know your feedback on these key matters….

End Note:

1. Don Westphal serves as the national clearing house for developing standard descriptions relative to the ‘community series’ home designs and configurations: (248) 651-5518.

*****
George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®, MHM®
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317)346-7156

Birth & Maturation of a HUD Manufactured Housing & LLCommunity Trend.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Blog # 55

Birth & Maturation of a HUD Manufactured Housing & LLCommunity Trend.

“Every (landlease) community owner is dealing with the same issues we face in Georgia: need for low – priced manufactured homes with sex appeal AND financing, to fill vacant rental homesites! Today, HUD Code home manufacturers are going to a lot of trouble to listen to our requests, then designing and building new homes we want, even displaying them at our meetings. Other topics, like professional property management, on – site sales expertise, and sources of funds for home financing, are also near and dear to the hearts of everyone in the manufactured housing business.” (Paraphrased email message from GA. GFA)

Two years ago, the first sentence of the opening paragraph rang true, as landlease (nee manufactured home) community owners/operators ‘added value’ to their unique income – producing properties by selling ‘repo’ and used homes on – site. However, the new reality described in the next sentence received little more than lip service, at the time, from HUD Code home manufacturers enamored by the ‘bigger box = bigger bucks’ business model of the MHIndustry. Today, that has changed in a big way. How?

First, let’s set the stage. There’re approximately 500,000 vacant rental homesites among 50,000+/- landlease communities (‘LLCommunities’) throughout the U.S. The majority of these are smaller, oft singlesection home – sized sites in 10 – 40 year old LLCommunities, and unable to support the ‘bigger box = bigger bucks’ mantra of a decade ago. And, between 1998 and 2008, HUD Code housing shipments plummeted from 372,843 to 81,889! What’s happened to change that mantra?

Nearly two years ago, on February 27, 2008, 100 LLCommunity owners and operators, from throughout the U.S., convened in Tampa, FL., for their first National State of the Asset Class caucus. One of Five Action Areas identified at that caucus of peers, was the mandate to ‘Get HUD Code home manufacturers and LLCommunity folk talking to each other!’ Well, it took a year, but we finally reconvened at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame, Museum & Library facility….

On February 27, 2009, in Elkhart, IN., 100 HUD Code home manufacturer execs and LLCommunity owners/operators gathered for an Historic SUMMIT Meeting. What occurred? Open communication between these two major segments of the MHIndustry, and the naming of nearly three dozen Business Development Managers (‘BDM’) by those manufacturers present, with the mandate to ‘Increase their firms’ new home sale market share within and throughout this real estate asset class!’ The trend is born!

On September 10 & 11, 2009, in Chicago, IL., 200 portfolio owners/operators of LLCommunities, again from throughout the U.S., gathered for their 18th annual International Networking Roundtable (‘INR’). Besides spending time in seminars learning how to better market and sell new and resale homes on – site, everyone toured and inspected three new HUD code homes on display! These new single and multisection ‘community series’ homes were supplied by Clayton Homes, Harmony (Fairmont) Homes, and Hi – Tech Housing. And new homes were ordered!

On December 16th, in Forsythe, GA., at least five HUD Code home manufacturers will display new ‘community series’ homes in the hotel parking lot where GMHA is hosting Symposium II. This will be at least the sixth joint HUD Code manufacturer & LLCommunity event conducted during 2008, with others in IN, IL, OH & GA! During symposiums, LLCommunity folk learn ‘How to Market, Sell & Self – finance Homes On – site!’ and HUD Code home manufacturers get to showcase their new lines of community series’ homes! FYI; symposiums are being planned in NY, TX and elsewhere. Encourage your state MHAssociation to participate in the Symposium & Showcased ‘community series’ Homes trend’ during 2010!

There’s an interesting, evolving sidebar regarding this Symposium & Showcased ‘community series’ Homes trend’. MHIndustry veterans know regional (and some state) manufactured housing shows have long been a primary means of introducing new home designs and features to mostly manufactured housing retailers (nee dealers) and developers. These mega – events were very ‘high cost’ (transportation, setup, space rental, etc.) for home manufacturers, and the treasuries of sponsoring MHAssociations oft shared (large) profits post – show. Today, that has changed. With new home shipments down 450 percent, between 1998 and 2008, manufacturers cannot afford these high – priced venues, and appreciate opportunities to setup and showcase ‘community series’ product near their factories, to the most likely buyers in the housing market today – LLCommunity owners/operators.

So maybe, until across – the – board housing demand and national prosperity returns, this contemporary Symposium & Showcased ‘community series’ Homes trend, comprised of LLCommunity owners/operators and HUD Code home manufacturers working together to fill approximately 500,000 vacant rental homesites in 50,000+/- properties nationwide, is ‘the best and only way to go!’

End Note. As always, I appreciate your feedback on every Blog I pen in behalf of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class. Your reaction and comments to this one?

*****

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

Birth & Maturation of a Trend

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

MHI’s annual, & NCC’s division meetings ‘in a nutshell’, so to speak….

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Blog # 54, a.k.a. Postscript to the Allen CONFDENTIAL!, Issue # 121

MHI’s annual, & NCC’s division meetings ‘in a nutshell’, so to speak….

First the Good News. Overall attendance at this year’s annual meeting at La Costa Resort Hotel & Spa, in La Costa, CA., was up by 50 percent! Not So Good News?
Only 11 state MHAssociation execs were present (e.g. none from Pacific Northwest or New England, & only one each from Middle Atlantic States & Midwest!); only six HUD Code home manufacturers (with a couple of those brands were from same corporate family); but, there were more than 20 LLCommunity owners/operators present!

Meet Potomac Partners, LLC. The only firm to receive an RFP (Request for Proposal) from MHI to find “…adequate financing for land-lease (sic) community manufactured housing (‘MH’) loans…” To request a copy of their four page Proposal, contact Thayer Long @ (703) 558-0678. To offer information, or to offer assistance to this firm, contact Brian Chappelle or Pete Mills via (202) 637-7020.

Industry Panel Discussion. Promoted as ‘one session you will not want to miss’, a panel comprised of seven industry experts from manufacturing, finance, and LLCommunity segments of the MHIndustry, moderated by Dick Ernst, shared their ‘sector’s biggest business challenges and strategies for overcoming them.” While interesting presentations, nothing about the 36 Business Development Managers (‘BDM’) marketing new HUD Code homes into LLCommunities these days; or the National Symposium Movement, already in evidence in IN, OH, GA, IL – and maybe TX, as well as regional trade shows; and, the newest industry moniker ‘community series’ homes, received but passing mention during Open Discussion at very end of the program. Sometimes seems like there’re two manufactured housing and landlease community industries afoot these days.

National Communities Council meeting. Once again, the most heavily attended industry segment meeting of the entire MHI annual meeting. Much discussion concerning pending legislation in Washington, DC. For latest information go to MHI’s website and access the NCC portion thereof. What else covered? Stephen Wheeler, formerly with Green Courte Partners, introduced his new firm Housing Advisory Services and explained what’s happening there (See brochure enclosed with this issue of TAC!) I distributed a summary of newsy notes already covered in this issue of TAC!

Manufactured Housing Educational Institute board meeting. I suggested MHI explore the possibility of adding several new HUD Code homes to the 2010 MHCongress in Las Vegas, NV as display models, like we did at the 18th annual Roundtable last month. Since a theme had already been selected for the 2010 event, this suggestion went unheeded – unless the NCC Forum committee picks up on it: ‘How to Market, Sell & Self – finance New & Resale Homes On – site in LLCommunities Nationwide!’ Would you attend such a seminar program? Thought so. I certainly would, especially during these trying economic times for our industry and asset class. Guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Potpourri of MHIndustry & LLCommunity not-so-trivia news & views from California to Connecticut!

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Potpourri of MHIndustry & LLCommunity no–so–trivia news & views from California to Connecticut!

 Ready? Here goes…

 California “…families who’ve lost their homes are moving into their motor homes until they can get their feet back on the ground and credit cleaned up. Saw several of these out in the Hemet area, where rent is $400.00/month.” In an email from a California – based LLCommunity owner/operator.

 Connecticut. Know the Jensen family of Jensens, Inc., in Southington, CT? Founded by Danish immigrant Kristian Jensen, decades ago, the family business is now run by third generation Kristian Jensen III, ACM. MHI members know Kristian Jensen, Jr., ACM best. He’s a 2009 inductee into RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame!

 Pennsylvania. Trouble! ‘PA passed legislation during Fall 2008 to meet SAFE Act mandates, successfully getting manufactured housing written out, since already licensed under Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act. This didn’t pass HUD’s review – wanting inclusion of homes on leased land.’ LLCommunity owners/operators & MHRetailers must now be double–licensed to do business. (edited) Other states dodged this bullet.

 Southeast sage. “We’ve got the attention of HUD Code home manufacturers; in fact, all the segments of the industry who considered us (LLCommunities) ‘ugly stepchildren’ back then. Fancy ideas proposed in glass tower ‘suites’ (e.g. buy up entrepreneur – owned MHRetail centers and make them company stores, etc.) have been tested and failed. The MHIndustry has now gone thru the best of times and the worst of times. ‘Affordable housing’ is now more important than ever!” (edited) A loud ‘Amen!’ & ‘Let’s go!’

 Indiana. Did you know? Reid Litwack’s ODOROX equipment appears to rid old and new manufactured homes of every possible odor! Introduced at 18th annual International Networking Roundtable and now used in many LLCommunities. (317) 660-7814.

 Ohio. Remember Terry & Kathleen Lyden, the brother & sister dynamic duo of Aquameter days? Well, they’re back as Utility Revenue Services, working with portfolio owners/operators to effect utility rate reductions and refunds! (614)286-5202.

 Ohio again. Bruce Nell is now working with George Allen, CPM & MHM, to take LLCommunity operating statistics research, publication and distribution to a higher level. Want to be part of this unique and timely team? Call Bruce @ (614) 540-2950.

 North Carolina. What is it ELS, Inc., & other major ‘players’ do to trim expenses and maximize profitability? Sign – up with Connexion Technologies to get better business deals regarding CATV & related operating expenses. Grant Kitching (919) 735-7240.

 Kentucky & maybe Oklahoma. Someone’s listening to Southeast Sage! See previous paragraph. Tentative plans have been laid to take heretofore state association–hosted National SYMPOSIUM Movement seminars to the regional show level. Watch for opportunity to attend ‘How to Market, Sell & Self–Finance New Homes into LLCommunities! Focus? LLCommunity readiness, Title I, & loan compliance!

 Illinois. Why one prospective MHI member won’t be attending the institute’s Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. “I have a negative opinion about proposed bylaw change requiring prospective members to join at the highest applicable dues level. MHI should be open to all; allowing new members to join at any level, with the goal of selling them on the benefits of membership, then upgrading them later.” Makes perfect sense to me.

 Illinois again. Stephen Wheeler of Housing Advisory Services eases access to public funding for homeowner manufactured housing rehabilitation on–site in LLCommunities. Sound too good to be true? Find out for yourself: (312) 404-0288.

 National. Letters and questionnaires pursuant to preparation of 21st annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators in North America!) have been mailed. Response deadline is 30 September 2009 via FAX @ (317)346-7158. Missed you? Phone (317)346-7156 for questionnaire. When & where to be published? Hopefully in CommunityInvestor magazine @ 1/1/2010, or Allen Letter.

 Michigan. Don Westphal, at 18th annual Networking Roundtable, volunteered to serve as a ‘national clearinghouse’ for interior and exterior designs and product specifications describing the new ‘community series’ of manufactured homes! Want to input your preferred features and ‘specs’? Call Don via (248) 651-5518. Many already have done so!

 Iowa. Joanne Stevens, CCIM & ACM, facilitated the first ever Small Community Owners Forum (i.e. LLCommunities with less than 100 rental homesites) at the 18th  Networking Roundtable. 50 owners participated. Interested?  Joanne: (319) 378-6786.

 Georgia. A new business opportunity for LLCommunity owners/operators! To reduce property insurance premiums and participate in possible profitability of a new ‘captive insurance’ firm, contact Jay Zandman for details ASAP: (800) 211-0468 x 117.

 National again. Informal FOCUS Groups, comprised of LLCommunity owners/operators have met periodically for many years. A new FOCUS Group of non–competing owners/operators is being formed. Interested? Call (317) 346-7156 for more information.

 Know what? These 16 not–so–trivia news and views vignettes scratch the surface of what’s ‘going on’ & ‘not going on – but should be’ throughout the MHIndustry & LLCommunity real estate asset class today! This Blog, now in its’ 53rd edition, is the sole resource attempting to take business communication and discussion where it’s never been before: public, online and offline! If you seriously want to participate in this unity movement, read this Blog every week and take the time to respond. Can’t promise I’ll always get back to you, but I certainly will try.

 Furthermore, consider this! If Susan McCarty (daughter) and I do not feel we have enough financial support, via display advertising sales commitments and paid subscriptions, by mid–November, there will be no CommunityInvestor magazine! This  publishing effort is my largest attempt, to date, to bring unity to the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class, so we can move forward together to restore our economical, high quality, energy efficient, eminently transportable, non–subsidized form of factory–built housing, and related community lifestyle, as our nation’s homegrown, preeminent form of truly ‘affordable housing’! Will you help? Then be proactive and respond accordingly to ‘this Blog’ and or phone (317) 346-7156 with your commitment to advertise in the magazine and or subscribe to the published product. OTHERWISE, as of January 1, 2010, you’ll have nothing from which to obtain MHIndustry & LLCommunity  news and views, than the Journal and the Allen Letter, and a few online publications vying for your attention.

 George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®, MHM®

Box # 47024

Indianapolis, IN. 46247

(317)346-7156