Archive for October, 2012

Diff Tween Large & Small LLLCommunities; & Did YOU Realize?

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Blog # 217 Copyright 2012 28 October 2012

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

I.

Getting It Out Into the Open! Some Differences Between Small & Large Owners/operators of Land Lease Lifestyle Communities…

II.

‘A Lesson in Growing & Caring for One’s Reputation’, from Management 101, for Land Lease Lifestyle Community Owners, Property Management Executives, Regional & On – site Managers & Others!

III.

DID YOU REALIZE?

IV.

Initial Blog Reader Responses to ‘A Lesson in Handling Interpersonal Conflict’, from Management 101 for LLLCommunity Owners, Property Management Executives, Regional & On – site Managers & Others!

***

I.

Getting It Out Into the Open! Some Differences Between Small & Large Owners/operators of Land Lease Lifestyle Communities….

First the numbers. It’s estimated there’re 50,000+/- land lease lifestyle communities in the U.S. Of these, 85% are income – producing properties with 100 and fewer rental homesites or sites. In Sunbelt states, the percentage is closer to 78. So, maybe 42,500+/- ‘smaller’ LLLCommunities in play.

The remaining 7,500+/- land lease lifestyle communities, containing 100+ sites apiece, have for the most part, been consolidated during the past 25 years, into 500+/- property portfolios. According to the 23rd ALLEN REPORT, these portfolios contain an average of 27+/- properties (X) 500+/- portfolios = 13,500+/- LLLCommunities of all sizes. Subtracting 13,500+/- from the estimated 50,000+/- base, leaves 36,500+/- ‘smaller’ LLLCommunities not yet – if ever, to be absorbed into existing or future property portfolios, defined as ‘entities owning and or fee – managing a minimum of five LLLCommunities and or 500+ rental homesites’. The difference between 42,500+/- ‘smaller’ LLLCommunities cited in the opening paragraph, and 36,500+/- here, is likely due to some, if not many, portfolios having acquired ‘smaller’ properties over time.

Off and on, during the past couple decades, an informal debate has ‘waxed and waned’, relative to differences in characteristics, foci, objectives, policies and procedures, where ‘large’ versus ‘smaller’ land lease lifestyle communities and property portfolios, and their owners/operators, are concerned. Here’re some of the obvious, but rarely talked about differences:

• Land lease lifestyle community consolidation, during the past 20 years – via limited partnership syndications of the 1980s (Until the federal tax law changed in 1986); a second wave of REIT formations during the mid – 1990s; and now, the presence of equity funds, have frequently, and at times negatively, affected state MHAssociation membership rolls, as well as participation in training and meetings. Formerly, Mom & Pop – sized and owned properties were often active and involved dues – paying members of state trade/advocacy bodies. However, once absorbed into a property portfolio, only the corporate entity – in most cases, contributes to just one association membership, and not a separate membership for each LLLCommunity. And these corporate entities (i.e. property portfolios) generally participate in statewide advocacy matters only when troublesome, potentially intrusive issues, usually landlord – tenant legislation – related, appear on the business horizon. There are, of course, exceptions to both trends in some states and local housing markets.

• Some large land lease lifestyle community portfolio owners/operators, when maintaining physical occupancy of rental homesites becomes an issue, ‘raid’ like properties in the same local housing market. One recent flyer sent to this industry observer boldly states: ‘Relocate Your Home to _______________ & We’ll Move Your Home for FREE, & Charge You Site Rent at $99.00/month for Three Years! Call ___________’ And this is occurring in a market where the average area site rent is around $400.00 per month. What’s a competitor or ‘smaller’ LLLCommunity to do? Raid back, if able. Otherwise, enlist assistance and support of like members in the state MHAssociation; however, if the raider isn’t an active member, expect the plea or argument to maybe fall on deaf ears.

• Some larger land lease lifestyle community portfolio owners/operators are under constant pressure, from investment analysts, to not only exhibit consistent property profitability, but ensure its’ increase – like a growth stock, from reporting period to reporting period. This pernicious pressure has, at times, led to rental homesite rates raised out of sync with other forms of rental multihousing in the same local housing market. An extreme manifestation of such pressure has led to property portfolio owners/operators, whose site rent is $100+/- above the local housing market’s average site rent rate, to all but give away resale homes already on – site (e.g. bought cheap from ‘don’t want it sellers’, abandoned and otherwise) to would be ‘homebuyers’ willing to commit to pay long term inflated homesite lease payments. Smaller LLLCommunities are not generally caught up in this ultimately self – destructive cycle.

• Given their inherent enhanced economy of scale (i.e. A 200 site land lease lifestyle community ‘well managed’, can experience an Operating Expense Ratio or OER, half that of a 100 site property), LLLCommunity portfolios generally have more internal resources (e.g. capital, equipment, staff), with which to address challenging developments and trends affecting the asset class’ day to day business. A current one being, variably restricted access to third party chattel home financing, leading to use of different self – financing mechanisms, such as ‘contract sales’, ‘carrying paper’, ‘captive finance’, lease option, and most recently, unit leasehold agreements on new and resale homes on – site. But do these larger firms routinely share their homegrown expertise, forms, Lessons Learned, and access, with their peers, large and small?

• Small (one property owner) to mid – sized, privately – owned property portfolios, for the most part, continue to operate in local housing markets, as traditional land lease lifestyle communities. How so? Being content with collecting fair site rent, and not much more; being ‘afraid & inexperienced’, as to how to actually buy new homes (absorbing ‘value depreciation’ in the process); filling vacant homesites themselves – having relied, during past decades, on local independent ‘street’ MHRetailers, who’re no longer in business; and now, unsure how to self – finance compliant transactions in the present financial regulatory imbroglio. And who will teach them how to ‘buy’, ‘sell’ & ‘finance’ their new and resale homes? That is the big unanswered question of today. It’s also the question the SECO organizers will pointedly address at their event this Spring in Atlanta, GA.

The list goes on. There remain several more characteristics that, unfortunately, seem to routinely separate the small from the big ‘players’ in the contemporary land lease lifestyle community realty asset class. What ‘differences’ dismay, confuse, frustrate, even anger you? Let me know via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247, this web site (community-investor.com) or (317) 346-7156.

II.

A Lesson in Growing & Caring for One’s Reputation, from ‘Management 101’, for Land Lease Lifestyle Community Owners, Property Management Executives, Regional & On – site Managers & Others!

“What people say behind your back is your standing in the community in which you live.” Edgar Watson Howe, quoted in The Forbes Book of Business Quotations. That’s especially true, even encouraging, when members of one’s (business) community knowing your good and longstanding reputation, opt to believe in and stand by you, when it counts!

The preceding quote describes one of the first business lessons I learned 40 plus years ago, on my first civilian job after leaving the U.S. Marine Corps, following a combat tour in the Republic of Vietnam. I’ve related the story before, in the published short story, ‘Got Rep?’ The gist of that tale is, I was a lumberyard supervisor responsible for a rough, mostly minority, work crew. After two years on the job, I was promoted and transferred to the Midwest. Then…

During an after hours farewell party with my crew, I learned the real ‘secret to my supervisory success’. It had to do with a false reputation of me being ‘a handy Marine with a blade’ in Vietnam. Turned out that a crew member had been in the U.S. Army, in the same region of RVN, at the same time as me. In an effort to enhance his own rep and standing among our co – workers, he concocted a hand – to – hand combat tale about me; in effect, warning others not to unduly aggravate either of us. While I benefited from the residual effects of the tall tale, it certainly wasn’t the leader rep I coveted. A free copy of the short story is available by phoning the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Now for the comment accompanying the above quotation. Business reputations are indeed built over time, generally the result of personal, corporate, and social performance, good and bad. And reputations can certainly be sullied more quickly than earned. But there can also be an upside – one I’m relearning and appreciating today! Given a good reputation, especially one built during many years of service to one’s peers, it can be difficult – if – not – impossible, for an interloper, a faux friend, or anyone else, to effectively besmear it! And that’s a good and comforting thing.

For example; having been inducted into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame, named MHI’s ‘Industry Person of the Year’ in 2008, and granted Emeritus status as a Certified Property Manager®, along with other reputation confirmations, recent whispered efforts by a particular low life have fallen on deaf ears, as the tale spinner attempted, unsuccessfully I’m told, to turn at least one national association executive against me, in an attempt to smear my good reputation. He/she failed.

So, how does one defend against such actions? Sometimes you can’t and don’t; especially when one doesn’t know about the matter. But given a ‘good rep’, it can say more (positive) about you, when not striking back, in anger or otherwise; letting the offending party run off at the mouth, and in effect, damaging their own reputation, as listeners reflect: “Hmm. If he/she says this about him, what will he/she say about me?”

III.

DID YOU REALIZE?

When the year 2013 rolls around, where matters of national manufactured housing advocacy are concerned, our industry will be led and represented by two DGs:

DG (Don Glisson, Jr.) at MHI

&

DG (Danny Ghorbani) at MHARR

The point? There is none, at least none that anyone will take seriously, even though they should. Huh? MHI, for the most part begins the New Year with New Leadership in virtually every position (e.g. Dick Jennison as president & CEO; Jenny Hodge as executive vice president of the NCC division, et. al.). And MHARR? Long and rightly acknowledged as the ‘watchdog of the manufactured housing industry’, be alert to something of ‘paradigm shift’ import to materialize, from this national advocacy body, early during 2013. Hint? A takeoff on the old riddle: ‘What’s black and white and (intended to be) read all over?’ No, not a ‘newspaper’, in this instance, but close….

IV.

Initial Blog Reader Responses to ‘A Lesson in Handling Interpersonal Conflict’, from Management 101 for LLLCommunity Owners, Property Management Executives, Regional & On – site Managers & Others!

OK, here’re two of several written responses to last week’s blog posting:

“Conflict facing is difficult for many, but when tried as you lay it out, it becomes an everyday benefit of a relationship. Good for you, sir.” NB

“…use my credo: ‘If someone is giving you trouble for no apparent reason; give the SOB a reason!’ “ BB

Just goes to show you, there’s generally more than one way folk deal with difficult situations.

***

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

Interpersonal Conflict Avoidance & Unique Opportunity to Input…

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Blog # 216 Copyright 2012 21 October 2012

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

I.

A Lesson in Handling Interpersonal Conflict, from ‘Management 101’, for Land Lease Lifestyle Community Owners, Property Management Executives, Regional & On – site Managers, & Others!

II.

REMINDER: A Unique, Once in Two Decades Opportunity for YOU to Provide Valuable Input to an Author (Not me!) Who Is Researching & Writing the First Definitive Book on Factory – built Housing in General, HUD – Code Manufactured Housing in Particular. How Could YOU Not Want to Participate?

III.

Coming Soon & During the Year 2013: Super Symposiums in States Where They Haven’t Been Held Before; at Least Two New HUD – Code Home Shows, with at least one Featuring Community Series Homes or CSH Models; several one day Manufactured Housing Manager® Classes; and, New, Not for Profit Research & Resource Entities to Serve Land Lease Lifestyle Community (‘LLLCommunity’) Owners & Operators Throughout the U.S. & Canada!

*********

I.

A Lesson in Handling Interpersonal Conflict, from ‘Management 101’, for Land Lease Lifestyle Community Owners, Property Management Executives, Regional & On – site Managers, & Others!

Here’s how to quickly – if not soon redressed, lose a friend, offend a customer (e.g. land lease lifestyle community resident) or long time colleague; and, severely damage one’s leadership reputation among fellow businessmen and women. Without warning….

• Openly criticize one or more of these individuals by name, in a public forum

• Read from a list of alleged offenses, but don’t share those notes when asked

• Don’t allow opportunity for rebuttal or defense, on the part of the criticized party

• And worst of all, do not apologize for one’s heavy – handed, cowardly actions

It’s unlikely all four travesties will occur during one interpersonal conflict scenario; but taken together, they paint a clear picture of how not to function as a mature business leader.

So, what’s the correct way to handle sensitive, and at times critical matters, of this nature? Well, there’re several time – honed guidelines, that capable, experienced, motivated leaders of men and women, have practiced over the years. They include:

• ‘Praise in Public, Criticize in Private!’ Then, related to this sage advice, apply the…

• Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!’ Oh, it’s difficult sometimes, to recall, let alone apply, this apt wisdom during the heat of anger and passion of the moment. But STOP and ponder this: ‘How would YOU feel, if someone, without warning, criticized YOU in public – in front of mutual peers and friends, then gave YOU no opportunity to explain or defend yourself?’

• Then there’s the HEAT acronym, used by generations of professional property managers, when dealing with angry residents, even arguments between residents – when they can’t be avoided. HEAT goes like this. First; get everyone to sit down, eliminating ‘flight & fight’ options. Then; H = Hear both sides of the story! E = Empathize with the offended party; attempting to understand his/her perspective on the issue(s) at hand. A = Apologize, if appropriate; and finally, T = Take appropriate action! But also heed this WARNING! If one gets the acronym backwards – as many do, ‘Taking Action’, before executing the key ‘H’ & ‘E’ steps, he/she will find the Apology step, doubly appropriate and painful!

So, there you have it, How Interpersonal Conflicts, especially in business environs, Should Be Handled. In summary: Do so in private, in fairness, in balance, and in preservation of one’s present and future personal and business relationships! Anything less is a clear sign of ignorance, immaturity, and insensitivity.

Next week’s lesson from ‘Management 101’? Pick a topic and let me know where we should go next….

II.

REMINDER: A Unique, Once in Two Decades Opportunity for YOU to Provide Valuable Input to an Author (Not me!) Who Is Researching & Writing the First Definitive Book about Factory – built Housing in General, HUD – Code Manufactured Housing in Particular. How Could YOU Not Want to Participate?

That’s right! Not since Allan Wallis’ Wheel Estates: History of the Manufactured Housing Industry, published in 1991, have we had an academic or author – with – credible – manufactured – housing – experience, launch a project ostensibly relating our nation’s ‘State of (too expensive) Housing’ to the quality, affordable, transportable, non – subsidized housing alternative represented by HUD – Code manufactured housing and, to a lesser extent, its’ land lease lifestyle community component.

Last week’s blog posting featured three paragraphs describing the author’s present ‘take’ on this timely, large subject. Suggest you scroll back into the blog archive at this web site and reread that material. Then, if YOU believe YOU have valuable input for the author, put an outline or summary manuscript together and mail it to me via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247; or via GFA7156@aol.com; or FAX it to me at (317) 346-7158. If you’d like to discuss the matter further, with me, before spending time on preparation, etc., phone me via the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

III.

Coming Soon & During the Year 2013: Super Symposiums in States Where They Haven’t Been Held Before; at Least Two New HUD – Code Home Shows, with at least one Featuring Community Series Homes or CSH Models; several one day Manufactured Housing Manager® Classes; and, New, Not for Profit Research & Resource Entities to Serve Land Lease Lifestyle Community (‘LLLCommunity’) Owners & Operators Throughout the U.S. & Canada!

This paragraph will by shy on details, as most of the title events are in planning stages, even as to dates and symposium, show, and class venues.

• Watch for Super or Power Symposiums to pop up in at least New York, Georgia, Indiana, and quite possibly Virginia.
• New Home Shows, featuring HUD – Code homes in general and Community Series Homes in particular? Look for these in Georgia, and possibly Tennessee – or wherever the 22nd International Networking Roundtable is held during 2013.
• Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property manager training and certification classes are already scheduled for Oklahoma (late February) and Indiana, with more anticipated elsewhere. Interested in earning your MHM® designation? Phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.
• Center for Manufactured Housing Studies or CMHS is already in place in Athens, OH. Expect to read more about its’ work during 2013. And, it’s become clear, the only way I’ll be able to eventually exit the LLLCommunity ‘resource – servicing’ business, to semi – retire, will be if a new, national, not for profit entity is birthed, to serve our asset class’ education (MHM® program), communication (newsletters & this blog), networking (Networking Roundtable & FOCUS Groups), research (in conjunction with aforementioned CMHS), and deal – making needs, from sole proprietor – owned properties up through the largest of portfolio ‘players’. There’s already a group of a dozen or more LLLCommunity owners in place, to bring that historic development to fruition. Interested in helping? Let me know via (317) 346-7156.

So, is that enough excitement with which to greet the New Year? It certainly is for this industry observer. My only hope, relative to those events, is that our national manufactured housing advocacy bodies would finally ‘get on board’, and actively encourage and support all the above – referenced events, even when they don’t have a direct role in planning and facilitating them.

***
George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

San Antonio Contretemps cum Recommitment

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Blog # 215 Copyright 2012 14 October 2012

Perspective. ‘Land Lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

I.

Some News & Views Out of San Antonio, TX.

II.

Want to Contribute? Not $. Something more valuable; your input!

III.

Power Symposium, in Indianapolis, IN. @ 18 October 2012

IV.

Get Certified as an MHM® & Buy New MHomes the Same Week!

***

I.

Some News & Views Outa San Antonio, TX.

No ‘hoped for’ rebranding of HUD – Code manufactured housing. No revisiting of the Community Attributes System or CAS, requested a year ago! No written goals or priorities published for the year ahead, where land lease lifestyle communities are concerned. And frankly, no more participants overall, than at like meetings, during the past three; no, make that four, years running.

But there was motivation to continue rebranding ‘land lease lifestyle communities’! And there were off – agenda conversations about revisiting the ABClassification System for rating LLLCommunities, per A, B, C, & D grades, instead of 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 STAR quality – a suggestion from the 21st annual Networking Roundtable in San Diego, CA., proffered by Dick Bessire of Bessire & Casenhiser. During Monday’s meeting, there was obvious recognition, on my part, it’s time for Community-Investor, a.k.a. GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, to renew its’ 30+ year commitment to (continue to) be the realty asset class’ primary, ongoing source for Research & ‘comprehensive Resource servicing’ nationwide!

And finally; a sincere personal Thank You to individuals who’ve privately expressed support and embarrassment to Carolyn and me, during and since our visit to San Antonio, TX. It’s encouraging to see friendship and respect trump false claims disguised as PC, and not be given opportunity to rebut! GFA

II.

Want to Contribute? Not $. Something more valuable; your input!

A published business author, familiar with factory – built housing in general, and manufactured and modular housing types in particular, is conducting research, identifying factors that’ve precipitated our business model’s decade long new home shipment nadir; and what it’s likely going to take, during years ahead, for our industry to return to prosperity – measured by market share in the national housing market. He’d like confirming, contrary, and creative input on these matters, from thoughtful, industry – experienced individuals, willing to share their views and ideas.

Before I tell you how to get your input into his hands for review and consideration, here’re three perspective paragraphs I asked him to prepare; in effect, setting the stage for your views and ideas….

Housing in the U.S. today, is too expensive, and likely to become more so, because it depends upon well – developed, intentioned, and entrenched, but moribund processes and traditions. Many attempts have been effected to rectify this pattern, but only one has proven workable; that being, ‘manufactured housing’ . Unfortunately, this type housing has been denigrated over time, because it’s foreign to those above – referenced American home – building traditions; and also saddled with a bad image, due in part, to its’ ‘trailer’ heritage and stigma. This dual image issue continues, as communities and municipalities, maybe the entire nation, say they seek – but do not really like – ‘low cost housing’!

Furthermore, our nation has become increasingly service – oriented, because we’ve lost much of our manufacturing edge, having priced and out – sourced ourselves out of the market. That’s working OK, only because we can import most material stuff at competitive prices. But we cannot import housing, and until recently, its’ cost has increased faster than CPI.

This book will make that logical case and more. The hardest audience to convince, however, will be skeptics having a trailer mindset, i.e. ‘doing everything on the cheap’. Which in turn, raises the question: Where and how does ‘cheap’ end and ‘affordability’ begin? The real challenge, for everyone in the manufactured housing industry, is to be committed, in short and long runs, to work together at 1) improving the industry’s aforesaid image, while 2) reducing post – manufacturing service costs that eat up savings garnered by the manufacturing process. Both are difficult to accomplish. The first is decades long – entrenched. And few factory systems have successfully addressed on – site (customer service) challenges, many don’t try. One thing is for certain though; putting today’s reputation and profits ahead of customers’ perceptions and need for service, are two lanes on the highway to failure. (edited. GFA)

OK; are you ready to pen confirming and contrary responses, astute observations, and the like, to this author? If so, send a hard copy to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247, or fax it to me via (317) 346-7158. Anyone who does so, will receive advance notice of when this new manufactured housing – related book will be available for distribution. Hope to hear from YOU soon!

III.

Power Symposium, in Indianapolis, IN. @ 18 October 2012

What are the on – site, home sales transaction, property owner – financing options ‘in play’ these days in land lease lifestyle communities throughout the Midwest and beyond”?

What are the new and resale home finance state and federal regulatory compliance issues that MUST be known, in place, and routinely updated these days, in and out of land lease lifestyle communities?

Why it’s best to use trained and licensed installers when siting, or moving new and resale homes around and throughout your land lease lifestyle community?

All you’ve wanted to know, but didn’t know who to ask, about ‘hands – on, best property management practices’ pertaining to land lease lifestyle communities, where ‘100% rent collection is concerned; ensuring you – and your on – site home sales staff, don’t ‘sell more house than a customer can or realistically should buy’; and, Lessons Learned, such as ‘How good Resident Relations leads to more Resident Referrals means more Resident Retention!’ – and much more!

Get the idea? Just like the Super Symposiums before this one, the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association is ‘pulling out all the stops’, to host a day long training event for its’ members and guests from throughout the Midwest. Will YOU be there? I certainly plan to be!

To register, phone (317) 246-7258, X # 11, and tell Mark Bowersox that ‘Hey, George sent me!’ Seriously. Hotel? Special block of $93.00/night rooms set aside, at the Wyndham Hotel, for those who phone (317) 248-2481, and use code: Indiana Manufactured Housing Association.’

From an historical perspective, former IMHA/RVIC employee Jim Keller birthed the idea of Super Symposiums several years ago, right here in Indiana. Since that time, successful state MHAssociation – hosted Super Symposiums have occurred in Ohio, New York, several times in Atlanta, GA., and elsewhere, besides the annual ones facilitated in Indianapolis, IN. So, as we meet, once again, for – in this case – a Power Symposium, ‘give a nod’ to Jim, for getting us started down a path that’s helped many to not only Survive these difficult times, but actually begin to Prosper as well. Thanks Jim!

IV.

Get Certified as an MHM® & Buy New MHomes the Same Week!

Yes, I know 27 February, and 28 – 31 February are a ways out there, date wise; but there’re good reasons for teeing – you – up so far in advance:

First off; this will be the first Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management training and certification class of the New Year, 2013! We expect this one day class, to be sold – out, with 25 or so MHM® candidates. So, don’t be left out, (800) 234 – 6426 to register, and ask for a brochure containing additional course information. We’ll be meeting in the Deer Room at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Catoosa, OK.

FYI. To date, nearly 1,000 land lease lifestyle community owners and managers have been trained and certified as Manufactured Housing Managers® or MHMs®. Isn’t it time YOU joined their ranks? Furthermore, George Allen, CPM®Emeritus & MHM®Master has taught all the one day MHM® classes to date; and this is the only professional property management class in the U.S. today, taught by a LLLCommunity owner. And for the $250.00 cost ($350 for non – members of OMHA), MHM® candidates receive a copy of the text Landlease Community Management, a monograph of contemporary MHIndustry ‘readings’, gold MHM® lapel pin, and MHM® certificate. Finally; there are NO TESTS.

Also plan to ‘stay over’ and participate in the Great Southwest Home Show; where Trade Days will occur 28 February thru 1 March; and 2 & 3 March are reserved at Public Days. Show will be at the QuikTrip Center at Expo Square in Tulsa, OK. See YOU there? I hope so!

*****

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Aficionados Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

What’s a MHSherpa?

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Blog # 214 Copyright 2012 7 October 2012

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

I.

Blog Readers’ Responses to Last Week’s Question: ‘MHIndustry Leaders! Where Will YOU Take US in 2013?’

II.

In Search of a MHSherpa, or maybe Guru, or probably Maven….

III.

The Symposium Movement Lives – on! In Indy @ 10/18/2012

***

I.

Blog Readers’ Responses to Last Week’s Question: ‘MHIndustry Leaders! Where Will YOU Take US in 2013?

Rarely have to wait long, when a weekly blog posting at community-investor.com, ‘touches a nerve’ with its’ readership. While not heavy in volume this past week, the nature of the responses has been weighty indeed. Here’re but two of them:

“Could we assume we, as an industry, are tip – toeing to the ‘tipping point’ of oblivion? I remain amazed and disappointed by our ‘leaders’.” NB. Well, here’s a coincidental postscript to that blog flogger’s (reader’s) question and comment:

One MHIndustry executive, enjoying salaried and elected positions of leadership, sees what I pen, as being

“…public attacks against MHI, and (the) public positions you take are counter to the industry’s interests….” The critic goes on to cite two examples from recent blog postings at the community-investor website:

• He/she says I’m “…asserting that (land lease lifestyle) community rents are too high.” My response? Yes, in some local housing markets, and possibly too low in others.

• He/she asserts I’m “…trying to create and apply generalizations for economic relationships, between land values and home/improvement values that fundamentally don’t exist.” Here the writer refers to the decades old 3:1 Rule of Thumb*1, regarding a supposed relationship between LLLCommunity monthly homesite rental rates, and the monthly rent amount for 3BR2B conventional apartment units in the same local housing market, assuming they’re weighted evenly regarding what’s included therein. Anyway, this particular Rule of Thumb has been in play since the mid – 1970s, and was NOT created by me.

Further response? Twofold. FIRST; there’s the old bromide, ‘Beware of generalities, as they’re generally as wrong as they are right!’ That’s apropos to both scenarios described above; as our industry, and asset class, is indeed ‘local housing market driven’. So again; Yes, in some cases LLLCommunity site rent might well be ‘too high’; in others, ‘too low’. Where the Rule of Thumb is concerned, it’s simply a self – applied tool to give one a preliminary ‘feel’ for multifamily rental property rates within a given local housing market. No more; no less. And SECOND? How ‘bout if you take a few minutes to let me know how YOU feel about both ‘issues’, relative to our realty asset class. See end of this blog posting for contact information.

And here’s yet another viewpoint expressed by a faithful blog flogger:

“It isn’t that would be homebuyers don’t ‘want’ the nicer houses (our HUD – Code manufacturers build), they simply can’t ‘afford’ the nicer ones! That’s why many of us land lease lifestyle community owners are remodeling used homes and ‘carrying the paper’, one way or another, to accommodate rent – to – own or lease option buyers, even those simply leasing the units. Here in the Midwest, when the home sale price nears $20,000, or goes slightly over that, we frequently have to hold the inventory for several months. Then, we get $1,000 or $1,500 down, or if we’re very lucky, $2,500. I try to ‘carry paper’ for no longer than five years, but with more expensive homes, we sometimes have to go out six or seven years, to make the payments fit the buyer’s budget. Here’s a new twist for you, illustrating how much of an entitlement society our society has become, thanks to the current national political climate. Some of our applicants now list ‘unemployment’ as their job! Then I have to explain that ‘unemployment’ is not a job. But that when they do have a ‘real job’, with a real paycheck, they should come back and reapply to buy a home from us.” SN (edited. GFA)

II.

In Search of a MHSherpa, or maybe Guru, or possibly Maven…

A wealth management group, in a recent ad, likened their financial expertise to that of a sherpa:

‘A knowledgeable, experienced guide that provides exceptional guidance and support when venturing into dangerous, unknown territory.”

Wow! Could we ever use one of those folk, a sherpa; better yet, a MHSherpa! Think about it! Someone who understands, lives and works the HUD – Code manufactured housing business, has it ‘in their blood’ (‘Ah, the attitude & motivation to succeed!’); and is capable of ‘leading’ (‘guiding’) us from ‘in front’ AMD ‘behind’ (support), into present day dangerous, once known – but now unknown, territory, purveying truly affordable housing to those living below their local housing market’s Area Median Income, but desiring to live in a place of their own, building equity along the way!

Or maybe we’re talking about needing a guru here; you know, a MHGuru! By definition…

‘…any person who counsels or advises, a mentor; a leader in a particular field.’

Hmm. That sounds familiar. I recall a number of faux MHGurus who’ve ‘come and gone’ over the years; no, make that dozens during the past three decades. While more than ‘flashes in the pan’ at the time, none hung around very long; often growing (their businesses) ‘far too big, far too fast’, before flaming out. For that matter, I don’t see many, if any, bona fide MHGurus on the manufactured housing business horizon, or even military crest (that’s the backside of a hilltop, where one enjoys a measure of cover and concealment from one’s enemy or opponent) these days! Just a few self – effacing ones, successful in their own right, but content (albeit ‘selfish’?) staying in the background, running their own companies, not particularly helping our industry and asset class at large, to survive and once again thrive. Any self – effacing MHGurus out there listening, and motivated to read this paragraph as a personal Call to Arms (Help)? Let’s hope so….

Or perhaps it’s simply a maven, a MHMaven, we seek. You know, someone who’s an expert (at what they do), a connoisseur of sorts: ‘one competent to pass critical judgments in an art (of homebuilding), or in matters of taste (curb appeal and resident relations)’, and ‘a discerning judge of the best in any field.’ Now there’s a place to start!

A MHSherpa or two together, to guide us into dangerous, unknown territory; assisted by one or more MHGurus with proven ability and experience – honed knowledge; whose progress is measured and judged by MHMavens with the best interests of the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry and land lease lifestyle community asset class in mind and practice! WOW, what a team, if we could just put it together – soon!

So, how do we find these individuals, ‘players’, entities? Well, something was penned, during the past few weeks of online blogging, about the Manufactured Housing Institute sponsoring a volunteer Blue Ribbon Task Force to, in some folks’ minds, ‘Save Our Industry!’ Since this national advocacy body is meeting in San Antonio during the next several days, let’s watch and see what might come out of those meetings of the various membership divisions, not the least of which being the National Communities Council division. Calling all MHSherpas; MHGurus; and, MHMavens!

III.

The Symposium Movement Lives – on! In Indy on 10/18/2012

Mark your calendars with the date 10/18/2012, then phone (317) 247-6258, extension # 11, and ask Mark Bowersox for details! All I know, for sure, is I plan to participate, as I did SECO, in Atlanta, GA., a couple months ago. And likewise, come away with some new ideas and helpful suggestions I can use in my businesses. See YOU there? Hope so….

*****
End Note:

1. 3:1 Rule of Thumb. Simply, it generally takes the rent collected from three rental homesites in a land lease lifestyle community to equal the rent collected from one 3BR2B conventional apartment or townhouse, in the same local housing market.

*****

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764