Archive for March, 2014

MH Public Discourse Impasse Ends 9/11/2014 & more….

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Blog Column # 290 Copyright 2014 30 March 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities cum ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Reason for this blog. ‘It’s the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communications resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!’

Input this blog & affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. ‘COBA7’, via Official MHIndustry Hotline: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

I.

Why I’m Not Attending the
Manufactured Housing Congress This Year

II.

‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’

III.

MH Public Discourse Impasse, to End
in Six Months at Networking Roundtable
_________________________________

I.

Why I’m Not Attending the
Manufactured Housing Congress This Year

As penned in the April issue of the Allen CONFIDENTAIL! business newsletter,
“Unless something unexpected happens (e.g. “Hey George, come to the MHCongress and remind us how, as an industry and realty asset class, we should ALWAYS TAKE THE HIGH ROAD when interviewed by the press, especially The New York Times; and NEVER EVER ENGAGE IN PUBLIC BACKSTABBING of MHBusiness associates online or anywhere else!”), I won’t be participating in the Manufactured Housing Congress later this month! WHY?

• Burned-out on Vegas, at least for this year. Maybe back next year…

• Have much better ways to invest $3,000.00, than in multiple event registrations (e.g. NCC Forum @ $219.00, plus MHCongress @ $599 = a Whopping $818.00!), plus travel expenses, hotel accommodations, lavish meals and more.

• And frankly, with the hub of land-lease-lifestyle community 1) research, 2) resources, 3) communication, 4) networking, 5) deal-making, 6) PM training & certification, and when need be, 7) national advocacy, now in the Midwest, there’s plenty to do here in Indianapolis these days. FYI. Have already begun a search for someone to help GROW the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, and eventually oversee the seven aforementioned function areas. INTERESTED? Contact me via the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Must be Management Capable, MH &/or LLLCommunity – Experienced, and Highly Self-motivated – even Passionate about our industry and realty asset class!

And hey, I’m not going to be missed in Las Vegas anyway. Word on the street is registrations are up 30 percent over last year! That’s Good; and, either a favorable business barometer for the combined industry/asset class, OR indicative of how many people have little else to do these days, than to party in Las Vegas, enduring yet another lecture on ‘mystery shopping’ – recalling the first NCC leadership Forum program this past Fall in downtown Chicago.

Know what? Go back to the first paragraph here, and reread the ‘make believe petition’ from MHCongress organizers. Now, would you agree: It’s high time one of our elected national leaders delivers this twofold message, embodied in said quote, to the assembled masses in Las Vegas later this month? They’re certainly timely and worthwhile public concerns. And if no attention is drawn to either matter, we can expect such ‘image-damaging’ & ‘unethical behavior’ to occur again and again. So, let’s ‘see & listen’ as to whether said admonitions are delivered, or slip on by as a ‘missed opportunity’.

II.

‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’

COBA7 Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, for April 2014

Can you name the 40+ freelance consultants who serve a wide variety of specialty needs throughout the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class? Not many of us are able to do so; that’s what makes the annual update of this fourth, one of a dozen, Signature Series Resource Documents so valuable, month in, month out.

The 15th annual ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’ SSRD will be enclosed with the April 2014 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal going to those businessmen and women who’ve affiliated with COBA7 since the first of this year – a group whose number now eclipses 200! If interested in affiliating, at the Option II level – providing you an issue of the Allen Letter each month and all 12 SSRDs, for $544.95, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

The 15th annual ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’ SSRD includes wealth preservationists, real estate brokers and appraisers specializing in land-lease-lifestyle communities, resident screening services, sub metering & RBS firms, LLLCommunity conversion specialists, insurers, infrastructure specialists, self-finance training and compliance guidance, MHLifestylists, land planners and engineers, RV-related consultants, underground utility locaters, printing and promotional products sources, turnaround experts, home sales trainers, installation specialists, home valuation and rent survey resources, public relations and industry image communicators, landscaping specialists, and more.

III.

MHPublic Discourse Impasse, to End
In Six Months at Networking Roundtable

‘Where Present Day Business Practices will be Challenged to Leave Trailer Vestiges Behind, and Embrace the Future of Manufactured Housing ‘as housing’; and, Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, challenged likewise, to embrace their future as ‘lifestyle communities’!’ GFA

A SUGGESTION. Print off or copy this Blog Posting and cut Part III from it. Then, keep this Challenge Reminder handy, reflecting on it frequently during the next six months, and making notes of your thoughts. Finally, bring the Challenge Reminder & Your Reflections to Peachtree City, GA., 10-12 September 2014, when the ‘Manufactured Housing Public Discourse Impasse Ends’ during two sequential Keynote Presentations the morning of 11 September 2014, opening day of the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable. That way, YOU will be prepared to participate in the First National Public Forum to parse and discuss the Future of Manufactured Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities nationwide!

HOW will this First National Public Forum occur at the Networking Roundtable?

We’ve invited four veteran MHIndustry & LLLCommunity businessmen and women to serve as spokespersons, espousing opposing views relative to present day and anticipated future practices pertaining to manufactured housing on one hand, and land-lease-lifestyle communities on the other. It is unlikely there’ll be any ‘pat answers’ coming from these four keynote presentations cum public discussions. But one thing will be for certain; the issues identified and considered, will no longer be kept hidden from view, intentionally or otherwise, where MH and LLLCommunity aficionados are concerned! We’ll finally be able to – (But will we?) – move forward as an industry and realty asset class, far more in knowledge and control of our individual and collective futures than ever before.

How can YOU not want to be present when our ‘double dual industry*’ positions itself for a fresh start on’ 911 of year 2014’, when we turn our industry’s ‘five year shipment malaise’ into a Fresh Start as bona fide ‘housing’ and eminently desirable ‘lifestyle’!

Our friends and colleagues at MHARR & MHI are hereby invited to participate in this Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, hosted National Public Forum! To ensure your name is on the invitation list, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request a registration brochure for the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable: 10-12 September 2014, at the DOLCE Conference Center, Peachtree City, GA.

End Note:

* ‘double dual industry’ = ‘manufactured housing fabrication & delivery; land-lease-lifestyle community development & investment’

***

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

Blog Column # 290 Copyright 2014 30 March 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities cum ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Reason for this blog. ‘It’s the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communications resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!’

Input this blog & affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. ‘COBA7’, via Official MHIndustry Hotline: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

I.

Why I’m Not Attending the
Manufactured Housing Congress This Year

II.

‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’

III.

MH Public Discourse Impasse, to End
in Six Months at Networking Roundtable
_________________________________

I.

Why I’m Not Attending the
Manufactured Housing Congress This Year

As penned in the April issue of the Allen CONFIDENTAIL! business newsletter,
“Unless something unexpected happens (e.g. “Hey George, come to the MHCongress and remind us how, as an industry and realty asset class, we should ALWAYS TAKE THE HIGH ROAD when interviewed by the press, especially The New York Times; and NEVER EVER ENGAGE IN PUBLIC BACKSTABBING of MHBusiness associates online or anywhere else!”), I won’t be participating in the Manufactured Housing Congress later this month! WHY?

• Burned-out on Vegas, at least for this year. Maybe back next year…

• Have much better ways to invest $3,000.00, than in multiple event registrations (e.g. NCC Forum @ $219.00, plus MHCongress @ $599 = a Whopping $818.00!), plus travel expenses, hotel accommodations, lavish meals and more.

• And frankly, with the hub of land-lease-lifestyle community 1) research, 2) resources, 3) communication, 4) networking, 5) deal-making, 6) PM training & certification, and when need be, 7) national advocacy, now in the Midwest, there’s plenty to do here in Indianapolis these days. FYI. Have already begun a search for someone to help GROW the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, and eventually oversee the seven aforementioned function areas. INTERESTED? Contact me via the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Must be Management Capable, MH &/or LLLCommunity – Experienced, and Highly Self-motivated – even Passionate about our industry and realty asset class!

And hey, I’m not going to be missed in Las Vegas anyway. Word on the street is registrations are up 30 percent over last year! That’s Good; and, either a favorable business barometer for the combined industry/asset class, OR indicative of how many people have little else to do these days, than to party in Las Vegas, enduring yet another lecture on ‘mystery shopping’ – recalling the first NCC leadership Forum program this past Fall in downtown Chicago.

Know what? Go back to the first paragraph here, and reread the ‘make believe petition’ from MHCongress organizers. Now, would you agree: It’s high time one of our elected national leaders delivers this twofold message, embodied in said quote, to the assembled masses in Las Vegas later this month? They’re certainly timely and worthwhile public concerns. And if no attention is drawn to either matter, we can expect such ‘image-damaging’ & ‘unethical behavior’ to occur again and again. So, let’s ‘see & listen’ as to whether said admonitions are delivered, or slip on by as a ‘missed opportunity’.

II.

‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’

COBA7 Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, for April 2014

Can you name the 40+ freelance consultants who serve a wide variety of specialty needs throughout the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class? Not many of us are able to do so; that’s what makes the annual update of this fourth, one of a dozen, Signature Series Resource Documents so valuable, month in, month out.

The 15th annual ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’ SSRD will be enclosed with the April 2014 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal going to those businessmen and women who’ve affiliated with COBA7 since the first of this year – a group whose number now eclipses 200! If interested in affiliating, at the Option II level – providing you an issue of the Allen Letter each month and all 12 SSRDs, for $544.95, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

The 15th annual ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’ SSRD includes wealth preservationists, real estate brokers and appraisers specializing in land-lease-lifestyle communities, resident screening services, sub metering & RBS firms, LLLCommunity conversion specialists, insurers, infrastructure specialists, self-finance training and compliance guidance, MHLifestylists, land planners and engineers, RV-related consultants, underground utility locaters, printing and promotional products sources, turnaround experts, home sales trainers, installation specialists, home valuation and rent survey resources, public relations and industry image communicators, landscaping specialists, and more.

III.

MHPublic Discourse Impasse, to End
In Six Months at Networking Roundtable

‘Where Present Day Business Practices will be Challenged to Leave Trailer Vestiges Behind, and Embrace the Future of Manufactured Housing ‘as housing’; and, Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, challenged likewise, to embrace their future as ‘lifestyle communities’!’ GFA

A SUGGESTION. Print off or copy this Blog Posting and cut Part III from it. Then, keep this Challenge Reminder handy, reflecting on it frequently during the next six months, and making notes of your thoughts. Finally, bring the Challenge Reminder & Your Reflections to Peachtree City, GA., 10-12 September 2014, when the ‘Manufactured Housing Public Discourse Impasse Ends’ during two sequential Keynote Presentations the morning of 11 September 2014, opening day of the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable. That way, YOU will be prepared to participate in the First National Public Forum to parse and discuss the Future of Manufactured Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities nationwide!

HOW will this First National Public Forum occur at the Networking Roundtable?

We’ve invited four veteran MHIndustry & LLLCommunity businessmen and women to serve as spokespersons, espousing opposing views relative to present day and anticipated future practices pertaining to manufactured housing on one hand, and land-lease-lifestyle communities on the other. It is unlikely there’ll be any ‘pat answers’ coming from these four keynote presentations cum public discussions. But one thing will be for certain; the issues identified and considered, will no longer be kept hidden from view, intentionally or otherwise, where MH and LLLCommunity aficionados are concerned! We’ll finally be able to – (But will we?) – move forward as an industry and realty asset class, far more in knowledge and control of our individual and collective futures than ever before.

How can YOU not want to be present when our ‘double dual industry*’ positions itself for a fresh start on’ 911 of year 2014’, when we turn our industry’s ‘five year shipment malaise’ into a Fresh Start as bona fide ‘housing’ and eminently desirable ‘lifestyle’!

Our friends and colleagues at MHARR & MHI are hereby invited to participate in this Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, hosted National Public Forum! To ensure your name is on the invitation list, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request a registration brochure for the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable: 10-12 September 2014, at the DOLCE Conference Center, Peachtree City, GA.

End Note:

* ‘double dual industry’ = ‘manufactured housing fabrication & delivery; land-lease-lifestyle community development & investment’

***

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

Towards a New MH Zeitgeist! & COBA7’s Public Forum

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Blog Column # 289 Copyright 2014 23 March 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities cum ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Reason for this blog. ‘It’s the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communications resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!’

Input this blog & affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance,
a.k.a. ‘COBA7’, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

I.

What Keeps Me Going as Your Ronin*

II.

Towards a New Manufactured Housing Zeitgeist

III.

23rd International Networking Roundtable to Host
First National Public Forum on Manufactured Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities

¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬-¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬———————————————————

I.

What Keeps Me Going as Your Ronin*

“George…Please continue to write…You give excellent advice and are the most informed professional in our field!” a state legislator who owns a LLLCommunity

* ‘a covert operations specialist with no governmental ties’ In this case, focused on manufactured housing, land-lease-lifestyle communities, and affordable housing.

II.

Towards a New Manufactured Housing Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist = ‘the spirit of the time; the moral and intellectual thought of feeling characteristic of an age or period.’ The New American Dictionary

The old Zeitgeist hasn’t worked well since the dawn of the 21st century. And to this day, 13+ years later; some, if not many HUD-Code home manufacturers continue to fabricate to the ‘Big Box = Big Bucks’ mantra, shipping multisection or ‘developer series’ land & home package units designed to compete head-to-head with site builders. And we know how that’s turned out, during years 2009 thru 2013*. The new Zeitgeist? HUD-Code home manufacturers who ship as much as 50 percent of their production into land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities) nationwide, helping fill an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites among the 50,000+/- properties nationwide.

*2009 = 49,789; 2010 = 50,046; 2011 = 51,606; 2012 = 54,881; and, 2013 = 60,288

The old Zeitgeist, where independent (street) MHRetailers (formerly ‘dealers’) and still, ‘company stores’ are concerned, has been and continues to be greatly influenced by the nature of oft changing characteristics of local housing markets. An estimated two thirds of the MHRetailers in business at the dawn of the 21st century are gone; in large part, due to the disappearance of easily accessible chattel capital to finance new home transactions going into LLLCommunities. The new Zeitgeist? 1) MHRetailers with access to real estate-secured capital, selling and contracting ‘land & home’ deals; 2) surviving MHRetailers who own/operate one or more LLLCommunities; and maybe, given the contemporary, oppressive finance regulatory environment, 3) some independent (street) MHRetailers now rely on LLLCommunity owners/operators – who sell new homes on-site, to screen prospective homebuyers (borrowers) for them, given the property staff’s less fettered ability to do so. (How many of you reading this knew that?)

The old Zeitgeist, where land-lease-lifestyle communities are concerned, is in near equal measure, ‘the way it was decades ago’, and ‘as different as night and day’ today, from what the business model used to be. Huh? That’s right. In the first instance, 85% of the approximately 50,000 LLLCommunities number 100 and fewer rental homesites apiece – and are frequently operated by absentee owners, second and third generation family members, and part-time managers. Result? For the most part, site occupancy rates continue to drop, some faster than others – and again, for the most part, these owners/managers have little-to-no-idea How To ‘Stop the $ Bleeding’ (i.e. By acquiring repo or used homes – which no longer exist; or, buy new ones – absorbing unfortunately intrinsic value depreciation, just to ‘get the homesite rent meter running’!) these days. The new Zeitgeist? Well, the remaining 15% of 50,000 LLLCommunities, for the most part, have been consolidated into one or another of the 500+/- known property portfolios. And here, ownership/management is generally not averse to buying new HUD-Code homes, even in bulk, especially the modest-sized Community Series Homes or CSH Models with durability-enhancing features; moving them on-site, setting them up – with porches, carports, skirting, etc., then selling them with profit margins ranging from ‘next to zero’ to ‘whatever the market will bear’! Financing? Usually an eclectic mix of self-finance models, using retained property earnings, local lenders, or private investor funds; one form or another of ‘captive finance’; and of late, one or another HUD-Code home manufacturers co-op finance program. And, frankly, there’ll be even more new, some troubling, Zeitgeist changes afoot in the not too distant future….

The old Zeitgeist, where national advocacy and trade representation is concerned? Just about anyone you talk to these days opines how both national advocacy bodies are now simply ‘lobbying presences’, and not ‘trade associations’, in the nation’s capitol. As such, they are providing little in the way of tangible data (beyond new home shipment volume and unit pricing comparisons) for any segment of the manufactured housing industry, other than home manufacturers. The new Zeitgeist? Outsourcing of needed tangible products and services. How so? Read on….

III.

23rd International Networking Roundtable Hosts

First National Public Forum on Manufactured Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities!

You read that right! FINALLY, national housing and investment real estate authorities have proposed a national public forum, to discuss the present circumstances & future prospects of the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunities nationwide.

Two keynote program topics have been suggested to Networking Roundtable planners:

• Future of HUD-Code manufactured housing to be ‘as housing’, OR status quo, with ‘trailer trappings’ or vehicular titling, chattel capital financing, use tax?

• Future of land-lease-lifestyle communities to be ‘as new hybrid of housing types, financing, and taxes-, OR status quo, as unchanged real estate investment?

So, do YOU want to be part of this inaugural national public discussion regarding the present day circumstances and future prospects of manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities? If so, ensure your name and contact information is on the invitation list maintained by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, hosts of this year’s 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable. To do so, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

If YOU, or someone you know, is qualified, experienced, and motivated to prepare material, and talk on either or both these pithy topics, and would like to be considered as a presenter, please let me know ASAP. (317) 346-7156.

***

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

MHLeader Praise/Castigated & Politics as Usual…

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Blog Column # 288 Copyright 2014 16 March 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities cum ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Reason for this blog. ‘It’s the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communication resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!’

Input this blog & affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. ‘COBA7’, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

I.

INDUSTRY LEADER PRAISED & CASTIGATED

II.

‘DC & MHPolitics as Usual’ + Some Taint this Time

III.

Unfortunate Quote of the Week!

IV.

An Important Reminder for All!

I.

INDUSTRY LEADER PRAISED & CASTIGATED
¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬
Surely you recall the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) ad featured in The Journal, the Allen Letter, and in last week’s blog posting at this website. Well, it’s Five Bullet Points of content spawned a plethora of positive responses and only one negative online response.

By way of review, here’re the Five Bullet Points of content in the MHARR ad:

• Full and appropriate HUD implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. After 13+ years, the MHIA@2000 continues to be ‘a work in progress’, though some more accurately opine, ‘a work in regress’!

• Full implementation of the Duty to Serve (underserved markets), including the securitization of chattel loans.

• Full inclusion by Congress, of all manufactured housing loans in any housing finance reform legislation, e.g. GSE reform; through clear, definitive and mandatory language

• Full and unrestricted homebuyer access, nationwide, to the financing sources and providers of their choice

• Full acceptance of manufactured housing by states, cities, and localities

Once again – there you have it! If YOU agree with this proposed manufactured housing industry agenda, featuring Five Key Priorities, for year 2014, then get in touch with Danny Ghorbani via (202) 783-4087, and volunteer to help achieve these worthy goals!

So, what have blog floggers (readers) been saying about this heady matter during the past seven days? Here’s a lightly edited sampling of email messages received via this website, in response to the Five Bullet Points:

From a portfolio owner/operator of land-lease-lifestyle communities: “Danny’s understanding of the problems in the manufactured housing industry is as focused as a Marine Corps sniper! His extensive experience in the industry makes him the best qualified association executive to monitor issues and propose solutions that only Washington can effect. Right now he gets my support and my Vote of Thanks for all he does. If/when MHARR opens its’ membership to other segments of the MHIndustry, he’ll also get my check!”

From a recently retired HUD-Code manufactured housing executive. “I like Ghorbani’s (Five Point) challenge, since it leaves that which is pertinent to Free Enterprise, to Free Enterprise; and that which is better handled by trade associations, to association executives. Well conceived for sure George. I will enjoy watching folk jump onto Danny’s bandwagon!”

And from a veteran real estate investor with ties to the manufactured housing industry: “I’m an active reader of your blog. You have my respect for staying on course and continuing to state your case as an advocate for LLLCommunities! This particular blog is very encouraging, bringing two things to mind. First, are Danny Ghorbani’s thoughts, intentions, and agenda truly supportive of the broader manufactured housing industry? Secondly, has anyone identified an industry leader/practitioner to be a unifying volunteer point person to lead this initiative forward? Hope this is really the beginning of a move forward.”

The last several sentences in the previous paragraph prompt this commentary:

Yes, Danny is supportive of the MHIndustry, and he’s the sole contemporary salaried MHLeader in Washington, DC. with ‘more than a couple years experience in the industry & its land-lease-lifestyle community asset class’, like 35+ years! So, it’s understandable he’s viewed by many businessmen and women throughout the industry and its’ segments, to be the consensus leader ‘rallying the industry’ via aforementioned ad – and evidently, more to follow!

However, a brewing controversy, underlying the recent appointment of a ‘career’ Administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs within HUD, is being exaggerated to distraction level, by one element of the online press. Part II of this week’s blog posting summarizes the known circumstances surrounding the subject appointment. It’s too early to tell what effect this appointment may or may not have on the industry.

II.

‘DC & MH Politics as Usual’ + some Taint this Time

During years 2012 and 2013, HUD was pressured to name and seat a ‘non-career’ Administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

At the time, the Manufactured Housing Institute’s apparent applicant of choice was ‘direct, dues-paying member’, Pamela Beck Danner, esquire. Ms. Danner, during 2012 & 2013, was the principal of her law firm, Danner & Associates, domiciled in McLean, VA. And during early December 2012, she garnered the express support of Virginia Senator Mark R. Warner, for the ‘non-career’ admin position at HUD.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform had, as its’ applicant of choice, Victor DeRose, esquire – not a member of either MHARR or MHI! Victor, an Indianapolis, IN., resident, is the son of the late manufactured housing industry pioneer, and Class of 1988 RV/MH Hall of Fame member, Robert DeRose. During early July 2013, Vic received the written recommendation of Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, for the ‘non-career’ admin position at HUD.

In the meantime, during late 2012 and early 2013, the notoriously ‘on again – off again’ coalition between MHI and MHARR reportedly agreed on Victor DeRose, esquire, as consensus applicant for the (still) ‘non-career’ position of administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs at HUD.

Then something troublesome happened! Midway thru 2013, the job title ‘non-career’ administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs was abruptly changed 180 degrees, (‘Due to the influence of & or by whom?’ This is ‘the core question’ awaiting an answer!) to that of ‘career’ administrator! Hmm. Reflect on the implication(s) of making such a major shift from ‘non-career’ to ‘career’ orientation…

Why is this ‘much-more-than-semantics-change-of-title’ important? Here’re three important reasons couched as questions:

1) Was said change effected in accords with, or in conflict with, provisions of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000?

2) Doesn’t said change negate the presumed autonomy of a ‘non-career’ person functioning in this sensitive and important position, versus a ‘career’ administrator, necessarily responsive to superiors within the Department of Housing and Urban Development?

3) Of the two perspectives, autonomous ‘non-career’ administrator, or governed ‘career’ administrator, which is Best for the manufactured housing industry?

That second question/point, relative to an administrator ‘being subject to influences’ or not, is underscored, some say ‘tainted’, as the president & CEO of MHI publicly boasts:

“…The selection of an excellent candidate to fill this important role is a major accomplishment for MHI and our members.” 3/6/2014. Emphasis added. GFA. In my opinion, this was and is an unwise, unnecessary, biased signal, to the new ‘career’ administrator’s handlers at HUD. Hence the apt title to Part II of this blog posting: ‘DC & MHPolitics as usual + some Taint This Time.’

In closing Part II of today’s blog posting, here’s another email quote submitted by a land-lease-lifestyle community owner, penned after reading the WELCOME letter Danny Ghorbani sent to Pam Danner, esquire, congratulating her on her appointment as ‘career’ administrator at HUD.

“I see nothing wrong with Danny’s Welcome. My one sentence summary? ‘Looking forward to working with you on issues your predecessors wouldn’t/didn’t tackle.’ Danny does a great job following and reporting on issues in DC, that many of us ‘in the field’ don’t and can’t follow. He’s a GREAT asset to the industry!”

This blog posting is a helpful summary of the ‘non-career’ cum ‘career’ applicant cum administrator imbroglio of the past 12 to 24 months. And sad to say, the matter will not be fully settled until these two core questions are answered: 1) ‘Due to the influence of and or by whom’ was this autonomy-stifling change in job title and independent performance made? And, 2) Is the damage irreparable, or can/should it be corrected (i.e. ‘Non-career administrator autonomy restored’) for the good of the manufactured housing industry in general, and full implementation of MHIA@2000 in particular?

III

Unfortunate Quote of the Week!

“We’re the Dollar General Store of Housing.” Rolfe said, adding, with an amiable grin, “If you can’t afford anything else, then you’ll live with us.”

The above ‘unfortunate quote of the week’ is taken from the very end of a lengthy ‘trailer-park business’ expose, titled ‘The Cold, Hard Lessons of Mobile Home U.’, by Gary Rivlin, writing for The New York Times, March 13, 2014. The 12 page article describes, in detail, the land-lease-lifestyle community business model boasted by property portfolio owners/operators Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds.

If you think you recognize one of the names, you probably do. Frank Rolfe is a longtime columnist for the manufactured housing industry’s last surviving print tabloid, The Journal. And during late 2013, Frank Rolfe was a featured presenter at the Manufactured Housing Institute’s inaugural National Communities Council Fall Leadership Forum, held in downtown Chicago. Nuff said. To read the entire article ‘google’ Investigative Fund Nation Institute.

IV.

An Important Reminder for All!

An Important Reminder for all land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators. For a list, by name and home office state or province, of 167 of the known 500+/- LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators in North America, along with the realty asset class’ benchmark operating statistics – including those of the three REITs (real estate investment trusts), purchase the 25th anniversary edition of the ALLEN REPORT. It’s available for $544.95 from PMN Publishing, via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. And when you order the ALLEN REPORT, you’ll also receive an annual subscription to the popular Allen Letter professional journal, be affiliated with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, and recipient of the 16th National Registry of Lenders (real estate-secured & chattel capital), ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’ directory of 40+ freelance MHIndustry consultants, and 10 more Signature Series Resource Documents, or SSRDs, ‘not available from any other source in North America!’

.

***

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

Finally a Leader! But Who Will Follow?

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Blog Column # 287 Copyright 2014 9 March 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities cum ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Reason for this blog. “It’s the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communication resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!’

Input this blog & affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. ‘COBA7’, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

I.

Finally, a National Advocacy Body Steps Forward to Lead!
But Will Anyone Follow?

II.

Ever Desire To Help Write a Book or Two?

III.

Community Series Homes & Plant Shows in 2014

I.

Finally, a National Advocacy Body Steps Forward to Lead!
But Will Anyone Follow?

A national manufactured housing advocacy body, domiciled inside the Washington, DC. beltway, “…invites all affected stakeholders (i.e. That’s thee & me, as entrepreneurs & corporate businessmen & women!) to join its’ efforts, including key (chattel) financial institutions vital to homebuyers, (in) an industry return to production levels measured in the hundreds-of-thousands of homes annually!” Edited from full and half page MHARR paid ads running in the March 2014 issue of The Journal and the Allen Letter professional journal.

Not only do these bold ads reach out to motivate manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community (A.k.a. manufactured home community) stakeholders, they identify KEY PRIORITIES for the days and months ahead:

• Full and appropriate HUD implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, a.k.a. MHA@2000. After 13+ years, it’s still a work in progress, or some would say ‘regress’!

• Full implementation of the Duty to Serve (underserved markets), including the securitization of chattel loans

• Full inclusion by Congress, of all manufactured housing loans in any housing finance reform legislation, e.g. GSE reform; through clear, definitive and mandatory language

• Full and unrestricted homebuyer access, nationwide, to the financing sources and providers of their choice.

• Full acceptance of manufactured housing by states, cities, and localities

Whew! Now that’s what I’d call ‘one full and aggressive manufactured housing agenda’. How ‘bout you? Agreed? If so, suggest you contact Danny Ghorbani via (202) 783-4087 and ask him: HOW can YOU help ADDRESS these FIVE KEY PRIORITIES, in your areas of influence, during the days, weeks, and months ahead?! I’m on board!

And lest you think the preceding is happening in a vacuum; it isn’t! Last week, Part I of the blog posted at this website, ended with this Challenge Question directed at manufactured housing’s national advocacy bodies inside-&-outside the Washington, DC beltway:

“Is the present day national advocacy representation format (i.e. two national trade bodies) and singular focus (‘Change Dodd-Frank legislation & CFPB regs!’), for HUD-Code manufactured housing, the Most Effective Use of Lobbying Efforts & Dollars in (‘futile to date’) attempts to influence legislators and regulators in our nation’s capitol? OR, is it now time – finally, for a Serious National Conversation regarding where (1) manufactured housing production and distribution, (2) all post-production segments of our industry, and (3) the land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class, are today; where we should and would like to be going; and, how to best arrive at desired destination(s) and or goal(s)?! Until we do so as an industry, ‘we’re hopelessly adrift in an ocean of business opportunity’ and will not return to prosperity anytime soon! Hope our elected and salaried national leaders are (finally) paying attention to US!

Are They? I have no idea. But some of YOU are! Here’re two responses from readers commenting on last weekends blog posting at this website.

“Hope all is well with you. My admiration continues to be with you for your tenacity in doing battle with those who misguide our industry. Many of those folk simply don’t have the scars of battle that people like you and me wear, to evidence our experience in the trenches.” MG

&

“I loved your blog yesterday on ‘upside down’ (in a mobile home park). That’s really it in a nutshell isn’t it? I think there’re a lot of advocates and others who’d get on board with a moderate position, like the one you put out here (in the blog).It’s where I’ve always been: ‘Offer a good, affordable and secure homeownership asset and one’s business will be solid.’ We bank on that in our own business interests!. Know what George? We (this industry & asset class) just might be suffering from too many MBAs and too much Wall Street influence! Hmm. Just a hunch.”

So, where do we go from here, national manufactured housing industry leaders? Know what? These folk get angry when I ‘call them out by name’, but do nothing when I don’t.
Hmm. Maybe next week….

II.

Ever Desire to Help Write a Book or Two?

Well, here’s your big chance. Actually maybe two opportunities; one for folk in the land-lease-lifestyle community business model, the other for HUD-Code home manufacturers – and their Business Development Managers, interested in selling more new homes into LLLCommunities! So, read the two descriptions here, then ‘take your pick’ or two; and if so inclined, express your interest to me – and the sooner the better….

In the first instance, we’re talking about a collection or compendium of first hand experiences, penned by land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, willing to share Lessons Learned during their operation of this unique, income-producing property type. So, whether you’ve been – or continue to be, an owner and or property manager (on-site & regional alike) of one or more LLLCommunities, pick out a particular PM function area and describe ‘your Lesson Learned’. Function areas? Oh, property marketing; rental homesite leasing; cultivating good resident relations; maintenance-related adventures with a ‘lesson’; even the employee recruiting, screening, hiring, training, supervising cycle; etc.. Any helpful Rules of Thumb to share?

Here’s the best way to respond. Write, pen, or type a paragraph or two describing the territory you’d like to cover in a passage prepared for submission and consideration as a Lesson Learned During LLLCommunity Operations. Be sure to include your name, mailing address, and other contact information when you send it to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247.

Will need your initial input (i.e. paragraph or paragraphs) by the end of March 2014.

This means I can have you rewrite, refine and submit your selection by the end of April; to be evaluated, edited and possibly selected for inclusion in the book during May; for printing during June; binding during July; for distribution in early September. And OK to include a form or other aid (training & otherwise) that was integral to, or came out of this property management Lesson Learned being described. Questions? Simply phone me via (317) 346-7156.

In the second instance, we’re talking about a much-needed HOW TO guide for owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities, who’re getting into the marketing, sale and financing of new HUD-Code homes on-site, for the first time; or have tried to do so – unsuccessfully, to date. In this instance, we’re looking for input from related but disparate sources: 1) LLLCommunity owners/operators with successful home sale experience on-site to date – and willing to share their ‘lessons learned’; and, 2) HUD-Code home manufacturers with a passion for filling vacant rental homesites in LLLCommunities – and willing to ‘teach how it’s done’, knowing there’ll need to be adjustments for the nuances of on-site home sales procedures. Assignment preference will be given to Business Development Managers, or BDMs, already identified as specialists in the Community Series Home designed product.

At this point, it’s envisioned this’ll be a two part book. Part I = “How to Spec & Buy New HUD-Code Homes from the Factory’; and, Part II = ‘How to Market, Sell, & when need be, Finance the Home Transaction on-site. Do YOU feel you have expertise you’d be willing to share in either or both these foci? While we have a lead author in mind, to shepherd this project from start to finish; if you feel you have special ability, even experience in handing this sort of writing project, by all means let us know ASAP. In the meantime; to participate as a writer, prepare a paragraph or two describing where you believe your strengths lie, and send this typed information to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247.

Here too, need your initial input no later than the end of this month, March 2014.

And again; if you have questions, phone me via (317) 346-7156.

III.

Community Series Homes & Plant Shows in 2014

Wow! Who ‘lit a fire’ under HUD-Code home manufacturers? During the past 60 days, here at GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, and where the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, was launched this past December, we’ve experienced the following, all in short order:

• More Community Series Homes, or CSH Model HUD-Code manufactured homes on display (e.g. Luavul MHShow in mid-January) than in any previous year, going back to 2/27/2009 when the concept was birthed! And now HUD-Code manufacturers, via their BDMs, are asking to have a say in refining the list of features used to describe CSH Models during the past five years. That’s exciting! Do YOU have recommended features, changes, etc? Let us know ASAP, as we’ll be reconstituting said list later this month (March) and distributing it in the Allen Letter professional journal.

• New BDMs! Where are they coming from? It’s like HUD-Code home manufacturers have suddenly decided they do want to have an active role filling the estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites in LLLCommunities across the U.S.. Great! Keep submitting those names of new Business Development Managers to us via (317) 346-7156. New BDM list in a few weeks.

• Plant Shows Everywhere! Nothing new about having plant shows – except this: Year 2014 appears to becoming the ‘Year of the Land-lease-lifestyle Community!’ as HUD-Code home manufacturers reach out not only to present home-buying owners/operators, but prospective ones as well. To date, it appears the Plant Shows, to this end, will feature an 1) Official State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class, followed by 2) a plant tour, then 3) Open Discussions among participants re: ‘Why are you buying Community Series Homes?’ & ‘What will it take to get you to buy CSH Models?’ Need us for your plant show? Phone (317) 346-7156.

• COBA7. Already several major and regional HUD-Code home manufacturers have affiliated with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance! Why? For direct mail and networking access to the vast majority of LLLCommunity owners/operators not aligned with any national, and oft times not even state, manufactured housing associations, but who are known to be among the 500+/- property portfolio ‘players’ in the U.S. and Canada. If you’d like to learn more about this unique ‘new home sales’ marketing opportunity, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

See what I mean? The Growing Excitement is palpable and certainly palatable! And all this but scratches the surface of what’s going on these days outside historic, politically-charged trade circles. The most vibrant get-togethers are those organized by groups of businessmen and women insisting they’re NOT ‘down and out’, BUT ‘up and coming’, as they spec, buy, sell, and when need be, self-finance new and resale manufactured homes into and within their income-producing properties!

Here’re several examples. Plan NOW to participate in the 23rd annual Networking Roundtable in Peachtree City, GA., 10-12 September. And less than a month later, return to Atlanta, GA, on 1 & 2 October for the SECO Symposium! The latter two day event is replete with a half dozen homes on display, and is planned and hosted entirely by LLLCommunity owners/operators domiciled in the Southeast. For information, contact Chris Nicely via chrisnicely1@gmail.com

And for an ‘invite’ to the 23rd Networking Roundtable, use the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE cited earlier in this blog. 250 expected at this annual event. Oh, by the way, there’ll be a one day professional property management training and certification class on 30 September in Atlanta, GA. Have you earned your Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® certification yet?

Catch the Excitement of the 23rd Networking Roundtable, SECO Symposium, and get certified as a Manufactured Housing Manager®!

***

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

Why I Continue to Write for You….

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Blog Column # 286 Copyright 2014 2 March 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities cum ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Reason for this Bg. ‘It’s the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communication resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!’

Input this blog & Affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. ‘COBA7’, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

I.

WHY I CONTINUE…

to write about manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities.

The following unsolicited reader response to last week’s blog posting, ‘UPSIDE DOWN in a Mobilehome Park’, struck a thoughtful chord with me, as I pondered where to take us on our manufactured housing adventure this week.

“We, as in ‘the totality of the manufactured housing industry’, have left the Free Enterprise ‘tempered-by-social-consciousness’ building, all but forgetting our trademark roots: fast, low cost, decent quality housing! Most rental homesite rents are too high in many local housing markets; home payments (i.e. ‘PITI’, as in principal, interest, taxes & insurance alone, not including utility costs) often exceed the 30% federal Housing Expense Factor guideline by at least an additional 10-20%; we continue to not protect our residents with long term leases; and finally, continue to market new homes, as described in ‘UPSIDE DOWN in a Mobilehome Park’, the way we’ve always done: ‘Ain’t she purty, dontcha want one?’, instead of diligently matching housing needs and wants with prospective homebuyer’s ability to pay.” (Edited, GFA) And I add: Until we develop a viable secondary market for HUD-Code manufactured home valuation, marketing, and resale – we’ll NOT return to the prosperous days of 250,000 new homes shipped per year!

So, in light of such dismal status quo and future for HUD-Code housing, ‘Why Do I continue to write about contemporary manufactured housing and LLLCommunities’? And as need be, (1) alternately support, expose, even agitate decision-makers and trade politicos responsible for the industry’s 15 year malaise, (2) continuing slide into obscurity, and (3) pricing oneself out of many local housing markets throughout the U.S.

BECAUSE No One Else, it Appears, Will Do So! They certainly haven’t done so to date!

But know what? There’re business and personal cost and consequences to exposing and agitating decision-makers and trade politicos – even (especially) when one is ‘right’ about what is said or penned, as is with the case of the aforementioned ‘blog flogger’ (reader), citing: ‘too high new housing product costs and too high site rents compared to other forms of multifamily housing in the same local housing market.’ And of course, this reality is aggravated by the inability of prospective homebuyers to qualify for chattel capital, unless they enjoy the highest of credit scores. What’s the business and personal cost of being right and forthright? Oft times, rejection by some – but of late, acceptance by a few and support by many more!

Let’s begin with my Chapbook of Business & Management Wisdom. Near the end, there’s a chapter titled, ‘Scintillatingly Salient but Salacious Secrets to Business Management Consulting Success…’ which contains this pithy, time-honed Rule of Thumb:

“To clearly identify one’s supporters, detractors, and in-betweens; observe who contracts for one’s consulting services, buys one’s books, and pays to subscribe to one’s periodicals – and who does not do so!” The ‘rule’ goes on to point out: “Some smart ones buy and subscribe – to learn or imitate what you’re doing well; the lazy ones simply don’t care or know any better; and the rest? Their ‘not-buying’ mirrors their protest.”

This is so very true. I’ve been watching it play out on the national scene this past year, in three clear but different ways.

• We’ve long made it a point to observe who subscribes, and who does not, where the Allen Letter professional journal & The Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter is concerned. Both are subscriber-supported, with some advertising revenue in play. Here, the frequently cited Bell-Shaped Curve is instructive. At one end of the curve are a relatively few mega-sized property portfolio owners/operators who do NOT subscribe to anything (Though their peers do so), likely because they believe ‘They’re big enough to be know it alls’, eschewing information, good advice, and services from outside their corporate boardrooms. At the other end of the bell-shaped curve are small Mom & Pop firms who generally can’t afford annual subscription fees – or don’t think they can. But then, there’s the huge center-of-the-curve mass section of the curve, where we find the remaining single property owners and super-abundance of small to mid-sized, even large-sized LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators from throughout the U.S. and Canada.

• Then there’s the relatively recent hijacking of land-lease-lifestyle community national advocacy effort by a couple of the largest property portfolio firms and a couple politically-active individuals. The game plan here plays out in dual-focus fashion: On one hand, ‘affluence gerrymandering’ (i.e. ‘The artful limiting of meeting attendance by keeping the cost of member participation higher than necessary.’) enables ‘these few’ to plan and effect decision-making ‘in behalf of everyone’ (members). And, on the other hand, ‘once a year’ – as was the case this past Fall, invite the most affluent ‘players’ in the realty asset class, to the most expensive of downtown venues, for a day long ‘see and be seen’ ego-enhancing session, where little of substance was accomplished.

• Since the first of the year, there’s been a needed and noticeable ‘Breath of fresh air’ flowing through the ranks of land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators nationwide and Canada. Interested parties have hailed from manufacturing and post production segments of the manufactured housing industry. affiliating with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, to collectively advance their mutual business interests, NOT via periodic meetings in high cost urban and resort settings, but via reasonable peer networking and deal making environments! There’s also been a keen and growing desire for improved print and online communication of key industry and asset class statistics, identification of trends, and How To information. And last but not least, interest – finally, in availing themselves of affordable professional property management training and certification among LLLCommunity owners and managers alike.

No, this is not the whole, and certainly not the end of the story, where manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities are concerned. It is, however, a tender stage. While the seven functions of COBA7 have been identified and publicized, time and again these past 60 days, it’s vital the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class have united and ‘more than adequate’ national advocacy representation in our Nation’s Capitol. Therefore, the following, perennial, tough question continues to be asked, and remains – to this day – unanswered by our elected and salaried leaders:

Is the present day dual national advocacy representation format (two national trade bodies) and foci (‘Change Dodd-Frank legislation & CFPB regs), for HUD-Code manufactured housing, the Most Effective Approach to lobbying legislators and regulators in our nation’s capitol; OR is it time, for a Serious National Conversation regarding where (1) manufactured housing production and distribution, (2)all post-production segments of the industry, and (3) the land-lease-lifestyle communities realty asset class are today; where we should or would like to be going; and how to best arrive at said destination(s) or goal(s)? Until we do so, frankly, as an industry ‘we’re dead in the water’ of business opportunity and return to prosperity! Hope our national leaders are paying attention….

The sole whiff of intent, to this end (Reread previous paragraph) can be seen and read in full page ads run by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory’ Reform (‘MHARR’), in current issues of The Journal and the Allen Letter professional journal – the only two remaining trade print publications continuing to serve the manufactured housing industry & land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class! Read & Respond!

Your considered response to all this? Let me know via this website, or the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

II.

‘What Does It Take to be an Exceptional Company?’

Quoted from an ad for Deloitte Consulting in the ATLANTIC magazine.

Reportedly, after analyzing 45 years of data, among 25,000 companies, Deloitte Consulting identified 174 exceptional companies, whose successes appeared to depend on a commitment to Three Rules apparently governing how exceptional companies think – under any and all circumstances, these being:

• Better Before Cheaper. Be known for higher quality, not lower prices

• Revenue Before Cost. Higher revenue is worth more than lower cost

• There Are No Other Rules. Make every choice based on the first two rules.

After reading, rereading, and pondering these Three Rules, I found myself attempting to apply them to companies I’ve known, over three decades, in manufactured housing and throughout the land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class. Know what? I can easily think of firms who, for awhile anyway, excelled as their quality housing product, and exceptional lifestyle opportunities buoyed them above their competition at the time. And even at the other end of the spectrum, where producing/shipping inexpensive housing, and operating bare bones rental properties, were concerned, one still had to perform ‘better than cheaper’, where the competition was concerned.

And Revenue Before Cost. Not as ‘cut & dry’. Any businessman or woman, with a modicum of business sense, understands this ‘rule of thumb’. BUT, for awhile, just prior to the turn of the century, when HUD-Code home manufacturers, in concert with independent ‘street’ MHRetailers competed head-to-head with site builders; and LLLCommunity REITs, et. al., increased rental homesite rents to please Wall Street analysts, our ‘double dual industry’ (home manufacturing/distribution & realty development/investment) went on such a ‘revenue binge’, selling homes and leasing sites, to people who couldn’t afford them, that today – 15 years later, we’re still reeling from the negative consequences of playing that rule too far too long.

Learn more about these three rules at: TheThreeRules.com

III

Illinois Legislators Consider Needless
LLLCommunityLegislation

Letters, Phone Calls & Petitions Needed ASAP = Yes, This Coming Week!

A bill considered and defeated last year in the Illinois House, has been quietly and quickly resurrected – to the clear detriment of owners and residents of land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities) throughout the state.

This bill, if passed, would force LLLCommunity owners to collect $1.00 – $3.00 per resident each month, to be paid into a Relocation Fund. This fund, in turn, would be used if/when a multifamily rental property of this type is closed at some point in the future.

Why is this proposed legislation needless? Because only two Illinois LLLCommunities have been ‘closed’ during the past decade, and relocation costs in both instances, were generous and paid by companies buying the properties to convert them into higher, better uses.

So, if you’re reading this blog posting and have business interests in the state of Illinois, contact the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association to learn how YOU can help defeat this onerous legislation this week!. Suggest phoning (217) 528-3423, and talk to Frank Bowman.

IV.

Do These COBA7 Opportunities Interest YOU?

Here’re Several Unique Opportunities for YOU to Consider This Week….

This past week, letters of inquiry went out to 60 individuals known as independent, freelance consultants serving the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class nationwide. If you receive one of these letters, please respond right away, to ensure your talents and expertise are properly described in the 15th annual ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’ Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, scheduled for distribution to COBA7 affiliates, in the March issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. And if you don’t receive one of these inquiry letters, but believe you should be included in the SSRD as ‘an independent, freelance consultant serving the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class’, FAX your business description and or personal vitae, to (317) 346-7158 for consideration. Submission of information does not guarantee inclusion in the ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2014?’ SSRD. Questions? Call COBA7 via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG o r 633-4764.

This past week, announcements were sent to 60 individuals who’ve participated in past FOCUS Group meetings, as well as LLLCommunity owners/operators who’ve expressed interest in participating in a future such gathering. If you receive one of these announcements, indicate your date & location preference, as well as list three topics you’d like to see discussed during the 1 ½ day session, and return the questionnaire via FAX, on or before Friday, 7 march 2014, using FAX # (317) 346-7158. If you’re a LLLCommunity owner/operator reading this, and would like to volunteer use of your clubhouse (Must seat 30+/- comfortably, from 8AM – 4PM), and the property is within a half hour of a major airport, contact me ASAP: (317) 346-7156. And if you’re a LLLCommunity owner/operator and would like to be put on the list of FOCUS Group invitees (for this or subsequent sessions), contact me via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE cited in the previous paragraph. COBA7 affiliates will be given priority as invitees. To become a COBA7 affiliate, also use the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE.

This past week, tentative contract arrangements were made to host the 23rd International Networking Roundtable at a conference center in Peachtree City, GA., from 10 – 12 September 2014. Not ready to announce details; they’ll be coming soon.

Those of you who’ve expressed interest in writing a selection or two for inclusion in the Lessons Learned from LLLCommunity Operations book, being researched and prepared this year, should contact me by email (gfa7156@aol.com) ASAP, so I have your name and tentative subject at hand. Also phone (317) 346-7156.

And probably the most exciting announcement of this past week, was that of the dates & location for annual SECO gathering of LLLCommunity owners/operators in Atlanta, GA., on 1 & 2 October 2014. Besides the half dozen or more new HUD-Code homes on display, and a series of exciting HOW TO seminars being planned, I’ll be conducting the popular one day professional property management, Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® one day class on September 30, at the same Wyndham Hotel, the day before the SECO event begins. What a Great Opportunity for YOU and or your on-site managers to participate in two seminal events in as many days! For information on both venues, contact Chris Nicely via (865) 385-9675 or chrisnicely1@gmail.com. And now there’s a website to visit: www.seco14.org

****

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