Archive for May, 2014

Protection/Pricing & OneUpmanship Ridivivus….

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 299 @ 5/25/2014 Copyright 2014

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

This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

* Ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin; fielding inquiries, complaints, etc.

Introduction to this weeks’ COBA7® blog posting at community-investor.com

Didn’t have to scratch hard to expose a few of manufactured housing’s perennial issues:

• Alleged HUD-forced, but unverified, product changes & housing price increases!

• Protect HUD-Code housing market share or fill more LLLCommunity rental sites

• Continuing battle for turf, influence, & power inside Washington, DC beltway

• National advocacy for & by LLLCommunity owners OR executive cronies?

Our industry’s frequent contretemps read more like housing soap than business model! Go ahead, look it up: Contretemps is right word choice to describe our industry’s plight.

************************************************************************

I.
It’s Called ‘Protection/Pricing’

II.
You Favor More RVs On-Site in Communities
OR
Protect Manufactured Housing’s Market Share?

III.
One Upmanship Redivivus* or Finis*?

*(‘living again, revived’ or ‘the end’)

IV.
YOUR OPPORTUNITY
To Input the National Communities Council Agenda

********************************

I.

It’s Called ‘Protection/Pricing’

Here last week we changed a rhetorical question into this statement: ‘How HUD-Code home manufacturers deal with a new type MHRetailer!’ Meaning, of course, how HUD-Code home manufacturers are navigating uncertain waters, marketing new homes into land-lease-lifestyle communities, where they are sold and often self-financed to prospective homebuyers/site lessees – by this ‘new breed of MHRetailer’.

To that end, another interesting question surfaced, and was also featured in last week’s blog posting at this website:

When HUD-Code home manufacturers unilaterally issue allegedly HUD-Code forced Product Change Information, and resulting Price Increase Warnings, who verifies the veracity of said modifications and necessity of said price increase(s)?

Well, that pithy two part question sat online for a week; and to date, there’s been no credible or helpful, response from either manufactured housing national advocacy body!

But we did receive this insightful message from a retired HUD-Code housing manufacturing executive:

“The ‘protection/pricing’ issue is historical and remains relevant. (When) adequate foreknowledge was available, and we could pre-buy (inventory) to protect our backlog of pending orders, we did so. Often, however, there was no (advance) notice period of (any) consequence, particularly on commodity items, so we would increase (prices) without notice. Once I even took an increase on our backlog of orders. ‘Stuff happens’ ya know?

Were you, as a MHRetailer, willing to contract for (multiple home) purchases, and the manufacturer likewise, things could be different. But when I proposed (this) to our dealers, what do you think they said about committing to a certain number of homes by contract and delivery times? – You are right.

Hence the title of Part I of this week’s blog posting: ‘It’s called ‘protection/pricing’; and the Lesson Learned? ‘Live With It!’ You have no paladin after the fact, only before…

There’s an apt corollary here. Imagine yourself a small HUD-Code home manufacturer, and a HUD-forced Product Change comes your way, increasing the cost of your housing product by $100.00 per unit. You’re producing 500 floors per year; that’s a $50,000 increase in product cost, for this single change, during 12 months – the wholesale price of at least one, if not two homes. For the firm producing 2,000 units per year, that’s a $200,000 increase, maybe. The difference? Buying Power, on the part of the larger firm, will likely enable it to mitigate the severity of the cost increase associated with the HUD-Code forced Product Change, perhaps even passing on less a Price Increase to the firm’s ‘company stores’, affiliated independent (street) MHRetailers, and new breed of MHRetailer – the LLLCommunity owner/operator selling new homes on-site. Bottom line? Continued vigilance needed in regards to ongoing regulatory reform!

And next week, in this blog posting at community-investor.com, DUELING CURVES author, and retired manufactured housing factory executive Bob Vahsholtz, will share his ‘take’ on this ‘protection/pricing’ matter. Here’s a taste: “George, I’d not want to be a manufacturer today….Regulation is out of control.” And more….

II.

You Favor More RVs On-site in Communities
OR
Protect Manufactured Housing’s Market Share?

This was the question posed in last week’s BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) covering email message accompanying blog posting # 298 at community-investor.com

Here’s what I’ve learned since that posting a week ago. Upon querying MHI, I was sent a copy of its’ board meeting minutes from 4 October 2011 – that’s 2 ½ years ago. Then, the manufactured housing division sought and received this Resolution from the board: “Therefore be it resolved, MHI opposes changing current size restrictions for RVs & Park Trailers.” In effect, opposing a ‘change (that) would encourage permanent living in recreational vehicles.’

2 ½ years later, MHARR views the same matter in similar fashion, i.e. “…an intricate and highly complex issue that will have significant substantive impacts and repercussions on multiple constituencies, including consumers, state and local regulatory authorities, and both the manufactured housing and RV industries.” From MHARR correspondence dated 16 May 2014.

More to the point however, is this prediction by MHARR: a “…likely proliferation of the use of larger RV products as unregulated de facto residences….” (and without saying so) increasingly parked on some-to-many of the estimated 250,000 vacant, frequently ‘functionally obsolete’ (i.e. too small for today’s behemoth HUD-Code manufactured homes; you know, the ‘big box = big bucks’ or Developer Series Models of the late 1990s) rental home sites in land-lease-lifestyle communities coast to coast.

A congressional hearing, on this matter, has been requested, so “…all affected stakeholders can be heard, and address the intricacies of this matters, as well as its’ likely and potential unintended consequences.” (The latter maybe being, fewer smaller new manufactured homes shipped and sited on erstwhile vacant rental homesites in LLLCommunities – now occupied by a variety of recreational vehicle types).

As they say, ‘Stay tuned’, and this web site blog will keep you informed regarding this heady matter, as the legislative drama unfolds. And it’ll be interesting to see if this matter appears on the agenda of the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division of the Manufactured Housing Institute, the morning of 9 June 2014.

A related sidebar. This conflict of interests is nothing new for the manufactured housing industry. The classic contrast of views, in years past, played out with HUD-Code home manufacturers favoring open zoning – in effect, allowing manufactured housing to be sited just about anywhere in a local housing market. At the same time, land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators quietly preferred said homes to generally be restricted to that unique, income-producing property type and scattered building sites outside cities and towns.

III.

One Upmanship Redivivus* or Finis*?

* (‘living again, revived’ or ‘the end’)

In March 2014, this blog headlined ‘MH Politics as Usual in DC’, describing the unfolding melodrama that led to Pam Danner being named HUD administrator, all the while another was widely viewed as frontrunner. What was not publicized, at the time, was an attempt by one national advocacy body to usurp credit for insertion of ‘manufactured housing-friendly language’, specifically proposed earlier by yet another national advocacy body, into GSE reform legislation.

Well, the latter contretemps resurfaced a week or so ago in a Press Release from one national advocacy body, and a HOUSING ALERT from the other….

“…the inclusion of MHARR’s consumer financing amendments in bi-partisan GSE reform legislation – first in the original March 16, 2014 Johnson-Crapo bill, and now in the final committee-approved bill – breaks the ice and sets a political benchmark for future GSE reform efforts to fully include, recognize and protect all types of manufactured housing….”. This from MHARR’s Press Release dated 16 May 2014.

& this

“Included in the Johnson-Crapo bill are provisions explicitly requested by MHI that would allow manufactured home loans, including those secured by personal property, full access to the newly envisioned secondary market system.” This from MHI’s HOUSING ALERT dated 15 May 2014

In a memorandum sent to both lobbying bodies, this simple question was asked: ‘Are we talking about the same provisions here, in the Johnson-Crapo bill, or not?”

Reply(ies) to date?

Only this from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, or MHARR, in correspondence dated 16 May 2014:

“The MHARR News Release (dated 16 March 2014) shows in detail, with specific quotes, the MHARR-developed language, how (said) language (was) drafted and submitted to the Senate committee shortly after a September 26, 2013 meeting between MHARR and (the) Banking Committee staff, was (then) incorporated into the Johnson-Crapo bill, to include all types of manufactured housing loans (chattel, real estate and hybrid) within the definitions of ‘eligible single-family mortgage loan’ and ‘residential real estate loan’. There is no mistaking this, because the bill language includes a specific proviso drafted by MHARR, excluding manufactured housing loans from certain title insurance mandates found in another part of the bill.” And the memorandum continues…

To date, at the posting of this weekly blog on or about 25 May 2014, there has been no reply from the Manufactured Housing Institute, or MHI, regarding this contentious matter. But then, as is oft said, ‘No reply is a reply!’

Draw your own conclusion(s).

IV.

YOUR OPPORTUNITY

to Input the National Communities Council Agenda

MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division will convene at 10:45AM, the morning of 8 June 2014, meeting until Noon; that’s 1 ¼ hours for a meeting that usually lasts 2 – 2 ½ hours. One wonders, ‘Why the reduced time frame?’ As one of the NCC’s 86 members (according to MHI’s website list), will you be present? If past performance is an indicator, the answer is ‘No’. But I will be, on your behalf!

On the average, only a dozen or so bona fide NCC members, including certified representatives from state MHAssociations, show up for these get togethers. The rest of the (usually) many individuals in the meeting room, is an eclectic mix of state MHAssociation execs, product and service suppliers, and folk with nowhere else to go.

On 13 May I contacted NCC staff via email, asking: “Are you planning to solicit NCC meeting agenda topics before said meeting…?” And I offered five agenda suggestions. Two days later, on the 15th, I received this terse reply: “Thank You for sharing your suggestions. An agenda will be distributed prior to the meeting.” My rejoinder, later the same day? “That’s OK. I see matters continue unchanged at the NCC. Tight control at the top, little communication with members, and no desire to solicit input from members that would make our occasional meetings worth attending. See you there.”

SO, with no assurance the five topics I recommended will be on the NCC meeting agenda – they certainly haven’t been in the past; I’ve decided to ‘take the matter public’, asking YOU what you’d like to see and hear brought up before the august officers of the NCC. To date, my list has grown to nine in number. Here’s the list to date:

• The ‘value proposition’ of NCC division’s $500.00/year membership fee. What specific products & services are direct, dues-paying MHI/NCC members presently receiving, in addition to lobbying efforts in our behalf?

• Revisit MHI’s October 4, 2012 board resolution opposing “,,,changing current size restrictions for RVs and Park Trailers”, in effect discouraging permanent living in RVs. Review said opposition in light of need to fill an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites in land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide.

• Recommend change to MHI bylaws (NCC has none) to permit properly executed absentee ballot use during annual election of division officers.

• Discuss the ‘intimidation by litigation’ environment apparently spawned by Right of First Refusal clauses within or outside some LLLCommunity leases.

• Status of MHI web page re NCC content and newsletter?

• Why discontinuation of the MHI Membership Directory in 2014? Who effected its’ demise? Why not make print subscription copies available at profit for MHI?

• NCC is formally invited to participate in the first ever National Public Forum examining the ‘Future of manufactured housing as ‘housing’ vs. its’ trailer heritage’, & ‘Future of LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’.’

• NCC is formally invited to affiliate with the Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance, or COBA7.

• Status of the Duke University (Dr. Charles Becker) research project?

I’ll report on how (or ‘if’) any of these important and timely matters are aired and acted upon during the NCC division meeting on 9 June 2014.

What would YOU like to see added to this list? Simply respond via email (gfa7156@aoo.com) or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Better yet, if an NCC member, send your suggestion(s) on corporate letterhead. That’ll carry, by far, the most weight. I’ll report your suggestions during the New Business portion of the meeting – IF the 1 ¼ hour NCC meeting ‘gets that far’; and, hopefully, the results thereof, in a future blog posting – or a newsletter feature article.

Selling Homes On-Site? Who’s Got Your Back?

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog#298 @ 5/18/14 Copyright 2014

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

This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.ka. COBA7®, use the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

*Ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin; fielding inquiries, complaints, etc.

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at community-investor.com

What was bound to happen sooner or later? Lack of representation where Product Change Information & Price Increase Warnings are involved. (&) Lack of industry wide dialogue about new housing Product & Pricing, where filling vacant rental homsites is concerned.

And, what’s going to be done about both matters?

The number of COBA7 affiliates continues to grow, as the alliance takes up more and more of the slack where others appear to fear to tread. OR, as the distance and distinction between national lobbying and ‘everything else’ (e.g. ongoing research, resource distribution, print & online communication, peer networking, deal-making, PM training & certification, & national advocacy when/where need be…) appears to lengthen, grassroots businessmen and women are increasingly gravitating to affiliate with peers who share their concerns, needs, and wants.

Have YOU affiliated with COBA7 yet?

I.

It Was Bound to Happen, Sooner or Later, So Here It Is!

II.

More Benefits for COBA7 Affiliates!

I.

It Was Bound to Happen, Sooner or Later, So Here It Is!

‘How HUD-Code home manufacturers deal with a new type MHRetailer’
&
‘Increased presence of mixed RV/MH rental homesites clouds legislation’

Independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’ are far fewer in number today, than prior to and at the turn of the century, when ‘Big Box = Big Bucks’ Developer Series Homes competed head-to-head with site builders, via land-and-home packages. Since 2009 though, singlesection and modest-sized multisection homes, designed and labeled as Community Series Homes, a.k.a. CSH Models, with built-in WOW! factors and durability-enhancing features – sited in land-lease-lifestyle communities, have become, in many regions of the U.S., de rigueur for the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry.

Today, the land-lease-lifestyle community owner/operator, for the purposes of this blog message, is ‘ the new type MHRetailer’, when marketing, selling, siting, often self-financing new Community Series Homes on-site! With that said, here’s the recent Product Change Information & Price Increase Warning received, by one LLLCommunity owner/operator, from their HUD-Code home manufacturer of choice:

“As of June, we will have to meet new HUD guidelines. HUD has decided no manufacturers windows are large enough for egress. They have to be increased in size. This may mean the number of windows will change. This will cause an increase in pricing.”

“HUD has also decided panel boxes can no longer go in closets. We will have an option for a panel box cover for those who don’t want to see the cover. They also have decided we need anti scald faucets. This will cause an increase in prices. We are working to see the cheapest way around this.”

“President Obama has hit all factories with Obama care insurance. Each manufacturer has a different date of enrollment. Ours just hit.”

“All these things will affect our pricing. I don’t know how much yet. We will let you know as soon as we can pin everything down. Please cover yourself on quotes to customers.”

Do you see the obvious and serious challenge contained within this correspondence? The issuance of Product Change Information & Price Increase Warnings, with little to no advance notice or substantiation of change claims! If you’re a LLLCommunity owner/operator, and what you just read – or other correspondence akin to it, the first you’re hearing of such matters affecting the marketing and sale of new HUD-Code manufactured homes on-site? If so, you – we ALL need an answer to this question?

WHO, from a national advocacy perspective, is looking after your/our collective manufactured housing business interests in and around the nation’s capitol these days?

There are two national manufactured housing advocacy bodies presently in place.

One entity does not accept LLLCommunity owners/operators – or any other segments of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry except manufacturers, as direct, dues-paying members. However, that entity faithfully and routinely educates all segments of the manufactured housing industry, relative to technical HUD-Code home matters, via its’ monthly column in the last remaining manufactured housing trade print publication, The Journal; as well as via email and FAX messages of import, to state MHAssociations and other interested parties. But remember, if you’re not a HUD-Code home manufacturer, they are not representing you in Washington, DC. Are YOU on their mailing list? If a LLLCommunity owner/operator, you should be. Call the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE for contact information.

The other entity? Represents the ‘Big Three C’ HUD-Code home manufacturers (i.e. Clayton, Champion, Cavco), some of the largest LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators, and other segments of the manufactured housing industry, informing members via weekly email summaries and monthly shipment reports. Hosts an annual national trade show featuring seminars, but no longer pens a column for The Journal. With that said; if you have business interests in one or more segments of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, you should consider becoming a direct, dues-paying member of this body, or a certified representative from your state manufactured housing association, at periodic national meetings. Again, for contact information, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE listed at the beginning of this blog posting.

So, HOW are we, as LLLCommunity owners/operators (i.e. new type MHRetailers), being backstopped, relative to substantiation of Product Change Information & Price Increase Warnings cited above? To the best of my knowledge, we’re not. So, the questions begging answering are, ‘WHY NOT?’ & WHAT, if anything, should be done about this present day information verification and representation vacuum? And the sooner the better!

Would like your input on this important matter? A thought. This might be worthy fodder for the upcoming, first ever, National Public Forum @ 11 September 2014 in Peachtree City, GA. For more information on that event, and to input relative to this timely matter, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

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Have YOU noticed the increased mention and presence of ‘mixed use properties’ in trade banter characteristic of land-lease-lifestyle community operations? While an increasingly common phenomenon among many, if not most, of the 500+/- portfolio owners/operators of LLLCommunities (i.e. in control of the majority of the 7500+ LLLCommunities containing more than 100-150 rental homesites apiece), in time (some say) the trend will likely affect smaller properties as well. Reportedly, the present day RV rental homesite count amidst the several hundred property portfolio of the largest LLLCommunity owners/operator in the world, is in the neighborhood of being 60% RV.

The trend, to mix recreational vehicle sites, with one’s manufactured housing rental sites, makes sense, from the LLLCommunity owner/operator perspective, for several reasons – all related to increasing physical and economic occupancy, cum cash flow, at these income-producing properties. Specifically, the practice…

• Broadens the overall business base of the operating company, making it less susceptible to unexpected, at times damaging, economics-related swings in local housing market circumstances, even demographics

• Attracts a broader clientele, e.g. homeowner/site lessees, AND seasonal or year round RV owners/site renters, AND others, e.g. construction workers.

• Especially strategic in older LLLCommunities, where ‘doing so’ can be a cash flow-restoring means, or business model, by putting functionally obsolete rental homesites back into operation, siting – where permissible – park model RVs and other types of recreational vehicles.

But here’s ‘the rub’! LLLCommunity owners/operators have routine differences of opinion about operating With OR Without 30 day or long term written leases; also whether to feature a full array of on-site amenities (e.g. pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, etc.) OR operate with none! Likewise, the ‘legality’ of siting recreational vehicles in general, ‘park model RVs’ in particular – as seasonal and year round residences is controversial, in the eyes of certain trade protectionists, local zoning boards and planning commissions; but less so, among LLLCommunity owners looking to fill vacant, oft functionally obsolete rental homesites, to restore cash flow. This RV matter today?

On one hand, there’s federal legislation afoot to amend the existing HUD-Code, expanding an RV-related exception. This change might create a new class of unregulated, and potentially competing, (smaller) structures useable as de facto housing – lacking consumer protection; but preserving present day RV chattel financing and taxation as personal property. At the same time, such smaller structures are in keen demand in LLLCommunities throughout the U.S., yet HUD-Code home manufacturers appear reluctant to fabricate smaller units at cost effective price points. With all that said, it’s felt in some circles, said legislative effort would be better effected via change in the regulatory process, not law.

On the other hand, there’re some strenuous advocacy efforts afoot to prevent said change to the HUD-Code altogether. This is, in part, to prevent erosion of manufactured housing market share by dint of increased RV production; but also to protect the MHIndustry’s efforts, since passage of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, to position the HUD-Code product as bona fide ‘housing’, distancing it from the vestiges of its’ trailer heritage. In other words, preserve the obvious distinction between housing and temporary occupancy vehicles. To this end again, HUD-Code home manufacturers should see ‘the handwriting on the wall’ and begin to routinely produce and ship smaller CSH Model homes with WOW factors, durability-enhancing features, and cost effective price points! *1

A further SPECIAL MESSAGE to HUD-Code home manufacturers, particularly the smaller, regional ones. There’s an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites in 50,000+/- LLLCommunities nationwide. UNDERSTAND; They Are Your Fertile New Home Sales Market For NOW! LLLCommunity owners/operators increasingly and eventually, will routinely market, sell, and often self—finance the new HUD-Code homes they buy from you IF & WHEN you produce and ship CSH Model homes with truly cost effective price points! If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Community Series Homes, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE and request the one page information sheet detailing the above-referenced ‘durability-enhancing features’ of these homes, and add your Business Development Manager’s name to the several dozen already listed there!*2

All this begs yet another obvious question, similar to the one posed in the first part of this blog posting: HOW are we, as LLLCommunity owners/operators, going forward, to make our preferences known – for debate and resolution among ourselves, on policy matters such as this/these? Since it’s easy to see ‘both sides to this issue’, whether to host RVs or not, within LLLCommunities, it becomes all the more important for elected and salaried national and regional leaders of the realty asset class, to provide such opportunity and forum! As was pointed out earlier, perhaps this heady topic too, is a matter to bring before the first ever National Public Forum on 11 September 2014 in Peachtree City, GA. What do YOU think?

But first, some of us, including a few reading this blog posting, will be convening in Indianapolis, IN., on 9 June 2014, for a morning meeting of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division. Let’s wait and see if the two matters publicized in Part I of this week’s blog posting are brought up as New Business items before that august body, maybe even before the parent body at large. I won’t be the one to do so! Will you?

End Notes.

1. “…the RVIA is moving to include 400 sq. ft. travel trailers in the same category as recreational park trailers. Since the Park Trailer Industry Association merged with RVIA last year, the effort has been to merge those units that are under NFPA A1195, so there is (to be) one category = RVs. As for non-RVIA sealed units, once unified, the seal will probably be the RVIA A 1192 on all units. And if land-lease-lifestyle communities want RVs in their communities, that would be no problem. As for non-RVIA units, there are not likely too many of those. RVIA represents about 90% of all units manufactured.” From one of my confidants.

2. The one continuing ‘information shortfall’ among LLLCommunities marketing, selling, and self-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site, is the woeful lack of readily accessible, easy-to-use, HOW TO information per selling said product in a community environment, as opposed to the independent (street) MHRetailer’s salescenter. For example; the latter lives from ‘deal to deal’, while the LLLCommunity owner/operator is shepherding an annuity type investment lasting ‘for years’, hence great concern for maximizing one’s commission versus ensuring credit worthiness and verifying stability of one’s homebuyer/site lessee. To this end, a writing team is being formed to prepare a new text on this very subject, the first one since Gary Pomeroy’s 1977 classic: How To Successfully Sell New and Resale Manufactured Homes. If you’d like to be considered as a co-author in this project, let me know via (317) 346-7156.

II.

More Benefits for COBA7® Affiliates!

Nary a day goes by anymore that the phone doesn’t ring, or emails appear, asking how one affiliates with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®. As I’ve penned before, in just four months the alliance has grown from two dozen affiliates (The original ‘inner circle’ of LLLCommunity owners/operators who suggested forming said alliance) to 200+/- individuals and firms who’ve affiliated at one of these three levels:

• Option I = Allen Letter professional journal® only, @ $134.95/year

• Option II = Allen Letter plus 12 Signature Series Resource Documents®
or SSRD®s, including the 25th anniversary edition of the ALLEN REPORT (A.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’) @ $544.95. This is how vast majority of folk have affiliated to date

• Option III = Allen Letter plus a dozen SSRDs & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!
business newsletter @ $944.95/year

And by way of review, here’re the Seven Function, or parts, that comprise COBA7®:

• Ongoing statistical research & reporting, e.g. annual ALLEN REPORT®, etc..
• Resource production & distribution via Signature Series Resource Documents®
• Print & online communication via two newsletters and a weekly blog posting
• Superb peer networking via annual Networking Roundtable & FOCUS Groups
• Unique realty deal-making opportunities via relationships with national brokers
• Professional Property Management Training & Certification via the Manufactured Housing Manager® program, with nearly 1,000 MHMs® designated to date.
• National Advocacy when need be, e.g. Official ombudsman (press) for MHIndustry & LLLCommunity owners/operators. (Inquiries arrive daily)

With each passing week and month, COBA7® learns of new and additional ways to serve its’ increasing bevy of affiliates. Here’re several recent additions:

• Unofficial COBA7® Slogan: ‘U support US & WE support U!” COBA7®

• What else does affiliation with COBA7® garner YOU, besides the seven function areas in general, newsletters and SSRD®s in particular? Opportunity to participate in the updating the dozen SSRD®s – Where would you like to help? And when it’s time to research and author a book, or update an edition of an existing one (e.g. Landlease Community Management text for MHM® program), capable, experienced, motivated COBA7® affiliates will be given first opportunity to volunteer. And COBA7® affiliates are to whom I look first, when recruiting presenters for the annual Networking Roundtable, FOCUS Groups, and MHM® instructors. The values, for YOU, in all this?

There are several ways YOU benefit from all this! 1) Opportunities for YOU to stretch and mature as a researcher, writer, and eventual expert in LLLCommunity matters!2) An opportunity for YOUr name to receive national, even international exposure, as an industry and realty asset class resource, even expert. And, since all COBA7® books (12 published via GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing) and 12 monthly SSRDs® will eventually be housed in either the National Building Institute’s huge library in Washington, DC., or at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s library in Elkhart, IN., 3) YOU – as a writer, author, researcher, realize an immediate legacy in the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community real estate asset class by dint of your COBA7® affiliation! And, as unofficial historian of the LLLCommunity asset class, I get to ensure 4) worthy individuals are feted in books dealing with the history of the realty asset class, e.g. Bruce Savage’s 2013 tome, The First 20 Years!, PMN Publishing.

If a COBA7® affiliate, and seriously interested in participating in the seven functions, in some fashion, let me know via letter to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247, or phone (317) 356-7156. To affiliate with COBA7®, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Or ask for a COBA7® brochure.

FYI. GFA Management, Inc. dba PMN Publishing is a long time, direct, dues-paying member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) – and by extension its’ National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division; and would belong to the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) if permitted to do so. Also am an early supporter and continuing big fan of the work of the American Housing Advocates (‘AHA’), ‘online advocate for all things factory-built housing’ – even taking on The New York Times in recent weeks. And now, of course, COBA7® is in this heady national mix of three business advocates and one alliance. Opportunity to affiliate with COBA7® has been offered to all three national bodies, but to date none have responded. Also, all have been invited to participate in the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014, in Peachtree City, GA. Two of the three have indicated they’ll be present for the first ever National Public Forums, scheduled for the morning of 11 September 2014. To ensure YOU receive an ‘invite’ to this historic event, phone the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE. Attendance limited to 250.

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

Preserve Your Legacy! & read DUELING CURVES

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

COBA7 via community-investor.com Blog # 297 @ 5/11/14 Copyright 2014

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

This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’

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

* Ombudsman press. ‘Non-government alliance handling public inquiries & complaints

Introduction to this week’s COBA7, via community-investor.com, blog posting…

Like you, I’m glad the Spring Fling, so to speak, ends, so I can get on with my work routine. NO, I didn’t go to the MHCongress in Las Vegas this year, but I was in East Peoria, IL., late last week, along with 100 of my peers, participating in what will go down as one of the best state manufactured housing association annual meetings during 2014! Details later. Now we can look to the Biggest Day of the RV/MH Year, 4 August 2014, when ten of our finest businessmen are inducted into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN. Are YOU planning to be present? I sure am! And earlier that day, historian Al Hesselbart and I will be co-teach the first public presentation of ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ To attend Class of 2014 Induction Banquet, phone (574) 293-2344. There’ll be about 400 of us present. The seminar? Read Part I following. And Part II? An abbreviated book review of the first manufactured housing text to be published ‘in years’. You’ll be reading more about this tome during the weeks and months ahead. Buy yourself a copy to read before September. Hmm? Read Part III.

I.
Write Your RV/MH Story!

II.
Setting the Stage

III.
DARNED IF I DO & DARNED IF I DON’T..

************************************************************************
I.

Write Your RV/MH Story!

‘How to Research, Write, & Publish Your Memoir or Corporate History’

‘Ah, it’s now official! Al Hesselbart, historian, and I will facilitate a 2 ½ hour seminar on this heady subject, the morning of 4 August 2014, at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame, Museum & Library facility in Elkhart, IN.’ Yes, this will occur earlier during the same day the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame! More on that a little later…

The genesis of this new writing and self-publishing opportunity? Well, at some point in just about everyone’s life, they wax sensitive to and reflective of, their personal, family, civic, career, and or business legacy. Some will be publicly honored (e.g. aforementioned induction into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame) and retire; others simply and quietly disappear. But still others – and hopefully this includes some of you reading this week’s blog posting – will recall adventures experienced, challenges met and overcome, as well as Lessons Learned in Life and Business; and then, birth a passion to share those sterling memories and gems of wisdom with their progeny, employees, friends, and associates.

And that’s where the ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ seminar offering comes into play. If this ‘passion to share’ your memoir or autobiography – and there is a distinct difference between the two, or even corporate story, describes you, plan now to be in Elkhart, IN., all day 4 August 2014. The seminar begins promptly at 9:30AM with distribution of materials, then introduction of registrants and presenters. The first hour will deal with memoir and autobiography research and writing; the second hour with crafting one’s corporate history or story, followed by an introduction to self-publishing and marketing. We plan to end at Noon, and if desired, enjoy lunch as a group at a nearby restaurant.

Want the gist of what’s involved with the ‘self-publishing & marketing’ routine versus traditional publishing? Traditional publishers are difficult, if not impossible, to interest in memoirs, autobiographies or corporate stories – unless author is famous or infamous! But when they do publish, they also market the book; with writers/authors getting only 25% of the net profit. Just about anyone can self-publish and do it well, with the right guidance (You’ll learn what two guides to use!). But be aware, self-publishers are 100% responsible for book marketing & sales, and keep 100% of their net profit. Not enough firms craft their own stories, then use the books to promote their business!

The session on 4 August is limited to 25 individuals. Cost is only $49.95 per person, mainly for materials and the facility. And if registered to attend the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet later the same day (Not a requirement to participate in the seminar), cost is reduced to $29.95/person. ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ registrations are being handled via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. And the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet tickets ($150/person) via (800) 378-8694.

FYI. Can’t make the 4 August date in Elkhart, IN? Know the ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ seminar is already scheduled to be part of the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014, in Peachtree City, GA. For a brochure describing the 20 educational seminars, eight networking events, and superb LLLCommunity deal-making event (i.e. Marcus & Millichap’s annual Investors’ Symposium), comprising this year’s Networking Roundtable, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE listed in previous paragraph.

II.

SETTING THE STAGE

For Two National Public Forums; one on Manufactured Housing, & the other on Land-lease-lifestyle Communities

A new 200 page manufactured housing – focused text debuted last week. Titled DUELING CURVES, it was authored by retired factory-built housing veteran Bob Vahsholtz. I just finished reading it, and realized it truly Sets the Stage for one, if not both, National Public Forums planned for the morning of 11 September 2014, during the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable (10-12 September) at the DOLCE Conference Center in Peachtree City, GA.

The two historic (in that no one in the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry has ever undertaken this daunting and public task before….) National Public Forums, in two consecutive hours, will deal with two timely, strategic topics:

• Future of manufactured housing as ‘housing’ versus trailers, even considering the present and future roll of ‘big boxes = big bucks’ manufactured homes.

• Future of land-lease-lifestyle communities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investments’, given the changes taking place throughout the realty asset class these days.

Following is a very abbreviated review of DUELING CURVES. A much longer, more detailed review will follow in the June issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. That article, in turn, will likely be reprinted and distributed to individuals as they register at participate in the aforementioned Networking Roundtable, enabling them to be informed and primed for the National Public Forums.

My formal review begins with an Executive Summary, quoting salient material from David Funk, LLLCommunity owner and graduate school head at Cornell University. Then I list several PRO observations relative to the book, e.g. much about Learning Curve applied to manufactured housing; Great History Lessons from the early years of this industry; and again, how well it Sets the Stage for the two National Public Forums.

Also list a few CON observations relative to the book, e.g. lack of documentation at times, inconsistent use of terminology (no fewer than four descriptive terms to identify LLLCommunities), and GASP!, no mention of MHARR, the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, and Community Series Homes or CSH Models, having supplanted the ‘big box = big bucks’ Development Series Homes of the latter 1990s/

Then there’s no fewer than a dozen specific Lessons (I) Learned from the text re: interesting Rules of Thumb, revisit of the 20/20/20 guidelines for new home mortgages, and HOW “Rents that are too high in LLLCommunities poorly suited for new manufactured homes results in excessive vacancy rates and depreciating homes – slumsville.” P.106

Then, halfway through the book, Bob Vahsholtz truly Sets the Stage for this Fall’s two National Public Forums, with pithy comments such as this:

“The MH industry needs to think outside the square (box)’” p. 109

“The HUD Standard that was going to make the MH competitive position all better has not done so.” Pp. 113 & 114. A tad bit awkward sentence structure, but you get the point.

“The entire housing field is leaderless.” P.153

“Create nationally recognized brand names and independent rating systems that give proper recognition to genuine housing value.” P.163 Some reading this review will remember John Grissim and what his efforts to do thusly cost him….

“In the near term, our best cost advantage lies with handsome singles, small enough to keep the monthly cost of our homes to the consumer well below the stick competition’s apartments.” P.98

By now, you should want to run out and buy your own copy of DUELING CURVES. So, to do so, simply contact Bob Vahsholtz directly, either via email: kingmidgetswest@gmail.com, or phone (805) 481-2574.

And frankly, you should want to be part of the much larger picture, and actually be present for the two historic National Public Forums where these, and other aspects of manufactured housing and LLLCommunities will be presented and discussed openly. To do so, simply phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764., and ask for an informative/registration brochure for the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable.

If you’re not already affiliated with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7 – the host of this year’s 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, consider doing so now. How? When calling the MHIndustry HOTLINE, ask for a COBA7 brochure.

III.

DARNED IF I DO & DARNED IF I DON’T…

tell YOU what some industry folk told me after returning from Vegas..

First the good stuff:

“Attended the (MH) Congress this week. Attendance was strong, and just like Louisville (MHShow), the attitudes were upbeat.” RK

Followed by this view:

“I was quite alarmed at what I observed at the (event). Seems like it’s pay through the moon and screw the resident. Raise rents, don’t put anything back into capital expenditures, churn and burn. I have decided to start buying (LLLCommunities) again, turn around where we bring them up to very nice family parks (sic), but not sure I want to be associated with this new crowd. Would like your thoughts. Thank you.”

And this one…

“For a second year in a row, forum presenters and panelists from large firms were quick to tell us what they do, or have done, but refuse to, or avoid telling us, how they do or did it. (Proprietary information?) Very frustrating to pay a second registration fee and not get the full story.”

Point in sharing these observations with you? Hopefully ‘planners’ for next year’s event will read this feedback, and make appropriate adjustments and improvements.

In the meantime, plan now to participate in the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, scheduled for 10-12 September 2014, at the DOLCE Conference Center in Peachtree City, GA. Information/registration brochures will be distributed later this month via the Allen Letter professional journal, and all 500+/- known LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators in North America. To ensure an ‘invitation’ to this annual event designed specifically for land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, and request it.

As you have likely heard, two historic National Public Forums will keynote the first full day (11 September) of this year’s Networking Roundtable:

• ‘Future of manufactured housing as ‘housing’?&!’ (two presenters)

• ‘Future of land-lease-lifestyle communities as ‘lifestyle’?&!’ (two presenters)

Additional keynote presentations, during this Networking Roundtable, are:

• Informative presentations by Fannie Mae, & possibly Freddie Mac

As meeting planner and host, I promise Networking Roundtable attendees at least two things:

• Every presenter or panelist extolling personal &/or corporate marketing &/or operational advances and successes, will share methodology employed enroute to said advances and successes, or not be invited back to lecture at a future event!

• Predatory lending practices and too high rental homesite rates have long and frequently tainted the manufactured housing and LLLCommunity business models, so will NOT be taught or encouraged at any Networking Roundtable!

All told, at this year’s Networking Roundtable, there’ll be 20 stimulating educational sessions, eight superb social networking events, and innumerable realty deal-making opportunities, all beginning with Marcus & Millichap’s annual Investors’ Symposium at 4PM on 10 September 2014 – featuring dozens of LLLCommunities ‘for sale’ across the U.S. How can YOU not want to be present for this stellar LLLCommunity event?

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

Six Homes & Six Seminar; Ombudsman (Press) at work….

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Community-investor.com Blog # 296 Copyright 2014 4 May 2014

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

Roles of this blog. ‘It’s the national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & communications resource for LLLCommunities in North America!’

How to input this blog & affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, via Official MHindustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

* Ombudsman press. ‘Non-government alliance handling public inquiries & complaints

Introduction to this week’s community-investor.com blog posting…Everything following is pretty straightforward. If you sell new HUD-Code homes on-site in LLLCommunities, be in East Peoria, Illinois, later this week! Pleased many of you appreciate someone finally having the brass to step forward, and willingly serve as Official Ombudsman (Press) of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class – something I’ve been doing in a de facto manner for decades!anyway, inquiries are arriving already; two last week! And hey, if a member of MHI, sign onto their new online ‘Contact Your Congressman’ program ASAP. Pretty slick stuff. 4,000 calls to Congress, via this program, during the past week or so. And, watch for a review of the new text DURELING CURVES – about manufactured housing in June issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. PLUS, every month that goes by & YOU haven’t affiliated with COBA7, means you’ve missed one more of 12 Signature Series Resource Documents! COBA7 progress? 200+ affiliates to date, an more sign up weekly. How ‘bout YOU?

I.

Unique Blend of Housing Exhibits & Seminars

II.

Positive Responses to Blog Introducing Official
Ombudsman (Press), & Priorities of MHARR

III.

Several New & Updated Resources Debut

—————————————————-

I.

Unique Blend of Housing Exhibits & Seminars

Where will you be on 8 & 9 May 2014, Thursday & Friday of this week? Well, if you’ve got a hankering to walk through and examine a half dozen new HUD-Code manufactured homes in general, Community Series Homes in particular, then make your way to the Par-a-Dice Hotel & Casino in E. Peoria by Thursday morning.

If you’ve a passion for effectively marketing and selling new HUD-Code homes on-site in land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), and self-financing (a.k.a. ‘captive finance’) them in compliance with state and federal finance regulations, you’ll be there as well. WHY? Because John Underwood, of Selling Edge – and veteran home sales trainer, will be holding forth on the first topic; and Ken Rishel of Rishel Consulting, will be lecturing on the latter timely topic.

That’s not all! Benefit from additional specialty programs on ‘How to effectively decorate (interior & exterior) and accessorize display homes!’ Bet you haven’t received instruction on that topic before. And we all know how important it is to effectively screen prospective homebuyers and rental homesite lessees – plus, keep close administrative control of PITI and monthly rent payments, so AmRent & Rent Manager will be team-teaching their valuable systems at this event. And there’s even more; but you get the idea.

Here’s an exciting aside for you, for all of us! You aware the last time a perfect bound (i.e. hardcover) text was published on selling new HUD-Code manufactured homes, was in 1977 – that’s 37 tears ago!? That’s when Gary Pomeroy authored How to Successfully Sell New& Resale Manufactured Homes. Well guess what? A major publisher has hired GFA Management, Inc., to identify a half dozen co-authors to author a new perfect bound book, tentatively titled How to Successfully Sell New Manufactured Homes On-site! The last time a major publisher has expressed such interest in this industry/asset class, was in 1994 and 1996, when New York publisher J. Wiley & Sons published what have since become industry classics: Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities, and How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell Manufactured Home Communities. In the first instance there were three co-authors; in the latter, eight primary contributors. This Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (‘IMHA’) meeting in E. Peoria later this week, will be the first instance where potential authors will be identified and interviewed to possibly participate in this project.

So, if you’d like to attend this very special trade event, replete with new homes o display, an array of superb seminars, even an opportunity to maybe be published in the not too distant future – and you can get on down to East Peoria by Thursday morning, phone Frank Bowman, executive director of IMHA via (217) 528-3423 or visit www.imha.org for information; better yet, to register! As has been said before, “I’ll see you in Peoria!”

One last enticement to attend. I’ve been asked to share the ‘Official State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land-lease-lifestyle Community Realty Asset Class’ with this august group. Everyone present, at Friday morning’s breakfast, will be given a copy of this ‘State of the Industry & Asset Class’ presentation outline, distributed only to COBA7 affiliates in the February 2014 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. The beauty of this outline is its’ utility; having been specially designed for businessmen and women when briefing stakeholders, employees, local zoning boards, state regulators and politicians, even civic groups, about the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class! How can you not want a copy for yourself – to use later this year?

Hope to see you in East Peoria, Illinois, this week! George Allen, CPM, MHM

II.

Positive Responses to Blog Introducing Official Ombudsman (Press), & Priorities of MHARR

All this from the same blog flogger (reader): “Great Idea offering ombudsman (press) presence and service!” & “MHARR has never been one of my favorites, due to overemphasis on the HUD regs; however, that Wish List is pretty impressive, so they get my support! Where’re the other guys?” & “Now, can we finally have a national advocacy presence and effort marketing our (HUD-Code) homes?” Whew! I know two present day national advocacy bodies who think they’re already ‘doing that already’; but if an industry ‘insider’ can’t see what’s being done, in his/her behalf, then certainly ‘our public’ likely isn’t either. Guess that’s all the more reason we need to support the work of the American Housing Advocates or AHA.

Not everyone views MHARR the way the previous quoted individual does. This from a Midwest independent (street) MHRetailer with sterling ‘bona fides’: “I think Danny (Ghorbani) does more for the manufactured housing industry than anyone. I’m glad you have the platform from which to give him some credit!” DG

III.

Several New & Updated Resources Debut

First, the Manufactured Housing Institute’s ‘Contact Your Congressman’ program. Take a few minutes to complete a personal contact information form and then, whenever timely to get a prepared message off to one’s congressman, just answer a few prompts – and there it goes! Simple as that. I’m on board; are you?

Initiated by Rick Robinson, esquire, newest staff member at MHI, this is the slickest piece of political influence stimulation I’ve seen to date. So, if an MHI member, be sure YOU answer the call to complete your personal contact information on this system – to enable software to mate your correspondence with appropriate congressmen and congresswomen.

DUELING CURVES, ‘The Battle for Housing’, by Bob Vahsholtz’ debuted this week. Bob was present at the 22nd annual Networking Roundtable in San Diego two years ago, beginning research for this tome. Well, 1 ½ years later we have the result of his labor, 217 pages of combined factory-built housing lore, all you ever wanted to know about ‘the learning curve’ but didn’t know who to ask, a call for national leadership, and ID of new market and product opportunities. A more comprehensive review will follow, likely in the June or July issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

In the meantime, if you’d like to order a copy of this pretty hefty volume, reach Bob via email: kingmidgetswest@gmail.com Book is priced at a very reasonable $35.00, with an added $7.00 charge for handling and shipping. What’s with the ‘king midgets’ email address? It’s part of the title and subject (a past, smaller scale automobile) of one of Bob’s previous nine books, all written and self-published during his retirement career.

Next is the 5th annual ‘Official Manufactured Housing Resource for Print & On-line Media, plus Social Networking Web Sites’ Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD. This will be distributed to all COBA7 affiliates, as an enclosure to the May issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. If you’ve not viewed or used this document before, know it’s the only such resource published in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class, listing four print media resources, a half dozen on-line media resources, and a host of websites. And the Social Net Media directory, listing 20+/- type sites is the most comprehensive compendium published anywhere! This year’s update was prepared by the American Housing Advocates, under the guidance of Bruce Savage & Suzanne Felber. Want a copy? Affiliate with COBA7 via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And in June’s issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, COBA7 affiliates will find their 5th edition (2014) of the Official Manufactured Housing & LLLCommunity LEXICON & GLOSSARY. This ‘dictionary’ continues to grow in size year after year. And this time around, the Manufactured Housing Institute & Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, as well as the American Housing Advocates, have been asked to help update this valuable SSRD. Will they? Guess you’ll see when you read the ‘credits’ in the introduction to this 150 word collection of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity trade terms. Would YOU like to contribute to the edit of this year’s update? Let me know via (317) 346-7156. And again, if you’d like a copy of this SSRD, affiliate with COBA7 via the MHIndustry HOTLINE number provided in the previous paragraph.

***

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

Community-investor.com Blog # 296 Copyright 2014 4 May 2014

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

Roles of this blog. ‘It’s the national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & communications resource for LLLCommunities in North America!’

How to input this blog & affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, via Official MHindustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

* Ombudsman press. ‘Non-government alliance handling public inquiries & complaints

Introduction to this week’s community-investor.com blog posting…Everything following is pretty straightforward. If you sell new HUD-Code homes on-site in LLLCommunities, be in East Peoria, Illinois, later this week! Pleased many of you appreciate someone finally having the brass to step forward, and willingly serve as Official Ombudsman (Press) of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class – something I’ve been doing in a de facto manner for decades!anyway, inquiries are arriving already; two last week! And hey, if a member of MHI, sign onto their new online ‘Contact Your Congressman’ program ASAP. Pretty slick stuff. 4,000 calls to Congress, via this program, during the past week or so. And, watch for a review of the new text DURELING CURVES – about manufactured housing in June issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. PLUS, every month that goes by & YOU haven’t affiliated with COBA7, means you’ve missed one more of 12 Signature Series Resource Documents! COBA7 progress? 200+ affiliates to date, an more sign up weekly. How ‘bout YOU?

I.

Unique Blend of Housing Exhibits & Seminars

II.

Positive Responses to Blog Introducing Official
Ombudsman (Press), & Priorities of MHARR

III.

Several New & Updated Resources Debut

—————————————————-

I.

Unique Blend of Housing Exhibits & Seminars

Where will you be on 8 & 9 May 2014, Thursday & Friday of this week? Well, if you’ve got a hankering to walk through and examine a half dozen new HUD-Code manufactured homes in general, Community Series Homes in particular, then make your way to the Par-a-Dice Hotel & Casino in E. Peoria by Thursday morning.

If you’ve a passion for effectively marketing and selling new HUD-Code homes on-site in land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), and self-financing (a.k.a. ‘captive finance’) them in compliance with state and federal finance regulations, you’ll be there as well. WHY? Because John Underwood, of Selling Edge – and veteran home sales trainer, will be holding forth on the first topic; and Ken Rishel of Rishel Consulting, will be lecturing on the latter timely topic.

That’s not all! Benefit from additional specialty programs on ‘How to effectively decorate (interior & exterior) and accessorize display homes!’ Bet you haven’t received instruction on that topic before. And we all know how important it is to effectively screen prospective homebuyers and rental homesite lessees – plus, keep close administrative control of PITI and monthly rent payments, so AmRent & Rent Manager will be team-teaching their valuable systems at this event. And there’s even more; but you get the idea.

Here’s an exciting aside for you, for all of us! You aware the last time a perfect bound (i.e. hardcover) text was published on selling new HUD-Code manufactured homes, was in 1977 – that’s 37 tears ago!? That’s when Gary Pomeroy authored How to Successfully Sell New& Resale Manufactured Homes. Well guess what? A major publisher has hired GFA Management, Inc., to identify a half dozen co-authors to author a new perfect bound book, tentatively titled How to Successfully Sell New Manufactured Homes On-site! The last time a major publisher has expressed such interest in this industry/asset class, was in 1994 and 1996, when New York publisher J. Wiley & Sons published what have since become industry classics: Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities, and How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell Manufactured Home Communities. In the first instance there were three co-authors; in the latter, eight primary contributors. This Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (‘IMHA’) meeting in E. Peoria later this week, will be the first instance where potential authors will be identified and interviewed to possibly participate in this project.

So, if you’d like to attend this very special trade event, replete with new homes o display, an array of superb seminars, even an opportunity to maybe be published in the not too distant future – and you can get on down to East Peoria by Thursday morning, phone Frank Bowman, executive director of IMHA via (217) 528-3423 or visit www.imha.org for information; better yet, to register! As has been said before, “I’ll see you in Peoria!”

One last enticement to attend. I’ve been asked to share the ‘Official State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land-lease-lifestyle Community Realty Asset Class’ with this august group. Everyone present, at Friday morning’s breakfast, will be given a copy of this ‘State of the Industry & Asset Class’ presentation outline, distributed only to COBA7 affiliates in the February 2014 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. The beauty of this outline is its’ utility; having been specially designed for businessmen and women when briefing stakeholders, employees, local zoning boards, state regulators and politicians, even civic groups, about the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class! How can you not want a copy for yourself – to use later this year?

Hope to see you in East Peoria, Illinois, this week! George Allen, CPM, MHM

II.

Positive Responses to Blog Introducing Official Ombudsman (Press), & Priorities of MHARR

All this from the same blog flogger (reader): “Great Idea offering ombudsman (press) presence and service!” & “MHARR has never been one of my favorites, due to overemphasis on the HUD regs; however, that Wish List is pretty impressive, so they get my support! Where’re the other guys?” & “Now, can we finally have a national advocacy presence and effort marketing our (HUD-Code) homes?” Whew! I know two present day national advocacy bodies who think they’re already ‘doing that already’; but if an industry ‘insider’ can’t see what’s being done, in his/her behalf, then certainly ‘our public’ likely isn’t either. Guess that’s all the more reason we need to support the work of the American Housing Advocates or AHA.

Not everyone views MHARR the way the previous quoted individual does. This from a Midwest independent (street) MHRetailer with sterling ‘bona fides’: “I think Danny (Ghorbani) does more for the manufactured housing industry than anyone. I’m glad you have the platform from which to give him some credit!” DG

III.

Several New & Updated Resources Debut

First, the Manufactured Housing Institute’s ‘Contact Your Congressman’ program. Take a few minutes to complete a personal contact information form and then, whenever timely to get a prepared message off to one’s congressman, just answer a few prompts – and there it goes! Simple as that. I’m on board; are you?

Initiated by Rick Robinson, esquire, newest staff member at MHI, this is the slickest piece of political influence stimulation I’ve seen to date. So, if an MHI member, be sure YOU answer the call to complete your personal contact information on this system – to enable software to mate your correspondence with appropriate congressmen and congresswomen.

DUELING CURVES, ‘The Battle for Housing’, by Bob Vahsholtz’ debuted this week. Bob was present at the 22nd annual Networking Roundtable in San Diego two years ago, beginning research for this tome. Well, 1 ½ years later we have the result of his labor, 217 pages of combined factory-built housing lore, all you ever wanted to know about ‘the learning curve’ but didn’t know who to ask, a call for national leadership, and ID of new market and product opportunities. A more comprehensive review will follow, likely in the June or July issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

In the meantime, if you’d like to order a copy of this pretty hefty volume, reach Bob via email: kingmidgetswest@gmail.com Book is priced at a very reasonable $35.00, with an added $7.00 charge for handling and shipping. What’s with the ‘king midgets’ email address? It’s part of the title and subject (a past, smaller scale automobile) of one of Bob’s previous nine books, all written and self-published during his retirement career.

Next is the 5th annual ‘Official Manufactured Housing Resource for Print & On-line Media, plus Social Networking Web Sites’ Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD. This will be distributed to all COBA7 affiliates, as an enclosure to the May issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. If you’ve not viewed or used this document before, know it’s the only such resource published in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class, listing four print media resources, a half dozen on-line media resources, and a host of websites. And the Social Net Media directory, listing 20+/- type sites is the most comprehensive compendium published anywhere! This year’s update was prepared by the American Housing Advocates, under the guidance of Bruce Savage & Suzanne Felber. Want a copy? Affiliate with COBA7 via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And in June’s issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, COBA7 affiliates will find their 5th edition (2014) of the Official Manufactured Housing & LLLCommunity LEXICON & GLOSSARY. This ‘dictionary’ continues to grow in size year after year. And this time around, the Manufactured Housing Institute & Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, as well as the American Housing Advocates, have been asked to help update this valuable SSRD. Will they? Guess you’ll see when you read the ‘credits’ in the introduction to this 150 word collection of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity trade terms. Would YOU like to contribute to the edit of this year’s update? Let me know via (317) 346-7156. And again, if you’d like a copy of this SSRD, affiliate with COBA7 via the MHIndustry HOTLINE number provided in the previous paragraph.

***

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