Archive for May 30th, 2015

NCC Agenda, Shipment #s, & PM $ Compensation

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 351 via community-investor.com Copyright 31 May 2015

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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’

Important Announcement

There will be no blog posting, at community-investor.com, on Sunday 7 June 2015. Next blog posting, at this website, will likely be Sunday morning, 14 June 2015 or thereabouts… GFA

I.

Allen & Roane in Washington @ 15 & 16 June!

Visits Scheduled with MHARR, MHI, HUD, COBA7® & more…

Yes, it’s that time of year, when – it seems – many manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community roads lead to Washington, DC., for MHI’s annual legislative emphasis meeting and visits to Capitol Hill. Will you be there? If so, maybe we’ll see you and have time to ‘talk MH shop’.

Spencer Roane, MHM® and I’ll begin our trip several days earlier, as we meet in Harrisburg, PA., then drive onto Cape May, New Jersey, where we’ll spend much of the weekend dining on fresh seafood prepared by a gourmet chef – my brother Mark. Then we’ll take the ferry across the Delaware Bay to Lewes, DE., to visit with Bruce Savage of American Housing Advocates. George Porter usually joins this merry band, but has a commitment elsewhere this year. In any event, this is where the future of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class is planned. Ha!

Once in DC, we’ll likely hang out with industry friends at the picturesque, eclectic Tabard Inn (Novelists oft describe its’ bar, restaurant, even sleeping rooms – some with – and some without bathrooms, as settings for scenes in their books), attend meetings with executives at various government agencies, MH trade groups, and elsewhere. As an NCC board member, I’ll attend the division’s meeting, from 1:30-3PM, on the 15th of June. Will you be there too? In regards to said meeting, here’re items I’ve requested be put on the agenda that day:

• Pros & cons of NCC’s recently debuted ’50 Largest Owners’- not including RV sites, list. Three questions: 1) Why change rental homesite inventory methodology that’s worked for 26 years in the ALLEN REPORT? 2) Will annual membership dues to MHI/NCC, from REITs ELS, Inc., & Sun Communities, Inc., be reduced, since their RV sites have been stripped from their property portfolio total site count? 3) And how will Wall Street analysts view this abrupt unilateral change, in light of new LLLCommunity IPOs anticipated this year and next?

• Status of performance, recruiting members for the NCC, by new salaried recruiter? Frankly, whether these five bulleted items make it onto the meeting agenda will be a clear indicator of sensitivity and responsiveness by NCC leadership, to the concerns of new and old direct, dues-paying members!

• Request for final report and cost accounting relative to Dr. Becker’s two years research project contracted by the NCC. Wasn’t the purpose of said research, to quantify the value and or dollar impact of land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) on local housing markets?

• Results of NCC’s web-based survey circulated to members during the past month?

• Discuss whether the time is right to recommend to MHEI, the Accredited Community Manager® or ACM® professional property management training and certification program be simplified and made less expensive, as an entry level PM offering; or, elevate it to regional and executive property management focus and status, then embrace COBA7®’s popular one day Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® program as NCC’s entry level program of choice!

In the same correspondence to NCC’s chairman, Steve Adler of MUREX Properties, when I made the above request, I also offered to brief the NCC, and by extension MHI, about the ‘new statistics gathering & reporting initiative’ to soon be implemented by COBA7®. The gist of said initiative is to bring accuracy & consistency to the HUD-Code home shipment numbers reported ‘variously’ by MHARR & MHI. COBA7® has already entered into agreements with appropriate data sources to make this happen. And given this blog, via its’ BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) distribution to 1,000 MHIndustry & LLLCommunity aficionados each week, there’s the ideal opportunity, even responsibility, to finally bring home shipment statistical accuracy & consistency to our business base throughout the U.S.- the sooner the better.

So, there you have it. Our trip to Washington, DC. If you do plan to be ‘in town’ during the stated time frame, and want to engage in private conversation, or networking with Spencer and or me, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and let us know your availability.

II.

On-site LLLCommunity Property Manager Compensation

As owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities, we’ve intermittently discussed this important matter, among ourselves, ‘for years’. We’ve talked of ‘doing surveys’, but when push-came-to-shove, no one (and I mean ‘no one’) was willing to openly and honestly share what or how they’re compensating on-site (property) mangers, under a variety of working arrangements. Appears there’re just too many variables in play, to identify a true Common Denominator applicable to everyone, except maybe one, the OER (operating expense ratio) percentage approach.

But first the variables…

• The nature of the job itself, e.g. simple ground lease income only property – or with includes property-owned homes, and how many? Also; full & stable, or a turnaround challenge? And, all city utilities, or water wells & water treatment facilities in place – in good or poor condition? Other factors: adult vs. family property, snow plowing vs. Sunbelt, etc..

• Small vs. large enough LLLCommunity (i.e. occupied & paying rent homesites) to support a fulltime on-site manager vs. part-time. My opinion? It’s a part-time job until more than 150 occupied sites are paying rent. But more on that later.

• One on-site manager or prefer a married couple – preferably retired and drawing one or more pensions from elsewhere. The thought? Get two talents – one inside doing paperwork, other outside doing maintenance), for price of 1 ½ employees, but incurring the risk of losing two, not just one, employees upon occasion..

• Providing housing and or housing allowance – and concessioned site rent or not?

• Paying for all or none of the manager’s on-site utilities?

• Role, if any, of bonuses for leasing and or home sales performance?

• And there’s more; to include, but not limited to: benefits (healthcare, retirement, etc.), provide vehicle, etc..

With all that said, it’s not difficult at all to understand the difficulty finding consensus among owners/operators, let alone willingness to report and explain their respective compensation programs.

The answer? Again, one that’s (deceptively?) simple. If you have access to the Official MHIndustry Standard Chart of Operating Accounts*, you know, under the ‘Allen Model of OERs (Operating Expense Ratios) for LLLCommunities’, the pro forma total OER is pegged at 40 percent (i.e. 40% or 40 cents of every dollar in collected homesite rent), and that…

4.5 percent of 40 percent OER is set aside for Administrative wages/salary, &
3.0 percent of the same base amount, is set aside for Maintenance wages/salary.

How’s that work? Given 50, 100, 150, & 200 site LLLCommunities charging $200/month homesite rent, the following $$$ amounts can be available for the on-site administrative and maintenance management and work at four sizes of properties:

50 sites X $200 rent = $10,000 X .045 admin.= $450, & $10,000 X .03 maint. = $300.

Together = $750/month gross PM wages/salary, divided by 4.3weeks/month = $174/week pay, administrative & maintenance together. Not a fulltime job.

100 sites X $200 rent = $20,000 X .045 admin. = $900, & $20,000 X .03 maint. = $600.

Together = $1,500/month gross PM wages/salary, divided by 4.3 weeks/month = $348/week pay, administrative & maintenance together. Not a fulltime job.

150 sites X $200 rent = $30,000 X .045 admin. = $1,350, & $30,000 X .03 maint. = $900

Together = $2,250/month gross PM wages/salary, divided by 4.3 weeks/month = $523/week pay, administrative & maintenance together. Barely a fulltime job

200 sites X $200 rent = $40,000 X .045 admin. = $1,800, & $40,000 X .03 maint = $1,200

Together = #3,000/month gross PM wages/salary, divided by 4.3 weeks/month = $698/week pay, administrative & maintenance together, for one or two, maybe three employees, working a mix of fulltime and part-time.

Now comes the difficult part. How to best allocate the budgeted administrative and maintenance wages/salary dollars per property, based on its’ size (i.e. again, number of occupied and rent paying homesites), and nature of the property management responsibilities. Are we talking about one fulltime PM, two part-time PMs, or a mix of of fulltime and part-time positions?

All this does not fully address perennial questions relative to staffing and compensating property managers on-site in LLLCommunities throughout the U.S. but it certainly is a place to start.

End Note.

• If you’d like a FREE copy of the Industry Standard Chart of Operating Accounts for LLLCommunities, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.and ask for it. Special ANNOUNCEMENT for COBA7® affiliates and MHInsiders: The July 2015 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal will include a copy of the newest version of the Income & Expense Analysis Worksheet for LLLCommunities. And on the reverse side of this standard PM form, is a copy of the above referenced Industry Standard Chart of Operating Accounts for LLLCommunities.

III.

COBA7® Preparing an ‘Open Letter to the Manufactured Housing Industry & LLLCommunity Realty Asset Class!’

Content & Distribution Depends on Proceedings at MHI, NCC, HUD, MHARR & COBA7® Meetings in Washington, DC…

WHY an Open Letter to the Manufactured Housing Industry & LLLCommunity Realty Asset Class? Simple. Lack of unified action by MHARR & MHI following last year’s 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable. At that venue, a WHITE PAPER – distributed nationwide by COBA7®, was underscored by keynote presentations and discussions led by Michael Sullivan, CPM® & Ken Rishel; both of whom inspired lively and timely discussion relative to the Past, Present & Future of our beleaguered industry and recovering property type. From there, a formal call went out to leaders of MHARR & MHI, to work together and plan, and eventually host a National Strategic Planning Meeting – ‘for everyone willing to pay their own way’, to convene in the Chicagoland area. As it turned out, the call was ignored; so to date, the manufactured housing industry continues to flounder along at a six year nadir average of but 55,000+/- new HUD-Code homes shipped per year, and with no real end in sight.

An ‘Open Letter to the Manufactured Housing Industry & LLLCommunity Realty Asset Class!’ is the next public manifestation of this Initiative That Will Not Die! What will be included in the forthcoming message to more than a thousand MHIndustry & LLLCommunity aficionados? That’s still coming together, but at present includes:

• Yet another call for a National Strategic Planning Meeting, in late 2015 or early 2016. The ideal setting? Perhaps at the Louisville MHShow during mid-January 2016. Not the best time of year or best location, but certainly an opportunity to
1) support and participate in this national initiative – planned and hosted by MHARR, MHI, & COBA7®; 2) take in a rejuvenated MHShow with dozens of new homes on display, and an array of super seminars; and, 3) maybe even sit for the Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management certification designation. Now that’s what one might well call a ‘threefer’!

• Time has (more than) come for one or more new HUD-Code manufactured homes – especially a Community Series Home (singlesection with WOW! Factors and durability-enhancing features), to be publicly exhibited near Congress in our nation’s capitol! Why not? The RV industry already does this! Target date? MHI’s next legislative gathering. And again, why not to be planned and hosted by MHARR, MHI, and COBA7®?!

• Identify and cultivate working relationships with new partners, from outside the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class, to strengthen our presence and reputation as affordable housing, with a desirable lifestyle, and help improve our national image through MH brand advertising. Frankly, this latter part is an ideal project for the American Housing Advocates! What are we waiting for?

And yes, there’s more, much more to come; but you likely get the idea….As they say, ‘Stay tuned here – at community-investor.com, for more and timely news about this ‘Open Letter to the Manufactured Housing Industry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’ And again; what are we waiting for?

There are a number of quiet issues that’ll be addressed at MHI, NCC, MHARR, COBA7®, & HUD meetings on 14, 15 & 16 June 2015. Once Spencer Roane, MHM® and I see how these play out – or don’t, then finishing the ‘Open Letter to the Manufactured Housing Industry & LLLCommunity Realty Asset Class’ will occur..

As a related aside; ‘What would YOU like to see included in such an Open Letter, that hasn’t been mentioned so far? Just let me know via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or via email: gfa7156@aol.com

And remember, No Blog Posting on 7 June 2015! Start again on or about 14 June. Will try and remember to ‘splain’ all that then…GFA

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