How to Increase HUD – Code Home Sales NOW!

Blog # 208 Copyright 2012 19 August 2012

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

How to Increase HUD – Code Home Sales NOW!
It seems everyone is climbing on this bandwagon, are YOU?

‘But First, an important announcement, for individuals attending the
21st International Networking Roundtable, in San Diego, CA., @ 12 – 14 September: Registration has been so heavy for this seminal event, that rooms at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa are now limited. Overflow, if it occurs, will be handled by the nearby Crowne Plaza at 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego. If necessary, phone (888) 233-9527 and request a room reservation in the Networking Roundtable courtesy block.’ GFA

I.

Ever since this weekly blog post, on 8/5/2012, at community-investor website, described

‘HUD – Code Manufacturers Showing Renewed Interest in Selling New ‘Community Series Homes’ into Land Lease Lifestyle Communities’,

our offices have been awash in phone calls, email messages, faxes, even visits from BDMs (Business Development Managers working for said home manufacturers), requesting copies of the blog manuscript, subsequently recast as a ‘drop in’ feature in September’s edition of the Allen Letter professional journal. Are YOU a subscriber yet? If not, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Why this sudden and intense attention? Because the timing is right – even critical, for HUD – Code home manufacturers to finally realize they MUST turn out truly ‘affordable’, oft singlesection manufactured homes (a.k.a. Community Series Homes or CSH models) designed for in – land lease lifestyle community placement – to survive! Behemoth land – and – home multisection homes (a.k.a. Developer Series Homes, or DSH models of the late 1990s), for the time being, have been and continue to be ‘dead in the water’ in most local housing markets, unable to compete, price wise, with hundreds of thousands of repossessed, devalued stick – built homes sited on realty conveyed fee simple. And now that 21st Mortgage Corporation has rolled out it’s C.A.S.H. Program, and SACU, it’s One – Step Program, in – LLLCommunity financing of new (and eventually resale) manufactured homes is once again possible and feasible!

And that point, is but one of ten steps identified in the aforementioned blog, describing how HUD – Code manufacturers can sell more new homes into land lease lifestyle communities! Here’s some more unsolicited response to this particular blog posting:

“Well done! I am a ‘porchy’, as were my parents and grandparents. In late August, my sisters and I will be at Mom & Dad’s house, to sit out on the porch and solve the problems of the world, just as we have all these – OMG – years! What a great reminder, sir, and Thanks! You are right; non – threatening debate has, and will always be, the way to the truth and compromise that wins.” NB These remarks are in response to the Phillip Gulley quote used to begin the blog, and the fact that one of the most popular Community Series Home or CSH model designs, these days, is the singlesection manufactured home featuring a front – loaded porch. For a list of the HUD – Code manufacturers producing CSH models these days, phone the above – referenced MHIndustry HOTLINE.

Remember, that Ten Step to Increased Home Sales list will be a drop – in feature in the September 2012 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. You owe it to yourself to read and USE it, and certainly pass a copy onto the HUD – Code home manufacturer, even plant, of your preference – along with the suggestion to ‘Get with it’ NOW!

II.

Then, there was this interesting suggestion. ‘How to boost home sales and save on taxes at the same time?’ This drill may or may not work in your state – so check first. But the way it works, as I was told, goes like this:

A land lease lifestyle community owner, who’s also a properly licensed MHRetailer, orders a new home, installing it on rental homesite within his property. The transaction, for the time being, is tax exempt, as it’s merchant inventory, being held for sale. The home, once properly installed on a rental homesite, is first rented to a lessee, or family, for at least one month. As a ‘rental’, the home is not taxable. Then sell the now next – to – new home as a ‘resale’ home, and that transaction is not taxable either; or, if so, only partially – depending on laws in a particular state. Taken together, this routine saves several percentage points, or thousands of tax dollars, on the sale of said home. But remember, check this out in your state, before proceeding. RK (Edited. GFA)

III.

Then there’s this sobering indictment of land lease lifestyle community owners/operators who do NOT properly, if at all, TRAIN on – site staff to effectively sell new and resale homes, let alone lease vacant rental homesites:

“Agree with everything you said in your recent blog posting, but feel you missed one important requirement (for selling more manufactured homes on – site), and that is training sales staff! The average salesperson, in a land lease lifestyle community, was hired to collect rent and take care of the property, where curb appeal, rules enforcement, and resident relations are concerned. They generally receive NO sales TRAINING whatsoever. The prevailing erroneous mindset, among HUD – code home manufacturers, and LLLCommunity owners alike, is ‘…the housing product is so superior it will sell itself!’ NOT!” GS (Edited. GFA)

My comment here? The writer is right! As a rule, operations – capable people are generally hired to staff land lease lifestyle communities. Rarely are they as good at sales, of any kind, as they are at ‘taking care of (property management) business’. And only when a property is large enough (In this industry observer’s opinion – with more than 150 rental homesites, and 10 – 15% of those vacant), can it afford to hire a commissioned sales person. And then, where do we get appropriate training? Historically – again, in my experience, not from the manufacturer or their regional sales representatives. And LLLCommunity owners/operators already know capable, experienced, motivated sales trainers, of the sort we need, are as rare as ‘hen’s teeth’ in the manufactured housing industry. The answer? Maybe, as described in two of the aforementioned Ten Steps: HUD – Code home manufacturers should seize the initiative and retrain their trainers to teach how to effectively sell Product & Lifestyle on – site, not just the former. And while they’re at it, somebody should be putting together the first ‘How to Sell Manufactured Homes in Land Lease Lifestyle Communities!’

So far, two weeks have gone by, and I’ve yet to hear from a HUD – Code home manufacturer that they defiantly plan to follow up on these two specific recommendations. Though I will say, I did have one in – plant visit and interview where the matters were at least discussed.

IV.

Changing the subject a bit, If you haven’t already read this very interesting MHVillage – conducted survey, quoted in Ken Rishel’s free, online Chattel Finance Newsletter, or elsewhere for that matter, go to mhvillage.com/ and read it ‘right from the horse’s mouth’. It’s worth the effort, and you’ll be glad you did.

Recommending this ‘read’, by the way, touches on yet another, related and telling matter.

Surely you’ve noticed! Most ‘new (MHIndustry & LLLCommunity) news’ you read these days comes from two trade press sources; Rishel Consulting’s two online finance newsletters, and aforementioned Allen Letter professional journal. NOT including the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! here, as that subscriber – supported, monthly print business newsletter deals solely with ‘insider MHBusiness information’ available nowhere else! For example; where else would one learn firsthand, details of a possible hiatus coming to post production Advocacy, Research & Resources? Or read a critique of ARA Manufactured Housing’s 2012 National Manufactured Housing (report)? Think about it. The Manufactured Home Merchandiser, Modern Home, Automated Builder, and Factory – built Housing magazines are all gone. So, here’s an acid test by which to measure ‘what’s left’: Do they announce, let alone report on, key events like the upcoming SECO Symposium in Atlanta, GA. @ 29 August; or the 21st Networking Roundtable in San Diego, CA., @ 12 – 14 September? Hmm?

V.

Speaking of the SECO Symposium, YOU barely have time to get in under the wire. That’s right; appears well more than a hundred land lease lifestyle community owners/operators, HUD – Code home manufacturers, and home finance resources will congregate at the Hilton Doubletree Atlanta/Marietta Conference Center all day , 29 August 2012. For room reservations, phone (770) 272-9441. For more information about the four part program, and to register, contact Chris Nicely via (865) 385-9675 or cnicely929@aol.com I plan to be there, not as a presenter, but as a land lease lifestlyle community owner who wants to learn from other land lease lifestyle community owners!

***

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 462437
(317) 346-7156

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