SUN Communities # 1 per NCC; Networking Roundtable on horizon…

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 347 Copyright @ 3 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 a 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!’, & the Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’

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MHI’s NCC busts its’ likely largest dues-paying member, from ‘Biggest Owner of LLLCommunities in the World!’ to #2 position; simultaneously elevating second largest owner/operator on 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, to vaunted #1 position, amidst outcry over outright imitation of COBA7®s Signature Series Resource Document! The 24th International Networking Roundtable, with distribution of its’ event brochure last week, is signing up registrants daily. Illinois’ IMHA sets political activism and effective lobbying example for other state MHAssociations! And, COBA7®s final Goal on its’ five part WISH LIST is described in detail.

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I,

Fallout Continues Over MHI’s NCC’s Imitation of annual ALLEN REPORT!

We had no idea there were so many pithy quotes afoot, relative to the crass imitation of this longstanding and respected work product. Here’s a sampling of quips and words of encouragement received, from blog floggers (readers) to date, by Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®:

‘He who is short on originality is usually long on imitation.’

‘Imitation is the antithesis of originality.’

‘He who lacks originality is usually proficient at imitation.’

‘The absence of originality is the precursor to imitation.’

‘Imitation is the by-product of absence of originality’

And finally, one we’ve all heard before: ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’

For those just joining this conversation, know it has to do with MHI’s NCC Division’s recent creation of an ‘April 2015, Largest 50 Community Owners & Operators’ List, ranking property portfolios based solely on rental homesites for HUD-code homes – omitting all recreational vehicles (‘RV’) sites from a reporting firm’s site count. The format adopted by MHI’s NCC division imitates the popular 26 year old ALLEN REPORT, but NCC’s change in ranking methodology, as just described, changes some firms’ sequential position relative to their competitors.

Most notable example of said ‘change’ occurred just before the ‘April 2015, Largest 50 Community Owners & Operators’ List debuted at the recent MHCongress in Las Vegas. The following ‘cumbersome but tell-all headline not used for Part I of blog # 346’ – breaking this story last Sunday, tells of one unintended, albeit embarrassing consequence of this unique story of imitation.

The headline: “MHI’s NCC-proposed ‘RV site less ranking’ of LLLCommunity portfolios reduced its’ biggest dues-paying member, ELS, Inc., to # 2 position, behind (now) # 1 Sun Communities, Inc., when latter recently acquired an additional 3,100 MH rental homesites in Florida!”

According to an as yet unpublished article in Allen Letter professional journal,, the mixed-use property portfolios of real estate investment trusts (‘REIT’), ELS, Inc., & Sun Communities, Inc., now compare in needlessly ‘cornfusing’ ways:

• ELS, Inc., @ 140,000+/- total rental homesites per 26th ALLEN REPORT, vs. NCC’s ‘April 2015 Largest 50…List’ @ only 71,500 sites, not including RV sites! A 51 percent reduction in ELS portfolio size!

• Sun Communities, Inc., @ 92,234+/- total rental homesites per 26th ALLEN REPORT (inclusion of 3,100 recently acquired sites in FL.), vs. NCC’s ‘April 2015 Largest 50…List’ @ 74,259, not the 71,129 posted during said MHCongress!

Bottom line? ELS, Inc., continues to be ranked, by the 26 year old ALLEN REPORT, as ‘Biggest Owner/operator of LLLCommunities in the World!’, but is only # 2 on NCC’s ‘April 2015 Largest 50…List’! And Sun Communities, Inc., according to NCC’s ‘RV site less ranking’ methodology, is now positioned, given recent acquisition of 3,100 MH rental homesites in FL, as ‘Biggest Owner/operator of LLLCommunities in the World!’

Furthermore; in the minds of 500+/- LLLCommunity portfolio ‘players’, dozens of Wall Street analysts following the three REITs, and other mixed-use property portfolio owners/operators, which methodology is preferable going forward? Comparing ‘apples-to-apples’ (i.e. total rental homesites to total rental homesites) as has been the practice for the past 26 years; or ‘apples-to-oranges’, separating out ‘RV sites’ from ‘rental homesites’? I’m certain MHI’s NCC would like to know, so call (703) 558-0666; and COBA7® would as well: Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Let’s hope common sense prevails, and MHI’s NCC scraps promotion of an unneeded, confusing inventory research document, imitating an industry standard in place and functioning well for 26 years!.

II.

24th International Networking Roundtable
‘Off & Running’!

Brochures for this year’s Networking Roundtable are now being distributed. First exposure was as an attachment to last week’s blog posting to 1,000+/- recipients. Before the end of the day (Sunday), completed registration forms were arriving via email – and they continue to arrive daily. Strongly recommend you not wait this year, until August or September to sign-up. Given the strength of the program agenda, nature of its’ theme (i.e. ‘Selling More New Homes Into LLLCommunities!’), and location on Mission Bay in San Diego; well, you don’t want to miss out when the event ‘sells out’ – like it almost did last time we were there, in 2012.

What’s so very special this year? Hard to know where to start, but here’re a few extraordinary, titillating tidbits:

• No fewer than five top executives from largest HUD-Code home plants, keynoting the roundtable, telling why you should be buying Community Series Homes from them, what marketing & sales support they provide, their position of Frost Free Foundations®, & How to calculate affordable housing price points!’

• Representatives from both GSE’s, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, have asked to be invited back, to continue the lively and revealing discussions first experienced last Fall in Peachtree City, GA. Expecting to add the Federal Housing Finance Authority to this already heady mix. How can you not want to be present?

• Dr. David Funk. That’s really about all I have to pen – for MHIndustry veterans! Anyone who’s listened to this Cornell University researcher and department head hold forth on ‘Housing Economics & Manufactured Housing’s Strategic Niche!’ always comes back for more!

• Frankly, I could go on and on and on. There’s simply nothing else like this available to LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide. Nearly two dozen seminars and panels, special appearances by the RV/MH Hall of Fame, MHI & MHARR staffers, as well as COBA7®, the event planner and host

For more information, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 & use attached brochures to register for the Networking Roundtable, and to affiliated, at one of three levels, with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®.

III.

Illinois IMHA Makes 30 Year History!

New Blood + New Talent = New Successes for a state MHAssociation! Yes, a scant three years ago, the newly elected board of directors took over direction and scope of the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association. Their first order of business was to hire a new executive director, then aggressively address a broad array of fiscal issues and regulatory challenges, which if left unaddressed at the time, threatened to overwhelm the many decades old advocate for manufactured housing in the state of Illinois. What happened?

Increased membership, a rejuvenated budget and vastly improved income and cash flow, record attendance at annual meetings, even a new print directory of members – for the first time in years! But most significant have been the association’s stunning successes on the political scene – in large part facilitated by a board member who’s a passionate political wonk (‘obsessive student’). Well, this combination of new members, new $$$ blood, new talent, new successes, and new leadership, gelled recently as IMHA initiatives ‘more than made their way’ through the Illinois legislature. Here’s how Frank Bowman, IMHA’s executive director, describes circumstances today:

During drafting of SB 1702, IMHA was able to convince the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, that while manufactured homes and ‘park model RVs’ are indeed vehicles, they’re non-motorized vehicles, and antiquated licensing rules in effect for 70+ years, are ill-suited for MHRetailers selling today, especially owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities selling new and resale homes on-site! Result? A change in rules that include a major reduction in ‘dealer licensing fees’ for community-based MHRetailers. Those savings, per business entity, more than offset the cost of IMHA membership! Anyway, SB 1702 passed the state Senate without opposition on 23 April, and was introduced in the House on 24 April. There’s no anticipated opposition in the House, or by the Governor; so hopes are high this bill will become law during July 2015..

Riding, in part, on that success, IMHA was also successful in having another bill introduced, HB 2627, addressing ‘interest caps’ put in place by Illinois that are far below the ‘rebuttable presumption caps’ established nationally. The initiative passed the House 80-34 on 23 April and was read in the Senate, later the same day. This bill too is expected to pass muster in the Senate and be signed by the Governor.

What’s to be learned from all this? Several things. First , it demonstrates the business climate in the state of Illinois is improving! Second, it clearly shows the effectiveness of a rejuvenated state MHAssociation, a body capable of introducing and having favorable legislation passed, rather than always having to fight a rear action against negative legislation. Third; there’s finally strong momentum in the state of Illinois, where manufactured housing is concerned, and hopes are high about regaining ground lost during the past decade.

Kudos to Frank Bowman; Doug Daniels, chairman of IMHA’s board; Ken Rishel, IMHA’s legislative committee chairman; as well as board members and association members who worked together to advance manufactured housing in the state of Illinois!

And know what? On 5 May 2015, IMHA board and general members will gather in Springfield, IL., to visit legislators and tell manufactured housing’s exciting story as affordable housing, and of land-lease-lifestyle communities as being the desirable lifestyle of choice for thousands of Illinois residents!

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IV.

Personal & Corporate WISH LIST for COBA7® & LLLCommunity Activities @ 2015 & Beyond….

As you’ll recall from the previous blog postings, we’ve reviewed four of the five items on COBA7®’s WISH LIST for 2015. However, did not do so last week.

Anyway, we’re back on track, and the following WISH is the fifth and final one listed. Here it is:

“Continue to represent, in so far as possible, post production segments of the MHIndustry with ombudsman (press) services, and function as official historian for everyone in the manufactured housing industry.”

Yes, this WISH is a catch-all of sorts. First off, it describes a quiet movement occurring throughout the manufactured housing industry, among segments other than home manufacturers, chattel capital sources and servicers, and LLLCommunity owners/operators, seeking increased and improved national and regional representation.

Furthermore, this WISH is being fulfilled via COBA7®’s willingness to serve as official ronin (‘non government’) ombudsman (press) to the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity asset class. What’s an ombudsman (press)? Someone who investigates complaints and concerns from the public. Ombudsman (press) can be government, corporate, or association-focused. And the (press) part? Acknowledgement of the ‘bully pulpit’ when need be, to publish-with-an-eye-to-resolving complaints and concerns. To access the ombudsman (press), phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And official historian? While the RV/MH Heritage Foundation in Elkhart, IN., maintains copies of The Journal in its’ library stacks, several decades old collections of past issues of the Allen Letter professional journal, the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, and hard copies of nearly 400 weekly blog postings at community-investor.com, have been committed to a major national building-related institute’s library for posterity. This bequest includes the largest known private, corporate library of manufactured housing and LLLCommunity books. Furthermore, a concerted effort has been underway since MHI’s NCC was founded in 1966, to document trends, regulatory issues, and more, relative to the LLLCommunity asset class, e.g. Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years! published during 2014. Plus, COBA7® continues to be the only national MHIndustry presence, to offer seminars on memoir writing, and preparation of one’s autobiography. To purchase a copy of Savage’s book, or express interest in participating in a writing class this Summer, phone (317) 346-7156.

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