‘Book of Numbers’ debuts & NCC mtg. @ 10/8

Blog # 212 Copyright 2012 23 September 2012

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

I.

‘Book of Numbers’ debuts @ Networking Roundtable. Want a copy for your reference & use? Only $19.95 each

II.

Showdown or Business as Usual at MHI’s National Communities Council division Meeting on 8 October?

I.

‘Book of Numbers’ debuts @ Networking Roundtable. Want a copy for your reference & use? Only $19.95 each.

‘Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures’, mostly for land lease lifestyle communities & HUD – Code manufactured housing, as well as commercial real estate investment, affordable housing, and realty – secured mortgage origination. Yep, that’s the long title for this 78 page ‘first ever’ compilation of most, if not all, the formulae, rules of thumb, and measures common to our realty asset class, housing type, investment environment, and mortgage scene. In addition, the Official MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Lexicon & Glossary have been appended to the text proper.

So, if you’d like to purchase one or more copy for your reference and use; or for that matter, all your on – site property managers, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Retail price is only $19.95 plus shipping cost. And a quantity discount is available for when purchasing 20 or more copies of this book at a time; with book price dropping to $10.00 per copy, plus bulk shipping cost. Already, 250 copies were distributed at the aforementioned Networking Roundtable, and more than six dozen since then, to property portfolio owners/operators wanting the ‘book of numbers’ in the hands of their regional and on – site property management staff. How ‘bout YOU?

II.

Showdown or Business as Usual at MHI’s National Communities Council division Meeting on 8 October in San Antonio, TX? ‘Come on down & meet Jenny Hodge!’

A year ago this coming February, at MHI’s annual Legislative Conference, when the National Communities Council division last met, members in attendance were assured the there’d be more done, by the NCC during 2012, to ‘reach out’ to small to mid – sized ‘players’ throughout the realty asset class in the U.S. However, that doesn’t seem to have been what’s happened – and probably for arguably good reason.

To begin with, the salaried executive assigned to oversee the NCC division at the time, went on maternity leave. Shortly thereafter, a firm founded by former MHI executive Bruce Savage, was contracted to function, in part, as the institute’s communications consultant, and interim oversight of the NCC division. Well just recently, former American Modern Insurance middle level executive, Jenny Hodge, was hired to head the NCC fulltime! This makes for three execs during the past 12 months; or looking back over the nearly 17 years of council presence, a total of six execs and a year or so leaderless hiatus, during that overall time frame.

So, ‘what’s the rub’ regarding small to mid – sized owners/operators and portfolios of land lease lifestyle communities in the U.S.? Well, an estimated 85 percent of 50,000+/- LLLCommunities contain 100 and fewer rental homesites apiece. So it stands to reason that ‘a’, if not ‘the’, prime focus of the NCC division, founded 1 January 1996, should be recruiting small to mid – sized owners of these properties. As it stands today, however, all elected offices of the NCC are held by salaried executives from three of the eight largest (As listed in the 23rd ALLEN REPORT) LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators in North America. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with this ‘state of affairs’; BUT, what is being done to bring more small to mid – sized owners/operators of the unique, income – producing property type into the national advocacy fold? Interestingly, at the last NCC division meeting, of the dozen or so direct dues – paying members present, all but one or two of the non – officers present, were small to mid – sized property owners/operators. Know what? If the NCC division was truly active and engaged, relative to asset class issues and the like, there’d likely be double and triple that number of members present at these biannual meetings!

Earlier this year, an informal alternative slate of officers was drawn up and considered to run against the sitting elected NCC officers. Effective with the posting of this blog, that’s unlikely to happen, unless yet another group of NCC members decides to make such a push. Why the pulling back? Call it ‘one last chance’ for present elected NCC officers to get it right, especially now that an MHIndustry – experienced executive is on board who has the ability to ‘get things (finally) done’. But what happens if year 2013 turns out to be continued inaction’? Well, here’s a bit of irony that’ll become crystal clear more than half way through the year. For it was on 31 August 1993, 20 years ago, the Industry Steering Committee (predecessor to MHI’s NCC division) met in Indianapolis, IN., to lay the groundwork for a formal national advocacy presence that’d be needed a year or two later, when several large (then) manufactured home community portfolios would launch IPOs (‘initial public offerings’ of their stock) to become real estate investment trusts (REITs). As it turned out, the REITs materialized in 1994 & 1995, and the NCC was launched 1 January 1996.

Today, there’re but three REITs left, as three others have ‘come and gone’. Some or many of us believe the time has come for the NCC division to reinvent itself. Hence the reason for a push to attract and serve more of the ‘85 percenters’ (i.e. LLLCommunities numbering 100 and fewer rental homesites apiece), than we have in past years. In the meantime, back to a little more NCC history….

For the first several years, ‘there was a lot going on’, and a lot of enthusiasm, in and around the NCC – though not yet a full fledged division of MHI. We started and funded a property excellence recognition program, but for all practical purposes it ended. We tried to launch a new LLLCommunity quality rating system, to replace the Woodall STAR System that died in 1976, but it, the ABClassification system, was politicized, and is today, a private enterprise effort,

And as our housing finance bubble burst at the turn of the century, a full eight years before site – building followed suit, NCC momentum waned. Tri – annual meetings that attracted 40 – 50 participants and observers, today attract half that number. New projects, forums, and the like? If of interest to large property portfolio owners/operators, initiatives are funded and launched. But, when was the last time we sat down together to parse, discuss, and seek solutions to widespread challenges to our asset class? I can’t recall. One example; ‘lack of a secondary housing sales market’, to this day, and why/how said absence stifles our ability to sell and site new homes in our LLLCommunities! At the 21st annual Networking Roundtable, in San Diego, two weeks ago, this was the very issue that concluded that event. About 50 of us sat informally together in the main conference room, and talked frankly about the crazy ways we value our homes, mixed success at launching multilisting services, the need for licensing, and escrow closings. Know what? It was all for naught; as there was no one present from either of the national advocacy bodies (where this sort of discussion belongs), and no one present at the meeting to ‘lead us forward’ to solve that perennial and strategic problem. Could be the NCC division though….

So, look for year 2013 to be a pivotal one in the almost two decade history of MHI’s National Communities Council division; but in the meantime, at the NCC division’s meeting during MHI’s annual meeting in early October, what might well be on the minds of council members gathered for the event….

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George Allen, CPM & MHM
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

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