ETAOIN SHRDLU

ETAOIN SHRDLU*1

A Potpourri of General, MHIndustry & LLCommunity Signs, Jokes, USPs, Reflections about Data Overload & Excessive Social Networking, and the Presaging of a C o n s p i r a c y Theory Many Believe but None Articulate

A (billboard) Sign of the Times’, observed in downtown San Francisco, CA., during the Urban Land Institute’s (‘ULI’) Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’) ‘Think Tank’ meeting in San Francisco this past Fall: ‘I was closer to retirement at 40 than I am at 50!’ How many of us can identify with that?

Joke of the Times. Is your local banker pining for ‘the good old days of 3 – 6- 3’? You know; when he borrowed money at 3%, loaned it out at 6%, and was on the golf course by 3PM.

What’s your business USP? That’s the well known abbreviation, in business marketing circles, for Unique Selling Point, Proposition, Perspective, or Promise! Synonyms? Sex appeal, or ‘Selling the sizzle and not the steak!’. For dentists? ‘Gentle & painless!’ For Starbucks coffee? ‘Handcrafted beverages!’ For churches? ‘Seeker sensitive!’ For Certified Financial Planners or CFPs? ‘Wealth preservation!’ For Don’s Gun Shop? ‘Hi, I’m Don, and I just love to sell guns!’ For multifamily rental properties? ‘Superb curb appeal!’ For manufactured housing? ‘Half the per square foot cost to build! And your landlease (nee manufactured home) community? Fill in the blank: __________

“I see (Twitter) as a kind of time suck I don’t need anymore of. Just too much “I got the most awesome new pair of sweatpants.”’ per Brian Williams opining at time.com. And this from David Hornik, upon observing groups of tech veterans and computer gurus carrying ‘good old – fashioned notebooks’ into meetings, forsaking the digital world for analog. He asks, ‘Why?’ Their answer? Data overload from emails, social networks, corporate wikis and portals, and knowledge management systems! Advantages of notebooks? Faster than laptops; unlimited storage; direct sunlight not a problem; only power management issue is when a pen runs out of ink; no requirement for connectivity; not susceptible to viruses; and highly portable. Hornik’s conclusion? “I’m a firm believer in a laptop in every room and a smart phone in every pocket. But, when it comes to keeping track of priority information, it appears notebooks are becoming the tool of choice for technology’s elite.” (USAirwaysmag.com) Next? Maybe resurgence of The Lead Pencil Club of years past?

Forewarned is forearmed. Be aware of niche investors and ezines, as well as freelance writers and teachers sans bona fide ‘cred’ in the MHBusiness! Some examples. ‘…we lease the park (LLCommunity) from you based on current economics, and then buy your park when the market returns at a price more in line with what you feel it’s worth. In the meantime, we buy and bring in homes to fill vacant lots (rental homesites) and address any other management issues.’ Hmm. Or, how ‘bout self – proclaimed experts, with shaky credentials, telling us online how to operate our businesses? And, for that matter, writers and teachers who ‘no longer practice what they preach’ (i.e. No longer own or actively manage LLCommunities, but continue to ‘tell and teach’ us how to do so.) Here’s how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Ask, how long they’ve been in the MHBusiness and in what capacities, and if they still are; then, request non – partner references along with contact information. And here’s the truth – teller, if claiming regional or national presence in the MHIndustry and or LLCommunity asset class: ‘Which state and national trade and advocacy organizations do you actively support with dues membership, and participate in their industry events as a ‘presenter’?’ For example: MHI & the NCC, ULI & the MHCC, NSAC caucus, annual INRs, even the MHCongress.

Up until now, many have talked about it, but no one I’m aware of, has written about it. What? The grand c o n s p i r a c y to regulatorily (Yep, that’s poetic license.) ease ‘HUD Code manufactured housing’ out of factory – built housing altogether, in favor of – well, you’ll just have to wait to read about that in next weeks blog! All I’ll tell you now, is what’s motivated me to bring this perennial c o n s p i r a c y theory cum reality (?) ‘out of the closet’ into broad daylight! Remember ‘The Perfect Storm Manifesto’ premise blog posting # 61 during November 2009? “Imagine No New HUD Code Homes Manufactured in Year 2020!” Well, that premise spawned strong reaction during the intervening three months; vast majority of which, via email, letters and personal as well as telephone conversations, has agreed with that sad inevitability, even some questioning whether the MH demise date might not be closer to 2015 – if we don’t get access to reliable, copious amounts of chattel (personal property) financing soon! Well, upon returning from MHI’s disappointing (For me, anyway.) Winter meeting in Savannah, GA., last week, a colleague demonstrated how taking 2009 year end total of 49,789 HUD Code homes shipped, then applying the negative performance trend of 2008 thru 2009, on out to year 2020, shows a total of only 215 new HUD Code homes to be shipped nationwide that year.*2 Now that’s motivation to talk about what else, besides lack of chattel financing, might be involved in HUD Code manufactured housing’s continuing death spiral. So, read more about the c o n s p i r a c y in next week’s blog….

In the meantime; have you read the 21st annual ALLEN REPORT yet? It’s available only from PMN Publishing, for $250.00 per copy; or ‘free’, when you subscribe to the new Allen Letter professional journal! That’s right, this ‘Who’s Who Among LLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’ is available nowhere else. (317) 346-7156. And the 12th annual National Registry of Realty Lenders Specializing in LLCommunity Acquisition Mortgages & Refinance will be included as a lagniappe in the March issue of the new Allen Letter professional journal. Order it today!

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End Notes.

1. ETAOIN SHRDLU. ‘The twelve letters most often appearing in printed text, arranged in order of decreasing frequency. E, the commonest, appears an average of once every five letters.’ From The Dictionary of Wordplay by Dave Morice.

2. Using negative trend numbers between years 2007 & 2008 & 2009 & 2010, the year 2020 nationwide HUD Code home shipment total is 3,000; way down, again, from the 49,789 shipped during all of year 2009.

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George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®, MHM
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317)346-7156

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