MHIndustry Response, Observations & Reintroduction!

Responses, Observations, & a Reintroduction…

‘Best Kept Affordable Housing Secret’ evokes your response; ‘Networking Roundtable’ awash in idiosyncrasies, & the Grand ‘Once & For All’ Tour!

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“Great; you nailed it, George. If the good guys/gals want to win, they must solve the (manufactured housing) perception and financing (issues). Let’s watch to see if they have the belief and commitment ‘to go for it all’, putting their money where their mouth is!” NB (lightly edited. GFA) And this: “Loved the KIA point in your blog, wouldn’t have thought of it that way…Lots of important points, thanks for putting them out there. (Here’s my) multi – pronged suggestion: 1) support Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), 2) Strengthen that advocacy body, enabling it to move the MHIndustry ahead, (if necessary) under new robust leadership and supported by advisors and members; and, 3) Address the conspiracy theory(ies) once and for all – which I too hear about in discussions.” TK

If you didn’t read last week’s blog posting, titled: ‘Best Kept Affordable Housing Secret in the U.S.!’, you owe it to yourself to go back and do so! Why? Because frankly, ‘That’s where we are today’, and we’re not gonna go anywhere forward anytime soon, towards increased new manufactured home ‘shipments’ (Pains me to pen that, when I/we should be talking in terms of home ‘sales’), until we collectively address the reasons and issues identified in that blog posting!

Know what? I laid some bait out there, in that blog posting, to see if anyone would take and run with it. No one did. The bait? A ‘silver bullet’ I opined would heal manufactured housing’s decade long illness: “Debut an effective, charismatic, focused national leader (I can think of one!) and leadership cadre….” No readers asked who I had/have in mind. Either, as an industry, we don’t really care to be healed, or don’t believe anyone is up to the admittedly Herculean task; so we don’t care to know who this savior might or have been. Don’t bother to ask now; I’m not talking. But will tell you this; that person knows….

II

As a related aside; in an effort to trim down several hundred specific BEBAs (‘Blast Email Blog Alert) we’ve been sending each week, as this blog is posted, I asked addressees to ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ of receiving future notices. Here’re initial results during first five days:

67 individuals ‘opted in’ to receive future BEBAs of postings to this website. And responses continue to arrive daily. Have YOU ‘opted in’? To do so, simply respond to this blog posting, that you ‘opt in’. To ‘opt out’, do nothing….

Of the 67 ‘opt ins’ received to date, 33 have been from LLCommunity owners/operators, 14 from suppliers of products and services, four MHRetailers, four association executives, and three each from HUD Code manufacturers, lenders, real estate brokers, and trade publishers. Goal? 100 – 200 seriously interested individuals; folk, from all segments of the industry who truly care about the present and future health of HUD Code manufactured housing and the landlease community real estate asset class!

III.

As you likely know, the 19th International Networking Roundtable occurs this week (15 – 17 September) in Phoenix, AZ. Truly hope to see YOU there! Expecting 200+/- manufactured housing aficionados and landlease (nee manufactured home) community owners/operators from throughout North America! It’s almost too late for you to participate, but you can ‘try’ by phoning (317) 346-7156 and leaving a message, telling me you’ll see me at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort Hotel, or read on….

OK, so what are some of the idiosyncratic characteristic individuals and firms registered to attend this year’s Roundtable?

Topping the speaker list this year is Randy Rowe, founder and chairman of Green Courte Partners in Illinois; and with David Lentz, owner/operator of American Land Lease (a former REIT) in Florida. Randy was the executive who took Sam Zell’s then MHC, Inc. (now ELS, Inc.) public, as a REIT, during the early 1990s; and subsequent to that, founded Hometown America! Who better to ‘splain’ to 200+/- Roundtable attendees, ‘What it is we must do, as an industry and asset class, to reclaim our national housing market share?’ You can be sure this will be a max attendance presentation.

No fewer than eight Business Development Managers (‘BDM’), representing four HUD Code manufactured housing producers: CAVCO Industries & Fleetwood Homes, Champion Homes, and Adventure Homes! Where’re the others? You’ll have to ask them, but one would think they’d jump at marketing their Community Series Homes (‘CSH’) to LLCommunity owners/operators needing houses. Call it a missed opportunity…

Of course, something similar might be said of the Big Four + One, third party lenders still originating chattel (personal property) loans on manufactured homes. 21st Mortgage Corporation and CU Factory Built Lending are to be present; but not the other three. Is it any wonder so much (property) owner financing occurs these days?

And indirectly related to the previous observation, there’ll be at least two, maybe three, seasoned financial services and consulting firms who’re now carrying, what appears to be, the lion’s share of chattel home loan origination, servicing, and sale of ‘paper’, throughout the LLCommunity real estate asset class. May even learn, for the first time, of a quiet plan and practice, to restore positive traction to chattel lending on Wall Street!

While majority of attendees are bona fide LLCommunity owners/operators, they’re an eclectic mix of veteran portfolio firms, a few would be ‘players’, several newbie companies, even a ‘shared equity’ conversion specialist.

For the first time in a long time, every publishing segment of the manufactured housing and landlease community print and online trade press will be represented at a major MHIndustry event! Even the publisher of Rental Property Reporter plans to be present. All must be expecting timely and pithy trade news to report!

An especially exciting addition to this year’s program is Dr. David Funk, chairman of Cornell University’s Graduate Real Estate Program. This is the first authentic academic presentation, on demographics and manufactured housing, in a long long time. Hope MHI and other trade groups take notice….

Once again, interested LLCommunity owners/operators will convene, off – agenda, and during one seminar offering, to learn and discuss merits and challenges of forming their own ‘captive insurance’ firm during year 2011. More than a dozen owners/operators are committed to meet and plan the debut of this new business entity.

Did previous eight paragraphs stimulate a passionate desire to attend this seminal annual event, even at the last minute? That’s OK. Show up at the Pointe Hilton, Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, AZ. (11111 North 7th Street), the morning of Thursday, 16 September, with $450.00 registration fee, for LLCommunity folk; and $1,000.00 for Service Providers (e.g. lenders, manufacturers, product and service vendors). Check – in with Roundtable coordinator, Susan McCarty, of CommunityInvestor!

If unable to attend the Roundtable, but would like a detailed description of what happened, who presented, and what they said; read the October 2010 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal! (317) 346-7156 to subscribe @ $134.95/yr.

IV

A few months ago I introduced you to the concept of a Grand ‘Once & For All!’ Tour of seven regions across the U.S.. Well, I’ve been too busy, readying for the Roundtable, and getting Official Questionnaires into the mail for this year’s ALLEN REPORT, to spend time developing this concept. So let’s look at the basics again….

These seven regional 1 ½ day gatherings will be open to anyone in the MHIndustry and LLCommunity asset class interested in industry advocacy unity, personal and corporate positive motivation, practical education relative to timely and strategic topics, and improved print and online communication among all segments.

At this point in time, we’re looking at Grand ‘Once & For All! Tour stops in New England, the Mid – Atlantic, South, West, Pacific Northwest, Upper Midwest, and Lower Midwest (not necessarily in that order), during January, February, May, June, July, August, and October or early November 2011.

There’s much more to be said about the wisdom and practicality of planning, hosting, and effecting a series of geographic industry and asset class gatherings during 2011. The point in bringing the matter up in this particular blog posting, is to identify volunteers throughout the U.S., within the MHIndustry & LLCommunity ‘family’, who’d be willing to work with me to bring this unifying, motivating, educational, communication – enabling series of events to your/their area! To do so, respond directly to this blog, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764,or call (317) 346-7156 or email: gfa7156@aol.com Need to hear from you on or before 1 October 2010, when planning begins in earnest for this Grand ‘Once & For All!’ Tour.

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FLASH! The official questionnaires used to research and prepare the 22nd annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Landlease Community Portfolio Owners/operators in North America!’) are being mailed to 500+/- portfolio owners/operators this week, the second full week of September. Responses are due back to GFA Management, Inc., on or before 30 September, to be included in the final report, which will be enclosed as a lagniappe in the January 2011 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. If you own/operate five or more LLCommunities and or 500 or more rental homesites, but have not received this questionnaire, call (317) 346-7156 to obtain same.

VI

Since many of you apparently didn’t realize (per your correspondence) the acronym KIA, now an automobile brand name, has – for decades, also meant ‘Killed In Action’ (as in military combat), how many of you know the alternative meanings of these popular abbreviations: NFL & USMC? In the first instance, locker room slang among professional football players, renders it ‘Not For Long’; a rueful commentary on careers oft cut short by injury. And among U.S. Marines, there at least three alternative renderings: ‘Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children’ (Carolyn’s favorite), ‘U Saw Me Coming!’, and one other….

*****

George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®Emeritus, MHM
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247

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