Land Lease Community Coronavirus Update

April 26th, 2020

Blog # 582 @ April 26, 2020; Copyright 2020. Educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: To promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. #1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: A response to blog posting # 581 (last week): “George. A good column. I was a kid in those (Vietnam War) days, but remember them well. Healing and forgiveness is still needed.” Mike
I. Land Lease Community Coronavirus Update. Good rent collection so far, but watch…
II. Renters’ Insurance. Once a popular offering, soon to reappear at Roundtable, etc.…
III. EducateMHC’s MHShipment ‘#s&$s’ Report (+) REIT & MHStock Market Data for all…
There will be only one national MHShow this year: the 29th annual Networking Roundtable, 2-4 September, in Nashville, TN. For information and to register, visit www.educatemhc.com

I.

Land Lease Community Coronavirus Update

Here’s What I Hear & Read From Around the U.S.

First off, it’s not easy getting useful news these days about land lease community operations. We average more than 100 emails (+ spam) per day, here at EducateMHC, and the majority of these have to do with community marketing, sales and operations. Today however, still the same 100 emails per day volume, but now 75 percent have to do with various ‘takes’ on the coronavirus pandemic re health advice, economic impact, and ‘flattening the curve’. Here’re a couple gems mined this past week:

• Rental homesite rent collection during the month of April? Seems to have been better than most owners/operators expected, coming in on either side of 85% efficiency; a.k.a. 85 percent economic occupancy. Not bad at all. One REIT boasted 94 percent during March, and 91 percent during April! Now however, everyone is looking to May, and what to expect three months into the pandemic – and the operative word is not ‘optimistic’. Will keep you informed as to what evolves.

• This from one of our larger portfolio owners/operators. “Among our 20,000 rental homesites, we’ve had eight residents come down with COVID-19, only one died. And one of our managers and a maintenance man, at one of our land lease communities, have come down with the virus. At our home office, we’re working a split shift (7-Noon & 12:30-5:30PM), so we don’t have more than ten employees together at one time.”

• While Congress was crafting CARES legislation, ‘one of our own’, a community owner/operator proposed “Leveraging the Section 8 infrastructure…to accomplish our collective goal of helping renters, landlords and banks.” How so? “Section 8 could be quickly engaged to deliver payments directly to landlords on behalf of residents in need of assistance due to the economic impact of the pandemic.” While there’s more to this solution than described here, it’s now moot as Disaster Assistance and PPP loans are now in place. Thanks to Chad Graves (ID) for sharing this suggestion.

Wish I could tell you more, and maybe we will next week. How ‘bout you? Any unique experiences dealing with the coronavirus hiatus within your firm and or among your land lease communities? If so, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

II.

Renters’ Insurance

This has long been a property management topic known more for its’ ‘fits & starts’ than substance. At one point in time, it was an insurance product line offered by American Modern Insurance. Today, Assurant Insurance is reintroducing this means of adding tenant (i.e. homeowner/site lessee or resident) liability coverage, giving them legal defense and indemnity, usually with a $50K limit – or more, on a case by case basis; should they be accused of negligence that lead to damage to other’s property or bodily injury. The policy also covers damage caused by the resident to the community’s property (e.g. rental home). And the program covers the resident’s contents and additional living expense if they have to move out of the home, i.e. $15K in contents & $50K in liability, costs approximately $10 – 20/month or $180/year.

Keys to success of this program include 1) the land lease community must have a liability requirement in their lease, and 2) the community needs to bill the insurance with the rent to ensure the coverage is not cancelled by the resident. And there’s a requirement for licensure only if community owner/operator desires to receive commissions. For more information on this Assurant program, before the Networking Roundtable – where it will be presented and discussed in detail, contact John Loucks via (248) 808-3089 or john.loucks@assurant.com

III.

EducateMHC’s MHShipment ‘#s & $s’
Report (+) REIT & MHStock Market Data!

By now, you likely realize this longstanding (first half), and recently (two months past) enlarged compendium of HUD-Code manufactured housing shipment & public market $ information – including real estate investment trust (‘REIT’) news, is now an integral part of the PRIME edition of The Allen Confidential! Business newsletter!

If you don’t realize this, there’s still time for you to subscribe – or increase the value of your subscription to PRIME status, before the May 2020 issue is distributed digitally! Just visit www.educatemhc.com to do so.

Bottom line? Only EducateMHC provides you a monthly newsletter covering land lease communities and manufactured housing. And with the PRIME editions, subscribers also receive at least one Resource Document each month (e.g. the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT this past January), and now, the MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report (+) REIT & MHStock Market Data compendium! That’s why HUD-Code housing manufacturers and property portfolio executives subscribe. How ‘bout you?

By the way, the ‘$ report’ I’m working on, for distribution in early May, will likely have a few, if not all, the following features – and more, included:

• Depression, Recession & Lockdown. While the U.S. has endured 47 depressions/recessions dating back to the Articles of Confederation, the three most infamous are, The Great Depression of 1929-1933; Recession of 2007 & 2008; and, The Great Lockdown (2020). Now you know.

• Have any idea the percentage drop in retail sales, manufacturing output, and single family housing starts so far during this Lockdown? Read the ‘#s & $s’ Report in May!

• And how ‘bout business closure percentages? For example: hotels @ 90 percent. What about arts/entertainment, sports/recreation, retail/wholesale; and, restaurants?

There’s much happening these days. We owe it to ourselves, our employees, to stay abreast of the economic and health-related news pursuant to the coronavirus pandemic. We’re doing our best to help to this end; so please do your part, and like the motto at the beginning of this blog posting: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

World War III Coronavirus Battlefield Report A Warning to Politicians

April 18th, 2020

Blog # 581 @ April 18, 2020; Copyright 2020. www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE; 9877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Never before have I enjoyed the opportunity to watch history unfold before my eyes, as Covid-19 has. Well, that’s not really true. Some of the conflict I describe in Part I of this blog unfolded in similar manner. But I digress. I wish every stridently partisan politician could be forced to read Part I, for this truism, ‘People who don’t learn from history are often doomed to repeat it!’ And Part II? A description of marketing and home sales tools driving the ‘two decades long paradigm shift’ (2000-2020) away from independent (street) MHRetailers to in-land lease community sales and seller-financing of transactions. Part III = ‘Calling all writers!’ This is at best, a ‘once every two or three years opportunity’. So, if interested, sign up now!

I.
World War III
Coronavirus Battlefield Report
A Warning to Politicians

Mortal conflicts result in casualties and lessons learned. Whether the conflict is between nations, or among combatants, even disease-driven, some-if-not-many will be killed or wounded physically and or mentally, and often live lessons learned for decades to come.

I experienced the harsh reality of both perspectives, as a casualty and lessons learned, by dint of firefights in the Republic of Vietnam, not healed until 50 years later here at home. ‘Making Amends’ tells the story of my recovery, and a societal requital. Following it, I’ll make comparisons to the Covid-19 battle we now fight.

‘Making Amends’

“When I deplaned in Los Angeles, following flights from Vietnam and Okinawa, all I saw were mini-skirts. Later that day, exiting a plane in Philadelphia, all I saw was my lovely wife Carolyn! And that night, wanting an evening out alone, we were refused service at a hotel restaurant in Radnor, PA., because I was wearing my Marine uniform with combat ribbons. Such was my homecoming in 1969.

Years later, when it was OK to know a Viet Vet, and finally Thank him or her for their service, I found it difficult to acknowledge this gratitude, as deep hurt and strong emotions would well-up inside, as I recalled friends who didn’t make it back to be thanked, let alone live out their lives – like me.

None of this prepared me for what happened Christmas Eve 2005, in a pharmacy on the south side of Indianapolis. I’d gone there to buy last minute stocking items for my wife and her Mother. After I queried a clerk, who turned out to be the store manager, for help finding an item, she noticed the gold U.S. Marine Corps emblem on a chain around my neck, and asked if we could talk.

Turns out her son is an airman in the U.S. Air Force, likely headed for Iraq. She’s very proud of him and the man he’s become. But 38 years ago, she was a university student in Indiana and active in the anti-Vietnam War movement. She demonstrated with many of her fellow students, believing the war was wrong, and most of what was said about those of us who fought it. Nothing happened in her life, during the next three decades to change those views, until her son enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. When she saw him graduate from basic training, and heard him talk of his service as being patriotic duty to his country, she realized there are indeed many men and women, over the years, who’ve been – and continue to be, willing to risk their lives in service to their country- and her son, her own flesh and blood is now one of them.

So now, three decades following the official end of the Vietnam War, she wanted an opportunity, not necessarily to ‘thank a vet’, but to ask forgiveness for her misguided passion while a university student, all those years ago. And I was to be her veteran.

We talked. I cried. She atoned. I reflected on fallen friends who’d never hear these words but through me. She shared how every time she sees her son, she’s reminded how blessed she is to be an American and mother of a U.S. serviceman. In that moment we helped heal each other’s wounds.” GFA
***
I was an emotional casualty of that conflict, but now healed. Lesson learned? ‘Be careful what you protest’, as history oft returns – and turns, vindicating leaders reviled, while painting detractors as having been shortsighted and wrong.

Know what? I think similarly about the coronavirus conflict, today’s invisible enemy. Here casualties are tallied as deaths, hundreds of thousands of them worldwide. There’s no earthly recovery from that. But partisan politicians, criticizing the handling of this crisis, who’d be wise to verbally restrain, and more legislatively supporting than they are today!
II.

What You Missed at the 2020 MHCongress in Las Vegas

(Not only was there no MHCongress last week, but on 14 April, we learned there’ll be no MHCongress in 2020!)

With that said, know there’s a unique opportunity for you to experience, nigh firsthand, one of the major bodies of information you would have learned if present at the MHCongress in Las Vegas, NV.

The May 2020 issue of The Allen Confidential! Business newsletter will feature this lead story:

‘21st Century HUD-Code Home sales Tools in Today’s Land Lease Communities!’

Nowhere else in the manufactured housing industry, or even among land lease communities selling and seller-financing new homes on-site, will you find this comprehensive, practical body of marketing and home sales knowledge! And, when done reading this seminal piece, if you want FREE copies of at least two of the training aids described, just ask for them!

How can you not want to benefit from this unique learning experience? All you have to do is be a subscriber, either basic or Premium edition, to tap into this ready resource. Visit www.educatemhc.com today!

And, by the way, date for the year 2021 MHCongress is 6-8 April 2021!

III.

Writers’ Conference

Ever Been to a Writers Conference, &/or Have a Hankering to Write for One or Another of the Manufactured Housing Trade Publications?

On Monday, 3 August 2020, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Library in Elkhart, IN., a group of us will convene to address the topic: ‘Writing for Publication, Profit & Personal Satisfaction!’ From 9AM thru to 3PM, we’ll share examples of good and not so good writing, difference in left & right brain expression propensity, tools of writing, types of writing, maybe even some advice on the popular contemporary practice of self-publishing.

There’ll be no overt promotion of this one day program. Several have already committed to attend, at $95.00/person, and the group will be best served if kept to maybe two dozen writers, and would be writers, in attendance. SO, if interested in receiving more information as the date draws nigh, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com or phone (317) 346-7156.

And if you’re going to be there in Elkhart for the day anyway, consider staying over for the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet at 6PM. For tickets, phone (574) 293-2344. That gala event always draws between 500-700 RV & MH businessmen and women from across the U.S.
***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

World War III –flattening curve but more deaths!

April 9th, 2020

Blog # 580 @ April 9, 2020; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ’mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG o r633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhnc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Two perspectives this week.

FIRST. Key statistical findings published in EducateMHC’s ‘ MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for February 2020, & the 4/3/20 ‘MH Manufacturer & REIT $ Market Data’. This information available nowhere else in the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, or land lease community real estate asset class! Take steps today to ensure receipt of March 2020 YTD ‘#s & $s’ combined report, when distributed during first week of May 2020. How? Subscribe to The Allen Confidential!-Premium Edition, via www.educatemhc.com

SECOND. Personal reflections inspired by self-quarantine and passages from Karl Marlantes’ What It Is Like to Go To War; recollecting what was experienced and learned 50 years ago in Vietnam combat, and how it relates to Word War III. For example, Marlantes’ pens, “In combat, inattention to detail can kill people.” P.6. Just as inaccurate ‘calls for fire (e.g. artillery & close air support)’ can result in friendly fire casualties; inaccurate COVID-19 infection/morbidity models can result in more infections and deaths!

I.

World War III –flattening curve but more deaths!

“Manufactured housing business update. Coronavirus’ (negative) effects on HUD-Code housing shipments were minimal at end of February 2020, but devastating to stock prices and market (cap) values of six public companies on 3 April 2020.” GFA

HUD-Code manufactured housing shipment volume, at end of February 2020 was minimally affected by the imminent coronavirus threat. How so? The 8,240 new HUD-Code homes shipped were UP 1,027 units over February 2019, but DOWN 493 units from the month before, January 2020.*1

The ‘production value’ of these 8,240 new HUD-Code homes is estimated to be $355,000,000., based on 2013 base year data. Year to date (i.e. January & February 2020) total production value is estimated to be a revised $732,000,000.*2 Time to update the 2013 base year data!

The coronavirus effect definitely affected stock prices and market capitalization values of seven MH public companies (i.e. four HUD-Code housing manufacturers & three land lease community real estate investment trusts or REITs) on 3 April 2020. Among six non-Buffett firms, the average drop in stock price ranged between 30 & 50 percent.*3

Berkshire-Hathaway, at $428B is, for now, the only large (big) cap firm among manufactured housing and land lease community ‘players’; REIT Sun Communities, Inc. dropped to $9.98B, and REIT ELS, Inc., to $ 9.32B. Cavco Industries is the only other MH & LLCommunity-related firm, at $1.07B, to remain in the billion dollar value category. Skyline Champion Corp. is now at $682M, REIT UMH Properties, Inc., at $404M, and Legacy Housing Corp. at 226M.*4

Do you understand the difference between ‘coronavirus disease 2019’ and ‘COVID-19’? Former is the healthcare label; the latter, its’ abbreviated form.

Effective 1 May 2020, EducateMHC’s MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for (March 2020); and early May 2020, the ‘MHManufacturer & REIT $ Report becomes an integral part of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter – Premium edition (This format includes subscriber access to more than a dozen Resource Documents during the course of the year, beginning with the ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’) every January. Visit www.educatemhc.com for more information. Obviously this is, and will continue to be, your best source of MH & LLCommunity information and data anywhere in the U.S. and Canada! GFA

End Notes.

1. 8,240 new HUD-Code homes shipped, as reported by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety, MHARR, NAMHCO, and EducateMHC. Manufactured Housing Institute alone reported 8,209 new HUD-Code homes shipped during February 2020, or 31 fewer manufactured homes.
2. This production value, YTD, was erroneously reported, originally, as being $530 billion.
3. BRK-A or Berkshire Hathaway stock price was not included in this analysis. No reason.
4. Large (big) cap firms = $10+ billion in value. Market (cap) value is computed by multiplying current stock price times total number of outstanding stocks.

II.

Lessons from War

Karl Marlantes and I were Marine second lieutenants during early 1969, as we participated in Operation Dewey Canyon, an infantry assault into the infamous Ashau Valley in western South Vietnam, near the Laotian border. I was a ‘short timer’ by then, nearing the end of my 13 month tour of duty – in May; Karl had recently arrived in-country. He was a grunt (infantry) officer, I was a combat engineer officer, assigned as shore party company commander (Responsible for dozens of helicopter support teams, or HSTs, on mountain forward combat bases throughout I Corps). We never met, but his ‘historical novel’, Matterhorn, authored during the next 30 years, is graphic and accurate to a flaw – but for name changes (e.g. Matterhorn is fictional name for one of many fire support bases scattered throughout northern South Vietnam).

I’ve recommended reading Matterhorn to male friends, including my grandson – as an acid test of how determined he was, at the time, to become a U.S. Marine. He was determined. But it was what I read in Karl’s equally-engaging second book, What It Is Like to Go to War, that got me thinking about the present day personal, social, health, and business combat trauma Americans are going through in World War III – as President Trump says, against an ‘invisible enemy’.

This blog posting could not be more timely, distributed during the week of 5 April, and carrying over into the following week – predicted to be the two worst weeks – for deaths – due to the coronavirus disease, even as the infestation bell-shaped curve flattens!

Following paragraph sets the stage for what we’re going through at present in the U.S.

“War…blows away the illusion of safety from death. Some random projectile can kill you no matter how good a soldier you are. Escaping death and injury in modern warfare is much more a matter of luck – or grace – than skill, and this is a significant difference from primitive warfare. In a combat situation, you wake up from sleep instantly aware this could be the last time you awake, simultaneously grateful you’re alive and scared shitless, because you are still in the same situation. Most combat veterans keep this awareness – death is just around the corner. We know that when we drive the freeway to work, we could be dead within the next hour. It’s just that the odds have changed greatly in our favor from when we were in combat.” P.17

There are at least three perspectives at play today during World War III, a.k.a. the coronavirus effect. First responders and medical personnel on the battle scene day after day after day until the virus is no longer efficacious – and the enemy is defeated. For them, death could well be ‘just around the corner’.
The citizenry who’ve been told, repeatedly, to ‘shelter in place’, practice self-quarantine, stop giving the virus anywhere to go.

The citizenry, likewise warned, but for personal reasons, ignore warnings and advice, to place themselves – and often loved ones, at unnecessary risk.

And let’s not forget the business owners and employees suffering unemployment, and the very real possibility of business failure. The differences?

When ordered, as a Marine lieutenant, to undertake a particular combat mission, I gave the matter only enough thought (i.e. attention to detail) to plan for and lead my men into and back from harm’s way – knowing full well some, including me, would likely not return intact. And by comparison, that’s why we’re grateful to doctors, medical personnel, and first responders during WWIII.

When secure in a rear area, generally safe from immediate ground attack, we reveled in the relative security of our position. Interestingly, with the passage of time – usually less than a week – some younger troops relaxed their diligence and left themselves vulnerable – to sniper fire and rocket attacks, while their (older) officers – oft with families back home, encouraged caution. And frankly, some individuals seem to like putting themselves at risk. As Marlantes pens in his book, “When you are confronted with a seemingly painless moral choice, the odds are you haven’t looked deeply enough.”p.154 – into the consequences of one’s actions and inaction! Sure, it can be fun, even stimulating, to flirt with danger. Just be aware of the consequences, remembering the law enforcement bromide: “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!’ Or, ‘Afraid of dying? Stop trying!’

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

World War III? What a Major Difference One Month Can Make!

April 3rd, 2020

Blog # 579 @ 3 April 2020; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: So, how are you faring these days? Hunkered down at home like Carolyn and me, or still at work? Today is our 20th day of self-quarantine, and we’re getting along fine. Guess that’s a benefit of knowing one another for 57 years. But that hasn’t helped us complete the very detailed 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle we began on 14 March. It depicts Noah’s Ark and is comprised of many tiny animals. In any event, our adult children are keeping us in groceries.

What follows are my musings about the coronavirus pandemic. Am interested in our ‘take’ on this serious national health and economic welfare matter.

I.

World War III?

What a Major Difference One Month Can Make!

Following two paragraphs comprise the lead (‘attention-getter’) in a feature article titled ‘Drowning in Money’ – New capital continues to pour into the private equity real estate space; found on page # 23 of the March 2020 issue of NREI (National Real Estate Investor) magazine.

“There has never been more private equity cash chasing commercial real estate assets. And yet more funds than ever continue to come to the market. That could make 2020 the frothiest year yet for private equity investors in the commercial real estate space.”

“In 2019, fund managers raised #151 billion, a volume that edged past the previous record of $148 billion achieved in 2018, according to data from London-based research firm Preqin. Average fund sizes are now larger than ever as well, with 295 funds accounting for the $151 billion in capital versus 486 funds that had raised the $148 billion the year before.”

As I pen these lines on Wednesday, 1 April 2020 – not as an April Fool’s Joke, I find my thoughts turning to what I’ve been hearing and reading about the coronavirus to date. After all, these past couple weeks have quickly become very trying personal health and corporate economic times, unlike anything since

World War I (1914–1918) & the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918; 100+ years ago!

World War II (1939-1945) & the Vietnam War of 1954-1975; 50+ years ago!

I find myself agreeing, as President Trump suggests, this is a war we’re fighting against an invisible enemy! We should be thinking of this mobilization of our nation’s private sector, and passage of the Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security Act (‘CARES’), as being akin to

World War III (2019 & 2020) & the difficult path we’ll be following to restore public health and economic prosperity to a strong but traumatized nation!

What do YOU think of what we’re going through these days? Let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

II.

Bruce Condit’s Seven Critical Steps to Crisis Management

Being pissed about the criticism directed at President Trump, during this coronavirus ‘war’, I decided to research how, in a perfect world, one prepares and effects crisis management – corporately, and by extension, governmentally. Here’s what I learned from Bruce Condit:

1. Have a plan. Every plan begins with clear objectives, e.g. protect endangered individuals, ensure audiences are kept informed, and organization survives. What specific actions are needed?

2. Identify a spokesperson. To ensure a clear and consistent message, name a spokesperson and prepare them to answer questions and participate in interviews.

3. Be honest and open via all communications channels, news interviews, social media, internal announcements, etc.

4. Keep one’s public (workforce, citizenry) informed. Minimize internal rumor mill subject to false reports on social media.

5. Communicate with customers and suppliers via every practical means.

6. Update early and often. Better to over-communicate if need be, rather than allow rumors to fill the information void.

7. Don’t forget social media. Monitor it, post and react to social media activity throughout the crisis.

As I worked my way through this crisis management planning process, I reflected on how – in my opinion – President Trump has fared to date. At first there was no workable plan in place. Is that his fault, or a shared shortfall with his predecessor? Spokespersons. Don’t know ‘bout you, but besides our president’s willingness to lead daily update briefings, I’ve been impressed with the two doctors who accompany him most of the time! And frankly, I believe the president and his advisors have been ‘honest & open’ with us to date – as there are always ‘state secrets’ we are at times better not knowing, until timing is right. And yes, I believe, as citizenry we have been kept informed, as the president and his staff advises us ‘early & often’, via print, online, broadcast, and social media. Bottom line for me? Stop criticizing President Trump, and ‘get on board’ with his health guidelines, so we can see our lives return to normalcy as quickly as possible.

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

FORBEARANCE (‘a refraining from the enforcement of a debt, etc.’)

March 26th, 2020

Blog # 578 @ 26 March 2020; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Forbearance trumps foreclosure, in my opinion, any day! But is the price one has to pay (i.e. no eviction proceedings), in this instance, really worth not being able to collect one’s site rent? And how have you been enduring the past few weeks of the coronavirus hiatus? I’m certain there are many interesting tales that’ll come out of this massive national experience once it has passed. Professional property management is not talked about nearly enough in land lease community circles. Bottom line? If you’ve not been trained and certified in one of the three national programs presently available to land lease community owners/operators, you are selling yourself (as sole proprietor) or your firm (as salaried PM exec) far short of your professional property management potential! GFA

I.

FORBEARANCE
(‘a refraining from the enforcement of a debt, etc.’)

“To support multifamily property owners during this national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) announced Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac will offer multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance with the condition they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of COVID-19.” Institute of Real Estate Management press release dated 23 March 2020.

II.

& What Have You Been Doing While Hunkered Down?

First off; maybe you haven’t been ‘hunkered down’ during the past week or soon two. Rather, you’re one who’s still able to go to work, enjoyed Spring Break at the beach, or as a prepper – go off the grid somewhere, until the coronavirus threat diminishes and disappears. Good for you – as long as you stay healthy!

Since Carolyn and I are in our mid-70s, our adult kids haven’t given us any choice: ‘Stay home, stay healthy, and enjoy – from afar, the benefits of being grandparents and great grandparents!’ Well, that’s what we’ve been doing since Sunday morning, 15 March. We’ve cultivated a pleasant daily routine together: arising in the AM to enjoy breakfast and some ‘daily quiet time’; followed, in my case, with some relaxing piano playing. Then it’s onto whatever activities we have at hand, ending the afternoons together, working on a complicated 1,000 piece jig saw puzzle of Noah’s ark and many many very small animals.

The unexpected consequence of being ‘shut in’ these past six, almost 11 days now, probably 14 by the time you read this blog posting, has been getting a leg up on several personal/professional writing projects.

First project was to revise and expand a ‘Writing for Publication, Profit, and Personal Satisfaction’ teaching outline I use with novice writers and friends/acquaintances who want to have some, or much, of their musings published. The outline is now ready for the one day Writers’ Conference I’m hosting on 3 August 2020, either at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, or a nearby hotel, in Elkhart, IN. Yes, that’s same day this year’s Class of 2020 (i.e. 10 RV & 10 MH pioneers) will be inducted into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame. For tickets to the banquet, phone (6574) 293-2344. For more information about the Writers’ Conference, phone me via (317) 346-7156 or gfa7156@aol.com

Next project was to prepare a new (3rd) edition of Collection of Figurative Language & Figures of Speech – a writer’s guide, first penned in 2011, as a tribute to my late mother. As I perused new collected material, deciding what to include or not, came across some examples of lexophile creativity (Lexophiles are lovers of words and word games – synonymous with what author Richard Lederer labels as verbivores). Here they are:

You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish
To write with a broken pencil is pointless
No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery
I’m reading a book about antigravity. I just can’t put it down.
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble
When chemists die, they barium
England has no kidney bank, but does have a Liverpool
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
And the list goes on and on, but surely you get the drift of the humor and word play. The new edition will likely be ready for distribution at the aforementioned Writers’ Conference.

My perennial project has been an autobiography. Started this more than a year ago, and am pleased the first DRAFT copy has been penned/typed and awaits initial edit. Seven chapters. Boyhood memories; Eastern, Carolyn & Susan; USMC & RVN Years; From Combat Leadership to Business Management (1970-79); A Career in Property Management (1980-2000); Bringing it Together as Writer, Author, Consultant (2000-2020); and, A Personal Swan Song. Still some decisions to make. Have a lot of material to work with (e.g. 350 color photographs from 1968 & 69 in Vietnam), plus business experiences described in 30+ years of newsletter publishing. For now, I’ll be satisfied to effect the initial audit and effect changes to the manuscript. Estimated publication date? Have no idea. Year 2020 would be timely; but 2023 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam – making the book all the more marketable; and during 2026, Carolyn and I will, hopefully, be celebrating 60 years of marriage –the common thread through all but one of the chapters in the autobiography. A word of encouragement to you. Like me, you have a story – personal and or corporate – to tell. For help, request a FREE copy of the booklet Who Will Preserve Your Legacy? Answer: You! Not only is this an engaging read (contains excerpts from all ten autobiographies penned by manufactured housing pioneers during the past 70 years), it gives you an outline as to how to proceed with your personal or corporate story! Again, phone or email me today!

In closing this part of blog # 578, here’s a ditty I found in my file:

The demanding person runs into resistance.
The defeated person runs into indifference.
The dedicated person runs in to help!
Author unknown

III.

WARNING!

Be careful what you read, and by whom, about management of land lease communities!

I’ve noticed a spike recently, in one or another of the few print and online trade publications serving manufactured housing and land lease communities. Feature articles are being penned by individuals on the hunt for fee-management contracts of individual properties or entire portfolios. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with doing so as a marketing ploy. However, know there are far fewer fee-management firms afoot in the land lease community market – compared to conventional garden style apartments, given the average size of such properties is less than 100 rental homesites apiece. This is generally not enough to support a logical percentage fee, unless it’s a turnaround project effected for a set amount during a set timeframe.

The ‘rub’ for me, is the lack of professional property management training and credentials evident among these johnny-come-lately, self-proclaimed fee-management specialists. To put the matter simply: we go to doctors for our medical needs, patronize CPAs for their accounting expertise, and frankly, should be putting our multimillion dollar real estate investments into the hands of individuals formally trained and vetted, by their peers, as bona fide professional property managers, e.g. Certified Property Manager™ (‘CPM’) members of the Institute of Real Estate Management (There are about 125 who claim affinity for our realty asset class nationwide today), Accredited Community Managers™ (‘ACM’) designated by the Manufactured Housing Educational Institute (‘MHEI’), and/or one of the nearly 1,500 Manufactured Housing Managers™ (‘MHM’) trained and certified by EducateMHC.

To learn more about these three professional property management programs, along with their schedules of training classes, access: IREM.org, MHI.org, & EducateMHC.com

C.S. Lewis & the Threat of Coronavirus

March 20th, 2020

Blog # 577 @ 20 March 2020; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!’’

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM™ class

INTRODUCTION: In 1981, perennial author of thrillers, Dean Koontz, authored The Eyes of Darkness. Today, readers believe the lab-produced, ‘deadly biological weapon called Wuhan-400’, in the novel, predicts the COVID-19 threat we experience today, 39 years later! When I attempted to buy the novel, I found it was selling for $650.00/case bound copy. Was able to chase down a paperback edition, and will review it for you when read. Part II. Thinking about going into the land lease community business in California? Think again – after reading Part II of blog posting #577. Maybe not a good idea. And Part III? Something for our public companies to consider….GFA

I.

C.S. Lewis & the Threat of Coronavirus

My guess is many of you, reading this blog posting, know C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), as the British writer (‘Chronicles of Narnia’) and lay theologian (‘Screwtape Letters’) who taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities during the last century. Well, his writings are legend and enduring, making him one of the most influential writers of his, of all time.

The following excerpt is from his essay ‘On Living in an Atomic Age’, written in 1948. His is a voice of sanity and wisdom in a world that seems to be losing both. And though Lewis’s essay addresses fears of a different kind than we face today, his observations about how to live life in the midst of crises, real and perceived, resonate during this time of coronavirus.

‘In one way, we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. ‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply, ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut our throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.’

‘In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented; and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors – anesthetics, but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.’

‘This is the first point to be made, and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts – not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but the need not dominate our minds.’

As I read and reread those inspirational paragraphs my memory drifted back to early 1969. I was a Marine lieutenant in the Republic of Vietnam at the time, and along with several other junior officers, volunteered for Atomic Demolition Munition training (‘ADM’), and possibly action. ADM placement was U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s ‘worst case scenario’ counterattack plan; to send us behind enemy lines with soccer ball-sized nuclear devices strapped to our chests, to destroy (in my case, a large steel bridge on the outskirts of Hanoi) enemy facilities in North Vietnam. This didn’t happen, but the potential gruesome results of such an action did give me pause, to consider consequences to self and countless faceless multitudes.

Now today, like you, I ponder the coronavirus threat. Yes, I’m elderly, no denying that. Our adult children are quick to admonish Carolyn and me to ‘stay home’! Hmm. For me, that means writing, reading, and putting together the latest jigsaw puzzle. In any event, I refuse to become unduly troubled or depressed by this vague cum maybe lethal specter. And you?

II.

Just How Difficult Can Land Lease Community Operations Become in California?

The following paragraph was recently emailed to me by a 40 year land lease community portfolio owners/operator domiciled in California. Hard for me to believe all this is true:

“George. If you have not heard, the California legislature is proposing at least seven new legislative bills that can kill our industry for years! The major ones are 1) statewide rent control with 2) no vacancy decontrol – 3) no going out of business by changing the current zoning – 4) no long term leases – 5) no recovery of legal fees – 6) require at least 18 hours of yearly (continuing) education for all responsible parties – (&) 7) long term leases that extend beyond year 2025 are voidable.” (Lightly edited, with numbers added. GFA)

Yes, it can be a long journey between the proposal of new legislation and actually turning it into law and regulations. But this is certainly a discouraging anti-business agenda for the state of California. Did you know? It’s a long known ‘peculiar secret’ that California is home to more owners of land lease communities than any other state in the union, but these owners/operators, for the most part, own and manage more such communities outside the state than within!

III.

Time for REIT & Public Manufacturer Email Newsletters?

As you likely know, EducateMHC, started, with January 2020 shipment and public market statistics, reporting on the four public HUD-Code housing manufacturers and three real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’) owning land lease communities. I wasn’t surprised about how well this new ‘first ever’ performance record was received, but I was surprised at the volume of requests for copies, and coverage going forward. So, watch for the early April MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report (&) Manufacturer/REIT Market Data report.

In the meantime, the suggestion was made by a few respondents, about how they’d like to receive some sort of Investor Relations Email Newsletter from one or more of these seven public companies on a regular periodic bases. Frankly, I hadn’t thought of that before now. Rather than a flurry of Press Releases, it seems investors are looking for consolidated releases providing ‘an interesting array of non-financial contextual information on industry dynamics and key internal value drivers, such as innovation, customer relationships, and human resources.’

What do you think? Enough information ‘out there’ about your manufacturer and REIT of choice, or would you prefer to learn more from such a newsletter, as well as our new report?
GFA7156@aol.com
***

George Allen, CPM, MHM c/o EducateMHC

Making a Year 2020 Case for Rental Manufactured Homes on Rental Homesites Within Land Lease Communities

March 13th, 2020

Blog # 576 @ 13 March 2020; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!’

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aaol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM™Class

INTRODUCTION: Two things this time around. Part I, when you get right down to it, contains not only some unrecorded 1970s & 80s’ history of mobile home & mobile home park rentals, but also ‘splains’ how we got back into the business of selling and leasing new HUD-Code homes on-site in land lease communities, circa 2000-2010 & beyond! AND, how the REITs execute this business model well. Part II contains timely loan origination information, provided by Art Tuverson of Berkadia Commercial, in the event you need acquisition financing or refinancing of existing land lease community debt. By the way, the 22nd annual National Registry of ALL Lenders, one of 12 special Resource Documents available only from EducateMHC, will be distributed next week with the premier March issue of The Allen Confidential business newsletter. Frankly, if you’re one of the 25 realty-secured banks and loan brokers listed therein (along with their contacts and contact information), you will want this document, as it among other things, clearly describes the lending market during 2019 and moving forward into 2020 – supplied by originators at Wells Fargo. To get a copy, visit www.educatemhc.com or phone me via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

I.

Making a Year 2020 Case for Rental Manufactured Homes on Rental Homesites Within Land Lease Communities

Funny how sometimes ‘history repeats itself’, i.e. the leasing of manufactured homes on-site within land lease communities – surprising ‘old timers’ that anyone would ‘do that again’. At the same time, new ‘players’ to the land lease community investment and management scene might well view said leasing of new homes to otherwise-qualified-but-cash- shy ‘prospective residents’ as one smart business move! How’d all this come about in the past, and what’s today’s stake in this still emerging trend in the national rental housing market?

First a little history. During the mid-1970s, when the infamous HUD-Code building code regs appeared on our business scene, amidst the most aggressive development of raw land into ‘mobile home parks’ in our history, an abrupt disruption of new home shipments (Plummeting from 579,940 new mobile homes in 1973 to only 246,120 during year 1976!), saw tens of thousands of vacant rental homesites begging for homes! One strategy? Go out and buy as many used (resale) mobile homes as possible, move them on-site, and rent them to anyone who could fog a mirror!

Did this strategy work? Sure, for a while; and as well or poorly as property management policies and procedures, put in place to control tenant screening, rent collection, rules enforcement, and resident relations, were enforced. My first property portfolio was comprised of four (then) mobile home parks in the Midwest, having 1200 rental homesites with 350 reconditioned rental mobile homes in place, with half of these configured as duplex units – yes, two families living in the same 14X70 manufactured home. As I took over responsibility for the properties, chaos reigned. Only after I replaced all four on-site managers, tightened tenant screening, and changed from monthly to weekly rent collection (where rental units were concerned), did operational turnaround occur, resulting in vastly improved rent collection efficiency, taking the properties, altogether, from a net loss position to positive cash flow!*1

Now, between 1980 and the REIT wavelet of 1994 & 1995 (including the Resolution Trust Corporation or RTC era of 1989-1995), it was common practice to convert rentals (i.e. park-owned homes) into contract sales, before marketing land lease communities ‘for sale’.*2 As a result, there were far fewer rental units, per se, to be found on-site then, and through the first decade of the new millennium.

However, by the time year 2009 arrived, new manufactured homes shipments again plummeted, this time from 372,943+/- in 1998, to an historic nadir of only 49,789+/- new manufactured homes! This time it was the loss of easy access to chattel capital for home-only loans that crippled new manufactured home production and shipments. What happened to address this serious matter? At least three things:

• 2/28/2009 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. 100+ HUD-Code manufacturers and land lease community owners/operators convened, and agreed on a new home design favorable to rental homesite installation, and featuring durability-enhancing cabinetry and plumbing, to speed ‘make ready’ between renters and contract purchasers. Hence the Community Series Home, as consultant Don Westphal labeled it later that year.

• Given the lack of even reasonable access to chattel capital for home-only loans, land lease community owners/operators toyed with a variety of home finance measures (e.g. contract sale, lease option, ‘captive finance’ and more) to sell and seller-finance new homes on-site (given disappearance of 10,000+/- independent-street-MHRetailers). However, these finance measures were oft offset by unexpected appearance of the S.A.F.E. Act, then Consumer Finance Protection Bureau or CFPB regulations.

• Return of rental homes to rental homesites within land lease communities – only this time around, with an emphasis on new manufactured homes instead of used units. YES! Communities was one of the first major property portfolio firms to embrace this old-but-new strategy; and for a time – maybe even to this day, enjoyed success as long as they carefully screened prospective home renters, and visited said rentals on a regular basis, under the guise of changing filters and exterminating vermin.

Today, all three real estate investment trusts, and a host of other property portfolio firms, engage in the rental of new manufactured homes on-site within their land lease communities. Every Fall the ALLEN REPORT surveys 500+/- land lease community portfolio firms, and enjoys a healthy 20 percent return of survey questionnaires. Here’s the definitive statement, about presence of rental units, featured in the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT distributed during January 2020:

“44 of 100 ALLEN REPORT respondents, in 2019, confirmed presence of rental homes on-site within their communities. Unadulterated total of rental units = 47,542 or 1,081 per community. These totals are down from 53,931 and 1,100 reported during 2018. Furthermore, when 25,530 rental units among just three mega portfolios, in 2019, are subtracted out, it leaves an average of 541 rental units in each of the remaining portfolios.” NOTE. It is nigh impossible, given the wide range in property sizes within portfolios, to accurately extrapolate the total number of rental units that might be afield among all 500+/- portfolios nationwide and in Canada. 200,000+ anyone? And the slightly reduced total number of rental units has more to do with which portfolio firms responded with usable data and which ones simply chose not to share information this time around. GFA

So, what are the economics behind a successful rental program? Besides the policy and procedure measures recommended earlier, product selection, financing of new homes as rentals, estimating rental rates, and more, all play important roles. What follows from here are some casual observations and recommendations from portfolio owners/operators ‘all in’ the rental home scene.

• Vacant rental homesites earn $-0-. What’s it cost to install a new singlesection or multisection home, and is it possible to gross a 20% ‘return‘ on that? If so, you should be able to net 10% unleveraged. Finance the home, and one’s ‘return’ depends on interest expense. For example, a $50,000 cost new home, with 80% financeable, will cost $2,800+/- per year. Rent-wise, the home should gross $10,000/year (i.e. $800/month rent) and net $5,000. Subtract out the $2,800+/- interest cost and realize $2,200/year as a return on the value of the rental homesite.

• We recommend rental customers staying three years or less, rent our homes. This increases occupancy for us, by making it easier for them to qualify and move into the community, and it makes it easier for them to leave when the time comes, because they don’t have to worry about reselling the house.

• Renting simplifies matters greatly for us. A resident needs but one month rent, plus one month security deposit or $1,600, as opposed to homebuyers/site lessees who need 10% down payment plus one month rent, generally about $8,000. The difficulty getting prospects financed these days, results in us renting eight homes for every one we sell. And we maintain 95% rental home occupancy! Our total maintenance cost for a rental unit is only $600+/- per unit per year.

So, are rental units in land lease communities ‘here to stay’? Your guess is as good as mine. They’re certainly filling the affordable housing need right now, especially in the face of tightened financial regulations and lack of reasonable access to chattel capital for home-only loans. But, like the last decade or two of the 20th century, unforeseen circumstances might, once again, make it advantageous to convert rental units into contract sales – especially before marketing land lease communities ‘for sale’.

End Notes.

1. For the complete story of this saga, and how it played out a decade later, read the short story ‘An Error to Die For’ in SWAN SONG, available via www.educatemhc.com

2. Why convert rental units to contract sales during the period 1980 thru 2009? Reconditioned manufactured homes used as rental units were an expensive proposition, where basic repairs and ‘make ready’ maintenance were concerned. Furthermore, land lease community ‘buyers’ oft aggressively negotiated the value of rental units ‘down’ from their capitalized income value to minimal replacement values. And, at the time, most lenders, as well as the GSEs until they dropped out of the manufactured housing market, eschewed financing and guaranteeing ‘park-owned’ home loans.

Part II.

$ Market Updates for Land Lease & RV Communities…

Record Low: US Treasury rates dropped to record lows, with the entire yield curve below 1% for the first time in history; and the 10-year US Treasury hit a record low of 0.32% on March 9.

Record Flow: Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are being inundated with new loan requests, submissions are at $9 billion a week for each lender, triple their normal pace! (Expect GSEs to be cautious about guaranteeing loans with firms who might plan to greatly increase rental homesite rents soon after deal ‘closings’, adding to discontent already fanning the flames of landlord-tenant legislation. GFA)

Agency Response. Agencies continue to provide loan quotes injecting liquidity into the market during times of high volatility; and their response to record inflows and the low Treasury rates has been to increase spreads and institute tight floor rates – currently financing rates around 3.0%.

Agency Forecast: If new submissions maintain at the current pace, expect spreads to increase and credit tighten throughout the year, as agency lenders manage their 2020 volume caps.

Other Lenders. Life companies actively quoting financing rates in the low 3.05 range, and conduit lenders on ‘standby’ until the market provides price clarity.

Thanks, again, to Art Tuverson for supplying the gist of this information for blog floggers (readers). And, no kidding, YOU DO WANT your personal copy of the 22nd annual National Registry of ALL Lenders Serving Land Lease Communities & the Manufactured Housing Industry!

George Allen, CPM™Emeritus, MHM™Master
EducateMHC

Postscript. I rarely do postscripts, but in the event YOU are interested in writing MH & LLCommunity trade-related articles for one or more of three trade publications, know I’m planning a day long Writers’ Seminar at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., on 3 August, roughly from 9AM-3PM (lunch together). Attendance must be limited, so if seriously interested, respond NOW to this invitation, via email: gfa7156@aol.com or the phone number listed above. Minimum fee to cover handouts and necessary meeting expenses.

Also know, EducateMHC, the same day is hosting its day long, and very popular, Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training & certification program at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Today, nearly 1,500 MHMs own/operate land lease communities throughout North America! To register, visit www.educatemhc.com

Something New, or ‘Not So New’, is a-Coming Your Way!

March 9th, 2020

Blog # 575 @ 9 March 2020; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Moto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Only one blog topic this week, the newly combined MH Shipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for 1/2020; &, 3/3/20 ‘Manufacturer/REIT Market Data’ Report. At the risk of overstating the importance, timeliness, and utility of this proprietary information coming your way, know the manufactured housing industry has waited nearly seven decades for these key private and public data sets to be published and shared together industrywide!

I.

Something New, or ‘Not So New’, is a-Coming Your Way!

If you were active in manufactured housing and communities during the mid-1990s, you might recall reading the periodic report I penned, titled: ‘The MHCommunity REIT Report’. It was an exciting, albeit short-lived effort to track REIT stock performance at the time.

Why exciting? Because Wall Street analysts initially viewed REIT IPOs (Initial Public Offerings – of stock) as being Growth Stocks, not the Value Stocks they were! Hence, from the ‘git-go’, REIT execs faced expectations-cum-demands, to increase dividend payments quarter after quarter – a near impossible task given the illiquid real estate assets in REIT portfolios. It was the realty asset class’ first brush with rent control and other forms of landlord-tenant legislation.

Why short-lived? Look at the ‘Rental Homesite Counts Among LLCommunity REITs’ chart within any ALLEN REPORT and that story is clear. Four new REITs were in play between 1994 & 1997; five between 1998 & 2003; six during 2004 & 2005; but then back to the present day three by year 2009, with no change during the past decade. Those chaotic times made it nigh impossible to keep accurate track of who was acquiring whom, how, and why.

So, what’s new coming your way? An expansion of the widely-referenced monthly MH Shipment ‘#s & $s’ Report prepared and distributed by EducationMHC. In brief, monthly HUD-Code housing shipment volume is tallied and reported by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety. IBTS is HUD’s perennial contractor for this valuable service, to national MH advocacy entities like HUD, MHARR, MHI, NAMHCO, & EducateMHC. There’s generally a two month lag time between end of month shipment tallying (e.g. January) and reporting (March)

Starting with the January 2020 report (distributed during early March 2020), a second half has been added: ‘Public Market Side of Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Community Portfolio Investing’. No lag time here! As soon as the first half this report is complete, public market data is gleaned online and reported to readers as four HUD-Code housing manufacturers and three real estate investment trusts, where stock prices are concerned. There will also be corporate ‘news’, market cap ‘value’ comparisons, and a new combined (MH & LLCommunity) stock index.

How to obtain your copy of this new tool, to help you quantify and understand the ‘industry’ and ‘realty asset class’ aspects of manufactured housing and communities? Simple. Subscribe to the Basic edition of The Allen Confidential newsletter, and you’ll receive this valuable resource document digitally every month.

***

Here We Go Again, & Again….

February 28th, 2020

Blog # 573 @ 28 February; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com and visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal? Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: There’s a LOT to digest in this blog posting! First, I’ll be asking you to embrace ‘findings’ documented 29 years ago by a presidential commission looking into exclusionary land use regulations – akin to what HUD is preparing to do today! And while you’re at it, don’t miss reading the March 2020 issue of The Allen Confidential, containing 18 specific regulatory barriers to affordable housing – again; identified 29 years ago! And Part II. A cost effective way to get your firm’s product & service message in front of 500+/- portfolio owners! Finally; hope you’re as excited as I am we’ll get to network with one another during the MHCongress! We’re already working on something very special to share with you there….gfa

I.

Here We Go Again, & Again….

HUD & Others Seek to Reinvent the Wheel of Exclusionary Land Use Regulations

What follows here, is quoted from the October 2019 issue of the Allen Letter. “During the past 50 years there have been at least five “presidential commissions and federal initiatives to eliminate local barriers to housing development”. The most comprehensive of these enterprises was the 1991 HUD-appointed commission to “investigate the nature and extent of regulatory barriers to affordable housing” – with final report released in early July 1991. Have you ever seen or read it? Well here’re some particularly pithy extracts from Anthony Downs’ (of The Brookings Institute) summary of those findings.

• “The main problem concerning regulatory barriers to housing affordability was not whether they existed, or how large they were, but how to overcome the great political obstacles to reducing them.” P.1097. Think NIMBY, LULU & BANANA.*1

• “Regulatory barriers raise housing costs much more than most people realize.” Some say 50%! Remedial strategy? “Emphasize state government pressure on local governments.” P.1098. Year 2020 has federal government pressuring local governments

• Several key perspectives: “Deal with big-city and suburban barriers to housing affordability”; “the problems low-income households have in paying for decent housing without spending more than 30 percent of their income for shelter”; and, “difficulty many households have in buying their first homes, regardless of income.” p.1099

• Here’s where ‘the rubber meets the road’; “Why local governments retain regulations that raise housing costs.” It’s “a common error in social policy analysis: a mistaken presumption of common goals.” P.1100. Again, think NIMBY,LULU, & BANANA*1

• “Local zoning codes (that exclude almost all moderate or high-density housing developments, including most multifamily housing)”, and “other specific regulations: building codes, subdivision codes, environmental regulations, the Endangered Species Act, historic preservation regulations, and labor regulations.” P.1101. And there’s more!

• A list of 18 ‘Specific regulatory barriers to affordability’- well known since 1991, will be published in toto, in the March 2020 issue of recently reconfigured newsletter: The Allen Confidential. You don’t want to miss this, as it presupposes results of “HUD’s impending study, designed to identify and assess local barriers to the siting and utilization of HUD-Code manufactured homes.” From MHARR Press Release dated 18 February 2020.

• Here’re three thought-worthy observations contained in the afore-referenced 1991 report: First, “…eliminating all regulatory barriers to housing affordability would not come close to ending the existing housing affordability problems of America’s low-income household. Those are caused more by poverty and low incomes than by high housing costs.” P.1105. Second, “…any requirements for minimum unit sizes of above, say 500 square feet per unit, or for maximum densities of below, say 35 units per acre, are the result of local government regulations, not of physical requirement for satisfactory living.” (Here think Tiny houses, park model RVs, & other types of Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs). P.1009. And third, “…current housing quality and density standards in many communities are set unrealistically high in relation to the true economic capabilities of millions of American households.” P.111 In other words, “…a crucial way to reduce the costs of building housing is to reduce the quality standards such housing is legally required to meet.” P.1112.

Once again, you will want a copy of the aforementioned list of 18 Specific regulatory barriers to affordability, soon to be featured in the March 2020 issue of The Allen Confidential. It’s as close to ‘the school solution’, as we’ll get – and it’s been around now for 29 years! Makes it an historic document, a template for planning and action, and provides HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities, a ‘leg up’ in affirming our long respected place as this nation’s best factory-built, unsubsidized housing alternative to solve the perennial affordable housing crisis!
End Note. 1. NIMBY = ‘Not in My Back Yard’; LULU = ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’’; and, BANANA = ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone!’ All three are today being pressured and modified as: YIMBY = ‘Yes, in My Back Yard!’; LULU = ‘Locally Useful Land Use’; and, ‘Build Appealing New Apartments Near Affordable housing need areas!’
II.
How to Put Your Firm’s Message in Front of 500+/- Portfolio Owners/operators of Land Lease Communities in North America!
Wager most of you don’t know this unique service exists in year 2020!. Well it does, and here’s how this one-of-a-kind direct mail marketing program works to serve you and 500+/- portfolio owners/operators of land lease communities domiciled throughout North America.
First off; the 600 direct mail communiques you prepare, are sent, via EducateMHC, directly to the decision-makers of portfolio firms. We exercise this exclusive, highly confidential mailing list several times a year, and always use first class postage – so delivery accuracy is near 100%! Why 600 rather than 500 pieces? While there are 500+/- sole proprietor owners, partnerships, corporations, and three public REITs in this property portfolio data base, we include another 100+/- ‘players’ whose property count does not yet qualify them as a portfolio (e.g. minimum of five standalone land lease communities, and or 500+ rental homesites in one or more properties).
The typical, though not mandated communique you prepare, can be a letter on your firm’s letterhead, accompanied by a descriptive brochure; sometimes even a bounce-back postcard – encouraging recipients to respond, even if not ready to respond to your product or service offer or request for information.
Who uses this direct mail marketing program? A wide variety of land lease community-related firms:
• Lenders and loan brokers specializing in land lease community mortgage origination and or refinance
• Independent, third party chattel capital lenders
• Real estate brokers with land lease communities, or portfolios, listed for sale
• Would be land lease community investors seeking one or more properties to acquire*1
• Land lease community owners/operators interested in selling one or more properties in particular local housing markets
• Insurance companies
• Aftermarket suppliers of product and services for manufactured housing
• National advocates for manufactured housing and or land lease communities seeking to increase their membership
So, what’s next, if interested in availing yourself of this valuable marketing service? Contact Erin Smith, MHM, via Educatemhc@gmail.com. Then prepare 600 pieces of direct mail. Envelopes must be stuffed, sealed, and stamped with first class postage stamps – not postage meter impressions. Then ship the package, along with requisite payment, to EducateMHC @ 170 Commerce Dr., Franklin, IN. 46131.
End Note. *1. Some of the largest property portfolio firms in business today, got their start ‘decades ago’ by exercising this unique data base of 500+/- land lease community portfolio owners/operators domiciled in the U.S. and Canada.
III.
Special Advance Notice!
Apparently I’ll join many of you at the MHCongress in Las Vegas @ 6-8 April 2020. Why am I telling you this? Plans are for me to participate in a professional property management panel presentation – which I hope you’ll attend! But I also have something else in mind to share with you as we network throughout the event. Based on material created and used during plant tours and home sales seminars, held these past several years at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Indiana, we’ve printed an ‘In-community, HUD-Code Housing Marketing & Sales Tool’, available nowhere else! Hint. It contains latest FMR (Fair Market Rent) methodology; Six Right Ps of Marketing; and, uses of AMI (Area Median Income) & AGI (Annual Gross Income) to affordably ‘size’ new homes and rental homesites desired by homebuyers/site lessees!
George Allen, CPM, MHM

MHI 2.0

February 20th, 2020

Blog # 572 @21 February; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com, and visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal? Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. main source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM Class!

INTRODUCTION: The three parts following here are self-explanatory in their own right. In brief; embrace the ‘MHI 2.0’ focus for year 2020; continue to watch for progress with the CrossMod™ home and GSE’s two DTS $ programs designed to support sales thereof; and finally, let elected and salaried leaders, among all three trade advocacy bodies, know you’d like to see the manufactured housing product and land lease community lifestyle promoted during the weeks and months ahead….

I.

MHI 2.0

In my opinion, Dr. Leslie Gooch well-walked the fine line between micromanagement and getting the job done. In this case, given group discussion participation by gathered members, she oriented and focused the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) going into year 2020 and beyond! How did she do this? By pretty much dominating every division meeting with her description of, and request for input about, what she labeled ‘MHI 2.0’. On one hand, this was akin to micromanagement; but was necessary for everyone to hear and discuss, to achieve ‘buy in’ among three areas Leslie emphasized:

• MHI’s team is 930+ members strong, plus staff. Leslie expects everyone to be on board during the weeks and months ahead as the institute advocates for the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class. What was really novel, to me anyway, was her insistence considering legislators, as well as government agencies and regulators (e.g. GSEs) to also be part of the MHI team.

• How to best tell our manufactured housing story going forward? That means doing things that are newsworthy and needed, e.g. being part of the solution to our nation’s ongoing affordable housing crisis. Also continuation of the Innovative Housing presentation on the National Mall later this year. Some even suggest revisiting the land lease community evaluation and recognition program of the late 1990s.

• How to grow manufactured housing markets? This was a lively topic among all division meetings, as ‘how to do so’ can, and will, take on many visages – each tailored to particular segments of the manufactured housing industry. One oft-visited line of thinking had/has to do with identifying and removing local housing market regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing.

No question about it, ‘MHI 2.0’ is Dr. Leslie Gooch, CEO, & President Mark Bowersox’ orientation for year 2020. Suggest you watch weekly newsletters from MHI expanding on this theme. And if not already aboard, as a member, become a member of the team!

II.

CrossMod™ Is Not a Modular Home

Modular Home Builders Association (‘MHBA’) Lashes out, Claiming MHI Usurping Popularity of ‘Modular’ Type Factory-built Housing!

In a recent online communique, Tom Hardiman, executive director of MHBA takes MHI to task, in his view, for misleading prospective homebuyers. How so? Quoting MHI’s research on the matter, allegedly “The term ‘manufactured home’ only appeals to nine percent of potential home buyers. But add the ‘undefined use of mod’ to the name, and suddenly it (the appeal) jumps to 46 percent!”

Hardiman goes on to say, “Putting a manufactured home on a permanent foundation, adding a pitched room and a porch doesn’t make it modular. It makes it a damn nice (HUD-Code) manufactured home. And that’s nothing to shy away from. Take pride in your own industry and own it! But don’t high-jack our industry because your marketing team thinks it will help with sales.” Which, by the way, has NOT been the case to date. According to GSEs, during a recent Listening Session in St. Louis, their MHAdvantage and Choice MH finance guarantee programs have seen little to no traffic where new CrossMod™ homes have been concerned!

MHBA, via its’ Hardiman, calls upon the “…Manufactured Housing Institute to stop marketing this product and to stop misleading the public. (And) We are asking the public to ask one simple question when considering this product: ‘What code is this built to?”.”

This is not the first time MHBA and MHI have crossed horns. Nor is MHBA the sole national trade entity claiming to represent, and or advocate in behalf of, modular homes. There’s also the 1) Building Systems Council (‘BSC’) of the National Association of Home Builders (‘NAHB’), 2) Modular Building Institute (‘MBI’) – a commercial buildings trade group; and, in the event you didn’t know this,3) the National Modular Housing Council (‘NMHC’) of – yes – MHI. Confused yet?

And so, unless MHI reverses direction relative to marketing CrossMod™ manufactured homes fabricated to the HUD-Code, and I don’t see that happening at this point in time, expect to see and read more of this battle continuing into the building season this Spring and Summer.

Post MHI Winter Meeting Observation on this topic? CrossMod™ was a topic of conversation, just never excitedly that I heard, during said meeting. Two things. I did remind one audience how ‘manufactured housing’ has been down this road (i.e. ‘Big Box = Big Bucks!’) before; in 1998, when we shipped 372,943+/- new HUD-Code homes, a.k.a. Developer Series Homes. Our Achilles Heel then? Independent (street) MHRetailers not trained or equipped to be site prep contractors needed to ensure safe, secure installation of these homes! And, as far as I know, that situation has not changed where CrossMod™ homes are concerned. Also, it was good to hear, via Dick Ernst, the two GSEs are working to meld characteristics of their two DTS programs, MHAdvantage & ChoiceMH, so as to cause less confusion among prospective homebuyers. Bottom line? Status quo continues with the CrossMod™ HUD-Code product.

III.

‘MHIndustry Image Improvement & More New Home Sales via Public Relations & National Housing Brand Advertising’

This was the topic of focused and lively conversation during the conclusion of the 28th annual Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN., in early September 2019. Unfortunately, the conversation among 20+/- businessmen and women, did not continue beyond that venue – except for some thoughtful and inspiring ideas put into writing by Paul Martens, principal of QND Properties, LLC, in San Diego, CA.

Where do you think we should go with this line of thinking, and eventually planning and implementation? I’ve been around the manufactured housing industry long enough to have seen this singular matter discussed and shelved, almost with regularity, during the past three decades. Why does it go no further? There are reasons. One of which has to do with HUD-Code housing manufacturers being perennially concerned about financing (sponsoring) a (national) program that might wind up helping non-MHI member firms sell more new homes! Seriously. And until we get past that selfish hurdle, there will be no MHIndustry Image Improvement & More New Home Sales via Public Relations & National Housing Brand Advertising!

Post MHI Winter Meeting Observation on this topic? Unless I, somehow, totally missed progress on this subject, there’s really been no planning or movement in this area of MHIndustry image improvement & more new home sales via public relations & national housing brand advertising! And that’s NOT due to the lack of funds available….

***

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
EducateMHC
170 E. Commerce Dr.,
Franklin, IN. 46131