Revisiting Alexa.com; Stories Not Posted; & MHOmbudsman

Blog Column # 293 Copyright 2014 20 April 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities cum ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Reason for this blog. ‘It’s the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communications resource for all LLLCommunities located throughout North America!’

To Input this blog & affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. ‘COBA7’, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

Introduction to this week’s blog posting at community-investor.com BREAKING NEWS! After penning Part I of this posting we learned MHVillage Welcomed More Than 1,000,000 Unique Visitors to their website during March of this year! Why is that important to know? Because this isn’t a FIRST for just MHVillage, but the entire manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class. Read on! And Part II? These are hints of stories we planned to post, but for various cited reasons decided not to do so. Read between the lines. Part III? More often than not, ‘blog floggers’ (i.e. ‘readers’) observe better than me. This is one of those times. Part IV. Well, we’ll let that one unfold during the coming week….GFA

I.

Alexa.com Revisited!

II.

Four Blog Stories Written but Not Posted

III.

I Couldn’t Have Said This Better Myself

IV.

Next Blog = may be an OPEN LETTER to…, & an MHOmbudsman @ COBA7

I.

Alexa.com Revisited!

Within minutes after posting last week’s blog (#292), I learned of my faux pas, accidental oversight, blunder and gaffe, all rolled into one! And I’ve heard more about the matter, from additional loyal blog ‘floggers’ (readers). Reason for all this excitement?

Last week’s ‘Manufactured Housing Industry, meet Alexa.com’ blog posting identified ten realty and manufactured housing-related websites, from hundreds of thousands of commercial websites ranked by Alexa.com, but we accidentally omitted the largest MHIndustry website of all: MHVillage.com!

That’s right, MHVillage.com should have been ranked #2 on this global list of eleven organizations and firms, behind ONLY the NAR.org (‘National Association of Realtors’) website! Here’s how the global list should have been displayed and posted:

NAR,org 12,534 = first in this RE & MH ranking
MHVillage.com 41,557 = 1.000,000 visitors in March 2014
NAHB.org 94,014
Claytonhomes.com 128,537
IREM.org 240,601
21st Mortgage.com 266,645
Championhomes.net 362,790
Equitylifestyle.com 703,931
Americanlandlease.com 1,190,961
Cavco.com 1,201,958
Manufacturedhousing.org 2,252,064

And one could say, we ‘added insult to injury’ when we didn’t rank MHVillage’s ‘Daily Time On Site’ amongst the same firms; for here they were #3, with an impressive 6:15 minutes on site, just behind Americanlandlease at 13:40 and 21st Mortgage at 6:28 minutes. Number four? MHI at 4:02 minutes.

Well, the oversight certainly wasn’t intentional. And no excuses are offered. But if you’re not familiar with MHVillage, and own/operate land-lease-lifestyle communities, YOU SHOULD BECOME FAMILIAR WITH WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOU. Not only is it the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity asset class’ primary means of marketing homes ‘for sale’, but is soon to become the primary source of yet another major aspect, maybe even two, of LLLCommunity benchmark statistics! They are? Ah, for that you’ll have to attend, see and hear at the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014, in Peachtree, GA*. There, Dan Rinzema will announce exciting growth plans for this longtime MHIndustry firm.

End Note. * To ensure you receive an invitation to participate in this ‘sole standalone annual event planned for land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, and their preferred lenders and product/service vendors’, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. You’ll be glad you did!

II.

Four Blog Stories Penned but Not Posted

Title: Recovering from Manufactured Housing’s ‘Perfect Storm’

Why not posted?

The necessary adjustments and corrective measures were more than the industry, its’ leaders, and the land-lease-lifestyle community real estate component were willing, or likely able, to bear at the time….

Today? Little has changed. The manufactured housing industry, for the most part is mired in its’ vestigial trailer past, except where and when circumstances dictate otherwise, e.g. demise of most independent (street) MHRetailers when easy access to chattel capital ended; and, for the first time in ‘industry history’, LLLCommunity owners/operators began to routinely buy new manufactured homes to resell on-site and oft times self-finance.

It’s why the First National Public Forum, on this topic – to debut this Fall* – is so important and timely, from historical and strategic planning perspectives.

End Note. * 23rd International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014, in Peachtree City, GA. See Part I of this blog for contact information.

Title: The New Wave of ‘Flashes in the Pan’ LLLCommunity Investors?

Why not posted?

Two reasons. To frame the argument, we’d have had to identify two dozen erstwhile ‘Hare today, goon tomorrow’ land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators who’ve ‘loudly come & quietly gone’, since circa 1980. Not a good idea. And, LLLCommunity specialist real estate brokers tell me such an expose’ would likely scare away equity and hedge fund dollars now coming outa the woodwork since recent published stories profiled our unique business model as being slam dunk profitable (At times!) and predatory (Not for many of us!) in nature.

Title: ‘How Latter Day Mobe Dogs Eat Helpless & Hapless Gophers’

Why not posted?

Similar in theme to previous ‘not posted’ blog title. This time however, descriptions would have been of business practices that led to ‘operational aberrations – at best’ & ‘major business failures – at worst’.

Today? Sad to say, but aberrations remain in effect, despite mega business failures along the way. A hint? In a recently published 14 year (specific state) Market Summary Report*, on a particular land-lease-lifestyle community market, two timeline graphs are shown side by side. One describes ‘occupancy dropping’ for 12+ years. The second cites ‘site rent rising’ during same 12+ year time frame, among the same properties. Perhaps it’s not the market researcher’s responsibility to draw conclusions or predict future performance trends from such illustrations; but paraphrasing the baby’s line in a popular TV commercial, “Doesn’t’ anyone see the mime talking?” – applied here, “Doesn’t anyone see the nay saying these charts suggest for our present business model cum tomorrow?” Specifically; the charts show site rents were raised annually to offset revenue lost as site occupancy declined. Now today: ‘Why would new homebuyer/site lessees move into these properties to pay inflated rent rates, unless new home prices and PITI payments are pegged artificially low as an incentive – in effect devaluing said home(s) more and faster than usual depreciation?’ None of this is new. Firms have long priced themselves, rent wise, out of local housing markets, often paying the ultimate business failure penalty….

End Note: * For a copy of the Market Summary Report, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Title: ‘Shifty Shifting Support’

Why not posted?

Simply ‘too ripe and timely’ a matter for the parties involved. One of them is not given to equal opportunity dialogue, so suffers declining influence. And the other, frankly, lacks passion for and understanding of, post production segments of the manufactured housing industry. More to come, in good time…….

III.

I Couldn’t Have Said This Better Myself

The following paragraph was sent to me by a blog flogger this past week. The identity of the writer is unimportant; the gist of what he/she pens is insightful and telling.

“It appears to me there are three tribes of folk in the (manufactured housing) industry, with overlap in some areas among them. The highest exposure to new investors comes from Frank and Dave, which (sic) gets the least qualified investors, but at the end of the day, more investors and people on the outside seem to know of them than anyone else. Then comes the Manufactured Housing Institute, because they have the reach of all the state associations, and they get people who are a little more serious than Frank and Dave. Lastly are the Allenites, which is a group of solid, very ethical ‘insiders’ who are easier to do business with and much more proven.”

Just as happened with last week’s blog (Reread Part I of this posting for description of an inadvertent omission), ‘WHO is obvious here, by their absence from this tribal census’? Presuming we identify the same national player, said absence begs the question: WHY? In my opinion, it’s likely due to an unwillingness, on their part, to learn and embrace the manufactured housing industry as a whole, including its’ realty and finance components – though there have been forays of late, into the latter post production segment. Of course, neither was the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7*, mentioned; but seeing as how the alliance of 200+ affiliates is only four months old, that’s not surprising.

End Note: * Any individual or business involved in any segment of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry may affiliate with COBA7 by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 & selecting Options I, II or III!

IV.

Next Blog = may be an OPEN LETTER to…, & an MHOmbudsman @ COBA7

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Leave a Reply