4 Ways To Ruin Your Reputation With Local Mobile Home Parks
As an active mobile-home investor, I believe it’s my job to help local mobile-home managers and make their lives easier. Mobile-home park managers and owners are pretty predictable.
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- Mobile home park owners DO want a clean park with a good pride of ownership, minimal headaches, and very high monthly revenue through monthly lot/pad rent.
- Mobile home park managers DO want residents to pay on time and with minimal headaches.
- Mobile home park managers/owners DO NOT want the following three things, which can ruin your reputation with local mobile home parks:
1. Reselling Junky or Damaged Mobile Homes
As an active mobile-home investor you ideally want to have a long-term career working with mobile homes on private land and inside preexisting mobile-home parks. Ideally you want to help sellers that wish to sell also wish to place quality buyers into attractive and safe mobile homes. It’s important not to simply sell junk. Selling junk can lead to a quick negative reputation, which you don’t want.
- Selling junky mobile homes: A junky home is dangerous and nowhere you would want your friends to live. These homes will attract renters or buyers who have little choice of where to live. Many of these potential buyers may not have the sufficient credit or background history to become approved with the specific mobile home park. These junky mobile homes will typically take longer to sell than a clean, safe, livable mobile home.
- Selling safe mobile homes that have potential: The home is move-in ready. The plumbing, water, gas, electrical, appliances, and hot water all work. The walls are secure, there are no leaks, no smells, no bugs, and no mold. The mobile home may need some cosmetic repairs, but it should be safe and desirable by most serious used mobile-home buyers in the market. These homes will be quicker to sell with a typically higher resale value.
Repercussions (Serious): The mobile home park may likely act in one of two ways:
1. The park manager may confront you directly in order to correct the problem so that you start fixing mobile homes to the park’s criteria.
2. Conversely, the park manager may not confront you directly, but instead simply cut ties with you by not alerting you to future leads or helping you out any longer.
Pro Tip: Whenever purchasing a used mobile home inside of a preexisting mobile home park, aim to ask the park management if they suggest any improvements to the exterior of the home. Even if the park manager says no, this will demonstrate your proactive interest in working with the park in a win-win manner.
2. Removing a Revenue-Producing Mobile Home
On certain occasions, some mobile-home park owners may want certain mobile homes removed from their park if the home is outdated, condemned, or if certain laws are changing. However, most of the time, a mobile-home park manager will not be happy that a mobile home is being removed from their community. The owner of the park will typically be even less happy as the park’s value and revenue will be reduced. If you are a part of this deal in any way, the park owner and park manager will typically associate this unpleasantness with you directly.
Pro Tip: If you are planning to remove a mobile home from a community or sell a mobile home to a cash buyer who plans on removing it from the park it's in, aim to talk with the manager to understand what criteria may be needed before the home may be pulled out. Some park lease agreements require a 30-day written notice or fee paid before a mobile home may be pulled out of the park.
Repercussions (Serious): You may not be allowed to invest within the park any longer. The park manager and owner simply may not want to take the risk that you will remove another property from the park.
3. Not Paying Lot Rent On Time
Aim to always pay lot rent before it’s due. Paying lot rent on time shows that you are serious about working with the community. It also shows you are making the park a priority.
Pro Tip: When paying lot rent, feel free to ask the park manager about any mobile homes for sale now or in the future. If you are friendly with the manager, perhaps ask if she/he can tell you if anyone is behind on rent and therefore may wish to sell.
Repercussions (Minimal): If lot rent is only a few days late, then this will simply result in late fees. These occasional accidents happen, and there is typically no damage to your business reputation. Only if you avoid paying for a serious length of time, avoid talking to the manager, and risk eviction, will the park be seriously upset with you (and likely not want to work with you again).
4. Being Hard to Reach
Park managers and park owners have questions for you and they need answers. Show that you are proactive and respectful of the park’s time by calling people back quickly. Aim to show up early for all meetings with the park management.
Pro Tip: Give the park owners and park managers the most direct phone number you have.
Repercussions (Minimal): You may lose out on potential opportunities because you do not call back fast enough. The park may also shift its focus to working with someone who calls back faster and shows more proactive interest.
Please note that this post doesn’t include many common things that renters do that upset landlords. Examples may be speeding in the community, flushing objects down toilets, disrespecting neighbors, and much more. With that said aim to always be helping local mobile home park managers and keeping in clear communication when possible. The relationships you have with managers/owner will be built on a mutual financial benefit and respect, and hopefully a bit of friendship.
Did we miss anything with regards to what mobile home investors can do to upset local park management?
Share your own ideas below!