My First Lonnie Deal - Two Weeks After His Boot Camp

11 Replies

First, thanks to folks like Terry Drake, J Scott and some others who have been an inspiration to me. Here's what happened.

Lonnie had what might be his last Boot Camp in Norfolk, VA at very end of Oct. Actually, Jackie Lange from Cash Flow Depot organized it, but Lonnie was incredible. Some fellow student even made a deal one of the evenings we were there.

What I started to do was to contact (as Lonnie STRONGLY suggests) Park Managers (around Pittsburgh it's mostly owners). A couple were not interested in working with me but several were. I also drove around just getting familiar with the parks and talking it up (oh, you can learn much that way). I'm at a point where I have no problem just knocking on a door or just chatting it up.

I also responded to a variety of ads (but always talking it up with the owners). Today I bought an older (1969) 2/1 for 42750. Outside of needing an exterior paint job, it's in great shape. It has a large shed, AC, includes frig, stove and stackable washer/dryer, has tip-out which makes a large living room, two car parking port and carpet less than two years old. Overall, it's in very nice shape.

The lady is moving in a month and started at $3500 (she paid over $4200 two years ago). We got down to $2750. It's a 14'x56'.

Of course, a la Lonnie, I kept asking questions and did my best to listen. It was important to hear why she was moving and what her plans were. It's good that I genuinely enjoy hearing what people share, so my interest authentic. I believe people will know when you care and when you don't. For instance, she did share that the photo on the wall (when I asked about it) was of her late husband. I knew from my own girlfriend (who lost her husband about 4 years ago) that it takes a long time to "move on." I was able to address that issue with her with authenticity and sympathy. THAT KIND OF LISTENING AND CARING BUILDS TRUST.

I was also honest with her regarding my intentions as well as the fact that I was new to this and wasn't real experienced at negotiating. Being authentic and honest and being a shady wheeler dealer is the best way.

I learned that she was, in her words, willing to "negotiate " and be "flexible." In Lonnie's words, I told her that I knew she could do better and wondered how better. She did go down to 3k. I suggested with cash $2500. She said nothing for awhile and looked like she was "shutting down". I simply responded spontaneously and said, "Why don't you give me a counter-offer." At this point she said $2750 and we had a deal.

I know that I will get better at this, so I'm not worried that I might have gotten her down lower. I'm confident that with financing this is a very good deal. It's a solid, well-kept home that is a true turn-key.

Enough already. To the rest of you who have not done a deal. You have to get oit there consistently and see the aprks, talk to the people, talk to managers/owners and respond to ads. MOST PEOPLE WHO CALL ON ADS NEVER GET THERE BACKSIDES OUT TO THE PARKS!!!Be proactive. Make this part of your schedule. Pretend that it's your part-time job that will make you a great career. Lonnie didn't make his fortune by watching football Sundays or wasting time on his day off. This is essentially a numbers game. Do the work of research. Get out there and do it. Blessings to you.

Hopefully I will have photos soon. I'm already working on marketing it and will be able to show it before she leaves. I'm hoping to get around $200 or so per month for about 36 months. I am being VERY CAREFUL about advertising it since we all must be careful regarding fair lending laws (I won't even go into the Safe Act here). AS Lonnie suggests, I'll be saying nothing more than "reasonable and negotiable terms."

Thanks Marc. You have been a great example to me. There is a possibility that someone very nice may come about soon. A man called me who is looking to buy his Ex a house (I don't even want to know the story behind that). He wants to pay cash, and I have it listed at $5500. We were going to meet with the owner today, but she is packing and her little dogs are all upset. So, showing the house to this buyer is delayed. He has been looking at much more expensive places (as well as 3 bd), so I hope that my asking price is more in line with his desires. Sure, i was planning to finance, but cash is king. I'm staying on top of the situation. We shall see!

Philip, it's great that you could learn from Lonnie himself. I'm surprised that he's still doing boot camps. Sounds like you really paid attention and are applying what you've learned. Congrats for getting out of the gate strongly.

Sounds like you are getting off to a good start. As funds build - save for buying the MHPs. Then when a home goes vacant, you do not have to worry about paying lot rents. Managing a MHP versus an apartment - the MHP wins every time.

Phillip: congrats on getting an MH deal closed! Very exciting. Lonnie's books were game changers and opened up a whole new perspective for me....in 1998. I had never thought about sales and resales and notes before reading his books. You can apply his thinking to any sales business.

Originally posted by Joshua Dorkin:
Philip - Congrats!
Jon - Lonnie is officially retired -- or at least that's what he told me last week.

I'm so glad someone else brought this up. Lonnie's last boot camp or seminar was being advertised as such when I started in the late 1990s. He's probably done with us, but were not done with him!

Congrats on your first deal.

If there was a Hall of Fame for investors, Lonnie would probably be in it.

It's too bad too that so many following this scheme did so as preditory dealers to the extent of having federal legsilation adopted to restrict the practice.

I guess the best way to proceed is to make enough on your fist few deals, maybe sell the notes for cash and pay the fees to become a licensened mortgage originator and a dealer, otherwise you'll be limited to conducting business.

BTW, Another similar "system" involves selling land, if it's zoned residential or can be used as residential raw land, it also falls under the SAFE Act.

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