to mobile park owners...

16 Replies

I am trying to find someone who currently or has owned larger mobile home parks that wouldn't mind speaking with me and sharing some knowledge. I recently put a 60 space park under contract and would really like to pick the brain of more experienced investors in mobile home parks. 

If you recently put a park under contract immediately buy Frank Rolfe's "30 Days of Mobile Home Park Due Diligence" manual and his guide to managing mobile home parks - if you haven't already done so.

You can buy Frank's 30 days... at mobilehomeuniversity.com  I highly recommend it especially the in person boot camp.

Not that many park owners here.  You'll find them at the free forum off the above website.  A few in the mobile home park groups in linkedin.  The large number of park owners don't follow here, linkedin (mobile home park groups) and MHU forum above.

Curt is dead right on going to MHU. I would at the absolute minimum get the 30 day due diligence book like yesterday. That alone will identify and keep you out of 90% of the pitfalls. I did something similar, was looking for a building but came across a park that looked like a real good deal using traditional investment evaluation methods.  Tied it up and looked for the top MHP resource out there, found MHU, signed up for the boot camp and used the due diligence manual, materials, and Frank's consultation. Park checked out (though the materials helped me make a well reasoned case for a substantial price concession and identify potential upside) so I bought it and attended the actual boot camp a few months later. Thing about a park is I think you're more on the hook for a disaster if you don't do proper diligence. When you buy a 4 or 12 unit building you generally don't run the risk of owning a dying sewer system that can run in the hundreds of thousands to replace or run the risk of having major zoning issues. The nature of the MHP beast usually entails owning utilities and functioning like a small city. You need to wrap your head around sewer systems, water systems, roads, electrical systems, zoning laws etc. The diligence isn't hard but like I said if you buy the wrong park or don't price in certain issues it can be catastrophic.

I'm a park owner so ask away anything you'd like but Curt is right, MHU has more park specific players. Frank also does a weekly call-in show that is incredibly useful. There are something like 300+ episodes and I've listened to every one of them, I consider myself a true disciple. I know we all sound like MHU shills but the truth is it's the holy grail of park operation/research. The podcast with Jefferson Lily was great but one with Frank would be incredible. Besides being the sharpest park operator out there he's simply quite a character. 

@George N.  OMG you listened to 300 back calls?   I know from the boot camp that your head must be so full of MHP info it must be ready to explode!!??!!

LOL  great going!  Also you might post "stories from an owner" now and then.  I know the up north MHP residents are much less entertaining vs our Southern park residents, they pay and don't tear things up, but you must have something to share?

Ha! You know I was working a quiet night shift for awhile and used to get through 2-3 episodes a a night. I also drive a lot so I've always got a podcast playing. I highly recommend going through the entire catalog. At the risk of sounding like a groupie Frank's genius really shines through when you start with the 2009 episodes and go forward. You can see how right he was on so many things and even how some of his strategies have evolved. But bottom line there is an incredible amount of knowledge in 300 hours of back and forth between Frank and park owners! When I met Frank I felt like I knew him and, quite Frankly, was little star-struck. haha. 

As far as stories, ya, I think MT residents are more like the northern tenants Frank talks about. Most of my residents aren't the Honda driving washing the car on Sunday types though. They're blue collar rural types so their homes and cars can get a little sloppy etc. Benefit there is I think they're not too demanding as a result. But they do generally share the low drama law abiding characteristics Frank talk about with his WI tenants. Owned the park a bit more than a year and honestly I can't say I have anything significant to report. Certainly it's just a matter of time but hopefully nothing changes! Everything has pretty much been exactly how Frank tells it. The only significant difference is Frank's teaching/methods are all geared towards his style of park which is mid-western centric and based on certain numbers. When you start getting up here you get the dynamic he talks about when he mentions places like Colorado with super high home prices so there are adjustments. For instance, I just sold a pre-HUD fixer-upper for 10K plus. Homes are way more expensive up here, parks with vacancies are rare indeed and that changes the lot-filling/rehab dynamic.

@Jeffrey Greenhow   Brandon does all their tech etc. I'm not 100% sure if the call-in show is limited to boot-camp attendees or what so I don't want to give out the number/code but I've always found them to be incredibly flexible and generous with anything I've asked for and Frank is generally asking people for more questions during the sessions so I'm betting he'll hook you up.  

Originally posted by @Curt Smith :

You can buy Frank's 30 days... at mobilehomeuniversity.com  I highly recommend it especially the in person boot camp.

Not that many park owners here.  You'll find them at the free forum off the above website.  A few in the mobile home park groups in linkedin.  The large number of park owners don't follow here, linkedin (mobile home park groups) and MHU forum above.

 Curt is correct. Only a few community owners visit here, but some, like myself, do. You would be more likely to find larger community owners at George Allen's International Round Table (an annual event in September every year) or at the annual NCC Fall Leadership Forum, held in Chicago each year - this year November 11-13, or the relatively new event in Atlanta for small South East community owners SECO. You will also find a large number of them at the MHI Congress in Las Vegas every April. 

You will also find the larger community owners, as well as the smaller ones, at state association annual meetings. In most states it is well worth your money to join your state association and attend their events. 

You may want to connect with other park owners in your area. They can be a wealth of knowledge especially when it comes to your area's laws and regulations related to owning and operating a manufactured home community. Good luck!