I am just curious what steps people take right after closing a mobile home park deal and you are the new owner/operator. Lets say for the sake of this post that all the DD work is done and comes back perfect. What steps do you then take in order to get the property performing the way you want it to and what systems do you use? management, bookkeeping, rent raises, new rules for the park etc?
@Sean Harris every park is different and although the basic steps are likely to be the same, the goals you will set for each park will be different. When we take over a park, the first thing we do is "camp out" onsite at the park for 4-5 days to make sure the transition goes smoothly, the expectations are set, and the onsite team knows what they are accountable for. While we are there, we train the onsite team with our processes, install software, and establish the culture for how we expect the experience to be for them and the residents at the park. Staying at the park for several days will also help you understand where the issues are related to the day-to-day operations of the park, any problem residents, and little things that may be out of place like when the garbage truck comes.
Park Rules - part of the normal process for transitioning a park should include new leases with park rules. If you do not have an attorney with expertise in park regulations, do yourself a favor and find one. The landlord/tenant act is unique for parks, so a general lease from an apartment will not be appropriate.
Raising Rents - we like to take the approach of proving to the residents that we are serious about making their experience better before we move the rents at all, even if the current rent is grossly below market. This includes better management, capital improvements to the park, and a better overall culture at the park. Sometimes that takes awhile, especially if there are toxic tenants that you inherit. We have found that when you give, the residents are more inclined to give back, similar to the way life works:)
The Business - we take an approach called "Traction" to running our business, and the business of each park. This includes breaking down the long term goals into annual goals, and further into quarterly goals, and eventually into weekly tasks to ensure we are always moving the needle in our business and at each park.
All the best to you!
Thank you Jack for that detailed response. How do you typically set up how you recieve your monthly rent checks? Also say that the park that you now own is kind of dated and there is little to no computer use or experience used by the current manager. Do you try and implement more of an automated system online that you can train the manager to use? If so do you buy a computer or tablet for the manager or rely on them being able to do these things from their own cell phone/computer? Thanks