If you are planning to invest in mobile homes within parks then you had better be ready to build rapport with mobile home sellers, mobile home occupants, Realtors, dealers, other Investors, handyman, bird-dogs, and of course mobile home park managers. A park manager or community manager will be your proverbial “gate keeper” to investing in homes located within this community.
The goals of this article are to introduce you to one of my proven methods of introducing yourself to mobile home park managers and also to instill in you the confidence needed to place your best foot forward while doing so.
Let us discuss the latter first. The overwhelming mindset I would like for mobile homes investors to have is one of helping sellers, helping buyers, and helping park managers. We create income by creating a value. Within mobile home parks we have to understand the pecking order and that we are closer to the bottom, especially when first arriving to a park unknown by anyone.
Our goal once receiving the park manager’s “all clear” is to become approved at the park, purchase all properties that fit our investing-plan, and resell them or rent them to park approved buyers for a substantial profit. This is the basic outline however the theory goes much further.
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The Mobile Home Park Manager
Mobile home park managers are people just like you. Some days we have good-days and other days not so much. A job of a park manager is often one of little thanks and gratitude. It is our duty as a long-term investor to help this park manager improve their community, fill empty lots, fill empty homes, increase revenue, and bring up the all around look and feel of the park as much as possible.
Our motives are not entirely altruistic as we can safely assume that by improving the quality of lives within the park and over delivering what we promise we will be granted favoritism when new homes arise for sale in addition to other perks within the parks.
Now that we have very briefly discussed your mindset and why it is important to genuinely wish to help let us dive into the specifics of using a strategy I called the “Move In Special”.
Please understand that park managers are sounding boards for all the residents problems. From my experience park managers hear negative complaints, excuses, and criticisms more than they here words of appreciation for doing their difficult jobs.
With that said many newbie investors I speak with simply call into a park office and blurt-out what they want and need from the park manager. This direct approach is comparable to most things in life, you will achieve a result of answering your question however you may lose more opportunities than you will gain.
Let us now consider an alternative approach. One that helps the park manager really want to work with us. Also an approach to build a quick and long-lasting mutual benefit between both park manager and investor.
Some parks, in my opinion over 50%, have an established incentive-program for anyone wishing to move a mobile home into said park. This means that the owner of a new or used mobile home that agrees to move their mobile home into a park, keep it there, and pay lot rent for a predetermined number of years will receive compensation for the moving cost, permits, installation costs, and/or discounted lot rent. Again, the compensation is typically anything from very discounted lot rent for the first 12 months all-the-way-to completely paying for your moving and setup charges associated with moving a home into the park.
The mobile home park will take this “loss” because they know over the course of the 3-5 years you agree to keep the mobile home in the park they will make back their expenses plus a healthy profit. Keep in mind the age, size, and quality of the home may determine the compensation you receive. In my mind a “free” move and setup is the best incentive there is. If you sell the mobile home before the 3-5 years is over then your new buyer will have to agree to stay for the remaining time. This agreement should always be in writing however I have seen some parks that use the honor system with you.
The Script for Talking with Park Managers
Now that we have an understanding of some of the basic ideas why and how incentive programs work with regards to moving a mobile home into the park we can now use this verbiage in our introduction to the park managers.
“Hello. My name is _____________. I have a used mobile home I am thinking about purchasing and I need somewhere to move it. I wanted to know if your lovely park has an incentive program running where I will be compensated for the moving expenses associated with moving and setting up the home in this park? Or perhaps another incentive?”
What you have just done here is shot to the top of the park manager’s priority list with regards to who you are. You are not talking about simply purchasing a used mobile home in their park, yet. You are talking about adding revenue to the park’s bottom-line. This is of course assuming there are vacant mobile home pads in the park for you to rent. If you do not current have a mobile home to move into this park do not worry, you will. Mobile homes that have to be moved are common and this scenario will happen to you one day if you are in the mobile home investing business for long enough.
Keep in mind this opening is simply to break the ice. From here you can proceed to tell the park manager your intentions about finding a home that must be moved, how you can additionally help by purchasing used units in the park, and even being contacted by sellers that are already selling in the park.
The goal during this first meeting is to establish who you are, ask your set of park/investing questions, make a friend, and gain permission to invest inside their park. Always remember that as an active mobile home investor you are very valuable to mobile home park owners and park managers. A park manager may have been burned by an investor in the past and therefore apprehensive about working with you, however do not let this discourage you in the slightest. You are here to help and many park managers will not turn you away but welcome you with open arms.
I hope this all makes sense. This is of course only one way to break the ice and meet a park manager. If you have any questions or feedback I would love to hear them below.
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Photo Credit: kioan