4 Reasons Mobile Home Park Managers Don’t Want to Work With You (& How to Change That)

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It is nothing against you personally. How could it be? The park manager and you want the same goals and outcomes for the mobile home community. The park management and you both want to fill the park up with nice quality homes, want to keep all homes in the park, want qualified hard-working buyers in those homes, and want lot rent to be paid every single month. Any park manager in his or her right mind should love working with you or receiving your help on a regular basis.

In a previous article, we discussed the 3 types of mobile home parks and how each tends to work with investors. Here, we learned that the vast majority of mobile home community managers are willing to work with local, like-minded investors, as long as we are clear about our intentions and desire to help.

Reminder: Park managers oftentimes have very thankless jobs. Every day people are talking behind park managers’ backs and lying to their faces. When you can present how you are there to help in a humble and very disarming manner, many park managers will work with you if at all possible.

4 Reasons Mobile Home Park Managers Don’t Want to Work With You (& How to Change That)

1. Because of corporate policy.

After you explain why you are in the mobile home park and how you intend to help, a park manager may explain to you that you are not allowed to buy and sell within the community because of a corporate policy. Very few mobile home communities will have instilled a corporate policy that forbids anyone from purchasing and reselling a home without living there for a minimum of “X” months.

While we investors do not like this type of corporate policy, we certainly understand it and respect it. We can still thank the park managers for their time and ask for them to point us in the direction of any mobile home parks we may not have already been aware of.

Pro tip: If a corporation owns multiple mobile home parks in your town, do not incorrectly assume that because one park manager will not allow you there that every park owned by the same company feels the same way. Some park managers use the “corporate policy” excuse as a way to get rid of local investors without any arguments. You are highly encouraged to make contact and introduce yourself to every local park manager in and around your area.

Moving forward: This is difficult to overcome. If the park does not want you there, then you do not wish to be there. In your area there are many other communities to help.

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2. Because they see you as competition.

A minority of mobile home parks employ their own full-time handymen or rehab crews within the community. These handy folks are in charge of repairing any vacant or abandoned mobile home within the park. Once these homes are repaired, the park will then rent or resell these homes for a profit.

Typically in high-demand buying markets, mobile home park owners are more aware that repairing and reselling their vacant mobile homes will lead to a profit. Keep in mind that a vast majority of parks mainly wish to create a majority of their revenue from renting land and not rehabbing and reselling used mobile homes.

Exception: Some mobile home parks try to purchase and vulture every single mobile home they can from every seller within their walls. Some parks even have first rights of refusal to make sure they can purchase every mobile home they wish to within their park.

However, the majority of mobile home parks will be willing to work with you even though they repair and resell the homes they receive back due to abandonment and evictions. These friendly parks are very open to working with you as long as you only purchase used homes directly from sellers within the community, fix these homes, and resell them legally. In short, some parks have a scarcity mentality, and others have an abundance mentality.

Moving forward: Again, this is difficult to overcome. I’d suggest you look for other communities in your area to help.

3. Because of misunderstandings.

Perhaps the easiest objection to overcome is a simple misunderstanding. Practice your introduction script before meeting with any park manager. While introducing yourself to a park manager, you may accidentally omit the facts that you will be getting approved at the community, your buyers will become park approved too, the home will remain in the park, and you will be quickly reselling, not renting, a mobile home within their walls. In short, during this introduction, a park manager may not hear that you will be getting approved, or they may think that you will be wanting to rent or sublease a mobile home (a typical park no-no).

Related: 5 (More) Things to Hate About Mobile Home Investing Inside Parks

Pro tip: Make sure you understand the park manager’s confusions. Aim to clear up any mistakes quickly. For example, if the park manager states to you that they do not allow renting within their community, your response may be, “I apologize, sometimes I speak fast. We will never be renting any homes in your community. Renters bring renter mentalities and will never treat or love a home or their neighbors like a homeowner will.” This is, of course, a very blanket statement, and there are some very honest and fantastic renters in this world.

Moving forward: This issue is fairly easy to overcome.

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4. Because they have bad associations.

On a personal note, I am surprised that this objection is becoming more and more widespread. Some mobile home investors never quite do what they promise, and many over-promise and under-deliver on a regular basis. If you approach a park manager, they may confide in you that they recently were taken advantage of or burned by another investor, seemingly just like you, not more than a few months or weeks ago.

Due to the park manager’s natural human tendency to be apprehensive and protective when approached by another investor (you) promising all the same things, a red flag may be raised in the park manager’s mind. For example, you may hear, “We recently got into a situation like this, and it just did not work out. This other gentleman took advantage of us and removed a mobile home when he said he was not going to.”

Pro tip: With honesty, sincerity, and a little bit of pride, make sure to fight for yourself and your reputation. While you do not know specifically what this other malicious investor did to the park managers, this person is not you, and you deserve a clean slate to prove your worth and value to the park and park manager.

Moving forward: This issue is fairly easy to overcome when the park managers understand your sincerity and willingness to help the community.

Conclusion

The list above spells out the four main reasons a mobile home community manager may not want you in his or her park. The above list is in no specific order. Remember that your main goal while working with any mobile home park is to help the park management.

Related: The Top 5 Reasons Investors Are Loved & Hated Within Mobile Home Communities

If you are not able to make the park manager’s life easier, then you have no business being in the park. Relationships with park managers can make or break your business investing inside individual mobile home communities. Park managers are people just like us and deserve to be respected. Speak logically and rationally to every park manager, and make sure to have your interests align with theirs. Always continue aiming to help local parks and communities.

Investors: Anything you’d add to this list? Have you ever encountered any of the above issues?

Let me know with a comment!

About Author

John Fedro

John Fedro has been investing in manufactured housing since 2002. John now spends his time continuing to build his cash-flow business in multiple states while helping others enjoy the same freedom he has achieved. Find John here.

2 Comments

  1. Curt Smith

    Thanks John, My biggest concern is not sorting the local parks into those who will work with vs ones who won’t.

    The biggest issue is buying deals in parks and all seems OK, then boom, a manager change or an owner change and now they won’t approve my renter / buyers. I have no leverage, legal or otherwise to have a park approve my renters. In one stroke of change my entire investment evaporated.

    Sure this is rain on the lonnie dealer parade. Making for fewer investors trying to do this. I agree. I just don’t think new folks should be edged into this deal type just because it “looks like a low cost” deal strategy. It could be very expensive is my view, a 100% loss, if just walking into the office with your home title and dropping it off is enough to get you off the lot rent you owe. You did sign a 12 month lease and you are on the hook for the balance of the lease. You’d have to try to negotiate the home title for letting you out of the lease.

    I’d like to hear stories from you (John) or other re the above scenario to give a balanced view of this deal type?

    Having said that, I agree that this deal type is the cheapest way to learn negotiating, rehabbing skills, learn landlording by fire, learn how to evict folks, collect rent. For $2k to $5k I don’t know of a cheaper “coach” than hands on sweating bullets!!! LOL Just be prepared to loose the whole thing if the manager / owner changes their policy AFTER you bought in.

    We did our driving GA / Atlanta area parks. Decided the grade D parks who would let us work where not desirable for us, and the nicer parks all didn’t allow lonnie dealers.

    We moved to mobile homes on their own land. We now control everything, no manager change can blow up our work or investment. Double wides on their own land are a good deal type. Yes alot more cash even for a single wide on land,,, true true.

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