George Allen / EducateMHC Blog Mobile Home & Land Lease Community Advocate & Expert

July 1, 2022

FOURTHS OF JULY, 50 & 200 YEARS AGO

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 8:22 am

Blog Posting # 696. Copyright @ 1 July 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educaemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Me MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: This is my 4th of July patriotic gift to you; a personal recollection of spending the 4th of July in a combat zone 54 years ago. Please save and share this story with friends, family members, and acquaintances. GFA

FOURTHS OF JULY, 50 & 200 YEARS AGO

On the fourth of July, 1968, my combat engineer platoon worked and lived at landing zone Stud, later renamed Vandegrift forward combat base. Stud was located a few miles east of the infamous, only recently vacated Khe Sanh combat base of Vietnam lore.

The day was like any other, for a combat engineer platoon. During daylight hours we cleared roads of landmines, built command bunkers, strengthened the perimeter defense, and helped wherever needed. All hot, dirty work, but what we were there to do.

That night also began like any other. At first, all was quiet and dark, no moon. Above ground light, even candlelight, was prohibited, lest it draw sniper fire from enemy troops in the hills surrounding our position. But around 3300 hours (10PM), someone popped a bright white star cluster pyrotechnic high into the black sky.

Usually, star cluster pyros are launched from hand-held devices – hollow aluminum tubes 2” in diameter X 12” long, to show helicopter pilots where one’s position is in darkness, identify medical evacuation pickup points, or where to drop needed supplies.

Well, that first star cluster burst was immediately followed by a whole bunch more of varied colors, accompanied by a host of M16 assault rifles fired on full automatic – adding combat sound effects to the cacophony, along with the distinct odor of burning cordite. Also launched skyward, a couple illumination flares, dangling from mini-parachutes, drifted high above the base, and out over suspected enemy positions. This continued for a few minutes, then stopped as abruptly as it had begun.

In military parlance, this chain of events is known as a ‘mad moment’, usually occurring gin training scenarios to familiarize Marines with the sights, sounds, and smells of combat. And ‘mad moments’ do occasionally occur in combat environs like these, to celebrate a holiday.

Yes, one might view ‘mad moments’ as a waste of ammunition and signaling resources, also compromising one’s position, but know what?

During that ‘mad moment’ on the fourth of July 1968, at LZ Stud, I envisioned standing next to Francis Scott Key, in 1818, watching the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, and him penning the poem which would later become our nation’s hallowed anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

And today, 200 years later, 50+ for me since 1968, nary a 4th of July holiday occurs, without fondly, sometimes tearfully – but always gratefully, recalling being right there during a very special ‘mad moment’ in my life and that of our nation. God Bless America!

Lt. Col. George Allen, USMC, retired.




June 24, 2022

WORST CASE SCENARIO

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:49 am

Blog Posting # 695. Copyright @ 24 June 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: And it’s time for a transition. In this instance, from a popular blogging site to the Linked In platform. Why? It suits my present situation (i.e. ‘retirement’) better. Let our friends in manufactured housing and land lease communities know where they can continue to ‘read what’s really happening in our industry and realty asset class’. Do you realize we’re five blog postings away from tallying 700 during these past 13 years? I do, every time I pen one. GFA

I.

WORST CASE SCENARIO

One reason I continue to prepare this weekly blog, and pen the Allen Legacy column for MHInsider magazine, is because I have so many friends in the business of manufactured housing and land lease community ownership. If I don’t write in their behalf, as I did in the Allen Letter for 30+ years, who will? Answer. No one! And that’s the reason for this week’s haunting and telling question: What U.S. state is being described in the paragraph here following?

“George, as us old guys know, things are changing and not to the good. Homes that can be built in the factory in 18 days, here in _____now take up to four months and we’re at the top of the waiting list. It’s even worse out of state, where it can take up to a year to get a new home. We are not being told, here in _____, we will only be able to purchase electrical appliances for our homes until 2025. What happens to all our communities with 50 and 100 amp electrical systems An even bigger problem, here in _____, is that come 1/1/2025, even our existing long term leases will not be exempt from local rent control; and to top that off, they (regulators) are trying to pass a law that new manufactured home (rental) sites will not be exempt from rent control. Anyone who’d build another community here in _____ under these pending changes would have to be crazy.” (Lightly edited. GFA)

So, what do you think? Is this your state that’s described here or some other one?
II.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING


I occasionally get to read The Ross Rant, a private newsletter, penned by Joel Ross of Citadel Realty Advisors. He recently wrote about the U.S. housing market in this fashion:

“…the housing market is now tanking quickly, which is bad for the economy. I spoke to a NYC condo broker who said they are already seeing millennials pulling back, because they no longer have the equity, due to the stock market; or they have never seen this type of economic situation in their lifetime, so are not sure what to do. I am certain the housing pullback I have been predicting is here, and will be bad, maybe 10%, but maybe more, as rates will now rise a lot more. 40% of NYC buyers are all cash, and a much higher number of FL buyers are too, so cash buyers may mitigate a tiny bit of the housing downturn. There is no way 6% mortgages, and the inflated prices can go on. Expect a pullback in housing prices to accelerate now.”

At the same time, in the June 19th edition of the New York Times magazine, a full page ad for The Towers read this way: “A beacon of timeless glamour. The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York has been home to the world’ most fascinating people. Live atop the internationally famous hotel, an icon which has set the global standard for hospitality and accommodation since 1931. Enjoy the best of the world’ greatest city and call the most distinguished address in New York home. There truly is no place like it. New studio to penthouse condominium residences priced from $1,800,000 defined by unsurpassed amenities, legendary service, and incomparable history.”

Tried to get a handle on how many single-family homes have been purchased during the past decade and turned into rental units. Here’s as close as I could get:

There’re 128 million households, with 62 percent living in owned homes and 38 percent in rental units. And of the 49 million rental units, 35 percent are single-family homes, 62 percent are apartments, and four percent manufactured homes. So, does that mean there’re 17,150,000 single-family homes (not including manufactured homes) today being used as rental units? And during the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies briefing (‘State of the Nation’s Housing’) on 22 June, we were told that 16 to 40 percent of all single-family home sales are of this sort, with the national average being 28 percent. Now you kinda know….





III.


LAST WEEK’S BLOG A LIGHTNING ROD

I was hoping it would happen and it did. Received considered responses to the subject matter (about ‘Woke folk’, ‘Innovations in MH’, & ‘MH as Affordable Housing’) from several sources. What follows here are a few of the comments gleaned from those email messages:

“My first solution is resident ownership, George. Has been and always will be. Homeownership to me is about basic economic security and wealth-building. Pretty fundamental.” Here the writer is talking about resident-owned communities, not the traditional land lease ones. However, as suggested in Part III of that blog, let’s also get conventional real estate mortgages into land lease communities where ownership grants leases with terms extending beyond the home mortgage.

“While all your observations are true, there is a deeper level at which manufactured housing has problems.” We have manufactured housing product tunnel vision; which is to say we do little to ensure value retention in the event said homes are repossessed (without the land on which they’re installed) – thanks in large part to chattel financing. And the matter of appropriate installation; even a “…well-financed manufactured home placed in a low spot will result in a major loss to a bank at some point I guess it is one step too far to have manufacturers see this has a big effect on them too – about every ten or so years.”


IV.


HINT OF THINGS TO COME (?)

From several sources of late, there’s been interest expressed in renewing the ALLEN REPORT (‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/Operators Throughout North America!’); resuming the Networking Roundtable for Community Owners/operators; and, scheduling one day sessions of the popular Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) professional property management training and certification program. Too soon to announce specific plans, events, or dates – but it’d be helpful to know how many of you would be interested in one or more of these three resources. Communicate your thoughts and desires via gfa7156@aol.com


George Allen, CPM, MHM. EducateMHC



June 15, 2022

‘WOKE’ FOLK OPPOSE AFFORDABLE HOUSING!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 9:19 am

Blog Posting # 694. Copyright @ 17 June 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: During my 40+ year career in manufactured housing, as land lease community owner/operator, author, and trade press journalist, I can pinpoint times when my efforts have affected our business practices and history. Examples: transition from ‘mobile home park’ to manufactured home community – and now land lease community. Then, with 19 other community owners, beginning the process of birthing MHI’s NCC division. Formulation of the Industry Standard Chart of Accounts with Operating Expense Ratios (‘OERs’). And bringing professional property management to our realty asset class via the Manufactured Housing Manager certification program (1500+/- MHMs today in U.S. & CN.). Finally, there’s the New Rule of 72 ‘valuation formula’, and widely used ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet for home pricing. Now, I pen all that to simply say:

What follows here in Part I should be ‘required reading’ by all! And the last paragraph in Part II describes my epiphany of ‘there’s a better way for MH & LLCommunities’! And then, in Part III, I lay it out for you in a succinct triparte fashion. Will this first time combination of ideas go anywhere? Only time – and you, will be able to tell and know. But I sure hope so! Read on….


I.

‘WOKE’ FOLK OPPOSE AFFORDABLE HOUSING!

Here’re portions of opening and final paragraphs of a four page expose’ that arrived on my desk this week. I sincerely believe it should be ‘required reading’ for every businessperson, regulator, and trade association executive active in the manufactured housing industry and ownership of land lease communities!

“The leaders of the ‘woke’ mob – inside government and out – will never admit they actually oppose affordable housing and homeownership for millions of lower and moderate-income Americans, including inherently affordable manufactured housing. But they do, with every means available to them. Naturally, they deny the truth of what they do to undermine affordable homeownership for lower-income Americans. In fact, they will tell you just the opposite – that they really care about lower-income people and that, through their various efforts, they simply want what supposedly) is best for them.” (Lightly edited. GFA)

How does this play out? “The first and most comprehensive tool the ‘woke’ elite deploy against affordable homeownership, and Americans who need and require affordable homeownership, is restrictive and exclusionary zoning.” & “…it should surprise no one that discriminatory zoning mandates are routinely deployed to exclude lower cost manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income Americans who rely on manufactured homes as a source of affordable homeownership.”*1

A second leg opposing affordable housing? “…inflation has an indirect (and direct) negative impact(s) on access to homeownership.” Not much $ left for housing after paying inflated prices for goods and services!

And the third leg? “…excessive and discriminatory manufactured housing ‘energy’ regulation’.” How so? “…based on industry estimates…the cost impact of the looming DOE standards could be well over $10,000.00 per home – which would decimate the manufactured housing market and availability of inherently affordable homeownership for lower and moderate-income Americans.”

The final paragraph of this expose.*2 “So, ‘wokesters’ (sic), spare us the claptrap. The truth is your ‘equity’ is as phony as a three dollar bill. Far from helping the working poor and countless other lower and moderate-income Americans, you are their worst enemy, working to deprive them of life’s most essential elements, beginning with a safe, decent, and affordable home.”

Hopefully the previous six paragraphs have been a wake-up call for you – as they should be!
But what to do about this sad situation? What follows in Part II is an example of ‘what not to do’; and in Part III, a bold suggestion as to what might well be done! Read on…

End Note.

1. It’s worth noting that, as one reviewer of a DRAFT copy of this blog observed: Not only are ‘woke elites’ hippocrats relative to affordable housing policy, but so are ‘conservative elites’. NIMBY, LULU, & BANANA cut across all socio-economic lines. The abbreviations? ‘Not in my back yard!’, then ‘Locally unwanted land use!’, & ‘Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone!’ And there are more….

2. MHARR’s Issues & Perspectives by Mark Weiss. Titled: The Woke’ War on Affordable Housing, and dated June 2022. To reach Mark, phone (202) 783-4087

II.

INNOVATIONS IN MANUFACTURED HOMES

The actual title of the hour long webinar on 13 June, hosted by the Lincoln Institute of Land Planning, was INNOVATIONS INI MANUFACTURED HOMES (‘I’m HOME) NETWORK RELAUNCH. You may or may not know that the I’m HOME network, launched in 2005, by Prosperity Now (formerly Corporation for Enterprise Development), has found a new home at the Lincoln Institute.

This relaunch webinar attracted 200 listeners; was led by James Gray (former executive with the Federal Housing Finance Agency or FHFA); moderated by George (Mac) McCarthy, CEO of the Lincoln Institute; and featured a panel comprised of Paul Bradley, founder and head of ROC USA – a resident-owned community facilitator; Grant Beck, VP of Strategic Relationships for Next Step; and Dave Anderson, leader of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association or NMHOA – a homeowner/site lessee advocacy group.

The webinar began with Mac McCarthy making it clear that Innovations in Manufactured Homes Network’s goal was to ‘be a political force for manufactured housing’. This was followed by his update relative to the present state of manufactured housing in the U.S. today – citing how the price of a new manufactured home has jumped from $87,000 in 2020, to $123,200 in a nonspecific period of time (i.e. no specific year or time frame cited). He concluded with reference to the Lincoln Institute’s expertise in land planning, and working relationship with the two GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), and how researching/publishing ‘state level fact sheets relative to manufactured housing’ is a present day goal for the institute. Mac also made passing reference to the very large volume of single family houses being purchased by private equity firms today – then leased to lessees.

Then the panel presentations began.

It was interesting to learn ROC USA has assisted in the present day existence of 294 resident-owned land lease communities in 20 states. Paul did address the massive rent increases afflicting residents of some land lease communities today. His solution? Simultaneously, gets conventional real estate financing on-site, and have community owners commit to long term leases to protect interests of mortgagees.

Grant @ Next Step focused on the stigma of manufactured housing, and how his group’s answer to that barrier would be better zoning and more chattel capital available for home-only loans for said homes.

Dave @ NMHOA suggested ‘discrimination’ was more the issue, where manufactured housing was concerned, than just stigma. Most of his remarks had to do with what is being done on the state level around the U.S.

I couldn’t get past the fact this webinar was manned entirely by executives from not for profit entities. And while it’s certainly helpful to have them aboard in this ongoing search for affordable housing, I think it’d have been just balance to have representatives present from the for-profit sector of the industry, e.g. Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), for starters. Maybe next time…

Major takeaway for me? Three ideas to explore, and in time, incorporate into manufactured housing – the product, and land lease communities – the real estate sector, to ensure more affordable manufactured housing in-community and on privately-owned scattered building sites. The subject of the third and final part of this week’s blog posting.


III.


MANUFACTURED HOUSING AS AFFORDABLE HOUSING

To the best of my recollection, no one to date has stepped forward with a bold plan for addressing key issues facing manufactured housing and land lease communities today. Specifically, 1) how to reign in excessive (predatory) site rent rate increases, 2) securing conventional real estate financing (i.e. mortgages) for on-site new home sales transactions in land lease communities; and, 3)building more new hybrid (‘mixture of two heterogeneous things’) communities siting manufactured and modular homes.

How does this pencil out?

First off; recognize that since the mid-1970s, it’s been commonly known, among land lease community owners/operators, to maintain balance within local multifamily housing rental markets, the monthly homesite rental rate in the former type community should be one third the monthly rent amount charged by conventional apartment communities! Two subjective adjustments to this rule of thumb are, the disparate rental units be of similar size (e.g. 3BR2B apartment and average size single section or modest multisection manufactured home); and, charges (e.g. water, sewer, electric) for utilities be handled similarly or accounted for.

The point? Perhaps the time has come for land lease community owners/operators to press for statewide application of this 1:3 rule of thumb to combat local rent control measures. What do you think?

Second. While not presently available today, perhaps the time has come to use conventional real estate mortgages for new home transactions effected on-site in land lease communities! There’d certainly have to be protections in place to safeguard the financial interests of lenders. A big step in that direction would be community owners’ willingness to offer leases with terms at least as long as that of the home mortgage, plus provisions relative to mortgage default and lease termination.

The point? It’s likely time to move away from chattel capital financing of new and resale manufactured homes (a.k.a. ‘home-only loans’) on-site in land lease communities, to the reality of affordable, energy efficient, quality manufactured homes financed conventionally on rental homesites. What do you think?

Third. Here we’re looking at a hybrid land lease community. One designed with 1) spacious rental homesites for installation of HUD-Code manufactured homes financed using conventional real estate mortgages, and 2) protection of homeowners/site lessees enjoying the security of long term leases.

The point? Introduce land planners and zoning boards to a hybrid type land lease community, where all homes and homeowners enjoy the benefits of conventional real estate financing – and likely assurance of value appreciation over time! What do you think?

OK, we’ve come a long way here, in nine paragraphs. To the best of my knowledge, this unique combination of a time-proven rent formula and debut of RE finance with long term leases on-site, has not been seen to date. If you know differently, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com


IV.

CHANGE IS A-COMING!

With this blog, I am beginning the transition from posting on a conventional blog site, to Linked In. Will keep you abreast of changes as they occur. I hope you stay with us!


George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC.com

June 10, 2022

MHShipment Volume & Stock Market Report*1

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:55 am

Blog Posting # 693. Copyright @ 10 June 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S> # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTODUCTION: Nowhere else will you find the breadth and depth of manufactured housing and land lease community information and statistics you find here! Manufactured housing shipment volume (for April 2022), stock market performance as of 3 June 2022, relaunching of Manufactured Homes Network on 13 June, and the latest news about all the happenings in Elkhart, IN., on 15, 16 & 17 August. GFA

I.

MHShipment Volume & Stock Market Report*1

Here’s a two part manufactured housing and land lease community trivia question for you;

What recurring statistical benchmark is reported in confusing fashion each month, and what statistical benchmark has been underreported (i.e. ‘not reported’) for several decades?

In the first instance, we’re talking about manufactured housing shipment volumes reported monthly by the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (‘IBTS’). The IBTS statistical benchmark is reported similarly by HUD, MHARR, and EducateMHC; MHI alone reports a spurious shipment volume – without explanation. One of our industry’s perennial peccadillos.

Here’s the official ‘skinny’. IBTS, for April 2022, recently reported 10,165 new HUD-Code homes shipped. This is ‘down’ from 11,279 in March 2022, but ‘up’ from 9,224 during April of year 2021. Year to date (‘YTD’) totals? 39,835 in 2022, compared to 35,723 during April 2021. And while this is progress; remember, the 105,772 new HUD-Code homes shipped during year 2021 accounted for only 10 percent market share among all ‘starts’ in the national housing market.

In the second instance, we’re talking about the stock market report prepared by EducateMHC.
Decades ago, before the emergence of land lease community portfolio real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’), a manufactured housing pundit in Pennsylvania would occasionally report stock prices for the very few public manufactured housing producers; but nothing has been reported during the past 25 years.

EducateMHC, on 3 June 2022, reported the stock prices of all ten public companies: five HUD-Code housing manufacturers (BRK-A, SKY, CVCO, LEGH, & NOBH) and five land lease community portfolio owners/operators (ELS, SUI, UMH, MHPC, & Flagship).*2 Skyline/Champion was the only firm to experience an increase in stock price during the past month. The Composite Stock Index (‘CSI’) continued its’ downward trend, from $740.09 in May to $703.83 in June.

Furthermore, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), the U.S. House Price Index is up 18.7 percent in year 2022 over 2021.

And throughout the U.S., the average ‘asking rent’ among multifamily rental properties is now $1,642/month. Applying the age-old 3:1 formula, this suggests an average asking price of $547/month among rental homesite rates in land lease communities. Of course this will vary from local housing market to local housing market.

I have no immediate plans to stop researching and publishing this seminal information. However, there will come a time when ‘someone’ will have to, or should, take on this timely responsibility. It’s my opinion this dual task best rests with the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), especially now that there’s a statistician on staff. They’re already halfway there, receiving IBTS shipment data each month – just start reporting it in unadulterated fashion! The stock market report is a bit trickier, i.e. ‘when best to report this information’, since stock prices vary so often and quickly?

End Note.

1. The following data is reported for ‘information sharing’ purposes only. No intended as investment advice or guidance. GFA

2. BRK-A. Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., includes Clayton Homes.
SKY. Skyline Champion Corporation
CVCO. Cavco Industries, Inc.
LEGH. Legacy Housing Corporation
NOBY. Nobility Homes

ELS. Equity Lifestyle, Inc.
SUI. Sun Communities, Inc.
UMH. UMH Properties, Inc.
Flagship Communities @ TSC (Canadian)
MHPC. Manufactured Housing Properties, Inc.


II.

Relaunching of Manufactured Homes Network

You’d have to be awfully ‘in the know’ to already realize the ‘I’m HOME’ network, launched in 2005 by Prosperity Now (formerly Corporation for Enterprise Development), has found a new home at The Lincoln Institute. No change in focus however, as the network continues, according to a recent press release, to ‘promote manufactured housing as a strategy to keep the American dream of affordable homeownership alive for those who need it most.’

With that said, and given lively interest in the ‘current state of manufactured housing and its’ challenges’, plan now to participate in a webinar on this subject, at 12:00 PM on 13 June 2022. Two of four panelists speaking during this webinar are well known to manufactured housing veterans: Stacey Epperson, president & CEO of Next Step, and Paul Bradley, president of ROC USA.

How to register? Google Lincoln Institute Events, or simply Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and go from there. I have no other information.


III.

All Roads Lead to Elkhart, IN.

You likely already know of the annual RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet the evening of 15 August 2022. Registrations to date suggest an audience of more than 500. Will you be present? I certainly will. For tickets, phone (574) 29302344. And if you arrive the day before, or early on the 15th, and would like a private session with me to learn how to pen your memoirs, let me know of your interest via gfa7156@aol.com And while you’re at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, be sure to visit the new manufactured housing exhibit hall, as well as the extensive RV/MH library.

And that’s not all that’s going on at the RV/MH Hall of Fame during that time frame; specifically, 16 & 17 August. The IMHA/RVIC will be hosting its annual MH plants tour and in-community new homes marketing and sales seminars. Interested? Phone (317) 247-6258.

Know what’s ‘not going on’ on the 16th of August – so far? No word from MHARR, the online trade press newsletter, and like-minded folk who claim our industry and realty asset class (i.e. post-production sectors of the manufactured housing industry) need better national representation and advocacy. Remember now, this is the focus of the ‘Put Up or Shut UP! Blog postings you’ve been reading during the past few months. So, will such a meeting happen on the 16th in Elkhart or not? Guess we’ll continue to ‘wait and see’ whether this idea sprouts wings and flies or not.


George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC



June 3, 2022

ANOTHER VIEW OF ‘PUT UP OR SHUT UP!’

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:15 am

Blog Posting # 692. Copyright @ 3 June 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: This is probably one of the most perspective-challenging and thought-provoking blogs to come your way. And the vast majority of the content of Parts I & II are the musings of others, and not me. Though I covet knowing your response to what you read. And if inclined to do so, let us know via gfa7156@aol.com. And Part III is entirely mine. GFA

I.

ANOTHER VIEW OF ‘PUT UP OR SHUT UP!’

This will likely be my last blog, for a while, on the ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’ challenge to those who believe the post-production sectors of manufactured housing continue to need better representation and advocacy than presently provided by the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’). In this blog posting I want to share three things:

1. Yes, I’ve been receiving emails from blog floggers (readers) expressing desire to attend a national meeting where the subject of creating a new national post-production trade entity will be discussed and maybe planned for by those attending. A reminder. Convening on the 16th of August, the day after the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, is a near perfect timing and location. However, not everyone agrees.

2. That’s right, some of the very folk who’ve been most outspoken about this need, via their online press platform, have been posturing to the effect they just want to comment on the need, and not be personally involved in leadership to launch a post-production trade body. That’s disappointing but hardly surprising, given the hypercritical nature of past pontifications about MHI and major corporate players.

3. And it’s become increasingly apparent there’s another side to this story that heretofore hasn’t been told. Quoting from an unsolicited letter from one of the top salaried executives in the manufactured housing industry: “I believe a new post-production association to serve the interests of smaller community owners/operators, who may feel disenfranchised, is not a good idea. It will weaken an already fragmented industry at the national level.” And this: “I have seen firsthand 9how) the industry is stronger when all segments work together. This was evident when MHI, MHARR and state associations worked together to get the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 enacted.” (lightly edited. Gfa)

Furthermore, “I understand and am sympathetic to association members (who) operate small businesses. These members do not have the same resources as larger member and may have personal and financial constraints. However, these smaller businesses are not precluded from participating in volunteer leadership. I do not buy the theory that larger multi-community owners have hijacked the National Communities Council (‘NCC division’) and are not interested in collaborating with smaller operators on issues impacting the industry.” I don’t agree with this final observation. If all was ‘so well’ at the NCC, then why are meetings so lightly attended by dues-paying members? In my opinion, as stated in an earlier blog posting on this subject, I believe it has to do with the fact the NCC does not allow proxy voting at the annual election of officers, and that scheduling of meetings at expensive resort locations causes affluent, albeit unintentional (?) gerrymandering…keeping member participation artificially low.

In closing ‘Part I’, I want to make this clear. As a retiree, I no longer have a dog in this fight. But I do feel, if those parties, i.e. MHARR, an online trade publication publisher, and like-minded parties, sincerely believe post-production sectors need better representation and advocacy, then step up to the plate, once and for all, and call for a national meeting at a central location, and take ownership and leadership of the proceedings! In my opinion, if this doesn’t occur, at your behest, between now and 16 August 2022, then ‘Shut up!’ about the situation, and stop stirring up discontent in your writings and elsewhere.

II.

YET ANOTHER INDUSTRY LEADER SPEAKS OUT

Every once in a while we receive correspondence from industry/asset class folk that speaks volumes. Received the following message two months ago and have been waiting for an appropriate time to share it with you. And while I don’t think this individual, a MH trade association executive, would mind you knowing their identity, I’m keeping it confidential. Here goes….

“Capitalism vs. socialism is the battle we are all fighting. Yes, (real estate) investors are paying too much for the limited number of (land lease) communities as first, second, even third generation owners/operators decide to ‘take the money and run.’ Yes, manufactured ho0mes are not ‘set it & forge it’ assets. And Yes, upkeep of any home can be expensive. Yes, governments, especially in blue states (and Colorado is certainly blue), are looking to ultimately eliminate private ownership of all property, provide for universal income, and view ‘housing as a human right’.” (Light edits & additions in this paragraph and those to follow. GFA)

“Supply and demand is flexing its muscles. What’s the industry going to do about it? Developing new communities and saturating the market (supply) is the only way to slow the trend (demand). But ‘not in my back yard’ (continues to prevail).

“HUD and the trade unions remain the industry’s biggest obstacles to greater utilization. The lack of involvement (acceptance, acknowledgement) by local building departments further puts the onus on community operators (‘those villains’) for requiring corrections to residents’ upkeep and safety issues. Many seniors failure to adequately plan for their financial needs in retirement is another huge problem tugging on liberal heartstrings. The destruction of family is a socialist/communist goal too – let the government take care of weird old uncle Earl. Funny how liberal news outlets never mention how inflation, local real estate price trends, gentrification (which happens in land lease communities too), or ever-increasing property taxes, may justify increasing rental homesite rent rates. It’s also never the residents’ fault.”

“IMHO, and in general, the regulatory environment has not kept pace with the evolution of ‘trailers’ to ‘multisection’ homes. RVs are the current day equivalent of the original ‘mobile homes’, yet they do not suffer near the discrimination in zoning, raw land development, or rent control pressures that manufactured housing does. Most places you can park an RV in one’s side yard, hook it up to water, sewer and electric, and nobody complains. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe it’s the design or the cool graphics. Maybe that it remains ‘mobile’.”

So, what do you think of this view of our industry and realty asset class today? Accurate, inaccurate, or what? Let us know via gfa7156@aol.com


III.

I’VE BEEN PONDERING…

When you read this in early June, I’ll have been fully retired – except for recurring writing assignments, for ten months. And I’ve truly enjoyed the experience, the major change in lifestyle and pace. More time with Carolyn, reading, writing (working on third part of our family trilogy*1), and enjoying life. One of the highlights? Carolyn and I are blessed to have all 20 or so of our immediate family members living very nearby in central Indiana. And the birth of Emmerson Junia in late March of 2021 has brought us much joy. Why? Because two days a week we babysit her in our home. Unexpected realization? I know more about Emma June’s rapid growth during her first year of life than I ever knew of our two children, two grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, who spent their early days with Carolyn.

Point in telling you all this? I’m feeling a hankering for a change in which I communicate with you. Oh, I thoroughly enjoy blogging – but have come to the realization that I need to ‘make an appearance’ from time to time, at industry events, if I’m to stay up to date with what’s going on – and not going on. But guess what? No one to date, is interested in compensating me for travel expenses, let alone speaker honorariums, if/when I address either or both manufactured housing and land lease community audiences. And while I’m comfortably secure with our retirement income, I don’t see much sense in underwriting such costs from personal savings. So, I need to do something differently…..but what?

It’s been suggested, more than once, I take my weekly blog over to Linked In and post it there for folk who’re interested in reading it. And perhaps make it a bit more of general interest. My industry/asset class specific focus will continue in the Allen Legacy column within the pages of MHInsider magazine.

So, what do you think? Again, I’d truly like to know. Reach me via gfa7156@aol.com

End Note.

1. The Allen trilogy. Comprised of the autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven!; then the 400+ page perfect bound book, George & Carolyn, compiled during year 2021 for our progeny. And now I’m transcribing more than 400 letters I sent home to Carolyn from Vietnam in 1968 & 69. Frankly, I’m unsure I’ll be able to complete this final part of the trilogy, as it’s already taking far more time and effort than expected. But it sure has stimulated memories, good and bad, long buried and removed from view.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC





May 25, 2022

POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR LOCAL HOUSING SOLUTIONS

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 12:50 pm

Blog Posting # 691. Copyright @ 27 May 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing1’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: A change in pace and topic this week. With all the talk about developing raw land into more land lease communities, the following two parts supply some of the advance planning guidance would be developers will need to be successful in their dealings with local housing market planning and zoning commissions, as well as convincing folk – investors and otherwise, to support their business dreams.

I.

POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR LOCAL HOUSING SOLUTIONS

The April 2022 issue of LAND LINES, a quarterly magazine published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, features an article by Loren Berlin, titled ‘On the Home Front’. In it, the author presents a “…four-part framework for a balanced and comprehensive housing strategy (that) groups individual policies into broader categories, so communities can assess where there are gaps in their local housing strategy and work to close them.” P.18

Given that there’s much conversation today about developing raw land into land lease communities designed to site HUD-Code manufactured housing, this local housing solutions policy framework needs as wide distribution and as much attention as possible. So here goes:

Part I. Create and Preserve Dedicated Affordable Housing Units. Accomplish this via

• Establishing incentives or requirements for affordable housing
• Generate revenue for affordable housing
• Support affordable housing through subsidies
• Preserve existing affordable housing
• Expand availability of affordable housing in resource-rich areas
• Create durable affordable homeownership opportunities
• Facilitate the acquisition or identification of land for affordable housing

Part II. Reduce Barriers to New Supply via

• Reduce development costs and barriers
• Create incentives for new development

Part III. Help Households Access and Afford Private market Homes by

• Providing tenant-based rental assistance
• Promoting mobility for housing choice voucher holders
• Reducing energy use and costs
• Combatting housing discrimination

Part IV. Protect Against Displacement and Poor Housing Conditions

• Enhance renters’ housing stability
• Enhance homeowners’ housing stability
• Improve quality of both new and existing housing
• Ensure Ongoing viability of unsubsidized affordable rental properties

With this said, what are the actual resources available to would be developers of new land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’)? Well they’re ‘far and few’ these days, but here’s where to begin:

‘Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities’ was published by J. Wiley & Sons in 1994, and again in 1996, it was that popular at the time. It’s long out of print, but used copies are available online – and most of the principles espoused continue to be valid. The co-authors, George Allen & Edward Hicks are retired, and David Alley is deceased. Frankly, this is the largest unmet educational need in the manufactured housing industry today! Surely today’s developers can improve on this 26 year old data.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) continues to plan and host annual seminars on ‘developing with manufactured housing’. However, the longtime instructors, Don Westphal and Roderick Knoll are both approaching retirement; so there too is a dire need for contemporary information and guidance relative to land lease community development.

In my opinion, the manufactured housing industry in general, has never demonstrated strong support, if any support at all, for individuals – usually capable, experienced freelance consultants, to spend time and resources preparing manuscripts teaching housing practitioners how to effectively and correctly develop raw land into land lease communities. And until this attitude changes, the industry will be constrained by its’ lack of knowledge and acumen on this timely and critical topic.

II.
BUSINESS PLAN FOR YOUR HOUSING SOLUTION

OK, so now there’s a policy framework in place for a local housing solution that allows for raw land development into a land lease community. What’s next, if not already underway? A Business Plan; one that serves as a coordinated and collaborative exercise of planning for everyone involved, as a tool for gaining external funding for said project, and a continuing reference source to guide future efforts and actions of the organization involved in the development.

Business Plans typically answer a number of standard questions, e.g.:

• Who is involved in the project?
• What is the nature of the opportunity or organizational advantage of the project?
• What contextual factors will affect the development process from start to finish?
• Are there inter-organizational relationships that strengthen the proposed plan?
• What decisions have been made to increase the probability of project success?

The 13 basic components of a comprehensive Business Plan*1, e.g.

• Title Page
• Executive Summary of the Business Plan
• Table of Contents
• Program/Initiative Descriptions
• Analysis of Organizational Context
• Marketing/Promotion Plan*2
• Operational Aspects
• Management/Administration
• Organization and Personnel Involved
• Funds Required and Their Planned Use
• Financial Projections
• Business Controls
• Appendices

There more than can be added to this list, as need be, e.g. project timeline, sources of information and data, descriptive charts and graphs, etc…

End Notes:

1. This information culled from Training magazine, 2010.
2. Six Right Ps of Marketing relative to land lease community home sales and rental homesite leasing: Right product re: homes and homesites; right place (location); right price*3; right promotion per USP (Unique Selling Proposition); right people trained and supervised; and right process proper (of implementing and monitoring performance from start to finish).
3. To properly price new and resale homes in land lease communities and on scattered homesites conveyed fee simple, use the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ relative to AGI (annual gross income) and AMI (area median income). Visit www.educatemhc.com

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC




May 19, 2022

‘LINE IN SAND’ IS ONLY THREE MONTHS AWAY!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:35 am

Blog Posting # 690. Copyright @ 20 May 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (3170 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educaemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: OK, time is passing by, and to date no one has stepped forward to organize and launch an independent third party entity to better represent and advocate for post-production sector firms of the manufactured housing industry. Part I is a summary of what’s been going on, and not going on, to date. Part II introduces blog floggers (readers) to a training resource designed and intended to improve sales and customer service in the private business sector.

I.

‘LINE IN SAND’ IS ONLY THREE MONTHS AWAY!

‘Put Up or Shut Up!’ entered our industry’s vernacular (‘language of a group’) a month ago; once and for all – or not, encouraging someone (e.g. as would be leader or existent organization) to step forward to lead a national movement to ensure better representation and advocacy for what is generally referred to as post-production sectors of the manufactured housing industry (i.e. land lease communities, realty and housing finance, and more). Well, there’s been quite a bit said and written about this matter prior to and during the past five weeks – but as yet, no plans announced or definitive action taken to this end! Hence the need for a deadline, a ‘line in the sand’, to organize and move forward, OR, stop complaining about the sorry matter altogether!

One proposed deadline is 16 August 2022, the day following the 15 August RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in Elkhart, IN. Since 500+ pioneers and leading executives of the manufactured housing industry will attend this gala event, why not stay over the night and spend the 16th crossing that ‘line in the sand’ to better representation and advocacy of our industry and post-production segments thereof? To a critic who believes this discussion and organizing effort can be effected via Zoom or like calls, I disagree. For this effort to succeed, it must be face-to-face among participants with ‘skin in the game’ (i.e. travel-related expenses).

As a reminder, here’s what we know to date. This challenge is real! More than 50,000 land lease communities nationwide, including 500+/- portfolio owners/operators of the unique property type, and dozens of lenders (i.e. home-only and real estate mortgage originators), have little to no ‘say’ within the HUD-Code manufacturer-dominated national trade entity headquartered in Alexandria, VA. And yes, there’s a National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division component within said body, but few members show up for meetings where there is no proxy voting, where resort meeting locations give rise to affluence gerrymandering (i.e. only biggest firms can afford to send high-salaried executives), and sole proprietors are the exception rather than the rule.*1 And finance firms? They’re as rare as hens teeth.*2

So, what needs to be done? Well, there are two directions in which this matter can go:

A reprioritization of mission and tasks at the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), including a total recommitment of the NCC to serve all sizes of land lease communities nationwide! This means the HUD-Code housing manufacturer division majority will likely have to cede power to post-production sectors of the industry. Will this happen? Watch to see if there’re public announcements to this effect, by MHI, between now and 16 August 2022. But don’t hold your breath while waiting. Reprioritization would change decades of precedence, and call for power-sharing at the highest level in our industry.

Five organizing alternatives. Could be more, but these are ones that come readily to mind:

• North American Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’) headquartered in Arizona. Sorry, but this is a non-starter, as it is presently an inactive organization.

• Southeast Community Owners (‘SECO’), headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Already the realty asset class’ best representative and advocate to date, by dint of 10 years of convenings of land lease community owners/operators, and other post-production sector businesses, for mostly educational purposes.

• An online trade newsletter purporting to represent the entire manufactured housing industry. When asked why I don’t identify this entity by name, the reason is simple: Almost every time I respond to its’ published material, I am belittled and disparaged. For me, life is too short to subject oneself to pompous and immature blather.*3

• Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’). Ever since the National Manufactured Housing Federation (‘NMHF’) was absorbed by MHI during the early 1990s, MHARR has advocated for the formation of an independent national post-production trade association. This posture was underscored upon passage of the Year 2000 MH Improvement Act, and again, upon passage of the Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) mandate. Why? Two perennial post-production challenges/opportunities: consumer financing issues and discriminatory/exclusionary zoning laws. But here’s ‘the rub’: MHARR is a ‘production’ association and does not receive, or desire, funding from postproduction companies and land lease communities – so is apparently uninterested in actively leading the launch of a post-production sectors organization. Again, let’s ‘wait & see’ what happens, relative to MHARR, between now and 16 August 2022.

• Unnamed, but like-minded individual(s) to step forward as organizers and leaders. Believe it or not, this is from where I think present or future leadership will come. Someone with passion for the industry, realty asset class, and finance; possessing personal or corporate resources to underwrite early efforts to organize and launch an entity; and, the chutzpa (‘effrontery’) to step out and lead – probably in the face of tacit opposition, long-entrenched status quo, and diversity among sectors.

So, where do we go from here? That wholly depends on how lively and pervasive an industry issue this is, for post-production sectors of the manufactured housing industry to enjoy, for the first time in our collective history, representation and advocacy at least equal to that of financially-controlling HUD-Code housing manufacturers in power today.

Bottom line! If this issue is indeed ‘to be addressed’, then someone step forward before 16 August 2022, and call for a national organizing effort (i.e. if MHI does not, beforehand, commit to reprioritization of their mission and tasks). Matters little to me – and others, whether said effort occurs at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, as that’s a suggestion of time and location convenience. However, if such an historic recoursing of our industry is to occur, it probably should be in-person yet this year.*4

Otherwise, if 16 August 2022 arrives, with no acclamation to this end, or a planning meeting in place (i.e. ‘Put up!’); let’s by all means, ‘Shut Up!’ once and for all about post-production sector’s need for representation and advocacy! Yes, it’s needed, but now may not be the right time. So, let’s see what happens between now and 16 August 2022.*5

End Notes.

1. To these three shortfalls add ‘lack of products and services’, e.g. no annual directory of 500+/- portfolio ‘players’ and their benchmark statistics (i.e. occupancy, OERs, etc.); official directory or lexicon of MH and LLCommunity trade terms; directories of product and service suppliers, including freelance consultants; and, directory of HUD-Code housing manufacturers nationwide.

2. To date, no successor to the 23rd annual National Registry of ALL Lenders, including real estate-secured mortgages, and originators of home-only loans.

3. Quoting from most recent email communique from said online newsletter publisher: “…our audience dwarfs yours and all others who publish trade news….” & “I think what you’ve written is hilarious.”

4. To contact the RV/MH Hall of Fame, phone (574) 293-2344

5. The question is sometimes asked, ‘Why don’t I, as I did on 31 August 1993, organize and host another national planning meeting?’ Well, back then there was no effective national interest in (then) manufactured home community advocacy, so the effort to launch – what eventually became the aforementioned NCC division, was wholly successful! However, due to shortcomings just cited, after the first couple years – in my opinion – the NCC never achieved the heady goals 19 community owners set for it nearly 30 years ago. For more on this subject, read the late Bruce Savage’s ‘The First 20 Years’, a book available via educatemhc.com In the meantime, now mostly retired, I no longer have the business resources (i.e. money) to finance such an effort; and frankly, after 40+ years in this business, it’s someone else’s turn to lead. GFA

II.

SIX CARDINAL RULES OF CUSTOMER (SALES) SERVICE

Everybody has a business management, or sales success formula – or formulae, they live and work by, from day to day. Some cite the Golden Rule (‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!’), others the Gold Rule (‘He who has the gold rules!’). Me? Many during my career, but recently, the Six Right Ps of Marketing: ‘Right Product, Place, Price, Promotion, People & Promotion!’*1

Well, a longtime business acquaintance (friend) of mine, Nancy Friedman, a.k.a. The Telephone Doctor, has been teaching business communication and client relationships for decades. She recently sent me her Six Cardinal Rules of Customer Service. They’re Keepers, all six of them! Nancy has given me permission to share them with you in this unabridged fashion:

Cardinal Rule # 1. People Before Paperwork
‘When someone walks into your place of business, or calls you while you’re working on something, drop everything for that person. Remember, paper can wait, people should not.’ To which I’d add: You rarely get a second chance to make a good first impression!

Cardinal Rule # 2. Rushing Threatens Customers
‘Sure, you may understand something quick, but rushing the customer along will only lead to them feeling intimidated. Remember, speed is not success! Take your time with each contact.’ And SMILE! A pundit once said: ‘I’d rather see a fake smile than a genuine frown.’

Cardinal Rule # 3. Company Jargon
‘Ever get a report from a company and not understand it? Some companies have jargon that makes the CIA envious. Be very careful not to use company jargon on your customers. You and your employees may understand it, but the customer may not. And you’ll only cause lots of unnecessary confusion.’ That’s why we say ‘manufactured housing’ and not something less appealing or image demeaning.

Cardinal Rule # 4. Don’t Be Too Busy To Be Nice
‘Hey, everyone’s busy! That’s what it’s all about. Being busy does not give you carte blanche to be rude. Remember, you meet the same people coming down, as you do going up.’ And NOT being busy is worse than being busy, so don’t do be rude and risk becoming inactive.

Cardinal Rule # 5. “Uh huh’ is not ‘Thank You’ & ‘There ya go’ is not ‘You’re Welcome!’
‘Remember, ‘Thank You’ and ‘You’re Welcome’ are beautiful words. The customer cannot hear them too often. And, if you’re telling your customers to ‘have a nice day’, say it with meaning and make eye contact! I recently had a checkout clerk tell the FLOOR to have a nice day.’

Cardinal Rule # 6. Be Friendly BEFORE You Know Who It is
‘The Telephone Doctor motto is: Smile BEFORE you know who it is. The customer needs to know you want to work with them, no matter who they are. Often, it’s way too late to smile and be friendly after you know who it is.’ And as I’ve heard Nancy say before: ‘Smile, it might be the boss calling!’

As you can see, I’ve added the word SALES to the title. Every one of these six cardinal rules apply to those of us who sell new and resale manufactured homes and are involved in leasing vacant rental homesites in land lease communities. I hope the Manufactured Housing Institute sees the wisdom in featuring The Telephone Doctor at a future MHCongress. In the meantime, if you’d like to engage Nancy to address your sales, leasing, management, customer staff, reach her via (314) 276-1012. And tell her ‘George sent me!’ Not really, but it’d be nice. GFA

End Note.

1. One of my all time favorite quotes is this from Proverbs 24: 3&4, the Living Bible: “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.”

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

May 13, 2022

APARTMENT & RENTAL HOMESITE RATES

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:03 am

Blog Posting # 689. Copyright @ 13 May 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!”

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lese communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aaol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: This is one of the most heterogeneous blogs I’ve penned to date. Part I = What every land lease community owner/operator should know about setting competitive rental homesite rates. Part II = Return of an event in Washington, D.C. you should consider attending! Part III = Clear contrast of views espoused by MHI & MHARR re: FHFA & two GSEs’ DTS plans.
Part IV = Tiptoeing along the precipice of partisan politics and legacy or ‘fake’ news coverage.

I.

APARTMENT & RENTAL HOMESITE RATES

Once and for all, here’s how ‘it’ works! What’s ‘it’? The traditional Rule of Thumb*1 for estimating rental homesite rates in land lease communities in any local housing market.

Goes like this. Ascertain the average monthly rental rate of three bedroom, two bath conventional apartments in a given local housing market; then divide that $ amount by three. For example, in the April 2022 issue of MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE magazine, Yardi Matrix is cites the ‘average U.S. (conventional apartment) asking rent’ in February 2022 as $1628.00/month. Dividing that $ figure by three, suggests average national land lease community monthly rental homesite rate is around $540.00. However, that estimate will be much higher in some local housing markets, much lower in others; but that’s how to start the process.

And a recent Rule of Thumb faux adjustment, foisted on our unique, income-producing property type (i.e. land lease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities; and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’) by – in my opinion – predatory investors, would have the divisor, in the previous paragraph, changed from three to two, raising the rental homesite rate estimate from $540 to $814/month. Now that’s a heady topic for another blog posting.

Other Rules of Thumb germane (‘relative’) to the unique realty asset class?

Average national operating expense ratio (‘OER’) is widely accepted as being 40 percent. And, as a general rule; the greater the number of occupied and paying rental homesites in a land lease community, the lower the OER; and the lower the number of rental homesites, the higher the OER. 40 percent includes all property operating expenses, not including debt service.

The New Rule of 72. Give an ‘average’ land lease community (‘whatever that is’*2), perform two similar calculations: # rentable homesites X average monthly site rent rate X 72 = estimated income value of the property if/when all rental homesites are occupied and paying rent. For example: 200 sites X $500/month X 72 = $7,200,000. Again, an ‘average’ community with no management-owned homes, and what it could well be worth when full. The second calculation involves the actual number of rental homesites occupied and paid current; e.g. 180 sites X $500/month X 72 = $6,480,000., or $720,000. less than potential income value of the property. The replacement or income value of ‘park-owned homes’ is calculated separately and added in, with explanation.

End Notes.

1. This was one of several property management Rules of Thumb I was taught when entering this business in the late 1970s. Some disagree, but in the end it prevails.

2. Land lease community quality assessment continues to be a perennial bugaboo of manufactured housing. Today (2022), there is NO approved or accepted grading system for land lease communities! The Woodall Star System has been defunct since the late 1970s. And the ABClassification System, proposed to, but rejected by the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division during the late 1990s, while existent and used by some, is no longer readily available to owners/operators of this property type.

II.

INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE

Hosted by HUD & NAHB, ‘Homes on the Hill’ returns to Washington, D.C. from June 7 – 12, 2022. Manufactured Housing Institute will be staging three HUD-Code homes on the National Mall, and will host a reception with policymakers on June 8th. For details, email: events@mfghome.org

I attended the first such event (before the pandemic) and found it to be a very worthwhile experience – and may attend this time around. It was educational to see the variety of innovative housing designs and structures on display during this six day event, and to talk firsthand with legislators and housing professional from throughout the U.S. Attend and be part of MH industry history!

III.

NOW THIS IS INTERESTING!

The Federal Housing Finance Agency ‘FHFA’) has approved 2022-2024 Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) Plans for GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mack, for three underserved markets – including manufactured housing.

Here is where this matter becomes INTERESTING. Specifically, in comparing how the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) industry advocates view what many of us consider to be GSEs’ ongoing ‘benign neglect’ of financing and other needs of HUD-Code manufactured housing, particularly relative to land lease communities.*1

This is MHI’s ‘take’ on this matter.*2 “The revised Plans incorporate recommendations from MHI including increasing the volume of land-home financing targets. Further, Freddie Mac’s DTS Plan calls for creation of a personal property (chattel) loan financing product by 2024. (Fannie Mae’s Plan is silent on chattel). While MHI is pleased with these changes, given that approximately 845 of all new single family homes under $200,000 are manufactured homes, more action by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is still needed.”

This is MHARR’s ‘take’ on this matter.*3 “…the Fannie Mae plan contains no provision whatsoever for securitization or secondary market support for the personal property (chattel) loans that comprise nearly 80% of the mainstream, affordable manufactured housing consumer financing market.” And “The Freddie Mac plan…offers the possibility of a meager 1500 to 2500 chattel loan purchases for ‘study’ purposes in the plan’s final year – some 16 years following Congress’ enactment of DTS.”*4 MHARR goes on to observe that this exclusion of chattel loans from DTS by the GSEs confirms: 1) neither Enterprise has any interest in serving…the vast majority of affordable, mainstream manufactured housing; & 3) representation of industry’s post-production sector has been ineffective…in pressing for full and robust compliance” (in this matter).*5

So, do you pick up on the undercurrent of ‘reluctant participation’ on the part of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac in matters ‘manufactured housing’? Once again, as an industry, we are dead in the water, until we identify a charismatic leader capable of leading, empower the post-production sector of manufactured housing, and make our financial needs and affordable housing message heard!

End Note.

1. ‘Benign neglect’? Simply, an attitude or policy intended to benefit someone or something less than continual attention would!

2. Quoted from MHI’s News & Updates dated April 27, 2022.

3. Quoted from MHARR’s Press Release dated 28 April 2022.

4. “As consumers and industry members know all too well…there is absolutely no guarantee that even this minimal level of purchase activity will actually occur, as similar ‘pilot’ type proposals contained in the Enterprises’ FHFA-approved 2017-2021 DTS plans were promptly jettisoned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in subsequent amendments.” Suggest you read that expose’ statement again!

5. This may be direct reference to blog postings in recent weeks (i.e. ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’), calling for renewed attention by MHI to the post-production sector of the industry, OR, a widespread call to form a new national trade advocacy entity to better represent the legislative and regulatory needs of the post-production sector in Washington, D.C.

IV.

AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE ‘NEW YORK TIMES’

Every once in a (long) while, something pops up (is published) that goes beyond the norm of day to day news reporting, reading and watching. This happened, for me, in an Editor’s Picks press release, on 28 April, from the Columbia Journalism Review (‘CJR’), announcing the change in executive editors at the New York Times. Here’s what CJR’s editor had to say about the newspaper:

“The residue of the Trump years, and fears that the former president will return for another campaign, have put the Times in the bull’s-eye of the journalistic debates over objectivity and both-sides coverage, which have led many legacy news operations to wonder whether traditional approaches to journalism apply at a time of high concern for the fate of American democracy.”

Whoa! Wouldn’t it be helpful to state the nature of alleged threat(s) to American democracy? Or is this a default position simply related to Trump returning for another term? And since when – in my opinion – has The New York Times and other legacy news operations aligned with traditional approaches to journalism?

The press release goes on to describe the Times’ posture towards independence (‘whatever that is?)’: “I (Joe Kahn, new Times’ editor) honestly think if we become a partisan organization exclusively focused on threats to democracy, and we give up our coverage of the issues, the social, political, and cultural divides that are animating participation in politics in America, we will lose the battle to be independent.”

Whoa again! I think many U.S. citizens already view the Times’ as a partisan news organization, NOT covering issues, the social, political, and cultural divides in place today, having already lost the battle to be truly independent (of political partisanship). But hey, that’s simply my opinion based on what I read and don’t read about in that newspaper; e.g. illegal immigration along the U.S. southern border, true cause of rampant inflation, content of Hunter Biden’s laptop computer and his family’s Chinese business dealings, and on and on.


George Allen
EducateMHC

May 6, 2022

NOW IS THE TIME!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 1:34 pm

Blog Posting # 688. Copyright @ 6 May 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: Parts I & II are intended to be read sequentially. Bottom line? We continue to await word from someone at MHARR, and or online trade newsletter publisher, about hosting a an organization planning meeting for post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry. Part II? The first considered response, on this subject, from a like-minded businessman. And Part III? Maybe a Credit Risk Transfer (‘CRT’) ‘light at the end of the home-only finance tunnel’. The folk at MHI & MHARR have been provided copies of this brief.

I.

NOW IS THE TIME!

We are now into a new month, the month of MAY. This is a scant three months before the celebratory event of the year, and possibly, a watershed moment (‘a dividing or transitional point’) for the manufactured housing industry – especially finance firms and land lease communities coast to coast.

The celebratory event? The RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s annual Hall of Fame induction banquet at the event hall, museum and library in Elkhart, IN. the evening of 15 August 2022.
For banquet tickets, phone (574) 294-2344. I plan to attend; hope you do as well!

The watershed moment? Could be and should be, when entrepreneurial businessmen and women in the HUD-Code housing manufacturing industry; especially finance firms and land lease communities, convene to encourage the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) to become markedly more inclusive, and aggressively advocate, in behalf of all post-production sectors of the industry; OR, not be surprised when others take steps to birth a new national trade body that will do so! To that end, MHARR, an online trade newsletter publisher, and like-minded individuals need to, once and for all, move ahead in this fashion – as they’ve ‘threatened’, or ‘forever hold their peace’.

To this latter end, we received a position paper from Paul F. Martens, ACM, MHM, and portfolio land lease community owner/operator, headquartered in California. Part II, here following, is Paul’s view on this timely topic, lightly edited. As you read it, ask yourself: ‘If and when will we receive a similar communique from MHARR, the online publisher, and like-minded individuals?

II.

A NEW NATIONAL ASSOCIATION?

“A new national association? To be, or not to be! To that end, the elephant in the room is NIMBY (i.e. ‘Not in My Back Yard’), and how do we as an industry eliminate that perennial roadblock?*1 The solution begins with this question, ‘Who are ‘we’ as an industry?’ The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), of which I am a direct, dues-paying member, is our industry’s national leader, and their important contributions to our industry are focused on macro level lobbying in Washington, DC. and trade education, nationwide. MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an important extension of the institute, was created to provide a platform for the real estate sector of the industry.*2 And for a brief period of time, as the first real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’) were launched, circa 1994-2000, this was the case – until more institutional investors became involved, eventually dominating the council. This is not necessarily a negative, but it has changed the original intent of NCC founders, and created a leadership void; and leaving many asset class insiders feeling marginalized, standing on the outside looking in.

So, where are we as an industry? We are small to mid-sized community owners/operators, the 99 percent not yet institutionalized, as well as a variety of business service providers that support the manufactured housing industry. We are a group without a voice, because MHI and the NCC, while important to our industry, have agendas not focused on our needs! Herein the timely conundrum, as George Allen succinctly states, now is the time and opportunity to either ‘Put up or shut up!’ – but what does that mean?

I very reluctantly suggest – as have others before me – that we create another new national trade association to represent and advocate for the disfranchised of our industry. Individually, we do not have the clout or funds to move the needle. It takes commitment by the majority of people reading this – and more. It requires a plan. It requires compromise. And most importantly, it requires funds. We are not starting by asking for money, but rather, boots-on-the-ground to create a framework for how an ideal national association, representing and advocating for this majority body, might look. We welcome input and support from MHI and the NCC, but the board of a newly formed association should consist of elected small to mid-sized community owners/operators and other post-production sector representatives – none of whom will individually, or in cliques, control the new entity. Think Elon Musk trying to buy Twitter.

It’s easy to say, ‘I’m in!’ However, consider the time commitment carefully, as it will take work to make this a reality. Two related examples: 1) an early initiative of this newly formed body might be creation of a minimum set of performance standards for land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) nationwide, to ensure consistent levels of quality among communities, using something measurable, such as one of the existent rating systems. Doing this begins the process of negating the NIMBY syndrome. 2) The next step might be to ensure all states support implementation of licensing or regulations to enforce aforementioned minimal standards of performance and quality, holding investor owners and their property managers accountable. And, of course, there are other measures appropriate to address the needs of other post-production sectors. In any case, if the majority of our industry is willing to compromise and agree to some sacrifices, we can change the image and ensure future growth of our industry!

However, if creating a new entity is asking too much, what would you suggest that would give the 99 percent of our industry the visibility it currently lacks?

It is much easier putting this call-to-action into words than it will be getting the majority of your support, but we can make this a reality if you are up for the challenge. I will commit the time, if many of you newer and seasoned industry insiders will commit as well. Furthermore; given the chance this call–to-action succeeds, we have already secured/parked a couple URLs for consideration, being:’ manufactured home community owners association of America’ (‘MHCOAA’). org or .com.*3

End Notes.

1. NIMBY is just one of several ‘affordable housing progress negating epithets’ in use these days; others include: LULU = ‘locally unwanted land use’, & BANANA = ‘build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone.’ For more information on this subject read SWAN SONG, a history of the land lease communities, available from www.educatemhc.com

2. For a history of the formation of the NCC division, read the late Bruce Savage’s ‘The First 20 Years’, also available from www.educatemhc.com

3. If the entire spectrum of post-production sectors of the manufactured housing industry are likely to be represented in a new national trade body, more URLs and other identifying names and symbols will be needed.

Editor’s Note.

Do you realize what you just read in Part II? There’s a dozen or more businessmen and women who’ve expressed interest in or support of this proposal – to at least meet and consider/plan the creation of a new post-production trade body; or, demand the rejuvenation of MHI and its’ NCC division, to better represent and advocate for ‘all’ of us! (By the way, it took only 19 land lease community owners, meeting on 31 August 1993, to get the NCC started.) So far, today’s individuals hail from east and west coasts, as well as the Midwest. All we’re waiting for now, is for MHARR (‘Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform), an online trade newsletter publisher, and like-minded individuals (‘You?’) to step forward and lead….GFA

III.

CREDIT RISK TRANSFERS (‘CRT’) AS AFFORDABLE HOUSING INITIATIVES

David M. Brickman, writing for the URBAN Institute, during early April, penned a report titled: ‘Credit Risk Transfers as a Catalyst for Affordable Housing Initiatives’. His first sentence sets the stage for what follows: “This brief explains how credit risk transfers (‘CRT’) have historically been used, and argues for a more expansive approach to promoting affordable housing.”

Two things caught my attention. First, this challenge to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: Leverage “existing and potential suite of credit risk transfer (‘CRT’) tools and capabilities, the government-sponsored enterprises (‘GSEs’) can boldly address the acute barriers to affordable and equitable homeownership.” Then, within the report proper, the author provides ‘examples of how a CRT could encourage loans for manufactured and multifamily housing.’

Then, in no fewer than seven lengthy paragraphs, Brickman describes, in detail, how CRT applies to this unique, eminently affordable, housing type. And within one of those paragraphs, he provides this clear indictment of how ‘finance’ operates in the manufactured housing industry today: “…nonbank lenders are gaining market share as banks have decreased their activity or left the market altogether over the past decade. The result is a market that lacks both the liquidity and completion necessary to bring down interest rates for borrowers, especially among those who rely on chattel loans.”

Brickman’s recommended solution to this dilemma? “The GSEs could leverage the activities of existing lenders and investors through (a) more expansive and ‘proactive’ view of CRT. Specifically, the GSEs could work with existing lenders to develop a standardized product for manufactured housing chattel loans, including a single set of loan terms and documents, credit parameters, and delivery mechanics, which would create significant value and bring helpful liquidity to an otherwise fragmented market.” And his recommendations continue on….

The report concludes with a very interesting, even exciting, ‘Theoretical CRT for the Manufactured Housing Sector’. To read this, obtain your own copy of this brief from the Urban Institute (www.urban.org), the Housing finance Policy Center (‘HFPC’) or via urban.org/fundingprinciples

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC




April 30, 2022

WE ARE THE 10% MARKET SHARE FOLK!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:22 am

Blog Posting # 687. Copyright @ 30 April 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. #1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: A primary consequence of not responding to the ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’ challenge of the past two weeks of blog postings? We will likely remain known as the ‘10% Housing Market Share Industry’. Seriously. While 105,772 new HUD-Code homes shipped during 2021 is a notable achievement – it’s still only 10% of the national housing market! Read Part I here following to learn how to increase this to maybe 20% or more market share.
Part II, frankly, is just plain sobering! And Part III should be a wake-up call to our industry.

I.

WE ARE THE 10% MARKET SHARE FOLK!

Yes, our 105,772 new HUD-Code housing units shipped during year 2021 calculates to approximately 10 percent of the national housing market share of single family residential houses started during that time period.

Here’re two ways to look at those numbers. One source announces 1,040,000 single family housing starts, of all types, during year 2021. Ten percent of that market is 104,000 – only 1,772 fewer than HUD-Code manufactured housing’s 105,772 units shipped.*1 Taking this a step further, 10 percent of the average of all four separately-published U.S. housing start totals (i.e. 1,040,000; 1,215,000; 1,238,000; & 1,087,000) = 114,500; still only 8,728 units more than the HUD manufactured housing shipment total for the year.

Point? Year after year it seems, we – as an industry – are stuck (Some say ‘satisfied’) with a measly 10% of national single family housing starts market share. But has that always been the case? No! Way back in 1973, the 579,940+/- new ‘mobile homes’ we shipped (i.e. HUD-manufactured housing code was legislated in 1974 & enacted in 1976) was a whopping 44 percent of national housing market share! And in 1998, the peak of our too sort renascence, the 372,943+/- new manufactured homes we shipped, pegged us at 23 percent of national housing market share! And frankly, there’ve been other similar ‘high points’, during years when national housing starts fell off sharply for various reasons.

OK, assuming manufactured housing ‘powers that be’ want to routinely achieve higher (e.g. 25%+) national market share (Again, some question whether such motivation is real and ready – or not), how might they achieve such a goal?

Well, one of the many responses received to two weeks of ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’ blog postings, suggested a couple common sense, practical measures, and here they are:

The independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’ should/must reposition themselves to attract and service traditional real estate homebuyers! To do so, they’ll need to become licensed real estate brokers and licensed general building contractors. Frankly, we attempted this during the late 1990s (a.k.a. land-home packages) but failed. Why? In part, because ‘dealers’ did not retrain and become licensed as suggested here. This is a whole new mindset and far more intense than simply selling and delivering (i.e. our DOR, or ‘Drop & Run’ delivery rep) new manufactured homes!

Furthermore, there absolutely must be more raw land development into land lease communities and subdivisions than has been the case anytime during the past 50 years! MHI is headed in the right direction with their efforts to identify and end local regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing, ameliorating local housing markets to receptivity of manufactured housing.

But I see significant challenges to the measures put forth in the previous two paragraphs.

• Unless there is already an independent (street) MHRetailers or ‘company stores’ already fully licensed and operating successfully with traditional real estate homebuyers – and willing to share said knowledge and experience with peers; we as an industry, are in the position of having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ to this end. This will not be a simple task.

• Given recent retirements, just who does the manufactured housing industry have on hand now to handle design and engineering of various raw land development projects nationwide? After all, it appears old mobile home parks are disappearing faster than new land lease communities are being developed. That is a sure path to oblivion, if not addressed soon.

• ‘Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities’ text was published by J. Wiley & Sons in 1992 – a best seller at the time, but now out of print. The three co-authors are retired or deceased. We, as an industry and realty asset class, are in dire need of up to date HOW TO instructions.

• And last, but certainly not least of these concerns, remains the paucity of chattel capital (i.e. home-only loans) available to independent (street) MHRetailers, ‘company stores’, and community owners/operators marketing and selling new HUD-Code homes on-site within land lease communities. At least the sorry matter is being talked about in Washington circles these days, and elsewhere, but the handicap continues to exist.

In closing, it’s been interesting to me how the blog challenge of ‘Put up or Shut Up!’ has stimulated the discussion presented here today. Why interesting? Because, in my mind, it appears we have a classic ‘chicken or egg’ first conundrum. Do we just forge ahead to ‘break free of the 10% market share’ shackle, or do we first stop and decide whether the need is real, serious and timely enough to create a new POST-PRODUCTION ADVOCACY ENTITY for the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities of all sizes – INCLUDING MH subdivisions?*3
All this is why I’m anxious to hear more input from YOU, the blog readers. After all, it’s thanks to those who’ve responded during the past two weeks that this open conversation has progressed this far. Reach me via gfa7156@aol.com And don’t worry ‘bout me divulging your name; happy to keep it confidential if you wish.
End Notes

1. 105,772 is the widely-recognized official manufactured housing shipment total comprised from 12 monthly reports distributed, during year 2021, by HUD’s scorekeeper, the Institute of Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’).

2. 579,940+/- & 372,943+/- are burdened with (+/_) uncertainty (and have been from between 1974 & 2013), because four entities (i.e. IBTS, HUD, MHARR, & EducateMHC) report the comprised IBTS total and only one entity reports a different shipment total.

3. To this end, here’s what one veteran land lease community portfolio owner/operator opines: “I always thought a well-funded division of MHI was the way to go. But the NCC division doesn’t seem to be working in its’ present form. If we tried to pump up the NCC, or create a new advocacy group, would smaller operators (like me) support it? Or would we end up being pushed aside by the likes of ELS, SUN, RHP, UMH, etc? Isn’t that the reason MHARR exists? Smaller operators were pushed aside by the big guys?” (lightly edited. GFA)

II.

HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE ‘GREAT RESET’?

Well, I have during the past several months to a year long period of time. Sometimes it refers to
political matters, other times to domestic issues, and on and on. Well, I picked up a new book recently, authored by fairly well known pundit, Glenn Beck. (Do you recall my review of his earlier novel, The Overton Window – it described how we’re influenced by advertising messages, when repeated time and again, cause us to consider something once disliked, as now being OK).

Anyway, the new 317 page tome is co-authored by Beck and Justin Haskins, and carries the subtitle ‘Joe Biden and the Rise of 21st Century Fascism’. Here’s how the book ends: “This book offers a wealth of information you can use to help show others how to recognize the Great Reset for what it really is – a globalist, authoritarian scheme to manipulate virtually every industrialized society on earth….” P.277

Earlier in the book, the authors present this summary: “…how the Great Reset would be fueled (modern monetary theory), how the conditions have come about that make the Reset possible (the coronavirus pandemic), and what the justification is for the destruction of the current world economic system (claims of an ‘existential’ climate change crisis).” P.152.

And this scary thought: “…the Great Reset’s biggest backers have deliberately chosen to use terminology that sounds appealing to many supporters of free markets – like ‘capitalism’, ‘investments’, and ‘stakeholders’ – while meaning something very different from what many of us think of when we hear these ideas discussed in the United States.” P.152.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? “Countless members of the press have argued this is all just a wild conspiracy theory cooked up by the ‘far right’ to scare you. Why should you believe Glenn Beck when the New York Times is portraying the Great Reset in a completely different light? Well, here’s something you won’t hear the New York Times say, especially when it comes to the Great Reset. Do not take my word for it. Do your own homework, and you will see the Great Reset is all too real and that it is an overt power grab by the ruling class, one that might be impossible to fully reverse once it is in place.” P.221.

So, as is oft said, you have been forewarned, now you are forearmed – if/when you look into the Great Reset on your own.







III.

BEST BOSSES

In the March/April issue of Globe St., Real Estate Forum magazine, there’s a feature article titled BEST BOSSES. It begins with this: “On the following pages you will find our selection for Best Bosses in commercial real estate – (35) men and women who have had an indelible impact on their companies and our industry, even as they navigated the unprecedented events of the last two years.” P 15..

As I thumbed through the article and photographs of Best Bosses, I recognized several individuals – but only one, from the interrelated manufactured housing and land lease communities business model. This was DAVE HEGEMANN, founder of London Computer Systems, but better known for Rent Manager property management computer software.

My relationship with Dave goes back to the early 1990s when we launched the annual Networking Roundtables for (then) manufactured home community owners/operators. He was the first vendor to demonstrate computer software developed for the realty asset class. Today his company employs more than 400 and serves customers throughout North America.

So, why am I bringing this accolade to your attention? Simply because – in my opinion – we should and could do a far better job identifying and honoring our ‘movers and shakers’, or as this trade magazine puts it: Best Bosses.

Right now, tributes and citations for pioneers and achievers in our industry and asset class are limited to the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame, MHI’s annual awards to members only, and in the pages of MHInsider magazine. So, it is a ‘big deal’ when our folk are singled out, like this, by others. And Dave Hegemann is certainly worthy of recognition and honor – not only amongst his commercial real estate peers but with us as well!

Point? We need more avenues of recognition among our business leaders, male and female, entrepreneurs and association executives. I can think of at least two possible venues: the annual SECO conference for land lease community folk, and non-member recognition by the Manufactured Housing Institute. What do you think?


George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

P.S. Next week, watch for yet another suggestion on how to increase our shipment performance.




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