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

July 19, 2014

‘Adding Value’ & ‘Parsing Paradoxes’

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 12:39 pm

COBA7® via Blog # 307 @ 20 July 2014 Copyright 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

*ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin, fielding inquiries, complaints, etc.’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website:


‘Value Added to 23rd Networking Roundtable!’ Given it’s already widespread ‘rep’ for educational (20 seminars & panels), networking (eight social meal events) and deal-making opportunities, it’d seem impossible to ‘add (more) value’. But the addition of two NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS this year, on 9/11/2014, certainly does so. And the pre-event distribution of a serious Official WHITE PAPER, to all event registrants, is not only unprecedented, but ‘icing on the cake’ of ‘value addition’ for manufactured housing aficionados and LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide!


PARSING PARADOXES. This blogger hasn’t had so much fun penning a blog column, in a long time. Paradoxical statement have long fascinated me. In fact, I read some every day during ‘personal meditation time’, from The Valley of Vision, ‘A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions’, compiled by Arthur Bennett. (717) 249-5747. Enjoy!


REMINDER. Hope some of you join Al Hesselbart and me for the ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ 2 ½ hour seminar in Elkhart, IN., on 4 August 2014! DUELING CURVES author Bob Vahsholtz too, will be on hand, to chat with would be writers, answer questions about his latest book, and share in the MH & LLLCommunity experience.



‘Value Added’ to 23rd Networking Roundtable!

An Official WHITE PAPER describing ‘manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community statistics & trends’, will be distributed during August and early September, to registrants for the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable. This Official WHITE PAPER will facilitate personal preparation for two historic NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS scheduled for the morning of September 11, 2014, in Peachtree City, GA. Every business owner, senior salaried executive, and real estate investor, will want a copy of this comprehensive compendium of key industry data and strategic asset class news – past, present, and yes, ‘future’. Why? Because much of the information, frankly, is available from no other source serving the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity real estate asset class!

What’s included in this unique and timely document? Again, past, present, and ‘future’ characteristics of manufactured housing and LLLCommunities, in terms of:

DESCRIPTION (of the unique HUD-Code housing product & property operations)

REGULATIONS thereto pertaining….

DESIGN & SIZES of homes, and income-producing properties per se

SHIPMENTS (of manufactured homes over the decades and into the ‘future’…)

DISTRIBUTION of product, and local housing market demographics, $ & more…

RETAIL FINANCING (emphasis on compliance with regulations, and includes a ten point ‘shopping list’ of self-financing alternatives – never before published!)

REAL ESTATE FINANCING of LLLCommunities; an ever shifting tide….

LIFESTYLE relative to LLLCommunities

INVESTMENT relative to LLLCommunities

TAXATION of realty-secured, fee simple conveyed homes, & within LLLCommunities

SERVICE; as in customer service of new homes, & resident relations, referral, retention

SECONDARY MARKET = perennial missing redoubt of manufactured housing industry

By now, you should be getting the clear and convicting idea this Official WHITE PAPER is indeed ‘something special’, in that it covers not one or the other of these two major industry/asset class topics, but both of them, with equal fervor and appropriate detail!

“The goal of this Official Manufactured Housing Industry WHITE PAPER is to facilitate personal and corporate preparation for the two NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS on 9/11/2014. ‘There & then’, 23rd Networking Roundtable attendees will engage in Open Discussion intended to shape the Future of ‘manufactured housing vs. trailers’ and LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’.” Quoted from Official WHITE PAPER.

SPECIAL NOTE. This comprehensive industry & realty asset class WHITE PAPER will NOT be available for purchase before or after the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable. Why? There’re plans already afoot, to incorporate Lessons Learned and Ideas, from aforementioned NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS, into a Preliminary Master Plan Document, available to one, maybe more, national advocacy bodies who accept the challenge to schedule, host and facilitate a National Strategic Planning Session within six months following the two NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS in Peachtree City, GA .

And if elected and salaried national advocacy body leaders don’t embrace this challenge to caucus, strategically plan, and effectively lead the manufactured housing industry out of its’ decade long malaise? Then they’ll have no room to criticize, if and when someone else, or a bevy of businessmen and women, step into the leadership void.

For more information about the upcoming 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, and or to ‘register’ for same, use brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) accompanying this blog posting, or telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it.


Parsing Paradoxes

Paradox. “A statement that apparently contradicts itself & yet might, or might not, be true”; also “a seemingly absurd but possibly true statement, something self-contradictory”; & “logical paradoxes are invalid arguments that are still valuable.” Huh?

Was playing around with some paradoxes last week, and found it interesting how some appear to ‘play’ to manufactured housing production and customer service; land-lease-lifestyle community acquisition and operations; even pose a couple MH conundrums; highlight Mystery Shopping as a job performance influencer; and even justify the existence of COBA7®!

• The Productive Failure paradox = “Providing less guidance and structure, and thereby causing more failure (on the housing production line), is likely to promote better learning.” Hmm. Think so, or think not? Ah, the paradox.

• The Service Recovery paradox = “Successfully fixing a problem with a defective product (recently delivered housing), may lead to higher consumer satisfaction, than in the case where no problem occurred at all.” Hmm – again. This just might be the sole antithesis to the ol’ bromide: ‘You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression!’ What do you think?

• The Icarius paradox = “Some businesses bring about their own downfall thru their own successes.” Ah, think of past LLLCommunity portfolio builders who ‘acquired too many LLLCommunities too fast’, and were unable to anticipate or control the unexpected and serious lethal consequences of too rapid growth….

• Jevons paradox = 1st MHIndustry conundrum, i.e. “Increases in efficiency lead to even larger increases in demand.” Hmm. Certainly reads and sounds right and good, but is it just wishful thinking where present day manufactured housing is concerned – thanks to the dearth of easily accessible chattel capital financing. Consider the Lessons Learned from Bob Vahsholtz’s recent tome, DUELING CURVES – compared to the harsh reality of years 2000 to 2014. Book = $35+ S&H, order via (805) 481-2574. Not an easy, but certainly a worthwhile read.

• 2nd MHIndustry conundrum cum truism = “We learn from history that we don’t learn from history.” George Hegel. Proof? Just consider the many $ cycles we’ve experienced throughout manufactured housing industry history!

• The Observer’s paradox = “The outcome of an event or experience is influenced by the presence of the observer.” Ponder that! It’s surely the case when the ‘observer’s identity’ is known; but how ‘bout when a Mystery Shopper shows up?

• The Arrow Information paradox = “To sell information, you need to give it away before the sale.” Reminds one of the ‘loss leader’ concept in retail sales, as well as ‘free gifts to the first 50 customers’. But to ‘give away’ the ALLEN REPORT & a dozen other Signature Series Resource Documents for 30 years before debut of COBA7®? Now that’s a bit extreme. To affiliate with COBA7, simply phone the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE. If not presently reading the Allen Letter professional journal, and dozen(+) SSRDs, you should be!

And so, what is, or what are, your favorite paradox or paradoxes? Inquiring peers would like to know!



The time is drawing nigh, for you to learn how, and become motivated, to research, organize, pen, and publish your personal memoir(s), autobiography (there’s a difference between the two), or your corporate history or marketing story!

On 4 August, at 9:30 AM, Al Hesselbart (RV historian) and I will begin a 2 ½ hour seminar titled, ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ Cost is only $44.95/person – and less, if you’re registered to attend the annual RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that same evening. For more information, about the seminar, and to register, phone (317) 346-7156. For information about the induction banquet honoring the Class of 2014, phone (574) 293-2344. And there might be a brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) announcing the posting of this weekly blog at


July 13, 2014

American Dream $ & 14 SSRDs for You!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:04 am

COBA7® via Blog # 306 @ 13 July 2014 Copyright 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting’is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG OR 633-4764.

*ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin, fielding inquiries, complaints, etc..

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website

If you missed the ‘American Dream price tag: USA TODAY analysis shows a family of four needs $130,357 a year’ headline story, on 6 July 2014, try to find and read it; OR, read the adaptation that follows, substituting manufactured housing for a McMansion.

I take SSRDs for granted. I’ve been researching, writing, and distributing them for so long – up to 25 years in one case, I forget that folk new to manufactured housing and the LLLCommunity asset class ‘don’t know what they’re missing’. So here’s your summary.


‘American Dream Price Tag: $130,357/yr’,
When American Median Income is only $51,371/yr!

Did you read this story in the 6 July issue of USA Today? The manner in which 15 categories of essential expenses, extras, and taxes/insurance were calculated and presented was nothing short of being simultaneously instructive, discouraging, and convicting. So much so, the final line of this front page article read: “…it’s clear that though the American dream is still alive, fewer and fewer of us can afford to live it.”

Following here, are the expense categories cited in the article. Read thru them twice; first time to see what’s included in the American Dream Price Tag of $130,357 personal income. Then read thru a second time, to see how much less annual income would be required, if paying the median price for a new HUD-Code manufactured home at $61, 900, instead of $275,000 for the site-built home cited in the article.

ESSENTIAL EXPENSES # I.. Median housing @ $17,062/year (10% down payment; financed @ 30 years at 4%, +1% for annual maintenance). Groceries @ $12,659 for family of four. One 4wheel drive SUV @ $11,039/year. Healthcare premium & expenses @ $9,144. Other purchases & extras (including household utilities) totaled $25,596. And taxes @ $32,357 (30% of income). College savings = $5,000/year for two children. Retirement savings = $17,500. Grand total is $130,357. Note. Article wasn’t clear about how ‘property taxes & homeowner’s insurance’ costs, as in the’ T&I’ of housing PITI (‘principal & interest’) were handled.

ESSENTIAL EXPENSES # II. Median housing @ $3,208/year (same terms as #I above), plus $3,996 for rental homesite rent if $333/month. And for the moment, keep remaining categories of essential expenses the same as in #I above. Grand total is $120,499; nearly $10,000 less income required per year.

But if this $61,900 home is sited on realty conveyed fee simple, or rent free on – a relative’s property, that’d be another ‘savings’ of $3,996/year., bringing the American Dream Price Tag down to $116,503. Also, ‘taxes’ computed at being 30% of the $130,357 income level would be less, as the American Dream Price Tag inched closer to $100,000/yr.

But still, even with the significant adjustment for a truly affordable HUD-Code manufactured home, at $61,900, instead of a $275,000 McMansion, the American Dream Price Tag is still roughly at $100,000/yr income, almost double the Area Median Income, or AMI, during year 2012, of $51,371.00. Not an encouraging picture.


Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs

Oldest SSRD will be 26 years in 2015 & two new ones to debut during 2014

When you’re the owner/operator of one or more land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities) it’s a fine line between being ‘in the know’ and unaware of the operating statistics and emerging trends that affect one as an income-producing real estate investor and purveyor of HUD-Code manufactured housing. And that ‘fine line’ is comprised of what, until recently, was a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs, available only from GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing; and now the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®.

Have you ever wondered what comprises the full array of 12 cum 14 SSRDs? Well, here you have the complete list, published publicly for the first time:

• ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land-lease-lifestyle Community Portfolio Owners/Operators Located Throughout North America!’ This is the ‘granddaddy’, so to speak, of SSRDs, having been published continually for 25years, since 1988/89. The 26th annual ALLEN REPORT will be distributed during January 2015. Research for the report begins with a questionnaire circulated to the 500+/- known portfolio owners/operators, During August 2014.

• ‘Official State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class’ outline, supplemented with a comprehensive list of ‘issues’ identified by LLLCommunity owners/operators during research (questionnaires) the previous Fall. Now that this two part outline is updated annually, businessmen and women, as well as association executives, have been using it to brief employees, members, politicians, government officials, and other interested parties. Out in February.

• National Registry of Lenders now includes real estate-secured mortgage originators (for LLLCommunities) as well as chattel capital sources and servicers. While the aforementioned ALLEN REPORT is the most sought after SSRD, the National Registry of Lenders runs a close second place. It is distributed during March.

• ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 201_?!’ This SSRD is the only independently published directory of freelance consultants who serve the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class nationwide. Literally, ‘anyone who’s anybody’ in this ‘double dual industry’ is featured, though not endorsed, in this handy reference that is distributed, like other SSRDs, as a lagniappe in the Allen Letter professional journal – in this case, during April.

• The annual Directory of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Print & Online Trade Media Resources has become the ‘go to’ reference among association executives, as well as businessmen and women, who need to stay informed about industry and realty asset class matters. A recent addition, in the form of a comprehensive Social Media directory, is included in this special SSRD. Out in May.

• Official Lexicon or Glossary of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class has ‘grown legs of its’ own’ since debuting five years ago. Now often included in the back material of books, guides, and pamphlets, to ‘spread the word’ and lessen misunderstanding of various trade terms and definitions. Updated every June.

• Professional Property Management Training & Certification Programs deserve more emphasis throughout the LLLCommunity realty asset class. This particular SSRD is getting us there, as it describes the various professional property management training and certification programs: CPM®, MHM®, ACM®. Look for it in July’s edition of the Allen Letter professional journal.

• The ‘Industry Briefing Sheet’ & ‘Mobile/Manufactured Housing-related Statistics’ SSRDs have been combined in 2014, as one reference document! Frankly, it contains more and various MHindustry & LLLCommunity statistics, including Canadian, than any other such document in existence today! Look for it in August 2014.
• During September, shortly after the annual International Networking Roundtable, the Trade Advocacy Body Directory makes its’ appearance for all to see and use. Like many of the other SSRDs, the information contained herein is not available, in collected fashion, anywhere else, from anyone else.

• Annual Summary of Proceedings from the International Networking Roundtable. Published in narrative form, it describes what took place at the year’s networking roundtable, including topics presented, as well as the names and contact information of all the presenters! What other trade body in MH and LLLCommunities does that for their (often working for free) speakers? No one.

• MHIndustry Paradigm Shifts Timeline has been around ‘for years’ but isn’t as widely known as other SSRDs. Why? Well, it can be a bit controversial, as it contains stats, trends, even quotes, that some individuals would sooner forget than remember. But it ‘tells the story’, over time, of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class. Distributed with the November newsletter.

• December of each year generally sees a mish mash of reports and narratives that don’t easily fit elsewhere. Used to be referred to as the National State of the Asset Class, or NSAC caucus report (Recalling the exciting events of 2/27/2008 & 2/27/2009); though supplanted by the Manufactured Housing Initiative® moniker of late. And now with COBA7® on the scene, methinks there’s yet another evolution on the horizon.

Well, there you have it; a summary of the SSRDs that LLLCommunity owners/operators ‘in the know’ have relied on, for much of the past 25 years, to keep them informed. Well, at this year’s 23rd International Networking Roundtable, two additional (new) SSRDs will debut; they are:

• Directory of Real Estate Brokers Who Specialize in Marketing ‘for sale’ LLLCommunities nationwide.
• Directory of HUD-Code Home Manufacturers. This is something ‘left undone’ since John Griffin left the industry a few years ago.

Bottom line. If you’re not presently receiving the dozen, soon to be 14 SSRDs just described, YOU are missing OUT on numbers, trends, advice, and more, that you should be using to improve the profitability of your LLLCommunity-related business interests. What to do about it? Affiliate with COBA7®, the sooner the better! There’re three options:

I = $134.95 for subscription to the Allen Letter professional journal only. No SSRDs
II = $544.95 for Allen Letter subscription and all SSRDs!
III = $944.95 = for Allen Letter subscription, all SSRDs, and subscription to the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! – a very special monthly newsletter for CEOs and business owners!

To effect your affiliation with COBA7®, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Is affiliation worthwhile? Well, more than 200 of our peers, since the first of this year, have certainly seemed to think so. Where else are you going to have such access to research, SSRDs, communication via print & online, networking & deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification, and national advocacy, e.g. Official ombudsman (press) of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class. And the list of benefits, tangible and otherwise, goes on….


July 6, 2014

Coming: a Manufactured Housing WHITE PAPER

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:18 am

COBA7® via Blog # 305 @ 6 July 2014 Copyright 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

*ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin, fielding inquiries, complaints, etc..

Introduction to this weeks’ COBA7® blog posting at website

Two sequential National Public Forums are scheduled for the morning of 9/11, at the 23rd International Networking Roundtable, in Peachtree City, GA. These forums are important and historic (i.e. ‘First such event in 75+ year history of factory-built housing!’) to the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class. So, the WHITE PAPER that’s being prepared, for distribution to registrants before the event, is the sole subject of this week’s blog posting.


‘…an authoritative report giving information on an issue.’

WORKING TITLE: ‘Past, Present & Future of Manufactured Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities’ in North American Housing Markets.’

A formal WHITE PAPER is being prepared (Following is quoted from said document)

“…to facilitate personal and corporate preparation for two National Public Forums the morning of 11 September, during the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, at the DOLCE Conference Center, in Peachtree City, GA.”

A print copy of said WHITE PAPER will be mailed to individuals upon receipt of their registration to attend what is shaping up to be the Premier International Manufactured Housing Event of Year 2014! How so? While designed and facilitated, during the past 22 years, for owners/operators of LLLCommunities large and small, every segment of the manufactured housing industry, including home manufacturers, and lenders, will be represented at the networking roundtable this year. Many businessmen and women have already registered, as well as ‘first time participants’ from several federal agencies, academia and national realty organizations!

The WHITE PAPER documents Past & Present statistics & trends germane to manufactured housing & LLLCommunities in light of ten or so characteristics apiece, e.g. Description, Design, Regulations, Production, Distribution, Financing, Service, and more. Then the WHITE PAPER addresses the probable Future(s) of manufactured housing & LLLCommunities in light of those same characteristics. Special Attention is expected, during the National Public Forums, regarding manufactured housing’s future as ‘housing’ vs. ‘trailers’; and LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’, large & small, family & adult, urban & rural, public & private.

When WHITE PAPER readers arrive at the Networking Roundtable they will thus be informed and ready to engage with nationally known and respected presenters who’ll address the two National Public Forums from their perspectives, then participate in informed dialog and open discussion regarding the future nature and direction of manufactured housing and LLLCommunities! Strong interest in attending this year’s superb educational, networking, and deal-making event, has already been expressed by industrialists and realty investors from throughout the U.S., Canada, even France.

It is anticipated the professionally printed and bound WHITE PAPER will be ready for distribution to individuals during August 2014. To ensure receiving your WHITE PAPER in sufficient time for study and reflection, before the Networking Roundtable convenes, make your event and hotel reservations soon! Also know, attendance this year is limited to 250 businessmen and women. The copyrighted WHITE PAPER will not be available for purchase before or after the Networking Roundtable and two National Public Forums!

For a descriptive registration brochure, describing the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


Powered by WordPress