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

August 11, 2017

MHConspiracy; MHShipment ‘#s & $s Report; & Sam Zell’s new autobiography

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:04 am

Blog # 459; Copyright @ 13 August 2017; at

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. aCOBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!

INTRODUCTION: a manufactured housing conspiracy, MHAlive! Think Tank a success, Official MH Shipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for June, and new autobiography by Sam Zell: AM I BEING TOO SUBTLE? Can’t fit any more than that into one weekly blog!


Is a Manufactured Housing Conspiracy Theory Afoot?

Maybe. Lead feature in the August issue of the Allen Letter professional journal presents a profoundly disturbing view of ‘What’s Going On – or Not’, within the Manufactured Housing Program at HUD & MHI, as a result of:

‘The Fruit of Voluntary & Involuntary Consolidation in Factory-built Housing, Appears to be Peer Domination, & Possibly, Duplicity’

Note to the reader. That’s all we’re going to pen at this point in time. The manufactured housing industry and its’ real estate segment, land lease communities nationwide, are at a critical juncture in the history of the interrelated business models.

The Question of the Day? WHO is going to pay for rental homesite foundation replacements, oft required by dint of regulatory overreach per HUD’s manufactured housing program and administrator:

1. Manufacturers of HUD-Code homes

2. Land lease community owners/operators, or

3. ‘No one’, if overreach is stopped in its’ tracks & SOON.

Don’t be deceived! That’s what the hullabaloo in Washington is about these days; nothing more, nothing less! Who pays? We’ll be writing nothing more about this manufactured housing conspiracy (theory), unless it becomes Reality .Then we’ll tell all.


MHAlive! Think Tank, a Success!

Details to follow, likely in an upcoming Allen Letter professional journal feature. But for the time being, know 15 land lease community owners/operators (including representatives from one REIT); three manufactured housing association executives – one each from two national MH advocacy entities, and a Midwest state trade entity, met from 9AM until Noon, identifying, articulating, discussing, and recording what to them are major industry and realty asset class matters and issues.

This was the second of four national manufactured housing input sessions. The first being in Chicago during May; this one in Elkhart, next in Indianapolis during the Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September (You registered yet?); and finally, during the SECO Conference in Atlanta during October. YOU should be able to input at one of these rare sessions to make your views known and recorded for action and resolution!

Later the same day, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, the Class of 2017 was inducted. As you know, this included Mike Sullivan, CPM, of Newport Pacific; Spencer Roane, MHM, of Pentagon Properties; Christine Lindsey, MHM-Master, of UMH Properties; and, David Gorin, RV guru par excellence.

Plan now to participate in the third MHAlive! Think Tank session the first workday in August 2018! Our industry and realty asset class are long overdue for opportunities to identify matters and issues of concern to businessmen and women, to then ‘kick them upstairs’ to elected and salaried leaders at the three national advocacy entities.


COBA7’s Official MH Shipment ‘#s & $s’ Report, June 2017

This seminal report is attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this week’s blog posting. If you haven’t seen and read any past reports, know this is the most comprehensive one published by any of the three national advocacy entities to date! How so?

1) Everyone tells members the monthly HUD-Code housing shipment volume as reported by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) – except one, who deducts DESTINATION PENDING units from the month total being reported, adding it to the IBTS shipment total on the next monthly report.

2) Only the COBA7 report, this one, reports the ‘production value’ of HUD-Code homes shipped during the month being reported. This is provided ‘per month’ and ‘year to date’. Some pretty interesting data if you haven’t been exposed to it in the past.

3) And while COBA7 methodology differs slightly from other reports, the Top Ten shipping states are reported, showing their respective total for the month, and how that relates to the previous monthly total.

4) Finally; what percentage of the reported month’s total HUD-Code home shipments, are from the aforementioned Top Ten states? Usually around 60 percent, month in, month out.

Would you like to receive this ‘#s & $s’ report each month? Then read the Allen Letter professional journal, as an affiliate of COBA7.


There’s a New Autobiography in Town!


‘Straight Talk From A Business Rebel’

by Sam Zell

“Some of my most interesting and lucrative investments seemed counterintuitive when I made them – such as buying rail cars when the industry was crumbling, or investing in manufactured home communities when other investors wouldn’t touch them.” p.6

Later, on pages 120 thru 123, Sam describes, in detail, how “We debuted our real estate holdings on the New York Stock Exchange with Manufactured Home Communities (MHC), now known as Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), and its forty-seven manufactured home communities. It was one of the early companies to list as a REIT in the modern commercial real estate era.”
As the land lease community asset class’ historian, I’ll tell you it is not always easy to identify and describe the genesis of an emerging trend in (any) business class. But here, on pages # 122 & 123, Sam Zell describes how his team “…discovered RV parks had the same fundamental characteristics as manufactured home communities. They are smaller versions of the same business model – we’d own the land while tenants would own the structures, and there was low turnover. The sectors also had similar tenant demographics, the same types of sites, and the same cash flow characteristics. So, ELS became the first company to combine and institutionalize the blended asset classes.” Editorial note. According to the 28th annual ALLEN REPORT, 50+/-% ELS’ property portfolio is comprised of manufactured housing rental homesites, and 50+/-% RV sites.*1

And this new (2017) autobiography is nothing short of being colorful. It’s probably the ‘most fun’ business text I’ve read to date. How so? Know about Zell’s Angels? (p.32); “We invented business casual.” (p.62); “…my nickname, the Grave Dancer.” (p.76); and, “I am a professional opportunist.” (99). And by the time I finish reading the book, I’m sure I’ll have identified more examples….

Especially like what Sam had to say about Wall Street analysts. If you were around during the mid to late 1990s, and beyond, you know the grief they caused for many REIT operations. Here’s Sam: “…a lot of people who get burned by depending on Wall Street analysts…discover quickly the advice they’re getting isn’t coming from a committed owner – it’s coming from a professional who is collecting a fee.” P. 95.

AM I BEING TOO SUBTLE joins seven other autobiographies authored by businessmen (No business women so far, though I know one veteran land lease community owner who’s working on hers….) active in manufactured housing or our unique, income-producing property type. ENJOY.


George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247

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