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

December 27, 2018

George Will, soft side of leadership, & MH media

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 11:20 am

Blog # 514; Copyright @ 23 December 2018;

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, and online communication media for all North American land lease communities!

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

Relationship? ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal of online media? To inform, opine, and help transform and improve manufactured housing and land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. This blog departs from the norm of past postings. Rather than comment on matters manufactured housing and land lease communities, here’s a collection of views penned by columnist George F. Will, and partial book review of The Softer Side of Leadership by Eugene B. Habecker. Maybe next week we’ll get back into the usual swing of things newsy and controversial. In the meantime, here’s hoping you enjoyed a Merry Christmas and your New Year is off to a very Happy and good start!

And please don’t miss Part III, ‘A Final thought for 2018.’ It’s something we all should consider.


George F. Will

No idea how many of you know George F. Will is the famous columnist with libertarian leanings. Over the years I’ve read one or two of his books (i.e. collections of his writings), and columns from time to time. Recently, I was recipient of an eight page, single spaced letter from him. As I perused its’ content I found myself thinking, ‘Here’re thoughts my blog readers might like to experience for themselves.’ So, here follows is a random collection of quotes from George F. Will’s letter….

“In Washington, an ideology is the other guy’s views. You have a ‘philosophy’, while someone else has an ideology.”

“First come rights, then comes government. Rights preexist government.” Do you agree?

“The only path to vigorous growth is to liberate the country from the dead hand of government and get out of the way of the natural wealth-creating aptitudes of the American people.”

“…the welfare state…exists to subsidize two things…protracted retirement and competent medicine.” & “The average length of retirement in America expanded in the 20th century from two years to almost 20 years. Social Security was never designed for this.” & “One-sixth of our economy today is medicine….”

Thirty-seven percent of all deaths in 1900 were from infectious diseases. That’s now down to two percent. Only 18 percent of deaths in 1900 were people over age 65. Today it’s 75 percent.”

“…30 percent of Medicare expenditures go to people in the last six months of life….;”

“A new thing (has) been born – the playground lawsuit. In a district in Florida, after about 157 playground lawsuits in five years, they came to a Solomonic (sic) conclusion – they said they would not ban recess (as many other districts had done), but they wouldn’t allow the kids to run during recess.”

“Forty percent of recent college graduates are either unemployed, or underemployed in jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics says do not require a college education. And one in three is living at home with his parents….”

“…five of the 10 most affluent counties in America surround Washington, D.C.”

Well, that’s it. Hope you enjoyed the statistical run through some of American society, politics, and more.


My Response to ‘The Softer Side of Leadership’ book

The book was a gift. The author, Eugene B. Habecker, is a longtime academic and president/CEO of philanthropic organizations. So surmised going in, his leadership style and experiences would likely differ from mine, being a retired Marine officer and 40 year business entrepreneur.

What’re soft leadership skills? ‘Behaviors, practices & attitudes’, to name a few that generally contribute to leadership effectiveness – helping one “absorb chaos, give calm & provide hope” (p.17). Soft skills tend to be qualitative in nature as opposed to quantitative hard skills.

Dr. Habecker suggested common ground for this review when he allowed “it all depends” upon one’s leadership situation, at the time, as to which soft skills are applied and how. Hence my departure from a thesis where he’d“…no longer separate…feelings from my leadership duties.” (p.21). Me? Harken back 50 years (next month) to a firefight along the Ho Chi Minh trail in South Vietnam. All but lost it emotionally, as I retrieved wounded and dead Marines. My men became concerned about my ability to get them safely back to Dong Ha forward combat base. As soon as I realized that, I seared my emotions, no longer crying aloud, but laughing at the carnage – clearly separating my true emotions from my leadership duties! Disgusting – sure. But doing so reassured my Marines I was in control (of myself) as their leader. So, we survived the battle and its’ trauma. Residual consequences? I was unable to cry, for any reason, during the decade following that incident; and it took yet another decade for me to cease being mirthful during funerals for friends and family members. All is well today. But had I not separated feelings from duty, all those years ago, would I – and they – be here today? (If you’d like to know more of that true story, ask me to send you a copy of ‘PUC Beer’).

A few pages later, the author comments it wasn’t until the 1990s that ‘soft skill literature emerged’. Perhaps. But it was taught in the early 1970s! Following release from active military service, my first civilian employer – after psychological testing pegged me 100 percent authoritarian, hired me as a probationary employee, until I was properly trained (i.e. reprogrammed) in the basics of the emerging participative management and job enrichment movement (i.e. later known as soft skill leadership). Chafed at the experience but benefitted from the education. How so? I not only knew how to lead men into combat (as an authoritarian figure) but how to involve everyone in job planning and decision-making, as long as they weren’t exhausted, starving or severely stressed. Otherwise, it was back to the old authoritative KITA method…’Kick in the A__!’ to get the job done or mission accomplished!

One part of the book that did resonate with me had to do the writer’s encouragement to plan and experience regular ‘sacred space’, whether it be daily quiet time, purposeful meditation, even shutting off one’s phone and PC for awhile. I know my daily half hour of deep reading, personal reflection, and intentional quiet, have been the norm for me for decades. How ‘bout you?

Job interview and hiring practices is another area where we parted company. Habecker states, “Some organizations view academic credentials, skill sets, and organizational experience as places to begin the job interview process.” (p.52) Me? As anyone who’s taken the Manufactured Housing Manager certification class knows, I teach the SUCCESS (equilateral) Triangle approach to this important matter. One side of the triangle is labeled ABILITY (i.e. academic credentials, skill sets), the other equilateral side, EXPERIENCE (i.e. organizational experience); and the all important base, tying the two sides together, as MOTIVATION and or ATTITUDE. As it is, too many undervalue the key role of motivation in today’s hiring process!

There’s more we could talk about here, and maybe should, but this is enough for now.


A Final Thought for Year 2018, but Key for 2019

No names here, but hope you too boycott an ongoing online MH-related news media attempt to denigrate and divide us as an industry and realty asset class!

In my opinion, life is too short to be making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks, only befouling internet platforms better used to promote manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle!

Is there anyone who doesn’t see how much of what’s being put forth as industry ‘news’ is little more than thinly-veiled efforts, on the part of one industry advocate, to smear and denigrate another?

If so, join me in 2019, committing to read only print and online trade publications advancing the causes, and improving the image, of HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities! No more caterwauling (‘to fight like cats’) in public and in private. Period.


December 17, 2018

‘Top Ten’ in ALLEN RPT; 1/29/19 = MHAlive!; & LOVE MORE; & Happy Holidays!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 11:37 am

Blog # 513; Copyright @ 16 December 2018;
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and ‘mobile home parks’ comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter and online communication media for all North American land lease communities.

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; or

COBA & Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of print & online media? To inform, opine, & help transform & improve manufactured housing & land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. Ah, here we are, at the end of year 2018. This may or may not be my last blog posting of the year. In any event, read what follows, ensure your receipt of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT; caucus with our peers on 29 January in Louisville, KY; and, LOVE MORE!


ALLEN REPORT’s ‘Top Ten’ Portfolio Firms

The following paragraph is quoted from a DRAFT copy of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, scheduled for distribution during January 2019. If you’re a COBA7 affiliate, have you optioned to receive this valuable, seminal Signature Series Resource Document (‘SSRD’)? If so, count on reading much more of this sort of land lease community-related information!

“Of the ‘Top Ten’ or largest reporting land lease community portfolio owners/operators, seven are privately-owned, three are real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’: ELS, Inc., Sun Communities, Inc., & UMH Properties), and one (Newport Pacific Family of Companies) is heavy into professional fee management of the property type! Collectively, the ‘Top Ten’ own and or fee manage 533,117 rental homesites in 1,772 land lease communities, for an average of 300 sites per community, and 177 such properties per portfolio. Furthermore, they own/operate 58 percent of all rental homesites reported in this year’s ALLEN REPORT, and 41 percent of all communities here listed.”

This barely scratches the surface of what readers will find in this year’s ALLEN REPORT. For example, and for the first time in 30 years, the report identifies emerging trends during the past few years, e.g. answering this pithy question: More rental homes or contract sales in communities today? The answer might surprise you.

So, don’t delay. Affiliate with COBA7 before month end, by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Undecided? Request a COBA7 brochure to learn of all products & services the alliance of land lease community businessmen & women brings your way!


29 January 2019

The MHM class is already sold out! But we could add a few more individuals to the mix. Interested? Phone (317) 346-7156 or inquire by email: Only $296/MHM candidate, No tests, one day long class, beginning at 9AM at the Hilton Garden Inn in Louisville.

Someone asked me recently if the afternoon program, also on 29 January, at the same hotel, will be anything like the popular MHAlive! ‘think tank’ type gathering held every August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Yes it is. Right now we have four 50 minute blocks of time to work with, from 1-5PM. No set agenda yet, but here’re suggested topics:

• Preserving One’s Personal or Corporate Legacy via Memoir Writing. By the way, if you don’t have a copy of the booklet, ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy….?’. it’s FREE for the asking via (317) 346-7156 or And It’s a very engaging ‘read’!

• Evergreen Manufactured Housing Issues…introduced in blog # 511, and likely to appear elsewhere in the near future, e.g. written into the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT.

• Given the eclectic nature of this year’s ALLEN REPORT, this might be the perfect firsthand opportunity to ask questions and parse its’ content with the author….

• As a land lease community owner/operator are you satisfied with the nature of national advocacy and quality of lobbying done in your behalf at the federal level these days?

• MHTrade media, for the most part, is improving in coverage and quality, but there continues to be, in my opinion, an ongoing campaign to disparage industry leaders.

• Interested in learning more about lease-option methodology for new HUD-Code homes being marketed on-site in your land lease communities? Ask the ‘duty expert’ for details!

• Everyone knows there’s a national affordable housing crisis. But are you aware of how manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle are being considered as practical answers to this shortfall in housing our citizenry?

These seven topics have been recommended for the afternoon long program. We can only accommodate four. Which ones do you favor? Let me know ASAP via



First saw the multicolored LOVE MORE sign in my neighbor’s yard. So, went on line and googled LOVE MORE. Found the website where these signs are sold.

What’s LOVE MORE? Well, it’s “…a community driven message using positive empowerment through inclusion, peace, and kindness.”

Know what? This is a Great Idea for cultivating good resident relations in our land lease communities! Check it out. Might be something well worth doing on-site at all your properties, even at home!


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to You & Yours!

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

December 10, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 1:44 pm

Blog # 512; Copyright @ 9 December 2018;
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and
‘mobile home parks’ comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research
reporter and online communication media for all North American land lease communities.

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; or

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U! Goal of its’ print & online media? To inform, to opine,
& to help transform & improve manufactured housing & land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. Exciting news from COBA7; a new national AMI $ to use for housing price point calculations; one truly unique opportunity for YOU on 29 January in ‘Luavul’, KY; some sound advice for real estate brokers marketing land lease communities; and, don’t forget to ensure YOU receive a copy of 30th annual ALLEN REPORT when it debuts during January 2019!


A Major Change in Trade Media Reporting is Afoot…

Come January 2019, COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, transitions to a 100 percent digital media platform, away from the firm’s 30 year presence as mostly print media. And while this semi-weekly blog posting has been electronic since its’ debut a decade ago, future issues of the Allen Letter and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! (‘TAC!’) will follow suit. This also means future books (e.g. a second edition of HOUSING AFFORDOGRAPHY), along with some existing titles, will soon be available as e-books.

So, read the next blog posting or two, for more information – including the new name of this exciting online digital platform! All this is being done to better, and more broadly serve YOU, the manufactured housing industry, and land lease community real estate asset class. GFA


You Earning $57,652 per year?

American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (2013-2017) of U.S. economic growth tell

• “Nationally, median household income (a.k.a. Annual Median Income or AMI) increased 1.9 percent, from $56,587 to $57,652 in inflation-adjusted dollars between the two five-year periods, i.e. 2008-2012 & 2013-2017)” And “The percentage of people in poverty decreased from 14.9 percent to 14.6 percent.”

Interestingly, these positive national economic trends were mirrored in all three geographic county groups; specifically,

• “In mostly urban counties, AMI increased 2.3 percent while poverty declined from 14.6 percent to 14.3 percent.”

• “In mostly rural counties, AMI increased 1.4 percent while the poverty rate declined from 16.6 percent to 16.3 percent.”

• ‘For completely rural counties, AMI rose 2.4 percent while the poverty rates declined from 17.7 percent to 17.2 percent.”

Two things. While national AMI hovers around $57,652 know that many, if not most homeowner/site lessees living in land lease communities nationwide, appear to have AGIs (i.e. Annual Gross Incomes) around $36,000. That’s why the oft-used, two-sided ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Formula’ worksheet ‘crunches the numbers’ in two siting scenarios (scattered building sites conveyed fee simple & in-community on rental homesites), four ways: two @ ‘affordable’ perspective, and two @ ‘risky’ perspectives; the difference being whether household utility expenses are included (in ‘affordable’ instances) in said calculations, OR NOT, as in ‘risky’ instances scenarios. Accordingly, $36,000 AMI/AGI is featured on one side of the form, and the recent past $51,229 AMI/AGI on the verso side. For a FREE copy of said worksheet, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, and request it.

The other thing. Say what you will about President Trump, but the AMI increase, and declining poverty rates, are certainly indicators of his actions to Make America Great Again!

And there’s more from the American Community Survey. “Almost 87 percent of the total U.S. population lived in 1,253 mostly urban counties….Median income in those counties was $59,970 for the most recent five-year period. The poverty rate was 14.3 percent. For individual counties, median income ranged from $20,795 to $129,588 and poverty rates ranged from 2.9 percent to 48.2 percent.”


What Will YOU be Doing 29 January 2019?

29th is a Tuesday, the day before the Louisville MHShow begins at KY State Fairgrounds.

It’s also the day on which a Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training & certification class is planned. If interested in attending the MHM program, from 9AM till 4PM, phone (317) 346-7156 to register. Costs only $295.00 per MHM candidate. No testing. MHMs receive a copy of Landlease Community Management and other training materials, plus their gold MHM lapel pin & official certification document!

There’s also something exciting being planned for the afternoon of 29 January 2019. And frankly, if interested, YOU can have a ‘say’ in what takes place between 1 & 5PM.

During past decades, manufactured housing executives and land lease community owners have oft asked me to plan and host informal but structured gatherings of like-minded businessmen and women. And we’ve done so. These have been private group meetings during MHCongresses in Las Vegas; at Saddlebrook Farms in Grayslake, IL.; during SECO conferences in Atlanta, GA.; on-site in land lease communities in FL, PA, and elsewhere; and most recently, annual MHALive! ‘open discussion’ think tank-like sessions at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. So there’s plenty of precedent for what I’m suggesting here….

We’ve reserved a board room at a popular name brand hotel near the Louisville MHShow venue. What I need NOW is input from YOU, as to what topics you’d like to cover during four 50 minute sessions between 1 & 5PM on 29th of January. We need four stimulating and thought provoking topics. Here’re several possibilities to get YOU thinking and responding:

• Evergreen Manufactured Housing Issues. Re-read blog posting # 512

• Have the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT? Let’s discuss content & trends

• Land lease community lobbying efficacy via MHI’s/NCC div., COBA7, & NAMHCO

• MH trade media reporting: MHInsider, Allen Letter, Mfd. Hsng. Review. etc..

• All you ever wanted to know about lease-option, but didn’t know who to ask!

• MH & LLCommunities. Key parts to solving U.S. affordable housing crisis?

And if YOU have suggestions for additional topics, please let me know via

Watch here for more details as they become available.

Solicited Advice for Real Estate Brokers Selling Land Lease Communities

When a veteran owner/operator of land lease communities was recently asked if he had advice for real estate brokers specializing in the marketing of this income-producing property type. This is what he penned:

“…tell brokers to stop encouraging sellers to sell for ridiculous prices (Which will eventually hurt the industry anyway); stop telling communities with no ‘sales price tag’ (i.e. ‘Call in with $ offers!’); stop encouraging sellers to accept offers from buyers who haven’t seen or visited the property (Assuming they’ll negotiate during the due diligence period); quit telling buyers, “ALL you have to do to increase cash flow and increase property value is buy new manufactured homes (Takes far more than that!); and, bring back actual 10-12 income capitalization rates.”

Pretty much says it all doesn’t it?


30th anniversary (2019 ALLEN REPORT,
‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/Operators Throughout North America!’

COBA7 affiliates at the Options II & III levels, as well as land lease community owners/operators who took time to completely fill-in the ALLEN REPORTquestionnaire this past Fall, will receive copies of this seminal document – the longest running statistical compendium published in the manufactured housing industry today!

Don’t wait until January 2019 to order your copy! Phone (317) 346-7156 to affiliate with COBA7 today. You’ll be glad you did. This edition is chock full of timely and interesting information about the realty asset class. For example, 25 portfolio firms have been dropped from this year’s report, for all the usual reasons. And we’ve added more than a dozen ‘new names’ to the 500 list of owners/operators.


George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

December 4, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 3:12 pm

Blog # 511; Copyright @ 2 December 2018;

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.
This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter and online communication media for all North American land lease communities!
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; or
COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media? To inform, to opine, & help transform & improve manufactured housing & LLCommunity performance!

“Evergreen content is content that is always relevant…like evergreen trees retain their leaves all year. Interesting and relevant content, that does not become dated, is necessary in order to be found online by search engines.” Likewise, evergreen issues are issues always present and relevant, as in the case of manufactured housing & land lease communities, where we have several. The following paragraphs identify a half dozen evergreen issues. If you think there are more, please let us know via or via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Who’s really responsible for the proper, safe, and secure installation of HUD-Code manufactured homes when sited on scattered building sites conveyed fee simple, and on rental homsites within land lease communities? Depends on who one asks. Installation manuals shipped with every new home, in this industry observer’s opinion, leaves the issue (question) open to interpretation and application, e.g. factory rep, traditional (street) MHRetailer, licensed installer, homeowner installing on scattered site conveyed fee simple, & land lease community owner dealing with his own property.

Department of Housing & Urban Development (‘HUD’), the federal agency that regulates manufactured housing, resists overtly promoting this type factory-built housing as the attractive, quality, non-subsidized, energy efficient, transportable, affordable housing it is! On one hand, via its’ plethora of housing support programs (e.g. Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships, Assisted Living Conversion Program, and many temporary programs) HUD is quick to direct taxpayer monies everywhere else, but not towards manufactured housing as affordable housing.

Existing manufactured housing stock is aging faster, in toto, than replacement stock can be fabricated and shipped from more than 100+ factories nationwide. In addition, some estimate there’re 250,000+/- vacant rental homesites in land lease communities able to site new manufactured homes if they – and chattel capital for home loans, were readily available today. Not. So, with each passing month, the ability to refresh and fill land lease communities, as well as scattered building and rental homesites, falls further and further behind.

HUD-Code manufactured homes, as well as modular and park model RV units, sited within land lease communities continue to be ineligible for real estate-secured home financing, forcing said homeowners/site lessees to pay, on the average, three points or more for their home loans, than if same home was sited on a scattered building site conveyed fee simple, with the homeowner owning underlying realty. Over the decades, there have been unsuccessful efforts to mitigate this inequity, via long term leases, etc., but nothing, to date, has ameliorated the issue.

Relative to the sale of new and resale manufactured homes, using chattel or realty-secured mortgages, there’s a longstanding practice of selling customers ‘more house than they can afford’, by not including annual household utility expenses in the target 30 percent Housing Expense Factor. Doing this makes for a ‘risky’ transaction. However, when the home mortgage monthly PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance)payment calculation includes household utility expenses in the target 30% HEF, the transaction becomes affordable, as customers buy ‘the house they can truly afford’.

Most enduring evergreen issue afflicting HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities is the oft negative public image of this symbiotic pairing (i.e. roughly half of all new manufactured homes are sited on rental homesties within the unique, income-producing property type). Why negative and enduring? Trailers and mobile homes of the 1950s & 60s are still around. And forget their presence is a reality check as to what the U.S. homeless population would be without them! Plus, there’s a predatory equity play characteristic of investors overpaying for land lease communities, then ‘jacking site rents’ as part of their ‘get rich quick’ scheme. And negative public image continues….

Oh, there are more evergreen issues germane (‘closely associated with’) manufactured housing and land lease communities. Here’re two: absence of a secondary market facilitating the valuation and sale of manufactured home within and outside land lease communities; and, lack of a secondary market facilitating the sale of seasoned chattel loans to free up capital for more new home sales transactions. Then there’s the lack of emphasis on professional property management training and certification throughout the realty asset class! Today, slightly more than 100 Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) members of the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM) claim an affinity to manage land lease communities. And there’re nearly 1,500 certified Manufactured Housing Managers (MHM), and fewer than 200 Accredited Community Managers (‘ACM’) spread among 50,000+/- properties nationwide! Not nearly enough!

You are invited to participate in this review and conversation of evergreen issues related to the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class! See contact information at the beginning of this blog posting.


George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

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