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

May 19, 2022


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 and or visit 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.



‘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 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



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

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