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

September 25, 2011

Young Turks Emerging & Chicago Renascence?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:48 am


Young Turks Emerging?

In the annual ALLEN REPORTS, we routinely identify the Young Lions of property acquisition, and report the status of a Daring Dozen realty investors who commenced building landlease community portfolios a decade ago. But Young Turks? Last week’s…

20th Networking Roundtable maybe demarcates the end & beginning of two eras….

On 31 August 1993, 18 manufactured home (nee mobile home park) community operators, 14 of whom were bona fide owners with ‘skin in their games’, founded the Industry Steering Committee (‘ISC’) predecessor to the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) present day National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division. Today, 18 years later, only one of those property owners remains active and regularly visible in national landlease community affairs and issues.

On 15 September 2011, considerably more than 100 landlease community owners/operators attended the 20th anniversary Networking Roundtable in San Antonio, TX. Only one of the aforementioned ISC cum NCC founders was present, along with a few dozen new, second, third, even fifth generation property owners, and these were supplemented by a growing bevy of portfolio operators. Enter the Young Turks!

What’s a Young Turk? According to the Illustrated Reverse Dictionary, an ‘elite soldier or bodyguard in former times’, a.k.a. janissary, a ‘member of any group of loyal guards, soldiers, or supporters’. Know what? The term fits! As I studied the registration list for this year’s Roundtable; along with direct, dues – paying member lists (not the Certified Representatives) of MHI’s NCC division, and the Urban Land Institute’s (‘ULI’) Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’), an interesting pattern or trend emerged. This being, the subtle transferring of management control, in many but not all instances, from the daily, hands – on presence of property portfolio owners, to salaried managers or ‘soldiers, property guards, supporters’, i.e. the Young Turks!

Young Turks for the most part, appear to be salaried, and generally managing landlease community portfolios for sole proprietors, partnerships, corporate owners, even real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’). Only rarely however, do contemporary Young Turks possess earned professional property management or realty credentials, like the hard to earn Certified Property Manager® or CPM® and Certified Commercial Investment Manager® or CCIM® designations, though many have college or university degrees, even advanced ones. They’re also often politically active, when the need arises, generally via state and national advocacy venues, but not always. Furthermore, the majority of today’s Young Turks, like their pioneer owner/operator predecessors and bosses, are male and young.

Who’re today’s Young Turks? I can easily identify several dozen by name. But that’s not the point of this pattern or trend spotting blog posting. But ‘naming’ might indeed be an interesting exercise, and certainly a potential added feature to the 23rd annual ALLEN REPORT – being researched at this time. Speaking of which; please complete and return, via FAX (317) 346-7158, the standard questionnaire, distributed last week, to 600+/- known landlease community portfolio owners/operators! Deadline is September 30th , 2011. The 23rd ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Landlease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’) will likely be distributed with the January 2012 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

Why only ‘likely’? As you may or may not know, there’s a present effort afoot, to launch a new, national not for profit platform, a real estate and manufactured housing Center of sorts, to ensure continuation of Research (e.g. ALLEN REPORT, Allen Surveys, Mortgage & Chattel Lenders’ Registries, etc.) and Resources (e.g. newsletters, directories, books, standard PM forms, consulting services, and professional property management training and certification via the Manufactured Housing Manager program), long provided by GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. At some point, it’ll become more cost effective for such research reports to be marketed and distributed through (the) Center for Manufactured Housing Research & Resources – or whatever the new not for profit national platform is named. If YOU’d like to be on the ‘inside track’, relative to launching, guiding, and financially supporting this exciting, historic initiative, contact me privately at (317) 346-7156 or via All inquiries will be kept in confidence!

In the meantime, know that if YOU own and or fee manage five or more landlease communities, and or 500+ rental homesites (even if in just one property), and have NOT received a cover letter and ALLEN REPORT questionnaire, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, ASAP, and request one be mailed to you! Why? Because you’re eligible to be included in the nearly quarter century old ALLEN REPORT, organized by firm name and ranking (per total number of rental homesites owned/operated) of landlease (nee manufactured home) community portfolios, throughout North America.

For that matter, there’re still a couple dozen copies of the 52 page 22nd annual ALLEN REPORT available for purchase @ $125.00 apiece; or as part of a special $150.00 package that includes said report, plus a one year subscription to the Allen Letter professional journal (published monthly, with a subscription price of $134.95/year). Again, use the above MHIndustry HOTLINE to place your order and or to subscribe.

So, are YOU a Young Turk reading these trend – spotting paragraphs? Do you agree or disagree with the characterizations cited? I’d sincerely like to know your view(s) on the subject. Use any of the contact methods cited in previous paragraphs, or pen them to me via: GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.


Yet another New Era, or a Chicago Renascence, dawning?

Let’s see; the first real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’) emerged during the 1980s. That’s when New Jersey – based UMH Properties, Inc., nee United Mobile Homes, Inc., debuted. Then there was the second REIT wave, in the mid – 1990s, when Chicago – based ELS, Inc., nee MHC, Inc., followed by Detroit – based Sun Communities, Inc., and Colorado – based Chateau Communities, Inc. (Latter acquired by Hometown America in 2003) appeared on the landlease (nee manufactured home) community scene. Today, however, there’re only three REITs remaining in play, ELS, Inc., Sun Communities, Inc., and UMH Properties, Inc.

• Rumor has it a new IPO (‘initial public offering’ of stock) may be in the offing, possibly combining landlease communities of more than one firm. IF this occurs, it’ll be the asset class’ first new REIT since American Landlease (founded in 1998 & de – REITed in 2008) and short – lived ARC (2004 & 2005), originally Affordable Residential Communities, now American Residential Communities appeared on the income – producing property (type) scene.

• AND, there’s yet another new landlease community portfolio firm in the process of being formed, comprised of properties acquired from Hometown America. Think AMC. (No, not a rejuvenated American Motors Corporation!). Trust me; if and when this occurs, and details are made public, it’ll make for an interesting ‘international’ tale….

• Not to forget; the first National Summit for independent ‘street’ MHRetailers and landlease community home sales centers, will be held 13 – 15 November 2011. If seriously interested in improving your manufactured housing retail sales operation, consider attending. Phone (800) 336-0339. I plan to be present.

Is there a common denominator among these disparate but MHIndustry – related events? Sure; they’re all occurring in downtown Chicago (i.e. National Summit @ The Drake Hotel) and in surrounding suburbs. Know what? There’s even more ‘new news’ emerging from the Windy City. Geesh; really want to write more, but need to await further details.


Let Me Whet Your Appetite for Next Sunday’s Blog Post…

The Year is 2012. The Question is ‘Who Will Effectively Lead the Manufactured Housing Industry?’ The Dilemma: ‘Old (habits) Guard or a New (inexperienced) Generation’? This (next) week’s blog posting kicks off Stage II of a three stage (if need be) ‘How to Save Our Industry?!’ industry wide grassroots effort, to effect 1) national dialogue, 2) open discussion, 3) strategic planning, and 4) focused action, to stimulate and lead HUD Code manufactured housing out of its’ decade – long general malaise and array of industry – specific ailments.

Maladies, for sure, like 1) paucity of independent source chattel capital for everyone, not just those with pristine credit ratings; 2) continuing feud between ‘big box = big bucks’ purists (i.e. in land & home competition with site – builders) versus ‘affordable housing’ pragmatists (i.e. desiring to fill 250,000+/- vacant rental homesites nationwide); 3) reluctance to routinely sell homes that homebuyers (and by extension, local housing markets) can afford to buy, rather than what factories decide to ship their way; 4) complete absence of a functioning, ongoing secondary market for the sale of existing manufactured homes; 5) new home warranties that match and exceed those of site – built homes; 6) need for a national manufactured housing brand and image improvement campaign, but only after resolving which comes first: clean up the industry beforehand or after attracting prospective homebuyers to our sales centers and communities? And there’re more issues and related asides….

What’s next? Well, that’s why YOU should plan to attend the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ. @ 2 – 4 October 2011. Listen, Observe & Participate for YOUrself and YOUr business interests! For more information, contact Thayer Long via (703) 558-0678. And, if you own one or more landlease communities, and would like to at least attend the National Communities Council (‘NCC’), the morning of 3 October, contact Lisa Brechtel via (703) 558-0666. If YOU do attend, either or both venues at the same resort hotel, look me up and tell me know your views on the industry issues identified, in part, in the previous paragraph, and otherwise. See YOU there!


George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7145

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