Cash Program and Managers Abilities


#1

I have a park under contract that has lots needing filled and the CASH Program seems ideal.

Its about a 7 hour drive for me so i would depend on a manager to do all of the day to day (properly bringing in the home, showing, selling , explaining the CASH Program, etc.)

Has anyone had issues with a managers abilities to do all of these things?

An investor of mine who has more experience than I raised this as an issue and being more difficult than I imagine to trust a manager to all of this while Im so far away.

What is everyones experience with issues having managers do all of this, and what are the ways to overcome this, if any?

Thanks in advance!

Joel from Chicago


#2

We have not been successful getting our managers to sell to customers on the Cash program. The homes sat empty and eventually it was our problem. We had to buy them. We withdrew from the CASH program as there are too many negatives to outweigh the positive.


#3

Very close by is SW Michigan where there are some good deals. Sometimes park owners are asking manager to wear to MANY different hats with TOO LITTLE PAY!!! If you were the manager of that park with all the details needing attention what would
you expect as manager in terms of money??? Finding great help that is honest and diligent is very difficult thus property owners biggest problem is employees??? We have always had parks within 90 minutes of our home base for a reason—look close by there are opportunities just need a little digging to find.


#4

@Brandon , thank you for your post concerning the ‘CASH Program’.

I am sorry to hear:
“…We withdrew from the CASH program as there are too many negatives to outweigh the positives.”

You are one of the few that I have read that have tried the CASH Program and have given their feedback.

I am on the super conservative side, so I was a little skeptical of the CASH Program.

However, it is nice to hear real life results.

Sorry though to hear that you had negative results.

I desire all Mobile Home Owners to succeed, so hopefully you were able to find another avenue that fit your Mobile Home Park better.

We wish you the very best!


#5

Based on your experience , do you think this program is market specific or in general has challenges ?

I am just interested because we work with a Clayton store who sets up and sells in the park. We get a lot of traffic on it but then takes a bit to seem to close. I did a follow up to see how the last month has been and good interest couple turned down applications from them. I know in time it will click ( and they paid for hookups which is great. But I would think it would be a challenge to get people qualified especially with a system that is less integrated with a manager who might not be as wonderful. I run my own ads for the home and direct all financing to Clayton but this has given me insight into seeing the traffics we get and I can follow up with the interested people as we as Clayton ( aside from their own marketing ). I’d loce to stick the cash program in the tool box but based on all this I’m hearing i still don’t think it’s right for me. Especially if you start operating in a weaker market I could only see more challenges in the whole chain.


#6

Thanks for the reply Brandon!

Would you attribute the homes not selling directly to the managers?

I know there are a lot of areas where this doesnt work just based on buyers credit so im wondering if you could say it is definitely solely because of the managers?

If you believe that it was solely the managers can i ask how you knew that?

Thanks!

Joel


#7

Hi Jack,
I should have added to my original question that I am fairly confident my market and park will support this. In Omaha, a mover told me that in 2017 a park owned by Frank and Dave that the mover lives in brought in 70 homes through CASH and are almost full now due to it. This area of town where their park is located is in a less desirable area of town than the park i have under contract. This seems to tell me the program definitely can work so it is probably worth pursuing.

In my mind, there is the component of 1. Your specific park having applicants that will have the interest and will pass credit and 2. Your manager does not show the homes nor explain the process well enough.

Depending on the situation, maybe it is hard to figure out whether your problem is #1 or #2 but i would like to hear other opinions on this.

Thanks!

Joel


#8

@JoelE I have seen this same thing happen on a frank and dave park i did an assignment on where it was all new homes brought in , and i believe it was CASH but im not on the operations side.

I havent listened in forever to the Charles and Kevin podcast but last i heard they didn’t love the program and posed some challenges.

I believe it has been posted here before that some suspected that operators of scale may get different terms. I have no idea if thats true, nor am i implying it as i have no insight to it.

But just read through forums, find operators that are successful with it and see what the backstory is. I just can’t recall a whole ton of posts on here that started off," im tearing it up with the cash program and its easy " . Again, i could be wrong but just in case there is variation of the program details so you dont get killed on one assumption that alters your deal.


#9

The CASH program is a great idea based on input from large operators who were buying parks with many vacancies and the PROBLEM new homes WERE NOT brought in by tenants (buyers needing 100 units or more). I wonder how many operators were part of the decision by Clayton Homes to have input into the cash deal??? Locally one park owner is using the program but when we tried the program local dealers were insulted that we could buy the homes cheaper from the CASH program than from franchised Clayton dealers . When we had empty spaces we just bought new or nearly new homes without the CASH program. Recently looking at a park in west central Florida over half the homes of 134 in the CASH program–do I want to be responsible for that debt or maintenance of such but of course the P&L looks wonderful–again WHY would they be selling???


#10

You asked,

And you answered your own question:

It’s both #1 and #2. The set of skills to go knocking on doors and collecting the rent and generally being a hard-ass rule enforcer and “manager” is different from the set of skills it takes to talk up a buyer and be a advertiser, salesperson, “shmoozer” and hand-holder. We don’t pay enough to get both sets of skills in the same person (at this park).

There is also #3 you the park owner are underwriting the resident’s debt for a period of 10 or 15 or 23 years. When it comes time to sell your park, you won’t find it is so easy to get rid of that liability. You can’t just wash your hands of it.

There is also #4 the cost to the customer is +10% higher than invoice. You get 5% of that and Clayton gets 5%.

It might be great if you want to fill up 20 spaces – otherwise you’d have $1 million tied up in home inventory for a long time. But it didn’t make sense for us at [that park].

Keep also in mind that you are allowing 21st a lien against your property for your contingent liability. This was a violation of our mortgage security agreement at another park, so we could not do it there.


#11

@Brandon , thank you for your follow-up on the ‘CASH Program’.

There is a saying:

  • “The Devil is in the Details”

As per the website https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/275235/the-devil-is-in-the-details:

  • “The idiom the devil is in the details means that mistakes are usually made in the small details of a project. Usually it is a caution to pay attention to avoid failure.”

@Brandon pointed out some valuable details:

  • “…you the park owner are underwriting the resident’s debt for a period of 10 or 15 or 23 years. When it comes time to sell your park, you won’t find it is so easy to get rid of that liability. You can’t just wash your hands of it…”

  • “…the cost to the customer is +10% higher than invoice. You get 5% of that and Clayton gets 5%…”

  • “…you [Park Owner] are allowing 21st a lien against your property for your contingent liability. This was a violation of our mortgage security agreement at another park, so we could not do it there…”

There have been some posts to the effect of: "I just bought a Mobile Home Park that is 50% empty and I am looking at the ‘CASH Program’ to fill up the Park. "

Yes, the ‘CASH Program’ can be used to fill up a Mobile Home Park.

However, what are the ramifications of the ‘CASH Program’?

We wish you the very best!


#12

‘CASH Program’ = Just an additional thought on bringing in New Mobile Homes (‘CASH Program’) versus Old Mobile Homes

When we first purchased our ‘Turn-Around Mobile Home Park’, we had visions of New Homes lined up in our Vacant Lots.

However, we then listened to Frank state that it is better to have Older, ‘Paid Off’ Mobile Homes versus New, 'Mortgaged ’ Mobile Homes.

When we first purchased our "Turn-Around Mobile Home Park’, we ‘inherited’ Older, ‘Shelter’ Mobile Homes. We selected to renovate these Mobile Homes and sell or rent them.

For the past 5 years we have rented our:

  • 1966 Mobile Home
  • 2016=Renovated With New Metal Roof
  • 12 x 46
  • 2 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom

We are now in the process of doing some repairs and selling the Mobile Home.

During our past 5 years we have had 1 New, Singlewide Mobile Home (2017) move into our Mobile Home Park.

During our past 5 years we have had 1 Mobile Home receive a notice concerning a Late Mortgage Payment. It was our New, Mobile Home (2017).

Thankfully, thus far the couple has been able to catch up their Mortgage Payments for their New, Mobile Home (2017) and keep them current.

However, on the Older, Mobile Homes neither MH Owner nor Park Owner need to worry about Mortgage Payments…just Lot Payments :slight_smile: .

The ‘Good’ Part is that both the Older, (1966) Mobile Home and the New, (2017) Mobile Home pay the ‘Exact Same Lot Rent’.

Is the 2017 prettier than the 1966? - Yes

Do both the 2017 & 1966 Mobile Homes provide ‘Shelter’ to a family? - Yes

For our Park we are happy with the Older, Paid off Mobile Homes.

We wish you the very best!


#13

Hi Joel
Let me preface my comments by stating 2018 is our 1st full year with the CASH program. We are extremely aggressive and have brought in 35+ homes this year but we work with 5 different MH lenders. And we will be bringing in 200+ more homes over the next 4-5 years.

I think you need to separate CASH from the manager/salesperson role. They are separate issues.

  1. As well stated from others, it is very rare to find someone who is both good at management and a good salesperson. But a good manager can often sell, maybe not at well as a ‘good salesperson’. The question is what your plan calls for? If its a few homes a year then get a good manager first. If not, do you need to budget in a salesperson or something else.
  2. CASH Program - are you referring to the Supply side (flooring your home) or the loan side? We have not used CASH for the supply side as we have 2 LOCs. But 21st CASH is one of our lenders. The positives are they will finance more so on ability to pay than credit (Frank has mentioned this) whereas other lenders would not. [There are negatives which I will not comment at this time] If you are talking about the Lending side, they are simply a lender. The process to explain CASH lending is nothing more than they are a lender with governed guidelines and processes. They are no different than the other lenders we work with. In fact, they will lender to buyers that others will not.
  3. So if your concern is that a manager/salesperson cannot explain the CASH program then I have doubts in general. There is nothing unique about their lending process from a borrower’s perspective. My question is can your buyers qualify in general for any loan?

Also, when it comes to sales, I am adamant that you are the owner and as the lead need to be very involved. Questions for you are:

  1. What part of the sales process/funnel are you losing the prospects?
  2. Do you know what the objections are? Is it about the financing or something else?
  3. Do you know the credit and financials of all your prospects?

Sorry for being long winded but in order to really address your concerns you need to separate the issues and pinpoint the problems once separated.


#14

Thanks for all the comments! (sorry i was out of town for a couple days)

Brandon- its good to know about the mortgage agreement affecting the CASH program and thats something to look out for. Kristen- I hear ya about the risks of homes with mortgages. A double edged sword, for sure.

Howard, Im glad you havent had problems with the manager/salesperson explaining the program. I suppose when i start the process, if we move forward, we will see where there are snags in the sales funnel.

I think to sum it all up, its not a free lunch, but what is. If we buy this park, which is looking likely, we will do a couple and see how it goes, make adjustments if there are issues just like anything else. Thats what Frank told me and I know the area SHOULD have good enough tenants coming in given the area and demand.

Thanks again for all the help!

Joel


#15

These comments have been incredibly valuable for me! Thanks everyone for sharing your insights.


#16

You are one of the few that I have read that have tried the CASH Program and have given their feedback.


#17

I think you need to incentivize your manager to make sales. If it’s another added job you will see no results. If the manager makes more $ then its worth their time. Just my 2c


#18

JoelE,

My experience has been that the managers have a mixed set of abilities, and none of them have quite earned their MBA yet. One of our managers would often “forget” to check the rent box so we literally had to call to ask him to check it every few days with an emphasis on the 5th. Eventually we gave up and stopped collecting rent onsite. He would also “forget” to read water meters monthly, so eventually we gave that up and installed WiFi meters that we read remotely. Other managers are more aggressive, but do not understand the paperwork. They really don’t understand the difference between a Lease Option, Rent Credit, or Mortgage payment. Because of these limitations, we have setup our operation so that managers do the bare minimum (hand out notices, take photos as requested, and unlock doors for prospective tenants), and the heavy lifting is done offsite 700 miles away. Doing it this way has kept things more consistent and professional, and that also translates to new home sales.

We are relatively new on the 21st program and have only put 3 homes through it. We ended up buying 2 of them as rentals and the 3rd was pre-sold to an existing tenant. The sale was initiated by our offsite team 700 miles away. In the future, we would like each model home to have a “sales package” that includes a brochure on the home, a description of the CASH program, and all relevant applications with a corporate phone number. That way, the prospect can take the package, fill it out, and the corporate office can assist.

One idea that we were planning to test was to offer new homes to good existing tenants and take back the old homes for new tenants. As the new tenants season, we would offer new homes to them too.

Good Luck.


#19

You do the best with what you have. Every time you fire somebody it’s a loss because you have to train up somebody new to replace the training that you gave to the previous person…So you have to have expectations that are reasonable for a person to be able to follow and administrate from 700 miles away. Salesmanship is one of those things that is very hard to coach long distance.