CASH Program and selling homes


#1

Just reaching out to get some of your thoughts and advice. I am in the 21st Mortgage CASH program. I have three homes in my community for sale. It took about 6 weeks to finish setup due to the harsh Maine winter. They’ve been advertised for about 2 weeks today on Facebook market place, Craigslist, and MHVillage.com. I’ve had a lot of interest from very unqualified people that I’d never want to deal with on any level, never mind have them living in my community. I cannot figure out why these three singlewides are not generating more real interest from legitimate people considering that the payment, lot rent, insurance, etc it is still $50-$100/mo cheaper than renting one of my POHs. There is a successful mobile-modular home dealership next door that has been there forever. This signals to me that people are buying these homes and there is at least somewhat of a demand. Looking at listings online, these homes are literally the lowest priced in the area and not by just a little.

The community is a turn-around park I’ve owned for over 3 years. I’ve put staggering amounts of money into it to improve infrastructure, get rid of old homes that are dangers and eyesores, clean up dumpsters worth of garbage, and in general make it an attractive place to live at an affordable price. The city is a midcoast town on the ocean and has a diverse group of large employers (ship building, medical billing, and huge bank corporate office)

In regards to selling these new homes, am I getting too worried about nothing? I know its only been 2 weeks. Does anyone know the average time period it takes to sell a new home? Any other advertising mediums that you highly recommend? I can’t believe people aren’t jumping at this opportunity.


#2

Be patient–winter time in cold climates is brutal for buyers also. In the last 2 years we added 15 sites and are full. Everyday we were posting on craigslist, and perhaps 25 % of people looking bought. As a suggestion can you use any sites for RVs? Presently we have 10 to 1 demand from RVers compared to MH’s–plus most pay promptly. Maybe your next door dealer would like to sit up a demo unit in your park and most MH buyers like it when all utilities WORK and be a plus for your and the dealer


#3

Hey Carl, Thanks for the reply…I had not thought of RV websites. Very interesting idea that I will pursue! Daily posting on Craigslist is a good suggestion too.

I did approach the dealer in 2017 about doing a lot model or two in the park. Their concern was having to pay off the floor plan lender before moving the home off their retail lot. But I do agree that buyers want turnkey (e.g. all working utilities) which is why I have water, sewer, propane, & electricity all connected and running. I even threw in brand new storage sheds.


#4

Thanks for posting, i dont have an answer for you on this but will be interested to follow it. Have you had showings on this or just message exchanges? Any feedback when they go out to see it?

Is your backstop on these renting them out? ( i know you dont want to ) i would give it some time. I do know that sometimes people sell homes when they start getting tax refunds in so maybe a bit more time. I would think the weather is also a little trickier but you probably dont want to wait until may or june.

Ill be interested to watch a little, they give you about 12 months to sell it, is that correct?

Please keep us updated on your experience.


#5

I mostly get messages from people wanting to rent-to-own or just rent (which makes zero sense to me). So far I have had 2 showings. I rely on the manager to do these since I live 5 hours away. Fortunately he is a former salesman from the dealership next door so I think he is qualified. The feedback has been positive from the two showings. One is a current tenant and the other is a lady in town who is looking to buy a home (stick or manufactured).

Although renting them out is an option, I intend to delay that until either the 12 months is up or if I am able to at the time, I’ll “refinance” with another floorplan lender and keep trying to sell. Renters seem to start off great and then 6-12 months in turn bad. I really want to get out of the two rentals I currently have. Both started out great, now one is making partial, late payments and the other destroyed the refurbished home I rented him. So…they’re both on their way out. I’ll drop the prices on any home down to the invoice cost or less before I do another rental.

Hoping you’re right about tax refunds and weather…I’ll keep you guys updated as things progress!


#6

I fully understand your concern, but there are some things you are doing that are contributing to your problem. While the internet is great, the stats are that on-line traffic to mobile homes represents roughly 75% of volume but only 25% of closings, while the old-fashioned methods bring in 25% of traffic but 75% of closings. I would rather get one walk-in a day from a sign on the street than 3 calls from Craigslist. The old-fashioned methods draw better educated customers who more seem to meet most mobile home park profiles and, as a result, buy or rent more.

So then the question is: how do I market the old-fashioned way. Here are the top ten methods:

  1. Resident referral letter. Offer all existing residents $250 off their lot rent if they bring in someone who buys or rents.

  2. Banner on your road frontage that says “New Homes for Sale from $___ per month”. Make it huge and obnoxiously visible. Put some feather flags along the frontage, too, to grab attention.

  3. Signs in windows and yards that say "Home for Sale (___) -____.

  4. Penant streamers on the homes to draw attention to them (in colors to match your feather flags.

  5. Clearly mark with easy signage where the office is, for drop-by traffic.

  6. Put some more feather flags at the office so you cannot possibly miss it. And make it look clean and inviting.

  7. Put “tear sheets” (8 1/2" x 11" paper with your offering and vertical phone numbers on the bottom cut like fringe) in all local laundromats and grocery stores.

  8. Classified ad under “mobile homes for rent” (not under sale, because mobile home park customers often assume they won’t qualify) in your largest metro newspaper.

  9. Direct mail campaign to all Class B, C and D apartment complexes with the headline “Why Rent When You Can Own”. Ship out at least a few hundred or more.

  10. Put up some bandit signs on major corners on weekends, just like the stick-built people do.

Now, that being said, you still won’t sell anything unless your manager:

  1. Answers the phone.

  2. Is knowledgeable on the MONTHLY RATE and not saying things like “the homes are $45,000”.

  3. Set up appointments

  4. Show up at appointments

  5. Have applications at the ready

  6. Have an erasable board that shows all vacant homes, # beds and baths, and monthly estimated cost.

If you follow all of the above, you will definitely get your homes sold.

However, Carl is exactly correct – you are too early in the season due to the severe weather this year. The prime selling season starts with tax refunds but does not end until about September. You still have time to make all this happen. You have not missed the season.

Remember that it takes 3 calls for 1 showing, and 3 showings for one sale/rental. Mystery shop your manager. Better yet, port the park the number through Who’s Calling and capture exactly how many customers called and listen to the recordings. Better yet, also call these customers and find out why they didn’t buy (you may hear over and over “the manager never showed up”).

Based on what you are saying, I’m confident you can get this turned around if you follow the above steps.


#7

Frank, I am truly appreciative of your response. This is exactly what I needed, given it is my first time on the retail side. Now I have a road map, a big project for this weekend, and renewed hope.

Thank you!