Database Build Guide + Which CRM do you use?


#1

I’ve searched the forums and listened to the MHU Podcast Episodes 88, 89, and 90 on Creating a Million $ MHP Database. Below you’ll find my summary and some questions for those of you who have successfully created a database that has converted leads into acquisitions.

My Summary of the Episodes

88: How to get/convert MHP Leads through Brokers

  1. Do your due diligence on leads in a specific MSA
  2. Search for and screen local brokers, interview them, rank them, and select one (or more)
  3. Provide screened/qualified leads to a broker and ask them to consistently follow up with Sellers to build rapport with owner, and be there when they are ready to sell, or convince them to sell
  4. Provide a due diligence template to your broker that they will use to fill in high level figures and provide to you for further underwriting (lot/rent figures, OPEX, lot characteristics such as water/sewer, etc.)

Tips

  • Clarify to your broker that even if you are not interested in pursuing the purchase after due diligence, you will circulate the deal to try and get it sold so that they get paid.

  • Providing screened leads to a broker who only needs to convert them is a value add proposition to brokers who are limited in time, and will see that you are serious in acquisition. Speaking from a position of power by structuring the conversation as “I am giving something (free/screened leads) to you” is advised.

89: Market Selection

Select market that meet your investment criteria before analyzing individual leads. Learn about the below line items by searching the MSA via bestplaces.net, wikipedia and other online sources.

  • Demographics/statistics (100k person population advised)
  • Landlord/tenant laws
  • Diversity of employers
  • Median household income ($40,000+ advised)
  • Average home prices ($100,000 advised)
  • Net immigration
  • Vacancy rates of comparable parks
  • Ownership profile of other parks in MSA

Tips

  • Your database should be at least 500 owners that you’re mailing consistently in order to achieve success. The bigger the better! Also, the more detail you have per owner, the better, so that you may segment your data and create more detailed marketing pieces.
  • There are about 700 MSA’s in the USA
  • Call the state’s manufactured housing association to get a feel for the state’s landlord tenant laws
  • Wichita, Kansas is overbuilt with MHPs and is highly competitive with large operators

90: Building a MHP Database

  1. Start with a list of the mobile home parks in your target cities/MSA via MHvillage.com
    Communities >> (don’t click on “showcase communities” as they are ads)
  2. Plot the communities in Google Earth (have a VA do this if possible)
  3. Do a visual scan of the area to identify other nearby parks
  4. Use Parlay 2.0 to overlay and get parcel data for each park
  5. Use secstates.com to get the owner’s name if the park is owned by an entity
  6. Use a US based skip tracer to get owner’s contact info and mail or call them!

Tips

  • MHPs are not easy to find via traditional sources like title companies or list sources you would use for SFRs or MF due to the large variance in zoning designations that MHPs reside in.

My Questions to You!

  1. What software do you use to build your Database?
    I have a pretty robust Podio setup for my development acquisitions work in Seattle that we’ve used for the past year with solid success. However, I’ve found it to be a bit laggy as we expand the number of leads in it, and I have concerns about speedy work in a system that is starting to lag with just a couple hundred leads (we only input leads which positively respond to our marketing)

  2. What automations have you created for building your database?
    I’m seeing some nice options to have Google Earth plot my entries from a Google Sheet which sounds like a good starting point. Need to figure out if this can be done in reverse. i.e. Google Earth saved places being pushed to a spreadsheet.

  3. What automations do you have for maintaining/updating data in your database?
    As owner’s change or die or parks sell, I would like to have my data set updated so that I’m not wasting marketing efforts/dollars on cold leads. Has anyone figured out a way short of custom web crawler scripts to plug into some APIs and clean data systematically?

  4. What marketing methods are working best for you?
    Email, direct mail letters, direct mail flyers, cold calling, brokers calling on your behalf, something else?

Cheers guys! Hope this was helpful and I look forward to your responses.

If you’re ever curious about getting plugged into the WA or PNW investing scene, I would like to extend an invite to have you join my Facebook group with about 3500 members. All free, and tons of value being shared there, just answer the 3 questions and mention MHU and I’ll personally get you approved into the group.

Onwards and upwards,
Jan


#2

Great synopsis! I’m also interested in these answers and am surprised that more folks haven’t jumped in here to comment. … Following…


#3

HubSpot is an awesome and free CRM system. Easy to import/export contacts to Excel. Has an add-on to Gmail which tracks email opens and lets you log to the CRM directly from Gmail. Really simple interface and intuitive to use. Can’t recommend it highly enough.