Frank - mhp vs billboards



In January I bought a small business and immediately started to advertise through various media like newspapers, Yellow Pages, etc. I was curious about billboard rates but found no information in my town, mostly because I did not know where to look. So I got on the Internet & looked around. Your book, “Big Profits From Big Signs”, quickly popped up. I was not sure it was the correct Frank Rolfe but a few minutes of research convinced me that it was really you. So I bought the book and am just finishing it.

The book is fascinating. You really have a grasp of an investment area that I knew nothing about. Most investors have no idea about it either; I mentioned it to a friend who is a very capable investor & got a blank stare. To use a 1960’s expression, the book really raised my consciousness about billboards. Now I pay attention when I drive around town. There are people making tons of money and almost nobody knows it. For example, I recently drove to a city of 100k. The main commercial street consists of 8 lanes of shopping centers, restaurants, motels, and every big box store you can imagine. About 3 miles away on the interstate I noticed a set of billboards in the distance, about 200 yards from the interstate. They were still very visible from the road because the land was flat farm land and the signs were first class: large, steel monopole, v-type signs. There were 12-14 of them approaching the exit, all rented to prime tenants like Holiday Inn and Appleby’s. It looks to me like some farmer either leased the edge of his farm or built the signs himself. Either way I am sure he is making a ton of money.

I assume you are currently doing mobilehome parks (mhp) and not billboards. Does this mean you feel that mhp are a better investment than billboards or that the market has changed? Based on my reading of the book, I would compare billboards to mhp this way: 1. It is a purely commercial market & thus much more volatile than mhp, which are basically residential. 2. It looks like a lot of work, at least in initially acquiring the sign and seems to have quite a bit of competition. 3. You are frequently dealing with government. It is probably the only area less popular with local governments than mhp. The good news is that once you are set up with a good tenant, it is a license to print money.

I am curious about your current thoughts.