How can I GET MOBILE HOMES to SELL as a Retailer


#1

We are trying to find the best route to provide mobile homes on our land. We have considered:

Buy Used Older Mobile Homes: (we own them) & Rent them out
Problem is, epensive upfront cost (12-20k)

Buy New from Retailer: We want to be our own retailer

So, the real question is. How do we get the mobile homes and become the retailer?

I understand we need to take classes, get licensed and permits… But WHERE do RETAILERS buy the actual homes and how do we know OUR OUT OF POCKET COST?

ps: this is our first park and we’re figuring this info out as we go along! Any constructive advice on the question(s) asked would be helpful.

Thanks in advance


#2

Every state has their own process to become a retailer, which usually encapsulates classroom time and taking a test, and then maintaining that license with continuing education - maybe other requirements too.

Once in hand you can establish a relationship with a manufacturer in your area to obtain direct pricing. The problem you will have is that most manufacturers already have pretty decent geographic coverage and don’t want additional retailers to cannibalize their existing retailer operations. So you have to find a smaller retailer that wants to expand to your area and does not have existing operations there. They may also have other sales criteria, like a floor, for it to be worth their time and effort to invest in the relationship.

Each manufacturer has their own process to get in touch with their Retail division. Fleetwood for example is simple - they have a website: https://www.fleetwoodhomes.com/contactus/retail-distributor/.
Figure out who will Sponsor you as a retailer first before taking time to get your retailer’s license.

You will find out that being a retailer still requires you to float your inventory costs. Your out of pocket compared to rehabbing a used home will be the same or greater, so I am not sure you’re really getting the benefit of spending less money…you’re just getting a better deal on a new home.


#3

I had the same issue and having done both, I would go with new homes only. I rehabbed 2 older homes (1987 & 1989) and spent $11k & $22k respectively including purchase, setup, and repairs. One needs a new roof, and just found out the other needs a new furnace. The more work I did the more problems we found and more money was put into them since I won’t sell an inferior product while I’m trying to attract a better class of tenant.

Long story short I got my dealer license which was very quick and easy to do in Maine. I needed a sponsor and an hour long online class (PowerPoint and test) and some paperwork. Signed up with 21st Mortgage CASH program and got 3 new homes brought in and set up. The only out of pocket was for the set up which totaled about $23k for all 3 homes combined. They reimbursed it all and now I’ve got some new homes for sale and there was no guessing on costs (invoice, transport, and setup). As of yesterday I have one new one and one used one sold. The new one sold at a small profit and the used one sold at a huge loss since I had to put more money into it than it was worth. The 21st Mortgage program was the best way for me to fill 7 lots and provided the least headaches and basically no out of pocket costs. I’m not making a huge profit on the sales but that’s not the goal, I’m looking for a full park and lot rents. So far I’m very happy with this route I’ve taken and I am attracting better buyers who want newer and nicer homes.

No matter what, I’d always choose the closest manufacturing plant possible because the lower the transport costs are, the more competitive you can be. It really makes a big difference.