Owner Visibility/Accessibility for Park Tenants


#1

How visible and accessible do you prefer to be at your parks? Do you prefer to mask the fact that you’re the owner from the tenants so that a chain of command through the Manager(s) is always followed? How do you handle park visits, where you may we walking around the park and behind homes with the Manager or with contractors in the middle of the daytime. Do you opt for saying that you just “work for the Owner”?

I ask because being fairly visible at the park we’ve owned for 20 years has certainly caused some issues, probably more than it’s prevented in hindsight. On new park acquisitions I would prefer to maintain a buffer zone to the extent possible, as you can always go forward in that regard but never go backward. Obviously if you’re not actively involved in management of the park and paying XYZ National PM Service to quarterback management with your live-in Managers, this ceases to be much of an issue.

Curious to get your thoughts on this, even to the extent of forming an anonymous LLC, etc. to mask ownership even further.


#2

@keithme , as per your question:

  • “How visible and accessible do you prefer to be at your parks?”

My Husband & I own and manage 2 MHPs.

My Husband is physically at the Park and I am typically away from the Park doing the Paperwork.

We are very open that we are the Owners and Managers of the Park.

Tenants have both of our Cell #s in order to contact us directly.

Since my Husband has more “Face To Face” contact with our Tenants, he is the “Good Guy”. Since I do not have as much “Face To Face” contact, I am the “Rule Enforcer” (more of the “Bad Guy”).

This strategy works for us. I do not mind being the “Rule Enforcer”. It allows my Husband to be in the Park with Contractors and still maintain a “Good Guy” persona.

We are physically close to both of our MHPs and the number of Lots is manageable for us.

For those that have more MHPs and more Lots perhaps the strategy of “I just work for the Owner” will work better in your situation.

We wish you the best!


#3

Visible yes. Accessible HELL NO!.

I maintain that I work for the management company even to the managers and have never been asked if I’m the owner and have never volunteered the info. However, I’m pretty sure the managers and some others probably know I own it. No tenants have my cell phone number. No manager has my cell phone number. They all have access to a main line that will connect to me. Managers can also text me at that number as well. But NO ONE has my personal number.


#4

If you want to maintain a buffer between you and your tenants you do it through how you manage your business. If you feel you have to lie to people to be able to properly maintain your business separation from tenants it is most likely due to your insecurity or a lacking in business skills. Properly operated businesses do not require owners to lie to conceal their identity. Owners take pride in ownership and do not hide.
Some owners lie because they fear tenants or because they are poor at business management. If you are going to lie to tenants it is hypocritical to expect them to be truthful with you.
If you do not have the business skill set to properly maintain separation than lying may be your only option.
For my business operations I expect my tenants to know that my decisions are final, I do not find it necessary to hide behind any imaginary owner nor do I fear making decisions.


#5

As an owner-operator my residents have my phone number and KNOW I am the owner with the final say. Three different times have lived in the parks we have owned and was a great learning experience. Totally agree with Kristin and Greg’s view point. When we had managers they knew we were the owners plus the residents and we take pride in what we own and operate. The residents are our extended family that pays the bills and they know we care!!!


#6

Disagree- you want a buffer so tenants do not go around manager and always want special consideration


#7

“Disagree- you want a buffer”

The buffer is built into how you manage your business. If tenants are going around a manager that is a failure to properly manage on the part of both the owner and the manager. If lies are necessary to manage your business it is a indication of other more serious problems. I would expect of tenants not owners. Bypassing the manager should not accomplish any advantage for a tenant but does indicate that there is no system in place to teach tenants the proper system.


#8

We rarely get calls from customers even though our numbers are published in the park websites and in the rental agreements. Primarily because when a customer calls us directly we have a conversation with them and then let them know that the manager will be making the decision on whatever the issue is and that we will share the information they provided with us.

Don’t feel that forming LLCS will mask your identity. There are some possibilities to keep your ownership anonymous for a year or so, but the cost is high because you have to hire someone to be the face of the LLC and one lawsuit will open up your identity to the public. You also have to have complete trust in the person you hire because they will have to be the face of your LLC at the bank as well.


#9

I have not hidden my status of owner on my rental properties, and I occasionally get tenants calling me direct when they don’t like what the manager told them and I send them back to the manager. On my next property I will represent myself as manager of the LLC not the owner.


#10

We own a park in a small town where we live, and decided – after trying to be incognito – that it just wasn’t feasible or smart to lie about our ownership. So far, it’s been fine. The manager still does the majority of the work and fields all calls. I think the tenants appreciate knowing, too.

That said, were we to purchase a park far away and only visit occasionally, I would certainly take the persona of someone who works for the corporate owner.