The first


#1

Hello all,

I am nearing the point where I will take control of my first turn-around park. It’s quite a sight!!! Although, the infra-structure is strong, there are so many things that are screaming for mangement and oversight. Dumpsters are overflowing, tenants are not paying rent on time, etc…

I am voraciously reading Fred’s Blog on his early days and I have some nice input from the bootcamp on turn-arounds, However, I guess it would be nice to hear from all the sage investors out there who’ve already been down this road and might be willing to share a few insights into what they belive is critical to success during those first few days and weeks of taking over a turn-around park.

Thanks in advance for all the great advice I know I’ll get.


#2

Rooster

I am on the road (not down the road yet) with a 150 space turn around park. I can tell you in my brief experience that the rewards are fantastic. Just the part of taking a park that is run down, poorly managed and making it a better place to live is a great reward. It started off that my partner and I had to educate the original tenants on rules, then on time bill paying, then where the trash cans are located you know all the basics. Now all the above is pretty well under control and we have moved on to the more challenging part of buying, fixing up and selling repo homes. My partner and I live in CA and our park is in NC. The telephone has become one of my most used tools. I manage the buying, remodel or rehab of the homes from my office in CA. The biggest management lesson learned for me so far is trusting other people to do the quality job I want 3000 miles away and me not being able to go check on daily progress. I dont know if you are living near your park, but even if you are all I can really say is just get the big ball rolling with quality management guidlines,a sound business plan and enjoy the journey.

Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions

Good Luck and Congratulations

Rick Ewens


#3

Rooster,

Doing a not-too-bad turnaround community in Ohio. Just got back from the boot camp and then time at the park, as a matter of fact. Here is what I am doing:

  1. Get rid of the physical garbage. I had multiple haulers in the park and I switched everyone to just one company. They have a single-axle truck which is way easier on my roads plus they offered to do a community-wide clean up in exchange for a one year contract. Anything the residents wanted to dispose of they took and all I paid was the dump fees.

Hualed away one abandoned home and got title for $400 to another that is worth rehabbing.

I give people 2 warning notices to keep their lot mowed and trimmed or else I will hire someone to do it for the rest of the season and charge them. This really got their attention.

  1. My next phase is to clean up the human garbage. Attorney is helping with a new rental agreement for everyone plus we are sending out a resident information form to find out who and what homes we have. Planning to serve a 30 day notice on the worst offender in the community real soon. Other problem people will either fall into line or they will get a 30 day notice to move. 2 evictions should take care of the problem. I have come down really hard and fast about enforcing the rules. Have been told that I have horns and carry a pitch fork!!! My response is if you don’t like it you are welcome to find somewhere else to live. The bad people hate this but the good ones love it.

  2. Implementing new systems. I have a good manager who seems to know what she is doing and knows everyone in town. Sub-meters are going in now and all rent, garbage, and water bills are collected by Edison Micro-Utilities. There is absolutely no cash exchanged in the park. Lining up workers and vendors I trust and educating them as to what my expectations are.

  3. Work on physical problems. Most of my infrastructure is good but am installing speed bumps and web-cams. I, my manager, and the police will all have access to the web cams. I own the street lights and the poles need painting badly plus several of the lights need to be completely rebuilt. New signage is going in with landscaping to follow.

  4. Find homes, get them in, and market them. I’m leaving this up to my manager as this part of the project just doesn’t interest me. I gave her my Lonnie books and I think I created a monster. I’ll put up the money and let her do the hard work. Also, I plan to do targeted advertising to attract more seniors and fewer families. The retired people I have in the community are great and I want their friends. They own their own home and have a guaranteed income. I would rather have a community full of them than the same community full of LDs.

  5. When all the spaces are filled, I plan to develop 3 more DW spaces for which I have room.

Highly recommend you get yourself to a boot camp and learn from others. Tons of ideas from people who have been there.

Hope this helps.

Rolf


#4

Rolf,

 What happened to that single wide we were talking about at the boot camp?  Did you end up buying it and moving it into the park?  If so could you post the details for others on the site?

Ruben D. Flores


#5

Ruben,

Funny you should ask about that. Larry Adams and I are going back and forth on it this evening. Just got back from OH this afternoon and haven’t even had a chance to have a beer yet:-)

First of all, I gave my Lonnie books to my manager and told her about your and other’s success in the business. I may have created a monster. She wants to jump right in and start doing LDs with me putting up the money and her doing all the work.

Larry, I, and my manager drove a couple of hours south to check out the home. It was only 10 year old, 14 X70, 3/2, Skyline but it needs a lot of work plus it is down a very windy road with switch back turns. No roof leaks and vinyl siding that needs cleaning but the inside was rough. Front steps and porch in good condition. Mold behind the master bath tub. No skirting and A/C unit gone. Furnace in place but don’t know if it works. 2 X 4 walls with particle board floors. We could only find 2 soft spots by walking around but there could be more after we pull up the carpet. No pet waste. None of us really knows how to assess the amount of time and money needed to fix this place.

Larry made an offer to Vanderbilt of $500. Keep in mind we had originally offered $7,000. We figured we could do OK if we got it for this price or at least not lose too much were we to sell it for $15K. Have a park and a buyer for it about 1.5 hours north of its present location.

Vanderbilt came back and said $1,000 plus back taxes which are, if I remember correctly, $1,500. I am going to hold to my price of $500 because I don’t care if I get it or not.

No matter what Vanderbilt says, we are still stuck with no knowing how to assess the time and cost required to turn this place around. We’re going to see if we can get someone who knows about rehabbing to come with us to check it out even if we have to pay for their time.

So that’s where we stand. I’ll keep you posted as we get more info. I’m willing to go into something like this just so we can learn about the process as long as I can sell it for what I have in it. I’ll make a little money on the financing.

On a related note, there is a 14 X 70, 2/1.5, metal siding, pitched roof (not shingled), home for sale just up the road from me. Probably late 80s. Didn’t think to check the maker. No roof leaks and actually in good shape inside and out. The problem you ask? The entire home is completely covered inside in dog and cat droppings. I had to wash all my clothes to remove the stench. My manager took one whiff and refused to enter. The mover is asking $3,500 and I can probably get it for less. This may actually be the better of the two homes.

I’ll keep you posted and feel free to comment. We need all the help we can get at this point.

Rolf


#6

Rolf,

Sounds like your manager didn’t recognize the smell of money…LOL.

Here’s a product many people have used successfully to get rid of extremely bad pet odors:

Let us know how this home turns out.

Steve


#7

Steve,

Money smells like animal poop??? Now who woulda thunk that?

Had been told oil-based Kilz works well but I will check out this product.

Rolf


#8

Rick

can i get a copy of your management guidlines

Thanks

Brian