Vacancy update


#1

we rented 5 of 13 empties this week since Tuesday. Two with one month rent and NO deposit, one with rent and 1/2 deposit and 2 with with rent and 100 towards deposit.

4 of the 5 are A-1 tenants…two had just been foreclosed on.

Have 2 coming in today and 4 on Saturday so we could be close to 100% in a week or so…OMG! Look how EVERYTHING can change in just 1 week!!

Funny side note, I was actually on the phone with Ryan when one of these tenants came in and funded. He readily agreed I needed to get off the phone and collect some CASH!!!

I used one of his ads and had this rental from it. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery right? LOL

An added benefit from being full will be to see advertising go from nearly 2K per month to 0…all profit Yeah !

We have begun to use a new tool in picking tenats…it was actually TJ that brought it up because he had an empty next door to him and family. We are ONLY renting to folks we would want living next door to us. Color, sex, pets, family size don’t matter in the least…in his words we need to pick tenants very carefully cuz this new tenat is gonna be SOMEONES next door neighbor. So young and so wise LOL. All 5 of these new folks are people I would have no compunction about living next door to. As several of you have seen i have 2 doublewides on my 6 acres along with my home. These rentals pay 1900 per month and cover ALL my monthly expenses.

A very sincere Thank You to all that posted emailed and called,

Greg


#2

Hello Greg,

Congratulations on the nice turnaround. It’s great to see.

What can you attribute the change in interest? Was it specifically the ads (you had a higher number of callers this week than usual)?

Or are you seeing some sort of economic shift in your trade area?

Thanks for sharing,


#3

we got into the real world. We have basically made move in costs affordable. In rentals the question we hear most often is, “How much to move in?”.

We’ve made it easier to move the right folks in.

and increased advert budget 300%

and shown homes 7-9 M-S

and tried running our rentals like a real business

and tried to new ads i got from Ryan

pretty simple stuff really…these 5 homes are bringing in 3150 per month in mucho needed revenue

Greg


#4

Forgive me for being a pain, but as an advertiser I’m always trying to nail down specifics in historic performance in order to evaluate the tools that we use.

I think this conversation is really important to have since you are not the only one that was having difficulties and others (such as myself) would gain from the insight that this real world example has to share. Let me be more specific and if you would be so kind to answer it would be helpful.

I spend a considerable amount of time training my clients and their franchisees to develop tracking habits that could literally save them thousands of dollars a year. So let me try this on you.

  1. You say you increased your advertising budget by 300%. Can you break down exactly what that means? In other words:

Newspaper Ad - Went from a 2" ad to a 4" add with color (was $75 a week, now $250, etc.).

  1. Did you place more ads than usual - in other words, usually you only placed the advert in one periodical, now you made it into three?

If so, I would suggest putting different phone numbers on each ad so that you can track the response of each publication. It’s hard to get a reliable answer from those who call to find out how they heard about you (and that should always be your first question to them), but when they call the 3rd number on your 5 line office phone, you know it came from XYZ Daily.

  1. Are you seeing more traffic, the same, or less traffic, since you increased your advertising budget? Are you keeping track of how many calls you receive each day? Again, this is important to know so that you can determine if the increase in cost was worth the response.

  2. What day did the first ad come out? This will also affect the response. In a test ad we ran we saw that more people would call during the week than the weekend. Your area may vary, but it was an interesting condition that I was not expecting. I was thinking that the weekend, when people were off work would be the real busy phone times. It was the opposite in our case.

The challenge is that when you get a good response all you care about is that you filled your homes, not necessarily how you did it. But I would suggest that determining how your filled the homes will lay down the groundwork for the future.

If you actually tracked the ads that you have placed, and where they came from, you’d be able to determine that maybe you should put a bigger ad in the one publication that was working, and not spend any money on the other publication that only gave you two or three calls.

I like to fish where the fish are biting, so I never try to force action from poorly performing vehicles. I’d much rather really attack the strong vehicles with better and bigger ads.

Simply put, if you had more activity this week on the phone than last week, you can ONLY attribute it to your advertising efforts. But, if you got more renters because of your new business strategy, then the increased budget in your advertising needs to be seriously reevaluated.

I hope I’m not being a pain, but as I said, this is a REAL important conversation to have. You went from earlier in the week being disappointing with the conditions, to now being elated at new results. That definitely got my attention!

Take care,


#5

Good on ya Greg! Congrats on getting the units filled, it brings a big relief to the stress. Change brings different challenges but it sounds like you and TJ are headed in the right direction. =)

“We’ve made it easier to move the right folks in.” This statement should be printed and posted on the computer screen of anyone with vacancies IMHO, this is what I’ve found to work boiled down in to one sentence. I love it!

Best wishes,

Ryan Needler


#6

“We’ve made it easier to move the right folks in.”

I like the phrase as well. Short and simple.

I also like this statement, “and tried running our rentals like a real business”

I think we often forget that we are just small business owners who are providing a service to people. Just because we “own a bunch of property” does not mean people just come to us with bags of money all the time! We usually have to get out there and work the biz just like a “real” business or service.

Congrats Greg!


#7

RE: #4 weekends are the slowest days for my MHP operation. When I was in MH sales lot biz(1992-2000) Saturday morning was the most productive time of the week. I think this a trend that affects other businesses; My father-in-law is a 45 year FordChrysler dealer and I have heard him comment on Saturday going from busiest day of the week to now least busy. Workers are more able to take time off work to tend to business, and they preserve their weekends.


#8

http://ocala4sale.com/real-estate/mobile-homes-dw.php

went from 2 ads to 10 ads 275 per month with photos

Ocala Star Banner 456 per month 4" ads. Running 3 ads

first question is ,“Where did you see our ad?”

About 50/50 but more closed sales thru daily paper.

Typically we run 500 advert each month this month in excess of 1600. It is paying off.

Mondays are our slowest Fridays our busiest. Rentals Saturday is VERY busy…we try not to work Sundays, but we will if needed.

Rented up one more yesterday and have 5 showings Saturday and TJ has 2…gotta love it.

Greg


#9

HI,

Would love to know what your ads actually said that bought people in. HOpe you can share that info to help all of us out here.


#10

WE HAVE SEVERAL VERY NICE S/W AND D/W HOMES FOR RENT IN OUR CLEAN, SAFE, ALL AGE PARK IN OCKLAWAHA, FL. WE ARE 10 MINUTES FROM THE VILLAGES, BELLEVIEW, OCALA. ADDRESS IS 14455 EAST HWY 25, OCKLAWAHA,FL. WE HAVE 3/2 DOUBLES FOR 750 AND 2/2 SINGLES FOR 600 PER MONTH. ALL REQUIRE A 500 DEPOSIT. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN A SAFE, CONVENIENT SETTING FEEL FREE TO CALL. IF YOU ARE ROWDY AND DON’T PAY RENT WELL PLEASE DO NOT CALL AND WASTE OUR TIME. GREG 352.216.2020 OR TJ 352.216.9919 Infinity Homes Call: 352-288-0046 or E-mail

To see pic got to:

http://ocala4sale.com/real-estate/rental-property.php#Mobile%20Homes

and look for ad in mobile home with red border and pic of kitchen with infinity homes address. here is another just below it:

WE HAVE SEVERAL VERY NICE SINGLEWIDE, DOUBLEWIDE AND TRIPLEWIDE HOMES FOR RENT ON THEIR OWN LOTS. SOME HAVE SMALL LOTS, 3 ACRES, 6 ACRES. WE WANT CLEAN, HONEST TENANTS. WE HAVE CITY (OCKLAWAHA) LOTS, COUNTRY LOTS, AND LAKE FRONT (LAKE BOWERS) PROPERTIES AVAILABLE. THESE RANGE FROM 600 PER MONTH TO 1000 PER MONTH. FIRST, LAST, 500 SECURITY REQUIRED WILL WAIVE LAST MONTH FOR RIGHT TENANT. PLEASE CALL TO SCHEDULE A SHOWING APPOINTMENT TODAY. 352.216.2020 CELL GREG/ 352.216.9919 CELL TJ. THESE ARE VERY, VERY NICE HOMES FOR YOUR FAMILY. Infinity Homes Call: 352-288-0046 or E-mail

A typical rental paper ad:

Several nice singlewide and doublewide homes available on private lots in Ocala area. For the right family we will make move-in costs affordable. We require our tenants to maintain their own yards and if this beyond you please do not call. 3/2 doublewides from $750- $1,000 per month. Singlewides from $550 - $650 per month. We will work with deposit for the right tenants and small pets are allowed. Greg 352.216.2020 cell. Units all have central A/C, appliances, decks.

The more info I can insert in the ad the better. One mistake I was making was overwhelming prospective tenants by giving them too MANY choices ie an entire list of EVERYTHING for rent. WRONG! If you show your top end homes, they compare this home to the one they can afford. Wish I had a buck for every time I have heard," I want that nice 3/2 on the lake for the same price as the 3/2 in the Park". We take the time to find out what they want, then determine what they can actually afford and only show homess in this range. I love tenants that know exactly what their budget can afford for housing…these folks are very rare.

Hope this helps,

Greg


#11

greg,

congrats on filling the park.  We took a similar approach and found that people really appreciated being able to move in with less upfront cash.  I have a question about your ad.  In it you state that your park is safe.  I am sure it is but what if say for instance a robbery or shooting would take place in your park ( it happens in the best of neighborhoods).  Have you guarenteed the individuals safety by stating that in the ad.  Just curious 

. I dont know legally what the term safe implies but maybe the lawyer types out there can help me out.


#12

Greg I noticed one BIG thing in one of your ads… “We require our tenants to maintain their own yards and if this beyond you please do not call.” the last part of this statement eliminates MOST SSI type tenants which make some of our best singlewide tenants. Personally I’d drop “if this beyond you please do not call” completely or change to something like “or have it contracted out”. I have to have my vacant units cut anyways so it’s very easy for me to add a tenant to a regular cutting service that THEY pay for.

I hate to eliminate people that might make good tenants before I’ve had a chance to determine if they might be a good fit. As a side note, I absolutely love the "If you are rowdy and don


#13

good point Ryan. In fact this ad has been modified for monday paper. The ad will read “Must maintain yard or be able to contract this out and pay for this service”

Marion County has begun ticketing yards with high grass/ weeds. Our set up crews are constantly cutting lawns.

SSI are very sought after in my area and are my most consistent payors each month…a parade of folks on the 3rd every month.

We will continue to modify and adapt as so many folks here are doing.

All of us still kicking have a lot to be grateful for, we will come out of this stronger, leaner, meaner. My HM lender bruce died yesterday, his son came by and I explained some of the basics of collecting to him. Bruce had a little over 4M out in HM at his death and I predict 15% of this will be collateralized (property used for collateral will be foreclosed and sold). He was a very smart lender…a lot of Banks wish they had this ratio and collateral to loan value (approx 9X)

Have a great weekend all and let’s all make some money next week!!

Greg