Entering the business, what should I do first?

I plan on entering the MHP business sometime in the next year. I do plan on taking the MHPI class but in the meantime, I’m wondering what to do first? I’d like to work in a park as a manager to get a feel for the business from the inside but my family size is making that difficult…anyway, I’m mostly wondering what research I should do, while waiting for the class. Would it be helpful if I have read several books before the class? I may be attending as soon as May. If yes, which books would you recommend? and in what order if it matters. Any other suggestions?


Reading the books in the Home Study Course – which you should already have as part of Boot Camp – is a great thing to do. That way you will understand the material better and have more advanced questions at Boot Camp. I would also go on Mobilehomeparkstore.com and start looking at parks and requesting packages and seeing how parks are priced and what basic deals look like. If you read all the material and looked at 100 deals using the actual packages (not just the internet listing, but the P&L, etc.that the seller furnishes) then you would be off to a great start.

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Congratulations on your interest in the business. It can be a great investment if you are educated and prepared for it. As you are giving yourself a year to enter into this business my recommendation is to approach this methodically and with a plan. I do not think working as a park manager is necessary to get started; remember as a park owner you are working ON your business, not IN your business. Here is a suggested plan of attack in relative sequence. Note that I’m not taking into consideration your current investment or business experience.

  1. Education: Get the home study course (and go to bootcamp if you can). Focus 100% of your first 2 months on reading the books. Listen to the audio tapes every single day until you can hear Frank and Dave’s voice in your sleep. Read every single post on this forum and mobilehomeparkstore.

This step is the MOST important step IMO. If you decide to shortcut your education then every facet of your future park investment will be reflective.

  1. Deal Analysis: As Frank says, start reviewing every deal you can. You must become familiar with the various types of parks out there just to get a sense of the different markets, valuations. In very short time you will be able to quickly assess whether a deal is good or not. I’m not talking about looking at 50 deals. My recommendation is to look at every single listing on MHPS.com and loopnet - just do quick deal analysis on them.

  2. Define Acquisition Criteria: Please write down your acquisition criteria for your first park plus a short business plan or goals. It will keep you spinning aimlessly when searching for your first park.

  3. Identify Strengths/Weaknesses: Many investors think they can do everything - well, they can’t. Its important you are very honest about what your strengths and weaknesses are. Is it analysis, people skills, or organization? You will need to think about how to build your team to best offset your weaknesses so that you can do what you do best. This is also very important!

  4. Network: One of the things I love about this niche is that people are very open to helping others. Its not dog-eat-dog like the SFR investment world. I have learned so much from others. Try contacting folks, visiting parks and just networking in the business. The people are great and can provide invaluable experiences.

This is exactly what I recommend to new people looking to get started in this business.

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Thank you for the advice. That was just the thing I was looking for.

Entering the MHP business is an exciting plan! While waiting for the MHPI class, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Since working as a park manager may not be feasible right now, focus on conducting thorough research. Reading books can be incredibly helpful.

The most important item to study, equally as important as the MPH study course is learning your state LANDLORD TENANT REGULATIONS. For some very odd reason no one ever relays how important this is to being a landlotrd. Perhaps most do not want to consider themselves as lowley landlords but above all they are landlords.
Even if you are not self managing you had better know your state regulations insidout and backwords before going into business. Equally as important is connecting with other landlords in your area and attending eviction hearings to determine if your legislaters are pro landlord or pro tenant. This makes a major differance on how you operate your business.

I studied my codes and went through every case file I could find in my specific jurisdiction for 6 months before even considering purchasing a property. Not suprisingly I was forced to call on the knowledge I aquired the first day I owned my property.
Everyone goes on about how to buy a property and own a business but few shine a light on how to deal with the GD tenants and not end up in court.

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When will you have enough information to REALLY want to be in this type of business? Could you spend +$2,000, sleepless nights, hear others good stories and some negatives or perhaps have an open mind that you see areas that could be troublesome to you or your family. There are many different niches in this market and some states can be difficult. Choosing to be a manager for 6 months where you live could be a good start and might have nice deals come your way (from the park owner). Syndications, partnerships, or just owning ONE great park could be the goal—hard to set goals with no experience. We just jumped in with owner caring the paper and guided us to success but were knowable about the technical side and P&L’s(raised on a dairy farm). Starting out you will get your hands dirty and have conversations that are intense IF buying a ??? property. Buy properties that you would live in personably and be safe. Enjoy the adventure and if it does not work out move on–there are lots of other opportunities to make a very good living.

@howardhuang33 I bookmarked this; thank you

@Greg Which sites do you prefer to reference for state specific landlord tenant regulations and where do you go to find info on eviction hearings?

Your state should have the regulations on line for landlords to access as well as contact information. It is all state specific.
As for eviction hearings the site may also offer this information.
In addition you ushould have some form of a landlord association which will also be on line as well. They can direct you to all the necessary information.
You should keep a printed copy of your regulations for easy access when away from your computer. I can not over stress the importance of learning your regulations.

You should be able to find everything on line with Google.

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Actually, @Greg I’m going to ring my law firm this week and have an attorney send me relevant landlord/ tenant docs/ point me in the right direction to avoid a wild goose chase on the inter webs lol. Thanks again for all of your help on here. I’ve already started to send out dozens of “requests for info” to MHP’s for sale near me. Bootcamp cannot come soon enough!

Also a good idea to go to the local police department or sheriffs office and introduce yourself. Doesn’t hurt to take them some cookies or cakes. No, I’m not kidding. Why? Because you now own private property. The odds are your roads are
Private roads and not public roadways. That means they can’t write citations for speeders, reckless driving etc. BUT, most cities, States have trespassing laws. Find out what the laws and procedures are for filing Trespass Violations. You have the right to keep bad people off your property but most of the time you need to serve them with a notice telling them they are banned from your property. I had people that got arrested on my properties by the police. I would go to the PD and they would hand serve them the Banned notice. If they came back after being banned they got arrested for trespassing. Know the laws.

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