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?

Heidi

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.

Heidi,

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.

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