Hiring a manager off craigslist

I had never heard of hiring a manager from outside of the park until the Affordable Housing Summit.

Has anyone done this and what has been your experience? What do you usually look for in a craigslist candidate?

I’m guessing the game plan is to hire someone off craigslist, and then move them into a renovated park owned home that they receive as part of their compensation?

I have a smaller 45 space park that is lacking in manager “talent.” The current manager is just barely competent enough to get the job done, and I would prefer to replace him. Unfortunately though right now he’s the best candidate in the entire property.

We have done this several times.

We always have lists of items that need to be done at the parks. Each park has its own list, and some things cross over-

deliver notices

print invoices

sell / rent houses


snow removal

weeds etc…

Whatever your list is- it is. We break it down further- daily tasks, weekly, monthly, seasonal, yearly…

Now you have the skill sets your looking for to operate the community.

For me- using the computer is important as is following directions.

So in our ads we request someone email us their resume, as an attachment. Also- in the body of the email- tell us why they are qualified…

This will weed out the auto reply people that submit just to keep unemployment benefits rolling in… We post in the ‘real estate jobs’ section- and in the ‘gigs’ section.

here is one of our postings-

Mobile Home Park Manager / Maintenance

We are seeking a manager / maintenance team for our community in …

Our managers are required to live onsite, and our compensation packages vary depending on the skill sets of the applicants.

This community has several homes that need repairs to be sold.

Strong contracting skills are a must.

We provide monthly pay, housing, utility compensation and internet access. We also have a truck owned by the park that can be used for park material runs and other park errands.

The total pay and compensation package value is about $25,000 yearly plus expense account.

You must be a STRONG self starter with good skill sets in management and maintenance / handyman services.

Please reply with something about you stating why you would be a good choice for this job, attach a resume and your contact info including phone #.

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Noel -

I’ve had the exact same situation with a small park I purchased last fall. There was absolutely nobody in the park with the skill/motivation level to manage the park. I did hire the one person in the park who seemed to have the skills. Turns out, he had no ability to assume personal responsibility for getting things done, and was the second worst manager I ever had. Looks can be deceiving.

So I’m now on to my second manager for that park. I found this guy off CraigsList and he does not live in the park. He lives a few miles away. The key thing is to hire for attitude/motivation. From what I’m seeing of this new manager, he has that. I’ve found that it is not that much of a problem if the manager lives off site, provided they are close enough to open/close available homes to get them rented ASAP, and to be on site regularly to collect rent. I also made sure he had the requisite computer skills (ability to text me photos, scan and upload signed leases, etc.) He has the right attitude and treats prospective residents well on the phone.

We are ‘upscaling’ this park by both renovating two of the park-owned homes, and infilling it with one new home. Newer/better homes will attract better-skilled residents, so I’m confident that in a few months I’ll have a new crop of higher-quality people in the park who could take over management if things do not work out with the off-site manager.

To your continued success,


We just hired managers for 2 different properties using Craigslist with good success. We had to go through quite a long list and several interviews but it was worth the effort. They were not from the community, although one has since moved in to one our homes. I agree - where they live is not as important as attitude and skillset.



I’m hiring a new manager at the end of this month, and the process always makes me uneasy. My park is quite far from where I live, so if the new manager blows out in a month it means flying 4,000 miles round trip again to rinse and repeat.

Anyone have extra tips to add for hiring a manager off craigslist? Things I tend to look for:
-Obviously, can they respond to the ad in a competent matter, attach a resume to their posting, and answer the questions that are asked in the ad
-Do they have adequate work experience that shows they can handle the responsibility required?
-Are they motivated?

Does anyone else have any other screening criteria they’ve found helped lead to the selection of a good long term manager?