How many units managed per manager typically?

What rule of thumb do MHP owners go by for number of units managed by one manager?  Is a husband and wife manager team preferred over just 1 person?  Do any states have rules dictating min and max units per manager or manager team?  Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. 
Thanks!
Jim Allen
 
 
 
 

For the legal questions, I would suggest you contact your state MHA. As far as the business questions, we have single managers that handle up to 500 units on their own. But what makes all management questions difficult is that it all depends on the geography of your park and the quality of your tenants. A nice park in a good location with quality tenants needs 1/100th the management of a rough-and-tumble park in a tough area. It’s like comparing the required police activity in your neighborhood vs.the part of town displayed on the show COPs.We pay our managers around $10 per lot. So in smaller parks, you will have to go with more of a greeter format. Big parks can pay big salaries and attract good talent. You just have to use your judgement on the best way to manage your individual park, and then adapt to what the statistics show you on that performance.

Frank what does that include for 10 per lot, is any park maintenance like mowing apart of that. I am using the 10 a lot on a property but management only collects rent paymentsand hands out notices, answers calls, errands when needed etc…I would say she spends about 10-15 hours a month for a 40 lot - mostly lot rent only park.In another park where manager does mowing and maintenance for the park of the same size I pay more but do not need any contract labor. Just curious

You are doing what we do. $10 per lot is for management and does not include mowing. When mowing and maintenance is involved, you have to hire someone additional, or pay the manager more money. We also pay more if there are a bunch of park-owned homes.I guess the key to all of this is that you have to use common sense, but realize that parks are not a high paying job. You would not believe how many parks we have bought that had the manager earning $100,000+ per year. We replace those managers with people earning 25% of that or less. How did the old mom & pop get that screwed up on compensation? Normally they hired the manager correctly at around $20,000 per year, but then they give them a raise every year (compounding for 20 years) and then, at some point, the manager cons them into thinking they have to provide health insurance (and that takes on maybe $10,000 per year in some cases). The end result is that they are paying a ridiculous amount, yet they don’t have the heart to fire the manager so they just keep on doing it.Is the mobile home park industry alone in this issue? No way. Have you checked out the average CEO compensation in the U.S.? How many bankrupt companies are paying the CEO $20 million a year? Look at the progression of how that happened. It’s no different than a park.

Thanks Frank, I’m getting a picture now of what and who a park manager is.  I also read most of the articles on the articles page which helps a lot.  I got your 10/20 book last night and started reading it as well and it is very interesting.  After buying a park it seems best to find new managers unless the existing manager seems like, and says that, he’s completely willing to change direction to your new course of action.
I agree also that many CEOs are overpaid, probably only the big fund managers can do anything about those pay scales, though, since the boards grant them.  Those pay checks are worrisome for small people like me.
Jim Allen

I hired a husband-and-wife management/maintenance team into one of my clients’ properties back in 2010, and it worked out well.  This is a 5-star park here in California with 150 pads.  (Sam Zell would drool over it).  The lot rents are nearly $500/mo. and the park is immaculate.  The wife does the usual management duties, and the husband does (most of) the maintenance (including pool open/close and water/chlorine sampling).  For a property like that where the gross is over $1mm/year, and the maintenance needs are significant, husband-and-wife teams are perfect.  They live on-site.  We found them off workingcouples.com, although our local CraigsList produced decent candidates too.All that said, for most of the sorts of parks that those of us on this Forum buy (100 and fewer spaces, no pools, and lot rents in the $200 - $400 range), a husband-and-wife team would be overkill (at least if you pay them anything like a full-time wage for what would be a part-time job at such a park).  We hire a manger and then hire a General Contractor / Asset Manager to oversee the maintenance and rehab.  What we’ve found is when you try and combine both jobs into one, you get neither done well.So separate management from maintenance, and probably hire completely separate, unrelated people to do both at most ‘regular’ MHPs.Good luck,-jl-