Manager's Idle Time

I just closed on my 1st park…100+ spaces, and am a little disturbed how inefficient park

management seems to be. I know it goes with the territory, but I have read some very

helpful posts on this forum and would appreciate your learned comments.

Right now, the inherited manager sits at his desk for hours each day waiting for either:

tenants to drop rent payments (some are really low income and pay in installments thru

the month) or prospective tenants to drive by and drop in (when most seem to be attracted

by ads and respond 1st by phone.)

I’m wondering how successful it would be to institute the “mail your rent payment” program

with the old tenants, especially since some appear to have no checking account. For the

old tenants like this, I envision the best I can do is install a drop box.

  1. Have any of you had bad experience with the rents being stolen from the drop box.

  2. Have any of you installed security cameras to try to prevent this (as a side note, I

noticed someone just put a BB Gun hole in the office window - another possible reason to

have the cameras). If so, how do you prevent someone from disabling them, ie hard metal tubing for the cord with a solar cell backup?

3 On a more creative note re: trying to reduce the manager’s hours & unnecessary pay: is

it totally unthinkable to consider installing a motion detector & camera facing the office

parking lot to notify the manager who resides 5 mobile homes away that someone is about to

come to the office (for unannounced prospects or others who haven’t already made an

appointment), again so he isn’t just paid to sit & do nothing for hours each day.

Final note: this particular manager is not computer literate, so tasks involving the

computer are out of the question. I am thinking of replacing him, but currently benefit

from his knowledge of who the problem tenants are, what things happened historically in

the park & his rapport with the “old” tenants.

I thank you in advance for your comments.

Congratulations on buying your first park. Welcome to the insanity. :wink:

I think it highly likely that you need to part ways with this manager. You need a manager who fully computer literate.

This means they can:

  1. use their smart phone to snap a quick photo of damage to a home and text it to you, and

  2. fill out a rent roll Excel spreadsheet on the computer and email it to you

Learn what you can from this manager over the next month, get copies of all the leases, keys, stories on tenants, etc. and then take the park in a new direction.

FMV pay for a manager is roughly:

  • $10/lot that has a ROH on it

  • $15/lot that has a POH on it

  • $10/lot that needs to be mowed

  • Perhaps free lot rent (not for home, just lot rent)

At no time should you ever pay a manager hourly. Pay for results and workload (regardless of hours it takes to complete - this will encourage efficiency). Bonuses haven’t tended to work well for us. Although managers are not rich, and certainly could use the money, they tend to take on the role of park manager more because they have pride in their community and want the ‘power’ to make it better as the manager. (But I’d be very eager to hear other owners’ experience on the matters of bonuses.)

Find your next manager by looking through the park and offering the role to whomever has the nicest-looking house, yard, and car. You want to screen for a person with pride of ownership. But be sure to then screen for computer skills - just ask them to show you their phone and ask if they have email set up through their phone.

To your continued success,


Good info thanks Jefferson

What’s amazing is that a lot of the largest park operators still operate under this inefficient system – paying a manager to watch television all day and then go home when the tenants finally arrive after 5 and need the manager. It’s time for your manager to get a real job and let somebody else pay them for doing nothing.


Great info!

We have 2 communities within 5 miles of each other. We need to hire new managers for both communities or 1 manager for both. It would be nice to find one person to manage both but it is over 622 sites. Thoughts?

Tucker -


600+ spaces is probably going to need 2 managers, but the quality of the tenant base will determine your needs. If all 622 tenants are seniors paying $400+/mo. lot rents only (e.g. high quality, low turnover residents who own their own mobile homes), then one manager might be able to handle 600+ spaces. If you’ve got 622 tenants that rent 622 mobile homes from you and are ‘all-ages’ families with kids that vandalize the park and parents that come-and-go with the wind, then you might need 3 managers (plus a crew of 5 to be constantly rehabbing the damaged mobile homes).

Assuming your situation is somewhere in-between, then a fair budget for management (not including a rehab crew) is $622x$12.50 = $7,775/month, or roughly $90,000/year. At that budget you’ll definitely be able to afford 2 managers at around $45,000/year. For that pay grade, you should have no difficulties finding people that are officially trained, very computer literate, and with prior experience managing MHPs.

I recruited a management team just like that two years ago into one of my client’s properties to replace the old management team that was stealing. We found the new people from our State’s manufactured housing association which has an online classifieds section. But we also found good candidates from and a few from I’d recommend using all three ( will get you more husband-and-wife teams where she does the management and he does the maintenance).

Good luck,


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Go with two managers – that’s way too large an investment to jeopardize operationally with just 1 manager. Get two manager who each live in their respective parks. If one manager is stronger than the other – and you really think they’re up to it – you could make one the manager and the other the assistant manager. But you needs eyes and ears in both parks.