Marketing... (yeah that thing...)

I’ve had an epiphany and have come to the earth shattering and pivotal realization that I am not finding any deals because I am simply not marketing for them!! Duh!My marketing department is in need of an overhaul - in fact, I think it needs to be first established!I’ve sent out mailers here and there but try as I may, I lack the necessary consistency so I am reaching out to see what you guys do  to automate your direct mail campaign and/or other marketing efforts.Do you hire a part timer to do the addressing/letter preparation?How much do you pay?Where did you find your help?Use any software to manage the process?etc,etc…Much appreciate your comments.-hassan

I’m new inthe mobile home park space and my other interests take a lot of my time so I’m like the turtle. my first marketing effort will be to identify the owner of every park in a 25 mile radius and try to meet them. I would prioritize the ones for sale. Any suggestions are appreciated.

As a multi-park owner operator seeing a sales pitch every month does little to impress a owner to reply or response to someone he has never met or place his confidence in.    Places like the Park Store, Loop-Net etc. have most of the parks people want to sell and I am personally tired of people with little or no money wanting to buy multi-million dollars parks.  For some learn to manage a park first and than with EXPERIENCE DOORS WILL OPEN!!!    

If you find great deals, and have absolutely no money to close on them, we buy assignments of deals all of the time, spending around $300,000+ per year on assignments. It’s not a lack of capital that stops you, it’s not finding really terrific deals. There is a ready market of people, including ourselves, who will buy deals that have at least a 10% cap rate, city water and sewer, no master-metered electric or gas, at least 70% occupancy, and upside either in raising rents, cutting costs or filling lots. Meeting with sellers may produce that, so I would give it a whirl. But the focus needs to be finding and negotiating GREAT deals. If you can find a great deal, everything else will fall into place. We own 127 parks, and probably at least 20% of those were assignments of deals that we purchased. If you have such a deal, and are reading this forum, contact me at frank.rolfe@gmail.com.

Thanks Frank,Can you comment on the direct mail questions I posed above along with any other suggestions.Basically, I am looking for ways to automate marketing for deals. I think this is a weak link for most investors - at least for me.Thanks-hassan

Hassan, my Husband and I own 2 Mobile Home Parks (one purchased in 2012 and one in 2014).I am also a South Carolina Real Estate Broker.I am in agreement with OceanBay to:’…to identify the owner of every park in a 25 mile radius and try to meet them.'Probably most of the Owners will not be ready to sell that day.  However, if you establish a good rapport with the Owners, they might be ready to sell tomorrow or maybe next year.  Life is dynamic and circumstances change.Approximately four years ago my Husband and I started to study the Mobile Home Park industry.We then started to follow Mobile Home Parks that were for sale and what they sold for.My Husband then started marking every Mobile Home Park that he identified on Google Earth.  We would then go visit lots and lots of Mobile Home Parks (just to know what ‘kinds’ were out there).  Even on vacation we would visit MHPs.  For one vacation we were in Myrtle Beach on our way to a restaurant with our boys and came across an interesting Mobile Home Park.  We drove in to check it out, but turned around when our oldest son told us that it did not look like a restaurant :-).  We later found out that was the MHP where they had filmed the TV Show ‘Myrtle Manor’ (what a small world…we had no clue…it was just a neat Mobile Home Park to us…well not so much to our 8 year old).We also studied up on the cities and counties in our specified area to be certain of their Mobile Home Park Zoning.  We have known multiple people who have purchased ‘Mobile Home Parks’ with no Mobile Homes and the City has taken away their Mobile Home Park Zoning after they purchased it leaving them with raw land.Once we felt comfortable with the whole Mobile Home Park arena we started identifying good deals and jumping on them immediately (the two that were purchased:  one was on LoopNet and the other was on local MLS).Our first Mobile Home Park came on the market and a week later we were looking at it and writing an offer on it.  I remember that my Husband was adamant that we place an offer on that Mobile Home Park immediately (that day).  He was right as we found out later from the Listing Real Estate Agent that there were multiple people ready to write an offer, but they waited too long.I would suggest the following:1.  Get Your Finances In Order & Talk To Local Banks About Their Financing Of MHPs2.  Identify A Good Deal3.  Pull The Trigger Immediately (Write An Offer With Lots & Lots Of Contingencies To Get You Out Of The Offer If Need Be…This Is To Protect You & Your Earnest Money…Sometimes The Information That You Base Your Offer On Is Not Correct)There is the saying:'You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince.'Well, I would say:'You have to see a lot of MHPs before you find your gem.'We wish you the very best!

Frank, thank you for outlining your deal parameters. Initially I will be looking in Florida and the New England. Are these areas you would consider?

Kristen, thanks for sharing your experience. Myrtle beach is a great place, lived there for awhile.

We will look at deals throughout the U.S., but if it’s not something that we can use, we will gladly email it out to a ton of people for their response. But, again, the key is that the deal be hugely compelling.