Millennials thoughts on MHP

In our travels in north MO. we stopped for a motel room and asked a millennial what he thought about the local MHP’s and indicated with two words, “VERY DATED”. McDonalds’ is facing a similarly problems, VERY DATED menus and so-called junk food. We can ignored how millennials view MHP’s but their view is negative on the old dated parks with junky homes that are difficult to heat and cool. that look like owners are only concerned about their pocket books. I have no reason to bring this subject up except that this thinking is pervasive and for some a mobile home park is their last avenue to survive. Of course I am a minority that owns and operates our parks but when residents indicate they must turn off their air-conditioner or lower the heat in the winter because of $200 plus heating bills–I cringe. Yesterday I spoke with an mobile home owner that is disgruntled wanting to move his home to our park that is 25 years old. I say not interested in the old home since why would I want his old home in our park when he is driving a new $40,000 pickup. I asked him why he is not driving an old 25 year old know the answer. Just because you can rent out an old piece of junk (would you live in) does not make it smart for the industry as a whole. Just trying to have an HONEST discussion on a subject people are trying??? to ignore. Yes this past week we had 3 new homes brought in by TENNANTS.

Hey Carl, you know Mcdonalds serves salads and apples these days right ? :smile:

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Marvel, sorry your comment is suppose to mean what???

Carl has an interesting point, and one that will play out in the years ahead as more people become interested in micro-housing. You probably saw in the my newsletter that the CEO of Zappos now owns and lives in a mobile home park in Las Vegas, and has filled it with young people who find mobile homes an edgy, hip micro-housing concept. I think that, in the future, you will find parks morphing into different forms to fit their individual market. We deal in affordable housing – basic housing those who earn $30,000 per year or less – and their needs are basic shelter at an affordable price. They don’t care much about how we get that job done, and old homes are more than acceptable. However, I have also been in old parks in California that have been re-formed into Architectural Digest-worthy concoctions of micro-housing concepts. I am greatly optimistic that there is indeed new blood coming into this space via the micro-housing fascination. But I think it will turn out different in every market.

Just making an observation… you said McDonalds has a dated menu with junk food choices but that is being updated, or there have been updates so I would argue to say they are not dated but adjusting with the times… You will also notice that they have really been pushing McCafe over the years. I don’t follow McDonalds so this is just an outsiders guess but I would venture to say McCafe probably generates enough revenue in to be worthwhile as pushing drinks that would compete with coffee chains such as Starbucks as well as getting them to come to McD’s instead of another coffee house in hopes of purchasing breakfast items. Gourmet Burgers have also become more in demand ( Smash Burger, Burger Fi, Tom and Eddies ( started by former McD’s execs) and if Im not mistaken, McDonalds also has an increasing selection of gourmet style burgers. To me this all sounds like a company who is doing an ebb and flow based on what the market wants and is staying current with the times. Though maybe todays snapshot has them lagging an inch or two behind in sales /NOI, i would guess it evens out if we stretch the graph far enough.

The CEO of Zappos mobile home park is filled with Airstreams, which cost a bit more than most mobile homes we are interested in. I also came across another micro-housing concept. A guy placed small storage containers in a warehouse & rents them out to people to live in. Fully functional/livable storage containers. If I remember correctly, they share common areas, bathroom and kitchen. I’m not sure pricing and the target market for those storage containers. But many changes and people are creating new ideas to appeal to everyone because of the “trailer” stigma. I tried to convince my wife to move into a mobile home on our own land to cut our home bill in half. But in the end, happy wife is a happy life. Even a high end or mobile home that looked like a regular house she wouldn’t consider. With that being said, I still think there will continue to be a market for mobile homes (the kind we are in to). But people in this industry have to get creative to draw people in & make them forget about the stigma. And I truly believe it is possible. The Zappos CEO didn’t just set up a bunch of Airstreams and call it a day. He created a community out of it where the residents of his Airstream community get together & enjoy life. It is a place they can go relax and enjoy. He is a millionaire, has a pet llama, and lives in the community. I think anyone can buy a bunch of old trailers and get renters. But I like to think of this as more of an art. Of course people are here to make a profit (including myself). But we are dealing with humans & families. I truly believe in making people’s lives better (even if it is in a $2000 trailer). We are in a position to do this & I truly believe profits will follow. Easier said than done, I understand. But there is more to this industry than renting out a mobile home & the CEO of Zappos is a good example of an innovative idea that does more than just that.

The price range on homes is quite broad and appeals to a broader range of owners than simply the lowest income. It is not necessary for a community owner to target only the lowest income bracket and they can easily upgrade to the lower end of the middle income group if desired. This group has the potential to have there income keep up with the cost of living whereas the lower income bracket struggles to do so. This provides better financial protection for the community owners.
Lot rents can be roughly the same therefor targeting a higher income bracket with nicer more expensive homes should not be that difficult to achieve over time.
I believe it is time to break into the middle class market by upgrading our communities and provide higher quality affordable housing to that demographic.
There are successful communities providing quality affordable housing for the middle class and I believe it’s time we in the business turn the market entirley in that direction.

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We just had our first Tiny House Jamboree here in Colorado with over 10,000 people in attendance. The turnout surprised everyone. It seems there is clearly a move toward smaller homes among millenials (as well as other age groups).

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In the Pacific NW, they are willing to buy or build their own tinies, rather than pay a 1/3 of the cost of a park model that is twice as big and towable. We placed in the top ten for fastest growing rent and inventory deficiencies for demand. Even Tinies are finding it hard to find a space to park. Portland has been seeing a big move to Tinies/Truck mobile businesses (shoes, food, thrift, etc.)