Poaching another park's homes

I’m looking at a smaller park. The permit is for 30 homes total. There are a lot of things that I like about it. I’ve made an offer of a day one 9.5 CAP. It’s a working class town, so rents are lower. Lot rent is $275 at this park, and tenants pay water. The town’s SFR is around $120K but you can find some older homes that are a lot less.
Anyway, this park is only half full. I REALLY don’t want to own homes, but could probably be suckered into it. Anyway, in my estimation this is probably the second or third nicest park in town. The population is 30,000 and stable. Anyhow, now that I have painted a picture about the subject property, and the market in general, here is my question;
There are some parks that are really rough in town. I’ve spoken to some MH movers and they say that one park in particular has people fleeing. Ironically the scary park gets $10 more per month. However, I’m looking to fill lots at the moment, not raise rents. Does anyone have any experience targeting tenant owned homes in competing parks? I’m going to stick to my guns in terms of screening tenants, but I’m willing to really wheel and deal when it comes to tenants moving their homes into my park. If I could poach another park or two’s tenants via direct mail (or any other suggestion that isn’t going to get me in trouble) and fill my park it would really help my family out. I’m thinking I pay half the moving costs and give them 3 month half price rent? I was also thinking about just trying to get home owners on the phone, and seeing what they wanted to move their home. Please feel free to ask any questions, or pm me if you would like to answer privately.

I don’t advocate this practice but a bandit sign placed strategically across the street from the exit will likely get you some action in addition to the direct mail. We sometimes do this to Class C apartment complexes and have had some pretty good success with it. Never in front of a neighboring park though. We actually value the relationships we’ve made with other owners in the market we own in.

Thanks for the response. I was thinking more in terms of trying to target the owner’s of personal property (trailer homes) and not so much targeting geographic spaces. I like the way you think though. I agree that making nice with other park owners in your area would be very beneficial.

I would suggest you avoid tenants from the other parks. Scary people live in scary parks even if they are trying to get out. They will not pass your screening, if they do it is because they have slipped something by you and you will be sorry you let them in.
Do not waste your time trying to attract them or your park will become the scary park in very short order.
The tenants in those parks are what make the park scary.

Completely agree with Greg on this one. One of our parks is a 1 star park… The inherited tenants we have there would never pass muster in our other parks. They are the biggest pain in the ass tenants I’ve ever experienced and I often times regret buying the park even though we completely stole it.

2 separate issues here.

  1. If your going to target a park to try to pull tenants over, you should probably pick a park that in general is not sketchy. If the tenants have long learned practices that are not conducive to the way you operate your park, you could well be filling spaces with tenants that will disrupt your order.

  2. Every home and owner has a story. Some people are trapped in a sketchy park.

In general though- if your looking for a ‘Rose’ (good tenant) you do not look in a baron field of wild flowers. You can find roses in wild flower fields- but they are few and far between. The highest concentration of ‘Roses’ are in Rose gardens. In general- if you want 3 star tenants- look in 3 star parks. There will be some 3 star tenants in one star parks, but you really have to vet well.

As a park owner- if someone wants to move to your park send you manager over right away to visit the home. Look at the outside- hand deliver the application so you can get a feel for how people live. Then you will have a pretty good idea if they will be who your looking to add to your tenant mix.

I pay for the moves if people want to head to my park- so I feel fully justified in solid vetting of the tenants and how they present to the community.

As too the comment about knowing someone with the name ‘Greg’. Lets add a few things to that statement and it might actually ring more true than you know… while I might not be able to know your personality based on your name, there are probably many things I could pretty accurately deduce based on where you live, what you do for a living etc. If you live in my neighborhood I know you hold your yard pretty clean- because if you did not my HOA would have you in court. I also know you either have a pretty good income, or at some point you have had access to a lot of money. I know this because the cost of the homes is significant. In general- If I was living someplace else and I hear my new neighbor was coming from this neighborhood- I have a pretty good feeling the house will be well cared for and my neighbor will be clean and quiet. Are there exceptions- yes. I can think of a few of my neighbors who I would prefer not to live by. In general though- I can make assumptions based on where you come from, what you do for a living etc.
Let me also put this forward. If I was buying a 2 star park and saw a home was trashed but had several brand new SUV’s and Sport cars I might wonder whats up. Something in that mix of assets rings funny. My mind goes to drug dealer. That might or might not be the case. In any event, if that situation did not raise a red flag of some sort- I probably have no business owning a mobile home park. Also- if I just acted on what I saw without investigating- I am equally disqualified. While none of us like the term ‘profiling’ being aware and diligent is just good business. Its good for the park owner- and it is very good for the residents of the parks. That way we are not pulling in a few bad apples and taking our good parks to sketchy ones…
that is my 2 cents- keep the change



Do you advertise or actively promote offering to pay for the home move costs? Or do you bring it up after a prospective tenant contacts you and then make the offer?

If you are openly advertising it, what methods work best?

How much do you offer? Complete costs, or up to a certain amount? Complete costs here, including utility connections, a/c hookup, skirting, can run over $6,000 in some cases depending on required elevation to meet the BFE.

I agree w other posters and would add that most scary parks were nicer point in time. It is possible that some good tenants got trapped there but most likely anyone you would want has already left the scary park.

In order to get them to move you would have to pay full moving expenses and maybe put them in hotel while the move is going on. I assume they are older homes and you have to fix anything damage during the move.

Poaching in nicer parks is a dangerous game, be careful. Move a home out of my park and I’ll target 3 in yours.

Spend your energy elsewhere.

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