Psychology of a MHP turnaround

Although I have been a part-time real estate investor for about twenty years, I have been doing mobile home park (MHP) investing for only a year and a half now. One of my great surprises was the psychological and social element of mobile home parks. Since I’m pretty cheap (or thrifty) and conservative, the three parks I’ve purchased have all been distressed and at least half empty.

I am interested in others’ experiences here. My tentative conclusions are that tenants in a half full, distressed MHP are entirely different than those of a full park. Tenants in a half-full park think they have a lot of leverage with you and ask for a lot of stuff and also regularly threaten to leave if you do bad stuff to them (like ask for the rent without extreme courtesy). Since the park has lots of vacancies they also seem to feel as if they place is not that desirable as well. The negative grapevine also seems alive and well in a half-full MHP.

Tenants in a full park still make requests but don’t always expect to get their way. They also don’t threaten to leave (as I’m guessing they figure you don’t really care if they do). They also seem to like you and the place better since, I’m assuming, they believe the place is full because it’s a nice place to be and therefore you must be doing a good job.

I’m only basing my conclusions on a few of my own experiences. I would really enjoy hearing the experiences of others. By the way, one of my parks is definitely at that half-full stage and darn, it’s not all that fun. A challenge, yes, but fun, definitely no.