We are researching getting into owning a MHP and I want to be realistic as to what’s all involved in ownership. Is it realistic to think that if we were to get into a park of 30 lots or less that we could manage it ourselves from a distance? How much time on average do we we need to put in a week? My current critieria is 30 or less lots, within 4hrs, all ROH. With this makeup could we manage it with minimal involvement? Or am I being unrealistic. I like to research things before diving in! So any advice or comments from all of you would be appreciated!!
That is very, very doable. If you get a quality park (indeed all-ROH as you’ve indicated. Also, all city utilities, and lot rents of, say, $300+ within 5 miles of a Super Walmart), then you are dealing with a very high-quality tenant base.
I’d guess a park like that might be 1 hours/week of management, and another 1 hour/week for your accounting, paying property taxes, annually getting bids for insurance, trash, etc.
In a 30 space park, virtually nothing happens from day to day. So all you have to do is log in the rent (typically the first 5 days of the month) and then pay about 10 checks or less. You will have to file an eviction occasionally, and call roto-rooter frequently, but that’s about the bulk of your management duties. You will need an on-site manager (a current homeowner that you can trust to give you the straight scoop on what’s going on in the park) to be your eyes and ears in the park. You’ll need to visit the park every 6 months or so.
If you’re coming from any other business, this sounds like a fantasy. That’s what I thought on my first park, and that’s why I was adamant that I had to office in the park every day from 9 to 5, since I just knew that the business was harder than it appeared. After a year, I never went to the office again, as I learned that there really isn’t anything to running a park, if you know the right systems to use and monitor. Those are basically : 1) collections 2) occupancy 3) water/sewer billing and use and 4) property condition. You also want to work monthly from a budget/actual/difference format to make sure you are on-track and catch anything that is deviating from your original goals.
It would also make sense to give the manager a Polaroid Cube HD video camera with suction-cup mounting for a car hood, and have them video the park monthly and send you the memory card so you can download it and see what the park looks like. The Cube, including mount, is under $200 and this gives you greater mastery over property condition than an every 6 month personal inspection.
Thanks for the info
@frankrolfe we are considering purchasing your home study bundle 2 … i read somewhere in the forums that the purchase price will be credited towards a boot camp if we can sign up for one. Is this correct?
Yes, absolutely correct.
Do you limit the number of people in your bootcamp? And how much time before the charleston boot camp will we need to book 2 spots? We are trying to figure out childcare But are definately going to get started by ordering the bundle.
Our typical Boot Camp has 50 attendees (which includes both new students and prior attendees who are repeating again), which makes for constant Q&A and accessibility to ask questions on any topic that interests you. Our schedule is Friday 9 to 5 in the classroom, then a night session on how to evaluate mobile home parks quickly and efficiently from 7 to around 9. On Saturday we have 9 to 12 in the classroom, then we go out in the field and walk parks until around 6. We then have another night session from 7 to 8:30 in which we look at videos of various parks we own and discuss the various types of park construction and what works and doesn’t work, and then on Sunday we are in the class from 9 to 5. You can typically buy tickets up to the end, unless Brandon sells out before then. Our hotel in Charleston is right in the middle of the historic downtown, and you can bring your kids and swap off babysitting duties if you like – we are very flexible. Just let Brandon know what you need.
Although the time required that has been mentioned is realistic this does not necessarily apply to a new owner to the business. It depends entirely on the quality of community you purchase and the standards you yourself have for your new business. Mine is a 33 home community all resident owned and I found that for one reason or another I had to be there at least once a week initially to deal with some issue or other with residents.
If your community was a mom and pop that did not have a manager you will likely have your hands full finding/training/firing/finding/training etc. until you actually have a competent reliable person.
If your desire is to collect rent and nothing else then regular managing of your manager is all that is required in addition to the above mentioned responsibilities and you can let the “inmates run the camp” so the speak.
My community is very easy to operate and I would say even being self managed I would not need to be there more than once every couple of weeks to check things out, do water testing and spend the day with minor small improvements, resident issues etc.
I am a bit surprised that lawsuit is not a big part for owners of MHPs from the comments in this thread. That is counter intuitive
One of my acquaintances who owns a few hundred of apartment units in San Jose (Northern California). He is in his 70s. He told me that he had been involved in a few dozens of lawsuits in the last five years or so, and he had to learn how to file motions himself, because once you hire an attorney, you will have to spend a lot of money. You lose financially even if you win the lawsuits. Trial lawyers are like hungry hyenas, are in constant search of asset rich owners. The judicial system is totally corrupt (all the judges). He filed over 50 motions to vacant judge rulings, and they all expired without further challenges from the judges.
We’ve owned parks for 20 years and currently own over 170 of them and, in all that time, we’ve never had a lawsuit that went to court. That’s not to say that we don’t have tenants who file insurance claims on slip and falls, etc., but we carry plenty of insurance and it’s not a big deal. Most of the nasty lawsuits in the industry are the result of slumlording or having no systems in place to monitor managers. For example, the largest lawsuit I’m aware of from a park owner is a case in which a renter (the park owner owned the home) had his A/C break and the owner, rather than fix it, let it stay broken hoping the guy would quit complaining and it would get colder out. In the interim the guy died of heat stroke. On top of that, he had virtually no insurance. The key to not having legal problems is to 1) proactively make sure you’re not doing anything wrong 2) carry plenty of insurance. Dumb park owners fail to do one of those two things and the dumbest are the ones that don’t do either.