Thinking out loud

While I remain committed to finding that park, I am contemplating purchasing a sfh or two. Comments either way?

Live in a suburb (50k) of a larger city, no crime and great schools.

Don’t.  1. SFHs, on average, are not as good of an investment as MHPs2. The only way to be successful in life is to focus.  The deal sourcing, financing, partnering, customer base, etc. of SFHs are sufficiently different that you’ll dilute yourself trying to learn and do well at that business.Pick one or the other.  Do it well.My 2 cents worth,-jl-

If you are considering looking at a park and you think that is the right business, do not get side tracked.  As jefferson notes, it will pull your attention as well as your capital.  The more parks you look at and start to negotiate on , will hone your experience to identify a good opportunity.  Focus your efforts on one park, identify your goal, plan , as well as an approximate time frame.  Its better to wait to find a good deal as opposed to rushing into something.  You will make mistakes being new and your hedge is your discount you purchased it at or the upside you had with the park by making lots income generating or billing back water. Instead of dealing with SFHs just go over the materials here, bootcamps, read the forums, do the frank calls and make a point to review 10 deals a day and one offer a day.  I think by 30 days you should be have looked at enough deals and learned enough through that trial  to find something that is great, at least on the surface that would require a contract acceptance for further due diligence. 

JB … I somewhat agree with your plan. I continue to view offers in loopnet and mph, and continue to pour over the same deals. As most others have scanned these also, I want to prevent making a bad deal. I think I am also limited as this will be my first park, and my capital is limited. I probably have about a 100k to at with to get started. I have been Driving the area today to look at parks but most are out of my range. And floods a few years back wiped out a few parks.

What is your favorite strategy to find that park?


I’m pretty new to this as well, but I’ve been having some success with cold calling owners of parks.  Sure, I’ve been cussed out a few times, but I have also started moving toward some pretty good deals.  I spent about four months identifying parks I’m interested in (about 1,000 total) and I’ve scaled that list down based on who owns them and how it appears they are being run.  From that list, I’ve called 10.  I’ve sent two contracts where the owners have a couple months to think about it, I have another park owner who is all but certain to sign, and I’m going to be getting a call later on today to negotiate a fourth.  All of these are properties that haven’t been on the market in at least 20 years.  All are owned by owners ranging in age of 65 to 83.  All are run by these owners (very important because they seem tired of doing it).  All are under market on their rent and all are appraised for much lower than they are really worth (seems to disguise the true value to these owners).  The point is that you should learn as much about a property and an owner as you can before you make the call.  That’s pretty much my criteria for cold calling though and it appears to be working. You may give this strategy a try before ditching the MHP thing and tying up capital in SFH.  

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My real estate portfolio is diverse, as are my stock holdings etc. I look at all segments of the market as important to hold, and each for its own reasons. For instance, we own stocks, bonds, mutual funds and hold some money in cash. While each might not return the same- they hedge against each other- thus balancing your portfolio and reducing your downside risk. We own mobile home notes- lots of paperWe own single family homes as rentalsWe own multi family homes as rentalsWe own mobile home parksThere is nothing wrong with being deserve. Goals so far as investing are interesting to set. Many set goals concerning the number of deals they will do in any given time period… or if they have money in hand- they seek out a deal. My goals are not quite the same- I only do really, really, really good deals. You know you have one in hand when you float the deal and everyone you talk too asks to be in the deal. So my advise to you is, be patient, look for deals (in what ever segment of the market your comfortable in), and no matter haw much, or how little money you have- only do deal that smoke right on the paper they are penciled out on. Marginal deals will eat your time and money. 

Many of our best deals right now are coming from broker’s pocket listings. Don’t forget that approach. Cold calling is great, and so is direct mail. But do all of them at once to get really big deal volume going through your funnel.Remember that you only need one mobile home park deal to create the same cash flow as probably a hundred SFH in some markets.

Dean, I like direct mail to the seller. If you send 10 letters a week and follow up letter every 6 months at the end of the year you will have over 500 owners know you are interested. End of two years more etc…

Most won’t call back but you only need one or two deals to close on. Like all prospecting keep following up b/c you never know when they will sell.

And it’s low stress for you and the seller.

Do you leave a phone number for contact purposes? Does anyone get better traction using another method?


Frank gave a huge nugget- pocket listing from brokers are HUGE. Prospecting the brokers in the area you want to purchase in will develop leads. Lots of leads. When I am in the acquisition mode brokers give me the most bang for the buck. Also- as an owner of mobile home parks- in 4 states- I am contacted a few times a year by brokers fishing for listings- and it is the same brokers over and over. I get under 5 contacts per year from people looking to purchase a park. My parks are in Colorado, Texas, Nebraska and Indiana. I have never been contacted on at least 3 of the parks, for any reason, by anyone.  

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Dean, I leave my office number, cell number, mailing and email address. I don’t want to take credit, I got the idea from the bootcamp a few years ago.
The good ole brokers will put you on their lists and email and call a lot. But I think the best prices are had when you meet face to face with the seller.
It’s a risk if time and expense so you do the leg work first.

I am in touch with one broker regularly , but I do not want to be o e a pest . Is monthly the correct timeframe that seems to be just enough? I have also come accross a few brokers that do not seem to have time to reply to inquiries, or follow up emails.

Time to send out some letters …

I am reading the book and listening to the tapes, and was specifically looking for wording when soliciting owners. I could not locate and any suggestions would be appreciated

When cold calling: “I am interested in buying a mobile home park and wondered if you would be interested in selling.” That’s all it takes to get a conversation going. You’re trying to give them money, so it’s not like you are a salesman.On direct mail, basically “We buy mobile home parks” and a phone number will make your phone ring. Sellers will want to know if you’re for real and how much you’ll pay them.When you’re trying to give people money, it’s not hard to get their interest.On the subject of brokers, all they want is to make money which equals selling something so, as long as you’re a legitimate buyer, I’m not sure that you could ever be a pest – we call brokers all the time.

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