Remember what I wrote about “secret sauce”?
Yes, off site ownership was considered, but in some cases (using the secret sauce) it was a positive and in some cases it was a negative.
Remember that the principals of PFC were all long-time participants in the manufactured housing industry as community owners, retailers, and lenders. Contrast this to Green Tree or Bank America Housing Services, and many others who had no real in-depth industry background other than finance. They never knew what they didn’t know, and maybe didn’t care because of the way they took their bonuses, and they suffered considerably for it.
Here is an example: There was a good sized community owner with 6 retail sales locations besides their community operations near St. Louis, MO but in Illinois. He regularly approached me to approve him to generate paper for us in his communities and other communities his retail lots sold into. I regularly told him we had no interest, just as our Area Representative had been telling him. The St. Louis area Green Tree Regional Office did business with him until they had too many bad loans from him. When St. Louis turned him off, the Des Moines, Iowa office took him on. When they had too many bad loans from him, the Paducah, KY office took him on. When they were flooded and turned him off, guess what? St. Louis picked him up again, and the round robin began again.
We never did business with him and neither did Triad, but many others did. His credit rating and financials were great, but his ethics were not. Granted he had community managers and he was sort of absentee (not really) but all of his sales lots and communities were within a 50 mile radius of his headquarters.
From a lender’s point of view, the more factors we can consider, the deeper we can buy. We might buy in the low 600s in one community, the high 500s in another, and never below 680 in others. Now, larger lenders, lacking the depth of knowledge and dependent on low paid field personnel don’t do that, but smaller and more knowledgeable lenders like Park Lane Financial still do. Triad has changed its business model since the retirement of Don Glisson Sr. so they are less able to do this, but may be doing it on a limited scale in limited areas.