Tag Archives: mobile home communities

Marketing to the Retirement-Age Consumer

 

The marketing and advertising world is ever changing, and something we hear quite a bit is that you have to keep on top of the next generation, making sure everything is new, exciting and changing with the time.

While these are important factors, in our industry it’s also important to maintain and customize your advertising to the generations that are looking to retire!

Some key details about your community, your home, or the area your home is located can be ideal for a retirement-age buyer. Here are some items you want to be sure to include:

Is your community an “Age Restricted” community?

Some communities require their home owners to be 55+ in an effort to maintain an environment suitable for this demographic. This is important to add to your community listing and your home listing. It is also helpful to note if your community allows exceptions to this rule.

Does your community allow Pets?

Not only do you want to include in your advertisements if the community allows pets, but it is helpful to detail specific restrictions. Some allow cats but not dogs. Some allow cats and dogs but only certain breeds or dogs of a certain weight. All of these details are incredibly important since no one wants to leave behind their furry family member!

Is the home accessible?

Some homes have modifications added to allow more accessibility for an individual who has a disability. If your home or the community has any specific features that would be helpful or useful for someone in this position be sure and include this in the description.

What is the community like?

We all have our own idea of what our “perfect” retirement environment would be. Is your community on the waterfront with access to fishing, or walks through a wooded path? Or maybe your community is a social one with planned activities and a game room. Either way letting the buyer know what the atmosphere of the community provides can be essential.

What is the area like?

Similar to the including details about the community, accessibility to grocery stores, shopping malls, cultural events and other local attractions are great details to provide your buyer.

While these tips might sound simple to include, they can make the difference in turning that interested shopper into a buyer!

Nowhere to go but up

 

mobile-home-park-investing

Kevin Bupp will tell you he’s in a better place today than he was just three years ago.

That’s saying something for a guy who’s spent two decades in real estate successfully buying and capitalizing on single-family homes, commercial properties and apartment buildings.

There are worse fates.

And, Kevin wears a big smile and readily shares his joy about where he and his associates have landed.

Sunrise Capital Investors is in the value-add niche

“We’re still small fish in a medium sized pond, because the industry is still not as large as it could be,” said Bupp, a resident of Clearwater, Fla., and co-owner with Charles DeHart and Brian Spear of Sunrise Capital Investors. “Manufactured is all we focus on now.”

Bupp and his partners are seasoned investors who purchase and improve what most often are referred to as “mobile home parks”, though a true mobile home, by definition, hasn’t been manufactured in the U.S. since June 1976. Since then, and today, manufactured homes are stamped for quality by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Some of the communities Sunrise purchases have homes that pre-date the 1976 regulatory change, but most are small to mid-size communities with homes from the 1980s and ’90s, some newer.

Their investment targets represent a middle-market niche that larger investors and owners overlook, though less so in recent years.

2016 Real Estate Returns by Sector

 

 

 

 

 

Value-add Niche

“We’re really value add guys,” Bupp said. “We are really good at taking a community that is in distress, but in a good market, and taking out the bad elements, bringing in some improvements and making things work.”

It’s a niche that’s gaining stability and wider recognition all the time, largely because the ROI doesn’t lie.

“It took us a year to buy the first park, then it’s been one or two in those in between years,” Charles DeHart said. “In the last 18 months, we’ve purchased six parks.

“We have five more parks currently in contract (pending sale) that represent 430 spaces,” he said.

Sunrise has raised more than $2 million in cash during the last two years from the attraction of 10 dedicated outside investors, and they look to raise $3-5 million more to purchase another six parks – perhaps 800 land-lease spaces – during the next 12 months.

It’s not BIG business investing, but it’s been shown as a way to steadily grow wealth. And, if you ask the Sunrise partners and similar investors, it’s a way to improve affordable housing stock – for the metro area and for the park residents.

“We’re in a niche that allows us to earn a very reasonable return for our investors,” DeHart said. “And also provide quality housing for people who may be coming into home ownership for the first time in their lives or even in their family’s history.”

How it’s done

They don’t buy through a broker. Brokers typically want to work with higher volume investors, and also make sizable commissions. Rather, Bupp and DeHart delve into county records within a geographic area of interest. They find out where the communities are and who owns them. If they’re fortunate, they find a phone number for the owner.

After that, it’s sales 101; they make cold calls, employ heavy use of direct mail and sometimes put out bandit signs.

“We typically have five or six unique owners in the system at any given time, and check back with them three to four times per year,” DeHart said. “It’s not just finding the right seller, it’s about finding the right seller at the right time.”

Often, they’re in front of a prospective seller before the owner of a property realizes they’re in a good position to sell. So, checking back often is key to being in the right place at the right time.

They work some of the prospects themselves, but commonly put out a post to acquire a “trainee broker” who can visit communities of interest, take photos and notes, and possibly make an introduction to get talks underway. That trainee broker also learns how to access county records that are unavailable online, and does this on their own time and earns a commission when a sale is made.

In training these brokers, Sunrise is creating more than a strategy, more than a company brand. They’re helping to build an industry. Along those lines, the three operate Mobile Home Park Academy, which teaches others how to do what Sunrise does. Charles and Kevin host a podcast on the topic, and also are in the final throes of writing a book on mobile home park investing.

“We intend to be in the business for a long time. We really enjoy it, it’s lucrative and we appreciate being able to provide a critical affordable housing segment,” Bupp said. “We only buy stuff that makes sense. If we only buy one community in a year, that’s good with us. It will be the one we want to buy.”

What’s the Deal?

Big Investors Move to Find Best Deals Before Market Levels

Lakeway Mobile Estates,Bellingham, Wash.

From Bellingham, Wash. to Newnan, Ga., Jon Harrison scans the map for just the right patch of land. He talks to brokers, scours county records and relies on whatever information he can gain from inside sources.

All in the name of finding the prime manufactured home community.

Harrison isn’t looking for his retirement place. He’s not looking for the simple yet ideal coastal getaway for the family. He works for Inspire Communities, not the largest of the community owners, but certainly entrenched in the top quarter of the industry.

A former broker himself, Harrison is in acquisitions, and always is looking for the perfect mix of placement and amenities that can be a great home for 200 hundred residents or more – and no less important, a stellar portfolio addition for the company owners and investors.

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“Location. Location. Location.” – Details Make the Difference!

We all know the age old saying “Location. Location. Location.” Are you promoting all the location benefits of your Homes or Community in your ads?

Know Your Location Benefits

“Promote your location benefits” means telling potential buyers or residents all about your area. Keep in mind, a large percentage of the buyers on MHVillage are from out of state, so they may not be as familiar with your area. Of course you want people to know about home features and community amenities, but don’t forget to include information about the local area too!

For instance, if your community is in a great school system, that can appeal to families. If your community or home is located near a popular urban city or a shopping center, or even popular restaurants and bars, those can be valuable features to a home buyer who wants to be social and on the scene. Access to bus lines can also be important

 

And don’t forget about those retirees looking for a nice quite place to call home!  

 


If your community or home has access to a beautiful body of water, or is a short distance from a relaxing park or hiking trail, you’ll want to be sure and include that information too. Even if you aren’t an “age qualified” community – you just might have the perfect home for a home buyer looking to retire. All of these details give the buyer a better idea of what their day to day would look like, which might be the little extra nudge they need to give you a call!

 

How to Advertise Your Location Benefits

MHVillage has Description sections for both home listings and communities. (Sales centers too, but that’s for another article all together!) This is the perfect place to tell people the wonderful features of your area. There is no word limit and home buyers on the site really do read them. The more information you provide, the easier it is for a buyer to sell themselves right from your online ad!

As always we are here to help, so if you would like to have one of our account reps review your home or community ads for you, just give us a call or email and we can set up a time to go through it all!

Industry Night At The Novi Home Show

You Are Invited:
Industry Night
At The Novi Home Show

Novi Home ShowMMHA will have six manufactured homes on display at the Novi Home Show October 14-16, 2016.

Suburban Collection Showplace
46100 Grand River Ave
Novi, MI 48374

Represented manufacturers will include Champion Home Builders, Skyline, and Clayton Homes. The manufactured homes will be completely decorated and furnished. Over 5,000 Novi Home Show attendees will be able to walk through them and learn about today’s manufactured homes.

Industry Night
October 13, 2016
5-7 p.m.

A special VIP event is being planned for Thursday,MIMHA October 13 from 5-7 p.m. Industry members, legislative and government officials will be invited to preview the homes before the show opens to the public on Friday. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvre will be served.

Please RSVP to Lauri Brantley, 517-349-3300, extension 17 or lbrantley@mmhrcva.org by Tuesday, October 11th.

MMHA Home Showcase is Open to the Public

October 14-16, 2016
Friday 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. -8 :00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Business Opportunity:

Within the manufactured home area of the Novi Home Show, booths are available for communities, retailers, lenders and related businesses. 10′ x 10′ booths are available for $750. Only members that have booths will be able to show homes to consumers. Contact the Show Manager Rosalie Lamb to sign up for a booth, (313) 600-5812 or rosaliel@builders.org. Additional information about the Novi Home Show can be found at www.novihomeshow.com
MHVillage.com is proud to be a sponsor of this fantastic event here in our home state of Michigan!

You’ll find a new webpage with all the home/show details:
Click HERE for information
 
We’ve also linked to the page from the MMHA website:
Click HERE for information
 
The MMHA Facebook page is highlighting the home exhibit and offering tickets to win! 
Click HERE for information

Louisville Manufactured Housing Show Expands to Meet Industry Needs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2017 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show Set for January 18-20, 2017

L17-logo-LARGE200The need for insightful, accurate and forward-looking information about the manufactured housing industry is the driving force behind recently announced plans for the 2017 Manufactured Housing Show in Louisville, Ky. The 2017 Show will be held January 18-20 at the Kentucky Exposition Center and will feature more homes on display, along with more efficient space for service and supplier exhibits. An expanded schedule providing a full range of educational seminars is also being added to the 2017 program to offer greater business opportunities to attendees.

The Show is sponsored by the Midwest Housing Federation, including its five member organizations: the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association, the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association, the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute, the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association, and the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association. Leaders of the industry’s retail, builders/developers, installation, and community management sectors will share their experiences and knowledge about all levels of affordable homes, from HUD-Code homes to spectacular systems-built housing.

“The Louisville Show has seen a significant evolution into the manufactured housing industry’s premier indoor housing forum, drawing an ever-increasing turnout from more than 842 different companies across all sectors of the housing industry,” says Dennis Hill, Show Coordinator. “Positive feedback and input from attendees is helping us ensure that the 2017 Show will be even better and offer attendees outstanding opportunities to benefit directly from their overall Show experience. With the Show scheduled the first month of 2017, it will ensure that inventory will be delivered in time for the early selling season and that everyone can be ready for the start of warm weather sales.”

As an added benefit, the 2017 Show will feature a much wider range of educational seminars tailored to provide real learning opportunities that directly improve business strategies and marketing outreach efforts. “What we’re doing with the 2017 Show is to spread the seminars and workshops from just two days to all three days of the Show, along with moving the seminars from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. each day,” stated Ken Rishel, director of Rishel Consulting Group LLC and chairman of the Show’s educational programming. “This change will give us a total of 6 seminars/workshops during the Show and give attendees more time to visit and see the homes and exhibits, while also allowing us to provide more meaningful and relevant information to attendees.”

The seminars will also focus on bringing in “more outside-the-industry” experts who can provide really important information on key initiatives that attendees need to adopt to be more successful in their day-to-day business activities,” Rishel noted. “We’ll move from the basics of marketing and advertising on the first day of the seminar schedule, to sales and financing strategies on the second day, to the third day’s look at what national issues and trends the industry needs to anticipate and incorporate to be more successful. “Our ultimate goal with the seminars and workshops is to expand our industry’s education and adoption of smarter business strategies in order to expand and accelerate our successes in the housing marketplace,” Rishel stated.

The 2017 Show will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center, with the Crowne Plaza Hotel serving at the Show headquarters hotel. “With the Louisville Airport a mere 3 minutes from the Exposition Center, there is not a more convenient show site,” Hill noted. “The people attending the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show are motivated to purchase homes and services,” Hill stated. “They have invested their time and money to be part of this unique show and they are decision-makers or have the ear of decision-makers. And January is the perfect time to get the industry’s new sales year started. They are ready to do business and you need to be there!”

The Show’s ongoing enhancement activities and initiatives will be announced as developments occur. The Show’s new web site at www.TheLouisvilleShow.com will include all relevant information and registration instructions beginning in early July, along with regularly updated announcements regarding exhibits, seminars and other Show-related items in industry publications and informational platforms.

Dennis Hill may be reached at 770-587-3350 or showways@bellsouth.net.

Questions relating to this press release should be directed to Bruce Savage at 202-664-4512 or bas0707@live.com.

KECnightLG

Rent and Occupancy Reports for the Northeast Region Available

Datacomp Releases 2016 JLT Manufactured Home Community Rent and Occupancy Reports for the Northeast Region

Datacomp, publisher of JLT Market Reports and the nation’s #1 provider of market data for the manufactured housing industry, today announced the publication of its March 2016 manufactured home community rent and occupancy reports for 5 Northeast markets in New York, Maryland and New Hampshire.

Recognized as the industry standard for manufactured home community market analysis for Datacomp logoover 20 years, JLT Market Reports provide detailed research and information on communities located in 87 major housing markets throughout the United States, including the latest rent trends and statistics, marketing programs and a variety of other useful management insights.

Datacomp’s manufactured housing market data published in the March 2016 JLT Market Reports includes many of the major markets for mobile homes in New York, Maryland and New Hampshire. Together, these manufactured home rent and occupancy reports track 106 “All Ages” and “55+” communities encompassing a total of 23,248 homesites.

2 Homes EntryEach JLT manufactured home community rent and occupancy report published by Datacomp includes detailed information about investment grade communities in the major markets, including number of homesites, occupancy rates, average mobile home community rents and increases, community amenities, vacant sites, and repossessed and inventory homes.

JLT Market Reports also include management insights that rank communities by number of homesites, occupancy rates and highest to lowest rents. Detailed reports show trends in each market with a comparison of March 2016 rents and occupancy rates to March 2015, as well as a historical recap of rents and occupancy from 1996 to date in most markets.

The March 2016 JLT Market Reports for are available for purchase and immediate download online at the Datacomp JLT Market Report website at http://www.datacompusa.com/JLT, or they may be ordered in electronic or printed editions by phone at 800.588.5426. Each fully updated report for mobile home communities is a comprehensive look at investment grade properties within a market, enabling owners and managers, lenders, appraisers, brokers, and other organizations to effectively benchmark those communities and make informed decisions.

About JLT Market Reports

For more than 20 years, countless professionals have trusted JLT Market Reports for timely and accurate management reports on land lease manufactured home communities. JLT Market Reports are currently published for 87 markets nationwide and are recognized as the industry standard for manufactured housing industry data. In 2014, JLT & Associates merged its resources, skills and expertise with Datacomp, the industry’s oldest and largest national manufactured home appraisal company and number one provider of market data for the manufactured housing industry, and MHVillage, the premier website for advertising mobile homes for rent and sale nationwide. For more information, or to purchase complete JLT Market Reports, call 800.588.5426 or visit http://www.datacompusa.com/JLT.

Meet Us In 2015! Upcoming Meetings and Events

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

MHVillage will be exhibiting at a number of conferences and meetings in 2015. All of these events have a lot to offer and we’d highly recommend attending. If you already have these on your calendar, let us know! We’d love the opportunity to meet with you there.

January 21 – 23, 2015: Louisville Manufactured Housing ShowLouisville MH Show

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is held at the Kentucky Exhibition Center. In addition to booths from exhibitors, it is a great place to see some of the latest home designs and home models. This year there will be an impressive 38 new homes on display!

For more information and details how to register, go to the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show website.

March 25 – 27, 2015: Tunica Manufactured Housing Show

This year the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show will be held at the Roadhouse Casino and Hotel in Tunica, MS. Last year it drew thousands of retailers, builder/developers, community owners/operators, and installers. It’s another fantastic place to view new home designs. For more information about the Tunica Show, check out this article by Dennis Hill, Show Manager: The 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Tunica Mississippi.

April 14 – 16, 2015: 2015 National Congress and Expo for Manufactured Housingindex_02

The National Congress and Expo will be held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. It is always a great way to meet Manufactured Housing Professionals from around the country. They offer a variety of special events and educational programming that make it well worth your time to attend.

For more information and information on registering to attend, go to the 2015 Congress and Expo website.

June 17 – 18, 2015: Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona Conference

The MHCA will be held at the Wildhorse Pass Resort in Arizona. If you are a member of the Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona, you will definitely want to attend this conference. If you are a community owner or operator in Arizona, but not yet a part of MHCA, you should take go to azmhca.com and see all that this great organization has to offer.

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See you in 2015!

Advertising Your Vacant Sites to Potential Residents

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

First, I want to send a big MHVillage thank you to Chris in Sweetwater, TN. Chris writes: Awesome job MHVillage…..What a website! Keep up the great work! I have now sold at least 6 homes off this site, and am about to list 3 more! Congrats on your successful summer Chris!

Earlier this year, I spent a lot of time at our industry’s trade shows and conventions. One question I often heard was, “How do I advertise my vacant lots on your website?” MHVillage has two great tools for promoting your sites for refill. Read on for more details, then download our white paper, “Advertising Your Vacant Sites on MHVillage” to share with your community managers and sales team.

First, tell us you have available sites

Log into your account on MHVillage and click to edit your community’s information. In the Vacant Sites field, just tell us how many sites you have available. We will add that information to your community. Now your community will show in search results whenever buyers are looking for available sites.

Then, Promote your sites with a Showcased Community

Showcase your community, then click the Promote Vacant Sites check box. That will add eye catching sales text to your community on MHVillage, so buyers will see it right away!

Download the white paper below for more step by step instructions – and as always, let us know if you have any questions. We are always happy to help!

 

Click to download our White Paper on Vacant Site Advertising on MHVillage

Click to download our white paper on Vacant Site Advertising on MHVillage

 

 

 

 

Smart Phone Shoppers – And Why it Matters to You

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

89% of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine at the onset and throughout their research.

Mobile applications are used by 68% of new home shoppers at the onset and throughout their research.

(Source: Google & Compete Home Shopper Mobile Survey, 2012)
Where Shoppers use their mobile devices

(click to enlarge)

More and more, people are using their smart phones to shop for homes. What are they doing on their phones? Well, according to Google and Compete.com they:

  • Read general home information (51%)
  • Get directions to visit a home (48%)
  • Compare prices (44%)
  • Compare features (35%)
  • Search a listing company’s inventory (35%)
  • Call a listing company (28%)
  • Locate a listing agent (21%)
  • Read reviews (21%)
  • Research mortgage financing (20%)
  • Contact a listing agent, other than by calling (18%)
  • Watch an online video about a home (16%)
  • Other (3%)

MHVillage has a mobile app designed for buyers shopping for homes. Approximately 7,000 people a day look for manufactured housing using our mobile site. There is a huge market of home buyers looking for manufactured housing using their mobile devices; let’s see how the items above specifically impact your sales.

Read General Home Information

I’ve written about this before, but home descriptions matter. Let me give you two examples of homes that are on the site right now.

House One:

BEAUTIFUL VIEWS WITH WELL MAINTAINED MANUFACTURED HOME WITH GARAGE. LOCATED IN A 5 STAR COMMUNITY. PRICE TO SELL HAVE TO SEE TO BELIEVE CALL XXX-XXX-XXXX

House Two:

This beautiful home has over $60,000 in upgrades. tile floors throughout, tile counters, additional tiled & lighting above & below plant shelves in living room, bedroom & bath. Every room has fans & are wired for phones & Internet except baths, dining room & kitchen. This house is handicap friendly with raised toilets, vanities and an entrance ramp. A hobby room off the master with 7 cabinets & 3 banks of drawers.  5 cabinets in the Laundry room with tile counters. The master bedroom has a huge walk in closet and the master shower is tiled to the ceiling. The spacious kitchen is a cooks kitchen!!  Built for entertaining!!  Extended counter, massive amount of cabinets with all tile counters (great for a buffet), access to corner cabinets with double entry and new faucet.  There is a water softener & RO system. The garage is 34ft with 14 ceiling to floor cabinets and workbench. Extra outlets in the garage, house & good sized extra room. An extra area for the BBQ has been poured and front steps have been added. It has sun screens all around and also has a mountain view.

Both of these homes are in the same manufactured home community, but one of them gives the home shopper more of what they are looking for. Not only does the description in House Two give more information about the property, it also tells a great story. House Two is a home – it’s a place to cook up a great buffet dinner with the extended family or spend nice evenings grilling outdoors. These are the things that sell people on a home.

Get Directions to Visit a Home

On MHVillage, we make it easy for buyers to find your homes. Our website is designed for location-based searches. In fact, did you know that on the MHVillage mobile app, we have a button that buyers can click to “View Nearby Homes”? It uses their current location and pulls in all the surrounding homes, so if a home buyer is out driving around looking at neighborhoods, they can instantly see what is available in their area.

Compare Prices

It is probably not a big surprise that home owners compare prices. The best way to handle price comparisons is not to change the price of the home, the best way is to offer a better home. This is where creating good, solid home listings pay off – photos, descriptions, and caption lines, these can help you show buyers why your home is the best deal in the neighborhood. (For more information read: Three Easy Steps to Powerful LIstings That Sell, Part Three – The Right Price)

Compare Features

Do I sound like a broken record when I say I’ve written about this before? MHVillage makes it easy to showcase your home’s features – and it’s free. Learn how here: Missed Marketing Opportunity – Don’t Forget the Features!

Search a Company’s Inventory

Ahem: Missed Marketing Opportunity – One Simple Step to Getting More Leads

(Note: if you have your own website and are having a hard time keeping your inventory on it and up to date, let us know. If you have over 50 listings, we have a simple product called an i-Frame that will let you enter your homes on MHVillage and have them automatically update on your own website.)

Call a Listing Company and Locate an Agent

Here’s another reason to make sure that your company’s information is up-to-date. The best place to do that on MHVillage is on your Sales Center page. (Read about your Sales Center here.) If you are a Real Estate agent and help people sell their homes, be sure and add that information to your Company description! We get calls everyday from homeowners looking for a professional who can them sell their home.

Watch an Online Video About a Home

More and more people are expecting video tours. They are easy to do, you can upload them to YouTube and your own website. MHVillage offers a special link on Premium homes and Showcased communities so you can upload your video links on our site as well.

Putting It All Together

So, what does this tell you? That today’s shoppers aren’t predictable. Some shop with desktop computers, some on their phones. (Some will use both.) Some while shop while at home, some while at work, and some while eating dinner in a restaurant. There are buyers who will want to call you, others will prefer email. Your best bet? Use the tips and techniques in this newsletter to create the best listings you can – the more powerful the listings, the better the leads. If you need help, contact us and we’ll help you make the most out of your MHVillage account.