COBA7 Launches LLLCommunity Mgr. Compensation Study

Blog Column # 291 Copyright 2014 6 April 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities cum ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Reason for this blog. It’s the national advocacy voice, statistical research reporter, & communications resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America!’

How to Input this blog & affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. ‘COBA7’, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (8777) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

Introduction to this week’s blog posting at Three of many responses to last week’s ‘MH Public Discourse Impasse Ends 9/11/2014 @ Networking Roundtable in Peachtree City, GA.’: “Excellent George.” MD, & “Good blog, George. Glad someone is still willing to give our industry a bit of hell when they need it.” JU, & “I will not forget how we worked as an industry, via low cost, convenient and quality housing. Those basics were and continue to be the best!” NB Now, this week’s lineup?


COBA7 Launches Land-lease-lifestyle Community
On-site Property Manager Compensation Study


‘In the Know’ MHIndustry Aficionados to Flock to East Peoria, IL @ 8 & 9 May 2014


Finally Going on the Offense over Offensive Writ in The New York Times re: MHIndustry


Coming Over to the Other (Our) Side of Life


COBA7 Launches Land-lease-lifestyle Community
On-site Property Manager Compensation Study

Long and often considered in MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) circles, this timely subject was given ‘just lip service’, as everyone wanted the information, but no one was willing to share proprietary salary and benefit information. Well, Thanks to several land-lease-lifestyle community owner/operator affiliates of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, that’s changed! And just recently, a national executive search and recruiting firm, that specializes in placing regional and on-site LLLCommunity managers, has joined the study. The goal of this first COBA7 project? To provide a practical tool by which LLLCommunity owners/operators throughout North America, can better determine what a particular on-site property management job is worth, salary and benefit wise!

To date, they’ve crafted a formula using six variables in this sequence:

1. Total number of rentable homesites in a given land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community, or ‘mobile home park’) if preferred.

2. Number of ‘occupied & paying rent’ homesites at said property, when the formula is applied.

3. Set or average rental homesite monthly rent rate; assuming said rent, if including water & sewer, offsets those expenses; or if billed separately, is factored back onto the rent rate, to fine tune the gross potential rent amount offsetting said expense category.

4. Application of appropriate Operating Expense Ratio or OER percentages. For example: 4.5% @ admin labor, not including PM fee; &, 3.0% @ maintenance labor = 7.5% or .075 OER, when using asset class’ Industry Standard Chart of (Operating Expense) Accounts, given a national average 40% OER overall. Corollaries: Realization a property’s OER% is generally greater (than 40%) among smaller properties and large properties with low occupancy; due to less economy of scale in the former instance; more common area and utility risers to maintain, as well as marketing-related expenses in the latter instance. Conversely, a property’s OER% is generally less (than 40%) among larger properties enjoying high physical & economic occupancy. This example assumes the same Industry Standard Chart of Accounts is applied and all OER categories are used as described.*1

5. Final adjustment of preliminary salary amount per concessioned site rent, unit rent, and appropriate utilities – if any concessions; and, when/if appropriate, compensation for extra duties, e.g. wastewater treatment plant operation, testing & reporting; and/or seasonal duties such as grass mowing, snow plowing, etc.
6. For a statistical benchmark comparison, relate final adjusted salary amount to Area Median Income for the local housing market in which the subject property is located. AMI is available via

Now the fun begins. If you’re a COBA7 affiliate*2, and would like to participate in the ‘proof & refinement’ of the above proposed formula, mail the following information, in hard copy, to either COBA7 c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247, or FAX to (317) 346-7158.

Please use a separate page for each property reported:

1. Total number of rentable homesites at this land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community): __________

2. Actual or average number of ‘occupied & paying rent’ rental homesites at this LLLCommunity: __________

3. Set or average rental homesite rent rate at this location: $__________ Does this amount include water & sewer? Circle YES or NO. If NOT, what’s the average monthly amount of water & sewer charges billed per rental homesite each month? $__________

4. At this property, relative to the management staff, do you concession rent &/or utilities? Circle YES or NO. If YES, total monthly amount for this property into: Total site rent $__________, Unit rent $_________, Utilities $ __________

5. Total number of on-site managers at this location: __________. Number of additional salaried employees: __________ and hourly employees: __________

6. What is the postal zip code for this property? ________ OR, if you know it, the Annual Median Income or AMI of the local housing market $_______________

7. This final step is not required, but if you’d like to be kept abreast of project progress, be sure to supply your name and preferred contact information here:____________________________________________________________

Our hope is to eventually publish, either in chart format or easy-to-use formula, a means by which LLLCommunity owners/operators can estimate a fair and appropriate (Based on a property’s characteristics, scope of job description, and nature of the local housing market in which the LLLCommunity is located) Property Management Compensation, sans performance bonuses, for smaller LLLCommunities requiring part-time salaried management, as well as larger properties, able to justify a staff – but not including ‘home sales’ or ‘rental unit’ operations if budgeted and accounted for separately from usual land-lease operations.

End Note.

*1 For a FREE copy of the Industry Standard Chart of Accounts, along with the national average Allen Model OER percentages, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it.

*2 COBA7 affiliates, in this instance, include everyone registered under Options I, II & III – the difference being I = Allen Letter subscription alone; II = newsletter & 12 Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs, & III = newsletter, SSRDs, & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter. If reading this, and not yet affiliated with the hundreds of LLLCommunity owners/operators who’ve already done so, simply (again) phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE, shown in End Note # 1 above, for information.


‘In The Know’ MHIndustry Aficionados to Flock to East Peoria, IL.@8 & 9 May 2014


50 copies of Bruce Savage’s popular 2013 book: The First 20 Years! – of national advocacy, in behalf of land-lease-lifestyle communities, have been donated to the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (‘IMHA’), host of this year’s stellar event in East Peoria, IL. The books will be given to the first 50 individuals (one book per company) to register! Phone (217) 528-3423 today and RESERVE YOUR COPY today!

Ken Rishel, ‘Manufactured Housing Industry’s Person of the Year 2013 & 2014’, will ‘splain’ compliance issues relating to federal finance & S.A.F.E. Act regs; and Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (‘CPFB’) matters! Phone (217) 528-3423 to register!.

John Underwood, manufactured housing sales trainer par excellence! John, to date and in my opinion, the ONLY trainer of independent (street) MHRetail salescenter teams to successfully transition his expertise re: on-site marketing and sale of new homes within land-lease-lifestyle communities. Come & learn from John! (217) 528-3423 to sign-up!

When and where was the last time someone taught you HOW TO Best Show your Display Homes relative to Home Décor, for MHRetail salescenters and on-site in LLLCommunities? Learn from Clayton Homes consulting expert, Sue Yoder! (217) 528-3423

WAKE UP! That’s what Tammy Fonk, from CBRE; & Creighton Weber, from Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital, will admonish YOU to do when planning, FIRST, to market your LLLCommunity ‘for sale’; &/or SECOND, to ready it for acquisition financing or refinancing! Two top experts in the U.S. today! Call (217) 528-3423 to get on board!

Saving the Best for Last? Maybe. Here’s a TRIPLE PUNCH to be delivered at this year’s event: 1) Opportunity for LLLCommunity owners/operators to benefit from prospective Resident Screening Services via AmRent; 2) Accounting & Accountability software from Rent Manager; and, 3) Home Sales Marketing Services from MHVillage (plus) their recent foray into local housing market Rent Surveys a la JLT & Associates methodology! Frankly, YOU cannot afford to miss this threefold opportunity! (217) 528-3423. I’ll be there

‘Official State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land-lease-lifestyle Community Asset Class’ – a cumbersome title sure, but the ONLY such briefing available in the U.S. today, covering both major segments of the manufactured housing industry! And know what? It’s an exciting lesson in ‘stats’ & trends! Call (217) 528-3423 to hear this, & ‘All you wanted to know about COBA7, but didn’t know who to ask!’ George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master

Bottom Line? There will be dozens of state MHAssociation meetings and seminars during 2014, but all will pale in comparison to what’s planned to occur at the Par-A-Dice Casino & Resort Hotel, in East Peoria, IL., on 8 & 9 May 2014. How can YOU not want to participate? Luxurious hotel, gaming, superb timely topics & presenters, good food, top notch networking, even some deal-making. See YOU there! (217) 528-3423


Finally Going on the Offense over Offensive Writ in The New York Times re: MHIndustry

KUDOS to MHARR! Finally, a national manufactured housing advocacy group stands up to The New York Times publishing of ‘The Cold Hard Lessons of Mobile Home U’. Here’s the complete text of what MHARR put on the editor’s desk this past week:

“Mr. Gary Rivlin’s March 13, 2014 story, ‘The Cold Hard Lessons of Mobile Home U’, does a great disservice, not only to the nation’s manufactured housing builders – many of them small businesses struggling to survive in a difficult economy – but also the millions of Americans who choose today’s manufactured homes for their unique combination of quality and affordability, guaranteed by federal law. Presenting manufactured homes, communities, and residents as cartoonish caricatures, the article ignores the reality that today’s manufactured homes offer Americans the most affordable route to homeownership – beating even rentals. And unlike the ‘exotic’ mortgage schemes for overpriced homes that triggered the 2008 credit crisis, manufactured homes pair moderate and lower-income homebuyers with homes they truly can afford, without accounting gimmicks, subsidies or taxpayer funded bailouts. Instead of a superficial catalogue of outdated stereotypes, the Times should offer its readers a deeper look into the genuine advantages of today’s affordable manufactured homes.” Danny Ghorbani writing for the MHARR

Enough time has passed (three weeks) for this sensationalist piece to fade from the scene. Just know however, yours truly – via formal correspondence; the American Housing Advocates– via electronic correspondence; and now MHARR, have all lodged formal complaints, in your behalf, with the editor of The New York Times, regarding what some have called Yellow Journalism (i.e. ‘offensively sensational’). The only ones who’ll keep it alive now, are individuals with an ongoing, self-serving need to draw attention to themselves, perhaps via further interviews; and others, maybe using the article as a marketing ploy to promote future events.


Coming Over to the Other (Our) Side of Life

DID YOU KNOW? The consulting services of BILL MATCHNEER, recently retired from the Manufactured Housing Division of the Department of Housing & Urban Development (‘HUD’) are now available via Rishel Consulting, relative to issues pertaining to the CFPB and HUD? To effect contact with Bill Matchneer, do so via the firm’s Chicago office: (312) 878-2802. His billable services are available hourly, daily, and per project – on a retainer and non-retainer basis.


George Allen, CPM & MHM
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

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