MHIndustry New Years Resolution for 2020!
8 November 2019; www.educatemhc.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’
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Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Call for next MHM class info
INTRODUCTION: Yes, it’s early to announce the traditional New Year Resolution Challenge, but that’s what you’re about to read here. First, how it took 32 long and rocky years to get where we are today. Then a heartfelt challenge to three national MH-related entities to better represent, lobby in behalf of, and serve the product & service needs of land lease community owners/operators, large & small, nationwide! Here goes….
Long & Rocky Road to Land Lease Community Advocacy & Respect!
It’s taken more than a quarter century for owners/operators of land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & before that ‘mobile home parks’) to arrive at the point in time (year 2020) when they have and benefit from…
• National advocacy via Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division
• National lobbying via National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’)
• National product & service resourcing (books, newsletters, professional property management training/certification, & consulting) via EducateMHC
But getting to this point in time, of representation, lobbying, and resourcing, has been a long and rocky road, commencing as far back as year 1988. Here’s a summary of key stages along the 32 year journey to land lease community advocacy and respect.
1988. The year Mobile Home Park Management text was published and distributed nationwide. It was the first professional property management text on the property type in two decades.
1989. Marked the debut of the ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’), the longest-running (31 years to date) compendium of investment realty statistics and emerging trend documentation, in the history of the manufactured housing industry.
1993. 19 (then) mobile home community owners met in Indianapolis, IN., to form an Industry Steering Group (‘ISG’), taking first steps to improve national advocacy for the property type – before the mini-REIT wave of 1994. Before then, mobile home park matters were handled by a committee of volunteers during MHI national meetings.
1994. J. Wiley & Sons published Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities. Another ‘first text on the subject in 20 years’, that sparked raw land development seminars during the next decade.
1996. MHI embraces the aforementioned ISC and launches the NCC, which remains in place to this day, as a full-fledged division of MHI, but is generally led by senior salaried executives of large property portfolios. Also during 1996, J. Wiley & Sons published How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. This case bound text, as its 1994 predecessor, has long been recognized as a realty asset class primary source of information.
2004. One of the rocks along the road to community advocacy and respect occurred when the Urban Land Institute (‘ULI’) launched the Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’). For slightly more than a decade, this was a quasi Think Tank for the realty asset class, hosting opportunities for open discussion among participants from all segments of the manufactured housing industry.
2008 & 2009. Two years and two National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucuses, in Tampa, FL. & Elkhart, IN. In the first instance, community owners/operators agreed on a Five Step Action Plan, to reinvigorate the industry and asset class. In the second meeting, HUD-Code housing manufacturers & community owners/operators agreed to begin fabricating and buying a new design of manufactured home, the Community Series Home. All this occurring during the industry’s nadir year (lowest shipment volume ever), 2009. These were also the two years during which the term ‘land lease community’ got widespread traction. Why? Because today’s properties site as many as seven types of shelter, no longer just ‘mobile homes’ and manufactured homes of yore.
2011. Unfortunately, but providentially, the year during which the issue of control and scope of MHI’s NCC came to a public and argued climax, i.e. Whether it’d be dominated by, and identified as, a portfolio owners/operators club, or serving communities of all sizes? This identity issue has played out during years 2014, 2018, and 2019.
2014. Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance or COBA7 was launched early in the year, providing tailored products and services to land lease communities, large and small.
2018. NAMHCO stepped forward to lobby, in our nation’s capitol, in behalf of all land lease communities, large and small, throughout the U.S.
2019. EducateMHC absorbed the COBA7 division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, to continue that body’s goal to serve the product and service needs of land lease communities, large and small, from coast to coast.
2020. The land lease community real estate asset class has traveled the long and rocky road to advocacy and respect! Let’s identify these benchmark achievements:
• We’re now well-represented in Washington, DC. Add MHARR to the MHI & NAMHCO list
• The Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) now sells Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry to its’ Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) members. This is 8th edition of the 1988 Mobile Home Park Management, & basic MHM textbook.
• We read a quality print trade publication (MHInsider), as well as three digital MH business newsletters, and a weekly blog posting.
• Via annual ALLEN REPORT, we know identities of all 500+ portfolio owners/operators of land lease communities throughout the U.S. & Canada.
• All our real estate asset class advocacy, lobbying, and resource needs are now handled by the NCC, NAMHCO & EducateMHC.
Know what? There’s still much more that could, and probably should, be said about land lease communities long and rocky road history. For example, the three – or is it four, consolidation stages we’ve passed through together; the slow growth – but at least there’s growth, of professional property management throughout the realty asset class via MHM and ACM certification programs. And then there’re the paradigm shifts the manufactured housing industry has experienced since 1972, especially the 20 year one we’re in now, i.e. distribution of new HUD-Code homes away from independent (street) MHRetailers, to direct sale of new homes into land lease communities nationwide.
And then there’s still that perennial ‘elephant in the MH room’. Specifically, whether the three identified entities – MHI/NCC, NAMHCO, & EducateMHC, or make it four with addition of MHARR, will work together – or apart, during the months in year 2020, especially considering the new and restructured leadership at the Manufactured Housing Institute. Let’s all watch and see what happens going forward….
If you’d like to read more about land lease community history, purchase a copy of SWAN SONG, via www.educatemhc.com And when you purchase the book, ask for a FREE copy of the booklet titled: ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy? Answer: You!’ The beauty of this offering is it summarizes ten autobiographies authored by industry pioneers to date; and in the end, describes how to pen your memoir and corporate history. Enjoy!
George Allen, CPM, MHM
170 Commerce Dr.
Franklin, IN. 46131