NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR LAND LEASE COMMUNITY OWNERS?
Blog Posting # 662 @ 29 October 2021: EducateMHC
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’
EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!
To input this blog and or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: firstname.lastname@example.org & visit www.educatemhc.com
Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!
INTRODUCTION: I have long attempted to not make the content of this weekly blog personal in nature. Well, this week’s focus runs counter to that goal. Why? Because, in my opinion, come January 2022, there will no longer be an independent third party Spokesperson holding forth, publicly, in behalf of land lease community owners/operators nationwide! Lest you think I exaggerate, right now name one person who routinely researches and reports on the realty asset class in print, online, and in person? Here’re the details of where we are today….
NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR LAND LEASE COMMUNITY OWNERS?
And who might that be going forward? It really hasn’t been an issue until now. Because, up until the end of December this year, we’ve had folk filling that role via weekly blogs, a monthly subscriber-supported newsletter, national networking roundtables or conferences, the ALLEN REPORT, and op/ed columns in various trade publications, e.g. ‘Manufactured Home Mechandiser’, the ‘Journal’, and now MHInsider magazine. And of course there were occasional communiques from MHI, where land lease communities were concerned, presumably from its’ National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division.
But much of that will soon be changing, albeit ‘going away’! Then ‘who’ will land lease community owners/operators look to for timely news reporting, regulatory concerns, issue resolution, professional property management training & certification, and networking opportunities? Here’re the possibilities as I see them today.
Frankly, first and foremost, spokesperson responsibilities and services should – in my opinion – be coming from NCC leadership, but that’s not the case today. Some illustrations: What salaried MHI staffer routinely functions and speaks in behalf of the realty asset class? No one since Jim Ayotte, CAE, and a couple of his successors, post 1996 founding of the council. And this. During a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing (21 October 2021) titled, ‘How Private Equity Landlords are Changing the Housing Market’, MHI representatives (not the NCC) felt they were successful “…ensuring the conversation was not disparaging to the land-lease community model overall.” OK, but when one reads their Statement for the Record, here’s a sampling of what they told the Senators:
• Land-lease manufactured housing communities, manufactured housing communities, and land-lease communities. These trade terms were used interchangeably throughout the presentation. Confusion anyone? Among journalists today, it’s land lease communities!
• Time and again, ‘research’ and ‘studies’ were cited to buttress claims about ‘rent payment increases’, ’31 percent of new manufactured homes placed in land-lease communities’, and ‘why residents choose professionally managed land-lease manufactured housing communities’, and more – with NO substantiation of claims!
• Much ado is made about professional property management training and certification of community managers, but only MHEI’s ACM program is identified. NO mention of IREM’s Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) designation, or EducateMHC’s Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) program, or California’s statewide program. Too narrow a focus for a truly effective national spokesperson for the realty asset class.
• At one point MHI commissioned research, representative of 1,000 communities, to cite statistics relative to CapEx spending. Impressive number until one realizes, according to the 32nd annual ALLEN REPORT, just the top three portfolio owners/operators profiled, own and or fee-manage 1,103 communities! So 1,000 communities is not a representative sampling of 55,000+/- such properties nationwide.
Point? Again, logic would suggest MHI and its’ NCC division is/are natural national spokespersons for land-lease communities. But, again – in my opinion – without a salaried staffer heading the NCC, one that ‘knows’ the community business and is capable of communicating it in an appropriate, accurate, and substantiated fashion, they have no business posing as national spokesperson. Perhaps this matter can be addressed at the NCC Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago during early November? Anyone listening out there?
Then there’re the land lease community owners/operators in Georgia who, 11 years ago, launched what today is widely known and respected as the SECO conference. From the very beginning there was but one audience – land lease community owners; initially in the Southeast, but today, nationwide, attracting 500+/- businessmen and women. National spokesperson for the realty asset class? Perhaps, if they hire an executive director, and start communicating regularly and digitally with their audience nationwide.
Now, just about everyone else has their ‘interest in two pockets’: manufactured housing production/sale and land lease communities. Think DATACOMP with its’ MHVillage and MHInsider magazine. Yes, they research MH and community statistics on a routine basis, but to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a land lease community owner/operators on staff – for handling the finer points and nuances of property ownership and management.
And then there’s manufacturedhomes.com, a fairly new online entry into the fray. It is primarily focused on manufactured housing production/sales – related topics. Any land lease community firsthand influences on their staff?
That brings us to the end of this discussion today. Yes, land lease community owners/operators need and deserve an effective national spokesperson (organization) functioning in their behalf. Looking back almost 30 years, the need for focused national advocacy, via a spokesperson or organization, is why 19 community owners gathered in Indianapolis, IN., on 31 August 1993. Three years later, we had the NCC in place at MHI – with a salaried staffer at the helm. That is not the case today. And given my recent retirement, we will not have an independent third party spokesperson producing a newsletter, networking roundtable, or ALLEN REPORT, in behalf of land lease communities, going into year 2022.
What are we going to do about that?
George Allen, CPM, MHM