Preserve Your Legacy! & read DUELING CURVES

COBA7 via Blog # 297 @ 5/11/14 Copyright 2014

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

This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’

Input this blog &/or affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

* Ombudsman press. ‘Non-government alliance handling public inquiries & complaints

Introduction to this week’s COBA7, via, blog posting…

Like you, I’m glad the Spring Fling, so to speak, ends, so I can get on with my work routine. NO, I didn’t go to the MHCongress in Las Vegas this year, but I was in East Peoria, IL., late last week, along with 100 of my peers, participating in what will go down as one of the best state manufactured housing association annual meetings during 2014! Details later. Now we can look to the Biggest Day of the RV/MH Year, 4 August 2014, when ten of our finest businessmen are inducted into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN. Are YOU planning to be present? I sure am! And earlier that day, historian Al Hesselbart and I will be co-teach the first public presentation of ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ To attend Class of 2014 Induction Banquet, phone (574) 293-2344. There’ll be about 400 of us present. The seminar? Read Part I following. And Part II? An abbreviated book review of the first manufactured housing text to be published ‘in years’. You’ll be reading more about this tome during the weeks and months ahead. Buy yourself a copy to read before September. Hmm? Read Part III.

Write Your RV/MH Story!

Setting the Stage



Write Your RV/MH Story!

‘How to Research, Write, & Publish Your Memoir or Corporate History’

‘Ah, it’s now official! Al Hesselbart, historian, and I will facilitate a 2 ½ hour seminar on this heady subject, the morning of 4 August 2014, at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame, Museum & Library facility in Elkhart, IN.’ Yes, this will occur earlier during the same day the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame! More on that a little later…

The genesis of this new writing and self-publishing opportunity? Well, at some point in just about everyone’s life, they wax sensitive to and reflective of, their personal, family, civic, career, and or business legacy. Some will be publicly honored (e.g. aforementioned induction into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame) and retire; others simply and quietly disappear. But still others – and hopefully this includes some of you reading this week’s blog posting – will recall adventures experienced, challenges met and overcome, as well as Lessons Learned in Life and Business; and then, birth a passion to share those sterling memories and gems of wisdom with their progeny, employees, friends, and associates.

And that’s where the ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ seminar offering comes into play. If this ‘passion to share’ your memoir or autobiography – and there is a distinct difference between the two, or even corporate story, describes you, plan now to be in Elkhart, IN., all day 4 August 2014. The seminar begins promptly at 9:30AM with distribution of materials, then introduction of registrants and presenters. The first hour will deal with memoir and autobiography research and writing; the second hour with crafting one’s corporate history or story, followed by an introduction to self-publishing and marketing. We plan to end at Noon, and if desired, enjoy lunch as a group at a nearby restaurant.

Want the gist of what’s involved with the ‘self-publishing & marketing’ routine versus traditional publishing? Traditional publishers are difficult, if not impossible, to interest in memoirs, autobiographies or corporate stories – unless author is famous or infamous! But when they do publish, they also market the book; with writers/authors getting only 25% of the net profit. Just about anyone can self-publish and do it well, with the right guidance (You’ll learn what two guides to use!). But be aware, self-publishers are 100% responsible for book marketing & sales, and keep 100% of their net profit. Not enough firms craft their own stories, then use the books to promote their business!

The session on 4 August is limited to 25 individuals. Cost is only $49.95 per person, mainly for materials and the facility. And if registered to attend the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet later the same day (Not a requirement to participate in the seminar), cost is reduced to $29.95/person. ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ registrations are being handled via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. And the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet tickets ($150/person) via (800) 378-8694.

FYI. Can’t make the 4 August date in Elkhart, IN? Know the ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ seminar is already scheduled to be part of the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014, in Peachtree City, GA. For a brochure describing the 20 educational seminars, eight networking events, and superb LLLCommunity deal-making event (i.e. Marcus & Millichap’s annual Investors’ Symposium), comprising this year’s Networking Roundtable, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE listed in previous paragraph.



For Two National Public Forums; one on Manufactured Housing, & the other on Land-lease-lifestyle Communities

A new 200 page manufactured housing – focused text debuted last week. Titled DUELING CURVES, it was authored by retired factory-built housing veteran Bob Vahsholtz. I just finished reading it, and realized it truly Sets the Stage for one, if not both, National Public Forums planned for the morning of 11 September 2014, during the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable (10-12 September) at the DOLCE Conference Center in Peachtree City, GA.

The two historic (in that no one in the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry has ever undertaken this daunting and public task before….) National Public Forums, in two consecutive hours, will deal with two timely, strategic topics:

• Future of manufactured housing as ‘housing’ versus trailers, even considering the present and future roll of ‘big boxes = big bucks’ manufactured homes.

• Future of land-lease-lifestyle communities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investments’, given the changes taking place throughout the realty asset class these days.

Following is a very abbreviated review of DUELING CURVES. A much longer, more detailed review will follow in the June issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. That article, in turn, will likely be reprinted and distributed to individuals as they register at participate in the aforementioned Networking Roundtable, enabling them to be informed and primed for the National Public Forums.

My formal review begins with an Executive Summary, quoting salient material from David Funk, LLLCommunity owner and graduate school head at Cornell University. Then I list several PRO observations relative to the book, e.g. much about Learning Curve applied to manufactured housing; Great History Lessons from the early years of this industry; and again, how well it Sets the Stage for the two National Public Forums.

Also list a few CON observations relative to the book, e.g. lack of documentation at times, inconsistent use of terminology (no fewer than four descriptive terms to identify LLLCommunities), and GASP!, no mention of MHARR, the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, and Community Series Homes or CSH Models, having supplanted the ‘big box = big bucks’ Development Series Homes of the latter 1990s/

Then there’s no fewer than a dozen specific Lessons (I) Learned from the text re: interesting Rules of Thumb, revisit of the 20/20/20 guidelines for new home mortgages, and HOW “Rents that are too high in LLLCommunities poorly suited for new manufactured homes results in excessive vacancy rates and depreciating homes – slumsville.” P.106

Then, halfway through the book, Bob Vahsholtz truly Sets the Stage for this Fall’s two National Public Forums, with pithy comments such as this:

“The MH industry needs to think outside the square (box)’” p. 109

“The HUD Standard that was going to make the MH competitive position all better has not done so.” Pp. 113 & 114. A tad bit awkward sentence structure, but you get the point.

“The entire housing field is leaderless.” P.153

“Create nationally recognized brand names and independent rating systems that give proper recognition to genuine housing value.” P.163 Some reading this review will remember John Grissim and what his efforts to do thusly cost him….

“In the near term, our best cost advantage lies with handsome singles, small enough to keep the monthly cost of our homes to the consumer well below the stick competition’s apartments.” P.98

By now, you should want to run out and buy your own copy of DUELING CURVES. So, to do so, simply contact Bob Vahsholtz directly, either via email:, or phone (805) 481-2574.

And frankly, you should want to be part of the much larger picture, and actually be present for the two historic National Public Forums where these, and other aspects of manufactured housing and LLLCommunities will be presented and discussed openly. To do so, simply phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764., and ask for an informative/registration brochure for the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable.

If you’re not already affiliated with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7 – the host of this year’s 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, consider doing so now. How? When calling the MHIndustry HOTLINE, ask for a COBA7 brochure.



tell YOU what some industry folk told me after returning from Vegas..

First the good stuff:

“Attended the (MH) Congress this week. Attendance was strong, and just like Louisville (MHShow), the attitudes were upbeat.” RK

Followed by this view:

“I was quite alarmed at what I observed at the (event). Seems like it’s pay through the moon and screw the resident. Raise rents, don’t put anything back into capital expenditures, churn and burn. I have decided to start buying (LLLCommunities) again, turn around where we bring them up to very nice family parks (sic), but not sure I want to be associated with this new crowd. Would like your thoughts. Thank you.”

And this one…

“For a second year in a row, forum presenters and panelists from large firms were quick to tell us what they do, or have done, but refuse to, or avoid telling us, how they do or did it. (Proprietary information?) Very frustrating to pay a second registration fee and not get the full story.”

Point in sharing these observations with you? Hopefully ‘planners’ for next year’s event will read this feedback, and make appropriate adjustments and improvements.

In the meantime, plan now to participate in the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, scheduled for 10-12 September 2014, at the DOLCE Conference Center in Peachtree City, GA. Information/registration brochures will be distributed later this month via the Allen Letter professional journal, and all 500+/- known LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators in North America. To ensure an ‘invitation’ to this annual event designed specifically for land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, and request it.

As you have likely heard, two historic National Public Forums will keynote the first full day (11 September) of this year’s Networking Roundtable:

• ‘Future of manufactured housing as ‘housing’?&!’ (two presenters)

• ‘Future of land-lease-lifestyle communities as ‘lifestyle’?&!’ (two presenters)

Additional keynote presentations, during this Networking Roundtable, are:

• Informative presentations by Fannie Mae, & possibly Freddie Mac

As meeting planner and host, I promise Networking Roundtable attendees at least two things:

• Every presenter or panelist extolling personal &/or corporate marketing &/or operational advances and successes, will share methodology employed enroute to said advances and successes, or not be invited back to lecture at a future event!

• Predatory lending practices and too high rental homesite rates have long and frequently tainted the manufactured housing and LLLCommunity business models, so will NOT be taught or encouraged at any Networking Roundtable!

All told, at this year’s Networking Roundtable, there’ll be 20 stimulating educational sessions, eight superb social networking events, and innumerable realty deal-making opportunities, all beginning with Marcus & Millichap’s annual Investors’ Symposium at 4PM on 10 September 2014 – featuring dozens of LLLCommunities ‘for sale’ across the U.S. How can YOU not want to be present for this stellar LLLCommunity event?

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

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