The August 2020 Commercial Real Estate Investing Newsletter

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 159 - The Right And Wrong Way To Keep In Touch With Your Residents

You may call your mother weekly, but that’s not the appropriate way to check in with the residents of your mobile home park. Instead, there are systems that have been developed to keep in touch but in a structured way that it best for the owner and residents alike. So what are the correct and incorrect way to stay in touch? In this episode of the Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast we’re going to review how smart owners stay on top of resident contact.

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Breaking it up into Small Action Steps

Henry Ford once said “nothing is particularly hard if you divide it up into small jobs”. That simple theory allowed him to create the American automobile industry via the invention of the assembly line.

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Billboards: It All Adds Up

Many businesses use tactics to make the cost seem like less than it is. For example, flying in a private jet from Los Angeles to Las Vegas only costs $10 per minute (instead of $1,800). And your cell phone only costs $3 per day (instead of $1,000 per year). But in the billboard business, sometimes it’s all about making things sound bigger than they actually are – and sometimes not. Here’s a list of times in which you want to make things sound big and others when you shoot for small.

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We’re Not Sorry That RV Parks Are Doing So Well Right Now

During the stock market collapse and the resulting Great Depression of 1929, many successful investors fled to Europe to escape verbal abuse and public shaming by those who had lost everything. It was a common theme of F. Scott Fitzgerald novels that would feature rich stockbrokers and investors hiding out in foreign resorts while Americans were standing in food lines. And Covid-19 has created a similar environment in the U.S., in which many real estate sectors are destroyed yet RV parks are actually showing record performance numbers. But, as F. Scott Fitzgerald would also say, “it happened gradually and then suddenly” (The Great Gatsby) and the wheels were in motion on what is happening in America right now years ago, and the Covid-19 pandemic was simply the straw that broke the camels back. It’s all about megatrends – those huge shifts that influence every inch of the U.S. economy. Here is what was already setting the stage:

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Valuing A Self-Storage Facility With Huge Vacancy

So you’re looking at a self-storage property with huge vacancy – let’s say 70% of the space is unrented. That’s a huge issue on many fronts. So how can an investor make a successful transaction out of a property like that? Is it even possible?

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Self Storage University Podcast: Episode 7 - Four Things My Banker Taught Me

We all learn useful lessons in life from a number of teachers. And over the past 40 years – as long as I’ve been in business – I’ve been obtaining real estate loans. While the procedure has remained pretty much the same for all that time, there have been four fundamental concepts that seem to be shared by all bankers – and with good reason. All four of these will have a huge impact on your success in buying self-storage facilities.

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A Mobile Home Park Turnaround In Kansas - Before & After

Bringing old mobile home parks back to life is the basic business model in our industry. You take an asset that is a half-century old – often undermanaged – and restore it back to its former prominence, giving the residents back their pride of ownership and sense of community. This video shows the real-life progression with a “before and after” synopsis, supported by visual evidence of that metamorphosis.

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RV Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 8 - How Big Is Big Enough?

Is ten spaces enough? What about 100? What size is essential in buying an RV park? That’s the topic of this RV Park Mastery podcast – an examination of size vs. success in RV park buying. As you’ll see, there are many permutations in the algorithm of correct RV park size and only you can decide the correct answer on many of these. While bigger is sometimes better, that’s not always the case here.

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Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 158 - All Mobile Homes Come With A Hitch

To get a mobile home from Point A to Point B you have to haul it – and you need a hitch to make that possible. But what about after it arrives? In this episode of the Mobile Home Park Mastery pocast, we’re going to dig deep into the facts about these “hitches” and the best policies regarding them going forward. Until mobile homes come with engines and drivetrain, then hitches will be a fact of life for all mobile home park owners, so it’s time to discuss the topic.

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The Problem With Sheds

Webster’s Dictionary defines a “shed” as “a structure built to shelter something” but in many mobile home parks it’s more like “the ugliest thing on the property”. Why are sheds such a problem and how can a park owner turn the situation around?

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How Will The End Of Covid-19 Impact RV Parks?

In many parts of America, the number of Covid-19 cases has peaked and is actually going down. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is working aggressively to develop a vaccine to guard against the virus. Whereas the key question in March was “what will Covid-19 do to the RV park industry?” the new question is becoming “what will the end of Covid-19 do to the RV park industry?” So what’s the answer?

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Techniques To Get The Customer To Sign The Storage Rental Agreement

Regardless of how much you spend in advertising, there’s no purpose to any of it unless the customer signs the rental agreement. It’s kind of like football, getting to one inch of the goal line is of no value unless you score the touch down. So what are some tips to get the customer to sign that agreement and score one more occupied unit?

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Why Most Advertisers Don’t Use Their Billboard Effectively – And How To Fix That

The whole point of renting a billboard is to have a successful ad message. Yet many advertisers fail in this mission. When an ad is not good, it sells nothing, and the advertiser doesn’t renew. It’s basically a wasted opportunity on the part of everyone involved. So what do advertisers do that is wrong and how can you improve on that?

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"Ask Me Anything" With Frank Rolfe

We are pleased to present an "Ask Me Anything" event this week, hosted by Frank Rolfe, probably the best known authority on mobile home parks in the U.S. – a right he earned through 25 years of buying and operating mobile home communities. This is a continuous Q&A session with no subject taboo. 

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Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 157 - Before And After Closing

When buying a mobile home park, the most important moment is the transition of the property from the old owner to you, which typically happens at the title company upon signing of a pile of documents. So what can you do to make this transition more smooth and successful. In this week’s Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast we’re going to review the key items to do before and after closing to make for a happier and less stressful community ownership change.

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Success is where Preparation and Opportunity Meet

Bobby Unser won the Indy 500 three times and his favorite quote was “success is where preparation and opportunity meet” – and that’s 100% true with real estate investing just as it was with auto racing in the 1970s.

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Introduction to Real Estate Investing Recording

Introduction to Real Estate Investing Recording

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Mobile Home Park Fencing Options: Their Strengths And Weaknesses

Bing Crosby once sang “Don’t Fence Me In” but his song did not apparently reflect the desires of many mobile home park residents. Indeed, fencing inside mobile home parks is a standard feature, despite the fact that mobile home park lots do not have technical boundaries. Yet many resident fencing choices and maintenance will not work with you desire to make the property desirable (such as the one shown above). So how can you make the best of the residents’ innate desire to mark and secure their property with a fence?

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Self Storage University Podcast: Episode 6 - A Reminder On What Customers Really Want

Many of today’s self-storage investors think that any product they put out there will be winner. They think that no matter how they treat the customer, they’ll come back or keep paying. But this is bad thinking and is already proven to be wrong in many markets with declining occupancy and rents. So what do customers really want?

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RV Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 7 - How To Think Like A Banker

We all like to emulate certain people – and one that you should definitely want to be like is your banker. If you can think like a banker, you’ll go far with your RV park career. So why is that important and how do you do it? In this episode of the RV Park Mastery podcast series, we’re going to discuss how smart RV park owners try to mirror the desires of their banker and share the same thought patterns.

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Why RV Parks Are A Contrarian Bet On The New Covid-19 America

ABC News just reported that RV parks are flourishing while all other types of travel and lodging are collapsing.. So why are RV parks doing so well when hotels, airlines, rental car companies and cruise ships are all on the brink of bankruptcy? There are many reasons.

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How To Convince A Self-Storage Seller To Carry The Financing

Real estate is all about leverage and self-storage is no different. You need to be able to obtain a loan to by a property, and the banker is an integral team member that makes the whole deal possible. But an easy way to make an end-run around traditional banking is to have the seller carry the financing. Not only does seller financing eliminate the stress and effort to find a bank, but it also saves you money on third-party reports, interest rates, and is typically non-recourse. So how can you get it?

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Some Rarely Discussed Ways To Rent A Billboard

There I was, minding my own business trying to keep a bunch of billboards rented when Texas was hit by the 1988 Savings and Loan Crisis and the resulting depression. Billboard rents fell 50% in just one year, while the Texas economy was wiped out with a collapse of oil and real estate values. But I had to keep the signs occupied to pay my bank loans, and failure was not an option. In desperation I configured some new ways to make my billboards affordable for advertisers. In many ways, it’s similar to the Covid-19 crisis, only there were no programs to ease the burden like the Cares Act back then.

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Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 5 - David And Goliath

Can an individual take on a huge billboard company and beat them at their own game? Yes, it’s been done a thousand times. So how can the small guy beat the big guy? In this episode of the Billboard Mastery podcast we’re going to harness the strategies that allow you to use the weak points of big companies against them and give you a continual edge.

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Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 156 - Old-Timer Wisdom

We all associate age with wisdom, and rightfully so. Nobody knows more about any subject than those that have experienced it – particularly through many cycles. And I am forever indebted to those older mobile home park community owners who gave me words of wisdom in my early career, and still do so for new investors on a regular basis. So what is some of this old-timer wisdom? In this episode of the Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast we’re going to review some of the best thoughts of experienced owners and how they relate to today’s mobile home park industry.

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All About Office Hours

Most mobile home parks have some form of office – whether it’s a free-standing building or inside the manager’s home. And it’s pretty standard practice to set office hours so residents know when they can and can’t come by to pay rent, look at homes, or discuss problems. So how do you set effective office hours?

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Beware The Self-Storage Herd

Covid-19 has exposed many weaknesses in certain markets that self-storage facilities serve. But much of this weakness began years earlier when investors practiced the standard behavior of moving with a “herd” mentality. Why is a “herd” mentality dangerous in self-storage investing?

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Things You Can Do To Make Your Rv Park Hook-Ups Easier

Plumbers are popular because they deal in subjects that nobody wants to talk about or get involved with, namely the realities of water and sewage. However, for all RV parks it’s a fact of life that one of your most important attractions to the customer is access to working water, sewer and electricity (and let’s not forget internet in some better properties). So how can you make hooking up the utilities easier and more pleasant for both customers and yourself?

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Tips On Buying Billboards During Recessions

I have long been a believer in this quote by Andrew Carnegie, the founder of U.S. Steel “problems are only opportunities in work clothes”. What that means is that you can look at U.S. recessions as either something to cry about or something to celebrate. I choose not to cry. Indeed, recessions such as the Covid-19 pandemic are great buying opportunities for billboard signs. You just have to know what you’re doing.

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Selling Your Mobile Home Park To The Residents with ROC

When you decide to sell a mobile home park there’s only one option, right? You list it with a broker and try to find someone who wants to buy the community at your target price. But there’s another alternative that’s working for many sellers and that’s selling the park to the residents.

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Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 155 - The Harsh Realities Of Supply And Demand

Back when I was an economics student at Stanford in the 1980s, the most important theory that would help on any essay was the law of supply and demand. It’s a simple concept: if you have greater supply than demand then prices go down, and greater demand than supply makes prices go up. Never in American history has this economic treatise had more meaning or more unhappy endings. In this week’s Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast we’re going to discuss how supply and demand are shaping all sectors of U.S. real estate and mobile home parks in particular.

Listen To Episode 155