The December 2022 Commercial Real Estate Investing Newsletter

Billboards Offer The New American Dream: Having No Employees

There are many problems with America but one of the worst is the current environment concerning having an employee. At the same time the U.S. work ethic has evaporated, lawsuits regarding employees have increased by a thousand percent, and the drag on your net income from having employees around is hard to swallow when they are nothing but a source of trouble. One of the great attributes of the billboard industry is that it’s not really people reliant. So how can you own billboards and have no employees?

Read More

Brooks Brothers Of Self-Storage?

The CEO of Brooks Brothers – the renowned American clothier that has been a mainstay of men’s fashion for over a century – once said “we’re not good because we’re old, we’re old because we’re good”. That’s an interesting take on the relation between age and success. What’s the meaning of this quote and how does it relate to self-storage investing?

Read More

If Your Mobile Home Park Residents Seem To Be Doing Fine There’s A Reason For That

America is in a real mess right now, and it’s only going to get worse. Virtually all U.S. economists predict a major recession in 2023. There are already many headlines about layoffs at places like Twitter and Facebook. However, mobile home park collections are still strong, demand for homes has never been higher, and defaults on mobile home mortgages are still at around 5% or less. So how come mobile home park residents don’t seem to be struggling while many other Americans are? The answer lies in the facts and figures regarding employment.

Read More

When Is Seller Financing On RV Parks Not Helpful?

We are huge believers in seller financing, which rates as our favorite type of debt. It has a huge number of benefits. But it can also be a trap if you don’t know what you’re doing. So what’s so great about seller carry and when is it actually not a good idea?

Read More

Can You Really See Your RV Park Manager Smile Over The Phone?

Many people say “your manager needs to smile when they’re on the phone”. The problem with that statement is that you can’t possibly see any correlation between smiling and treating customers well when they call, nor can anyone measure their level of “smiling” unless they are sitting there looking at them. So what are the actual keys to a successful manager when it comes to phone etiquette.

Read More

RV Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 69 - Is A Lifetime Manager Possible?

We have employed hundreds of managers over the past few decades, and some properties have suffered through two or three manager changes in one year. After you have owned and operated RV parks for a while you start to lose hope that you can make a single hire and that manager will last until you sell the property decades into the future. Yet it happens. In this podcast we try to identify the traits and methods required to attain a “lifetime” manager.

Listen To Episode 69

Self Storage University Podcast: Episode 67 - When Do You Call It Quits On A Contractor

So you hired a third-party contractor to do something, whatever it may be, striping the pavement, putting in a speed bump, fixing a roll-up door, but then suddenly the relationship gets awkward. It's not working out. It's not functional. Things aren't happening. The question is when do you call it quits with a contractor? We're going to be talking about that strange, sometimes awkward relationship that exists between the self storage owner and the contractor, and it's always on the knife's edge of feast or famine, success or ruin.

Listen To Episode 67

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 277 - Snow, Wind And Thermal Zones

We all know the government enacted the HUD SEAL program back around 1976. But are you aware there's some other requirements that HUD placed on mobile homes that are important that you be aware of? This is Frank Rolfe with the Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast. We're going to talk about snow loads, wind loads, and thermal zones.

Listen To Episode 277

Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 63 - The Wisdom And/Or Stupidity of Taking Big Risks

There is reasonable risk in owning billboards, and then there’s an insanely over-the-top risk that billboard owners sometimes engage in. When should you take these type of huge risks and what can you do to mitigate the downside? That’s the focus of this Billboard Mastery podcast.

Listen To Episode 63

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 276 - Addressing The Elephant In The Room

It’s pretty clear that we’re heading for a U.S. recession in 2023. So what will that do to the mobile home park industry, and what are the statistics from the 2000 and 2007 recessions to support these observations? That’s the goal of this Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast: to dissect what the 2023 recession may look like and what the impact might be.

Listen To Episode 276

The Interesting Story of Why Dollar Tree Raised Their Prices From $1 To $1.25

For over 40 years, Dollar Tree charged $1 for every item in the store. Whether it was a shirt, a toy, or a book, there was no price check needed because your tab would be exactly $1 per item. But recently, Dollar Tree raised that amount to $1.25 per item. Of all retailers, Dollar Tree is the most comparable to the mobile home park industry, as “trailer parks” have been offering ridiculously low prices for decades, and our customer base is very similar. So what’s the story on why Dollar Tree went to $1.25, how has that worked out, and what are the lessons learned for mobile home park lot rents?

Read More

All About Buying A Seasonal RV Park In Winter

Some RV parks are open all year. Others close in the winter and only stay open in the warmer months. But does that mean you can only buy those properties during the summer season? The truth is that many seasonal RV parks are bought and sold in the frigid winter months, but there are some tricks you need to know if that’s your goal.

Read More

How To Benefit From The Storage Industry Being Turned Upside Down

The U.S. self-storage industry has been around for half a century, but it has probably not seen as much structural change in all those decades as it has since 2020. The Covid era ushered in some megatrends that have rendered good storage facilities bad and hot markets cold. Yet there is opportunity amongst the turmoil if you position yourself correctly.

Read More

The Importance of Advertiser Renewal

Part of owning a billboard is renting the advertising space. Even thought you only typically do it once per year, there’s no question that ad revenue is the life’s blood of making money with your billboard. And one of the most important goals of any billboard owner is to find the right advertiser and keep them on the sign year after year. So how does that work?

Read More

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 275 - Sharing Is Not Always Caring

When you have two mobile home parks in the same basic market, you always wonder if you would be better off hiring one manager to supervise both or having two separate managers to do the job. The concept of “sharing” management is not restricted to just mobile home parks, as many other industries have tested and employed it. However, mobile home park manager “sharing” has its own unique issues to consider. That’s the topic of this Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast.

Listen To Episode 275

RV Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 68 - Understanding And Embracing Risk

Sam Zell is the largest owner of RV parks in the United States with over 160,000 lots. And he has attained that stature through a heavy focus on risk. Zell sees risk as a tool and the healthy byproduct of taking chances in the pursuit of making money. In this RV Park Mastery podcast we’re going to explore Zell’s views on risk and how to use that concept in making better RV park acquisition decisions.

Listen To Episode 68

Self Storage University Podcast: Episode 66 - Bubbles And Baths

The world economy has endured countless bubbles and resulting financial baths. They follow the same trajectory every time and you can see them build with investor behavior and attitudes. Is there a bubble and bust coming in the self-storage industry? We’re going to explore this topic with examples from past financial panics and zero in on where the storage industry stands in relation to these historical moments.

Listen To Episode 66

Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 62 - Reducing The Size of A Sign

In most states, you are not allowed to increase the sign face size – but what about reducing it? In this Billboard Mastery podcast, we’re going to review when it’s advantageous to reduce the size of a billboard and what the ramifications are. While bigger is normally better for billboards, there are certain moments when the reverse is true.

Listen To Episode 62

Confessions of a Recovering Workaholic

A discussion of how mobile home park ownership offers you the ability to make money without investing a huge amount of time in management. There’s also an additional hour of questions on all types of topics.

Listen To The Audio

The Implications Of The “Housing Bubble” Bursting On The Mobile Home Park Industry

Jerome Powell with the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates around 4 points in 2022 – the fastest such increase in 40 years. And, predictably, this is causing widespread disaster with the single-family home industry, which had experienced 14 straight years of world-record low home mortgages. So what’s the impact going to be on the mobile home park business when the single-family bubble bursts?

Read More

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 274 - The Impossible Job of Being Both Good Guy and Bad

Mobile home park managers have an extremely difficult role. They are supposed to wear two hats: 1) the nice person and 2) the tough person. This is extremely confusing to residents and often fails to accomplish what you desire as the owner. In this Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast we’re going to explore why this is not a healthy situation for your property and offer tips on giving the manager a more clear role in the community.

Listen To Episode 274