Another Ohio Newbie - Posted by Mark

Posted by Mark on July 14, 2000 at 10:01:46:

Hi Lisa,

I really have no new information. My test ad was pretty much as prescribed by Lonnie. The relatively large number may have to do with the duration of the ad. But even on a weekly basis it did fine. The details follow.

The paper would run 3 lines for 3 weeks for around $25 if I included a price in the ad. Plus they give you a fourth week free if it doesn’t sell. If I wouldnot include a price, the ad cost was something like 3x as much for one week.

I should say this was not the Cincinnati paper that serves the entire metropolitan region. It was a smaller paper that serves the suburbs and towns on my side of Cinci. I don’t know if the larger paper would have done better or worse.

Since I was approaching this cautiously, I chose to run the paper’s bargain ad for less money and a longer period of time. That meant it had to include a price. It read:

3 bdrm available immediately. WILL FINANCE EZ TERMS.
$6000. xxx-xxxx.

The first week did well (~20) and surprisingly (to me) the second week performed equally well (~20). The third week dropped to around 10 and the fourth week only 5.

Some marketing types will tell you that an ad should run for a while because some of the audience will not respond initially; they have to see it several times. The repetition builds credibility. I don’t know if that was the case here or if these people only buy/read the paper occasionally so it takes a while to reach everyone. Anyway, that’s how it worked out for me.

Of course many callers wanted to know what “EZ terms” meant. So I followed the book and said is “reasonable and negotiable” depending on the MH and the buyer. Most the callers were disappointed that the home was no longer available.

I would ask if they currently rent (almost all did) and what they pay a month. They have no problem sharing that figure. This also lead to a lot of information I did not ask but was interested to here (lost job, new job, MH park throwing me out, etc). I would ask if that (rent figure) is a number that they are comfortable with and most would be…some would revise it higher or lower.

During that portion of the conversation I would remind them that in addition to the home payment they would have lot rent. This helped “test” their numbers. Also it rvealed who is familiar with MHs. I thought that might help qualify who would really like the home. Lonnie had said something to the effect that you don’t want to put people in the home who feel it is inconsistent with their living standard.

Then I would ask what a comfortable down payment would be and 95% would say an exact figure. I would also ask how soon they would be ready to move if I found a home. This helped identify who was really “hot” and often lead to additional information as well. Somewhere along the way I inquired if they really need a 3 bdrm or would 2 be OK? This helped refine my buyer?s list.

In some cases we used the $6000 home as a hypothetical so the caller could see how the terms would have worked out given their finances. Everyone liked what he or she heard. I am confident I could have sold a home if I would have had any. As you saw in my other post, I had some opportunities but was too conservative.

All of this dialogue makes for a long note but only takes a minute or two on the phone.

Hope that helps. Good luck.


Another Ohio Newbie - Posted by Mark

Posted by Mark on July 13, 2000 at 14:47:26:

I was looking into real estate investing when I found this site in June. I can echo other remarks about the quality of information on this site.

I was intrigued and ordered Lonnie’s book. I have to admit that I felt, in the worse case, I would only be out $30. I could really relate to his straight forward approach and comments about financial freedom–not just financial independence.

Meanwhile, I monitored the site and thought that this was a real pragmatic opportunity. I have read Lonnie’s book now, ran my test ad, and I have visited a number of parks and homes. Everything has gone well. But no deals yet (my fault).

I passed on a couple of very cheap deals that I probably should have taken. The homes were sooooo bad they nearly turned my stomach. I thought it would take a lot of time/effort to get someone else interested. I know Lonnie says we can sell “as is”, and I am in no position to dispute his advice, but those two seemed really bad to my novice eyes.

I also missed a couple of deals, where I had buyers waiting on me to find a home, because I got “hoggish” --to use Lonnie’s phrase. I kicked myself and learned my lesson.

I went through the Ohio license panic that Karl described. While I was politely discussing the State requirements with one of the government’s finest, I explained why they are not applicable to my situation and how they are also a significant and unnecessary cost burden. She recognizes that these types of deals are being done daily by people who are not licensed…“but that doesn’t make it right” she said.

Well, technically I suppose not. But my common sense says to hesitate on the license. I am an honest guy and I just don’t see the sense in getting the license, office, showroom, etc they require. Why would I want to pay for an empty 3500 square foot showroom?

Tony’s birthday post was great. I too have a well-paying full-time job and a young family. (I did not say I was young, just the kids). I could really appreciate his position and the value of his revelation. I can’t afford to leave the job right now anyway, but maybe one day.

I have a long buyer’s list from my first ad…probably 55 responses…and one-third of those claim nice size downpayments…another third are fair…and the others sound marginal to “forget it”. Today I made two offers on trailers. Whether I get these or not, I will soon be underway.

My wife is very supportive but she is struggling with the idea of investing in mobile homes. It is almost funny because I imagine she represents the stereotypical response. A couple of successes will cure her. I printed Lonnie’s recent post about his friends passing. At the right time I will share that with her. Thanks.

I am currently reading about, and struggling with, the decision of forming an S Corp or an LLC. I suppose at this point (having done zero business) it is almost moot, but I hope to change that.

Many of you seem to have accomplished a lot in the past six to eighteen months. I hope to follow your lead.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts and expertise. Besides doing a deal, next is forming the company, and buying/reading Ernest’s book. By the way, I’m due north of Cincy, in Butler County near I-75.



Finally! Another Cincinnati investor! - Posted by Karl (OH)

Posted by Karl (OH) on July 14, 2000 at 08:08:43:


Its been lonely being the only guy in town doing these deals. (If there are other MH investors in the area, they’re keeping a very low profile).

If you’re interested we should get together. I’m spending most of my time out in the Milford/Goshen/Batavia area on the East side. But I have some experience with some of the parks in your neighborhood. You’re in a very good area for doing Lonnie Deals.

I’m having an open house for a home I’m selling out in Goshen on Sunday from 2-4 (but I’ll be at the park all day working on some rehabs). If you come out to my park I’ll show you some of the deals I’ve done.

Karl Kleiner

Re: Another Ohio Newbie - Posted by Lisa (MO)

Posted by Lisa (MO) on July 13, 2000 at 22:28:32:

Congrats on the response to your test ad. What did it say to get that many people? I just got the books myself but am waiting to run my ad til I get back from a long weekend this week (I’m actually heading out your way and will wave when I pass.)

Re: Finally! Another Cincinnati investor! - Posted by Dexter Campbell

Posted by Dexter Campbell on July 14, 2000 at 17:59:08:

Yet another Cincinnati investor.
Talked to you on the phone a couple of months ago before my first deal. Have had two pretty good deals since then, but not finding the deals as plentiful as you make it sound. Will be in touch with you soon

Re: Finally! Another Cincinnati investor! - Posted by Mark

Posted by Mark on July 14, 2000 at 09:05:05:

Hi Karl,

I think you are right about my immediate vicinity…it seems to have enough to keep me busy.

Judging from the newspaper classifieds and the number of parks in the area, I thought the East side would be a good area for someone. It would be too much commuting for my limited schedule.

I would enjoy meeting with you and I appreciate your offer. I will give you a call today.



Re: Another Ohio Newbie - Posted by Lana

Posted by Lana on September 29, 2003 at 14:48:42:

I am another Ohio Newbie…in Cleveland. Would appreciate hearing from other Clevelanders who are doing “Lonnie Deals”. I need all the advice, mentoring, support, etc. I can get. I am a recently retired teacher hoping to embark on a second career. Please let me hear from you.