Posted by ray@lcorn on June 02, 2000 at 13:17:52:
The following is an excerpt from my book “DealMaker’s Guide to Mobile Home Parks”.
Get the word out
Once you have defined where you want to operate, how much you have to invest, and the size parameters of a park that fits your appetite, then the next step is to locate properties to consider for purchase. There is no magic to the process of getting the word out that you are a prospective investor with a preference for mobile home parks. The real estate brokerage community is a highly networked industry, and if you already know a broker, then it is a simple matter to let him or her help guide your search. The idea is that somebody will either know about a park for sale, or know somebody that knows about one.
This has been the way brokerage has worked for years, but today it is a fast changing world. There are many resources available to the investor today that were not even in existence a few years ago. Multiple listing services, the Internet, and the general mobility of people in general has multiplied tenfold the ways in which information is passed from one to another, and the serious investor should make an effort to avail himself of all possible resources. In the appendix of this book there is a list of trade publications, Internet sites, and several contact numbers for information about the industry. (Note to Charity: the biggest site on the net for commercial income properties is found at Loopnet.com)
But with all of the high tech contact mechanisms, cell phones, web sites, broadcast fax, and email listserves, there is much to be gained by learning a few of the more “old fashioned” methods.
Do the footwork
I know a broker who travels the southeast United States on no particular set route other than one state at the time. Ormond and his wife love to travel, and at seventy-five years young, they enjoy the thrill of the chase in finding mobile home parks for sale. Their method is deceptively simple: Upon arriving in whatever town their travels have brought them to, they check in a nice motel, and first get some rest. While his wife freshens up, Ormond picks up the yellow pages and looks for mobile home park listings. He then calls each park, asks for the owner, and then asks if they want to sell. He is very low-key, and brings no pressure to bear whatsoever. His listing agreement is not an exclusive, but simply provides for his commission should he locate a buyer. Any owner who has the slightest inclination to sell would not hesitate to deal with Ormond and his wife. (In fact when he came to my town I was disappointed that the deal that closed wasn’t his!) In a very short time, he had listing agreements for over fifty parks in several states! If he came to your town would he beat you to the punch for your local parks? Don’t overlook the simple, common sense approach to your search.
Hope that gives you some ideas.