Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by Greg

Posted by Jack (KY) on March 18, 1999 at 08:44:58:

Jeffery Taylor (Mr. Landlord) says to do the same thing. In addition to saved time, he says the prospective tenants end up feeling like competitors and may even start bidding up the rent. And, instead of looking for any flaws in the property, they end up watching each other.

Jack Stivers

Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by Greg

Posted by Greg on March 17, 1999 at 12:14:23:

Hi everyone. I’ve been a silent observer on this site for about half a year now, and I think it’s been a valuable clearinghouse of information. Finally I had to break the silence to see if anyone else has a similar problem to the one I have, or better yet a solution.

We did our first Lonnie deal back on December 1, 1998. Bought a 1977 unit for 5K that needed little fixing, and appeared to be worth more. We were asking for 10K over 3 years with $500 down. This meant payments of around $320/month. However, lot rent for this spot is $467/month. Of course we new that going in, but that’s just about the going rate for our area.

Well here it is, after 4 months rental payments, minor repairs, and countless hours of showing the place and talking to people over the phone, we’re no closer to selling it now then 3 1/2 months ago. We’re now pitching a four year loan to get the monthly payment down to about 255/month. We’re even considering rental.

We’ve advertised in all the local papers (even one not-so-local), we’ve posted a few fliers (very few) and gotten a good amount of telephone response (10 or so per week). But after the intial phone call one of the following scenarios occurs: 1) people aren’t interested because the lot payment is too high, 2) people say they want to see it and we arrange an appointment to which they never show, 3) they do show up and love the place, so I tell them they have to get approved by the park manager, after which we never hear from them again, or 4) they do not get approved by the park.

Another bad feeling I have is about the park manager. He used to be friends with the old owners of our mobile home, and I have the feeling that he looks at us as people who came in and took his friends for a ride (even though the price we agreed to they named). I know this guy is not on our side because we told him that we’d give him a finders fee if he let people know we were interested in buying homes, but he said he wasn’t interested. Furthermore, the park is now running an ad (it appears directly beneath ours in the paper) saying there are homes for sale by owner. I called pretending I was interested, and our home was not on that list.

I’m really frustrated because my wife and I feel that we really tried to work Lonnie’s plan, but it seems to be getting us nowhere. I’m not giving up, just losing hope.

Lots of great Advice…there is hope - Posted by Dirk Roach

Posted by Dirk Roach on March 17, 1999 at 20:38:25:

Hi Greg,
I certainly hope that you and your wife do not lose hope. It sounds like you guys are on the right track, but need to tweak your machine a little.
Now what has worked for me in market (and what has worked for others in their respective markets may help).
For me, I use flyers quite extensively. I utilize laundry mats, grocery stores, parks (handouts) etc.
It seems to work for me, so I would suggest spending an hour with a desk top publishing program (I use Publisher 98, Microsoft) and putting them out (I pay a neighbor hood boy $20 per day to do this for me.)
Okay I think that you get the gist of advertising. I used the ad:
El Cajon (where I live)
Large 2 bedroom 2 bath
Low down/ Low monthly payments
Owner financing, NO BANKS
Why rent when you don’t have to?

This works great for me. Recently I have added my add to the Navy/Marine newspapers for the local area of San Diego. In addition to my existing civilian ads. I have yet to use the Penny Saver (As I find the cost too much), but hey if it’s cheap in your market, use it.
Also I agree with John Butler, you’re wasting your time if you don’t have a couple of people show up at once.
As Jeffery Taylor (One of my new hero’s from the convention states) you want the prospects looking at each other and not at the apartment (or mobile home in this case).
Anyhow I think you get the idea of the power of several showings at 1 time.
Okay now lets roll up our sleeves in regards to the park manager.
Needless-to-say Park Managers are extremely important in this business. I have dealt with all kinds it seems; but then again a new one will sometimes throw me for a loop. I have one who does not rewards (I use terms instead of finders fee, just because it makes them think that they are helping me out more and makes me seem a little more “homey”), Well what I do in this case is get a certificate in the amount I was planning on paying, from like Red Lobster or Outback Steakhouse or some such. Although these restaurants maybe are not fine dinning to you or me, to a lot of Park managers a free dinner there can be quite a night out for them. Anyhow it works out well.
I also have another PM who rebuilds cars. I got him a certain bumper he was having a hard time locating (thanks to the Internet) and he was overjoyed. Funny thing is it only cots me like 40 bucks (shipping included), but to him it had much more value.
Also a box of donuts works wonders when I visit first thing in the morning.
Don’t spoil a PM but make it known that you have their interests at heart.
As for not approving a prospective tenant, you might point out as a last ditch effort that you really fell confident about MR and MRS Jones, and you know what you will guarantee the space rent. You’re really doing this anyway since you’re the lien holder, but a lot of PM’s don’t realize this.
Also sometimes play the schoolboy routine and work the conversation something like this "You know MR smith (Park manager), I really need to get a homebuyer into my mobile home. Someone you can live with and someone I can live with. I’m not having much luck, as you know. Do you have any idea’s or suggestions?"
This illustrates a point that so many of us forget in regards to park managers, they are little kings over little kingdoms. At least it can seem that way.

Re: Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by David S

Posted by David S on March 17, 1999 at 19:56:20:

first, your pmts are too high… I agree with the others that you should lengthen your term to 5-6 yrs on this one… whatever it takes.

second and most important, you have a problem with the manager. he is pi**ed that you are on his ‘turf’ trying to make money and he does NOT like it at all.

Try to cure this NOW, but if you can’t, don’t loose site of what you are trying to do… help someone into their own home.

If this manager is going to red flag anyone you send his way, learn the many ways to deal with someone of his mentality.

An idea here would be to get to know some of the people at a local church, gov’t agency, shelter, or family and children’s service. Ask them if they know a family that needs housing. Offer an nice donation if they can help you sell the home. Most are looking for ways to raise money to help people and this could be something they could do with no investment. My bet is that the manger could be convinced that he should rent to a friend or relative of one of the above.

Tell him that you will call your friend at the county inspectors office, health dept, fair housing authority, etc.

If your manager friend keeps up the good work, he may just find himself looking for another job and the money to pay the fines for discrimination.

You may turn him around and that is always the best bet. But if not, go for the throat.

David S

Do you want to … - Posted by David Alexander

Posted by David Alexander on March 17, 1999 at 14:35:14:

Drain the Swamp or Feed the Alligator? First your ad
should specically say OWNER FINANCING. Next you need to lower your payments in all probability, depending on what rents on 2 bedrooms are in the area. Spread em out over 5-7 years, I have several notes this long, your yield is a little lower, but you won’t have to FEED the Alligator. It seems to me your focus is on getting your return in a specific amount of time 3-4 years as opposed to making it affordable, you can go that route but you may continue to wait for that perfect buyer. Post a big sign in the windows of the home, open all the windows so people can see in.

Now, about the park manager, you should have known how your relationship was with him/her before you bought in that park, sorry that’s hindsight. So, take the manager to lunch, and get that relationship fixed, it will make or break your deals, offer the refferal fee again for a buyer, I personally do $125 for an park approved buyer, with the correct down payment, how much is my Down Payment, well it’s negotiable if it’s reasonable(thanks Lonnie). At the very worst sell it with no money down as long as you do a more stringent credit check. I’ve never sold one with no money down, but if I had to more than two months lot rent, I probably would. I don’t like Feeding Alligators.

David Alexander

Re: Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by Sheik

Posted by Sheik on March 17, 1999 at 14:00:50:

Hi Greg:

I would stretch the loan longer.
In my area a 2br apt rents for around $800-$900.

With that in mind, when a prospective buyer calls on
my ad (which, by the way, does NOT have monthly payment or downpayment info), I find out how much they have to put down as well as their income.

Depending on their income, I will tell name them a monthly payment. The payment will never be more than
the above mentioned 2br apt rental.

Most of the time I keep it around $750 (including lot rent). I also require a minimum of 10% downpayment.

You might try applying this in your area.

As for no shows, when I make an appt. to show the home I ask them to call me 1 hr before the appt. I tell them if they don’t call, I won’t be there.

It helps, but I STILL get no shows. go figure.
I guess it comes with the teritory.

Hope this helps.


I bought one last October and sold it late December -
don’t lose hope.

Re: Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by Dean (IL)

Posted by Dean (IL) on March 17, 1999 at 13:36:22:

Hi Greg,

I’ve read your other post with Lonnie Deals and it definetly sounds like your having a string of bad luck.

As I’ve heard it mentioned on this site, Park managers could make you or break you. If this fella said he wasn’t interested after you offered him $$ for finding MHs tells me he’s got a problem with you for whatever reason. Also, he’s not approving of prospects you send to him for approval on the lot.

Have you thought of moving your MH to a different park? I know it is a hassle and possibly costly, but I would consider it.

Good luck to you on this one. Please keep us posted!

Re: Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by Redline

Posted by Redline on March 17, 1999 at 12:27:11:

I’m certainly no expert and know alot less about mobile homes and Lonnie Deals …

But the first thing that pops into my head with all of this is … OWNER FINANCE! It seems to me, that by advertising this thing with some kind of owner finance you’ll be able to attract a bigger pool of buyers and be able to sell quicker.

Just an idea, sorry if it doesn’t make sense to your situation.

“Schmoozing” Throws them off! Works great! - Posted by Ray

Posted by Ray on March 19, 1999 at 01:31:31:

My thoughts on the PM were similar. I would suggest going to him and treating him as though he was an all-knowing, wise businessman. Saying something like: “Mr. PM, I know you are a busy man and as you know my choices for new tenants have not been so good. Would you mind taking a moment to show me what kinds of mistakes I have been making with these people? That way I can better pre-screen them before I send them to you and waste your time.” Assuming he gives you suggestions, then tell him upon your exit, “Great, thank you, I feel confident the next people I send you will be exactly what you are looking for.”


Re: Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by Jennifer(NH)

Posted by Jennifer(NH) on March 17, 1999 at 14:15:10:

As for no shows, when I make an appt. to show the home I ask them to call me 1 hr before the appt. I tell them if they don’t call, I won’t be there.

Thank You! I never thought of trying that its brilliant. But you’re right, I’ve had people make the initiative to call and confirm appointments and then they never show and you never hear from them.


Re: Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by Greg

Posted by Greg on March 17, 1999 at 13:05:55:

Thanks for the quick follow-up. Our ads do not explicitly state owner financing, but it is implied (i.e., “LOW DOWN/LOW MONTHLY PAYMENTS”). And we do state that it is owner financed during any phone conversations.

Our next ad should state the “owner financing” more clearly. Thanks.

Re: Mobile Home From Hell (Part II) - Posted by John Butler(Stl)

Posted by John Butler(Stl) on March 17, 1999 at 15:20:55:

I have been using this with my rentals for a long time with good success. I used to block aside whole Saturdays and schedule people at 1, 1:30, 2, etc… but after 2 show up’s each day out of 8 appointments, I came up with what I do now. I schedule as many appointments at the same time as I can, and ask them all to call 30 mins before the appt to confirm. I figure if I schedule 4 appointments at once, maybe one of them will show! :slight_smile: Also people are quick to ask for that application when they know there is competition.