Mobile Home Park managers - Posted by Dirk Roach
Posted by Dirk Roach on January 04, 2001 at 12:39:10:
Wow, there has been a lot of discussion about the PM’s lately, which I think is great. I wanted to take a quick second and add my thoughts on PM’s, and the intricate role they play in our MH investing.
When dealing with a new PM, there are few key things I have learned.
1.) develop rapport.
a.) Dress in the uniform of the day. you are not going to impress anyone, by wearing a three piece suit. Most likely they (the PM) will think you are some sort of solicitor, (selling encyclopedias or something) and are trying to hard. Wear some nice casual clothes.
b.) Look around your environment. Take note of their office etc. If you see a picture of PM bass fishing, well that would be a good…non business topic of conversation.
Just don’t get too far of the whole reason you are there and waste a lot of time. Although I have yet to find a PM ( or most folks for that matter who don’t like talking about themselves etc.)
c.) Be nice and professional, but don’t sit there and talk, and talk, and educate the PM on how much you know. Ask questions and listen to the PM. A lot of useful information can be had, be just listening.
d.) If you are not sure about something that they ask you, don’t be afraid to speak up…i.e. “You Know Mr. Jones, I just don’t know, but you had better believe I am going to find out.”
2.) Establish a relationship.
a.) get them (the PM) on your side. I like to get a PM involved in what I am doing. For example, “You know Mr. Jones, I think we are after the same thing here. You want a good tenant (who is going to pay their lot rent on time every month) and I want a good buyer (someone who is going to pay on their loan every month) will you help me find that person? When I send someone in here to run their app. If they are a serious credit bandit, and have like 15 evictions in the last years, please let me know.” etc. etc.
b.) I am known for my every other weekly Park Pow Wow’s. I love to go to a park, at least once every two weeks, preferably in the AM with a box of donuts, (I have a weakness for donuts, and have found most other people do too). So we sit down and basically BS a little about what’s going on. Any Problems with My folks, any problems that I might be able to help out with other Park tenants…IE 3 and 60’s (evictions) etc. You would be amazed at the amount of info that you can obtain this way.
I am also maintaining an old advertising technique here. Repetition! For example when I say Hamburger, or fast food, the majority of people think McDonalds. Why because they see a ton of McDonalds Commercials. Now McDonalds already has a good market recognition system in place, it keeps it there by repetition. I like to do the same on a smaller scale.
So when Mrs. Smith wanders into the PM’s office saying that she is thinking of selling her home, who pop’s into MR. Jones (Our PM’s mind)? Dirk and his Donuts, that’s who.
c.) Do what you say you are going to do. Very important to keep a consistent positive image with the PM. Sure things happen, let the PM know when something does. But remember a major crisis in your life, doesn’t nessicerily translate to one in theirs. However I have found that most folks are understanding, if you are just straight and upfront with them.
d.) I like to give little gifts, on holidays. Plants, gift certificates, flowers etc. are great. I’m not just talking about x-mas etc. But also Mother’s (Father’s) day. Easter, Birthdays, etc. Remember those BSing sessions, this is the sort of useful info that one can attain from them.
e.) Pay your bonuses. Whether they be in the form of cash, or a nice gift certificate for dinner (I like out back steak house ones) remember to figure in a little something for the PM. Trust me, this is an important part of the game, if you plan on winning.
3.) What to do when the PM makes you mad.
a.) work it out with them. Be upfront, but remain calm. Ask questions, listen to their response and then explain your perspective. In a Calm manor!
b.) If that doesn’t work, see a.) and try again.
c.) If that doesn’t work, see a.) and try again.
d.) If that doesn’t work, see a.) and try again.
4.) In closing.
Remember that PM’s are first and foremost people. Treat them as such. But don’t kiss any backsides. If the PM isn’t going to fit into your investing plan, pass, move on to the next Park, believe me there is always a next park. But remember a good PM will make this game run much, much more smoothly.
Anyhow those are my thoughts on the matter.