Begin with the end in mind - Posted by ray@lcorn
Posted by ray@lcorn on February 08, 2000 at 10:17:28:
Welcome to CREO! I’m glad to hear we have another potential monopoly owner in our midst. There are a few good texts on mobile home parks, and no discussion of where to find information would be complete without a mention of George Allen who has written a very good text on the subject. You can find his contact and ordering info at www.mobilehome.com Look for his banner ads.
I have also written a book on the subject, and I SWEAR it will be ready in time for the Atlanta convention! It will then be available here on this site as well.
Here’s an excerpt from my book that I hope speaks to your questions:
My advice to getting started? Begin with the end in mind!
I am a firm believer in “beginning with the end in mind”. In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Dr. Stephen Covey explains that “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” (By the way, as a personal handbook for growth and change, I highly recommend Dr. Covey’s book.) In the context of real estate investing, beginning with the end in mind means we take some time to develop criteria for our investments that will help us focus our energies toward being successful with those properties we wish to acquire. This is true of all investments, but especially appropriate here.
There are three basic questions a prospective or active real estate investor should answer before proceeding with an investment:
- How active will you be in the management of your property?
- How much do you plan to invest and at what required return?
- What geographic area will you invest in?
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. (The biggest site for listing real estate properties for sale nationwide is Loopnet.com. Simply type in your search parameters for area and property type and the site will deliver a list of avaiable properties fitting that criteria. They have literally billions of dollars worth of properties of all types listed.)
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 using the old fashioned methods also. 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 is not exclusive, but 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.
So there you go! I hope that gives you some food for thought and some direction in where to find more information. Please don’t hesitate to post questions here as well. There are many very qualified people reading this newsgroup that are doing what you want to do. You might also read “Turning Trailer Courts into Communities” series of articles by Doug Ottersberg in the Money Making Ideas section of this website. I know Doug, and he knows whatof he speaks!
Best wishes for your success!