With the growing trend of affordable housing, living small, “tiny homes” and saving money, mobile home communities are becoming a popular, environmentally friendly option for several demographics. The allure for many residents is affordable home ownership, whether it be to purchase the home outright or with a lease to own option. With high competition and growing interest, it’s important to start off on the right foot, to separate yourself from the competition and stand out to potential residents.
Mobile home community housing is notoriously affordable, which is why it’s such an attractive housing market for residents. However, that doesn’t mean a park owner should price compete with the competitors. When it comes to real estate, lower prices don’t always signal a better value for prospective residents.
Allocate your funds where they matter most to the residents. Consider landscaping, paved roads, street lighting, filling empty lots with new homes, updating current older homes and installing security cameras. Not only will this increase the value of your park, it will give the residents a community they will be proud to live in.
Mobile home communities in the past have had a bad reputation for being unclean and improperly maintained. You can set yourself apart from the competition by making sure that your community looks and operates at it’s best. When showing the park to potential residents, first impressions are everything. It’s important that the grounds are free of clutter and well landscaped. Having a clean and attractive park will encourage current residents to keep the area nice as well. Ensure the grounds themselves reflect the quality and service that your park provides.
Mobile home parks have a greater sense of community than most other properties. You can organize and host everything from barbeques to coffee and donut mornings to bring the community together. Publicize these events throughout the park to encourage attendance and to show prospective residents the effort and pride you put in as the owner of the park.
While you will want to find a balance of being thorough and being invasive, it’s important to screen potential residents. Screening residents give you insight into whether someone will pay on time, contribute positively to the park, and take care of their home. A bad resident will reflect poorly on the park as a whole, potentially driving away good residents. Background checks, proof of employment and income, and previous rental history will provide the information you need without invading anyone’s privacy.
Last, but certainly not least, a well trained manager is essential. The manager of the park is your eyes and ears in the field, as well as the buffer between you and your residents. The manager is the source of getting the job done for you on everything from posting notices of rules and violations to processing collections. So, the manager is one of the most important players on your team. Having a well trained, knowledgeable and dedicated manager is a major component to a successful community.
To summarize: The key to successfully operating a mobile home community is to allocate funds where they matter the most to the residents and to have a friendly staff who is actively involved, and cares about the community as well as the residents.