For as long as I can remember, my family has been in the rental property business.

We’re now on the third generation of mobile home park owners, but this family business didn’t start with trailer parks. My grandfather worked in hardware and construction related industries when he built his first apartment complex. I don’t know why, but at some point he decided he wanted to buy and run a mobile home park.

The First Mobile Home Park
After a few years, he was able to find and buy a mobile home park and according to my grandmother, that’s when they really started to get ahead (which was a blessing because he started with literally no money). He passed away a few years ago, but he left my grandmother with a beautiful home on a big piece of land, commercial property, and a nice nest egg.

Scanned-Image-11I grew up in this business, starting with landscaping and maintenance, and eventually moving into management.

Boy, when we got started, times were rough – my family hadn’t developed any systems yet, so they were figuring everything out by trial and error (…and there were some big errors in the form of horrible tenants).

I remember going with my dad to try to collect rent or to evict tenants who were scary (think prison “scary”).

Collecting Rent (…from Scary Tenants)
When some of those tenants would open the door to the mobile home, we could see they had destroyed the place. I’ll still never forget one of our rent collection trips to the Thunderbird Mobile Home Park (my dad owned a handful of parks and some apartment complexes).

We almost got into a fist-fight with a tenant and I said to myself,

“Man, I am not going into this business when I grow up.”

From Scary Tenants to Grateful Tenants
We’ll I went my separate way while my brother went into the business. Over the last 10 years or so, I noticed the horror stories we used to talk about during the holidays start to stop. Then I started noticing “Thank You” cards from tenants.

People I know started asking how my family was able to run such nice mobile home parks. Even my friends and commercial real estate colleagues were curious …and so was I.

So, I started asking questions.

The Start of Mobile Home Park Classroom
Right under my nose, my family had been refining their processes and their procedures into systems that minimized having to deal with scary or deadbeat tenants. They had darn near turned mobile home park management into a science. This was good news. My dad and brother had always been master deal-makers when it came to finding deals on parks and mobile homes, but now they had figured out the piece of the puzzle that made me swear off this business.

Considering the hell we went through and all the fumbling around we did while I was growing up in the business, I realized this is a story that needs to be told.

Here’s the challenge – putting a course together that really conveys how to be successful in this business is going to be a monumental task. There is going to be so much for me to learn just to get the information into your hands. Technical stuff like producing and editing video, setting up the web site, and figuring out how you’ll actually get the course has me thinking I won’t be getting much sleep if I take this on.

Just thinking about putting all this together is pretty overwhelming.

But here’s the deal – people keep asking and it has taken my family over 35 years to figure this business out. Now they live really low-stress lives where they can travel and enjoy life knowing that the rent checks keep rolling in. It’s just a night and day difference from what you see in “normal” mobile home parks. It would be a waste not to capture the thought processes and the systems behind my family’s success. It’s a story that has to be told, so I think I’ll take it on.

Wish me luck.

P.S. Let me know if you have any questions about this business and I’ll try to make sure they get answered either here or in the course (if I decide to move ahead with this massive project).

About the Author

Creator of Mobile Home Park Classroom, a popular online training course used by park and community owners to find, hire, and train successful RV and mobile home park managers. I specialize in attracting prospects, converting them into customers, and delivering a first class experience worthy of positive reviews.

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