Working with Park Managers - Posted by Eric NC

Posted by Jerry Freeman on January 22, 2002 at 07:15:17:

How does it work if you’re a park manager and also do deals? I’m interested in buying a park. I have good relations with several park managers. If I buy a park, will I have to stop doing deals in other parks, or is there a way to do them so everyone benefits and everyone’s happy?

Working with Park Managers - Posted by Eric NC

Posted by Eric NC on January 21, 2002 at 17:20:55:

Hey Gang,

Lonnie replied to Chuck (AZ)'s request to write an article on this subject with:

"Here?s an idea. How about all you MH players posting your experiences with PM?s… what worked for you, what didn?t work, different approaches, techniques, etc. Maybe we can compile a list from real life experiences. How about it folks, tell us about your PM experiences.


Cool, lemme start!

First of all, I feel so much better now that I’ve done this today. I had no problems talking with sellers of mh’s, but the pm side of it always scared me. I mean they hold all the cards.

I tried Lonnie’s “young couple” approach with one pm over the phone with disastrous results. He caught me in some fibs, and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to deal in that park. I tried it again with a different pm over the phone, and it went much better, but didn’t go far in building any rapport. Not sure what will happen there.

So now what? Search and read the archives of CREonline of course!

I spent about 3 hours going through old posts last weekend, and I found the advice I needed. I copied all of the posts I liked into one text file, and then read it and reread it. Today, I decided to put it into practice.

I had today off for MLK, Jr. day. But I knew that most of the world didn’t, so it would be a great day to go meet some park managers. Uh oh! It’s like going on a blind date!

I found a road in my city that has three parks on it and set sail. I brought my copy of DOW with me for inspiration. I also brought a pen and a memo pad.

It was pouring rain, but I was pumped. Time to find a deal!

Well, the first park was a bust. I found one for sale that was $11,500. I pulled the flyer and got ready to talk to the pm. I left the park because I was too nervous, and drove around the block.

I stopped my truck and read the book a little. Screw it, I said, what do I have to lose? The worst that can happen is I don’t make a deal. It wouldn’t be any different than yesterday.

I went back to the park, and pulled up to the manager’s office. I used my affirmation “I am very relaxed and at ease with myself and my surroundings” a few times, and then knocked on the door.

No answer. Knocked again. No answer.

Okay, so now I’m mad. I’m like, “Why did I waste my time worrying? They’re not even here.”

I drive to the next park. It’s a total hole. SW’s missing skirts, dirt roads, hoopties on blocks, the whole nine. I leave.

I then drive around for a little while and can’t even find the third park. Now I’m really mad and about to give up.

I think better of it, and head over to a park I know is nice and drive through to refresh my memory. I write down the numbers of a couple homes I would consider buying and head for the manager’s office. I say my affirmation again, and walk in.

The receptionist shows me to the manager, and she offers me a seat. I introduce myself, she does the same, we shake hands, and I sit down.

First question out of her mouth is, “And you’re with…?”

Good thing I think to make up a name before I got in there!

I mention to her I saw a couple houses for sale that I was interested in, and she proceeds to tell me all about them. Such and such is a repo going up for bid, it’s behind X amount in lot rent, it needs some floor, some holes in the walls need fixing, blah, blah, blah. She even offers to get me a bid sheet.

This woman broke it all down for me. She told me she buys and sells homes in the park also, but she’s too busy managing to do all of the deals. She own four houses in the park now, but she doesn’t like to extend herself any further than that, do I have card so she can refer people to me?


The answer is unfortunately, no. I haven’t had cards made up yet. Yes, I’m kicking myself.

Anyway, we shoot it for about a half hour, and I get the park guidelines from her and a lead on another park her company owns. She invites me to some new house thing they are doing this Saturday, gives me her card, and tells me to stay in touch. I thank her for her time and information, mention I will be back with some biz cards for her to hand out, and walk out floating on cloud nine. Next!!!

I hit another nice park, and follow the routine. “Hi, I’m Eric NC, I notice you have what look like some abandoned homes in your park. Can you tell me anything about them?”

This pm tells me which houses are vacant, for about how long, what the lot rent is, and so on. I’m feeling MUCH bolder now, so I am able to come across much more confidently about what I do. I say I work for Whatever Homes (same name I told the other pm), and that we finance homes, much like Conseco or Greenpoint. She nods like she understands exactly what I mean. She breaks out a map and jots down which homes are vacant, and even offers me the name and number of an out of state owner who just wants to get out from under their lot payment. She tells me he’s VERY motivated. I cannot believe this! How easy is this??? Then she goes, “Do you have a card I can hand out?” DOH!!!

Newbies, the bottom line is this: Dress nice, and walk in with confidence. Introduce yourself, shake hands, and sit down. Ask after a house or two that you’ve noticed for sale. Now shut up and listen. Let it flow. Let THEM talk. These people like to talk, because they like their lot rent paid. Basically all you have to do is show up and listen. If they ask you what you do, tell them you finance homes. In order to finance homes, you need your buyer approved by them. Now it’s natural to ask for their park rules. Now you have another thing to talk about. Let it flow. Let THEM talk. Oh yeah, and have a card to give them. Mine are being printed right now.

Thanks to Tony-VA, Chuck (AZ), Lyal, ScottS(NC), Jacque, Dr. Craig Whisler, the MASTER Lonnie Scruggs, and others I’m sure I’m forgetting. Your books and posts gave me the means to do this!!!

Thanks for reading this long post. I hope it helps some. And believe me, if I can go out and do this so can you. NOW GO DO IT!!!

Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by Terri (MI)

Posted by Terri (MI) on February 17, 2003 at 09:21:52:

Thanks a million Eric for your inspiring story! I’m going out on my first PM visits tomorrow and have been mulling over my approach. (and I’m a bit nervous) Reading your experience was great!

Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by Glen SoCal

Posted by Glen SoCal on April 13, 2002 at 18:10:26:

Eric NC–

Good post. I was looking in the archives and just read it. Well written. I think the combination of the driving rain and your personal affirmation really sends it home to a newbie like myself. There was a point there where I was wondering if your were just going to drive home. Well done!

And now for the rest of the story… How is it going for you?

Best of success,


Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by Gary (TX)

Posted by Gary (TX) on January 22, 2002 at 16:39:17:

Congratulations…You got out of the comfort zone. You could have easy gave in and said this stuff doesn’t work.In instead of giving up and going home you gave it your best effort. Hope to see you at the convention.

Your business is ready to take off like a rocket.

Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by ScottS(NC)

Posted by ScottS(NC) on January 22, 2002 at 07:53:48:


Nice post and congrat’s on a successful day of scouting and best wishes for many more! Take Care ScottS(NC)

Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by dave

Posted by dave on January 22, 2002 at 06:24:29:

I am a PM and can tell you the last thing you want to do is lie to me. Be straight and I will work with you. your approach is good and it works. I also do deals and if I try to con another PM, he will toss me out as quickly as he would anyone.

Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by Jacque - WA

Posted by Jacque - WA on January 21, 2002 at 21:11:03:

Wow Eric…

You put a lot of effort and thought into this post…it is most appreciated…

Congratulations on putting forth the effort with the park managers - this will bring you many rewards in the future.

Most of my deals come via park managers.

Good job!


Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by Martina (WA)

Posted by Martina (WA) on January 21, 2002 at 20:37:45:

Wow! You are an inspiration! I’m new here. I’m in the process of reading Lonnie’s book. I’ve got pretty good people skills, but the thought of approaching PMs is pretty scary. I have this mental picture of just making a total fool of myself! After reading your post, I’m going to use POSITIVE imagery. If you can do it, so can I. Thanks!

Martina (WA)

Chuck (AZ) gives it a 9.9 !!! - Posted by Chuck (AZ)

Posted by Chuck (AZ) on January 21, 2002 at 18:49:04:


In two short pages, you’ve hit the proverbial nail that drives this business squarely on it’s head.

I can’t say enough about this post… you could screw up everything else you do here Eric and this would still be your finest moment!

If anyone reading Eric’s post has doubts about approaching a PM, read it again… this is almost word for word and step for step the exact moves that I (and no doubt many others) made when starting out.

You’ve heard me say that the “key” is to be straight-foward and as honest as possible with the PM… here’s more proof that it DOES work.

You don’t have anything to loose but a small amount of your time, and alot of potential profit if you don’t try.

Granted there will be problem parks and problem PM’s that you can’t do anything with… just move along to the next one… it’s their loss, and eventually they’ll pay for it.

Your goal isn’t to save the world, just to make your corner of it more profitable.

Go for it!

Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by JD

Posted by JD on January 21, 2002 at 18:41:32:

Good for you! You gave me inspiration.

Re: Working with Park Managers - Posted by Chuck-NY

Posted by Chuck-NY on January 22, 2002 at 19:56:33:

Dave you are 200% correct !! Never lie to a PM
and always do a win-win deal for everyone !!
That’s how you build your MH business by word of
mouth. I do whatever I can to help the PM…a few
days ago I gave a dot matrix printer to a PM I deal with & set it up for her…why…you ask…because her old one died and her boss was too cheap to buy another one. I’m not saying that to pat myself on the back, I’m saying this to tell others, that you need to help the PM in any way you can…PMs need us & we need
them…make it work !!