Working with Park Managers - Posted by Eric NC
Posted by Eric NC on January 21, 2002 at 17:20:55:
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?
DO I HAVE A 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!!!