What do you do when a tornado’s on the horizon? You crack open a cold one and watch it, of course! Jefferson Lilly, the founder and managing partner of Park Avenue Partners and host of the Mobile Home Park Investor’s podcast, shares his mobile home park manager’s surprising tornado response. Listen in to hear how Jefferson got into mobile home park investing, why he runs all his purchases by his advisory board first, and a lesson he learned about government operations - and learn why he believes he’s in the best niche in real estate.
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Time Stamped Show Notes:
- 01:30 - Introducing Jefferson
- 03:50 - Jefferson’s story: He got into the business 13 years ago and looked into mobile home parks
- 04:50 - He believes it is the best niche; every city and county outlawed new construction of mobile home parks, which affects the supply curve
- 05:15 - The supply curve is shrinking 1% a year and demand is increasing 1%; almost all tenants own their own homes, so it’s only the land that they have to worry about
- 06:15 - The economics make sense; he bought 33 mobile home parks and has 5 others under contract
- 06:35 - The biggest challenge and his evaluation model
- 07:10 - He is independent thinker; once he was at a cocktail party fundraiser and a woman scoffed and walked away when he told her what he does
- 09:25 - He put together an advisory board of people who own trailer parks; he runs deals past them before he buys
- 10:20 - How he got his group of advisors
- 10:30 - He put himself out there and told people what he did; he started getting linked up with other people
- 10:54 - He found people online, too
- 11:05 - His most impactful lesson
- 11:15 - You can’t trust the government; his first park had a sewage lagoon, the local government said it was built to code but it wasn’t
- 12:45 - He paid about $500,000 to bring lagoons back up to code; now he doesn’t buy properties on private utilities
- 14:00 - They focus on buying mobile home parks; they rent-to-own some trailers; they don’t want to have a boneyard of parts and don’t have the bandwidth
- 15:20 - He’s a principle, not an agent; his podcast is called the Mobile Home Park Investor’s podcast
- 15:35 - Jefferson’s CSIRE story
- 15:40 - He has a park in Tornado Alley in Oaklahoma; he asked his manager there what they do when a tornado comes
- 16:17 - He said, “We watch them” and explained when they aren’t a concern
- 17:00 - A couple of weeks later, he got an email with the subject line “Park Destruction” and he thought they had gotten hit
- 17:20 - It was to fix a broken lock to a well house that kids had broken for $30
- 18:30 - On tech and the mobile home industry
- 18:40 - They don’t take cash and applications are done online; they’re trying to be automated
- 19:00 - They use Rent Manager software, work with on-site managers for on-the-ground work, use box.com, and have regional managers, too
- 20:40 - His role is to raise capital and find deals
- 21:00 - A tidbit for the audience
- 21:05 - Get an unofficial advisory board; learn from the experience of others who have been there, done that
- 22:05 - Get in touch with Jefferson at Park Avenue Partners
3 Key Points
- Be wary of judgy people.
- Get an advisory board.
- Focus on what you are best at and outsource/automate the rest.