Being a mobile home park owner means being a community leader. And what are the marks of a true leader? Being a true leader means that you’ll put others before yourself. It means you’ll take the high road — even when you’ve been disrespected and given the short end of a stick.
This doesn’t mean you’re a pushover. It means you’re secure enough in who you are as a person to make just calls on a hairy situation without being swayed or intimidated. You know when it’s time to have someone with more authority step into a situation. And you know when it’s something you can deflate with good communication skills.
There’s a balance
You’re working with people. People are imperfect. You’re imperfect. When you mess up or one of your crew messes up, you do what you can do go above and beyond in making it right.
You don’t see your tenants as income. Sure, you do run a business, but you also get that people are at the heart of your business. Real, living, breathing people with hopes and dreams and they call your mobile home park, “home.”
You owe them your best.
And today, we’re going to share the story of one such mobile home park owner that is choosing to be an exemplary leader. He’s making a difference and we’ll share his story.
How mobile home park owners are making a difference
Meet Hansel Rodriguez of COARE Communities LLC. Looking back on his growing up years, Rodriguez empathizes with the community of Sharp’s Mobile Home Park. Mobile homes are normatively a go-to place for families on a budget. Their affordability makes them appealing.
A community in peril
But in the case of the residents at Sharp’s, their home was soon going to be taken away from them. A deal was made to sell the park to a developer that was eager to take down the park — their homes. These developers had plans of turning the property into “Eustis Lake Club.” It was going to be a high-end housing community — what they hoped would help with the local economy.
Unfortunately, it would have come at an expense for the park residents. The park would be no more and the residents would be evicted.
That deal didn’t come to fruition, a huge relief to residents. However, their worries were not over.
A businessman sees potential and an opportunity to help
Who would end up sealing a deal on the park? Another developer, ready to plow down the place they called home?
Enter Rodriguez. He’s a developer with a different goal in mind. He wants to see the residents stay in their homes. As a businessman, he says he loves to find investments that allow him to help people. Interestingly, he came across the struggling mobile home park at just the right time.
Transparency wins trust
So what was Rodriguez’s plan in all this? He said he’d start off by making improvements on the park.
In the plan he shared with residents, he proposed an increase in rent and shared that utilities would be on the resident’s dime. He met with them to share these upcoming changes, should his deal with the park owner go through.
In his transparency, he earned the trust of the residents. The 112 residents who live in the park are hoping for a better, stronger community should Rodriguez get the deal.
What you can take away from this story
Looking at this true story that made it into the news, what are some things you can take away from Rodriguez?
The first thing you can take away from this story is the idea of noticing needs. Look for needs. Look for ways to help. Are you able to help people in your line of business? Rodriguez has experience that he’s bringing to the table. It’s not a blind, compulsive attempt at help. He’s going into this situation with knowledge.
Second, communicate. In a community like this, everyone is going to be leary when an outsider comes in — especially if the last person who tried to take their community was going to plow it down. Be patient in communicating your hopes and goals as you seek the community’s support.
Think outside the box
Maybe you’re not an investor looking for a mobile home park to rescue. Maybe you’re the owner of a park that simply isn’t giving you a good return on your investment. Before you put the old place in the market, have you thought about calling in a skilled investor to help you get the park off the ground?