Lessons Learned: Taking Back a Mobile Home
(Note: If you’ve read any of my books, you’ll notice I usually include a “Lessons Learned” section. So, I’ve decided to include it here as a new blog post series. Thanks for reading!)
When I first started out in mobile home investing, I knew about taking mobile homes back. Though it happens (even to the best including Lonnie himself), I thought it was something that I could handle. Boy was I wrong.
Sure, a couple here or there wasn’t a big deal. I got to experience taking back mobile homes…in few numbers.
But imagine taking back multiple homes…all at the same time. Or even worse, a natural disaster leaving you with a lot of inventory to fix up and refill. Talk about nightmare!
As an experienced mobile home investor, I often say the words: Been there, done that.
And to help you along on your own journey in mobile home investing, I’ve decided to share with you a few lessons that I’ve learned when it comes to taking mobile homes back. Here they are:
Learn how to hire good, reliable contractors.
Sure, when you’re first starting out resources are low and money is tight. I get it. I’ve been there, I’ve done that.
Yes, you do want to learn as much as you can and do some work yourself so you know what you’re getting yourself into when it comes to hiring.
Though there will be a point in your career, when you just can’t be everywhere at the same time. This is why it’s so important to get a good team in place in the beginning and start learning the skill of hiring and managing others.
(Note: If you’re interested, I wrote more about working with contractors here. Thanks for reading!)
Be prepared for the worst.
After my first deal, I was in the game. And you know what? For awhile, it was fun. Really fun.
Though, I had some bad days. And I took a few homes back, but not much.
But then, I got experience. I bought more homes. My inventory grew. And I started to make some serious cash flow.
Life was good…for awhile.
Though, there was a point where I was too comfortable with the status quo. And you know what happened? Things started to change. And I was unprepared.
(Note: If you’re interested, I wrote more about going through change and how to handle it as a real estate investor here. Thanks for reading!)
When it comes to life and business, nothing is forever. Things change, people change: Nothing is for certain.
So in order to be a successful investor, you need to learn how to adapt to change. Though it’s not easy, it’s an important lesson I’ve learned…the hard way.
Your team is constantly changing.
Along with the theme of change, if you plan to stay in business going in you need to know the people you work with will be constantly changing.
In the beginning, I made the mistake of working with the same people thinking things would be the same…forever. Boy was I wrong.
Situations change, life happens and people move on. You need to learn how to do the same.
Keep looking for members to add to your team…every second you get. You never know when you’ll need an extra person or two to help with your projects down the road.
The buyers and/or renters you pick will also encounter change.
Not only will your team change but your buyers and renters may as well.
Even if you have a 2, 3, 5, 10 or 15 year contract (as I’ve had) with buyers and/or renters, you really don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.
Be prepared for the worst. I’ve encountered married folks divorcing, financial and job situations changing, people skipping out without any notice and even with my latest home I just took back: a family unsatisfied with the community giving me 30 days notice skipping out on their agreement after 6 years of payments. Believe it…life happens.
When it comes to change, it’ll happen…sooner or later. Better be prepared.
Have a strong cash reserve.
Along with change, you’ll encounter money issues. Be sure you have a strong cash reserve to weather the storm. Believe me, it’s going to come and when it does you’ll be happy you set aside the funds.
When I was hit with the flood, it was devastating. But I got through it.
I had reserves saved up. Not only that, but I had a strong team behind me. Not everyone can be so lucky…
(Note: If you’re still looking to build up your cash reserve and need help on finding a niche, I wrote more about it here. Thanks for reading!)
So there you have it, a few lessons I’ve learned when it comes to taking back mobile homes. Any questions?
p.s. Be sure to check out this article (#26) where I share my childhood experiences as a young entrepreneur. Thanks for reading!
Have a question? Join the new discussion group where you can ask questions, share and discuss.
Interested in learning more about mobile home investing? Be sure to check out my book, thanks for reading!
Adventures in Mobile Homes: Official Book Trailer