Closing Cocktail: Craig Nielson – 20 Lot MHP in Texas

June 18, 2021 by Maxwell Baker

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • How elementary schools make it easier to close mobile home park deals (1:47) 
  • Why a mobile home park is the “missing ingredient” to building generational wealth (and how to leverage this to close more deals) (3:54) 
  • The “Engagement Bond” that makes buyers chase you instead of the other way around (4:58) 
  • Are you looking to buy a mobile park home? Here’s how to find an off-market deal lickity split (5:44) 
  • Why email is the worst way to communicate if you’re ready to buy a mobile park home (and what to do instead) (6:52)

Hello, and welcome to the “Mobile Home Park Broker’s Tips and Tricks.” This is the podcast where we talk about mobile-home-park investing, because that’s what we’ve been involved in for the last decade. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Here’s your host, Maxwell Baker.

Maxwell: Hey, y’all, welcome to the Mobile Home Park Broker’s Podcast: Tips and Tricks. I’m really excited because we just had another closing. We love to close deals here at the firm and one of our superstars here, Craig Nielson, who is also one of our company trainers that trains a lot of the junior guys coming on the team and has got a great background. Craig, amazing. We’ve got this deal done or you’ve got this deal done, and I have to give you a round of applause and cheers for the Topo Chico.

Craig: Yeah, there we go. There we go.

Maxwell: There it is. There it is.

Craig: There’s water.

Maxwell: Cheers. Cheers. Tell us a little bit about it. I’d love to hear how you found the deal and kind of the story behind that. I know that all of the people in the internets love to hear about deal stories, so love for you to break into that. [01:11.0]

Craig: Absolutely, Max. Ay, thanks for having me on. It’s a pleasure to work with you and our team. We really do offer buyers a turnkey opportunity as they work with us to help find the right asset for them. In this particular case, I was searching for properties for a particular class of investors that I had and just came across it, looking through the internet, called the owner directly and he basically said, Yeah, I’m ready to sell. It’s something that’s been in our family for quite some time, many, many years.

As I dug into the property even closer, it had a lot of the bells and whistles that new buyers and old or established buyers like. It was close to an elementary school, so that helps with transportation issues and safety issues. It had expansion possibilities. It had public water and public sewer, and it also came with significant extra property. [02:04.6]

I went to the development pool inside the same pool I was working with and I came to the right buyer, and literally put it together to close in 45 days.

Maxwell: Nice, nice. Finding a deal and closing it in 45 days is a very rare thing in this industry. Was it an all-lot-rent deal or did it have some park-owned homes? Tell us a little bit about that part.

Craig: Yeah, sure. It was somewhere in the neighborhood of 20+ pads, almost 20 pads I should say. It had all-lot rent, but about three or four of the homes were owned by one individual, and so he’s now in negotiation to go ahead and buy those homes, and go ahead and work some magic there. We had about six pads that were vacant.

Maxwell: Nice.

Craig: So, he’s trying to find information on buying a couple of homes to put on those.

Maxwell: Awesome. Awesome. How did the deal get financed? Did he bring his own debt? Was it owner-financed? Tell us a little bit about that. [03:04.1]

Craig: Yeah. He had a line of credit to work from.

Maxwell: Oh, nice.

Craig: And as he said that he wanted to finance it, but if worse came to worst, he would go ahead and pay out of the line of credit and finance later, and so that’s what we did. We ended up pulling from his line of credit, so that we didn’t waste any more time to go ahead and get the deal done.

Maxwell: Essentially, it was an all-cash closing.

Craig: It was all-cash closing.

Maxwell: We like that. We liked that. See, the sellers out there watching this video, we have all-cash buyers. They are out there. They do exist. They don’t have to be a 1031, but we do have quite a bit of all-cash buyers that we bring to the table.

Yeah, so it sounds like this buyer, I think you mentioned that prior to us starting this, was a first time buyer. What’s the buyer profile like? What did he [do]? How was he set up?

Craig: Buyer profile was a gentleman probably I think in his mid-fifties, early-sixties, looking to build a portfolio of mobile home parks for his family. He was substantial in single-family residences, rehabs and so forth in the Southwest. His family is in the southern states. [04:13.1]

He had his son [visit]. Actually he never came out to see the property. He sent his 22-year-old son to meet me at the property prior to [inaudible] and so forth, and so this is the start of a father-son mobile home park portfolio.

Maxwell: Nice, nice. I love it. I love it. It’s always great to work with family when you can all get along, right?

Craig: And they do. They very much do.

Maxwell: Just to wrap up this little bit of this deal story, tell us a little about what you learned on this deal that you’re going to use for the next deal that you’re closing here, hopefully, in the next few weeks.

Craig: Yeah, I’ve got a lot of things in the hopper. As you know, I’m pretty excited about it. One thing that I learned here was to really look at the buyer pool that you’re working with and learning to work with individuals that are going to close. [04:59.0]

I knew early on that this gentleman and his family were engaged with me. They were calling me with questions. They were saying, We’re ready to go, and they were reaching out to me as much as I was reaching out to them, and so we created this energy and this bond versus me always chasing a buyer here and so forth. That bond really helped us get this over the finish line.

The second thing that I learned was having this additional property for expansion, which was, I think, seven acres, that was very appealing to him because of his background in residential real estate. Everything just kind of clicked and I knew when you have those kinds of components, you can put them together fairly quickly.

Maxwell: Yeah, and I’ll back up to your first point. The buyer was calling him regularly and that’s how the buyer found this off-market deal, by regular follow-up. That was one of the things I talked about in one of the podcasts that actually hasn’t hit the market yet, so y’all are getting a little taste of this little tip here and that taste is to follow up with your broker regularly. [06:06.5]

No emails. Shoot him a call, shoot him a text, smoke signal, whatever you’ve got to do to get their attention, because brokers are like puppies with too many balls coming out at them. They don’t know and they’re just trying to catch whatever balls are coming at them.

Craig: That’s right.

Maxwell: You’ve got to really get their attention on one ball because the broker’s life is always going a thousand miles an hour. Long story short here or the meaning of this sale story—I forget what that saying is. I’m having a little tongue twister—always call your broker at least once a month. Call Craig once a month. Check in with him. Call Ryan. Call Christian. Call one of our guys here once a month, just to see what’s going on with deal flow. Don’t give him an email. We get hundreds of emails every day, Craig, don’t we?

Craig: Absolutely.

Maxwell: How many emails do you think we get? So, working through them now. Yeah, so it’s very difficult to catch up with people via email. Give him a call. Call our company and we will get you some of these off-market deals that we’ve got. [07:10.2]

Hey, Craig, congrats again. I’m really excited for our journey together. It has been great so far. You’ve got a lot of cool stuff happening, working on some big deals that are off-market that, hopefully, we can [close] that we talked about earlier today, hopefully, if we can put some of these rates on. Thanks again. Congrats for being on the show.

As always, this podcast and video is sponsored by the Park Owner Price Maximizer, or the Park Price Maximizer, better yet. It’s a little bit of a tongue twister, but it’s a great little program that we have created and coined here at the MHP Broker. It’s a four-step process that will guarantee you a higher price when you sell your park with us. Like I said, give us a call, (678) 932-0200, or give Craig an email. Craig, what’s your email? Do you want to give them an email? [08:10.5]

Craig: You betcha. CNielson@TheMHPBroker.com. That’s C-N-I-E-L-S-O-N [at] the MHP Broker [dot] com.

Maxwell: I love it. Great. Thanks, guys and gals, for watching, and look forward to hearing from you once a month. Thanks again. Bye.

Maxwell Baker

Maxwell R. Baker founded The MHP Broker in 2009 as a commercial real estate broker specializing in helping Investors buy and sell mobile home communities throughout the Southeast. His family got started with mobile home parks in 2000 where Max gained experience in management, rehabilitation, and selling mobile home parks. Today, The MHP Broker has grown to a team of several agents with expanded services focused on owner and investor brokerage services, mobile home park audits, and in-depth market research, resulting in the sale of over $500 million worth of mobile home communities.