In this episode of The MHP Broker’s Tips and Tricks podcast, Maxwell Baker, president of The Mobile Home Park Broker, interviewed Jimmy Cotty, the executive director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, or GMHA.
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Here Are the Show Highlights:
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Power Quotes in This Episode:
“Georgia has, over the last ten or 15 years, built an incredibly friendly business environment. (Jimmy, 7:00)
“The state has numerous programs to incentivize businesses in more rural areas.” (Jimmy, 9:11)
“There’s not too many young people trying to get into the mobile home moving industry, and it’s very lucrative. I mean, I know a guy that’s, you know, his first year in the industry he made half a million dollars moving mobile homes…” (Max, 21:28)
“Every industry that employs commercial drivers, they are struggling…” (Jimmy, 23:39)
“…we want to be good partners and help offer solutions through our product for one of the most compelling issues the state faces, which is adequate housing for the citizens of Georgia.” (Jimmy, 34:05)
Hello and welcome to the mobile home park brokers 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.
00:22 Maxwell Baker
Hey y’all welcome to another beautiful episode of the mobile home park brokers Tips and Tricks podcast. As always, this episode is brought to you by the community price Maximizer. It is our proprietary system that will guarantee you a higher price when you exclusively list your community with us, four Step Program, give us a call. Today, I am excited to welcome another juggernaut in the industry, president of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, Jimmy Cotty. So, Jimmy, welcome to the show, man.
01:01 Jimmy Cotty
Hey, Maxwell, thanks for having me on.
01:04 Maxwell Baker
Yeah, man. So, tell me a little bit about your background and how you ended up becoming the executive director and your journey to get to where you are today.
01:13 Jimmy Cotty
Sure, absolutely. Thanks, Maxwell, again, appreciate you having me on and look forward to working with your organization here at GMHA and interacting with you guys. But yeah, I am the executive director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, formally came on board in April with the organization. So, I have been here through kind of the spring and summer season, have enjoyed getting to know the folks and got a great board of directors, working with them and just kind of coming up with some ideas for the association in the industry and things we can do to go forward.
I have been in the association world for a long time, I’ve previously been the Executive Director for the Georgia Ready-Mix Concrete Association, I did that for 12 years. Prior to that, I was with sort of a sister organization of theirs, called the Georgia Construction Aggregate Association, that goes all the way back to 2006. So, a long time in the association world, I understand it, I’m comfortable with it and I just have a particular view of associations. I think at the end of the day, we’re here to exist to help solve problems.
02:23 Maxwell Baker
02:24 Jimmy Cotty
I look at it, what our members do, and what my members have done and other stops and so, you know, our manufacturers, they’re good at building homes and our retailers are good at marketing them and selling them and we have guys that are good at installing them. We have guys that are really good at running communities, right those that’s their business, and that’s what they’re good at. Sort of what I see the association as a supplement to that in terms of what are the things that we can be doing, particularly in the public policy area that these guys don’t have time to do, that you’re not going to have people on staff to do in worry about. So, I’ve always kind of seen that as sort of the niche for associations is just helping these industries and their members in a way that’s sort of out of their purview on a day-to-day basis. But, in the grand scheme of things has a great effect on how they are gonna ultimately run their business and how they can run their business.
03:21 Maxwell Baker
03:21 Jimmy Cotty
So, I look at what we’re doing there, in sort of the public policy realm I don’t look at an association is, you know, our job is to sell you a manufactured home. I do believe you know, part of our job is to help enhance the perception of that home but, at the end of the day, if you want to sell a home, you get good sales reps, you build good products, and you guys go out hit the streets.
03:43 Maxwell Baker
03:43 Jimmy Cotty
While you’re at the association, we’ll try to we’ll try to help make it a more friendly climate for your product and help give better awareness to the quality of your product. So that’s what I do. I guess I got hooked up with the manufacturer Housing Association back in 2017. I had been doing some lobbying work for the concrete guys and I passed the sales tax bill with the help of a gentleman in South Georgia who happens to be a big advocate of manufactured housing. He said, you know, we’ve been having some issues with sales taxes and manufactured housing industry, is that something you’d help us with and I got involved with that group.
My concrete guys gave me permission to help me out on the manufactured housing side and started doing some work there and that’s just sort of carried over through the years I’ve been their contracted lobbyists for a few years prior to coming here full time as the executive director but you know, we scored some wins for the industry and in the sales tax arena. We got some relief on some of the mortgage banking requirements or mortgage brokerage requirements the Department of Banking and Finance was trying to place on our industry. We paved the way for some allowances for on frame modular here in Georgia and just some other things too. We’ve got teed up looking to add four more feet of length to the size home we can build an all around here and you Georgia, and we just have a lot of issues that we’ll be working on the forward to working with everyone in the industry to help educate me so I can better advocate for them.
05:09 Maxwell Baker
Yeah, definitely and one of the things, y’all that are out there listening that own mobile home communities, or really anybody that in the industry that’s in Georgia doing manufactured housing, is they are a lobbyist group, they’re out here to push our agenda to make it easier to transact in Georgia. So, it is extremely important for all the park owners listening to this podcast, that you guys register for the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association.
You all have your communities and it’s important because an example of Spencer Rhone, who has worked with Georgia manufactured housing associations for over a decade now helped push the Senate Bill, I think it was 383. Back in 2009, which made it illegal for counties to put age and size restrictions on mobile homes coming into the county. That’s a huge deal for park owners obviously. Now, don’t get me wrong, Barrow County, and Bartow County have come up with some creative ways to get around that. But even more reason for you all to join the association and be a part of what Jimmy’s doing here because, it’s going to help you make money. I mean, the end of the day, we’re here we’re trying to make money. We’re trying to provide affordable housing, and we don’t need a bunch of bureaucrats trying to dictate to us what and how we should run our business.
So, moving on from that, and Jimmy, thanks for that intro on all the details on your background, I didn’t know that you had quite the experience there. That’s enlightening to me but, what kind of opportunities are you seeing lie ahead for Georgia in the manufactured housing or mobile home industry?
07:00 Jimmy Cotty
You know, I think we have we have some great opportunities here, Maxwell and I’ll tell you why I think so. First of all, Georgia has over the last 10 to 15 years has just built an incredibly friendly business environment. Right?
07:16 Maxwell Baker
07:17 Jimmy Cotty
I think we’re somewhere like eight or ten years running and this is a big deal for the governor’s, you know, for Governor Kemp now, Governor Diehl, you know, coming out of the recession, Governor Diehl had a he wanted to make Georgia the number one state for business, right? and there’s groups that go out and they rate states and there’s various publications. I think Governor, I can’t remember the first year he did it but he achieved that or the state achieved that under his watch. Number one state for business. In every year running since then it’s been about eight or ten years, there has been a major or sort of economic developments, publication organization that is rated Georgia, the top state for business. So, what does that mean? So that means we see things like, you know, obviously, the big stuff here, coming into the fall is the announcement of the brand-new high-end plant that’s going to be down in Bryan County near Savannah.
08:13 Maxwell Baker
08:14 Jimmy Cotty
Just a few months prior to that was the announcement of the Rivian electric truck plant out near Rutledge.
08:19 Maxwell Baker
08:20 Jimmy Cotty
You know, those are great things, those are great for a state, it’s a great opportunity. So those are two mega jobs. Now, if you subscribe to the governor’s office, like I do, you know, once a week, you get a email with, you know, announcements of expansion here – 500 jobs, new factory here – 300 jobs, you know, things like that there’s, there’s stuff like that going on all around the state and all parts and really the state of Georgia wants to steer these jobs in these business opportunities out of Metro Atlanta, they want to put prosperity and park prosperity all around the state. So, a lot of times, that means trying to incentivize these organizations and companies to cite a facility or an operation somewhere that maybe they wouldn’t traditionally think of but, through various tax credits or exemptions.
The state just has numerous programs to incentivize businesses in more rural areas. So, you can put a Rivian plant out in Rutledge, but you got to have people that got to show up and work there and they don’t want to drive from two hours away or an hour away. The state needs to form when they’re doing this economic development pitching. We don’t really have a formal housing policy that accompanies that. I think there’s a great opportunity there to work in state and develop some kind of housing policy based on the salary levels, the anticipate salary levels of employees for those facilities…
09:46 Maxwell Baker
09:47 Jimmy Cotty
…the number of employees that they need on a daily and hourly basis at some of these locations. The business climate alone increases our population right? business grows, people come in to work. Georgia has been growing, we’re up near 11 million people now, it’s still going. So, with increasing business, increasing population, our public policy folks at the local and state level, they recognize that we have a need for affordable housing in Georgia, you know, builders can go out and build some great homes but really, in this day and age, they’re not interested in building homes that cater to people at under 300k, you know, they want to go out and build $400,000 or $500,000 Plus homes, and they have a profit margin they’re trying to maintain as well and there’s nothing wrong with that. It just means that at that lower level, and even my friends in the homebuilding industry, a lot of them don’t view manufactured housing as competition, they just look at it as an entry level home for someone that the next time around, will be buying a site-built home.
10:49 Maxwell Baker
10:49 Jimmy Cotty
It’s an opportunity for them to get in, getting some equity and own an asset that they can turn around in and get themselves into the home that they’re building. So, I think, you know, we have a friendly legislature, they understand the need for it, you know, Georgia is not slowing down in terms of being competitive to attract business and industry. So, just between all those things, it’s gonna create quite the opportunity for us and with my background in in kind of construction materials before coming over to the housing portion of it, you know, another thing I’ve observed is just laborers going away, in the trades and whatnot. So, building those homes on site is getting harder and harder having to find people to come out in different trades to come out serve your jobs. The fact that we can meet that demand all under one roof, helps us as an industry, I believe, to be able to produce quality homes, and put them in areas that are gonna see increases the population due to enhance job and business opportunities.
11:54 Maxwell Baker
Yeah, and I’ll mention on top of that is, we have a sister company called mobile home wholesalers and we found through our research that there are one in eight people in Georgia live in a mobile home or manufactured home. One in ten in the entire nation live in a mobile home or manufactured home and Georgia has some of the highest population living in a mobile home. I think there’s like three counties in Georgia, that are in the top 10 of most people living in a mobile home in the entire country. So, there’s a lot of acceptance, we’ve been doing a lot of research, and we’re estimating that there’s about 4000 used mobile home trades a month, just in the state of Georgia. So…
12:45 Jimmy Cotty
12:45 Maxwell Baker
…there’s a lot of movement for manufactured housing in the state of Georgia and I think we have more movement than any other state in the southeast. So, you’re absolutely right. There’s a lot of movement, there’s a lot of things people accept it here in the industry for the state of Georgia. Moving on to the next question I’ve got here. What are some of the challenges that our industry faces in Georgia? Jimmy, and I’ll say this real quick, I’m gambling it’s probably going to be the same as Alabama. We just interviewed the executive director over there and we’re curious to hear what you think is the biggest challenge right now in the industry?
13:27 Jimmy Cotty
Yeah, you know, before I even say, I’ll agree with you, I think it’s gonna be aesthetic. It’s in Alabama, Georgia, I think it’s Mississippi, Tennessee, Carolinas, just from the folks I’ve talked to, I’ve got three things around the idea of our challenges. The first is just perception, right? The perception of the quality of the homes that are out there. People think of manufactured homes, they think of some old trash trailer park that they used to drive by many years ago, that formed their idea around it, and they haven’t seen or been in the new stuff and so that’s remained that. So, perceptions, to me the big one.
14:09 Maxwell Baker
14:10 Jimmy Cotty
Zoning, local zoning is you know, in Georgia, we have Home Rule, which allows local governments, and we have a lot of local governments. We have 159 counties and 540 cities. So that’s 700ish, local governments that have an opportunity to put their own little regulation or tweak or something in terms of an ordinance that would further hinder our opportunity to place a home there to drive up the costs for the consumer…
14:43 Maxwell Baker
14:43 Jimmy Cotty
…and we can talk about some of these and then of course in Georgia another big one is taxes. What I’ve learned is you know, a lot of states treat the taxability of the home, particularly the point of purchase differently and in Georgia they are taxed like any other consumer good, right? It’s, you know…
15:05 Maxwell Baker
15:05 Jimmy Cotty
…the TV on my wall was was 300 bucks and I paid 7% sales tax. So that’s all well and good, but that TV was a one-time purchase. Well, when you’re buying a home for $200,000, and there’s an 8% sales tax, and your you got to eat 16 grand on sales taxes, but you’re rolling that into your loan, and all of a sudden your 16 grand becomes, you know, 30 grand over the life of the loan and you’re paying inflated tax rate every month you pay, you know…
15:33 Maxwell Baker
That’s not good.
15:33 Jimmy Cotty
That’s a tough thing and it drives people out of their affordability, you know, when it’s time to qualify for financing. So, we got to look at ways in terms of how we tax them, we got to be able to work with local governments, in terms of how they zoned them, and you know, one of the things too, that I’ve learned on the local government side, is it’s not necessarily all malicious intent…
15:57 Maxwell Baker
15:57 Jimmy Cotty
…you know, I think, obviously, in some locations, somebody, you get a county commissioner that just has a bad taste in their mouth about manufactured housing for whatever reason and they want to change their local ordinances. Yeah, I mean, does that happen? I’m sure it does but, as much as anything, I’m working with one county right now. They’ve got a new proposed unified development ordinance. It’s a 400 and some page document, 450 page document. You know, there’s a dozen pages in there dedicated to manufactured housing, do those county commissioners know exactly what it says about MH? No…
16:33 Maxwell Baker
16:33 Jimmy Cotty
but you know, just talking to him, they said, look, we’re not, we’re not adverse to your product, but what you need to do is go through and find the things that, that you think we need to change and prioritize them. So, we did that and when we did that, we had him out to a retailer in a neighboring county. We talked about the things that we thought were, that were not good for us, and what we might make some suggestions on or just additional options, you know, in terms of things like, they just wanted one type of skirting…
17:04 Maxwell Baker
17:05 Jimmy Cotty
…you know, when the reality is, there’s one type of skirting, they want to stay away from but, by the way, here’s some other thing, you know, here’s some other options. Then, you know, for them that’s enlightening and educational, you know, same thing on, roof pitches or deck sizes, or just any things of that nature that they had in they wanted to require. We took them in some homes in both these county commissioners, their builders, they get it, they walked in, and they looked at each other and they asked, you know, how much would it cost you to build per square foot, something like this. I mean, the numbers were double what it cost to build that home. You know, at the end of the visit…
17:40 Maxwell Baker
17:40 Jimmy Cotty
…they just said, there’s no reason why this home should not be in our county. We said, you know, we agree with you, but based on your proposed ordinances, we could not put this home in your county. So that’s why we needed to change these things. So, you know, MHI, nationally has made a lot of hay with their homes on the Hill program that they’ve done with HUD in conjunction with HUD, you know, just watching some of those videos and the response that they get from people that come in and see the quality of the homes.
I mean, hey, I’m going out and visiting retailers is part of building some goodwill here with the Association and while I’m there, I just asked, Hey, I’d like to go in and see some of your homes. Each time I go in, I’m just I’m blown away by how nice they are and how good they are and if that’s the kind of home that either people a want to live in, on their private property, or that’s the only type of home they can afford to live in. At this point in time for them, I really think it’s important form for state and locals to try to say, No, you can’t have it, or you don’t deserve to live in something like that, or, and I think more than anything, is what I’m learning. And I feel like it’s ignorance on their part in terms of what homes today look like, and what some of the things that are in their codes are that prevent us from putting those in the one county that I’m dealing with right now. I mean, they come to find out, they just copy and pasted from another county that already had stuff in there.
19:06 Maxwell Baker
19:07 Jimmy Cotty
You know, so it’s a lot to work through and I tell my members, you know, the retailers are the ones that, you know, they’re delivered in these jurisdictions, so they, they kind of see it first. They’ve kind of taken to give me a heads up on what they’re seeing and where we can get in and so right now we’re trying to work with some of the ones that have not put anything in concrete yet. Then where we can be successful, we’ll go back to the ones that already have stuff and see if we get change back but, you know, just enhancing that perception and then and then utilizing that to work with the locals on the type of product.
You know, appraisals seem to be another issue. There are a few counties in Georgia, I’ve learned to have figured out, hey, our local government can be, we can make an appropriate level of taxes on manufactured homes and that’s the kind of thing that I hear as well, people buy manufactured homes, the taxes don’t really pay for the services that’s rendered but, I don’t buy that. I think there’s some jurisdictions and counties that I’ve worked with so far where their Tax Commissioner’s love manufactured homes, they understand the value of having the new ones in and getting rid of the old ones. We have some tools here in Georgia that men developed, that allow local governments to take some of those abandoned ones out but, they want to pave the way for new ones to come in, because they figured out new…
20:28 Maxwell Baker
20:29 Jimmy Cotty
…ones are, they’re nice, they hold their value, they tax appropriately for what the county needs to collect and so they welcome it…
20:37 Maxwell Baker
20:37 Jimmy Cotty
…and they are, in some cases, an advocate for us on some of that.
20:41 Maxwell Baker
Yeah, and I’ll mention this. It’s interesting, because I’ve talked to just Alabama now. The biggest thing that they are having issue with right now that I might be enlightening with you on right now, is installers. Installers are the biggest thing, as far as me as a park owner, as well as a buyer and a user of new and used mobile homes. Finding a mover right now, the industry of moving mobile homes, is going the way of dodo birds. I say that because the guys that were moving homes 50 years ago, are still moving them now. They’re starting to either retire or unfortunately pass away.
There’s not too many young people trying to get into the mobile home moving industry and it’s very lucrative. I mean, I know a guy that’s, you know, first year into the industry made half a million dollars moving mobile homes, because there’s 90 to 100 and I’m personally experienced through mobile home wholesalers or sister company personally experienced the weightless just to get a mover to pay attention to me now that they know who I am and we do a lot of volume, I can get it done in a week.
These consumers are getting hammered. There’s like one of the premier Movers is out of Athens and for a single wide to move 50 miles, Jimmy is minimum around $10,000, which is outrageous. It’s crazy, because I remember, I’m still getting them done for like $4500, I remember when I could get one done for $1,500. That doesn’t exist anymore, obviously but, that’s probably the biggest variable that Alabama is dealing with. What is unique that I think that Georgia might want to take a look at especially association is they have come up with a educational program that teaches people how to get in the transport installer business at the local community college or the technical schools. I was actually going to try and get a copy of their class schedule or whatever it’s called the course description and see if I could you know, have some of the other associations around the southeast start pushing that because transportation in mobile homes / manufactured homes is I mean, it’s huge. It’s a big deal. We’re struggling with it every day. So, I just wanted to throw that at you as another variable that we maybe we should take a look at.
23:18 Jimmy Cotty
Yeah, I mean, I’m not I’m not shocked by that. I’ve learned in a short time that, you know, transporting mobile home is not some of the issues there. When you’re talking about commercial trucking, you’re talking about the cost of being in business, you’re talking about your insurance, talking about finding drivers.
23:38 Maxwell Baker
23:39 Jimmy Cotty
Every industry that employs commercial drivers, they are struggling, that was probably the single biggest issue. When I left the concrete association was their ability to find drivers for both to deliver their product and for the availability goes source their raw materials, you know, so…
23:59 Maxwell Baker
23:59 Jimmy Cotty
…I’m not shocked. I have talked with our insurance commissioner’s office here. They view installers as an issue from a, they look at it from a quality standpoint, they’re not necessarily so much into the transport side of it but, my conversations with them has just been in terms of they find the breakdown in the quality of the home often happens as a result of poor installations in the field. So, I know that we host several installation certification classes here in Georgia over the course of the year. That’s interesting to hear you say that but I’m not I’m not shocked about finding people to move just because of you know, just general challenges with supply chain transportation logistics is across the board and it’s not just specific to us. So, I’m not surprised by, you know, Alabama’s comments.
24:49 Maxwell Baker
Yeah. So, moving on to the next questions I’ve got here is what are some of the ways that you personally Jimmy and tend to add value you to mobile home park owners, the association, consumers for the industry, you know, what’s your next mood to take care of these people that I just mentioned?
25:13 Jimmy Cotty
Yeah, so um, you know, in addition to a lot of the public policy stuff, we talked about it, you know, and people join associations for, for all different reasons. One guy’s cup of tea is not the other, I get it, you know, I kind of gave you my view of life of what I think associations do but, just in terms of the day to day kind of value, we’ve been trying to develop, like some packages of goodies, if you will remember so, the first thing we did, I’ve worked with a group, we’ve put together some health insurance options. So, if you’re a member of GMHA and you’re looking for good insurance, good health insurance, we’ve got a group now that has some programs put together specifically for us that, you know, anyone can all the way down to the single single operator type of business but, if you need insurance for your place of employment, we’re going to have some options for you guys …
26:11 Maxwell Baker
26:12 Jimmy Cotty
…that we think are going to be very competitive and affordable. That’s one, talk with a gentleman that’s putting together a little bit of a cybersecurity program. So, I know retailers oftentimes end up handling people’s sensitive personal information, financial information, you know, community owners might in terms of, if they’re running background checks and stuff like that. So when you have access to that kind of information, cybersecurity is just a big deal in making sure that you’re secure and how you’re handling that we’ve got a group this is working on some things there. You know, we’ve the same insurance folks we’ve talked to, you know, we’d like to try to come up with some property insurance, for people that purchase a manufactured home, that’s kind of this specific to that and so we’re looking into that. So yeah, so we want to have some, some programs like that, that in addition to just you know, paying your annual dues, which are not much you turn around, and what you can save and have access to pays for it in spades, from kind of a program standpoint.
Another thing that we’re working on, too, is establishing various chapters around the state, we’ve got one down in Southeast Georgia, which is kind of an epicenter down, we’ve got three factories down in Waycross and so that’s sort of a hub, if you will of the MH industry down there. So, they’ve established a Southeast chapter, and I’ve got some guys that are working on getting organized up in northeast Georgia, as well. The idea with the chapters is just for the people day to day, you know, at the association a lot of times when it comes to boards and events and committees and conventions, you know, you get a lot of people come that might be the principal at a company or you know, a senior level of some sort. With the chapters we want to use that is to provide a forum for folks to come out in and just get to know us participate a little bit where they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity. Then we want to try to use that as an area maybe to identify some folks for the future of our industry, that will be able to help lead it and be willing and able to participate on things like boards or committees that we might have and so that’s that sort of come into life. So, right now we’re we’ve got to focus in developing the programs in sort of developing this chapter model that I think some other states have done pretty successfully but, we’ve just never done here in Georgia. So, those are two of the main things on our list that we’re putting together to help offer some value to our industry out there, our constituency.
28:44 Maxwell Baker
Okay. Moving on. The last question here, I just have for you is, what do you think some of the priorities are right now for you and the GMHA?
28:54 Jimmy Cotty
So yeah, so currently, a couple things that I’m working on, first of all, you know, I’m trying to build relationships for us and when I say build relationships, you know, I feel like I’ve in the past, I’ve done a good job finding other groups that have aligned issues with us, or potentially aligned issues with us that we can build a friendship develop some credibility with. So, when it’s time to go to bat, you know, for example, down at our convention, we had a gentleman from the Realtors Association, and I’ve just had to have had a great relationship with that organization for a long time. You know, the realtors are perceived as the preeminent private property rights advocate at the Georgia State Capitol. They obviously have a huge network. There’s Realtors everywhere you go, but they have a great Association. They keep their folks informed. They’re a great group when you can tag team with them because every single legislator has a constituency of realtors that they know. It’s just how it works. So…
29:56 Maxwell Baker
29:57 Jimmy Cotty
There’s an organization, Maxwell out there for everything under the sun.
30:03 Maxwell Baker
Yes, right. There is.
30:05 Jimmy Cotty
You know, with some of this tax stuff, you know, I’m talking with some folks that are the Georgia Association of tax officials. Then there’s a code enforcement, Georgia Association of Code Enforcement, areas like that, where we can go in and try to build some credibility, bring some current information to whatever their programs are, help them understand what it is that we’re trying to advocate for. You know, a lot of times it’s helping them understand what you’re not trying to advocate for, you know, you don’t want people to get the wrong ideas about what you’re trying to do but, if you’re not clear in your message to them, then they can sort of develop their own ideas about what you may or may not be trying to do. So, I find it’s helpful just to, we want to tell people what we’re not for as much as what we are for. So, just finding the organizations to educate in that regard and build relationships and show them that we can be a credible partner, that’s gone, that’s served me very well and in previous stops and so I’m going to try to utilize that model a little bit here.
Then I know we’ve got you know, between Seco, and then I’ve got some retailers that are doing some follow home shows, we’re going to try to leverage that to get some folks through and actually see some homes…
31:19 Maxwell Baker
31:20 Jimmy Cotty
…some policymakers at the state local level and start winning some hearts and minds and find some friends and see who’s interested in what we’re doing and what we’re selling and build from that. So, you know, one of the things that’s happening this in October, the Georgia House of Representatives is having a house Study Committee on affordable housing. Basically what that means is somehow somewhere, affordable housing was identified as a problem but, they didn’t necessarily have a legislative solution or don’t necessarily have a legislative solution yet. So, what they’ll do is, though, form these things called study committees, where they’ll have a series of meetings and invite stakeholders to come in, talk about what they perceive are the problems and potentially offer some solutions. So that when the legislature reconvenes, in the next session, or any follow on one, you know, there’s sort of a bank of ideas of things that were talked about…
32:20 Maxwell Baker
32:21 Jimmy Cotty
…that could potentially be solutions to some of these issues. So I know, when we have this affordable housing Study Committee, you know, a lot of the groups that we’ve been talking to, and building those relationships with, they’re going to be there in their own right, whether that’s home builders, or whether that’s realtors, or whether that’s manufactured housing, or others, local governments obviously will have a part to play because they’re, they might get picked on a little bit…
32:43 Maxwell Baker
32:44 Jimmy Cotty
you know, in terms of various industries, but I don’t want to see myself as someone out there trying to hammer them, I like to go to them with solutions in hand to that we think can be helpful for their industry. So, there’s things like, like we developed in Georgia just a couple years ago, something called the Abandoned Mobile Home Act.
33:02 Maxwell Baker
33:03 Jimmy Cotty
It’s a legal process for landowners and local governments to get together. So, if they have homes out there that need to be scrapped, but you can’t identify an owner, or no title exists or things like that. It gives us a legal process to go through, you know, have the home condemned or deemed derelict and then from there, they can get through a process and scrap it had to hold off and in and make way for a new one, if that’s what’s so desired. I just find a lot of counties are ignoring the fact that there’s a tool out there called the Abandoned Mobile Home Act. So, when I go to talk to them, I like to educate them on that just so they know, hey, here’s, we know what you want, you want rid of those homes over there? Well, guess what we want rid of them too, because they give us a black eye but what we’d like for you to consider is, in addition to get rid of that let’s make way for these new homes that have a much higher value and that you’re going to get solid tax revenue collections off for the years to come…
34:05 Maxwell Baker
34:05 Jimmy Cotty
…and for community owners who want to responsibly run their community, you know, it’s not going to be a problem. You’re not going to have you know, hear guys say we’re going to have police out and I’m sure police go to as many poorly run stick-built communities as they do maybe a poorly run manufactured housing community. You know, we just we have a perception issue there. So, we want to use this opportunity to participate in the affordable housing study committee to educate the legislature on the tools that have been developed, how they’re being used. A lot of these guys don’t even know how tax revenues are collected on manufactured homes and so with this one county we’re working with now and their UDO, you know, once we showed them hey, here’s how you guys collect taxes on they’re like, oh, so we do have a regular decent income stream on these types of homes. So, you know, we want to use this opportunity to put a good face on the industry, shall we want to be good partners and help solve solutions through our product for some of the most compelling issues to state face, which is adequate housing for the citizens of Georgia
35:13 Maxwell Baker
Yeah, definitely. Well, Jimmy, I appreciate your time to kind of enlighten us on what your role is and kind of what your vision is for the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association but, if a park owner wants to come in and register their community, how do they find you?
35:31 Jimmy Cotty
Well, I mean, they can reach me directly. This is easy enough. I can be reached it just firstname.lastname@example.org, they can visit our gmha.com and there’s a registration there. I think on your first community, you come in at 250. If you got multiples, it scales and I think we cap out at $500, depending on how many communities you have and so it’s not a heavy financial lift their participation in our association helps give us credibility when we’re trying to advocate for them, particularly in their area. I think it gives them a little bit of credibility, to show, you know, local governments that, hey, we’re a participant in this. We’re believer in what they’re doing. and it gives them opportunity a little bit, put some money where their mouth is.
You know, I welcome to hear from them. I mean, I’ve heard from some community owners, we have community owners that are on our board of directors, along with manufacturers, suppliers, etc. In the communities they’re the front porch of our industry, right? When people think of manufactured housing, whether it’s a nice community or poor, poorly run community or an old community, those are the things that come to people’s minds and help shape perception. So, we would love input from community owners and how they think we can better enhance the perception of the product, because we’re, we’re honestly relying on them to run communities that treat their residents well and keep it a nice, respectable place to live just like you know, anyone else would desire. So…
37:09 Maxwell Baker
37:10 Jimmy Cotty
…you know, I look forward to working with those folks and getting their input and so obviously, communities are to me, a big part of what we’re doing here.
37:20 Maxwell Baker
Nice. Well, thank you Jimmy for your time. As always, this episode is brought to you by the community price Maximizer. It is our proprietary system that will guarantee you a higher price when you exclusively list your mobile home community or manufactured housing community, depending on how fancy y’all are out there. Four step program, give us a call (678) 932-0200 or email me at email@example.com. Look forward to talking with y’all, thanks for listening and let’s keep moving forward.