MHP Brokers Tips and Tricks Podcast, Sam Hales Interview

March 17, 2023 by Maxwell Baker

In this episode of The MHP Broker’s Tips and Tricks podcast, Maxwell Baker, president of The Mobile Home Park Broker, interviewed Sam Hales, president and CEO of the Saratoga Group. We talked about Sam’s strategy of founding his own construction company to work on all of his various projects rather than having to hire locally every time.

This and every Tips and Tricks podcast episode is brought to you by The MHP Broker’s’  proprietary Community Price Maximizer. Use this four-step system to get the highest price possible for your mobile home park or RV community when you sell it through The MHP Broker. Guaranteed. Ask Max for details.

Here Are the Show Highlights:

  • Today’s interview is with mobile park owner Sam Hales of the Saratoga Group. Sam is a mobile home park owner with whom The Mobile Home Park Broker has closed several deals. (Max, 0:22)
  • Sam is one of the top owners in the country, with 97 parks and a total of more than 6,100 lots in 17 states, with more deals closing in the next 30 days. (Max, 0:55)
  • Sam loves operating in the southeast U.S. and in certain Midwest states. (Sam, 1:32)
  • When Sam and Max met at SECO, Sam mentioned his new strategy of bringing in his own construction contractor and crew rather than being at the mercy of local contractors for park projects. (Max, 1:50)
  • When Sam bought a 312-lot park in Kentucky, he inherited a serious sewer line repair challenge. (Sam, 3:45)
  • His first two local bids were each for over $2 million. (Sam, 3:59)
  • Local contractors seemed to know they could charge what they wanted because they were the only game in town. And they saw it as a one-off project, so they figured to get as much as they could. Even when Sam got a bid from someone he’d worked with before, it still came in at $1.7 million, which was still way too much. (Sam, 4:23)
  • Then Sam got to talking to a contractor who was doing construction on his home in Tennessee, and found that the contractor had built mobile home parks from scratch in the past. So Sam made him a deal to send him and his crew to the Kentucky park for a couple months, set them up in RVs and with per diem living expenses and pay them by the hour. (Sam, 5:49)
  • The final bill came to $230,000, vs. the quotes for $1.7 million to $2 million-plus he’d received from local contractors. (Sam, 6:30)
  • The contractor they brought in was a problem-solver who could figure out how to get things done in fewer steps and was able to cut out over half of the scope of the work. (Sam, 7:18)
  • Now this same contractor and his crew are working on a drainage problem at a Memphis park of Sam’s. (Sam, 7:21)
  • And from there the team will go to a park in Marietta, GA that Max sold them. Two old buildings need to be torn down and replaced with additional lots. (Sam, 7:59)
  • Sam found that by controlling one construction company and sending them where needed, he could control his project priorities and get the work done when needed, and at a cost savings over constantly having to bid and hire locally. (Sam, 8:23)
  • After seeing the success of this working arrangement over his first few projects, Sam’s now in the process of officially establishing a construction company and hiring his contractor and team. He can use this approach not only for handling work projects in his parks, but also for building communities from scratch. (Sam, 8:54)
  • Sam has an experienced project manager on payroll, and his brother is an engineer to handle all job planning. (Sam, 10:24)
  • The contractor loves being free of the administrative responsibilities of running a company, and being able to focus his time and attention on construction, so he loves the arrangement. (Sam, 14:05)
  • His contractor also hated the constant hassle with getting paid so he can pay his crew. (Sam, 15:02)
  • It took awhile before the contractor saw that he was regularly getting paid per schedule by Sam, so that was a big worry he no longer had to focus on. (Sam, 15:44)
  • Sam’s attention now is on economic challenges he sees on the horizon. He’s reading books and listening to economists to position his company for ongoing success, whatever happens over the next year or two. (Sam, 16:26)
  • Sam thinks his company can ride out a recession since he’s in a somewhat recession-proof industry. (Sam, 18:12)
  • Max remembered a situation when he started out, in 2009, where a lot of mobile home park residents in Alabama were foreign-born day laborers. When the authorities showed up to the parks and requested green cards, the parks emptied out. This is an example of how the ever-changing political landscape can have a serious impact on the economics of park owners. (Max, 19:05)
  • Sam’s parks are about half occupied by Hispanics. He’s not concerned about residents being detained and deported, but if the economy dries up will there be enough work for his tenants? If not, will they leave the parks and return to their home countries? (Sam, 21:20)
  • Sam doubts that this will be a problem, because economic conditions in the countries where the immigrants are from are already much worse than it’s likely to get in the U.S. (Sam, 22:16)
  • Asked his favorite business-related books, Sam chose The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump, Am I Being Too Subtle? by Sam Zell, and a Warren Buffett biography. (Sam, 22:58)

Reach out to Max to learn more about winning strategies in the mobile home park industry and to find out how to sell your property for the best possible price. Just drop Max a line at or give him a call at 678-932-0200. And be sure to check out The Saratoga Group at

Power Quotes in This Episode:

“We love the Southeast, and then parts of the Midwest.” (In announcing recently buying a Nebraska park) (Sam, 1:32)  

“When we got into this business we determined…we needed to be vertically integrated.” (Sam, 2:33)

“Anybody bidding in that market kind of knew they had us over a barrel and we were not going to be a great customer for them because we’re gonna do this one job and then we go away, right?” (On why he thinks he got outrageously high quotes from local contractors.) (Sam, 4:23)

“We’re going to build our own communities, too.” (Sam, 8:54)

“We got to be ready for the next year or two or whatever, and I think it can be a little tough.” (Comment on economic headwinds) (Sam, 17:35)

“The mobile home park investment is more about operating a business than it is about owning real estate. Right? I mean, there’s not very much real estate out there where you can have such huge impact on your bottom line by how you operate it, but mobile home parks, there’s a ton there, right? (Sam, 23:26) 


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 and today, I am very excited to have Sam Hales from the Saratoga group. We’ve done, I don’t know, how many deals but we’ve done several deals together.

00:51 Sam Hales

That’s right.

00:52 Maxwell Baker

So, if y’all don’t know who Sam is, you should check out his website at the or look him up on LinkedIn. He’s probably one of the top syndicators in the country, with 97 communities under his belt, with more closing here the next 30 days, just over 6100 Lots and is operating in 17 states. So Sam, the Juggernaut, welcome to the show.

01:20 Sam Hales

(Laughs) and he started listing off those numbers Max, I’m like, Oh my gosh, how does that guy sleep at night? Yeah, we just entered state number 17. Last week closed on a park in Nebraska.

01:32 Maxwell Baker


01:32 Sam Hales

We love the Southeast and then parts of the Midwest and so it ends up as you know this business it ends up kind of a little scattered geographically but, that’s part of the beauty of the business. I love. I love our country. I love visiting different places and getting to know different people.

01:50 Maxwell Baker

Yeah, man. So, one of the reasons why I wanted Sam to come on the episode today, y’all is, when we were at SECO, Sam had mentioned to me his transition of hiring a local contractors versus hiring imported contractors for maybe his home base. I don’t know where they all come from but, I kind of want to dissect the aha moment. When you’re like, you know what, I’m getting tired of getting hammered by some of these local guys and girls, like, let’s bring in our own talent. So, I wanted to just kind of dissect on, when was it you decided that that was the path you wanted to explore? Where did you get the idea from? and kind of just have an open dialogue about it.

02:33 Sam Hales

Yeah, awesome Max, and cut me off. I tend to rant here, right, a little bit but, let me kind of give you the background. When I got into this business, we determined, right, pretty soon after starting that, like we needed to be vertically integrated. Because there weren’t a lot of great third-party options. I mean, I’m mostly talking about property management.

02:54 Maxwell Baker


02:55 Sam Hales

So, you know, right away, it’s like, okay, yeah, you got to, if you’re gonna build a property management company, like, there’s a lot of things that go into that. So, we just kind of started attacking that right away and building that out. So, on the construction side, I don’t want to say that I ever wanted to start a construction company because it’d be a lie (Laughs) like…

03:14 Maxwell Baker


03:16 Sam Hales

…I’ve got a pretty big bucket list but, that was not on it. Basically what happened is we have a big community, it’s 312 spaces up in Radcliff, Kentucky. I know you were in the military. My dad was in the army, and he was stationed at Fort Knox for years. So, I was kind of cool going back because I’m like, Oh, this is I kind of have big memories of this place but, anyway…

03:38 Maxwell Baker

Did you see our park over in Muldraugh by the way, we just listed one right next to Fort Knox. (Laughs)

03:43 Sam Hales


03:44 Maxwell Baker

We should talk about that later. (Laughs)

03:45 Sam Hales

No, no, no, no, we need to talk. I think I know that park. So, it’s been Yeah, we love, that market’s been good for us. So anyway, we knew there were some sewer line issues when we bought the park.

03:58 Maxwell Baker


03:59 Sam Hales

We didn’t completely understand the scope of it and we started getting into an insight. Oh, man, you know, smoke tests and we’re working with the city and it’s like, All right, we got a big scope on our hands. We got an engineer involved in and we, you know, put together scope of work and plans to send it out to bid and literally shocking. Like, I think the first two bids were both over $2 million.

04:23 Maxwell Baker

Wow !

04:23 Sam Hales

We’re not talking about re-piping we’re on you know, it’s like, I don’t know, a third of the lot, but not 100 Lots and you got to reconnect to the main I mean, there’s, and you’re going 13 feet down. I mean, there definitely some hair on this or like, oh, man, there’s no way like that is definitely not in the budget, but we got to fix this issue. So we started reaching out even further, like, you know, other general contractors that weren’t in that market in part of what we’re starting to realize is like, look, anybody bidding in that market kind of knew they had us over a barrel and we were not going to be a great customer for them because we’re gonna do this one job, and then we go away, right. So, they’re gonna take care of their people that are building communities. They’re in Louisville and Radcliffe and then come back to them time and time again. So we sent out to bid to some other contractors that we had a little closer relationship with, and got the bid down to $1.7 million…

05:19 Maxwell Baker

Wow !

05:20 Sam Hales

…still way out of budget. At the same time, I had moved from California to Tennessee, and the house and property that we bought here, there’s some projects that we were doing and we needed a home office built, a couple other things. We found this great contractor, like one of these guys, to where you tell him what you think you want and he’s like, that’s pretty good idea, but have you thought about this, like, oh, man, that’s an even better idea what I thought of is…

05:48 Maxwell Baker


05:49 Sam Hales

…so as we got to know him a little bit more, I started sharing with him like what my businesses and what we’re, what we’re doing, and we never done anything like this. He’s like, holy, I built mobile home parks. I’m like, say what? So, this, so this guy had, like soup to nuts, built a mobile home community before and done lots of the dirt work and all this sort of stuff. I’m like, Jonathan, what if we paid you per diem and we set you up and we bought you and your crew, a couple of trailers, you know, RVs and we sent you up there for two months and we just paid by the hour. What do you think he’s like? Sounds great. I love to travel.

06:29 Maxwell Baker


06:30 Sam Hales

So, in doing that, I mean, it costs us more than if he’s just coming if he’s sleeping in his own bed and coming to my house and working here in Knoxville, where I’m located. But anyway, end of the day, we kind of took a flyer on it, because it’s like we didn’t, it wasn’t like we did it. Right. I mean, it’s like he was paying, we’re paying hourly, we ended up getting that job. Again, five bids. Best, lowest price we got was 1.7. We got all in? We got it done for $230,000.

06:56 Maxwell Baker

(Laughs) Oh god damn!

06:59 Sam Hales

I mean, does that tell you like what’s going on in the market a little bit. Now, part of that is, is because this guy’s a problem solver. So, when we hand him the engineering plans, he’s like, that’s kind of dumb? Like, why are we doing that? Because I know, we got this other manhole over here and the grades going this way, you know what I mean? Like all these…

07:17 Maxwell Baker


07:18 Sam Hales

So basically, we cut out over half of the scope of work.

07:20 Maxwell Baker


07:21 Sam Hales

So, I mean, right there, you’re getting a ton of cost savings and then anyway, I mean, you know, we’ve kind of gone and talked about that but, that’s really what happened and like he said he likes travelling. So, right now he’s in Memphis, Tennessee and he’s working on, we had a drainage problem there

07:35 Maxwell Baker


07:36 Sam Hales

with a 230 site community we bought there in Millington, Tennessee. (Laughs) This time, we tried to kind of scope it and say, okay, I think here’s our budget. He’s gonna get it done in half the time that we scoped…

07:48 Maxwell Baker


07:49 Sam Hales

…and so next, we’re moving them to a park that I bought from you guys, the one in Marietta.

07:55 Maxwell Baker


07:56 Sam Hales

Yeah, do you remember how that was?

07:58 Maxwell Baker

Yeah, that was a good deal.

07:59 Sam Hales

Oh, it’s turned out incredible for us but, we’ve got another two vacant buildings that we need to demolish. We’ve been just working with planning to make sure we can replace it with mobile home sites. We’ve finally I think, got that approved. So, he’s going to demo those put in some more mobile home sites. Anyway, we’re thrilled about this because, first of all, obviously, the cost, right, like,

08:22 Maxwell Baker


08:23 Sam Hales

We’re seeing huge cost savings there but, the other part of that is like, we can control, I guess, our initiatives or our priorities. So, in the past, it would be like, well, who can we get to do a certain job? Whereas now we’re like, no, no, here’s our priorities, like, we really want to get this drainage work done in Millington, Tennessee, because we got new homes that are common, we really want to get this stuff done at Hillcrest and Marietta after that because…

08:48 Maxwell Baker


08:49 Sam Hales

…we could sell homes there and lot rents are 600 bucks a month and you know what I mean? I

08:52 Maxwell Baker

Yeah, it’s crazy over there!

08:54 Sam Hales

It’s like we can, so we can kind of take these guys and like all of our highest priority stuff, we can kind of move them around and go address that. So, again, I never envisioned having a construction company and we’re not official yet. I mean, we’re still kind of doing 1099 and all that. But, you know, the idea was, we wanted to try out a couple of projects here, make it official form a company and start doing this. And ultimately, Max, we’re going to, the plan is we’re going to build our own communities too.

09:20 Maxwell Baker


09:21 Sam Hales

Yeah, we’ve got a number of entitlements that are going on right now for expansion or complete development projects…

09:27 Maxwell Baker


09:28 Sam Hales

…and those, again, how to cite in terms of the pricing that we’re seeing in the market, we’ll be able to get it done for a fraction of the cost.

09:34 Maxwell Baker

I think that’s how Frank and Dave were operating because I remember reading somewhere that Dave would send out his crews to all these different towns all over the country. I don’t know if you got the idea from them but, it sounds like you just kind of organically had some aha moments because I mean, it makes sense like depending on these new areas in the country where you know, you come in there you’re the new whippersnapper in town everybody’s…

09:59 Sam Hales


09:59 Maxwell Baker

…licking their chops, right That’s just not going to work.

10:01 Sam Hales

No, no, no. All that leads to is like us not getting it done, right? I mean, because it’s like you cannot, we cannot responsibly spend that kind of money, like the ROI on that. There’s just not there.

10:14 Maxwell Baker

He’s project managing everything, or do you guys project manage it, and he just does like the grunt work.

10:20 Sam Hales

So, we project manage. So, basically…

10:23 Maxwell Baker


10:24 Sam Hales

…the way that we’re set up right now, we brought a guy on board three months ago, who’s got a lot of construction experience. He’s built Costcos, churches and Bojangles and those are the three that come to mind that stuck out to me. So, he’s kind of got he’s got that experience and so, he’s helping out there. Then my brother, Luke, who’s got an engineering background, and he’s really kind of running point on the whole show.

10:47 Maxwell Baker 

Nice. I mean, that would probably cut down the cost substantially having all the project managing on your side versus having to have the contractor project, manage and do all the work for you. I’m assuming those other guys were probably going to try and do both. Maybe that’s reason why it was so expensive. I have no idea. I don’t know, talking out of my butt right now.

11:07 Sam Hales

Yeah, I think it’s that and it’s like, hey, we don’t we don’t need your business but, if you really want to pay us an exorbitant price to do it. Here it is. I think that’s mostly what it was. Yeah, I mean, to that point, Max, on the one I was talking about the development, so we just got one entitled, outside of Austin, Texas. One of the guys on our team used to work for Cove and ELS and did a lot of development for them. You know, as we went into that project, he’s like, Yeah, I think we can probably get this done for 15,000 a Pad, it might be 20.

11:47 Maxwell Baker


11:47 Sam Hales

Well, we didn’t get a bid back that was less than I think it was, like 36 or $37,000 a pad.

11:54 Maxwell Baker

Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking that the market would be, but what’s the lot rent in that market? $400-$500?

12:01 Sam Hales

Yeah, we’re actually a little below that now. But we’ll be at 400. here shortly.

12:06 Maxwell Baker

Yeah, so the math makes sense. Is there a demand for people wanting to move their homes in there? Do you have to like bring in the homes and then people buy them from you? Or how does that work in that market?

12:15 Sam Hales

Yeah, we’re not right. In Austin. I mean, we’re, so there’s a place called Taylor, which there’s a big Samsung plant that’s going in there. We’re about 15 minutes outside of Taylor. So, it’s, I mean, Austin has obviously been a fantastic market. This is out on the fringes for sure. Yeah, it’s not a market where people are gonna move homes in, like…

12:35 Maxwell Baker


12:36 Sam Hales

…we’ve got to go buy those homes, bring them in. So, there’s an existing community there. Our first day as it was redoing that…

12:45 Maxwell Baker


12:46 Sam Hales

…and making it safe and point out the trashy homes and new roads and all the rest and so we’re getting that part filled up. Our thought is yeah, I mean, I don’t know, 3,4,5 months from now, taking this crew that we have, and going and building this, this community out there. So, we’re excited about it.

13:04 Maxwell Baker

So, when you found this group, did they just come to you organically? or did you seek to find like, how did you find the girls or guys out there to actually give you the idea like, wow, maybe I should build a construction company today? I think you said they worked on your house or something? Is that what it was?

13:20 Sam Hales

Yeah, they were just working on my house. So, it was really a little bit of dumb luck. You know, what are the odds that a guy that’s here kind of framing up at an audition or something like that is the right guy to be doing this, but it just kind of happened worked out that way. Then he had a couple guys that, that work with him, you know, it’s just kind of how that came together. You know how it is max.

13:44 Maxwell Baker


13:45 Sam Hales

It’s about people.

13:45 Maxwell Baker

It is.

13:46 Sam Hales

So, it was like, this was the right guy and man, we found him we’re like, Okay, this is the kind of guy you can build a company around.

13:54 Maxwell Baker


13:54 Sam Hales

He’s not necessarily going to do it, because he doesn’t care about doing any of that stuff but,…

14:00 Maxwell Baker


14:01 Sam Hales

…we can build a company around a guy like that. So…

14:05 Maxwell Baker

So, I’m in the right spot.

14:05 Sam Hales

…Yeah, exactly. Put him in the right spot. Yeah and you mentioned kind of the project management. I mean, you know, some part of it is when he shows up at a new site, like we want to call the stuff rented, like, you know, the heavy equipment that’s moving dirt, we want the manuals delivered, you know what I mean? Like, we’re taking care of all that. For him, that’s kind of cool. Like, he’s not, you know what I mean, if you’re, if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you’re not used to that, like you always got a message. A guy that’s like, a builder and a creator. He doesn’t want to mess with that stuff.

14:36 Maxwell Baker

Administrative Stuff

14:37 Sam Hales

Yeah, the administrative stuff is so we’re like taking all that off of him and he’s just thrilled about it because he gets to spend his time doing what he likes to do. You know, the one other thing I’ll add about that, Max is that, you know, we had this relationship where he was working here on our house and you know, we’d make sure hey, every Friday like we’re handing in money, right, because we just want him to be out happy and come back on Monday. Right.

15:01 Maxwell Baker

That’s Right.

15:02 Sam Hales

So, that sort of thing and he had worked for other larger groups are kind of a corporate sort of thing. He’d had a lot of bad experiences where, you know, some business owner would have him do a project, and then would try to fleece him wouldn’t want to pay him and, and he’d spent his, you know, he had stories about, like driving around on Saturdays, and like, shaking these guys down for the money they owed him or whatever.

15:27 Maxwell Baker


15:28 Sam Hales

So, even though we kind of built a relationship, you know, we didn’t know each other too well. He was very nervous about that. He’s very nervous that he was gonna have a similar experience with us and so we just made sure that he gets his checks right away…

15:43 Maxwell Baker


15:44 Sam Hales

…and doesn’t ever have to worry about that stuff. So, we found that’s a big deal for people just because they’ve had bad experiences.

15:51 Maxwell Baker

Yeah, it’s a contract and kind of I mean, with the movers too out there, like they want to get paid, like, within five minutes of them finishing moving their mobile home into whatever it is, it’s, at least in my experience, yeah, that’s right since of the transition, I appreciate you kind of dissecting that. I know a lot of people probably got a lot out of that. Some of these other questions that I had here were, what are you learning right now? Like, can you kind of give us like some of the things that you’re learning right now maybe it’s a book that you have, that’s kind of made an impression on you that’s on the tip of your mind that you’re like, constantly thinking about?

16:26 Sam Hales

Yeah, a lot of thoughts swirling through my head, as he asked that question, I would say that most of what I’m focusing on right now, Max is like just trying to read and listen to as much as I can about economic forecasts, you probably remember that presentation we had at Seco with the economist that came in there, I thought it was a great presentation. I’ve just spent a lot of time doing that I’m cognizant that this is probably going to be a difficult time for everybody in some sense in some way and I just want to make sure that our company is ready for that, that we were prepared. So, if I think about it this way, real estate held for the long term can make you a lot of money but, if you can’t survive the cycles, you’re going to lose it, like whatever hard work, and we put in a ton of hard work the past five years, whatever hard work you’ve put in, if you can’t make it through the cycles, that’s where fortunes are lost. So, that’s why I got into this business in the first place is because it did kind of demonstrated that it would do well during a recession…

17:34 Maxwell Baker


17:35 Sam Hales

…at least historically, but, so that’s mostly what I’m doing is just like reading and listening to as much as I can about economic forecasts, and you hear a lot of different opinions. I think I’m on I don’t want to say I’m a pessimist, I like to be optimistic, but I’m definitely feel like we’re, we got to be ready for the next year or two or whatever and I think it can be a little tough.

18:00 Maxwell Baker       

What do you think is going to be the biggest variable that you’re going to have to deal with, with your portfolio with the economics kind of components that you just talked about?

18:12 Sam Hales

Yeah, it’s a really good question. Let me say, first of all, I mean, you know, we’ve basically been stress testing our portfolio and our properties to look at debt coverage and you know, figure out, okay, if interest rates went to this amount and reset, and like, what would be the impact? I feel like we’re pretty safe there. I actually posted something about this on LinkedIn. You know, one gentleman came back and said, well, what about loss of occupancy? And I gotta be honest, I feel like, there shouldn’t be much of that but, it’s a really good point. That could be right. The reason I say there shouldn’t be is that historically, like when I you know, the research I did get into, into this, the Great Recession,, bust the chattel crisis Avenue, like during any of those periods, there really was no loss of occupancy in the image space.

19:05 Maxwell Baker

I’ll make a comment that I started in ’09, I remember cold calling, just parks just trying to get a listing and trying to figure out and everybody was full. But the only problem was, is we had some communities that were more day labor oriented. Okay and when they were trying to bring jobs back to Americans, they actually deported a lot of the day laborers and a lot of parks overnight, went vacant. There was actually a vice episode. I don’t know if you ever saw it, but they talk about that back in ’09 when they basically got vans around all over the state of Alabama to all the farms and said, show us your green card and if they didn’t have them then, get in the van. Then they had these parks that went vacant almost overnight and then all the locals came to work the farms. Then the farmers went back to the politicians and they first like, bring back the day laborers because the locals don’t work. They don’t produce 3x a day. They’re like not even half x a day.

20:14 Sam Hales

Yeah, yeah

20:15 Maxwell Baker

They started secretly removing all the issues that would cause them not to be able to hire day laborers and then the occupancy went back in parks. That was like, the biggest variable that I remember seeing was the politics caused the occupancy across the communities to drop, because I didn’t see it, man.

20:37 Sam Hales

Yeah. Well, no but that’s another thing we’ve thought about. I mean, I would, I would guess, max that in our portfolio, about half of our residents are Hispanic and we have we have a lot of Hispanic residents. You know, I don’t want to stereotype but they’ve been great. Right? That’s a very broad blanket statement but, you know, typically very family oriented, keep, you know, the rules and regs that we have, I mean, anyway. So that’s something we’ve thought about, and not necessarily political, because I feel like there’s not enough political will to do something like that again. I mean, I’ve heard about that happened back then in 2009, I just feel like, I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole. It’s yeah, too much.

21:19 Maxwell Baker

(Laughs) I get it.

21:20 Sam Hales

But it becomes, well, what about if there’s a major recession, and there’s not enough jobs? Like that’s going to impact a lot of people, including, if you’re Hispanic, and you have, you know, you’ve been away from home for five years, you can go back home? You know, do you just leave? I mean, nobody’s forcing you to, but you just leave because you don’t have a job here? I don’t know. But part of what I’ve thought about there is, as we know, this, I mean, it’s a world economy, right? For better or worse, the world economy runs on US dollars. So as bad as it might get here, it’s most likely going to be a lot worse other places.

22:03 Maxwell Baker


22:03 Sam Hales

That’s kind of how I look at that and say, you know, somebody that’s up here, let’s say, from Guatemala, and then my daughter spent a year and a half in Guatemala on a mission.

22:11 Maxwell Baker


22:12 Sam Hales

There’s no economic opportunity there.

22:15 Maxwell Baker


22:16 Sam Hales

There isn’t right. So as bad as it might be here, it’s hard for me to imagine them saying, I’m gonna go back to Guatemala, and I can, you know, make more money there. That’s not gonna happen.

22:27 Maxwell Baker

Yeah. Well, I don’t really have any more questions here. I just had these other ones, let’s see here. What is your top three favorite books of all time? We’ll wrap it up on that. Oh, I’m always secretly looking for new books. So that’s reason I asked that question.

22:41 Sam Hales

Yeah, no, no, got it. First of all, I love to read. One of my top ones has got to be the art of the deal with Donald Trump.

22:50 Maxwell Baker

Yeah that’s a good book.

22:51 Sam Hales

Yeah, you’ve probably read it. Am I being too subtle? Sam Zell, have you read that one?

22:56 Maxwell Baker

It’s a great book, too.

22:58 Sam Hales

Yeah. Yeah. I’m trying to remember what it’s called now. But the Warren Buffett biography, have you read that one?

23:04 Maxwell Baker

I don’t think I have.

23:05 Sam Hales

Yeah, you know, I think I think you’d really like that. What I like about that one is, you know, most people when they think of Warren Buffett, they’re like, oh, yeah, you know, he’s really good at picking stocks, or whatever. It’s called the snowball but that’s not really what Warren Buffett’s about. He’s really, he’s so successful, because he understands business, like forget.

23:26 Maxwell Baker


23:26 Sam Hales

PE ratios, and all this other crap. Like, that’s what he focuses on. So, so we all know about is his public stuff. But, you know, most of his deals over his lifetime event, private business deals. So I learned a lot from reading that and some other things regarding Warren Buffett about like, how to, how to think about a business, how to how to look at kind of the levers that you can pull on operating a business and making it more successful. I mean, you know, I tell people all the time, like the mobile home park investment is more about operating a business than it is about owning real estate. Right? I mean, there’s not very much real estate out there where you can have such huge impact on your bottom line by how you operate it but, mobile home parks, there’s a ton there, right?

24:13 Maxwell Baker


24:14 Sam Hales

I mean, because you really, it really is more like running a business. So anyway, yeah. That was a good one. I really enjoyed that book.

24:21 Maxwell Baker 

Yeah, okay. I’ll check it out man, I haven’t read that one. All right. Well, cool. Sam, I appreciate you jumping on the call with me today. 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 (678) 932-0200 or email me at If you all want to get a hold of Sam again check him out on LinkedIn. Sam Hales last name is spelled H A L E S and you could also go to He is a syndicator, raises money. I have heard nothing but good things with the returns that he has been giving to his investors. So, if you’re looking at something to look at passively, I’m sure Sam is the man for you to give a call. So, give him a call. shoot him an email sent him a smoke signal. Let’s see what y’all can do together. Hey, appreciate it, Sam!

25:26 Sam Hales

Hey, appreciate it!

25:27 Maxwell Baker

Thanks for being on podcast. We’ll talk soon.



Private Equity Real Estate fund manager with $300M+ AUM and Founder of the Saratoga Group. Saratoga Group was established in 2011 and is exclusively focused on the purchase, revitalization and operation of Mobile Home Communities.  Sams’ previous real estate experience includes distressed asset workouts, land development, redevelopment and lease options. Aside from being the lead investor/developer in the entitlement and development of large tracts of land, since 2009, he has been actively purchasing single-family properties in the Sacramento and Bay Area markets. Sam has touched nearly every CRE asset class including: industrial, office, hospitality single and multi-family.  But he loves the MH asset class and believes it is a vital part of the solution to today’s housing affordability crisis.

Sam is passionate about helping local communities. He is an active member of the Auburn Economic Development Council.Sam currently sits on the board for Auburn Sutter Faith Hospital, and volunteers with local Boy Scout and Church youth groups.

Sam received his MBA from The Wharton School of Business with an emphasis in Finance and a BS from BYU in Chemical Engineering.

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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.