MOBILE HOME PARK FOR SALE

MHP Podcast Matt Cohen Interview for Gama Sonic

May 19, 2022 by Maxwell Baker

In this episode of The MHP Broker’s ® Tips and Tricks, we chat with Matt Cohen of Gama Sonic Solar Lighting. The company produces top quality outdoor solar lighting solutions for mobile home parks and RV communities.

As always, this episode is hosted by Maxwell Baker, the co-founder of The MHP Broker ®, and brought to you by our proprietary Community Price Maximizer. Use our four-step system through which we’ll help you navigate, and guarantee you a higher price when you sell your mobile home or RV community.

Here Are Show Highlights:

  • Matt Cohen has been with Gama Sonic USA as Director of Commercial Sales since 2013. (1:13)
  • The company’s commercial grade solar lights are installed in parks and communities all over the country (3:18)
  • The lights are manufactured with powder-coated cast aluminum mono crystalline solar panels integrated with tempered glass, and have lithium ion rechargeable batteries and SMD LEDs. (3:18)
  • All components except batteries come with five-year warranties and ten-year lifespans. The poles on which the lighting is mounted will last indefinitely. (4:00)
  • The three-year replacement batteries cost $25. (4:39)
  • The lights are typically used in parks and communities as streetlights and entrance and signage lighting, and have great attributes for brightness and aesthetics. (5:03)
  • The lighting is installed into small concrete pad There’s no wiring, no digging, no trenching or electrical work. The customer needs only to pour the concrete pads into which the pole is installed. (5:56)
  • The solar-powered lights radiate from dusk to dawn. The batteries help the lights hold a charge even after four or five straight nights following sunless days. (6:36)
  • The lighting costs between $300 and $900 for the lights and $175 to about $385 for the poles. (7:18)
  • Shipping is free from Atlanta to anywhere in the Continental USA. (9:40)
  • For more information and to place orders, contact Matt Cohen of Gama Sonic USA at 727-688-5030. He can also be reached at Matt@gamasonic.com. (9:55)
  • Orders can also be placed at the company website, but listeners will get a special discount by contacting Matt direct by phone or email. (10:27)

Max highly recommends outdoor park and community lighting from Gama Sonic Solar Lighting. To find our how to contact Matt Cohen at Gama Sonic USA, just drop us a line at info@themhpbroker.com or give me a call at 678-932-0200.

Power Quotes on This Episode From Guest Matt Cohen of Gama Sonic USA:

 Every year our engineers are creating, developing and manufacturing new lights after

listening to what customers want and need.(1:13)

“They’re high quality products, not the cheap products that you buy in bulk at some of

these discount stores and things like that. These are the longlasting fiveyear warranty

solar lights that people are loving and continuously buying more of.(3:18)

“The LEDs, the photo cells, the solar panels, they have a lifespan of ten years, after

whichtime you’ll need to replace the head of the light, but the poles themselves will last

indefinitely.(4:00)

“They come on automatically, even in the winter months, when you have 14 hours of

darkness. (6:36)

“The higher up you go, the wider (but dimmer) the spread of light.” (8:18)

If they contact me directly, I’m going to be able to work with them and give them better

pricing than they’ll be able to find on our website. (10:27)

 

00:02

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 show so we list your mobile home community with us. It is a four step process. Give us a call at 678-932-0200. And today I am pleased and excited to have Matt Cohen from Gama Sonic. Here on today’s episode. Welcome Matt. What’s going on man?

00:57 Matt Cohen

Hey, Max, thanks for having me. All is good.

00:58 Maxwell Baker 

Awesome. Gama Sonic’s been around for a while. The owner is actually a fellow Strategic Coach participant that I’ve met a couple of times. Matt, tell me how long you’ve been with Gama Sonic, like you’ve been with him for quite some time, right?

01:13 Matt Cohen

Yeah, I started with Gama Sonic back in January of 2013. It’s been a good run so far. Gama Sonic has grown quite a bit since I started with the company and we’ve come out with a lot of new exciting commercial grade solar lights since that time. Every year our engineers are creating, developing and manufacturing new lights after listening to what customers wants and needs are.

Maxwell Baker  01:34

Nice man, and they’re from Israel, aren’t they? Is that where the family’s from is where everything is made or designed?

01:41 Matt Cohen

Yeah, they’re from Tel Aviv, Israel. Our engineers are based out of Tel Aviv, Israel.

Maxwell Baker  01:46

Very cool. As far as the greatest lesson you’ve learned while you’ve been at Gama Sonic, what do you think that’s been?

01:52 Matt Cohen

Well, I think right now, the greatest lesson I’ve learned is how to listen. You know, I’d like to understand what my customers are saying, what their wants and needs are first and foremost with regards to lighting, brightness, aesthetics, etc. So I’d like to understand before I want to be understood.

Maxwell Baker  02:10

Alright, cool and as far as what you’re learning now, over the last 12 months that Gama Sonic is adapting? What are those things, do you think they’ll learn over the last 12 months that could change where the direction could be? Or?

02:21 Matt Cohen

Well, actually, I’d say that what I’m learning right now is how to navigate the disruptions in the global supply chain. Things have been pretty crazy getting inventory reports. So it’s been challenging. I like to keep all my customers in the loop. Give them accurate eta as soon as I receive them. For the past few months, things have been constantly changing. So I’m constantly learning with regards to that and also something that I was taught at a very young age is that you learn your entire life, and you die at full. So in other words, you never stop learning. It’s an ongoing process that just never ends.

02:57 Maxwell Baker 

Yeah, man. No, that’s a thing that we always tell our brokers here at the firm is fail fast, fail often, fail forward. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good way to do it because if you’re always trying to avoid failure, just to be comfortable, you’re not going to grow very quickly.

03:13 Matt Cohen

Agreed.

03:14 Maxwell Baker 

So tell me about these lights. Man. What are they made of? Or the LED like, what’s the story behind?

03:18 Matt Cohen

Yeah, so our commercial-grade solar lights that are installed in parks and communities all over the country are manufactured with powder-coated cast aluminium, mano crystalline solar panels integrated into tempered glass with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and SMD LEDs. So they’re high-quality products, not the cheap products that you buy in bulk at some of these discount stores or the depot’s or the cost goes and things like that. These are the long-lasting five-year warranty solar lights that people are loving and continuously buying more of.

03:56 Maxwell Baker 

Nice. So they last about five years, or how long do they typically last?

04:00 Matt Cohen

Well actually the lifespan of the unit’s themselves are 10 years. The poles will last indefinitely. But the LEDs, the photo cells, the solar panels, they have a lifespan of 10 years, after which time you’ll need to replace the head of the light, but the poles themselves will last indefinitely.

04:18 Maxwell Baker 

Okay

04:19 Matt Cohen

The batteries are all lithium-ion batteries and depending which model solar light the users is purchasing will determine the lifespan. We’ve got batteries that last three years, we’ve got other batteries that last five years. So it really just depends on the making the model,

04:36 Maxwell Baker 

And what does it cost to swap out batteries? Are they expensive? Or what are they on?

04:39 Matt Cohen

Not really, our Imperial three has four lithium-ion batteries that are pre-installed in the head of the light and those batteries will last for three years before they need to be replaced at a cost of 25 bucks each. So each light costs 100 bucks every three years to replace the batteries.

04:58 Maxwell Baker 

Okay, how do I know which solar lights that I should put in my community, like what’s the variable there that helps me choose?

05:03 Matt Cohen

Yeah, it really just depends on what kind of brightness and aesthetics you’re looking for. You know, we’ve got a lot of park owners that are wanting to install lights in front of each home. We’ve got park owners that are wanting to install actual streetlights and lights at the entrance way and lights to light up the signage at the entrance way. So, each light in each park is different. So what I’d like to do is go back to that, you know, understanding before I want to be understood mentality and figure out what they’re trying to achieve in their park as far as brightness. Are they looking for aesthetics? Are they looking for brightness? Are they looking for both? And then once I understand what they’re looking for, then I can make suggestions on what I feel is going to be the most appropriate choice for their lighting needs.

05:50 Maxwell Baker 

Okay, nice. Nice. As far as installation, run me through the cost and how that all works.

05:56 Matt Cohen

Yeah, so all of our lights are installed into small concrete pads, concrete foundations. There’s no wiring, there’s no digging, there’s no trenching, there’s no electrical whatsoever. So finding either a handyman, a maintenance man or a general contractor, somebody that’s proficient in pouring concrete is paramount. That’s really the most challenging part, which is very simple. Once the concrete pad is poured, you just need to install the pole onto the pad, slide the solar light on top of the pole, tighten up the set screws turn the light on and as long as the light receives direct sunlight, you’re in business.

06:35 Maxwell Baker 

Yeah, okay.

06:36 Matt Cohen

The lights will last all night, from dusk till dawn, they come on automatically. Even in the winter months, when you have 14 hours of darkness. When you have cloudy days, the batteries will actually also hold a charge for up to four or five nights. So if you’ve got three or four, cloudy, rainy, snowy or overcast days, those batteries will hold a charge. So those nasty days that you had those nights, the light will still come on automatically when the sun goes down and stay on all night until the sun comes up even in the winter months.

07:06 Maxwell Baker 

Wow. Okay, going back to the cost, like obviously, the contractor stuff is on y’all, the park owners that are listening here. But as far as the cost per light, and just the maintenance on it, what can people anticipate.

07:18 Matt Cohen

So our lights run between 300 and 900 for the lights, and our poles run from $175 to about $385 for the poles. So let’s for example, say that an owner wants to install a light in front of each home, the Imperial three with a 78 inch standard pole is $475. If they’re looking to install street lighting, are modern and our centennial solar lights on our 10 foot poles are $1,285. The same price, one is a little bit brighter than the other and covers a little bit wider spread of light on the ground. But they are the same price and all of which have a five year warranty.

07:59 Maxwell Baker 

So really, it’s more about aesthetics versus usefulness on what kind of light you want because obviously the ones that are lower to the ground I mean, you can see them as you drive or walk by them. But the ones that are a little higher are going to have way more distance of what the light is going to be able to provide that pretty fair assumption.

08:18 Matt Cohen

Yeah, exactly, for example, or imperial three on a six and a half foot posts will give you a 15 foot diameter spread of light around the base of the pole so seven and a half feet in any direction underneath the pole. Our Centennial solar light on a 10 foot pole will give you a 40 foot diameter spread of light underneath the base of the pole in our Modern will give you a 48 foot diameter spread of light around the base of the pole all night long. So the higher up you go, the wider spread of light, but you don’t want to go higher than 10 feet. And one of the examples that I use with all of the park owners and the customers that I speak to, when I go to trade shows and do speaking engagements is that I take an example of using a flashlight. When you turn that flashlight on and you shine it down to your feet, and then you lift that flashlight up above your head, the spread of light gets wider, but it also gets dimmer. So there’s a max height that you want to go with our lights depending on which light you go with because you don’t want to lose that brightness on the ground. You want to have the diameter spread of light but you also want to harness the brightness of the lights as well. So it’s just not pretty in the sky.

09:32 Maxwell Baker 

Okay, okay. We talked about the cloudy days here and how long they will last but as far as like warranty and cost for shipping. Can you kind of break that down for us?

09:40 Matt Cohen

Yep, we have a five-year warranty on all of our commercial lights and poles and shipping is free out of Atlanta, Georgia, anywhere in the continental US, so the lower 48.

Maxwell Baker  09:50

Nice. Okay. Well give us a little details on it, if they want to contact you, Matt.

09:55 Matt Cohen

Yeah, I appreciate that. Anybody out there listening would like more information they can call me my name is Matt Cohen and my number is area code 727-688-5030. They can also reach me by email, which is Matt@gamasonic.com.

10:18 Maxwell Baker 

Yeah, nice and then you have a little special here that came through the podcast that you would give them a little bit of a discount if they contact you directly. What was that we talked about earlier about the website?

10:27 Matt Cohen

If they contact me directly, I’m going to be able to work with them and give them better pricing than they’ll be able to find on our website. So it would be important for them to contact me directly in order to give them that better pricing.

10:38 Maxwell Baker 

So feel free to browse the website. But when you’re ready to pull the trigger, give Matt a call. He’s well known in the industry, and is very fair with pricing and both purchases I have witnessed it personally. So feel free to give him a call at that 727-688-5030 and take it from there. Hey, Matt, I appreciate you being on the show today. Do you have any other insights or comments before we wrap it up?

11:02 Matt Cohen

Max, I appreciate you having me. I think we covered a lot in a short amount of time. And again, I’m happy to answer any questions that any of your listeners have and look forward to speaking to everybody.

11:11 Maxwell Baker 

Awesome. Thanks, Matt. Hey, before we wrap up, this episode is brought to you by the Community Price Maximizer. It is part of our proprietary system here at the mobile home park broker part of our four step process. And the solar lighting component here that Matt is showing is part of some of the improvements that you can do to help improve the value and pricing when you explicitly list your mobile home community or RV community with us. So give us a call. Happy to make an introduction outside if Matt, you don’t want to reach out to him and want to talk to me 678-932-0200 or at info@themhpbroker.com. Thanks again, Matt. We appreciate your time. Thanks for listening and let’s keep moving forward y’all

 

Matthew Cohen

Matthew Cohen is the Director of Commercial Sales for Gama Sonic Solar Lighting and since 2013 has been educating industry professionals on commercial grade solar lighting and how the transition from electric and/or gas to Solar Lamp Post Lighting is effortless and cost effective.

Before joining Gama Sonic in January 2013, Matt was the Director of Franchise Sales and Development for a national hotel chain dating back to 2004 and led domestic and international business development with an emphasis on entering underdeveloped markets as well as maximizing existing market presence.

Currently, Gama Sonic is the leading manufacturer of high-quality solar pedestrian lamp post lighting in today’s industry and has been since 2001.  Using SMD LEDs and patented cone reflector technology, Gama Sonic Solar Lamp Posts are providing a real solution in replacing traditional gas and electrical lamps with the same look, quality, and brightness that Parks, Communities, Municipalities and City Centers across the country including Canada have come to expect.  Gama Sonic Solar Lamp Posts can be easily installed anywhere outdoors without any electrical wiring, trenching, or digging which saves time, money and reduces your carbon footprint by utilizing free renewable green energy harnessed by the sun.

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.