People looking for a career change may have noticed the rise in popularity of mobile homes and mobile home parks. California is one state that has definitely seen a marked increase in recent years.
It can be tempting to try your hand at managing a mobile home park in Los Angeles area, but first you should be aware of just what it takes to be an effective manager, the tasks and difficulties faced, and some character traits you’ll need to possess or develop to do the job.
The Park Operates 24/7/365
That’s right, every hour of the day, every day of the year. Your mobile home park will never be empty.
This doesn’t mean that as park manager you have to work yourself into the ground, but the task does entail someone needing to be available at all hours.
There’s no way a park full of hundreds of residents can effectively be run by just one or two people. You’ll need other staff to help out, even if you hire them on a part-time or “as needed” basis.
A Mobile Home Park Must Be Well Maintained
As the manager it’s your responsibility to make sure the mobile home park is always clean and well maintained. The owners will expect a high level of maintenance and so will the tenants.
Happy and contented residents will be happy to stay long term, and a park looked after with pride will go a long way towards keeping park dwellers keen to stay.
Lawns and gardens need to be regularly tended to, repairs carried out promptly, rubbish taken care of, and any communal facilities kept in good order.
Keeping the Park Full Is a Must
Your career as a mobile park manager really hinges on keeping a high level of park occupancy. This means encouraging people to sign long leases (12 months or more at a minimum). Owners and investors buy into mobile home parks so they can make money from rents. In order to keep them happy, they want their park to remain at close to full occupancy at all times.
Developing effective marketing skills to draw in new tenants when required is a key element of the job, as is keeping current residents happy to stay.
Establish Rules and Stick To Them
While nobody likes a dictator, a mobile home park has to have a set of rules for all residents to abide by or the place could end up disorganized and chaotic. These rules should be stipulated in, or accompany each tenant’s lease agreement.
You don’t need a list of a hundred rules, just enough to act as a general guideline, including things like keeping noise levels low, trash being put in bins and so on. It’s really all just common sense stuff.
If you need ideas for a list of appropriate rules, do a search online for sets of rules other park managers are using.
Strong Communication Skills Is a Valuable Asset
Every management position of any kind in the world requires good communication skills. Definitely verbal skills, but often written communication skills as well.
You’re dealing with hundreds of residents in your position, so you have to know how to communicate with many people with different personalities and in a variety of moods.
Communication requires that you also be a good listener, and at times you’ll find yourself having to be the mediator for disputes between park residents.
Another key character trait that goes hand in hand with communication is having patience.
Develop a Positive Relationship With the Park Owners
Unless you happen to own the mobile home park you’re managing, then you’ll have park owners to answer to. In this case you’ll want to make sure you’re always on a good standing with them.
Once again, positive and effective communication is key to maintaining a great business relationship. Also don’t be afraid to take any concerns you may have to the owners, and as manager, you have every right to do so.
Managing a mobile home park can be a long-term and very rewarding career, just so long as you have what it takes to do the job effectively and understand what’s involved.