Tuesday, March 31, 2009

10 Tips To Get Started In Mobile Home Investing

How do I get started investing in mobile homes? This is probably the most asked question I get.

So, I've compiled a list of 10 Tips To Get Started In Mobile Home Investing to address this question. Here they are:

1. Get your personal finances in order.

Before you even start investing, the first thing to do is get your personal finances in order and understand how money works. (I posted a list of personal finance books here that have helped me). There have been countless people who go out and invest without even having their own finances in order first. By having your financial house in order, you will know how much money is going in and how much is going out, and what areas you need to work on - this is basic stuff most people don't even know. It's very important so you will be able to see your overall goals.

2. Educate Yourself

If you plan on investing in mobile homes, learn all you can about the business and the system. Many people start off learning one system and then find other systems to learn without even doing one deal. Focus on what you want to do and learn it. If you want to invest in mobile homes, learn the system. (I posted an article here that may help). Apart from learning the system you want to focus on, you will also need to educate yourself on other areas of business skills needed such as sales, negotiation, accounting, etc. Knowledge is power.

3. Get the Experience.

Once you've got the education, then you've got to go out and get the experience. If you are just starting out and have very little experience, the best way to go out and learn with the least amount of risk is to work with an investor(s) and find deals for them. Don't worry about the money - the important thing is you get the experience and learn to spot deals and put them together. If you can learn how to put deals together, you will be way ahead of the game.

4. Find a Mentor.

It's very important for you to have a support network of people you can go to for advice. In the past, I've always had mentors. Find someone in your area who is doing what you want to do and learn from them. (Local real estate investing associations/groups are a good place to start). Offer to take them to lunch and always remember, their time is valuable. Try to create a win/win situation for both of you. Maybe in the beginning, you might offer to find deals for them. Make the relationship work for everyone.

5. Learn Your Market.

Learn the market values of mobile homes in your area. Remember, market values can vary from area to area, from park to park. Figure out what areas you want to work. From there, visit the mobile home dealers and also the parks to start learning market values. Look at all shapes and sizes of mobile home - you might want to write them down including the age, size, square footage, year, etc. You need to be able to know your market so you can spot a deal when it comes. If you don't know your market, you will not be able to see opportunities.

6. Have an Exit Strategy

Before you even start looking, you need to know your exit strategy. What is your plan? Do you need to build up cash? Or, are you planning to buy and hold for cash flow? Remember, this will depend on your situation with your personal finances. (This article may help put your exit strategy more in perspective). If you don't have much money saved, it's best to start off by building up cash and finding deals for other investors. Have an exit strategy in place before you start investing in mobile homes.

7. Have a Marketing Strategy

Once you have an exit strategy in place, you will also need to have a marketing strategy. How will you market for buyers and sellers of mobile homes? How do you plan to find buyers and sellers? There are numerous ways to find buyers and sellers. In the beginning, don't focus on just one strategy. Try a few different strategies and see what works for you. (I wrote an article here on ways to find motivated buyers and sellers).

8. Build Your Team

Build your team and your support network. You will need to have a team in place to help you invest in mobile homes. Some team members include park managers, dealers, contractors, mentor, investors, etc. Start networking and interviewing to build your team. Remember, you don't want to be stuck in a situation without any team members to help you. It's best to start building your team early on in the process.

9. Learn the Laws

Learn the laws in your area. In some areas, you may be required to get a dealers license if you plan on buying and selling mobile homes. Usually, this is handled by a government agency. This is one of the most frequent questions I get. (I will be writing an article in the future to further touch upon this issue). All in all, find out what the requirements are (if any) in your area if you plan to buy and sell mobile homes.

10. Have Fun and Be Persistent

Most importantly, have fun! If you don't like what you do, how can you enjoy life? Keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing. What is the alternative? Also, be persistent. In the beginning, you will have a lot of obstacles. What makes you stronger is getting past those obstacles. (This article may help keep your motivation in perspective). Honestly, I went through the same thing when I first started out. But, I got through them and I learned. And, remember learning by doing is far better than doing nothing at all.

There you have it. 10 Tips to Get Started In Mobile Home Investing.

Happy investing!

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