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  • Steven Blank

Success of a Community All Comes Down to People


After spending many years in countless communities, it’s clear to draw a conclusion. All successful Manufactured Housing communities have one thing in common. It’s all about people.


It’s the people who live in the homes (Residents). It’s the people who operate the Community (Community Staff). It’s the people who service the Community (Third Party Vendors). It’s the people who protect the Community (Ownership/Upper Management).

To operate a successful Community or Portfolio, having the right people in the right seats is imperative.


The first and last line of defense in a MH organization (no matter the size) are the people on the ground, the most important being the Community Manager.


Among the responsibilities that a Community Manager holds:


· Billing and Collections

· Operating Community Office and Staff

· Communications with Residents and Corporate Office

· Community Curb Appeal

· Resident Relations and Rule Enforcement

· Compliance

· Sales, Leasing and Marketing


The jobs detailed above cover a wide range of experience not always available in one person but paramount to a well-run MH Community. As such, looking to the outside is a great way to find quality team members.


Here are the “people skills” to look for when hiring a Community Manager:


Accountability


MHCs are remote businesses, where the owner/upper management are not always able to see what is going on. Knowing that a Manager is accountable and can admit when things go wrong is the key to building trust and confidence.


Ability to Multi-Task


Communities are valuable assets that have multiple initiatives going on, sometimes all at once. These tasks are often unrelated to one another, so an ability to keep multiple balls in the air is a must.


Desire for Professional Importance


Manufactured Housing Communities are a huge responsibility and, in some cases, are multi-million-dollar assets. As the famous philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said, “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.” Find a manager who is driven to have success and responsibility, not only monetary gains.


Willing to do the Dirty Work


There is little glamour in being on the front lines of a Community and there will be times where a Manager will need to get down and dirty to do what needs to be done. I have not yet seen a job description that accurately depicts everything that a Manager will need to do, so getting a team player that is willing to pick up a shovel or stay after hours to settle a dispute, goes a long way.


Humility


There is a stigma associated with Manufactured Housing and the residents that occupy our homes. The Community Manager needs to not only treat everyone the same, but also with respect.


It is indeed hard to find “good help” these days, but by no means impossible. The skills outlined here are a great starting point when trying to find the right Community Manager for your asset. Once you have determined they are the right person for that seat, then it is time to ensure they get the correct training and support.

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