I’m happy to be a Rincon County resident!
Looking back over the last ten months since I became your manager, I have used these Manager’s Notes to share many things with the residents. Everything from concerns to expressions of gratitude about the positive ways in which we all have supported each other as a community! This month I want to just focus on the positives, leaving the concerns to another time.
Let me just start with the fact that over the last few weeks, the community appears to have been experiencing longer periods of calm and peace. I can say this because in prior months I would be bombarded with complaints from residents on a wide range of subjects; from what someone has done to them; to there being too many young people living in the park; to the lot rent increase; to you name it. I can only surmise that the reason for this prolonged period of calm and peace may be due in large part to management’s efforts to focus more on the living conditions of our residents, rather than solely on profitability. However, I also believe that there’s been an acceptance on the part of our residents of the positive direction in which we are taking our community. When considering it all, I am reminded of the subject of first Manager’s Notes, back is September 2012. At that time I spoke of the challenges that a change to management would likely bring. Back then, there were a lot of concerns about whether the new manager could live up to the high standard set by Dale and Betsy’s management. This was especially true given the fact that I used that first Manager’s Notes to announce my plans to start a new steering committee. I quickly learned that that was a bad idea, because the park already had an HOA (homeowners association) that was set up to facilitate communicating the concerns of the community to management. Needless to say, we have all learned a few things along the way!
On another front, we are currently engaged in upgrades to our electrical and water infrastructure. As you all know, we’ve been experiencing park-wide shutdowns due to unplanned water leaks. Happily, I can say we are now about to implement a plan that will resolve that problem by replacing old water valves with new ones and, thereby, isolate the park water system into sections (“Zones”). This action alone will enable us to handle water leaks as they occur in smaller sections, affecting far fewer homes per occurrence. In other words, no more park-wide shutdowns! Another infrastructure concern has been the electrical failures that have only affected residents on the south side of the park. I am also happy to say that a new transformer has been ordered and will be installed very shortly. Now, once completed, these will be tremendous improvements!
In spite of all these and other challenges, the community has continued to grow, together. Evidence of this can be seen on both the social and business fronts. On the social front, when I became your manager there existed a prevailing atmosphere of dissention among opposing social interests, which only served to divide the community rather than unite it. Today, I am happy to say there has been a rejuvenation of our community that has also contributed greatly the great calm and peace that I mentioned earlier.
On the business front, we’ve added more new residents to our community than has ever been accomplished in the same length of time in prior years. For example, last year at about this same time there were 57 vacant [park-owned] Bliss homes in the park; as of the writing of these Notes, there are now only five (5) vacancies. Not including vacant lots, that’s an occupancy rate of approximately 99%! Aside from those we’ve lost to death, more residents are staying than there are those leaving. In fact, for the first time, we are establishing a waiting list of people wanting to become members of our community. Now, regarding home sales, while we may be able to point to the efforts put forward on behalf of our sales force, we cannot forget that it is the cleanliness and spirit of our community that people see when coming to look around. That is due to the people who already call this place “home”. You are all to be commended for your contributions to the successful and peaceful conditions of Rincon Country MHP, which makes me “happy to be a Rincon Country resident.”
Speaking of our home sales success, on Tuesday July 17, 2013, I met with the three real-estate brokers currently doing business in our park. The meeting was to inform them that effective August 1, 2013; Bliss Homes will [list] its homes with real-estate agents as “multi-sale listings”, only. Currently, we simply post the home on the board and any of the agents can sell them, for a 15% commission. In other words, like private home owners, we will begin listing our homes with agents. The difference from private home owners is any agent, regardless of brokerage, could show and sell the home. If the agent with whom we list the home sells it they would receive the entire 15% commission. On the other hand, if the home is sold by an agent that the home is not listed with sells the home they will split the commission 50/50 with the listing agent; each receiving 7.5% of the commission to be paid. Clearly, this action is not necessarily a benefit to Bliss. However, in our efforts to level the playing field for all residents, we proposed to the brokers that they offer private home owners that list with them the same opportunity. Yes, it would mean that homeowners would pay a bit more when the home is sold, but this arrangement would better assure that their home receives more exposure to prospective buyers. This is especially important if your home has been listed with a single agent for a long period of time but has not yet sold. Said another way, for just a few dollars more, the home would have a greater opportunity to sell!
Well, that’s it for now. Again, thank you one and all for your continued support, and remember: if you see someone without a smile today, why not give them one of yours!
Sam Harrell, General Manager