Farris is one of our Trailer Cash Academy students out of Columbus, Ohio. He started off by attending a real estate investor meeting in his area, where he just happened to be sitting next to a couple who were into selling mobile homes.
Like many people, Farris thought that mobile home tenants and people that live in mobile home parks aren’t the type of folks you want to deal with. There’s that stigma around mobile homes that we always mention. But this couple schooled him on the reality of the situation, showed him pictures and told him about the ROIs.
After that meeting, he immediately went home and started looking it up. He found Trailer Cash Academy through our social media ads. Started listening, taking notes, looking over the numbers and it made sense to him. So that’s when he started paying attention to the parks in his area and got on his mobile home investing journey.
We spoke with him because his energy and attitude towards the business is great. In this blog you’ll learn how he was able to pick up his first deal for $5000, and how he negotiated with both the seller and the park manager. At the time of this interview he was looking to flip the home for somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000.
Finding that first deal
It took him a little while to start looking for homes. He had no idea there were any around him because they seemed to be tucked behind things and hidden away.
“And I started to talk to people. Started to talk to the office managers, things like that, just to see what the rules and regulations were. Just to get a feel of my area.
I started to talk to other people to see how much rent goes for around this area, and what I think I could get from this. First couple of months it had been about education and over the last month I’ve actually started throwing offers out there.
Just feelers to see, ‘Hey, what would you take for this? I see you’re selling for this amount but I only have this amount. Would you take that?’ Things like that. Just basically fishing, waiting for somebody to bite.
And it finally happened the last couple of days and it’s just been an explosion ever since. My life has completely turned around.”
Farris works a day job that takes up about 60 hours a week. And while working he manages to fit in about 10 hours a day to search for homes and put out offers. It was in that daily routine that he discovered his first deal.
“To be honest with you? I feel out people when I’m talking to them. You can have a conversation with someone and not necessarily know if they’re a good or bad person, but you know when someone’s genuine.
I was sitting at work. I saw the home and I looked at the pictures. I said, okay, this looks pretty nice but you don’t really know till you get out there. So I talked to her and we just had a gradual conversation about what they’re really asking for. Things like that.
And I felt like she was being honest with me. Like she came out and said, ‘Hey, there’s a couple soft spots here but overall it’s in good shape.’”
She already had a potential buyer coming to look at the place at around 2pm. And she told Farris that if the buyer gives her an interesting offer right there, she might just take it. So Farris took his lunch break and got there by 1:30pm.
The place looked in great shape.
“I talked to her more. And when I first walked in of course I didn’t start talking business. I said I wanted to get to know who she was like, ‘What’s your story? Tell me something about you. Let’s not talk numbers yet. Why are you trying to sell this? This looks phenomenal. Why are you trying to sell it?’”
The seller was selling it for her mother. They were moving out of town, and they couldn’t take things with them. Farris even spoke to her mother and played with their dog. He was looking for a genuine interaction to happen first before even getting into the numbers. Before getting into any transaction money-wise he likes to build a rapport first.
“I had to get her to trust me as much as I wanted her to be trustworthy.”
Being a good negotiator
After seeing the whole house and going over everything Farris committed to buying it at $5000. But he didn’t actually have the $5000 on him and of course he knew that there was this other guy coming over to see the place in about 30 minutes.
“So I was like, ‘I’ll tell you what. I can run to this store right now and get you a money order for $2,000 just to hold the place. If you will sign this promissory note that you won’t sell it.’ And I already had the paperwork ready. The bill of sale was ready. All that.
She agreed. She signed it. We both got copies. That was the end of it. So the guy who was right around the corner that was waiting to see her at 2pm had to go home. That’s his fault. Sorry, I got there.”
Now, the terms of the promissory note and the purchase agreement said it was contingent on his contractor coming over and verifying that the home was in decent condition and all of that.
And the seller included that their arrangement was also contingent upon agreement from the park. She said purchasing the home wouldn’t be a problem as long as he brought someone into the community that was 55 and over because that’s the type of community it was.
So the next issue for Farris was dealing with the park management. After paying the down payment Farris reached out to the park management over the phone and left them a message as he exited the park.
“They called me back the next day and we went over everything as far as what I was trying to do. Of course, her first thing was ‘Are you 55?’
‘No ma’am, I’m not 55, but here’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not necessarily an investor…but I am. So I’m trying to purchase the home and get a quality tenant in there for you.’
She told me no. They don’t like investors in their park and basically, they don’t like our type, kind of thing.
So I was like, ‘Okay, that’s fine. But here’s what we’re trying to do. I’ve already talked to this lady and you already know who she is because you’ve actually mentioned her name.
She’s moving down south. It’s going to be an empty home. So you’re going to have to take the time to not only find a quality tenant, but you’re also going to have to come out to the site every time somebody wants to look at it. So that’s taking up your time.
I’m going to do that for you. I’m going to get you someone that adheres to your rule of 55 and over. Credit checked. And I’m going to already have them vetted to get them in there to make your job easier.
But on top of that, I’ve also seen that there was an empty lot two lots down where you don’t have a mobile home there. What if I tell you I can actually get someone to not only move a home in there, but also fill a slot to where you’ll have another tenant in there? So that’s two tenants that you’re getting, with you not lifting a finger. All you have to do is tell me yes.’
And she said, ‘Okay, let me go back to my owner. That sounds like a great deal.’
It does. Doesn’t it? So that was the end of that. Yeah.”
Farris talks about his ‘Why’ for doing all this
We talk to a lot of our students and tell them they need to know why they’re doing this. It’s good to be in it for the money but there’s also got to be something bigger than you. For us it’s always been about controlling our time and to eventually pass something down to our future children, because, you know, we just weren’t given the opportunity.
That ‘Why’ is what’s going to actually push you to get started, to get out there, make the mindset shifts, and do the work until you get the results.
We asked Farris for his thoughts on that.
“I want the freedom to live life. Of course, when we’re growing up everybody tells you to keep a job, work hard and retire at 55. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want it. No offense to anybody that’s working hard past 50 or 60. I just don’t want to be that person.
I want to be able to get up when I want to get up. And I want to be able to look at my wife and say, ‘Hey, do you want to go traveling today? Let’s go. Let’s run to Chicago. Let’s run to Arizona. Let’s go meet Jack.’
I want to be able to do that. It’s not so much me wanting to be rich. Like I said, I want to be comfortable and be able to live my life. And be able to pass it on to my children.”
And then there’s also the ‘Why’ of why people choose mobile home investing over traditional real estate investing. A lot of people switch to mobile homes completely and never go back.
In mobile home investing you can get started with much less, about $3000, and turn that into $10,000 in around 30 days. You’re getting sometimes 60% to 70% return on your investment. Farris agrees that when you start looking at the numbers mobile homes start to make more and more sense.
“I was actually talking to my nephew to be honest. And he said, ‘Unc why are you doing mobile homes? That makes no sense.’ This was a conversation we had yesterday.
And I said, ‘Okay, I’m gonna just show you one thing that’s going to answer your question.’ I showed him the date that I posted this home for sale, which was three days ago. And I showed him the amount of replies I have gotten since I posted that, which is well over 162 now.
And I showed him like, ‘Look, this started at 12. When I posted my first message was at 12:15.’ And I showed him that I’ve gotten messages at 1 in the morning, I’ve gotten messages at 6 in the morning…so people are up looking at this.
And then I went to Let Go and said, ‘Nephew, look at Let Go. I’m getting emails from another site saying they want to buy this.’ So this is why.
Then he looked at me like, ‘I want to know, tell me more. How do I do this with you?’
And that’s it. And that’s what I’m gonna do there. I have the proof for you. Ask me for the proof. I’m gonna show you the proof and bring it to you and say, let’s go. I’m gonna tell you how to do it.”
We love that because men lie, women lie, but numbers do not lie. Numbers do not lie.