Hey guys this is Samera! A lot of women come to me and they’re like, ‘Hey, can I do this? Can I be a mobile home investor? I’m single, I’m scared and…’ whatever the case is.
And I’m like, man, I’ve got to get together with Ms. Sharnice from Mobile Home Elite Investors to share some information and some empowerment with the women in this business.
Sharnice is one half of the Mobile Home Elite Investors with her partner, Byron. They’d been investing in mobile homes for about a year and a half at the time of the interview. After completing over 25 deals within that year and a half they decided they wanted to share their knowledge to help other people take advantage of this passive income niche.
I love what Sharnice and Byron are doing. They operate out of the Chicago area. We’ve noticed them killing it on Instagram, killing it everywhere and it’s so awesome. It’s so unusual to find other couples doing what we’re doing.
So in this blog post you’re going to get to know what it’s like being women bosses in mobile home investing, some of our challenges, some of the benefits of being a woman, and some of the crazy experiences we’ve had.
The stigma around mobile homes is meaningless
Back when Jay and I got started I was initially closed off to the idea of working in trailer parks and working in mobile homes. I was like ‘It isn’t safe. Are there felons there? Is it going to be okay for me to go in there?’ But my biggest fear wasn’t even going into the mobile home parks by myself. It was more like ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’
That was the fear and the stigma playing in my head. Sharnice felt the same thing.
“Yeah, definitely. I can definitely say when we first got started Samera, similar to you, I was kinda terrified as well to go in the mobile home parks.”
“Like I remember our first experience even going to a mobile home and just looking at it, I remember being with Byron and having him go first and waiting for him to give me the signal that it’s okay.”
Sharnice was telling me how prior to investing in mobile homes she didn’t really know where any of the mobile home parks were because coming from a big city you tend to overlook them. And so you get uneasy at first thinking about the kind of situation you’re going to be walking into.
“And then also I feel, unfortunately, when you don’t grow up around mobile home parks you put the people who live there in a certain type of category. Where you may feel like you don’t want to deal with them as far as like even being tenants or buyers or anything.”
That’s so true, what Sharnice said, about the stigma around the people living in mobile home parks. And the stigma isn’t always about thinking less of them but sometimes more about ‘Am I going to be able to resonate with them? Is this going to be safe for me? Is there even any money in this industry?’
But no, they’re just regular people. They want to have a good solid home for their family. And they’re working hard. They’re doing everything the same as us. It’s just that this is more of an affordable housing niche.
Here’s a funny story
I told Sharnice about this one crazy experience I had which helped me get over that stigma.
We were selling a home. And the home was in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t know that because I hadn’t gone to the home yet. Jay had inspected the home already and my role was to go and actually meet the buyers there to sell the property.
So I’m driving out there and I’m like, ‘Yo, there’s nothing out here.’ Like it was spooky.
And I’m supposed to meet two men. And they’re both named Jaysus (Huh?), they barely spoke English… and I’m like, okay what’s going on? What’s going on?
So I go out there and I have the titles in my hand. Jay was all the way over at another inspection. So I had to handle this by myself.
Then one of them shows up. I jump out of the car. I’m like, ‘Man, I’m by this mobile home and there’s nothing out here.’ I was super spooked. And I had to show the house. So I had to just put my big girl panties on and show them the house and it was crazy.
I mean, I was closing the deal at the spot. This was before we got a little bit more organized with these things. And he brought $13,000 in cash to the closing. So not only am I out there with nobody, but I’ve got the open titles in my hand, and there’s $13,000 in cash being handed to me.
I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Jay, stay on the phone with me, I just want to make sure I’m good!’
That was crazy, but everything went well. We got them the home. Every other transaction went through well. In hindsight, I would have closed at the bank. I wouldn’t have had $13,000 in cash out there. But I learned that everyone’s just here to do business. As long as you show yourself as a professional, as a business person, that’s what’s going to happen.
At the end of the day, how bad do you want it?
That’s what it comes down to really. If you don’t want it that bad, you’re going to make excuses. You’re going to say it’s hot outside or I’m tired or I have this and that. But if you want it, you’re going to push through all the adversity, and the unknowns, and then that’s when the magic happens.
Sharnice felt overwhelmed at the beginning of her mobile home investing career. Being an entrepreneur was new to her so even just knowing how to handle business and how to have those conversations took a while.
“When we first started it was like, ‘Whoa what do I say?’”
“And I remember when I first called I didn’t know what to say. I’m just like, ‘Uh, hello? Is your house for sale?’ And they’re like ‘Well, who are YOU?’
And would get so many No’s in the beginning and I feel like those No’s could have stopped me in my tracks as far as wanting to invest went. Because I feel like after so many No’s you lose your confidence like, ’Should I keep calling or what should I do?’
But the one thing I can say is that when you really want something and you really want to change something in your life, you’ll keep doing it. And that’s what I did.
I kept calling. I kept calling. I kept on calling. I called over like 100 parks. And the great thing about that in the beginning is that I called so many parts from this one company that the vice-president ended up calling us back.
Managers kept on saying this girl Sharnice keeps calling. She’s an investor and she’s wanting to invest.”
“I ended up getting the VP on the phone and he ended up inviting us to Denver. Which was amazing because that was a great connection to make in the beginning, as far as having an opening to these mobile home parks is concerned.
I just say definitely don’t give up. That’s the best advice, as far as I can tell. Especially women, just don’t give up. Like I said, I called over 100 parks in the beginning because I was like, ‘I’m not stopping. Okay? I’m not stopping. I’m not going to be on the sidelines. I’m not going to allow this fear to take over. I’m going to continue to go and just continue to grow and make sure that we’re getting it done.”
The perception of women and the female touch
One of the things I noticed when we entered this business is that it’s definitely male dominated. I remember most of our mentors have been men. The successful people we’ve met have been a lot of men. The handymen are men, the contractors are men and when you go into those real estate meetings, it’s men.
Most of the women that I saw were secretaries or note takers or people that are supporting the men. So that will obviously make a woman question herself when she’s entering the business like ‘Can I do this? Is this something that women are doing?’ And even when trying to build a connection with other people you have to be strong and see yourself as an equal, especially being one of the only women in the room when you’re doing it.
Sharnice pointed out how sometimes when dealing with handymen they would speak to Byron rather than her about things that needed to be fixed or just about anything in general related to the home.
“And honestly, it just goes back to that confidence. Just kinda speak up and say ‘Hey, like I know he’s here but this is my home as well. Let’s talk about the problems and what is going on.’ It just stepping up and just, showing your face like, I’m here.”
Over time it will become more natural to you. For me, eventually people started calling me boss lady and I’m like ‘Yeah I AM a boss lady.’ You just have to own it.
Even if you’re just getting started you may not feel confident and you may not even know what you’re talking about. But nonetheless, it’s all about just perception. It’s about changing their perception and saying, ‘Hey, I’m here to make money. I’m here to do a job and I’m going to do it regardless of how you’re looking at me.’
But having said that, the female presence and a female touch is definitely needed and can contribute greatly towards closing a deal.
“I feel like when it comes to our buyers, when we’re closing, it’s funny ‘cause Byron always jokes and says ‘Sharnice is the closer’ because I get all the cash buyers.”
“I feel like because, again as women, we have more of a nurturing nature. I feel like the buyers just resonate with us more when we’re going through the closing process.
And then when you think about our buyers as well, the majority in our experience are women. Even if it’s a family, or even if it is like a wife and a husband, it’s more likely the wife who was handling all the paperwork on it. So it’s like when we are going through with the closing of course she’s more comfortable with talking to me. So, I feel it has been a great benefit.”
Exactly. I know when people are going through tough situations and are selling their home, Jay might say I need to bring that woman’s touch in because he’s talking to maybe an older lady and she’s going through something. So having a woman there, being able to resonate with them on an emotional level, is going to help.
Even when talking with park managers, the majority of park managers we’ve come across are women. So you can build that girlfriend type of relationship a little bit easier when you come in. Because you know they might feel like they have a little bit more trust when they see another woman out here doing it.
Closing thoughts about mindset
Before I got off the call with Sharnice I asked her what we could possibly say to all the women out there that can give them that extra boost or motivate them in a positive way.
“What really pushes me as far as my confidence, is just to know that I’m helping another family. Not only helping myself in my business, but I’m also helping another family secure a livelihood for their family.”
“Push those fears to the side. Like, I know you’re going to have all those ‘what if’ questions in your mind like ‘What if this goes wrong? What if the park manager tells me No? What if I invest the money and don’t make the money back?’
But then you have to start thinking like what if you do invest the money and you make your money back. Or what if you do call the park manager, and they say, ‘Hey, you can invest in my park.’ You have to kind of start resonating your mind to go from that negative to thinking all positive so that you can start making that difference.“
Totally agree. It’s all mindset. It’s all limitations we put in our mind. And I mean there’s some women out here, some of our students, killing it just by getting over that mindset shift.
I know one of our students yesterday, she just went into a property. Closed it. It’s an amazing deal. The comps in that park are looking at somewhere between $50,000 to $70,000.
The lady, she had to get out, she lost her roommate and she needed to sell quickly. This student was able to get there, empathize with her, and the lady sold it to her for $7,000. And it’s in perfect condition, brand new double-wide. Doesn’t really need any work. I’m like a go ahead girl!
And she did it by herself. She didn’t let that stop her. She didn’t let that hold her back. Because you know there’s other women in mobile parks who need help too.
But of course always be safe. If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, or if you’re talking to someone and it’s a man and you don’t feel comfortable, don’t necessarily put yourself in those situations. But you can always do things to stay safe. Have somebody on your phone, like your brother, your uncle or your dad, so they could come with you if you need that support too.
The biggest thing that Sharnice and I want to resonate with other women is ‘Don’t let it stop you.’ Find a solution. Just find a solution because if this is the right way to go, what are you waiting for? What are you waiting for? All of that doubt should just stop.
“Exactly. Like you said, definitely. I am blessed to have Byron by my side through most of this journey. But even if I didn’t have Byron, just being honest, I would still be doing this. Because again, when you want something so bad you don’t allow that fear to stop you.
If it wasn’t Byron, it would be my father or my brother, my best friend or my cousin. Just to make sure that I’m comfortable enough.”
“So like you said, just talking to all the women out there, don’t allow fear to stop you. Get out there and if you see some good deals and you need some additional help of course you’ve got us, you got Jay and Samera. That’s where we help you guys get over those fears.”
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