There are RV park deals, and then there are really good RV park deals. So where do you find those? In this RV Park Mastery podcast we’re going to review the sources of deals and sort them into the categories of quality of the deals they originate, as well as to review why exactly that is. There may be some methods to find good RV parks that you are currently underutilizing.
Episode 44: Where The Really Good Deals Are Transcript
There are deals and then there are really good deals. I don't know about you, but I want some of the latter. This is Frank Rolfe, the RV Park Mastery Podcast, we're going to talk about how to get really good deals, where do you find them? What makes them? Where are they available?
Well, let's all start off by admitting there are four key ways to find an RV park to buy. The first, online on such websites as RVParkstore.com and LoopNet. The second, do a broker, there are many RV park brokers out there, they always have listings, good listings look at. Then you've got direct mail, basically sending postcards or letters to current RV park owners. And then finally, you've got cold calling where you literally take and do the time and trouble to find the owners of the RV parks that interest you, and then calling them up and seeing if they want to sell.
Now, which of those is the place to get the great deals? Well, it should seem simple. The best of those four, if you had to get a really good deal, is going to come from cold calling and direct mail. Why would that be? Why does cold calling and direct mail typically harvest better deals than the other two? Well, there's basically three main reasons for that. The first one is when you cold call or direct mail, it's direct, there is no middleman. When you try and buy something through a broker, what typically happens is whatever you tell the broker gets filtered down to the seller, and the broker may not be able to sell your idea or sell you as well as you can. So you have this transference of information issue, this blockade of all of your best gut instinct and your best sales skills, which is then tamped down by the broker typically.
Another issue is bonding. I've written many articles, even I think had podcasts on bonding to the power of bonding, it's very, very strong force. Basically what bonding is, is when you have a situation where the seller likes the buyer, they are willing to bend over backwards to get the deal done. Often if it's to their own economic loss, as far as a lower price or carrying paper, it's a very, very powerful force for good for the buyer. I have known many deals where a buyer has gone in and bonded so well with the seller that they have given them a once in a lifetime, the kind of deal you would only get typically from a family member. Because in some ways the bond was so strong, they kind of became a family member.
Finally, you have much less competition when you do direct mail and cold calling because most people won't do it. Not that it's necessarily all that hard, it is harder, but also just scares people. A lot of people want to take the easy way out and let the broker do all the human interaction. However, if you use the human interaction, then you're going to jump over a lot of buyers who just don't want to take the steps. Now how do you do direct mail? It's simple. You find the RV parks you're interested in, you go to the tax assessor's database online, or you can call them up and that will get you the name and address of the owner. Or to take it another step farther, you can do a cold calling list by simply taking that information I just described, and using a website like switchboard.com and locating their phone number. Then basically you send a postcard or direct mail piece if it's direct mail, and/or you phone them directly if it's cold calling. It's not really that complicated. But again, that is the source where most of the really great deals come from.
Now, there's another place you can also get great deals going back to the first two we talked about: online listings and brokers. But where those great deals come from, is when you find a way to get that seller to reduce that price. Or when you unlock the mystery of how you can get that park to perform much higher much better than other people as far as what they have been able to determine from it. Let's look at an example of each. I once bought a property I paid half of what it was listed for online. In fact, it was listed online as firm yet I got it for half off. Why? Probably just sheer luck. I was probably the first person to call the guy but he had finally got desperate sell. It had sat around for a long time. But also I was one of the few people had the guts to tell him look, this thing is never going to sell at the price you're throwing out; your price is crazy. But I would give you half that price if you're ever interested in it. Initially, he had no interest, he then called me later took my offer. But that's how you get really good deals sometimes is you just are willing to pitch the price that is correct, even though it's much lower than what they're asking, and kind of just luck out and be the guy that they select when they finally realize that you're 100% correct. So that's one way you really find the good ones.
Another way you can find the good one is when other people are not really looking at the true facts and figures, they're looking for what the seller tells them without doing a little work themselves to unlock the mysteries of the market or what's going wrong with the property. There have been many, many great RV parks sold in really good locations with great fundamentals that were absolutely unused by the mom and pop sellers who put forth no effort. Now, of course, we're all aware of the big one, which is a lot of moms and pops who have no internet savvy, and they're not using any forms of internet marketing. There's no social media reviews, they don't appear on Google, they don't have a website. Those situations, you could buy an RV park that's not performing well and make it perform well by simply undoing all of the wrong things that Mom and Pop were doing, to bring that RV park back to life.
Bottom line to it all though, the overarching thought as far as finding the really great deals. They're out there everywhere, but you have to put in more work to get them. Don't be disappointed if you go and look through the listings on LoopNet or RVParkstore.com and say none of these interests me I give up? No, that's not smart. Maybe talk to just a couple brokers and say what do you have, and those listings don't sound good. And once again, you say no, I don't want to do this industry, I can't get anything. Well, if that's your effort, then don't even bother trying. But if you'll go out there and start looking at everything online, and actually evaluating it and making reasonable offers based on what the numbers should be, if you talk to almost every broker you can humanly find on the earth. Tell them what you're trying to buy, listen to what they have, and start sorting through their listings, both published and what are called pocket listings, the ones they don't reveal to the public, then you'll start getting some great stuff.
If you diligently say to yourself, I'm going to go through all of the RV parks in this area that interests me, each and every one and I will start doing direct mail pieces to those people and you do that and you get their mailing addresses and come up with your postcard or letter, send it out, then you'll get some good deals. Or if you diligently start cold calling as miserable as the idea may sound trust me once you've done it for a while doesn't faze you at all. And you say to yourself, I'm going to go ahead and just call all of these people and see who wants to sell at this moment. Then once again, you'll start getting some really good deals. It's all about the effort and the persistence. I've never seen anyone, short of someone with amazing luck, that's just kind of found an RV park that's really good without really working it. But I know tons of people who aren't necessarily the luckiest people in the world, who have gone out there, waded in chest deep into all the listings in America, and have come away with really, really exceptional deals because they put in the effort. They put in the persistence, they put in the strategy to make those really great deals happen.
And don't forget that really great deals, they don't just have to be on one or two criteria. Average deals can be made really great through seller financing. If you can buy an RV park was zero down or very low down payment on very attractive terms, that alone might make that deal fantastic. If you can buy an RV park that isn't really performing particularly well right now, yet if you put in a little elbow grease and some strategy and time, you can turn that RV park away around to make it run wonderfully. Then once again, that's a great deal. Not all great deals are done just based on numbers on the front end. It's not all reflected just on cap rate. More important is when you revisit that deal in the years ahead.
Sometimes RV parks that are fantastic buys would not at first glance be anything you'd ever want to touch. The cap rates are too low, things are too bleak. However, if you'll go in and give those proper vetting and greater due diligence, you can find that there are RV park deals around you and great RV park deals to be had if you'll just put in that little extra effort, a little extra strategy, and persistence. This is Frank Rolfe for the RV Park Mastery Podcast. Hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.