On this episode of The Mobile Home Park Lawyer Ferd takes us through 25 of his favorite things, explains why he likes them and why they may be a great gift for someone you know!
0:00 – Intro
3:30 – First on the list is Rent Manager
3:43 – Grasshopper for phone calls
3:59 – Bluetooth earphones for handsfree use
4:20 – A desk calendar to stay organized
4:42 – A P.O. Box
4:57 – Planning and scheduling resources
5:14 – Paychex
5:39 – A little yellow note pad
5:42 – Microsoft Excel
5:53 – 100ft measuring tape
6:04 – A company hat
6:25 – Dual monitors for your computer
6:43 – A tackle box
7:06 – Facebook Market Place
7:17 – Lucid Press, which is a graphic design software
7:28 – Distribution checks
7:31 – A webcam
7:42 – PayPal
7:54 – Google Drive
8:22 – A vendor list
9:18 – Calendly, a scheduling software
9:57 – Dolphin fin grey paint
10:48 – A Ford F150 Truck
11:10 – Investor leads
11:25 – A mission statement
Welcome back mobile home park nation. Here this evening, actually, I guess it’s now into the morning. It’s about 12.45 AM and I’m just really avoiding, practicing more law, but I’m not tired. So, I thought, what should I do? I might as well, might as well do some Christmas shopping. This wasn’t actually going to be a podcast. I’m going to do some Christmas shopping. Trying to think about getting something from my wife. It’s two days before Christmas. I’m pretty worthless at everything around the house. As far as shopping, cooking, cleaning. I take care of the kids I guess, but she’d probably debate that. But I try my best and I got to get her something. So, I thought, what am I going to do? And I saw these one of these golf carts riding around the neighborhood. You know, we don’t have a golf course. It’s across the street and she’s not going to be golfing anymore. Not that I really do, but apparently these people ride these things around for their kids and take them to the pool and stuff. So, thinking about getting a golf cart, actually, I’m not sure if she’ll go for that or not.
Actually, bought her a toaster, actually had my friend Logan buy me the toaster, because I didn’t want her to see it on her Amazon account. It’s kind of a surprise, which actually reminds me of that old movie. What was it? Father as a bride when the guy gave the, gave her a blender or something for a wedding gift. And that was like marriage suicide. So hopefully this isn’t the same thing, but we have a crappy old toaster that I’ve been fighting her on buying a new one, that we have a workable toaster, but the kids eat waffles and toast like every morning and I’m going to get her one of those nice four toaster machine.
So here I got splurging all these legal fees. I feel like a charity case here, but anyway, I got her toaster. I also just bought one of those little vacuums, those Roomba things. It’s a different, it is a generic brand. I’ve gone through like five of those. I keep sending them back because they just, most of them suck. If you guys know of a good brand, maybe shoot me a line, but I keep getting that refund back from Walmart or Amazon. And I saw one of those clickbaits specials for, you know, what you can’t miss out on Walmart clearance sale. So, I just bought one, it was like $175 with a two-year warranty. So here it goes, but I’m also, I’m really just looking to take holidays off the wife and take her to go and go to key West here in January for a couple of days, just get out of the house, do something fun.
But what brought, what brought up this Christmas shopping? Well, Kristen, who works on my team, she does a lot of my marketing. Some of you guys probably get weekly email blast from her. She told me about Oprah’s favorite things and I honestly, I’ve never watched Oprah, but I did see her on a clip with Tony Robbins at one time. And she looked alright. She was doing the firewalk. And if any of you guys have never been to at least the power within with Tony Robbins, I highly recommend it. And you actually walk on fire. It’s pretty cool. And so anyway, Kristen convinced me to do Ferds’ favorite things, which is basically Ferds’ shopping list, Ferds’ grocery list if you will, for what you need a mobile home park. So here we go in no particular order Ferds’ favorite things for your stocking stuffers.
First off, rent manager, rent manager is a pretty powerful accounting, financial reporting software, kind of a learning curve, kind of a pain first, but it’s pretty, it’s pretty cool. I’m a fan. Next up is grasshopper. This is like our 800 number, 833 number where people can call, you know, press one for leasing, two for maintenance, three for headquarters really gets the calls away from your manager’s phone and on to a kind of a headquarters operation.
Number three Ferds’ favorite things, Bluetooth earbuds, where you get the airpods or I’ve got a Samsung, I think they’re called the Samsung note. They’re pretty sweet. You know, walk around the house and walk around the office and be on the phone and just kind of carrying your baseball bat or twiddling your thumbs wherever you’d like to do when you’re pacing around yelling at the opposing party. I am just kidding. Not always, but next up a desk calendar, I’ve got a daily calendar. I used to buy like a Bible quote of the day, but then at the end of the year I got to go get another one. So now I got one that just it’s like lives of the saints and lives of the apostles. I just flip it over here every day and then just it’s always there. So, it’s kind of cool to get a little inspirational message and then shows you the date and then you just turn around. So, I like the calendar.
Another thing I like is a PO box, we get tons of mail. Oh my gosh. And in my house or my office and it was a nightmare. So now it goes to the PO box and somebody else picks it up. I’ve never actually been inside. I don’t have a password or if it’s a key, I’m sure what it is, but we have a PO box.
Next planning and scheduling resources. I’m a big fan of Tony Robbins weekly planning, time of your life planning. Gary, Keller’s got a great book. The one thing on daily planning. Now, Brendan Burchard has a book for, you know, weekly, monthly planning. So, all those are really good resources. And number seven, this is Paychecks, this is our payroll processing company. I don’t know why Kristen put this on the list because guess where they mess up. Like every quarter they mess something up. It’s frustrating, but you know, it’s better than taking all the holdings and stuff out on your own, I guess. Yes, so we’ve got paychecks on the list and this list. I’ll be honest. I mean, I agree with most of her stuff, but like paychecks, give me a break.
Yellow notepad. Yeah, I carry a little yellow pad all the time. Microsoft Excel, I love Microsoft Excel. I tried to get out of it more and more these days. So, I don’t get stuck in the rabbit hole of financial modeling, but it’s kind of fun sometimes too. A hundred-foot measuring tape. Oh yeah. I carry this in my truck all the time. Especially when you’re looking at new parks measure the lots, and we measure the lots. I measure lots. I don’t know once a month is when I’m out in the field. So, it’s pretty handy. They’re like 10 bucks. A company hat. Yeah, definitely always have a company hat. I have like four hats in my truck. You know, EPM for management company. Third Four properties, MHP lawyer, and my make mobile homes great again hat. So, if you’re one of my dearly beloved clients, you may have got one of those hats in the mail. If you didn’t get one, send me a retainer. We can make it happen.
No 12, dual monitors. Mixed feelings on dual monitors. At home I’ve got a big monitor just one at the office, I’ve got dual monitors. There’s definitely pros and cons, but you can definitely look at more stuff on two monitors. It just becomes a little bit of a getting used to it on which screen you’re working off of. Number 13, a tackle box or kind of an organizer. I’ve got one of my truck for like key rings for some keys or for screws and nails that we haven’t gotten you know, my dad got it for me, like go to home Depot once and just have 20 of every screwed nail tack you’ll need. And then you don’t have to go make a special run if you’re ever out. And honestly, I haven’t used that thing in a while because I don’t really, I don’t even have toolbox in my truck still. I just, I rarely use my tools at this point, which is okay.
At 14 Facebook marketplaces, this is more for our marketing team, but a great place for advertising. Love Facebook Marketplace, which is pretty much free now. We don’t only boost ads anymore if we did years ago.
Number 15 Lucid Press, it’s a graphic design software. I’ve honestly never used it. That’s a Kristen thing. Site maps, advertisements, flyers. And the next one, the next one is 16 I really like is distribution cheques. My investors like them. I like them.
For 17, my web cam, which I didn’t even have one until I started this podcast. And then this whole zoom became, you know, the cat’s Meow in the COVID era. So yeah, webcam is pretty slick. PayPal, That’s pretty cool. It is nice getting via PayPal, except for people don’t follow directions. And they do the version that gets me hit with some stupid fees. That’s kind of frustrating. But I guess that’s life and number 19 Google drive. I’m a big fan of Google drive. We also have Dropbox. I deposit my hard drive into Google drive as a Dropbox. And I think I pay for the super quantity data, whatever that number is and terabyte or something, but just drop stuff in there regularly. And even my investor reports I’ll drop in there and stuffs, they can have them have access to them. Some of my clients have given me links for Dropbox. So, I’m pretty big fan of Dropbox and Google drive.
Number 20, the vendor list. This is pretty helpful. I mean, recently I’ve got about five or six bids on phase one environmental and surveys, and I’ve realized how valuable having a vendor list is for speed. And for price competitiveness. In the surveys is not going as well because they’ve been in different States and, you know, my local survey guys, they’re not going to be as cheap traveled nine hours away. The phase one guys, you know, they’re pretty cheap still, pretty reasonable. They’ll most of the phase, one stuff, you know, desktop review and they do a quick site visit. So there’s some cost and for travel, but really appreciate the vendors from all the way down to the laborers, all the way up to the third-party professionals, CPA firm and you know, engineers, surveyors, that kind of stuff. Title companies, I’ve had some bad title companies of late. So, when you get a good one, get one that works, is reasonably speedy. It’s kind of nice to have a decent, a decent title coming your vendor list.
Number 21, your Calendly. This is, there’s pros and cons of this. I’ve really learned to restrict my Calendly because I had it set up where people could go just like click here to schedule a meeting with Fred. And then it’s like 14 people today want to do a 15-minute meeting that ends up being 30 minutes each and I get zero real work done. So, you can limit those, which I didn’t realize until I started yelling at it. And then basically you can limit it to number of days, timeframes, days out, number of people per day and etc. So pretty slick tool to make it more efficient than sending a bunch of emails to trade a bunch of phone calls.
Dolphin fin, gray paint. Yeah, I’m a huge fan of dolphin fin gray. We started using this like 10 years ago. It was like a bland, neutral gray. It’s probably not even in style to be honest at this point, but we use it. I painted my entire basement with this color. I painted my office this color. And I’ve literally probably painted, and I know how many hundreds of gallons of dolphin fin gray. It’s pretty much the only color we use in the inside of homes. It’s a home Depot color and it’s cool because it changes with the light. I had a five-bedroom house. I painted the whole house with Dolphin fin. Some rooms had carpet, some rooms had white beams, some had wood beam, some had gray tile, some hard wood floors, some had lights, some did not have lights. Some had natural light. And it looked like a different shade of gray and every color, wow, it’s like nine shades of gray.
So, how’d you pick that out? And I’m like, it’s literally all dolphin fin. So big fan.
Number 23, Ford F-150 yeah, like my truck, I did a podcast on that actually. Probably my least popular podcast that here we are mentioning it again, but it’s nice to have a truck, especially in the winter. Man, I used to have a Mustang. I love my Mustang, but it was 420 horsepower of won’t move in the snow. So, the F 150 works better.
24 investor leads. Yeah, that’s pretty cool. It’s nice to have a pipeline of people who want to invest in your deals. Recently I had a couple people refer me to their other investors. That’s pretty cool. So definitely thankful for that. One of my favorite things. Number 25, a mission statement. Historically not been a big fan of mission statements, vision statements. Cause I feel like they get crafted on the company retreat and then they get thrown in the box, you know, in a year later we go, oh yeah, we have that mission statement.
I’m on one board in particular that I’m guilty of it too. Like, oh yeah, we have a mission statement. We didn’t not literally look at it in a year and there’s 10 of us. But our company, I just did it. I call it more of 10 principles for our company and put some quotes and comments by them. I gave them at our Christmas party last weekend. So, it’s kind of high on the totem pole right now, but we’ll see if we implement it. I think we will. I printed them off and put them in frames for everybody. So hopefully it’ll end up on a couple of girl’s desks or something or maybe start giving them to demerits. I’m not sure if I can do that. I have to check with somebody in HR.
Anyway, Ferds’ favorite things. There’s 25 things that can help you for your mobile home park business. Also, if you’re married and you’ve not started Christmas shopping yet, I really suggest you start doing that. It’s December 23rd, 12.51 AM. It’s getting a little late to get started. My dad was always famous for, he went to the mall once a year on Christmas Eve and he’s like, it was like a dad line of all the guys were like, I just now started. So nowadays I can be even worse. I can do it on Amazon or Walmart. But really, you know, we’re really blessed with pretty much everything we could need materially. So, we try not to really focus too much on that. We don’t really focus on the material stuff, Santa. You know, we’re Christians, we focus on Jesus and his birth and the true meaning of Christmas and you know, joy, hope, faith love, all that’s good stuff. So really trying to spend time this year, the last few days a year, focusing on family and focusing on God and maybe sneaking in a couple of mobile home park, stocking stuff or items. But anyway, I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas happy new year. Happy Hanukkah if you’re Jewish. Except I think that was actually last week. I know it was actually, so it’s too late for this year, but I’m happy Hanukkah next year for all you guys too. God bless.