Getting to Know You

Summer is usually a slower paced time for this Lifestylist®, but that hasn’t been the case this year. There seems to be a renewed interest in housing, and as part of that builders and manufacturers are bring ideas to the table that are new, fresh, and really exciting.

One of the trends that I’m seeing and loving is how manufacturers are changing their marketing strategies. They are taking money our of their marketing budgets and spending it on creating personal experiences for their clients so that both sides get to understand what their needs and strengths are. Conventions are a great place to see a lot of people in a short amount of time, but there are always so many distractions and limitations it’s hard to really do business.

When I was at the Tunica home show this year I met some of the people at Syntec Industries, a company that provides flooring and other products for the factory built, RV and marine industries. They invited me to come see their design center, and I decided to take them up on their offer.

Located at their corporate headquarters, this beautiful building showcases what Syntec is so good at doing – creating Synergy – meaning bringing the right partnerships together. They not only do this beautifully, they present it beautifully. I’ve been in love for years with BeauFlor – the resilient flooring product they sell, but by visiting their showroom I was able to learn more about the other products they offer. Visiting them in their own environment gave me a better chance to understand why they are a company I want to do business with.

Thermador is another company that I’m crazy about. They are devoting their time, money and energy into getting to know their customers better on a one-to-one basis, and have created a spectacular showroom in Scottsdale, AZ. This is where they are now bringing people to learn more about the Thermador brand. I have been so frustrated when I’ve tried to work with other appliance companies -they had no interest in educating me about their products or what would suit which lifestyle or customer better. Thermador not only tells you – they show you. Getting to experience the Thermador appliances hands-on made it clear that this will be the only brand of appliances in The Home Idea Factory moving forward. The other thing I loved is they really, truly listen. They had great jump drives for us with easy yummy recipes we could make when we went home, and a few weeks after my trip the very special Zach Elkin of Thermador sent an amazing marketing book and a copy of Candice Olsen’s new book because he knew it would be something I’d enjoy.

I couldn’t be more excited about the future right now! Every day I’m finding new partners that will help me provide my clients with the products that will help all of  us build the American Dream Home.

The Landlease Roundtable is Coming to Texas!

Once each year, landlease (nee manufactured home) community owners/operators from throughout North America gather at a resort hotel for two days and two nights of education, interpersonal networking, and deal – making that’s not available to them via any other meeting venue.

This year, 14 – 16 September, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, on the western outskirts of San Antonio, TX., 200 landlease community owners/operators and their favored bankers, and product/service vendors will gather for their 20th consecutive annual Networking Roundtable. The event begins with a State of the Realty Asset Class presentation by Marcus & Millichap Realtors, also offering dozens of such properties For Sale across the U.S.

During the next two days, nearly two dozen seasoned presenters, and panels, covering timely LLCommunity – related topics, will
keep their audiences rapt attention, as information will be presented here, that’s available nowhere else, e.g. S.A.F.E. Act & Dodd – Frank Bill ‘inside information’, all about ‘park model’ homes, latest in ‘rebranding’ of LLCommunities, Lease Option as an alternative to ‘captive finance’, finding underground water leaks,this Lifestylist will share how to LifeStyle new & resale homes to SELL, annual lenders’ panel, book vs. market value of homes, loss control basics, selling insurance on – site, and the Net Referral Score as a performance metric.

A special feature this year, besides inspecting two new Community Series Homes (‘CSH’), will be a two hour session during which the very future of landlease community statistical research, print and online communication, and a dozen other resources, will be discussed and planned for, likely via a new national not for profit platform. If YOU own/operate a LLCommunity you’ll want to be present to have a say in your future!

For more information, call the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or website:

The New American Dream Home

We all have our own version of what the American Dream is – for many that includes owning your own home.

My dream was to have my own Home Idea Factory – a place where this Lifestylist® could live and work, would have the character that would let me “practice what I preach” and have some room to garden. I was also hoping to have enough space to continue to help with the animal rescue groups I’ve joined. All of my dreams came true, and now I have a space that will never be “done”, but always evolving.

My father told my mother when they got married that some day he would buy her a place on a lake, and he did! Their Hideway Lake home has been the place that many of our family holidays, wedding, and birthdays have taken place, and it is full of wonderful memories.

There are people who are looking for an affordable place with a yard to raise their families, use as a second home or retire to and land lease communities can be a great solution for these people. Land lease communities are those where factory built housing are placed in communities where homeowners lease the land the homes are placed on in a community – many times with amenities such as pools, clubhouses, and tennis courts. I have always believed this is the perfect solution for affordable housing because it can be so cost effective, and I’ve been wanting to be a part of this solution hands on.

The time has come! Lifestylist® Design has been asked to re-brand and enhance the lifestyle options of two communities in Florida – Parkwood in Port Orange, FL and Countryside Village in Tampa. I can’t wait to get started – these communities are a great example of how affordable the American Dream can be. Be sure to get our updates on the progress at Parkwood and Countryside Village Facebook pages.