Frank Rolfe made a name for himself primarily in mobile home investing, though his portfolio also includes self-storage units. If you want to know about how he got his start investing in these oft-overlooked real estate niches, read on ...
If you ask Frank Rolfe how he got his start in real estate, he will tell you his life today all traces back to his first mobile home park investment: Glenhaven. This Dallas-Fort Worth area park set the tone for Frank’s career.
Frank knew early on that he wanted to invest in affordable housing.When Frank first bought this property, he was new to both the asset class and real estate in general but decided to manage the park himself anyway.
Frank earned an economics degree from Stanford University, so he was no dummy. He got a quick and occasionally brutal crash course in the benefits, problems, and unique charms of managing a mobile home park.
Glenhaven had major cost issues, as well as plenty of characters straight out of Central Casting: prostitutes, drug dealers, carnies, and other tenants most landlords wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Nevertheless, he made some sweeping improvements to the park that transformed the neighborhood for all of its residents.
This first investment became one of Frank’s most important, not only for the high returns he later received, but for influencing him to stick with this asset class as an investor. He learned many lessons with his first investment that would inform his later career.
Frank has continued investing in mobile home parks in the over 20 years since he bought Glenhaven. He and his partner, Dave Reynolds, are the 5th largest owners of mobile home parks in the United States. Frank and Dave are thought leaders in this industry niche and run a business, Mobile Home University, that educates fellow real estate investors about how to succeed with mobile home park investments. They each bring their years of experience, including both their tips for success and advice on how to avoid repeating their mistakes, to the aid of new investors.
To hear the full conversation Frank had with our lead attorney Scott Smith, check out Episode 10 of the Real Estate Nerds Podcast, all about mobile home park investing. Frank’s episode is a best deals episode that goes even deeper into the story about Glenhaven, his first mobile home park. Frank shares how he found his best deal, gives some tips on this asset class and investing in general, and offers some insight into how this deal transformed the path of his real estate career.
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Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.
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