Ever wondered if the key to financial freedom lies in the unconventional world of mobile homes? What if the solution to homeownership challenges is right in front of us, challenging stereotypes and reshaping the real estate game? Get ready to explore a groundbreaking perspective in our latest episode with Franco Perez on Exit Strategies Radio Show. Are you ready to challenge the status quo?
In this episode, Corwyn J. Melette sits down with Franco Perez, a revolutionary entrepreneur and the driving force behind Franco Mobile Homes. Franco's transformation from experiencing housing instability to becoming a pioneer in affordable housing solutions has made waves in the industry and caught the eye of major outlets and his commitment to empowering communities through homeownership is nothing short of inspiring.
Once facing financial hardships as the breadwinner for his family, Franco shares his inspiring story of resilience. Discover how his personal struggles fueled a mission to make homeownership accessible to low-income families.
Franco highlights the full spectrum of mobile home living, from luxurious communities to dispelling media myths, he provides a roadmap for breaking free from the rental rat race. Learn how he's transforming the industry, making homeownership accessible, and reshaping perceptions in this engaging episode.
3:08 – Introduction of Franco Perez, a visionary leader in the real estate space.
7:44 – Franco's personal journey from overcoming financial struggles to dedicating his life to making homeownership accessible.
13:06- Understanding the affordability crisis and the role of mobile homes as a bridge to financial stability.
20:09- Breaking stigmas around mobile homes through video content and showcasing the beauty of mobile home communities.
25:33- Franco's efforts in educating and consulting with government entities and park owners.
27:46- The importance of finding a purpose beyond monetary goals for long-term impact.
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Do you want something more? More meaningful moments, opportunities, deeper relationships, and memorable experiences? Do you want to make a difference? If you said yes, a career in real estate could be the opportunity you’re looking for. Guiding people through one of the most important decisions they ever made, the purchase or sale of their home can be both rewarding and lucrative. Exit Realty’s revolutionary compensation model, training, and technology that provides you with the tools you need to start and build your successful real estate career. Call me today, Me Me You Bank at 843-730-3327, that’s 843-730-3327 or visit exitlowcountry.com/joinexit and make your exit today.
Good morning, good morning and great morning, guys. Welcome to another fabulous episode of Exit Strategies Radio Show. Hey, I’m your host Corwyn J Melette, broker and owner of Exit Realty Lowcountry group in beautiful North Charleston, South Carolina. So if this is your first time listening to this show you sir or ma’am, are in for a treat. Because our mission here is very simple. That is to empower our community through financial literacy and real estate education, guys. So look, I got to give a huge shout out to my business partner up in Columbia, David Coffees with Exit Realty, New Horizons. The COLA guys is a podcast I need you guys to go tune in and check that out. If you’re looking into MIT, because we got you covered there. We got you covered in Columbia, South Carolina as well. So I need you to go check that out. Look, our listeners, guys. Y’all know what we’ve been doing, you know, what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been accomplishing it. And today is no different. I’m super stoked. Now look, I want you to know that it has taken us a while to get today’s guest on the show. We have been chasing, we have been dodging, we have been dipping and getting under because we both been making moves. But more importantly, we both been committed to making this show happen and getting him in with us today. Look, I told you a couple of weeks ago, hey, putting Flapjack down, I know it’s breakfast time, I need you to put it aside and he’s gonna get your pen and your paper out. So today, I want you to do that. But I need you to make sure that you got pen, paper and pencil. Because inevitably, we’re gonna be moving so quick that the pencil may break or the pen may run out of ink. And we need you to have a backup because you don’t want to miss anything that he’s going to say. And he’s going to talk about today on this show. So guys, I’m super excited to have with us look here, he’s a visionary. He’s a leader in this space. I have with us today Franco Perez with Franco mobile homes. Franco how’re you doing?
Dude, I’m doing amazing. I’m so excited. We made this happen, man. And I love what you said. So I’m excited that we both made this happen.
Well, I appreciate you being on today. So Franco look. So for our listeners, guys, I’m gonna tell you a snippet. But I mean, Franco, he’s gonna take this thing, he’s gonna tell you a little bit more. And he’s very humble and modest. So I appreciate that. But Franco was a leader in the space. He is spoken, he speaks on. He’s been on the news, national news, or they’ve been following him for a while to have these conversations about how to help people with housing and how to make a difference in the community. So he is transforming the industry. He’s transformed it. So Franco, if you don’t mind, tell listeners more about what it is you do, the space that you work in, and the difference that you’re making?
Yeah, definitely. And I guess kind of how it started to is just a general background from where I came from. I grew up in the Philippines as a kid moved over here, had immigrant parents and I was put in this weird situation where my parents split up, my dad was the main breadwinner, he fled the country. And I was left to support my single mom and my younger sister. And I say that because I remember this being the hardest time of my life. It was so painful, going through this depression and that sort of thing. But also, the big problem was at the end of every month, I had to gather all the money I had, sell as much- whatever I had as well just to cover rent and just to pay at the end of every month, just to pay that rent, and be in this rat race in this same cycle and the struggle and going through that pain. I knew how difficult it was and I felt like I had nowhere to go. And as I became financially stable, I then became an agent for a while I did real estate stuff, I did pretty well at that. And after I was financially stable, I actually really hated being a real estate agent. And the main thing that I hated was, I had to tell people that were in my shoes back to add to tell them and say, sorry, you don’t make enough money, you don’t have enough saved as a down payment. If you make more or save more, I can help you later down the line. And it hurt me so much to say that because I knew the pain that they were going through. And I knew that back when I was in that position, I felt like there was so many services out there ready to help the rich and wealthy and nobody that I could beg to help me back then. And I dedicated my life to trying to figure that out, and how can I build a service that would really help the people that were in my shoes back then that maybe aren’t making enough yet, but really deserve that opportunity to be able to do that. So I looked into affordable housing, elements of the government and that sort of thing. We found it to be too slow or hard to work with. And a lot of programs that pass aren’t really always helping society as we believe it is. And I accidentally stumbled across mobile homes and mobile home parks and from what I thought was, like trailer trash or a place for criminals, and because that’s what the media shows us, I actually really took a deep study into it and came to realize there’s tons of mobile home parks in my area, there’s tons of mobile home parks spread throughout the country. And if you really take a look at the families and stuff that are in these communities, it’s actually quite beautiful, you can actually understand that these guys are starting their financial security, they’re starting their wealth building journey. And it allows for people to stay in an expensive area with a great job or a great school without having to feel financially insecure. And then from there, we built a business to help build education around how this can help get them out of that rental rat race, and start their ownership journey, and then use that to transition to then be able to afford real estate later down the line. And then now today, in the last few years, we’re converting, like you said earlier, we’re doing a lot of conversion of old trailer like homes and converting them to large 2000 square foot 12 foot high ceiling homes, in still in a mobile home park and still a mobile home. And allowing and really beautifying and showing the world what’s possible with mobile homes and showing the world how this can be a huge solution for many families out there. So that’s what we’re doing today. And I know we can dive into a lot of different parts of that. But yeah, that’s basically what we do.
When we went to studio prior, you have a heck of a story. And couple things that you’ve said in there, I know resonated with me, I imagine resonate with our audience as well, quote unquote, you felt like you was at your wits end, quote unquote, as the baby song since pockets feel like rabbit ears, it’s a lot like rabbit ears, is you’re all in, you’re trying to figure out a way. So you say ran across mobile homes. And we talked about so just all full disclosure, we talked about all types of investing. And we went through and talked about just buying your first home. And we’ve taken people through this exposure to all types of investing, single family, multifamily, commercial investing, we’re talking storage units, and everything. syndicating, joint ventures, all those things to make things happen. Now we get the chance to wrap back around and say okay, mobile home parks, we talked about some of those too, but not to the extent of what you are doing with them. So where did the idea come from? Like, where did this we understand the experience got you here? And you saw this opportunity? What sparked the idea that we can transform a mobile home into something far greater, and give people an affordable option on how
A lot has sparked the issue. And mind you I’m in the Silicon Valley, where it’s like the housing problem is at its deepest in the country. And the sad truth is it’s a good prediction of the future of many metro areas. And you also mentioned when you were talking earlier about your show is financial literacy. And that’s huge. I think that’s so important because one is there’s this wealth gap problem. There’s a wealth gap problem, no matter if you believe it or not. But there’s also an information gap and a knowledge gap. We’re not taught in school, how to build up our net worth, how to leverage loans to get an asset. We’re not taught how to get benefits from taxes. These are things that we don’t have access to as a middle class or a low income earner. Now, how do we create a lot of the benefits of homeownership, the tax benefits, the appreciation, the leveraging the loan to build up your net worth? How do you reach some of those benefits when it’s such a big barrier of entry? So I’m going to paint the picture of what It looks like out here in the Silicon Valley. But I know you have listeners throughout the world. So the numbers might seem super high. But I want you to understand that the ratios are the same. So in our area, two bedroom, two bath apartment is about $3,300 a month of rent for a family that wants to rent a two bedroom apartment. Now a single family home in our areas, about $1.4 million, is the average purchase price for that, how does somebody in the rat race of paying that huge amount for rent ever dream of attaining a single family home that big, it’s a very big leap, a very big barrier of entry, let’s say they wanted to put 10% down, that’s $140,000, that’s a down payment. And then their monthly payment could look like about $7,000 a month more than double what they’re already paying in that rental market. And it’s so hard to imagine jumping from one to the other right away. That’s why we need a bridge in between, we need a stepping stone in between to help people a lot to get a better personal cash flow out of that rental rat race out of that cycle, and start that homeowner journey. And what’s beautiful about mobile homes. In mobile home communities, it’s a perfect hybrid of both. If you own a mobile home, in these communities, you actually don’t own the land, which a lot of people can say is a big flaw. But you do on the asset above, and you do get a lot of the perks of the ownership that single family home owners get as well you do get vitiation in a lot of this area, you also get to leverage a loan to purchase an asset goes towards your net worth, plus you have better cash flow, less money is going towards that rent, instead of 100% of that money going towards rent, you have something that’s paying towards an asset that you own that you can sell later down the line. Right. And just by switching from renting to a mobile home, I forgot to mention the pricing wise. So in our area mobile homes, typically about $330,000, or let’s say 350, instead of putting a huge 140k down, they’ll put about $35,000 down their space rents about adults and their mortgage is about $2,700. So their total monthly payment is about $3,700 Only a little bit more than what they’re paying for rent. But it’s a better cash flow for them, and a better cash flow for their family. So that later, three, five years down the line, they have an asset that they can sell. And now they have a better chance to buy single family later. So understanding that a lot of these government programs are really just like reduced rent and that sort of thing. But it really only helps alleviate these families temporarily. Because the end of it, they don’t have an asset, they don’t get anything that they get to sell later down the line. And we have to bring ownership ability to a lot of these low income families. And that’s how I saw this mobile home elements such a beautiful thing to be able to allow homeownership accessible to everyone out there.
So that makes perfect sense, Franco, I do a tremendous amount of affordable housing in and around around the state of South Carolina. And with that here, granted, our economy has not, quote, reached there. And every time I’m in California, when I’m back on the East Coast, and I’m back in the Charleston area, I’m telling people, Hey, we’re about 20, 30, maybe 50 years away from being them. So we need to pay attention to what’s going on and make some changes now. So we don’t have the same issue was on affordability etc. So the programs and stuff that we have still make it work. We lower the cost of homeownership and they have an ownership interest, they can sell they can market later, some situation some of the programs I worked with people ending after 15 – 20 years, they got a major equity stake that they can take, sell and move on to something else, we hope, we oftentimes they’ll do remain. So enable us to stabilize. But you saw that opportunity, that gap. So what I’m hearing is for you, and what you guys are doing, you’re positioning people for ownership, forleverage, which ultimately gets them to if they want to have a detached house somewhere subdivision maybe go out in the hills or something somewhere, they can go out and do that sell that asset or turn it into a rental if their income supports that. Am I correct?
Yeah, you’re absolutely correct. And I think I want to express to from what I broke down earlier is that, hey, these numbers might seem way higher than in South Carolina. But these ratios are similar homeownership gap versus the renting gap. And in the end with what you said it’s really more protecting the options available for these middle class families. Because before it’s like rent or own, but now it’s like rent but I can’t own and that stretch is getting worse and worse. Rightl so we have to protect the access for these families to be able to have that choice, like you said, to be financially stable to own a home.
So mobile homes, you spoke about this earlier, you mentioned it as you went through. But manufactured housing has such a stigma, TV, looking, I don’t know if you have lost eight mile when you think mobile homes you think away Eminem was, you know, I’m saying, and you think about that, but you don’t have the vision, oftentimes of it. But how are you able to get people to look beyond go around or get around the stigmas associated with it?
Yeah, what I’ve realized is, and I say this, because I’ve been through that myself, and with these stigmas, as well as our only association with mobile home parks is what we see out there on the media, on Eight Mile, Breaking Bad on movies that have trailer parks, right. So that’s all the information we have. But we don’t take it in for reality and see it for ourselves as well. Just like apartment buildings, there’s not so great apartment buildings, you don’t want your kids going around, and it’s unsafe. But there’s luxury resort style apartment buildings, too, right? There’s that same spectrum when it comes to mobile home parks, there are bad, trashy parks, yes. But there’s a full spectrum. And there’s beautiful, luxurious mobile home communities as well, with lakes in them with tennis courts, foot spas, gyms and that sort of thing. And we shouldn’t write off this whole asset class is an ugly thing, just because of what we absorb through the media. And that’s the key is because families are already making a ton of sacrifices just to chase this dream of homeownership. They’re driving two hours away, just so that they can own a home. And then that takes away time from their family. Why shouldn’t a family be able to live in an area where they work or in an area where their kids want to go to school, and these mobile home communities are hidden, and they’re in these cities. And they often get ignored because people misunderstand it because of the media
The options that exist, or the options that we have. And people oftentimes are limited in beliefs and thought processes. They shun what is available, and miss out the opportunity to to leverage. Speaking Franco anything I say just bear in mind that you are free to take R&D and rip off and distributed and disseminated. I don’t care. But I taught the people oftentimes about an escalator, you look at the escalator, most people they see the stair they want to be on when they’re walking, or they’re watching the stair. But when they get on an escalator, they can only get on where they can get on it and not jumping, running the jump and trying to lead 10 feet up to get on a particular step on the escalator, could they do that they’re likely to fall and hurt themselves. Real Estate Market is similar. You don’t run and jump to get on to a step further away than what is safe for you to get on you get on where your budget allows, where affordability is where comfort is whatever that may look like for you. And you have the opportunity then to make steps and get up the escalator faster to reach the top. That’s what this is this is a hey, this way you can get on that. Now leverage this step from here to here, step from here to here. And you can get to the top a lot faster, versus you trying to run a jump and get there. Does that make sense?
It totally does. It absolutely does. And I realized I didn’t fully answer your question before that either. And you asked me, how do we break those stigmas? How do we help people understand that, and it brought up a thought in my head. And just like how the media is making these portrayals or making these associations. We’re doing the exact same opposite of how the media does it as well, because what I’ve learned is as younger generations get on, it is hard to believe we’re on this podcast now talking about mobile home parks, you can listen to us talk all you want. But until you actually see it for yourself, you won’t believe and that’s exactly what we realize we have to do. And that’s why our YouTube channel has been has blown up is because we showcase the beauty of these communities through video. This is how younger people are going to take in information, you can say it all you want. But until you show them, then they’ll believe it. And that’s why we show the How to videos, the videos, tours of the communities, the tours of the homes themselves on how beautiful they can be. And a lot of informational facts of hey, this is the quality of the home. This is how this is shaping the future of construction. This is how this is great for the environment as well. And also the financial literacy element of it, hey, if you go this route versus this route, this is the numbers that works. And then we show families that have actually made these decisions and how it’s panned out for them how a teacher has been able to stay in the most expensive area in the world and how it’s helped then be able to feel financially secure. And that’s exactly how we plan to really beautify this space is through video.
That was awesome, man, you’re talking about your school teacher, you’re talking about the people that we need in our communities that serve our communities, your police, firefighters, EMS, school teachers that they can’t afford. I remember sitting a few of my pals in San Francisco a few years ago for a conference, I think it was a night team. And I remember sitting in the back of the room, while the panelists were talking. And it was shared at that time what the rent was, which I think is pretty much on par with what you’re talking maybe a little bit less, probably a little bit less, but that the average home price, at that time was point entry level, less than 1200 square foot house was a little bit over a million dollars, and then what it was 10 years ago in comparison, and then you basically priced out all the people that you need in your community, none of them can afford to live there, your police, teacher, none of them can afford to live there. Unless they have a spouse or significant other, that makes a substantial amount of money more than they do. This is the new affordable housing. That’s what I’m hearing. That’s what I’m understanding from you. And it’s interesting, when I’m gonna say this, and volley back mobile homes, manufactured housing, became the new affordable housing a number of years ago, when home prices began to skyrocket in certain areas in certain communities, manufactured housing became an obsession, if you will, to help stave it off for some. But again, unfortunately, just like a lot of other communities, they gained a stigma along the way, because of whatever experiences or whatever things happen, that have shun people away from, most of it is completely rural. And there’s manufactured housing scattered everywhere. So we’re missing the boat with that man. But I’m so glad to be talking to you to get that impression understanding, and more importantly, to see the vision of what this product can be for people.
I want to express what you something on something that you said to is that I’m very strong on this, as well as this wealth gap is getting out of control and eventually, there’s going to be a world in our country where it’s just you either own a home or you don’t and the truth is, we have to protect from that world ever happening. And I say this a lot. But financial freedom is the new freedom we have to fight for. And it’s kind of shocking. But I also want to say something about what you said on manufactured housing and mobile homes as well as Hey, cars, the way this world is going is construction is getting more difficult to build, skilled labor is we’re having a big shortage, all of our skilled laborers, 45 years old and older, and they’re retiring. And we don’t have young generations that want to be working with a hammer. And material costs are getting more expensive. This is the future that we’re going to have to face. And if we think about cars back then, cars were only originally built for the rich and wealthy. And it was only until we started building them on an assembly line, that we were able to make cars accessible for everyone out there. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with mobile homes today. We’re building these in a factory, we’re building it on an assembly line in a controlled environment, maximizing the output of the skill labor, maximizing what we can with the material, and at the end of the line, having a very high quality home. That’s much more affordable than a traditionally built home. And that’s how we’re keeping the affordability element of housing, we have changed, we have to innovate the way we build homes today. And if we keep going at the rate that we’re doing, homes are just going to keep going up in price. And by doing this in an assembly line, that’s a huge way of how we’re going to be able to keep housing affordable.
That’s quite interesting. Because I’m thinking about this from the industry standpoint, I’m pretty sure Franco you’re similar. But from the industry standpoint, we think about, if you will modular housing, which differs slightly from manufactured is the difference of being on the trailer versus being in the trailer. But you know that the modular housing was similar is built in the factory and some of that process and more and more of that process now is being automated. We do see some cost savings. But what happens is and when we get this part on the control, I think we’ll back to be back to seeing a significant cost savings, but it costs for setup and delivery of a modular home unfortunately keeps it somewhat similar to what it would cost to produce it on site. Now manufactured that’s completely different setup, everything is already ran inside of it. All the plumbing, everything is there. It’s just a matter of getting it on site and connecting everything and you’re done. So you are able to see more savings, if you will, in that arena in that realm. Now, Franco, I got two questions for you one, three actually. So number one, I want to ask you, are you helping teaching people how to do this in their communities?
Yes, that’s part of what we’ve been doing in the last year. So basically doing a lot of consulting for government entities to help support this, and then also to help park owners as well allow for this access to continue to help families be able to take that stepping stone in these communities.
Okay, the next thing I want to ask you before I get to, quote unquote, mic drop question. So I want to ask you, how can people get in contact with you?
Yeah, all of our links, are www.franco.tv. You can see like, our YouTube channel, 3d tours of what these homes actually look like, I think if you’re listening, and you should definitely see visually, because once you see what’s possible with this, your stigma and association with what mobile homes are will completely change. But yeah, you can find us there or just Google Franco mobile Homes, you’ll find all our stuff as well.
Okay, awesome.. And the last question I have for you, and I call this Franco, our mic drop question. Ah, I love it. Oh, but it’s hindsight. We all know 2020 when you look back, because you already seen it and remember it. But for you, if you didn’t own it, whenever, what do you know now? What have you learned now, that if you known this for years and years ago, would have catapulted you, far beyond where you are today?
I think it’s really hard to work hard. And I think I would love to tell people out there to find something you really want to change or create an impact for I think there’s too much content out there trying to chase how can you make X amount a month or 10,000 a month, that sort of thing. But I think what really drove me was not the money element at all, it was more of the purpose element of knowing that I can one day help a family that was in my shoes, even just one family. And I still cheer up today, when I have a family that just is so thankful and grateful. And there’s, for me, that’s what drives me to work harder, to learn faster, and to just get stuff done. And if I know there’s a lot of people out there that maybe that’s just the missing piece. And if you find something that you can help create an impact for something you care about. I think that’s more than any other resource or any dollar amount. And, I think that’s important for I would want more people to chase that impact.
Okay, I appreciate that. So Franco look, we quickly reached the end of today’s show, I just want to tell you, man, I’ve had a blast spending time with you, I see the passion. And that’s what makes a difference in this industry. I don’t know if anybody’s ever said this to you. I have no reason, an idea, per se, why I’m saying it, but I’m gonna say it, which is the passion makes a difference. A lot of people get into a particular thing just to make money. You’re getting into it to make a difference. And I’m making a difference. The money comes, but there’s a greater reward. So I want to encourage you, and I want to tell you to keep going to keep doing what you’re doing, no matter what the obstacles may be, what may arise, what may be on yet the horizon that you have not reached, I want you to keep going without fear. Because this is your place, and this is your space. And this is your reasonable service to mankind. I can’t say that enough to you. If nobody’s ever said it to you. You got it from me, but if they have let me echo whoever that was before they said it to you and encourage you.
Thanks man. That really means a lot like you with what you said. There’s always a lot of struggles, a lot of hurdles a lot of people that didn’t go against and I think it is that purpose and knowing that I felt that pain. I know it’s all going to be worth it if we can help families alleviate and not go through that. Thanks for everything, man.
You’re welcome. So Franco, thank you so much, man for being on the show with us today. Thank you for being a part of the exit strategies radio. So from bottom my heart, man again. I cannot tell you enough. Keep going. Let’s go. Let’s move mountains man. To our listeners, guys. Y’all know how I feel. Y’all know what I say? Y’all know, I always put the two of those things together. And I say it to you this way. Which is I love you. I love you. I love you. And we’re gonna see you guys out there in those streets.