Interview with Bryce Robertson from Cultiv8 Collective
Listen on Apple Podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-with-bryce-robertson-from-cultiv8-collective/id1520681893?i=1000612515672
Welcome back to the Passive Mobile Home Park Investing Podcast, hosted by Andrew Keel. On this episode, Andrew talks with mobile home park syndicator and operator Bryce Robertson from Cultiv8 Collective. Andrew and Bryce dive into why the demand for affordable housing in the United States is at an all time high, they also discuss how to change the tenant base in a mobile home park as to improve the property. Bryce discusses his in depth acquisition and refinance strategies that he believes will weather most economic climates. Bryce discusses how his investment strategy has changed since he started in mobile home parks in 2015.
Bryce purchased his first mobile home park in 2015 with a net worth of -$50,000, with unseasoned credit and a mere $2,000 in the bank. Once Bryce closed that seemingly impossible deal, he knew that anything was possible and continued to grow his knowledge, experience, and wealth to become financially free within 2.5 years through mobile home park investing.
Andrew Keel is the owner of Keel Team, LLC, a Top 100 Owner of Manufactured Housing Communities with over 2,000 lots under management. His team currently manages over 30 manufactured housing communities across more than ten states. His expertise is in turning around under-managed manufactured housing communities by utilizing proven systems to maximize the occupancy while reducing operating costs. He specializes in bringing in homes to fill vacant lots, implementing utility bill back programs, and improving overall management and operating efficiencies, all of which significantly boost the asset value and net operating income of the communities.
Andrew has been featured on some of the Top Podcasts in the manufactured housing space, click here to listen to his most recent interviews: https://www.keelteam.com/podcast-links. In order to successfully implement his management strategy, Andrew's team usually moves on location during the first several months of ownership. Find out more about Andrew's story at AndrewKeel.com .
Are you getting value out of this show? If so, please head over to iTunes and leave the show a quick five-star review. I have a goal of hitting over 200 total 5-star reviews by the end of 2023, and it would mean the absolute world to me if you could help contribute to that. Thanks ahead of time for making my day with your five-star review of the show.
Would you like to see mobile home park projects in progress? If so, follow us on Instagram: @passivemhpinvesting for photos and awesome videos from our recent mobile home park acquisitions.
00:21 - Welcome to the Passive Mobile Home Park Investing Podcast
01:31 - Bryce's journey into the Mobile Home Park investing world
06:28 - Living an active life alongside a growing portfolio of mobile home park investments
08:00 - How Bryce has built his team
08:50 - The toughest part of mobile home park investing
10:08 - How Bryce finds deals
15:00 - Bryce's portfolio and his first mobile home parks
17:31 - What the next five years in the mobile home park industry will look like
20:20 - The tenant base of mobile home parks and affordable housing
22:40 - Bryce's investment strategy and how it's changed over the years
26:38 - Mistakes that Bryce has made in mobile home park investing
28:35 - The most important thing passive investors need to look out for
33:15 - Bryce's perfect mobile home park looks like this
34:18 - Bryce's opinion on rent increases and how much is too much
37:20 - Getting a hold of Bryce Robertson
37:47 - Conclusion
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Links & Mentions from This Episode:
Invest Cultiv8: https://investcultiv8.com/
Keel Team's official website: https://www.keelteam.com/
Andrew Keel's official website: https://www.andrewkeel.com/
Andrew Keel LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewkeel
Andrew Keel Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PassiveMHPinvestingPodcast
Andrew Keel Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/passivemhpinvesting/ Twitter: @MHPinvestors
Andrew: Welcome to the Passive Mobile Home Park Investing podcast. This is your host, Andrew Keel. Today we have an amazing guest in Mr. Bryce Robertson from Cultiv8 Collective.
Before we dive in, I want to ask you a real quick favor. Would you mind taking an extra 30 seconds and heading over to iTunes to rate this podcast with five stars? This helps us get more listeners, and it means the absolute world to me. Thanks for making my day with that five-star review of the show.
All right, let's dive in here. Bryce purchased his first mobile home park back in 2015 with a net worth of negative $50,000. He also had unseasoned credit and a mere $2000 in the bank. Once Bryce closed that seemingly impossible deal, he knew that anything was possible and continued to grow his knowledge, experience, and wealth to become financially free within 2½ years through mobile home park investing. Bryce, welcome to the show.
Bryce: Good day, Andrew. Great to be here, brother.
Andrew: Yeah, man. Would you mind starting out by telling us your story and how in the world you got into manufactured housing?
Bryce: Sure. Bryce Robertson, native from Australia. I got near the end of high school and realized I wasn't doing university. It just wasn't my jam. I wanted to go out there and make money as soon as I could, but I had no influences in the business world or entrepreneurship. I went out and got the highest paying blue collar job because I thought that was my best shot.
I started an apprenticeship as a steel fabricator welder, completed that, and then went and worked out in the underground gold mines in Western Australia. I was working 12–14 hours a day, 7 days a week, 8 weeks on, and 1 week off. It enabled me to get a good work ethic and also saved up a little bit of cash because in my early 20s, I had a dream that I wanted to travel the world for six years. That's what I did, and here's how I did it.
First, I started off with my base camp in London, England. I call it my base camp because that's where I earned my money. I would work there 5–7 seven days a week, 10–12 hours a day, for 3 or 4 months at a time. I saved up a little chunk of cash, went traveling to Europe, and then I would basically come back when my money ran out. I keep working, go to Africa, and I did the whole UK, Europe, and Africa cycle for three years.
After that, I wanted to change the scenery, so I went over to a really small ski village of 5000 people called Fernie in British Columbia, Canada because I wanted to do a snowboarding season. I loved it so much there that I ended up staying there for two years. They also had coal mines just down the road, so I started moving gigs out in the coal mines.
When I wasn't working there, I was firefighting, downhill mountain biking, snowboarding, or enjoying the outdoor mountainous activities. Because of that, I didn't really travel much through those two years. It enabled me to save an even bigger chunk of cash. After that, I went on an 18-month surfing and scuba diving trip down in Central and South America. The last six months of that, that's when I met my wife who's a native from California.
About 13 years ago, I ended up here in the States. When we got to the States, we wanted to recreate this type of freedom lifestyle, except (1) we wanted to do it without our money running out, and (2) we wanted our money to grow while we're traveling, adventuring, and enjoying our lives.
We went out and we looked at the three main ways to make big bucks. That's owning a business and real estate in the stock market. I think crypto currency probably fits in the stock market category, but it wasn't really a thing back then.
In the beginning, I tried about seven different side hustles, and then after not too long at all, I realized I was spinning plates. I was having mediocre success. I needed to take a big step back and laser focus on one thing. I knew it was going to be real estate because at the time, I had a 20-year background in construction and construction management.
What was I going to do in real estate? I looked at multifamily apartments, mobile home parks, self storage, notes, single family, long-term, short-term, the whole kit and caboodle. Over and over and over again, mobile home parks kept popping off the page to me.
Massive supply and demand in favor of mobile home park owners, getting to contribute to what I believe is America's number one real estate problem, and that's the need for affordable housing, awesome tax benefits, not much competition, high cash flows, excellent returns I was in. I put my first mobile home park under contract. You told the story on how that played out just before.
Andrew: That is fantastic, man. Wow, kudos to you for just having that grit and climbing through to chase your goals. I wanted to circle back to the traveling. Do you still travel? Do you still get out and do some exotic sports and things like that?
Bryce: Traveling is definitely something I love to do. I haven't traveled internationally so much in the last couple of years, though I've been doing a lot of travel in the States. You touched on it. You touched on activities and adventures. I'm actually just embarking on mountaineering. I'm actually going and doing my six-day mountaineering course out in Mount Baker, Washington, which prepares me to conquer some big summits.
Later on this year, I'm planning to go to Kilimanjaro and do that one, and then around Christmas time, go down to Aconcagua, which is the tallest mountain in the Americas down in Argentina. Next year, in a perfect world, if everything lines up, I'll go down to Vinson and do a mountaineering expedition down in the Antarctic, and then Cho Oyu, which is over in Tibet. It's actually the sixth tallest mountain in the world.
It's a way for me to enjoy travel and get my adventure in. It also keeps me fit and gives me a focus for basically my health. I've done things like Spartan races and things like that. That keeps me excited for maybe six months. This is a couple of years of expeditions, and I really got to be in good shape. It's good for everything.
Andrew: That is so exciting. This is obviously the passive mobile home park investing podcast. For myself, it has been less passive. How in the world are you able to do all those things alongside a growing portfolio of mobile home parks? How are you able to make it passive for yourself?
Bryce: You answered that question with the word you have right beside your head there: team. That really is how it's possible. Real estate investing is a team sport. It's really about knowing how to build teams, how to outsource, how to educate everybody on the team, how to project our vision so that everybody understands the big picture of what we're doing, and then project our vision of even the small tasks.
We're really in a large growth mode. We're expanding our team. We actually are transitioning from 8-core team members to 14-core team members. Literally right now, all full time people. We've got a lot more people that are working on site at the project level, but this is just the in-house core team. We're really ramping ourselves up for continued massive growth.
Really, my focus is getting A-players in every section of the business. I'm literally working on the business, not in the business. In the beginning, obviously, I was very, very in the business for quite a long time.
Andrew: Sure. What does your team look like? Do you have your own management company? Of those 14-core team members, what do they do?
Bryce: We've got our own property management company. We've got our own asset management company. We've got our own in-house construction crews. Those construction crews, all the on-site staff, and the project management isn't really included in that core team.
The core team is taking care of investor relations. We've got a few team members there. Also on the acquisition side, we've got a few team members there. Then we've got the project execution like making sure the business plan is getting done under budget, ahead of schedule. And there are a whole bunch of admin and other things behind the scenes as well.
Andrew: That's awesome. That's really cool. What do you think is the toughest hurdle to mobile home park investing that most operators face?
Bryce: You have to be up for a certain amount of complexity because we manage our own properties. It's not really a space where people are hiring third-party management companies that are having great success, because basically the amount that they will get paid for smallpox doesn't pencil out. You have to self-manage. There's a lot of complexity to it.
I honestly think that the hardest thing—and you would know about this as well—is finding the right deals and getting the right deal upfront. If you don't get the right deal upfront, you can say, oh, look. I've got all these assets under management, but are they really going to perform that well? Especially in today's economic environment that's unwinding, twisting, and evolving very quickly, I think we really need to be cautious on what we're actually buying.
I think acquisitions and getting our acquisitions right is probably the most challenging but most rewarding piece of all of this. If we buy right up the front, we can handle all of the things going wrong. We can handle everything playing out in the worst case scenario, and we know we're still going to be good. But if we didn't get that piece right up front, then we could essentially be stuck with a hot potato.
Andrew: How do you do that currently? How do you find those deals that you're purchasing, those off market deals? Are you cold calling or using brokers? How's that working now?
Bryce: We're cold calling, we’re mailing, we're using brokers, we're working with wholesalers. We are working with people who refer deals to us. We've been in the game full time since 2015, so we've got quite a few different avenues for deals coming to us. Even if time permits our team, we'll do drive-bys, actually drive for dollars and speak to managers. That's a little bit more time-intensive, but it's very rewarding as well.
I really think the main key to what we're doing specifically is our really conservative underwriting. I studied macro economics. I am pretty paranoid about the potential of the high probabilities and possibilities of things that could go wrong in our economy. If you stand back and take a look at this from a macro scale, we've got really weak systems. We've got a weak financial system, we've got weak banking systems, we've got just everything economically, even our health sectors and our education.
If you look at the whole societal system, I think we're due for basically a detox and a change in a lot of these systems. Just looking at simple things like what are they doing with interest rates, what cap rates are going to do, are rents going to still be able to increase or not, are we going to be hit for taxes, and things like that. The way that we're navigating through this is by having ultra conservative underwriting so that we feel we can not only weather the worst case scenario but thrive through it.
If we're bringing a deal to the table right now that we're projecting for a five-year business plan, it's got a refinance in it because a lot of the properties we're buying are 50% occupied. If we're doing a refinance, we're probably doing that 12–36 months into the business plan.
We're adding on 2% to what current interest rates are for the interest rate at the refinance. We're also adding on 2% to current cap rates for the refinance cap rate just in case cap rates increase in lag after interest rates do. We're adding on 3% to our exit cap, 3%. on top of what normal cap rates are now just in case we have more of a cap rate increase between now and the five-year exit. We are doubling our construction timelines.
We're working with our own in-house construction crews. We still do use some local vendors, but we're subject to cities, counties, and other parties that could slow down our business plan. Supply chain issues and things like this could really slow down our time. If we say we are going to our investors, we're going to refinance in two years, very likely, we're going to refinance in 12 months. We'd like to have really conservative projections on that to build in for worst case scenarios.
We're adding on about 50% to all of our construction costs. That's quite a big buffer. Sometimes we've even done more than that. That's to build in for price inflation, for supply chain issues. Maybe we can't buy the materials we want and we have to go to a different type of material, or get creative.
What we're doing is obviously we have money left over in that budget when we do things under budget, and then we're going out and we're buying a small mobile home park to add to the portfolio before the refinance, and we're cranking up the NOI and everything like that.
We're also doubling our property taxes. Even though there has been no talk about increasing property taxes, quantitative easing has been happening, money printing. We're looking at what could happen during the whole period. In the next five years, are they going to come back at us? Because who's going to pay back the money printing? The general public, and it's going to be paid in the form of taxation.
Price inflation is taxation. Also, they could hit us with property tax increases, capital gains tax increases. Who knows? We're building into that. Right now, at a lot of our parks, we're able to raise about 20% year on year, especially because we're buying undervalued properties. You're 50% occupied, where they haven't really raised the rents properly, so we've got some catching up to do.
We only underwrite with 0%–5% rent increase just in case the market shifts, just in case there are a whole bunch of states that could potentially bring in rent controls. These are the kinds of measures we're bringing to the table to make sure that we can weather the storm. The reason why we can pull this off on most of our deals is because, again, we're buying 50% occupied properties that are undervalued. We're buying up to 90% as well, but a lot of our parks have heavy value add, and we're doing a lot of the construction stuff in-house ourselves.
Andrew: That's awesome, man. Bryce, thank you for giving clear examples, too. We've had other guests that are like, yeah, I have conservative underwriting, and they don't give specific examples. Kudos to you. I would say, yeah, all of that that you mentioned are very conservative measures, so kudos.
Why don't you tell us about your portfolio? You bought your first park in 2015. Was it just you? Did you have a team at that point? How many lots was that park? How many lots are you up to now?
Bryce: The first park, yup, that was just me. Even the second park. I brought in some JV partners, but essentially, on my side of things it was all just me. I bought the first mobile home park in 2015. I became financially free in 2017.
After that, we actually traveled for quite a bit. My wife and I traveled the world. We had a really awesome time. We enjoyed the financial freedom piece. In 2019, one of my mentee students was in a position, and I'd been working with him for a couple of years. His name is Nolan Freeland. I was mentoring him.
He was doing everything that I was telling him to do, and he's kicking butt. All of a sudden, his life situation changed. He was stuck at a standstill where he wanted to keep growing, but the circumstances he had were stopping him from growing, certain business partners and things like that. I ended up teaming up with him and bringing him on board.
I think in 2020, I brought him on board. We started going bananas in 2021–2022. Now we're in 2023, we've bought 12 mobile home parks in the last 9 months. Right now, we've got 16 mobile home parks. We actually went full cycle on a couple of our mobile home parks.
We've got a 100% track record of exceeding our projections. Obviously, when you look at our underwriting, that makes a lot of sense. All of the current projects that we're working on, we are ahead of the game. It looks like we're going to refinance way ahead of the schedule, 2–4 times ahead of schedule on these projects. Right now we've got around about a little over a thousand lots, I think. We're in a big growth phase.
Andrew: That's fantastic, man. Kudos and congrats on the success. The last 10 years have been really awesome. I'm interested in hearing your perspective on what the next five years is going to look like.
Bryce: I mentioned earlier, I think America's number one real estate problem is the need for affordable housing. Right now, mobile home parks are the largest contributor to solving that problem. But by simple math, it's physically impossible that mobile home parks will solve that alone. Right now, the supply and demand is massively in favor for mobile home parks.
We used to have wait lists of maybe 3–5 pre-screened tenants ready for the next home. Some of our parks have got up to 80 tenants. As soon as we've got a home available, it's filled. If we're not filling a home within 30 days, there's something really wrong or we've chosen the wrong market. We've got really, really solid supply and demand massively in favor for mobile home parks right now.
Sidetrack real quick and say that whoever is going to contribute to successfully and sustainably solving the problem of affordable housing over the next 5–10 years, I think is going to be very profitable because that's just solving a big problem that needs to be solved. Right now, mobile home parks are the largest contributor to solving that.
I personally think that the economy is going to get more challenging over the next two years. I think that we'll probably hit rock bottom in about two years from now, but it doesn't matter. If my predictions are off, if my timing is off, it doesn't really matter. I just look at the whole macro of our banking system, our financial system, our cycles that have happened in real estate, the stock market, boom, bust cycles. They're not sustainable. What goes up must come down. I think that we're heading towards that.
When we have that economic decline or economic challenges, it could be from many different things. It could be from the energy sector 4X-ing or 10X-ing energy costs like what happened over in the UK that we'd had an 80%–1000% increase in energy costs for utility users over in the UK. That happened in the last couple of months.
If something like that happens here, costs are going to go up massively. People are going to be in a hard financial position. There are a million other things that could make the economy crumble or become more challenging. When that happens, people downsize in housing. They need to cut costs. They need to cut their living costs.
They go from A-class apartments, to B-class apartments, to C-class apartments, probably down to mobile home parks. If you can't afford to stay in a mobile home park, you're either staying with family and friends, you're sleeping in your car or a tent, or you're homeless.
Andrew: I'm in mobile home parks, too, so I'm on your team. But some investors that I've met with, they say, hey, you're providing housing to the lowest common denominator, you're providing housing to the people that are most fragile, their income streams are most fragile. What do you say to that? Hey, your tenant base is one pink note away from losing their job and not being able to pay rent.
Bryce: I'd say two things to that. One thing to that is that the supply and demand side of things, arguably, depending on where you're getting your information on, you could say that 20%–30% of people in America are in need of affordable housing. Mobile home parks are taking up such a small, small fraction of that space. There's no way we could support all the people that are in need of affordable housing. It would seem to be the best option currently today.
There are only about 44,000–45,000 mobile home parks nationwide. There's a 1% decline each year because they're closing more parks than they're allowed to be built. The supply and demand is massively in favor of mobile home parks.
What we've seen over the last couple of months, couple of years, is as things have been becoming increasingly economically challenging, the lock downs, and all these things that were happening, we've seen a higher clientele of mobile home park clients actually coming to live in our communities.
We're not really dealing with the same people who we used to deal with back in 2015–2019, 2020, even 21. We're dealing with people who have nice cars, they've got good jobs. They just need more affordable housing. They're buying new mobile homes, or they're renting new mobile homes, and it just seems like a better, more affordable option for them.
We're actually seeing a higher clientele coming into our communities. Like I say, with the amount of demand that we've got at our mobile home parks, until there is a major solution to this affordable housing problem somewhere else in some other sector, in some capacity, I don't think that's going to happen very quickly. I think that's going to take a long time to implement. Until something like that happens at a really, really large scale, I think mobile home parks are relatively sheltered.
Andrew: Nice. Bryce, obviously it seems like you're going after a value add strategy, 50% occupancy. Has that always been your strategy in the space? How has your strategy changed?
Bryce: We used to actually like to buy an 80% occupied [...] that's called a stabilized park, anything from 70%–80% occupied. Lenders consider that to be stabilized to get better financing. Insurance is better. There's a little value-add portion to it. There was enough meat on the bone for deals to make sense, but this is back when we were buying 12 caps, 9 caps, things like this.
Sure, we have still bought some of these 50% occupied properties that are 11 cap and 10 cap in the last couple of years. But these more stabilized properties, they're down to six caps, five caps. Some of them I've seen as low as two caps in markets that aren't even absolutely amazing. We've seen the cap rate compression, as cap rates are coming down, so the values are going up. That means that there are less profits in the deal.
The way we look at mobile home parks is, how many profit levers can we pull in a mobile home park? Those kinds of profit levers are reducing expenses, increasing revenue. How do we increase revenue? We increase revenue by, we could build back utilities, we can raise rents, we can fill vacant units. We can bring in more units to fill vacant spaces. They're the main ways.
When you're looking at 80%–90% occupied property, buying it at a five cap which is probably what most parks are trading at right now, we need to make our investor returns. We shoot to exceed doubling our investors' capital each five years. There are other metrics that we have. I can share them, too, if you want.
We look at, does this deal fit our criteria? Is it going to make enough money for our investors? We realized in about 2021 especially, we had to change our business plan. Financing is becoming more expensive, the parks are becoming more expensive, there are less levers to pull. We need more levers to pull. That's why we've been buying 50% occupied properties, where there are tons of value-add.
We're buying properties for like $22,000–$25,000 per pad, and then we're refinancing or selling them for $50,000–$70,000 per pad. Some of them were bought. They're a little bit more expensive than that. There's a lot of work involved in it. It's not just something that you can just go out there and do. We've got a strong construction background. We've got good in-house crews and a strong team. That's been working really well for us.
Interest rates are getting even harder. Costs are going up. It's harder to find contractors. Contractors are a dying breed right now. I think that back in the day, even recently, or even up to now, people would say being a doctor or being an attorney are some of the best paying jobs. I think fast forward 5–10 years from now, people who are in the blue collared field, just because of the supply and demand, I think they're going to be very profitable people owning businesses and working in that space.
There are all these baby boomers that are actually retiring right now. There are not many millennials or younger generations coming in to backfill that. All of these things are just making it harder and harder for deals to pencil out.
We're trying to find deals that are really under-occupied, where we've got tons of levers to pull, rents are under, occupancy is under, a lot of work needs to be done to make it quality, but we bring that on. We'll continue to keep shifting. As the market keeps shifting, we're going to keep doing our best to anticipate and stay ahead of the game. We're putting ourselves in the highest probabilities and possibilities of succeeding.
Andrew: That's awesome. That's fantastic. What mistakes in mobile home park investing have you made that we could learn from?
Bryce: First deal, I gave way too much to my investors. That was a lesson on deal structuring. I really didn't know how to structure deals back then. Utilities have been a pretty strong lesson in the mobile home park space. I had a gas system at my first mobile home park. I had leaks in the system. The gas company came out and shut it down.
We had to pressurize the system because that's how it works with these gas systems. When we re-pressurized the system, we blew more holes. It was in the middle of winter. Nobody had heating, food, or these things.
We steer clear of private utilities. We've got septic systems and water wells. We're totally fine with those. We don't have any other private utilities. Really, it's about building. It's about attracting and building good teams. I could have the best business plan, I could be the best business owner, but unless I have a good team executing that at the property level, then you're peeing in the wind, so to speak.
I really just think that team building and having the right core members is really, really a key to this. That's been part of the challenge in earlier places, where I didn't have the right team members. I didn't want to fire them and rehire them quickly enough. I wanted to give them a better go.
We've got a really, really good hiring and onboarding system now, where we sort the hay from the chaff or whatever you want to call it much earlier in the stage before we even bring people on. It's management-intensive. There are a lot of moving parts to it. There are a lot of complexities and we're learning every day.
Andrew: That's awesome. This is one of our most popular questions that we ask that our listeners love. What are the most important things that passive investors need to look out for when investing in mobile home parks? We're talking about LPs. We're talking about completely passive. What are the most important things they need to look at?
Bryce: Number one, right now in this market and over the next at least 5 years, I would probably say 10 years, but definitely in the next 5 years, what are the underwriting assumptions behind their business plan? Okay, cool. They say they're going to give you a 17% or 19% IRR, an 8%–12% cash on cash, they'll double your money in 5 years. But is that because they're raising their rents 100% over the next five years? Can they pull that business plan off? Do you really think that they can do it? We spoke about that earlier. I think that's number one right now.
Number two is I tell all of my investors, yes, you want the deal to meet your criteria, and you want the deal to make sense, but it's the team, it's the people who are going to manage the deal, it's the people who are going to execute on the business plan that are going to make the difference. You can have an excellent deal that's poorly managed and then you have average results, or you can take an average asset, an average deal, really well-managed, and you can crush it.
I used to say more than 50%, but now, these days, I'd actually probably say 80% of the decision-making power could arguably be weighed against the operator themselves versus the actual deal. I'm not a legal adviser, CPA, attorney, or anything like that. I'm not giving anybody advice. You have to make all your own decisions and consult with your own advisors. This is just some food for thought, some information.
If you look at what's happening in the multifamily apartments space right now—this is by June 2023—40% of the operators in the multifamily space that acquired apartments while using adjustable rate mortgages are going to be in a position where it's extremely, extremely unlikely that they would be able to refinance and be putting themselves in a high probability of not having enough money to be able to pay for their expenses being in a negative cash flow situation.
That's probably not being spoken about too much right now, but it's things like this that we're going to see happening, things like this that are happening right now. There are bank runs, bank closures, and all these exposures. Warren Buffett said, when the tide goes out, you see who's got their pants down. Well, the tide's going out. There are a lot of different things that are going to expose people.
Is your business plan really resilient? Are you really prepared for what's coming and what's what's here right now? I think looking at our operators, what their business plan is, what they plan to do in all of these potentially challenging times, these are all the questions that we need to ask. Where are we keeping our capital right now? Where are we keeping our capital reserves? Are we exposing it to fragile banks that could experience a bank run?
The FDIC can only cover I think 1.68% of the insured amount of bank accounts, which most of them are $250,000. Brokerage accounts like Schwab and Fidelity, they're about $500,000. People have more money in their accounts than that. But of those accounts, the FDIC can only cover 1.68%, I believe, and that's declining. Each month that's declining and becoming less and less of what they can cover insurance.
If less than 2% of the money was drawn out of banks, banks would be insolvent, and banks would close on a total scale. When we look at things like this, like where are we keeping our money, are we keeping our money in safe places, what are we going to do in these very frail, potentially really challenging environments and asking these sorts of questions, don't make our decisions off what's happening today. Think about what could happen over the next five years. I think that's the biggest thing that we need to be asking ourselves right now as limited partners.
Andrew: That's fantastic. Thank you for sharing some of those nuggets there. That was interesting. Scary times ahead, for sure. Last question, Bryce. What does the perfect mobile home park look like in your eyes and why?
Bryce: I'd say probably the perfect mobile home park in my eyes would be something that was significantly under market rents, where all we had to do is just increase the rents, we didn't really have to do any heavy lifting. As I mentioned before, the more levers we can pull, the more profits we can potentially make. But the more levers there are, the more things that could go wrong, too.
If all we have to do is just significantly raise rents because for some reason, the mom and pop who owned it were in a time capsule for the last 30 years, and they haven't raised rent since the 80s or 90s, then that would be a perfect case scenario for us. We'd have to do weightlifting. We love mobile home parks. We love the game. We're down to take on all the complexities. I suppose every park that we've been buying is a perfect park.
Andrew: There you go. On the raising rents piece, obviously, some operators have been giving the industry a black eye with the rent increases too fast. What do you think is raising too much in a single year?
Bryce: There are a few things. Before I answer that, I think we have to look at what market rents are. If people are really, really below market rents, this is where some of the publicity gets out of hand. It's like, well, they raised their rents $100 on us. They went up 30% in one year. It's like, okay, but you were 30% under market. Consider yourself lucky for the amount of time that you didn't pay market rents. We're subject to all of the increasing costs and everything like that.
If people are raising over market rents, that's when I think conversations like that can be brought to the table. You can say, hey, these guys raised $100 a year. It was a 30% increase. And now they're 30% over market. Yeah, that's unethical.
We're buying 50% occupied properties. They've had a challenge. Either they don't have enough money to do the remodeling and fill the vacant lots, or they can't handle the management complexity of all the construction, the management, the sales, and everything that's involved. That's why we're buying 50% occupied properties. Usually those people are not raising their rents because they don't want to lose the 50% of people that they've got there. They don't want to get that down to 45%, 40%, or 30.
A lot of our parks, we're buying significantly under rents. We increase our rents day one up the market or just below market. We'd like to be a little bit below market, and then we're clearly the best choice and have a higher quality asset than other people in the market. We'll see a little bit of turnover, but it's really just, count yourselves lucky for the years that you didn't pay market rents, and you've been saving money to now.
Andrew: I'm assuming you guys are going to fix the deferred maintenance and improve the property because everybody wins. You'll be able to get better debt if the property is run a certain way. It's justified rent increases versus ripping the band aid off and going up, right?
Bryce: Yeah, we're not just raising rents with no validation. When we close on a deal, when we buy a deal, we've got enough money for the down payment for the loan, the closing costs, and all the capital expenditures for the business plan. We take massive action to get all of that conquered in a really short period of time. As soon as we take over, everybody's like, whoa, they're remodeling homes, they're redoing the roads, their landscaping, putting new signs in, putting plants in, getting better lighting.
We start remodeling all our homes. Other tenants are like, yeah, we're going to paint our homes too, and we're going to clean our things up. Within six months to a year at most of our parks, it's just night and day difference. It's like taking a homeless person off the streets, putting them in a tuxedo, and sending them to the Oscars or something like that.
Andrew: That's super cool, man. Bryce, how can our listeners get a hold of you if they'd like to do so?
Bryce: Check us out at investcultiv8.com.
Andrew: Awesome, Bryce. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing lots of golden nuggets with our listeners.
Bryce: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Andrew: That's it for today, folks. Thank you so much for tuning in.