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Main Street Millionaire talks about paying it forward

October 16, 2015

For Mike Conlon, success in business is about giving back and taking pride in delivering the best, no matter what your field is. Conlon, aka the Main Street Millionaire, is a multi-million dollar commercial real estate investor and Amazon Best Selling Author. He spoke to the Randolph Rotary Club on Sept. 23 about the real estate market, his business insights and philosophy.

For Mike Conlon, success in business is about giving back and taking pride in delivering the best, no matter what your field is. Conlon, aka the Main Street Millionaire, is a multi-million dollar commercial real estate investor and Amazon Best Selling Author. He spoke to the Randolph Rotary Club on Sept. 23 about the real estate market, his business insights and philosophy.

Conlon and his company, Cary-based Affordable Communities Group, LLC, currently own 25 mobile home parks with approximately 4,000 spaces, serving 3,800 families. Half of those are in North Carolina with others in Maryland, Alabama, Illinois and Wisconsin.

No matter the property, Conlon and his team are consistent about one key thing: Providing a safe, clean, affordable community and home. That goal goes back to when Conlon first decided to get into real estate after a successful stint in financial planning. He looked for a niche in real estate, settling on affordable housing.

“There’s always a need (for affordable housing), especially right now. There are waiting lists at every location now,” he said. “Seventy-six percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. I want to show them we care.”

That’s why, for every property purchased, investment is made in paving roads, removing any criminal element, rehabbing whatever may need to be and fostering a feeling of community through events.

“We want to be about service in the mobile home park business. Life is a struggle,” said Conlon. “We want people to know they are appreciated.”

Every year, each community has a community appreciation day with fun activities and food. When he found that a large number of residents ran short on food at the end of the month, he started bringing in food trucks. Recognizing the key role education can play in one’s earning potential, Conlon’s group started a scholarship program.

“I’m a big fan of community colleges,” he added with a knowing nod to Randolph Community College President Dr. Robert Shackleford.

It seems to be working. The national average in turnover in mobile home parks is 35 percent while for Conlon’s properties, it is only 11 percent.

All these deeds boil down to one thing — what you can do for others. For Conlon, it’s about making life better for the residents he serves. Paraphrasing motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, Conlon said, “If you provide others what they need, you will succeed.”

More about Conlon:

Over the last 10 years he has done 15 full cycle (buy, rehab, sell) apartment complex deals and 16 full cycle mobile home park deals with sales proceeds over $100 million. Prior to real estate, Conlon owned a financial planning firm with over $100 million in client assets and a financial planning broker-dealer, which he grew from $1.2 million in sales to over $40 million and sold to a large international insurance company. Affordable Communities Group, LLC, http://acgmhc.com/.