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John McLaren | President & Chief Operating Officer Sun Communities

This week Matt’s guest is John McLaren, President and Chief Operating Officer of Sun Communities, a REIT and the largest owner/operator of manufactured housing communities. John and Matt explore the different facets of the manufactured housing business in general, as well as a deep dive into Sun Communities’ business. John lends particular insight to manufactured housing as part of the affordable housing toolkit and its ability to address the financial and social needs of people from a variety of income levels. 

On the subject of manufactured housing providing different options for housing affordability, we also refer you to a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post from a friend of Matt’s, Daniel Weisfield, from Three Pillars Communities, about misperceptions about the manufactured housing industry, its overall impact on housing affordability for its residents as well as having inevitable rent increases in the business. Here is a link to Daniel’s post via LinkedIn…..

Before Matt and John went on air for this episode, John shared that he unintentionally fell into the real estate and mobile home park businesses. He went on to say that his career has been a great blessing in which he has achieved success, and it’s clear from the way he talks about it that he has found a great deal of meaning and purpose in his work. Matt connected with this because he often feels the same way — he fell into real estate early on and then fell into recruiting mid-way through his career, both of which he grew to love. Sometimes a deep sense of purpose comes from career paths you don’t expect, so it’s worth it to keep a flexible mindset.

The heart of this conversation lies in John’s vigilant commitment to the communities he serves. He believes that for a community to thrive, it must be built on a foundation of stewardship. Everything from relationships with manufacturers to innovating more aesthetically pleasing housing is done with the local community and its member’s quality of life in mind. Intentionality of this degree is one of many reasons why Sun Communities enjoys around a 99% resident retention rate — an example to which many in the industry should aspire.



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