Connecting Buyers and Sellers of Campgrounds and RV Parks
Steps to purchasing a Starter Campground/RV Park
1. Get Liquid or Cash Ready! If you have a house or business to sell, get it on the market now. Take an inventory your assets, include the equity of your home, big toys you might want to sell, 401k assets and savings accounts, investment accounts and equity in other business you might own.
2. What are your liabilities? Credit card debt, kids’ college tuition repayment, vehicle payments, etc. Know your net worth. The goal is to get completely "cash ready"
3. Down payment equals 30% of the asking price. That’s right, 30% will give you the 20% - 25% most banks require on a commercial loan and the additional 5% - 10% is the reserve banks will want you to have. This means that a business selling for $500,000 will warrant a $150,000 down payment. This will give you a solid footing to begin your journey. There are exceptions to this down payment rule, but very few.
4. The NDA. This can be found by clicking on “contact us to learn more” at the bottom of the ad on the Parks for Sale page.
The non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement simply means that you agree not to do anything that would harm the business or let anyone know that a particular business is for sale. That means not sharing their personal financial information with anyone not associated with the purchase of the business.
Prospective buyers (essentially, total strangers) are NOT entitled to the confidential information about a business without first agreeing to keep it confidential and proving that they have the financial resources and ability to actually complete a purchase. This is the first threshold: no NDA or incomplete NDAs, no business confidential information. Period.
Just as a buyer claims the right to see some information concerning the business about which he or she inquired, the seller has a right to know with whom he or she is dealing and that they have the financial ability to purchase their business.
5. Financial Backers. If you have one, sellers request a written commitment from them and POF’s prior to receiving any proprietary information. There are no exceptions to the written commitment and POF’s. Be prepared.
6. Voice to Voice: Call us old fashioned, but we prefer to talk to people in person. Our job is to make sure that you are a real person, the information on the NDA is accurate, that you have the necessary funds to buy a campground, and they are readily available. We also want to discuss your expectations. There are several types of campgrounds, from overnight interstate campgrounds to destination campgrounds. Destination campgrounds could be in a destination area such as Disney or the campground is the destination in which case it offers a lot of family fun amenities, activities and events. Is expandable acreage important, a lake or a river? How about net income? Is an owner home important and how many bedrooms do you need? Our job is to eliminate all of those properties that don’t have the items you want and match you with the ones that fit your criteria. We’ll save you from the headaches.
Give us a call and we’ll get you moving in the right direction.
Receiving Campground and RV Park Locations
You are cash ready, you’ve completed the NDA, and you’ve had a voice to voice conversation with one of the consultants at The Campground Connection. It’s time to receive a list of the available Campgrounds / RV Park that match your criteria.
1. Pre-Due Diligence. This can be done from the comfort of your home! Gather as much information via the internet as you can. This will help you determine whether or not this park will fit your needs. This might include:
Checking out the area/city the business is located in
Looking at their online reviews
Visit their website and Facebook page
Check out the school system (if you have children)
How far away is the local hospital and airport
Search the local Chamber of Commerce and Tourism websites
Google maps will provide you with an overview of the location and area by simply putting the park name and address in your search bar. It will aid in determining how many miles from the Campground / RV Park to grocery stores, restaurants, lakes, points of interest for guests, etc.
Executive Summaries are available which includes financials upon request and after you have completed your Pre-Due-Diligence.
Once you determine which parks fit your needs and criteria, it’s time to schedule a visit!
2. Request a Visit – This is an online form submission and does not require you to print or fax the document back to us. Just simply fill in the required areas, click the “Submit” icon at the end of the form and it automatically emails back to us. So easy! Call or email your consultant to request your visit form.
3. Why you need to give a 3-day notice to visit. Remember, these campgrounds are in operation and most times the owner has many responsibilities. They need time to hire extra help or adjust employee schedules, so they can give you their undivided attention. You might be traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles and spending hundreds of dollars to see the Campground/RV Park. We're sure you would agree that you deserve their undivided attention to get all your questions answered. So, let's start out on the right foot and extend a little courtesy. When you arrive at the park it’s important to remember you are entering a business in operation. Never enter the property announcing that you are a buyer interested in purchasing the business. Employees and or guests to the park may or may not know that it is for sale.
4. Talk to us. After your visit, we want to hear from you. We want to know what you liked and what you didn’t like. Your feedback is important.
If this fits your needs and criteria, then it’s time to move to a purchase agreement. Give your consultant a call and we’ll get you moving in the right direction.
5. What is Due Diligence and When is it Done. Once you have an accepted offer, the clock starts on the due diligence period which typically ranges from 30 to 60 days. The Due Diligence Period is when you get the tax returns, guest lists and advance reservation lists, copies of licenses and permits, list of store inventory, updated equipment list, etc.
Due diligence is a process to make sure you are getting what you expected, laying the foundation where you can invest your new enthusiasm to grow the business. Remember, this is a contingency in the purchase agreement meaning if you discover anything that is unsuitable, you are refunded your earnest deposit and move on to the next.
There is nothing better than being your own boss and driving your own success.
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