Tempests, Teapots, Transparency and Transcendence in Manufactured Housing

September 13th, 2014 No comments

You can’t please all of the people, all of the time,” is more than a maxim, it’s reality. Once you’ve published person A, person B asks, “why not Me?” Cover topic X, someone wonders, “why not Y and Z?”

Let’s talk tempests, teapots, transparency and transcendence in Manufactured Housing (MH) news and commentary.

Tempest in a Teapot

tempest-in-tea-pot-credit-wikicommons-posted-masthead-mhmsm-com-Wikipedia says a “Tempest in a teapot (American English), or storm in a teacup (British English), is an idiom meaning a small event that has been exaggerated out of proportion.” (Italics and bold added).

Being exaggerated out of proportion is more prone to happen in a relatively small industry. Covering a topic results in calls or messages of the “thanks” and “no thanks” varieties.

Sometimes people think they see something in digital print that upon closer examination isn’t there.

But misreading an article doesn’t keep some from fuming.

Ironically, this proves the power and potential to rouse found in digital publishing!


On ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, some articles are drawing not just significant attention, but serious feedback. More than one caller – and hundreds of messages – have come in because of the NBC News video, our MH vs high winds/tornado video and Introduction to Manufactured Housing video, which opened caller’s or writer’s eyes to previously overlooked and misunderstand realities.

Manufactured homes are better than most realize, and properly installed can be superior to conventional construction in durability.

A man called who during his military career flew “many times” in C-130 aircraft. “Tony, I know first hand just how powerful the winds and turbulence can be from a single C-130.”

A skeptic about manufactured homes was now impressed. We organized facts in the second video linked above in a fashion that opened a mind.

Opening minds is a key step to selling more MHs.


A publicly traded company, an official explained, has to be transparent about news. I was told transparency is an advantage.

Good, bad or indifferent, you put the news out there,” is a close paraphrase (it might even be word for word, but I wasn’t taking notes at that moment…) “Once it’s out, then it’s done and you proceed to take the steps to move ahead.”



When someone doesn’t like some fact or comment, especially when perceived as making X look bad, the first question ought to be, did you read it correctly? What did the article actually pointing-finger-three-point-back-credit-wikicommons-posted-masthead-tony-kovach-mhmsm-com-say?

A Staples test shows misreading is common.

Another question ought to be, is someone uncomfortable about a topic pros are already talking about?  If someone is embarrassed – which isn’t the intent – why are they embarrassed?

Finger pointing routinely means three fingers are pointing back at the one leveling the head-in-sand-wikicommons-posted-masthead-mhmsm-com-complaint. Don’t blame the messenger for someone else’s mistake.

Transparency suggests, “Fix the issue, move on.”

Head in the sand, how’s that working for you?

Since when is going into denial a successful business strategy? High-performance business expert Jim Collins says look at the cold, hard, brutal facts and deal with them.

Publishing a story or video revealing a previously misunderstood MH reality results in “Aha!” moments for a shopper, investor, researcher, media or officials.

That sells more homes.

Similarly, pointing out issues – even if briefly unpopular – may cause corrective measures, or keep a problem from reoccurring.

  • We know story tips are growing, not shrinking.

  • We had a record readership summer.

  • For every critique, we get more “thank you” calls/messages.

  • Your peers are voting with browsers and handheld devices by the thousands daily.

Investors, educators and others are keen on researching MH do so via our 2 online platforms. We’re good for business and associations. ManufacturedHomeLivingNews  and MHProNews  are part of the solution.

Addressing what holds the industry back helps pros and MH reach its potential!

Nor can or should we do this alone! These efforts flow from synergy between writers, sponsors, reader tips, clients and us.

Lancing the Boil

Got a boil? Lance it. Out comes puss and blood. It’s ugly and hurts. Healing follows.left_hanging_mountain-climbing-credit=periklis_ripis-posted-masthead-mhmsm-com-


There is much we don’t publish, frankly because so much is irrelevant or garbage.

Once bad news or allegations are out, they should be dealt with. Blaming the messenger is wasted time.

We aren’t capricious.

  • How does manufactured housing achieve more than so-so results?

  • How do we continue advancing?

Isn’t it by candidly looking at painful issues crying for attention, while showcasing favorable facts which are misunderstood?

Vocabulary  defines this as:

Transcendence is the act of rising above something to a superior state.” ##

(Image credits, WikiCommons)

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.


L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Post Crescent – Factory-Built Home Industry Struggles, and National Concerns

September 10th, 2014 No comments

The Appleton, WI Post-Crescent pointed out a state issue with national MH Industry implications. Pittsville Homes shut down operations this summer after 40 years of building modular homes. The steep drop in manufactured and modular home sales in WI was the theme of the Post-Crescent report. The Wisconsin Housing Alliance’s (WHA) Amy Bliss nobly put a better face on it. The WHA’s executive, Ross Kinzler, is among the state execs who candidly point to the fact that roughly 1/2 the states are still losing shipments.


Antonio Barcenas nailing a section for a modular home in the
Pittsville Homes shop.
(Photo credit: Gannett Wisconsin Media)

It is only the greater gains than declines in the other half of the states that keeps MH shipments overall rising nationally. But that national rise doesn’t mean that some builders, retailers and others may see their doors sadly (avoidably?) close.

There is a high cost to low MH sales volume, and a greater risk found in low volume too.

There is a rumor floating about a plan that seeks to address the low sales volume issue may be circulated at the upcoming MHI meeting; if so, let’s hope it’s a good one.

National Concerns – can they impact MH sales?

Seen the latest polls? It seems ISIS’ execution of two reporters may have backfired. Public opinion shifted rapidly in favor of taking military action against the jihadists. The immigration issue has tipped more too. Fears are rising in DC and among citizens of militant Muslims sneaking across the border to take a 9-11 style action. While home grown U.S. passport-carrying terrorists – trained in Syria – cause shudders at Homeland, is that worse than having who-knows-how-many radicals crossing illegally into Texas, NM, AZ or CA?

Think that doesn’t matter to MH? Imagine terrorist activity disrupting the Eagle Ford Shale, or any market where MH sales are actively taking place.

A security expert wrote to say, isn’t it crazy to think the Saudi’s and Israel can build effective border security, and the U.S. can’t? And isn’t is ironic to talk about the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine being violated, when the U.S. border with Mexico is violated thousands of times daily?

Comments flowing from pros like you keep us on our toes; my thanks to all who send news tips and comments, on or off the record. My thanks to the associations who share their news with us, so we can share it with you. FYI – as most of you know, comments on a variety of subjects by pros like you are found on Industry Voices. It’s read hot so far this month.

Growth! It’s happening in half the states, is there a secret to success?

The above are a few of many possible reality checks, but the fact remains that the manufactured home industry is growing.

Sun’s acquisition of American Land Lease‘s portfolio to the tune of 1.32 billion underscores the confidence that Sam Zell also expressed in the manufactured home communities sector, and thus by implication, in the industry itself. UMH is among those who have taken an aggressive growth posture, doubling their footprint in 5 years. These growth-focused firms are far from alone!


Billions of dollars are targeting the manufactured housing sector. Don’t be surprised to see a big spike hit industrialized, including modular, construction in the near horizon. We routinely see international readers – with billions in investment dollars – on our MHProNews pages. An advertiser told me about a multi-billion dollar operation that found them, here.

Investors are researching as well as periodically touching base with us with their questions. We have reason to refer those from time to time.

Looking back a decade from now, the billion dollar China-based LandSea deal that was recently announced is likely to be the tip of the iceberg. Let’s not forget that Canadians with deep pockets are among those looking with investment love at our side of the border.

Other international investors are in the hunt too. So we have domestic cash and international money seeking to find its ways into our part of the trillion dollar a year U.S. housing industry.

Lets suggest the secret for success in our industry this way. As in any profession, success flows from proven, duplicatable processes. Individual, corporate and collaborative efforts are all parallel, important factors.

No one person, no one organization has all the secrets. You know some vital things the fellows across town don’t and vice versa. In modern society, information is critical. As noted in my prior post, readers like Warren Buffett are the leaders. Want to grow more talent within the ranks of your operation? One easy tip is to encourage more reading. Not skimming, reading for understanding! Reading for opportunities…


Let’s close for today with my thanks to Howard Walker, Vice Chairman of ELS, who has thoughtfully shared a note of encouragement marking our rapidly approaching 5th anniversary.

We are getting a steady stream of daily messages – quotable quotes – from state executives, C-Suite level and other corporate leaders along with industry managers, rank and file – many which have an OK for us to quote them. These are names you’ll know, or should!

The closing point is a bold paraphrase of ROC’s tag line, better together. Sure, we may “compete” with others, but we are better off together while remaining friendly competitors. The opportunities are so vast in the U.S. housing business, the real concern is that too many are self-limiting their own potential!

What Joe Kelly calls the “buffett line” found here on MHProNews and our new (1 year old) sister site on Manufactured Home Living News are potent resources that allow you and your team members to grow through useful information. Don’t hoard knowledge, share it with your team and associates. We suggest 15 minutes a day reading on MHProNews, and thousands are doing just that here! We suggest 8 minutes a day on MHLivingNews.com, and thousands are doing that too.


> Personal Development

> Team Development

> Collaborative Efforts, whenever and where ever possible.

These are among the secrets for more MH success. Inquiring minds want to know! Attending good association events and shows like the upcoming Louisville Show are critical too.

Live networking and business deal making opportunities, combined with information and followed up with action; that’s a ticket to success that works.

So let’s not overlook the state or national challenges which are the staple of association work, lobbying and elections. But lets focus an ever greater amount of energy into understanding, applied knowledge and growth. See you in Phoenix this weekend? I’ll be posting as usual, but from near Detroit, come mid-week. ##

(5th Anniversary image credit: fotosearch)

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Warren Buffett, financing, #6 – dropping a dime – to FEDs on a Big One?

September 6th, 2014 No comments

It isn’t perfect and the challenges are far from easy, but America is a good place. Something similar can be said about the manufactured housing (MH) industry. Not perfect, numerous challenges, solid opportunities and MH is the best value in new home construction.

Warren Buffett doesn’t skim, he reads. He reportedly reads a lot! Setting politics aside, Buffett gets business results. Coincidence? 








We’ll look at another billionaire in a moment.

The Masthead  had two entirely different blog posts drafted, or:

  • we could have picked the FHFA rumblings which MHI says could yield securitized MH financing in 2015, 
  • plus three items that came in late Friday,

any one of which could be noteworthy-to-hot.  

1) One Friday tip will hit soon, our source says. If correct, it’s DC and happening perhaps by month’s end. Writing about it won’t stop it.

2) Another is an accomplishment by a state association leader which ought to be cheered. The leader in question wants no publicity, at least not yet.  For those who know, my sincere respects for that leader’s  effort.  More like that needs to happen.

3) Sam Zell’s recent economic comments need to be read. This dovetails with a drafted post we sidelined this weekend. See the link above for the thoughts of the ELS Chairman, echoed by other billionaires.

4) Industry Voices lit up this week, here are 5 fresh letters/OpEds from various MH pros; thoughtful reading, keen industry insights, challenging opinions and viable opportunities:

> Here Comes the Senior Tsunami!

> Kudos for Ron D’Ambra’s thoughtful article on the HUD Code and Manufactured Housing Affordability

> What is it that Manufactured Housing Professionals Want?

> Kudos on the rapidly approaching 5th Anniversary

…and last, but not least…

> Dueling Factions

5) Let’s point you to one more article to consider:

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

6) Back in the day, a pay phone cost ten cents. When someone wanted to anonymously ‘rat out’ another to a law enforcement agency, the slang-of-the-times was they “Dropped a dime” on their enemy, competitor etc…

Rumor has it a tiny circle in MH ‘dropped a dime’ or ‘snitched’ on an widely known MH personality. You can’t ask an agency about this without adding to a problem, so we’ve made no such inquiry. The ‘tip’ could be phony.  What made it slightly noteworthy was a second and third piece of info – with the same tip – that were easily confirmed…

…consider this a flag slightly raised; if its nothing, it vanishes; but if something, don’t be surprised if a visible shakeup in an organization happens, perhaps by year’s end.

More than enough for now, maybe we can use one of those drafted columns mid-next week…thanks for checking back. ##

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com- By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Manufactured Housing Pros – Do You Like What Your Getting?

September 3rd, 2014 No comments

Pithy quotations from great minds have the power to cut-to-the-chase and may force us to think in new ways. Let’s look at this quote from George Bernard Shaw, and apply it to manufactured housing professionals.


We need to celebrate all those who have survived and/or jumped and have advanced in Manufactured Housing since the Great Recession of 2008.

reed-construction-us-census-bureau-mhpronews-daily-business-news3While we can talk about 4 years of shipment increases, the reality is that consolations and closures will continue if we don’t move past the 100,000 new home shipment levels a year. Can we as an industry do that?

Of course, as the latest U.S. housing starts suggest that there are over a million new starts compared to only 68,000 +/- new HUD Code manufactured homes (HUDs) expected to ship from production centers by the end of the year.

FYI, new modular shipments are lower still than new HUDs, perhaps 14,000 +/- new homes for 2014.

Doom and Gloom vs. Opportunities

Be it:

  • Dodd-Frank, SAFE, CFPB
  • HUD
  • DOE
  • State local regulators

a variety of challenges are poised our way. The commentary this month by Ron D’Ambra on the value of the HUD Code to manufactured housing is interesting in this regard. If you’ve not already checked out Ron’s thoughtful article, please do so.


Tyler Craddock’s 5 Points is another take on possible paths ahead for MH.

Another respected state association exec made private and public comments about the fact that half the states are still seeing declines in new MH home shipments. Must it be so?

Scott Robert’s is one of those rising stars in the MHC world who has put his money where his mouth is, and they are investing in making their communities desirably destinations that has lead to rising occupancy through new MH sales. The paragraph above finds its reply with Scott Robert’s and those like him! Scott is not alone in finding ways to advance even in the midst of the challenges, Zig Ziglar would be proud of Scott, since he and his team are turning lemons into lemonade.

We’ve worked with operations that invested far more modest sums than Scott has, and have seen handsome returns on their marketing and sales investments.

Georgia’s Jay Hamilton says we should put 5% into marketing.

Back to George Bernard Shaw’s point. Those who fail to plan for growth, are de facto planning to fail. When you tread water to survive, it is done with the belief that sooner or later, you will move forward. Failure to advance means there will be a retreat, which is what half the states are still experiencing in MH.

We must either:

  • accept the crumbs left to us and accept slow, no growth or even negative growth,
  • OR invest in the future, knowing we can grow by doing so.

For those who never know those glory days, our Industry once shipped over 300,000 homes a year in the 1990s. Pre-HUD we exceeded 500,000 new homes for two years.

We must look at the broader housing market – as well as your own dynamics – and see what the path ahead is for your location and business, and the industry as a collective.

We believe a wise course of action is a two track plan.

  1. Do all that you can for your business to advance. Don’t accept the status quo.
  2. Then simultaneously work with your association and/or buyers group as a parallel path to advance.

Those who will do the above will be far more likely to prosper, those who don’t…well…the opposite would be true. The price of failure is higher than the investment in success.

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.” - George Bernard Shaw ##

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Shaking-It September for Manufactured Housing Professionals and Investors

September 1st, 2014 No comments

The earth quaked, commercial and residential construction shaked; $1 billion in destruction and damage was reported in and around Napa, CA.  4 MHs were confirmed lost, others of course had damage too. But overall manufactured housing performed well – arguably better – than much more extensive and costly damage reported in conventional commercial or residential buildings.


Note most of the surrounding MHs were okay.
Commercial and residential damage estimated at $1B.

5 weeks ago, IBHS tested hurricane force winds against conventional site-built construction and the lowest cost manufactured home (MH) in that market.  The wind ‘shook’ and ripped off the site built house’s roof, the far less costly manufactured home had only minor damage. 


We can’t let such impressive stories be forgotten!
The manufactured home on the right was Wind Zone 1,
the lowest cost home in that market, vs. a site-built house
many times the price, subject to the same hurricane force winds.

We must make sure our staff’s know these facts!
We must also remind local media, shoppers and others
anytime the timing is “right.”

Myth busting evidence has been with us for years on the quality and durability of modern manufactured homes (MH). From time to time we must shake up the status quo – our own and that of others – if we are to achieve the full respect – and highersales volumes – that MH can achieve. 

While it would be dandy to see the stars line up for a national campaign, there is no need to wait for associations or others corporate players to act. Any organization or professional with the wisdom, will and chutzpah can act in proven ways in your market(s), and thereby grow past peers who may be stuck in low gear.

Before sharing the first look at our new Shaking-it September Featured Articles and our exclusive A Cup of Coffee with...Sheila Dey interview, please look back at the Agonizing, Insightful close for August.  In our prior Masthead, we listed over 30 articles from 8 days, which broadly pointed to challenges or opportunities for more MH growth. The earthquake story cited above is linked there with others. The IBHS hurricane wind test story mentioned above is linked here.

The executive summary be: collectively as an industry, we have potentially hundreds of billions in U.S. housing opportunities. This isn’t hype, we have a 1 trillion dollar a year U.S. housing market. The opportunities for significant growth in factory built housing are real. If you get it, and your peer doesn’t, show them the link above and explain it to them as needed.

Which way will you and your team look;

  • will it be at the mud and weep?
  • Or look to the stars and leap?

Gaze into the mirror…seriously…and ask yourself how high you’d like to see your location(s) grow? Please study the link above if you haven’t already, and then take a fresh look at the market potential all around you. Okay, moving on…

16 new Featured Articles! Powerful commentary by industry experts! Proven profit-protecting-or-making insights! This is a fine way to wrap up the last month in our 5th year of publishing. My personal thanks to all of our authors and to our sponsors who make this possible.

The start of year 6 for the MH industry leading MHProNews lies just ahead! Sponsors and Millions of visits from pros like you have made us the runaway #1 MH Industry news tips and views pros can use. On behalf of our team that makes this possible, thank you.

1-mhpronews-logo-news-drop-shadow2mhmsm logo mhmarketingsalesmanagement logo

With no further adieu, let’s get started with Shaking-it-up September’s new Featured Articles.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 5, No. 12, 2014

Alphabetically by Category




• Pool and Spa Safety

by Kathleen Bianculli

kathleen-bianculli-manufactured-housing-american-insurance-alliance-aia-posted--mhpronews-com-50x50-_1While the end of summer is drawing near and pools in some areas will be closed for the season, in many areas of the country the pool never closes!

Read more…


• Architects Have a Duty of Care to Future Buyers of Condominiums for Negligent Design

by Bill Dahlin, Esq.


As reported by major media outlets, a 6.0 earthquake hit Northern California  in late August on a Sunday.

Read more…


• “Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

by Nadeen Green, JD


Many if not most manufactured housing folks truly make the effort to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act and are well aware of the need to accommodate persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Read more…


• “How Sweet the Rose” – Senior Housing Communities – Advertising Do’s and Don’ts

by Nadeen Green, JD

nadeen-green-50While a rose may smell sweet no matter what it may be called, names are in fact labels. Using the wrong label when you market your senior housing community to the age 55+ and/or 62+ audience might not only get you in trouble with your intended housing customers, it may get you into fair housing trouble as well.

Read more…






• A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step Program! 

by Jerry Bretton

-jerry-bretton-mountainside-financial--sacu-posted-mhpronews-com-50x50-In our previous report on SUN, we mentioned that Mountainside Financial has been making loans on manufactured and mobile homes for 14 years.

Read more…



• Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable? 

by Ron D’Ambra


Let’s start by saying that, from a business perspective, MORE government involvement is not always viewed as a good thing.

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.)
Sheila S. Dey, JD

Executive Director

Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association

Read more…


• 5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show 

by Dennis Hill


We could name more than 5 reasons why manufacturers and exhibiting companies as well 5 reasons why attendees from the ranks of retailers, communities, builder developers, installers and other industry professionals should be at the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

 Read more…


• The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


We will demonstrate that the cost of not selling more homes is always high.  Capital is tied up in your inventory, location, general overhead, personnel, marketing, vacant sites, you name it, it all goes on whether you are selling a few homes or many.

Read more…


• 3rd Annual Open Space Pace – September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

by Sam Landy

sam-landy-ceo-umh-posted-manufactured-housing-professional-news-mhpronews-50x50Dear Friends, UMH Properties and Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (MNR) sponsor The Open Space Pace at Freehold Raceway September 20, 2014. The event begins with a 10:00 am parade of horses from Freehold Borough to Freehold Raceway.

Read more…


• Lead, manage or get out of the way

by Tim Connor


The world is changing at the speed of light. Everything is being touched by this accelerated pace of change. No person, entity, industry, profession, and no part of the world or any business can escape the relentless pull of the future into the present moment.

Read more…


• Knowledge is Potential Power – 4 Steps and 91 words = Enhanced Manufactured Housing Professional Success Infographic

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


We’ll share an infographic that explains in 4 easy steps how any MH Industry professional can learn more to earn more.

Here is the infographic…

Read more…

• UnBranding – a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony-kovach-2-50Years before Palm Harbor Homes went into bankruptcy and eventually ended up with Cavco Industries, Palm Harbor ran TV ads showing beautiful, “residential style” manufactured homes.

Read more…





• ZigOn Qualities of Success

by Zig Ziglar


Dr. William “Bill” Ross was truly one of a kind and was known for his sense of humor and his zest for life. He had exuberance for living, a love for medicine, and a concern for his patients that is seldom equaled anywhere. . . .

Read more…


• Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

by Tim Connor, CSP


There are four significant areas when it comes to consistent high sales performance. They are:

Self-image and self-esteem.

Read more…



By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Agonizing, Insightful August Ending

August 30th, 2014 No comments

We wrap up some tests and this month with some off the record quotes about some of the news stories that we covered the week ending 8.30.2014. About the story of LandSea, a reportedly green Chinese industrialized housing firm coming to the U.S. with plans to invest $1 billion here in housing projects, this comment from a C-Suite level corporate leader.

Will have to think on this. Dunno what to think...” about the implications of what this means to modular, pre-fab or manufactured home builders in the U.S.. Of course there were others who ran the gamut from thinking this is good news, to those being rather troubled by it.

The link to the LandSea story found in the Daily Business News (DBN) is below.


The MH energy saving makeover story was part of a storm of interest and reaction too. This may have been my favorite comment about the DBN format used this week which also saw potential positive from the MH energy makeover…

I like the DBN’s items and it makes me think how we as an industry can use it more to our advantage. Maybe if I were to pick 8-10 newspapers and send a “share” with one each week for two months it would be interesting how much got “picked up” by the local press. I love the article on weatherization improvements…

Very cool idea – influencing the influencers! We’ll be keen to hear how that goes, and FYI, we think this would be great for companies, associations and buyers groups to try in their market too. It could be done in minutes, and the impact in YOUR market could be important.


Technically, it wasn’t a story we covered at all (one of our deliberate Failure to Report decisions). But one person commented on a pair of fellows followed by a few hundred each, who must have been trying to get a rise out of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and by implication, me and MHProNews too.

Paraphrasing, ‘I like the analogy of the professional wresting tag team.’ There are some issues worth responding to, others frankly not. This failure to report incident from this week was a hoot to me, but a pro who called in said it was sad that people who claim to be leaders resort to such tactics to the detriment of those who follow them. Another said, ‘What do they have to show for their own efforts?’

C-Suite level Corporate comment about Tiny Houses, Subsidized Housing, Canadian Investors and LandSea too

We [manufactured housing] have not invested in serious infrastructure. If the big boys [companies like the DBNs about the Canadians, Chinese, etc.] come with the money and expertise you will see a revolution in how housing is built in America. We are getting much poorer as a nation and the affordable housing needs are becoming greater. People will embrace new housing solutions. Hell you have people glamorizing homes under 200 square feet.”

I’m not even going to paraphrase one of the more interesting comments that came to us, from not one but two executives in China…

…at least not today.

Thanking Us, Thanking You

The most common comment of the week began or used the words “thank you, followed by the specific item we were being thanked for. In fact, a number of stories we published as DBNs this week came as a result of news tips emailed in. Keep iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com email address handy, it goes to our full team if I happen to be in on the road, in meetings, etc. Or you can always email latonyk@gmail.com, and please be patient for a response. Let me thank all of you who have connected on LinkedIn, sent endorsements, sent news tips, and of course I’m thanking our team and sponsors too.

FYI, LinkedIn tells us that you’ve made mine the #1 profile views in the Industry for the last 90 days. Wow…thanks.


For those who ask, is there value to being published? Ya think?

Those who are doing articles, interviews or even guest columns on our sites are getting noticed. Speaking of Interviews, if you’ve not read the three popular A Cup of Coffee with... from this month yet, here they are, in no specific order:




September’s interview will be A Cup of Coffee with…Sheila Dey, the Executive Director of the powerhouse WMA, which informed sources tell us is one of the top 5 associations in the nation for budget, impact and influence. Don’t miss it!

Connecting the Dots for Manufactured Housing

As noted about a week ago, we decided to do a test with the Daily Business News items. Some were a little longer than normal, or had adding in some links or other information that helps ‘connect the dots’ as to more precisely what the meaning is for manufactured housing.

Be it the shorter versions of the DBNs that Matthew Silver normally does for us, or a longer ‘connect the dots’ version of the DBNs we did this week while Matthew was taking a well earned vacation, these stories, combined with our featured articles, other blogs, reports and news are reasons why we say a minimum of 15 minutes a day is what a serious professional has to invest. We know that thousands of you are doing that already, if you are one, thank you!

These are living cases of “knowledge is potential power.”  My thanks to those who are using RSS feds to our site, to those who are having their team members sign up for our eblast or encouraging them to read, know and grow daily.

Agonizing, Insightful August Ending

If you’ve wondered why MH isn’t doing more,
look no further than some of these stories!

Here is the line up, for the DBN test we’ve done the past 8 days, sans the stock reports. FYI, many of these articles quickly jumped into the top 1% of all the articles being read on MHProNews. Because thousands of articles are accessed on our site monthly, being in the top 1% of articles means thousands of pageviews on that specific items is of interest to you and/or your MH colleagues, researchers, investors and aficionados of MH.
































(Yes, that’s Ivanka Trump on the right)






























And to help connect more dots…

MH Death and Disaster, the Other Image Campaign

One caller this week said, “Tony, when you look around and see what’s available in manufactured housing industry publishing, it is obvious why your platforms are #1.”  My reply, this is only possible because we have so many supporters, writers and others who make this platform and our public-focused sister site at MHLivingNews.com a reality. It’s team work!

The New Sizzling September Issue with new featured articles Goes Live within 72 Hours!

Looking forward to seeing you back here on the Masthead,  and on the pages of MHProNews and ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. Thanks for making us #1 in both categories with your visits, shares and support. ##

(Image Credits are found embedded in the images and on each of the respective pages, linked above).


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Manufactured Housing: “Ignorance Isn’t Bliss”

August 27th, 2014 No comments

While good or helpful MH news stories are growing in number, why are we still so often the housing of last resort?  Ignorance and poor experiences are “the Twins” holding factory-crafted home builders, retailers, developers, communities and all who service and supply them from reaching new record sales levels. These “Negative MH Twins” exist among our profession’s ranks, but are found more widely with the general public.


Here at MHProNews and with our clients in marketing and sales
we refer to the ‘discontent” notion above as
Inspirational Dissatisfaction.

From time to time we hear from consumers who complain about this or that; but what’s interesting is when we dig a little deeper, the complaints are often about pre-HUD code (truly) mobile homes.

Certainly, there are some bad actors in every profession and some valid complaints out there. But most in MH today realize that if you fail to take care of your customer, the disgruntled in turn blast you with their buddies, costing far more in lost business than is usually the cost for doing something right.

But even consumer discontent is an opportunity in disguise. It is a chance for jiu-jitsu.

A resident group was forming at a property. They were asking us to publish their missive against their landlord. I invested a little time, listened and then explained to them that they were better of working with management than trying to create negative headlines, which would only serve to dampen their own home’s resale values.

We shared specific examples back and forth of how residents and management ought to work together. Their last message was a thank you, and a statement saying they would strive to work with management to resolve concerns. Management said thanks, so did those residents.

Similarly, this time at an MHC property I was overseeing, we took negative resident sentiment dating back prior to our arrival and rapidly turned that into enthusiastic home owners who touted their community; that’s jiu-jitsu done in a fashion where everyone in the mix benefited.

The moral is this isn’t pie in the sky, we need cultivate solutions that are positives for MH owners and forward thinking professionals alike.

Problems, Opportunities, Solutions 

It was frankly troubling to see manufacturers willing to sound off privately, but too concerned about retaliation to speak out under their own name, as was clearly evident in the article linked below.



Some of those who contacted us where owners or C-Suite level corporate officials; off the record is helpful. But “on the record” also brings obvious value. Perhaps we need a few dozen retired guys – or those so financially comfortable – that they don’t fear speaking out publicly on touchy issues that matter to our industry.

The article above has had thousands of hits, which tells us this matters to professional readers.


We’ve all had times with a parent, a boss, public official, client, member etc. when we were not ready to speak out on something that mattered to us. We all own that T-shirt!  

So it’s no surprise that we need volunteers ready to lead via a willingness to speak out on hot topics; please let us know who you have in mind for that sort of role.

A Rival Said It

It wasn’t a best friend, colleague or sponsor – but interestingly enough – a fellow who thinks of himself as a rival who enjoys publicly tagging us who told me privately,

Tony, you had the cojones to do what others wanted to do,
but didn’t have the guts to do.”

Thanks, others apparently see merit here in tackling serious issues.  

Millions of visits after launching MHProNews – and over a million visits on MHLivingNews in 12 months – we’ve obviously dialed into topics that industry pros and/or the public at large find of interest and value.

Working Together, we are making progress!  But we could make even more strides that would tap into the trillion-dollar a year U.S. housing market, by working ever more effectively together.

Let’s borrow the phrase from the Musketeers, “All for One, and One for All.” Apply that principle routinely to MH, and watch our industry flourish.


Some just follow anyone or anything blindly. The classic example is the proverbial lemmings who follow the leader, right off the cliff, as captured in this drawing by Kaz Vorpal from FlickrCreativeCommons.


The quote below was shared with me, so we turned it into a poster, to share back with you.


An industry friend posed a question both obvious, yet profound (I’m hoping he’ll write it up). “What is it that we all want?”

Let’s use that poser to close with this thought:

“You can get out of life everything that you want, when we help enough other people get out of life what they want.”
- Zig Ziglar.

When we learn to look at other people’s concerns, needs and issues through their lens, and then share MH Solutions with their lens in mind, we’ll individually and collectively open more minds to the amazing solutions factory built homes offers. The public’s wallets will naturally follow their minds and emotions. That benefits firms of all sizes and MH professionals too. ##


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

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