Opportunity vs Reality – Insanity or Insanely Simple

September 25th, 2016 No comments

Stating the obvious: no matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.

No matter how great a product, service, company or person is, someone may still misunderstand.


When misunderstanding takes hold – or something goes the wrong way – what does the motivated business professional do?

  1. Nothing, just accept the status quo.
  2. Work only with those who don’t misunderstand, even if those numbers are very limited.
  3. Work with those who understand, plus strive to marshal the witnesses and resources needed to change the perception for an ever-growing number of other potential customers.

While you are pondering that (to the extend it needs much consideration at all! ;-) let’s peek at the following reality.


Image credit, Everything is Obvious.

Insanity vs. Insanely Simple

Our industry ought to be insanely simple.  As Bloomberg notes below, there is a spreading affordable housing crisis, and we have the quality, affordable homes that can solve it for millions of Americans. Duh, right?

But for anyone who has been active in this industry on

  • the front lines,
  • management,
  • investment or
  • ownership level for a reasonable period of time, they (…and you) know we have an MH Image Issue.  They – or most MHProNews readers and a professional like yourself – know that the industry’s image is often undeserved.

Image credit, MHLivingNews.com.

But what is being done about changing that image in a practical way?

  • There are, in fact, companies who strive to improve their own image. That’s important and valuable.
  • There are collaborative efforts like the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association launched recently, designed to dispel myths.
  • Other associations and operations have or are doing such things.

All such good efforts are to be commended and have value.

But what we can’t afford to ignore are the very real issues that keep millions of more people from embracing our industry.


Credit, Bloomberg, click to see DBN report.

Look at what Bloomberg said about our industry the other day, listing the good, but also citing the problematic history and then saying to our industry, that we need to rebrand!


Titus Dare, SVP, Eagle One Financial.

Then, consider what industry veterans like Titus Dare and Tom Fath said in their recent Op-Eds – raising important points, which

Tom Fath-Operations Manager New Durham Estates and Home Sales55x55

Tom Fath, Operations, partner, New Durham Estates.

need to be understood.  Because simple cheerleading which ignores real or perceived issues not only won’t solve what limits us; it could – as each of the two pros said in their own words linked above – backfire.


Dust Under the Proverbial Rug?

Ever do housecleaning?

Ever sweep dust under an actual rug?

Maybe as a kid, we might do something like that, but most motivated adults know better! The dust piles up, and it becomes noticeable.


Credibility is a point that both Tom Fath and Titus Dare raised, independent of each other, in their columns. Ignoring issues doesn’t help, tackling them is the only reasonable option. But what MH needs isn’t what the the RV industry did with GoRVing… our situation is unique. We need a tailored approach, that is market based, yet national in the sense that each market has its own specific, targeted efforts that showcase the good, but address the perception issues.

You don’t sweep years and years of dust under the rug, watch the pile grow and hope that it somehow magically goes away.  It took years to get the MH image to the low ebb we are at today.

The MH Image won’t change overnight. That means a sustained effort must be made.  Such an effort will bring billions of dollars in new sales to manufactured housing every year.

Again, look at what Bloomberg said last week – so this isn’t just the Masthead’s perspective – or just those pros linked above – it’s the view of many in and outside of manufactured housing.

While I think Bloomberg’s closing suggestion is well meaning, it has its own flaw – but their general point is correct.  Manufactured housing will not achieve its potential, so long as we operate under this cloud of decades-old misunderstandings and dated, heavy baggage.  Those were elements of the parting thoughts of MHI’s prior president.

So while we in manufactured housing are advancing for several years now from the post-2008 crash bottom, we ought not sit on our laurels.  Our HUD Code MH sales – as well as those on the modular side – are a fraction of what they once were, and what they could become again.


But we can’t keep doing the same things, the same way and expect a different result.  We all know that such an approach is the popular definition of insanity.

Yet, isn’t that what the industry has de facto done for decades?  Again, MHI’s prior president suggested as much.

The Solution for Profitable MH Growth is Insanely Simple

As professionals and as an industry, we must learn to tell our story well, and keep improving upon that story telling;

  • we must spotlight what is already good and
  • tackle what is problematic or misunderstood.

We must do the above from every vantage point, not only our own, but that of others:

  • showcasing how the vast majority of our industry’s home owners love their home, community and lifestyle.
  • From the perspective of experts, who know and respect our industry.
  • From the perspective of our MH industry’s professionals,
  • but also from the perspective of those who are naysayers!
  • We must tackle what the naysayers are pushing out via the media, politicians, policy advocates, etc.

Where industry critics are correct, we ought to make the needed changes. When naysayers are wrong, we need to clearly showcase WHY they are wrong.

Once we get the above elements right…

…Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.


Joe Dyton.

Against that backdrop, please take another look at what we’ve been doing in recent weeks on the Daily Business News


RC Williams

on MHProNews  and what we are doing on MHLivingNews.com.

For this to be done properly and the most effectively, we need your professional voices, your expertise and your support on every level to move MH ahead.

Because as valuable as other sources in our industry might be – we proudly proclaim the obvious – there are none in industry trade publishing that are doing what we’re doing, quite like we are, as noted in the outlined above.

Only MHProNews and MHLivingNews are consistently, routinely spotlight the good in MH trade journalism, while tackling the thorny issues that rightly or wrongly hold MH back.

That’s the view from the Masthead.

And you say…? ##


Jan Hollingsworth, award winning journalist, featured on MHLivingNews.

Programing/Scheduling Notices: You will see some more meaty/thorny and positive moving ahead topics tackled on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, starting as soon as early this week. Please check them out. YOUR Thoughtful feedback – on or off the record – is encouraged.


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, MH Industry publisher, consultant and popular speaker.

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

Retaking the Land of Opportunity for the Manufactured Housing Industry’s consumers and professionals

September 20th, 2016 No comments

There are advantages and disadvantages to being politically incorrect. Some of our industry friends and colleagues are very into being PC, others are opposed. There is national political correctness, as well as MH Industry PC too.

I was listening to un-PC Donald Trump talking about the $800 billion dollar annual U.S. trade deficit. He was ticking off the “disastrous” trade deals – such as NAFTA, China and Korea, plus the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that President Obama wants.  You know, the TPP that Hillary Clinton called “the gold standard in trade deals,” until Bernie Sanders pushed her off that standard through his nomination insurgency last spring.

Hill’s Billy is already signaling that they may move back off that…post election, but that’s another story. Back to the deficit and the point.

Let’s use some common sense, shall we? Wouldn’t we want those dollars kept in the U.S., then have it spent overseas?  Duh, right?


Then take that $800 B, divide it by “$150,000 a job” (a very, very conservative…figure) and you have 5.33 million new ‘good paying jobs,‘ and a healthy margin for those investing in those jobs.

Yes, the cost of some products and services might go up when it is made in the USA.  But given that wages and income are rising too, the payoff is obvious, isn’t it? That was the formula – the U.S. as a producing nation – that made us wealthier than any other land to begin with.


That reads 4 Trillion dollars cost to our economy, and frankly it isn’t just a Democratically caused problem, because the Bush Administration also created plenty of costly regulations too. Trump cutting half of that would yield the $2 trillion savings noted in this column.

Like a Ronco TV ad…“But there’s More!”

Next, take $2 trillion in regulatory relief – with regulations being a big issue for MH as well as the rest of the nation.

That being invested – using the same formula as above – would result in 13.3 million new jobs.


Trillions in cash parked overseas, due to our nearly tops-in-the-world corporate tax rate. Image credit, Bloomberg.

But there’s Still More!

Next, what about repatriating just $2 trillion of the estimated $3-5 trillion that are offshore today due to our crazy-high federal taxes.  That would be another 13.3 million new ‘good paying’ jobs, because new investment creates demand for construction, making and creating of all kinds.

ICYMI our U.S. Labor Day 2016 report – linked here – showed how phony the official labor unemployment statistics are, because when one stops looking for work, or works ‘underground,’ those souls are not counted.

Take that quick math from those items above.  They add up to 31.3 million new jobs. That’s actually some 8 million more than what the Trump economic plan projects. But the point is, the potential for real growth, not phony FED bubble growth, is all around us. What’s needed is someone who is un-PC, ready to shake up the system.


ICYMI – Another energy boom – click image above or link below.

Then, keep in mind that numbers don’t yet account for:

Yes – there will be some overlap each of the above. This isn’t a Harvard study.  It’s just applying a thumbnail bit of common sense. The point is, this is doable, if we begin to apply common sense.

Whatever you subsidize, you get more of – and the political class is subsidizing a lot these days, to the tune of billions of dollars this election cycle.  Ya think they’re getting what they want?


Click image above or link below for the report.

A Kennedy revealed that George Bush (POTUS 41) plans on voting for Hillary Clinton. How much can someone hate the guy that beat your other son to the GOP nomination? Does politics make – or reveal – strange bedfellows?

6 months ago it was politically incorrect to admit to supporting Donald Trump? It still is.


Click image above or link below for report.

But as the left-leaning LA Times daily tracking poll claims to reveal, their system allegedly uniquely accounts for those Trump and other voters.

Other polls which lag behind, have also witnessed a Trump surge and a Hill-Billy sinking on the other side. It will be interesting to see the polls once they’ve digested the latest domestic terror attacks…

A successful, respected MH gent who is Libertarian was posting on FB recently.  This gent stated his support for Gary Johnson. He began by saying, ‘I know that Gary Johnson isn’t perfect…’

…but let’s get real. We can say that about any candidate who isn’t the Messianic God-Man.

Hillary cleared the very low, non-indictment bar…how?

Her foreign policy makes her qualified, how?

Her domestic agenda is the last 7.5 years on steroids.


More taxes! More Dodd-Frank! More ObamaCare! More regulation! The very things that the NFIB says that independent businesses hate, Hillary wants. Plus, more executive amnesty efforts, even though the courts said it was illegal!

She’s the lawyer in the race, right? (To all my attorney friends and colleagues, sorry...).

I get it why Warren Buffett, SSK’s Nathan Smith (prior MHI Chair) and others support Hillary. Disagree strongly, but defend their right to vote with their wallets and ballots. I get that they want what Hill will give…

…Billy and the doors that swing open when the keys to the Clinton Ca$h Foundation turn the locks.

Isn’t it odd?

Capitalists joining with Elizabeth Warren and the leftists?


Elizabeth Warren photo credit, MSNBC and Raw Story.

The system is so unconstitutionally bent that it will not be fixed overnight.

We do need to fix education through true school choice.

We do need to put America First.

We do need a builder in the White House with direct-ties to factory-built housing. We need a guy who took that failed NYC skating rink and fixed in weeks and for far less than what the corrupted city couldn’t fix in years.

I might have watched all told ten minutes of The Apprentice, during channel surfing or walking in where someone else was watching it, and then walking out. Ditto the Trump pageants. I did buy The Art of the Deal decades ago, and it’s was a good read.

The point is I wasn’t a Trump groupie. Having seen nada beyond Jim Webb on the Democratic side of the primaries that resembled free enterprise, I supported an opponent of Trump’s on the GOP side initially.  I listened to others, and kept an open mind.

I recall Whitewater and the Clinton White House.  So I can’t see voting for apparent Hill-Billy corruption. Can you?

One other point the pundits seem to have overlooked.  There are numerous talking heads who see him as Teflon Don, they say that the negative attack ads somehow bounce off him.

That’s not quite how the Masthead sees it. Trump’s negatives are high precisely because of the exaggerations of negatives by attack ads from both sides of the political main aisle.

Trump’s friends don’t think of him as a racist, a misogynist, trigger happy, etc. Any objective thinker who has followed the campaign knows better. So clearly those unfavorable are the results of all those GOP rivals, now Democratic and third party attack ads, plus from an often compliant pro-Hillary media.

Which is why the debates will be huge.


WikiLeaks. DCLeaks. October Surprise. Debate KO. Hillary health scare.  Either candidate flubs. There are a variety of factors that could make this a contest for POTUS that could go either way. So do your part to make it go the correct way for the nation, our home owners and our industry.

Election 2016 – Jump Ball!

If The Donald stays on message and keeps his cool in the face of traps and trips planned by his opponent, the election could end as a landslide.

We are now only days away from the first debate. Who will win?

As a citizen, let me say the politically incorrect.

America First. Charity begins at home! Charity – investing in our nation first – will be great for the people – our customers – our industry and our nation.  ##

Scheduling/Program note: tomorrow night’s DBN stock report will go up later than normal. A long awaited, out of town professional guest!

(Image credits are as shown above.)


FYI – We are Equal Opportunity Politically. Clowning around with the next POTUS? Taken at Congress and Expo in Vegas, L. A. “Tony Kovach.



L. A. “Tony” Kovach



In an industry of about 150,000 FTE’s – our MHProNews audience surges just as Trump surges too. Does being politically incorrect pay off? Time will tell…Screen capture of MHProNews.com guest counter, at the base of our home page. Emails have surged too. Thank you for making us #1 in factory built housing. 

To see Industry leading 2x weekly emailed, newsletter click here.

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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

Industry Voices – To Tell the Truth – Fair and Balance

September 16th, 2016 No comments

Truth matters.  We all have the right to our own opinions, said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but we don’t have the right to our own facts.

Today will be – as so many days here are – about the truths heard from Industry Voices (IV) like YOUR’s.

These voices are from your colleagues and peers.

From corporate leaders, non-profits, mom and pop operation to one of the strongest MH associations in the nation, these voices are a sampling of views on the topics they addressed.  They are arranged on this page in the order they came in and where posted on IV.


All image graphics by MHProNews.com. Click on any of the images on this page to see that person’s Industry Voices post.

This week and recently, Industry Voices has ‘lit up.’  We routinely get off-the-record comments, and value them.  But “on the record” comments, messages, Op-Ed and letters to the editor has a huge advantage.

Some of these comments will likely be accessed for years to come.



What’s Coming!

We’ll dig into some more “heavy” and “meaty” topics next week. But we will also sprinkle in the lighter items, the daily stock market reports and other Daily Business News items that Joe Dyton, RC Williams and moi enjoy bringing you.


Joe Dyton, guest writer for the linked Daily Business News report. Don’t miss it, feedback welcome.


R. C. Williams

We’ll also see more stories we’ve pushed out to the mainstream media – picked up by hundreds of more news media and special interest websites next week too.  Over the past year, thousands and thousands of these ‘pick ups’ by others in the U.S., some even abroad, have taken place.


It’s not enough. But it is a start.

It’s a prime counter to the routinely negative stuff that comes out of all-too-often ill-informed mainstream media.  Informing them and the nation is up to ALL of US as MH Pros.

That said, there are also more positive stories popping up too.  The media war is not over. Are we turning the corner? It can go either way, which is why MORE needs to be done.

Changing the image of manufactured housing in America is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.


I’ve seen writers who have sent in an article – one – and they magically thought the world would change.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had articles that I thought – wow, this will be the one! This will change EVERYTHING…

…or not.

I share that to say, take the first step in that marathon. Put your toe in the water.  Sound off on the areas that you know and are passionate about.

That knowledge, your expertise, those insights are how we address the issues – inside and outside of MH – that hold our industry back.


It tickled me when one of this week’s Industry Voice’s began with the words that one of our – delicate – topics was done in a way that was ‘fair and balanced.’

That’s important or the mainstream media and politicos will simply tune us out.

We value all thoughtful comments, critiques included.  Among the off the record comments that brought a smile began by saying, I’m on MHProNews every day…

Not bragging, it’s a fact – thousands and thousands of you are too.

  • Individual pros.
  • Companies of all sizes.
  • Goal and solution oriented associations and non-profit groups.
  • Pro-MH Industry trade publishing.

The more these forces come into alignment, the faster we’ll see the day when MH goes mainstream.

When we as an MH Industry do go mainstream, and are widely understood and respected, then Katy bar the door. Because that’s when we’ll sustainably do…

  • 300,000
  • 400,000
  • 500,000
  • 750,000

…new manufactured homes a year and more.

That will collectively be worth billions and billions to the forward thinkers and doers.  Millions of more Americans will benefit from our products and services as a result!

We in MH have the solution.  We have to get past the internal and external politics that allow us to arrive at that goal of properly serving millions more people.

Together, we can do it.  It starts when ever-more Industry Voices – like yours – and we can amp that voice up!  To see all of what’s on Industry Voices this week, click the link above. ##

(Images from Industry Voices, click on the image to see that specific letter or Op-Ed in its entirety.)


Tony is the publisher of MHProNews and MHLivingNews, long-time industry veteran and consulatant to the MH Industry.

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

Media Wars, MH Industry and Pros Like You – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)

September 14th, 2016 No comments

When speaking at live industry events, one of my favorite questions for attendees is this. By a show of hands, how many of you think that media stories about manufactured housing and wind storms harms our industry, and our sales?

So far, every hand in the room will shoot up to that question. No one – not one – has yet to say, those negative media stories helps manufactured housing and the industry’s sales.


For image credits, please see the article and click above.

What that example tells us is this obvious truth. The media can harm – or help – the MH Industry’s image, public perception and thus how prospective home buyers respond to our products and services.

But the media also impacts public officials, policy wonks (no disrespect intended) and the various spectrum of housing advocates.


Joe Dyton, guest writer for the linked Daily Business News report.

We published a story this morning by our new guest writer, Joe Dyton. That story, is linked here.

Within an hour of that article, the guest letter from UMH CEO Sam Landy came in. His letter to the editor, is linked here.

With that public comment in hand, we are now better able to respond to such rent control stories in the future.

Not everyone will agree with our tackling thorny issues publicly. I understand the school of thought that says, ‘better to let bad news blow over…’

…but the problem is this.  After years of “bad news” mainstream media stories going unanswered, that has clearly only harmed MH.

ICYMI – association executive Jay Hamilton shared the following, which is right on point.


The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things, the same way, and expect a different result.  MH Pros must engage ‘negative stories’ if we are ever going to be accepted as mainstream housing – and thus reach our true potential. Facebook post to Tony Kovach. Image credit, Facebook.

With the help of solution oriented professionals, MHProNews and our publicly focused sister-site, ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com (aka – MHLivingNews.com) have worked for several years now to build the foundation necessary to tackle the thorny issues.  That foundation includes, but is not limited to, video interviews with dozens of MH residents, MH experts and with those outside of our industry too. We can influence the media, because our operation is trade media. 

  • Public officials
  • Investors
  • Policy advocates
  • Educators
  • Non-profits
  • Attorneys
  • Association professionals
  • Producers
  • Suppliers
  • MH Retailers and of course
  • beaucoups Manufactured home community pros

 …all of whom logon daily by the thousands. That professional connection between us as pro-MH Industry trade media and with you and others are “all good” and useful.

But the next step is tackling ever more robustly the thorny issues that keep MH from advancing.

For that, we need more comments, mutual understanding, feedback and support that the MH Industry alone can properly provide.

On tornadoes, hurricanes and windstorms? The ‘answer’ to that issue is linked here.

On the nettlesome topic of rent control, we are in the process of building the MH Industry’s answers. Sam Landy’s comments will be useful. Others are invited too. The more takes, the more insights, the better our ability to respond becomes.


The MH Industry used to sell 500,000 units in the early 70s. In the late 90s, the industry topped 372,000 homes. Today, we are looking at a SAAR of some 80,000 homes? Why are we settling for such a low level of sales and production?

The industry did not get to sub-100,000 homes a year by accident. We will not climb back up to our potential – which is over 500,000 homes a year  – overnight.


There are millions of housing sales every year.  MH’s SAAR hovers around 80k. Hello? Image, perception, education – call it what you will. NAHB, NAR and MH Industry statistics on new manufactured home sales compared to existing home resales and new home starts. Still from a slide from Tuesdays With Tony webinar.

That we can do it is precisely why we launched MHProNews almost 7 years ago.

We truly are all better off working together. The naysayers, ne’er-do-wells, the short-cut artists, the uniformed, those stuck in a rut, those satisfied with the status quo, they are all who they are. Redeemable?  Sure, but we’re looking for the forward thinkers and doers that will share – in words and deeds – the answers and solutions that will make many wealthy via a great product and service to millions of Americans.

Here’s to surpassing the outcomes of yesteryear – by doing right and learning to tell our story well! R U Ready? ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


Photo taken during New York Housing Association meeting, Tony questioning regulators.

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

The Latest Unforced MHI Error

September 11th, 2016 No comments

Let’s begin by stating the obvious. We have and do support the good things that MHI does. But to paraphrase what Teddy Roosevelt said, it would be wrong – disloyal – not to oppose and expose the latest unforced MHI staff error. It’s being done for the sake of the many.


Image credit, Pinterest.

It would be wrong to allow MHI members – including those who mistakenly support those staffers who periodically make such blunders – to allow the MH Industry at large, as well as MHI members, to suffer the potentially harmful outcomes of yet another periodic error that flows from certain paid MHI staffers.

This one could be legally costly.


Crisp Writing…

…with notable and risky errors…


The MHI StatePoint advertorials are an example of how the road to hell can be paved by good intentions.  We won’t recount at this time all of the tactical and strategic errors involved in this “campaign” in terms of MHI’s credibility regarding their messaging.


The intention, one might presume, is to help boost the industry’s image – and thus sales. That kind of intention is arguably good. But is this the way that should be done? See the critical and problematic quote below. Image credit, MHI’s StatePoint advertorial, published in the Pulaski County Mirror.

What we will do is point out a specific, serious error.  It’s serious because of the legal/liability ramifications.

We checked this concern out with several MH Industry attorneys.  They who won’t go public, at least not at this time. But that really isn’t necessary. Because common sense is why this was brought to our attention.


MHI President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison, who’s name is at the center of the latest controversial communications issue involving MHI.

Common sense should have told top MHI staff that what was being sent out under Richard “Dick” Jennison’s name was an unforced error that could lead in time to litigation against the association.

The Problematic Statement in its context, & Why It’s an Issue

 This issue boils down to one sentence, but it is going to be shown below in its context.

It’s important to remember that the affordability of manufactured homes is not a product of lesser quality, but rather the efficient way building materials are produced, a savings that is passed on directly to the homebuyer,” says Jennison. “Furthermore, they appreciate in value, just like site-built homes.”

No qualifiers!  Just “...they appreciate in value…”



Screen capture of StatePoint’s Pulaski County Mirror published advertorial by MHI, focusing on Richard “Dick” Jennison’s problematic quoted statement.

For those in the MHC sector or other MH industry pros who know Ishbel Dickens, Carla Burr or others like them – can you imagine what they could publicly do to embarrass MHI with that line from the association’s CEO?

Leadership may or may not let this slide. But we as pro-industry trade publishers will not stay silent when MHI’s staffers may be leading the industry into what could be the next, highly avoidable, Seattle Times/CPI style issue.

The Legal View


Image credit, ImgBuddy.

One of the attorneys asked about this – an MH industry pro – began his reply by asking tongue-in-cheek, with a wry chuckle, “What do you want the opinion to be?” The lawyer pressed on to what most know, you can find an attorney to agree and then attack-or-defend almost anything.

After the humor, the attorney got serious.

This is precisely one of the types of statements that we strive to avoid [at their organization]. Without the proper qualifiers, you are opening yourself up to liability.”


Yes, there are possible legal defenses to this scenario.

But so long as one or more aggrieved buyer(s) would swear under oath that they “relied on this appreciation statement from MHI’s president and CEO, Richard Jennison” as part of their purchasing decision, the liability door swings open. The buyer who relies on that misleading statement – thinking that they would without any ifs, ands or buts make money when they sold the home –  could after X years if they lost money for whatever reason, claim the grounds for a legal action.


Warning sign, NZ, WikiCommons.

By addressing this rapidly, it could be nipped in the bud.  So why not clean up the messaging error ASAP and avoid that risk? Thus, this column.

MHI’s StatePoint Advertorial Series Lacks the Proper Foundation

MH Pros know that a good foundation system is vital for a home.  The same is true in messaging.  Without the right foundation, these words from Matthew 7:26b-27 spring to mind:

is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (NIV)

The MH Industry saw what happened in the 1990s when poorly underwritten-and-documented loans resulted in a bunch of sales, and they were followed by a bunch of repossessions.  More than 15 years later, the industry still suffers from the image, regulatory and economic fallout that activity caused manufactured housing.

The concern in this case is similar, but different.

Let’s consider the following scenario.

Imagine that MHI’s efforts – using phrases like the one shown – resulted over time in a lot of sales.

Within a few years, enough people would have sold their home to test the outcome of Jennison’s quoted statement. Odds are that significant numbers of those sellers would, for a variety of reasons, lose money. And then they will likely find media and/or attorneys to help them howl.


Down arrow, losing money. Image credit, wpcki.

Do any of us think that the MH Industry needs such a spike followed by a big dump?

Warning Duty Done

MHI logo

Image credit, MHI logo, used here under fair use guidelines.

We have spotlighted the latest issue out of MHI’s Arlington offices. There are others.

MHI should correct this unforced error, stop the campaign and regroup on this entire advertorial approach.

Not that advertorials are per-se bad.  Done properly, they can have value. But MHI’s approach has numerous flaws.

If they don’t stop it, odds are good that in time, someone will look back and say, who started this MHI advertorial campaign?  Why was it allowed to happen?


AMHA‘s new video campaign is just one of several states who are doing education/image building. Companies are doing image and marketing campaigns. MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com have been engaged on this front for years. Will the many be allowed to suffer for the mistakes of the few?

Undermines Legitimate Efforts

This sort of problematic messaging by MHI only undermines the legitimate efforts others in MH — including some state associations, companies, MHLivingNews and MHProNews have undertaken — to do education and image-building the proper way.  Namely, education based upon the truth and reality.

We as MH industry pros don’t need to exaggerate or spin the truth in order to sell more homes.

We have a great product, and it stands on its own merits.  We have great services too. Our lenders don’t need apologize, but MH chattel lending does need to be properly explained and expressed. The majority of communities don’t need to apologize; they also offer a vital and positive service – as a planned Daily Business News post will soon spotlight.

We have held — and may continue to hold — certain cards that we’d rather not have to play on the MHI/staffers issue.

Close observers will note the following. Many of these staff-related issues revolve around MHI communications combined with questionable judgement. There is a pattern. Is it intentional? Is it just sloppy?

Does it matter what the motivations or causes are, when they occur periodically, are problematic and avoidable?


In football or team sports, there is accountability. How about with the staff at MHI?
                                                                                                                                                                            When a quarterback tosses a number of interceptions, gets few if any touchdowns, in the pros, they get benched, traded or terminated. Shouldn’t a national MH association seeking to score points for the industry and its members have a similar standard?
                                                                                                                                                                           A few want to blame the messenger for making candid observations, but the sportscaster or play-by-play announcer who doesn’t make candid observations would be failing his duties as a professional. The same holds true for an MH industry trade journalist; it’s our duty to call it as we see it too.   “We Provide, You Decide.” ©                                                                                                                                                             
Photo and credit; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, left, talks with quarterback Sam Bradford during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez – USA Today)

What are the possible resolutions?

Why not have certain people own this and prior mistakes, apologize for the sake of the industry and then step aside?

Or barring that, why shouldn’t they be asked by their superiors to leave? ##

l.a.'tony'kovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-mhpronews-com-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

Sources Backing Off, But Troubling MH Issue Looms

September 7th, 2016 No comments

Two brief topics and some programming notes for today. First, more than one source has given MHProNews feedback on a new, looming issue that is rearing its ugly head right before keen industry observers’ eyes.

While it is NOT connected to the troubling reports about ITT, see link here, the ITT Tech issue holds clues to potential future headaches for manufactured housing.


Photo credit, WIPX, text credit, MHProNews.

One challenge is, that this new headache/potential threat might appear subtle, until looked at closely.

Another challenge on the same topic is that some will mistakenly think that what’s taking place is positive, when actually it’s problematic, negative or even costly.

Let’s hope one or more sources step forward, we’d like to bring you the report.  Ideally, we need an attorney who knows our industry, isn’t afraid of politics, ready to speak out.  Those who’ve been asked, see the concern, but are not (yet) ready to go on-the-record.

Among my concerns? That the enemies of this MH industry don’t pick up on this before we can line up that prudent legal voice, and which would allow us to bring the topic up here first.  We could roll it out now, but we want an independent, third party legal mind to sound off publicly.

The Masthead has little doubts that this is harmful, avoidable and regrettably originates within the ranks of our profession.  The main question is when and how much harm would come…


This looming challenge could prove to be a costly issue, it will be embarrassing at a minimum, and sadly comes from within our industry. Image credit, SeniorMotif.

…and once we have a brave, MH savvy legal mind ready to step forward, we’ll strive to bring you that report, hopefully sooner than later.

Clinton v Trump – the Commander in Chief Forum – Wed 8 PM ET NBC, MSNBC


Credit, NBC News.

Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off for the first time in public, in a kind of pre-debate forum, hosted by NBC, which will be carried as well on their sister station, MSNBC.

This comes as Trump had risen steadily in the polls in the past two to three weeks, since his new campaign team took the helm, in the wake of his visit with Mexico’s president and since his messaging has been tightened.

Meanwhile, the steady drip, drip, drip of legal, security and ethics (pay-to-play, Clinton Foundation) issues continue to blossom and dog Hillary.

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has hinted he will drop another leak of documents on Clinton, perhaps as soon as next week.

Whatever it is, Assange says it’s “significant.”  Since he doesn’t want to hurt his street cred, it would be no surprise if what he has is just that…important for voters to know and consider.


Photo credit, TJCNewsPapers.

While it may be troubling that a voice outside of the U.S. is playing a serious role in our election run-up, is that any less serious than hundreds of millions flowing into the Clinton’s coffers from sources overseas (and domestic…) during and since her time as Secretary of State?

The foreign Clinton cash, by the way, if ever proven to be pay-for-play, is illegal. Even the NYTimes and other pro-Clinton media outlets says the Clinton Foundation optics are troubling.

By contrast, foreign sources sharing news is often legit, or at least not automatically illegal; though the obtaining of the documents could have been illegal for whoever took/hacked them.

As generals and admirals line up to support both Clinton and Trump, the edge among the military heavy weights at the moment is slightly in Clinton’s favor, but in public polling among the military and veterans, that goes to Trump by some 19% in a recent NBC News poll.

From an MH, and many other, perspectives, this electoral choice for our next POTUS ought to be easy. Trump’s stated policies would clearly be better for MH than Hillary’s.

From taxes, to regulations in general, to Dodd-Frank, to ObamaCare, job creation, to the appointment of federal judges and Supreme Court justices, Trump is hands down the easy choice.

Besides, the Trump family is now documented to have a potent factory-built housing connection.


Wouldn’t it be cool to have class in the Oval Office, and for that class to be housing, and factory-built – housing friendly? Click on the image above to go to page, and see the image credits, video and more.

My bride and yours truly are “all in” for Mr. Trump, others viewpoints are of course respected, it is America.

With just 2 months to Election Day, and it’s still a wide open race. We’ll bring you periodic looks, that you won’t find anywhere else in factory-built housing news.

Programming notes…

We have one more new Cup of Coffee interview that should be coming in soon, another new one that posted yesterday, and Joe Dyton will have another featured article for the Daily Business News that should be ready by noonish tomorrow. Watch for it all, to be found only right here, on the leading source for Industry News, Tips and Views, Pros Can Use © – MHProNews.com. ##

(Image credits as shown).


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach caricature. Kovach is the publisher and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC parent to MHLivingNews and MHProNews, and their various consulting and professional services. Kovach is perhaps the most recommended/endoresed MH personality on LinkedIn.

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

Superior September 2016, How Manufactured Housing Can Do It Better

September 6th, 2016 No comments

We as an industry have the superior solution, and while we’re collectively growing nicely, manufactured housing is still just a fraction of its former production levels.


Manufactured housing peaked in 1998, and has been on a mostly sustained slide since. The rise since 2009’s low point has been good, but we are still just a shadow of our former glory. Image credit, Calculated Risk.

ICYMI (in case you missed it), that relatively low level of production is both a threat and an opportunity in disguise.

Reality Checks

Divisions have always been a part of America. From the days of the colonists – or even before them when the native tribes who traveled the great mountains, rivers and plains of Asia, crossed  the straights from what today is Russia into Alaska, and then fanned out across what would become America – divisions have existed. 



Divisions have been a part of our heritage. Native American tribes were often rivals. The colonists were not all for the Revolution against England. Is it any wonder there are divisions today too? Note the tribal map is superimposed upon our modern states, which did not exist when they first roamed this vast land. Image credit – Emerson Kent.

Manufactured housing, modular and prefab systems-building is no different. Divisions exist.  It’s part of being human, we lack perfection, we find ourselves at odds with others; by choice, accident or coincidence.


We’ve reviewed before that it is when the national associations are working together in concert with state and community associations that the most progress has been made. UImage credit – collage of Industry Association logos by MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective 
organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

How do we make what divides us into something that nurtures and becomes our strength?


Blind eyes won’t do it. What won’t fix divisions or help those fissures to strengthen us is to practice denial or insanity.

We’ve all heard or said that the popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things in the same ways, and yet expect a different result.

Let’s be honest. Yet at various times, haven’t MH Pros done just that…right?  We have all traveled that rut time and again, on issue after issue.


Habits, processes and systems are necessary to acheive success. At the same time, a habit can also become a rut, a trap. We must routinely challenge ourselves – and each other – by asking, is this the best that we can do on issue X today? Photo credit, WikiCommons. Poster by MHProNews.

Be it your face or mine in the mirror, we ought to admit that what was once a grove has at times lead to bring stuck in a rut.  That rut has become a trap which slows our progress, or keeps us from going higher and faster. That rut may even mimic an open ended grave.



As Commodore’s Bob Bender, a former Kodak executive noted in our interview with him, there are times when channels become ruts that can trap a person, firm or an industry. Montgomery Wards was once a great retailer, now they are in the dust bin of history. Ditto Eastman Kodak. Photo credit, eBay.

Being years into our industry’s recovery from the bottom of 2009 is good, but it also has its threats. For those of us who survived or now seemingly thrive in America 2016, that self-congratulatory pat on the back for surviving should not lead us to a false sense of success.

We can and must do better. There are too many threats that could still limit or even crush manufactured housing.  Don’t believe it? Just ask a coal miner, or someone who once worked for a giant operation like Kodak or Montgomery Wards.

Bad Media? Good Reporting?

There are often more than two sides to a story, so that thin edge of the coin can become an important insight.

When one fails to properly share each side of a tale, that story is lacking.  When the realities are twisted, that report then morphs into a kind of ghost story or fairy tale.

What is “Good Media?”


In this new issue, we showcase examples of manufactured housing pros who spoke out on the record against biased or incomplete media reports. When the industry makes responding to such attacks routine and effective, we’ll see manufactured housing acceptance, respect grow and sales soar. Hundreds of mainstream media sites picked up our media release on media bias against MH. See article linked below for this topic and others like it.

Good media does more than the basics of – who, what, when, where and why – of Journalism.

Good media reveals the tensions!  Good media reflects what is real, and may hint at or spell out the possible resolutions!

Tensions. Accountability. Reality checks. Good story telling. Resolutions. Each and all are needed to advance.

Skills, insights and resources like yours and your operation are needed to complete a picture.


Better late to the dance than to not come at all. Some in MH questioned and resisted early and often what others more recently have realized could harm our industry. What ought to be a positive for MH, has been shown by third parties as negatives about manufactured housing. The engagement of professionals with good trade media and clear-eyed association leaders is the best way to advance the industry on all the issues facing MH. The collage and response article above hit hundreds of mainstream media sights, to help set the record straight about the fact that MH already saves energy, and the options already exist for more energy savings. Image credits on the article, linked below.

That insight then requires expertise. It requires objectively.  It requires a willingness to dig in by each of those who are touched.

Until we shine the proper light on what’s right, and yet don’t avoid what’s wrong, we have not hit the right balance.

We should make you feel hopeful and good, while challenging you too. If we have never stepped on a toe, odds are you or we or both missed something.

Revealing tensions and reflecting various perspectives well is important.

The blind can only grope their way ahead.

Those blinded by habit, hubris or any of the weaknesses that divides humanity are stuck at the speed of groping.

The jet fuel that could power us ahead is to take the limiting dark and/or rose colored glasses off.

We must believe that we can do it, so a kind of positive attitude is necessary.

But we must also be real. Denying the cliffs along the roads we all travel is as bad as being paralyzed by fear.

Balance and tension alike makes for good journalism.

By being true first to each other, we can then as trade journalists better engage the mainstream media, the public, officials and policy types.

Showing reality, and then dealing with it – that is what makes us stronger.

Manufactured housing is a superior solution. Other forms of factory building each have their vital roles too.

Industry Voices, Real News, Thoughtful Interviews and Reports


Industry pros like Lamb, association and other leaders are among those who have boldly spoken out on issues that impact manufactured housing nationally. We will only advance to the extent that we tackle the issues that hold our industry back.  For the article that drew Lamb’s comment, scroll down to the Featured Articles for Superior Septemember.

We bring you Superior September 2016’s featured articles and reports, each of which includes industry voices like those you know. People like those you work with, or who are and have been walking in shoes like yours.

We can’t fix the world in a single story, issue or report. America’s story isn’t finished, neither is the story of MH.

But day by day, shining hopeful light on issues that matter – on issues which either hold us back or are moving us ahead – these are how we make manufactured and other forms of industrialized housing great in America.

We are in this industry are the future, we must believe that to be true. We must jump or navigate each hurdle, until we arrive at a point that we have the respect and the rewards which comes from doing it right.

With no further adieu, we bring you with the sincere thanks to all who make this and every issue happen, the Superior September 2016 featured articles and reports. MHProNews – “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use.” ©
Another 2016 Manufactured Housing Legal Update – Where Business & Law Intersect


MarcLifesetJDMcGlincheyStaffordmanufacturedhousinglaw-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-50x50by Marc Lifeset, JD
McGlinchey Stafford is proud to provide the Manufactured Housing Update to the manufactured housing industry. 

Read more…


Comparing Mid-America Apartment Communities vs. Sun Communities, Head-to-Head Analysis


By Joe Dyton

Joe_Dyton_DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews55x55CML News recently took a deep dive into a head-to-head comparison between Memphis, TN-based Mid-America Communities, Inc. (NYSE: MAA) and Southfield, MI-based Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI).

Read more…


Two Faces of Manufactured Home Community Closures – Urban Institute’s Preservation Approach Vs. Little Farm Trailer Park Outcome


by Joe Dyton
Affordable housing options are becoming less plentiful around the country, but according to Urban Institute researchers, there are ways to sidestep what has become an outright crisis.

Read more…


Management Group Increases Holdings in Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS)


by Frank Griffin

FrankGriffinDailyBusinessNewDBNwriterMHProNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryNews55x55Schroder Investment Management Group acquired an additional $2,017,000 worth of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) shares for the quarter ending July 30th, 2016.
Read more…


Say No Socialist Driven Economy, Praise for Revolution PreFab Homes


by Jay Hamilton

jay-hamiltonTony, I have no plans to vote for a Socialism Driven Economy.

Read more…


Carlyle Group (CG) Urged To Invest Multi-Billion$ In “Dry Powder,” says Bloomberg’s Tan


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
The Carlyle Group (CG) is reportedly one of the top 100 largest manufactured home community operators in the U.S..  Its big hedge fund business is said to be heading for the exit, according to SeekingAlpha and Bidness.

Read more…


UMH Properties Closes on 2 Manufactured Home Communities, more Closings Pending


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Freehold NJ based UMH Properties, Inc. (NYSE: UMH) announced that it has closed on the acquisition of two communities located in Ohio for a total purchase price of $2,954,000.

Read more…


Man Shot in “Trailer Park” (sic) says ABC TV’s Marla Carter, MH Pros React


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Tragedy and violence occurs in neighborhoods across America.

Read more…


MHC Pro/Owner – “Highly Conflicted” over Manufactured Home Community Closures


by Marty Lavin, JD
Tony, I am highly conflicted by the closing and eviction of the El Portal MH community.

Read more…


MH Community Owner’s Reaction to Baytown, TX “trashy mobile home park” story


by Richard Nodel
I become incensed when I see examples of the absolute worse type of landlord.

Read more…


Zoning, Opening up Urban Infill and Making Sure Citizens who want Manufactured Homes are Heard


EdSchaferGovtAffairsManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolina-postedIndustryVoices-MHProNews-65x65by Ed Schafer
For the last three or four years, the South Carolina association’s focus is to move beyond killing bad zoning proposals and working to reopen areas that have been closed to manufactured homes for many years.

Read more…


Discrimination, Zoning and Disparate Impact on Manufactured Homes, Owners, Prospects


M-MarkWeiss-MHARRPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-by Mark Weiss
The discriminatory exclusion of manufactured homes by local governments is a major problem for the industry and consumers.

Read more…


Business Impact – Left, Right Agree – President Obama’s mark is on powerful U.S. Appeals Courts


tony- kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Elizabeth Wydra is the president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which Wikipedia describes as a conservative judicial group.

Read more…


Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, Directors Insider Trades – & CVCO Portfolio Holder Updates


   by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Cavco Industries director Jack Hanna has filed a Form 4, according to a report byStreetInsider, see that as a download, linked here.

Read more…


Controversial Analysis – NRDC, ACEEE and proposed DOE Manufactured Home Energy Standards for Manufactured Homes – Helpful or Harmful?


by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
tony- kovach
Controversy about the proposed U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) standards for manufactured housing has followed the flurry of commentary from various special-interest and non-profit groups, covered by recent news media reports.

Read more…


Demand for Manufactured Homes in Louisiana Flood Zone Rising, Factories Gear Up for FEMA, Residents


tony- kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
For two days, rain tortured the heart of bayou country, dumping 24 inches in less than 48 hours on southern Louisiana, says a report in the DigitalJournal.

Read more…


Discrimination, Injustice against manufactured housing – a Call for Action by Industry Professionals


by Todd Lamb
Tony, I agree with the Daily Business News article and the comments from other manufactured home industry professionals regarding Councilman David McCartney in Baytown.

Read more…


HUD Code Manufactured Housing, “The Discrimination Code”


marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronewsby Marty Lavin, JD
Tony, you are so right on the HUD Code has become a deadly “discrimination code,” especially as it applies to manufactured home financing.

Read more…


A Cup of Coffee with… Otis Orsburn, Hybrid Prefab Homes


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Hybrid Prefab Homes and where your organization is based).

My name is Otis Orsburn, President of Hybrid Prefab Homes based in Santa Rosa, California.

Read more…

A Cup of Coffee with…Mark Weiss, President & CEO of MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform)


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and where your organization is based).

Mark Weiss, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Read more

Responding to Negative News About a trashy Baytown “Mobile Home Park”


KarleRaddeSouthernComfortHomesBryanTX-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-60x63by Karl Radde
Stories like this are the kind of thing that generally helps cast such a negative light on our industry.

Read more…


The Importance and Value of Independent MH Trade Publications


tim-williams-CEO-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-by Tim Williams
MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com are both good communications resources for the Manufactured Housing Industry.

Read more…


Building A Good Reputation Is Hard!


by Wayne Coakley
WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-
Well, maybe not so hard. Surprisingly, building a good reputation is pretty easy if you built your business around trust from the get-go.

Read more…


AMHA Announces 3 New Videos Designed to Promote Manufactured Housing, Dispel Myths


by J. D. Harper


The Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) has completed a series of short videos aimed at addressing and dispelling myths, misconceptions and stereotypes about today’s manufactured housing.

Read more…


Happiness Happens


by Tim Connor, CSP
I am sure you have heard, or maybe even used the term, SH _ T Happens: well how about – Happiness Happens?

Read more…


ZigOn Preachers


by Zig Ziglar
The typical American believes that those men and women who fill the pulpits in the churches work a few hours on the weekend and probably spend some time visiting, preparing and counseling during the week. In short, they have it pretty easy.

Read more…

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