Will it be a Surprise or a Wave? The Election, Rent Control and Manufactured Housing

October 29th, 2014 No comments

The mid-term elections are a week out. Some predict a wave that will sweep Republicans into control of the Senate, giving new momentum to challenges to Dodd-Frank. Others say some races are so close, the Democrats (or in KS, an “Independent”) could surprise Republicans and keep Harry Reid’s gavel firmly in his hands.

Each side makes it clear that every vote counts in the “ground game.” So will the day come that manufactured housing professionals realizetri-star-estates-bourbonais-masthead-blog-mhpronews- that with proper advanced planning, MH could in become the swing votes election in most districts?

The MH industry could accomplish that goal, if…

…if we had the roughly 20 million home owners and residents living in MH “on our side” at the polls.

Political Victories = Money and Votes

6% of the U.S. population lives in our product. Many electoral races are decided by a far smaller margin. Polls suggest races in GA, KS and NH may have their respective Democratic, Independent and Republican candidates about 2% or less apart.

That means our residents, customers and MH professionals could be a deciding factor in tight races.

Some understandably angst that MH doesn’t have enough lobbying dollars to compete with deeper pocket interest groups. Okay, then why aren’t we collectively more focused on mobilizing MH voters? Either well done or a blended lobbying approach could yield a breakthrough in Washington DC, or at the state level.

Financial Gain from Having Residents on our side

I’ve heard the arguments made by some – for example, from the MH communities sector – that they don’t want to organize residents. It is “too risky.”

all-parks-alliance-for-change-mobile-justice-protest-mn-capitol-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-.

All Parks Alliance protesting in MN.

Really? If we don’t organize them, then groups like the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) has proven they will. Ishbel Dicken’s lead NMHOA – via their state affiliates – have time after time, and will continue. Is that what MH Pros want?

Or think about those attorneys who’d love to organize the residents of XYZ MHC for the next class action law suit to hit an MHC owner?

Nature abhors a vacuum – either we organize home owners and residents to fight for what is arguably in their own best interests – for example, on needed Dodd-Frank reforms – or others have and will fill that void. Ignoring the political clout of residents or ceding it to others is not a successful strategy.

Come to think of it…

On the Masthead we believe our MH Industry is the future of quality, appealing, affordable housing in America and beyond! But that doesn’t mean that some of those that you know in our industry won’t suffer catastrophic reversals:

  • in the market place,

  • from regulators and public officials

  • from the courts and legal system

A Better Way to Express This

Come to think of it, the better phrasing is we MHPros want to be on our home owners and residents side.

We can readily make the case that Dicken’s and those like her who:

> want the CFPB to remain as is,

> or who argue for rent control, etc.

are well meaning, but mistaken.

Listening to the concerns of MH home owners/residents and giving them our professional insights must be shared ways in ways that resonates for them.

Rent control and the Dodd-Frank status quo both arguably harming MH residents and home owners. Why don’t industry pros make a video that tells the tale? For now, consider case made in this video by Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute, and her reasons why rent control harms housing affordability and quality.

Combine the above insight, with this TV news report out of Manitoba and the demonstrated impact of rent control in that market on manufactured housing.

In an interview with Sheila Dey, the industry veteran made the point of how powerful an impact such resident groups can have on elected officials. Of course, she is correct.

But let’s think about that very point in reverse.

Doesn’t it make sense to make to help residents see why rent control harms them, harms housing affordability and thus should be resisted? Can’t we make the case on HR 1779/S 1828 to them as well?

Thinking Win-Win

Win-lose often becomes lose-lose when facts are viewed objectively. When Big Business took advantage of labor at various times/places, unions organized. As some labor unions later became equally abusive, the enterprise (or city…) may have failed, going into bankruptcy.

Without mutual victories – solidarity – there are often only mutual losses.

Take a Bite…

How many of the millions who buy an Apple iPhone complain excessively that they bought the previous ‘new model’ a mere 18-24 month’s ago?

Yet MH has a more compelling story than Apple, so long as we craft and tell it well.

Manufactured housing holds a key to quality affordable homes for millions of Americans. Given the proper win-win perspective, MH businesses, home owners and residents all benefit. That firm foundation could lead businesses, associations and home owners to join hands on issues of common interest.

Such unity could swing elections.

Very little effort is being made to explain – much less engage – manufactured home owners on why legislation like HR 1779/S 1828 is important to them. Nor is much is being done to explain to residents why rent control may sound good but harms them in the long run.

take-care-to-get-what-you-like-or-you-will-be-forced-to-like-what-you-get.-george-bernard-shaw-wiki(c)2014-mhmsm-com-

The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things in the same way, hoping for a different result. Hope isn’t a strategy. Let forward thinkers and doers plan ahead for 2016, by crafting an engagement plan with residents and home owners now. ##

(Editor’s Note: A Cup of Coffee with…Ross Kinzler will touch on leardership and other hot issues in manufactured housing. Please watch for it with our rapidly approaching November 2014 issue.)

(Editor’s Note 2: Amy Bliss has written a thoughtful OpEd:

An analysis of The Atlantic’s report on Manufactured Housing, CFPB and MH Financing )

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

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


The Appraisal Rule, Manufactured Housing and the Road to Success in 2015

October 25th, 2014 No comments

The mid-term elections are almost on us. Some say it will be another wave, sweeping Republicans into control of the Senate like the 2010 mid-term gave Republicans control of the House. A close look at some key races suggests that is less than certain, which means turn out is going to be crucial for supporters of either major party. But that’s not our topic today!

Rather, we want to focus today on doing more business in 2015, the Appraisal Rule, financing and manufactured housing’s Road to Success in 2015.

dick-ernst-finmarkusa-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-There are few – if any – as qualified as MHI Financial Services Chairman Dick Ernst of FinMarkUSA to lead a discussion by a panel of lenders and experts on the soon to be implemented Appraisal Rule and its impact on manufactured housing. We expect retailers and community operators literally from coast to coast to attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

One of MANY reasons is to hear the facts at the first major discussion on the nuts and bolts of how the appraisal rule impacts MH.

Dick Ernst will be joined by Sherri Clevenger of NADA and Dan Rinzema of DataComp/MHVillage/JLT in a brisk panel presentation on the appraisal rule. They will be joined by representatives of top industry lenders too!

This is a not-to-be-missed session that is free to communities, retailers and builder-developers attending the show.

More on this in the days ahead, mark your calendar now for both Wednesday January 21st and Thursday January 22nd, don’t miss it! As we’ve done previously, educational/business building seminars will be held in the mornings during the show. This allows attendees to spend time in the afternoons touring dozens of homes on display, over 100 exhibitors booths and networking at various evening functions, many of them also free to industry pros.

Financing on Manufactured Homes, Commercial Financing on MH Communities!

Just as the finance panel is one of the sessions that has been SRO (standing room only) at previous Louisville Seminars, so too has the commercial lending panel. Perhaps 80% of all MHCs have commercial loans on them. Many of loans are written on long term amortization, but come up for renewal more quickly.

What that means is that commercial lenders are needed who understand the evolving manufactured home community (MHC) business model! What was a no go 2 or 3 years ago on commercial MH loans, may be doable today. The MHC sector has performed very well, and with the growing affordable housing shortage, MHCs and MH in general are well positioned for future growth.

louisville-2014-manufactured-housing-show-seminars-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

So its no surprise that Investors and MH Professionals are also looking to acquire and/or sell MHCs.

Once more, award winning consultant and finance expert Dick Ernst has agreed to moderate a panel discussion made up of lenders and brokers who do manufactured home community loans. Previous sessions have been very lively with much time devoted to Q&A’s with audience members. Don’t miss this free session.

Sell more homes and fill more vacant sites in 2015 – MH Marketing and Sales Coaching!

l-a-tony-kovach-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-modern-marketing-mhpronews-com-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com (1)

As this photo shows, my marketing and sales focused sessions also bring SRO crowds! There are good reasons why attendees of our training session rate them 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for quality content they learn from year after year.

In fact, with so many SRO sessions in 2014, we’ve expanded the space for 2015 seminars!

My thanks to all who’ve passed along kudos and congrats. But let me immediately point those back to our professional experts, associates and sponsors who make this possible! My purposes in sharing this is to say, odds are good you’ll benefit if you come.

We’ll cover at this year’s marketing and sales seminar a concept that will be eye opening for individuals from all segments of the industry. Factories, associations, retailers, communities, financial services and other suppliers, this is a session you won’t want to miss.

There are clearly reasons why attendees find our training to be the way to grow your business even during the tough Dodd-Frank, CFPB era.

The reason? We show you proven ways to attract the customers with better credit or who can pay cash.

Nothing Good Happens to your bottom line until more products or services are SOLD!

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We’ll provide more details on our educational offerings at the 2015 Louisville Show in the days and weeks ahead. It is less than 3 months to show time!

But the short story is simple. The Road to Success for 2015 truly passes through the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. There is nothing else quite like it in all of North America. We are proud to provide the education and promotion for this, the #1 best attended industry event in the country!

It’s more than just a great place to get business done. As our videos reveal, the atmosphere is upbeat! If you need to get your motor or that of a colleague of your’s running for 2015, hard to imagine a better place to do that than the 2015 Louisville MH Show.

See what 2014 attendees say and we’ll see you at the 2015 Show.

manufactured-trade-shows-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com

Will you and your team be there? Will you let your competitors hear and learn what you should know too?

Please:

  • swing by our business building seminars (more to be announced soon)
  • or see me at our booth,
  • when we aren’t shooting videos with great industry professionals like you.

louisville-2015-manufactured-housing-show-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

All this and more are happening at the 2015 Louisville MH Show

Today’s post just scratches the surface. You’ll have all the products and services of the great, all-indoor Louisville Show there for you to compare side by side in climate controlled comfort. Fantastic! ##

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

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


About Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership – It Needed to be said and Written

October 22nd, 2014 No comments

We won’t run all of the comments on the weekend Masthead about MH industry and MHI leadership. This was one from ‘Steve‘ was one of the funnier ones, so let’s share it:

My 2 cents.

It needed to be said and written. Most responses are like a “Stockbroker” quote, “Past Performance is NOT indicative of future results”

It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” -

Mark Twain

We’ve proven in word and deed to be pro-MHIndustry. After all, Factory-Built housing “news, tips and views pros can use” is why we exist. Our relationship has always been cordial to good with the leadership, with MHI CEO Dick Jennison or others too.

That said, there’s been a palpable frustration with many in manufactured housing circles, as Steve put it “It needed to be said and written.”

The comment linked here from publisher Boe Davis is another example of frustration. While Boe kinda blasts away one some points, he too seems to strive at a balanced statement, quoting his humorous ‘tongue in cheek’ comment here.

masthead-graphicSecond, to want good leadership one has to want to be led. I don’t know how many industry related associations there are but there are too many. Unhappy with the group you belong to? Start another association.Boe Davis

Besides comments like those above and below, the single best indicator of how people react to this topic is that at the current pace, this article could be the top new article on MHProNews, perhaps by Monday.

So Why is the MHI Executive Committee Happy?

The above and original column paints only part of the picture. One question we are asked is, why is there ‘happiness‘ reported by the Executive Committee and/or MHI’s leadership? Source inside MHI tell us that part of the reason is that the association is on a sound financial footing. Not too many years ago, that statement wouldn’t have been true.

Being stable and improving financially is a valid measure of association success. But so are results! Almost everyone I know in MH wants to see Dodd-Frank reformed, and progress on that front is being made. A list of the ‘advances on regulatory issues,’ outlined by Marc Lifeset, JD, are in the article linked below.

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/july-2014/7849-is-it-really-progress-manufactured-housing-finance-dodd-frank-and-the-cfpb

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So let no one be confused that we want to treat this sensitive issue in a fair and balanced fashion.

There are specific comments that so heated – for “the good of the order” and the industry – we can’t publish them. The state association exec show shared comments on the issue in this fashion. This too has drawn a number of comments ranging the spectrum.

Poised for Greatness

Let’s be clear. MH is poised for greatness once more. The NYTimes and a chorus of others suggest as much. A trillion dollar annual housing market and a growing affordable housing shortage are among the reasons why.

Whatever your view on the association/leadership topic, the solution is informed, active engagement. Isn’t everything else moot?

vote-wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhmsm-com-

Will MH Catch a break? Elections looming…

Stories we are tracking for publication in the next 48 hours, some election related, on the Daily Business News may signal quite a set of gifts to MH. Sources suggest that the institution most at risk if Republicans pick up control of the Senate isn’t ObamaCare/ACA, but rather the CFPB itself. A pipe dream?

Please stay tuned, and of course, plan to vote on November 4th. Thanks too for your positive, strong response to the tweaks the Daily Business News’ format. “We provide, you decide.” (c) ##

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

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


What is MHI’s and the Manufactured Housing Industry’s Leadership’s Strategy?

October 19th, 2014 2 comments

There are leaders of companies of all sizes involved in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Some are huge in MH, others as small as one person and all sizes in between. We routinely get questions related to MHI’s decisions, communications, actions or the seeming ‘absence of action’ which we’ll explore for the next few minutes.

Paraphrasing some common ones:

  • What is MHI’s game plan for a more robust MH Industry recovery?

  • Are MHI’s main foci “lobbying and regulatory” in nature?

  • As good as the info or networking at MHI meetings are, is there something beyond meetings and lobbying?

  • Does the leadership at MHI see all the opportunities and risks: in the marketplace, with not-for profits, media and from regulators?

  • What happens if MHI’s lobbying efforts and plans come up short? What’s their plan B?

  • Tony, can you get MHI to do X (whatever the caller’s or writer’s “x” happens to be…, and the short answer is mostly, not likely).

mhi-logo-in-the-spotlight-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

Yes, the above are paraphrases, but if you look closely at some of the articles on Industry Voices over the months or years, or a number of featured articles written by others under their own names,what emerges are exactly these noted concerns and more, only politely said or muted.  So this is NOT new.

Example; when a respected industry pro points out publicly and in writing that half the states in the U.S. are still going backwards on new warning-sign-new_zealand_credit-wikicommons-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-MH shipments, isn’t that a troubling warning sign?

When -

  • affordable quality housing is in high demand in the U.S. and world-wide,

  • billions in investments could be coming into MH (some potentially via MHI to members…),

  • and MH and MHI are routinely not considered for projects, aren’t those warning signs too?

Disclosure

disclousre-being-made-at-congressional-hearing=wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

Disclosure being made at a Congressional hearing,
credit WikiCommons.

Before proceeding, as a disclosure:

  • that I’m an MHI member,

  • was elected to the board of the MHI Suppliers Division, 

  • and pay dues like hundreds of other professionals or businesses do. Furthermore,

  • our firm’s parent operation has done contracted services for MHI,

  • The fact that key people connected with MHI thank us privately and publicly (see footnote 1), suggests they like want we’ve done for them and/or for the industry in our publishing and other services.

That said, let’s proceed.

mhpronews-mharr-mhi-associations-graphic-manufactured-home-marketing-sales-management

The Other Networks…

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is one of over 50 national, state or regional communities focused associations in MH or modular homes. While many walk hand-in-hand publicly with MHI, that doesn’t mean that off the record (or sometimes, rather publicly, on the record), they agree with all that MHI does.

In fact, a MHARR member reminded me recently they exist precisely because decades ago, their members didn’t feel properly represented by MHI, and so they formed their own group that exists to this day.

chess-check-mate-end-game-credit=wikicommons-mhpronews-com-

What is the MHI End Game?

Do you play chess? If not, ask a good chess player you know to explain “the opening, middle and end game,” or read up on it on a source such as Wikipedia.  MHPros, would be and current investors, media, and outside but interested parties often ask your Masthead  scribe,

  • What is MHI’s end game?

Others may ask similar, but differently,

  • what are the short, mid and long term goals for MHI?

To maintain balance, let it be known that MHI does put out a few statements every month. They do put out an annual or periodic “score card” on their lobbying efforts and results. Whenever we publish a guest column, like Jason Boehlert‘s on behalf of MHI, or other articles on/by MHI that are featured, they are routinely well read.

But that is the flip side of another common comment (complaint?). “MHI fails to communicate often or clearly on key things in a fashion that keeps the industry-at-large informed.” I’ve had MHI members – who aren’t dual MHARR members – say that MHARR out-communicates MHI.

I frankly hear concerns from those within MHI’s ranks to exactly these and other points raised in this column. So these aren’t whines from the side-lines by the disgruntled, rather they are water-cooler, email, phone, dinner and bar talk by MHI members and beyond.

Concerns on some topics related to MHI are so hot that I think it prudent not to mention them specifically at this time. The goal today isn’t to pen a post that looks like a nuclear attack – remember, we’re about solutions, not problems here – so let’s focus on the concerns in general and see where those lead us, okay?

identify-issues-focus-on-solutions-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

“Inexplicable!”

“Tony, some of what MHI does or fails to do is maddeningly inexplicable.”

None of this is to throw rocks, because I’m on an MHI board too. It’s shared because pros in our industry – or those keenly interested in MH and our future – often shake their heads in wonder.  

My private response is there are certainly good efforts like HR 1779/S 1828; MHI and the leadership deserve credit for getting more traction on these than any other legislation to date I’m aware of to “reform the reform” of Dodd-Frank. That’s not to be taken lightly! So let’s be fair. There are successes.

But there are state associations that – objectively speaking – are arguably doing a better job with often more limited resources than the national.

To be more specific would be unfair, but to say those associations are routinely engaged with MHI makes the point I also make in private. Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Whatever is missing or is wrong, let’s work together to fix and improve it.

We have to improve what is good, and fix what is lacking.

I’m not going to offer a specific set of suggestions or conclusions; that’s up the leadership and industry members like yourself.

We as industry pros will make it through this rebirthing period, regardless if MHI makes changes or doesn’t. Our MH industry will grow, period and exclamation point!

Individual companies will continue to thrive (or not), based upon their corporate efforts and those of other associations.

hari-kari-silverdoctors=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

Hari kari – image credit, silverdoctors.

So unless we collectively commit dishonorable ‘hari kari,’ Manufactured and Modular Homes are going to play a key role in the future of American Housing.

But if MHI listen to and adapts, as these voices suggest, many more will prosper and benefit and will do so more rapidly.

If they fail to address the growing chorus of quietly voiced concerns, nature abhors a vacuum. ##

blue-dividing-line-mastehead-mhmsm-com-

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-building-washington-dc-masthead-mhpronews-com-_light-Footnote 1)

We could point to a number of comments in writing or via video that underscore the fact that MHI thinks we are “fair and balanced” here at MHProNews  in our coverage and are pro-industry in all of our work.

Examples are the closing comments on videos with prior MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer, or MHI President Dick Jennison; or in writing by others – many are MHI members at this link – that make that point.

Many interviews with industry leaders, who often sounded off on such issues (but may not mention MHI by name), are linked here.

Footnote 2)

Along the lines of industry education and events, ironically, MHI has brought in fine speakers like Chris Fisher of Drucker Worldwide, or author Ken Segall of Apple marketing fame. Watch and listen to their interviews, and then ask the question. “6 months later, which of these suggestions has MHI publicly taken up?”

Footnote 3)

Let me partially answer that last question by saying that the MHI Supplier’s Division has taken up the issue of image in a proposed video project, as is reflected in MHI’s own annual meeting report, linked here.

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

(Image credits: WikiCommons, MHProNews and silverdoctors)

Editor’s Note:

Your Invitation to Sound Off!

We are routinely asked to ‘push’ MHI on this or that topic, and routinely refrain from doing so  for a variety of reasons.

With this column, we’ll see if:

  • others who’ve asked me to sound off for them will now come forward more clearly and directly in their own public statements on what they think MHI needs to do,

  • or if MHI will come forward and answer some of these questions and concerns publicly to the industry, or

  • if MHI leaders will privately meet and resolve these and others festering concerns.

The point is, nature abhors a vacuum.  Timely solutions are needed, or multi-billion-dollar opportunities will be missed.

Change will come, the question is how, when and with what results?

In fairness and closing, we know from our sources that MHI is and has been exploring options (some I’d agree with, others…?) but they’ve opted as of this point-in-time to hold those discussions very close to the vest.

Comments on this or other topics of industry interest – or or off the record – may be sent to this linkAs always, comments are those of the writer, not necessarily reflective of sponsors or our parent firm.

If you opt to sound-off via email, please make it clear from your subject line if the comment is On the Record or Off the Record; thank you in advance as always for your tips, thoughts and insights. ##

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


The Messy Manufactured Housing Industry Re-birthing Process

October 15th, 2014 No comments

Financing. Affordable housing demand. Regulations. Tiny Houses. Consolidation (wanted and otherwise). RV Industry seeking definition clarifications on “Manufactured Housing.” Opportunities mixed with Challenges.

us-navy_nurse_prepares_mom_c-section-wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-These are just some of the fluid dynamics facing manufactured housing today.

Any birth is ‘messy,’ and a breach birth needing a c-section perhaps more so. This comes to mind as industry pros and observers sound off publicly and privately about the industry’s painfully slow-but-steady roughly 5 year uptick.

The pace of new home sales growth can and MUST be accelerated, so say certain pros to the Masthead, or else we’ll see more businesses die a painful and potentially avoidable death.

ELS’ Sam Zell spoke of the confidence they have in MH and MHCs, and we have had similar confidence in MH too which began before our launch of MHProNews, or more recently, MHLivingNews.com. Duh, of course! We knew there was a struggle ahead, we launched to be part of the solution.

But the times have been and are messy.

There are those who say that the industry is being held back as much by the industry itself than by outside forces. They’d say, we’ve met the enemy and he is us.

Others have a list of reasons why MH has progressed, but why it isn’t doing better. Sorry, some of those reads like CYA excuses.

Look at Champion, which is growing, or Adventure Homes - growing, or Deer Valley, which attracted new capital.

Creativity? It’s not coming, it’s here!

1) We hope to have a column for you soon from a forward thinking industry pro that anticipated a mainstream story out today about using vacant parking lots for manufactured or modular mini-homes, to address municipal affordable housing demand.

2) Outdated MHCs (aka, older “mobile home parks”) are getting attention they haven’t had in years; not from developers looking to place big box stores or multi-family housing (that’s still happening too), but rather from the encouraging sign of investors buying them to fix them up and turn them into more desirable properties.

Opportunities abound, but closures and consolidations of various kinds are coming. We hear whispers about programs and firms that could vanish or be absorbed, even as the industry is regaining market share and total sales, with more growth to come.

15-minutes-daily-mhpronews(2) (2)

The point is there is a high cost to low volume sales. We have the ability to rapidly – and sustainably – double or more our new home sales, but it will require changes of approach. It’s about time more firms start seriously investing in growth!

Programing note

latest-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-

Starting last Thursday, we began testing a new style on the Daily Business News, which has long been popular. Readership has already taken a noticeable jump! Please take a look and let us know your thoughts, thank you.

The new birth – rebirth – of manufactured housing is coming. Together, we advance. ##

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

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


Removing the Blinders – The Profitable Power of more Knowledge

October 11th, 2014 No comments

It is self evident that:

  • customer satisfaction,

  • input from the market,

  • knowledge from experts and veterans from inside and outside the industry passed onto industry professionals,

are all necessary elements for the growth and advancement of manufactured housing.

take-a-bite-out-of-apple-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

Would Apple be as huge as they are today if they lacked happy customers, insights into the markets’ current and future desires, needs and budgets?

Or could Apple dominate if they lacked the information from experts – in and out of their firm’s ranks – needed to anticipate and respond to the ebb and flow of the market and regulations? Two letter answer, no!

We need to learn and mimic those who earn more.

mh-could-be-bigger-than-smart-phones-and-tablets-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

The smartphone market in the U.S. is some $41 billion a year. Look at this growth curve, courtesy of Statista.

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Our industry needs to rub the sleep out of its eyes! Today, ours may be a ‘small,’ or “boutique industry as MHI Chairman Nathan Smith has referred to it. But the needs of a nation demanding quality affordable living. In the U.S. alone, we have a 1 trillion dollar a year housing market.  U.S. Housing is 41 times the size of the smart phone market in 2014!

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Credit: blahdyblahblahblahg blogspot.

What do we need to grow factory built housing to its true potential?

1) First, happy customers, which for the most part, studies like this suggests we already have. That said, we need the reality of happy home owners to be more widely known. We also need to create more of them!

2) Along side that, we need to feed the front line, middle and upper management alike with timely information, inspiration and innovation that creates confidence and insights leading to growth. 

Hoarding knowledge starves minds which have a natural desire to know!  By contrast, sharing experience and information is the proven path for career satisfaction and progress.

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It should go without saying that the more you understand a career or subject and it’s relationship to others, the greater the Opportunities.

Manufactured-home

We believe in the future potential of our industry. So do legendary investors like Warren Buffett and Sam Zell. That’s why we launched this platform, and why 5 years ago we made the “Two Words Case for Why Manufactured Housing Would Survive and Thrive!”

These are among the reasons why we at MHProNews  are taking another evolutionary step in MH trade publishing – to offer enhanced insight to pros like you – and your peers.  That in turn fuels the ability for you and others to earn more. Please check these examples below out!

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http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/mbas-lobbying-seeks-to-ease-cfpbs-mortgage-regulations/

Friends of ours in the Association world will look at the above link and see critical facts they’ll get or are already passionate about.

But more need to understand, all for the purpose of fueling business growth!

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This next news article is a mix of threat and opportunity for MH. Understanding the issue better, could lead to informed decisions that grow our industry.

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/congressmen-stutzman-and-walorski-back-in-bill-distancing-rvs-from-manufactured-housing-definitions/

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Please read Steve Lefler’s related commentary:

What’s Happened to the HUD Code Manufactured Housing Industry?

Then look at this news article and video below. Are MH firms and associations missing a huge chance to leverage these trends and developments into tens of thousands of more manufactured and modular home sales?

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/canadians-mini-dwellings-video-report-on-north-of-the-border-tiny-house-movement/

We Provide. You Decide.” 

 

 

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If you’re in the largest, smallest or in-between size business or organization in MH, you should want your firm to succeed. In an industry our size, that means you want to see others like yours behave and do well.

You can’t forge that outcome solo.

But in concert with others – networking and learning at live association events – like the FMHA’s fine annual gathering in Orlando this past week! – plus a healthy dose of good pro-industry trade journalism, you can.

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Thousands like you are already logging on 15 minutes a day here on this site. We thank all those – and those still writing in – for the 5th anniversary congratulatory messages – samples of which are linked here. We can only do this in concert with others, so we walk the talk being shared!

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7 minutes a day at MHLivingNews.com is critical for you and your team too. Business is being closed by pros learning to link or show stories on this pro-industry, public focused website. But your team can’t do that if you and they don’t know the content personally.

More firms are supporting these efforts with content and advertising that makes these 24/7 resources possible. Together, we advance the cause of factory built housing in America.

Alone, anyone is more likely to stumble, fall and then who will help us up?

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Open your eyes…Credit 123RF

Together, we can tap more of a 1 trillion dollar a year U.S. housing market. Would you rather feast, or settle for the scraps that fall off the table?

Synergistic Collaboration is a key to a brighter future. That takes knowledge shared, which you will find here in abundance.

We are calling you and all others to join the effort, by sharing knowledge, commentary and yes, advertising support that allow us to continue to deliver and grow MH’s runaway #1 Industry News Tips and Views Pros can Use.

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This finale may sound ambitious to some, but no more so than what the RV-MH Hall of Fame is also accomplishing via zest, gusto and leadership! A million dollars a year invested here for 2 years by the industry pros and organizations would exponentially grow the factory-built housing’s image, education and results. That’s a modest $1,000 a month for 24 months by 100 firms or organizations.

By the way, that’s a tiny fraction of what the GoRVing campaign invests right now, and a reason why more expensive RVs outsell MH by 5 to 1. They are recreational, we in MH are a necessity! Do you see more of the true MH potential?

Together, yes we can grow this industry and YOUR career and business performance!

More, soon. Until then, think – All for One and One for All.  That mantra applied daily to MH would take us to record heights. ##

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By LATonyKovach.com

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


Dodd-Frank Fatigue, Rebellion and Organized Resistance

October 8th, 2014 No comments

Before launching this commentary on fatigue, rebellion and resistance to Dodd-Frank, SAFE and their regulators, let’s state the obvious for the record. No where in manufactured housing trade journalism do you find more compliance-focused columns: be it Fair Housing, finance or other legal topics. We don’t have to agree with a law – like Dodd-Frank, which some understandably see as grossly unConstitutional – to say that the path of prudence suggests compliance while working to change the law.

dont_tread_on_me_rally-to-restore-sanity-wikicommons-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-That said, let’s look at comments from the rebellious…

1) …some frankly scoff at the idea that Dodd-Frank is being complied with.

2) There has also been quiet talk that includes the concept of setting up ‘test cases’ that would directly challenge the constitutionality of Dodd-Frank, SAFE and the regulators thereof.

3) Some want to fly under the radar, not because they may have this or that political agenda, but because they were allowed to do this legally before, why not now?

4) Others point to the fact that the very survival of their business model – from their perspective – is at risk. In life or death, some will opt for life even if they violate some new regulation in the process.

Born free in the U.S.A., these matters tends to tug at my heart strings, how about yours?

How much is too Much?

For some, the question of non-compliance is “practical.” How much interest is too much? How many or large a rate hike by MH Communities (aka mobile home park) on their site fees are too much?

Remember, don’t shoot the messenger! This isn’t taking sides, the commentary reflects real talk in various places and with significant numbers of pros like yourself.

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Associations and Resistance

Associations naturally tend toward legal action, to work within the system, to resist, modify or change laws.

On the Masthead, we have and will advocate that Industry pros avail themselves of the benefits and wisdom found in associations. Fresh from the Florida Manufactured Housing Association’s annual meeting, I can tell you that they are a fine example of top shelf efforts to Protect and Promote MH. More of a recap on that event soon.

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For those who say associations are dominated by the big boys, well then work within the system (…if you feel that call…) to organize the voices to re-balance the scales. We haven’t just said people should do stuff, we are walking the walk and believe that is how all progress takes place – identify an issue, give it appropriate thought then real action!

My own sense has been that any firm – be it small, medium or large – who “get it” on associations benefit from being actively engage with them far more than the cost of their dues.

All that said…

The popularity of our coverage Industry in Focus special on the CFPB report and resulting controversies suggests that many are keen to be engaged in this struggle against a regulator whose power and rep pockets are unprecedented in American history. Congress can hold hearings, they can make calls and write letters to Cordray, but as the CFPB is currently organized, they can’t cut off funding without changing the law.

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15-minutes-daily-mhpronews(2)

Overnight, this became the top read on MHProNews:

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/industry-news/industry-in-focus/8460-cfpb-report-alleges-manufactured-housing-lending-is-expensive-sparks-controversial-comments-from-cfed-mhi-and-other-mh-industry-professionals

While it is too soon to tell, media polling suggests that if the midterms where held today, the U.S. Senate would tilt 52R and 48D. If that’s so, expect more pressure on the CFPB once the new Congress is seated.

The legal resistance to Dodd-Frank is ongoing, not only from MH but from other industries as well. In less than 4 weeks, we may know how the new House and Senate will break down. One hunch we hear is that we could see a pivot by the CFPB if it break Republican in both chambers. We may soon see! ##

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By LATonyKovach.com

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


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