Shaking up False Narratives and the Manufactured Housing Revolution

November 26th, 2014 No comments

News and the media can be a force for good or ill. Media can -news-is-bad-good-shutterstock-cooltext-

  • give voice to the voiceless,

  • be an instrument of deception,

  • be used for evil or oppression,

  • be used to promote the good, including freedom and prosperity,

  • have an agenda that transcends business, politics or any other topic.

Shaking things up

Manufactured housing has for decades fallen victim to false narratives about our product and businesses. But how you break through all that noise in a practical way?

Answers – solutions – for profitably unlocking the closed doors are forthcoming.

Recognizing Reality

For those in the trap of a false narrative, how do you open their mind?

How do you show people the reality that is, vs. the false impression that may be commonly held, but isn’t real? This is a critical topic for MH, one that leaders must deal with. Here is a hint, it goes beyond image, as important as that subject is.

Incidents like U.S Bank pulling the plug on MH direct lending should sends a signal to all, but don’t misread that and don’t try reading that event in a vacuum.

But it’s a cautionary tale, and some connected with Arlington and DC are exploring how they think they can use that with the CFPB. More on that one another time.

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Our Stories Told Our Way

Anyone that says that media is free of bias or agenda is…well…to be polite, mistaken.

MSNBC has an editorial slant, so too –

  • Fox,

  • CNN,

  • ABC,

  • CBS,

  • NBC,

  • the New York Times,

  • the New York Post, etc..

Part of the genius of the Drudge Report is that it spans the gamut of media, yet headlines its way into news nuggets that with other insights can paint a picture.

But the point is where are Manufactured and Modular Housing’s story tellers?

They are here, but out there too. Most of the story telling today comes from the lame-stream, err, mainstream media.

The local and national news is influencing your staff, your co-workers, your investors and you. They can spin a story on politics, religion or housing.

The media spins a story on MH, costing us tens of billions of dollars a year. How much of that could have gone into your bank account?

Revolutionary Advantages

Because our parent company – LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – and through sister operations, we –

  • help recruit,

  • hire and

  • do training for manufactured and modular home operations.

So we routinely hear from people in and out of MH. We hear from customers and home shoppers. We get the sense of the pulse that many may not have.

Because our sister and synergistic allies do

  • marketing,

  • websites,

  • videos,

  • finance,

  • copywriting and more,

we get feedback and can gauge responses to messages.

Because we ask questions and listen to customers and professionals like you, we see and hear things others might not. Such facts don’t mean we’re perfect, but listening, actively questioning narratives and the bullets shown are amazing advantages.

  • We communicate with, ask questions, challenge and listen to those in the media.

  • We talk to and engage the non-profits that some (mistakenly) think are our enemy.

  • We talk with housing professionals NOT in MH, and those who are more savvy about the realities of MH.

As one industry executive said, “you” (meaning, us – MHProNews et al…) “are the voice and face of manufactured housing” to ever greater numbers in and outside of MH.

These and other factors gives us advantages beyond our apparent size. David slew Goliath, because he knew how to wield that rock in his slingshot.

So having the largest audience in manufactured housing matters.

More on why and what that means to you and organizations or careers like yours in the near term.

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Test Market Marketing

Focus groups are just one way of doing test marketing. Put a product or message out there, and see how people respond to it. Promote a perspective, and see if readership goes up, down or stays the same. Information – knowledge – is potential power.

Patience and persistence pays.

In our video interview with Jim Clayton, there is a gold mine of insights. Certainly, there are tons of insights in each of the videos we’ve done. You can google those Inside Manufactured Housing Videos, or wait until we link up all those videos for you another day…

…and share them in a powerful, revolutionary way.

What is a Revolution?

Words have meanings, and sadly, many are distorted or misunderstood. “Radical” – for example – doesn’t mean what millions think. A radical goes to the root of an issue, the heart of the matter.

Googling “revolution,” you’ll find the following:

rev·o·lu·tion

/revəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/

noun

1. a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.

2. an instance of revolving.

But must a revolution be “forceable?”

I say, it need not be so! The Berlin Wall tumbled with nary a shot fired. Apple created revolutions with products like iPod, iPhone and iPad. Take out the word “force” – and use this definition:

Revolution:

A dramatic change in the social, political, economic or religious order

in favor of a new system.

Testing Revolutions – large or small…

Since last summer, we’ve taken a more robust approach to the Daily Business News (DBN). Investors, media, professionals in-and-out of MH, international readers, public officials (elected and appointed) are responding.

We know, because we have the statistics.

The year-over-year jump is serious. If your business was growing the way ours is, well, you’d be smiling all the way to the bank and back.

That is the point. We want operations like yours, not surviving or sinking, but thriving.

That’s a key part of the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

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Sunday Morning Weekly Recap

Individuals professionals, businesses and associations of all kinds will be key players. So too parties seen as “outside” MH, but that have the power and capital to change MH for good…

…and they will, forever.

Goliath thought himself invincible. Jim Collins wrote an amazing series of books on business, including How the Mighty Fall. Arrogance, complacency, believing in the status quo are among the factors Collins – and his team of university researchers – said caused those in one time positions of economic power to tumble.

Where will the Revolution Occur?

Online is where the Revolution for freedom from false narratives begins, but it continues in offices, plants, fields and in homes.

Operations and pros like yours can be – or are – a part of that liberating movement.

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Combine the factors noted above with our one-of-a-kind public-focused sister site – MHLivingNews.com – and you have platforms and insights unlike anyone else in MH has. And, Oh! That is NOT meant to disrespect anyone else! It-is-what-it-is, nothing more, but nothing less.


Reality Is

Reality is. Insanity isn’t just doing the same things the same way, and hoping for a different result. Insanity is a break with reality.

Opening the door to reality for ourselves and others is how the MH Industry advances.

When Apple first rolled out their iPods and iPhones, they began revolutions. Good ones. They blazed a trail.

We – you, us and other forward thinkers – can too.

Thanksgiving and then December

The many new Featured Articles for our December 2014 issue are almost upon us.

  • We will roll out another A Cup of Coffee with… an industry leader you will be keen to hear from, because they have success and insights they freely share.

  • We will have updates on Louisville – and what will happen at the rapidly approaching 2015 L’ville MH Show could rock Manufactured Housing ahead…

  • …for those who are there and will “get it.”

  • For those trapped in false narratives, we will reveal how those doors are opened.

  • We will showcase how a business, organization or career like yours can grow and prosper.

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. We are all more like those starving pilgrims than some realize. The pilgrims needed those native Americans to show them how to survive and then thrive. They needed each other. We do too.

Working together with like minded and forward thinking pros, we can thrive too.

In December and early January – here and in Louisville- you will see what the future can hold for operations and careers like yours.

In the mean time, please check out our other blogs on MHProNews – including the quite revolution on the Daily Business News. Because others are by the thousands. That may be a clue that you should check in for 15 minutes a day there too.

Please see the Inspirations Blogand scroll through a series of Thanksgiving and other thought provoking or inspirational items. Happy Thanksgiving to all, see you back here for Sunday coffee and more? ##

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-building-washington-dc-masthead-mhpronews-com-_light- (1)(Image credits: Shutterstock and MHProNews)

See updated links, bottom right of LATonyKovach.com, and happy thanksgiving to you and your loves ones.

 

 

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
 


Ending an Era in Manufactured Housing

November 21st, 2014 No comments

The rumblings have gone on for some time, revolving around issues like timing. The whispers were heard earlier this year. The decision was informally made last summer. The formal announcement came yesterday.

When you have such a major change, as an organization or as its leader, you don’t make the decisions lightly.

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Danny Ghorbani, the first and only president of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), has announced his retirement. The news brief is linked here, which specifies he will be involved at some level as a consultant.

Friends and those from across the spectrum will all agree. This is change is not to be understated!

The changing of the guard at MHARR is a significant event for all of manufactured housing.

Giving Danny his Due

Anyone that ever dealt with Danny never forgets the man. Danny has strong, faithful loyalists. He is in the RV MH Hall of Fame for good reasons.  Even his opponents admit he is perhaps among the strongest on many details of the HUD Code, the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000), etc.. His background in engineering is part of that expertise.

Those outside of MHARR must acknowledge that the longevity and continuity of that organization compared to many others is quite remarkable.

For example. Compared to the the tenure of MHARR staff, MHI looks like a revolving door – where once again – yet another staff member is leaving MHI this year. That’s not a slam on MHI, it is simply a fact.

After some 4 decades of working in the manufactured housing industry, Danny has earned a good retirement. As the MHARR press release stated, he isn’t exiting the stage completely, he will continue on as a consultant for MHARR. Perhaps over time, Danny may consultant for others in the manufactured housing industry.

One question might be, will Danny do a book someday?

Past Turbulence

While yours truly is writing as an independent publisher, MHARR members like to remind me, that I sit on one of the boards at MHI. That statement is true enough.

That said, in news and in commentary, we’ve kept many a secret for MHI (or people there), just as we’ve kept a lid on this MHARR transition announcement and other ‘secrets.’  

There are plenty of examples for both associations (and others in MH) of our ‘failure to report’ some details at certain times.  Those failures to report are for reasons intended to respect the organizations. as well as what we hope is the good of the industry at large.  

We’ve not shied away from bringing to light issues for either group, when we thought necessary.  The point is, we strive to be ‘fair and balanced,’ and our readers generally seem to think we do that well in a tough industry.

It’s no secret that Danny and I have had our share of disagreements over the years. But disagreements – even passionate ones – ought not deter people of good will from seeing reality or working with each other.  Danny and I have and still know how to get along!

Just as politicians or attorneys might vigorously fight for their respective causes, the best among those professionals can still have a friendly drink or meal after hours. Some opponents are even friends.  Mutual respect is a given.

So our team’s and my personal wishes to Danny, Mark Weiss, MHARR and all those connected and touched by this transition are only for the best for all of them and for our industry.  champaign-toast-by-w-flickrcreativecommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-247x-

If Danny is in Louisville – and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t! – I’ll try to be the first to buy the man a drink!

M. Mark Weiss, JD, and the Future of MHARR

The 411 news brief on M. Mark Weiss, incoming President and CEO of MHARR is linked here.

It is not unusual after this kind of major transition that the first few months of the new CEO be something akin to what occurred under the outgoing president.

While I don’t speak for Mark, what I’m hearing is that we can in time expect changes. What those might specifically be, and when they will start to be manifest, time will tell.

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There is a possibly significant change that Danny himself may announce in December before leaving the MHARR office as its president and CEO.

We will of course watch for statements from MHARR in the days ahead.

There is plenty more that might be said, but let’s conclude today as we began.

This is an important event for all of manufactured housing. Danny has fought for preemption, to keeps costs down on homes and to keep the regulatory barriers as reasonable as possible during thought times in DC.  More recently, he’s fought for pro MH GSE reform and financing related issues.

Let’s raise a glass, wish him well and all work for the advancement of the cause of quality, appealing affordable Manufactured Homes, just as Danny has strived to do for so many years. That’s the best testimonial we can possibly give the gentleman! ##

(Image credit: Joe and W/FlickrCreativeCommons, and MHProNews)

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
 


Fines, Choke-holds and Roadblocks to Progress

November 19th, 2014 No comments

It isn’t just manufactured housing (MH), but to those of us who are doing day-to-day work in this business, sometimes it can feel like regulations by federal, state and local governments are aligned against us. Financing, zoning, over-regulation or a variety of kinds could be mentioned. Let’s look at some recent news and consider what it means to MH.

Hefty Fines for LO Comp Rule Violations

For those who think that its only major lenders and banks that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be going after, think policecar-scott-davidson-flickrcreativecommons=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-450x299twice after reading this news report.

Hefty fines prove risks of Violating the CFPB’s LO Comp Rules

What the CFPB has proven in roughly the last 2 years is that they will go after operations of most any size that comes under their scrutiny.

Are you doing captive finance? Are you referring customers to lenders without an LO license?

We will have an exclusive MH lender’s take on related issues in the days ahead.

choke-hold-quan-ha-flickrcrativecommons=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-450x577Roadblocks to Small Businesses?

Most of the manufactured housing industry is made up of small businesses. So the following report should be of keen interest to virtually everyone connected to the industry.

You Shouldn’t have to be a lawyer to run a business in America today

The high cost of doing business in America keeps going higher. Are we going to allow a combination of federal, state or local officials to choke off free enterprise?

Remember, since some 60% of all private sector jobs come from small businesses, so even big business needs small business for a healthy economy.

You can’t make this stuff up…

Since Bill Clinton famously said the era of big government is over, we’ve had back to back presidents who have proven that statement wrong. First, President Bush and then big-government-on-steroids President Obama have given us a close look at what big government in action looks like.

Industry veterans and long time readers here will know that the FHFA has so far prevented the GSE’s from fulfilling their Duty to Serve quinn-dombroski-flickrcreative-commons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-manufactured housing and underserved markets under HERA 2008. We are still blocked from accessing the secondary markets for finance. So private lenders who keep loans into portfolios explain that it is simple math that causes the rates on “home only” (Personal property or chattel) loans where they currently are.

The CFPB seems to think that makes MH lenders evil! Yet go around the corner in DC to another federal building, and the fact that higher premiums for the FHA loan program to offset risks and losses is somehow okay?

FHA loan performance and fund improving, report replete with irony for Manufactured Housing Lenders

Help me, please! Let me see if I understand this, would you? Our MH lenders can’t have rates too high, because we’ll be labeled, tarred and feathered. But the same principle applied to federal FHA loans is good for the people?

Level the playing field, says Amy Bliss and DJ Pendleton. Here on the Masthead, we agree.

There is a path to turning the tide back to saner, less intrusive and more responsive government. We believe MH can play a serious role in that process. More on that in the days ahead. ##

(Image credits: FlickrCreativeCommons)

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
 


Comical, but not funny – Manufactured Housing, Lending and Industry Crossroads

November 15th, 2014 No comments

There are phone calls, and then there are great calls. One of the latter this week was a pro who told me that the cartoon character Dilbert was his favorite management consultant.

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Here is some of what Dilbert has to say about being in a “niche market.”

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get-your-mind-out-of-your-niche-dilbert=credit-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-

Cartoon credits: Dilbert.

I laughed reading these cartoon panels because we have a number of industry pros who are using the term “niche market” or similar terminology to describe manufactured housing.

Do they realize that when they say ‘niche market’ in a trillion dollar a year U.S. housing industry, that they’re admitting they are going after the crumbs instead of pulling up a chair for the great feast possible?

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Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.

There is nobility in serving the poor, retired or working class. If that is all we could do as an industry, we should hold our heads high! Everyone deserves a good place to live.

But what’s the harm reaching out to the hundreds of millions who can afford to buy bigger, nicer homes, as well as serve the economically challenged?

Isn’t it logical to do ‘all of the above,’ – low, middle, high – instead of just some? The article linked at the end below gives 6 million reasons why we should be doing more than sub-70,000 annual new HUD Code manufactured home shipments this year.

Blinders! Head in the Sand!

head-in-sand-wikicommons-dilbert=credit-posted-masthead-mhmsm-com-There are times when I could laugh – or cry – at the amazingly experienced people in MH who seem to think that all we can do is sell our cheapest MH homes to souls who are difficult or unable to get credit qualified.

By contrast, we see some nicer 55+ MHCommunities – which may sell 6 figure manufactured homes on a land lease – selling to the middle class, or in some markets, selling MH to millionaires – so its doable.

Hello MHville managers and leaders? Are you really seeing the full picture, or just a narrow part?

When others in MH prove they can do X, why can’t more people in YOUR market believe they can do that too?

In fact, don’t be surprised if people in your state are doing now what some in your organization think can’t be done. That’s why we’ve said for years that all that is needed to advance MH is within our collective grasp.

Trying to hoard the pie, shrinks it. Sharing knowledge and resources to market and train sales pros for 21st century home selling, that is where growth for all will come to pass.

MH Lender Clarification

Before digging deeper, a clarification on the U.S. Bank exit from MH direct lending topic from Wednesday’s Masthead. Others ‘soon to be exiting the business’ reference in that column was not meant to suggest other MH lenders are getting ready to pull the plug. A close look at that post makes it clear we suggested that exits/consolidation would be builders and others. In fact, there is talk of one (or more) new lenders entering/growing their MH market presence.

If you missed the news, or need to reference those facts/comments – here it is:

http://mhpronews.com/blogs/tonykovach/bank-vault-door-closes-on-manufactured-housing-lender/

The lesson from the U.S. Bank exit is the same as any other MH exit from MHville that is avoidable. We must grow our collective new home business. We must collectively escape up. It can be done, is being done here and there already and is BEST done synergistically.

The Enemy is Us?

Proverbs 29:18 is translated by some this way, “Without prophetic vision, the people perish…”

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Credit: Pogo.

We need to realize that without internal changes – within the ranks and leadership of our industry – we’ll only limp along. Yes, we’re five years into a recovery, but a tepid recovery in what Marty Lavin calls HUDville.

Without change, MH will continue to chase the crumbs that regulators, politicos, economics and market conditions will continue to make harder to to survive on, much less thrive upon.

$70,000 pirce difference-manufactured-home-community-copyright-mhpronews-posted-masthead-blog-

hud-code-manufactured-housing-cartoon-copyright-2014-mhpronews-posted-masthead=blog

Credits: MHProNews.

Your Masthead scribe has spoken to pros whose organization used to sell hundreds of homes a year; now they are down to a trickle. Why?

I hear the justifications for doing rentals in MHCs, and certainly understand the regulatory motivations (fear) for doing it. But isn’t it far better to sell homes – the classic MHC business model of owner occupancy vs. rentals – than lease manufactured homes? Can’t we get credit qualified buyers to move into ABC MHCommunity?

surajit-paul-flickrcreativecommons=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-475-309-The MHCrossRoads

Intersections, crossroads and parking lots are the most dangerous places when driving.

But they’re also a necessary way of getting from where you are to where you want to be.

Drivers who understand the ‘rules of the road,’ traveling the highway together, can go faster and farther than those who drive solo on a lonely path.

Specific thoughts on the route forward is outlined in this column.

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Credit Cartoon Clips.

The theme for L’ville 2015 is the Road to Success. We will flesh out more details for all those who attend the free related business building sessions at the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. Traveling that road can be almost as much fun as laughing all the way to the bank. ##

(Related link – 6 million Reasons Manufactured Housing Sales Should Grow Now)

(Credit for unmarked images: Wikicommons and FlickrCreativeCommons respectively.)

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
 


Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

November 12th, 2014 No comments

We’ve heard for some time the whispers about the now announced closure of U.S. Bank’s indirect manufactured housing lending program. To protect sources, we’ve been unable to do more than hint before today about what is now a done deal. We didn’t have a date, but knew it was ‘coming.’ What does this mean for manufactured housing lending?

bank-vault-door-closed-credit=flickr-creative-commons-This is “one way to avoid Dodd-Frank and all the other crap” was one message that hit our inbox today, as reaction to the U.S. Bank announcement began to come in.

Professional Warranty Service Corporation (PWSC) is another pull-out from Manufactured Housing that has taken place recently. More such moves are rumored to be coming down the pike, along with consolidations that will place more in the hands of a few.

Manufacturers tell us that consolation or closure could easily hit their sector before another 6 months goes by. While still active, giant firms like American Modern have long ago scaled back their insurance side in MH.

The High Cost of Low Volume sales in Manufactured Housing

In September, we ran this featured article:

 

 The High Cost of Low Volume

MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

We knew this was coming.

Tony, a lot of operations cut their back ends areas way back.” one client told us. “They are now trying to figure out if they are willing to ramp back up, at what risk and cost or what they are going to do.”

We agreed that a number of firms have had their guts kicked out, and they’ve dramatically lowered their expectations. Regulations are a part of the challenge, but let’s be clear, it isn’t the only one.

Another veteran told me Monday, “Tony, we have plants in our state operating at maybe 35% capacity.” Some of the commentary that followed can’t be shared at this time. When I commented to that pro that we should be doing 4 to 6 times the new manufactured home sales volume that we currently are, his two word reply? “At least.

Would U.S. Bank or PWSC have pulled out if we were shipping 300,000 to 400,000 new HUD Code MHs a year? Unlikely! Before you say something negative like, that 300,000 to 400,000 sales level be can’t done today; really? Remember RVs have a far more limited target audience and are shipping some 5 times what we are in new HUD Code manufactured homes.

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Image credit: Plus 1 Properties.

Do you think they are celebrating at the CFPB today? 2017 is just around the corner. But there could be changes to what goes on inside the CFPB’s palatial offices before the next 2 years are all said and done.

A Veritable Choir of Voices Calling for Positive Action!

Jess Maxcy at the California Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI) shared a number of items with us the past few days (thanks, Jess!), one of which will be our lead-off for this next section.

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http://www.MHProNews.com/home/industry-news/industry-in-focus/8646-back-to-the-future-for-manufactured-housing-professionals

Speaking of zoning, here is Jay Hamilton from Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) sounding off on local official trying to push ordinances restricting used manufactured homes, in violation of state (not to mention, federal) law.

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/county-violated-the-law-in-restricting-placement-of-older-manufactured-homes/

Or check out what Bob Vahsholtz, author of Dueling Curves and long time MH veteran, has to say on what he sees as the lack of national industry leadership.

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/who-represents-manufactured-housing/

Steve Lefler, Modular LifeStyles VP has some of his interesting and tongue-in-cheek commentary on the 6th Circuit Court ruling on manufactured homes.

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/a-home-built-in-a-factory-can-be-a-home-just-like-a-site-built/

DJ Pendelton, Executive Director of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association, has plenty to say about the CFPB’s recent 55 page report. DJ is always a fine writer, please read all about it, at this link below.

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/dj-quixotes-adventures-in-la-manufactured-housing/

The Wisconsin Housing Alliance’s Amy Bliss is another wise soul who points out some unique angles on what the industry’s approach might be at leveling the playing field in financing. Check out Amy’s OpEd, linked below.

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/an-analysis-of-the-atlantics-report-on-manufactured-housing-cfpb-and-mh-financing/

Industry finance expert, Dick Ernst shared a critique on the higher cost of personal property lending that some non-profits and all of the CFPB should make required reading.

http://www.MHProNews.com/home/industry-news/industry-in-focus/8597-deconstructing-the-high-cost-mortgage-loan

Last-and-not-least as a great bookend to the above, from ever-popular finance expert Marty Lavin, JD – is his latest literary foray, linked below.

http://www.MHProNews.com/home/featured-articles/november-2014/138-general-manufactured-housing-industry-topics/8577-where-are-we-now-a-second-chance.

Again, non-profits keen on financing, are you listening to what Marty has to say?

The Emerging View

When you start pulling threads from the above together, what emerges are potential elements for advancing manufactured housing to new record highs. For 5 years, we’ve said and written, manufactured housing has all of the answers it needs within our reach. Are we willing to listen to each other? Are we willing to pull together?

Or will we wait until more business closures, exits and consolation takes place? If you happen to be working for, owner of or hold stock holder in a big firm in MH remember this. The so-called big boys in our industry could easily find themselves blown out of the water within 24 months of the anticipated multi-billion dollar entry of a entry into American factory-built homes from China, Canada, Japan, OPEC nations, or the sources eying our industry from from right here in the U.S..

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Standing room only crowds at
L’ville Business Building Seminars.

If that later happens, as the top publisher, service provider and consultant, we’ll be fine – so my concern is for professional readers like you. We’re having a good year, how about you?

But it could be better for us all, right?

It’s long past time for us to learn to pull and hang together. Otherwise, a growing number will hang – and fall – separately. We’ll never get 100% to pull together, but even a modest number synergizing at first could make an amazing difference.

Want to learn how? See you in Louisville for the big Show and Seminars? ##

la-tony-kovachby 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
 


Manufactured Housing’s Moneyball – Only Challenging the Status Quo will achieve MH Potential

November 8th, 2014 No comments

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to learn the lessons of Moneyball, a movie staring Brad Pitt based on a true story of a low-dollar losing-baseball team which turned around and became winners using new thinking, science and approaches.

Before diving into a few very brief thoughts, let’s first run through some movie clips and selected quotes, while encouraging you to watch the entire movie. The quotes follow below each movie clip.

There is an epic failure to understand what is really happening.”

What I see is an imperfect understanding…” of what is happening.

Baseball’s thinking is medieval. They are asking all the wrong questions.”

We have to question everything.” – Brad Pitt, commenting about the movie.

People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons...”

The first guy through the wall always gets bloody.”dinosaurs-same-old-same-old-shutterstock-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

I believe that Science offers an answer…”

You’re threatening the way they do business…”

Threatening the way that they do things…”

Whenever that happens…the people holding the reigns…go bat sh-t crazy” when new ideas are advanced.

Anyone not tearing their team down right now, and rebuilding it using your model, they are dinosaurs.”

More than Talk, More than Thoughts, Action

We challenged the status quo of manufactured housing when we launched this industry news, tips snd views pros can use website during the lowest point in MH history.

Others, not us, said that we demonstrated the value of our resource for our key role in providing useful professional education and digital promotion via MHProNews.com.

Others, not me,praised our work as being the Industry’s best.

Others made my LinkedIn Profile consistently one of the top viewed in MH. Others – without “trading favors” – rained praise on us for our twin public and professional publishing, as well as for ourwebsite/online marketing, sales and consulting services.

You and thousands of others like you every month here have made our team the runaway #1 in MH trade publishing. Here you find the news, tips and views pros can use to boost your career and company.

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The Rewards

Being the first through the wall can indeed be painful. As in Moneyball, there are going to be mistakes made, and while the praise is for a team achievement, ultimately the mistakes rest at my feet. With MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com, the buck stops here, with me.

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But what has transpired is not just praise, but rewards for us and others too.

Our training is consistently top rated. Free sessions are rated 4 or 5 out of 5 by attendees. But paid training is routinely rated excellent 5 out of 5, or as one recent team said with their owner present, 11 out of 10 on a ten point scale.

More important, that firm saw a rise in performance the very month they started training.

Self Evident Truths

The logic of factory building is self-evident. So too the logic of using new ways to attract people with cash and better credit scores to buy ourballons-up-lightbulbman-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com- industry’s manufactured and modular homes. The fact that we can change the image at an individual or local level clearly implies we can do so regionally or nationally.

We do that without mountains of money. We do via common sense training, marketing, science. But there is nothing common about the results from doing what we do.

Manufactured and modular housing combined shipments shouldn’t be around 80,000 total, as it is today. It should be no less than 6 times that amount, at a minimum. Anyone who thinks differently needs to take Zig Ziglar’s advice and get a check up from the neck up.

Frankly, with 20 million new housing units needed by 2030, per Census Bureau based figures, why shouldn’t the bulk of those new orders be factory crafted homes?

Come Witness the Future

You can witness what we do differently at the rapidly approaching 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. We plan to bring a new-comer to our marketing and sales systems, who will share with seminar attendees live some of their experiences, and how implementing it is revolutionizing their business.

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The perfect storm of market, regulatory and “the old ways” of doing MH took us into the worst downturn our industry has ever seen. Does your organization seriously wants to continue going down that road?

Or…

Come and see first hand – or if you can’t wait, call – and see how your firm can Profitably become a part of changing MH for the better.

Don’t be dinosaur heading for extinction! Like Moneyball, it doesn’t take huge piles of money to make this happen. It starts with new l-a-tony-kovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-thinking, new approaches, confidence, forging the right team and putting them to work.

Come, see and hear for yourself. As in Moneyball, the odds are good that you’ll be glad you did. ##

(Image credits: Shutterstock/MHProNews)

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
 


Staying on Message and avoiding Gaffs – What 2014 Mid-Term Results mean for Manufactured Housing

November 5th, 2014 No comments

Republicans are +7 in the Senate, with plus 8 or 9 possible when LA’s run-off and AL voting are completed. That will be a headline in many parts of the media Wednesday as the 2014 mid-term elections saw the vaunted Democratic ground game that won in 2012 falter in Tuesday’s balloting.  

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The above and following graphic credits: CNN

You can tune into ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, MSNBC or a plethora of other mainstream media for their takes on the 2014 mid-terms. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said, “The projection of who we are had to improve...”

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While Senator Paul was speaking about the Republican brand, couldn’t that be a question poised to our MH Industry?   What we will present here is what you won’t find in the mainstream media. We will share some election facts, but then focus on take-aways that ought to be carefully pondered by manufactured housing professionals, associations and supporters.

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Congressional House races – CNN.

Facts and More Facts

  • 65% in exit polls said the country was on the wrong track.
  • In America, “We used to control events, now it’s events that control us.” said NJ Governor Chris Christie quoting voters. 

 

  • 2008 Democratic strategist David Axelrod said it was a mistake when President Obama said that his policies were on the ballot. Even after campaigning Democrats distanced themselves from president and that comment, Mr. Obama doubled down on that statement.
  • In 2010, it was Christine O’Donnell and in 2012, Todd Aiken and Richard Murdoch who turned off voters with over the edge statements. Team Obama managed to paint Mitt Romney as a heartless businessman who killed cancer patients. But in 2014, more cautious Republicans focused on fielding more ‘electable’ candidates and avoided the kinds of political gaffs that plagued Democrats in this election cycle. 
  • Rand Paul said the Clintons didn’t help in KY, IA or even their home state of AR.  Paul said he’d like to send a bill sent to the President that would bring  2 trillion dollars home to the U.S. through tax reform.
  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Republicans have won a tremendous victory, but now they have a take the second chance by voters to earn their trust. 

 

  • Voters frankly embraced President Barack Obama’s rhetoric and personality. They wanted a promised “Hope and Change.” But the majority have rejected Obama’s policies, in an election that he himself was a referendum on those policies.
  • The election results won’t make Hillary look so invincible. VP Joe Biden reminded voters that his tactical gaff of saying that Independent Greg Orman would be with Democrats may well have tilted Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) back in office, when the Roberts campaign turned the vice presidents phrase into a million robo-calls to potential voters going into the election. 

 

  • ObamaCare/ACA and Dodd-Frank/CFPB were passed without bi-partisan support. Many of the effects of those two mega-bills were tactically delayed until after the 2012. Once health premiums rose, and you couldn’t keep your doctor and health care – as promised dozens of times by the president and his supporters – 25 senators who voted for ObamaCare have been defeated since 2010.
  • David Perdue won outright in GA, in spite of being “Romneyed” by supporters of Michelle Nunn. 

 

  • The New York Times and Washington Post were correct in their thinking that the Democrats could lose on November 4th. In an upset, Republican Senator-elect from North Carolina, Thom Tillis,said to supporters:The only thing that government can provide you is what it has taken from someone else.”
  • Re-elected governor Rick Scott, said to his supporters in his victory speech, You are here to get the dream of America in the great state of Florida.”NN-governors-races-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-
  • President Obama had called for a bi-partisan, bi-cameral leadership meeting with him at the White House on Friday.
  • Big wins in governors races, the U.S. House and a clear shift of the Senate into Republican hands. 

 

  • We measure success by how many people are no longer dependent on the government.” So said Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who turned in a third statewide victory in 4 years.  
  • In every gubernatorial race that President Obama campaigned, only in PA did the candidate he supported and appeared on behalf of win.  

 

  • At 7;58 AM ET, CNN reported Republican Dan Sullivan ahead 49% to 45% over Democrat Mark Begich in the Alaska Senate race, with 73% of the vote in.
  • The question many pundits are asking, is will POTUS Obama pivot as Bill Clinton did and work with Republicans on issues ranging from taxes, regulations, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and iborder reform/immigration?
  • Democratic strategist and commentator Joe Trippi said he doesn’t think the president will pivot, “that is not his style.” Time will tell.

 

Bump going into Louisville

Billions of dollars are already chasing manufactured housing. Researchers and investors – foreign and domestic- are ‘all over’ the pages of MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com every month. We’ve been contacted by those seeking to invest in the industry. We are getting more media, academic and other not-for-profit inquiries, and can’t help but notice that federal officials are on our site by the thousands monthly.

Combine those facts, with a trend of enthusiasm, ever growing turnout and increasing business being done at the Louisville Show, it would be no surprise if the election results fuel the reassurance in the strong come back for the 2015, Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, 21-23rd of January.

The Gillespie Lesson for Politicos and Manufactured Housing, Getting and Staying on Positive Message

Regardless of your party, as a political independent, let me say that the Republican victory has to be seen in the light of the fact that their polling nationally is actually lower than the presidents. Ted Cruz is right, Republicans are being given a second chance by voters who turned away the Obama lead Democratic agenda.

By crafting a positive message, with 99.8% of the vote in, Ed Gillespie closed a 22 point gap with far less spending than on his behalf than Mark Warner enjoyed. At 8:14 AM ET, FoxNews reported:

  • Mark Warner – 49.05%, Democrat 1,072,487
  • Ed Gillespie – 48.50%, Republican 1,060,337
  • Robert Sarvis – 2.45%, Libertarian 53,594

Elections are in large part about marketing and messaging. Manufactured housing has to learn from electoral experiences that we can creatively and pro-actively cut through the noise and advance our cause. Manufactured housing is a bi-partisan issue, because quality affordable housing is trans-partisan. HR 1779 and S 1828 – or their successor bills in 2015 – are now better positioned to advance. In a trillion dollar a year U.S. Housing market, MH can, should and must pursue the messaging and paths that would advance us to success, on behalf of home owners who are overall happy with the product MH professionals provide.

We will present a more detailed thoughts on that in the days ahead. Stay tuned and be a part of the action. ##

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
 


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