The Sight of Blood

July 22nd, 2016 1 comment

This is a big boy game. You get into the process, you will get hurt, you will see your own blood. I tell people all the time, if you can’t stand the sight of your own blood, don’t run for anything.”

– Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas

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Gov. Mike Huckabee, left, Col. Allen West, right.

You Know You’re Over the Target When You’re Catching Flak.” 

– Colonel Allen West, former Congressman (FL)

Associations, Businesses and the 2016 Campaign

In industries and professional offices across the country – including manufactured, modular and other forms of factory-crafted housing – there are associations, investors and business who are preparing two sets of plans for 2017.

Oversimplifying:

  • Plan A – what they’ll do if Donald Trump and Republicans win on November 8, or
  • Plan B – what they’ll do if Hillary Clinton and Democrats win

We won’t predict the outcome of the election, because it is fair to say that circumstances exist that could land either Hillary or the Trump family at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

That said, we’ve made it no secret for months that for a wide variety of reasons, as a political independent, we support a Trump Presidency as best for America, for our industry and consumers.  Like millions, we were interested but skeptical about Mr. Trump – we were won over slowly, over time.

Trump’s the only candidate in this race who is tackling issues we’ve been raising on MHProNews  and/or here on the Masthead  blog for years.  Furthermore, we absoutely believe that Trump can win. If the cards are well played, and he’s done it so far, then it could be a landslide victory for him and his party in November.

Mr. Trump is America’s blue collar billionaire.” 

– Jerry Falwell, Jr., Liberty University

In last night’s GOP nomination acceptance speech, tens of millions of viewers watched as Mr. Trump reached out to blue collar Democrats, disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters, even the LGBTQ community, while embracing evangelical Christians and conservatives.  He wants Republicans, independents and Democrats to vote for him.  He and the amazingly diverse array of speakers this week offered their many reasons why voters should cast their ballots for the GOP POTUS nominee.

It was arguably the biggest big-tent acceptance speech of any Republican nominee in our lifetime.  Did you or I like every part of that outreach or message? Answering that isn’t even necessary, because Ronald Reagan is 100 percent correct with his “80 percent friend” comment shown below.

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And this NYTimes headline in my email this morning couldn’t have been more wrong.

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The various speakers shown above are just some examples of how wrong that New York Times editorial is, reflected in their headline above. Trump let those who know him, refute the wide variety of false claims made by the NYT or other pro-Hillary news outlets. It’s a valid, even wise, approach for a presidential candidate.

Trump didn’t defend himself, because he had waves of speakers for four days who did it for him. That’s smart. The Donald focused instead on telling the country the hard truths he sees, contrasting “crooked Hillary” with his plans; painting the biggest, boldest vision for real progress for All in Americans since Ronald Reagan faced similar conditions during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. 

Make America Safe Again. America First. MAGA!

The 2016 general election is well underway. Trump is dead-on with so many issues, as the latest (and tragic) terrorist attack reflects. IMHO, this will be the most unique election cycle so far in our lives. We’ll bring you extensive coverage about both major party conventions in the days ahead.  

We’re over the target routinely here on MHProNews, which is why we take flak.  

But we’re always willing to take those shots to shake up the issues that are harming or holding the MH Industry back. We also give others the chance to respond.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © 

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We take flak, but we can’t be faint when someone tries to bloody us for delivering hard truths; because those tough-love truths are always shared with the goal of advancing the MH Industry.We Provide, You Decide.” (C)

The new August 2016 issue of MHProNews is rushing up on us. The RV MH Hall of Fame’s annual gala is coming up fast too.

Nowhere else in MHVille will you find the breadth of balanced coverage and commentary that you do right here. For example, see DJ Pendleton’s latest, posted here. We’ll be bringing you a new A Cup of Coffee with… another long term, big time operation’s top man in our August issue.  Watch for it!

Perhaps these and more are the reasons why thousands of pros from across America – and across the globe – logon here daily by the thousands?  For an industry our size, our audience is amazing! But so is our content.  Is that why the typical guest reading articles and viewing videos here will do 8+ pageviews?  3’rd party stats tell us we have far more engagement than others in the e-publishing field typically do. 

You (or our sponsors…) may not always agree with what we publish – that’s okay – because they know we bring the eyeballs of decision makers (see link above).

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Thousands of MHProNews logon daily, and at any given time thousands may be on the site – see the home page footer’s guest counter.

So you aren’t alone when you read articles, commentary or view videos here.

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From the mom-and-pop size operations to the very biggest names in HUD-CodeMHLand, they are all right here on the Masthead  and/or MHProNews.com.  Welcome, one and all. ##

LATonyKovach-QuestioningNYSAAteam-NewYorkHousingAssociation-MHProNews-com-PhotoCreditMarkSimon--250x167

Photo taken during New York Housing Association meeting, Tony questioning regulators. L .A. “Tony’ Kovach is fighting to advance the cause of the MH Industry at large, and has for years.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading 
MHLivingNews.com,MHProNews.com
and 
Inside MH video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

LeeGreenwoodGodBlessUSAMusicVideoInterviewFoxFoxNewsMajorLeagueBaseball-credits-Posted-MHLivingNews-com575x329

See the new Lee Greenwood Music Video, at this link here…Video still credits, Fox, Fox News and Major League Baseball.

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
 


Beyond #NeverTrump, #NeverHillary-Bottom Line MHPro Realities

July 19th, 2016 No comments

What type of country do you want the USA to be? Are you or most happy with the direction things are going in America today? Do workers or independent business professionals want more of the same – the status  quo – on issues like the economy, regulation, taxes, crime or on terror?  Or are tens of millions ready for a new road ahead?

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Image credits noted below each candidate.

Bloomberg  tells us that no third party candidate has won the presidential race more than 19% of the vote in the last century.

Classroom.Synonym paints an even darker picture for third parties; no third party has ever won the White House. Its just a bit different at the state level for the governor’s office, Wikipedia states:

In the 302 gubernatorial elections since 1990...(third parties)… have won at least five percent of the vote 49 times (16%), while six candidates have won election (2%).”

So in 2016, the odds are good that you could safely bet your bottom dollar that no third party candidate is going to win the race to be the next President of the United States (POTUS). Before everyone starts throwing stones (because every party will get get tagged in this column), this post is a pure analysis through an MHPro lens.

What the above means is that it comes down to a Democrat or a Republican party nominee becoming the next president.

The last time the same major party held the Oval Office for three successive terms was Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.  That said, Hillary Clinton succeeding Barack Hussein Obama can readily be imagined. While POTUS Obama’s policies are routinely underwater with voters, his public popularity polling remains surprisingly around the 50% mark.

So it is no small thing for Secretary Hillary Clinton to have the backing of President Obama. 

CSPAN

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Photo credit, CSPAN.

I was recently reminded again that almost anyone with cable or satellite TV could watch CSPAN. So you could catch convention coverage on CSPAN without the news media filter.

If you missed the GOP Convention’s first night, we plan to post that video on the Masthead later, when it becomes available.

Not every speaker hit a home run, but there was not a single one that I watched in the Monday evening coverage that didn’t have merit – and the entire evening was a HUGE set of lessons for MH pros. We’ll review some of those below, briefly.

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Defending the Clinton Supporter and Voter

Baring the unforeseen, there will be millions who will cast ballots for Hillary. Many will do so who sincerely don’t care for Secretary Clinton, they will rather be voting against Donald Trump – ala Senator Bernie Sanders. The Masthead  absolutely defends the rights and encourages the rights of those who want to do so.

Do I think they’re mistaken? Yes.

But thank God we in America still have that right to vote – or not vote. Your’s truly not only defends the rights of all those who see the world differently, we’ve invited the #2 MH pro who’s a Hillary Supporter to sound off about why she ought to be the next president, in their own words. So far – that’s still a no-go, but we will keep trying to provide you that balanced view.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

No-Brainer?

For those who dare to think independently, is this election a clear study in contrasts? Yes.

Is it a no-brainer? To me, yes, but there are thinkers in favor of each of the candidates above, so the discernment, supporting and voting are up to you. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Let’s look at just a few items – policy positions – which MH Pros routinely care about.

ObamaCare/ACA – Hillary’s campaign says they will keep it or go beyond it; Donald Trump says he’ll repeal and replace this job killing, health-care weakening and still wildly unpopular program that POTUS Obama forced down the throats of Americans when Democrats controlled Congress. Let’s remember it was passed by what is now known to be a deliberate misrepresentations of the facts. The program is sinking of its own dead weight, but Hillary still wants it?

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Original image credit, Plus1Properties; Cartoon credit – L. A. “Tony” Kovach, (C) 2016, Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC – parent company to MHProNews.com & MHLivingNews.com.

Dodd-Frank – Hillary and Elizabeth Warren are strongly behind Dodd-Frank, and want to brook no changes. Whatever MHI says or does on Capitol Hill regarding HR 650/S 682 – which we favor – will be moot if a president won’t sign a bill into law that passes both chambers of Congress. Donald Trump says Dodd-Frank is choking off lending, hurts small business (larger ones too), and he’ll repeal it.

Regulations – Secretary Clinton is described by some as falling into the camp that she’s never met a regulation or an agency that she doesn’t fall in love with. In fairness, your Masthead  writer won’t go that far about her; but there’s no doubt she is pro-big government, and she favors most regulations almost as a matter of reflex. By contrast Donald Trump correctly says that regulations are often overly burdensome, too costly, kill jobs and America’s competitive advantage. For a related analysis,  see CEI’s study – 10,000 Commandments – linked here.

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Regulations like HUDs onerous onsite-completion rule – which both MHI and MHARR agree is bad for MH, or the pending DOE regs which MHARR opposes as an undue burden for consumers and independent businesses, these are examples of regulations that cost the industry serious money. They cut off potenitally hundreds of thousands of home buyers, per the figures used in the NAHB’s priced out report.

Trade – Do you recall the days when many builders and some manufacturers bought Chinese drywall? Can you spell, ouch?  Clinton has a long history of being pro-free trade, and Bernie Sanders hammered her on the millions of jobs that has cost the U.S.  She says she is pivoting; but she has decades of experience at saying to her audience pretty much what she thinks they want to hear, or she sweetens the bitter pill as she’s trying to do for coal miners. Trump’s view is that America needs smart trade, deals that are good for the U.S., or we don’t do them, and that we protect American jobs. In fact, Trump’s posture is America First. How does Hillary make that slogan a bad or racist thing?

Debt, Deficits, Military, Security…we won’t dive into all of those today, but it is clear to the U.S. Border Patrol that Mr. Trump’s positions are stronger, and the military is said to poll for him by a margin of 2 to 1 over Hillary. Hillary’s promises would balloon the deficit and debt; Trump at least claims to want to balance that – I’ll take his trying over her promise to do the opposite in a heartbeat. FYI, per the attached, that looks doable, see CAGW third-party download, linked here.

Democrats On GOP Stage

Last night’s GOP prime-time line up included 2 Democrats (one black, one white) who came out in favor of Donald Trump and his plans to make America safer. The mother of one of the Benghazi victims spoke. Two of the American heroes of Benghazi spoke. Men, women, Hispanic, Black, white – it was a potently diverse line up. Some where powerful, others okay, but the entire evening was insightful.

That line-up was almost like saying, Hillary and Warren, you lie when you call Donald Trump a racist or bigot. New York’s former mayor, Rudy Giuliani said as much last night.

Folks, the strategy of accusing their opposition of being racists, etc. has been the Democratic MO (Method of Operation or modus operandi  for decades.

Speaking of racist…while I’ve heard and read both jeers and cheers about Dinesh D’Souza’s upcoming movie, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party,  there is no doubt that while racism existed in both political parties, that Democrats were often KKK members and were strongly motivated by anti-black racist thinking.  

Giving credit where its due…(fair and balanced)…part of the strategic genius of Democratic strategists is turning that reality around, even though Democratic politics has proven a failure for most blacks, Hispancis and other minorities, most notably in cities like Detroit and states that are sinking under their flawed policies that effectively trap people in poverty.

The Republicans don’t get off Scott free…

For me, this primary process has been revealing. I was fascinated by Trump, before I supported him, but he wasn’t my first choice. His campaign revealed each one for who they are.

Unlike millions, I might have caught a few minutes of one of Trump’s beauty pageants or the Apprentice  – I never followed those shows of his. I knew of the real estate mogul’s book, The Art of the Deal, and his periodic appearances in the news and from his largely successful business history.

So it’s telling that when the NYTimes  tried to have ex-dates or women he knew quoted in an Anti-Trump take-down piece, that one after another of those women later came out and said he was a gentleman; contradicting what the Times published.  Those women had a good opinion of the man.

The point is we shouldn’t buy into the lies and the spin of any candidate or party. The FBI’s director, James Comey, proved quite handily that Clinton is a serial liar, and also demonstrated that she is too big to jail.

We are a nation of laws. Principles, not party, ought to lead us.

If the Donald wasn’t your first, second or third choice, I get that and respect it. But the principle of choosing the best, most viable option out there suggests that this is a no-brainer for the vast majority of business professionals. The irony is that even the crony capitalists and all those socialists out there would benefit from a Trump presidency. That’s my take, your’s is encouraged.

As a freedom and free enterprise loving political independent, let me encourage you to watch the prime time coverage of the GOP convention this week. You can watch it almost commentary and commercial-free on CSPAN, an irony for a Constitutionalist that we’ll discuss another time.

We’ll look more at #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary from time to time between now and the election, but we’ll keep our independent eyes on other industry-impacted news and events for you here too. ##

LeeGreenwoodGodBlessUSAMusicVideoInterviewFoxFoxNewsMajorLeagueBaseball-credits-Posted-MHLivingNews-com575x329

Video still credits, Fox, Fox News and Major League Baseball; to see the music video and interview, click here.

PS – Programming Notes: 1) Please check out the new, updated music video of Grammy Award winner Lee Greenwood’s Proud to be an American, God Bless the USA here.

2) Please see and share this new video test too The Aha! Moment – Entertainer’s Delight LifeStyle Model Home Video Tour

3) Matthew Silver’s Daily Business News briefs continue to be Read Hot. If you’re not already hooked, you can do soat the link above. And you can join our growing and popular list of MHProNews emailed news update readers in seconds at this link here. ###

DonaldTrumpLATonyKovach-MHI2016CongressExpo-ManufacturedHousingIndustryNews-MHProNews

Among the fun items found at C&E this year was lifesize cutouts of the 5 remaining D and R contenders for the Oval Office. As politically motivated readers know, its now down to Clinton and Trump.  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews comments on Trump/Pence, linked here.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading 
MHLivingNews.com,MHProNews.com
and 
Inside MH video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

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
 


Chris Matthew’s on Donald Trump’s VP – Gov Mike Pence

July 16th, 2016 No comments

The conventions are looming.  The general election is essentially upon us.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video could be worth far more. We’ll use these two videos to focus on national politics, as our Industry, hundreds of others professions and the hundreds of millions of people of our nation will soon be facing the most important choice for president and VP in decades.

Before we dive into Chris Matthews’ comments on Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, let me mention that for balance we’ve asked an MHI member who is a strong pro-Hillary backer to provide us with his reasons in his own words for wanting to support Ms. Clinton over Trump for president.

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Photo collage image credits = MSNBC, collage by MHProNews.com

So far, that well known figure has yet to accept the offer. Interesting, isn’t it? We will offer again, and keep you posted.

I’m not making an electoral prediction. There are too many things that could happen between now and election day.  It all comes down to turnout and how we the people cast our ballots.

To me this election is an utter no-brainer, and my truly better half has already said who we support, and why. But we want you to get a good look at reality. Be informed beyond the slogans, then vote. We Provide, You Decide. ©. ##

PS: MHProNews and MHLivingNews are working on reports that could be considered ‘explosive;’ we’ll keep you posted as those develop. ###

DonaldTrumpLATonyKovach-MHI2016CongressExpo-ManufacturedHousingIndustryNews-MHProNews

Among the fun items found at C&E this year was lifesize cutouts of the then 5 remaining D and R contenders for the Oval Office.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading 
MHLivingNews.com,MHProNews.com
and 
Inside MH video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

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
 


Warren Buffett, Manufactured Housing News & Advancement

July 13th, 2016 No comments

Warren Buffett famously said that he makes “no apologies” for the lending practices of Berkshire-Hathaway’s manufactured housing division. In fact, as MHProNews has covered, Buffett made a spirited defense on several occasions regarding the sensationalist – and some say politically motivated attacks – on Buffett’s Clayton Homes by writers Mike Baker and Daniel Wagner, published by The Seattle Times/BuzzFeed/Center for Public Integrity.

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Image credit, Wall Street Journal.

Other than a brief note at the end, let’s set aside for another time Mr. Buffett’s political views, and look solely at a few thoughts by the “Sage of Omaha,” who has the largest operations of their kind in manufactured housing. Think about what the chairman of Berkshire-Hathaway (BH) has to say, because these gems ought to cause MHPros  to sit back and think.

Kevinit seems to me that the problem with your industry is resale.” 

  • Warren Buffett

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Not lending, not lobbying, resale – says Warren Buffett – is the top problem of our industry.

Indeed, this is a revealing insight, because the resale issue impacts lending, lobbying, public perception and so much more.

How did Buffett come to that conclusion? Consider this next insightful quote:

I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.” 
― Warren Buffett

We’ve previously reported in our interviews and videos with Jim Clayton – founder of Clayton Homes – the way he related the story of how Buffet became interested in and bought the Clayton operation. Most accounts you’ll include the point that READING was a key part of that process for Buffett.

You can bet that Mr. Buffett wasn’t skimming; he reads for depth of understanding.

Too many in the world lack the discipline to read in depth, and then ponder the what and why.

Yet Buffett says his uncommon practice is a key to his success.  

Buffett has been quoted as advising investors to “only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”  Indeed, he’s kept Clayton Homes for over a decade and they keep expanding their holdings in MH, including adding to his portfolio suppliers to the MH industry. Based upon numerous verbal and written statements over the years, he’s clearly high on Kevin Clayton as well as the business.  

But has that keen insight of Buffett’s on the issue of MH resale been addressed?

Buffett’s High on MH – and Not Alone among Billionaires…

Buttett’s note alone among billionaires with an interest in factory-built housing.  Sam Zell is another with a similar fondness for manufactured homes – especially the MH Communities sector. You have got to have confidence. Once we understood the business we had absolute confidence in its future, Zell said.  

Let’s ponder a few more Buffett pearls.

Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing” 

― Warren Buffett

Reading, we’ve noted, is a key part of how BH’s chairman goes about knowing what he wants to do. Shouldn’t routine professional reading be a key part of what you and your leadership and would-be stars do too?

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Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett.

Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people.” 
― Warren Buffett

The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.” 
― Warren Buffett

Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” 
― Warren Buffett

We’ll apply the first of those last three quotes to manufactured housing another time – but the deep thinkers in MH who follow us routinely may already have a clue as to why that quote’s on the Masthead’s radar. But let’s focus today on the last two immediately above.  

 

 

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15 minutes daily on MHProNews.com and/or MHLivingNews.com ought to be the minimum for any MH manager, executive, investor owner.

Digging Out…

Buffett knows – Readers become Leaders.

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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.

Knowledge isn’t power, but knowledge is potential power. If Mr. Buffett is reading this, odds are excellent he’s nodding his head yes to most if not all of the above – and to what’s linked too. ##

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Post Script. For those with a keen eye on the 2016 presidential contest and how it will effect the economy and his business, its interesting to note the following quote from Fortune, I will predict that if either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton become president, Berkshire will do fine.” ###

l-a-tony-kovach-mhlivingnews-mhpronews-latonykovach-com-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

Tony’s the Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading 
MHLivingNews.com,MHProNews.com
and 
Inside MH video series.


MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

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
 


Dallas, Death, America and MH – Solutions are about Sound Principles + Accountability

July 8th, 2016 No comments

The shocking deaths of 5 offices in Dallas doesn’t compensate for the loss of 2 black lives at the hands of officers in LA and MN. As a Fino-Ugric-Magyar minority – that happens to looks pretty darn white – let me share this video from a black woman, and then draw some lessons for America and MH from this video and related tragedies.

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This is potent – and thought-provoking – bound to go viral.

Let’s note that Stacey Washington cut this video prior to the Dallas assinations. But the point would be the same.

America and MH

Part of our problem as a nation and as an industry, is that we’re not getting to the root issues.

Stacey’s video above on the topic of race and what ails the black community seeks to get to the root issues.  Agree with Mrs. Washington or not, she’s trying to get to what she believes are the root causes of the black community’s problems.

Similarly on the Masthead, we seek to get to underlying issues too. Dealing with surface stuff has some merit, but ideally going to the root cause is how you ultimately get to solutions.  That’s true for America, for our industry or for your business and career.

Let me share four links, and then say enjoy your weekend.

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Marty Lavin lead the Financial Services division of MHI for many years.

Marty LavinNot Enough Hunger. This may be Marty’s most poetic, powerful writing ever. Read it, and you tell me, please.

TitusDareEagleOneFinancial-postedMHProNews-50x50-Titus Dare – His new feature on the home page is the #2 new read this month (More Lending, Barriers of Entry, linked here)! But don’t miss Titus’ column on Industry Voices published just a few days earlier, entitled Dare’s Three Point Plan for Industry Recovery. Simple, yet thought provoking.

America the Beautiful.

Our industry will advance when we get to our own root issues and successfully address them.

That can be done locally, as the Fath family is demonstrating, with 800% growth – and most of achieved by selling more new, upscale homes. The Fath’s were willing to get to the root issues, and make the changes needed. Its paying off for them and their customers.

The MH Industry and America will advance by doing the same.

Get to the root issues, take responsibility – be accountable. Team up with others of good will as often as possible.

There’s plenty of industry/housing news on the Daily Business News to check out.

Until next time, pray and prepare for a better nation and industry by modeling what is needed ourselves. As Ghandi said, be the change you want to see. ##

l-a-tony-kovach-mhlivingnews-mhpronews-latonykovach-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading 
MHLivingNews.com,MHProNews.com
and 
Inside MH video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

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
 


Correcting the Record – MHI, Jennison and Gooch

July 7th, 2016 No comments

There are those who believe that certain MHProNews articles and my editorials or analysis on the “MHI Housing Alert” sent out by MHI’s Lesli Gooch under Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison’s authority are driven by a desire to do a frontal attack on the association or large companies. 

There are those who think that MHI is just shadow dancing in its claims to advance DTS, or to get more lending into the industry, as well as those who doubt that MHI seriously wants to see HR 650/S 682 enacted into law.

Let’s tackle those and other, recently raised and related perceptions.

We’ll start by saying that skimming this article will result in more misunderstandings, rather than clarity. Whatever you skim, might be the key points you need to understand what, in fact, has been and more recently is taking place.

You care enough about this issue to be reading this, so kindly care enough – to Please – Do Not Skim This Article.

Superficiality is the curse of the modern world.
― Matthew Kelly

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

Image 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.

1) We know from a variety of sources that MHI as an organization – as well as finance-focused operations from across the MH spectrum, which are often members of MHI – are making good faith efforts to get the GSEs to better understand MH and to do chattel (personal property, home only) loans on manufactured homes. For example…

There are

  • detailed disclosures by MH lenders on chattel loan performance, and there are:
  • Trips to communities,
  • Trips to retail centers,
  • Trips to factories,

and other efforts that are all geared toward gaining the buy-in of the GSEs for Duty to Serve (DTS for manufactured housing), and/or to obtain the support of FHFA with the GSEs on DTS, etc.. These facts and insights come from lenders, finance pros, people “in the room,” and others.

  1. Those facts in no way militates the efforts of MHARR or others toward accomplishing the goal of making DTS for MH personal property lending a reality.

2a) So to say that MHI has no serious interest in getting DTS into reality would fly in the face of evidence to the contrary.

2b) That said, is MHI doing the best possible job on that issue?  That’s a different question, and a fair one. For example, why has no one from MHI contacted Titus Dare to see what they might learn from him on DTS?  What causes opportunities by MHI staff to learn from others to be missed?

2c) Mindful of #3 below, why doesn’t MHI ask for transparency in releasing the minutes to its private meetings with the FHFA? That transparency, the Masthead  believes, would be good for all in the industry. Further, FHFA ought to release minutes from other private meetings — for example, those with consumer groups.

2d) The more industry leaders and pros know the full picture, the more likely we are going to come with a happy outcome on DTS. Transparency pays.

2e) That the Masthead  isn’t anti-MHI or anti-large operation ought to be self-evident to someone who actually cares about the facts and are fully informed.  Just this month, support for MHI is suggested by the Jayar Daily Congressional testimony article on the home page this month. More to the point, MHProNews has years of history sharing positive insights on and about MHI, and the same can be said about other associations.  

2f) Properly understood, MHProNews’ calling attention to issues has, as its implied aim, for MH Pros to be goal and solution oriented.  A critical analysis is done to help MHI and all other associations, too, not to harm, and thus to help the industry advance, too.  A close reading – not skimming! – will make that evident.

stock-freevector-boxing-gloves-postedMHProNews-

Image credit, Shutterstock, FreeVector.

3) There are reasons why MHARR and MHI often don’t get along – and we won’t go into detail on that today – we just mention that each organization has their suspicions of the other. That reality is entirely apart from any editorializing we or others may or may not do – that MHI-MHARR tension existed decades before MHProNews published its first edition in October 2009. Our writing about it – or not – makes the tension no more or less real.

  1. We will note for today that it’s in the industry’s best interest when MHI and MHARR are on the same
    don-glisson-jr-triad-financial-service-manufactured-housing-loans-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

    Triad Financial Services Chairman, Don Glisson, Jr.  For Another Cup of Coffee with…Don Glisson Jr, click here or the photo above.

    page; we agree on this point with Don Glisson, Jr. Because for over 17 years, the only time the industry gets what it wants in D.C. is when the two associations – plus state associations – are working in concert. We’ve made that point numerous times in the past.

  1. In a perfect world, both national associations and their respective interests would be at the same table. At various times, MHI and MHARR have in fact been at the same table. Yes, it’s idealistic, but it has been done before, so there are good reasons to think it’s achievable now.  Industry pros like Don Glisson, Jr. have at various times tried to bridge that gap.
  1. Further, while it’s idealistic to think that small, medium and large organizations – and consumers, as well as businesses – can and should all come together to work for the common good, that, too, is attainable. The MH Industry will never hit it’s potential until we are seen as being very pro consumer, which the vast majority of MH Pros already are!
BobCrawford-left-FrankRolfe-rightInsideMHMHProNewsVideo-postedMastheadBlog-MHProNews-

Bob Crawford – left. Frank Rolfe, right. Still from MHProNews video on this page.

Fair and Balanced…

  1. This month, we have two articles that present differing viewpoints. One is an interview with Frank Rolfe, that defends MHI. Interestingly, Rolfe doesn’t defend Jennison or Gooch, at least not by name. Let me underscore again:Literally no one has given us a cogent defense for the “Housing Alert” or other items linked above. No one.  By contrast, we’ve had numbers of people who think MHProNews has done the industry a favor by bringing these issues to light. There are also those who have chided, or politely suggested, that our coverage on this topic helps no one. We’ve also had those who have asked us to clarify — are we attacking MHI’s very existence?  Are we attacking big businesses? We strive to keep all of these perspectives in mind, and they are in fact one of several good reasons for this in-depth column.  We want to be responsive to our readers and industry leaders, just as we want MHI to be responsive, too.

7a) Readers should consider the fact that the CSPAN video was first brought to our attention by a highly placed pro at a large industry operation. As in many of the issues we tackle, they arise from input or grow from insights from readers and industry professionals who are in the know.  We don’t just start sounding off on a topic, we seek to understand it first.

7b) For those who mistakenly think we are attacking a large firm by attacking MHI, that too is clearly contradicted by the full context of how this issue has been brought to the industry and public’s attention. The video we produced, linked here, includes an article that very clearly calls on the media to correct the record of their previously errant reporting about MH industry lending and related issues. A close view of the video will reveal that Richard Cordray offers a surprisingly helpful defense for the industry’s lending, which The Seattle Times/Buzz Feed and others grossly misrepresented.

7c) Before we published our critiques of Jennison and Gooch and their now infamous “housing alert,” they had ample opportunity to correct the record themselves. They failed to do so.  We routinely ask for input, prior to publishing; if a source fails to respond, isn’t that on them?  Did they think their controversial alert and apparent errors would be overlooked, forgotten, ignored, what?

  1. We also published an article by Bob Crawford, calling for a new independent post-production association. It includes a video where he talks about that topic. He rates MHI’s effectiveness in their work on behalf of independent retail and community operators, of which he is one.
  1. Those two viewpoints – Crawford or Rolfe’s – don’t exhaust such a topic. We’ll gladly publish others on such issues. Once more, We Provide, You Decide. © Let me observe anew that the best way for MHI – or any association – to avoid such issues about division within a membership is to make sure they are, in fact, listening to and serving the broadest possible interests of the industry.

9a) At the core are issues of credibility and accountability.  Part of the challenge for manufactured housing is that too many outside of our industry don’t believe what the industry says.  That’s an educational issue, but it also means that MHI’s communications should always be unquestionably accurate.  When that fails, then doesn’t that cast a question mark on other things MHI says, or the industry attempts to do, in D.C. and beyond? 

MHProNewsAnalysisMasthead-JennisonGoochMHI

The infamous April MHI Housing Alert isn’t the only such issue, but the housing alert is one that is easy to review and thus easy to see analyze what took place. Its pretty black and white.

10) That, too, is a reason why editorially we believe that both MHARR and MHI serve important and useful purposes. Ideally, they will work together as much as possible. Stating the obvious often brings clarity. Talk of a third or fourth national association would be at zero if there was a wide perception that all needs and perspectives in MH are being addressed.

JDHarpercreditLinkedIn-postedMastheadMHProNews-

JD Harper, photo credit, Linkedin.

10a) Some will recall that Arkansas’s JD Harper floated a balloon a few years ago for a bridging voice between MHI and MHARR that could advance the MH cause in D.C.

10b) All such efforts ought to send a message. And that message is? Clearly, not everyone believes their needs or interests are being heard! If they were, there would not be MHI members who verbally and in writing communicate their concerns to MHProNews about how national issues are being (mis)handled.

10c) We don’t take on that role lightly. We ask questions, gain insights, do research before we publish on a sensitive topic. So a careful read, starting from the headline on the MHProNews home page says that it’s Staffers who are questioned, and that’s a clear distinction between staff and the organization as a whole.

  1. Look at Frank Rolfe’s comments, part of which is almost humorous (ironic…). He says that people should join MHI to find out what they are doing. The irony is, until Dick Jennison pulled the plug – first on the Journal, months later with MHProNews – there was a level of MHI addressing the industry in its own voice on the pages of MHProNews.

11a) It was Jennison who ended that communication to the industry, at his request, long before we raised issues about his leadership at MHI.  So for those who allege that Jennison is only reacting to what we’ve published, sorry, but that’s hogwash.  For whatever reason, Jennison cut publishing ties to the Journal first, and later with us.  It’s all on him.

  1. There are some long-term MHI members – some of whom no longer attend meetings – that say, ‘We don’t always know why MHI does 
    MHI's New CEO, Dick Jennison

    This was one of the photos taken by MHProNews, a behind-the-camera, behind-the-scenes effort some years ago to get MHI and MHARR to work more closely together. Richard Dick Jennison, left, M. Mark Weiss, right.

    what it does.’ Isn’t that an obvious internal communications issue? Who besides MHI caused that? It wasn’t the Masthead, so isn’t that clearly an internal issue for MHI to address? Even their so-called Week in Review isn’t actually weekly. WiR is published roughly 20+ times a year, in the last few years that Jennison has taken over the helm at MHI.  Does anyone sense a pattern there in Arlington, where Jennison’s MHI office is?

12a) Among the callers yesterday was an industry voice that said, we (MHProNews) should be encouraging more attendance at MHI meetings. Fair topic, which at times past, we’ve done just that; so once more, a complete and balanced-by-the-facts viewpoint is needed. We often talk about MHI meetings, before during and after an event, as regular readers well know. That said, the other perspective might be: Why don’t more pros want to come to MHI meetings?  Apathy happens for a reason.  Isn’t apathy a kind of vote of disinterest or lack of confidence that the effort is worth the time and cost?

  1. We publish MHARR news unedited, and we did the same for MHI for years. Let me state for the record: I can send a request to MHARR for comments or follow up or to address a concern.  I’ll get a prompt answer from MHARR. As our email records and text messages would show, we can address MHI staff on questions, and they routinely won’t answer. Why not? Jennison? Some other reason?  

13a) That’s the opposite of how it was between MHI and MHProNews in years gone by. We used to get prompt responses from Jennison early in his tenure, and also from Thayer Long before Dick came on board.  It wasn’t MHProNews that changed efforts at good communications to none, so why did someone at MHI change that past dynamic between us, as the leading MH publisher, and staff at the Arlington-based association?  Who was the whiz kid who decided it was smart to ignore the industry’s trade media?

14) We still do articles in the Daily Business News that report on both associations. Then there are editorials, some by myself or others, on issues relating to MHI or MHARR. Again, We Provide, You Decide. ©

MHI-staffon-DTS-CFPB-lobbying

Are opportunities to get more lending into MH being missed or slowed by mishandling by key MHI staffers?  These are issues regardless if MHProNews chose to report on them or not. Some are thanking us for covering these matters; others think they should be kept out of the public view.  But when off-the-radar efforts fail, the next step is to go public with industry members. This analysis and those linked provide more insights on finance-related topics.

Bottom Lines?

  1. Calling out realities at MHI ought to be seen as MHProNews doing MHI and its leadership a real, sincere favor. Otherwise, issues will fester until there is a rupture.
    mhi-logo-in-the-spotlight-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

    MHI logo is their trademark, and is used here for editorial purposes only. MHProNews Spotlight, credit, MHProNews.

    15a) Some members get great attention, while other members feel ignored. That’s a fact we hear from members often.

  2. Calling on MHI’s top staff to speak to members in a candid, forthright manner is Ethics 101. I make no apology for holding them accountable — that’s a valid role of objective trade media. Before this issue burst on the scenes, MHI Chair Tim Williams defended that value of MHProNews precisely for our independent perspective. 

16a) If we, as an industry, are to showcase our amazing value – if MH, as an industry, is to be seen as the caring professionals most of us strive to be – then collectively, the MH Industry has to be willing to look at allegations like the Jennison/Gooch issue for what they are — more on that, linked here.

  1. That we are pro-MH or pro-association ought not to be doubted. That we are only for small businesses would be a wrong interpretation of reality, as noted above and by the fact that we serve a wide spectrum of MH-related firms and firms in MHI, MHARR, state associations or those in no association, too.  
  1. As further proof of our years of balance on MHProNews, we’ve done interviews with mom-and-pop,
  • consultants,
  • large, medium and small operations,
  • and those in between. We’ve published hundreds and thousands of statements and accounts we don’t necessarily agree with, but it was what the speaker said.  Some industry pros completely get that we are doing what other trade publications in other industries do; some just don’t see that yet. 
CollageofVideosInterview-MHProNews-LATonyKovach

Mostly stills from videos in our industry-leading Inside MH Video series, published on MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews, depending on the topic.  This is a cross section of operations from single location operations to the largest in MH. We strive to be balanced in our coverage and in our analysis.  We invite and publish other viewpoints.  What could be more fair than that?  Only those who skim or don’t read would accuse us of being unfair or unbalanced, or of attacking any size organization or association.  Accountability issues ought to be seen as pro-industry, not anti-industry.

Just page through the years of our A Cup of Coffee with…interview series as proof.

  1. As an example that MHProNews isn’t anti-big business (or business or organizations of any size), we’ve defended ELS when they were wrongfully attacked – and ELS, to my recollection, has never been a client of our firm at any time or level. We’ve defended Clayton and MH lending more than any other publisher anywhere in the past 18 months, and that took place prior to their being an advertiser – and it wasn’t the cause of their becoming an advertiser.  Publishing and marketing have an intersection, but they are two different things in trade publishing. We respect that line, and trust that our sponsors understand that point very well.
  1. The record reflects our independence and the record reflects we defend and promote the MH Industry far more than we criticize it.
    im-williams-CEO-and-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-postedMastheadBlog-MHProNews-com-

    Tim Williams, 21st Mortgage CEO and current MHI Chairman. Click his name to see the interview with Tim.

    Again, Tim Williams point above is spot on.

  1. We’ve criticized CFPB or HUD far more than we have George Allen, MHI, MHARR or anyone else.
  1. My 80 percent friend is not our 20 percent enemy. We may bridge the gap by calling people to account when necessary, but isn’t that an important and valid role of good trade media?
  1. So yes, this writer has editorialized why Gooch and Jennison should go, while not harboring any illusions that we can force that issue. Leadership will do what it wants, for whatever reasons they may have.  Nor will MHProNews plan to make this an eternal mission to write about them every day or week. That would get boring pretty quickly.

24) A tiny minority of what we publish has been about those two MH senior staff members, and a tiny minority of our MHI coverage has been a critical analysis. So the fact that it has raised so many eyebrows points to the fact that the issue is real and needs to be addressed, doesn’t it?!

My80%FriendIsNotMy20%EnemyRonaldReagan-postedMHProNews-com

Optics and Perceptions 

  1. Writers are often reminded that numbers of people skim rather than actually read.  As a writer or publisher, we are not responsible for that reality. If someone or a number of others misread what is published, that’s solely on those doing the misreading.
  1. A careful reading of what we’ve published recently – or over the years, as well, plus behind-the-scenes efforts – ought to prove that we try to bridge gaps, not create them.
  1. But when a gap exists, it does no good to ignore or gloss over it. That’s not negative, that’s reality. We do the industry a favor when we spotlight an important issue that is going unaddressed, or when behind-the-scenes efforts have failed to produce a good outcome.

    gaps-method=credit-postedon-MHProNews

    We will look at the GAPS Method in the near future, as one of the tools to analyze the road blocks to MH advancement.

  1. By analogy, lancing a boil brings out puss and blood. It’s ugly. But once done properly, healing comes in its wake, and the lanced skin grows stronger, not weaker, as a result. Let’s ponder how that analogy applies to MH, or MHI.LancingTheBoil-drawceptioncredit-postedMHProNews-
  1. As a matter of record, we’ve made it clear that calling into question the judgment of Gooch and Jennison on this (or other?!) issues doesn’t represent an assault on MHI.  That’s a bad misread. Please see the linked article, and note the quotes from me. Beginning with the headline, the statements focus on performance by staff members, and how that impacts MHI and thus our industry, too. MHI is not being attacked.  MHI’s effectiveness has been questioned, at the staff and bottom-line-results levels.  Those are two entirely different things!
  1. As a matter of record, we’ve alleged there has been no good rationale to defend the infamous April Housing Alert from Jennison and Gooch, which sparked this recent controversy. It’s not the only reason, but given they had an opportunity to correct the record after we produced the video, and days before we published our first critique on this topic – isn’t it a plenty good reason to see them go? As an executive told MHProNews about the Gooch/Jennison Housing Alert off-the-record, there are no good reasons to deceive or mislead any member, much less in writing in the fashion that Gooch and Jennison advanced.AmericanBankingNews-KEY-MHI-StaffExcoriatedFailingMissionMembers-postedMastheadMHProNews-
  1. I’ve assured colleagues, clients and others who’ve contacted us that the Masthead  doesn’t plan to make a career out of writing or publishing on this one issue, as important as it is. Hindsight is 20/20 for us all. Time will tell if the leadership at MHI was correct in standing by Gooch and Jennison. But I’ll stress again, no one, NO ONE, has yet to offer a good explanation that justifies what that pair did. Isn’t that troubling?  
  1. Don’t shoot the messenger or the analyst – the focus ought to be on what Jennison and Gooch did and/or failed to do.  If someone wants to offer a defense of that memo, please bring it on – we routinely publish perspectives different than our own when they are well reasoned. Isn’t that fair enough?

33) In fact, we demonstrated in MHLivingNews.com, that the comments from Senators Donnelly, Corker and Richard Cordray could have been used by Gooch and Jennison to advance the cause of the pending legislation (HR 650/S 682). Why not let Gooch and Jennison explain why they missed that fact? Aren’t they the paid staffers? And why are they still missing that opportunity?  Ego?  Agenda?  Poor judgment?  What?

RichardCordrayCFPB-ManufacturedHousingRegulationsCSPANstill-InsideMHvideoPostedMHProNews-com-

Richard Cordray quotes and those from the report and video on this page, linked here. Why didn’t MHI’s Gooch and Jennison do a similar graphic, and use it to advance the MHI bill in Congress?  Or even easier, why didn’t MHI use this information already published, and simply ask us as an MHI member to share it?

  1. I’d further say that MHI – which means staff at MHI – missed an opportunity to draw positive attention to the industry on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of HUD Code Manufactured Housing. Perhaps it’s still not too late? 

35) People make mistakes. I certainly do; all of us do. Do the mistakes made by Jennison and Gooch warrant replacing them? Do missed opportunities by MHI staffers to promote more financing or ease the CFPB rules which harm MH warrant a call for new faces in Arlington? One of our slogans for years has been:

We Provide, You Decide. ©

E Pluribis Unum – From the Many, One

  1. On our recent first-of-the-month Masthead, we published the graphic below/left. We believe in unity, but we see little or no value to a fictional or paper-only unity.
UnityStrengthDivisionWeakness-SwahliProverb-ilovebeingblack-twitter=credit-postedMHProNews

There have for centuries been those who worked for unity, and towards division, in all nations and places.  See that Masthead, linked here.

37) I won’t dive into GAPS Analysis today, but will once more mention that as a pro-industry digital publisher, we can do critiques that are professional, rather than personal attacks in nature. See the last Masthead to better understand the topic.

  1. We hope enough readers of good will can step back and look at ALL the facts objectively, to see clearly anew we that we at MHProNews and on MHLivingNews are what we have always been. We are Pro-the-MH Industry. We are Pro-Associations at all levels; they’re all necessary! And when properly led, they have, and will do much good.

Conclusions

At the end of the day, we publish with the goal of solving or promoting solutions to real issues – to report Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use©

mhpronews-logo-dropshadow-manufactured-home-pro-news-logo (1)

We bring plenty of attention to the good news in MH!

A wise man once said that if you have only positive, or only negative poles – in electricity – then you have no power. It takes reality – both positive and negative poles – to produce useful energy.

So when we spotlight a challenge, we hope, work and pray that through thoughtful consideration and action, that will lead to solving real problems.  Burying heads in the sands solves nothing.

head-in-sand-wikicommons-dilbert=credit-posted-masthead-mhmsm-com-

Some don’t want to hear what they might take to be bad news. Image Credits – Dilbert, WikiCommons

Our MH industry has a great story, we strive to tell those stories routinely on MHLivingNews and on MHProNews as well. We plan to stick with that effort until we close more gaps, and until the day comes when we pass on the baton to those who will follow in our wake.

In the meantime, the summary of the above is this.

We can critique MHI’s staff without desiring in any way its destruction.

We can critique MHI without attacking any member company of any size.

We want to see the industry advance, which means that MHI and others must grapple with reality, not sweep it under the rug.  

Our spotlighting issues is doing MHI and the industry a favor, so long as that favor is acted upon in a solution oriented vs. a sweep-it-under-the-rug-fashion. 

We believe the evidence shows that MHI and MHI members are making real efforts to do what they say they are trying to do on DTS.

That said, the questions include, could MHI be more effective at advancing more MH lending?  Are key MHI staff doing all that is possible to advance the association’s agenda? Are opportunities being missed?

Reports from MHI members to MHProNews and the word from others tell us that opportunities are being missed, and that more could have been done.  One example is word from those “in the room” is that the MLO rule change could have already been effected, with a different approach. 

MHI has an opportunity to turn the lemons of these issues into lemonade. The ball is in their court, right where it always has been. We’re bringing reports and analysis, it is up to others to act upon them, or not. We Provide, You Decide. ©  ##

LATonyKovach-QuestioningNYSAAteam-NewYorkHousingAssociation-MHProNews-com-PhotoCreditMarkSimon--250x167

Photo taken during New York Housing Association meeting; L. A. “Tony” Kovach questioning regulators.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading 
MHLivingNews.com,MHProNews.com
and 
Inside MH video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

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
 


40 Years of Manufactured Housing, 240th Birthday for America, July 4, 2016

July 4th, 2016 No comments

ManufacturedHousing40-US240USIndependenceDay-postedMastheadBlog-

There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”
– Warren Buffett

Superficiality is the curse of the modern world.
Matthew Kelly

There are both keen truths and potent tensions between the two quotes above.  The subject is easy, but we’ll avoid an overly superficial look at the topics for this month.

Unity and Disunity in America, The World and MH

When the 13 colonies declared their independence from England there was a conflict fought. Just days ago, in a heavy voting turnout, England (the U.K.) peacefully voted for independence from the EU, a “Brexit.” The U.S. then, or the British today, wanted to be freed from the rule of others. At the same time, they wanted to band together as a people.

UnityStrengthDivisionWeakness-SwahliProverb-ilovebeingblack-twitter=credit-postedMHProNews

There have for centuries been those who worked for unity, and towards division, in all nations and places.

So independence has in practice an interdependence.

The American colonies would forge a system designed to end England’s power, as well as limit the power of the federal system that came into being here in the U.S. once the war for our nation’s independence was won.

It’s a fact. The Soviet Union split into 15 nations. Yugoslavia split into 7. China has two significant areas where separatists are at work. The U.K. will face another Scottish exit effort. Across Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond – there are movements whose aim is to break larger nations – larger powers – into smaller ones.

Those who seek regional or global orders in America today have watched a strong anti-Democratic-establishment effort by Bernie Sanders followers.

They are watching an “America First” populist-nationalist camp led by Donald Trump lay claim to the party that Bush, Romney and a few Republican elites have previously led.

Perhaps 5 percent to 10 percent of the USA is libertarian, and smaller movements of Green Party or other forces are busy in our land too. Some pundits say Ralph Nader’s Green Party run in 2000 cost Al Gore the election against George W. Bush (fyi – your Masthead  scribe is an independent).

Struggles over unity and division are ongoing. Never think that what’s happening today is so totally different than other parts of the world, or other eras of history.

Efforts for unity or division go all the way back in time to when the people of the world are said to have lost a common language, after the Tower of Babel was toppled by the God of the Jewish and later Christian people.

There is unity, and there is disunity.

There is Independence as well as Interdependence.

Manufactured Housing and Our Times

On this 240th 4th of July, some might say that within Manufactured Housing, there are – and historically have been – similar forces for independence and interdependence at work.

At one time, Fleetwood and Champion dominated the manufactured housing industry. Today pros speak of the three Cs of MH – Clayton, Cavco and Champion. There were numerous independents then, and now.

There are consolidations taking place on the manufacturing side of MH. Far more consolidations are occurring on the community side of MH.

GoFaster-GoAlone-GoFartherGoTogetherAfricanProverbPinterest-postedMHProNews-

Image credit, Pinterest.

Retail by independents have risen and fallen, but could be rising again.

A new paradigm has been coming to birth in MH for about a decade, as a growing percentage of home sales are done by MH land lease communities – aka “mobile home parks” – or more properly MHCommunities. While most MHCs buy pre-owned homes – or new homes from factories – solely for their own use to fill vacant homesites; in some places, retail off-property by MHCs are in motion. That’s a trend to watch.

The point is that there are in business as in politics, larger forces at work in MH, as well as thousands of smaller ones.

On the association/lobbying/advocacy side, most states have their own associations, some have separate community associations plus an “umbrella” association. A few have associations that span RVs and MHs or even other groups seeking collective advocacy.

In factory-built housing, there are more groups than are generally spoken of in MHVille – we hear the most from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), or the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). But the NAHB has their Systems Building Council. And there is the Tom Hardiman led Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA), which differs from the modular housing group under the MHI umbrella. There are others in Canada too…

BobCrawford-left-FrankRolfe-rightInsideMHMHProNewsVideo-postedMastheadBlog-MHProNews-

Bob Crawford – left. Frank Rolfe, right. Still from MHProNews video.

As readers will see below, this month we’ll provide an article that promotes a new, independent post-production association – which the author of that column asserts that MHI is at best a 5 out of 10  in terms of its effectiveness in working for the interests of independent MH Retailers and MHCommunities. That author – Bob Crawford, and his mentor Dick Moore – have advocated for an independence movement from MHI before. Time will tell if there is more momentum behind it now, than previously.

The MH industry hitched its wagon to the federal oversight star 42 years ago. Just over 40 years ago, the first HUD Code manufactured homes rolled off the assembly lines in the U.S.

There were once more ‘national,’ ‘regional’ or ‘federated’ MH associations than there are today. Will history repeat?  

Our reporting on issues isn’t  always the same as advocacy of a perspective.  Our taking a position doesn’t mean we’re looking for a do or die battle. We have clients, readers and supporters in both major national associations.  In a professional world, the Ronald Reagan ideal below should apply.

My80%FriendIsNotMy20%EnemyRonaldReagan-postedMHProNews-com

As a disclosure, this writer broadly-speaking wears two hats. One is as a trade publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com – the other as a provider of business development and consulting services, all of which operates under the LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC banner, of which I’m the managing member.  

What brings those two hats together is a passionate love for this MH Industry, and for seeing MH advance in every possible way.  Everything else we do can be seen through that prism. 

News, Tips and Views

As a publisher, we report news as well as do commentary and analysis.

The following is another fact. Manufactured housing trade publications, with no disrespect for the Journal  or others who have gone before us, have never had the same kind of publications we provide on professionally-focused MHProNews.com (aka MHMarketingSalesManagement.com, also known by some as MHMSM.com) or the public via MHLivingNews.com.

As a result, it’s no surprise that too many in our MH industry think of any critique by me of another person, persons or group as a personal attack.  Not so!  It’s purely professional.  

It’s standard fare for the business of being a trade publisher. MH can’t or won’t advance to its potential until rigorous and candid discussions identify and resolve all those things that hold us as an industry back.

gaps-method=credit-postedon-MHProNews

We will look at the GAPS Method in the near future, as one of the tools to analyze the road blocks to MH advancement. Good analyis is – or should be – objective.  If you or others have a different point of you that you want to publicy or privately share, please write or call.

Unlike Jim Visser – whom I respect – or others who are no longer in the MH trade publication business, this writer spent many years in the trenches of MH long before picking up a digital pen and paper. We still earn our keep by boosting manufactured and modular home sales!  Some of that personal/professional history will be rapidly reviewed in an article linked below.

Suffice it to say for now, that I’ve worked with some of the largest operations in MH, with assocations and with some other operations more modest in size, and also “mom and pop” businesses.  All small firms hope to do well, some aspire to be big firms someday.  We salute all those MH entrepreneurs, professionals and captains of industry.

So we come at MH related topics from a different viewpoint than someone who only prints articles and ads (no disrespect intended to other publishers, just stating facts).

When we write about Dick Jennison or Lesli Gooch at MHI, and raise questions about their effectiveness or the ethics of their communications practices, that’s a valid topic as they are public figures in our industry.  If there is a critique of them, it is not necessarily a blast at MHI, of which I am also an elected board member.  A critique is part of a GAPS analysis, pure and simple. If you or others you work with have a different take than ours, you can share it, as we share a Pro-MHI column this month (see below), and one that takes a we-need-a-new-association viewpoint.

That’s balanced trade publishing.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

As both a publisher and as an MHI board member, others have encouraged as well as expressed concerns to me, and we have published some of those concerns by reference when off-the-record, or under the person’s name, when OK’d to do so.

When someone is a manager, executive or even an owner of a company or organization which supplies products or services to XYZ, it is entirely understandable that such a person does not want to publicly say something that XYZ may not want to read or hear on video.  Other media do such off-the-record reports, we do too.

Let’s reframe some of the above.

In the automotive industry world, there would be thicker skins about Car and Driver  or some other auto-trade publication critiquing a publicly visible professional person’s performance, or that of an organization. It’s pretty common in other industries!

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The featured story on this almost decade old Manufactured Home Merchandiser Magazine cover was one that your Masthead scribe wrote for them.

What makes it uncommon in MH – and thus, perhaps a little shocking to some in MHVille – is precisely that our industry has heretofore had no similar trade publishing. Even in its heyday, the venerable MH Merchandiser Magazine  was only a monthly, with some news and mostly columns and ads. Only MHProNews has produced an industry business daily news in the MH World.

Jim Visser at the Journal  rarely does an editorial. Herb Tieder’s Merchandiser did an editorial column, but those that recall know it wasn’t much like those you’ll find here on the Masthead.

That’s no slam, it’s reality. In fairness to those others, how could they? Those other publishers never had the first-hand view from the MH trenches we have, then or now!

MHProNews  has changed all that for trade publishing in our industry.  That’s why thousands of MHPros flock here daily.

Investors, media, academics, public officials, policy advocates and researchers from around-the-world read this publication too.

MH today is, as Nathan Smith said on video, a boutique industry and thus a relatively small audience. Comparing us to the Dallas Morning News, Chicago Sun Times or Tribune, the New York or Los Angeles Times – or even a more financially focused professionals’ publication like Forbes – our audience is signficantly smaller.

But MHProNews has articles that get more hits than some articles on Forbes gets.

That’s a fact.  Here’s an example for proof.  We’ll have more hits on dozens of articles on MHProNews this and every month than what this Forbes article reflects.

TaxWaste6.1BillionHoursSpentComplyingFederalTaxCodeForbes-2016-07-04_1455-postedMHProNews

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2,525 visitors on MHProNews at the time and date shown. That’s not cumulative, that’s readers at that specific time. Typical reader views 8+ pages, per Webalizer. Screen capture of base of MHProNews.com home page.

Some in our industry have never known anything but MHProNews, or perhaps some less popular bloggers or emailed PDF newsletters done by consultants, in which those other writers naturally promote their own products and services.

But none, none of those other publications have the same domestic or global reach that MHProNews has. It’s not bragging or hubris if it’s true, and these are facts.

It’s no surprise to us that a group out of Singapore is making a two billion dollar plus play for MHCs in the U.S., international business and investors interested in factory built housing are on our pages routinely.

While our audience is absolutely dominated by those in the U.S., as we’ve shown before, our webstats and contacts from professionals living in “investor nations” in Europe, Asia and other parts of the globe is steady and growing, as is our reach in the United States.

So the view from the Masthead  matters to MHVille, and to a real extent, MHVille benefits from MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com. As but one example, every company that attends the Louisville or Tunica Shows in the past several years has benefited from our promoting those events.  

The Masthead  shares these insights, hoping to limit misunderstandings.  I have no personal animus towards say MHI’s Jennison or Gooch; it’s professional and the questions are simple.  Do they get the job done?  Have they behaved in an entirely professional and ethical fashion? Are they helping or harming MHI and its goals?

Setting the Manufactured Housing World on Fire

Some have cheered our reports, others – including highly placed officials – have provided respectful feedback that disagrees with our take, and advises us to handle it differently.  One was very kind in saying that they know I mean well, but that I’m going about this all wrong.  I hear all of that, and to all who have sent their thoughts for, against or nuanced – my sincere thanks to each of you.

We respect all of those takes, encourage them, promise to take them all into consideration and we’ll gladly publish them when asked and thoughtfully presented. 

We don’t seek conflict or controversy for its own sake.  

We do have goals for the MH industry and for all those our great industry serves.

The executive summary for all this could be – the Truth sets us free. Everything else – are details and commentary. 

With no further adieu, let’s dive into our July 2016 Featured Articles.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 7, No. 10, 2016

Alphabetically by Category

 

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

 

• How Peace of Mind Attracts More Qualified Clients and Boost Sales

by Tifanee McCall

TifaneeMcCall-MHWC-ResidentialWarrantyCompany-55x55Every day, hundreds of thousands of big TVs and electronic items like computers are being sold.

Read more…

 

•  Colorado MHC Portfolio | 719 Sites | Colorado

by Christopher Nortley

ChristopherNortlyMHREinc=postedMHProNews-comy50x50-MHRE Inc. is pleased to present the Colorado MHC Portfolio, which consists of 3 communities with a combined site count of 719. The Home Portfolio consists of 243 homes throughout the 3 communities.

Read more…

 

• UMH Properties hits 52-Week High, Projections Skyward

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1As investors await the Aug. 4, 2016 earnings report from manufactured housing community (MHC) owner UMH Properties, Inc. (NYSE:UMH), the stock has hit a new 52-week high at $11.25, with a target of $26.10, a 132% increase.

Read more…

 

FINANCING

 

Identifying and Resolving Barriers of Entry for more Manufactured Home Lending

by Titus Dare

TitusDareEagleOneFinancial-postedMHProNews-50x50-Getting more lending into the manufactured housing space is not a simple snap of a finger and “poof!” it’s done. Getting more lending starts, as I noted a few days ago, with the three prongs of needed Education. It relies too on the 4S’ of good lending – Safe, Sound, Sanitary and Sustainable.

Read more…

 

• Northpoint Commercial Finance Expands Field Sales Organization

by Northpoint Commercial Finance

NorthPointcommercialFinance-logo-postedomMHProNewsAlpharetta, GA, June 26, 2016 – Two new Directors of Business Development have joined Northpoint Commercial Finance’s Field Sales Organization.

Read more…

 

• Why Manufactured Homes Are Being Chosen By Today’s Homeowners

by Triad Financial Services

Triad Financial-bannerad-MHProNews-comMany of us are aware of the current affordable housing crisis. Whether it be the significant increase in rent or lack of affordable options in today’s site built homes, consumers are looking for a solution and manufactured homes are providing a viable choice.

Read more…

 

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

 

• Clayton releases top energy efficient features for manufactured and modular homes.

by Clayton Homes

ClaytonHomes-logo-50x50Top energy-efficient housing features every new homebuyer should know

Most Americans want an energy-efficient home, and they’re willing to make the necessary changes to help improve efficiency, whether it’s changing their habits or buying more energy-efficient appliances.

Read more…

 

• You’re Invited – 2016 RV MH Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

by Barry Cole

barry-cole-rv-mh-hall-of-fame-postedonmhpronews-com-65x65You’re invited to the 2016 RV MH Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony!

Read more…

 

 

• Bob Crawford – On MHI, MHARR and a New Association

by Bob Crawford

BobCrawford-DickMooreHousingPresident-ManufacturedHousingProfessionalNewsViews-postedMHProNews50x50In reply to your request to rate MHI’s effectiveness at advocacy for independent retail/non-corporate MH business, I would have to rate it at best a 5.

Read more…

 

• Proof MHPros Can Attract the Site Built Customer to Manufactured Homes and MHCommunities

by Tom Fath

Tom Fath-Operations Manager New Durham Estates and Home Sales55x55We met Tony (Kovach) in 2014 at the Louisville Home Show and found his firm’s vision, professional services, and expertise to be in the direction our business and the industry as a whole needed to move at a fast pace.

Read more…

 

• Frank Rolfe – Interview on MH Industry Business, Politics and Associations

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThere has been a wide range of comments – for, against or in between – regarding the MHProNews critique and analysis of MHI’s lobbying activities, centering on Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and Lesli Gooch.

Read more…

 

• Congressional Testimony by Jayar Daily, COO, American Homestar Corporation on – Future Of Housing In America: Government Regulations And The High Cost Of Housing

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThe written testimony (linked here) to Congress by F. R. Jayar Daily, Chief Operations Officer for American Homestar Corporation and a member of MHI’s board of directors is dated March 22nd, 2016.

Read more…

 

• The Next American Political Revolution? The Next 4th of July

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThose who neglect the lessons of the past are condemn to relieve them.

Read more…

• Off The Record – Musings Of A Warped MH Mind

by MH Industry member

MH-industryMemberOffTheRecord-MHProNews-com-The recent allegations concerning MHI staff members are troublesome.

Read more…

 

• Singapore Investors Turn Sights on Yes! Communities for $2Billion+

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1MHProNews has learned from The Wall Street Journal that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, is in talks to acquire Denver-based YES! Communities from private-equity firm Stockbridge Capital Group for over $2 billion.

Read more…

 

•  American Banking News – Key MHI Staff “Excoriated” for Failing Their Mission, Members

Matthew J Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comWith Dodd-Frank, financing and CFPB related issues routinely on the minds of manufactured housing industry professionals, TheDaily Business News  has learned fromAmerican Banking News the following report on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is made available below.

Read more…

 

• Mary McBrady says Massachusetts is Smacked with Shortage of Mid-range Homes

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1Mary McBrady, executive director of the Massachusetts Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA), noting the shortage of mid-priced housing in Mass., and a plethora of schools and researchers interested in housing policy within the state, says, “We, as an industry, need to be part of that conversation and dialogue.”

Read more…

 

• Skyline Outshines other MH-related Stocks; Dow Regains 235 Point

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1In the news from CNNMoney: A Tesla 2015 S on autopilot has fatal crash, spurring Federal investigation.

Read more…

 

• Tony Prevatte Chosen to Head NC MH Association

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1MHProNews has learned from robesonian that Tony Prevatte, owner of Prevatte Home Sales in Lumberton, NC has been elected president of the North Carolina Manufactured and Modular Homebuilder’s Association’s board of directors.

Read more…

MARKETING

• Manufactured Home Marketing and Sales Makeover

by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-To get a different result, you obviously have to do some things differently.

Read more…

 

• Award Winning Manufactured Home Retailer Perspectives on Sunshine Homes, Red Bay AL

by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-Our family, videographer, drone pilot and I went to Hattiesburg MS to meet with award winning manufactured home retailer, George Campbell of Southern Colonel Homes.

Read more…

 

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

• Letting go

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comLetting go is accepting that it is time to move on, to begin again and to say goodbye to your present circumstances is to make room for the new learning from different sources.

Read more…

ZigOn Quantity

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarFor some strange reason there are millions of us who believe that if a little of something is good for us, a lot would be even better. Sometimes that is true, but frequently it is not.

Read more…

SALES

• The Manufactured Housing Revolution – How the MH Industry Claims its MoJo

by L.A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachNo person, profession or organization is without challenges. The question is, what does one do about those challenges? Challenges can make or break you, a company or an industry.

Read more…

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