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4 F’s and True Believers

March 17th, 2018 No comments

4FsandTrueBelieversManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Not necessarily in this order of importance, but count us as true believers in:

 

  • Manufactured Homes,
  • America as a Constitutional Republic with free enterprise,
  • and in the four F’s – Faith, Family, Flag, and Fortune (career).

Count me as a pragmatist too. In both trade publishing and in our professional services to the industry, we go where the evidence leads us.

To rephrase, it’s practical to have faith – among other reasons – because its supported by the evidence, and establishes a moral compass outside of one’s immediate self perceived interest. Faith is good.

We could run through the other four Fs in the same manner.  They are each proven, practical, principled, and profitable when properly understood and applied.

So we believe in Manufactured Housing (MH) within that broader context of the Four F’s.

 

The Industry’s Best Homes Ever?

Many believe that the quality, durability, appeal and value of federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes has never been better.

Without arguing that claim either way, consider this question.  If these are the industry’s best homes ever, then why isn’t Manufactured Housing doing as well in new home shipments and MH sales as say 20, 30 or 40 years ago?

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Don’t try and take an easy answer, like say ‘financing.’ Back in the 1980s – for example – sales were higher, and interest rates were sky high at the start of the decade. The product wasn’t as good then as today’s, ditto the lending, and yet they sold more homes.  Why?

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Editorially and based upon fact checks, we disagree with some of the conclusions and claims cited by the Urban Institute’s recent look at the question Manufactured homes could ease the affordable housing crisis. So why are so few being made?”

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

 

But we commend the Urban Institute for raising the discussion topic! They have asked the right question.  It is one that everyone in the industry that wants to grow in a sustainable fashion must seek to resolve.

Some are happy, because the industry is back near 100,000 shipments annually. Certainly, that’s good news, given where the industry’s shipment levels where in 2009.

2008to2017HUDCodeManufacturedHomeProductionTotalsMHARRManufacturedHousingAssocReglatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

But that’s not good enough. Not by a long shot.  When the nation needs some 8.3 million housing units a year, manufactured homes ought to be doing several hundred thousand new home sales a year.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Today’s Masthead won’t editorially suggest the causes or the solutions, per se.

What we will do is ask you to take a good look at the proverbial elephant in the room.

Watch the Warren Buffett video above.

While one may agree or disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics or business practices, there is no denying his business success.  So those success tips the Berkshire Hathaway chairman describes ought to provide lessons for everyone in the industry, regardless of the size of their enterprise.

Then, with those quotes and tips from Buffett in mind, begin to dive into the resources linked below.

Acknowledging that a challenge exists – and understanding the issues involved – are the first steps in all problem solving.

It is a point that Mr. Buffett and business-man-turned President, Donald J. Trump both happen to agree upon.

Namely, that you should know all that you can about an issue that impacts your career or business.  Sound advice, from different ends of an emerging national debate.

Research, reading, viewing as needed, and robust discussion are how those answers are going to be discovered.

Speaking as true believers in the 4Fs and manufactured housing, it’s crazy not to get to the root issues that keep the industry from achieving its previous new home sales levels.

Given today’s widely acknowledged manufactured home quality, and the huge need for affordable housing, it’s an issue that is begging for answers.  ## (Industry commentary and analysis.)

Related:

Housing, Jobs, Poverty, Opportunity – Kerner Commission Remix, HUD and Manufactured Homes

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

It’s “Fair Warning,” not “I Told You So”

(Third party images, cites are provided under fair use guidelines.)

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-575x235By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
award-winning consulting, publisher, web, video, recruiting, sales training, business development service provider.

MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

Socialists, Communists, Capitalists, Clarity, Smear, Truth, and “Kissing Ass”

September 27th, 2017 No comments

Stating the Obvious for clarity. It’s complex world, where the agendas are often hidden or disguised. It isn’t always easy to know the truth on a subject. In manufactured housing, that’s also the reality.  Knowing the truth can be challenging.

We’ll get to the he headline later, but for now, please let me note the following.

We love:

  • this industry,
  • family, faith, flag, and free enterprise (if my wife is reading this, not necessarily in that order of importance).

We are pro-success, done ethically. Because we believe in a Supreme Authority, our values ideally are guided and enlightened by those ultimate truths. Having laid out our principles in often detailed statements before, let’s jump beyond that to the topic for today.

DonkeyKissingAssSomePeopleWillDoAnythingForAFewExtraDollarsMastheadBlogPixabayMHProNew

Hey, there are some who just don’t have a free will choice, due to some circumstance. But others play the game because they think they benefit from it. The reality in manufactured housing is, exposing the game and playing it straight is more profitable than playing the game, or kissing someone’s donkey.

The Smear

One popular example from the left of “the smear” is to call whoever opposes them “a racist.” It’s been used for so long, it ought to be worn out by now.  The right can use Smear tactics too.

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

The reason Smear Tactics can still be effective is because millions are too busy, to distracted by work, family, friends, sports, drink, drugs, sex, the tube, social media, or whatever else.

But today, there are other media options beyond the mainstream media.

This publication seeks to serves what is good and the truth as it is known and understood to be.

We have in the past given the benefit of the doubt to certain voices, until the doubt has been removed by a long preponderance of evidence carefully examined, and shared with you, the Industry’s:

  • Owners, executives, managers, and rising stars,
  • Investors,
  • Political operatives and elected officials,
  • Mainstream media,
  • Researchers, educators and political officials.

CartoonKissingAssSomePeopleWillDoAnythingForAFewExtraDollarsMastheadBlogPixabayMHProNew

Some in MHLand:

  • have egos the size of Texas,
  • blow with the wind,
  • will kiss any ugly -ss for a dollar,
  • just don’t know,
  • are into their habits so deeply, they don’t see reality, etc.

During the 2016 campaign, Warren Buffett said he supported what
Sec. Hillary Clinton
supported. That’s why he backed Clinton.
Sec. Clinton supported Dodd-Frank and the CFPB.
Do you see the disconnect
between MHI’s stated
position on CFPB and Preserving Access,
and what Warren Buffett said several times?

WarrenBuffettSupportedBarackObamaBuffettSupportedDoddFrankCFPBMastheadBlogMHProNews

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

The truth about MHI is in several ways hiding in plain sight. But the MHProNews exclusively obtained documents from Tim Williams speaks volumes. But only to those with an open mind to reality, vs. fantasy. Click here to see the brief, yet powerful, report.

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The slide is from then MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corp. Isn’t it obvious that what Williams was saying was the polar opposite of what Warren Buffett supported?  Are we to believe that MHI’s chair that worked for Buffett opposed Buffett’s positions?  Arrows and commentary in red from the Masthead blog, MHProNews.com.

But a number of others have no choice for economic reasons have to play the MHI game, but they don’t like what is going on, and help inform us all they can.

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MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

Those later sources often provide priceless insights. Thank you, one and all.

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Got a tip?  Document of general interest?  Help us help the industry. iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

Then, there are straight up supporters or those who are allied through mostly common visions or interests.

TheyKillGoodTreesToPutOutBadNewspapersJamesGWattAZquotesMastheadBlogMHProNews

Quick History – Conspiracy Theories and Reality

James Watt was the Secretary of the Interior Department, under President Ronald Reagan.

He was known as a pithy comments and quote machine. He has several interesting insights you can find on those quotable quotes websites, or Wikipedia.

JamesGWattSecretaryInteriorWikipediaMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNews626

But the following quote of Watt’s I can’t find anywhere online, so I was not able to verify it precisely.  It goes something like this.

I don’t believe in what are commonly known as conspiracy theories. What I do believe in are people with common interests, acting in ways that benefit their common interests and that therefor look to be conspiratorial.’ – James Watt, former Secretary of the Interior.

That was so powerful, it has long stuck with me. Does it apply to manufactured housing? “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

LiberalsShiftedGovernmentpositionNuetralRightWrongConcentraitingPowerGovtChsleThreepillarssocietyFamilyWorkEthicFaithNotGoodForAmericaJamesGWattMHProNews

“Conspiracy” Hiding in Plain Sight?

Set against the James Watt point that people with common interest often behave in ways that align with those interests – thus appearing to be conspiratorial –  let’s note the following.

If you or I are accused or questioned about something that’s demonstrably not true,
the normal person simply disproves the allegation, and moves on.

Correct?

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNew

So, if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the powers-that-be behind MHI can readily disprove the array of questions and concerns about their favoritism and performance, why don’t they do so?

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Isn’t it likely they are ducking out precisely because the accusations are true? Because they have no good come-back?

RichardCordrayCFPB-ManufacturedHousingRegulationsCSPANstill-InsideMHvideoPostedMHProNews-com-

Why didn’t MHI ask to use this image, or create one like it of their own? Could it be that that Berkshire Hathaway owned companies like Clayton, VMF or 21st would benefit, whether or not the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act bill passed or not?  Sources tell MHProNews that the non-profits would have made a deal on the MLO rule, which would have benefited every MH Lender and every retailer, communities, and consumers.  Why didn’t MHI take that deal?  Why spend millions and fail? Or was that pro noted above correct, that BH profits either way, so why compromise at all?  Didn’t they win if it failed, or win if they succeeded?

The Truth is Hiding in Plain Sight

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Whatever MHI wants to say about trying to cut back on HUD overreaches, it is obvious that the easiest possible step is to ask the Trump Administration to have Pam Danner reassigned.  Why do they duck the obvious conflict between their words and deeds? Photo – Pam Danner, JD, addressing MHI members. Photo credit, MHProNews.

  • Pam Danner
  • Lois Starkey
  • Duty to Serve (DTS) (FHFA/GSEs)
  • CFPB and Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – Opportunities Missed
  • Monopolistic Practices that use Heavy Regulations to Force more Consolidations
  • Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) and enhanced preemption
  • Racism and Steering
  • Not Defending the Industry and its Image, etc., etc.

These are just some of the issues that have arisen or been spotlighted in roughly the last two two years.

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Some date back further, such as a column in 2014 that spotlighted the high cost – and risks to the industry – from low volumes of new home sales.  That risk to independents is hitting the industry again now, in the growing FEMA fiasco.

BerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesVanderbiltVMF21stMortgageManufacturedHomesLoansFEMA

Insider Sources

We have used a combination of inside voices off the record and visible professionals speaking on the record. While we often agree with MHARR, we are not joined at the hip.

SamZellManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHomeCommunitiesMastheadIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Perhaps the most compelling for thoughtful readers are the quotes from people in MHI, in their own words. Videos and their own written statements, carefully analyzed in the light of known facts.


From within the Berkshire Hathaway owned family of Clayton, Vanderbilt, 21st and other units;

From within MHI,

From state, professional, and third-party groups studying the industry – often with no axe to grind – MHProNews has provided a series of reports and exposes unlike anything that the industry has ever seen.

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MHI, Clayton, 21st and VMF have not engaged directly in public on these issues. But they have done so indirectly and often behind the scenes.  They don’t try to refute/disprove us, rather, they try other alleged tactics to undermine our efforts – which benefit the bulk of the industry’s professionals and investors.

Long term, our call to reform MHI and their alleged monopolistic masters would benefit them too.  Because monopoly inevitably leads to a break up, and it harms the market place, public and society.  That’s why there are laws against monopolies.

Thinkers simply have to wonder: why do the mega-rich take a public position that seems to contradict their own interests?  Isn’t the obvious answer from years of evidence that they posture one thing, do another, because it has worked for them time and again?

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOPresident-currentMHIChairman-onValueMHProNews-MHLivingNews-

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

We’ve taken our precautions.

We’ve called out the powers that be to debate, or discuss, or be interviewed on video, so all can see it.  They duck, dodge, detract, distract, delay, etc. If they were right, they’d simply publicly seek to prove me to be a fool. Why are they reluctant to stand up for their track record? Do they de facto admit that they lack success at their own stated goals?

MHIGotCloutWheresTheBeefMHProNews

The reason thousands come – including they and their allies daily – is because we say what’s real and support allegations with credible evidence.

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MHI Meetings, Networking and Events Can Be Replaced

The one thing that we hear that MHI ‘does okay with’ are their networking meetings.  That brings real value to some professionals.  But IMHO, they could be done better and for less.

We can’t say if MHARR will expand after their November 2017 meeting. But they have publicly supported the need for a third association that truly represents the “post-production” sector of MH – meaning others besides factory home builders.

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There was some movement by a few groups to do a true association, they’ve never come to pass.

It would be very profitable for the industry to do so.  Ironically, it could benefit the big players over time too. Because monopolies tend historically to fail over time, and harm many along the way to failure.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

Note, quoting someone on a topic should not be construed to imply we agree on all topics. That said, the above by George Allen on his own blog was interesting.

The industry is growing faster beyond Clayton and Cavco, their own statistics prove it.

IndustryMarketShareClaytonCavco63ManufacturedHousingIndustryDataResearchMarketStockReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews613

It’s time for the break up, since MHI has declined offers to reform itself.

Industry Pros Question the Effectiveness of National Association – Bob Crawford and Frank Rolfe from ManufacturedHome-ModularHomeNews on Vimeo.

 

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsFinally, we will continue to spotlight politics, because it routinely impacts our industry in clear or subtle ways. I know some question our support for the president and his agenda. We appreciate the candid feedback from those who see that topic differently.

While the GOP – as an independent, I’m not a member of that or any other political party – may be gripped by its identity crisis, the Trump wing is gaining ground.  As odd as it sounds, the victory of Roy Moore over Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate primary proves that to be true.

The RINOs – perhaps better known as the “Establishment” Republicans – will, if this pattern continues, fade from the scene over time.

Americans are seeking to take back their country.

Manufactured housing professionals want to take back their industry.

The two go hand in hand.  That’s why we supported Donald J. Trump when MHI put two pro-Clinton speakers on their stage just days before the election last November.

Manufactured Home Industry Leaders Praise MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

The hypocrisy and the game playing, the masks and deception are coming to an end.

When their allegedly manipulative music stops, watch a growing number of industry pros exit MHI.  They won’t want to be associated with that crew.

In the meantime, we’ll be spotlighting the issues that can help industry professionals and investors maximize their returns and success.

Read the news and commentary.  Consider what it means to you.  Then, think about how you and your location and organization can benefit by applying the insights you find here on MHProNews and/or on MHLivingNews.

You don’t have to spend a dime with us to do that, do you?

Of course, for those who see the value of what we do, it is common sense to support our efforts.  Because no other organization in the history of the industry has produced more pro-industry insights and defended the industry more than MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

We are only able to do so thanks to sponsors and client support.

Allegations, Reality and the Future

The powers that be have already lost, they may not realize it yet.  The momentum has shifted.

With the masks, and smoke screens falling and blowing away, the industry can grow at a pace it has only dreamed about for years.

We and select clients know how that is done.  Its profitable, and done at the local level.

Think about why MHI has turned us down time and again, and failed to respond time and again.  Think about why – on an issue as simple as Pam Danner being exited from her role in the manufactured housing program office at HUD – they won’t take a public stand for doing that, even when a growing number of their own members want that to take place.

Yes, we think the days of MHI and their masters as it has existed are about over.  Oh, they’ll continue on in some form or fashion, because Berkshire Hathaway and their allies need an organ like MHI.

But for the majority of members, aren’t you feeding the hand that bites yours?  ## (Commentary, analysis, news.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHLivingNewsMHProNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryPublisherMarketingSalesTrainerConsultant-

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

 

 

 

The Three Letters that Unlocks Manufactured Housing’s Answers

September 4th, 2017 No comments

Whoever you are.

Whatever you do.

Whatever brought you here.

Whatever your political, economic, religious, ethnic, or other perspectives happen to be.

Three letters turn a key that unlocks the answers for manufactured housing investors and professionals.

Conceal, Reveal and ‘the Deal…’

Understanding the facts and opportunities unlocked by those three letters could lead to robust new HUD Code manufactured home sales growth.

That growth would positively impact retailers, communities, producers, lenders, suppliers, and all others who serve the public in manufactured housing.  What are those three letters?

WhyManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMastheadBlogResearchReportsDataMHProNews

Why? Credits, MHProNews/Pixabay.

Why?

When there are millions of Americans who need affordable housing, why did manufactured housing finish 2016 with only some “81,169” new HUD Code manufactured homes shipped?

HUD2017WorstCaseHousingNeeds2017ReportCongressGrowingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD’s 2017 Worst Case Housing report points to nearly as many housing units needed today as the total number of pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post HUD Code manufactured homes in existence today. Those 8.3 million don’t count the millions more renting, 85 percent of whom want to own and could qualify for a residential style manufactured home.

When real estate agents can’t keep enough affordable housing in stock, why did manufactured housing grow at only 15% 2016 compared to 2015?

The Manufactured Housing Industry (MHI) has touted the fact that the manufactured housing industry for many years was about 21 percent of all new single family housing starts. Hmmm, okay. So, Why does MHI accept being at only some 9 percent of single family housing starts today?

Why did Richard A “Dick” Jennison – President and CEO of the MHI – say in reply to a softball question in the video below that “I don’t think that we [manufactured housing industry] should grow too fast,’ so that it gets…out of control” – out of who’s control? Who or which operation(s) benefit from slow industry growth?

When there are MILLIONS of affordable housing units needed, Why should the industry settle for less than 100,000 new homes, and modest growth?

  • Why not half-a-million new manufactured homes annually, or more?
  • Why should RVs – an optional purchase – outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1, when homes are a necessity?
  • Why did Jennison get his contract extended by MHI after he made this straight-faced statement on the video above? What would happen to an National Association of Realtors (NAR) or National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) president if they would have said something similar?
RichardCordrayCFPB-ManufacturedHousingRegulationsCSPANstill-InsideMHvideoPostedMHProNews-com-

These are quotes or close paraphrases of statements made by Richard Cordray, CFPB’s director. They would have been helpful for MHI to make their case to get Preserving Access passed. MHProNews created the graphic above to support the effort. Why didn’t MHI ever use it? Why didn’t MHI make a similar graphic or similar arguments? Why don’t they want to debate their own effectiveness? Could it be that they don’t want to have to answer serious, reasonable questions? Why not debate their wisdom and effectiveness?

If they really want to see the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act passed, Why hasn’t Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. – MHI SVP for Government Affairs & Chief Lobbyist – or anyone at MHI gotten permission to use the graphic above, or create a properly attributed one of their own like it?

Why not use Richard Cordray’s own talking points to advance the Preserving Access bill they claim to want enacted into law? (See quotes/graphic above.)

Why won’t MHI release their bylaws, which an MHI board member told MHProNews is required by law?

Why won’t MHI discuss the alleged conflict of interest for the largest lenders in the industry setting the agenda that most favors their own company?

If they are confident, why won’t MHI agree to publicly debate via video their performance and success, on their own claimed agenda?

DebateMastheadblodTonyKovachMHProNews

Why won’t MHI debate their effectiveness?  MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

When Lesli Gooch and the MHI leadership know that Keith Ellison plans to lead a charge against Preserving Access – as her own written statement below makes clear – why didn’t MHI denounce racism?  Why isn’t MHI being pro-active instead of reactive?  Why not -when as prior chairman, Nathan Smith said in a video statement – that MHI must make being proactive part of their standard?

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Each of those lodging allegations discussion on this page are reported in the Daily Business News post, click image above.

Smith’s point is interesting. Especially given MHI’s history of being reactive, per prior chair Smith, why did Gooch and MHI’s leadership fail to condemn racism? Especially Why – given the fact that Ellison, and 3 other Democratic Congressional leaders – have signed onto a letter to the CFPB and the Department of Justice that alleges racism on the part of MHI’s dominant companies (Berkshire Hathaway units Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, 21st Mortgage Corp)?  Why don’t see that opponents of MHI’s bill may again use racism as a charge against them, as they did in the 2015 congressional session?

USRepMaxineWaterEmanuelCleaverKeithEllisonMikeCapuanoMastheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

These Democratic lawmakers have raised the issue of racism with respect to the companies that dominate MHI. MHProNews is the first in the Industry to notify industry readers that the Center for Accountability, about two weeks ago, put out a press release that they are pursuing this racism, steering and predactory lending issue. MHProNews asked MHI’s leadership about this, asking them to reject racism. After several days, they have not yet done so. Now, MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch admits that Rep. Ellison is opposing the MHI Preserving Access bill. Will any thinking person be surprised if Ellison, the CfA or others accuse MHI’s leadership of racism?  Why would MHI hesitate a second to reject racism?

Why didn’t Lesli Gooch’s letter to State Association Executives (shown below), include a reference to the various groups – including, but not limited to, the three below – which are targeting their bill, with allegations of racism, and more?

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB
  • Democratic lawmakers
  • Center for Accountability (CfA)

The first three hot links were added by MHProNews and where made bold, so that those who want to dig deeper can quickly access more information.  but all of the text below is by Gooch to state association executives…who, by the way, are NOT “MHI State Executive Directors.”

LesliGoochManufacturedHousingInstituteCongressMHIlogoSrVPGovtAffairsSeniorLobbyistRepKeithEllisonMHProNewscollage

Is there much doubt that many state associations are dominated by the same forces that dominate MHI? That said, state associations do not belong to MHI. They are not technically MHI state association executives, as Gooch opened her letter. Some executives resent that kind of address of MHI to them, as independent organizations.

From: Lesli Gooch [mailto:LGooch@mfghome.org] Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2017 11:48 AM
To: Lesli Gooch <LGooch@mfghome.org>
Cc: Rick Robinson <rrobinson@mfghome.org>
Subject: Federal Legislative Update

Hi MHI State Executive Directors,

I wanted to update you about some upcoming action in the House of Representatives on the two issues that we focused on during the MHI legislative fly-in. In June, MHI members went to the Hill to: (1) support H.R. 1699, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act and (2) Stop HUD’s expansion of the regulation of manufactured housing beyond, and often contradictory to, the statute – on issues like garages, carports, frost free foundation requirements, and on-site completion of construction. Attached is our “asks” document from the fly-in.

As soon as next week, we expect both of these issues to come up on the House floor when the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations package (H.R. 3354 – The Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act) is considered. We will know more about timing next Tuesday – while it was scheduled to come up next week we anticipate the Hurricane will likely push the timing back.

First, the language of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act is included in the underlying appropriations text that is being brought to the House floor. Rep. Ellison (D-MN) has filed an amendment with the Rules Committee to strike this language from the bill. We are advocating with the Rules Committee to decline his request to offer the amendment during House debate on the bill – as they did when he tried to strike our language out of Chairman Hensarling’s Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10).

Second, Rep. Barr has filed an amendment with the Rules Committee regarding HUD’s expansion of regulations on garages/carports; frost-free foundations; and on-site completion of construction. Here is the link to the amendment: http://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/barr824171353405340.pdf. These issues were raised in a bipartisan letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson (see attached). We are working to ensure the House Rules Committee agrees to allow the amendment to be offered during House debate on the bill.

We will keep you posted as things move forward. We plan to send out a grassroots call to action when we have a better sense of timing.

Thanks,

Lesli

Lesli Gooch, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President for Government Affairs & Chief Lobbyist

1655 Fort Myer Drive, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22209

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What’s Wrong is that We Don’t Ask What’s Right

In the video collage below, is a brief clip of ROC USA president Paul Bradley explaining “cohesion,” a point that MHI Financial Services Committee chairman Dick Ernst speaks about cohesion in the same video, noting its importance.

Bradley’s point is akin to Marty Lavin’s argument that notes the manufactured housing industry’s “other image campaign.”  Lavin’s meaning is that the negative news that is so common from the mainstream media – which Lavin has explained must be dealt with.  When the national association for years has not refuted the negatives that manufactured housing industry is often hit with, why would savvy home buyers invest?

TheManufacturedHousingInsittuteLogoManufacturedHomeIndustryOtherImageCampaignMartyLavinMHILogoMHProNews

To see what some other industry professionals have said about the pending MHI image campaign, click the image above.

Yet as Frank Rolfe and others have blasted MHI for their poor communications in defending the industry, or even promoting the industry.

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Why should MHI and their dominant companies be in charge of a planned industry image campaign? Why – or how could they possibly lead – when MHI’s own president has advocated publicly – more than once – that growth should be slow?  See Jennison’s statement in the roughly 20 second video above.

When Clayton and Cavco’s own published numbers indicate that they are growing at a pace somewhat slower than the industry at large, why should they call the shots for everyone else?

IndustryMarketShareClaytonCavco63ManufacturedHousingIndustryDataResearchMarketStockReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews613

Using MHI’s numbers, Cavco stated the above. Per MHI, the industry grew 15% 2016 over 2015. What that means is that Clayton and Cavco are growing at a somewhat slower pace in sales than the industry at large. Based upon those facts, why should those two companies dictate the course of MHI’s future, or their planned image campaign?

Why doesn’t MHI address the concerns, such as the allegation by a long-time member that – “the big companies [that dominate MHI] have figured out how to get the smaller and mid-sized companies [members of MHI] to pay for what they [the big companies] want” – why won’t MHI answer that or other legitimate questions and concerns?

We could go on and on with questions like the ones above.

MonopolyGameHasbroMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

For a story on Google and other monopoly concerns, and their impact on manufactured housing, click here or the image above. Photo by MHProNews, of the classic Monopoly game.  The longtime Parker Bros game product is now produced by Hasbro.

But let’s draw to a close today by saying, that after years of failures and disconnects, Why should MHI be trusted by anyone not a part of their inner circle?

MHARR is exploring expanding their membership.

Other company leaders have touched-based with MHProNews, saying they are exploring doing the

  • networking meetings,
  • trade shows,
  • promotion,
  • education,
  • post-production lobbying,
  • instead of MHI.

There are estimates that for less money than MHI spends, more could be done – and done more effectively – to Protect, Educate and Promote (PEP) the industry.

PEP-P.E.P.-Protect-Educate-Promote-mhassociationmantra-postedmastheadblog-MHProNews

A leading MH state association exec’s mantra we love to share.

MHLivingNews and MHProNews are prepared to support intelligent efforts to supplant what MHI does.

Why not let the big companies keep their big boys club?

Why not let there be an association that works on behalf of everyone else?

Feedback on this is welcome.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHProNewsMHLivingNews5StateConventionMastheadBlogMHProNews

Click on the graphic above to learn more about the rapidly approaching 5 State event.

L. A. “Tony” Kovach is the managing member of  LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.  The Masthead blog represents that editorial perspective, and may or may not represent the views of sponsors or others.

MHProNews is open to a diversity of professional viewpoints.  We routinely seek, get, and publish feedback from industry professionals that represents a range of diverse views and backgrounds.

 

MHI is once more invited to publicly debate via video, available both live and for later playback, their track record on protecting and promoting the manufactured home industry.

Staff Shakeup! What’s Next – Good and Bad – at the Manufactured Housing Institute?

June 24th, 2017 No comments

Let’s begin with several examples of good news, before we get into the headline concerns.

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   A huge, new manufactured home community has broken ground, and is underway.  That upscale MHC project, linked here, joins Scott Robert’s and his team’s big MHC project, linked here.

   A new, independent HUD Code home manufacturing center has broken ground.  That Daily Business News story is linked here.

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   The industry continues at a double-digit growth rate. Some companies – which we are happy to say are clients/sponsors – are growing at an even more rapid rate than the industry at large is; we’ll point to 3 of many examples, from 3 different sectors – linked here, here, and here.

** These are all some of the many examples of good news to report. We report good news, along with challenge engagements – ** such as the Tornado Researchers at MSU making positive statements about manufactured homes ** – on a routine basis.

 

LakelandLedgerSolvingAffordabilityProblemTonyKovachManufacruredHOmesTornadoesWindstorms

 Good news in the mainstream media ought to be widely shared, right? Ideally, these things ought to be done in tandem with an association, as was the case in the story linked above.

We’ll talk about problematic items later below.  Let’s first tee that topic up, as follows.

GetMeasurableResultsPictureGraphicImageManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Success isn’t how many emails go to congressmen or senators. Success is getting the legislation you said you wanted, passed into law. Everything else is moot.

How is True Progress Measured?

All true progress requires a few basic things.

1) A willingness to admit that something can be better.

2) A willingness to change to make things better (buy in).

3) Ideally, a plan or operational theory (hypothesis).

4) A timeline (“Everyone needs deadlines.” – Walt Disney.)

5) Execution of the plan.

6) Objective, measurable benchmarks.

   Is the plan working? 

   If so, how well and at what costs?

   How is the ROI?

   Could the plan or execution be improved? 

   If ineffectual, can it become effective, or should it be scrapped?

In summary, professional progress requires – an open mind, a vision, objectivity, analysis, discernment, and adjustments as needed. Vince Lombardi said the goal of the winning team –  or person – is excellence.

 ProgressMindLIkeParachuteWorksBestWhenOpenManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsCommenatryMHProNews625

To rephrase, one must see reality as it is. Then the good, the mediocre, and the bad – plus:

   the honesty,

   integrity,

   willingness,

   and determined commitments needed to obtain a worthwhile goal. Those are some key elements in achieving positive change.

 

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Image by MHProNews.com

 

Failure to commit, or

   a lack of honesty,

   or any of the other needed elements, weakens or cripples a plan.

Positive, Negative, and Power

It is worth reviewing that to be effective as trade publishing – as media – one must be willing to look at positive and negative issues. Cheerleading is great and needed in an organization – including media?! – but mindless cheerleading is eventually exposed as empty.

Being solely negative is as problematic at achieving progress as being only positive. Realism and objectivity are needed.

As an engineer confirmed/reminded us recently, there is no power in electricity without both positive and negative electrons flowing.  The same is true in life, or for effective trade journalism. Power comes from looking at the good and the negative. It’s true for any profession.

If someone can’t look at – and deal with – the positive as well as negative, that person is in denial.

Stating the Obvious for clarity – the good, bad and in between happen continuously in life.

ElectricityRequiresPositiveNegativePolarityWithoutBothNoPowerLeadersMediaMustDealRealityPositiveNegativeToCreateEnergyChangeMHProNewsMHI’s Recent Shakeup

MHI supporters as well as critics have sounded off on the senior staff shake ups. If you’ve not read that story, please click the photo below or the link here.

We’ve heard from supporters of Lois Starkey. Even those who were not necessarily fans noted that there is no one at MHI at this time that understands the technical aspects of the HUD Code as well as Starkey does. To rephrase, MHI is now objectively weaker as a trade organization in her absence.

Who are they going to find/train to replace what Starkey did? Do they have work-around? Sure, but this incident speaks volumes on a variety of levels.

LoisStarkeyRichardADickJennisonManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryTonyKovachMastheadBlogMHProNews

A common statement heard is ‘why didn’t MHI make some kind of announcement?’

Perhaps the other is underscored by the Tom Heinemann side of this. While I spoke personally with all of the folks at MHI, perhaps the one I engaged with the least was Heinemann. Here’s what MHI put out about him when he was hired, less than 18 months ago.

 StaffShakeupMHProNewsTomHeinemannGovernentAffairsTeamManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI-GRelationsMHProNews

Now, this professional that MHI was so pleased to welcome, he’s now gone.

Objectively, if you were the next candidate looking at job opportunities in Washington’s metro, as a career-minded person, why would you pick MHI? Doesn’t a 6 year snapshot of MHI reveal a revolving door in-and-out of that organization? 

Reportedly, some left MHI on their own, unhappy. Others – allegedly including Tom and Lois – were shown the door. The average time there looks pretty thin, doesn’t it? Or is this, as some say — “The New MHI Way” — ??

Looking at Thayer Long’s Example

Thayer Long went on from MHI, and now is at NPES. This was sent to me this morning, and we created the collage.

 

ThayerLongWhatTheyThinkManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNews595

The text at the right are parts of a press release, sent to MHProNews. Thayer Long left MHI, is now at a new association. That new association is starting the kind of process that could make sense for MHI to do, please see the bullets in this article, down below. Thayer started fresh, why not others at MHI?

Reminder…

A well-known state association executive at an MHEC meeting – with dozens present in the room – turned to Long and succinctly said, “Thayer, with all due respect, you’re not getting the job done.”

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State and Community Executives are once more getting the positive attention and credit that their work so richly deserves. While national associations meet with DC based regulators, policy advocates, Congressional staff or members, its the state and community associations and their members who are the “boots on the ground” that makes it all happen.

Within weeks, Long was gone. He reportedly left on his own.  If you look at the collage with Thayer’s photo above, you’ll see that the outcome for him looks like a happy one.

We don’t wish anyone at MHI ill, but don’t some of them need to find a fresh start, for their own sake (like Thayer’s), and that of the association and the MH Industry? 

Look at MHI’s own stated agenda items, then look at their lack of achievement in the last almost 6 years.

MHI may have a few keepers. But after years of failure, don’t many on staff with the title of VP or CEO need to go?

They’ve burned through some 15 millions of dollars in 5 years – plus PAC money! – and have not gotten the job done.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoBurnedthrough15million5yearsCommentaryMHProNews 

They’ve played games, and played favorites. But most important of all, they’ve not gotten the job done.

Cutting loose two VPs shortly before their own Washington, D.C. legislative fly in, what where they thinking??

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   On DTS

   On Preserving Access

   On HUD

   On media engagement,

   and more, they’ve had a train of bad or problematic positions, missed opportunities, and clear failures to achieve their own stated mission.

MHI’s own goals are their objective benchmarks. Billions are at stake. Isn’t it past due to clean up most of the house in Arlington?

Can MHI Even Get Industry Facts Right? Please??

This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the Arlington, VA based umbrella association can’t get key facts right in their own reports on the industry to others. We’ll cover that issue soon.

As a prominent MHI member told me by phone recently, bankers want solid data (no, this wasn’t the DTS issue, but the same principle applies). MHI doesn’t get generate research often enough, and when they do, it’s often demonstrably wrong in enough places to cast doubt about their “research.”

They’re often demonstrably contradict their own previously published positions. No corrections. Just one set of facts that differ from others. No real explanations.

Hello? Think about know how that makes the industry’s umbrella association appear to third parties? Or how it makes members who support them look?

Frankly, we’d love to see a house cleaning before we have to publish those upcoming reports. We’d be willing to work with a new administration at MHI, so long as they want to ‘do right’ by the industry – including the thousands of independents.

Be it incompetence, or by design, or any other cause that can be imagined or alleged – their failures are harming thousands of independents, thus choking off ROBUST growth that would benefit nearly everyone.

TrillionDollarHousingMarketManufacturedHomesAreSolutionMastheadblogMHProNews 

That must change.

What’s Next at MHI?

This isn’t junior high school, and isn’t a popularity contest. We give and take critiques, and when they are well intentioned, they ought to be embraced.

For years, we tried to work within their system and behind the scenes.

That didn’t work, so we began to go public. Some at MHI allegedly were out to get us long before we did go public, and we could document that if/as needed.  This is about the industry, current and millions of potential customers, not me or any one person within MHLand.

Solutions?

A pro-MHI member asked/suggested this. Paraphrasing:

Tony, you need to give MHI leaders an off ramp. You need to put something on the table that will make sense to pro-MHI members, as well as others.’

OffRampExitMastheadBlogMHProNews

Ok, here it is.

1)        Do a phased house-cleaning, and bring in a one year to 18 month interim president. Someone from the MH industry, someone that is independent. No disrespect to larger companies, but not someone beholden to any of them.

2)        Give that interim president 60 days to make a report and plan to leadership, the association/members and to the industry at large.

3)        That plan should be a strategic vision for the industry, and for the comprehensive reform of MHI into an effective body that can work with MHARR, communities, retailers, public officials, potential home buyers and the hundreds – (thousands?!) – of potential allies among the non-profits, consumer groups, media, and the millions of home seekers.

4)        The interim CEO should not be an MHI employee. While I’d be thrilled to consult and work with such a person, to be clear, I’m not interested in nor lobbying for such a role. Do I have possible good fits? Yes, but I think the industry ought to develop a list of qualifiers for the interim role. Then, ask for applicants. May the best woman or man, win.

5)        There should also be an interim VP.  That person might be someone with significant association experience. Some are retired or near retirement, that may make a good fit for such an advisory role.

6)        Look at what MHI has done in the last decade. What’s good? Keep it or refine it. What’s failed or not worked? Learn from it and check it off the list for future use. Example, their ‘engage’ system is a good idea. While some love it, frankly with the Feds, the bottom line results are totally missing. It’s a good idea that needs to be revamped, under new leadership.

7)        Doesn’t everyone in communications, plus no less than one president and 2 to 3 more VPs need to go? It should be noted that allegedly every single VP at MHI has privately criticized MHI’s president, some politely. Some harshly. Those criticisms were either made directly to us – or to third parties – and we eventually hear about it.  That speaks volumes as to the need to radically reform MHI and its culture.

8)        The “MHI, we’re bigger so we must be the best” mindset has to go. They behave in ways contrary to their own interests, that of their own members, their state ‘affiliates,’ and certainly to the majority of the industry at large.

9)        Create an inclusive, vibrant vision, plan and mission to mainstream manufactured housing acceptance. Protect, educate, and promote that vision and mission.

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.

The timing and departure of Starkey and Heinmann is sadly emblematic of MHI in recent years.

There is no reason to believe that MHI will improve, unless they first candidly admit their mistakes.

If MHI makes its admissions and amends to all those they’ve injured – and there are many – then I think a fresh start could be attempted. We’d be willing to engage in something that looked like the above.

Years before we took the positions we did, Dick Moore wanted to do a post-production association (MHIdea). MHARR has called for one for years. Among state execs, privately and publicly, there have been solutions floated.

George Allen – agree or disagree with him – has shown that hundreds could be organized.

MHARR senior advisor Danny Ghorbani has floated the idea of opening that group up to a broader membership. It would fall to their president and CEO, Mark Weiss, to make that happen.

Change Will Happen…

Something will give, count on it. People will only tolerate stuff so long.

We hope MHI decides to take the path of reform, or in time from among those noted or from a new source, watch as a rival rises that will leave them in the dust they alone created.

Let’s close by saying that MHI members are routinely good, nice people. We’ve all enjoyed a pleasant meeting or event. There are keeper elements at MHI. But there’s much to be reformed, or supplanted, right??

It’s up to every professional to take stock, and armed with the facts, to act.

We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

learntobegoodstorytellersdefineourselvesorotherswilldefineusoftendetrimentindustrypublicpolicymakers-latonykovach-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrymhpronewsBy L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Publisher | Consultant | Service Provider |
Award-Winning Industry Veteran |
863-213-4090
LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – dba
MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com

 

 

 

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Tunica Sizzle$ with Succe$$! – Looking for Growth? Tunica Manufactured Home Show Loom$ Large

March 24th, 2017 No comments

Show me the Money!”

show-me-the-money-tunica-manufactured-housing-show-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-

Looking for growth? Searching for new products and services? Then look no further than the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, which takes place starting Tuesday afternoon, next week!

Yes, Tuesday afternoon is when the Business Building Educational Seminars will take place.

The topics cut to the heart of some key issues involving what’s necessary for growth.

Tuesday’s Business Building Seminars allow attendees and vendors alike to focus the rest of their time on the necessary details that keep your manufactured and modular home enterprises moving ahead.

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See why we call these the “Standing Room Only Seminar Series!”

Tunica is also emblematic of much that is taking place in the manufactured housing industry, more on that later…

It’s by far the largest manufactured housing trade show in the country.

Dozens of homes on display, and the biggest exhibition of products and services in the Nation, all set in the charm of good old fashioned Southern Hospitality.

TunicaManufacturedHousingShow2017ManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

While all of the industry trade events get more people from within a days drive, Tunica will also attract professionals who will hop a flight to learn more to earn more at the seminars, and compare national products and services, that are going to be found in the Exhibit Hall.

2017TunicaManufacturedHousingShowMultiSectionalsMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Some of what is going on behind the scenes will be looked at post Tunica, that’s what’s indicative of the realities of the manufactured housing industry today. Don’t miss that Masthead read!

Tunica, A Top Attraction – So A Top Read!

While obviously not everyone who reads an article actually attends an event, the extraordinarily high readership about the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show suggests that turnout will be strong.

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Over 10,000 hits this month alone on just a single Tunica Show press release suggests thousands of pros will be there at the opening. Learn more linked here. We have other articles with thousands of hits too, all in Tunica.  To see the sights and sounds, check out the video and the website, here.

Learn, Earn, Return

One key to success in any field is to be able to duplicate a result, over and over again.

The more you can achieve a good professional outcome, the more you prove it wasn’t just pure luck. The doctor doing his first surgery? Cadaver practice is ok, but if we need a procedure done, don’t we want the MD who’s been doing that routinely and successfully for years?

Of course.

And when you learn to do something new that’s positive, you can earn more. And return more capital and talent to your team mates, yours and their dreams, supported causes and desires.

It’s the Sizzle!

show-me-the-money-tunica-manufactured-housing-show-2017-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-(3)

They say sizzle sells the fajitas and the steak. The hotter that plate, the more the sizzle and when done right, the more your mouth waters.

  • The sizzle of Tunica is Profitsssssss$$$$$.

 

  • The sizzle of Tunica is Sucesse$$$$$$.

 

  • The sizzle of Tunica is mixing fun with businee$$.

 

  • The sizzle of Tunica are the hot new model home$!!

 

The display of new model homes are the ones that can set you apart from the competition. The ones that can serve entry level – as well as that far larger, multi-billion dollar – residential-style housing market.

The sizzle of Tunica is networking, learning new and doable idea$, that can work for you and your business.

Tunica sizzle$ in mixing business with pleasure. Memphis is nearby, and if you’re feeling lucky or confident, there’s gaming for those who think they can beat the odds that favor the house.

Odds Are…

If you’ve read this far, you are half way there, or already booked. Let me share a few notes on the professional educational part of the event. Get there early for the best seat, because the education really does cut to some key manufactured housing Obstacles – and Opportunities.

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You won’t want your competition to be there, and you miss out!

Engaging The Media – A Proven Pathway to Sizzling Profit$

FrankRolfeMobileHomeUniversityRVHorizonsPostedMastheadBlogMHProNewsTag-Frank Rolfe is widely known in our industry as an engaging personality and presenter. He’s been called a Donald Trump of our industry by Kurt Kelley, a successful manufactured housing financial services provider and writer-turned publisher.

Few can claim the level of mainstream media engagement that Rolfe has obtained. The  controversial New York Times article – The Cold, Hard Lessons About Mobile Home U – led to more articles in publications like Bloomberg, which touted “Double-Wide-Returns” in the manufactured home community sector.

Others in media followed, making Rolfe one of the most publicized personalities in manufactured housing today.

Clearly, his numbers show that since all of that publicity – as  controversial as it may have been – led to double-wide growth in the 3 years since for Rolfe and his partners drew national attention.

Agree or disagree with Frank’s terminology, but do you think you might learn some things from him during his part of the panel? In Wisconsin, they’d say – youbetcha!

 

Contrast sparking Frank with Millennial, 3rd gen community pro, Tom Fath. Tom is part of the next generation of manufactured housing professionals. I have had the sneak peek. You’ll get from Tom a visually rich presentation that will be wildly different than Frank’s, but you tell me if it will be any less compelling.

TomFathNewDurhamEstatesManufacturedHomeCommunityWestvilleINPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

I’ll give you the bottom line that the industry needs to hear.

Over 400% new home sales growth. Tom can tell you that it’s logistics that has kept his family from growing even faster!

While Frank’s media magic attracts controversy, investors – and dollars – Tom, his family and friends’ team attracts a growing number of residential-style buyers that moved them from selling mostly cheap, used houses to now selling mostly brand new ones to well qualified customers who pay cash or have good credit.

If soft-spoken Tom and the Fath family team can do it, odds are good that you can too.

 

This will be a classic contrast between Rolfe and Fath, because both have been successful.  If you are in the audience, you’ll be the winner.

Hot, New! Lenders Financing Panel

This year we’re shaking it up on the lenders retail financing panel!

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Sticking with the underlying theme of what will grow our industry the most, more sustainably and the fastest, these lenders will share their experiences of what some of the Best Retailers and Communities in the land do to attract more customers with cash or good credit.

While many retailers and MH Communities focus on the vexing question, ‘how do I get that marginal, sub-prime customer done?’ The lenders on our panel will be talking or giving a PowerPoint Presentation on the tips and insights that bring the well qualified buyers in that can get financing easily.

Keep in mind this fact. *** There’s way more good credit customers than bad credit dreamers. ***

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Want More Proof?

The RV business outsells manufactured housing about 5 to 1. Their products are much more per square foot than a sharp multi-sectional. They attract cash and good credit customers by the droves to RC centers.

Millions buy a stick-built house. Many could have easily bought a manufactured home. What kept millions of them from even thinking or looking long at our industry?

Go pack to the topic of our first Panel, Engaging the Media.

You’ll learn more to earn more from these three presentations on Tuesday afternoon before the main show opens up. Word is the show hotels are booked solid. But if you don’t have a room yet, and you find that’s the case, there are plenty of options right down the street.

And that packed house – 2 packed show hotels – should tell you how busy the Tunica Show could be. You should be there too.

Bring your umbrella and a light jacket. Rain or shine, the show will go on!

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Photo credit, OMHA.

Last. Hopefully, for You, not Lea$t!

My presentation will also be on Engaging the Media.  My professional experiences in this regard are simple, and I think you find, exciting. They are a dream come true for those of you who wished for ways to engage the media successfully yourself.

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Tony has obtained free pr dozens of times for clients in publications such as the Chicago Sun Times News Group, and Moxie Magazine, – postive ink for manufactured home professionals in states from border to border.

Let’s step back and set the stage.

Why does a healthy media engagement strategy matter? Because public opinion – home buyers viewpoints – must be changed to draw in more cash and good credit buyers.

If media engagement causes more to embrace the amazing value of manufactured housing, then public officials and home buyers opinions will follow.

We earn our keep doing consulting, marketing, sales recruiting and training. I’ve been hands on in MH and MHCs since the early 1980s. And when you get positive local and regional media coverage in YOUR area, and you’ve prepared for that, you can watch your sales soar.

Because while we always have to keep in mind the entry level, shade and shelter products that brought manufactured housing to the dance, by far our greatest potential is in the residential style side of our industry.

When you sell six figure HUDs on a land lease that’s $300 a month higher than any community around yours – and they’re selling cheaper stuff – you know your sales team are ‘studs and skirts’ who’ve had positive free Media and paid marketing that’s supported them well (pardon the un-PC sales pro analogy – but you get it – people who perform professionally for your firm).

Come see why the Fath Family isn’t alone.

With patience, preparation, the right products, systems, etc…You’ll Learn to attract and sell more well qualified customers than you may have ever dreamed possible.

Reality. Not fantasy. Done it, not just some theory. From TX, to IL, WI to OK and more places from border to border, our experiences can inspire and benefit you and your operation.

Let the witnesses in this video tell you that tale, in their own words.

Part of the proof of our media strategy is right in front of you. We’ve dominated the MH trade publishing since our first year in business. Why?

Because when you know the audience, and you know your stuff – and you have the motivation – you can learn the systems that attract and sell them!

TunicaManufacturedHousingShow2017ExhbitHallMapManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com, Inside MH, MHC-MD.com, MHMarketingSalesManagement.com, you’ll find us in the Exhibit Hall, booth #73. See shaded booth above.

But Tuesday afternoon, those three Business Building Seminars could start the process of changing your professional life, for good.

We’ll also be at booth #73 please come by and say hi. B2B or B2C. If you need marketing, media, sales recruitment, training, web, video – you’ll be glad you’ve stopped by.

My truly better half and son will be at booth #73 too! I’m just glad they let me come to the big Tunica Show too. Rain and/or shine, see you next week? ##

LATonyKovachMHLivingNewsMHProNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryPublisherMarketingSalesTrainerConsultant-

Tony is one of the top presenters in manufactured housing, per professional audience feedback forms. For more testimonials, click the image above.

(Image credits are MHProNews.com/GraphicStock, unless otherwise shown.)

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Come by and see us at Exhibit Hall booth #73.

Jiu Jitsu January in Manufactured Homeland, USA

January 10th, 2017 No comments

Stating the obvious brings clarity.

There are direct, indirect and a combination of methods that can be employed to deal with a given challenge — especially when it involves people.

Dictionary.com defines Jiu Jitsu as “the use of an opponent’s strengths or one’s own weaknesses to accomplish one’s goals: That was a kind of intellectual jujitsu…”

Almost everyone knows how much the media can help or harm a given business or industry.

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Bad News Headlines credit: The Odyssey Online.

Specifically, we know that most media coverage on manufactured housing sadly tends to be more harmful then helpful.

Manufactured housing professionals therefore must be pro-active in teaching the truth about the industry – to professionals as well as to others.  We have a great story, but a complex history means it must be properly told.

Beyond positive messages, the problematic and the misunderstood also must be dealt with.

On the Masthead we’ve long believed – and have practiced for years – that the industry must make public replies to slanted or biased news as often as possible.

In the last half of 2016, MHProNews and MHLivingNews  increased the tempo of routinely engaging

  • states/community associations,
  • both national associations,
  • company leaders,
  • experts, and
  • a variety of industry professionals for comments on a variety of issues.

Some will reply off the record, some won’t reply on-or-off the record, but most others are quite willing to go on-the-record as well as provide useful insights on meaty issues.

MHActionHomePagePavingRoadtoHellManufacturedHousingActionPostedMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

MHAction is just one of several possible examples. They are recruiting members in manufactured home communities. Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynold lead RV Horizons and Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) are but two examples of operations that MHAction has targeted. See articles, linked below.

Those comments from you and your peers allow us to increasingly go beyond aggregating news – as useful and important as news aggregation can be – to:

  • generating news,
  • reactions to news,
  • commentary on news.

This is therefore a collaborative effort. Almost everyone who has provided reactions and commentary to us ought to get a glass raised in their honor.  Some of the associations, alphabetically, whose executives have provided us with on-the-record feedback on timely topics include:

Arkansas
California
Florida
Georgia
Indiana
Louisiana
MHARR
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Ohio
South Carolina and
Texas

Others beyond those noted have previously shared their timely takes on important issues too.

Properly crafted, new reaction/analysis articles can often rank high on Google. So even an initial media blast looks and is bad, when we’re provided the needed support, the follow up stories can give researchers now and in the future some other perspective to consider.

OzyMediaTrailerParkNationMobileHomesManufacturedHomeProfessionalMHProNews-_001

Do you recall the Ozy Media blast last year?  Thousands in the media and in public policy do. Thus, reaction articles that clear up reporting errors is valuable. Credit, Google search at date time shown, comments and arrows, MHProNews.

That in turn has led to more good-news and favorable stories than the industry has seen in several years.

The essential point is that YOUR bottom-line is either helped-or-harmed by negative or favorable news.

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Fact-based reports like the one above belies the pictures that NPR or MHAction present. Are there bad or problematic actors in the industry? Sure, and MHPros routinely condemn those who harm home owners and the industry’s image, see the articles liked below. 

The other bottom-line is that using jiu-jitsu in journalism can turn lemons into lemonade.

Combined with the kinds of commentary you’ve seen on Industry Voices last year, the comments of experts inside and outside of MHVille (the manufactured home industry, aka manufactured homeland) and you have potent mix that often devastates what others have said and written that is a costly slam on our industry.

NPR Mobile Home Parks Manufactured Home Masthead Blog Commentary, MHProNews.

The number two story under a Google search under news reflects our media release picked up by hundreds of sites, including Digital Journal, as shown. That Digital Journal response to NPR article, is linked here.

2017 Golden Opportunity – Captured or Missed?

For those who have forgotten, the Seattle Times pummeled manufactured housing’s biggest brand for the better part of 2 years.  That firm and Warren Buffett both responded. MHLivingNews and MHProNews did reports, commentary and analysis, under the presumption that an attack on the image of the largest was an attack on all.

Is our industry in for another round of such attacks?  This time, focused on investor owned communities?

NPRMobileHomeParkOwnersCanSpoilAffordableAmericanDreamMHLivingNewMHProNews

These graphics of actual Google searches above demonstrates the value of doing response, reaction, and commentary articles after ‘bad news’ strikes. Scaling these efforts are worth millions in local markets and billions nationally, while protecting MH homeowners’ value and image.

The NPR reports in December and yesterday, along with the MHAction and other higher profile posts suggests that industry opponents or skeptics are engaged. Which is why manufactured housing professionals must be ready too.

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A leading MH state association exec’s mantra we love to share.

Protect Educate Promote (PEP)

In conjunction with sponsors and supporters, MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com have worked with others to defend and promote the industry.  If you are invested in this industry in terms of career or dollars, look carefully at those who are supporting our efforts and do business with their services. Their support makes our work possible.

But much more needs to be done.  The results on this page can and should be scaled.

That in turn could increase the value proposition to home owners, attract better qualified customers – those with cash or good credit – and thus yield more sales and profits.

We know this works from actual cases with clients, some of whom have gone on-the-record to share those positive results.

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Collage from MHLivingNews home page. Protecting, Educating and Promoting MHLiving to the public.

The Profitable Struggle Lies Ahead in DC, 2017

Those who oppose a pro-business, pro-growth agenda in Washington, DC are preparing for the hearings and legislation that are now upon us as the Obama era winds down, and the Trump era begins.

We’ll soon see who gains or retains the upper hand. The cold winds of the political establishment resistance will encourage the warmth of pro-growth, job creating ‘drain the swamp’ agenda will ascend. As one of our client firms recently told us, almost all of their retailers and community clients that talk politics were pro-Trump.

It took decades of regulatory increases to get our economy to point of low growth and skyrocketing debt.  So it will take some time to get that pattern reversed, even if the incoming President Trump is successful at getting his legislation swiftly passed.

In the meantime, we in MHVille are not just spectators. We can be part of the process of recovery.

The articles below will show the battles and opportunities that lie ahead.

Keep tuning into the Industry’s first and still only Daily Business News for the latest on the front-lines of what is happening in housing and broad world that impacts our industry, MH homeowners, prospective buyers — and your bottom lines.

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LouisvilleShow2017

Updates on Louisville and Tunica will be hitting the Corporate Press Releases, stay tuned. More articles will be added by the end of this week to dozens shown below, and keep your eyes on the corporate press release and other modules.

Against this Protect Educate Promote Jiu Jitsu backdrop, with no further adieu, we bring you Featured Articles for January 2017. ##

Featured Articles for January 2017

Todd Lamb on NPR’s ‘Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream’
by Todd Lamb

ToddGLambLambInvestments1postedIndustryVoices_ManufacturedHomeCommunities-MHIndustry-MHProNews200x200-144x144Tony, you are the third person sending me this NPR article. I read it and have BIG problems with the way the article was written. Read more…

Anti Community MHAction Targets Frank Rolfe, RV Horizons and ELS
by Soheyla Kovach

s-kSmall-to-large manufactured home community (MHC) operations are no strangers to the ire of anti-investor activists. Read more…

Paul Bradley ROCUSA Reacts, NPR’s “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream”
By Paul Bradley

paul-bradley-50Part I of the NPR story needed a balanced industry response that came clean first and then provided many real examples how “the charges” are not typical.  Read more…

Shocking Facts! Making 2017 Grrr8 for Communities, Retailers Starts in Louisville!
by Stan Posey

stanposeysunshinehomesfeaturedarticlemanufacturedhousingpronewslouisvillemanufacturedhousingshow2017-50x50Earlier…we wrote at length about the decline in US housing inventory being, in effect, the next crisis for the housing market,” said Myles Udland for Business InsiderRead more…

HUD Announces Record $1.9 Billion in Grants to “End Homelessness”
By RC Williams

rc-williams-mhpronews-dailybusinessnewsOn December 20th, the Department of Housing an Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has awarded a record $1.95 billion to numerous homeless assistance programs across the U.S., including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read more…

Kelley Reacts, NPR’s “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream”
by Kurt Kelley

KurtKellyJDPresidentMobileInsurance-postedIndustryVoicesManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews-There are bad operators in every industry that disgrace themselves and their fellow industry members. Read more…

Security Mortgage Group Finances $40,853,000 for Communities in a Week
By Soheyla Kovach

s-kSecurity Mortgage Group – a national award-winning MH Community lending broker – provided $40,853,000 in  for several manufactured home communities nationwide, the Daily Business News has learned. Read more…

Congressman Dennis A. Ross’ statement on Dr. Ben Carson for HUD Secretary
By Dennis A. Ross
USCongressmanDennisRoss-RFL15-OfficialPhoto-I fully support President-elect Trump’s appointment of Dr. Ben Carson as the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Read more…

What is the business of America?
By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachBoth America and our industry’s members face a similar set of challenges and opportunities.
Read more…

FHFA, GSEs and the Duty To Serve Manufactured Housing – Mark Weiss, JD – Viewpoint
By Mark Weiss, JD

M-MarkWeiss-MHARRPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-Chattel lending is crucial to the availability of affordable manufactured housing for American families, representing as much as 80% of consumer loans for the purchase of new manufactured homes.
Read more…

Media-Based Attack on Investor-Owned Communities=’The Private Equity Takeover of America’s Neighborhoods’
by Soheyla Kovach

s-kIn the waning days of December, 2016 – and just five days before National Public Radio (NPR) pulled their slanted Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream – Washington DC’s The Hill published a column by Kevin Borden and Jonathan Westin.  Read more…

Tim Williams, OMHA, Responds to Issues Raised by NPR Report on Manufactured Home Communities
By Tim Williams

tim-williams-ohio-manufactured-home-associatio-mhpronewsNational Public Radio (NPR) did a two-part report released this week on manufactured home communities, part one of their controversial story – “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” – including initial manufactured home industry related responses, are linked here.
Read more…

Inside Look – Tricon Capital’s Recent Manufactured Home Community Moves
by RC Williams

rc-williams-mhpronews-dailybusinessnewsToronto, Canada based Tricon Capital Group Inc. (TCN.TO), recently announced that its Tricon Lifestyle Communities (“TLC”) investment vertical has acquired a portfolio of three manufactured housing communities in California comprising a total of 421 residential pads for $30.4 million. Read more…

FHFA Issues Final Rule on Duty to Serve GSEs Will Receive Credit for Chattel Loans
by James R. Ayotte, CAE
JimAyotteFloridaManufacturedHousingAssociationFMHA-IndustryVoices-ManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentary-MHProNews--144x144On December 13, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final rule to implement the “Duty to Serve” (DTS) requirements.  Read more…

More Investor Moves, Insider Action at Sun Communities
by RC Williams

rc-williams-mhpronews-dailybusinessnewsMore action for Sun Communities Inc. (NYSE:SUI), as investors and insiders are making moves. Read more…

Skeptic on DTS Rule Having Much Short-Term Impact on Manufactured Home Lending
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThose who’ve read this column for years know that your Masthead writer is:  Read more…

Paul Bradley on the Pending FHFA Final Duty to Serve Rule
by Paul Bradley

PaulBradleyROCUSA-postedMHProNews-com-75x91-This and Leslie Gooch’s article both push for a chattel pilot in Land Lease Communities; ROC USA is right with them!  Like Gooch, I see the fundamental issue coming down to what we can work out with the GSEs relative to, as she wrote, “reasonable standards for land leases in conjunction with such homes.
Read more…

R2D2? Seriously?
by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachImagine that your garbage collection worker vanished. No one takes that person’s place. Read more…

Open Letter to Dr. Ben Carson – How You Could Lead HUD to Historic Achievements by Ending a Form of Discrimination
by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachTo: Dr. Ben Carson – named by President-elect Donald J. Trump as his desired Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Read more…

Judge Reverses Controversial Decision to Close Manufactured Home Community
by RC Williams

rc-williams-mhpronews-dailybusinessnewsIn a hotly contested property rights versus residents rights case, originally covered by the Daily Business News in September, a Santa Clara County, California Superior Court judge has reversed an order to close Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, Palo Alto’s last manufactured home community, based on a court filing from its residents. Read more…

Manufactured, Modular and PreFab Housing Industry News Never Sleeps
By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachIt’s lunchtime somewhere on planet Earth. As reports we’ve done for years – and added more to this past week – there are international stories about factory-built housing. Read more…

Loved. Hated. Misunderstood. Distrusted. Feared. Enslaved…and possible Breakthrough to Freedom?
by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachLabels, thinking, deeds and inactions all may have limiting consequences. Read more…

Trexler Cites Regulatory, Economic Conditions in 2016 – Nobility Homes Announces Quarterly Sales, Income, Profit Results
by Soheyla Kovach

tony- kovachThe demand for affordable manufactured housing in Florida and the U.S. is improving,” said Nobility Homes President Terry Trexler.  Read more…

It’s Not Just Stocks – Dollar Energized, Moving Up vs World Currencies – MH Impact?
by Soheyla Kovach

s-kRight now, there is an incredible amount of pressure to sell just about every type of currency and buy the dollar,” Financial Stock Market (FSM) reports that Sunrise Capital Partners LLC, chief investment officer Christopher Stanton said. Read more…

U.S. Existing Homes Sales Reach Highest Level in Nine Years
By RC Williams

rc-williams-mhpronews-dailybusinessnewsData from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that Americans bought homes in November at the fastest pace in nearly a decade. Read more…

New Federal Lending Option “Opens” for Manufactured Homes in Quiet, pre-New Year Report
by Soheyla Kovach

s-kThe United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service (RHS) announced it would begin a pilot project that would open up lending for manufactured home loans on existing (pre-owned, used) manufactured homes, per a report by Brian Collins on National Mortgage News. Read more…

2017 Millennial Housing Revolution. What About Manufactured Housing?
by Soheyla Kovach

s-kAOL Small Business, and the Washington Post are two of several mainstream media sites reporting an anticipated surge of millennials into the housing market.  Read more…

##

Post above by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

 

R2D2? Seriously?

January 1st, 2017 No comments

Imagine that your garbage collection worker vanished. No one takes that person’s place.

Life would get pretty smelly, bug-and-rodent infested pretty quickly, right?

TrashGarbagePileUpSanitationStrikeCreditJapanTimes-postedMastheadBlogMHProNews515

Picture that you’re a supervisor at a production center. The team you manage quits, and no one will take their place.

Your favorite breakfast, lunch or place-for-a-beverage spot loses all their workers. No one takes on those roles. You, those businesses owners that served you and others are all SOOL (Sorry, out of Luck).

You own or manage a manufactured home community or a MH retail center. The grounds keeper/lawn mower stops coming, the maintenance guys leave, as does the office worker, sales/leasing, and service personnel…

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Those who make deliveries and installations vanish, and no people – or robots – take over…

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Ouch, right?

Or the firefighter, police officer or EMT walks off-the-job, and no one steps up.  No one to protect the people and property in that town, city, or county.

The soldier, sailor, airman, marine, medical or support people…gone, and no one is left to defend the nation.

The spiritual leader says, to hell with it,” and leaves only hell in their wake, because no one takes that vital role that encourages good vs. evil.

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Whether you are a billionaire, broke, or in-between, we all need other people.

R2D2 – Yes, Seriously…

ThinkerReflectionsCreditLifestyleFactoryHomesLLC2016MHProNews

If you’ve not seen part 1 of this post, please click the image above. Image credit=MHProNews.com

The above is supposed to be part 2 of previous Masthead reflections (Reflection part 2 or “R2”). The “D2” observes that reflections should lead to Discussions and Directions too (D2).

In our industry, or any other, there’s no job that’s unimportant. The person at the hospital who empties bed pans or cleans floors are different in their role than the MD.  But how sanitary would the hospital be without those who keep people and buildings clean?

The MD needs those “keep it clean” professionals, and those custodial and others involved in sanitary conditions need that MD.

That’s solidarity and subsidiarity in-a-nutshell.

We all need others, period.  We all need to work with others, and those efforts are the most efficient at the lowest possible political, familial, or economic level.

“The List” in MHVille

With the above in mind, we won’t make a list of “who is who” in manufactured, modular, and PreFab housing. All who perform some meaningful, necessary work are important. That’s true, even if they never read this – or even if they can’t read this.

The investor is as necessary as the doer.  Each should respect the other, because each requires the other.  The principles and examples noted apply to any arena of life.

SolidarityLIkeSuccessGoogle-ManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMastheadBlog-MHProNews

Scroll down to see the graphic and definition of Subsidiarity.

Are there some “professions” which have no redeeming value at all? Perhaps the criminal? The identity thief or hacker?

Irony! Problems Create Opportunities

Crime, properly understood, is unnecessary.

But the fact that it happens reminds us of the reality of

  • good and evil,
  • the need to correct errors,
  • every sinner’s needs for salvation.

Wrong or evil activity reminds us of the need to provide safeguards to defend rights and effect justice when rights are harmed.

Ironically, the fact that our profession is misunderstood is precisely what creates tremendous opportunities.  That’s generally more true in manufactured homes, but is also accurate to lesser degree with modular housing too.

Precisely because:

  • there is a shortage of qualified labor,
  • there is a shortage of quality, affordable homes,
  • there are limits to federal, state and local affordable housing budgets,
  • incomes are mostly down or flat, but demand for quality affordable housing is rising,

what our industry performs and offers are necessary and good.

louisville-manufactured-housing-show-crowd-photo-credits-mhpronews-manufacturedhomes-com--575x325

Understanding, Misunderstanding and Communications

In that mix of human needs, is the reality that even if you or I “get it” – meaning, understand – but that:

  • reporter,
  • public official,
  • consumer,
  • neighbor,
  • investor,
  • worker,
  • friend or family doesn’t understand or fails to accurately portray the facts,

that’s why the huge MH Opportunity exists.

MHVille is a classic – take the lemons and make lemonade scenario.

The unexpected MHProNews service interruption described here resulted in calls and numerous messages.  One of my favorites was this one.

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Link below was added by the editor, as not everyone yet realizes that The Journal is sadly closing…

Tony, when the Journal announced they are closing down, it was a sad moment for the industry. When your site’s service was disrupted last week, it made me think how often I turn to MHProNews for information I may not see anywhere else.  Glad to see the publishing resuming, even that brief break in service was too long! My thanks to you and all who make your work possible! Have a great new year.”

That’s very much appreciated, and brings me back to the point that we all need each other.

Without the input from readers, pros, experts, sponsors, and our team members, we couldn’t produce the same level and quality of content we currently do.

SubsidiarityWikipediaPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews595-

That’s another case of solidarity and subsidiarity.

What we’ve worked towards – one-step-at-a-time for over 7 years – is to advance within and outside of manufactured housing a clarity that brings understanding and stronger bottom-line MHVille results.

mhmarketingsalesmanagement-logo-mhpronews-com-drop-shadow-

Our original logo for – MHProNews – above reflected that all three of those skills are needed for a company or the industry to advance.

A handful of times over the past 18 months, we’ve been invited to private meetings with various industry leaders, executives, and investors.  We were asked to discuss how MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com could be tweaked/used to take MHVille to the next levels.

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15 Minutes a Day on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com – free resources for the Professionals and Public that provides resources for industry image, education and thus growth.

Why? Because good trade publishing and industry growth feed each other.

For far less than most professionals believe, manufactured and modular housing could produce local level results that boost individual business results, and thus grow the sales and profits above the local level.

That’s Solidarity and Subsidiarity at work, professionally.

We have evidence suggesting that every million invested in enhancing results in local markets could create about a billion dollars in increased sales.  Don’t believe it?  There’s evidence for those in-the-know.

Trade publishing is vital to any industry or profession, just as other roles in MHVille are vital.

Solidarity. Subsidiarity.

Together, we advance.  More on this in the days ahead.

HappyNewYear2017

Let’s work increasingly together to make 2017 a year to remember. R2D2. Seriously... ##

If you missed the part one of this Masthead post, click here.

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.