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To Educate – “Leading Forth” – for Affordable Manufactured Housing Success

October 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

LarryPArnnHillsdaleCollegeToEducateLeadingForthForAffordableManufacturedHousingSuccessMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews600

It’s unbelievable how much you don’t know
about the game you’ve been playing all your life.”

– Mickey Mantle

 

Every state has its heroes and heroines. Mickey Mantle is a favorite son from Oklahoma, where I began my manufactured home career some years ago.

 

Hillsadale College’s president says that the word education means to lead forth.  Education and information which leads to an ever better understanding about manufactured homes are at key to what the industry needs to achieve its potential.  Rephrased, education – information done correctly – is leadership.

 

From the outset – which is now approaching 9 years since our launch in mid-Oct, 2009 – MHProNews has strived to challenge, motivate, and lead in the needed ways.

Call me slow, naive, or steadily evolving, but every year we’ve adapted, and then done things no one else in our industry’s trade media has previously done. 

 

Don’t Do It! 

Don’t be political,’ said some industry pros. Sorry, but problematic, bad and even corrupt policies at the local, state, and federal level are key factors restraining manufactured homes.

Don’t touch on religion or morality.’ Excuse me? Is this America, with freedom of speech and freedom of faith? How do you do what’s right, unless you first know what’s moral or ethical?

When Jesus walked this earth, he was a highly controversial figure. He still is. “Who do people say that I Am?” – the Jewish Jesus asked his 12 disciples. That very question Jesus – the carpenter/builder – asked is still debated today, and has been for approaching 2,000 years.  It’s amazingly relevant.

Jesus picked Peter, and handed him the “keys to the kingdom,” yet Peter denied Jesus three times. Does that mean Jesus goofed, or does it mean that Jesus was reminding everyone that even ‘chosen’ people make mistakes.

Perfect human leaders before or after Jesus of Nazareth don’t exist. So, every mature adult makes allowances for each other, knowing we need that mercy and understanding too.  That said, some people will smile at you, while they rob you blind.  Recognizing that trait in others is useful as an adult. Then there are controversial figures that may not communicate as you or I would, but once understood, are surprisingly spot on. 

President Donald J. Trump is human, and has flaws. But he’s arguably the best President of the United States (POTUS) since Ronald Reagan. As an award-winning history major, I’d say, he’s already at least as good, if not better, than POTUS Reagan in his first two years.  That was a different time, Democrats and Republicans then were able to compromise.  Today, not so much.

Our manufactured home industry – and a host of other professions – need President Trump, if we are to have any hope of breaking the chains that previous politicians, bureaucrats and their big money backers have foisted upon us.

ItsUnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouveBeenPlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballHallFameMastheadManufacturedHousing 

Our nation, not just manufactured housing, has been moving steadily toward oligarchy. Monopolistic maneuvers unethically enrich a few, at the expense of the many. I’m all in favor of free enterprise. It wasn’t news, but I’m increasingly aware to the high degree that Vulture and Crony Capitalism are not free enterprise 

The answer is to break up the monopolies and oligarchies. Not regulate them, break them up under a combination of civil litigation and federal antitrust laws.

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

For the president to succeed, he needs a Congress and Supreme Court that work with him, not against him.  While laws are on the books that are useful, if his political opponents keep him tied up by winning the midterms, the opportunity for POTUS Trump to liberate American Workers and Businesses narrows.

MHI is demonstrably often wrong, and arguably often lying, deceitful, dishonest tool of Berkshire Hathaway and a few others. We’ve offered to debate their positinos, results, and methods.  They run for the hills. Why? If they are right, why not debate the issues, and practices?  

That doesn’t mean that everyone in MHI, much less every one of their members, are corrupt or evil. Some are scared. Some go along, to get along. Some hope to be the last one eaten. My sense is that the majority are nice people, but the organization they pay dues too is corrupted at its core. But those who can, should stop feeding the hand that bites them.

Danny Glover, Presidents Barack Obama & Donald Trump, Promises Kept, and Affordable Manufactured Housing

We’ve documented time and again, false and misleading statements made by MHI. They posture one thing, but often do another. 

For some examples, please see the links herein and below. 

The industry must break free of those who control MHI. Oddly, some of the like minded politicos and fellow travelers of Warren Buffett – for example, George Soros – also support in various ways MHAction, per our sources.

Enemies of Manufactured Homes, Communities; Rent Control, MHAction, George Soros, Ignorance, & Entropy

Jimmy Carter wrongly blasted President Trump, while overlooking the failures of the Obama Administration.  The report below covers that topic. The charts below the linked teaser shows just how badly the Obama Administration preformed on housing issues.

President Jimmy Carter Blasts Trump Administration on Affordable Housing, Carter’s Manufactured Home Ties

HomeOwnershipRatesUSCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-1USCensusBureauMedianAskingRentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How could MHI have failed to move manufactured housing ahead, given the facts implied in the above? Both of those trend lines are historic reasons for manufactured housing to advance.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-666x768

The facts are unmistakable.  A new alliance in manufactured housing must be forged. One that works for happy home owners through good, honest business practices. MHARR does fine by their members. They are at the head of the line cheering on the creation of a new, post-production trade group.  

Clayton Homes Ripped by Customer Complaints Spotlighted on ABC News

How can an industry trade group have dignity, when some of its most prominent members are plagued by scandal after scandal?

Has the Manufactured Housing Institute Accused Former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of Federal Law Violations?

The industry is only slowly recovering from the disaster of 2008. Berkshire, Clayton, MHI, and people like Democratic supporter Nathan Smith are at the crux of the issues. That’s my considered view, based upon facts, evidence, reason, and analysis. MHI, Clayton, Clayton’s Attorney, Nathan Smith – they’ve all been given a chance to respond or debate.  Silence. They fail to defend the industry time and again, on issues like the one linked below.

Rumble over Anti-MH Law-State Association, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and MHARR

To educate or inform is to lead forth.  The short-term focus must be to get candidates that will support the Trump Agenda into office or re-elected. Once that’s done, a new trade group must be forged, that can work with MHARR and independents of good will to advance the industry. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Related References:

The Rich, Famous, PreFab Homes, Manufactured Housing, Hypocrisy, and You

Principle of ‘The Lesser of Two Evils,’ and MHVille’s Future

“How Dare You…!” ELS’ Howard Walker Blast at MH Industry Professional

FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

 

Profits, Understanding Human Events, and Manufactured Housing

July 7th, 2018 No comments

 

ProfitsUnderstandingHumaneventsandManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

When in the course of human events...”

 

Day by day, people make life-changing decisions. Those choices can be for good or ill.

A fact without context may have little discernible meaning. To properly understand the present, or any moment in time, one must understand what occurred previously. 

In the famous George Orwell’s dark novel, 1984, control of information – including historical – was part of how “Big Brother” could pivot his alliances between otherwise ‘competing’ factions.

Orwell used fiction to brilliantly shed light on the human condition. 

 

Profitable History 

History could be profitably oversimplified to the following notion.  

History is a series of events describing how this or that ambitious person or group tries to dominate, manipulate or oppress others. That domination in turn creates a desire for freedom among those being manipulated, disadvantaged or controlled. 

When in the course of human events…” are the first words in the Declaration of Independence. The founders were educated men who knew history, business, philosophy, science, and religion. 

America’s founding founders were the opposite of socialists.  They were fighting against economic, political, and legal oppression. They did so for moral, and religious reasons.

 

TheManufacturedHousingRevolutionManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadBlogMHProNewsLogo

The report on this topic, along with others mentioned in the body of this article, are found under related resources, at the end of this column.

 

Not What It Seems

Because of competing interests, stories – narratives – are told that spin, twist or outright lie about some fact, person, history, or group.  

The brilliant G.K. Chesterton was spot on in saying, “What is wrong is that we don’t ask what is right.”

It was sheer genius when the venerable Fulton Sheen – with his keen insights into human nature – caused him to observe that people can be tempted to do what is right, just as we can be tempted into doing what’s wrong. 

It’s a stretch to say that a brighter future for America depends upon a wider acceptance of manufactured homes. But a broader understanding and embracing of manufactured homes would demonstrably yield more wealth for people of modest means, and all others too.  Is there evidence or proof for that claim?

Yes, and it’s been produced over the years by educated, third-party researchers. 

Greater personal net worth for the working and middle class would in turn make America as a whole a more prosperous, and freer people.  Wealth in all of its forms – properly understood – breeds more wealth.  Wealth isn’t a zero sum game, as some have been mislead into believing. 

We must not forget that manufactured homes – along with the mobile homes that were built before the federal manufactured housing standards began on June 15, 1976 – were a working-class option praised by American presidents. The subsidized housing system of the last 50 years is a demonstrable failure. It can never keep up with the demands, and never has. 

In contrast to subsidized housing, manufactured homes are uniquely positioned today to serve the needs of people on virtually all rungs of the economic ladder. 

But we must also embrace the reality that millionaires, the famous, and even some billionaires have owned a manufactured home they called their own home.  That fact often opens minds, and thus boosts manufactured housing’s acceptance, and appeal. 

Opening minds is at the heart of what must happen in America.  Opening minds must occur on every level of society, including that of the good news, which   includes how manufactured homes have and can support the American Dream. 

 

GreenLeafInsideLightBulbProfitsMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe American Dream – The Profitable Battle Over Housing, Freedom, and Understanding  

The American Dream was never about mere shelter, or “housing.”  

Rentals or subsidized housing wasn’t what the rebels of 1776 fought, bled, and died for during their era.  The very notion would have been widely rejected then, and rightly so.

Today, we should in stages remove subsidized housing from the government’s practices and then, it’s lexicon of failed socialized efforts. 

Private ownership of housing is to be preferred as a public policy.  Who says? Harvard, and several other third-party researchers.  

So, the American rebels wanted to be secure in their persons, properties, papers, and possessions.  They wanted no taxation or regulation without just representation.  They wanted a republic, not a democracy, dictatorship or monarchy.  

When one reads the Declaration of Independence in the context of history, it’s a brilliant document. Ditto the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

 

Compromise…

The founders of the U.S. made complex compromises. A black or Native American might understandably feel a level of pain over some concepts in those documents. But we must be mindful, as dark-skinned immigrant Dinesh D’Souza reminds us, that whites were indentured servants too. Servitude isn’t only a racial issue. Oppression in all of its forms plays a sad part in all of human history.   

The quest for freedom is part of that puzzling mosaic of history, which is best understood as the struggle of some seeking domination over others. That domination takes many forms.  That thirst for domination in turn sparks the desire for freedom.  Often, as we all know from experience, we don’t realize some good thing that what we have, until we’re losing or have lost it. 

So it’s a poisonous fallacy to say that the U.S. Constitution was purely racist. Because blacks owned other blacks – sad, but true – and white’s made chattel of other whites for long periods of time. Conquest is color blind, and so is the thirst for freedom. Freedom is won or lost in degrees, and over time. 

Race hustlers should be denounced as manipulative, just as certain billionaires seek to rig the system for their own benefit and enrichment today. Socialists may be sincere, but they are misguided.  The socialist system is failing before our eyes in Venezuela, in just a decade. It failed in Cuba. The Chinese Communists, and the Soviet Russians abandoned socialism too. 

Why should Americans buy into propaganda that’s so blatantly false? 

Then why are some billionaires peddling dressed up variations of socialism to Americans today? 

Because socialism requires big government.  Big government means power over people.  That kind of power is a path to taking the wealth of others, by misusing government.  Government is a devious way to obtaining money that ought to be sought by honest work. Here’s another historic tip. The Nazi’s weren’t right wingers.  They were “National Socialists” = Nazi. There are so many lies and half-truths being spun today by the manipulators that it’s disgraceful. That’s why ignorance of history, economics, morality, or politics is dangerous.

 CrowdofPeopleRaisingHandsMastheadManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

 

Celebrating Success

We celebrate honest success here, and are for the rights “endowed by our Creator” enshrined in the principles of Life, Liberty, and that Pursuit of Happiness;” which in the earlier draft of the Declaration read “Life, Liberty, and Property.”

Those who peddle:

  • Socialism,
  • Racial hatred of any kind,
  • Universal Basic Income,
  • Sexual divisions,
  • “Free” college,
  • “Free” health care,
  • Subsidized housing,
  • Higher taxes,
  • More regulations,

are arguably either ignorant, misguided, manipulative or some combination of those three.

People are never free who are entirely dependent upon others.  

The revolution of 1776 was controversial even in the 13 colonies.  Those colonies declared themselves to be a confederation of independent states. George Washington and the others had a price on their heads, and a bulls eye too.  Benedict Arnold wasn’t alone. America was divided, then and now.  Some fought for the British crown, just as some fight today for the monopolistic and socialistic. The reasons then and now are similar. Greed. Lust for power. The desire to control the lives of others.

Understanding the principles of human nature, and the principles of history are necessary for Americans to reclaim our national vision.  Affordable home ownership is part of that American Dream.

 

Homeownership  

A man’s home is his castle,” wasn’t mere sentimentality. The right to own property – including one’s home – and to be secure in one’s person, property (think home), papers, possessions, and beliefs were at the core of the 1776 revolt. Note that the 10 Commandments protected private property, and the truth. 

The American revolution was also about no taxation or regulation without just representation. It was about establishing laws that protected rights, even the rights of minorities against the potential of mob rule from manipulated majorities.

We’ve got a Republic, at least on paper, not a democracy.  

But a new revolt, which could be peaceful, is arguably needed today. That revolution – and a counter-revolution – are already underway.

That revolution of the American Dream begins with understanding realities vs. popularized fictions, lies or half-truths.  

Zoning” and other forms of land-use control are among those structures that are potentially as oppressive as what the founders rebelled against in 1776.  Note that 200 year span between the revolution, and the dawn of the manufactured housing era?

Manipulations of the American system in turn caused affordable housing shortages in places throughout the nation. Who says? A growing body of researchers, that have been cited for years here on MHProNews, or on MHLivingNews. Why don’t those folks in Arlington, VA routinely cite those same third-party sources?  Why do they turn instead to their own, weaponized data and claims?

 

$2 Trillion Annually

Problematic zoning and land use, say university-level researchers, costs America an estimated $2 trillion dollars a year in lost GDP.

$2 trillion dollars a year is roughly equal to $6,000 per every many woman and child. 

Rephrased, for a household of 4 people, it would be like adding some $24,000 per year in earnings.

That’s life changing for tens of millions, and would be far more effective than the phony higher minimum wage, public assistance programs, or other enslaving handouts that some socialistic-minded wags advocate.  Those truly need have always been cared for in America. We didn’t need big brother government to care for people in need.

When Americans are kept from understanding and embracing manufactured homes – per the logic and reasoning that flows from third-party researchers from places like Harvard – it’s costly to all Americans.

But ignorance and rejection of the truth about manufactured housing is especially costly to those whose only home ownership chance may be a manufactured home. 

ManTouchingLightBulbMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Wheat and Chaff 

There’s an absolute necessity to seek the truth, regardless of its source. That in turn requires a “wheat and chaff” approach that discerns what is real – from what is problematic. Often, common thoughts are nevertheless untrue. A great example is a manufactured home, which many misunderstand, because they believe the common prejudice, vs. the honest, demonstrable reality.  

We may disagree with this or that political party or organization on a range of issues.  But a group or person may still hold a position which is demonstrably wise, good, and true. Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) has done some fine research, but also hold some problematic socialist-tainted views. They are keenly involved in MHVille, and are an example of the need for a wheat and chaff approach. They are also an example of why engagement is a wise course of action. Critiques properly understood aren’t an attack.  Critiques are a call for intelligent debate, discussion, and mutual learning.

Former Clinton adviser and Democratic strategist Doug Schoen has said that the Democratic Party can’t be a party of redistribution of wealth. Smart.  

Schoen sees the hard left push in his party as embracing socialism, and he rejects it. Democrat Alan Dershowitz sees the harm being caused by weaponizing parts of the government in an attempt to illegitimately unseat a duly elected president.  

You or I may not trust the political, religious or economic perspective of some group or person.  But that doesn’t keep us from considering a specific truth that another may offer.  

So, for example. Much of what Democrats as a party are embracing today in the way of socialism and supposedly “free stuff” – which obviously someone must pay for – are demonstrably nonsense. They are false promises, designed to manipulatively attract, and trap millions of minds. 

But the Democrats were arguably smart to put up a policy position that calls for stronger controls over monopolistic forces in America. On that point, this Masthead writer agrees with them. That’s another example of separating the wheat from the chaff.

Candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump agreed on this. The “System is Rigged.” That much is true. 

And that rigged system is keeping millions from being more free by having their right to choose a manufactured home limited or removed.

Yet, that right to choose a manufactured home is essentially codified in federal law, in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, found in the enhanced preemption clause. That’s how zoning and other land-use regulations, which are strangling opportunities for millions to own a manufactured home, can be defeated, just by applying existing federal law.

The reward for doing so is a society that researchers say would produce $2 trillion dollars more a year in GDP. That in turn would in time end the need for subsidized housing, and other well-indented – but nevertheless misguided – ‘entitlement programs.’ 

We editorially oppose socialists and monopolistic manipulators.  It is interesting to note that those billionaires often publicly claim to support leftist candidates. We oppose them, whether their headquarters are in Omaha or Silicon Valley, etc.

There are some billionaires who are no doubt just fine, so its not the rich that are being blindly opposed.  But rather, it’s those who have rigged the system against the rights of “We, the People.” It’s a matter of principle, based upon an understanding of economic, legal, political, and historical forces.

There are more than one strategic moats which threaten our Republic from within.  That’s why the fictional movie Network was as brilliant a look at reality as was George Orwell’s 1984. 

 HistorySeriesEventsDescribingAmbitiousTriesDominateManipulateOppressOthersThatCreatesDesireAmongFreedomAmongThoseBeingManipulatedDisadvantagedControlledLATonyKovach

 

Manufactured Home “Choice”

Manufactured Home Choice” or the “Manufactured Home Option” must become a factually accurate, evidenced based battle cry that third-party researchers logic says could create trillions in more wealth and GDP productivity for the USA.  

That would yield thousands of new millionaires, and some new billionaires. They should embrace the long-term vision to make that manufactured home option part of the reality of the “American Dream. 

That’s the Profitable Manufactured Housing Revolution.

That can be done without creating a monopoly. 

If you’re among those who’ve followed our periodic series of reports on issues – past and present – that could make manufactured housing greater than ever, you aren’t alone.  If you’ve missed them, some are linked below, as references for greater insight on this essay.

 

Tim, Kevin, Joe, Keith, David, Ross, Mike, Sam…

MH professionals named Tim, Kevin, Joe, Keith, Ross, David, Ross, Mike, Sam, and a host of others are – per our sources – following those reports, articles, and commentary like this on MHProNews.  When they follow it, that’s a good reason for others in MHVille to do the same, isn’t it?  

They, per the evidence, may or may not agree with the goals behind what we publish. What is our goal?  To expand opportunities made possible by a broad use of manufactured homes, promoted in an honest, sustainable, and honorable fashion.  

As an example of those that Marty Lavin calls the big boys” – and how they react to what is published on MHProNews is this.

We are told by sources in and out of their Arlington based network that a gent named Tim is “obsessed” with what we publish. 

Why?

If this was a place online for the angry or mad, it would soon be devoid of readers.

But instead, third-party reports reveal a growing audience, which includes: 

  • International investors,
  • public officials,
  • advocates,
  • media,
  • researchers,
  • educated people across the left-right divide,

along with thousands of manufactured and factory-built home industry professionals.  

They come each day by the thousands to the Daily Business News and/or to other parts of MHProNews. 

Some who initially misunderstood – or even strongly opposed – our exposés like Smoking Gun 3 and other reports have-or-are becoming convinced by the evidence presented.

Facts in context matter. 

Some monopolistic minds sought to marginalize or kill-off, we’re told, this pro-industry, pro-growth Trade Media platform – along with our sister-site, MHLivingNews.com – which also begs the question, “Why?” 

George Orwell, the founders, or other freedom-loving thinkers and doers throughout history hold the answer. 

Ignorance is Strength,” was a slogan “Big Brother” used in Orwell’s 1984. If someone can keep you ignorant of your rights or opportunities – in the problematic world-view of monopolistic or socialistic dominators – that allows them to profit or benefit.

The tragic irony is this.

There is arguably more profit without the monopolistic strategic Moat than with it. Is there evidence for that claim?

Sure.  Just look at MHVille when there were more independent producers, vs. the scarcity of independents today for proof.

There’s more wealth to be earned by making America and Manufactured Housing Greater than ever, than there is by robbing people of opportunities though pressures, ignorance, rigged systems or false promises. 

We have always celebrated honest success on MHProNews. 

We oppose on principle monopolistic or any other form of economic, moral, and political oppression as Un-American. 

At the end of the day, it’s the truth that sets people free. Who says?  How about a wise Jewish rebel who preached a gospel that even centuries later motivated the 1776 founders who put their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line, when they began with those timeless words…

When in the course of human events…”

TheManufacturedHousingRevolutionMastheadDailyBsuinessNewsMHProNews

Knowledge, not ignorance, is the beginning of freedom.  

ItsTheCivilRightsIssueOfOurTimeMHLivingNewsDeadwood5StateConventionManufacturedHomesMHProNewsLATonyKovach

Education, not spin or hype, are a fundamental part of the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

 

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

It’s all about the education of our fellows that can make this manufactured home industry an ever-more vital part of the American Dream of homeownership.

The proof is there for those who are willing to explore the evidence. Can we get an “Amen?” ##  (News, historic, commentary, analysis.)

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

Related Reports are below…

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach, publisher, consultant, history buff, and manufactured housing industry expert.

Connect on LinkedIn.  For 2x weekly emailed headline news, click here.

 

 

 

Related Reports:

Manufactured Home Shipments, State by State Breakdown, May 2018 Official HUD Data

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

 

Time Travelers, and the Future of American Homes

 

Deadwood, the Manufactured Housing Revolution, and You

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

“Challenges to Obtaining Manufactured Home Financing,” Urban Institute Report Fact Check, Analysis

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

 

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Achieving the American Dream, with Quality, Appealing, Affordable Home Ownership

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

Weather Expert’s Surprising, Bombshell Statement on Tornado Deaths and Affordable Manufactured Homes

Researchers Shake Up American Dream? Rent vs. Buy, Ken Johnson, Florida Atlantic University, Exclusive to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

“Death by Government,” Fascism, Communism, Socialism, ‘Big Brother,’ per Williams, Rummel and Owens

 

Publisher Rebuked! Doubting Doctor, Skeptic Stunned!

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson – Manufactured Housing Historic Results – Words, Deeds, and Metrics

April 28th, 2018 No comments

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingHistoricResultsWordsDeedsMetricsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manufactured Housing is every bit as “amazing” as HUD Secretary Carson said in a video found on MHLivingNews.com. Secretary Carson had even more to say, his full prepared statements are exclusively found at this link here.

Manufactured homes are indeed a “phenomenon,” as award-winning industry veteran Ron Thomas, Sr. told MHProNews.

The industry needs good data for investors and lenders, and accurate reporting for the public, as MHI/NCC member and RV Horizon’s Frank Rolfe has said.

It is more important “to pay attention to what people do, than what they say,” and to “follow the money,” as award winning industry success story, Marty Lavin, J.D., told the Daily Business News.

If the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing had been optional, Congress would not have called it a “Duty,” which means mandatory, as Mark Weiss, J.D. has said.

The industry is indeed recovering from its 2009 “nadir,” as George Allen likes to phrase it.

America needs 8.3 Million new housing units right now, per Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist. Yun added that builders have to “get busy.”

In 2002, Eric Belsky with Harvard University was cited as predicting that manufactured housing would overtake conventional housing by the end of the decade. That citation was in a report by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) over a decade ago, but not much since.  When Up for Growth recently said similarly – that there’s been over 7 million units needed that weren’t built in recent years – why didn’t Belsky’s prediction come true?

In 2003, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, and then Oakwood Homes, which combined became the biggest producer of manufactured housing by that year’s end.

In 2009, Tim Williams President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, issued a letter that explained that they would cut-off specified financing to manufactured home industry retailers who weren’t selling specific Clayton brands. Williams said Berkshire couldn’t afford to continue to make those loans, which they previously made on other producers’ products.

By 2011, Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes CEO, Kevin Clayton said that his company was 25 percent of the manufactured housing industry’s production. In an video interview with exclusive details added to his unedited words, Clayton explained in various ways Warren Buffett’s principle of “the Moat,” and how it was used to best competitors in a manner some have described as monopolistic.

Clayton also said in that same video that “Warren” assured him they had “plenty of money,” and that they had invested billions of dollars in acquisitions and loans every year since they were purchased.  In fact, Kevin names some of their acquisitions and billions in investments in that video.

Doesn’t Kevin Clayton’s freely made comment about having “plenty of money” contradict what Tim Williams said less than two years before as his reason to cut off lending to industry independents?

Doesn’t Berkshire Hathaway’s billions of cash on hand in 2009, 2010, etc., also contradict Williams’ letter, which cut off/limited funding to independent retailers?  Didn’t several independent producers fail or sell out – often to Clayton – in the wake of Tim Williams’ letter?

Since the above, Buffett’s Berkshire brands have now become about 50 percent of the manufactured housing industry’s production.

Buffett has said, he likes a bargain. By cutting off lending and capital, several firms sold out for less or failed that would have been the case had more capital been made available.

For years, the four person Executive Committee of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been comprised of 2 employees of Berkshire Hathaway companies. One or two of the other companies represented on the MHI Executive Committee also did business with Berkshire Hathaway owned companies. The fingerprints of Berkshire’s influence over MHI are unmistakable.

In 2008, the SAFE Act was passed, with aspects problematic for the manufactured housing industry, which played no role in the 2008 Housing/Mortgage meltdown. MHI failed to head the SAFE Act off, why? Why did Buffett back Secretary Hillary Clinton – who vowed to keep Dodd-Frank unchanged – instead of Donald J. Trump?

In 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) was passed, which included the SAFE Act, but also included the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured housing imposed by federal law on the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

A decade after DTS was passed, both of the GSEs have finally announced limited pilot programs. They stated their pilots were limited in part due to a lack of recent data. Yet Triad and Credit Human provided data. CFED rebranded as Prosperity Now pointed the GSEs to data on an over $1 billion dollar loan portfolio that performed well.

What lack of data?

Tim Williams admitted in a group of a few dozen MHI member that 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage (VMF) did not provide data to the GSEs. That was confirmed by Paul Barretto of Fannie Mae, to MHProNews in front of dozens of attendees in Tunica in March of 2018.

Yet, Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. and EVP for MHI has said that MHI is doing all that they can to move chattel lending ahead for manufactured home companies. Really? How can that be said with a straight face, when their largest lenders have not done all – or any – data sharing that they can do?

Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform) has said that every day that the GSEs don’t robustly implement chattel lending for manufactured homes is a gift to Berkshire Hathaway.

Not last for this hot topic, and not the least is the issue of image and education. MHI has arguably failed for years to do anything meaningful about responding routinely to false or misleading reports in mainstream media or academia about “mobile homes,” ”trailer houses,” or “trailer parks” when those issue arise weekly in the news. Tim Williams/21st and then MHI Chairman admitted there’s “a good argument” for doing precisely that, then why hasn’t it been done?

Advertorials and their MHI social media pages clearly have not moved the needle from the still historically low levels the industry sunk to in 2009, as our recovery is still just a fraction of what RVs, single family housing, or multifamily housing starts are.  That’s opportunity in disguise for the forward thinkers and doers. But it isn’t it also a sign of failed leadership?

 

It is time for Manufactured Home Owners, investors, and professionals to realize what has actually happened in our industry. Pretty sound words and years of failed promises by MHI and the powers behind them ought to result in accountability. Instead, paid staff have had raises and bonuses.

Rewarding words alone, no matter how pretty those words are, clearly isn’t enough. Deeds and performance must follow those words. Thousands of emails is interesting, or lots of likes on social media looks cool. But absent passing legislation, achieving reforms, or seeing a robust increase in sales — those are true measures of success.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-666x768

MHI has failed to perform for the majority of the industry’s independent companies. A few voices have had the courage to point out aspects of these issues, but not enough.

Reality Check. What this data shows is that manufactured housing is about 7.5 percent of all single and multi family U.S. housing starts. Given how cost effective manufactured homes are, isn’t this an indictment of the industry’s major association and business leadership?? RVs, a luxury item, outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. That said, there is tremendous possible upside for the industry, given the right mix of regulatory, investor and industry efforts.

The Trump Administration is doing it’s part, as Secretary Carson recently said – once more – linked here.

Editorially, we hope and pray that HUD will ask the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to start or step up their investigations and actions to break up the allegedly monopolistic practices of Berkshire Hathaway and their surrogates, MHI.

Manufactured Housing is the solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight.

MHI’s et al‘s failure to act on behalf of the majority of the industry’s members in recent years is arguably inexcusable. A few are consolidating the industry at the expense of the many. MHI/NCC VP Jenny Hodge has said as much about “consolidation.”

While production, retail and lending – among other niches – are widely seen as dominated by Berkshire Hathaway brands, there are still more independents – for example – in manufactured home communities. But for how long?

Words and Promises Can Sound Nice, But Deeds and Results Pay the Bills.”

– L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

The time to forge a post-production alternative national association to MHI is now. Millions of homes are waiting to be built, financed, and sold. Millions of potential home owners await. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

 

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

April 22nd, 2018 No comments

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, and their annual shareholders meeting, are writ large on the calendar for investors.  The same can be said for professionals who are in or researching – or in – the manufactured home industry.

BestWarrenBuffettKevinClaytonClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayAnnualMeetingCompetitiontheMoatVideoCollection

Clayton Homes – led by company founder Jim Clayton’s son, Kevin Clayton – become the largest producer of manufactured homes the year that Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett bought the company in 2003. It became the largest builder or HUD Code manufactured homes later that same year – 2003 – when Buffett’s Berkshire purchased Oakwood Homes, and rolled it into the Clayton ‘family of brands.’

Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates
compete in the annual newspaper toss
to a Clayton Homes front door at shareholders meeting.

That was one of an ongoing string of acquisitions since then, which in more recent years have included purchases of site-builders, as well as other factory producers.

Kevin Clayton talks about barracks for the military, tiny homes
annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.


 

Why did Buffett do all this?  Why has he endured the ‘drama’ that has gone along with Clayton Homes and manufactured housing?

Pay close attention to what you see, hear and read, and you’ll get it.  Short answer?  Listen to Buffett explain his own principles. Mr. Buffett wants a business that is easy to understand. He wants a business with “a moat.”  During an affordable housing crisis, what business is easier to understand than manufactured homes?

Short Warren Buffett On Clayton Homes
Allegations of Discrimination, CNBC

Two quick quotes, and then on to the rest of the videos.

I call investing the greatest business in the world … because you never have to swing…All day you wait for the pitch you like; then when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it,” – Warren Buffett, per Wikiquotes.

Draw a circle around the businesses you understand and then eliminate those that fail to qualify on the basis of value, good management, and limited exposure to hard times.” Warren Buffett, in “About Investing.

Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes CEO
on military barracks, tiny houses more…Fox Business.

 

Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes Related Videos

For those in or new to manufactured housing, these videos offer a peek inside the world of Berkshire, and their dominance of manufactured home:

  • construction,
  • retail,
  • lending,
  • suppliers,
  • insurance and other financial services arena.
  • You’ll also get a peak into their move towards conventional housing, and they were already doing modular home construction.

Berkshire Hathaway’s
Clayton Homes Moving into New Conventional Housing Markets
– The Street

 

Warren Buffett’s “The Moat” Strategy – How to Dominate Competitors, in Buffett’s and Kevin Clayton’s Own Words

For those who are researching concerns over monopolies or alleged monopolistic practices – and how that had played out in manufactured housing – the videos below are must viewing.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman,
Competitive Advantages and “The Moat” per Buffett, Video Interview Clips
– MHLivingNews.com

 

For those looking for a deeper dive in reading and research on related topics, the links below provide arguably the most comprehensive research by an informed, pro-industry expert and witness to the evolution of the industry from its early days as trailer houses, to the mobile home era, and to industry since June 15, 1976, when it formally became HUD Code regulated manufactured housing.

 

The solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight. That’s been a subtext for closing in on a decade on MHProNews.com as well as on our public focused sister site, ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, both of which also looks at modular, prefab, conventional, and pre-HUD Code mobile homes.

For first timers, to industry veterans, this is the number one site of its kind. Who says?  Besides third party traffic data, there’s the widespread praise for these twin platforms that has flowed for years from many pros, including from the founder of Clayton Homes, Jim Clayton, as well as from independents and others.  The video praised captured below is just a sampling of spoken and written praise.

 

 

While we are pro-industry, we are also pro-consumer, and are strong believers in free enterprise.

Kevin Clayton Interview, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway,
Clayton Homes CEO, Manufactured Homes, Affordable Housing News – MHProNews

Unlike much of the trade media in our industry, we do not shy away from controversial topics. So, for example, the question of the impact of alleged monopolistic practices by Buffett, Berkshire and Clayton Homes, or other charges against the company are among topics we’ve closely examined for years.

We hope you learn, and enjoy.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ## © (News, analysis and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

 

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Happy MH Owners? Good Professional Actors? Overlooked, “Honorable People”

April 11th, 2018 No comments

ManufaturedHousingIndustryHappyHomeOwnersGoodProfessionalActorsHonorablePeopleMastheadCommentaryMHProNews550

Executive summary. To solve a problem, to tap an opportunity, one must discover the root causes and address those core issues.

 

There are numerous untold stories in the manufactured housing industry.  

The common stories read and seen in mainstream news tend to leave the uninformed with the impression that manufactured home owners got a raw deal and are routinely troubled by bad actors in this industry.

Bad actors and raw deals exist, but they are the exception to the rule.

 Kitchen-dining-living-room-kabco-tunica-show-32x70-manufactured-home-living-news-comMastheadMHProNews

 

Positive, Routinely Untold Manufactured Home Stories

The routinely untold story is that millions of manufactured home owners love their homes. The majority of people love their community, if the live in a land lease.

Manufactured homes can exist wide by side with conventional housing, and with the proper installation, strangers don’t even realize it.

We’ve interviewed owners of true mobile homes, that may be able to buy nothing more, and they love their home. We’ve interviewed millionaires who love their manufactured homes.  Then there are all those in between. We’ve also interviewed pros from small companies to the corporate giants.  The majority of all of these are just good, honorable people.

There is no doubt that there are so-called ‘bad actors’ among the ranks of those working in manufactured housing. But they exist in other professions too. They are the exception that demonstrates that most others in MHVille are honorable people, striving to make an honest living.

Thousands of the industry’s professionals were beat down badly following the slide from the industry’s most recent high in 1998.

That meant there was a need in 2009 to bring a positive energy back into manufactured housing.

TheManufacturedHomeIndustryItsTooGoodToBeTrueThatsAPhenonenonRonThomasSrRonaHomesPriorLouisvilleShowChairman

As RV MH Hall of Fame inductee Ron Thomas, Sr. said in those days, ‘we need a new baseline to measure from.’

Thomas, for those who know him, is a can do type. He looks for solutions. He’s an optimist.  He has joy in his heart, and a love for this industry.

From Entry Level to Elegant – Inside Look at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

RonThomasSrManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Optimism and “can do” were necessary in the days when the industry canceled the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show in 2010 – the first time that occurred in its 5 decade run. 

What some today forget, is that in 2010, the show had been sliding backward for years. It was thought the show was dead, never to return.

We proudly played a part in the shows recovery and did so for many years. The kind messages of thanks from industry pros involved with the show are a reminder of what is real.

We too are manufactured home optimists. We too are believers in this MH Industry.

The industry is now years into its recovery. It is no longer about happy talk, as pleasant as that is.  It MUST be about reminder of our industry’s GREATNESS and POTENTIAL again. MH Pros and investors must recall or learn about our industry’s “Glory Days.”

Tunica, Nashville Trade Shows and Manufactured Housing Glory Days

It must also accept that most homeowners are happy about their home.

On ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, for years the effort has been to spotlight the good news about manufactured homes.

ManufacturedHomeLivingNewsHomePage4112018MastheadBlogMHProNews

The MHLivingNews home page on 4.11.2018 https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/

It was the industry’s first and still primary vehicle of its type for a reality based story.  There has always been promotion of individual businesses and communities. There has been some periodic efforts at image building in places, such as the Northwest Pride campaign, or events in California.

There are several state associations, retailers, or groups today that take homes to home shows, for crowds of everyday people to experience.

All of those are necessary and good.

But the statistics tell an MH realist that it isn’t enough. The following are a slam, they are reality checks.  Clayton produces slick videos.  Some have hundreds of thousands of views. Millions of views total, millions of contacts with possible consumers. Yet last year, Clayton only did a total of some 48,000 homes sold. 

The same is true at MHVillage, which has Dan, Darren, Dawn and company – very pleasant and intelligent people, all.  At Tunica, Darren Krolewski said publicly and privately the following.  They had some 25,000,000 unique visitors last year.  About $3 Billion in total home sales, of about 80,000 new and used homes. 

Impressive. 

NumberNewHousesSoldInUS1995to2016DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Just the FACT$

Or is it?  Doesn’t it hide facts that should trouble the industry?  80,000 sales means the average home sold was $37,500.  That’s typically a use home, relatively small numbers of new homes are being sold there. Divide 25,000,000 by 80,000 = 0.0032.  That means, less than 1/3 of 1 percent of visitors are pulling the trigger.

DarrenMHVillageMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsmHProNews_001

1/3 of 1 percent of MHVillage visitors are buying. The average sales price is $37,500, using Darren’s talking points. That means few new home sales, and low conversion rates. Don’t get me wrong, good for MHVillage. But objectively seen, it’s yet another warning sign for the industry. At the heart of this, our research shows the issue is educational…it’s the inaccurate perceptions. It’s image.

If you went into the CNBC Shark Tank with the industry’s statistical breakdown of low – 1/3 of 1 percent conversions of leads – those investor sharks would laugh the presenters out of the room.

There is clearly missing pieces to the industry’s recovery.

That’s reality. Two analogies.

  As an optimist who doesn’t quit, I don’t walk into the rain without an umbrella.

  You don’t listen to a doctor tell you that the tests reveal that you have cancer, and then hope it will go away.

The wise optimist is reality based, goal and solution oriented.

ExecutiveSummaryToSolveProblemTapOpportunityOneMustDiscoverRootCausesAddressCoreIssuesMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

 

Tony…the industry hasn’t done jack sh-t when it comes to image…”

The above was part of a longer message from a successful and well known retailer.  The industry veteran went on to say how glad he is that we are trying to do something about the image of the industry.

Without credibility, there is no story telling-worth it’s salt.

Even though mainstream media is often doubted and disliked, there are some reports that ring true for Americans.

Frank Rolfe admits to violating his own premise that the nomenclature about manufactured homes needs to change.

 

 

That said, Rolfe’s correct in saying that most Americans have no clue about manufactured homes today. Their image is based upon 8 Mile, or the Trailer Park Boys, or the local news reports.

That’s reality. Savvy, goal and solution oriented pros must deal with it.

 

 

The solution is both simple and nuanced.

  The truth must be presented.

  The falsehoods must be refuted.

  Where they exist, real problems must be addressed.

That isn’t done with one video, or one story. It’s not done by pretty pictures or even slick 3D productions. Don’t get me wrong! Those can help.

NewExistingHomeSalesDailyBusinessNewsMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Existing home sales have pushed beyond 5.5 million units a year. New conventional, site built sales are moving toward 600,000 single family homes.  That’s not counting multi-family housing construction. 

But so long as most people believe that manufactured homes are made out of cheap materials – or are as a regional news source said recently “wobbly boxes” – people will suspect that its lipstick on a pig.

That’s not negative. It’s reality.

When the Louisville Show turned to us for help with marketing their event, we delivered.

Others who have worked with us, know that we deliver.

There are voices in the industry who years ago worked to undermine what we are trying to do. You have to ask, why?

That was long before we began to spotlight internal industry issues. So you can’t say they retaliated for something. It was long after that began that those fact checks of internal industry claims began.  By the way, those fact check stories have helped spur certain organizations to act better; not well, but better. We’re proud of our part in that effort to advance the industry.

But the entire time, we’ve kept up the good news of manufactured housing reports on MHLivingNews.com.  MHProNews provides the facts industry pros must have to navigate reality, not fantasy land.

There is nothing else in MHVille like this dynamic duo.

That’s true in part because third party media interviews real people, and we as trade media let those people speak in an interview setting.

We’ve done the field tests. That works at the local level.  And the local level is what matters for the majority of industry professionals.

There is more to what we do than just interviews.

But the point is this. Those who undermine what we’ve done for years, are arguably undermining the industry’s more robust recovery.  The ones who praised us, did they stop and turn because we threatened some unstated plan to slow walk growth and recovery for independent businesses? 

 

 

Attacking the Industry

Attacking us, is an indirect attack on the interests of the majority of independents in MHVille.

But the heart of the Masthead message today is this. Without going to the root causes of what keeps qualified buyers from purchasing a manufactured home, there will only be slow growth and more of the same

When 8.3 million affordable housing units are needed in the U.S., there is no good reason for manufactured homes not to be selling far better.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-666x768

Modular Sellers? Smell the Coffee…

Modular sellers? Wake up. HUD code homes are still outselling MODs.  Both have their place. But so long as mod sellers sell against HUDs, that’s counterproductive too.  Most of the public doesn’t get it.  HUDs and MODs should work together.  By the way, I do think that the modular industry is arguably doing a better job than the HUD Code industry at education. But pros must understand, to the typical prospect, they are all coming out of a factory.

We have a great story, millions of them, actually. The factory built home industry has to grasp that rah rah was needed in 2009-2010, even in 2011.  But as the industry recovered its footing and self-confidence, the next phase became necessary.

One must do reality checks, and act based upon optimistic-realism. One needs a “can do” professional system that works.

Everything else is just a pipe dream. Can do, honest reality, is the ticket. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

Related Reports:

Media Bias, Ignorance, Manufactured Homes, Agenda Journalism, the Truth About “Fake News”

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FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry News, Reality Check

April 4th, 2018 No comments

ClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeIndustryNewsRealityCheckMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Clayton Homes made the news several times in recent days. As a heads up to readers, this mentions legislation, but that isn’t the headline topic. The example that follows exemplifies a reality check that will tee up an “Aha! Moment” for many.

The subjects Clayton Homes has been included in mainstream media reports included such topics as their support for the amendment proposed to S. 2155. That amendment is based upon the Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) rule proposal found in the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. That’s fine.

The point? What’s the Reality Check? 

  • Clayton Homes,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Warren Buffett and his family like son Howard,
  • can get into the news virtually any time they want to do so.

That said, why doesn’t Clayton routinely go after each and every example of mistakes made in the mainstream media about manufactured homes?

2018-04-04_1725ClaytonHomesInManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMastheadCommentaryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLet’s rephrase for total clarity.

    Berkshire Hathaway owns a press release service.

   Berkshire Hathaway owns numerous media outlets.

   As one of the nation’s largest home builders, Clayton could correct each and every example of mistaken reports in the media.

   Clayton has their own communications and marketing people.

   The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) also have public relations (media) professionals.  For years, the MHI executive committee has included 2 of the 4 seats held by Berkshire Hathaway, plus years of Tim Williams, President and CEO of 21st Mortgage as MHI Chairman.  The other 2 of 4 the executive committee seats had ties to Berkshire Hathaway too.

Clayton, MHI and Berkshire Hathaway can comment on – or correct the record on – any misleading, mistaken, bad terminology – – anything! – – associated with the industry.

Will anyone seriously question that claim?   Please, send me a response that explains this topic in some other logical fashion.

Given that premise, that Clayton/MHI could correct any or every flawed media report, how about this question. Why don’t they do so?

For over a year, we’ve done a periodic test. It’s this.  We’ve contacted mainstream media about a problematic news report about manufactured housing that they ran. We ask, has Clayton, MHI or others in the industry contacted you about this? In essentially every case, the answer has been “no.” One example was in Clayton’s home state.  The routine answer was, no, they’ve not reached out at all. (The exception was the Urban Institute, where Clayton and MHI were promised anonymity, per informed sources at UI – see that, linked as a resource below.)

Why does Clayton and MHI allow poor terminology about manufactured homes to continue to go unaddressed? For example, why do they allow the media to call a manufactured home community a “trailer park?” [sic].  Why do they allow any bad information to go unaddressed?

TrailerParkGoogleNews442018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

These are just some ‘trailer park’ [SIC} news stories this week. This happens week after week, year after year. Given that no one I’ve ever met aspired to be ‘trailer trash,’ can you see why this terrible terminology needs to be tackled? Where is Clayton and MHI on this or other negative media related issues?

 

In interview and discussions with home owners and professionals, concerns about being stigmatized by the term “trailer trash” ranks high. It’s a reason millennials have given for not even considering a “mobile homes” – manufactured homes – as an option (see related reports, linked below).

Image and misleading information directly or indirectly costs the industry hundreds of thousands of new home sales per year.  That’s billions in sales a year.

Why doesn’t Clayton and MHI go aggressively after that improper media reporting and terminology issue? Not with more lame advertorials, which industry statistics prove beyond a doubt failed to move the needle for the industry.

DarrenKrolewskiMHVillageDataComp=PostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Darren Krolewski, Co-President at MHVillage, DataComp.

I asked Darren Krolewski during the Tunica Show why the millions who watch a classy Clayton video, or who visit Clayton’s or MH Village’s websites aren’t buying more homes?  Krolewski said publicly and privately, he doesn’t have a good answer.

We do. A big factor can be summed up with improper information and image. Pretty pictures and videos alone will not fix this. What will? We know this from experience in the field with clients.

Correcting the record, time after time, lifts the industry’s shoppers from interest to buyers.

Now I happen to believe that Warren Buffett, and Kevin Clayton are intelligent people. Tim Williams said it himself. There’s a good case to be made for correcting the record each and every time.

So why don’t they???

 

The 64 Billion Dollar Question

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famous for the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, famously observed that when you eliminate the possibilities, whatever remains must be the truth.

Kevin Clayton said over 6 years ago that they were “ready” then to do an image/public relations campaign.

They can get in the news when they want to do so. Why don’t they fix this?

As a state association executive told me today, MHI has a full time media person that could make that routine outreach whenever negative, inaccurate news hits. 

Then why don’t they do so?  Here’s the answer to that, the plausible premise…the Reality Check

  • Warren Buffett said he likes a bargain.
  • Buffett also commands his company presidents to expand their “moat” year after year.
  • By keeping the industry’s image problematic, it obviously keeps new manufactured home sales at a lower level than it would otherwise be
  • That in turn arguably hurts every other business of every size engaged in manufactured housing in America.  That means that other factories, retailers, etc. can be purchased cheaper than they otherwise would be.  
  • It also means that their market share can grow, until the day comes that they take their foot off the brake peddle.

Isn’t this stating the obvious? That’s the reality check. They can get in the news.  They can correct poor reporting, every time, if they wanted to do so.

Clayton and MHI are not responsible for every piece of bad news that hits the media each and every week. But they are 100 percent able – and thus, responsible – for not doing all that they can to fix bad reports when they occur.

Those MHI “image” videos and advertorials are clearly ineffective. The only thing those videos and advertorials do is give them a fig leaf when they are questioned about the topic of image, media engagement, marketing, public relations, and education.

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The facts don’t lie. MHI has admitted at times that the industry is still performing at historically low levels. Why? Isn’t poor public perception, fueled by problematic and flawed media reports part of the problem? Then why doesn’t Clayton and MHI address each and every flawed report? Former MHI Chair Tim Williams admitted that it is a valid approach. Then whey not do it?

Their failure to do so is part of what keeps the industry suppressed. It logically keeps the prices paid for buying the factories and retail centers of others lower than they otherwise would be.

We can call this an allegation that manufactured housing is struggling due to the apparent failure of Clayton, Berkshire Hathaway and MHI to act.

Or we could say the obvious. They have the resources. They know the need. Tim Williams admitted the logic of correcting the record in writing to MHProNews.

The level of acceptance of manufactured housing is directly tied to this issue. Others like financing also have Clayton, Berkshire and MHI finger prints on them as to why they are unresolved (see related reports for details).

Don’t they obviously the MH Industry to remain small, until they’ve consolidated enough that they take their foot off the brake peddle? Isn’t that the reality check for today?  The truth that’s hiding in plain sight? “We Provide, You Decide.” (C) ## 

Related Comments, Quotes and Reports:

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Since these comments and others, 21st Mortgage has reportedly been paying Rolfe for promotions, and Rolfe has stopped making these kinds of public critiques of MHI, Berkshire Hathaway or Clayton Homes.  http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-blasts-mhi-for-poor-media-engagement-industry-reactions/

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Warren Buffett Success Secret$, Video Interview Including “The Moat”

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

(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

Jennifer Hall, Doris Hydrick and Dennis Hill – Tunica Show Open Letter

March 24th, 2018 No comments

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Jennifer Hall, Doris Hydrick and Dennis Hill @ SCMHI,
There’s only two full-scale professional trade shows in the manufactured home profession today. Louisville and your South Central Manufactured Housing Institute (SCMHI) event in Tunica.

At least two of you personally know the sources for our report on Keith Holdbrooks and Clayton Homes decision to scale back in 2017, and to not participate in 2018.

By holding the story linked above until after the event, I’m sure you understand how that protected the show for 2018, and maximized the event’s odds for success.

All three of you are deeply aware of what we’ll politely call the ‘industry’s politics.’  Too few are willing to speak out publicly about what many are discussing privately.

Namely, the various ways that Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway owned companies are exercising their power in – and over? – the manufactured housing industry.

I have two way communications with those in MHI, MHARR and their members, including with 21st (among others), as well as with those who aren’t a member of either national trade group.

As you know, in 2018, the bulk of the homes on display in Tunica were from producing members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), with fewer exhibitors from among Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members.

 

Retirement…

As someone approaches retirement, several things can happen.

Especially if someone perceives that their livelihood is dependent on – or at a minimum, influenced by – a giant operation like Berkshire Hathaway owned brands such as:

  • Clayton Homes,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF),
  • 21st Mortgage Corp (21st),
  • Shaw, and the list goes on,

careful public positions are often taken.

Among the things that can happen for anyone – but perhaps particularly for those approaching retirement – is that fear and self-preservation motivations may set in.  We understand those realities.

There are states, certain executives have told me, where 50 to 70 percent of the floor dues paid to a state association come from Clayton Homes, or result from sales of other HUD Code manufactured homes sold by a Clayton retailer.

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Industry Trajectory

Since Kevin Clayton did that video interview, their market share went from 25 to some 50 percent of the industry’s new home production, per their own data and statements.  It does no one any good to ignore the obvious. As a show attendee insightfully said to me this week, “the trajectory of the industry” has been toward consolidation.

It’s not revealing our sources to say that at least 2 of you know the sources for our Holdbrooks/Clayton report.

It’s obvious that Clayton et al can exert “pressure,” be they in the Tunica Show, or not.

We’ve been told by industry members that some felt compelled to be in MHI, and some feel compelled to support certain events.  Other forms of pressure are applied to smaller operations.

 

Berkshire Hathaway, MHI and the Resistance

It’s high time for more MH professionals to do whatever they can to combat Berkshire Hathaway’s (BH) and their MHI mouthpiece threat to the independent operations in our industry at all levels.

You 3 don’t have to speak out publicly.

But you can take several private steps to insure the independence of the Tunica show going forward.

Otherwise, as various industry voices told MHProNews, BH is likely to do to the Tunica Show what they are said to have done to the North Carolina event.  Namely, “kill it.”

Let me tell you some of what this year’s Tunica event reinforced for me.  We know from website statistics what readership is like.  But we learned from the numbers of attendees who stepped up and commented, or thanked us, etc. that your crowd includes our audience in significant numbers.

And our audience includes the giants, but also those who overwhelmingly want to stay independent.

 

Thinking Out Loud

Thinking out loud. Don’t you think that giving aspects of the show to cronies of MHI is short sighted? You surely know how this works.  What a crony learns, they report back. When you put a crony on a platform, you may be sending a message to your attendees that is problematic.

You can send the industry, MHI and Warren Buffett’s brands a powerful signal.

You can show your support for those non-BH independents – retailers, communities, producers, and various product/service suppliers – without turning away the Berkshire brands.

But if I were you, I’d let those Berkshire brand companies politely understand that they don’t dictate to the SCMHI show.

 

What’s Coming?

We have reasons to believe that for a variety of market and legal reasons, in the next few years, Berkshire’s grip on manufactured housing could be broken (think about this point in terms of allegations such as class action, antitrust, tortious interference etc.).

Don’t make your final legacy that of a door mat. The French after they were conquered by the Nazis during WW II created a resistance. That resistance movement became critical for them to get back their freedom, just a few years later.

In hindsight, Buffett and Berkshire didn’t save” manufactured housing in 2003; they arguably set about to conquer the industry.

Directly and indirectly, through commission and omission, they and their Arlington-based association tool witnessed the destruction of thousands of independent businesses, including several producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. Many of those now defunct producers used to be built in the region that supplies your show.

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Jen, Doris and Dennis – please be courageous enough to resist BH and MHI any way that you can.

Be loyal enough to those independent industry colleagues you’ve met and known to resist the bullies whose various alleged practices reduced a once-great industry to its currently modest status.

I’ve said before, even as a 25-plus year manufactured housing veteran, it took time to begin to fully appreciate what was happening in the industry.

Looking back, it’s easy to point to ways they targeted us for elimination, years before we spotlighted first MHI, and the BH.

Dennis, you and others like you surely must realize that you’ve been targeted too. Sure, you can retire as planned, or you can go out with a flurry in a grand fashion.

No announcement needs to be made.

No challenge or gauntlet has to be tossed down.

But you owe it to thousands to join the #BHResistance, the #antitrust crowd.

If the SCMHI does so, I predict the 2019 show will be the best event ever.

Think about the trajectory.

When independent retailers die – or are killed off – it is no surprise when the factories that supplied those ‘dealers’ are killed off too. That’s the trend that the MHI chart above also demonstrates. As independent retailers grow fewer in number, so too there are fewer independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

Think about the allegations like those noted herein or linked, and the mounting evidence.

Think about charts like those above that reflects how those independents you’ve known for years were wronged by forces they may fully understood at the time.

Resistance is wisdom.

Resistance will bring its own rewards.

We chose not to be slaves of monopolistic forces.

We work and pray daily for the future of our great industry. May manufactured housing experience a rebirth that yields new glory days.

We encourage others to be a part of the kind of resistance that made America a free people. ## (Industry events, commentary, opinion, and analysis.)

PS: Readers should not presume that any of the three addressed, nor the provider of the photo at the top, are a source for information to MHProNews.

Related:

PSS: Manufactured housing isn’t the only industry that ‘consolidation’ is taking place in.  It may or may not work the same in other indusries, as it has in ours.  But across the left-right media and political spectrums, there are a growing number of voices calling to break up the monopolistic tech giants, and are sounding the alarm about giant players like Buffett’s Berkshire.  Ignore the warning signs at your own peril.

Tunica, Nashville Trade Shows and Manufactured Housing Glory Days

Manufactured Housing – “Giants vs. Independents” – Tunica Talk – “You’ve Got to See This”

Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Photo Report, Day One

4 F’s and True Believers

(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