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Manufactured Housing: “Ignorance Isn’t Bliss”

August 27th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

While good or helpful MH news stories are growing in number, why are we still so often the housing of last resort?  Ignorance and poor experiences are “the Twins” holding factory-crafted home builders, retailers, developers, communities and all who service and supply them from reaching new record sales levels. These “Negative MH Twins” exist among our profession’s ranks, but are found more widely with the general public.

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Here at MHProNews and with our clients in marketing and sales
we refer to the ‘discontent” notion above as
Inspirational Dissatisfaction.

From time to time we hear from consumers who complain about this or that; but what’s interesting is when we dig a little deeper, the complaints are often about pre-HUD code (truly) mobile homes.

Certainly, there are some bad actors in every profession and some valid complaints out there. But most in MH today realize that if you fail to take care of your customer, the disgruntled in turn blast you with their buddies, costing far more in lost business than is usually the cost for doing something right.

But even consumer discontent is an opportunity in disguise. It is a chance for jiu-jitsu.

A resident group was forming at a property. They were asking us to publish their missive against their landlord. I invested a little time, listened and then explained to them that they were better of working with management than trying to create negative headlines, which would only serve to dampen their own home’s resale values.

We shared specific examples back and forth of how residents and management ought to work together. Their last message was a thank you, and a statement saying they would strive to work with management to resolve concerns. Management said thanks, so did those residents.

Similarly, this time at an MHC property I was overseeing, we took negative resident sentiment dating back prior to our arrival and rapidly turned that into enthusiastic home owners who touted their community; that’s jiu-jitsu done in a fashion where everyone in the mix benefited.

The moral is this isn’t pie in the sky, we need cultivate solutions that are positives for MH owners and forward thinking professionals alike.

Problems, Opportunities, Solutions 

It was frankly troubling to see manufacturers willing to sound off privately, but too concerned about retaliation to speak out under their own name, as was clearly evident in the article linked below.

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http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/hud-code-manufactured-home-producers-want-regulatory-fairness-and-stronger-congressional-oversight/

Some of those who contacted us where owners or C-Suite level corporate officials; off the record is helpful. But “on the record” also brings obvious value. Perhaps we need a few dozen retired guys – or those so financially comfortable – that they don’t fear speaking out publicly on touchy issues that matter to our industry.

The article above has had thousands of hits, which tells us this matters to professional readers.

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We’ve all had times with a parent, a boss, public official, client, member etc. when we were not ready to speak out on something that mattered to us. We all own that T-shirt!  

So it’s no surprise that we need volunteers ready to lead via a willingness to speak out on hot topics; please let us know who you have in mind for that sort of role.

A Rival Said It

It wasn’t a best friend, colleague or sponsor – but interestingly enough – a fellow who thinks of himself as a rival who enjoys publicly tagging us who told me privately,

Tony, you had the cojones to do what others wanted to do,
but didn’t have the guts to do.”

Thanks, others apparently see merit here in tackling serious issues.  

Millions of visits after launching MHProNews – and over a million visits on MHLivingNews in 12 months – we’ve obviously dialed into topics that industry pros and/or the public at large find of interest and value.

Working Together, we are making progress!  But we could make even more strides that would tap into the trillion-dollar a year U.S. housing market, by working ever more effectively together.

Let’s borrow the phrase from the Musketeers, “All for One, and One for All.” Apply that principle routinely to MH, and watch our industry flourish.

Lemmings…

Some just follow anyone or anything blindly. The classic example is the proverbial lemmings who follow the leader, right off the cliff, as captured in this drawing by Kaz Vorpal from FlickrCreativeCommons.

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The quote below was shared with me, so we turned it into a poster, to share back with you.

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An industry friend posed a question both obvious, yet profound (I’m hoping he’ll write it up). “What is it that we all want?”

Let’s use that poser to close with this thought:

“You can get out of life everything that you want, when we help enough other people get out of life what they want.”
– Zig Ziglar.

When we learn to look at other people’s concerns, needs and issues through their lens, and then share MH Solutions with their lens in mind, we’ll individually and collectively open more minds to the amazing solutions factory built homes offers. The public’s wallets will naturally follow their minds and emotions. That benefits firms of all sizes and MH professionals too. ##

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By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

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