2016 Louisville Show Previews, Updates on Media – Clayton Homes Drama

January 13th, 2016 No comments

For the next few moments, let me again encourage those on the fence to make the trek to Louisville for the 2016 Manufactured Housing Show. Industry pros need to get their batteries recharged! Many will need to get their inventory refreshed and restocked. Dozens of suppliers are waiting to share their latest. We’ll be at the show too, at booth #215. We’ll have some fun things, others will as well.

You can find a number of articles that are Louisville focused on the home page, under Featured Articles.  Plus there are invites from others on the Corporate Press Release module, click here to scroll through the latest show related news.


With that necessary and upbeat break, let’s turn to the less joyous recent news hitting the MH industry.

Seattle Times/BuzzFeed’s Mike Baker Daniel Wagner duo Strikes Again

As NanoTech News and other published media outlets put it about Baker and Wagner:

The writing duo’s use of the term “mobile home” is clearly meant to invoke the image of shoddy, pre-HUD Code trailer houses, and bestow upon billionaire Buffett the aura of an unscrupulous slumlord presiding over the financial rape of the poor and disenfranchised.

Nor do these so-called journalists, who claim expertise in financial reporting, seem to have even a tenuous grasp on the types of loans available to these buyers and how home-only “chattel” loans for manufactured homes are underwritten.”

But has the horse left the proverbial barn with respect to much of the mainstream media coverage of this story?

Beyond the original Seattle Times/Buzz Feed and related follow up articles, Bloomberg, The Hill and a host of others are covering the latest word that House Democrat Maxine Waters is calling for an investigation into the Warren Buffett MH “empire.”


Image credits, screen captures from Google News.


If that isn’t enough, here is what the Motley Fool said a few days earlier.


Motley Fool, which certainy has made some errant comments over the years about MH, has recently said they can imagine that Warren Buffett won’t find the $577 million in profits from Clayton Homes/manufactured housing as being enough to keep it in the Berkshire-Hathaway fold.

To get the latest on this issue, see our Daily Business News report, linked here.

MHI has remained mute on the above, some say, understandably. But the numbers in the industry who see their need to publicly respond to the PBS NewsHour piece is growing. Our take on that, is linked here.

We’ve received numerous thank you style messages on our taking on the PBS and SeattleTimes topics, and providing the industry something – instead of nothing – for the more serious researchers into these stories to balance out the online coverage of MH in the News.


Please see the latest on public-focused MHLivingNews on these issues, linked below.

Bad and Good – Two Sides – Manufactured Home Living and News Reporting

About the bad news noted above, I was asked by an industry pro, the following via email:

Do you think it would go away if we drop our legislation?” 

No, I don’t think abandoning the Preserving Access bill would end this stream of bad news in the media. It would be hard to imagine anything more encouraging to Ishbel Dickens and company than MHI and others in the industry abandoning HR 650/S 682. It is my sincere hope that the powers-that-be decide to amp up, and give an all out effort to win on this bill. That can be done using ways we’ve already outlined that it could be accomplished. 



I’ll close with the witty Matthew Silver’s headline on Wisdom Homes, which was touting their success and plans just a few months ago. Today, here’s that Wisdom related headline:

Manufactured Homes have Gone to Pot

Let’s catch up this weekend, your thoughts and news tips are encouraged and valued. ##


Standing Room Only seminars are scheduled for the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, including SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, Financing and MHC/Retail Lessons Learned. More details, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Staying A Positive MH Course in sometimes Negative World

January 10th, 2016 No comments

It could be called a study in contrasts. The wide range of comments from MH industry pros in recent days varied from the extreme of a fellow who termed our published response to PBS news takedown of MH and MHI as either misguided or have a self-serving agenda.” – to a far greater number of others who said it was “nice work,” “brilliant,” “necessary,” numerous “thank you for all you do” – or like the LinkedIn posted kudos below from an MH community owner.


Image credit – LinkedIn.

If you’ve not yet seen it, here BOTH the PBS video and our response that all the above are all talking about, is linked here.

Some in HUDVille think Ignoring Bad News is the answer. Really?

What is the national association doing on this PBS takedown issue?

MHProNews has been told by informed sources that MHI has sent a strongly worded, 3 page letter to PBS. Hmm, ok. Now what? What are the next steps in the MHI plan to defending the industry’s reputation?

Are we really going to watch and accept – public silence – from MHI on key issues that arguably harms the image of the entire industry and MHI’s own avowed legislative agenda?

Surely we aren’t going to allow attacks on our financing or the value proposition created by the MHCs to go unanswered in the public square?

Right or wrong, won’t MHI’s public silence appear to others as a de facto ‘admission of guilt’ to all of the allegations that PBS made in their flawed ‘Bad Bargain’ story?

We certainly hope and pray that whoever is making that kind of ‘let’s not comment in public‘ decision at MHI will think twice. We have objetively done more and broader publishing for the industry and MHI in support of HR 650 and S 682 than they have, because we believe in the goals of the MHI backed bill as being good for consumers and for the industry.  We will continue to support it, but we also hereby call on MHI to support their own effort by standing up publicly against the public PBS stance.  

My time is valuable, how about yours? If you supported the MHI lead HR 650/S 682 effort, as we have and many others do – will you want to see it die at the hands of PBS or anyone else without a whimper?  What was all that effort for anyway?


As one MH Pro told MHProNews, Congress is acting in a broken fashion now. Getting things done in DC is not easy. But that just means we have to work smarter to get our legislation passed that will protect consumers home values, ability to purchase and MH Profesionals ability to sell more homes.  Our Opposition uses the media to their advantage! Won’t MH Pros learn to do the same?  We have the better story, because the TRUTH is on OUR SIDE!  But would you know that based solely on the public response coming out of Arlington to the PBS NewsHour report?  Image credit: tomtwomeyseries.

We must Play the Legislative, Lobbying Game to Win –
many MHPros are sick and TIRED of LOSING in DC.

This PBS takedown is either bane or blessing, depending on what the industry and its members do.  We either

PBS’ takedown story deliberatly makes MH look like – using PBS’ own words a “bad bargain,” what nonsense!  Should we allow the feds to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on subsidized housing, and then not support a free market solution that MH offers that benefits almost everyone in the mix?  

Our next planned report on the PBS story is pending, stay tuned for that one…

The difference between Seattle Times/BuzzFeed and PBS

One could better understand why MHI let Buffett and Clayton Homes defend themselves, as harmful as that is to the industry and its clear attack on MHI’s legislative efforts. The reason? The Seattle Times/BuzzFeed takedown piece was directly targeting Buffett and his MH companies.

But with the only organization in the PBS takedown story being named is MHI, doesn’t it stand against reason NOT to allow Carla Burr’s/et al comments via PBS to publicly go unrefuted by MHI? 

Please see the prior Masthead post where we clearly outline the obvious dollars-and-cents logic of why MHLivingNews and MHProNews have and will defend the integrity of the industry’s honest and ethical professionals against those who de facto harm reputable businesses within our industry who are serving the public well.

Note too that the PBS story arguably harms MH homeowners and prospective buyers. Whose agenda is PBS intentionally or coincidentally advancing? Why?  


Image credit, PBS Newshour comments section. Comments at left with arrows, Masthead Blog, MHProNews.com.  Please note once more, you can see the transcript and the PBS NewsHours entire report and our fact-based refuting of their report, by clicking the image above, or here.

Let’s be clear, PBS started this assault. The initial responsibility is with them.

But MHI – or in their absence, other forward looking MH leaders – must act to defend the MH industry and our home owners. 


One of the clear results of NOT responding to negative media, decade after decade, is the historic low new MH home shipment numbers – compared to other industry’s that are thriving today – see the facts, click here or the image above.

The MHLivingNews/MHProNews Agenda

Let me answer that critic we opened with. We do have an agenda. It’s not hidden, we’ve touted it for years. It’s simple yet profound. We want to improve the sense of pride, respect and great value that Manufactured Homes provides the public and MH home owners. We want to see MH thrive, not just survive.

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


Our tag lines clearly state the MHProNews agenda.

We will positively promote that agenda! Do we think we’ll benefit – as do and will others! – from that effort? Of course. That’s what successful business do!

As I responded to the unnamed person who sent that comment, ‘We may agree to disagree on approaches.’ But the facts speak for themselves.  Not responding for decades to such attacks has harmed our industry’s public image. That costs everyone in MH real American money, the only difference is to what degree you, I or other are harmed by the attacks.

knowledgesharedknowledgemultiplied-15minutesdaily-mhpronews-com-postedMHVillageBlog- (1)

Image credits – MHProNews.com.

What a seasoned MH Exec said

‘Tony, what other industry can you name that after 35 years is still talking about the exact same challenges they did decades before?’

Well said.

Back to Dick Jennison and MHI

I won’t publish Dick Jennison’s entire pre-story memo, but it concludes with an assurance to MHI members that:

RichardDickJennison-MHI-CEO-PostedMHProNews-comWe hope that the result of our participation will be a fair and balanced piece, and give MHI the opportunity for our voice to be heard on critical industry topics. We will be prepared to respond to any inaccuracies or unfair characterizations that may be included in the final segment.”

When you first read that about 10 days ago, did you think as I did, that MHI would respond publicly if PBS report was unfair to MH?  

As noted above, that alleged three page response to PBS is how our sources inside MHI tell us that they want to keep the written promise to association members, quoted above.

Once more, let’s emphasize that we hope that MHI will not stand on that private 3 page letter to PBS alone.

The takedown piece by PBS was public; and just as Clayton and Warren Buffett defended themselves publicly, so too should MHI defend our industry, good community operators and our lending publicly.

Public Comments From Frank Rolfe

Following similar reasoning used in our first-in-the-industry published lead in the Daily Business News flash report, it should be noted FrankRolfe-MobileHomeUniversity-postedmastheadblogMHProNews-that Frank Rolfe‘s published press release (see download, linked here) does the math too!

Rolfe and others clearly sees the need to defend MH Communities in public to the Public Broadcasting story. So why doesn’t MHI?

“We Provide, You Decide” © 2016.

Ok. That outlines the scenario at the moment. MHLivingNews and MHProNews have publicly responded. Frank Rolfe publicly responded. MHI has not, and says they will not beyond an unpublished three page letter they tell us they’ve sent to PBS’ Stephen Fee and company.


Will we let others publicly set fire to the image of our industry, and not see the national association respond? The MHI logo – is their property, and is used here for editorial purposes only, under the fair use provisions of the copyright laws.

It’s YOUR industry. The PBS story impacts YOU, YOUR Career and YOUR business. Stephen Fee’s/ PBS’ unbalanced takedown story influences others in:

  • media,

  • public officials and

  • policy advocates or makers.

Directly or through others, PBS’ story harms our industry, and those investors and professionals in it, and will no doubt cause some would-be customers to otherwise not buy an MH or not live in an MHCommunity.

Before wrapping, my thanks to all of you who have thanked us for taking on PBS’ thinly vielded takedown piece.  We appreciate the encouragement and kind words, made possible by others who are doing rather than…

I’m stunned that MHI hasn’t already responded publicly to PBS, and our polite private nudges have not yet worked.  

So as an association member who champions their causes whenever possible, but quietly or publicly (as needed) questions them when their actions/inactions don’t make sense for the industry and its members, we are hereby going public.

Do you think MHI should just stay silent, or should they defend publicly the MH Industry, our lending and communities?

And you say? ##

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

17.5 Million Autos in 2015 vs. 70,000 Manufactured Homes?

January 6th, 2016 No comments

Industry statistics suggest that the auto industry’s final count for 2015 could hit an all time high for U.S. car sales, with some 17.5 million autos, trucks, SUVs and other vehicles sold.

At the current pace, the MH industry looks like it could finish the year with some 70,000 total HUD Code manufactured homes (see download from the end of the article, linked here). Compare this to the RV industry’s 369,100 estimate, per the RVIA.


Conventional Housing

Per the NAHB’s attached download, the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) for new home sales in November 2015 stood at 490,000 nationally. Existing home sales for the same period was 4.150 million houses sold in the U.S..

Let’s do some math.  Autos often rival or exceed new MHs in price.  RVs cost more per square foot than MHs.  Certainly new home sales cost significantly more than MH.  So why are MH Shipments trailing almost any reasonable domestic sales metric you might want to compare MH against?  

When you say the word ‘apartment,’ most people know what you mean.  Say the word auto, RV, house or multi-family – and an image jumps to mind.  One problem with MH is the term manufactured home means ‘mobile home’ to the majority who think they know what it is that we do.

Potential blessing in disguise 


The MH Industry used to sell 500,000 units in the early 70s. In the late 90s, the industry topped 372,000 homes. Today, we are looking at 70,000? Why are we settling for such a low level of sales and production?


For those willing to work smarter and go after a larger piece of the market pie, the sky is practically the limit for MH – so long as someone is willing to invest in education/image in a given market.  Marketing is not enough, though, because once you attract that prospect who has cash or good credit that was shopping for a conventional house, now you have to engage that home shopper professionally.  The “old mobe dog” ways of selling an MH just don’t cut it with the upscale buyers, as a rule.  They’d be turned off, and leave. There is no need to wait for the industry to organize on a national level, as wonderful as that might be.  Based upon much of what I’ve seen and hear from past national efforts that never got passed first base, the efforts would have fallen flat.


MH isn’t like apartments, or RVs, our houses or cars where people hear the name or term and they get the proper image.  Can marketing help? Absolutely, we do it with clients routinely.  

But marketing must be coupled with the right sales engagement approaches.  And I’m not talking about a (pardon the expression) used car approach. That 1-2 connection between marketing and sales is what can make our industry’s potential hit 500,000 new homes a year, vs. the improving, but still paltry, 70,000 (+/-) homes we are likely to see shipped by HUD Code producers by the time all the final numbers for 2015 are tallied.  


Graphic credit, OpenSourceway and FlickrCreativeCommons

The practical, profitable solution is E, learn more, linked here. ##


Standing Room Only seminars are scheduled for the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, including Tony’s SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, What’s New in MH Financing 2016 and MHC/Retail Lessons Learned from MHPros. More details, linked here.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.


L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Jiu Jitsu January in MHVille 2016

January 3rd, 2016 No comments

The free dictionary defines Jiu jitsu as follows:

ju•jit•su also ju•jut•su n. a Japanese method of defending oneself without weapons by using the strength and weight of one’s adversary to disable him or her.

This is the sense that we are using the terminology: our only weapons are words, images – sometimes videos – and how those are shared to take the weight of our digital adversaries attack and use it against them.

Make no mistake. Call it what you will. There is, as we suggested in our 2nd graphic below, A Media War is underway, and MH is in the cross hairs. The Jan 2nd, 2016 PBS NewsHour story is just the latest round. 


Image credits: New York Times/PBS NewsHour – and graphical text by MHProNews.com.

Frankly, this is in part our industry’s own fault. Why? Not because the truth isn’t on our side.  Its because too many in MH have allowed a vacuum to be created – a vacuum in understanding our MH home product and our MH home-only financing – and a clear-eyed understanding of the incredible value and appeal of the land-lease community lifestyle.


Photo/Image collage credits = Warren Buffett photo, UK Telegraph, Seattle Times, BuzzFeed, Clayton Homes logos, belong to each respective firm; click here or the graphic above to see the report.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and the media loves an ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ story. So I’m not faulting the media per se, the opposition to our industry has better used the mainstream media than MH at large has done in recent history. Some in MHVille are trying, but too many are not or are making the wrong effort.  The proof is self-evident.



Even before the PBS hit piece, we already had plans to devote significant attention this month for the long overdue need for MH Pros to organize and rally around PEP = Protect – Educate – Promote.

On MHLivingNews, we already responded to the Seattle Times/BuzzFeed attacks on MH. Yes, the Baker/Wagner duo are strictly speaking attacking Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway, Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders by name.

But make no mistake, they are attacking our industry – through a frontal assualt those larger players – as well.

PBS NewsHour, Other Media

We know that in 2015, PBS did an interview with OZY Media, which did a week long attack on MH. MHProNews’ rebuttal article comes up on Page 1 of Google for a search on the OZY Media hit-piece series.

The Daily Yonder did an attack piece on MH and lending too. Our

Correcting Errors in “The Hidden High Costs of Mobile Homes” – Lance George – Daily Yonder

critique/rebuttal likewise comes up on Page One of the kind of Google search that a serious person researching this topic might use.

The Foundation has been set, the Structure is steadily going up –

  • but the time to man the walls and better engage is NOW

For 6 years on MHProNews and about 3 years on MHLivingNews, we’ve been setting the foundation, and building the structure needed for this digital media clash.



Screen capture above and below from PBS NewsHours comment section on their “Bad bargain? Manufactured homeowners feel the financial strain” The below shows that in the real world, thoughtful readers – presented with the truth and compelling arguments, can be turned around.


That response by reader JSKDN reads as follows: “Not mentioning that she had testified before a US House of Representatives committee on the issue is quite an omission.”

The Old MH model is…”Letting the bad news blow over

After 30+ years of that model, MH is now under 100,000 shipments for most of a decade now. It is proven not to work.


Graphic credit – calculated risk.


Far better is the intelligent media response model! Far better to use Jiu Jitsu! Or as Albert Einstein said…


“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein. Photo credit, WikiCommons. Poster credit, MHProNews-com, © 2016, Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC. All rights reserved.

Anyone and everyone in MH can play some part in this.

  • That part can be as simple as sharing the links to what we produce to defend the industry via email and social media.  
  • That part can rise to a higher level by having Tony address your next corporate or association convention.  It’s good for the meeting – we routinely get 4 or 5 stars out of a possible 5 from attendees – and its good for our ongoing efforts on the Industry’s behalf.  If that seems self serving, pardon me, but there is no one else in the industry that is being called ‘the voice of manufactured housing’ by the industry’s own pros.  We have real world experience that the Madison Ave style PR guns for hire simply don’t have.  
  • That support can go to a still higher level by supporting the work MHProNews and MHLivingNews do – which can be profitable for those who provide that support.

Let me try to say politely what is in fact boiling within.  Judging from messages coming in, others are upset, mad and disappointed in MHVille too.  

If the right decisions were being made, MHVille would not be in the mess that it is in with respect to the mainstream media and advocacy of our national legislation. That’s costing the industry billions of dollars a year.  Its all avoidable, and it all being done for the wrong reasons.  There, I’ve said it. 

FYI, at this moment in time there are 2974 visitors on our site – per the guest tracker found at the bottom of our MHProNews.com home page.  We outnumber any group in the industry you can name.  It is time we as MHPros organized and pulled together better, and acted like it.


With no further aideu, the full line up of our 18 new featured articles for Jiu Jitsu January in MHVille 2016, is found below. Enjoy, feedback always encouraged. Thanks for being here.


Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 7, No. 4, 2015

Alphabetically by Category




• Partnership brings national institutional capital to resident-OWNED manufactured home communities

by Mike Bullard

mikeBullard-ROC-USA-Community-Closing-MHCommunity-Category-MIke-Bullard-Oct-55X55CONCORD, N.H. — The country’s leading lender to resident-owned manufactured home communities has secured millions in national institutional capital, a breakthrough in the history of CDFI-financed resident-owned community preservation.

Read more…


• Rumor Has It…About What’s Next from HUD?

by Nadeen Green, JD

nadeen-green-mhpronews-comThis post is short yet not-so-sweet. It is based on rumor, so I absolutely do not vouch for its accuracy, but my source is fairly credible (how mysterious that sounds).

Read more…



• Continuing Exclusion Of Chattel Loans From Revised Duty To Serve FHFA Implementation Rule Update

by M. Mark Weiss, JD

MMarkWeiss-PresidentManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARR-postedMHProNews-com-50x50-With widespread rumors and misinformation circulating within the industry regarding the proposed new/revised “Duty to Serve” (DTS) implementation rule published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on December 18, 2015.

Read more…



• Our Gift to You

Larry-P-Arnn-OrGiftToYou-postedonMHProNews-comby Larry P. Arnn

Dear Fellow American, One of the greatest gifts God has given Americans is our freedom.

Read more…


• Energy Star Rated Builder Joins 2016 Louisville Manufactured Home Show 

by John Bostick

JohnBostickPresidentSunshineHomesRedBayAlabama-posted-mhpronews-com-50x50Sunshine Homes Inc., of Red Bay AL, may be based in the south, but we are and have been building our homes ONLY to Energy Star standards.

Read more…


• JLT Market Reports for Pacific Northwest and Minnesota 

by Darren Krolewski

DataComp60x60-22015 JLT Markets Reports Now Available for Major Markets in Oregon, Washington and Minnesota

Read more…


• A Reflection on 2015 and the Manufactured Housing Industry 

by Stacey Epperson

tony- kovachWe are all familiar with Margaret Mead’s quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Read more…


• Buffett Seattle Times/BuzzFeed Takedown Story Paints Clayton’s Manufactured Housing Empire with Deception 

 by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachA Critical Analysis of Writers’ Charges of Racism, Minority Exploitation. (Editor’s Note – this story will be released to the media-at-large, in a PR format).

Read more…


• Retailers! Communities! Want to Attract UPSCALE buyers for 2016? Video & Photos 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThere is a purpose for every kind of commercially successful product under the sun, or it wouldn’t exist.

Read more…


• 2016 Presidential and other Politics and Industry Advancement 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachWith the pace-setting Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primaries just weeks away, the focus of considerable media attention is going to the Republican and Democratic primary races.

Read more…


• Warren Buffett, Clayton, Financing and Politics – What Didn’t Make the ST/BF Report

 by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachIn any report or story where you want balance and depth, you want to talk to multiple sources, and thus you end up with more statements, comments and quotable quotes than you can use, in order to keep the articles focus tight enough to be compelling.

Read more…


• Why New Manufactured Home and Park Model Warranties from MHWC? For the Enhanced Value!


MHWC - 2016 - MHProNews January Ad.inddWhen you provide an MHWC manufactured home warranty, how does that benefit you and your buyers?

Read more…


• Modular Home Builders Pushing to Dispel Myths of Factory Built Homes 

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comWith a labor and available lot squeeze driving up the price of site-built homes, Bloomberg reports modular homes present a viable alternative, less costly and a quicker build time than site-built, although in appearance, they might be very little different than site-built.

Read more…


• 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Update…

TunicaManufacturedShow2016-60x602016 Update…

The Tradition . . .

During its long history the “Tunica Show” has grown to include virtually every supplier and manufacturer who has wanted to capture the southeast market.

Read more…



• What’s The Most Powerful Marketing over the Past 100 Years?

by Wayne Coakley

 WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-want to show you the biggest in shift in marketing that is happening that your competition doesn’t even know about yet.

Read more…




• What Happens Daily – 2016 Reflections

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comThe holidays have just past. Not to be negative, but let me share just a few statistics that I recently came across that might help you have a different attitude about this year ahead.

Read more…


• ZigOn Overcoming The Odds

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarHis name is Gabriel Hjertstedt (YERT-stet) and he participated in the 1998 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

Read more…




• What will you do different in 2016? Why not start with E!

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachNew Year is the time when millions make – and hopefully begin – their resolutions for improvement. What do you and your location(s) and operation(s) plan to do differently in 2016, to improve your bottom line performance?

Read more…

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Analysis-SeattleTimes-BuzzFeed allege – Warren Buffett’s Clayton Homes Exploit Minorities?

December 30th, 2015 No comments

First, a programming note – the new January 2016 issue of MHProNews monthly Featured Articles are scheduled to go live by the evening of Saturday, January 2nd. 


Photo/Image collage credits = Warren Buffett photo, UK Telegraph, Seattle Times, BuzzFeed, Clayton Homes logos, belong to each respective firm; click here or the graphic above to see the report.

Next, we will keep this simple. Some don’t understand, or dislike, free enterprise. Some don’t get it that when you make loans that create opportunities for home ownership to those with marginal credit, you will have a higher default rate.

We reported weeks ago in a video interview with attorney and MH lending expert, Marty Lavin, his statement that the success rate for those big MH lenders making loans to those with marginal credit was some 83%. That ought to be celebrated. Instead, the duo below villify it. Should the vast majority be forced to rent, thanks to those with an agenda to protect Dodd-Frank instead of the minorities and working people they claim to want to “protect?” 


Agenda journalists? Mike Baker, left; Daniel Wagner. right. Photo credits – l- nfoic, r – talking biz news, all photos, logos and images are used per fair use guidelines.

We have an extensive report on the Seattle Times/BuzzFeed story, which attacks Warren Buffett – for purposes of sensationalism and increased clicks – Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders, linked here. Your thoughts and feedback, are welcome. 

Let’s do what it takes to make 2016 a much, much better year than the past few have been. ##


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, speaking at the recent New York Housing Association meeting. Tony will be presenting at the 2016 Tunica MH Show.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

‘Christmas Card’ Photos from MHPros

December 22nd, 2015 No comments

America is in the final days of the ‘last minute rush’ to Christmas. To say that millions of people across the land are busy is an understatement.


What is Doc pointing at with his bearded smile?

That said, we’re getting interesting ‘thank you’ messages from MH industry pros. Some have come with pictures like the ones above and below. These photos-with-pics inspired a thought, and with their ok, are being shared with you.


Why is Paul sending a thumbs up photo? What’s next to him on that end table?

This is the start of a unique post – and with input from others – we will complete this post over the next few days. Please check back in about 48 hours to see the conclusion…

…First Update. 


We received statements like those below, from MHPros across the country…

> “Thanks for the Christmas Picture.  I’ll put it up front right now.”

> “Thank you so much for the frame pic!!!!  It is proudly being displayed on our sofa table!

Just got your Christmas photo and card!  What a great idea and sentiment.  Thank you for the thought, and I of course will display it proudly.”

Unfortunately, even with bubble wrap, the Fragile label, and other tips straight from three USPS’ pros at two different locations, some reportedly did not make it intact…


Thank you for the thoughtful card and picture.  Here’s to a great 2016!”… “Unfortunately, mine was one of the casualties.” … “It’s the thought that counts. J

What was that thought?  What is that quote below the photo collage of manufactured homes, representing a variety of builders and styles from across this great land?

Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have.” – Henry David Thoreau

…It is now Christmas morning. There will be one more update to this post before the weekend is over. It will contain a free gift from us to you.


Nativity scene image credit – montco-happening-now.

For now, let us wish you and yours a Merry Christmas. Let’s think about all our blessings. Let’s think about the true reason for the season.

Please check back for that planned update…

Final Update on Christmas Day-Weekend Post


We wanted to share something that could inspire MHPros across the land. The photo collage represents independent HUD Code manufactured Home builders as well as ‘Big 3’ MH Producers. You see single and multi-sectional, even two-level Cape Cod style home with a finished upstairs!

The collage includes members of MHARR as well as MHI – with homes produced from many parts of the nation – a unifying image and message.

This photo collage and quote are designed to fit in a 5”x7” frame, available at most any Walmart, Target or thousands of other online or bricks-and-mortar retailers. We’d suggest that you download it and have a print shop like Staples or Office Depot (etc.) print it on a high-quality glossy photo paper.  

You can download the full sized imagelinked here – and use it as suggested with our compliments, as our Christmas Gift to you.

Then, place the framed photo where staff and visitors can see and be reminded and inspired by what an amazing product we offer the home seeking public.

The best new year gift for most MH Pros would be a far more robust 2016 than the past few years. Even little things can be steps towards making that happen. That UPS or USPS person that walks into your office, a pizza delivery or any other visitor may stop and see this collage and ask about the homes. A conversation can lead them and your location(s) to a good place – the home place.

From Matthew Silver, Charles Drake, Jan Hollingsworth, Soheyla (Pronounced “So Hey La”), Tamas (pronounced Tah Mash) and L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach (pronounced Co Vatch, like a Watch with a V), we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, and a brighter New Year. ##

tony- kovach## By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Can Common Sense Return? Can MH Catch the Wave?

December 20th, 2015 No comments

Common sense is misnamed, because it has seemingly become far too rare: in daily living as well as politically. There is much to do. We continue to get feedback on the disappointment on MH missing out Dodd-Frank reform plus on chattel lending from the GSEs, per FHFA’s recent ‘no’ on that subject. For fresh and pithy insights, see Marty Lavin’s comments linked here. Click here for Don Glisson Jr., CEO of Triad Financial, take. For other flash feedback are found via my prior, midweek post, linked here.

The above gives a nice cross section of where the industry’s views are on those recent developments.

That said, let’s not cry, let’s look ahead. We will briefly consider common sense, a-politically, and how it impacts MH.

In a common sense world:

If you passed a health care ‘reform bill’ that promised more coverage for less cost to all, but got

  • rising premiums,
  • higher deductibles for millions,
  • failing healthcare exchanges,
  • less hours for millions of workers instead,

you’d think the plug would be pulled, or at least the program would be revamped, right?

Apparently not. Dems in their debate last night admitted that ObamaCare is not working as their party advertised.  In DC, POTUS doubled down on the ACA/ObamaCare, with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi teaming up to fund it again. Common sense lost out to political maneuvering, that must be benefiting someone besides the masses.  Go figure.

In a common sense world:

Dodd-Frank was supposed to protect against:

  • too big to fail,
  • it was supposed to benefit consumers,
  • and yet ended up harming millions of MH home owners,
  • forced some industry lenders and hundreds of community banks out,
  • while keeping potential buyers as renters,

you’d end or restructure the law and the CFPB, right?

Apparently not. MHI and the more muscular ABA both got the stiff-arm, while billions flowed to programs the administration wanted. Most people don’t want the southern border open, they don’t want Syrian refugees flooding the U.S.. POTUS (President of the United States) didn’t say, tough, you’re getting it anyway. But that’s the bottom line. The Obama-nibus Ryan-Pelosi budget deal guarantees that most Americans, regardless of party politics, are being ignored.

So MH isn’t alone in being told ‘no’ by the DC types.

Whatever you think of The Donald, or Bernie, they are tapping into the emotions of millions in their respective parties who feel they are being left out. Trump is successfully getting the media talking about issues that millions want to have resolved by someone, be that The Donald or someone else.  The anti-establishment Rs are polling far higher than the party’s establishment candidates.  That speaks volumes, for those willing to listen. 


Image credit: FrontPageMag.

MH pros must learn from those who are getting past their respective party-line narratives; we must learn how to win

  • for ourselves and for
  • our current and potential home owners.


Can MH adapt to “no” on Dodd-Frank or on “no” on chattel lending from the GSEs? Sure, we already have, years ago. But we should not accept this ‘new federally forced normal.’ We shouldn’t just roll over and quit. If we do, things will only get worse politically.

FYI – in fact, we’re told of a development that sounds pretty darn good on the HR 650/S 682 front. There are pros still working the system, going for the victory in 2016 that most in MH desire. We’ll dig into that report, and keep you posted. But for now…

We could go down the line on things POTUS and his administration are pushing, that are opposed by the majority of Americans. We the People are getting those unwanted things anyway, with Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi cooperating to fund POTUS’ priorities. Oye vez!

No wonder anti-establishment candidates Trump and Cruz are rising among Republican leaning voters, as Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and other establishment types sink.

Attorney Marty Lavin made a very important point in his short and timely OpEd. We got HERA 2008 some 7 years ago, it gave us the Duty To Serve (DTS), and we still don’t have that in practice. Having the law alone didn’t help us. MHARR bulletins routinely points out the ways that the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) is still ignored or is marginalized by public officials.

In a world where common sense has slipped away, we need to ROUSE OURSELVES and Work with OTHERS to look at things as they are, and then move the needle to where it needs to be – for the good of MH and for “We, the People” at large.

When the sky darkens, that’s when the stars can shine.

The Answer to America ‘s Growing Affordable Housing Crisis


Affordable quality homes like the one shown on display at ArkLaTex (above) are often being zoned out for discriminatory reasons, like a 4/12 roof pitch.  Hundreds of news and other websites have picked this story, see our detailed ‘who in the media’ has picked this up report, linked here.

The recent column on:

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

has drawn praise from MH Industry pros. As of Sunday morning, it has been picked up by over 700 publications and websites, via media releases, RSS feeds and more.


We need to be engaged with the media, and mobilize the voices and people politically to get what we want. See report, linked here. Graphic credit, MHProNews, all rights reserved.

Manufactured Housing has the answers that millions are seeking in the hunt for quality, affordable living. Both parties are talking about helping the poor and middle class. Manufactured Housing Pros have the answer, right now. Programs are welcome, but none are required.

You, your state or community association, your colleagues are the key to advancing MH in your respective market. You have to be the change in your market. You have to be in-the-trenches politically, to get MH and our nation back onto a more common sense path.

There is word that some Republicans are planning to ‘primary’ Paul Ryan, who as Speaker of the House, has led some of his party and Democrats into what we’re calling the Obama-nibus Ryan-Pelosi budget deal that left MH and so many others out in the cold. Sometimes in a fight, one has to get their nose a little bloody before they really wake up and take the fight seriously.

We in MH had our nose and our gut punched last week. But its far from over, so long as MH Pros don’t quit. We have to learn to play a long game. We have to learn to play to win. Don Glisson is correct in saying that MHI and MHARR should be coordinating better.

So its not about crying over split milk. Its about learning from the miss, and adapting to win.

We ought not accept an America where we have to fight so hard to get what was ours as a birth right 50 years ago. More businesses today are closing than opening, that’s a first in many generations. We ought not roll over and accept the fact that politicians and bureaucrats alike can go so far afield.

We’ll have a special report around the New Year that should make those who think we have no power think twice. Please keep the chin up. Check out the latest Inspiration blog – The Power of Boat Burning.

Working together wisely, we can do what’s needed. What the Affordable Housing/Zoning story linked above proves is that when deeply committed industry pros pull together, we can win the battles that move the needle for more MH home owners and buyers – and thus MHIndustry sales.

Knocked down is not knocked out. We can get to 500,000 new manufactured homes shipped a year, but only if we do the smart things. ##

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

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com