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Chris Steinbert’s Farewell – Manufactured Home Industry – Then and Now

October 23rd, 2015 No comments

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of our thousands of faithful readers sent me the attached scanned copy of prior Manufactured Housing Institute President, Chris Steinbert’s ‘farewell’ or parting message. It is shared to continue a dialogue within and for the MH Industry. Many point to Chris’ era as an important one for MHI, and some who recall the attached lament that MH has not made more progress towards some of his goals.

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In sharing Chris’ 8 points below, it doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with any or all of his ‘if I had a magic wand, what would I wish for MH’ bullet points.

But they’re as worthy of serious discussion and reflection today as they were when the Journal published it 9 years ago. In bold below are his 8 bullets. In regular type face, some comments or food for thought that are not Chris’.

  1. Manufacturers would step up and take control of the marketplace. It is worth noting that in Danny Ghorbani’s farewell to the industry, he said the time has come for MH to do an image campaign. See also Chris’ bullet number 3 below.
  1. Manufacturers should assume the responsibility for customer satisfaction. MHIA 2000 has helped, no doubt. Quality is up, no doubt, as the report from MHARR linked here demonstrates. See his last bullet for an added thought on this one.
  2. The Industry needs to launch a national advertising offensive spotlighting the tremendous benefits of owning and living in a factory built home. While your Masthead scribes agrees with – and is already part of an effort to promote the benefits of MHLiving, the who, how and why are questions worthy of discussion. I won’t go into details today, but as a marketer let’s note that MH is unique in needing three things, not one. Branding, unbranding and rebranding. We also need local, market-based campaigns that drive business to specific “partners in progress,” which when shared on a single national platform, yields national coverage that has local market value for those who participate.  The rising tide will lift the water-worthy boats.i-continue-to-be-today-a-staunch-supporter-of-a-mhindustry-generic-advertising-campaign-leigh-abrams-drew-industries-(c)2014-lifestylefactoryhomesllc-
  3. Its also time for the industry to finally start sharing the risks and rewards. This or other points Chris raised are not new. A number of MH and MHC operations could honestly say, they were doing exactly this, until the CFPB derailed their successful efforts by creating too much regulatory risk.  Some lenders have created programs that essentially do just what Chris advocated.
  1. Manufacturers and retailers should be more open about making pricing information available to potential customers. More retailers today are doing what Chris suggested. MHVillage is clearly doing just that on a large scale. We happen to advocate the same, and our clients who show pricing the proper way find its very beneficial. After all, what real estate agent hides the price of the house he or she are trying to sell?if-leader-doesnt-convey-passion-intensity-then-there-will-be-no-passion-intensity-within-organization-theyll--fall-depressed-colin-powell-wikicommons-mhpronews600x450a-
  1. Focus on the issues of real importance and stop looking to Washington to solve all of your problems. “HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did not cause your world to collapse” (said Chris, speaking of the fall out of the post 1998 slump) “and they are not going to be your salvation either.” Now, let’s admit that Chris wrote this before HERA 2008, and before Dodd-Frank, the CFPB, etc., etc. While we certainly don’t want to wait and see what ‘DC will do for us,’ nor depend solely on Washington for solutions, neither should we sit back and do nothing in Washington, as Chris himself suggested.
  1. Stop tilting after windmills…go after those things that can realistically be achieved. Some say that this point is where Chris anticipated some of what an MH friend and wise industry mogul said was my Don Quixote side; reaching for impossible dreams and the unreachable stars. But realism is no less important than idealism. The opening quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the start of this column reminds us that some struggles are necessary and worthy of effort! It is often those who are willing to tilt at windmills that help real change to come to pass. That occurs when enough commit to a good, just cause. Do see Bob Vahsholtz’s article on the image issue and the three stages of progress.
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    Editor’s Note: posters and graphics are from editor, not from Chris Steinbert.

  1. The entire industry must focus on one goal – increasing the value proposition to the homeowner. We could hardly disagree with Chris on something that we preach privately to clients and publicly on our MHProNews pages. Here is a point that MHARR and MHI agree, that the quality of today’s MH is better than ever. We might rephrase Chris’ words, but the point is the same. We must make sure that our customers are happy to be MH owners and MHC residents. The more often that happens, the more your MH sales will rise as a result.
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    Quote from A Cup of Coffee withSam Landy. UMH has doubled its footprint in 5 years.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I’ve seen some say that the windshield has maybe 10% rear view mirror. While that’s true, that overlooks the fact that there are side view mirrors in autos that look back too. Looking back is important for safety and for lessons that guide advancement! History is a teacher only for those who sit, study and are willing to learn the lessons!

Does-Truth-Matter-To-the-extent-we-allign-ourselves-with-the-truth, we thrive-to-the-extend-we-deny-it-we-suffer-dr-keith-ablow-photo-fox-poster-credit-MHProNews-com-

It is good at this point to review our tag lines and the vision for this site.

When we launched 6 years ago, we sought to establish a professional forum that advances sound concepts from each segment of the industry. A professional trade publication where anyone with the discipline to share their thoughts in writing (or via video…) could present their best-practices vision or services for advancing MH professionalism. Respectful debates and opposing views have been and are welcome.

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Indeed, if you look at what hundeds have said via over 1000 LinkedIn endorsements and comments (with some 99.9% unsolicited), we have started and nurtured that MH Industry challenges, best practices, expert advice, solutions and goals conversations.  FYI, we take those kudos from folks like you as thanks to our writers, team members, volunteers and supporters.  My thanks to all, while noting that this is far from being a one person operation.

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Photo credit on left, Politico. Right, MHProNews.

Bill Matchneer, former director of the HUD Code MH program, formerly with CFPB and now on the MHI Financial Services Board of Governors, having been nominated to that role by Tim Williams/21st Mortgage (and new MHI Chair), thoughtfully provided me with a letter addressed to a third party that will end up in print; but I’m only sharing a snipet of it for now. “Obviously his (Tony’s) devotion to MH is best displayed by his highly comprehensive MHProNews and MHLivingNews websites, which have become such necessary reads that its hard to imagine the current MH Industry without them.”

Again, my sincere thanks to Bill and all who send in kind words, call or message or do LinkedIn kudos, which comes in many times weekly. But the reality is that these online places (MHProNews and MHLivingNews) are only possible via a team effort – they are YOUR and the MH Industry’s e-trade publications, in so many ways!

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Together with others, we’ve made strides in a variety of areas, thanks in large part to the contributions of volunteer writers, supporters, associations, team members, experts and others. The task now is to build on that solid history. Trade Media is a way for the MH indutry to engage other media, as media. Trade media is a way to influence public policy discussions, inform and educate, inspire industry members and others.  Whatever success we enjoy, as Mary McBrady, Bob Thieman and others observed, is good for the industry’s network of professionals and enthusiasts.

There is no single person in MH that will make the industry achieve its potential. What we do here is TEAM Work; Together, Everyone Achieves More = TEAM! It is precisely by drawing hundreds and then thousands of pros to bring their best and brightest skills to the playing field that MH advances. You have skills and experiences others lack, and vice versa.  Its good content that gets and keep thousands coming here to MHProNews daily.

Lumaxart Graphic by Scott Maxwell

MHProNews and MHLivingNews are about team work. You, We, Agents for Positive, Profitable Change. Image credit – Lumaxart by Scott Maxwell

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I enjoy MHEC meetings, and always take away a lot of useful information (thank you). Associations are another vital part of the solution for the industry. What good trade media does is give industry pros, including association leaders, the opportunity to share their experiences and thus their insights and solutions to problems. Examples shared on MHProNews.com include – DJ Pendleton, Ross Kinzler, Tim WilliamsJen Hall, Andy Gallagher, Joe Kelly Sheila Dey and Jess Maxcy among many others who recently or in the past have contributed content and news to fuel industry growth. Image Credit – MHEC Logo, courtesy of Mary Gaiski.

Together with other forward thinkers of good will, we advance.

The more we MH pros set aside the petty differences, ego, past wounds or turf struggles, the more we advance.

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Mutual understanding and respect, doing for others what we’d want for ourselves, – justice, fairness, forgiveness – these are how we move past the turf struggles of the past to the lofty potential of the future.

Bringing committed MH pros together is important. Candid, respectful discussion can lead us to viable solutions.  

The warm-and-fuzzy expressed herein doesn’t take away from the reality that there will be some eggs cracked along the way to making omlets. We plan to continue to serve as a needed spotlight for issues within and without the MH Industry.  When a balloon needs popping, let’s get out that needle together, shall we?

Borrowing from Dr. King and Chris Steinbert, we must find the ways to advance the goals of justice for MH owners, businesses and potential owners and investors too.

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The more we do that – advance justice and value for home owners and businesses – the more the good that Chris or Danny or anyone else that has cared about MH and has a positive vision for MH, will help that new birth for our industry to come to pass. ##

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach at NY Housing annual meeting. Tony will be presenting at the Tunica Manufactured Home Show in 2016, besides other planned events.

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Sparks Fly as NY SAA for HUD Code Manufactured Housing meets with Industry Members

October 10th, 2015 No comments

Days before the start of the New York Housing Association’s 65th Annual Meeting, word was circulating in manufactured housing industry circles about challenges arising from controversial statements and positions taken by George Moorehouse, a NY Department of State Code Enforcement Official.  To grasp the flavor of the issues that have stirred MH industry members and professionals in NY, Moorehouse allegedly said that ‘in ten years, there will be no more new manufactured housing placed in the state of New York.’

While this report is centered in NY, because HUD has been involved, a number of state association executives are concerned of potential ripple effects spilling into other states.  So this New York controversy is being seen by some MH leaders as ‘ground zero’ for a challenge to the MH Industry that must be successfully addressed.

Close consideration of the issues will reveal that how the NY SAA handles this would also impact home owners, as the facts of this report will suggest.

NYStateBuildingStandardsandCodes-postedonmhpronews-comMoorehouse

A Google search of George Moorehouse reveals he was listed on the NY State Building Standards and Codes, as being one of those…”

Code Enforcement Officials

The following list contains the names of individuals who have successfully fulfilled the training requirements for Code Enforcement Officials pursuant to Title 19 NYCRR Part 1208 during calendar year 2014…

George Moorehouse,  NY0003604.”

New York Housing Association Executive Director Nancy Geer spoke with BSC Director Ronald Piester, about two weeks ago.  Piester, Moorehouse and Assistant Director for Regional Services, Brian S. Tollisen, P.E., appeared in person Friday morning to talk to industry members, face to face.

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NY BSC Director Ronald Piester at podium, Brian Tollisen and George Moorehouse
are to his left, in this MHProNews photo from the New York Housing
Association’s annual meeting on 10.9.2015.  Members credited the three for
coming and speaking personally with industry professionals.

Piester opened by stating that he wanted a frank and open discussion about the “controversy going on in the field.”  He explained that the department’s staff had been “plagued” by  “unprecedented staff reductions” over a period of “6 to 7 years.”  Piester stated they “can’t seem to move back to add staff to our division,” adding that a major reorganization was underway.

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New York Housing Association member Paul Mele
holds a MH foundation design diagram.

Foundations and The HUD Connection…

Cornell University’s legal site says that the HUD Code for Manufactured Housing defines an SAA as:

State Administrative Agency (SAA) means an agency of a State which has been approved or conditionally approved to carry out the State plan for enforcement of the standards pursuant to section 623 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 5422, and subpart G of this part.

 Among the points that Ron Piester made was to explain that they are seeking to act in accordance with the HUD Code. Indeed, the NY Codes members present indicated that their office spoke with Pam Danner at HUD, a HUD engineer and their SAA counterparts in PA.

Industry members told MHProNews that foundation systems accepted by NY’s prior SAA team leader, Tim King, were now being questioned or challenged by Moorehouse.  Alternate foundations are permitted by the HUD Code, so long as certain steps are followed, including that an engineer “stamp” an approval on the alternate foundation plan.

King reportedly had a good working relationship with the Industry.  That working relationship with the NY MH Industry eroded after King left his role at BCS due to health issues and as Moorehouse’s field activities lead to the current foundation controversy.

Piester stated his desire to improve relations with the MH Industry, manifest by his presence at the association’s annual event.

In the wake of King’s exit from the NY SAA, alternate foundation systems approved by engineers and that industry members said had 3 decades of failure-free service to home owners, were suddenly called into question by Moorehouse.

That naturally caused New York MH Community owners and MH Retailers to consider the high costs of having to potentially go back and change foundation systems, the impact on home owners and to ask, what’s next from their state’s SAA?

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Joe Bushey of G&I Homes (seen in the two center column photos above)
was among those who questioned the guests from NYS BCS shift in policy since Tim
King’s departure from the agency. One industry member after another asked
pointed questions and explained problems with the apparent shift in SAA policy practices.

 Geer points to Performance Code and MHProNews ‘introduces’ Bill Matchneer, prior HUD Code program Administrator to NY SAA team

 During part of the discussion, Nancy Geer pointed out to the NYS BCS (SAA) team that the HUD Code isn’t a prescriptive code; rather, it’s a performance based code.  That performance base was precisely to provide opportunities to capture cost savings while delivering quality to the home buying consumer.

Geer’s point about the HUD Code being performance based was made by a previous administrator for the HUD Code for manufactured housing.  Since Piester and the SAA team members would periodically refer back to their desire to follow the HUD Code, Geer’s point was potent.

This MHProNews writer pointed Ron Piester to a video interview with Bill Matchneer, JD, the prior HUD Code Manufactured Housing program director.  In that video interview, Matchneer makes a strong public statement on the quality and value of the MH product, precisely from the vantage point of the HUD MH program director. Equally important for the NY discussion is the fact that Matchneer likewise spoke about the performance basis for the code, thus underscoring the point that Nancy Geer made to the NY SAA team.

Further, as the HUD Code Program leader, it is clear that Matchneer’s office would have had periodic contact with Timothy G. King, C.P.C.A., as the then NY SAA point man.

MHProNews asked Piester about the impact on citizens, the affordable housing market and industry members if the SAA’s actions adversely raised installation costs on proven foundation systems; when there seems to be an absence of foundation failures.

Piester immediately assured attendees that they were strongly supportive of affordable housing.

Get a FOIA

When asked by a member for copies of consumer complaints, Piester said that technically a FOIA would have to be filed to get that; rapidly adding that transparency and solutions – as well as following HUD’s guidance – was their aim.

Some members opined after the meeting why they wanted those complaints.  They observed that what a new person to field inspections might think was a foundation issue might be nothing more than a re-leveling issue; which is easier and less costly to address in MH than is the case with conventional housing.

To rephrase, this entire controversy may be much ado about nothing new, possibly caused by a new person – Moorehouse – misunderstanding of issues.  Level concerns and foundation problems are not automatically one and the same thing.  In an understaffed office, the problems could quickly escalate, as has been the case.

A step toward resolution?

Ron Piester offered and committed to doing a working group comprised of MH industry members, the NY SAA and HUD. Pressed by association members who have pending work issues revolving around this foundation system controversy, assurances were made that the working group would be rapidly formed and would meet within a month.

Nancy Geer, shown in the photo collage above at the podium in the bottom left photo, helped bring the session to a close, after the NY SAA team received a first-hand sense from industry members of the range of frustration, anger and concerns their agency’s field agent’s posture had created.

Each side attempted to offer an olive branch to the other, knowing they must, as Peltier said, find a way to resolve the concerns on a practical level.  MHProNews plans to track and report on developments in this as yet unresolved controversy. ##

(Photo credits, MHProNews.  Image credit – NYS Building Standards and Codes logo.)

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNewsBy L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

What You Saw, What You Missed and Can Still Experience

March 8th, 2015 No comments

When something like 2,500 pros come to an industry event, that tells you there is something ‘there’ to see and experience. For those who haven’t gone to an industry event like the recent Louisville MH Show or the rapidly approaching Tunica MH Show, what is it like? What are the take aways and value to the independent owner, manager or corporate leader?

 

The video below will provide some highlights of the 2015 Louisville Show and in that process suggest some of what you can experience in the “All New Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.”

 

You’ll see business and industry leaders and legends, as well as interviews with independents and more. Some of the personalities you’ll see (alphabetical by last name)

 

  • John Caron
  • Jim Clayton
  • Wally Comer
  • Terry Decio
  • Ted Gross
  • Richard “Dick” Jennison
  • Kevin Kimzey
  • Bill Matchneer, JD
  • Rich Rice
  • Dwayne Somerville
  • Ron Thomas, Sr.
  • More!

 

We’ll be shooting video and doing interviews in Tunica too! Please swing by the business building seminars and our booth #73. ##

 

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-business-building-seminars-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

MH March-ing, Money, Motivation, Movement, Morality and Matthew

March 1st, 2015 No comments

Winter will soon release her icy grip on much of the nation. The spring “selling season” is rushing upon us. We are picking up 3 minutes a day of light. The Tunica MH Show will be here in a matter of weeks. As you look at the balance of the year 2015, this is a good time to ask:

  • what will I do to improve my performance?

  • How can we improve the performance of our firm’s results?

  • What are you doing to challenge your own thinking or that of your team?

  • What will you and your associates do to stretch and grow?

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Part of the purpose or mission of a good industry trade journal are suggested by that paragraph above. Learn. Earn. Return. Our tag line says it this way, “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.” ©

Informative and inspirational are some of the descriptions of our Featured Articles for March. A raising star in MH is the subject of our latest interview, A Cup of Coffee with…Scott Roberts. Scott is doing some things others call ‘controversial’ or are doing very differently. Yet Scott’s firm is growing rapidly as a result, see why!

Legal, finance, marketing, sales, management, upcoming events and inspiration are among the many other topics in the Featured Articles, linked below. Learn more to protect and promote your business!

News as Opportunity, Inspiration and Morality Tales

What is news? Lets see what some journalists have said through the years.

Well, news is anything that’s interesting, that relates to what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in areas of the culture that would be of interest to your audience.” 

– Kurt Loder, American journalist

Hard news really is hard. It sticks not in the craw but in the mind. It has an almost physical effect, causing fear, interest, laughter or shock.”
Andrew Marr, British journalist

There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.”
Walter Lippmann, American journalist

We cannot make good news out of bad practice.”
Edward R. Murrow, American broadcast journalist

Every serious Industry or Profession has news that impacts it. Every ‘real’ profession has one or more quality trade publication(s). News – good or bad – as well as topics relateding to legal, marketing, sales, management, politics, association, education, image, product development, financing and more are covered by trade publishers.

Knowing what is going on can inspire you, show you threats to avoid and opportunities to capitalize upon. Good trade news can protect or grow your firm’s or a persons understanding, assets and performance.

Our industry’s first and still only Daily Business News (DBN) can be one of those informational tools to help you keep up, be informed and inspired. No wonder it is one of our most read sections of our popular site!

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comThe negative news can be like morality tales. Don’t do X, or this can happen to you!’ Our long-time DBN writer Matthew Silver plans to return soon to share the industry related news that is going on all around you. I suspect Matthew’s reported more news in 3.5 years than many others in our industry have combined for 10-20 years. So this piece of news is…Welcome Back Matthew!

Terrific Tunica Ahead!

The Number 1 place online to learn about the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show is right here. See videos, stories about business-building seminars and much more below!

Scientia Potential Est!”

shutterstock-ipadcredit-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-774x466-aKnowledge is potential power. Knowledge is the doorway to opportunities. There are good reasons why Warren Buffett spends so much time reading about a business or industry.

Scentia potest est. Ideally we all learn both from our own experience and that of other’s. Read what our experts and opinion writers have to say. Read the news and reports you find in abundance here daily, weekly monthly.

When you do, you’ll see why we continue to grow month, year over year.

Thanks for checking in, now please dive into the wealth of knowledge in the March Featured Articles designed to expand and protect your wealth.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 6, No. 6, 2015

Alphabetically by Category

 

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

• Back to the Future? Back to the Past?

by Nadeen Green, JD

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I have never been good at understanding the issues that would be presented if time travel were to become a possibility.

 

Read more…

 

• The Latest on the CFPB and Finance Regulations

by Bill Matchneer, JD

Bill-Matchneer-mhpronews-com-50x50At the upcoming Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, I will be discussing some difficult problems that new CFPB regulations have caused for the manufactured housing housing industry.

 

Read more…

 

 

FINANCING

• Financing for Manufactured Homes in Lease Communities bill 

by Sandra Lane

sandra-lane55x55A bill proposed by the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) to create a special funding program for manufactured housing loans was passed in their state’s House Economic Growth Committee on a 17-3 vote.

 

Read more

 

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

• I Heard It Thru The Grapevin

by Ron D’Ambra

ron-d-ambra-professional-warranty-service-corp-posted-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-50x50_1Recently there has been a lot of conversation and speculation on the longevity and growth of the manufactured housing industry.

 

Read more…

 

• The NEW Tunica Manufactured Housing Show – Reborn for 2015!

by Dennis Hill

dennis-hill-showways-unlimited-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com-50x50-The industry didn’t realize it, but we dodged a bullet last year in keeping the Tunica MH Show’s uninterrupted run. The old show site was lost due to the closure of Harrah’s, and their parent company’s alternative option was problematic.

 

Read more…

 

• Showcasing The Good, Bad and the Ugly = Ticket To Manufactured Housing Success? 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony-kovach-2-50As Sandra Lane recently reported in the Daily Business News, a third party report by the GIA recently project that manufactured housing would double by 2020.

 

Read more…

 

• Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Videos!

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

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If you’ve not been to the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show in the past few years, what’s the best way to see what the show will be like? Simple! Watch videos of what took place at the previous Tunica Show!

Read more…

 

• What If HUD’s building code for manufactured housing was eliminated? 

by Steve Lefler

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The Federal Government needs to consolidate its agencies to control costs.

 

Read more…

 

• Understanding How Electricity is Used

by Steve Lefler

steve-lefler-vp-modular-lifestyles-newport-pacific-manufactured-homes-mhpronews-com-50x50_1Many questions are asked by potential home buyers on energy efficiency in new home construction. The primary question most often asked is how much will my electric bill be if I buy this energy efficient home?

Read more…

 

• 2015 Louisville Manufactured Home Show Report & MH Communities Lessons Learned 

by Mary O’Hara

mary-ohara-rocusa-director-posted-mhpronews-com-50x50-What’s special about the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show? The homes on display of course! The 2015 Show didn’t disappoint. Dozens of attractive, innovative, affordable homes were on display.

 

Read more…

 

• A Cup of Coffee with…Scott Roberts

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1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Roberts Resorts).

Scott Allen Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Roberts Resorts & Communities.

 

Read more…

 

• Revisit the Paradigm

 by Bob Vahsholtz

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A topic on the forefront of today’s MH thinking is the challenge of finance.

 

Read more…

 

MANAGEMENT

• Stress is an employee performance killer

 by Tim Connor, CSP

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Stress is the single biggest contributor to;

-Poor morale

 

Read more…

 

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

 

• Exit Strategies or is it Time to Pull the Trigger

by Tim Connor, CSP

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I can’t tell you how many times I have observed clients:

  • develop new products,

 

Read more…

 

• ZigOn Gossip

by Zig Ziglar

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We frequently hear little jokes about gossip, like the two people who were talking and one said, “I can’t tell you any more.

 

Read more…

 

SALES

 

 

• There are three types of salespeople

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-50

Yes, there are lots of different types of salespeople but let me focus on just three for now; committers, quitters and vacillators and the winner is . . . read on.

 

Read more…

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-superchargedsales-seminars2-

SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, Louisville Show and at the upcoming 2o15 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

 

Retired Federal Official Sounds Off on Manufactured Housing 

February 21st, 2015 No comments

Long overdue.” “Great Interview!”  “Powerful!” “Very helpful.” “If this video is widely shared, it has the ability to influence many…”

These are a sampling of comments that have come in on the interview we did with Bill Matchneer, a prior administrator for HUD Code manufactured housing. Matchneer is unique in a variety of ways, including the fact that he closed his federal career out with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Photo credit on left, Politico. Right, MHProNews.

If you have not yet seen samplings of the videos we did with Evan Atkinson, please click the photo linked below. When you do you will better understand our closing point for today’s Masthead.

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The traffic – visitors! – at ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com continues to grow. In its first year, we passed 250,000, then half-a-million to top 1 million visits to this site! This is important for your MH connected business or association, even if you don’t know it. It could be a key and useful part of the lobbying efforts of state or national associations.  

It is our industry’s de facto educational/image campaign.  Help move the needle through the common sense acts of linking to it and sharing columns and videos via your social media!

Last year, an industry leader told me he walked into a meeting with federal officials and showed one of our videos as part of their meeting. I’m told that went well.

During the MHI meeting in New Orleans, some of the attendees – including a prominent state association executive – told me that the concept of doing video interviewss with our home owners and impacted businesses to lobby for HR 650 made total sense to them. Others said similarly.

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U.S. Capitol, credit Cliff FlickrCreativeCommons.

It is so obvious that we should use the power of video interviews to lobby Congress. Heck, congressional and presidential candidates use the ‘props of real people’ to lobby us when they want our votes.  Why not do this right?  Real interviews, with real people.

Please see the videos on the pages linked below and above. Share the links to these stories on MHLivingNews via your social media, blogs and emails to local media.

http://ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com/bill-matchneer-retired-federal-official-talks-about-modern-manufactured-homes-inside-mh-exclusive-video-interview/

Who’s Job is it to Improve Manufactured Housing’s Image?

The answer to the question above is simple. It is YOUR job.

Yes, yours.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

Working together smarter, we can move the needle of image – and thus the understanding, respect and sales of – manufactured homes.

See these videos linked above for yourself. Then don’t hog them, share them with your team and colleagues!

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Robust applause from full house and Standing Room only at attendees at the SuperCharged Marketing and Sales seminars during the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

More mid week and at the rapidly approaching Tunica Show. Check out our video from Louisville, it will tip you off to two of the business building seminars you’ll find in March at Tunica! See you then? ##

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SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, 2015 Louisville Show and at the upcoming Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.


By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

MHRetailer to MHPro – “We had our guts kicked out of us in 2008-2009 and haven’t recovered”

January 18th, 2015 No comments

Please, oh, please just leave me alone to my little corner of the world. I just want to be able to sell a few houses and try to keep my park full, that’s all.” So said one community owner at an MH industry meeting, as he emotionally spoke about the impact of regulations on his business. A successful MH retailer recently said, “Not only us, but most other retailers I know are gun shy now. We had our guts kicked out of us in 2008-2009 and haven’t recovered. Yes, we are doing better year-over-year the past few years, but we are still a shadow of where we were a decade ago.”

When you probe on comments by industry pros like those shared above, they often amount to lowered expectations.

Some yearn for a return to the good old days of the roaring 1990s. To those in the MH rank and file who never knew boom times, they may think it is okay to sell a house a month, or every-other-month. Those 2 or maybe 3 HUDs in a month may be a big deal to them! Those MH professionals who have only known the shadow of our industry’s greatest may look at you funny when you tell them that there are those who have – and still do – 50 or 60 or 70 manufactured home sales a year, or more.

Have you met MH sales pros who have and can do 100 new homes in a year?

I have.

As you look at the graphic below, remember ignorance is not a dirty word. It means there is something a person ‘doesn’t know’ about a topic. We are all ignorant about something, but the cure for ignorance is insight and information that inspires positive action.

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MH Inspirational Dissatisfaction 2015

Inspirational dissatisfaction is a concept taught to me by a PPGA in the insurance field. Joe P told me that if you are not happy with something – such as your results – you use that dissatisfaction to inspire you to strive for better results and more profits.

When you know something has been done before, those who might be weak in faith may have an eye-opening ‘aha’ moment. When you know what your market potential is, you may decide to strive for more instead of ‘settling for’ the crumbs left on your plate. We have a potential feast around us, the articles linked below point to a potentially sumptuous buffet, not a soup kitchen line.

I can tell you dozens of reasons why anyone who needs a recharge should be going to the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. But let me focus on the following handful of reasons why this is a good time and place to gain or get the vision for just how great manufactured housing sales ought to be in 2015 and beyond.

What if you are pumped on the biz, but your associate (partner, team member, manager…) is not? You come, and bring them too.

If you aren’t already set to come to the big show, make or change your plans. Get on a jet or jump in your wheels and ride!

While most pros come from within a day’s drive of the show, I know industry members who attend from coast to coast. Some made the trek last year, or the year before that, and they see value, so they come back. That speaks volumes.

One good idea can make it worth while

I’ve had owners, managers and executives tell me that one good idea alone can make a trip like this worth while. Let me assure you, only the blind won’t see more than one good take away from this year’s show.

  • More attendees are already signed up to attend than any year since 2010.
  • More new home manufacturers in 2015 – perhaps the most in 8 to 10 years.
  • More exhibitors with their finance, insurance, products and services, all under one roof for easy comparison shopping.
  • Business Building Seminars and Speakers. – Please note the programing change in the first session, reported in the second bullet below.

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Every year since 2010, the attendance at the Louisville Show increases
and the crowds at our business building seminars grow.

 Perhaps 2,500 industry professionals will be on hand this year. Will you be one of them? If so, please swing by our booth #115, come by the seminars on Wednesday and Thursday morning. If you come, odds are excellent you’ll be pleased. If you come with an open mind, odds are you’ll get that one gem of an idea and more to go with it. The videos shown are so you can see that it isn’t just me saying this.  Those who know, go and grow.

Come and gain or recapture the vision of our industry’s true potential. Listen to what a struggling MH retailer did to grow his business in just 90 days.

That retailer isn’t isn’t alone. MHCommunities and MHRetailers here and there are discovering or re-learning that ‘yes, we can’ do more. Need some vision and get-up-and-grow juice? Then please come to the 2015 Louisville Show, for your sake and that of your colleagues. Some are discovering that these can be and are, ‘the good old days.’

If you do what it takes to come, don’t be shy, kindly come by and say hi. ##

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-building-washington-dc-masthead-mhpronews-com-_light- (1)By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

New Financing for MH in 2015; Plus DC, Tunica and Louisville Updates

January 11th, 2015 No comments

A lender who’s firm originated hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages in December is poised to enter manufactured home (MH) lending. That lender holds a high level management role. Our source has been talking to us for about 2 1/2 years, as part of their expanding their understand of the MH space. He tells us their entry could happen in time for the 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

There are a number of reasons this should be welcome news in MH retail and community circles. The way this particular loan program is toon-clips-laugh-all-the-way-to-the-bank=credit-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-being described, the rates and terms would be competitive with its conventional housing counterpart. The loans could be made on manufactured homes in both fee simple and land-lease scenarios.

Stop by booth #115 at the Louisville Show and leave your business card to get follow up announcements expected on what looks like a unique, non-recourse MH lending option.

Manufactured Housing’sDC Talk

Sources close to Arlington-based MHI tell MHProNews that the Manufactured Housing Institute is giving off-the-record assurances to MHARR. The issue is MHI’s planned hiring of a full time membership recruiter, and the alleged assurance is to not use that yet-to-be-hired recruiter to ‘go after’ MHARR’s members. If that plays out that way, it’s a bullet dodged for all, and thus good news for an industry tired of periodic tugs-of-war between the two national trade associations.

But dozens – if not hundreds – of high level eyes will watch to make sure such a detente proves to be true. Of course, we will track that for you too.

More DC talk. As we foreshadowed the night before the official MHI word was released, Lesli Gooch was hired to replaced Jason Boehlert. We welcome Ms. Gooch to MHI, and hope for the best in the important work that needs to be done on Capital Hill and with regulators.

Tunica Surprise

We’ve known for week’s about the upheavals that have taken place with respect to the late March, 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. While we lightly hinted, this was a deliberate “failure to report.” It was important for the Tunica Show to come up with a strong plan B, when a specific Harrah’s manager allegedly threw a major monkey wrench into the mix.

That said, we now want to tip the hat to Jen Hall, who also knew (and who is not our source on this), for her bold and smart effort to try and repair the Harrah manager’s curve ball. The Mississippi executive’s effort deserves a separate article someday, but until then, Jen – as some say…”good-on-ya!”

For the official word on “what’s up” with the 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, please click here.

Louisville is Large and in Charge!

Louisville has been the big #1 in attendance for U.S. Manufactured Housing Events two years running! Even with a clear-but-cold long range forecast for 2015, preregistrations for Louisville are running nicely ahead of the 2014 pace.

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Change up on Wednesday Morning Presentation schedule!

Please see the Daily Business News Monday morning for updates on the first Wednesday morning Speaker’s line up. Bill Matchneer, MHI’s CEO Dick Jennison and the MMHF Chairman – speaking about MH finance and more – will all be on the revised plan for the first, fast paced hour. Don’t miss it.

Everything at the Kentucky Exhibition Center is all indoors, in climate controlled comfort. Here is a snapshot!

  • New Homes! – more manufacturers than any year since 2010! See this page linked here.

  • Lenders, on homes, MHCs and inventory. The full compliment of dependable MH lenders will be at Louisville, of course. See the finance panels at this link here.

  • Suppliers! Compare quality providers side by side, see exhibitors line up, linked here.

  • Quality and free ‘SRO’Business Building Seminars! SRO stands for Standing Room Only, as was the case in most of last year’s sessions. So Show Management has grown the space by 30% so you can take a seat if you were standing last year.

There are lots of reasons the attendance and excitement has been strong and growing year after year. Come see why first hand. We will be at booth #115. Drop off your business card, and we’ll keep you posted on lending and other industry news, free of charge. Wasn’t it the TV character “Kojack” who said, “Who loves ya, baby!We love MH!

My wife, our growing-in-MH-trade-show-fame 8 year old son, a guest and myself will all be there to say hello.

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Want to grow? Then Go to the Louisville Show. See you bright and early Wednesday at the KEC Seminar Room at 8:30 AM! ##

(Image credits – see individual image file name.)

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.