Posts Tagged ‘Dick Ernst’

“The X Factor” – Manufactured Housing’s Surprising Solution$

October 12th, 2017 No comments

It should go without saying that the readers of MHProNews span the political, economic, religious, gender, ethnic, and other spectrums.

That means there are some that will love a statement they read on X (fill in the blank on what X is), while others oppose that same statement on X. Still others with a furrowed brow might wonder why X matters at all.


The X Factor. The truth can cut like a knife. That X-wing fighter? We think for a variety of reasons that manufactured housing’s best day are in the future, not the past.

Let’s plug in a few examples of X

  • MHARR or MHI.
  • Any of the people we quote on MHProNews or MHLivingNews.
  • Any of the political or economic sources we quote on MHProNews or MHLivingNews.

What does that X mean to you or me?

What does X mean for:

  • the mom and pop operation?
  • the corporate professional?
  • the investor,
  • the public official, researcher, advocacy group, or media,
  • the MH Industry association member, or
  • the professional who swore he/she would never go to another association meeting again?


Tales, Faces and Facts

Fact 1:
The facts are that in this raging affordable housing crisis, manufactured homes are an obvious solution. Yes, MODs, hybrids, prefabs, and stick building all have their respective roles in this world of Off or On site Construction.

Fact 2:

There are:

  • economic,
  • social,
  • political,
  • moral,
  • technological,
  • and even
  • geopolitical/trade issues

that – knowingly or not – all impact factory home builders, professionals, and the home buying public.

If Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle can say with sincere humility what he did, doesn’t the same apply to the media? Public officials? Our own industry’s professionals?

“The X Factor” – Manufactured Housing’s Surprising Solution$ The Truth Well Told, What is the X Factor. Manufactured Housing, Dick Ernst, MHI, MHARR, MHProNews, MHLivingNews,

Among the points George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and 1984 was trying to make was this.

You can control people to a significant degree by controlling the information that flows to them.

Propaganda is used by many because it works.

How did we get from a Leave it to Beaver society to a rainbow society protesting almost everything in just 55 years?

One answer is media.  The other is educational.  Some of it is face-to-face, or person-to-person, manipulation.


Objective Analysis is critical for the success of our industry, and your profession, as it is for any other. MHProNews brings that analysis, which is why thousands logon daily, even if they may see a matter differently. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Rules, Labels, and Rulemakers

Label someone a conservative, moderate, or a liberal, and how people respond to that person changes.

Paint someone as a troublemaker or an outsider, and again, how people react changes.

All of these and more ought to be troubling to those who seek the truth about a person, or a subject.

StopLabelingPeopleQuotesOvercomingLablesForJarsNotPeopleLabelingQuotingsManufacutredHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNewsThat thousands today can emerge from a college or a university, look you in the eye and say, “What truth? There is only my truth,” or “You can’t legislate morality” – and similarly dubious  X statements, these are causes for concern.


Every piece of legislation or rule making is a value judgment. It is based upon a perception of truth. On a moral judgement.

If forces can control how other people react to:

  • manufactured homes,
  • skin tone,
  • accent,
  • religious affiliation (or a lack thereof),
  • political or
  • any other belief, then no wonder there is so much upheaval in America and around the world.


I’m only One Person

The fact that you or I are only one person is no excuse to do nothing.

We do what we can that is right and good, regardless of how others may or may not understand at that moment in time.

What Dick Ernst and others like him have said are quite right. We take on controversial issues or positions, not for the sake of stirring the pot. Rather, its because – as Ernst said, Tony believes that much in this industry.

Stirring the pot of its own sake would get old quickly.  We’re the same pro-industry people we’ve been from day one that we began MHProNews, and later MHLivingNews, now 9 years ago.

So, we take on an X issue precisely because we think it is relevant to the

  • Industry, or
  • the nation our industry is a part of,
  • or because in some way, a real problem offers an opportunity in disguise.

Image by

Divide and Rule

When an MHI board member shares their woes and frustrations this week with MHProNews;


a longtime reader thinks I’m picking on MHI;


Another reader thinks I can make up with MHI;

each of those are revealing insights.  But the fact that someone believes X doesn’t make it correct.

All of those are but examples of the X factor.  Someone is filling in a blank based upon, what?  There are other examples.


This industry ought to be easy! We sell affordable housing, and the nation needs it!

Why isn’t manufactured housing embraced?


I Love It!!! said a state executive, about the video above which is video interview that debunks many fallacies held by others about manufactured housing. “We Provide, You Decide.”  ©

Why are even some other factory builders for or against HUD Code manufactured housing?


We are all ignorant on many things. It is arrogant or delusional to think otherwise.

We need others in our lives.  You know things I don’t, and the reverse is true too.  That’s one of many reasons why we ask others for input on a regular basis.

If you believe in God, and chances are around 90 percent that you do, then it’s obvious that the Creator felt you and we were both necessary!

You think you’re right on X.

The person down the hall, sees X differently.

Who is right?


We need to get back to basics. Those basics begin with a thirst for truth.

There are absolute truths.

We should be people who seek the truth of an issue, any issue.

People open to the truth see or can learn the value of manufactured homes.

Investors and advocates can discover the value.

Lenders can learn about MH what most Americans did in the wake of the civil rights movement.

But if we watch as a growing part of our fellow citizens embrace

  • a lie like socialism,
  • and we ignore the threat that modern day Brownshirts or propagandists pose,
  • whatever wealth you have can vanish in the night.
  • Wealth can disappear because you are murdered, or the power structure shifts, and the insiders are now on the outside.



There should be an unquenchable thirst to know and live the truth.

Because by definition, everything that is not the truth is a kind of delusion.

The nature of a human is that we learn in stages.  So we can’t know the full truth about anything all at once.  We learn that truth in stages, be it the ABCs, or the 123s, manufactured housing, or whatever the subject happens to be.

So, we do need patience for each other, and that sincere desire to know the truth.


The necessary truths about our industry was buried in stages.

Now, like gold, the truths about manufactured housing will have to be uncovered and refined in stages.

Different people will learn that truth at different paces.

But as enough professionals – if even one committed professional at a time – in a given market, is willing to take the long view, do what’s right by every customer, and share that truth routinely, given good health, etc. there will be tremendous success over time for that professional.

The reverse is also true, and the industry has been paying the price for short term thinking and behavior for decades.  Don’t believe it?  Check out last week’s fact-based post.


The Truth Well Told.  The Truth told routinely.  Behavior that aligns with that truth as perfectly as possible.


These are the ways our industry advances.  That truth is told, and best practices must occur at the local market level.

And for any of those who settle for less than the truth?  Sad. ## (Overview, analysis, commentary.)

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


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
Industry consultant, service provider, and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to the industry’s top trade media and

Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chair, MHI Executive Committee, and Multi-Billion Dollar Industry Questions

July 31st, 2017 No comments

Subsidized housing is a way of tipping the scales against the free-market solution offered by HUD Code manufactured homes.

Not enforcing enhanced preemption established by law under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) is clear evidence of HUD failing to do its lawful duty. It’s one of several clear reasons to immediately replace Pam Danner, JD, as head of the HUD Code manufactured housing program.


This image above appeared on the business website shown, and was modified to fit this page. When HUD’s own data proves that manufactured homes have their best quality ever, why is Danner pushing for more and costlier regulations? Click above for more details.

Any industry professional, company, or association that fails to support:

•      a change away from Pam Danner as head of the HUD Code manufactured housing program, or

•     who don’t want to investigate why Lois Starkey separated from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and now is at HUD’s MH Program office,

is logically either: 

•     apathetic,

•     misinformed,

•     naïve,


Click the collage graphic above to see Doug Gorman’s reasons for saying that Pam Danner, a personal friend of his, ought to be moved out of her current role at HUD.

•     or is hiding something.


The topic for today was specifically requested by an active and ranking MHI member.  That person and others in or out of that group’s body have requested something similar. A number of the questions/allegations/points of concern listed were made by MHI members.


Questioning the organization and its impact on the industry – for good or ill – should not be construed as attacking individual member companies, or people.

Before diving into questions/concerns to ask yourself about MHI, let’s state a pair of fair and balanced facts.

A)      The vast majority of the people and operations involved in MHI are good folks, fine operations.

B) Industry gatherings, meetings and events are routinely pleasant, and offer various networking benefits.


In the real world, things are rarely all darkness or light. Thus, the biblical admonition to separate ‘wheat from chaff.’

Discerning professionals, researchers, media, and investors must separate those A-B positive truths, from the questions below.

Note too that it’s possible to accomplish the A-B value noted above within MHI, or outside of it.


Discernment – Ask Yourself These Questions About Allegations and Concerns Regarding MHI

In no particular order of importance:

1) Why hasn’t MHI informed its members on its position about Pam Danner, JD, and what’s behind the separation of Lois Starkey and Ton Heinemann?

2) Isn’t it obvious that if MHI wanted to see Danner removed, they would have already publicly come out and said so?


3) Why does MHI not defend the industry against false claims made by the mainstream media, or by activist anti-MH business groups?

4) Why didn’t Warren Buffett call then President Barack Obama, and ask him to have Richard Cordray support the changes sought in Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing? Wouldn’t that have saved MHI and the industry millions of dollars and untold hours of failed lobbying efforts?


Several media outlets picked up on the story first broken on MHProNews about the dismissal of Vice Presidents Lois Starkey Tom Heinemann Manufactured Housing Institute MHI Dismissed

5) Why did key MHI member/companies de facto derail the Duty to Serve (DTS) process with FHFA and the GSEs, while the association claimed to be working for its robust enactment?

6) Why didn’t MHI ask FHFA or the GSEs to release the minutes of private meetings? What are they hiding?

7) Why did MHI first support the business and job killing positions it initially took on DOE regulations? Why did it only change positions after months of third party pressure on the DOE proposal they supported?


8) Why has MHI allegedly misinformed its own members on a variety of issues?

9) Why won’t MHI release its own bylaws to its own members, or prospective members? Where’s the logic? What are they hiding?

10) Sam Zell is one of many who has noted that big companies are better able to sustain heavy regulations than smaller firms. Then isn’t it reasonable to presume that if MHI fails to get regulatory relief – for whatever reasons – that the end result is more smaller companies will be “consolidated” into larger ones?

11) Why has MHI not warned its members about the possible protests by anti-industry activist groups – that may disrupt the MHI annual meeting?


12) Is your company feeding a hand that undermines your firm’s and the public’s best interests?

We Provide, You Decide.” © ##

(Note: Listen to what MHI member Dick Ernst says about controversy and Those principles Ersnt mentioned about digging into the issues that will head the industry in the right direction, applied then and now.)




Photo taken while L. A. “Tony” Kovach was questioning MH regulators in NY.

(Image credits are as shown, and when they are from third parties, they are provided under fair use guidelines.)

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.




Serious September – Manufactured Housing Industry Newsmakers, Reports, Articles and Interviews

September 2nd, 2015 No comments

Serious September 2015. It could just as easily be named, how to Scale Success, or Sliding Sideways September.  Which of the later two it will be depends on how each of us views and responds to events and opportunities.  Before outlining our STRONG Serious September Featured Articles and Interviews line up, let me explain what I mean.

green-key-success-pc-free-digital-photos-net-mhpronews-com- (2)

We could use as an executive summary for the next few paragraphs below that Media Engagement by MH Matters, and that Engaging the Media as Media is Very Useful.

1) We spent the early part of the summer documenting MH potential and opportunities on  As with the rest of our content, you can still see and access those articles. June is here and July, linked here.  We could summarize it by saying that with rents rising, site-building through the roof (on costs…) and inventories of ‘affordable homes’ in short supply in many markets, MH has plenty of opportunities for a record rebound.


The reports, linked via the image above, were part of a hot, hot summer on MHProNews.


Dick Ernst, FinMark USA and Chariman of Financial Services division at MHI.

2) Among the reasons given for not rising higher in new home shipments than we have include financing and new regulations.  More on that shortly, but I’ll refer back to what Dick Ernst, now Chairman of MHI’s Financial Services Committee, has said.  There is no lack of capacity for our MH lenders to finance many more people, who are financially qualified. That could be rephrased as ‘we need to attract better credit customers,’ without ignoring providing the millions – who have no chance for a site built house – the opportunity to buy from us.

3) We have to broaden our industry’s base.  We have to attract the more credit qualified customers, without ignoring the traditional, affordable, entry-level side of our market.  There are retailers and MHCs who are doing it. That means, it can be done in your market too.  How do we do that, you ask?  Many ways, including through media and PR strategies.

Not Letting CFPB and their cheer leaders off the Hook

It is offensive to think MH pros can collectively do only one thing at a time well.  The people I know can walk, chew gum and carry on a cogent conversation all at once. En masse, there are tons we can do, together.



Any serious researcher is going to find what you see in the screen capture above. MHProNews, MHLivingNews and our other related media efforts are in-the-mix of the conversation on CFPB regulations and their impact on MH.

So while there absolutely has to be a focus on regulatory relief – that we support in word and deed – we ought not make that the one-and-only-thing needed for industry recovery.  Frankly, the regulatory relief sought is as much or more for those estimated 1.7 million households that have a home under 20k in value, as it is for professionals selling the industry’s pre-owned homes.

So we applaud the efforts of the national and state associations in MH that are working to correct those terrible ‘unintended consequence’ of Dodd-Frank. We’re doing more than cheering. We’re doing the meetings, the legislative outreaches, PLUS providing digital cover for the effort in the form of serious research that makes policy types and Senate staffers say (paraphrasing what a Democratic Senate staffer told me), Hey, that’s a pretty compelling argument.



Again, any serious researcher on Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Loan regulations will come across the MHProNews, MHLivingNews and our OpEd on The Hill Congress blog. We are woven into the conversation, which means that the REAL consumer and industry views are being presented.  Ditto someone checking out Doug Ryan/CFED comments, they are bound to find one or more of our articles that will correct the record, and are in favor of reforms sought by the MH Industry. 



As further proof of the digital cover, Jan Hollingsworth’s latest column, “Renters’ Nation” has lit up since it was published.


Click here  to see this read hot, new story….

87 hours and 38 minutes after the above was published, Webalizer reports there were 42,917 hits on that one article In MH Land, that’s astonishing.

What has to be done now is to scale that outcome

If you want the CFPB and/or the Senate to agree to changes in MH regulations, let me repeat that: what we now have to do is scale that readership result cited above. Please share the link above to Jan’s article with your local editor, and with your  Congressional Rep, your 2 U.S. Senators and the CFPB.

Let’s put this total readership of Jan’s article into perspective.

Just because some publication may have a million readers, that doesn’t mean that each article is read.  Case in point.  We took respected and popular Forbes’ article, shown below.  On July 29th, 2014 on a hot subject, it had 6,701 views.  13 months later, you see that the total views on that article are now up to 7,732.   What that Forbes article has in views in 4 and 2/3rds years, Jan’s latest article accomplished in less than 4 days.


Do you recall when this was big news for a while in the media? Look at the actual views on the article, this screen capture dated 9.2.2015.  7, 732 total views.  It isn’t just how many see it, but who sees it an then acts upon it.  Credit – Forbes.

Side Show September?

Word has it from certain hot spots that some are already grumbling that we gave Frank Rolfe his right to free speech via a featured interview in this month’s issue.  Why would we, as a pro-MH publisher, allow Frank to be quoted as he shared it?

Wouldn’t you want to be quoted accurately?

To be taken seriously as trade media, we have to be fair and balanced, or we risk sliding into irrelevance.  We quoted Doug Ryan accurately too, and I’m not equating the two by any means. When we quote:

  • Jim Clayton, or
  • Nathan Smith, or
  • John Bostick, or
  • Mark Weiss, or
  • Dick Jennison, or whomever,

we ought to quote them accurately. And we do.

Indirectly Related – a Note of Caution

There are already whispers about the wisdom of MHI VP Rick Robinson and MHI Chairman Nathan Smith going to a stage in about a week, when the person providing the stage is said to be in conflict with MHI and the NCC.


As a matter of policy, we’ve allowed people to critique me and our publication, on our own pages.  So we do this very fairly.  I don’t have to agree or disagree with Frank on his statements regarding MHI and the NCC to protect his right to speak out on those subjects, even though it was not at all on our minds when we asked him the questions. We had no idea what Frank’s replies would be.

If MHI wants to respond, they are welcome to do so.  We are willing to share that response, publicly. Fair and balanced reporting. Period.

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Something we strive diligently to avoid is any FALSE or errant statement (this, in contrast to an unpopular opinion).  When someone says there are 50,000 or 55,000 MHCs in the U.S. (for example), we’ll either want them to correct that number (that totals is likely more like 45,000, according to informed sources) or we would want to cut the statement entirely.

But that’s not what Frank Rolfe did.  Frank stated his views, and in no way shared a claim that is not grounded in a fact, though those facts can be understood in a variety of ways.

The issues raised by others of late are not new, and are not a side show.  They are on the minds of many in MH; we know, because we’ve heard them often enough.  Its just that this was the first time someone wanted to say so, on the record.

“We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Listening and Taking Correction Well

We had a nice message recently that praised our reporting and commentary work, but then included two typos that needed to be corrected (only 2? ;-).  The writer explained, he didn’t want the corrections to be taken the wrong way.  My rapid response was to make the corrections, and thank him.

An MHI staff officer also sent us a correction on a typo recently. Same outcome as the above.  We want to get the facts right.  We thanked the party.

We published the early comments on Jan’s article, one was that ‘it was long.’ We worked that perspective into the article, linked below.  My response?  I thanked the person for the comment.  That said, the challenge with what we face is in MH as an industry is that we’ve let too much stuff build up over the years, and now we need more than 800 words to dig ourselves out.  The fact that there are so many hits on Jan’s article so fast strongly suggests the content is ‘just right.’

You Can’t Please Everyone, All the Time…

Nor should that be our goal.  If everything was perfect in MHVille, then maybe we’d only need 300 to 400 word columns that all say, ‘everything’s great!’

The reality is there is work to do. Plenty of it. Grab a tool, and let’s get to it.  Failure to address the issues that nag us costs new MH sales.

Record Setting!

MHProNews had 5 days in August that topped 100,000 hits.  Again, in an industry our size, that’s amazing.  On On August 21st, Webalizer reported the daily count was 180,959 hits.  Our readers don’t have to like every article, for there to be value.


MH Professionals, enthusiasts, educators, media, government officials and investors are among the key groups reflected in software and stats. You and thousands of others have made us the runaway #1 place for MH Industry News Tips and Views Pros Can Use. ©

I explained to an industry leader recently that we publish bad news on the Daily Business News; we do so in part, because it happens; but also because when someone gets (for example) arrested for swindling down payments from a buyer, publishing that acts as a cautionary tale.  Good practices are often rewarded with success, while bad ones are discovered and punished.

When there is a controversy, we ought not ignore it, unless paying attention only fuels something that needs the oxygen removed.

In the matter of MHI/NCC and Frank Rolfe, MHI has to consider why they wanted him on stage, and then they need to consider what might happen if they fail to heed the cautionary note above about the upcoming non-association event.

My bet?  If Nathan Smith and Rick Robinson go to that fast approaching private event of an allegedly disgruntled member as planned, the day will eventually come when they wished they had opted not to do so.  That’s my two cents, they can take it or leave it.

But there should be no doubt that we want what’s good for the organization and good for the industry!  We prove that day by day, showcasing the good, and periodically reminding people there are issues to address that need mending.  You’re reading because you know what’s published here matters and has influence.

Intro for our Featured Articles, Reports and Interviews for September…

As we reported above, we had an August that set records.  When you see the incredible line up we have for our Featured Articles for September, perhaps you’ll agree that this month could set new records with readers like you.

  • We have 2 New Cup of Coffee with…interviews. Chris Parish and Dan Rinzema are featured in their own interviews, which many will find inspirational, useful and insightful.
  • These “Cuppa” interviews will be quite different than the interview with Frank Rolfe, who took some very tough questions put to him, and he responded in what will no doubt be seen by many in wave making ways.  We have no direct connection to Frank, so when I commend him for taking the tough questions we gave him head-on and in a timely fashion, that’s sincerely meant.  Others should think to consider that practice.
  • We have a video interview with Matt Webb, in what ought to be a must-view for anyone interested in improving their management and bottom lines, especially in the MH Community sector, but frankly useful beyond that realm too.
  • We have 4 columns by 5 respected attorneys; you’ll see their important topics that can protect your business, below.
  • We have 2 unique reports on how the new Appraisal Rule roll out is going, with our related MH Industry Survey results coming out soon.
  • There is New York Housing Association’s upcoming regional trade show and educational event.
  • Researching Manufactured Housing Industry Personalities, Organization’s and Topics.
  • A look at the hot early response to Renters’ Nation, the Dark Side of Dodd-Frank’s Impact on MH.
  • Ken Haynes Jr. sounds off on a recent media report.
  • AIA celebrates their 15th anniversary, kudos to them and check out their press release.
  • There are 2 inspirational/motivational articles.
  • Certainly not least for anyone who wants to close more sales, there are videos and an article on reputation management.

With no further adieu, let’s jump into this month’s new Featured Articles, Interviews and Reports.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 6, No. 12, 2015

Alphabetically by Category




• How To Keep Peace and Harmony In Our MH Communities (at a low cost) 

Robert-Coldren-JD by Rob Coldren, Esq and Dan Rudderow, Esq.

The rule breaking tenant can be handled in many ways. Options include:

Read more…


• Water, Water, How Much Is That Water?
by Bill Dahlin, JD

Any Californian who has picked up a newspaper, listened to the news, or not been a bonafide Rip Van Wrinkle, is aware that California is in the midst of a significant drought.

Read more…




• The Appraisal Rule – Six Weeks Report Card

By Lance Hull
LanceHull21stMortgageCorporationPostedMHProNews-com-55x55.jpgOn July 18th, 2015, the Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans (HPML) Appraisal Rule went into effect for our industry.


Read more…


• Answers to Questions About the New Appraisal Rule

by Darren Krolewski
darren-krolewski-vp-mhvillage-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-55x55The following were answers provided to questions posed by to DataComp about the new Appraisal rule implementation.


Read more…


• S. 682 Offers Possible Relief for Consumers Stranded by CFPB

by Bill Matchneer, JD
bill-matchneer-hud-manufactured-housing-division-cfpb-mhpronews-com-50x50Recent history has shown that the regulations designed to…


Read more…



• 65th Annual Convention, Trade Show and Expo – New York Housing Association – Oct 8-12th, 2015 

by Nancy Geer

nancy-geer-new-york-housing-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-50x50-We hope you are well. I have attached the event brochure for you reference. Please see the PDF that is attached.

Read more…


• I Can’t Be the Only One.

by Ken Haynes Jr
ken-haynes-jr-new-mexico-manufactured-housing-association-past-president-manufactured-housing-living-news-com55x55It literally drives me temporarily insane when I read or hear manufactured housing referred to by the media, by any other nomenclature than manufactured housing, or manufactured home.


Read more…


• AIA – Manufactured Housing Specialty Insurance Agents Alliance Celebrates its 15th Anniversary

by Kurt Kelley, JD

kurt-kelly-american-insurance-agency-aia 50x50Bellingham, WA August 25, 2015.

Read more…


• Renters’ Nation – Dark Side of Dodd-Frank, its Impact on Affordable Housing – what 38 hours and 25 minutes reveal 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachWe’ll let John Caron – whom we interviewed for this episode of 
Inside MH – tell you about his significant history in manufactured housing, MH Communities and in real estate investing in his own words.

Read more…


• Controversial Media Reports – The Guardian & KVUE – On-The-Record Interview with Frank Rolfe of Mobile Home University, MobileHomeParkStore, RV Horizons 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachOne of the most controversial figures in the MHC world today is Frank Rolfe.

Read more…


• Do People Research Manufactured Home Personalities, Companies and MH Industry Subjects? Yes! 

 by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachDo people research companies and people on and

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with…Chris Parrish

a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Parrish Manor).

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with…Dan Rinzema

Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at MHVillage/DataComp)

Dan Rinzema, President and CEO, Datacomp Appraisal Systems, Inc. and MHVillage, Inc..

Read more…




• You Like Me, You Really Do Like Me!

by Wayne Coakley
WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-As you know, nowadays people search online before they buy just about anything.


Read more…


Matt Weaver, Campbell Caron Properties on IREM, Management, More! Inside MH Road Show Video 

 by Soheyla Kovach

s-k“Failure is Not an Option.”


Read more…




• Living with Wisdom – 3 Tips for Today

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comWisdom – the blending of – information, knowledge, experience, judgment, truth, reality, maturity – to achieve dreams, goals, life purpose, inner peace and happiness…


Read more…


• ZigOn Work

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarOne of my favorite quips about work is this: Someone asked a worker how long he had been working for his company and he smilingly responded, “Ever since they threatened to fire me.”

Read more…



By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

The Value of Exposing Media Errors in MH Related Reports

March 4th, 2015 No comments

We could argue that Manufactured Housing has seen some improvement in the way the mainstream media covers our Industry. In the very next breath, we’d also have to say there are plenty of stories out there that paint a very unbalanced view of the most quality, durable, affordable permanent home solution known in America today. We’ll focus for a few moments on an example of a story gone wrong, and how the MH Industry can correct the record.

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comMatthew Silver returns to MHProNews with a new Industry in Focus  report, exposing some of the errors in the Daily Yonder‘s recent story about manufactured housing. Matthew laces facts and commentary from the likes of such notable industry pros:

  • Dick Ernst – FinmarkUSA

  • Don Glisson, Jr. – Triad Financial Services

  • Tim Williams – 21st Mortgage Corp.

Readers will also see statements from polar ends of the political spectrum woven in, past and current Congressmen Barney Frank and Jeb Henserling. Affordable MH is a bi-partisan issue!

Documents from the GAO and insights from Fannie Mae round out a robust rebuttal of some of what Lance George (mis-) published in the Daily Yonder. See our new, record correcting Industry in Focus report submitted by Matthew Silver, linked here.


Screen capture above from Daily Yonder site,
corrections font by MHProNews.

So please read and share this MHProNews record-correcting article. When you finish reading it, why not post a comment with a link on the Daily Yonder? Or why not link it up from your Facebook page and Twitter feed? Send a link to you Congressional Representative and Senators, along with ‘the ask’ for supporting HR 650!

Then let your local media know with an emailed message and link what the facts are on this issue. From personal experience, I know the media routinely wants to get it right. They don’t want to have holes poked in their stories.  I’ve seen mainstream media correct the record of an errant MH story, when they are presented with the facts in a compelling way.

Shame on them or shame on us?

Nature abhors a vacuum. If we don’t define ourselves as an industry, others will define us. Those would-be definitions by outsiders are often to our detriment, and that is costly.


Failure to act in modest yet positive ways to promote the TRUTH about MH arguably costs virtually every MH pro daily. Don’t point the finger at Arlington, DC or your state/community association for failing to make such issues right. It is the job of every committed professional to be part of the solution.

As noted above, that can be as simple as reading and then sharing a link to a fact-correcting story or report.

Failure to correct and change the record costs MH billions a year, and that means your portion of that is lost for lack of those routine drops of water that will fill the glass with a new and improved understanding and image for our Industry.

We’ll close for today with some simple math. We documented some $40 billion in annual federal spending on rental subsidizes alone. What if those dollars we’re going to buy a $45,000 single section 3/2 home on a 30K improved homesite?


That home/land combo would equal over 533,333 new MH homes sold a year. That’s just one of many possible examples. Why don’t we have a bigger bite from such pies?

Because of ignorance of the facts about modern MH and outdated stereotypical myths.

My personal thanks to each of the industry pros noted above and who provided info off the record too, which made the report more complete and possible. It is by working together that we will advance our cause farther, faster and higher.

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-Please see Matthew Silver’s important report, linked here, and makes sure you share this with your team mates and associates! Ignorance is costly, knowledge shared pays. ##

(Image credits: WikiCommons – quote posters by MHProNews © 2014-2015, all rights reserved.)

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.


Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

November 12th, 2014 No comments

We’ve heard for some time the whispers about the now announced closure of U.S. Bank’s indirect manufactured housing lending program. To protect sources, we’ve been unable to do more than hint before today about what is now a done deal. We didn’t have a date, but knew it was ‘coming.’ What does this mean for manufactured housing lending?

This is “one way to avoid Dodd-Frank and all the other crap” was one message that hit our inbox today, as reaction to the U.S. Bank announcement began to come in.


How much does the locked door on more lending options cost manufactured housing industry members every year? Photo credit, FlickrCreativeCommons.

Professional Warranty Service Corporation (PWSC) is another pull-out from Manufactured Housing that has taken place recently. More such moves are rumored to be coming down the pike, along with consolidations that will place more in the hands of a few.

Manufacturers tell us that consolation or closure could easily hit their sector before another 6 months goes by. While still active, giant firms like American Modern have long ago scaled back their insurance side in MH.

The High Cost of Low Volume sales in Manufactured Housing

In September, we ran this featured article:  The High Cost of Low Volume – MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others.


We knew this was coming.

Tony, a lot of operations cut their back ends areas way back.” one client told us. “They are now trying to figure out if they are willing to ramp back up, at what risk and cost or what they are going to do.”

We agreed that a number of firms have had their guts kicked out, and they’ve dramatically lowered their expectations. Regulations are a part of the challenge, but let’s be clear, it isn’t the only one.

Another veteran told me Monday, “Tony, we have plants in our state operating at maybe 35% capacity.” Some of the commentary that followed can’t be shared at this time. When I commented to that pro that we should be doing 4 to 6 times the new manufactured home sales volume that we currently are, his two word reply? “At least.

Would U.S. Bank or PWSC have pulled out if we were shipping 300,000 to 400,000 new HUD Code MHs a year? Unlikely! Before you say something negative like, that 300,000 to 400,000 sales level be can’t done today; really? Remember RVs have a far more limited target audience and are shipping some 5 times what we are in new HUD Code manufactured homes.

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Image credit: Plus 1 Properties.

Do you think they are celebrating at the CFPB today? 2017 is just around the corner. But there could be changes to what goes on inside the CFPB’s palatial offices before the next 2 years are all said and done.

A Veritable Choir of Voices Calling for Positive Action!

Jess Maxcy at the California Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI) shared a number of items with us the past few days (thanks, Jess!), one of which will be our lead-off for this next section.


Speaking of zoning, here is Jay Hamilton from Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) sounding off on local official trying to push ordinances restricting used manufactured homes, in violation of state (not to mention, federal) law.

Or check out what Bob Vahsholtz, author of Dueling Curves and long time MH veteran, has to say on what he sees as the lack of national industry leadership.

Steve Lefler, Modular LifeStyles VP has some of his interesting and tongue-in-cheek commentary on the 6th Circuit Court ruling on manufactured homes.

DJ Pendelton, Executive Director of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association, has plenty to say about the CFPB’s recent 55 page report. DJ is always a fine writer, please read all about it, at this link below.

The Wisconsin Housing Alliance’s Amy Bliss is another wise soul who points out some unique angles on what the industry’s approach might be at leveling the playing field in financing. Check out Amy’s OpEd, linked below.

Industry finance expert, Dick Ernst shared a critique on the higher cost of personal property lending that some non-profits and all of the CFPB should make required reading.

Last-and-not-least as a great bookend to the above, from ever-popular finance expert Marty Lavin, JD – is his latest literary foray, linked below.

Again, non-profits keen on financing, are you listening to what Marty has to say?

The Emerging View

When you start pulling threads from the above together, what emerges are potential elements for advancing manufactured housing to new record highs. For 5 years, we’ve said and written, manufactured housing has all of the answers it needs within our reach. Are we willing to listen to each other? Are we willing to pull together?

Or will we wait until more business closures, exits and consolation takes place? If you happen to be working for, owner of or hold stock holder in a big firm in MH remember this. The so-called big boys in our industry could easily find themselves blown out of the water within 24 months of the anticipated multi-billion dollar entry of a entry into American factory-built homes from China, Canada, Japan, OPEC nations, or the sources eying our industry from from right here in the U.S..

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Standing room only crowds at
L’ville Business Building Seminars.

If that later happens, as the top publisher, service provider and consultant, we’ll be fine – so my concern is for professional readers like you. We’re having a good year, how about you?

But it could be better for us all, right?

It’s long past time for us to learn to pull and hang together. Otherwise, a growing number will hang – and fall – separately. We’ll never get 100% to pull together, but even a modest number synergizing at first could make an amazing difference.

Want to learn how? See you in Louisville for the big Show and Seminars? ##

la-tony-kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

The Appraisal Rule, Manufactured Housing and the Road to Success in 2015

October 25th, 2014 No comments

The mid-term elections are almost on us. Some say it will be another wave, sweeping Republicans into control of the Senate like the 2010 mid-term gave Republicans control of the House. A close look at some key races suggests that is less than certain, which means turn out is going to be crucial for supporters of either major party. But that’s not our topic today!

Rather, we want to focus today on doing more business in 2015, the Appraisal Rule, financing and manufactured housing’s Road to Success in 2015.

dick-ernst-finmarkusa-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-There are few – if any – as qualified as MHI Financial Services Chairman Dick Ernst of FinMarkUSA to lead a discussion by a panel of lenders and experts on the soon to be implemented Appraisal Rule and its impact on manufactured housing. We expect retailers and community operators literally from coast to coast to attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

One of MANY reasons is to hear the facts at the first major discussion on the nuts and bolts of how the appraisal rule impacts MH.

Dick Ernst will be joined by Sherri Clevenger of NADA and Dan Rinzema of DataComp/MHVillage/JLT in a brisk panel presentation on the appraisal rule. They will be joined by representatives of top industry lenders too!

This is a not-to-be-missed session that is free to communities, retailers and builder-developers attending the show.

More on this in the days ahead, mark your calendar now for both Wednesday January 21st and Thursday January 22nd, don’t miss it! As we’ve done previously, educational/business building seminars will be held in the mornings during the show. This allows attendees to spend time in the afternoons touring dozens of homes on display, over 100 exhibitors booths and networking at various evening functions, many of them also free to industry pros.

Financing on Manufactured Homes, Commercial Financing on MH Communities!

Just as the finance panel is one of the sessions that has been SRO (standing room only) at previous Louisville Seminars, so too has the commercial lending panel. Perhaps 80% of all MHCs have commercial loans on them. Many of loans are written on long term amortization, but come up for renewal more quickly.

What that means is that commercial lenders are needed who understand the evolving manufactured home community (MHC) business model! What was a no go 2 or 3 years ago on commercial MH loans, may be doable today. The MHC sector has performed very well, and with the growing affordable housing shortage, MHCs and MH in general are well positioned for future growth.


So its no surprise that Investors and MH Professionals are also looking to acquire and/or sell MHCs.

Once more, award winning consultant and finance expert Dick Ernst has agreed to moderate a panel discussion made up of lenders and brokers who do manufactured home community loans. Previous sessions have been very lively with much time devoted to Q&A’s with audience members. Don’t miss this free session.

Sell more homes and fill more vacant sites in 2015 – MH Marketing and Sales Coaching!

l-a-tony-kovach-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-modern-marketing-mhpronews-com-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com (1)

As this photo shows, my marketing and sales focused sessions also bring SRO crowds! There are good reasons why attendees of our training session rate them 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for quality content they learn from year after year.

In fact, with so many SRO sessions in 2014, we’ve expanded the space for 2015 seminars!

My thanks to all who’ve passed along kudos and congrats. But let me immediately point those back to our professional experts, associates and sponsors who make this possible! My purposes in sharing this is to say, odds are good you’ll benefit if you come.

We’ll cover at this year’s marketing and sales seminar a concept that will be eye opening for individuals from all segments of the industry. Factories, associations, retailers, communities, financial services and other suppliers, this is a session you won’t want to miss.

There are clearly reasons why attendees find our training to be the way to grow your business even during the tough Dodd-Frank, CFPB era.

The reason? We show you proven ways to attract the customers with better credit or who can pay cash.

Nothing Good Happens to your bottom line until more products or services are SOLD!


We’ll provide more details on our educational offerings at the 2015 Louisville Show in the days and weeks ahead. It is less than 3 months to show time!

But the short story is simple. The Road to Success for 2015 truly passes through the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. There is nothing else quite like it in all of North America. We are proud to provide the education and promotion for this, the #1 best attended industry event in the country!

It’s more than just a great place to get business done. As our videos reveal, the atmosphere is upbeat! If you need to get your motor or that of a colleague of your’s running for 2015, hard to imagine a better place to do that than the 2015 Louisville MH Show.

See what 2014 attendees say and we’ll see you at the 2015 Show.


Will you and your team be there? Will you let your competitors hear and learn what you should know too?


  • swing by our business building seminars (more to be announced soon)
  • or see me at our booth,
  • when we aren’t shooting videos with great industry professionals like you.


All this and more are happening at the 2015 Louisville MH Show

Today’s post just scratches the surface. You’ll have all the products and services of the great, all-indoor Louisville Show there for you to compare side by side in climate controlled comfort. Fantastic! ##

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) 2014 Summer Meeting Pensées

June 6th, 2014 No comments

Blaise Pascal, who penned the original Pensées (French for 'thoughts'), would likely be disappointed in part of what follows; for that this scribe takes full responsibility. As we approach the 2014 MHI Summer Meeting Sunday-Tuesday, what should we expect? What should be our hopes following the event?

What should we be talking about while there?

A very thoughtful message went out from a state executive to others, so the Masthead has been told; it is encouraging MHEC execs to avoid a certain “…distraction…” so that the attendees would focus “…to our number one priority, securing financial reform for the manufactured housing industry.”

Certainly, focusing on financial reform of Dodd-Frank is critical!

Non-Partisan Issue

That Danny Ghorbani and yours truly have disagreed at times is no secret, but one thing I would have to concur with him on is his statement that manufactured housing is a non-partisan issue.

We as industry pros ought to be warmly embraced by Democrats, Republicans and Independents. We ought to be embraced as a necessity that should bring cheers by HUD, CFPB and a host of other alphabet soup agencies in DC as well as in every one of the United States.

When the Boston Globe, CBS News, the Atlanta Constitution Journal and more in the mainstream media are starting to 'wake up' to modern manufactured housing (MH), it only makes sense that elected and appointed public officials get fully up-to-speed on the latest on this subject.


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Because MH offers an option that could make tens of billions of dollars a year in difference to government budgets, and could make a similar difference to our industry! As D. J. Pendleton, Karl Radde, Gay Westbrook and others observed in this article about the plant tour that Congressman Bill Flores was given this week, MH means thousands of jobs, and could mean tens of thousands more, so long as we play our cards right.

Furthermore, we must not allow ourselves to be marginalized into being viewed as solely for the "poor and lower-middle income," as noble as serving those groups is. If you've not watched that CBS News Sunday show video carefully, then please do so today, it is linked above.  We offer quality home options from the ultimate in entry level all the way up to those who are millionaires. 

We have huge opportunities, so long as we embrace them. There are savvy ways to do so!

Which leads me to Bill Matchneer's important pensées.

The Bill Matchneer, JD, MH Initiative?

bill-matchneer-hud-manufactured-housing-division-cfpb-mhpronews-com-100x100 (1)If I could wave a magic wand, and get industry pros to focus on a subject long enough to start the movement, I would encourage them to read, ponder and act upon a suggestion from a previous HUD manufactured home program director.

That man is Bill Matchneer, who has also been "…on the elevator with Elizabeth Warren…"

Please. Don't miss it. Bill is onto something, and it's an understatement to say that is “big.”


The Trans-Associational Trans-Corporate Profit Plan?

If I could get a discussion topic apropos for the various mixers and meals, it would be the one an actively retired gent has soundedbob-vahsholtz-author-dueling-curves-battle-for-housing-posted-industry-voices-guest-blog-mhpronews-com-manufatured-housing-professional-news-50x50- (1) off on here in the Industry Voices guest blog, which I'm told is drawing early support among some state and corporate leaders.

rick-rand-great-value-homes-manufactured-home-pro-news-industry-voices-guest-blog-Bob's comments are just the tip of the iceberg shared privately with me or others.

Let me commend Rick Rand, who will be at this meeting, for taking another public position that when enough truly forward-thinking leaders make this their own and act, it could transform our industry, attract more new capital and make all of us able to earn more while serving millions of more Americans. Please check out Rand's

Advancing Manufactured Housing Intelligently.

As You are Waiting at the Airport…

There are a few who pilot a plane to meeting like the one in Indy. Based upon geography, some will make drive. But dozens will fly, and for those waiting at the airport, let me suggest you consider watching the videos or reading the new featured articles linked here.


As an aside, we guessed this June would be Read Hot. It has been!  We are off to record pageviews this month.

But what I want to draw your attention to are the select videos below. The reason?  They represent views from savvy pros that ought to be considered on topics that include financing, government's role in our industry and much more!  These two merit conversation in Indy, from border to border and coast to coast.

Video Comments that include content of importance to topics MHI is engaged in

Eugene Landy

Chris Fisher

Ron Thomas Sr.

Dick Ernst

HUD's Pam Danner, Esquire

HUD's new manufactured housing program director – Pam Danner, JD – is planning to attend the MHI Summer Meeting. It would be interesting to chat with her, don't you think?

If you happen to be going, I'd make the effort to talk to her one of my priorities.


We aren't going to comment – not yet, anyway – on the stuff in the background. There are plenty of far more important topics to focus on!

If you are going to the MHI Summer Meeting, I hope we get a chance to say 'hi' to each other.

If you aren't going to the summer meeting…why not? ##

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L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: | | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: