Posts Tagged ‘Dick Jennison’

Facebook, Manufactured Housing, and American Drama

June 12th, 2018 No comments

What do you see?

Facebook has a neat feature that reminds you of some post from the past. This morning, that Facebook feature reminded me of a post about MHVille that was from two years ago.


We’ve begun to use the phrase – “wheat and chaff” – more often to describe the point that people and sources of information must be discerned. Keep the good, toss what’s not useful or is incorrect.

It’s hardly a new thought. Wheat and chaff are an ancient piece of Biblical wisdom.

When we put together the story early this morning about the outcome of the presidential summit, it was the result of hours of input from a variety of sources. It is an example of wheat and chaff in action.

Perhaps 10 (+/-) sources were checked, before we drilled down what we thought was the meaty items for industry pros and investors to know.

Then, we provided the context of what it matters to manufactured housing. “That news through the lens of factory-built housing,” ©; one of our tag lines that describes what MHProNews uniquely does for the manufactured and modular home industry professionals and investors. 

It’s about American drama at its finest. Check out that report, linked below, compare it to anything else that might be used for an MH Industry pro, and please tell us what you think. 


Facebook, Wheat and Chaff 

I recall how Triad Financial President Don Glisson, Jr. gave us a backhanded compliment that we treasure. He said he thought we were crazy when we launched what we call today, MHProNews.  The launch was in mid-October 2009, and was near the industry’s lowest point ever in new home shipments.

Now, approaching a decade later, we as an industry are clearly not heading to extinction, as some then believed could happen.

When asked by the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF) to help bring back the Louisville Snow, we jumped in with both feet. The pay was very modest, considering all that had to be done.  But we did it, and the show was a success, the first one in years. 

Tim Williams from Ohio’s association was one of several who praised our work in writing.


One of over 1000 endorsements and recommendations, most were given without being requested. We thank each sender for that honor.  

Facebook has wheat and chaff. Pretty much everything and everyone does, starting right here.

We are pro-free enterprise. We cheer all honest and ethical forms of success. We stress honesty, and ethics, because some professions are built on the suffering of others.  From illicit drug pushers, to pimps, pornographers, thieves, racketeering, coyotes, and so on, there are illicit businesses that generate tens of billions annually.  We don’t cheer those at all.  

But if we are fair and objective, even the darkest parts of human nature reveal truths worth learning.

We must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. 


Breaking Up

Count us among those who hope and pray that the Feds break up Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other monopolistic U.S. giants. Think back, if you are old enough, to the breakup of the telecoms. AT&T was charged under antitrust laws. 

Based on Judge Harold Green’s Modified Final Judgement of 1982, AT&T on January 1 1984 became a long-distance company, while seven regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) took control of the nation’s local phone networks,” says the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).


Some say that the monopoly over the phone business delayed the development of cell phone technologies by a decade.

It is just one of several reasons why corporate giants must be held in check and/or broken up.

To me, it isn’t just about price, which is an arguably flawed standard that antitrust regulators often use.  How many businesses has Walmart and Amazon wiped out? How many jobs has that cost the nation? Would we have seen the shift to buying so much product from China, had Walmart not become so big?  

They too should be broken up under antitrust law.  As NY Stern Professor Scott Galloway has argued, it is how you bring oxygen back into the marketplace for startups and investors.  That’s were jobs are created, instead of destroyed.

England, we’ve read, has a supposed standard of 25 percent market-share as the threshold for anti-monopoly (anti-trust) action. That might be still be a bit too high. Once a firm hits 20 percent of a given market, there are inevitable impacts on consumers, businesses, innovation, the economy, politics, etc.  

Wheat and chaff. We must learn from whatever is good, and toss out whatever isn’t. The prism of the Ten Commandments – which clearly respects private property – ought to be the standard, timeless measure of behavior. 

What Facebook reminded me of this morning is that it has been about two years since I got a tip from a then-fellow Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member. That member pointed me to a CSPAN video about Richard Cordray and Senator Joe Donnelly. When I watched it, I got what that other MHI member as telling me.  

MHI had distorted the exchange, saying only what was good for their narrative, while ignoring what was problematic for their stated agenda.  

It seemed deliberately deceptive. It came from MHI VP Lesli Gooch, but our sources then said that MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison had to okay it.  

It’s was at best a half-truth, designed to mislead members. As a member myself, I was outraged. We can call these things allegations, because that is what the legal guys say it should be termed. But if you look at the CSPAN video we watched, and then look at what MHI then said… 

Logically, if top MHI staff would deceive members about that, what else have or would they attempt to trick their own dues paying members about?  

They had to be held accountable. I called publicly For Jennison’s dismissal along with that of Lesli Gooch. 

It wasn’t the first or the last news tip. 

Please, we’d rather get a news tip 4 times, than not at all. Don’t presume we have something. We know the generalities, but not always the specifics. Help us, help you help the industry get the most accurate reports by sending association emails, documents, and your own insights. Our default is that we treat comments as off the record, unless you and we specifically agree to make it on the record. 

One step at a time, we’ve seen how MHI has weaponized reports. It was tricky, because no one else in the industry had directly named names and cited examples of what was happening, and who was authorizing it, the way we did. 

That incident from 2 years ago led to a series of events and reports that has arguably contributed to what has brought us to the point we are in reporting in MHVille today.  

Today, we can look back and see MHI, and their debatably Berkshire Hathaway puppet masters as they are. We give them a routine opportunities to comment before, during or after a Daily Business News story. We accurately quote from their own documents. We’ve offered to discuss or debate publicly via video, so all the industry can see. 

They duck, dodge, detract, distract, and defame in response, don’t they? Doesn’t all of that speak volumes?  If the truth was on their side, why don’t they just clear the air? 

It’s been about 1 1/3 years since they have directly responded publicly. We suspended our industry famous Cup of Coffee series for a time, because it was too politically charged for many. We plan to bring that feature back, because more of the industry’s members are beginning to see — that what we’ve been reporting sadly makes sense. 

It’s time to use antitrust laws to break up Berkshire Hathaway, not just Clayton Homes and their lending, retail, and others unit arms. 

MHI must be investigated and/or perhaps sued.  They’ve arguably misrepresented to the industry what they are and what they do. 

MHI award winner Marty Lavin is sadly correct. MHI works only for the interests of “the big boys.” They work for the smaller companies only if their interests align with that of the big boys.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

The rationale and evidence seems to be that smaller companies are there as a meal for the big boys that want to gobble up smaller firms for a cheap price.

The smaller firms are there to also help pay for what the big boys want. Paraphrasing what another member said, ‘the big companies figured out how to use MHI to help get the smaller companies to pay for what the big companies want.’

Manipulation is often an ugly thing. 

No one wants to believe that they were conned.  It’s not fun to have to report about such problems, but it must be done, for the sake of all those who are debatably being victimized.

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

These are serious allegations. but there’s also serious evidence. There are several federal investigations already underway, because where there is smoke, there is often fire.


For manufactured housing industry professional and investors to thrive and achieve their full potential, the industry must recognize reality.

Then, each company must decide how best to deal with reality. It’s an American drama that you and hundreds of thousands of others are caught up in, like it or not. More on that drama and its solutions in the days ahead. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

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

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

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


Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

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

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40 Years of Manufactured Housing, 240th Birthday for America, July 4, 2016

July 4th, 2016 No comments


There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”
– Warren Buffett

Superficiality is the curse of the modern world.
Matthew Kelly

There are both keen truths and potent tensions between the two quotes above.  The subject is easy, but we’ll avoid an overly superficial look at the topics for this month.

Unity and Disunity in America, The World and MH

When the 13 colonies declared their independence from England there was a conflict fought. Just days ago, in a heavy voting turnout, England (the U.K.) peacefully voted for independence from the EU, a “Brexit.” The U.S. then, or the British today, wanted to be freed from the rule of others. At the same time, they wanted to band together as a people.


There have for centuries been those who worked for unity, and towards division, in all nations and places.

So independence has in practice an interdependence.

The American colonies would forge a system designed to end England’s power, as well as limit the power of the federal system that came into being here in the U.S. once the war for our nation’s independence was won.

It’s a fact. The Soviet Union split into 15 nations. Yugoslavia split into 7. China has two significant areas where separatists are at work. The U.K. will face another Scottish exit effort. Across Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond – there are movements whose aim is to break larger nations – larger powers – into smaller ones.

Those who seek regional or global orders in America today have watched a strong anti-Democratic-establishment effort by Bernie Sanders followers.

They are watching an “America First” populist-nationalist camp led by Donald Trump lay claim to the party that Bush, Romney and a few Republican elites have previously led.

Perhaps 5 percent to 10 percent of the USA is libertarian, and smaller movements of Green Party or other forces are busy in our land too. Some pundits say Ralph Nader’s Green Party run in 2000 cost Al Gore the election against George W. Bush (fyi – your Masthead  scribe is an independent).

Struggles over unity and division are ongoing. Never think that what’s happening today is so totally different than other parts of the world, or other eras of history.

Efforts for unity or division go all the way back in time to when the people of the world are said to have lost a common language, after the Tower of Babel was toppled by the God of the Jewish and later Christian people.

There is unity, and there is disunity.

There is Independence as well as Interdependence.

Manufactured Housing and Our Times

On this 240th 4th of July, some might say that within Manufactured Housing, there are – and historically have been – similar forces for independence and interdependence at work.

At one time, Fleetwood and Champion dominated the manufactured housing industry. Today pros speak of the three Cs of MH – Clayton, Cavco and Champion. There were numerous independents then, and now.

There are consolidations taking place on the manufacturing side of MH. Far more consolidations are occurring on the community side of MH.


Image credit, Pinterest.

Retail by independents have risen and fallen, but could be rising again.

A new paradigm has been coming to birth in MH for about a decade, as a growing percentage of home sales are done by MH land lease communities – aka “mobile home parks” – or more properly MHCommunities. While most MHCs buy pre-owned homes – or new homes from factories – solely for their own use to fill vacant homesites; in some places, retail off-property by MHCs are in motion. That’s a trend to watch.

The point is that there are in business as in politics, larger forces at work in MH, as well as thousands of smaller ones.

On the association/lobbying/advocacy side, most states have their own associations, some have separate community associations plus an “umbrella” association. A few have associations that span RVs and MHs or even other groups seeking collective advocacy.

In factory-built housing, there are more groups than are generally spoken of in MHVille – we hear the most from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), or the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). But the NAHB has their Systems Building Council. And there is the Tom Hardiman led Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA), which differs from the modular housing group under the MHI umbrella. There are others in Canada too…


Bob Crawford – left. Frank Rolfe, right. Still from MHProNews video.

As readers will see below, this month we’ll provide an article that promotes a new, independent post-production association – which the author of that column asserts that MHI is at best a 5 out of 10  in terms of its effectiveness in working for the interests of independent MH Retailers and MHCommunities. That author – Bob Crawford, and his mentor Dick Moore – have advocated for an independence movement from MHI before. Time will tell if there is more momentum behind it now, than previously.

The MH industry hitched its wagon to the federal oversight star 42 years ago. Just over 40 years ago, the first HUD Code manufactured homes rolled off the assembly lines in the U.S.

There were once more ‘national,’ ‘regional’ or ‘federated’ MH associations than there are today. Will history repeat?  

Our reporting on issues isn’t  always the same as advocacy of a perspective.  Our taking a position doesn’t mean we’re looking for a do or die battle. We have clients, readers and supporters in both major national associations.  In a professional world, the Ronald Reagan ideal below should apply.


As a disclosure, this writer broadly-speaking wears two hats. One is as a trade publisher of and – the other as a provider of business development and consulting services, all of which operates under the LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC banner, of which I’m the managing member.  

What brings those two hats together is a passionate love for this MH Industry, and for seeing MH advance in every possible way.  Everything else we do can be seen through that prism. 

News, Tips and Views

As a publisher, we report news as well as do commentary and analysis.

The following is another fact. Manufactured housing trade publications, with no disrespect for the Journal  or others who have gone before us, have never had the same kind of publications we provide on professionally-focused (aka, also known by some as or the public via

As a result, it’s no surprise that too many in our MH industry think of any critique by me of another person, persons or group as a personal attack.  Not so!  It’s purely professional.  

It’s standard fare for the business of being a trade publisher. MH can’t or won’t advance to its potential until rigorous and candid discussions identify and resolve all those things that hold us as an industry back.


We will look at the GAPS Method in the near future, as one of the tools to analyze the road blocks to MH advancement. Good analyis is – or should be – objective.  If you or others have a different point of you that you want to publicy or privately share, please write or call.

Unlike Jim Visser – whom I respect – or others who are no longer in the MH trade publication business, this writer spent many years in the trenches of MH long before picking up a digital pen and paper. We still earn our keep by boosting manufactured and modular home sales!  Some of that personal/professional history will be rapidly reviewed in an article linked below.

Suffice it to say for now, that I’ve worked with some of the largest operations in MH, with assocations and with some other operations more modest in size, and also “mom and pop” businesses.  All small firms hope to do well, some aspire to be big firms someday.  We salute all those MH entrepreneurs, professionals and captains of industry.

So we come at MH related topics from a different viewpoint than someone who only prints articles and ads (no disrespect intended to other publishers, just stating facts).

When we write about Dick Jennison or Lesli Gooch at MHI, and raise questions about their effectiveness or the ethics of their communications practices, that’s a valid topic as they are public figures in our industry.  If there is a critique of them, it is not necessarily a blast at MHI, of which I am also an elected board member.  A critique is part of a GAPS analysis, pure and simple. If you or others you work with have a different take than ours, you can share it, as we share a Pro-MHI column this month (see below), and one that takes a we-need-a-new-association viewpoint.

That’s balanced trade publishing.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

As both a publisher and as an MHI board member, others have encouraged as well as expressed concerns to me, and we have published some of those concerns by reference when off-the-record, or under the person’s name, when OK’d to do so.

When someone is a manager, executive or even an owner of a company or organization which supplies products or services to XYZ, it is entirely understandable that such a person does not want to publicly say something that XYZ may not want to read or hear on video.  Other media do such off-the-record reports, we do too.

Let’s reframe some of the above.

In the automotive industry world, there would be thicker skins about Car and Driver  or some other auto-trade publication critiquing a publicly visible professional person’s performance, or that of an organization. It’s pretty common in other industries!

The featured story on this almost decade old Manufactured Home Merchandiser Magazine cover was one that your Masthead scribe wrote for them.

What makes it uncommon in MH – and thus, perhaps a little shocking to some in MHVille – is precisely that our industry has heretofore had no similar trade publishing. Even in its heyday, the venerable MH Merchandiser Magazine  was only a monthly, with some news and mostly columns and ads. Only MHProNews has produced an industry business daily news in the MH World.

Jim Visser at the Journal  rarely does an editorial. Herb Tieder’s Merchandiser did an editorial column, but those that recall know it wasn’t much like those you’ll find here on the Masthead.

That’s no slam, it’s reality. In fairness to those others, how could they? Those other publishers never had the first-hand view from the MH trenches we have, then or now!

MHProNews  has changed all that for trade publishing in our industry.  That’s why thousands of MHPros flock here daily.

Investors, media, academics, public officials, policy advocates and researchers from around-the-world read this publication too.

MH today is, as Nathan Smith said on video, a boutique industry and thus a relatively small audience. Comparing us to the Dallas Morning News, Chicago Sun Times or Tribune, the New York or Los Angeles Times – or even a more financially focused professionals’ publication like Forbes – our audience is signficantly smaller.

But MHProNews has articles that get more hits than some articles on Forbes gets.

That’s a fact.  Here’s an example for proof.  We’ll have more hits on dozens of articles on MHProNews this and every month than what this Forbes article reflects.



2,525 visitors on MHProNews at the time and date shown. That’s not cumulative, that’s readers at that specific time. Typical reader views 8+ pages, per Webalizer. Screen capture of base of home page.

Some in our industry have never known anything but MHProNews, or perhaps some less popular bloggers or emailed PDF newsletters done by consultants, in which those other writers naturally promote their own products and services.

But none, none of those other publications have the same domestic or global reach that MHProNews has. It’s not bragging or hubris if it’s true, and these are facts.

It’s no surprise to us that a group out of Singapore is making a two billion dollar plus play for MHCs in the U.S., international business and investors interested in factory built housing are on our pages routinely.

While our audience is absolutely dominated by those in the U.S., as we’ve shown before, our webstats and contacts from professionals living in “investor nations” in Europe, Asia and other parts of the globe is steady and growing, as is our reach in the United States.

So the view from the Masthead  matters to MHVille, and to a real extent, MHVille benefits from and As but one example, every company that attends the Louisville or Tunica Shows in the past several years has benefited from our promoting those events.  

The Masthead  shares these insights, hoping to limit misunderstandings.  I have no personal animus towards say MHI’s Jennison or Gooch; it’s professional and the questions are simple.  Do they get the job done?  Have they behaved in an entirely professional and ethical fashion? Are they helping or harming MHI and its goals?

Setting the Manufactured Housing World on Fire

Some have cheered our reports, others – including highly placed officials – have provided respectful feedback that disagrees with our take, and advises us to handle it differently.  One was very kind in saying that they know I mean well, but that I’m going about this all wrong.  I hear all of that, and to all who have sent their thoughts for, against or nuanced – my sincere thanks to each of you.

We respect all of those takes, encourage them, promise to take them all into consideration and we’ll gladly publish them when asked and thoughtfully presented. 

We don’t seek conflict or controversy for its own sake.  

We do have goals for the MH industry and for all those our great industry serves.

The executive summary for all this could be – the Truth sets us free. Everything else – are details and commentary. 

With no further adieu, let’s dive into our July 2016 Featured Articles.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 7, No. 10, 2016

Alphabetically by Category




• How Peace of Mind Attracts More Qualified Clients and Boost Sales

by Tifanee McCall

TifaneeMcCall-MHWC-ResidentialWarrantyCompany-55x55Every day, hundreds of thousands of big TVs and electronic items like computers are being sold.

Read more…


•  Colorado MHC Portfolio | 719 Sites | Colorado

by Christopher Nortley

ChristopherNortlyMHREinc=postedMHProNews-comy50x50-MHRE Inc. is pleased to present the Colorado MHC Portfolio, which consists of 3 communities with a combined site count of 719. The Home Portfolio consists of 243 homes throughout the 3 communities.

Read more…


• UMH Properties hits 52-Week High, Projections Skyward

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1As investors await the Aug. 4, 2016 earnings report from manufactured housing community (MHC) owner UMH Properties, Inc. (NYSE:UMH), the stock has hit a new 52-week high at $11.25, with a target of $26.10, a 132% increase.

Read more…




Identifying and Resolving Barriers of Entry for more Manufactured Home Lending

by Titus Dare

TitusDareEagleOneFinancial-postedMHProNews-50x50-Getting more lending into the manufactured housing space is not a simple snap of a finger and “poof!” it’s done. Getting more lending starts, as I noted a few days ago, with the three prongs of needed Education. It relies too on the 4S’ of good lending – Safe, Sound, Sanitary and Sustainable.

Read more…


• Northpoint Commercial Finance Expands Field Sales Organization

by Northpoint Commercial Finance

NorthPointcommercialFinance-logo-postedomMHProNewsAlpharetta, GA, June 26, 2016 – Two new Directors of Business Development have joined Northpoint Commercial Finance’s Field Sales Organization.

Read more…


• Why Manufactured Homes Are Being Chosen By Today’s Homeowners

by Triad Financial Services

Triad Financial-bannerad-MHProNews-comMany of us are aware of the current affordable housing crisis. Whether it be the significant increase in rent or lack of affordable options in today’s site built homes, consumers are looking for a solution and manufactured homes are providing a viable choice.

Read more…




• Clayton releases top energy efficient features for manufactured and modular homes.

by Clayton Homes

ClaytonHomes-logo-50x50Top energy-efficient housing features every new homebuyer should know

Most Americans want an energy-efficient home, and they’re willing to make the necessary changes to help improve efficiency, whether it’s changing their habits or buying more energy-efficient appliances.

Read more…


• You’re Invited – 2016 RV MH Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

by Barry Cole

barry-cole-rv-mh-hall-of-fame-postedonmhpronews-com-65x65You’re invited to the 2016 RV MH Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony!

Read more…



• Bob Crawford – On MHI, MHARR and a New Association

by Bob Crawford

BobCrawford-DickMooreHousingPresident-ManufacturedHousingProfessionalNewsViews-postedMHProNews50x50In reply to your request to rate MHI’s effectiveness at advocacy for independent retail/non-corporate MH business, I would have to rate it at best a 5.

Read more…


• Proof MHPros Can Attract the Site Built Customer to Manufactured Homes and MHCommunities

by Tom Fath

Tom Fath-Operations Manager New Durham Estates and Home Sales55x55We met Tony (Kovach) in 2014 at the Louisville Home Show and found his firm’s vision, professional services, and expertise to be in the direction our business and the industry as a whole needed to move at a fast pace.

Read more…


• Frank Rolfe – Interview on MH Industry Business, Politics and Associations

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThere has been a wide range of comments – for, against or in between – regarding the MHProNews critique and analysis of MHI’s lobbying activities, centering on Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and Lesli Gooch.

Read more…


• Congressional Testimony by Jayar Daily, COO, American Homestar Corporation on – Future Of Housing In America: Government Regulations And The High Cost Of Housing

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThe written testimony (linked here) to Congress by F. R. Jayar Daily, Chief Operations Officer for American Homestar Corporation and a member of MHI’s board of directors is dated March 22nd, 2016.

Read more…


• The Next American Political Revolution? The Next 4th of July

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThose who neglect the lessons of the past are condemn to relieve them.

Read more…

• Off The Record – Musings Of A Warped MH Mind

by MH Industry member

MH-industryMemberOffTheRecord-MHProNews-com-The recent allegations concerning MHI staff members are troublesome.

Read more…


• Singapore Investors Turn Sights on Yes! Communities for $2Billion+

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1MHProNews has learned from The Wall Street Journal that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, is in talks to acquire Denver-based YES! Communities from private-equity firm Stockbridge Capital Group for over $2 billion.

Read more…


•  American Banking News – Key MHI Staff “Excoriated” for Failing Their Mission, Members

Matthew J Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comWith Dodd-Frank, financing and CFPB related issues routinely on the minds of manufactured housing industry professionals, TheDaily Business News  has learned fromAmerican Banking News the following report on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is made available below.

Read more…


• Mary McBrady says Massachusetts is Smacked with Shortage of Mid-range Homes

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1Mary McBrady, executive director of the Massachusetts Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA), noting the shortage of mid-priced housing in Mass., and a plethora of schools and researchers interested in housing policy within the state, says, “We, as an industry, need to be part of that conversation and dialogue.”

Read more…


• Skyline Outshines other MH-related Stocks; Dow Regains 235 Point

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1In the news from CNNMoney: A Tesla 2015 S on autopilot has fatal crash, spurring Federal investigation.

Read more…


• Tony Prevatte Chosen to Head NC MH Association

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1MHProNews has learned from robesonian that Tony Prevatte, owner of Prevatte Home Sales in Lumberton, NC has been elected president of the North Carolina Manufactured and Modular Homebuilder’s Association’s board of directors.

Read more…


• Manufactured Home Marketing and Sales Makeover

by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-To get a different result, you obviously have to do some things differently.

Read more…


• Award Winning Manufactured Home Retailer Perspectives on Sunshine Homes, Red Bay AL

by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-Our family, videographer, drone pilot and I went to Hattiesburg MS to meet with award winning manufactured home retailer, George Campbell of Southern Colonel Homes.

Read more…



• Letting go

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comLetting go is accepting that it is time to move on, to begin again and to say goodbye to your present circumstances is to make room for the new learning from different sources.

Read more…

ZigOn Quantity

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarFor some strange reason there are millions of us who believe that if a little of something is good for us, a lot would be even better. Sometimes that is true, but frequently it is not.

Read more…


• The Manufactured Housing Revolution – How the MH Industry Claims its MoJo

by L.A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachNo person, profession or organization is without challenges. The question is, what does one do about those challenges? Challenges can make or break you, a company or an industry.

Read more…

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.

Manufactured Home Communities – aka ‘Mobile Home Parks’ [sic] – should be 100% Occupied

June 26th, 2015 No comments

Investors, take note.  Manufactured Home ‘Street’ Retailers, your report is coming.  But for the next few minutes, we will look at why manufactured home communities (MHCs) – incorrectly still known by too many as ‘mobile home parks’ ([sic] – since no mobile homes have been built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976) ought to have 100% physical occupancy today.

The most recent reports I’ve seen suggest that the occupancy rate for all age MH Communities is hovering around 88%.  Senior or 55+ MHCs are around the 93% physical occupancy mark.  That number has been slowly rising.

Roughly half of the states in the U.S. don’t maintain a master list of MHCs.  So we must use estimates as to how many MHCs there are, based upon estimates from those-in-the-know tell me is in the range of 37,000 to 45,000 MHCs nationally.  That’s the more likely total of all land-lease MH communities of all sizes.

About 15% of the MHCs are in the 200+ home site size that the portfolio operators – private and publicly trade – tend to prefer. That means 85% are under that threshold.  There are MHCs with under 10 spaces (aka – pads, lots, home sites) or less in jurisdictions that keep such records.  Some experts say the typical MHC is around the 100+/- home sites size.



Can you spell Opportunity?

Bottom line, using facts, figures and estimates, the latest reports suggest there could be some 440,000 unoccupied home sites in MHCs across the country.  That spells serious potential upside opportunities for investors.  It also spells huge opportunities for HUD Code MH manufacturers, chattel lenders, suppliers, vendors, support, insurers and financial services firms of all kinds.

Given the growing need for affordable housing across the U.S., filling those sites is quite doable. What is stopping our industry from those goals?

A variety of factors, of course.  For starters, the CFPB certainly isn’t helping, because those willing to risk their own capital aren’t getting to do so without significant regulatory burdens.  Those risks from the regulators are far greater than the risk of loss from a repossession, how crazy is that  reality?

The public need exists.  The pricing of MH vs. rentals or other options is competitive and favorable.  But the main issues slowing that 100% physical occupancy goal could be summed up in two words joined by an ‘and.’ Image and EducationEven the regulatory hurdles come down to image and education, though some may not see that connection the same way we do here on the Masthead.


Rents are rising in many markets, due in part to the impact of potential buyers being denied access to credit. CFPB policy on MH lending is thus costing the federal government money in their affordable housing subsidy programs. Applying President Obama’s words to MH lending would benefit government budgets, as well as home buyers and business people too.

With the right approaches, our expert sources – and own experiences in marketing MH – suggest those MHCs could be filled in under 3 years.  That figure suggests that the MH industry could be doing some 200,000 new home sales a year average for the next three years, vs. the mid- 60s level annual shipments we are hovering around now.


MH Shipments bottomed out at just under 50,000 new homes annual, and have since rebounded into the mid-60s. But industry professionals must recall that historically we’ve been 20% of all new housing starts, and could be far higher, given the correct approaches at the business, image and education levels.  MHI’s Dick Jennison stated publicly that the industry can return to 500,000 new home shipments with the right efforts.  We agree.

Of course, “could” may not mean “does.” That said, IMHO, all facts shared and known suggests this is a great time for investors to target the MH sector for investments in stocks in related MH companies, direct investments in MHCs, etc..   Investors are indeed doing so, but mostly by aiming at the top 15% of the larger communities.

MH Retailers?  Your report is coming.  As good as the potential for MHCs is, the upside for a good retailer could be even better.  That said, there is value to marrying the MHR to an MHC. We’ll look at that topic too in the days ahead.

Closing News Comments

Our Matthew Silver does an amazing job of giving our Daily Business News readers the Industry news briefs that keep those focused on housing in general – and MH/MODs in particular – informed.  No one else we know of gives an MH Industry daily business news briefs, plus the daily stock market recap report on MH connected firms and suppliers. You can spend less time and learn more about the industry via a daily scan of the news here, than following online alerts that routinely yield information that wastes precious time.

So is it any surprise that several thousands of pros, investors and researchers follow our news, tips and views daily?

Investors & Owners

The beauty of the MHC or MHR worlds are that you can, with the proper approach, move-the-needle in a reasonable period of time to yield healthy returns.  You can have more ‘control’ over the investment.  By contrast, there is not much that most can do personally to move a stock on the public markets.  But you can do a lot of savvy steps to increase occupancy in an MHC or sales at an MHR.


We’ll look more at that in the days ahead, including our upcoming July Featured Articles in MHProNews.  If you have not yet read all of this months issues’ articles, you should! Don’t miss the video related ones, like the red-hot Scott Roberts of Roberts Resort video interview too.


Take a glance today at as well, because a growing number among the public and industry are doing so daily.  Millions of visit(ors) there can’t be wrong!  See what they’ve found, and see why your peers in MHCs are giving that web site address to their community residents in their newsletters. ##

Manufactured Housing State of the Industry Statistics and related Growth Opportunities Reports

(June 2015)

Realtors ® and Manufactured Housing Growth

SIC defined (Google):

adverb: sic
  1. used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child’s interest and “enrich his [ sic ] life.”.

L. A. “Tony’ Kovach shown here in an educational session in Louisville, KY.


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Homeward Bound and the MH Industry

February 19th, 2015 No comments

There are few things more exciting yet stressful than finding a home. There is a powerful impetus for ‘home’ in the majority of mortals. Ballads of home fill the lyrics of songs. They are the stories of books and movies. At the end of the work day, we want to be, homeward bound.

Manufactured housing has the ability to tap into these stories. We have the ability to tap into the songs of great performers, like Simon and Garfunkel, or scores of others.

As common sense as this is, it doesn’t happen by itself. It has to be planned! You have to ‘set the stage’ for that emotional encounter with home.

That is part of the reason why merchandising in a model home has value. Well done, it evokes a response. Badly done or not done at all, and your prospective home seeker may have a flat response.

What manufactured housing needs to return to its potential is diverse. Few industries are better poised with the right product at the right time in our nation. Yet few are doing so as generally poorly, compared to our potential.

This is a bane, but also a blessing in disguise for those with vision. We have to have the willingness to invest in our people, so they can lead people “who long to be, homeward bound.”

Story Telling, Enhancing Image and Sales Growth


We did a series of Video Interviews with Evan Atkinson and the customers of Williams-Burg Square (WBS) that we’ve been periodically rolling out. What makes these compelling is that these are real people telling a real story about their ‘homeward bound’ journey, and what life has been like for them since.

Are these stories and videos good for WBS? Sure. But these are also good for our industry. We have other firms, small to large, that are lining up to do the same thing.



We’ve also laid out verbally what we recently presented at Louisville and will present again in Tunica at their upcoming Business Building Seminar Series.

Here are three takes on Louisville, plus a video interview that recaps the show too. Listen to what others say about the power of the right messaging and a sales system that respects customer and sales professional alike.



Past Due

Manufactured Housing is past due. We are past due for a ‘real recovery.’ We ought to be doing, as Dick Jennison said on stage in Louisville, 500,000 new home shipments a year, not something in the 60,000s.


We can do better. We have living examples of how we can do better. We can help millions to become ‘homeward bound’ with our products and services in fee-simple or land-lease scenarios.

But we can’t expect it to magically happen without an investment in time, talent and treasure. We’ll be at booth #73 in Tunica. See you there?

More, later… ##

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-superchargedsales-seminars2-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

February 2015 MH Reality Checks

February 3rd, 2015 No comments

2014 was yet another up year, with more increases in new MH home shipmentsHR 650 has ‘dropped. ‘  The Louisville MH Show was up again.  That’s all good news, but are we hitting our potential? Honest two word reply? ‘Not even!’

With the final number for 2014 now in, we know we are up five years from a historic low hit in 2009.  But let’s be honest. This is a slow crawl. It isn’t the economy that is holding MH back, as tragic as the economic numbers are, because in some ways that’s tailor made for MH.  People need what we have more than ever before.


So the issue, to quote the prophet Hosea, is this. “My people perish for lack of vision!

Another rendering of that translation of Hosea’s word is “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”

What we’ve looked at before is the comparison below between us and conventional housing starts. MH has slid from its historic percentages. Sorry, folks, we in MH can’t get a hall pass on this one. It is up to industry pros to make this happen, yes, using the financing that we currently have available. Anything else is what Zig Ziglar called a ‘loser’s limp.’ Some of the data below is from Reed Construction and/or the U.S. Census Bureau.


Translation? If MH was holding onto the very figure that MHI likes to share with Congress, 21% of total housing starts for roughly the last two decades, then in the chart above, we should be at 229,530 new MHs as the SAAR. That’s roughly 4 times more than we are doing.

We can and must do better, no excuses. We’ll show a video in the days ahead of MHI’s Dick Jennison suggesting that our goal as an industry ought to be 500,000 new MH shipments. It will be one of dozens of exclusive MHProNews videos that will come out of the 2015 Louisville MH Show.

Sure, we want to modify Dodd-Frank. But guess what? Others are struggling with that and the CFPB too. We are harmed, but we are not alone. We all call on our national and state associations to build the coalitions with community banks and others to get real Dodd-Frank reform done. But in the mean time, we can and must sell more manufactured homes!

The Discussion that Louisville 2015 Sparked

What the 2015 Louisville Show sparked among other things was a renewed discussion of the potential for our MH  industry. See what Maria Horton from Newport Pacific had to say, her guest column is linked below.

One of the videos we are still waiting for editing and production is with John Caron, a successful community operator out of MI. When we post that, see what John had to say about the value of the 2015 L’ville MH Show.

Tom Fath, another MHC pro, shared some kind words in a message, see that linked below.  Then see what Ted Gross or Tyler Craddock had to say. FYI, We’ll have a Ted Gross video interview that has him nodding his head that we can and must hit higher MH sales numbers. Each of these MH Pros speaks in various ways to what is possible and what is needed for us to achieve our collective potential.

Read, your potential.

We have a new interview with another industry headliner! Please read, A Cup of Coffee with…Dee Pizer, CEO of Zeman Homes. It too is linked below and is bound to be another MHProNews exclusive hit!


Speaking of hits, Sandra Lane is the REAL professional journalist working in MH today! There are a number of writers. There are folks who sound off on blogs or emails.

But how many have been to college, trained and worked for years as a journalist who are active in MH today? Sandra is still learning MH, but her experience as a featured writer is telling. As time goes on, you’ll find more and more insights from her you won’t find anywhere else in the world of factory-built housing.

FYI, your Masthead scribe had a j-scholarship to the university too; but that’s another story, another time…

Here at MHProNews, we pack the articles, news, tips and views MH Pros can use.  News! Interviews! Legal! Marketing! Sales! Management! Commentary by real pros, much like you! 

You won’t find more quality content from anywhere in the MH professional world than right here at MHProNews.  That’s why you’ve made and kept us Number 1 by a country mile. Thank you, we are working hard to keep that trust you’ve given us.


Readers are leaders! Those in the know where to go for their MH Industry
news, tips and views pros can use. It is all right here, at MHProNews.

Growth in 2015

Want to grow in 2015? Be in the know.  Learn what our growing number of clients are learning to sharpen their marketing, sales and profits. 

We in MH can do far better. It all starts with the efforts of pros, investors or aficionados like you. Please see my column about the rapidly approaching Tunica Show. If you didn’t catch our sessions in Louisville, this year you have a second chance in Tunica!

17 new articles for a Fabulous February reading.  If lack of vision or knowledge is the bane, then being informed and inspired to act wisely is the cure.

Please dig into the 2015 FabFebFeatures, enjoy and benefit.  

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 6, No. 5, 2015

Alphabetically by Category


• The Hijaab and Manufactured Housing

by Nadeen Green, JD


Here is a letter from a reader and my professional reply that every manufactured home professional who deals with the public should carefully consider.

Read more…


• Top Ten Myths Regarding Mobile Home Park Insurance

 by Kurt Kelley, JD


Here is my top ten list for questions on manufactured home communities – aka ‘mobile home parks.’

Read more…




• Reflections on Associations and Louisville

by Tyler Craddock


State association executives are an interesting and unique lot. I know. I am one. In some ways, we are unlike any other group in the factory-built housing family.

Read more…


• Open Letter to the Manufactured Housing Industry

by Stacey Epperson


Next Step commends industry efforts as we take a major leap forward in providing better homes with more energy efficiency for those who need it most.


Read more…


• Manufactured Home Community Operator’s Thoughts on Louisville Show and Super Charged Marketin

by Tom Fath


Tony, Great job at the Louisville show!  I believe your spark is just what the industry is needing!  This was my first Louisville Manufactured Home show, and I was very impressed.


Read more…


• Marketing and Selling More Manufactured Homes; Lessons Learned at the 2015 Louisville MH Show 

by Ted Gross


Tony, I just wanted to let you know how much our associates at Continental Communities enjoyed the 2015 Louisville Show. Someone from our company has attended the show for the past several years; I have been at the last four.

Read more…


• An Example of Putting the Bickering Aside for Industry Advancement 

by Maria Horton


Upon my return home to Southern California where the weather was 81 degrees, it was reminiscent of the warmth and many hugs that I once again experienced in Louisville this past week.

Read more…


• Growth Results from Good Planning and Execution! Looking back Louisville; Looking ahead to 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


Do you want to grow in 2015? Some would say that is obvious. Is there a clear path for solid growth? We say yes, but more important to you may be what others are saying.

Read more…


• MH Maligned as Firetraps General INdustry Category

by Sandra Lane


There is a lot of misinformation going around about fire safety in manufactured homes. Last week, WCYB, a television station in Bristol, Virginia, covered a story about a fire at a manufactured home over the state line in Tennessee.

Read more…


• Game Changer Home for this Industry

by Steve Lefler


The share of 25 to 29 year olds who are married has plunged by nearly 48 percent for men and 43 percent for women since 1970.

Read more…


• Architectural Compatibility…Whose Responsibility Is It? 

by Jess Maxcy


Recently I have spent considerable time with homeowner associations and local governments concerned with ensuring architectural compatibility in their neighborhoods.
Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with…Dee Pizer


1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Zeman Homes and Neighborhoods).

Debra Pizer, Chief Executive Officer at Zeman Homes & Neighborhoods.  Everyone calls me Dee.

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• The Fork in the Road

 by Bob Vahsholtz


In 1960 this 360 square foot mobile home was delivered and set up, excluding the step, for a retail price of $3,900. A bargain? Nope. In today’s money, that’s $24,000.
Read more…



• Why and how companies waste money on employee development 

  by Tim Connor, CSP


Many organizations budget and plan for their coming year employee training during the month of January.


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• Would you rather have more time or money? And the winner is? 

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-50Let me ask you a simple question . . . at first glance you might not think it’s that simple but here it is anyway – if you could have more money or more time which would you choose? You can only have one.


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• ZigOn Manners

by Zig Ziglar


As youngsters, my mother taught her children that while we might not be the smartest people around, we could be courteous, polite and considerate of others.

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• Are you selling by the numbers only?

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-50For years, sales managers and sales trainers have been saying that sales is a ‘numbers’ game.


Read more…

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-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.



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.


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.