Posts Tagged ‘Equity Lifestyle Properties’

“How Dare You…!” ELS’ Howard Walker Blast at MH Industry Professional

September 2nd, 2018 No comments


The late Howard Walker, longtime vice chairman of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), and prior Treasurer for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had at times a brusque sense of humor.


Often the best part of many association or corporate meetings are when networking and socializing occurs. In fairness, that statement applies to MHI too.

From time to time, like on a Labor Day weekend, my mind flashes back to an MHI or other industry event. At the moment, I’m thinking of Howard Walker, who boldly approached at an MHI event, during the wind-down of a social/networking period a few years ago.   

The room was emptying. At the moment, I don’t recall the tune I was humming or singing from to those who remained, but perhaps it was from the 1812 Overture. Regardless, the melody was from a classic.  

As that melody was proclaimed, Walker approached, bearing a feigned anger and vexed look. It was quite convincing. He blurted out in my direction, “Tony, how dare you bring culture to a manufactured housing event!” 

His artificial anger melted into a smile.  We discussed culture, music and the classics. As it turned out, Walker enjoyed the classics and cultural activities too. 

There are those on the outside looking in that have a ‘T-word image’ of manufactured housing (MH), manufactured home communities, and by inference, the professionals in this industry. To be sure, some among the MH industry’s own have that view of the business, and/or about themselves. 

Not Howard. He valued culture and the classics. 


O Fortuna!

For those who don’t know Carl Orff’s rendition of O Fortuna from Carmina Burana, here you go. This video clip has had over 21 million views on YouTube. Ya gotta believe that it was worth the time for those who viewed and listened.


To round out culture, and connect it to our industry, let’s toss in some Henry David Thoreau too. 


Each photo is of a modern HUD Code manufactured home, which can be 2400 sq.  ft. or more in size, 1 or 2 levels, set over a basement, or can be as modest as 320 sq. ft. These homes are all built to federal construction and safety standards that went into effect on June 15, 1976, administered by HUD, and are thus known as “HUD Code Manufactured Homes.”  

As a kid, my brilliant father – Francis J. Kovach, Ph.D – was into the classics. Every Sunday, the notes from some mix of classical music – plus the periodic opera – came from behind his routinely closed study door. As he did his writing or research on some book or for a scholarly journal, to keep his focus amidst a big family, in hindsight that closed door and music must have been an oasis of sanity amidst the chaos of a somewhat raucous family life. 

By the way, for those who recall the movie Excalibur, it had a scene or two where a short clip of O Fortuna was also the soundtrack playing. Here’s one clip from that movie with that soundtrack playing, that has over 400,000 views.


To achieve our industry’s potential, we must meet people where they are. We’ve spotlighted Elvis, Kid Rock, and Eminem’s connection to MHVille (see those linked under related reports, further below).   

Today, Howard, here’s to culture, the industry, and we raise this glass to you.  

Howard Walker, Mensch – Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), Manufactured Homes Retrospective

Culture, classics, and manufactured homes, wow… ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy 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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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Related References:

Eminem, “8 Mile,” “Mobile Homes,” Frank Rolfe – Understanding Media and Public Perceptions of Manufactured Housing

Elvis Presley’s Personal Mobile Home Restored, Honeymoon Hideaway Up for Auction

“Po-Dunk” Performer Kid Rock, Eyes Senate Run, Makes Manufactured Home Living Hip

Fame, Pretty Little Liars Star Nia Peeples’ Mobile…err….Manufactured Home Tour, Featured on Oprah Winfrey Network Video

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.




Superior September 2016, How Manufactured Housing Can Do It Better

September 6th, 2016 No comments

We as an industry have the superior solution, and while we’re collectively growing nicely, manufactured housing is still just a fraction of its former production levels.


Manufactured housing peaked in 1998, and has been on a mostly sustained slide since. The rise since 2009’s low point has been good, but we are still just a shadow of our former glory. Image credit, Calculated Risk.

ICYMI (in case you missed it), that relatively low level of production is both a threat and an opportunity in disguise.

Reality Checks

Divisions have always been a part of America. From the days of the colonists – or even before them when the native tribes who traveled the great mountains, rivers and plains of Asia, crossed  the straights from what today is Russia into Alaska, and then fanned out across what would become America – divisions have existed. 



Divisions have been a part of our heritage. Native American tribes were often rivals. The colonists were not all for the Revolution against England. Is it any wonder there are divisions today too? Note the tribal map is superimposed upon our modern states, which did not exist when they first roamed this vast land. Image credit – Emerson Kent.

Manufactured housing, modular and prefab systems-building is no different. Divisions exist.  It’s part of being human, we lack perfection, we find ourselves at odds with others; by choice, accident or coincidence.


We’ve reviewed before that it is when the national associations are working together in concert with state and community associations that the most progress has been made. UImage credit – collage of Industry Association logos by MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective 
organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

How do we make what divides us into something that nurtures and becomes our strength?


Blind eyes won’t do it. What won’t fix divisions or help those fissures to strengthen us is to practice denial or insanity.

We’ve all heard or said that the popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things in the same ways, and yet expect a different result.

Let’s be honest. Yet at various times, haven’t MH Pros done just that…right?  We have all traveled that rut time and again, on issue after issue.


Habits, processes and systems are necessary to acheive success. At the same time, a habit can also become a rut, a trap. We must routinely challenge ourselves – and each other – by asking, is this the best that we can do on issue X today? Photo credit, WikiCommons. Poster by MHProNews.

Be it your face or mine in the mirror, we ought to admit that what was once a grove has at times lead to bring stuck in a rut.  That rut has become a trap which slows our progress, or keeps us from going higher and faster. That rut may even mimic an open ended grave.



As Commodore’s Bob Bender, a former Kodak executive noted in our interview with him, there are times when channels become ruts that can trap a person, firm or an industry. Montgomery Wards was once a great retailer, now they are in the dust bin of history. Ditto Eastman Kodak. Photo credit, eBay.

Being years into our industry’s recovery from the bottom of 2009 is good, but it also has its threats. For those of us who survived or now seemingly thrive in America 2016, that self-congratulatory pat on the back for surviving should not lead us to a false sense of success.

We can and must do better. There are too many threats that could still limit or even crush manufactured housing.  Don’t believe it? Just ask a coal miner, or someone who once worked for a giant operation like Kodak or Montgomery Wards.

Bad Media? Good Reporting?

There are often more than two sides to a story, so that thin edge of the coin can become an important insight.

When one fails to properly share each side of a tale, that story is lacking.  When the realities are twisted, that report then morphs into a kind of ghost story or fairy tale.

What is “Good Media?”


In this new issue, we showcase examples of manufactured housing pros who spoke out on the record against biased or incomplete media reports. When the industry makes responding to such attacks routine and effective, we’ll see manufactured housing acceptance, respect grow and sales soar. Hundreds of mainstream media sites picked up our media release on media bias against MH. See article linked below for this topic and others like it.

Good media does more than the basics of – who, what, when, where and why – of Journalism.

Good media reveals the tensions!  Good media reflects what is real, and may hint at or spell out the possible resolutions!

Tensions. Accountability. Reality checks. Good story telling. Resolutions. Each and all are needed to advance.

Skills, insights and resources like yours and your operation are needed to complete a picture.


Better late to the dance than to not come at all. Some in MH questioned and resisted early and often what others more recently have realized could harm our industry. What ought to be a positive for MH, has been shown by third parties as negatives about manufactured housing. The engagement of professionals with good trade media and clear-eyed association leaders is the best way to advance the industry on all the issues facing MH. The collage and response article above hit hundreds of mainstream media sights, to help set the record straight about the fact that MH already saves energy, and the options already exist for more energy savings. Image credits on the article, linked below.

That insight then requires expertise. It requires objectively.  It requires a willingness to dig in by each of those who are touched.

Until we shine the proper light on what’s right, and yet don’t avoid what’s wrong, we have not hit the right balance.

We should make you feel hopeful and good, while challenging you too. If we have never stepped on a toe, odds are you or we or both missed something.

Revealing tensions and reflecting various perspectives well is important.

The blind can only grope their way ahead.

Those blinded by habit, hubris or any of the weaknesses that divides humanity are stuck at the speed of groping.

The jet fuel that could power us ahead is to take the limiting dark and/or rose colored glasses off.

We must believe that we can do it, so a kind of positive attitude is necessary.

But we must also be real. Denying the cliffs along the roads we all travel is as bad as being paralyzed by fear.

Balance and tension alike makes for good journalism.

By being true first to each other, we can then as trade journalists better engage the mainstream media, the public, officials and policy types.

Showing reality, and then dealing with it – that is what makes us stronger.

Manufactured housing is a superior solution. Other forms of factory building each have their vital roles too.

Industry Voices, Real News, Thoughtful Interviews and Reports


Industry pros like Lamb, association and other leaders are among those who have boldly spoken out on issues that impact manufactured housing nationally. We will only advance to the extent that we tackle the issues that hold our industry back.  For the article that drew Lamb’s comment, scroll down to the Featured Articles for Superior Septemember.

We bring you Superior September 2016’s featured articles and reports, each of which includes industry voices like those you know. People like those you work with, or who are and have been walking in shoes like yours.

We can’t fix the world in a single story, issue or report. America’s story isn’t finished, neither is the story of MH.

But day by day, shining hopeful light on issues that matter – on issues which either hold us back or are moving us ahead – these are how we make manufactured and other forms of industrialized housing great in America.

We are in this industry are the future, we must believe that to be true. We must jump or navigate each hurdle, until we arrive at a point that we have the respect and the rewards which comes from doing it right.

With no further adieu, we bring you with the sincere thanks to all who make this and every issue happen, the Superior September 2016 featured articles and reports. MHProNews – “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use.” ©
Another 2016 Manufactured Housing Legal Update – Where Business & Law Intersect


MarcLifesetJDMcGlincheyStaffordmanufacturedhousinglaw-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-50x50by Marc Lifeset, JD
McGlinchey Stafford is proud to provide the Manufactured Housing Update to the manufactured housing industry. 

Read more…


Comparing Mid-America Apartment Communities vs. Sun Communities, Head-to-Head Analysis


By Joe Dyton

Joe_Dyton_DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews55x55CML News recently took a deep dive into a head-to-head comparison between Memphis, TN-based Mid-America Communities, Inc. (NYSE: MAA) and Southfield, MI-based Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI).

Read more…


Two Faces of Manufactured Home Community Closures – Urban Institute’s Preservation Approach Vs. Little Farm Trailer Park Outcome


by Joe Dyton
Affordable housing options are becoming less plentiful around the country, but according to Urban Institute researchers, there are ways to sidestep what has become an outright crisis.

Read more…


Management Group Increases Holdings in Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS)


by Frank Griffin

FrankGriffinDailyBusinessNewDBNwriterMHProNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryNews55x55Schroder Investment Management Group acquired an additional $2,017,000 worth of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) shares for the quarter ending July 30th, 2016.
Read more…


Say No Socialist Driven Economy, Praise for Revolution PreFab Homes


by Jay Hamilton

jay-hamiltonTony, I have no plans to vote for a Socialism Driven Economy.

Read more…


Carlyle Group (CG) Urged To Invest Multi-Billion$ In “Dry Powder,” says Bloomberg’s Tan


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
The Carlyle Group (CG) is reportedly one of the top 100 largest manufactured home community operators in the U.S..  Its big hedge fund business is said to be heading for the exit, according to SeekingAlpha and Bidness.

Read more…


UMH Properties Closes on 2 Manufactured Home Communities, more Closings Pending


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Freehold NJ based UMH Properties, Inc. (NYSE: UMH) announced that it has closed on the acquisition of two communities located in Ohio for a total purchase price of $2,954,000.

Read more…


Man Shot in “Trailer Park” (sic) says ABC TV’s Marla Carter, MH Pros React


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Tragedy and violence occurs in neighborhoods across America.

Read more…


MHC Pro/Owner – “Highly Conflicted” over Manufactured Home Community Closures


by Marty Lavin, JD
Tony, I am highly conflicted by the closing and eviction of the El Portal MH community.

Read more…


MH Community Owner’s Reaction to Baytown, TX “trashy mobile home park” story


by Richard Nodel
I become incensed when I see examples of the absolute worse type of landlord.

Read more…


Zoning, Opening up Urban Infill and Making Sure Citizens who want Manufactured Homes are Heard


EdSchaferGovtAffairsManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolina-postedIndustryVoices-MHProNews-65x65by Ed Schafer
For the last three or four years, the South Carolina association’s focus is to move beyond killing bad zoning proposals and working to reopen areas that have been closed to manufactured homes for many years.

Read more…


Discrimination, Zoning and Disparate Impact on Manufactured Homes, Owners, Prospects


M-MarkWeiss-MHARRPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-by Mark Weiss
The discriminatory exclusion of manufactured homes by local governments is a major problem for the industry and consumers.

Read more…


Business Impact – Left, Right Agree – President Obama’s mark is on powerful U.S. Appeals Courts


tony- kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Elizabeth Wydra is the president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which Wikipedia describes as a conservative judicial group.

Read more…


Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, Directors Insider Trades – & CVCO Portfolio Holder Updates


   by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Cavco Industries director Jack Hanna has filed a Form 4, according to a report byStreetInsider, see that as a download, linked here.

Read more…


Controversial Analysis – NRDC, ACEEE and proposed DOE Manufactured Home Energy Standards for Manufactured Homes – Helpful or Harmful?


by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
tony- kovach
Controversy about the proposed U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) standards for manufactured housing has followed the flurry of commentary from various special-interest and non-profit groups, covered by recent news media reports.

Read more…


Demand for Manufactured Homes in Louisiana Flood Zone Rising, Factories Gear Up for FEMA, Residents


tony- kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
For two days, rain tortured the heart of bayou country, dumping 24 inches in less than 48 hours on southern Louisiana, says a report in the DigitalJournal.

Read more…


Discrimination, Injustice against manufactured housing – a Call for Action by Industry Professionals


by Todd Lamb
Tony, I agree with the Daily Business News article and the comments from other manufactured home industry professionals regarding Councilman David McCartney in Baytown.

Read more…


HUD Code Manufactured Housing, “The Discrimination Code”


marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronewsby Marty Lavin, JD
Tony, you are so right on the HUD Code has become a deadly “discrimination code,” especially as it applies to manufactured home financing.

Read more…


A Cup of Coffee with… Otis Orsburn, Hybrid Prefab Homes


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Hybrid Prefab Homes and where your organization is based).

My name is Otis Orsburn, President of Hybrid Prefab Homes based in Santa Rosa, California.

Read more…

A Cup of Coffee with…Mark Weiss, President & CEO of MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform)


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and where your organization is based).

Mark Weiss, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Read more

Responding to Negative News About a trashy Baytown “Mobile Home Park”


KarleRaddeSouthernComfortHomesBryanTX-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-60x63by Karl Radde
Stories like this are the kind of thing that generally helps cast such a negative light on our industry.

Read more…


The Importance and Value of Independent MH Trade Publications


tim-williams-CEO-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-by Tim Williams and are both good communications resources for the Manufactured Housing Industry.

Read more…


Building A Good Reputation Is Hard!


by Wayne Coakley
WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-
Well, maybe not so hard. Surprisingly, building a good reputation is pretty easy if you built your business around trust from the get-go.

Read more…


AMHA Announces 3 New Videos Designed to Promote Manufactured Housing, Dispel Myths


by J. D. Harper


The Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) has completed a series of short videos aimed at addressing and dispelling myths, misconceptions and stereotypes about today’s manufactured housing.

Read more…


Happiness Happens


by Tim Connor, CSP
I am sure you have heard, or maybe even used the term, SH _ T Happens: well how about – Happiness Happens?

Read more…


ZigOn Preachers


by Zig Ziglar
The typical American believes that those men and women who fill the pulpits in the churches work a few hours on the weekend and probably spend some time visiting, preparing and counseling during the week. In short, they have it pretty easy.

Read more…

An Emotion-Packed, Visceral Experience

December 3rd, 2014 No comments

For any who’ve sold or bought homes – factory-built or otherwise – they know that it’s an emotionally-charged process for many shoppers. It’s a visceral experience.

The mainstream media run stories on our homes and communities. Often, its tales of ‘mobile home’ fires, park closures, wind-storms, flooding, etc.. As if those things were limited to pre-HUD code “mobile homes!”

When industry professionals see ‘downer’ media stories, is it surprising when many housing shoppers think less of our homes as a result?

When a community operator is in the news because they’re facing a class action law suit, or other seemingly bad MH news hits, how does that help sell more modern manufactured homes?

We see some interesting factors coming together. First, the positive examples.

Many are “discovering” modern manufactured housing, in a good way. Some find appeal in:

> the energy savings, check!

> Green or net zero designs like Steve Lefler/Modular Lifestyles promotes, check!

> The lower-costs during a growing affordable housing crisis, check!

> Fits the budgets of low and modest income Americans. Check!


Image credit: OpenSource and FlickerCreativeCommons

The MH Industry-fueled Dichotomy

We see MHC leaders like Randy Rowe, Steve Adler – see Steve’s fine, insightful interview, linked here – and others in MH that are doing their level best to create good homes and an appealing lifestyle.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are stories coming out of some communities that – if you read the media accounts – just don’t seem to be doing what’s right. Here’s a DBN story on a sad, dubious example. If the allegations are true, the class action suit is understandable.

On our popular Daily Business News (DBN), we cover the bad news, good and in between. That’s our policy. For example, when Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) had a nice article in the news, we covered it, see this link.

But when that huge judgment against ELS was awarded earlier this year, we covered that too. We also shared expert commentary on the case, two examples of ‘failure to maintain’ are here and here.

We strive to be fair and balanced, because that is pro-industry.

When an apparent bad news story has unfair media handling, we want to present both sides when possible – see another example, linked here. We are NOT in business to make the industry look bad, but nor are we in business of ignoring reality. The truth well told is powerful, and often favors MH.

The High Cost of Division

Industry division – the family feud and more – all carry a high price tag. We have evidence and market facts that suggest that manufactured housing ought to be doing much better than the sub-70,000 shipments we’re currently seeking.

One caller today, who’s operations has sold thousands of homes into both fee simple (land/home deals) or land lease communities, told me he thinks in the current economic conditions, we could be doing 500,000 home a year.

“The REAL Competition” you face isn’t the retailer down the road – in some markets, way down the road – or the other nearby MHCommunity.


Image credit: Scott Maxwell FlickrCreativeCommons

The far bigger competition is

  • Apartments

  • Condos

  • Townhouses

  • Duplexes

  • Conventional housing

  • Subsidized rentals, etc.

The other competitor is the media. The solutions?

> Fostering our own media

> Getting more of our good stories into the mainstream media.

> Not embracing those who cause bad stories, we ought to “police our own.”

> Teaming up with others to grow your business.

> We need our own ‘network,’ surprisingly doable today.

A respected industry association exec wisely said (close paraphrase), ‘Tony, we’re not in the business of defending the bad behavior of an industry member.’

More next time. Please check out the read-hot December featured stories and the popular Daily Business News. Your feedback is encouraged. ##

la-tony-kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

Warren Buffett, Sam Zell and Legendary Quotes from Manufactured Housing Leaders

July 16th, 2014 No comments

Let's let each of these leader's voices speak on the subject of manufactured housing, then we'll share some implementation commentary.

"Kevin, it seems to me that the problem with your industry is resale." – Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, parent to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, etc..


"Pencil Head, it's not a trailer park." – Sam Zell, Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) Chairman.



"Learn, Earn, Return."

"A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong." – Jim Clayton, Clayton Bank and Clayton Homes founder.


"Only the economic distortions caused by well intended but out of control government programs could have made our industry such a loser for the last decade." – Sam Landy, CEO UMH Properties.


"In prior years and I continue to be today, a staunch supporter of a MH industry generic advertising campaign.

Unfortunately we were unable to gather the various segments within the MH industry to agree upon a method of funding the campaign and what the campaign should be about.

Even today only a small segment of the population can tell you much about the MH industry and the wonderful homes the industry builds. The rest of the population doesn’t have a clue about our industry, except for the image of the down trodden trailer park.

This must be changed and can only be done through advertising.

The example of AFLAC is interesting. Prior to the AFLAC advertising campaign featuring the duck, their name recognition was 5%. Since the campaign, their name recognition today is 95%. Consumer’s perceptions can be changed." – Leigh Abrams, prior Chairman, Drew Industries.


"The biggest challenge I see is the continued onslaught of intrusive government regulation of all facets of our business, especially in financing. We offer by far the best answer to this country’s affordable housing dilemma, but government continues to saddle us with regulations that stifle us.

The frustrating part is that none of these so called “consumer protection” rules help protect anyone. The only thing they prevent is buyers getting an affordable home without a hassle. I mean how is preventing a MH salesperson from taking a credit application doing anything to protect the consumer? All it is doing is making access to an affordable home ridiculously difficult." – Don Glisson, Jr., Triad Financial Services.


We could share much more industry commentary from each of these leader's voices. There are scores of other thoughtful, successful professionals – a number of whom are linked here – that we have "on the record" at MHProNews. These leaders, professionals, legends and others continue to hold or increase their stake in our industry, which should speak volumes.


For the purpose of showing what's needed for a robust MH Industry advancement in a trillion dollar annual U.S. housing market, the selected comments are sufficient.

  1. The Jim Clayton quotes point to the need and value of a can-do attitude, servant-leadership and training.
  2. Quotes from Sam Zell essentially and Leigh Abrams directly are addressing the MH image issue.
  3. Warren Buffett's quote identifies a key need – a more effective resale system – that would boost financing, image and sales of pre-owned – and thus new – manufactured homes. We need MH lenders and home owners to be able to exit their homes in an easier and more rapid way that protects home values, more akin to what Realtors (r) do for conventional housing. We have a good start with some internet platforms, but more needs to be done until that resale 'exit' becomes easy and cost-effective.
  4. Sam Landy and Don Glisson, Jr. each point to how over-regulation has harmed us and the value of our homes. Glisson, MHI's prior chairman, says a lack of cohesion between the industry's national associations – he worked to bridge that gap – has hampered the cause for our great product.


In the late 1990s, your Masthead  scribe invested 3 years in the RV industry; at 2 retail centers and at a resort/getaway campground operation. The records show that all three grew significantly during my marketing and sales training work with those operations. What I gained from those experiences was fantastic, so while an award, leaps up in Statistical Surveys, kudos, thank you letters, etc. are nice, I'm grateful.


We're doing marketing, sales, management consulting and training in MH. I share the photo, awards, mention kudos and recognition earned in manufactured housing, RVs, etc. to say this isn't a nice-sounding theory, this is proven, practical, profitable experience.

Reality Check

Unlike RVs, Automotive, Real Estate, Apartments, Tech or a host of industries we could name, you can't just say "manufactured homes" and expect a proper recognition of the product for what it truly is.

Reality check:

> That's an opportunity in disguise for those willing and able to adapt!

> For those stuck in the mud, it's a slick spot.

We don't need just 1 thing to breakout beyond currently modest new home shipment levels. We need a number of things that when implemented consistently are proven to raise results. Those are summarized above by pros with millions or billions successfully invested in our MHIndustry.

Greater MH Success routinely comes when:

  • Professionals
  • Businesses
  • Associations
  • Home owners
  • Digital publishers ( and and
  • Other pro-industry and interested groups (not-for profits, educators, media, public officials)

…get ever more on the same page in order to tap the incredible power of manufactured housing for the good of the U.S. (and other lands) in an 'everyone wins' fashion.

That's not just feel good, that's lucrative for businesses and investors, it's this good for associations and most importantly, it's good for MH home owners! When we make the value proposition for MH home owners and MHC residents ever better, our businesses and investments will be enhanced too.

In two previous columns, we

> laid out why we can be doing better, see the facts and graphics in the link below:

> A simple way to fuel that advancement.

It should go without saying that an industry (or a nation) needs to produce ever more product to achieve growth. Every other industry gets that, and so they invest in their people and marketing.

In fact, studies show the vast majority of our owners ARE happy! Yet collectively, MH doesn't do a good job of letting most Americans know that reality.

Cohesion and The Digital Age offers the Solutions

As an industry, we have the talent, tools and experiences needed to solve the challenges that would maximize our multi-billion dollar opportunities. We should take a "Partners in Progress" approach.

The training and the messaging needed can be done online for modest sums, and the ROI would be significant for those who step up and lead. Would you invest a dollar to get a $1000? Apply that principle to a regional/national campaign. Its a no-brainer.

> Every organization that supports the Partners in Progress could be given access to levels of training equal to their contributions. This is necessary, because the big cash and good credit customers are sold differently than the desperate 'we have no other option' home seeker.

> Imagine enough minor-mid-major players coming together to pool some marketing dollars and content on – a hub for B2C communications, which in turn sends customers back to the industry's members. As more of the public 'gets it,' more will buy.

> Imagine using that hub plus live encounters with Realtors  ®, home builders, investors, public officials and others keen on housing to showcase what modern factory home building really means to a nation crying out for quality affordable homes. We can thus engage them in the resale and related process.

> Having more DIY, how to, decor, landscaping and other feel good columns on MHLivingNews that would cause MH owners to say, "Yes, that's me! This is a good life, come and Join Us!"


Over 90,000 views on this video, as of 7.16.2014

> Picture the site as dealing with negative news items. Like our basic tornado video, linked here, which sales pros have told me they've successfully used with customers 'on the fence.' Continually building and using a pro-industry platform will cause a growing number of media, public officials, investors, pros and buyers to "get it."

A reasonably supported two year campaign would end up attracting the Home Depot/Lowes/Menard's and droves of others outside of our industry to advertise for our cause. Why? Because furniture makers, household goods, computer and tech gear sellers, travel industry, investors, educators and others will see that money saved on housing could be used in other ways to improve the lives of those in our manufactured homes.

Not theory, proven realities!

Picture those who in their own ways have or are breaking past the old mold, here and there, from coast to coast.

On the consulting side of our operations, I've personally worked with select pros who stepped beyond their respective pasts to achieve levels of results they never experienced before. Client work is confidential, so we've redacted the specific name and location in the retailing results collage below.


Closing analogies

A pilot in training isn't placed in the cockpit of an advanced military jet fighter. You first teach them the basics of the single engine prop! Or if you take a pilot who has only flown a single engine propeller aircraft and ask them to fly a helicopter or jet, first, they have to be trained for that new experience. Until the training is embraced and becomes a part of their skills, the trainer doesn't let them fly solo in the chopper or jet!

"Low hanging fruit" might be on the ground and have a worm. The athlete knows that new effort brings stress and pain. But no pain, no gain.

A brighter future awaits YOU in YOUR market. It requires changes that may seem painful at first. The rewards for leaving a comfort zone are more sales, more happy customer, more profits. That's what Steve Jobs at Apple did, listen to his associate Ken Segall. That's what we do, you can do that in your market(s) too.


When MH Industry's legends – as quoted above – and so many others point the way, we ought to believe that we can do it.

To learn more, support or get involved in “Partners for Progress,” please email or call at the contact below. Working Together, we can do it. There's a bigger slice of a trillion dollar annual U.S. housing pie waiting for those ready to step up. ##

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: 

Suits, ELS Judgment, “Lost Wages,” Manufactured Housing’s Greenback Boogie

April 27th, 2014 No comments

Incoming calls and messages from pros like you are invaluable to our MH Industry supporting mission. This week is a great case in point. ELS and that huge judgment ought to be front page news for almost all in our industry. Why is it that it has been only a whimper in MH publishing – or has gone unmentioned – everywhere but here?

We've had it on page one, twice, in a matter of days.

A respected law firm has promised us expert commentary on the ELS case. Even if you are not in the Manufactured Home Communities (sadly, aka; 'mobile home parks') sector, this matters to you. Please stay tuned for that legal-perspective report.


Protecting Private Property Rights

Last October, Sam Zell made a point that some understood well, while many others never heard it or perhaps missed the meaning. "We are strongly motivated to protect the property line."

In "occupy wall street" kinds of circles, there is an ongoing push to erase the property line. When similar thinking was successfully pressed in Russia in 1917, the Bolshevik revolution brought Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and company into power. Not only was property seized, but

  • blood flowed,
  • the Russian people got poorer,
  • the stage for World War II and
  • the Cold War was set
  • and much evil resulted.

Which is why, from time to time, we call your attention to the radix – the root cause of issues – instead of only the surface or immediate challenges that face us all.

Are you a home owner?

Business owner?

Have a car, savings or other valuables?

Do you like your stuff? Then you too should be motivated to protect the property line.


I'm doing a mental check list, and no less than three suits – in this case, "suits" meaning an "attorney" – will be featured in our upcoming May issue.

Each of those suits – or attorneys – who grace our pages are trying to help you protect your business, career or in a sense, your "property line." This month too, we have an interview with a Suit, respected DJ Pendleton, on our home page, along with articles from attorneys:

And earlier in 2014, we've had Rob Coldren, Elizabeth Birch or Kurt Kelley among so many others. We want you to be informed – yes, you still need your own legal counsel – but sometimes you have to read an article like those linked above, to even know that an issue exists that may impact you and your business.

It's important if you want to protect YOUR property line.

Other kinds of Suits

A suit is also the term for a legal action, a law suit or lawsuit. William Shakespeare taught the value of injecting humor or levity into drama, and drama into comedy.

With that in mind, let me mention what millions think is a pretty cool TV cable show, Suits. For an attorney, no doubt much of it would fall into the realm of fantasy.

But the Machiavellian plot lines in Suits their twists and turns – reminds me of certain elements within the ranks of our great industry. So it is truly entertaining. ;-)

Ima Robot wrote the theme song used for Suits, called the “Greenback Boogie,” check out the lyrics.

See the money wanna stay,
For your meal
Get another piece of pie,
For your wife
Everybody wanna know,
How it feel
Everybody wanna see,
What it's like
I'll even eat a bean pie,
I don't mind
Me and Missy is so early busy busy makin' money
All step back, I'm 'bout to dance
The greenback boogie.

On the video clip, the YouTube poster notes: The bottom subtitles are the (supposed) correct version of the lyrics. I just put my subtitled version of the what (i thought) I heard on the top part of it.

Manufactured Housing's Greenback Boogie

Life is fluid, not static. Your income, property or wealth is going up or down. Whatever it is you do, you are into some aspect ofbag-cash-padlocked-manufactured-home-living-news-A the greenback boogie.

We want to protect your current wealth, and also to show you how to access more of it.

The purpose of this site is precisely to help pro's stay informed, inspired and to help you navigate hurdles while encouraging ways to maximize MH Opportunities. Information can protect or promote your advancement towards more greenbacks.

Going to Congress and Expo? While you are in Lost Wages

Odds are excellent you won't find me at the tables in Vegas this week. We will be doing some video interviews and other work, with pros like you. Want to join in? Learn more here.


Merry Month of May

We are thinking about launching the May issue a bit early. Be it on time or early, watch for it, please. Thanks to the fine work of our colleagues at, we will bring you A Cup of Coffee with…Jim Clayton.


As always, there will be far more featured articles, news, tips and views pros can use to share in May!

If we do launch the May Featured Articles early, we may also do our emailed news updates earlier this week too. If you aren't yet signed up, ouch! Do what thousands of others have, you should get it too at

While our service is free, many find it is priceless and time-saving way to keep up with industry news, tips, trends, views and events. There is nothing else in MH nearly so robust, part of why you made us Number 1. To you and all who make this possible, Thank you.

What we do is synergistic. We need you, and as an ever-growing number realize, you need the kind of balanced trade publishing found on the thousands of timely pages found at Help us, help you advance the cause of our industry!

See you in Vegas, where we can do the manufactured housing's greenback boogie. ##

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: 

Showcasing Good News and Correcting Bad News in Manufactured Housing

April 13th, 2014 No comments

Let's rat-tat-tat rapidly through a series of 8 brief memos (about 120 words average) designed for industry pros like you.

1) If you are reading this on Sunday, try not to miss some of the positive media we can gain from the Cavco/Palm Harbor entry showcased on TV this evening. NBC's "American Dream Builders" is a 'reality' show design competition hosted by Nate Berkus on Sundays at 8 ET and 7 CT.   It should be interesting!


2) Also, please check out our new Industry in Focus Report, Investors Discover The Walmart of Affordable Housing. It's bound to be a popular read.


3) The 10 minute version of the exclusive video interview with Deer Valley Homebuilder's Chet Murphree is now live!  This has tremendous applications for not just his operation, but for the factory-built home industry at large as well.

A Cup of Coffee with…Chet Murhpree – has both the long version of the interview above and the original shorter version, along with some great written insights too.

4) As you watch those videos, think about the lessons gleaned from Forbes and the IAB showcased on today's Cutting Edge blog:

Marketing Lessons for Manufactured Housing?

Forbes Reports Online Ad Revenue vs. Broadcast TV

5) Please file this under the heading, “Utterly Predictable!” and the Cub Scout Motto

There is beauty and utility in having the facts – the truth – on your side and then laying it out in an appropriately referenced article.

One is that if a misstatement, misdirection or error-in-fact is said or repeated, all you have to do is show a thinking person the link to the prior article.  Thinking people get it, and for those who don't think…well…

…it's hard to help the closed minded.

The Cub Scout Motto for years has been Be Prepared. As a one time scout, we have been preparing.

A) The Naysayers Club today took an utterly predictable swipe at MHProNews, which we prepared for over a week ago.

B) They also took a few, pardon my saying so, cheap shots at MHI, the NCC and Nathan Smith, among others. We prepared for that mid week and a number of times before. How often they violate their own stated “principlesis simply amazing!

C) They may not know it, but their self-described 'agitating' struggles are all but over. A close read of their own claims and statements shows their routine contradictions. It is only a question of time before more of their sponsors lose the stomach for their antics. 

D) Precisely because they shoot blanks that make noise but which have no power over the informed, is it any surprise if they follow the pattern we've outlined, “Duck, Dodge, Distract, Detract and Defame”?  If they had the facts – or cojones – on their side, wouldn't they just do a public debate, as we offered before?


E) When someone uses smoke and mirrors, it's no surprise they have not even hinted at taking up a real debate on industry issues they continue to agitate about, while they offer – what? – real solutions of their own…?

F) Oh, pardon me, there is their, 'please send me a check or give me your charge card,' so they can tell you how evil their self described 'enemies' are, right?  As one of the comments that came in about that this week – this from one-time admirer of his – said,

The fact that he created an enemies list is alarming.” 

Reading of this article explains why we have much to celebrate, but also why it was important to do a series of careful analysis of the Naysayers Club at work.

Because we've been preparing, the good news is we can now spend much less time on their nonsense, and more merely referencing all of the alleged goings-on – as with the links above – whenever it seems prudent to do so.

G) FYI, one of the many interesting takeaways from their latest – using the man's own numbers – is that we have about 75 times their audience. And, Oh!  Was he seriously calling himself Superman?

BUT, how often does one continue to ‘step on Superman’s cape’ before being upended…”

LOL!  You'll love their idea of an olive branch to MHI, which was an invite for MHI to join his group. Seriously, we have the letter. You just can't make this stuff up! 

No wonder they get more green, full-of-themselves and shrill? 

Our sincere hope is and has been that he and his nay-saying buddies will come to their senses, and join the mainstream of good will and industry advancement, as was suggested in this Mandela article.

There is plenty of money to be earned doing things the right way. In the mean time, lets move onto more MH topics and issues!

6) “Trailer Park” Stocks?

success-concept-free-digital-photos-net-posted-mhpronews-com-SmallCap Network has published a report,

Beyond Trailer Trash: Three Trailer Park Stocks You May Want to Move To (ELS, SUI & UMH)

The story begins by saying…

"Trailer park stocks Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc (ELS), Sun Communities Inc (SUI) and UMH Properties, Inc (UMH) are hardly trailer trash for…"

Oye, vez!  Are you seeing why its necessary for our Industry to turn lemons into lemonade with image building and more balanced reports, like:

Sensationalistic ‘Cold Hard Lessons of Mobile Home U’ New York Times article by Gary Rivlin draws Manufactured Home Industry Ire, Desire and Fire

Folks, the negative mainstream media ink has its silver lining!  But it is also a dark cloud, as Walden University PhD candidate Lisa Tyler outlines in her OpEd linked here.

7) MarketWatch tells us that our friends at SearchCore – parent to MH business building – reported a 50% increase in success-concept-free-digital-photos-net-posted-mhpronews-com-revenue over their 3rd quarter for 2013. IMHO and based on what I see, that trend could well continue, stay tuned.

8) To subscribe free in just seconds to the Manufactured Housing Industry's leading twice weekly emailed news update, please go to


Let's call it a day, and thank you as always for being a regular here.  Please do encourage your team to learn more to earn more by reading the Featured Articles and Reports found throughout the links found on and on Manufactured Home Living News.

See you in Las Vegas next week? ##