Posts Tagged ‘fortune’

4 F’s and True Believers

March 17th, 2018 No comments


Not necessarily in this order of importance, but count us as true believers in:


  • Manufactured Homes,
  • America as a Constitutional Republic with free enterprise,
  • and in the four F’s – Faith, Family, Flag, and Fortune (career).

Count me as a pragmatist too. In both trade publishing and in our professional services to the industry, we go where the evidence leads us.

To rephrase, it’s practical to have faith – among other reasons – because its supported by the evidence, and establishes a moral compass outside of one’s immediate self perceived interest. Faith is good.

We could run through the other four Fs in the same manner.  They are each proven, practical, principled, and profitable when properly understood and applied.

So we believe in Manufactured Housing (MH) within that broader context of the Four F’s.


The Industry’s Best Homes Ever?

Many believe that the quality, durability, appeal and value of federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes has never been better.

Without arguing that claim either way, consider this question.  If these are the industry’s best homes ever, then why isn’t Manufactured Housing doing as well in new home shipments and MH sales as say 20, 30 or 40 years ago?


Don’t try and take an easy answer, like say ‘financing.’ Back in the 1980s – for example – sales were higher, and interest rates were sky high at the start of the decade. The product wasn’t as good then as today’s, ditto the lending, and yet they sold more homes.  Why?


Editorially and based upon fact checks, we disagree with some of the conclusions and claims cited by the Urban Institute’s recent look at the question Manufactured homes could ease the affordable housing crisis. So why are so few being made?”

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing


But we commend the Urban Institute for raising the discussion topic! They have asked the right question.  It is one that everyone in the industry that wants to grow in a sustainable fashion must seek to resolve.

Some are happy, because the industry is back near 100,000 shipments annually. Certainly, that’s good news, given where the industry’s shipment levels where in 2009.


But that’s not good enough. Not by a long shot.  When the nation needs some 8.3 million housing units a year, manufactured homes ought to be doing several hundred thousand new home sales a year.


Today’s Masthead won’t editorially suggest the causes or the solutions, per se.

What we will do is ask you to take a good look at the proverbial elephant in the room.

Watch the Warren Buffett video above.

While one may agree or disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics or business practices, there is no denying his business success.  So those success tips the Berkshire Hathaway chairman describes ought to provide lessons for everyone in the industry, regardless of the size of their enterprise.

Then, with those quotes and tips from Buffett in mind, begin to dive into the resources linked below.

Acknowledging that a challenge exists – and understanding the issues involved – are the first steps in all problem solving.

It is a point that Mr. Buffett and business-man-turned President, Donald J. Trump both happen to agree upon.

Namely, that you should know all that you can about an issue that impacts your career or business.  Sound advice, from different ends of an emerging national debate.

Research, reading, viewing as needed, and robust discussion are how those answers are going to be discovered.

Speaking as true believers in the 4Fs and manufactured housing, it’s crazy not to get to the root issues that keep the industry from achieving its previous new home sales levels.

Given today’s widely acknowledged manufactured home quality, and the huge need for affordable housing, it’s an issue that is begging for answers.  ## (Industry commentary and analysis.)


Housing, Jobs, Poverty, Opportunity – Kerner Commission Remix, HUD and Manufactured Homes

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

It’s “Fair Warning,” not “I Told You So”

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

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-575x235By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
award-winning consulting, publisher, web, video, recruiting, sales training, business development service provider. | | Office 863-213-4090 |

Connect on LinkedIn:


Warren Buffett, Manufactured Housing News & Advancement

July 13th, 2016 No comments

Warren Buffett famously said that he makes “no apologies” for the lending practices of Berkshire-Hathaway’s manufactured housing division. In fact, as MHProNews has covered, Buffett made a spirited defense on several occasions regarding the sensationalist – and some say politically motivated attacks – on Buffett’s Clayton Homes by writers Mike Baker and Daniel Wagner, published by The Seattle Times/BuzzFeed/Center for Public Integrity.


Image credit, Wall Street Journal.

Other than a brief note at the end, let’s set aside for another time Mr. Buffett’s political views, and look solely at a few thoughts by the “Sage of Omaha,” who has the largest operations of their kind in manufactured housing. Think about what the chairman of Berkshire-Hathaway (BH) has to say, because these gems ought to cause MHPros  to sit back and think.

Kevinit seems to me that the problem with your industry is resale.” 

  • Warren Buffett


Not lending, not lobbying, resale – says Warren Buffett – is the top problem of our industry.

Indeed, this is a revealing insight, because the resale issue impacts lending, lobbying, public perception and so much more.

How did Buffett come to that conclusion? Consider this next insightful quote:

I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.” 
― Warren Buffett

We’ve previously reported in our interviews and videos with Jim Clayton – founder of Clayton Homes – the way he related the story of how Buffet became interested in and bought the Clayton operation. Most accounts you’ll include the point that READING was a key part of that process for Buffett.

You can bet that Mr. Buffett wasn’t skimming; he reads for depth of understanding.

Too many in the world lack the discipline to read in depth, and then ponder the what and why.

Yet Buffett says his uncommon practice is a key to his success.  

Buffett has been quoted as advising investors to “only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”  Indeed, he’s kept Clayton Homes for over a decade and they keep expanding their holdings in MH, including adding to his portfolio suppliers to the MH industry. Based upon numerous verbal and written statements over the years, he’s clearly high on Kevin Clayton as well as the business.  

But has that keen insight of Buffett’s on the issue of MH resale been addressed?

Buffett’s High on MH – and Not Alone among Billionaires…

Buttett’s note alone among billionaires with an interest in factory-built housing.  Sam Zell is another with a similar fondness for manufactured homes – especially the MH Communities sector. You have got to have confidence. Once we understood the business we had absolute confidence in its future, Zell said.  

Let’s ponder a few more Buffett pearls.

Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing” 

― Warren Buffett

Reading, we’ve noted, is a key part of how BH’s chairman goes about knowing what he wants to do. Shouldn’t routine professional reading be a key part of what you and your leadership and would-be stars do too?


Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett.

Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people.” 
― Warren Buffett

The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.” 
― Warren Buffett

Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” 
― Warren Buffett

We’ll apply the first of those last three quotes to manufactured housing another time – but the deep thinkers in MH who follow us routinely may already have a clue as to why that quote’s on the Masthead’s radar. But let’s focus today on the last two immediately above.  



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

15 minutes daily on and/or ought to be the minimum for any MH manager, executive, investor owner.

Digging Out…

Buffett knows – Readers become Leaders.


NAHB, NAR and MH Industry statistics on new manufactured home sales compared to existing home resales and new home starts. Still from a slide from Tuesdays With Tony  webinar.

Knowledge isn’t power, but knowledge is potential power. If Mr. Buffett is reading this, odds are excellent he’s nodding his head yes to most if not all of the above – and to what’s linked too. ##


Post Script. For those with a keen eye on the 2016 presidential contest and how it will effect the economy and his business, its interesting to note the following quote from Fortune, I will predict that if either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton become president, Berkshire will do fine.” ###

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

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at 

Tony’s the Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading,
Inside MH video series.

MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –


The High Cost of Apathy & Weakness & Tunica Show Talk

February 17th, 2016 No comments

We’ll keep it short and sweet this evening. If high volume manufactured home retailer Alan Amy is right, then current CFPB regulations are costing manufactured housing about 30% more in MH sales. That means instead of 70,000 new homes in 2015, we’d have more like 91,000+ new MHs for the year.


If CMHI’s Jess Maxcy’s correct, then most people in CA are buying those lower cost MHs for cash. Why?  Because MH personal property lending has been harmed by current federal regulations.

The video we posted on MHLivingNews has been called ‘potent,’ ‘useful‘ and a ‘great video!’ is because it uses the very words of major faces in the DC drama – CFPB’s Richard Cordray, HUD’s Julian Castro and Senator Bob Corker – speaking about manufactured housing and the impact of MH lending in their own words.

We juxtapose their comments with facts, add in the on-the-record statements made via video of UMH’s CEO Sam Landy, and then finish by showing residents who raise their hands to say that they want to see fairness toward MH in the regulations, and the restoration of the lending available two years ago.


Let the light of truth shine on behalf of MH. Let’s not be apathetic. Let’s not sit on some politically correct ceremony. Make this potent, new video work for you. You can send a link to the video to your Represenative and Senators. Find your contact for the House and Senate, at this link here.

Together, we can shine the light of truth on why today’s MH is the solution to the affordable housing crisis in America.

Together, we can let people know that these are homes that home owners are proud of – and that we in MH proudly serve our fellow Americans.

Apathy harms us, MH Evangelism helps us.


Original image credit, WIkiCommons. Poster credit – MHProNews © 2015-2016, all rights reserved.

Odds are good you’re an MH Evangelist, because you’re reading this.  But where are your colleagues and associates in this professional activism mix?  Are they sitting on their hands?  Or are they making an effort to get reform done in DC – at CFPB – and by pushing Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing through the Senate?  Please share this with your team too.  Many already have, one pro let us know he sent the link to 74 of his contacts. Wow!


Photo credit, Hollywood & Resorts Casino and Hotels, site of the 2016 Tunica MH Show.

Tunica Talk

We’ve launched the new Tunica Manufactured Housing Show website. Please see the link below.

We’ll be updating our banner ads and other information, to promote the upcoming show. We’ll be a booth #74 at Tunica.

More on Tunica, DC talk and the news about MH in the days ahead.

In the meantime, thanks so much for the big boost in traffic. As I’m writing this, MHProNews has 2,937 unique visitors (“guests”) on our website at this time. Amazing. Many are no doubt reading Matthew Silver’s Daily Business News.


Remember, that’s how many were online AT THE TIME SHOWN. You can check this number for yourself, at the base of the MHProNews home page. That guest count number changes during the day, as thousands come here to get the Industry News, Tips and Views that Pros Can Use. ©

That’s 2,937 guests at once is a stunning number for an industry of our size! Think – MHI has said that there are 100,000 FTEs in our industry, we think that number is low and needs to be updated – but at the moment in time show – imagine if 3% of all in our industry are on our website in a moment in time? Imagine if more than 29 times the number of MH Pros are online – right now – than came to MHI’s DC event over the course of three days.

That’s a strong statement of support for the work that we do.  

But the reality is that while some 90%+ of the guests are from our MH Industry, there are routinely also media, public officials, investors, educators, non-profits also on our MHProNews website too.  Toss in MHLivingNews, and that number jumps far higher.

This is far from a one person show. We can’t do it without pros like you, our team members, sponsors, writers and those sources which feed us news tips and topics. The writing on the Masthead blog is mine, but the work on this website and our sister site at MHLivingNews are all about team work. My sincere thanks to the team — and to readers and viewers like you.

We are better working together. Onward!

Let’s advance our Industry! We will see thousands of you in Tunica in about 5 weeks. Booth number 74, and at MH Pro Education day, which will be March 22nd. ##


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

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.