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Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room

June 19th, 2018 No comments

Only3OptionsTheElephantIntheRoomManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A) In manufactured housing production, the elephant in the room is Clayton Homes. They are owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns the 2 largest industry lenders, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF). Berkshire also owns a large stake in the industry’s third largest single family manufactured home loan lender, Wells Fargo.

There are only three (3) options on the following topic. The Berkshire owned manufactured housing brands either:

1)     know very specifically what must happen to grow manufactured housing sales up to the industry’s sustainable potential, which some estimate to be between half a million and a million HUD Code manufactured homes (MH) annually.

2)     The Berkshire brands in MH don’t know what must occur to grow the industry to reach its potential.

3)     Some point on the spectrum between numbers 1 and 2 above.

That’s about 150 words. The rest are details and commentary.

 

B) Arguably, any of the 3 positions above ought to be alarming to the vast majority of the industry’s independents. Why?

The case has be made by voices inside and outside of MHVille, that the Warren Buffett led Berkshire brands in MHVille dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

While he’s been silent in recent months, MH Communities pro Frank Rolfe was among the industry’s professionals who blasted MHI and their “hypocrisy” and failed “leadership” in defense or promotion of the MHIndustry.

Marty Lavin, a MHI award-winner, said on-the-record that MHI only works for the interests of the big boys.” Lavin added that MHI only work for the interests of smaller companies if they happen to align with the interests of “the big boys.”

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was cited by the Washington Post (WaPo) as having been the driving force for the removal of Pam Danner at HUD. MHI‘s EVP Lesli Gooch specifically told WaPo they took no part in removing Danner. Why not?

We could outline other examples, on the Duty to Serve (DTS), DOE and the energy rule, or how Pam Danner got her job in the first place. MHI has been on the wrong side of numerous issues, plus the execution on other important issues.

The bottom line is that MHI’s track record are seen by several professionals as problematic, save for the consolidation of smaller companies into the hands of larger ones. That’s about 275 words. The rest are details and commentary.

 

C) So in about 400 words above, a case has been outlined. Logic and evidence-based concerns, plus common-sense reveals why the Berkshire brands and MHI arguably should not be trusted by the vast majority of MHVille independents. The rest are details and commentary.  We’ll invite them again to debate this publicly via video.  If we were wrong, why don’t they take us up on that invite and prove us wrong?

 

D) State communities associations have broken away from MHI. They are in the process of formalizing the launch of an independent manufactured home national communities association.

Those MH Communities have split because they lost confidence in MHI representing their interests. The rest are details and commentary.

 

E) Smoking Gun 3 documented and outlined how 21st Mortgage questionably pulled-back on lending to MH Independents in 2009. Hundreds of retailers folded afterwards.

As a result, a number of HUD Code manufactured home producers either failed, or were absorbed by Clayton.  Some where absorbed by Cavco, which is led by a former Clayton division president. Skyline Champion recently combined. Now 80 percent of the industry’s production is in the hands of those three vertically integrated firms.

The rest are details and commentary.

 

F) Manufactured housing is increasingly being recognized as the affordable housing solution that is hiding in plain sight. MHLivingNews touted that theme years ago. Others in media have been picking up on that very theme. Coincidence?

There is a need for 8.3 million affordable housing units in America today. It can only be provided cost-effectively by some form of factory building. HUD Code manufactured homes are the most affordable solution today.

 

G) Even though Clayton and MHI each have marketing and PR people, they have routinely allowed bad news stories that unjustly harm the industry’s image to go unaddressed. They have done so for years. 21st Mortgage CEO Tim Williams, the prior MHI Chairman, admitted on-the-record that the case could be made that every unfair story about MH should get addressed. Frank Rolfe has said similarly.

The above is about 700 words total to say that MHI and Berkshire may not cause every bad news story in MHVille, but they fail to address the majority of them.

The upshot? Limited new home sales and more Consolidation. See what award-winning Alan Amy said about that in the video.

 

H) The MH Communities sector recognized their need for independent representation. Retailers and others in the post production sector arguably need representation do too. MHARR is clearly representing the interests of the industry’s independent producers, as WaPo, the SBA, George Washington University and other third-party sources reflect.

 

I) Is there any reason why the Berkshire brands couldn’t repeat what they did in 2009? Shouldn’t every independent operator realize that they have a symbolic target on their head?

The rest are details and commentary.

 

J) Thanks to our supporters, we planned ahead years ago by creating the industry’s first and premier pro-industry educational platform with MHLivingNews.com.

MHProNews was a key part of the rebirth of the Louisville Show, as everyone in show management at the time said on camera and/or in writing.

We’ve proven our ability to get into mainstream media, such as Washington D.C.’s The Hill. Or consider often-referenced by others in media, Value Penguin, which ranks among the top 2 percent of all websites in America. Value Penguin dwarfs anything in MHVille for traffic.

 

K) We and those that support our efforts know what must be done to remove the shackles that have hobbled manufactured housing for years. Information and understanding are the First Phase.

Armed with evidence and reason, we are at the cusp of starting Phase 2.

The details and next steps will follow in the days ahead. Stay tuned, and sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news updates. From the biggest names in MHVille, to the mom-and pops, and thousands in between, we continue to lead the industry in readership. The reasons include insights like those above.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. ## (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.

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

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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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The Manufactured Housing Industry’s March Madness

March 7th, 2017 No comments

It’s not just basketball! The Manufactured Housing Industry has its own version of March Madness.

For example, there’s the rapidly approaching Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. The pace leading up to and through the show can be intense. To learn more about the largest event in all of manufactured housing, see Dennis Hill’s two articles. One is on the free business building seminars on the afternoon of March 28th, the other story Dennis Hill provided is the global brochure he produces and shared with us, so you could read all about what draws thousands to Tunica every year.

Those who want to know, and grow, will go.

Before the Madness…

Before we dig into some craziness, let’s note there are positive stories below, about more lending, and more homes sales, that are taking place due to forward thinking industry professionals.

There are profitable tips and opportunities described in featured stories too.  You’ll want to check those out.

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Image credit, QuoteGram.

Then, the Madness…

The Madness is also that as an industry, we could be producing, financing and selling some 600% more new homes than we currently are. Who says? See the articles below!

So why aren’t we collectively doing more? There too the answers are spelled out in the articles linked below.

HUD Code MH Shipments of 81,100…why not 500,000 (+/-)?!

In an affordable housing crisis, our manufactured home industry holds a powerful solution.

But we aren’t alone. The MH Industry has Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. (To learn about a SWOT analysis, see that article, linked below).

SWOTAnalysisGoogleDefindtionsPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

SWOT definition credit, Google.

Defending and promoting the industry are what association dues are paid for at the state and national level. Right?

So, what has MHI done with the millions in dues – plus the PAC money – they spent in 5 years under Richard “Dick” Jennison’s, Lesli Gooch’s and her predecessor’s leadership?

See the MHI budget insights we obtained, see how many millions are involved, see where the big money goes, and the related articles, all linked below.

Keep in mind we have a video that we can produce. In it, Jennison promises attendees of the meeting he was speaking to on camera that they would pass The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. He specifically said they could pass it in the House and the Senate. He gave themselves 2 years to do it.

Two years have now come and gone. Did MHI’s president and MHI SVP Lesli Gooch meet those promises?

No…

What if I told you that we also have video of Mr. Jennison saying we could be selling 500,000 homes a year (which, by the way, I agree the industry could do. Yes, that means that a location like yours could grow sales by 600%, if you wanted to do so.).

Then, what if I told you that on that same video, Mr. Jennison says that the potential for 500,000 shipments – 600% growth – he thought should be done slowly?

Who decides how fast your business – or any other operation – should grow?

Should it be Richard A. “Dick” Jennison at MHI?

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

As important, who has been sounding the alarm for years (besides MHProNews) that the industry could be doing much more?  Find that article about what MHARR says linked below, and you’ll see.

See too what Frank Rolfe, Marty Lavin, Titus Dare, Darren Krolewski, Tom Fath, and others are saying and questioning MHI on in this March Madness issue. Those articles are likewise linked below.

Don’t Guess, Know! Then, Plan and Act…

We have billions in opportunities, which means a location or business like yours could be doing 600% more if you wanted to do so. As Frank Rolfe said to MHProNews, the industry itself is in many ways holding us back.

Who specifically is responsible?

Don’t guess! Learn more! Why not stop the MH Industry’s self-inflicted madness?

With no further adieu, please see the featured articles and reports for March 2017 below for “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.”  ©

We Provide, You Decide.”  © ##

DÉJÀ VU AGAIN? A New Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Initiative

by Marty Lavin, JD.

marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronews New Study
I like to say to myself “If you live long enough, you’ll see it all.”
Read more…

Triad Financial Services Introduces Superior Choice Credit Union to Manufactured Housing Industry, Video
by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

Every year for many years now, Darrell Boyd, Senior Vice President from Jacksonville, Florida based Triad Financial Services brings banks, credit unions, investors and other financial services professionals to the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.
Read more…

Executive Summary – 400 Words – Manufactured Housing Industry Obstacles and Billions in Opportunities
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachIt could be boiled down to the 3-letter acronym at the end. Let’s first take a 400 word walk through the top obstacles and opportunities.
Read more…

SECURITY MORTGAGE GROUP Income Property Specialists
By Pierce Redmond

Pierce Redmond-Vice PresidentSecurityMortgageGroup-55x55ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Security Mortgage Group, a national award-winning MH Community lending broker, is pleased to have provided $30,000,000 in financing for several manufactured home communities nationwide in January 2017.
Read more…

 

Skyline Corporation Makes Executive Announcement
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsSkyline Corp. (NYSE: SKY) tells MHProNews that Jeff Newport has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer.
Read more…

 

MHARR: President Trump’s Actions Offer Major Opportunity for MH Industry and Consumers
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWashington, D.C., February 28, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that Executive Orders issued by President Trump within the past thirty days provide an unprecedented opportunity for the federally-regulated manufactured housing industry and American consumers who rely upon manufactured homes.
Read more…

Service Animals, Fair Housing, and You
by Nadeen Green, JD

For those of us who teach and write about fair housing, we have come to learn that the topic of service animals is the one that everyone wants to hear about (I sometimes joke that it is unlawful to teach a fair housing class without a reference to service animals). nadeen-green-mhpronews-com
Read more…

 

New NAR Report Points To Manufactured Housing Opportunities
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachWhen the National Association of Realtors chief economist says there are more buyers than existing homes available on the market, that should be a huge signal to manufactured and modular home professionals,” said Stan Posey, sales manager at Sunshine Homes of Red Bay, AL.
Read more…

33 Sites | Woodmont Trailer Park | Farmington Hills, Michigan
by Christopher Nortley

ChristopherNortlyMHREinc=postedMHProNews-comy50x50-Woodmont Trailer Park – Farmington Hills, MI
Read more…

 

Federal Data Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Quality, Regulatory Questions
by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With over 81,100 manufactured homes built last year, more than 99.99 percent of all manufactured home buyers had service issues satisfied through normal channels provided by their home’s builder, retailer, community, or installer.
Read more…

 

Richard Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute, Worth Millions to MH Industry? Facts from MHI Report
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThe Manufactured Housing Institute, and its president and CEO, Richard A. Jennison, are required as a tax-exempt organization to keep and file certain records.  One of those reports was obtained by MHProNews, and is attached herein.
Read more…

 

MH Dealer Bill Passes House – What Does it Mean?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn the great state of Indiana, a bill recently passed in the state house regarding manufactured housing dealerships that has a rather interesting twist.
Read more…

 

Industry Lender Announces Name Change

BY Credit Human Federal Credit Union

cufbl_eastern_slide_200x200_2_2016After much consideration the San Antonio Federal Credit Union (SACU)/CU Factory Built Lending (CUFBL)/Mountainside Financial is excited to announce that we are changing our name to Credit Human Federal Credit Union.
Read more…

 

Ben Carson Confirmed as HUD Secretary, MHI and MHARR Commentary
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe Senate, in a 58-41 vote Thursday, has confirmed Dr. Ben Carson to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Read more…

 

Lancing the MH Industry’s Boil

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

by Soheyla Kovach

Let’s use the analogy of a pimple, cyst, or boil.
Read more…

Business Building Tunica Show Educational Seminars
by Dennis Hill

dennis-hill-showways-unlimited-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com-50x50-On Tuesday, March 28th,  at the Resorts Hotel – 2nd Floor, Magnolia Room, you can discover this year’s business building educational seminars. Here is the lineup and schedule.
Read more…

The Report, Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton and Clayton Homes
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWhen the “Oracle of Omaha” speaks, people listen.
Read more…

 

 

2017 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Looms, Final Brochure, Schedule Provided
By Tunica Show

tunicashow2017The Largest Manufactured Housing Show in the United States

The Tunica Show has more homes than any other industry event!
Read more…

 

Industry Feedback About the Manufactured Housing Institute, Image, Industry Hassles, and Advancement
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovachA very thoughtful message from a widely-known industry leader is quoted below.
Read more…

 

 

 

Scam Alert! Professionals Warned
by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

Fox News and most mainstream media sources are urging caution to professionals and others answering cell phones and landlines from incoming calls from an “unknown caller” or a phone number you may not recognize.
Read more…

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Increases, January Report
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWashington, D.C., March 6, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that, according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production increased substantially during January 2017.

Read more…

 

SWOT Analysis – Marketing, Sales & Management Tool for Manufactured Housing Success

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachTo truly understand a location, business or organization – and its potential – a SWOT analysis is useful management tool.

Read more…

 

Modular Tapped to Help City With Housing Needs
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn Belgrade, Montana, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has looked to modular housing as a solution to what the organization calls “immense affordable housing needs.”
Read more…

 

The Evolution of 3D Printed Homes?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWhen it comes to 3D printed homes, companies around the world have been working to perfect the ideal system, including Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda, which printed a two-story villa that checks in at 4,305 square feet and can reportedly withstand a magnitude eight earthquake.
Read more…

 

Lost Modular Jobs Set to Return?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsOnce known for its booming modular and manufactured home industry, Oxford, Maine has been dubbed the “Manufactured Housing Capital of New England.”
Read more…

 

The Uncertainties of Life
by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comMany people today struggle with the need to know what will happen tomorrow, next week or even this year. Some have the need to try and manipulate tomorrow or to have life be ‘in order’ or ‘certain.’
Read more…

Habits to Make or Break for a Cleaner, Healthier Home
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIt never fails. No matter how much you clean, it always seems that something comes up, spills, or gets dirt on it.
Read more…

 

Manufactured Home Plants May Become Tiny House Production Centers
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn Carbon Hill, Alabama this week, the City Council heard about a possible plan from developers to use a couple of old manufactured home plant facilities to make small-sized homes, aka “tiny houses.”
Read more…

 

Pending Home Sales Numbers Released
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe report is in from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Read more…

 

Zoning Changes Could Affect Manufactured Housing
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe Washington County, Maryland Board of Commissioners is holding a public hearing today regarding several proposed changes to the county’s zoning ordinance, including ones that affect manufactured homes.
Read more…

 

Which Life Season are You in?
by Tim Connor

tim-connor-mhmsm-comFor the past 200 plus years we have experienced an economic downturn and uncertainty every 8-15 years. I am not a pessimist.  I am a realist.
Read more…

 

Frank, Frustrations, and Free Enterprise February in MHLand, 2017

February 6th, 2017 No comments

Let’s be frank.  As nice as a roughly 15% growth of 2016 over 2015 is, manufactured housing could be several times larger than its current annual shipment rates.

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Sponsor of MHProNews, to learn more, please click banner above.

The Trump Administration which is touting more pro-business postures, offers the manufactured housing industry an amazing opportunity.

Will the free enterprise solutions to the affordable housing crisis – that manufactured homes uniquely offers – be capitalized upon?

Stay tuned…

 

 

MODs and HUDS

No one in media or trade publishing covers prefab, modular and manufactured housing in as much depth and frequency as MHProNews and MHLivingNews do.  We are also by far the most read, and most trusted source for Industry News Tips and Views Pros Can Use.  ©

Every segment of the factory-crafted home market should periodically step back and see the broader picture.

Those in MHLand ought not overlook the rising role of modular housing in the marketplace, many do get it now.

The reverse is also true.  Each side of factory-built homes represents a vital option for housing seekers.

manufacturedhousingannualshipmentstoothachecredits-manufacturedhousingindustrymastheadcommentary-mhpronews

Image and negative news holds the MH industry back. But that’s an educational issue, as Chet Murphree and James McGee said on camera over a year ago. We now know that the 2016 new MH shipment totals were over 80,000.  But that is still a shadow of what the industry produced in the 90s or early 2000s. Given the affordable housing crisis, many may see the potential to hit 300,000 or 400,000 or even 500,000 annual shipments can be done in a sustainable fashion.  That will occur more rapidly when systemic changes are made by serious manufactured home players, acting on the local and regional levels.

In some ways, modular construction faces fewer stigmas, something that exclusive modular producers and their associations often highlight. Oh, that they would see the wisdom for uplifting all facets of factory-built homes.  It’s a wiser path for all. MODs and HUDs ought not to be I conflict, they ought to complement each other.  It’s doable, factually, as this linked video interview demonstrates.

Currently HUDs far outpace SF modular production.  But that could change, and if more large modular projects with MF use are considered, the who is the larger segment of factory crafted homes question deserves a closer look.

FrankRolfeBlastsManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMHURVHorizonsPostedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsWeeklyRecapMHProNews

As the weekend Masthead commentary on the Rolfe Blasts MHI report reflected, it’s not about blasting for the sake of attack.  Its about identifying patterns of activity, and how they can be improved, for the benefit of all. The screen capture above is from the Daily Business News, click here or above to see that read, red hot report.

The frustrations of what holds back the industry are self-evident.  Frank Rolfe said it well when he stated, “Probably the greatest enemy to the growth of the mobile home park industry into a mainstream form of real estate investment is … our industry itself.”  That’s true, not only for the community sector, but for the reset of factory built housing – HUD Code and modular.

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MHProNews sponsor, to learn more, click the banner ad above.

But there are external challenges aplenty. This months featured articles reflect the obstacles and opportunities that exist.  There are news reports, products, events, services and more in store in dozens of February articles listed below.

As we noted in the weekend Masthead, it is long past due for the industry’s various voices to sit down and candidly, privately sort out how to create more cohesion and inclusion.  This writer tried for over a year privately to address issues that finally needed to go public.  Perhaps, under the growing scrutiny of industry voices like Rolfe’s and others, the players will take the prudential steps necessary.

Until then and beyond, MHProNews and our sister site, MHLivingNews marches on.

Knowledge is potential power, and promoting knowledge is powerful too. So, with no further adieu, the Featured Articles and Reports for Frank, Frustrations, and Free Enterprise February in MHLand, 2017 are below.

 

McGlinchey Stafford Survey of Latest Manufactured Housing Legal Decisions

by Marc Lifeset, JD
MarcLifesetJDMcGlincheyStaffordmanufacturedhousinglaw-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-50x50McGlinchey Stafford is proud to provide the Manufactured Housing Update to the manufactured housing industry.
Read more…

 

Faster New Home Sale$ Growth, Getting the “Total Package”

StanPosey-SunshineHomes-Redbay-Alabamaby Stan Posey
Industry projections are that new manufactured home shipments in 2016 will be up about 10 to 12 percent over 2015.
Read more…

 

Publication Flip-Flops on UMH, NPR Effect in Play

by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

UMH Properties (NYSE: UMH) celebrated its 50th anniversary at the New York Stock Exchange last week, including ringing the closing bell.
Read more…

 

Security Mortgage Group Finances $10,007,000 for Several Communities in one week

by Security Mortgage Group
SecurityMortgageGroupManufacturedHomeCommunityLoansCommericalMortgageBrokersMHProNews
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Security Mortgage Group
, a national award-winning MH Community lending broker, is pleased to have recently provided $10,007,000 in financing in one week for several manufactured home communities nationwide.
Read more…

 

“An Elephant Ass,” Understanding GSEs, Duty to Serve, Manufactured Home Lending

by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

The manufactured homes chattel lending market poses challenges and risks for the enterprises
Read more…

 

Cordray Defiant, Says Trump Won’t Change Agency

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsConsumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray has finally spoken in the wake of President Trump’s inauguration, per the LA Times.
Read more…

 

Northpoint Commercial Finance Expands Field Sales Organization

by Northpoint Commercial Finance
NorthPointcommercialFinance-logo-postedomMHProNewsAlpharetta, GA, January 30, 2017 – Northpoint Commercial Finance, a diversified inventory finance lender, is pleased to announce the hiring of three additional Directors of Business Development.
Read more…

 

Tiny Prefab Builder Takes His Show on the Road

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsPatrick Kennedy, owner of Panoramic Interests, a San Francisco, California based developer specializing in prefab homes, believes he has a partial solution to the Bay Area’s chronic homelessness problem. Read more…

 

Clayton Homes commemorates business milestone with 60th Anniversary Home Berkshire Hathaway homebuilder unveils special edition home model in 2016

by Clayton Homes
ClaytonHomes-logo-50x50MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Clayton Homes, one of the largest builders of manufactured, modular and site-built homes combined, designed a special edition manufactured home to celebrate 60 years in business.
Read more…

 

It’s all in the questions

by Tim Connor

tim-connor-mhmsm-com

Over the years, I have considered the difference between people who consistently do well in life – their careers and relationships and people who struggle.
Read more…

 

U.S. Existing Homes Sales Rise in December, MH Industry Response

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsData from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that home sales continued their growth in December, as more buyers reached the market before the end of the year.
Read more…

 

2017 Tunica Manufactured Home Updates

by Tunica Show
tunicashow2017A RIVER CUTS THROUGH A ROCK NOT BECAUSE OF ITS POWER BUT ITS PERSISTENCE…
Read more…

 

Industry Should Stay the Course in Duty to Serve Efforts

by Jim Ayotte
JimAyotteFloridaManufacturedHousingAssociationFMHA-IndustryVoices-ManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews50x50I appreciate the way that MHAAR respectfully criticized my commentary on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA’s) final rule to implement the “Duty to Serve” (DTS) requirements as being “far too charitable,” but the criticism was misdirected.
Read more…

 

Security Mortgage Group Finances 80,032,500 for Several Communities

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsRochester, New York-based Security Mortgage Group, a national award-winning MH Community lending broker, has provided $80,032,500 in financing for several manufactured home communities throughout the nation over the last few months.
Read more…

 

“All Things Considered???”

by Industry Voice
IV-IndustryVoicePostedMHProNews-50x50aPerhaps it’s too much to ask a “news” show called “All Things Considered” to actually consider “all things” or, at least “all things” concerning the subjects they choose to consider.  After all, “all” covers a lot of ground.
Read more…

 

Jim Visser Honored, the Journal of Manufactured Housing now History

by Soheyla Kovach.

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

The publisher of The Journal of Manufactured and Modular Housing, Jim Visser, was honored at the 2017 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show with the framed ‘thank you’ document, shown in the photo at the left.
Read more…

 

County Levies Stiff Fine in Dakota, as Trump Primes XL Pipeline

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn a case that dates back to 2014, Williams County, North Dakota officials have re-instituted a $1.2 million fine against Western Petroleum LLC and its parent company, Pilot Thomas Logistics.
Read more…

 

Is your life purpose: what you have, what you do or who you are?

by Tim Connor
tim-connor-mhmsm-comMany people in life send mixed messages to their family, customers, employees or even total strangers creating confusion, a lack of trust and yes a lack of integrity with what they believe, stand for or how they will be remembered or even who they really are.
Read more…

 

“Stop, Thief!”

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsNews of a theft in Purcell, Oklahoma, indicate arrest warrants are outstanding for a man and woman charged in McClain County District Court with knowingly concealing stolen property.
Read more…

 

Trump’s Regulation Cuts Could Have Major Impact on MH

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThroughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump was very clear on one thing he wanted to change – regulations. Read more…

 

Flemming Was His Name

By Greg McClanahan
I wanted to share a few thoughts about what I think is a key element to achieving successful outcomes in our lives and in our business activities.
Read more…

 

Buffett Supports Trump Picks, Soros Has Other Ideas

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsAs President Donald Trump enters his first full week of office, his cabinet picks remain the front and center topics of discussion.
Read more…

 

Tough Times for Tiny Home Builders

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWhile tiny homes may be all the rage in popular culture, local governments and regulations have made things tough in Washington State.
Read more…

 

Life changing moments in 2017

byTim Connor

tim-connor-mhmsm-com

Ever notice how a person’s life can change from one minute to the next?
Read more…

 

Tornadoes, Severe Weather Ravage South, Misconceptions Abound

by RC Williams
RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe southern U.S. was severely affected this weekend, as tornadoes and storms destroyed homes, injured dozens and killed 16.
Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Rolfe, Darren Krolewski, MHI and Media Engagement

February 5th, 2017 No comments

The Top Line – Media Engagement Matters to Your Operation’s Bottom Line. That’s why this issue matter$ to you.

In another exclusive report from the manufactured home industry’s largest and most trusted news source for professionals, MHProNews published extensive comments by Frank Rolfe, Darren Krolewski and others on the issue of MHI and Media Engagement.

FrankRolfeBlastsManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMHURVHorizonsPostedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsWeeklyRecapMHProNews

Screen capture from the Daily Business News, click here or above to see that read, red hot report.

Let’s begin a focused commentary by saying that every word published from every source in Matthew J. Silver’s hot article, entitled:

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

each quote spotlighted an important aspect to this issue. 

For keen readers of Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions, please note that while Rolfe was blasting MHI’s news media practices and Darren Krolewski was defending them, each made cogent points, and both had penetrating insights.

Let’s also stipulate that the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) challenges in working with the news media are not to be underestimated. Rolfe is 100% correct in saying (paraphrase) that a reporter can be hard charging. A journalist might be on the attack from the moment an interview begins.

Darren Krolewski is right in saying there is so much more bad news than good.

Krolewski observation begs the question. Should it be so?  

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The flip of Krolewski point out ought to be, this: isn’t there in fact more good news than bad? So isn’t the issue that the good news isn’t being shared enough?  We in MHLand should be loud and proud! Fact-based reports like the one above belie the pictures that NPR or MHAction present. Are there bad or problematic actors in the industry? Sure, and MHPros routinely condemn those who harm MH home owners and the industry’s image, see Industry Voices.

 

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Matthew Silver.

In Matthew Silver’s article, we did not use all of Rolfe’s words, nor all of Krolewski’s.

In every article, in most videos, there are things as a writer or editor that you must leave out, so that the report or video is digestible.

That said, unlike any mainstream news source you could point to, MHProNews will in the coming days publish Rolfe’s, Krolewski’s and others full on-the-record comments, within the scope of our editorial guidelines. Their words will appear on Industry Voices. There is a lot of posting to do on the popular Industry Voices blog, on a variety of topics. Those voices are your industry’s peers. So please do stay tuned.

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Image credit, Pinterest.

Let’s preview what Krolewski said that was not published yesterday, and the reason why, because it was demonstrably topspin. We’ll get to that after a brief background on how Krolewski and I met, because it is very relevant to this media engagement topic.

 Media Engagement — Background on meeting Darren Krolewski

First, Darren and I have known each other for about eleven years. I met him while doing a project with a sizable MHC operation; he and his dad – BJ Krol – came to do an evaluation of two regions for that community owner and a manufacturer working with them. One of the regions in BJ and Darren’s report was being managed by another person at that same company, the other regional supervisor was me. I still have the report, call me if you are curious to see/discuss it.

IfeelthatHonestyAlwaysWorksBobbyUnserLifehack-postedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Image credit as shown above.

Summary?  My team’s region was highly praised, and BTW, our smaller region outperformed two other larger, better funded regions combined.

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The bottom right magazine story is from the project that BJ Krol and his son Darren came to evaluate. The article on the left was published in the Chicago Sun Times Newsgroup – that was for a project with a different client. Each point to the value of media engagement. Proper, honest Media engagement pay$. But it requires a solid foundation first! The media doesn’t want fluff, they want interesting, ‘red meat.’

Part of that project was about my personal efforts at media engagement on behalf of that MHC. My team took a backsliding region, with a problematic reputation in the broader community and region. We turned it around in under a year (again, I have the records, and glowing references). The local news media sat up and took notice! Why?

Because about 8 years before Rolfe’s 2014 NYTimes article, we invited the media in.

The first big published story in the regional press read so well overall (see image at the left), that it might have looked to some like an advertorial.

But we paid nothing.  We promised nada. We wrote not a word of it, but we did share visual elements, which they gladly accepted and many of which they used.

That regional magazine’s report glowed. Why?

Because residents were happy, and what was a kind of grungy locale before, had became a neighborhood. It was how you turn 2 stars into 3.5 on a modest budget. That MH community became a really good place to live. Revenue, collections, sales all improved dramatically. There’s more than one comment on my LinkedIn profile, one from a local pro in that same market, who describes it in his own words.

Media engagement wasn’t the first thing, it was a middle step, after several other were taken.

I think Krolewski will back up the above, because he’s a good guy, and also because we have the

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Darren’s father, BJ Krol – wrote in his report, that the work we did with those communities and the media was “light years ahead” of others, and that it was ‘a breath of fresh air.’

documentation, some of which came from him and his father, BJ.

 

So when Frank Rolfe and his partners buy and improve a community, I get it! We applaud professionals like Rolfe, Lamb, UMH, ROCs or many others who invest and improve the communities they aquire.

That personal/professional experience is one of several reasons why we don’t body slam him on terminology, because overall, Rolfe’s doing a lot of good.

Do I wish – and think it’s to Rolfe’s and the industry’s best interests – that he’d adopt proper nomenclature? Absolutely. He and I have had that discussion, more than once. 😎

Back to Darren and his Comment we edited out

With that segue in place, here’s part of what was left out of Matthew Silver’s linked report:

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Darren Krolewski, MHVillage, DataComp.

As an MHI member I think that the organization is moving in a positive direction with bringing on a VP of Communications and some of the work that has been done in recent months to elevate the image of our industry.” – Darren KrolewskI.

Sorry, I respect and like Darren, but that was pure top-spin, so we left that out, while keeping his salient points. MHI is demonstrably not moving in a good direction on communications.  The problems Rolfe cited in Silver’s report began before, and continue after MHI’s new communications VP came on the scene.

Frank Rolfe is far from alone in saying what he has. It does MHI – and the industry at large – no good to praise them on something they’re not moving in a good direction on.

Let’s use an analogy.

Do you praise an employee or agent for the mistake they routinely repeat?

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Image credit is as shown above.

Tim Connor says you get more of the behavior that you reward. Of course!

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Image credit, Pinterest.

You can encourage someone – or a group – by giving them high fives for where it is merited. So, paraphrasing what Rolfe said, MHI has some nice people. All of us can be nice, all of us can do good. God doesn’t make junk. There is plenty of education, and talent available. There are keepers at MHI.

But when the same mistakes keep getting repeated, even after the VP of communications comes in, there’s a problem.

Displeasure of how MHI handles the media is a comment Rolfe says he hears from MH community owners, and we hear that from MHC and other industry pros too.  We hear it from MHI members, and others in the industry. We hear it from MHI ‘insiders’ too…

The anecdote Silver used about an MHI member laughing publicly at someone who questioned their handling of the NPR story was included in the story, because it speaks volumes.

Own and Correct and Error, When Possible

When I goofed last weekend, I owned it. That should apply to us all. There is none of us – poor, rich or in between – who can claim perfection. All of us can and should learn, from others, and from mistakes – our own goofs, or the errors of others.

Which brings us back to the importance of proper media engagement. The Masthead applauds Rolfe for sounding off on an important issue.

But let me applaud Matthew Silver’s important report for this gem. Let’s quote in brown that brief but potent section in MHProNews assignments editor Silver’s narrative.

 

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comThe Industry’s Irony…

What overly sensitive professionals may miss in industry-politics charged issues are what largely unites the industry.  Rolfe, Dare, Fath, Kelley, Krolewski and Kovach – all these and other voices not cited in this report want to see the industry grow.

So why aren’t critiques of MHI taken and given in that spirit of the search for a path for long-term, mutual growth?”

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Photo credit, MHProNews.

It’s long overdue for MHI to get over whatever it is that keeps them from listening and engaging – not only the media – but also with their own members. Going to MHI meetings are often like going to a lecture.  Why? Where’s the listening? Neither this Masthead writer nor others who critique MHI are saying ‘blow the association up.’  Todd Lamb’s quote in the Silver’s report was clearly meant to encourage them.

Should “MHI Task Forces” be peopled only by insiders who go along, to get along?  Has MHI asked Rolfe, myself or others who have actual results to point to, to be on a media engagement or educational task force?

I’ve not asked Frank, but I’d be surprised if he was invited in….

Accessible?

Let me draw towards a close with demonstrable examples. Under MHARR’s new president, they have become quite responsive to our questions. Many if not most state associations we ask for comments, ditto. We ask company presidents for comments. We routinely get them, often in short order.

Why not MHI?

Among the many powerful quotes and insight in Silver’s report is this gem from Frank…

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Frank Rolfe, photo credit, MHProNews.

When you refuse to talk,” says Rolfe, “it looks to the public like an admission of guilt, and when you refuse to promote your product it looks like you are embarrassed by it.”

We self critique, and as Krolewski and others well know, we as a pro-industry trade publisher listen to the critiques of others. Will key people at MHI listen?

The quote from Rolfe we closed on in Silver’s report, is what MHLivingNews and MHProNews have been doing for years.

Our work has been based on real world experiences. That project Darren and BJ witnessed wasn’t a one-off. We’ve done those kinds of positive things for years. So why doesn’t MHI want to learn about them from us, Rolfe or the many others in the industry who are trying to do it right, but may not be part of the ‘insiders club?’

PeopleCritiqueTheMediaIIfTheyreUncomfortablePresentedJerryFisher=PostedMastheadblogMHProNews

Image credit is as shown above.

Doesn’t MHI want to share those positive experiences with others, so the industry will grow?

We welcome working with anyone who is forward thinking, solution oriented and has good will. We aren’t waiting on MHI or anyone else, but we’d encourage them to be involved with us too.

We will be doing presentations in Tunica on March 17th on the issue of media engagement. Let me encourage MHI to have all of their top people there.  YOU should be there. Because what we’ve done with media engagement and communicating with and as media has produced bottom line results for the majority of those we’ve work with over the years.

The reason MHProNews and MHLivingNews exist is to engage professionals, the media, and the public as media. It’s profitable to engage the media, when it is done properly. Rolfe and others who successfully do media engagement can tell you, it’s not easy, but it pays off.

If you haven’t already see Silver’s red hot report, it is linked here. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

While widely known for being the #1 B2B and B2C MH publisher, Tony is also the most endorsed marketing sales management pro in MH consulting, with years of successful experiences in retail and communities. Tony will be presenting at the Tunica MH Show on March 17th on media engagement.  Mark your calander, plan to attend. Stay tuned for details. 

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

 

 

 

America and Manufactured Housing – Lessons from Hold that Tucker Tiger!

June 17th, 2016 No comments

Recall or view the movie, Tucker. If you do, you’ll get a good sense of how government and big business can often collude to the detriment of all involved. 

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“Hold that Tiger!” Tucker Movie poster, credit LucasFilms and BGAutoBlog.

To be sure, big government and big business can and often are allies. After all, how can small businesses best both big brother and any given monopolist? 

Can it be done?

Yes, but no less an MH Industry figure than Jim Clayton lamented in interviews with MHProNews the negative impact of big federal regulations birthed by big government that harms small and start-up businesses.

Jim was spot on.  

The Tucker auto pioneered a number of features in American cars. The beauty of free enterprise is precisely that it keeps innovation and the American Dream alive.  The big Detroit automakers conspired with government officials to destroy Tucker, the man and his machine.

The more a government regulates and the more it taxes – the more it distorts and destroys the free market – it’s killing inspiration, jobs and innovation in its wake.

Because humanity is imperfect, there are needs for some level of law, regulation, etc.  But unchecked, government oppresses rather than protects or liberates people.

The Masthead  wants independent retailers, communities, producers and others in MH to prosper and thrive. When smaller businesses thrive, so will mid to large or big businesses. When firms of all sizes thrive, the coffers of the tax man fill in a natural rather than confiscatory or damaging ways. 

The legacy of the Obama years, properly understood, is the failure of big government. ObamaCare harmed the health care system. It was based on lies. It drove costs up, not down. It reduced access to quality healthcare. State ObamaCare Exchanges and independent businesses have suffered or have closed.  The misnamed ACA is dying of its own dead weight.

Ditto Homeland Insecurity. Open borders means more crime and more terrorism. These are facts. 

Dodd-Frank

IDontThinkThereWasEverMuchHighCostLendingInTheManufacturedHousingMarket-stillcreditCSPAN2-RichardCordrayCFPBdirector-Posted-MHLivingNews-com--310x165The CFPB is spending millions in ads to propagandize the American people into thinking it’s helping, when in fact it harms millions and is choking off business in its regulatory wake. They’re building their own palace in DC, creating thousands of federal jobs that destroy millions of private sector jobs.  We’ve documented that the CFPB’s director know what they’re doing to MH home owners and businesses, the logical takeaway is that they either don’t care or they have an agenda.

HUD is likewise harming MH consumers and businesses.

The Obama-Clinton foreign policy is a history of disasters. The latest revelation seems to be that ISIS was not just given space to grow, but also American support and arms to grow.  POTUS Bush no doubt had his problems. We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. But compared to the hellish Clinton/Obama foreign policy, Bush’s policy looks almost saintly…

Big Government was what Americans rebelled against in 1776. 

 

GovernmentIsNotReasonItIsNotEloquenceItIsForceLikeFireItIsAFearfulServantDangerousMaster-GeorgeWashington-image-wikicommons-poster(c)MHProNews-com-

Credits WikiCommons and MHProNews.

 

Big business is fine, so long as it doesn’t get in bed with big government, and acts in ways that are detrimental to all.

Look at the revelations from Clinton Cash, their global pay-to-play influence peddling scam. Do you think that when the Obama’s leave 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, that there will be something similar awaiting them?  

Is there any good way to explain the long series of foreign and domestic policy failures for the working class, for minorities, for the middle class, our armed forces, our men in blue and first responders – anyone that isn’t at the top of their private pyramid?

The Donald is new to being in politics, as opposed to his playing politics to make his businesses work. Are there things that could be better? Yes. As an independent, I concur with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who correctly said, the voters are asking for a political earthquake. 

The day may come when MHI, if it fails to altar its sad course, will see the rise of its own Trump-like political earthquake.  Just as Ds and Rs gave rise to Donald Trump, so too MHI may awaken some day to see that it’s been sowing the seeds of its own destruction

 

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I say this as a member, as one who has been thanked for our many contributions to their legislative efforts. I could link up the words of Tim Williams here, and many others prior to or since him. The Masthead cares enough to say, let’s change course.

Let’s address and solve the association’s problems, not sweep them under the rug.  That pile of dirt is growing, and costly.

 

PEP-P.E.P.-Protect-Educate-Promote-mhassociationmantra-postedmastheadblog-MHProNews

A leading MH state association exec’s mantra we love to share.

Because like it or not, when MHI fails to properly PEP, it has a harmful impact on way too many others in our industry.

 

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Most Industry members who have contacted MHProNews concur with the above. See for yourself. Click the link here or click image above to learn more. We Provide, You Decide ©.

 

The bottom line is that MHI needs to see that its path is harmful to itself and to others in MH. If the leadership is wise, they’ll politely exit those who have made a mess, AND bring in people who will bring in a new, better and more inclusive perspective.

Otherwise, the responsibilities of a new association rising, or MHI breaking apart grows. Because so long as MHI’s leaders are locked on this path, they’ll continue to get no results worth bragging about.

In fact, they’ll harm the industry. The only way the industry gains or regains the respect of those they deal with in DC is by cleaning their own house first.

In the mean time, we’ll cheer those who are part of the MH solution. To learn more about common sense progress being made, click here.

MoreGovernmentTaxesRegulatesMoreDestorysFreeMarketInnovation-LATonyKovach-MastheadMHProNews-

The 4th of July is racing upon us. Somehow the whiz kids in Arlington VA failed to tap into the opportunity that the 40th Anniversary of MH provided. But its not too late. They can still do something…

…or not. Be it late or never, each path speaks volumes about the national MH association.

Are they part of the solution or part of the problem?  

MH is the Tucker of housing.  We ought to be thriving, and we can in positive, sustainable ways.  As we clean out a few internal issues and spotlight more of the great things we do, the more we’ll mine the gold that belongs to each true professional in the business. Hold that Tiger! ##

DonaldTrumpLATonyKovach-MHI2016CongressExpo-ManufacturedHousingIndustryNews-MHProNews

Among the fun items found at C&E this year was lifesize cutouts of the 5 remaining D and R contenders for the Oval Office. By Tuesday night, that number had dropped to 3, with Cruz and Kasich bowing out after Donald Trump’s big win in Indiana that day.  Now its down to Hillary, The Donald and a pot smoking Libertarian…God Bless America!  The pick between those three is EASY. America First! MAGA!

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com
and 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 –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

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 MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

Video Viewpoints-Bob Crawford + Frank Rolfe on New, Existing MH Associations

June 10th, 2016 No comments

Sometimes, less is more. We’ll take that path today with this video of Frank Rolfe and Bob Crawford, who share their views about:

  • Dodd-Frank
  • CFPB
  • Manufactured Housing Finance Regulations
  • Impact on MH owners and buyers – consumers
  • Impact on MH business
  • A new post-production association for retailers, communities and others
  • MHI
  • State MH Associations
  • What it will take to get change in DC
  • How effective are manufactured housing associations

and other topics, with the video shot before a live audience of MHPros, whom you’ll see responding.

FrankRolfe-MobileHomeUniversity-postedmastheadblogMHProNews-For those who don’t already know Frank Rolfe, he’s a partner in Mobile Home University, RV Horizons and MHP Funds. He and his partner Dave Reynolds are about #6 in the top total MH sites nationally.

Bob Crawford is the right hand man for industry legend Dick Moore, who has two retail centers and four communities. Their operation has reportedly sold some 27,000 homes over the years, both pre-code mobile homes and post HUD Code Manufactured Homes. 

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

For more related details on these two and others, please click here

The Masthead advised readers that this post would be different. These are not unnamed sources, these are widely respected and successful professionals who have publicly sounded off, knowing they were on camera.  A look back at what we published that others are saying off the record is linked here.

After watching this video, and reading other commentary, how important do you think all is this? Please, you tell me. ##

LATonyKovach-QuestioningNYSAAteam-NewYorkHousingAssociation-MHProNews-com-PhotoCreditMarkSimon--250x167

Photo taken during New York Housing Association meeting, Tony questioning regulators.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com and Inside MH video series.
MHI member, MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

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 MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

Staying A Positive MH Course in sometimes Negative World

January 10th, 2016 No comments

It could be called a study in contrasts. The wide range of comments from MH industry pros in recent days varied from the extreme of a fellow who termed our published response to PBS news takedown of MH and MHI as either misguided or have a self-serving agenda.” – to a far greater number of others who said it was “nice work,” “brilliant,” “necessary,” numerous “thank you for all you do” – or like the LinkedIn posted kudos below from an MH community owner.

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Image credit – LinkedIn.

If you’ve not yet seen it, here BOTH the PBS video and our response that all the above are all talking about, is linked here.

Some in HUDVille think Ignoring Bad News is the answer. Really?

What is the national association doing on this PBS takedown issue?

MHProNews has been told by informed sources that MHI has sent a strongly worded, 3 page letter to PBS. Hmm, ok. Now what? What are the next steps in the MHI plan to defending the industry’s reputation?

Are we really going to watch and accept – public silence – from MHI on key issues that arguably harms the image of the entire industry and MHI’s own avowed legislative agenda?

Surely we aren’t going to allow attacks on our financing or the value proposition created by the MHCs to go unanswered in the public square?

Right or wrong, won’t MHI’s public silence appear to others as a de facto ‘admission of guilt’ to all of the allegations that PBS made in their flawed ‘Bad Bargain’ story?

We certainly hope and pray that whoever is making that kind of ‘let’s not comment in public‘ decision at MHI will think twice. We have objetively done more and broader publishing for the industry and MHI in support of HR 650 and S 682 than they have, because we believe in the goals of the MHI backed bill as being good for consumers and for the industry.  We will continue to support it, but we also hereby call on MHI to support their own effort by standing up publicly against the public PBS stance.  

My time is valuable, how about yours? If you supported the MHI lead HR 650/S 682 effort, as we have and many others do – will you want to see it die at the hands of PBS or anyone else without a whimper?  What was all that effort for anyway?

BrokenCongress-credit-tomtwomeyseries-posted-DailyBusinessNews-com-

As one MH Pro told MHProNews, Congress is acting in a broken fashion now. Getting things done in DC is not easy. But that just means we have to work smarter to get our legislation passed that will protect consumers home values, ability to purchase and MH Profesionals ability to sell more homes.  Our Opposition uses the media to their advantage! Won’t MH Pros learn to do the same?  We have the better story, because the TRUTH is on OUR SIDE!  But would you know that based solely on the public response coming out of Arlington to the PBS NewsHour report?  Image credit: tomtwomeyseries.

We must Play the Legislative, Lobbying Game to Win –
many MHPros are sick and TIRED of LOSING in DC.

This PBS takedown is either bane or blessing, depending on what the industry and its members do.  We either

PBS’ takedown story deliberatly makes MH look like – using PBS’ own words a “bad bargain,” what nonsense!  Should we allow the feds to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on subsidized housing, and then not support a free market solution that MH offers that benefits almost everyone in the mix?  

Our next planned report on the PBS story is pending, stay tuned for that one…

The difference between Seattle Times/BuzzFeed and PBS

One could better understand why MHI let Buffett and Clayton Homes defend themselves, as harmful as that is to the industry and its clear attack on MHI’s legislative efforts. The reason? The Seattle Times/BuzzFeed takedown piece was directly targeting Buffett and his MH companies.

But with the only organization in the PBS takedown story being named is MHI, doesn’t it stand against reason NOT to allow Carla Burr’s/et al comments via PBS to publicly go unrefuted by MHI? 

Please see the prior Masthead post where we clearly outline the obvious dollars-and-cents logic of why MHLivingNews and MHProNews have and will defend the integrity of the industry’s honest and ethical professionals against those who de facto harm reputable businesses within our industry who are serving the public well.

Note too that the PBS story arguably harms MH homeowners and prospective buyers. Whose agenda is PBS intentionally or coincidentally advancing? Why?  

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Image credit, PBS Newshour comments section. Comments at left with arrows, Masthead Blog, MHProNews.com.  Please note once more, you can see the transcript and the PBS NewsHours entire report and our fact-based refuting of their report, by clicking the image above, or here.

Let’s be clear, PBS started this assault. The initial responsibility is with them.

But MHI – or in their absence, other forward looking MH leaders – must act to defend the MH industry and our home owners. 

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One of the clear results of NOT responding to negative media, decade after decade, is the historic low new MH home shipment numbers – compared to other industry’s that are thriving today – see the facts, click here or the image above.

The MHLivingNews/MHProNews Agenda

Let me answer that critic we opened with. We do have an agenda. It’s not hidden, we’ve touted it for years. It’s simple yet profound. We want to improve the sense of pride, respect and great value that Manufactured Homes provides the public and MH home owners. We want to see MH thrive, not just survive.

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Our tag lines clearly state the MHProNews agenda.

We will positively promote that agenda! Do we think we’ll benefit – as do and will others! – from that effort? Of course. That’s what successful business do!

As I responded to the unnamed person who sent that comment, ‘We may agree to disagree on approaches.’ But the facts speak for themselves.  Not responding for decades to such attacks has harmed our industry’s public image. That costs everyone in MH real American money, the only difference is to what degree you, I or other are harmed by the attacks.

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Image credits – MHProNews.com.

What a seasoned MH Exec said

‘Tony, what other industry can you name that after 35 years is still talking about the exact same challenges they did decades before?’

Well said.

Back to Dick Jennison and MHI

I won’t publish Dick Jennison’s entire pre-story memo, but it concludes with an assurance to MHI members that:

RichardDickJennison-MHI-CEO-PostedMHProNews-comWe hope that the result of our participation will be a fair and balanced piece, and give MHI the opportunity for our voice to be heard on critical industry topics. We will be prepared to respond to any inaccuracies or unfair characterizations that may be included in the final segment.”

When you first read that about 10 days ago, did you think as I did, that MHI would respond publicly if PBS report was unfair to MH?  

As noted above, that alleged three page response to PBS is how our sources inside MHI tell us that they want to keep the written promise to association members, quoted above.

Once more, let’s emphasize that we hope that MHI will not stand on that private 3 page letter to PBS alone.

The takedown piece by PBS was public; and just as Clayton and Warren Buffett defended themselves publicly, so too should MHI defend our industry, good community operators and our lending publicly.

Public Comments From Frank Rolfe

Following similar reasoning used in our first-in-the-industry published lead in the Daily Business News flash report, it should be noted FrankRolfe-MobileHomeUniversity-postedmastheadblogMHProNews-that Frank Rolfe‘s published press release (see download, linked here) does the math too!

Rolfe and others clearly sees the need to defend MH Communities in public to the Public Broadcasting story. So why doesn’t MHI?

“We Provide, You Decide” © 2016.

Ok. That outlines the scenario at the moment. MHLivingNews and MHProNews have publicly responded. Frank Rolfe publicly responded. MHI has not, and says they will not beyond an unpublished three page letter they tell us they’ve sent to PBS’ Stephen Fee and company.

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Will we let others publicly set fire to the image of our industry, and not see the national association respond? The MHI logo – is their property, and is used here for editorial purposes only, under the fair use provisions of the copyright laws.

It’s YOUR industry. The PBS story impacts YOU, YOUR Career and YOUR business. Stephen Fee’s/ PBS’ unbalanced takedown story influences others in:

  • media,

  • public officials and

  • policy advocates or makers.

Directly or through others, PBS’ story harms our industry, and those investors and professionals in it, and will no doubt cause some would-be customers to otherwise not buy an MH or not live in an MHCommunity.

Before wrapping, my thanks to all of you who have thanked us for taking on PBS’ thinly vielded takedown piece.  We appreciate the encouragement and kind words, made possible by others who are doing rather than…

I’m stunned that MHI hasn’t already responded publicly to PBS, and our polite private nudges have not yet worked.  

So as an association member who champions their causes whenever possible, but quietly or publicly (as needed) questions them when their actions/inactions don’t make sense for the industry and its members, we are hereby going public.

Do you think MHI should just stay silent, or should they defend publicly the MH Industry, our lending and communities?

And you say? ##

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.