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Eli Wiesel vs. The Manufactured Housing Enemies List

April 9th, 2014 No comments

Let's sandwich considerable good news at the start and end of today's Pensées (thoughts) between a pretty challenging – or some would say – an ugly reality.

The good news?

New manufactured home shipments continued to rise, in spite of all the legal head winds and the worst U.S. winter in decades.

New Capital is rushing into our industry, with more to follow. All that we need to advance back to 6 figure plus annual new HUD Code home shipments is arguably within our grasp.

Midterm elections are drawing closer. Clear thinking and the correct, prompt action must prevail for us to achieve the new heights we in manufactured housing are capable of attaining.

The rising tide would raise all boats, large and small, but…

Painful birth

Anyone who has witnessed a human birth knows its a messy process. To ignore the pain, contractions and hopes mixed with fear that precede a birthbaby_born_wikicommons-posted-masthead-blow-mhpronews-com are to miss the very elements that makes the drama one that so often ends with the beauty and joy of new life.

The newborn cries,

smiling parents sigh,

raising that soul on high.

Without valleys, there are no mountaintop views. You don't get electricity without positive and negative polarity.

Media – including trade media – that speaks of only the sunny side of a story would miss the drama, and rapidly become flaccid and boring!

Onto the problematic…The Enemies List?

No kidding, folks. The following groups and individuals have been publicly lumped together online by a pair of manufactured housing personalities under their posted title "Know Your Enemy."

  • CFED
  • I'm Home
  • ROC USA
  • and by inference, MHARR
  • MHI
  • Your Masthead scribe and MHProNews

They have an interesting group collected under the heading “know your enemy,” don't they?

The posting party began with a long quote by Doug Ryan at CFED. Then they and others are denounced. The posting man's tag team partner (both are shown in the graphic later below) adds to the enemies by inference and comes to their punch line.

…don't you wish, as I do, there'd be a National Public Forum…where matters like these could be presented and discussed…industry…veterans who're willing to take opposing views on these issues…”

Let's freeze frame those kernels of thought for a moment, because enemies list aside, I happen to think there is objectively potential merit to it.

  1. We don't have to buy into a one size fits all mindset.
  1. We as industry professionals ought to be able to respectfully discuss opposing views. There ought be to be an ability to engage in meaty, civil discussions. We are all free to choose.
  2. There should be discussion vehicles, meetings or platforms to hold 'heady' coversations or even dabates.
  3. Well, in fact, we have such platforms. MHProNews.com is a proven one – and the largest – for some years now. In theory, some LinkedIn groups are potentially another.

The practical problem on LinkedIn is that the very people who are using it to advertise their meetings, products and services – “don't you wish, as I do, there'd be a National Public Forum…” – are the ones who allegedly:

  • use tactics that limit or avoid discussion
  • block or remove those who take a different perspective than theirs
  • thus violating the principles they shared.
  • Further, they engage in demeaning and name calling of those who opposed them (the latest example, those they've lumped under their heading 'Know Your Enemy' list.)

Now let's “follow the money.”

  • What they want is to promote a meeting,
  • for which meeting they want to collect money from others and offer their attendees at said meeting the chance to spend still more money with them and
  • only have those they've approved or “invited” to attend.

Huh?

So after their public posturing and name calling – surelyenemy” is a strong label – they want to try to promote a reasonable discussion?

Pardon me?

We have documents that suggest and demonstrate that these very individuals and their surrogates block discussion on LinkedIn, which is why its value in MH discussions – other than those the pair and their allies want to see – has diminished.

FYI, we have a free-to-the-industry's-members fix in the works for that problem on LinkedIn these folks created, that we can roll out in fairly short order. Once launched, that new platform will change the discussions in our industry for good. Stay tuned!

Summing up, is this the latest example of the best bad idea that they had that day?

The Best Bad Idea”

 

“There are no good options…This is the best bad idea that we have.” – from the movie, Argo.

When I heard this snipet once more, it had me rolling anew. It sure seemed to fit what's happening in certain quarters of our our industry. But not all of 'the best bad ideas' turn out the way it did in Argo.

Their hypothetical “Know Your Enemy” conversation…

ken-rishel-george-allen-manufactured-housing-professional-news-masthead-blog-mhpronews-know-your-enemy-3

Please look Closely for Yourself at some of those they lumped under their headline of Know Your Enemy.

Let's start with the obvious, by saying that none of us agree on everything. Heck, we're all prone to even disagree with ourselves, if we are presented with new facts or inputs.

But the people that are on this list all are proven to care about manufactured housing! So if we happen to see some things different, does that mean we throw the baby out with the bath water?

Let's survey just some of what those non-profits have shared.

A) One of the hottest reads this month is from the non-profit, Stacey Epperson CEO at Next Step, called Dirty Laundry. NextStep and the other non-profits are known to collaborate from time to time.

B) We've gladly showcased articles on the powerful study on the sound performance of manufactured home loans done by CFED and I'm Home, linked here.

C) Let's not forget that Andrea Levere and Stacey Epperson teamed up to publish Hurricane Sandy and the Merits of Manufactured Housing, in the influential east coast Huffington Post.

Question! When was the last time that the twin naysayers shown above got as much positive, free ink about manufactured housing into the mainstream media as Epperson/Levere did? Years? Ever? By contrast, the linked column above by Levere and Epperson is not a one time event. So why would savvy industry pros shun these non-profits, who clearly believe in manufactured housing and bring us periodic good publicity?

My reply, we work with them in as many ways as we can. We respectfully discuss what we don't agree upon. That's how civilized people behave, isn't it?

D) Only a tiny sliver of our industry's communities are owned by residents, but that has drawn public praise in the media, such as this report about ROC USA on NPR.

E) While some have tried to blame the national associations for the 'failure' to stop Dodd-Frank (DF) or the SAFE Act, etc. in the first place, let's get real. When the Mortgage Bankers and much bigger lenders, financing and housing groups couldn't stop SAFE or DF, what makes a reasonable person think that the relatively small manufactured housing industry was going to stop it?

E) The industry at large has made MHProNews the runaway number one industry news, tips and views resource. When we cover controversial topics, the already highest in the biz readership goes up. The industry votes with its time and browsers daily by the thousands.

For anyone who thinks the twin “Know Your Enemy” pals are right in demonizing those who disagree with them, sorry, on the Masthead, we beg to differ!

Crucially, we allow people with differing views to express themselves.

No Apologies!

We make no apologies for carrying periodic articles (or in the past or present, ads) by any of these implied 'enemy' of the graphic-above-tag-team.

Nor do we apologize for carrying MHI and MHARR news unedited, as we have for years. We believe that the many can see the facts, then learn and discern from the facts.

Naturally, as publishers, we also do editorials here on the Masthead.

Yes, we favor public discussion and debate. What's riotous is that the pair shown above have never accepted a debate that we offered them.

Oh, pardon me, the debate we offered would have been 'free.' Maybe that was their problem? They couldn't make money on the discussion?

Or maybe they are not prepared to stand up in public and face the full facts they present in such a slanted way?

Fairness in Action

Last year, when we had articles on the topic of

Manufactured Housing and Captive Finance,

Can it be done Successfully in Today's Environment?

we gave Ken Rishel his say in his own words. That's fairness. That was one of the top 30 new articles on MHProNews last year accessed out of well over 10,000 referral paths.

When will that pair in the hypothetical graphic above do the same level of fairness? Who are they to host any truly fair industry discussion event?

elie-wiesel-credit-time-wikicomons-we-must-always-take-sides-neutrality-he ... -victim-silence-encrouages-tormentor-nevertormented-(c)2014-mhpronews

Eli Wiesel, photo courtesy of Time and WikiCommons

Pensées from Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel

“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”

― Elie Wiesel

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

― Elie Wiesel

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

― Elie Wiesel

“One person of integrity can make a difference."

― Elie Wiesel

us-army-wwii-photo-wikicommons-buchenwald-(c)2014-mhpronews-com

U.S. Army war photo, courtesy of WikiCommons

Facing Flawed Faith?

We routinely talk about facts and reason, not just emotion. You may recall the maxim;

A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

Presenting the facts alone is no guarantee reason will follow. “Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up!” is the unvoiced cry of those who follow a delusion.

Not all struggles are life and death, and not all enemies are Hitlers, Stalins or Maos. Some are the Bernie Madoff's of this world, who steal by fraud while smiling and promising riches.

It isn't PC today, but not all faiths are equal. Faith in people should always be tempered by the truth and reason.

Those who say all faiths are equal, nonsense! Deep within, we all know better. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden created their own secular faiths – or a god-in-their-own-image faith – thousands to millions followed and look at what happened.

On a lesser monetary level, many a con artist uses multiple people as they ply their dishonest trade.

resources1.news.com-au-341109-111112-adams

Cartoonist Bill Leak imagined Osama Bin Laden's
encounter with Hitler, Stalin and Mao in the afterlife.
Source: The Australian

Those pilots who hijacked those planes that slammed into the Twin Towers had “faith.“

But that misguided band of terrorists' faith killed some 3000 thousand that day, and led to wars that killed hundreds of thousands. That false faith cost rivers of blood, copious tears and treasure in the trillions. Our lives are still touched by the fall-out, from TSA agents at airports, to the NSA spying and much more.

Who and what we place our faith in matters! The truth matters.

Some will deny truth, or claim it is all relative. Nonsense! If you are robbed or a loved one is raped, do you and society at large not seek justice?

Still those who go with a blind faith into what's false may not be convinced, even when truth stares them in the face.

We have cops, soldiers, first responders and others to protect decent society from those who break the law.

We also ought to be able to depend on media to help expose the Watergates and Ponzi schemers of our time.

Cons promising what they can't deliver won't depend on the facts, so they use smoke-and-mirrors, half truths, gimmicks or outright lies instead.

One Step at a Time, Progress

We've seen recent, positive steps in our industry as a result of spotlighting a long standing stumbling block.

By periodically spotlighting the tactics of the “Know Your Enemy” tag team, the industry at large can in time neutralize their impact and perhaps even end their antics too.

color-madoff-sec-2web-credit=dave-granlund-posted-masthead-blog

Bernie Madoff and SEC cartoon by Dave Granlund

Being informed is the necessary start to the eradication of our industry's long standing problems. That begins with you, by first rejecting falsehood personally.

winston-churchill-wikicommons-in-war-resolution-in-defeat-defiance-in-victo ... to-improve-is-tochage-to-be-perfect-change-often-(c)2014-mhpronews-com

Making Friends

abraham-lincoln-wikicommons-the-best-way-to-destroy-an-enemy-is-to-make-a-friend-(c)2014-mhpronews-com

Abraham Lincoln fought the ugliest war in American history, but look at all the good that came from it. Not unlike Nelson Mandela, Lincoln's goal was to bring former enemies and make them allies, a truly united states – friends – once more.

Some enemies must be stopped or defeated! Society arrests the criminal, right? But isn't the hope with those we imprison that they may at some point change and rejoin society in a more positive way?

Not all misdeeds are worthy of war, prison or litigation, etc., nor is that being implied in any of the allegations in this column. You can do your own home work, and come to a similar or perhaps a different conclusion.

That said, we lay out information and questions precisely to allow pros like you to reason through such issues.

This particular problem won't be settled today, its part of a journey toward what we hope can be a happy resolution.

Nothing would make us happier than to see intelligent people who have tried to sell their wares via their questionable tactics to turn the page. Everyone who has ever made a New Year's resolution knows that people can change, once a person makes the firm decision to change.

Start of the Good News Wrap Up! Kudos to Nancy Geer in New York!

Governor Cuomo has signed a proclamation for a factory built housing days in NY. Nancy Geer and her members are once more doing a House on the Hill day at their state capital. Hats off to all involved, these are among the things that truly bring advancement to our industry!

Kudos to Tim, Andrea and the Ohio Association!

As the days click down towards the 1st Eastern Ohio Home Show in May, a significant campaign has been assembled by Tim Williams, Andrea Reichman and the sponsors of the event. Again, hats off to all involved. They are working hard to make this trade and public show a great way to showcase modern manufactured homes to the home seekers and pros in their area!

Creating Opportunities – Building Success

The tag line for this year's Congress and Expo is terrific. I'm one of over a 1,000+ or so who have paid to attend this event. We are looking forward to it. This is where the industry is rallying pros seeking solid information that is geared towards Creating Opportunities and Building Success.

As a closing thought, notice that at the end of each session at Congress and Expo, you typically have opportunity for questions and discussion. This is but one more example that we are not without options for discussion.

Congress and Expo brings together some of the largest names in our industry, along with the independent “mom and pops” and all in between. For most coming, the investment – and it is an investment – if often repaid many times when the concepts presented are put to work in their businesses.

And where else will you meet in person so many of the captains of the corporations that you do business with?

For those who demean the cost, keep in mind the costs and effort involved in putting on such an event.

The Road Ahead

We have a long road ahead. We can rise above the 6 figure shipment level anew.  We could do more than was achieved years ago, but could do so sustainably, with satisfied customers.

But to get there, we must think and apply the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Eli Wiesel and others. Seek the truth! Then put it to work. Don't let untruths rule the day. Don't sit on the sidelines.

See you here this weekend? You might be in for quite a treat. Thanks for checking in. ##

For more Insights into the twin “Know Your Enemy” list makers.

(Original Image credits, WikiCommons, posters copyright (c) 2014 by Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC. All Rights Reserved)

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Manufactured Housing’s Fairy Tales vs. Roaring Ahead

March 19th, 2014 3 comments

For all the noise being created from an office in DC and Indy, you'd think the famous 500 series race-cars were roaring; but they're not.

We will park that thought for now, and before looking at a "manufactured housing fairy tale," briefly survey what's truly advancing in our industry, including:

story-reading-kids-wikicommons-credit-masthead-blog-mhpronews.jpgNow, please gather up all the kids and young at heart, because it's story telling time...

Manufactured Housing's Fairy Tales

Thunder! Lightening! Hail and Rain!  All sorts of literary devices are used in story telling, and fairy tales are no exception.

Let's imagine below an upside down, all-hypothetical view "through the looking glass."

Imagine

Danny Ghorbani named MHI's Man of the Yearmanufactured-housing-institute-award-man-of-the-year-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com(1).jpg

Danny was named as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) 2014 Man of the Year as the crowning achievement for his years of successful negotiations on behalf of the manufactured housing industry. A list of Danny's accomplishment included, but are not limited to:

  • Successfully Lobbying the Senate Banking Committee on GSE reform by sending them a 30 page document that was delivered via FedEx.
  • Dismissing a lobbyist, and single-handedly lobbying the House on GSE reform, and shepherding the final form of the bill personally.
  • Addressing an extraordinary joint session of Congress, where his impassioned plea for manufactured housing was met by a standing ovation, followed by a call for an immediate voice vote that unanimously passed GSE reform, which includes all that his FedEx'd 30 page position paper called on.
  • The Presidential Motorcade raced down Pennsylvania Avenue, so President Obama could immediately sign into law the GSE reform documentdanny-ghorbani-president-obama-credit-wikicommons-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com Congress passed at Danny's prompting. The President took a smartphone selfie with Danny, to commemorate the event and thanked Mr. Ghorbani for the brilliant way he ended DC partisan gridlock.
  • HUD's secretary asked for the president to issue an executive order to change Pam Danner's title from career administrator to a non-career administrator of the HUD Manufactured Housing program, out of profound respect for the emailed missive (err, memorandum…) Danny had issued on the subject.
  • Pam Danner was instructed by the White House to give Mr Ghorbani carte blanche to fully implement every part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.
  • Pam Danner was also ordered by POTUS to make Danny the honorary head of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), to suspend any of the rules and rubber stamp any request Mr. Ghorbani made.
  • All federal agencies were instructed to joyfully receive Mr. Ghorbani on any topic, any time.
  • MHI voted to reconstitute themselves into a strictly 'post-production association,' with every manufacturing member of MHI racing to pay their dues to Danny as the head of the reconstituted 'production association,' which Mr. Ghorbani has been calling for in many of his monthly columns for the past few years.

  • The Library of Congress asked the Journal  for copies of every article that Danny had ever published, to be framed, set in glass cases that were hermetically sealed and protected by armed guards! These were then ordered to be placed side by side with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
  • Danny ordered the producers of the movie Wayne's World  to re-edit the movie, to make he and George Allen the new stars, and to have everyone in the film fall on their faces as they chanted the words, "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"

  • George F. Allen, named as Danny's paid press agent, ordered all MH Park owner/operators in America to change their location names toking-george-allen-coba7-community-investor-blog-allen-letter-george-allen2-masthead-blog-mhpronews0com- include the words, "land-lease lifestyle community,"  to become direct-dues paying members of his COBA7 group, and to memorize the fabled "Ah Ha, Oh No" and other formulas he has preached (err…enlightened us with…) for years.
  • MHProNews was ordered to apologize for having 821 times more page views and outrageously more readership daily than Allen's blog has monthly, and was told to place Allen's weekly blog and Danny's periodic emailed missives (errr…memorandum…) to be the only 2 items shown on the MHProNews home page.
  • The NCC's Jenny Hodge begged George Allen to allow them to merge with Allen's International Networking Roundtable and COBA7.
  • Meanwhile the newly reconstituted post-production association witnessed Dick Jennison beseeching 'King for many-a-day' George Allen to become the President, Chancellor, Viceroy and His Excellency of the not-yet-renamed MHI as well as to simultaneously hold the Executive Vice Presidency of the NCC. Allen's first royal decree was to make every session at the next 5 years of the not-yet-renamed-MHI Congress and Expo to include himself, Danny Ghorbani and their buddies.
  • All the future Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Trade Shows were told to make sure that George himself approved how many Community Series Homes were to be displayed, and that no 'bigger boxes for bigger bucks' homes should ever be showcased without his personal OK. Naturally, the shows educational segments were to be managed by George, with Danny's implied imprimatur.
  • Industry lenders were told by President Obama to buy 500 credit score loans, backed by the Federal government, with 5% down, 30 yeardanny-ghorbani's-head-on-superman-cutout-mharr-ceo-manufatured-housing-pronews-masthead-blog-mhpronews terms and guaranteed credit approval, all of which could be waived in cases of hardship or the need for a no-doc deal. This move, Danny assured the nation, will take industry shipments to new highs in the 500,000+ units annually range. When asked about repos that would follow, Danny replied: “Please, don't worry about any of the repos that will come. Surely, the Treasury Department would find the money to cover those losses somehow! After all, we can always borrow the money from China.”  All nodded at the wisdom of these words.
  • In celebration of all that Danny has done for the Industry, the Journal renamed itself The MHARR Journal. The Allen Professional Letter also renamed itself, The Allen About Allen Letter, but we will Talk about Danny Ghorbani too and Send us your Check Letter. And since Mr. Allen likes abbreviations, TAAAbwDGtaSuyCL for short. Readers were instructed to focus on a column called 'Allen Knows Best' or AKB for short. Subscribers to the TAAAbwDGtaSuyCL climbed back over 300 for the first time in over 5 years.
  • Danny and George agreed to tie their right hands behind their respective backs, while using only their left hands to design new logos for the new production and post-production associations. Of course, the pair would use images of themselves, seated on royal thrones, atop the new logos, would name the new groups personally and…

…and then the fairy tale, imagination station, day-dream ended.

Fairy tale or Farce…

  • GSE reform has not passed. We'd love to see it happen! While this past Sunday's announcement was a hopeful step, with plenty of credit to share all around and that MHI was very much involved in; still, experts say that odds are this won't happen in 2014.
  • HR 1779 and S 1828 haven't failed, they are advancing faster than GSE reform and deserve the vocal support of and effort of all pros, which includes George and Danny, if they truly care about selling more homes, protecting communities, retailers and manufacturers.
  • The above might be funny as a make believe story, if it wasn't already such a farce…?'…

…on the serious side, in Manufactured Housing's Pogo, we shared the following quotable quote.

Isn’t it amazing how many thousands of peoples’ lives in this industry have been upended by the unwillingness of so few people to get along?”

When will we learn to deal with the underlying issues?

Your Feedback and Input

It is feedback from pros like you, the tips and insights from the movers and shakers to the mom-and-pops – all of whom provide us commentary that spans the range of opinions – that helps keep us grounded in reality here.

Thanks as always for reading and supporting the cause of manufactured housing industry advancement. That's our mission! That's our agenda! To share the facts, figures, tips, commentary, inspiration and insights that allow you and your team to know and grow.

See you here on the Masthead  blog this weekend and in Tunica next week. It is at shows like Tunica where we all gather to do the business that truly helps us to roar ahead.  ##

(Editor's Note: For those who want a preview of Tony's "Dominate Your Local Market" presentation for Tunica, please click here.)

(Image credits: WikiCommons, MHProNews)

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Adding Zeroes and Fact based Challenges to the MH Status Quo

March 14th, 2014 No comments

There is a great column by Zig Ziglar this month, that provides a true to life story about "adding zeroes" that thousands of pros in a Manufactured Housing need to read and heed. Why are we at 60,000 new homes shipped in 2013? Could – and more important, should – we add a zero to that new home shipment number?

Could YOUR location add a zero to your results?

An Under-Used Finance Program Proves it?

Before you say, 'no way,' think about that public official I invited to be on a panel at a prior Louisville Show, who provided facts that demonstrated thatbag-cash-padlocked-manufactured-home-living-news.jpg the USDA loan program alone could finance 150,000 manufactured home/land packages, if each package averaged a whopping $150,000 each.

Since we provided an article on that topic on MHProNews – and on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com – that article has consistently stayed in the top 3% of all articles read on our site.

150,000 shipments doesn't add a zero, but that one program would add 250% to our industry's current total production levels.

Imagine, if we went from 60,000 shipments to 210,000 shipments. MH Retailers, that is doable, no need to wait for a legislative change, regulatory change, etc.. But it is only doable if you are willing to do the practical marketing and sales effort needed to make that happen!

john-bostic-president-of-sunshine-homes.jpg"Easy Doesn't Pay Well!"

John Bostick, President of Sunshine Homes, likes to say "Easy doesn't pay well" when it comes to a challenge that requires extra effort.

Let's look at some facts, and then apply the principle of "easy doesn't pay well."

Fact 1: more expensive conventional housing is outselling manufactured housing (MH) by over 10-1 in 2013.

Fact 2: recent statistics show that less than 1 out of 4 MH sales are being sold via mortgage financing vs. personal property lending, or through a cash sale.

Fact 1 and 2 clearly suggests there is room to grow new manufactured and modular home sales, but that will require retailers to worker harder/smarter to get and close those opportunities to sell more new homes.

We need those chattel deals! But MHRetailers must figure out how to do more. Because the faster, easier 'chattel loan' sales alone won't get us there.

Some are already doing what is suggested in this column. More must be considering or are starting to tap it; why else are there so many who read the article by the USDA's Mary Beth Juergens  18 months after we published it?

Who else in national MH publishing is promoting that and other legal/under-used loan programs?  Who else provides you with a much-needed study that shows how such mortgage loans perform as well as site-built housing?

will-rogers-image=wikicommons-it-isn't-what-you-know-that-gets-you-in-trouble-is-what-you=know=that-aint-so-posted-masthead-mhpronews.jpg

We hear excuses for not doing this, or not doing that…when will more people get past the excuses and get to the action that will drive more zeroes after their digits, which go straight to their bottom lines?

Emotions vs. Reason?

Please read the brief article, linked here, laced with quotes from famous people on the topic of emotion and reason, before proceeding. You'll quickly see why, and thank you.

The Agenda?

The calls and messages about our Danny Ghorbani/George Allen related news, OpEds and guest columns keep coming in. They cover the spectrum,identifying-problem-important-finger-pointing-not-same-as-problem-solving-masthead-blog-mhpronews-.jpg most favorable, a few not and some in between. We plan to showcase an article in our April issue with numerous examples of the letters from industry pros on this subject.

For now, let me address not the many who cheer or the few who jeer. Let's address those in between who have called or written to sincerely ask, why this, why now, what is the agenda?

arrow-up-man-mhpronews-masthead-blog.pngThe MHProNews' agenda is industry advancement. Period.

Growing the industry's bottom line has been the plan and our agenda since the day we launched 4 1/2 years ago.

Would it surprise anyone if there is deep fatigue over the years of sniping from Danny or George directed at MHI?

We routinely reach out to members and executives of MHI, MHARR, state and community associations for input. But allegedly Danny has made it out to some that because we are MHI members, that must mean we are biased/working for MHI.

That's a false premise, because George Allen and Doug Gorman are MHI members too, and Danny doesn't accuse them of the same thing, does he? Danny praised us years ago for challenging the status quo, and encouraged our analysis…

…right up to the first time we questioned him on a topic.

But let's be clear, on topics like a lack of a national image and education campaign, we are among those who have asked, why hasn't MHI acted in the last decade on that front?

We ask Industry leaders in our Cup of Coffee interviews about an image campaign regularly.

The point is we are focused on the goal, the agenda of industry advancement. We can periodically raise a topic – any topic – until it is addressed.

We strive to be objective, and we offer members of this or that group – or no group – the opportunity to sound off. Who else in MH publishing does all that we do, and tries to be fair and balanced in the process?

Financing and Manufactured Housing

Besides the 'good job,' or 'thanks for writing it' messages, there are messages that don't fault our publication for covering this topic, but who still blame MHI (or MHARR, for that matter) for not stopping the SAFE Act, Dodd-Frank/CFPB mess in the first place.

Let's look at that for a few moments.

We have the exclusive, popular article from Dave Stevens, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). We reached out to Mr. Stevens because he is independent of us all, and has a unique perspective. It is one that you and every industry pro needs to consider.

If the MBA lobby, the Community Bankers lobby and a host of other housing and lending players – any one of whom are many times bigger than MHI, MHARR and all our state associations combined – count not stop the Financing Regulatory Train in DC, how is it that some expect that MHI was going to do it?

Let's be fair. We should not let our frustrations, our emotions, be pointed at MHI or anyone else as if they 'failed.' They didn't pass these laws in DC, they tried to stop or reform them.  The times are tough! We need to work together to advance! It may be easy to blame this or that group. But Easy doesn't pay well.

The fact that Nathan Smith or Tim Williams from 21st said some comments in interviews that others have twisted and taken out of context doesn't change the facts! The facts are that after the Housing/Mortgage meltdown of 2008, the Congress and presidents did what they so often do.

Over-react.

Our Industry could not stop it, not when so many others much bigger than we are also could not stop it.

Dave Stevens' article points out exactly why we need to work TOGETHER to change the dynamic in DC! Remember, Stevens was at HUD before he took the role at the MBA. He knows both sides of the story well. My impression is he is sympathetic to the manufactured housing industry cause.

The same can be said about Bill Matchneer's article, it is an insider look from the CFPB and HUD perspective our industry needs to see. Both of these are being widely read in our industry, but even more need to do so, and understand what they are saying means to our industry.

We've seen a lot of passionate messages and taken passionate calls. We have God given emotion and reason for a reason. We need both. We need reason to see things clearly. Then we need emotion to motivate us to do what reason tells us ought to be done!

Is it easy? No. “Easy doesn't pay well.

Challenging the Status Quo

We respect the rights of MHARR or George Allen, or MHI or other associations and the many who are in no association. People can spend their money and time doing whatever they wish, within the boundaries of the law, morality (the law and morality are not always the same) and common decency.

But I'm daring Danny or George to defend their agendas, and show us what they have accomplished by what Allen himself in his own writing called 'agitating' against MHI.

Some admire Danny or George for 'tough talk.' A DC Fed wrote me this week to say, 'Danny is like a barking dog,' and 'there is not enough money in the MHARR budget'  to do any of the bold things Danny talks about. Is "barking" effective or is it leadership?

Those are not easy words to type, much less to read or hear.  But let's set the emotions aside, and ask, does that DC insider who said it make an important point?

What are the fruits of the millions of dollars that MHARR members have spent in DC in the last 5 or 10 years? List the costs, list the accomplishments. That is common sense.

Common sense tells us what is happening – or not happening – goes beyond some tough, agitating talk, regardless of who dishes out that tough talk.

It is about real action, real efforts, real results.

My sources at MHI tell me that a document is being prepared by an expert that shows exactly where we were on CFPB regs a year ago, and the progress that has already been made.

We have articles from pros like DJ Pendleton, that have said what we have accomplished in DC between MHI, Texas and other association efforts.

It is not yet enough, but there is progress. Which do you want, progress or tough talk?

Peace through Strength

Trey Gowdy, South Carolina's popular Congressman recently spoke out, essentially explaining what the steps would be for a Writ of Mandamus action to be used when the president over-reaches his Constitutional authority.

We shared the Writ of Mandamus option here as a consideration for our industry some months ago.

ronald-reagan-peace-through-strength-we-maintain-the-peace-through-our-stren ... vites-agression-poster-(c)2014-lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-mhlivingnews.jpg

The major political parties are trying to mobilize their bases for the upcoming 2014 elections. We have suggested for years here on MHProNews that we need to mobilize our customer base, not de facto ignore or fear them. Some businesses and associations in our industry already do so! But we need more to do it.  

We reach out to the non-profits, not because we agree with them on everything, but because it is prudent to talk topics through.  We have potential allies there, but some try to paint them as enemies.  On the Masthead, we see them as being pro-manufactured housing.  Let's work through the details we disagree on reasonably and together.

Potentially our greatest resource is our happy customer base! We must mobilize and work with them for the common good, because the CFPB regs harm them as much or more as those same regs harm us.

puzzle-people-masthead-manufactured-home-marketing-sales-management-mhpronews-.png

We've preached that for years, but have also gone past talk to put it to work with various community operators we've worked with over the years. Does it help? Youbetcha.  We don't just talk, we prove the point by being part of the work that produces the growth of events such as the Louisville Show.

My point in this agenda survey is to show you just why we take the stands that we do.

We don't take a position in a vacuum, nor do we take stands lightly. A position at times cost us money, because some people misunderstand a stance; that's the risk of being a balanced publisher.

But I'd be a liar of we didn't admit that there are benefits to taking a principled position, and then acting upon it. Our readership and revenues continue to rise, while others' are reportedly falling, and still others vanished entirely.

We advance because we truly do provide the

Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use  © 

We will be at Tunica, less than 2 weeks out now! Here is Show Chairman Keith Bennett's take on the huge upcoming show! Bring your business card to Tunica and a driver's license to register at the door, or most can sign up free online here. Don't miss the finance and business building seminars, linked here.

www.prereg.net/2014/tmfs/

We will be at the MHI/NCC Congress and Expo! Here is their column on that topic. Or click here to sign up or learn even more. These are must do events for those who want to learn more and earn more.

We've done these events for years, and they are among the places where we meet pros like you to do face to face.

tamas-kovach-right-handing-chet-kearny-business-card-soheyla-kovach-c-mhpronews-com-latonykovach-com-mhc-md-com-2014-louisville-show-booth.pngThey are also where we are doing the red hot video interviews like the one with Nathan Smith, or others posted and linked here.

We get the interviews with MH Industry leaders because they know we may take challenging positions, but they also know we don't take cheap shots. Our Industry's leaders they know we at MHProNews are trusted by professionals like you. Here is snapshot of what others say.

Our son, "The Youngest Exhibitor," will be all dressed up for Tunica, and helping his lovely mom again (it is our son's spring break, lucky us!). Please stop by 14H at the Tunica Show's exhibit hall and say hi.

Let's add a zero by challenging the status quo. We can do better at your location and our industry at large! Thanks for being a reader and industry supporter. ##

(Editor's Note: For those who want a preview of Tony's "Dominate Your Local Market" presentation for Tunica, please click here.)

(Image credits: WikiCommons, MHProNews)

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

MHARR after Danny Ghorbani and more Manufactured Housing Issues

March 12th, 2014 No comments

After an in depth report published yesterday, there won't be a lot of commentary today about Danny Ghorbani, his recent relationship with George Allen and related. We will first pose a question, then state an obvious fact and then follow up with a few more simple questions before moving on to other manufactured housing topics.

The first question: What will MHARR and the Industry look like once Danny retires or otherwise leaves MHARR?

Fact: after some 30 years at the helm of MHARR, clearly at some point in time, Danny leaving MHARR will happen.

We all ultimately leave our current posts. Prior to our detailed Daily Business News report, there were already rumors of Danny considering retirement. But other rumors allege Ghorbani believes there is 'too much work left to do.' So it is hard to say.

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The MHARR board, or Danny himself, they have that say.

Often, People see What They Want to See

Sometimes, people want to see or believe in magic, for those who hope for magic is it surprising if that is what they see?

Remember the movie line…"I am OZ, the Great and Powerful…"

None of us are Oz. Some want to believe in a “wizard,” but the “magic” is often smoke and mirrors.

Which is why on ANY topic, it helps to pull the curtain back from time to time, which is what little Toto did in this scene from the 1939 classic MGM movie, the Wizard of Oz.

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Questions, Questions…

Trade journalism is more than just “cheer leading.” It is more than expert columnists, news or event updates, as important as those may be.

In any form of true journalism, it helps to ask objective questions, and see where they logically lead us.

Yesterday, after the Daily Business News item linked blow, reports, calls and messages came in from MHARR members, Feds who assert that they know Danny, from other industry pros; and more documents with comments came in too.

After all the words, the position papers, the articles, Fed Ex'ed and certified letters, emails and reprints, what exactly has been the bottom line accomplished since say the MHIA of 2000?

We have invited Danny or Mark at MHARR repeatedly to answer that question. We've asked, when you cheer DTS (which is worth cheering, if it were implemented) why do you fail to mention that the same law – HERA 2008 – also gave us the SAFE Act?

We have also asked, when the time comes that Danny does step down, who will he want to replace him? Vic DeRose? M. Mark Weiss?

Will Danny consult with MHARR or others? Or will Danny take a well earned rest on his RV MH Hall of Fame legacy?

More Questions…

These are questions that MHARR members must also consider, sooner or later. While others, as in this Industry Voices guest OpEd suggests, are also keenly interested.

Will change only come through trauma? Will change prove costly, or will it happen in a way that is widely profitable for MHARR and the Industry at large?

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Will change happen through positive, peaceful transition, or in some other way?

Time will tell.

One thing is sure. Words are often NOT cheap. Words are often COSTLY!

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Caution! Not for skimming….Serious Reading

The following is not light reading, nor the type of coverage that can be skimmed. It has to be read carefully, thoughtfully. While it is not easy to set emotions – or even passions – aside, this is how this is best done for clear thinking to prevail.

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/danny-ghorbani-george-allen-michael-power-et-al-false-misleading-statements-and-tortuous-interference/

We respect the rights of all involved.

Moving on now to other topics.

MHProNews Home Page Updates

MHProNews.com has slowly been evolving on our home page. Please scroll the page top to bottom, you will see updates, new features and other changes, with more to come.

Tunica Looms Large!

The latest report from Tunica Show Chairman, Keith Bennett, is found linked here.

The latest seminar line up is here!

Most Retailers, Communities, Builder/Developers and installers can attend free, please bring your business card and driver license, and you can sign up online free at the link here.

http://www.prereg.net/2014/tmfs

We'll be at Tunica, at booth 14H, will you? Please stop by and say “hi.”

Congress and Expo

When it comes to education, inspiration, networking and deal making, you can't find more at any meeting on the horizon than you will at Congress and Expo, check out the added features!

We know how valuable this can be. We'll be there. Will you?

Some Top Reads:

Thanks for surfing in. We hope to see you here on the Masthead again this weekend. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Bring it on!

January 14th, 2013 No comments

'Championship wrestling' (example, WWF style) has frankly never been my kind of thing. While I love the Rocky series of movies, boxing isn't high on the list either, but a good football game (like that amazing finish between Falcons and the Seahawks) may be! Some of our regular factory-built housing readers who are also on LinkedIn may doubt it, but my heart is peace loving. Still, there are times when something so outrageous happens that no matter how peace loving you may be, you simply have to say, enough is enough! "Bring it on."

For those with skim, don't miss the finish of this…or the meat in between.

Watchdog

Once upon a time, the media played the role of watchdog. Corruption or questionable actions by policy makers, leaders etc. might lead to tips, whistleblowers and in time an investigative report. While journalism isn't dead, it has often reverted to the yellow journalism of yore, more akin to thinly veiled advocacy. In trade publishing, media tends towards the cheer leading role, but that doesn't mean that you don't dig in from time to time and remind professional readers that a spotlight still exists. As an aside, we publish good, bad or in between news in our wildly popular Daily Business News to keep news all real apart from commentary for our readers.

The watchdog role requires synergy between it readers and the media. It is NOT enough for a publisher to merely spout off well (feeble, or in between) conceived missives. When any publisher has an agenda, caveat emptor applies.

AAA

We do listen to, chat with and receive insights and messages from a number of pros coast to coast and border to border. Canadians reach out, as do intentional readers beyond North America's shores. Having the largest U.S. audience in factory built housing has its advantages. One perk is hearing sometimes riotous comments, such as AAA. It has been over a year since that one came my way, with the source being protected, of course.

AAA stands for another publisher's unstated mantra, namely: AAA = "All About Allen."

Self-promotion is necessary for every business – and to some extent – for professionals too. Another behind the scenes commentator once told me (tongue in cheek?) that he is 'jealous' of George F. Allen's ability to self-promote.

The best self promotion is when others see the value of what you do and sing your praises. But for some, it is “AAA.” When you publicly agree with George Allen, then you may be welcomed into his inner circle. If you dare to disagree, well…

Allen is retired Marine, and he periodically reminds readers about his service in Vietnam and the Gulf, which certainly deserves out thanks. No doubt Allen's entertaining tricks at times have brought smiles to many, myself included. One must give the man his due for positive things like being a part of the birthing process of the National Communities Council (NCC).

George Allen has his following of a few hundred precisely due to good or entertaining things done, but are those 'good things' now in the 'good old days' gone by?

A number of readers tell us that the AAA self-serving nonsense has hit a level that arguably borders on the intolerable. You watch a drunk on the same road you travel, not because you want to, but because it is prudent to do so. There are those who read what the Allen fellow says, not because his writing is necessarily easy or appealing, but rather because he is weaving back and forth and you want to avoid a collision if possible. Case in point?

For approaching two years now, Allen has been about trying to force MHI's hand, privately and/or publicly, into buying out his 'business interests' so he may 'retire.' Thinly veiled threats are sent directly to MHI officials, indirectly as if they are clandestine black ops through his blog, other published writings, and of course by phone, email or in person.

We examine some of what Allen is doing in this new Industry in Focus article published at this link here.

We have waited until we had a statement from Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

CEO, Richard "Dick" Jennison, which is included in that report linked above.

Danny Ghorbani

In a way, Allen and Danny Ghorbani have been complimentary book ends, more united by their passions (opposing) MHI than they are unified by any shared vision. Some think that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” may apply with those two.

Why they oppose MHI may also have similarities.

Danny, I've been told, seems to have never gotten over some things back in the day with respect to MHI or the occasional personality related to it. Long memory and not getting his way, Danny may lash out when it is least expected or convenient, such as his rant penned in the wake of the Wall Street Journal report, which is linked here.

The Price we all Pay

The problem is, that Danny Ghorbani's or George Allen's rants come with a price tag!

We will not parse their intentions, which may be sincere and well meaning. But that price is arguably paid by home owners and the industry's businesses and professionals that they allegedly wish to serve. The consequences may be unintended, but they are impactful nevertheless.

Both Ghorbnai and Allen had been and/or were sounding off veiled and/or directly targeted attacks on MHI, at precisely the time when MHI, Texas and SNR Denton were engaging with the CFPB in highly sensitive discussions. Did the Allen/Ghorbani attacks have an impact on the adverse CFPB decision released (linked here) last Thursday?

Who knows with certainty? But can anyone suggest with a straight face that the attacks of those two helped the Industry's cause to modify Dodd-Frank in a reasonable fashion?

As one seasoned and respected manufactured housing industry leader said to me recently, our industry has historically done its best in the last 15 years when the voices work together, as was the case with the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000). So true.

Note, MHProNews with-held in our sole discretion the publishing of Ghorbani's 'analysis' until now, in hopes of blunting the possible impact of his missive. But the facts are that Ghorbani send out hundreds of those 'press releases' via email and there is no telling whose hands that and other attacks on MHI's efforts falls into. Whatever damage that may have been done, is done.

Specific Hits on Industry Segments

While Allen and his buddies – including Ken Rishel, Spencer Roane and Michael Power – beat the drum for a 'new association,' it reportedly has Ghorbani metaphorically salivating on the sidelines, as this has long been one of his desired goals, to foment an insurrection within MHI. Is that wise?

We must examine the potential costs and fall-out from the recent decision in DC.

  • To low balance cost manufactured home owners. Millions in this group may be the most harmed if we fail to get Congress to act before the CFPB's decision kicks in. Why? Because the early read on last week's decision (again, linked here) is that MH didn't get the result MHI/Texas and SNR Denton worked so hard to achieve for all segments of manufactured housing.
To MHCommunities – of all the business segments potentially among the most harmed by the CFPB decision, the land lease communities segment is surely in that mix. Can it be weathered? Yes! But the fact that low-dollar value home owners in land lease communities are going to be impacted, so too will MHCs. For seasoned, savvy and nimble operators – especially larger portfolio operators – this can be turned into new opportunities.

So the irony is that the precise group that George F. Allen ('community investor') has as his recent 'target market' for his new 'association' – namely, the 'mom and pop' MHPs and MHCs – they are the far more likely to be harmed by the decision linked above, once it is implemented. Thanks so much for your help, George.

  • Smaller Factories. Clayton, Cavco and Champion – among others – have evolved their business models to a point that they are better able to weather such squalls. But a hiccup in the flow of chattel (oops, personal property) lending could swamp the boats of some of the very manufacturers that MHARR represents. Thanks so much for your help, Danny.

We will note that some lenders and retailers who do more land/home mortgage style deals will be the least impacted, in fact they could benefit from the decision.

That said, one personal property lender executive told me last week that they want ALL of the lenders to do well, including the one most likely to be adversely impacted. Why? Because, he explained, some marginal retailers – in the wake of such a decision – could fall from the table, especially if their business model has been wed to marginal customers who will arguably be harmed in the wake of the CFPB's ill advised decision. Thanks so much, Consumer Financial 'Protection' Bureau.

The point is that while it wouldn't be a 'beyond a shadow of a doubt case,' Ghorbani

and Allen's routine and public anti-MHI missives may well cost some businesses 6-7 figures at a time they can't afford it.

Logically the 'constituencies' of Allen and Ghorbani are among the most likely to suffer!

Historically, as noted above,our industry does its best is when we join hands and unite our voices. It is America, Allen and Ghorbani have the right to say or publish what they will, within limits. But those who 'support' them (smaller independent factories and mom and pop communities) will be the more likely to pay the price if they are not marginalized, reigned in or have their funding cut off.

For the Regulators, Public Officials or Investors who may be reading this analysis

One ought to consider why the vast majority of the engaged industry owners back the existing state and community associations along with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the National Communities Council (NCC). Then, one ought to consider why the few vocal naysayers herein have such a comparatively small following.

A snapshot of the pair

Potential Silver Lining Solutions to the CFPB decision

Unlike the handful of tiresome industry complainers who want to pat their own or each other's backs, it is much better to have true third parties toot the horn for you.

For example, the membership of state, communities, MHI and NCC combined numbers well into the thousands. By contrast, the numbers of followers of Allen and his band or Danny Ghorbani are relatively few.

Allen periodically rants about this publication and my work, as recently as today.

In response, let me simply point to over 175 current LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements (as evidenced by the screen capture from LinkedIn below), MHC-MD.com, or other client testimonials.

 

 

Mistakes

Mistakes can be corrected, when the mistaken party is willing to stand corrected.

We have all made mistakes, but the question is, what do we do once those mistakes are clearly identified?

I recall the CEO of one of the very biggest companies in our industry who sent me a message, bringing to my attention a significant fact error in one of my own articles. Ooops! The error was corrected, an apology offered and accepted. We moved ahead.

We all have to do that from time to time. So why can't a handful of adept self-promoters admit their efforts in recent years have born substantially no good fruit for the industry and/or even for their target audience of supporters?

We at MHProNews have worked for some years to build strategic allies. This has been done as our part in advancing the Industry. We have not always agreed with MHI, but we strive to work within the system. Patience and respect for the other's perspectives, quiet persistence if one is sincerely convinced they are correct; these are the ways to advance towards unity and joint action.

Let's provide a partial list of initiatives we've been involved in – in some cases for many years now – for your consideration, and let you decide if these would be worthwhile efforts.

  • Greater involvement in good associations (can anyone say with a straight face and using sound reason that Allen's proposed "new association" could qualify as such before many years go by…if ever?).
  • Doing more with good MH PACs. We've seen with the 93% win rate MHI had in supporting its picks in the last election cycle, or the impressive 87% win rate that Iowa's MH Association had in 2012 (others beyond these two could be named), that PAC support matters!

The more the support, the wiser the picks, the better the outcome. 2013 ywill NOT be a year to sit out on the sidelines! Let's look at the example of Sherrod Brown. Senator Brown was one of MHI PAC's supported picks in 2012. Senator Brown issued a strong letter to Richard Cordray, as we reported last week. This bodes well for his support in upcoming legislative initiatives we will need in 2013.

We have dozens of potential supporters in DC, but more are needed.

  • Grass roots activism. We need you, yes you, involved in your association(s) if you aren't already deeply involved. This can't be left only to paid association staff. We need this grass roots activism to mirror what Realtors or Homebuilders do. That activity needs to be in concert with properly established national, and/or state level and/or established MHC Associations (again, we mean MHC associations like those Western U.S., not George Allen's planned new one). We need YOU, in Washington DC for the MHI Legislative Session in the end of February and/or at your local House or Senator's office.

(Note. Allen's own comments about his planned 'association' stated that he intends no advocacy. Huh? An association that does no lobbying? Then what in heaven's name would it do? That said, he has at times signaled the opposite, so it is difficult to know what he truly has in mind. That's one of many reasons his initiative makes no sense.)

  • Increased positive engagement with MHC residents and MH Home Owners, to line them up with industry professionals when needed. MH Homeowners, MH Professionals and MH Associations could be the sleeping giant we need with Congress, regulators and in the states too.
  • New Blood. Those leaders – and they are many – involved in the Introduction to MH Opportunities Day may someday look back and say, that was a solid, pro-active decision they made to start that process. We need more pros – more new blood – coming into our Industry! We need more smart builders, investors and lenders to look closely and say, yes manufactured and modular home building makes good sense. It should be noted that the CFPB decision doesn't harm what a stick builder would b used to doing! The stick builder who would enter the MH space could be undeterred even if that CFPB ruling went into effect. Those who would develop new communities using overlooked options available right now also opportunities that only the forward thinking investors or business professionals will capitalize upon! New capital and industry growth can help those already in the business, as it can benefit the newcomers.
  • Remarketing of MH! I will only say that if you are a lender, retailer or MHC owner/operator, you need to be at or have at least one trusted representative in Louisville to hear Dan Rinzema's important presentation, which I will have the pleasure of introducing. Warren Buffett, I know you are busy, but this is an idea you told Kevin to think about some years back. Thanks to Dan Rinzema's foresight, it is already underway. Learn all about this in Louisville, at a free seminar, on January 23, 11:15-12:15 PM. Don't miss it. The times and topics for all of the AT SHOW seminars are on page 2 of the downloadable brochure linked here.

Ju-jitsu

The time has come to rally the troops. Let the blow-hards, blow harder.

Let the rest of us take their negative energy and turn in into positive inspirational dissatisfaction!

Tell your colleagues why the blow hards are wrong, so they don't get the fuel and support they crave.

Please tell your friends, that you'd rather back the teams and players who are positively engaged than those who spend too much time publicly pointing their finger at the associations noted above who are doing the heavy lifting, without realizing that three fingers are always pointing back at them.

Not Personalities, Consequences and Results

None of what was written herein should be construed to disparage anyone. Just as two people in particular love to analyze others, as public figures, they and their results are subject to analysis.

People can get passionate about something, they may sincerely believe they are 'doing the right thing' – for themselves and/or for others. But a person can be sincerely mistaken!

So we provide, you decide. We will leave it to our readers to investigate and decide if those noted in this column are in the right, or are in fact the voices of division that can't help you as a professional or business leader based on their recent behaviors.

Dissent is fine, it everyone's right. But let it dissent among and within existing associations be more private, better thought out and prudently handled. Let's learn to synergize, instead of doing what Danny Ghorbani has been doing for some time now. Let's not let support yet another 'national' association, as Allen is mistakenly advocating, that can only further splinter our efforts in DC or elsewhere!

The Next Stop!

My understanding, and we hope to have an expert pen a column on this soon, is that we have one year to get it together regarding the CFPB's mis-fired decision, linked above. That can be enough time, if enough of us dig in and do the right things.

We are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

Retailers and communities, besides engaging in real Associations, come to Louisville and see lenders in person present their latest programs that ARE Dodd-Frank complaint!

Learn what you can do today to enhance your growth and profits at the Louisville Show! Hop a plane, or jump in your truck, car, SUV (does anyone in MH drive a Prius?… ;-) and be in Louisville to see all the Money Tree business-building seminars, 39 new model homes on display and some 80 exhibitors who will show you how to profitably navigate in the world today.

Your Feedback is Encouraged

We welcome your private messages, posted comments or 'Letters to the Editor' style feedback for, against or nuanced about this column and the two Industry In Focus Reports:

If you are sending comments for publication, please make your subject line to: Letters to the Editor, tony@MHMSM.com.

We will be engaged. We will be in DC. We will support MHI and the existing associations as noted. We will call and write our legislators. We will be in Louisville, please see us in booth #115. No one can do it alone. But together, we can get it done.

2013 can be a great year. We have early reports from retailers and communities that indicate the same.

As to the blow-hards, if they don't mend their paths, bring 'em on. Let's tune them out, or take the steps to put them in their proper place. Now is the time for unity. Now is the time…for thoughtful, positive action! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for January and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

Driving Innovation for Companies and the Manufactured Housing Industry

September 16th, 2012 No comments

Like you, I'm a reader. There are a wide array of resources I get daily, in and out of our industry: tech, sales, business, political, marketing, news, other publications and all the good reads that folks like you send me via email. Such reading is on top of doing my work, of course. The column read that is on my mind today was in CEO Magazine, which ran an e-article entitled: 6 Imperatives for Driving Innovation In Your Company.

My thought today is to take their topic and tweak it a bit. Clearly companies make up an industry. So let me include innovation in our industry as well at your company as part of the message.

Let's begin with CEO's 6 bullet points below, verbatim. So the headlines are theirs, but the commentary following each bullet is ours.

1) Innovation needs to be nurtured and choices need to be made about which initiatives to triage and which to focus on. The basic concept here is to do an objective analysis as to what is likely to pay off and when. This will help determine your focus and where you allocate time, talent and treasure resources.

2) R&D are two distinct things and both Research and Development need to be managed to focus on value added outputs. Some might think of R&D as being only for a manufacturer. Wrong! Suppliers, communities, retailers and others need to be routinely evaluating what they do through cross checks inside and outside of our industry. One reason reading is fundamental to growth, is because you may read an article about topic X, but it spring boards as an idea into opportunity Y. We've mentioned before those companies or locations for firms – yes in our industry – that have daily reading and discussion sessions. Yes, on company time. They read some article(s), then discuss them. If you do this for 60 or 90 days, you will not only be hooked, but you will also be advancing your business – and careers! – in ways you never dreamed of before. No excuses, just take the time and do it.

3) Innovation starts with your Human Talent strategy: who you hire, how you measure and motivate them. CEO didn't mention our human talent, management and sales guru, Tim Connor, but they could have. His Words of Wisdom blog and monthly Featured Article are routinely among the top reads on our site. If you are among those who invest in business building reading, please check out some of his top books at this link. When you read one, you'll see why he has sold 2 million of them. Need a coach to help with such innovation and change management process? Call Tim or one of our MHSpeakerTrainer.org talents.

tim-connor-books-manufactured-housing-marketing-sales-management-mhpronews.com-store-

4) Innovation touches every department — including accounting, hr, marketing. I mentioned Tim Connor, let me do it again. He has a book, that ought to be required reading in every firm. Corporate Disconnect. I first heard Tim talk on this insightful subject at the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) about 5 1/2 years ago. I bought the book, which was grand. The communications inside companies are as critical as those outside of companies. Getting departments talking can spot opportunities and supercharge your firm's operations.

5) CEOs need to embed and reinforce innovation in their culture. I was accused by George Allen of having “…earned the apt reputation for being an unapologetic cheerleader for the MHIndustry at large!" Marty Lavin has said something similar. Well, guess what? CEO Magazine said this is part of the role of a good executive (okay, I'm not an exec at your company, but hopefully do some good cheer leading for the industry and thus aid the progress by those like you in it). But frankly, you need more than just a 'cheer leader.' You need a balance of cheering and reality checks. Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great , says you need need to look at the cold, hard, brutal facts and test what you want to do against those factual realities. Sound planning, plus cheer-leading, plus honest discussion, plus monitoring results and adapting as needed, that is what yields superior performance.

6) To innovate means to take risks but these risks can be managed and mitigated. We tell our clients that all marketing is test marketing. Something works well in marketing and sales in IL, WI or TX, can it work in CA, FL or NY too? It sure can, but you may need to adapt it some. When you know what to look for, you can manage those needed tweaks to speed successful implementation.

If you are managing, selling or marketing the exact same way as you were 10, 15 or 20 years ago, well, you aren't going to get the results that you should.

If you think that 'well, it worked that way before,' that may be true. But Ford Motor doesn't build the same cars the same way as when Henry Ford started his fabled firm. Times change. Methods change. Don't wait for some 'good old days' to return. They won't. Adapt or die. That's business.

You, your firm and your association needs to look at ways to adapt creatively to today's environment.

Are you synergizing with others? Are you using a combination of inside and outside talent, to make sure you are getting the best results? Volume auto retailers often bring in outside sales coaching talent, why? Most big auto retailers already have a good sales manager. Why go outside, when they have someone inside doing the job? Fair questions! Because 'new eyes' are necessary to spot things your internal staff is bound to miss. It is like the cobweb in the corner of your room. You don't see it, but the new face does.

As noted before, are you reading, discussing, analyzing ways to improve your performance?

A company that performs just 1% better every week, at the end of a year will roughly increase performance 167.8%. It doesn't take a huge leap.

The same principle applies for associations. Ask execs and board members, ask yourselves, how can we help boost our members results, just 1% a week? Using the national numbers, if we boosted our sales from a projected 63,000 +/- for 2012, we'd leap past 105,000 shipments in 2013. In two years, it would yield 281.5% growth, or 177,345 new homes shipped. All from 1% improvement a week.

Think about it. More profits for members. More revenue for associations. More incentives for members to stay or join.

How do you drive innovation? You have to take each of those first 1% baby steps. Then repeat.

Take a page from Nike and Just do it. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for September and see the
other new stories and 'Purely Political' cartoons there.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach
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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

Pre-Christmas Rush Surprise!

November 20th, 2011 1 comment

 

“Yes, Virginia, there is a stocking under the tree for top manufactured housing retailers!”
 
 
Christmas Tree in Drake Hotel, PEAK Manufactured Housing Retailer National Summit, Posted on MHProNews.com
 
Place your cursor on the image to see the caption
 
 
 
The recent national PEAK Retailer’s Summit in Chicago demonstrated that successful manufactured housing retailers are to be found in every region of the nation, even in depressed or 'down markets.'  
 
 
Grand Ball Room, Drake Hotel, PEAK Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer National Summit
 
 
 
Over 50 Manufactured Home Owners and Management Professionals gathered for 2.5 days to share with each other what works, as attendees listened to rotating panels of their peers explain areas they enjoyed success and profitability.
 
 
 
Gary Adamek and Shane Banks
 
 
Place your cursor on the photo to see the names, from right to left.
 
 
 
 
Lance and LeAnn Inderman PEAK Manufactured Housing Retailer Summit 2011
 
 
 
The professionals on the panels – as well as those who rose to speak from the floor at their tables in the Grand Ball Room – described how they achieved that success in a variety of areas in their businesses. The MH Retailers included traditional street (boulevard or highway frontage) retailers as well as those who operate sales centers based in their manufactured home land lease communities.
 
 
 
Adriane DeRose and Dennis Jourdan
 
 
Derrick Hachey Chad Carr and Drew Peters
 
 
Drew Peters family's new baby
 
 
 
The Summit kicked off on November 13th with a lively evening reception at the historic Drake Hotel in Downtown Chicago, where the photos of many attendees shown were taken.  The networking at this function was memorable, as anyone could walk up to these top retailers, shake hands and share a drink, eat, talk and compare notes.
 
 
 
Jim Reitzner and John Rogosich at PEAK Manufactured and Modular Housing Retailer Summit
 
 
Connie Thomas and Bill Maupin PEAK Manufactured Home Retailer Summit Meeting
 
 
Bill Maupin Bob Crawford and Ross Radig
 
 
Kent and Jennifer Cooper with Ed Hartzler PEAK Manufactured Home Retailer Summit meeting
 
 
 
November 14th and 15th had a series of meaty discussions on many topics, including the following profit and business discussions:
 
 
  • Review of Score Cards
  • New Home Sales
  • Service and Customer Satisfaction
  • Communities and Retail Sales
  • Seller Financing
  • Used Home Sales
  • Insurance and Ancillary Revenue
  • Profiling People Assets – how to make a good hire.
  • Marketing and Pursuit.
  • And much more!
 
 
Zachary Herrin Dan Rolfes PEAK Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer National Summit
 
Alan and Bonnie Hall, Paul Ritter  PEAK Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer National Summit
 
 
Doug Gorman, Dick Moore, Doughertys, Ken and Donna Rishel PEAK Manufactured Housing Retailer Summit
 
 
 
Unlike some business meetings, this was not a ‘selling’ function, This was solid, practical business information and networking at its finest. The PEAK Retailer Summit provided solid how to’ – or how not to do – so that what attendees came away with was proven ideas that work!  It should be noted that P.E.A.K. was an acryonym for Performance Endurance Aspiration and Kinship.
 
 
John Underwood, Judy Carr and Shane Banks PEAK Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer Summit
 
George Allen, Janie and Norman Mills PEAK Manufactured Home Retailer National Summit
 
 
The attendees where largely retailing manufactured housing professionals who ply their trade daily and have experienced the ups and downs of the market place successfully.
 
 
Matt Filan and son Ian Filan PEAK Manufactured Home Retailer National Summit
 
 
Derrick, Pam Wronski, Rebecca Joiner (Pam's sister) and Drew Peters PEAK Manufactured Housing Retailers National Summit
 
 
 
So while many independent manufactured housing retailers have taken a pounding – or vanished entirely – in the last baker’s dozen years since 1998, these professionals proved that you could generate profitable business, even in a down market today.
 
 
 
 Lance Inderman, Bill Johnson and Lane Thomas PEAK Manufactured Home Retailers National Summit
 
LeAnn Inderman, Suzanne Johnson and Connie Thomas PEAK Manufactured Home Retailer's National Summit
 
 
 
As those who read this column know, we at MHProNews.com believe in the future of our Industry.  We believe that there are answers available for the practical issues our Industry faces.  Some are profitable, while others struggle.
 
 
 
Alan Gandy and Jim Reitzner PEAK Manufactured Housing Retailer's National Summit
 
 
 
To paraphrase Chad Carr, It is okay not to know something in your business.  But it is NOT okay not to know something, if the person then fails to go out and get the information, talent or resources that are needed!
 
 
I believe that phrase needs to be engraved on the monitors of many owners, managers and executives today.  We can't let the past or the present keep us from reaching for the answers that will lead us to a brighter future.  If you are ill, you go to a doctor.  If your car needs work, you take it to a shop. So why is it that when someone needs an expert to train, motivate, manage or market that it takes to succeed?
 
 
Time and again, these professionals showed a willingness to do what it takes – including hiring or contracting the right pro – to succeed.  They hired the trainers, used the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, paid for the websites or marketing, found the financing, and so on.
 
 
The PEAK Retailer Summit might just as well be named the Can Do Manufactured Housing Today Summit.
 
 
For those who didn't make it, please go to Louisville KY next January, where Chad Carr will present a 'best of the best' summary of topics and ideas.  While I'm sure there is no way to capture in 75 minutes what took place in 2.5 days, I can tell you that one already successful retailer walked away with 40 pages of notes!  “Any one of those dozens of ideas was more than worth the price to attend.” one attendee said.
 
 
So go to Louisville, get what gems you can in those 75 minutes with Chad!  But then plan as well to attend the next PEAK Retailer Summit, which I sincerely hope that the Chad, Bill and Judy Carr family will plan repeat in 2012.  This was a well organized effort.  Hats off to the Carr family and all those who helped make it happen.
 
 
Knowledge is power, but only if you use it.  If you need knowledge on a subject, attend the right meetings and/or call an expert.  Think about it.  Here were the top retailers.  Some of these gents are the faces I see at MHI meetings, at trade shows and at their state association events.  If going to meetings is important to 'the best of the best,' then it should be good for you and your firm too.
 
 
The cost of lost sales and vacant home sites is far greater than the modest investment in time or money for real solutions. # #
 
 
 
Post submitted by:
L. A. "Tony" Kovach

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