Posts Tagged ‘George F Allen’

God’s Sense of Humor, Tilting After Windmills, Manufactured Housing – Merchants or Crusaders?

January 27th, 2019 No comments



What’s wrong is that enough people don’t ask what’s right – that’s a faithful paraphrase of the brilliant writer and believer, G.K. Chesterton.


One need not look far to discover that the Creator of all has a healthy sense of humor.


Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams – among their allies, pawns, lackeys, and stooges – could not have counted on their strategic economic Moat encountering the various resistance personalities found working in the manufactured home industry today.

Former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Chris Stinebert made a series of arguably interesting, inaccurate, and mistaken comments in his departing message to their association members and followers. One colorful piece of advice Stinebert gave was not to go tilting after windmills.

There are those who understandably believe that it is safer to be a so-called “Merchant” – someone who a self-described MHVille merchant said will do business with anybody –  than it is to be a Crusader, who could be defined as someone who fights for whatever is right.

But as the manufactured housing industry approaches 43 years since the construction of the first HUD Code for manufactured homes on June 15, 1976, there is an increasingly self-evident reality. It’s this. After decades of many MHVille industry pros being mainly merchants, the pool of merchants has steadily shrunk since the last industry high water mark of 1998.

Buffett says he loves to read. He finds value in history, facts, and figures. It’s a point the Oracle of Omaha and this far lesser known Masthead writer concur on. Wheat and chaff. Accept the truth, from whomever or where ever you find it.

In God’s grand sense of humor, Buffet’s minions picked an avoidable fight with this multiple award-winning history major, who happened to be a philosopher’s son. What rich irony!  That divine joke keeps me rolling, in more ways than one.

Not everyone in MHVille is a short-term thinker who will sell out the Master for 30 pieces of silver.

America is a nation filled with tragedy as well as hopes, with a rich tradition of attainable dreams.

Only those who will use some of their time, talent, and treasure to support the crusaders for justice in MHVille will hope to see the day when MH Nation becomes a reality. MHNation is attainable, but it requires enough sufficiently motivated efforts, hands, wit, and resources to help build and sustain it.



Big and Small, They Lost It All

Over the years, this writer has peered into the eyes of mom and pop businesses who didn’t understand what happened to their once thriving enterprises or land-lease communities.

This Masthead writer also watched as the once mighty fell too.  Previously dominating ‘old Fleetwood’ or ‘old Champion’ vanished in less than a decade, under the headwinds of the builders of Buffett-style strategic economic Moats. 

If the former giants of MHVille didn’t survive the strategic economic Moats of Chairman Mao, pardon me, Chairman Buffett, then what hubris does it take to believe that the also-rans in Claytonville can survive “the Moat’s” steady, grinding, and seemingly invisible methods?

We respect George Allen’s service to his nation.  Lord only knows what he may have encountered during Desert Storm or in the deadly jungles of Vietnam.

That said, it’s pathetically laughable when someone like George F. (F?) Allen calls himself the industry’s “historian.” Here’s how he said it in a recent post, “This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource, & online communication media for North American land lese communities!



The next time the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis asks for a hit-job, please send someone less self-contradictory, and more competent.  History?  Allen’s view of history puts him in the center of it all. Fascinating choice of who to answer, Kevin. 


Listening, musing, and reading pay. It was listening to a former client/supporter of Allen say, ‘With George, it’s AAA. All About Allen.” Priceless insight, spot on, and moving on.



Jesus and the 10

Jesus never preached socialism. Nor did Jesus preach monopolistic methods.

Properly understood, the 10 Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai protect private property and human wealth honestly earned.

It’s simple, really. Constantly reference, strive to support, and follow those Ten Commandments. Let those 10 and the lessons of the Good Book be your decision-making guide. When those 10 Commandments are understood and followed, society will thrive. When ignored, mocked, or trampled underfoot, the weak or most innocent become victims.  The Ten, with motivated merchants, make for the sufficient needs of crusaders.  The rest are details and commentary.



The top images are composites from the Prager U video, further below. Over a million views on that thought-provoking video.


The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ph.D. was a sinner, like this writer, and the rest of us mere mortals. King had strengths and weaknesses.  Ditto. But that thoughtful strategist led a peaceful revolution in his day. King was a Crusader. That eloquent preacher had merchants who supported his crusader efforts.

Crusaders like Jesus, King, or Gandhi are always the ones who change the world.



This is historic. This is part of authentic history. 


Together, with arms locked, King and others marched against the oppressors of his time. King was a visible figure, but never forget that there were numbers of less visible ones who made sure that King secured the victory they sought.

Affordable quality housing – which can be served in the form of modern manufactured homes – is a civil, constitutional, and a legal right. But it will take enough Crusaders to beat those who’ve manipulated the American system in a way that moat builders seek to enrich themselves, as they arguably defrauded their neighbors as they smiled.


Don’t stop being a merchant.


But if you don’t want to be a statistic among other merchants in MHVille who’ve fallen before you, if you don’t want to be another “value acquisition” of Berkshire or a Buffett buddy, then ponder this reality.  You must use some time, talent, and treasure to support new structures to replace the purported corruption of Arlington VA based MHI and their masters in Omaha and Knoxville.

Buffett’s smart, in a Machiavellian way. Chairman Buffett and his are patiently grinding the industry into powder that he can easily swallow at a cheap price.

You, we, and other people of good will can use cunning, truth, and existing laws to beat Buffett at his own game. Who says? Centuries of Bible stories tell me it’s so.

There are various ways people around the globe express the Ten Commandments. Properly understood, at their core, they are the same. It’s noteworthy that Christian, Jews, Muslims and other believers have similar beliefs to these 10 Commands.



Read the related reports, further below, for added insights.  Reach out by phone, message, or email to tip, talk or join the merchants who are ready to be or support the spirited crusaders that can beat the corrosive effects of manipulating oligarchs and their Moat builders. Communism and the Nazis were defeated. America had its trust-busting era, that broke up the monopolists. Another one lies ahead. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.


Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments


Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?


Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier


“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”









Manufactured Housing Institute’s Three Stooges? SECO ‘Leaders’ George F. Allen, Spencer Roane, Tom Lackey and ‘Rent to Own’ Scams?

January 16th, 2019 No comments




Tony…as I think you know, it’s ALWAYS been my position that lease option and rent to own are illegal if they are a “workaround” for chattel financing, which is what most such schemes are…” – MH Industry attorney, not an association exec, in off-the-record comment about his legal perspective about the issue that follows.


George F. (F?) Allen has protested the use of the quote above to MHProNews from a non-association industry attorney who wanted to remain anonymous.

Perhaps Allen doesn’t honor off-the-record, but we do.  Beyond honoring the pledge of protecting a source, is an attorney’s name even necessary? Arguably, not when the New York State Attorney General has successfully sued and forced about 100 manufactured home communities and their owners to settle their own rent-to-own cases.

That’s a nettlesome fact for Allen and company, see the NY AG press release to MHProNews, linked here.



The issues are many, but let’s simplify some of them to these bullets.


  • Allen, Roane, and Lackey are all ‘leaders’ in SECO – the Southeastern Community Owners Symposium.
  • All three of the above fellows have drawn negative mainstream media attention for the use, or defense of the use, of ‘rent to own,’ ‘lease purchase options,’ ‘contract for title,’ or other forms of arguably “disguised credit transactions.”
  • Allen, Roane, and Lackey have all personally earned money from ‘rent to own’ (RTO), ‘contract for title,’ ‘lease purchase options’ (LPO) – or whatever you went to call the modern version of a Lonnie Deal (see download, linked here).  What might have been lawful prior to the Safe Act, and the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is now deemed in the eyes of legal authorities as a “disguised credit transaction.” They are routinely seen as a form of predatory lending, and have reportedly harmed numerous consumers who trusted Lackey, and others.
  • You don’t have to look beyond the NY AG Case against for proof, do you? If larger manufactured home community (MHC) operations could not make this work in a legitimate fashion, per the NY AG, are industry independents really going to believe that Allen, Roane, Lackey and SECO know some trick that the large portfolio operators attorneys didn’t discover?
  • Perhaps to protect their own revenue stream and reputations, Allen and Roane defended and/or refused to condemn Lackey.
  • And over the course of several years, hundreds of manufactured home community owners have trusted Allen’s and Roane’s respective Schticks. How many ticking time bombs await?
  • Can you imagine the glee a consolidator might feel, if hundreds of more communities hit the market at a depressed price, due to bad advice taught at SECO and/or by Allen?
  • Allen likes to do magic tricks to entertain his audience. Let’s see what rabbit Allen tries to pull out of a hat to distract his readers and students from the cold hard facts that the NY AGs cases exemplified.
  • But the risks to consumers and independent manufactured home professionals arguably doesn’t stop with problematic RTO or LPO contracts for title. Because they have sponsors and often ‘big name’ supporters. Among them? Joe Stegmayer, who stepped down from Cavco leadership under a SECO Investigation cloud, but who has stayed on as MHI Chairman. Beautiful.
  • Stegmayer graced Allen’s ‘roundtable’ stage, giving each other some measures of ‘respectability.’
  • Fleetwood, a division of Cavco, has given SECO support too. So has MHVillage, and others. Will they demand indemnification for the so-called education that has been taught?
  • But has anyone asked what the liability and exposure are for those who sponsor so-called education that is flawed and risky at best, or illegal at worst?
  • What will that costly MHM certificate Allen sells mean to outsiders, if Allen, Roane, and Lackey end up in more media and/or legal hot water?


Ironically, it is Allen who volunteered or was deputized by MHI supporters to call for a boycott of this publication. That can be antitrust trigger. How ironically hypocritical.  See evidence of that and more at the download, linked here.

Besides years of arguable jealousy by Allen over our many-times-larger professional audience, is the fact that MHProNews has previously warned industry communities and retailers about the potential risks from using disguised credit transactions in today’s legal and regulatory environment.  Not to be overlooked are ties with MHI…



MHI Ties?

Where is MHI on this? A check of their website would suggest, silent. Rather akin to their silence on other issues – like the slow monopolization of the industry – that might be useful or importance?


Allen, Roane, and Lackey can be viewed as the part time critics, and de facto part time supporters of MHI and their ‘big boy’ backers. Don’t ask for consistency from Allen, because you won’t likely find it, save in his arguably hypocritical inconsistency.

But the warning to industry pros is once more given. Allen, Roane, Lackey, and SECO are the typical stew of seemingly useful, but also problematic education. MH Industry

Professionals, hungry for educational opportunities, turns to them in desperation, and they find smiling carnival barkers.

State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

A entertaining and feel good blathering isn’t the same as genuine, legally sound, knowledge.

Just read the list of questions, linked here, put to George F. (F?) Allen and his cronies, and Allen’s non-answers.


Caveat emptor. Let the buyer of such education beware. But sponsors, beware too. Because some legal authorities tell us that sponsors of legally risky education may have liability too.

In closing this column, let’s state the obvious. We are not the New York Times or Fox News. We do business development and other expert services to manufactured housing, not just publishing.

Our form of trade journalism is different than what mainstream journalists do.

But no serious person in our industry has disputed the facts, documents, evidence, and concerns we’ve raised. Allen, despite his roar and bluster, was given the chance to disprove a single claim. He hurled invectives instead. Again, the give and take are linked here, and included several individuals in BCCs on both sides.

One catches flak only when over the target. One of numerous examples is the target below.   The axis hates it, because its’ their own words, how do they argue against their own words? Allen and company have the same problem.


Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier


Be it the three stooges, or the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, their allies and surrogates, our catching flak is a badge of honor, given the sources.

From the smallest to the biggest firms in our industry logon daily to MHProNews by the thousands. They find the content relevant and useful. As an MHI member executive said in the quote below, what we may have periodic typos, but we make a logical case.




That’s what vexes the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis. And it is nettlesome to the three stooges whose purportedly ‘educational’ efforts more closely resembles scams. Sad. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.


Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You


New Era in National U.S. Manufactured Home Community Representation Underway?

The Future of Retail, Disney, ‘Trailer Trauma,’ and Manufactured Housing


Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response


 – Your Industry Place to Do Business

August 2nd, 2011 No comments is becoming Your Industry Place to Do Business. Based on reported statistics, readers like you have created more page views here than MHI, NMBC, NCC, The Journal and George Allen’s blog have combined. Now, thanks to you, our sponsors, writers and associates, the Manufactured Housing Industry PR/Marketing campaign is starting to take shape. Please see the Cutting Edge Blog for insights on what leaders who have seen the plan say. If you want to see the plan yourself, also check in at the Cutting Edge Blog as soon as possible.

We will also be unveiling the new website format later this summer. Take a few minutes and click here to see a preview of all the improvements you will find that will make us your one stop shop for Industry news, tips and views you can use.

You are not alone when you are reading at –  Here is our score card for July 2011.

Total Sessions/Visitors 79,650.00  (+13.06% vs. June-11)
Total Pageviews 387,750.00 (+24.76% over June)
Total Hits 1,138,423.00 (+7.2% over June)

August 2011 is here! We have another solid line up of Featured Articles by top writers! Let’s dig in to see what they have to share and say with you this month.

Featured Articles and Reports
for Vol. 2, No. 11, 2011

Alphabetically by Category


Tracey C. Jones – Resources for Manufactured Housing Business Success
Savings: more than Building Wealth, can impact Moral Decisions


Chrissy Jackson – Manufactured Home Land Lease Community Management
Guidelines for Living: Content Area of Guidelines – Topics from Complaints to Emergencies

Joanne Stevens – Manufactured Home Community Value
Demand Strong for Manufactured Home Parks and Communities

Steve Lefler – Manufactured Home Community
The Senior Manufactured Home Community and its Unintended Consquences


Kenneth Rishel – Manufactured Housing Industry Financing
Captive Finance – The Importance of Financing New Homes

Dave Shanklin – Manufactured Housing Industry Financing
Five Issues that can Help or Sink your Manufactured Home Sales


George F. Allen – Manufactured Housing Industry Commentary
Shots Across the Bow: MHARR and MHI

L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – Manufactured Housing Industry Commentary
Manufactured Housing Plagues and Solution Orientation

George Porter – Manufactured Housing Installation
Air Out Your Problems

Dan Rinzema – Manufactured Industry Commentary
Will an MLS ever work for our Industry? Part 1,


Zig Ziglar – Motivation & Inspiration
ZigOn…Why You Are Where You Are


Nadeen Green – Legal, Fair Housing
Summer Swimwear and Fair Housing Law


Derrick Hachey- Manufactured Housing Use of Internet & Social Media
Using the Internet and Social Media to make more Manufactured Home Sales

Erin Schmotzer-Manufactured Housing Industry Marketing
Make the most of your advertising/marketing budget: Track where your customers come from


Tim Connor – Sales
Has the Economy Affected your Sales Approaches?

Mark Hunter – Sales
6 Do’s and Don’ts of Using an iPad in a Sales Presentation.

Mike Moore – Sales
The “New Economy” Requires New Intentions

# #

by L. A.  Tony Kovach
Connect with me on LinkedIn

Categories: Manufactured Housing Commentary Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Conspiracy theories, Fixing Chattel Lending and Manufactured Housing News

July 15th, 2011 No comments

Marty Lavin has weighed in on a topic that George Allen, Doug Gorman and others have graced our pages with here at  Conspiracy theories and our baker’s dozen year turn down in sales since 1998 seem to go hand in glove.  You will want to set the time aside to really read, not to skim, Marty’s Lavin’s latest thoughts.  See how the MH/Grassy Knoll crowd fits in with how we can make personal property lending – and thus our Industry – better.

Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy Theory

Pat Curran joins us for the first time with an Industry Voices guest blog post.   This industry lender will show us his ideas on how we can protect and save Chattel Lending, and promote while protecting the manufactured housing industry.

I first met Pat back in the late 80s, when he was with Foremost, and my team and I were busy retailing manufactured homes in Purcell, OK.  Pat’s is another article that will need more than a skim!  Because he too gets into the trenches, as to what it will take to make personal property (home only or ‘chattel’ lending) truly viable, but it goes into other Industry and national issues too!

Pat’s article, like Marty’s, is for long term Industry thinkers, movers and shakers only.

Finally, I want to give everyone a heads up on what is coming here to

Yes, is already an active URL (web address) for and  Our rebranding will be phased in over time, so people don’t wake up one day and ask, Hey! What happened to  Fear not.  We are still here, and aka plans to be for a long time to come.

The next stage will be our new site facelift.

We’ve listened to you our many readers.  The new format will be much more news looking.  Easier navigation.  All the same great current content.  But more features too, some that you won’t find anywhere else that I’ve seen online in manufactured housing.

We will still have those same great columns by top Industry pros.  We will still have the most content, most news, most blogs found on any single known site in the modular and manufactured (factory-built) home industries.

We are and can be your one stop shop for Industry news, tips and views you can use.

We hope to have the new site, which is already well into development, up and running by the end of summer.

Our developer, who also did a site revision for a FoxNews affiliate, says our site is already as large as that new station’s was, and we are much newer!

—As a heads up to all, when we do the site switch over, our site will be down for several hours, maybe the better part of a day.  As large as it is, there will typically be some bugs to work out.  Just be confident that with your patient input, we will make this as smooth as possible.  <—

Please be prepared for what we believe is another big step ahead for the most comprehensive place in America for manufactured and modular housing news, tips and views you can use.  As George Allen said, the Industry turn around needs a good Industry online news source!  We are glad to be that source of choice for you and 60,000 plus others MH Pros in the moon of June, 2010.

Hmmm.  MH Pros.  MH Professionals.  Kinda sums it up, doesn’t it?

We want to thank our sponsors, writers and team members – past, present and to come – for making all this possible for you.

Oh, yes! Speaking of conspiracy theories and manufactured housing.  Please remind me to tell you the latest one that crossed my desk.  It’s a doozie.

Enjoy Marty, Pat and all our fine featured writer contributors.

Let’s catch up again next week.##

Show Time and the Manufactured Housing Industry

April 5th, 2011 Comments off

March Madness is history and UConn fans revel in their team’s win over favored Butler. Now the NBA playoffs begin April 16.

A more brilliant history has been made in LouisvilleTunica… and is coming up in YorkTulsa… the venues of this year’s great manufactured home shows. Irving Berlin said it first about the Greatest Show on Earth, but there’s no reason why it can’t apply to these Industry Shows as well: the HOMExpo 2011, billed as the Only Factory Built Housing Show in the Northeast Region, and the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show, the Biggest Indoor Home Show:

There’s no business like [MH] show business
Like no business I know
Everything about it is appealing
Everything the traffic will allow…
Let’s go on with the show
Let’s go on with the show!
The show!
The show!

Scheduling these Industry shows in the first four months invigorates and motivates, inspires and propels the vendors and attendees – professionals and public alike – to fresh enthusiasm for the remaining eight months of the year. Fresh enthusiasm for the excellent product we call factory-built homes: HUD code manufactured, modular, panelized… Fresh appreciation for the Industry pros you can meet in person, for the seminars and workshops, the products and services that surround and support these homes and the variety of locations in which they can be sited. Fresh enthusiasm for buyer-affordability and vendor-profitability in what can be an Industry Turn-around Year!

Which shows did you attend and/or will you be attending? What features were most helpful for you and your business? What didn’t happen that you would like to see included in next year’s shows? would like to hear from you on these subjects. Use our Discus system to leave a public comment at the bottom of this article, or email or for a private one. We respect your privacy, and share names/contact information when you give permission to do so.

Speaking of winners and Industry pros who always make their shots, let’s get to our new line-up of Featured Articles and Reports! This month we introduce our Featured Articles according to Subject Category, listed alphabetically. We hope by doing so to optimize your time with us by allowing you to more quickly identify a topic that interests you. We also welcome four new contributors this month: Mark Hunter, Tracey C. Jones, Donna Rishel and Kirk Chittick. So here are “All the Best” Top-Talent professionals!

Featured Articles and Reports

for Vol. 2, No. 7, 2011

Alphabetically by Category


Edward ‘Eddie’ Hicks – Manufactured Home Communities
Who the H*ll Wants to Live in a Trailer Park?

Chrissy Jackson – Land Lease Community Management
Guidelines for Living: What Should this Guideline Achieve?

Joanne Stevens – Manufactured Home Community Value
Top 10 List: What Community and Park Owners Think Makes Their Property Worth More

Don Westphal – Manufactured Home Community Planning
Extreme Makeover, Community Edition – aka Ryder Park, Milford, CT – Introduction


Paul Bradley – Manufactured Housing Industry Financing
IBIS Report on “Dying Industry” Misses the Mark

Dave Shanklin – Manufactured Housing Industry Financing
Record-Low Loan Rates Attracting Buyers of Manufactured Homes in Leased Land Communities

Donna Rishel – Manufactured Housing Industry Finance Commentary
Are Outside Investors Doomed to Fail?

Kenneth Rishel – Manufactured Housing Industry Finance Commentary
Is Lease to Own a Safe Harbor from the SAFE Act?


George F. Allen – Manufactured Housing Industry Commentary
Will Euphemisms Save the Manufactured Housing Industry?

Michael Barnabas – Manufactured Housing Industry Solutions
A look at Randy Rowe’s 5 Point Plan for Manufactured Housing Industry Recovery

Tracey C. Jones – Resources for Manufactured Housing Business Success
23 Ways You Can Grow Your Manufactured Housing Community Business

L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – Manufactured Housing Industry Perspective
The Manufactured Housing Rut

George Porter – Manufactured Housing Retail and Media Education
Adapt, Migrate or Die – Part I: Adapt


Greg McClanahan – Soft Skills and Personal Development
Thanks, Joe!

Zig Ziglar – Motivation & Inspiration
ZigOn…Listening to the Coach

Zig Ziglar – Motivation & Inspiration
ZigOn… Employment Security


Nadeen Green – Legal, Fair Housing
Top Dog – or, Man’s Best Friend Is Fair Housing’s, Too!


Tim Connor – Management
8 Reasons Why Employee Development (Training) Is a Waste of Money!


Chad Carr – Internet Marketing and Sales
By the Numbers – Part 2

Bob Stovall – Manufactured Housing Use of Internet & Social Media
Is Cloud Computing Just Pie-in-the-sky?


Tim Connor – Sales
Overcoming Sales Slumps

Mark Hunter – Sales
Your Customer’s Price Investment Ratio (PIR)

Mike Moore & Kirk Chittick – Sales
12 Step Program to Recover from the Effects of Traditional Sales Training

March Madness, Manufactured Housing Associations and You

March 1st, 2011 No comments

March Madness

Have you seen our burgeoning Calendar of Events? ?  There are Industry Shows galore in March and April as state and national associations across the country sponsor Home Shows and Expos with Trade and Public Days.  In 2010, it would have seemed madness to think that some Shows, cancelled because of the economy, would return only a year later.  March will launch the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)’s Winter Meeting and Legislative Conference, in Washington, DC. plus annual Association meetings and other events in at least four states (Maine, North Dakota, New York and California). Other state Association meetings and events occur in Maine, North Dakota, New York and California as well.  April will feature the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show in Tulsa, OK; HOMExpo 2011 in York, PA, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)’s 2011 National Congress & Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

Flickr photo by randomduck

Suzanne Felber, LifeStylist® has been reporting on the various Shows, and continues with a Feature Article this month on how to apply what you learn at a Show to your own retail center or community.

This month is also the celebration of March Madness, the NCAA Tournament held at courts and sports arenas all over the country. Fans think nothing of traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to Be There and share the excitement and triumphs of their teams playing for the NCAA crystal trophy. Those who haven’t the time or means can watch wall-to-wall basketball from noon to midnight from their own TVs or phone apps. If thousands of fans can do this to support and enjoy their team, can we not do the same for our manufactured homes?

Hmmm, basketball fans… manufactured housing fans…

To Associate, or Not to Associate, that is the Question… Or is it?

Doesn’t that divide the manufactured housing world of associations into the simplistic ‘black and white’ world of yesteryear, when the 21st-century world has gone from shades of gray to limitless hues of multi-spectrum color?

Maybe the real question is how to associate? Or why join an association? These pages, especially The Masthead Blog and Industry Voices Blog, are customarily filled with answers to why and reasons for encouraging association membership.  In this issue, we are doing something a bit different, presenting multiple perspectives on associations for your consideration.  Are associations headstrong or member driven? Why join… or why not to? We have drawn two feature articles from the respective material of George F. Allen and Ken Rishel, who bring out both the pluses and minuses of association membership.  In addition, Michael Barnabas, Amy Bliss, Don Westphal and new voices Paul Bradley and Deanna Fields speak for association membership and address some of the concerns that Allen and Rishel have raised.

So it comes back to the fundamental question, how to associate. But the underlying principle that unifies all these perspectives is: YOU – we – (the members) are the ones to make the difference.  This isn’t about being for or against. It is about being FOR the good of the Industry. In these particularly difficult times, how can we afford not to be members of one or more associations? We’re association members. How about you?

Lumaxart Graphic by Scott Maxwell

L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s Feature Article is a call to recognize our need for others, and that the clasp of a helping hand up can mean all the difference in the world. This theme was preceded by his recent contribution to the Inspiration Blog, “Working Together – A Teamwork Puzzle.” He wrote, “If any piece gets minimized or isolated, the rest lose balance and suffer. If the integrity of the circle – if associations or trade media – suffers, all will pay the price. Each party – each piece of the puzzle – needs the others.”

Hmmmm, basketball teams and fans… manufactured housing associations, organizations and fans…

Let’s hear how the basketball greats put it:

“One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.” ~ Hall of Fame Player Kareem Adbul-Jabbar

“Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” ~ Legendary basketball coach John Wooden

“Basketball doesn’t build character. It reveals it.” ~ Unknown

“Talent wins games, but team work and intelligence wins championships.” ~ Acclaimed player Michael Jordan

And what is our MHIndustry Trophy? How about classy, quality, affordable homes for millions of Americans. HUD Code homes. Modular homes. Pre-fab and panelized homes. All factory built with pride and precision right here in the U.S.A.

Now the greats of the manufactured housing Industry get on the court to share their experience, insights, wisdom, creativity and challenges to help YOU “win the game,” make your sales rise, and succeed and prosper in your MH business. This month we welcome new contributors Paul Bradley, Deanna Fields and Tracy Saville. So here are “All the Best:” Top-Talent professionals from A for Allen to Z for Ziglar! Let’s get started with your big new line up…

Featured Articles and Reports
for Vol. 2, No. 6, 2011

George F. Allen – Manufactured Housing Commentary
What MHAssociations LACK

Michael Barnabas – Manufactured Housing Industry Solutions
To Be, or Not to Be: Die, Survive or Thrive & Manufactured Housing

Amy Bliss – Value of Association Membership
Associations and the Value Proposition

Paul Bradley – Value of Association Membership
Association Membership: A Member’s Perspective

Paul Bradley – Resident-owned Communities
Defying conventional wisdom, and winning to write about it!

Chad Carr – Internet Marketing and Sales
By the Numbers – Part 1

Tim Connor – Management
Mixed Top-Down Messages

Tim Connor – Sales
Getting to the Decision Makers

Suzanne Felber – Practical Application of Industry Shows
Bringing It Home: Using What We Learn at Shows in Our Own Sales Centers

Deanna Fields – Value of Association Membership
Why Belong to an Association?

Nadeen Green – Legal, Fair Housing
Eeeewww, That Smells…

Edward ‘Eddie’ Hicks – Manufactured Housing Financing
Who says there are no more profitable investments in land lease communities?

Chrissy Jackson – Land Lease Community Management
Guidelines for Living: Will the Guidelines Be Accepted?

Susan Knowles – Manufactured Housing Community Service Options
Make the Most of an Existing Asset

L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – Manufactured Housing Industry Perspective
Rodin, Art and Advancing Manufactured Housing

Greg McClanahan – Soft Skills and Personal Development
An Amazing Person

George Porter – Manufactured Housing Retail and Media Education
How Level Is Level?

Kenneth Rishel – Value of Association Membership
Are Industry Associations Worthy of Active Support?

Kenneth Rishel – Manufactured Housing Industry Finance Commentary
The Importance of a Written Loan Policy

Tracy Saville – Leader Strategy in the New Economy
The New Economy Workforce Challenge

Joanne Stevens – Manufactured Housing Real Estate
Top Ten Signs that You Have Stopped Thinking of Your Manufactured Home Community as an Investment

Bob Stovall – Manufactured Housing Community Resources
What’s Around Your Community? People Want to Know

Don Westphal – Value of Association Membership
Participation in State and National Organizations: Manufactured Housing Associations by the Number

Don Westphal – Manufactured Housing Community Planning
Community Upgrades: Part IV: Level Four Renewal

Zig Ziglar – Motivation & Inspiration
ZigOn…Integrity Leadership

Zig Ziglar – Motivation & Inspiration

Get a Spine! and Manufactured Housing Success

February 9th, 2011 No comments

Ever watch a spine tingling movie?  Ever know someone with curvature of the spine? Ever glance at the catchy title on the spine of a book?

Get a spine for manufactured housing success!  The wisdom of the ages is found in the written (and spoken) Word.  Reading or listening to such wisdom and applying it is thus a sure path to manufactured housing success.

You may have thought of ‘Get a Spine’ as ‘get a backbone’…

…and we certainly need backbones to survive and thrive in the current, challenging economy and business environment.  But we also sell America’s affordable housing option!  So we have the right home product at the right time.

On a fairly routine basis, messages or calls come in saying ‘thanks,’ ‘appreciate the positive approach,’ ‘keep up the solution orientation,’ etc. Messages also come in saying, ‘quit being a rah rah cheer leader,’ or ‘quit being so MH establishment oriented,’ or ‘why don’t you share new ideas, new writers,’ etc?  What is amazing is that reader-commenters also wrote or say, ‘you have a great mix of new faces and recognized pros among your writers!’  In other words, how someone reacts has to do with the person writing and their outlook!  For the record, we have new faces along with seasoned pros on our home page Feature Articles all the time! See About Us for the many ways your voice can be heard on

Broadly speaking, there are two possibilities for our Industry: 1) there are solutions for returning to financial health or 2) there are none.

There are either ways to better serve the public and improve our image thereby, or there are none.  As one American legend put it,

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.

– Henry Ford

If you know someone who thinks it is all hopeless, tell them to figure out the best way to exit the business, OR tell them to read our pages – including our INspiration blog pages – routinely, and adjust their outlook!

Seriously, we KNOW there are challenges.  We are here because we also KNOW there are Industry success stories right now, and others are in the making.  Some plants are closing, but I spoke this week with a gent who is preparing to open a new facility!  Success? Or failure? Or as the Sage of Omaha puts it, and as we echoed in our Success, Manufactured Housing Style feature article:

“The best time to buy is when there is blood on the streets!”

– Warren Buffett

Get a spine!  Drive, wisdom and discipline get things done! Read a book (with a perfect bound ‘spine’ ) that may help you with your professional or business challenges. I am currently reading How the Mighty Fall, by Jim Collins, and plan a review for you in the days ahead.

Collins, a business author who does years of work with a team of university level researchers, has penned the cautionary volume How the Mighty Fall, and why some Companies Never Give In, which many in our Industry need to read to avoid falling into the death spiral for their business.

Speaking of spines, George F. Allen has recently penned an item he shared with me, that will likely be featured here at in the days ahead.  For the thousands who have not yet seen or read this apparent broadside, it looks at first blush to be a spine-tingling body slam on some association executives.  GFA and I exchanged some discussion on the topic, as our experiences are different on the topic of association executive directors.  Stay tuned for that exchange coming up here on our pages in the days ahead.

For the moment, what I believe George, I and thousands of industry pros like yourself would say is that no two association executives are alike, and not all associations are created equal.  Some are performing amazing efforts to get and keep their members informed, involved and included in the process of navigating these challenging times, SUCCESSFULLY.  No association exec is an island; we all need others to pitch in and lend a hand.  It is that positive collective effort that can make the difference between survival, success or the long slide into professional oblivion.  Association Membership means involvement, if you want to benefit the most and get the most bang for your buck.

Please check out our events calendar, as there are lots of great events coming up in various parts of the country.  Some have a fee; others are free; like the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show In Tulsa, OK – with Industry Trade Days this April 28-29.  Public Days for the Tulsa Show run through May 1st.  Click on the link above for information on that show and click here for their latest updates on the fine food, folks, fun and fabulous networking, business building, great show homes and more you can see.

FYI, If you missed their new trade days video, please go back to my previous blog and view it now.  We will be there presenting our Dominate your Local Market seminar – free – and we hope to see you there.

Readers are leaders, in potency or right now.  In this podcast era, listeners can be leaders, too.  If you – or your team members! – are not signed up for our weekly emailed news updates or daily news podcasts, click on those links to sign up free in seconds.  Does your office administrator read our pages?  Do you want your staff – her or him –  influenced by the main stream media that just doesn’t get our Industry?  Or do you want them to be Influenced by the MH! pro-Industry media resource?

You don’t need to spend tons of cash to have a research department; just visit here for our Daily Business News and Market Report or listen on your PC, iPhone or net book.

The discipline – the spine – of reading good business books, or of reading news and views you can use found here daily is priceless. If you saw the names of the people who have already signed up, they read like a Who’s Who in this Industry!  If they are here, and when thousands of ‘mom and pop’ independents are here, when 37,000 pros visited in January, 2011, you know you are in good company.

Thanks for spending some time with me; now please read the news or some article on the home page you haven’t read yet! # #