Archive

Posts Tagged ‘jennison’

Serious September – Manufactured Housing Industry Newsmakers, Reports, Articles and Interviews

September 2nd, 2015 No comments

Serious September 2015. It could just as easily be named, how to Scale Success, or Sliding Sideways September.  Which of the later two it will be depends on how each of us views and responds to events and opportunities.  Before outlining our STRONG Serious September Featured Articles and Interviews line up, let me explain what I mean.

green-key-success-pc-free-digital-photos-net-mhpronews-com- (2)

We could use as an executive summary for the next few paragraphs below that Media Engagement by MH Matters, and that Engaging the Media as Media is Very Useful.

1) We spent the early part of the summer documenting MH potential and opportunities on MHProNews.com.  As with the rest of our content, you can still see and access those articles. June is here and July, linked here.  We could summarize it by saying that with rents rising, site-building through the roof (on costs…) and inventories of ‘affordable homes’ in short supply in many markets, MH has plenty of opportunities for a record rebound.

summer2015state-of-manufactured-housing-industry-report-mhpronews-com-

The reports, linked via the image above, were part of a hot, hot summer on MHProNews.

dick-ernst-finmarkusa-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

Dick Ernst, FinMark USA and Chariman of Financial Services division at MHI.

2) Among the reasons given for not rising higher in new home shipments than we have include financing and new regulations.  More on that shortly, but I’ll refer back to what Dick Ernst, now Chairman of MHI’s Financial Services Committee, has said.  There is no lack of capacity for our MH lenders to finance many more people, who are financially qualified. That could be rephrased as ‘we need to attract better credit customers,’ without ignoring providing the millions – who have no chance for a site built house – the opportunity to buy from us.

3) We have to broaden our industry’s base.  We have to attract the more credit qualified customers, without ignoring the traditional, affordable, entry-level side of our market.  There are retailers and MHCs who are doing it. That means, it can be done in your market too.  How do we do that, you ask?  Many ways, including through media and PR strategies.

Not Letting CFPB and their cheer leaders off the Hook

It is offensive to think MH pros can collectively do only one thing at a time well.  The people I know can walk, chew gum and carry on a cogent conversation all at once. En masse, there are tons we can do, together.

CFPB-ManufacturedHomeLoanRegulations-CFPB-Regulations-commentary-posted-MastheadBlogMHProNews1com-

CFPB-ManufacturedHomeLoanRegulations-CFPB-Regulations-commentary-posted-MastheadBlogMHProNews2com-

Any serious researcher is going to find what you see in the screen capture above. MHProNews, MHLivingNews and our other related media efforts are in-the-mix of the conversation on CFPB regulations and their impact on MH.

So while there absolutely has to be a focus on regulatory relief – that we support in word and deed – we ought not make that the one-and-only-thing needed for industry recovery.  Frankly, the regulatory relief sought is as much or more for those estimated 1.7 million households that have a home under 20k in value, as it is for professionals selling the industry’s pre-owned homes.

So we applaud the efforts of the national and state associations in MH that are working to correct those terrible ‘unintended consequence’ of Dodd-Frank. We’re doing more than cheering. We’re doing the meetings, the legislative outreaches, PLUS providing digital cover for the effort in the form of serious research that makes policy types and Senate staffers say (paraphrasing what a Democratic Senate staffer told me), Hey, that’s a pretty compelling argument.

Dodd-Frank-ManufacturedHomeLoanRegulations-CFPB-Regulations-commentary-posted-MastheadBlogMHProNews-com-

Dodd-Frank-ManufacturedHomeLoanRegulations-CFPB-Regulations-commentary-posted-MastheadBlogMHProNews2com-

Again, any serious researcher on Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Loan regulations will come across the MHProNews, MHLivingNews and our OpEd on The Hill Congress blog. We are woven into the conversation, which means that the REAL consumer and industry views are being presented.  Ditto someone checking out Doug Ryan/CFED comments, they are bound to find one or more of our articles that will correct the record, and are in favor of reforms sought by the MH Industry. 

DougRyanCFED-ManufacturedHomeLoanRegulations-CFPB-Regulations-commentary-posted-MastheadBlogMHProNews1com-

DougRyanCFED-ManufacturedHomeLoanRegulations-CFPB-Regulations-commentary-posted-MastheadBlogMHProNews2com-

As further proof of the digital cover, Jan Hollingsworth’s latest column, “Renters’ Nation” has lit up since it was published.

RentersNationTheDarkSideDoddFrankImpactAffordableHousing-MHLivingNews-postedMHProNews-com-

Click here  to see this read hot, new story….

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/renters-nation-the-dark-side-of-dodd-frank-and-its-impact-on-affordable-housing/

87 hours and 38 minutes after the above was published, Webalizer reports there were 42,917 hits on that one article In MH Land, that’s astonishing.

What has to be done now is to scale that outcome

If you want the CFPB and/or the Senate to agree to changes in MH regulations, let me repeat that: what we now have to do is scale that readership result cited above. Please share the link above to Jan’s article with your local editor, and with your  Congressional Rep, your 2 U.S. Senators and the CFPB.

Let’s put this total readership of Jan’s article into perspective.

Just because some publication may have a million readers, that doesn’t mean that each article is read.  Case in point.  We took respected and popular Forbes’ article, shown below.  On July 29th, 2014 on a hot subject, it had 6,701 views.  13 months later, you see that the total views on that article are now up to 7,732.   What that Forbes article has in views in 4 and 2/3rds years, Jan’s latest article accomplished in less than 4 days.

Forbes=credit=taxWaste6.1BillionManHoursComplingFederalTaxCode-JanetNovack-postedMastheadBlog-MHProNews-com

Do you recall when this was big news for a while in the media? Look at the actual views on the article, this screen capture dated 9.2.2015.  7, 732 total views.  It isn’t just how many see it, but who sees it an then acts upon it.  Credit – Forbes.

Side Show September?

Word has it from certain hot spots that some are already grumbling that we gave Frank Rolfe his right to free speech via a featured interview in this month’s issue.  Why would we, as a pro-MH publisher, allow Frank to be quoted as he shared it?

Wouldn’t you want to be quoted accurately?

To be taken seriously as trade media, we have to be fair and balanced, or we risk sliding into irrelevance.  We quoted Doug Ryan accurately too, and I’m not equating the two by any means. When we quote:

  • Jim Clayton, or
  • Nathan Smith, or
  • John Bostick, or
  • Mark Weiss, or
  • Dick Jennison, or whomever,

we ought to quote them accurately. And we do.

Indirectly Related – a Note of Caution

There are already whispers about the wisdom of MHI VP Rick Robinson and MHI Chairman Nathan Smith going to a stage in about a week, when the person providing the stage is said to be in conflict with MHI and the NCC.

Policy

As a matter of policy, we’ve allowed people to critique me and our publication, on our own pages.  So we do this very fairly.  I don’t have to agree or disagree with Frank on his statements regarding MHI and the NCC to protect his right to speak out on those subjects, even though it was not at all on our minds when we asked him the questions. We had no idea what Frank’s replies would be.

If MHI wants to respond, they are welcome to do so.  We are willing to share that response, publicly. Fair and balanced reporting. Period.

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Something we strive diligently to avoid is any FALSE or errant statement (this, in contrast to an unpopular opinion).  When someone says there are 50,000 or 55,000 MHCs in the U.S. (for example), we’ll either want them to correct that number (that totals is likely more like 45,000, according to informed sources) or we would want to cut the statement entirely.

But that’s not what Frank Rolfe did.  Frank stated his views, and in no way shared a claim that is not grounded in a fact, though those facts can be understood in a variety of ways.

The issues raised by others of late are not new, and are not a side show.  They are on the minds of many in MH; we know, because we’ve heard them often enough.  Its just that this was the first time someone wanted to say so, on the record.

“We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Listening and Taking Correction Well

We had a nice message recently that praised our reporting and commentary work, but then included two typos that needed to be corrected (only 2? ;-).  The writer explained, he didn’t want the corrections to be taken the wrong way.  My rapid response was to make the corrections, and thank him.

An MHI staff officer also sent us a correction on a typo recently. Same outcome as the above.  We want to get the facts right.  We thanked the party.

We published the early comments on Jan’s article, one was that ‘it was long.’ We worked that perspective into the article, linked below.  My response?  I thanked the person for the comment.  That said, the challenge with what we face is in MH as an industry is that we’ve let too much stuff build up over the years, and now we need more than 800 words to dig ourselves out.  The fact that there are so many hits on Jan’s article so fast strongly suggests the content is ‘just right.’

You Can’t Please Everyone, All the Time…

Nor should that be our goal.  If everything was perfect in MHVille, then maybe we’d only need 300 to 400 word columns that all say, ‘everything’s great!’

The reality is there is work to do. Plenty of it. Grab a tool, and let’s get to it.  Failure to address the issues that nag us costs new MH sales.

Record Setting!

MHProNews had 5 days in August that topped 100,000 hits.  Again, in an industry our size, that’s amazing.  On On August 21st, Webalizer reported the daily count was 180,959 hits.  Our readers don’t have to like every article, for there to be value.

#1-mhpronews-com-

MH Professionals, enthusiasts, educators, media, government officials and investors are among the key groups reflected in software and stats. You and thousands of others have made us the runaway #1 place for MH Industry News Tips and Views Pros Can Use. ©

I explained to an industry leader recently that we publish bad news on the Daily Business News; we do so in part, because it happens; but also because when someone gets (for example) arrested for swindling down payments from a buyer, publishing that acts as a cautionary tale.  Good practices are often rewarded with success, while bad ones are discovered and punished.

When there is a controversy, we ought not ignore it, unless paying attention only fuels something that needs the oxygen removed.

In the matter of MHI/NCC and Frank Rolfe, MHI has to consider why they wanted him on stage, and then they need to consider what might happen if they fail to heed the cautionary note above about the upcoming non-association event.

My bet?  If Nathan Smith and Rick Robinson go to that fast approaching private event of an allegedly disgruntled member as planned, the day will eventually come when they wished they had opted not to do so.  That’s my two cents, they can take it or leave it.

But there should be no doubt that we want what’s good for the organization and good for the industry!  We prove that day by day, showcasing the good, and periodically reminding people there are issues to address that need mending.  You’re reading because you know what’s published here matters and has influence.

Intro for our Featured Articles, Reports and Interviews for September…

As we reported above, we had an August that set records.  When you see the incredible line up we have for our Featured Articles for September, perhaps you’ll agree that this month could set new records with readers like you.

  • We have 2 New Cup of Coffee with…interviews. Chris Parish and Dan Rinzema are featured in their own interviews, which many will find inspirational, useful and insightful.
  • These “Cuppa” interviews will be quite different than the interview with Frank Rolfe, who took some very tough questions put to him, and he responded in what will no doubt be seen by many in wave making ways.  We have no direct connection to Frank, so when I commend him for taking the tough questions we gave him head-on and in a timely fashion, that’s sincerely meant.  Others should think to consider that practice.
  • We have a video interview with Matt Webb, in what ought to be a must-view for anyone interested in improving their management and bottom lines, especially in the MH Community sector, but frankly useful beyond that realm too.
  • We have 4 columns by 5 respected attorneys; you’ll see their important topics that can protect your business, below.
  • We have 2 unique reports on how the new Appraisal Rule roll out is going, with our related MH Industry Survey results coming out soon.
  • There is New York Housing Association’s upcoming regional trade show and educational event.
  • Researching Manufactured Housing Industry Personalities, Organization’s and Topics.
  • A look at the hot early response to Renters’ Nation, the Dark Side of Dodd-Frank’s Impact on MH.
  • Ken Haynes Jr. sounds off on a recent media report.
  • AIA celebrates their 15th anniversary, kudos to them and check out their press release.
  • There are 2 inspirational/motivational articles.
  • Certainly not least for anyone who wants to close more sales, there are videos and an article on reputation management.

With no further adieu, let’s jump into this month’s new Featured Articles, Interviews and Reports.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 6, No. 12, 2015

Alphabetically by Category

 

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

 

• How To Keep Peace and Harmony In Our MH Communities (at a low cost) 


Robert-Coldren-JD by Rob Coldren, Esq and Dan Rudderow, Esq.

The rule breaking tenant can be handled in many ways. Options include:

Read more…

 

• Water, Water, How Much Is That Water?
by Bill Dahlin, JD

bill-dahlin-hkc-law-california-posted-manufactured-housing-pro-news-com-50x50-
Any Californian who has picked up a newspaper, listened to the news, or not been a bonafide Rip Van Wrinkle, is aware that California is in the midst of a significant drought.

Read more…

 

FINANCING

 

• The Appraisal Rule – Six Weeks Report Card

By Lance Hull
LanceHull21stMortgageCorporationPostedMHProNews-com-55x55.jpgOn July 18th, 2015, the Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans (HPML) Appraisal Rule went into effect for our industry.

 

Read more…

 

• Answers to Questions About the New Appraisal Rule

by Darren Krolewski
darren-krolewski-vp-mhvillage-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-55x55The following were answers provided to questions posed by MHProNews.com to DataComp about the new Appraisal rule implementation.

 

Read more…

 

• S. 682 Offers Possible Relief for Consumers Stranded by CFPB

by Bill Matchneer, JD
bill-matchneer-hud-manufactured-housing-division-cfpb-mhpronews-com-50x50Recent history has shown that the regulations designed to…

 

Read more…

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

 

• 65th Annual Convention, Trade Show and Expo – New York Housing Association – Oct 8-12th, 2015 

by Nancy Geer

nancy-geer-new-york-housing-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-50x50-We hope you are well. I have attached the event brochure for you reference. Please see the PDF that is attached.

Read more…

 

• I Can’t Be the Only One.

by Ken Haynes Jr
ken-haynes-jr-new-mexico-manufactured-housing-association-past-president-manufactured-housing-living-news-com55x55It literally drives me temporarily insane when I read or hear manufactured housing referred to by the media, by any other nomenclature than manufactured housing, or manufactured home.

 

Read more…

 

• AIA – Manufactured Housing Specialty Insurance Agents Alliance Celebrates its 15th Anniversary

by Kurt Kelley, JD

kurt-kelly-american-insurance-agency-aia 50x50Bellingham, WA August 25, 2015.

Read more…

 

• Renters’ Nation – Dark Side of Dodd-Frank, its Impact on Affordable Housing – what 38 hours and 25 minutes reveal 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


tony- kovachWe’ll let John Caron – whom we interviewed for this episode of 
Inside MH – tell you about his significant history in manufactured housing, MH Communities and in real estate investing in his own words.

Read more…

 

• Controversial Media Reports – The Guardian & KVUE – On-The-Record Interview with Frank Rolfe of Mobile Home University, MobileHomeParkStore, RV Horizons 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachOne of the most controversial figures in the MHC world today is Frank Rolfe.

Read more…

 

• Do People Research Manufactured Home Personalities, Companies and MH Industry Subjects? Yes! 

 by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachDo people research companies and people on MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com?

Read more…

 

• A Cup of Coffee with…Chris Parrish

a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Parrish Manor).

Read more…

 

• A Cup of Coffee with…Dan Rinzema


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) 
Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at MHVillage/DataComp)

Dan Rinzema, President and CEO, Datacomp Appraisal Systems, Inc. and MHVillage, Inc..

Read more…

 

MARKETING

 

• You Like Me, You Really Do Like Me!

by Wayne Coakley
WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-As you know, nowadays people search online before they buy just about anything.

 

Read more…

 

Matt Weaver, Campbell Caron Properties on IREM, Management, More! Inside MH Road Show Video 

 by Soheyla Kovach

s-k“Failure is Not an Option.”

 

Read more…

 

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

 

• Living with Wisdom – 3 Tips for Today

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comWisdom – the blending of – information, knowledge, experience, judgment, truth, reality, maturity – to achieve dreams, goals, life purpose, inner peace and happiness…

 

Read more…

 

• ZigOn Work

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarOne of my favorite quips about work is this: Someone asked a worker how long he had been working for his company and he smilingly responded, “Ever since they threatened to fire me.”

Read more…

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-

 

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Homeward Bound and the MH Industry

February 19th, 2015 No comments

There are few things more exciting yet stressful than finding a home. There is a powerful impetus for ‘home’ in the majority of mortals. Ballads of home fill the lyrics of songs. They are the stories of books and movies. At the end of the work day, we want to be, homeward bound.

Manufactured housing has the ability to tap into these stories. We have the ability to tap into the songs of great performers, like Simon and Garfunkel, or scores of others.

As common sense as this is, it doesn’t happen by itself. It has to be planned! You have to ‘set the stage’ for that emotional encounter with home.

That is part of the reason why merchandising in a model home has value. Well done, it evokes a response. Badly done or not done at all, and your prospective home seeker may have a flat response.

What manufactured housing needs to return to its potential is diverse. Few industries are better poised with the right product at the right time in our nation. Yet few are doing so as generally poorly, compared to our potential.

This is a bane, but also a blessing in disguise for those with vision. We have to have the willingness to invest in our people, so they can lead people “who long to be, homeward bound.”

Story Telling, Enhancing Image and Sales Growth

evan-atkinson-williams-burg-square-frazeysburg-ohio-posted-manufactured-modular-home-livingnews-com-_001

We did a series of Video Interviews with Evan Atkinson and the customers of Williams-Burg Square (WBS) that we’ve been periodically rolling out. What makes these compelling is that these are real people telling a real story about their ‘homeward bound’ journey, and what life has been like for them since.

Are these stories and videos good for WBS? Sure. But these are also good for our industry. We have other firms, small to large, that are lining up to do the same thing.

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-business-building-seminars-

 

We’ve also laid out verbally what we recently presented at Louisville and will present again in Tunica at their upcoming Business Building Seminar Series.

Here are three takes on Louisville, plus a video interview that recaps the show too. Listen to what others say about the power of the right messaging and a sales system that respects customer and sales professional alike.

manufactured-housing-mobile-home-shipments-graph-chart-calculatedrisk-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-(1)

mhpronews-new-manufactured-home-shipment-graph-since2008-

Past Due

Manufactured Housing is past due. We are past due for a ‘real recovery.’ We ought to be doing, as Dick Jennison said on stage in Louisville, 500,000 new home shipments a year, not something in the 60,000s.

standing-room-crowd-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-2015-mhpronews-

We can do better. We have living examples of how we can do better. We can help millions to become ‘homeward bound’ with our products and services in fee-simple or land-lease scenarios.

But we can’t expect it to magically happen without an investment in time, talent and treasure. We’ll be at booth #73 in Tunica. See you there?

More, later… ##

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-superchargedsales-seminars2-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Where there is Smoke…is there Manufactured Housing Institute Fire?

December 20th, 2014 1 comment

Some of the hardest working, savviest professionals in manufactured housing bear the title ‘state association executive director’ – or in some cases – ‘state association president,’ etc.. State associations are at the grass roots level of the industry’s representation. No matter how fabulous a national association might be or become, they would still require those state execs to do their jobs well for the national group to be successful in DC.

federated-states-mh-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-Which is why when MHI was formed, the deal made included a seat at the table through the “Federated States” division for those state associations. The state and regional community associations aren’t our focus today, but are mentioned because some key state execs tell me similar things to what you’ll see quoted below.

We will also explore the state and community associations in a future column.

Let’s start with comparatively light stuff, and work towards some heavier items…

When you see the words “Where is our industry?” in an email, that is often verbal shorthand for the umbrella national association, which in MH, is the Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI.

A VP of a large company emailed me a series of articles, and in one used exactly those words, “Where is our industry?” and in others a bit mail-bags-US-navy-wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-stronger and more detailed language.

The subject of those mainstream-media articles sent by the VP were examples where MHI ought to be deeply engaged on a a given subject.

That VP suggests they are AWOL. Nor is that successful professional alone.

A president of another large firm told me, “It looks like we are heading back to having too many meetings at MHI.Yes, sir was part of my reply. We both agreed there is value to those meetings,

  • education,
  • information, along with
  • networking are all good things that MHI happens to do well.

But once more – the question was raised – where is the action that goes along with that information?  We published a series of video interviews on topics that MHI put on stage last April, where is the MHI action on any one of them, I was asked?

Where are the steps, asks another respected business owner, to addressing the issues that are holding those of us in MH collectively back?

Among the common questions we get from potential investors, researchers and the mainstream media is – when members of your industry know what is holding you back, why are those issues not directly addressed?

Why indeed are we seeing so many questions, concerns and allegations on the topics noted herein, or those not yet covered?

On the Record…

We don’t have to look far for on the record comments. Nancy Geer has a very thoughtful column, linked here.

Leigh J. Abrams, Steve Adler and Randy Rowe are among those who have called for an industry image campaign. There are independent producers that want it too. So where is the action? Where is MHI on these issues?

But the off-the-record comments are often more colorful, more blunt and thus will not usually see the light of day unless it is like this, as a source being cited anonymously. Here is an unedited example from a successful retailing and community pro, taken from a longer message to me:

You have 3 large builders against image. Were any one of them to bolt MHI, the viability of the association would be jeopardized.  Were two or more to leave,  the association would cease to exist, putting Jennison in the bread line.  You wonder why he is not image campaigning. You need to put the Latony bunson burner to the azzes of the big 3. But then any advertising from them to you,  if it happens, is gone. Not so easy,  is it my boy?”

Bunsen_burner_flame_types-wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

To answer that, advertising dollars from those firms – while welcome – has never been a big issue for us. When someone comes on board with us to advertise, they do it because they know we have the runaway largest audience of MH professional readers. They do it because the investors are reading here; along with public officials, non-profits and educators. They sponsor us because they know we will tackle topics in a fair and balanced fashion others won’t.

By the way, Dick Jennison has said as much in writing, stating that MHProNews and this blog are “fair and balanced.”

FYI, I had to smile at the bunsen burner comment above because I know of at least one of those Big Three HUD Code Builders who has publicly stated they would support an industry image campaign.

More on that another time.

More eMail and Insider Sources

imagecredit-pixgood+mhi-logo-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-I’ve been sent documents and memos, some of which originated in MHI’s office in Arlington.  Some come from the president himself, though he may not realize its importance.

These are not likely to be used like an Edward Snowden or SONY Entertainment level embarrassing revelation. In saying that we as a publisher have the documents, we enjoy the 1st Amendment rights the courts have ruled protecting our using them.

But we will not use them today.  Because what is needed are the relatively lighter ones to remind someone that there are people all around who have fingers with which to type us, and tongues with which to speak.

Those sources shared these items with MHProNews,  knowing we will only use what is needed, when it is needed, as it is needed. So this post won’t be the Pentagon Papers or a big document dump. Rather, it will serve as a reminder that positive changes are necessary, and that steps to correct problems will hopefully take place.

I’ve reviewed my notes from conversations with what we will dub, ‘insiders.’

Among other things, they tell me about the pattern of the revolving door at MHI, previously mentioned in this popular article linked here.

Now, when you have a “bad fit,” most owners or managers would agree that the door should revolve.

revolving-door-american-spa=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

But when you have just hired someone after a careful vetting process, and they leave you on their own within weeks or months of arrival, that should make someone at the top levels ask, hey, what gives?

When an email tells me that the Suppliers Division will have to do “fund raising” if we are to see an MHI backed set of videos that would promote the industry, then I have to say, what gives?

What are we paying our dues for – and why do we need MHI at all for such an effort – if they won’t put a dime of our dues towards a good effort that will arguably help the association and the industry?

Many think that it is the “Big Three” producers that keep an image campaign or other needed solutions from advancing. I can be persuaded drspikecook=credit-come-on-we=can-do-better-than-this-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com0on that either way.

But objectively we must note again that at least one of those big three has said publicly they will support such an effort. So to be fair and as the managing member of the top trade publication in the MH Industry, I’m not ready to throw those 3 under the bus as the cause.

Big manufacturers as well as independents all have an incentive to grow the biz. If factories are selling more, that also means Communities are filling more spaces and Retailers are selling more homes too.

 

Factories have come together at trade shows. Why not promotion?

So is there possibly another explanation for this ‘lack of appetite‘ – as a leading MHI official told me – for promoting the industry?

 

Avoiding Another Internal MH Industry War

This is a serious topic that follows.  Let me now say that we’ve confirmed with multiple sources that a member of the MHI staff allegedly has a plan to put in place a membership director (that won’t likely be the title). Please stop and think about that fact for a few moments.

MHI has been bleeding some members, gaining some others, and has been at roughly equilibrium for some time now. There is a routine call for us as members (and our parent company is a member) to help recruit new members for the association. No doubt that person-to-person recruiting has yielded some results for MHI.

So why do we think that hiring a membership director – who in Washington DC is bound to draw a hefty salary – is likely to move the needle much for the association?

Even if a new membership director did so, there is a questionable practice in a filling a key role like that of hiring someone from outside of the ranks of our industry.

If MHI hires someone from outside our ranks, MHI may as well take that money and burn it. It takes too long to learn the industry’s politics for an outsider to be effective. They’ll be gone before they get anything of merit done.

But let’s take this analysis a step further.

Inside sources say that a goal of this includes recruiting MHARR members. Hey, your Masthead  scribe was publicly opposed last spring to what we thought was a frontal assault by MHARR on MHI. We opposed that as a publisher and we are equally opposed to a frontal assault by MHI on MHARR.

That will only result in a war, and the Industry can ill afford that at such low shipment levels. We want to see the associations work for peace.  So if this new job plan is merely a tactical blunder, we hope this warning flare will make the good folks in Arlington think again.

Further, if MHI wants to court MHARR – and remember, we believe that both should work with each other – then MHI will have to stop taking positions that arguably are aimed at harming MHARR producers.

To MHARR’s credit, they disavowed what we thought was their winter launch against MHI early in 2014. Let me say it again, we applaud the fact that MHARR’s leaders clarified their stance.

It is my sincere hope that MHI, if indeed our sources are correct, will change course before it is too late. Common interests – justice – is a two way street.

True-peace-is-not-merely-the-absence-of-tensio-it-is-the-presence-of-justice-Martin-Luther-King-masthead-mhpronews-(c)2014

As someone near DC told me this week, this is the time of peace and joy. Let this be just that, not in some ‘in name only,’ or papered over fashion, but rather as getting to the heart of issues that divide us.

True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Back to Those Manufactured Housing State Association Execs

Half of those state execs are in markets that are still losing new HUD Code home shipments.

There are some that tell us that if we subtract out homes being shipped to MHCs for use as rentals, or subtract out homes going to the fracking areas, we are still losing shipments nationally.

Let’s agree that such facts are avoidable in a trillion dollar a year housing market where rents are rising and site building is so expensive!

Christmas is nearly upon us, and we have a much more positive and solution oriented item in mind for the mid-week blog post. Please don’t miss that one.

cash-bag-wikicommons--posted-mhpronews- (1)

But this sampling of industry input has to be shared, or we as a pro-industry publisher aren’t doing our job. Heck, as a pro-MHI member, we aren’t doing our job if we fail to express to leaders what many are saying privately or publicly.

Let’s work wisely together to collectively unlock that cash bag. Let’s avoid those costly past mis-steps!

FYI – for those who think that all we need is an image campaign, let me beg to differ. Maybe nuance is a better way for me to phrase that…because Image alone is not enough.”   We’ll look at what we need – including the finance issue – in an upcoming column. Thanks for checking in, for continuing to sounding off to us – on or off the record – and Merry Christmas. ##

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-building-washington-dc-masthead-mhpronews-com-_light- (1)(Image credits – see individual image file name.)

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

CFPB, MHI and MH Captive Finance Lending? Like “Screen Doors on a Submarine.”

May 9th, 2014 1 comment

Their headline was a strong tease. Indeed, there were two Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) representatives at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Congress and Expo (C&E) event last week in Las Vegas. It was hardly an 'invasion.'

Indeed, we knew the week prior to Congress and Expo that the pair had registered and paid to attend the MHI event.

Your tax dollars at work?

When we asked about the presence of the two CFPB representatives, MHI President Richard 'Dick' Jennison told MHProNews:

We at MHI, along with our leadership team, were definitely aware prior to the event and planned accordingly that two individuals from CFPB from Washington, D.C., registered and paid to attend MHI’s Congress & Expo."

Ready to go a little deeper?

"Unlike MHI’s business meetings, which only MHI members and invited guests are allowed to attend, Congress & Expo is open to everyone.”

cfpb-goverment-agency-logo-posted-on-mhpronews-comWhile this incident might cause angst for some who are 'flying under the radar' or might be on the wrong side of a regulatory line, it has little or no impact on those who are doing business according to the regs.

Screen doors on a Sub

When an MH industry operation involved in finance was asked about a topic we raised last year – ie: how can a mom and pop MHC or retail operation hope to have a compliant captive finance operation – here was that operation's executive's reply.

When we "…with a lot of resources are constantly trying to keep up with Dodd-Frank and other changes. This (selling programs to an independent MHC or retailer trying to comply with DF) seems like selling screen doors for submarines.

Thanks for a morning hoot."

Don't Get Scared, Get the Facts, Plan and Act!

In our two part series – Manufactured Housing and Captive Finance: Can it be done Successfully in today's Environment? with numerous quotes from industry pros, can be found at the link above addressed that issue in depth.

While the views vary widely, there are legal experts that doubt that a modest independent can comply with a captive finance program, given the fact that much better funded community banks and others are leaving lending due to Dodd-Frank and the CFPB's current regulatory regime.

A similar regulatory concern needs to be expressed about those doing so-called "lease option" deals. Recall this popular Industry in Focus report, NCC Discussion on Manufactured Housing, Rent to Own and Lease-Option.

Meet Marie and Alexi

Marie Whittaker is reportedly from the CFPB's Office of Research and Alexei Alexandrov is a CFPB economist who has worked on their appraisal rules.

If one of these had 'enforcement division' or something similar on their business cards, then certainly the alarm bells might well be going off in manufactured housing offices across the country.

But the surface view at present is quite the opposite. One reason we had no initial intent to address this issue is that there seemed to be no cause for alarm.

In fact, this might be good news for the HUD Code manufactured housing industry.

How so? What if they are part of an effort to create a specialized – and much needed – MH unit at the CFPB? So suggests a wise soul who has thoughtfully provided us – and thus you – much needed insights.

MHC operator 'Scared to Death'

Are you a smaller operation doing captive finance or lease-option lending?

You should think about what a strong, growing organization did. Call an industry lender, and work out a program to sell all their notes and them so the lender can "be the lender." Why? 'Because making those loans and holding the paper in the Dodd-Frank era scares me to death.'

So sayeth the MHC operator selling off their loan portfolio.

Don't get me wrong – "Go Lending!"

Don't get me wrong. In a truly free enterprise system, lease-options or seller-financing ought to be doable in some legal/moral form or fashion that doesn't break the bank…

…or the law.

Will the CFPB swing the pendulum back? Will Congress press changes?

Time will tell, but the political winds seem to be changing. What is certain is that some regs MUST change, or millions are being penalized. Just one of many issues is the 'steering' one. Businesses are being forced to shot gun applications, lenders must wade through reams of paper they normally don't look at; and the consumer is harmed, not served.

Associations, CFPB and MH Pros Like You

Larger operators can access financing in a variety of ways – including per the experts we ask – complaint captive financing.

But any operation can team up with a local lender willing to learn, or one of the many industry lenders who are already hip deep in providing compliant lending that can make you money.

In the meantime, rather than quake over the CFPB, we should be working all the channels to make ever-more reasonable financing available. Good associations are critical to meet that need.

As noted above, if CFPB is researching and creating a unit that better understands and deals with our industry, that could be a good thing for manufactured housing in the short term.

no-alarm-masthead-mhpronews-com

So you new or prospective investors who are reading this, please don't be alarmed or sweat it. The many experts we reach out to on issues are routinely happy to tell us which way is up.

Let me take a moment to thank those experts as always for their insights and wisdom, for without them, this commentary and news site would not be the same value that it is to you in their absence.

republican-and-democratic-party-symbols-creditpoliticspa-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews0comPolicy Failures – Not Politically Correct

Your Masthead scribe doesn't have to be politically correct. While we work with associations, we are not working for any association, so my thoughts are mine not anyone else's.

As we've said many times, there is absolutely value and the need for associations to have strong ties to BOTH major parties, that is sound association practice.

We should all be pleased that there are Democrats, Republicans and Independents all involved in the MH Association world.

That said, here is the politically incorrect part that we can say and associations can't.

Objectively, the CFPB needs to be aware that the political winds in the nation has been shifting.  IMHO, President Obama is watching his foreign policy as well as his domestic agenda unravel. While a largely compliant media covers the Administration’s 6, the current White House resident is using the mechanisms of government to do what he promised.

To fundamentally change America.

The change that has come is for the worst. People of every racial, gender, social or economic group (save perhaps the uber rich, who also want change, knowing the economy is suffering under the current scenario) are worse off today than 5 years go. Public perception is increasingly getting it on such facts, even with an all-too-often administration compliant mainstream media.

Sorry to those who love the current regime, but my parents were thrilled to come to the U.S. precisely to get away from power-hungry Big Brother socialistic governments!

The CFPB is to finance what ObamaCare is to health care and the insurance industry. Both – as they stand today – are harmful.

  • We have something like half-a-million fewer Americans working today than in 2008.  Ouch!
  • Obama appointee, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, referencing the Congressional Budget Office's report said recently. “There is more work to do to put fiscal policy on a sustainable course. That progress has been made over the last several years, in bringing down deficits in the short term, but that a combination of demographics, the structure of entitlement programs, and historic trends in health-care costs, we can see that over the long-term deficits will rise to unsustainable levels relative to the economy.” (Editor's note, bold emphasis added).

Can they be fixed? Sure, but only when enough people of good will move in that direction.

The View from the Masthead

Our position on the issues are pretty clear.

  • We believe in America,
  • we believe in manufactured housing,
  • we believe in reasonable regulation
  • but are utterly opposed to the federal over-reach that we have seen for many years now.

That over-reach easily dates back to

  • Bush 2 on some issues (example, NSA – and their growing of the Medicare program in unsustainable ways, more) and to
  • Barack Obama on a range of topics from foreign policy, job killing policies, ObamaCare, CFPB, energy policies (think about the no-brainer on the Keystone Pipeline), and much more.

As we shared in our previous Mastheads, our industry is well poised for the future. We need to align the talent to deal with the regulatory issues, and indeed progress is slowly being made. Consider this news alert from MHI:

“On May 7th, the House Financial Services Committee adopted the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (H.R. 1779). The measure, which was adopted by voice vote, won't be formally approved by the committee until a recorded vote is tallied. A recorded vote is expected to occur the week of May 19th – the House of Representative is scheduled to recess the week of May 12th.”

It should also be noted that MHI has generated some 5,000 comments to Congress through their new electronic system!

Yes, the progress is steady, albeit we all wish it were faster. More on that another day.

More to Do, but More Opportunities Too

We've been saying for some years now that our industry must get better engaged with our consumer base and select non-profits. There is no point in rehashing facts shared in Manufactured Housing's Metaphoric Magic, or earlier columns on how energizing our own base in micro-targeting style could make manufactured home owners/businesses a political powerhouse.

I know there are some in the communities world who get nervous about such thinking, but there is no reason to be so, as we or other good MHC operators know from experience.  Happy residents and good management are allies, not enemies.

capitol_hill-congress-masthead-mhpronewsThe Winds are Changing

Richard Cordray doesn't call me for my opinion, but if he did, it would go something like this. Pivot while you can. The political winds are changing in the nation and DC.

The clock is winding down on the Democratic hold on the Senate, and if Republicans don't blow it, they'll have both houses of Congress and perhaps even the White House in 2016.

CFPB, HUD, FHFA, et al, should all pivot now. Make yourselves more of the kind of 'partners in progress' with industry professionals and consumers rather than an opposition to it.

We are the Future!

Manufactured and modular housing are the wave of the future. It is utterly needed for all the right reasons. As we continue to step up more, and the regulators and politicos realize how much they need us, we will see a new era born.

When that happens, let's not blow it like we did in the mid-to-late 1990s. Consumers, lenders, professionals, associations –hms_vandal-wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com everyone can benefit by having the right policies and good, professional, sustainable practices.

Let's leave the proverbial screen doors off the submarines.

Let's serve the public well, and with enough people of good will pulling together, we can together create the bright future our industry and the home buying public deserve.

We'll likely pivot on topics mid-week, see you back here then! ##

(Image Credits: Politicspa, WikiCommons, Plus1 Properties,)

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 

Post 2014 MHI Congress and Expo, Private Party Report

May 4th, 2014 No comments

Let's review some facts about the Manufactured Housing Institute's (MHI) just completed 2014 Congress and Expo at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, by the numbers:

  • Most exhibitors since 2007
  • Most attendees since 2008 (some 952, 'the real number' per MHI's President, Dick Jennison)
  • Overall positive energy and feedback.

We use the word 'overall' because there were a few mutters heard, but the general tenor was upbeat and positive.

In fact, some who don't normally attend expressed admiration for the event.

2014-manufactured-housing-institute-mhi-congress-and-expo-richard-dic-jennison-opening-event-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

Richard 'Dick' Jennison, opening remarks at 2014 Congress and Expo

Keynotes interviewed, to be featured

As at every MHI Congress and Expo, there are numerous breakout sessions and larger ones. Let's take a moment and look at the two keynote addresses given on Wednesday April 30th and Thursday, May 1st.

ken-segall-insanely-simple-manufactured-housing-institute-mhi-2014-congress-and-expo-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

Ken Segall, addresses packed house at 2014 MHI Congress and Expo

Author Ken Segall of Apple marketing fame had this message, 'keep it insanely simple.' Segall said,"Simplicity…can move mountains."

One of Ken's key points was that in a busy world, simplicity is appealing and effective with consumers and the public at large.

Chris Fisher told industry attendees that 5 factors point to improved MH Industry demand:chris-fisher2-market-set-for-high-demand-affordable-housing-2014-manufactured-housing-institute-mhi-congress-expo-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

  1. population growth,
  2. more household formations,
  3. rising rental rates with low availability,
  4. Recovering employment that is often part time work and
  5. Conventional Builders focusing more on higher end housing

Chris Fisher provided reams of data, but simplified at the end to say that manufactured housing is well positioned for a steady rise for many years.chris-fisher-ducker-worldwide-2014-manufactured-housing-institute-congress-expo-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

To maximize that opportunity, Fisher asserted that 4 investments were needed by industry organizations, two of which are music to our professional ears:

  • targeted marketing and

  • investments in training.

MHProNews interviewed both of these experts. We plan to bring you those video reports, made possible by our friends at ManufacturedHomes.com. The working plan is to present those videos, in conjunction with a guest column by each of these noteworthy speakers.

The annual awards ceremony and a number of other presentations marked the calendar for the popular 3 day C&E.

neace-lukens-2014-manufactured-housing-institute-congress-expo-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

Private Industry Events

The number of private industry mixers and dinners mushroomed this year, another sign that the industry's 4 year come-back trend is real.

H.A.S.

Having too many invites to the various mixers and dinners is a better problem than having no invites at all. At their mixer, HAS Capital was very thoughtful to give Next Step's Stacey Epperson the floor, as they explained a program that will place some 100 Energy Star manufactured homes in communities in 40 different markets. Ms. Epperson referenced her article on MHProNews.com, called Dirty Laundry.

If you missed Stacey's article, click the link above, because she boldly proposes a way to drive business as well as improve over two million lives, while boosting our industry's image in a way that would create profits, jobs and more opportunities.

forum-shops-caesars-palace-las-vegas-near-seafood-prime-steak-stone-crab-forum-shops-las-vegas-2014-mhi-congress-expo-mhpronews

The DiMarco's know how to pick a dinner and drinks spot!
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab is located
near this opulent entrance into the Forum Shops at
Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Security Mortgage Group

security-mortgage-group-anthony-dimarco-1r-gerry-dimarco-4right-with-spon ... food-prime-steak-stone-crab-forum-shops-las-vegas-2014-congress-expo

Gerry DiMarco (2nd left) Anthony DiMarco, far right
with some of their sponsors and clients

The DiMarco family had another terrific private event, this year at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab near this stunning entry into the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

security-mortgage-group-dinner-anthony-dimarco--gerry-dimarco-sponsors-cl ... food-prime-steak-stone-crab-forum-shops-las-vegas-2014-congress-expo

There was plenty of buzz about

  • all the capital chasing deals,
  • the impending wave of mortgages that are coming due, which will presumably need refi and
  • hundreds of millions in deals done.

Let me thank them for the invite, and Gerry for the kind words he had to say to about a dozen of his guests about our pro-industry publishing and reporting.

New Directions

For those new to the C&E scene, there are some delightful off-the-agenda rituals. This includes the practice of "holding court." While anyone in theory can grab a vacant chair in the halls outside the expo or meeting rooms, some of those who do so have reasons more important than merely checking their messages.

Pull one of the larger industry players aside sometime, then ask them about the term "holding court" at an MHI event. Some are bound to smile that knowing smile…

Those hallway, dinner or bar discussions are not to be underestimated. For those who do those off-agenda meetings, it isn't about the education, as good as that may be. It's about the networking, deal making, discussions and 'holding court' sessions that may yield new directions for those involved that matter most at "C&E."

a-cup-of-coffee-with-jim-clayton-masthead-blog-mhpronews-manufactured-housing-pro-news

A Cup of Coffee with…Jim Clayton
The Interview Video is different than the text interview!
Be sure to check out both and
share it with your team for inspiration and
business building insights.

Jim Clayton

As a publisher, there can be a bit of angst over a 'big article' or interview, as you wait to see if it will be received as hoped. The response to a Cup of Coffee with…Jim Clayton interview and video was timed to coincide with MHI's Congress, where the founder of Clayton Homes was in attendance for some two days.

a-cup-of-coffee-with-jim-clayton2-masthead-blog-mhpronews-manufactured-housing-pro-news

Eugene Landy

Among the industry's many pillars, we caught up in Las Vegas with Eugene Landy, founder of UMH. When we bring you the video interview with him, you'll find some of his comments of interest as you gauge the future of our industry.

Joe Stegmayer, Ron Thomas Senior and Dick Jennison

We have some 10 video interviews – plus a recap video – on tap for you in the days ahead!

Among them will be:

  • Joe Stegmayer, Chairman, Cavco Industries and prior Chairman of MHI.
  • Ron Thomas Sr., Chairman of the Midwest Manufactured Housing Institute and Chairman of the Louisville Show
  • Richard “Dick” Jennison, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute

Each of these interviews will bring you their unique insights into the rebirth of our industry, and much more.

Let me thank each of them for their kind words in their respective videos about the work of MHProNews in showcasing the factory-built home Industry News Tips and Views Pros can Use, as well as the sponsors, writers and team members who make this platform possible.

If you've not signed up for our emailed news updates, that is the easiest way to keep up with all of the industry's news, you can sign up free at this link here in seconds. You'll get the word on those interviews and more, see a sample emailed newsletter at this link.

Industry Digital Action Alerts

In less than a week, MHI has twice used their new digital action alert system! A few quick mouse clicks, and a U.S. Senator or Congressional Representative can be contacted in your name on a pending issue!  Kudos to Rick Robinson, MH VP and General Counsel, for making this new tool happen.

While GSE reform looks to be stalled for 2014, it is still good to know that MHI members were among those heard on this topic.

Meanwhile, HR 1779 and S 1828 are still in play!  They need your support, give it in a matter of moments at the link above.

see-farther-from-the-masthead-the-elk-wikicommons-poster(c)2013-lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-mhpronews-com

Upcoming!

In our midweek blog, the plan is to bring a topic (perhaps more than one) that ought to be of keen interest to all those with a career, business or investments in the manufactured housing space.

Please check back here on the Masthead for those insights. My thanks for your reading here and making MHProNews the #1 trade journal for manufactured and modular housing professionals. Your feedback on industry topics is welcome and appreciated. ##

(Photo credits: 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 


Manufactured Housing: Out of the Ashes, Phoenix Rising

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

Please think back to the painful, dark days of 2008, 2009 and 2010. Or do you recall IBISWorld's shocking March 2011 manufactured housing report? Some of you will recall reading the following:

Derek Thompson, associate editor at The Atlantic, penned a commentary that included these words: "At the center of a perfect storm of boomer burnout, a brutal recession, and a rapidly changing industry, the mobile home retail market could be the worst industry in America. Here's why."

photo-from-the-atlantic

Photo from The Atlantic

Paul Bradley penned a great reply to what the media was then reporting. Then MHI CEO, Thayer Long thanked Paul Bradley for his article here and thanked us too for leading the charge on why The Atlantic and IBISWorld were dead wrong. Thayer himself chimed in with his reasons why the industry was not dying. The full report we did then – which links to Paul Bradley's spirited defense – is here.
 

Fast Forward!

thayer_long_previous_manufactured-housing-institute-executive_eirector_-_credit_MHProNews

Three years have gone by since the IBISWorld controversy. Thayer's left, but we now have Richardrichard-dick-jennison-manufactured-housing-instittue-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com "Dick" Jennison (right) ably at the CEO spot at MHI for over two years. Industry advocacy seems to be steadily improving in Washington, DC, even under very challenging conditions.

In fact, MHProNews has learned that a new social networking system has gone live for MHI which will make contacting Congress on behalf of industry issues as easy as 4 clicks!

Let's not overlook the fact that a number of other associations are advancing as well.

Even in the face of the headwinds from Dodd-Frank, SAFE and more, some would rightly argue, we're picking up steam. 

Against that backdrop, we'll feature a truly historic interview – A Cup of Coffee with… Jim Clayton, in our rapidly approaching May issue! a-cup-of-coffee-with-jim-clayton-masthead-blog-mhpronews-manufactured-housing-pro-news

Inspiring Words and Insights to Success from an MH Legend!

We couldn't be more excited about the Jim Clayton interview. Word has it, Jim is pleased about sharing it with you.

Like the legendary RV/MH Hall of Famer – Jim Clayton – we are pumped up about our Industry! We all should be learning from the past, seeing where we've been, applying the lessons and then looking ahead.

Chet Murphree said it well in our interview with him. In some markets there are still site built homes at depressed prices to compete against, but in other markets Deer Valley and other Factory builders are ready to go head-to-head with site built houses, and some are winning.

Skyline Home's Terry Decio spoke to us about similar points in his video interview with us! Skyline is also designing and building homes to attract the site-built homebuyers, because factory-building can deliver quality for less.

In fact, when you listen to the voices again on the video interviews linked here, what you hear is one pro after another – Wally Comer, Barry Noffsinger, Tim Williams, George Waechter, Rick Rand and many more – all saying pretty much the same thing. The future for factory built homes is looking ever brighter.  America needs some 20 million new housing units by 2030.  In tough times – with our quality and affordability – our industry is well poised to serve that need.

 

So as you listen next month to all of the powerful take-aways you'll get from the Jim Clayton videos and interview, he is not alone! Many of you will watch his video again and again. It is candid, insightful and motivational. Some of you may want to make A Cup of Coffee with…Jim Clayton required reading and viewing for your team.

a-cup-of-coffee-with-jim-clayton2-masthead-blog-mhpronews-manufactured-housing-pro-news

Scientia Potestas Est

Knowledge is potential power! Doers want to learn more, to earn more, or you and so many others wouldn't be here getting your battery charged, your GPS reset and preparing for a future that is rising up from the ashes like a the mythical Phoenix. phoenix-rising-flickrcc-credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

As we look back a few days, some of you celebrated Passover; a historic delivery from slavery into freedom! That was not a time without cost. Easter was celebrated by billions, a conquest of Resurrected life over death.

Pardon me, but are you seeing a mirror of the pattern for our Industry's rebirth and coming freedom?

I say 'coming,' because we still have much work to do, but there are rewards that come from that work.

George Waechter says he has never been so excited about our future, and he has been in the business since 1970. That's one of the many gems in the video page linked above.

If you haven't noticed, Jim Clayton diversified into banking and more, but he is still very much in manufactured homes and land lease communities too! He's a believer.

In fact, Jim Clayton celebrates and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit in his interview.

You'll note that he likes using technology and keeps up with modern media and marketing too. Let's go back to our IBISWorld report, and quote…

Factory-built home retailer Dustin Youngdahl had this to say:

"As owner of Youngdahl Homes and someone who grew up in the mobile home…manufactured home…modular home industry, I'm excited about the future. With all down cycles and shakeups newer, better and more creative products & services will arise. The profits at the top of the bubble were great, but the challenges we face now will make us survivors that much stronger, more prepared to better help our clients and smarter at doing all the right things.”

"The engineered housing industry will only grow and improve because our quality & efficiencies cannot and will not be ignored. The stereotypical metal on metal mobile home will be equated with great grandma & nostalgia rather than present day reality. The future of factory built housing is at the intersection of efficiency, quality and creativity."

See more at: http://www.mhpronews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/1566-the-ibisworld-controversy-and-the-manufactured-housing-industry/

YOUR Future, Your Interview, could be Now!

Next week will be MHI Congress and Expo, followed rapidly by the Eastern Ohio Home Show in mid-May and New York's second "Factory Built House in the Hill."

The theme of C&E in Vegas – Building Success – is spot on! Let's risk saying – we don't have to "Create Opportunities" – they are all around us! It is about tapping into the means to grow anew. Some of you are gearing up your own marketing and promotional efforts.

Why not add a video interview to your mix? The timing to do it is great. During the Las Vegas Congress and Expo (C&E), we plan a number of new video interviews with Industry pros.

Are you going? Do YOU want YOUR company to be in the thick of the new video interview mix? Please click here to learn more.

A History of Engagement

We entered this fray in Oct 2009, confident of the come back, even though other publishers had failed and more would fail since our launch. We were fighting the good fight with you during perhaps the darkest days of our industry.

We were proud to be part of the big team effort that brought the Louisville Show back after it canceled in 2010. IBISWorld and the Atlantic misread our industry, they are not the first to make that mistake.

Today, the hottest new reads on our site are about the new capital and new opportunities that are racing into manufactured housing. Out of the ashes, the manufactured housing Phoenix is rising. Invest wisely in your future, because as the pros we've talked about above all seem to say, for many in our industry, tomorrow will be bright. ##

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 5 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