Posts Tagged ‘John Bostick’

Manufactured Housing Industry Overview – October 2016

October 12th, 2016 No comments

When everyone is going right, look left.”

– Sam Zell.

Technology and mega-mergers often grab the headlines when it comes business news.

News about social media and Google? Ditto, in essence those are offspring of the tech sector, too.

As many manufactured home pros know, perhaps one of the least appreciated opportunities that exists in America today is found in our industry.

Because of the affordable housing crisis, manufactured housing ought to be keen on the radar of investors, policy advocates, public officials and those millions seeking and dreaming of having their own dwelling, too.

Zell is a well-knowncontrarian investor – he likes to buy when others sell and vice versa. Zell has stood by MH through thick and thin.


Zell’s two featured article/interviews are among the dozens can be accessed from this linked page.

Dozens of MH Pros, from the biggest names of huge companies, to the rising stars and all in between are found linked here.

Let’s be candid.

The manufactured housing industry (MH) is both simple and complex. We have this incredible product, with the amazing value needed by tens of millions.  We also have a dizzying array of politics – inside and outside – of the MH/affordable housing space.

But isn’t it precisely because it isn’t apparent – that MH isn’t obvious and easy – that makes this industry such a great opportunity?


For those who understand this amazing industry, MHProNews and MHLivingNews are among the best educational resources available.  That’s true for those inside and outside MH.  Rising readership and reader feedback tell us this is true.


Officials. Advocates. Investors. The public. They are looking for what the MH industry does. Graphic credit, MHProNews, all rights reserved.

Insiders as well as those researching MH for whatever reason – all need to that view from 40,000 feet.  We all need a third party – yet informed – perspective.


Why do interviews with experts and success stories – those who know MH best – draw thousands upon thousands of readers? Because we all need reality checks. We all need that view from 40,000 feet.

But we also need the more granular, ground level perspectives, plus those in between.

These are what and ( attracts – pro-readers like you – daily by the thousands.

Thanks to the magic blend of our sponsors (seen at the right) – who benefit from all of those thousands of eyeballs –

  • Industry Voices,
  • writers,
  • supporters and
  • our valued team members – all of whom make these industry-leading online resources happen.

We can be among the manufactured housing business’s most potent weapons in using facts for shattering the outdated in favor of the contemporary realities.


Faces of recent Industry Voices guest writers, plus our Daily Business News writers too..


Jan Hollingsworth, award winning journalist, featured on MHLivingNews.

are what makes us the runaway #1 with our readers –

  • the MH Industry,
  • public officials,
  • policy advocates and
  • investors.

That’s humbling.

It’s a responsibility we take seriously – and as the photo collage and sponsors to the right all suggest – it is very much a collaborative effort.

Yes, we do it differently.


Other executive and trade publisher’s bring election news! We do too. MHProNews is bringing you the industry’s broadest, best election resource. “We Provide, You Decide.”

The factory-crafted home industry needs what we do, and we need that industry’s support, too.

It’s synergy that has brought us here, and it is synergy that will keep us growing and moving ahead.


Sam Zell and John Bostick are both right.

In the fall of 2016, this is the single best place to get the 40,000 foot view, those perspectives from ground level and all in between. Who says?

Webalizer says we are on a record pace this month.  Thank you.

We don’t have to agree on everything to make our twin pro-industry platforms the best places where you – our readers and viewers – can absorb, ponder and grow.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ##

(Image credits are by MHProNews, unless shown otherwise above.)


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach caricature. Kovach is the publisher and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC parent to MHLivingNews and MHProNews, and their various consulting and professional services. Kovach is perhaps the most recommended/endorsed MH personality on LinkedIn.


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.


Tidal Shifts, Time Warp and the Next Level

November 30th, 2015 No comments

USA Today reported that: “As retailers seamlessly transitioned from Black Friday deals to Cyber Monday deals as early as Saturday, they were riding the tailwind of a shopping weekend that found more than 103 million people say they had or planned to shop online Thursday through Sunday, according to the National Retail Federation’s consumer sentiment survey of 4,281 people out Sunday. That’s compared to nearly 102 million people who shopped in stores during the four-day period.


Kohl’s in Lakeland, FL Thanksgiving after 7 PM. Photo credit,

NRF is catching flack for shifting from hard data to polling-style samples. We’ll see how that plays out.  Here’s more from USA Today:

While the organization (NRF) can’t compare to last year’s figures, initial feedback from retail executives and shoppers show that the holiday season is on track to hit an expected 3.7% increase in sales, says NRF president and CEO Matt Shay….”

“…More than 151 million people shopped, compared with about 136 million who said they were going to shop, NRF found. And despite earlier start times to sales, Black Friday remains the most popular day to shop, as more than 74 million people hit stores the day after Thanksgiving, compared with 34.6 million who shopped in stores on Thanksgiving, NRF says.”

We were part of all of the above – as you likely where too – and the photos captured Thanksgiving Thursday reflected amazingly long lines at retailer Kohl’s. There are a number of possible takeaways in the above numbers for our industry.


Lakeland has about 100,710 population. The Kohl’s store at Lakeland Center had 12 open registers, and two lines for check out that went from the front of the store, around both sides and clear to the back of the store.

MHMarketers, Heads up…

For example. It’s still a trickle, but the full blown clicks vs bricks race in retail is seeing some late blooming mirroring in MH. While still tiny in the MH Industry, there are more anecdotal reports being heard of MH buyers who shop, order, apply and buy a home without ever walking into the MH retailer’s office. That’s clicks vs. bricks.

Savvy MH pros wants to be on both sides of that equation.  Please look at these images from the retail stores.  Tell me what they ought to suggest to MH retailers, communities, manufacturers and other vendors?

Naturally, online sales aren’t nearly as likely to happen for firms that have a poor website, or who fail to provide shoppers what they need to know via the Internet and by phone. Part of that involves online reputation and recommendations, and we’ll be carrying another column in the upcoming December from MH veteran Wayne Coakley on that topic.


The National Retail Foundation (NRF) projects that gift cards alone will hit $25.9 billion this Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas shopping season. Deloite’s projected some $965 billion in total holiday sales. Meanwhile, MH is muddling along 4.52 billion for the year in new MH sales. People are spending money. There will be a trillion dollars spent on housing in 2015, and a trillion dollars on cars, and nearly a trillion dollars on holiday sales. Do you see that we could be doing so much better than we currently are as an industry?

The Time Warp

Needless to say, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, but odds are that we’ve all known occasions when time seemed to move fast, and other times, slowly. Starting around Thanksgiving, the ‘time warp’ effect of the holidays hit. We’ll suddenly be in 2016, as well as the primary season in politics, and the show season for manufactured housing.

The Next Level


Tim Williams, 21st Mortgage CEO and MHI Chairman.

Let me thank Tim Williams – 21st Mortgage CEO and MHI Chairman – for a very thoughtful and valued letter he provided last week on:

The Importance and Value of Independent MH Trade Publications

We are closer than ever to passing the Dodd-Frank fixes into law we need for our consumers and sellers. Don’t let the time warp of the holidays distract you from taking the few minutes need to do the following. Call your two Senators offices and ask them:

To support inclusion of Section 909 – which has S 682 – as a rider to the Senate Appropriations Bill S 1910.”

S 682, as regular readers know is The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which the House passed last spring in their bill – HR 650. You can find your Congressman and two U.S. Senators via in seconds.

Then, get and stay engaged in what’s happening in your industry. Set an example for your colleagues and team members, by reading, writing, calling and sharing.  As CU’s Barry Noffsinger said, you be the change.

3 years ago, MHI cited the number of full time equivelents (FTEs) working in MH at about 100,000. Let’s say that’s closer to 150,000 FTEs (+?) today. Almost all of you have a Facebook page. Almost all email, are online, and know others in and out of MH. When a growing number of MH Pros shares what’s on with the world, the world will increasingly understand MH. Educating the public on the facts vs. the myths will yield more sales.

When more in our industry are into the best practices that associations and the expert writers on shares,

> we’ll serve the public better,
> we’ll have fewer legal hassles,
> we’ll sell more homes.


15 minutes a day on and 15 minutes a day on It pays off.


John Bostick, Sunshine Homes CEO and prior MHARR Chairman.

John Bostick, CEO of Sunshine Homes and prior Chairman of MHARR likes to say, “Easy Doesn’t Pay Well.” Taking a few minutes a day to keep up and grow professionally, that may not seem easy for those who are not yet into the habit. Others would have to cut back if they went DOWN to 15 minutes a day. Those who do those extra steps, are often the leaders and better performers.

Be a leader. Start now doing what leaders do, because all leaders are readers. Leaders don’t just talk,

  • they do,
  • they encourage and
  • they lead by example.

The tidal shifts, time warp and next level are at hand. Retail has recovered far more than MH has. We have to be more professional if we are to grow into the kinds of sustainable selling that will make us the powerhouse of housing in the future we can be.


Manufactured housing’s recovery is way too slow.  No doubt, CFPB regulations has harmed us, as their own HMDA data suggests.  But let’s be clear, we can, should and must set our sights higher as an industry. Please see Tim William’s message, linked here. Image credit, Calculated Risk.


The video linked above has been one of the most viewed on MHLivingNews during November. See why. Joey Tidmore, Chet Murphree, Robert Gann are featured in the video linked from the still graphic above, or click here.

Programing note: expect the new issue to be live on the home page Wednesday, December 2nd, around mid-afternoon. We’ll have some great columns, business protecting and building items and new videos for you to get into! Until then, go do or sell something good! ##


L. A. “Tony’ Kovach will be presenting on marketing and sales the evening before the start of the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Taking Care of Business – Manufactured Housing Industry – October 2015

October 3rd, 2015 No comments

Before we get down to Taking Care of Business in MH, let me first note the following.


In the middle of October, we’ll mark the 6th anniversary launch of what we now call  In this issue, you’ll find quotable quotes from industry leaders and professionals who say in their own words, why this online trade journal and professional news source for MH is valuable to them.  We thank all our volunteers, writers, news tip sources and sponsors for making it possible for us to serve you. The article with quotes is linked below.


Here is a small snipet of those kudos comments that came in via LinkedIn…



These are just some of those who sent kudos ad congrats via LinkedIn. Our thanks to all for the kind wishes and thanks for letting us serve you!

…let me stress, that the kind words go to the team.  We have volunteers, writers, formal team members, sponsors, those that give us news tips and more.  Together, we are pleased to be serving you and this great industry that we love.


Now, let’s focus on…


Taking Care of Business


We are over half a decade into the ‘recovery’ of manufactured housing.  That recovery is real, but far too modest.  We must each do our part to be ‘taking care of business.’


Image credit, Pinterest and the Single Woman.

Communications is a huge part of what MH needs. You may need something, but don’t know where to turn.  Or you may have a product or service that is PERFECT for someone that doesn’t even know you exist in MH. Or they may have met you once, but in the hustle and bustle of the post-great recession America, you’re not top of mind.  What to do?


To rise, you must let go of the dead weights of the past. We must look up to rise, not look down.

Many B2B firms are using this platform, or industry events that we promote, to make their products and services better known and more successful.  That is one way of taking care of business.


On the B2C side, taking care of business means reaching more consumers who have cash or good credit.  We have a number of articles that are “how to” or examples in the new features from pros, linked below.


We also have articles by attorneys, a reputation promotion professional – who in their unique ways are also ‘taking care of business.


Then there are articles on financing and news related to lending (the latest on GSEs, FHFA and Duty to Serve covered in the Daily Business News, is linked here).


One last Taking Care of Business not on the reading list below…I’ll be presenting on SuperCharged MH Marketing and Sales in just a few days at the New York Housing Association’s regional meeting – their 65th event!  Kudos to them for that milestone. Please see their brochure, linked here.


SuperCharged Marketing and Sales at the upcoming New York Housing 65th annual regional MH professional meeting.

Personal note…


Let me take a moment, and thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your colleagues.  In case it isn’t clear, I love manufactured housing.  Doing what we do to educate others and promote MH is challenging, but also a joy.  Sure, there are days or situations that arise that are headaches. But we believe strongly that MH has a bright future ahead.


There are still plenty of risks.  But working together with other forward thinkers and doers, we believe that our best days could be ahead.  Thanks for letting us share that vision and goal with you.


With no further adieu, here are the 18 new Featured Articles for October 2015 – Taking Care of MH Business.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 7, No. 1, 2015

Alphabetically by Category




No Crystal Ball: Disparate Impact Is Not Crystal Clear 

by Nadeen Green, JD

nadeen-green-mhpronews-comThe National Apartment Association recently provided an excellent webinar titled “Fair Housing Disparate Impact: Learn How the Supreme Court’s Decision Affects You.”

Read more…

Tenant Discrimination Laws, Trends, and Landlord Recommendations 

by Kurt Kelley, JD

kurt-kelly-american-insurance-agency-aia 50x50Are you a member of a legally protected class?

Read more…


New Lenders, Investors and New Builders for Manufactured Housing 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachThere is a significant degree of frustration in MHVille over financing. Most savvy pros understand that we can’t return to the go-go days of the 90s, when a fogged mirror “got bought.”


Read more…

CU Factory Built Lending West Region reaches $1B in total loans originationed and over 10,000 Members currently served with Manufactured Housing Financing 

by John Walters

CU Factory Built Lending West Region ReachesCU Factory Built Lending’s West Region office in Federal Way, WA reached two important milestones in August in its mission to serve the manufactured housing industry and its members.


Read more…




ROC USA Announces yet another MHC Conversion

by Mike Bullard

mikeBullard-ROC USA Community Closing MHCommunity Category -MIke Bullard -Oct-55X55We recently issued this press release on yet another manufactured home community becoming a resident owned community. To learn more, click the banner and see the media release below. –


Read more…

Weathering the Storms: How Manufactured Homes Can Do It

by Jan Hollingsworth

jan-hollingsworth-for-mhlivingnews-com-55“We have entered a new era of catastrophes. Either we pretend they will not happen to us, or we join forces to make resilience a national priority.” –

Read more…


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachPart of the original vision for MHProNews was to support MH Professionals, and thus, the organizations and businesses that they serve.


Read more…

6th Anniversary MHProNews Celebration Comments from Readers 

by MH Industry Professionals

mh-logoIt 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…

Sunshine Homes, Red Bay, AL – 2 Points on Manufactured Housing Image, More MH Sales 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachJohn Bostick shared a column in May titled the MH Image and Education Campaign – Open Letter to the Manufactured and Modular Home Industry. –


Read more…

JOBS and Careers Positions – Get them, Fill Them – Taking Care of Business 

by Soheyla Kovach



In the hustle and bustle of business, many have overlooked the obvious place to showcase career openings in manufactured housing.

Read more…

Colorado Manufactured Home Community Occupancy and Rent Trends Report 

by Darren Krolewski

darren-krolewski-vp-mhvillage-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-55x55Datacomp recently published a press release on this subject of Colorado MHC trends, which we wanted to draw to the MH Industry’s attention. The details of that release are found below.


Read more…

• Selling a Manufactured Home Community? Get Top Dollar! Buying? Check this New Listing Out! 

by Christopher Nortley

ChristopherNortlyMHREinc=postedMHProNews-comy50x50-We recently closed on a 921 portfolio community, one of many MHCs we’ve listed and sold.


Read more…


The Image Problem—in Three Stages

by Bob Vahsholtz

bob-vahsholtz-author-dueling-curves-battle-for-housing-posted-industry-voices-guest-blog-mhpronews-com-manufatured-housing-professional-news-50x50-“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”


Read more…

It’s Crunch Time for Nominations to the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2016 

by Jeff White

JeffWhiteRVMHHallofFameVP-postedMHProNews-com-50x50-ELKHART, Ind., — Darryl Searer, chairman, RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall), wants to remind those planning to nominate someone for induction into the Hall of Fame that the deadline for nominations for the Class of 2016 is fast approaching,


Read more…



5 Ways to Building Your MH Reputation

by Wayne Coakley

WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-

In last month’s article I promised to give you details and to help you with implementing a Reputation Marketing strategy in your manufactured home business.


Read more…

Taking Care of MH Communities Business – Marketing and Selling Approaches 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachCommunity management involves a myriad of details. Maintenance, collections, budgets, CapX, a professional implementation of guidelines for living and pro-active resident relations are among them.


Read more…


Living with Wisdom – 3 Tips – Appreciation, Intent, Plans 

by Tim Connor, CSP


Appreciation – In one of my favorite books, What Happy People Know by Dan Baker he shares a very simple and yet profound topic – simply that the single common trait among all happy people is the ability and willingness to give appreciation no matter what.

Read more…

ZigOn The Main Thing

by Zig Ziglar


The refrain most often heard in the media, in private conversations and correspondence, is “I apologize for not getting back sooner, but I’ve been so busy…”

Read more…

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  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.


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


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.



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.



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. 



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


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

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.


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.


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.


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




• 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

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…




• 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 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…



• 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 and

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

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…




• 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…




• 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…



By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

From Prison to President, Lessons for Manufactured Housing Professionals

April 4th, 2014 No comments

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.

People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
– Nelson Mandela

Our industry has suffered far too long from internal divisions and avoidable wounds. These wounds harm our industry more than it might others, precisely because of our relatively modest size. Similar fractures would have less of an impact on larger, better understood and more accepted products/services (autos, computers, cells, RVs, etc.), compared to manufactured homes.  

There is a path ahead, perhaps more than one, but certainly we can find a good road to advance.

"Love comes more naturally to the human heart," wrote the man imprisoned for decades after his conviction for using acts of violence and terror against what Mandela named a repressive regime.

people-must-learn-hate-and-they-can-learn-hate-then-they-can-be-taught-love- ... te-nelson-mandela-wikicommons-poster-(c)2014-lifestyle-factory-homes

I'm not taking sides in saying that Mandela was seen as being a communist; and that was back during the Cold War when such a statement sounded quite severe.

But unlike so many who come to power through violence and protest and then use that same violence against their former oppressors, Nelson Mandela brought peace and started the healing process for his nation. First conflict – because he felt it was un-avoidable! – and then that leader offered and delivered, peace.

The ancients would say, 'Where there is division, there is sin.'  Sin was seen as a potentially deadly – and if not corrected, eternally fatal – wrong. 

As most of us know instinctively, there are more things which unite manufactured housing pros than there are which divide us. We ought to behave more as the brotherhood or 'fraternity' that Tim Williams from 21st Mortgage suggested we are in his interview with us.

A Tip of the Hat to MHARR's Leadership

After a renewed series of attacks in the first quarter of 2014 by MHARR's CEO on MHI and others, MHARR's leadership – per our sources – pulled their association's top employee in, and said essentially to their president, 'enough is enough. You will not attack MHI in public any more, nor any one else.' Word has it that a commitment was made to work together with MHI where possible, and to keep areas of disagreement quiet where public agreement is not possible.

On both sides of the fence, that's how our industry will advance faster!

Manufactured housing is NOT a zero sum game. Once the industry grows again to 6 figure shipment levels, companies of all sizes (regardless of size or association affiliation) will benefit.

john-bostick-president-ceo-sunshine-homes-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-chairman-posted-masthead-mhpronews-comAs we've said before, MHI members sell and provide goods and services to MHARR producers and MHARR home builders sell homes to MHI members. If they can pull together for major events, such as the Louisville and Tunica Shows, surely all can work together on broader matters, for the benefit of all.

Is that easy? As Sunshine Homes President/CEO and MHARR Chairman, John Bostick likes to say, "Easy doesn't pay well.”


Why Maximum Collaboration Now Matters

Let's make a politically incorrect – but practically true – statement. Honda, Toyota and others are among those who could storm the U.S. with their  factory built homes. Frankly, our industry looks unprepared for it, perhaps none of the manufacturers are ready to face what those giant auto corporations-turned-home-builers may potentially do. We could cite more such factors, but it is not our intent to scare the dickens out of domestic home producers or anyone else.


American Manufactured and Modular home builders have plenty of reasons to pull together now, and grow the industry through a collaborative, loose "alliance" style effort.

When even a few begin to ally to improve product's image and professionalism, the results will be like dominoes tipping, because they are lined up in our favor.


Getting As Many to Work Together as Possible

We at MHProNews helped – along with others – to tackle the issue of the now-in-the-rear-view-mirror messaging from MHARR's CEO only because it festered for so long. It frankly hurt their members, as well as others in the industry.

With the commitment that those attacks are past, this is now the time to advance the cause of quality, affordable factory built homes for America. We've collectively procrastinated too long already. As the character, Apollo Creed said in Rocky III, "There is no tomorrow!"

Peace flows from many things, one of them, is strength.

Can Professional 'agitators' learn to get along, for the good of those they'd lead?

Some practice the art of 'death by a thousand paper cuts,' and they have a small but loyal circle of supporters. Will they freely change for the sake of our MHIndustry they profess to care about? Some feel it would take a miracle. Others say they will only cry 'uncle' when they are exposed and 'defeated.' Time will tell. But their legacy is in their own hands.  With or without the naysayers, others will lock arms and advance!

Let's draw to a close with some of the words we opened with;

"People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
– Nelson Mandela

If a former terrorist prisoner can become a reconciling president, then surely it's possible for our industry to advance using the principle articulated by one of America's founders, who said,

"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
– Benjamin Franklin.

Please share your thoughts and check back here, on the Masthead, mid-week. ##

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

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: | | Office 863-213-4090

Connect on LinkedIN: 

Adding Zeroes and Fact based Challenges to the MH Status Quo

March 14th, 2014 No comments

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

Could YOUR location add a zero to your results?

An Under-Used Finance Program Proves it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Emotions vs. Reason?

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

The Agenda?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financing and Manufactured Housing

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

Let's look at that for a few moments.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Challenging the Status Quo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace through Strength

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

We advance because we truly do provide the

Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use  © 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Image credits: WikiCommons, MHProNews)

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: | | Office 863-213-4090

Connect on LinkedIN: 

Manufactured Housing in Oct 2013 – What’s Hot and What’s Not

October 30th, 2013 No comments

Ever wonder what others in the factory built housing industry are thinking about? What captures their attention? Ever wonder why someone does what they do, or fails to do something? The answers to those sorts of questions interests me too. In this column, we are going to look at 4 broad categories of 'what's hot and what's not.' Plus a surprise or two along the way.

Let's dive in.


1) Fed Policy, Don Carlson/Automated Builder and Obamacare

Back when the long-running Automated Builder (AB) was still publishing, publisher Don Carlson would editorialize about a wide range of topics, including FED policy, often 'calling out' “Big Ben Bernanke” by name. That made sense, because factory-built housing is impacted by public policy, including monetary policy. Our industry is part of a great American socio-economic whole!

Some wince when I bring up national politics, so let me begin by reminding readers about our long published editorial policy, linked here. If you have a different viewpoint, no one else in MH publishing history has published more opposing or differing views on a wider array of topics than we have. The Industry Voices guest blog is yours to sound off on a wide array of Industry topics. Consider Industry Voices as your 'Letters to the Editor' or OpEd column for the professionals of our Industry.

Then let me say, that not only is ObamaScare, oops, ObamaCare – the so-called Affordable Care Act or ACA – the top story in the mainstream media, it is a highly read story here on MHProNews too.

More on that fact below, but for now, keep in mind that the ACA/aka ObamaCare is about as popular as the flu with most business people. Democrats running for re-election in 2014 are nervous. Republicans have been temporarily rescued from their unpopular part in the “partial federal shut down” theater drama. Even the administration has issued a 6 week reprieve on implementation of the individual mandate. High time, since so many sweetheart deals have been given to their political friends, including those in Congress.

When CNN and Fox News are both covering the same thing, and both are reporting about the unfolding 'train wreck' of the ACA implementation…well, you know that story is hot and is going to stay hot.


2) Manufactured Housing and the general Public…Hot and getting Hotter.

Manufactured housing is drawing more attention in the media and the public, and some of that coverage or attention is more favorable to our industry. Its about time.

Part of this is aided by non-profits who are pro-the Manufactured Housing product, and thus our industry's de facto comrades. Starting this past spring, as you read here in MHProNews, the non-profits began touting more vocally and visibly the quality, durability and value of Manufactured Housing. No one in our industry has covered that reality and topic more.

The latest such coverage is a popular read by Chris Nicely on the topic, at this link. More will come in one of two upcoming A Cup of Coffee with… interviews that will go live by the end of this week.

British journalists, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TMZ and others are covering manufactured homes, in a mixed yet overall rather favorable light. The pro-manufactured home durability video linked on this page has gone from 10,000 views last June to 25,000+ views today.


If you haven't already seen and shared these three links above widely, please do so, starting with your co-workers. Because the rank and file in our industry often don't know the truth about our business. Tragic, but true. The future is decided by good little steps, taken daily.

Lady's and gents, we are sitting on an historic opportunity to shift the MH image. Let's not miss the boat.

3) Not hot yet in MH, but could be…A Potpourri of “Interesting” tidbits

When the latest MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform) press release came out, I was somewhat surprised. We at MHProNews are on record as being sincerely respectful of the factories that support MHARR, for a variety or reasons, including the fact that the Louisville Show would never have come back without MHARR members!

That said, be it MHI (Manufactured Housing Institute) when they goof, as happened on the consumer "announcement" linked here, or when MHARR does something questionable, we are going to spotlight and question! Imagine if Car and Driver never reported on an auto recall. Trade journals report and editorialize.

Quoting from MHARR's latest public release:

“As part of its outreach seeking to end such discrimination and simultaneously expand the available sources of manufactured home financing, MHARR has engaged extensively – for nearly two years — with the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA), an organization representing more than 18 million manufactured home owners and residents across the United States.  Based on that engagement, culminating in an October 3, 2013 meeting between the leadership of NMHOA and MHARR, it is clear that the nation’s manufactured home owners agree that a legislative remedy to expand high-volume manufactured home loan securitization and an expansion of the availability of such financing – especially chattel loans – is absolutely essential.”


The full context is linked here.


First, let's look back almost two years, at the so called 'engagement' referenced in the MHARR PR quoted above. At the time of the Congressional Field Hearings on Manufactured Housing, do you recall how MHARR publicly blasted MHI (not by name, of course) for not being prepared for Ishbel Dickens and Carla Burr's testimony on behalf of the NMHOA?

Hmmm…what was MHI supposed to do? For that matter, what did MHARR members or staff who also testified before Congress do? People can speak – or write – freely, even if foolishly.


Next, If the NMHOA has a a low 4 figures nationally as 'members,' well that would be about the max. So to say that NMHOA represents “more than 18 million manufactured home owners and residents” is spin taken to its highest degree. “It just ain't so!”

ishbel-dickens-the-enemy-mhpronews-com-masthead-blog- (1).pngThird, for MHARR to 'partner' with a group that hates community owners, and has referred to those professionals – you and me and others in our industry – as “The Enemy” publicly, has got to make community owners in the know look at the MHARR office in DC and ask, what are you thinking?

I've personally asked Ishbel Dickens about that “The Enemy” comment, more than once. She won't affirm it, but neither will she deny it. We have good sources that heard that public comment by an NMHOA member with Ishbel responding in agreement.

Fourth, anyone that lives in a land-lease manufactured home community that has an active cell of NMHOA or a like minded group in it knows that the organization turns off more residents than it turns on. While no resident wants to see a rent increase, most people are savvy enough to know that property taxes go up, apartment and rental housing rates go up, groceries and all other commodities go up. So too with MHC site fees. That's life.

To be fair and balanced, sources close to MHARR say that their outreach to NMHOA (National Manufactured Home Owners Association) does make sense on these levels:

  • NMHOA members love their manufactured homes.
  • They are supportive of the production side of the industry and the federal HUD Code program.
  • NMHOA is also supportive on financing issues that could be useful for home owners and the industry alike.

Let's also be clear. Dialogue is a good thing. Jim Ayotte pointed out that in Florida, they routinely meet with home owner groups and have a good, respectful working relationship.

But please, let's not exaggerate the numbers of the NMHOA group. Even when well intention, nor should one venture blindly into waters that one may not fully understand.

seek-win-win-if-not-win-win-then-win-lose-or-lose-lose-masthead-blog=mhpronews-com- (1).pngIn this case, did MHARR go in with the benefit of savvy land-lease community professionals to brief them first? Did MHARR staff go in with MHC owner/operators helping them, and then crafting any language that may come out of such a dialogue in a way that made sense to ALL stake holders?

FYI, we've repeatedly offered to interview Ishbel Dickens, and the answer has been – yes, no, maybe so – or, and this is good – wanting to have some control over the questions to be asked – etc., etc. Is that the way someone truly comfortable with their own stated positions operates?

Our editorial view of Ishbel – who is a very pleasant lady on a personal level – and NMHOA is simple.

However well meaning, their actions in favor of rent control, opposition to HR 1779 and more are harmful to their own interests, that of home owners and that of Manufactured Housing Professionals.

The protests NMHOA and the negative local media coverage they garner is harmful to the values of their homes in their area and harms the image of millions of manufactured home owners and our industry from coast-to-coast.

Some Canadians have a grasp of how rent control harms MHCs and affordable housing, as we reported with their video news story, linked here. Therent-control-harms-affordable-housing-period-mhpronews-com-masthead-blog-.png link/video above ought to be required reading/viewing for everyone in the manufactured housing industry!

That video also ought to be required viewing for everyone who is associated with Isbhel Dickens and the NMHOA.

Imagine if site built housing renters organized and protested the National Association of Realtors, Multi-Family Housing or the National Association of Home Builders. Forgettaboutit! Part of our industry's “image issue” is internal, but another element flows from that tiny group that bends the ears of local reporters. But that should motivate YOU and OTHERS in MH to be just as committed to OUR CAUSE as they are to THEIRS.


There are some state associations – the grass roots of the industry – who have done a terrific job on HR 1779, and others who have not – yet – moved the needle. But unlike MHARR's DC office, which has diligently refused to put out a public press release in support of HR 1779, I'm not aware of any other MH association that has failed to ask via their emails for support for the bill. Why not MHARR?

Again, in fairness, maybe it is because they think it isn't among the three issues they agreed on with MHI to support publicly. That said, this one should be obvious. Better to support HR 1779 late the never.

I know MHARR members who say privately they want the bill passed as badly as MHI members do.  Is there a disconnect on strategy between the MHARR office in DC and its rank and file members on this point of support for HR 1779?

what-are-you-willing-to-do-to-keep-grow-mh-chattel-lending-mhpronews-com-masthead-blog-.pngFor that matter, where are the other publishers in our industry on this topic?  Why are they not all taking a stand – for or against – HR 1779?  Besides ourselves and Texas MH Quarterly, I'm only aware of one other that has lifted a finger on the topic.

Please understand, that this isn't about finger pointing, because I could point out stuff on our own site that needs fixing!  Please be mindful of the Car and Driver Magazine analogy on auto recalls, shared above. "We provide, you decide." (c)

What this is about is challenging ALL of us to be engaged enough to lift the cradle on that phone, or dial your cell or smart phone and call the Capitol Switch Board at  (202) 224-3121 and say, put me through to my congressman! Or those who have not done so should go to and contact your elected officials by email.

The Senate side of this HR 1779 effort is moving. The CFPB regulatory relief efforts are ongoing.  We will have a report for you in roughly 10 days. Stay tuned.

FYI, as of Tuesday, there are 99 Congressman now on board!  That's about 50% more than we had a year ago. And while the clock is ticking, let me99-are-now-on-board-is-your-congressman-mhpronews-masthead-blog-.png remind you that unlike HR 3849, from last year's Congressional session, HR 1779 lives on into 2014!

There are 17 Democrats on this bill, besides 82 Republicans. It is perhaps the most bi-partisan reform effort on Dodd-Frank moving!If you have not already done so, please, just pick up the phone, email or do both until your congressman signs on.

Last thoughts for balance on the MHI, MHARR and association related before moving on for today. MHARR's Chairman, John Bostick has gone to DC on his own dime many times to argue before various federal officials on a wide range of issues, as have some of his peers from MHARR. MHI's Chairman, Nathan Smith, has flown and driven to DC and to states to meet with consumer groups, Senators, Congressmen, staff, et al to advance the cause of HR 1779 (and other issues).  So have a number of other MHI members. Texans alone have coughed up some $200,000 to move the needle on this national effort!

grass-roots-is-where-it-happens-mhpronews-masthead-blog-.pngThe point is that all of the associations are engaged on something!  The squabbles in the background about strategy – nor our analysis – should not be taken to mean more or less than the specific point being made. None of us, and none of our associations, are perfect.

We are calling for common sense, not turf struggles. We all need to take Jim Ayotte's advice to work together, redouble our efforts and get the grass roots was doing what the leadership is doing.  Once we do so, we'll have HR 1779 and a companion Senate bill already passed and more regulatory relief too. Or…

If you wake up mid-January 2014 and


4) A Lighter Note and What's on the minds of MH Pros?

What a person reads says a lot, and what groups of people read give us a glimpse into what the Industry's professionals in general are focusing on. So it is always interesting to see 'what's hot and what's not' in terms of which articles are being read the most during the month.

lease-option-rent-to-own-kosher-in-todays-cfpb-world-masthead-blog-mhpronews-.pngOur A Cup of Coffee  interviews are wildly popular, and thus it is no surprise when we say that A Cup of Coffee with…Wally Comer is an off-the-charts hot read in October 2013. It is also important to note that all our featured articles are well read, but naturally some are better read than others.

That said, would it surprise you if the Industry In Focus Report on the NCC Discussion on Manufactured Housing and the Rent-to-Own and Lease-option was a hot read right now?

Keep in mind that the article linked above was published less than 2 weeks ago, and already is in the top ½ of 1% of all of the over 8,000 accessed here during October in readership. That suggests that a lot of you are doing RTO/lease-options or are thinking about it.

If you are using lease-purchase or lease-options, please do read it and pass it onto your peers, as it may save you or them some fines, law suits or other regulatory head aches!  We don't need more avoidable black eyes.

Another hot read is “Is your State on this List?”

So too is the MHI Annual Meeting and Big Government is Over.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's article is getting a real good work out too, a neck and neck contest with Mark Bowersox's take on Its Now or Never for MH Lending Reform.

To give you a sense of just how popular ANY one of the above articles are, if you took all of the readers from any of the other 'national' MH publishers, more pros have read any one of the above more than read another entire periodical. Wow! That means everything else is bonus territory on readership here on the industry's most popular News, Tips and Views Pros can Use website.

Among other hotly read topics and articles are:

The month of October is almost done, and November looms. Attendee Sign ups for the Louisville Show are growing, and booth space is nearly sold out. Plus, Louisville Manufactured Home Show space sold out weeks ago!

We have a pair of new A Cup of Coffee with… interviews – one with a lender who has not had nearly the attention they deserve – until now!  The executive interview of this award winning MH finance operation is about to take center stage, and with the combination of lending and our popular Cuppa  interviews, it will be interesting to see how high this one goes!

Another Cup of Coffee interview is with one of the oldest named manufacturers in our industry, one of the most successful corporate players you could hope to meet. I'm hoping for one more photo to go with that article, which will go live before the end of the week in our November Featured Articles.

My thanks to you, all those who read here, our writers and sponsors. You have made this the place to be for Industry News Tips and Views Pros Can Use. (c)

Now, go sell something that keeps our industry growing! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for November and see the other new stories at too.

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | |
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