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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Clayton’

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

January 27th, 2019 No comments

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Big and Small, They Lost It All

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Jesus and the 10

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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This is historic. This is part of authentic history. 

 

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

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

 

Don’t stop being a merchant.

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

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

 

Related References:

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profitably Defeating “the Long Knives” – 2019 New Year’s Resolution for MHVille

January 2nd, 2019 No comments

 

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“…Tony, these guys have long knives…” read part of a message from a former, high ranking, MHI member.

Here’s a longer quote from another company president.

“…See you in Louisville.  I just finished a book on [name of book withheld]. One of the sayings from that…comes to mind: “Don’t give up the ship!” Tony, You are so correct about this [Arlington-Knoxville-Omaha Axis].  I always knew you were gonna get attacked.  Don’t give up the ship! (or never quit-something like that)…”

 

Something Different in 2019 on MHProNews and for Manufactured Housing

We’re going to do something different in 2019, but never think for a moment that 2018 and the prior years weren’t necessary.

For those who look back, 4 years ago, we named no names of who were at the root of the industry’s internal problems, we simply pointed out the problems.  Later, we began naming the names, while also citing the evidence. IMHO, these predicate steps were essential as a foundation for what comes next.

Let’s start by setting tonight’s table, then we’ll lay out the logical next step.  By the way, we’ll use a phrase once this post and the content linked from this column cover for simplicity.  We believe that the evidence suggests that the manufactured housing market has been manipulated in a fashion that violates several state and federal laws.  We will say ‘alleged’ to cover this topic, so that any attorney for operations based in Arlington-Knoxville-Omaha, their surrogates and allies, won’t have anything they can use against us in court.

That said, use your common sense, look at the linked and provided evidence and here’s the view from the Masthead.

We became a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member close to a decade ago, based on the advice and encouragement of Ken Rishel and George Allen. If we at MHProNews and our affiliated operations wanted to see the industry advances, Rishel and Allen said that joining MHI was how that could best be accomplished.

Perhaps Ken and George meant well.  Maybe they didn’t, I’m not going to belabor that either way.

TheMastheadEditorialCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNewsWhat your Masthead writer slowly learned as an MHI member, then as an elected MHI board member for their Suppliers Division is this.  The powers that be at MHI picks winners and losers. Literally. That’s not just winners and losers for ‘contests.’ It is also for who they will support or undermine at MHI, and within the broader industry.

We believe in what we have provided evidence for these things.  So, in fairness to George we’ve often said that with him, one must separate wheat from chaff.  There are things that myself and every human does or has done that is chaff, and is best tossed out.  Some things you, I, or all mortals do are wheat.  Wheat properly prepared, for those whose diets permit it, is worthy of our tables.

The very people and/or organizations that we are exposing are some of the very ones that publicly praised us for some time.

Ken, George, Richard [the] ‘Dick’ Jennison, Jim Clayton, Tim Williams, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, and we could go down the list of those who publicly, on video, and/or in writing have praised our pro-industry, pro-growth work.

 

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But even while some of those where praising our pro-growth efforts, there is evidence that at the same time, our operation – as a member – was being undermined by MHI, and by some of their members.  I frankly wasn’t seeing it at first.

Nor is ours the only such case, as we noted some time ago that George Allen discovered that after years of membership, MHI’s NCC division went into competition with him on several items that he had previously done, like his annual list of the largest community operators. Allen charges for that, MHI gives it away for free. Note too that MHI did so after negotiating with Allen about buying his assets and lists. They reportedly entered into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), reviewed what Allen had, and ‘failing’ to come to terms, began to compete on some of those same ‘services’ that Allen rendered.

What message does that send to others in the industry, when the trade association you are a member of, suddenly becomes your competitor?

So it wasn’t that I didn’t have clues.  Another MHI board member told me that he didn’t trust the Dick Jennison from the first time he met him. Someone connected with the Louisville Show said the same thing to me, “Tony, I wouldn’t trust Dick Jennison any farther than I could throw him.”

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I was wrong about Jennison, they were right.

What the Arlington-Omaha-Knoxville (A-OK, but not okay) Axis do is a bunch of BS, and I’m not one to curse very often.  Tim at 21st attempted to deceive thousands of industry independents with that letter of his, posted below.

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The letter was window dressing for a bold plot to put hundreds of retailers out of business.

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Consider these satirical cartoons to be summaries of what you can in fact find comments on by Kevin Clayton in the video posted on this page. He stated it differently, but it points to these cartoon paraphrases. Those who’ve watched the full video after reading the direct quotes from 21st President Tim Williams, and Warren Buffet’s annual letter in Smoking Gun 3 say that the and report are eye opening.  It is arguably clear evidence of antitrust style action. Who says?  Some attorneys who have reviewed the 21st letter above, the video, and linked article above.

We’ve documented before at the links below the byline and notices that Warren Buffet, and later Kevin Clayton, each contradicted what Tim’s letter claims.  They – 21st – in fact had access to what Kevin said in the video was ‘plenty of money,’ which Kevin said they used to buy other lenders loans plus more industry acquisitions.

So it seems apparent that Berkshire Hathaway simply didn’t want to use those funds to support independents that didn’t buy Clayton products or sell 21st repos.

That’s a manipulation of the market. IMHO, since there were multiple parties involved, that’s collusion.

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Collusion – per attorneys in or familiar with antitrust law – is one of the possible triggers for antitrust action.

 

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We know for a fact that federal investigators are on these matters, because I’ve personally spoken with some of them.

So, we don’t need this mainstream news video below.  But for our growing number of new readers – that add to our already industry leading audience size – it’s a placeholder and reminder that Clayton’s Knoxville metro’s home town media has said some of the same things we’ve reported.  But mainstream media normally does a story like the video posted, and then they move on. Trade media – like ourselves – can spend more time to focus on such concerns.  Industry comments – like the on near the top – and third-party data tell us that our audience eats it up.

 

 

But the purpose for doing any report isn’t click-bait.  The goal or purpose is to get to the root of what holds manufactured housing back from achieving its true potential. This writer began in this industry in the early 1980s, and I’ve been a true believer ever since. That potential for manufactured homes is arguably in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year for several years. That’s why Warren Buffet and several tech giants are keenly into factory-built housing, and/or are exploring it.

Professionals want to know.  Professionals, investors, and those outside our industry who are researching manufactured homes or factory-built housing have asked me for years a variation of the following question.

 

 

With the value so high on a HUD Code manufactured home, why isn’t the industry doing much better?

 

 

It’s an obvious and logical question.

 

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Both a plank in the Democratic Party’s ‘new deal’ plan and a draft by the Trump Administration for antitrust action – each on paper at this point – are in theory aimed at the problem of growing monopoly in America. #OpenMarkets. We plan in 2019 to press both Democrats and Republican leaders on this issue, especially as it relates to manufactured housing. Watch for it.

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Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

The answer, once one sees and ponders the evidence, becomes clear. Market manipulation. Or to borrow a phrase from the political left (Senator Bernie Sanders VT-I, who caucuses with Democrats) or the GOP’s President Donald J. Trump, it’s a “rigged system.”   The rest are details and commentary.

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While several allegations of monopolistic practices have been made against Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway, this website is the only one to date that is known to have produced evidence of how that was actually accomplished, and provided with that evidence, this kind of logic, and related data.

 

 

While we as an LLC are responsible for our own work product, nothing we’ve done in the past 3 years has been solo.  We’ve had thoughtful and tangible support from numerous industry professionals. The number of news tips from within Clayton, or from withing 21st, or MHI, et al are growing.

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

The Long Knives…

So, while MHI, their surrogates and allies have tried to:

  • Chase off our advertisers,
  • Try to cast doubts or dispersions about my personal life, character, or work,
  • Try intimidation tactics, from more than one attorney/law firm,
  • Try using part-time surrogates – like George Allen, Suzanne Felber or others – to attack or undermine us,
  • What they didn’t do is try to refute a single allegation we’ve laid out.
  • George claims to be this big supporter of independent communities. Pardon me if I’m not buying his BS. If he cared about them as much as he cares about himself, he’d be working with us to expose this manipulators, rather than acting as their surrogate against us. Whatever MHI and the ‘powers that be’ are doing for Allen, I hope he enjoys it, because it arguably won’t last. Some of George’s followers are now also among those who send us tips.
  • If we were wrong about any of this, why don’t Kevin, Tim, Dick, Lesli, Rick Robinson, Joe Stegmayer, Nathan Smith, or any of the others in the mix take me up on the offer of discussing this live in Louisville or Tunica in 2019? Why not do a third-party moderated discussion on stage, in front of hundreds of industry professionals? Why not do so with their ability to call witnesses or experts, and our ability to do the same?  Why not video record the whole thing? Then, why not provide that video and its content to HUD, DOJ, SEC, FTC, the U.S. Postal Service and other federal or state agencies?  We’d of course post the video, so that MHPro readers from coast to coast and from Texas into Canada could watch it for themselves.

If they had the guts and the wisdom, they’d take me up on that often extended offer in a New York minute. But IMHO, these are white-collar con-artists, being called out publicly – with evidence being provided – for their confidence job.

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When Clayton team members start telling us some of what will come out in planned reports on MHProNews in the days ahead, you’ll see that a number of our readers are ‘getting it.’ Of course, others are still pondering the matter, while some naturally back MHI. That’s life.

When consumers find us on MHLivingNews and call to tell us their Clayton-21st-VMF ‘tale of woe,’ we listen.  It won’t be long before a report on MHLivingNews will be published, and that will further set the stage for the general public on Clayton’s business practices that we began laying out for the industry’s professionals. Of course, we’ll use all of the proper disclaimers.  Clayton won’t like it, but the law arguably is on our side.  If they try a legal maneuver to stop us, we’ll take it to mainstream media contacts we have already been cultivating.

 

Transparent vs. Opaque

We’ve been highly transparent, because it is the right thing to do.  A federal investigator told me that the A-OK Axis (he referred to “the Oracle of Omaha,” meaning Warren Buffett) is “trying to show you that if you investigate them, that they can investigate you.”

That Fed said it was a clear intimidation tactic.

I’ve looked in the eyes of independent community owners, retailers, producers, and others who lost their businesses, and/or others who Clayton tried to put out of business. That’s their “moat strategy” in action. To me, it smacks of RICO, and the reason it does is a former prosecutor who is an attorney advise us that it looks to him like RICO.

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If that former prosecuting attorney, and our suspicions, are correct, these are not only immoral practices by the A-OK Axis, they could be criminal practices.

I’ve spoken with attorneys in and out of MHI, and in and out of our industry. We have a working plan.  While we’ve been very transparent about many things, we will play a few cards later, and hold them closer to the vest.

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There are several things needed for the industry to advance and for independent operations of all sizes to embrace for their own sake, if they care about the future value of their business.

1)    A new post-production association.  MHI is hopelessly corrupted, inept, lies, and has repeatedly failed our industry’s consumers and professional members.  See the graphic below as but one reason why no one should logically take them seriously.  Keep in mind that MHI’s own prior president, Chris Steinbert, used his exit message in the Journal to politely slap them for a string of misses and failures. So George, in saying what you have – you’re either ignoring reality – and/or you are showing your true colors.

2)    As part of the above Post Production association and/or a body that works with the above, there needs to be an ADL of manufactured housing. As part of that concept:

– Every time a city, county, state, or other group tries to block the placement of a HUD Code manufactured home from being properly installed on a home site, they would get contacted by an attorney representing that ‘ADL of MHVille.’

– Every time media, a researcher, or any other public figure misuses terminology or makes a claim in a manner that is inaccurate, they need to be called out first privately, and if needed, publicly by the ADL of MHVille.

– the NAACP and the ADL for years were successful with a similar approach, and that’s not a commentary for or against their organizations at present.  The point is our industry needs that in order to break through to our full potential.

– We’ve had some MHI semi-supporters say words to the effect, ‘Tony, MHI has tried a few similar things in recent months.’ Of course they have, but what more have you heard about it? That’s part of the MHI-MO. We published about a year or so ago that MHI didn’t meet with the new acting director of the CFPB.  What was the next thing they did?  Meet with the CFPB. MHARR or MHProNews calls them out on a topic, and in time, they put up a fig leaf as cover.  It’s part of the MHI con of their own members. We pushed them on image issues, what did they do?  Put up a series of videos.  A fig leaf that was so modest, that Frank Rolfe has videos that totally dwarf the number of views that MHI’s ‘promotional’ videos do. Something similar is true for Clayton Homes.

3)    We’d encourage more members for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Yes, they advertise with us, but so have others, including MHI. That disclosure aside, even while I was an MHI member, there were numerous times I publicly took MHARR’s position on a given issue, because they were demonstrably correct.  For example, Kevin Clayton and others were in the MHI meeting room when I took MHARR’s position on the fire sprinkler issue. Dozens where in that room. Kevin just looked, as he has on numerous occasions at shows or whatever when our public position differed from his. I took MHARR’s side on the fire sprinkler topic, because they were correct.  By contrast, MHI’s proposed position was dumb on its face, unless you see that limiting the industry is part of the Buffett-Clayton moat. Something similar could be said about MHARR and MHI on the DOE proposals.  MHARR is consistently right, while MHI is often inept, deceptive, wrong, corrupt, or whatever you want to call them.

– As a footnote to the above, we at MHProNews have no animus towards the vast majority of MHI members, they are often very fine people.  There are some on MHI’s staff that would possibly be worth keeping, but some on the MHI staff are hopelessly corrupted. As with all things, Wheat and Chaff.  In my view, just as I was misled about MHI, many if not most of the current MHI members have been led down an errant path too.  We all catch on to something at a different pace, as I admitted about myself further above.

4)    Local market level marketing, and coaching in sales.  Call it a shameless plug, but we know things that Clayton Homes apparently doesn’t know, or can’t replicate successfully.  Clayton has purchased locations that we worked with on a consulting basis, that’s interesting, isn’t it?  On our consulting/business development side, we have a proven system that works on marketing and selling manufactured homes to those who are thinking about a site built housing. It is based on candor and surprising people with the truth.  It works, whenever it has been properly used.  When it is improperly used, it doesn’t work.  But duh, that’s true of anything else in life.

  • All sales are local.  All marketing in our industry ought to have a local focus.  Manufactured housing is not the RV or automotive industry.  When enough good local efforts are in motion, that will have an interstate reach.  That is how our industry will recover its greatness.  That is how manufactured homes could become a million unit a year industry, honestly and sustainably.
  • Don’t think for a second that Clayton has their own plans to accomplish, once they’ve captured enough of the market and they don’t think they can squeeze any more competitors out via their “Moat.”
  • But Clayton also has an inherent conflict of interest at MHI.  They are into site building. At present, Clayton wins no matter what happens on issues such as the enforcement of the HUD Code’s enhanced preemption, made law by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

–      We do believe in being competitive, but we don’t believe in driving others out of business.  We’ll leave those underhanded tactics to George, MHI, the rest of the A-OK Axis and their surrogates.

A federal investigator told me we needed to notify local law enforcement about the issues we’ve been dealing with.

 

Words of Caution…

Some in MHVille say in their own words, Tony – don’t talk about the ways they have come after you, that plays into their fear tactics.’ Those voices may or may not be well meaning, but I respectfully disagree.  When we spotlight the A-OK Axis and their dirty tricks, they have often paused or backed off, at least on some of their tactics.

That’s not to say that the time won’t come when they will try to take us to court.  People can sue over almost anything in the U.S. We can’t stop them from that, but they know that as soon as they do, we’ll counter and seek discovery.  We get steady dribbles of information from news tips.  With discovery in litigation, there will be reems of material generated.  Even if they try to destroy some material, other material will out. There will also be witnesses that will be speaking via discovery about matters that they won’t speak about otherwise.

So, if they want that legal fray, so be it.  I’ve told their purported attorney – Graydon Law, that asked us to ‘cease and desist’ has been told just how we’ll deal with them and their ‘clients.’ Transparent.

 

 

Putting a Tail On Us?

That said, and we still haven’t determined who this next person is, but law enforcement will figure it all out.  This person may or may not be connected to the A-OK axis.  The man in the car in the photo below (we’ve cropped off the face of the man and his license plate) was following my wife while she was biking.  A neighbor of ours spotted this “dude.” That neighbor is ex-military and has another resume point I won’t mention today.  But he has good vision, and will be a terrific witness if we need that someday.

 

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We are covering this face, for that person’s privacy at this point in time. But we have that vehicles license plate and his face, thanks to the veteran – a neighbor – who contacted us about his concerns about this matter, see the narrative. Authorities will hopefully do their thing well. As this develops, what we learn, we will share as appropriate.

 

That veteran, still a younger man who is fit and has good vision, etc. told that “dude” following my better half that ‘Dude, if you know what was good you’ for him, ‘you’ll never show your face in this neighborhood or follow that woman [Soheyla Kovach] again.’

It wasn’t until the next day that that neighbor caught up with my wife, Soheyla, and we all three got together for a few minutes face-to-face.  That neighbor shared the photos he took of that ‘dude‘ and said he is happy to testify.

The two quotes from industry voices I opened with above – and others like it above – are right. The A-OK Axis have long knives. Some say they will stop and nothing, but why?

Because housing is more than a trillion dollar a year industry, and Amazon’s Alexa fund has said they see a $330 billion dollar a year market for affordable housing.

That kind of money is tempting to Buffet, Kevin, Tim, or anyone else.

But the irony is that in their greed, they’ve put what they’ve done at risk.  In their greed, they’ve forced perhaps thousands of independents out of business and/or caused them to sell out for less.  There has already been one lawsuit against Clayton on that kind of topic.  We’ll talk about that lawsuit another time.

 

Meeting at Louisville, Tunica…

We plan to meet with some select industry pros at Louisville, and against at Tunica.  We want that meeting to be transparent. We’ll post the details before they come out.

The thrust of the working plan is this. If the A-OK Axis won’t do a public discussion and/or debate, well then yours truly is happy to put on a live presentation with or without MHI, Clayton, 21st or whomever. Your Masthead writer is happy do a power point, lay out the evidence, the money trail, invite the media, and take questions live and answer them.

When we schedule and do that planned presentation, we’ll even invite MHI-Clayton-Berkshire brand surrogates or team members to come.  Why? Because nothing will be more powerful or transparent than to have them ask questions, and let me answer them live.  We can video record that entire presentation. We’ll post that for the industry at large.

Let’s be clear.  We are going to cover a full scope of topics that impact manufactured housing.  But Frank Rolfe, who has backed off public criticism of MHI and their puppet masters, was arguably right when he said that the greater threat is from within our industry.

Let’s also be clear on this.  I won’t stop, our family won’t stop until the last stich of this tragic rigging of manufactured housing has been fully explored, and resolved.  If I ever stop, you can bet that foul play was at work.  We’ve taken steps in that event too.

The greatest thing the industry’s members have to fear is NOT standing up to the A-OK axis.  The data in those graphics, illustrations and videos above clearly reflect the trend lines.

If they aren’t stopped, sooner or later, it will be you at some time down the road.  Why not stop them, now?

MHVille is Buffett’s buffet, and the Monopolistic Housing Institute is his buffet smorgasbord. We have, are, and will publicly call them out, supply the evidence, while others are supporting us in calling them out.

We are going to reclaim what’s right about manufactured housing, while rejecting all that is wrong.

That’s how we’re starting 2019.  That’s our new years resolution.  We are going to do our part to make manufactured housing great again, greater than ever before.

How about you?  Want to join us in Louisville or Tunica?  You can use the link above or below to contact me, and we’ll begin the planning and execution of the next steps. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

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

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

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Forbes Focus on Manufactured Home Communities, Spotlights Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), MHC Investing

2019 – ‘Don’t Tease?’ RV Horizons, MHI v CSPAN, HUD’s Brian Montgomery, Clayton – New Year’s Spotlights

 

Eye Opening – Manufactured Homes in National, Global Context

 

 

It’s Your Profession – Investment of Time, Talent, Treasure – So What’s Next?

December 13th, 2018 No comments

 

ItsYourProfessionInvestmentTimeTalentTreasureSoWhat’sNext600x315

Political correctness – the PC movement – is arguably a form of manipulation and control. 40+ years ago, long before the PC culture took hold, people were aware of the notion that we should be polite and respectful of others. The baby boomer generation were the ones that made greater racial, religious, gender, and other forms of equality an ever-greater reality in America.

 

A recent study reflected that pay gaps have largely been proven to be a matter of choices. Men, per that study, earn more because they put in more overtime. That’s a choice. Within the norms of morality and good laws, choices should be honored.  

MailChimp says roughly 97% of our audience is domestic U.S. and Canadian. There are investors and factory-built housing professionals from across the country – and in other nations around the world – that read MHProNews. Why? Because we seek the truth, lay out facts, provide evidence, and let people make better informed decisions as a result. We don’t mind taking what some might deem to be politically incorrect positions. 

It has been almost a year since a gentleman from outside our industry – a high level executive for a multi-billion dollar organization – asked me face-to-face, why isn’t manufactured housing doing much better than it is? He had spent hours at the Louisville Show, was dazzled by the homes, and was stunned by the value.  

That was a senior executive. Someone with seasoning, a keen mind, not a greenhorn. 

Which is precisely the reason he asked that powerful three letter word question: why? Why isn’t manufactured housing performing better?

Our linked reports further below explore those issues, based on facts, evidence, and following the money.

When I joined the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) some years ago at the urging of industry peers, I expected to find people that wanted to see the manufactured home industry grow.

Indeed, most MHI members most certainly do want growth. 

As the son of a world-class philosopher, as a business professional with decades of experience in high-volume MH retail with high customer satisfaction in manufactured housing, and as a pro-industry and pro-free enterprise publisher, the years at MHI ticked by with little changing. I asked questions. I made suggestions. I was elected by peers to the Suppliers Division board. We did reports on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

So we would politely advocate for what experience and logic told me was common sense.  

We interviewed almost anyone we wanted to talk to, including:

  • Jim Clayton – Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank,
  • Joe Stegmayer – Cavco and former Clayton division president, 
  • Tim Williams/21st Mortgage Corp,
  • Don Glisson Jr, Triad Financial Services,
  • ELS’ the late Howard Walker facilitated extensive authorized interview quotes from Sam Zell,
  • Sam Landy – UMH Properties
  • Nathan Smith – SSK Communities,
  • Frank Rolfe – who with his partner David Reynolds got tons of media by being politically incorrect and accessible,
  • Mark Weiss and Danny Ghorbani at MHARR,
  • MHI Presidents Thayer Long and Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, 

and the list goes on to dozens of pros from every sector of the industry, including John Bostick, who is a respected independent’s independent.  

Those I’ve not mentioned in the brief list above should not feel slighted – because you know who you are, and so do long-time readers. Those interviews are still being read or viewed.

I’ve also not mentioned by name the dozens and dozens of homeowners with whom we did genuine interviews.  Nor does the list mention the many experts outside of our industry that we have on-the-record statements from, useful for clarity on the truth about manufactured housing.  

We did a report yesterday on the Daily Business News that includes this video by Sharyl Attiksson, award winning journalist. She walks viewers and her live audience through the “fake news” phenomenon. You can later access the video by the star journalist by clicking on the box below, which links to the report.

 

“Check Your Facts,” “Follow the Money” – Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Fake News, MHVille Takeaways

 

There’s numerous salient points Attiksson makes, which is precisely why we curated and presented her talk to our industry-leading audience.

People who love us, or hate us, and those in between read here daily by the thousands. Why? Because we follow the money, follow the evidence, ask the questions, all while comparing claims to performance and deeds.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Third party data per Webalizer, on Dec 1, 2018. In a small industry, the market penetration of professional readers is striking. We thank sources, readers, and sponsors alike.

 

People have the absolute right to support MHI, and I’d freely admit there were numerous pleasant and insightful conversations there. But what about actual performance? How do they – and their primary backers – live up to their claims? 

This is where MHI award-winner Marty Lavin’s wisdom comes in, when he said the following.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe

 

Danny Ghorbani left MHI back in the mid-1980s. He was asked by independent producers to help form a new association. That trade group today is known as MHARR – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform. Recall that in the 2018 Washington Post report, MHARR was revealed as the industry’s true hero re: Pam Danner (ICYMI or need a refresher, see hot-linked box below for details). MHARR has no top level turnover in years, by contrast, why has there been so much turnover at MHI?

 

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

 

As a report linked below reflects, when Danny ran the Louisville Show, it was a much bigger event than it is today. 

Attiksson makes the point in her TEDx talk that when you hear the same taking points over and over from mainstream media, you should ask, why? With so many media outlets, how is it that so many use the same phrases, the same words, the exact same talking points? 

As you explore trade media in manufactured housing, there are some variations. Some are arguably mere MHI mouth pieces. Some exist primarily to benefit the blogger. We respect their rights under the First Amendment to do so. 

But who besides MHARR and MHProNews routinely ask the tough questions about #NettlesomeThings 

We’ve done our share of ‘happy talk.’ But the facts – year after year – at MHI meetings is summed up in what a member CEO said, it is always more of the same.  

If MHI or Clayton Homes truly had the answers for what ails our industry, at what point will they actually show it?  

MHI claims they’ve exposed tens of millions of Americans to manufactured homes in 2018. If so – if they did such a fine job with their multiple-million dollar budgets – why are only 100,000 (+/-) Americans going to buy a HUD Code manufactured home this year???

 

ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHILogoMHIVideoStillsMillionsofViewsMastheadBlogMHProNews-400x768

Even if MHI’s claims are true – properly analyzed – are an embarrassment to them and anyone involved. If they really had an audience of 84 million, and if their work was so good, why are so few manufactured homes being sold? Their promo video is arguably a magician’s slight-of-hand. Look here! Big Numbers! Oops, poor results…Why Aren’t Others in MH media spotlighting this obvious problem???

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews-756x768 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoOctober2018HUDCodeHomeShipmentsDeclineMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews600

Both MHProNews third-party site stats plus feedback from professional readers, many of whom are MHI members, tell us that the industry’s professionals and investors want meaty reality checks, not more MHI pie-in-the-sky-in-the-great-bye-and-bye.

 

Why after praising MHProNews in writing and on video – numerous times – did they rescind our membership? Did we ask too many questions? Did we make too many suggestions that could result in real growth that years of experience proved would work when done correctly?

 

 

Or MHI’s then education-division leader (MHEI), Ann Parman’s praise for our presentation to MHI members at their Congress and Expo, urging proper media engagement to correct-the-record as issues arose. 

 AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadblogMHProNews800

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadMHProNews-500x277

MHI can’t claim ignorance, because their former Executive Committee Chairman, Tim Williams was asked and answered about the logic of doing media engagement to debunk every single case of misinformation. MHI has a PR person that works full time. As an MHI member said recently to MHProNews, what is that PR person actually doing?

 

Is growth for the many in the manufactured housing industry the agenda at MHI? Or – as their own evidence suggests – is their real agenda the consolidation of the industry into ever fewer select hands?  Click the box below for more details later, but move on for now.

 

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

We at MHProNews respect the rights of factory-producers to build whatever kind of homes they want to build that meet appropriate standards. Clayton experimented with the iHouse and iHouse 2. It was their right to prove themselves unable to successfully market it, despite lots of publicity.

 

ClaytonHomesiHouseChevyVoltGreenBridgeFarmsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Ever wonder whatever happened to the Clayton iHouse? Or Clayton Homes iHouse 2? Not much, very few were sold, and so it was quietly dropped, per sources at Clayton.

 

  • Clayton and MHI both made a big deal about their image and ‘story telling’ videos. A bust. The views and the new home shipments data prove it. 
  • Clayton made a big deal about their relationship with then uber-popular Duck Dynasty. Remember that? Why no surge in retail-sold new home shipments?
  • Clayton made a big deal about a year ago regarding their TV ads on college football games. Huh, why are shipments flat? #NettlsomeThings.

 

MHI’s own data says about 1/3 of new manufactured homes are shipped to communities. The REITs freely admit most of those manufactured homes (MH) shipped to their communities (MHCs) are rented, as opposed to being immediately sold at retail. Subtract out MH rentals in MHCs, isn’t the industry essentially flat since 2010?  

These are all warning signs that industry investors and pros discuss with me off-the-record.  

Why do independents that once spoke freely on the record, now fear speaking out publicly?  Heck, why did historically outspoken Frank Rolfe stop calling MHI out and their failed, hypocritical leadership? Those were his words, not mine. 

These are #NettesomeThings, aren’t they?  

Nettles sting if handled improperly. But properly understood, nettles have medicinal qualities. 

Our purpose on MHProNews isn’t to embarrass Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Nathan Smith, MHI, MHVillage, or anyone else for that matter.   

Our purpose is to reflect reality. Those stinging nettles are meant as a cure – which is positive – by spotlighting the problems. Until a problem is properly understood, you can’t fix it. You don’t ask a doctor for happy talk, you ask an MD for the truth, and then the treatment that’s needed to achieve a cure.

The so-called ‘new class of homes’ is arguably going to be the next Clayton and MHI backed fiasco. It’s the absolute right for everyone in the program to be in it. 

But it is our absolute right as a pro-industry publication that wants to see the industry grow to ask the tough, #NettlesomeThings questions. That’s for medicinal purposes. Don’t blame the messenger, look at those whose behavior and track record requires that the message be made.

 

Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMashteadMHProNews600 (1)

 

If we at MHProNews were wrong about any of these matters, why do the Clayton’s, 21st and MHI duck our questions, that for years they once gladly answered? Why don’t they just prove us wrong? They would if they could, right?  

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Rick Robinson, a MHI’s SVP and general counsel, ducked questions at the Deadwood conference in front of dozens of witnesses, just as Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison did at Louisville in 2018.

We periodically ask MHI and the Berkshire brands to show us any fact or logical errors. To quote some comments from MHI and other state association members, “Crickets.” No reply? Why? 

It is MHI’s own members that are troubled by this so-called ‘new class of homes‘ plan, see the related report accessed by clicking the box below, once you’ve finished reading this column.

 

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

The new class of homes logically will undermine over time all other HUD Code homes. Some, per our sources, were promised, prodded, and persuaded into doing them – which again is their right to decide to produce them or not. 

But as multiple MHI-only members have told us, the new class of homes is illogical. Why not build them modular, MHI producers said, if you do all of these changes? 

Why misdirect those Duty to Serve dollars away from HUD Code homes, which is what the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) called for? That’s some of what MHI members are telling me.  

 

 

The Costly Consequences 

Are you a HUD Code manufactured home lender? Mark my words, the value of your collateral will over time arguably be undermined by this misguided program.  That could happen if it succeeds, or even if it is tried for years and fails, as Clayton’s iHouse did.  

Are you a retailer or a community operator? Mark my words, the value of your residents’ homes will decline if this program is pushed. Why? Because the natural question – as MHI members are telling us – will be, why won’t the GSEs give us the same terms and conditions on all other HUD Code homes? The answer to that question undermines all other HUD Code homes.  

If the value of those existing manufactured housing residents homes declines, mark my words, the value of Manufactured Home Communities (MHC) will be impacted. Who says? Among others, legal and communities pros in our industry — who’ve raised these concerns directly to MHProNews. 

Keep in mind that sources in the GSEs have told me personally that this program was conceived backwards. One admitted it could backfire and harm the HUD Code. If so, that source said then they might change it. What?  

Ask yourself — why did they want this done between MHI, the GSEs, and Berkshire brands behind closed doors? Why wouldn’t they release the meeting minutes?  

For all of those who have been given proper notice as to the risks involved, consider the liability. I doubt the E/O policies will cover the losses from such a clearly flawed program.  

Who will do the lawsuits? Contingency lawyers, who are already exploring it, based upon the conversations and messages already sent and heard by me personally.  

Who will they sue on behalf of, you ask? Those millions of HUD Code Manufactured Home Owners, for one group.   

MH Community operations that are MHI members, if you don’t speak publicly out to object to this MHI plan, can you spell liability? 

Publicly-traded companies that don’t speak out publicly? Can you spell shareholder liability?  

Build those HUD Code homes however you want, within the norms of the performance standards, but my best advice is to publicly and promptely kill this term ‘new class of homes,’ right now. Then, stop the separation in HUD product that meets the Fannie Mae ‘MHAdvantage’ standards. Don’t let Freddie Mac do it either. 

Remind Fannie and Freddie that the HUD Code has nationally preemptive standards that should already be accepted. 

 

Who Will Survive This Looming Slow-Motion Tragedy? 

Pardon me for mentioning the fact that only one operation has pockets deep enough to survive the possible – arguably likely – wave of legal actions.  

Berkshire Hathaway, right? Recall that Kevin Clayton said in the video below, that “Warren” would be okay if he lost money for 5 years, as long as he grew his moat. Why not take Kevin at his word on that point?

 

 

For those that don’t know or don’t recall, there were big class action lawsuits years ago on plumbing and siding. Do we think at this current production level, that many in the industry’s producers – or other firms – will survive the logical trend of this emerging threat?  

Every business they put out of business, only helps the big boys, per their own “moat” theory, correct? 

 

The state executives who are caught in-the-middle or feel pressured on this, I don’t envy you. But you won’t be needed if the industry eventually vanishes in a logically coming wave of litigation. That’s why some of you are off-the-record sources for us already.

 

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

For those who think that they can pressure or dissuade MHProNews from speaking out about #NettlesomeThings — you’ve obviously misjudged me and mine. 

The time is now – now – to stop this slow-motion catastrophe.

It is also time – now – to forge the new post-production association and/or alliance structures that can keep those who remain in MHI in check.  Otherwise won’t the folks In Arlington, VA only keep making the same purported multiple years of errors that caused NMHCO or MHIdea to launch?

 

“Lots of Sizzle,” Clayton Sales Performance, Other MHI & Clayton Homes News Tips

 

It’s arguably a slow-motion head shot. If I’m wrong, then let Kevin, Tim, Eric, Dick, Lesli et al take a stage in Louisville with me in 2019 and debate it publicly on a video taped session, so all of manufactured housing and the world can see it. 

Ladies and gents, are you up for it? 

Why is manufactured housing underperforming? Could it be that it’s been undermined from within? 

 FrankRolfeObsticalToGrowthManufacturedHousingIndustryItself-postedMastheadBlogMHProNews

 

 

MartyLavinHUDCodeDeadlyDiscriminationCode-IndustryVoicesMHProNews-e1472170900504

There is a cost to ignoring bad news, and Marty Lavin’s put his finger on it. But as Rolfe and others have directly or obliquely mentioned, it is powers within the industry that have failed to defend the industry.

 TheManufacturedHousingInsittuteLogoManufacturedHomeIndustryOtherImageCampaignMartyLavinMHILogoMHProNews

That’s my two cents –  as someone invested in and who cares about this industry – based upon years of research, industry input, third-party experts, logic, and experience.  

AllTruthPassesThrough3StagesRidiculedViolentlyOpposedAcceptsSelfEvidentArthurSchopenhauerQuoteGalleryMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

If there is a flaw in the facts and reasoning, anyone who wants to speak up on behalf of the Berkshire brands in MHVille, or MHI are hereby invited to so do. Want the details behind the logic? Then see the related reports, in the linked boxes, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

AlanAmyRoyerMobileHOmesOpelousaLALATonyKovachMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryProNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Back to Basics – What is Classical Liberalism, and What Can It Mean for Manufactured Housing Growth?

Understanding the News as Business, and Manufactured Housing

 

Clayton’s Miss, Kevin and Tim’s Manufactured Housing Kill Shot, More

 

 

Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows, Controversial Profitable, Problematic Issues Loom

 

Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

April 22nd, 2018 No comments

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, and their annual shareholders meeting, are writ large on the calendar for investors.  The same can be said for professionals who are in or researching – or in – the manufactured home industry.

BestWarrenBuffettKevinClaytonClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayAnnualMeetingCompetitiontheMoatVideoCollection

Clayton Homes – led by company founder Jim Clayton’s son, Kevin Clayton – become the largest producer of manufactured homes the year that Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett bought the company in 2003. It became the largest builder or HUD Code manufactured homes later that same year – 2003 – when Buffett’s Berkshire purchased Oakwood Homes, and rolled it into the Clayton ‘family of brands.’

Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates
compete in the annual newspaper toss
to a Clayton Homes front door at shareholders meeting.

That was one of an ongoing string of acquisitions since then, which in more recent years have included purchases of site-builders, as well as other factory producers.

Kevin Clayton talks about barracks for the military, tiny homes
annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.


 

Why did Buffett do all this?  Why has he endured the ‘drama’ that has gone along with Clayton Homes and manufactured housing?

Pay close attention to what you see, hear and read, and you’ll get it.  Short answer?  Listen to Buffett explain his own principles. Mr. Buffett wants a business that is easy to understand. He wants a business with “a moat.”  During an affordable housing crisis, what business is easier to understand than manufactured homes?

Short Warren Buffett On Clayton Homes
Allegations of Discrimination, CNBC

Two quick quotes, and then on to the rest of the videos.

I call investing the greatest business in the world … because you never have to swing…All day you wait for the pitch you like; then when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it,” – Warren Buffett, per Wikiquotes.

Draw a circle around the businesses you understand and then eliminate those that fail to qualify on the basis of value, good management, and limited exposure to hard times.” Warren Buffett, in “About Investing.

Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes CEO
on military barracks, tiny houses more…Fox Business.

 

Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes Related Videos

For those in or new to manufactured housing, these videos offer a peek inside the world of Berkshire, and their dominance of manufactured home:

  • construction,
  • retail,
  • lending,
  • suppliers,
  • insurance and other financial services arena.
  • You’ll also get a peak into their move towards conventional housing, and they were already doing modular home construction.

Berkshire Hathaway’s
Clayton Homes Moving into New Conventional Housing Markets
– The Street

 

Warren Buffett’s “The Moat” Strategy – How to Dominate Competitors, in Buffett’s and Kevin Clayton’s Own Words

For those who are researching concerns over monopolies or alleged monopolistic practices – and how that had played out in manufactured housing – the videos below are must viewing.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman,
Competitive Advantages and “The Moat” per Buffett, Video Interview Clips
– MHLivingNews.com

 

For those looking for a deeper dive in reading and research on related topics, the links below provide arguably the most comprehensive research by an informed, pro-industry expert and witness to the evolution of the industry from its early days as trailer houses, to the mobile home era, and to industry since June 15, 1976, when it formally became HUD Code regulated manufactured housing.

 

The solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight. That’s been a subtext for closing in on a decade on MHProNews.com as well as on our public focused sister site, ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, both of which also looks at modular, prefab, conventional, and pre-HUD Code mobile homes.

For first timers, to industry veterans, this is the number one site of its kind. Who says?  Besides third party traffic data, there’s the widespread praise for these twin platforms that has flowed for years from many pros, including from the founder of Clayton Homes, Jim Clayton, as well as from independents and others.  The video praised captured below is just a sampling of spoken and written praise.

 

 

While we are pro-industry, we are also pro-consumer, and are strong believers in free enterprise.

Kevin Clayton Interview, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway,
Clayton Homes CEO, Manufactured Homes, Affordable Housing News – MHProNews

Unlike much of the trade media in our industry, we do not shy away from controversial topics. So, for example, the question of the impact of alleged monopolistic practices by Buffett, Berkshire and Clayton Homes, or other charges against the company are among topics we’ve closely examined for years.

We hope you learn, and enjoy.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ## © (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

 

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

 

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

“Dark Money” “Conflicts” – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Urban Institute, Manufactured Housing Institute, Affordable Housing Report Revelations

February 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

DarkMoneyKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews550

 

Buying into the manufactured housing industry today is like buying a stock that is significantly undervalued.

That’s what many believe. Count the Masthead’s industry veteran’s author among them. Buying into manufactured housing now is like buying a stock that is significantly undervalued, and is potentially poised for serious growth.

 

The odds are good to great that everyone reading this has:

  • an interest in manufactured housing, and
  • believes manufactured homes could play an important part of the solution for America’s growing affordable housing crisis.

We believe that too.

Those in the industry, investors, media, public officials, advocates, and researchers all have viewpoints, and many have questions.

While it would take time to ramp up to 500,000 or 1 million new manufactured homes a year, it’s doable with the correct resources, plus the kind of long-term commitment that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway brands – along with other success stories in the industry – have achieved.

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

With savvy millionaire and billionaire believers in the HUD Code regulated manufactured home industry, why is the industry seriously underperforming?

That’s a question that the Urban Institute posed in a new report.  With four co-authors, the report makes some interesting, questionable and meh points.  It arguably failed to address several important points.

But what the Urban Institute (UI) obviously failed to do was hide apparent conflicts of interest, which went undisclosed in their reporting.

2018-02-02_1630UrbanInstituteManufacturedHousingIndustryAffordableHousingCrisisReportMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

One of those conflicts is ‘hiding in plain sight.’

 

Warren Buffett, “Lifetime Trustee” of the Urban Institute (UI)

InfographicSeeHowDarkMoneyFlowsBetwenNonProfitsOpenSecretsMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThey could claim at UI that the disclosure exists on their website, because Warren Buffett is listed as a Lifetime Trustee of the Urban Institute.

Buffett’s given billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has paid millions to the Urban Institute. That’s how, says Open Secrets, so-called “Dark Money” flows.

While that dark money is often noted for political uses, it can clearly be used for research that in turn influences media, politics, business, advocacy, public officials, investments, and more.

So when four different co-authors at Urban Institute delve into a topic that so directly involves an interested party, one would think that one or more of those four would want to disclose that in their report itself, or as a footnote?  That’s what non-profit researchers are supposed to do.

 

ConflictsOfInterestGoogleMastheadManufacturedHouisngIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Conflicts of Interest = COI.

 

Instead of disclosure, instead of full transparency, the opposite occurred with UI and their report.

According to sources who claim knowledge about the research at the Urban Institute, the report writers’ promised anonymity to an association and corporate interests who ‘vetted’ their research report.

Pardon me?

A manufactured home, built by Clayton Homes, is the report’s featured image. What were they thinking at UI?

And doesn’t that make their research at least appear to be at COI, and not much more than a higher class of one of MHI’s controversial paid advertorials?

 

Conflicts of Interest – COI

According to the facts presented, and uncovered to date, it implies the report has Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and the Manufactured Housing Institute’s finger prints all over it.

See the flash Daily Business News initial report, linked below.

 

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

 

One need not be an attorney, journalist, or researcher to realize that it all smells of conflicts of interest.  While this writer isn’t an attorney, one concurred with our assessment. As with all of our reports, fisking, fact-checks, commentary and analysis, we encourage readers to do their own homework, and see for themselves.

That said, why where those apparent conflicts of interest not disclosed?

 

Begging the Questions…

That clear lack of transparency begs several questions.

  • Why not disclose their respective interests and involvements?
  • Who benefits from the UI report on manufactured housing?
  • What does the report steer people to look at, as they ponder the manufactured housing industry?
  • What does the report steer people away from looking at, as they research manufactured housing as an important solution for the affordable housing crisis? (Note:  HUD is one of the sources for revenue to UI.  We believe editorially that the Trump Administration and HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, ought to suspend all such payments throughout the federal government, until the dark money ties and conflicts of interest that are working against the public’s and small businesses are all cleared up.)

 

Non-Profits, Foundations and Manufactured Housing

When the topic of philanthropy was raised in the Kevin Clayton interview video, Kevin himself points to foundations and non-profits that they believe will be important for them.

Clayton’s video interview also points specifically at using manufactured housing as urban infill.

Research is often done by nonprofit organizations.

Reports they create are in turn routinely picked up by media, educators, policy advocates, investors, and government.

When investors with a long-term horizon, as Buffett has, third party research is part of what they study.  Kevin says so, in his own words, in the video.  Kevin also speaks about Buffett’s connections and sources of information.

 

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

 

The Kevin Clayton Interview Video is a Road Map in Numerous Ways

The video laces together in Kevin’s own words the concerns and allegations over:

  • monopolistic practices,
  • how vital credit is to the industry,
  • how nonprofits and foundations are important and are part of their plan.

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The Manufactured Housing Institute is a non-profit.

http://mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/MHIAntiTrustWarningsInstructionsMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews.jpg

Ignorance is no excuse. Forewarned is forearmed. MHI members would be wise to review the anti-trust warnings in the light of the reports linked from this page. A copy of those anti-trust warnings are found at this link, or by clicking on the MHI anti-trust warning, above.

NextStep, is at least in part, a non-profit.

So too the RV MH Hall of Fame, and the state associations which Clayton and 21st or other Berkshire Hathaway brands belong to as well.

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/how-gold-rules-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-mhi-vp-state-execs-conference-call/

 

The Clayton video interview explains why with sufficient capital, the affordable housing solution indeed ought to include a heavy dose of manufactured homes.

When a non-Berkshire Hathaway, non-MHARR company CEO told MHProNews in Louisville last month that MHI’s work for many years “has made no sense,” that’s true from the vantage point of a non-Berkshire Hathaway brand, or from someone who isn’t part of their insider circle.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

MHI board members have during the Richard “Dick” Jennison era complained to MHProNews that that the Arlington, VA based trade group has become a “secret society,” or an “exclusive club” that only a handful actually have any say in governance.

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-blasts-mhi-for-poor-media-engagement-industry-reactions/

If these points, concerns, and allegations prove true, that’s problematic for the industry, and MHI members, on several levels.

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

We will boil it down to its essence.

Facts Matter – Mr. Obama’s “Alternative Universe,” Trump Admin, Investors & Politicized Manufactured Housing Data

We already noted on the Daily Business News that there are two great laws that manufactured housing benefits from.

Understanding these 2 existing federal laws, and having them fully implemented, would be major advances for public officials, those needing affordable housing, housing professionals, and investors.

McCrory Lawsuit – “Significant Victory Against Zoning Discrimination” – Manufactured Homes

Note that preemption was ignored in the Urban Institute report.  Why?

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

We’ve noted that MHARR has raised concerns over the new class of manufactured housing that Clayton dominated MHI is pushing.

Sources at MHI and with Clayton homes told MHProNews that MHI’s public relations person has spent time at Clayton location(s). On MHI’s dime?  How is that fair to the association’s smaller members?

The videos that MHI produced benefit Next Step, a nonprofit that Clayton and MHI are both supporting.

Next Step is also part of the Duty to Serve (DTS) chattel (personal property, Home only lending) financing trials mandated by the 2008 Housing and Recovery Act (HERA).  Do you see the pattern of non-profits being used by Clayton, Berkshire, et al?

Manufactured housing already has enhanced preemption under the law. Why bother with a new class of home?

Harper – Thank You Rev Donald Tye, Fighting for Enhanced Preemption of Manufactured Homes

 

People still incorrectly call a manufactured home a mobile home, even though no mobile homes have been built for over 41 years.  Will a name change work, without education of the public on what manufactured homes are, versus the widespread image of them?  Isn’t it all just shadow boxing?  Making the industry think they are doing something, when they are buying time for more consolidation to take place?

 

Manipulated

The vast majority of the people I’ve met with a Berkshire Hathaway brand, or who are MHI members, are good folks.  We have connections with dozens of them.  Some are sources for MHProNews.

We have not at any time slammed the quality of Clayton’s products.  The vast majority of the folks I’ve met and know from Clayton, 21st, et all are fine people.

Our focus has been and will remain, what holds manufactured housing back? 

It’s the same question that the Urban Institute asked.

Berkshire Hathaway, directly and indirectly through political, regulatory, capital, nonprofits, et al has manipulated and allowed to be depressed the market for manufactured housing. They are doing so in ways that appear to be monopolistic.

Fraud, Class Action, CFPB-Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the Manufactured Homes Industry

Kevin Clayton has in his own words, dotted those i’s and crossed the t’s, about Buffett hating competition, and instructing the building of “the Moat.”

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

So too has Warren Buffett.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

We believe that there is plenty of evidence that the report from an award-winning MHI member to MHProNews was true when he said (paraphrasing), that ‘the big boys have figured out how to get the smaller companies to pay for what the big companies want.’  See that, linked here.

We also believe the pattern is there to support the claims of those past and present MHI members – along with others – who have told MHProNews how they personally have suffered from the monopolistic and other business practices of Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, et al.

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

 

Recommendations?

The industry’s post-production sector should forge a new trade association, as several have already advocated and are exploring.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

There needs to be civil, administrative, and criminal inquiries made into these allegations involving MHI and Berkshire Hathaway, et al.

When Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Jaime Dimon’s announcement earlier this week caused the markets to plunge, it is in the view of some analysts a warning shot across the bow of the Trump Administration.

Buffett, Bezos – Time Announcement to Drop Market Ahead of SOTU? Plus MH Market Update$

If so, that warning shot impacted investors.  No one should be above the law.

Arguably the most harmed are the mom-and-pop retailers and communities, along with any independently owned producer, supplier, or financial services company involved in manufactured housing.

Buffett became the biggest player in manufactured housing in 2003 with his first acquisitions.

Since the Kevin Clayton video interview was originally conducted, Clayton’s footprint in the industry doubled.  He did so using “the Moat,” financing, nonprofits, and other tools Kevin expresses in his own words.  Several of those are the topic of related reports, linked above and below as references.

TonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressRickRobinsonMHISVPGeneralCounselMastheadMHProNews

There are reasons why Dick Jennison and Rick Robinson both ducked out on questions from a publication that is demonstrated it is pro-industry for years and years.

The Top Twelve Questions for Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison

What are they hiding?

Expert’s NWS Statement Reveals Serious Problems in Tornado WARNINGS & Manufactured Housing Safety Data

Why are they even hiding from their members good news that they ought to be spotlighting?

RentVsBuyingHousingAnalysisWhatsBestKenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews660

MHLivingNews and MHProNews have from the outset documented cases of good news for the manufactured housing industry. Why has MHI routinely failed to spotlight those good news stories for the industry to benefit from?   Learn more about the above at this link here.

 

Parting Takeaways for Today

Honorable, Non-Monopolistic Investors who take a long-term horizon view of manufactured and other forms of factory built housing ought to – and will – dive in.

Current Industry players who aren’t giants are the current best friends of a giant should demand action.

MHI needs to open its books, open its bylaws, and undergo a third-party forensic examination for conflicts of interest. We think there may be good reasons to disband the organization, as hopelessly corrupted (again, that’s not a slam on most members, but all must be aware of potential liability from maintaining their membership).

Fiduciary Responsibility to Corp Shareholders-MH Anti-Trust Concerns; Plus MH Market UPdate$

Berkshire Hathaway ought to face precisely what some have advocated, anti-trust action. That action should not be limited to Warren Buffett and his brands, because what happened last Tuesday was not the first or last time that billions of dollars in wealth could be wiped out by such market machinations.

The time for anti-trust civil, administrative and criminal investigations is long overdue.  Personalities across he political spectrum in and outside of manufactured housing say so.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

We believe that among the best ways to advance the industry is to expose MHI, and break up Berkshire Hathaway.

Until that happens, millions are being harmed, small business as being forced to sell for less than their value, or have been forced to close.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

Its an American tragedy.  It’s Dark Money Conflicts that are harming real business people, and everyday Americans.  These are our concerns.  We’ve laid out the facts, and just some of the evidence in the above. Given Kevin Clayton’s own words, plus the links, isn’t it more than enough?  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, fact checks, commentary.)

(Third party images and information are provided under fair use guidelines.)

L. A. “Tony” Kovach is an award winning manufactured housing industry veteran, and is the managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com and professional service provider to the factory-built housing industry.

Connect on LinkedInhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

December to Remember – Manufactured Housing News, Tips and Views 2015

December 3rd, 2015 No comments

If you’ve been in manufactured housing:

  • at least 5 years, and

  • have been to at least 3 MH professional events/association meetings/shows a year,

then odds are excellent that you know first hand how diverse our industry is:

  • politically,

  • by Industry segments (MH Retailers, MH Communities, MH Producers, Lenders, Installers, Transporters, Suppliers – plus sometimes stark differences within each of those segments!)

  • in size, business plans and approaches within each industry segments,

and any other measure of diversity (religion, ethnic, gender, familial status, etc.) you want to mention.

knowledge-shared-is-knowledge-multipled-masthead-mhpronews-

So it’s no surprise when you see a diversity of Featured Articles in this power-packed December to Remember 2015 issue of MHProNews.com. Here are examples of what you’ll find in this month’s featured articles. In no particular order of importance…

  1. 3 featured articles focused on the thoughts of ELS/EGI Chairman, Sam Zell, with our thanks to his friendly and efficient contact at ELS.

2) What some will see as the near ‘polar opposite’ of ELS, an exclusive video interview with Paul Bradley ROC USA (by the way, while their politics or other views might differ, both are savvy professionals, executing their respective plans). If you are thinking about exiting (selling) your MHC, this is timely viewing you’ll not want to miss.

3) MHI and MHARR featured articles (second month running).

4) A gathering of samples of praise for our independent trade publishing – again, across a wide spectrum – including kudos from “competitors” in their respective niche’s too.

5) Wayne Coakley’s strategies on managing your online MH reputation.

6) Spotlighting a new, rising start in MH in our exclusive – A Cup of Coffee with…Lindsey Bostick.

7) Another insightful column from the Fair Housing Lady, attorney Nadeen Green.

8) 21st Mortgage’s Lance Hull’s latest column, reporting on an update that should perk even more activity for their popular CASH Program – must reading for MHC pros.

9) Bob Vahsholtz unique take on the Image Problem (which is but one example that proves in part Tim Williams’ point – see #4 above – that not every comment or article on our site is something I necessarily agree with…but I’m still happy to share them).

10) Inspirational, thought provoking columns from our good friend Tim Connor, CSP – and from a cherished legend, Zig Ziglar, RIP.

11) Barry Cole’s update on the Kevin Clayton Debt Elimination challenge for the RV MH Hall of Fame.

  1. An inside look at something new for the 2016 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show – complete with a new video.

13) The Wisdom of Dr. Thomas Sowell. Want to bring common sense to a political or economic discussion? A few words from Dr. Sowell will often do the trick! Each quote a tweetable gem!

14) Exclusive comments to MHProNews and a downloadable report by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, on terrorism in the U.S. (eerily timely, given the tragic San Bernardino apparent terror attack). Let me take a moment and say that almost any business of any size today needs to consider their preventative steps in case of an active shooter incident. Please plan and prepare now, and mitigate or avoid problems later.

All told, we have 18 new Featured Articles in our December to Remember issue.

Bonus! Free Christmas Gift that Keeps on Giving! You can sign yourself or a team member(s) up in seconds for the industry’s leading emailed news updates.  Go to MHProNews.com/subscribe and give the free gift of priceless insights – the Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use ©  – that keeps on giving. 

subscribeMHProNews-com-

From our family to yours, let me hereby wish you a good Advent, our Jewish friends a happy Hanukkah and to all a Merry Christmas.

SoheylaTamasTonyKovachFamily-MastheadMHProNews-com-

Team Kovach = (l-r) Soheyla (prounounced So Hey La), video drone assistant – Tamas (pronounced Tah Mash) and L. A. Tony Kovach (prounounced Co-Vatch like Watch). Matthew Silver, Jan Hollingsworth and Charles Drake plus many volunters and sponsors who join together – all to bring you the Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use. © Photo above, from 83 Degress Media.

With no further adieu, please dive into this month’s fabulous Featured Articles, also found via the MHProNews home page under the Daily Business News module.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 7, No. 2, 2015

Alphabetically by Category

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

 

• Snow Removal, Community Rules and Fair Housing…really?

by Nadeen Green, JD

nadeen-green-mhpronews-comMany manufactured housing communities are in warm and sunny climes or in areas where a few snowflakes are all that you will see; although when they fall, even those few snowflakes can be a source of great panic, requiring residents to stampede to the grocery stores for bread and milk.

Read more…

 

FINANCING

• Act NOW for Enhanced Manufactured Home Lending

by Lesli Gooch, Ph.D.

LesliGooch-PhD-MHIvicePresident-GovernmentRelations-postedMHProNews50x50-The federal government is currently operating under a “Continuing Resolution,” which passed in October and runs through December 11th.

Read more…

 

 

• Getting More Affordable Housing for Manufactured Home Communities

by Lance Hull

LanceHull21stMortgageCorporationPostedMHProNews-com-55x55.jpgIn 2012, 21st Mortgage launched the Communities Affordable Spec Home (CASH) Program to expand affordable housing finance options to home buyers purchasing homes for placement in land-leased communities.

Read more…

 

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Sunshine Homes and where your company is based).

My name is Lindsey Bostick. I work at Sunshine Homes, which is located in Red Bay, AL.

Read more…

 

• Kevin Clayton Debt Elimination – RV MH Hall of Fame

by Barry Cole

BarryCole-mhHallofFame-55x55Great News! The manufactured housing (MH) segment of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation has received pledges totaling $622,314 toward the $1 Million Kevin Clayton Debt Elimination Campaign.

Read more…

 

• World Economy Operating on Slow – Sam Zell Video

 by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachInvestment legend Sam Zell is Chairman of manufactured home communities leader, ELS – as well as a host of other investments. Mr. Zell is featured in this recent video interview.

Read more…

 

• Sam Zell’s Investment Fundamentals – Performance

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachEquity Lifestyles (ELS) has long been a leader in the manufactured home community business.

Read more…

 

• Can Factories or other Businesses be targets for ISIS or other Jihadi Groups? Insights on Terrorism from Expert, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D. 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachIn the wake of recent attacks in Paris and Mali on civilian targets, reasonable professionals may ask, what is the possible threat to U.S. businesses and the MH industry?

Read more…

 

• The Wisdom of Dr. Thomas Sowell

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachProven, sound principles should trump posturing. Common sense needs to become more common again.

Read more…

 

• Something New to See at the Louisville MH Show! Or in many markets…near you? 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachAs a successful MH Retailer – who sold the sales center but still does manufactured home consulting for firms of all sizes – I know first hand things savvy retailers want.

Read more…

 

• Why Should Exiting Manufactured Home Community Owners Consider Going Resident Ownership? Inside MH Video Interview with Paul Bradley, ROC USA

by Soheyla Kovach

s-kThere are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Manufactured Home Communities (MHCs – aka ‘mobile home parks’) that are on the market or could be for sale soon.

Read more…

 

• ‘Politicians, President Lies’ – Dodd-Frank, China and Contrarian Investment Insights from Sam Zell 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, NABE and EGI

tony- kovachDiane Swonk introduced investment mogul Sam Zell to the living gathering reported by the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) with an explanation that Mr. Zell speaks with very little filter.

Read more…

 

• The Importance and Value of Independent MH Trade Publications

by MH Industry Voices

MH-IV-manufacturedhousing-industryvoices-symbol-mhpronews-What follows is a sampling of comments by professionals and manufactured housing (MH) industry members, who have specifically commented on the importance and value of independent, online MH trade publications.

Read more…

 

• The Image Problem— Stage Three

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.

Read more…

 

• MHARR Calls On FEMA To Terminate “ROGUE” Contract – Exposes Effort to Expand Role of Monitoring Contractor

by M. Mark Weiss, JD

 

M-MarkWeiss-MHARRPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-For the second time in less than a year, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

Read more…

MARKETING

 

 

•How Marketing Your 5 Star MH Reputation Leads to More Sales

by Wayne Coakley

WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-I’m hopeful you are aware of the importance of online reviews for your manufactured home business.

Read more…

 

 

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

 

• 3 Tips – Expectations, the Present, Differences

by Tim Connor, CSP

 

tim-connor-mhmsm-comAbsorb and apply these three tips this week.

Read more…

 

 

• ZigOn: A Special Christmas Message

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarIt’s Christmas, Not a “Holiday Season.”

Read more…

 

Radix 2-14MH!

February 14th, 2014 No comments

google-radix-definition-posted-mashtead-blog-mhpronews-com-.jpgWhen you talk to a truly good MD, they are interested in your symptoms, but mainly so they can get to the root cause of the problem. Radix comes from the Latin, here is what Google provided among the definitions.

When we go to a meeting like the recent one MHI held in advance of our Hill visits in DC, there are always a number of side conversations. These are far more numerous than the main presentations.

Some of these are quiet in the sense that someone expounds on a view that may not be voiced in public.

There can be a lot of reasons for not saying what one believes, but suffice it to say that some of these unpublic statements are significant.

Some point towards the radix – root causes or origins of – our woes as an industry.

Industry Woes?

For those who see the happy face in the crowd that leads a cheer, sings a few bars of a song or tries to look for the silver lining to the dark clouds, please keep in mind that there is a method to what some might see as frivolity.

Before you can rally the troops, they must first believe there is hope for something better! The patient goes to the doctor looking for the cure.

MHI supplied facts and talking points reveal that Manufactured Housing has averaged some 21% of all home sales for the last 2 decades. Well, we've slumped from that level. We are 'recovering' from a shipment level of under 50,000 four years ago, to topping 60,000 in 2013 for the first time in years.

But that's a tepid recovery. When you read the words "industry woes," it's because we do have good news that should give us hope – a steady four year uptick – but we must also be honest and mature enough to say, we are just scratching the surface of our potential.

In 2013, there were some 800,000 new housing units started, and we in MH did a partly 60,000? That's less than 8% or all new starts. At the historic 21% level, we should have done about 250,000 new homes. Nor should we limit ourselves to that 1 in 5, we can do better.

ManuHousingJune2012-credit-lawler-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-.jp.jpg

We need to step back and see what is the radix – the root cause – of this low level of sales! For a current comparison, there were about 5 times as many RVs sold as manufactured homes in 2013. RVs, which includes motorized and towable units, generally sell for much more per square foot than a manufactured home.

Hello? Do you see what we see suggested in such facts?

  • We've spotlighted Green Courte Partner's Randy Rowe's 5 Point Plan for MH Industry Recovery a number of times.
  • We've quoted Sam Landy, who said we could be doing 300,000 new MH shipments a year.
  • Drew's Leigh Abrams has strongly pointed out the need for an MH Image building campaign.
  • The Ohio MH Association's Tim Williams has pointed out the strong need for public home shows as part of the solution to growing our industry's image and sales.
  • We've showcased on MHLivingNews.com that we can sell upscale manufactured homes, not just entry level product.
  • We sell homes that the U.S. Census Bureau states are half the cost of conventional on-site housing construction.
  • 20 million new housing units are needed by 2030.
  • Incomes are down, and about half of the 10,000-plus-a-day new retirees don't have the dollars needed for a comfortable retirement.
  • The median U.S. FICO Score is over 700, so why do we see so many sub-600 customers at our communities and retail centers?

We could go on and on with examples, but let these suffice for now in saying that we can do far better than 60,000 shipments. To do so, we must get Radix, we must get to the root cause of our issues.

What are the elements for doing better? Let's propose the following.

First the Dream. Jim Clayton's book title is spot on by suggesting you have to dream or 'believe' something is doable first in order to achieve it. Napoleon Hill said, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

Objective Reality. We must get past stereotypes and falsehoods – many held by owners, managers and members of our own industry – that limit our performance. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. We must become more objective, more fact based and get better at sharing those facts, because they are routinely in our favor.

Remarketing/Resales. One of the powerful quotes we mention is Kevin Clayton quoting Warren Buffett, saying: “Kevin, it seems like the problem of your industry is resale.” This is a HUGE issue. Fix resale to be more like real estate, and personal property lending rates can drop and we would not be nearly so stressed by the CFPB!

Education/training. We encourage attendance at shows like the big one upcoming in Tunica in March or MHI's Congress and Expo in April, in part precisely because education is offered! We can't produce better results without the solid education of the people who are on the front lines and sell our homes!

Communications/Messaging/Branding/ReBranding. Some of this is a technology issue. The WHA's Ross Kinzler recently said publicly that they did a study and found that some 80% of the manufactured home communities in their state had no web presence. 80%! Imagine that poor looking used car lot down in the rough side of town, they have a website. Why are so many in our industry not online, or are using outdated websites?

Remember, the NAR says that some 94% of home shoppers are looking online. Getting a grip on the internet is just part of the messaging problem we have to admit and correct.

Public/Media/Officials Education. We have a great story! We can sell a 'shade and shelter' entry level product that is half the price of conventional housing, per the U.S. Census Bureau. We have a residential style home that can save 20%, 30% or more over a similar 'site built' house. Duh! This is a no-brainer when rents are rising and federal/state budgets are strained for subsidized housing and we have the quality, affordable homes solution! Image and education go hand in hand.

We should not settle for crumbs at the foot of the table, when we ought to be feasting at the table.

 

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Most MH videos don't top 1000 views.
It took a year for this video to hit 10,000 views.
In the next 8 months since we launched MHLivingNews.com and posted it there,
we are now at 50,000 views.
Retailers and Communities show this videoto those
tornado-concerned prospects, and this often helps close them.
Shatter the myths and outdated stereotypes, and we will sell more homes.

Being Part of the Solution

Think about our two main logos, and you'll see that our initial and evolving vision here addresses those needs.

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Every Solution is Profitably within our Collective Reach!

Here is the good news. Every problem we face has a common sense solution that's within our collective reach.

The biggest players in our industry need the front line pros and the mid-sized to mom-and pop sized independents to make good business happen.

All sized businesses need the engagement of associations to keep government over-reach at bay. We need to energize our customer base, and not let the Ishbel Dicken's types be the only organizing voices in our communities.

The financing is there, the customer pool is huge, but we must tap it and track it using CRM tied to robust online marketing.

Want to profit more? Don't be stuck in a rut. Be a part of the change.

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2014 Louisville Show

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The Good News is

Packed seminars at Louisville tell us pros are hungry for knowledge. Our ever growing readership is perhaps the clearest sign that people are hungry to know more so they can grow more. You and others like you want the Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use. A growing number of people in and outside of our industry are seeing our value in a new light. All of that means we are poised for greatness, which is why Sam Landy keeps buying MHCs (their portfolio has doubled in size in 5 years), and why legends like Warren Buffett and Sam Zell have billions invested in our sector.

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2014 Louisville Show
Will the rapidly approaching 2014 Tunica Show
also set new attendance records?

Let's get Radix

Be radix focused. While dealing with HR 1779 and S 1828, let us be very much root-cause focused. I'd toss in that fixing DC politics and bureaucracy would be a huge help, but that detail will be for another column or report.

Ready for the secret?

We have been focused on the root causes since we launched over 4 years ago. An ever-growing number of industry pros are seeing things in a new light.

We truly are better together. As Barry Noffsinger at CU Factory Built Lending suggested, be the change that gets to the heart of the matter.

See you in Tunica? We will be at booth 13H, right by the Seminar room, pretty cool huh?! ##

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