Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Industry News’

Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry News, Reality Check

April 4th, 2018 No comments


Clayton Homes made the news several times in recent days. As a heads up to readers, this mentions legislation, but that isn’t the headline topic. The example that follows exemplifies a reality check that will tee up an “Aha! Moment” for many.

The subjects Clayton Homes has been included in mainstream media reports included such topics as their support for the amendment proposed to S. 2155. That amendment is based upon the Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) rule proposal found in the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. That’s fine.

The point? What’s the Reality Check? 

  • Clayton Homes,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Warren Buffett and his family like son Howard,
  • can get into the news virtually any time they want to do so.

That said, why doesn’t Clayton routinely go after each and every example of mistakes made in the mainstream media about manufactured homes?

2018-04-04_1725ClaytonHomesInManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMastheadCommentaryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLet’s rephrase for total clarity.

    Berkshire Hathaway owns a press release service.

   Berkshire Hathaway owns numerous media outlets.

   As one of the nation’s largest home builders, Clayton could correct each and every example of mistaken reports in the media.

   Clayton has their own communications and marketing people.

   The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) also have public relations (media) professionals.  For years, the MHI executive committee has included 2 of the 4 seats held by Berkshire Hathaway, plus years of Tim Williams, President and CEO of 21st Mortgage as MHI Chairman.  The other 2 of 4 the executive committee seats had ties to Berkshire Hathaway too.

Clayton, MHI and Berkshire Hathaway can comment on – or correct the record on – any misleading, mistaken, bad terminology – – anything! – – associated with the industry.

Will anyone seriously question that claim?   Please, send me a response that explains this topic in some other logical fashion.

Given that premise, that Clayton/MHI could correct any or every flawed media report, how about this question. Why don’t they do so?

For over a year, we’ve done a periodic test. It’s this.  We’ve contacted mainstream media about a problematic news report about manufactured housing that they ran. We ask, has Clayton, MHI or others in the industry contacted you about this? In essentially every case, the answer has been “no.” One example was in Clayton’s home state.  The routine answer was, no, they’ve not reached out at all. (The exception was the Urban Institute, where Clayton and MHI were promised anonymity, per informed sources at UI – see that, linked as a resource below.)

Why does Clayton and MHI allow poor terminology about manufactured homes to continue to go unaddressed? For example, why do they allow the media to call a manufactured home community a “trailer park?” [sic].  Why do they allow any bad information to go unaddressed?


These are just some ‘trailer park’ [SIC} news stories this week. This happens week after week, year after year. Given that no one I’ve ever met aspired to be ‘trailer trash,’ can you see why this terrible terminology needs to be tackled? Where is Clayton and MHI on this or other negative media related issues?


In interview and discussions with home owners and professionals, concerns about being stigmatized by the term “trailer trash” ranks high. It’s a reason millennials have given for not even considering a “mobile homes” – manufactured homes – as an option (see related reports, linked below).

Image and misleading information directly or indirectly costs the industry hundreds of thousands of new home sales per year.  That’s billions in sales a year.

Why doesn’t Clayton and MHI go aggressively after that improper media reporting and terminology issue? Not with more lame advertorials, which industry statistics prove beyond a doubt failed to move the needle for the industry.


Darren Krolewski, Co-President at MHVillage, DataComp.

I asked Darren Krolewski during the Tunica Show why the millions who watch a classy Clayton video, or who visit Clayton’s or MH Village’s websites aren’t buying more homes?  Krolewski said publicly and privately, he doesn’t have a good answer.

We do. A big factor can be summed up with improper information and image. Pretty pictures and videos alone will not fix this. What will? We know this from experience in the field with clients.

Correcting the record, time after time, lifts the industry’s shoppers from interest to buyers.

Now I happen to believe that Warren Buffett, and Kevin Clayton are intelligent people. Tim Williams said it himself. There’s a good case to be made for correcting the record each and every time.

So why don’t they???


The 64 Billion Dollar Question

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famous for the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, famously observed that when you eliminate the possibilities, whatever remains must be the truth.

Kevin Clayton said over 6 years ago that they were “ready” then to do an image/public relations campaign.

They can get in the news when they want to do so. Why don’t they fix this?

As a state association executive told me today, MHI has a full time media person that could make that routine outreach whenever negative, inaccurate news hits. 

Then why don’t they do so?  Here’s the answer to that, the plausible premise…the Reality Check

  • Warren Buffett said he likes a bargain.
  • Buffett also commands his company presidents to expand their “moat” year after year.
  • By keeping the industry’s image problematic, it obviously keeps new manufactured home sales at a lower level than it would otherwise be
  • That in turn arguably hurts every other business of every size engaged in manufactured housing in America.  That means that other factories, retailers, etc. can be purchased cheaper than they otherwise would be.  
  • It also means that their market share can grow, until the day comes that they take their foot off the brake peddle.

Isn’t this stating the obvious? That’s the reality check. They can get in the news.  They can correct poor reporting, every time, if they wanted to do so.

Clayton and MHI are not responsible for every piece of bad news that hits the media each and every week. But they are 100 percent able – and thus, responsible – for not doing all that they can to fix bad reports when they occur.

Those MHI “image” videos and advertorials are clearly ineffective. The only thing those videos and advertorials do is give them a fig leaf when they are questioned about the topic of image, media engagement, marketing, public relations, and education.


The facts don’t lie. MHI has admitted at times that the industry is still performing at historically low levels. Why? Isn’t poor public perception, fueled by problematic and flawed media reports part of the problem? Then why doesn’t Clayton and MHI address each and every flawed report? Former MHI Chair Tim Williams admitted that it is a valid approach. Then whey not do it?

Their failure to do so is part of what keeps the industry suppressed. It logically keeps the prices paid for buying the factories and retail centers of others lower than they otherwise would be.

We can call this an allegation that manufactured housing is struggling due to the apparent failure of Clayton, Berkshire Hathaway and MHI to act.

Or we could say the obvious. They have the resources. They know the need. Tim Williams admitted the logic of correcting the record in writing to MHProNews.

The level of acceptance of manufactured housing is directly tied to this issue. Others like financing also have Clayton, Berkshire and MHI finger prints on them as to why they are unresolved (see related reports for details).

Don’t they obviously the MH Industry to remain small, until they’ve consolidated enough that they take their foot off the brake peddle? Isn’t that the reality check for today?  The truth that’s hiding in plain sight? “We Provide, You Decide.” (C) ## 

Related Comments, Quotes and Reports:

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”


Since these comments and others, 21st Mortgage has reportedly been paying Rolfe for promotions, and Rolfe has stopped making these kinds of public critiques of MHI, Berkshire Hathaway or Clayton Homes.



Warren Buffett Success Secret$, Video Interview Including “The Moat”

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

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

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-575x235By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
award-winning consulting, publisher, web, video, recruiting, sales training, business development service provider. | | Office 863-213-4090 |

Connect on LinkedIn:

That Key Item – “Don’t Miss It…”

October 14th, 2016 No comments


There are news items that are interesting.  Some industry news falls into the category of “important.”

But you never know when a news item is “Don’t Miss It” – news or commentary that is so important to you and/or your location/operation, that you are ever-so glad you saw it – and when your competitor might have missed it.


One of several hot items in the news yesterday.

Yesterday, there must have been something that was REALLY “Don’t Miss it” because there were over 4,000 professionals like you on the site at the same time.


Manufactured housing has been estimated to have 150,000 FTEs – full time equivalents. Typically, about 15% of pros read – the leaders and those looking to advance! – so having 4,400+ on our site at a single moment in time is amazing. Thank you.

In an industry of our size, that’s extraordinary.


Even those stories that may not seem to direct impact you, may reflect a trend you need to know about.  Or a news item may suggest an insight on a problem you are wrestling with.  This headline above was another from yesterday that was ‘read hot.’

Measure by Comparison

We routinely measure things by comparison.


Comparisons are made all the time, it’s part of how we wrap our mind around some topic or thing.

To get a sense of what that means, the largest industry event this year attracted at total of some 2,500 people over 3 days. It drew people from coast-to-coast.

As another benchmark, the MHI Las Vegas Congress and Expo drew roughly 1,000 souls last spring over their 3 day event.

The largest trade publisher (besides us) in this MH space stopped reporting statistics a few years ago.  They were down at that point to 12,000 print ‘subscribers,’ but as everyone in MH knows, not all are actually reading.  That just is what it is.  Another publisher states that he has a few hundred on his mailing list.

Part of the beauty of digital publishing is that you get rapid feedback from readers – some of it electronic, like that guest counter shown in the screen capture above.

This is just another way of saying, our readers, sponsors and contributing writers have made us the runaway #1 in manufactured housing professional publishing.

You and thousands of others logon for good reasons.

A few years ago, someone emailed me to say, “This is the [industry] news that we craved.”  That was not long after we began producing the Daily Business News.

Yesterday, a caller told me that our news module was “always good before” but that it was now “better than ever.”


Matthew Silver. Eric Miller. Bob Stovall. Jeff Templeton.  These are just some of the many who have provided their talents here at MHProNews over the years to better our industry. Thank you! To the sponsors, pros, contributors and readers who are make this adventure in advancing the MH industry possible.

That’s partially the result of a team effort – and that effort includes the comments on-and-off the record about news and events from industry pros like you.


It doesn’t take a genius to know that you don’t keep doing the same things, the same way, and expect to get a new and better result. Photo credit, WikiCommons. Poster credit, MHProNews.

Learning from Other MH Pros

Maybe one of my favorite inputs came from a high-volume location.

whatdirectioncredittechluminati-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrycommentarymastheadblogmhpronewsThe manager told me that he and his team daily read the news over morning coffee.  They then discussed the various news items (and sometimes, commentary like this) as a team.

He said that was one of the best learning/coaching tools they had ever discovered.

For years we’ve said, invest 15 to 30 minutes a day, on MHProNews, and 15 minutes a day on MHLivingNews – and your team will perform better over time, and it only costs you time. For some, we save time – because our Daily Business News filters out, refines and improves news that others might have first carried.

That time you invest may be throne room time, lunch or coffee break time, or whenever it makes the best sense for you to access your laptop or handheld device.

Another operation told me that they use the Daily Business News as a way of identifying new prospects.

I can’t tell you how many have said, “we keep one browser tab” – or window – “open to MHProNews all day, every day.” They refresh the page periodically, to make sure they are on top of the latest.

Manufactured and modular housing has a number of fine written-resources found from coast to coast.

But to this day, we can proudly say, we were the first and still have the only Daily Business News in the factory-built housing industry.

No one else brings you the variety of blogs with commentary – including the popular commentary found on the Masthead or the Industry Voices blog.

This is what other industries besides our own have done for years.


Knowledge is one of those rare things you can give away, and actually have more of it. Thousands of pros like you logon daily, to feed their minds, inspire, learn and then share in ways that advance their careers, location and thus the industry.

Gaining Respect and Growing our Industry

For manufactured housing to become properly respected, better understood and appreciated, MHProNews and MHLivingNews both had to happen for our industry.


Image credit –

Scientia est Potentia Virtutis

Knowledge is potential power.

But for those who don’t know or follow the news, they may miss that “Don’t Miss It” news item that could be so important.

There are good reasons that leaders like Warren Buffett read so much.


Comment from DJ, part of a column just published on Industry Voices. See the Industry Voices guest blog, but also SHARE your insights and thoughts via the Industry Voices guest blog.

Reading here daily is very much like a good meeting, where you walk away with one new idea that you can put to work, let me bet you the following. For those who read our news and commentary daily, they walk away with one or more “gee, that was a useful insight” that could make their career or business better.


To submit an Industry Voices blog or send in a tip on a possible news item, email us at:
ireportmhnewstipsmhmsm-com and make sure you say in the subject line – “MH News Tip” or “Industry Voices Guest Column” or “Off The Record Tip/Comments” These come in weekly, and we thank all who send them.

So spread the word to all on your team.

When there are plenty of eyes reading, you are more likely to catch that “Don’t Miss It”…

mhpronews-logo-dropshadow-manufactured-home-pro-news-logo (1)

Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use. ©


Image credit – collage of Industry Association logos by MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

We Provide.  You Decide.” © Don’t miss it! ##


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

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

$45 Billion On the Table? Non-Profits, the Media, Resident Relations and Manufactured Housing Success

September 29th, 2016 No comments

Every professional knows this to be true.  Success is always predicated on a system that routinely produces a reliable result; a desired outcome.

Factories have systems.  Lenders and insurance companies, they have systems.  Attorneys – boy do they have systems!  Perhaps one of the least systematic areas in our industry would be marketing and sales, we won’t talk about those today – but good operations have systems there too. 

Now, against that backdrop – we will look at non-profits, the media and resident relations.

First, almost all in media are in business.  An editor knows that drama sells papers, brings more viewers or causes more click-throughs. While not everyone in media has an ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ mentality, it is a common thread.  Think about the last terrorist attack, the last – or next – senseless murder, and you know that drama moves the audience, and thus attracts those in media to cover it.

There are mainstream news stories about apartment closures, or older conventional housing that gets bulldozed for redevelopement.  These are NOT just manufactured home community news stories.


While we are years into the MH recovery, we as an industry are still thin compared to our history or potential.  The Bloomberg charts exemplify the point. So bad news harms us more in MH than it does other industries.


If something in MH occured comparable to what happened to BP or VW, it might have killed off manufactured housing producers

The non-profits, some of my forward thinking and successful for-profit industry friends and colleagues tell me, are powerful voices in public affairs.

Manufactured housing professionals who seek only to battle or beat non-profits are short sighted in their thinking.

Operations like CFED are akin to any MH operation, there are good points and weak ones.  But they see the value of modern manufactured homes. They are pro-affordable housing, and they have studied MH enough to believe in the quality of our product.

But when MH pros and non-profits disagree, both sides need to come together and talk issues through.  Now, I know some will say – perhaps on both sides – we’ve tried that, it didn’t work.’  That’s an excuse by anyone who uses it, because some things are worth many, many good efforts.


The non-profits are – potentially – among our strongest MH allies

I first reached out to CFED a few years ago, long before they took the heavy-hand in efforts akin to the Seattle Times or PBS news stories.

Being blunt, the reason that HR 650/S 682 isn’t already law is largely because of the non-profits.

That means, the for-profits failed to convince them.

In some cases, they chose to battle them and in a sense, that was inevitable. Because CFED and their allies do oppose the kind of chattel lending that two of our industry’s largest personal property lenders offer.

But that is an educational issue. We did those video interviews with Triad Financial Services’ Don Glisson Jr in part to help non-profits and


Triad Financial Services Chairman, Don Glisson, Jr.

others see the light on the truth of MH Lending.  Personal property lending is simple business math, and when done properly, it works for lenders, sellers and consumers alike.


Jan Hollingsworth, award winning journalist.

We were also blessed by those columns by Jan Hollingsworth on manufactured home chattel lending. She laid out the case on Dodd-Frank, CFPB and all of those harmful consequences that followed.

The non-profits are made up of people quite like anyone else in life.  They have an agenda, it is often good, so it isn’t always bad, wrong or in conflict with MH Pros.

We’d all agree they are correct in supporting manufactured housing as a good option that can build value and save money for millions of consumers.

Where we disagree with CFED or others – that’s obviously where each side needs to enter into a serious discussion.

One of those areas are regular hot topics in manufactured housing industry circles, because it is a hot sector. Land-lease manufactured home communities, rent control and community closures.


John Howard’s home, Oshtemo, MI.

Thanks to the many fine, recent inputs from MH leaders and professionals on Industry Voices, we have the start of the needed dialogue.

Timely topics – such as Joe Dyton wrote on Measure V, or RC Williams’ article on the battle over community owner vs residents rights are equally important part of that process.

To the degree that we as a pro-MH Industry trade publisher cover the news objectively and present the various perspectives – strongly noting that of MH Pros – the mainstream media and others who make an influence policy will find us relevant.


Faces of writers named on this page, see respective links to learn more.


Tim Williams.

That relevance is important to MH. Who says?  Tim Williams.

Fractured Family

I’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know that some in manufactured housing leadership roles have been – nervous to put it politely – about some of the topics we have taken on this year.

Rest assured, each and every time we tackle an issue, we’re doing so because we sincerely believe it to be for the long-term good of the MH industry. Your Masthead writer is not suicidal – fire properly handled can be useful – and I’m goal and solution oriented.


Navigating all the nuances and issues of the many industry and other groups may require threading the needle, and that’s just fine.

Part of that long-term good includes tackling thorny issues like community closures, aggressive rent increases in communities and the like.

Not moi, but highly invested attorney and fast-rising UMH Properties CEO, Sam Landy had some powerful things to say about those topics this month.  Others have sounded off on that or other hot-button issues, in alphabetical order:

These and other Industry Voices we’ve quoted in recent weeks are the START of a conversation on nettlesome issues, such as rent control – and its perceived causes, goals and realities.

Look carefully at what Paul Bradley says, because he makes important points that forward thinking for-profit operators could agree with.

Sam Landy politely stresses something similar. What Measure V seeks to stop, Landy’s large, growing and successful company does on its own.

Before Green Courte Partners sold out their MHC assets to Sun Communities, a top level exec there told me privately about something that was pretty public. They had pro-resident, “good neighbor” policies. They paid off.

Being pro-resident is good business.  Duh!  Why do we even have to say it?!

Just as obvious, being pro-consumer and pro-resident doesn’t mean that they are always right.

In the wake of our Cal-Am story, I was called by a resident-group organizer.


We don’t make it easy for people to find our contact info on MHLivingNews – we are busy, and stay lean. So the resident had to track down my number, and that caller was motivated.

We spoke for nearly 40 minutes.  I listened, asked some questions and listened some more.

Near the end, I explained that I’ve been a resident too, and that I’ve played a role in the management of many communities – in supervisory roles and as consultant – for well over a decade. I then pointed to Paul Bradley’s column and said, we need to be thinking in terms of mutual victories.

That means resident group organizers need to understand management, and vice versa.

ELS may not realize it, but gratis I helped them head-off a problem at one of their properties over a year ago.  A different resident group contacted me about a location of theirs, with the kinds of concerns you might expect. After hearing their thoughts, I explained why organizing group protests and causing a storm of negative media coverage results in harming the home values of everyone in the communities where they protest.

That specific group had not thought about that aspect of the matter before.  But frankly, ELS could not have said that to them, and been credible.  As an independent – yes pro-MH Industry and pro-consumer publisher – I could.

We are pro-free enterprise.  Socialism always fails in the end. But that doesn’t mean that free enterprise is perfect.  The marketplace works best when the true interests of all parties are addressed, as Jim Ayotte suggested.

Sheila Dey is right – see her and Jim’s links above – rent control is wrong for California – and the rest of the nation too.

We will promote SOLUTIONS on and MHLivingNews. Cheerleading works only to the extent that you have a team that is able to put points on the scoreboard. Reality and honest motivation must meet, and embrace.

With the help and support of industry pros like yourself, we can tackle the thorny issues – for the long term good of the industry.

Our advertisers and sponsors – who may at times feel uncomfortable – still know we have the biggest audience of its kind in manufactured housing trade journalism. Tackling controversies brings readers – so honest examination of issues has its value and rewards.

Ignoring a toothache doesn’t make it go away, does it?

As we approach our 7th anniversary of publication, we proudly say we are agents for positive, profitable change.


Thank you! To the sponsors, pros, contributors and readers who are make this possible!

Doing things right would be worth no less than $45 billion dollars annually in money now going to other housing options.

Do you as a community operator, retailer, producer or supplier want your part of that $45 billion? Duh, right?

For-profits, non-profits, resident groups – by working together – can produce more good mainstream media news stories, like the ones we routinely spotlight here.

The system – the method to what some might think madness – is that the truth well told is powerful!

MH Pros should address issues, not bury them.

Let’s fix what is wrong, and celebrate what is right.


Do what’s right. Some inspirational thoughts from Coach Lou Holtz, which hangs on a wall near your Masthead writer’s desk.

Let’s pick up that $45 billion dollars lying on the table, because another $100 billion a year awaits after that, once pick up that first $45B.

We need to heal the family divisions. It’s doable. It’s profitable. It’s the right thing to do.

None of us among the quick can ever be perfect, we are human.

But the better we get at doing what’s right on issues raised in the Industry Voices and Daily Business News items noted above, we hasten the day that our sales skyrocket, more homes will be sold – and more manufactured home communities will be filled, planned, developed and those new ones will get filled up too.

Small, medium or large…

The right thing to do, is the smart and profitable thing to do. That’s a simple system, isn’t it?

The truth well told by credible voices is powerful. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach caricature. Kovach is the publisher and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC parent to MHLivingNews and MHProNews, and their various consulting and professional services. See LinkedIn.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Opportunity vs Reality – Insanity or Insanely Simple

September 25th, 2016 No comments

Stating the obvious: no matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.

No matter how great a product, service, company or person is, someone may still misunderstand.


When misunderstanding takes hold – or something goes the wrong way – what does the motivated business professional do?

  1. Nothing, just accept the status quo.
  2. Work only with those who don’t misunderstand, even if those numbers are very limited.
  3. Work with those who understand, plus strive to marshal the witnesses and resources needed to change the perception for an ever-growing number of other potential customers.

While you are pondering that (to the extend it needs much consideration at all! ;-) let’s peek at the following reality.


Image credit, Everything is Obvious.

Insanity vs. Insanely Simple

Our industry ought to be insanely simple.  As Bloomberg notes below, there is a spreading affordable housing crisis, and we have the quality, affordable homes that can solve it for millions of Americans. Duh, right?

But for anyone who has been active in this industry on

  • the front lines,
  • management,
  • investment or
  • ownership level for a reasonable period of time, they (…and you) know we have an MH Image Issue.  They – or most MHProNews readers and a professional like yourself – know that the industry’s image is often undeserved.

Image credit,

But what is being done about changing that image in a practical way?

  • There are, in fact, companies who strive to improve their own image. That’s important and valuable.
  • There are collaborative efforts like the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association launched recently, designed to dispel myths.
  • Other associations and operations have or are doing such things.

All such good efforts are to be commended and have value.

But what we can’t afford to ignore are the very real issues that keep millions of more people from embracing our industry.


Credit, Bloomberg, click to see DBN report.

Look at what Bloomberg said about our industry the other day, listing the good, but also citing the problematic history and then saying to our industry, that we need to rebrand!


Titus Dare, SVP, Eagle One Financial.

Then, consider what industry veterans like Titus Dare and Tom Fath said in their recent Op-Eds – raising important points, which

Tom Fath-Operations Manager New Durham Estates and Home Sales55x55

Tom Fath, Operations, partner, New Durham Estates.

need to be understood.  Because simple cheerleading which ignores real or perceived issues not only won’t solve what limits us; it could – as each of the two pros said in their own words linked above – backfire.


Dust Under the Proverbial Rug?

Ever do housecleaning?

Ever sweep dust under an actual rug?

Maybe as a kid, we might do something like that, but most motivated adults know better! The dust piles up, and it becomes noticeable.


Credibility is a point that both Tom Fath and Titus Dare raised, independent of each other, in their columns. Ignoring issues doesn’t help, tackling them is the only reasonable option. But what MH needs isn’t what the the RV industry did with GoRVing… our situation is unique. We need a tailored approach, that is market based, yet national in the sense that each market has its own specific, targeted efforts that showcase the good, but address the perception issues.

You don’t sweep years and years of dust under the rug, watch the pile grow and hope that it somehow magically goes away.  It took years to get the MH image to the low ebb we are at today.

The MH Image won’t change overnight. That means a sustained effort must be made.  Such an effort will bring billions of dollars in new sales to manufactured housing every year.

Again, look at what Bloomberg said last week – so this isn’t just the Masthead’s perspective – or just those pros linked above – it’s the view of many in and outside of manufactured housing.

While I think Bloomberg’s closing suggestion is well meaning, it has its own flaw – but their general point is correct.  Manufactured housing will not achieve its potential, so long as we operate under this cloud of decades-old misunderstandings and dated, heavy baggage.  Those were elements of the parting thoughts of MHI’s prior president.

So while we in manufactured housing are advancing for several years now from the post-2008 crash bottom, we ought not sit on our laurels.  Our HUD Code MH sales – as well as those on the modular side – are a fraction of what they once were, and what they could become again.


But we can’t keep doing the same things, the same way and expect a different result.  We all know that such an approach is the popular definition of insanity.

Yet, isn’t that what the industry has de facto done for decades?  Again, MHI’s prior president suggested as much.

The Solution for Profitable MH Growth is Insanely Simple

As professionals and as an industry, we must learn to tell our story well, and keep improving upon that story telling;

  • we must spotlight what is already good and
  • tackle what is problematic or misunderstood.

We must do the above from every vantage point, not only our own, but that of others:

  • showcasing how the vast majority of our industry’s home owners love their home, community and lifestyle.
  • From the perspective of experts, who know and respect our industry.
  • From the perspective of our MH industry’s professionals,
  • but also from the perspective of those who are naysayers!
  • We must tackle what the naysayers are pushing out via the media, politicians, policy advocates, etc.

Where industry critics are correct, we ought to make the needed changes. When naysayers are wrong, we need to clearly showcase WHY they are wrong.

Once we get the above elements right…

…Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.


Joe Dyton.

Against that backdrop, please take another look at what we’ve been doing in recent weeks on the Daily Business News


RC Williams

on MHProNews  and what we are doing on

For this to be done properly and the most effectively, we need your professional voices, your expertise and your support on every level to move MH ahead.

Because as valuable as other sources in our industry might be – we proudly proclaim the obvious – there are none in industry trade publishing that are doing what we’re doing, quite like we are, as noted in the outlined above.

Only MHProNews and MHLivingNews are consistently, routinely spotlight the good in MH trade journalism, while tackling the thorny issues that rightly or wrongly hold MH back.

That’s the view from the Masthead.

And you say…? ##


Jan Hollingsworth, award winning journalist, featured on MHLivingNews.

Programing/Scheduling Notices: You will see some more meaty/thorny and positive moving ahead topics tackled on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, starting as soon as early this week. Please check them out. YOUR Thoughtful feedback – on or off the record – is encouraged.


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, MH Industry publisher, consultant and popular speaker.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Zoning, Regulation and Manufactured Housing

August 24th, 2016 No comments

Before diving into our headline topic, for our non-manufactured housing professional audience, please note some fascinating news briefs on the Daily Business News (one of several examples, linked here, another shown below). The factory built/prefab/modular side of our coverage continues to be an important resource that includes, but has never been limited to, manufactured housing (MH) alone.



Avava Systems, photo credit, Business Insider, click the image above for Daily Business News brief.


That said, MH, zoning and regulations are the focus issue for today.

A well-known, highly successful pro has called the HUD Code a “discrimination code.” We hope to encourage that person to give us an Op-Ed on that insightful, thought-provoking comment.

Indeed, manufactured housing is lamentably discriminated against far too often. This isn’t new, and that’s a problem. Numbers of pros in MH today simply accept that, but there are those who are working to change that problem. We believe that effecting positive change via education and intelligent resistance to such discriminatory zoning treatment makes far more sense.



See our new Daily Business News report on yet another example of NIMBY that targets manufactured housing, and look for upcoming comments from MHPros who have souned off, on-the-record, on this hot topic.


I’m not sure why some legal genius hasn’t already brought a 14th Amendment case against a local jurisdiction that’s discriminating against the placement of new HUD Code manufactured homes.

Beyond the enhanced preemption that was signed into federal law by the MHIA of 2000, there are states like California that have provided safeguards against discrimination for their citizens. When so many other groups have used the 14th Amendment successfully in court, why not MH?


As or more important, is the fact that there’s a growing number of examples, studies and evidence that ill-conceived regulations – be it zoning, Dodd-Frank, or others, et al – harm not only an industry, but they harm consumers too.

We’ve covered the zoning topic before, and will continue to touch this base. Thoughtful comments, on or off the record, are welcome on this issue. We could work those quotable quotes into a follow up on the latest NIMBY story, linked above.  We may also push that follow up report out to the mainstream media, as we have on numerous timely and important articles and stories.


knowledgesharedknowledgemultiplied-15minutesdaily-mhpronews-com-postedMHVillageBlog- (1)

Thousands of MHPros daily logon and invest more than 15 minutes a day on If you want to get your team and colleagues charged up, get them on and then on

Stay tuned, stay informed, keep sharing your thoughts and our thanks for you news tips and document drops, and get your team and peers up to speed and engaged on this, please.

A brighter future awaits those we seek to serve, and to the MH Pros who work intelligently to make that great day happen when MH is accepted and celebrated as mainstream housing. ##


Photo of L. A. “Tony” Kovach taken during New York Housing Association meeting; Tony questioning regulators.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

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

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

September 2nd, 2015 No comments

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Not Letting CFPB and their cheer leaders off the Hook

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



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

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

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



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



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


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

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

What has to be done now is to scale that outcome

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

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

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


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

Side Show September?

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

Wouldn’t you want to be quoted accurately?

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

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

we ought to quote them accurately. And we do.

Indirectly Related – a Note of Caution

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


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

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

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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

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

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

“We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Listening and Taking Correction Well

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

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

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

You Can’t Please Everyone, All the Time…

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

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

Record Setting!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alphabetically by Category




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

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

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

Read more…


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

Any Californian who has picked up a newspaper, listened to the news, or not been a bonafide Rip Van Wrinkle, is aware that California is in the midst of a significant drought.

Read more…




• The Appraisal Rule – Six Weeks Report Card

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


Read more…


• Answers to Questions About the New Appraisal Rule

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


Read more…


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

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


Read more…



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

by Nancy Geer

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

Read more…


• I Can’t Be the Only One.

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


Read more…


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

by Kurt Kelley, JD

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

Read more…


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

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

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

Read more…


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

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

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

Read more…


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

 by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachDo people research companies and people on and

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with…Chris Parrish

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

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with…Dan Rinzema

Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at MHVillage/DataComp)

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

Read more…




• You Like Me, You Really Do Like Me!

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


Read more…


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

 by Soheyla Kovach

s-k“Failure is Not an Option.”


Read more…




• Living with Wisdom – 3 Tips for Today

by Tim Connor, CSP

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


Read more…


• ZigOn Work

by Zig Ziglar

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

Read more…



By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

How High Can Modern Manufactured Home Sales Go? News, Report, Statistical Analysis

July 10th, 2015 No comments

In any profession, successful people do what the unsuccessful can’t, didn’t or won’t do.  The successful see opportunities which those with more limited vision or who lack a given expertise might miss.

To inform and inspire, let’s look at a snapshot provided by the infographic that follows, and share some analysis.


Source – National Association of Realtors ®. Graphic reformated, but all of the original data remains the same.

The National Association of Realtors ® (NAR) graphic above could be broken down like this:

1) The median price for Existing Home Sales (EHS) is about three times that of what the U.S. Census Bureau says is the median price of a new manufactured home was in February 2015, $68,300.  Even factoring in land cost, a manufactured home will come in at about half the cost.  This dovetails with federal statistics and what former HUD Code manufactured housing program director, Bill Matchneer, said in this video interview linked here (Note: this is an updated version of this video).

2) The median price of a Condo (EHS figure, above) is roughly 4x the cost of a single section manufactured home.  Note there are 600,000 condos being sold a year, based upon the timeframe of the NAR infographic. This points to a powerful market segment that savvy marketers of MH can and should tap into.  Think about what this award winning, successful MH Retailer said on that subject, in the video linked here.


Graphic credit – MHProNews and Reed Construction, based on U.S. Census Bureau statistics and reports. Learn more by clicking a graphic above.  You can see MHARR’s latest  new HUD Code manufactured home monthly shipment totals – trending up for over 5 years now, at this link here.

3) When you add in the million new single/multi-family housing starts reflected in the graphic above, plus the other facts found on more infographics linked here, you can see that manufactured housing has the potential for doing many times the sales levels we are currently experiencing.

MHI President and CEO Dick Jennison stated publically last January that the industry ought to be setting a goal of half a million shipments a year.  We concur.  That’s clearly attainable. It is equally clear that we have a long way to go.  How can we get there? Is this a pipe dream?

There are retailers and communities which are experiencing the best results they’ve had in years, by following what ought to be common sense, proven steps.  Please see that report linked here.

Our State of the Manufactured Housing Industry – news and reports – Summer 2015 (which can be accessed via the link here), are still be accessed in large numbers by industry pros, investors and those researching MH.  Clearly, the facts linked above are drawing keen interest by tens of thousands.

All of these facts collectively should be a wake up call.  MH can do better, which means that locations like those of a retailer or community near you can be much stronger too.

Trending MH News

The looming Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) mandated Appraisal Rule news is drawing tens of thousands of hits on the various articles on MHProNews.  The rule is geared toward lenders, but because retailers and manufactured home communities will be dealing with customers getting these appraisals, it’s very important that front line pros understand these rules! Higher Price Mortgage Loans (HPML) are the ones impacted.  Check out the articles by experts on our home page in the Featured Articles center module.

As a heads up, we expect 2 more expert articles on this topic in the next few days.  Please watch for those, because the rule’s impact is only 8 days away!  Its time to book up.  Knowledge and preperation will quell the fears, as the expert articles coming soon should demonstrate.

Don’t let all of these federal rules get you down.  It’s a pain, its not fun, and many argue it’s an unnecessary federal over-reach.  Whatever, its here…we must deal with it.

For those willing to do what the success-minded do, there are opportunities all around us.  Do what’s needed, target that broader market and the opportunities will flow.

There’s a lot going on.  So please catch up again here in the middle of next week. ##


L. A. “Tony’ Kovach shown here in an educational session in Louisville, KY.


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.