Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Revolution’

Don’t Be Another Victim, Push-Back Pay$, Phase Two of Manufactured Housing Revolution

January 14th, 2019 No comments


If you look around the world, Americans have much to be grateful for, and so too does our once far greater industry. But as one carefully peers and ponders the details, one begins to sees that there’s so much more that could be accomplished in our nation.



The same holds true for manufactured housing (MH).

Our MH Industry has underperformed for decades.  What will you do about it?  How will you be part of the solution?

Let’s be blunt. Thousands of our fellow industry independents have already failed. Don’t believe it? Click to see the third-party, data-laced report by the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson by clicking the linked text/image box below.


Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America


Derek’s data points – linked above – are your latest third-party-inspired wake up call.  It’s sobering.



Bigger Boys, But Not A Giant?

While thousands of our readers are from mom-and-pop operations, direct reader-feedback plus third-party metrics tell us that this is the runaway most read by the so-called ‘big boys’ too, and all those in the mid-ranges under that big boy level too.

Useful information and straight talk vs. spin and happy talk pays.

Never forget or ignore authentic manufactured home history.

The old Fleetwood and Champion homes of 20 years ago are gone. Once the two leaders in MHLand, the only things left of old Fleetwood and Champion are their names. Hey, it was Warren Buffett’s annual letter that declared those two plus Oakwood had once held 44 percent of the industry’s market share.

The old giants of yesterday fell, in what now today is only MHVille.

Since Buffett wrote that, Clayton hovers around 50 percent market share. Want to wait until it is 60 percent, or more?

The Atlantic report is just one of numerous reminders that thousands of pros who once had successful, thriving businesses are no more. Many were millionaires in their day. Today, their old firms are Dust in the Wind.

Don’t think it can’t happen to you. It’s happened to thousands of others. The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is slow, deliberately so. They are also relentless. Do you want to be their next discounted acquisition? Isn’t that the name of the Moat-builder’s game?


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


So you, we – and all others who want to be long-term in MHVille – must be equally relentless too. They have advantages.  So do you and we, BUT only if you properly understand the dynamics at play.


Why Is Manufactured Housing Struggling During an Affordable Housing Crisis? Former MHI President, VP, Other’s Quotable Insights


The arguably hypocritical, corrupt, and years of misfires at MHI – linked above and below – are just examples. There’s more.


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


Why did Lesli Gooch defend Clayton and their related lenders against claims of monopoly leveled by Doug Ryan at what today is known as Prosperity Now?



Gooch is arguably as successful at defending the interests of manufactured home independents, or the millions of home owners, as she was at running for Congress.


Why doesn’t Gooch and company just as enthusiastically defend the industry each and every time a lesser challenge is hurled at what harms the rest of MHVille?  Where is Gooch or MHI on the Disney controversy?  Or one of the many mainstream media stories that misuses terminology or otherwise mischaracterizes our industry every week?  Facts are #NettlesomeThings.



There are points that Doug Ryan and Prosperity Now are correct on, and others that they miss the mark. A wheat and chaff approach must be taken on every one, and everything, in order to sift and find the truth of a topic like the monopolization of manufactured housing by the Berkshire Hathaway brands.



The Dirty Little Secret…

Apparently, failure to act by MHI to defend the broader good name of manufactured housing is fine with Berkshire Hathaway and their brands in MHVille. Here’s the dirty little secret. If MHI wins or loses on an issue, Berkshire, Clayton, and their sister firm’s win either way.  Ponder that. We’ll show that another time, but the people that shared that tip have proven to be correct, time and time again. Clayton’s market share just grows.



Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.


Because avoidable, artificial, regulatory, media, and other headwinds are arguably part of the vale acquisition strategy of Moat building deployed against independents – or you? – by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.




One reason so few are willing to speak out publicly on this issue is that they don’t want to be the next in line for disappearing as an independent business. But the trend lines make clear that without pushback, your firm could be a conglomerate’s next meal. 


As a prior reports reflected, even working for the Clayton’s and Berkshire brands doesn’t make you safe. It’s just that you’ll get the painfully purported shaft later in life.

There is a struggle. But why not team up now, and lessen the pain?

It can be as simple as tips. It can be as sobering and profitable as open support, or steps in between.



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


What Will You Do To Advance Your Location, Business, Organization, and Thus Your Industry?

Let’s be clear.  We write what we write.  If someone has guest comments that we opt to publish, then they are speaking for themselves.

Put differently, we don’t expect or even ask a sponsor to sign off on any given article.

Think of it something like a talk radio station.  They often play a disclaimer, ‘the views and news here may or may not represent those of our sponsors’ or business development clients.

Sponsors benefit because we have the largest audience, and the most engaged one in MHVille. Period.  No one else in MH trade media even comes close.

Legacy Housing – for example – may be with us for a another few months, or for years, we have no clue.  But what we do know is what Legacy has said in their own words.


“Huge” February 2019 Manufactured Home Sale Announced, Competes with Louisville, Tunica?


Legacy have a backlog, the biggest in their history, while the industry at large is slipping.


Production Decline Continues in November 2018



In the wake of their ads on MHProNews last fall, they had two reportedly very successful events in the last half of 2018. Legacy came back for more.  That activity contributed to that backlog.  That’s the logic of their own published statements. Their big GA event was so successful, they are repeating it.


Push Back Pays Dividends

MHVille Marketers, are you paying attention?  Not only is push back against the powers that be smart, Legacy proved it pays off too.

The industry won’t cure slurs against it’s products and home owners without resistance.  MHI clearly hasn’t given that kind of leadership. The MHI vision arguably one of lemmings being led off a cliff, like lambs to the slaughter at the altar of Berkshire or some other allied big boy firm.

If you happen to be one of those allied firms, never forget the lessons of those who helped topple Tsarist Russia.  Once the revolutionaries were successful, their allies were routinely among those executed.

This is a war. It’s a business war, within and around our industry.


Exploring Corporate, Association, Individual, Investor, and Governmental Corruption Involving Manufactured Housing


It is peaceful in the sense that it starts and continues using information.  Thus, as an MHI member-producer called it, this is an Info War. That’s a war we can win. Why?  How?  Because truth properly told and repeatedly shared can triumph over lies and deceit.

Some will choose to have their feet in both ponds.  Okay, that’s a company’s free will right of choice.

Monopolists are slowly gobbling up America.  It has been so for decades.  Only now, it is quite visible.

We celebrate honest success.  We are not socialists, but neither are we crony capitalists. We believe in the American Way, which is free enterprise and limited government that protects the people and their rights.  Have you noticed how the crony capitalists often support the political left? Or how they often buy political influence in both major parties?

It’s about power and money.  Money begets political power, and political power begets money.

You can’t ignore the trend lines and facts forever.



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


Antitrust and RICO

The good news is that antitrust action can win this struggle, but that too requires good information.  There are civil, state, and federal actions and suits that can be brought.

While its bad news for them, and is potentially – potentially – good news for the industry – is that more than one ‘someone’ in the MHI camp of surrogates have misused the U.S. Mail, and misused ‘the wires’ in an obvious attempt to silence us.

That – per legal experts we’ve spoken with – can constitute elements of RICO. RICO has civil and criminal components too.



MHI has failed to properly promote our industry. We have, by contrast, the letters and related that demonstrates that we know how to grow business honestly at the local level.



Once more, after publishing a prior report on this topic of how apparent allies of MHI have misused the mails in an attempt to silence our reports – and after asking MHI, Clayton and 21st leaders about these allegations – the letters like the above have stopped. Coincidence? Investigators may well find out. Time will tell. But the issue isn’t us, it’s YOU.  If they do this to us, why think that they won’t do this to you?


These bullets and factoids combined are part of how MHVille can become – once more – MHLand.  In time, with the correct approach, manufactured housing could emerge as the MHNation.

That’s a slow, but arguable goal of the monopolists too.

When Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund invested several million in a prefab start-up, that’s a wake up call to you, every MH Pro, and every MH investor or advocate. The Alexa Fund estimates this marketplace to be worth $330 billion a year.


$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes


Poor, inept, uncaring MHI apparently can’t even get the math right about our industry’s size. They keep saying it is $3 billion a year that MHVille ads to the GDP.  They are demonstrably wrong by more than half.  They are an embarrassment to themselves, and to the industry. The total is closer to $6.5 billion, because it is a retail sales figure, not wholesale or Lord-knows what number they pulled out of a hat to arrive at the clearly wrong $3 billion figure.

That’s mentioned only to show once more that they are either inept, incompetent, uncaring, or whatever phrase you might use to describe people that have spent millions, while shipments stalled, and finally, fell.

Comparing Conventional Housing Data for November 2018, to Manufactured Housing Industry Data, Nov 2018


Conventional housing data – in historic context – should be telling us why manufactured homes ought to be roaring, not snoring.  That’s an indictment of MHI, and their puppet masters, pure and simple.


Manufactured Home Production Decline Accelerates in November 2018


Professionals – often members of MHI – say that a lack of good information is part of what holds the industry back.

Others – producers, for instance – say the lack of retail distribution is holding the industry back.  Pay attention to why Legacy Housing said they pursued their IPO. It is to increase their retail distribution.

There are solutions to every problem that the industry’s independents face.

You can feed the hand that is biting your hands, if you want to.

You can feed the hands that are backstabbing you, if you want to.

Perhaps, you may think that you don’t have a choice.

You do.

Join those who are calling for their own, or are working with us, to start the next phase of the Manufactured Housing Revolution. We’ll be meeting privately in Louisville and Tunica to discuss this with select professionals.  How about you?

Finally, information properly shared is power. There are arguably reasons why the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is risking a RICO charge in the first place.  It’s simple.  They have their eyes on their part of a $330 billion dollar pie. The biggest threat to them is a breakup under federal, state, and civil RICO and/or antitrust.

That breakup of Berkshire and other monopolistic moat builders will require good information.

State and federal officials – we know first-hand – are already on this matter.  It takes time.  Don’t expect a headline tomorrow, that’s not how this works.  It’s actually quite interesting that the local Knoxville media carried the report shown below.



Experts have told us that our safest place is being out front. In the open.  Guess what?  That’s where your safest place is too.

WVHI’s Andy Gallagher blew his own cover over a year ago, at his own request.  Did Andy lose his job?  No.  Why?  IMHO, because we publicized the matter.


The experts and the evidence suggests that the safest place in MHVille is in being public. We may end up with a Clayton paid security detail, LOL, because if something happened that appears unsavory, state and federal authorities know where to start looking. Debatably every ploy the monopolistic want to use has a legitimate, legal, counter-punch.


Your safest place to hide is in plain sight.

NAMHCO is doing it.  See the related report, further below the byline and notices.

MHARR has done it for many years.

We have survived and grown our readership, while ‘they’ are trying their best to undermine, intimidate, and destroy us.

For an employee at Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington related firm I get that you want to stay anonymous. We are thankful for every tip we get.



Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email


For those in business, look beyond a nice time you had at a MHI meeting. That’s Buffett’s Buffet. You are an upcoming meal, arguably nothing more.

Don’t roll over and play dead. In whatever ways your circumstances allow, this is the time to fight back.  Info Wars is on, but the next phase is underway. Stay tuned.  “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.)

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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Related References:

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

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

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


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








Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Manufactured Happiness

November 20th, 2013 No comments

There are a number of expressions we get from others, use and enjoy. One of my favorites in our Industry is the phrase, "Living the dream!" It is used in reply to, "how are you doing?" It's a pleasure to hear when well said.

One that we coined is a question used to open a conversation. "How is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Manufactured Happiness?" Many instantly like that when they hear it.

brian-cira-vice-president-fairmont-homes-posted-manufactured-home-pro-news-masthead-blog"How is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Manufactured Happiness?" was used Monday to open a short interview with Fairmont Homes' VP, Brian Cira. Brian's instant reply was,

"We are doing better than the Obama Administration."

Maybe it was like a late night TV comedy line – and you just had to be there to get it – but after the laughter on my end slowed, Brian assured me it was OK by him if we quoted him on that one.

Please see the rest of Brian's interesting quotes and insights in the featured story on Manufactured Home Living News.

Another New Book!

law-of-the-yield-greg-mcclanahan-credit-tate-publishing-posted-mhpronews-com-Another new book by one of our industry members is this one by a periodic featured writer on MHProNews.

I say 'another' new book, because Nadeen Green has two books, and Tim Connor has over 80, besides our own The Manufactured Housing Revolution! Naturally, there are others in our industry too.

Greg McClanahan's The Law of the Yield is a terrific read. I was fortunate to get an advanced draft, which I poured through with great interest.

Has there been any other recent book by an industry retailer since Jim Clayton's First the Dream was published? Can't say off hand, but both Greg's and Jim Clayton's are a unique form of inspiration!

One thing retailers ought to know about Greg is that at a time many independents are struggling for a dozen or so new home sales a year, his modest, rural operation creates about 6 times that number, even though he has competitors around him.

It pays to handle customers professionally and to treat them well!

As it is the holiday shopping season, a good time to get it for friend's and family. Greg's is good gift for anyone in any field.

Playing with the MHProNews Home Page

mhpronews-comOur industry has a number of eagle eyes, and some have already asked about what is going on with the home page?

Answer, we are experimenting.

As noted earlier this year, we have new updates planned! We may roll one or more of them out between now and the end of the year.

So if you see something vanish and re-appear on the home page, don't worry. Testing is in progress.

Watch here on the Masthead Blog for more comments on home page updates as they unfold.

ELS Chairman Sam Zell's W Center Insightsels-chairman-sam-zell-equity-lifestyle-properties-posted-manufactured-home-living-news-

We are fulfilling our promise today of publishing the anticipated 'part two' of the insights from Sam Zell's “A Conversation with the Industry.”

You can see that article, linked here, in our Industry in Focus Reports module.


Speaking of news modules, there are updates taking place routinely in the MHARR and MHI news modules.

Remember, “We Provide, You Decide.” MHARR recently sounded off to GNMA's president on expanding Title I financing, while MHI has a report on the U.S. Senators who wrote CFPB's director Richard Cordray on regulatory changes that parallels the legislation proposed in HR 1779. Check them out!

Deaf, Dumb and Blind

Someone would have to be a hermit, off-world or in some sense 'deaf, dumb and blind' not to have caught multiple mainstream reports involving what Democratic Senator Max Baucus first dubbed the 'train wreck' of ObamaCare.

Some tell me privately they think something similar might happen when Dodd-Frank regulations impact industry consumers, retailers and MHCs, as is happening now over ObamaCare and canceled insurance policies. Namely, that there will be an uproar to their U.S. Congressman and Senators when the negative impact of federal policies on the most affordable manufactured homes hits the fan.

Personally, it would please me more if we could be pro-active about this, as so many professionals have been. There are now have over 102 congressmen on board with HR 1779.

But however it happens, it needs to happen.

One of the emailed comments that arrived in my box was this pithy quote from Dr. Ben Carson, shared in the poster below. Dr Carson first made headlines when he spoke in opposition to some of President Obama's policies with POTUS present.

Dr. Carson asserts that his comments likely sparked his first-ever IRS audit, which he handily won.

Dr Carson's recent point is to equate ObamaCare with slavery, ouch!

But think about it. Isn't being 'mandated' to:

  • do something against your will,

  • or to contradict your religious beliefs,

  • or being forced to buy something you don't want,

  • or to lose something you do want,

a violation of your freedom?


Quotable Quotes and Powerful Stories


A reader sent a message saying how much they enjoyed the Charles Krauthammer and John Schnatter related posts, among others. That reader was not alone!

Others have said they also enjoy the quotes and references from others too.

Remember, each writer is responsible for their own editorial content here.

Sponsors or I may agree or disagree, and you should not construe that what this blogger or others on MHProNews may write, reflects the same as what sponsors or your publisher thinks. It's called, free speech. Let's keep our speech respectful yet free!

As you know, opposing and other view points are welcome.

Thanks too for all who share news tips, insider info and interesting links to – which comes to me and other key 'news members' of our team. For very private items, send those to, thanks.


Louisville Looms!

Traffic on the Louisville Show website, click-throughs on the Louisville Show banner ads readership on show updates and inquiries about the show continue to grow. Check out the latest on the business building seminars, schedules are posted here.

dick-ernst-mhpronews-com-manufactured-home-marketing-sales-management-finmarkusa-com-Two of those seminars will be moderated by manufactured housing finance expert and consultant, Dick Ernst. There are reasons why he is the man DC, states, finance companies, communities and manufacturers call for solutions. We are proud to have Dick Ernst moderating, as he will be featured at Texas' up coming event in January.

Time to wind this down, but let me close by saying that we look forward to seeing you at Louisville.

Please check back here this weekend for the vantage point of the Masthead, and don't miss out on the summary of all that is going on found only in your email box or on the newsletter blog, linked here.

If knowledge is potential power, you can grab it here by the gigawatts! ##

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

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4 New Records Territory!

April 6th, 2013 No comments

There are four new records in manufactured housing we will review in rapid succession.

Record # 1, YES! Communities has just hit their new record for number of communities and sites. This was accomplished via the major acquisitions they announced, linked above. Congratulations to all at YES! for their accomplishment.

As we have been saying of late, their big deal demonstrates that good business is getting done in manufactured housing. There is clearly a growing surge in new home shipments. With good used home inventory dwindling and MHC acquisitions growing, this will over time fuel still more shipments as filling those estimated 250,000 to 500,000 vacant home sites gets done.

Dig deeper into the facts like those in our Industry In Focus Reports, and more recent records are bound to follow.

Sam Landy's World

UMH closed on another property a few days ago, adding to the ever higher and longer run to some of their own records. As a reflection of the rising interest in MH, MHCs and UMH, our A Cup of Coffee with…Sam Landy interview is the run away number one read so far in April! For those who aren't reading this column, odds are good it is because they are reading our exclusive interview with Sam Landy.

As a player I shared the above fact with replied, "There is a lot of interest in MHCs today." News stories and interviews fuel that interest and benefits all involved.

ROC USA Converts Again

ROC USA has established yet another resident owned conversion, taking that organization to their own record. A source tell MHProNews that a pipeline of more ROC conversions are in the mix, so don't expect their organization to slow down any time soon.

Our Own Records

How many could honestly say that they have nearly doubled their performance in the last 10 months?

Manufactured housing professionals, investors and others researching our industry continue to vote us #1 with their browsers, smart phones and tablets as the top Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.

We had 1,314,259 pageviews here in March, amazing for a trade publisher in an industry of our size! In fact, we have nearly doubled our pageviews since May 2012, as the chart above reflects. This tells us you are finding the news stories, how to tips, ads, events and commentary that you seek right here.

As much as all of the above motivates us, we'd love to brag about some of the records that we can't publish (because client info is most often proprietary). For those looking to grow and hit your own records at retail MH sales centers, MH Communities or elsewhere, please take a good, close look at what is coming up fast and read between the lines!

Some of the organizations we are working with have experienced their own recent records at locations in their business to business (B2B) as well as their business to consumer (B2C) efforts. We are proud to be a part of the fuel for the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

Finally, we have hints from a reliable source on a subject that could be pretty darn important to our industry. As soon as it becomes official, count on us to bring it to you.

We hope that your reading, engagement and support here at and our sister affiliates like and the consumer focused (which is hitting its own records) will lead you to more records in your career or business in the near term too. Let's catch up again in the middle of next week. Keep reading and growing! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for April and see the

other new stories at too.

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Office –815-270-0500 or connect with me on Linkedin.


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

Bold! New! The Dawn of a New Day.

October 30th, 2011 No comments

A friend of mine called from California today (I am writing this on Saturday) who was telling me, ‘I’ve been looking at the history of change in business and politics. Most of the time, positive new ideas comes not from the current leaders – the insiders – but from those who aren’t yet part of the inside group.’

This echoes a similar thought shared in A Cup of Coffee with…Don Westphal interview.

Here is part of what Don said:

“Each of us should start the day asking ourselves: “Is what I have done in the past working for me today??????????????? If the answer is “no,” then commit to change or step aside and pass the torch to a new generation.”

I looked at some comments about a candidate for the MHI interim/permanent replacement for Thayer Long that will be posted early Monday morning in our Daily Business News. This mover and shaker is relatively new to the Industry, but has brought much positive energy and has earned the respect of his peers. These are among the reasons for confidence in our Industry’s future.

That doesn’t mean that a good candidate has to be a new comer.

What it means is what it says, much positive change comes from those who begin from outside of the ‘inner circle.’ That may not please some, but think about Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or others in business. Or the Herman Cain types in politics, who is bringing a positive energy with him, even if not everyone agrees with him.

Younger, older or in-between, the ‘non-insiders’ tend to bring the energy and positive changes. Experience also has its clear role.  The is much to be said for combing the zest of new idea pros with the wisdom and experience of those who have weathered past storms, mindful of Don Westphal’s point above.

Let me give a specific example that is pretty non-threating to most of the Industry.

There are publishers in factory built housing who have been around for a decade, two or three. They may have learned to use a blog or they built a website years ago. But they didn’t bring in the online industry Information Revolution that has. This takes nothing away from those who have gone before us, in fact, there is much to be said about there years of work. It simply makes the point that positive change often comes from ‘outsiders’ as opposed to ‘insiders.’

With the advent of = =, tens of thousands of Industry pros have come to rely on us for much of the news, tips and views they can use. We did not do this alone, our writers, clients and sponsors have made it possible, and your ‘votes of time and web browsers’ tells us that most of you like what we are bringing to the table and tell your friends and colleagues.

By the way, all of those web addresses work and take you to the same place!  Please keep it simple for yourself. Think Dan Rinzema said it well, ‘That name says it all.’

This is our first Masthead blog post using our new website format. You will find dozens of new features.

  • The Daily Business News ‘latest stories’ scrolls past in sequence on the bold, new home page.  You can scan a headline or its graphic/photo and see if you want to read it all.
  • The Daily Business News also has the most recent dozen or so articles with headlines hot linked just in the right center column.
  • We are introducing a services directory along with state and provincial blogs, which are being phased to help provide a platform for more local news. We need and appreciate your help with local news tips, using the email address.
  • We want to provide a specific space where associations on the state or provincial level can sound off on manufactured, modular, prefab and panelized news.  Services like this will be free to associations, who deserve our support and yours too!
  • The new business services directory will feature local business locations in the state or province they are based in, and can include YOURS. For as little as 15¢ a day annualized, you can let your peers and business-to-business target markets know about your business in this place. Increase your Search Engine results and more! We expect the state and provincial blogs, which will be phased in as noted above, to become a very popular feature.

Please “Take 5” to surf our new home page.

  • Notice that the feature articles are now on a slider/carousel too.
  • You can move the introductions to the Feature articles  manually using the next and previous keys.
  • You can now more easily find all new content on the home page with drop down menus and easier ways to navigate.
  • We will give you more formal info later.
  • There will be a few bugs to work out, and more will be phased in, so your patience with our cyber dust is appreciated.


For a bit more insight, starting from the top of the home page:

  • You can get your local weather.
  • News feeds to headlines from CNN and Fox news.
  • The latest headlines from
  • We have provided more ways to address local advertising that can save you money at getting the word put about your product or service in select states or provinces. For less than an average of $13 a month, you can upload ads that target the state or province of your choice! We are evolving to serve OUR industry.

To borrow the wonderful tag line from ROC USA, we are ‘better together.’

Together, we can keep each other informed and inspired.

Together, we can look the big issues of the day in the eye, and solve them.

Together, we can build the future of Manufactured, Modular and Prefab homes that will make us the preferred choice of millions.

Together, at MHProNews is Where Industry Business get Done ©.

There are always nay sayers.  Naysayers are grand at tearing down, but are rarely as good at building up!  Building always takes more work. While the naysayers are saying whatever they want, together we forward thinkers and committed professionals will build a brighter future.

Knowledge is potential power.  Remember:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

– Edmund Burke

Together, with News, Tips and Views you can use, we will build a brighter future, one positive idea at a time.

So there are no misunderstanding, we are not ‘anti-establishment.’ What we are saying is that here, various view points can be shared and considered from a variety of sources. Insiders. The ‘up and comers.’ Owners, managers, executives, rank and file, agents for positive change who do not fear sharing a new idea.  Let’s use the best and the brightest, from whatever source, to advance our common cause.

Together, let us build the brighter future of factory built housing.

My personal thanks to your, our lead IT/WebTech pro Joe Geller, our entire staff, featured writers, supporters, sponsors and readers like you. Each of you in your own way have made this continuing evolution of the Manufactured Housing Revolution possible.

You, the Industry and MHProNews. We can each be better Together! # #

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L A ‘Tony’ Kovach
Publisher and Marketing Director

See my profile above or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Reading the Tea Leaves of Manufactured Housing News – Out of the ashes, Phoenix Rising revisited

June 10th, 2011 No comments

I just reviewed a housing news item for our Daily Business News blog.  In the next decade, we need 16 million new housing units in the U.S.  So, even though we are in the midst of this great foreclosure and housing finance debacle, we are on the brink of a boom driven by what every truly sound economist wants…

…necessity!  Market forces!

There are indeed a lot of seemingly complex signs, so ‘reading the tea leaves’ of manufactured housing news may seem to be a daunting task.

In fact, with a little time and perspective, things can come into sharper focus.

There has been and will be a shakedown and shake out.  Some will survive, and then thrive, as many industry pros predict in the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

There will be more consolidations.   It may be like Cavco – Fleetwood – Palm Harbor, or it may look like ELS and Hometown America, etc.

We see Dodd-Frank as a dagger in the heart of below $78,000.  BTW, I’m told that number is being double-checked by members of the MH Lending Dodd-Frank task force.  That said, based on my understanding of the formula for arriving at the number $78,000, that number is likely to stand.  You can see that covered in my two last Masthead blog posts. If you missed it, click here for the last one, which links to the prior on this topic.

We see interest and motivation for a national image campaign.

Many – including this writer – believe it should have national coverage and some common elements, but that such a PR/marketing campaign should have localized (state, regional) market focus.  All business is done locally!  The homes sold in Texas are not those sold in the Pacific Northwest, or like those in FL or Chicagoland, etc.

We see interest in aligning.

This industry today is a puzzle with a lot of moving pieces.  It is no longer a simple picture.  But that doesn’t mean there are no profits to be made.  There are.  Some are making them.  Some are selling out.  Some are closing or winding down.  Where will you be in this mix?

What will you say to yourself in 5 or 10 years?  Your plans and actions now will determine that answer.

Over a year ago, you may have read – Out of the ashes, Phoenix rising. That is how things happen in the market place.  Death is followed by a kind of new resurrection.  A flame-charred forest is followed by new growth.  The horse and buggy business essentially died. But the automobile business is still with us today.  How phones looked a century ago is radically different than the hand-held Smart Phones of today.

No other form of permanent housing can hit the range of manufactured housing.

As the Harvard study brief in our factory built housing Daily Business News stated, there is a lot of latent housing demand.  But there are a lot of builders gone for good.

So those who remain, those left standing – they will reap the benefits of what is to come.

Marty Lavin and Al Cole have shared some key points.  Marty is right, we need a change in our business model; the old one is broken.  Al Cole is right.  We have to ‘partner’ with lenders.  We have to team up with our home owners, too.

You and I need good information now more than ever.  You can find that here daily, with Erin Patla’s News at Noon podcasts of Matthew Silver’s Daily Industry Business News.  With our editor Catherine Frenzel rounding out our news team, they bring you what no one else online serving manufactured, modular and pre-fab home building does.

Our new website look and navigation is coming, to make it easier to keep you informed.

A new day is dawning, just as sure as the darkest of nights is followed by the day.

But are you and your associates going to be a part of it?

Will you rise – Phoenix-like – out of the ashes of what has burned and died?

Will you engage with your association(s) in the political action needed to navigate these difficult times?

Will you market, sell and manage your way to business success?

Some are working with government, as Spencer Roane and David Roden are doing with FEMA and their state emergency management organization (GEMA).

Some are working at their own captive finance programs,  or are partnering with lenders.

Where there is vision, will and planning, followed by sound execution, there is a way.

Stay Informed.  Stay focused.  Stay inspired. If you need help, line your solutions up.

Heads in the sand have never worked in any Industry.  Those who prepare, plan and adapt are going to be the winners tomorrow.  Those who do not plan, prepare and execute look back, and say, what happened?

Times change.  Technology changes.  But solid values, honest work, business wisdom…

….those are timeless.

What will you do?  What say you? # #

BHAG, SIB-KIS, Dominate Your Local Market and the Manufactured Housing Revolution

January 19th, 2011 2 comments

For those who read this blog closely, you recall the recent book review of Jim Collins’ bestselling book, Good to Great. The book was the result of five years of university-level study by some 21 researchers, drilled down into one volume.  Good to Great was a scientific approach, not a collection of opinions.  The book has potentially strong implications for our industry.  Let me pick one of the ideas from it, compare it to one from Charlie “Tremendous” Jones and show you how a manufactured housing company can use these ideas to grow their business and steadily rise to the level where they will “Dominate your Local Market.

The Dominate Your Local Market topic was the hit seminar at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.  Says who?  Attendees like you, and industry notable George F Allen, who had this to say on his recent blog:

“Tony Kovach and his team of marketing specialists, introduced the day’s largest audience, of more than 60 LLCommunity owners/operators, to the exciting new world of online marketing, of new and resale homes, via web site design, blogging, social networks, and much much more.”

The truth is that everything we do at is team work, drawn from real world experiences.  These experiences often dovetail with the work of authors like Collins, Zig Ziglar, Tim Connor and Charlie “Tremendous” Jones.

For those of you who are not reading Bob Stovall’s incredible blog every week, you are cheating yourself!  Bob quietly wowed the audience in Louisville.  No fire works that go off in your hand, blowing it off; rather, just practical wisdom that works.

But the point is that thinker/authors such as Dr Stephen Covey – with his perennial powerhouse book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People – these thinkers point the way to our success, no matter what the economy is doing!  You can and will learn – if you wish – how to dominate your local market by applying ideas that will drive business for you and your business, while others around you wonder, ‘what the heck did those guys do that suddenly made them the leader in this market?’

By the way, MHAO’s Deanna Fields and MHMSM are tentatively planning to do the Louisville hit, Dominate your Local Market Seminar in Tulsa!  Please mark your calendars and plan to come, April 29th, to the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show in Tulsa.

QuikTrip Center, Tulsa, OK, with the "Golden Driller," the largest free standing statue in the world

Against this backdrop, what is a BHAG?  What is SIB-KIS?

These are proven concepts, the first from Jim Collins’s book, the second from Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’s classic book.

BHAG is short for a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

SIB-KIS is an acronym for See It Big – Keep it Simple.

A BHAG or a SIB-KIS is an idea so powerful that it motivates your whole team.  Please do not think that having a BHAG or a SIB-KIS concept by itself will revolutionize your business; that is like smoking a pipe with wacky weed inside it and believing whatever you dream up.  A day dream is as different from a BHAG as imagining a building is from the actual building!  A building takes planning, work, effort, resources and expenditures of all types.  A dream is only a dream, until you put the planning, work, effort, resources and expenditures into it.

The classic example of a BHAG is President John F. Kennedy’s stated goal in the early 1960s to put a man on the moon before the end of that decade.  At the time, it was almost a wildly amazing idea, the stuff of H.G. Wells and sci-fi writers!  But it fired the imagination, and ‘We the People’ did, in fact, put a man on the moon before the close of that decade.

Your BHAG might be to dominate your state or local market in sales, to have the most respected housing center, to make manufactured homes respected and accepted in your market, to set a sales record 3x higher than your location has ever done.  Goals like that have consequential impacts:  it will put more people in homes, more sales people earning more commissions; it might  pay off your home mortgage in a year, allow you to buy a Mercedes for cash.

SIB-KIS is similar to a BHAG.  You envision a simple process that allows you to accomplish your goal.  See it Big, Keep It Simple. Sound systems are what set winners and also-rans apart!  A good marketing and sales training program may be the ticket for you to accomplish your BHAG.

There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that

likes to make easy things difficult.

–        Warren Buffett

What are the simple things we should remember?

  • In our industry, we sell affordable housing!
  • In every industry, customer satisfaction should be a key driver!
  • Manufactured homes today represent quality, safety, durability and appeal.

When we provide a positive, customer-friendly experience, we can attract more buyers, sell more homes and the cycle of referrals can begin in earnest.

Manufacturers enjoy the benefits of an indoor facility

We can’t cover in depth all the secrets of success in a single article or blog post, but we can certainly suggest enough ideas that will get the forward-thinking Manufactured Housing professional thirsting and hungering for more.

Supplier booths are conveniently set up in the middle of the display homes

Please come and see all the great homes, attend all the informative seminars, try your hand at winning prizes, networking at the great industry mixer and see the many SOLUTIONS that are to be found at the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show! We hope to see you in Tulsa, at the World’s Largest Indoor Manufactured Housing Show at the Quik-Trip Center!   # #

Jim Collins – ‘Good to Great’ – and Manufactured Housing

January 11th, 2011 No comments

We touched on the topic recently of ‘not judging a book by its cover.’  We need to let ideas develop and be considered, based on their own merits. A senior industry executive handed me a copy of the audio book version of Good to Great by Jim Collins, last year. As part of my personal New Year’s resolution, last weekend I started hours of very insightful listening.  Let me share some of my take-aways from this fine book, and let’s together see where these keen insights and ideas may take YOU and YOUR business in 2011! 

First, the book Good to Great itself was penned a few years back, and it was a result of five years of research by a team of professionals. It doesn’t read like an academic work, but that was the caliber of the research – well condensed, in my view.  The book recounted details and lessons from some 11 firms that ‘beat the stock market’s performance by no less than three-fold (300% better performance of the market) and for no less than a 15 year sustained period of time. Three times-or-more better, some of these firms outperformed the markets by 15 to 1…Wow!  So these were no ‘flash in the pan’ leadership tales, but rather long-term sustained success that far outpaced their rivals in order to be included in the research criteria.

Now, I want to inject what I think is critical, because these companies were studied a few years ago. Does that make this research invalid?  I say, no.  Principles are universal, and these concepts, when you read them, may seem as obvious to you as gravity!

Here are some of the key take-aways; you will find more in the book, which I recommend you get and read.

Level 5 Leadership

The researchers coined a new term they called ‘Level 5 Leader.’  These are leaders who have personal humility as well as professional will power or determination.  This isn’t Lee Iacocca leadership (whom they looked at), where for a few years all goes well, but then the leader starts to believe his press clipping and is now more focused on himself, his books sales and TV interviews than his company.   Level 5 leaders look for good people – the right people – and they want those people on the bus.

People are not your most important asset

The RIGHT people are your most important asset!  Having the ‘right’ or correct people on the bus is more important than the plan for turn-around and growth.  In one company studied, a million dollars a day was being lost.  What did the leader do? He carefully sought out the right people and made sure that the right people were doing the right job.  You want the right people on the bus in the right seat.  The plan will be executed better when the right people are in place and motivated to implement the plan properly.  Failure comes from having the wrong people, or sitting in the wrong roles.  Success comes from having the right people in the right roles.

Confront the Brutal Facts

Optimism and a good attitude are important.  But you still have to look reality in the eye.  Only with accurate information and a search for the truth of the matter can you achieve success.

The Hedgehog Concept and the Three Circles

The ‘Hedgehog concept’ means having a simple, very clear concept of what their business is.  The business has to be something the owners can

  • Make money at
  • Be passionate about, and
  • Be the best at in their market or the world

These bullet points are also known as ‘The Three Circles.’

A culture of Self Discipline

Good people don’t need to be managed.  As soon as you are managing someone, as soon as you are creating systems to get or keep a person doing their job, that is a signal that you have the wrong person on the bus!  That doesn’t mean you don’t train, support or coach people.  Quite the opposite is true.  But if you have someone who simply lacks the motivation, the desire, skills or drive, it is time to start thinking about another role for that person or another person for that seat on the bus.  Self discipline is important.  A culture of self-discipline is helpful, because it establishes a work place where the defined efforts of the systems are known and performed towards the corporate goal.

‘The Flywheel’

The Flywheel refers to momentum in an enterprise.  You keep pushing in one direction and you’ll build up a lot of momentum.  That momentum will help overcome obstacles that inevitably arise.  Momentum is built over time; it may or may not be dramatic.

The author has tons of other take-aways; for example, while this book was written about companies, the same principles can work in a non-profit organization as well.

Let me recap the above.

Level 5 Leadership:  The leader MUST park the Ego and think Team, Solutions and Goals

The Right People on the Bus: More important than the plan itself, because the right people will be flexible as the plan changes.

Confront the Brutal Facts: Look for the truth and act upon it.  No sacred cows or people!  One example was that some of these firms had deep family connections, and family was let go if they were not the right people on the bus.

Hedgehog Concept: A clear vision for the business that can make money, create passion and that the team can excel at together.

Culture of Self-Discipline.  Everyone needs it; enough said.

Momentum or the Flywheel Concept:  Once you have momentum, you can get and stay ahead of the pack.

Now apply these proven principles of success to your business! 

Collins is the author of other books, too, one of which I am looking forward to reading called How the Mighty Fall.  As these are case studies, true research, I think they hold tremendous value to business leaders in our industry.

As you or I might survey the manufactured housing landscape today, think about the type of leadership you see, and how those companies perform.  Think about having the right people on the bus in the right roles.  We need to make changes as an Industry, which means that individual businesses, professionals and leaders must adapt in order to grow.  We need a clear vision for how to serve the public in ways that we can get a team motivated about!  Practice self-discipline and then build momentum.  If we do these things, we can have a great year for a professional, a business and/or our Industry. 

What business books do you like?  Maybe we can do a review of one that inspired or inspires you!  # #

Tony Kovach – Publisher, Marketing and Industry Consultant – is also the editor of The Manufactured Housing Revolution! Click here for details.