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Posts Tagged ‘MHI Chairman’

America and Manufactured Housing – Lessons from Hold that Tucker Tiger!

June 17th, 2016 No comments

Recall or view the movie, Tucker. If you do, you’ll get a good sense of how government and big business can often collude to the detriment of all involved. 

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“Hold that Tiger!” Tucker Movie poster, credit LucasFilms and BGAutoBlog.

To be sure, big government and big business can and often are allies. After all, how can small businesses best both big brother and any given monopolist? 

Can it be done?

Yes, but no less an MH Industry figure than Jim Clayton lamented in interviews with MHProNews the negative impact of big federal regulations birthed by big government that harms small and start-up businesses.

Jim was spot on.  

The Tucker auto pioneered a number of features in American cars. The beauty of free enterprise is precisely that it keeps innovation and the American Dream alive.  The big Detroit automakers conspired with government officials to destroy Tucker, the man and his machine.

The more a government regulates and the more it taxes – the more it distorts and destroys the free market – it’s killing inspiration, jobs and innovation in its wake.

Because humanity is imperfect, there are needs for some level of law, regulation, etc.  But unchecked, government oppresses rather than protects or liberates people.

The Masthead  wants independent retailers, communities, producers and others in MH to prosper and thrive. When smaller businesses thrive, so will mid to large or big businesses. When firms of all sizes thrive, the coffers of the tax man fill in a natural rather than confiscatory or damaging ways. 

The legacy of the Obama years, properly understood, is the failure of big government. ObamaCare harmed the health care system. It was based on lies. It drove costs up, not down. It reduced access to quality healthcare. State ObamaCare Exchanges and independent businesses have suffered or have closed.  The misnamed ACA is dying of its own dead weight.

Ditto Homeland Insecurity. Open borders means more crime and more terrorism. These are facts. 

Dodd-Frank

IDontThinkThereWasEverMuchHighCostLendingInTheManufacturedHousingMarket-stillcreditCSPAN2-RichardCordrayCFPBdirector-Posted-MHLivingNews-com--310x165The CFPB is spending millions in ads to propagandize the American people into thinking it’s helping, when in fact it harms millions and is choking off business in its regulatory wake. They’re building their own palace in DC, creating thousands of federal jobs that destroy millions of private sector jobs.  We’ve documented that the CFPB’s director know what they’re doing to MH home owners and businesses, the logical takeaway is that they either don’t care or they have an agenda.

HUD is likewise harming MH consumers and businesses.

The Obama-Clinton foreign policy is a history of disasters. The latest revelation seems to be that ISIS was not just given space to grow, but also American support and arms to grow.  POTUS Bush no doubt had his problems. We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. But compared to the hellish Clinton/Obama foreign policy, Bush’s policy looks almost saintly…

Big Government was what Americans rebelled against in 1776. 

 

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Credits WikiCommons and MHProNews.

 

Big business is fine, so long as it doesn’t get in bed with big government, and acts in ways that are detrimental to all.

Look at the revelations from Clinton Cash, their global pay-to-play influence peddling scam. Do you think that when the Obama’s leave 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, that there will be something similar awaiting them?  

Is there any good way to explain the long series of foreign and domestic policy failures for the working class, for minorities, for the middle class, our armed forces, our men in blue and first responders – anyone that isn’t at the top of their private pyramid?

The Donald is new to being in politics, as opposed to his playing politics to make his businesses work. Are there things that could be better? Yes. As an independent, I concur with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who correctly said, the voters are asking for a political earthquake. 

The day may come when MHI, if it fails to altar its sad course, will see the rise of its own Trump-like political earthquake.  Just as Ds and Rs gave rise to Donald Trump, so too MHI may awaken some day to see that it’s been sowing the seeds of its own destruction

 

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I say this as a member, as one who has been thanked for our many contributions to their legislative efforts. I could link up the words of Tim Williams here, and many others prior to or since him. The Masthead cares enough to say, let’s change course.

Let’s address and solve the association’s problems, not sweep them under the rug.  That pile of dirt is growing, and costly.

 

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A leading MH state association exec’s mantra we love to share.

Because like it or not, when MHI fails to properly PEP, it has a harmful impact on way too many others in our industry.

 

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Most Industry members who have contacted MHProNews concur with the above. See for yourself. Click the link here or click image above to learn more. We Provide, You Decide ©.

 

The bottom line is that MHI needs to see that its path is harmful to itself and to others in MH. If the leadership is wise, they’ll politely exit those who have made a mess, AND bring in people who will bring in a new, better and more inclusive perspective.

Otherwise, the responsibilities of a new association rising, or MHI breaking apart grows. Because so long as MHI’s leaders are locked on this path, they’ll continue to get no results worth bragging about.

In fact, they’ll harm the industry. The only way the industry gains or regains the respect of those they deal with in DC is by cleaning their own house first.

In the mean time, we’ll cheer those who are part of the MH solution. To learn more about common sense progress being made, click here.

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The 4th of July is racing upon us. Somehow the whiz kids in Arlington VA failed to tap into the opportunity that the 40th Anniversary of MH provided. But its not too late. They can still do something…

…or not. Be it late or never, each path speaks volumes about the national MH association.

Are they part of the solution or part of the problem?  

MH is the Tucker of housing.  We ought to be thriving, and we can in positive, sustainable ways.  As we clean out a few internal issues and spotlight more of the great things we do, the more we’ll mine the gold that belongs to each true professional in the business. Hold that Tiger! ##

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Among the fun items found at C&E this year was lifesize cutouts of the 5 remaining D and R contenders for the Oval Office. By Tuesday night, that number had dropped to 3, with Cruz and Kasich bowing out after Donald Trump’s big win in Indiana that day.  Now its down to Hillary, The Donald and a pot smoking Libertarian…God Bless America!  The pick between those three is EASY. America First! MAGA!

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com
and Inside MH video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

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

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

MH Coup d’etat, Illegal Action, FHFA and More

January 22nd, 2016 No comments

Dictionary Reference defines Coup d’état definition as, “a sudden and decisive action in politics, especially one resulting in a change of government …”

We won’t say the dates, but what follows is a true MH story.

1) MH Coup d’etat

Once upon a time, a duo of MH personalities decided to overthrow the leadership in a certain state’s MH Association. In concert with a few allies, they ejected the group’s state exec. They replaced him with their own hand-picked executive. They proceeded to gain access to information that passes through the association chain, and to leverage that state’s position to their mutual benefit.

In short, once in power, they did what is common to any coup d’etat. They used positions of authority to their own advantage.

Some will admire that, while others will be turned off.  But the answer or lesson is, get and stay engaged.

2) Next…A ‘Third’ MH Party?

In U.S. Politics, a two major party political system (Democrats and Republicans) has been common for longer than living Americans remember. In the MH Associations world, there are two national groups, MHI and MHARR. There has been talk from time to time of creating a ‘third national association’ – and even a group that claims to be one – but that “COBA7” group does very little of what state association execs say is common to MH associations.

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Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American actor turned politician and served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He lead the nation for economic mailaise and a troubled foreign policy to one of the strongest economic recoveries of the 20th century. Reagan bridge the political divides, bucking the elite in his party to become its nominee. Photo credit WikiCommons/Facebook.

The talk of a third national association grows, fueled in part by frustration with a lack of progress in DC, allegations of a lack of transparency from Arlington to members, and other factors.

If things grow worse, a lesson discussed among those who know about the “MH Coup d’etat” and are frustrated with MHI, is that planned, organized effort can succeed in gaining control of an organization. As Ronald Reagan famously told his followers who were pushing for a third party:

Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?” Ronald Reagan.

The Masthead isn’t predicting a revolt or a third association. Facts and analysis are not to be mistaken for advocacy.

We are stating – as a fact – that the level of frustration among operations from small to larger with MHI is growing.

Are there still MHI loyalists, who think that the association works just fine as it is? Of course there are. We hear from those across the spectrum of camps within MHI.

But that fact also underscores that the divides within MHI are real and they are growing.

As an observation, staff and elected leadership are wise to reassess what is taking place, lest the grumblings and talk turn into open revolt or a third association is forged.

Perhaps a listening or feedback system needs to be instituted to better insure that the interests of the majority are implemented?

3) Third…Illegal Action

Each of these bold, black subheadings are different topics – please don’t confuse or conflate the opening, Next or Third, etc..

There is another allegation – this one is of a violation of federal law – pointed at a group (not a company or corporation, and not a national association) in MH.

When their legally questionable action was brought to their attention, rather than comply with the legal requirements, the group stuck defiantly to their position. So much so, that they pointed to their stance in writing.  They first stuck to their posture before they were questioned, then again after the legal concerns were raised – and validity of those concerns were confirmed – by a federal attorney.

Amazing. And a highly avoidable Ouch…stay tuned.

4) MH Fireworks

MH has had more than its share of media fireworks of late. Apparently the potential lessons learned from biased mainstream media reporting did not deflect or resonate with those in charge of said group.

Links to our public rebuttals to those slanted media accounts about Clayton et al are here and PBS here. We’ve been thanked a lot for covering these issues in a way that will show serious researchers that MH has been the victim of slanted media attacks.

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Credit – screen capture of Google search circa 1:15 PM ET, 1.22.2016.

While MHProNews has added details in hand on topic 4, it seems prudent to sit on these at present, given the other drama facing the industry. We don’t need more problematic attention in MH, do we?  What we do need is jiu jitsu.

Some stories are better for MH when we hint at them. Other topics may go unreported, or are reported on later. Not to cover up, but rather to avoid making things worse. As a trade publisher, we seek the good of the MH industry and those we seek to serve.

Those involved should revisit their allegedly illegal actions, and change course.

5) Another, different topic – MHI grows…

In spite – or because? – of the new media driven headwinds in DC, MHI is loading up on new paid staffers. Stating the obvious, hiring talent in the DC metro isn’t cheap.

Tim Williams, MHI Chair confirmed for us the fact that a media relations person is being hunted.

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MHProNews and our sister operations are MHI members, and naturally want the organization and its team members to do well for the industry at large and for the membership. We welcome Thomas Heinemann to MHI. Image credit, Linkedin.

I met Thomas E Heinemann the new VP of Federal Government Affairs, who is reportedly working under Lesli Gooch at MHI.

How will this play out in the light of #2, above? Time will tell.  But one comment from an MHI member about the new hire that came in via email on this topic read as follows: “No one knew!  Staff found out because they moved people around in the office.  Some are now working remotely even though they live in the DC area.  The new hire was supposed to be top secret like the release of the prisoners in Iran.  What a joke.”  

Please see the comments at the end of #2, above.

6) Next…The FHFA GSE DTS controversy

Word some months ago was that MH chattel loans being included in Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) was going to be “a done deal.”

There are concerns how the private meeting between FHFA and MHI went. The question has been posed is, did something occur that made things go sideways?

We’d like to see the minutes of that meeting produced by the FHFA. As a signal of transparency, MHI could send them a memo – with said memo to be made public – asking and agreeing to the minutes of the FHFA/MHI meeting to be made public.

As Ronald Reagan famously said, “Trust but verify.”

7) Flash Report – Shifting Gears, Louisville

Today’s final topic – or teaser for more detailed reports to come – is going to be the 2016 Louisville Show.

The overall reports of the show were positive. There was no one we spoke to that said they regretted coming, quite the opposite. While some factors – weather perhaps? – kept one or two exhibitors from manning their paid-for booth, all others were front and center for the all-indoor show’s start.

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Brad and Cindy Simmons are one of the scores of family businesses that are raising their children to learn the MH industry.  Look for more photos in our upcoming February issue of MHProNews.

Final culling of attendance numbers are not yet in. “Zack,” who works the registration said that a number of badges went unclaimed. Total numbers – including no-shows were about what they totaled last year, according to those in the know.

All in all, given that old man winter is hitting hard the next few days, the show demonstrated it is now more resilient. Clients of our sister marketing operations reported good outcomes at Louisville. Others we spoke with said the same. Some said that despite the weather, it was one of the best show in years.

We’ll have more detailed reports as soon as the final numbers become available.

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Tim and Nissey Williams, Ohio Manufactured Homes Association, with Tamas (pronounced “Tah Mash”) Kovach (pronounced CoVatch like a Watch with a V) at the 2016 Louisville Show.

Wrapping up, Looking ahead…

We will plan to be in DC in early February. We are going to Tunica too in March too.

Speaking of the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, we are going to confirm a significant, surprise development. We’ll be doing the education at Tunica the Tuesday before the opening of the main show, to allow maximum time with displayed homes and exhibitors.

Please watch for news and views on that and other topics from here on the Masthead blog, Daily Business News and elsewhere on MHProNews.com. ##

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Standing Room Only seminars are scheduled for the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, including SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, FInancing and MHC/Retail Lessons Learned. More details, linked here.

By L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Carlyle Scores plus Mad as Hell – America and MHVille

October 28th, 2015 No comments

Before we dive into our main theme, a note that the Carlyle Group has just announced a $150 million dollar deal. You’ll see this covered in the read-hot Daily Business News blog. So the MHC consolidation trend moves on, and Carlyle increases their footprint in MH.

That said, let’s move onto our main mid-week Masthead blog topic.

Mad as Hell

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In the classic 70s movie, Network, character Howard Beal announces on air that he’s madder than hell, and won’t take it any more. Millions today feel the same. Graphic credits, Soshable and MGM.  Its worth noting that the fictional UBS network in this movie presaged the rise of CNN, Fox News and a host of news and other broadcast and cable networks.

Yahoo Answers has a post which explains that the phase Mad as Hell is “often used to mean the MOST EXTREME ANGER POSSIBLE, as in the movie “Network” where Howard Beal says over and over: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.”

In the U.S. and MHVille today, there exists a full spectrum of emotions.  We’ll glance at them all, but Mad as Hell is among them.

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MH shipments have risen 5 straight years, but we are still but a shadow of production from the early 00s. Growing sales graphic, credit housingwire.

Some in our MH Industry, even during the depth of the Great Recession of 2008-2009, we’re saying how profitable they were. One MHC pro told me then, “TonyI’m working harder than ever before, but I’m also making more money than ever before.”

That’s not unique in the MHC sector, where REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts – eg: ELS, SUN, UMH), mid-to larger companies and savvy independents are doing quite well. But that doesn’t mean that all in the MHC sector are soaring. Many have struggles.

We could say the same about other sectors in the Industry.

For example. With MH Retailers, transporters and installers, it depends on who you talk to and where in the U.S. they are as to whether they are smiling, stressing, successful, struggling, etc..

Ditto associations.  Some associations are on life support, others are okay or are rebounding.  Some managed quite well, even during the depths of the downturn.

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Anger credit by Malcolm Brown, PhotoShopCreative-co-uk-.

MHVille and American Anger

In a narrow sense, professionals in MH  could be said to mirror the greater population. Why are record numbers tuning into these early Republican and Democratic presidential debates? Part of the answer is suggested by polling, which shows that 2 out of 3 (some are as high as 70%) believe the nation is on the wrong course.

So millions are:

  • Feeling the Bern of self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie Sanders, or

  • are rooting for The Donald to Make America Great Again,

  • or are for the surging retired brain surgeon, Dr. Ben Carson;

and so on down the list.

The reason that Speaker of the House John Boehner is exiting is because enough of his fellow Republicans were mad as hell at how he caves into the POTUS Obama Agenda.

There and millions of voters are mad as hell, and like Howard Beal in the movie Network, are not going to take it any more.

Pundits in the spring of 2015 thought insider Jeb Bush was ‘inevitable.’ Now, they’re talking about the very real possibility that Jeb could be toast by the time the South Carolina primary hits next spring.  There are talking heads who think Bush could find a reason to drop out before the primaries start, if his poll numbers don’t rise rapidly.

America isn’t just angry on the right. There is anger on the left too.

While Democrats might be seen as more cohesive than Republicans in recent years, that doesn’t mean there isn’t frustration in their camp. Isn’t it ironic that the Black Lives Matter movement is taking off during the time when the U.S. has its first black president? Isn’t it odd that under this president, we’re seeing more minority unemployment, more on food stamps, more on welfare, more violence in the cities, etc.?

For all the hoopla over the ACA (ObamaCare):

  • premiums are rising,

  • state exchanges are imploding after hundreds of millions in losses,

  • millions are still uninsured.

None of the grand ObamaCare expectations of money saved, promises of keeping your doctor or coverage are being met.  The ACA/ObamaCare has never been popular with the majority of Americans.  Yet we still have it.  How is that democratic?

So of course there is anger, when so many politicos are not even talking about issues like ObamaCare that much.

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Affordability is relative! All demographic and income groups are discovering modern manufactured housing. But regulators are often a barrier to more MH sales and greater acceptance.

We won’t tick through all the foreign and domestic policy issues, charges of corruption or mismanagement, that are the cause of the angst and anger on both sides of the political aisle.

Sufficient to say that when most Americans are seeing their incomes fall since 2007, those who are better off are in the minority. There is risk in that reality.  But there are also opportunities…

Ignore the Anger at your Peril or Tap into it for Your Benefit

As an association member and supporter, we hear from those who are not in an association or those who are in, but are not happy.

Some see MH associations in almost political party terms. Establishment members, and the silent majority. Those in associations are seen by many as:

  1. the insiders, who are running the show,
  2. while the independents are marginalized or feel they are shut out.
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Tim Williams, heads up 21st Mortgage and MHI’s newly elected Chairman.

The new MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, has said he wants to see changes to address those concerns. Certainly Don Glisson Jr, during his chairmanship wanted to see changes too.

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Don Glisson, Jr. leads Triad Financial Services, an award winning, 5 decade MH lender and prior MHI Chairman.

The Next Move?

The correct moves might tap that energy that currently lies beyond any given association’s membership.

But it will take a real effort to bring professionals into associations who either don’t see the value of feel they are voiceless.

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

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M. Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of MHARR, which represents independent HUD Code MH builders.

On the MHARR side of the association aisle, MHARR CEO M. Mark Weiss, JD, has issued a white paper on how HUD has handled the MH program. We’ll share that in its entirety in the new November 2015 issue, which should be live by Sunday night. Note that a source at MHI tells the Masthead they’ll have a published position on this topic by Friday.

America, MH Associations and the MH Rank and File

On the Masthead, we often tee up an issue and then propose the solution. Today, let’s have the issue merely be. Lets speak what is, what others feel (as noted above), and then let you ponder or comment.

There is Anger in America, and Frustration by many in MHVille.  

There is also apathy, which is a helpless cousin of anger. There is some affluence too, which the big deals that are cooking or the Carlyle deal noted above exemplify. But those big deals can actually fuel the apathy and anger. Thousands in MH, and tens of millions of Americans are mad as hell.

There is certainly opportunity in our economic and political malaise. But there is also risk.

…And you say…? ##

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach at the recent New York Housing Association annual meeting. Tony is one of the most recognized and popular speakers and personalities in all of the MH Industry.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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

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

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

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

What has to be done now is to scale that outcome

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

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

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

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

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

Side Show September?

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

Wouldn’t you want to be quoted accurately?

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

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

we ought to quote them accurately. And we do.

Indirectly Related – a Note of Caution

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

Policy

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

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

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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

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

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

“We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Listening and Taking Correction Well

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

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

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

You Can’t Please Everyone, All the Time…

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

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

Record Setting!

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

#1-mhpronews-com-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alphabetically by Category

 

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

 

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


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

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

Read more…

 

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

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

Read more…

 

FINANCING

 

• The Appraisal Rule – Six Weeks Report Card

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

 

Read more…

 

• Answers to Questions About the New Appraisal Rule

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

 

Read more…

 

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

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

 

Read more…

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

 

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

by Nancy Geer

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

Read more…

 

• I Can’t Be the Only One.

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

 

Read more…

 

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

by Kurt Kelley, JD

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

Read more…

 

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

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


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

Read more…

 

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

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

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

Read more…

 

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

 by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

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

Read more…

 

• A Cup of Coffee with…Chris Parrish

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

Read more…

 

• A Cup of Coffee with…Dan Rinzema


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

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

Read more…

 

MARKETING

 

• You Like Me, You Really Do Like Me!

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

 

Read more…

 

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

 by Soheyla Kovach

s-k“Failure is Not an Option.”

 

Read more…

 

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

 

• Living with Wisdom – 3 Tips for Today

by Tim Connor, CSP

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

 

Read more…

 

• ZigOn Work

by Zig Ziglar

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

Read more…

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-

 

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

What is MHI’s and the Manufactured Housing Industry’s Leadership’s Strategy?

October 19th, 2014 2 comments

There are leaders of companies of all sizes involved in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Some are huge in MH, others as small as one person and all sizes in between. We routinely get questions related to MHI’s decisions, communications, actions or the seeming ‘absence of action’ which we’ll explore for the next few minutes.

Paraphrasing some common ones:

  • What is MHI’s game plan for a more robust MH Industry recovery?

  • Are MHI’s main foci “lobbying and regulatory” in nature?

  • As good as the info or networking at MHI meetings are, is there something beyond meetings and lobbying?

  • Does the leadership at MHI see all the opportunities and risks: in the marketplace, with not-for profits, media and from regulators?

  • What happens if MHI’s lobbying efforts and plans come up short? What’s their plan B?

  • Tony, can you get MHI to do X (whatever the caller’s or writer’s “x” happens to be…, and the short answer is mostly, not likely).

mhi-logo-in-the-spotlight-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

Yes, the above are paraphrases, but if you look closely at some of the articles on Industry Voices over the months or years, or a number of featured articles written by others under their own names,what emerges are exactly these noted concerns and more, only politely said or muted.  So this is NOT new.

Example; when a respected industry pro points out publicly and in writing that half the states in the U.S. are still going backwards on new warning-sign-new_zealand_credit-wikicommons-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-MH shipments, isn’t that a troubling warning sign?

When –

  • affordable quality housing is in high demand in the U.S. and world-wide,

  • billions in investments could be coming into MH (some potentially via MHI to members…),

  • and MH and MHI are routinely not considered for projects, aren’t those warning signs too?

Disclosure

disclousre-being-made-at-congressional-hearing=wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

Disclosure being made at a Congressional hearing,
credit WikiCommons.

Before proceeding, as a disclosure:

  • that I’m an MHI member,

  • was elected to the board of the MHI Suppliers Division, 

  • and pay dues like hundreds of other professionals or businesses do. Furthermore,

  • our firm’s parent operation has done contracted services for MHI,

  • The fact that key people connected with MHI thank us privately and publicly (see footnote 1), suggests they like want we’ve done for them and/or for the industry in our publishing and other services.

That said, let’s proceed.

mhpronews-mharr-mhi-associations-graphic-manufactured-home-marketing-sales-management

The Other Networks…

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is one of over 50 national, state or regional communities focused associations in MH or modular homes. While many walk hand-in-hand publicly with MHI, that doesn’t mean that off the record (or sometimes, rather publicly, on the record), they agree with all that MHI does.

In fact, a MHARR member reminded me recently they exist precisely because decades ago, their members didn’t feel properly represented by MHI, and so they formed their own group that exists to this day.

chess-check-mate-end-game-credit=wikicommons-mhpronews-com-

What is the MHI End Game?

Do you play chess? If not, ask a good chess player you know to explain “the opening, middle and end game,” or read up on it on a source such as Wikipedia.  MHPros, would be and current investors, media, and outside but interested parties often ask your Masthead  scribe,

  • What is MHI’s end game?

Others may ask similar, but differently,

  • what are the short, mid and long term goals for MHI?

To maintain balance, let it be known that MHI does put out a few statements every month. They do put out an annual or periodic “score card” on their lobbying efforts and results. Whenever we publish a guest column, like Jason Boehlert‘s on behalf of MHI, or other articles on/by MHI that are featured, they are routinely well read.

But that is the flip side of another common comment (complaint?). “MHI fails to communicate often or clearly on key things in a fashion that keeps the industry-at-large informed.” I’ve had MHI members – who aren’t dual MHARR members – say that MHARR out-communicates MHI.

I frankly hear concerns from those within MHI’s ranks to exactly these and other points raised in this column. So these aren’t whines from the side-lines by the disgruntled, rather they are water-cooler, email, phone, dinner and bar talk by MHI members and beyond.

Concerns on some topics related to MHI are so hot that I think it prudent not to mention them specifically at this time. The goal today isn’t to pen a post that looks like a nuclear attack – remember, we’re about solutions, not problems here – so let’s focus on the concerns in general and see where those lead us, okay?

identify-issues-focus-on-solutions-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com

“Inexplicable!”

“Tony, some of what MHI does or fails to do is maddeningly inexplicable.”

None of this is to throw rocks, because I’m on an MHI board too. It’s shared because pros in our industry – or those keenly interested in MH and our future – often shake their heads in wonder.  

My private response is there are certainly good efforts like HR 1779/S 1828; MHI and the leadership deserve credit for getting more traction on these than any other legislation to date I’m aware of to “reform the reform” of Dodd-Frank. That’s not to be taken lightly! So let’s be fair. There are successes.

But there are state associations that – objectively speaking – are arguably doing a better job with often more limited resources than the national.

To be more specific would be unfair, but to say those associations are routinely engaged with MHI makes the point I also make in private. Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Whatever is missing or is wrong, let’s work together to fix and improve it.

We have to improve what is good, and fix what is lacking.

I’m not going to offer a specific set of suggestions or conclusions; that’s up the leadership and industry members like yourself.

We as industry pros will make it through this rebirthing period, regardless if MHI makes changes or doesn’t. Our MH industry will grow, period and exclamation point!

Individual companies will continue to thrive (or not), based upon their corporate efforts and those of other associations.

hari-kari-silverdoctors=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

Hari kari – image credit, silverdoctors.

So unless we collectively commit dishonorable ‘hari kari,’ Manufactured and Modular Homes are going to play a key role in the future of American Housing.

But if MHI listen to and adapts, as these voices suggest, many more will prosper and benefit and will do so more rapidly.

If they fail to address the growing chorus of quietly voiced concerns, nature abhors a vacuum. ##

blue-dividing-line-mastehead-mhmsm-com-

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-building-washington-dc-masthead-mhpronews-com-_light-Footnote 1)

We could point to a number of comments in writing or via video that underscore the fact that MHI thinks we are “fair and balanced” here at MHProNews  in our coverage and are pro-industry in all of our work.

Examples are the closing comments on videos with prior MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer, or MHI President Dick Jennison; or in writing by others – many are MHI members at this link – that make that point.

Many interviews with industry leaders, who often sounded off on such issues (but may not mention MHI by name), are linked here.

Footnote 2)

Along the lines of industry education and events, ironically, MHI has brought in fine speakers like Chris Fisher of Drucker Worldwide, or author Ken Segall of Apple marketing fame. Watch and listen to their interviews, and then ask the question. “6 months later, which of these suggestions has MHI publicly taken up?”

Footnote 3)

Let me partially answer that last question by saying that the MHI Supplier’s Division has taken up the issue of image in a proposed video project, as is reflected in MHI’s own annual meeting report, linked here.

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

(Image credits: WikiCommons, MHProNews and silverdoctors)

Editor’s Note:

Your Invitation to Sound Off!

We are routinely asked to ‘push’ MHI on this or that topic, and routinely refrain from doing so  for a variety of reasons.

With this column, we’ll see if:

  • others who’ve asked me to sound off for them will now come forward more clearly and directly in their own public statements on what they think MHI needs to do,

  • or if MHI will come forward and answer some of these questions and concerns publicly to the industry, or

  • if MHI leaders will privately meet and resolve these and others festering concerns.

The point is, nature abhors a vacuum.  Timely solutions are needed, or multi-billion-dollar opportunities will be missed.

Change will come, the question is how, when and with what results?

In fairness and closing, we know from our sources that MHI is and has been exploring options (some I’d agree with, others…?) but they’ve opted as of this point-in-time to hold those discussions very close to the vest.

Comments on this or other topics of industry interest – or or off the record – may be sent to this linkAs always, comments are those of the writer, not necessarily reflective of sponsors or our parent firm.

If you opt to sound-off via email, please make it clear from your subject line if the comment is On the Record or Off the Record; thank you in advance as always for your tips, thoughts and insights. ##

Removing the Blinders – The Profitable Power of more Knowledge

October 11th, 2014 No comments

It is self evident that:

  • customer satisfaction,

  • input from the market,

  • knowledge from experts and veterans from inside and outside the industry passed onto industry professionals,

are all necessary elements for the growth and advancement of manufactured housing.

take-a-bite-out-of-apple-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

Would Apple be as huge as they are today if they lacked happy customers, insights into the markets’ current and future desires, needs and budgets?

Or could Apple dominate if they lacked the information from experts – in and out of their firm’s ranks – needed to anticipate and respond to the ebb and flow of the market and regulations? Two letter answer, no!

We need to learn and mimic those who earn more.

mh-could-be-bigger-than-smart-phones-and-tablets-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

The smartphone market in the U.S. is some $41 billion a year. Look at this growth curve, courtesy of Statista.

sales-of-smartphones-in-the-us-since-2005-credit-statista-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-

Our industry needs to rub the sleep out of its eyes! Today, ours may be a ‘small,’ or “boutique industry as MHI Chairman Nathan Smith has referred to it. But the needs of a nation demanding quality affordable living. In the U.S. alone, we have a 1 trillion dollar a year housing market.  U.S. Housing is 41 times the size of the smart phone market in 2014!

1million-`billion-1trillion-credit=blahdyblahblahblahg.blogspot-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-

Credit: blahdyblahblahblahg blogspot.

What do we need to grow factory built housing to its true potential?

1) First, happy customers, which for the most part, studies like this suggests we already have. That said, we need the reality of happy home owners to be more widely known. We also need to create more of them!

2) Along side that, we need to feed the front line, middle and upper management alike with timely information, inspiration and innovation that creates confidence and insights leading to growth. 

Hoarding knowledge starves minds which have a natural desire to know!  By contrast, sharing experience and information is the proven path for career satisfaction and progress.

mh-growth-requires-an-increasing-number-of-informed-and-inspired-professionals-masthead-mhpronews-

It should go without saying that the more you understand a career or subject and it’s relationship to others, the greater the Opportunities.

Manufactured-home

We believe in the future potential of our industry. So do legendary investors like Warren Buffett and Sam Zell. That’s why we launched this platform, and why 5 years ago we made the “Two Words Case for Why Manufactured Housing Would Survive and Thrive!”

These are among the reasons why we at MHProNews  are taking another evolutionary step in MH trade publishing – to offer enhanced insight to pros like you – and your peers.  That in turn fuels the ability for you and others to earn more. Please check these examples below out!

manufactured-housing-is-not-alone-seeking-cfpb-reforms-masthead-mhpronews-

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/mbas-lobbying-seeks-to-ease-cfpbs-mortgage-regulations/

Friends of ours in the Association world will look at the above link and see critical facts they’ll get or are already passionate about.

But more need to understand, all for the purpose of fueling business growth!

why-the-rv-mh-definition-issue-matters-masthead-mhpronews-

This next news article is a mix of threat and opportunity for MH. Understanding the issue better, could lead to informed decisions that grow our industry.

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/congressmen-stutzman-and-walorski-back-in-bill-distancing-rvs-from-manufactured-housing-definitions/

some-shake-their-heads-but-other-mhpros-get-it-masthead-mhpronews-

Please read Steve Lefler’s related commentary:

What’s Happened to the HUD Code Manufactured Housing Industry?

Then look at this news article and video below. Are MH firms and associations missing a huge chance to leverage these trends and developments into tens of thousands of more manufactured and modular home sales?

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/canadians-mini-dwellings-video-report-on-north-of-the-border-tiny-house-movement/

We Provide. You Decide.” 

 

 

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

If you’re in the largest, smallest or in-between size business or organization in MH, you should want your firm to succeed. In an industry our size, that means you want to see others like yours behave and do well.

You can’t forge that outcome solo.

But in concert with others – networking and learning at live association events – like the FMHA’s fine annual gathering in Orlando this past week! – plus a healthy dose of good pro-industry trade journalism, you can.

15-minutes-daily-mhpronews(2)

Thousands like you are already logging on 15 minutes a day here on this site. We thank all those – and those still writing in – for the 5th anniversary congratulatory messages – samples of which are linked here. We can only do this in concert with others, so we walk the talk being shared!

manufactured-home-living-news-ver2_0-laptop-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-1

7 minutes a day at MHLivingNews.com is critical for you and your team too. Business is being closed by pros learning to link or show stories on this pro-industry, public focused website. But your team can’t do that if you and they don’t know the content personally.

More firms are supporting these efforts with content and advertising that makes these 24/7 resources possible. Together, we advance the cause of factory built housing in America.

Alone, anyone is more likely to stumble, fall and then who will help us up?

image-credit-123rf-com-posted-masthead-blog-mhmsm-com-

Open your eyes…Credit 123RF

Together, we can tap more of a 1 trillion dollar a year U.S. housing market. Would you rather feast, or settle for the scraps that fall off the table?

Synergistic Collaboration is a key to a brighter future. That takes knowledge shared, which you will find here in abundance.

We are calling you and all others to join the effort, by sharing knowledge, commentary and yes, advertising support that allow us to continue to deliver and grow MH’s runaway #1 Industry News Tips and Views Pros can Use.

1-mhpronews-logo-manufactured-housing-professional-news

This finale may sound ambitious to some, but no more so than what the RV-MH Hall of Fame is also accomplishing via zest, gusto and leadership! A million dollars a year invested here for 2 years by the industry pros and organizations would exponentially grow the factory-built housing’s image, education and results. That’s a modest $1,000 a month for 24 months by 100 firms or organizations.

By the way, that’s a tiny fraction of what the GoRVing campaign invests right now, and a reason why more expensive RVs outsell MH by 5 to 1. They are recreational, we in MH are a necessity! Do you see more of the true MH potential?

Together, yes we can grow this industry and YOUR career and business performance!

More, soon. Until then, think – All for One and One for All.  That mantra applied daily to MH would take us to record heights. ##

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By LATonyKovach.com

Distressed Signal, Heart Break and Bouncing on Floors

January 29th, 2014 No comments

There are so many things that make this a fascinating industry and a routine joy to be involved in. There are also tales of heart ache and heart break. Let's preview and surf some current manufactured housing topics.

First, the post Louisville Show feedback continues to come in and we have some guest columns for our upcoming February issue. Those are routinely positive. One that tickled my funny bone was about bouncing floors, look for that and others this weekend when our February 2014 issue of MHProNews goes live.

Ready for some Coffee?

We will have another exclusive – and a first! – for this new February issue. A Cup of Coffee with…Nathan Smith is planned to go live this weekend! What will make this a first in our wildly popular series is that this will be a VIDEO interview. So you will get the colorful personality and insightful comments of SSK partner and MHI Chairman Nathan Smith in all his glory.

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Nathan Smith – SSK Communities and MHI Chairman, left, L. A. “Tony” Kovach, right,
still photo from the upcoming video interview, A Cup of Coffee with…Nathan Smith.”

We cover a wide range of topics in this free-flowing interview, so don't miss it. The video was made possible by our collaboration with ManufacturedHomes.com.

Terrific Tunica!

Watch our upcoming new issue for more news about the rapidly approaching 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show!

Just as seminars were a HOT ticket at Louisville, as the photo below reveals, that's how it may be in Tunica! We had a full house – or even standing room only – last week at Louisville. Please check out the red-hot 2014 Tunica Show business building seminar line up at the link here.

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So we are looking ahead and making plans for the 2014 Tunica Show in March 26-28th. If it isn't on your calendar already, please mark your calender and make your plans to go!

For you Duck Dynasty fans…

…well, there are rumors afoot, no promises either way, but don't be surprised…

That's some of the good news coming up.

Distress Signals

We also have serious topics, even sad and distressing ones.

Let's run through a few topics of interest to Manufactured Housing Industry Professionals.

  • Texas Congressman Jeb Henserling's House Financial Services Committee oversight hearing this week with Richard Cordray with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureay (CFPB). The video of the testimony on this certainly has its elements of common inside-the-DC-Beltway politics. Some of the partisan Democratic committee member comments made the CFPB seem like the the greatest thing for consumers since sliced bread. Some of the Republican testimony would be construed by the D Party as a call for the financial system to melt-down anew. Even those sharply contrasting comments shed fascinating light on what is happening with this new organization which will dominate the financial landscape in America. An intial report is found linked here. We plan a video summary of the more specifically MH commentary in the days ahead.
  • As if on cue and connected to the CFPB/Dodd-Frank issue, is a letter that Barney Frank penned to one or his MHC constituents. Please see attached below as a download, shared by the man addressed Congressman Frank's addressed for our reader's benefit, as the then congressman explained there was no intent on his part to harm the MH Industry, which he he has long supported.

  • Also on cue, a message from another pro, who tells me he has jumped all of the Dodd-Frank hoops, but due to a technical glitch on a federal website, he is out of the lending business as of January 10th. I know this person. The impassioned, tragically funny message (the writer tried to make fun of their own painful dilemma, which is all too real and not at all funny…), read like a glitch on HealthCare.gov, only it was MH finance related. "If you like being a lender and want to keep your credentials, you can. Period." Or not. Compared to the 5 main MH Personal Property (chattel) lenders, this is a modest operation, but let's stop and think about the precedent. If it is as reported, you can imagine the heart break of the pros involved when big brother shut them down for…nothing. Please support HR 1779 and S 1828.

  • I've asked the above referenced writer to keep me posted and to consider sharing the story.

  • Then, MHARR shared a link to the House Financial Services Committee website, where they are taking comments from pros like you impacted by the CFPB. Don't miss your chance to sound off! My buddy mentioned above ought to, for sure. Gotta story to tell House Financial Services? You should too.

Speaking of Financing…new lenders?!

If you are coming to Tunica, don't be surprised if you see one – or more – new lenders. We've been contacted by several. I'm not sure that Dennis Hill can juggle his space any more there to create additional booths, but lenders that see the value in manufactured housing are planning to – or already have – entered this space.

Be in Tunica to see how that shapes up.

Is the Liberal Agenda Sinking?

My Libertarian friends (no, I'm an independent, not a libertarian, but understand their appeal) tell me the current Administration is doing more to destroy the Democratic-left-progressive-liberal agenda than all the Republican and Libertarian faithful possibly could. Examples:

  • ObamaCare is polling ever lower (in one new poll, 2 out of 3 now oppose).
  • Community bankers are being forced out of home lending, or are closing altogether (…thanks CFPB).
  • MH Industry lenders are cutting or curtailing programs for low cost/low balance MH loans.
  • Income inequality is being touted from podiums and TelePrompTers, while current policies – the last 5 years – have made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Workforce participation – true unemployment – is at the lowest in a generation.
  • What's happening in North Dakota – where workers at McDonald's and WalMart start around $15 an hour – could be America's story, but the adminstration loves to throttle fracking on all but private lands, even while they take credit for more oil being pumped now than during the Bush years. Will voters notice – or remember – in the fall? Will you?
  • Most Americans see the country as being on the wrong track.

While we say all of this, let's keep in mind what Sam Zell said last fall. These tales of economic troubles and woe mean that affordable housing will be more needed than ever before!

Will all these federal issues help Republicans come the fall?

It is still early, who knows? But the mainstream media's headlines have long forgotten the government shut down last fall, and generic Republicans are slightly ahead of generic Democrats in congressional polls. Let's see if the elephant party can manage to do something with that, or will they shoot their own foot off again?

Whatever happens, count on us to bring you the most Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use. That Barney Frank letter is linked below. See you this weekend, with our strong February 2014 line up! ##