Posts Tagged ‘MHI’

The Panama Canal of Manufactured Housing

August 8th, 2014 No comments

The Panama Canal impacts your life on a routine basis, even when you don’t realize it. Wikipedia says that in 2008, 14,702 vessels went through the canal, carrying a total of 309.6 million tons of cargo. That cargo includes the clothes, electronics, coffee, tea and others products in grocery, department stores or sold online. No wonder the American Society of Civil Engineers named the canal one of the 7 wonders of the modern world! Truly, every vessel is ‘lifted higher’ in the locks of the canal. The lift provided by the Panama Canal saves thousands of miles in transport time and fuel.

Does MH have such a time and money saving lift station? Yes, there are actually more than one in our industry, and they could be summed up in the phrase “understanding and applied knowledge.”

Panama Canal graphic from Wikipedia.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Panama Canal analogy and the application of understanding and applying professional knowledge is this. The canal can’t handle a ship that is ‘too big,’ but from the tiniest one person MH operation to the largest in factory-built housing, all sizes can find benefit here, at the table of “Industry News Tips and Views that Pros Can Use.”

Cautions Against Bad Behavior AND Encouragement, Facts, Tips and Good News for Growth

Ron D’Ambra’s article includes mention of the need for business ethics. Agreed. In our era when moral relativism is higher than say 50 or 75 years ago, there’s a greater need to caution against bad behavior. We don’t shy away from the reports of improprieties, witness the example in the story below.

flickrcc_ag-makonts-posted-mhmsm-com-On Wall Street, professionals scour the news in the fields they’re investing in or considering. They’re looking for insights and facts that may help or harm clients and their own interests.

Attorneys, MD, engineers, accountants, teachers, athletes – you name the profession – and odds are excellent they’re studying and reading routinely in their field.

Our MH industry is no exception. We have the largest MH audience of its kind – with well over 5,000 logging on daily – we’re covering the largest part of the MH Industry’s readers, because only some 15% of the population ‘reads’ seriously. As exciting as our large and growing audience is – well over 150,000+ visits monthly and some 2 million page views in July! – we’re still just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

In a misunderstood industry that has great products and services, the opportunities are greater; but only when we give it superior effort!

Be it MH success legends, such as Jim Clayton, or any of the others who believe attitude and education are critical elements for success, it’s a fact. Sure, sometimes someone stumbles into success or wins the lotto. But it routinely occurs when people commit to long term excellence in their field!

Its in your best interest to encourage associates, colleagues and team members to do more than other industries, because even with MH’s 4 year uptick, we are only doing a small fraction of U.S. housing’s 1 trillion dollar annual market.

Encourage everyone – starting with your team members, current MH owners and MHC residents – to dig deeply and share often the link to The elements for accelerated MH growth are there! The more it’s shared, the more MH image and sales will grow.


MHPros must learn more about their chosen field from a professional perspective. More motivated, informed, passionate team members will naturally create more sales, fewer vacancies and happier customers.  Or fail to do that, and watch some brassy newcomer enter the market who does…and see who fares better.


The red headers above are links to their respective modules, sections or “departments” on MHProNews. They’re shown here in no particular order. But they’re shared to underscore this fact. Each of these has value for a good professional to know! Agree or disagree with the writer’s perspective, but discover the value of learning from anyone…and everyone. OPE – other people’s experiences – are as important as OPM, other people’s money.


You and Your Team Mates are the Billboard! What message do you send?

Like it or not, people judge our industry in part from its members. When they meet some sharp woman or man, and they learn they’re in MH, that sends a (good!) message. Another message is sent when the people they meet from our industry are not informed or ‘up’ on our products and services.

Here’s some true stories, experienced in various MH offices in the U.S.

  • Walking into an MH Community office, hearing two ladies in the office griping about problems at their location. They saw me, didn’t know my purpose for being there, and they kept on openly gripping…in front of what might be a prospective buyer.

It was obvious this wasn’t the first or last time they did that, and having walked into that office more than once, that was exactly what I experienced. Nor was this some 1 star location with 50 homesites.  So was it a surprise that property had vacancy issues? Do you think they needed an attitude adjustment – one they could easily find on the INspirations blog – or in hundreds of possible articles or posts on MHProNews?

Or how about this one…

  • I walked into a MH Retailers office. On the coffee table in the lobby was a glossy magazine, one of our MHIndustry trade journals. I asked the first sales person I saw, how did they like —- (I called the magazine by name), and at first the guy didn’t register at all. When I pointed the mag out, he said, “Oh, that! We put that out for customers to look at while they’re waiting for us.”

True stories – a riot if they weren’t so sad – and there are many more like them, or worse.

But the flip side also happens.

  • Tony, we’ve used the tornado video story posted on to close customers that were on the fence between an MH or some other housing option.”


  • Tony, I was having a bad day. I clicked onto the INspirations blog, and spent 10 minutes reading. I walked away with a much better attitude. Now, I’m a regular reader there. It made my work flow better, thanks.”

We get that for Tim’s Words of Wisdom, Zig Ziglar’s articles and so many others.


Why go the long way, when you can take the safer, better path?
Image credit Google maps

Get and share that Panama Canal LIFT

If I was buying a product shipped around the tip of South America past the Isla Herchel that could as easily have traveled through the Panama Canal, its prudent for me to mention that to the seller. They’d save time and money. Their benefit is mine too, and vice versa.

If I had a sales operation in MHRetail, home building, MH Communities etc. – and everyone on my team were already reading and inspiring themselves daily on MHProNews and MHLivingNews – would I want that run-down looking competitor down the road to become a reader too?


Because their image either helps or harms mine! Get them inspired, let them improve, and guess what? As their operational results improved, mine would too.

In closing, let’s mention that the odds are good your operation benefits from the work our professional writers and sponsors make possible here and on our public sister site. Want to raise your boat higher? Save time and make more money? RSS, link, tweet or Facebook the stories you find interesting on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

Please check out what version 3.0 of our planned updates and revisions will look like, click here…

YOUR feedback on the upcoming version 3.0 is welcome! Thank you, see you back here mid-week. ##

la-tony-kovachBy L. A. “Tony” Kovach

Manufactured Housing 2014’s Amazing August!

August 1st, 2014 No comments


August. Back to school sales. People in a rush to get their manufactured home before winter sets in. Those end of the summer vacations. Baseball is starting its wind up, while football season is ready to launch. There are plenty of reasons why August is simply AMAZING! Let’s review a few in rapid fire fashion.

  • The RV MH Hall of Fame dinner – Monday August 4th – looms large. We don’t think there is a larger joint RV MH national event, and this year may be a record turn out in recent years. Both industries are up, but let’s be honest, RVs outpace MH by 5 to 1. Ouch! MHPros, we have to work on that!

    inside-mh-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com- (1)

  • The new MHProNews issue for August is live! Once more, you’ll get the most industry trade news, tips and views pros can use  © anywhere in the MH world, all right here on this large and ever growing site.

  • Both ManufacturedHomeLivingNews and MHProNews have had STRONG months in July! In fact, we may have essentially tied or even exceed our “Read Hot June” totals, but we needed to do some site upgrades here on MHProNews in this last week of the month. The good news was that our blogs and the back end stayed live, but some of our popular featured articles and other resources were not available for about a day. Still, when the dust settles and we get our Webalizer reports, we’ll be close to those June 2014 totals.

  • We also upgraded our RAM and server this week on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews. Traffic and content had grown to the point the site was hiccuping at times, and so we took Nike’s advice and just did it. Check out the new speed on your next visit, at the link above.

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

  • The ‘good news’ about modern manufactured homes is slooooooooooooooowly seeping into the mainstream media. We see it because we look at the news and are looking for the good news. Even the ‘bad’ stories often have silver linings. But there is no question that we need to do a better collective job of sharing the good news of MH today. We do our part! Our writers, sponsors and advertisers do theirs! How about you? What do YOU do to make MH advance?

  • There is still some ‘bad news’ taking place. While arrests or criminal charges for fraud or larceny, etc. may not seem like the same thing as a CFPB or state complaint – or a fair housing case – they are all examples of behavior that nets our industry a black eye when it happens. Over the years, haven’t we all seen desperate operations that tried some scam or gimmick, to hoping for extra bucks or to try to avoid going under? Did you ever see one that took money without delivering homes and survived that?

  • Tips YOU and Your Team Can USE! Speaking of fair housing…I’m not sure how we can ever get a legit fair housing complaint in MH. Every month for years now, we share Nadeen Green, the attorney known as the Fair Housing Lady in monthly featured articles. Some devotedly follow Nadeen’s writings! Some wisely share them with their sales people and office staff. While reading her or any attorney is no substitute for having your own counsel, it sure is helpful.

  • DJ Pendleton rejoins us this month with an article on the latest from the CFPB. Until we can get regulations changed, the wise do all they can to work for change but also to stay between the regulatory ditches.

  • Another expert from Hart King Law – Bill Dahlin, returns this month too. Check out Bill’s article on negligent design, and how that might impact an operation near you (or you…). All of the tips from our featured legal experts can help you stay out of the ditches and/or put you on the road to more profitable ways to do your business.


The Interviews you won’t find anywhere else!

    • Bill Matchneer, JD, former program director at HUD, who just retired from the CFPB joins us again this month. Check out his latest thoughts since his last interview here. Is there any controversy looming in his comments? Take a look…Bill’s linked below along with our other 18 featured articles for Awesome August.

    • Tim Connor, CSP. Tim’s career has been amazing! I’ve seen him present live many times.  He delivers and his audience ratings prove it. Tim is perhaps our most faithful writer over the years, so we are pleased to bring you at last an interview with a man whose done training in a couple of dozen countries world wide, and here in the U.S. for dozens of operations in factory built housing. After 4000 presentations and 80 plus books, it is safe to say Tim’s top shelf. His thinking can make you money.

    • Paul Bradley, ROC USA. How many in our industry’s ranks have realized that ROC USA has grown so much, they could easily be ranked among the larger portfolio operators in the U.S.? That’s true! Besides our usual ones, we put some TOUGH, thought provoking questions to Paul. We have to keep a straight face, because let me tell you, the man is smart (and witty!). Don’t miss it, and if you are a community owner, you especially don’t want to miss Paul’s interview.

Dennis Hill brings us updates on Louisville and Tunica. Word to the wise, if you haven’t locked in your spaces, better hurry.  Both will sell out way early from what we hear. Make your plans for both events, now.  Read it from Dennis, at the link below.

Speaking of events…many who ‘can’t make it’ to a trade show have asked us over the years, can’t we see a video of the seminars? Well…not usually! First of all, the seminars are put on for the benefit of attendees. Frankly, you don’t get the same impact from a video as you would when you’re live. But we made special arrangements with our friends a to bring you some of the highlights of a panel presentation on lessons learned in the MH and MHC space. Check it out, at this link here.

standing-room-only-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-seminar-room-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com- (1) (1)

This is NOT a stock photo!
An actual audience shown from one of our trade show panel discussions.

Experts! Thinkers! Proven Leaders!

  • Ron D’Ambra with joins us this month! Ron’s not talking about his operation, rather he takes another look at the NBC News Today Show video on the MH Hurricane testing. Get some fascinating insights you or I may have missed!

  • Award winning Steve Lefler joins us this month! Community owners, listen up. 5 years into Newport Pacific’s projects with Steve’s “Modular Lifestyles,” a pattern of success is emerging. There are reasons why Steve continues to attract an ever-growing following in factory built housing, but also from outside of our industry’s ranks. He’s changing perceptions, see how!

  • Hall of Famer Ron Thomas Sr. returns! This time, not to talk about Louisville, but rather to open your eyes with a challenge to conventional thinking that may make you say, “Hey. I never looked at it that way before.” Ron has a way of turning a phrase or pin-pointing ‘aha!’ insights. You think that’s why the man’s operation sold 6000 homes? It is also why the nice MHC’s Ron developed are the kinds of places residents are happy to call home.

  • Bob Vahsholtz, industry veteran, expert, strategist and author of Duel Curves, will challenge you anew this month too.

  • Once more, we bring you the immortal words of Zig Ziglar! Our thanks again to Zig’s editor for making this possible. 

  • Powerful, practical management and sales insights from Tim Connors! Plus some from L. A. “Tony” Kovach too…on different industry topics, like the 1.3 billion dollar MH deal that was announced just this week.

Okay, you get the idea! There are reasons why we have the most professional readers of any audience anywhere in the North American factory built housing world. We Provide, You Decide.  ©

With no further adieu, please check out the links on the best and broadest line up in manufactured and modular home trade journalism.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 5, No. 11, 2014

Alphabetically by Category




• July, 1960 Popular Mechanics highlights Evolution of the Travel Trailer

by Paul Bradley

paul-bradley-roc-usa-president-posted-mhpronews-com-50x50In a 1960 article titled, “Trailers Join the Country Club,” Popular Mechanics described the evolution of the travel trailer this way:

“All this started years ago when people with small vacation trailers first stretched an awning out to one side …,” the article reports.

Read more…

• Architects Have a Duty of Care to Future Buyers of Condominiums for Negligent Design

by Bill Dahlin, Esq.

bill-dahlin-hkc-law-california-posted-manufactured-housing-pro-news-com-50x50-On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the case entitled Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Read more…


• Bacon is so popular!

by Nadeen Green, JD


Yes, indeed bacon is popular. An entire culture has been developed around this pork product in America, and once limited to breakfast and cheeseburgers, bacon has now found its way into products ranging from ice cream to vodka to toothpaste to fried crickets (I have tried the nacho crickets, not the bacon ones yet).

Read more…


• The Impact of a 1.3 Billion Dollar Manufactured Home Communities Acquisition

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony-kovach-2-50We’ve been reporting off and on for the past few months about rumors and tips that suggested that a deal in the $500 million to the billion dollar range has been in the works.

Read more…


• A New Strategy for Community Owners

by Steven Lefler

steve-lefler-vp-modular-lifestyles-newport-pacific-manufactured-homes-mhpronews-com-50x50_1Our society has labeled housing for as long as I can remember. I grew up believing “Site Built Homes” typically register in people minds to be “better built,” even though there is conclusive evidence that is not the case.

Read more…




• CFPB Proposes New HMDA Requirements: Changes Exemption Threshold and Increases Required Disclosures

by D. J. Pendleton, JD

DJ-Pendleton-50On July 24, the CFPB published a proposed rule that, if later adopted, would change the reporting requirements for those who provide loans to purchase homes.

Read more…




• A Cup of Coffee with… Paul Bradley

coffee-501) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.)

Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA, LLC, Concord, NH.

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with… Tim Connor

coffee-501) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.)

Tim Connor
CEO of Connor Resource Group
Davidson, NC.

Read more…


• Wind Speed and Add-Ons to Manufactured Housing – Response to the NBC News Today Show report of testing by IBHS

by Ron D’Ambra

ron-d-ambra-professional-warranty-service-corp-posted-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-50x50_1After reviewing the NBC Today presentation, one could conclude that without question, of  course the roof would blow off when the carport roof failed, because they compromised the construction and load bearing of the roof on the manufactured home, when they attached the addition directly to the roof!

Read more…


• 2015 Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Trade Show Updates

by Dennis Hill

dennis-hill-showways-unlimited-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com-50x50-We keep getting calls from industry professionals and others regarding the Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows for 2015.

Read more…


• Tech Talk! Don’t You Hate – Viagra, Cialis or Zyrtec links – appearing on your web browser or smart hand-held device? A Tech Fix Tip!

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony-kovach-2-50It is often NOT what you think! Not many self-respecting webmaster wants to plug certain drugs or other products on their website.

Read more…


• A Second Cup of Coffee with…Bill Matchneer

coffee-501) Who, What and Where: (Your name, what you’ve done in the federal government as it relates to manufactured housing and where you currently hang your hat).

Read more…


• The Lessons of Valdez – Some things are out of Whack!

by Ron Thomas, Sr.

ron-thomas-sr-rona-homes-founder-mmhflouisville-show-chairman-postedmhpronews-com-50x50-Let me start this topic with a strong statement. Although I am not what some might call an “environmentalist,” I do appreciate all of the efforts that are made to keep our planet as pollution free as possible. I’ve never met anyone who wants dirty water or air. So naturally I support a clean planet.

Read more…


• An Opportune Moment

by Bob Vahsholtz

bob-vahsholtz-author-dueling-curves-battle-for-housing-posted-industry-voices-guest-blog-mhpronews-com-manufatured-housing-professional-news-50x50-The road ahead is hard—the opportunities boundless. The whole housing industry is on the rocks, and the nation’s economy festers. The world is mired in debt; our most valuable resource, young people, can’t even find jobs. Many have given up.

Read more…


• Strategic planning vs. strategic doing

by Tim Connor


Strategic planning is a vital management function. Over the years I have worked with a number of corporations facilitating their strategic planning events as well as following up on their commitments and actions that were driven by these plans.

Read more…


• Enhanced Manufactured and Modular Home Marketing and Sales Results

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony-kovach-2-50American companies spend 2 billion a year on training. So why don’t more manufactured and modular home (MH) retailers and communities invest properly in sales training?

Read more…




• ZigOn Employment Security

by Zig Ziglar


We frequently hear that “people refuse to change because change is stressful.” I would like to suggest that not to change is even more stressful because the world is changing.

Read more…



• Who is your competition?

by Tim Connor, CSP


There is a tendency for many salespeople to see their competition as only those businesses selling a similar product, service or idea. In other words, salespeople selling factory built homes tend to see their competitors as other retailers or manufacturers.

Read more…

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

Forbes and Research by Investors, Home Shoppers, Public Officials, Non-Profts and the News Media on Manufactured Housing

July 29th, 2014 No comments

Just as you, I or a colleague might go online to research a restaurant, product or topic, obviously the same happens with investors, news media, government officials, non-profits, educators and the public when it comes to housing and related issues. We'll begin with an example to illustrate a concept, then spring-board to make an entirely different point about those seeking to know more about modern manufactured homes and our many appealing advantages.

Forbes reminds us that some 6.1 billion man-hours are spent complying with tax laws annually.

Janet-Novack-posted-on-mhpronews-comJanet Novack, on Forbes staff as writer from D.C. about tax and retirement policy and planning, stated in 2011: "In her annual report to Congress today, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson branded growing tax code complexity as the most serious problem facing both taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service and called on Congress to enact tax reform and then institute a regular “sanity check” over future tax code changes."


Image credit Wikipedia and Forbes.

A study by eBizMBA says Forbes reaches some 65 million unique visitors monthly! I've accessed Novak's interesting column 3 times in the last week, plus on some three other occasions in the last two years.

So given the tens of millions who read Forbes, would it surprise you that at 3:22 AM, upon my re-checking their story, there was only 6,700 total visits to that specific page? Last week it was 6,694. The latest screen capture looks like this…


Image credit = Forbes.

Don't Just Tell Me, Show Me!”

Now by contrast, on the story of manufactured homes in the recent IBHS hurricane wind tests in South Carolina, the just over 1 year old site has in less than a week experienced 36,390 total hits, per the report Generated 29-Jul-2014 07:28 CDT.

Rank     Hits     URL (web address – Note: Rank 1 & 2 are direct request and the home page)

















Readers online go where their interests take them!
The insights from the top 8 pages 
being read provide valuable insights for the open-mined MH researcher.
Facts per Webalizer.

Regular readers here know there are a number of myths and misconceptions about manufactured homes. The Forbes  tax topic and housing wind storm tests are apples and oranges! Nevertheless, taxes and related policies touch us all. So imagine, more have read the report on manufactured homes (MH) vs. conventional houses hurricane wind-test story in under a week than read Novak's potent tax report in 4 years!

Both Novak's articles – and ours – will continue to rise in readership. As the top specialized MH trade publishers, we have growing readership and the largest audience of its kind. So 6 months from now, how many tens of thousands more

  • public officials,
  • media,
  • investors,
  • educators,
  • non-profits and
  • potential home shoppers will have seen the report on our sister site?


CityScapes at Carthage Mills,
Boston and other cities…are you listening?

How many more manufactured homes will be sold because of the article? How many more:

  • loans and insurance policies will be originated,
  • commissions paid to sales people or bonuses to management,
  • vacant MHC sites occupied,
  • transports and installations done,
  • Floor dues and membership fees will be collected by associations,
  • services, warranties, components, supplies, appliances sold,
  • and MHIndustry stocks or other investments will occur due in some measure to the added influence that one article may have made for our industry?

Based upon experience, we know certain topics are likely to resonate more than others for MHIndustry readers, followers and aficionados. This topic is one of them! Notice that the #4 ranked topic in the listing above is our tornado video (note: that popular video now needs updating – it should get a Louisville Show style video upgrade!).

So you see that when a topic catches the public's mind, it causes related ones to gain more attention too.

Now multiply the impact beyond wind storms of issues that are drags upon the MHIndustry. By showcasing facts that change perceptions, we can make a difference that will sell more homes.

To rephrase…

We are either defining ourselves or others will define us.

Reporting and Good Story Telling

Professional insights like Janet Novak's are part of what brings me back to Forbes, where I found their quote for today…

To live is not to learn, but to apply. ”
— Legouvé

…it's time to learn AND more robustly apply the lessons of digital trade media for advancing MH! This is about MUTUAL victories for all involved through MUTUALLY beneficial topical reports and analysis!


Kitchen in a Buccaneer model home at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

Forbes and others

When we publish a story and name Forbes, someone from that publisher and perhaps others over time will read this column.   That's de rigueur.

When IBHS or NBC's Today Show were named in reports here or on MHLivingNews, someone checks to see in what context their name was used. Ya think others in the media will too?

“Mais oui, bien sur!” Or “yes, to be sure” as they say in France, one of the 140 nations around the globe researching and discovering potential investment options in America here on MHProNews.

Slowly and steadily the drip, drip, drip of positive and more accurate information about our industry leads to more understanding. That's a win for all in the mix, starting with our home owners.


Solar, near net zero “Santa Fe” Model, by Modular Lifestyles.

Texans Do it, You Should too

The top state in the nation for new manufactured homes shipped is routinely Texas and has been for years. There are many reasons, but you have to figure that Texans and their association are doing a number of things right.

Ponder that as you consider this from their 7.28.2014 emailed news update, shown in brown, below:


Today Show Airs Wind Test on Manufactured Home

The Today Show aired a report on July 23 of an IBHS Research Center wind test done in a South Carolina manufactured home facility.  Tony Kovach with did a great write up which you can find here as well as the Today Show video which is located here.

NBC's Today Show aired a report this morning of an IBHS Research Center wind test done in a South Carolina facility on manufactured homes; one showing a properly installed carport and the other view was of an improperly installed carport. There was also an Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) test performed on two site built houses, one built to IBHS Fortified House standards, the other one, not. – See more at:

NBC's Today Show aired a report this morning of an IBHS Research Center wind test done in a South Carolina facility on manufactured homes; one showing a properly installed carport and the other view was of an improperly installed carport. There was also an Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) test performed on two site built houses, one built to IBHS Fortified House standards, the other one, not. – See more at:

For those who don't yet know, is the same as

The point is the TMHA grasps the keen importance of the wind-storm topic for MH. They did more than just share the Today Show link. TMHA shared the commentary that places their video into context! Do you think that will lead to more MH sales over time?

Do Texans ride tall in their saddle?

Google Search Tests Reflect Proven, Practical Results




Of course, different search keywords and phrases would yield a different result. Here is another one, also done today at the time (ET) shown.





Mutual Benefits from RSS and Cross Linking


The MHIndustry has to 'own' and play a role in correcting the public perception!
Showcasing the facts on association or business websites
– as is shown above and below –
are simple yet important part of that process.
That can start with something as easy as RSS.


A brief segue, Programming notes…

The Glass of Beer with… Barry Cole  interview has been hot, and I hope to see hundreds of you when Barry is inducted into the RV MH Hall of Fame next Monday. Barry deserves it, as do the other inductees.

We will have three new A Cup of Coffee with… interviews among our featured articles for our rapidly approaching August issue, which will go live on our home page at the end of this week.

  • Bill Matchneer, JD, formerly with HUD and the CFPB, is returning again. FYI, we've already logged more hits on his featured article this month about possible voluntary HUD standards for fire sprinklers than Forbes with their millions of readers monthly – has had total on Novak's important tax column above. Do you see the implications of these facts?!
  • Tim Connors, CSP, a multi-decades presenter, facilitator, trainer and coach to dozens of factory home builders, in our first interview with him. Learn about this author of 80+ books, and gain powerful insights to paths ahead for MH.
  • Paul Bradley, president and CEO of ROCUSA, who we pummeled with some challenging questions, you'll not want to miss what he has to say about them! Paul handles hot potatoes like a pro, and you'll see why this leader's organization continues to grow.

Today's Wrap Up

There is an utter necessity for our industry's members to know the facts shared in the reports linked below and above. While these and the links on our sister site have been “read hot,” please make sure your team knows the contents of this backwards and forwards. That benefits your operation or organization, because the added insights ultimately result in more homes, products and services sold.



Image searches are growing in importance.
Every image save the last one above are on the MHProNews or
MHLivingNews websites.
The last image on the bottom right
and the least favorable – is on the IBHS website.

When your MH association or business adds an RSS feed on your website that points to MHLivingNews, web experts agree more good routine content brings you more return visits.  PLUS – as you saw in the screen capture above the RSS feed can result in more people finding your site as a result of certain google searches.  A simple RSS feed – installed in minutes! – that caused UMH, Louisville, the Indiana Community's page and others to turn up on page 1 of that Google search.

The point is that Together, we advance faster and farther.

Together, we are fueling the four year recovery of manufactured housing.


The interviews we did with Industry legend Jim Clayton, are linked here

In the next few years, with the right touch, millions may discover what savvy industry pros have long known. America is crying out for quality affordable homes! The nation needs what we offer.  Given time and by sharing the right information, public policies will tend to yield in favorable ways.

Can we accelerate this acceptance of MH? With the proper effort, sure. As more pros pull Together, we can profitably speed the process. Mutual Support yields Mutual Benefits!

Please thank our sponsors and writers for their support of our critical mission to advance the proper understanding and cause of modern manufactured housing in America and beyond.

As you've see above, others are watching, reading and learning about MHIndustry topics at MHProNews and at MHLivingNews. Inquiring minds want to know. Together, we should take the next steps to advance MH image and education with shoppers, investors, public officials, news media, non-profits and all others. The rewards for doing so are bringing new investors into our industry. ##

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

Conventional On-Site Construction vs. Manufactured Home Wind Test Follow Up

July 25th, 2014 No comments

If you missed the report in the prior Masthead blog post on this week's IBHS hurricane wind test on houses, please read that now, before proceeding.

Thanks to feedback from MHPros, we've now posted a new and more public focused article, with additional facts at this link:

which has side by side photos – like the one below – and other facts you can share with anyone in the general public, local media, public officials or other industry pros.


The roof tears off at under 100 MPH on the site built house, but
holds in a Wind Zone 1 Manufactured Home.

Now, let's share one of the off-the-record comments that have come in from pros like yourself.

Not being an engineer, I never thought about the attachments causing  the problem. I think this is great news. Since I have been in the M. H. industry I have had to deal with the high wind topic. Now the question becomes, what are we going to do with this info? Why was this only being reported on one station? How can we get the word out? I challenge the industry to act while the iron is hot!”

ronnie-richards-2-mhpronews-70x70-retired-american-homestar-prior-texas-manufactured-housing-association-chairman-Ronnie Richard, recently retired industry veteran from American Homestar, and prior Texas Manufactured Housing Association chairman, posted this public comment:

Great for the industry but for a casual TV viewer I'm afraid all they saw were the visuals of an MH being destroyed. It would be great for MHI to get the B roll and produce a professional video with more emphasis on the structure that did not fail.”

An off-the-record comment, from yet another respected and successful industry leader:

…knowing the media, which, in my opinion, favors site built housing, they will only show the MH’s that were damaged.”

Indeed, the bulk of the visuals in the NBC news report did focus on the spectacular failure rather than the more amazing site built house failure or the success of the manufactured home that had the proper attachment.

Or how about this one:

As far as marketing and MHI, I don't think that is really a priority for them plus budget is a problem, I'm sure. Producing this video is a no-brainer to me.”

Ron-d-Ambra-posted-on-mhpronews-com(2).pngAs part of a fact-packed and thoughtfully detailed guest column we plan to publish soon, Ron D'Ambra, System Built Sales Director for Professional Warranty Service Corporation, said this.

…I do believe the proper additional information should have accompanied the testing and the article…to assure readers that the article was indeed accurate and based on the industry's construction standards that are in place…to assure every home-buyer the steps taken to protect their property and investments.”

In other words, Ron suggests that more background and facts would reassure both existing and prospective buyers of the quality of modern manufactured homes. Good points!

I won't quote, but will paraphrase a number of comments on the manufactured homes that were tested. A number of sources told me that the homes were purchased from a retailer and represented the least expensive manufactured home available in that market.

Let's think about this last point, which begs many questions, but also calls for a strong statement.

If that's true, here we see a far more expensive site-built house failing, while the least expensive manufactured home that had a properly attached car port didn't fail. Amazing!

Let's close with part of the first quote:

Now the question becomes, what are we going to do with this info? …How can we get the word out? I challenge the industry to act while the iron is hot!”

On the Masthead, we couldn't agree more.

This is yet another time for the industry to step up and act. Why not have a group of companies and/or associations sponsor a new video, all who do get their logos on it, etc.. An MH INDUSTRY Video. Do a professional one, like we did at the Louisville Show. Why not include interviews with key people in that video?

Why not get the story of a hurricane and tornado survivors in MHs into it? They are out there, as the article linked above on MHLivingNews proves!

That's about as powerful a message as we could get today that flies in the face of the common misconceptions.

Such a video could make weather men, media and public officials think again.

A good video would cause some who wrongly 'fear' our homes to better understand, embrace and buy them.

Indeed the industry needs to act while the iron is hot. ##

(Photo credits are stills from the video by NBC News' Today Show.)

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

Manufactured Home outperforms conventional site-built house in hurricane wind test

July 23rd, 2014 2 comments

NBC's Today Show aired a report this morning of an IBHS Research Center wind test done in a South Carolina facility on manufactured homes; one showing a properly installed carport and the other view was of an improperly installed carport. There was also an Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) test performed on two site built houses, one built to IBHS Fortified House standards, the other one, not.


NBC's Kerry Sanders, right, was on site for this report.

At first glance, it might seem that the manufactured home's roof failed, but as NBC's Kerry Sanders pointed out, the failure was the direct result of the flawed carport installation. The photos below, with credits to NBC's broadcast of 7.23.2014, demonstrate the 'right and wrong' way to do a carport installation.


In slow motion, the carport roof gives way and then created a gap
that allowed the wind to get under the manufactured homes roof.

Julie Rochman, IBHS CEO explained the significance of the test, while Dr Tim Reinhold – Chief Engineer at IBHS, explained the differences in the style of the two carport installations.


This second still shows the carport ripping over the MH roof,
creating a gap and opening the home's roof up.


80% of the serious damaged done in a hurricane study on MHs were due to add-ons,
like a carport, rather than structural failure.

The NBC News report's insights dovetails nicely with the first video posted on the page linked below…

…which also shows a site built house leveled in well under 30 seconds (my watch made it look like about 8 seconds), which was caught by a video camera in Iowa.


Julie Rochman, President and CEO of IBHS.


Chief Engineer, Dr. Tim Reinhold, was on site for the test and explained to NBC's Kerry Sanders
some technical points that allow for the proper installation of a carport to a MH.

Sanders stated during the news report that some 80% of the manufactured homes seriously damaged in a hurricane were caused by improperly attached structures, such as a carport. This is a wake-up call for all who sell and install manufactured homes with a carport or porch cover, etc.. Better get it done right, or as Sander's said, “It's a case of Pay now or pay (more) later.”


Similar winds ripped the roof off a conventional house (left),
while the Fortified House design sustained the high winds impact with only minor issues.

We know first hand from years of working with consumers and coaching MHCs and MHRetailers that one of the single biggest 'fear factors' prospective manufactured home buyers have is due to the false impression manufactured homes fail during a tornado or hurricane.

Yet in 2004, the year 4 tornadoes hit FL, of the some 1600 manufactured homes that where hit which were built to Wind Zone III and the new FL installations standards, all survived. That occurred in the same year when over 50 billion in damage was done to commercial and other residential property, including older pre-HUD Code mobile homes or manufactured homes built to pre-Wind Zone III standards.


Properly installed manufactured home and carport resulted in only minor damage.

Overall, the IBHS test showed that a manufactured home that is properly installed and has no improper attachments to it perform as well or better than a conventional house in high winds. This report deserves a serious MH Industry commitment to making this into a high quality video that summarizes the facts and presents related ones, like the wind test showcased on, linked above.


This is how the winds for the test
were produced, over 100 fans configured
to simulate hurricane winds of up to 125 MPH.

American Modern Insurance and MHI both deserve credit for being engaged in this effort, and IBHS deserves it too for doing what certainly seems to be fair and balanced testing.

More details on this test are found at this link:

The lessons from this are many, and the potential for this at improving the MH image with the MH owners, consumers, media and public officials are strong.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Let's make sure that this is a test that is followed up! We plan to reach out to IBHS for more details, watch for updates here on and on ##

(Photo credits are stills from the video by NBC News' Today Show.)

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

Subsidized Housing – Our Secret Enemy?

July 18th, 2014 1 comment

Let's begin by stating that those who favor subsidized housing, or other programs for lower income households, routinely do so with “good intentions.”  The questions that ought to be asked are many, but we will focus on why manufactured housing professionals ought to sit up and take notice of facts, challenges and “opportunities in disguise” posed by federal, state and local subsidized housing programs.

The CBPP Says…

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ( 2,161,468 low income households are receiving Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) in 2013. CBPP also asserts that: “Private owners across the United States received $16.6 billion in HCV assistance payments in 2013.”

“Private owners” means private business owners.

Let's drill down on these facts for the next few minutes.

Millions Divided into Billion$ Means…

Take that $16.6 billion and divide it by the 2.16 million who are getting HCVs. That's an average program cost of $7,679.95 per household a year. To rephrase, that's $640 monthly. You might think, “that's rather modest,” right? But what is that getting someone with the HCV, maybe a class c apartment?

In the U.S. today, there are an estimated 420,000 vacant MH sites. $344.03 is the 15 year payment on an 8% APR loan of $36,000, which could be the financed amount on a modest 3 bedroom 2 bath single section manufactured home in many U.S. markets. While the site fees on thousands of MH land lease communities with vacancies will certainly be above $300 monthly, there are thousands of MHCs that have that monthly site fee or less.


Now let's take a different look.

One could also take a $40,000 home-site and $40,000 single section home combo as the financed amount on a fee simple purchase at 6% for 20 years (yes, lower rates and longer terms are available, but we aren't using a full PITI analysis in this calculation either), which would yield a $573.14 monthly payment.

The point is instead of giving billions in subsidies to private citizens and corporations, a similar amount of money could be used to pay the monthly payment on an modern albeit modest single section manufactured home and a home site.  Please see the graphic below as an example of such a home.

2,161,468 lost sales at $40,000 = …

Do the math. That potential 2,161,468 in MH sales @ $40,000 each represents $86,458,720,000 in lost business to those who sell new manufactured homes. As industry pros know, modern MH is lower in initial cost, more energy efficient, safer against a fire and lower cost to maintain than a comparable footprint conventional house.

Let's say our MH Industry manages to hit 70,000 new manufactured homes this year. So 2.16 million possible added orders would be about a 30 fold increase over current production levels.  More to the point, it would be spread out over years, and this alone would take us back to historic production levels.


We need to take a fresh look at many federal, state and local
programs that either harm or benefit the public and our industry.


The Manufactured Housing Institute uses the number of 1 HUD Code manufactured home = 1 job. So that 2.16 million homes would be 2.16 million jobs, almost all of them 'new ones added' to the U.S. economy.  

Public Policy

Which is the better public policy? To rent people a unit, or to help more Americans become home owners?

There are studies that suggest the many social and economic benefits which flow to households that are buying their home versus those who are only renting.

Further, which makes the most sense? The rental market is tight now. Why should we economically support via tax dollars rentals? Doesn't it makes more sense to support new manufactured home construction with those same dollars in private-public ventures? Supply and demand suggests that more new MH sales could also help lower rental housing rates.

Clearly, this is a broad brush and we could take a poke at the above, one already being suggested: all the nuances of PITI (Principle, Interest, Taxes and Insurance) were not factored in. Another is that we don't have a figure at hand for what the federal program overhead is on HCVs. But none of that undermines the premise. This is meant as a discussion starter, not a definitive 5 year study for Harvard or Yale.

Other benefits

Just as we brushed past program overhead and all the costs – such as full PITI, energy and maintenance analysis – we also swept past clear victories such a new look at existing program outlines.

For example, we could remind readers that manufactured home owners tend to stay in their homes longer than conventional home owners.  Also, at some point, the loan is paid off. By contrast, there is no end in sight for rent, until one manages to moves out of a subsidized apartment and finally makes a housing purchase.

Nothing's Overnight, but a Longer Term MH Vision is needed

Our industry is not alone in needing a longer-term vision. Corporate America, as one expert I was listening to recently said, is so focused on the next quarter that this investor wondered how many had a serious 5 year business plan?

We need to take a fresh look at ourselves while simultaneously helping tens of millions of Americans, public officials, the mainstream media, investors and non-profits better grasp the many benefits and opportunities of modern manufactured homes.

Common sense as well as the facts favor today's manufactured housing. Almost everything we buy or use comes from a production facility – “a plant.” Even conventional construction is mimicking on-site what we in factory home building do, because much of what they do in so-called "site-building" was actually 'pre-built' in a factory and assemble on location. Increased production of a goods or service tends to keep costs down.



Its a Phenomena!”

Ron Thomas Sr. – Chairman of the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF), Chairman of the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show and award winning founder of Rona Homes – is great at turning a phrase. “Manufactured housing, it's a phenomena!” Thomas passionately proclaims.

Ron Thomas is correct in saying that precisely because MH is “a phenomena,” we need to look at it with new eyes. We need to better grasp all the angles and nuances.

The deeper the open-minded go, the more they understand that old mobile homes are not modern manufactured homes and the more there is to like. Former site-builder Stacey Epperson – who once hated old 'mobile homes', now embraces modern manufactured housing – through her not-for-profit and for-profit efforts.

The just published, exclusive version of a new Foremost Insurance report on manufactured home owners and trends provides even more facts that help MHIndustry pros make the case for a better appreciation and understanding of the value we've brought to millions of Americans.

Subsidized housing is the tip of a huge iceberg. Those billions can clearly be better used.

A trillion dollar annual U.S. housing market is begging manufactured housing pros and investors to step up to the plate!  With over 10,000 seniors retiring daily, with millions making less than they did 5 years ago, today's manufactured homes are poised to shine. We need to see the opportunities and develop the steps needed to make them happen. ##

Download HCV Fact Sheet

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

America’s Secrets Revealed and MH

July 11th, 2014 No comments

Secrets. Media reports tell us Chinese Communist hackers get them from business and government. Edward Snowden revealededward-snowden=wikicommons-mhpronews-mastheadblog- secrets. Some secrets are meant to be kept, others ought to be outed.

The secret seeping out – albeit slowly – into the mainstream media is that manufactured homes aren't mobile homes. That building homes in a factory makes sense. In fact, more investors, educators, not-for-profits and officials are waking up to the valuable role manufactured homes can play in alleviating the growing affordable housing crisis in the U.S..

Speaking of China, according to information we see at MHProNews, we could wake up one morning and find ourselves in a foot race to control our own affordable housing market. We've sounded off before on the potential threat to U.S. factory builders if China or Japan enter our market.

Sadly, while readers have taken note of the risk of overseas competitors, we keep getting messages complaining that those in a position to act have not yet done so. China has shipped MODs to 80 nations! How long before we see them here in the U.S.?

Paraphrasing a fairly common thread we get:

"Tony, don't they (leadership) realize MH could grow faster? Don't they realize the same thing could happen to U.S. factory home builders that happened to U.S. automakers?"

Let me say, I'm happy to get comments – including often helpful – off-the-record ones.

There are times, though, when some industry pros seem to believe we can snap a finger or instruct this or that professional to do X. We can raise an issue, we can send a link to a published article, but we don't claim the ability to force anyone to do X.

That's not to say there's no "power for the digital press" to influence thought, words or deeds. Of course there is, but it's safe to say that any positive result is best done through collaboration, via team work.


Don't Let a Crisis…

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Rahm Emanuel, then President Obama's chief of staff. Please don't misunderstand, the quote doesn't mean I'm a closet Rahm Emanuel fan. But his quote is insightful in many ways!

  • 1) It revealed what the Administration's thinking is in the face of a crisis. Use it. They routinely do.
  • 2) The crisis quote also suggests that we MHPros, investors and aficionados ought to take a page from their crisis play book and use this current affordable housing crunch to advance Our MH Agenda on behalf of potentially millions of consumers, business owners, executives, associations, employees, managers and professionals.

Partners in Progress!

In conjunction with a growing number of sponsors and MHPros – what we ought to call "Partners in Progress" – are working with us to build the manufactured home industry's de facto image and education campaign.

Rather than moan or complain, we're saying,


we know the way,
we're going and showing the way.

That's Partners in Progress.

Mirror Mirror…

While some are looking or shouting about 'who to blame,' let each of us start with the long, honest look in the mirror. Ask, "Am I part of the solution?" Then remember, griping or finger pointing isn't solving.

Whose first on first? Does that matter?

In baseball, someone might be the "first on base" during a big inning. Okay, fine. But when three singles lead to loaded bases, andcecil_fielder_1996-wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com- then the batter homers, everyone scores.

Drip, drip, drip…

Digital publishing isn't for the faint of heart. It's not for those who lack a long term commitment. Anyone who thinks that a single article or showing an ad one time will change the world is dreaming! Look at McDonald's, they advertise daily across the media spectrum, and that's how they stay in their market's leadership spot.

But in our world, every drip, drip, drip of good content, every back-link and RSS Feed is a way to get more love from Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Bing or others.

Many would say it's BORING to watch water drip, drip, drip from a faucet. Who wants to stand around to watch the glass, pot or bucket fill? But with those drips over time, a once empty vessel DOES fill up! Patience and persistence pays off.


(Image credit, Flickr Creative Commons)

The growing proof for the revelation to the

  • public at-large,
  • non-profits,
  • educators,
  • media, and
  • public officials

is found at Analog stats report tells us that since the launch on Fri, May 17 2013 at 2:37 PM until
Fri, Jul 11 2014 at 8:10 AM (419.73 days)

there has been:

General Summary

Figures in parentheses refer to the 7-day period ending Jul 11 2014 at 8:19 AM.

Successful requests: 4,257,900 (117,906) 
Average successful requests per day: 10,144 (16,843) 

A “request” can be a page, image, ad, video or whatever. Since we – the Partners in Progress – are promoting the MHIndustry in a positive way via the digital media platform, almost any request is a good one.

Stating the Obvious

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We've started that journey to change our image and educate others 419 days ago with The same principles that make a:

  • trade show such as the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, or
  • an association or
  • – the industry's runaway #1 industry trade media platform – a success can work to make our long overdue industry image and education campaign a success.

A growing number of companies or organizations are providing RSS feeds to the image/education site. The most recent – and an extensive one! – we've been told about is:

The Ohio Association's site does it a bit differently, see their bottom right-of-center column. UMH has their RSS on the bottom left, and on this date at 10:57 AM ET, it looked like this:


Another robust example is the Louisville Manufactured Home Show Site. See the bottom left module for their extensive feed!

The point is this, RSS – short for Really Simple Syndication – allows ANY site to get 'free content' which is good for the site, but also good for the site providing the feed. RSS can be installed in minutes.

Studies show people surfing a site who are considering if they want to return look to see if content is being added. Sadly, way too many MH sites look or are 'static.'

An easy way to improve traffic to YOUR site is to add an RSS feed, and the fringe benefit is that it boost the industry's image.

A Rising Tide…

…lifts all boats. Please. Let's stop the fretting over petty details that historically has kept too many pros from acting at all.

Partners in Progress. That's the ticket. It can be as simple as a win-win RSS feed, or more robust as a sponsor. You could be a writer who is a contributor. You can send us news tips at this link. One or more ways to do something.

The work has already begun. CBS News, The Boston Globe and others are picking up and paying attention. The more we work together, the more the tide will rise.

Some secrets need to be outed. If you are tired of manufactured housing being America's best kept housing secret, do your part to change that in a positive way.

15-minutes-daily-mhpronews (2)

Closing thought for today, MHProNews is having yet another banner month! We had 2,013,332 page views on our site in June, even with a long holiday weekend, we're on pace to do similarly in July! Readers like you keep us #1, thank you.

It seems that MHPros are heading the call to have owners, managers AND their team members spend a minimum of 15 minutes daily reading and learning more to earn more, plus 7 minutes daily on

Together, we advance. That's no secret! ##

(Editor's Note: In case you missed it or need a refresher, there are statistics, facts and charts on the page linked here that underscore why the manufactured home industry can grow far beyond the current levels.)

(Image credits as noted on the file, most are courtesy of WikiCommons)

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