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Posts Tagged ‘MHI’

That’s Debatable – Affordable Housing, Manufactured Homes, Trillion$ Await

December 16th, 2017 No comments

It was 15 years ago, but back then, MHI was correct to quote Harvard’s Eric Belsky.

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWhat happened to Belsky’s prediction, that kept manufactured housing from reaching its promised potential?

That’s debatable.

ThatsDebatableAffordableHousingManufacturedHomesTrillionsAwaitMastheadIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

 

We outlined in a cross-referenced, fact-based analysis and commentary part of what allegedly happened to the then-and-now potential for federally regulated, HUD Code manufactured homes to meet America’s affordable housing needs in the “Smoking Gun” report linked below.

4 Sentence Executive Summary of “Smoking Gun

Warren Buffett’s customary reading and research led Berkshire-Hathaway to buy up Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt, 21st, Oakwood, and other manufactured home connected businesses.  Using MHI as a chosen vehicle, they took a series of steps that arguably benefited their operations, often at the expense of numerous others.

Want evidence and reasoning to support that claim?

—> See the 21st Mortgage Corporation document -part of the “Smoking Gun” report and analysis – linked above.

Warren Buffett’s Famous “Perverse” Quote, Applied to Manufactured Housing

In “Perverse,” 3 Buffett Quotes are applied to manufactured housing.  ExecSummary? ‘He doesn’t think the industry will change, so he’ll win?’

WarrenBuffettQuotesPeverseEasyThingsDifficultChainsHabitLearnFromHistoryPeopleDontLearnFromHistoryManufacturedHousingMHI-MHProNews

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

We looked recently at what Buffett and his successor fear.  ExecSummary? A breakup.

Who Will Replace Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway? Expert Insights, Video & Manufactured Home Industry Outlook

We’ve also spotlighted the growing signals from the Trump Administration that the 45th president is eyeing anti-trust – read anti-monopoly – actions.

Based on prior reports on what Buffett fears – a Berkshire Hathaway breakup – is there any reason to think that Buffet’s empire – including Clayton – isn’t in the president’s cross-hairs?

President Raises the M-Word, “Monopoly,” Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Update$

The time to discover and debate replacing the Manufactured Housing Institute, should be engaged in now.

A third-party report on that subject is teed up from the Daily Business News item, linked below.

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

You can find the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s (MHARR) detailed report on the need for a post-production association, linked below.

http://mhpronews.com/industry-news/mharr-news/mharr-releases-study-recommending-independent-collective-representation-for-post-production-sector

MH Debates, Discussions and…

At Tunica in 2017, we invited the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to join the discussion – debate, if you will – the issue of media engagement, and their (in)effectiveness in that realm.  MHI’s PR person ducked out.

Frank Rolfe said yes.

That led to the following.

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

At Deadwood in 2017, Rick Robinson had the perfect opportunity to prove in front of dozens of industry professionals why what they’ve done is so brilliant, and why MHARR, this writer, MHProNews and other critics of theirs are all so wrong.

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Robinson ducked in front of dozens.

I’m inviting – challenging MHI – to a public debate/discussion at Louisville, to be video recorded.  Video would allow the entire industry – and all other interested parties – to see and learn from the discussion/debate.

WithoutDebateWithoutCritismNoAdminNoCoutnryCansucceedNoRepublicCanSurviveJohnFKennedyManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

MHI’s own actions convinced me of several things.

Line those actions up – using Marty Lavin’s logic – with the money.  Doesn’t it lead you to the same places that Dems and Republicans alike have discovered about Berkshire Hathaway/Clayton Homes/VMF/21st hold over MHI, and the industry?

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNew

Marty Lavin Lashes the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Latest Initiative

Debate is useful.

Scholars, and thinkers debate.

Business and investment professionals in their board rooms debate.

Politicians (sort of) debate.

Let’s be blunt. MHI to date has lacked the confidence to debate their true performance. They’ve had other opportunities. Do they really want the industry to starkly see what has been taking place in recent years? Would it embarrass them, and their string pullers? “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Why not a great debate on the trillions in opportunities that could flow to factory-home builders, much of it to HUD Code builders?

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

The Yun Report demonstrates what we’ve said for years. There are trillions in opportunities in MH, but only for those willing to step out of the chains of the past into the bright opportunities of tomorrow.

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$

That will be a focus on the next, popular – Monday Morning Sales Meeting.

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

In some 600 words, you now have a link-laced snapshot of what third-parties and this writer believes is the truth is about the manufactured housing industry potential.  What successful pros are doing to grow at significantly faster rate than Clayton and Cavco.

WarrenBuffettQuotesPeverseEasyThingsDifficultChainsHabitLearnFromHistoryPeopleDontLearnFromHistoryManufacturedHousingMHI-MHProNews

You also now know what Mr. Buffett is counting on – inaction – that keeps most of the industry from enjoying the fruits of those opportunities.

Trends in MH Communities, Impacting Producers; Looming Crash?

Failure to act, will have consequences for still more independent producers, retailers and communities, as the link above demonstrates.

MHI?  Louisville Debate date/time, please?

How about the afternoon before the event begins? “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (Editorial commentary, analysis, opinion, news, fact-checks, manufactured housing.)

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach presenting to a packed house.

L. A. “Tony” Kovach 
MHLivingNews.com
 MHProNews.com |
Office 863-213-4090 |


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

 

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

November 13th, 2017 No comments

First, the readers digest version, then the details. Last week, the WVHI sent out their newsletter with a column apparently written by their co-president, George Gunnell.  Gunnell is an RVP for Clayton Homes.  That article and others in the same newsletter indicated that MHI wanted Pam Danner ousted from her role at HUD.

That’s not an uncommon position among MHI, MHARR or other industry members, as the WVHI said and suggested themselves in the same newsletter.

So why has that WVHI newsletter erupted into an industry controversy?  Why are some saying, heads will roll because of that?

We’ll examine that and the related, step-by-step, below.

TransparencyMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Apparently,” written by Gunnell because hours after we published our report that spotlighted and quoted the WVHI statements –

  • a call,
  • texts
  • and emails came in from WVHI’s award-winning,
  • and widely-liked executive director, Andy Gallagher.

George Gunnell, WVMHI, Citing FMHA’s Jim Ayotte, Says HUD’s Pam Danner Must Go

Most of those statements were made off the record, which we honor.

AndyGallagherRunMyStatementWVHI-MastheadCommentaryMHProNewsMHProNews

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Andy Gallagher is an award winning, and respected state Assoc.  executive.

But part of what Gallagher sent – at his texted request makes clear – Andy asked me personally to publish.

Per that statement, as shown below.

AndyGallagherExecDirectorWVHIWestVirginiaHousingInstituteManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIMastheadBlogMHProNews

As you see, Andy said,

IReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM-comMHProNews (1)I’m not saying you [Tony/MHProNews’] are the bad guy.”

I’m just saying clearly and I think you should reflect this in your writing:”

Happy to, Andy. All of that – and more – we’re hereby doing as requested.  Because we don’t want Gallagher or anyone else to feel unfair pressure.

Further, editorially this writer believes the question needs to be asked: why should award-winning Andy’s job be at risk?

Or for that matter, Clayton’s RVP, George Gunnell’s job?

Gallagher, Jennison, Others…

It should be noted that Gallagher, per sources, worked in journalism in years gone by.

If so, then Gallagher knows the rules of the road, knows English, understands ghost writing, etc.  By the way, ghost writing and pen names are both commonplace in publishing.

GhostWriterDefinedPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Famous people have used pen names and/or had ghost writers.  For example Mark Twain was actually Samuel Clemens.

MarkTwainSamuelClemnsWikipediaMastheadBlogMHproNews

An MHI source told MHProNews that Richard “Dick” Jennison reportedly paid $1500 to Bruce Savage to ghost write Jennison’s brief address to the RV MH Hall of Fame a few years back.

Ghost writing happens.

It happens, and should not necessarily be construed as something wrong.  It can be a perfectly fine pratice.

Asking to Pull our Report to the Industry…

A source connected with ties to MHI and the WVHI – perhaps due to some fear and/or pressure – wanted to see the Daily Business News story killed.

Please pull it.’

As a matter of policy, MHProNews will correct an error, or will clarify a story.

But we don’t pull a news story. Many in mainstream media have a similar policy. That ‘don’t pull a story’ policy exists for several reasons.  That’s a check on us, and on others too.  We strive to make a story accurate before publishing, we quote and cite sources as needed, and we strive to follow the standards that good journalistic practices aspire to meet.

Besides – even if we didn’t have the don’t pull a story policy – wouldn’t they have to ‘pull’ the stories in the WVHI newsletter?  How do you pull something – namely, the WVHI newsletter – that’s already been emailed out to dozens of professionals?

OustPamDannerStoryLinkedGeorgeGunnellCo-PresidentMHProNewsMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Notice: Andy Gallagher says Gunnell didn’t write this column, that Gallagher did. The red-boxed information points to both the Jim Ayotte article on page 3, but also the other story that points to ‘ousting’ Pam Danner.

MHProNews policy…while we do some things differently than AP Stylebook suggests (like showing quotes in dark brown text, we’re close on the ideals for a trade publisher).  We’ll also cop a plea to periodic typos. But by trying to get the facts and sources accurately reflected, we’ve built a reputation that makes us the most read – from operations large, medium to mom-and-pop – in the entire manufactured home industry.

Thousands come daily. Readers routinely sign up for our emailed news updates, at this link here.

In short, while not everyone likes every article, quote or comment, we’re #1 by a country mile in this industry’s trade media.

We invite other points of view.  When we disagree or disagree with MHI, we routinely invite them to comment, and/or quote from their own published statements.  We say allegation when that term applies, etc., etc.  That’s fair and balanced.

Here are the facts, here are the concerns, here are the allegations. Then, “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

WestVirginiaHousingInstituteWVHImanufacturedhousingindustryWVManufacturedHousingInstitutePamDannerLesliGooch

Fair and balanced.

‘If You Won’t Kill It, Please Re-Write it’

Then, a source asked the Masthead’s writer (me, as MHProNews’ publisher) to re-write the story.

At that point, I personally reviewed all that we knew directly from:

  • other sources that addressed us directly,
  • what I knew first-hand experience at the MHI San Antonio meeting – what members told me directly,
  • what was known from MHI at that point in time from their own communiques to their members,
  • and then finally, from what the WVHI published.

Award-Winning MHI Retailer Regarding HUD Objectives, Pam Danner, Needed Changes

We also looked at MHARR’s consistent position again, summarized in the over 2 dozen reasons why Pam Danner needed to be removed from her current role.

Setting aside who authored Gunnell’s column, the bottom-line is this.

What WVHI published was consistent with the thrust of what we quoted on the Daily Business News and heard from other sources in our MHProNews report, linked above and also linked here.

So why doesn’t MHI just behave in a transparent way?  Instead of trying to get others to change something, why don’t they just speak for themselves?

Why are they making it so difficult for their own members to know what the Arlington, VA based trade association REALLY believes regarding Danner?

Ducking for Months

MHI has officially ducked for months on the question of their supporting Pam Danner’s removal as the administrator of the Office of Manufactured Housing at HUD.

Publicly in Deadwood, SD – in front of dozens of industry professionals – MHI General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Rick Robinson ducked questions on the Danner issue.  Ditto Preserving Access, and other issues relating to the association’s positions and performance.

RickRobinsonTonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Transparency, Please?

MHInoReportersJournalistsSignManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoByManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews300x474a

MHI – Transparency, please? Photo credit, MHProNews.

There’s more that could be said, but we’ll hold it for now, and simply ask.

MHI – can you be transparent on this Pam Danner issue?  Can you and those who pull the strings please not try to intimidate Andy Gallagher, or anyone else in the industry?

Please?

An MHI Executive Committee member told me some time back at a private dinner – just we two – that their publicly-traded firm believed in transparency.  ‘Bad news, we get it out there.  Good news, we get it out there.  Transparency,’ that corporate leader said to me face-to-face, was a key principle.

Ok.

Where’s that same level of transparency at MHI?  Why are members and the industry being asked to guess whatever it is that MHI claims they want on Pam Danner?

Time will tell anyway. But in the meantime, consider the wisdom of behaving based upon principles – vs. posturing or evasion?

Heavy regulation, third party sources say, falls heavier on smaller companies than big ones.

ELS’ Sam Zell – Compliance Costs Destroys Smaller Businesses = Consolidation

Or consider what Marty Lavin said, does it apply here?

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNew

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

LATonyKovach-QuestioningNYSAAteam-NewYorkHousingAssociation-MHProNews-com-PhotoCreditMarkSimon--250x167

Photo taken while Tony was questioning regulators in NY.  Kovach, and MHProNews, are fighting for the industry’s advancement, day by day.

Kovach is the award-winning co-founder and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews.com, MHLivingNews.com, and the affiliated business development, consulting, and industry-expert services.

“The X Factor” – Manufactured Housing’s Surprising Solution$

October 12th, 2017 No comments

It should go without saying that the readers of MHProNews span the political, economic, religious, gender, ethnic, and other spectrums.

That means there are some that will love a statement they read on X (fill in the blank on what X is), while others oppose that same statement on X. Still others with a furrowed brow might wonder why X matters at all.

TheXFactorManufacturedHousingsSuprisingSolutoins

The X Factor. The truth can cut like a knife. That X-wing fighter? We think for a variety of reasons that manufactured housing’s best day are in the future, not the past.

Let’s plug in a few examples of X

  • MHARR or MHI.
  • Any of the people we quote on MHProNews or MHLivingNews.
  • Any of the political or economic sources we quote on MHProNews or MHLivingNews.

What does that X mean to you or me?

What does X mean for:

  • the mom and pop operation?
  • the corporate professional?
  • the investor,
  • the public official, researcher, advocacy group, or media,
  • the MH Industry association member, or
  • the professional who swore he/she would never go to another association meeting again?

FillInTheBlank------X=MashheadBlogMHProNews720

Tales, Faces and Facts

Fact 1:
The facts are that in this raging affordable housing crisis, manufactured homes are an obvious solution. Yes, MODs, hybrids, prefabs, and stick building all have their respective roles in this world of Off or On site Construction.

Fact 2:

There are:

  • economic,
  • social,
  • political,
  • moral,
  • technological,
  • and even
  • geopolitical/trade issues

that – knowingly or not – all impact factory home builders, professionals, and the home buying public.

If Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle can say with sincere humility what he did, doesn’t the same apply to the media? Public officials? Our own industry’s professionals?

“The X Factor” – Manufactured Housing’s Surprising Solution$ The Truth Well Told, What is the X Factor. Manufactured Housing, Dick Ernst, MHI, MHARR, MHProNews, MHLivingNews,

Among the points George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and 1984 was trying to make was this.

You can control people to a significant degree by controlling the information that flows to them.

Propaganda is used by many because it works.

How did we get from a Leave it to Beaver society to a rainbow society protesting almost everything in just 55 years?

One answer is media.  The other is educational.  Some of it is face-to-face, or person-to-person, manipulation.

PeopleMustLearnChildrenMustBeTaughtHowtoThinkNotWhattoThinkMargaretMeadWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Objective Analysis is critical for the success of our industry, and your profession, as it is for any other. MHProNews brings that analysis, which is why thousands logon daily, even if they may see a matter differently. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Rules, Labels, and Rulemakers

Label someone a conservative, moderate, or a liberal, and how people respond to that person changes.

Paint someone as a troublemaker or an outsider, and again, how people react changes.

All of these and more ought to be troubling to those who seek the truth about a person, or a subject.

StopLabelingPeopleQuotesOvercomingLablesForJarsNotPeopleLabelingQuotingsManufacutredHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNewsThat thousands today can emerge from a college or a university, look you in the eye and say, “What truth? There is only my truth,” or “You can’t legislate morality” – and similarly dubious  X statements, these are causes for concern.

TruthWillProveItselfMostPeopleCantHandleTheTruthTonyGaskinsJr

Every piece of legislation or rule making is a value judgment. It is based upon a perception of truth. On a moral judgement.

If forces can control how other people react to:

  • manufactured homes,
  • skin tone,
  • accent,
  • religious affiliation (or a lack thereof),
  • political or
  • any other belief, then no wonder there is so much upheaval in America and around the world.

SomePeopleBelieveThereAreNoAbsolutesDoTheyMeanThatAbsolutelyRevDonaldTyeJrLATonyKovach

I’m only One Person

The fact that you or I are only one person is no excuse to do nothing.

We do what we can that is right and good, regardless of how others may or may not understand at that moment in time.

What Dick Ernst and others like him have said are quite right. We take on controversial issues or positions, not for the sake of stirring the pot. Rather, its because – as Ernst said, Tony believes that much in this industry.

Stirring the pot of its own sake would get old quickly.  We’re the same pro-industry people we’ve been from day one that we began MHProNews, and later MHLivingNews, now 9 years ago.

So, we take on an X issue precisely because we think it is relevant to the

  • Industry, or
  • the nation our industry is a part of,
  • or because in some way, a real problem offers an opportunity in disguise.
WhatsWrongIsThatWeDontAskWhatsRightGKChestertonQuoteMastheadBlogMHIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Image by MHProNews.com

Divide and Rule

When an MHI board member shares their woes and frustrations this week with MHProNews;

Or

a longtime reader thinks I’m picking on MHI;

Or

Another reader thinks I can make up with MHI;

each of those are revealing insights.  But the fact that someone believes X doesn’t make it correct.

All of those are but examples of the X factor.  Someone is filling in a blank based upon, what?  There are other examples.

BasicNecessitiesGoodLifeFoodClothingShelterTransportationEducationGroundedTruthMoralSocietyGodlyPrinciplesRevDonaldTyeLATonyK

This industry ought to be easy! We sell affordable housing, and the nation needs it!

Why isn’t manufactured housing embraced?

ElectedOfficalExplainsSurprisingModernManufacturedHomesVideoInterviewMHLivingNews

I Love It!!! said a state executive, about the video above which is video interview that debunks many fallacies held by others about manufactured housing. “We Provide, You Decide.”  ©

Why are even some other factory builders for or against HUD Code manufactured housing?

Ignorance

We are all ignorant on many things. It is arrogant or delusional to think otherwise.

We need others in our lives.  You know things I don’t, and the reverse is true too.  That’s one of many reasons why we ask others for input on a regular basis.

If you believe in God, and chances are around 90 percent that you do, then it’s obvious that the Creator felt you and we were both necessary!

You think you’re right on X.

The person down the hall, sees X differently.

Who is right?

EveryoneIsEntitledTotheirOwnOpinionsButtheyAreNotEntitledTotheirOwnFactsDanielPatrickMoynihanMHLivingNews

We need to get back to basics. Those basics begin with a thirst for truth.

There are absolute truths.

We should be people who seek the truth of an issue, any issue.

People open to the truth see or can learn the value of manufactured homes.

Investors and advocates can discover the value.

Lenders can learn about MH what most Americans did in the wake of the civil rights movement.

But if we watch as a growing part of our fellow citizens embrace

  • a lie like socialism,
  • and we ignore the threat that modern day Brownshirts or propagandists pose,
  • whatever wealth you have can vanish in the night.
  • Wealth can disappear because you are murdered, or the power structure shifts, and the insiders are now on the outside.

 

My80%FriendIsNotMy20%EnemyRonaldReagan-postedMHProNews-com

There should be an unquenchable thirst to know and live the truth.

Because by definition, everything that is not the truth is a kind of delusion.

The nature of a human is that we learn in stages.  So we can’t know the full truth about anything all at once.  We learn that truth in stages, be it the ABCs, or the 123s, manufactured housing, or whatever the subject happens to be.

So, we do need patience for each other, and that sincere desire to know the truth.

AllTruthPassesThrough3StagesRidiculedOpposedThirdAcceptedasSelfEvident

The necessary truths about our industry was buried in stages.

Now, like gold, the truths about manufactured housing will have to be uncovered and refined in stages.

Different people will learn that truth at different paces.

But as enough professionals – if even one committed professional at a time – in a given market, is willing to take the long view, do what’s right by every customer, and share that truth routinely, given good health, etc. there will be tremendous success over time for that professional.

The reverse is also true, and the industry has been paying the price for short term thinking and behavior for decades.  Don’t believe it?  Check out last week’s fact-based post.

ManufacturedHomeLendingFEMAFalseProfits-AndFalseProphets

The Truth Well Told.  The Truth told routinely.  Behavior that aligns with that truth as perfectly as possible.

TruthAboutOurIndustryWellToldIsValuableAndProfitable

These are the ways our industry advances.  That truth is told, and best practices must occur at the local market level.

And for any of those who settle for less than the truth?  Sad. ## (Overview, analysis, commentary.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHLivingNewsMHProNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryPublisherMarketingSalesTrainerConsultant-

http://latonykovach.com/recommendations-and-testimonials.php

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
Industry consultant, service provider, and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to the industry’s top trade media MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com

Staff Shakeup! What’s Next – Good and Bad – at the Manufactured Housing Institute?

June 24th, 2017 No comments

Let’s begin with several examples of good news, before we get into the headline concerns.

 PoshNewsMHCommunityManufactruredHousingIndustryDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

   A huge, new manufactured home community has broken ground, and is underway.  That upscale MHC project, linked here, joins Scott Robert’s and his team’s big MHC project, linked here.

   A new, independent HUD Code home manufacturing center has broken ground.  That Daily Business News story is linked here.

 BreakingGroundScotbiltfactoryMillenGAPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-549x430

   The industry continues at a double-digit growth rate. Some companies – which we are happy to say are clients/sponsors – are growing at an even more rapid rate than the industry at large is; we’ll point to 3 of many examples, from 3 different sectors – linked here, here, and here.

** These are all some of the many examples of good news to report. We report good news, along with challenge engagements – ** such as the Tornado Researchers at MSU making positive statements about manufactured homes ** – on a routine basis.

 

LakelandLedgerSolvingAffordabilityProblemTonyKovachManufacruredHOmesTornadoesWindstorms

 Good news in the mainstream media ought to be widely shared, right? Ideally, these things ought to be done in tandem with an association, as was the case in the story linked above.

We’ll talk about problematic items later below.  Let’s first tee that topic up, as follows.

GetMeasurableResultsPictureGraphicImageManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Success isn’t how many emails go to congressmen or senators. Success is getting the legislation you said you wanted, passed into law. Everything else is moot.

How is True Progress Measured?

All true progress requires a few basic things.

1) A willingness to admit that something can be better.

2) A willingness to change to make things better (buy in).

3) Ideally, a plan or operational theory (hypothesis).

4) A timeline (“Everyone needs deadlines.” – Walt Disney.)

5) Execution of the plan.

6) Objective, measurable benchmarks.

   Is the plan working? 

   If so, how well and at what costs?

   How is the ROI?

   Could the plan or execution be improved? 

   If ineffectual, can it become effective, or should it be scrapped?

In summary, professional progress requires – an open mind, a vision, objectivity, analysis, discernment, and adjustments as needed. Vince Lombardi said the goal of the winning team –  or person – is excellence.

 ProgressMindLIkeParachuteWorksBestWhenOpenManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsCommenatryMHProNews625

To rephrase, one must see reality as it is. Then the good, the mediocre, and the bad – plus:

   the honesty,

   integrity,

   willingness,

   and determined commitments needed to obtain a worthwhile goal. Those are some key elements in achieving positive change.

 

StatingObviousBringsClarityMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Image by MHProNews.com

 

Failure to commit, or

   a lack of honesty,

   or any of the other needed elements, weakens or cripples a plan.

Positive, Negative, and Power

It is worth reviewing that to be effective as trade publishing – as media – one must be willing to look at positive and negative issues. Cheerleading is great and needed in an organization – including media?! – but mindless cheerleading is eventually exposed as empty.

Being solely negative is as problematic at achieving progress as being only positive. Realism and objectivity are needed.

As an engineer confirmed/reminded us recently, there is no power in electricity without both positive and negative electrons flowing.  The same is true in life, or for effective trade journalism. Power comes from looking at the good and the negative. It’s true for any profession.

If someone can’t look at – and deal with – the positive as well as negative, that person is in denial.

Stating the Obvious for clarity – the good, bad and in between happen continuously in life.

ElectricityRequiresPositiveNegativePolarityWithoutBothNoPowerLeadersMediaMustDealRealityPositiveNegativeToCreateEnergyChangeMHProNewsMHI’s Recent Shakeup

MHI supporters as well as critics have sounded off on the senior staff shake ups. If you’ve not read that story, please click the photo below or the link here.

We’ve heard from supporters of Lois Starkey. Even those who were not necessarily fans noted that there is no one at MHI at this time that understands the technical aspects of the HUD Code as well as Starkey does. To rephrase, MHI is now objectively weaker as a trade organization in her absence.

Who are they going to find/train to replace what Starkey did? Do they have work-around? Sure, but this incident speaks volumes on a variety of levels.

LoisStarkeyRichardADickJennisonManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryTonyKovachMastheadBlogMHProNews

A common statement heard is ‘why didn’t MHI make some kind of announcement?’

Perhaps the other is underscored by the Tom Heinemann side of this. While I spoke personally with all of the folks at MHI, perhaps the one I engaged with the least was Heinemann. Here’s what MHI put out about him when he was hired, less than 18 months ago.

 StaffShakeupMHProNewsTomHeinemannGovernentAffairsTeamManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI-GRelationsMHProNews

Now, this professional that MHI was so pleased to welcome, he’s now gone.

Objectively, if you were the next candidate looking at job opportunities in Washington’s metro, as a career-minded person, why would you pick MHI? Doesn’t a 6 year snapshot of MHI reveal a revolving door in-and-out of that organization? 

Reportedly, some left MHI on their own, unhappy. Others – allegedly including Tom and Lois – were shown the door. The average time there looks pretty thin, doesn’t it? Or is this, as some say — “The New MHI Way” — ??

Looking at Thayer Long’s Example

Thayer Long went on from MHI, and now is at NPES. This was sent to me this morning, and we created the collage.

 

ThayerLongWhatTheyThinkManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNews595

The text at the right are parts of a press release, sent to MHProNews. Thayer Long left MHI, is now at a new association. That new association is starting the kind of process that could make sense for MHI to do, please see the bullets in this article, down below. Thayer started fresh, why not others at MHI?

Reminder…

A well-known state association executive at an MHEC meeting – with dozens present in the room – turned to Long and succinctly said, “Thayer, with all due respect, you’re not getting the job done.”

MHEC-logo-ManufacturedHousingExecutivesCouncil-postedMHProNews600x204-com-

State and Community Executives are once more getting the positive attention and credit that their work so richly deserves. While national associations meet with DC based regulators, policy advocates, Congressional staff or members, its the state and community associations and their members who are the “boots on the ground” that makes it all happen.

Within weeks, Long was gone. He reportedly left on his own.  If you look at the collage with Thayer’s photo above, you’ll see that the outcome for him looks like a happy one.

We don’t wish anyone at MHI ill, but don’t some of them need to find a fresh start, for their own sake (like Thayer’s), and that of the association and the MH Industry? 

Look at MHI’s own stated agenda items, then look at their lack of achievement in the last almost 6 years.

MHI may have a few keepers. But after years of failure, don’t many on staff with the title of VP or CEO need to go?

They’ve burned through some 15 millions of dollars in 5 years – plus PAC money! – and have not gotten the job done.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoBurnedthrough15million5yearsCommentaryMHProNews 

They’ve played games, and played favorites. But most important of all, they’ve not gotten the job done.

Cutting loose two VPs shortly before their own Washington, D.C. legislative fly in, what where they thinking??

 u-s-capitol-building-wikicommons-posted-mhpronews-211x158-

   On DTS

   On Preserving Access

   On HUD

   On media engagement,

   and more, they’ve had a train of bad or problematic positions, missed opportunities, and clear failures to achieve their own stated mission.

MHI’s own goals are their objective benchmarks. Billions are at stake. Isn’t it past due to clean up most of the house in Arlington?

Can MHI Even Get Industry Facts Right? Please??

This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the Arlington, VA based umbrella association can’t get key facts right in their own reports on the industry to others. We’ll cover that issue soon.

As a prominent MHI member told me by phone recently, bankers want solid data (no, this wasn’t the DTS issue, but the same principle applies). MHI doesn’t get generate research often enough, and when they do, it’s often demonstrably wrong in enough places to cast doubt about their “research.”

They’re often demonstrably contradict their own previously published positions. No corrections. Just one set of facts that differ from others. No real explanations.

Hello? Think about know how that makes the industry’s umbrella association appear to third parties? Or how it makes members who support them look?

Frankly, we’d love to see a house cleaning before we have to publish those upcoming reports. We’d be willing to work with a new administration at MHI, so long as they want to ‘do right’ by the industry – including the thousands of independents.

Be it incompetence, or by design, or any other cause that can be imagined or alleged – their failures are harming thousands of independents, thus choking off ROBUST growth that would benefit nearly everyone.

TrillionDollarHousingMarketManufacturedHomesAreSolutionMastheadblogMHProNews 

That must change.

What’s Next at MHI?

This isn’t junior high school, and isn’t a popularity contest. We give and take critiques, and when they are well intentioned, they ought to be embraced.

For years, we tried to work within their system and behind the scenes.

That didn’t work, so we began to go public. Some at MHI allegedly were out to get us long before we did go public, and we could document that if/as needed.  This is about the industry, current and millions of potential customers, not me or any one person within MHLand.

Solutions?

A pro-MHI member asked/suggested this. Paraphrasing:

Tony, you need to give MHI leaders an off ramp. You need to put something on the table that will make sense to pro-MHI members, as well as others.’

OffRampExitMastheadBlogMHProNews

Ok, here it is.

1)        Do a phased house-cleaning, and bring in a one year to 18 month interim president. Someone from the MH industry, someone that is independent. No disrespect to larger companies, but not someone beholden to any of them.

2)        Give that interim president 60 days to make a report and plan to leadership, the association/members and to the industry at large.

3)        That plan should be a strategic vision for the industry, and for the comprehensive reform of MHI into an effective body that can work with MHARR, communities, retailers, public officials, potential home buyers and the hundreds – (thousands?!) – of potential allies among the non-profits, consumer groups, media, and the millions of home seekers.

4)        The interim CEO should not be an MHI employee. While I’d be thrilled to consult and work with such a person, to be clear, I’m not interested in nor lobbying for such a role. Do I have possible good fits? Yes, but I think the industry ought to develop a list of qualifiers for the interim role. Then, ask for applicants. May the best woman or man, win.

5)        There should also be an interim VP.  That person might be someone with significant association experience. Some are retired or near retirement, that may make a good fit for such an advisory role.

6)        Look at what MHI has done in the last decade. What’s good? Keep it or refine it. What’s failed or not worked? Learn from it and check it off the list for future use. Example, their ‘engage’ system is a good idea. While some love it, frankly with the Feds, the bottom line results are totally missing. It’s a good idea that needs to be revamped, under new leadership.

7)        Doesn’t everyone in communications, plus no less than one president and 2 to 3 more VPs need to go? It should be noted that allegedly every single VP at MHI has privately criticized MHI’s president, some politely. Some harshly. Those criticisms were either made directly to us – or to third parties – and we eventually hear about it.  That speaks volumes as to the need to radically reform MHI and its culture.

8)        The “MHI, we’re bigger so we must be the best” mindset has to go. They behave in ways contrary to their own interests, that of their own members, their state ‘affiliates,’ and certainly to the majority of the industry at large.

9)        Create an inclusive, vibrant vision, plan and mission to mainstream manufactured housing acceptance. Protect, educate, and promote that vision and mission.

gaps-method=credit-postedon-MHProNews

We will look at the GAPS Method in the near future, as one of the tools to analyze the road blocks to MH advancement.

The timing and departure of Starkey and Heinmann is sadly emblematic of MHI in recent years.

There is no reason to believe that MHI will improve, unless they first candidly admit their mistakes.

If MHI makes its admissions and amends to all those they’ve injured – and there are many – then I think a fresh start could be attempted. We’d be willing to engage in something that looked like the above.

Years before we took the positions we did, Dick Moore wanted to do a post-production association (MHIdea). MHARR has called for one for years. Among state execs, privately and publicly, there have been solutions floated.

George Allen – agree or disagree with him – has shown that hundreds could be organized.

MHARR senior advisor Danny Ghorbani has floated the idea of opening that group up to a broader membership. It would fall to their president and CEO, Mark Weiss, to make that happen.

Change Will Happen…

Something will give, count on it. People will only tolerate stuff so long.

We hope MHI decides to take the path of reform, or in time from among those noted or from a new source, watch as a rival rises that will leave them in the dust they alone created.

Let’s close by saying that MHI members are routinely good, nice people. We’ve all enjoyed a pleasant meeting or event. There are keeper elements at MHI. But there’s much to be reformed, or supplanted, right??

It’s up to every professional to take stock, and armed with the facts, to act.

We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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Publisher | Consultant | Service Provider |
Award-Winning Industry Veteran |
863-213-4090
LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – dba
MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com

 

 

 

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The Manufactured Housing Industry’s March Madness

March 7th, 2017 No comments

It’s not just basketball! The Manufactured Housing Industry has its own version of March Madness.

For example, there’s the rapidly approaching Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. The pace leading up to and through the show can be intense. To learn more about the largest event in all of manufactured housing, see Dennis Hill’s two articles. One is on the free business building seminars on the afternoon of March 28th, the other story Dennis Hill provided is the global brochure he produces and shared with us, so you could read all about what draws thousands to Tunica every year.

Those who want to know, and grow, will go.

Before the Madness…

Before we dig into some craziness, let’s note there are positive stories below, about more lending, and more homes sales, that are taking place due to forward thinking industry professionals.

There are profitable tips and opportunities described in featured stories too.  You’ll want to check those out.

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Image credit, QuoteGram.

Then, the Madness…

The Madness is also that as an industry, we could be producing, financing and selling some 600% more new homes than we currently are. Who says? See the articles below!

So why aren’t we collectively doing more? There too the answers are spelled out in the articles linked below.

HUD Code MH Shipments of 81,100…why not 500,000 (+/-)?!

In an affordable housing crisis, our manufactured home industry holds a powerful solution.

But we aren’t alone. The MH Industry has Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. (To learn about a SWOT analysis, see that article, linked below).

SWOTAnalysisGoogleDefindtionsPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

SWOT definition credit, Google.

Defending and promoting the industry are what association dues are paid for at the state and national level. Right?

So, what has MHI done with the millions in dues – plus the PAC money – they spent in 5 years under Richard “Dick” Jennison’s, Lesli Gooch’s and her predecessor’s leadership?

See the MHI budget insights we obtained, see how many millions are involved, see where the big money goes, and the related articles, all linked below.

Keep in mind we have a video that we can produce. In it, Jennison promises attendees of the meeting he was speaking to on camera that they would pass The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. He specifically said they could pass it in the House and the Senate. He gave themselves 2 years to do it.

Two years have now come and gone. Did MHI’s president and MHI SVP Lesli Gooch meet those promises?

No…

What if I told you that we also have video of Mr. Jennison saying we could be selling 500,000 homes a year (which, by the way, I agree the industry could do. Yes, that means that a location like yours could grow sales by 600%, if you wanted to do so.).

Then, what if I told you that on that same video, Mr. Jennison says that the potential for 500,000 shipments – 600% growth – he thought should be done slowly?

Who decides how fast your business – or any other operation – should grow?

Should it be Richard A. “Dick” Jennison at MHI?

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

As important, who has been sounding the alarm for years (besides MHProNews) that the industry could be doing much more?  Find that article about what MHARR says linked below, and you’ll see.

See too what Frank Rolfe, Marty Lavin, Titus Dare, Darren Krolewski, Tom Fath, and others are saying and questioning MHI on in this March Madness issue. Those articles are likewise linked below.

Don’t Guess, Know! Then, Plan and Act…

We have billions in opportunities, which means a location or business like yours could be doing 600% more if you wanted to do so. As Frank Rolfe said to MHProNews, the industry itself is in many ways holding us back.

Who specifically is responsible?

Don’t guess! Learn more! Why not stop the MH Industry’s self-inflicted madness?

With no further adieu, please see the featured articles and reports for March 2017 below for “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.”  ©

We Provide, You Decide.”  © ##

DÉJÀ VU AGAIN? A New Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Initiative

by Marty Lavin, JD.

marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronews New Study
I like to say to myself “If you live long enough, you’ll see it all.”
Read more…

Triad Financial Services Introduces Superior Choice Credit Union to Manufactured Housing Industry, Video
by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

Every year for many years now, Darrell Boyd, Senior Vice President from Jacksonville, Florida based Triad Financial Services brings banks, credit unions, investors and other financial services professionals to the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.
Read more…

Executive Summary – 400 Words – Manufactured Housing Industry Obstacles and Billions in Opportunities
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachIt could be boiled down to the 3-letter acronym at the end. Let’s first take a 400 word walk through the top obstacles and opportunities.
Read more…

SECURITY MORTGAGE GROUP Income Property Specialists
By Pierce Redmond

Pierce Redmond-Vice PresidentSecurityMortgageGroup-55x55ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Security Mortgage Group, a national award-winning MH Community lending broker, is pleased to have provided $30,000,000 in financing for several manufactured home communities nationwide in January 2017.
Read more…

 

Skyline Corporation Makes Executive Announcement
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsSkyline Corp. (NYSE: SKY) tells MHProNews that Jeff Newport has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer.
Read more…

 

MHARR: President Trump’s Actions Offer Major Opportunity for MH Industry and Consumers
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWashington, D.C., February 28, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that Executive Orders issued by President Trump within the past thirty days provide an unprecedented opportunity for the federally-regulated manufactured housing industry and American consumers who rely upon manufactured homes.
Read more…

Service Animals, Fair Housing, and You
by Nadeen Green, JD

For those of us who teach and write about fair housing, we have come to learn that the topic of service animals is the one that everyone wants to hear about (I sometimes joke that it is unlawful to teach a fair housing class without a reference to service animals). nadeen-green-mhpronews-com
Read more…

 

New NAR Report Points To Manufactured Housing Opportunities
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachWhen the National Association of Realtors chief economist says there are more buyers than existing homes available on the market, that should be a huge signal to manufactured and modular home professionals,” said Stan Posey, sales manager at Sunshine Homes of Red Bay, AL.
Read more…

33 Sites | Woodmont Trailer Park | Farmington Hills, Michigan
by Christopher Nortley

ChristopherNortlyMHREinc=postedMHProNews-comy50x50-Woodmont Trailer Park – Farmington Hills, MI
Read more…

 

Federal Data Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Quality, Regulatory Questions
by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With over 81,100 manufactured homes built last year, more than 99.99 percent of all manufactured home buyers had service issues satisfied through normal channels provided by their home’s builder, retailer, community, or installer.
Read more…

 

Richard Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute, Worth Millions to MH Industry? Facts from MHI Report
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThe Manufactured Housing Institute, and its president and CEO, Richard A. Jennison, are required as a tax-exempt organization to keep and file certain records.  One of those reports was obtained by MHProNews, and is attached herein.
Read more…

 

MH Dealer Bill Passes House – What Does it Mean?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn the great state of Indiana, a bill recently passed in the state house regarding manufactured housing dealerships that has a rather interesting twist.
Read more…

 

Industry Lender Announces Name Change

BY Credit Human Federal Credit Union

cufbl_eastern_slide_200x200_2_2016After much consideration the San Antonio Federal Credit Union (SACU)/CU Factory Built Lending (CUFBL)/Mountainside Financial is excited to announce that we are changing our name to Credit Human Federal Credit Union.
Read more…

 

Ben Carson Confirmed as HUD Secretary, MHI and MHARR Commentary
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe Senate, in a 58-41 vote Thursday, has confirmed Dr. Ben Carson to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Read more…

 

Lancing the MH Industry’s Boil

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

by Soheyla Kovach

Let’s use the analogy of a pimple, cyst, or boil.
Read more…

Business Building Tunica Show Educational Seminars
by Dennis Hill

dennis-hill-showways-unlimited-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com-50x50-On Tuesday, March 28th,  at the Resorts Hotel – 2nd Floor, Magnolia Room, you can discover this year’s business building educational seminars. Here is the lineup and schedule.
Read more…

The Report, Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton and Clayton Homes
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWhen the “Oracle of Omaha” speaks, people listen.
Read more…

 

 

2017 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Looms, Final Brochure, Schedule Provided
By Tunica Show

tunicashow2017The Largest Manufactured Housing Show in the United States

The Tunica Show has more homes than any other industry event!
Read more…

 

Industry Feedback About the Manufactured Housing Institute, Image, Industry Hassles, and Advancement
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovachA very thoughtful message from a widely-known industry leader is quoted below.
Read more…

 

 

 

Scam Alert! Professionals Warned
by Soheyla Kovach

SoheylaKovach-WebsiteDevelopment+SupportServices-MHProNews-com-photo83degreesmediaJulieBranaman-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-

Fox News and most mainstream media sources are urging caution to professionals and others answering cell phones and landlines from incoming calls from an “unknown caller” or a phone number you may not recognize.
Read more…

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Increases, January Report
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWashington, D.C., March 6, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that, according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production increased substantially during January 2017.

Read more…

 

SWOT Analysis – Marketing, Sales & Management Tool for Manufactured Housing Success

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachTo truly understand a location, business or organization – and its potential – a SWOT analysis is useful management tool.

Read more…

 

Modular Tapped to Help City With Housing Needs
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn Belgrade, Montana, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has looked to modular housing as a solution to what the organization calls “immense affordable housing needs.”
Read more…

 

The Evolution of 3D Printed Homes?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWhen it comes to 3D printed homes, companies around the world have been working to perfect the ideal system, including Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda, which printed a two-story villa that checks in at 4,305 square feet and can reportedly withstand a magnitude eight earthquake.
Read more…

 

Lost Modular Jobs Set to Return?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsOnce known for its booming modular and manufactured home industry, Oxford, Maine has been dubbed the “Manufactured Housing Capital of New England.”
Read more…

 

The Uncertainties of Life
by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comMany people today struggle with the need to know what will happen tomorrow, next week or even this year. Some have the need to try and manipulate tomorrow or to have life be ‘in order’ or ‘certain.’
Read more…

Habits to Make or Break for a Cleaner, Healthier Home
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIt never fails. No matter how much you clean, it always seems that something comes up, spills, or gets dirt on it.
Read more…

 

Manufactured Home Plants May Become Tiny House Production Centers
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn Carbon Hill, Alabama this week, the City Council heard about a possible plan from developers to use a couple of old manufactured home plant facilities to make small-sized homes, aka “tiny houses.”
Read more…

 

Pending Home Sales Numbers Released
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe report is in from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Read more…

 

Zoning Changes Could Affect Manufactured Housing
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe Washington County, Maryland Board of Commissioners is holding a public hearing today regarding several proposed changes to the county’s zoning ordinance, including ones that affect manufactured homes.
Read more…

 

Which Life Season are You in?
by Tim Connor

tim-connor-mhmsm-comFor the past 200 plus years we have experienced an economic downturn and uncertainty every 8-15 years. I am not a pessimist.  I am a realist.
Read more…

 

Richard “Dick” Jennison, President, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to Tony Kovach, MHProNews.com

February 28th, 2017 No comments

In the wake of the death of my wife Soheyla’s father yesterday, key people at MHI allegedly arranged to have a sign of their sensitivity delivered via a message to me.

RichardDickJennisonPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIAboutLATonyKovachMHProNews

See MHI’s Richard “Dick” Jennison’s thoughtful message via video, below.

We’ll plan to share that message thread with our readers in the next few days, so you and thousands of others can see for yourself how the fine folks at MHI spend their time, and spend the organization’s money.

Very Public Message from MHI’s current President, Richard “Dick” Jennison to Tony Kovach and MHProNews

Even before the email mentioned above today, Richard “Dick” Jennison, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), shared the following public comments, to Tony Kovach and MHProNews.com.  My thanks for his personal share.

My thanks to all who called and messaged my wife with their condolences.

More on the new March 2017 issue, which will go live this weekend. It will be packed with serious, and perhaps, a light-hearted item?
We Provide, You Decide.” © ##

(Image credits are as shown.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach caricature.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Frank Rolfe, Darren Krolewski, MHI and Media Engagement

February 5th, 2017 No comments

The Top Line – Media Engagement Matters to Your Operation’s Bottom Line. That’s why this issue matter$ to you.

In another exclusive report from the manufactured home industry’s largest and most trusted news source for professionals, MHProNews published extensive comments by Frank Rolfe, Darren Krolewski and others on the issue of MHI and Media Engagement.

FrankRolfeBlastsManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMHURVHorizonsPostedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsWeeklyRecapMHProNews

Screen capture from the Daily Business News, click here or above to see that read, red hot report.

Let’s begin a focused commentary by saying that every word published from every source in Matthew J. Silver’s hot article, entitled:

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

each quote spotlighted an important aspect to this issue. 

For keen readers of Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions, please note that while Rolfe was blasting MHI’s news media practices and Darren Krolewski was defending them, each made cogent points, and both had penetrating insights.

Let’s also stipulate that the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) challenges in working with the news media are not to be underestimated. Rolfe is 100% correct in saying (paraphrase) that a reporter can be hard charging. A journalist might be on the attack from the moment an interview begins.

Darren Krolewski is right in saying there is so much more bad news than good.

Krolewski observation begs the question. Should it be so?  

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The flip of Krolewski point out ought to be, this: isn’t there in fact more good news than bad? So isn’t the issue that the good news isn’t being shared enough?  We in MHLand should be loud and proud! Fact-based reports like the one above belie the pictures that NPR or MHAction present. Are there bad or problematic actors in the industry? Sure, and MHPros routinely condemn those who harm MH home owners and the industry’s image, see Industry Voices.

 

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Matthew Silver.

In Matthew Silver’s article, we did not use all of Rolfe’s words, nor all of Krolewski’s.

In every article, in most videos, there are things as a writer or editor that you must leave out, so that the report or video is digestible.

That said, unlike any mainstream news source you could point to, MHProNews will in the coming days publish Rolfe’s, Krolewski’s and others full on-the-record comments, within the scope of our editorial guidelines. Their words will appear on Industry Voices. There is a lot of posting to do on the popular Industry Voices blog, on a variety of topics. Those voices are your industry’s peers. So please do stay tuned.

CritiqueIsVisibleEncouragesIndividualsRaiseStandardsFocusRedraftingDavidDidau-creditPinterest-postedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Image credit, Pinterest.

Let’s preview what Krolewski said that was not published yesterday, and the reason why, because it was demonstrably topspin. We’ll get to that after a brief background on how Krolewski and I met, because it is very relevant to this media engagement topic.

 Media Engagement — Background on meeting Darren Krolewski

First, Darren and I have known each other for about eleven years. I met him while doing a project with a sizable MHC operation; he and his dad – BJ Krol – came to do an evaluation of two regions for that community owner and a manufacturer working with them. One of the regions in BJ and Darren’s report was being managed by another person at that same company, the other regional supervisor was me. I still have the report, call me if you are curious to see/discuss it.

IfeelthatHonestyAlwaysWorksBobbyUnserLifehack-postedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Image credit as shown above.

Summary?  My team’s region was highly praised, and BTW, our smaller region outperformed two other larger, better funded regions combined.

chicago-sun-times-news-group-and-moxie-magazine2-on-l.a.tony.kovach-manufactured-housing-mhc-md.com-

The bottom right magazine story is from the project that BJ Krol and his son Darren came to evaluate. The article on the left was published in the Chicago Sun Times Newsgroup – that was for a project with a different client. Each point to the value of media engagement. Proper, honest Media engagement pay$. But it requires a solid foundation first! The media doesn’t want fluff, they want interesting, ‘red meat.’

Part of that project was about my personal efforts at media engagement on behalf of that MHC. My team took a backsliding region, with a problematic reputation in the broader community and region. We turned it around in under a year (again, I have the records, and glowing references). The local news media sat up and took notice! Why?

Because about 8 years before Rolfe’s 2014 NYTimes article, we invited the media in.

The first big published story in the regional press read so well overall (see image at the left), that it might have looked to some like an advertorial.

But we paid nothing.  We promised nada. We wrote not a word of it, but we did share visual elements, which they gladly accepted and many of which they used.

That regional magazine’s report glowed. Why?

Because residents were happy, and what was a kind of grungy locale before, had became a neighborhood. It was how you turn 2 stars into 3.5 on a modest budget. That MH community became a really good place to live. Revenue, collections, sales all improved dramatically. There’s more than one comment on my LinkedIn profile, one from a local pro in that same market, who describes it in his own words.

Media engagement wasn’t the first thing, it was a middle step, after several other were taken.

I think Krolewski will back up the above, because he’s a good guy, and also because we have the

BJKrol-MarketIngenuity-MHC-MD-LATonyKovach-com-

Darren’s father, BJ Krol – wrote in his report, that the work we did with those communities and the media was “light years ahead” of others, and that it was ‘a breath of fresh air.’

documentation, some of which came from him and his father, BJ.

 

So when Frank Rolfe and his partners buy and improve a community, I get it! We applaud professionals like Rolfe, Lamb, UMH, ROCs or many others who invest and improve the communities they aquire.

That personal/professional experience is one of several reasons why we don’t body slam him on terminology, because overall, Rolfe’s doing a lot of good.

Do I wish – and think it’s to Rolfe’s and the industry’s best interests – that he’d adopt proper nomenclature? Absolutely. He and I have had that discussion, more than once. 😎

Back to Darren and his Comment we edited out

With that segue in place, here’s part of what was left out of Matthew Silver’s linked report:

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Darren Krolewski, MHVillage, DataComp.

As an MHI member I think that the organization is moving in a positive direction with bringing on a VP of Communications and some of the work that has been done in recent months to elevate the image of our industry.” – Darren KrolewskI.

Sorry, I respect and like Darren, but that was pure top-spin, so we left that out, while keeping his salient points. MHI is demonstrably not moving in a good direction on communications.  The problems Rolfe cited in Silver’s report began before, and continue after MHI’s new communications VP came on the scene.

Frank Rolfe is far from alone in saying what he has. It does MHI – and the industry at large – no good to praise them on something they’re not moving in a good direction on.

Let’s use an analogy.

Do you praise an employee or agent for the mistake they routinely repeat?

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Image credit is as shown above.

Tim Connor says you get more of the behavior that you reward. Of course!

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Image credit, Pinterest.

You can encourage someone – or a group – by giving them high fives for where it is merited. So, paraphrasing what Rolfe said, MHI has some nice people. All of us can be nice, all of us can do good. God doesn’t make junk. There is plenty of education, and talent available. There are keepers at MHI.

But when the same mistakes keep getting repeated, even after the VP of communications comes in, there’s a problem.

Displeasure of how MHI handles the media is a comment Rolfe says he hears from MH community owners, and we hear that from MHC and other industry pros too.  We hear it from MHI members, and others in the industry. We hear it from MHI ‘insiders’ too…

The anecdote Silver used about an MHI member laughing publicly at someone who questioned their handling of the NPR story was included in the story, because it speaks volumes.

Own and Correct and Error, When Possible

When I goofed last weekend, I owned it. That should apply to us all. There is none of us – poor, rich or in between – who can claim perfection. All of us can and should learn, from others, and from mistakes – our own goofs, or the errors of others.

Which brings us back to the importance of proper media engagement. The Masthead applauds Rolfe for sounding off on an important issue.

But let me applaud Matthew Silver’s important report for this gem. Let’s quote in brown that brief but potent section in MHProNews assignments editor Silver’s narrative.

 

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comThe Industry’s Irony…

What overly sensitive professionals may miss in industry-politics charged issues are what largely unites the industry.  Rolfe, Dare, Fath, Kelley, Krolewski and Kovach – all these and other voices not cited in this report want to see the industry grow.

So why aren’t critiques of MHI taken and given in that spirit of the search for a path for long-term, mutual growth?”

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Photo credit, MHProNews.

It’s long overdue for MHI to get over whatever it is that keeps them from listening and engaging – not only the media – but also with their own members. Going to MHI meetings are often like going to a lecture.  Why? Where’s the listening? Neither this Masthead writer nor others who critique MHI are saying ‘blow the association up.’  Todd Lamb’s quote in the Silver’s report was clearly meant to encourage them.

Should “MHI Task Forces” be peopled only by insiders who go along, to get along?  Has MHI asked Rolfe, myself or others who have actual results to point to, to be on a media engagement or educational task force?

I’ve not asked Frank, but I’d be surprised if he was invited in….

Accessible?

Let me draw towards a close with demonstrable examples. Under MHARR’s new president, they have become quite responsive to our questions. Many if not most state associations we ask for comments, ditto. We ask company presidents for comments. We routinely get them, often in short order.

Why not MHI?

Among the many powerful quotes and insight in Silver’s report is this gem from Frank…

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Frank Rolfe, photo credit, MHProNews.

When you refuse to talk,” says Rolfe, “it looks to the public like an admission of guilt, and when you refuse to promote your product it looks like you are embarrassed by it.”

We self critique, and as Krolewski and others well know, we as a pro-industry trade publisher listen to the critiques of others. Will key people at MHI listen?

The quote from Rolfe we closed on in Silver’s report, is what MHLivingNews and MHProNews have been doing for years.

Our work has been based on real world experiences. That project Darren and BJ witnessed wasn’t a one-off. We’ve done those kinds of positive things for years. So why doesn’t MHI want to learn about them from us, Rolfe or the many others in the industry who are trying to do it right, but may not be part of the ‘insiders club?’

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Image credit is as shown above.

Doesn’t MHI want to share those positive experiences with others, so the industry will grow?

We welcome working with anyone who is forward thinking, solution oriented and has good will. We aren’t waiting on MHI or anyone else, but we’d encourage them to be involved with us too.

We will be doing presentations in Tunica on March 17th on the issue of media engagement. Let me encourage MHI to have all of their top people there.  YOU should be there. Because what we’ve done with media engagement and communicating with and as media has produced bottom line results for the majority of those we’ve work with over the years.

The reason MHProNews and MHLivingNews exist is to engage professionals, the media, and the public as media. It’s profitable to engage the media, when it is done properly. Rolfe and others who successfully do media engagement can tell you, it’s not easy, but it pays off.

If you haven’t already see Silver’s red hot report, it is linked here. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

While widely known for being the #1 B2B and B2C MH publisher, Tony is also the most endorsed marketing sales management pro in MH consulting, with years of successful experiences in retail and communities. Tony will be presenting at the Tunica MH Show on March 17th on media engagement.  Mark your calander, plan to attend. Stay tuned for details. 

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.