Posts Tagged ‘Show Ways Unlimited’

Jennifer Hall, Doris Hydrick and Dennis Hill – Tunica Show Open Letter

March 24th, 2018 No comments


Jennifer Hall, Doris Hydrick and Dennis Hill @ SCMHI,
There’s only two full-scale professional trade shows in the manufactured home profession today. Louisville and your South Central Manufactured Housing Institute (SCMHI) event in Tunica.

At least two of you personally know the sources for our report on Keith Holdbrooks and Clayton Homes decision to scale back in 2017, and to not participate in 2018.

By holding the story linked above until after the event, I’m sure you understand how that protected the show for 2018, and maximized the event’s odds for success.

All three of you are deeply aware of what we’ll politely call the ‘industry’s politics.’  Too few are willing to speak out publicly about what many are discussing privately.

Namely, the various ways that Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway owned companies are exercising their power in – and over? – the manufactured housing industry.

I have two way communications with those in MHI, MHARR and their members, including with 21st (among others), as well as with those who aren’t a member of either national trade group.

As you know, in 2018, the bulk of the homes on display in Tunica were from producing members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), with fewer exhibitors from among Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members.



As someone approaches retirement, several things can happen.

Especially if someone perceives that their livelihood is dependent on – or at a minimum, influenced by – a giant operation like Berkshire Hathaway owned brands such as:

  • Clayton Homes,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF),
  • 21st Mortgage Corp (21st),
  • Shaw, and the list goes on,

careful public positions are often taken.

Among the things that can happen for anyone – but perhaps particularly for those approaching retirement – is that fear and self-preservation motivations may set in.  We understand those realities.

There are states, certain executives have told me, where 50 to 70 percent of the floor dues paid to a state association come from Clayton Homes, or result from sales of other HUD Code manufactured homes sold by a Clayton retailer.



Industry Trajectory

Since Kevin Clayton did that video interview, their market share went from 25 to some 50 percent of the industry’s new home production, per their own data and statements.  It does no one any good to ignore the obvious. As a show attendee insightfully said to me this week, “the trajectory of the industry” has been toward consolidation.

It’s not revealing our sources to say that at least 2 of you know the sources for our Holdbrooks/Clayton report.

It’s obvious that Clayton et al can exert “pressure,” be they in the Tunica Show, or not.

We’ve been told by industry members that some felt compelled to be in MHI, and some feel compelled to support certain events.  Other forms of pressure are applied to smaller operations.


Berkshire Hathaway, MHI and the Resistance

It’s high time for more MH professionals to do whatever they can to combat Berkshire Hathaway’s (BH) and their MHI mouthpiece threat to the independent operations in our industry at all levels.

You 3 don’t have to speak out publicly.

But you can take several private steps to insure the independence of the Tunica show going forward.

Otherwise, as various industry voices told MHProNews, BH is likely to do to the Tunica Show what they are said to have done to the North Carolina event.  Namely, “kill it.”

Let me tell you some of what this year’s Tunica event reinforced for me.  We know from website statistics what readership is like.  But we learned from the numbers of attendees who stepped up and commented, or thanked us, etc. that your crowd includes our audience in significant numbers.

And our audience includes the giants, but also those who overwhelmingly want to stay independent.


Thinking Out Loud

Thinking out loud. Don’t you think that giving aspects of the show to cronies of MHI is short sighted? You surely know how this works.  What a crony learns, they report back. When you put a crony on a platform, you may be sending a message to your attendees that is problematic.

You can send the industry, MHI and Warren Buffett’s brands a powerful signal.

You can show your support for those non-BH independents – retailers, communities, producers, and various product/service suppliers – without turning away the Berkshire brands.

But if I were you, I’d let those Berkshire brand companies politely understand that they don’t dictate to the SCMHI show.


What’s Coming?

We have reasons to believe that for a variety of market and legal reasons, in the next few years, Berkshire’s grip on manufactured housing could be broken (think about this point in terms of allegations such as class action, antitrust, tortious interference etc.).

Don’t make your final legacy that of a door mat. The French after they were conquered by the Nazis during WW II created a resistance. That resistance movement became critical for them to get back their freedom, just a few years later.

In hindsight, Buffett and Berkshire didn’t save” manufactured housing in 2003; they arguably set about to conquer the industry.

Directly and indirectly, through commission and omission, they and their Arlington-based association tool witnessed the destruction of thousands of independent businesses, including several producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. Many of those now defunct producers used to be built in the region that supplies your show.



Jen, Doris and Dennis – please be courageous enough to resist BH and MHI any way that you can.

Be loyal enough to those independent industry colleagues you’ve met and known to resist the bullies whose various alleged practices reduced a once-great industry to its currently modest status.

I’ve said before, even as a 25-plus year manufactured housing veteran, it took time to begin to fully appreciate what was happening in the industry.

Looking back, it’s easy to point to ways they targeted us for elimination, years before we spotlighted first MHI, and the BH.

Dennis, you and others like you surely must realize that you’ve been targeted too. Sure, you can retire as planned, or you can go out with a flurry in a grand fashion.

No announcement needs to be made.

No challenge or gauntlet has to be tossed down.

But you owe it to thousands to join the #BHResistance, the #antitrust crowd.

If the SCMHI does so, I predict the 2019 show will be the best event ever.

Think about the trajectory.

When independent retailers die – or are killed off – it is no surprise when the factories that supplied those ‘dealers’ are killed off too. That’s the trend that the MHI chart above also demonstrates. As independent retailers grow fewer in number, so too there are fewer independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.


Think about the allegations like those noted herein or linked, and the mounting evidence.

Think about charts like those above that reflects how those independents you’ve known for years were wronged by forces they may fully understood at the time.

Resistance is wisdom.

Resistance will bring its own rewards.

We chose not to be slaves of monopolistic forces.

We work and pray daily for the future of our great industry. May manufactured housing experience a rebirth that yields new glory days.

We encourage others to be a part of the kind of resistance that made America a free people. ## (Industry events, commentary, opinion, and analysis.)

PS: Readers should not presume that any of the three addressed, nor the provider of the photo at the top, are a source for information to MHProNews.


PSS: Manufactured housing isn’t the only industry that ‘consolidation’ is taking place in.  It may or may not work the same in other indusries, as it has in ours.  But across the left-right media and political spectrums, there are a growing number of voices calling to break up the monopolistic tech giants, and are sounding the alarm about giant players like Buffett’s Berkshire.  Ignore the warning signs at your own peril.

Tunica, Nashville Trade Shows and Manufactured Housing Glory Days

Manufactured Housing – “Giants vs. Independents” – Tunica Talk – “You’ve Got to See This”

Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Photo Report, Day One

4 F’s and True Believers

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

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

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First Glance – 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show – Rear View Mirror

March 29th, 2015 No comments

We are waiting word from Dennis Hill on final cross-checked totals. But Dennis at Show Ways Unlimited has already told MHProNews that even with the last minute dash to change the venue, that the effort to move from the shuttered Harrah’s property to the new location for the show at the Hollywood and Resorts Hotel and Casinos was a clear success.

Turnout at the 2015 Tunica MH Show is said to have seen across-the-board growth among Retailers, MHCommunities, Builder/Developers and installers compared to last year’s show at the old Harrah’s location.


Photo credit: Tunica Travel.

Some 85 new model homes were on display. The builders and exhibitors we heard from we’re overall very pleased with the new location and the turnout.

Attendance as the seminars was far stronger than expected, given the unusual location. The feedback from attendees was strong, as you’ll see from applauding and cheering industry pros like you who gave the panels and presentations strong thumbs up.

Tunica MH Show, 2.1…

All that said, there are clearly tweaks needed. Some things ‘are what they are.’

For example, the seminars, luncheon and homes are at or by the Resorts location, while the exhibit hall and registration are next door at the Hollywood. A shuttle ran between the two, to offer an option for those who decide to skip the walk.

We plan to bring you a series or videos and interviews from and about the Show, starting in the month of April.


Other Industry Related Items of Interest…

Industry news continues to evolve, with the successful House vote on HR 650. This took place about 18 months faster than the last bill, the latest signal that there is indeed more momentum this year than last on MH Industry efforts to reform Dodd-Frank.


SuperCharged Marketing and Sales seminars drew positive responses.

What’s Read Hot

In my own version of alphabetical order, here are some of the videos and related articles that are drawing tens of thousands of hits on MHLivingNews.

As we settle back into the routine here in our base in sunny Florida, we’ll bring you more updates on the world of MH in the days ahead. Hint. Besides the rapidly approaching new home issue, there looks to be some announcements of broad industry interest about to be made. Of course, for those who surf in, we’ll keep you posted. ##

What You Missed in Tunica…

…why not mark your calendar now for 2016? 

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-business-building-seminars-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Thomas, You’re No Milton (Friedman)

April 2nd, 2014 No comments

If you are doubting Thomas, perhaps you need to look for Sowell. I enjoyed Thomas Friedman's geo-economic-political OpEd in the New York Times this morning, Follow the Money.

The analysis is fascinating, but the conclusion is flawed. Thus the quip, Thomas (Friedman), You're No Milton (Friedman). Just one pearl as an example.

So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”

– Milton Friedman

What we need are stronger doses of the RealEco(nomic)Politic of the Thomas (Sowell's), who connect the dots because they are not clouding said dots before hand by struggling to prove a political agenda, typically via pounding a round-peg argument into a square-hole reality.

Only the clarity of truth ultimately cuts through the smoke of battle, in global, national or manufactured housing's politics.

Clouded Thinking

Sure, avoid war when possible, but what if it isn't (we aren't taking about Crimea here…not all conflict is military) avoidable?british-troops-smoke-battle-el-alamein-1942-credit-wikicommons-posted-masthead-MHProNews-com

When the smoke of battle clouds the field of action, it's understandable that some – or even many – won't see clearly.

This is when clarity of thought must trump mere emotion or habitual reactions born of past patterns.

In the NYT analysis linked above, what's missing (among other puzzle pieces) is the fact that a more robust domestic Fracking Policy would (have):

  • boosted the U.S. economy more,
  • would (have) made Western Europe (NATO nations) less dependent on Russian energy,
  • would (have) made us less dependent on OPEC,
  • would (have) yielded nominally lower U.S. energy costs, and in turn
  • would (have) made U.S. factory goods costs lower viz-a-vis still communist China, because of their need for imported energy and shipping cost differentials.

Those would make the world a safer place, with more working Americans who would be richer instead of poorer, deficits smaller and then we'd all be selling more manufactured homes.

Because to have such policies would imply that the economy would be more robust, PLUS suggests that the kind of over-reach that created Dodd-Frank and the CFPB would be mitigated.

We can achieve such things, not alone, but it can be done when we pull together with enough others.


Chess, Geo-Economic-Politics and Manufactured Housing

When you play chess, you don't think of one piece, you must look at them all. You don't think one move ahead, or you've already lost if you're up against a superior player.


You must think several moves ahead, about your pieces, theirs and the ever fluid situation that develops on the chess (think: Geo-Economic-Political) board.

Our MH Industry could hold the keys to the 2014 mid-terms and beyond, with –

  • some 200,000 MHIndustry Pros,
  • plus some 20,000,000 residents living in our homes! –

…but the clock is ticking…

…and we will return to the above, hopefully within the next ten days.

For the moment, let's shift gears to immediate issue(s ;-).

April Showers! (us with great, new featured articles!)

Whatever segment of the industry you happen to be in:

  • Manufacturing (home or component building),
  • Manufactured Home (MH) Communities or MH Retailing,
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Supply, Services or Support,

I frankly don't see how you can run your business without good, solid information!

Which is why an average of 5,419 visits (think readers) a day came to, for the red-hot Industry News, Tips and Views You Can Use. 

Is that important to you?

For an industry our size? You bet.

For example, if you don't think there is a clear correlation between industry events such as the Louisville Show and readership here, please speak to Dennis Hill at Show Ways Unlimited.

Or analyze what is happening with MHI's fast approaching 2014 Congress and Expo, which is up 39% over last year, per our sources at MHI.

chet-murphree-deer-valley-homes-a-cup-of-coffee-with-chet-murphree-mhpronews-comWhat's amazing is that 70-something (pardon me Dennis, but this is a well earned complement coming) Dennis Hill exemplifies what the industry as a whole needs to accept. Technology is not coming, it's been here for Years!

Dennis knew something different had to be done to recover from the previously declining (and then canceled in 2010) Louisville Show. Dennis adapted, bringing the best of the past and the WebTech needed to drive our industry's future together at that show.

That WebTech – properly understood and applied to MH – holds the keys to driving more business by attracting more pros to events! The costs are modest, the ROI real and measurable.

WebTech also holds the key to unlocking the minds of prospective homebuyers, politicos and thought-leaders at places like the NYTimes and beyond.

Which brings us to:

  • the interview about the controversial NYTimes column we did with Frank Rolfe,
  • or the insightful, forward thinking found in A Cup of Coffee with…Chet Murphree (see photo above),
  • Or any of the other expert insights, all found linked below in our April issue's Featured Articles.

Non-Profits could yield More Profits for MH

One of the keys to our industry's future passes through the portals of the non-profit world. Which is one of many reasons why (some) industry pros can't afford to blindly nuke what they don't understand or know! Please see the clear-thinking of rising non-profit star NextStep's Stacey Epperson, among the 16 important reads in our April 2014 Featured Articles.

We will soon post an Industry in Focus Report from Darren Krolewski on an MHC rent study done in MI; this is not a yawn, but a must-read for MH and MHC savvy pros!


Turning the Page…?

Part of me sometimes feels a bit of angst as we leave a month of terrific reads like March 2014's behind. But one of the many great things about digital publishing vs. print is that you can 'turn the page,' and still go back days, weeks, months or years to read previously published articles!

Don't forget, you can – and thousands do! – dive deeply into our archives of past articles and posts by using the search tools, exploring via the drop down menus and much more.

Some of our top 1% of all read articles every month are interviews or columns published months or even years ago.

The reason that readership is growing year over year here are many. One is that we tackle that topics others fear to examine. The smoke of (a brief) battle can't be avoided if we are to advance as an industry.

The need for clarity of thought vs. some arcane attachment to past ways is near-absolute if we are to proceed ahead.

Don't get me wrong, we strongly believe some principles – such as truth, justice, balance, fairness – are eternal. By contrast, some modes of behavior or thinking are done – history! –  and a few have just not realized that the battle is over, because the smoke of battle has not yet cleared the field.

Thomas (Friedman), You are No Milton (Friedman), very much applies to us pros and investors in manufactured housing.

Please take a deep dive into the Tunica Show recap linked below, as well as:Ignroance-costs-knowledge-pays

  • the upcoming Congress and Expo updates,
  • tech talk from Brad Nelms and Joe Karns,
  • Sales/Motivation/Management/Inspiration from James Cook, Tim Connor, Scott Stroud, Zig Ziglar and moi,
  • legal from William Dahlin, Nadeen Green and DJ Pendleton (courtesy of Harold Hunt, PhD!).

It's all linked below, thanks to our team of writers and sponsors.

When you learn more, you can earn more. When you are armed with facts and insights, you can play the chess game of (business, political, personal) life so much better.

Having made the de rigueur entre, let's tweak the Bard and make Much Ado about Something! Here follows our April 'Showers of Insights' Featured Articles!

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 5, No. 7, 2014

Alphabetically by Category


• The Newest Chapter in the “Only in California” News 

by C. William Dahlin, JD


There are many jurisdictions within California that have forms of rent control for mobile home parks. This phenomenon of price fixing has infected many locations within California where there are an abundance of mobile home parks or 'land lease manufactured home communities.

Read more…


• Where Are You From?

by Nadeen Green, JD



Four such innocent words comprising a simple question. And this is a question I have asked of others many times. Travel for work throughout the U.S. in my “Fair Housing Lady” role and the opportunity to enjoy international travel as well have resulted in a variety of accents and vocal patterns entering my ear canals.

Read more…




• The Impact of Dodd-Frank on Manufactured Housing

by Harold D. Hunt, PhD rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) took effect on January 14th and are expected to have a significant impact on residential mortgage markets.

Read more…




• Crucial Communications

by James Cook


I am going to go way out on a limb and say that you feel frustrated, angry, maybe even hurt when you feel like somebody did not really hear what you were saying.

Read more…


• Dirty Laundry

by Stacey Epperson

Stacey-Epperson-mhpronews-comWhat is it about dirty laundry we don’t want anyone to see? Mine finds its way to my 50 year old Maytag washer every day. This relic is older than me, and it has worked hard.

Read more…


• Controversial New York Times article on 'mobile homes' and 'trailer parks' lands Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds and Mobile Home University in the Spotlight

by L. A. 'Tony' Kovach

tony-kovach-mhpronews-comIn the aftermath of the controversial New York Times article – The Cold, Hard Lessons of Mobile Home U by Gary Rivlin – has many MH Industry professionals reacting.

Read more…


• Let's Be Positive!

by L. A. 'Tony' Kovach

tony-kovach-Let's all put actions to our words! When we say, “let's be positive,” the vast majority of what MHProNews has published from our beginning in October 2009 has been positive, solution oriented stories and videos.

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with…Chet Murphree



1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Deer Valley Homebuilders).

Chet Murphree, Vice President, General Manager, Deer Valley Homebuilders, Inc..

Read more…




• Strategic Thinking Myths

by Tim Connor


I am frequently amazed at how many intelligent, talented and well meaning executives and business owners often have blinders on that prevents them from accurately seeing their organization for what it really is.

Read more…




• Three Takes on Tunica 2014!

by Maria Horton, Tammy Fonk and L. A. 'Tony' Kovach


After returning home to a swarm of earthquakes in Southern California, I must admit that the rain, thunder and lightning that visited the Mississippi south of Memphis during our 2014 Tunica Show were not quite so overwhelming!

Read more…


• Get Your Business To The Top Of Google… …Guaranteed (!?) 

by Joe Karns


I know what you're thinking.  This sounds too good to be true, right?  Must be a scam, right?  Actually, it's not.  What business wouldn't want to appear at or near the top of Google search results every time?

Read more…


• Your Business Image Matters, and Technology can Help! 

by Brad Nelms

brad-nelms-manufacturedhomes-com-posted-mhpronews-com-50x50Professionalism is an important element for success in any business, including all elements of manufactured housing (MH).  If you doubt that, imagine an hypothetical MH community (MHC) owner up north who never mows their lawns and doesn't require their residents to do it either.

Read more…





• Self-accountability – The Single most Important Trait Necessary for Enduring Success

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-50There are many traits that when embraced can contribute to enduring success. At last count when it comes to success, I found over; 2500 books, 3 million articles on the internet, 500,000 seminars of various kinds and 250,000 personal/career success coaches who proclaim they can guide your journey towards your dreams, desires and goals. That’s a lot of resources folks.

Read more…


ZigOn Handling Critics

by Zig Ziglar


I'm comfortable in saying that anyone who has ever done anything of significance has been, at one time or another, unfairly criticized by those who believe they deserve a reward for finding fault.

Read more…




• Gauging the Customer’s Intent

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-50Intent and intention seems to be a hot topic these days. Wayne Dyer has a book on the power of intention, Brian Klemmer has a book on intent and I am sure there are more out there that I haven’t read yet.

Read more…


• Be The One and Only in Your Market

by Scott Stroud

scott-stroud-mhpronews-comOne of the Top 5 Questions you as manufactured or modular home pros should be asking yourself now is: Why should your potential customers – buyers, renters, tenants, whatever – choose to do business with you rather than your competitor?

Read more…



(Image Credits: Chess Sets and battle scene, Wikicommons, all others, MHProNews)

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

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CuBes and Angles

July 24th, 2013 No comments

I had to smile to myself about an incident from a few months ago. I'd started a discussion on LinkedIn about re-branding single section homes “The CuBe Home,” a name that Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC has the copyright. Some where poking fun at the re-branding concept, others clearly got it. The reason for the quiet smile we can now begin to reveal, because this wasn't just a theory, we'd already tested this with positive results.


Please see the article, What's in a Name? The Cube Home! – and the video! – at the link shown. Noting that dozens of these models were sold – at hefty prices for a single sectional – during the worst housing decline since WWII also ought to be noted. Thousands viewed the video.

Your private or public feedback is appreciated on The Cube Home and rebranding concept.

While you are at ManufacturedHomeLivingNews, check out the other new articles, featured homes and so much more. The site is growing in size and popularity. Please join the growing numbers of those who link it as a resource for home shoppers or provide an RSS feed to it or are sharing it with family, friends and others. For more, see the 300,000 Shipments article.

The Angles

GSE reform. Consumer Groups. HR 1779 and Nathan Smith's leadership/efforts. Tim Williams. A cadre of key pros have shared insights, tips and whispers that I'd like to allude to for the next few moments.

For those who have called, emailed or otherwise messaged their concerns about the progress of our legislative and regulatory industry efforts in DC, take heart! Let me admit, I was getting a bit nervous myself, until I reached out to these key pros for insights. We have work to do, but progress is ongoing.

First, on the regulatory side, there is promising news on the LO comp rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This is significant, and we will ask one of the resident experts to do a column for us on this topic in the days ahead. For now, let's say this looks like a significant win for the MHIndustry in projecting financing.

On the legislative side, I can't say much because key meetings are looming in DC just over the horizon. Among the comments shared with me privately has been strong praise of Nathan Smith's “stalwart leadership” in moving items ahead, hand in glove with other leaders like Tim Williams, see his exclusive interview with us linked here.

It would be great to drop a bunch of names and details here, but I was given a reminder from a seasoned veteran of DC, who told me Monday that sometimes it is better to keep things quiet and advancing than to make a lot of noise, and suddenly pick up dissent, distractions or worse.

Let's summarize this by saying the angles in DC and at the grass roots are being worked. Please do your part by:

  • Calling your House Rep. OR faxing, emailing or writing them to ask for their support for HR 1779.
  • Having your associates, family and friends call too. IF you are a manager or owner, why not have your staff and contractors reach out? The more, the merrier.
  • Check in with your association and see how you can be a part of the solution.

Louisville Show Site Update Coming!

We are very pleased to say that besides having us continue the show promotion and other related activities for 2014, that Show Ways Unlimited and the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation have asked us to update the Louisville Show website for the 2014 show.

Look for that website update in the coming weeks, you can count on an announcement.

Thanks to the momentum built up over the past three years of growth at the Show, IF you are a business looking to do B2B, please check in soon with Dennis Hill for the initial info found here, because booth space and home space are going fast.

Parting is Sweet Sorrow…

rob-coldren-hkc-law-posted-manufactured-housing-professional-news-masthead-blog-.jpgBeing a fan of fabled play-write William Shakespeare, I have to borrow his 'parting is such sweet sorrow' line. Our friend, Rob Coldren of HK&C Law fame announced his retirement a few weeks ago. I had mixed feelings about this, because Rob is an amazing wit besides a talented gent! At the same time, he's earned this 'retirement,' which will not completely remove him from our industry's big fraternity. So we will wish him 'all the Best!'

HK&C has a strong cadre of legal talent, as members at the WMA and beyond can attest, so the industry's communities still have that fine firm to look to for specialized$100s-posted-manufactured-home-pro-news-mhpronews-com-.png

In the current Regulatory Environment, Is Captive Finance Still Viable?

For those manufactured home communities or select retailers that engage in captive finance operations, we plan an article or post soon that asks the challenging question: Is Captive Finance Still Viable for manufactured housing?

Some may not like what they read…

…but this won't be my opinion. We've gathered input from various experts on this timely topic, and are open to more from readers and industry pros.

Please watch for it, as it is one of the angles that savvy pros need to consider carefully. If you have a comment you'd like to share on the topic of is captive finance still viable in this regulatory environment, please send it to Let me know if you want your comments to be anonymous or public when you email your thoughts, with my thanks.

Let's catch up this weekend here, until then, please sell some more of your products and services! ##

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

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Manufactured Housing: Phoenix arising or Endangered Species?

April 3rd, 2011 No comments

Seven topics this week, one that is pure fun, others more serious, so let’s dive right in.

1. Manufactured Housing: Endangered Species or Phoenix Rising?

If you listen to the likes of consultant Chuck Shinn or academic Dr. David Funk, you would think Manufactured Housing is poised for a potentially bright future.  In fact, as one manufacturing source said in Tunica this past week, “The future is so bright, we need shades.”  On the other hand, there are those who see reports like the IBIS study we reported last week in our Daily Business News blog that puts the manufactured home ‘dealer’ (retailer) on the endangered species list.  Which is it?

We will have a compelling article next week by Paul Bradley, one of our Featured Writers, who will tackle part of this subject of the IBIS study.  Other new April Issue Featured Articles will deal with elements of this subject as well.

Sherry Norris and Doris Hydrick, ALAMHA, at the 2011 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show


2. The early numbers are in from the 2011 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.  Some 1083 attendees joined hundreds of exhibitors for the largest indoor/outdoor event of its kind.

The attendees came from Retailers, Builder/Developers, Community Owner/Managers, Installers and other vendors/suppliers representing 444 companies.  When you include exhibitors, the Industry total at Tunica Show would be 2001 manufactured housing professionals representing 638 companies!


This Champion Home Builders model featured a 2nd living area. Fireplaces with flat screen TVs were another popular item this year at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. Other trends include larger kitchens, use of columns and other architectural features.


This Sunshine Homes model also boasts a large island, deluxe side-by-side stainless steel refrigerator, tape and textured walls and designer colors.


Sources from factories gave us a range of results from so-so at the Show to very encouraged by the orders taken and expected.  The mood of attendees was often upbeat.  I personally met with individuals with 40-50+ years experience, such as retailer and manufactured home community owner Dick Moore – who just keeps on truckin’ – to newcomers to our Industry.  I spoke with individuals from both coasts, border states on the North and South and many states in between!  We will have more post-Tunica Show info in the days ahead, including photos and videos.

James McGee Franklin Homes

Hats off to Dennis Hill and the South Central Manufactured Housing Show Committee for a well attended event.


Dennis Hill, Michele Middleton and Anne Arnold from Show Ways Unlimited in a Wilkins Mobile Builders office model on display at the 2011 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show

3. MHARR and MHI members and leaders were present in Tunica.  We will watch for news and views from them, and of course we will keep you posted.


Michele Middleton and Anne Arnold from Show Ways Unlimited in a Wilkins Mobile Builders office displayed at the 2011 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show


4. The Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association (PMHA) will be having their HOMExpo 2011 at the York Center in York PA.  This promises to be the largest event of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic and North Eastern states.

5. Speaking of events during this busy Show season, The Super Symposium held in Albany, New York unofficially had 148 attended and 3 model homes with a number of exhibitors and well received speakers.  This was a land lease community oriented function, but other industry segments were represented as well.  Sources at the event touted Nancy Greer and her colleagues’ work in pulling off this well received meeting.  More on this event in the days ahead.


Tony Kovach and Don Miner’s Tony Kovach and Paula Deen


6. The news from Oklahoma is that they expect the best attendance and record numbers of exhibitors for the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show at the QuikTrip Center in Tulsa.  This is billed as the world’s largest indoor manufactured home show in the United States.  Early registration and attendance patterns at Louisville and Tunica suggest this could be a very popular event.  Doug Gorman, Deanna Fields and Don Miner all call the Public Days of GSWHS ‘the home show with homes in it.’  The Public Days website is live and can be seen at: or


Big walk-in closets were another trend this year at the 2011 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, as seen in this Montana model master walk-in closet.


7. There will be some tweaks to our format next week with our new April Featured Articles, too.  Your feedback, as always, is welcome and appreciated as we do this all for Factory Built Home Industry professionals like you.  Download or read our current articles now that you enjoyed, want to share or haven’t had the chance to benefit from yet.

What is clear so far from the Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows is that attendance tends to attract much larger numbers than other association sponsored events.  The strong attendance at Louisville and even larger numbers at Tunica provide good reasons for optimism for similar results for the PMHA’s 2011 HOMExpo in York PA and the MHAO’s 2011 Great Southwest Home Show in Tulsa OK.  We will have more Tunica Show wrap up information and photos soon, so stay tuned.

We started this blog post with the question, is manufactured housing a Phoenix rising out of the ashes?  Or is it an endangered species?  The answer, my friends and colleagues, is in your hands and mine.  Please see the INspirations Blog post today for additional insights.

We are scheduled to present in Tulsa and Vegas in the last week of April, we hope that you will pick the event that fits your needs the best, and attend.  These are great opportunities to not only see the latest in new homes, products and services, but also to network and learn how to grow your business in these challenging times.  Please feel free to stop in and say hello at our booth. # #

Measuring the 2011 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show’s Success

January 16th, 2011 3 comments

Louisville Manufactured Housing Show 2011Snow at various airports and roadways did not keep 970 attendees from coming to the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show this past Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  In fact, at least two more people reportedly arrived after the registration booth had closed Friday, there specifically to see homes.  Reports indicated that factories wrote orders; exhibitors and attendees were generally upbeat.  For a show that was deemed ‘forever dead’ last year, the historic Louisville show made history again by proving that it was very much alive and well.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, Ken Rishel and George Allen the Manufactured Housing Publishers Consortium. Each is independent, but dedicated to serving the Interests of the factory built housing industry.

Months before the Show, Dennis Hill shared with me that if 850-900 attendees arrived, it would be a good show.  Dennis was very realistic by stating to me or others that “we have to crawl, walk and then run” as far as show size and other measures for success are concerned.  That said, clearly the show was a success in many ways.

For those who have been involved in putting on a major event, it is not easy to capture the myriad of details that go into producing a show such as Louisville.  Signing up and organizing the exhibitors, manufacturers, the show space, hotels, staffing, logistics, insurance and promotion; the list goes on and on!  Naturally every exhibitor expends time and money; there is a collective effort.  That is part of the amazing dynamic of a show.  Each of those exhibitors requires numerous details.  Speakers and presenters all have their own preparations; and all of that had to be coordinated with show staff, too.  I share this to underscore the tremendous effort and skill that Dennis Hill, his delightful Showways Unlimited staff, Ron Thomas Sr. and the entire MMHF leadership and show committee has to do in order to have this fine an event.

Bob Stovall, L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, Don Westphal, Ken Rishel, George Allen

l to r, Bob Stovall, L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, Don Westphal, Ken Rishel and George Allen all presented programs at the 2011 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

Against that backdrop, hats off! Let’s give Dennis Hill, Show Ways, Ron Thomas Sr. and the MMHF and Louisville Show committee their just recognition!  Fantastic effort, and as this and other reports yet to come here will reveal, the big effort was well worth it!

Eddie Hicks and L.A. 'Tony' Kovach

Eddie Hicks and L.A. 'Tony' Kovach. Eddie presented his FHA 207m program off-site at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

So as our attention will start to shift to other events on the calendar, including the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show in Tulsa, stay tuned here for dozens of photos, numerous videos and written reports on the wrap up for Louisville!

On a personal yet professional note, I would like to thank my associates here at for all their fine work before, during and after the show.  Those who kept the day-to-day at going with our podcasts, Daily Business News and other work, as well as those who joined me at Louisville.  Team work is what makes good things happen.  Team work made Louisville a success; it will be the key to other industry efforts yet to come, too.

Please stay tuned for those upcoming photos, videos and reports on the Louisville Show.

We will also give you the inside scoop of the World’s Largest Indoor Manufactured Housing Show, coming to you April 28-29 (Trade Days) to May 1 (Public Days) 2011.  All found in America’s heartland, Tulsa OK!

We hope to see you soon, ‘Living on Tulsa Time’!