A Key to MH Recovery? Protecting Used Home Resale Values!

September 4th, 2015 No comments

Imagine this.  A retired couple with plenty of resources, they want to downsize and are considering a manufactured home in a nice land lease community. They go to look. They like the property and location. They find a number of used MHs there for sale. Even if they like what they see in the MHC, excess inventory for resale may trouble them.  They are also finding bargain prices on existing homes, and that might nag the mind of the savvy shopper too.


Golden agers are smart, and make up nearly 50% of MH home owners, and reports indicate they have about 2/3rds of all the assets in the U.S.. They’ve been around the block, and thus know which way is up. Photo credit – Medical Center Arlington .

In conventional real estate, when existing home prices are closer to new home prices, that’s generally a good thing for home owners and lenders alike.


Smart Buyers Want Values Protected, so do Smart Lenders

This won’t be my first (or last?) time to point out the utter necessity for protecting and promoting a vigorous resale market thatrising-home-production-shutterstock-mhpronews-com in turns keeps used home values high.  A prime reason for our support of HR 650/S 682 is precisely because it protects the values of home owners!  Their success is our industry’s success.

Look at conventional real estate.  One reason people are willing to step up to a new site built house is because they have good equity in an existing conventional home.  While that happens in MH, it has to happen more for the health and security of our home owners, lenders and our new home industry too.

Not Theory, Facts

Interesting timing, as an industry colleague from 25 years ago called today as I was writing this post. He was recalling how the finance operation he worked for and my retail center at the time proved this business model of supporting good resale values.  We sold pre-owned homes for more than anyone in that market. That was good for used and new home business alike

Finance and good remarketing – at higher prices, not cheap give-away prices! – was a model we demonstrated. So 25 years later, why are we still talking, instead of seeing more in MH doing what has worked in conventional real estate for decades?

As you consider changes to your marketing and sales plan, step back.  Think how it works in real estate. The closer we get to that model, the stronger our demand for used and new homes will be. ##

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See the kind words shared by the MMHF Chairman, by clicking the photo linked above.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.


Manufactured Home Industry Survey – August 2015

August 24th, 2015 No comments

We’ll keep the introduction to this topic short and sweet, because you know what a survey is and you know how to fill one out!  Please see the questions below.  The survey can be found at this link below.

Manufactured Home Industry Survey Aug 24, 2015 ver 1.2

Then please email the survey to the following email address:



Survey says image credit = hersheyk12.instructure

The survey reads as follows.

Manufactured Home Industry Survey – August 2015

We’re conducting a survey of MH Professionals on the following topics. You can participate ‘on or off the record,’ meaning we can cite your name (on the record), OR we can take your replies, and use them but we won’t publish your name (off the record).

If you don’t know the answer to a question, or have no opinion, mark NA.

Where a typed reply is requested, there are no word limits, and illustrations (photos, graphics, etc.) are welcomed if you wish to provide them to make your point. We plan to publish results.

  1. From what you’ve seen and heard, how has the implementation of the new CFPB, HPML Appraisal Rule gone?

  1. Do you think there are some lost sales directly related to the new Appraisal Rule?

  1. Does “Bad News” events reported by the media harm manufactured housings image, and therefor new home sales? For example, do media accounts of law suits or protests about a manufactured home community, stories about tornadoes/hurricanes/high winds and other unflattering news accounts harm new MH sales? On a scale of 1 to 10; with 1 being the lowest harm, and ten being the highest harm, how would you rate the impact of negative news on MH? (Written commentary, beyond a 1 to 10 score is welcomed).

  1. Does “Good News” about Manufactured Housing, such as a new net zero or Energy Star design help new MH sales? On a scale of 1 to 10; with 1 being the lowest good, and ten being the highest good, how would you rate the impact of negative news on MH? (Written commentary, beyond a 1 to 10 score is welcomed).

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10 – with 1 a being the worst, and 10 being the highest – how would you rate the engagement of the typical manufactured home professional on industry related political issues? (Written commentary, beyond a 1 to 10 score is welcomed).


Your Name                                                                            Your Email

Your Company/Association affiliation and title

You are involved in what what areas of the MH Industry (Place an “X” on any below that apply.)

MH ‘Street Retail’ __________            MH Lender __________

MH Community(ies) __________        MH Insurance/other Financial Service _______

MH Production/Building __________ MH Consultant __________

MH Supplier/Vendor __________      MH (Other=__________________) __________

MH Association __________               Non-MH Professional __________

Thanks for participating!


Survey Says Image credit = Healing Hands Equine.

Again, the download for the Survey Word document is linked here:

Manufactured Home Industry Survey Aug 2015 ver 1.2

Send the survey into: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com  ##

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has become one of the most widely recognized professional personalities in Manufactured Housing. He is shown here presenting to a full room of MH Pros on marketing and sales.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.


The Profitable Profit – PEP and MHE

August 22nd, 2015 No comments

The first time I heard the name of the CNBC TV show, “The Profit,” I thought the name would be spelled “Prophet.”  Analogies have long been useful as a way to explain something new to others. As a believer in the Creator, any reference made to Manufactured Housing Evangelization (MHE) is meant with no disrespect to the Almighty, nor to His believers.  It’s a way of painting a quick verbal picture of fueling enthusiasm for a product/service. Apple Inc. may become the first trillion dollar company due to their form of evangelization. That requires prophets, ambassadors and true believers.


A little altitude over a home gives you a completely different perspective. A still from an upcoming ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com (aka MHLivingNews.com) featured video.

When we shoot video in the winter or early spring, people don’t stop their cars, or come out of their homes a lot to find out what’s going on. But that changes when the sun is shinning, the weather is warm and people are wondering why you are flying that video drone in their community, or shooting video with a traditional video camera.  They come out and want to talk.


New Durham Estates is a family owned MHCommunity that was developed in many phases over a period of decades. They have done forward thinking steps in operations for years, and now in marketing too.

That’s when saying, I’m with MHLivingNews.com and we are here getting video for an upcoming story we will feature on your location,” brings out the smiles, good will and excitement.  People tell you how much they love their manufactured home. Residents tell you how much they love their community.  Depending on the circumstances, we’ve been known to mic someone up right there on the spot, and do a quick interview.


Once you hear voices behind you, it makes sense to turn the drone around and catch the people who are gathering to watch.  If you look closely, near the porch on the home at the far right, there are people standing, watching and talking.

Note you can shoot your own video, but then you completely lose that third party “news” impact we get by being who we are, MHLivingNews.com.

That’s similar to those who hear the word from another believer.  There can be value, but when another MH Ambassador or an MH Prophet stands and speaks, the reaction of people is often much more compelling.

During this recent trip, we had occasion to bump into some souls who are MH owners we’ve interviewed before.  They treat us with respect and with the warmth normally accorded to long lost friends.

There are many other reasons to have us do video with and for you.  Example. The revenue we generate from our project work allows us to do the harder news stories, including video, that helps Protect, Educate and Promote (PEP) the Manufactured Housing industry. While some in association work may not always see that complementary benefits that we bring to the table, a number of others do…and working together, we embrace the team work that moves the ball down the field.


Let me tip the hat to the forward thinkers at New Durham Estates. They use insulated skirting on their new model homes. They put nice porches and decks on their homes. They order many with upgrades, such as finished sheetrock and upgraded cabinetry. Plus, they have good background checks and do the guidelines for living in a nice way. Is it any wonder that when people buy a home there, that they end up happy?

Don’t think (just yet $) about what would happen to industry business growth if many or most of the 20 to 22 million Manufactured Homeowners became MH Evangelists.  Rather, think about what would happen in YOUR community if many or most of YOUR residents and home owners became jazzed enough to enthusiastically preach the good word about how they love MH Living.

It can transform a business, becoming an MH Ambassador, or working with the MH Prophet creates MH Profitable growth, just as it did for Apple, then Samsung and others.  We want enthusiastic home owners!  That takes a certain vision and commitment on the part of current or would-be MH Ambassadors.


It takes quite a bit of gear to do all of the various things you see on an Inside MH Road Show video.

Engaging and supporting what others have called “The Voice of MH,” or the Profitable Prophet of MH Evangelization can transform the way MH is seen in your community.


We also shot some drone video of this neighbor’s home right after we did this model home. FYI, of course, we shot video of the interior of the home itself! One secret for enhanced success is to get more people over the threshold in to see our modern, appealing manufactured homes!

One reason social media is hot, is that most people crave attention and recognition. MHLivingNews.com offers a platform that gives someone their “15 minutes of fame.” That in turn boost the MHImage and thus sales.  Face it, those MH residents who love their homes WANT to have a positive image of their lifestyle.  They DESERVE the RESPECT that we bring them on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com through the Inside MH Road Show series of videos.

Check out the ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com website.  Spend some time there every day, have your team do so too.  You’ll soon see why the public is getting hooked, and therefor why industry pros who see it understand its value!

It starts with you, then your team and then select customers of yours.  From there, the evangelistic fervor can take you places you may have never dreamed about. We’ll show you more examples via videos on MHLivingNews.com.  You can see existing ones by going to that site right now.


Some of the dozens of pros we’ve interviewed for MHLivingNews and MHProNews.com.  We’ve interviewed dozens of manufactured home owners.  No one we’ve seen has built up a bigger public collection of Pro-MH video interviews than MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com

Then, give me a call or send me a message that describes your interests, needs and challenges. Together, Everyone Achieves More (TEAM). ##

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach at an MH Pro Marketing and Sales Educational session. You’ll see Tony at more upcoming events, try to catch one, live and in person! You’ll see why the enthusiastic applause follows.


By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.


Donald Trump, Marketing Lessons for Manufactured Housing from his Presidential Campaign

August 6th, 2015 No comments

A fascinating lesson for MH in marketing is coming from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Let’s set the stage by noting that The Donald is known for great:


The Donald has tapped into the anger and frustration of millions. He’s not only shot up fast6 in the polls, but he’s flipped his unfavorable/favorable so rapidly, the political pundits are amazed. Image Credit – Vox.

  • hotels, casinos, golf courses…real estate.
  • He’s a one man brand, with clothing, etc. that bears the Trump name.
  • He’s the author of Art of the Deal,
  • spent years on TV and his bold campaign claims have made him roughly double the polling of the current #2, Jeb Bush.

Bernie Goldberg recalled a conversation with Donald Trump to Fox New’s Bill O’Reilly. Goldberg mused, why has Mr. Trump felt the need to be making such big, bold claims over the years?  No other billionaires are doing that, suggested Goldberg.  Bill O’Reilly nailed this one when he replied, that Trump is a marketer.


Consider Donald Trump’s campaign lines like these.

  • I’ll be the greatest jobs President that God ever created.
  • I’m rich, really rich.
  • I’ll build a wall on the border and make Mexico pay for it.

He’s attracting larger crowds, and far more media coverage than others in the GOP. Photo credit – DonaldJTrump.com.

Candidate Trump has the TV talking heads…talking about him!  He gets the same or more air time then the rest of the Republican field combined.  Don’t be surprised if tonight’s televised debate has a huge audience, and the GOP should thank the Donald for the added energy he’s bringing to the race.


Do you expect his new book sales to do well? I do. Look at all the marketing elements, from his campaign website.

Mitt Romney has his wealth and success hung around his neck by Democrats like an albatross. By contrast, Trump has boldly made his wealth and success evidence he gets things done.  He says can do – or walk away from – good deals for America that will send China, Russia, OPEC or Iran into regroup mode. I’m rich, really, rich! is a sound bite proof he gets things done. It’s snot all talk, it’s all action.

This column isn’t a defense or promotion of the man or his campaign, he doesn’t need yours truly for that, he and his team does that just fine. Rather, this is a quick object lesson for how someone with strong negative polling numbers only a month ago has so dramatically flipped them into positives, that experts in politics have said they’ve never seen anything like it.


Tem Gallery featured some eye-popping manufactured homes, including those found on MHProNew’s Masthead Blog, and MHLivingNews.com, like the photo above. By being media, we can impact the market place.


Some pundits who said Mr. Trump could never survive the comments on John McCain, or about illegals “from Mexico” before that, find they are wrong. The bolder The Donald’s colors, the bigger his poll ratings, and his unfavorable/favorables reversed in a matter of only a few weeks.


The image above is from the Chicago SunTimes NewsGroup, an article in their real estate section, one of the clients we’ve worked with there. Articles like this rang their phones hundreds of times from prospects wanting to learn more about today’s manufactured homes.

For those who say his bumper sticker slogans have no policy details or substance behind them, look out!  His book with detailed positions comes out today.  Will we be surprised if it’s does well? I’d bet his book hits the New York Times, Amazon’s and other best seller lists almost overnight.

Ladies and gents, my fellow MH Pros, investors, aficionados and enthusiasts, The Donald is showing you in real time just how quickly our MH Industry’s fortunes could switch!


Another Tem Gallery screen capture of a home featured on MHLivingNews.com.

Our MH Industry has great stories to tell! We have our own ‘campaign’ we could mount.  With no apology, I’m asking you, YOU – why is it that so few others are standing up in public for MH – as we and those working with us do – to change the MH Image in your local markets??

Remember, it doesn’t have to be a huge national campaign.  All MH sales are local, just as Tip O’Neil famously noted that all politics are local. YOUR folks and ours, teaming up with the right plan, can move the needle in YOUR market.

When enough local markets have a good MH image, the industry’s national image will shine.

Improve the image, by positive market based exposure.  Don’t be afraid to take a bold position, so long as you can back it up with facts, with reality.


The Donald may be changing the political landscape in ways we can’t yet fully predict.  He’s doing it with savvy marketing strategies.

With the right plan and effort, you can do this for MH in your market too. ##

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See the kind words shared by the MMHF Chairman, by clicking the photo linked above.


By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.


MH Habit Forming!

July 29th, 2015 No comments

Perhaps you know the maxim, “First, you form your habits. Then your habits form you.”

Whatever your profession, good habit formation – meaning good work disciplines – are a key to success. So why is it that so few in MH invest in training and team development?  Why do so few see the need for ongoing training?


Training ought to be FORMAL, in the sense of a planned approach tailored to your location and team.  But for those who truly have no budget for training, let me suggest the following no cost solutions.

Business_as_Usual_Dead_End_Flckr_Creative_Commons_opensourceway posted on MHMSM.com and MHProNews.com

Business_as_Usual_Dead_End_Flckr_Creative_Commons_opensourceway posted on MHMSM.com and MHProNews.com

15minutesdaily-cuttingedgemarketingsalesmanagementblog-mhpronews-com- > Require every team member to spend no less than 15 minutes a day watching videos on MHLivingNews.com.

> After 30 days, then have them add 15 minutes a day on MHProNews.com (at that point, its 30 minutes daily total).


Monitor and at the end of at the end of every 90 days, watch the growth in understanding, improved attitudes and bottom line results.


Every good profession or business has formal training.

An HH Gregg team member told me their management calculated that their typical team member gets 300 hours a year in formal training. They’ve been growing.  See the connection?

The best option is to invest in the right marketing and training.  If you don’t have the budget to do that, do the 2 steps above and stick with it!

Ignorance costs. Knowledge pays. Form the habit, and it will form – and reward – you and your business. ##


Soheyla Kovach, Left. Tamas (pronounced Tah Mash) center, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach, right. Photo credit 83 DegreesMedia and Julie Branaman. We thank 83Degress for their kind thoughts.  See their write up, linked here.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.