Boston Globe Editorial on Manufactured and Modular Homes Solving Affordable Housing Crisis, Revisited

June 11th, 2016 No comments

In a Boston Globe  Editorial dated June 1, 2014, one of the nation’s largest newspapers’ digital edition carried the following article, which advocated for manufactured and modular housing to be used in their city.

We’ll share the entire column, under fair use guidelines, and then comment at the end.

Their headline and article (from their page linked here) is found below, between the — dashed lines.

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THE TERM “manufactured housing” tends to invoke a 65-by-12-foot mobile home plopped down in a trailer park. But the industry has evolved to the point that many housing units assembled in factories are indistinguishable in looks and quality from homes built on site. Multi-family, modular homes built to federal safety standards would look especially good in Boston neighborhoods where middle income people are increasingly priced out of the market. The modular building industry cites cost savings of 10 to 20 percent as compared to conventionally built homes. Those savings would open a lot of doors.

Last week, Mayor Walsh vowed to come up with a comprehensive plan to address the city’s chronic lack of middle-income housing. Many officials consider this housing problem to be biggest single threat to Massachusetts’ economy. At a time when manufacturing businesses are growing again, and even pillars of the knowledge economy require livable options for their back-office workers and support staff, the Boston area is almost totally unaffordable to the middle class. Subsidized-housing programs can only do so much. Walsh needs to look at market-driven solutions. A new zoning initiative to identify key spots in Boston neighborhoods for multi-unit developments would be a good start. But in seeking to drive down construction costs, manufactured housing must be encouraged, as well.

Traditionally, the building trades — which were formerly headed by Walsh himself — have pushed hard for so-called stick-built construction over less-expensive manufacturing techniques. Construction workers may well resent the sight of entire walls with doors and windows intact arriving in Allston, Hyde Park, Dorchester, or other Boston neighborhoods on flatbed trucks from out-of-state factories. But there is room for a workable compromise, and Walsh is in a good position to negotiate it: Manufactured homes could be built in Massachusetts factories with unionized labor. Then, as more area communities take advantage of the economies of scale, construction prices would drop even further. The need for new mid-priced units is vast throughout eastern Massachusetts; in the city of Boston itself, some 30,000 of them need to be produced over the next decade just to meet existing demands.

The Walsh administration, like the Menino administration before it, rightly worries that Boston is becoming a bifurcated city where the very rich live in market housing and the very poor live in subsidized units. And once that happens, much of the city’s character goes out the window. The South End, Charlestown, Back Bay, Fenway, and other northern sections of the city are considered beyond reach for families who are not prepared to spend at least $3,500 in rent. In downtown Boston, according to a recent analysis, a family earning $80,000 annually could afford just 1.7 percent of the homes sold.

The price of new housing can be reduced in two ways: By streamlining the approval process and reducing the cost of construction. A concerted effort to rezone Boston’s neighborhoods would ensure that local opposition to multi-unit developments would be resolved before the projects are actually on the table, greatly reducing delays and giving developers and the banks who finance them far greater certainty.

For their part, developers will have to utilize less-expensive construction techniques. Mid-rise construction, for example, is being used increasingly to alleviate housing shortages in cities with high housing costs. The new model calls for the construction of wood-frame, code-compliant buildings of up to five stories on a base of steel and concrete. Choosing wood over steel as the major structural material can represent savings of 10 percent or more in hard costs and significantly reduce construction times, according to industry analysts. And the framing technique is sufficiently versatile to allow for the construction of dozens of housing units on modestly sized sites.

In the early 20th century, triple deckers became the symbol of Boston’s striving middle class. The construction style maximized living space on small, rectangular lots. In the early 21st century, the new symbol of middle class housing could be modular homes or reasonably-priced condos and apartments built in wood-frame structures above retail outlets. It would help preserve middle-class life and keep Boston one of the nation’s most vibrant cities. ##

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I can’t get too deeply into Boston’s politics, the Globe’s editors will have a superior experience in their city than what I might offer, beyond saying that what they describe is rather common in many major U.S. cities. Union labor in often Democratically controlled cities chocking off the prefab/modular/manufactured home options are one reason why housing costs are so high.

But the Globe suggested a solution for that issue.

Land use – zoning related issues – are another factor that drives up housing costs.

While striving to navigate their own realities, the Boston Globe’s editors nailed a number of facts that ought to be carefully considered on this, the 40th anniversary of the birth of federally regulated manufactured housing.

As factory-built home industry pros know, today’s manufactured homes evolved from – but are not – the mobile homes of yesteryear.

Yet as the Globe’s editor’s wisely noted, many think of factory building in terms of those older trailers from roughly the 1930s to the 1950s, and the mobile homes from the 1950s to the mid 1970s. The video below illustrates that evolution, and the original article with that video is found linked here.

Others may have experienced only entry level manufactured housing, which while important to millions, ought to be understood as just one of the ways manufactured homes can be provided to the public, since residential style manufactured homes can rival the looks and quality of conventional housing for about half the price.

The Solution is Hiding in Plain Sight

In cities, suburbs and towns across America, there is a growing need for quality affordable living. Federally regulated and preemptive manufactured housing is an obvious solution for millions, and somewhat more costly modulars could work well in other municipal settings.

The false impressions about those off-site building construction options can be cleared up in part by sharing videos and stories, like those linked on this page and so many others that are found on MHLivingNews.com.

One example of an informed household – an engineer and his professional wife – who opted to buy a manufactured home – illustrates that the trailers of old have evolved, just as bag phones evolved into modern smart phones. See that video linked from the image below.

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Jerry McKibben is an engineer; he and his professional wife decided to buy a residential style manufactured home. That video interview can be seen at this link here, or by clicking the image above.

But other steps need to compliment videos. Factory tours along with tours through residential style neighborhoods that look like other houses but are built in a factory, all of those steps should be part of the process of making manufactured homes the acceptable and embraced choice by home seekers and public officials alike.

Until manufactured housing professionals – in concert with the public officials, housing professionals, forward thinking MH industry leaders and a public that needs to be exposed to the wonders of today’s manufactured housing – pull together and act, tens of billions in economic opportunity are being lost every year.

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Those opportunities would create good jobs, as the Boston Globe correctly points out. It could reduce the pressures on subsidized housing programs too.

Embracing the manufactured and modular home systems of building can restore the American Dream of home ownership that is appealing, eco-friendly and affordable. May the Boston Globe’s thoughtful column cause others across the nation to give this issue some serious thought that leads to action that yields mutual victories for all involved. ##

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Tony Kovach is nation’s leading publisher, consultant, trainer and expert witness leading to the rebirth of safe, appealing, affordable and eco-friendly modern manufactured homes.  Tony is a proud part of the team that publishes MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com, divisions of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.

 

Donald Trump Campaign Features MHProNews Soheyla Kovach Article + More MH News Hits Media

May 23rd, 2016 No comments

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It, the Trump presidential campaign website has featured an MHProNews  article by Soheyla Kovach, click the screen capture below to see it.

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MHProNews publishers L. A. “Tony” and Soheyla Kovach have publicly supported Donald Trump for president, who in our view is the best candidate overall in the race and as the one most likely to take actions benefitial to MH home owners, potential home buyers and business professionals – as well as the nation at large. Our editorial position may or may not represent the views of any given sponsor, so it should be understood that this is our personal position.  Other well reasoned viewpoints are welcome.

Watch for another article by Soheyla in the June issue of MHProNews.com next week.

Supporting the MH Regulatory Fairness Agenda in DC and beyond

MHProNews.com recently produced a new video, and we promoted it with various media outlets. Google News picked it up, as did the outlets shown below, under the title:

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Still from the video at the page linked here, with all credits shown at the end of the video, linked here.

Richard Cordray Rebuffs Senator Who Questions CFPB Finance Rules

Among the news media and special interests websites that picked it up are:

  • 740 KVOR
  • Adventuresindevelopment.com
  • Alamogordo Daily News
  • American Public Media
  • Americanbankingnews.com

 

  • Anchorage Daily News
  • Ask
  • AZ Central
  • Belleville News Democrat
  • Benton Courier

 

  • Big Spring Herald
  • Biospace
  • Birdherd.com
  • Blapper.com
  • Blogroll Center
  • Bradenton Herald

 

  • Carlsbad Current-Argus
  • CBS 47
  • Centre Daily Times
  • CEO World News
  • Collegeeducationcost.com

 

  • Contra Costa Times
  • Daily Herald
  • Daily Times Leader
  • DailyBulletin.com
  • Damselsinsuccess.com

 

  • Decatur Daily Democrat
  • Deseret News
  • Digital Media Wire
  • El Nuevo Herald
  • El Paso Times

 

  • eMoney Daily
  • eZanga
  • Familyfunideacenter.com
  • Farmington Daily Times
  • Fat Pitch Financials

 

  • Financialadvicezone.com
  • Fox 16
  • Fox 23
  • HeraldNet Everett, Washington
  • Homeandparenting.com

 

  • Hope4homebuyers.org
  • HousingWire
  • HPC Wire
  • Hydro Review
  • Idaho Statesman

 

  • Industrial Info
  • Inside Bay Area
  • International Business Times
  • InvestorPlace
  • Inyo Register

 

  • Kane Republican
  • Kansas City Star
  • Kaplanattorneys.com
  • KARN News Radio 102.9 FM / 920 AM Little Rock, Arkansas
  • LA Daily News

 

  • Las Cruces Sun-News
  • Legaladder.com
  • Leowellsblog.com
  • Lexington Herald-Leader
  • Link My Stock

 

  • Livingjoy.net
  • Macon Telegraph
  • Malvern Daily Record
  • Mammoth Times
  • Market Intelligence Center

 

  • Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
  • Minster Community Post
  • Minyanville
  • Money Show.com
  • MyMotherLode.com

 

  • myMotherLode.com California Gold Country
  • Nanotechnews.com
  • NewsChannel 9/ WSYR
  • Newsline365.com
  • NewsOK

 

  • Observer News Enterprise
  • Onlinecontinuingeducationcourses.net
  • Pasadena Star-News
  • Peertopeerlending.co
  • Personalfinancebrief.com

 

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Poteau Daily News
  • Press Enterprise
  • Press-Telegram
  • Redlands Daily Facts

 

  • Reesespiecesofrealestate.com
  • Renewable Energy World
  • Ridgway Record
  • Rockford Register Star
  • Ruidoso News

 

  • Salt Lake City Tribune
  • San Bernardino County Sun
  • San Gabriel Valley Tribune
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • SanAnselmo.com

 

  • Santa Cruz Sentinel
  • Savingstoolbox.com
  • Schoolgrantssources.com
  • Securities Technology Monitor
  • Sidez.net

 

  • SIFMA
  • Sign On San Diego
  • SiliconValley.com
  • Smartstocks.com
  • Star Telegram

 

  • Star Tribune
  • Starkville Daily News
  • Stocknod
  • StreetInsider
  • Sun Herald

 

  • Sweetwater Reporter
  • The Antlers American
  • The Bellingham Herald
  • The Boston Globe
  • The Buffalo News

 

  • The Cincinnati Enquirer
  • The Columbus Ledger Enquirer
  • The Daily Breeze
  • The Daily Press
  • The Evening Leader

 

  • The Island Packet
  • The MiamiHerald
  • The Morning News
  • The Network Journal
  • The News & Observer

 

  • The News Tribune
  • The Olympian
  • The Pilot News
  • The Post and Mail
  • The Punxsutawney Spirit

 

  • The Sacramento Bee
  • The San Luis Obispo Tribune
  • The State
  • The Sun News
  • Thecarefreetraveller.com

 

  • TransWorldNews
  • Travel Weekly
  • Valley City Times-Record
  • Value Investing News
  • WallStreetSelect

 

  • Wapakoneta Daily News
  • Weddingdresscity.com
  • Whittier Daily News
  • Wichita Eagle
  • Wiinnebago.com

 

  • Wire Service.Co
  • WIVT/WBGH NewsChannel 34
  • WND

 

  • WooEB
  • World Net Daily
  • WRAL

If you go to a Google search and take the headline “Richard Cordray Rebuffs Senator Who Questions CFPB Finance Rules” in quotes then using a plus + sign, place in quotes any media site shown above, the search result should give you a link to the page that has our pro-MH story on this topic.  Here is one example, linked here.

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Take Simple Steps to Grow. Getting positive, pro-MH items into the news, using good video and professional best practices can each have a tremendous ROI. Having the right – or wrong – public policy will clearly impact sales too.

Short, Medium and Long Term Strategies/Actions for Long-Term Sustainable Growth

Manufactured housing collectively has all-too-often played to the immediate for far too long. There is a serious need to create a steady drip, drip, drip of pro-industry news that is accurate as well as compelling.

We aren’t just preaching this, we are practicing it and have for many years. In the last year, we’ve done a number of out reaches to mainstream media, like the one above. These are typically done in tandem with local or regional businesses, who get favorable exposure in exchange for supporting our media engagement efforts.

Let’s be clear and state the obvious to make a point. All media requires sponsors. So directly or indirectly, any media story takes place only because some persons or operations have made it possible.

Taking out The “Trailer Trash” Talk

MHProNews and MHLivingNews does similarly to other media, yet in a different way. When your firm or others work with and supports our pro-Industry educational and image building efforts, we in turn support those good operations specifically as well as the industry at large.

Together, with a growing number of forward thinking firms, we are seeing MH sales rise. The MH lifestyle is being lifted up instead of demeaned. The manufactured home owners we feature in video interviews clearly blow away the deeply flawed and unjust image of ‘trailer trash.’

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Still from the video, linked here.

 

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Jerry McKibben is an engineer; he and his wife Karen who worked for years in customer service, decided to buy a residential style manufactured home. That video will be posted soon on MHLivingNews, and will be linked up here once posted.  Videos like these help change the stereotypes about manufactured home buyers and living.

Short, medium and long range planning and execution is absolutely necessary for our industry to reach its potential. Working with forward thinkers – perhaps like you and your operation? – we are driving home the stories that benefit manufactured housing. We are taking the short, medium and long term look at public policy too. By improving public policy towards MH and improving our image with the public at large, the certain outcome will be more satisfied home buyers, and bnefits for those who serve them well.  That’s the story, and we’re sticking with it. ##

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Soheyla Kovach, Left. Tamas (pronounced Tah Mash) center, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach, right. Photo credit 83 DegreesMedia and Julie Branaman.

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

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Kovach is the publisher of www.MHLivingNews.com
and www.MHProNews.com.

Video, Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training,

Consulting, Speaking. 

www.MHC-MD.com | www.LATonyKovach.com

Office Ph: 863-213-4090 |

 

Profitable, Bottom Line Change for Manufactured Housing Pros

May 18th, 2016 No comments

Change is a constant in life. For the sales professional, management or owners doing what yields the best bottom line results is attractive.

When industry MH and MHC leaders recently talked about attracting more of the site-built market to consider manufactured homes, they were stating the obvious need for manufactured housing to grow from its currently low levels. 

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The latest unsolicited recommendation via Linkedin – Tony has been given  100s of unrequested endoresements for he and his team’s pro-MH growth work.  FYI – Tony stresses that all such success is always a matter of team work – and his team and sponsors do so much to make this work possible.             >>> Our thanks to Mary, and to all the association execs and staff who work hard to advance MH for their members.

Most are happy that MH is growing 8 percent a year average for the last six years, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what MH could be doing.

One big difference between now and the glory days of the roaring 1990s is that manufacturers, retailers and some communities provided sales training for their management and staffs. 

Sure, there was looser credit back then, but when the easy financing dried up, MH sales training was pulled, crashed and so did sales results. 

Loose credit turned out to be a disaster. The answer to growing sales for manufactured housing is obvious. You and you operation have to learn toattract and engage and sell ever-more credit qualified and cash customers.

The video on this page provides a living example of how the right kind of training can yield profitable, bottom line results. ##

Editor’s Note:  To learn more about Tuesdays with Tony, please click here. ###

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

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

 Video, Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: 
www.MHC-MD.com |www.LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

Publisher of
www.MHLivingNews.com
www.MHProNews.com

 

 

Managing MH Change – ADKAR – Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement

May 11th, 2016 No comments

One of the best seminar topics in the recent 2016 MHI Congress and Expo in Las Vegas was presented by a panel from CU Factory Built Lending. They explained how as a division of San Antonio Credit Union (SACU), CUFBL had their managers go through the same change management training that they were now sharing with attendees at the breakout session held in the Caesar’s Palace Conference Center.

What made this particularly interesting was the fact that when we approach coaching a new client in manufactured home sales, without using the same terminology, we were applying many similar concepts.

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ADKAR is short for:

  • Awareness,
  • Desire,
  • Knowledge,
  • Ability and
  • Reinforcement

For example, those who have been through part one of Tuesday’s with Tony  know that we invest time in grounding what’s presented by first establishing awareness and then fueling the desire to embrace the ideal or change being showcased.

Without the desire to change, its mighty hard to make successful change a reality. So I asked the presenters this question: what do they think has to happen when someone is unwilling to make the changes requested?

Their reply was candid and spot on. If someone doesn’t buy in, then they may not be a good fit for the team.

That’s often one of the hardest things for an owner or manager to accept. What do you do when a team mate doesn’t buy in?

Before you begin, leadership must accept the fact that change can’t be an option left up to each individual team mate. That would result in leadership and management chaos.

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CU Factory Built Lending panel, sharing a powerfully insigbhtful session on change management, using the ADKAR method. Rachel Young, John Walters and Barry Noffsinger – at right – speaking. As an FYI – A Cup of Coffee with…Barry Noffsinger, is linked here.

I’ve invited John Walters, Barry Noffsinger and Rachel Young to share an upcoming article with their power point – because managing change is a key to advancing manufactured housing success at your location, company, in your market(s) and in the industry. Stay tuned for their article! ##

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

Tony is perhaps the most widely known and respected MH marketing and sales trainer in the U.S..

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

 

 

Justification by Comparisons!

April 12th, 2016 No comments

Often people want to buy or do whatever it is they are thinking about or considering. Studies reflect the fact that many, perhaps the majority, of customers who come to your sales canter or MH Community are ‘half way there.’ They may not need much to make the purchasing decision.

This is where the right use of comparisons can help. One method is to break the desired item down to a very basic level.

Example

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True story. My wife is planning our next home. She loves a good kitchen. She is tight with a dollar. As with all of us, she will spend whatever if the scales tip in its favor. What is often needed is a justification by comparison.

My wife and son were at the library the other day, and the library was selling old books and magazines. One of the magazine’s caught her eye, it was a book-sized photo issue about dream kitchen designs. It was also 12 years old. Some designs are timeless, others jump in and out of style. She asked the man, at the counter, how much for the magazine?

Glancing at the cover, he then looked at her and replied. “50c, a penny a dream.”

Of course she bought it.

There are numerous takeaways from this little encounter. One, we all need dreams and goals. It can be useful to have a visual aid to keep that dream fueled for us, as a motivator.

Another lessons is to help someone on the fence justify a decision. Give them a reason that makes sense, from their perspective.

Programming Note

We will have a new video about MH marketing and sales training, set for later this month.  It’s pros in the industry like you, sharing powerful insights on attracting more qualified buyers and selling more homes.  This will be from those who have been part of the Tuesday’s With Tony Training.

Want to sell more homes? Please watch for it. This has been a highly rated webinars, and those ten out of a bests possible 10 ratings come from MH pros like you.

To see what others say about business development programs like these, please click here.  You don’t go higher in a company than its president. ##

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Near capacity crowd gave two thumbs way up for the live presentation on MH Marketing and Sales at the 2016 Tunica MH Show.  To see the 2016 Tunica Show Recap Video, click here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

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