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Posts Tagged ‘MHLivingNews.com’

Common Sense Will Spur Manufactured Housing In Your Market!

June 17th, 2016 No comments

Let’s state the obvious – advancing the MH industry and your place in it – Its all about good, persuasive storytelling.

This isn’t something we just preach – in collaboration with others in operations like yours – we’ve been practicing it for years.

 

 

Notice how each of these stories advances the MH industry, as well as those specific people and operations in the story?!  Notice in the story below how we correct the misguided notion that a modular builders should trash the HUD Code, or vice-versa.  Each needs to be properly respected, tell the facts well, and both will grow.

 

 

We also feature state and other associations doing good work, which helps promote the professionalism and success of our industry.  

 

 

We feature national issues that harm consumers, businesses and those associations which are working on their behalf.  Notice how this next article and video corrects so much of the errors that the Seattle Times/BuzzFeed/Center for Public Integrity and the PBS NewsHour and others have promoted?  

 

 

Some people think that mobile homes of yesteryear have to be thrown under the bus for manufactured housing to advance.  Nonsense!  What has to happen is good storytelling. Those mobile homes have for decades – and many still do – serve millions well.  Celebrating the good, while tackling real issues – that’s how MH advancement takes place.  

 

 

The next story is one that showcases how an engineer – one who owned a conventional house, and also lived for a time in a mobile home, embraced today’s residential style manufactured home.  Think that makes for a good story?  You bet!

 

 

We could go through dozens of examples like these. In every case, those featured in the report can benefit, but also the industry at large benfits.  This is how mutual victories takes place.  

 

 

Recent reports (examples, like from a manufacturer and a community we’re working with) reflect their sales growth.  We can’t divulge private info, but we can share what they have publicly, like this example here, where a happy client is urging others to do the same as they are doing – and benefiting from.  On LinkedIn, we have hundreds of endorsements, because those who apply what we do benefit and see the value.

 

 

This storytelling method isn’t instant or easy at first,it requires planning and good execution. But it is the proven path that other industries and businesses have followed for years.  

The sooner and better you do this too – hopefully in concert with us, because no one else has the same kind of MH industry promoting MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com platforms – the sooner and the better off you and your business will be.

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Thousands of mainstream media websites have picked up ‘good news’ stories about manufactured homes, modular homes, and mobile home living published on MHLivingNews.com. Of course the public will read, see and increasinly over time, be positively influenced about our MH industry.

And while clients benefit more, the industry at large benefits too. That’s what good storytelling looks like! This approach is fair!  This method is so honest, common sense and this is what mutual victories looks like! ##

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

Tony is the most widely known and respected MH marketing services, video producer and industry consultant, as well as the top MH sales trainer in the U.S.. He and his team publish MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com. He is the host of the popular Inside MH Road Show video series.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com and Inside MH video series.
MHI member, MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

A Home-Shoppers Eye View of MH vs a Professional’s Vantage Point

September 30th, 2015 No comments

Your firm wants to sell that next home. Then another. Then another. Of course. The shopper wants to get a home, but from their viewpoint, MH may not be high on their radar (or manufactured homes may not be on their radar at all).

For you to break through to the better qualified buyers out there, you have to see the world through their eyes, not your own.

We’re going to oversimplify to make some rapid points. There are exceptions to these generalities, so let’s keep in mind we mutually want to see MH Advance for the sake of all.

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Note: MHI has very similar totals to this chart which used data provided by MHARR.

When you’ve been in MH a significant length of time involving contact with retail customers or the general public, you begin to understand certain realities. In no certain order of importance:

  • Some housing shoppers genuinely want an MH

  • Some see MH as a stepping stone to a ‘real house’

  • Some see MH as the house of last resort

  • Some like what they see in MH, but they are troubled by various negative impressions (wind storms, financing, resale, etc.)

Too many MH Pros are guilty. Guilty of what, you ask?

Unwillingness to change to adapt to the opportunities all around. As a rule, those who come to MHProNews or MHLivingNews tend to be the forward thinkers, or those looking for solutions. So this is not meant as an offense to anyone, just a statement of fact.

When more MH pros become laser-focused on opening up to the many new ways to attract better qualified clients, new MH home sales levels will no longer snore. They’ll soar.

To sell more homes, one must start with twin realities.

  1. Where the consumers mind set is at, and you must be able to successfully address it, regardless.

  2. What the strengths and weaknesses about your location(s), team(s) or career.

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MHI correctly notes that over 20 years, MH has averaged some 20% of the total new housing starts in the U.S.. Sadly, that’s NOT the case for the last decade. Returning to that 20% of single family housing starts figure alone would take MH to sales levels we’ve not seen in over a decade.  See graphic, at the right below.

Based upon a SWOT analysis of your location, and given an understanding of the realities-on- the-ground at your operation, you create a plan tailored to advance your marketing and sales.

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Graphic credit, Reed Construction and MHProNews, based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

Here are the challenge, and the opportunities. With incomes down, with rents rising, with about 4 million boomers retiring a year (pretty amazing all by itself, yes?) once you learn how to open the minds of housing seekers in your market, your sales can roar.

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Unlike some trainers and marketers, Tony has owned and successfully operated a sales center that hit the top 1/2 of 1% all retail sales centers in the U.S. nationally.  Tony has also supervised MHCs and fired up sales results for them too.   These are reality based insights, not pipe dreams.  Tony’s next public trade presentation will be the New York Housing Alliance, see link below.

On MHLivingNews.com, we’ve been developing a library of video interviews that help knock down consumer’s preconceived or errant notions about today’s MH. These videos are true interviews, not commercials. They are clearly unscripted.

A serious shopper likes that, and once interested, will watch a number of those interviews and video home tours, until they are ready to go to a community or sales center.

That’s when the real work begins. As many of you know, you don’t handle the good credit or cash buyer the same as the ‘get me done’ Customer. You and your colleagues/team mates must be ready for that more upscale, credit or cash qualified buyers.

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If you have not yet seen the Inside MH Video series, you’ve not been on MHLivingNews.com lately!

With dozens of video interviews in hand, we can now start making videos that tell a story. Once they’re intrigued, they will want to see even more of those in-depth consumer and expert interviews.

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Housing shopping isn’t always fun for home seekers. They may have pressures. They may be well off. But everyone has had dark moods and times.  Those realities may help you understand the ‘dark clouds’ this video begins with!

Check out this new, and already favorably commented upon video production, linked here or above. Get an RSS feed on your consumer-focused website that features MHLivingNews.com. It’s a free way to tap into our exclusive and otherwise copyrighted content.

For those with a budget and a hunger to advance to the next level, see why we have so many endorsements and recommendations. Then, send me a message of give me a call, thanks. We hope to see some of you at my New York Housing’s 65th annual event. There will be a special marketing and sales presentation. If you’re anything like attendees from coast-to-coast at similar presentations made, you’ll be glad you came. Learn to see things from the shoppers eye view, adapt and soar. ##

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L A ‘Tony’ Kovach has become one of the most widely recognized experts in MH marketing, sales and publishing.

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:

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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.
DonaldJTrump-com=credit-postedCuttingEdgeMHProNews-com

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.

DonaldTrumpMakeAmericaGreatAgain=campaign=credit-postedDailyBusinessNews-mhpronews

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.

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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.

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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.

TodaysHomesChicagoSunTimesNewsGroupManufacturedHomeLivingNews-LATonyKovach-client-promo-

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!

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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.

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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.

The Road Less Traveled and Manufactured Housing Advancement

July 21st, 2015 No comments

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could…

(The opening from the Road Less Taken, by famed poet Robert Frost)

Long has manufactured housing taken the road less traveled.  You need not take my word for it, you can read what an industry veteran like Bob Vahsholtz has to say about MH’s storied past.

While many of us love poetry and wordplay, we ought to think higher of the goal of serving ever more Americans in the ways that MH can do best!  We need, among other things, to introduce more of the mainstream media to our ‘good news stories.’  Manufactured housing has many, here is one that award-winning journalist Jan Hollingsworth published for 83DegreesMedia.

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Photo Credit: 83 DegreesMedia and Julie Branaman.

Factory built homes appeal to millennials, boomers across America

JAN HOLLINGSWORTH / 83 DEGREES MEDIA TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2015

Millennials looking to buy their first homes and Boomers looking to downsize find factory-built or manufactured housing to be a good alternative that offers affordable, sturdy and green living.

http://www.83degreesmedia.com/features/manufacturedhousing072115.aspx

83 Degrees Media, I’m told, has the reputation for covering stories that are ‘so cool they’re hot.’

We had the pleasure of introducing Jan to the MH pros in the story linked above.  I think Evan Atkinson and Steve Adler all come off well don’t you?  The reference to Bill Matchneer, is also positive.  The home owner they featured, is clearly a great choice for breaking those old MH sterotypes.

We were a resource, but it wasn’t until this morning that I actually saw a single word that went into their fine story, linked above.

Before saying more, please, let me encourage you to read the 83 Degrees Media’s story, and then share it via your social media, email and word of mouth!  It is important that we be engaged with the mainstream media on all stories, but especially we must learn to share the GOOD STORIES.

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Photo credit: 83DegreesMedia and Julie Branaman.

That’s the Road Traveled by other industries. Lift Up Your Good News!   It has been the road less traveled by manufactured housing.  We need to change that, perhaps, starting today?!  Please click this link and read it, and why not post a nice comment at the end of Jan’s story?!

Jan “discovered” us in part through MHLivingNews.com.  I was happy to make some introductions so she could do the story above.

Then, The Unexpected happened…

You don’t know what will happen when mainstream media covers you.

What we didn’t originally discuss was Jan’s suggestion, after she interviewed those others in the story linked above, that she felt there should be a side-bar story about the people behind MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

My reply? I told Jan that my wife Soheyla (pronounced as it looks – So Hey La) will never go for it, and it wouldn’t be right for me to do a story like that without her, because her role in both of those and other online efforts has been essential. 

So Jan spoke to my truly better half, and convinced Soheyla that it was a good idea.

So like the ‘main’ story above, I had not one clue as to one word that would go into Jan’s companion article before I saw this:

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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.

Tired of renting? Get the scoop on manufactured homes

JAN HOLLINGSWORTH / 83 DEGREES MEDIA TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2015

Team Kovach, husband L.A. “Tony” and wife Soheyla, of Lakeland share news about the increasingly popular manufactured housing industry through online publications and word of mouth.

http://www.83degreesmedia.com/features/mhnews072115.aspx

“The Voice”

Indeed, we do try to be at least as positive a spokesperson for the Manufactured Housing Industry as anyone. We do that by:

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Some of the dozens of pros we’ve interviewed for MHLivingNews and MHProNews.com.

  • putting the spotlight on professionals like yourselves, and good MH operations.
  • We do that also by showcasing the home owners who love their manufactured homes.
  • And we do it by interviewing experts outside of our MH industry that have taken the time to look, see, touch, experience and fall in love with manufactured home living, be it on privately owned land or in land-leased MH Communities.

When we do a written or video interview, the focus is on the person we are speaking with and the subject being discussed in the interview. We want those we interview to come off positively.

Our approach is simple.  We want to get that person interviewed talking about their area of experience or expertise.  By doing so, we see more investors, public officials, media and those all-important home buyers truly ‘getting it’ about today’s manufactured homes.

…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Ladies and gents – my fellow MHPros – kindly let me encourage you to take the road less traveled in MH by taking the road more traveled by other industries.

We need to share the good news that happens in our industry, even if the good news is about someone else!  See a savvy example, by an MH retailer, linked here.

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The industry has been on a 5 year uptick.  But we have historically done much better, and need to reach higher than we’ve been in recent years. Note: MHI has very similar totals to this chart which used data provided by MHARR.

 

Until the public realizes there are so very many good news stories about MH, we will never, ever reach our full potential.  We truly believe that MH should be doing 500,000 + new manufactured home sales per year.  When people realize just how great a value today’s MH truly is, that can once more be the case.

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Our industry exceeded 500,000 new homes per for 2 years, and were just under half-a-million new shipments two other years, as the graphic shows. The facts we showcased last month in the State of the Manufactured Housing Industry reports proved we can do so again.

That would also mean many times more modular sales than we currently experience.

Please. Take a few minutes to read the stories above.  Post it on your social media and share it with your team.  Ask them to do the same.  Good viral stories are SOoooooooooooooo much better than the other kind.  Positive news is good for the industry, and that is good for you. As Robert Frost said,

“And that has made all the difference.” ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com75x75-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Moving-the-Ball Down-the-Field for Manufactured Housing

June 10th, 2015 No comments

Okay, it isn’t football season (yet…the pre-season is not far off…). Rather than talk about presidential politics, the economy, what it means to you that more people are moving to the country or a plethora of possible topics, we’ll talk about the wisdom of growing manufactured housing. Specifically, how your firm can sustainably expand your marketing reach and profit during these still challenging times, while others grow too.  

Let’s look at moving the ball down the field for manufactured housing at your location, market(s) and state(s).

 

Just Imagine…

You are in a meeting room. The speaker asks a group of industry pros this question. Have you ever had the experience of walking someone – not necessarily a home shopper – enter the living room and kitchen of a nicely decorated modern manufactured home (MH) for the first time?

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How many of you have had that person ‘new’ to today’s MH say words to the effect, “I didn’t know that manufactured homes could be so nice!”

If you’ve been in the industry a while, as I have, odds are good you had that gratifying experience a number of times. When I ask rooms with MHPros that question, almost every hand shoots up.

What does that tell us? Simple. Getting people to see, touch and experience MH is a key step to advancing our industry’s causes, including the cause of selling more homes to future happy home owners.

The Canceled Sale

Let’s ask the reverse question. Do you – or someone you know – on the front lines of MH sales that have experienced a would-be home buyer, who has applied and been approved, only to cancel the sale shortly after the approval?

If you’ve been in the industry even a few months and are or know those in front line MH sales, you know that experience too. The reasons they cancel? It often amounts to stigma, stereotypes or dated (or flat wrong) information, that might have been true 38+ years ago, but is no longer valid today. But the fact that someone got them to change their minds – ‘My mom (dad, fiance, boy friend, girl friend, co-worker, cousin, or _____________ fill in the blank) told me that I should get a regular house, because (_____________fill in the blank on maybe once applicable MH stereotypes).’

Happy Birthday, HUD Code Manufactured Housing!

We are fast approaching the 39th birthday of the HUD Code for manufactured housing taking effect, which occurred on June 15, 1976. How will YOU celebrate that date? What will your association, or company do to celebrate or mark that occasion?

Let’s suggest that manufactured housing must grow again to be more than a boutique or niche industry. Among the reasons home lenders aren’t coming into MH, is that we are too small to attract their attention. If we were 3 times our roughly 65,000 annual new home shipments size and growing, you’d see lenders starting to sit up, take notice and jump in lending on our homes.

The answer to:

  • political
  • zoning
  • finance
  • marketing
  • sales
  • image

are all remarkably similar. Its education. That education can come from story telling. Those stories must come from MH Pros, from the millions of MH Home Owners who like and love their home, from those outside our industry proper but who know us well and respect MH.

Video Story telling to the Rescue!

Some who would NEVER listen to ‘a sales pitch,’ will listen to a video that tells a story. People who would NEVER watch a commercial, will watch an interview.

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MHPros and investors are flocking to this video interview with Scott Roberts of Roberts Resorts and Communities. When video interviews draw pros and the public in such large numbers, doesn’t it suggest the wisdom of using video interviews to move marketing and sales into larger and more sustainable numbers? Can you spell Y-E-S?

Example links for our info-tainment image/education campaign links…

Rich-Rice-Wally-Comer-AdventureHomes-L.A.TonyKovach-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews-com2-

One of dozens of video interviews drawing thousands weekly, take those thousands, add them up by all of those videos and stories, and you have millions.  Those millions are your potential customers, because we dont’ sell homes.

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/manufactured-home-quality-control-inside-mh-with-brent-bolding-at-sunshine-homes/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/video-commercials-vs-interviews-or-umh-manufactured-home-tours/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dr-clivetty-frank-martinez-home-dover-farms-martin-michigan-inside-mh-video-interview-and-home-tour/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/linda-hazelhoff-associate-broker-berkshire-hathaway-homeservices-kalamazoo-mi-on-modern-manufactured-homes-inside-mh-road-show-video/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dodd-frank-and-manufactured-home-financing-the-place-where-good-intentions-and-unintended-consequences-collide/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/the-tidmore-home-exclusive-video-for-inside-mh/

Is this working? We Provide, You Decide. ©  Some facts.

April 2015 on MHLivingNews.com enjoyed record page views month; Then May doubled April in page views!  At the current pace, there will be over a million annual visits; and growing. We are just getting started!  Clearly, those who are coming, like what they see.

More bottom line focused?

  • We have locations saying they are directly benefiting from the videos on the site; including firms who are not direct participants.
  • Some who haven’t sold a high dollar new home in their MHC in years are now doing so.
  • Sales are rising for those who invest in marketing, education and sales training with us. 

Growing MH sales grows everything the industry touches.  Remember, our mantra and experience is that the site built customer must be won over in stages.  They have cash or good credit because they take their time and think things through.

We’ll cover this more in the days ahead. Until then, you may want to see what Sunshine Home’s CEO John Bostick had to say about the on-the-record, which reflects the thoughts of others who are ‘in’ but not yet shouting it from the rooftops.

MH Image and Education Campaign – Open Letter to the Manufactured and Modular Home Industry

Anyone can link up a video. Videos and articles like the above on MHLivingnews can be posted on your Facebook page, or those links can be part of a blog post. Giant UMH has RSS feed links to MHLivingNews.com on their home page, as do other companies and associations.

One person pulling a heavy load may not budget it much. Two, better, four, easier still and so on. The more we have that pull at this load directly or indirectly, the more rapidly we can get MH Image – and sales – up.  The more Americans who discover our incredible value, the more of their friends will buy 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.