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Home > Affordable Housing, Analysis and Commentary, Association, Business, Manufactured Housing Industry, News, Trends > Crisis of Misinformation, Fact Checks, and Manufactured Housing

Crisis of Misinformation, Fact Checks, and Manufactured Housing

November 29th, 2018

 

CrisisOfMisinformationFactChecksandManufacturedHousing600x315

 

America and our industry are suffering under several interrelated issues. Let’s do a quick survey with links to details, and then push onto a specific and time sensitive example for manufactured housing.

 

One is arguably the problem of monopoly, impacts many industries, not only ours.  That is not today’s focus, but was reviewed in some detail via a look at the New York Times recent article on that vexing issue, which is linked below.

 

New York Times-David Leonhardt-“The Monopolization of America,” Manufactured Housing Slant

 

There is misinformation about hot topics like climate and energy.  This absolutely impacts manufactured housing on numerous levels. See that new report, linked below.

 

Climate Change, Energy, Riots, and Manufactured Housing in Green Era

 

There is economic misinformation. The economy is sound, but stocks have been on a roller coaster. The two are not the same – the economy and stock markets – but they can and do influence each other over time. See a snapshot linked below, which includes links to more details, that report is linked below.

 

Fed Chair Powell’s Full 24 Minute Economic Speech, Stocks Roar, Plus MH Market Updates

 

Then there is consumer confidence, which is near record highs.

Consumer Confidence High Heading into Holidays, Per Conference Board, Retail Sales Surge

 

Input Across the Industry’s Various Divides

Before pushing ahead to a new example of misinformation, let’s note that our sources include those who support, question, and oppose the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). They include those working with or for Clayton Homes, or other Berkshire Hathaway owned brands.  Among the calls and messages this week was an MHI member who thinks there is a factual question in the report linked below. We’ve invited that professional to provide the data that would clear the matter up. We on the Daily Business News on MHProNews always want to get the facts correctly, period.

 

 

Clayton Homes Owned Sales Centers Reveal Surprising Trend

 

But our sources above said what they said.

It is also fair to say that calls and messages come in thanking us for our industry-leading trade publishing. Specifically, the comments are often for having “the guts” (per an executive) to say what the facts, documents, reason, money trail, and trends point toward. We give MHI and the Berkshire Brands – or their surrogates – the ability to correct the record if there is any factual or logical error.

They know it, and we document it.

Instead of directly responding to us, MHARR, or others, MHI and the Berkshire brands have at times used an indirect approach to responding. An exception was their attack by name on the new manufactured home community owners association. That report, ICYMI or need a refresher, is linked below.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement

 

Our hunch is that they won’t try that direct attack approach again any time soon.  It leaves them to vulnerable to fact-based counterpunches.

Setting the table in that fashion, let’s look at what arguably is misleading ‘information’ claimed by the Arlington, VA based MHI.  When we say MHI, that automatically implies it was authorized at some level by their purported Omaha-Knoxville masters.

The fact check is from their brand new MHI video, which they doubtlessly paid a solid 5 figures or more for, all with the goal of influencing people, just like you. Let’s dive in.

 

New MHI Self-Praise Video – Stills for Fact and Reality Checks

In fairness, what follows is not in the sequence that MHI presents it, because some of what they say could be true, but is arguably irrelevant. For example, how many people show up to their Congress and Expo is of interest to them, because it is a profit center for MHI. But what does the number of booths or attendees at their event actually mean to the bottom lines of tens of thousands of manufactured home communities, dozens of producers, of HUD Code homes, or hundreds of independent retailers, from coast to coast?

Not much.

What does matter is what MHI claims in terms of their self-proclaimed marketing of the industry, and what the bottom line impacts are.

For purposes of this analysis, let’s not quibble over the accuracy of their data claims. Let’s simply accept what they assert at face value, for the next few moments. Notice the grandiose numbers they say MHI says they reach with their marketing?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoScreenCpaturesMHIvideostatisticalclaimsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

These MHI claims beg the next question. What is the bottom line impact of all those millions of touches with consumers that MHI claims they’ve had?

The answer? Not much, if anything. Who says? MHI’s own data!

 

ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHIlogoNewHomesShippedDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNews

 

Everything else about their video are details and commentary.  If MHI is doing such a great job, why are is manufactured housing only doing about 24 percent of the volume that was achieved 20 years ago?

 

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RVsshipmentsTrailedMH1998WinnebagoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHI timed their new video in time for membership renewals and new member purposes.  Compare the quality of what they did with their modestly viewed ‘story telling’ videos last year, or the Clayton stigma issue video (see related report, linked, below).

What does MHI want the industry’s independent money for, anyway? This is where quotes or paraphrases by industry professionals – like Marty Lavin – makes sense.

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MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

There are logically only a few possibilities.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.

 

They include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • MHI does not know how to market the industry’s homes. The proof is in their own screen captures, above.
  • The industry’s post-production association could do better at marketing and education, but won’t. That’s a logical option, that need only be asked.
  • The Arlington association is posturing an effort, that doesn’t actually move the needle, because that gives them cover for their actual purpose. That unstated possible goal or purpose? To see the manufactured home industry continue to consolidate into the hands of a few major players.
DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Danny Glover quote from the fascinating video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above. Some comparison of facts, linked here.

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Collage by MHProNews.

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There are arguably reasons why MHI and their buddies in Knoxville or beyond won’t debate their performance in public.  What they are beginning to understand is that fact-checks like these are just as powerful, because it takes their claims, their words, and shows how they have failed in bottom line performance.

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Related Reports:

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

Giving Thanks for Manufactured Housing Independents, Applauding “MHIdea!”

 

Clayton Homes “New” Image Campaign, Surprising Facts Behind Have it Made Stigma Attacking Video

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

 

New National Manufactured Housing Association Makes Its Appeal to Industry Members

 

 


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