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Home > Analysis and Commentary, Association, Factory-Built Homes, home buyers, Manufactured Housing Industry, Marketing Sales Management, News, Trends > Ford and Toyota Teach Manufactured Housing Professionals and Investors

Ford and Toyota Teach Manufactured Housing Professionals and Investors

November 26th, 2018

 

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There are times that one must look outside of one’s industry or profession for useful insights. That’s the case with today’s Monday Morning Marketing and Sales Meeting.

 

Toyota has issued a recall for some 800,000 Prius vehicles, per NPR. Those recall totals are equal to about 11 years of the entire unit production of all new manufactured housing (MH).

Toyota said they sold some 2.4 million cars from 1500 U.S. dealerships in 2017 alone.  Did ‘bad news’ about recalls hurt them?

Let those fact sink in.

Because excuses are a dime a dozen.  What those facts should tell manufactured home professionals is that even with bad news – and that wasn’t the only bad news for Toyota – their average retailer sold about 1,600 vehicles each in just 1 year. That’s 133 vehicles averaged monthly per dealer. How many individual MH retailers sold as many units in a year, as a typical Toyota dealer sold in a month?

Then, consider the fact that part of Toyota’s business model – and that of every other major automaker – builds in an allowance in the price of every vehicle to cover the costs of just such safety recalls.

Put differently, Toyota and other carmakers build in for bad news.  Yes, manufactured home producers build in for service on homes too.  But why is it that ‘bad news’ impacts MHVille more than it does automotive, RVs, or other forms of housing?

 

MHVille Comments

We get comments from manufactured housing industry professionals that span the gamut. For example, some are about ‘quality’ issues in certain homes. Pardon me? Every automaker, every RV maker has ‘quality’ issues too, as that example above demonstrates. Does it keep them from selling many times more units annually than our MH industry does?

While there are service issues, third-party research reveals that overall satisfaction with manufactured homes by their homeowners is high, and the number of homes purchased that go to dispute resolution are a tiny fraction of a single percent of total production.  When scrutinized objectively, there’s far more good news to be found in MHVille than stories that reflect badly. Which begs the question, why does the MH industry struggle as it does?

Much of the challenge for manufactured housing professionals and investors is one of mindset and discipline.  Behind every ‘problematic’ news report we cover, there is a silver lining, for those with the eyes, wisdom, and guts to see it.

Drive by or go visit the nearest automotive super store or major RV center. Look at those huge inventories.   Realize that there are numerous locations selling hundreds of vehicles a month, all in a location near your own business.

Them step back and objectively ask yourself, why aren’t more manufactured homes being sold?  How many units a month are you selling per location?

  • When over 500,000 are homeless in America,
  • when the USA requires 8.3 million new housing units right now, per Chief Economist Lawrence Yun at the National Association of Realtors (NAR),
  • why will HUD Code manufactured homes finish the year at roughly 100,000 (+/-) new affordable housing units in 2018?
  • The reasons are many, and some are unjust.  But part of it is debatably a lack of vision, discipline, and willpower.

 

Facts Reveal Opportunities for Manufactured Housing in Disguise

Ford has recalls too. But Ford is paying to help answer that question of ‘why’ for modular factory-builders.

Ford teamed up with Curbed and The Verge to do videos about the Homes of the Future, which showcases modular building. Those videos are getting hundreds of thousands of views each. Meanwhile, Clayton Homes ‘stigma debunking video’ is flaccid. Clayton’s ‘image’ video is doing much like the ones they and a few others in MHVille made in conjunction with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to do ‘storytelling.’ In a word, ineffective. A year later, those so-called efforts by manufactured home companies and the biggest MH trade group have obviously failed at moving the needle.

ICYMI, or need a refresher, see the facts for yourself at the linked report below.

 

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

 

How do we know that these videos are essentially ineffective? Simple. It is obvious from new manufactured home sales data.

 

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Legacy Housing (LEGH) clearly believes in the future of the manufactured home business, because they are raising capital to expand their retail base. So while some accept their fate, others are determined to drive their own brighter destiny, despite issues or excuses given or accepted by others.

 

We periodically remind readers of the data claims made by MHVillage. Let’s take them at face value. If true, it means that millions deliberately surf a site to consider a manufactured home each year. But with millions looking, only 100,000 (+/-) new home buyers are going to actually close in 2018?

That, ladies and gents, is sad.  But it also represents opportunities in disguise.  It means that Clayton, MHI, or MHVillage either can’t or don’t do what they could to sell more homes.  Which implies that operations by independents can thrive in local markets almost anywhere where that the ‘big boys’ fail to perform to their potential.

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For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here. It only takes a reading articles and watching a few interviews or other videos to debunk the numerous false or outdated notions about modern manufactured homes.

 

Linked below is a new report on how many move every year in the U.S. Properly understood, that moving report suggests that your location could serve a line every week of buyers who want to shop for a manufactured home.  Rephrased, with the correct approach, at almost any local market, sales could profitably soar.

 

MH Marketing Insights – Where are Americans Moving? U.S. Moves, by State – Charts, Video

 

If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results. That’s reality. It was also a close paraphrasing of what the MHIdea has said (see that, linked below) in their call to create a new pro-growth, ‘let’s make more money honestly’ ‘MH dealers’ association.

 

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

The #NobleNotMobile movement is IMHO the latest metaphorical slap in the face of MHI and Clayton Homes.  That initiative is being delivered by an MHI member operation.  They are arguably tired of the excuses and waiting for MHI and Clayton to do something more than mere posturing and a purported fig leaf.

MHI’s response to the new National Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NMHCO) trade association is to slam them in writing. What? After over a decade of clearly failed MHI ‘leadership,’ some state associations with chutzpah finally broke away from MHI over their failure to perform. And Nathan Smith, a former MHI Chairman, attacks NMHCO in writing in MHI’s email? That’s galling!

MHI is great at planning their next meeting, and the ones after that. Why? Because those are profit centers for MHI. Their own 990s say as much.

But when it comes to actually engaging and solving the issues that the manufactured home industry’s individual companies face, what’s MHI’s track record?

Again, the answer is found in the shipment data, but there is a silver lining for those with vision and moxie.

 

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National Association of Realtors research routinely reflects the fact that some 85 percent of renters want to own. That’s the American dream. Home ownership, two vehicles in the driveway, some travel, and a nest egg for retirements – these are what most Americans want, and manufactured housing could unlock that dream for millions. Few opportunities in the U.S. are as big as manufactured housing, but it requires work. Or as Sunshine Homes President and CEO John Bostick has said, “Easy Doesn’t Pay Well.”

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When you consider all of the data and opportunities, almost every market in America could be awash in new manufactured home prospects. Millions of them are well qualified to buy. Isn’t it time to put fear of the big boys, or old habits and thought patterns that keep you trapped, in the rear view mirror?

 

You Must Act Either On Your Own, Or With Others – Because MHI Has Apparently Failed You Repeatedly 

Hey, it’s MHI President and CEO Dick Jennison and their former Chairman, Nathan Smith who’ve said on camera that MHI has to admit that they’ve failed on several occasions. An understatement?

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Now do you know why MHI has tried to keep our Inside MH video cameras away from anywhere that they publicly speak? Because their own words come back to haunt them, arguably for their years of failures to keep their own words.

The MHI response to such sad facts?

  • Attack the newly emerging trade groups.
  • Trying to undermine us at MHProNews, any way that the folks in Arlington – or their string pullers in Omaha or Knoxville or elsewhere – can.
  • Perhaps because they have no good case, they think smear tactics or some razzle dazzle will make them look better by comparison? Ha!
  • The national shipment data and their video views speak volumes.  The rest are details and commentary.

2018 is Ending, it’s Time for 2019 Planning

You as an individual, or as an independent business, have choices to make as 2018 winds down. You can keep doing what you are doing, and as MHIdea said, you will keep getting what you got.

You can choose to accept the latest excuse or razzle dazzle from the machine in Arlington. But then you have to look at the artificial headwinds that Omaha and Knoxville have arguably paid to create or allowed to exacerbate, as evidenced in recent years in reports linked here and at the end of this article.

Or you can decide to make a difference in your market. Not the nation, not the region. Your focus ought to be in any town or place you have a location.

  • If you don’t have the financial capability, then team up with someone else.  Where there is a will, there is a way.
  • But for the sake of your many would be customers, why buy into the posturing MHI/Knoxville elusive excuse machine? By depressing or failing to address the image/stigma, they’ve logically fuel buyer resistance, and make placement harder in local markets.

 

I’m not saying that UMH’s Sam Landy is right on everything, no one is right 100 percent of the time in business, including moi. But Mr. Landy was dead on when he said that each business is responsible for their own marketing. That same reasoning Sam used tells you that each business is responsible for their own sales results too.

Don’t like your bottom line results? Want to see growth? Then it is up to you to do what it takes in your market to convert dreamers into buyers.  When you learn to do so, you can watch your results flourish.

Toyota and Ford – almost any big automotive or RV dealer near you – are a reminder of what manufactured housing could be in that same market. Our industry was doing over 350% more new home sales 20 years ago than what it is doing today.  These are facts, facts, facts.  They are a wakeup call to you and thousands of your peers.

 

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There’s plenty of excuses for not selling more manufactured homes. But excuses are a dime a dozen. You’ve read this far because at some level you sense that this makes sense and is based upon evidence and reason. At some level, you want more for yourself and your location.

Con men don’t tell you they’ve been conning you. As the number of independent producers, retailers, and communities dwindled, MHI kept having their profitable meetings. Imagine how they might laugh in Omaha and Knoxville at the gullibility of thousands of good MH professionals, who keep trusting the ‘leadership’ of MHI, as they keep doing the same things, hoping to get a different result.

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MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. Earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all our media 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?

 

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As 2018 winds down, independents have to make a choice.

We once called MHI the Monopolistic Housing Institute. Can you see why? Do you want to be the next, or even the last business eaten by the monopolists operating in MHVille? Or will you stand up for yourself and/or in tandem with others, and be all that your business was meant to be?

Smears, head-fakes, and more meetings by MHI and their purported puppet masters don’t put much money in your pocket.

 

 

The obvious reason they’re arguably attempting to smearing us or others trying to actually do something good is because they can’t or won’t publicly defend their own behavior and track record. There are obviously reasons why federal investigators are onto several of these folks, as recent mainstream media and MHProNews reports have documented.

  • Don’t be their next meal.
  • Don’t be their last meal.
  • Do be all that you can be.

 

 

Toyota and Ford are reminders that you can sell more new manufactured homes than you might think. But you have to look beyond the arguably proven track record of consolidation at the expense of independents that Nathan Smith laughs about in the video posted above.

One last thought. Don’t forget that in Japan, Toyota is building modular homes. Don’t forget that here in the U.S., any automaker could be building housing in short order.

 

ToyotaModularHousingManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Ford could be testing the waters with their videos.

There are reasons to grasp the big picture.  But one must also act in your own local market(s).

 

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Is MHProNews growing despite push back, or because we are willing to spotlight and push back? Don’t just be an observer. You can make it happen in your market(s), learn more how at this link here.

The correct and honorable marketing and sales training are proven to make a difference. Don’t believe it? Ask Toyota and Ford. They or any big RV or automaker will straighten out any doubts. That’s the lesson that Ford and Toyota ought to be teaching you and your colleagues today. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Marketing and sales tips, related news, commentary, and analysis.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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

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Related References:

Failure, Success and Profitable Truth Detection for Manufactured Housing

 

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

Beautiful, Harsh, Priceless Realties from a Master Builder, Monday Morning Marketing, Sales, Meeting

Failure, Success and Profitable Truth Detection for Manufactured Housing

 

 

 


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