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Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire Hathaway’

Warren Buffett “Oracle of Omaha” HBO Documentary Berkshire Hathaway #Advexon Video

February 15th, 2019 No comments

 

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It is important to be fair and balanced. This video has had some 1.6 million views since it was first posted on YouTube on Mar 3, 2017, almost 2 years ago.

 

To be precise, there have been 1,603,008 views as of the time of this Daily Business News on MHProNews post. It should be self-evident that the frame for this narrative is a positive one.  After all, how do you get access to interviewing the world’s currently 3rd most wealthy man without some assurance that the video you will produce is going to be a positive?

Here’s what the video page says: “Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time. His Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 60 companies, including Geico, Duracell and Dairy Queen. The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13. He has committed to giving more than 99% of his fortune to charity. So far he has given $28.5 billion. With friend Bill Gates, he launched The Giving Pledge, asking billionaires to donate their wealth.”

We link below various reports on Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured housing brands, and some of the more important reports published here on MHProNews or on MHLivingNews.

 

 

The billions he’s given away is perhaps more complicated than it is made to sound.  But that will be covered at another time. Suffice to say for now that they are largely stocks given to foundations. According to the producers of the documentary, the causes they have supported are as shown.  They reflect Buffett’s left-wing, “progressive” political posture.

 

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Among the items mentioned or shown in this video?

  • The Moat
  • Circle of Competence
  • Kevin Clayton and Clayton Homes are briefly shown
  • Bill and Melinda Gates
  • Family life
  • Charlie Munger, Buffett’s partner and Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman
  • Value Investing.
  • The Solomon Brothers crisis.
  • That he says that he is an agnostic, plus details about his marriage and personal life.

There’s more. The Daily Business News on MHProNews may revisit this video later, on a slower news day. For the rest of the story, see the related reports, linked below. That’s this morning’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

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2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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News Tip, Document – Is Clayton Homes Engaged in False Down Payments? Deceptive Trade Practices?

News Tip, Document – Is Clayton Homes Engaged in False Down Payments? Deceptive Trade Practices?

 

God’s Sense of Humor, Tilting After Windmills, Manufactured Housing – Merchants or Crusaders?

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

MHARR Exposes GSES’ Failure On Chattel Financing Before Congress

“Restoring the Rule of Law To Manufactured Housing Regulation”

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Tip, Document – Is Clayton Homes Engaged in False Down Payments? Deceptive Trade Practices?

February 11th, 2019 No comments

 

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Prior to publishing this article, MHProNews asked officials at Clayton Homes for comment on this topic.  The Daily Business News on MHProNews waited several days before publishing this report, giving the industry giant plenty of time to respond.

 

They have to date exercised their right to remain silent.

Now that this document – provided as a news tip – is being published below, MHProNews once more invites Clayton, Vanderbilt Mortgage, other industry lenders, or the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) the opportunity to respond, refute, confirm, or clarify the concerns noted below.

There are several possibilities,” said an informed source to MHProNews with ties to the ‘powers that be.’ “For example, Clayton could claim that they are not taking the $1,000 off the actual down payment, but rather off the total price of the home.”

But if so,” per that same source “that raised other questions and possible issues.  For example, does that make this $1,000 credit a deceptive trade practice?  Could they [Clayton] be raising the price, only to lower it? If it is a down payment, are outside lenders or federally backed lenders aware of this Clayton Homes trade practice?”

The certificate from “CMH” bears Kevin Clayton’s signature.

 

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The document shows several Clayton retail brands on the bottom of the certificate.

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

MHProNews will update readers on this, and other developing reports.  To provide a news tip to MHProNews use the link above or to the bottom left, below. See related reports, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

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Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biggest Employers Video, Map By State, Where Clayton Homes Parent Berkshire Hathaway Ranks

January 30th, 2019 Comments off

 

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The U.S. is the third most populous country in the world, so it takes a lot of manpower to keep the government running,” says a new report by Visual Capitalist (VC). It’ll come as no surprise that, in most states, either the state or federal government is the top employer. California alone employs a quarter of a million federal workers.”

 

New York State is a unique case as NYC’s municipal workforce is the top employer,” per VC.

The largest employer on planet earth is the U.S. Department of Defense.  In eight states, there are more active military personnel than any single private employer.

But in the private sector, Walmart is the largest employer in nearly 2 dozen states.

Pause and think.  Walmart workers are one of those target markets that our manufactured home industry can serve, but not many others in home ownership sales could. It is one more area of tremendous opportunity, but is under-tapped, as evidenced by only 100,000 (+/-) new HUD Code manufactured homes for 2018.

 

 

Berkshire Hathaway

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Click here or on the graphic above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

Berkshire Hathaway is the well-known parent for Clayton Homes and other connected MHVille brands. The Berkshire (BRK) conglomerate brands collectively are in the top private sector employers in the U.S., and one of the top 10 by revenue in the world.

Part of the purported oligopoly threat, so to speak, posed by Berkshire Hathaway goes beyond just Clayton Homes and their associated lenders and suppliers. It goes into what Warren Buffett himself called the ‘synergies’ between Berkshire brands.  Berkshire brands are likely in your home, and part of your weekly to monthly routines.

But one ought to take it a step beyond what VC said.  Berkshire owns stocks in numerous companies.  For but one example in MHVille, think about Wells Fargo.

Through those corporate interlocking connections, there is a ‘web’ or network of potential influence in money and politics.  In that regard, Warren Buffett’s influence over the marketplace is significantly more extensive than the Berkshire brands alone.

WorldsLargestCompaniesByRevenueBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesParentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Thus #DeFaangBM.  Antitrust-action (= De) should be used on the FAANG tech-lords, Berkshire and Microsoft = #DeFaangBm. #AntiTrust. #OpenMarkets. #HousingChoice.

 

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Legacy Home Sale Feb 20-21

Click here or on the graphic above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

 

Programming NOTICE:

There will be two special reports later today.  If you aren’t already on our emailed news updates, please check this link here and sign up in seconds, at this link here or below.

 

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

 

That’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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White Paper on Digital Media, Details, Trends, Marketing Insights for Manufactured Housing

January 28th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Let’s being with the top lines of this new research from Polar.

 

Executive Summary

Digital advertising is growing 15% Year-Over-Year (YoY), from $266b in 2018 to $465b by 2022 .

Digital will be 50% of all ad spend by 2022.”

So stated Polar in their new White Paper on Digital Media. What follows are likewise from their Q1 2019 brief and digital trends snapshot.

 

ExecutiveSummaryPolarWhitePaperMarketingDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Digital marketing is obviously a large and growing trend in manufactured, modular and other forms of factory-built housing. Housing shoppers routinely use online searches as part of their housing hunt. Thus the relevance to manufactured housing is beyond doubt.

Some bullets from Polar’s Q1 2019 White Paper:

  • 63% of digital goes to the Duopoly, 12% is going to the Next 5.
  • Google is growing 20%, with $115 billion and 43% of the market.
  • Facebook is growing 33%, with $54 billion and 20% of the market.
  • Next 5 (Amazon, Microsoft, Oath, Twitter, Snap) have $29 billion, 12% of the market, 42% growth.
  • Rest of the digital market will decline 11% in 2019. Social leads the pack, growing from $185b today, 40% of the ad market by 2022 .
  • Video is $28b, growing 15% (in line with market) to $48b by 2022.
  • Search, Banner, and Classifieds all growing less than 10%.

 

ChangingTidesMediaBudgetsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Insights, Analysis

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has noted since the launch of our publication the obvious need to have a good digital – online – presence.

 

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In more recent years, MHProNews spotlighted the challenges of the concentration of money and power in monopolistic moat builders.  We’ve specifically cited Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google (FAANG) -all digital platforms.  So the problem isn’t just Berkshire Hathaway – or BRK Chairman Warren Buffett’s close buddies at Microsoft – in terms of “strategic economic moats.”  That should not be construed to mean that only those firms should be considered as possible targets for antitrust – monopoly-busting – and other legal, legislative and/or regulatory actions.

 

PolarIncreseDecreasebyChannelDigitalMediaManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

The power of Facebook and Google goes beyond marketing, into influencing millions of actual and prospective voters. See the related reports, further below.

Google and Amazon have entered into factory building, directly and/or indirectly.  There are so many subsidiaries to Facebook that they – along with some of these other giants conglomerates, may have more than a marketing or tech interest in factory-based home building.

PolarDigitalGiantsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

As MHProNews led-the-way last year in reporting, the Trump Administration has already drafted an Executive Order for antitrust action.

Further, Democrats have made anti-monopolistic behavior part of their so-called ‘new deal’ platform.

So, while the data from Polar might accurately reflect the current digital status quo, it doesn’t take into account several issues relate to hot button issues that impact manufactured home connected business and organizations of all kinds.

BloombergPewResearch72PercentAmericans85PercentRepublicansThinkSocialMediaIntentionallyCensorPoliticalViewpointsObjectionableDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Among the concerns are how the search/social media/tech giants have been accused of manipulating search results for or against certain viewpoints.

 

 

One other takeaway from this report is that the digital giants are slowly squeezing mainstream media outlets for revenue.

It should be noted that MHProNews’ parent operation has more than one revenue source, thus ad revenues alone are technically not necessary to sustain our operation. That also give us the ability to investigate stories that toadies for the powers that be would never dare publish, regardless of the evidence.

Here is the download of the entire 31 page Polar white paper.  That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cavco Industries (CVCO) Class Action Suit

January 28th, 2019 Comments off

 

CavcoIndustriesLogoCVCOLogoClassActionLawsuitShareholdersManufacturedModularHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The draft of the pending class action suit against Cavco Industries (CVCO) is the result of a news tip to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

 

As regular MHProNews readers know, there are numerous law firms circling Cavco.  This report will review some key claims of the Howard G. Smith lawfirm’s attorneys, acting on behalf of CVCO shareholders in the pending suit.

Quoting from the attached draft, this report will start with – the Nature and Overview of the Plaintiffs Pending Complaint?

  1. This is a class action on behalf of persons and entities that acquired Cavco securities between August 6, 2018 and November 8, 2018, inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).

 

  1. On November 8, 2018, the Company revealed that it had received a subpoena from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement on August 20, 2018, requesting certain documents relating to trading in the stock of a public company, and that then-Chief Executive Officer Joseph Stegmayer had received a subpoena regarding similar issues on October 1, 2018.

 

  1. On this news, the Company’s share price fell $49.48 or over 23%, to close at $165.20 per share on November 9, 2018, on unusually heavy trading volume.

 

  1. Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that the Company had agreed to refrain from trading the stock of public companies; (2) that, after such agreement, the Company’s CEO had engaged in the trading of the stock of public companies; (3) that such trading activities were reasonably likely to subject the Company to regulatory investigations; and (4) that, as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ positive statements about 2 the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially false and/or misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

 

  1. As a result of Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the Company’s securities, Plaintiff and other Class members have suffered significant losses and damages.

 

CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS

“(1) that the Company [Cavco] had [previously] agreed to refrain from trading the stock of public companies;

 

(2) that, after such agreement, the Company’s CEO [Joe Stegmayer] had engaged in the trading of the stock of public companies;

 

(3) that such trading activities were reasonably likely to subject the Company to regulatory investigations; and

 

(4) that, as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially false and/or misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

 

  1. Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors:

 

  1. As a result of Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the Company’s securities, Plaintiff and other Class members have suffered significant losses and damages.”

 

 

Specific and Broader Take-Aways?

There are some voices in the industry’s legal community that indicate that the phrasing used above could potentially be used against some other publicly traded companies, specifically those associated with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). If so, that in turn could mean MHI members who ignore the risks associated with the reports like the one linked here could be putting their shareholders at risk too.

Keep in mind that a contact at the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) would neither confirm nor deny that Cavco is being investigated for possible market-rigging collusion in connection with Clayton Homes, a Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) subsidiary. Stegmayer was prior to going to Cavco, a Clayton division president. There have been persistent rumors among some HUD Code manufactured home independents and others that the move by Stegmayer to Cavco was part of a plan hatched at Clayton. But there is no documentation that has yet to be provided to MHProNews that supports such a claim. Why is that of interest?

Consider the second point from the plaintiff’s draft foundation.

Cavco purports to design and produce factory-built homes and to build park model RVs, vacation cabins and systems-built commercial structures.” Purports? Isn’t that the obvious thing that they are doing? Is the Howard G. Smith law-firm signaling that they have something more?

It should be noted that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been characteristically mute on this developing issue. Stegmayer remains in place as the MHI Chairman.

Note too that some bloggers in the industry have attempted to white-wash the seriousness of this matter. There are those who believe that those cheerleading bloggers and ‘trade media’ are acting as a deliberate distraction mechanism from MHI and their puppet masters.

 

A contact at Cavco declined commenting about the specifics of the matter, saying to publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach “No comment sorryI appreciate the offer (to share a Cavco viewpoint). You are an honest man no matter what George [Allen] says…” It was an interesting comment, as doubtless many at the firm have been harmed, specifically if employees are also shareholders. It should be noted anew, given cheap shots from the galleries, that MHProNews follows the known facts, evidence, and the money.

The full draft legal document against Cavco is attached here.

There is speculation from a source that the draft was provided to MHProNews perhaps as a negotiation tool with Cavco, to use as leverage to quietly settle the case. MHProNews is not in a position to comment on the motivations, or lack thereof, of those who provide authentic news tips backed by evidence.

 

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There’s more on this evolving Cavco Industries (CVCO) and inter-related topic that MHProNews has obtained. In the days ahead, related reports will be published, possibly during the Louisville Show. Watch for it and sign up for the industry’s leading emailed headline news, found at the links below.

As a disclosure, MHProNews’ parent company management holds no position in any of the tracked stocks we include in our evening market report. Friday’s report is linked here. That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ## © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Related Reports:

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Insider Trades, New Cavco Industries Investigation, Selling – Plus More Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

 

Manufactured Home Production Decline Accelerates in November 2018

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

Manufactured Housing Institute on Cavco Industries, ex-Chairman Joe Stegmayer SEC “Debacle”

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Trade Shows, Next Battleground of the Manufactured Housing Revolution?

January 7th, 2019 Comments off

 

2019TradeShowsNextBattlegroundTheManufacturedHousingRevolutionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Capital, other market manipulations, plus an apparent failure by the Arlington, VA based Monopolistic Housing Institute (MHI) to deliver on their self-proclaimed ‘promotion’ of the industry are obvious takeaways from the latest new HUD Code manufactured home (MH) shipment report. But those are not the only problems that the Manufactured Home (MH) industry and its numerous varied professionals face. Yet, every problem – properly understood – is an opportunity in disguise.

 

Cohesion – so called ‘unity’ – sounds like a noble goal. But for various reasons that aren’t the focus of this column, cohesion won’t possibly be achieved accept by conquest of the larger powers, OR until clear alternatives to the present Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis power structure in MHVille are established.

Without balanced and mutually respected interests, how else could cohesion or unity be achieved?

The aim of alternative structures in MHVille should not be to create a new monopolistic nexus that challenges the current monopolistic one.

Rather, the goal should be to fuel in an authentic manner what made manufactured housing a far greater – in sheer size and scope – the industry in the past to begin with. Diversity! Thousands of MH Independents, and hundreds of different independent producers.  There was diversity galore in those MH Industry glory days gone by.  That’s how growth is proven to occur.

 

Genuine vs. Weaponized Insights

To be historically more accurate about manufactured housing, what too many industry pros never lived through – and thus never understood – is that the old Fleetwood and the old Champion home builders each established their own unique vertically integrated machines in the 1990s.  Those firms are not the Fleetwood or Champion of today, but the names are similar.

The old Fleetwood and the old Champion had a similar thirst for market domination as Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage jointly share. The ongoing relevance of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has long been as a counterweight to the Machiavellian Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, then or now.

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Satirical Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) logo provided under fair use guidelines.

The names at the top of the pile at MHI have changed, but the challenges have has some similarities.

Monopolistic practices that manipulate capital access, political, placement, and regulatory schemes are the enemy. What MHARR, or National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) have done for decades for smaller firms is provide the authentic cover that MHI has arguably long neglected.

Hundreds of manufactured housing firms, per sources at NFIB, are members of that organization. If the MH industry felt fully represented by MHI, what would lead so many to join organization’s like MHARR or NFIB? What would spark the revolt among community owners that has led to NAMHCO? New and existing alternatives to MHI should be fueled, not thwarted.

The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is simply better at building moats than Fleetwood and Champion were. By ‘better,’ one should understand ‘cheaper.’

For example, the old Fleetwood and Champion arguably overpaid in many cases for the retail centers they acquired. By contrast, the evidence in the linked reports reflect that Buffett’s style of moat-building underpays for businesses. They accomplish that by artificially depressing sales and thus business and/or property valuations.

That process thereby creates the “value” acquisition Buffett and his longtime partner Charlie Munger crave. The rest are details and commentary.

Manufactured Home Production Decline Accelerates in November 2018

It is Buffett who reportedly said he wants sharks in the waters of his Moat, not MHProNews. We simply accept that – plus the evidence of his, Kevin Clayton, and Tim Williams – each at their own words. Perhaps one reason why – until this point in time – that their respective attorneys rattle sabers in our direction instead of just sue, is that they know that it is hard to argue with their own words.

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Which leads us to trade shows and the opportunity for the next phase of the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

New Era in National U.S. Manufactured Home Community Representation Underway?

 

 

Show Ways Unlimited and Manufactured Housing Trade Shows

Sources with close ties to Show Ways Unlimited are among those that shed light on how Clayton allegedly manipulated the now defunct Carolina show, and tipped it out of existence. Those same informed sources have said that Clayton only entered the Louisville Show as a defensive mechanism, to counter the independents who were behind the revival of the show. Team Clayton has been working to undermine the Tunica Show, per sources, by establishing their own show in Birmingham, AL. Those claims are whatever they are, and should be discerned in the light of the evidence.

Meanwhile, the current trade shows are nothing like the glory days of Louisville or the Nashville Show, which was the forerunner of the Tunica Show. Back in the glory days, 100, 150, or 200 plus new homes used to crowd exhibit halls and parking lots.  Professionals from around the world attended those much larger events. The mainstream media came too, just as they do today for automotive, RV, and boat shows.

One question that potential MH Revolutionaries must ask is this. Is this going to be an industry on the rise or slide?  Do you want to enhance the income-producing and exit-value of your business, or do you want to sell it someday cheap to a monopolistic player?

One must look at authentic manufactured housing history, not the weaponized version that some like George F. (F?) Allen produces, that later version of which magically places Allen himself in the center of the MH Universe.

Allen, like MHI, is arguably a would be power-broker. If he and his MHI supported allies can succeed at diminishing the largest trade publisher in the industry – MHProNews – that would make Allen appear to be bigger than he is. It’s somewhat like taking a lake and shrinking it, to make little fish look bigger. Sad.

What MHI and Allen have in common are meetings that draw a crowd, however modest. Never mind that those crowds are small compared to a manufactured housing trade show. For those who would shrink an industry in order to grow their own influence, it is arguably a bit like Buffett’s moats. Only G F (F?) Allen’s is discernably cruder in execution.

A key to authentically re-growing the industry has long been about more than attracting more industry professionals to an event. As or more important, one must also attract mainstream media, new potential lenders (as Triad has done for years), and investors. Then, post-industry trade days, there must also be public days.  It worked in the past, why not now?  It’s worked for RVs, and other industries, why not ours in MHVille?

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

Click here to learn more.

Among the most common comments heard at Louisville and Tunica every year from exhibitors is, why aren’t there public days?  The same old tired story is given in reply by show management, year after year.  Who does that old, tired cover-story benefit?

This writer had an operation that used what amounted to ‘public days’ to sell dozens of additional homes per year to retail customers. Few things would serve to remove the stigma of the industry better than spotlighting realty, instead of allowing the old ‘mobile home’ or ‘trailer house’ stereotypes to live on.

WhenTrailerTrashIsntWhatYouThinkcreditMHProNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsFrankRolfe

See the entire article and other industry reactions, at this link here.

 

PewResearchRentalHouseholdsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThere is an obvious opportunity to start that ball rolling at the upcoming 2019 trade shows. That is where hundreds of independent retailers and communities will be.  But those must be an organizing stepping stone to something that is entirely new in 2020.

That there is frustration in MHVille is apparent to all who will listen.

The launch of a new community association is but one example. The longtime existence of MHARR as a counterweight to MHI is another. A third is the #NobleNotMobile concept. Like MHI member Frank Rolfe’s lament against MHI and what he called their hypocrisy, Paul Bradley and ROC USA are MHI members too.  Bradley was clearly no longer satisfied with what MHI claims as promotion. Thus Bradley and his colleagues conceived of #NobleNotMobile, and that’s how frustration gave birth to action.

There are 22 million Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post-HUD Code manufactured homes. There are millions more in the U.S. who rent. According to Pew Research, CityLab and others, about 100 million in the U.S. are living in rentals. Most of those obviously fail to seriously consider manufactured housing as an option, in part, due to the ‘trailer’ stigma.

Ten percent of either of those 2 populations groups could swing many elections in the nation. Something similar could occur in Canada, for that matter.

The ability of the industry to achieve it full potential lies not along the proven failed path of the Manipulative Housing Institute, and the arguably hypocritical and jealous path of yesterday’s news, George F (F?) Allen.

The path is to forge new structures that fuel independents. That must avoid the problems that made MHI the Menacing Housing Institute that it has become.

The humble observations, evidence, allegations, history, and logic herein are for the industry’s and investors consideration.

Among the next questions should be this one. At what point will the bulk of the industry’s remaining independents realize that their numbers are still shrinking? They are shrinking in the community and retail sides.

The number of retailers and communities are shrinking during an affordable housing crisis.  Is that coincidence or market manipulation? Who’s side is MHI on? In that battle, who’s side has George F. (F?) Allen taken?

The new HUD Code manufactured home shipment tallies are going to be low and vulnerable to many headwinds so long as the number of distribution points, producers, capital access, and image all remain artificially limited.  That’s what producers – including MHI members – tell us.

The fact that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis would apparently stoop to using a surrogate like George F (F?) Allen, speaks volumes. It’s the latest in a series of over-the-target reactions, previously reported. See the linked report, further below.

 

Taking Charge of Your Own Future by Teaming with Others Like Yourself

The time to take the bull by the horns is now. Hundreds of billions in new capital is flowing into the U.S. Jeff Bezos led Amazon’s Alexa Fund estimates that the market potential is $330 billion annually.

You do the math that mathematically-challenged MHI can’t or won’t do for you. They claimed, incorrectly (again), the Manufactured Housing adds $3 billion a year to the economy. At retail in 2017, the obvious math was some $6.5 billion.

Divide $6.5 billion into $330 billion.

The product of the above is how much the potential growth could be for factory-homebuilders of all kinds.

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New paths, new structures to do for retailers, communities, and all others in the industry are how that potential is to be tapped. That’s the next step in the Manufactured Housing Revolution. Ready to take that next step?  Ready to take a step that will liberate you from the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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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Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

 

New Association Weighs In, Giving Credit Where It’s Due, Opportunitie$, But Winds of Change Challenge Manufactured Housing’s Future

January 5th, 2019 Comments off

 

NewAssociationWeightsinGivingCreditWhereItsDueOpportunitiesWindsoOfChagneChallengeManufacturedHousingIndsutryFutureMHProNews

Every part of the headline will be covered in this column and analysis, only the sequence will be mixed. Let’s frame this report simply.

 

Affordable housing is potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the U.S. That’s the conclusion of Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund. Yet, manufactured housing only did about $6.5 billion at retail in 2017 (2018 totals won’t be known for a few weeks).  That means there is a huge upside potential.

 

Which begs the question.  Why isn’t that potential being properly tapped?

 

Manufactured housing has always had high potential, but it has never achieved it. During an affordable housing crisis, that’s an opportunity in disguise.  If you happen to be a small to midsized business, manufactured housing advocate, or investor, and wondered why this industry isn’t easier or doing better than it should be, today’s column will shed light on that topic.

 

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The manufactured housing opportunity demands serious effort and some capital to properly access the market with what the public wants at various price points. That the factory homebuilding market is worth the effort is attested to by Warren Buffett, Sam Zell, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, among scores of others.

The chart below by the National Association of Realtors™ (NAR) speaks volumes.

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How is it possible that our percentage of housing market share, and manufactured home production are both down from prior highs, right when they are needed the most?

 

It was part of the NAR 2018 report that made an overall good case, based upon research, facts, and evidence, for manufactured housing.  The writer of that NAR report was kind enough to cite this author in her first footnote.

So, if the market potential is so great, why is the manufactured home industry struggling so much?  When we have ‘two great laws’ already on the books, why is our industry struggling?

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

That’s what this column will begin to explore. This matters to you only if affordable housing and manufactured homes are important to you as a professional.

 

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Warren Buffett didn’t say it, but another successful business guru did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day. Wow…but look were that reading got him.  Don’t skim. Read.

 

 

Citing Facts, Evidence, and Sources

We believe in citing sources whenever possible and giving credit where it’s due. Manufactured housing success story Marty Lavin said about a decade ago that the industry, if not careful, could go the way of the buggy whip.

When horse drawn carriages were no longer the primary means of transportation, buggy whip demand dropped like a rock.

Why listen to Lavin?

Lavin has enjoyed notable successes in manufactured home land lease communities, high volume retail, and in performing manufactured home lending.

Lavin happens to be an attorney too. He and his wife reside in a large and elegant home in an appealing part of Burlington, VT in the late spring, summer, and into the fall. When winter strikes up north, they go to Miami Beach, where they live in a custom Italian made vessel that has three levels, is 72’ long, and originally sold for millions of dollars. The Lavins still have numerous financial and real estate interests.

 

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Marty and this writer have spent numerous hours debating and discussing the HUD Code manufactured home industry. As the photos above and below suggest, some of those discussions were in the Lavins’ fine craft, and at his home.

 

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As with any two people, Marty and I see some things similarly, others not.  It should be noted that his better half was a keen part of their financing operation.

One of those operations that Lavin had is now part of Credit Human, Federal Credit Union. It used to be called, Mountainside Financial.

For those in MHVille who know Marty, when he speaks, people in the know of our industry listen.  MHI gave him a coveted award, a GSE had him for consulting, and so on.

Now you know, some of the rest of that story.

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Big Fish, Small Fish, Midsized Fish

A former reality TV star and real estate billionaire once said, if you are going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.

But thinking alone – big or otherwise – is never enough. Planning, execution, and other factors enter into the mix of sustainable, ethical business success.

Among the roadblocks of life in modern America are the jealous, and those who will stoop to any trick or dishonest device to trip up another.  If you’ve worked in an office or company for any length of time, the words ‘company politics’ has meaning, right?

If one gives credence to an interesting perspective of a New York Times columnist a few weeks ago, the United States of America (USA) was established on more than a principle of distrust in public officials. Independent-minded Americans also distrusted Monopolists. Those bags of tea that went into Boston Harbor in 1775 were the product of a British state-sanctioned monopolist.

 

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

 

It’s a historically valid point.

 

Much of the Bill of Rights – the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution – revolve around the simple notion of protecting individuals against oppression by others. Those others included public officials, but it wasn’t limited to them. Monopolists of various kinds have ever been in the background of America’s history, even if they didn’t embrace that term.

Bear in mind, that there is more than one kind of slavery.

The original purpose of America’s government was to protect life, liberty, and property. Let the people earn a honest living, and let them keep the vast majority of the fruits of their labors. Realize or recall that there was no federal income tax until about a century ago.  There was no federal reserve system either. There was also – especially compared to today – almost no federal debt. Today, the debt is soaring towards $22 trillion dollars.

 

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That pre-income tax, pre-Federal Reserve system in America yielded the most successful economy in human history up to that point in time. Tariffs paid for much of the federal government, which was modest in size. We didn’t have endless wars overseas. While property taxes began not too long after the revolution, and well before income taxes, all of those taxes began low.

 

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A snapshot of taxes in America are above and below.

 

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For most of our nation’s history, there was no income tax.

 

It would be overly simplistic to say that Woodrow Wilson – a racist who happened to be a Democrat – began by himself to change what made America the most successful nation on the planet. It is axiomatic that there are routinely powerful people behind a president, or other politicians.

Over the years, what was true about the U.S. prior to the Wilson administration slowly morphed into what we now have in the U.S.A. today.

 

HenryFordQuotePeopleDontUnderstandBankingMOnetarySystemIfTheyDidThereWouldBeARevolutionbeforeTomorowMOrningDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews

Bank on the fact that the billionaires understand the financial and tax system in America.

 

Wheat and chaff. We all produce some of both. It’s wise to learn from both the good and the ill caused by ourselves and others. Yes, we ought to learn the bad, because without that, how are mistakes previously made to be avoided?

Warren Buffett is debatably correct when he says that the lesson of history is that most fail to learn from history. But Buffett arguably says that as his way of explaining how he and his investors benefit because they learn from history, while most others don’t.  They think they can count on you not reading this far, or not knowing any history.

Let’s rephrase that Buffet tip. Are you and your colleagues learning from history?

Before Donald J. Trump became a TV star – on a show I never watched for more than a few minutes (pardon me, Mr. President, but that’s the truth) – this writer already knew his Art of the Deal book. Before Warren Buffett became a household name, I already had a book of Buffett quotes. Wheat and chaff.

That means, take the good, learn from each person’s good ideas. But whatever remains that is chaff ought to be ignored, burned up, used for mulch, or fed to cattle.

We can all learn from the opposition, not just from allies. There are things Buffett says that are spot on, others, not so much.  So on throughout the industry or nation, including moi.  We’ve all produced wheat and chaff.  But some chaff we don’t grasp until later on.

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There are Democrats, Republicans, and others who point to the increasing monopolization of America. The impact of the trend toward monopoly on our manufactured home industry is just part of a broader trend. It’s harmful to small businesses, which create the most jobs. Will Democrats and the Trump Administration work to break up the monopolies?

 

Centralization, Monopolization of America

The parent company to MHProNews is LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC. We have hundreds of internet properties. People don’t get that; but it’s another topic for another time. We as professionals are pro-free enterprise. We believe that limited government properly operating is a protection for honest people. As political independents, we seek whatever is good in various parties or interest groups thinking while rejecting whatever is problematic.

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From an MHI only-member company president. 

I first ‘retired’ for several years starting in the late 1980s, after less than a decade in manufactured home retailing. I’ve long done some level of writing, including an award-winning paper that made me the first freshman ever at the University of Oklahoma to win the coveted Lottinville Award in history.  That doesn’t mean I don’t get typos, as regular readers know.  As Clint Eastwood once said in a movie, a man has to know his limitations. 

History and business management classes were great, but when I later stumbled upon selling manufactured homes, that was magic.

This writer earned his keep by selling more HUD Code manufactured homes – and teaching my colleagues and later sales team how to sell more homes – than almost anyone in our market. We – the team – accomplished levels of sales off a single location most in our HUD Code manufactured home (MH)  industry today would not think possible.

Affordable housing is always needed.

The growth at that MH retail center I was an owner/partner of was accomplished during an overall manufactured housing market crash in that state. While about 80 percent of the retailers in that state vanished, our sales center was growing virtually the entire time.

The reason this background matters to MHVille will become apparent.

We accomplished that honestly. When there were over ten thousand retailers of manufactured homes in the U.S., we were named by a third-party as ranking #76 in the nation. Rephrased, yours truly was in the top ½ of 1 percent of all HUD Code manufactured home retailers in the country.

Our results during a down market attracted the attention of numbers here in the U.S., but also a Canadian association.  One of my first speaking gigs in MHVille was to a trade group north of the border. They were terrific hosts, and seeing their version of manufactured housing was impressive.  My theme for that talk in Edmonton, Alberta? Get on your Pontiac and Ride. 

Ladies and gents, they have a fabulous mall there, at the time, it had an indoor roller coaster, an artificial lake with sand, and more. Amazing for that time.

Part of the point is this.  It frankly doesn’t matter much what the general housing or manufactured home markets are doing. There is almost always a way to honestly sell plenty of manufactured homes.  But you must understand the product, your target audience(s), and the current market dynamics.

You have to communicate to others what you know to be true about our product.

 

ThoseWhoTellTheStoriesRuleSocietyPlatoquoteManufacturedHOusingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That sales success for what began as a modest little retail center – that some thought would never make it – was accomplished from small town Purcell, OK. We – the team – prayed hard, worked hard, and played hard. It would never have worked based on the local population. So, we sold homes into wide parts of Oklahoma, and even a few into neighboring states too. If someone was willing to learn to earn, we could take ‘a housewife’ that had never worked out of the home, and teach that person how to outsell an entire sales center of a competitor.

It takes a little time to teach manufactured home sales, but it can all begin in less than a week.  In under a week, you’ll know if someone has the aptitude. In under a week, you’ll see the motivated sell their first home or two.  If you think it is about personality, guess again.

As one of the top sellers of manufactured homes in the nation then, powerful financial services firms like Foremost took a keen interest in our work. They brought this then younger fellow up to Grand Rapids, MI. The trip to their headquarters included the best restaurant, with fine, expensive wine.  These are matters of record, for those naysayers in MHVille who subtly or boldly attempt to denigrate this writer’s expertise or work product.

The Manufactured Home Merchandiser, and what later became Automated Builder magazines both featured my team’s results.

That said, let me never tire of saying that not one retail customer of our humble sales center in Purcell ever hired an attorney to write a letter, much less sue. We kept our promises, but we also made it clear to buyers that they had duties and responsibilities too. Don’t over promise. Don’t under deliverSet the right expectations. We didn’t do a ‘sign-here, sign here’ ten-minute document closing. Buyers were given and understood the details, told what to do, how to do it.

The lenders we worked with us told us our loans performed better as a result.

Everyone was respected by our operation and team, before that became politically correct.

Happy customers send referrals. Happy customers make their loan payments to their lenders.

The business was profitably sold, and I retired as a young man. Oh, to be clear, there were a few lawsuits, but only with vendors/businesses who tried to cheat me. Our firm would counter-sue, and won each time. Documenting facts matter. That’s one reason why I get letters from companies now.  You learn the hard way that some people will lie, even about success. As time passes, people forget or want to ignore the good things that you did, etc.

Some lessons you don’t learn at the university come from the school of hard knocks.

 

Boring! Professional and MH Success Tips

Travel, and fun are grand. But after a bit, ‘retirement’ for a doer can become boring. I did a fair amount of writing, and then, some consulting. There was also the telecom business, and that was a money-maker. As in MHVille, I got nice letters about our performance in that field. Money also kept coming in for over a decade from prior years of insurance sales.

This writer has earned awards and positive, peer recognition in several different industries. Selling any product or service is about a few basic principles.

  1. Understanding your product, service, and what potential value it offers the public.
  2. Understanding the market, and your target audience(s).
  3. Understanding the competition.
  4. Understanding your own operation, what are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
  5. Getting in front of your prospective buyers as often as necessary to honestly close as many as you possibly can, without high pressure. ‘Marketing’ and sales are both science and art. Especially with housing, because each sale of a home ought to be personalized.

Once you understand the amazing value of a manufactured home, you don’t have to give one away. We taught our team that amazing value.  Compared to many firms, our turnover was low.

The competition for manufactured housing might appear to be the other retailer or other communities. But the actual competition is apartments and conventional housing. Never forget that point.

That’s why the upside in manufactured housing is so strong, then and now. Once you learn how to properly and honestly engage with customers, the potential is amazing.

Times change, but human nature remains the same. Ask Warren Buffett.

There were always relatively low-cost ways of marketing manufactured homes (MH), but the internet has made it easier in several ways.

Having done numerous successful projects from Texas or southern states up to northern states, out west, and to the east, what’s truer than ever is that our MH Industry’s opportunities have never been greater.

We’ve done hands-on projects for other MH companies with:

  • MH communities,
  • MH retailers,
  • MH producers, and
  • MH financial services firms, among others.

Let me stress, in any business of more than one, all success is team success. So, while this writer brought X to the table, everyone at the table contributed to success. That’s how success in an organization always works.

While not every MHVille project was a success, the vast majority were. For example, people can be taught how to succeed, but then may fall back into an old, bad habit. There is evidence like letters-of-recommendation or third-party reports to prove these points. Why is this relevant now? That’s all said so that the naysayers in MHVille who have been attempting to backstab are shown for being who and what they are.

Those less than successful MH Projects produced lessons learned. They can be reduced to these 3 gems. People unwilling to change, internal power struggles that were avoidable, but still happened, and starting off well, and not sticking with the plan. People often fall back into bad or old habits.

Let me note that about three years of RVs, and 3 wildly successful RV projects, were part of my roaring 90s. Statistical Surveys documented two of those, the third was a project for a campground location that – last I heard – Sam Zell’s Equity LifesStyle Properties (ELS) now owns.

 

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There was also time in the 90s and 2000s invested in trade show marketing, and beyond telecommunications, automotive services. Success, success. See the 5 numbered bullets above. Each of those projects yielded tremendous insights, useful for manufactured housing marketing and sales. It is all about those 5 bullets, plus prayer. It’s about getting in front of your target audience with the right attitude of service-via-authentic-engagement that’s tailored to each prospective buyer.

Enough about me. That’s said to reflect the reality that when it comes to manufactured housing, we know what we are talking about here. It’s why our content is relevant.  Keep in mind, MHI says there are 40,000 full time pros in our business.  They’re wrong, but let’s use that number as a reference point. This article is long, but by the end of the month, it may have 5,000 or more individual views.  A good, shorter one can hit 15,000 to 20,000 in 30 to 45 days.  In a small industry today, nothing in MHVille comes close to our engagement with the target audience.

 

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The clear trend is increasing readership. Thousands of Pros like yourself are logging on here daily. Thousands of pros can’t be wrong!

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Combine the two and above and you’ll see that over 11,000 visits a day occur here, and that’s in an industry that MHI claims has some 40,000 total Full Time Equivalent (FTE) professionals. That’s amazing market penetration. No one else comes close. George, and your puppet masters, eat your heart out.  What does this mean?  We believe that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis are losing their information grip on MHVille. That’s why they are scared. 

As MH community owner John Caron said in a video further below, what we do here on MHProNews can be summed up in the word, “relevant.”

 

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Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

 

George F. (F?) Allen or Darren Krolewski have been among those who praised my work in public and in writing. So why are those same voices now they trying to undermine what we do now? Isn’t that a fair question?

 

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Darren and his father witnessed first-hand a project that Liberty Homes commissioned them to study, review, and report back to them about, so that they could understand what we were doing.  In that project, we achieved a surge in new home sales, and filled numerous sites – in part by raising prices on homes going in a previously struggling land-lease community.  That same community’s sales had previously been groping for traction for at least 3 years. We didn’t rent homes, we SOLD homes. We have the reports that Darren and his dad wrote, and they sing this writer’s praises.

FYI, I have never tried to eliminate a competitor, we are not the monopolists. Competition is good, while monopoly in many cases emerges as a form of economic slavery.

So, let George F. (F?) Allen and Darren Krolewski play and say their seemingly hypocritical purported ploys, but they must stand on their own smelly hypocritical behavior.  George stood in front of a room full of industry professionals in Louisville, and said pointing to me and a colleague that, ‘These guys [MHProNews] are the future of manufactured housing.’ In a moment of humility, Allen referred to himself as the past and [the then] present.

 

DonGlissonTriadFinancial-DarrenKrolweskiDataCompMHVillage-6thAnniversaryMHProNews-com-

 

Let me now say one of my weaknesses.  I tend to be trusting, until someone proves not to be trust worthy. I’m working on that one, and hereby credit interesting folks like George and Darren for the lessons learned — painful ones that are arguably making me stronger in that regard.

Can we stop Kevin Clayton and the Berkshire brand’s cronies, tools, and surrogates from paying whomever to say whatever? Clearly, no.

But it was a Clayton owned retail store in the Houston metro not so many years ago that I was given to save from closure, and did. Then, from my vantagepoint, the Clayton politics and games began. I wanted no part of that, so this writer shook hands with the fellow I reported to, and we parted ways. My guess is that Clayton didn’t learn the lessons of my work at that store, because that location I turned around for them — later closed anyway. It is now operated by an independent. Last I checked, that independent was doing fine.

Some people who think they know it all – like Clayton? – can’t seem to explain why they have had to close over 100 retail centers, during an affordable housing crisis.

Some giants who are busy building moats instead of learning how to play nicely with others can’t explain why their Clayton iHouse, or other projects of theirs, were abject failures.

 

 

Doesn’t Clayton understand their own industry well enough to make an iHouse successful?  They had an interesting concept.  They just didn’t know how to market and sell it.  They didn’t lack for publicity. They just proved to the world that Clayton didn’t know how to market it and sell the iHouse.

 

ClaytonHomesiHouseGoodPublicityFailedInMarketDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndsutryProNews600

 

Let me hereby warn all of those involved in the ‘new class of homes’ project of MHI-Clayton. It is fatally flawed.  That is not just my opinion, but the view of those inside companies that have committed to this debatably flawed concept.

 

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

  • First, it misdirects the Duty-to-Serve (DTS) dollars from the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) away from all manufactured homes, including those that are most affordable, other than those select few models. That means it fails millions of existing HUD Code manufactured home owners that might want to refinancing, but it also fails the producers of the vast majority of manufactured homes that are being sold in the U.S.  The plan is arguably designed in part to protect Berkshire’s lenders, and Tim Williams has said as much in the last MHI meeting I attended.  Dozens heard what I did.
  • Next, where is the track record that Clayton can point to that shows that they can sell these kinds of upscale HUD Code homes? Clayton failed with the iHouse, which could have worked.  Why does anyone in MHVille think that just because they are the biggest, that means that they are correct about this new class of homes?

 

Clayton and Berkshire professionals are among those MHI member firms who provide news tips to us. Why? Because some of those good people inside problematically led operations ‘get it’ that their leadership’s core is purportedly built on a monopolistic premise. Want evidence?

SubmitNewsTipsManufacturedHomeProNewsMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNews

Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

 

Dare to See what Kevin, Tim Williams, and Warren Buffett each says himself. We quote them, in their own words, or show them speaking in their own words in videos and documents found at the link below.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

I’m sorry to admit that this writer has gotten used to the game playing and corruption that has crippled this once far larger and greater industry. Manufactured housing has gone through highs and lows. The need for manufactured housing has never been more obvious to those who understand the product.

 

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? Because it came before Buffett’s entry into MH? See the report linked here… 

 

So why is manufactured housing hovering near historic lows?  There are many factors.

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews48thMHINCClist

 

But don’t expect MHI, Clayton, or Buffett to explain those causes to you. Because arguably, they are at the heart of the problem.

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

 

Go to the linked text/image box above that cites Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, and Tim Williams/21st. Only then will you begin to get the picture.

A big problem that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis has is that they’ve praised us and our pro-industry work publicly too many times.  Is that why thy use pawns like George F. (F?) Allen? Pardon me, if I yawn.  Because Tim Williams and other MHI powers that be praised us, now they want to silence us?  Excuse me?

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

Or this from Sam Zell’s right hand man, may God rest his soul.

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

The words of the late Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

But there is more evidence of respect from such leaders, and others too.  See the video below.

 

 

Understanding People, Understanding Market Barriers, Understanding History

Education, said James McGee and Chet Murphree are at the heart of whatever is needed in our industry. That’s true.

That education must be internal to our industry and external to the general public. You can see their comments near the end of the video posted below.

 

 

The data and the quotes both point to this fact. The most successful communications tool to the largest audience of industry professionals is the one you are now reading. MHProNews is tailored primarily to industry professionals who want to – or need to – grow. There are secondary audiences on MHProNews, such as investors, affordable housing advocates, public officials, and policy wonks that find manufactured homes to be interesting. But the primary audience are professionals in our industry.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA claims many things. Some are true, others are inaccurate, some are a mix of disputable claims. MHI has an educational arm, MHEI. Let me say, there is some value to that concept.  But it is being underutilized. Furthermore, they can’t teach what they don’t know. Some of their ‘education’ misses the mark.

Want evidence? The proof is in the new HUD Code shipments numbers.

 

Manufactured Home Production Decline Accelerates in November 2018

 

There is an ‘info war’ on in manufactured housing, and in the nation as a whole.

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

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

 

TeddyRooseveltQuestionAuthorityItisUnpatrioticServilleMorallyTreasonabletoAmericanRepublicNotToQuestionPresidentThoedoreTeddyRoosveletQuote

 

For the monopolists and their pawns – like self-contradictory George F. (F?) Allen? – there are a few simple realities they can’t disprove.

1)    If firms like Clayton truly knew what they are doing in manufactured housing, why have so many locations had to be closed during an affordable housing crisis?

2)    If they know what they are doing, why are shipments so low?

There are several possible, logical explanations.

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Sometimes the truth is hiding in plain sight. Follow the facts, evidence, and the money.

 

Arlington based MHI is regrettably part of the problem in our industry. The list of those who think so is significant.  Keep in mind, this writer for years was an MHI member, and was elected to an MHI board.  I tried for years to effect change internally. My reward was finally to be ejected from membership on the written pretext of an unsigned letter that our operation published news, and they had ‘no membership category for news.’ Can you believe that? It’s true. It didn’t matter that our primary sources of revenue – and a stated part of our membership from the outset – was Business Development Services and consulting.

The truth is often different than what people say. Once more, Marty Lavin is right. Pay more attention to what people do, than to what they say.

And follow the money.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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?

 

Manufactured housing has several moving parts. But the core of the business is simple.

Affordable housing. The rest are details and commentary.

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

 

That affordable housing is one of the largest potential businesses in America. It was noted at the top, it is worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year. While manufactured homes have reached some impressive levels of success in the past, it has arguably never achieved its potential. Why are they willing to try to suppress MHProNews? Could it be that the monopolists want those hundreds of billions for themselves?

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

 

The Disney “Trailer” Controversy

Disney would not confirm yesterday that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had weighed in with them on the controversy over the errant – and in that context, derogatory – term ‘trailer.’  Why not?  If MHI cared – as they claim to do – about our industry’s image, why don’t they see to this matter?

 

Food, Folks, Fantasy, Fun, and Flubs – Disney’s “Trailer” Slur Update

 

Perhaps it has been too long since Kevin has walked a sales lot and tried to sell a HUD Code manufactured home. I wonder if – or how many -manufactured homes Darren has personally sold? Or has George F. (F?) Allen sold anywhere near the number new manufactured homes – and for the price-points – that we and some of our clients have achieved.

 

Who is the Industry Listening to, and Why?

Until the industry sheds that ‘trailer’ image, we will be hobbled. It is one of the points that Frank Rolfe and I have tussled over.  I get why he did what he’s done, and we know that they have significant achievements.  But there’s a cost to that T-word, and the image that goes with it.  Frank is slowly coming around on terminology too, but we’ll see what time brings.

 

WhenTrailerTrashIsntWhatYouThinkcreditMHProNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsFrankRolfe

 

That said, Susan Bretton with the National Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NMHCO) association sent me the following comments on the Disney controversy.

“Tony:

Here’s NAMHCO’s statement regarding the Disneyland issue, from President Neal Haney.

It is important to get the nomenclature right – whether it be modular offices or manufactured homes.  Trailers are for cargo, modular and manufactured structures are built to modern codes and provide homes and workplaces for millions of Americans.”

We’ll be passing that onto Disney next week.  Ask yourself.  Why hasn’t MHI, Clayton, Cavco, etc. weighed in on this controversy?  MHARR, Al Kemp led Canadian Association has, ROC USA has.  Why not MHI?  Do you see the obvious disconnects?

 

Summing Up

The Monopolization of our MH Industry is a subset of a broader problem in America. We’ve made that point clearly in numerous reports.

Monopolistic practices create several problems. Among them:

  • A corruption of the political process. Just look at gridlock in DC, over an issue that leaders of both sides of the political aisle have agreed upon before.
  • A corruption of businesses and markets. Free enterprise and monopolistic capitalism are two different things. Smaller businesses routinely better serve their customers. That doesn’t mean that big businesses can’t serve well, but when they get to the point of market dominance, it’s a problem for all. That includes, surprisingly, the harm done to the monopolists, another story, another time.
  • Some believe that Buffett, the Berkshire brand companies have artificially kept manufactured housing small, to allow them to consolidate the maximum amount of the market place.
  • Monopolies also harm wages.  Look at Amazon, and the controversies in the news about their pay.  Do workers at Clayton believe that if they ever succeed, that they will get a pay raise for it?
  • In fairness to MHVillage, they have a somewhat useful service. But they clearly don’t know how to convert their visitors into more customers, Darren said as much last year in Tunica. Their own data says as much, even if Darren didn’t say so.  We will always try to be objective, that is one of many values that we bring to our industry’s readers and clients. Objectivity and fact checks. But that objectivity cuts both ways.  There is no point in the powers that be denying the fact that manufactured housing is underperforming. The only questions are why?  And what can be done about it? Clayton, MHVillage, and industry statistics all point to problems – disconnects – between the tens of millions who could be a manufactured home owner, but are not.
  • Stereotypes must be changed, and that has to occur through fact-based education. It is not about high-pressure sales tactics. It is also not about over-promising and under-delivering on homes.  I’ve never tried to sell a new Chevy, but if I did, I wouldn’t do it by saying it was a Rolls Royce.

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

  • MHI is IMHO, hopelessly corrupted. They can’t even purportedly backstab in a consistent and intelligent way. There may be a one, two, or three people at MHI that are worth their salt, but the majority at MHI are spokes in the monopolists’ wheelhouse.
  • Clayton, and Berkshire Hathaway ought to be broken up under antitrust laws, as should the FAANGs. The SEC and others in Washington D.C. are already investigating many of the issues noted above and from articles linked herein. So while we will say, alleged, and mean it, one must also consider that there is a reason why these monopolists want you not to be reading here on MHProNews.
  • It is only because we are over the target that we are catching flak. When Allen or anyone else claims to be working for the interests of the little guy, all you have to ask is this.  If that is so, why is he carrying MHI’s water?
  • We are not perfect, never claimed to be. Because we publish more than anyone else, and it is relevant, and we research before we write, we get the most readers by far, period. If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. Because our firm does more – much more – than just write!

 

 

If we were kooks and odd balls, you wouldn’t have read this far.  Pardon me, George F (F?) Allen and your hidden allies, but we’ve never spun a conspiracy theory.

We’ve laid out facts, money trails, evidence, and reason.  As recently as yesterday, this writer personally invited Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, Tim Williams/21st, Nathan Smith, Richard ‘the Dick’ Jennison, Lesli Gooch, Rick Robinson to refute a single one of the fact-evidence based reports we’ve published.  There reply?

Crickets.

Because we do follow the money, the evidence, the history/track record, and the facts. That’s why investors and pros call, write, and engage here. We lay out evidence based upon reality, not some MHI razzle dazzle smoke screen that requires readers to suspend their common sense.  If they truly wanted to grow the industry, and if they truly wanted to grow, then why are new home shipments doing so poorly?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoScreenCpaturesMHIvideostatisticalclaimsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Pardon me if I either hold my nose, or laugh out loud. What garbage! If they properly did what they claimed, manufactured housing shipments would soar over 500,000 new homes per year.

 

The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington (OKA) Axis may be good at creating a growing monopoly, as the article linked above lays out in their own words.

There is an affordable housing crisis. Manufactured homes have been highly praised by third-party research for over 20 years.  Last year alone, there were several largely positive research reports, like the one from NAR cited above. Nevertheless, the industry at the end of 2017 was at about 24 percent of their previous high.  That prior high was also still not the industry’s true potential.

We are left with a few inescapable conclusions, based upon the evidence and common sense.

  • OKA-Axis (A-OK Axis sounds better, but they aren’t a-ok) either don’t want to grow the MH industry, but they claim that they do.
  • The OKA Axis want the industry to stay small, so they can increase their monopolization. When they are ready to take the foot off the break peddle, they will.
  • The OKA Axis have weaponized as much of the MH industry’s trade media as they can.  MHProNews is the one spot they can’t control. To be fair, MHARR’s reports must be considered, as MHARR has routinely been correct on issues that MHI is wrong about. But MHARR’s stated focus is advocacy in DC for the independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes, not trade publishing.
  • MHARR, and the new NAMHCO are evidence that MHI isn’t doing the job. Both are breakaways from MHI.
  • Even self-contradictory George F. (F?) Allen has admitted in the past, and recently that MHI isn’t doing their job. He has a few interesting things to say, but he is arguably duplicitous, self- serving, and not to be trusted. It was a former Allen client who told me that the way to understand George is simple. ‘Tony, it is AAA, All about Allen.’ The rest are details and commentary.
  • There are some fine state execs, and some not so fine. Most are under the Berkshire thumb, in some form or fashion. But among those, there are some who provide us with intelligence as to what is going on.
ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

George F. (F?) Allen, has a modest following today, which once used to be a larger following. As a former client of his told MHProNews, with George “It’s AAA, All About Allen.” If someone is doing good, and Allen’s not somehow in the mix, it is not uncommon for Allen to attempt to undermine that source. If GFA wants to debate publicly, have him invite me to his event.  I challenge him, or any of his puppet masters, to a public debate.  Allen would run off stage in less than 10 minutes, based upon facts that he can’t refute. Ditto his puppet masters, which is arguably why the Dick Jennison ran away from his own presentation last year in Louisville.

RichardDickJennisonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCEOLouisvilleManufacturedHomeShow2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-76

 

MHI’s purported attorney asked us to ‘cease and desist,’ yeah, right.  But what none of the personalities noted above have tried to do is show me or the industry how any of our research on MHProNews is incorrect.  Yes, we get typos, because we are busy doing other things.  But facts, those are #NettlesomeThings.

 

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

There are few things that MHI and their puppet masters fear more than having to face real questions from an informed professional. If they weren’t so scared of the truth, then why have they ducked it for so long? Dozens in Deadwood heard MHI SVP and General Counsel duck questions from MHProNews.

 

If OKA-Axis and their surrogates could disprove any of what we’ve published, they wouldn’t be trying to silence us with letters filled with what they want to project as dirt about me from 20 to 25 years ago.  I’ve said before, and will again.  Anything they want to point to, let them do so in public, and let them appear in public. I can explain in two minutes family feuds of the past, that were long ago settled favorably, or why this firm or another had to be sued, and why we routinely won. I’ve got nothing professionally to hide, so how about them?  It is they who are the muckrakers, not myself. We’re laser focused on facts, evidence, and what are logical questions.

 

2018-12-16_1547TimWilliamsKevinClaytonRichardDickJennisonLeslGoochNathanSmithLATonyKovach#NettlesomeThingsEnvelopesDialyBusinessNewsMHproNews

You don’t need to hear from our various sources that our reports are driving the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis nuts, all you have to do is realize that they are trying to silence us any way that they can. That’s evidence enough that if they don’t want you reading here, that’s why you should be reading here all the more.

 

We are the only independent trade media in MHVille to report what is actually occurring, not the spin coming out of Arlington.  The feds are investigating Clayton et al, not us.  Perhaps the powers that be in MHVille afraid that their purported monopolistic con game is up?

 

 

Maybe they should be? We here at MHProNews must be over the target. That’s why they are pulling out all the stops.

 

 

Their target is hundreds of billions of dollars a year in potential business in manufactured housing.

We believe that millions of Americans can be honorable served by manufactured homes done right. The rest are details and commentary. But we know how to beat them at their own game, and it is all about honestly using existing laws and the truth well told. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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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.

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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

 

 

“We Have to Keep Changing Too as Retailers”

December 27th, 2018 Comments off

 

WeHavetoKeepChangingTooAsRetailersSearsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

As our recent report linked further below reminded MHProNews readers, Sears produced the precursor of the prefab home, and so much more.

 

So what doomed Sears?  An ex-Sears official in the CBS video below said, “bad leaders.

Of the 2,300 Sears locations 8 years ago, CBS says that only about 500 remain open today.

That sounds tragically like what occurred in manufactured housing (MH) retail, and in manufactured home production too.

AtlanticIbisWorldManufacturedHousingRetailersDealersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

2018-11-20_1350MHILogoManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusienssNewsMHproNewsJoeStegmayer

At least 4 of the 5 named above have readily documentable ties to Berkshire Hathaway in one or more ways.

MHI-21stMortgageKevinClaytonClaytonHomesManufacturedHoomeCorporationsPlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

See article, linked here. MHI and Clayton can’t or won’t reply to the facts and evidence, other than via an attorney, so check out our publisher’s reply to their purported attorney.

 

They needed to reinvent themselves in a really disruptive way, and it just didn’t happen,” said Don Katz, author of a book on Sears.  Take Sears out, and put MH retail in, and you might get chills up your spine as you ponder this modern business morality tale.

 

DonKatzSearsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Lessons for MHVille?

The Monopolistic Housing Institute, ooops, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) keeps trying to sell industry independents on just how great everything is, and why their leadership should be trusted.

OhWhatATangleWebWeWeaveWhenFirstWePracticeToDecieveSirWalterScottMarmionManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIMonopolisticHousingInstitute

 

But a quick glance at their own recent report, shown above – or MH shipment trends shown below – should be sufficient reasons inquiring and savvy manufactured home independents to consider a popular Latin phrase.  “Caveat emptor,” meaning “Let the buyer (of an MHI membership…) beware.”

 

CaveatEmptorLetTheBuyerBewareDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNews

 

If MHI knows what it’s talking about, then why has the industry slid so far, while often more expensive RVs have rocketed past?

The other logical option is equally disturbing. MHI is doing what it’s doing deliberately, posturing activities that produces measurable results only for a few favored firms, vs. the majority of the industry, which is steadily being consolidated.  Take your pick, but either way, MHI has failed in their claim to represent ‘all aspects of factory built housing’ successfully, which may explain why new post-production MH trade groups have and are forming.

 

BuySearsOutofBankruptcyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

As 2018 wraps to a close, the story of Sears is an ominous reminder of the high cost of bad leadership.  Beyond what the insightful CBS video spotlighted, is the fact that monopolistic maneuvers – which some believe include Arlington-based MHI puppet-masters in Omaha and Knoxville – can prove to be fatal to otherwise good businesses.

More than one state association executives have told MHProNews about the troubling trends they see as the numbers of independent manufactured home retailers decline.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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 obvious problems, troubling trends, and vexing concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why doesn’t MHI and their Berkshire Hathaway/Clayton/21st masters offer a cogent explanation?

It is worth noting that Legacy Housing, which recently went public, cited as the prime goal of their use of new capital would be to open new retail centers. For more on that, see the related report, below the byline and notices at the end of this post.

Want a brighter 2019?  Common sense says that if you keep doing the same things, the same way, you’ll get the same result.

If you really want a brighter future in 2019 and beyond, and aren’t a monopolist, then you should carefully reconsider who you support, what information sources that you trust, and what changes need to be made in order to avoid the death knell that has grabbed once giant Sears. That’s this evening’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

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Insider Tips – Clayton Multi-Million Dollar Plan Aims at Replacing Sales Staff? Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Kevin Clayton Meeting

Capital Pouring In, What Warren Buffett May Not Want MHVille Professionals to Know

Sears Prefab Home Initiative

 

Legacy Housing Exclusive to MHProNews on Firm’s Solid IPO, Plus MH Market Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MHI Allies Respond, Provide Confirmation to #NettlesomeThings, Facts, and Clayton/Berkshire Exposés

December 17th, 2018 Comments off

 

MHIAlliesRespondProvideConfirmation#NettlesomeThingsFactsClaytonBerkshireExposesDailyBusinessNewsMHpronews

The issue that follows is tied to allegations of corruption, how that impacts affordable housing, and thus millions of Americans, plus taxpayer funded budgets.  At its core, it’s not a matter of one political party over that one.

 

It seems that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Berkshire Hathaway brands that operate in manufactured housing backing the Arlington, VA based trade group may be embarrassed.

Rather than respond directly to various allegations against them, they have demonstrably used one or more MHI surrogate(s) to attempt to distract from the concerns over their purportedly corrupted work.

So, this report and analysis is about one/more self-identified ally(ies) of MHI, which last year sent via U.S. Mail the package shown further below – designed as an apparent intimation tactic.  The goal was to attempt to dissuade us from publishing on these concerns.  Note that inside the rather large anonymously sent envelope, which has been examined by federal officials – clearly identifies the person who sent the anonymous envelope as working on behalf of the interests of MHI.

Perhaps they didn’t expect us to publish further about that topic last year?  If so, they were clearly mistaken. We at MHProNews have no intention of being silenced by underhanded and arguably illegal tactics. Misusing the U.S. Mail is a federal offense.

If MHI, Clayton, 21st and the other Berkshire brands want to disprove any of our published allegations or concerns, we invite them anew to do so in public. See a new, in depth report, linked here, on their latest major purported scheme that once more aims at diverting lending from affordable housing, as well as harming several of the independent producers of our industry. If MHI and the Berkshire brands in manufactured housing can’t or won’t disprove the concerns against them, doesn’t that speak volumes?

Numbers inside and out of the factory-built housing industry agree that MHI does nothing contrary to the interests or desires of Clayton Homes, and the various affiliates of Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway that operate in the manufactured housing industry.

 

 

To understand what follows, some added insights are merited.

First, the additional background.  Then, the connections and ties to MHI, and what we will refer at times to as the Berkshire brands operating in MHLand, MHVille – i.e.: the manufactured housing (MH) industry, or the MHIndustry.

When we mention allegations against MHI, Clayton, or a Berkshire related issue(s), we use terminology that makes it clear that in the eyes of the law, they are deemed innocent until proven guilty, by plea on criminal matters, and/or via a settlement agreement in the case of a civil cause of action.

Videos like the following two in 2018, and a third one from a few years ago, are all third-party media. They may provide claimed evidence against them Clayton and their sister companies.  But the above principle applies, they are deemed innocent in the eyes of the law, until a matter is proven, pled, and/or legally settled.

 

 

Note that these video sources span the left-right media divide.

 

 

 

Now, let’s briefly look at justice in America, because many believe there is a two-tier system. One where the rich or famous can delay or avoid convictions of crimes that others accused of the same things could more swiftly be found guilty of doing.

Possible examples are former President Bill and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their scandal-plagued Clinton Foundation, as noted in the second and third video, above.

With that preface, let’s next look at the justice system as it applies to our industry. Because certain practices in both are arguably in need of reform.

 

The Justice System in America, and MHVille

Why do we as a nation lock up convicted criminals? Because if someone is proven guilty of fraud, theft, robbery, rape, RICO, human trafficking, drug dealing, murder, or whatever other serious crimes – they are presumed to be more likely to do it again if they aren’t incarcerated.

So, the goal of incarceration in a prison is in theory to stop more crime from being committed by those proven guilty.

Before someone goes to prison in America – prison, vs. jail – the law provides that they get a defense attorney or one is assigned to them.

 

JailsVsPrisonsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

If the defense attorney for an accused has moxie and resources, there are a wide range of ways they can legally attempt to refute or cast doubt about an accused person’s guilt.

In civil litigation, both parties have the right to an attorney too, although there are times someone or some organization for whatever reason opts to represent themselves. Even in a criminal defense case, one can go “pro se” or “pro per.”

 

DefineProSeOrProPerAppearanceinCourtDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

The Great Manufactured Housing Debate – Guilty…

MHProNews and MHLivingNews are subsidiaries of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC. The registered principals of LifeStyle Factory Homes LLC are L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and Soheyla Kovach.

They are arguably guilty! Guilty!

Guilty of what?

1) Of wanting to see manufactured housing independents grow and profitably succeed.

2) They are also willing to plead guilty of trying to honestly elevating the image of manufactured housing, manufactured home owners, and honorable manufactured housing professionals.  They strive to do so with facts, evidence, reason, and common-sense.

3) The evidence or proof of that guilt are found on hundreds of articles and scores of posted videos on MHLivingNews.com.

There is even more proof found on MHProNews.com. But there is no court of law needed, because we  hereby plead guilty to counts 1 and 2 above.

Naturally, we as a business want to – and have in fact profited from – such efforts. News is a business, as we’ve underscored before. The fact that MHProNews is the runaway #1 in its niche of manufactured housing trade media is pretty good evidence that we have credibility with our audience.

4) What follows is a partial listing of reasons for credibility, conferred upon our operations’ work, on our team, and/or our publisher by others.

Various third-party mainstream media have spotlighted us or our publisher, for but a few examples:

The above are a partial listing only, none were paid for by MHProNews, and thus are more than enough to demonstrate that MHProNews is widely deemed to be a credible source from outside of our industry.  How about from within the ranks of MHVille?

 

Recommendations, Endorsements, Letters, Videos and Messages 

Every form of modern recommendation that once can think of has been provided to the work of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC and/or our publisher.

Are we perfect?  No, and never claimed to be so.  As a senior MHI member put it recently, “You seem to have conceptual IQ that is more important than spelling ability,” which is a humorous way of saying that we have typos.  Guilty. That same source added, “You [MHProNews] are prolific and you keep the headlines sexy.” Sexy? We’ll let that one go for now.

That said…

 

Over a Thousand Professionals Gave via LinkedIn Recommendations or Endorsements 

Based upon LinkedIn endorsements and kudos alone, we arguable don’t need or require any endorsement by MHI or from people connected to the Berkshire brands.

But we have those MHI- and Berkshire-connected kudos too.

  • Tim Williams – President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, and then MHI Chairman:
TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

To see the full on-the-record statement by Williams to MHProNews, click here.

  • Howard Walker, JD – the late ELS Vice Chair and MHI Executive Committee member:
HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

The words of the late Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

  • Jim Clayton – founder of Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank  – by video:

 

  • MHI President and CEO, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison by video and others too:

  • Ann Parman – since retired from MHEI,  the educational wing of MHI:

AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews800

EngagingTheMediaSeminarDuringMHICongressandExpoLATonyKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

MHI and the Berkshire brands were delighted – demonstrably delighted – to have our support based upon the financial logic or merits of issues such as the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. Note that whatever the odds for success were – and the MHI backed bill never passed – it arguably merited support, for reasons the article linked here revealed.

So, both on MHProNews and on MHLivingNews our publishing and video was sincere.

That support of Preserving Access – and more – was also widely praised by state associations, MHI, and Kevin Clayton himself. He had one word to describe it in this email sent to Tim Williams, to another Clayton staffer, and which Williams forward to our publisher — “Strong….”

KevinClaytonClaytonHomesStrongTheHillBlogPostManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This forwarded email was forwarded to MHProNews by a third party. Why wasn’t all of the pro-industry research, video, and educational materials supporting MHI’s Preserving Access bill shared by MHI?

 

For those who think that all the praise from the Clayton organization is in the past, a Clayton Homes marketing team member praised our work for its thought leadership this year, in 2018.  They asked us for permission to use some of our work from MHLivingNews on the Clayton Homes blog.

 

ClaytonHomesContentManagerPermissiontoUseMHLivingNewsContentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHPronnews

 

Based upon the above, you or any objective person can thus see how difficult it must be for MHI’s or the Berkshire brands.  Standing in their shoes, with respect to the various antitrust and other concerns raised, they arguably can’t simply dismiss MHProNews, which they’ve praised too many time.  While other scandalous behavior allegations have been lodged against them by voices outside manufactured housing, inside our industry, our reporting, fact-checks and analysis have been dominating. As the most prominent voice, they have arguably attacked us indirectly rather than directly.

But we are not alone.  These same MHI/Clayton/Berkshire voices have tried to debatably go after the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) too.

So, if they had a good explanation for issues raised in the related resources, found below the by-line, why do they avoid doing so?  Why don’t they merely debate or disprove – based-upon the merits – MHARR’s arguments – or our own research, fact-checks and reports at MHProNews?  Why?

It’s a tactic some refer to as Duck, Dodge, Dismiss, Distract, Detract, and/or Defame.

 

 

Award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson – on the cover of her best-selling book – calls this tactic “The Smear.”

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

These evasion tactics are nothing new.  Cain used the same distraction and smear tactics against Able, but he also took it to the degree of murder.

In an honorable trade association, an association/trade organization is supposed to take input from members – and then based upon that input – craft one or more policy direction(s).

But MHI is debatably no ordinary association. A system is in place that essentially rubber stamps, for example, who will be the next MHI Executive Committee chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer. It is that ‘elected’ MHI Executive Committee that makes all final decisions that the paid MHI staff are then called upon to carry out.

For years, one or two of those four MHI Executive Committee members worked directly for a Berkshire brand.  Others had strong ties to Clayton, 21st Mortgage Corp, or another Berkshire brand. Nathan Smith and his scandal plagued SSK Communities for example, has such ties to Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage. Nathan Smith’s SSK Communities has the distinction of having earned an “F rating” from the third-party Better Business Bureau (BBB).

 

2018-09-26_0939BBBSSKCommunitiesLogoNathanSmithPhotoManufacturedHomeLivingNewsThirdPartyLogo

In fact, among the current or past MHI chairman, you have to go back to the tenure of Don Glisson Jr., President of Triad Financial Services, to find one that didn’t or doesn’t have a serious allegation and/or scandal attached to them.  Joe Stegmayer, for example, is under a cloud of an SEC subpoena, and was a former Clayton Homes division president. By contrast, have you heard of any scandals attached to any recent MHARR elected chairmen?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIBoardofDirectors1242018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Increasingly people inside and outside of our part of the affordable housing industry are realizing that where there is smoke, there is a likely fire.

When you follow the evidence of Buffett’s money trail, some of his gifts have flowed to the Tides Foundation and onto such as groups as:

Those in turn have been cited or published reports, protested, or objected to the behavior of Clayton Homes, their sister firms in MHVille, and/or protested at an MHI event.

 

NovoFoundationWarrenBuffettTidesFoundationFundsMHActionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

In a video posted above, it is a former Clayton team member who is pointing their finger at Clayton Homes in their own Knoxville metro hometown media.  Ouch.

The feds have been investigating Clayton and others tied to them in manufactured housing for at least two years, and our sources tell us that their investigations are ongoing. Would the Feds waste the time on a company if there were no evidence?

Maxine Waters (CA-D) and 3 other Democrats have charged Clayton with racism, predatory lending, and with being a ‘near monopoly.’

So, with that brief background, the following envelopes comes in the mail, anonymously.  Bear in mind the first envelope below included an  unsigned letter from someone that identified themselves as clearly acting on behalf of MHI.

What’s inside the next set of envelopes are personal, family matters. Have you ever done something personal that may or may not be bad, but would require some explanation, otherwise it might be briefly embarrassing?  Have you or anyone you know ever squabble with family?

These matters involved legal disputes within our publisher’s family, dating back some 23 years ago. Who cares?  Besides, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach won, won, and won. As in, Tony Kovach won judgments and was not guilty of any alleged wrongdoing.

The first envelope that follows was sent from a self-identified MHI ally.  The envelope as you can see was hand-written. Big mistake. A letter inside that came with a packet of documents, and was turned over to federal investigators.   As noted, the cover letter was from someone supportive of MHI, and who opposed our MHProNews exposes about them.  Do we want such tactics used against a free press?

 

EnvelopeMailedApril2017imageCreditMHProNews-

Scanned copy of envelope mailed to MHProNews, received on Friday April 9, 2017.  Misusing the U.S. Mail is a federal offense.

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews reported on the above last year.  Following that 2017 report, there was a pause in such an anonymous letter.  That pause ended during basically the second half of this year (2018). Among those new anonymous letters since that resumption are a new series of letters and their contents, which the 6 shown below (see the dates shown).  Those letters were produced by using a printing device, and we won’t go into much more detail, because federal investigators are on this matter too.

 

2018-12-16_1547TimWilliamsKevinClaytonRichardDickJennisonLeslGoochNathanSmithLATonyKovach#NettlesomeThingsEnvelopesDialyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Misusing the U.S. Mail is a federal offense.

 

The Offer to Claytons, Berkshire Brands, & MHI

There is a big fish to catch, one that lacks transparency, and it debatably isn’t MHProNews or MHLivingNews, as we are not trying to monopolize manufactured housing.

That said, we’ll make a deal – an offer to Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Lesli Gooch, et al should take us up on.

  • Appear on stage with our publisher at the upcoming Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, with third-party media and an array of video cameras to record the entire matter.
  • Our publisher will explain on camera in under 2 minutes the contents of these purported distraction and smear tactics envelopes, after Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams explains to the audience and the video cameras their Smoking Gun letters from 2010, the issues around “the Moat” video, and the undisclosed item related to the GSEs and their new class of homes initiatives.
  • Also, let Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and Lesli Gooch explain on camera after Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams has spoken questions about the GSEs and the so-called ‘new class of homes’ related concerns. Because, the GSE “Duty to Serve” lending isn’t currently being made available for the least expensive manufactured homes, as the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) arguably required.  Plus, let that pair from MHI answer questions regarding their multi-year Preserving Access effort. For example, why MHI PAC Chair Nathan Smith’s wife supported an opponent to candidate Rep. Andy Barr – when Barr has faithfully supported the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.
  • Then, let Jim Clayton explain why he supported the opponent of Rep. Marsha Blackburn for the U.S. Senate, when Blackburn was a loyal MHI supporter for Preserving Access.
  • After those three sets go first, Tony will gladly in under 2 minutes explain the guts of the distraction tactics they are trying to use against him and our trade media.  Then, let them all question and cross-examine each under. Let their be transparency in public and on camera.

 

Are those named up for it?  LifeStyle Factory Homes reserves to right to call as witnesses for such a media/video session those who have said off-the-record precisely how the Claytons, 21st, MHI or others have purportedly attempted to drive others of out of business, or force them into selling for less.  There are also others who have reported to us having under-handed tactics against them too.  After the first round of discussions suggested in the bullets above is complete, let let those who claim to be victims of MHI, Clayton or one of the other Berkshire brands take a microphone and tell their stories on video too.

In short, let’s have a robust, transparent discussion.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story, linked here.

 

Over the Target

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has cited the axiom, “You aren’t taking flak unless you are over the target.” These anonymous documents from decades ago aimed at Tony, are arguably because Clayton’s ‘image’ efforts, and the latest MHI self-promotion video are distractions and/or fig leaves from the real issues that have kept manufactured housing snoring when it should be roaring.  Clayton has consolidated roughly half of the industry since 2003, using a variety of strategies that Warren Buffett broadly calls “the Moat.”

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

Ask yourself, why the GSEs aren’t supporting all HUD Code manufactured homes, which is the most affordable permanent housing available – instead of only supporting only the far more expense Clayton backed ‘new class’ of manufactured homes?

Every one of the tactics described herein or previously has reportedly been attempted or used on others, per those who have told MHProNews.  Some of those relating their personal stories about Clayton, MHI, et al shared them face-to-face. Others have via phone, message, etc.

Perhaps most significantly, if federal investigators are taking such concerns seriously, maybe more in media, public officials, MH industry professionals, and investors should too?  Don’t forget what is said on those third-party and mainstream video, further above. You don’t have to take our word for it, because we’ve laid out the facts, evidence, and the money trail.

SubmitNewsTipsManufacturedHomeProNewsMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNews

Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

Why is there a growing affordable housing in crisis?  Call it a rigged system, manipulation, and/or corrupt practices.  That’s this morning’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports: Click the Boxes Below to Read More...

“Check Your Facts,” “Follow the Money” – Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Fake News, MHVille Takeaways

 

It’s Your Profession – Investment of Time, Talent, Treasure – So What’s Next?

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

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

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

 

 

Whistleblower! Ex-Clayton Homes Team Member on TV Denounces Manufactured Housing Giant’s Practices

December 5th, 2018 Comments off

 

WhistlblowerExClaytonHomesTeamMemberOnTVDenouncesManufacturedHousingGiantsPracticesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Foreword: a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member messaged our publisher, “You seem to have conceptual IQ [and] that is more important than spelling ability.”

 

That there are divisions in manufactured housing ought to be self-evident. That’s true for any industry or large group. But among the many questions that ought to be asked, are those divisions in manufactured housing (MH) bad?

Are some distinctions within the MH Industry useful — or even good?

Within companies there are different points of view too.  The larger the organization, the more points of view will exist.

It goes without saying that Clayton denies recurring allegations that have surfaced in 2018, that have been visible for some years in mainstream media. Before we get into the Clayton whistleblower mainstream TV news video, this topic is serious enough where it merits a giant step back for perspective.

 

MH Divisions

It goes without saying that neither MHI, nor the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), are entirely monolithic organizations. Because there are some dual members of both national trade groups, there have at times been some in MHVille that mistakenly believe that the two are one in the same.

Hardly. A close look at the track records of the two trade groups make it abundantly clear that there are real differences in style, goals, and more.

There are those in manufactured housing who believe there should only be one national trade group.  To that point – we ask, if that is logical – then why are there so many trade groups in:

  • Mainstream housing: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), National Association of Realtors (NAR), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and on down the list or remodeling, finance, and more.
  • Automotive – According to Wikipedia, there are some 29 pages of associations in the automotive field. Just starting with A: Auto Care Association. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. American Automobile Association. American Highway Users Alliance. American Hot Hod Association. American Motor League. Association of Global Automakers.
  • How about RVs? There are producers, dealers, owners, suppliers, and a plethora of trade groups that represent the varied interests of Recreation Vehicles (RVs). FYI – for those who aren’t into RVing, an RV is not just a motorized vehicle, towable RVs are a huge part of the RV business. Some of those towable RVs are de facto a competitor to manufactured housing.  FEMA orders for RVs vs. MH are but one example.

So, if there are so many trade associations in other industries, why are there so few manufactured housing national trade groups?

That is arguably a problem for the manufactured housing industry.  There are inherent conflicts of interest in having manufactured home (MH):

  • Communities
  • Producers
  • Suppliers
  • Lenders and Financial Services
  • Retailers
  • Transporting and Installation
  • Professional Services and more

all in one trade association.

The proof is found in the results vs. the claims of MHI.  For all the bluster and what one ex-MHI member called their ‘Razzle Dazzle’ at appealing getaway spots, the declining sales of HUD Code manufactured housing for two straight months is all the evidence needed that MHI is at its core ineffective at best.  The report hot-linked via the box below can be read later for greater depth of understanding of this issue.

 

“Pants on Fire” – Latest New Manufactured Housing Shipment Report

 

As fabled author Adam Smith said in the Wealth of Nations,People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” Merely readingantitrust guidelines at an MHI meeting doesn’t automatically mean that monopolistic activity isn’t at play. When a high-profile congressional representative (see further below) and others in Congress raised that very concern about monopoly, why haven’t others in manufactured housing trade media done the same, save MHProNews?

 

The Elephant in the Room 

It was almost funny when some years ago when a now-former MHI leader said at one of their meetings that the ‘elephant in the room’ was Danny Ghorbani and MHARR. That’s a tip of the hat to the outsized-shadow they’ve cast, but the obvious actual elephant in the room is Clayton Homes, and the array of Berkshire Hathaway brands working in manufactured housing.

There is one kind of value to having Berkshire in manufactured housing, but it arguably already existed with Sam Zell of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) fame and is limited to this next point.

Warren Buffett has given his seal of approval on the common sense value of manufactured housing.

But beyond that, there has been years of “consolidation” of manufactured housing production, retail, lending, supply, and more in our industry ever since Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway entered our industry.

Our HUD Code manufactured home industry’s sales have overall declined – not rose – since Clayton and Oakwood were acquired by Berkshire.

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

See related report, linked here.

 

There are a variety of reasons why the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has argued that there must be one or more new post-production trade groups. We’ll refer readers to MHARR’s report, when they declined expanding to compete with MHI, because they believe that the industry should be more like housing, automotive or other industries with a myriad of representative bodies.  That is a natural way of blocking conflicts of interest that are arguably evident at MHI.

 

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

 

It should be noted that the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA) was achieved when MHARR, MHI and state association came together on areas of mutual interest.  But that is different than unity under one umbrella, which has demonstrably resulted in far lower shipment levels than existed in the late 1990s.

Kevin Clayton has been in the mainstream news several times in recent weeks, since the MHProNews exclusive in the hot-linked box below was published.

GIGO, Esther Sullivan, Clayton Homes, Boston Globe, GSMOL on ‘Manufactured Insecurity-Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place’

 

But the reality is that what could have been done in 2011 to promote the industry and growth – according to Kevin’s own statement in a friendly video interview – has been allowed to drag on until 2018.  For whatever reasons, there is no denying that what MHI and Clayton have done in the last two years has had no appreciable change in the modest growth the industry has had, especially when compared to the strong growth of the RV industry.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

RVsshipmentsTrailedMH1998WinnebagoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

So while

  • MHI’s Lesli Gooch has defended Clayton/Berkshire against charges of monopolizing the industry in a response to Doug Ryan at Prosperity Now, or
  • Clayton Homes has denied to local, regional, and national media the varied allegations against them,

there is also no denying that the claims keep popping up. In fact, when MHProNews offers MHI or Knoxville’s brands the opportunity to respond to reports like this, they’ve passed.  Why, if they had a good defense, would they miss out on the opportunity?

It is arguably absurd that the elected leadership of MHI’s current and prior 2 chairman have had serious negative media coverage, and yet have been allowed to continue as chair.  What image does that give the outside world about manufactured housing, or MHI?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIBoardofDirectors1242018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It is also absurd that that all three of the current and prior chairs have clear and deep ties to Berkshire Hathaway.  The real elephant in the room is Clayton and the Berkshire brands. If they want to claim leadership of the industry – and MHI and Clayton repeatedly do so – then the results of the industry logically fall at their feet.

LouisianaManufacturedHousingAssociationOklahomaMHAOManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Louisiana is one of the top ten states for manufactured home shipments in recent years, per data collected by HUD and reported by MHARR. Clayton Homes has a serious presence in the state. Yet, sales are declining. Why???

And those results have been towards ever more consolidation of the industry in the hands of a few, including Clayton Homes and their sister companies involved in manufactured housing.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

One more point must be made. When the allegations of racism and other claims of financing malfeasance were lodged against Clayton and their related lenders – 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – first surfaced, MHProNews and MHLivingNews leapt to their defense. Why?  Because we knew of no such examples, and asking some industry pros, they said similarly.

Lies, Advocacy Journalism and Statistics – Seattle Times/BuzzFeed Attacks, Warren Buffett’s Clayton Homes Defends – charges of Racism and Discrimination – Critical Analysis

 

But as the claims have continued, and other facts emerged, we looked deeper.  Our understanding of the issues has matured, in part with input from others in manufactured housing.  Unlike MHI or Clayton, which rarely wants to admit in public an error, our publisher has said ‘mea culpa’ several times, as we have pivoted to our clarified understanding.

 

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesMarketShareManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e1528746976415

With that tee up, we now show the video from the Clayton headquarters – the Knoxville metro’s own TV news media – is shown below.

 

 

Former Clayton Team Member Blows the Whistle on TV on Clayton Homes Business Practices

With that backdrop is this ongoing controversy about Clayton Homes and concerns over racism and unjust lending practices.

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Maxine Waters is among those who signed the letter that this local Knoxville TV news media report reflects.

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One of several reasons to provide this to 2018 Knoxville TV news report to industry members at this time is that Waters will likely become the next chairperson for the important House Financial Services Committee.

 

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U.S. Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Mike Capuano (D-MA). Image credit, Twitter, Wikipedia.

 

Waters has called Clayton and Berkshire ‘near monopolies.’ That charge may take on new meaning in 2019. The Democrats have an anti-monopoly plank in their revised platform.

 

As the Daily Business News on MHProNews has previously documented, there are voices across the left-right divide that are seeing the challenges to small and independent businesses from monopolies.

Monopolies and growing consolidation over time causes ripples in costs to consumers, and for employment opportunities and thus wages too.

Some will act out of habit and ‘stroke the check’ to renew their MHI membership.

Others will feel compelled for reasons that sources say are akin to RICO related concerns.

For those who don’t want to be part of feeding the hand that bites them, this is a good time to step back and decide to cancel membership in Berkshire dominated MHI, and explore other options.

To learn more, see the related reports, and click on the hot-linked boxes further below.

Finally, it should be noted that Berkshire vice-chairman, and longtime Warren Buffet partner, Charlie Munger has said on camera that he doesn’t doubt that some wrongdoing has occurred.

 

 

While denying the thrust of the anti-Clayton claims, Warren Buffett has said similarly to what Munger has said.

It’s a complex puzzle.  But MHProNews is committed to providing the facts that unravel the fog in a way that no others in MH trade media will give you.  That way, you can make more informed decisions to operate your business.

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Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.

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