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Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

May 23rd, 2019 No comments

 

KobayahsiMaruCrimeKevinClaytonPhotoMHVillageLogoDarrenKrolewskiPhotoMHinsiderStateOfManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Nearly a week has elapsed since the message further below was sent to the co-president of a well-known Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member firm that will be part of today’s fact-check and analysis.

 

 

To grasp the subject – for outsiders looking in, and for those in the industry who don’t yet ‘get it’ – a pair of analogies are useful, but one must begin with facts about law enforcement.

When local, state, or federal law enforcement undertakes a case, their goal in part is to obtain a conviction. That means at times that law enforcement professionals allow a criminal enterprise to continue while a case is being “built.” For those who’ve watch a legal drama in a TV series or a movie, that picture of monitoring or penetrating a criminal enterprise will start to come into focus.

 

BestInvestmentOneMadeinYourselfMoreYouLearnMoreYoullEarnWarrenBuffettQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Using the principle of the wheat and chaff, this Warren Buffett quote is pure wheat. Give credit where it is due.

 

But that’s fictional. How real is it?

On various occasions during my manufactured home career, I’ve met and worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” said industry publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “Convictions were obtained. There are a few industry pros who know, but I was also given a letter of thanks from the FBI, which proves it.”

Local law enforcement cases were worked on with Kovach’s assistance too.

Kovach explained he has friends who are and/or were in law enforcement. A case isn’t solved in an hour or two, he said. It can be weeks or months in many instances. If it is a major criminal enterprise, years could be involved.

What’s occurring in manufactured housing is not a onetime petty theft. It’s arguably a multiple billion-dollar ongoing scam that’s harmed taxpayers, as well as numerous specific companies in manufactured housing. Several multiple decade brands were put out of business that could well be thriving today if not for specific, illicit, market manipulation for which there is extensive credible evidence,” Kovach said. “That’s why the feds, attorneys, and others have opened up investigations.”

Kovach added, “I’ve personally been told [by federal investigators] that this will take time. Likely years. But to underscore that there are such investigations, we periodically share the video from Clayton Homes’ hometown news media. Don’t forget that the Seattle Times has also reported ongoing federal investigations too. The feds have their needs and timelines, but we as pro-industry publishers must think about warning those who are the purported targets of such scams.”

The news video he referenced is below.  The views reported on that video have roughly tripled since MHProNews began spotlighting it by posting it.

 

 

How do the powers that be in MHVille counter such claims?

In part, through threats from attorneys – that have not yet been acted upon – or by using surrogates George F. Allen purportedly to smear our publisher by sending out by email, or verbally tells his “intimates,” about Tony Kovach’s prior use of a pen name.  Allen acts as if that use of a pen name was a crime – to which, there are times our publisher/consultant laughs.

GeorgeAllenWithLATonyKovach

Concerns over Allen are not to be construed as calling into question potentially positive aspects of his career. But when someone has lost their pizazz, are they willing to cross lines to get – in their own minds – their magic back?

Look, I’ve not claimed to be a choir boy, and [George] Allen isn’t a dummy. He knows that thousands of people use a pen or stage name quite legally. I have too. So what? Most adults over a certain age know that Mark Twain real name was actually Samuel Clemens. Does George want Clemens charged post-mortem with the use of a pen name? Absurd. Performer Kid Rock’s real name is Robert James Ritchie. It’s legal and done for specific professional reasons. Ironically, Allen has told the story about walking into other people’s businesses in our industry and saying he was paid to claim that he was someone other than who he was. He calls that ‘mystery shopping.’  George has told dozens of industry professionals that he’s claimed – for instance – being in drag, or poised as a biker – in doing what he calls ‘mystery shopping.’ So, it’s smoke Allen and his buddies blow, and arguably hypocritical.”

 

Warning the MH Industry, Consumers – A War Without Guns

Among the sources for MHProNews are those inside what Allen us to call the 3Cs – Clayton, Cavco, and now Skyline-Champion. The in-depth ‘read hot’ report yesterday unpacks Allen himself pointing the finger and named Clayton, 21st and others as being part of an effort to monopolize the manufactured housing industry.

Every con job is a crime taking place in plain sight. Exposing the con is the start of ending the con.  There must also be legal efforts, which MHProNews sources confirmed are underway.

While those investigators must do what they feel that they ought to do, there is also a need for parallel efforts, that exposes the tentacles of those who by default or by design are pawns in the long-game being played by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

 

SuccessfulInvestingTakesTimeDiscplinePatienceSomeThingsTakeTimeWarrenBuffettQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

It’s Warren Buffett who talks about the long game and patience,” Kovach said, adding, “while Kevin Clayton said last week that it was a 100-year strategy.  Was that an understatement?  From 2003 to 2017, Clayton went from 13 percent market share to some 48 to 50 percent, depending on what source is cited. At that pace, it isn’t 100 years to conquer what’s left of manufactured housing, is it?”

 

ItsWaitingHelpsInvestorLotPeopleJustCantStandWaitCharlieMungerQuoteWarrenBuffettPartnerBerkshireHathwayManufacturedHomesMHProNews

Using the principle of the wheat and chaff, this Charlie Munger quote is pure wheat. Give credit where it is due. Munger is Buffett’s longtime partner in Berkshire Hathaway.

 

The point Tony makes in part is to know when Buffett or Clayton are to be taken at their word, and when their words must be considered in the light of their behavior and trends.

 

StockMarketDeviceTransferringMoneyFromImpatienttothePatientWarrenBuffettquoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

This is a quote that bears scrutiny. It’s insightful, but it also has undertones that merits investor and public officials deeper understanding.

 

He then points to statements by MHI award winner, Marty Lavin, which makes those points quite well.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

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?

 

MHI claims to be working to grow the industry.  But where is the evidence?

If asked, they can point to articles and videos they’ve produced, including the video from which the still below is taken.

 

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Clayton Homes is the purported source of this push. Kevin Clayton spoke about this very notion in the video interview with CNBC. Is there a conflict of interest at play at MHI, when the largest member is so deeply involved in conventional housing? What do the MHI bylaws have on that? They are mute, and won’t turn those documents over for examination. Perhaps there is nothing there. But if there is nothing to hide, why hide it?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIVideoStillMHIPromotionalClaims

 

But even if every claim in that graphic were 100 percent true, that doesn’t mean that they have been ineffective at doing what they claim to do?  Are they implying that they are incompetent?

Or are they shrewd?

Is Omaha-Knoxville dominated MHI – which is based in Arlington, VA – working to grow the industry?  Or are they working to suppress the industry in a fashion that escapes the scrutiny of the unwary?

 

KevinClaytonPhotoMHIRichardDIckJennisonPhotoCharlieMungerHugeBuilder100PlusYearVisionClaytonHomesQuotesManufacturedHousingBlurLinesMHProNews

 

Then, is MHI embracing publishers like MHInsider, or bloggers like George Allen, as surrogates to counter the analysis and reports published by MHProNews, or the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)?

Having set the table, let’s present the link to an in-depth report on that above, but also share an email between Kovach and MHInsider’s Darren Krolewski.

 

The Inside Look at MHInsider?!

If we are to save the maximum number of independents and rally the maximum number of industry professionals to resist the increasingly self-evident trends, doing what some think is unconventional – but is legal and moral – is useful,” said Tony Kovach.

 

He pointed to the email that followed.  The screen capture that documents the message is immediately below, and is followed by the complete, unedited text of his message. The typos are in the original.

EMailtoDarrenKrolewskiDanRinzemaMHVillageDataCompMHInsiderEmail5.16.2019ManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Darren,

As you know, we’ve fact-checked MHInsider previously.  Have you corrected any of the factual errors that we brought to industry readers’ attention?  If so, where, when, and how?   A link or example are welcome for our planned report.

Next:

 

First Annual MHInsider™
State of the Industry Issue.

How many real issues will you deal with? Will you examine – for example – the problem of consolidation and monopolization? Will you examine the fact that every item spotlighted by John Oliver’s video was an MHI member company?  Or that Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett’s directly or indirectly funded nonprofits that have sparked negative news for the industry?

In fairness, are there any reactions, corrections, or analysis you’d like to provide on any article linked further below on MHProNews?

 

MHInsiderReaches31500CirculationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHProNews

This claim will be unpacked, further below.

 

We’ve visually spotlighted that your ‘print circulation’ is in fact not all picked up at events.  The evidence reflects that most are not picked up, and are therefor logically not being read.  A company that advertised with us and your firm said your marketing produced zero results, while by contrast, MHProNews produced all of their external results – both by electronic measures and actual follow ups with respondents.

That said, what is the actual, effective engagement of MHInsider?  How many page views online?  How many daily visits?

Finally:

Given the problems with other facts your publication has previously reported – and to our knowledge, has not yet issued corrections – are there also problems with MHVillage claims of some 25 million unique visits a year?

It seems hard to imagine that the claim of some 25 million unique – non-duplicated – visits occur annually, and yet less than 97,000 new HUD Code homes were sold in 2018.  I’m asking you man-to-man, but on the record, is your firm exagerating those claims in some form or fasion?  For example, is it actually X number of unique daily visits, and you are extrapolating from that? Meaning, are there duplicate visits being counted as ‘unique?’

Please advise on each in writing, so we are both clear on each element of the above.  A confirmation and timeline on your reply are appreciated. Thank you.

Tony

##

 

Such claims matters to manufactured housing industry professionals for these reasons. First, because they think it is important enough to make the claim. Why? Because for years, these same people praised our platform as the tops, including Krolewski.

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

–      There is clear evidence in the report linked here that MHInsider, along with George Allen and others, are singing from the same song book that MHI does. It’s their right to do so.  But if MHI is misleading the industry – and there are arguably numerous examples herein or another linked here how that’s occurred – then aren’t their surrogates likewise misleading their readers?

–      If Berkshire Clayton, MHI and others are part of a scheme to consolidate manufactured housing, or are using methods that violate RICO, postal, IRS, and other statutes, then are their surrogates who continue to spew their drivel co-conspirators?

–      Is MHInsider exaggerating or lying about their actual traffic and readership, which could be a deceptive trade practice, or worse?

2018-06-22_0521ConversionRatiosPerMHVillageLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews. It is a legal violation if claims are made that are not true. If MHVillage can document their claim, why have they demured responding with the evidence?

 

Recently, an MHInsider advertiser told MHProNews that our platform – which provides third-party data about audience engagement – produced the ONLY results for their marketing effort.  MHInsider and others produced zero results, per that party which monitored their results.

CaseyMackTonySoheylaMHProNewsTeamFirstCallDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A realtor who used to use MHVillage told MHProNews this week that based on their experience, MHVillage has lost its “umph.”  An MHI-member industry producer has used them for years. While they claim huge traffic numbers, using their own data, they have poor conversion ratios.  That firm talks about their untapped upside, and the industry itself is underperforming.  These are examples that underscore concerns previously raised by MHProNews graphically illustrated in the photos below.

MHInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTunicaShow2019Day2

A photo of another rack at Tunica appears almost untouched. The industry’s pros, given a choice between fluff and reality often chose the real deal. But this raises concerns about their claims of 31,500 ‘circulation.’ Circulation to whom?  If it is to industry professionals, and if they are in fact being read, why are their results reportedly poor?

 

It all begins to look like smoke and mirrors. Big claims, by MHI, MHVillage, MHInsider, Clayton Homes, et al, but poor outcomes.  Why?

Because of the millions who are not being served who need affordable housing, these are issues that merit congressional and other investigations, that are public – not quietly taking place behind the scenes.

 

 

Trekkies and Chess Players, Unite…The Kobayashi Maru

In chess, if someone finds themselves in a losing posing against a superior force, one can quit – resign – or put strategies to work that change the games dynamics.  That’s how winning is done from a normally losing position.

The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise in the fictional Star Trek universe designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. The Kobayashi Maru test was first depicted in the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and also appears in the 2009 film Star Trek.” – Wikipedia.

There are several factors at play that could go either way for manufactured housing independents.  They underscore the need for a classic “SWOT” analysis.

SWOTAnalysisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The four quads of a good SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

 

Without going into but a few points, it is obvious that:

 

–      there is an affordable housing crisis.

–      That manufactured homes are the most proven solution in American history for affordable housing.

–      HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently praised the industry, while saying it is time to end the secret, and bring manufactured housing out of the darkness of limestone into the brightness of the limelight.

–      That Secretary Carson statement may not comport with the timeline – and thus the desired plan – of Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington to slowly consolidate manufactured housing into ever fewer hands and brands.

–      Which may explain why once more today, as of 10:33 AM ET on the MHI website and the Clayton Homes websites have no results in searching for HUD Secretary Carson’s fine speech to manufactured housing professionals in New Orleans.

–      There are documented examples of Warren Buffett donations flowing through ‘dark money’ channels to groups that have attacked various manufactured housing industry initiatives, and brands in a fashion that arguably harms smaller firms than larger ones.

–      Buffett has worked to elect and support politicians who promote heavier regulations and higher taxes that experts say can harm smaller firms more than larger ones.

The disconnects between claims made, behavior, and actual results are numerous.

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

MHProNews has offered several times to discuss these issues in public with those being named herein.  They’ve routinely declined.  That’s not proof, but it is indicative that they are unwilling or unable to debunk the concerns, allegations, and the evidence presented.

These merit public investigations. We will be pressing public officials, not just law enforcement, and others in the legal and investment communities to investigate what is occurring in manufactured housing.

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

Because the logic of the facts in the report linked above indicates it is costing the economy huge sums of money, and that means that individuals citizens, along with taxpayers are being harmed.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.

 

If MHI, Clayton and others in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington triangle are serious about growth, why is it that MHARR is the association pushing for the solutions that will actually return the industry to health and growth?

That’s today’s first look at “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 or Comments or Letter to Editor 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.

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Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg Discusses Antitrust Breaking Up, What Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, MHI Can Learn, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” On Carport-Ready Homes

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seattle Is Dying, Are Cities Near You Dying Too? High Costs, Corrupted Systems, Manufactured Housing’s Potential Silver Lining

April 7th, 2019 Comments off

 

SeattleisDyingAreCitiesNearYouDyingTooHighCostsCorruptedSystemsManufacturedHousingPotentialSilverLiningMHProNEws

Thwarting what is natural has its costs.

 

Manipulation of people, their healthy aspirations toward ownership, and their legitimate choices are arguably at or near the root causes the unfolding tragedies spotlighted by KOMO’s viral report, Seattle is Dying

 

Let’s set aside for a few moments whatever Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway and his coterie had in mind. For whatever reasons, they’ve clearly failed at tapping into the kinds of opportunities that stories such as Seattle is Dying should bring to manufactured home retailers, communities, developers, producers, and others.

 

The proof is found in the latest shipment numbers, which are among the reports liked below in this week’s Sunday morning headline news recap.

 

The balance of the nuances, legal disclaimers, and particulars are found in the reports that follow below.

 

Tomorrow there will be a report about one of the industry’s ‘solution’ efforts underway in Washington, D.C. Don’t miss it.

 

Properly understood, manufactured housing could position itself as a hero for cites and towns across America. We should be a celebrated industry, not a denigrated one. So why is our housing type being pushed out of places like Bryan, TX instead?

Watch the two videos in the MHLivingNews report below, If you do, you’ll begin to understand that affordable housing is necessary, compassionate, and smart.  Law enforcement, and intervention on social issues related to drug abuse are smart too. The opportunities for our industry are immense, but they won’t be tapped by repeating the missteps of recent years.

With no further adieu, let’s dive into the reports for the week that was from 3.31.2019 to 4.7.2019. Click the linked image-text boxes to access that report.

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes

What’s New from MHARR in Washington, D.C.

 

HUDManufacturedHousingMonitoringContractSolicitationDrawsMHARRScrutinyManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogoMHProNews

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformBoardHighlyProductiveMeetingAdoptsBoldNewInitiativesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1

 

HUDCodeManufacturedHomeProductionSlideContinuesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1

What’s the latest on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

 

Saturday 4.6.2019

·        Money, Minorities, Manufactured Homes – Foiling the American Dream of Affordable Housing

Money, Minorities, Manufactured Homes – Foiling the American Dream of Affordable Housing

Friday 4.5.2019

·        Transformational! Old Mobile Home Park Redeveloping Into Small or ‘Tiny House’ Factory-Built Housing Project

Transformational! Old Mobile Home Park Redeveloping Into Small or ‘Tiny House’ Factory-Built Housing Project

 

·        Want a Robust Economy? Fix the Southern Immigration Crisis, Plus MH Market Updates

Want a Robust Economy? Fix the Southern Immigration Crisis, Plus MH Market Updates

·        Al Kemp, Taking out the Trash Talk about Manufactured Homes

Al Kemp, Taking out the Trash Talk about Manufactured Homes

·        New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

 

Thursday 4.4.2019

·        HUD Lashed for Alleged Manufactured Housing Contract Miscues, Brian Montgomery, White House Notified of National Association Concerns

HUD Lashed for Alleged Manufactured Housing Contract Miscues, Brian Montgomery, White House Notified of National Association Concerns

·        Former Godfather CEO, GOP POTUS Contender Herman Cain to Join Fed? Plus, MH Stock Updates

·        Canadian Firm Gobbling Up Dozens of Manufactured Home Communities

Canadian Firm Gobbling Up Dozens of Manufactured Home Communities

·        Remarks by HUD Secretary Ben Carson to the Mortgage Bankers Association

Remarks by HUD Secretary Ben Carson to the Mortgage Bankers Association

 

Wednesday 4.3.2019

·        Under Scrutiny, Giant Amazon Pivots, But What About Berkshire’s Manufactured Housing Brands? Plus MH Market Updates

Under Scrutiny, Giant Amazon Pivots, But What About Berkshire’s Manufactured Housing Brands? Plus MH Market Updates

·        More Confident About Future than 3 Years Ago, Americans Still Have Concerns, Per New Survey, MH Industry Opportunities

·        Cavco Industries Announces Latest Executive Level Changes

Cavco Industries Announces Latest Executive Level Changes

·        “Fight Like Hell” for Independence, Says Trustee – Manufactured Housing Inspiration?

“Fight Like Hell” for Independence, Says Trustee – Manufactured Housing Inspiration?

 

Tuesday 4.2.2019

·        Historic Manufactured Housing Industry Decisions Were Made Here on 3.27.2019

Historic Manufactured Housing Industry Decisions Were Made Here on 3.27.2019

·        Not Just Trade, Steve Bannon Says China Threat to U.S., Western Industrial Democracies, plus, MH Market Updates

Not Just Trade, Steve Bannon Says China Threat to U.S., Western Industrial Democracies, plus, MH Market Updates

·        HUD’s Fair Housing Month – Sexual Harassment Campaign, Training Initiative Announced

·        Gannett Media Exposés, MH Community Owner Moves Sparks Outrage – IEDs of Manufactured Housing

Gannett Media Exposés, MH Community Owner Moves Sparks Outrage – IEDs of Manufactured Housing

 

Monday 4.1.2019

·        It’s Your Money, Future – Snapshot of Leading 2020 Democratic Contenders for Oval Office

·        After Strong 1st Quarter, Stocks Surge Higher, Plus Manufactured Home Equities, REITs Updates

·        State Level Shipment Data Continues to Flash Warning Signals for New HUD Code Manufactured Housing Sales

State Level Shipment Data Continues to Flash Warning Signals for New HUD Code Manufactured Housing Sales

·        Errata, Apologies, Explanations, Tunica Talk, and Manufactured Housing

Errata, Apologies, Explanations, Tunica Talk, and Manufactured Housing

Sunday 3.31.2019

·        Sun Tzu – Ultimate Manufactured Home Freedom Alliance

Sun Tzu – Ultimate Manufactured Home Freedom Alliance

That’s this Sunday’s Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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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.

 

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Warren Buffet’s Quotable Quotes on Business, Institutions, Behavior, and News Reporting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arrested! Triple Homicide, Arson of “Mobile Home,” Crime and Affordable Manufactured Housing Resistance

March 4th, 2019 Comments off

 

Arrested!ShockingTripleHomicideArsonofMobileHomeCrimeAndAffordableManufacturedHousingResistanceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Murders. Robbery. Burglary. Arson. These and other crimes – drug related or whatever other illegal activities – occur in all kinds of housing. From public housing projects to the swankiest gated developments with multimillion dollar site-built housing, crimes occur wherever people are.

 

But for whatever reason, news about crimes, windstorms, or fires involving mobile and manufactured homes often seem to be amplified in media reports. The Daily Business News on MHProNews will provide the details of the headline’s tragic incident, based on mainstream news reports.  We’ll then turn to an analysis those mainstream news sources lack of how such episodes could be better handled by the industry’s professionals.  Because in the absence of a response to such reports, bad news often makes our industry unjustly look bad, when in fact our industry is more needed than ever before.

 

What Happened in the Headline Case?

On Friday, March 1, WFLA 8 said “TAMPA, Fla. – A man has been arrested in connection with a November triple homicide in Tampa.”

WTSB said, “After a fire on Nov. 15, three people were found dead in the mobile home on 16th Avenue S. in Tampa. Deputies said the victims — Xavier Greene, 28, Derek Archie, 28, and Haley Stone, 20 — all had upper body trauma.”

Surveillance video captured three suspects leaving a white Nissan Altima at the home,” said WFLA.

23 year old Ricky Wilkerson Jr., was apprehended and is being held without bond.

Other suspects, Xavier Whitehead, 28, were arrested on Dec. 1 on charges of Armed Burglary of a Dwelling, Arson 1st Degree, and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

 

Mainstream news reports like this one, combined with others that occur, may give housing shoppers the false impression that every manufactured home community is a haven of crime. Yet, third-party university-level research reveals that is not the case. But to look at this first from the prospective of a home shopper, look at this search result.

WilliamPMcCarrtyPhDCrimeMobileManufacturedHomes2019-03-03_1757DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGoogle

On a number of occasions, MHProNews’ has found that engaging other news media directly can win them over with the facts. Writers, editors, and producers routinely want to be correct. While some have an agenda, many want to do straight news. But if they don’t understand the facts, how can they properly report them? Media engagement is arguably more important than marketing ads. As years of Clayton ads on Duck Dynasty or SEC football should have demonstrated to the industry’s thinking true leaders, and a look at the relatively low totals compared to historic norms, it should be obvious that debunking false impressions in the news matters.

 

 

Is there More Crime in Mobile and Manufactured Housing than Conventional Housing?

Do you recall the study reported in Manufactured Home Living News by award-winning journalist, Jan Hollingsworth about crime and manufactured housing? The reason it’s there is to provide third party, university-level research that debunks the notion that manufactured homes has more crime than conventional housing.

 

Pride and Prejudice: The Truth About Manufactured Home Communities and Crime

 

Professor William P. McCarty did extensive research on this topic, who said that manufactured home communities have “…lower rates of crime than you would expect, because they had pride of ownership…” McCarty, PhD, did the research for the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Criminology, Law and Justice.

Professor McCarty said, “Obviously those places [older communities that had lax maintenance and management] that have less investment in the asset is where we would see more issues, more transient populations — just like an apartment complex, except the apartment would be the manufactured home.

Rephrased, some of the ‘hits’ that media may deliver on rules and regulations in a community help make those places more appealing with a better qualify of life.  Crime is proven to be lower, said McCarty, in well-run manufactured home communities.

As a matter of professional experience, a client firm we worked with on several land-lease communities had lower crime rates than nearby conventional housing that sold for far more. That was according to the local police data. So, not only does McCarty’s research demonstrate that useful fact, but anectodical experience confirms it.

 

Method or Madness?

There’s a method to the process that Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) or MHProNews follows. There’s widespread misinformation and several negative stereotypes about manufactured homes and community living.

There is misinformation on the B2B and the B2C levels alike.  Facts matter, and thus fact checks and analysis are useful.  Note that mainstream media is doing more fact checks too?

To debunk misinformation, ideally, each issue should be addressed as soon as possible after the subject arises. Otherwise, the dominant narrative becomes the accepted one. We do so periodically, as a demonstration.  But ideally, a trade group should be laser focused on such issues, and should address them promptly.

So, it would be great if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) routinely took on such mainstream reporting issues. That’s part of what their public relations person should be doing, right? Even if a news report is factually accurate, even if the mainstream media’s nomenclature is perfect – when they often are not – each negative news article is an opportunity in disguise, if it’s treated as such.

But on the nettlesome topic of crime and manufactured homes, MHI’s website is silent on Dr. McCarty’s valuable research on manufactured homes and communities.  So, by default, the drum-beat of news – that happens in all kinds of housing – makes currently depressed manufactured home living look riskier than it is.  Our living is as safe as others, said McCarty. But would you know that from looking at headlines like those that follow, below?

 

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In the Absence of Pushback or Counter-Narratives, Dominant Narratives Often Win

It would be great if MHI did their job of positively representing “all segments of factory-built housing.” But years of evidence reveals what the search below from the MHI website on 3.3.2019 reflected. Silence on their own website on this critical issue for those considering manufactured home living. What are they thinking?

 

WilliamPMcCartyNoResultsFoundDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHI claimed that their advertorials reached an ‘audience’ of some 84 million people. That’s coy phrasing, but take it at face value.  If they actually reached 84 million people, then why did less than 97,000 Americans households select a new manufactured homes in 2018?

 

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Regardless if they are exaggerating their claim or not, either way, the above from MHI should be an embarrassment to any caring MH Professional. If 84 million people truly saw those MHI advertorials, and less than 97,000 Americans bought a manufactured home in 2018, what does that say about MHI’s effectiveness? Facts and pragmatic analysis matters to everyday industry professionals. That’s why we do fact-checks on MHProNews. That said, it is now time to take it to the next level. The graphic below proves we are under-performing as an industry.  Unless changes and new options are created, it will stay the same. 

ManufacturedHousingVsTotalCompletedHomesLegacyHousingS1FilingIPODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

ManufacturedHousingShipments2018vs2017Top10StatesManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusienssNewsMHProNEw

It’s not just a slide in the last quarter of 2018 that should concern manufactured housing professionals and investors.  That 4th quarter 2018 dip is a serious a warning sign. Why? Given an affordable housing crisis, several states – including half of the top 10 manufactured home selling states – experienced a year over year (YoY) decline in sales in 2018 vs. 2017. These are trends that should not be ignored or swept under the rug with MHI’s latest photo op picture of a staffer with some public official.  Question.  How many new manufactured home sales are made due to those photo ops?  Few?  Any? 

 

While MHI’s claim itself sound exaggerated, even if they were true, doesn’t the industry’s low 2018 outcome reflect that negative stories like these about crime are winning the day in the public’s mind?

By contrast, the analysis and engagement by MHProNews – in the case below done  in concert with MHARR, which is a producer, not post-production trade group – is an example of how if every negative story was addressed, it could turn lemons into lemonade.  In many cases, the facts are on the industry’s side.  But if the facts are not reported, then they don’t help the industry, and consumers are cheated of an opportunity too.

 

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This is a different topic than crime, but the same principle applies. The facts about mobile homes, manufactured homes and related statistics about tornadoes are widely misunderstood. To get to the heart of this or any other issue, it must be addressed and corrected as routinely as it comes up, until news media realizes the facts vs. the outdated notions. ‘One and done’ just doesn’t work in a 24/7/365 news cycle. Repeated misinformation will create an impression that is false, and manufactured home shoppers will be misinformed unless facts are corrected every time.

 

MHI’s own prior chairman, Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage Corp, admitted that there’s a good argument for MHI – or another trade group – routinely correcting misinformation.  Given the clearly weak results for many years running, why isn’t MHI heading their own chairman’s logic, quoted below?

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

 

Pragmatic and Practical Motivation

In sports and business, results are what’s measured. The nicest person in the world – if they always failed in sports or the business world – would get replaced.

One can debate why Omaha and Knoxville are such steady supporters of Arlington, VA based MHI. But when the word “trailer” is used more today than a decade ago, when sales levels are lower today than 10 or 20 years ago, the performance of MHI should be the measuring rod.  By 2012, the term trailer was trending up, not down.  The term manufactured home was trending down.  This is a post-production issue, which means it is MHI’s responsibility as a trade organization.

 

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Advancing Solutions to the Ongoing Mess? 

At the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, an organizational effort to form a new post-production trade group will take place. Stay tuned to learn more. For leadership opportunities, click here or the image below.  Put the phrase, New MH Association Inquiry in the subject line.

 

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Contact Tony@MHMSM.com for meeting times at Tunica 2019 in March. Put the phrase, New MH Association Inquiry in the subject line.

 

Murders, fires, windstorms and other woes should not be defining manufactured home living. Stories like the above from the Tampa, FL metro happen in all kinds of neighborhoods, not just manufactured home communities or homes.

 

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Manufactured homes should be selling at ten time or more the sales currently experienced. Would you like to see a 10x increase in honestly earned sales?  To learn more click here or above. That’s this morning’s installment of manufactured housing professional focused “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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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.

 

 

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