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Fact Check, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider Claim on 2019 Louisville Show Attendance

March 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

FactCheckDarrenKrolewskiMHInsiderClaim2019LouisvilleShowAttendenceMHProNews

Darren Krolewski, Co-President at MHVillage and publisher of their MHInsider magazine made another bold claim in their most recent issue.  As regular and close readers of MHProNews fact-checks may recall, a problematic claim was made in their prior issue too, and no known correction of that factual error took place.

 

In that prior instance, they made an outrageously high claim for the number of new home sales that claimed were being made by a Clayton Homes retail center.  Even MHProNews sources with Clayton denied the accuracy of the overblown MHInsider reported statistics.

In this fact-check instance, Krolewski personally said that in 2019, they had the biggest attendance of any Louisville Show in the 60-year history of the event.

Seriously?

DarrenKrowleksiPage5MarApr2019MHInsiderLogoFalseClaimMHVillegeLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

First, common-sense alone tells an informed manufactured home industry reader or investor that when this segment of the factory-built home industry is at only about 75% under its last peak in 1998, that outrageous claim on its face doesn’t make much sense.  There were thousands of more retailers years ago, not to mention more communities, suppliers, producers, lenders and so on.

 

ManufacturedHomesAsPercentageofSinglefamilyHousingStartsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSkylineChampionSKY780x943

 

Second, the industry today is doing only about 20 percent of what it produced in the early 1970s. See the shipment graphic, provided by another Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member, Skyline-Champion (SKY).

Third, Danny Ghorbani used to run the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show as a vice president for the Manufactured Housing Institute in the 1970s. When asked by MHProNews about the attendance, he said the show drew roughly 10,000 attendees a year back in the day.  That would be several times higher than the 2019 turnout.  Ghorbani stressed that the show was a national event then, and is only a regional show now.

Keep in mind as well that the number of new home display units in Louisville declined in 2019, a fact they show management, MHVillage, and MHI can’t hide.  At its peak, by contrast, the Louisville Show used to have over 150 or more factory-built homes on display.  That’s several times bigger than what the show has been in recent years.  Homes used to occupy several show halls. This year, exhibitor space and display unit totals both decline.  Is MHVillage/MHInsider giving cover to MHI for troubling signs ahead?

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What Does This Obvious Error by MHVillage/MHInsider Means?

At a minimum, this is another example of either an obvious error that a manufactured home industry knowledgeable editor should catch, or perhaps is an example of a deliberately false or “fake news” claim.  The problem is this is a pattern of repeated errors, not a one-off.  See another recent example from MHInsider below. But why would they be making obviously mistaken or fake claims?

 

PatrickRevereRetailersSeeHighDemandMHinsiderLogoMHVillageLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFactCheck

 

Legacy Housing monitored their results of their most recent promotion.  Casey Mack, made the following statement. Additional details are found here and here, or further below.  Rephrased, part of this might be puffery on the part of MHVillage/MHInsider.  They may be posturing for the sake of advertisers.   But beyond that, this purported pattern of “fake news” all seems to point in one direction.  Namely, to make the readers of such false information believe that times are better than they actually are.  The industry in numerous markets is in months of decline, not growth.  Where is there such an admission by Krolewski, MHInsider, or MHI?

CaseyMackTonySoheylaMHProNewsTeamFirstCallDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

While several speculative notions could be floated as to why this occurs, one point is clear.  MHInsider repeatedly themselves makes or publish the claims of others that appear exaggerated on their face or are perhaps deliberately misleading.  Either way, it is part of an ongoing pattern that pro-Manufactured Housing Institute MHInsider has exhibited for some time.

For just one example of a growing industry crisis, where are their reports on problems like the one reported in MHVille only by MHProNews, in the hot-linked text-image box below?

 

Urgency Grows, Another City Prepares Ban on Manufactured Homes

 

These are the issues that cause manufactured home retailers real or metaphorical heartburn. Why doesn’t MHInsider, MHR, or other industry publishers aligned with MHI cover these same concerns?

 

Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’

 

Wittingly or not, these articles by MHInsider are akin to purported propaganda techniques being used by MHI, their surrogates, and select MHI members While the industry is routinely being buffeted by several problematic issues, MHInsider routinely makes it seem that all is sunshine and roses, forgetting that the later always has thorns.

 

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

 

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Darren and others at MHI praised the fact checks and ‘thankless‘ pro-growth work based upon reality, not falsehoods.

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews believes in accuracy.  While anyone – including us – can get typos or such accidental mistakes, factual errors beg for correction. Where is MHInsider’s mature admission of such mistakes?

 

As Affordable Housing Crisis Rages, New HUD Code Manufactured Housing Shipments Fall, Some States Drop 35-40 Percent

 

Fake news or false hype are apparently aimed to make manufactured home industry pros and independents think things are better than they are.  MHInsider, MHI, or MHR each provide examples that sadly don’t help manufactured home pros recover from the very real challenges faced in zoning, financing, public acceptance, and the like.  These are issues that MHProNews, MHARR, NAMHCO, and others will be exploring at Tunica Thursday March 28 at 12:15 PM.  We’ve documented the problems for some years, now it is time for industry professionals to organize and take the steps towards cures.

 

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ProblemSolvingZigZiglarFirstStepRecognizetheProblemExistsNextIsProblemOurResponsiblityProblemSolvingVeryImportantDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTonyKovachbookshelfJimCollinsWeathermanRainLATonyKovachDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

See the related reports below the byline for more on the special Tunica Show event.  RSVP and sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news that sources say Krolewski, George Allen, and Ken Rishel – all MHInsider writers – among others read closely, per their confidants.

 

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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.

 

That’s  from manufactured housing most read and most trusted “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Friday the 13th, Mobile Homes, Fires, Tornado Magnets and the 2020 U.S. Census

July 13th, 2018 Comments off
Friday13thMobileHomesFiresTornadoMagnetsandthe2020U.S.CensusManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHpronews

What if the HUD Code or ANSI labels are missing? Or what if it is a pre-HUD Code mobile home? How will the media report this? 

It’s what award-winning manufactured home industry professional Marty Lavin, speaking tongue in cheek, called the industry’s “other image campaign.”

 

It’s what Darren Krolewski, now Co-President of MHVillage, said is part of the ongoing wave of bad news in mainstream media about “mobile homes” that seems to outweigh the good news about manufactured housing.

Among the most common mainstream news items related to factory-built homes in America are stories about mobile homes that catch fire.

Some mainstream news items are stories about arson. Others are kitchen fires, or the cause of the blaze may have been a careless smoker. But whatever the cause, because of the nomenclature issue with mainstream media, the false impression is left that manufactured homes are more susceptible to fire than conventional housing.

Another common local news topic, especially after the start of the tornado and hurricane seasons, are windstorms and “mobile homes.”

Because of the internet, every local story is carried globally. That means that people throughout the U.S. that are researching or shopping for a home, get the false impression that caused Ohio’s Governor John Kasich to mistakenly target manufactured housing for fire hazards.

While the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA), and their state’s resident group lost that battle, the OMHA’s routine push-back may have been a factor in rising new manufactured home shipments there, when two other states in their region are seeing declining new manufactured home shipments.

Alabama and Florida are among the state associations that have pushed-back on the problematic narrative of “mobile homes,” manufactured homes, and windstorms.

ProperDefinitionsMobileHomeManufacturedHomeOrTrailerHOuseCivirlRightsPublicPolicy&ValuesIssuesSunshineHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews550x315

How many know that manufactured homes are as safe as a conventional house? It’s older mobile homes that routinely create problematic news. Which is why both data collection and nomenclature are key issues to advance manufactured housing education, which will boost sales naturally, Fixing the Census on this issue can help. 

 

The Common Denominators, Root Issues?

What are the common denominators in these vexing mainstream news stories?

Two factors, one is nomenclature/accurate data. That challenge should be tackled at both the local market – the state level, and nationally – as our recent Daily Business News article spotlighted at the link below. As with any linked article, that can be read later for greater depth of understanding and more related facts.

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

 

But the other is an issue of data collection. That’s where the U.S. Census Bureau comes in.

The Census Bureau provides often useful data for manufactured housing, because it reveals the substantial price savings over conventional construction.

But the flip side of the Census Bureau is what storm researchers have told MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

The Census Bureau’s database needs to collect accurate counts of how many manufactured home are in use, as well as how many pre-HUD Code mobile homes are in use.

NPR-Tornado Hits Mobile Home, Fact Check-Why Terminology Matters to Manufactured Housing Industry, Home Owners, Weather, News Pros

Doing that, say storm researchers, would aid them in their impact models, which currently – and unfairly – lump pre-HUD Code mobile homes in with post June, 15, 1976 built HUD Code manufactured homes.

Letters to congressional representatives, U.S. Senators and other public officials asking for this bureaucratic change is long overdue, and a necessary common-sense step that would arguably save taxpayer dollars over time.  Why?  Because more manufactured home sales would arguably reduce the numbers of subsidized housing units needed.

Having the Census Bureau make a change in their data collection is an example of an issue that is ideally handled by state or national post-production associations. So those who are members of such groups should be asking them to engage in this.

It is a fact that more mobile homes burn more than manufactured homes.  More pre-HUD Code mobile homes blow away than manufactured homes. The success of the quality and safety of the HUD Code is undermined by poor data, and poor nomenclature.

Keeping the Home Fires from Burning: Fire Safety and the Modern Manufactured Home

The solution is good information and media engagement.

That requires pro-active efforts now to make this part of the rapidly-approaching 2020 Census. It is an opportunity for associations to do what Nathan Smith said is necessary, namely, to be pro-active.

On this Friday the 13th, its an apt time to change decades of often avoidable misfortune into potentially millions of more new manufactured home sales, all by taking common sense steps now. Each manufactured home professional, advocate, and investor is either part of the solution, or part of the problem. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

 

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MHVillage Confirms Data, and Michigan Operational Slide Revealed

June 22nd, 2018 Comments off

MHVillageLogoConfirmsDataMichiganManufacturedHousingAssocLogoShipmentSalesSlideRevealedDailyBusinessNewsMHProHNews550

In a message forwarded to the Daily Business News, MHVillage (MHV) confirmed troubling data that has been presented in person to dozens of gathered industry professionals.

DarrenKroloweskiMHVillageCoPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronewsThe factoids were shared by MHVillage’s Co-President, Darren Krolewski, using a positive-spin narrative.

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, MHVillage Inc. is the nation’s premier online marketplace for buying and selling manufactured homes with more than 25 million unique visitors annually. Last year, more than 80,000 homes were sold on MHVillage with a combined transaction value exceeding $3 billion,” said their promotion of a George Allen event.

Accepting their data claims at face value, the numbers on the surface appear impressive, which is their obvious intent.  They’re claiming they are the “premier marketplace.”

But when the MHVillage data is viewed more closely, what they reveal ought to be troubling to marketers and sellers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

The ratio of sales of homes on their site is a tiny fraction of a single percent.

Specifically, using MHV published 2017 data,

  • it is only about 1/3 of 1 percent of all visitors to their site ends up buying a manufactured home, so,
  • the average sales price of the home listed and sold there would be $37,500.
  • Considering the U.S. Census Bureau said that the average sales price of a new manufactured home was $72,900 in Dec 2017,
  • meaning the average HUD Code manufactured housing unit sold there would be 51.44% – roughly half the value – of the average new manufactured home shipped in December 2017.

2018-06-22_0521ConversionRatiosPerMHVillageLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

More Woes? Michigan Data Reveals Shipment Slide

According to the April 2018 shipment data supplied by a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) source, Michigan – one of the top 10 states per Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) data – is sliding.

2018-06-22_0704MichiganManufacturedHousingAssociationLogoDataShipmentsAparil2017vsApril2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Several questions about the decline and related were posed to the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association’s executive director, over the course of a few days.  Neither Bill Shaefer, nor the association, opted to answer.

What’s going on?  It’s part of a previously reported trend, which can be read in the linked article below after this column is finished.

While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

Krolewski is on record sharing this view, “I think one of the challenges we have as an industry is that there is not enough positive news about manufactured housing to counter the negative.

2018-06-22_0504MHVillageTrafficDataAlexaManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews600

It’s a reality check, not a slam to do the math. If MHV is the industry’s “premier marketplace,” then the industry’s image woes are center stage, and Krolewski’s own statement explains why.

BobCrawfordFrankRolfeManufacturedHousingIndustryProfessionalNewsMHProNews

Bob Crawford, left, Frank Rolfe, right. Still credit, Inside MH video, by MHProNews.com.

For years, we have wondered WHY there was so little pro-industry advocacy from MHI to government movements, proposals, rules, etc. that were [often] not in the best interest of this industry,” said Bob Crawford, president of historic Dick Moore Housing, a BBB A+ rated firm.

On the MHU blog, Frank Rolfe has said, MHI – the industry lobby group…what’s with the concept of silence is golden? Negative articles on the industry are met with “no comment”. Positive news opportunities are met with “no comment”. 
I’ve never seen anything like it
.” 1

Krolewski has said at one point that the industry would be getting support from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on image building and messaging.  In fact, MHI has an active social media campaign, and reportedly one or two public relations people on staff, and has contracted others at times too.

That being so, where are their measurable results?

2018-06-22_0518EngagementofSiteVistorsMHVillageManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe industry is slowly crawling back from the bottom hit in 2009/2010. Aren’t new manufactured home sales the final metric that matters?  Isn’t that how the National Association of Home Builders ™ (NAHB), or the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR) are measuring results?  Don’t sellers see want to know how many housing starts, and how many actual conventional housing unit sales?

We always hear about the tornadoes, flooding, fires, residents getting evicted from their homes so a shopping center can be built, unreasonable rent increases, how manufactured homes depreciate in value, etc,” Krolewski has said. “I think it’s less about the industry not responding appropriately, than it is us constantly having to play defense when we do.”

And all of this from the publisher of the MHInsider?

Rolfe has said, “…it’s my belief that the only way to elevate the public opinion of our industry is to explain to people (who are often full of negative stereotypes from such movies as 8-Mile and television shows like COPS and Trailer Park Boys) the truth about our product and business model.”

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Kurt Kelley. Credit: MHProNews.

Kurt Kelley, JD – a colleague of Rolfe’s in the MHR project – pointed out that: “My Dad used to tell me, ‘Perception is the reality of others. So you better make sure you are perceived accurately and positively.’ If you let others define you, you’re stuck with their definition of you.”

Historically,” Kelley said, “the MH industry has been defined by the lowest common denominator, and not by the great value offered by our homes or the excellent living choice MHC’s offer across the country. A recent poll showed that 85% of all Republicans and 60% of all Democrats didn’t trust the media. You can fight back successfully.”

Editorially, we note that Kelly’s point is precisely what MHLivingNews and MHProNews has done, fight back with facts.

So why did MHI, while this operation was still their member, undermine and allegedly attempt to derail our pro-growth industry efforts?  One of hundreds of examples can be found at the link below.

WhereAreYouHeadingThisSummerHowManufacturedHomeLivingCanImproveYourLifestyleMHLivingNews

Readers can circle back and check out the article below, which points to facts useful for the manufactured home industry.
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/where-are-you-headed-this-summer/

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist,” the late, great Zig Ziglar said.

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism,” said the inspirational minister, author, and speaker, the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, according to BrainyQuotes.

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things,” said Winston Churchill, per the New Statesman.

CriticismMayNotBeAgreeableButItIsNecessaryItFulfillsSameFuncationAsPainInHumanBodyItCallsAttentiontoUnhealthyStateofThingsWinstonChurchillMHProNews

Critiques, fact checks, aren’t personal. Rather, they are a professional necessity.

Frank Rolfe, Marty Lavin, Bob Crawford, L. A. “Tony” Kovach and others are among those that have recognized that the industry’s post-production sector – specifically Arlington, VA based MHI – has failed to deliver on image building.

The result?  Historically low sales levels, which have contributed to industry consolidations.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

Having identified the problems, the next step must be to move toward solutions.

The communities sector, after breaking last year with MHI, is launching their own post-production national association.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

What about those in retail, installation, lending, suppliers, and services, etc.? To learn more, see the related articles, linked below. ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Footnote: 1) Typo in the original.  In fairness to Rolfe, in England, quotes are placed as he used it, inside the punctuation mark.

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George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

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The Apprentice – Proper Understanding, Planning, and Execution – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Marketing and Sales Meeting

April 30th, 2018 Comments off
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Do you want the welder with one class worth of experience, or do you want the welder trained under and expert, and who’s been an apprentice for several months, or a year?  Doesn’t more training produce better work and results?

Let’s summarize what clear data (facts), Frank Rolfe, and MHVillage’s Darren Krolewski statements should be informing all manufactured housing professionals, owners and investors.

 

Modern manufactured homes are widely misunderstood. If this weren’t true, you’d be selling many times more manufactured homes at your location(s) than is currently true.

That summary is an important element to understanding how to grow sales in your local market. For the details per Frank, Darren and the relevant data, click here.

Because the problem – ignorance, prejudice, bias, NIMBY, and misunderstanding are well known – the highly profitable solution becomes clear. It’s simple, yet profound.

The solution is market-based, local-level educational efforts. 

Education must be on two levels. Professional education, plus the education of the public including  opinion influencers. 

Well qualified home buyers, which routinely describes those buying conventional housing, shop for weeks or months (sometimes, years) before making a decision.  They may only call, message, or come out to look after they’ve been doing their homework online or doing drive-by-looks for weeks or months. That means your online strategy must account for that reality. 

For the personal engagement with consumers, if you handle them professionally, they may make what seems to be rapid decision. But remember – in fact, they’ve been shopping for quite some time.  If they come to you, that often means you have to screw up to not sell them. 

So don’t screw up.

Every location that wants to grow sustainably needs one or more apprentices. 

The investment in the correct online, video, and sales coaching/training is tiny compared to the ROI.  It’s common sense.  It’s honorable and ethical, and thus sustainable. Once understood, its less stress than many current sales models. To learn more, click or call.  To see the relevant data and comments from Frank, and Darren, click the link below. ## (Marketing, research, educational, data, analysis and commentary.) 

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Related Reports:

RVHorizon/MHP Funds Investing/Mobile Home Univ Communities Leader, Frank Rolfe’s Hidden Gem

 

 

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

April 7th, 2018 Comments off
RedmondNewMoonTrailerHouseMobileHomeLucyDesiLongLongTrailerMovieStillTailreHouseTraumaDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryRedmondNewMoonTrailerHouseMobileHomeLucyDesiLongLongTrailerMovieStillTailreHouseTraumaDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsMHProNews

A Redmond New Moon mobile home, which today would be part of Champion Homes. Still from the movie, “The Long, Long Trailer.” see clips of the video, below.

Misunderstood.

 

Perhaps no other industry which has a product that boasts 22 million daily users is as misunderstood as the Manufactured Housing Industry in 21st Century America.

DarrenKrolowskiDataCompJLTAssocMHVillageEVPCreditDataComp.

Darren Krolewski, MHV.

At the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Darren Krolewski exemplified the problem, when he told attendees that they can ask some adult about a “manufactured home,” and they often have “no clue what that means.”

Krolewski is not alone in that experience.

Part of that misunderstanding can be captured in the irony – the tragedies – illuminated in the routine misuse by media or others of the words, “trailer house,” and “trailer park.”

For millions, those words are synonymous with “trailer trash.” Not many want to be thought of as trailer trash, one of the last acceptable put-downs of the 21st Century. After interviewing many, often on video, it is clearly an emotional trauma for them.

When tens of millions of potential buyers don’t understand the manufactured home product, of course it’s acceptance as a mainstream form of housing is compromised.

There are opportunities that can arise from that understanding. But to tap them, one must take a fresh look, and begin by clearly grasping the cause before the cure can be understood, or applied.

MHVille’s “Trailer House Trauma” is not the only explanation why so relatively few manufactured homes are being sold today, but it is one of them.

 

Lucy and Desi – Flashback to When a Trailer House Was Classy and Cool

If you’ve ever watched the Lucy and Desi comedy movie, “The Long, Long Trailer” then you realize that when you flashback in time to the early 1950s when that film was produced, it was often upscale people who bought a mobile home or ‘trailer house.’

 

 

The reason it was called a ‘trailer’ is because it could be pulled behind many a car, or pickup, as is often demonstrated in the movie.

Note in the chart below how high the sales levels of mobile homes were in the 1950s through the early 1970s?

Image and understanding aren’t everything, but they are a key part of acceptance.

So, “The Long, Long Trailer movie certainly didn’t hurt the sales of mobile homes.

 

Fast Forward to the 1990s.

Now, hop in your De Lorean, and flash-forward from the 1950s to the 1990s.

The manufactured housing industry was hitting its most recent peak. Several problematic challenges were in motion, including poorly underwritten manufactured home chattel loans. 2 decades later, that’s another problem that still haunts the industry with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Wall Street.

But why?

There was a bigger bloodbath in conventional housing’s varied meltdowns, the most recent and memorable one being the bubble that burst in 2008. Conventional and other lending came back for mainstream homes, why not for manufactured homes?

Part of the reason the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing, rural, and undeserved markets was passed by Congress in 2008 was precisely the “poor paper” image that manufactured home chattel loans unfairly represented. Some independents in the industry realized that they needed Congress to act, to force federally chartered Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) lenders to support America’s most unsubsidized form of affordable home ownership.

After all, isn’t it discriminatory to robustly support mainstream housing, and not give equal opportunity for supporting manufactured homes?

But another issue for manufactured housing in the 1990s was the brewing “image issue.”

It was exacerbated when President Bill Clinton’s advisor James Carville, as a red herring on that administration’s simmering sex scandals, quipped “Drag a $100 bill through a trailer park, you never know what you will find.”

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” James Carville, Clinton Strategist

That comment by Carville went viral.

It’s haunted the industry ever since. In hindsight, one might ask, why didn’t the industry respond?

Carville’s calculated comment was a clearly bigoted, prejudicial statement that targeted the millions of Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-code manufactured homes (MH) — and by extension — the industry that serves them.  Not addressing the slander was arguably a mistake.

In the 1990s, the RV Industry – which began to separate from the MH industry during the mobile home (MH) era – launched and sustained since then their “Go RVing” image campaign. The manufactured housing (MH) tested marketing campaigns at times and regions, like ones done in California, or the Pacific Northwest. But those efforts were not sustained. Nor was there ever a coordinated, national MH campaign in the days when the industry’s producers were flush with cash.

So, the RV production chart reflects the fact that towable and motorized recreational vehicles (RVs) outsell manufactured homes today by more than 5 to 1. Yet RVs cost far more per square foot than even the higher priced manufactured homes. RVs are for most a luxury item, with many RVs not necessarily used for full-time living.  To rephrase, the Go RVing campaign has worked.

But that doesn’t imply that the same would work for manufactured housing.  That said, doing nothing is also not acceptable.

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RVs are but one reminder than manufactured housing (MH) is nowhere near its potential.

 

 

Me Too?” Cures and Opportunities Begin with Understanding

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The above is a collage of some images from Ken Corbin’s presentation at the manufactured housing industry’s 5 State Event in Deadwood, SD. There’s been over 10,000 retailers lost since the 1990s, said Corbin. That’s “the 10,000 drop.” Graphic by Corbin used with permission.

Former Clayton manager and retailer, Ken Corbin told MH professionals in Tunica, “don’t be a me too” seller in the manufactured home industry. To be more successful than others, one must stand out from the crowd.

Ken’s correct on not being a “me too” point — if greater success is the goal — then Ken’s point is true.

But more than that, one must first understand the causes of what’s kept manufactured housing rising since 2009, but still at historically low levels. It’s common sense that the cure comes after a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

This article looks at measurable data points and troubling facts that almost no one in the industry today mentions, much less addresses.

The “Trailer House Trauma” is far from the only challenge, but it is a real one.  Those willing to stand out from the pack are those who are willing to do the research or hire the talent needed to gain a similar understanding that successful investors like Warren Buffett have routinely done.

Give the man his due, Buffett does his home work.  He says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day.

What’s Next?

This is part one of a periodic series on the true state of the manufactured housing industry after the first quarter of 2018.

Some related data points and reports are found linked after the Related Reports header, further below.

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Trailers could be pulled by a properly equipped car or pickup truck. Mobile homes became heavier, wider, and long enough to require special equipment and a trained driver. Manufactured housing is routinely far heavier still, wider, and moving them properly takes heavy equipment and a skilled driver.

As a closing note for today, while being “misunderstood” and the “Trailer House Trauma” is a problem, but it’s also an opportunity in disguise for potentially hundreds of industry companies of all sizes.

Manufacturers, retailers, communities, lenders, vendors and other service providers are all able to benefit from the proper localized, targeted marketing and customer engagement approaches.  Those methods must be based upon reality, as opposed to wishful thinking.  They must be sustainable, or else they will fail.

Hundreds of thousands of affordable homes are needed every year in the U.S. What other sector of the multi-trillion-dollar housing industry has so much upside potential?  Can you name any?

“Starting” Dip in Home Sales, New Crisis Says Housing Experts

 

RV and National Association of Realtors (NAR) data are clear indicators that with the proper capital, planning, team, motivation, and execution, manufactured housing industry professionals can turn their own image around on a localized basis.  RV dealers and real estate firms invest in their success.  Half a million RVs in 2017, plus over 5 million resale housing units for the NAR in 2017 are proof that it pays off.

 

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Sadly, very few understand the connection between understanding the challenges, which can then lead to profitable solutions.  But that too is an opportunity in disguise, for those who reject being another ‘me too,’ and embrace the notion that success requires thoughtful change.

Case studies our consulting operation has done with those who put in the effort and resources have seen solid, positive results. To learn more, note the second related report, linked below. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines)

Related Reports:

“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

Understand, Plan, and Execute – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

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Consulting, Marketing, Video, Recruiting, and Training Resources

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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach to the Daily Business News 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

 

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates. You’ll see in the first issue or two why big, medium and ‘mom-and-pop’ professionals are reading these headline news items by the thousands. These are typically delivered twice weekly to your in box.

Power of Pushback, Spotlighting – “Controversial” Modular Home Placement Reversed

October 19th, 2017 Comments off

PushbackDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe latest twist in the story of a modular home that was going to be forced out of a development took an interesting turn.  To understand the issue, Daily Business News readers will recall the factory-built housing industry’s most complete report, linked here.

What looked like a sad win for NIMBYism, against seemingly any form of off-site home building, has taken a positive turn for the builder and home buyer involved.

How did that happen?

NIMBYDefintionManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A Local Letter to the Editor…

A recent letter to the editor of MLivethat latter of which was the primary media source on this controversy – begins, “How sad that the residents of Allendale Township are so resistant to something different that they would belly-ache about a resident having his home built of modular construction.”

Whether they know it or not, a modular home is ‘stick-built’ just as much as the homes they now live in. The only difference is that they were built under the roof of a factory, on a flat surface, where it didn’t get rained or snowed on, and with no wind storms that could rip Tyvek off the exterior walls and shingles off the roof,” wrote Carl De Vries, of nearby Jenison, MI.

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The term ‘modular home’ cannot be confused with the term ‘manufactured homes.’…” Vries stated, ending by chiding the NIMBY-minded locals with, “C’mon Allendale, join the modern age.”

The Rest of the Story…

Sherry Kuyt recaps MLive’s account of the events.  Bullets below were added by MHProNews, but the text is that of Kuyt.

  • On Sept. 19, Curtis Moran put upSherryKuytMLiveDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews a 1,387-square-foot three-bedroom modular home at 5367 Crestfield Lane in the Springfields III development.
  • About a week later, Moran was told by the developer, Merwyn Koster, that the home would have to be removed after complaints by neighbors and other builders.
  • But on Oct. 16, Moran announced that his negotiations with the developer had proved successful.

Describing the reversal, Kuyt states, “It is going to stay,” Moran said. “It is set in stone; everything’s signed off.”

He did not explain why the developer changed his mind, and said he did not pay any settlement money to Koster. Koster could not be reached for comment,” MLive’s account stated.

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What the above reflects is that the letter to the editor was published the same day as the published announcement was made.  That makes it unlikely to have influenced the discussion.

But this reversal happened to take place just days after MHProNews published its in-depth look at this issue. It must be noted that other housing industry sources had also spotlighted this issue, and no doubt the parties involved were also in talks.

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The factory-built home, as many industry professionals observed, is residential in appearance and set over a basement, yet the neighbors pushed back.  The original story, linked here, has been reversed within just days of the report being published.

Did spotlighting and push-back have an influence?  At this time, a definitive answer is unknown.

WilliamBillShefferMiManufacturedHousingAssocDarrenKrolewskiMHVillageTomHardemanModBuildingInstittuepostedDailyBusinessnwesMHProNews

William Bill Sheffer, Darren Krolewski, Tom Hardeman were among the professionals who sounded off, on the record, on this modular controversy. Within days, the locals changed their decision. Other media also pointed out this same story. Did the array of pushback influence the local decision? See original story, linked here.

What seems obvious is this. “If nothing is challenged, then nothing changes.” – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Several factory built housing industry members provided feedback that made the MHProNews article possible – are hereby applauded, and are always valued.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

DataComp, JLT Associates Announces New Manufactured Home Market Reports

June 7th, 2017 Comments off

DataCompJLTReleaseNewManufacturedHomeCommunitiesMarketReportMobileManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsDarren Krolewski, Executive Vice President at DataComp/JLT Associates tells MHProNews that they’ve released their most recent market reports.

The 2017 reports cover several states; to see those covered and their release, please click the link here.

About JLT Reports

JLT Market Reports was founded by John Turzer in 1995, and is viewed by many as the industry standard for market and rent survey research in the Manufactured Home Community Industry.

In 2014, JLT & Associates merged its resources with DataComp and MHVillage.

JLT is now headquartered, along with it’s sister operations, at 2600 5 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.

MHVillageDataCompJLTAssoc26005MileRdNGrandRapidsMi49525OfficeManufacturedHousingIndustryReportsNewsMHDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews595

Office location of DataComp, JLT Assoc, and MHVillage, per Google maps, street view. Posted Daily Business News on MHProNews under fair use guidelines.

DataComp/JLT has provided an example of some of their summary data – in the case below, for the 2016 Michigan market, see that sample below.

Sample MI Market Report Findings and Observations

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An example of what a JLT Assoc bound market report looks like, this is available electronically too. Image credits are as shown.

The 2016 sample report for Michigan communities says that occupancy of All Ages Communities shows significant increases for the second consecutive year.

This occurred after an extended period of previous decline. Occupancy rates among Michigan “All Ages” manufactured home communities stabilized in 2014 and began trending upward significantly for the first time in 2015.

That positive trend continued into 2016, as All Ages Communities recorded the highest occupancy rates since 2008, and the largest occupancy increases in recent history.

As regular Daily Business News readers know, much of that has been driven by larger portfolio operations, which are buying rental units.  See a report, shown in the screen capture below and linked here.

Darren Krolewski, Executive Vice President at DataComp/JLT Associates

Credits, MHC-MD.com and the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.

As of February 2016, the average occupancy rate for Michigan All Ages manufactured home communities was 77%, a 2.7% increase over 2015.

JLT called that “reflective of the strong demand for the affordable housing within the Michigan market. Despite this positive growth, Michigan continues to trend significantly lower than the 86% national average for All Ages communities.”

Occupancy has also increased in Michigan “55+” communities, stated JLT. “As of February 2016, the average occupancy rate is 81%, up 1.3% over February 2015. This represents the largest increase since 2014 and a reversal of a notable occupancy decline experienced among Michigan 55+ communities in 2015. Currently, the national average for 55+ communities is 94%. “

DarrenKrolowskiDataCompJLTAssocMHVillageEVPCreditDataComp.

Darren Krolewski, Executive Vice President at DataComp/JLT Associates, credit, MHVillage.

The teaser summary from Krolewski further stated that “As of February 2016, Michigan ranks 16th for average occupancy in All Ages manufactured home communities out of the 16 regions in which JLT Market Reports are published. Of the 14 regions that include 55+ communities, Michigan ranks 13th for average occupancy among this segment.”

The manufactured home data, listing and analysis firm also said that site fees – a.k.a. “lot rents” – have continued to grow for the 16th consecutive year.

In February 2016, the average adjusted rent in Michigan All Ages communities increased by 1.3% to $387, less than the average annual compounded increase of 2% in this market. The national average adjusted rent for All Ages communities is currently $436,” their summary statement said.

The average adjusted rent among Michigan 55+ communities in February 2016 increased slightly by .3% to $389. In contrast, the national average adjusted rent for 55+ communities is currently $469,” adding that “Michigan manufactured home community rents ranked 11th out of 16 regions tracked by Datacomp for All Ages communities as of February 2016, and 13th out of 14 regions for 55+ communities.”

The detailed JLT reports can come bound, as in the example shown in the photo, and/or electronically. Numerous operators and those doing due diligence and market research have found these reports to be useful and time saving over creating a similar report themselves. For more details on their latest report, see their press release to MHProNews, please click the link here.##

(Image credits, when provided by third parties, are shown under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.

 

MH Village Announces New Industry Service

May 4th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: LinkedIn.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based MHVillage, the nation’s number one website for buying, selling, and renting mobile and manufactured homes, tells MHProNews that it has introduced a new text notification feature, MHVfastLead™.

MHVfastLead will allow MHVillage.com professional account holders to receive a text message when there is a new sales lead from the site. MHVillage says that this will allow industry professions the opportunity for a faster response when they are away from a computer or email.

Now MHVillage advertisers can get back to prospects more quickly than ever, and have a better chance of qualifying and closing the lead,” said MHVillage Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Darren Krolewski.

MHVillageAnnouncesNewIndustryServicecreditLinkedin-Darren-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Darren Krolewski. Credit: LinkedIn.

We developed this feature for our website because we understand the value of getting a sales lead notification and response in the shortest possible time.”

MHVillage says that email lead notifications will continue uninterrupted regardless of participation in the MHVfastLead program. Leads received via text provide the advertiser with an alert that includes the date and time of the inquiry, the name of the interested person and details on the home being considered.

Citing leading academic and sales research, MHVillage says that the odds of making a successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when a contact attempt occurs within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.

Similarly, the odds of the lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes after the lead was submitted. The research cited also showed that approximately 43 percent of sales go to the sales professional who was first to respond, and that the odds of a call resulting in a contact with a lead decreases by 10 times within the first hour following lead notification.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, MHVillage is an online marketplace for manufactured homes with listings for over 28,000 homes, 37,000 communities, and 2,900 retailers nationwide.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

“Phenomenal,” “Best Show in Years” 2016 Tunica Show Flash Report

March 23rd, 2016 Comments off
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March 24, 2016 Forecast for Tunica, MS from AccuWeather.

Tunica has been a great show! It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet with customers old, and new. We are thrilled with the outstanding turnout.” said Darren Krolewski with MHVillage, JLT, DataComp. Krolewski’s viewpoint is not unique, others have been telling MHProNews that attendance is up, and so is business.

While not every manufacturer said that their business was up, most reported increases in traffic and business. One senior manager told MHProNews that the 2016 Tunica Show was The best show in years,” another plant sales manager said they were “covered upmost of the day, and a third said this year’s show as Phenomenal.”

A source with show management said that the unofficial tally reflected over 100 more attendees on the first day than the same period last year. The forecast of the show Thursday suggests that the forecast for rain looks like it will end around 10;00 to 11;00 AM CT, with the balance of the day clearing.

New attendees who have not pre-registered can bring their business card and a photo ID to register at the show, for more show info, click here.  Update reports on the 2016 Tunica Show will be coming this weekend. ##  

Editor’s Note: For More Show Insights, live from Tunica, click here.

(Image credit: AccuWeather)

Michigan State Association Conference to Honor Members’ Efforts

September 17th, 2015 Comments off

michigan manufactured housing association logoNew this year at the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association’s (MMHA) 74th Annual MMHA conference in Detroit Oct. 19-20 will be a program to recognize the exceptional marketing and communications efforts of our members, according to news.sys-con. Categories include best community entrance, best model home staging, best community event or activity, best member sales event or activity, best member website and best member advertisement. Winners in each category will receive an award.

Speakers at the conference include Liz Keegan from the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan, Darren Krolewski with Datacomp and Debbie Ostrander from the Department of Environmental Quality. Rick Robinson from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) will discuss national industry issues, while state governmental liaison Tom Hoisington of Public Affairs Associates will go over important legislative updates.

Additionally, MHProNews has learned a panel session, “Legally Speaking,” will feature two attorneys, I. Matthew Miller and Matthew Paletz, hosted by MMHA legal counsel Bill Perrone.

(Image credit:Michigan Manufactured Housing Association)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.