Posts Tagged ‘Evolution’

Manufactured Housing Roadblock? BBC Reports “Trailer Park Living”

May 7th, 2018 Comments off

Longtime Daily Business News readers know that the MHProNews view – and that of scores of industry professionals – is that proper terminology is important.


The reverse of that is that improper terminology is to be avoided.

When the Daily Business News uses the term “trailer house” or “trailer park,” its typically because some third party that used that phrase.  A quote is a quote, nothing more or less.  Even if the person or party is misspeaking, it is not the journalist’s or trade media’s place to change what was said.

That said, the BBC used the term trailer house living” in their video report, shown below.  That’s where the headline comes from, and as of this date, the BBC video has over 1.1 million views.  Compared to the vast majority of manufactured home videos, this video has been seen by hundreds of thousands to a million more people.  That gives a tiny sense of why this is an imporant challenge for the industry to address.

There are times that the term “mobile home” legitimately applies, because a factory-built home built on a permeant frame was built before June 15, 1976.  In the 1930s to the 1950s, there were arguably trailer houses built.  A trailer house could be pulled behind a properly equipped car or light-duty pickup (see linked report, immediately below).

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

There are scores who use the terms ‘trailer,’ ‘trailer house,’ ‘trailer park,’ ‘mobile home,’ or ‘mobile home park’ who are industry professionals and investors. When it’s a quote, we get it.  When it’s a punch like, in private, at MHProNews, we get it.  Properly used – it can be improperly applied – for SEO purposes, we get it.

But the vast majority of the time, the right thing to do is to use the correct terminology.  If you and your team don’t make that commitment, it’s not as easy to hold the media or others accountable when they misuse terms.

Some think that the term should be changed to just “home,” and that’s understandable.  That said, for reasons we won’t go into today, it’s not practical. Nor is it the law.


Manufactured homes and manufactured housing are legal terms, defined by the HUD Code for manufactured housing, which went into effect on June 15, 1976. As Steve Duke said, the code defines the construction standards a factory-built home was built to, and thus should not be deliberately misused, ever.

The video above is one of numerous practical reasons why terminology matters.  When someone is shopping for a manufactured home – and they call it a trailer – or do a search for “trailer house living,” YouTube is likely to show the BBC video above as one of those results.


When you wonder why the there is such a big fall-off between manufactured housing shoppers and buyers1, the BBC video posted above is one of dozens of exhibits industry pros, advocates and investors should consider.

Which video do you want the public watching, the one above, or the one below?


Correct terminology matters. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting


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

April 7th, 2018 Comments off

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.



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.


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.



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



Me Too?” Cures and Opportunities Begin with Understanding


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.


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.



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.)

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Related Reports:

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

Understand, Plan, and Execute – Monday Morning Sales Meeting


Consulting, Marketing, Video, Recruiting, and Training Resources



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The Evolution of 3D Printed Homes?

March 4th, 2017 Comments off

Credit3DPrintedHousesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews589When it comes to 3D printed homes, companies around the world have been working to perfect the ideal system, including Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda, which printed a two-story villa that checks in at 4,305 square feet and can reportedly withstand a magnitude eight earthquake.

But PassivDom, a Ukrainian startup, is looking to revolutionize the housing market with its concept for a stand-alone, energy-efficient 3D printed house, ideal for off-the-grid living.

According to 3ders, the idea behind PassivDom was to create a compact, fully “passive” house, one that can be designed and built without external structures such as foundation, plumbing, and water tanks, and can exist autonomously and sustainably.


PassivDom model home. Credit: 3ders.

PassivDom says that their homes and can be deployed so quickly, that owners can apparently move in within a day of buying one of the houses.

The house incorporates a number of features that help to make it sustainable, including windows that are manufactured using a proprietary window technology that eliminates heat loss. The startup says that the homes are delivered to the desired site ready to live in, with furniture and appliances already installed and ready to go, including being connected for the “Internet of Things” (IoT) so that appliances can be controlled via smartphone.

The homes also come with a security system, a 40-year warranty, and a “self-learning micro-climate system,” that creates favorable conditions inside of the homes. This maintains the ideal temperature and humidity, monitors the oxygen and carbon dioxide content.


Credit: 3ders.

PassivDom says that this means the smart home can learn how to run the house, based on your preferences. The units can also be assembled together to build out a larger home if desired.

PassivDom homes are priced between €29,900 and €64,900 ($30,000 and $67,000 USD).

For more on the 3D printed home trend, including other designs from around the world, click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

40th Anniversary of Manufactured Housing Approaches

June 9th, 2016 Comments off will be doing a celebration feature to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the first factory-built homes constructed to the HUD Code for Manufactured Housing. The “big 4-0” is on June 15, 1976. already has a new video that features a ‘walk down memory lane,’ reflecting the advances from trailer houses, to mobile homes to today’s manufactured homes that are as strong or safer than site built, yet cost about half the price. That video and article are linked here.

Please watch for that featured article, and see what you can do to use this anniversary to promote a better understanding of manufactured housing in your area. ##

(Birthday cake image credit – desktopbackgrounds. 40th anniversary of manufactured housing image collage credit,

Tea Party Republicans challenging Incumbents over SAFE Act, Constitutional issues

August 26th, 2013 Comments off

rob-ariago-credit-poststar-posted-manufactured-housing-pro-news-daily-business-news-Two tea party Republicans serving on the Wilton Republican Committee are part of what may be an re-emerging pattern within the ranks of the party. Not unlike the 2010 Tea Party revolution that brought dozens of Republicans into the House of Representatives, local candidates Rob Arrigo and Elaine Gerber are challenging incumbent state Republican Committee members Todd Kusnierz and Shirley Needham on September 10th. The 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning PostStar tells MHProNews the candidates are vying for committee representation of northeastern Saratoga County municipalities in New York’s 113th Assembly District. Rob Arrigo said Saratoga County needs a stronger voice on constitutional issues, such as the SAFE Act and gun control legislation enacted in January. “Unfortunately the SAFE Act was passed not just with Democrats, but it was passed largely because (state Sen. Majority Leader) Dean Skelos, R-Long Island, allowed a vote on the SAFE Act in the New York State Senate,” he said. “That is unacceptable, and we want to go and hold those elected officials accountable. And the best place to do that is on the state committee.” Since MHProNews knows the SAFE Act is a big issue for manufactured housing professionals, we will track this re-emerging trend to see its potential impact on Congressional races in the upcoming 2014 election. ##

(Photo credit: PostStar)

Mother Nature Loves Prefab Blu’s new Mod

August 25th, 2011 Comments off

LoftHouse3 BlueHome NewEnglandStyle credit Mother Nature NewsMotherNatureNews (MNN) reports that prefab home builder BluHomes has unveiled a new line of New England style modular homes that ‘fits the architectural vernacular of traditional and historic communities.’ Massachusetts-based prefab firm Blu Homes unveils Lofthouse, a New England style modular home that has already been making small waves on the green prefab scene.  BluHomes startup’s focus on affordability and an innovative folding technology allows for a dramatically quicker, more efficient, and cheaper factory-to-site systems building process. Now joining BluHomes’ line up of designs dubbed Element and Evolution is the Lofthouse. BluHomes Co-founder and VP of Sales and Marketing, Maura McCarthy said:  “The Lofthouse is a beautiful, precision-built green home that fits the architectural vernacular of traditional and historic communities. The MNN reported that the charming exterior of the traditional version of the Lofthouse is reminiscent of a New England barn-style home, complete with Colonial-style windows and shutters. The more modern version does away with shutters and expands the windows to provide an uninterrupted view and a true indoor/outdoor living experience.” This modular abode was inspired by “the look and feel of classic New England homes” and designed to “appeal to traditionalists and modernists alike.” So what does a “classic New England home” look like exactly? Basically, it translates to “barn-like” interior, but with a modern interior.

(Photo credit: MotherNatureNews)