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Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

May 5th, 2019 Comments off

 

WarrenBuffettsProfitableLessonsforManufacturedHousing

“”We can afford to lose money – even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation – even a shred of reputation,” wrote Warren Buffett to managers,” according to a post on the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook page.

 

Now contrast that with the investment-focused Motley Fool’s citation of the famous Buffett quote: “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Don’t forget rule No. 1.

Do these two fabled Buffett quotes complement or contradict each other?

We deliberately avoid answering that today.

Ladies and gentlemen professionally involved in manufactured housing land – what we lovingly refer to here on MHProNews as MHVille – those Buffett quotes bear close scrutiny.

Beyond the words, so too does the actual behavior of Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway’s brands.

It is not that Mr. Buffett is necessarily wrong.  As one of the top four wealthiest people in the world, he’s proven his ability to attract investment capital and make money for the long term.

The question is, how has Buffett achieved that wealth in recent years? Say the last two decades?

No two people agree on everything. We need others in our lives as reality checks. If Marty Lavin never gave MHProNews any more on-the-record quotes than those already given, the ones we have from him are highly valuable to those wise enough to grasp and apply them routinely. It isn’t that Marty invented these sayings; he did not. But as a significantly successful person in manufactured home financing – with real manufactured home (MH) community and high-volume MH retail experience –  what he said is as useful – perhaps more so – as those Buffett quotes are.  Once more, with gusto…

  • Pay more attention to what people do than what they say.
  • Follow the money.

These Lavin tips have been used by detectives, serious reporters, and other researchers for decades.

What they point to, without saying it, is the value of authentic history.

Let’s pair that with what pro-manufactured housing investor Robert Robotti said about investing. “In order to outperform the market, you have to have a contrarian point of view,” Robotti said to the Motley Fool investment media.

 

“Out-Performing the Market” Robert Robotti, Value Investing, and Manufactured Housing

 

In an organization, one needs a significant degree of compliance by team members. No factory could function successfully without team members doing their jobs well. No financing operation could profit, unless team members do their jobs well.  I know, because I’ve seen and experienced these things first hand.

But in order to achieve a breakthrough, one has to be able to step out of the box. If someone stays only inside the box, by definition, no progress is ever made.

We need to be able to celebrate the good that someone has done, while recognizing that they are bound to have flaws. Let’s give some examples, and then return to the profitable MH theme.

We like many of the quotes that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. has given us to ponder. He was surprisingly successful, but that success was not overnight. It took time, persistence, a kind of urgent patience. King was wise, but he was reputedly also a womanizer. Can’t imagine that his wife liked that reputation, can you?

A couple in the White House today have a similar challenge. But unlike the defense that much of the mainstream media gave Bill Clinton while he was president, or the cover for womanizing given to John F. Kennedy while he was president, Donald J. Trump’s past womanizing is treated quite differently. Before he ran for  president, Mr. Trump was celebrated for the same thing he is now denigrated for doing. What’s up with that? That’s not to attack the other 2, nor to defend the 45th president on that score. It is only to reflect that a double standard exists.  It is also to reflect how helpful history is.  Now, let’s take that back to MHVille.

People have to be able to discern reality, to find what is true, and separate the ‘wheat from the chaff.’  There are things Mr. Buffett has said that are insightful, useful, and true.  That doesn’t mean I have to agree with Buffett’s reputed business practices. Wheat from chaff.  Discern what is useful, then act upon that, and your odds for success go up.

Before diving into our weekly headline review, and we have some doozies for you, let me make one more observation. There have been some famous – but later convicted – con men in our nation’s history. People who were so respected, until they were found out.  Once exposed, they where then reviled. Let’s mention only one to make the point.

Bernie Madoff is described like this by Wikipedia, “Description: Bernard Lawrence Madoff is an American former market maker, investment advisor, financier, fraudster, and convicted felon, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme.”

Madoff was celebrated, until he was vilified.  By the way, not all cons are alike.

 

BernieMadoffWikiManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Now will the day may come that fans of Buffett — or an infinitely lesser light in MHVille, part-time magician George F. Allen — feel the same about them as they do now about Madoff?

Some sing the praises of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). But look at the fact that every one of the corporate industry embarrassments in MHVille named by John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” video was connected to a firm connected to MHI. Pray tell. What exactly are the leaders at MHI being celebrated for accomplishing?  Other than the increasing consolidation occurring in MHVille?

Cons are often celebrated, until they are finally understood, and then they are fully exposed. Some cons, like Madoff, go to prison.

To grasp those highly profitable lessons, one needs the perspective of history. That requires real history, not fake history. Discerning the truth requires real analysis, not fake analysis.

To be sustainably successful in MHVille, one needs to know when to duplicate – as in a training the line workers in a factory – and when to innovate. The later – innovation – means you have to be willing to be a contrarian at the proper times.

Before closing, let me tip the hat to Jim Ayotte for a statement he made that applies to everyone, not just top-tier association executives. “As an association executive, my job is to assess the situation and seek the best possible outcome based on the facts as I know them.”  Publishers, writers, sales professionals, business owners, line workers – everyone could apply this principle Ayotte made to themselves.

None of us don’t know what we don’t know.  That’s why we need others! But once we begin to suspect something different than what we thought we knew, it becomes parament to pivot to whatever that liberating – and often profitable – truth is.  Albert Einstein was right in saying you don’t keep repeating the same mistakes over and over if you plan to progress.

The reason that a con like Madoff’s or others arguably succeeds for as along as they do is because people are not willing to admit that they have been conned.  They are in denial. They may be embarrassed. Or they may have some other fear.

But the mature, secure adult admits an error.  If the error is that they were conned, one must make that admission, but then the solution is to move beyond the error.  That’s how profitable learning is done.  Objective history is a vital part of that process.

To my knowledge, there is no other manufactured home industry publisher that has the degree of historic and practical insights into manufactured housing reality than we do.  Not bragging, it is what it is.

 

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMarthaCNussbaumPhotoQuote

Wheat and chaff. Take the good insights someone offers, the useful lessons, and ignore whatever may be problematic. Designs by MHProNews.

 

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

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Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

 

IfMHProNewsIswritingAboutItIWantToKnowAboutItQuoteMaybe those fact-checks and historic insights are why we are the runaway

most-read in MHVille – by fans, foes, and profitable truth-seekers alike?  People put up with our typos because we have something worth putting up with.

We are getting a growing number of calls and messages from investors and their representatives.  They don’t buy the Arlington line.  If those outside looking in don’t buy it, why should you?  Folks, the industry is about to go through a shakeup. I’m not predicting a date, but don’t just mark your calendar. prepare for it yourself.  Start with staying truly informed, and avoid the deceptions that profit others but are costing independents, perhaps like you.

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

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

HowardWalkerEmergenceOfTonyKovachsPublicationsProfessionalsFilledVacuumDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

With no further adieu, let’s dive into the headlines from the varied corners of MHVille during the week that just was.

 

What’s New on the Masthead

TheMastheadCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNews

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

 

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

MHARRlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews324

MHCC Addresses Multiple Issues, HUD Secretary Carson Praises Manufactured Homes at Meeting

MHCC Addresses Multiple Issues, HUD Secretary Carson Praises Manufactured Homes at Meeting

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

MHLivingNewsImprovedLivingForLe$$taglinedropshadow

MHLivingNews features lifestyle and living news on prefab housing, with a focus on manufactured homes.

Conventional or Manufactured Housing – Facts Matter, and Public Engagement Matters Too

Ultimate Reporters, Researchers, Affordable Housing Advocates, or Shoppers 3’rd Party Research 

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos 

Saturday 5.4.2019

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

 

Friday 5.3.2019 

Jobs Surge in April, Unemployment Rate Falls to the Lowest Since 1969, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

Jobs Surge in April, Unemployment Rate Falls to the Lowest Since 1969, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

HUD Secretary Carson on National TV, Touting Manufactured Housing, More Jobs & Investment Opportunities

HUD Secretary Carson on National TV, Touting Manufactured Housing, More Jobs & Investment Opportunities

Governor Signs 18’ Wide Single-Section Bill

Governor Signs 18’ Wide Single-Section Bill

Cowards, How Winning Is Done, and Manufactured Housing

Cowards, How Winning Is Done, and Manufactured Housing

 

Thursday 5.2.2019 

Holocaust Remembrance Day, You Don’t Know What Tough Is, and Ramadan

Holocaust Remembrance Day, You Don’t Know What Tough Is, and Ramadan

Top Ten Smaller Cities Millennials Moving to For Lower Housing Cost, Plus Stock Updates

Top Ten Smaller Cities Millennials Moving to For Lower Housing Cost, Plus Stock Updates

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

Warning – Number 1 Manufactured Housing State, Texas – Reports Month Over Month Rise, Year over Year Shipment Decline Continues

Warning – Number 1 Manufactured Housing State, Texas – Reports Month Over Month Rise, Year over Year Shipment Decline Continues

 

Wednesday 5.1.2019

Newly Published Regional State Data Reflects Gainers, Losers in New Manufactured Homes Shipped

Newly Published Regional State Data Reflects Gainers, Losers in New Manufactured Homes Shipped

One Word From Fed’s Jerome Powell Sent Stocks Lower, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates  

Skyline Champion (SKY) Hedge Fund Dumps Shares, Value Declines

Skyline Champion (SKY) Hedge Fund Dumps Shares, Value Declines

MHARR Weighs in, HUD Secretary Carson Letter – “Discriminatory…Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes”

MHARR Weighs in, HUD Secretary Carson Letter – “Discriminatory…Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes”

 

Tuesday 4.30.2019 

New Manufactured Home Community Research Data – Site Fees, Occupancy Survey, YoY Changes, 20 Top U.S. Markets

New Manufactured Home Community Research Data – Site Fees, Occupancy Survey, YoY Changes, 20 Top U.S. Markets

Barron’s Big Money Manager Survey Democratic, Trump, Congress Result$, plus MH Stock Updates

Barron’s Big Money Manager Survey Democratic, Trump, Congress Result$, plus MH Stock Updates

National Association of Home Builders Co-Hosting HUD Innovative Housing Showcase

National Association of Home Builders Co-Hosting HUD Innovative Housing Showcase

Wall Street Expects POTUS Trump Reelection in 2020, MHVille First Looks

Wall Street Expects POTUS Trump Reelection in 2020, MHVille First Looks

 

Monday 4.29.2019

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

Cruise Ship Retiring at Sea? Will it Eat Into 55 Plus Community or Assisted Living? Plus, Manufactured Home Market Updates

Cruise Ship Retiring at Sea? Will it Eat Into 55 Plus Community or Assisted Living? Plus, Manufactured Home Market Updates

New Investigation, Insider Trades, Hedge Fund Dumps Cavco Industries (CVCO)

New Investigation, Insider Trades, Hedge Fund Dumps Cavco Industries (CVCO)

Secretary Carson Letter Lights Fuse for Explosive Change, Obliquely Addresses Manufactured Housing Action Concerns

Secretary Carson Letter Lights Fuse for Explosive Change, Obliquely Addresses Manufactured Housing Action Concerns

 

Sunday 4.28.2019 

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

Time is money. Knowledge is potential power.  When you slow down enough to learn what you need to know, to read what you need to know, the odds go up that you’ll advance faster. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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

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

Manufactured Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits

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

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Special Opportunities Intelligence Reports, Plus Headwinds, Immediate MHC Independents Warning

April 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

UpcomingSpecialOpportunitiesIntelligenceReportsPlusHeadwindsImmediateMHCIndependentsWarningDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Businesses, organizations, and professions are based upon solving some need(s).  Keep that simple truth in mind.

 

 

In the case of our industry, that need is for affordable housing, and/or for ‘fast homes.’  Manufactured homes are not instant, but compared to many other operations, HUD Code homes are quicker.

This morning we will tease two upcoming reports, but our focus today is on an immediate headwinds and threats to manufactured home independents. That looming dagger is most notably in the land lease manufactured home community sector, but by extension, into other arenas too.

 

Upcoming 1: There are numerous opportunities that manufactured housing can and should serve. One very specific one will be featured in a report that should be ready next week. Demographic changes are creating opportunities that the big boys will know, but operations of small to medium size need to better understand in order to profit from.

Upcoming 2: perhaps as soon as tomorrow, we will publish a turning ‘lemons into lemonade’ report, that takes nettlesome issues that create headwinds for the industry and reveals how they can become opportunities in disguise.

Immediate – even this morning’s ‘headwinds’ report – which outlines risks current and coming, could be turned into opportunities in disguise for savvy professionals.  So read with care, don’t skim.

 

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Warren Buffett didn’t say it, but another successful and ethical business guru – Matthew Kelly – did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day. Wow…but look were that got him. Invest an hour or two a day on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, and share them with your team.  You will have more intelligence for your professional life if you do so. 

 

With those upcoming features noted, let’s dive into today’s Manufactured Housing Intelligence Report for Independents.

 

 

Behind the Curtain of John Oliver’s Mobile Homes Viral Video? MHAction, and Their Agenda

First, the facts. Much of the John Oliver satirical viral hit on manufactured housing ne’er do wells was sourced from MHAction related materials. This is easy to identify because Oliver shows the ‘white paper’ that includes MHAction in his report.

 

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time.

PrivateEquityGiantsConvergeOnManufacturedHomesMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

You can download their ‘white paper’ at this link here.

That is the same white paper that MHProNews spotlighted for industry independents a few weeks ago. The Washington Post, followed by other news media outlets, reported on that same MHAction co-branded ‘research.’  Note that then and now, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) response was the same. Per sources, they shared a few things with various state executives and others, explained why they really could not effectively respond, and it was just best to let the matter blow over.

Really?

Question. What do they get paid millions of dollars a year to do? Is MHI paid to give excuses? As one source with knowledge told MHProNews, they are committing “association malpractice.” That same source also said MHI has about $4 million in their reserves fund, and that they could mount an effective reply if they wanted to do so.

So why don’t they?

The apparent response from those smiling faces in Arlington, VA where MHI is headquartered is that they obviously don’t want to reply to attacks on the industry, even in this case, when several of those attacked are their own members. That begs the question, why not defend even your own?

As a non-industry attorney investigating manufactured housing issues that called MHProNews this week noted, who benefits from the MHI inaction? Who is harmed by their inaction?

Moving back to the MHAction co-branded ‘white paper.’

Let’s recall where MHAction gets their funding. No conjecture is needed, because here are some eye-opening facts.  Keep in mind what investigative reporter Sharyl Attiksson says, “follow the money.” ICYMI, you can click on the linked report later for more details and insights.

 

Watchdogs? Attack-Dogs? The Smear, and Manufactured Housing

 

A) From the bottom of their home page, we see this.  The image is a collage, but from their website with MHProNews comments.

 

MHActionHomePage2019-04-13_0857TheAdvocacyFundThePresidioDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Building that case, one fact after another. Follow the money trail. Ask who benefits? Cui Bono?

 

B) As a reminder, a resident group informed MHLivingNews last year about MHAction’s ties with the Tides Foundation. The Advocacy Fund gets money from the Tides Foundation.

 

TidesAdvocacyFundSupportsMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

C) Who are the top donors to the Tides?

 

TidesFoundationNovoFoundationWarrenBuffettMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

D) Who gave the money to the top donor, the Novo Foundation? Warren Buffett.

 

NoVoFoundationWarrenBuffettPeterBuffettJenniferBuffetInfluenceWatchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FollowTheMoneySBDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Summing Up Before Moving Onto What’s Coming Next

We are left with the inescapable fact that Buffett’s largess helped pay for that MHAction co-branded ‘white paper’ attack on private equity firms investing in manufactured home communities.

We see that MHI, and several state executives affiliated with them, are saying let’s let this blow over.  Buffett’s Berkshire brands in MHVille dominate MHI, as the do numbers of state associations too.

That MHAction co-branded ‘white paper’ targets giant firms, and a common thread is that the ones noted by Oliver’s video were MHI members.

Just as big banks can handle regulatory hurdles better than smaller ones, so too big companies can afford to take media hits easier than smaller firms. So while it may seem counterintuitive to fund those that attack your own interests, that what is occurring. The purported logic is they can take it better than you as as a smaller business can.

To the general public watching that John Oliver video, yes, it may make Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes, Frank Rolfe, or others look bad. But that casual observer sees the entire industry looking bad. Here are some actual comments posted on the John Oliver video

 

  • You had me convinced things are wrong when you stated how many people live in mobile homes” – Chris McElroy.

 

  • John Oliver can take any topic I’ve never cared about and make them extremely interesting.” – Perfect Dawnn.

 

  • I’m laughing on the outside but crying inside,,, of my mobile home.” – dustymcdirt.

 

  • Wow, a connection between Warren Buffet and Duck Dynasty.” – TlalocW.

 

  • Wow I never knew all this before. We never hear these on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX etc.” – Maximus Augustus.

 

  • Socialism for the rich Capitalism for the poor” – LAVIN20.

 

  • You gotta admire the dedication this show’s crew has to actually enroll in these shady seminars just to find out how awful the people behind these things really are.” – Floating Sunfish.

 

MHI, and the states, are doing little more than hand wringing. Hey! Daddy Buffet Bucks helped pay for this assault?!

Are you an MH Independent?  If so, do you see the various ways that the powers that be can hit you with unexpected headwinds?  But there is more.  Like a grand master in chess, your opponents are thinking several moves ahead.

Here is what they’ve already signaled, per sources to MHProNews, on what they are working on next.  The John Oliver viral video on “Mobile Homes,” or the Washington Post and related reports that MHAction – thanks to funding from Uncle Warren – are arguably preparing.  You may look back and think of this as the calm before the coming storm.

 

 

What’s Looming Next?

Start with two words. Rent Control.

The next ‘white paper’ the folks at MHAction are pushing is one calling for broader rent control. It is a threat to MH Communities that are independently owned.  But don’t think that the impact stops there, because our industry is interconnected, so others in MHVille will feel the impact too.  You can access their sadly flawed 2-page summary of their thinking on that issue from the image below, or this link here.  MHAction and their allies are calling for nationwide rent control.

 

OurHomesOurFutreRentControlPromotedByMHAction-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Download their two page summary promoting the flawed notion of rent control, at this link here.

 

We’ve debunked its value before, but the most recent report on that is linked below.  We’ll plan a follow up on the MHAction backed item in the days ahead.  ICYMI – our prior Daily Business News on MHProNews exclusive report, see that at the link below.

 

Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

 

If you are an association member in a post-production or umbrella trade group, ask your leaders, or yourself, what are they doing to head this off?  That’s what a good trade association does to earn their keep.

 

 

Washington Politicos, Advocates Are Watching John Oliver’s Video

 

Sources are telling MHProNews that the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” viral video has been raising concerns in Washington, D.C. While that doesn’t always result in legislative action, it could. Do you hear that from MHI? What happened to Nathan Smith’s pledge to make MHI more proactive?

 

 

The industry’s independents are left with several vexing problems.  Among them is the question of feeding the hand(s) that bite them, by paying an association(s) that may be working against your interests. Or doing business with brands that may be working against your long-term interests as an independent. Or that some associations stand mute when challenges like these artificially generated headwinds arise.

No easy way out?

If you’ve been paying an organization to protect-educate-promote your firm, perhaps saving those dues or fees would be a useful first step?

Or as a notable association member suggested, there may need to be a battle within those trade groups to wrestle control away from the powers that be which are arguably leading the industry into one ambush after another.

We began this column with a simple truth.  Businesses, organizations, and professions are based upon solving some need(s).  What need does MHI solve?

If their purpose is to help consolidate the industry into ever fewer “big boy” hands, they are succeeding at that mission.

But in that case, MHI would arguably be falsely claiming to represent “all segments of factory-built housing,” when in fact they seem to be serving only a favored few.

Our industry has powerful and timely truths, but they are being obscured by messages like Oliver’s and MHAction’s. The good news about manufactured homes, communities, or the industry at large are not being successfully defended or promoted by MHI. The shipment data proves that all too well.

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

 

The facts and quotes that follow demonstrate a snapshot of why this current downturn is avoidable.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

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DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

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

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

That’s Saturday’s edition of “Delivering to Manufactured Home Independents & Investors Useful Intelligence for Your Professional Life.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Michigan Association’s Video Campaign, What They’ve Said About Manufactured Home Living

April 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

MichiganAssociationVIdeoCampaignWhatTheyveSaidAboutManufacturedHomeLivingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Cannot believe they used our promotional material from the nineties to mock our industry! Not cool!!” said William G. ‘Bill’ Sheffer, CAE, Executive Director, Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA).

 

Sheffer and the MMHA are not the only Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members and affilates who have ranted about HBO’s John Oliver Last Week Tonight viral hit called “Mobile Homes.”

MHI is said to have tried to head this off, if so, they missed.  Now that it is out, the consensus of the emailed statements among MHI affiliated executives – under the watchful eye of Arlington, VA – is that it is wise not to respond to this latest hit against the industry.

Really?

What happened to the notion from former MHI Chairman, Tim Williams?  See his prior on the record quote on just such hits below.

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

For clarity, using the wheat and chaff principle, MHProNews agrees with the first two sentences of this on the record prior statement by Tim Williams, then MHI chairman. So after years of not doing this, and the industry still struggling, when is MHI going to do what their chair said makes for a common sense argument?

 

The MHI connected leaders can’t have it both ways.  They’ve tried not responding to PBS, to OZY Media, other such perceived slurs on our industry for years. How is that working out?

Let’s let Michigan’s own stated facts answer that question.

At the request of their marketing contractor, the Michigan association wanted readers to know about the following.

Hi Tony,

Here’s some initial information for you.

The two TV spots are on MMHA’s YouTube page:

“50% Less per Square Foot”

 

 

Communities in Great Locations

 

Michigan Manufactured Home NEW Sales

2017: 4864 (significantly up from 2016’s sales of 2759)

2018: 4096

 

Michigan Manufactured Home USED Sales

2017: 1881

2018: 2900

 

…Thanks,

Cheryl Russell

 

So, let’s recap the above from Ms. Russell.

During an affordable housing crisis, Michigan’s new home sales went up from 2016, and then went down from 2017.  What is not stated in the above are the large numbers of those new units going into land-lease communities as rental housing.  New HUD Code home sales remain at historically low levels.  Industry factories – including numbers of MHI-only producer members – have told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that they see a wall coming, as communities get closer to capacity.

Something must change, because the industry isn’t advancing.  Instead, both MHI and MHARR’s data reveal that the industry is going backwards now for the past 6 months.  What do the leaders of MHI have to say?  They point to inventory restructuring, a decline in FEMA order, an other arguable head fakes. MHI’s own members investor relations data points to historically low production as reason to believe there is more upside.

 

Let’s be clear.  MHProNews believes it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.  So to that extent, we commend the MMHA.

That said,  what the MMHA effort has done is once more prove that pretty pictures, nice website, or a fine commercial video aren’t the only answer.  Frankly – and to their credit – the MMHA has done more than many states, and has for years.  Yet Michigan’s shipments have been in decline. Russell and the MMHA admit it is so.

It isn’t a slam to say the following, it is a sobering reality check.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

 

As of the time this report is being created, here are the video view statistics on the MMHA videos, compared to the views on John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” viral hit video.

MHProNews respects the MMHA’s contracted media firm – via Ms. Russell – doing what was asked, giving factual replies. Here was some of the pull quotes from the press release Russell initially asked us to run.

 

  • Consumer interest in manufactured housing continues to be strong. In 2018, new manufactured home sales in Michigan totaled 4,096. MMHA wants to continue the industry’s momentum and educate potential homebuyers on manufactured housing quality, style, lifestyle and affordability.

 

Momentum?  The statistics betray that claim.  It was one of the reasons we, as responsible trade media, asked the follow up questions, which Russell thoughtfully did.

 

  • We are targeting those who are looking for affordable alternatives to traditional built homes,” said Bill Sheffer, executive director of MMHA. “Homebuyers are looking for high-quality homes with great features in friendly neighborhoods.”

 

MMHA has, once more as noted, done more than many manufactured home state trade groups. But what they have arguably not done are the same thing that MHI and the ‘big boys’ have not done.  That is to fight back, debunk the false or misleading claims made against the manufactured home industry.  It is our contention – backed by years of evidence – that it is a critical part of advancing sales once more.

Why hasn’t MMHA, done so?  Sources say it is difficult for many associations, not just MHI.  Why? Because what Marty Lavin, JD, who won one of MHI’s most prestigious awards, said is arguably true.

 

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?

 

While the industry’s Arlington based trade group and their surrogates posture action, every savvy business measures action by results.  Those results are certainly going to include shipment and production reports. It isn’t just Michigan, even number 1 and 2 Texas and Louisiana have declined year-to-date.

 

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

 

But big boy firms can measure results differently.  They can measure results by consolidation of more independently owned sites, of more independent retail centers that vanished.

 

MichiganManufacturedHousingAssociation2VideoStillsDailyBusinessnewsMHProNewsHBOMobileHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverFactCheckDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsStillPhoto

 

MHI’s general counsel and others there have been asked to respond to these concerns. We know they got the messages. Silence.  That’s their right in the U.S. constitutional system.

But that silence can be construed to imply that our concerns are valid.

Meanwhile, the industry gets buffeted – pun intended – by the new John Oliver video that has gone viral, and is being reported by numerous media outlets.

It is time to shake up the system, because what has been occurring has benefited only a few.

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Useful Manufactured Housing Institute Provided Info, MHI M.O. Revealed

January 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

UsefulManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoInfoMHILogoMORevealedDailyBusienssNEwsMHProNews

Imagine a system methodology or modus operandi (M.O.) that win, lose, or a even a so-so outcome was still rewarded. Hold that thought for later.

 

Next, let’s turn to the Manufactured Housing Institute’s latest ‘news’ update to their members.

Using the ‘wheat and chaff’ approach to analysis, MHI provided two fairly useful downloads, linked 116th Congress leadership linked here and what federal agencies are impacted by the federal shutdown, linked here.

Those downloadable MHI fact-sheets open with objective facts – which can be useful in a variety of ways.  Both MHI fact sheets close with some a type of self-promotion of MHI, arguably designed to position themselves favorably with their readers. Understandable. It should be noted that as was reported by MHProNews last year, some of these ‘MHI reports‘ are purchased by MHI from third-parties, and MHI ads some tailored items to make it more useful to themselves.

 

What’s Missing from the Latest MHI ‘News Update?’

Entirely missing from MHI’s January 9.2019 report is the fact that manufactured housing shipments have declined.  See the screen capture/graphic from their email, below.

ManufacturedHousingInstitueLogoMHIlogo

“Thank you” and “Thanks” are among the most common comments from MHI and other industry members for fact checks and analysis like this. Readership has skyrocketed since we ramped up the analysis of MHI information, in an effort to hold them accountable for their performance.

 

MHI will have to address that in their monthly shipments report, but based upon experience and some early clues we are obtaining, that is likely to be dry.

Update, since this article was first drafted, that economic shipment data report has come out…and is dry.  More on that below too, but first, back to their 1.9.2019 emailed ‘news.’

MHI has a photo of Leslie Gooch, with a ranking Democrat. It extolled how they have relationships on both sides of the political aisle. That is something that every trade organization seeks to do, so it is nothing special.

 HouseMajorityLeaderStenyHoyerD-MDMHIEVPGovtAffairsChiefLobbyistLesliGoochPhDphotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHI talks about the Duty to Serve, and financing issues.  

 

MHIEMailNewsUdateJan92019HOusingFinanceReformDutyToServeManufacutredHousingInstituteMHPronews

 

Then, MHI promotes their networking and educational events. These are profit centers for MHI, as a look at the latest Form 990 reveals.

So what does even a brief look at their email reveal? 

1)    What the latest shipments data, and the trend for the last three months reveals, is that manufactured home production is down. During an affordable housing crisis, this has to be a serious red flag.  It is embarrassing to MHI, if they claim to care about the industry. Here is their version of the latest shipment data.  Note that there are no explanations made of why this is occurring, after years of hyping the industry about their promotional efforts.

 

7690NewHUDCodeManufacturedHomesNov2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHILogoMHIVideoStillsMillionsofViewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is what MHI is arguably trying to get away from. If they claim they have so much clout, if they claim they have reached millions and millions of potential buyers, then why are shipments going backwards? Who is held accountable for their failure to deliver as promised?

2)    If MHI’s lobbying, education, and promotion were as good as they claim, then the shipment and production data reveals that their efforts are not bearing any positive fruit. One must ask, who does that benefit? Which companies that are MHI members ‘win’ if other MHI member or non-member industry companies lose?

3)    In the light of this analysis and fact check, what is apparent is that MHI has ignored the single most important topic for the day to day needs of the manufactured home industry. Namely, the numbers of new homes and sales. Everything else is arguably feel good, razzle dazzle, made to make them look important to those who are too busy to analyze these trends for themselves.  This is arguably one of several reasons MHProNews is the runaway #1 trade media: who else among industry trade media is telling readers, investors, and advocates like it is?  For example, see the linked textbox/image report below. Compare that to MHI’s. See which one is more useful to you as a professional or investor.

 

Manufactured Home Production Decline Accelerates in November 2018

 

Oligarchs and Buffett’s Buffet?

MHI insiders have made it clear that the networking portion of the events are pleasant. Being part of an educational panel is a status symbol. Getting an MHI award is seen that way by many too. Let’s look at those in reverse order. 

A1) MHI awards are arguably disguised marketing for MHI. Companies that win an MHI award, often pay for a press release to make it clear that they won that MHI award. The award is mentioned on websites. So, for the fairly low cost of a trophy or plaque, for as long as the ‘winner’ of an MHI award uses that in their marketing, MHI gets ongoing adverting as a result. Awards are thus a cheap marketing investment by MHI, with long term returns. 

A2) Furthermore, to someone who checks into the realties behind the MHI puffed up image, discovers facts like the ones shown below. 

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

 

B1) The networking is pleasant and has some value. But it is also become known as the oligarchs and Buffett Buffet. Big inside companies that want to acquire smaller firms often do that cultivation at those networking events. So, smaller firms are arguably paying for the right to becoming a meal for a larger firm.  Given the Buffett ‘value’ purchase mantra, the purported reason that the industry isn’t growing is as it could is because that keeps values of properties and businesses lower. So are MHI meetings thus Buffett’s buffet?

 

MHInetworkingeventLesliGoochPHDexpertManufacturedHousingInsitutteLogoMachiavellianHousingInstituteLogo

Satirical MHI logos are provided under fair use guidelines.

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

The Bottom Line?  The MHI MO?

When it comes to MHI – and their allies – news, arguably caveat emptor applies. Let the buyer beware. A mix of facts, head fakes, and razzle dazzle red herrings may await.

CaveatEmptorLegalLatinNYBarBuyerBewareDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

There’s more in the related reports, linked following the bylines, offers, and disclosures.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

RichardDickJennisonMHIPresidentPhotoBrianMontgomeryEnhancedPreemptionFHATitleChattelLoans1010RuleTimWilliamsDontLearnFromHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

A new national association is taking shape, former MHI members who left their group in disgust.  Another new one is said to be forming.  The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is also formed from ex-MHI professionals. That’s reality.  And that is this afternoon’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

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

 

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Comparing Conventional Housing Data for November 2018, to Manufactured Housing Industry Data, Nov 2018

Still relevant, 1 year later is the fact check below.

‘We Want Your Money’ – 2018 MHI Membership, Infographic Fact Check

 

 

 

 

 

Crisis of Misinformation, Fact Checks, and Manufactured Housing

November 29th, 2018 Comments off

 

CrisisOfMisinformationFactChecksandManufacturedHousing600x315

 

America and our industry are suffering under several interrelated issues. Let’s do a quick survey with links to details, and then push onto a specific and time sensitive example for manufactured housing.

 

One is arguably the problem of monopoly, impacts many industries, not only ours.  That is not today’s focus, but was reviewed in some detail via a look at the New York Times recent article on that vexing issue, which is linked below.

 

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

 

There is misinformation about hot topics like climate and energy.  This absolutely impacts manufactured housing on numerous levels. See that new report, linked below.

 

Climate Change, Energy, Riots, and Manufactured Housing in Green Era

 

There is economic misinformation. The economy is sound, but stocks have been on a roller coaster. The two are not the same – the economy and stock markets – but they can and do influence each other over time. See a snapshot linked below, which includes links to more details, that report is linked below.

 

Fed Chair Powell’s Full 24 Minute Economic Speech, Stocks Roar, Plus MH Market Updates

 

Then there is consumer confidence, which is near record highs.

Consumer Confidence High Heading into Holidays, Per Conference Board, Retail Sales Surge

 

Input Across the Industry’s Various Divides

Before pushing ahead to a new example of misinformation, let’s note that our sources include those who support, question, and oppose the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). They include those working with or for Clayton Homes, or other Berkshire Hathaway owned brands.  Among the calls and messages this week was an MHI member who thinks there is a factual question in the report linked below. We’ve invited that professional to provide the data that would clear the matter up. We on the Daily Business News on MHProNews always want to get the facts correctly, period.

 

 

Clayton Homes Owned Sales Centers Reveal Surprising Trend

 

But our sources above said what they said.

It is also fair to say that calls and messages come in thanking us for our industry-leading trade publishing. Specifically, the comments are often for having “the guts” (per an executive) to say what the facts, documents, reason, money trail, and trends point toward. We give MHI and the Berkshire Brands – or their surrogates – the ability to correct the record if there is any factual or logical error.

They know it, and we document it.

Instead of directly responding to us, MHARR, or others, MHI and the Berkshire brands have at times used an indirect approach to responding. An exception was their attack by name on the new manufactured home community owners association. That report, ICYMI or need a refresher, is linked below.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement

 

Our hunch is that they won’t try that direct attack approach again any time soon.  It leaves them to vulnerable to fact-based counterpunches.

Setting the table in that fashion, let’s look at what arguably is misleading ‘information’ claimed by the Arlington, VA based MHI.  When we say MHI, that automatically implies it was authorized at some level by their purported Omaha-Knoxville masters.

The fact check is from their brand new MHI video, which they doubtlessly paid a solid 5 figures or more for, all with the goal of influencing people, just like you. Let’s dive in.

 

New MHI Self-Praise Video – Stills for Fact and Reality Checks

In fairness, what follows is not in the sequence that MHI presents it, because some of what they say could be true, but is arguably irrelevant. For example, how many people show up to their Congress and Expo is of interest to them, because it is a profit center for MHI. But what does the number of booths or attendees at their event actually mean to the bottom lines of tens of thousands of manufactured home communities, dozens of producers, of HUD Code homes, or hundreds of independent retailers, from coast to coast?

Not much.

What does matter is what MHI claims in terms of their self-proclaimed marketing of the industry, and what the bottom line impacts are.

For purposes of this analysis, let’s not quibble over the accuracy of their data claims. Let’s simply accept what they assert at face value, for the next few moments. Notice the grandiose numbers they say MHI says they reach with their marketing?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoScreenCpaturesMHIvideostatisticalclaimsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

These MHI claims beg the next question. What is the bottom line impact of all those millions of touches with consumers that MHI claims they’ve had?

The answer? Not much, if anything. Who says? MHI’s own data!

 

ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHIlogoNewHomesShippedDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNews

 

Everything else about their video are details and commentary.  If MHI is doing such a great job, why are is manufactured housing only doing about 24 percent of the volume that was achieved 20 years ago?

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

RVsshipmentsTrailedMH1998WinnebagoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHI timed their new video in time for membership renewals and new member purposes.  Compare the quality of what they did with their modestly viewed ‘story telling’ videos last year, or the Clayton stigma issue video (see related report, linked, below).

What does MHI want the industry’s independent money for, anyway? This is where quotes or paraphrases by industry professionals – like Marty Lavin – makes sense.

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?

There are logically only a few possibilities.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.

 

They include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • MHI does not know how to market the industry’s homes. The proof is in their own screen captures, above.
  • The industry’s post-production association could do better at marketing and education, but won’t. That’s a logical option, that need only be asked.
  • The Arlington association is posturing an effort, that doesn’t actually move the needle, because that gives them cover for their actual purpose. That unstated possible goal or purpose? To see the manufactured home industry continue to consolidate into the hands of a few major players.
DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

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

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews48thMHINCClist

 

There are arguably reasons why MHI and their buddies in Knoxville or beyond won’t debate their performance in public.  What they are beginning to understand is that fact-checks like these are just as powerful, because it takes their claims, their words, and shows how they have failed in bottom line performance.

SpinMisdirectionRedHerringDuckDodgDismissDistractDetractDefame6DsManufacturedHOusiungInstitute

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

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

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

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

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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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Manufactured Housing Industry Facts, It’s About More, Per Economic Expert’s Insight

August 1st, 2018 Comments off
AffordableHomeOwnershipManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews550x315

The top right graphic is an example of a useful MHI data point. The “Wheat and Chaff” is the wise way to a approach any information source. Keep the good, reject what’s not.

There appears to be considerable confusion about a variety of facts regarding modern manufactured homes, as well as the manufactured housing industry. Why?  Let’s tee up this topic, before diving into this relevant research, and today’s timely fact check.

 

Accurate Information Matters

When reading mainstream media reports, or research being done by third-parties at non-profits, universities, etc., there are often modest to significant errors found about manufactured homes.

During live presentations, hundreds of industry professionals have been asked by our publisher a variation of this question. ‘Does misinformation about manufactured homes (MH) hurt our MH industry’s sales?

Routinely virtually every hand in the room will go up.

So, by an almost universal acceptance by those motivated enough to attend a seminar, accurate information about MH matters.

The reputation of the MH industry – and to an extent, its integrity – can be influenced by the accuracy of the data about manufactured homes.  Rephrased, inaccurate information logically hurts sales, and harms our industry’s image.

Before diving into the focus of this particular fact-correcting analysis, the Daily Business News will remind readers about this potent fact check about tornadoes.  If the general public realized that the odds of not dying during a tornado in 2017 were over 1 million to one in favor of the MH resident, wouldn’t people feel more confident about buying a manufactured home?  Just think, only 1 out of a million died during a tornado in 2017.

Per room after room of raised hands by industry professionals during live seminars, thousands of industry pros believe more of the public would by a manufactured home, based upon accurate information.

“Even When We Had a Hurricane, It Wasn’t This Bad,” Profitably Decoding Post-Windstorm, Survivor of Possible Tornadoes Statement, Impacting Manufactured Home Community, Manufactured Housing Industry

Nevertheless, to date, only MHProNews and MHLivingNews have routinely promoted that kind of data, which is based upon National Weather Service’s reporting.

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

The good news is that some state associations and the NAR (see above) have started to address this, as the report linked above noted.

So, accurate information matters. It matters to:

  • Investors,
  • Bankers,
  • Public officials,
  • Professionals in or considering the manufactured home industry,
  • Affordable housing advocates,
  • Economists,
  • Media,
  • Policy makers, staffs, politicos,

and the public at large.  Accurate information is presumably why MHI wants members to fly-in once  a year to Washington, D.C.  and hand out information packages to staff and members of the House and Senate in the Congress.

 

Why Is There So Much Misinformation About Manufactured Housing?

What contributes to, or is the origin of, some of those factual questions and concerns from third parties?

Let’s note for accuracy and fairness that no one source is fully responsible, nor is any one professional exempt, from striving to learn and accurately share the facts about the modern manufactured home industry.  We value input from our readers, and when an error is spotted, we want to correct it.

Each person reading this is to some degree, is either part of the solution, or part of the problem. That’s reality.

The Daily Business News will look at what should be a simple issue, which regrettably is being mistakenly proclaimed in error to the public, policy makers, influencers, and the media.

Let’s look at a recent data-dispute, and the facts about manufactured housing’s contribution to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  The GDP of an industry helps others measure its significance.  The larger the GDP, the more important the industry.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has said that manufactured housing’s contribution to the United States of America’s (USA) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is “almost $3 Billion dollars.”

Others, depending on MHI’s data, then repeat that claim.

But is that MHI figure, previously disputed several times by MHProNews, accurate?

We asked the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE), to explain how GDP is calculated.

Does GDP use wholesale or retail sales figures?  Note, ICYMI, the report linked below reflects corrections made about manufactured housing by Cororaton in a NAR report.  She as an economist understands accuracy, and has made corrections as needed herself, and thanked those who helped with those corrections.

Realtor University, Journal for the Center of Real Estate Studies, Makes Corrections– “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” by Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE

Here was her on-the-record reply was to MHProNews.

GDP is measured at the retail price because the retail price determines what  the FINAL user spends.  Not wholesale price because wholesalers still sell to retailers, who then sell to consumers (as the final users),” said economist Cororaton.

She added that “The final users can be consumers, businesses (for fixed investments and inventory), the government, and foreigners (exports).” What that means in part is the sale of FEMA units to the federal government is part of the GDP.

However, the price of imported goods are excluded (GDP is a measure of domestic production),” NAR’s Cororaton said.

ScholasticaGayDCororatonDBEResearchEconomistNationalAssociationRealtorsWashDCManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews507

Composite information from LinkedIn.

She then pointed us to additional authoritative evidence, in the form of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The BEA recently provided MHProNews with the latest GDP data, cited by the Trump Administration in saying that the GDP in Q2 was up 4.1 percent. It doesn’t get more official than the BEA, does it? Cororaton emailed a BEA primer on the issue, available as a download, linked here.

MeasuringTheEconoimyBureauofEconomicAnalysisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is an authoritative reference on calculating GDP, per Certified Business Economist CBE, Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton.. To download the report, click here.

 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Many who first explore manufactured housing say or wonder, “this sounds too good to be true.’ Manufactured housing professionals must understand and anticipate that reality. Part of the secret is accurate information, not hyped or error plagued information. For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

 

Why Does this Matter to MHVille? Just the Facts…

For some time, MHI has been publishing information that far undervalues the industry’s contribution to the GDP.

Using MHI’s own information, which has rounded up in some cases, the correct GDP – per the BEA’s and CBE Cororaton’s formulas – would be over $6.5 billion a year, not “almost $3 billion…”

 

GeneralINdustryProfileManufacturedHousingIndstiutteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is “updated” in June 2018, but still has errors. Note, there are improvements from some prior fact-checks by MHProNews, but still several errors. How are third parties to know what is accurate about the MH Industry?

Not only is that a more accurate total, but isn’t $6.5 billion more than twice as impressive as “almost $3 billion” for the manufactured home industry?

Then why does MHI use an arguably flawed, and inaccurate total for the industry? Remember, MHProNews has published a higher, more accurate estimated GDP previously and brought that figure to MHI’s attention.

Now that an respected economist with NAR is confirming the correct formula, will MHI finally change that erroneous, embarrassing, and industry diminishing, claim? Will MHI check their math, and make the necessary corrections?

 

Only Two Possibilities

1)        MHI can ignore the error, as they have other mistakes and apparent spin or hypes about some of their claims (think S 2155, for a regulatory example). An example is the correct count on communities. Once more, it’s MHI’s own members, past and present, that have said their current manufactured home community count is too low.  Their June 2018 data, reflects a change that is still inaccurate.  Why?

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

 

Note that when we published that article linked above, MHI said that the count was “37,524 land lease communities.” In their June 2018 updated graphic, shown above, they now say almost 40,000.”  Why not make a more complete and accurate correction?

As a result of their ongoing unwillingness to correct such data points, not only media and researchers, but corporations have published incorrect information to potential investors.

So, based upon past experience, it is entirely possible that MHI will ignore the facts, and keep claiming a data point that’s debatably embarrassing to the industry. Or:

2) MHI can do what’s right, and make the correction, which is the minimum that they should do. But will MHI do as NAR’s Cororaton did, and credit the sources for the correction?

ScholasticaGayCororatonCBENARRevisionsRealtorUniversityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews598x493

Accuracy matters, and giving credit to sources matters to third parties. “The time is always right to do the right thing.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Adults make mistakes.

But don’t mature adults admit error, make corrections, and then move on? What will MHI do? What will their action or inaction say about the organization? How will MHI’s actions reflect upon the industry?

Two state associations have broken ranks with MHI, over their stated concerns that MHI has failed to represent their interests.  More recently, they’ve launched a new national communities association (see related reports, linked further below).

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

Why would MHI understate, after they’ve been informed previously about the error?  How can they claim it is accidental?  What other reason might make sense?  Could it be that they are trying to understate the industry’s size, to discourage new entries into the industry? Isn’t that similar to what MHI President, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison did by understating the industry potential for more rapid growth? What CEO of a national association argues for slower growth? It sounds pretty to say ‘sustainable,’ but the industry sustained several times this sales level in the past. Who benefits from slow growth?  What normal non-profit organization rewards a CEO like that, with a bonus, contract extension and more pay?

 

A respected non-MHARR industry voice has challenged retailers to organize and leave MHI, similar to what communities are starting to do. He believes that the majors have “weaponized” certain aspects of national association’s work, using these words:

“…If retailers would bow up and tell the MHI manufacturers they want dues paid to a new association rather than MHI there will be change. I do believe the majors have weaponized regulation that further entrench their companies or widens and deepens their moat. Keep my name off it please but I’ll support the efforts if [there] is enough backbone out there.”

MHI members are encouraged to get MHI to change their incorrect reporting of data, just as they are encouraged to get them to be more transparent on other past errors.  See the Howard Walker related report, linked below.  Is there any excuse for repeatedly making the same mistakes?  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##(News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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Related Reports:

New Manufactured Home Industry National Association Related Statements

Howard Walker, Mensch – Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), Manufactured Homes Retrospective

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

Manufactured Housing Latest Shipment Data, Trends, Compared to Conventional Housing Growth

November 6th, 2017 Comments off

USCapitolBuildingWashingtonDCLatestManufacturedHousingIndustryHUDCodeShipmentReport“…according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production grew once again during September 2017,” said the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) per official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 7,580 homes in September 2017, a 3.5% increase over the 7,322 HUD Code homes produced during September 2016. Cumulative industry production for 2017 now totals 68,419 homes, a 14.2% increase over the 59,889 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2016,” said the release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through September 2017  — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2017) and prior year (2016) shipments per category as indicated – are,” as follows, per the MHARR statement.

TopTenManufacturedHousingIndustryStatesCumulativeShipmentsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews720

The latest information for September 2017 results in no changes to the cumulative top-ten list, the release stated.

In a response to an inquiry in a separate but related statement to MHProNews, MHARR’s president, Mark Weiss, JD, noted the growth trend for the MH Industry since hitting bottom in 2009.

ManufacturedHomesProduction2009to2016NewHUDCodeManufacturedHomeShipmentsManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDataResearchMHProNews

About MHARR

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

mharr-hud-manufacturedhousingmonthlyproductionreport-manufacturedhousingindustryshipmentsdailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Credits: MHARR, HUD, Wikipedia.

HUD Code Recovery Post-2008 Compared to Single Family, Multi-Family Recovery

While manufactured housing professionals are widely encouraged by the gains made since the industry hit bottom in 2009, there are also areas of concern that become evident when compared to the recovery in the conventional housing industry during the same time frame.  Note the far more rapid recovery of single family home starts, per U.S. Census Bureau data. 

Using the MHARR compiled data above, the industry has grown some 63.3 percent from the 2009 baseline to the close of 2016.  Using Census data, shown below, during that same time frame, single family home starts have increased some 75.56 percent. To rephrase, the industry is growing at a slower pace during the affordable housing crisis than far more costly conventional housing is.

USCensusBureauUSSIngleFamily2006to2016MultiFamilyHousingStartsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews730

Thousands of the manufactured homes being shipped are going into land-lease communities to be used as rental housing there.

Also, about 18 states are either flat, declining or increasing only modestly.  See the report, linked here## (News, research, analysis.)

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HUD’s Pam Danner Confirms Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Industry Data, But Other Questions, Problems Remain

October 13th, 2017 Comments off
MadeInAmericaManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIManufacturedHomesProductionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

Much of MHI’s data has for years been passed onto state association, the media and others. When MHI errors, it creates a cascade of errant data.

Pam Danner, JD – the current administrator for the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Manufactured Housing Program – recently confirmed for MHProNews some of the research that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has done (see graphic at the top left.)

Danner had a staff member thoughtfully and promptly provide information in response to a media inquiry by MHProNews.

But some data in question Danner did not confirm, nor deny, which MHI has completely failed to address.

More Problems with MHI Statistics?

As MHLivingNews and the MHProNews have recently reported, MHI has published several pieces of data that are factually inaccurate or in question.

Click the graphic above to see the report, which features incorrect MHI data, which is fact checked and corrected by MHLivingNews.  

So, the question on MHI produced manufacturing data was ripe for a fact-check.  Because as MHI members have told MHProNews, investors, lenders, and researchers care about such data.  When it turns out that MHI has published information that turns out to be inaccurate, it can created added concerns that may not otherwise exist.

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI member Frank Rolfe’s company puts this total at certainly 44,000 communities, that they say they’ve verified. Rolfe estimates the total to be at least 45,000 or more. MHI member George Allen puts the total at an estimated 50,000. Why did MHI opt to publish the lowest total number, which MHI sources say was provided by MHVillage/DataComp?

For years, MHI has told its members and Congress via handouts that for every new HUD Code home built, it is essentially equal to one new job.

The graphic at the top right would indicate that it is closer to one job for every two homes.  What causes that discrepancy?  MHI has not yet responded to that issue.  Yet, it could be important for those seeking to open a new production center, congressional staffers measuring the industry’s contribution, and so on.

MadeInAmericaManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIManufacturedHomesProductionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

Much of MHI’s data has for years been passed onto state association, the media and others. When MHI errors, it creates a cascade of errant data. Will MHI update this as new factories come on line? Or will they allow this data to grow stale, and under-report the industries true size?  Inside and outside of the industry, facts and accuracy are important.  

Furthermore, while 81,000 is “close” to the number of HUD Code homes produced in 2016, the official statistics – depending on which association one listens to – is about 81,100.

Because the facts and truth matters, the industry’s leading trade media is asking MHI to explain the discrepancies, and to correct the record on all the facts which MHLivingNews and MHProNews have brought to light. “We could start issuing Question Marks and Pinocchios, but would prefer to see MHI simply correct the record, for the sake of accuracy,” MHProNews’ publisher stated. ## (News, fact checks, and 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 Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.