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Skyline Champion Soared, What’s Up? Initial Look Behind the Curtain

May 24th, 2019 Comments off

SkylineChampionSoaredWhatsUpInitialLookBehindCurtainManufacturedHomeMHProNews

The Motley Fool is an investment site that has reportedly drawn the ire of industry leaders such as Joe Stegmayer, former president and chairman of Cavco Industries and still MHI Chairman, on more than one occasion. Indeed, such stock and financial news sites, including Seeking Alpha, are often a mixed bag of useful and problematic reports – in part because those writing their analysis may get financials or certain details correct, but may still lack the manufactured home industry specific insights that could make their reporting better.

 

Rephrased, as with our sources we track, MHProNews takes a ‘wheat and chaff’ approach to their narratives.

With that brief backdrop meant for our growing audience, the Daily Business News on MHProNews turns to a report Wednesday by the Fool’s Lou Whiteman, who disclosed that he “has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.” MHProNews uses a similar disclosure.

As MHProNews has customarily done for years, we often turn quoted text bold and brown to make it pop, but the quotes are otherwise as in the original.

 Whiteman said in the report found at this link here that, “Another strong earnings report provides evidence the company’s 2018 acquisition is paying dividends.”

That should be understood in the light of the graphic below, which reflects the 1 year trend on Skyline Champion’s (SKY) stock’s value.

SkylineChampionStock5232019TickerManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

That noted, before diving into the specifics of Whiteman’s analysis of the SKY stock’s recent moves, in the wake of an upbeat report, let’s focus on this pull quote.

Consistent with our [The Motley Fool’s] previous comments, we remain positive on the outlook for manufactured housing industry, as we see significant runway for continued growth. Industry volumes remain well below the long-term averages, and new financing options are becoming available and are slowly helping close the gap with those historic trends.”

That’s a point that most HUD Code manufactured home industry professionals can agree with, and take some heart in.

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

But that too must be understood in the light of significant evidence of market manipulation, which is arguably at the heart of why Skyline Champion – or most any other manufactured housing firm – are underperforming.  One of several possible examples a newcomer can begin to research is linked below.

 

 

The following graphic is a composite from the firm’s website.

 

SkylineChampionByTheNumbersSKYmanufacturedhousingDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

That said, back to Whiteman’s narrative. The bullets represent quotes under the subheadings from the Motley Fool.

What happened

  • Shares of Skyline Champion (NYSE:SKY) climbed 13.9% on Wednesday, after the manufacturer of modular homes reported quarterly results that suggest the company is performing well following a major acquisition last year.

So what

 

  • On Tuesday after the markets closed, Skyline Champion reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $0.26 per share on revenue of $327.7 million, beating the $0.20-per-share consensus earnings estimate despite falling short of the $344.22 million in expected sales. The company was created last June through a merger between Skyline and Champion Enterprises, which created the nation’s largest publicly traded factory-built-housing company.
  • Net sales in the quarter grew 23% year over year, and U.S. sales led the way with 35% growth. Skyline Champion reported both a 15% increase in total number of U.S. transactions and a 17% increase in average selling price, as a result of strong demand and favorable product mix. In Canada, sales fell 17% because of a decline in homes sold.
  • This is Skyline Champion’s second straight quarterly beat.

Now what

 

  • CEO Keith Anderson, on a post-earnings call with investors, said the manufactured-housing market in recent years has grown faster than the broader housing industry. He added that the company expects growth to continue into the new fiscal year:

  • Skyline Champion ended the quarter with a backlog of $143 million, down slightly from $155 million a year prior, but the company says the current total is higher quality because it doesn’t include inflated orders for lower-margin Federal Emergency Management Agency residences.
  • Based on the stock reaction, investors seem to believe Skyline Champion is building on a solid foundation.

##

To reiterate in a different way, investors in stocks like SKY ought to demand investigation followed by action about purported market manipulation.  The Fool is right in saying there is plenty of upside, but it could be achieved faster and with hefty returns, in the absence of concerns such as those linked herein and below.  That’s not only the expert view here, but by others in the industry, as the reports further below reflect.

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

 

Special Skyline Champion Report Ahead

MHProNews plans a special report on Skyline Champion in the days ahead. Watch for it. For a prior and other related reports, see below the byline, offers, and notices.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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

That’s this morning’s second look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

May 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

ClaytonHomesLogo21stMortgageLogoVanderbiltMortgageLogoInvestorProfessionalManufacturedHomeLessonsLearnedMHProNews

The past is prologue ideally to be learned from. When an error is made, it could be ignored, covered up, or deflected by some razzle-dazzle style head-fake. Or an error can be admitted, addressed, amends made as possible, and then one can advance with head held high.

 

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews pondered separating these three Berkshire Hathaway owned company snapshots.  But Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) are so interconnected, and the lessons learned for investors and MHVille pros are so interrelated, that it made more sense to do this as one overview article that acts as a hub to several other linked reports.

With that said, let’s note that the nature of a con is that someone is deceived by some form of ruse. The goal of the ruse or con is to separate ‘the Mark(s)’ – the targeted victim(s) – from something valuable.

The hypothetical case for a con job in manufactured housing only requires a few people to be in the know. Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, and Tim Williams would logically be among those purportedly in on such a con job that rigs the market by using political connections, nonprofits, financing, stirring up bad news, and other means.

The vast majority who work with or for those three people have no need to know. Hundreds or thousands in their employ might be terrific personally, and unaware of the ploy. One must be fair and separate wheat from chaff.

So, for surrogates of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis who scoff at “conspiracy theories,” they are either ignorant pawns, lack discernment, are liars, part of the head-fake, or cowardly sycophants – take your pick. By the way, linking some doesn’t mean or imply that there aren’t others.  There are some mouthpieces that arguably clean up their act better than others do.

 

The Elephant in The Room

The content and links herein set the stage for almost everything else that matters in manufactured housing today vs. 20 years ago.  To understand an industry, one must grapple with the realities of the elephant in the room.

After repeated and documented offers to leaders at Clayton, 21st, VMF, and MHI to clarify, correct any factual errors or offer an alternative explanation, they’ve remained silence.  That’s not proof that what is found herein or that is linked is correct.  But given that we have faithfully quoted Warren Buffett, Tim Williams, and Kevin Clayton at length and in their own words, that’s a good indicator that we are onto something significant.  The fact that we are the most read means something too.

 

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

Regular readers who already know that definitive report linked above on MHLivingNews backwards and forward, know that the evidence to support the allegations of manufactured home market-rigging with related antitrust violations are compelling.

Who says? Numerous everyday industry professionals, but also attorneys, including those into antitrust law.

Furthermore, as noted, we’ve given repeated opportunities to

  • the Claytons,
  • Tim Williams/21st,
  • MHI,
  • their attorneys,
  • and the MHI’s outside attorney assigned to ‘deal’ with us on MHI’s behalf

chances to respond in writing or live in public. No direct replies in the last year from them have denied or explained away any of our fact-checks or reports.  But there have been plenty apparent ‘over the target’ reactions from their surrogates like ones linked here and here, etc.

There are also lesser-known surrogates that have allegedly been used by the axis.  We see no value to mentioning them now.  There has also been legal saber rattling, and other ploys we won’t dive into today.  Clearly, they’ve not been successful in deterring our reports, fact-checks, and analysis.

Before making the investment case for manufactured housing, let’s make the Manufactured Housing Case as a prime solution for the well-known affordable housing crisis in brief.  Because in a housing industry that does well over a trillion dollars a year in business, the potential for manufactured housing could well be over $100 billion a year, not the paltry under $8 billion achieved in 2018.  Manufactured homes are the most proven form of affordable housing.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

 

As you ponder motivation for doing what Buffett and his brothers in MHVille are doing or why, ponder the business potential reflected below every few years. There are few if any industries that have more upside.  You can quickly see why someone who thinks long term could be willing to accept millions of lower profits now, in order to gain billions more later, right?

 

CashPileMillionBillion100billionTrillionDollarInfographicManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

U.S. housing sales are about a 1.67 trillion a year business in 2018.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

 

Making the Case for Manufactured Homes

This week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson has made a fine summary case for manufactured housing.  It is linked below.

 

 

Oddly, as of 9:30 ET on this date, that speech by Sec. Carson – delivered to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in New Orleans – is not found on the MHI website. That’s significant and is part of a wider pattern, as will be reflected later.

 

HUDSecBenCarsonNOLOManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHIlogo2019-05-11_0933MHProNews

 

Over the years on our 2 industry-leading trade media sites, we’ve complied decades of federal, non-profit, university-level, and other third-party research.  Recently, we took some of the best or most significant of those items and published them at the link below.

 

 

Properly understood, that third party research plus Secretary Carson’s comments, collectively make a compelling fact-based case for manufactured homes.  The common concerns about manufactured homes are routinely and readily debunked.  That can be done by using non-MH industry sponsored research.

 

EvidenceDisprovedMisconceptionStereptypesContinuedInfluenceLocalGovernmentsRestrictionsQuoteLisaTylerPhDExamingAttitudesManufacturedHousingMHProNews

The quote is from a doctoral dissertation that used reams of university-level, peer reviewed research. Dr. Tyler was invited by this writer to participate in various panels. Her work merits attention.  Which begs the question, why didn’t MHI invite or promote her work?

 

Once more, those research documents are routinely not to be found on the MHI Website. Why not?

 

NARNationalAssociationofRealtorsScholasticaGayCororatonGAOReportMHIlogowebsiteManufacturedHousingInstituteLogo2019-05-11_0949MHProNews

MHProNews has been spotlighting this issue for months, of MHI not proving useful research on their website. The decline in shipments continues. Perhaps if they are embarrassed publicly long and often enough, they will finally do something common sense that gets to the heart of the industry’s challenges? Until then, as of the date/time shown, there are numerous, useful, third-party research reports that are not to be found on the MHI website.

 

Three of those more recent linked reports, pardon the plug, happen to name me and/or one of our publications in a footnote or acknowledgement. It’s not bragging when it is true. It is important to note as it acknowledges our expertise in this realm.  So too does the praise by many of the same professionals we’ve been compelled by evidence to now critique. It is evidence of several reasons why MHProNews/MHLivingNews and this writer should be taken seriously, because the opposition does.

Sometimes, you are better known by those who oppose you.

That segue aside, there’s over twenty years of research that makes the compelling case for manufactured housing.

Which begs the questions. Why doesn’t MHI have all this potentially useful research on their website? Or Clayton on theirs?  Again, perhaps they will at some point – out of pressure – finally do the obvious.  But as of the date of this report, such research was absent on the MHI website. Let’s consider a related issue to the point that Dr. Tyler’s quoted comment could address, if it was being used.

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

Why has MHI for some time failed to mention Enhanced Preemption?  By contrast, why does the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) website have several mentions of the same topic?

 

EnhancedPreemptionMHIWebsiteSearch

Both sources with MHI, and MHI’s outside counsel, have stated that they monitor our website. They’ve been asked directly about this issue. No changes. Given the issues the industry faces on zoning and placement, why are they allowing one of the best arguments to go unused? This was rechecked at 2:58 PM ET, on 5.11.2019. Same result.

 

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform4-26-2019ManufacturedHomesMHProNews

 

 

The answers, the evidence suggests, is because the first – MHI – postures promoting manufactured homes. They do enough promotion to be able to say that they promote. The second trade group – MHARR – isn’t marketing focused, they are federal regulatory focused, but often have powerful facts useful for researchers and marketers alike.

However one wants to spin it, MHI and Clayton are either ineffective, and/or nowhere achieving their capabilities or capacity. How is it possible that a fairly modest organization like our LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to MHProNews and MHLivingNews – are doing more effective promotions than far bigger and better funded operations do? Why are we able to achieve local results that blows their results away? Why has Clayton purchased locations that we’ve performed coaching and business development services at?  These are a few interesting questions we will allow to hang out for now.

Keep in mind that the Berkshire Hathaway brands of Clayton Homes, 21st, and VMF dominate MHI through dues, via influence on their executive committee, their sway at the state association level, and also via their influence over several individual members.

Yesterday, we did a similar but shorter report on Nathan Smith of SSK Communities. Thousands of industry professionals have already flocked to that report. Smith and SSK have reportedly done business with Clayton and 21st for years.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

 

Rephrased, the Arlington, VA based MHI to a high degree does whatever their Omaha-Knoxville master’s and their ‘big boy’ colleagues want. An award-winning MHI success story has said as much. No questions need to be asked, no explanation of a plot has to be shared; if a directive is given by the powers that be, a directive is followed.

Simple. Easy.

Ergo, there is no need for a conspiracy, when raw power working quietly in the daylight will do.  It is entirely plausible that some at MHI or elsewhere in other nonprofits had no clue as to how they were being used.  They may well have had plausible deniability, that is, until they read about it here on MHProNews and/or on MHLivingNews. 

Frankly, given their deep pockets, it is stunning that they’ve not already sued us, even if they arguably have no valid case against us.  Either way, the as yet unchallenged evidence linked is published for readers like you to ponder and discern for yourself.

 

Third Party Investor Research

There are routine contacts of our operation from a variety of sources. Among the investor contacts was one that indicated they’d studied the kind of ‘strategies and tactics’ employed by Buffett and the Claytons – but they witnessed that in other industries first.  To that operation, what they’ve read here and on our sister site MHLivingNews is stating the obvious.  To them, it is part of the broader pattern of monopoly power being exercised in America.

But that knowledge of their tactics is not deterring them from advancing their own plans in factory-built housing. They believe they can outperform the Claytons. Hold that thought.

About two years ago, MHProNews floated the notion that Amazon could easily enter factory-built housing industry. They were already promoting the sales of container housing.  Last year, Amazon started that process of directly entering factory-home building via their Alexa Fund investment in Plant Prefab.  See the quotes in the infographic above.

SoftBank’s support for modular builder Katerra is noteworthy too. They could, in theory, rapidly rival Clayton in a few years.

Google is experimenting with modular at their own offices.  Other ex- or current-Silicon Valley giants are exploring the industry too.

We won’t go through a litany of other poised to get in, because some of those contacts have asked for anonymity as they prepare their own launches.  To show the flip side, there are investors like Robert Robotti, who for some time cheered manufactured homes.  He’s cooled since.  But my hunch is he didn’t grasp the undercurrents.  Robotti may not have read between the lines on MHI’s now exited president and CEO, in his parting message to the industry.

 

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

But the examples shown reveal that there are those who ‘get it’ about factory-home building. From more modest investors who are thinking in terms of placing a few million into the mix – up to giant-sized firms or investment groups that could enter with a splash – there are several who ‘get it.’

Some in their own words have said that they want to set themselves apart by being ‘white hat’ firms in the manufactured, modular, or prefabricated industry, vs. the ‘black hats’ that posture being a ‘white hat.’

 

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

 

What hat color does Buffett’s brands sport?

Let’s share some screen captures, thirds-party videos, and  links to our own research to allow our readers to answer that question for themselves. Because while vexing to the industry, it spells opportunities in disguise for those who grasp nettles.

 

LeadersGraspNettlesDavidOgilvyFatherModernMarketingQuoteMHProNews

 

Before diving in, here’s the bottom line for investors.  Clayton and Berkshire’s MH brands, per sources, posture nice, but can play rough.  You as an investor must be willing to fight that fight. Current industry pros, the same thing holds true.

 

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

 

But here is the huge potential takeaway for savvy investors with chutzpah.  There are already good laws on the books that if enforced would ‘unchain’ manufactured housing.  For those that need an expert = who want to do a White Hat operation = and can budget for that role to guide that process successfully, click here.

 

 

To sum up, the potential to earn millions to billions in manufactured housing exists. One can make the argument that Clayton/MHI and other nonprofits have allowed and/or deliberately stirred up bad news to suppress and understanding of the industry. The opportunities are so big, they wanted to hide them in plain sight.  That logically helps explain why useful or good news is hidden from the public on the MHI or Clayton sites. To learn more, click the article linked above and below.

 

 

Having teed this up, let’s review the evidence for ‘black hat’ activities alleged by others against Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes, or their lenders. Because what that reveals is this. Those willing to invest, mix it up, and be the white hat in specific markets can demonstrably jump ahead rapidly.  Because there is a hunger for affordable housing.  The evidence supports HUD Code manufactured housing’s value.

A few power players may be keeping their foot on the industry’s brakes, in order to consolidate more of manufactured housing at a discount.  But have they overplayed their hand?

 

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

 

 

Are they now stuck, having their grand scheme revealed here?

 

 

Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

 

Investors must weigh the pros and cons of that evidence for themselves, but we are presenting a sampling of the evidence of purported black hat activity, which in the light of the video posted below, reveals the value of what white hat activity could achieve. Note, we’ve since parted ways with the videographer that produced this for us – my bad for not checking his credentials more closely.

That said, the value of this video is significant on several levels to investors, skeptics, the pubic – and us too.  Note how Jim Clayton finished this video?  Is this among the reasons why the ‘big boys’ have rattled sabers, but have not in fact acted legally?

 

 

Let’s sample some pro Clayton videos they’ve made or spotlighted themselves, and then contrast those with videos by others.

 

 

Clayton Homes Third Party Videos

To be fair, here is a video that Clayton produced. It’s a fine video.  It purports to address the image issue.  Published on Sep 1, 2017, it has had as of this morning 8,985 views this morning, per their YouTube page, which said the following.

Clayton Unveils Have It Made Campaign: Clayton, one of the largest home builders in America, is kicking off its biggest marketing campaign to date focused on how its building process can help provide affordable housing to hardworking families.”

 

 

Let’s contrast that Clayton video with a customer-produced video posted by Ted Davis and published on Apr 7, 2017. Also as of this morning, Davis’ video had 22,738 views.  Keep in mind Davis has done more than one such video, as have scores of other Clayton, 21st or VMF customers.

Here’s what Davis said on the YouTube page. For first time visitors, bear in mind that on MHProNews and MHLivingNews we often turn direct quotes bold and brown, to make them pop. Otherwise, the text is as in the original.

 

My Clayton Manufactured Home Features .. Fake Studs

We bought a Clayton Manufactured Home summer of 2015. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was what was available. It would appear that Warren Buffet owns Clayton, and they have bought up several lesser mobile home companies, removing a lot of competition.

If you listen to Clayton, they want you to think they have a quality product, and they say they will stand behind it. So far, they have fixed a few things for us.

However, if they actually had a quality product, the repairs would NOT have been necessary. They say their product is built to HUD standards. HUD must have way different standards for mobile homes vs. site built.

Check my videos of things we have had problems with.

  • Plumbing … bad faucets, leaking pipes, pipes that fell off at a touch. The master bath tub faucets weren’t even connected to any pipes.
  • Wiring … I have never seen hardware like this before. Strange light fixtures, plugs, and switches.
  • Doors … I have discovered that the interior doors seem to be made of cardboard, as well as the door frames. Also some don’t fit right.
  • Interior studs … they are fake, little bits and pieces glued together.
  • Sheetrock … less than a half inch
  • Assembly is with tons of staples and some glue. I haven’t found any framing nails yet.
  • The lids on the toilets were cheap plastic. One broke when I sat on it the first day in the house. I now have real, wood, lids.
  • The house was supposed to have compact fluorescent lights installed. Didn’t have any. Not a single one.
  • They DID get us really nice decks, front and back, including a wheelchair ramp on the front one.”

 

 

 

For newcomers to manufactured housing, please note that there are legitimate answers to the issues and concerns that Davis raised.  Why weren’t they addressed?  Does Clayton want the blowback, so that more decide not to buy a manufactured home at this time?

The most common sense reputation defenses are often not followed by Clayton.  Why not, given Buffett’s statements about defending reputation?  Our sources in Clayton tell us that cancellation of retail orders or agreements are becoming more commonplace, more so now than in days gone by.

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteCantBePerfrectCanAffordLoseMoneyNotShredReputationMeasureActWhatIsLegalHappyToHaveUnfriendlyButIntelligentReporterWriteFrontPageMHProNews

 

Prefabulous® is the latest Clayton Homes campaign. From their YouTube page,

Prefabulous® Clayton Homes. Published on Feb 12, 2019, “We’re building homes a different way. A smarter way. Homes that are beautiful, strong and, most of all, affordable. That’s Prefabulous®.” As of this morning, it has had 6,475 views.

Again, in fairness to Clayton, the video is cool. Quality. It is techy.  It aims at Millennials.

 

 

But the numbers of YouTube views tells the key point of the story.  Are we to believe that Clayton can’t do a better job than this paltry total?  Or is this in fact evidence that it is a fig leaf?  Window dressing? Are videos and campaigns that don’t move the needle much at MHI or Clayton ploys that look real enough to the underinformed? When in fact they routinely fail to hit the bulls eye of what keeps Americans from even considering a manufactured home, much less buying one?

Let’s let those questions soak in, as you consider the following.

By contrast, as was reported, documented, and has gone unchallenged by the powers-that-be at the links herein, Warren Buffett, via ‘dark money’ channels provided funding to Manufactured Housing Action or “MHAction.”  Buffett has de facto funded other nonprofits that have attacked the industry, and his own brands too.

MHAction and two other nonprofits teamed up to do a white paper, that was spotlighted by the Washington Post, along with others in mainstream media. A few weeks later, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver featured a report that spotlighted that same MHAction white paper.  Oliver’s viral video was errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes,” and you can see it either linked here with an analysis or below.

Published on Apr 7, 2019, it says, Mobile Homes: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) and has had 5,867,951 views.  Put differently, in less time, it has had almost 100 views to every view of Clayton’s Prefabulous®.  Ouch.

 

 

Ask yourself this question. Which video – Prefabulous® or Oliver’s Mobile Homes – is having more of an impact on the marketplace?

Isn’t the answer obvious?

Again, there are answers to each of the concerns raised by Oliver, which to demonstrate, are summed up in the link below.

 

https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190420/letter-affordable-mobile-homes-are-desperately-needed

 

Why didn’t Clayton or MHI reply publicly to Oliver’s hit?

Is this only a recent pattern?  Or are there other examples of bad news being created by Berkshire brands in MHVille that date back years?  Let’s look.

This next video by Democracy Now, a progressive media operation.  It spotlights both FEMA woes tied to Clayton, and also the Haiti issues that Clayton and the Clinton Foundation became embroiled in.

 

 

In fairness, here is what Clayton homes published on YouTube as an apparent response to the criticism. “ClaytonHomes, Published on Aug 24, 2010.  Per their YouTube statement, “Just after the earthquake in Haiti, Clayton Homes contacted The Clinton Foundation to offer assistance. As the world’s largest manufactured home builder, Clayton Homes was happy to help, and has already built 20 new classrooms and hopes to be able to provide more in the future.”

 

 

Reality Check appears to be a right-of-center commentator, and they published this below about the Haitan incident. Reality Check: If Haiti Is a “S***hole” Country, Who Is Really to Blame?

 

 

 

The Democracy Now video had less views than Reality Check, but both blew away the views of Clayton’s posted video on Haiti.

But none of those videos were as impactful as the mainstream news reports that others carried at that time.  The Clayton/Haiti tale is one that points to broader issues of how certain reports linger briefly, and are forgotten.  But not by all.  While Clayton wasn’t specifically mentioned in this next video, housing provided is alluded to, and the Reality Check video above shows Kevin Clayton with Bill Clinton in Haiti.

 

 

 

Bear in mind that all of this is connected to Warren Buffett, who backed Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2016, and backed Barack Obama, who helped impose Dodd-Frank on banking, which also drove manufactured home lenders out of business. Once more, that’s not meant as a slam on Democrats.  There are examples of corruption in both major parties. Manufactured housing is a non-partisan or bipartisan issue.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/democrats-republicans-agree-manufactured-homes-can-play-a-vital-role-in-easing-the-affordable-housing-shortage/

 

That noted, one can’t overlook the facts of how the game is being played, and how the system is arguably being manipulated in manufactured housing by Clayton, MHI, and others working with them.  It’s the truth hiding in plain

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

We’ll link up related reports, further below.  But this much ought to be clear.  While words like “alleged” need to be used to cover such reports, or attorneys could swarm us, there is significant evidence of the following.

 

  • Clayton Homes and manufactured housing in general are underperforming.
  • Other industry producers essentially make a similar claim, without pointing a finger at MHI or Clayton – that manufactured housing is performing well under historic trends and norms.
  • A new trade association formed last year, that broke away from MHI, specifically stating that they were doing so for a lack of performance by MHI.
  • MHARR exists and resisted merger efforts with MHI for years, because there is no confidence that MHI or their ‘big boy’ masters would properly represent the interests of their members.
  • Clayton Homes and their related lenders have sparked more apparent bad news than good news in mainstream media, and have done so for years – as even this brief survey reflects. While most industry trade media – part of an MHI ‘amen’ corner – avoid that painful reality, facts are what they are.
  • Some of these episodes of bad news can be traced back to donations made by Warren Buffett to various nonprofit organizations, see the report linked here.

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

Certainly, there is evidence of positive marketing efforts by Clayton and MHI.  But they are widely outperformed by negative mainstream news or consumer created content that rips the company. Even Clayton’s hometown news outlet carried this problematic report about the Knoxville-metro based firm and their lenders. These facts, reason, and evidence beg questions.

 

 

  • Are the Berkshire brands in manufactured housing incompetent?
  • Why is Buffett funding his own opposition? Is Warren Buffett a sadomasochist?  Who would do such a thing?

Frankly, we don’t think they are incompetent or trying to harm themselves per se.  Rather, they are arguably playing the long game.

How else can one explain the periodic, almost routine episodes of bad news sparked by Clayton, and often funded by groups that Warren Buffett has donated to?

SeattleTimesCenterforPublicIntegrityClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeMHProNews4292019

Carefully discerned, the pattern can logically suggest that Clayton is using bad news as another element of the fabled Buffett Moat strategy.  If so, that means that without warning, bad news can hit the industry, which while suppressing Clayton too, arguably harms other businesses with less financial staying power more.

 

The Four Purported Known Elements of the Buffett Moat Strategy

It could be summed up like this.

  • The power to tax is the power to destroy.
  • The power to regulate, is the power to destroy.
  • The power to choke off or limit access to lending or capital is the power to destroy.
  • The power to stoke bad news that harms individual business can over time involve the power to undermine a business’ value, and destroy marginal operations.

 

These bullets means that Clayton can acquire weakened, underperforming businesses at a discount. Recall what Ted Davis posted: “It would appear that Warren Buffet owns Clayton, and they have bought up several lesser mobile home companies, removing a lot of competition.” He’s a layperson, a consumer – and he sees parts of this pattern.

Then line that up with what award-winning, manufactured housing industry veteran Alan Amy said.

 

 

 

 

As to keeping industry shipments low, consider the odd statement by Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison made that seemingly encourages slow growth and low production totals.

 

 

 

When this writer, who did that video interview with Jennison, heard that coming from the mouth of MHI’s CEO, I had to control my composure.  It was a shockingly questionable statement – at best – for the president of the industry’s largest trade association to make at a time when the industry was struggling to recover. Frankly, it did not dawn on me until years later what the actual meaning of that statement from Jennison was.

In hindsight, it is far more revealing than it was at the time. It explains why he gets bonuses that we’ve dubbed failure bonuses.

That’s why history has to be part of such fact-checks.  Buffett is right about this, the rear view mirror is often clearer than the windshield.

In the light of the above, consider the summary graphic about ‘the Moat’ below.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

 

 

Dark Grace…

The argument can be made that each of these examples of ‘black hat’ behavior can be an opportunity in disguise for those willing to behave in a robustly white hat fashion.

There is also an argument to be made that individually or in a local group, white hat firms could forge their own white hat trade group.

There is no need for perfect behavior in business when simple honesty will do. But there is a need for trade groups to have and live up to standards of ethical behavior.  If someone routinely harms the industry’s image, why should they be part of a white had trade group?

For those of us who have been in the manufactured housing business for years, and have dealt with the public directly for years, you know as well as I do that if you treat most people fairly and honestly, they are good customers.  There are a few who sadly try to twist anything to get something for nothing. But they are the exception, not the rule.  Good paperwork can deal with those kinds of clients.

For years, we’ve taught professionals not to oversell or overpromise.  Prepare customers for reality and they will be satisfied.  There is a method for training team members for doing so successfully, where the customers will be happy with what they are sold, and will send you their friends after buying.

Every road block in the industry can routinely be traced back to forces within manufactured housing that are keeping the industry at low ebb.  Who said? Prominent MHI member and controversial critic, Frank Rolfe here and here.

That’s opportunity in disguise.  For those willing to do what’s right, and who aren’t afraid to buck the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, the upsides are many.  As to risk, there is always some risk.  I can look someone in the eye and tell them about all of the efforts that we believe the evidence suggests how the axis threw a variety of slings and arrows at us, in an attempt to try to drive us out of business.

Yet, we are still standing.

After a dip for a time in readership after an assault from the axis, we’ve not only rebounded, we are about double where we stood a little over a year ago.  Professional readers and investors want the truth.  Our opposition wants to know what’s been published here. Across the spectrum, readers from all sized firms flock here daily by the thousands on the most engaged professional trade media site in all of manufactured housing.

Pros and investors want answers that make sense, not the BS that is being shoved at them by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis sycophants. Anyone can create an echo chamber, and illusion of cheer leading.  Doing real facts with evidence and ‘follow the money,’ takes time, thought, and preparation.

When there are 7 months of declining shipments during an affordable housing crisis, the nature of the threat and the realities of the industry are becoming more self-evident.

Our efforts – thanks to supporters, sponsors, and sources that are often within the axis – in turn gives hope and encouragement to others. Furthermore, it isn’t just us, because other firms have stood up to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and can say similarly.

Let’s note briefly a plug with a purpose.  Just as a talk radio station doesn’t expect a sponsor to endorse them, nor does a station endorse the sponsor, so too here there are no requirement that someone has to agree with what we publishSponsors and clients can still benefit from the industry’s biggest and most engaged audience.

CaseyMackTonySoheylaMHProNewsTeamFirstCallDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The plug and related business development points aside, and we could do white hats with our marketing/coaching too – leads me to this point. Frankly, I’m convinced that no one in the industry is coming anywhere close to their potential.  Why?

When 8.3 million housing units are needed, per the National Association of Realtor’s Lawrence Yun – and only factory building can logically close that gap – that means that it is possible for single firms on the production side to be doing hundreds of thousands of units a year.  Rollohome went from start up to 60,000 homes delivered in 2 years. If that could be done before, it can be done even better today. That in turn translates into big upsides for retailers or communities.

All business ultimately comes down to a local sale to a local person.  Just as all politics are local, so too all business is local.

A properly motivated company with the right people and resources can rapidly and profitably grow with proven, honest, ethical, and sustainable approaches. That’s the happy note that we will end this report about Clayton on.

What to do about Clayton’s purported black hat tricks and behavior?  Be the obvious local White Hat.  Do the homework. You’ll see that the opportunities are amazing, but one needs the guts and gumption to get the glory.

 

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

Manufactured Housing’s Professional Credibility

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

 

New Manufactured Home Professional’s Website Nears Launch

 

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger Video Interview at Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting on GSEs Lending for Affordable Manufactured Housing and Clayton Homes

Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FHA Incentives For Property Owners Investing in One of Over 8000 Opportunity Zones

May 9th, 2019 Comments off

FHAIncentivesForPropertyOwnersInvestingInOver8000OpportunityZonesManufacturedHousingMHProNews

In the wake of encouraging commentary last week and this week by HUD Secretary Ben Carson regarding manufactured housing – which included his tying that in with Opportunity Zones – comes this news today from HUD.

 

To set the stage for this release, ICYMI or need a refresher, see the report at the link here that contains the official statement by Secretary Carson on manufactured housing, which included his thoughts on Opportunity Zones.

 

HUDGovPressNewsMediaDailyBusinessNewsMHPronEws

FHA OFFERS INCENTIVES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS WHO INVEST IN OPPORTUNITY ZONES
Lower costs and dedicated underwriters to stimulate housing investment in distressed neighborhoods

 

WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced a package of incentives to encourage multi-family property owners to invest in thousands of neighborhoods located in Opportunity Zones across the nation. Read today’s Housing Notice

FHA is introducing reduced application fees paid by property owners applying for certain multifamily mortgage insurance programs for the development or rehabilitation of apartment units located, or proposed to be located, in Opportunity Zones. In addition, FHA is designating teams of senior underwriters to review these applications to ensure the most attentive and timely processing.

When more investors can apply for benefits in Opportunity Zones, more investors can supply benefits in Opportunity Zones.  And that’s exactly the intention of today’s Notice,” said Secretary Carson. “These FHA incentives, combined with the preference points HUD already offers grantees for activities in Opportunity Zones, show how this Administration is maximizing the power of public-private partnerships to never forget – and always lift up – our nation’s “the forgotten men and women.”

 

Reduced Application Fees

Applicants to FHA’s New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation (Section 221(d)(4))Urban Renewal and Concentrated Development (Section 220), and Purchase or Refinance of Existing Multifamily Property (Section 223(f)) multifamily mortgage insurance programs will be eligible for significantly lower application fees provided the property is located within qualified Opportunity Zones.  For transactions that are defined as ‘broadly affordable,’ FHA’s application fee will be reduced from the current $3 per thousand dollars of the requested mortgage amount to $1 per thousand dollars of the requested mortgage amount, resulting in an average cost saving to applicants of approximately $28,000. ‘Broadly affordable’ is defined as developments in which at least 90 percent of the units are Section 8-eligible or deemed affordable under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)

program.

“When more investors can apply for benefits in Opportunity Zones, more investors can supply benefits in Opportunity Zones.  And that’s exactly the intention of today’s Notice,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “These FHA incentives, combined with the preference points HUD already offers grantees for activities in Opportunity Zones, show how this Administration is maximizing the power of public-private partnerships to never forget – and always lift up – our nation’s “forgotten men and women.”

For ‘market rate’ and ‘affordable’ transactions, FHA will reduce application fees from $3 to $2 per thousand dollars of the requested mortgage amount, resulting in an estimated average cost savings of $14,000.  Read more about the definitions of broadly affordable and affordable in the Federal Register.  

 

Designated Senior Underwriters

            FHA will designate seasoned underwriters to process applications located in Opportunity Zones to ensure expert and expedient reviews. Applications must meet the following criteria to qualify for reduced fees and designated underwriting:

  • The application is submitted under FHA’s Section 221(d)(4), Section 220, or Section 223(f) program for a property located in, or proposed to be located in, a qualified Opportunity Zone, and/or:
  • The application involves an investment from a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF).

The new incentives offered by FHA are available immediately for applicants of market-rate properties that have not yet submitted a pre-application, and for applicants for affordable properties that have not yet applied.

 

Opportunity Zones

Created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones are intended to stimulate economic development and job creation in distressed low-income communities by incentivizing long-term capital investment.  The program offers capital gains tax relief to those who invest in these targeted distressed areas. This program is anticipated to spur approximately $100 billion of private capital investment in Opportunity Zones. There are more than 8,700 census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones in all 50 States and in the U.S. territories. Read more about the Opportunity Zones program.

 

###

 

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

That’s this afternoon’s chapter of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

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

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

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.)

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

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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Related References:

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The Two Gardens, America, and Manufactured Housing

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

May 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

SkylineChampionLogoHedgeFundDumpsSKYSharesValueDeclinesPhotoVideoManufacturedModularTinyHomeMHProNews

Sankaty Advisors Llc decreased its stake in Skyline Champion Corporation (SKY) by 29.6% based on its latest 2018Q4 regulatory filing with the SEC. Sankaty Advisors Llc sold 2.01 million shares as the company’s stock declined 5.55% while stock markets rallied. The hedge fund held 4.79M shares of the homebuilding company at the end of 2018Q4, valued at $70.32M, down from 6.80M at the end of the previous reported quarter. Sankaty Advisors Llc who had been investing in Skyline Champion Corporation for a number of months, seems to be less bullish one the $1.15B market cap company,” per Crypto Coins Tribune.

 

That investment group/hedge fund is not alone. Typos are in the original of what follows.

  • It has been reported that multiple insider activity took place at Skyline Champion Corporation (SKY),” said GV Times. BAIN CAPITAL CREDIT MEMBER, LL sold 4,787,131 shares in transaction occurred on 2019/03/05.”
  • On 2019/03/05 MAK CAPITAL ONE LLC, at SKY, dumped 1,500,000 shares at an average price of $20.21 per share. The selling total is valued at $22,032,847,” per that same source, which also reported the following.
  • CENTERBRIDGE CAPITAL PARTNERS had divested 4,313,071 shares through a trade on 2019/03/05.”

Obviously, there are buyers, not just sellers, of SKY.

But the graphic below tells an important tale of the ticker tape.  The Daily Business News on MHProNews has selected that same date as the SEC letter to Cavco Industries was announced as the arbitrary date for that arrow.  That said, while Cavco’s woes may or may not impact others, there are reasons that GV believes help explain their decline.

 

SkylineChampionSKYvsCavcoIndustriesManufacturedHousingIndustryProductionFactoryPreFabModularMHProNews2019-04-30_1422

As of the date and time shown, 4-30-2019 at 14:22 ET.

 

SKY “is trading at rather expensive levels at just over 2.85x price/book and 1.06x price/sales. Compared to others, Skyline Champion Corporation is in a different league with regards to profitability, having net margins of -6.1%. To put some perspective around this, the industry’s average net margin is 6.67%. SKY’s ROE is -22.1%, which is also considerably worse than the industry’s ROE of 15.57%. It’s also very liquid in the near term, with a current ratio of 1.5. The stock has a debt/capital of 0.25.”

The Post Analyst said, “Skyline Champion Corporation Revenue for the most recent quarter grew by -1.15% from the last quarter, totaling $351.36 million.”

All of this has to be considered in the light of the affordable housing crisis, and the historic underperformance of the industry. Who says the industry has serious upside? Skyline Champion.  They say the long-term average annually has been some 224,000 new homes, but for the last 12 years, HUD Code manufactured home shipments have failed to top 100,000. What’s going on?

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

There’s more to these factoids.  Skyline Champion has utilized a combination of MHI, MHVillage, MHInsider, and ManufacturedHomes at various times in the last year, and yet the firm is still struggling with their numbers.  Notice: as a disclaimer, while MHProNews/MHLivingNews and ManufacturedHomes have done some projects jointly in the past, we have never been jointly owned.

 

The problem if months of at least 6 months of overall industry decline in sales during an affordable housing crisis need to be traced back to issues that industry expert and publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has repeatedly made in recent years.  Namely that pretty pictures, or sharp videos are not at the heart of the industry’s challenges.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

 

The Skyline-Champion video that follows is elegant work.  Watch it, but then look at the data that follows.

 

 

But the reality is that problematic videos often get more views than positive ones like the one above.

 

SkylineChampionSKYvideoViewsManufacturedHomeProNews2019-04-30_1630

 

Retail Shoppers Insights

In the days ahead, a report based upon an actual retail customer review of their shopping experience at a Skyline Champion owned “Titan” sales center is anticipated, the result of a news tip from a prospective cash buyer.  Watch for it.  If you aren’t already on our industry leading emailed news list, via the link below.

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

 

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

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Related Reports:

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

New Skyline Champion Manufactured and Modular Home Factory Set to Open, Plus MH Market Updates

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

Legacy Housing Corporation’s $10 Million Stock Repurchase, Plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

April 28th, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingWhiteHatBlackHatINvestingConsumersMHIndependentsMHProNews600

Let’s begin this report with a clarification of the headline. The term white hats and black hats are metaphorical for ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys.’ We know professionals in our industry who literally wear black hats. That should not be construed as a slam on any of those who literally wear a black hat.

 

That said, ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ are a symbolic case of ‘if the behavioral shoe fits, wear it.’

Furthermore, within firms one might deem to be a black hat operator, there are good people working for them. People may find themselves working at a company, association, or nonprofit with problematic professional ethics for a variety of reasons.  Some may have a difficult time leaving or otherwise navigating an escape.

Now, let’s define for purposes of this analysis the black hats.

For this discussion, a black hat company is one that periodically causes negative headlines or other forms of blowback for the manufactured housing industry.

They may or may not be engaging in problematic practices at all times and places. But they do so often enough we’re the public and/or media impression regarding manufactured housing is a poor one.

Examples of such black hats?

Using the objectively negative media barometer, here’s what Google searches suggest as some.

  • Clayton Homes

 

ClaytonHomesHeadlineCheckManufacturedHousingNews2019-04-27_1454_001

When you are looking to cure an illness, you don’t treat the symptoms. You look for the root causes.

  • Nathan Smith – SSK Communities

SSKCommunitiesNathanSmithManufacturedHousingInstituteChairmanMHProNews2019-04-27_1504_001

  • Frank Rolfe RV Horizons/Mobile Home University

 

FrankRolfeNewsSearchMobileHomeParkInvestingDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeMHProNews2019-04-27_1507

  • As you watch this video by the activist group MHAction targeting Frank Rolfe and his colleague’s “Mobile Home University” boot camp, keep in mind that MHAction has reportedly had dark money funding from Warren Buffett.  Not to defend or attack Rolfe and his partners, but keep in mind, that this kind of protest could be organized against whomever they want to target. These types of protests have attracted negative media coverage.

  • Havenpark Capital, a more recent edition for headlines that arguably spark industry blowback…

HavenparkCapitalNewsHeadlinesMobileHomePark2019-04-27_1512ManufacturedHomesMHProNews_001

  • Cavco, on their SEC travails

CavcoIndustriesJoeStegmayerSECNewsSearch2019-04-27_1516ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIMHProNEws_001

There are others, but that is enough to make the point.

Then look at the MHI Executive Committee composition.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Satirical logo provided under fair use guidelines.

 

Once more, put yourself as an outsider looking in.  How would you see MHI? White Hat, or Black Hat?  Then, for a contrast, take a peek at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  Fewer headlines, but no black eyes.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRvsMHI2019-04-27_1524MHProNews_001

MHARR at this time is only open for independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes and certain state associations. But if you wanted an impression of a white hat, which association would you pick? MHI, or MHARR? Right or wrong, many form opinions based on who you are associated with.

 

Why Does MHI Have White Hat and Black Hat Companies?

That said, the question must be asked. What role or function do white hat companies play at arguably black hat dominated MHI?

Here is what years of evidence arguably boils down to:

  • The industry’s smaller firms are caught up – intentionally or not – in the narratives spun by the MHAction white paper, or the John Oliver viral, satirical video, etc. After all, why would Buffett be funding MHAction, if not for a reason like that?  Buffett’s not a masochist. Keep in mind what Kevin Clayton said in the video linked here.  “Warren” would be okay with Clayton losing money for 5 years, so long as they are growing their moat.  Kevin Clayton said it, why not take it at face value?

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

They are formidable, but they can be taken by jujitsu. Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. See a prior Sunday’s report, linked here, for more.

 

Take Buffett at his word, he wants sharks, piranha, and alligators in the waters of his Clayton’s castle moat.

With that vantagepoint, here’s what the evidence trail, ‘follow the money’ and some deductive reasoning suggest.

  • Smaller companies at MHI are the buffet for Buffett and their Big Boy allies.
  • Smaller or modest with firms with a better reputation give cover to MHI’s black hat firms.
  • Small companies are helping pay for what the bigger companies want to do.
SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

Keep in mind that when MHI produced those ‘story telling’ videos a couple of years ago, only a handful of firms were represented.  Unless you were one of those, how did you or your firm benefit from that spending?  That’s just one example out of many possible.

 

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Keep in mind too that just as taxes and regulatory hurdles are barriers to entry, maintenance, or exit, so too is public perception of your product or service. Rephrased, the value of your business is depressed by the blowback caused by the black hat operators.

Within that context, consider what Alan Amy said.

 

A top gent at one of the industry’s rising star firms said at to us as we toured Tunica words to this effect.  ‘You guys (MHProNews) lay out the facts and evidence step-by-step in a logical manner that makes it easy to follow.  I’m just glad that you’re taking aim at Clayton and company, and aren’t taking aim at us [i.e. his company].’

Black hat behavior arguably by high-profile companies makes it harder for white hats to do business.  But never forget, there are ways to jujitsu that, as we reported on a prior Sunday.  ICYMI, see that linked here.

With no further adieu, it is time to dive into the headline news from the week that was.

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

Ultimate Reporters, Researchers, Affordable Housing Advocates, or Shoppers 3’rd Party Research Reports on Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, and Modular Housing

Warren Buffett, Affordable Manufactured Homes, Expert L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s Clayton Homes Counter

Manufactured Housing – Greener Savings by Design – Earth Day Opportunities Missed?

 

What’s New from MHARR

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

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

Saturday 4.27.2019

National Academy of Sciences Praise for Industrialized Housing Projects, Research, Profitable Manufactured Housing Lessons Learned

Friday 4.26.2019

 

Climate Change, Greener Manufactured Housing Investing, and Truth Telling

Bipartisan Praise for Manufactured Housing, What’s Next

2020 News: Big Brother, Antitrust – Anti-Monopoly – Manufactured Housing, and You

Thursday 4.25.2019

American Pie – The Parody Project – The Day Collusion Died, and Manufactured Home Investing

FEMA Opens Its First Manufactured Home Community In Disaster Response

Manipulating Manufactured Housing Pros – Caterwauling Mudslinger, Just Write a Check, Pay Cash, Use Plastic, and Shut You Up

 

Wednesday 4.24.2019

YIMBY Action, Extreme Housing Shortage, and Manufactured Homes

“You Cannot Tax People Into Prosperity,” Housing, Taxes, Policy Failures, Plus MH Market Updates

 

Bill Advances New Rules Regulating Manufactured Home Communities, Esther Sullivan Strikes Again

Unique Shipping Container Home, Lessons for Factory Builders, Manufactured Home Professionals

 

Tuesday 4.23.2019

Infographic – Mapping How Much A Buyer Must Earn to Buy Median Priced House

Legacy Housing Corporation’s $10 Million Stock Repurchase, Plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

HUD Secretary Carson to Host Innovative Housing Showcase Featuring Affordable Housing Solutions

Deer Valley Homebuilders Release w/Video Underscores Surprising Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Connections

 

Monday 4.22.2019

B2B Statistics, Trends 2019 – April 2019 Snapshot of Manufactured Home Professional Readers

State of Blue-Collar Workforce White Paper, Plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

“Less Waste, Better Buying” – Earth Day and Manufactured Housing Image-Building

“Baseless Discrimination Against HUD Code Manufactured Homes”

 

Sunday 4.21.2019

Ultimate Victory

TEASER Alert: News Tip – Exclusive Report planned Monday morning.

If you are reading to sign up for the manufactured housing industry’s top emailed headlines news, scroll down to the banner below on the right, and sign up in seconds.

Every deception has a goal.

One common goal of deception is to separate you from your God-given rights and your money.

Thanks for checking in. That’s this Sunday’s fact-checked take on “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

Jujitsu – Last Week Tonight John Oliver “Mobile Homes” Video Fact-Check Revelations

 

 

 

 

National Academy of Sciences Praise for Industrialized Housing Projects, Research, Profitable Manufactured Housing Lessons Learned

April 27th, 2019 Comments off

 

NationalAcademySciencesLogoPraiseIndustrializedHousingProjectsResearchProfitableManufacturedHousingLessonsLearnedMHProNewsLogo

According to LinkedIn, Todd Richardson is the General Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy Development and Research at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in Washington, District Of Columbia (D.C). He has been with HUD since September 1991.

 

Richardson – in extended quotes that will follow further below – is a reminder of the value of institutional memory. But let’s take a segue before diving into the headline, because it is all interlaced.

At present, at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), there is no one with a significant degree of institutional memory of the manufactured housing industry as it existed prior to 2003. By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – a fraction of the size of MHI – has decades of more institutional memory than does MHI.

Hold that thought for another time, because perhaps as soon as next week, that point will be revealed as a far more significant than many industry professionals might, investors, and manufactured housing advocates may think.  That may be a good spot to remind professionals to sign up for our emailed-headline news. It’s the hottest ticket for the most read site on all of manufactured housing trade media.

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From corporate giants to the mom-and pops, the most read news in MHVille. To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up in seconds for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

 

A tip has brought us that upcoming exclusive. The teaser of headline news that we already know will be coming aside, let’s swerve back to Richardson at HUD’s PD&R department.

 

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

 

HUD PD&R At Work – and Manufactured Housing Related Research

In an undated post that appears to have been published circa 2017-2018, Richardson made a similar point about the value of institutional memory. Here is how he phrased it.

Periodically, I find it helpful to look back at the early days of the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R).”

That’s an important principle Richardson is stating, as keen minds looking for more opportunities and profits could discover.  Insights from the past are often clues to opportunities from the future.  Let’s return to the HUD professional’s comments.

According to Richardson, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, HUD PD&R ran a demonstration project called Operation BREAKTHROUGH. According to then-Assistant Secretary for PD&R Michael Moskow in 1974, “The Department of Housing and Urban Development launched Operation BREAKTHROUGH in 1969 to stimulate volume production of quality housing for all income levels. Factory building offered a logical means — then as it does now — for the housing industry to grow and progress. We set ambitious objectives for that growth. BREAKTHROUGH tested many techniques of industrialization.”

ToddRichardsonActingGenDeptyAstSecPolicyHUDUserEdgeOperationBreakThroughManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That document – that specific HUD PD&R – can be accessed from the report linked here. But please wait until next week, because what may seem like magic, a new document will appear there to replace another.

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsHowardWalkerEmergenceOfTonyKovachsPublicationsProfessionalsFilledVacuumDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Back to Richardson’s narrative.

This demonstration [i.e. Operation BREAKTHROUGH],” wrote Richardson, “involved complex partnerships with multiple “Housing System Producers” (including General Electric and Alcoa) and “Prototype Site Developers” (including the Boeing Company). The report states that between 1971 and 1973, “on the nine prototype sites are 2,938 housing units, 2,794 representing BREAKTHROUGH systems…. Those producers, assigned to 44 separate parcels or micro-sites, erected a variety of single family and multi-family dwelling types. There are 45 different combinations of producer and type…”

Now stop and think for a moment about just how huge GE and Alcoa were at that time.  Bear in mind the points that the Daily Business News on MHProNews has made for years about big firms – such as Amazon – poised to enter MHVille and/or factory-building in a more serious way. Affordable housing is a huge magnet. The profit potential is immense. From the days of Sears’ precut-homes going on, various types of prefab housing has long held promise in the U.S. It continues to do so.

Back to Richardson.

“…Probably almost as interesting as the technology and site plans was the financing…”

Notably, in 1971 Congress funded $30 million ($192 million in 2017 dollars) toward PD&R’s Research and Technology Account to subsidize various aspects of the demonstration,” said Richardson.

Then comes Richardson’s tee up to what will be the punch line. “When the National Academy of Sciences reviewed PD&R in 2008, it summarized the core lessons from Operation BREAKTHROUGH as follows:..

First, General Deputy Assistant Secretary Richardson says what the misses were. But then he laid out what the National Academy of Sciences said we’re some of the hits or successes from Operation BREAKTHROUGH.

However, one generally unrecognized success of Operation Breakthrough is the recent marketplace acceptance that increased factory production of housing improves construction efficiency, quality, and affordability. Factory production can be achieved not only by complete factory production of housing units as in manufactured housing, but also with factory production of increasingly sophisticated building components that are then assembled in the field into traditional single and multifamily housing.”

So, Manufactured housing was spotlighted by the National Academy of Sciences, by name, as a key lesson.

Hold that thought.

Bear in mind, that in the late 1960s or early 1970s, there were mobile homes, modulars, and various forms of prefabricated construction. There were no manufactured homes, yet.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

 

But in 1974 those manufactured housing construction and safety standards were passed into law. After June 15, 1976, there were no longer any mobile homes being built, because that was the day manufactured housing units were on assembly lines in states from coast-to-coast.

 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

 

Back to what the National Academy of Sciences said, per HUD’s Richardson.

The latter concept of factory production has grown dramatically in the last two decades. The structural building component industry consisting primarily of factory-built wood trusses and walls has grown in sales in a decade by over 120 percent, from approximately $6.9 billion in 1996 to $15.3 billion in 2006 (SBC Legislative, 2007). The leadership shown in developing an idea that has continued to grow in the housing industry can be viewed as an Operation Breakthrough success. But, it is important not to overlook the lesson that the government’s role in sponsoring research and technological leadership has boundaries that must be compatible with marketplace conditions.”

IfMHProNewsIswritingAboutItIWantToKnowAboutItQuoteNow, as the annual Berkshire Hathaway annual event is approaching in May, so too are the annual insights into the performance of Clayton Homes and their associated lending units. An example of a prior year’s fact check is here.

Bear in mind that Clayton Homes has been digging deeper into conventional housing. But Clayton are doing so in part, per sources, with an eye on industrialized or factory-building techniques being applied in on site-construction. At least some of the housing producers they bought were already into it.  Clayton will arguably help them scale that potential.  They have said as much in their own statements.

Step-by-step, thoughtful readers here can discern how these topics interrelate.

 

Head Fakes?

There are blathering commentators in MHVille who posture knowledge about the manufactured housing industry. They may indeed have even a significant level of experience in the industry.  But there are degrees of experience and understanding in any profession.  More to the point, some want to provide accurate information, others may want to provide spin useful to some special interest(s).

Some of the industry’s commentators include one that has an ugly blog, another has a slick appearing publication. But both of those arguably have a problem with factual accuracy, as a link here and here demonstrates.

Note that neither of them as made any public effort to correct factual errors, as the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics arguably ought to motivate them to do.

 

SPJSocietyProfessionalJournalistsCodeofConductMHProNews

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMarthaCNussbaumPhotoQuote

Nussbaum’s point mirrors that of Jim Collins, who has written university level studies of big companies that eventually failed.  One is named, “How the Mighty Fall.” Graphic design above by MHProNews.

 

 

Truth Can Be Stranger Than Fiction, But Fiction Can Be Useful

The closing thoughts for today starts with this gem from novelist George Orwell, per Goodreads. “He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future.”

Orwell is famous for Animal Farm and 1984. Our publisher says those used to be required reading when he was in junior high and high school.

TheyTheBigBoysThinkTheyOwnUsIndependnetsQuoteInformation control is an attempt to control companies, and investors.

The manufactured home industry and its professionals are getting a steady stream of what debatably could be called propaganda. They get that spin directly from MHI, but also from MHI mouthpieces or periodic surrogates like the ones linked here and here.

The Daily Business News on MHProNews periodically calls each of them out for their disinformation. Our publisher periodically challenges MHI, their puppet masters, and those competing trade outlets to debate those fact-checks and analysis in public.

When an outgoing MHI president has de facto taken a slap at his former organization, that should speak volumes. MHProNews sources include past and present professionals with direct MHI ties.

But veering back to fact checks, the most recent such outreach to invite the powers-that-be and their trade media surrogates to debate in public was earlier this week. They have yet to accept, even though such offers have been extended over a period of several years. That offer was well documented.

That begs the question, why won’t they discuss or debate the issues in public?  If they are correct, and we were wrong, what can they lose?

Those arguably spin outlets and MHI provide a mix of accurate and inaccurate information, which to the undiscerning eye might mistakenly be accept as accurate, because some of what is said appears to be real. That’s why fact-checks are useful, to separate the ‘wheat from the chaff.’

SpencerRoanePentagonPropertiesCreditsPostedDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNewsSo as recently as this week, that offer to dispute our fact checks and analysis have gone unaccepted. But one-time MHI member, Spencer Roane, a longtime buddy of blogger and self-proclaimed industry historian George Allen wrote this to MHProNews, as part of a longer message. Bold and brown were added by MHProNew, as is our custom on direct quotes, but the text is as shown from Roane. “…The Jacksonville newspaper post is about the need for affordable housing.  Hard to argue w/ that.  The only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.  So what?  Other than sharing the interest of many in the industry about overly aggressive community owners/managers, none of this has anything to do w/ me.

Regards, Spencer Roane.”

 

The significance is nuanced.

Roane did not defend Allen.

Rather, Roane claims that “…none of this has anything to do with me…” Interesting…

The link that follows is being edited in, so that readers can follow what Roane is referring to. Let’s unpack this more carefully, for reasons that will become clear.

Roane – who publicly is no fan of ours, but who sources say is a regular reader here – says it is “Hard to argue w/ that” fact check published in the Jacksonville newspaper.” Meanwhile he dismissively says “so what” about “The only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations,” he went onto admit that “Other than sharing the interest of many in the industry about overly aggressive community owners/managers…”

In analyzing that, it is tied to institutional memory and what is occurring in the manufactured housing industry, including the community sector that Allen and Roane claim to care so deeply about.  Thousands of industry professionals have never experienced the industry’s more successful times.

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

As a community owner himself, Roane admits that “aggressive community owners/managers” are an area of concern. Rightly so. There is blowback on the industry-at-large from the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” viral satirical video that Roane correctly said has only been fact-checked here and on MHLivingNews.

 

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

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

 

Coming from Roane, that and the Jacksonville newspaper observation are both back-handed compliments.  In effect, he’s saying that Allen’s public posturing about the John Oliver satirical video hit has been ineffective. He’s also said that ours is the only one.

There has been no other fact-checks useful to independent manufactured home industry professionals or investors published that we are aware of either. How could Allen, or MHInsider effectively do so? After all, they are part or full time defenders of MHI and those who are in the tank with MHI.

How could MHI fact-check Oliver, given that they would be exposing themselves and their Omaha-Knoxville masters in the process?

Roane arguably let the cat-out-of-the-bag, albeit obliquely.

The evidence mounts that Omaha-Knoxville with cover from MHI and big boy members – are engaged in practices that objectively appear to be harmful to the long-term interests of independents in the community, retail, production, lending, suppliers, and other segments of the industry.  That means it is harmful to the interests of investors in those segments too.

Bear in mind that the Oliver video – to a casual observer – may have appeared to have come out of nowhere.

But to dedicated, careful, MHProNews readers, they already had the heads up to the background behind the Oliver video, which is MHAction and their so-called white paper. MHLivingNews reader/viewers already knew about Clayton-21st and their historic or more recent machinations, and they already knew that MHAction was apparently getting the benefit of Buffett’s money through dark money channels, as was previously reported here.

Those are among the reasons that industry professionals logon here daily by the thousands, far and away more than any other publication.

MHInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTunicaShow2019Day2

A photo of another rack at Tunica appears almost untouched. The industry’s pros, given a choice between fluff and reality often chose the real deal.

 

That others are aware of those moves, and are fighting it in their own way, was reported at the link below. ICYMI, click on the text-image box for more details.

 

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

 

The truth can be stranger than fiction.  Who would have thought that Buffett would fund his own opposition?

We at MHProNews did, because of a combination of institutional memory, numerous insider tips, and years of research.

See the related reports below the byline for more insights that publicly stand unrefuted by the powers that be, their allies, or sycophants.  Watch for some significant new insights tomorrow, and exclusive reports early next week.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. To learn more, click here, here, and here.

 

To survive and profitably thrive in manufactured housing’s shark-infested waters, one needs a combination of factors.  One is useful intelligence.

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

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

That’s your Saturday 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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For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

Jujitsu – Last Week Tonight John Oliver “Mobile Homes” Video Fact-Check Revelations

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forbes Focus on Manufactured Home Communities, Spotlights Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), MHC Investing

December 31st, 2018 Comments off

 

ForbesBradJohnsonEvergreenManufacturedHomeCommunitiesSamZellEquityLifestyleELSMHCInvestingFMHAMHProNews600

The writer of the Forbes column cited and linked below is a manufactured home community owner named Brad Johnson.  Johnson, not unlike RV Horizon’s Frank Rolfe, misuses the terminology, perhaps for SEO or other reasons.

 

Johnson in Forbes cites Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties or ELS.  It’s Zell who made it a repeated public point to poo-pooh the ‘t-word.’

 

PencilHeadItsNotATrailerParkSamZellPhotoEquityLifstylePropertiesLogoELSLogoMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews. ELS photo and community photos are provided under fair use guidelines. Photo of Sam Zell, by MHProNews.

 

By contrast, former modest community owner and blogger George F. Allen, in his trade-mark inconsistencies, wags a finger at those who don’t say “land lease communities,” yet recently added the term “mobile home” to his blog’s header. Don’t try to figure retired Marine G.F. Allen (GFA) out. He’s arguably only consistent when it comes to what he thinks are his own interests, say former clients of his. The rest, per sources and experience with GFA, are details and commentary.

 

2018-12-30_1317GeorgeAllenBlogHeaderManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

But the point is that there’s plenty of variables in the manufactured home community world on the use of correct or incorrect terminology. Some insist on it, others could care less, and some are blatant hypocrites.

Before pressing ahead, the reason we at MHProNews and MHLivingNews believe proper terminology matters is ironically alluded to indirectly by the Forbes writer, Johnson.

Mobile home parks’ are arguably better appreciated today than in some years gone by, for reasons cited in Johnson’s generally useful column.  But despite consistent returns, and their ability to weather recessions, etc. what’s more properly known as a manufactured home community (MHC) are nevertheless not seen as ‘sexy’ investments.

‘Trailer parks’ are understandably even less appealing to the general public.

The answer isn’t to go with the flow on terminology or industry challenges. Dead fish go with the flow.  But to effect lasting image change belongs to those who make it happen in their own local market(s). Anecdotal evidence suggests that residents’ value – and that of the industry – is being denigrated by the ‘t’ word, and is diluted by saying “mobile home,” if in fact someone is describing a HUD Code manufactured home.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

Unless the units were built before June 15, 1976 – then ‘mobile home’ is simply not the correct terminology, period.  Steve Duke, JD, in his pithy quote for MHLivingNews below underscored that point.

 

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

 

That said, one of the fascinating points obliquely made by Johnson is an oblique slam at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their National Communities Council (NCC) for a ‘lack of sound data.’

ELS is used by Johnson as a publicly available standard for good metrics. Quoting:

“…Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle (ELS), the largest company in the mobile home park space (and our best proxy for industry data, which is nonexistent).”

MHProNews has for years similarly cited Sun, ELS, and/or UMH Properties for their published data.

Why?

Because accurate information is otherwise largely lacking. Shame on the industry’s post-production association – MHI – for not curing those data deficits. Instead, MHI has arguably have made it worse to the degree that they weaponize favored firms claims vs less favored ones, even if the favored firms information is incorrect. Case in point.  Each of the three current/former MHI/NCC member firms noted in the related report found in the linked-textbox below have different data points on manufactured home communities. MHI took the lowest total, from MHVillage – though sources at MHVillage have privately admitted that their MH Community count is too low.

 

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

 

One of several problems not mentioned by Johnson in the Forbes column further below is that the MH Communities sector is actually shrinking.

That may drive up demand short-to-mid term, as Johnson notes. Contrary to what Johnson suggested, there are some new communities being added, as the graphic below indicates.  Some manufactured home communities are also expanding the number of existing sites, on adjacent previously-vacant land.

DataCompMHVillageNewManufacturedHomeCommunityOpeningsNotMobileHomeParksManufacturedHomeIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNews

But despite a modest number of new opening MHCs, the overall trend for the number of communities in manufactured housing is down, due to community closures.

An analyst or investor can slide-rule that vexing trend in various ways.

But who do you know in the Investment World that argues that multifamily housing apartments are struggling because so many are being built every year? Think about that.

Manufactured housing in general – or even the demonstrably more stable manufactured home communities – are arguably underperforming. That means that a savvy investor enjoys good potential upside. Among the headwinds? Regulatory and stigma. The later is again why proper terminology should be consistently used.  Capital has returned to the U.S. and to this sector of the industry, as MHProNews has reported, and both of those are a plus.

Let’s see how the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA) framed their battle against stigma for the public in a video supplied by their “Hand Built Homes” campaign, as shared 11 months ago to MHLivingNews.

 

 

With that introduction and analysis, let’s look at what Johnson wrote in Forbes, found at this link here, or from the in depth quotes below his headline and featured image.

 

2018-12-30_1335ForbesShouldYouInvestInMobileHomeParksOnlyifYouWantConsistentReturnsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Mobile home park investing is not an exciting cryptocurrency, a high-flying tech startup or a trophy office tower you brag about owning. A mobile home park is just a parking lot filled with single- or double-wides that kicks off a lot of cash flow.

I co-own a portfolio of 23 mobile home parks and help real estate investors grow their portfolios with mobile home park investments. There are a lot of unique aspects to the industry that make mobile home parks compelling investments. But, for some strange reason people do not gather around me at parties to learn about the intricacies of them. So, to keep your attention, let’s focus on just one strength most parks share: consistency.

A portfolio of mobile home parks purchased at the right price is a remarkably bankable investment. Mobile home parks deliver profits year in and year out, whereas their cousins (apartment buildings) are often far more erratic. Why?

Compared to apartment buildings, mobile home parks tend to:

  • Have dramatically lower turnover: Only about 2% of the homes leave our parks per year, versus the average apartment tenant yearly turnover, which was 53% in 2015.
  • Have lower operating and capital expenses due to fewer maintenance costs and amenities: We rent land, which is pretty cheap to maintain.
  • Have less volatile rents due to reduced competition. There is essentially no new supplyof mobile home parks. Strict zoning laws make them nearly impossible to build. Compare that to apartments buildings, of which more than 350,000 new unitswere built last year. That’s a never-ending supply of new competition for existing apartments. That sounds horrible. Who wants to go out in the cold and slay a new dragon every year? I’d rather be back at the castle by the fireplace counting land rent.

All these differences translate to consistent profits. Consider the profit track record of Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle (ELS), the largest company in the mobile home park space (and our best proxy for industry data, which is nonexistent). ELS has achieved positive profit growth in every quarter since 1998. That’s impressive: America suffered a huge housing crisis in 2007, but ELS grew profits anyway. This isn’t a fluke or something unique to ELS. This consistency is structural to the industry.

Comparison To Other Commercial Property Types

To fully understand the lower capital advantage mobile home parks have over other non-multifamily real estate assets, here are the remaining major commercial asset types and their roadblocks to consistent cash flow performance.

  • Office properties:Occupancy is highly susceptible to recessions and requires huge ongoing capital expenditures relating to building systems and staffing. Office landlords must spend hundreds of thousands and often millions on new tenant improvements and broker leasing commissions. These costs are paid upfront. If the tenant goes bankrupt on day one of the lease, the landlord cries.
  • Retail properties:These are highly susceptible to recessions, and many are currently being methodically crushed by online retailers.
  • Hotel properties:These come with high fixed expenses — and you can’t fire the staff if occupancy is low one night.
  • Industrial properties:Though industrial properties tend to have the lowest ongoing capital needs next to mobile home parks, tenant concentration can be an issue. If your largest tenant defaults, you’re in trouble.

In contrast, mobile home parks are virtually recession-resistant, with low fixed costs and minimal capital needs. They have lower turnover rates, don’t require much staffing and have highly diversified tenant bases. In other words, they are consistent.

How To Make Your First Mobile Home Park Investment

If you’re a passive investor interested in co-owning parks, there are quality sponsors out there that you can invest with. If you would rather roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself, here are a few suggestions:

  • Don’t start small:Counterintuitively, you don’t want to crawl before you walk in mobile home park investing. Buy a park large enough (~50 spaces) to provide tenant diversity and support an on-site (or nearby) property manager. If you go small, you’ll become the de facto property manager and will need to personally collect rents and enforce the rules.
  • Narrow your search:You’re going to have a hard time competing against larger, more established players on brokered deals. Don’t plan on finding a great deal online. It took me years and a lot of cold calling to develop consistent deal flow. If it’s your first deal, your best strategy is to focus on a couple of markets and deal directly with the owners.
  • Stay away from private utilities: If at all possible, stay far, far away from private utilities. The costs to replace private electrical, gas, water or sewer systems are often six figures and sometimes seven figures depending on the size and type of system. Do you want 100 families calling you in the middle of the night to report a gas leak? Unless you’re very lonely or very bored, probably not.
  • Secure long-term debt:When mobile home parks fail, it’s often because a short-term loan came due and the owner couldn’t refinance.
  • Make sure you have time to oversee the asset: Mobile home parks do not run themselves. You need the right team, software and systems to manage them for you. Or you need to do it all yourself. If you’re looking for mailbox money, look elsewhere.

Conclusion

Consistency can be boring, but it’s critical for long-term investment success. You can’t increase cash flow if you have to keep reinvesting in the property just to keep things afloat. If you can’t grow profits, you’ll be far too dependent on market timing and interest rates to achieve compelling returns.

The mobile home park industry has been reliably profitable due to its structural advantages that keeps mobile home park supply, tenant turnover, ongoing capital and recurring expenses low. This enables investors to compound capital as revenue growth flows to the bottom line and is not diluted by surprise capital expenses. ##

2018Top50ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesListNotMObileHomeParksNCCNationalCommunitiesCouncilManufacturedHousingInsttitueDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

The above was not part of Johnson’s column.  In fairness to the NCC, they have produced this listing of the top 50 MHC operations, which has some value. But more detailed data on communities is inconsistent and contradictory, as Johnson writing in Forbes, and the graphics below from MHI members, all reflect.  MHI’s data is arguably an embarrassment to the industry, Johnson is not alone in slamming it,  and it clearly needs to be corrected. We alone in MH trade publishing have called MHI to account for this #nettlesome problem. 

TopManufacturedHomeCommunitiesSkylineChampionIRDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This graphic from Sun Communities (SUI) uses what appears to be MHVillage/DataComp figures. Insiders there have told MHProNews that they know their count is off (under) by thousands, yet this is the count that MHI has used more recently. One of several problems with a false community count is this –> if the total number of guesstimated sites are anywhere near accurate, then more communities means fewer average sites per community. See the below, all from MHI or MHI members, and the numbers are all over on the community count.

ManufacturedHousingIndustry50000CommunitiesCavcoManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryFactCheckMHProNews

This claim by CAVCO is arguably dated and in error. Frank Rolfe with RV Horizons argues for 44,000, based upon what he said was a ‘hand count’ done over a two year period of time. Rolfe admits that it may be as high as 45,000, but those would be tiny communities of say 2 or 3 spaces, he said to MHProNews.

ManufacturedHomesMadeInAmericaDataInfographicManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHProNewsFactCheck

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-768x388

For our original report, using MHI’s graphic, and citing Rolfe’s, Allen’s and MHI’s data in the text by the arrow. http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/manufactured-housing-institute-outgoing-chair-tim-williams-remarks-vs-mhi-ceo-richard-dick-jennison-comments-fact-checks/

 

NewManufacturedHousingAsPercentageOfNewExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews500x

All image credits are as shown, and images or third party documents that may be attached are provided under fair use guidelines. 

SunCommunitiesSUI-InvestorPage11ManufacturedHomeVsSingleFamilyHousingManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Graphic, data, per Sun Communities (SUI).

SunCommunitiesSUI-InvestorPageComparetoMultiFamilyHousing10ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Graphic, data, per Sun Communities (SUI).

 

Grab your coffee or energy drink. This is your latest wake up call.

Opportunities knock, but they come dressed in overalls.

Johnson made several valid points in Forbes, but some needed adjusting or were exaggerated, etc. as noted above.  Johnson who is clearly pro-industry, nevertheless had issues in his report.  This article in Forbes is but one of many possible examples of why a report in the mainstream should not be merely forwarded, without a sound commentary and analysis. Otherwise, misinformation mixed with accurate information only spreads.

 

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

There are internal industry challenges that must be overcome. To better understand the issues, see the related report, below the notices and byline that follow, for more insights and details. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

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Eye Opening – Manufactured Homes in National, Global Context

Earning More Honest, Honorable Manufactured Home Industry Profits in 2019

 

MHARR Exclusive Report & Analysis, June 25, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Association Steps Up, Promoting Manufactured Home Communities Investing

December 20th, 2018 Comments off

 

StateAssocManufacturedHousingInstitutesouthCarolinaManufacturedHomeCommunitiesPromotionsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The holiday season hasn’t caused the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina still-new communications person to slow down.  Janae Frazier has stepped up to the plate with two new pro-industry videos produced on the MHISC’s YouTube channel in December, 2018.

 

The two videos are entirely different styles, as a look at each under-a-minute videos will reveal.

 

 

Based upon the views on this video, it appears that the Daily Business News on MHProNews is the first one to view each, as both showed zero views at the time we first looked. A state-association specific article will not normally attract the same number of readers as one about one of the industry’s nation associations, or some other hot topic, so this article won’t likely make a big impact on the views, but time will tell.

 

 

Any promotion of the manufactured housing industry is better than no promotion, so the videos are arguably an effort with a good intention.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoSouthCarolinaLogoMHISCLogoYouTubeChannel1Video1219.2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Janae Frazier’s efforts dwarf that of their larger and better funded Arlington, VA based counterparts.

JanaeFrazierMHISCManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolinaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from an MHISC video on this page.

 

Frazier deserves credit for that effort.

But the industry realistically must look beyond efforts and posturing from Arlington, VA toward actual measurable results.  It isn’t even so much about how many views, as how many actual buyers.

When several states are still slipping in new HUD Code manufactured home shipments, during an affordable housing crisis, these are warning signals that can’t be ignored.

 

 

2018-12-19_1707NewEnglandRVDAHowManyVideosOnYouTubeChannelDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHI and its members ought to answer this simple 3 part proposition. Logic says that:

  • MHI either know what to do to get more manufactured home sales, but thus far, have not done it.
  • MHI doesn’t know what to do to get more new HUD Code manufactured home sales, and doesn’t want to admit it.
  • Some combination of the two bullets above, such as MHI knows that it should debunk every piece of misinformation that arises, via an educational effort, but for whatever reason, isn’t doing it.

 

2018-12-10_0949SkyChampionManufacturedHousingShipmentHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNov2018

There is ample evidence to support the concerns that they are doing what Berkshire Hathaway owned brands, such as Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage want. Certainly MHI videos routinely feature Clayton Homes.  When Kevin Clayton said 7 years ago that the industry was ready to start promoting the industry, what has happened since then, and why?

This is the time of year that people are planning for the next year.  What do you want to see occur that will make 2019 significantly better than 2018?

ICYMI, or need a refresher on the latest national data, click the image/text box below to see that report.

 

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

 

For more relevant insights, see the related reports, linked below the by line, news tips icon, emailed newsletter sign up, and other notices. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

“Lots of Sizzle,” Clayton Sales Performance, Other MHI & Clayton Homes News Tips

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

“It’s a Terrible Idea,” Comments from Manufactured Home Community Owners, Senior Management, and Investors

 

Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

Children, Grandchildren, Family, Manufactured Housing, Money, and You

December 16th, 2018 Comments off

 

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Many if not most Manufactured Housing Professionals – MHPros – know the truth about our industry’s products and services. That said, millions of people don’t know.  You might say that they have been conditioned into thinking something that is untrue. Hold that thought, because in many ways it is a key to unlocking the future profit potential for your business and location(s).

 

For longtime readers, recall, that a manufactured housing professional – an informed MHI member – is the one who suggested that we research and report on Operation Mockingbird. Google it, we did, and then we did the report at the link below.  Family Jewels was a term used in a declassified CIA document about a once-secret operation, Operation Mockingbird.

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“Family Jewels,” MHVille Insider Tips, “Info Wars” and Omaha, Knoxville, California, Seattle and Arlington, and DC Connections

 

A manufactured home professional also wrote to say, “I am ready for infowars.” Hold that thought too, because unlocking that is also a way to unlock the potential for your business, products, or services.

It is axiomatic that normal people love their children and grandchildren. As with all rules about humanity, there are exceptions. Exceptions – properly understood – often can be used to prove the rule.

The most basic social unit is that of the family. “Social engineers” have been trying to redefine the family for decades, and to some degree, one must admit, that has worked. Teams and businesses have used the phrase “we are family” for some time. The performers The Sisters Sledge in 1980 cut the hot tune – “We Are Family.” Dated now, it was red-hot then.

 

 

A hit song gets played over and over – repetition.

Repetition is either good or bad depending on the subject matter.

Repeat the good over and over, and it sinks in. Repeat the bad over and over, and sadly, that sinks in too.

If someone kept repeating something harmful to your child or grandchild, in time, they could come to believe it.  Depending on the subject, certain harmful beliefs could result in injury or death.

Poison often has an antidote, a medication used to counter the effects of the poison.

The antidote to poisoned information is the truth properly told, and told often enough. That’s infowars in a nutshell. That’s why fact checks and analysis are so important. We do those fact checks and follow the money here.

Call it what you will, but the severe divisions in America are a wake-up call. It is self-evident to thinking, informed business leaders that manufactured homes are misunderstood. It is also logically true that other falsehoods and misinformation are occurring.

 

Want to unlock greater potential profits? Understanding and then communicating to others the truth is an essential part of that process.

 

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We created the graphic above years ago, because we understood in a broad sense what was necessary, and how to do it. What we didn’t fully grasp was how the biggest association and the biggest companies in our industry were arguably part of the problem, not part of the solution. But thanks to tips from various informed readers, now we have got it.

While he misused the term, mobile home, Frank’s point below was arguably spot on.

 

 

You aren’t getting that clarity of reasoning above from the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). That clear thinking isn’t coming from Clayton Homes or any other mega-firm in our industry. Why not?

You are getting it here on MHProNews. Which is why you and thousands of others have or will log on today.

Once weekly, we present the headlines for the reports published from the week that was. We curate – hand pick with intent and deliberation – each report we give you. In our industry, we are the runaway #1 as a result of readers like you, our sources, clients, and sponsors that collectively make this site possible.

If MHProNews is writing about it, I want to know about it,” said a company leader as part of a longer message to us.

As that tipster above wisely said it – for better or worse – we are in an era of infowars. Fake news has to be understood. Which is why we have, among the topics from the week that was, a Daily Business News report on fake news, and how to spot it. That features a short video by a mainstream media expert and award-winning journalist, who is now free from her mega-company.

Help us, help you, help your team. For the sake of your children and grandchildren. This is bigger than our industry, but logically – if you focus on getting the truth out about our industry – that’s an important start.

Here, thinkers like you are not alone. In our avoidably modest-sized industry today, north of 10,000 average logged on daily in recent months, per third-party metrics. For our boutique industry, that 10,000 average daily readers is incredible market penetration.

But it is also reflective of the fact that researchers about manufactured housing – who are often investors – are here day by day too.

The two most common words we get from readers, are “thank you,” and we in turn thank you – our readers, sources, clients and sponsors. Together, we advance.

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

Note that we don’t create a clickable linked box for every report, but you will find over 20 Daily Business News reports that are linked for every given week.

With no further adieu, here are the curated news items and related topics from the week that was, Sunday December 9 to December 16, 2018.

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

 

The First Step to Problem Solving and #HousingChoice

 

What’s New from MHARR

President Trump Announces Nominee Dr. Mark Calabria to Become New Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency

 

What’s New from the Masthead

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

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

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Saturday 12.15.2018 

ObamaCare Struck Down, MHVille Insights, Impact, and What’s Next

ObamaCare Struck Down, MHVille Insights, Impact, and What’s Next

 

Friday 12.14.2018 

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

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

Home Loan Limits Raised in Over 3,000 U.S. Counties

Home Loan Limits Raised in Over 3,000 U.S. Counties

With Storm Clouds Over Cavco, Eyes on Legacy Housing (LEGH) IPO Today

Joint HUD, White House Announcements Aim to Advance the American Dream

Joint HUD, White House Announcements Aim to Advance the American Dream

 

Thursday 12.13.2018 

2020 Contender Presidential Julian Castro, Obama Era HUD Secretary Announces Exploratory Run

2020 Contender Presidential Julian Castro, Obama Era HUD Secretary Announces Exploratory Run

Legal “Incoming” – Tip on Cavco Industries CVCO, plus Manufactured Housing Industry Connected Stock Updates

Legal “Incoming” – Tip on Cavco Industries CVCO, plus Manufactured Housing Industry Connected Stock Updates

#1 Texas Among States with New HUD Code Sales, Experiences Shipment Drop, Facts Reveal Warning Signs

#1 Texas Among States with New HUD Code Sales, Experiences Shipment Drop, Facts Reveal Warning Signs

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

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

 

Wednesday 12.12.2018 

Post “Debacle” – Insider Trade @ Cavco Industries – Has CVCO Hit Bottom? Plus, Manufactured Housing Equities Market Updates 

2019 Manufactured Housing Plant Shows

2019 Manufactured Housing Plant Shows

Rep Jeb Hensarling Applauds Appointment of Dr. Mark Calabria to Head FHFA

Rep Jeb Hensarling Applauds Appointment of Dr. Mark Calabria to Head FHFA

“Lots of Sizzle,” Clayton Sales Performance, Other MHI & Clayton Homes News Tips

“Lots of Sizzle,” Clayton Sales Performance, Other MHI & Clayton Homes News Tips

 

Tuesday 12.11.2018 

Who REALLY Runs America? MHVille Timely Reminder, Columbia Law Prof Philip Hamburger Video

Who REALLY Runs America? MHVille Timely Reminder, Columbia Law Prof Philip Hamburger Video

Border Sparks Fly! Senator Chuck Schumer, Rep Nancy Pelosi, POTUS Donald Trump Feisty Video, Costs Benefits, plus MH Market Updates

Border Sparks Fly! Senator Chuck Schumer, Rep Nancy Pelosi, POTUS Donald Trump Feisty Video, Costs Benefits, plus MH Market Updates

What Others Say – Legacy Housing Corp (LEGH) IPO Set for 12.14.2018 

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

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

 

Monday 12.10.2018

Stocks Rebound Despite Clouds over Huawei, China, Brexit, Plus MH Market Updates

Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows, Controversial Profitable, Problematic Issues Loom

Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows, Controversial Profitable, Problematic Issues Loom

Skyline-Champion (SKY) Manufactured and Modular Factory Home-Builders, Real vs Faked or Misleading News, Reports

Skyline-Champion (SKY) Manufactured and Modular Factory Home-Builders, Real vs Faked or Misleading News, Reports

”Your Time is Up, White People” SA Politician Declares, Stirring Up Unrest Impacts MHVille, USA

”Your Time is Up, White People” SA Politician Declares, Stirring Up Unrest Impacts MHVille, USA

 

Sunday 12.09.2018 

Winter 2018-2019 in Manufactured Housing Land

Winter 2018-2019 in Manufactured Housing Land

Together with thousands of honest MHVille pros of good will, we can make our industry achieve its great potential. That’s done by making American lives better, together. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Sunday Morning, weekly headline news review, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Clayton’s Miss, Kevin and Tim’s Manufactured Housing Kill Shot, More

 

What Just Happened, to Cavco, Independent Communities, Retailers, and Manufactured Housing?

 

The Coming Breakup of Berkshire? MHI? Plus Sunday Headline Recap 10-14-2018 to 10-21-2018