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Posts Tagged ‘L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’

Attracting and Retaining Sales Talent – Evidence and Data-Driven Potential in Manufactured Housing

October 8th, 2018 Comments off


AttractingRetainingSalesTalentEvidenceDatDrivenPotentialManufacturedHousingMondayMorningSalesMeeting 

At this moment, the potential opportunity to achieve more in manufactured housing by independents may be greater than at any time in decades. But tapping those opportunities requires an openness to new facts, evidence, and ideas.

 

By definition, doing more of the ‘same old, same old,’ yields more of the same. One reaps what is sown.

In business and in public discourse, mental and physical habits set in. The right habits are good, the wrong ones are self-limiting.

When competing ideas exist, some want to discuss or debate them. That’s ok.  It can even be good, when done properly. But that ought to be done based upon a genuine, healthy discussion.

Some enter into a discussion with a closed mind, trying to prove ‘their’ point. The ego gets invested. Pride sets in. Such a person is less likely to ‘change their mind’ – at least at that time – regardless of the facts or evidence.  But the discussion may still be useful to those who are observing. 

That’s human nature at work. The real geniuses are those who create the discipline of proven systems and processes that every sound business requires, and marries them with a willingness to test other ways to see if improvements can be profitably achieved.  

At the core of this is the need for objectivity combined with discipline.  

Discipline is good, but it’s enhanced by a healthy motivation.

There are great thinkers who were also doers. They found the way to motivate others to be the best version of themselves.  

The lazy, ego-invested or honest skeptics can use all kinds of methods to block healthy or even necessary change.

The point?  

 

An Emerging New MHVille and American Reality

A new economic reality is emerging in the U.S. Love, like, or hate his style, but President Trump is getting things done that make America a better place for small- to mid-sized businesses. Businesses are opening and expanding.  Wages are rising, as more jobs are opening.

As the economy improves, the need to retain and attract good talent will only grow. With unemployment officially at 3.7 percent, and with over 6 million job openings, people have more career and job options.

EducationTrainingDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNews40PercentLeaveFirstYear

Research has proven that training – education done well – motivates workers. Good training also improves performance and retention.

When a sales pro in retail, at the factory, or in communities can learn more to earn more, they are more likely to stay. It also makes for a better workplace. 

And at the core of every marketing and sales article on MHProNews is the belief that the customer deserves to be treated honestly, ethically, and with a respect for their long-term interests.

Sellers win, when customers win. By the way, savvy customers know you have to make a profit.

In this emerging economy, the need to think in terms of mutual victories – where everyone in the mix wins – is essential. It’s a good thing, but it may require healthy changes in how business is done.

The day may come in manufactured housing when well qualified retail buyers will go to retailers or communities intending to purchase. The only question is who they will do business with.

That kind of qualified customer won’t respond well to many of the marketing and sales methods they see.

In that projected future – then and now – truly skilled, informed, disciplined sales people will be needed.

 

LATonyKovachPresenting%StateConvDeadwoodSDKenCorbinCommentManufacturedHousingIndustryEventDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tony Kovach doing a presentation in a packed room of industry professionals.

The time is now for forward-thinkers who want to lead this emerging trend to invest in systems that attract and retain qualified professionals who can attract and satisfy qualified buyers.

That’s what we help client firms do, and it sets us apart from the pack. That’s your weekly dose of the Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Marketing and Sales Meeting. ## (Research, news, analysis, and commentary.) 

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

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNewsBy 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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

 

 

Related References:

Proper Planning, Manufactured Housing, Marketing and Sales, Monday Morning Meeting

 

“Family Owned,” a Formula for Outperforming “Big Boys,” Monday Morning MH Marketing Sales Meeting

“Family Owned,” a Formula for Outperforming “Big Boys,” Monday Morning MH Marketing Sales Meeting

September 17th, 2018 Comments off

 

FamilyOwnedFormulaForOutPerformingBigboysMondayMorningMHMarketingSalesMeetingDailyBusinessNewsPXMHProNews

In today’s tip, we’re using business-to-consumer (B2C) examples below, but the same principles apply businesses-to-businesses (B2B).

 

It is up to each business to define itself in its own market(s).

Those in the manufactured home industry that don’t define themselves will likely be defined by their competitors, and/or by the bias and ignorance of others.

Here are some of the key elements to deciding your inventory- and marketing plans, which can help you craft how to define your location(s) in their respective marketplace.

 

1) Price-points. Often, but not always, the dominant, chain stores or conglomerate communities may have a price advantage on their homes for sale. You need to have a good sense of what your competitors have, how the compare to what you offer, and how each are priced.

When it comes to ‘knowledge’ of competitors, keep in mind that Clayton and others have the advantage of their so-called “spies.”  ICYMI, that report can be read later, found at the link below.

 

Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage’s Manufactured Housing “Spies”

A sure way to hand Berkshire brands or other giants an advantage is to ignore them, their methods, tactics, and resources.

Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett himself argues for the advantages that the lower price gives his companies.  That said, you don’t have to be lower in price to win, but there’s a big IF with that qualifier.  You have to be able to craft the right strategy, marketing message, and sales systems.

Price is an advantage, but it can be overcome in various cases with enough extra effort.

 

2) In stock and/or custom order? Delivery dates for ordered units have become an issue in recent years. It used to be that you could get a new home in so-many weeks. Now, that lead time is more often measured in months. To maximize your turns-per-year, sales, and profits, this question #2 and it’s subsidiary and related companion issues ought to be carefully considered.

 

3) Merchandising or not? We noted in a recent column linked below the value of staging model homes. Of course, that comes at a price in time, talent, and treasure (dollars). But what if you can’t afford to stage/decorate your homes? Then a stratagem must be developed around that reality.  For those with a budget for staging, you can read the related column linked below, later on.

 

Manufactured Home Retailers, Communities, Is Your Merchandising Nordstrom’s or Salvation Army? Monday MH Marketing, Sales Meeting

 

4) Financing. We don’t track day-by-day the financing programs offered by say 21st Mortgage Corp – which serves independents, vs. Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, which serves Clayton conglomerate retail stores. But the routine comments from communities, retailers, and HUD Code manufactured home producers we work with or hear from suggests that Berkshire Hathaway has long tilted the scales in favor of Clayton vs. independents.

For example, the routine report for years has been that VMF “buys deeper” than 21st. Who says so? Insider sources, and we’ll cover that in an upcoming report. But for now, your marketing and sales strategy ought to consider these kinds of factors (#1-4).  Otherwise if all else is equal, you can be outperformed by those with lower pricing, easier lending, better staging, etc., etc.. Those realities often give the big boys advantages.  That means that savvy, long-term success minded  independents operating near them must plan around those advantages.

 

The Above, Rephrased and Boiled to Essentials

Most independent retailers, communities, and producers are so busy with their day-by-day activities, that they don’t spend nearly enough time in strategic planning.

Yet, without a sound ‘fact based’ strategy, how can you outperform someone who may offer lower pricing, easier financing, or other advantages?

It is doable. But it takes facts, a SWOT analysis, and a plan that includes how you define yourself in the marketplace. See the related report, later on, that is linked below.

 

Sunday Morning Manufactured Home Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 7.8.2018 to 7.15.2018

 

The headline suggests one approach that has worked as part of a broader message and plan. “Family owned and operated, since…” whatever date can be a powerful message that’s part of a larger strategy.  There are tons of shoppers who prefer to do business with people, vs a bureaucratic business where the faces are changing often due to turnover.

By the way, we have a proven, profitable program that so shifts the paradigm away from the mundane appeal of the lowest price or lenders that buy the poorest credit.  Those strategies can lead you and your location(s) to levels of success that surprise you, and your competitors too.

DontBecomeSharksNextMealLearnHowEvenSmallerFirmsCanDominateInLocalMarketsDailyBusienssNewsMHproNews

For those with a budget, ready to take a next step toward dominating your local market, click the image above or call the number below. With over 1,000 endorsements and recommendations, odds are excellent that you’ll be glad that you did reach out for our proven systems. Sure there’s a cost, but it is an investment that routinely pays.  ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

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Time, talent, treasure. Put your money, as we do, where your mouth is. Need professional services? Please consider calling us. Nobody does it better in MHVille, no one. Click here to learn more.

Related References:

Sustainable Success. Your Best MH Investment? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales and Marketing Meeting

 

Becoming a Standout Performer, Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

Power & Profit$ from Factual Sales & Marketing, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Meeting – Part 1

August 27th, 2018 Comments off

 

PowerProfitsFactualSalesMarketing

It would be hard to find a business or a business professional that would argue against more good sales or higher profits.

 

It would be harder still to find a professional or investor that would argue against more sales and higher profits achieved with happy customers, and high CSI.

CSI is a customer satisfaction index. It’s an internal or third-party measure of the satisfaction level of a customer. Ideally, a CSI is factual.

Ideally, we should use facts – not hype or exaggeration – as the basis for everything in business, including sales and marketing.

UnzipLookingForUsUnlockedMindHowCanWeHelpThemSeeManufacturedHOusingINdustryDailyBsuinessNewsMHproHNEws

When customers come to your website, are they finding what they are looking for?  They have a beautiful dream they want to fulfill. Customers have questions they want answered. Are visitors ‘bouncing’ at a high rate? If so, that’s one of several possible red flags for a website design issue. Other possible red flags include low conversion rates.

There are literally millions of Americans who are checking out HUD Code manufactured homes every year. They might be using Google, Bing, or Yahoo to search for “mobile home,” “trailer house,” “modular home” or whatever.

Facts are facts. Too many let emotions, ego, habits (‘We’ve always done it this way‘), company politics, fear of change, or other factors get in the way of higher sales and profits.  Forget all that emotional baggage, because it is demonstrably costing you/your location(s) money.

To a clear-minded professional who can look at data dispassionately, facts can speak loudly. Properly understood, facts can drive more leads and more sales.

We live in an era when information is easily accessed. Tens of millions can use mobile devices to search for information.  Millions more will use a desktop or laptop for internet searches.

As millions in the U.S. or elsewhere search for a product or a service, what is it that they most want to discover?

The truth. They want “the Facts.”

Some will make a snap judgement. Right or wrong, that decision may take only a few seconds.  So it isn’t as if emotion or pretty pictures don’t play a role in the equation.  Of course they do.

But if pretty pictures or slick videos alone were the answer, then thousands of locations – retailers and communities – from coast to coast would have customers lined up at the doors every day to buy.

BlackFridayLineKohls8.3MillionHomes14.9PercentMoveAvg1of7MovingMrketSalesMHProNews_001

But facts can – indeed, they must – be used as the basis for all honest and ethical persuasion IF good results are to be sustainable.  I’m not saying that manufactured housing is fooling anyone, those who know us know that we are true believers in the industry’s products and services.

But until more of the home seeking public believes in manufactured homes in greater numbers – or is at a minimum, is curious enough to come and see manufactured homes in person – sales will stay modest.

Furthermore, until more home shoppers have an experience that gives them a similar level of confidence as they get in the real estate business, sales will stay modest.

 

Experience Shows…

I’ve professionally visited corporate and independent retail and communities over the years than I care to count. In my working with various independent and corporate manufactured home retailers and communities for over 15 years, a few things are clear.

1)        A significant number of locations can have good traffic, but low conversions as measured by visitors to sales.

2)        An even greater percentage of people who surf a site fail to convert into an active lead, or smaller still, into an actual buyer.

3)        By using a combination of facts and emotional appeals correctly, traffic can grow, and so can conversion ratios. 

4)        Rephrased, for those willing to invest in change, and stick with it, you’ll find more sales, more profits and higher levels of customer satisfaction.  Those happy customers can bring you still more buyers.

5)  Some, of course, have low traffic.  That can be fixed fairly quickly. 

6)        Side note, for communities that rent and sell, you’re losing millions of dollars a year in sales.  I get the profits possible from rental units.  I get it that it is easier to rent than sell.  But there’s also beauty and profits possible in the original model for MHCommunities, and that can still be achieved by selling more manufactured homes on leased land.

 

Is their Evidence for Factual Based Marketing and Sales?

Let’s answer the question immediately above with one word. Absolutely.

We will start by offering as proof MHVillage’s (MHV) published statistics. Keep in mind, we are not slamming them, nor are we putting them down. This is clinical look, like an analogy to an examination by a doctor or accountant.

MHV are understandably proud of their data, which is why they publish it, right?

But what the MHVillage data and their own claims tell discerning and savvy marketers is this. Millions check out manufactured homes online every year. But in 2017, only some 92,900 actually bought a new manufactured home. That’s a sad conversion ratio.  It’s also one that screams that it can be dramatically improved.  The goal isn’t an unachievable perfection. Rather, its a sustainable level of improvements that drive more sales, and thus, higher profits.

2018-06-22_0521ConversionRatiosPerMHVillageLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Data per MHVillage. Collage and thumbnail analysis by MHProNews.

Again, let’s use data – facts as proof.  By contrast to MH data, the RV industry way outsells MH.  But do you realize that MH outsold RVs just 20 years ago?  What caused the shift?  How did RVs go from trailing MH to outselling MH by almost 5 to 1?

RVsshipmentsTrailedMH1998WinnebagoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

For a better understanding of what the RV data should be telling manufactured housing marketers and sellers, click the article below.

What RV Industry’s 2018, Prior Results Reveal for Manufactured Housing

Going back to the MHVillage data.  Less than a fraction of a single percent converted to buying. In my discussions with those in real estate, they experience a far better conversion ratio than manufactured housing professionals achieve.

These facts are opportunities in disguise.  MH is different than real estate or RVs.  But there are lessons to be learned from those industry, by our industry. Few if any have studied and successfully applied these lessons than this writer.

 

Clayton Trainee’s Praise – Low Hanging Fruit vs. Choice Fruit

A newbie to Clayton Homes recently told us about their sales training. That person, who has prior sales experience, rated the Clayton training as “excellent.”

Ok, let’s factually examine that for a moment.

If Clayton Homes’ retail – or their marketing – had a total grasp of what works and what doesn’t, then answer this question.  Why have they had to close a net of about 100 retail centers in the last 7 years?  See the article, linked below. And ICYMI, if you aren’t already on our free email list, you can sign up in seconds, at this link here.

Clayton’s Surprising Result – Sunday Morning Weekly Recap, MH Headline Reports and News in Review Aug 19 to Aug 26, 2018

 

The data – plus what industry pros in big and small companies tell us – is this.

Most operations, no matter how disciplined they may be at a factory or a finance office, lack a similar level of discipline in retail and marketing. Their own data says so.  My eyes and ears have told me so.

As a cross check, when I talk to lender’s reps – who visit sales centers – and who’ve been in the business for around 20 years, they see that same pattern too.

But don’t take my word for it. The proof is in Clayton’s and MHVillage’s own data.  Again, this isn’t a slam on those in MH sales or marketing.  Management accepts what is, or things would be different.

Let me tell you, many sales pros WANT to be properly trained.  If they are on commission, a motivated sales pro, WANTs to sell more homes.

We always begin with those in place.  It may be easier and better to get them to learn something new.

Or sometimes we work with management to bring in one or two new people.  We teach them the new ways.  Once they start to catch or outsell seasoned veterans, and you’ll rapidly have a motivated experienced sales person saying, ‘okay, I’m ready to learn more.’

Management and sales can and should help each other.  BTW, we would rather work with an existing marketer, teach them a few new principles, and let them get motivated about delivering better results that they’ll get for their company or clients.

 

Facts Matter, Understanding Customers, and Industry Dynamics Matters

There are a number of things we do on the consulting side of our operations that are proprietary. We keep client information confidential, and client’s commit to doing that with us too, both for obvious reasons. We may talk about generic or obviously non-proprietary data.

But we only publish specific client results when we mutually agree to do so.

That said, when clients gladly praise our results, and those that observed those results praise the work, that’s what prudent, discerning minds should ponder. As always, facts matter.

Consultants get paid for doing things that a company can’t easily do for itself.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

Click the above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

Consultants also get paid for doing those things that would speed up a process that a company might do on its own – but for whatever reasons, has up until that time failed to achieve. Or another reason why consultants or outside service providers are used is when it would cost more to do that contracted work internally than it would externally.

Consultants and contract service providers also get paid to observe. I’ve seen for myself very successful sales centers with low conversion ratios. Part of the reason is that too many target – wittingly or not – “low hanging fruit.”

Let me give just one example. When a successful retailer tells me it is hard to find customers applying at their sales center with credit scores over 600 or 625, that’s an example of attracting and/or selling to low hanging fruit.

AverageCreditScoreForHomeBuyersRubyHomeFHAConvVADailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Everyone in America deserves an opportunity for home ownership. It’s an outrage that about 40 other nations have a higher rate of home ownership than the USA does.

This writer, always working with others, has taken previously failing locations and made them successful.

LegacyHousingHurricanOverrunWholesaleEvent200x200ManufacturedHomeINdustryMHProNews

Click to learn more about this upcoming wholesale event, which is not related to the story posted.

We did that for a Clayton Homes location, some years ago. But even after Clayton saw the proof of rapidly rising sales with their own eyes, they somehow didn’t get it. Once my work at that location ended, they went back to their previous ways.  Why?  Perhaps someone somewhere in their food-chain didn’t want to change something that they liked?

But the point is, a Clayton store slated for closure, due to low sales and negative profits, was rapidly turned around into a money maker.

But even after those positive changes at a Clayton retail location were implemented, when I left that location, others that followed obviously undid them.

It isn’t just Clayton. I’m being clinical, and not ‘picking’ on them.  Facts are facts.

For a different example, I did a gig with a major community operator, prior to our launching MHProNews.  We took a closed sales center.  It has been closed by this big operation because of poor sales.  We reopened it for them, and rapidly got it turning new home sales.

Their home office was so impressed, their top people came to see first hand, and ask, ‘what are you doing that’s working so well?’

Your’s truly had a hearty conversation with some of that portfolio operations top brass.  At the end of that conversation, the top man, with his colleagues present, said words to this effect. ‘We’re a publicly traded company. It isn’t easy for us to make the kinds of changes that you propose.’

First of all, they came to talk to me, I didn’t call them.  They asked, I answered.  And for whatever reason, even after seeing the profitable results, they wanted to go back to their old ways. Interesting, isn’t it?

 

By the way…

…that former Clayton location that I did that turn around project for today has an independent retailer sitting on it.  Sad, avoidable, but insightful and all true.

Prospective customers want facts, just as businesses should.

Prospective customers want to be treated with respect, they don’t want to be ‘manhandled.’

Customers – especially well qualified ones – often come in with a level of skepticism or distrust. When a prospect doesn’t buy a manufactured home, it’s because questions or real life hurdles – at least in their own mind – were not addressed.

We don’t claim to know it all. But

  • we’ve taken more than enough previously successful locations, and working with others, made them even more successful.
  • We’ve also worked with previously failing sales at communities or retailers, shook a few things up, and they grew and profited more as a result.
  • Some people want moi – or our systems – to fit into some preconceived mental box. Sorry.  Its self evident that doing more of the same, gets you the same.

Anyone can read the kinds of things that past and present clients have said on LinkedIn, on videos, or elsewhere, so these are not empty claims without evidence.  The fact that we are still in business many think is a miracle. But common sense tells you, it is because we deliver: both in publishing, and on the professional services side too.

 

Habits – Right or Wrong – Make or Break You

Let me close part one of:

Power & Profit$ from Factual Sales & Marketing, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Meeting – Part 1

…with a simple thought.

Habits are as necessary in manufactured home marketing and sales as they are in making good loans or building a good home. In lending and construction, good habits equal good results. It’s the weak habits, that need adjustments.

IfPrettyPicturesVideosAloneWereEnoughMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews1

Learn more about the above, linked here.

It is often the outsider looking in that can identify a problem, and point out whatever is needed to fix performance outcomes. See the graphic posted below.

 

SometimesModestAdjustmentIsNeededToGetAroughSoundingENgineurringSmoothlyRunningEfficentlyButfirstIdnetifyThenREsolveCauseoftheProb lemsLATonyKovachQUote

Get your motor running smoothly and efficiently.

Home shoppers may or may not think, I want answers to such and such questions.’ But consciously or not, that’s exactly what well qualified buyers want.

The numbers of lost sales per location is often staggering.

Lost sales are often in the millions of dollars at retail a year, per location.

Take that outcome, and multiply it by the numbers or sales centers and communities, and it costs manufactured homes sellers collectively billions a year.

 

Investing in People and Processes Pays

Rephrased, investing in the correct marketing and sales pays off in fairly short order.

Let me refine that point.  Clayton, Cavco or the new Skyline-Champion could be selling billions of dollars a year in more product, if they were willing to make ethical changes.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Any number of illogical, emotional, ego, political or ‘we’ve always done it this way,’ kind of thinking has kept thousands of manufactured home operations from growing to their potential. It happens from small to large companies. Its obvious that if you want a different result, changes have to be made. But the data reflects that the changes are profitable.

That also means that smaller independentsgiven the right approach coupled with discipline – could grow their results, and over time, challenge the larger players.

As a-near-closing note, the impacts above apply similarly for sellers of modular homes.

There’s power and profits from factually-based marketing and sales.

Despite all the hoopla and drama, there are factual reasons why we are the most read trade media, and perhaps the most endorsed/recommended professional in all of manufactured housing. That’s not bragging, those are facts.

Ready to invest in common sense change, and grow?

Check your budget for consulting, marketing, training, and recruiting. Then, give me a call or send a message.  For those willing to make adjustments and stick with them in marketing and selling, the increased profit potential is nothing to sneeze at. ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

InvestInYourselfAndInYourBizManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Time, talent, treasure. Put your money, as we do, where your mouth is. Need professional services? Please consider calling us. Nobody does it better in MHVille, no one. Click here to learn more.

Related References:

Becoming a Standout Performer, Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

 

Trendlines Don’t Lie, Real Challenges, Hidden Manufactured Housing Opportunities Revealed

August 20th, 2018 Comments off

TrnedlinesDontLieRealChallengesHiddenManufacturedHousingOppoertunitiesRevealed

For the next few minutes, we will set aside the questions that routinely swirl around potential “Cause and Effects” of the data that follows. This report will focus instead on pure facts, trend-lines, and evidence.

 

 

For twenty (+/-) years, there’s been a growing need for quality affordable housing.

Up until 1998, manufactured housing (MH) was generally rising from its shipment levels in early-1990s.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

After 1998, manufactured home sales began a long, steady decline that finally hit bottom in 2009-2010. There has been a slow, steady rise since that historic bottom.

By contrast, during that same timeframe, RV sales generally rose far more quickly. RVs went from lower shipment levels than MH in 1998, to surpassing MH in the years that followed.

RVsshipmentsTrailedMH1998WinnebagoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

During the so-called Great Recession circa 2008, RV sales dipped less, and recovered more quickly than manufactured home (MH) sales.

Both RVs and MHs bottomed out in 2009.  But the next year in MH, the industry was essentially flat. By contrast, RVs jumped roughly 50 percent 2009 to 2010.

Today, RVs outsell MHs by more than 5 to 1, per the sources and trend lines shown. That swing went from MH outselling RVs for years, and then RVs surpassed MH while this part of the factory built housing industry dropped.

These are dramatic facts, by any measure. A more detailed look at RVs vs. MH is at this link, which will also be found under related reports, linked at the end of this column, below.

Can anyone argue that RV sales growth has proven to be sustainable?  How to explain the sustainability comment of MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison, in the short video clip, posted below?

That question asked, our focus in this column remains on facts, evidence and trendlines, not cause and effect. We’ll allow other published reports, some linked further below, to look at the Jennison question.

 

What About Conventional Housing?

Here’s the trend lines on new single-family housing starts.

SingleFamilyHomeSalesMH1998vsConventionalConstructionDailyBsuinessNewsMHProNews

What the data from publicly traded Skyline Champion (SKY) has revealed is that while the affordable housing crisis has grown, the manufactured housing industry’s share of total housing has dropped significantly. Inquiring minds – including advocates, researchers, investors, and housing pros –  should see these facts as opportunities in disguise, but also as a clear reflection of headwinds, seen or unseen.

Per Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE) with the National Association of Realtors, the graph below reflects the fluctuations in the percentage of MH shipments vs SF new and existing home sales.

Figure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

The pre-HUD Code mobile home era saw peaks when some 1 out of every 6 housing units – new, existing, and MH – were factory built. The market share of all housing sales, per the chart, next peaked in 1982, when roughly when 1 out of 10 of all housing units sold was a HUD Code manufactured home. These facts reflect industry potential. But they also point to headwinds. A look at some of those forces behind those headwinds are round further below.

It must be noted that several manufacturers have confirmed for the Daily Business News on MHProNews that the percentage of shipments that are being sold for rental housing has risen since the advent of Obama Administration era Dodd-Frank rules that were implemented by the CFPB.

 

Other Vexing Indicators, and Opportunities in Disguise 

As the Daily Business News exclusively reported, if new manufactured home shipments into land-lease communities designed as rental housing are factored out, manufactured home shipments are essentially flat, or only a very small growth, compared to the low of 2009.

Several community operators that do rentals and sales have said that their new home sales declined after rentals were first implemented.

Those are anecdotal statements, and no specific data-driven studies of those claims are available to us at this time. With that noted, the number and high-level sources of such anecdotal statements must be considered.

Certainly, rentals in communities are a profitable business model.  But so is the traditional role of land-lease communities that have focused on owner occupied homesites.

While such trends ought to be concerns for some, they are also opportunities in disguise for those who address the underlying causes.

So when mainstream media gives positive news about manufactured housing, as Bloomberg did in the report referenced below, these are some of the background items that others may or may not be considering.

Bloomberg “New Home for $90,000? Manufactured Housing Is Making a Comeback” Reveals MH Media Challenge

Summing Up

All of these facts and trendlines must be considered in the light of an estimated 7.7 affordable housing shortage, per the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLICH) data.  

They should also be viewed through the lens of some 8.3 million housing unit shortages cited by the National Association of Realtor’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, Ph.D. 

Let’s sum up what the data and trend lines above reflect.

  1. Manufactured housing is capable of rapid growth. Recall Rollohome, and the early 1990s data above.
  2. RVs clearly have outperformed MH since 2000. Yet RVs are for most a luxury, not a necessity like housing.
  3. RVs proved their ability to grow some 50 percent in a single year. While there are obvious differences between RVs and MHs, ramping up production is arguably similar for both industries. Put differently, the ability for manufactured housing to grow more rapidly ought to be clear as noontime on a cloudless day.

You could sum this up by saying, sustainable success for manufactured housing is possible.

Links below will be to more information on related reports to the selected data, referenced above. This is the first of a planned multiple part, fact based look at industry indicators and trendlines.  Make sure you are signed up for our industry leading emailed headline news, via the link below.  “MH Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertL. A. “Tony” Kovach and his wife Soheyla co-founded and publish the manufactured home

LATonyKovachMHProNews-com-

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach addressing industry professionals at an educational session.

industry’s two leading trade media; Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews.com) and MHProNews.com for business professionals and investors.

Kovach’s work has been featured in publications such as the Washington D.C.’s The Hill, Value Penguin, Chicago Sun Times, and a host of other media. He’s been involved in the manufactured home industry as a manager, high-volume retail center owner, consultant, and publisher for over 25 years. Kovach has likely interviewed more industry professionals, experts, and manufactured home owners, than anyone in U.S. news media.

 

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Related Reports:

 

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

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Sustainable Success. Your Best MH Investment? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales and Marketing Meeting

 

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

Warren Buffett Would be Okay With Clayton Homes Losing Money, Says Kevin Clayton – But Why?

Sustainable Success. Your Best MH Investment? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales and Marketing Meeting

August 20th, 2018 Comments off

 

SustainableSuccessWhatsYourBestMHInvestmentMondayMOrningManufacturedHOusingSalesMarketingMeeting600x315

Every business or profession has certain essentials. Manufactured housing is no exception.

 

Here are some examples from MHVille.  

     A retailer needs inventory, and some place to sell from. 

     A community implies a location, that has home sites (‘lots’ or ‘pads,), streets, infrastructure, the means of collecting the agreed upon revenue, and managing the property.

     Factories likewise have a physical location, need materials, and components. 

     Lenders have a location, and must have a stream of capital from which to make loans.

     Installers and transporters need equipment, and a location for that equipment.  

All of these various segments of manufactured housing have locations. But they also require good people who are properly informed and motivated.

Rephrased, beyond the location, hard assets, and mandated items for a business, the next clear and pressing need are the right people with the desire and tools to do the work.

So it stands to reason that among the best investments anyone can make is in the recruitment, development and retention of their team members. 

In an era when the labor pool is tight, and people are more willing to change jobs, creating an atmosphere where people want to go to work, is rising in priority.

 

LegacyManufacturedHousing-LiquidationEvent-HurricanOverRun-image500x335

Click the above to learn more or register for the event, which is unrelated to the article.

 

Clear vs Fuzzy Thinking

 

Fuzzy thinking about MH among your team can cost you big time. What is the cost of your lost sales opportunities? Odds are it’s in the millions of dollars a year in retail volume at a good location.

Feed people the right information, the right ways, often enough, and you’ll discover that people want to learn more.

The catchphrase ‘learn, earn, and return’ has perhaps never been more timely. 

Researchers and our own experiences in recruiting, coaching and training all suggest that enthusiasm is both taught and caught by the right type of education. 

Enthusiasm, motivation, and being well informed – these are among the elements you want to find in your sales force.  

 

Lessons from an Industry Giant

We’ll do a specific breakdown later on this next nugget (make sure you are signed up for our emails, so you won’t miss it; sign up in seconds at this link here). But a graduate of Clayton’s sales school called to give us a briefing. 

The two points we’ll make today from that multiple part phone discussion about Clayton’s training is this.

1)        Clayton’s graduate praised the training.

2)        That in spite of what some (not just that one grad) thinks is the among the best training in the MH industry, Clayton has shut down about 100 net locations in roughly 7 years.

3)        You read that italicized line correctly. Who says? Kevin Clayton and their company’s self-stated data. Keep in mind they were adding new locations during that timeframe too. So that’s a net decline, implying the number of location closures is more than 100.

Ponder that for the next few moments. The industry’s elephant in the room, while shipments are rising, and the affordable housing crisis is raging, has closed some 100 (+/-) locations. 

Why? Its a huge question, isn’t it?

The primary reason for closures are not enough sales, which leads to not enough profits. It costs a lot to open a location, plus ongoing monthly expenses. So a closure is not done lightly.

There will be more insights on that topic when we publish that insider look at Clayton’s retail sales. Again, make sure you and your managers are signed up for the industry’s most read emailed headline news.

But here is a top line that reflects today’s headline.

Multiple billion dollar Clayton Homes knows that they have to formally train their people if they want be successful and grow.

State association executives, and lender’s field reps tell MHProNews that it is consistently the locations that invest the time, talent, and treasure in training that produces the best results.

There are and have been several trainers in the industry. But to our knowledge, there is sincerely no result that approaches that of our applied methods and systems.

The beauty of our method of marketing and sales coaching is this. In many cases, you can keep the best of what you already do, and include the new that we provide.

For those with a budget that want to learn more, click or call. Because one of you best investments is in the right system. No one else in MHVille has one like ours. Who says? Just listen to what those exposed to our training and talks have had to say.

 

The Next Best Thing? 

For those locations that have insufficient resources for contracted services, the debatably next best thing is plenty of study coupled with group discussions that are led by a seasoned professional. So get those sales team members on MHLivingNews.com daily.

Yes, every business day, you should encourage your team to read at lest one article a day and view those accompanying videos on MHLivingNews.com.

There is no other resource quite like MHLivingNews in MHVille, period. Thanks to prior and current clients, it’s the best at teaching consumers – and thus front line staffers – about the realities vs. the misconceptions about mobile homes and manufactured housing.

Education is a key. Investment in your people are a must for sustainable success.

Clayton and other successful operations know it. We truly believe that ours educational and marketing methods are second to none. Listen to the video above, and you’ll get a small sense of why. To learn more, click, call or check out what’s below. “Innovation, Information, Inspiration for Industry Professionals.” ©   ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, 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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Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

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Time, talent, treasure. Put your money, as we do, where your mouth is. Need professional services? Please consider calling us. Nobody does it better in MHVille, no one. Click here to learn more.

Related References:

Becoming a Standout Performer, Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

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Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s Honeymoon Mobile Home Auctioned Soon

August 15th, 2018 Comments off

 

ElvisPriscillaPresleyHoneymoonMObileHomeAuctionedSoonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It’s a shame that so many in the industry just don’t get it,” said an industry reader and client who tipped the auction of Elvis’ honeymoon mobile home to MHProNews.  “Manufactured home pros should celebrate the mobile home past, not run from it. Yes, we need the right terminology, and done correctly it would elevate the industry’s image.”

 

MHProNews and MHLivingNews previously reported on a prior sale of the home.

Judging from the current photos the auction house shared, the true pre-HUD Code mobile home looks to have been updated and rehabbed.

ExteriorElvisPriscillaPresleyHoneymoonMobileHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGWSAuctionLogo

The auction tells MHProNews the same, describing the home like this: “Elvis & Priscilla Presley’s 60′ Two Bedroom Delta Mobile Home From Circle G Ranch W/All Paperwork (Recently Restored)

KitchenElvisPriscillaPresleyHoneymoonMobileHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGWSAuctionLogo

For a forward thinker with wit, some spare change, and an eye for marketing this could be a traffic magnet for a manufactured home sales center or land-lease community,” said publisher and consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kitchen2ElvisPriscillaPresleyHoneymoonMobileHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGWSAuctionLogo

LegacyHousingHurricanOverrunWholesaleEvent200x200ManufacturedHomeINdustryMHProNews

Click here to learn more about this upcoming wholesale event, which is not related to the story posted.

The auction will be held on Aug 25, 2018 10AM PDT, in Agoura Hills, CA, by GWS Auctions CA Bond#: 62520248.

A robust photo spread is planned for MHLivingNews this weekend. Watch for it, at this link here. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reports:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Mobile Home Restored, Honeymoon Hideaway Up for Auction

 

Elvis & Priscilla Presley Honeymooned in this Mobile Home

 

Becoming a Standout Performer, Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

 

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

August 4th, 2018 Comments off


ThouShallNotsteal$2TrillionAnnuallyLostLackofAffordableHomesMakingManufacturedHomeCase

After years of arguably failed polite talk, perhaps more direct and blunt words are needed.

 

The logic of research economists Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti is that improper land use policies are costing the nation some $2 trillion dollars a year.

Past25YearsHousingConstraintsChangTaiHsiehUChicagoEnricoMorettiUCBerkely

See the Daily Business News report on that topic, at this link here. It includes a download of their research.

The reasoning of National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun is that only more and faster new construction will fix the housing affordability issue.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

It is this Daily Business News on MHProNews writer’s understanding, Dr. Yun prompted Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE) to research manufactured homes. Among her 30 pages of reports, charts, and data include the following.

 

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

See more of her research, at this link here.

 

The logic of Trulia’s research, summarized by the data in the graphic below, supports that of the research economists above. Affordable housing has negligible impact on all other housing nearby. Both forms of housing are growing in value, side by side.

TruliaImpactofAffordableHomesHousingValueDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Trulia research reinforces what HUD’s PD&R on manufactured homes (MH) found, that MH appreciated side by side with conventional housing.

But what if that affordable housing are manufactured homes? Do manufactured homes harm property values for neighboring conventional housing?

The university level research that HUD commissioned in their PD&R report preceded the Trulia study. It looked at manufactured homes as infill in cities, right next door to conventional site built, single family homes.

The results?

Housing values of both conventional homes and the manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side.

RegulatoryBarrierstoManufacturedHousingPlacementinUrbanCommunitiesHUDPDR-postedManufacturedHomeLivingNews595x357

The research from multiple cities documented that manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side with conventional housing. The findings are similar to what Trulia’s study learned. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2011HUDPDRRegulatoryBarriersManufacturedHousingPlacementUrbanCommunitiesMHLivingNewsPDF.pdf

The summary of the logic of the third-party researched facts are overwhelming when laid out side-by-side like this.

But the irony is that Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies researcher Eric Belsky came to the conclusion over 16 years ago that manufactured homes where likely to surpass conventional housing in production. No doubt for the kind of reasons Cororaton more recently cited.

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, MH won’t reach 40 percent of that total. What happened?

 

Richard Genz did research prior to the statement by Harvard’s Belsky, making the case for manufactured home quality and durability in a study for the Fannie Mae Foundation.

 

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

So what happened?  Why were Genz and Belsky – the obvious logic of their clear view that manufactured homes deserved support and were bound to grow – why were their visions not realized?

How is it possible than when manufactured homes (MH) – by law – must perform dynamically the same as conventional housing in safety, durability and energy savings – and when MH costs less, why aren’t more HUD Code homes being sold?

 

 

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

 

The simple answer is that a variety of seemingly unrelated forces have been at play.

Those forces included, but where not necessarily limited to:

–   ignorance,

–   prejudice,

–   greed,

–   political and regulatory pressures, fostered by the above,

–   and perhaps a failure to put all these facts back-to-back, to see reality vs. outdated perceptions. Fear and falsehoods were allowed to drive too many people’s thinking.

President Gerald Ford said prior to the HUD Code that the “mobile home” industry would always be necessary. It was market-based affordable homes, that routinely required no taxpayer subsidizes.

U.S. President Praised “The Mobile Home Industry,” Manufactured Homes are “Here to Stay”

Failure to heed that observation caused city after city on “both coasts” and the interior of the U.S. to lose decades of opportunities for more housing affordability.

The upshot?

Growing homelessness, including vehicular homelessness.

“Vehicular Homelessness” Rising, Land Use, and Manufactured Housing Policies

 

The answer being sought by many among the politically connected is to build more subsidized housing. In fact, for over 50 years, those housing programs have proven to be unable to keep up with the ever rising demand. The Heritage Foundation estimated that those social programs – which included subsidized housing – cost the nation some $22 trillion dollars in 5 decades.

That’s virtually the same amount as the national debt.

Isn’t it lunacy to continue doing more of the same self-evident failures? Why not turn to the proven solution?  Why not use free market driven investments by entrepreneurs vs. tax dollars?

MobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearch

 

What’s Missing in the Data? Real Harm to Real People

We as a society can’t change what’s happened. But we can learn from it. Perhaps the data needs to be humanized?  Do we need poster children to show what’s happened, and how that’s harmed Americans?

Almost every retailer who has sold a manufactured home direct to the public for at least a year has encountered the following scenario. Often numerous times.

A single, couple or family/household owns or wants to buy a manufactured home for a piece of property. But a local official stops that placement. Isn’t that using the force of law to rob people of the opportunity to own an affordable home?

The non-profit Equal Justice thinks so, and successfully sued a town on that issue. They are now suing another city.

Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

What does that process of denying Americans affordable housing actually cost such persons or families?

More personal wealth.  Keep in mind that HUD Secretary Carson spent some time in 2017 telling people that home owners had an average net worth of some $200,000, while the average renting household only has $5000 net worth.

The logic of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Professor Kenneth Johnson’s research indicates that manufactured home ownership may yield the most wealth for a household. The lower the cost of the housing, for a disciplined saver/investor, the greater the potential for other investments, thus increasing personal wealth.

KenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

FAU’s Ken Johnson made an eye opening point that applies to manufactured homes in terms of the ability for manufactured homes to help build more personal wealth https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/researchers-shake-up-american-dream-rent-vs-buy-ken-johnson-florida-atlantic-university-exclusive-to-manufacturedhomelivingnews/

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Cororaton’s research both demonstrated that manufactured homes are the lowest cost form of permanent housing. Less than rent, and even when higher rates and shorter loan terms, manufactured homes dramatically lower price yields the lowest monthly payments.

 

But we can put a face, a family, to this snapshot.

The Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. said that their affordable pre-HUD Code factory-built home made it possible for he and his wife to do things for their family they could not have done any other way.  Tye told MHProNews that planners are missing out on the many social and economic benefits that affordable home ownership provides.

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

He also addressed the lost tax benefits, as well as the prejudice against manufactured homes, and the misuse of terminology like this.

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ItsAsWrongtoUseNWordToDescribeBlackAsUseTWordTodescribeManufacturedHomeRevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword

Mark Weiss, JD, weighed in on that same point, saying the the use of the t-word is offensive to millions.

TheDeliberateMisueofTerminologyCanBeOffensivetoMillionsWhoProudlyOwnAManufacturedhomeOrThousandsinourIndustryMarkWeissMHARRMHproNews575

A poet who sold her conventional housing to buy a manufactured home was shocked at the prejudice generated by others.

Taking on the Trash Talk! Are People Defined by their Housing Choice? Video, Photos

There are letters-after-letters, stories-after-stories that have a similar refrain.  Here’s a pair of others.

“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Trade Publisher, Experts call for Respect, Understanding for Manufactured Housing, Manufactured Home Owners

Part of what should have been learned in recent decades is that there is a huge cost to taking opportunities from others. That arguably becomes a form of theft.  Thus the commandment that most faiths believe to be true – “thou shall not steal” – reasonably applies.

It includes mobile and manufactured home community owners who in various jurisdictions are increasingly being told that they can’t replace an older home with a new one. What?

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

A state supreme court ruling in one case was described by an attorney as an “unconstitutional taking.” That community owner won. But how much time and effort did it cost that community owner to be allowed to use their own land as a place where affordable home ownership can occur for families?  Those legal costs have to be passed onto others, those who live in those affordable manufactured homes.

Time and again – however well intended the local policies may be – the net result is that it is costing millions opportunities for more affordable home ownership.

 

The High Cost of Ignorance and Prejudice

This writer told a group of business professionals last year in Deadwood that manufactured homes were the civil rights issue of our times. That message was applauded by those who know first-hand how difficult it can be to sell a manufactured home, and get it safely installed on an appropriate permanent site and foundation.

CivilRightsIssueAbolitionCivilRightsAffordableQualityHomesManufacturedHousingDrMartinLutherKingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

LATonyKovachPresenting%StateConvDeadwoodSDKenCorbinCommentManufacturedHousingIndustryEventDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tony Kovach doing a presentation in a packed room of industry professionals.  The essence of the talk was the importance of educating people locally about the truths regarding modern manufactured homes.

The logic of these facts is this.

$2 trillion dollars a year is lost in GDP – that’s the cost of ignorance and prejudice against manufactured homes in America.  Take 326 million Americans, divide it into $2 trillion dollars lost annually, and that’s like $6,134.97 per man, woman and child.

For a family of four, that’s $24,539.88 in lost U.S. GDP.

It’s an avoidable loss, and can be fixed by a proper understanding coupled with the application of existing laws, as you will see below.

 

Terminology Matters

People wrongly believe the terminology for factory built homes is optional. It’s not. The correct terminology is a matter of law – the code which a home was built to meet.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

After more than fifty years of short-sighted and prejudiced thinking, it’s decades past the time that modern manufactured homes be seen for what they are.  It’s time to stop cherry-picking exceptional tales, and to look at the broad facts.

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

To see the report on tornadoes and manufactured homes, click here.

 

Manufactured homes are the solution for the affordable housing crisis that’s hiding in plain sight. It must be noted that modular and other forms of factory home building can all perform a vital part of the solution to America’s costly affordable housing crisis.

But because of the genius of the HUD Code, setting national standards with regional requirements, much of the harm caused by local regulators is avoided with manufactured homes.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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

 

Solutions? Parallel Path One

The former chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage, said the following.

People cited in this column today might later say something different, perhaps because they may (errantly) believe that money tempts them to do so.  Some back off due to other pressures.

But they can’t unring the bell on what they’ve already said.

A consistent theme of MHProNews and MHLivingNews for years has been the need to honestly and sustainably grow the industry. We have never advocated, for example, for the kind of poor lending practices that led to the post-1998 nosedive of manufactured home sales.

Education – sound information are a key step.  21st’s Williams was right, and so was Frank Rolfe, who said that the media must be engaged with the truth when errant information crops up.

 

 

Solution – Parallel Path 2 – The Logic of Sound, Sustainable Lending

Lenders are protected when home values are protected.

Home values are protected and enhanced by demand and sound lending.

Sound and profitable lending is good for business, good for people, and good for the economy.

Good information – vs. prejudice or short-sighted thinking for whatever motivations – is how bigoted influences are pushed out.  This is how information and sound lending, parallel paths, can support each other, as a train running on a track is supported by parallel rails.

 

Manufactured Housing Appreciation?

The Urban Institute, and the National Association of Realtors ® have both reported what MHProNews and MHLivingNews has said for years. Manufactured homes can and do appreciate. But why are there times that they don’t rise in value?

First, all housing rises and falls in value for much the same reasons.

I’m not speaking for ‘Gay’ Cororaton when I share my take on a conversation this writer and she had a few weeks ago. I asked her about the economic logic of the following

Home appreciation is fueled by the following factors.

  • Location,
  • Condition of the home (maintenance, appearance),
  • Demand for housing,
  • Local economic factors (wages, employment opportunities, etc.), and
  • the availability of reasonable lending. Other points could be mentioned too, but those are key ones.

So, if any of those factors are reduced or eliminated, then the value would be lessened. Think about conventional housing post 2008, lending dried up, housing dropped in value.

My understanding was that she agreed with those principles.  My hunch is most objective thinkers and economists would too.

That being so, consider this.

Because manufactured homes have had lending options artificially reduced due to the absence of robust support from the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then to some degree, that will influence resale values. Again, my understanding was that she agreed with that premise.

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

In our comments letter to HUD, we stressed that since the GSEs were arguably not doing their job, that FHA could step up to the plate, as should VA and USDA (Rural Housing) loans.

Now, let’s rephrase that to make the following point.

For decades, the GSEs have resisted lending on manufactured homes. Fannie Mae’s highly touted MH Advantage is arguably another artful dodge, as it forces manufactured home builders to meet additional criteria beyond what the HUD Code mandates.

 

“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

Who worked with Fannie Mae on that MH Advantage program? Our sources say, past and current members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Why would MHI argue for a so-called “new class” of manufactured homes – where there is no data or track record – when there is decades of data and track record that proves the value of millions of units of HUD Code manufactured homes?

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

That was the logic of Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Rephrased, who benefits, and who is harmed by this questionable ploy between MHI and the GSEs?

Hold that thought for latter.

Because the bottom line is this. Manufactured homes have proven their value. Their value would logically be enhanced, given a proper understanding of their safety, quality and durability.

 

Two Types of HUD Code Manufactured Homes?

This writer has told people for years that there are broadly speaking, entry level manufactured homes, and residential style manufactured homes.  Both styles must meet the safety, energy and construction standards set forth by federal law under HUD and the DOE.

When you go shopping for a vehicle, there’s a wide array of sizes and styles to select from.  There are entry level cars, mid-range, and luxury ones too. That can be said about cell phones vs. smart phones, RVs, laptops, or most any product one cares to consider.

So, with manufactured homes, it is similar. If all you’ve seen are entry level manufactured homes, then you need to see a residential style one.

 

One must stress that any and all manufactured homes must all meet HUD’s safety, energy, and durability standards. From the least costly, all manufactured homes (MH) get consumer protection not found in conventional housing that costs many times the price. It was the MH industry that fought for that legislation – MHARR MHI, and states like Texas too – as part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.

compare-interiors-class-c-apartment-vs-modern-manufactured-home-credits-betweenapsontheporch-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-

Credits are as shown, collage by MHProNews.com.

But another key part of the MHIA of 2000 was enhanced preemption. That enhanced preemption is the key to unlocking $2 Trillion dollars a year in increased GDP for the U.S. This needs 5 stars next to this point.

Put differently, there is no need to wait for local jurisdictions across the land to get a backbone, or learn the truth the obliterates their ignorance, prejudices, sweetheart deals to favored developers, etc.

All that’s needed is for HUD to enforce existing law.  Enhanced preemption for manufactured homes is already the law of the land.

Let’s say that again for emphasis. All that’s needed is for HUD to enforce existing law.  Because the MHIA of 2000 preemption protects the rights of everyday Americans to buy and safely install a manufactured home on any buildable property.

We don’t need decades of battles, or more studies. The logic and the realities have been hiding in plain sight for years.

 

The Urban Institute’s Vital 2018 Question

Urban Institute researchers in a January 2018 report came to some similar points about manufactured homes, appreciation, and related. They asked a key question. Why aren’t more manufactured homes being sold, when they are a proven part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis?  Here’s how they phrased it, in the caption above “We Follow the Money.”

UrbanInstituteWeFollowTheMoneyClaytonHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews560x352

What they didn’t say was as important as what they did say.

One researcher was Edward Golding, who used to work for HUD. That wasn’t disclosed in their report. Golding had Pam Danner, JD, periodically report to him. Danner was the Administrator for what the Washington Post called the “once obscure” Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Which begs this question. Why didn’t Golding and others at the Urban Institute mention enhanced preemption in their reporting on manufactured homes?

After all, zoning, economic prejudice, and enhanced preemption all intersect.

When manufactured home businesses and state association executives from coast to coast say that zoning/land use/placement are key issues, how could Golding or the Urban Institute fail to mention enhanced preemption?

Hold that thought. Because another undisclosed fact was the connection of Warren Buffett as a lifetime trustee for the Urban Institute. It’s mentioned on the big Urban Institute site, if you got hunting for it. But there was no disclosure on the article that Golding and his fellow researchers published on the topic.

 

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

Nor did the Urban Institute mention that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) helped forge their paper. A source at the Urban Institute told us that “anonymity” was promised to MHI and Clayton, for their role in crafting their report.

What?

Since when do non-profits and university level style researchers not state their sources? Since when are possible conflicts-of-interests not disclosed by nonprofits or researchers in publishing their findings?

 

Smoking Guns…?

Eric Belsky made another statement about housing that very much applies to the question the Urban Institute asked.

CreditIsTheLifeBloodOfHousingEricBelskyHarvardDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

It’s a statement that most every manufactured home retail or community professional who experienced the slide from 1998 to 2008 know all too well. For more on Belksy, and MH, click here.

 

Let’s go back to what Belsky and Genz said over 15 years ago. Belsky expected manufactured homes to advance, so did Genz.

Why didn’t they?

Short answer, lending was choked off. Absent enough lending to supports home sales, there will be fewer manufactured homes sold. Duh, right?

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews-com

Kenny Lipschutz, Home First Certified Communities.

Absent a level playing field on lending or resales, manufactured homes are placed at a disadvantage in resale values.

Another issue is appraisals. Thousands of appraisers misunderstand manufactured homes. But that too is and educational issue, noted here as a placeholder.

So, we see the need for factual, evidenced and reason-based thinking about manufactured homes. Among the best-informed investors is arguably Warren Buffett. He reads and reads, per his own statements, and that of others who know him.

So why did Belsky miss his projection about manufactured housing achieving dominance in production over conventional builders by 2010? Arguably, the short answer is that Belsky did not count on Warren Buffett entering the industry in 2003. Belsky didn’t count on what Berkshire Hathaway did, as they began to deploy the Buffett strategic “Moat.”

WarrenBuffettTheMoatQuoteMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

Who speaks of “the moat?” Warren Buffett explains his principles of “the Moat” in a video on the page linked below. So does Kevin Clayton, in a separate video also found below.  Clayton says in his own words in that video that “Warren” stresses widening “the Moat” against competitors on a routine basis.

 

Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

 

The Truth is Not Political

We believe that truth is apolitical, but political officials may use – misuse, ignore, or abuse – the truth.

A closer look at the problem of why there is not more manufactured housing being sold can be summed up by the notion of the impact of failure to educate, and monopolistic practices. Who says?

GuruFocus and the Seattle Times.

MoatCastleBuffettBerkshireClaytonHomes21stMortgageVanderbiltMortgageManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x305

Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat. http://www.mhpronews.com/daily-business-news/seattle-times-federal-investigations-berkshire-hathaways-clayton-homes-gurufocus-spotlights-buffetts-claytons-unethical-monopolistic-moat/

 

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

And the evidence that manufactured housing’s ascendancy was derailed by forces within the industry is found in part with documents and quotes from Berkshire owned 21st Mortgage, Warren Buffett’s own words, and Berkshire dominated MHI’s own chart.

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Thousands lost their businesses, and millions arguably lost the opportunities to benefit from manufactured home ownership. It’s cost taxpayers a fortune, that can be measured in the trillions of dollars in losses to the GDP, and avoidable costs to federal taxpayers.

How Many MH Independents, Retailers Have Been Lost Recently? “They Think They Own Us”

 

The Problem of the One Percent

We won’t hype the issue of the 1 percent, nor understate it.

What this will propose that may be unique is a free enterprise solution to the problem of the one percent. It’s this. De facto monopolistic forces are at work in manufactured housing, and in other parts of the economy, such as the tech giants.  Apply the logic of the NY Stern professor to manufactured housing, and it is just as apt as it is when applied to the world of the tech giants.

We’ll let Professor Scott Galloway make his case in tech.

 

“Winners and Losers,” L2 Founder, Prof Scott Galloway on Monopolies

But for those who believe that monopolistic forces harm Americans, we can point to voices as politically separated as Senator Ted Cruz and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

If we start listening to the factual points – vs. the opinions or spin – of what others are saying, those facts can lead someone to the root issues.  Facts are what is.  Opinions and interpretations are a dime a dozen.

The opportunity to use evidence, facts, and objective reasoning to discover the underlying causes – and thus the cures – of the affordable housing crisis is possible.  Keep in mind, that sooner or later, monopolies arguably harm workers and consumers.

 

Does Monopoly Power Impact Workers’ Stagnant Wages? MH Industry Impact$

 

The irony may be this. Aren’t even monopolists harmed by what they create?  Think about that $2 trillion a year in lost GDP.

Regardless, society as a whole is harmed, and that is why anti-trust laws exist.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

 

The Fix is Applying Existing Laws

There is no need for years of delays in hearings or more studies.

Antitrust laws debatably need to be applied to Berkshire Hathaway, and to all others in business who’ve become invasive, as Galloway said.

The Smoking Gun 3 documents, facts and related quotes from officials who are part of Berkshire speak for themselves.  It would be difficult for them to unsay, what they’ve already said that arguably proves they are monopolistic.

MHI and Berkshire Hathaway has been given repeated opportunities to respond to any of these concerns.  Rather than respond, instead of debating the merits or misses in this reading of the facts, they’ve tried a variety of other tactics.  But if they could easily disprove this, why haven’t they?  Those from Berkshire brands who once praised us, now sit in silence as we publish reports like this one. Why?

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices-768x339

Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams to MHProNews. MHI’s president praised us for some years to, as this mirthful short demonstrates. 

MHI should be scrutinized for fostering the conditions that allowed manufactured housing to be derailed from what Belsky thought was a bright future. Some who see the problems outlined herein hold out hope that MHI can be redeemed. This writer – based upon sources, evidence and past history – believes that people can change, but that said, the evidence is that MHI’s leadership isn’t changing.  Thus, they need to be exposed, and supplanted with something entirely new.

MHARR does its job, but an MHI award winner says that MHI works only for the “the big boys.”

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

 

I’ve said for years that pretty pictures alone are not enough to convince people of the truth about manufactured homes, and what it can do to transform for the better millions of lives.

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

Education is the answer. Refuting false claims must be part of that educational process.  People aer entitled to their opinions, but not to their own facts.

Understanding the issues are can help avoidable for others the tragedies caused by ignorance, greed and the evidenced based factors alleged herein. Millions of Americans have been robbed of what they could have had, instead of subsidized housing, or a life of rental, give people the information and opportunity to increase their personal wealth through affordable home ownership.

There are numerous voices that have blasted MHI’s hypocrisy. The one above is just one of many.

It’s time for the disinfectant of sunlight to cure what decades of ignorance, private agendas, monopolistic forces, and prejudice has caused.

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

It’s time for the truth that’s been hiding in plain sight.

The reward is $2 trillion dollars in enhanced GDP annually, just by applying existing law.

The reward is that affordable home ownership could would do for millions of all colors and creeds.

Let’s stop robbing people of the possibility of a brighter future.  That theft has debatably occurred by misusing government and economic power.

Rather, lets allow existing laws to go to work, so that Americans select the home of their dreams, wherever they have a buildable home-site. More can be learned from the links from this article, but that’s enough said for today. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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

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Movie Mogul Rupert Wyatt and Screenwriter Erica Beeney’s Magnificent Manufactured Home

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

Enduring Good Will Value from Good Business Practices, Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

July 30th, 2018 Comments off

 

RyanKirkMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomeCommunityPhotoEnduringGoodWillValueGoodBusiinessPracticesMOndayMorningSalesMarketingMeetingDailyBusinessNewMHProNewsEvery Man owes some of his time to the
upbuilding of the profession to which he belongs
.”
– Theodore Roosevelt per AZquotes.

 

If memory serves, it was about 1988 when Colorado’s manufactured housing association used that quote in an article about this writer’s operation in Purcell, OK.  The story that the Colorado writer spotlighted was published in one of the now defunct industry trade publications.

That snippet from Colorado may still be in a box somewhere, but the point is the quote, and how it applies to the story of Ryan Kirk, shown below.  It is also how it applies to everyone else in our industry too, you, me, and all others.

We plan an upcoming special report in MHProNews on this community and its owner, Ryan Kirk.

But let’s make the case here and now for why this local news video reflects the enduring value of good business, that gives a great service to that area.  That service is building good will for his business, and arguably for the industry in his market too.

It immediately made me consider what ROC USA has done that generates good PR for their operation. See that for later reading, its linked below.

CityLabs Spotlights ROC USA’s Bright Communities Brand, Lessons for Manufactured Home Professionals, Investors

Here’s how Kirk’s story makes a similar point that the one that award-winning ROC-USA president, Paul Bradley has shared with us on MHLivingNews or MHProNews numerous times over the years.

Provide a good value proposition, promote it, and the public will flock to it.

That’s the potential for the manufactured home community industry.  Kirk’s taken a small, ‘run down’ community, and is giving it a facelift.  Sam Landy led UMH Properties has done this in several markets.  Others are too, so Kirk is far from alone.

From what we’ve already learned, at least one of the homes getting makeovers in Kirk’s community is a true mobile homes, one allegedly dating back to the 1950s.

Kirk’s upgrades of the homes and the community gives local workers a place of enhanced pride that they can call home.

Contrast this with the sad outcome from what was reported near GA, linked below.  Which story would you rather have shared about your operation?

TonyaEvansAllegedVictimTomLackeyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews624

ICYMI, to see the more recent report later, linked here. We’ve had another call from mainstream media about this case, so this story may not be over yet. Which story would YOU rather see in the media, the Lackey story, or the Ryan Kirk story?

 

Candidly. Which story would you rather read about or watch on TV/video about the MH industry?

There is always a right and a wrong way to do something.

EveryManOwesSomeofHisTimeTotheUpbuildingOfProfessionToWhichHeBelongsThedoreTeddyRooseveltAZQuoteMHProNews

A reader wrote recently to say that he thought we were “too confrontation.” It’s not the first or last such message that we’ll get, and we respected the candid comment.  Let me explain to him, and others who wonder why the switch?

LegacyHousingHurricaneLiquidationEatontonGAMHProNews500x335

Learn more about the company at this link here, or to learn more about the event, click here or the image above.

First, we’ve long done stories on the Daily Business News like the Magar Magar tragic tale.  We did that ages before NPR discovered it.  Why spotlight both the negative and positive about the industry?  Why not just shovel out an ongoing stream of feel-good stories?

“Jail Him!” NPR’s “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” Refuted

The answer is found in our new report on ELS’ Vice-Chairman Howard Walker‘s advice.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story about his advice to this writer – and the industry = linked here.

We shifted how we’ve done reports in the last year, to drive home the points from each story more clearly.  Each article is now “news, analysis and commentary.”  That gives us more latitude in writing style to explain the ‘moral of the story,’ or the ‘takeaways’ as people more often say today.

A competitor recently wrote to say, “I truthfully much like your new format.  It makes it easier to find articles pertinent to one’s interests.”  Thanks.

We did a turn-around project with elements that are similar to Kirk’s for a community operator some years ago. It generated considerable free – and positive – local media.  We got free national coverage in the now defunct MHMerchandiser Magazine for the work being done there.

JoeDiedrichLinkedInLATonyKovchRecommendationDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews

Award-winning Joe’s kudos via LinkedIn reflect the view of about half-a dozen different, positive news stories in local, and regional news media, plus national trade media coverage. Those good will stories cost not a dime. 

Peers in and out of the industry praised the work.  Was that a one off?  Hardly, here’s another example from a different project in a different state.

KenGeljackCEOGlobablBuiseinssDevelopmentGroupLLCManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Ken’s experiences include running a respected manufactured housing production center, as well as the RV business.  Again, there were numerous articles obtained in local media, by doing positive things in positive ways – during frankly difficult times.

The principles are very much like what ROC does routinely, and what Kirk did with this story, shown in the video posted above.

These are all shared as lived examples of the same principle – outside looking in – that Ryan Kirk’s business is putting to work in Montgomery.

There are plenty of success principles that one can point to, and that ought to be at the core of every professional’s being.  They can be summed up with what winning coach Lou Holtz summarized in two words.  “Do Right.”

LouHoltzCoachNDDOwhatsRightDoYourBestTreatOthersLIkeYOuWanttoBeTreated3QuestionsCanITrustYOuAreYouCommittedDoYOuCareAboutMeNCRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Before Lou Holtz coached at Note Dame, he coached at Arkansas. The 1978 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 2, 1978, featuring the Arkansas Razorbacks against the heavily-favored Oklahoma Sooners. The sixth-ranked Razorbacks were 10–1, but were heavy underdogs to the #2 Sooners. Holtz benched two of his best players before the game, for rules violations. He still pulled off a stunning upset win.

Is there more to success than those two words?  Of course.  But the takeaway, the moral of the story that caused a favorable spotlight for Ryan, or ROC USA or for this writer in various projects are the same.  Provide a good value proposition. Do right by your team, and your customers.

Learn, earn, return, and repeat daily. That’s today’s Monday Morning sales meeting “News, Tips, and Views That Pros Can Use.” ©   ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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

July 23rd, 2018 Comments off


HowardWalkerPhotoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews
It’s a Jewish tradition when someone dies to say, “May his or her memory be for blessing.” The actual honorific is “of blessed memory,” a translation of the Hebrew “zikhrono livrakha” (m.) or “zikhronah livrakha” (f.)…I tend to say, “May his or her memory be a blessing.”” – Nina Amir.

 

When a long-time industry friend and colleague of Howard Walker’s heard we planned this article, he asked us to say in this retrospective, “Be sure to say that Howard Walker was a Mensch.”

Howard Walker, JD, served as Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Vice Chairman for many years. Sam Zell and several of their colleagues voted in the spring to keep his chair empty for a year.

That was a mark of honor for a man that hundreds of us in manufactured housing – especially in the land lease community sector – came to know.

 

Mr. Walker was a sharp man, who could be tough, and had a quick wit. You obviously don’t serve an industry giant in such a key role for so long without bringing a lot of experience and wisdom to the table.

Walker was trusted.

Howard served on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Executive Committee as a board member for several years.

Every time we drive into Tampa – dozens of times annually, as we pass Howard Ave near the airport – it serves as a silent reminder to us of the man.

 

Powerful Lesson from a Private Dinner with Howard Walker

Howard invited me to a private dinner for two in Tampa a few years ago, which yielded hours of conversation about the industry.  We naturally also spoke about the Arlington, VA based MHI trade association.

Let’s note that it’s not my intention to reveal anything said by Howard that was shared in strict confidence. But some principles he espoused which where also shared with others will take center stage in what follows.

Specifically, the focus will be a concept which Howard himself shared with others, that he explained that he and ELS believe in.

It is fair to say that Walker felt that others in manufactured housing should also believe in the following principle. Here’s a specific gems that Walker stressed during that dinner.

Tony, as a publicly traded company, ELS believes in transparency, in getting the facts out there.
If there is bad news, we get it out there. If there is good news, get it out there
.”
– Howard Walker.

He then explained to me the wisdom of this approach.

On a different occasion that year, I was communicating with an ELS administrator, who interfaced with Walker and another one of their top people. I conversationally mentioned to her our plan not to put some bad news out on MHProNews that had just hit the mainstream news.

That ELS executive administrator asked me, ‘Why not get it out there for the industry to read and consider?’

Walker and that ELS executive level administrator were both logically correct. Why hide the truth? Both of those ELS team members shared a similar insight.  They were applying a similar principle – related to the value of addressing what’s in the news, and transparency.

 

Clarifying…

For clarity, it’s not that MHProNews ever ignored all bad news about the industry. From early on, the Daily Business News, the Masthead or one of our other modules periodically reported and specifically analyzed problem issues.

But there is sadly so much skewed reporting or problematic terminology about manufactured housing in the mainstream media, that if we reported on every piece of bad news, that could dominate all that MHProNews would do.  We’d never have time to get to the good news on MHProNews or MHLivingNews.  An example of recent useful – mostly good news – is the report linked below.

Realtor University ® “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” Research by Scholastica Cororaton, Certified Business Economist, Highlights

So, for years, the Daily Business News has strived for balance and accuracy.  Here the industry professional or investor can consider the good, bad or ugly. The news is explored through the lens of informed industry professionals.

As any publisher does, we must curate – carefully select, pick and choose – what topics to cover.  Then, we make the case as to why that curated story is important to the industry, officials, advocates, researchers, and investors.

It’s been a few years since that dinner conversation.  But clearly, Howard Walker’s thoughtful gem on transparency stuck with me.

 

Howard Walker, MHProNews and the Sam Zell Interview

Howard facilitated our interview responses with Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) Chairman Sam Zell.  He insured it would be an accurate reflection of what Mr. Zell said and meant. Those two parts of the Zell interview are linked below.  They are classics.

The photo shown below by MHProNews of Zell, coupled with the quote shown, were among the Zell-isms Howard said were verified with the ELS Chairman.

pencil-head-its-not-a-trailer-park-els-chairman-sam-zell-c2013lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-all-rights-reserved-manufactured-ho

To see a two part exclusive interview with Sam Zell, click the links above.

 

Why did Walker facilitate that Zell interview? Isn’t that also an example of transparency, and the desire for accuracy?  Isn’t it also a sign of trust?

It is fair to say that Howard was at times miffed – to put it politely – at some of our coverage about MHI, notably in the roughly last 2 years.

But he also overall praised our industry coverage as “thorough and unbiased reporting,” as a number of emails from him – including the one further below for publication – reflects.

The above tees up the following logical question.

How well, by the Howard Walker/ELS standard – has the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) held to the standard of “transparency?”

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

For the bulk of the time since MHProNews has existed, this publication could ask MHI, or any other trade association for comments and insights, and we would promptly get a reply.

As regular Daily Business News readers noted last week, MHProNews can get comments from other national or state trade associations, see examples of 6 in the housing/factory-built housing industry in just a matter of days, spotlighted in the report linked below.

“When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.” – Ken Blanchard, and Manufactured Housing

 

Flash Back

Let’s flashback to the 2017 MHI meeting in San Antonio.  There, this writer asked several MHI member-builders, as well as other MHI members and staff, about what the association’s position should be on Pam Danner at HUD.  Keep in mind that this was several months prior to her removal as head of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs, which occurred later in 2017.  MHI staff would not answer that question.  Why not?  But numbers of members where happy to discuss the matter.  More on that linked below, in the related resources.

Not long after that San Antonio meeting, MHI sent our firm a letter removing our firm from their membership.  It was roughly that same time frame, that MHI stopped responding to questions from MHProNews.  After years of membership, their written excuse was that it had ‘come to their attention’ that they had ‘no membership category’ for ‘news media.’ Never mind, that our operation does more than news, or that other MHI members publish too.  If you are going to give an excuse, was their’s an example that any excuse will do?

Now consider that in juxtaposition to Howard Walker encouraging MHI leadership in writing to deepen their relationship with MHProNews.

HowardWalkerManufacturedHousingInstituteNathanSmithRichardJennisonPresidentManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews598

What’s happened to transparency at MHI?

How would Walker or others objectively answer that question?

Walker praised this publication and our sister platform, MHLivingNews.com in writing and for publication. He never withdrew that statement, shown in the graphic further above.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering.

Howard said that our brand of reporting was long overdue in manufactured housing.

Howard, let me respectfully suggest that your words – and that stated ELS principle on transparency – are more needed now in MHVille than ever.  The industry is still at historically low levels of performance, as an MHI member-produced graphic below reveals.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.  During an affordable housing crisis, what is missing?  

Fair and necessary questions related to this gem of Walker’s should include:

  • why during an affordable housing crisis is the manufactured home industry at such a relatively low level of new home production and sales?
  • Why did MHI become so aloof from engagement here?
  • Or why does MHI often fail to engage with mainstream media, when doing so could potentially get to the root issues that hold the industry back from more growth?

We’ll look more deeply into this and related in the days ahead.  We may also find occasion to reveal a few more gems from Howard.

HowardWalkerPhotoEquityLifstylePorpertiesELSViceChairmanManufacturedHousingInstituteBoardofDirectorsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The interstate near the airport in Tampa, FL, Howard Ave sign. 

It goes without saying that the keen and colorful Howard Walker, Mensch, is missed.

May his memory be a blessing.  May those words inspire thoughtful reflection. May he rest in peace. ## (Retrospective, industry events, analysis, and commentary.)

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Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, 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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What Do You Know About HALTS and Good Customer Relations? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Marketing, Sales Meeting

July 23rd, 2018 Comments off

 WhatDoYouKnowAboutHALTSandGoodCustomerRelationsMondayMorningManufacturedHOusingMarketingSalesMeeting

Marketing is the wide net cast to attract prospects, while sales is a person-to-person experience.

 

We normally focus on more basic items, but today let’s consider a mid level subject that too few know about, much less, understand. 

It’s HALTS.

HALTS = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Sick/Stressed.

When someone is in one of those 6 states of being, they are by definition, not at their best.

HALTS is one of the most important human relations reminders you can have. The wise will learn and use it with friends, family, at work, or play.  

Here’s what HALTS means at its core.

Imagine you or a team mate of yours are engaged with someone in any kind of communications.  That person starts acting out – they are overreacting. Before you react or respond, ask yourself this question.

Are they in a HALTS state?

 

Two Kinds of Checks

A- One is the other Check. If a customer, prospect, resident, associate or others are in one or more of the followings:

   Hungry,

   Angry,

   Lonely,

   Tired (fatigued),

   Sick or Stressed (frustrated, otherwise not themselves, etc.)

and they are coming on strong, you begin by asking yourself – or gently problem them to determine – are they in a HALTS state?

B- Two is the Self Check) Furthermore, what if YOU are in one of those 6 states of being, and you are about to get into a conversation with someone. What should you do?

On B, there are times when you should consider resetting a call or conversion. “Something has come up, can we reset this for —- suggest a date/time or a pair of date or times —-  please?”

In A – or B, if you can’t reset a conversation – be mindful that you as a professional want to try to keep raw, negative emotions out of your communications.  If you “lose it,” and get angry, own it, and then apologize.

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Click the above to learn more.

Now, the simple, specific with someone in a HALTS state. Let that person vent. Hear them out. Ask them questions, as appropriate. If you are face to face, say something like this: “Before we continue, let me get you some beverage and a snack. Then, let me hear you out. I’ll listen and take notes about what you have to say.”  That often begins the decompression process for that person.

All of this presupposes that the customer has not been cheated or deceived. These communications tips are for honest business people. They won’t work well or for long with manipulators or the deceptive.

In the best of circumstances, for the best of companies or organizations, bad or unexpected things can happen. What matters to most reasonable people is what you do after something has gone awry. If you fix whatever, it can often result in a better-than-ever relationship.

By contrast, if you or a team member duck or dodge whatever the issue is, the pressure will likely builds, until something gives, or explodes.

 

Closing Cautionary Note

As a cautionary note. We live in times when people are often stressed out to begin with. That person may have lack a moral compass. If that someone who is angry is a potential danger, you should have safety steps established at your office.

There’s much more for those who want:

   formal training,

   speaking to your team,

   association,

   or company retreat.

Click here for more, or reach out via the contact info below.

Finally, it is best to deal with any potential issues early, before someone gets angry. 

Be sensitive, honest, fair, and respectful to others. Keep people informed. It routinely pays to do what right. You’ll be glad you did. ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Time, talent, treasure. Put your money, as we do, where your mouth is.  Need professional services?  Please consider calling us.  Nobody does it better in MHVille, no one.  Click here to learn more

Related References:

Life Hack Success Tip-Any Pro Can Do This-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

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