Posts Tagged ‘L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’

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

August 20th, 2018 Comments off


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.


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.



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.


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.


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


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

industry’s two leading trade media; Manufactured Home Living News ( and 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

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

Manufactured Housing Shipment Totals, June 2018

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



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.



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 daily.

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

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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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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.



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


Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s Honeymoon Mobile Home Auctioned Soon

August 15th, 2018 Comments off



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.


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)


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.



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 Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and






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


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.

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.


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?



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.


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

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.


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


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.


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


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.



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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


Credits are as shown, collage by

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.”


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.


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.


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?


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.”


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.


Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “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?


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.”


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.


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.)

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

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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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:

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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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.



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

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

July 23rd, 2018 Comments off

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.



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.


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?”


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.


What’s happened to transparency at MHI?

How would Walker or others objectively answer that question?

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


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.


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.


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.)

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


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


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

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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


Related Reports:

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


Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room



What Do You Know About HALTS and Good Customer Relations? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Marketing, Sales Meeting

July 23rd, 2018 Comments off


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. 


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:




   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.


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,


   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.)


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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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.


7 Reasons Why Manufactured Housing is Poised to for More Rapid Growth

July 14th, 2018 Comments off


Nature abhors a vacuum. At the center of every business’ or industry’s success was the recognition of a need, followed by the steps required to fill that need.


The affordable housing crisis is well known and documented. What is less embraced are the causes and potential solutions, which includes manufactured homes, as well as other forms of factory-built or industrialized housing.  That’s opportunity in disguise.

The Daily Business News will spotlight today 7 Reasons Why Manufactured Housing is Poised for More Rapid Growth.

In no particular order of importance, the following are the seven reasons.

The 7 can be summed up in two words, “Money” and “information.”

1)   Record Equity. A decade after the housing/mortgage crash of 2008, the housing markets have recovered.  “The first three months of 2018 saw homeowners’ tappable equity surged by $380 billion to $5.8 trillion, the largest recorded,” states MPA, the Mortgage Professionals of America.


2)   There are many retailers and communities that know what the award-winning manufactured home retailer in the video below told Namely, that a large percentage of manufactured home buyers have first owned a conventional house. When some sell their house, they may pay cash or have more down payment to finance a manufactured home.  Some will borrow against a house in order to buy another home.



3)   The video above makes another important point for manufactured home professionals, investors, advocates, and the home buying public to know.  There are both entry-level and residential-style manufactured homes.  Both are necessary!  Each one – entry level, and residential style – benefits and complements the other. High-end producers or sellers are wise not to diminish their ‘shade and shelter’ kin, and vice versa.




4)   Rapidly Rising Equity in Housing in the 1st quarter of 2018. Nathan Harary, Senior Loan Officer at Family First Funding tells MHProNews that “It’s all about equity.” As proof, he ticks off some specific examples of expert insights. By the way, when he says that 63 percent have a mortgage, that’s like saying that 37 percent don’t. Each kind of home owner is an opportunity in disguise for a savvy, ethical, and long-term thinking manufactured home marketers.



When you say that 63 percent have a mortgage, that’s another way of saying that 37 percent are mortgage free.


5)   2018 1st quarter year-over-year growth.  Housing values rapid rise boosted equity by $1 trillion dollars in a a year. Wow!


A trillion dollars is equal to about 16,205,476 of the averaged priced manufactured home sold in December 2017, using Census Bureau data. So about half of that trillion dollars could pay for enough manufactured homes to meet the nation’s 8.3 million unit housing shortage, using NAR data.


6)   CoreLogic’s CEO’s statement.



7)   National Housing Data. The data and the trends, properly understood, are like a road map for the need for more factory-built homes.


All of the above supports a factoid and quote that MHProNews has cited for months, and is shown below.  Namely, what the National Association of Realtor’s Lawrence Yun said about the need for more new homes.


Collage by MHProNews.

What the above comes down to, as noted previously, is money and information are the paths that must be used to fulfill the aspirations of millions.

Actionable information is motivating to a professional, and to housing seekers.

It should be noted that “poised” means “positioned.” Manufactured homes are in a position – for the 7 reasons cited above, as well as others to grow more rapidly.

So the above are not a guarantee. People, teams, and organizations are known to take a winning hand, and blow it.  The question is, what will you do with the hand dealt to you in your market?

Albert Einstein and Zig Ziglar both made similar observations.  The start of a solution is to start by understanding the problem. A need is a problem.  A problem is an opportunity in disguise.

Every challenge the industry faces – internally and externally – can debatably be met with a simple, effective and profitable solution.

There is work to be done, and opportunities to be tapped. Opportunity comes dressed in overalls. Are you ready to work for the next steps?  The linked items further below can be read for greater depth of understanding. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related References:

Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

Profits, Understanding Human Events, and Manufactured Housing

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

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

What are the FACTS about Manufactured Housing Industry Traffic vs. Real Estate? MHVillage, MHProNews, Manufactured Housing Institute Data


Learn more about the above, linked here.

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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Wheat, Chaff, and the Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

July 2nd, 2018 Comments off

Too many in the industry have been looking for short cuts and magic bullets for decades. How is that working out? Wheat and Chaff, think long term, without ignoring the short term. 

Billions of humans depend on wheat as an important part of their nutritional needs. But chaff?


Succeed Equine says, “feeding chaff with your horse’s concentrated feeds is all about increasing chewing time. Along with free choice hay or turnout on quality pasture, this is a great way to help your horse avoid serious digestive issues like gastric and colonic ulcers, hindgut acidosis, and colic.”

The ancient expression of separating wheat from chaff is meant to symbolize what is or isn’t fit for people to eat or use. But even chaff can have a purpose.

To tee this topic up, this writer has shared before that when I began selling HUD Code manufactured homes in the 1980s, it was my first time selling a big ticket item. I’d been successful at selling insurance (award winner), later was a rapidly rising rocket in membership sales (quickly promoted to management), and prior to those did well at history and writing (multiple award winner, plus academic recognitions). Motivation wasn’t lacking.

But I had not yet found my ‘calling.’

I stumbled upon manufactured homes and this industry by accident. Traveling eastbound on I240 in the Southside of Oklahoma City, this writer took the off-ramp one exit too soon (I was looking for I-35), ever do that?

It was a mistake that turned into something great.

That “wrong exit” led me to discovering for the first time what was then still called then “mobile home row,” one of the most intense manufactured housing (MH) sales environments in the entire U.S.

SolitaireHomesUniversalHomesSouthShieldsBldOKCOKmanufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBUisnessNewsMHproNews433South Shields Blvd. in OKC, OK today is a mere shadow of its MH Industry glory days. Back then at its peak, there were some 52 sales centers (“dealerships”) on a three mile stretch of Shields Blvd. There were over 200 retail sales people, plus their managers and owners, competing for every customer. Most pros  today don’t know what intense intra-industry retail competition is.

Working on commissions, you had to learn how to sell. It was do or die. Having been instantly fascinated by the manufactured homes on each side of Shields, I was determined to get into the industry.  I got a job at the first company that I applied to.

But in manufactured housing at the company I was hired by, as well as at many others then or today, there was no formal training program.

Then and now, most companies do little or nothing beyond the basics of the paperwork.  There was no one willing to explain how someone attracts and sells well qualified customers. Those with weak, bad or no credit pour onto sales centers and communities, right?  Then and now, it’s about attracting and selling the well qualified buyers is where the magic takes place.

The guy who hired me at that lot on Shields had the same name as a current executive staffer at MHI. Here was his training program.

Here’s the keys (to the inventory), our price sheet (with low/high pricing), here’s the purchase agreement, and here’s the credit ap. Go get “em Tiger!”


That literally was the training. So you wandered the inventory on your own, and tried to observe whatever you could, because it was sink or swim.


The Wheat and Chaff

With that backdrop, I dug in on my own, using a wheat and chaff approach.

  • What did other sales people do that seemed to work?
  • What did others do that made no sense to me, and didn’t work?
  • Every single sales encounter, I was told in the insurance business, was a learning experience.
  • I read a lot, listened to audio by Zig Ziglar and others, and applied what I learned to manufactured housing.

I wrote up my very first manufactured home customer, and was off to the races. Having started with selling “singles,” I was soon promoted to be the sales manager of our “double-wides” (more properly, multi-sectionals) sales center.  But it was personal study, personal motivation – not some team or corporate training – that made that possible.

Wheat and chaff was a key concept that got me there, and far beyond.

This writer may disagree with someone on 85% of what they think, say, or do. But it is always in my mind to see whatever I can learn from someone, even someone I may have little in common with. The lesson to be learned is often what not to do.  For example, I strongly disagree with the strategic moat plan of one Warren Buffett, as it tends towards monopoly, which is arguably bad for all. But there are some Buffett quotes that I find useful and insightful.  Wheat and chaff.

Keep what’s good, which is the wheat. Toss the chaff aside, which at best might be used as filler for something else.


It’s a valuable principle that can be applied to anybody, or any group.

That may seem like a simple lesson, but it is the basics that are often the most powerful.  That willingness to learn from anyone, and the value of separating the wheat from the chaff is priceless.

Here’s a related bonus.

Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t prejudge. When it comes to reading, don’t skim. Read and listen for understanding. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” my better-half wisely quoted Steven Covey yesterday. All seven of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People are mondo.


There are lots of people in the world with limited motivation, and who have closed minds. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things the mind must close on. I believe in the law of gravity, so should everyone. I don’t have an open mind about cliffs or ledges in a high-rise. So common sense is crucial. There are some realities you must close your mind on, because they are dangerous, or a waste of time.

But beyond gravity and some true laws like it, there is much to be learned by using the wheat and chaff approach.

The motivation to continually learn, combined with that wheat and chaff approach, are huge.  Because you may stumble across something you didn’t know, precisely because your mind was open to it.  Much like this writer stumbled across manufactured housing, and have now successfully served in this industry for over a quarter of a century since then.

I might only use a tiny fraction of what I know when working with a retail customer. So it’s not about flooding a customer with information, to prove how smart you are.  Knowing what to say, what to ask, generally in what sequence, that’s a matter of a formal training program – that clients pay us to do.

Gratis, I’ll say, learn and never stop. Read as much as you can that is related to your industry every day.

I’ve sold and managed the sales of thousands of mostly HUD Code manufactured homes. We’ve had operations that did 20, 30 or even as many as 50 new home sales delivered in a single month. There are nice plaques, letters, and plenty of framed recognition for those who like such things. From the 80s to the late 2010s, I’ve done mostly MH, but took a few years to discover the RV and trade show business, where I did well too.  Those later two were all part of a wider plan to make manufactured housing greater than ever, by helping the industry understand and achieve its true potential.

Wheat and chaff. Read as much as you can every day. Watch videos, especially on as much as you can every day. 30 minutes should be the minimum, 1-2 hours daily is still just a fraction of what Warren Buffett says is one of his most important habits. Reading, virtually anyone can do that, right? Before becoming President, Donald Trump was right is saying you have to know as much as you can about a business and the forces that influence and impacts your profession. Be open to the wheat from both of those success stories.

Read for understanding. Separate the wheat from the chaff. Reject failed notions, like socialism, which is the nearly the polar opposite of free enterprise.  Free enterprise – the truly American way – once unleased, can make manufactured housing more successful than ever before.


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

As an industry, back when there were fewer regulations, the industry nearly achieved 600,000 new home shipments in a year, for two years running. The population was smaller then.  The needs are greater today. Don’t get me wrong, some regulations on quality and the consumer protections are useful. But over-regulations and excessive taxes are both proven killers.

But the point is, with the correct methods – using wheat and chaff thinking, motivation and discipline – the typical location could grow 500% to 1,000% in sales. That can be done with happy customers, ethically, and sustainably.

Wheat and chaff, lessons learned.

Wheat and chaff. Learn, earn, return. Enough said for today. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, management, commentary, and analysis.)

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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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Is Your Operation a David vs. a Goliath? 4 Keys to Success, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Marketing and Sales Meeting

June 18th, 2018 Comments off

The marketplace can get serious. What do you do?

Is your manufactured housing location or operation a small – or even tiny – David fighting a metaphorical Goliath?


The featured image above cuts to the chase of the ancient Biblical drama of David and Goliath. Let’s just say that despite the difference in size, plus long odds, David wins.

We don’t advocate beheading a competitor, even if that other firm has a bullseye aimed at you.

That said, most of the businesses in this industry are smaller businesses ‘battling’ in the marketplace against much larger operations. What to do?


How is Sustainable Success Achieved?

There are several questions that every owner, manager or investor ought to be asking themselves on a regular basis.

What are the factors that allow a small firm to outperform, or at least level the planting field, against a giant?  Let’s review some of the elements of success selling against a bigger company.

1) Outmaneuver them. Smaller firms can be more nimble. Why not learn something new that allows you to tap a market they are missing?

2) Be more motivated. I’ve personally spent most of my 25+ year manufactured home (MH) career doing what others thought couldn’t be done. That includes working with smaller firms in a given market competing against larger ones. Working with clients, we routinely dramatically raised sales, often outperforming the local giant’s location. If others can do it successfully, that means you can too.

3) Be better informed. First, let me stress that in under a week, we can take a newcomer to Manufactured Housing, and have them outselling many an MH industry veteran. BTW, being informed doesn’t mean you have to know everything to sell something. It is how you use what you know that can set your career and performance apart. Learn the basics, the fundamentals for success, and build on that from now on. I’ve seen MH industry sales veterans bore a buyer to death, and lose a sale they could have made. Use what you know with precision. Which brings us to the next point.

4) Don’t overkill.  A skilled surgeon may use a laser to make a very precise, and tiny cut. Precise use of the right – even limited – information, can yield success. By the way, a veteran who is open to learning new ways still has the advantage over a newbie.  Both the newcomer, and the veteran have potential advantages. Each has obvious shortfalls.

The foundation of all success are the use of good, proven, basic and honest principles. No one sells everyone. When the correct principles are put properly to work, they yield the desired outcome a good percentage of the time.

For example. If you are currently closing 1 in 25, and you raised that closing ratio to 2, 3 or 4 out of 25, you have the jet fuel needed for sustained success.

The bonus for today is point #5.  The right marketing and sales plan, plus honorable discipline.  The other guys must not be doing this, or they’d be selling up a storm, with loads of happy customers.


Got a budget? Click here or the image above to learn more.

Can you outperform, or at least level the playing field against Goliath? In Wisconsin, those who know would give a one-word answer.

Youbetcha. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, management, commentary, and analysis.)

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


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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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