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Posts Tagged ‘Lindsey Bostick’

Main Place in MHVille That’s Cracked the Glass Ceiling?

September 4th, 2018 Comments off

 

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The glass ceiling is the terminology used to describe an invisible – yet solid and real – barrier for advancement commonly applied to women.

 

Let’s be clear. In many respects, MHVille is a male-dominated profession.

That’s not to say that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist in other areas of American business, because it

GailCardwellFormerManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Cardwell came from, and returned to, the MBA before and after her stint with MHI.

demonstrably does.  For example, the glass ceiling has long existed in politics. A peek around the world and into history reveals the slow evolution of women into today’s broadly understood status as co-equal to that of men. But there are still today numerous countries, perhaps most notably in Muslim dominated nations, where women are not viewed as equals to men.

In MHVille, there’s been several interesting examples of cracks in the proverbial glass ceiling.

For example, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) hired Gail Cardwell as their president, over a decade ago.

Champion Homebuilders, now part of Skyline Champion (SKY), had Phyllis Knight as a division president for a time.  An interview with her while she was still in the industry is found at this link here.

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/featured-articles/august-2018/a-cup-of-coffee-withdee-pizer

In the Manufactured Home Communities sector, giant Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) has Marguerite Nader as president. See an exclusive interview with her, linked here.

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An interview with Ms Nader, is found at this link here.

Zeman Homes and Communities had Dee Pizer as their president for some 35 years. Dee literally worked her way up through the ranks, and still serves Zeman in a variety of ways. See an exclusive interview with her, linked here.

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An interview with Ms. Pizer is linked here.

At Sunshine Homes, Lindsey Bostick is being groomed for taking over the reins at the privately-owned business, currently run by her father, John Bostick. Click on Lindsey’s or her father’s John‘s respective names to see exclusive interviews with each of them.

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Lindsey Bostick, Inside MH Road Show, home photo, Sunshine Homes and Manufactured Homes.

There are any number of independent retailers, communities, and service providers that are owned or operated by a woman, or are ‘mom and pop’ – husband and wife operations. The parent operation to MHProNews, LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC is co-owned by a woman, whose name is on the byline at the end of this article.

That gives the writer a unique perspective on the topic of the glass ceiling in the industry.

 

The Most Visible Place in MHVille for Women?

Women work in factories, at retail sales centers, in offices of all kinds, and by the thousands in manufactured home communities.

But perhaps the single most leadership-visible position that women have broken the glass ceiling in MHVille is at the state association level.

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At the time this photo was taken of about half of the members of MHEC, over 40 percent of those in the picture are women executives. One man who’s since retired was replaced by a female executive director. 

At any given time for some years, women have held numerous executive directors roles by the dozens in the manufactured housing industry.

Two exclusive interviews with women working at the state association level are found here and here, with letters from lady executives to MHProNews linked here and here. A recent list of MHEC members included 22 women among the 53 state association level executives, or about 41.5 percent.

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This year, in Arizona, two women represent each of the major political parties – Democrats and Republicans – for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake.

A driving force behind the creation of a new national land-lease communities association is a woman, Susan Brenton. For more on her thoughts on that topic, click here, or the story linked below.

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Rose the Riveter, Wikipedia.

Often overlooked, save by experts like L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, is the fact that a significant part of the home-buying decision in millions of households is made or largely influenced by women.

As we ponder Labor Day, it’s also good to remember the image of Rosie the Riveter. While mostly men fought on the land, sea, and air, woman worked to care for the wounded, and to build the weapons of war used by American men.

So, this post isn’t to in any way belittle or elevate one gender over another.

Rather, it’s to recognize the reality that women’s roles are to be respected, along-side that of men, in or beyond MHVille. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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7 Surprising Keys to Unlock Manufactured Housing Industry Sales Success

June 2nd, 2018 Comments off
7SurprisingKesytoUnlockManufacturedHousingIndustrySalesSuccess

Man in a straitjacket.

Scientia potentia est,” is Latin that is commonly translated as Knowledge is Power, but it is more accurately translated into English as Knowledge is Potential Power.

 

All Knowledge comes from one of two sources, your own experiences, or insights learned from the experiences of others. There are no exceptions.

Even those who with millions of others believe in infused Knowledge from a Supreme Being – God – they must also admit that God is the Ultimate Other.  So all knowledge comes from your own experiences, and/or from the experiences of others.

Experiential knowledge requires several things, including trials – as in trial and error – time, talent, some degree of treasure, temperance, and an openness to the truth. Those are the 7 Ts.

Those who are closed minded for any reason can not advance until their mind is unlocked.

The close-minded can include those who hold to a false belief that they think they know something, which may be partially or completely untrue.

Proof?

Surveys and statistics alike prove that manufactured housing is widely misunderstood. So, the obvious solution to misunderstanding is education.

Knowledge must first be acquired by someone – and then by applying the 7 tools of Time, Talent, Treasure, Trials, Trust, Temperance, and Truth – that knowledge must be repeatedly shared with others.

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That in a nutshell is the 7 keys to professional, location, company or industry success.

Let’s elaborate.

An internal and external education campaign at the location level (vs. national) are fundamental essentials for sustainable professional success. That’s true in any profession, but perhaps particularly so for manufactured housing. Why? Precisely because manufactured housing is misunderstood.

Misunderstanding is an opportunity in disguise. Its an opportunity in disguise for professionals and investors that most Americans misunderstand manufactured housing.

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Millions every year are looking for housing. Zillow and other research reveals that only a tiny fraction of shoppers even consider a manufactured home. Industry statistics shown that only a tiny fraction of those who consider a manufactured home actually buy one. That’s both tragic, but also an opportunity in disguise. Education is part of how that opportunity must be tapped, and that is done at the location or market level. This is why those who think ‘national campaign’ misunderstand the realities of manufactured housing today.

So, the person, location or operation that opens their mind to learning and applying the elements of industry success can and will thrive, period.

Misinformation is costly. Accurate information – the Truth, or Knowledge are vital ingredients to individual, location, or industry success.

IfPrettyPicturesVideosAloneWereEnoughMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews1

The quote below about 3D, video or great websites is demonstrably true.

Want proof?

What follows is not meant to be a slam against MHVillage, nor against anyone else.  It is a look at the cold, hard facts. It is necessary to point out that however impressive their total sales are, however, their own statistics are clear evidence of what ails manufactured housing. For more click here, but you can read on or circle back later for details.

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While impressive on one level, their data and statistics are alarming when carefully examined.  But they are also an opportunity in disguise, as they point to the absolute need for the correct types of education.

It was utterly predictable that some great looking videos or websites would not result in big leaps in sales. We won’t mention the names of any ‘great looking’ websites, so that no one will misinterpret or misunderstand the point.

First, let’s clearly state that of course a good looking site is better than a bad looking one.

But go back to the vital first quote/graphic above.  If looks alone sold more homes, manufactured homes would be 5 to 10 times – or more – their current sales levels in most markets across the country.  This we know from experiences on our consulting-professional services side. But we also know this from our MHProNews research and reports.

 

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Global, historic, and local manufactured housing market perspectives are important for progress in local market selling.

 

Flat Earth Thinking

An industry colleague was laughing with delight to a line in a drafted article that has not yet been published. The article included an analogy to Flat Earth Thinking.

Recall that some 5 or more centuries ago, there where millions who mistakenly believed that the earth was flat.

It took knowledge, experience and the 7Ts to change that false belief in flat earth thinking. You might still find some flat earth believers, but images like that satellite photo above, coupled with the experience of the horizon, ought to be sufficient to prove that the earth is a sphere.

Those who buy a manufactured home believe it is a useful, and achievable solution for their housing needs. Period. Those buyers may or may not believe that a manufactured home is a perfect solution, or even their preferred solution.  They only have to believe it works for them, and will prove useful for some period of time.

The clear answer to selling more manufactured homes is thus discovered to be helping more people see the potential value to them in ownership of a manufactured home. It is in helping more people understand the value proposition. It is helping home shoppers and others grasp that a manufactured home can be a good or even superior option. Period. Full stop.

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All of the above and what follows may seem to some as stating the obvious.

It should be obvious that defining your business, profession, and the industry at large are part of the surprising keys to success.  It is all part of “Scientia potentia est,” of Knowledge is Potential Power, and the correct understanding and application of the 7Ts.

 

Small vs. Big Business? The Surprising Facts and Insights 

There is a paradox in business and industry, manufactured housing or any other profession. It’s this. Virtually all big businesses begin as small businesses.

Not all small businesses aspire to become a big business. That’s fine. There are successful one location communities, retailers, producers, lenders, installers, transporters, legal, and other professionals.

Among the law firms we’ve had extensive communications and discussions with is an operation that began as a single location.  That law firm has spread over time into a regional – some might say, national – powerhouse in their specialized fields.

But there are tremendous businesses within our industry that have one and only one central location. There are attorneys we know who are “one-lawyer shops,” that do a terrific job.

Similarly, there are HUD Code manufactured home producers, for another example, that have only plant, one location. They may ship manufactured and modular homes into a dozen or more states, but they do so from a single base of operations. When something has worked profitably and with happy customers for decades, that’s a good proof of concept.

 

Big Business ISN’T Automatically Bad Business

Some readers who skim MHProNews may have the false impression that we are opposed to big business. For thoughtful, careful readers, reflection or a review of the search boxes would reveal that to be untrue.  ‘Big business is bad business’ has literally never been said by any MHProNews parent company team member.

We are editorially opposed to monopolistic or any unethical practices on principleBut a business can be large and not be monopolistic.

A business can be large, and ethical.

It’s unethical practices that we oppose on principle, and because it is harmful to the industry at large, as well as the public.  That includes, but is not limited to, opposition on principle of any monopolistic enterprises or organizations.  Some argue that certain public utilities ought to be a monopoly, set that debate aside. We’re briefly focusing on normal, private businesses. In England, they consider that something may be a monopoly when a private enterprise approaches 25 percent market share.  The U.S. at present has no similar line, but shouldn’t Americans have that limit?

 

The Paradox – Innovation and Small Business vs. Big Business

Small businesses or individuals are often where innovations are found. Who says?

That’s what research by the Small Business Administration (SBA) states, “small businesses are more efficient at innovation.”  We could point to specific manufactured housing operations that have many times more people – and far bigger budgets – than we do.  But they have demonstrably less engagement, and lower conversion ratios than we our clients of ours have experienced.  Does someone want to spend more, and have lower results?  Or is it better to spend less, and have greater results?

Big business become and stay large due to Systems that are learned, taught, and followed.

It’s essential to have Systems in any successful business. If a larger enterprise is to be sustainable and successful, then it must learn and enforce standards – Systems, Policies, and Procedures – that are proven to work.

Thus, a large business – because of systems that an organization holds too closely to – can become a straitjacket. Straitjackets, by their nature, stifle innovation.

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For example. On the consulting and professional services side of our operation, we studied a location that had multiple sales people.  One of them – an individual sales person – wanted to focus on selling a single model of home. The location owner allowed it.

For clarity. Yes, 1 man, sold only 1 floorplan of home, made by a single builder.  Let’s note, this was their test, not ours. We were hired for a variety of other reasons, but one was to monitor and evaluate their test.

That sales professional made it his specialty to sell that one – and only one – particular model and floorplan.  He would not sell any other model or floorplan. He was good at it. He was personally successful at it.

But before and after evaluating it, this wasn’t a practice we would generally recommend. While it contributed to the sales of the location that conducted the test, if everyone there had done the same thing, the location could have rapidly failed for reasons too lengthy to go into here. That one-model-selling-salesperson took a useful concept – specialized knowledge – to an extreme.

That said, it was a fascinating study. And that one person personally sold more homes than many of his peers did, but not for the reasons some may think.

Part of that example is that it was a one-location “street retailer.”  They were testing, and trying to innovate.  They learned from the experiment.

That’s evidence of how all knowledge comes from experiences. It is also an example of how innovation often comes from smaller companies.  Experiences can be obtained by trial and error.  Knowledge can be obtained from others. Knowledge can come from observation, from reading, from conversations, from formal instruction, and so on.  It can come from testing – trials – of a concept.

From the combination of years of reporting, interviews, training, services, and consulting, we’ve been privileged to witness and gather together perhaps the most significant body of marketing and sales knowledge the industry has ever had.

Those insights turn are useful in converting more lookers, video viewers and website surfers into buyers.

 

The 7Ts of Time, Talent, Treasure, Trials, Trust, Temperance, and Truth

The word ‘trust,’ can be understood in a variety of ways.

That includes the notion that trust is related to what sometimes is described as earned confidence.

Motivation comes from confidence. Momentum comes from appropriate levels of the 7Ts, including sufficient commitments. This point about trust and momentum are obliquely made by the builder-president in a speech he gave.  In the video below, President Donald J. Trump surprisingly included a talk about a factory-home builder he knew.

 

Donald Trump Video-Recorded Speech that Singled Out a Factory Builder

When the president spoke about this builder, he was making a specific point about momentum.

But indirectly, he confirmed several other points this article is sharing. There are many things needed for success, Operation Breakthrough identified, using different terms, various keys to success. The video below isn’t essential to our point today, but it is useful and interesting for those who have about 8 minutes.

Trust isn’t an island. Life requires balance. It is imbalance that always, ultimately always, causes problems.

Unwillingness to see an imbalance, a refusal to accept what is true, is often at the core of faults and failures.

Some reading is obviously better than no reading/research for the typical owner, professional, and manager. But the minimum should be 1-2 hours a daily. Investors, note this is a success tip by Warren Buffett that’s ethical and can be done by almost anyone.  Buffett reads and researches 5 to 6 hours on a typical day.

For example, the most talented man or woman in the world can experience a failed marriage. This analogy-by-example isn’t meant judgmentally, like other examples, this one is purely clinical. The causes of a failed marriage can be many. But at the core, it’s a lack of commitment or deception by one or both parties to the union of that marriage that often results in its failing. That’s an analogy to learning, and success. A commitment must be made to learning.

Deception can’t be the basis for trust or sustainable success.  By the way, there’s a distinction between deception and timing.  You may want to tell your spouse about a gift on the date of the occasion, not before.  That’s a timing issue, not deception.

A wishy-washy commitment, or one based upon deception, is no commitment at all.

Temperance is another word for balance or moderation. The opposite of gluttony is temperance. If someone eats too much, and burns too few calories, they gain weight. It’s utterly predictable.

In business, the greed for having it all – for crushing or destroying competitors – is moderated by temperance.

Free enterprise is good. Capitalism taken to the extremes of crony capitalism, vulture capitalism, or monopolistic capitalism, those extremes are to be moderated or halted. Temperance can also be an adjunct to ethics. Fairness. Equity. Justice. Those are qualities that are kindred spirits to temperance or moderated behavior. We’ve previously noted on MHProNews the twin principles of solidarity, and subsidiarity. They are necessary principles in successful family, business, in society. and government.

Just as the demonstrable goodness of free enterprise can be taken or twisted into an extreme – such as vulture or monopolistic capitalism – so too the goodness represented by manufactured homes can be taken to an extreme. Some lack sufficient commitment to the industry. Others demand too much, which absent temperance, becomes destructive.

It isn’t meant as a per se slam against the industry’s “biggest boys” to say that to various degrees they may demonstrably lack the balanced 7 keys to sustainable success.

For example, if any of the big three in manufactured housing production understood – profoundly grasped and made a genuine commitment to the 7Ts – they would be selling several times their current numbers of homes.

The proof is history. There were times in manufactured housing history – for example, in 1998 – when either one of the top two producers that year outsold the entire production of our industry in 2009.  Yes, there was easy money then, but beyond that, there were principles followed in 1998 that are not being applied today.  There was arguably higher demand then, and a better understanding by many, for manufactured homes.  The reasons?  The 7Ts.

On the Manufactured Home Communities (MHC) side.  If more communities deeply understood the value proposition answers that shoppers are looking for, then their home sales would be soaring. Rentals of homes in land-lease manufactured home communities (MHC) are demonstrably profitable. Ask any of the MHC REITs who are doing it successfully. That’s a given.

But in renting homes, haven’t some lost the mojo for selling more owner-occupied homes? Equity Lifestyle Properties Chairman Sam Zell has publicly said that renting manufactured homes must be kept marginal.  The business model changes too much when there are too many rentals.

94percentcreditapprovalNARMHVillageLowConversionratiosDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsConsumers are looking for very specific answers to questions before they will buy a manufactured home, vs. rent one.  Look at the conversion rates of renters to buyers.  Useful?  Yes.

But is renting first the ideal sales tool?  Hardly. Rather, renting is a useful, profitable debatably a short-term fix.

Home shoppers often don’t realize they are looking for certain answers, but they are.

So, the marketing and sales process must account for that reality.

That in turn means that the educational process of sales professionals must include that understanding.  That means industry sales pros must be instructed – educated – in order to successfully engage with more people, especially well-qualified buyers.

Thus, the marketing and sales process must accomplish consumer education. Education of consumers can’t just be a mere recital of construction facts, nor can it be just pretty pictures, 3D tours or even gorgeous videos.

Construction facts are only useful in specific cases, with certain types of buyers. If a laundry list of construction facts alone would sell more homes, a location or the industry would be selling many times more homes.

The opportunity in disguise for manufactured housing is that for millions of Americans, manufactured homes are the wildly misunderstood solution for the affordable housing crisis.  Applying these lessons in a local market, at the location level, using the 7Ts – are keys to sustainable success.

Note, the video that follows was an operation that struggled to sell any new homes, and for years sold mostly older, used homes.  Their operation was totally changed.  There were many factors.  Among them, they changed their mind-set and methods, and learning to apply the principles of the 7Ts.

 

 

So, at the heart of all sustainable success are the 7Ts.  Back in the go-go-days 20 years ago, Palm Harbor and Oakwood were 2 vertically integrated companies that arguably were among those which utilized marketing and sales processes that were not sustainable.  Palm Harbor and Oakwood were strong for a time, but faded.  During that time, we could and did work with retailers nearby one of their locations, and show them how to outsell them, and have happier customers who referred their friends.

Understanding and a proper application of those 7Ts yields sustainable, professional success.  BTW – for clarity – the videos are just part of the process, they are by no means the entire process.  Videos that inform consumers – and professionals – are part of the puzzle, but videos alone are not every piece of the puzzle.

Understanding what the actual concerns and solutions for consumers is a must.  Failing to understand and address their needs are thus the road-block to increased manufactured housing sales.

A careful viewing of the videos in this column relate essential facts. They are among several proofs that most investors and professionals in our industry fail to grasp.  Most simply don’t see just how amazing the opportunities are today.

Scientia potentia est,” knowledge is potential power. Knowledge requires education.

By the way, there are hundreds of possible styles of videos. The one below is but one example of a different type of video, to make the point about various styles available.  You’ll find a ton of fancy videos out there, often made by high dollar production companies.  But even if a video has hundreds of thousands of views, when you notice that there are a very low ratio of views-to-sales, what does that tell you?

Sustainable success requires an application of the 7Ts.

The videos on this page are examples of elements that prove the points of the value of the 7Ts.

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

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

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY.

By L. A. Tony’ Kovach, publisher of MHProNews.com.
Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Clayton Homes “Have It Made” Campaign, Manufactured Housing Pros React, Initial Analysis

September 7th, 2017 2 comments
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Third party still image above from Clayton’s video, shown below. It is provided under fair use guidelines. It is worth noting that they took a page from one of Fleetwood’s media efforts in the early 2000s, using a person who may be of mixed racial origins.

The campaign has a noteworthy concept,” said publisher and industry consultant, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “It targets the industry’s stigma. The 60 second video then attempts to jiu-jitsu that stigma into interest. The question becomes, does it work?”

Taking the Bull by the Horns

 Tony, On the Record is fine. The ad is very good. It’s what the Industry has been debating for years,” said Jay Hamilton, Executive Director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, via email. “How do we increase our public image. The Industry had multiple ideas, but no money to do a True Campaign including prime [time] TV Spots,”

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, (GMHA).

Clayton finally took the bull by the horns, and quit waiting on the industry to decide how to do it,” said Hamilton. “So, they are going to do it themselves.  Good for them!

Builder Online Touts

 Clayton, one of the largest home builders in the country, has kicked off its biggest marketing campaign to date focused on how its building process can help provide affordable housing for American families,” said Builder in their initial review.

The Have It Made initiative launched nationwide Sept. 2 with a 60-second commercial air during the the [sic] University of Alabama and Florida State University football game,” Builder’s article by senior editor Jennifer Goodman said. “The campaign represents the company’s mission to provide quality homes at affordable prices, says Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton Homes.”

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Have It Made challenges the stigma associated with homes built in home building facilities and delivered in sections to their final locations,” Goodman stated.

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Credits, Builder Online.

Common MH Industry Reactions

There have been numerous comments received by MHProNews regarding Clayton’s initiative. The Clayton video has drawn mixed reviews, as the comments above and below reveal.

A common reaction has been the notion advanced by some readers that “MHI should be doing this.”

There are concerns raised over Clayton’s sheer size vis-à-vis the balance of HUD Code home production, and their vertically-integrated retail arms, all of which operate under several different brand names.

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Berkshire Hathaway’s dominance of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI – and by extension, much of the industry – leaves numerous independents concerned.

While some state and community association executives are enthusiastic supporters of MHI, others privately are less so.

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MHI, MHARR, MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.

MH Industry Veteran Disses Video

There are those who just don’t like the video.

The following IM exchange with MHProNews from an industry veteran is an example, and it took an interesting view.  Their comments = C, our reply = R.

  1. C) “I do not like the [Clayton Homes video] spot.”
  2. R) Interesting. Why not?
  3. C) Their “…commercial reinforces stereotypes more than I would like. I know their goal was to change it [perception, stigma], but they mention it way too much for my liking. I know of the firm they hired – they are out of Colorado.”

 

Rick Robinson, “MHI Zen” and the Clayton Promotion

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Third party image provided under fair use guidelines. Note, because their original image was dark, MHProNews enhanced the photo.

For those that have voiced concerns that “MHI should be doing this,” hasn’t their General Counsel/Sr. Vice President of State & Local Affairs, Rick Robinson, obliquely spoken for the Arlington, VA based association’s take on Clayton’s campaign?

I know that Clayton [Homes] has been to many of your state [association] meetings showing their new ad campaign,” wrote Robinson earlier this week. “To see the formal release and a video of the first ad,click here. I hear that you’ll be seeing these ads a lot on SEC football games.”

Aren’t Robinson’s comments pretty matter of fact?

MHI funded research and resources, per sources to MHProNews, have allegedly been used in part by Buffett’s manufactured housing units.

If so, doesn’t that concern and other allegations noted indicate the reality that the Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman holds two of four seats on the organization’s all-powerful MHI Executive Committee?  Or that small to mid-sized members are helping pay for what the biggest members want?

Or consider this fact.  That the third MHI Executive Committee seat is held by what Forbes called a former Clayton Homes division president?

Or that the fourth seat is held by a firm that has Clayton product – or makes use of Berkshire-connected lending – in their land-lease communities?

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Trust is another word that is used for monopoly. To see the video above about monopolies, along with other information about anti-trust laws, please click the still image above.

Can You Spell Monopoly?

Aren’t the facts hiding in plain sight?  Information such as the graphic by Cavco Industries – shown below – are among those “gifts that keep on giving,” that — reveal from their MHI-connected sources, in their own words — the reality of the industry, to quote a caller yesterday.

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Using the figures supplied by Cavco (CVCO) and MHI, some 63 percent of the industry’s production is held by Clayton and Cavco. Can you spell, monopoly? Does that create conflict of interest within MHI? Or does it warrant other business, consumer, and legal concerns?

MHI’s own claim of having some 85 percent of the industry’s production, doesn’t that and several of their own statements play into the worries and allegations of monopolistic practices?

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Click the above to learn more.

Don’t alleged ‘trust‘ practices – which often by definition – negatively impact consumers and independent operations?  See that report on monopolies/trusts and third-party videos, linked here.

State Association, non-MHI Member Reacts to Video and Image Campaign

 i think we should control our own destiny because MHI will do nothing for us at all…” (Note: typos, punctuation errors in these messages are in the original.)

So, “instead of going at them i think we should ignore them – for lack of a better term take our business elsewhere,” the messages read, adding, i am not a member of MHI – i am a member of some state associations but not MHI.”

While not commenting on this specific campaign, Marty Lavin has lashed out repeatedly at MHI’s failures, while carefully weaving, so as not to step on Clayton or Berkshire Hathaway toes.

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The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Logo is their property, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews. Click the above for more.

MHI award-winner Lavin has said for well over a decade that the industry must get to the root issues. Otherwise, he’s said – “the other image campaign,” negative media that takes place somewhere in the U.S. several times a week – will tend to dominate in the public mind.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

A teaser for Make Manufactured Housing Great Again, can be found by clicking the graphic above.

Facts Matter

The threat to Clayton, MHI – and potentially ‘monopoly innocent’ members of the industry – is that a video like theirs will raise questions in the public’s mind.

As MHI/NCC Vice President Jenny Hodge said, people research online, they don’t just buy.

When

  • Democratic lawmakers,
  • the Center for Accountability,
  • Ishbel Dickens/NMHOA and others are making charges and allegations of racism, steering, “near monopoly,” and predatory lending,

won’t those concerns be found by savvy buyers who do a Google, Yahoo or Bing search?

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While there are a few that think it is a mistake for MHProNews to report on or analyze such matters, MHR publisher Kurt Kelley said, ” There’s nothing mean or villainous about stating the truth. In fact, most appreciate it when you do.”  To see the report and hunt for evidence, by-third parties, click the graphic above.  

MHI and senior Clayton/VMF/21st staff members were given a ‘softball opportunity’ to decry racism and those allegations.  In their wisdom, they declined that option. See the report of what third parties are alleging about Clayton and BH lenders, linked here.

What MHI President and CEO, Richard A. “Dick” Jennison said in the roughly 20 second video above is revealing, in the light of other reports by MHProNews.

Note the easy question asked, and what Jennison answered. Why would a man that requires Berkshire Hathaway’s support get his contract extended after making that shocking statement? Would the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or the National Association of Realtors (NAR) extend the contract of someone that said something similar in their industry?

Industry Potential, and Problems

RV’s outsell manufactured homes by about 5 to 1.  When RVs – which are a luxury item, not a necessity such as a home is –  have been growing rapidly, why not manufactured housing?  When the data that Clayton and Cavco published reflects the fact that those two companies are growing at a somewhat slower pace than the industry at large, should they be leading the charge for image, education, and marketing?

SamZellEquityLifestylePropertiesChairmanRegulationsHarmSmallerBusinessResultConsolidationMHProNews

Where Sam Zell and MHARR Agree?

Sam Zell publicly pointed to the need for the industry to establish a sound credit base.

Obtaining a stronger source for competitive, additional financing – didn’t two of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BH) lending brands admit to NOT supplying the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) with data they wanted for chattel lending?  Didn’t that failure by BH lenders to supply such data harm most of the industry’s desire for the GSEs to do robustly do chattel loans?

Isn’t that what “Zell’s Math” implied?

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Photo and collage credit, MHProNews. To learn more about the topic raised, click the image above.

Certainly, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), along with others industry professionals cited by MHProNews for years,  believe that’s a factor in the GSEs failure to act.

If MHI and their Berkshire Hathaway manufactured housing forces won’t defend their own name and reputation on an accusation as toxic as racism, how likely is it that either could successfully do an image and education campaign?

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To learn more about Rolfe’s concerns and those of other industry professionals, click the above.

We’ve said for years something that resonates with our clients. If pretty pictures and slick videos were enough, then the industry would already be doing 500,000 or more new home shipments annually,” Kovach said. “Sure, the quality of a video is helpful.  But isn’t what the public wants reality – not fake news, spin, hype or manipulation?

Right Idea, Problematic Execution?

What’s the real solution to the industry’s huge opportunities, but poor image?

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In the past 20 years, manufactured housing slipped from a peak of about 1/3 of all single family housing starts to only about 9 percent.  In a trillion dollar a year U.S. housing industry, with affordable housing at crisis levels, how could that happen? What did MHI do about it?  To see the 400 word executive summary, click the image above.

We’re the industry’s leading trade media, as well as service providers,” said MHLivingNews/MHProNews publisher Kovach. “We won’t tell Mr. Buffett, Clayton et al, or MHI all that is right or wrong with this video and their other campaign plans.”

What we will say is what we’ve demonstrated. There is proven value to factual storytelling. There is also value to establishing for manufactured housing independents an umbrella that refutes or deflects each and every false claim made. That worked for the ADL and the NAACP for decades. Properly done, it works for manufactured housing too,” Kovach said.

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156Thanks to the support of others, we began the process years ago of creating a system that mimics what the ADL/NAACP does, and apply that to manufactured housing. We’ve tested this in local markets. Our clients say, this works, they’ve profited,” Kovach said. “We plan to take the next steps in expanding that process, because others in the industry have failed to do so.”

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Mutual Victories 

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Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. left – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, right. To see that video and report, click the above.

Tye reminded Kovach, who reminds us of the following.

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From the joint statement by the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. and L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.  To read the entire statement and how it relates to manufactured housing and improving America, click on the image above.

It’s all about what Steven Covey called the win-win, or ‘mutual victories.’ When consumers and business win, that’s a victory,” Kovach stated. “When consumers, business, and taxpayers all win, that’s an even bigger victory.”

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To see this report and video, click the above.

Kovach explains that what the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr., Lindsey Bostick with Sunshine Homes, Paul Bradley with ROC USA, Marty Lavin, Tom Fath, Titus Dare, and others have repeatedly noted is that consumers must not be an afterthought, or just a target for a sale.

Rather, manufactured home owners and millions of potential manufactured home prospects must be the focus of the value proposition that the industry offers.

Properly serving the public – while respectfully addressing their interests and concerns – doesn’t that have to be front and center?

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, Analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

Soheyla, Tamas L. A. "Tony" Kovach familySubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

(Notes: Soheyla Kovach is a co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent to MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com – and is a managing member.

Photo credit, 83 Degrees Media. To see their report about MHLivingNews, click here.)

Generational Buyers, Millennials, Boomers & Manufactured Homes

August 8th, 2017 Comments off

GenerationalBuyersManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHProNewsNew research spotlights the gaps and differences between the various generations, and how manufactured housing could potentially tap into those opportunities.

Many desire to move from renting to owning, but often struggle to find that a real possibility in the current site-built market. The manufactured housing industry can offer a solution to that problem,” said millennial Lindsey Bostick, to our sister publication MHLivingNews.

In 2017, over half of the individuals and families looking to purchase a home will be first-time home buyers – and of that 52 percent, roughly 61 percent will be under the age of 35.

Unfortunately, the slowly recovering economy, stagnant wages, and rising home prices have forced too many people to believe that buying a home is out of reach.

Millennials have an average annual income of $40,581. That’s 56 percent ($10,090) less than the baby boomers before them were making at the same point in life.

That, say some experts that are not tuned into manufactured housing, has left many unable to save enough for a down payment on a traditional home as the market prices for new and existing homes continue to rise.  What those housing advocates miss is profiled in a report, linked here.

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Today’s manufactured homes can look and live like a conventional, site-built house, and can be half the price of new construction. Additionally, many manufactured homes are Energy Star rated, so they are more efficient than older, existing homes,” the university-graduated Bostick said.

Manufactured housing presents a unique opportunity for millennials looking to buy a home – yet many don’t consider the option due to outdated information being spread by mainstream media as fact.

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2017 Home Buyers Break-down Chart Credit, NAR, posted on MHLivingNews

A recent Daily Business News article took a look at another study, which found that even renters are being priced out of their homes, making the need for affordable housing all the more immediate.

One of the largest populations to look towards manufactured housing is retirees – who according to the U.S. Census Bureau – are the population with the lowest income with $33,800 in annual income.

Things Are Not Always How They Appear At First Glance

However, due to underreporting of incomes that is the result of not counting essential revenue streams – such as retirement accounts and pensions – boomers may be doing better than was thought.

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Generations by year chart, Credits – Dallas Morning News, MHLivingNews.

The median U.S. household 65 or older earned $44,400 in 2012, those data show, a figure 30 percent higher than the median given in the census’s Current Population Survey from that year.”

By adjusting the data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau with information provided by administrative income records, researchers found there was a more than $10,000 difference between what was reported to the Census Bureau through surveys, and what the true average annual income for retirees (age 65 and older) is, per Newsmax.

This is also seen by those who work in the manufactured home industry.  People of all ages and income levels – including well off retirees – in thousands of cases every month decide to go with a more affordable housing option.


The median wealth of Americans 62 and older leapt 40 percent in just a generation, a St. Louis Federal Reserve analysis found—but the same time, from 1989 to 2013, the typical net worth of younger families plunged, by 31 percent for the middle-aged and by 28 percent for families younger than 40.”

Many of these facts dovetail with manufactured home lender research on MHProNews’ August 2017 featured articles and reports, see that fast-paced lender’s video seminar, linked here.

The income gap between millennials and retirees is growing. The prices of traditional housing continues to creep higher and higher.  Manufactured housing offers – as savvy professionals know – an opportunity for people of all incomes to save on housing costs, and still become a homeowner. # # (News.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News on MHProNews.

 

 

Respect Demanded: MHC Residents, Families, Speak Out

April 24th, 2017 Comments off
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A home in the Vineyard Estates community. Credit: Realtor.

In California, the San Francisco Bay Area remains one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., with some one-bedroom apartments running well over $3,000 per month.

In the city of Pleasanton, an affluent enclave, the Vineyard Estates 55 and over manufactured home community remains one of the few affordable housing options left in the area.

What started with one letter to the editor calling a real home “one that is firmly attached to the ground,” turned into two very strong endorsements for the community, and the quality of modern manufactured housing.

My definition of a home goes more along the lines of the old proverb, ‘Home is where the heart is,” wrote Susan Reid, whose parents live in the Vineyard Estates community.

Vineyard Estates has a definite heart in Pleasanton. Taking a drive through this safe, friendly senior community, it is easy to see the feeling of home. While these are not stick-and-brick dwellings, these mobile homes [sic] allow many seniors the opportunity to enjoy living in Pleasanton.”

Reid also shared the importance of independence for the community’s senior residents, and that the “old stereotypes” are just that.

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Credit: Google.

Neighbors care about neighbors; there is always a smile and a wave by those passing by, either on dog-walks or golf cart rides. The grounds are well maintained. There are activities to be enjoyed each day. Vineyards Estates is serviced by public transit, allowing seniors, my parents included, to be more mobile.

These units are safe and affordable; much more so than some other senior units in Pleasanton. ‘Home’ is an emotional word. Vineyard Estates allows many seniors an affordable place in which to live near loved ones. So, sir, do not denigrate the community as ‘being overpriced shacks’ and ‘crumbling carcasses.”

Ralph Mele, a resident at Vineyard Estates, also shared his feelings.

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Another home in the Vineyard Estates community. Credit: Redfin.

I have lived in Vineyard Estates for four years and bought a new manufactured home in 2013. After living in several very nice custom houses, I found to my surprise the manufactured house I purchased was every bit as nice and well constructed as the custom house I owned. In fact, it is built to very high standards sometimes not found in custom houses. The standards for a manufactured house are set by law, and each factory that builds these units must adhere to the rules, or is not able to sell their houses,” said Mele.

These manufactured houses vary in size from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet and feature granite countertops, wood flooring, fireplaces and laundry rooms, many have three bedrooms and two baths. They are affordable and offer seniors a safe and comfortable environment to live in. You cannot find a new house in Pleasanton for the price you pay for the manufactured houses available in Vineyard Estates.”

As Daily Business News readers are already well aware, even though those old stereotypes persist, but many in the industry are working to set the record straight.LindseyBostick-SunshineHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Today’s manufactured homes can look and live like a conventional, site-built house, and can be half the price of new constructionAdditionally, many manufactured homes are Energy Star rated, so they are more efficient than older, existing homes,” said Lindsey Bostick of Sunshine Homes.

Many desire to move from renting to owning, but often struggle to find that a real possibility in the current site-built market. The manufactured housing industry can offer a solution to that problem.”

For a more detailed history on the journey from mobile to manufactured homes, please click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Publisher Rebuked! Doubting Doctor, Skeptic Stunned!

April 18th, 2017 Comments off

ASharpRebukeLindseyJohnBostickStanPoseyMickeyDickEnnisDrHeatherShortStanDyeManufacturedHomeLivingNewsIn the latest episode of the popular Inside MH Road Show series, a doubting doctor and a real estate professional are among those featured in the interviews.

The manufactured housing industry often – and understandably – touts to lawmakers and public officials that the industry provides safe, quality housing for people of low income. Given the growing affordable housing crisis, that makes sense.

As award-winning manufactured home retailer Stan Dye has said, the industry has always served that niche, and should continue to do so.

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Stan Dye, Star Homes, Cullman AL. Photo credit, still from Inside MH Road Show video.

But Dye points out that most of their location’s buyers have previously owned a site-built house.  The entry level VOG (vinyl over gypsum) isn’t what those upscale shoppers are looking for; qualified buyers usually want a home that looks residential. 

As several recent reports have highlighted, there are trillions of dollars in opportunities for providing homes to those in the middle and upper classes.  While a VOG style house might be selected by that demographic group, the far likelier option is for well-qualified home seekers to purchase a residential style manufactured home.

Want to watch the publisher get rebuked?  Want to see what the skeptical doctor had to say? The latest episode of the Inside MH Road Show is linked here. ##

Image credit is as shown above.

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Sunshine Homes to Unveil Next Gen Tech for Home Shoppers at 2017 Louisville Show

January 17th, 2017 Comments off
NextGenTechForMHRetailersCommunitiesPostedMHProNews

Sunshine Homes logo is their intellectual property, and is provided here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews.com.

3D Virtual tours have become a next-generation standard in digital real estate marketing.  So much so, that millions of conventional house, condo or townhouse buyers have come to expect them.

Considering the fact that new and ‘existing’ (pre-owned) site-built houses out-sell manufactured homes by millions of units annually,” said veteran industry consultant and trade publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, “factory-built housing professionals who haven’t already bought into this new technology should take a first or second look.”

brad-nelms-manufacturedhomes-com-credit-mhpronews-comSources tell the Daily Business News that Sunshine Homes will be unveiling their new iPad kiosks at the 2017 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

MHProNews is told that Sunshine’s branded iPad kiosks will be provided to select independent retailers/communities after the event.

Those iPad kiosks will clearly set a sales person showing a qualified customer 3D images apart from those sales agents who are only showing a prospect a photo copy of a floor plan,” said Brad Nelms, with ManufacturedHomes.com.

With the Sunshine Homes branded iPad kiosk, Manufactured Home Retailers and Community professionals can provide a visually rich and engaging 3D virtual tour of dozens of models that are available,” Nelms said.

That can be done at the fraction of the cost of more complex systems,” Nelms said. 

This next-gen system extends any retailer or community’s impact and options for demanding buyers. Regardless of the number of models you normally stock, this technology allows you to effectively demo other floorplans and designs that aren’t currently in your inventory.  It’s a total no-brainer for retailers, and home shoppers love it.

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From Sunshine Homes website, provided under fair use guidelines.

Building on a Tradition of Service

Sunshine Homes has a long-standing tradition – dating back to their founding in 1971 –  as one of the industry’s most successful independent producers of residential-style, Energy Star ® rated manufactured and modular homes.

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Jerri Lynn Campbell.

They’re the best,” said Jerri Lynn Campbell, an award-winning retailer at Southern Colonel Homes.  The Campbells themselves own a Sunshine Home. Her husband George told MHProNews that Sunshine Homes gives their retailers unparalleled service, and does the same for their retail home buyers.

Sunshine Homes gives an independent every opportunity to succeed,” another Sunshine retailer said in a video interview. View that MH veteran’s comments, linked here.

What is Affordable Varies By Customer

Affordability obviously varies by customer, their income level, and ability to pay for or finance a home,” Kovach said. “One reason we periodically publish articles that point out that the rich, famous and screen stars are buying upscale manufactured homes (see a recent millionaires and manufactured home report, linked here) is because that opens the eyes of other potential buyers at every income level.”  

“But another reason is that there are actually more well-qualified buyers than there are those with weak or poor credit.  Once more, the proof is in the numbers,” said Kovach, a multiple award-winning industry veteran, who is a nominee for the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

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Good credit is far more common than bad credit, says Kovach – and this graphic by Value Penguin is one of hundreds of such charts that prove it. “RVs outsell manufactured homes by 5 to 1, and yet that is an optional purchase for most RV buyers. Manufactured homes serve a basic human need, quality affordable homes. So why do RV dealers see so much good credit, and manufactured home sellers see so much poor credit? It’s due to the kind of marketing and customers being attracted,” Kovach said. 

There were over 5 million existing real estate home sales in 2016.  There were over 500,000 new single family site-built houses sold vs. some 80,000 new manufactured homes. Those better qualified buyers tend to shop with realtors, builders, and by owners. So manufactured housing sellers see a disproportionate number of prospects who have trouble getting financed.”

“What Sunshine is doing is providing independent retailers and communities with the tools that normally only major corporations offer,” said Nelms. “They are leveling the playing field for independents, by offering their retailers, builder/developers and communities tools and professional coaching that help motivated sellers reach more and better qualified customers.

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New single family home sales in 2016.  Credits, Trading Economics, based upon U.S. Census Bureau Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rates (SAAR).

Tight Conventional House Inventories Spell Opportunity

StanPoseySunshineHomesRedBayAL-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Stan Posey, Sales Manager, Sunshine Homes.

In an new article by Stan Posey, sales manager at Sunshine Homes, quoted Myles Udland, writing for Business Insider.  Udland said, Earlier…we wrote at length about the decline in US housing inventory being, in effect, the next crisis for the housing market.

Udland said, “the lowest price points in the market are being disproportionately affected, preventing millennials from buying homes and pushing up rent inflation.”

That challenge for real estate agents and housing shoppers spells opportunity for those MH retailers and communities who specifically target and prepare for engaging those conventional buyers.

Those better-qualified buyers often interact differently than less-qualified customers, who are often looking for the cheapest house on the market, which may happen to be built in a factory. See Posey’s new article that spells out the ways Sunshine Homes supports independents, so they can tap into more of those cash and good credit buyer opportunities, at this link here.

Is there a place for entry level, ‘shade-and-shelter’ product that attracts entry-level customers? Of course,” says Nelms.  “But the biggest future growth potential is in the residential style manufactured homes, and that’s what Sunshine specializes in.”

We’ve worked with several retailers and communities who now sell more upscale, tape-and-textured model homes – and at a better margin – than they do VOG, ‘shade-and-shelter’ product,” Kovach said. ” If you are a community operator, do you want that well-qualified resident or the one that is just barely able to qualify?”

“If you keep doing the same thing, the same way, well – you know you’ll get the same type of results,” said Nelms. Growth comes from embracing new and proven methods, without throwing out what already works.”

Exaggerated Claims?

SunshineHomesRedBayAL-BBBratingpostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Image credit, Better Business Bureau (BBB), provided under fair use guidelines.

Are glowing videos and reports about service by Sunshine Homes to their retailers and home owners exaggerated?

Not according to the to findings of the independent Better Business Bureau, which gives Red Bay, AL based Sunshine Homes their top rating, A+.

The family-owned and operated firm has sold over 88,000 homes through a network of independent dealers that operate in protected territories in about half of the United States.

The Sunshine Homes model home display, including their new, branded, iPad kiosks, are located next to the exhibitor booths, to the left of the main show floor entrance, see map and arrow below. ##

SunshineHomesLouisvilleManufacturedHomeShowFloorplanMapMHProNews

GaryDobbs-LeftLindseyBostickCenterJohnBostickRight-SunshineHomes-posted-ManufacturedHousingIndustryProfessionalNewsMHProNews

Gary Dobbs, l, Lindsey Bostick, c, John Bostick, r, with Sunshine Homes at a ball game.

Related:

For a recent article on attracting Millennials, including insights from Sunshine Homes’ Lindsey Bostick, click here.

For a Cup of Coffee with John Bostick, owner and president of Sunshine Homes, click here.

For a Cup of Coffee with Lindsey Bostick, click here.

(Image credits are as shown.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.