Posts Tagged ‘Media Bias’

RVHorizon/MHP Funds Investing/Mobile Home Univ Communities Leader, Frank Rolfe’s Hidden Gem

April 30th, 2018 Comments off

Before diving into RVHorizon’s/MHP Funds leader Frank Rolfe’s hidden gem, an acknowledgement ought to be paid to his partner Dave Reynolds, and others in their rising enterprise. No one person in an operation of that size does it all solo.


When we say Rolfe’s “hidden gem,” it’s an insight that’s been hiding in plain sight since the video below was first produced.

This preface is warranted. It’s difficult to solve any problem(s) or challenge(s) that are not fully understood. Is that self-evident?

For example, even if a doctor has a guess as to a patient’s condition, a good MD does tests before proposing a diagnosis.  Only after tests does the physician suggest possible treatments. Treatments ideally are evidence and fact-based. “Clinical.” That’s the scientific way, and it fits business too.

Thus, the same should be true for Manufactured Home (MH) professionals and investors facing an obvious but often overlooked or ignored challenge.

Frank Rolfe says several things in less than a minute in this video. We’ll focus on only one. It’s this. Most people have little or no clue as to what manufactured housing truly is.  Because so many in the news media doesn’t get it about MH, neither does the public.

In front of dozens of pros, Darren Krolewski of MHVillage made a very similar statement in Tunica. Darren said that when talking to the general public, it takes them time to explain what a manufactured home is.

Both described a similar problem.

That’s an important initial step. Namely, understanding a root issue.

But the solution?

Has the solution to this challenge been clearly proposed or articulated? If so, please show me. Because what we often see is a search for things like a higher volume of traffic. Traffic is important. But the reality is that often, the traffic level is fine; what’s needed is a better method of converting the existing traffic you already have into more positive action-steps by possible buyers.


Modern Housing Options

The vast majority of adults in America know what an apartment, duplex, townhouse, rental, condo, or single family house is. People know what a tiny house is. Many if not most understand RVs.

By contrast, millions may know ‘something’ about manufactured housing. But what they think they know is often inaccurate. Others are ignorant, as Frank and Darren said. We know this from our own years of public engagement experiences.

That lack of knowledge or misunderstandings about manufactured homes (MH) are the opportunity in disguise for MH Industry professionals and investors. Learn the correct systems, apply them properly, and watch sales rapidly rise.


Candor and Compelling Facts over Fiction and Emotions

There’s plenty of excuses, self-delusions, and false-beliefs floating around MHVille. That’s not uncommon in America in general today.

But realities like those that Frank and Darren raised ought to be acknowledged. Then, the root cause(s) of those realities must be addressed. Only when that occurs can opportunities and profits be pursued and maximized.

This is one of the most fundamental challenges that individual MH locations must face. Because change occurs at the person and business level.

As the publisher of the industry’s top two trade media, and as a multi-decade professional services provider, we’ve dealt with this at a pragmatic level for years. is a specific part of the solution.

That’s a foundational start. But there’s more needed to tie that specific foundation to individual businesses and locations.  Those that properly have, see positive results.

James McGee and Chet Murphree say something essential near the end of this video. They’re spot on with their point. What comes before it is useful and interesting, but the punchline – the best – was saved for last in the video montage below.



How Serious Is the Challenge Frank and Darren Stated?

In our professional visits to communities and retail centers, often similar problems to what Frank and Darren pointed to are spotted. A property or sales center may be okay to wonderful, but still isn’t performing as well as local market conditions suggest they should be.

Among the core problems at the location level? Low conversion ratios of lookers to buyers.

For some years, before we travel, before we’ve charged potential marketing and sales clients a dime, we ask very specific questions.

Among them, will you as a client be open minded about addressing challenges that are found? Will you take constructive advice in a positive way?

We’re not in the hurt feelings business. Like an MD, we as publishers and as business growth service providers strive to deal in evidence-based realities.

Our goal is always to objectively identify the good, as well as what can or must be improved. Most successful locations are doing far more right than wrong. The good stuff remains unchanged. But when there’s a big fall off rate between visits and sales, there’s an obvious disconnect.

Most pros who hire a consultant or business development service provider get the reality that one must do something different, to achieve a different outcome.

That said, there are some who want a magic pill, a solution involving no practice changes. But isn’t that self-contradictory? If there was no change needed, then there would be no challenge.  Nor would there be a wondrous disguised opportunity that to correctly addressed, can yielded positive change. We tell those prospective clients who want magic without a sincere willingness to make any needed changes, thanks but no thanks.


The Sheer Size of the Problem Points to Immense Opportunities

Data publicly self-reported from MHVillage is useful in making this point. I’ve know Darren for well over a dozen years. He’s intelligent. Darren and his colleagues have a successful operation. So what follows shouldn’t be taken as a slam or a critique. This is an going to be a fast-based, objective look at their self-stated data.  Because frankly, it’s a common MH Industry issue. I applaud them for stating this in public and in writing.

The problem at retail centers (a.k.a. ‘Dealerships’) and communities is mirrored – not equal to, but suggested by – the MHVillage statistics.  Here are the impressive numbers on their website.  25 million unique visitors in a year, equaled about 80,000 sales.

MHVillage’s own data set says they convert only about 1/3 of 1 percent of shoppers.

You read that correctly, that’s .0032 percent (just a fraction less than a third of one percent) visits to purchases. Furthermore, their average sales price demonstrates – and Darren confirmed – that the vast majority of those purchases are used homes, not new ones.

While industry giant Clayton Homes doesn’t publish their data, anecdotal statements from their team members to the Daily Business News, and some known data suggest their results are similar to MHVillage’s, only they are more new home sales focused.

What do facts like the above mean to a business like yours?

I asked Darren, publicly on stage, and face-to-face afterwards with several standing nearby. He politely admitted, he doesn’t know the answer.

Ok, let’s lend him, and all others a hand. Here’s the logic of it.

  • Millions of people are looking online for housing.
  • Some come in, and shop in person.
  • There’s obviously two big fallouts or disconnects.
  • The first is drop-off is online, the next one is on site.

These bullets point to unsolved challenges, unresolved concerns, that the home shopping public has.  But when the home shopper’s concerns are properly understood and dealt with, they are far more likely to buy.  That’s why the data also points to huge opportunities. When there’s an 8.3 million affordable housing unit shortage in the U.S., that’s a wakeup call for our MH Industry and investors.

Just as consumers approach manufactured housing with some ignorance and skepticism, prospective business clients come to us with a similar, but different mix.  Some doubt they can sustainably grow sales at their business several hundred percent. But its true.  We don’t reveal client data, unless we both mutually agree to do so.  Here is a link to a client interview that freely stated how rapidly they grew.

Once properly begun, clients see the sales totals rising, the logistics of growth is often the greatest challenge. But businesses have to make those initial steps to get started to realize that change is possible, and the logistics can also be navigated, in honest, ethical, sustainable ways.

Real Estate Conversions Compared to MH Conversions

Facts are facts.

I spoke recently with a marketer who does both real estate and manufactured home marketing. He candidly said that they have exactly that same experience. Namely, that far more convert – call or message, come in, and buy – in real estate than for manufactured homes.

Restated, a higher percentage of shoppers pull the trigger in real estate to buy conventional housing, than manufactured home pros routinely experience.


Frank Rolfe’s Hidden Gem

Properly acting upon reality is a key part of the secret for increased, sustainable success.

So long as huge swaths of buyers in your market misunderstand or don’t get it about manufactured homes, the conversion ratios will remain low.

The good news is that a professional or investor can deal with this locally.  You don’t have to wait for anything magic to happen in Washington, Omaha, Arlington, or anywhere else.  You can make the difference in your market, by going to the root issues.

We’ll dig into some of the solution for that in today’s episode of the Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales Meeting.  That will be posted later this morning just below. ##  (Business development, related news, analysis and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

The Apprentice – Proper Understanding, Planning, and Execution – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Marketing and Sales Meeting

As a related thought, the reported reaction in Vegas to the Ducker Worldwide presentations suggests those backing that plan don’t have a solution useful to the majority. See that in the link here.


To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources


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.


Media Bias, Ignorance, Manufactured Homes, Agenda Journalism, the Truth About “Fake News”

April 9th, 2018 Comments off


Both the left and the right have developed their news and other media platforms.


Both the American left and the right have watchdog sites that track the reports of the ‘other side.’  Sometimes those opposition researchers Fisk” – or fact-check – how a story is presented, in the light of the known facts.

For decades, news has been a mix of accurate and unbiased reports, while others are tainted by an agenda or prejudice. While the modern era may be more extreme in the “fake news” category than it was 40 years ago in American history, it is not per se a new phenomena.

Journalists, j-schools, and the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics all state their goal to report facts accurately – without bias – and when needed, to “speak truth to power.”

That said, often, money, ratings, those unstated agendas, ignorance, or bias prevail over an accurate reporting of the truth.

Partially with that in mind, the Daily Business News for some time has provided periodic reports on third party guidance about the facts regarding media tilt.

The best chart we’ve seen on that topic is by the awarding-winning independent journalist, Sharyl Attkisson. Her left-right media graphic is below.  Keep in mind that just because something comes from a different source than what you or your friends may normally read or view, that doesn’t mean its automatically ‘bad.’   Once facts and bias are understood, then discerning the truth becomes easier.


Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources.


Journalism Ignorance, Agenda and Bias Impacts Manufactured Housing Daily

Do a search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing using the two words – manufactured home” – select the news” tab, then hit enter. Search results vary by platform, device and location, but today’s result in our office looks like the following.


This is the acid test, the day-by-day reality check on how manufactured housing is being reported by mainstream media. Note: people are people.  Most journalists want to get the facts correct. That said, no one knows what they don’t know. Some person has to take the time to INFORM the media, when a report reflects bias or ignorance.


Do the same test for “mobile home” – the result from a laptop search in central Florida as of the date and time shown is as follows.



Then do a search using a phrase like, “trailer house,” “trailer park,” or “mobile home park.”  We’ve just done one of those three to illustrate, as shown below.



These examples are the media-based impressions the general public sees, reads, and hears about manufactured housing.  It is what award-winning industry expert, Marty Lavin called, the “industry other image campaign.”


It is easy to curse a journalist or editor from afar. But experience shows that most reporters care about getting the facts correct.  But it normally takes personal engagement in order to get corrections, or prompt more accurate reporting.  With respect to political bias, that can be another story. But regarding manufactured housing, what the industry needs is routine, expert, respectful engagement in media at the local, regional, and national levels.


As the president of a HUD Code builder told MHProNews last week, “…two amazing things: the first is all the inaccurate garbage that gets put out [by media] about our industry. The second is you are the only person in the whole world that is willing to call people out on it! Amazing.” We thanked the sender for his comments, and noted others who support our or other efforts to correct the record.

But that quote and Lavin’s exemplifies several things.  Frustration is experienced by thousands of industry professionals about mainstream media reports.  That said, there has also been some progress too.  For example, note the 4 mainstream news sources.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

One more example can make the point.  Several community owners have told us in recent months about an incident that took place in their community.  These incidents were at times from 4 or 5 star type properties. Yet, in each case, the media called their attractive community a trailer park” [sic].


Until writers, anchors, editors, and producers realize that terminology is offensive, ignorant, or bigoted, it will continue to be a black eye in mainstream media reports.



Is Journalism Dead?

Journalism isn’t dead, as some opinion writers or talk show hosts on the left or right may say.  There are a mix of accurate, inaccurate, or a blend of both in every report.  Bias routinely is reflected, especially when it comes to politics.

But with respect to manufactured housing?

Journalists don’t know what they don’t know.

That said, news media reports are often manipulated, and the narrative can be framed in a manipulative manner. The OZY Media, or PBS reports on manufactured housing are but two examples of how the narrative can be couched, including the choice of music on the video designed to make you feel sympathetic toward some alleged “victim” of a business.

Fighting Fake Manufactured Home News: Fisking OZY Media’s ‘Trailer Park Nation’

As a state association executive told MHProNews, they are not in the business of defending an apparent “bad actor,” and neither are we.

Given the constitutionally protected freedom and of the press, there is not much that can be done – at least obviously – by government to “regulate” the truth.

However, an effort launched years ago – CSPAN – routinely provides a window on federal oversight meetings.   Local and state meetings may also be carried by video. Viewership levels are often low. What that means is that anyone who wants to take the time to sift through hours of testimony to find the few minutes – or moments – can do so.  At times, they provide powerful insights. 

Time, talent, and the treasure are needed to support such efforts.

That said, such free access government video services can be useful, as three Daily Business News and another on MHLivingNews reported last week all originated from precisely such national or local hearing video feeds.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Senator Thom Tillis Discuss Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes, Video

What Actual Home Owners Say…

Manufactured Housing, Media and You

Daily, news stories about our industry and customers are created.  Once published, because of search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, those stories can multiply, and live on for years online.

Good, bad or indifferent, those news stories influence how a particular business, location or the industry appears to the public when certain searches like those shown further above are conducted.

Often, how a story is initially framed – the narrative – may shape other reports in its wake.

The solution?


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

I’ve spoken and communicated electronically with reporters, producers and editors for years about manufactured housing issues that they’d covered,” says MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “They are people like you and me. Which means they too are impacted by human nature.”

Journalists,” says Kovach – who himself was engaged in journalism since high school and earned a journalism scholarship, before later turning to a business career in manufactured housing – “don’t know what they don’t know.”

Journalists and writers have deadlines and pressures to produce a story. They pick and chose what facts are presented. That’s why Brad Lovin’s insight last year is so spot on.”




We noted last week that Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes has the ability to respond to any news story they want, via their own media relations people, Berkshire Hathaway’s media resources, or the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and their media resources,” said Tony Kovach.

So when a negative news story doesn’t get a response, it’s because MHI, Clayton or both decided not to respond.

Part of the purpose behind MHLivingNews and MHProNews is precisely to create opportunities to engage with media, researchers, nonprofits, or public officials,” Kovach explained. “It’s necessary. It doesn’t work every time, but it does work often enough when persistence and professionalism are involved.”

What industry readers ought to understand is that MHI knows all of this.  Their prior chairman addressed this in writing to MHProNews.


MHProNews presented on this subject at an MHI event, a few years back.  The response was positive.



In spite of a positive response to a presentation organized on media engagement by MHProNews’ L. A. “Tony” Kovach, MHI has yet to routinely engage the media when poor terminology, or misrepresented facts occur. There is no excuse for them to ignore this basic duty for a post-production association. 

So any time MHI, a surrogate of theirs, or others attempt to minimize ongoing pro-industry growth efforts done by MHProNews, or MHLivingNews, aren’t they arguably consciously deciding to limit the industry’s growth?  Before jumping to a conclusion on that question, note what MHI president Richard “Dick” Jennison said.



MHI, Industry Leaders, and their Surrogates

It is undeniable that for years, MHI and their members deliberately engaged with MHProNews. That meant their was trust for the consistent accuracy of our reports.  There are words of praise from MHI leaders and others across the industry spectrum, as comments above and below reflect.

The same is true for No one has to ‘like’ every report, but there ought to be a basic understanding of the premise at MHProNews, which is to educate and promote a better understanding of the industry.  If the problems are external, we spotlight them.  But when they are internal, there is a need to spotlight those too. Without calling out questionable behavior when it occurs, where is the motivation of a disengaged or poor actor to stop it?

the It should be noted that we’ve engaged for years with both national associations, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and MHI.  But MHI, over a year before we did a significant fact check on them, stopped providing their news. Why?

The point, beyond the facts being laid out, is that MHI must look in their own mirror, instead of pointing fingers behind the scenes.




What changed at MHI?

In a phrase, they made a decision some years ago to replace our reports with their own.

That decision was made while MHProNews were still MHI members.  Independent companies at MHI take note, because ours is not the only operation where MHI attempted to tip the scales against a dues paying member.

Note too that the MHI decision was made while MHLivingNews and MHProNews alike were actively supporting some of their lobbying efforts, like the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.  That’s indisputable.  The report below is one of several examples on MHLivingNews, far more are found on MHProNews.

Renters’ Nation: The Dark Side of Dodd-Frank and Its Impact on Affordable Housing

While you or we can call the examples in this report allegations, don’t years of published stories and produced videos prove the points?


Street Cred

Not only did MHProNews pioneer “The Daily Business News,” but it is still the only such resource of its kind in MHVille.


While it is true that anyone can post anything on a blog or on social media, it’s different writing a few words vs. researching and crafting several news reports every business day, and then doing cogent related analysis.

The consistent reliability of our reports are what makes us number one in all manufactured housing industry trade publishing. We provide facts and analysis that has “street cred,” per our readers.



The proof we are still the runaway #1 is dramatically demonstrated in the photo, below. Notice that rack after rack had free magazines that were unclaimed.  First that happened at Louisville, so the provider bought those nice racks and placed them in several key places in Tunica.  The result in both cases was the same.  Very few were picked up, as the photos reflect.


There’s a difference between being a mouthpiece for MHI or others that carry paid ads by MHI or prominent companies, vs. doing real reports and analysis.

That difference is “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use” vs. reading MHI talking points.

Never forget that reports by MHI have been documented at times to be spin. Some have been half truths, or distortions of reality. They’re arguably “Weaponized,” posturing a position, usually to make themselves look better than their actual performance merits.

One need only look at the latest shipment report – or see the chart above – to realize just how ineffective MHI’s advocacy and promotion are.

Keep in mind, they say they’re the post-production ‘umbrella‘ group representing “all segments of the factory-built housing.”   

If so, why isn’t MHI defending the industry against the daily onslaught of problematic news?

Is that why they duck questions now, which previously as recently as about a year ago they were still responding to our inquiries.


This graphic was created over 6 months ago, but the principle remains the same. To their credit, they’ve done better in their recent letter to HUD, but it still lacked critical information, see the Masthead, linked here.

There has been only one report MHProNews has done which turned out different than what our source(s) said. That one was the announced plot discussed by MHAction to protest at last year’s MHI’s annual meeting. But what happened instead is that MHAction protested at a Frank Rolfe event. Apparently, once the element of surprise was lost, they changed their plan.  There was also a hurricane that struck, which may have disrupted the plans of the disruptive MHAction activists.

Frank Rolfe, MHU/RV Horizons Protest by MHAction; Nathan Smith/SSK/MHI Flashbacks?

MHI should send a thank you note to us for that report. Frank Rolfe and his associates should know that the Daily Business News had no similar warning or tip prior to his meeting.

Summing Up

The bottom line is that mainstream media must be engaged.  Engaged industry trade media is part of the solution, but can’t do it alone.  The same holds true for problems within the industry.

Weeds don’t uproot themselves. A cancer that’s not addressed spreads. Those analogies are reminders that to fix the challenge of problematic reports, be they inside or outside of the industry, takes time, talent, and treasure.

But the payoff could be enormous.  The reverse is true too.  Failure to address these issues means they can be expected to continue.

We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry News, Reality Check

(Third party images are shown under fair use guidelines.)

Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted 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

“Murder in Mobiles” Mainstream Media = “Trailer Park” [sic] “Dispute Turns Deadly”

January 24th, 2018 Comments off

Newcomers – and all-too-many who’ve been in manufactured housing for years – often have similar misconceptions as the public at large. This report is intended as a ‘teachable moment,’ so sharing with others on your team can prove useful to your location(s).

As news and retrospectives tied to the release of O.J. Simpson last year reminded tens of millions, crime happens in neighborhoods of all kinds.

Notorious Charles Manson’s death also reminded the public about the same point, crime happens across the economic spectrum.

But all-too-often in media, ‘if it bleeds, it leads.’  When a media stereotype about “mobile homes” and “trailer parks” helps that narrative (and ratings), ‘so much the better’ is a sadly common view among some in journalism.

These are facts that the industry’s professionals must grasp and hold, as they consider stories like the one that follows, reported in Miami, FL.


Deadly Dispute

A dispute turned deadly at a trailer park [sic] in southwest Miami-Dade early Tuesday morning,” begins a report by CBS4Miami.


Miami-Dade Police said there was a verbal dispute between two men outside unit number 117 at the Gables Trailer Park at 825 S.W. 44th Ave. They have identified the victim as 51-year-old Rogelio Castro.

Records show Castro was arrested in 2005 for the illegal sale of alcohol and in 2002 for cocaine possession and in the 1990’s for bribery and resisting arrest. It’s not known if his criminal history was a factor in this crime,” said CBS4Miami.

It started off at four o’clock in the morning. I was outside smoking a cigarette when all of a sudden I heard three gunshots,” said a man who lives in the community. “I stayed outside and I didn’t see anybody leave. The officers told me that it was somebody that came and had an altercation with somebody staying in the trailer park. They got into a fight and a third party tried to separate the fight and the victim ended up dead.”

A witness said a roommate of one of the two men who tried to intervene, and ended up getting shot in the chest three times.

Police say the man who fired the deadly shots is on the run and there is an active search for him.

Media Analysis

Reporting a crime like this is expected, but media should be careful not to use improper stereotypes or terminology.


Isn’t this part of the antidote to the t-word issue?


Media, Manufactured Home Communities, Crime, and Proper Terminology

The industry needs to rouse itself to the reality of what MHI award winner, Marty Lavin, called “the MH industry’s other image campaign.”

Frank Rolfe has made his own, similar observation.

The facts are that manufactured home communities – per university level research – are as safe as conventional neighborhoods.

Pride and Prejudice: The Truth About Manufactured Home Communities and Crime

We have also called repeatedly on the Manufactured Housing Institute – which claims to represent all sectors of the factory-built home industry – to routinely defend and engage the media, each time errant terminology or inaccurate facts are published or produced in a video.  MHI advertorials and Facebook likes are nearly meaningless, so long as there’s a steady drum beat of inaccurate terms and information coming from the mainstream media.


For those who don’t follow news feeds, negative news about ‘mobile homes,’ ‘trailer houses,’ and ‘manufactured homes’ are many times higher than positive news. This is a factor that depresses sales, per surveys of manufactured home professionals by MHProNews.

Fires Burning Manufactured Housing’s Public Image? News, Review, MH Industry Impact

It must in fairness be noted that not all in media run to a negative narrative about manufactured homes.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

But it happens so often, that until it is directly and routinely addressed, the industry can expect less-than-stellar results to continue until routine media education and engagement are accomplished.


As improper terminology use and negative media coverage has grown, manufactured home shipments have also declined.  Coincidence? Graphic provided by Ross Kinzler when he was then the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

Finally, it should also be noted that local markets are critical.  Homes are being sold in your area. The report linked below explains how the correct local campaign can dramatically boost results – regardless of what happens at the national level in media.

Manufactured Housing’s “Duh!” Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Until a new association, or an existing one, steps up to correct what’s wrong – the media’s and public education must be viewed through the lens of local media. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted 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

Reports, Reflections on Media Tilt, Bias, Ignorance, and Manufactured Housing

December 25th, 2017 Comments off

ImNotArguingIMJustExplainingWhyImRightCorrectDailyBusienssNewsMHProNewsAmong the widely reputed causes for manufactured housing’s relative low new home sales numbers, per industry professionals, is the allegedly problematic, slanted and inaccurate reporting by mainstream media.

It can manifest itself in several ways, including, but not limited to:

the use of incorrect terminology,
hyping the negative in reports on manufactured homes,
to inexplicably giving ‘more love’ to tiny houses – which in many cases, truly are ‘trailer houses’ – than they do to the arguably superior value of federally preemptive HUD code manufactured homes.

But as trade media – a subset of news media – we’re not bashing those in the mainstream media.  Because frankly, there’s a level of responsibility on both sides of the ongoing controversy over media and the manufactured home industry.

On the left-and-right of media bias – which research ranging from progressives in Harvard, to conservatives at Newsbusters admit exits – there are reasons why manufactured housing isn’t the only ones that suffer or complain.

From progressive Harvard to conservative Newsbusters, researchers across the left-right divide believe that the tilt of media bias is real. If it exists in political and economic issues, why would we be surprised if it exists on housing related topics, including manufactured homes?



Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources.




Ann Parman Manufactured Housing Educational Institute (MHEI)

A few years ago, in the pre-Richard “Dick” Jennison era, this writer did a well-received presentation for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) at their Congress and Expo on the need for and methods of proper mainstream media engagement.


There are Fundamentally Only Two Choices, Engage or Not Engage with News Media

As the post below indicates, there are two and only two fundamental choices.  You engage with media when a news item comes up, or you don’t.

Only 2 Choices – Media Engagement, Manufactured Homes, & You – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Frank Rolfe made a simple but important point in this under one-minute video below.  When industry professionals fail to engage, it looks like there’s something to hide, and then there is no chance for a balanced story.


Others have sounded off on the media engagement topic, including those examples shown below.

But the reality that the industry can get good media coverage is demonstrated by Paul Bradley, and ROC USA, on a routine basis.  If they can get positive media, why not others?

Manufactured Housing – Helping Those Most In Need

MHI award winner, Marty Lavin has called the overall coverage by the press of manufactured housing as the industry’s “other image campaign.”  While there have been exceptions, MHI’s primary response has been ersatz engagement, via advertorials, rather than direct engagement.  A careful look at the issue reveals how correct Lavin is, because the ratio of negative stories to positive ones is quite imbalanced.

“How to Find Affordable Home in Today’s Market,” Manufactured Housing Industry-Statepoint Media Fact-Check

So, when there is such a widespread agreement that media tends to get it wrong on manufactured housing, why are there so few willing to engage on the issue, when it strikes their local market?


When Sam Landy led UMH was hit with negative news in the Nashville market earlier this year, this was his reply.

FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real

This writer has mentioned to audiences and clients on previous occasions that when approached properly, local or regional media often want to get it right. They also often, but not always, want to avoid getting the facts wrong.

So facts, not just opinions or emotions, are important to the mainstream media professional.

Among the experiences shared at the seminar that Ann Parman and others at MHI praised was a true story about a meeting with two professionals with a regional magazine.  Some days after the requested fact-to-face meeting, they published an article that created one cringe-worthy use of the T-word, but through the rest of the article, absolutely glowed about manufactured homes.

The cost?  Only the time, and effort.

That wasn’t a one off, it has been repeated in several markets over the years.

The Takeaways

Most MH industry people who engage the media do so on what can be seen as a very shallow level of self-interest. They understandably want to promote themselves, and not much more.  But media professionals shy away from plugs.  That, they’ll tell you, is the roll of advertising.

But it is precisely education – genuine information, not hype or spin – that moves not only media, but also consumers.

Part of the value of MHProNews holding both industry members and others to account for good business ethics is that is that when the Daily Business News does a critique of media, or industry professionals, or anyone else, who have crossed a line, its more credible – because we have a history of balance.

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

Journalists have good reasons to properly cover manufactured housing.

1)     Odds are something like 4 to 17 percent of their viewers/readers live in a mobile or manufactured home, depending on the state or market. The nationwide average is about 7 percent.

2)     There is an affordable housing crisis, and its getting worse.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

3)     The ethics guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists call on them to give accurate, an unbiased coverage.


4)     It isn’t just the president and his defenders that think there is media bias. Even Pope Francis has weighed in on the topic, and plans to do so more in the days ahead, as an ethical issue.


It should be noted again that MHProNews and MHLivingNews both track and report on stories across the left-right media divide.  There are good, bad and “meh” reporting on a wide range of issues across the media divide.

It is partially the responsibility of manufactured home pros to engage the media routinely enough in their own market to reverse the multi-decade trend of poor or inaccurate reports.  You can do that yourself or you can hire a professional – including one of the most experienced in the industry – this organization.

Who says? Ask Ann Parman or those who’ve praised our work in the media engagement field. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

TwitterFacebookLinkedInNew Year’s Resolution: This writer already has one of the largest LinkedIn followings in the manufactured home industry. But we’ve frankly not asked for Twitter, or Facebook followers.  That changes, starting today. If you want to keep up with posts relevant to the industry, you can connect via the links below.  @LATonyKovach

2 Week NoticeMHProNews will be on a somewhat modified publication schedule from now through January 2nd, resuming normal scheduling in 2018. More detailsclick here.


Click the image above to sign up for the MH Industry’s #1 Emailed Headline News Updates. Click only the stories YOU want to read. 

Note 1: Thousands do it. You, your team, and industry colleagues can sign up to the MH Industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – please click here to sign up in just seconds.

Note 2: For media, business development, training, or other professional services, click here The more pros like you that use our services over any others, the more we can protect, educate, and promote the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

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


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

CATO/YouGov Research Reveals Surprising Views of Clinton, Trump Voters, Free Speech, Political Correctness

November 6th, 2017 Comments off

StateOfFreeSpeechToleranceInAmericaCatoYouGovSurveyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThat the nation – and thus Washington, D.C. – are polarized is no secret.

That big pieces of legislation impacting manufactured home owners, businesses, and investors has been stuck in the halls of Congress, due in part to polarization is widely known too.

But just how wide is that gap?

To what degree are people willing to discuss political issues today that impacts everyone?

Those are some of the issues that a YouGov survey recently completed for the Cato Institute dives into in a release to MHProNews.

While Democrats and Republicans have seen various topics differently for many years, the degree of those differences now are also examined in the Cato/YouGov survey.


That the contemporary divide impacts lobbying, or legislative efforts ought to be self-evident.

In their release to the Daily Business News, those the Cato/YouGov poll results and some of their top level takeaways are documented.  A point that’s implied is also worth noting, as it reflects the challenge that pollsters today face.  Namely, if people –more likely on the right, per Cato/YouGov research – are much less willing to reveal their honest views, how does that impact voter surveys in a run-up to any given election?


Over Half of All Americans…

Per the Cato/YouGov’s data, over half of all Americans feel silenced by political correctness.


That “self-censorship” caused by the political climate is corrosive of the state of the Union and of free speech at many levels.


Before diving into written analysis of the top lines of the research, note how the Cato Institute describes themselves as, “a libertarian think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Our vision is to create free, open, and civil societies founded on libertarian principles. Cato does not undertake lobbying efforts, back political candidates, or engage in political activities. It does not associate with any political organization or party. In order to maintain its independence, Cato does not accept government funding, but receives approximately 80 percent of its operating budget through tax deductible contributions from individuals, with the remainder of its support coming from foundations, corporations, and the sale of books and publications.”


Cato/YouGov Top Lines by Select Categories, Plus Full Survey Download

Washington, D.C. – The Cato 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey, a new national poll of 2,300 U.S. adults, finds that nearly three-fourths (71%) of Americans believe that political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have. The consequences are personal—58% of Americans believe the political climate prevents them from sharing their own political beliefs,” stated their release.


Clinton Voters Can’t Be Friends with Trump Voters

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of Hillary Clinton’s voters agree that it’s “hard” to be friends with Donald Trump’s voters. However, only 34% of Trump’s voters feel the same way about Clinton’s. Instead, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Trump voters don’t think it’s hard to be friends with Clinton voters.


Other Interesting Findings Include the Following

It follows that a solid majority (59%) of Americans think people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those deeply offensive to others,” per the release commentary from Dr. Emily Ekins.


“On the other hand, 40% think government should prevent hate speech. Despite this, the survey also found Americans willing to censor, regulate, or punish a wide variety of speech and expression they personally find offensive, said Ekins.


Other bullets:

  • 51% of staunch liberals say it’s “morally acceptable” to punch Nazis.
  • 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
  • 51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns.
  • 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
  • 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
  • 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.

Americans also can’t agree what speech is hateful, offensive, or simply a political opinion, said Ekins, per the Cato/YouGov research.

  • 59% of liberals say it’s hate speech to say transgender people have a mental disorder; only 17% of conservatives agree.
  • 39% of conservatives believe it’s hate speech to say the police are racist; only 17% of liberals agree.
  • 80% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say illegal immigrants should be deported; only 36% of conservatives agree.
  • 87% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say women shouldn’t fight in military combat roles, while 47% of conservatives agree.
  • 90% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say homosexuality is a sin, while 47% of conservatives agree.

These data show why censoring offensive speech is difficult—Americans can’t agree what speech is offensive or shouldn’t be allowed,” said Cato’s Director of Polling, Ekins.

What is deeply offensive to one person may simply be a political opinion to another. These data show that if we silence speech that any number of people find offensive, we will shut down a wide variety of important political debates,” Ekins stated.

The complete research by Cato/YouGov with Ekins commentary and analysis is available as a download, linked here. ## (News, research, analysis.)

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

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for