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Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

March 19th, 2019 Comments off

 

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The past is there to learn from. Avoiding prior mistakes is something that savvy and successful professionals do.

 

A close look at the facts reveal that few fields have more upside growth potential as HUD Code manufactured housing does. Yet the industry is underperforming, as even publicly traded MHI members indicate in their investor packages. The production/shipments by year graphic below is just one of several, another is linked here. Underperformance is a widely acknowledged fact.

 

ManufacturedHousingVsTotalCompletedHomesLegacyHousingS1FilingIPODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Legacy clearly believes in the future of the business, because they are raising capital to expand their retail base.  This graphic reflects that manufactured housing is underperforming, which means it has a large upside potential.  This graphic should not be construed to reflect Legacy or any other firm’s position on a new trade group, that will be determined in the days ahead. 

 

We respect the right of others to have their own trade group or alliances, so long as they operate within the bounds of sound business ethics and the law.  But it is time to give the industry’s independent professionals to have their own positive choices.  That will be the focus of a special meeting at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

 

 

Pro-Growth, More Happy Customers, More Profits

We believe that the experiences from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) can lead to a creation of a superior pro-growth trade group.

We can take the best elements of each industry trade association, while avoiding the pitfalls that has led our once far greater industry to its currently low levels of sales and production.

A good post-production trade association has three core functions.

P.E.P.ProtectEducatePromoteMHProNews

 

Protect. Educate. Promote. P.E.P.

There can and should be subsets and other opportunities that come with those 3 core trade association functions. Networking, events, business development, image building, and more are part of those add-ons or subsets to P.E.P.

It can all be discussed at Tunica next week.

At present, almost all segments of manufactured housing would benefit from more sales, more profitable sales, and more happy customers that would refer their friends.  But that said, the reason that the industry isn’t reaching its potential is because some firms apparently believe that they benefit from low sales volumes.  Others may not realize that greater sales levels are possible.

Never forget that Rollohome went from start up to 60,000 homes built and sold in 2 years. If some operation could achieve that before, it can be done again now. Potentially, that could be accomplished faster and better than the prior example.

 

Who Benefits from More Rapid Growth?

In no particular order of importance, think about all the groups that can benefit from more rapid, ethical, and sustainable growth.  In no particular order of importance:

 

  • Retailers
  • Communities
  • Developers
  • Investors
  • Financial Services firms (lenders, insurance, etc.)
  • Transporters
  • Installers
  • Services
  • Suppliers
  • Attorneys, professional services providers, and other experts
  • Most Independent Factory Producers

 

Nuts and Bolts of the MH Fix Meeting

On the final day of the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show – March 28,.2019, after the show is over, so as not to disturb in any way those events – a coalition of interested independent industry parties has commissioned and sponsored a meeting. While MHProNews is involved in promoting and organizing, this will be an industry meeting with various interests represented that are supporting the effort.

Those supporters share a common desire for positive industry growth.

Albert Einstein and others smart people past-or-present have said that one begins by understanding the current problems. Once the problems are understood, then solutions are proposed that address those core challenges in a reasonable fashion.

That will be our plan for this meeting. Outline challenges, propose solutions, orderly discussions, and invitations for next steps. So, this meeting and related discussions will help set the direction for how new and current groups can interact successfully for the growth of robust, positive growth of the industry.

 

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Standing Room Only presentations previously organized by MHProNews.

 

Management By Objective (MBO) – Sustainable Growth Potential$

Amazon’s Alexa investment fund in 2018 estimated that the potential market for prefab homes sales in the U.S. is about $330 billion dollars a year. Manufactured housing finished 2018 with some $8 billion dollars a year in retail sales.  So, the growth potential is significant.

The ‘MH Fix the Tricks meeting will have three segments.  One will be by Special Invitation only, and that one will be for independent producers of manufactured housing. That will be the last session on the afternoon of Thursday March 28th, 2019.

Two sessions will proceed that manufacturers meeting, and both will have limited seating.  Some are already booked.

Here is the working outline for that MH Fix the Tricks Meeting at Tunica. The specifics to be updated via the MHProNews email list. Make sure you and your colleagues are signed up and getting those emails, see the link here or further below the byline to sign up in seconds.

 

1)        Identify Current Issues, their Causes, and Contributing Factors. There are those who think that businesses in the manufactured home industry is doing great. It has improved since 2011. But others believe that the industry is still hovering at only about 25 percent of the HUD Code manufactured home industry’s last high in 1998, and far lower still from its historic peak.  Meaning, manufactured home businesses could be performing much better. We will look at those issues – causes and effects of historically low results and public acceptance – in session one. Specific leaders at Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, MHI, and their attorneys will be invited to attend and address the discussion to be held at this session. This will be a transparent discussion of specific allegations, flops, and failures. It will include, but not be limited to a discussion of market place rigging and restraint of free trade. Outside authorities will be invited to this session too. The discussion will be moderated. This isn’t a legal setting, it’s a discussion. Thankfully in America, we are all innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty, a plea is made, or other settlements are reached. Clayton, MHI, et al have the right to remain silent, or to speak and allay industry concerns that will be presented. It will likely be a lively session.

A Question and Answer segment will follow.

 

2)        What a New Post-Production Trade Association Should Address and Do. National Association of Manufactured Home Community Owners (NAMHCO)

Louisville-2014-manufactured-home-show-seminars-standing-room-only-204x129

Standing room only presentations organized by MHProNews for industry growth.

and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) will both be invited to this session. That session won’t be open for MHI staff or leaders. An outline will be presented that will aim to avoid the industry’s past post-production mistakes, and will set the goal of rapid and sustained growth for the members of this planned new trade group or alliance. Note again, that while MHProNews will participate, this is a broader effort that will involve a range of independent industry interests, personalities, and firms. Once the preparations are finished, an independent nonprofit trade group will be formed.

A Question and Answer segment will follow.

 

3) The Final Session will be for independent factory-producers, and it will be an invitation only event limited to builders of HUD Code manufactured homes. MHARR members and others will be participate in this discussion, but is open to non-MHARR producers.

A Discussion with Question and Answer segment will follow.

 

The meeting plan will include refreshments and breaks between each of the 3 discussions noted above. A total of about 3 hours and 30 minutes is planned. Further details will come via MHProNews emails.  That start time will be shortly after noon on Thursday, so as not to interfere with the Tunica Show, and was discussed with Tunica Show management.

 

Do and Don’t Do

  • Note that we are not calling for any boycotts of other trade groups, or of other firms.
  • If some business or professional wants to be a member of more than one trade association, that is their right, which we will respect.
  • Our goal is to work within the letter and spirit of the law and in a way that will inspire confidence for those involved, the home buying public, current manufactured home owners, public officials, advocates, other nonprofits, etc.

 

After the Organizing

This planned trade association or alliance, has the working name of MHIdeals.’  That name is subject to change by the group that will form this planned pro-growth, solution and goal focused post-production trade group.

Once a new sustainable and ethical pro-growth-focused trade group is established, it will interface with other existing industry associations as much as is warranted and possible. The new ‘MHIdeals’ will work with Government at all levels, media, academics, the housing seeking public, and other interested organizations such as the Government Sponsored Enterprises, investors, and capital sources.

Among the Goals…

The goals could be simplified by saying that current and favorable federal laws should be enforced.  Practical problems will be identified, solutions will be advanced. Instead of years posturing effort, rapid results will be the goal. See the related report, linked here. Some specifics:

 

  • To simplify placement and zoning issues, so that more manufactured homes can be sold.
  • To address financing and capital access, so that independents don’t have to worry about lender(s) that the industry is arguably too dependent upon today.
  • To educate the public, and work with residents as possible to Protect, Educate, and Promote the growth of manufactured housing as the most accepted form of quality affordable housing.

 

With those in mind, for example, MHIdeals will work with the GSEs, FHA, USDA, and VA other lenders to operate in a robust way to support manufactured home loans.  The goal is simple. To enforce laws already on the books, for the benefit of most business, home owners and home seekers.

Hypothetically speaking, if another trade association were to become an obstacle to those goals for almost any reason, MHIdeals would commit to pursue the greater good of the organization as outlined.  So, as an example for discussion’s sake, if MHI were continue to posture, foot drag, other otherwise take steps that purportedly benefit only a few big businesses, then MHIdeals would work in opposition to MHI. But if MHI suddenly ‘saw the light,’ then the new group would work with others including them to achieve the goals as outlined.

We believe that MHI may have to pivot as a result of the formation of such a group.  But if not, MHIdeals will work with consumers, other nonprofits, legal authorities, etc. to vigorously pursue our agenda and make our case direct to public officials and the home buying public.

 

MHIdeals – Make Doing Business As an Independent Easier and More Profitable

MHIdeals members should commit to a code of ethics and certain standards that would be enforced for the greater good.

Our goal will be about mutual victories. We will oppose unethical and illegal practices, to protect the reputations of those who want to earn an honest living by serving the housing needs of our fellow Americans.

That is the transparent outline. We will dig into the details at the meeting. MH Professionals from other parts of the U.S. are welcome to attend, within the guidelines noted above.

 

The Good News Is…

After years of exploring the causes manufactured housing’s historically low sales levels, and the impressive opportunities, the good news is that proven paths already exist to grow industry results. The law and the facts – properly understood and advocated – are on the industry’s side.

So growth should follow. Here is an example of how a new trade group can help grow retailer sales, which will widely benefit the industry.

The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 gave the industry enhanced preemption. MHProNews – looping in MHARR and others interested in protecting and supporting affordable homes – has already demonstrated in 2018 and 2019 cases where a specific type of outreach with local officials changed their minds in a matter of only a few days. That process should be repeated as necessary, and should be spearheaded by MHIdeals.

 

Slow or Faster Growth?

If you want to see the industry to continue to sell homes at low levels, and for consolidation of smaller firms to continue, or the formation of new companies to be stunted, then the MHIdeals would not be a good fit for you.

But if you believe that the manufactured home industry could grow to 5 to 10 times its current sales levels in an ethical and sustainable way, then this MHIdeals discussion and pre-organizational meeting should be attended.

Seating will be limited. Watch for our emailed updates with further details. You can RSVP via upcoming emails.

 

DeadwoodMeetingDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Turnout for events promoted by MHProNews are routinely strong.

 

Power and Safety in Numbers

There will be power, profits and safety in numbers.  A good post-production trade group will focus on the points noted, which can be reduced to these 3 points.  Protect, Educate, and Promote manufactured housing.

After years of exploring the causes, it is time to turn to the solutions. MHI has obviously and arguably opted to make no substantive changes. That’s their right, but it is the right of industry independents to organize for their own pro-growth interests.

The past is there to learn from.  We can take the good from other trade groups, and make something far better with the planned MHIdeals trade alliance.

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

 

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Related Reports:

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White Collar Shakedown, Fear, Hobbs Act, and Manufactured Housing Independents Struggles

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

 

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful, Harsh, Priceless Realties from a Master Builder, Monday Morning Marketing, Sales, Meeting

November 19th, 2018 Comments off

 

BeautufilHarshPricelssRealitiesFromMasterBuilderMOndayMornignMarketingSalesManagementMeeting

There can be a bit of fun at times saying something that others think is politically incorrect. Because sometimes politically incorrect things need to be said. They are essential in debunking today’s inconvenient truths, so you might as well enjoy doing it.

 

Because there’s plenty to debunk.

For example.  On social media, it’s common to find positive thinking ‘uplifting’ and ‘feel-good’ messages. Many of us have shared, read, and enjoyed them. Among them are variations on the following theme.

 

If you keep and hold positive thoughts,
then positive thoughts and
positive things will come back to you from others.’

 

At the heart of every error one can often find a kernel of truth. That’s the case with the above. So, what follows is what refutes – but also clarifies, and painfully confirms – the above.

Jesus of Nazareth was a carpenter, more precisely in the Greek, a tekton, a worker in stone and wood. He likely built housing, as well as furnishings, tools, and such. In fact, one of Jesus’ parables was about building a home on a proper foundation. Because, as the Nazarene explained, a house with a faulty foundation can readily collapse.

 

The Proper Foundation

The right foundation is a key to much in life, not just home building. When someone is building on misinformation, for example, the higher the degree of misinformation, the lower the success rate will tend to be.  I’ve seen and visited numerous sales centers and communities that did so much correctly, but were underperforming.  Sometimes, only a few things – often in the mind or will – that some might think little were missing.

Billions globally profess some level of belief, however imperfectly, that Jesus was both a human and Divine person. This God-Man, admittedly an affront to the faith of some others, was said to be sinless, perfect.

That perfect person taught love, forgiveness, and charity in its original sense. He greeted others with “Shalom,” ‘peace be to you,’ which has its Jewish and Muslim variations. In the ancient Hebrew sense, “Shalom” was a prayer or wish for all that is good – more than peace – it meant the blessings of good health, spiritual, social, and financial.

So, follow along.  Here’s this perfect person, Jesus, who:

  • healed people,
  • encouraged others to be their best,
  • corrected those who erred,
  • never harmed another soul,
  • held the powerful of that time and place to account,
  • feed the hungry,
  • taught mercy and forgiveness,
  • forgave sins,
  • and taught others to do the same.

How was this Jewish Carpenter – a tekton, a builder like many of our readers – greeted by His contemporaries?

The reactions were mixed. Some adored Him, others despised Jesus, and others still played ‘wait and see.’  Human nature is now what it was then.

In the end, that perfect person – who by definition had perfect thoughts – was put to the most horrific death then known to mankind. That’s where that social media meme paraphrased above fails.  Jesus crime? To speak His Truth to earthly power, and not back down from it.  Christians surprisingly often forget that Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers. He was strong, a tekton, a man’s man, not a milquetoast. 

Jesus was disruptive.  He had friends, enemies, and those in between.

He challenged the status quo, but the adult from Bethlehem didn’t do so with what we’d normally think of as weapons.  Because the weapons the Nazarene used were words and deeds.

Back to the paraphrase above from social media. Those who sincerely believe that if you send out good thoughts, that they will automatically come back are both right and wrong. The perfect example is Jesus. He suffered and died for those good thoughts and actions. But then and since, billions believe Jesus was raised from death, and in time, ascended into heaven after showing numbers of others that death isn’t the final word.

There is no victory without sacrifice. In the gym, they say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ That’s far closer to the truth than the notion that nice thoughts alone will save the world.  Nice thoughts, must be followed by the proper deeds.

 

IfYouAreWillingtoAbandonYourPrincipelsforConvenienceofSocialAcceptabilityTheyAreNotYourPrinciplesTheyAreYourConstumeJoeConchaTheHillDailyBusinessNewsM

 

The first job for each of us is always the hardest, and it is always ourselves, and done interiorly. We work must work on our own understanding. We must strive to discover the true and the wonderous. We must work on our own weaknesses.  That takes humility, as the followers of Jesus learned.  To do that, we need God, but we also need each other.

From the penniless to the world richest man, all of us will someday die. That’s not negative, its reality.

What do we do with this gift of life between now and then?

If we think that something good will happen without sacrifice, that sounds like a nice meme on social media, but at that simplistic level alone, it would be mistaken.

Please check back to see the Masthead later today or Tuesday, because it very much relates to what individuals and locations in our industry must do to reach their potential and thrive.

But suffice for now this point. That everyone in management, sales, ownership, executive, investor, public official, or whatever level you care to think of must ponder.

Pretty words without their proper deeds can mask a harsh reality.

Noble, honest words matched by honorable deeds will in time achieve the greatest reward. But that never happens without time, effort, and sacrifice. That’s the ultimate lesson. With the right foundation, with proper understand and effort, we can achieve good things, even if it does require some pain and sacrifice, because it will.

 

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That’s reality. And it’s beautiful. Learn and do what’s right, because more often than not, you’ll benefit others, and by doing so, you will profit yourself and so will the world. Integrity is the foundation for sustained success. But that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer some for it along the way.

 

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Let’s be clear.  Martin Luther King Jr. was a man, and he had his flaws and errors too. But he also helped change the nation, by standing up for specific principles. Many of those principles were predicated – built on the foundation – of faith and sound reason. The lesson is you don’t have to be perfect to do good, and help improve the world. Start wherever you are.

 

That’s Monday Morning “Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Coaching, Commentary, and analysis).

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Learn more about the above, linked here.

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

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

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

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Related References:

Work, Life Balance and MHVille, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Meeting

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/manufactured-housing-mhville-its-not-a-matter-open-to-interpretation/

“Fixing Our Industry’s Terrible” Public Relations, a Proven Strategy

 

 

Work, Life Balance and MHVille, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Meeting

November 12th, 2018 Comments off

 

WorkLifeBalanceMondayMorningmanufacturedHousingMarketingSalesManagementMeetingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It goes without saying that life is a series of marathons, not just a single sprint.

 

That:

  • first home sale,
  • that first business deal,
  • that first new client,

are important. But once isn’t enough.  Repetition is critical for learning.  Systems that can more routinely produce the desired outcome are important too.  That’s a form of repetition too. How do you keep from burning out, and balance your life for long term sustained success?  We’ll take a brief look at that question via the new-for-you graphic below.

7AreasWorkLifeBalanceSustained21stCenturySuccessZgZiglarLaneJonesFreshTakeContentManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Work Life Balance

The work-life balance is a topic that gurus have talked and written about for years.

What our manufactured housing industry’s history sadly highlights is a trend that other industry’s have endured too.  There has been a long-standing, multi-decade struggle between larger firms attempting to ‘rig the system’ against smaller operations and the masses of Americans of all backgrounds.  They’ve done that by misusing politics, media, foundations, and other resources.

That’s not to say that everyone in those sphere’s are evil or corrupt, that would be as untrue as those who want to ignore the obvious reality that there is a level of corruption or “rigging of the system.”

What’s the solution?  Part of it is education, and a good work-life balance.

 

The Difference Between Free Enterprise and Crony Capitalism

Stop and think for a few moments. Why is it that some of the richest people in America claim to support candidates who often openly support socialism?

The idea of ‘free stuff’ is tempting to millions who have not learned the lessons once taught in junior high school.  “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” or TANSTAFL.

If socialism worked, North Korea wouldn’t have a basket case economy next to that of South Korea.

If socialism worked, the old USSR wouldn’t have fallen.

Warren Buffett and several of his peers know the value of history quite well. The free enterprise system helped make the wealthy, but they’ve also arguably abused the free enterprise system to get an edge over other smaller companies.

 

How is That Unfair Advantage Unwound?

The answer in part is educational, but it includes the proper work-life balance.  Some get nervous about talking about spiritual, faith-based or political matters.  Why?  It wasn’t that long ago that it was a common topic. Why was it turned by those who pull-the-strings behind the scenes into something that was “politically incorrect?”

The work life-balance wheel posted in this tip can be download, and posted in frame in your office.  There may not be another quite like it.

Every business needs a short, medium, and long-term strategy. For example, if political, civics and historic understanding is a once every 2- or 4-years brief event, then expect those who make it part of their long term strategy to gain an advantage.

As a business person or professional, you have to make your monthly overhead. That’s short term.  Miss that overhead often enough, and you’ll be out of business or bankrupt.

This week, several new reports will be mixed in with other news items that will underscore the need for a sustained, short-medium and long-term work-life balance.  Get a jump on it.  Your sustained success depends upon it.

BTW, if you look at the first ‘related report,’ linked below, and scan our headlines, you may notice something.  Virtually every week offers some level of ‘work life balance’ in our reports according to the principles spotlighted shown above.

That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views that Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, Commentary, and analysis. – Notice, the right to share this unedited, with a link back and proper credit, is hereby granted).

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

“Rent is Too Damn High,” But Why? MHVille Struggles & Solutions

 

“Fixing Our Industry’s Terrible” Public Relations, a Proven Strategy

 

 

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

September 3rd, 2018 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingRetailersCommunitiesMerchandisingNordstromsOrSalvationArmyMHMarketingSalesMeeting

One of the things my husband Tony and I like doing together is merchandising – staging – a home. That’s fun, not a pitch – because there are plenty of pros in MH decorating that you should call before us.

 

But let’s tell a quick story from this woman’s viewpoint, that can help you sell more manufactured and modular homes.

Some 90 percent of the public, per third party research and sources, that can’t imagine what an empty home looks like furnished.

That’s why good staging – merchandising – is important.

StillfromVideoMHLivingNewsSUnshineHomesRedBayALDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

A still from one of the many manufactured home interiors shown in the video below.

Like millions of other women in America, I love shopping. Online or in stores, shopping is a pleasure.

But observing what retail store merchandisers do can be – for the observant and motivated manufactured housing professional – a routine source of useful inspiration and information.  That’s especially true for those who wants to sell more homes.

4NordstromsInternationalMallTampaFLDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Nordstrom’s at the International Mall, in Tampa, FL.

I’ve not been to nearly the number of states and locations as Tony has for business. But in a variety of locations, we’ve both seen more homes in various stages of merchandising than the vast majority of Americans. Tony occasionally reminds me that over the years, he’s been to 47 states. Plus, he’s toured manufactured home locations in Canada too. He says the Canadian manufactured and modular homes are impressive.  The point is he’s been to locations from coast to coast, border to border, and beyond.

5NordstromsInternationalMallTampaFLDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Even the mirrors behind the mannequins are part of the staging at this Nordstrom’s at the International Mall, in Tampa, FL.

Anyone who’s work takes them to multiple communities or retail centers knows this.  There are some locales – pardon me – that look like the a page out of the Grapes of Wrath.  They may or might not be a step above the look of the Salvation Army stores in merchandising. Not knocking it, because every kind of retail outlet has an audience, or it wouldn’t be in business.

So it is what it is.

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Traffic at the mall was busy, and the upscale retailers were busy too. Nordstrom’s at the International Mall, in Tampa, FL.

But there’s also MHVille retailers and communities that are merchandising like you might see at retail stores such as Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Macy’s. Even Kohl’s or Belk has a different, classier look than Burlington Coat Factory does. Again, not knocking less expensive stores, but that’s all to help you visualize and grasp the following point.

Tony snapped some pics while our family was shopping Saturday. The merchandising sets a tone in a store. The store’s merchandising – and pricing – also tends to attract a certain type of clientele.

In the emerging Trump economy, malls and retailers in several markets are making a comeback.

Sears/Kmart may still be in trouble, but other retail-connected sales and stocks are rising. Even Amazon is putting kiosks in malls now. With the change in sales tax online, and more money for businesses to invest due to tax cuts, its common sense to expect some level of bump in retail, at least for a time.

Now, apply those lessons to MH retail and communities.  For those who have the budget and can afford to make the investment, good merchandising – good decorating and displays – pays off.

If you don’t have a budget for staging, at a minimum, you should make sure that your model homes and the sales display surrounding your models are neat and clean.

A properly staged home, combined with the right sales and marketing, will routinely sell faster and for more money. That’s why so many factories invest in décor for a manufactured home trade show.

If you take an entry level, mid-range or upscale home – and all other things being equal – the well-staged home sells faster and for more than an empty or poorly staged one.

This Labor Day or later on, as you shop, ask yourself honestly this question. What does your MH merchandising say and attract? What does your MH marketing or sales methods say and attract?

Sunshine Homes is an example of good merchandising and staging. In the video below, you’ll see a blend of interviewing, but also brief clips of staged homes, or homes being built.

That’s a powerful mix for attracting and selling well qualified customers.

To get more turns every year at retail, the right combination of training, motivation, marketing, merchandising, sales, and follow though pays rich dividends. Want to learn more?  Click this link here. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Focus on More Financing, HUD Program Reforms, Aimed at Increasing Manufactured Homes Sales, Meeting with Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery

July 27th, 2018 Comments off

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The Daily Business News has been advised of a meeting at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which took place on July 25, 2018.

 

The focus of that high-level meeting’s discussion?

It could be summarized with the following bullets. To:

obtain more personal property financing options for HUD Code manufactured homes,

simplify the often complex regulations and on-site inspections, in compliance with the law,

full enforcement of existing laws, notably in regards to the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA),

reinvigorate the state-federal partnership in the HUD Code program, via adequate funding,

insure that the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) fully represents industry interests, and is operated according to the law,

the status of the regulatory reform comments review mandated by President Trump’s executive orders,

address concerns over “40 years of de facto sole-source monitoring procurements,” per MHARR’s statement,

and to discuss who would replace Pam Danner as the administrator of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

 

The meeting was held between

HUD Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery,

Teresa Payne, who is the acting interim head of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs,

and senior leadership for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Specifically, “MHARR Chairman, James Shea, Jr., MHARR Immediate-Past Chairman, John Bostick, MHARR President Mark Weiss and MHARR Senior Advisor, Danny D. Ghorbani…”

In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, MHARR provided the following meeting memo, which will be published verbatim, further below.

A few points worth emphasizing, via the following pull quotes from the MHARR report.

“…the MHARR delegation focused on harm to consumers and the industry resulting from unjustified, unwarranted, and/or misdirected HUD regulations (or pseudo-regulations),”

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

Call 202-783-4087, email mharrdg@aol.com or click the above to learn more.

The MHARR delegation also addressed the decline – under the former federal program administrator — in the federal-state partnership that lies at the core of the HUD program and its proper operation.”

“…the MHARR delegation encouraged Commissioner Montgomery, as Federal Housing Commissioner, to explore the re-vitalization and expansion of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program which, after being a significant source of consumer financing for HUD Code homes in the past, has declined drastically, to minimal activity levels in recent years.”

“…MHARR noted that the “10-10” net worth and reserve rule implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae) for FHA Title I financial institutions has severely and unjustifiably limited lender participation in the Title I program to just two approved lenders, both of which are finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerate.”

The later, of course, was a reference to Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes and their subsidiaries, 21st Mortgage Corp., and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Specifically, MHARR pressed for reforms of FHA Title I – chattel, or personal property, “home only” loans – due to the lack of implementation by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) under their Duty to Serve mandate.

Such a revitalization and expansion in FHA Title I support for manufactured home financing is particularly crucial in light of the minimal and long-delayed “implementation” of the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their federal regulator, FHFA, and their failure to establish – any time soon – market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, which comprise upwards of 80% of all manufactured home consumer loans.”

The entire MHARR release to MHProNews is below. It will be followed by references to several other related reports that flesh-out related details of importance to:

manufactured home industry professionals,

affordable housing advocates,

investors,

public officials,

and others.

JULY 26, 2018

 

TO: MHARR MANUFACTURERS

MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

FROM: MARK WEISS

RE: MHARR MEETING WITH HUD ASSISTANT SECRETARY BRIAN MONTGOMERY_____________________________________________

A delegation of MHARR officials, including MHARR Chairman, James Shea, Jr., MHARR Immediate-Past Chairman, John Bostick, MHARR President Mark Weiss and MHARR Senior Advisor, Danny D. Ghorbani, met on July 25, 2018 with HUD Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery, the highest-ranking political appointee with direct oversight of the HUD manufactured housing program, to address issues concerning the both the program and the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Title I manufactured housing loan insurance program. Scheduled shortly after Commissioner Montgomery was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the meeting represents a continuation of MHARR’s direct interaction with Trump Administration officials at HUD and others agencies concerning both the federal manufactured housing program and federal financing support for affordable manufactured homes, including meetings with HUD Secretary Ben Carson and HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Dana Wade, and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director Melvin Watt, among others.

The main purpose of the meeting with Commissioner Montgomery who, while holding the same position in the Administration of President George W. Bush, was instrumental in establishing the statutory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) and securing major achievements in the implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, was to address key aspects of the ongoing manufactured housing program review and reform process initiated by President Trump and Secretary Carson, with a view toward putting the federal program back on track, in full compliance with all elements of the 2000 reform law.

Consequently, among other topics, the meeting addressed: (1) the status of the appointed manufactured housing program administrator mandated by the 2000 reform law; (2) the status of the pending “top-to-bottom” manufactured housing program regulatory review pursuant to Trump Administration Executive Orders (EOs) 13771 and 13777; (3) the status of the program monitoring contract, which is slated to expire in August 2018, the urgent need for a fully-competitive contracting process after more than 40 years of de facto sole-source monitoring procurements, and the selection of a new program “monitoring” contractor; (4) the necessity of retaining state participation in the HUD program and proper funding for State Administrative Agencies (SAAs); and (5) the restoration of collective industry representation on the MHCC. In addition, the MHARR delegation urged Commissioner Montgomery to consider reforms at the Federal Housing Administration and the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), to expand the utilization of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program and the availability of insured manufactured home chattel loans under that program, particularly in light of the highly-restricted implementation of the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” with respect to manufactured home chattel loans by FHFA and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In particular, the MHARR delegation focused on harm to consumers and the industry resulting from unjustified, unwarranted, and/or misdirected HUD regulations (or pseudo-regulations), citing, as an example, HUD’s excessively costly and needlessly burdensome 2016 “on-site” construction rule, which, rather than reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of on-site work and related approvals, has instead led to a decline in on-site completions and features requiring on-site completion, which has unnecessarily harmed the HUD Code market and unnecessarily denied consumers various on-site features that they seek in HUD Code homes. The MHARR delegation thus urged Assistant Secretary Montgomery to continue with – and aggressively implement and advance – the EO 13771/13777 regulatory reform process within the federal program that was initially spearheaded by Deputy Assistant Secretary Wade. And, in fact, it appears from responses at the meeting, that aspects of the Department’s regulatory reform process will be presented to – and considered by – the MHCC at a meeting currently expected to be held (but not yet formally announced in the Federal Register) on September 11-13, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The MHARR delegation also addressed the decline – under the former federal program administrator — in the federal-state partnership that lies at the core of the HUD program and its proper operation. Noting that state SAAs and state Primary Inspection Agencies (PIAs) had been tasked with numerous additional functions by HUD under its change to the “focus” of program inspections and monitoring, from the detection of specific standards violations to a new alleged emphasis on “quality control” and, worst of all, new unwarranted and baseless demands on long-standing and fully-compliant state installation programs – all without any corresponding rulemaking or regulatory process – MHARR pointed out that to date, there has been no corresponding increase in the compensation of such state agencies, leading some to either withdraw from the program or consider withdrawing. This, in turn, increases the power and influence of the entrenched monitoring contractor (and program installation contractor) – which assumes those expanded regulatory roles in “default” states, without the accountability, responsibility and responsiveness of the former state government entities. Meanwhile, a proposal to increase state SAA funding, recommended by the MHCC and published for notice and comment in 2016, needlessly remains in limbo, some two years after-the-fact. The MHARR delegation, accordingly, urged Commissioner Montgomery to address this matter as a priority issue for the program.

In addition, the MHARR delegation encouraged Commissioner Montgomery, as Federal Housing Commissioner, to explore the re-vitalization and expansion of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program which, after being a significant source of consumer financing for HUD Code homes in the past, has declined drastically, to minimal activity levels in recent years. Such a revitalization and expansion in FHA Title I support for manufactured home financing is particularly crucial in light of the minimal and long-delayed “implementation” of the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their federal regulator, FHFA, and their failure to establish – any time soon – market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, which comprise upwards of 80% of all manufactured home consumer loans.

In particular, MHARR noted that the “10-10” net worth and reserve rule implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae) for FHA Title I financial institutions has severely and unjustifiably limited lender participation in the Title I program to just two approved lenders, both of which are finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerate. As a result, for far too many Americans, the inherently affordable home ownership offered by today’s manufactured homes, is simply not available – contrary to HUD and FHA’s fundamental mission — due to the lack of available, accessible, competitive financing. Consequently, as MHARR stressed, in addition to the reform of its regulatory activities, HUD should also re-examine and reform its financing-related programs for manufactured housing.

MHARR, as it has since the inauguration of President Trump – in all forms of direct and formal interaction with relevant officials — will continue to press the case for HUD Code manufactured housing, for increased governmental support for manufactured home consumer financing, in full accordance with all applicable laws, and for fundamental regulatory reform within the federal manufactured housing program in full compliance with the 2000 reform law, including proper program leadership in the person of an administrator appointed in accordance with the 2000 reform law.

cc: Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members

 

About MHARR

MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

 

 

 

 

 

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Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

 

Realtor University, Journal for the Center of Real Estate Studies, Makes Corrections– “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” by Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE

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

 

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

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

 

Doing Third Party Correctly and Profitably, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales Meeting

April 23rd, 2018 Comments off

DoingThirdPartyCorrectlyProfitablyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x310

A manufactured home industry marketer for a well-known firm made a number of interesting admissions the other day.  We’ll touch on that later below.  But first, let’s start with the principles, and then move to the details.  Keep in mind that we not only raise important issues for manufactured housing, but also like to point to potential solutions when we do. 

  

 TheFirstStepInSolvingAProblemIsToRecognizethatItDoesExistZigZiglarDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Just the FACT$

News can help make or harm your business or location. That’s true for most any industry, but we’d argue its particularly true for manufactured homes, for reasons we won’t go into today. Almost anyone who has been in the manufactured housing industry for a year or more can tell you what you likely know yourself.

News can help or harm almost any business.

 FacebookStockWoesBadNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMondayMorningMarkettingSalesMeetingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews563x523

You can love the news, hate it, or be “meh” about some news item. But “News” has been thoroughly woven into the fabric of American – and most industrialized – societies.

So as you read this today, use TWO HATS. The first, is your marketing hat, and the second is your consumer of news hat.  This article, like so many others on the Daily Business News is for THINKERS who want to do more, profit more, and sell more – instead of whine more.

 

News and Marketing Hats

News done properly is absolutely essential for the advancement of our industry, and it can be highly important to almost any sized company, organization, or location in manufactured housing.  When bad news hits even a giant company like Facebook, and sends its stocks dropping by billions of dollars in lost value, what do you think that means for a relatively small industry like manufactured homes? 

Odds are good, the industry’s thinkers get it.

AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews800

If you are wise, you want as much positive media as you can get.

But if you have a strong, keen mind, you know that even ‘negative news’ can – properly handled, or with the right “spin” – can at times be turned into something that’s at least useful – and surprise! – at other times, profitable.

Before diving into how you can engage your targets audience via “News” to significantly grow your business, let’s first draw an important distinction. 

 

Blogging vs. News

There are some bloggers and operations who claim the mantle of ‘news’ in our industry.

But upon closer examination, what they routinely do is some form of dressed-up marketing. We’re not criticizing them, just saying “it is what it is.” When third parties to our industry see those blogs, sites, or newsletters, they mentally label them for what they are. They are NOT seen as news by most savvy media, or by savvy housing shoppers, and others researching our industry. 

For years, and for a variety of reasons, we tackled stories on the Daily Business News that include bad news too, not just good news.  Rah-rah will only go so far.

Our doing a balance of news enhances credibility. and it also provides a ‘morality tale’ for those who might be tempted to do wrong. Not many want to be spotlighted with bad news, right?  You don’t have to read the linked article below, but it gives you an idea of what we are talking about here, one example of many over the years.

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

Against that backdrop, as an MHI member organization executive said during the Louisville Show, “Tony, yours is the only real game in town.” 

What that industry veteran was talking about was news.

Again, not slamming the others, but that wasn’t a throw away line or being polite by that one executive. Here’s proof. At Louisville and Tunica, the very attractive magazines printed up drew almost no pickups by attendees. Why? We’ve not done a survey, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that industry readers don’t find it to be must-reading. If it’s marketing, and someone wants to be sold something, then you pick one up.  By contrast, even those that don’t always like what we report or comment on, are reading here routinely.

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This example is not meant to exclude others who blog, etc. that have precisely the same response from most industry readers. Nor is this example meant as anything other than, ‘it is what it is.” The photos don’t lie.

If MH Industry readers aren’t moved by this kind of content, why would anyone else be?

An MHI member exec wrote to say the following, “It is pioneers like you, Tony, that change our tired image…Pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their back.”

By contrast to the rah-rah-writers, in a digital era the all digital MHProNews and MHLivingNews have dominated for years. There are over a thousand LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements yours truly has been given, over 99% of them unrequested.  Those I did ask for one from a client, they gave us a glowing one, in writing.  By the way, kind words to me are a reflection on the team, and those clients who work with us.  I’m the front guy, the face, but it takes a team to make this work. So those kind words reflect on all – clients included – who’ve made this possible.

 

LATonyKovachPresenting%StateConvDeadwoodSDKenCorbinCommentManufacturedHousingIndustryEventDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

L. A. “Tony” Kovach doing a presentation in a packed room of industry professionals.  The presentation was widely praised, as is our marketing and sales training and coaching.

Arguably, no one knows the industry better in media than MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

There are deep pockets folks who will prop up some of those other pubs and glossy magazines. Fine, it’s a free country. But they don’t usually show up in searches, and if they do, they are quickly seen for being what they are. They are often seen as thinly veiled marketing.

 AffordableHousingFocusGroupManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The very fact that MHProNews and our sister site takes on controversial issues is part of what has given us credibility and influence with others.

Most of these searches are from a mobile search, as Google has often said that Mobile searches are rising, or dominant. Research in 2016 said mobile was at 50-60 percent of searches being done then, and was rising. BTW, this article is being drafted on a mobile device.

The point is that none of the industry sites came up on these searches, meanwhile, our work did on page one of Google.

2018-04-22_1604WarrenBuffettClaytonHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMondayMorningSalesMeeting

Do you ever compete against Clayton Homes? Would you like to score (rank) well in a search results where you are competing against Clayton Homes? We know how, it doesn’t work every time, but it works plenty often, as these examples demonstrate.

There are numerous topics where our articles are page one, top of fold.

The same can be said for those doing videos searches.

We’ve invested nearly a decade in developing these two trade media platforms. MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com will not be easily replaced or supplanted unless there is massive spending by someone willing to buy traffic.  Until that happens, we’re a dominating force in manufactured housing news.

Which means our clients routinely get lower cost, better ORGANIC search and service results.  We won’t teach competitors the secret sauce, but its legit and works. It is common sense that you want to have good news about your location.  We know how that’s done, and deliver that for our clients on a routine basis.  We can do so in a variety of ways.  When you are ready to do more, let us know. 

Closing thought, which was the opening thought. That marketer, who does a good job for their operation, is right. The shakeup of Facebook, looming problems for Google and others could spell opportunities in disguise for those who want to do ORGANIC search results, instead of paid ads on Google and Facebook, etc. Again, give us a message or call when you’re ready to learn more or take the next step.  Odds are good, you’ll be glad you did. ## (Marketing, sales, management, media engagement, tips and strategies.)

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Related Reports:

“Silver Bullet,” Manufactured Housing’s Monday Morning Sales Meeting

For manufactured home marketing, sales or professional business development – plus other MH expert or consulting services – click here.

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Ph. 863-213-4090.

9 Quick Tips, Plus Your Website – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales Meeting

January 15th, 2018 Comments off

MondayMorningSalesMeetingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

We’ll start with the website insights, and then move onto the 9-quick manufactured home marketing, training, educational, inspirational, and sales tips.

 

Over-simplifying, there are in manufactured housing today, 4 kinds of websites:

  • Non-existent. As hard as it may be to believe some 2 decades after the websites came into being, there are still some manufactured home companies – notably among communities – that have no website presence. They may be on someone else’s site, but have no website of their own. If you have vacancies, or are selling wholesale or to the public, doesn’t it make sense to fix that oversight?
  • Outdated. Websites can get dated within 3 to 5 years. It isn’t just a matter of adding new content, that’s obviously needed. Research shows that you only have 5 to 10 seconds to win the interest of a website visitor. After that, many are gone. An outdated website lowers your odds of having a visitor beyond those 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Modern, Cool, but Missing Something. Hundreds of websites that we see fall into the category.  This type of website will land that first-time visitor.  But they may not attract back the repeat visitor, which is critical if you are trying to sell a big ticket item, like a new or not-cheap pre-owned manufactured home.
  • Engaging, Appealing, and Informative Websites. These do what bullet 3 does, but have certain features that attract back those better qualified buyers.  If you see us in Louisville, stop and ask for details, or call us the week following the show for a complimentary website review.

Now, the 9 Tips 

It’s a federal holiday, right? So if you’re checking these out,

  • your either one of those operations that are open, or
  • you are a go-getter.  Either way…

The tips are found in the 9 different articles linked below.  If you’re new to the Monday Morning Sales Meeting, or just realize that you need a refresher on a topic, click a link below and dive in!

Atmosphere, and Super-Charging Results – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Seriously…

Clayton Homes Praise for Pro-Industry Trade Media – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

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

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

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

Powerful Takeaways from Automotive, RVs for Manufactured Home Professionals, Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Monday Morning Sales Meeting, What Warren Buffett & President Donald Trump Profitably Agree On

Monday Morning Sales Meeting, What Warren Buffett & President Donald Trump Profitably Agree On

 

Monday Morning Sales Meeting – Living the Dream by Serving Others Well

Monday Morning Sales Meeting – Living the Dream by Serving Others Well

 

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$

KYPs, and the $64 Billion Dollar Question-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sale$ Meeting

KYPs, and the $64 Billion Dollar Question-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sale$ Meeting

My smartphone will be on silent mode in Louisville, but I will check messages and return calls, as possible.  832-689-1729Or email me at this link. If you’ll be on the road, safe travels and prosperous travels. ## (Sales, marketing, management tips for manufactured housing professionals.)

Services Link – Click here.

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