Posts Tagged ‘monopolistic’

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims June 2018 as National Homeownership Month, Industry Reaction

June 7th, 2018 Comments off

Still from video, posted further below on this article.

Via a release from the White House Press Room to the Daily Business News, the President of the United States (POTUS), Donald J. Trump, said as follows.


— start of extended quote —


During National Homeownership Month, we affirm the joy and benefits of homeownership.  For millions of Americans, owning a home is an important step toward financial security and achieving the American Dream.  My Administration is committed to fostering an economic environment in which every family has the opportunity to enjoy the sense of pride and stability that can come with owning a home.

Our Nation’s economy is experiencing tremendous growth.  I signed into law historic tax reform that cut taxes for middle class Americans and small businesses.  My Administration has also slashed unnecessary and burdensome regulations that stunted economic growth.  As a result of these actions, Americans are keeping more of their hard-earned paychecks, unemployment rates are at historic lows, and more Americans are entering the workforce.  Consequently, owning a home is becoming more attainable for many Americans.

Numerous benefits are associated with homeownership.  Owning a home gives Americans a place to call their own, and a place of comfort and safety where they can raise their families.  Homeowners also support local businesses, have a strong vested interest in their communities, and foster bonds of friendship with others who live and work in their neighborhoods.  A home is more than a place to live — it is also an investment in family, in community, and in the long-term prosperity of our great country.

This month, we celebrate those Americans whose success and determination have helped make them homeowners.  Their dedication to their families and communities, and to achieving a brighter and more secure future, is an inspiration to each person who is pursuing their own American Dream.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2018 as National Homeownership Month.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.


— end of extended quote —

Fannie Mae produced a fine video, shown below.  But for all of the lip-service that they’ve been paying to manufactured homes, there’s no hint or mention of it in this video.  Why not?

To return to and surpass the manufactured home (MH) industry’s glory days, MH Pros must learn to look past polite words, posturing, or platitudes, to focus on realities.  For example, by every measure, the president is delivering. We’re proud to have editorially supported him during the primary and general election, and are focused on his results, not rhetoric.


Similarly, we must look at how Fannie Mae is touting on their home page their new Manufactured Home Advantage program. Much of what they say is terrific, and accurate, when it comes to the realities of modern manufactured homes.  But then they are arguably also subtly undermining manufactured housing, when they promote what amounts to the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) problematic “new class of homes.”

We asked officials at Fannie and MHI about this 2 days ago.  The reply?  Silence.

But others are speaking out.


MHI Member Observations

An MHI member/producer emailed the Daily Business News blasted the GSEs for how they’re treating the vast majority of manufactured housing.  It might have been written by MHARR, but it was a MHI-only national association member.

In another message from a MHI producing member, there’s these excerpts from a longer message.


Good article on the Trauma issue

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

Secondly, the big change has to come from within and education and honesty.

QUIT describing ourselves as how long, how wide and how much…

 …You want parity with site built homes, then act like it!”


I check into the Tunica show and asked how many Retailers were attending… the lady looked at me as if I had two heads… when did they start calling them Retailers…”

It is all of our responsibility…I avoid the T word like those that avoid the N word.”

Whenever I hear it [the T word], I tell them that is something you put your boat on…Take care…”

What does it say that so many MH professionals fear speaking out publicly?


MHARR on National Home Ownership Month

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNaturally, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) supports every possible legitimate effort to increase the wealth of renters via home-buying. HUD Secretary Ben Carson pointed out during his tour last year that renting households average only $5000 net worth, while home owners net worth averages some $200,000. While MHARR’s advocacy is for common sense regulatory reform, the ultimate beneficiaries are citizens,” said their President and CEO, Mark Weiss in a message to MHProNews. “Thus, our motto, “Preserving the Dream of Home Ownership through Regulatory Reform.”

That said, educational and marketing efforts are the proper purview of the post-production sector of the industry,” Weiss stated.

The umbrella association that claims to promote the interests of the post-production sector were AWOL last year on National Home Ownership month. They were absent the year before as well, failing to promote the 40th anniversary of the first HUD Code manufactured homes,” the MHARR president said.

There is an urgent need to establish a reality-based post-production representation that isn’t dominated by a few major companies that would seemingly rather see the industry’s consolidation instead of protecting, educating, and promoting solutions that would benefit consumers, industry and save tax payers in the process,” said Weiss.


Weiss’ Thoughts, Juxtaposed to Lavin’s and Allen’s

Weiss, Allen, and Lavin have all recent called out the Manufactured Housing Institute for a variety of ways that they posturing helping all segments, but in fact work for the interests of what Lavin calls the big boys.”

Weiss, as well as others are calling for – and some are working towards – a new, post-production representation.

The independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes already have able representation in MHARR, as the Washington Post, George Washington University, and the SBA have all helped make clear.


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

When there’s an affordable housing crisis, and manufactured homes are estimated to do perhaps 100,000 (+/-) new home produced in 2018, what does that say about MHI’s so-called post-production leadership?


Screen capture from this morning, at 6:22 AM ET.

POTUS Trump has used the phrase, “The System Is Rigged” many times. Isn’t the MHI system rigged against the interests of most of the independent companies in MHVille? Isn’t it monopolistic when they promote a “new class of homes” that their big three members are producing?

Is it the Trump Administration whose made progress possible in MHVille? Or is it Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett, who promoted Secretary Clinton, who had she been elected promised to double down on job and small business killing taxes and regulations? Isn’t the MHI system rigged? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

Celebrate National Home Ownership Month, with 26 Cool Prefab Cribs, a $1 Billion Dollar Hybrid Mansion, 4 Fun Videos


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


White House Signing Ceremony on Historic Pro-Growth Financial Regulatory Reform

Doug Schoen, Clinton Adviser, warns – “Democrats must advance an agenda…to create a society of opportunity for all – not guaranteed outcomes achieved through wealth redistribution.”

Warren Wages War

Fed Reports = American Household Net Worth Soar$

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”



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Clayton Homes’ “Robots” – Automation’s Role in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s “Durable Competitive Advantage” in Manufactured Housing

April 24th, 2018 Comments off


The opportunity to change our industry’s image is tremendous today.  There’s never been a better time to change it,” says Keith Holdbrooks, President of Clayton Building Group, in a carefully crafted video, posted further below.


Robotics and automation are playing a role in that image and the Clayton reality, as will be revealed in this report.

In a release to the Daily Business News, Clayton identified themselves as “a national home builder and Manufactured Housing Institute’s 2017 Manufacturer of the Year…”

Besides changing the “industry’s image,” what Clayton is striving to do is carefully advancing their own image too.

As MHProNews has previously reported, Warren Buffett’s “the Moat” strategy promote the concept of a “durable competitive advantage.”  Readers can finish this column, and later circle back to the in-depth look at Buffett’s thoughts on the issue linked below, or in the Related Reports at the end. Those reveal what Kevin Clayton, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, has said for years about how to get and keep a durable competitive advantage by using and expanding Buffett’s principle of “the Moat.”

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


Robots and Automation

The soft musical undertones in the video are part of that image crafting, for which Clayton has hired a branding team.  Clayton previously told the Daily Business News via a release that “Clayton Homes has selected Made Movement (Made) to handle strategy, digital experience design and advertising for the brand.” The “Have it Made” campaign, some observers say, promotes the Made agency, as well as Clayton.

Clayton’s recent acquisition of yet another site builder – Brohn Homes of Austin, one of Texas’ largest privately-owned homebuilders – are all part of their drive to “world domination,” as Builder put it, in two different articles.

The key to Clayton’s tech, robotics and automation-fueled offsite-site build business-model bid for world domination of lower-priced new homes,” said Builder, a statement that Clayton’s social media page endorsed by posting it.


“World Domination”

About five years ago, leadership called on us to do what it took to make [Berkshire Hathaway unit] Clayton a world class company,” says Rick Boyd, director of operations, working out of the enterprise’s Maryville, Tenn.-based headquarters. “We didn’t know what that was. So we had to define what that meant, and that process gave us three pillars of priority: team member experience, customer experience, and leadership.”

It is interesting to note that in their release, Clayton cited Starbucks and Google as their examples of companies to study and emulate.

Google is drawing fire for being monopolistic, if they’re not already an outright monopoly. Those are the positions governmental actions in Europe and the U.S., as well as civil litigation, are underscoring.  And although Starbuck’s has a history promoting inclusiveness, their president recently publicly apologized for racially insensitive actions at one of his stores. Sound familiar?

Starbucks, Google and Berkshire’s Clayton each arguably have their own moats, in their respective spaces.



Velvet Monopoly?

While the have it made people are crafting one image, another is emerging too, across the left-right media and political divide.

That image is of Warren Buffett being portrayed by some as the creator of a new forms of ‘company stores’ and ‘company towns.’  In those Buffett towns, Berkshire is:

  • earning a few cents a day per households from the sale of Heinz ketchup – with millions of families using their products daily,
  • earns a thousand (+/-) dollars or more annually from millions of GEICO policy holders,
  • wants you to stop at Dairy Queen for Fan Food ®,
  • buy your sweet heart some See’s Candies,
  • and hopes to sell you a home – either through their real estate division, or from their growing footprint of conventional or factory-built homes.

Beneath that velvet glove image they are grooming at Clayton, is another story.  It is told by retailers like “Kevin Carroll, former owner of a Clayton-affiliated dealership in Indiana, as saying that if he steered customers to a Clayton lender, he got “a kickback” in the form of a discount on his business loans. Carroll later went out of business and sued Clayton for fraud, but the case was dismissed,” per Omaha, a Berkshire owned business.


Warren Buffett, say critics, is building a new type of “company town.” Like the proverbial slow boiling of the frog in a pot of water, the placid pace nevertheless has an impact over time. Clayton has gone from an large also ran in 2002, prior to Buffett’s takeover in 2003, to some 50 percent of the industry by 2018. Monopoly?

It was part of a response to the controversial Seattle Times reports about Clayton, which opponents of the Clayton/Berkshire/MHI backed Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act used to give a black eye to the essentially the entire industry.

A competitor – a non-MHARR member, that is a MHI member builder – tells MHProNews that Clayton is poised to do even more with robotics.

Because of the new tax law, that senior executive says, Berkshire can pump more money into Clayton.   Indeed, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recently signed into law by the President includes multiple provisions increasing depreciation,’ says KTLIP. And if that HUD Code builder executive is correct, putting more into automation and robotics could more rapidly be expensed.

The result?

A new kind of durable “moat” competitive advantage will be gained by Clayton over their competitors over time.  Velvet gloves, tossing sharks into the moat’s water, that’s the image that Buffett himself has arguably painted, in his own words.



Will Trump Administration Reforms Fuel More Completion?

But the new tax law and regulatory roll back will work in more than one way.

PresidentDonaldTrumpHUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNew HUD Code builders are entering the manufactured housing (MH) industry in 2018, as a report from Tunica and one in April 2018 underscored.  It must be noted that in a different tax and regulatory environment, these new competitors to Buffett’s/Berkshire’s/Clayton’s dream of ‘world domination’ may not have come into existence before 2017.

If there is a change in the makeup of the House and/or Senate after the 2018 midterms, will Democrat Buffett benefit anew?  Will his hand-picked politicos once again promote heavier regulations?

As MHProNews has reported, a long time MHI member told the Daily Business News that Clayton and the other big companies have ‘figured out how to get smaller companies to pay for what they want, using the Manufactured Housing Institute.’

That too fits the use of non-profits by Berkshire and Clayton.

Berkshire’s Clayton benefits during heavy or lighter regulations.  Are they lifting the industry, as Clayton and their incentivized apologists and paid promoters say?  Or are they slowly killing off competitors, via their slow-motion, sharks-in-their-moat strategy dictates?


Warren Buffett has said he won’t attack the president. But Buffett has surrogates. Buffett’s son has sought to undermine President Trump, as have others in the Berkshire orbit. Clayton issued a recent press release that claims to support the president’s agenda. But are Kevin, Keith, Tim Williams/21st Mortgage, or Eric Hamilton at VMF – all Berkshire brands – going to go against Buffett’s public positions?

These are questions that Trump Administration officials will have to answer as they examine concerns over monopoly that are being raised about Berkshire’s manufactured housing (MH) brands, with concerns from voices inside and outside of the MH Industry.

Independent producers, retailers, communities, lenders and others in the factory-built home industry will have to answer these questions about the growing Clayton/Berkshire moat too.

What is certain is that Clayton’s market share has been growing.  Yet, per prior reporting, their own percentage of growth in sales year over year is at a slower pace than the industry at large. Is that a kind of indirect proof that their marketing isn’t working quite as planned?  Are they a beatable monopoly?

l_a_tony_kovach__mhlivingnews__creditThere is evidence that suggests that the HUD Code manufactured home industry needs more than great videos, pretty websites, advertorials, and overly-crafted messages,” says award winning industry veteran, L.A. “Tony” Kovach. “Clayton’s videos collectively have millions of views, and they have millions of visits to their website, per sources.  Yet, the Berkshire annual letter says they only sold some 49,000 homes in 2017? There’s a clear disconnect, and that’s one more data point that the MH industry needs to sit up and take notice about.”

Kovach says the need is to get to the root issues that keep the industry from advancing. While MHI promotes Berkshire’s desires, are they ignoring – or undermining – the kind of work that has proven effective in local markets?

Are They Among the Best Advocates for Manufactured Housing and Manufactured Home Living?

As the affordable housing crisis rages, manufactured housing may top 100,000 new home shipments in 2018. When 8.3 million housing units are needed now, isn’t 100,000 homes a big yawn?  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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Facebook, Google, and NY Stern Professor Scott Galloway’s Quest

March 14th, 2018 Comments off


Every day, tens of millions of Americans turn to Facebook for their social media, and to Google for searches.


Industry professionals strive in various ways to use both of those web-tech platforms for their marketing efforts.

The economic power of big tech is astonishing.  Google and Facebook reportedly eat up some 60 percent of all digital marketing revenues, not to mention their other income generating assets. That financial clout in turn is used in political, media, and other means of influence.

Over the past decade, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—or, as I call them, “the Four”—have aggregated more economic value and influence than nearly any other commercial entity in history. Together, they have a market capitalization of $2.8 trillion (the GDP of France), a staggering 24 percent share of the S&P 500 Top 50, close to the value of every stock traded on the Nasdaq in 2001,” said Professor Scott Galloway in Esquire.

New York Stern School of Business Professor Galloway freely admits that he’s personally benefited from “the Four” tech giants.

The author, entrepreneur, and professor also wants to regulators to break up big tech, as their influence and power over the marketplace is so great, that it crushes competition.



Is it a surprise that across the left-right media and political divide, Galloway’s work is drawing interest? The Daily Business News has featured him in our market report in a video from left-of-center, CNBC.



Last night, it was right-of-center Tucker Carlson on Fox News that featured Galloway speaking specifically about Google (parent company, Alphabet) and Facebook in the context of the big four tech giants economic impact.

As the manufactured home industry struggles with it’s own challenges of market concentration – allegedly monopolistic power – over the industry and organizations of influence, such as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the Urban Institute,  and others – a question should be considered.

Are the tech giants – plus Berkshire Hathaway – sucking the oxygen out of the marketplace in manner that harms innovation, creativity, possible start-ups, existing enterprises, and workers? ##  (News, analysis and commentary.)


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

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