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Posts Tagged ‘SWOT’

SWOT – Threats to Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Independent Producers, and Others in MHVille

October 25th, 2018 Comments off

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Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats = SWOT.  Opportunities can be found at this link here. But this report is focused on the threats. Two new reports need to be carefully digested by the industry’s readers.

 

MH Challenger – 3D Printed Housing ICON Closes Funding, Conventional Housing Giant DR Horton, Middle Eastern, Deep Pocket Investors

Those two are linked above and below.

Weaponized News Spotlight – HUD, MHARR and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

They should be understood in the light of Smoking Gun 3. ICYMI, or need a refresher, it is linked below.

 

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

 

There is a planned new report, based upon new insights from the GSEs and manufactured housing industry professionals.  Make sure you are signed up for our industry-leading headline news, so that you don’t miss that next industry exclusive.  Thousands of industry leaders, investors, rising stars and other professional readers from companies of all sizes and types follow MHProNews’ emailed headline news closely.

 

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From the White House Press Room to MHProNews…

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Socialism belongs in the dustbin of history

With the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, socialism is making a comeback in America. Democrats used to accuse Republicans of fear-mongering when they called out certain far-left policy ideas as “socialist.” Now, a growing number of Democrats are wearing the label as a badge of honor.

American socialists may imagine their proposals mirror those in Northern European countries such as Sweden and Norway. In reality, ideas along the lines of “Medicare for All” have more in common with economists’ traditional definition of socialism. The record of countries who have experimented with those types of command-and-control systems is devastating: Maoist China, the Soviet Union, and Venezuela among them.

Something to share: Socialism has a long legacy of failure across the world.

The sky-high taxes needed to fund “Medicare for All” alone, for example, would lead to a staggering $17,000 drop in household incomes after taxes and healthcare expenditures—a 19 percent decline. Without taxing American workers, funding this radical plan would require cuts to half of the Federal budget, wrecking Medicaid, Social Security, and traditional Medicare in the process.

Socialist policies have failed across the world wherever they are tested. They have no place in the United States of America.

Get the facts: What Democrats will take from you to push their socialist agenda.

Full report: The true costs of socialism

 

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Some MHProNews reports on Socialism, linked here.

 

 

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Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

 

MHProNews Summing Up Threats  

There are numerous threats, from inside and outside manufactured housing that several industry voices have signaled for years.  Some of those other voices that have been warning the industry have arguably been ‘bought off.’  Others continue to sound their respective alarms.

The time to act is now.  The logical first next step – the most time sensitive – is to do all you can in your market(s) and circles of influence to support the candidates that support President Donald J. Trump.  As the reports linked above and below reveal, MHI and those who back them purportedly are continuing to work to sideline lending options, and have taken positions that put the industry’s independents at risk.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

“A Nation of Laws” – Donald Tye, Jr. Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

Transparency – What Manufactured Housing Industry Pros Have Proclaimed

Expose! Why Has Warren Buffett/BH Funded Anti-MHC Activists, MHAction? Why Fund Attacks on ELS, Frank Rolfe, Blackstone Group?

Celebrating Manufactured Housing! Protect, Educate, Promote, and “the Ground Floor”

Proper Planning, Manufactured Housing, Marketing and Sales, Monday Morning Meeting

October 1st, 2018 Comments off

 

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Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

–      Oxford Studies Course calls these the 5 Ps of success.

 

But let’s be analytical. Planning is only the start. Planning must be flexible, as Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said in his book,Life is Tremendous.”

Flexible planning must be followed up by good execution too.

 

Pre-Planning?

A critical point that is often overlooked is that planning must be based upon reality, not wishful thinking.  

One of the most overlooked problems that’s keeping manufactured housing at historic lows is that too few have a comprehensive picture of what’s caused and is keeping manufactured housing at such low levels.  This is occurring during one of the worst affordable housing crisis periods in America during the last 120 years.

Manufactured Homes Could Help Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis, So, Why Aren’t More Manufactured Homes Being Sold?

New manufactured home sales demonstrably could be doing five to ten times more business.  That’s not theory, its demonstrable fact. What that means in practical terms is that in markets like yours, there could be 5 to 10 times more new home business.  

For those who supply the industry, that same proportion could hold. For those who provide financial services to manufactured home retailers and communities, the numbers could be that many times higher.  That doesn’t occur by doing the same things, the same old way.

In an era where money and head counts can yield political influence, the clout of the industry could grow significantly at the local, state, and national levels. 

Albert Einstein says that if he only had an hour to solve a problem, he’d spend 55 minutes studying the problem and it’s causes. He would then spend five minutes – 1/12th of his time – coming up with solutions.

On our media, consulting, and businesses development services sides, we take a comprehensive view of the SWOT of a company, location, and/or the industry. Yes, we already know what generally works. But no two locations are the same.  Each location merits a tailored approach.

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The four quads of a good SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

Back when this writer was a younger man selling and later managing manufactured home retail sales, the owner of a company I worked for said this. “It’s the man, not the land.”  

What did “It’s the man, not the land” mean? Simply that you could take two people, put them at the same location, and one could outsell the other. Same homes, same financing, same traffic, same everything – save the skills, motivation, and focus that each of those two sales professionals brought.  That’s human nature, which hasn’t changed since the dawn of humanity. 

My best personal month in manufactured home sales was 15 homes delivered. And that wasn’t because rain backlogged deliveries, or some artificial reason. It was 8 sold/delivered, then 10, followed by 12, and then finally 15 sales in a single month.  My own store would hit 30 deliveries in a summer month. But because of learning, and developing, some years later, we took a retail location and hit far more homes out the door than that, and did it routinely.  Proper planning, yes.  But the rest of what goes into SWOT, including execution. 

Back to my retail center. Knowing what I did, I was able to teach others how to do similarly. One fellow, for example, wrote 7 people in a single day. All 7 got approved.  All 7 closed and delivered. One person. That’s not counting the rest of the business that talented fellow did. We’ll call that gifted guy “G.” That fellow was roughly 6’ 10” tall. Sharp looking, good personality. G “had it all.”

Let me close on a cautionary tale about G. As talented as he was, some weeks later, G was caught stealing. It was easy to document (good processes, procedures). We had the customers word, we had the paper work, etc. When confronted, G tearfully admitted to the stolen money problem.  

He begged for a second chance. After talking to a colleague, G was given another opportunity. But he we never the same for us again. G eventually decided to leave. He went to work for a car dealer. That dealer, like so many in the automotive industry, had a formal sales training program.

That automotive trainer was an outside consultant. He went across the country, I was told, training people.  One day, G dropped in to see me.  He wanted to say how the auto sales training was going. G said the consultant was blown away by what G knew about selling and working with people. G wanted to thank me, face to face, man to man, for all that he had learned.

That was classy. 

G had it all. G had made a mistake. Sadly, G continued to periodically make those short-cut, judgement errors. I was later told that G ended up in jail. Sad. Utterly avoidable. 

Talent enough is not enough. I’ve seen people with less talent outsell people with more gifts. Marketing, selling and business aren’t a sprint. They are a marathon. One has to find and set a workable pace that makes people stretch, but can still be sustained. Ethics and customer satisfaction needs to be at the heart of all that is done.

Veteran outside industry reps have told me on numerous occasions that selling skills are down from 10 or 20 years ago. That’s not true everywhere, but it is common.  

Investing in the proper protocols, people, and products – good planning, and ethical execution – can yield far better outcomes than you may imagine. The return on investment for training, coaching and business development is far better than on the stock market. Safer too!

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Business should always be about mutual victories. Customers, sales people, managers, and owners should all win on every deal. That’s not pie in the sky, it’s the only way to avoid being a flash in the pan, and have a sustainable business with a good reputation.  

Otherwise, it can end up looking good form while, but the reputation and problems can follow.

Do good. Develop the right people. Invest in your own business or location. You’ll be glad you did. ##  (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related References:

“Family Owned,” a Formula for Outperforming “Big Boys,” Monday Morning MH Marketing Sales Meeting

 

Sustainable Success. Your Best MH Investment? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales and Marketing Meeting

 

Becoming a Standout Performer, Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

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‘You Are Either Clayton Homes, or You’re Not’ – Monday Morning MH Sales Meeting

April 9th, 2018 Comments off

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You may know the axiom, “If you keep doing the same things, the same way, expect the same results.”

 

What does that mean for anyone selling in the manufactured home (MH) industry today?  Several things. The independents in the MH industry, sources say, lacks enough strategists.

For example, not many are getting an honest SWOT assessment. This article won’t focus on those points, but it will on this related one.

You are either Clayton Homes, or you are not.” Burn that phrase into your mind.

Make “You are either Clayton Homes, or you are not.” part of every MHVille planning session. That doesn’t mean you have to bring it up in every sales meeting. But what it does mean is that as an owner or manager, you have to navigate the elephant in the room.

And no one less notable than Warren Buffett has de facto declared war against those who are ‘not Clayton.’ That may sound negative, but isn’t it reality?  Listen or read what the man said…

There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” Warren Buffett, per Goodreads.

If you don’t take seriously what the man has said and done – including in manufactured housing – then by definition, you are ignoring reality – and the valuable lessons necessary for a business to survive, and thrive.

Consider this quote from Warren Buffett’s recent annual letter, citing Kipling…

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs . . .

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting . . .

If you can think ‘ and not make thoughts your aim . . .

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you . . .

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.’

 

Yours is the earth, and everything in it. Aren’t those the words of a true monopolist? But there’s more…

 

 

As an award-winning manufactured home retailer told MHProNews recently, ‘While most in manufactured housing are busy working on selling their next home, others are busy planning on how to put you out of business.’

Don’t ignore the elephant in the room.  Especially, if the elephant is hunting you.

To survive, to thrive, you must have a reality-based strategy. That’s just a basic premise of SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

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Not Clayton, Not Berkshire Hathaway?

What if you aren’t selling a manufactured home? What if you are selling some product or service entirely different, but are still very much related to the manufactured home industry?

For example, if you are an MH Community loan broker, should you be nervous about Vanderbilt Mortgage entering the community lending space? Or if you are a community broker, what should your position, interests, or concerns be?  Let’s allow Warren Buffett answer that with the following example.

Quoting from Buffett’s most recent annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway (BH) shareholders,

I have told you several times about HomeServices, our growing real estate brokerage operation.  Berkshire backed into this business in 2000…But, year-by-year, the company added brokers and, by the end of 2016… HomeServices was the second-largest brokerage operation in the country…Despite its recent acquisitions, HomeServices is on track to do only about 3% of the country’s home-brokerage business in 2018. That leaves 97% to go. Given sensible prices, we will keep adding brokers in this most fundamental of businesses.”

3 percent in hand, 97 percent to go. Take the man at his word.  Think trends, history and trajectory.  Think SWOT.

Kevin Clayton said in a video interview in 2011 that they had 25 percent of the manufactured housing industry production then. Last year, they finished at about 50 percent. That’s the trend line. That’s what an independent told the Daily Business News is “the obvious trajectory of the industry.”

ManufacturedHomesMarketShareMHIMembersClaytonCavcoChampionDaiyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Since this graphic was produced, new data has arisen. Clayton-Cavco-Champion (given the Skyline merger) will yield either 75 percent or 80 percent of the industry’s total production, per Cavco or other MHI member produced data.

A lender in manufactured housing that’s not a BH lender – but is an MHI member – said that there is no doubt that the association tilts towards Clayton, 21st and Berkshire Hathaway. That lender  is aware of reality, yet optimistic, but that is his nature. Sometimes people do not see their own tendencies, just as some don’t strategize based upon the tendencies of their competitors.

What do you do if you are not Clayton, and not Berkshire Hathaway owned?

First, pray. Seriously, pray every day.

Next, plan. They have their own strengths, and weaknesses, but you must be able to spot them and plan around them. They have their own opportunities and threats. That is the nature of SWOT.  Logically, your SWOT must operate with their SWOT in mind.

Buffett’s strength’s are many, but consider these that anyone can grasp.  Think long term.  Learn all you can about the reality of your industry, and its place in the broader market.  Keep learning. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day.  Can you manage 30 minutes or more?

You need a SWOT. You should count on the fact that your opposition does.  At Berkshire and Clayton, they call their plan “the Moat.” You can call these concerns, allegations, fantasies…or a reality check.

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Readers must recall that the moat isn’t just defensive. Watch the Kevin Clayton video, read Buffett’s words, and the statement emerges that they want to continually expand their moat. Reality, check it out for yourself.

You are either Clayton or Berkshire Hathaway, or you are not.  That’s reality.

Especially those who do business with Berkshire Brand, or is in MHI, need to think matters through.

Need a plan? Call, message or email me. ## (Marketing, sales, management, news, analysis, and commentary.)

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