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Home > Advocacy, Affordable Housing, Analysis and Commentary, Association, Business, Manufactured Housing Industry, Modular and PreFab Housing Industry > “When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.” – Ken Blanchard, and Manufactured Housing

“When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.” – Ken Blanchard, and Manufactured Housing

July 21st, 2018



When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.”
– Ken Blanchard, PhD, The One Minute Manager.


The year was 1985 when The One Minute Manager was first published. It was a year or so after that date when this writer picked up that book, and began to apply some of the principles to manufactured housing (MH) retail sales, and related MH industry training.


Part of a cover of Automated Builder magazine. Along with so many others that covered factory built housing, this one eventually went largely defunct.

By 1989, my MH retail center was in the top 1/2 of 1 percent of all the manufactured home retailers in America, per what became known as Automated Builder magazine.

The insights from the One Minute Manager were among the reasons for that success. But in fairness, so was Zig Ziglar, Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, Donald Trump’s classic, The Art of the Deal, and a bevy of lesser known writers and audio tapes (Yes, Millennials, before streaming, downloads, and CDs, there were audio cassettes or eight tracks!).  Let’s not forge to mention the Good Book. 

But the first point is a personal confessionNot of success, but of my misunderstanding of what Ken Blanchard and his medical co-author, Spencer Johnson (MD) had said.

Back then, I wanted to teach people in a literal minute. Everything for me – then and now – had a sense of urgency.  

Clearly, the teaching with my team back then worked to a significant degree. Proof? Because we could recruit people with little or no sales background, and little or no background in manufactured housing. With our simple process, they could sell their first home in their first week on the job.  

Then, a motivated newbie to MHVille could go on to rapidly outselling seasoned MH sales veterans in a matter of days-to-weeks. It was the blend of wisdom learned from Blanchard and others, plus the lessons from one’s own experiences. One of my better pupils sold – wrote up, got approved, and ultimately delivered – 7 homes from one day’s work.

It was then, and is today, about ongoing education. We required our people to read and grow. Guess what? They enjoyed it.  Those who learn more, earn more, and they also feel good about themselves.


But to the younger me, frankly, none of that was fast enough.

What Blanchard’s book said – “When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.” – has only slowly been more completely understandable.   

When one slows down in trying to get another to understand – whatever, but in this case, manufactured homes – then you or I can go faster in that educational effort. 

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. 

Don’t try and force people – as I all-too-often have mistakenly done – to try to learn at a pace that they can’t grasp the desired point or lesson.

Education is at the heart of what manufactured housing needs, period. The rest are details and commentary. But those details and commentary, they very much matter.  


You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. How can we expect others to do, what we won’t do?  Form a habit of using the correct terminology.

Slow down enough to get the details.  Because when you and your team does “get it,” then you too will grow faster. 

By the way, and not to brag, that success that Blanchard’s book and others helped inspire was during a very down time in the late 1980’s post-oil bust, Oklahoma. At a time when 80 percent of the retailers in OK vanished in about a four year time frame, during the last 3 of those 4 years, that sales center of mine in Purcell, OK was growing like a western wildfire. It was one of several such experiences over the years in MH, RVs, consulting, and trade show marketing. So it wasn’t during good times, that growth came, it was during bad times.  How?  Why?

LegacyManufacturedHousing-LiquidationEvent-imageIt comes from understanding that ours is an industry that, properly understood, can grow in virtually any economic condition. ***** Put 5 stars next to that point, please.  We enter every MH marketing or sales project with confidence, knowing that success is achievable with the right resources, attitudes and people.  Why? Because our manufactured or modular home product is always in need – affordable, quality homes. 

Educational, attraction marketing, plus honest soft selling are among the keys. 

People sometimes think they get it only from reading alone, and don’t get me wrong, reading is useful.  But candidly, while reading helps, most don’t get it from reading alone. My goal is to change that – first by reading, then by live education, later via more videos – so that the manufactured and modular home industry can serve millions more, better than ever. Education done correctly is profitable, creates sustainable sales with happy home owners, and can yield tens of billions annually in more MH sales. 

Happy team, happy customers.  Its just smart.


Learn more about the above, linked here.

The correct education on manufactured homes would improve the lives of millions, reducing tax burdens, and doing what 50 years of failed Washington, D.C. housing policies have never, and can never, achieve.

There are proven, ethical formulas for success, discovered by much brighter people – like Ken Blanchard, et al – than msyelf. So the inspirational note is, if someone like me can do it, you can do it too. Perhaps you can do so, better and faster…IF…you slow down, grasp the details, so that you can go faster.


The Affordable Housing Crisis, Manufactured Homes, & Knowledge is Potential Power

Oversimplified, there are two common refrains found in America today about manufactured homes.   

1)    Manufactured homes are most commonly misunderstood and disrespected. Derogatory terms like “trailer house,” or “trailer park” are offensive because of their link to the term “trailer trash.” Less offensive is mobile home, but there too, as a rule, it is entirely mistaken to call a manufactured home a mobile home, or vice versa. The reasons can be summed up by Steve Duke, JD, further below.

2)    Manufactured homes are gaining more respect and acceptance, including from academics, advocates, and the mainstream media. This is a heartening trend. We can’t claim credit for it. But we can legitimately say that we are part of that trend, because – in conjunction with others – we’ve invested the time to educate. The proof is in the variations of an increasingly read mantra, “manufactured homes are a solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight.” We amplified that, and it’s being picked up. 

These 2 above are competing trends.



The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,”  Steve Duke, JD, LMHA.


Which of the two competing trends will prevail? A simple check of Google news quickly reflects they there are more negative reports about MH than positive ones. That’s the candid challenge that must be overcome.

Is it worth the effort?  As they say in Wisconsin, “You betcha.” 

We’ve learned that this can be changed at the local market level.  All sales are local, so all marketing must be local too.

The magic formula is education that’s not too dull. That was true in the 1980s, and it is still so accurate today. Put me in a room full of most people, and watch them light up – from education done right.  It’s frankly because most industry professionals ae hungry to learn more!



Tony Kovach doing a presentation in a packed room of industry professionals.  See how some are taking notes, while others listen carefully? 

That education must be on two tracks.

   Track one is within the MH industry, via information/education engagement internally, plus

   track two is with those outside of the MH industry. 

Those are parallel paths.  Those two must take place simultaneously.



With That Backdrop, a Look at this Week’s Headline News 

This week, and it’s true of so many other weeks, the Daily Business News covers and examines events. We do fact checks, reviews, and analyze reports.  That’s partly for engagement with our regular readers, but also with new ones and researchers who are discovering MHProNews or MHLivingNews

We don’t mind admitting our own missteps, and encourage others to be willing to do the same. Because life is all about learning from missteps or success, and then doing more doing.

Learn, earn, and return.

With that backdrop, we will next rapidly examine 6 items from this past week, and they involved half a dozen trade groups, plus attorneys and communications professionals, mostly in factory-built housing.

1)    The National Association of Realtors published an interesting report on manufactured homes last May. They did a post about in in June. We waited to see who did what with it. Sometimes, it pays to wait.

“Market for Manufactured Homes,” Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, for Realtor University, Analysis and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)


To his credit, George Allen was the first that we could find in MHVille that gave NAR’s “The Market for Manufactured Homes” a plug, albeit with a tag for not saying enough about land-lease. Understandable. That’s a point worthy of discussion, another time.

But where was MHI on that same NAR report, after it was published?  To their credit, they were in on the front end.  But, a google search and a review of MHI’s research page shows no clue that MHI did anything serious with this important research, after it was published.  

Why not?


Composite information from LinkedIn.

A few hours by email and phone with NAR’s Scholastica “Gay” D. Cororaton, CBE, and she was happy to do revisions of some errors in her research.  She wanted to be accurate, good for her. Gay sent me this new graphic – see before and after, below – two days after our 90 minute phone call. 

Gay sent a professional, and warm message with it.  We’ll see what the NAR’s next steps will be. But my hunch is that the initial outcomes already suggest it was worth the time we mutually invested.  Here was the problematic NAR graphic:



Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, CBE, and this writer discussed the errors shown and others. She agreed that they were errors, and Gay did what a professional does. She fixed them. Good for her! Thank you, ma’am.

The revised NAR graphic is shown below, provided by Gay just 2 days after the above was brought to her attention.  All’s well that ends well! 



So why is it that sometimes weeks or months after MHI has been notified of errors in their research, that they haven’t or won’t make corrections?  Why don’t they care as much as NAR did about accuracy?


2) Very different is the next story from this week.  It was a horribly flawed article from a popular website about modular, manufactured and “mobile homes” by Global Banking and Finance. MHProNews reached out to Tom Hardiman at the Modular Home Builder’s Association (MHBA). Tom gave a prompt reply, just as Gay at NAR had. 

MHBA’s Hardiman Rips “Global Banking & Finance” Article Entitled, “Why Does Your Bank Not Finance Modular Homes?”

Here, the goal had to be different. Why? Because the original article is hopelessly flawed. That is linked above. You can see that Tom’s comment made the rest of the job so much easier.


3) Discrimination against manufactured homes in McBee, SC. Mark Dillard at the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina (MHISC) rapidly responded, once he cleared a meeting. It’s part of a serious issue in that state, one that is also national in scope. It’s linked below.

Town’s Stance Against “Mobile Homes” Caused Division, Uncertainty – MH Association Reacts, Video, Report


4) Windstorms and housing. The tornadoes in central Iowa provided the latest example of why examining News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing © matters. We touched base with Joe Kelly in Iowa, he rapidly responded. That topic, is linked below.

Dozens of Tornadoes Rip Iowa, Storm Damages Buildings, Houses, Videos with Manufactured Housing Analysis


5) What about getting good news? The link below is a look at one of the most successful operations in our industry as measured by years of authentic positive mainstream media coverage. Not a media release or advertorial, real news that’s fruitful. Don’t miss it, and as with the others, slow down, get the insights, so that you can grasp the takeaways, and potentially grow faster.

CityLabs Spotlights ROC USA’s Bright Communities Brand, Lessons for Manufactured Home Professionals, Investors

Note they too promptly replied to our inquiries this week.


6) What could be among the biggest events for MHVille that’s just over-the-horizon is the one linked below.

Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

 MHProNews has had numerous contacts with that operation this week, and periodically for months. More on them another time, but don’t miss the report.



Everyone of the above are issues that matter to manufactured or modular housing pros, and our nation.

Every one of those topics is a different facet of how manufactured homes and factory-crafted homes can be an ever more important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis.

In the above linked reports:

   The giant National Association of Realtors responded quickly and professionally addressed the issues raised.

   Tom Hardiman, with the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA), gave a prompt and precisely useful response.

   Joe Kelly, with the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association replied within say 30 minutes with what was needed.

   Mark Dillard, at MHISC likewise provided a quick, professional response.

   Mark Weiss, JD, at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) who has not yet been named in the above, has responded to our outreaches promptly for years.  This week was no different.

   The attorneys and communications professionals at Equal Justice Under Law have made contact and follow ups timely and easy.


A competitor in trade publishing emailed this week to say, “I truthfully much like your new format.  It makes it easier to find articles pertinent to one’s interests.”

When I reach out to most corporate or other business professionals, the responses are routinely swift.  Besides responding to our questions, some take the time to say nice things off the record. Here’s an example.

Someone once said, “the answer to every question in the world is just two words long – “It depends.” I’d be happy to comment, depending on the question, context, etc

I respect what you do for the industry, and would like to contribute if I can.” 

But one said it on-the-record this week, this way.  


Casey Mack.

I have witnessed Soheyla and Tony’s hard work and dedication over the years with great admiration. Their website portal has become a staple of my morning read with amazing interactive charts & graphics, breadth & clarity in their articles, and passion which no one can match in our industry.  Thanks MHProNews! You rock!” – Casey Mack, Legacy Housing.

By the way, their event promotion is reportedly off to a fine start.

The takeaways are many. We will note only 2.

1)    No single person can solve the industry’s image and education challenges.  It requires many working together to make good things, on often vexing issues, happen. But doing the heavy lifting is and would be good for existing and future home owners, and good for long-term, ethical professional players.

2)    What the above also reveals is that MHI has opted to isolate themselves from the goal-and-solution oriented work of this pro-industry platform. Why?  For years, like the others, they used to give prompt responses. In roughly the last 16 months, that abruptly changed.  Why? Note by comparison this fact. A prominent person at MHARR and MHProNews butted heads a few years ago. But after often heated exchanges, we both came out better after the fact. Today, we get along just fine.

The same could occur at MHI, but they aren’t even trying. It is debatably up to them to modify their problematic behaviors, isn’t it? Isn’t it up to them to get the facts right, and not spin their so-called “news” to their own members?  Are they part of the problem, or part of the solution?

MHI was discovered to be actively (this is all “allegedly”) undermining what we at MHProNews did as a dues-paying member to advance and promote the industry.  Why? For some time, it was frankly mystifying.

It candidly made no sense to me.  It took time to unpack what was actually going on there.

Marty Lavin, JD, as he is won’t to do, summed it up in a sentence. So the association [MHI] is not there for the “industry,” unless the interests of the Big Boys join the industry’s.”  See the below for more details.

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

Here’s the tragedy. MHI and their “Powers that Be” are harming themselves, harming their members business interests, and are debatably harming tens of millions of Americans who need what our industry offers. They have to be motivated to get it right. That’s tragic. 

When outside researchers, media, attorneys, investors, or whomever are asking us, ‘how is it possible that manufactured housing – as impressive as it is – should be selling so few units a year?’ The answer is, that’s both simple and complicated.

It comes down to understanding reality. To embracing the need for education and engagement. And to see where the real road blocks are. People that know us both, know that George Allen and I see some things quite differently. But the following new quote from him is spot on, as he described what is going wrong in manufactured housing..

Perennial corporate consolidation and power plays among far too few elite producers of HUD-Code manufactured homes, along with far too few purveyors of chattel capital…” – George Allen.

And when we slow down, and do whatever is right and prudent, we can sustainably and honorably grow faster. 


Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.

Understanding requires reality checks on items inside and outside of the manufactured housing industry.

There’s no better, or faster way to make progress than to understand and embrace reality, followed by the needed next steps. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

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