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Posts Tagged ‘business professional’

Why the Continued Conflict?

March 8th, 2014 No comments

One has to ask themselves why this conflict continues? You ask what is the conflict and why do we as an industry need to concern ourselves with this issue? The answers are simple; the conflict is the continued divide between MHARR and MHI. The reason we must concern ourselves is obvious; industry unity will bring us further and faster than continued disunity.

I am not alone in asking this question about the root causes of the conflict.

Recently individuals from both inside the industry and the regulatory sector have written about the approach and tone of the messages sent by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform's (MHARR) President and CEO, Danny Ghorbani.

There is no reason for messages of the nature like the one linked here to continue.

Just this week the industry received some well needed good news that Pamela Beck Danner, JD, was appointed as the new Career Administrator for the HUD Manufactured Housing Program.

Rather than just leaving the message as a congratulatory letter, Danny stated that MHARR will challenge HUD’s change to the law regarding the position to being a career vs. non-career administrator.

Even if HUD has inappropriately changed the law, why send this widely distributed mixed message? Why not just congratulate Pamela and then quietly send HUD an objection that would not be widely distributed?

Continuing this pattern of creating conflict is not beneficial to anyone involved in Manufactured Housing regardless of which area of the industry one is involved in. Are these the types of messages that we want as we work to accomplish our industry goals? I think not.

Just think how much more our industry could accomplish by working together! It is critical that as an industry we focus on the target and develop a cooperative effort to move our goals forward.

Both organizations do not always have to agree; in fact we may agree to disagree. Even in that case, we must show our public unity and spend our collective time working on the core issues.

By not working together some think we weaken our message. By contrast, when we work together we can send a more powerful message to Congress, the Regulators and all others involved that we stand together to accomplish our collective goals.

Clearly MHI is moving the ball forward in this regard, on both the regulatory and legislative fronts. One might ask, if MHI can do it alone, without Danny Ghorbani/MHARR, will MHARR and Danny become politically irrelevant?

I have been in the Manufactured Home Community and Home Sales businesses for over 32 years. During this time I have worked with manufacturers that were members of both MHI and MHARR. In fact, some of the manufactures whom I purchased homes from were only MHARR members. Naturally, I have spent a great deal of time with the principals of these companies along with Danny discussing many issues.

We have developed close personal relationships from working together. From our times together I have learned much about many issues, some which I was not aware of previously, others that could affect my business. There have been issues on which we have not agreed upon, yet we never treated each other rudely or without mutual respect.

That is the type of relationship which both organizations must strive to maintain, especially in today’s difficult times.

Those of us in the business are all very conscientious of whom we choose to work with or purchase products from today. Our decisions are influenced by many factors; company history, price, service, product mix, warranty and personal relationships. I am about to purchase new homes to place in my communities. One consideration that I would be remiss to not consider in my decision making process is which manufacturers support the industry's goals that I support.

In addition, I have very strong reservations on working with a supplier who supports continued conflict and inappropriate messages being distributed by MHARR's CEO. Why would one work with a supplier who is not aligned with our industry's or my personal goals?

This is no different than one deciding to no longer buy homes from a manufacturer who lacks in timely, quality post-sale service and warranty support.

To financially support a manufacturer who through his association dues allows this discord and strife to continue in this small industry is questionable at best. We need to vote with our wallets! Maybe that will get the attention of those who fund the emailed or print messages that slow or harms our industry's message in Washington, DC.?

Maybe that would stop this avoidable and counterproductive multi-decade conflict. ##

rick-rand-great-value-homes-manufactured-home-pro-news-industry-voices-guest-blogRick Rand
Great Value Homes
Milwaukee, WI.

(Editor's Note, Rick stresses he is writing as an industry business professional, and not on behalf of any association. Rick was recently interviewed, see A Cup of Coffee with…Rick Rand., and is also in a video interview shown on the paged link here.)

Getting Results

May 9th, 2012 No comments

Every business professional wants better results. In 30 years of working with companies – many in the factory-built and log housing arenas – I've yet to see a client or prospect say, "We want to sell less and lose more money next year." That would be absurd, the CEO would be replaced or a mental institution would be called for such top leadership thinking. Business people want to grow results, period.

The question then becomes how do we get results? What are the things we must do differently to achieve our organizational targets? Who do I have to involve to get my goals done? What are the costs? What are the potential rewards? What are the risks? And so on.

I attended the informational/educational seminars at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show last January. The array of practical business building topics was a solid. I didn't hear anyone say, gee I wish I had not come. Yet it rained all day on day one of the show, and snowed on day two. Nearly 1100 attendees from manufactured home retailing, land-lease communities, developing and installation were there, along with hundreds more who came to engage those professionals with their products and services. People drove or flew in from many parts of the country. Homes were sold. Products and services engaged.

It was a fine example of everyone involved winning.

Knowledge is power. Goal and solution orientation. A willingness to adapt to be more successful. These are among the keys to success.

Certainly Dennis Hill's office does a great job of organizing and running events like the Louisville Show. But let's not forget the role that Tony Kovach and the MHProNews team played, because certainly the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF) member state executives didn't forget their role. I've seen the positive comments on Tony's linked in profile from those execs. I've listened to people acknowledging his work on this trade media website.

For 2.5 years, Tony's MHProNews (MHMSM.com) online trade media website has gotten results for the Industry and his clients. Award winning retailer Doug Gorman said Tony is one of the best go to guys in the Industry. Hall of Fame award winning Dennis Hill and the MMHF execs have applauded Kovach's work. The seminars at the Louisville Show were all organized by Tony. I also sat in this year on a some training sessions on marketing and sales that Tony was doing for some retailers via webinar. The material was terrific, but more important, the client company was getting results.

Tony has been exploring ways we could deliver more training to more companies and their team members. I'm told that various states are keenly aware of the need and thirst for business building education. Tony will be at the Texas Manufactured Housing Association's (TMHA) event on August 19-21, presenting on How to Get More Customers with Cash or Good Credit. Now I imagine that many readers aren't in Texas, but would like to have quality business building information and training by multiple professionals like Tony and others. Well, I've been throwing out ideas to get it done Tony. A plan is being formed. When Tony gets involved in a plan, factory built housing pros should take note and listen. But before talking about the plan, a survey of the landscape is in order.

I've watched and worked with companies in this great industry for decades. What has often baffled me is that some things just don't seem to change. Some of the same old things keep plaguing manufactured housing.

For example, the subject of tornadoes.

How many times do we have to hear from the weather man that if you 'live in a 'mobile home,' you better run for cover or you may die.' Crawl into a ditch if you have to, but leave that mobile home.'

Isn't it beyond odd to tell people living in manufactured housing that they are safer outside then inside in a windowless room, say a bath or closet? Haven't these same TV weather men shown us video footage of cars and tractor trailers being carried up by the winds? Haven't they shown us photos and videos of leveled houses – and I mean conventional site built buildings – where the people inside we're carried off by those winds? Do they really believe that you are safer outside in a ditch, waiting to get sucked up by the winds than inside?

That's Absurd! But it has gone on for decades! Why? Because there needs to be a systematic approach by the Industry to solving the problem, that's why. If you don't like the results, you have to do something different.

With state association budgets at record lows in too many cases, there is only so much an association executive can do, their plates are full. But what can be done is to form a task force in every state to reply to the media – on behalf of the Association and it's members and under the guidance of the Association – to answer each and every time that negative news happens.

But what answer should be made that would help manufactured housing? What should the goal of such a task force be?

Glad you asked.

Every piece of bad news is an opportunity to engage the media and turn it into an opportunity for free – and positive – publicity. Hollywood stars have the mantra, there is no bad publicity. The very biggest companies turn negative news into a positive, all by engaging the media. They have the budgets for it, but guess what? If you start to turn media lemons into lemonade on topics like tornadoes and manufactured homes, you will sell more homes and you will have the bigger budgets too.

I've been talking with Tony about having a mix of online training and live events. The online events could be started in short order. They could tackle topics like engaging the media successfully, something Tony and others in this industry can talk about first hand.

We could do management, marketing, sales and other subjects online too. Ways to build your business without even leaving your desk, just an internet connected PC, laptop or tablet computer and a good telephone line.

I've been nudging Tony Kovach on this training and event topic for some time now. Because we need someone like him that can get the word out, and provide the promotion and audience we would need, and can connect with the various states that would want this for their members.

Think about this. How would you like your business to double in the next year? How many customers and sales are you missing that you ought to be closing?

i read what Tony Kovach writes, and MHMSM.com (MHProNews.com) has gone from 10,000 page views a month on this site two and a half years ago when he launched to over 800,000 page views from last month. Do the math, and you'll see that its is 8000% growth in 2.5 years. Doug Gorman, Dennis Hill and others are right. Tony gets results!

And that power can get you results too.

Watch for updates. Get involved. Don't let old patterns trap you. We could start with a topic like how to change negative tornado stories into positive publicity in YOUR state or market. We could start with a topic like change management, something I do. We can cover those or a vast array of topics from your favorite speakers and writers, because MHProNews.com has the platform and audience.

That audience is made up of smart business people like you. When you read this far, it is because you are ready to get results.##

Post by
Tim Connor, CSP
tel:704-895-1230
tim@timconnor.com