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Manufactured Homes? Mobile Homes? Housing? Factory-Built Homes? What Should We Call our Homes?

July 13th, 2015 No comments

Hollywood,

For forty plus years, the MH industry has tried to change the mobile home perception and sophisticate the MH product by changing the name.  When business was sooo good, newbie MBA’s came in and screwed  things up as that was their job which was to make changes and expose what is wrong.

The new group along with industry insiders claimed that the name “mobile home” was not proper.  They said the name is disgraceful and trashy like “trailer.” Industry vets went along with new culture hires and agreed to the name change. The purchasers or those who live in the MH didn’t care at the time and still don’t. 

We changed the name to manufactured housing and after decades of pounding manufactured housing into the public’s mind, most new MH purchasers and MH dwellers still used the term mobile home, so then we decided to change the name to just housing and that did not work as there was no identity to our product, so then some geniuses said to change to factory built homes and so on and so on – so many names.

Its-EvolutionaryTrailerHouse-MobileHome-ManufacturedHome-modular-manufacturedhomelivingnews-comWB-660x330

The image above was not part of Barry Cole’s Letter to the Editor, but the graphic  is linked to an article which is related to this topic. Barry’s article also follows others on the subject from our June Issue Featured Articles.

Still after 4 decades, the public still relates to the mobile home name and per all data, mobile home is used on the internet as much or more than manufactured housing.  Thus, we should never down grade the mobile home name of past which did so much good during a very special time in our industry and especially with so many MH customers still living in them.

So what do we do?  You and I have had numerous conversations as to industry concepts and image and that is why we both have always used the name MH.

You are correct in using MH for the industry’s product name in all of your writings.  It is much easier to say, write and change to.

The recreational vehicle changed to RV and everyone knows the RV name.  The same should be used with MH.

Keep up the good work by using MH in your publications and you will realize more and more using MH.

Barry

barry-cole-rv-mh-hall-of-fame-manufactured-home-insurance-services-mhisBarry Cole

Manufactured Housing Insurance Services (MHIS)

RV/MH Hall of Fame Inductee – Class of 2014.

CMHI’s “Jack E. Wells Memorial Award” for distinguished service to the manufactured home industry.

Past Chairman RV/MH Hall of Fame

(Editor’s Note: this message to L. A. “Tony” Kovach (whom Barry and some other industry pros like to refer to as “Hollywood”) is an on-the-record commentary  by Barry on the article, linked below. Numerous other ‘off the record’ comments have come in as well. As always, your comments – on or off the record – are encouraged.)

http://ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com/cancer-cures-and-todays-mh/

A Cup of Coffee with…Barry Cole, is linked here.

Why I Belong

March 9th, 2011 No comments

As far back as 1830, the French statesman and author Alexis de Tocqueville observed in Democracy in America that … Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all dispositions are forever forming associations.  There are not only commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but others of a thousand different types ­religious, moral, serious, futile, very general and very limited, immensely large and very minute. And you know, he was right then and remains so today.  How many folks don’t belong to one or more social, religious or business groups?  Very very few.  But the issue here is, how many of you are not maximizing the profitability of your business because you don’t belong to a state, provincial or national manufactured housing trade association or institute?

 

The has identified 22 features that attract businessmen and women to join various assemblies of like-minded individuals and firms.  And the nearly two dozen features have been grouped into four areas of emphasis: activities, information, publications, and benefits. The following paragraphs take a closer look at ten of these feature areas (i.e. reasons) that are particularly germane to manufactured housing industry aficionados.

 

1.      To support and advance a personal, business and other common and important interest to the individual or business involved.  For example, manufactured housing, finance, real estate investment or management, OEM suppliers (i.e. original equipment manufacturers), and on and on.  The purpose to all this?  To capitalize on the very real concept that there is greater strength in numbers of like-minded folk than always going it alone.

2.      To meet, network and share ideas, frustrations and lessons learned, with peers who have similar personal and professional interests.  A good example of this is the periodic meetings we attend on local (i.e. chapter), state (i.e. convention or annual meeting) and national levels to do just that.

3.      To acquire information and access resources key to one’s business survival, even prosperity.  Venues for these opportunities?  Regularly scheduled meetings, trade and professional publications subscription, trade show attendance, even recreational activities like golf outings.  Furthermore, unique and helpful resources are oft available from association staff contacts and their experience, familiarity with research results, etc.

4.      To develop new business through and with people met at association events and activities.  When I started my manufactured housing-related business two decades ago, visiting local manufactured housing association chapter meetings was essential in developing contacts and future business relationships throughout the locale in which I was working.  And now, twenty years later, the pattern repeats itself on a national and international level relative to the very same reasons.

5.      To increase and update one’s skills and knowledge base.  How?  By attending association-sponsored seminars, training programs and other related activities.  Frankly, there are no other opportunities to obtain the specialized knowledge we often need in manufactured housing than to be intimately involved with our state, provincial and national trade associations and institutes.

6.      To keep abreast with changes to industry rules, regulations, statutes and standards.  For that matter, association involvement is oft the only way one has to input the process to begin with, to express one’s support of or displeasure with pending legislation, rules changes, etc.  For that matter, sharing a practical Code of Business Ethics with one’s peers is an important feature of this particular reason for joining.

7.      To learn of and access latest worthwhile business products and services.  Vendors often contact trade associations first to ‘test the waters’ relative to market (i.e.  association member) acceptance.  This is an especially common phenomenon at our regional MH trade shows.

8.      To interface with professional association staff for answers to strategic business questions -and learn where to go for further information.  This could well include access to the association’s attorney for legal opinion and initial guidance in sensitive business matters.

9.       To increase clout in local, regional and national political and regulatory arenas.  Politics is obviously a fact of business as well as personal life.  Why not enhance your opinions in this arena by uniting with trade associations that share your concerns?

10.  To take advantage of group purchasing and/or member discounts for certain products and services.  There’s a very wide range of possibilities here: printing, advertising, travel discounts, group health and liability insurance, banking services, long distance telephone services, association -sponsored retirement plans, etc.

Convinced yet to join?  I surely hope so.  Here’s what Teddy Roosevelt had to say on the subject: ‘Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged.  No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.’  So won’t you join me?  As a matter of principle, I maintain trade association memberships in every state or province in which I have ongoing business interests, plus the national association that lobbies in my behalf at that level.

Into the Great Green North

January 25th, 2011 1 comment

A Conversation with Kathleen Maynard, CMHI

CMHI logoUnlike the manufactured housing industry in the United States, the market for manufactured homes in Canada remains rather prosperous by comparison. A Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI) report for the 3rd quarter of 2010 shows some 3,608 factory-built single-family homes were started in the third quarter, representing a 17 percent improvement over the same period in 2009; and that factory-built units have started to improve as a share of total single- family housing starts. In raw numbers, that may not immediately impress, but consider the population variation. The population of Canada is approximately 33,700,000, compared to some 307,000,000 in the U.S.

The healthy market has attracted a number of U.S. companies to become certified to do business in Canada where communities are being updated and renovated. There are also important distinctions in the market that some credit with the success of the industry in our northern neighbor.

The third-quarter report also showed a surge in imports of manufactured buildings, and weak exports resulted in Canada registering a trade deficit of manufactured buildings, its first since the fourth quarter of 2008. The report indicates that although the U.S. still accounts for the majority of exports of manufactured buildings, demand should continue to waver as the housing market in the U.S. remains depressed.

Kathleen Maynard, Executive Director and CEO of the Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute, spoke with MHMSM.com about some of the differences between the market and regulatory environment in the U.S. and Canada.

A major difference, and one that has kept the market strong and attracted U.S. companies, is the fact that chattel loan financing is for the most part readily available in Canada.

Maynard explains the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides chattel loan insurance for manufactured homes when land is not involved.

“If you’re putting a home into a land-lease community without purchasing the land, then they provide the insurance to facilitate those sales,” Maynard says. “It’s required you need to get mortgage insurance with less than 25 percent down payment. CMHI provides that.”

A five percent down payment requirement is typical in Canada. The maximum amortization period on chattel loans is 25 years. Effective March 18, the maximum period is 30 years for other mortgage loans. Maynard says other features of the two types of loans are consistent. Default rates on chattel loans are not available.

Perhaps most notable is that Maynard says there is typically appreciation on homes purchased with chattel loans in Canada.

“There would be a comparison made of recent purchase prices of similar homes in the area, and factors such as improvements and retrofits made would be taken into account,” she says.

While manufactured homes in the United States are somewhat distinct from other forms of both factory-built and site-built housing because they follow federal manufacturing and safety standards, Maynard explains there is no equivalent to the HUD Code in Canada.

“There’s no across-the-board federal standard,” Maynard explains. “Anything produced in the factory has to meet the same requirements.” In some ways, she says, it may be easier to have factory-built housing installed in Canada. All factory-built housing must meet standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

That’s not to say local building officials aren’t able to at times restrict the placement of manufactured housing. Local building officials do have the authority over technical requirements.

For example, Maynard says some local jurisdictions don’t approve homes built to something known as the Z240 standard, which she says is the closest thing Canada has to the HUD Code.

“If it’s just built to CSA Z240, they may not approve it,” she says, explaining that that standard has recently been updated to mirror the national building code, which is voluntarily adopted by Canada’s provinces.

Zoning issues can also prevent placement of manufactured homes in Canada, but that, she says, is largely due to issues surrounding terminology and outdated regulations. These issues are particularly acute in the province of Alberta.

This is not to suggest the grass is always greener across the northern border. The industry has had its ups and downs in recent years. Maynard says while 2008 was generally a very good year for the industry, 2009 was terrible, and while 2010 started off strong, there was a bit of a decrease in the second half.

“Most economists are projecting deceleration for 2011, but not a complete collapse or anything; just a downturn in keeping with demographic requirements,” Maynard says. “Prior to economic meltdown, we were producing at levels above what was projected by demographic requirements. Particular markets were very hot. What they’re saying now is a return to normal. 2009 was below normal. 2010 and 2011 are stabilizing.

Regionally, Maynard says Quebec and Ontario did better in 2010 than 2009 and activity in British Columbia is on the rise, but Alberta is “not as hot as it used to be.”

“There was a huge boom in Alberta and Saskatchewan in ’06, ’07 and ’08,” Maynard says. “It’s not as hot as it was, but still good there. No market is experiencing a huge boom.”

Maynard says “the landlease community option has been more attractive to first-time buyers looking for lower cost, or seniors who want to free-up equity and spend half the year in Florida. Typically the industry has looked to those consumer segments.”

While manufactured housing typically makes up ten percent of single-family housing starts in Canada, Maynard says, as for over-all starts, multi-family is accelerating faster than single-family.

“It could be due to housing costs, aging population, all sorts of things,” she says.

While the hottest industry topics in the United States seem to center around financing and regulation, the most talked about issues in Canada are an aging population and how that affects the number of sales and type of units and how design might be affected, a shortage of skilled labor and the use of social media.

“The shortage of labor is in a way a result of aging population,” Maynard says. “The average age of a brick layer is something like 68. There are a range of federal and provincial programs trying to deal with that.” For example, she says the ideas of additional apprenticeship certifications and allowing apprentices to move across provinces are being explored.

Maynard says the aging population is resulting in more multi-generational households, so demand for homes with two master suites, as an example, is on the rise.

The biggest difference, Maynard says, between the industries in Canada and the United States is the distinction made between manufactured and factory-built housing in the U.S. That distinction isn’t made in Canada and may be the reason why what is called manufactured housing doesn’t have much of a stigma across the northern border.

“There has been a lot of positive press (in Canada) with improvements in design and green technology and with manufactured housing being an environmental choice,” Maynard says. “There’s interest in the architect and design community. Developers and planners are seeing it as a good green choice.

“We talk more about factory-based construction,” she says. “That’s been a way to address the stigma. That was a concern for many years. There’s more of a recognition that with certification and quality control, waste-management and protection from the weather, the benefits are more recognized.”

President Obama’s Regulatory Executive Order Puts HUD Regulators on the Spot

January 20th, 2011 No comments

MHARR LogoAttached for your information and review is a copy of a Executive Order regarding federal regulation just issued by the White House on January 18, 2011. The Order, released in conjunction with a companion Wall Street Journal article by the President on over-regulation, marks a major policy shift by the Administration that has implications for manufactured housing as a federally-regulated industry.

In fact, it appears this Order almost could have been written with the HUD Code manufactured housing industry in mind. Its focus is on promoting the type of fair, reasonable and open regulatory environment that the HUD Code industry needs to thrive while serving consumers of affordable housing. Among other things, it states, as Administration policy, that the federal regulatory system, while protecting health and safety, must also advance “economic growth, innovation, competitiveness and job creation” through an “open exchange of information” that includes “affected stakeholders” – exactly the opposite of what is happening today in the HUD program.

Consequently, after carefully examining the Order overnight, MHARR, on January 19, 2011, acted to press HUD officials to fully comply with this Order as it relates to all aspects of the federal manufactured housing program including, most importantly, its ongoing rapid expansion of in-plant regulation. This expansion, which began innocuously as a program of “voluntary cooperation,” is now being transformed into a full-blown de facto regulation that will needlessly increase regulatory compliance costs passed to consumers by manufacturers and retailers, as the ongoing expansion now appears to target both. Details of the latest phase of this expansion, developed entirely behind closed doors, are emerging piece-by-piece, having been adopted without any official procedures.

All of this is addressed in detail in the attached copy of MHARR’s self-explanatory January 19, 2011 MHARR letter to HUD Assistant Secretary-Federal Housing Commissioner, David Stevens, a copy of which is attached for your information and review. This letter addresses the ways that the President’s January 18, 2011 Order applies to – and must alter – the practices of both the HUD regulatory program and HUD’s consumer financing programs, specifically including the FHA Title I manufactured housing program, which has been subject to severe limitations which thwart competition and market growth.

We urge you to carefully review this package, as it provides details of the latest phase of HUD’s ongoing expansion of regulation – mandatory three-day audits and costly enhanced Subpart I involvement by third-party inspectors – that are on-course to be imposed on manufacturers and retailers, because the industry establishment in Washington, D.C. refused to join forces with MHARR in order to force HUD to comply with the law by going through consensus committee and rulemaking procedures. Now, as shown by the attached letter, the industry has a major task on its hands to try to stop this.

MHARR, therefore, in an effort to curb and reverse the course of this runaway expansion of in-plant regulation, will now include and use the President’s Order and its January 19, 2011 letter to HUD in its overall ongoing activities with the 112th Congress, to demonstrate how HUD is violating the Administration’s own policy.

We will continue to keep you apprised as new developments on these issues unfold.

Danny D. Ghorbani, President
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform
1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 508
Washington, D.C. 20004
Phone: 202/783-4087
Fax: 202/783-4075
Email: mharrdg@aol.com

Why is Louisville so Important?

December 14th, 2010 No comments

Until only in recent years, the heartland of America has been the center of the market for low and moderate income families who have a special fondness for manufactured housing as a viable alternative to less affordable site-built housing.

Photo from Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

From the Northern reaches of America’s breadbasket in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Minnesota to the south-central states of Kentucky and Tennessee, with strong central Midwestern states representation by Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, manufactured housing has appealed to both urban and rural home buyers; this in spite of the many myths about wind safety aspects of factory built homes. Some of our finest retirement communities have been built around many Midwestern urban areas, such as Chicago, Detroit and Michiana. So-called modular homes built to the wide-ranging, ill-defined state codes, hasn’t had the impact here as they have in Northeastern, New England and Mid-Atlantic States.

Is it the affordability? Is it the prices? Is it the home designs? Or is it just the relative ease with which so many Mid-American families find manufactured housing a good value? I guess only an expensive survey will tell, but who cares?

Photo from Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

For many years running, the most successful of showcases for our uniquely American form of housing in mid-Western markets has been the Louisville Show. Coordinated by Showays’ Dennis Hill, it has a reputation for not only putting on a great physical display of the latest in home designs by top manufacturers, but it also provides the many attendees with a wide range of products and services that support these unique homes, ranging from the latest in home financing options and home insurance, to new innovative products for safely installing homes, accessories to supplement the homes, and the latest in insurance, wholesale and retail financing programs.

The show is popular not only with retailers and developers, but with their staffs, installers, salespersons, and suppliers. The introduction of many new innovative concepts in HUD code and Modular homes have started trends in the industry that are prevalent today. A highlight of the show is the many seminars and industry speakers bringing timely subjects to the industry.

January’s 2011 show will also offer insightful seminars that can help you grow your business or address specific needs. In addition to the many homes and booths, the conference speakers will share their decades of experience for those who attend.

  • George Allen will be presenting his “Ah Ha! Oh, No” formula for calculating the ideal pricing of homes and site for long term success.
  • Ken Rishel will be presenting a must-attend topic for many who are looking for new sources for chattel financing. He should call it, “Yes, you can!” with captive finance. But whatever the title, it is good material that every community owner needs to hear, and many retailers should listen to as well.
  • Don Westphal has become the go-to guy on the topic of Community Series Homes as well as being the stand-out man when it comes to development or redevelopment of a community.
  • Bob Stovall and L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach of MHMSM.com fame will be presenting their marketing magic ideas for driving traffic to your retail or community locations. Check out their “Dominate Your Local Market!” presentation. I saw Tony’s talk on a similar theme in Phoenix, and gave him a 10 out of 10.
  • Finally, I will be presenting an intro on site and an off-site presentation on how you can get manufactured housing community financing or refinancing – yes, even in today’s more challenging lending environment. ‘Tony’ Kovach will act as moderator for this off-site event, with Bedford Lending being present to help with a little-known, but very valuable FHA 207m private lender loan guarantee program. Learn more or sign up for that seminar at this link. This important seminar is to be held for from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. the afternoon of Thursday Jan 13th at the nearby Louisville Crown Plaza hotel, which is adjacent to the Exposition Grounds, and is easily accessed by car or the shows’ internal transportation system.
Photo from Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

More than ever before, the MH industry needs to gather up our resources, spruce up our thinking and light up our resolve to bring new life to a waiting American public. With all our Nation’s problems associated with high unemployment and large numbers of foreclosures, manufactured housing homes look even better than before as a real, viable alternative to more expensive site-built homes. New financing programs like the FHA Title I program, existing programs like the FHA 207m community financing program, and green home building options being offered by some manufacturers are concrete proof of our commitment to the general public in bringing safe, affordable, functional housing to Americans. There is an energy and opportunities aplenty to learn at a manufactured housing show that you simply can’t get any other way.

And it will all start in 2011 with the Louisville Show. I’ll be there, and I hope to see you there too!

Editor’s Note: Photos of the 2006 Louisville Show by Edward ‘Eddie’ Hicks

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By Eddie Hicks
Consultants Resource Group
Lic. RE Broker, Lic. Mortgage Broker
(813) 661-5901 Office
(888) 264-6472 Toll Free
www.mobilehomepark.com/
www.factorybuilthome.com/
www.Interlokhome.com/

FHA207(m) Loans for M/H Land Lease Communities Seminar

Why Go to the Louisville MH Show?

December 8th, 2010 1 comment

As a 39 year industry veteran, I have always been a sucker for industry shows. I hear arguments that with the industry shipments down that we should cancel the shows and focus on survival. While I have significant experience focusing on survival, I believe industry shows are a way to send the message out that we will not be beaten down.

My career in the industry began in Georgia in 1971 where I remained until moving to Texas in 1983, followed by a move to Oklahoma in 1988. For many of those years in Georgia, a high point of the year was making the journey to Louisville, in horrible January weather, to go to the Louisville Show. Why was that trip important to me despite the cold weather and taking time away from my own business? The opportunity to see new innovations as they were being introduced, instead of months later; the chance to visit with industry friends that have come in from vast distances across the country; the potential of finding a new product line before my competitor saw it, and the benefit of being able to learn and grow at the industry seminars that were always a part of the event.

My last trip to Louisville was in January 2008, which happened to be the 50th anniversary for the show. I can again say that I enjoyed the trip and even picked up a new product line while I was there. I can’t say that for absolutely sure I will make it to the 2011 Louisville show. I can confirm that I will do my best to do so.

I have had the pleasure of serving as chairman of The Great Southwest Home Show for the third year running. Like Louisville, The Great Southwest Home Show is held in an indoor facility (The Quick Trip Center). No rain problems during set-up, show days or tear-down. No generator rentals or air conditioning expenses for the manufacturer exhibitors. The Tulsa show is located at almost the geographic center of the United States and is serviced by several major airlines including Southwest. The 10.5 acre Quick Trip Center is also configured in such a manner to provide adequate security to allow for several days of Public Days following the retail period of the show. Supplier exhibit booths are conveniently located in and amongst the area where the homes are displayed.

Retailers, especially in the states contiguous to Oklahoma should not miss the opportunity to travel a very short distance to experience the thrill of seeing a huge display of exciting homes all located under one roof at one time. The educational seminars are a bonus. A bonus we got as an industry last year was that HUD brought its staff to Tulsa and held the meeting of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) in Tulsa in conjunction with The Great Southwest Home Show and Oklahoma’s state convention for the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHAO). The show and convention were enthusiastically received by both HUD staff and by MHCC members and the newly appointed Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD, Teresa Payne was the keynote speaker at the MHAO convention. The opening remarks by Teresa Payne at the next MHCC meeting held in Washington DC were to express thanks for having had the opportunity to hold the meetings in conjunction with the industry events in Oklahoma.

I believe we should support all of the industry shows that we can possibly attend. In addition to attending The Great Southwest Home Show last year, I took the time and the travel requirements to attend the Tunica Show and I enjoyed every minute of it. I will do my best to do so again in 2011, just as I said I would for Louisville. As industry members, I believe we should support and attend all the shows that are within reasonable travel access.

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Doug Gorman, President, Home-Mart, Inc.
Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee Member (MHCC)
Manufactured Housing Education Institute (MHEI) board member and past chairman
Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHAO) board member and past president
Award-winning retailer in Tulsa, OK

Going to the 2011 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

December 5th, 2010 1 comment

It’s great news that the Louisville Show is returning in 2011. It demonstrates that producers of factory built homes and services are positive about the future of our industry. It would be so easy not to be positive. We seem to find new impediments affecting our business every day. However, leaders are able to see further down the road. The bad laws will either be amended somewhat, or the industry will adapt. For those of you around in 1974, that was supposed to be the end of the industry because the federal government was taking over the supervision of the industry’s building code. We’ve had many such declarations of doom since the beginning of our industry. Some people just don’t believe it and figure out a way to proceed. When the Louisville Show didn’t go forward earlier this year, most people didn’t figure it would ever return. They were wrong. Thanks to forward thinking, it is back!

Let’s think about how remarkable this quick comeback really is. Many producers have found it easier and less costly just to have a show for their own retailers at company-owned factories. In that fashion, you don’t have your retailers looking over other homes at a larger setting like the Louisville MH Show. Business is difficult now. If you have a strong retailer, it might be easier to use this method, hoping the retailer won’t go to anyone else’s show.

But, on the other hand, if you’re part of a large show, then you might attract other retailers. As a company, you need to have confidence in your product. What better way to find out if your new model works than to show it off to as many retailers as possible.

In addition to the industry confidence displayed by this decision of bringing the show back, there are other benefits in having the show. For retailers and community owners, having a show of this magnitude is an excellent opportunity to visit with a large number of industry personnel and experts. Studies have shown that much of our learning experience comes from incidental learning. Going to a show, like the Louisville MH Show, gives one plenty of exposure to having informal conversations with other attendees and with experts on a wide array of topics. Formal learning is also important. The 2011 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show will have seminars on topics important to all segments of the industry.

Finally, there is just something special in being part of a large scene like the Louisville Show. When you get that many people together, there is an energy created that can’t be replicated at your office or factory. That’s why most executive directors enjoy our annual meetings. Sure, we find plenty of things to worry about: will that speaker I hired really do a good job… will the food be o.k., etc.?

What we enjoy is seeing our members come together, get excited about things, and create an energy that can propel some advancements.

That’s what the Louisville Show is all about. Even though Iowa is not a cosponsoring state, many Iowa retailers buy homes from producers who will be showing homes, products and services in Louisville. I know that Iowa retailers, as well as retailers and community owners and all industry personnel from throughout the trade area of the show, will be looking forward to attending the show in January.

Congratulations are in order for those who have brought this great show back into existence! Now it’s our turn to demonstrate the same confidence in the industry by attending and engaging ourselves in the 2011 Louisville Show, January 12-14th.

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Joe Kelly
Executive Vice President of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), a 63-year-old trade association located in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Louisville Show is a Must Attend Event

December 1st, 2010 No comments

Louisville Manufactured Housing Show - January 12-14, 2011The Louisville Show is rich in history and tradition, and for many of us, memories of times gone by. For some, that would be reason enough to attend, because they see the Show as important and worthy of support as an industry statement of who and what we are. This show has chronicled our history and progress from 8′ wide “wobble boxes” to 32′-wide HUD Codes that are structurally superior to most site built housing.

Others need much more to take the time and money to make the trek to Louisville. For them, the Show offers a chance to network with others in the industry and learn things they don’t know that could affect their choices and decisions in their businesses. In the past, much of this has been informal, but now Dennis Hill has stepped it up, and garnered experts to put on seminars and workshops on a variety of subjects vital to those planning on staying in the industry, at no charge to the attendees of the Show. These seminars are reason enough for community owners and retailers to attend.

The seminars are just the beginning, however. The Show is, as it should be, the biggest and best place to gather information about the new homes and products that are available. It is amazing how many retailers and community owners think they know what’s out there, that actually don’t know about products and homes they should be considering. This is the place to discuss why levers on doors, wider doorways and halls, and taller toilets can significantly increase sales when marketed properly. This is the place to learn about selling brand new homes into a community for $32,000.00 and still have a real profit of $5,000 or more.

It is the place to learn about the latest trends in financing from Title I, to low interest loans to A credit borrowers, to the burgeoning new opportunity that owner assisted captive finance presents. It is a place to learn about new trends in set-up and installation, from skirting to lower perimeter enclosures as well as marketing techniques to generate more foot traffic.

The Show also offers the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. It also creates a venue to relax after hours with others who appreciate Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” at places like Howl at the Moon, or for industry rich conversation over dinner at the Brown Hotel. What more in the way of reasons does one need to be there?

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Ken Rishel of Rishel Consulting Group and Precision Capital Funding is the industry-acknowledged expert on owner assisted chattel financing. In addition, he was a highly successful community retailer and community owner, as well as working with an outside lender during their growth to a national force in manufactured housing. He has been on the Board of Directors of two state associations, was appointed by the Governor to serve as the first chairman of the State of Illinois Manufactured Housing Quality Assurance Board, and is a nationally recognized and sought speaker within the manufactured housing industry. He serves on the MHI Task Force on Dodd-Frank, and his company was the MHI winner of the 2010 Service Supplier of the Year Award. He is also the author of the Chattel Finance Newsletter, which has over 9,000 subscribers.

Information on the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is available here.

A Book Review – The Manufactured Housing Revolution

November 21st, 2010 No comments

“Revolution” (The Manufactured Housing), Edited by L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach July 2010 published by MSMHM.com.

When one thinks about the pejorative “living in a trailer,” the term “revolution” doesn’t normally come to mind, but when you read Tony’s latest publication, it’s easy to understand how the nascent transition to manufactured housing is upon us. He has created a compendium of noted experts who are on the “cutting edge” of manufactured housing, concluding we are truly on the “edge of a revolution” in housing.

How so, you say?

Well, this collection of recent articles and columns from widely divergent aspects of this uniquely American industry supports the concept that manufactured housing is poised to take advantage of the many families who have, in effect, been disenfranchised from safe, affordable, functional housing through the loss of their primary residence.

Intended for industry veterans and newcomers alike, it provides some helpful viewpoints on such diverse subjects as: selling manufactured homes in a tough marketplace, getting yourself up for the sales confrontation, understanding the corporate disconnect and handling issues such as the myths about tornado damage.

Thought provoking articles include: “The Power of Now” by John Underwood, “Upgrading Your Image” by Don Westphal, “Changing Perceptions” by the Editor, “Fight, Flight, or Freeze” by Amy Bliss, and from the ever popular motivational guru Zig Ziglar on “Pos-Zig-ative Thinking.”

Tony adds: “Sound implementation of proven strategies don’t cost, they pay.” And, “If you aren’t getting the results you want, then change what you are doing … but don’t change for change’s sake.”

Test the possibilities! Tony’s collection of works by successful manufactured housing industry experts can show you the way.

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Edward “Ask Eddie” Hicks
>Lic. RE Broker, Lic. Mortgage Broker, Columnist for the Journal of Manufactured Housing
(813) 661-5901
Easteddie@aol.com/
www.mobilehomepark.com/


This book is available at the The Manufactured Housing Revolution website. Now through December 31, get $5 off during the holiday special.

Let’s Finish the Dream!

November 18th, 2010 No comments

Along America’s Main Street – I 80 in Elkhart, IN – a Las Vegas style sign invites all to visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame! A bright sign shines on a nearly complete Hall of Fame honoring the history and history makers in the RV and manufactured housing industries. Now it is time to finish the dream.

The Hall of Fame has applied for a $6 million USDA loan to construct the MH Hall which is the final component of the complex. The RV industry has done its part building its beautiful display hall despite the economic downturn. Now it’s our turn.

The loan will retire the Hall’s $3 million debt (on an $11 million complex) and build a 15,000 foot MH Founder’s Hall. There will be 20 acres of blacktop, lighting and improvements for outdoor rental venues as well.

To make this all happen, the Hall has to show that its financial house is in order. This winter the Hall will experience a serious cash flow shortage. The Hall has assets that vastly exceed its liabilities, but cash flow is another matter at the moment. During this Holiday Season, please send a charitable contribution to the RV/MH Hall of Fame at 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart Indiana 46514. www.rvmhhalloffame.org

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Ross Kinzler, Exec. Director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA)