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Posts Tagged ‘Tulsa’

ObamaCare and Manufactured Housing, Take Two

December 19th, 2013 No comments

In Obamacare, a Different Perspective, a well meaning Texas retailer advances his speculation that through the wonder that is Obamacare, fewer of our housing prospects will be forced into medical bankruptcy and a typical manufactured home retailer or stick built homebuilder might enjoy an increase of five or six sales per year. I believe our Texas retailer is well meaning with his speculation but several factors are not included in observation.

First: Having Obamacare does not mean you will be free from a risk of medical bankruptcy. Given the higher premiums being forced onto unwilling buyers along with massive deductibles, the risk of bankruptcy has in all likelihood been increased. Although we encounter very few medial bankruptcies, most of the ones I have encountered are able to find a path to home ownership because the medical burdens of the past are behind them. Under Obamacare the misleading information that premiums would drop has proven to be one more burden on the current administration as it proves to be untrue.

Second: Employers have laid off workers, decided to cancel expansion plans that would have required new workers and cut back the hours of existing workers due to the regulatory burden of complying with Obamacare. I have lost far more sales in 2013 due to these factors than a hypothetical increase in sales might have brought about had Obamacare been in place at the first of the year. We can get the bankrupt prospect past that event in their life and onto a path to homeownership. I can’t say the same for a client whose hours have been significantly reduced to the point of not budgeting for a reasonable house payment or a client who has lost their job.

Third: This same client will now be forced to purchase a federally mandated level of coverage which is an even greater drain on his discretionary income. Lower discretionary income means a lower likelihood of qualifying for the loan.

Fewer jobs, lower income, part time jobs, higher outgo, lower discretionary income will most likely not add up to an increase in business for the housing sector whether it be site built or factory built. Off topic, but to this mix you can add the new Qualifying Mortgage and other Dodd-Frank rules that will further erode sales. We need to dig in and adapt the best we can to all the changing rules that are headed our way. I respectively suggest that Obamacare will not be a boon to sales as was suggested.

doug-gorman.jpgRespectively,
Doug Gorman
Home Mart
Tulsa, OK

The Chairman’s View – Great Southwest Home Show in Tulsa

May 28th, 2010 No comments

Quick Trip Center with the "Golden  Driller" the largest free standing statue in the world.
Quick Trip Center with the "Golden Driller"
the largest free standing statue in the world.

The Great Southwest Home Show concluded its second year and had the added feature of a Public Days segment to bolster its viability. Due to time restrictions on the availability of the facility, Public Days were held on Friday evening and all day Saturday after the conclusion of Retailer Days on Friday afternoon. Over 1500 people attended Public Days and the retailers showing homes expressed high levels of satisfaction with both the public’s reception to the display and the actual sales results that occurred during the public display period.


The Great Southwest Home Show had two other events associated with it. One event was the state convention for the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHAO). MHAO conducted the convention in tandem with the show in an effort to assist manufacturing participants in streamlining expenses. Instead of a trip to Oklahoma for a show in the Spring and a return trip for a convention in August, a single trip sufficed. The convention attendance was much higher than had been experienced for about a decade and plans are to keep the events linked in the future.

Manufacturers enjoy the benefits of an indoor facility.
Manufacturers enjoy the benefits of an indoor facility.

The second event held in association with the Great Southwest Home Show was the face-to-face meeting held at least annually by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) along with assigned staff members from HUD’s offices in Washington, DC. I had originally proposed this associated meeting over a year ago when the first Great Southwest Home Show was held. Bill Matchneer from HUD did attend that show and was sufficiently impressed to bring about the associated meeting for the second year of the show. The meeting participants were allowed special access to the display homes on Wednesday afternoon prior to the official opening of the show on Thursday. Both HUD officials and committee members were greatly impressed by the quality and affordability of the thirty plus homes on display at Tulsa’s Quick Trip Center. Some of the meeting participants had never been in a manufactured home prior to those they toured at the Great Southwest Home Show. Hopefully HUD will see the benefit of at least periodically holding the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee in association with the Great Southwest Home Show.

Supplier booths are conveniently set up in the middle of the  display homes.
Supplier booths are conveniently set up in the middle of the display homes.

While Bill Matchneer had been the driving force behind getting the MHCC to Tulsa for the show, his replacement Teresa Payne did not skip a beat as she led the HUD delegation and the MHCC to the event. HUD staff and the MHCC members attended the MHAO convention dinner on Wednesday evening and Teresa Payne wowed the crowd with her opening line (“Manufactured Housing rocks!”) as the keynote speaker at the convention dinner. The dinner marked the first time in its almost 10 year history that the MHCC committee had actually attended an industry event and got a chance to converse with a broad spectrum of industry members.

Teresa Payne highlighting the HUD Code label

Teresa Payne highlighting the HUD Code label

The Quick Trip Center in Tulsa is an ideal facility for hosting such an event as the Great Southwest Home Show. The Quick Trip Center is largest open span structure in the United States with 10.5 acres that is indoors and air conditioned. With in-floor electricity to each display location, generators are not needed. Manufacturers can set up, conduct the show days, and tear down and not have to worry about whether or not rain storms are headed their way. While dealer traffic was lower than expected on Friday overall manufacturer’s response was positive with several reporting that they planned to increase the size of their display next year.

'Dualing remotes' being set up by two radio stations for public  days.

‘Dualing remotes’ being set up by two radio stations for public days.

Educational seminars were also included in the show agenda at no charge for the attendees. Speakers were John Delves and Kurt Kelly. John Delves taught three sessions that focused on selling skills and performing well in a down economy. Kurt Kelly addressed 24/7 communication with clients. All seminars were well attended and both speakers received great reviews. The seminars are conducted on the day before the show opens in the same format that I enjoyed some thirty years ago when I would go to the Louisville Show. We plan to continue to offer the educational seminars which also serve as Continuing Education credits.

Aisle shot at the QT Center

Aisle shot at the QT Center

Retailers that stayed over to work on Public Days paid extra for that opportunity in order to cover the promotional expenses for the time period. As mentioned previously, the retailer response was overwhelmingly positive. The Great Southwest Home Show has a unique ability to conduct the Public Days since unlike other shows in the nation, the Great Southwest Home Show is conducted in a secure indoor facility and in is located in a large city from which to draw the attendance. We look forward to growing the show and conducting it for many years in the future. Special recognition and thanks need to be given to both Deanna Fields, the Executive Director of MHAO and Dennis Hill from Show Ways Unlimited. Both worked tirelessly on the event and were crucial to its success.

Doug Gorman
Show Chairman
The Great Southwest Home Show

For more information and photos, see Suzanne Felber’s report and Tony Kovach’s photo report.

Coming Together in Tulsa – The Great Southwest Manufactured Housing Show

May 9th, 2010 1 comment

The Great Southwest Manufactured Housing Show

Welcome sign at The Great Soutwest Manufactured Housing ShowHave I mentioned lately how much I love my job and being a part of the factory built housing industry? Every day is a different journey, and you never know where you’ll end up or who you’ll meet. Tunica gave me a chance to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in awhile, Congress was an incredible opportunity to meet Jim Clayton and hear about his journey, and then before I knew it I was on the road to Tulsa for the Great Southwest Manufactured Housing Show – driving a very large Penske truck, I will add.


Buck Teeter, CEO of American Homestar welcoming visitors
Buck Teeter, CEO of American Homestar welcoming visitors
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

This was my first time attending or working on a home for this show so I wasn’t sure what to expect. After arriving late I found that the movers that were supposed to be there to help put the furniture in my home bailed on me, but my knight in shining armor (also know as Rob Greenlee with Ascot Draperies) went above and beyond and helped me get the furniture in the house and put me ahead of schedule. This pretty much set the tone for week – a community of great people who may be competitors but they were all happy to be there and keep the factory built housing industry moving forward.

Champion Homes of Texas Kitchen
Champion Homes of Texas Kitchen
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

The facilities were beautiful and the staff that worked there were great – they could not have been more helpful. It was also a great thing that the show was indoors – some high winds blew in that would have made it difficult for an outdoor show. Some of the manufacturers went all out – American Homestar and Legacy brought quite a few homes and each did a beautiful presentation of what they do. Hart Housing came all the way from Elkhart, IN – this was their second time to participate and were pleased with the results from last year. Everything from small single sections to modulars was shown, and every home was a great example of what factory built housing can offer consumers. Palm Harbor went all out and had houses that were so extensively decorated they could easily have appeared in a magazine, and Platinum Homes showed a spectacular tiled shower.

Champion Homes of Texas Bath
Champion Homes of Texas Bath
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

One of the really special things that was evident at this show is that there are some manufacturers that have definitely turned the corner, and are back better than ever. I was honored to merchandise the Champion Homes of Texas showhouse, and their new look and options were very well received by retailers and consumers alike. Their new strength is being seen in all areas of their homes and when I spoke with Sales Manager Marc Medders after the show he said they had picked up some new retailers at the show as well as some possible retail sales so they were very pleased with the results from the show. Fleetwood Homes was also there showing what is possible after their merger with Cavco Homes. Ray Parma, General Manager of Fleetwood in Waco stated that they are seeing a lot more activity and that they are now able to bring people back to work that have been laid off for over a year.

Palm Harbor Homes Kitchen
Palm Harbor Homes Kitchen
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

The biggest down side to the show was the lack of retailer support. There seemed to be very little retailer traffic, but the retailers that did attend were very pleased with what they saw. If manufacturers are going to continue to make the financial and personnel commitment to put on shows retailers are going to have to make it worthwhile for all.

Platinum Homes Bath
Platinum Homes Bath
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

I heard good things about the retail days, and I hope this is a trend that will continue. Until consumers understand what we have to offer they’ll continue to look some place else for their new home.

Fleetwood Homes Sunken Living Room
Fleetwood Homes Sunken Living Room
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

We have lost a lot of manufacturers, vendors and people the last few years, but I think that the people who have survived this downturn are here to stay and there are really good things ahead for all of us. If we can continue to work together, participate in the shows and spread the word about what we do there are exciting things coming for all of us.