Posts Tagged ‘Tunica’

Finance Expert Dick Ernst of FinmarkUSA: introduction at Tunica Manufactured Housing Show 2014

May 20th, 2014 No comments

Editor's note. This public introduction was videoed during the business building seminars held during the 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

Note that the Speakers knew they were being filmed.


An exclusive interview with Dick Ernst is planned to be featured in our upcoming June issue. Dick moderated the finance panel at aDick-Ernst-Financial-Marketing-Associates-tony-kovach-mhpronews-com3 packed room of industry professionals at the 2014 Tunica Show. Dick Ernst also moderated MH home lending and commercial panels, in an overflow crowd during the 2014 Louisville Show.

Dick is a key figure in meetings with industry and public officials, including the CFPB, FHFA and more.


You'll get exclusive insights into the widely acknowledged top man in the manufactured home finance business, into industrymhpronews-interviews-with- finance issues, how to generate more profits and much more. Watch for it – and the. Watch it – in June!

More video Interviews available today are found at this link below.

Our thanks to Dick Ernst at for his profit-making and protecting leadership for businesses, associations and others, and my thanks too for his kind words shared in the video above. ##

(Image and video credits, in association with

Why Retailers and Community Operators should go to Tunica!

March 19th, 2014 No comments

As I read the digital 2014 Tunica Show brochure and business building and profit protecting seminar line up, it became crystal clear why Retailers and Community Owner/Operators ought to be in Tunica next Wednesday morning through Friday at noon (March 26-28)!

Retailers and Communities can get free:

  • Networking with your peers,
  • Compare Manufacturers side by side, over 80 homes will be on display!
  • Compare products and services needed by your business side by side,
  • Get the latest on Manufactured Home Lending available TODAY, from all the major lenders all under one roof.
  • Get expert guidance on Commercial Lending on MH Communities,
  • Get marketing and sales tips in the Dominate Your Local Market 2.0 Seminar, featuring manufactured housing marketing and sales veteran, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.
  • Compare CRM products in a free panel discussion with Scott Stroud and myself, and learn why they are a key to growing your sales in 2014 and beyond.
  • Get success tips on MH Communities (MHCs) from pros with successful firms who know!

Let me give you a quick snapshot of the last bullet point above, which will provide the reasons you need to grab your business cards, and have your photo ID so you can enter the Tunica Show, free!

In the last decade, as the numbers of retailers and shipments declined, manufactured home communities (MHC) have of necessity become on-site-home leasing and selling operations.

Communities have always had to do the types of services and duties that developers and multi-family operations have provided in the conventional housing world.

Tunica has become a magnet in recent years, attracting more communities as well as more retailers than in prior years.

Here is the line up of on the panel for MHC Lessons Learned, to be held Thursday, 10:00 AM – 10:55 AM on March 27th.

Success Tips from Manufactured Home Community Owners & Executives!

For anyone in or thinking about getting into the land-lease community business, this panel discussion is for you! Hear practical tips from community operators that can help you operate your community more professionally and profitably.


Jenny Hodge, Vice President of the National Communities Council (NCC), will be your panel moderator.

You can learn more about Jenny in this month's MHProNews exclusive interview A Cup of Coffee with…Jenny Hodge.


Among those on the three person MHC panel is Tammy Fonk, an Associate with the CBRE MH/RV National Group. Tammy was born and raised in the MH industry with two family owned communities. She operated the family owned company's sales and marketing business as well as having an active role in day to day community operations and resident relations. As a member of the MHRV Team, Tammy now works closely with public and private investors on building business relations and opportunities to enhance the Manufactured Housing Industry as well as the RV Resort and Marina properties in North America. Tammy works with owners and buyers of small, medium and larger communities in addition to representing large portfolio owners.


Maria Horton is a regional manager with West Coast powerhouse, Newport Pacific. Maria's bio is linked here, but having met her, let me tell you what her resume doesn't say. This is a warm, delightful engaging professional! You will love to hear here insights and experiences on this panel discussion.

rick-rand-great-value-homes-l-sam-zell-equity-lifestyle-properties-els-chair ... layton-clayton-bank-chairman-industry-voices-manufactured-home-pro-news

Rick Rand (l), Sam Zell (c), Jim Clayton (r)

Last and not least, is Rick Rand, who made quite a stir recently with this guest column. Rick was the subject of another interview, A Cup of Coffee with…Rick Rand.

If online registration for the Tunica Show is closed by the time you read this, don't worry! You can bring your business card and a photo ID, retailers, communities, builder-developers, realtors and installers will be able to sign up at the door, free with those credentials!

Let me close with a tip of the hat to L. A. Tony Kovach. Dennis Hill recently gave Tony quite the well deserved public shout-out, for his key role in the come back of the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

Community Operations executive Ted Gross, with Continental Communities praised his session as being the best marketing presentation he had seen since coming into the MHC business.

We've worked with Tony about 90 days now, and let me tell you from first hand experience his deep passion for the MH Industry.

Tony cares about the success of people, operations and loves to see happy consumers enjoying our product.

I don't personally know of anyone who gives more time away for the benefit of the industry.

Tony's consulting and banner ads have helped our company's growth and presence in MH significantly! On MHProNews, he brings out the articles, experts and tackles the topics others shy away from, and is a friendly, peace loving professional and family man.

When you think about it, Tony's efforts to inspire our industry to do more and grow at shows like Louisville and Tunica are part of the rising tide of sales in our industry. You may or may not know it yet, but he makes you money just by being here and spreading the good word about our industry on sites like and here on

These are among the reasons why I'll be voting for him as MHI Supplier of the Year, and I hope others that read this will consider doing the same.

We will be at booth 13H in Harrah's Convention Hall. Change your plans! Make your travel arrangements! Fly, drive or hitch a ride, but we hope to see you in Tunica for the 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show! ##

brad-nelms-coo-manufactured-homes-com-posted-mhpronews-comBrad Nelms

Electrifying Event!

January 20th, 2012 No comments

Wow! What a fantastic Louisville Manufactured Home Show! Since I had not been to the Louisville show in over a decade, I did not know what to expect in terms of attitude and atmosphere. If you were unable to attend, let me tell you that you missed a fantastic opportunity to network with some amazing and knowledgeable industry professionals. The excitement and optimism set the stage for an electrifying atmosphere. Whether your company is in retail, communities, manufacturing, finance, insurance, service or supply there were people, tools and resources available to help you succeed and grow. Various workshops, forums and seminars were conducted by some of the industry’s best and brightest.

Hopefully, a similar line up and opportunities will be available at the Tulsa and Tunica Shows in March.
My role as an industry observer that sought information for a doctoral dissertation enabled me to interact with professionals from different segments. As always, it was nice to see old friends from my own days in manufactured home retailing that have weathered the storm of the housing downturn. It was also an honor to meet and network with industry professionals that shared their knowledge and experience. Their presence is proof that companies have recognized the need for change and are proactively adapting to the market.
One of the common themes among show participants was the need to attract better quality buyers and develop strategies to compete with traditional site built homes.
The mindset seems to be shifting from targeting customers with marginal credit and limited choices to ones that can afford a traditional house, but who can be introduced to appreciate the value of a manufactured home. Of course, that is not suggesting that used homes or the 'traditional' manufactured home buyers have no place in the market because they certainly do! However, a long term plan must include a strategy for targeting prime customers as well as marginal customers.
The manufactured housing industry is consumer driven, meaning that consumer wants, needs, and ability to purchase are determining factors in strategic development. All of the segments of our industry exist to fulfill the housing needs of a customer.
One of the main disconnects in our outreach seems to be in the sales, marketing, delivery, and after sale communication strategies. According to Margarethe  Kusenbach's Salvaging Decency: Mobile Home Residents Strategies of Managing the Stigma of 'Trailer' Living published in Qualitative Sociology (2009), the negative stigmatization of living in a manufactured home influences a consumer’s buying decision. In order for the manufactured housing industry to flourish, the consumer perception of the product must change.
How is that accomplished? In part, by researching other industries to determine strategies that have been effective and implementing them to improve weaknesses. Although this requires changes at all levels, it can be done. Look no further than the motorcycle and RV industries for inspiration about how change in customer approach can change the perception. One approach I recommend exploring is the MH Alliance/Phoenix Project plan, that I reviewed last year.
A strategy that will not likely be effective is waiting for the government to step in and “save” the industry. Without going into a political tirade, the bottom line is that the manufactured housing industry does not have the resources to heavily influence legislation. This certainly effects financing options, especially with the lack of the secondary market. While the secondary market may be marginal to non-existent, the manufactured housing industry has something much more powerful – the PRODUCT! Industry professionals have shown their dedication and passion. Now is the time to get creative about competing with traditional housing.
As noted above and in my previous articles for, I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation as a requirement for the PhD designation. A doctoral dissertation is a long, tedious journey that involves identifying a business problem and researching the background and possible solutions. With over a decade of experience in the manufactured housing industry, my biggest obstacle at this point is narrowing down the problems and focusing on a specific issue.
Among possible dissertation topics, obviously, consumer perception can be considered one of the most important issues to resolve. Another potential focus is customer relationship management. Are retail dealerships and manufacturers using effective strategies to overcome and change consumer perceptions? Are some traditional marketing and sales approaches outdated? Would after sale communication help resolve the stigmatization and improve referral rates? Does the HUD code enable financial institutions to discriminate against manufactured housing? Any feedback and suggestions for a doctoral dissertation would be most appreciated. Please email me at with any comments.
The 2012 Louisville MH Show was a positive – even electrifying – experience. Many I spoke with are already planning to attend next year's event. Will you be there? # #
Lisa Tyler
Walden University

Showtime at Tunica

April 2nd, 2010 1 comment

I love the South Central Manufactured Housing Show – the weather can be as unpredictable as the economy is right now but you always have a great time. I hadn’t attended for a few years, but I believe in always being on top of trends and the market for my clients so I thought I’d attend and see what was new.

There has been lots of talk over the last few years about if we even need to have shows anymore – I truly believe we do. I do think though many times we miss a great opportunity of showing consumers what we do (and do well!) by not having a public day. Tunica is a great example – there is amazing traffic going by the homes every day (and these homes get set earlier than most shows so they even get more exposure) and I’m sure many of these are potential buyers. What I noticed this year is that Clayton and Southern Energy did some homes with beautiful exteriors, but they were in the middle of the show grounds with a sea of blah beige homes surrounding them – you couldn’t see they were there until you walked through the show. I would think that if the manufacturers worked together to help promote what we do to consumers and the press everyone would win. Another possibility would be having information from the different manufacturers available at the front, or even a website where they could get more information. On that note, this is one of the reasons I’m so excited about the Virtual Housing Show – it will give people a place to go and get information for more than the three or so days of a show.

Wednesday was an absolutely beautiful day – not too cold, not too hot, no rain and lots of beautiful homes to look at! One of the biggest trends I noticed is that manufacturers seem to be reverting back to neutral, simple exteriors, but the interiors had lots of that legendary “Alabama Flash”. Southern Energy was definitely the exception to that – their brick faced home was the one that everyone was talking about. It was a great example of how we can compete with site built homes. I personally loved the ranch house – it was a beautiful exterior and the bold colors and textures were really refreshing.

As far as interior colors, Franklin Homes were my favorites. A lot of the other homes started looking the same after awhile using the same colors and fabrics, but Franklin offered interiors that were simple,tasteful and used beautiful color palettes.

One thing I noticed, and I’d almost consider this a good thing is some of the homes had so much furniture in them it was hard for people to navigate through them. It was great to see so much traffic going through the homes – that had to make the manufacturers that were participating in the show happy! Space planning is so important and one reason why you do a model home. You should want to sell homes, not furniture and traffic flow in a show house needs to be a major consideration. On the other side of the coin if you under-merchandise it looks like you ran out of money. Hiring a professional that understands how to make a model home sell can mean the difference between the model becoming your top seller or one that sits on the shelves.

With Tunica being outdoors and so spread out many times I don’t get to see people that I know are there, but this time I was thrilled to see people that I knew doing their research. Craig Calkins from Cavco Texas was there as well as one of my favorite new Showtime at Tunica clients – Howard McGirt of Champion of Texas. Erv Bontrager of Commodore Homes was also there and we crossed paths in a couple of the homes. You can tell who the current and future leaders are of our industry are – they never sleep and are always out there learning.

I also spent quite a bit of time in the vendor spaces looking for new products, and there were some interesting ones there. My favorite was Syntec and the BeauFlor resilient flooring. The offerings were spectacular and this product just continues to provide a look and ease of maintenance that I personally would use in my home over ceramic tile or wood – it looks the same but has easy or no maintenance. Definitely a green,lifestyle product – perfect for busy families or people with pets. Syntec was very smart to bring Michael Huffman and Dean Sippel on to their team to introduce Syntec to the manufactured housing community.

Another group that it was great to run into was Russell Yancey and Chris Murray with Blazon International Group (BIG). They shared with me some of the new introductions they will be making and if you haven’t seen their products yet you need to.

My coverage of the show wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the amazing marketing campaign that Clayton did. As basketball was at the top of any sports fans topic list, what Clayton did with their “Tunica Madness” was the perfect example of a timely idea that was right on target for their buyers. They had trading style cards instead of business cards out in the homes that had the various sales people’s “stats” – what region they sold in, how many years with the company, and how many homes they sold in 2009. They had lots of games, fun prizes (branded with the Clayton logos) and huge inflated basketballs at each end of their area signed by “Commissioner” Kevin Clayton. Well done, and I would argue that this campaign would win over any I’ve ever seen a site builder do.

If you didn’t attend the Tunica show you should have – it had a lot to offer. But MHMSM and Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber would like to share what we experienced at Tunica, and have over 500 images from the show we would like to share with you. Just visit the Tunica Show Photos page and we’ll email you the URL and password to where you can view what we saw and loved.

Next stop – Vegas! We will be attending the 20th MHI Congress in Las Vegas April 13 – 15th, then on to the Great Southwest Home Show in Tulsa, OK April 29-30. A Lifestylist’s work is never done :). If you are at Congress please say hello – I’ll be with the photographer capturing images and ideas to share here. In Tulsa I will be presenting a Lifestylist Designed Home for Champion Homes of Texas. Hope to see and meet you soon!

Suzanne S. Felber photoSuzanne S. Felber, Lifestylist® Suzanne has been involved in the home building industry for over 25 years. She is a member and instructor of the Institute of Residential Marketing, was previously on the board of trustees for the National Sales and Marketing Council and is a popular speaker at various events including the International Builders Convention, The Manufactured Housing Industry Congress and Home Interiors and Gifts national conventions.
Her work has been seen throughout the country in various publications, showhouses and model homes. She has been featured on the HGTV program “Dream Builders” and her work has appeared in Home Magazine, This Old House Magazine and Home Depot’s StyleIdeas Magazines. Felber considers herself a Lifestylist® because home design truly has more to do with how a person lives within their home instead of current trends and fads. Felber is the only licensed Lifestylist® in the United States, and has merchandised successful site built and manufactured model homes from coast to coast. The Home Idea Factory is available for all of your design and decor needs including furniture and decor packages, product selections, and show homes. We can be reached at: 214-941-8341 or emailed at: – All photography by LAS Photo