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The Train To Oblivion

May 16th, 2011

The MH train comes off the tracks.

It took me a while in the early 2000s to recognize a sea change had occurred in MH chattel lending.  Always chattel lending had been a loser for virtually every lender involved in it.  But it had powered the MH industry to 20% of all new housing starts, being responsible for up to 80% of all purchase money MH loans up to about 2000.

What always put new lenders coming into the industry to sleep is that with a growing loan portfolio size, the first 3-4 years of loan growth mask the true loan performance of the portfolio for the entering chattel lender.  But once the portfolio size stabilizes, one can gauge the true portfolio performance going forward. It will show very poor performance.  The lender will usually panic, not knowing what to do.  The smart ones, not too many of those, will shut down the program right then and take their losses.  Most others will muddle on as the employees try to keep their jobs by assuring their bosses that they can handle it.  They never can.  The program will ultimately collapse as things get even worse.  “Take your losses now or take bigger ones later.”  Some choice.

Before year 2000, the process went through repeated cycles of this start-hold-collapse for chattel lending by innumerable lenders, starting in the ’50’s.  Always new lenders came lured by the “high rates” available in chattel lending.  Few seemed to recognize how difficult it was too succeed in MH chattel lending.  None wanted to recognize that it didn’t matter how high interest rates were, only how much of them you kept in the end.  All believed they were smarter than the previous failed lenders, and would do a better job than those before them who had failed.  Few did.  (Boy, did I tire of hearing that crapiola!)

But in the early 1990’s  Wall Street money came to chattel lending.  Those were happy days!  Money grew on every Tree, especially Green ones.  A bevy of retail lenders came from 1991 on, all of whom were going to out-GreenTree GreenTree, the industry giant.  All these lenders got easy access to “Wall Street” money, at least for a awhile.  The infamous Asset Backed Securities provided liquidity for loans as seldom before seen in chattel lending.  Since nothing had changed from the underlying difficulty of surviving chattel lending, few, if any, survived this bout as the industry peaked at 372,800 new home shipments in 1998, and started a descent which has yet to end.

It took me awhile to recognize this sea change in chattel lending.  Few of us foresaw the true depth of the problem.  But by 2001-02 I could see that this time it was different.  Always in the past new lenders had come to subsidize the industry with the losses they took with unsurvivable chattel lending.  In the past 50 years these horrific lender losses had allowed HUDCode factories to flourish, retailers to become millionaires and land lease community owners to keep parks full, even as many shamelessly raised rents.  Again, this was all subsidized by terminally flawed chattel lending.  It went unrecognized.

But worse, the Wall Street boys do not like taking losses up the butt and started to dissect the reality of MH chattel loan performance.  What they found was chilling.  Losses for the best paper in LLCs were in the 30-35% lifetime range.  In the scratch-and-dent category, losses sometimes exceeded 100%. But worse, now that they knew, they blabbed the information to the world.  Several Wall Street firms tracked MH chattel loan portfolios closely and put out monthly reports of the carnage.  This differed from the past, when lenders, mostly banks, S&Ls and credit companies took their losses and seemed too embarrassed to tell the whole world of their travails.  After all, just a year before they were widely touting how great the chattel MH portfolio was performing and the great contribution they were making to “affordable housing”.  That would change soon enough.  Little did they know then how great their “contribution” was to be.

Here is an interesting sidelight:  I’ve identified above the recipients of the lender’s losses.  Note I did not include the borrower.  Yes, they got into a home they should not been able to buy, but they hardly ever got to keep the home.  Either they couldn’t afford it, or when they tried to resell it, they were unable to, for a variety of reasons.  This brought divorces, loss of home, children changing schools and all the other personal tragedy the loss of a home brings.  Few apologies here by the industry.  “We gave them a chance at home ownership was the industry refrain.”  Swell.

By the time GreenTree/Conseco collapsed around 2001-2003, the MH chattel world had changed.  Forever.  Most did not recognized it.  It was said to be just a periodic pullback.  The industry would return, they said, it always had.  Lenders had lost their nerve.  We could get the GSEs to bail us out.  We could get “Duty to Serve.”  If they won’t do it, then Title I will.  To this day we have Pollyanna’s carping this drivel.  “Its simply a matter of better sales training.  Now subprime is done, it will allow MH to return.  (Forget MH chattel lending is the King of Subprime.)  We are the only provider of non-subsidized affordable housing.  Its simply a matter to fix HUD Subpart I.”  In the face of a 90% reduction in volume, can it be that these thoughts still drive an industry?  It seems unimaginable.  (New to MH and the Subchapter I quest?  It is a part of The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 dealing with recalls, home installation and handling consumer complaints on MH.  Like Don Quixote, the industry DC operatives, live to believe that only these DC quests are important.)

Around 2005-2006 the industry still had enough muscle to have faced that we were operating from a Failed Industry Model.  The Roper Survey told us that.  All of the reasoning above would not save us.  Only an acceptance that drastic measures were needed could have changed it for us.  Since we refused to act, “The Market” did it for us.  It punished tone-deaf MH business behavior with ruthless abandoned, and is still doing it.  The industry still doesn’t listen, though one wanders whether trying to really do something about it would have any impact at this point.  Frankly, I doubt it.  The high home value depreciation and high loan losses at increased loan volume seem impenetrable.  We have failed to move against this, even if it is possible to do so, which is daunting at best.

With Dodd-Frank and SAFE in place, and other regulatory devices sure to come, the impediments to an easy, even a difficult industry response are many.  n the face of this we are still worried about Subpart I?  Were we to get everything we wanted there, how many more homes would we sell? Heaven help us that this is the response of a terminal ill industry by its leaders.

As with all struggling businesses, the industry has scurried to try to make up for the existing industry model deficiencies.  Don’t have Greenseco-type chattel lending available?  Heck, start some buy here-pay here and create your own.  Want to keep rents coming in?  Buy homes and rent them out.  Many came to MH to escape the apartment business, but are now doing a version of apartments far worse than real apartments.  Overlook the regulatory constraints, the illiquidity of self-lending loans, roll up your selves and go to WORK, boys and girls.  Hey, it worked in the past going back to the 1950s.  Oh, really, and how did they handle Dodd-Frank then, did you say?  Or SAFE?  Oh..

Its a changed world and having lost our own lending business here we’ve transacted since 1972, we are impacted as are most others.  We are not and will not be alone, as the industry gets closer to 40,000 shipments than to 50,000.  At those numbers, I can only assume a whole new tier of businesses are endangered, as most of us scramble to avoid facing the prime business dictum:  Get out of a dead business.  This is bolstered by my own Prime Dictum:  “Never mind what people are saying, watch what is happening”.  And what is happening is an open book.  All can, or should be able to read it.

I suppose those folks who went to those long-ago industry speeches I gave, rolled their eyes then as I correctly prophesied the point where we now are, can point to their own acumen.  Come on Marty, it can’t get that bad they said!  Sitting there now with 50% LLC vacancies and unsalable self-financed loan portfolios as their response, they can take solace in their prescient course of action.  Of course.  Frankly, I would much prefer to have been wrong, very wrong.

So what does this all mean?  I hate to say it because I’ve tried to remain in the same industry as you have, but my industry left me.  Has it left you?  What is the next stop on this train to oblivion?  # #

MARTIN V. (MARTY) LAVIN
attorney, consultant, expert witness
practice only in factory built housing
350 Main Street Suite 100
Burlington, Vermont 05401-3413
802-660-9911, 802-238-7777 cell
web site: www.martylavin.com
email mhlmvl@aol.com

Editor’s Note:  We have honored the author’s request to post his article “as is.”  As with all our Industry Voices Guest articles, we invite reader response and dialogue, either public (by posting a Discus response below) or private (phone or email).  Thanks for reading and getting involved!

  1. Spencer
    May 17th, 2011 at 10:27 | #1

    Marty makes some excellent points, but one I don’t think he devoted enough attention to is the repo costs in land-home deals.u00a0 Prior to the late 80’s our industry did pretty well.u00a0 Practically all sales, and hence all loans, were to residents of MHPs/LLCs.u00a0 LLCs were full.u00a0 Street dealers rented lots as soon as they became vacant so they had a place to put the next MH they sold.u00a0 When buyers defaulted, lenders efficiently repossessed the homes and resold them.u00a0 MHs were secured when they were vacated.u00a0 They didn’t have to be moved. They could be rehabbed efficiently. Repo rates might have been high but repo costs were low, predictable, and manageable.nnThen came the land-home deals.u00a0 All of a sudden a MH buyer could be (almost) like a site-built buyer – his own 1/4 acre of paradise.u00a0 No one cared if that half acre happened to be at the end of a gravel road in the middle of nowhere or across from the county dump or next to Joe’s Salvage Yard.u00a0 MHs were tied to LAND – physically and contractually!u00a0 Buyers loved the idea.u00a0 Dealers loved it even more.u00a0 And lenders were beside themselves with glee.u00a0 Mardi Gras moved to Wall Street – let the good times roll!nnThen came the collection problems and the repos.u00a0 Mr. MH buyer changed jobs and/or phone numbers and there was no park manager to leave a note on his door saying his lender called to say he’s behind on his payments.u00a0 Collections agents drove 50-75 miles, often in circles, trying to find their collateral on one loan.u00a0 If they were lucky they found the home – but then no one came to the door.nnBy the time the lender repoed the MH everything but the kitchen sink was missing.u00a0 Actually the kitchen sink was also usually missing.u00a0 The lender contracted with street dealers to move the vandalized MH to the dealer’s lot, rehab (correction:rebuild) it, resell it (competing with new MHs on the lot), move it (again), and set it up – on another 1/4 of paradise.u00a0 Wall Street “suits” might have been dumb enough to buy hundreds of millions of dollars of those loan packages but I don’t believe for one minute that lenders didn’t see the writing on the wall.nnWhere’s the industry headed?u00a0 Right where financing leads us.u00a0 And I think that will involve a contrarian lender dusting off a business model that worked pretty well 30 years ago: financing MHs in LLCs.u00a0 Admittedly it won’t be at the production/sales volume witnessed during our go-go years – but it’ll be enough to keep some lenders in business.u00a0u00a0u00a0 Site-built lenders are making money today selling 5%, 30-year loans on the secondary market.u00a0 Add some nuances to in-community financing of CSH homes like community owner recourse so everyone has skin in the game.u00a0 Also add 300-400 basis points and reserve accounts to cover repo costs and tell me it won’t work – and I’ll refer you to thousands of community owners who will prove you wrong.nnSpencer RoanenAtlanta, Ga.nNot a consultant, a conventional lender, or an attorney – just a community owner.

  2. Gfa7156
    May 17th, 2011 at 11:34 | #2

    Let’s begin where Spencer Roane left off. Huh? If you haven’t read his immediate response to Marty Lavin’su00a0commentary, do so beforeu00a0continiuing here. Thanks.nn”…thousands of LLCommunity owners who will prove you wrong (Marty).” is what Spencer penned. And I agree. Not about the majority (i.e. $ history lesson) of Mary’s musings but the latter part. Marty gave short drift to what is generally and successfully occurring in landlease (nee manufactured home) communities throughout the U.S. today. What?nnSelf – financing of on – site sale of new and resale homes, as well as selective renting of homes in supportive local housing markets! Oh, and did I mention a hybrid form of lease option? Marty onlyu00a0makes passing mention of these practices, probably because he’s no longer a LLCommunity owner (that I’m aware of), so a bit out of touch. But here’s how it’s working among the many businessmen and women I know who’ll ‘do what it takes’ to get the ‘rent meter running’ on the ground under manufactured homes, modular homes, ‘park model’ RVs, sited thereon – new and pending financial regulations notwithstanding.u00a0nnNo, as one travels the U.S. today, it’s common parlance and practice to talk of, and implement those methodologies, just like ‘resident relations’, property valuation, and management certification have been the popular topics in past days. Self – finance is commonly either ‘buy here – pay here’, which Marty indeed mentioned, or ‘captive finance”, which he didn’t (that I recall), and now most recently, hybrid lease option. And of course, if you were present at the MHCongress in Las Vegas last month (where Marty was not), you know ‘rentals’ have been discovered by some of the new management execs ito our asset class. Some of us cut our teeth on ‘rental units in mobile home parks’ back in the late 1970s, requiring our tenants to pay their rent weekly, to keepu00a0collections under control!nnPoint to all this? Sure, most of what Marty pens is true; same with Spencer’s observations. But hey, if you’re an entrepreneurial businessman or woman, ‘business is still good’ for those of us in the LLCommunity business under these key conditions: Do not let greed influence your decisions (e.g. rent increases), insofar as possible be in supportive local housing markets, and insist on trained, capable, experienced, motivated on -site staff, both managers and sales professionals. To which I’d add, ‘and stay informed by reading news and guidance penned by known industry leaders and successful consultantsu00a0writing here at MHMSM.com and my weekly blogu00a0community-investor.com.nnGeorge Allen, Realtor, CPM Emeritus, MHMnConsultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &nthe Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Classngfa7156@aol.com or MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

  3. Anonymous
    May 17th, 2011 at 13:49 | #3

    This is an important Industry discussion, and I only wish to add a brief quote to facilitate the dialogue:nn”What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.” -nnG. K. Chesterton

  4. David
    May 17th, 2011 at 15:33 | #4

    I would add this. I may be in the minority but I do not believe our industry in tanking and becoming obsolete. But I don’t think we will ever see a 500,000 unitu00a0year again either. nHere’s what I do think we must start thinking about, a new market and a newu00a0way to approach them. nEx-u00a0AARP reports the average age of people needing assisted type care is 85. They retire at 65. That’s 20 years ofu00a0somewhere they will need to live. nHarvard University saidu00a0a report in 2003 55 percent of seniors had incomes of less than $15,000 and 23% had annual incomes of above $25,000. nA president of a firm that specializes in affordable elderly housing will dominate the market in the future and his newest project is small two bedroomu00a0units that rent for $475-$775 and there is 350 person waiting list. nMany people are soured on buying homes as what they thought was a good investment has dug them into a hole they can’t get out of, a home that is not worth what is owed on it. nPeople are living longer lives, but their retirement investements, including their homes have took a huge hit. They must now choose to continue working or downsize and live on less. nBeginning Jan. 1, 2011, every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn age 65. This will happen every single day for the next 19 years. nAnother AARP survey of Boomers reports that 40 percent of them plan to work “until they drop”. nMy point is that park owners and mfgs. need to clean their glasses. Our conversation should not be about a dying industry, but rather an industry that needs to adjust our sites for a market that needs our housing, they may just not know it yet. nChattel Lending as we knew it may not return, but where there is a need, someone will find a way to make it happen. nLike the movie, if you built it they will come, believe me, with 10,000 a day wanting to retire, they will come. And we better be ready for them with a product, a community and a new attitude or our customer base. nu00a0

  5. Spencer
    May 17th, 2011 at 16:02 | #5

    If LLCs are going to account for significant new MH sales in the future (and I think they will) AND if LLCs are being positioned to address the needs of affordable house (and I think they should), “someone” might give some thought to the number of LLCs that will “go away” in the next 5-10 years.u00a0 Many, built on the outskirts of metro areas 20-30 years ago and now surrounded by high-priced development, are worth more for their land value than their capitalized NOI.u00a0 Admittedly land values have dropped over the past 3 years, but they will be back.u00a0 In Ga. our powers-that-be won’t rezone land for LLC development within 50 miles of any significant population center.nnSpencer RoanenAtlanta, Ga.u00a0

  6. May 17th, 2011 at 19:06 | #6

    Spencer,nnWe’ve had a lot of folks write and comment that they would be willing to help make the changes that are necessary to ensure the future success of the industry, but need some guidance as to where to put their energy.nnYou’re comment thatu00a0 “In Ga. our powers-that-be won’t rezone land for LLC development within 50 miles of any significant population center” highlights just one area that needs to be addressed by LLC owners if this segment of the market is going to grow in the event that the current vacant homesite continues shrinking.nnDespite current vacancy rates in many established communities, now is the time to be thinking of future expansion of available homesites in areas in which the vacancy rate is low.

  7. Spencer
    May 18th, 2011 at 11:48 | #7

    Bob,nnI believe that our industry is like any other in that positive changes occur when those who buy our products are impressed with the product – and that message gets out to other prospective buyers.u00a0 Our “product” is a lot more than a house.u00a0 It’s also quality, functionality, appearance, affordability, service, warranty, and longevity.u00a0 The communities we offer must be safe, quiet, attractive, pleasant places to live and to raise families.u00a0 I think all segments of our industry are working together today like never before to provide a great product.u00a0 Those who need help can find it in the form of others in the industry working toward the same goals, national meetings, consultants, informative newsletters and subscription services, and services offered by our state and national associations.nnMany suggest that the biggest challenge we face today is financing.u00a0 Obviously changes need to be made in financing to make it “work” for the lender, the manufacturer, the dealer, and, most importantly, the home buyer.u00a0 I suggest, however, that improving the image of our industry is just about as important as financing, and that the two are very closely tied together – in that improving our image will bring more better-qualified buyers to our sales offices.u00a0 Also, every dealer and community owner now promotes his own product in his own market, effectively recreating the wheel thousands of times over every day.u00a0 No central advertising campaign or program promotes the overall industry, presents the bulk of the message repeated by each individual advertiser, and effectively ties the industry together.u00a0 I can’t name any other product which is successfully sold nationally without such a program.nnWe all know that national advertising doesn’t come cheap.u00a0 That’s one of the reasons I’m excited about the program we’ve been discussing over the past two weeks involving new, in-community CSH homes for FEMA disaster relief.u00a0 As David said, we have an opportunity to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Our best, most functional, most attractive, and most affordable homes could be showcased helping victims of every type of natural disaster.u00a0 We could help FEMA develop a more efficient, cost effective program, we could help our image as well as FEMA’s, and we could provide the exit strategy for such emergency services that FEMA must have to effectively carry out its mission.u00a0 AND, since disaster relief is a national issue, we could share the costs of promoting this program, FEMA, and our industry on a national basis.nnSo my suggested “guidance” is that we continue to improve the product we offer (recognizing that product has many facets), support our state and national associations, and encourage our national association to develop a national advertising and public relations program.nnSpencer RoanenAtlanta, Ga.n

  8. Anonymous
    May 18th, 2011 at 12:26 | #8

    Spencer, like you we favor an Industry Image/Education/PR campaign.u00a0 In the ideal, it needs to be tied to self-improvement.u00a0 We put coaching and tips in our feature articles by experts, precisely to give Industry pros tools to improve.nnBetter customer service, happier home owners and residents, would be huge for our Industry.u00a0 We have a great home product!u00a0 But we need to make sure people understand our value.u00a0 We are professionals and business owners must give our best to the public. nnThen, we need to have financing that performs, or who will lend?nnTo all,nWe have had a number of comments made privately by phone and via messages.u00a0 These are often quite in agreement with Marty’s points to the following extent.nnMarty says, look at the facts.u00a0 There may be hope, there may be pockets of success.u00a0 But as an industry, we are still sliding down hill after a dozen years.u00a0 nnThat 12+ year slide is the wake up call for us.u00a0 nnThat tells us that we need to look at the underlying causes of the problems that brought us here.u00a0 nnFinancing and image/PR are in that mix of what needs correction.nnThose who know me or our MHMSM.com work know we are solution and goal oriented.u00a0 We believe in this Industry!u00a0 But we also believe we must look the cold, hard facts in the eye and then deal with those real world issues.nnIt strikes me as interesting that the more supportive comments of Marty’s article have been private rather than public.u00a0 nnI think Marty deserves high marks for the guts to stand up with an unpopular message.u00a0 George has an anonymous writer in his monthly Allen Letter.u00a0 We have one here on MHMSM.com too.u00a0 Marty is writing under his own name, and saying look at the long running problems and wake up!nnWhy should it be so scary to state the facts, and ask that we deal with them?nnBottom line, I agree with much of what the comments have had to say that there are those who have success, those who are making money, etc.u00a0 But pockets of success are not an industry turn-around!u00a0 Until those limited success stories become the routine, we have a problem that needs to be dealt with.u00a0 I will blog on this today, along with another item on our Masthead blog.nnu00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0 “What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.” nnu00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0 – G. K. Chesterton

  9. Nancy
    May 18th, 2011 at 12:50 | #9

    u00a0Sure we are in the most difficult times right now and Marty makes some good points, however to paint an entire industry as greedy, unthougtful and uncaring is not what I have seen. There are more good people than the few who have caused the situations we are in now. Been in the industry for almost 30 years (I was very young when I started) and I have seen its ups and downs and right now I feel like we are being attacked from many sides as we struggle to survive. If financing issues and regulations are not enough, we have many other federal, state and local regulations coming at us from every angle. I do not believe that we are on the train to oblivion. There are so many bright intelligent industry leaders out there that will not let that happen. Out of the ashes the Phoenix will rise. We have so much to offer, so many housing opportunities for Americans, not just in LLC’s, in many housing scenarios. We must build back consumer demand and all of the other things will fall into place.nnNancy

  10. Mike
    May 18th, 2011 at 18:46 | #10

    u00a0This is probably the finest and most frank commentary I have ever read regarding our industry. u00a0I suppose this would be a good time to remember that a dying industry doesn’t mean we’re dead yet. u00a0(Rampart, start an IV with ringers lactate and transport as soon as possible) u00a0We all need to take a gut check from what this gentleman wrote. u00a0I also love the comment David posted that we need to refocus our markets. u00a0Time to get creative to save ourselves! u00a0It is true- u00a0if you want to stay in this business- u00a0roll up your sleeves, work hard and smart. u00a0If not, bail and don’t look back. u00a0

  11. Jim Reitzner
    May 19th, 2011 at 16:28 | #11

    u00a0Marty Lavin is a great guy and an industry friend. I have disagreed with him about this fundamental fact: if we offer the consumer a value proposition and support it with a sound business plan and adequate capital structure, the Land-Lease Community/ Resident Finance Program can be very viable. To do this the community owner needs to be involved and engaged with their residents and have the infrastructure to make the plan work. He is correct, chattel lending is dead and the business as we knew it is history. However those who adapt and adopt the above will continue to be the best “affordable housing” providers in the US, and will survive and be profitable.nnJim Reitzner, Asset Development Group

  12. Anonymous
    May 20th, 2011 at 20:28 | #12

    To further add to this discussion is an ‘on the record’ view from an MH Lender:nnhttp://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/industryvoices/if-you-don%E2%80%99t-go-forward-you%E2%80%99re-not-going-to-go-anywhere/nnYou can read this lender’s Industry Voices article linked above.u00a0 Then post a comment or reply via his email address at the end of his reply to Marty Lavin’s article.

  13. Derrick Hachey
    May 23rd, 2011 at 17:39 | #13

    u00a0I think Marty’s passionate thoughts are spot on. The long and the short of it is that the days of sitting and waiting for things to get better or return to ‘normal’ are long passed. We need to stand up and do something or this industry will continue down the spiral. The time for action is now. Need financing? Talk to Ken Richel, Dick Ernst, or Bill Carr…they are doingu00a0wonderful things with captive finance. Need updated or fresh product? Demand your manufacturer to provide it, or find one that will. Need sales training? Talk to Joe Adams. Need internet services and marketing? Talk to me. nnThis industry has some of the brightest minds going…let’s take advantage of that and get things turned around. With a little hard work, we can do it.nnDerrick HacheynManufactured Home Sourcen206-364-4221nn

  14. Derrick Hachey
    May 23rd, 2011 at 18:25 | #14

    u00a0I’d also like to commend Tony and his team at http://www.MHMSM.comu00a0for providing such excellent Industry news and articles such as this…we need to be aware of and talking about all of the issues that haunt us, and Tony makes sure we are all at least aware of them, and provides a professional forum for discussion. Hats off to you, Tony. nnI also suggest that you speak with Tony regarding any marketing or sales training needs you might have, when I spoke of the bright minds in this industry, his is one of the brightest.nnSomethingu00a0I’d like to add to my initial comments: if you feel a national image campaign is just the thing we need…don’t wait for it to come to fruition, start at your own business, with your own staff…be the change you want to see in the industry.

  15. Anonymous
    May 23rd, 2011 at 19:05 | #15

    Derrick,nThanks for your comments and compliments.u00a0 Let me sincerely return the compliment, your firm and the other players you mentioned are each ways that this Industry can use existing talent and resources to make a turn around a reality.u00a0 Many many not realize the level of commitment that MHSource has made to ‘be the change’ that can help firms improve their business.nnAn industry turn around is done one business, one person, one location at a time.nnWhen enough people/businesses buy into a new mode, a new paradigm, then you have the making of success.nnIt is my understanding that Marty Lavin will provide us with more meat for us all to consider. nnThose who have not yet seen this lender’s comments on Marty’s article, should check out this Industry Voices blog post:nnhttp://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/industryvoices/if-you-don%e2%80%99t-go-forward-you%e2%80%99re-not-going-to-go-anywhere/

  16. Rnodel
    May 25th, 2011 at 00:37 | #16

    Finally an analysis that I believe provides a realistic appraisal of the current conditions in the MH industry.

  17. Boevine13
    June 21st, 2011 at 19:05 | #17

    Folks the truth hurts.u00a0 Knowing Mart as I do I couldn’t agree with him more.u00a0 There are opportunities but we have to know who we are, what we can do based on a realistic basis and go forward accordingly.u00a0 I’ve also penned a few articles about this stuff for the Merch as well.u00a0 My own view is that we are our own worst enemy and quite often shoot ourselves in the foot out of laziness, greed or just not be willing to do the right thing.u00a0 That folks don’t like hearing that…have you ever liked hearing sentiments like that about yourself or your industry?u00a0 Tony. you should get marty to contribute more…nnBoe Davis

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