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A Cup of Coffee with Scott Jones1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title in the industry, your association roles, etc.)

Scott Jones - I am back in the industry after a break of several months while I established an on-going business called EZTravelpad - a travel agency with a strong online presence. Check it out at www.eztravelpad.com - it's a better option in many cases than going with other online travel providers + we offer individual service also.

Currently I am back in the MH industry selling in 2 large MH communities- 1 is all adult 55+ and the other is for families of all ages. Both are located in Elkhart, IN. Business is solid.

Previous roles in the industry have included running dealerships in Indiana and North Carolina, wholesale factory sales rep and/or sales manager for Champion, Clayton, Commodore, Liberty & Redman in a variety of markets ranging from South Carolina to Montana. Additionally I spent a number of years in the mortgage industry so have first hand insights into their prior implosion.

Also served on the board for Indiana Manufactured Housing Assn.

2) Background (brief Educational/Professional snapshot before entering the factory-built housing arena):

Grew up in the industry - Parents had a MH community, and a sales center in Terre Haute, IN from mid-60s until late 80s. I remember un-boxing furniture and screwing the legs on the bottoms of couches when I was about 8 years old - remember when our homes all included furniture & decor?

Attended Rose-Hulman Institue of Technology and Indiana State University.

Was absorbed into the industry full-time previous to completing my higher education.

3) When and How: (When and how you got into the Manufactured Housing Industry. Some of the roles you've had in the industry, companies, titles, Associations, etc.)

As I mentioned earlier, I grew up in the business. My father built a MH park in mid-60s, served an instrumental role in IMHA during some of the good years. My mother was 1st female on that board, and I think I may have been the youngest to serve, but not certain of that fact. I remember the day my father and Paul Stiner were floating in our pool and decided to bring an ex-military man with no industry experience in as Exec Dir of IMHA - that man was Holt Blomgren. Memories are funny

I was exposed to, worked with and for some great people who made a difference in this industry - there are still some great people in this industry - it's hard to imagine right now, but our best days may still be in our future!

4) What are your personal interests or hobbies? How do you like to spend non-work time?

I love to travel, hence the travel agency. It's a big world, and I intend to see as much of it as I can. My wife and I have no children so are free to enjoy our pleasures as they present themselves - skiing, traveling, dining, going to the movies. I am finding there isn't much free time these days, but am resolving for 2010 to make changes to insure more down-time. I'm currently reading a bit on restructuring priorities and time management.

5) As a wholesale rep and in your Association roles, you've seen a lot of different things over the years. What was memorable? What do you see that has lessons for the industry today? For example, you mentioned in a blog post a story out of California that many may find of interest, and you can go on from there if you'd like.

I was relating a memory of a time back in the mid 80s when I was on the board with IMHA. We had a significant sum that had been collected in a fund from manufacturers and retailers. We were deciding how to use the funds. I suggested an institutional ad campaign. I thought we could afford to produce a campaign with a celebrity like Paul Harvey or someone else who people trust to act as an industry spokesperson sharing the virtues of manufactured housing. I was told that California had tried such a campaign but it hadn't worked so we moved on to another plan. I was later told that California had hired Art Linkletter, and the reason that the campaign had failed was because TOO MANY customers showed up at dealerships that were ill-prepared to meet the customer's expectations.

Look around - you know that this industry has had a habit of under-delivering on our potential.

I have traveled extensively and met with hundreds of retailers. I have done business with people who did it right, and those who didn't. Perhaps I shouldn't have enabled those NOT doing business the way they should. Perhaps none of us should have and we'd be better off today as an industry.

I remember traveling North and South Carolina in the mid & late 90s, seeing homes crammed into retailers' storage lots - 2, 3 & 4 years worth of inventory - and it wasn't just in the Carolinas.

Manufacturers paying retailers under the table to buy more and more inventory - totally unsustainable. Retailers turning a blind eye to unscrupulous salespeople inventing income docs on their computers. Lenders turning a blind eye to phony down payments. It was a house of cards that we ALL built. It's human nature.

6) What do you consider the largest challenges facing the industry today?

Two things -

Financing and capitalization are the biggest challenges.

There needs to be some reasonable financing available for HUD code homes placed on private property. I think something like the Fannie Mae Select program is a good start. Financing will gradually come back, but make no mistake, underwriting is going to be tougher for a long time so we need to develop a product and niche to attract the home buyer that CAN afford something else but chooses not to go the site built route. It's NOT all about price. It IS all about VALUE.

7) What are the biggest challenges to retailers and associations today?

Survival. Maybe it's time for new alliances and partnerships?

8) How would you like to see the industry respond to these challenges?

Think urban renewal, think public transportation, think green, think outside the box.

The MH industry has an opportunity to sell the baby-boomers 1 more time, and THIS IS our LAST shot at them. Demographics are in our favor as economic forces have dealt the economy a big punch in the gut, and many people have downsizing on their radar. Our industry is totally capable of serving this huge market, but it involves selling them a lifestyle, not just a house.

The days of the traditional street dealer may never come back like they once were, but the days of the developer may be upon us like never before. The boomers want to buy into a lifestyle. Low maintenance, convenience, affordability, efficiency. They are not interested in a large home on an acre in the country with a well and septic tank and a riding mower that needs repaired. They are interested in a nice home close to the grocery store & church. They want a home that's safe, with neighbors looking out for them if they decide to go away for a few weeks or months. They want a community that they can count on to help them after their hip replacement because the kids live 2 time zones away. I believe this is the new buyer for the MH industry.

9) From your perspective, what are some significant initiatives associations you know that have been undertaken to support the industry and its future?

I know there are some good people at associations across the country. I like the Wisconsin Housing Alliance and Amy Bliss' "Tomorrow's Home Foundation" initiative. This is something that could gain a lot of traction in the press and provide excellent PR.

PR is free.

10) What do you think the broader industry can do to improve the climate for Manufactured/Modular Housing today?

Each of us must go to work each and every day dedicated to figuring out how we can provide a better value - and that doesn't mean figuring out how to cut a corner or provide a cheaper widget. It means making the experience of buying and living in a MH better.

11) What are your thoughts on promoting an industry-wide image building campaign, ala the RV Industry's noteworthy Go RVing multi-media campaign? Do you think a regional/more localized marketing/PR campaign would work better than a national campaign? How would you suggest the industry avoid the very issue you noted in your California/Art Linkletter post if there were a regional or national campaign?

I believe in institutional advertising and I believe in associations, but I don't think a national campaign is feasible due to the regional differences in our industry. It's a different buyer with a different mentality from one market to the next. Sure, there is some commonality, but Detroit and Chicago are totally different markets than Lansing and Springfield - let alone the vast differences between Connecticut and North Carolina, etc.

It is way to premature to talk of institutional advertising when we're in survival mode, but social media may be an answer - maybe it's time for each of us to use YouTube, Facebook & Twitter to their fullest potential. As an example, I know of a MH dealer that has an ad that has gone viral on YouTube. It has been viewed over 1,023,138 times in the last 2 months. Someone was thinking outside of the box.

Daily Business News Briefs

Work Stops on Massive Modular Housing Project in Big Apple; Ratner, Skanska…

Work Stops on Massive Modular Housing Project in Big Apple; Ratner, Skanska at Odds

Following a series of stories MHProNews  posted regarding the development of the 32-story, modular housing project by Forest City Ratner and construction partner Skanska intended for Brooklyn’s Barclay Center, work has come to a halt in a bitter dispute over tens of millions of dollars in cost overruns. Skanska idled 157 workers in the ...

02 Sep 2014

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Michigan MH Residents Prepare for Summer Storms

Michigan MH Residents Prepare for Summer Storms

The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) reminds occupants of system-built homes that potentially damaging summer wind and rain storms are at their peak and residents should ensure that roofs are in good condition and rainwater is directed away from the foundations. While manufactured homes (MH) are built to strict federal standards...

02 Sep 2014

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New Home Sales Fall Second Consecutive Month

New Home Sales Fall Second Consecutive Month

According to numbers released by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U. S. Census Bureau, sales of newly-built single-family homes dropped 2.4 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 412,000 units in July. Initially, according to the National Association of Home builders (NAHB), sales fell 8.1 percent in...

02 Sep 2014

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Modular Multifamily to Rise in Michigan

Modular Multifamily to Rise in Michigan

The Lansing (Mich.) City Council has approved plans for developer Harry Hepler to build 200 modular apartments on the city’s northside, as lansingstatejournal.com informs MHProNews. Summit Street Development LLC has received a conditional use permit to build housing on the property that is zoned heavy industrial. Mr. Hepler says Metro Flats...

02 Sep 2014

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Modular Workforce Housing Planned in Mississippi

Modular Workforce Housing Planned in Mississippi

The possibility of up to seven billion barrels of oil in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation in southwest Mississippi and central Louisiana has led the McComb (Miss.) Board of Selectmen to vote in favor of annexing 40 acres for the construction of a 535-unit modular workforce community. Shale Lodge will include a cafeteria, laundry and […]...

01 Sep 2014

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Hoarding along with dozens of cats found at home in MHC

Hoarding along with dozens of cats found at home in MHC

“Is there an unwritten rule that every third MHCommunity has someone who hoards and/or has a bunch of cats?” quipped manufactured home industry consultant and publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. The comment flowed from the discovery of dozens of cats seized from the Niagara Mobile Home Park in Newfane, NY. “The stench coming from a […]...

01 Sep 2014

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Manufactured Housing’s Labor Day 2014

Manufactured Housing’s Labor Day 2014

Wikipedia says: “Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and […]...

01 Sep 2014

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William ‘Bill’ Steenberg, Award winning Steenberg Homes founder, Passage

William ‘Bill’ Steenberg, Award winning Steenberg Homes founder, Passage

William “Bill” Steenberg died Sunday, August 24, 2014, in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, after a short, courageous battle with cancer. His fiance Wendy was by his side when he passed away. Bill’s children, Julie, Shelly, and Jeffrey and his granddaughter, Miranda, visited a couple weeks earlier in Florida.  Bill founded and owned ...

01 Sep 2014

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Equity LifeStyle’s stock hit record high as August ends

Equity LifeStyle’s stock hit record high as August ends

The glow of investors and commentary for Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (NYSE:ELS) hit a peak as August drew to a close. ELS witnessed the stock hitting a record high on Friday. The stock traded as high as $45.81, up 39 cents from yesterday’s record closing price of $45.42. The Street, Trade-Ideas  and Chicago Business  were among […]...

31 Aug 2014

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INC names mancamp provider Reliant Asset Management 3rd fastest growing pri…

INC names mancamp provider Reliant Asset Management 3rd fastest growing private business

Barry Roman is the co-founder of Reliant Asset Management, a provider of mancamps in ND, Texas, Canada and other high demand housing markets. Roman says his modular building company’s revenues rose 55,000 percent in three years, to just over $85 million. Inc Magazine named Reliant to their annual list of high flying companies. Reliant is ...

30 Aug 2014

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Manufactured Housing Stocks Rising before Labor Day Weekend

Manufactured Housing Stocks Rising before Labor Day Weekend

The Dow slipped, while other U.S. exchanges rose and most tracked stocks went up in advance of the Labor Day weekend. Dow 17,063.88 -15.69 (-0.09%). Nasdaq 4,572.95 +15.25 (+0.33%). S&P 500 1,999.93 +3.19 (+0.16%). Yahoo! Finance’s Manufactured Housing Composite Value: 831.1. Today’s Change: +0.12%. Affiliated Managers Group (AMG)...

29 Aug 2014

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Featured Articles and Reports - September 2014 Vol. 5 No. 12

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UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

by L.A. "Tony" Kovach Years before Palm Harbor Homes went into bankruptcy and eventually ended up with Cavco Industries, Palm Harbor ran TV ads showing beautiful, “residential style” manufactured homes. Read more

MARKETING

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

by Nadeen Green, JD Many if not most manufactured housing folks truly make the effort to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act and are well aware of the need to... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

by C. William Dahlin, JD  As reported by major media outlets, a 6.0 earthquake hit Northern California  in late August on a Sunday. Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Pool and Spa Safety

Pool and Spa Safety

by Kathleen Bianculli While the end of summer is drawing near and pools in some areas will be closed for the season, in many areas of the country the pool never... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Do…

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Don'ts

by Nadeen Green, JD While a rose may smell sweet no matter what it may be called, names are in fact labels. Using the wrong label when you market your senior... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step P…

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step Program!

by Jerry Bretton In our previous report on SUN, we mentioned that Mountainside Financial has been making loans on manufactured and mobile homes for 14 years. Read more

FINANCING

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

by Ron D'Ambra Let's start by saying that, from a business perspective, MORE government involvement is not always viewed as a good thing. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

by Sam Landy Dear Friends, UMH Properties and Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (MNR) sponsor The Open Space Pace at Freehold Raceway September 20, 2014. The event begins with a 10:00 am parade of... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.) Sheila S. Dey, JDExecutive DirectorWestern Manufactured Housing Communities Association Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

by Dennis Hill We could name more than 5 reasons why manufacturers and exhibiting companies as well 5 reasons why attendees from the ranks of retailers, communities, builder developers, installers and... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories …

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

by L. A. “Tony' Kovach We will demonstrate that the cost of not selling more homes is always high.  Capital is tied up in your inventory, location, general overhead, personnel, marketing,... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Lead, manage or get out of the way

Lead, manage or get out of the way

by Tim Connor, CSP The world is changing at the speed of light. Everything is being touched by this accelerated pace of change. No person, entity, industry, profession, and no part... Read more

MANAGEMENT

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words = Enhanced Manufacture…

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words =  Enhanced Manufactured Housing  Professional Success Infographic

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach We'll share an infographic that explains in 4 easy steps how any MH Industry professional can learn more to earn more. Here is the infographic... Read more

MANAGEMENT

ZigOn Qualities of Success

ZigOn Qualities of Success

by Zig Ziglar Dr. William "Bill" Ross was truly one of a kind and was known for his sense of humor and his zest for life. He had exuberance for... Read more

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

by Tim Connor, CSP There are four significant areas when it comes to consistent high sales performance. They are: Self-image and self-esteem. Read more

SALES

Upcoming Events

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MHLIVINGNEWS.COM FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK

Classifieds

Press Releases

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is filling up fast and early!

Attendees, mark your calanders now, pre-registration will open on October 1, 2014. Exhibitors, Reserve your space now.  See download linked here.

the MHMSM Team 02 Sep 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Cl…

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Class of 2014 into RV/MH Hall of Fame

(Back row l-r) Thomas "Tom" L. Kern, Style Crest Enterprises; Ed Evans, EPM; Gary McDaniel, YES! Communities ; Richard "Dick" King, King Insurance (second row row l-r) Barry Cole, Manufactured Housing Insurance Services; Bob Livingston, Good Sam; John D Roba, Roba and Associates (front row l-r) Mrs. James F Shields. accepting on behalf of her husband,James F Shields (deceased), Pan Pacific RV Centers; Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices and Peter B Orthwein, Thor Industries. ELKHART, Ind., August 5. 2014 -- The Class of 2014 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) last night in Elkhart, Indiana, in a gala ceremony before a record breaking crowd of more than 440 family members, friends, and colleagues from across the country. The Class of 2014 includes: Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices;...

the MHMSM Team 05 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Ne…

Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Newport Pacific – Successfully Gaining Acceptance for Super Energy Saving, Green Manufactured Homes

Learn more at the article linked here, or by calling Steve Lefler, Vice President of Modular Lifestyles, Inc., a division of Newport Pacific Family of Companies at Ph. (888) 437-4587. Email steve@modularlifestyles.com. Steve is a Dual DRE and HCD Salesperson. Advanced Green Building Professional. CEC Solar Wind Retailer/Installer. http://www.modularlifestyles.com ##

the MHMSM Team 01 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire America…

Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire American Land Lease Manufactured Housing Portfolio from Green Courte Partners for $1.32 Billion

Increases Sun Communities' portfolio to 245 communities totaling nearly 90,000 sites in 29 states with a combined enterprise value of approximately $5.1 billion Southfield, MI, July 30, 2014 - Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI) (the "Company") today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio (the "ALL portfolio") from Green Courte Partners, LLC ("GCP") sponsored funds. The ALL portfolio consists of 59 manufactured home communities, including those acquired from American Land Lease, Inc. by GCP in 2009. The communities comprise over 19,000 sites in eleven states, including nearly 11,000 sites located in Florida. Over 14,000 sites, or 73%, of the ALL portfolio are age-restricted.  In connection with this transaction, the Company will assume GCP's right to acquire an additional manufactured home community pursuant to a binding purchase...

the MHMSM Team 31 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Fra…

Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Frank compliant non-MLO, MLO SUN Manufactured/Mobile Home Direct Loans and Refinancing

Using online articles, banner ads and video, Mountainside Financial is announcing the launch of the evolution of their direct lending platform promotion. As a division of San Antonio Credit Union (SACU), Mountainside has a unique 14 year history of making direct to consumer loans on manufactured and mobile homes. Direct loans are often done in "partnership" with brokers, communities, Realtors ®, other housing professionals and manufactured home retailers who refer consumers to them. Anthony Ducharme, Direct Channel Manager for Mountainside, explained how they created their new SUN System with Manufactured Home Professionals in mind who needed a compliant process to navigate SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank regulations enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "If you've been originating your own loans, talk to us. If you want to have a legally complaint...

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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