There are numerous states that experienced a downturn in new HUD Code manufactured home shipments in December of 2018. Each of those, to varying degrees, merit their own story.
One that experienced a pronounced drop was the #1 production and shipment state in the U.S., which is the state of Texas. According to data that ultimately comes from IBTS collected for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHOA) said that year over year (YoY) December 2018 vs. 2017, Texas experienced a stunning 44 percent drop.
December 2017 2018 % Change
Texas 1941 1085 -44.1%.
But we will look for the next few moments at Arkansas, and their shipment data. Because like Michigan – which also is experiencing a downturn – Arkansas has invested in a nascent marketing campaign to boost their new manufactured home sales. We will note that Michigan in some ways has reportedly invested more and longer in marketing than Arkansas, but both experienced a drop in new HUD Code manufactured homes shipped.
Here’s the regional shipment data, per MHAO.
There are differences between what Michigan and Arkansas have done and are doing, which is not the focus of this analysis, but that point is hereby duly noted. In Arkansas’ case, a feature for them has been their videos, which aim to address several common concerns that consumers have about manufactured homes.
MHProNews has been one of the platforms that has shared their videos. Here is one of the AMHA promotional videos again. It is a quality, professional video production.
In favor of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association’s (AMHA) video efforts vs. say the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) marketing-promotional videos, the AMHA’s videos have attracted far more viewers. The video above was published on Sep 1, 2016, per the AMHA’s YouTube page. On this date at 4:37 AM ET, there are 68,434 views reported on this 2:30 second video.
That said, one must ask, has the AMHA videos moved-the-needle on new manufactured home sales? That’s the acid test.
Per the report by MHAO, YoY for the month is as follows.
December 2017 2018 % Change
Arkansas 104 67 -35.6%
Year over year totals for Arkansas are as follows.
Year-To-Date 2017 2018 % Change
Arkansas 1766 1805 2.2%
Here’s how our publisher’s and award-winning industry consultant’s comments were phrased, in the red textbox on the graphic below.
There are those voices in manufactured housing that are talking about weather, inventory adjustments, or how other sectors like automotive had declines too among other excuses for the lack of serious growth. But there are numerous reasons why those are false arguments, which are easily disproven.
One example is the article below, which demonstrates that within automotive, there are firms that rose while others slipped. So how a marketing message is crafted, and then what happens after that marketing message is produced all are factors in bottom line performance. Click the text-image box to see that video and report. Further below the byline is a report on a video about a home built on a frame with a hitch set on blocks. The video is over 16 minutes long, is an interview done by a third-party, and has had over 1 million views in just 3 weeks.
There are those who are deliberately distorting – or at best, misreading – the authentic causes for concern about manufactured housing’s slide. Automotive, RVs, and other industries have far out performed manufactured housing since the last manufactured housing industry peak was achieved in 1998. Yet it is manufactured housing that is in the affordable housing business, during an affordable housing crisis. Aren’t the distinctions significant?
As the Klaxon sounds, the Wake Up Call to Change Call
A klaxon is a powerful horn or alarm that often signifies danger. A klaxon is hard to ignore. The klaxon means the time to act is asap, not someday in the murky mist.
Compared to MHI, AMHA’s budget is modest. One should say in AMHA’s favor that it is better to try something than do nothing.
There is no one cause for this problem of shipment and production at disappointing and still historically low levels. So, no one article is going to lay out all of the facts. But to better understand the range of issues that arguably contribute to this malaise, see the linked related reports, below the byline, notices and market-based business development opportunities. Other thoughtful perspectives are encouraged and welcomed. Comments can be private or for publication, just so note in your messages.
Some years ago, UMH President Sam Landy, JD, told MHProNews that every firm is ultimately responsible for their own marketing. That’s demonstrably and logically true.
But beyond the duty of each company to self-promote, there are other needs as well that could be done in groups of firms that have reasons to work together to promote more sales and profits.
There is a thirst for manufactured housing independent industry professionals for understanding. There are numbers who realize that what MHI claims vs. their performance on behalf of the industry are not necessarily the same thing, to be polite.
A new post-production association is needed, period. To rely on MHI after years of failed performance in the post-production side is demonstrably foolish.
Ready for solutions instead of excuses? Are you going to the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show? To learn more about organizing such a post-production alternative to MHI, contact Tony@MHMSM.com, or call 863-213-4090.
The communities sector had state associations break away from MHI. The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) broke away from MHI years before. Both cited the failed performance of MHI, in their own words. This operation’s parent company was an MHI member, and L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was elected by peers to serve on an MHI board. If MHI wee performing, instead of their purported posturing, more head-fakes, and making excuses themselves and/or through surrogates, MHProNews would arguably still be a member of that trade group.
Performance matters more than empty promises.
Isn’t it self-evident that doing more of the same as in recent years, will only produce more of the same sad, low results? That’s obviously not cheer leading, like others are wont to do in MHVille that kiss the MHI donkey derriere. Rather, it’s the increasingly self-evident sobering truth.
Only the truth told well and often enough, and then acting upon truth, will set manufactured housing operations free to return to and surpass the industry’s glory days. The time to act is asap or now. Contact Tony@MHMSM.com, or call 863-213-4090.
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For the examples of our kudos linked above…plus well over 1,000 positive, public comments, we say – “Thank You for your vote of confidence.”
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
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