Every business professional or account worth their salt does a financial analysis. Serious investors in the equity markets or who want to risk money in a property or enterprise want data and evidence too.
Two articles on varied topics posted today on the Daily Business News each have a kind of lesson learned. Those lessons could be summed up like this. The opportunities for affordable housing are immense in the U.S. Yet, manufactured housing (MH) is underperforming.
In fact, the MH industry is hovering near historic lows by several measures. This is despite the fact that there have been several generally positive, third-party reports on manufactured housing in 2018 alone. As usual, we’ve covered those good reports on the Daily Business News on MHProNews, along with hundreds of other topics.
MHProNews has done extensive fact-checks in 2018. We’ll finish the year with this one more, for the sake of the industry’s business professionals, investors, advocates, officials, and policy wonks.
For the purposes of this report, we are not going to dispute the claims of MHVillage (MHV) shown below. We’ll simply take their own claims at face value. The data was pulled from their MHV site on 12.30.2018 at about 3:30 PM ET.
Similarly, for the purposes of this analysis, MHProNews won’t dispute the claims of Alexa. Generally, to get this level of data from Alexa, as is shown below, one must register a site. So presumably, MHV and/or their sister operation registered their website.
This reflects several points that MHProNews has made for years, including, but not limited to the following:
- The vast majority of those who consider a manufactured home never buy one. It is, per MHV’s data, over 99½% that don’t buy from them. Of course, they may buy elsewhere, but other statistics demonstrates that #nettlesome point that manufactured homes are not being bought at the rates or percentages in numerous years past.
- While that is a problem, it is also an opportunity in disguise for those who learn how to convert lookers and visitors – online, as well as at sales centers and communities – into paying customers.
- Those that buy a manufactured home on MHV are predominately used home shoppers, MHVillage Co-President Darren Krolewski said as much in Tunica before a live audience of dozens of industry professionals in 2018, in response to a question from MHProNews.
- Krolewski also admitted publicly at that same event that he doesn’t know why the conversion ratios are so low.
- As low as MHV data revels its conversion ratios are, if one takes the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) claims seriously about reaching an audience of tens of millions in 2018, their pathetic conversion ratio data makes MHV look like superstars. Sadly, when MHI’s own claims are properly understood, they arguably make MHI “promotional” efforts look foolish at best — or exaggerated, deceptive, and ignorant at worst.
- In fairness to MHV, they likely are – because they are a predominately publicly-focused website – higher in total traffic than MHProNews, which is laser focused on professionals. Meaning, their traffic data-points and MHProNews would be apples and oranges for those who are targeting a Business to Business (B2B) vs. a Business to Consumer (B2C) audience.
ICYMI, it is also worth noting that on the last day of the Tunica Show, just shortly before the show closed, the following photo was taken. There are others like it for more racks, as the insert reveals. MHVillage’s “MH Insider” has not resonated with the B2B audience. They have advertisers, to be sure, but the readership – based upon the clear visual evidence below – is lacking.
One could go deeper, but this is sufficient to make the following points.
- Whatever MHI and MHV are doing, it is insufficient to dramatically move-the-needle in new manufactured housing results.
- The same point could be made about Berkshire Hathaway owned MH industry giant, Clayton Homes. Why they do, what they do, their data for 2017 claims they were 47.7 percent of the industry’s total sales. They’ve arguably spent millions on promotion. But the entire industry is still only going to finish 2018 with about 100,000 (+/-) total sales for the year, as suggested by MHI’s own most recent SAAR forecast.
This leads us to inexorably the following conclusion.
Without Changing the Behavior, the MH Industry Won’t Improve Enough to Achieve its Potential
It is no secret that MHI and some of their surrogates have worked for some years to derail and undermine MHProNews, for whatever reasons one may wish to speculate. That began prior to MHProNews’ serious fact-checks and investigations, which began when an MHI member gave a news tip about Richard ‘Dick Jennison and Lesli Gooch, so one shouldn’t think that MHI tried to derails us to ‘retaliate.’ If anything, MHProNews was frankly slow-to-respond.
The video below could be seen as a mainstream media summary of recently reported scandals. The video news is from Kevin Clayton/Clayton Homes’ own base of operation headquarters, in Knoxville, TN.
The video above lays out facts, allegations, and federal investigations that MHProNews – and numerous others in mainstream media – have independently reported on. So, no one can claim with a straight face that MHProNews is making up news, rather, we are the primary news source that can be trusted to report-on and thereby hold the powerful to account.
The Manufactured Housing Institute leadership, and the Berkshire brands operating in manufactured housing, objectively have their own image problem. While Clayton says they’ve paid no fines lately, they’ve previously admitted in public to paying fines and having to refund money on home loans in the not-too-distant past.
MHI, MHVillage, and MHInsider are tied-at-the-hip, as the prior related reports linked below the byline and notices at the end of this post indicate.
If MHI can’t improve its own image, and MHV can’t do a better job than what their latest or prior data shows, then the long-time, proven results from MHProNews’ leadership stands ready to fill-the-gap.
Our publisher’s and team’s work have been:
- favorably cited in mainstream media, in local media from states border-to-border, and in national platforms too. We’ve routinely defended and promoted the good news about manufactured housing, while acknowledging the problematic in the industry too.
- Our sister site, MHLivingNews was cited by the CFPB in their White Paper on Manufactured Homes.
- A document from a news tip that was first published on MHProNews was introduced into the Congressional Record.
- We’ve been cited by third-party researchers, like the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2018 report on Manufactured Housing,
- Our publisher and work was applauded in a peer-reviewed, doctoral thesis on manufactured housing.
- Our pro-industry work has drawn over 1000 LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements, with the vast majority unsolicited.
- Additionally, there’s the company awards, letters, and videos of recommendation, plus the public and private thanks from individuals across the spectrum in manufactured and modular housing.
So, depending on who jeers and why, the jealous, agenda driven, and skulking back stabbers can become a back-handed badge of honor. Some will buy what a circle of connivers try to sell, but naturally others won’t. Consider this as part of the praise…
Our sources and readers span the spectrum of all sizes of manufactured housing operations. MHI members, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) members, and thousands of industry independents and investors beyond those two national trade bodies are among our daily visitors.
There are clearly others – like those linked here – fighting for improvement in manufactured housing in the U.S. Those who have sounded off from the U.S. and Canada in the recent report, linked below, are objectively attempting to correct the record on issues that have for too long hobbled manufactured housing.
The evidence should be clear. If you want to grow, then it simply makes sense to work with those who are proven to hold even the powerful in MHVille to account, while cheering on the good that the industry has accomplished.
We at MHProNews/MHLivingNews have earned what one industry leader called “the street cred.”
To take the next step, to invest wisely in your future, click here or call the number below and pick from one or more ways to support the cause of MH industry cleansing and advancement. Yes, there are honorable, profitable, proven ways for the MH industry’s location(s) and operations like yours to grow. We’ve worked with mom-and-pops, but with billionaires and multibillion dollar operations too. Let us show you how to grow with honor, and more profits. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)
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