Every Democrat isn’t a Socialist. Not every Republican is a conservative.
Similarly, not everyone working or invested in manufactured housing is fully informed on the wonders of what the HUD Code has yielded for consumers.
That in turn means that not everyone who’s invested or professionally involved in the manufactured home industry is fully taping into the industry’s true potential.
Industry professionals who attend educational sessions often say afterward something similar to what Baseball Hall of Famer, Mickey Mantle wisely observed; “It’s unbelievable how much you don’t know about the game you‘ve been playing all your life.”
Inside MH, What the Pros Say – What’s Possible in MHVille?
In recent years, MHProNews has captured on video and/or through written comments what the industry’s potential is in the view of a variety of professionals.
Sam Landy with UMH Properties he said that hundreds of thousands of new HUD Code manufactured home sales a year is achievable.
Barry Noffsinger in the video seminar published at this link yesterday said 500,000 new manufactured home sales can be achieved in a sustainable fashion.
As divergent as Dick Jennison/MHI and Mark Weiss/MHARR are on several matters, each has said on the record to MHProNews that 500,000 new home sales annually is achievable. MHARR and MHI vary widely on the details, but at least verbally, both agree on the potential.
MHProNews’ publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has pushed that number and higher as worthy, achievable goals that can be accomplished
- with happy, satisfied customers, and
- with sustainable lending and other professional practices.
What does it take to achieve that goal?
In a word, “education.”
In two words, “best practices.”
In two more words, “inspirational dissatisfaction.”
A Blokable Lesson for Manufactured Housing?
The Daily Business News’ overnight/pre-dawn report for Tuesday November 14 was the “bookend” for the Bill Gates/Belmont story was published.
That bookend was the news About Blokable, another emerging PreFab Builder.
The video on the page linked above with Aaron Holm ought to be must viewing for the MH Industry.
Dare to Compare…
Indeed, the entire Daily Business News report ought to be compared to what popular media source ‘Curbed’ recently published on the same topic of Holm and Blokable.
Several reasons — all of which could lead to higher profits via a greater understanding of the true nature of modern manufactured homes.
For example, former Amazon exec Holm briefly characterized manufactured housing in his comments to investors in a dismissive, negative fashion.
The audience in the room reaction to Holm was this – not one of the attendees protested the negative statements about manufactured homes.
That Holm/Blokable audience included potential investors and other professionals. Others attended this same session shown in the video, remotely.
Did those professionals in that Holm/Blokable video have any clue that manufactured homes are built to a federally preemptive standard that by law must perform in a dynamically similar way as a conventional house in safety, energy use and durability?
Judging from their statements/reactions; the answer is, no. Those investors had no clue about the facts about MH.
It may be politically incorrect again, but how many in the industry know what they should? Owners, managers – ask your team members, how many of them know the key facts about HUD Code manufactured homes? They – and your customers needing education – can learn those basics in the video interview, linked below.
That’s why Frank Rolfe has said that the vast majority of those in Media have no clue about the realities of today’s manufactured homes.
Rolfe – who with his partner Dave celebrates today 10 years, and 500 episodes of their teleconference – has said that reporters often have an Eminem/“8 Mile” understanding of the industry.
Rephraising what Rolfe said, the media and public largely don’t understand the MH Industry at all. Certainly, that was true for Holm and those investors.
Others Not Knowing = Opportunity for You?
A widespread lack of MH industry knowledge? “That’s an opportunity in disguise,” says consult and business development expert Kovach. “At the local market level, telling the true story of manufactured homes can be a game changer.”
And the experiences of Sunshine Homes, New Durham Estates – plus several others that opt not to publicize their successful results – are the proof that the answer for the industry is found in doing the proper educational effort, at the local market level.
That statement of Noffsinger – and Kovach – contradicts the widely held view that what the industry needs is a national image campaign.
“All marketing is local,” said consultant and service provider Kovach. “When people hear ‘image’ or ‘education,’ they often mistakenly think that means it must be national. Not true!”
For years – at educational sessions such as the recent Deadwood conference – it’s all about working with a location or locations owned/operated by or that sells products/services for your company.
Once professionals understand that they can control their own destiny to a far greater degree than they may have ever believed before, light bulbs go off, MHProNews’ publisher explains.
“We’re not the RV business, that’s obvious,” said Kovach. “But if towable and motorized RVs – a discretionary purchase – can outsell MH by some 5 to 1, that gives a tiny hint as to what the industry’s potential truly is.”
“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
– Mark Twain
Kovach smiles or laughs whenever claims of his professional demise are made by tiny clique of others spreading that clearly errant statement. “Some have claimed that for about 8 years now,” and “Clearly, they’re as mistaken about that as they may be about other claims they make.”
“In fact, we’ve spawned a group of ‘me too’ publishers, and service providers. They say that imitation is the most-sincere form of flattery.”
One bottom-line is that Ron Thomas Sr. made an important point in the video interview with him, linked here.
“Manufactured housing is a phenomenon,” Ron Thomas Sr. has said.
Those who want to do away with the HUD Code in favor of something else are suffering from a tremendous misunderstanding of what the industry has accomplished in the past, and can sustainably do again.
With the proper approaches, the industry can exceed those outcomes in the future, he argues from his own and client experiences at locations from border-to-border.
“No two locations are alike, even if they belong to the same company and are in the same market, there are differences,” said Kovach.
There are some general things that routinely fit. But each location has its own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
“If everyone is going left, look right” – Sam Zell.
“Easy doesn’t pay well,” said John Bostick, president of Sunshine Homes.
Noffsinger didn’t say that the industry is looking for an easy silver bullet, but that’s part of what he was suggesting in his review of best practices.
“What we’ve learned is that once industry professionals are taught:
- a retail or community team to see the industry and their location in a new way,
- and use proven methods to help consumers see manufactured homes in a fresh way,
- and specific locations with new eyes,
those educational discipline routinely pays off.”
It’s not about typical ads, because the industry is misunderstood, Kovach says.
You can advertise
- Cars, trucks, SUVs,
- single family housing,
- tablets, phones, TVs
– because all of those are all widely understood.
But what even some of the biggest players in this industry may not realize they’ve proven is this. Their approach converts such a small percentage of their viewers, or visitors, that it clearly reflects their failure to connect with the vast majority of people that surf in.
“That’s a troubling reality to some, but it’s an opportunity in disguise,” Kovach says.
This is one of several reasons why each location must learn to define itself. And the ways that’s done is outlined by millennial and 3rd generation industry professional, Tom Fath in the video above. Fath explains that it’s the ‘third party’ media effect – plus training – that’s working.
It’s a similar point that Forbes business magazine has made.
MH home owners want to be part of the solution, said Fath. Others who know the industry are happy to share their story, and that has to be told by media to be effective.
What Forbes Said…
Kovach points to a Forbes article that says that third party news media is 10 to 100 times more effective than advertising or traditional marketing.
“That’s what makes us truly different than everyone else. We give professionals, home owners, others the opportunity to tell their story. We don’t pay for an interview,” Kovach said, adding, “We don’t want the location to pay for an interview either. The unpaid, truth is compelling.”
More on this in the days ahead, as part of our State of the Manufactured Housing Industry in Nov 2017 series.
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.