Manufactured Housing Industry

“So long, farewell…”

We have shared a portion of our life journeys and professional paths for over a year now.

When I joined the team as associate editor in June 2010, it was more like a rocket launch into an Industry entirely unknown to me.  Through Tony Kovach’s visionary passion and skills as a teacher, I became immersed in the manufactured housing industry, meeting you men and women of extraordinary talent and commitment in the fields of design, production, finance, communities, law, management, marketing and sales, state and national associations, industry shows, inspiration, etc. – not in person as I would have liked, but through your writing of feature articles, Industry Voices Guest Blog posts and other mutual endeavors.  Thank you for entrusting your word, your thought, vision and passion to our online journal, soon to be rebranded as

And now personal circumstances compel me to leave this team.

Fare well in your work together to bring quality, affordable factory-built homes to more and more people.  I wish you what Holiday Homes in Milford, Ohio, states as their Business Philosophy:  “To show through our many varied projects, that manufactured housing is not a product, but a process for providing new homes.”

YOU are INspirations to me and to countless others who depend on you.  May you be joyfully and abundantly blessed.

Warm regards, Catherine

Catherine Frenzel
Catherine Frenzel

P.S.  Please continue to submit articles and news tips to, and he will be introducing a new associate editor as soon as possible.

The Sum of All Fears and Manufactured Housing

“The Sum of All Fears” is a 2002 movie based on a Tom Clancy political/action/thriller novel that used the same title.  In the movie, a neo-Nazi group plots to get Russia and the United States to destroy each other.  This was to be done by the hidden swastika-brandishing group staging a spectacular incident, and making it look like one nation planned to attack and destroy the other.  Without giving away the story for those who may not have seen it, the two powers have to learn to trust each other – during intense conditions – just enough to avoid disaster, and defeat the real and somewhat hidden enemy who hatched the plot.

Movies and books can often have ‘morals’ or lessons they can teach us.  Beyond the action, the movie suggests that sometimes rivals have good reasons – or life-and-death motivations – to set aside their differences, and strive to trust each other enough to get a critical job done.

From time to time, the word or wish goes out that the Manufactured Housing Industry needs to speak with ‘one voice.’  Without denying the inherent value and potential power of unity, there must also be a realistic approach to the dynamics of competing groups and voices. Competing viewpoints arise for specific reasons.  History, personalities and unique interests can entrench positions.

But those sorts of realities do not mean that the professional rivals are unable to cooperate when conditions warrant it.

During a critical phase of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan popularized the phrase, “Trust, but verify.”  Professional negotiators or mediators learn the art of finding the areas of mutual interest, and crafting agreements that yield benefits to the various parties that still respect their key interests.  This is precisely what needs to happen in the Manufactured Housing Industry today.

This message should not be viewed as some sort of veiled reference to parties active in Washington DC, because this scenario is likely as close as your own business and market area.  This potentially valuable lesson of working with people or parties – even those whom we may have doubts or real concerns – is an important one for our Industry at this time.

Mutual victories are possible. Industry progress can be achieved.  But this is best accomplished when a healthy respect for the other’s capabilities and interests are in place.

When we doubt – or worse, decry or demean – a potential resource, who or what can be an ally (even if for only a short term) can be lost.  The costs for failing to bridge the gap for a business, group or Industry can be high.  The win-lose mentality can, in fact, lead to a loss for all concerned.

Every need a professional, company or an MH Industry segment has today can be met.  Not someday, but almost immediately. How is it done?

Mutual respect.  Sincere understanding.

Listening with keen attention to not just your own goals, but the interests and needs of other stakeholders.

Learning to work together with people or groups that we may not be used to (or want to?!) work with, and yet do so with the goal of mutual rewards.

Think about these facts:

– American incomes are down.
– U.S. households continue to form.
– We sell quality, affordable homes.
– Manufactured home communities have vacancies.
– Retailers want more sales.
– Homeowners need economic security in a home they can enjoy and the ability to sell when needed or desired.
– Manufacturers and suppliers want orders and business.
– Government officials and associations need to find ways to serve the public and business.
– Lenders and investors desire security and a reasonable return on their investment.
– Professionals and companies need each other and should respect and build up each other.

This sketch above is not a plan, but an outline that may point the way to business growth and mutual success.

Consider “The Sum of All Fears” and its lesson as a metaphor for the Manufactured Housing Industry, its professionals and businesses.  What do YOU need?  Who or what can help you or your interest group?  Who or what can you reach out to help?

Learn to work with others who may seem like rivals, but who offer you something that you need!  By respectfully working towards sincere mutual victories, the results can be professional, business and Industry success. ##

The Power of One Is Us

The Power of One has been around as a catch phrase for some years. Perhaps we became more aware of it in 1989 through Bryce Courtenay’s novel by the same name, later made into a movie in which Daniel Craig (later known as Bond. James Bond.) made his film debut. A second book applied this concept to business, The Power of One: One Person, One Rule, One Month by John C. Maxwell. Numerous YouTube videos employ gorgeous visuals and stirring music to communicate this message. For instance, the popular:

Of course, there are many variations of this theme, applied to everything from grocery bags to flu shots. For example: “Making your life better one bag at a time.” “Making the community healthier one flu shot at a time.” Perhaps you recognize the companies and organizations that use phrases such as: one dress at a time, one tree at a time, one deposit at a time, one child at a time, one wish at a time, one step at a time. These phrases are usually prefaced with “Making your life – or the world – better….” Truly, the power of one!

How about one phone call, one follow-up, one client, one network, one reader, one new subscriber, one retailer, one manufacturer, one lender, one home, one sale, one team, one company, one community, one association, one trade show, one mentor, one guest speaker/trainer, one website, one contribution, one shout out (“I’m madder than hell…”) … ONE ANYONE or ANYTHING that makes a positive difference in the status quo and moves YOUR participation in the Manufactured Housing Industry forward. Remember, 2011 can be The Great Industry Turn-Around! For YOU. For US. And when enough do this, the Industry turns around, too!

No passing the buck. No waiting for the other guy to do it. No lone giants. There is a difference between knowing and changing. Between deciding and doing.

To paraphrase the friendly, philosophical Pogo: We have seen the Power of One and it is YOU, it is US.

Inspired by Lizz Frenzel, VNA of Porter County, IN # #

INspirations post by Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel

Quotes of the day

“It is good to appreciate that life is now. Whatever it offers, little or much, life is now – this day – this hour.”
~Charles Macomb Flandrau

“Think of special ways you can appreciate others that will touch their lives in a personal way. These gifts are especially meaningful when they are given for no special reason except to show that you care about them, and you appreciate their presence in your life. I call these ‘angel gifts’ because they always seem to come at a time when you need them most.”
~Barbara Glanz

Submitted by RJO, Chicago, IL

It’s About Time

Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock. The clock of time stops for no one. Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.

It’s about Time. How will you use your time? The next 60 seconds? The next hour?  The next day, week, month or year? Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.

Its_About time_tourist_on_earth_2010-03-14_1336
It's About Time - graphic by Tony Kovach, photo courtesy of tourist on earth

The woman in the photo is about to give birth.  She is in labor.  She is in pain.  The man holds the Clock of Time with a look that says so much.  Anticipation, concern, joy…much more.  The image gives one a Sense of Urgency.   It reminds us to Act swiftly with Good Purpose.

Our MH INdustry is in labor too.  As with any labor of new birth, we are in pain, as perhaps many industry readers and their enterprises are today.  There is a Sense of Urgency.  A new birth is both a crisis and an opportunity for a new start, a new life!

We could, of course, delay what must be done.  We could just let this new life die.   We could use some Excuses.  We could be react with fear. We could overlook the power that could readily change our image and our professional world. Out of some misguided fear or the paralysis of over analysis, we could wait too long, and the new birth that could be will instead be a death.  So with it, could die what could well be our bright new future.

Or we could embrace this new birth.  We could embrace the changes that have brought you here in the first place.  It is precisely new methods, new out-reaches and new approaches that have caused you to be here.  Think about it!

It’s about Time.  It’s about a new beginning.  While we’ve watched our industry shipments fall, did you realize that our market share for factory-built housing out of all new housing starts has risen? It has! HUD Code and modular have risen from about 5% market share some 3 years ago to about 20% market share today.

The best of the old, combined with the best of the new.  They can position us for a new birth that can lead factory built housing into the brightest possible future!

It’s about Time.  Time is the measure of Change.  It’s about time to embrace that change, and let this new life, this promising new future take hold of us.  The tools and the resources for that change – for the best of the old and the best of the new – are all found on these pages…

Its_About time_tourist_on_earth_2010-03-14_1336
It's About Time graphic by Tony Kovach, photo courtesy of tourist on earth

This woman can’t go back. She can only choose to move ahead.

It’s About Time.#


– submitted by Tony Kovach, editor,, writer of the Masthead Blog and

Scroll to Top