Frank Rolfe has become a well-known personality in the manufactured home industry.
He’s been called a genius. Others take issue. For example, sometimes, Rolfe says “mobile homes,” and they are indeed a pre-HUD Code home. But other times, he says that, and he’s talking about a manufactured home. On terminology alone, he’s controversial.
For some, Rolfe is an industry rock star. Others don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, why he is getting so much media, as well as manufactured housing industry, attention.
Particularly since that New York Times article hit, there’s been a wide range of industry reactions, as the article and quote below reflects.
Sensationalistic ‘Cold Hard Lessons of Mobile Home U’ New York Times article by Gary Rivlin draws Manufactured Home Industry Ire, Desire and Fire – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
So said Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) Chairman and real estate legend Sam Zell to a packed auditorium of manufactured housing professionals, as Zell described previous comments he’s made to potential investors.
MHProNews and our sister site has covered those Rolfe-related controversies from a variety of perspectives.
Nat Geo says on their YouTube page about their series, “About Explorer: Explorer, the longest-running documentary series in cable television history, honored with nearly 60 Emmys and hundreds of other awards, continues as a series of major specials on the National Geographic Channel…”
Literally millions of Americans have read about or viewed our industry through the prism of Frank Rolfe words; he and his colleagues operations.
Against that backdrop is the first part of a two-part insights into the ongoing saga of Rolfe, and how he has influenced the public perception of manufactured homes and communities.
This NatGeo “Explorer” video above is vintage Rolfe.
It could be used to inspire investors to take a deeper look into the industry.
It can also be used by resident activist groups, as has the video in the article, linked below.
All of it begs the question, what’s been the net impact of Rolfe on the manufactured home industry? Particularly, the land-lease community sector?
Or, how has he influenced the industry’s discussion about itself?
Some are strong defenders of Rolfe, saying he turns around problematic properties, and improves them. He’s doing residents and those communities a valuable service.
Others believe he’s a lightning-rod, one used by resident activist groups such as MH Action, among others.
Whichever perspective you, or your circle, holds about Rolfe – what’s clear is the Rolfe has been a media magnet. Part of the landscape of the manufactured home industry, particularly the community sector, is shaped by this prominent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), National Communities Council (NCC) member.
Some members love it, others, not so much, when Rolfe says something factually true like this. For millions of Americans, there is “no other option” for them to own than by living in a “mobile home park” like one he and his colleagues operate. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary.)
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.