Not Renaming Manufactured Homes, Redefining Manufactured Homes – Tiny House Lessons Learned


Let’s be clear. Tiny houses are a fad or trend that provides numerous lessons for the factory-built housing industry. That doesn’t mean that we have to rename everything as a tiny house. It may be useful to use that phrase on a truly smaller HUD or other code factory-built home.

But this report is about more than ‘what’s in a name?’

Tiny house videos break all kinds of norms that numbers of manufactured home marketers mistakenly believe in. Rephrased, that means there are lessons to be learned from this video specifically and generically.

We aren’t going to give away and unpack every detail from this video. But in the first day or two, this specific video had outperformed every Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) video made to ‘promote’ manufactured homes combined. It blows away the results from Clayton Homes new, costly “Prefabulouscampaign. Ouch, but again, there are lessons to learn.

It may look cool, but it is also a house on a trailer frame. Think about that for a few seconds, and hundreds of thousands of people think this is cool!

It took the couple in this video 6 months to build this Do It Yourself (DIY) tiny house on a trailer frame. The couple was unemployed at the time, so they took that time to do the work, but also had help.

Now think about the value of the monetary value of that time. Then think about the fact that they could have gotten a job and earned money during that same timeframe.

Here in the U.S., they could have purchased a far larger HUD Code manufactured home with the cost in time, talent, materials, etc. that was required to do that same DIY tiny house.

Millennials are among the age groups that think that tiny house living is cool. We aren’t going to spell out every detail or nuance in this column, but let us say this. Manufactured housing is underperforming. The indicators are all around us, historic, other industry trends — including videos like this one posted above.

How can you break out of the trap of low volume sales? First, by being willing to learn the common sense lessons, ponder how it may apply, and be willing to think and do differently from the pack.

“Out-Performing the Market” Robert Robotti, Value Investing, and Manufactured Housing

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There are common sense indicators that manufactured homes could be 5, 10, perhaps 20 times or more higher sales levels in local markets like yours than the industry is achieving today. RVs outsell MH 5 to 1. MH used to outsell RVs 3 to 2 in 1998.

Our publisher and industry consultant, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has said that bit of marketing lore, “You either define yourself, or others will define you. If you allow others to define you – your product, service, business, industry, or you personally – then depending on the motivations of those others, they may define you to your disadvantage. Learn how to define or redefine yourself and your manufactured home products or services in your market(s).”

The blend of historic and other lessons learned are all part of the path to increased success.

Clayton Homes and the trade association that they purportedly dominate, MHI, either know what they are doing or they don’t. Either way, they too are underperforming, aren’t they? Why not learn that obvious and valuable lesson? Why follow the leader that takes you to a dead end, or declining sales?

That’s this morning’s first look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

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