Relax. Smile. Have no fear. Be at peace. Among the safest places a civilian in the U.S. can be is at a hotel casino, where security cameras abound. They are supported by armed security, who may be plain clothes as well as uniformed. Then there are local police or other law enforcement backup, who have drilled for the ever-so-rare worse case events.
So, perhaps the best place on earth to have the Tunica Show in terms of security is at a hotel casino. There is an array of video cameras outdoors. They are positioned to spot license plates, as well as people who are exiting and entering vehicles or the property on foot.
The casino hotels themselves are a sophisticated array of surveillance video cameras. They are monitored by professionals looking for illicit, unwanted, potentially dangerous, or illegal behavior.
This is where the discussion and planning of next steps – to form a post-production group or alliance that will work for actual, rapid growth for independents -will occur next week. If you are among those who have yearned for growth, positive and profitable change, then modify your plans to stay longer or go to Tunica.
There is only one place where in the U.S. where you can be to witness and make manufactured home industry history.
Stop the Fear, Frustration, and Artificially Low Results that Costs Manufactured Housing Billions a Year
Let’s be clear. There are a variety of things that occur weekly that have no direct cause by Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington and their allies. But there are some that do.
But as important is that many things that do occur that beg for a robust post-production trade group to respond, routinely get little or no useful rejoinder from the so-called powers that be. So, it isn’t just actions, it is purported inaction on issues like zoning, placement, unfair or biased media reports, etc. that is slowing the industry’s recovery during an affordable housing crisis. 8.3 million housing units are needed, said the National Association of Realtors in 2018. Only building millions of new homes can achieve that goal.
So improper action or inaction both matter.
That arguably leads to billions of dollars a year in lost sales. Inaction or flawed actions also debatably harms the resale value of existing manufactured home owners too. That has a spill-over effect back into sales. And thus the vicious cycle goes on.
Which is why the cycle must be stopped by a new path, instead of continuing to run the old one.
Numerous, On the Record Statements
The Daily Business News on MHProNews will echo the complaints and observations of pros like the following.
- Neal Haney – Community owner and co-founder of the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners. They broke ties with MHI over lack of performance.
- Bob Crawford – award winning retailer at Dick Moore Housing who said that MHI deserves about 5 out of 10 on performance.
- Kenny Lipschutz– MHI member and community owner, click his name to see what he said.
- Frank Rolfe– who with his partner Dave Reynolds and their associates – are one of the top 5 community owners by site, who repeatedly blasted MHI for failures to respond to good or bad news.
- Jason Boehlert – Past MHI VP of Government Relations, click his name to see what he said as MHI was spending millions of dollars for years chasing a bill that had no chance, and never passed.
- Ishbel Dickens, JD, then with NMHOA, who told MHProNews and others that the MLO rule could have been achieved by negotiation. Ironically, Nathan Smith and others in MHI confirmed what Dickens said, albeit obliquely in Smith’s case.
- Paul Baretto with Fannie Mae – who in response to a public question posed by MHProNews at Tunica in front of dozens of industry professionals admitted that the Berkshire Hathaway brands of 21st Mortgage Corp and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) provided the GSEs with no data.
- Marty Lavin, JD, former MHI award winner who said this and this, both of which are applied to MHI.
- Nathan Smith, prior MHI Chairman, current PAC Chairman, and SSK Community owner who was embroiled in a class action lawsuit with his own residents? Or who admitted that the association had often failed to act in a manner that would head off problems?
- Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage, and then MHI Chairman who previously praised MHProNews, said for publication that there was “no daylight” between L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and MHI on Preserving Access, blasted the Democratic progressive agenda at an MHI meeting, and said that there was a good case to be made for responding to each and every negative media report. If so, then why has the Arlington, VA based association he led for years contradicted itself and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett so often? Where they head fakes? Falsehoods? Or was it the “Illusion of Motion” a phrase applied by Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the independent producers group – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)?
And the list could go on and on, to include Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, MHI President and CEO, who said that the industry could achieve 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home sales, pledged to pass Preserving Access – which obviously never passed – and admitted on camera that the industry had at times failed. Ya think?
As any clear-eyed reader can see, these voices are often currently or previously connected to MHI. Those mentioned above – other than Mark Weiss – often have no formal ties with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) or MHProNews.
One must ask, why is it that with so much clear evidence, that other state associations have not broken away from their affiliation with MHI? According to multiple voices among those state association executives, it is fear for their jobs and/or fear of retaliation against their association. See how Gold Rules.
Then, why has other manufactured housing trade publishers not raised these same questions over and over? Is it because they are getting paid by brands that favor the consolidating status quo?
It’s the truth that was hiding in plain sight. After 15 years of the Berkshire Hathaway era in manufactured housing, the industry is selling fewer homes today than it was before Buffett’s decision to buy Clayton Homes. These are facts and accurately quoted statements – plus documents and videos by 21st, Kevin Clayton, and Warren Buffett himself.
The industry has been led into a historically low lethargy and malaise. These are the allegations and concerns that the voices above and numerous others have raised. Or recent attempts to strong-arm various independents that the so-called ‘Mobile Home Militia’ #MHM has publicly spotlighted.
These Industry Voices and examples are among the reasons to act. We are calling this the Fix the MH Industry Trick$ meeting.
- In the first session, Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington and their attorneys will be given a public chance to respond at a moderated session open to industry members on Thursday March 28th, 2019 shortly after noon.
- Then, in the second session without Clayton, MHI and their related lenders, there will be a discussion and organizational meeting focused on solutions including the formation of a post-production industry association that will do what MHI claims to have done, and has arguably failed for over 15 years.
- The third session will be for independent producers of HUD Code homes, and will be open to MHI, MHARR and non-aligned manufactured home builders. ICYMI, the working plan is in the report linked below.
Peace of Mind, Profitable Action vs. Costly Inaction, Fear or Frustration
For over two years, MHProNews’ leaders and backers have demonstrated that the best place to fight these forces is arguably in plain sight. Fact checks that we have published here have gone unchallenged. Follow the evidence, and follow the money. Our readership – which was already the industry’s largest more than doubled in one year-over-year timeframe, according to third party Webalizer. Professionals want to know.
But more important, numbers of professionals see the need to take the next steps and act to break the grip of Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington. Every key concern will be addressed in a public discussion, moderated and with questions and answer time. There is no cost for attendees, sponsors and concerned industry members are paying for this event.
Note that it isn’t about huge numbers. MHI, MHARR, the NCC, and NMHOA were started with modest numbers of organizations, and grew from there. It is about motivated professionals that want to see ethical, robust, profitable growth.
So, when you come to Tunica, you can come with your safety and that of others in mind. You can come with growth and profits in mind.
For our part, our team hereby states the following to cover this and all that will occur in Tunica next week. This is said for the sake of the attorneys that work for MHI, Omaha, or Knoxville. While at Tunica, consider what is said an allegation if it mentions any third party, be it a person or entity. That said, at the Fix the MH Industry Trick$ event, we will present the evidence already outlined above of purported market rigging, improper if not illegal activities, and failures to act in the best interests of consumers and industry alike.
Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington paid for voices are invited to Fix the MH Industry Trick$ session 1, which will take place shortly after the normal closing time of the Tunica Show proper, so as to not interfere in any way with the paid exhibitors who make the event possible. That was done after discussion with Tunica Show management. This is all above board.
There will be other officials invited, beyond the industry’s members or select investors.
Why Investors? Because Robert Robotti was right in many ways about manufactured housing. He was right for the same business reasons as Sam Zell was. “When others are going left, look right,” said Zell. Robotti said that to outperform the market, you have to think like a contrarian.
We have not yet decided if we will invite a few officials for the first session from a peaceful resident group (not the arguably disruptive MHAction types). Why invite resident representatives? Because they collectively have billions of dollars at stake too. Market manipulation, including, but not limited to access to credit and financing, has harmed their interests too. Limiting consumers and current home owners choices to an openly Clayton retail or thinly veiled Clayton alternative has arguably harmed their interests, although that has rarely been discussed beyond the #OpenMarkets, Seattle Times, the Nation, MHLivingNews, or MHProNews voices.
There are 22 million who live in a pre-HUD Code mobile or manufactured home. They should be allied with independent businesses, not in opposition, as is sometimes the case. In a properly functioning industry and marketplace, the vast majority of those 22 million manufactured home owners and residents would be natural allies, as is true with the RV industry.
The current scenario between resident groups and swaths of the industry is tragic. It is avoidable, but that clearly has not occurred under MHI leadership. So the new post-production trade group should have session one open to a few representatives. They have as much skin in the game of industry manipulation as the retail, community, producers and other independents and investors do.
So, there is potential value to having a few representatives on the consumer side of the manufactured home industry there. Let’s note that consumers can’t attend the Tunica trade show proper. But by special arrangement, we are weighing the value of having a few come to Tunica, if they will invest in their own trip expenses, to observe session 1.
MHPros from Other Parts of the U.S.?
An industry trade show always offers surprising value, beyond homes, products, and services. The networking portions of the Tunica Show at hospitality lunches and breakfast can often result in random meetings and conversations that can provide insights that alone make the trip worthwhile.
And then this year, there is the special Thursday afternoon March 28th, shortly after noon opportunities for MH Industry pros to ask questions, and make brief comments at a moderated session, knowing that their security and that of their peers is going to be solid.
So smile. For those who may recall the old TV show, you are on Candid Camera. Whatever you say or do, could be historic.
Let’s close this column stating the obvious. Stating the obvious often brings clarity to issues.
If the industry doesn’t do something different, it will keep getting the same results. That’s the popular definition of insanity, to keep repeating the same things, the same ways, and somehow expect a different outcome.
While a few are satisfied with the relatively low results that Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have wrought for their own reasons, or perhaps because they compare recent results to the industry’s ostensibly artificially engineered bottom, that’s poverty thinking.
If you are going to be thinking anyway, said a billionaire business man with ties to factory-built housing, you might as well be thinking big.
Come and think big again at Tunica. Amazon’s Alexa Fund jumped into prefabricated factory-built housing last year. They did so after figuring out that an estimated $330 Billion is the annual market potential for factory home building. Meanwhile, HUD Code manufactured homes only did some $8 billion in 2018 at retail.
Do you see how far the upside could be?
If you are an independent and didn’t already have plans, make them now to come to Tunica. If you are already planning to be there, stay an extra half-day, and be part of making history. Limited seating for our event, RSVP via an upcoming email to our email list. If you aren’t signed up for our emailed news updates, you can do so at this link here, or at the email banner ad, further below the byline.
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For the examples of our kudos linked above…plus well over 1,000 positive, public comments, we say – “Thank You for your vote of confidence.”
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Democrats, Republicans Agree – “Manufactured Homes Can Play a Vital Role in Easing” the Affordable Housing Shortage – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
For years here on MHLivingNews and our professional sister site, MHProNews, we’ve worked with a simple premise. Affordable quality living is a non-partisan issue. Rephrased, that means it should be a bipartisan effort to understand and promote the most proven kind of affordable housing that America has ever known.