Archive for October, 2020

Nostalgia or Timeless Truths?

Friday, October 16th, 2020

Blog Posting # 608 @ 16 Oct. 2020; Copyright 2020: Educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educaatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Two widely divergent points of view this week. First, a retrospective look at manufactured housing history stimulated by the closing of my outside office; and, what I plan to share at the FHFA Listening Session on Friday, 16 October 2020.

I.
Nostalgia or Timeless Truths?
During weeks, maybe months, ahead, I’ll be sharing a raft of information that surfaced as I closed our Franklin, Indiana office. You see, the coronavirus pandemic, and Carolyn and I being self-quarantined at home for more than 210 days so far, have eased me into semi-retirement.
So, I no longer need a remote office – but what to do with hundreds of books, along with other manufactured housing and lend lease community resources? (It’s long been said, our corporate library is the most comprehensive collection of texts and material, on those two subjects, in existence anywhere!). Well, we’ve been boxing-up this intellectual treasure (20 large boxes so far) in preparation for delivery to the RV/MH Hall of Fame library in Elkhart, IN. At one time or another, the Library of Congress and Building Institute, in Washington, DC. have expressed interest in ‘housing’ our extensive collection. But when one gets ‘right down to it’, this trove truly belongs where our industry and realty asset class’ legacies are honored and preserved.
I’ll be describing some of these intellectual treasures here in future blog postings, and in The Allen Confidential! For that matter, the November issue of TAC! will contain a fascinating description of early 1960s ‘mobile homes’ and mobile home living, penned by famous writer John Steinbeck, in his bestseller – at the time – Travels with Charlie, In Search of America. His descriptions are priceless, educational, and timeless. To subscribe to the newsletter, visit www.educatemhc.com
This time around, here in this blog, I’ll share six steps to do Before Each Sales Call:
1. What do I wish to accomplish with this call?
2. Am I calling on a qualified prospect and decision maker?
3. Am I presenting the best solution for the customer?
4. Would I buy if it were my business?
5. What really needs to be done to get the order?
6. Can I get the order today? If not, when?
And seven steps After Each Sales Call
1. Could I have closed the account today?
2. Will they really buy, or am I just doing things?
3. How do I know they will buy?
4. What have I learned from this call?
5. How would I do it again?
6. Do I know what is needed to close this account now?
7. Did I ask for a referral to another potential client?
Quoted from a Calling Card by Lynn K. Munson of Practical Business Consulting.
Yes, I know, these steps aren’t necessarily the ones we use in manufactured housing sales and rental homesite leasing, but there are indeed good suggestions contained therein. And there’s much more to come.
II.
Listening Session @ 10/16/20
What follows here is ‘a work in progress’. Simply, the following paragraph and bullet points describe my view of what’s been going on – or better said, ‘not going on’ at federal bureaucracies Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) and two Government Sponsored Enterprises (‘GSEs’), Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, relative to their Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) plans/programs these past few years:
‘Ongoing recalcitrance pursuant to specific Congressional fiat, on the part of the FHFA and GSE’s Fannie Me & Freddie Mac, to secure realistic, appropriate, and ongoing access to chattel capital for (manufactured) home-only loans is, in my opinion, profound benign neglect”, being “…an attitude or policy of ignoring an often delicate or undesirable situation one is held to be responsible for dealing with….’
What are remedies for this pattern – now culture, of federal profound benign neglect?
• Once and for all ‘get over’ the chattel capital lending debacle of 1998-2003. Begin a new and helpful chapter via GSE’s tangible support of manufactured housing and land lease community lending!
• Reverse 12 years of minimal activity, relative to GSE’s Duty to Serve plans and programs – to date appearing to be languishing and ineffective.
• During year 2021, buy many seasoned chattel manufactured housing mortgages, to stimulate a much-needed secondary market for selling these specialty loans.
And yes, there’s more that could be said – specifically; but why waste time elucidati9ng measures likely to be, once again, ignored?
***
George Allen, CPM™Emeritus; MHM™Master; & Emeritus member, MHI
Senior consultant & lead author of EducateMHC
Gfa7156@aolc.om

Did YOU know?

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Blog Posting # 607 @ 9 Oct 2020; Copyright 2020: Educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Hang onto your seat! This is the first time, in a long while, that we’ve had five major parts to a blog posting – but every one of them is newsworthy and likely of value to you!

I.

FLASH ANNOUNCEMENT

RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet has, once again, been postponed; this time from 3 December to 13 May 2021.

For more information and to purchase tickets, phone (574) 293-2344

II.

Did YOU Know?

(Quoting from MHARR’s recent epistle titled: ‘Wasted Opportunities Mount as the Clock Ticks Down’, dated October 2020.)

“Fannie Mae seeks approval to back away from any further 2020 loan purchases under its’ ‘enhanced manufactured housing loan product for quality manufactured housing and purchase loans, “ and instead, “replace loan purchases with expanded outreach and education activity.” Sure! And Freddie Mac, in its’ proposed 2020 Plan modification and 2021 extension proposal, totally eliminates its’ previously proposed ‘chattel pilot’ program for 2019-2020, and its’ previously proposed purchase of 800-2,000 manufactured home chattel loans over the same period. Not content with that, though it also would cancel its’ alleged ‘outreach’ and education programs related to chattel lending over the same period.

Do you understand what’s being penned here? Read the paragraph again, before proceeding to the next ‘kill manufactured housing’ bombshell.

“And lest anyone be confused over Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘HFA’) intent to seriously consider Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) stakeholder input (Hey, that’s YOU and ME!) on these ‘proposed’ revisions at a scheduled October 16, 2020, ‘listening session’, or in written comments (due October 23, 2020), FHFA, in its’ Request for Input (‘RFI’) regarding the proposed modifications (Previous Paragraph in this blog!), helpfully notes it ‘expects to issue Non-Objections to the Enterprises proposed modifications…after considering…public input,…by January 11, 2021.” So, it sounds like ‘public input’ will get about as much ‘consideration’ from Fannie, Freddie and FHFA as it has in the past, which is zero to none.”

I’ve already signed-up to ‘public input’ at the Listening Session hosted by the FHFA on 16 October 2020. But now it seems, given accuracy of MHARR’s quoted commentary above, that effort will be akin to ‘pissing up a rope’ in terms of policy change efficacy. Good thing the session is ‘virtual’, or I’d really be upset about spending money to travel to Washington, DC, to speak in behalf of manufactured housing and land lease communities nationwide.

Want your own copy of MHARR’s epistle just quoted? Inquire of Mark Weiss via (202) 783-4087

And if you do wind up with a copy, be sure to turn to page # 2 and read the third (full) paragraph thereon, beginning with this sentence: “But what about the missed opportunities of the past four years – such as those at HUD under Secretary Carson?” Would have quoted it here but for space limitation.

III.

SECO20 in the eyes of its founder…

What follows here is quoted directly from a feature, describing this year’s SECO Conference, penned by one of the event founders, Spencer Roane, MHM. To enjoy and learn from the entire HOW TO article, read it the November issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter. To subscribe, read heading to this blog.

“When COVID-19 forced the SECO20 Planning Group to cancel plans for the 10th annual conference, the 16 member group, primarily headquartered in Atlanta, began looking into a virtual meeting instead.”

“MHVillage narrowed the list of capable platforms down to a half dozen.” Then, “MHVillage ….began programming the Sococo platform – and selling sponsor and exhibit space.”

:”Co-founder (David) Roden suggested two important additions to SECO20: Manager Monday and Founders Friday.” Maria Horton, MHM, of Newport Pacific wound up handling most of the scheduling details for the first event.

“In the end, SECO20 proved to be a resounding success. This was the first large scale (almost 500 registrants from 35 states – with twice as many from CA than from GA) event in the manufactured housing industry!”

IV.

MHI Holds Annual Meeting Virtually

Monday through Thursday of this week, featured morning and afternoon sessions for MHI members. This observer listened in on Monday, as Dr. Leslie Gooch and Mark Bowersox announced 2020 board officers would ‘repeat’ during year 2021. Then introduced a new purpose statement ‘elevating housing innovation & expanding attainable housing ownership’ – or words to that effect. (And how does this purpose statement address land lease communities?) Also presentation of various awards to members. Learned, when attorney Marc Lifset was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award that he either has retired or is in the process of doing so. Wonder if he’ll ‘disappear into the woodwork’, so to speak, like former MHI chairmen Barry McCabe and Gary McDaniel, or continue to influence the industry from afar, like Ross Kinzler and Tim Dewitt? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Now, there’s more I’d share with you from these meetings; but ‘years ago’, MHI instituted a gag restriction on news reporters and journalists of all stripes – for good reason at the time. Remember ‘YKW’? Personally, I’d like to see MHI ameliorate those restrictions on press privilege. Had that been the case now, I could – and would, have lengthened this part of the blog posting by

• pointing out an oversight relative to institute’s new Purpose Statement – besides the fact that ‘what we do’ (i.e. manufactured housing) is not even mentioned in it!
• how No Mention was made of CrossMod™ housing being a ‘no starter’ during year 2019 – and question ‘where it is’ this far into year 2020. A finance or design problem?
• some of the naïve commentary couched in the DuckerFrontier ‘Community Cost-Benefit Analysis’ as presented to the National Communities Council division during their meeting on 7 October 2020.

As it stands now, my writing, as an historian for the manufactured housing industry and land lease community realty asset class, is at a near standstill. Is that what we want or need?
V.

A Not-So-Rhetorical Question

One well-known portfolio owner/operator of land lease communities ordered two identical manufactured homes from the same factory, destined for the same location, with delivery three months apart. Second home arrived with invoice pricing nine percent (9%) higher than the first home. WHY?

According to the home’s HUD-Code manufacturer, it was due to drastic increase in lumber cost. And this might well be true. But it sure doesn’t make our unique HUD-Code housing product any more affordable, let alone attainable, by our traditional markets of the ‘newly wed & nearly dead’.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

MHIndustry ‘watchdog’ on a roll!

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Blog Posting # 606 @ 2 Oct 2020; Copyright 2020: Educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

I.

MHIndustry ‘watchdog’ on a roll!

Last week (blog # 605), we encouraged you to contact the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), to request a copy of their REPORT & ANALYSIS, (‘R&A’) distributed during early September. Did you?

Well, here’s a new REPORT & ANALYSIS, dated 21 September 2020, you should read and ponder. Titled similarly to aforementioned R&A, ‘MHARR Exposes Fannie and Freddie Deception of Regulators, Congress, and Trump Administration on DTS.” (Duty to Serve)

The lead paragraph is probably the most indicting one I’ve read, to date, relative to the two GSEs (government sponsored enterprises), its’ overseer the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency), along with “one or two industry conglomerates”.

Then, on page # 2 (second paragraph), Mark Weiss ‘makes his case’ as to how lack of affordability relates to – what he, in my opinion, erroneously refers to, as ‘MH Advantage’ & ‘new class’ homes. The correct terminology is CrossMod™. Be that as it may, his bottom line conclusion, is that this new shelter alternative “…would cost more than double the amount (i.e. $121,000 – $137,000 compared to $54,000 – $64,000) for current manufactured housing consumers DTS was designed and mandated to serve….” Hard to argue with that.

I’d like to have read MHARR Mark’s opinion, not just about what he felt were the shortfalls, e.g. DTS and the GSEs, but WHY they continue to occur. My opinion on the matter? Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, along with their FHFA overseer, simply don’t want to RISK a repeat of what happened to them at the turn of the century, when they lost so much money and went into conservatorship – and remain there, though some say there’s a ‘light at the end of that tunnel’. Any commentary out there, about the efficacy or not, of that opinion?

Besides two post-production factors – “discriminatory consumer financing restrictions and discriminatory zoning and placement mandates” (Reads to me like pre-production factors, and classic ‘which came first’, the chicken or egg, conundrum?), MHARR blames much of this sorry state of affairs (i.e. recovering housing industry but declining shipment volume of HUD-Code homes) on “the absence of independent post-production sector (i.e. retailers, communities, finance companies, etc.) representation at the nation’s capital.” Once again, why doesn’t the writer of this opinion, share his reason(s) why this has not happened to date. WHY? I’ll offer one observation. As long as the largest national advocate for manufactured housing is funded and controlled by HUD-Code housing manufacturers, the three post-production sector business models will NEVER wield the type and degree of influence in our nation’s capital necessary to address issues, and regs, lamented early in the paragraph! And to date, no charismatic leader has stepped forth to lead ‘us’ out of captivity.

On one hand, I’ll give MHARR, a housing manufacturers’ trade association, a lot of credit for attempting to address macro issues germane to the land lease community realty asset class. However, doing so, from a less than fully-informed perspective, risks misunderstanding, even error. That happened on page # 5 of this P&A, when the writer pens: “the expansion of existing communities has largely been stymied; while existing communities are being sold and re-developed for other purposes at significant pace.” Not. According to annual ALLEN REPORTs, community expansions continue, and the hot trend of ‘park closures’, early this century, has cooled.

As I did last, week, encourage you to contact MHARR and ask them to email you a copy of this nine page REPORT AND ANALYSIS, dated 21 September 2020. You’ll be glad you did.

II.

A potpourri of MHIndustry Information…

A Storm Cloud on the Horizon?! Affordable Housing Finance magazine, in its’ Sept/Oct 2020 issue opines, “An estimated 30 million to 40 million people could be at risk of eviction in the next several months, according to a team of prominent housing experts….” P.8 Why? “…millions of Americans remain out of work due to COVID-19 and federal, state, and local protections expire.”

“Freddie Mac (in its’ midyear multifamily outlook report) predicts U.S. multifamily loan originations will drop severely for all of 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the big blow the virus has dealt the U.S. economy.” Heartland Real Estate Business tabloid, p.18

A whisper of good news! “According to latest Federal Fair Housing Agency House Price Index (‘FHFA HPI’), house prices rose 6.5 percent from July 2019 to July 2020.” FHFA will release its’ next HPI report on 27 October 2020, with housing data through August 2020.

Did you do SECO last week? If you did, you were part of the first and largest national virtual gathering (i.e. 400+ registrants) of manufactured housing and land lease community (though ‘too many’ of the presenters kept referring to ‘mobile home parks’) to occur in the U.S. since the Louisville MHShow way back in January 2020. The SECO National Conference for Community Owners featured more than a dozen timely topics, covered by nearly three dozen speakers. I’ve requested input from the show’s organizers to use in next week’s blog posting, perhaps even a feature story in the November issue of The Allen Confidential! newsletter. The entire event was recorded, so visit SECO online to learn how to obtain a copy if so desired.

Are YOU signed-up to attend the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (‘FHFA’) Listening Session for Manufactured Housing on 16 October 2020? I am. It’s virtual and extends from 1-4PM that day. Visit the FHFA website for more information. There is no registration fee.

Last call! If you or your firm owns and or fee manages a portfolio of five or more land lease communities, or a minimum of 500 rental homesites (at one or more properties) you qualify to be listed in the 32nd annual ALLEN REPORT, scheduled for distribution as an addendum to The Allen Confidential! newsletter during January 2021. To obtain a questionnaire to complete, simply email me via gfa7156@aol.com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Will I see you at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in Elkhart, IN., on 3 December 2020? Sure hope so! To purchase banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344. This is an ‘in person’ event.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC