Plant Tours, Homes Sales Seminars, & MHConundrum

January 29th, 2016

Blog # 384 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 31 January 2016; community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’,& Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & Opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance.’

INTRODUCTION. This week began with ‘no idea’ what we’d cover in this week’s blog posting. It ends, however, with timely and helpful information about the upcoming ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’; the 25th anniversary International Networking Roundtable; what will likely become one of the very best LLLCommunity educational sessions during all of 2016; and a ‘heads up’ about next weeks blog posting – or not. And don’t miss the Postscript…in light of salacious reporting elsewhere earlier this week. GFA

I.

Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars

(an update)

Carolyn and I’ve just returned from a two day trip to northern Indiana, visiting facilities where this inaugural event might be held later this Spring. Now we’re working with a half dozen HUD-Code home manufacturing firms to agree on a two day block of time during which to facilitate this unique ‘hands on’ & ‘how to’ opportunity to familiarize LLLCommunity owners/operators, with PRODUCT (new HUD-Code homes) & PROCESS (selling & seller-financing of same), with the ultimate goal of filling vacant rental homesites with homeowner/site lessees.

This much is certain so far. During the two day program, registrants – likely to be LLLCommunity owners/operators from throughout the Midwest, will be encouraged to pre-register four blocks of time (morning, & afternoon sessions, on two consecutive days = four sessions) for their preferred combination of plant tour(s) and home sales-related seminars. For example: one tour & three hours of seminars or one seminar and three tours; two hours of each; or; even four tours & no seminars or four seminars & no tours.

Plant tours? The following companies are scheduled, at this point, to host two hour tours, mornings and afternoons, during the two day program. They are, in alphabetical order, Adventure Homes (in Garrett), Cavco Industries’ Fairmont & Harmony Homes ( in Nappanee), Champion Home Builders (in Topeka), Clayton Homes (in Middlebury), Clayton Homes (in Wakarusa), Commodore Corporation (in Goshen), and possibly, Hi-Tech Housing (in Bristol). A special handout is being prepared to help registrants decide which plant(s) to tour. It’ll be a one page list of all these firms, along with characteristics of the new HUD-Code homes they manufacture and ship from the plants. This valuable handout will be available only to event registrants!

Home sales-related seminars? There will be four primary blocks of instruction, each repeated once again, during the two day program. The four key topics are:

• Getting Ready! Tips on readying one’s LLLCommunity to sell homes on-site.

• Buying Homes! How to select the right home & price point of new homes ordered

• Marketing & Selling! How to sell that new home once it’s on-site and installed

• Seller-financing! Overview of the $ alternatives, including leasing & lease-option

Specifically, ‘Getting Ready!’ will be presented during the morning of the first day, then repeated during the afternoon of the second day. That way, someone desiring to visit a plant the morning of the first day, can return to the host meeting facility and begin taking the next classes in sequence, e.g. ‘Buying Homes!’ the afternoon of the first day; ‘Marketing & Selling!’ the morning of the second day; and, ‘Seller-financing!’ – or – ‘Getting Ready!’ the afternoon of the second day. NOTE. To get max value from this two day session, it’s advisable to have two individuals attend from the same firm, if desiring to visit one or more plants, AND benefitting from the specialized knowledge shared during all four primary blocks of instruction.

By the way, and this is important: It’s anticipated all instructors teaching the four primary blocks of instruction, will be capable, experienced, successful, motivated owners of land-lease-lifestyle communities who’re actively selling and seller-financing new and resale homes on one or more of their properties!

Furthermore; one of the details not resolved yet, is how to provide opportunities to learn about ‘compliance with state & federal finance regulations’, while at this two day event; as well as ‘become familiar with chattel capital home loan programs’ available from independent, third party chattel capital finance firms. Since the daily programs extend from 8 AM to Noon; and 1 – 5PM (For plant tours, that schedule allows an hour’s drive each way, with two hours at selected plant, morning & or afternoon); with primary seminars (following a 45 minute Welcome & Introduction session), at 9-10:15 & 10:30-Noon; and, 2-3:15 & 3:30-5 each day. It’s anticipated, consultants and vendors with valuable services and products will be available by appointment, or on a catch-as-catch can basis, throughout the two day program. If you’re a consultant or vendor interested in this venue, let me know via (317) 346-7156.

So, what do you think so far? Interested in participating? We sure hope so. While specific dates and location will soon be determined, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know of our interest and preferences. We already have 50+/- interested parties on a preliminary sign-up list. Add your name via gfa7156@aol.com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. No commitment; just knowledge you’ll be among the first to receive details.

II.

25th Anniversary, International Networking Roundtable

(an update)

Now this is a little further out; 7-9 September 2016. But given the special nature of this year’s annual event (It’s the 25th anniversary of the International Networking Roundtable!) and the way exciting themes are emerging, YOU – if an owner/operator of one or more land-lease-lifestyle communities, do NOT want to miss it! Here’re the plans so far….

Themes? Usually it’s a challenge to come up with one good one. This year we’re deciding among at least four:

• Manufactured Housing’s Conundrum! Whether to continue the new home shipment malaise of the past seven years, or make dramatic business model changes in at least four core aspects of manufactured housing. (See blog # 383)

• Preserve your legacy as a LLLCommunity Owner! Emulate the late Kris Jensen, Sr. as in his ‘A Danish American’, or the late John Crean (Fleetwood) in ‘The Wheel & I’. Then there’s the iconic Jim Clayton in ‘First a Dream’, along with Harrell & Darrell Cohron in ‘The Trailer Twins’, plus the pictorial autobiography of the late B.M. Vukovich (CREICO cum Acentia Real Estate), and now, Al Schrader of A.L.S. Properties, have all authored autobiographies. If we’re fortunate, at least one, two, even three of those pioneers might be with us this year! And I’ll share a brief ‘HOW TO write your life story’ basics with attendees.

• Four ‘Home Sales Seminars’ as presented at aforementioned (in this particular blog posting) ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ in the Midwest

• ‘Bring Your Banker’! This movement to ID & court local bankers originating ‘home only’ chattel loans in LLLCommunities, began at last year’s Roundtable. A clear indication how LLLCommunities, the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’ has taken the lead during this NEW ERA of Manufactured Housing!

And the 20 topics we’ll cover this year? I’ve already got a dozen or so of them covered. What do YOU want to hear and see? Just like with Part I of this blog posting, let me know via email: gfa7156@aol.com or the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE.

III.

The Best of Spencer Roane, MHM® & Team!

OK, I fumbled access to Spencer Roane’s Power Point Presentation re ‘Marketing New Homes to Hispanics!’ last week. You really do need to avail yourself of some, if not much, of what he shared with a 175 person audience in Louisville, KY., a few weeks ago.

Go to: http://leaseoptionmhsales.com/information Once there, scroll down to ‘Power Point Presentations-Lease-Option Transactions’, then click to open that menu, and scroll down to the Louisville presentation.

IV.

There Might Not Be a Blog Posting @ 7 February. Why?

Because I’ll likely be on what family refers to as my annual pilgrimage, to PA, NJ, DE, & MD. Since I’ll be driving all that way – to finally attend MHI’s Winter meeting in Washington, DC., there isn’t much time for blogging and sending BEBAs (Blast Email Blog Alerts) – but I might just surprise you.

***

A postscript of sorts…

Sure, I criticize MHI and MHARR from time to time, because I believe the manufactured housing industry, and by extension, the land-lease-lifestyle community asset class, deserves the very best job performance possible from salaried and elected leaders of our two national advocacy entities!

In more than three decades of op/ed writing, for one or another of past and present MH trade publications, and or within the pages of the Allen Letter professional journal, the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! and this blog at community-investor.com, I’ve yet to call out any one person or persons, by name, for dereliction of duty or any other reason – and I don’t plan to start now. Nor should others…

At this critical stage in our industry’s cycle prone history, we need to be working more together than apart. That’s why COBA7® reaches out to MHI & MHARR, in the hope we can work better together to manufacture, ship, sell, and seller-finance more new HUD-Code homes in 2017 than during 2016, and fewer than we’ll experience during 2018. Does anyone else out there agree, or are we going to continue to witness more self-defeating infighting?

***

Manufactured Housings (Industry) Conundrum

January 23rd, 2016

Blog # 383 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 24 January 2016; community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG o r633-4764

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance.’

INTRODUCTION. This is the promised Part II, referenced in last week’s blog posting. Specifically; the Summary of ‘significant business model changes likely needed to spark the resurgence of manufactured housing production, shipments, sales, and installations thereof!’ The complete report, spawning the following 16 ‘hard choices & drastic actions’ will be published at least twice during the coming months. Details to follow.

I..

Manufactured Housing’s Conundrum (riddle, hard question):

Whether to continue the ‘new HUD-Code home shipment malaise’ of the past seven years; OR, implement dramatic business model changes in four core aspects of manufactured housing?

What follows here is a Summary of ‘hard choices & drastic actions’ put forth in a study and commentary examining four major core aspects of manufactured housing:

• HUD-Code Manufactured Housing Production, Shipments & Sales

• Land-lease-lifestyle Community Operations

• Affordable Housing Crisis

• Hybrid Approach to Manufactured Housing Finance in LLLCommunities

This Summary is intended to whet your appetite to read and learn, from the body of the complete study, ‘how & why’ these ‘hard choices & drastic actions’ are a means to reinvigorate, if not SAVE, the manufactured housing industry from self-destruction via benign neglect, by year 2020!

The complete report, titled ‘Manufactured Housing’s Conundrum (‘riddle, hard question’)’ will debut as an enclosure to the February 2016 issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter; then, either as a feature article or reprint in a later issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. In any event, the report is a Must Read Document, for senior management and entrepreneur businessmen and women.

What’s interesting about the timing of the release of this Summary, and totality of said report, is it occurs during the same months as 1) distribution of the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’; and in February, the month when 2) the Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, titled: ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’ debuts as a lagniappe in the aforementioned Allen Letter; and March, 3) = 18th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders Serving the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class. Are YOU on the receiving end of all this ‘strategic & timely reading’? If not, become an Option II affiliate of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7® by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

NOTE. None of the material mentioned so far in this blog, SSRDs and otherwise, is available from any other national advocacy entity claiming to represent manufactured housing or LLLCommunities nationwide! So, don’t miss this unique opportunity to be ‘in the know’ as our industry/asset class ponders and decides its’ future for the next four years!

OK, now back to the Summary of ‘Manufactured Housings Conundrum (‘riddle, hard question’). Remember, this is only ‘a summary’, the bulk of supporting statistics and commentary is contained in the report body to be published in TAC! and the Allen Letter.

HUD-Code Manufactured Housing Production, Shipments & Sales

• Embrace Community Series Homes, as ‘home of today & the future’; and land-lease lifestyle communities as the 21st Century ‘emerging market’ for HUD-Code manufactured housing! (Already from 12,000+/- in 2009 to 28,000+/- in 2015!

• Exercise housing sale price compression without sacrificing quality, energy efficiency & product reputation! Now is not time to be maximize profitability, lest it hasten the demise of the manufactured housing industry by year 2020.

• If possible, adopt and offer a housing finance package to help sell new HUD-Code homes into LLLCommunities; but don’t go overboard, making one’s homes ‘loss leaders’ to corral favorable mortgage returns during the year(s) ahead!

• Direct one’s ‘floor fees’ to state & national trade bodies most supportive of HUD-Code home sales via effective lobbying, regulatory relief, & image promotion!

Land-lease-lifestyle Community Operations

• Ensure rental homesite rates are in sync with other forms of multifamily rental housing in the same local housing market; in effect, protecting the home value proposition of one’s homebuyers/site lessees!

• Encourage ‘85% of LLLCommunities’ to start selling & seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site! This may prove to be the most difficult task of all.

• Embrace professional property management at all levels of LLLCommunity operations, per ACM®s, MHM®s, & CPM®s. Firms to become AMO®s!*1

• Portfolio owners/operators to actively support state MHAssociations with dues memberships for all LLLCommunities, encouraging participation by managers!

Affordable Housing Crisis

• Agree on & start using a practical, workable definition of ‘affordable housing’; begin measuring effectiveness of programs, e.g. via Housing Expense Factor *2

• Encourage broader use of the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ to calculate housing price points for new markets; how much house a prospective buyer should buy; and most important, change the lending landscape from ‘risky’ to ‘affordable’!

• Implement pre-sale qualification policies and procedures, as well as financial counseling!

Hybrid Approach to Manufactured Housing Finance in LLLCommunities

• Learn more, and consider effecting, conventional residential ‘home only’ mortgage loans in high quality, professionally managed LLLCommunities!

• Learn more about workings and opportunities via FHFA, GSEs, & DTS! *3

• Via your national advocate entity of choice (MHI, MHARR, COBA7®), support implementation of conventional residential ‘home only’ mortgage loans in high quality, professionally managed LLLCommunities featuring long term leases!

Well, there you have it. No fewer than 16 ‘hard choices & drastic actions’ to read, study, and decide whether the potential for increased HUD-Code home production, shipments & sales, is worth the risk of changing some, if not many, of the business models prevalent throughout the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class today.

What say YOU? Inquiring COBA7® blog floggers (readers) would like to know! Please respond via gfa7156@aol.com or via the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE.

End Notes:

1. ACM® via MHEI of MHI; MHM® via COBA7®, CPM® via IREM; and AMO® via IREM. All four certification designations should be commonplace throughout the land-lease-lifestyle community real estate asset class but are not!

2. Housing Expense Factor, or HEF, is one of six commonly known measures of ‘housing affordability’; the other ones being Housing Opportunity Index or HOI Measure; Housing Wage or HW Measure, Workforce Housing or WFH Measure; Income to Home Value Ratio or IHVR, a.k.a. ‘Realtor’s Rule of Thumb’; and ‘One Who Believes’…ownership housing is affordable if the price is right! Quoted from Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures, George Allen, CPM®Emeritus & MHM®Master, PMN Publishing, IN, 2012. Available for purchase from COBA7® via (317) 346-7156.

3. FHFA = Federal Housing Finance Agency; GSEs = Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac; DTS = Duty to Serve legislation.

***

A postscript of sorts. When I distributed an early DRAFT version of this blog posting for peer review, I was pleased with the universal approval for every one of the 16 ‘hard choices & drastic actions’ identified. But I was surprised by ‘more than one suggestion’ I should include a fifth core aspect of manufactured housing.

Care to guess whish one?

In four words: National Manufactured Housing Advocacy.

As you know by now, I did not ‘go down that slippery slope’ in this blog posting. Why?

If you’re a longtime reader of publications, in which I’ve penned op/ed pieces over the decades, you’re aware of knee jerk reactions (i.e. ‘kicks’) inevitably following every critique or ‘suggestion for improvement’ made, regarding either or both present day national advocacy bodies. They simply don’t like it when I point out how 1) they’re ‘housing manufacturer dominated’; and in one case, 2) by executives from a couple of the ‘largest property portfolios’. Nor is it appreciated, I’m told, 3) the term ‘affluence gerrymandering’ was coined to describe their penchant for holding national meetings at expensive resort venues, discouraging participation by direct, dues-paying members, making it easier to effect internal decision making. Oh, and 4) not to forget mention of selective prohibition of proxy voting in at least one institute division. And the list goes on; i.e.. imitation of other national entity programs (e.g. MHM® training & certification in 1988) and resource documents (e.g. annual ALLEN REPORT in 2015).

No, at least for the time being, I’ll – as Dan Rolfes, PHC®, and former MHI chairman, was known to say at times, ‘Keep my powder dry for another day’!

***

‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’ & quiet before the storm…

January 15th, 2016

Blog # 382 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 17 January 2016: community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!, & Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance.’

INTRODUCTION. Not much to say really. Part I describes the newest, and possibly the most helpful marketing tool, for selling more HUD-Code manufactured homes on-site in LLLCommunities. And Part II, while not meant to be a tease, comes across that way, as I start – then – stop introducing, potentially the most controversial line of thinking and action I’ve penned in nearly four decades in this business and realty asset class. Didn’t get ‘cold feet’, just need more time to work through the significant business model changes likely needed to spark the resurgence of manufactured housing production, shipments, sales and installations thereof..

.
I.

The ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’!

For once, HUD-Code manufactured housing & its’ land-lease-lifestyle Community component, thanks to the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, is figuratively speaking, ‘a significant leg up’, when it comes to articulating and offering a practical, comprehensive new housing sales & leasing marketing tool! Simply put, COBA7® introduces here, the ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’; & here’s how we got to where we are today:…

ACADEMIC MARKETERS, in textbooks and classrooms on university campuses, extol the value and use of what they refer to as the Four Ps of Marketing; specifically: Product (or Service), Place, Price, & Promotion! No more, no less. And probably, in some industries, that’s as far as one needs to go, to ‘get the word out’ about one’s marketable product or service. But it’s nary enough for marketing practitioners working in the housing world, selling and leasing various types of shelter.

SUCCESSFUL MARKETERS of new and resale housing, as well as leasing apartments, and housing/rental homesites in LLLCommunity environs, have long known, Four Ps of Marketing are simply not enough to ‘get the job done’! No, even with the most attractive (housing) Product in the best Place, at a locally competitive Price, and well-Promoted, without properly trained, motivated, & supervised People, the job simply will not be well accomplished. Hence, the Five Ps of Marketing. But even that’s not enough to effectively market the wide variety of housing types, including manufactured housing and rental homesites available today. Each of those aforementioned Five Ps must be RIGHT, as in the Right Product (or Service) for the targeted market (customer), displayed and available in the Right Place in the local housing market, certainly at the Right Price (does ‘affordable’ sound familiar?), with the Right (mix of) Promotional efforts, by the Right (Again; trained, motivated & supervised) People! When those Five Right Ps truly track, we’re more than half way to Marketing & Sales Success!

But that’s still not all! The National Multihousing Council (‘NMHC’) and National Apartment Association (‘NAA’), in a recently released 700+ page realty investment and management tome, containing material contributed by COBA7®, added a ‘Sixth Right P’ to the already heady marketing mix: ‘Right Process’! And just what is Right Process? ‘It’s the planning and procedures SAVVY MARKETERS use to ensure (shelter) needs and wants of the target market, within one or more local housing markets, are fulfilled by the previous Five Right Ps of Marketing, i.e. Right Product (or Service); Right Place (or Location); Right Price (Affordable or not); Right Promotion (Print &/or online advertising, on & off-site signage, & public relations measures); using the Right People (Trained, motivated & supervised)!’ These ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’ become both the ‘drivers & results’ of the ‘Seven P Rule’, where ‘Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance!’ Or, put another way, ‘Failure to plan (marketing), is planning for failure (lack of marketing success)!’

So there you have it, the practical & comprehensive new housing sales and rental homesite leasing marketing tool, the ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’!

And know what? If you’re in attendance at the LLLCommunity Owners Panel, at 10-11AM, on 20 January, at the Louisville MHShow, you’ll receive a new COBA7® Signature Series Resource Document titled: The ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’- a training aid describing each of the six ‘Ps’ in detail! And the reverse side of this new one page training aid features the popular ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, used by many marketers and salespersons, to calculate – based on AMI &/or AGI*, just how much ‘house’ a homebuyer and or homebuyer/site lessee can afford, under Risky & Affordable lending circumstances. If you can’t attend this ‘already SOLD OUT KY show’, featuring Community Series Homes to buy, but want a copy of this new, Free SSRD, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and ask for it.

End Note: (*) AMI = Area Median Income; AGI = Annual Gross Income (of a homebuyer or household). AMI/AGI on the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ is $36,000.

II.

Perhaps the time has finally come…

To do what? Plan and effect substantial (not subtle) changes to (most, if not all) business models comprising the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry as we know it today, including land-lease-lifestyle community operations, housing affordability & housing finance.

At this point however, I’m going to stop penning this week’s blog posting. Why? Because the necessary, if not radical, business model changes, long talked about quietly and privately, were detailed to COBA7® in recent correspondence. They’re about the only change alternatives remaining – if the manufactured housing industry is to survive beyond year 2020! In the meantime, I’ll likely discuss said business model changes with MHInsiders at the Louisville MHShow. Then perhaps take the subject up again next week.

***

January 15th, 2016

Blog # 382 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 17 January 2016: community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!, & Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance.’

INTRODUCTION. Not much to say really. Part I describes the newest, and possibly the most helpful marketing tool, for selling more HUD-Code manufactured homes on-site in LLLCommunities. And Part II, while not meant to be a tease, comes across that way, as I start – then – stop introducing, potentially the most controversial line of thinking and action I’ve penned in nearly four decades in this business and realty asset class. Didn’t get ‘cold feet’, just need more time to work through the significant business model changes likely needed to spark the resurgence of manufactured housing production, shipments, sales and installations thereof..

.
I.

The ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’!

For once, HUD-Code manufactured housing & its’ land-lease-lifestyle Community component, thanks to the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, is figuratively speaking, ‘a significant leg up’, when it comes to articulating and offering a practical, comprehensive new housing sales & leasing marketing tool! Simply put, COBA7® introduces here, the ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’; & here’s how we got to where we are today:…

ACADEMIC MARKETERS, in textbooks and classrooms on university campuses, extol the value and use of what they refer to as the Four Ps of Marketing; specifically: Product (or Service), Place, Price, & Promotion! No more, no less. And probably, in some industries, that’s as far as one needs to go, to ‘get the word out’ about one’s marketable product or service. But it’s nary enough for marketing practitioners working in the housing world, selling and leasing various types of shelter.

SUCCESSFUL MARKETERS of new and resale housing, as well as leasing apartments, and housing/rental homesites in LLLCommunity environs, have long known, Four Ps of Marketing are simply not enough to ‘get the job done’! No, even with the most attractive (housing) Product in the best Place, at a locally competitive Price, and well-Promoted, without properly trained, motivated, & supervised People, the job simply will not be well accomplished. Hence, the Five Ps of Marketing. But even that’s not enough to effectively market the wide variety of housing types, including manufactured housing and rental homesites available today. Each of those aforementioned Five Ps must be RIGHT, as in the Right Product (or Service) for the targeted market (customer), displayed and available in the Right Place in the local housing market, certainly at the Right Price (does ‘affordable’ sound familiar?), with the Right (mix of) Promotional efforts, by the Right (Again; trained, motivated & supervised) People! When those Five Right Ps truly track, we’re more than half way to Marketing & Sales Success!

But that’s still not all! The National Multihousing Council (‘NMHC’) and National Apartment Association (‘NAA’), in a recently released 700+ page realty investment and management tome, containing material contributed by COBA7®, added a ‘Sixth Right P’ to the already heady marketing mix: ‘Right Process’! And just what is Right Process? ‘It’s the planning and procedures SAVVY MARKETERS use to ensure (shelter) needs and wants of the target market, within one or more local housing markets, are fulfilled by the previous Five Right Ps of Marketing, i.e. Right Product (or Service); Right Place (or Location); Right Price (Affordable or not); Right Promotion (Print &/or online advertising, on & off-site signage, & public relations measures); using the Right People (Trained, motivated & supervised)!’ These ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’ become both the ‘drivers & results’ of the ‘Seven P Rule’, where ‘Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance!’ Or, put another way, ‘Failure to plan (marketing), is planning for failure (lack of marketing success)!’

So there you have it, the practical & comprehensive new housing sales and rental homesite leasing marketing tool, the ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’!

And know what? If you’re in attendance at the LLLCommunity Owners Panel, at 10-11AM, on 20 January, at the Louisville MHShow, you’ll receive a new COBA7® Signature Series Resource Document titled: The ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’- a training aid describing each of the six ‘Ps’ in detail! And the reverse side of this new one page training aid features the popular ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, used by many marketers and salespersons, to calculate – based on AMI &/or AGI*, just how much ‘house’ a homebuyer and or homebuyer/site lessee can afford, under Risky & Affordable lending circumstances. If you can’t attend this ‘already SOLD OUT KY show’, featuring Community Series Homes to buy, but want a copy of this new, Free SSRD, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and ask for it.

End Note: (*) AMI = Area Median Income; AGI = Annual Gross Income (of a homebuyer or household). AMI/AGI on the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ is $36,000.

II.

Perhaps the time has finally come…

To do what? Plan and effect substantial (not subtle) changes to (most, if not all) business models comprising the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry as we know it today, including land-lease-lifestyle community operations, housing affordability & housing finance.

At this point however, I’m going to stop penning this week’s blog posting. Why? Because the necessary, if not radical, business model changes, long talked about quietly and privately, were detailed to COBA7® in recent correspondence. They’re about the only change alternatives remaining – if the manufactured housing industry is to survive beyond year 2020! In the meantime, I’ll likely discuss said business model changes with MHInsiders at the Louisville MHShow. Then perhaps take the subject up again next week.

***

Three Questions; Panel Colloquy, & MH#s Finagling

January 9th, 2016

Blog # 381 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 10 January 2016: community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!’

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support Us & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print/online media =to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance.’

INTRODUCTIONS.

All COBA7® asks, is for you to keep three pithy questions in mind as events occur and issues unfold during year 2016! Methinks this is going to be a tumultuous time for the manufactured housing industry & land-lease-lifestyle community asset class. And you?

Best Way to Prepare! Participate in Louisville MHShow @ 20-22 January. Seek me out at the LLLCommunity owners panel presentation, 10-11AM on the 20th. Request a postcard describing ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ in Elkhart, IN.

Finally; the (MH) industry will not recover, or revive the attention & support of would be homebuyers/site lessees, politicians, and media, until our national advocates ‘get their act together’! An appropriate place to begin would be to end misreporting of monthly ‘new HUD-Code home shipments’ to members and affiliates. If they can’t get their numbers right, why should anyone (e.g. federal legislators, regulators) expect anything else right?

Remember; this blog is the sole national MH trade publication, online and in print, that welcomes ‘your reaction & responses’ to matters presented in here, in the Allen Letter professional journal, & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter. Simply respond: gfa7156@aol.com or Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

FYI. 27th annual ALLEN REPORT was distributed this past week! Did you receive yours? If not, order it from COBA7® via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE listed above.

I.

Those Three Pithy Questions…

Here’re the Three Queries Read & Parsed by Our MH Peers last Week…

• Is Duty to Serve simply another federal $$$ entitlement program, this time in the housing arena; and, is it as GOOD – or BAD, for the American taxpayer, as for prospective manufactured housing buyers & the manufactured housing industry?

• With HUD-Code manufactured housing all but ‘dead in the water’, WHY is HUD rejuvenating ‘Dispute Resolution’ & ‘Federal Installation Standards’, dormant since promulgation in 2007 – when new home shipments were already 90% fewer than in 1998, & double the low number (55,000/yr. average) they are today? $$$!

• Is manufactured housing better served, federally-regulated & protected; or better off shedding 40 year regulatory fetters, to operate freely among local housing markets throughout the U.S.? Stockholm Syndrome or Freedom? Follow the $$$!

Here’s a sampling of paraphrased responses, to these heady questions, received from blog floggers (readers) throughout the U.S.

• “Your blog was a good analogy (‘comparison’) for your readers to comprehend and open their eyes to business politics reality.”

• “Local land planning wins the housing battle as they have immediate local power, not the federal HUD department. A good point you made, on the HUD fee structure supporting the department’s existence, even with manufactured housing (nearly) Dead on Arrival. HUD doesn’t really want us (i.e. manufactured housing), GSE’s (& FHFA) do not support our specialty financing needs, and HUD effects no publicity whatsoever, relative to including HUD-Code homes in any of its’ new creations or raw land developments.”

• Relative to just the third question: “I choose freedom – but you already knew that.” NB

So, why does any of this matter, since ‘two of the cows, figuratively speaking, have already left the barn’? Here thinking, year 2007 ‘regulatory rejuvenation’ by HUD, & MHIndustry preference for ‘continued federal regulation of manufactured housing’

Perhaps making them ‘matters of record’, for the time being, to be recollected in the near or interim future – 1) when LLLCommunities have been ‘nickel & dimed’ nearly out of business, and 2) federal regulation has done nothing to improve new manufactured housing shipment volume! And, Duty to Serve? Well, the FHFA proposed regulatory rule, on this matter, is available for comment until March 2016.Have you formally commented? Ross Kinzler and I have. Now we wait to see what happens, if anything….

II.

A Panel Colloquy You Don’t Want to Miss!

LLLCommunity Owners to Address Topics & Field Questions at Louisville MHShow on 20 January 2016 at 10:00AM. Be there!

It’s not often successful, experienced owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities make a public appearance together, for the express purpose of sharing unique and helpful Lessons Learned within this realty asset class.

Partial list of who’s presenting and what they plan to cover?

Brian Fannon, CPM®, from MI, will describe the ‘Repositioning of a Distressed (closed) community, considering current local housing market conditions and other factors.’

Nathan Smith, PHC®, from KY, will share trade secrets re acquisition of communities, then matching & ordering new HUD-Code homes per features, pricing & market needs.’

Mark Wisely, from IN., is excited about his firm’s use of ‘Insulated steel panels’ in his communities, and how ‘1BR HUD-Code homes, in his view, are an untapped market’!

When I posted this week’s blog, I didn’t have word as to what other panelists would be covering during their allotted time. Perhaps I will next time around…

As facilitator of the panel, I’ll not make a formal presentation. But rather, will distribute plastic 3X5” wallet cards describing the ‘Five Right ‘Ps’ of Marketing’! The beauty of this is, a ‘Sixth Right ‘P’ has recently been added to the heady sequence, and will be introduced publicly for the first time, at the Louisville MHShow! Come and get your card – as long as supply lasts.

See what I mean? This hour-plus opportunity, For You, is chock full of good and helpful information relative to land-lease-lifestyle community ownership and operation. Be there!

For registration information, phone Dennis Hill via (770) 587-3350 or via showways@bellsouth.net

And that’s not all! Spencer Roane, MHM®, of Pentagon Properties in Atlanta, GA., will be on hand, with his staff, to share his firm’s Lessons Learned relative to ‘Marketing of New HUD-Code Homes to the Hispanic Market!’ That session alone will see a full room!

Postscript.

This should be Headline News but isn’t! ‘How many COMMUNITY SERIES HOMES will be exhibited at this year’s Louisville MHShow?’ Anyone care to guess? Should be Dozens, and we hope that’s the case. I’ve already committed to a couple LLLCommunity owners, coming to buy CSH Models at the show, to photograph them, with their purchases, and run their stories in an upcoming issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. And hey, if YOU buy a new CSH Model at the home, let me know too! (317) 346-7156. One LLLCommunity owner/operator has committed to write and describe his/her experience ‘inspecting & buying’ a new Community Series Homes at this year’s show.

III

More Finagling of Monthly MH Shipment Numbers!

If a loyal reader of this weekly blog posting at community-investor.com, you’re already familiar with the contradictory reporting of monthly HUD-Code housing shipment numbers, compiled by the Institute of Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), then reported to members and affiliates by MHARR, COBA7®, HUD, & the VAMMHA, versus a usually different total reported by MHI.

Well, we might just be at an impasse cum correction! On 4 January 2016, IBTS reported 5,980 new HUD-Code homes shipped during the month of November 2015. This same number was then reported to members and affiliates by MHARR, COBA7®, HUD, & the VAMMHA. However, as of 9 January, MHI had not reported November’s new HUD-Code home shipment total to members. If they adjust said IBTS figure, as in months past, their total will likely be 5,957. Or, they might start year 2016, by the same IBTS total as does MHARR, COBA7®, HUD, & the VAMMHA. Hmm. Guess we’ll just wait & see.

Now, here’s the newest #s rub! The latest HUD-Code homes shipment report from MHARR, also dated 4 January 2015, contains this basic, plus supplemental statement:

“…HUD Code manufacturers produced 5,980 homes in November 2015, a robust 20.6% increase over the 4,955 HUD Code homes produced during November 2014.” However…

Here’s what MHARR did NOT tell their members: ’This 5,980 new HUD-Code homes total is 866 fewer homes than were produced in October 2015. And frankly, November’s 5,980 new HUD-Code homes are the fewest shipped since May 2015, six months ago!’

Nothing like ‘building one up’, when better served with a ‘dose of sobering reality’! And if this significant reduction in production, between October & end of November 2015, continues between November & end of December, there’s little reason to expect an annual cumulative total of 70,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped for year 2015!

Which, by the way, predicts yet a ‘third finagling’ of MHIndustry shipment totals. How so? Watch to see what MHARR, COBA7®, HUD, & VAMMHA report as the cumulative 2015 total, compared to a similar-but-likely-different total (maybe) reported by MHI. Notice IBTS is not mentioned in the previous sentence. Why? Because IBTS does not report annual cumulative totals of new HUD-Code homes shipped, as there’re ‘always’ Destination Pending units remaining at the end of every year, that make for an uncertain total. Now you know the rest of the story.

***

George Allen, CPM®, MHM®
COBA7®
Box # 47024,
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Finally, Out into Open Discussion = 3 Serious Questions

January 1st, 2016

Blog # 380 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 3 January 2016: community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance’

INTRODUCTION…Hang onto your seats for this one! What started as a review of last week’s ‘Question not addressed by national advocacy entities representing HUD-Code manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities’, blossomed into a recitation of not just the One, nor even Two, but Three ‘Serious Questions’! When you’re done reading and pondering, and have opinions, on one or more of these issues, tell us!

Finally, Out into Open Discussion!

Part III of last week’s posting of blog # 379, titled: ‘The Question’, Stirred Responses.

Realized, when I penned ‘The Question’ last week, I risked ire from certain industry leaders accustomed to charting manufactured housing’s political course without discussion among its’ businessmen and women. And while the expected ‘ire’ did not materialize, something else did: Yet another ‘Serious question NO national (MHIndustry) advocacy group has publicly addressed’ to date!

But first, a rewording, for clarity; and brief revisiting, of ‘The Question’ posed in last week’s blog:

Duty to Serve. Is the regulatory manipulation of, and political/lobbyist pressures on GSEs (i.e. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac fiscal policies, via conservator, Federal Housing Finance Agency, et. al.), to accommodate ‘underserved’, low income, would-be homebuyers and mortgagors, GOOD for consumers – and the manufactured housing industry (i.e. increasing monthly volume of new HUD-Code home shipments), but BAD for U.S. taxpayers, by dint of adding yet another ‘$$$ entitlement program’, given the dire $$$ consequences within the same politico-socio GSE arena between 2008 & now? (*1) Think about it. Talk about it. Decide how you feel and let your national advocate know!

’The (same) Question’, again – but from a different perspective: ‘Do we really want to risk going down the same or similar $$$ entitlement road again so soon?’ Here’s one recent, very public private enterprise perspective, on the same Duty to Serve matter!

Recently published (26 December 2015) point & counterpoint exchanges of critical and at times vitriolic views, in an article in the Seattle Times, and Press Release response by Clayton Homes, Inc. (& by extension, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc.), describes what befell this private enterprise, attempting to unilaterally accommodate ‘underserved’, low income, would-be homebuyers and mortgagors; to wit: the firm ran afoul of social activists unwilling to examine, let alone understand, negative consequences of uncomfortable personal and familial details (e.g. being underqualified & exhibiting intermittent irresponsibility) oft characterizing this market.(*2) Like borrowing President Obama’s recent use of this metaphor: “If you’re doing big hard things (‘Think Clayton Homes here’), there’s going to be some hair on it – there’s going to be some aspects of it that aren’t clean and neat…” Bottom line? Given this private enterprise Duty to Serve perspective (i.e. corporate desire to supply ‘affordable’, not ‘subsidized’ housing), expect to be misunderstood – and worse, especially when doing so over the long haul…

***

And now, here’s the new ‘Serious Question no national (MHIndustry) advocacy group has addressed to date’ – arriving at this website in the form of correspondence from a longtime blog flogger (reader), and supplemented with industry statistics provided by the MHIndustry historian:

‘The (new) Question’. “Why rejuvenate federal regulations effected in 2007, affecting manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities, left dormant until now?”

In 1998, the manufactured housing industry’s most recent and likely last renascence, 372,843+/- new HUD-Code homes were shipped throughout the U.S. At the time, responsibility for the safe and secure new home installation was a heady and very public topic of conversation. Disputes among manufacturers, MHRetailers and homebuyers were aplenty.

Consequences, and planned but interrupted changes, in the MH business environment. In year 2000, the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act was passed – but arguably, never fully implemented. This was followed, seven years later, by Dispute Resolution & Federal Installation Standards. By then however (2007), given the loss of ‘easy access to chattel capital’, new HUD-Code home shipments plummeted to only 95,769+/- units! That downward spiral continued thru 2009, when only 49,789+/- new homes were shipped! A 7 ½ fold DROP in new HUD-Code home shipments over a decade!

POINT? The manufactured housing industry, by 2007, and certainly by 2009, 1) Wasn’t doing enough business to fund its’ regulator (i.e. HUD) via label fees, and 2) There weren’t enough homes being sold and installed to raise concerns, nor were there many disputes to resolve! And frankly, these matters are unchanged to this day, with an average of only 55,146+/- new HUD-Code homes shipped per year between 2009 & 2014. Year 2015? Maybe 70,000+/-, but compare that to the fivefold higher volume of 372,843 units in 1998. So, too few new HUD-Code homes to install, even fewer disputes to resolve!

So, why not leave the sleeping (some say, ‘dying’) dog lie? Or to put it another way, ‘What’s caused HUD to unilaterally rejuvenate federal regs effected in 2007, that are now, arguably unneeded?’ As they say, ‘Follow the money!’ If HUD continues to oversee the manufactured housing program, it will need income to pay its bills (e.g. inspectors, staff). (Read End Note #3) Where’re $$$ to come from? Primarily HUD label fees – already jacked more than 100 percent a scant two years ago. But with monthly and annual new home shipments at historic lows for nearly a decade, and unlikely to change (without reasonable access to chattel capital), additional oxen will have to be gored! Whose? Think land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators nationwide! How so? To begin with, Dispute Resolution is ‘dead on arrival’ – given so few cases filed during the past decade. But HUD administering the Federal Installation Standards in default states, is where the monies will likely be found, at least for the time being. Just ‘how’ will be worked out during the months ahead, as LLLCommunity owners/operators pay their way, via installation inspection fees and the federal regulatory process. Even the ingenious Frost Free Foundation®, at one time viewed as our industry-saving ‘silver bullet’, regarding new home installation, has been stymied! How so? HUD-Code home manufacturers appear to be avoiding overt approval of FFF in installation manuals delivered with new homes. Why? Ask them. Might be their lack of confidence in licensed installers and LLLCommunity developers and owners/operators, to properly implement said FFF system. Sad, but likely true.

So, what’re the two national advocacy bodies, one of which claims representation of the entire manufactured housing industry, doing to mitigate the arguable negative effects of HUD’s unilateral rejuvenating of 2007 era regs, where new home installations in LLLCommunities are concerned? Little to nothing! Why? Ask them! After all, their MH program director of choice is in the driver’s seat at HUD. Likely however, this benign neglect has to do with the primary controlling nature (i.e. home manufacturers) of their direct, dues-paying membership. NOTE. A possible unintended consequence of ‘not publicly addressing this serious question’? The ‘beginning of the end’ where LLLCommunities are concerned. We’re not building many new such income-producing properties (Read details in the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT), and the small, older properties (i.e. 85+/-% of estimated 50,000+/- LLLCommunities in the U.S. today) lack financial resources to replace adequate existing installation infrastructure @ $5,000+/-/rental homesite, when a new HUD-Code home arrives on-site! Could well be rocky years, 2016 & 2017, ahead for the realty asset class.

In closing, also know year 2016 commemorates the 40th anniversary of HUD’s (performance-based, federally preemptive, national building code) regulatory relationship with the manufactured housing industry. Watch for a soon to be released feature article, in either a HUD or manufactured housing-related publication, describing this ‘From Lemon to Lemonade’ partnership between years 1976 & 2016.

***

Postscript. Believe it or not, there’s a third ‘not so new but never publicly discussed question’, related to the second one (above), imbedded within End Note # 3 here following. You’ll want to read and ponder it as you did the first two hush-hush questions.

***

End Notes.

1. Though some say 1992, when Congress imposed affordable housing goals on the two GSEs, requiring them “…to guarantee certain numbers of mortgages made to lower income borrowers.” From P. 46 of Bethany McLean’s SHAKY GROUND, ‘The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants’, Columbia Global Reports, NY, 2015, 159 pages. A succinct history of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac since the turn of the century.

2. SEATTLE TIMES, ‘Minorities Exploited by Warren Buffett’s mobile-home empire’, by Mike Baker & Daniel Wagner. Dated 26 December 2015

Versus

Press Release: ‘Reporting Mischaracterizes Clayton Homes’ Treatment of Customers and Employees’…’Company Serves Underserved Markets, Making Homeownership Affordable.’ Dated 26 December 2015

3. Here goes. ‘More than rumor has it’, HUD sought to sunset (i.e. ‘terminate’) the manufactured housing program a few years ago, when it became obvious label fees from 50,000+/- new HUD-Code homes shipped per year, would not adequately fund department activities in this area. GAO interviews with manufactured housing businessmen and women, at the time, alerted the industry to this serious, but also potentially ‘freeing’ impasse. What’s happened since then is now history, in large part kept quiet, and only hinted at within exposes’ such as this. Hmm. Wonder who reading this though, is astute enough to see the ‘third (unanswered) question’ concealed within the shadow of this recitation, i.e. ‘Is manufactured housing, as an industry, better served as a federally-regulated & protected shelter type; or better off, shedding 40 year old regulatory fetters and operating freely among local housing markets (Yes, and having to please, and negotiate with, NIMBY-tainted land planners, and LULU zoning boards) throughout the U.S.?’ (See # 4) What do you think? Inquiring readers of this weekly blog posting would like to know. Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

4. NIMBY = ‘Not in my back yard!’; LULU = ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’; &, BANANA = ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody!’ = ‘the Big Three Acronym Barriers to Affordable Housing in Many Local Housing Markets Coast to Coast’. GFA

NOTE. If you’re not already affiliated with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, you should be! Why? Because no one but no one provides more land-lease-lifestyle community-related products & services (e.g. ongoing statistical research, 12+ Signature Series Resource Documents & Directories, weekly & monthly print & online media (Like what you’re reading here, plus two hard copy monthly newsletters), superb networking & deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification via the Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® program, even national advocacy when need be…official ombudsman (press) & historian for the manufactured housing industry!) To affiliate, simply use the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE given in End Note # 3 above, or use COBA7® brochure attached to BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this week’s blog posting # 380…

FYI.

Next MHM® class is on 19 January 2016 in Louisville, KY. Only $250.00/person. Team taught by Katie Hauck, MHM® & GFA. Phone (317) 346-7156 for a brochure and or to register. Class limited to 20. Note: 1,000 MHM®s now own/operate LLLCommunities throughout the U.S. & Canada! Are YOU certified? This is your opportunity to do so!

Five LLLCommunity owner panel @ 10-11AM, the morning of 20 January at the Louisville MHShow in Kentucky! If you own/operate one or more LLLCommunities you don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to learn from five successful owners who’ve ‘experienced it all’. To register, phone Dennis Hill via (770) 587-3350 or via showways@bellsouth.net I’m facilitating this panel discussion, so expect The Very Best!

And on the 21st, Spencer Roane, MHM®, along with his Atlanta-based staff will teach the basics of ‘Marketing New HUD-Code Homes to Hispanics’. Nowhere else will you find this training in 2016. Again, it’s at the Louisville MHShow. Call Dennis Hill. I certainly plan to be in the audience. Will you?

Finally; Pam Danner, manufactured housing program chairman for HUD will address the Louisville MHShow on the 21st of January. Wonder if anyone there will be bold enough to ask her the second question posed in this week’s blog posting? I plan to be in that audience as well. You owe it to yourself to learn as much as possible about HUD’s plans for the year ahead.

And, if you’re interested in participating in the ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ planned for late Spring (2016) in the Elkhart, IN., area, ask me for a postcard when we network at the Louisville MHShow in mid-January. Filling in and returning said postcard gets you onto the ‘inside track’ where this first time ever educational and ‘first hand experience’ event is concerned. Especially designed for small to mid-sized LLLCommunities throughout the Midwest.

***

COBA7, MHARR & MHI in 2015, 2016 & beyond…

December 25th, 2015

Blog # 379 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 27 December 2015: community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance’

PREVIEW.

Part I = ‘Outmaneuvered’; ‘FHFA & GSEs listen & respond’; ‘Get your ALLEN REPORT!’; &, ‘COBA7 affiliates encouraged to join MHI’s NCC division in 2016’!

Part II = ‘The Cobra, Mharrio, & Mhikki Scorecard for 2015, 2016 & Beyond…’

Part III = ‘The Question’ No One, I’ve heard or read, addresses in public or print!

I

As 2015 Draws to a Close…

• “Although some riders in the areas of environmental policy, oil exports, changes to the Visa Waiver Program, and tax credits were attached to the must – pass (a.k.a. omnibus appropriation) spending bill, policy riders to reform the Dodd-Frank Act (i.e. ‘Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing legislation’) were not included.” – in the “$1.15 trillion spending deal to fund the federal government through Fiscal Year 2016 and avoid a government shutdown.” This quoted, (With addition of two parenthetical remarks. GFA) from MHI’s WEEK IN REVIEW dated 18 December 2015. For more information, phone (703) 558-0400. Editorial comment. Given that affordable manufactured housing was the victim, once again, of covert political gamesmanship (Or, ‘call it what you will’), perhaps the time has arrived for MHIndustry leaders negotiate with our opponents. Anyone listening? Let’s hope so!

• “The Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) is inviting comments on whether the final rule should authorize Duty to Serve Credit for purchase of qualified chattel loans…(&)… proposed rule lays out a clear requirement for GSE’s to purchase real property manufactured homes. It also requires GSEs to undertake regulatory activities related to purchasing blanket loans on the following types of manufactured housing communities: (1) small communities with 150 rental sites or fewer (This sensitivity a direct result of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, & FHFA actively participating in the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, in San Diego, September 2015), (2) communities owned by their residents (‘Think ROC USA’), (3) non-profits or governmental agencies, and (4) communities where tenants’ site leases include certain tenant protections.” This quoted, again with addition of two parenthetical remarks, from MHI’s WEEK IN REVIEW dated 18 December 2015. For more information, phone Michael Price via (202) 649-3134. Editorial comment. Given FHFA & GSEs, for the first time since 2009, are clearly listening and responding to the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators nationwide, take this opportunity to read and respond to proposed Duty to Serve rule, before the March 2016 deadline. More on this subject to come, in future blog postings here…

• This is your last opportunity to ensure receipt of the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’), when distributed during January 2016. Only those LLLCommunity owners/operators who submitted completely filled-in ALLEN REPORT questionnaires this past Fall, and those affiliated with COBA7® at the Option II or III level, will automatically receive this valuable benchmarking document! As announced earlier, this is the Biggest & Best edition researched and published during the past 27 years! How so? The number of portfolio owners/operators has grown from 25 in 1988, to 500+/- today, via four distinct waves of consolidation. And if you’re a bona fide ‘player’ (i.e. real estate investor) in this unique, income-producing property type, you’ll want to be among the first to read and study this statistics-filled, trend-identifying, portfolio inventorying Signature Series Resource Document (‘SSRD’) available only from the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also, the exclusive and confidential 500+/- name LLLCommunity portfolio data base can be accessed, for a fee, for direct mail campaign purposes. Lenders, would be investors, and vendors do so frequently.

• And finally. Are YOU affiliated with COBA7? If not, you should be! Use aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE to do so, for $134.95/year (Allen Letter professional journal alone; $544.95/year for newsletter & a dozen SSRDs, including aforementioned ALLEN REPORT. Remember. There’re seven distinct products & services available to YOU as an ‘MHInsider’ (e.g. ongoing statistical research, updated resources & directories, print & online media, superb networking & deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification, even national advocacy when need be – i.e. ombudsman (press) & industry historian. Furthermore, are YOU a direct, dues-paying member of MHI’s National Communities Council division? If not, you should be! Why? Because they’re the only one, of three national advocates, representing LLLCommunity political and regulatory interests IN our nation’s capitol. For more information, phone (703) 558-0400 and talk to Mark Bowersox. SUMMARY: Get your LLLCommunity ‘products & services’ from COBA7®, and ‘politicking’ from the NCC! Now, watch to see if MHI”s NCC division reciprocates and encourages YOU to affiliate with COBA7® for all the products & services it does not supply….

II.

Will ‘Cobra, Mharrio & Mhikki’ mix-it-up and or fix-it-up
(MH-wise) during 2016?

Did you even know? There’s a Scorecard, first published on this website in early 2015, that serves as a collective benchmark for MHIndustry & LLLCommunity progress, or lack thereof, by COBA7®, MHARR & MHI, going into year 2016 and beyond? Well, there is, and here’re 11 leading indicators:

• MHI. Will high-priced meeting venue ‘affluence gerrymandering’ continue or change to economical meeting locations; plus, implementation of proxy voting privileges for direct, dues-paying members at all institute & division meetings? And will MHI start reporting same new home shipment #s as IBTS data source?

• MHI’s NCC division. Will ‘Top 50 Owners/operators’ list continue to ignore obvious trend towards mixed-use land-lease-lifestyle community property portfolios, featuring RV sites, or cease imitation of 27 year ALLEN REPORT?

• MHARR. When will it become clear who’s leading this association, famous for regulatory reform? And is their avowed interest in the ‘post production sector’ just that, or something else altogether?

• ULI’s MHCC. Gone! But questions remain: ‘Would manufactured housing benefit from a Think Tank – to explore larger issues?, & ‘If so, who best to fill that role?’ My opinion? A joint effort among COBA7®, MHARR, & MHI.

• COBA7®. Still in transformation. Yes, additional SSRDs published during 2015, plus alliance with Community Buyers Group. But no transition as planned in early 2016. That could occur at anytime, if right person(s) step forward to lead.

• MHEI. ACM® still in limbo. Possibly to go online, while overlooking the obvious: ACM® as midlevel professional PM training/certification; and MHM® – with its’ 1,000 certified owners/operators, as entry level PM training/certification.

• PMN Publishing. Focus during 2016 = preserving legacies of LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide. First, Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years, in 2014; now two autobiographies in editing and pre-press stages. Your story ready to tell?.

• MHCongress. 25+ years in Las Vegas is enough! But some fear change.

• NCC’s Leadership Forum. Spring = heavy on education; Fall = heavy on networking. Still no NCC public forum for addressing realty asset class issues…

• Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, & FHFA = All interested in manufactured housing (finance) & LLLCommunities. What’s changed? Bypassing political & loan origination middlemen who passed on only what they felt best. Now we’re talking!

• Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars = ‘a new Community Series Homes-based regional pilot educational program designed to help small to mid-sized LLLCommunity property owners/operators sell, and seller-finance more new homes on-site to fill vacant rental homesites. Spring of 2016.

III.

The Question

The sober and serious question no national (MHIndustry) advocacy group addresses:

Is Duty to Serve (See Part I, paragraph # 2 of this blog posting) only GOOD for the manufactured housing industry (i.e. Stimulating additional new HUD-Code home shipments & sales!), but BAD for the taxpayer (i.e. Adding yet another entitlement program to the plethora of social welfare $ doles already in place!), or WHAT?

When will we see that multifaceted question asked and parsed in the MHTrade press, let alone by one or more of the MHIndustry’s national advocacy entities?

***

Year 2016 = Most Exciting Year in MHIndustry history!

December 18th, 2015

Blog # 378 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 20 December 2015: community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.ka. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print/online media =
to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance’

INTRODUCTION.

You may not realize it, but the manufactured housing industry & land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators are on the threshold of what promises to be the most challenging and exciting, if not profitable, year since the turn of the 21st Century.

How so?

The ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’ (a.k.a. LLLCommunity folk!) and MHIndustry ‘players’ are already a full year into the NEW ERA of manufactured housing! And as we kick off January, year 2016, with the Louisville MHShow (It’s SOLD OUT!), as well as the ‘biggest & best’ ALLEN REPORT penned in 27 years (Read Part II following), it should be No Surprise to you, ‘big things’ are planned for ‘us in the MHBusiness’, by FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and others who’ve ‘kinda’ recently rediscovered our unique type of affordable (not subsidized) housing and professionally-managed community lifestyle! OK, so the Access to Manufactured Housing Act didn’t make it through Congress this time around, due to political finagling – we can make a run at it again!

But know what’s different ‘this time around? It’s become clear, demarcations are now clearly in place relative to national advocacy and the supplying of intellectual products and services to the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry & LLLCommunity realty asset class:

• Manufactured Housing Institute. Controlled by the major HUD-Code home manufacturers, continues to represent all segments of the industry.

• Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform. Represents smaller, mostly regional HUD-Code home manufacturers and no one else – that I know of.

• Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® serves more LLLCommunity owners/operators than any one or two other national advocates related to manufactured housing.

And if you’re ‘one of the many’ who believe this industry and realty asset class need some ‘new blood’ pumped into it, then support plans for the first ever ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ (Read Part III following) being readied for sometime during late Spring 2016 in the Midwest. Hopefully it’ll serve as a template for other regions of the U.S. that have HUD-Code housing factories.

Enjoy the ‘read’, learn, and support! GFA

And hey, if YOU’re into Marketing &/or Sales, of any sort, do not miss reading Part IV of this blog posting! Some new ground being plowed here. Be among the first to embrace the ‘Six Right P’s of Marketing’!

I.

‘Merry Christmas’ & ‘Happy Holidays’ to All My Friends

in Manufactured Housing, & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities Nationwide!

This time of year, many reflect on Christmases past as they plan for the present holiday season. I’m no different. Few memories give me more pleasure than recalling the first Christmas Carolyn and I spent together in 1963, when freshmen in college. We were already in love, and enjoying our first holiday together, setting the tone for 51 more to follow – and one we’d spend apart, in 1968, when I opened my presents while sitting atop our command post bunker at LZ Stud (later renamed LZ Vandegrift), a few miles East of the infamous Khe Sanh combat base. Then there were the many Christmases we enjoyed with Susan and Adam, as they grew through childhood and teenage years to adulthood; today sharing the holidays with them and their children, and now grandchildren – our great grandchildren. ‘Ah, the memories….’

This year won’t be much different for us. Carolyn has already decorated our home. The tree is up and awaiting decorating Christmas Eve by ‘everyone’ in the family – before or after enjoying our traditional dinner of standing prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, and fixing’s. And before the meal, or later in the evening at church, we’ll take time to recall the true meaning of the holiday, and what we’re really celebrating together….

Christmas morning we’ll arise, enjoy the spirit of the moment alone together, then visit the families with children, to watch them open presents, and enjoy breakfast together. Later in the day, when we return home, we’ll again – just like 52 years ago, ‘enjoy the holiday together’. Life does not get much better than that! George Allen

II.

Tantalizing Tidbits from the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT

a.k.a.

‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio
Owners/operators Throughout North America!’

You have no idea yet, of the enlightening experience you’re going to have when reading the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT or (‘AR’), for the first time, during January 2016!

Here’re a few of the special statistics & tantalizing tidbits contained in the most widely-read and frequently- referenced compendium of land-lease-lifestyle community data, emerging business trends, and 120+ name directory of property portfolio ‘players’:

• 24 percent of all LLLCommunity property portfolios are profiled this year!

• For the first time, affiliation with COBA7®, & membership in MHI’s National Communities Council division, is recommended for all LLLCommunity owners!

• Ten largest portfolio firms (including three REITs), control 56 percent of all rental homesites and 42 percent of LLLCommunities inventoried in this report!

• Rental (manufactured) homes, ‘contract sale’ units, & especially RV rental sites, figure greatly in the AR as LLLCommunities ‘Do whatever it takes to survive!’

• For the first time in several years, raw land is being developed into new LLLCommunities, & existing properties expanded; throughout the U.S. & CN!

• Pride of Young Lions! Ten firms added a total of 33,334 rental homesites to their portfolios, averaging 3,333/LLLCommunity, or arithmetic mean of 3,034 sites.

• Once again, the professionals at DATACOMP & MHVillage supplied JLT-based rent $ averages for various U.S. MSAs, & LLLCommunity inventories per state!

Three easiest ways to receive the ALLEN REPORT. 1)If you’re an Option II or III affiliate of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, you’ll receive a copy of the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT as a lagniappe, in the January 2016 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. 2) If a LLLCommunity owner/operator, and you completely filled-in and returned the ALLEN REPORT questionnaire distributed in August of this year, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of said report. 3) Manufactured Housing Manager® candidates, when attending the one day professional property management class, receive a copy as well. Next MHM® class: 19 January 2016, in Louisville, KY

If not eligible to receive the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT in the manners just described, but still need or want a copy, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and affiliate, at the Option II ($544.95) or III ($944.95) level. Option II gets you 12 months of the popular Allen Letter professional journal, and a Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, each month of the year, e.g. ALLEN REPORT = January; ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’ = February; annual National Registry of ALL $ Lenders (RE & chattel capital) = March, etc..

Frankly, if you’re a LLLCommunity owner/operator, how could you not want to be ‘in the know’, via knowledge gleaned from the 27th ALLEN REPORT; and each month of the year, reading unique and information-packed Signature Series Resource Documents?

III

Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars

New Way to Learn How to ‘Spec’ & Buy New HUD-Code Homes from the factory, then Sell, & if need be, Seller Finance them on-site in Land-lease-lifestyle Communities Throughout the Midwest!

The ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ concept has been in the preliminary planning stage throughout the year 2015. To date, six northern Indiana HUD-Code home manufacturing plants, owned by five different firms, have committed to host two hour morning and afternoon tours at their respective locations, during a two day period of time in late Spring 2016.

The number & specific topics of Home Sales Seminars, to be featured at a central (to be determined) location, likely in Elkhart, IN., are being decided and staffed at the present time. If YOU have expertise & experience in a particular aspect of in-LLLCommunity home sales operations, and would like to be considered as a presenter at this inaugural event, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. .

A primary focus of this event is the small to mid-sized LLLCommunity (& portfolio) owner/operator not yet involved in ‘buying new homes & selling/financing them on-site’. These folk have, to a large extent, suffered the consequences of more than 10,000 independent (street) MHRetailers going out of business since the turn of the century – their very means of filling vacant rental homesites with new and resale homes. Hopefully this ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ will be a pattern for other regions in the U.S. to plan and facilitate similar venues for even more small to mid-sized LLLCommunity owners/operators – and of course, along the way, stimulate more new home shipments out of our HUD-Code factories!

If you’re interested in attending this inaugural event, don’t wait to be invited! Phone (317) 346-7156 and ask to have your name and contact information put on the initial list used to invite LLLCommunity owners/operators to participate. Pre-registration will be required before this event, to even out plant tours and home sales seminars.

IV.

Five Right P’s of Marketing Become Six Right P’s of Marketing!

a.k.a.

Right Product, Place, Price, Promotion, People, now add Process!

Remember ‘way back when’ university marketing textbooks taught the ‘Four P’s of Marketing’ as being Product, Place, Price & Promotion? Know what? Some academics continue to teach such a limited foci.

Well, a few years ago, while fine-tuning the popular Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management training & certification class, I realized how a LLLCommunity owner/operator could have the best Product, ideal location (Place), right Price, and effective mix of Promotion avenues – but still be unsuccessful, without capable, experienced and motivated People! Hence, the ‘Five Right P’s of Marketing’ was born!

And this has worked just fine now for a few years. In fact, LLLCommunity owners/operators throughout the U.S. & Canada (Including the more than 1,000 MHM®s now owning/managing the unique, income-producing property type) routinely refer to 3X5 inch plastic wallet cards describing how to use the ‘Five Right P’s of Marketing’ to lease rental homesites and or sell new/resale homes on-site; even, from a HUD-Code factory sales representative perspective, how to market new HUD-Code homes to LLLCommunity owners/operators. If you’d like a FREE card, simply phone the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE.

While reviewing MULTIFAMILY HOUSING, ‘a Comprehensive Guide for Investors, developers, Apartment Professionals, Suppliers & Students’, I came across some sound reasoning on page # 250, for adding a sixth ‘P’, that being Process. And just what is Process? According to the 730 page text, published jointly by NAA, NMHC, & IREM, it’s: ‘The planning, procedures, and marketing to identify the target audience.” Amen to that! Not much point in having the Right Product, Place, Price, Promotion, & People, if you err in who you should be, or are, marketing new homes and leasing homesites. So Process becomes a critical part of the strategic mix of Six Right P’s of Marketing!

By the way, to order your copy of this text, visit www.naahq.org/multifamilytext

And that my blogging friends, is our ‘lesson of the day’ – one I’m happy to learn and share; hope YOU feel the same way!

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Who Speaks for YOU on National MH Matters?

December 12th, 2015

Blog # 377 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 15 December 2015; communit-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance’

I.

MHIndustry Spokesperson Revisited

More than a few of you agree with last week’s blog posture: the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry does NOT have a national, credible spokesperson to

Plead manufactured housing’s case as being this nation’s most affordable housing type!

Present consistent & united policies & presence to our industry’s regulators at all levels!

Be its’ manufactured housing brand marketing face before the home buying public!

And, here’s how one blog flogger (reader) responded to last week’s blog message:

“Hey George, Thanks for the blog! Parts I & II were ‘right on’. And Part III poses a great question (‘Who’s the MHIndustry Spokesperson?’) and is perfectly pertinent to the time.”

“We cannot expect to affect HUD, or state regulators, without a (national, credible) speaking entity. While state associations struggle to survive, sometimes combining resources to be regional presences, they too are not strong enough to ‘speak to our cause’. Our cause? The production, delivery and sale of low cost housing for the general public! Proof? Ask the following two questions of almost any group of citizens anywhere, and see which conversation lasts longer: ‘Who here knows about manufactured housing?’ & ‘Who here knows about recreational vehicles?’ Yep; the ‘proof’ of our lack of a (national, credible) spokesperson is that clear and convicting!”

And yet another flogger suggests the nonexistent national, credible spokesperson be prepared, once identified, to ask difficult questions in the halls of national power:

• “Who’s preventing HUD from promoting the manufactured housing product it presently regulates? Why doesn’t HUD follow USDA/DOE lead in energy efficiency? Why isn’t manufactured housing even on HUD’s affordable housing radar?”

• “What’s the feasibility of HUD becoming involved with guaranteeing chattel capital used to finance only new HUD-Code manufactured homes? And work with the GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) to coordinate a secondary market via Wall Street?”

• “Why isn’t HUD offering incentives, to local land planning boards and developers, to build more new LLLCommunities in areas (cities) where affordable housing is scarce?”

• ”Same said about land-and-home HUD-Code homes. Why no assistance from HUD?”

Sure, some – maybe all, of the above questions are impractical. Do you know if they are?

I sure don’t. But they’re being asked by businessmen and women active in this industry. That’s something there’s too little of these days, as we continue to struggle at shipping 70,000+/- new HUD-Code homes per year, down from 372,843 as recently as 1998! Not enough hard questions being ‘asked & answered’ via a national, credible manufactured housing industry spokesperson we know and respect!

So, back to the original question: ‘Who’s the MHIndustry Spokesperson?’

II

Official MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Timeline

As one of the earliest financial supporters of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation (i.e. 1970s), I long ago realized, that while we proudly have a Hall of Fame, museum, & library in Elkhart, IN., we did NOT have a manufactured housing historian, archivist, or curator on staff there – still don’t. So, during the past three and a half decades, I’ve voluntarily shouldered that responsibility part-time, from our offices in Indianapolis, IN.

One of the tangible results of this ‘labor of love’, in behalf of manufactured housing and the land-lease-lifestyle community asset class, has been the maintenance of an historic timeline, stretching from 1970 to present day. So, at the end of every year, for at least the
past two and a half decades, we’ve added annual summary paragraphs to said timeline. What follows here is the manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community retrospective to be added to the ‘Official MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Timeline’ later this month, December 2015:

(the) 15 year duration, still evolving paradigm shift affecting manufactured housing, has been & continues to be, characterized by significant enduring changes to all its’ traditional business models; to the extent now, many refer to this period of time as being a NEW ERA for manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities, e.g.

• New HUD Code housing production & distribution (i.e. Community Series Homes encroach on Developer Series Homes, a.k.a. ‘Big Box = Big Bucks!’)
• Increasing percentage of new HUD-Code homes shipped into LLLCommunities – up from 25% in 2009 to estimated 40% this year
• Within many land-lease-lifestyle communities, new home sales & seller financing, supplanted the 10,000 independent (street) MHRetailers who went out of business when easy access to chattel capital disappeared a decade-plus ago.
• Debut of ‘Decade of Affordable Factory-built Housing & Lifestyle Communities’
• 26th annual ALLEN REPORT imitated by a ‘Top 50 Largest Community Owners & Operators’ list omitting inclusion of RV rental sites among property portfolios.
• Continuing disunity between two national advocacy bodies, highlighted by their differing reporting of monthly ‘new HUD-Code home shipments totals’ per IBTS
• Disbanding of ULI’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’)
• GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, for second year, express renewed interest in and support of LLLCommunities and manufactured housing.

While year 2015 may not have been a stellar year, in terms of increased new home shipment volume, it certainly demonstrated the maturity of forced and voluntary changes among several segments of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and the LLLCommunity real estate asset class.

Brand Ad Campaign? Part of Solution or Problem? Official MHIndustry Spokesperson?

December 5th, 2015

Blog # 376 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 6 December 2015; community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance’

INTRODUCTION. On 1 December, I attended the National RV Show in Louisville, KY. 1,200 RV businessmen & women were present at 7AM for breakfast and motivation heading into a new year! There I learned, 375,000 new RV units will likely be delivered during year 2016. Know what’s ‘telling’ about that? The last time HUD-Code manufactured housing came close to such a production number was in 1998, when we shipped 372,843 new manufactured homes – and it’s been downhill ever since! Our projection for year 2016? 70,000+/- new manufactured homes. Point? How much more glaring must our industry’s ‘shipment shortfall’ be, before industry leaders call for a national caucus – as has been suggested many times since nadir year 2009 – to plan, then fight our way outa this eight year slump? I’m ready; how ‘bout YOU? Tell somebody!

By the way, October’s ‘new MH shipment #’ has been posted by the Institute for Building Safety & Technology. The number? 6,846 new HUD-Code homes! Watch to see the ‘new MH shipment #’ reported by MHARR & MHI. Bet they’ll be different from each other, and only one will match the IBTS total, and that reported here by COBA7®!

Part I. Yes, we get ‘letters’, email messages, etc., in response to our blog posts. Read…

Part II. Planning begins for first ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars!’

Part III. Who’s the MHIndustry Spokesperson? (I’m confident you don’t know…)

I.

‘Time & Circumstances OK for MHIndustry National (Brand) Ad Campaign?’

So read the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) subject line, introducing last week’s blog posting on this website. As you’ll likely recall, this industry observer opined the MHIndustry, for a variety of perennial reasons, is NOT ready for, or OK with, a national (brand) ad campaign. Turns out many of you ‘blog floggers’ (readers) believe similarly.

Excerpts from correspondents. “Outstanding blog comments! Here’s my two cents worth: ‘It starts at the local level. HUD homes, and most communities, are not desired (in the local housing market), due to image issues and public (mis) perceptions. And the only federal agency willing to listen and care, about our plight, is the USDA, not HUD!”
&
“Manufactured housing is NOT considered to be a house in many states, only a ‘non-motorized vehicle’, likely to be moved. How many planning departments and rezoning boards had no idea manufactured homes would have a shelf life of 30+ years? And now the Tiny House movement appears to be gaining momentum because they’re not viewed as ‘mobile homes’. “

And this….

“OK, OK, OK. Now I am depressed – not really, but _____ George, you are right. Until ‘they’ (HUD-Code home manufacturers) get together, we are doomed to mediocrity.”

II.

‘If You’re Not Part of the Solution,
You’re Part of the Problem!’

a.k.a.

Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars Coming to the
Midwest in Late Spring 2016

In recent correspondence to the half dozen HUD-Code home manufacturing plants committed to hosting plant tours this Spring, this questions is posed:

How to best market new HUD-Code Community Series Homes to land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), especially the small to mid-sized ones not already consolidated into one or another of the 500+/- known property portfolios in North America today? (*1)

Four alternatives were identified and described:

• Traditionally, via plant sales representatives visiting existing and prospective LLLCommunity home-buying customer/clients, to create and nurture working relationships, and to assist where possible or needed. This also includes marketing and sales affected by remaining independent (street) MHRetailers.

• Buying Groups, when effective, arrange bulk purchases of product, HUD-Code homes and otherwise, at discount prices. While a buyers’ group is now affiliated with COBA®, it’s not yet in a position to capitalize on this unique opportunity. Anyone know of any ‘up and going’ regional buying groups to tap into today?

• Factory Expo model. Involves establishing independent (street) MHRetail salescenters in close proximity to HUD-Code home manufacturing plants. For example, in the vicinity of Champion Homes plants.

• Catalog (& online) home sales. Involves creating and using a simple approach to ordering Community Series Homes for in-LLLCommunity placement. No known viable approach to this at this time, though Factory Expo markets new HUD-code homes online. Am I missing someone here?

And now, again, ‘How ‘bout you?’ Any creative, practical ways to sell more CSH Models into LLLCommunities nationwide? Sure would like to hear from you!

III.

Who’s the MHIndustry Spokesperson?

Call it water cooler conversation if you will, but several of us have been discussing this subject, via email, phone, and otherwise, during the past couple weeks. Conclusion? The manufactured housing industry has no national spokesperson at this time!

Why has the question come up now? Well, it actually resurfaces regularly, as our industry moves from one faux or real crisis to another. Sometimes the question is posed in the trade press, like now; at other times during industry gatherings; and still other times, when personal and corporate frustration reaches a critical mass – because there is NO Spokesperson to plead our case in the halls of power, be they political, regulatory, and otherwise.

But if you’re saying, ‘Whoa!’ what about this or that national advocacy entity we pay dues to for this purpose?’ My response to you would simply be this: ‘When more than one person or organization deigns represent you, in the same political, regulatory, or otherwise environment and locale, both immediate effect and lasting consequences are needways diminished, especially when said parties come at the same issue and concern with differing viewpoints and goals. Consequences? No standalone MHIndustry spokesperson and rare resolution in favor of the manufactured housing industry!

So, what’s the answer? That’s why I’m posing the heady question as Part III of this week’s blog posting at community-investor.com As ‘we’ talked about this subject, we could not identify even one individual, be he/she a successful businessman or woman, even an association executive who’s capable, experienced, and motivated to shoulder such personal responsibility and industry opportunity!

Perhaps you have someone in mind? If so, these inquiring minds would like to know. Make it your holiday gift to the industry!.

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NEXT WEEK. Watch for blog posting # 377 to provide first public look at the 2015 summary retrospective that’ll soon be added to the Official MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Timeline that dates back to year 1970. This COBA7® maintained timeline is the sole resource journalists refer to when writing about our unique type or factory-built housing and income-producing property type.

AND, some titillating insights and statistics relative to 27th annual ALLEN REPORT, e.g. For the first time ‘in years’, there’s substantial growth in the number of new LLLCommunities being built and existing LLLCommunities being expanded! Remember, to obtain your copy of this seminal annual report, you must be an Option II affiliate of COBA7®, or have submitted a completely filled-out questionnaire earlier this Fall. To affiliate, use brochure attached to BEBA introducing this week’s blog posting or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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