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

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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