Consortium of Print & Online MH Publications

CONSORTIUM of PRINT & ONLINE TRADE MEDIA PUBLICATIONS

Serving Factory – built Housing Manufacturers, Retailers, Financiers

& the Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class!

All segments of the U.S. housing industry have experienced major economic hits since the dawn of the New Millennium. First it was the HUD Code manufactured housing industry, at the turn of the century, losing the majority of its’ third party chattel (personal property) finance resources; eight years later, the site – built housing industry and its’ realty – secured mortgage market went ‘near bust’ for reasons also related to greed. Today, the former struggles to survive what some fear is a Grand Conspiracy, and others opine, a Near Perfect Storm of its’ own making. In the meantime, the latter languishes, as millions of repossessed homes await reselling before new construction can resume.

One of the hardest hit segments of housing industry has been its’ trade press, particularly print publications that served various business subsets for decades. Some have become online ezines, e.g. Automated Builder and Upwardly Mobile. Others have disappeared altogether, e.g. Community Management, then MHI’s Modern Home, the venerable Manufactured Home Merchandiser, even Systems Building magazines. Paucity of paid advertising has been the common denominator causing this wholesale retrenchment. Today, only the Allen Letter professional journal, the Journal magazine, and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter survive!

At the same time, less capital intense – and less reliant on paid advertising – online publications have proliferated! Here we find Ken Rishel’s Chattel Finance Newsletter (free), Community Connections newsletter (for MHI’s NCC members), Dick Moore’s occasional INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES free newsletter, Tony Kovach’s multifaceted Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management (free), John Grissim’s The Grissim Report (subscriber – supported), and this weekly blog posting at community-investor.com This is not a new phenomenon, recalling Vermont financier and industry commentator Marty Lavin’s occasional online newsletter of a year or two ago.

In addition to the remaining print publications and new online ezines, there’re more than a half dozen websites offering a modicum of ‘industry news’, and specialty information, relative to sales and marketing training, benchmark statistics, resource directories, lead generation services, even listings of homes and landlease communities for sale. For a copy of the recently researched and just published ‘Official Manufactured Housing Resource for Print & Online Media, plus MHIndustry & Social Networking Web Sites’, subscribe to the Allen Letter professional journal. The seminal document is enclosed as a lagniappe (freebie) with the May 2010 issue! Call the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD – HSNG or 633-4764 to subscribe ($134.95/year for 12 monthly issues).

Consortium of Print & Online Trade Media Publications? That’s right. At an April 2010 recent meeting in Springfield, ILL, representatives from two of the above – referenced print publications, and three of the online ezines, newsletters, and blogs, met to explore ways to work together, moving forward, in behalf of the national factory – built housing industry in general, HUD Code manufactured and modular housing industries in particular, as well as the landlease community real estate asset class. It was agreed, in the face of what’s occurred since year 2000 – summarized in the opening paragraphs of this blog posting, a print and online trade media consortium is an important opportunity and cooperative necessity whose time is now!

What might be expected from this informal consortium and its’ advocates, as it matures and time passes? What you won’t see is a blurring of editorial and content focus. For example; the Allen Letter professional journal has focused on LLCommunity owners/operators information needs for 20 years, only recently broadening its’ scope to include HUD Code home manufacturers who’ve named Business Development Managers (‘BDM’) to build new home market share throughout the asset class. the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! continues to be the sole subscriber – supported source of strategic and sensitive ‘insider information’ required by entrepreneurs and senior executives in every segment of the MHIndustry. The Journal’s strength lies with ferrying oft disparate views of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), sans commentary. Expect to see the Chattel Finance Newsletter continue to communicate the basics of capital sourcing, mortgage underwriting, and loan compliance. Community Connections keeps LLCommunity folk informed of MHI’s advocacy efforts, in their behalf, ‘inside the Washington beltway’. INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES has earned a credible rep as the MHIndustry’s ‘truth teller’, and likely won’t stray from that focus. Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management, during its’ first year of online publication, has earned the apt reputation for being an unapologetic cheerleader for the MHIndustry at large! And let’s hope The Grissim Report remains loyal to its’ mission of reporting on everything newsworthy about manufacturers throughout the factory – built housing milieu.

What you might see is this; tacit agreement that all news reporting be accurate, truthful, and timely! And where How To and Op/Ed (i.e. opinion/editorial) columns are offered, they be penned by qualified and experienced individuals who communicate well, and who’re actively engaged in – not retired from, or working outside – the very business models they describe! And it’ll be a decided plus, when said writers personally demonstrate support, by dint of state and or national trade association membership and event participation, of the housing industry and realty asset class. An added plus, in time, will be to see most of these freelance writers, even the print and online publications themselves, become participants in the National Association of Real Estate Editors (‘NAREE’), the fount of professional and trade journalistic integrity..

If you’re a print or online trade press/media publisher, covering factory – built housing, manufactured housing, and or landlease communities, unable to attend the initial consortium meeting in Springfield, IL., but interested in participating, going forward, respond directly to this blog posting or phone (317) 346-7156. Next consortium meeting? Possibly during MHI’s Summer meeting in Washington, DC., 13 – 15 June 2010. For MHI meeting information, phone (703) 558-0678.

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FYI! Recent publication of our industry and asset class’ first Official Lexicon
(Glossary) of manufactured housing and landlease community trade terms, brings consistency in spelling and definition, to the entire spectrum of trade journalism and publishing. For your copy of the Manufactured Housing $$$ Primer @ $29.95/copy (postpaid), order via this website, or phone (317) 346-7156. Credit card orders welcome.

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On another subject. The goal of launching a ‘captive insurance’ program, among landlease community owners/operators during 2010, continues to progress. Formal ‘start up’ proposals have been solicited from captive insurance – qualified & experienced firms. After mention, in last week’s blog, several more LLCommunity owners requested their names be added to the list of now more than two dozen seriously interested parties. How ‘bout you? Interested in maybe lowering your annual property damage and casualty insurance premiums, and possibly participating in the profitability of a new ‘captive insurance’ firm comprised entirely of LLCommunity owners/operators? If so, call (317) 346-7156. You probably don’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity….

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Here’s something novel to consider. Recently experienced this insight: “Given all the attention these days, to on – site sales & self – financing of new & resale manufactured homes, perhaps the relatively new handle ‘landlease community’, would be more accurately stated and penned as ‘lendlease community’! Why? Today, we almost universally ‘lend’ money to folk buying a new or resale home in our LLCommunity, then ‘lease’ them the homesite on which their home is sited.” Hmm. What do you think?

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And don’t forget; your input, response, and critique of this weekly blog posting is vital and important to its’ continuing and future ability to provide timely, accurate, cutting edge industry and asset class information back to you and all our MHBusiness peers!

George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®, MHM
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

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