George Allen / EducateMHC Blog Mobile Home & Land Lease Community Advocate & Expert

December 25, 2015

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 1:22 pm

Blog # 379 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 27 December 2015:

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’


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!


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….


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.


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?


December 18, 2015

Year 2016 = Most Exciting Year in MHIndustry history!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:00 am

Blog # 378 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 20 December 2015:

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’


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’!


‘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


Tantalizing Tidbits from the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT


‘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?


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.


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


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

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

December 12, 2015

Who Speaks for YOU on National MH Matters?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:27 am

Blog # 377 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 15 December 2015;

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’


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?’


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.

December 5, 2015

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:38 am

Blog # 376 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 6 December 2015;

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…)


‘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.”


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


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!


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 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!.


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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