Does anyone think that changing the name of the industry again will help?

Does anyone think that changing the name of the industry again will help?

Some people think that a big advertising campaign will turn the industry around. For only $36/year you can join. The target is the 9-10 million mobile home owners and are totally disregarding community owners unless they have over 500 units. The goal is to get 10% of these owners giving them a starting pot of over $3.6M to advertise like NAR to improve the overall image of the industry. Some of us are still happy with the terminology “Mobile Home Park”. There are over 250K-500K vacant lots in existing MHPs that will never get filled until the industry starts making smaller homes to fill the lots that are too small for the monstrosities rolling off of the asembly lines now.

I wrote an article on this recently for the Journal, and the concept that you can make mobile homes more palatable for consumers by changing just the name is a joke. The industry has already gone from trailer to mobile home to manufactured home with no improvement in image.

If people would put the same amount of effort into better product design and slashing dealer mark-up, then home sales might actually go up. Until then, park owners are the only ones that can sell mobile homes since they are selling a complete housing unit – not just a piece of junk on a dealer lot that still needs a space, set-up, skirting, stairs and AC. Our mobile homes go out the door due to location and turn-key price. That’s why park owners sell far more homes today than dealers do (50,000 units sold by dealers vs. probably 100,000+ by park owners).

The manufacturing and retailing part of this industry is screwed, and a name change is not going to help.

To this day when I meet someone new who asks me what I do, I say that I own and operate manufactured housing communities. The usual response is a blank ‘wtf’ stare. Then I say mobile home parks…to which they go “oh, trailer parks. Got it”

Go figure.