MHISC Blog

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  • 15 Jun 2017 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    Working for Happy Campers

    It's a lot more fun working for an association when there's a nice upturn in sales going on.

    I came to MHISC in '92 when the manufactured home industry was booming and zooming toward record sales. 

    It seemed like most everybody on the board of directors was getting rich.  They were easy-going and they appreciated—or forgave—most everything the staff did back then. 

    Around 2008, the economy and housing, including manufactured housing, all went to Hades in a Mercedes.  There weren't as many happy campers in the industry.  "Survive to thrive" has a positive ring to it but it's a tough business model.

    Now the manufactured home industry has seen four straight years of moderate growth.  

    Conditions are right for that growth to continue—but without the high rate of repossessions that has plagued both the site-built and factory-built home market in the past decade.  

    Here's why: 

    The companies that survived the downturn were some of the most efficient and well-run. These businesses treated their customers well and survived on repeat or referral business during the lean years. 

    In South Carolina, state government guidelines have been put in place in recent years to be sure that new retailers seeking to get into the business have the financial strength, experience and ethical background that they should.

    Today, lending practices are moving toward a happy medium.  In past decades lending standards were too loose. The result is that many buyers got in over their head, purchasing more home than they could afford. 

    In response, Washington over-reacted. This led to excessive regulation at the federal level in the form of laws such as the Dodd-Frank Act.  Now, the mood in Congress is more moderate.   The US House has already passed legislation that would roll back some of the provisions that made it difficult for many families to get house loans.  The pendulum is moving back to the middle.

    Factors are coming into place to create a strong continuing upturn for the MH industry in South Carolina.  We will have a dealer base that is a combination of savvy veterans and well-screened newcomers.  Lending practices will be reasonable.  Most importantly, as site-built prices go up, the demand for affordable housing will be greater than ever.

    The future will bring steady growth. A high percentage of customers will buy their house with a good loan they can afford to pay.  Expect to see more happy campers in the manufactured home industry very soon.

  • 06 Apr 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    David Bennett will be inducted into the SC Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame April 22 in Columbia and you are invited.

    David is the first person inducted into the Hall of Fame who never worked in the industry.

    The celebration will part of the Manufactured Housing Institute's Spring Meeting April 22 in Columbia. 

    Details here.  

    David was named Administrator for the Manufactured Housing Board in 2002. He helped regulate our industry during its growth period and the challenging years that followed.

    David won the respect of the industry from his earliest days as an inspector.

    He saw his role as one of helping the companies comply with the law.  He understood the requirements and applied them in a fair, logical way. He was helpful; and treated people with courtesy.   But when he detected a serious violation, David stayed on the case until the problem was fixed.      

    We really came to appreciate David’s full range of abilities when he took over management of the Board.

    He worked with energy and initiative in that important position.       David was not a government employee who said things like,  “I can’t take any action unless somebody higher up tells me to.”

    Instead, Mr. Bennett was pro-active.  

    He helped good companies find ways to navigate the state’s sometimes illogical licensing laws.  When a person with a bad record tried to get a license he went the extra mile to be sure that the licensing board members had the full information they needed to rule on that application.

    When he felt that new rules were needed, he never tried to hide what he was doing or slip something by the industry.  David touched based with MHISC staff before each board meeting.      He let them know about any policy questions on the agenda.      He got valuable input from the industry on the pros and cons of the issues. 

    David was not just smart, but wise.   He knew that simply trying to impose his own ideas was not the way to get things done.    It did not bother him or wound his ego to recognize that it was necessary to build a consensus to get things done.

    Working together, David and the association got policies and regulations approved that:                                                                                                   

    • improved the image of the industry, 
    • leveled the playing field among competitors, 
    • increased consumer protection and 
    • kept bad apples out of the industry

    David was a believer in the product.  After working with the agency a few years, he purchased his own manufactured home and placed it on deeded property in Garden City.                                                                    

    David served as administrator of the South Carolina Manufactured Housing Board. He started with the agency in 1988. 

    In 1997 he was promoted to Chief of Inspections.

    David’s background made him a great fit for working with the men and women of the manufactured home industry here in our state. 

    He was a South Carolina native. 

    David was born in 1945 and grew up in Newberry with three brothers and sisters.  David wasn’t the biggest kid on the playground but he got along great with everybody. 

    Friendly and popular, he was elected Vice President of his class in high school.

    Mr. Bennett graduated from USC and remained a loyal Gamecock all his life.   He served his country as a First Lieutenant during the Vietnam War.

    Mr. Bennett often went the extra mile. 

    He went out to the members and spoke at our chapter and statewide meetings to be sure everyone was aware of and understood the rules.

    David became sick and had to retire in 2007.  The association organized two special events to honor David and show our appreciation.  We were honored to have David’s wife Dee and their children at these events.

    Although he passed away later that year, David Bennett’s work is still having a strong positive impact in the manufactured housing industry today.

     

    We all still miss him and as fair-minded, skilled regulator--and most of all--as a friend.

  • 19 Jan 2015 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    It's a bit like Cooperstown

    Induction into the SC Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame requires a 75 per cent vote.  There are specific criteria and a set voting procedure.  The selection committee meets once a year.

    There are now enough people in the Hall of Fame that the members themselves serve as the selection committee. 

    Some years the process has been easy.   The group talks first, with different members describing the accomplishments of individuals they have in mind. A consensus develops.  Once or twice, the vote has been unanimous.   Other times it takes several ballots before anyone gets 75%.

    This year there was a strong consensus to elect 40-year-industry veteran Joe Walden and David Bennett, who served as Director for the state agency commission, the SC Manufactured Housing Board.    David will be inducted posthumously, unfortunately.  He was still running the board and doing a superb job of it when he became ill.  Click on  "Industry News" on the left for an article on Joe Walden's interesting ride in our industry.  We'll be announcing David induction and telling his story in a few days.  You're hearing about it first here. 

  • 22 Apr 2014 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    MHISC Supporters Come Through for the Industry at the SC Statehouse

    MHISC's legislation to streamline modular plan review and labels has passed the SC House of Representatives and has gotten out of committee in the Senate.  That means both a Senate subcommittee and committee have review the legislation and recommended to the full Senate that they vote to pass the bill.

    Our bill is moving along nicely.  A lot is due to our sponsors Chairman Bill Sandifer and Chair Thomas Alexander.  Both are MH supporter and we're lucky to have champions with such clout.  Another key player is Rep. Eric Bedingfield, who shepparded (shepherded? shepherded?) the bill through the Governor's Task Force on Regulatory Reform.  Gov. Nikki Haley cited our legislation at a news conference as an example of the type of regulatory reform that would benefit the businesses of our state. Rep. Bedingfield was honored as MHISC Legislator of the Year at the association's spring meeting this month.

  • 07 Apr 2014 11:11 PM | Anonymous

    MHISC's New Video     

    Turn it up!

    Click the link!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihMoZ8t0Zto&feature=youtu.be

     A tribute to the energetic and enthusiastic men and women who drive the manufactured home industry in the state. Filmed at the Manufactured Housing Institute of SC Spring Meeting April 2-3 in Columbia.

  • 05 Apr 2014 9:39 PM | Anonymous

    Industry Growth on Display at State Meeting

    It was good to see both Roscoe Still and Billy Woodard back in the industry and at MHISC's Spring Meeting this week.

    The whole meeting had a feeling of growth and vitality, with companies hiring new reps and new companies joining the association.

  • 19 Dec 2013 2:57 PM | Anonymous
     

    Homebuyers Turning to Find A Home Web Service

    Advertising support starts in January

     

    MHISC's Find A Home service on MHISC.com is growing in popularity as the best way for customers to locate retail centers in South Carolina.

    Retailers can visit the section on mhisc.com and reveiw their listing. Click here to let MHISC know about any changes.

    One reason potential buyers are turning to Find A Home is the format make the process of locating nearby dealerships much easier.

    A second reason is MHISC is promoting Find a Home as the one statewide source for retailers who are licensed, bonded and members of a Professional Association.

    Advertising support for the website will appear in January in over 100 newspapers; that includes every weekly and daily paper in the state.

    The headline for the ad is bound to catch the attention of future homebyers: What's the Most Important Thing About Buying a Manufactured Home? Who You Buy it From.

  • 17 Nov 2013 10:25 PM | Anonymous

    Sherman Currin

    Sherman Currin dropped by the office Friday.  He told us he was taking his Fare well Tour prior to his retirement in  two weeks.  He was visiting customers and industry friends around the Carolinas. 

    I thought that was a really classy touch.  Sherman said we'll still see him and Sandra at our meetings.  (In fact there's a Hall of Fame nominating committee set for December where we see him and other leaders active and retired, always a neat occasion.) 

    Mr. Currin is retiring this month after 30 years with Champion and 40 plus years in the industry! Sherman has always been one of the best-liked people in the MH industry.  He has given back time and again t...o our industry by playing leadership roles with MHISC. He’s served on the MHISC Board, Executive Committee and as a committee chair. Sherman is a member of the SC Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame; the industry’s highest honor.

    Sherman's home email is scurrin45@gmail.com.

    Thank you Sherman for your service and friendship to so many of us in the manufactured home industry in South Carolina.
  • 12 Nov 2013 10:51 PM | Anonymous

    New Way to Get Your Magazine

    My old boss, we'll call him "Bill Ross," stacked all the incoming magazines on his credenza.  About twice a year he forwarded them to me and I'd find a two-foot stack of reading material in my in-box.

    At MHISC we're going to start sending every member on the database their own copy of Update via email.  It'll be the full 16-page magazine; but you'll be able to read it while the news is fresh instead of waiting for somebody to pass it along to you.

    We're also going to send a hard copy to each member location.  So we'll mail an issue to Kent-Gault Manufactured Homes and a copy by email to both Mitch and Jim. 

    If you do come across the "real" magazine, I'd encourage you to read through it. Update has been voted best association magazine in the state several times; you'll enjoy all the photos and the way it's put together. I'd say the quality is up there with Time or People. Well we don't have as many celebrity photos as People, but the writing is better.  This issue check out the Camera Roll feature on page six.  It's pretty cool.

    Mark

  • 28 Aug 2013 4:38 PM | Anonymous

    Modular and Manufactured Home Shipments Statistics  for the First Half of the Year are in -and They are Way Up. 

    Manufactured home shipments from manufacturers to South Carolina are up 14.8% over the same time last year.  That percentage compares the first six months of this year with the first six months of 2012.

    Modular Shipments for the first two quarters of ’13 up are 40.8% over last year.

    The numbers are still modest compared to the glory days of the 1990’s but the trend is in the right direction and has been for the last three years, with shipments each year outpacing the year before.

    1019 manufactured homes were shipped January through June this year.  Additionally 128 residential modular homes were sold.  It should also be noted that the majority of manufactured homes are multiple-section, compared to about 20% in the 90’s.  Today’s statistics are watermelons compared to oranges in terms of number of floors and total value of homes sold. Also, the repossession rate is now very low, so the number of sales that “stick” also makes each sale statistically more important.

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