Biloxi Expo 2022 Gathering of Manufactured Housing Pros Bodes Well for Future Manufactured Home Buyers
Members of the manufactured housing industry recently got together for the first time in more than two years following the COVID-19 pandemic. The inaugural Biloxi Manufactured Housing Expo March 28-30 was held at the beautiful IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi, Mississippi.
As we all know the last few years have had a substantial impact on everyone, including the manufactured home industry. In spite of supply chain interruptions, production backlogs, and the state of the workforce, the production of high-quality affordable manufactured housing has persevered successfully with shipments of 100,000+ new homes in 2021, the most in over 15 years.
As the demand for manufactured housing booms, the goal of these factory-built home professionals is to further build upon those successes in producing homes that appeal to aspiring homeowners in 2022 and beyond.
In addition to the networking social events and the 90 industry-related booths that included retailers, manufacturers, lenders, communities, and suppliers, there were numerous educational seminars and formal discussions from top-notch educational workshops throughout the event, including:
“The Reality of Doing Business in the Post-Pandemic New Normal”
The in-person manufacturers’ panel discussion, the first of its kind in 2022, discussed the challenges, and opportunities facing the manufactured housing industry to help industry professionals to navigate going forward.
“Developing our opening discussion to the industry’s manufacturers is a prime opportunity for manufactured housing professionals to hear directly from these companies, Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association Executive Director Jennifer Hall said.
The panel featured nine of the following major manufacturers and company representatives:
- Kyle Bennett, General Manager, Vice-President of Operations, Kabco Builders
- Rick Bostick, Director, sales and Business Development, Deer Valley Homebuilders
- Brent Cappaert, Vice President of Operations, Cappaert Manufactured Housing
- Eric Coulter, Vice President of Sales, Cavco
- John Gainer, Sales Manager, Legacy Homes
- Michael Huffaker, General Manager, Sunshine Homes
- Blake Jackson, Territory Manager, Franklin Homes
- Wade Lyall, Executive Vice President Business Development, Champion Home Builders
Take away: Manufacturers are addressing backlogs of customer orders via enhanced workforce recruitment, streamlining existing manufacturing facilities, and in some cases, acquiring additional building facilities.
In addition to the opening manufacturer’s panel, attendees attended sessions such as:
- Sales management 3.0: “You Can’t Manage Sales like it’s 1980”
- Virtual Selling – “Competing for Buyers in a Digital World “
- “Insights from the front line”- State Association Executive Directors Panel
- Attracting new talent to your workforce.
- New to Manufactured Housing or “Want to keep up with Current Developments?
Dispelling “Mobile Home” Terminology
The last informational session was an important and timely discussion co-hosted by Manufactured Home Industry veterans:
Chris Nicely, ManufacturedHomes.com
Scott Stroud, MhCRM
For several decades the terminology referencing manufactured housing, as opposed to site-built homes, has long been confusing for home shoppers, the media, bureaucrats, the public at large, and to some extent manufactured home salespersons and retailers. The terms used for today’s factory-built housing range from mobile homes (the most inaccurate description), manufactured homes, modular homes, prefabricated homes (prefabs), panelized homes, tiny homes, container homes, park model homes, and system-built homes.
Often those that have not explored today’s quality affordable manufactured homes will assume that a “mobile home” are one-in-the-same, exposing myths that have been handed down through generations, such as – “They are not well-built,” – “They are not safe”- “They don’t appreciate.” -They are not energy efficient,” “They don’t last.” etc., etc.
Manufactured home industry personnel will be well served to correct these misrepresentations and myths by being aware of some facts such as:
Mobile Homes – There have been zero mobile homes produced in over 40 years! July 1976 was the implementation date of a law passed by Congress in 1974 titled: The Federal Construction and Safety Standards Act administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD Code regulates manufactured home design and construction, strength and durability, fire resistance, energy efficiencies, and overall quality. The HUD Code also sets performance standards for heating, plumbing, air conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. Manufactured Homes are the only form of single-family homes subject to a federally regulated nationwide building code.
Knowing and conveying the truths about today’s modern quality-built manufactured homes will likely overcome objections based upon myths, mischaracterizations, and misrepresentations.
Hosted by the South Central Manufactured Housing Institute (SCMHI)