Friday, January 29, 2016
Modular Home Builders Ready to Take Charge in 2016
It may have been cold and snowy outside but the room where 24 modular home builders met for the first ever Modular Builder Round Table was smokin’ hot.
Bringing builders from New England, the Northeast and Mid Atlantic states to Lewisburg, PA just days after a Nor’easter brought record snow falls shows just how important this event was to these builders.
Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the MHBA
Within minutes after finishing the usual great Country Cupboard breakfast buffet, the meeting sponsored by the MHBA and hosted by Modcoach, the builders were asked by Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the MHBA, to introduce themselves and if they had a magic wand just what would they like to see happen in our industry.
Gary Fleisher, the Modcoach, being his usual quiet self
Neither Tom nor myself had an agenda for the Round Table, using the same formula that was used when factory owners and upper management met last December. Let the ideas flow and see what the problems facing the builders are.
From the very first builder to introduce himself to the last, the biggest problem they wanted to wave a magic wand over was new home buyer’s misconceptions of what we do.
Tired of being lumped together with HUD and manufactured housing, modular construction is a true custom way to build every type of single family home from the modest ranch style home to the most luxurious home any Architect could design.
With over 4,000 true custom modular homes built in the Northeast last year, the builders in the room and the factories that build their modules were responsible for the vast majority of them. 2016 is already proving it will be a bigger year for modular home construction in the Northeast, New England and Mid-Atlantic states.
So why you ask was the room so smokin’ hot? Well, it seems that these builders are producing some of the biggest and most custom homes in America and no matter how hard they try to inform and educate the new home buyers, they are still equated with the homes found in mobile home parks and communities across the country.
Finally after almost 2 hours of heated discussion about how to get the word out to the buyers it was decided by the attendees that if the word was to get out, it had to be done by them, not the factories. Factories manufacture…Builders market and build.
A decision was made to begin a major contribution program funded entirely by modular home builders for modular home builders to begin a new modular industry marketing effort. Once the builders realized that their future was in their own hands, the meeting took a turn that few even considered possible before yesterday.
The dog would finally begin wagging its tail by contributing tens of thousands of dollars to a marketing campaign organized under the MHBA to promote modular home construction as the best choice for every new homebuyer.
No longer will the modular home industry sit back and let people’s perception of real custom modular homes be confused with the homes peddled by Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty. Manufactured housing and HUD will no longer be allowed to be mentioned in the same breath as modular housing.
By 11:00 AM the builders wanted the meeting to go on all day but alas, all good things must come to an end. But rest assured, there will be more Roundtable discussions, more Modular Boot Camps and more Builder breakfasts coming up this year, so get ready to be part of the program.
If you are a modular home builder in the Northeastern part of the country and couldn’t attend yesterday’s Round Table, fear not. You are part of the solution and it won’t be long before one of your fellow modular home builders reaches out to you for your help in putting wheels on this wagon.
Modcoach Note: If you are a modular home builder ANYWHERE in the US and haven’t joined the MHBA, you need to get started today. This is your organization!