It’s the annual jaunt to Vegas for the Manufactured Housing Institute’s Congress & Expo. MHI is the trade association for the MH industry, from manufacturer to dealer to community owner to lenders and suppliers. They represent them all through lobbying in DC.
And, each April, MHI hosts the Congress & Expo, which brings together a reported 700 industry people (guys mostly) for your typical tradeshow.
ROC USA Board Member Scott Sporte and Board President Andrea Levere
check out the show floor Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
ROC USA is a member of MHI and we have a booth here for a simple reason: There is no opportunity for homeowners to choose resident ownership unless we persuade community owners to give you an opportunity to purchase. In all states except three (Mass., Vermont and NH) homeowner groups are not generally considered as MHC buyers. State laws in those three states require notice of a sale and provide an opportunity to purchase. But, otherwise, we need to be out here building relationships and looking for “for sale” communities and persuading community owners to “consider the buyer in their backyard.”
As the only nonprofit with a tradeshow booth here, we’ll again be a bit of a curiosity for newer industry conventioneers. Some are getting to know us and are secretly rooting for us (and you), others are still trying to figure us out. Some don’t get nonprofits and doing all we do and NOT taking an ownership interest in your communities. We don’t but that’s how business people think – they think ownership, control and profit. That’s not us.
I’ve been coming every year since 2006 when I was planning ROC USA and trying to learn everything I could. Now we come to meet community owners and other industry players who can help us and our communities so we have a booth. It continues to be quite an education every year.
Last year, we worked out a deal with MHVillage.com so our communities would get a 25% discount on showcasing their communities and members would get a 25% discount on listing their homes for sale. MHVillage is the largest online listing for mobile and manufactured homes in communities. It’s a part of the ROC Marketing Program; you’ll get more information on that next month from our major mailing to all Directors.
ROC USA National Acquisitions manager Chris Clasby speaks with passersby at the ROC USA booth on the trade show floor.
This year I’d like to nail down a deal with a MH parts supplier so your Members can get discounts on MH parts like skirting and furnaces and small stuff, too. Now that we have myROCUSA.org, more stuff like this is going to be possible! (I am so psyched!)
Vegas this year is very special because the ROC USA Board will be holding its quarterly meeting here on Wednesday morning. So, the ROC Association’s interim Directors – Natividad Seefeld and Lois Parris – will be here and we’ll hold a ROC Association Board meeting, too. We also have some staff and a few CTAPs (PathStone, NCF, and ROC-NH) along, too. I’m excited because we have three industry people coming to our Board meeting to give informative talks on MHI’s policy initiatives (much of which we disagree with but “seek first to understand,” right?), on market conditions for MHC sales from the largest appraiser in the country, and on MHC owner research. There is so much to know, so much to learn. I love it!
So, I’ll drop you a line later in the week and let you know how it’s going. I’ll have Mike post this with some pictures of our booth. ROC on in Vegas! Paul