Thursday, September 17, 2015

Modular Boot Camp a Huge Success

Where do I start? 

As yesterday's first ever Modular Boot Camp approached I was nervous that something would go wrong, people wouldn't like it and nobody would talk. I was wrong on all counts.

Absolutely nothing went wrong, the speakers were excellent and relevant to what our industry needs today and people were talking everywhere you looked and asking questions of the speakers.

Builders were sharing war stories and the guys from NJ lead the pack when it comes to zoning and code restrictions. It was so interesting listening to everyone open up about their own personal problems with local code inspectors.

One of the builders that attended the Boot Camp just wrote me an email with his view of Boot Camp:
“Your Boot Camp No. 1 was a smashing success. I stayed up until 12am talking with my partner about the possibilities. It was like I went to IBS and found the companies and people I needed to talk to instantly, without having to walk 5 miles and meet with hundreds of talking heads.”
The four featured Boot Camp speakers each gave the builders and factory people more 'down in the trenches' advice and help than I have ever heard before at any meeting in the modular industry.

Steve Snyder, attorney who specializes in modular housing, started it off by explaining to builders and the factory people just how to avoid the worst part of building a home for someone..Lawsuits. He took the mystery out of designing a contract and what wording to use when. He did a great job.

Then Tifanee McCall, RWC Warranty, talked about home warranties. If you thought you knew what was included in your warranty, you were in for a shock. She explained that many builders weren't covered at all for some very basic things and how the warranty process works. This was an eye opener and several builders couldn't wait to talk further with her over lunch.

Dan Webster from First Guaranty Mortgage was in attendance and as he and I talked I realized that the mortgage process as dictated under Dodd-Frank was going to change on Oct 15th. I asked him to speak to the group for a few minutes about those awful changes and if you weren't there to hear him, get ready for a big shock on Oct 15th.

Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the MHBA, was the first speaker after lunch. What he presented was the effect of having a powerful association standing up for the modular housing industry. Within a few minutes builders and factory people were begging to join knowing that an Association was the best way to begin winning those legislative and code enforcement battles. If you haven't looked into the benefits of belonging to the MHBA, you may soon be standing in the field by yourself wondering how to stay in business.

The final Boot Camp speaker was Scott Stroud from Power Marketing. He presented powerful reasons to look at all the new ways to market your business and reinforced some old standards. By the time he finished everyone had a ton of notes and a new ally in helping them sell homes.

I want to thank all the speakers that took the time to help me put on a great Boot Camp; the builders, factory people and suppliers that attended and the great folks at the Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, PA for that great buffet. 

If you couldn't make it to the Boot Camp, you missed a great event. Now that this has proven itself as a great way to bring everyone together to further strengthen our industry, I promise there will be more.


Tom Hardiman said...

Thanks Coach. It was a long day for me with travel but well worth my trip, Met some really good folks and hope to follow up with several of them. I really liked Scott's presentation and wish he had more time.

Anthony said...

Great job Gary-glad we made the trip. The information was very informative and interesting but the interaction and feedback is what I enjoyed the most. Having many people throughout the industry there collaborating together to the better of the industry is what is it all about. Looking forward to the next one-Thanks again for your support and hard work!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I couldn't make it to your Boot Camp and it looks like will regret it for quite some time. I talked with two builders this morning that attended it after seeing them in the picture you included and both said I missed a great meeting.

Keep up the good work and I promise I will be at your next one, especially if it's in New England.

Anonymous said...

I remember that nagging feeling I used to get when considering whether or not to attend a trade show, or listen to a free webinar on some builder-oriented solution to our many challenges. Or join an association to help my (then) small building business. No more.

This Boot Camp confirms how effective networking and associating with like-minded professionals can be to our bottom line.

For all those on the sidelines "hoping" things will get better, and justifying why doing things the same way is the "safe bet" I have news for you: it's not. Since 2007 the number of small builders has been more than halved. If you want to be a successful modular builder, get your ass over to MHBA and sign up. Then attend the next Boot Camp. Then watch your fortunes turn for the better.