Thursday, October 22, 2015

October Modular Builder Breakfast was the Event of the Year

For years Modcoach has been trying to get modular home manufacturers together in one place and talk frankly about the future of our great industry and the October Modular Builder Breakfast did just that.

(Left to Right) Stan Weaver, Mark Conte and Steve Kennealy

The main speaker for this meeting was Steve Kennealy, Director of Manufactured Buildings for the State of Massachusetts. He talked about the problems modular housing faces not only in his state but in the entire country. Topics included home buyers not understanding the great quality of modular construction, local code enforcement officers needing more exposure in how modular homes are built in the factory and how our industry needs to educate builders, set crews and factory people to help showcase just how good modular housing is for the economy.

He also addressed transportation problems in some states that limit modular's growth, especially in the New England area.

His main topic however was finding a way to educate and train set crews to be even better. To that end, two others joined Steve to talk about it. Mark Conte, Director of Manufactured Housing for Pennsylvania and Stan Weaver, owner of Modular Erectors, one of the biggest set crew businesses in the East.

Among the attendees were 12 modular home factory owners, GMs, sales reps, management, home builders and engineers. It was quite an impressive group.

Factories represented included:

  • Signature Homes
  • Excel Homes
  • Foremost Homes
  • IBS
  • Durabuilt Homes
  • Keiser Homes
  • Colony Homes
  • New Era
  • Simplex Industries
  • Muncy Homes 
  • Apex Homes
  • Seabox

After Mr, Kennealy spoke, an Open Forum started with everyone participating in a lively discussion, the kind which hasn't been seen since the 2008 housing recession. There were a lot of good suggestions made to help further modular housing numbers and as one looked over the crowd, you could almost feel the excitement that maybe this group is ready to begin the process of reintroducing modular housing's qualities and strengths to today's new home buyers.

Mark Conte and Stan Weaver fielded a lot of questions concerning set crews and the need for continuing education. Look for more talks about set crew education in the future.

It was one of the best Builder Breakfasts ever and the bacon on the buffet wasn't too bad either!


Anthony said...

Gary I am sorry I couldn't attend this event. I know how valuable and educational the events you put together are and wish I could make all of them. Please keep me in mind for future events and let me know if there is anything I can do to assist in the educational process of any/all participants. Happy Halloween!!!!!

Sonnenbrille said...

It would bring these to the next level if these type of events could be streamed online or some kind of podcast later. Would open up this info to more people that can't make it to these events.

Coach said...

To Sonnenbrille:
I would love to stream these events online or record them but both of those require an investment that being a one person operation can't afford. Also, would attendance drop if everyone stayed at the office? The wonderful part of these breakfasts is the face to face interaction.

Now for some good news. I will be holding more of these in 2016 in different parts of the East and Midwest. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia and Indiana are already on the radar. If you live in any of those regions, either a Builder Boot Camp or a couple of Modular Builder Breakfasts are in your future.

Harris - Finish Werks said...

Can anyone explain why other factories did not attend? In particular, I rarely see (if ever?) PBS or Icon Legacy attend anything. This insular behavior is rather unfortunate. I believe it hurts them as much as it hurts our collective effort at industry improvement.

Tom Hardiman said...

Come on Gary, these meetings are not important! It's not like the government agencies are trying to choke commerce in the name of covering their collective hind quarters, legally speaking.

If you are a business owner in the modular home industry, you have nothing to worry about regarding over-regulation. Unless of course you do work in Connecticut, or Pennsylvania, or Maryland, or Michigan. All places where MHBA is currently addressing industry issues.