Friday, December 14, 2018

What the Modular Housing Industry Really Wants in 2019

On Tuesday I hosted an informal “Breakfast with Modcoach” in Lewisburg, PA, the epicenter of modular housing in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. The owners and top management from 6 modular home factories attended and shared their thoughts of what they are observing in our industry and what they want under the modular Christmas Tree for next year.

The attendees represent modular home factories that each have been in business for more than 40 years with a couple of them approaching 60 years turning out modular homes and commercial projects across the eastern half of the US.

For those not familiar with the East Coast/New England modular market here is a brief rundown. This market is the largest for custom modular construction. Some of the states in this region see almost 20% of new housing being modular/prefab. It is one of the country’s biggest commercial modular regions. It is considered by many to the birthplace of the modern modular housing industry.

Their factories have survived the 2008 housing recession and a couple have even weathered bankruptcy to come back stronger than ever. The people that shared their thoughts about our industry have the scars to prove they have battled through many problems.

The discussion focused around what they thought were the big issues facing the East Coast and New England modular home industry in the near future.

I had prepared a list of 20 things that everyone at housing conferences is currently talking about and asked them to pick 8 items from the list that included “Understanding BIM”, “Addiction in the Workplace”, “Solutions to Labor Shortage” and “Augmented Reality” and other hot topics the media and housing experts and consultants are running up the flagpole.

What I received back from the group didn’t really surprise me as much as it confirmed what I had suspected. The existing modular housing industry needs answers to some basic problems more than they need to hear about the newest and quite frankly, unproven technology.

Here are the top 10 things the East Coast modular industry wants for 2019:

1. Training for “new to modular” builders 2. Solutions to Labor Shortages 3. Understanding Millennials 4. High Freight costs 5. Recruiting new modular builders 6. Housing Trends in the East 7. New approaches to marketing 8. Set Crew training 9. Improving Quality 10. Improving Service to builders

Did you notice that automation, technology and BIM didn’t make the list?

Plans are now underway to address these issues. I am assembling a team to present builder training programs, recruiting programs for labor and new builders, set crew training and more.

This team has years of experience in all these areas and will soon begin offering live seminars, webinars, webcasts and Vlogging to everyone in the modular and prefab housing industry. Hoping to begin some of the programs in Spring of 2019.

Builder Breakfasts will begin in a few months throughout the East Coast and New England states.

To learn more about these new programs offered by Modular Home Builder contact me at


Anonymous said...

Gary, would you care to share which factories were in attendance?

Coach said...

10 factories were invited. 6 attended. Not fair to name either the ones that attended or the ones that did not. It is Christmas season.

There is a picture of the attendees.

William aka "Little Bill" said...

To Anonymous,
Why would it matter to you who was in attendance? Let's just be happy that 6 factories were willing to get together.