February 8, 2017  
MHI Undertakes Major Consumer Research Initiative on Industry Growth Markets 

MHI has launched a new strategic research initiative and analysis to profile the housing needs and opportunities for the industry among various underserved homebuyers: millennials, step-down baby boomers and immigrants.

These groups may struggle to qualify and buy entry-level stick-built homes, but may consider a manufactured home for their housing needs and wants. The goal is to obtain information on their wants, needs, preferences and perceptions, and then develop a strategy to help members create an offering that meets the housing needs of these groups, converts them to manufactured homebuyers, and help with MHI's legislative and regulatory efforts to change the existing HUD Code.

For this research initiative, MHI is working with a diverse group of its manufacturer members and Ducker Worldwide, a respected independent consultant with extensive experience in the residential housing industry, including both site-built and manufactured housing. Ducker is conducting an in-depth study of these underserved entry-level homebuyers and will compare them to our existing manufactured housing customers.

"This initiative will help us develop a robust, fact-based analysis to drive strategy and serve as a basis for change," said MHI President and CEO Dick Jennison. "The initiative is about significant long-term growth and defining a more expansive market for the manufactured housing industry, and what changes may be required for the industry to successfully appeal to the underserved entry-level homebuyer."

Among the things the study will address are:
  • Identifying the needs, preferences and emotional trigger points for different housing alternatives, including conceptual features and benefits of homes.
  • Obtaining in-depth insights regarding the image, position and feasibility for manufactured housing solutions to solve or create value for consumers and their homeownership challenges.
  • Determining the critical success factors and key elements needed for consumers to consider and ultimately purchase a manufactured home.
  • Analyzing the needs of the different groups and current industry customers to better understand the similarities and differences.
  • Providing analytics to estimate conversion levels and translating it to number of housing units.
  • Understand how these underserved customer requirements and home needs fit within our current HUD Code and the implications for the future. 
  • Determining the current image of manufactured housing among consumers in these underserved markets and use it for market positioning and promotional strategies.
Task force members include:
  • Keith Anderson, President of Champion Home Builders
  • Kevin Clayton, President and CEO of Clayton Homes
  • Jayar Daily, Chief Operations Officer of American Homestar Corporation
  • Richard Florea, CEO and President of Skyline Corporation
  • Joe Stegmayer, Chairman & CEO of Cavco Industries
  • Dick Jennison, President & CEO of MHI
  • Christopher C. Fisher, Managing Principal of Ducker Worldwide 
MHI will provide updates and seek involvement from various MHI members and Divisions,  including but not limited to, the Financial Services, Retailers and National Communities Council,  once Phase I of this initiative is completed. MHI plans to present to members an analysis of the research results and its next steps in late-summer.

If you have any questions, please contact MHI President and CEO Dick Jennison at 703-558-0678 or rjennison@mfghome.org.

Republication without the express written consent of the Manufactured Housing Institute is strictly prohibited.

© 2017, Manufactured Housing Institute, Inc. (MHI), all rights reserved.