2022 MHInsider Advocacy Award Winner Dick Ernst

    dick ernst 2022 mhinsider advocacy award winner manufactured housing industry
    Dick Ernst, the winner of the 2022 MHInsider Advocacy Award.

    In Recognition of the Highest Achievements in Manufactured Housing

    crystal homee award 2022 mhinsider industry awards
    The five honorees in the 2022 MHInsider Industry Awards will receive an engraved “Crystal Home” award.

    Dick Ernst has been in manufactured housing finance for 50 years and has owned his own business for the last 39 years, serving as president of Financial Marketing Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in factory-built housing finance — both chattel and mortgage —  as well as insurance and warranty products. He created a unique private conduit finance program through the Independent Community Bankers Association of America providing community banks access to competitive rates and terms for all types of manufactured housing loan products with the ability to sell the loan without recourse or servicing responsibility. In his career, Ernst has conducted more than 150 training seminars in support of the program. Ultimately, the program has had better than 400 banks enrolled and providing loans. He also created Palm Harbor’s captive finance company, CountryPlace Mortgage, and served as a consultant to Palm Harbor for eight years. He has served on many corporate boards and as a consultant for some of the country’s largest housing and home finance providers. Among the many awards and honors received, Ernst in 2019 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

    What do you view as the biggest accomplishment of your career?

    In 2016, I developed a topic and successfully got a panel together in Las Vegas at MHI’s Congress and Expo, it was all top executives in the industry at the time. I had a series of photos of HUD Code homes of all styles, Cape Cod; Southwestern Stucco, a traditional ranch style ranch home, all homes that you see constructed by site builders. I talked about The Louisville Show, and the amazing interiors of all the homes; recessed lighting, drywall throughout; stainless steel appliances; farmhouse-style sinks, walk-in shower… but when I went outside and turned around, I was still looking at a manufactured home. The industry had really done a wonderful job on the inside of the homes but had done very little on the outside! As you can imagine this opened up a wonderful exchange of thoughts and ideas! That discussion led to MHI appointing a Steering Committee of Manufacturers, the hiring of a housing consultant, and a focus group with studies showing that 47 percent would be favorably inclined to purchase the style of home we were showing — a market share five times of what we have. I was hired by Freddie Mac to work with them on multiple programs, including their CHOICEHome program, providing the same financing site-built homes would have. So, my greatest accomplishment is being involved in the early stages of what is now the “CrossMod” home.

    What work or life skill do you give the most credit for your achievements?

    I told someone once about the consulting business that you have to reinvent yourself every six months. I have studied the changes in the regulatory environment so I could provide sound advice and guidance. I have a high level of confidence and I am not someone who gives up easily. I think those traits have helped me tremendously!

    MHInsider is a publication of MHVillage and is the premier source of manufactured housing news with a national audience of manufactured housing professionals dedicated to producing and delivering high-quality, affordable, off-site built housing.