Manufactured Housing Industry Eyes Atlanta, Ga., SECO Conference of Community Owners

SECO home show
Homes arrive late last week for set up at the SECO Conference for Community Owners

Manufactured housing professionals nationwide are arriving in Atlanta to begin the week, with Manager Monday and Tuesday through Thursday programming of the SECO Conference for Community Owners underway.

In addition to content specifically for community managers, SECO is hosting its first ever industry golf tournament.

Speaks for the duration of the four days include:

  • Mark Yost, CEO of Champion Homes, our Keynote Speaker!
  • Judge Louis Levenson, “Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow: Legal Considerations in Evictions” 
  • Commercial Real Estate Economist and Futurist KC Conway, CCIM, CRE, MAI
  • Ed. O Bridgman, President and CEO, EOB Consulting “The Next Frontier: Expanding Your Portfolio with RV Parks” 
  • Ken Corbin,, “Communicating With Today’s Resident” 
  • Darren Krolewski, Co-President, Chief Business Development Officer, MHVillage/Datacomp,  “Back to the Basics: Can’t-Miss Marketing Fundamentals to Promote Your Community and Sell/Rent More Homes” 
  • Kevin Thrash, Executive Vice President, American Commerce Bank, “Fly on the Wall Discussion of a Real Loan Committee” 

See this year’s full schedule of education and networking at SECO!

Homes have arrived and are set up awaiting attendees. Six manufacturers are showing homes — set up in a village-style arrangement in the parking lot at the Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort at Stone Mountain.

“The homes looks amazing, and we are extremely enthusiastic about seeing conference attendees in person again for the first time in three years,” SECO co-founder Spencer Roane said.

‘Homebuyers need a hero, and the hero is us’

SECO Champion Mark Yost President Keynote

Mark Yost, the keynote speaker at SECO, came on stage wearing a blazer and a Superman shirt.

“Right now the next customer sees us as Clark Kent,” the Skyline Champion Corporation president said. “Once they see us as Superman, they’re never going to be able to look at Clark Kent the same way.”

The need for the right home in the right place at the right price is essential for multiple audiences, from first-time homebuyers to retirees.

“Right now we need 26 million homes to be retrofitted or built new for older Americans,” he said.

Only 5 million homes are suited for aging in place, with single floor living and wider hallways, lower counters, and wider doors.

“Who here has renovated their home recently?” Yost asked.

One person among hundreds raised her hand and said she was still working on it.

“It’s hard to find the workers,” she said.

That’s where manufactured homes come into play.

“Do you think it’s going to be easier to renovate — to move the bedroom downstairs and widen the halls and doors — or easier to buy a new manufactured home?”

Interest rates are increasing, high-priced homes in particular more expensive yet. The rental market is high because, again, there is high demand and limited supply.

“We have 70 percent of the country who can’t afford a house, and 60 million adults living with their parents.”

Just a few years ago that 70 percent was the number applied to those who COULD afford a house.

“It’s flipped,” Yost said. 

Traditionally, the average person couldn’t care less about zoning, but with 70 percent of people unable to afford a home, zoning now matters to the majority.

“You will see more changes to zoning in the next five years than we’ve seen in the last 50 years combined,” Yost said.

People right now have no where to go, he said, and once they figure out what we do, that expands all of the industry’s markets 10 to 20 percent.

“It’s a huge opportunity. But we have to do what we’re going to say,” Yost said. “All of us have to work together to take care of the customer.”

MHInsider will report live from SECO through the day, so check back to the go-to resource for manufactured housing news, a product of MHVillage.