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Do You Tiptoe Through Life?
by Chrissy Jackson, ACM, PHC
MHI Director of Training and Community Resources

Chrissy Jackson, ACM, PHC,

has been involved in Community Management for over 16 years. She managed communities from 200 sites in size up to over 800 sites. Chrissy is the current Director of Training and Community Resources for MHI. In this capacity, she is the principal trainer for the Manufactured Housing Educational Institute's programs and seminars, and provides professional resources for MHI's National Communities Council Chrissy also provides property management and sales training to state association conventions and private companies. She is also recognized as a nationally published author with several publications currently on the market.

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he other night I attended a meeting of the Sarasota Chapter of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association. One of the speakers gave this quote during his presentation (author unknown): “Most people tiptoe through life hoping to make it to death.”

Kind of made me think of some people I know in our industry. They just tiptoe through work, hoping to make it to payday, or to retirement. They don’t make a difference. They don’t try.

Hopefully, you are not like that. Hopefully, a lot of us are very, very different indeed. We don’t tiptoe at all when it comes to something we believe in and want to promote. We FIRMLY WALK our way and our beliefs into the lives of others.

Think about how you approach manufactured housing. Do you avoid telling people what you do and where you work, or do you straighten your shoulders, stand tall, and let your pride show? In other words, do you tiptoe, or do you walk firmly?

When someone comes to your community and is on the fence as to whether they should buy a manufactured home or a site-built home, do you proudly state the reasons we produce a great product, or do you kind of hem and haw around? Once again, it’s a tiptoe thing – or a walk firmly thing.

When someone comes to your retail sales center, do you let them know how proud you are of the manufactured homes you sell? Or do you still call them “mobile homes” , or, worse yet, “trailers”? do you proudly point out the strength and integrity of the construction of our products, or do you just try for the signature on the dotted line?

Many of us are true professionals who really believe we have a great product. And we walk firmly – we shout it from the rooftops! We talk at city council meetings, county commissioner’s meetings, we attend zoning hearings, we make presentations to planning boards. Some of us help amend statutory language to the currently acceptable terminology.

But there are a lot more out there who do none of these things. They are usually the ones on the front line who deal with the public most of the time. And, the impression they leave with their customer is just as strong as what happens in the preceding paragraph. Those on the front line, like community managers and retail salespeople, must constantly strive to find ways to brag about our product and our industry. They must always make a conscious effort to WALK FIRMLY – not tiptoe!

Think about the impression you make on other people when discussing our products, our communities, and our industry. Do you say things that make them re-think their old-fashioned ideas about manufactured housing, or do you tiptoe around the issues so you won’t offend?

This is a wake-up call. Don’t tiptoe through life hoping to make it to death. Don’t tiptoe through work hoping to make it to payday. Walk firmly. Make a difference. Show your pride and your belief in the industry that provides you with a living!

We can’t go into the millennium as we should without the support of everyone in all segments of our industry. Will we simply tiptoe in

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