April 4, 2016 : Extracted from an exclusive interview between Udo Rettberg -Senior Financial Correspondent, Handelsblatt Global Newspaper (circulation 300,000) and Holmes Stoner, Co-Modeco Chairman & Founder of Pacific Rim Business Council and Chamber.
Udo: With the world’s population’s escalating combined with the disproportionate distribution of dwindling resources the most critical challenges are affordable houses for everyone. Where is the biggest need?
Holmes: South Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America (Colombia) (Brazil) (Mexico). We have witnessed firsthand overpopulated communities living in deplorable conditions, yet, the same nations are experiencing a measurable uptick in economic growth; due to increases in exports of industrialized products, especially in soft technology, education and improved healthcare. Co-Modeco provides affordable and sustainable housing so that communities thrive and are empowered to prosper in safe neighborhoods designed on a human scale.
Udo: What are the main drivers for modular/container/eco homes? How are you planning to create visibility for what is undoubtedly a game-changer?
Holmes: To alleviate Global Warming by decreasing the use of lumber. With the rampant and voracious deforestation that is happening around the globe, we are set to reduce air pollution. We recycle the base materials (reinforced steel) that go into the manufacture of Co-Modeco Homes, as well as sustaining biodiversity. As climate change increasingly becomes a fact of life; Co-Modeco is one more precursor to reclaiming quality of life for a habitable planet. By using more readily available and recycled building components and building materials that are recyclable, that is, steel, solar panels, distilled water machine, and off-the-grid waste disposals there is a quantifiable reduction in planetary waste. With 3.5 million containers abandoned annually, our Co-Modeco Homes are comprised of both new and smelted, re-purposed steel/ A turnkey and comfortable Co-Modeco home is available for less than the cost of a pre-owned mid size car.
Udo: What is the general idea behind the market for eco, modular, affordable homes and houses?
Holmes: Mass production of residential homes at an affordable cost. An average customized Co-Modeco home sells for less than $17,500.USD (and up) and they are built to last 35 years. Each dwelling is tested to sustain a 10 pt cyclone, 8.0 earthquake, as well as, high-velocity hurricanes. They are watertight and sealed so are built to float.
Udo: What is the material (bulk commodities) you are using for the production of this kind of homes?
Holmes: Salt treated Brand new Steel components, however, with increased demand our business plan includes using recycled existing used containers and to purchase large quantities of recycled steel scrap further lowering the retail price.
Udo: Please describe the different types of affordable houses (fix basement, removable/transportable or on moving basement)?
Holmes: Co-Modeco’s do not require basements or foundation structures. They exist above ground set on portable pylons secured with three foot stakes, thus no negative impact on the below ground bio-diversity. They are transportable as is. They are built to be fully mobile so they can be positioned where ever they are needed either on or off the grid.
They are built as per need with the owners design or as the developer requires from one house to a large track community. Prices are determined by the volume of orders.
In the case of emergency housing, refugee resettlement, and disaster relief our are known as the standard bear in alternative housing.
Udo: Please describe the competitive landscape in this global market. I have learned that Warren Buffett did invest money in one of your competitors.
Holmes: We are aware of only three other companies in the world that could be considered competitors. As our market advantage is the volume of our potential output. Our manufacturers can potentially out put over 6000 units a month, whereas most purveyors of modular container homes are slow to build, limited in output and inefficient in distribution.
Udo: How do you see your own position in that global market of eco homes? You seem adept at negotiating mutually beneficial trade agreements and all of the attendant logistics required for these complex transaction whereby all parties benefit.
Holmes: As Founder of the PRBC and the Pac Rim Business Council over a decade and a half ago, in Marina del Rey, Ca we have been successfully consummating Trade Agreements and Strategic Alliances, Business Affiliates and Foreign Direct Investments with South East Asia, China and South America since trade opened in those areas.
Be it the case; we are at the head of the curve, creating a paradigm shift in how the future generations will be housed. The move toward smaller sustainable housing solutions is the way of the future.
Udo: What are the advantages of your products compared to other offers?, especially in light of the disruptive political climate?
Holmes: We have the advantage over permanent structures as Co-Modeco Homes and Dwellings are totally portable. They conform to the protocols of shipping containers, yet, can be configured in countless layouts and designs. Freight Costs: As we ship basic modules that are either 10’ x 20’ 8 ‘ and 40’ x 10’ x 8 ‘ the ship and freight global costs are at the minimum. From Vietnam to China to Los Angeles the average cost for shipping and US Customs with millions of dollars in Insurance included is average $2000, USD. Safety. Is a huge factor with 16,000 lbs of quarter inch steel, the Co-Modeco homes is indestructible , theft and disaster proof!
We are the most inexpensive/affordable modular homes anywhere and the company is 100% owned by American corporation, providing us with fiscal security and stability as we make long term projections in the sale and delivery of Co-Modeco Homes.
In addition as President and Founder of the PRBC I am also on the Board of Directors and own a percentage of the Factory in Viet Nam with exclusive representation agreements with companies in China and Korea. In addition our exclusive Sales and Representative contract is worldwide as Director of Sales and Marketing and extends to the year 2021.
Udo: What is your market position in Europe? What about competitors?
Holmes: Most of our current customers originate from France. As the home division was established in September of 2015; we are currently launching the international marketing of PRBC Modular Homes this year. We plan to build market share anywhere that our housing alternative is needed.
Our manufacturing protocol requires rigorous testing that includes pressure gauging, water proofing , and durability, using only eco sustainable materials. We meet and in some cases exceed the most stringent criteria imposed by the ISO 9000 certification process.
The Co-Modeco Home is guaranteed 10 years habitation, however, these structures are known to last in optimum condition for up to 50 years.
WHAT WE HAVE IS THE PERFECT STORM, AT THE PERFECT TIME TO MEET THE GROWING HOUSING SHORTAGE CRISIS HEAD ON. WE CAN MEET THE DEMAND FOR SUSTAINABLE HOUSING IN THE 21ST CENTURY AND BEYOND.
Udo: Are you aware of the general situation in Germany – 2 Mi refugees during the last five years …. And probably more to come?
Holmes: Our mission with PRBC and Co-Modeco Housing is to address these critical and volatile situations. We are perfectly positioned to meet this goal to do our part to alleviate this inhumane situation.
According to Forbes Magazine “1.6 billion people live in inadequate shelter around the world. 1 billion of those live in informal settlements, and more than 100, million people are homeless.” With companies such as ours we are creating a watershed of potential solutions to these dire circumstances. Forbes, February 2015.
The Co-Modeco Home has standard features that include wi-fi, recyclable waste, water distillation, LED recessed lighting , solar panels etc. They are also built to be LEED certifiable.
Udo: Did you deliver eco homes to Germany already?
Holmes: Any existing structure that are modular in Germany were most likely fabricated from used shipping containers. Whereas, PRBC’s Homes are all brand new off the factory floor and are customized and constructed to the purchases specs, design and budget allocation.
Udo: What do you think is the most logical way to be successful in the German market? Is it better to contact the federal government in Berlin or do you think one will be more successful to talk to the states and/or cities?
Holmes:, As Our Marketing Director, Ms. Cristiane Roget has informed me about you over the years, I believe that you are better positioned to present this business model on a national and community level. You are an Influencer that has access to decision makers. If you have existing relations with those who could consider the Co-Modeco.housing alternative, there is no time like the present.
Udo: No question there is a great need in Germany / Europe. Do you already have closer contacts to these market/markets?
Holmes: As a Brand Ambassador who has built enviable relations in the highest levels in business and government throughout China, Southeast Asia and parts of the Southern Hemisphere we are currently expanding those relations and visibility through concerted efforts in the media. With Ms. Roget and other associates assisting with media strategy; we have just begun exhibiting the show models.
As funds become available we are delivering show models where ever they are needed and where they are most in demand. We could deliver a show model to Germany for less than $30,000 (fully loaded).
Udo: No question there is a great need in Germany / Europe. Do you already have closer who in your opinion will be the buyers of your modular homes?
Holmes: The under served, from Millennials to the burgeoning retired demographic, government, visionary real estate companies who will earn revenue from leases and re-sales. We can make these homes available to any one. They are also multi purpose , stack-able up to three stories without a grid and customized to meet all needs.
Udo: No question there is a great need in Germany / Europe. Do you already have closer
Udo: As I live in Germany I am aware of the heavy regulated situation for the housing market over here. Are you aware of the rules and regulations concerning modular / container homes?
Holmes: The Co-Modeco is built on the specifications, design and zoning requirements which are presented before construction begins. We build according to these specification for any given area, city or country. Once the exterior walls are in place they are indistinguishable from any other home in a community.
Zoning and building regulations are integrated into the schematic prior to fabrication assuring that each unit passes if not exceed’s all building requirements.
Udo: No question there is a great need in Germany / Europe. Do you already have closer.
Udo: Please describe your business model?
Holmes: Basically a franchise model. We own the exclusive contract so we can negotiate almost any business formula that presents itself. However, each proposal is given due consideration. We are both flexible as far as terms and are willing to accommodate the needs of any potential buyer.
Udo: No question there is a great need in Germany / Europe. What are the main people behind your company?
Holmes Stoner, Director Pac Rim Business Council, California
The three manufacturers with who we have consummated exclusive representation agreements are in the business to meet the multi- billion dollar demand for new shipping containers. The factories were retrofitted with a housing production line in 2013 to exclusively build homes that are economical and sustainable. They are also extremely affordable as labor costs for excellent workmanship are substantially less than in the USA, Europe and Canada.
Since 1976 almost 90% of all shipping containers have been made in China and South East Asia. These all new dwelling are an outcome of a robust container industry and market that has been an Asian industrial cornerstone for over a half a century.
Udo: No question there is a great need in Germany / Europe. Do you already have closer Procedure? The modular homes arrive by ship – what will happen than? Do you have contracts with companies already who over see the custom and freight logistics?
Holmes: The Co-Modeco – PRBC Homes comes fully turn key for habitation. With walls, doors windows rooms, electricity, plumbing, insulation and interior walls, floors, panels and recessed lighting are all standard to our basic model.
The house arrives at the port of entry, where a local contractor (or the PRBC) is retained to do the finishing as per the purchaser or re-seller specifications. As these dwelling are customized each situation can vary according to the requirements of the purchaser.
It is our objective to provide Co-Modeco Brand Ambassadors and Sales Representatives a robust new source of income while solving many of the challenges associated with the high cost of residential living and commercial space. We, at PRBC and VIPictures are ideally positioned to assist you in leveraging a new indestructible and affordable living and work structure while respecting the surrounding environs with low impact and sustainable construction protocols.
Pacific Rim Business Council
Holmes H. Stoner Jr.