Archive

Archive for August, 2010

Taking the REVOLUTION Online

August 4th, 2010 No comments

The Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION Book CoverI was sitting in my office, thumbing through MHMSM’s The Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION for about the 5th time when it suddenly occurred to me: Just how many businesses believe that just having a website is the be-all and end-all of a revolutionary marketing process?

It was revolutionary in 1995, but now it is commonplace. How many of you still have the same website you did 5 years ago? Are TV and movies still marketed the same way they were when you built that website?

Is your marketing keeping up with current trends?

A few years ago, having audio or a video on your website placed you among the “early adopters” of a new form of communication. Now, a website without audio/video is sadly out-of-step. Podcasting and videocasting have made themselves essential elements of the online experience.

How many hours per day do you think your customers spend in front of their TV? Radio? Newspaper or magazine? A few hours at most, I’ll bet. Now how many hours of the day do they have their cell phone with them? Every waking minute for most of us.

What do your company’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages look like? Don’t have them? You need them. How about your employee’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Do they reflect well on your employee and by proxy on your company?

How about new trends? Right now there is a decided move to a service called Tumblr. Sort of a hybrid somewhere between Facebook and Twitter, Fortune 500 companies are starting to reserve their Tumblr presence and many experts believe Tumblr will soon be a force to be reckoned with in the Social Networking arena. Are you ready?

What about your email marketing program? One of the original Internet marketing methods, email still holds it’s own against the newer online marketing methods – IF it is done right. If you’re still using the same old tools and strategies for your email program as you did five years ago, it’s time to take another look.

A new generation of buyers is poised to enter the marketplace. This new generation has never owned a CD or used a VCR or DVR. In a few years, they will be looking for their first homes. Will you be ready?

In the pages of the book, the first steps are outlined for those bold enough to take them. In this Revolution, you don’t need to take to the mountains or jungle and live a life of deprivation to earn your ticket to the promised land.

You just need to read this book, follow the MHMSM.com website and open your mind to change.

The Manufactured Housing REVOLUTION has begun. Will you be a part of it – or will you be on sidelines, watching it unfold?

News is as Good or as Bad as We Make It

August 1st, 2010 No comments

In the course of my duties here at MHMSM.com, I write the draft copy for our emails and assemble the primary stories that you hear in our News at Noon Podcast.

To select stories of interest to industry members like yourselves, one of the things I do is scan the news feeds and Google Alerts for several keyword sets, with most stories originating in the “manufactured housing” and “modular housing” sets.

Because I scan these every day, I quickly become aware of trends in the types of stories that pop up most often on these feeds. Over the past ten months, there has been a shifting away from negative stories about manufactured housing communities, weather and other “bad news” type stories and a shift toward items of a financial nature and especially “green” building articles.

This is a positive development as the industry moves down the road to recovery and continues to produce affordable housing to met the nations needs.

That doesn’t mean that all the news lately has been positive. In a guest column in the Des Moines Register, the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association replied to charges leveled against Colorado-based Community owner Churchill Group. IaMHA took the position of not not defending Churchill Group and went so far as to say “They, and others who operate in the same fashion, have no defense.”

In spite of how it may appear at first glance, this story was god for our industry as well. IaMHA, in taking a stand against the business practices of a community owner is defending the industry and the vast number of honest, decent community owners who play by the rules.

As IaMHA put it, “Would we have been happier if significant space had been given to highlight the outstanding manufactured housing communities we have in Iowa? Of course we would. Do other housing sectors have problems? Yes, they do. But complaining about these omissions could be viewed as trying to duck the real issue at hand.”

IaMHA’s closing point about the desire for affordable housing and the manufactured housing industry’s ability to provide it ending things on a very positive note.

My point here is that in today’s world of custom delivered news funneled through RSS News Feeds and Google Alerts, we have a pretty good chance of controlling our own destiny.

If the industry generates more positive news items (and Press Releases count here), we have a much better chance of tilting the distribution of positive news to counter the bad.

As I monitor the RSS News Feeds and Alerts, I become aware just how often MHMSM.com stories are picked up. Your Press Release and news articles, included in the feeds and alerts can have a positive impact on the industry and on consumers looking to buy their next home.

Whenever your business, manufacturer, retailer or community, has something positive happen, make sure we hear about it. Put together a Press Release (we have instructions on the MHMSM website. scroll down to #4) an send it to us.

But don’t stop there. Submit it to other MH oriented websites and to the large number of both paid and free Press Release services around the ‘Net.

If you are not willing to blow the horn about our superior product and affordability, who will?