Archive for November, 2011

SIB-KIS and Your Manufactured Housing Sales Operation

November 30th, 2011 No comments

For some years, in approaching a project in marketing, sales, management or some combo thereof, I've used an approach that has served the companies well that this was put to work for: namely, SIB-KIS.

See it Big
Keep it Simple

The first is as important as the second.  Charlie "Tremendous" Jones and others taught me the value of an inspirational goal and vision.  For example, if you are selling/leasing 3 homes a month it is nice to move to 4 or 5.  That may seem like a big move ahead to some, and for many, it would be more than enough.  But if you want to get heavy hitter sales types juices flowing, then the goal is to do 3 a week, not 3, 4 or 5 a month.  See it Big.  Plan accordingly and work the plan.

SIB-KIS_-_AIM_High posted on

Keep it Simple – this one everyone knows, and at times, we all violate this rule.  We have a great product, we have great services and lifestyles to offer to the right people.  We need the right systems in place – ones that people can relate to easily.  We need systems that are customer (user) friendly.  We have to have a message and means that people (customers and team members) connect with, a natural 'gravitational' attraction.

Chances are, you already have many if not most of the elements in place that you need.  If your associates and you have good communications and trust, this can often be handled internally.  The truth is, we usually see each other's blind spots (marketing, sales, management, etc.).  It is we who do not see our own!  So if you can handle this among trusted associates, that can work well.

However, at times, the reality is that people just don't know what they don't know.  You go to an MD, attorney, electrician or other specialist because you don't know something, and you need the job done right. Even if you can do a job yourself, sometimes it is more cost-effective to hire it done.

These are times when outsourcing can make sense!  Why hire a full time person, when you can periodically outsource a function?  It can save you time and money, and done right in the marketing/sales/management arena, it can make you money too.

We will look at some marketing and sales systems in an upcoming column. # #

post by
L. A. "Tony" Kovach

Advertising and marketing during tough economic times.

November 27th, 2011 No comments

Oftentimes the things that get cut during a downturn are advertising, training and other items like ‘research and development.’  But is that truly a wise strategy?

Chevrolet, Proctor and Gamble (P&G) and the cigarette company wars during the depression era demonstrated time and again the power of advertising in a down market.  Those firms and others who shewdly invested more in ads, repeatedly advanced past their rivals.


Ford’s Model T revolutionized the automobile market.  But copious and shrewd advertising by Chevy
helped them pass Ford in sales during the depression era.

“A man who stops advertising to save money,

is like a man who stops the clock to save time.” – Henry Ford

In today’s challenged economy, McDonald’s is one of the biggest advertisers, and they are also the runaway leader (and are profiting) in their niche of the food service (restaurant/fast food) industry.  

During the recent sizable boost in business for Black Friday, didn’t you see a strong pre-sales launch, online, in print and other broadcast mediums? Do you see a direct correlation between ads/marketing and those Black Friday rise in sales?

Turning to our own manufactured housing industry, Is it a coincidence that Clayton Homes is #1, and that they too invest more in ads and marketing (online, print, signage and broadcast) than their rivals?  To be sure, there are other factors that make Clayton Homes the Industry’s leader, but the point is that time and again smart advertising and marketing pays off with a good return on investment.

One key is the word ‘smart.’  This is not about just tossing dollars at ads, and hoping for growth.  You have to have a sound, complete plan and then execute it.  You have to line up the people/talent and resources needed to advance your firm.  See the check list for planning in today’s Masthead blog post. # #

post written by

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach or phone 815-270-0500


Learn what Black Friday means in business

November 23rd, 2011 No comments

Many people have heard the term ‘Black Friday’ for all the sales that take place on the day after Thanksgiving.

But did you know what it means?

Buy your pumkins here, credit About clip art.


CBS says that Black Friday is the day that many companies ‘go into the black’ – or make a profit – for the year.  20-40% of all retailers make their profits during the Christmas and holiday shopping season.  Some specialty firms make 60% or more of their profits during this final quarter of the year.

Too many in the manufactured housing industry tend to write off the last few weeks of the year as ‘too hard’ to sell homes.  Why?  Tax Returns (and those refund checks) are right around the corner!

Here is a secret, if you don’t expect and plan to sell homes during this holiday season, you will probably be right.

And if you do game plan and execute a marketing strategy during the holiday season, you will find that you can sell more homes than you have been.  We’ve worked with firms that have closed double digit home sales in December from a single location.

When is your Black Friday?

What do you do in your marketing approach to help go ‘into the black’ for your year?

Think about it as you enjoy your holiday!  Call or email if you need a solution or plan that can work for you. # #


post by
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

Quality vs. Cost

November 20th, 2011 No comments


There are times that we have done ourselves a dis-service in the manufactured housing arena, by emphasizing the fact that we 'save people money.' I've heard sales people use the words 'its cheaper than conventional site built housing!' in their sales presentation, as I suppressed the need to up-chuck.



“Cheaper” has to be used very, very carefully.


In fact, all words have to be carefully thought out before they are used repeatedly, in advertising, marketing or a sales presentation.

I'm not saying that we should hide the fact that we can save people money. That can and should be a part of our message. But the whole idea of Quality vs. Cost can be a false choice.


McDonald's sells millions of more hamburgers a year than say the Texas Roadhouse does. The cost is lower at McDonald's for each firm's basic burger. Savings is a big part of McDonald's message, and they've made it pay off big time during this long economic downturn.

McDonald's_Hamburger_wikimedia commons                                  TR_burger_credit_Dallas_Observer


Cost vs. Quality


We can too, if we apply the right lessons.


Millions believe their Apple iPhone is the best smart phone product on the market. But it doesn't do flash, or some other software and functions.  It doesn't have to be a perfect product for millions to still love their (or my) iPhone.


MHProNews logo


MHProNews isn't perfect, yet thousands of owners, execs, decision makers and influencers rely on us as the largest, most read and best independent coverage for MH news, tips and views you can use.


The messages here for marketers and sales pros are important.


You don't have to be perfect to sell your product or service. If you had a choice between a McDonald's hamburger and one at the Texas Roadhouse, you might opt for the Roadhouse. Still, McDonald's way out performs their restaurant competitor.


A sharp manufacturer told me recently, you can do good (do well, be successful) by being good. So true!


The right product.

The right service.

The right price.

The right location (availability, convenience).


These are among the factors for success in marketing and sales.


Perfection isn't needed.


That said, if we are wise, over time our industry can honestly claim this truth: we can save you money and give you more quality too.



Hi Tech Housing factory built home posted on

Once we hone our messages, and practice those daily, we will realize that we in the factory built housing industry can win on both quality and cost. # #

Post submitted by:
L. A. "Tony" Kovach

Tigers vs. Toothpicks and Manufactured Housing Marketing

November 9th, 2011 No comments

The video below by AVG was designed to demonstrate the idea of strength in numbers. Its short and interesting! Once you’ve watched, then let’s finish up this brief thought provoker.

Did it look to you like those tigers were stopped by tooth picks?
We don’t have to be giants individually.  When enough of us band together, instead of fighting each other, we can make a difference.  
Do you think we can do the same principle of Tiger vs. Toothpicks can apply to negative manufactured housing media?

Or with run away red-tape?

Business and job killing legislation and policies?

The point is the same principle works in Associations, which are designed to protect and promote the industry. They need you, and you need them. When Associations, professionals and our client base all team up, we have some of the key elements for success.  We have some of the key elements for marketing the Industry, protecting it from negative media barrages. 

Think of that tiger as the anti-manufactured housing media.

Think of that tiger as the run-away politicians and bureaucrats, you know the ones.  The ones who never met who never met a regulation they didn’t like. 

Read more here, or email and in the subject line, say “Let me see the next MH Alliance/Phoenix Project webinar!”  We may not be tooth picks, but the idea of enough good pros pulling together will stop the tigers that are hunting the hard working owners and pros of our industry. 

Just as auto dealers or shopping centers and malls band together to market, the same thing can be done by enough pros.  All who do so can reap the rewards.# #

post by
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Publisher and Marketing Director &