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Archive for May, 2013

Explode your manufactured housing results with personality, events and companies marketing!

May 28th, 2013 No comments

In marketing, there is theory and then there is practical reality. “Talk can be cheap,” so we'll show you tips we've done successfully for years, and yes, you can too!

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Let's jump in and get started with events, personality and organizational marketing (EPO Marketing). We will offer actual examples and each will be followed by one of 4 key tips to online "Dominate Your Market " success using EPO marketing.

Remember, no one can guarantee an unpaid top ('organic') search result every time. But when you see how often we hit page 1 on Google, you'll know deep in your gut that these tips are for real. These searches were all done late May, 2013.

As you read this, keep in mind that Search Engine Watch stated that in December of 2012, 69.1% of all searches online were done using Google. So the screen captures below are all in Google, and were all done using an iPad (yes, with search engine algorithms, that fact matters, as do so many others).

4 Tips on EPO Marketing

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1) Get and use a blog!

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As you can see from the screen capture above (the screen capture was done using Jing, a free download), we use more than one blog. Depending on the size of your operation, you should install and use at least one blog on your website. If you don't have a website, you can actually have a website built 'that is a blogging' CMS platform.

Questions? Call815-270-0500for basic, down to earth details.

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  • Use your blog the smart way. Companies and professionals are naturally tempted to hog their own digital 'stage.' Don't hog that blog stage, share it!

We share the MHProNews 'digital stage' with a wide variety of personalities, companies, organizations and associations. See some examples below.

mhpronews-manufactured-housing-professional-news-dick-jennison-mhi-ceo-

 

mhpronews-manufactured-housing-professionals-news-randy-rowe-chairman-green-courte-partners-

 

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Among the keys to our success is just that, “sharing the spotlight,” sharing the stage. You can do the same too. Make sure that what you do is a 'win'
for the one you cover as often as possible. There are exceptions to this rule, more on both of these topics below.

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3) Cover events! As much as possible, cover events that make sense for you and your firm. In manufactured housing, we cover national, regional and state meetings and events that we promote, speak at or attend.

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Notice that the yellow arrow above points to a website that MHPronews and the Louisville Show's website both pointed to, which increased that online registration page's SEO and web positioning.

Another important point to remember. As a rule, don't delete content. The fact that MHProNews has covered key manufactured housing events for years now helps us to dominate on those searches. The more you blog on a topic using 'white hat' SEO tactics (avoid black hat tactics at all costs), you will over time build up ever more authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines.

Remember, events are also about people. Showcase others in their role at events, when possible.

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When you are selling a home or a longer term commitment like a site or home lease, don't hesitate to 'give away' coverage of events. The audience you can build over time is traffic you want that makes the effort worth while.

For a retailer or community, you could cover state or county fairs, sports events, educational or entertainment events and more. Be creative! Share information about area events near your location. Over time, it will pay off in more traffic to your website, more traffic to your location and more business for you.

  • 3) As much as possible in your blogging, report facts and when earned, showcase others looking good.

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There are firms and people who develop a good reputation. Feature and focus on them as much as you can.

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  • 4) With controversial people or negative news, share it intelligently.

Bad news happens. Controversies occur, and some figures court it. Cover those intelligently. Stick with facts, vs emotion or opinions!

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Don't hesitate to spotlight “bad behavior” within legal and moral guidelines, even if it means some controversy for you. When in doubt, ask your attorney.

Just for Fun.

If you or your company been covered before on MHProNews, why not input your name and the words “manufactured housing” into Google. See if your name pops up on page 1 or 2 of Google on our website. (Editors Note: we use a number of URLs or web addresses, so MHProNews.com, 301 redirects to, = mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com).

EPO Marketing

EPO Marketing works. It is part of what has made MHProNews.com the runaway #1 website for manufactured housing industry trade news, well ahead of publishers who had a 20 or 30 year head start.

All of these tips – indeed, all our tips and systems – have as their foundation the belief that the professional or firm should deliver on what they promise. Give your customers exactly what your promise. Document your promises, you don't have to give more than what is in writing, but don't give them any less either.

As a bonus tip, use testimonials, like those found on MHProNews.com or on virtually every page of MHC-MD.com! Questions? Call815-270-0500for basic, down to earth details.##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for May and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

Friends and Family

May 17th, 2013 No comments

The main manufactured housing industry users of the power of indirect marketing to sell more homes are our clients and followers. The flip side of that fact is that the vast majority of MHPros uses direct message marketing. For those in both the indirect and direct camps, tapping into the power of friends and family ought to become a must.

 

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Back circa 1993, MCI led the charge with an early loyalty and referral program they dubbed Friends and Family. Here is a sample video commercial that promoted it.

MCI was acquired in 1998 by WorldCom, which eventually became part of Verizon in January 2006. MCI was known for their historic role in breaking the AT&T monopoly on telephony, as well as this Friends and Family marketing.

social-network-logo-posted-on-MHProNews-compngToday, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other forms of social networking are the 'friends and family' options of choice.

But don't limit yourself to just those social media tools. Think about the powerful fact shared below as you develop – or redevelop – your operation's or location's marketing!

Manufactured housing and its precursor, the pre-HUD Code 'mobile home,' has some 23 million people in the U.S. living in one of our homes. What if just 5% of those residents in the next year became 'evangelists' for manufactured housing to the extent that they would bring a family member or friend to your community, retail center or development to buy a new home?

That would be a record setting 1.15 million new manufactured home sales! It would roughly double the highest water mark ever set by our industry.

You don't have to wait for the industry at large to get together on such a concept. You can start a friends and family program all your own! Tapping the power of friends and family could put your operation, career or location into overdrive. If you need help creating a successful friends and family – or other! – marketing and sales program, send me an email or pick up the phone and call. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for May and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

Scent of a Woman

May 10th, 2013 No comments

al-pacino-credit-in-scent-of-a-woman-.posted-on-mhpronewsJPGWe aren't talking about the Al Pacino movie, or even the glories of women and their many perfumed scents. What we will discuss is the thought behind William Shakespeare's famous phrase, "A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet."

Let's see the two paths manufactured housing pros need to consider and implement in order for us to achieve our new home sales potential.

What's in a name?

There are many words that all mean "woman," and many that are used accent her scent delightfully. But some terms used are crude and rough, not fitting to be used to describe a lady in polite company.

By analogy, there are many names that all mean factory-built home. But some of the names used are derogatory, outdated and crude; not flattering at all.

We as manufactured housing professionals ought to realize that what's in a name truly matters. Which would you rather own:

  • A modern manufactured home,
  • A mobile home, or
  • A trailer house?

Using the right name (terminology) at the right time may yield a more fragrant 'scent' to a qualified prospective customer, and thus more customers who are able to pay cash or who have good credit.

You better believe that the person capable of buying a residential style HUD Code Manufactured Home would not be nearly as interested – or may completely reject! – the notion of buying a "tr–ler house."

As the definitions provided by Texas manufactured home retailer, Frank Woody, linked here, a manufactured home is NOT a mobile or the T-word.

Now, let's acknowledge that the term 'mobile home' is used more online than manufactured home, and is thus useful as "Google bait."

That said, there are ways to get that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits, without demeaning what should be the image of our quality, appealing home product!

Direct and Indirect Term Marketing

Many understand direct terminology marketing and use it daily.

Direct marketing term marketing is when you describe the homes you sell under a label like manufactured home. This is the most common kind of marketing in our Industry, and is not to be ignored, because some people want what we sell.

This is the concept behind the MHVillage approach. The success of their platform is clearly shown by their ability to attract over 42,000 visitors daily.

That group seeking a manufactured home (…or mobile home, or a tr–ler house) is roughly 15% +/- of all housing customers.

It is also common that many (not all…) of these shoppers seeking a 'mobile home' have sub par credit. Regardless, thousands of homes are being sold this way monthly, so we should not ignore this method!

Nevertheless, let's look at a different, often overlooked path to increased total housing market penetration to drive more sales success.

Attracting the higher-end Cash and Good Credit Customers

saddle-brook-farms-posted-on-mhpronews-com(2).jpgThen there is a second group of marketers, that drops the "manufactured housing" or "mobile home" terminology phrases from their vocabulary. If you have a high end location, you just call your homes, homes.

By doing so, you've now opened up your market to acceptance by the other 85% of the population's tastes.

Change your use of terms, and you improve your client base. Theory?

Nope. We do it for clients, but we are not alone.

Look at appealing Saddlebrook Farms near Chicago, IL as a 1400 filled-home-sites example of the success such a process can enjoy.

 

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Having the chutzpah – and wisdom! – to define yourself and go after a more upscale client is part of the core of this successful concept.

This vision is defined inside and out by offering residential style examples of a quality lifestyle. There is an absence of the 'mobile home-ish' look at this appealing Gray's Lake IL land-lease community.

But what about 2 or 3 star locations?

Doing a process like this at a 4 or 5 star property that uses ground sets or mimics it with appropriate foundation enclosures or landscaping makes sense. But what about the 2 or 3 star properties, which in many markets are far more common? What do you do when you have pre-HUD Code, metal on metal, 1960s or 1970s model homes sitting next to vinyl- or hardboard-sided homes with shingle roofs?

We've pulled that off too with operations we've done this with, but it takes a much more savvy approach that uses indirect term marketing. It takes a trained professional who can engage a caller one on one, talking them past preconceived or false notions about modern manufactured homes.

This is a creative, free enterprise solution to selling homes that also attracts more customers with cash or good credit.

Combing an indirect terminology marketing process with a solid professional sales process that is customer friendly can make once struggling locations roar back to life.

Using parallel paths

MHLivingNews.com is the start of a direct approach at myth busting that can grow the sales of customers in markets where this resource is put to work. See this link for more details:

Start Your Free Manufactured Housing Image Campaign Here

At the public focused site linked from the above, we can showcase appealing homes, videos, facts and image building information. Properly used, this can have a positive impact in your market(s).

But combining indirect term marketing with the correct sales process will drive more customers with cash or good credit to the locations – like yours?! – that have the wisdom and discipline to use it. Learn more at this link:

Giving Good Phone

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. The Scent of a Woman. And the appeal of quality, eco-friendly affordable homes. This process is not for the lazy, nor for the mere order taker. This is for the professional who is ready to learn more to earn more!

Once you or your team learns this system well, it becomes as easy as an other habit. Some mistakenly think that habit is a nasty word, not so. habits can be good, bad or neutral. In fact, a new, good, healthy habit formation is the essence of what we do. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for May and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

In the SM Era, Do I still need a Website?

May 2nd, 2013 No comments

We are in a Social Media (SM) era. Facebook has over a billion users, and continues to add to their numbers. LinkedIn has hit 200 hundred million members world-wide. You can have your own YouTube Channel. With these, Twitter and so many other SM sites – all available free – do you still need a website?

The answer may be right in front of you. You are on our MHProNews.com website, we need one even though we use all of the SM named and more. But for some businesses, it may be possible to skip having a website, and still stay effective.

Hypothetical Example of a No Website Business

popular logos posted on MHProNewsIf you are the owner of a 15 site manufactured home community that is full and has a waiting list, you can easily make the case that the use of a cross section of SM sites is all you would need for someone to find you on a Google, Bing or Yahoo search.

But let's say the manufactured home community is 75 sites, not 15. You have 10 vacant "pads" and have been losing occupancy. You have 2 homes for sale and a vacant rental unit. Could you still make it by using SM alone? Or could you make it with a page on MHVillage.com, plus these SM sites?

In such a scenario, the odds are excellent that you need your own website.

But we would recommend that you have the SM sites and MHVillage.com as "Google bait" to boost the SEO appeal of your site, to advance the visibility and to act as a focal point to connect all your SM resources.

What kind of website?

Stating the obvious, every company, and each location for a company, is different.

There are many types of web platforms available starting from the so-called "freebie" you can get with your Internet service provider, to the high 5, 6 or even 7 figure web-tech investments made by those in the factory built housing arena. There are operations who spend more making a single studio quality video than someone else will spend on their entire internet marketing presence.

Through our WebTech service division, we are routinely building, servicing and doing proposals for companies online. While 1 size does not fit all – for example, an e-commerce site with tight security is different than what a typical retailer, community or service provider usually needs – still a common recommendation we make is to use a CMS platform.

CMS

CMS is short for Content Management System. I built my first website back in the 1990s, using hand coded HTML. While we and our team's web designer still do some hand-coding, the far better approach for most is a dynamic CMS system!

Take a look at MHC-MD.com or the LouisvilleShow.com websites as two examples or modern CMS platforms.

mhc-md.comThese can be customized to fit almost any business. Once built, they are easy to maintain. Some clients want us to do their updates, but for the majority, you can be taught in an hour or so how to do the basic updates, thus keeping your website maintenance costs low!

My associates or I could change the slider images out on the Louisville or MHC-MD.com websites rapidly, and make the site look dramatically different. In fact, when we start the warm up to the Louisville Show for 2014, you can count on the fact that we will do a number of updates to the site.

With your SM pointing to a CMS style website, you can dramatically improve your SEO.

What's your Budget for websites?

As noted before, you can in theory get 'free' resources or those that are very low up front costs. But often the look is dated, and since studies show that people surfing online decide in 5-10 seconds if they will stay on your site once they land there, it is important to make that first 5-10 seconds a visually good experience!

So to do a quality CMS platform that looks modern and can be maintained by the client, you are normally looking at a range of options, examples:

  • in the low 4 figures range (over $1000 to under $4000).
  • But for some big operations, and depending on the security, ecommerce of other kinds of solutions needed, you can jump to 5 figures (over $10,000) or more.
  • I've talked to operations in our industry that are spending $100,000 to $500,000 a year on IT/Webtech.
  • We do coaching classes with those on budgets under $1000, to help you 'do it yourself' without being all on your own with no one to turn to.

If you:

  • don't have a website,
  • don't know how to make your social media pay,
  • or you want to do an update on your current website,

a number of companies – ours included – will give you a free initial consultation.

To wrap this up, the bottom line is that some today can indeed make it with no website, but for the vast majority, having an website that is integrated with your social media and e-marketing is a must. ##

Editor's note: Social media icons graphic courtesy of Forbes.

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for May and see the

other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

www.MHC-MD.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford