Archive for September, 2014

Chicken’s Don’t Fly!

September 20th, 2014 No comments

In the sales training sessions we provide retailers and manufactured home communities, we express in various ways that success begins with the proper mental outlook.

"Your attitude determines your altitude" is a truism. How many sales greats did you know that are negative or believe it can't be done?

By contrast, the positive "can-do!" and "go-giver" professionals run circles around those whose own thoughts chain them to minimal or no results.

The original – and still main URL – for MHProNews is MHMarketingSalesManagement. Marketing, Sales and Management are three pillars for business success. Before someone gets good at these, we see that attitude or a can-do belief is essential.

This is one of many reasons why we have the INspirations blog, or articles by Zig Ziglar, Tim Connors or others geared to lift the mind, and thus sales results.

If you want to rouse yourself – or your management and sales team – with facts that spotlight why manufactured housing is so amazing, watch the first ten minutes of the MH video linked here.

Introduction to Manufactured Housing

It is the kind of powerful back-to-basics that will remind many why they got into this business in the first place.


If you take the most talented athlete – but discover they have a defeatist or negative mind-set – will they perform as well as the more motivated player sitting next to them?

Zig Ziglar's famous book – See you at the Top! – encourages a "check up from the neck up." Early in his career, Zig sold his personal stuff in order to survive, before he got his own head on straight to understand an excel at presenting the product he offered that lead to his legendary sales career.


As a youth or teen, when I

> mowed lawns, or

> scrubbed black heel marks off married dorm floors, or

> rang up orders at McDonalds, etc.

I was taught to give my best. It made the work more pleasant to have a good attitude. At that McDonald's, they ended up creating special role for me, 'team motivator.'

Years later, when I started selling manufactured homes, the company I worked for had no training program. I found good reading and listening (audios) resources to help advance my career. But the foundation was and remains the belief that if others could do it, then I could too.


We help recruit and train new sales talent for MH industry clients. Some rapidly turn into top performers. When I interview candidates, part of what I'm listening for are clues to their attitude, confidence and willingness to learn.

Those with lax motivation or who are unwilling to learn, usually don't. I don't suggest hiring them.

Invest the time daily to get and keep your attitude and that of your team up. Then, feed them good information and "how to Improve" resources and training, and you'll see bottom line results routinely improve.

Invest in you and your teams attitude and knowledge daily. Because:

“Eagles fly high! Chickens don't fly.” – The Elk. ##


How do you get found online?

September 17th, 2014 No comments

"Build it and they will come," worked in a movie, but what works in Hollywood is not always true in the real world.

There are more billionaires (2,325) than at any time in global history. There are also more websites than at any time since the Internet began, those facts are no surprise. What is a surprise is that there are now over a billion websites on line! The reason this is important, is how do you get found in that immense pile of choices consumers now face?


Depending on the study you look at, somewhere between 90-94% (+/-) of all home hunters are doing housing hunting online. The use of smartphones and tablets has also changed the search engine and web-world in just a few short years. You can pay for TV ads with your website, or take out display ads like larger companies do as ways of getting your website found. You can set up a budget for a service like Google ad words. All of these are different ways to 'buy' traffic and increase your website's visibility.

If you do those, great, you likely have a decent budget for marketing! But let me suggest that what you absolutely need regardless or budget is a "hyper-local strategy."

There are basic elements to a hyper-local strategy. If you are updating a website or are planning for a new one, then make sure that hyper local and mobile web friendly are part of your mix in the site's design. Make sure you ask for a user-friendly content management systems (CMS), have auto response and CRM (customer relationship management) capabilities.

We will plan to offer a free seminar at the 2015 Louisville Show on hyper-local marketing, mobile web, CMS and SEO (search engine optimization) strategies. Bring your note-pads and bring your tech-savvy colleagues! The road to success in 2015 passes through the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.


5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show  

If you can't wait until Louisville, please click on my name linked below, and call or email me. Otherwise, do what thousands did last year, brave whatever the weatherman can throw at us, and come to Louisville! I hope to see you there.

Remember, with a billion websites out there, you have to plan and execute for success. ##


Billion Dollar Websites plus What YOUR website Worth?

September 10th, 2014 No comments

Bloomberg released a report recently that included a fascinating infographic about the value of Facebook. Analysts think Facebook is worth about 202 billion dollars. A large part of this is due to their new mobile ads/applications, which is a good time to ask, does your website have a mobile-friendly version? If not, why not?

Okay, back to the infographic!


Notice how Google is in #3, and how they've moved beyond the web to being a full blown tech company, complete with products and services, and they're investing in new acquisitions. Apple's big announcements yesterday included not only their widely anticipated iPhone 6 and iWatch, but also their mobile purchase system.

If you aren't online in a robust way, graphics and facts like these ought to make you look again!

What is your website worth?

Let's start with the obvious, neither our website or yours is Facebook. Since we don't retail homes or directly seek to fill communities, etc., the value of our site is measured differently than yours would be measured. For an information or news site, there is a formula that includes:

  • Reverse engineering of development costs
  • Value of Content
  • Traffic value
  • Revenue

all of which (and more) web property analysts (yes, there are such experts who put appraise and put a price value on websites) use to figure the value of a website. FYI, depending on if you go low, medium or high, MHProNews – using these formula – has a value of $2 to $4 on the conservative side, to $6 million dollars on the higher end valuation. We can't eat that, but if we wanted to sell (and we don't), that's what the gurus say. Here is part of the reason why…


So when you are on our site, you're not alone!

Okay, now what about the value for your website?

Let's start with a disclaimer. I'm not a website appraiser, so this is my opinion based on practical experience building websites, doing marketing, having two decades in MH sales, training and consulting plus some research.

For most operations in our industry the value of your website ought to correlate with the traffic it brings you that is actionable.

Let's say you are a factory, a retailer or a community. If you website has a good number of visits, and is seeing a healthy number of repeat visits, that has significant potential value.

But one of the common comments we hear from prospects seeking a new or updated website, is that they get traffic, but they don't get a lot of calls or leads off their website. Clearly, that's not what your website 'practical value' report should sound like.


There are elements in a website that consumers are looking for, and if they find them on yours, terrific! Some are suggested in the icon above, but there is more, of course.

If visitors on your site don't find what they want, they are onto the next website in their search. That quick look – or “bounce rate” – is high on many sites.

Think of your website like a billboard on a highway, you have only seconds to impress your prospective visitor. If you don't get their attention in 7 to 10 seconds (and some say, as quickly as 3 seconds), a significant percentage of your traffic may leave or 'bounce' without looking further.

That's sadly what happens to many retailers and communities. Your traffic bounces, so almost no chance to do business as a result.

If your website hasn't had an update in 3-5 years, odds are good it needs a face lift.

The value of your website is directly tied to how much actionable business it is bringing you. If you are getting a steady stream of calls or leads, and you aren't converting them, that is a sales process or training issue!

But if your website is bringing you a good stream of leads, and if the quality of those leads are good, the math is simple. Take

  • the value of a closed sale,
  • times the number of opportunities you are getting,
  • times your closing or conversion ratio.

That should give you a practical value to what your website is worth for you.

If your happy with those numbers, great!

If not, please give us a call or send us an email. Compare with others, you'll see why our clients give us good reviews. ##

l.a.tony_.kovach-publisher-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-mhpronews-com-mhc-md-com-1By L. A. 'Tony' Kovach

Manufactured Housing facts from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Report

September 3rd, 2014 No comments

The following information comes to us from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), forwarded from various state executive directors and MHI.

We estimate that in 2014 the average price of new manufactured homes (including the cost of lot development) is $53,230 for single homes and $100,259 for double homes. Increasing the price of new single manufactured homes by $1,000 will disqualify 347,901 households from being able to afford these homes. Similarly, if the price of new double manufactured home rises by $1,000, 315,385 households will be priced out of the market. The effects are NOT cumulative, since they are based on the same income distribution of all US households. These are NOT effects on sales, rather only on ability to qualify for a mortgage.

Our new manufactured home prices are based on the average sale prices for single and double new manufactured homes reported by The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). They are further adjusted for inflation and additional costs of lot development. The inflation factor is the increase in new manufactured home prices from 2012 to 2013 as reported by the MHI. The lot development cost adjustment is based on the NAHB survey of construction costs.

Housing Policy Economist
Survey and Housing Policy Research

National Association of Home Builders
1201 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005”

While some voices have made hay out of this report to show that even the home builders agree that price hikes of every $1000 leave hundreds of thousands of potential MH or other home buyers behind, let's flip this for a few moments.

Let's focus on this: “We estimate that in 2014 the average price of new manufactured homes (including the cost of lot development) $53,230 for single homes and $100,259 for double homes.

Using the $53,230 loan amount, a 4% FHA loan for a land/home purchase, at 30 years term the principle and interest (taxes, escrows, other costs not figured into this calculation) would be approximately $269.71 (before you object, yes, some lenders do make and FHA allows for FHA Title II loans on single section homes, the multi-sectional restriction is an overlay that some lenders impose).

Using the same idea as above applied to the multi-sectional with home-site numbers ($100,259) from NAHB's study yields a $478.64 monthly payment (disclaimer again, principle, interest only). This is clearly 'affordable' housing!

Both the GAO in their recent report, and Fannie Mae in a previous study, indicate similar payments that reflect the fact that manufactured housing is the most affordable permanent (as opposed to RVs or other seasonal) homes on the market today.


FYI, credit studies suggest that some 58% of the U.S. has a credit score that is at or above a 692 FICO, as the chart above from Experian and Money-zine reports.


When you look at the facts here and consider the satisfaction and affordability suggested by the recently published Foremost Insurance study, or the CNBC discussion on a potential 5 to 6 million Americans who could be buying a home, and a picture of the industry's strong upside potential comes into sharp focus.

But, Tony, I'm not seeing those 692 credit scores at my location!” some say.

Sorry, but that my friends and MH Industry colleagues, is because the wrong kind of sales and marketing approach is being used! “Damaged credit OK” advertising brings you exactly that, and if you don't use those sorts of ads, so many in our industry have for so many decades that this is embedded into the psyche of millions of credit challenged customers. Remember these lyrics… Trailers, for sale or rent, rooms to let for 50c…

When you learn how to attract and sell the site built home buyer, you will get more of that as time goes on.

When you and more in the MH Industry mature to the point that we are selling good homes that are appealing AND affordable, you'll see more sales to cash and good credit customers, and more sales of new MH and MODs. That's a fact and I'm sticking with it! ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com75x75-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach