Archive

Archive for June, 2015

No Power!

June 26th, 2015 No comments

If you have an electrical device with a plug in, and it’s just an inch away from an active electrical receptacle, what do you get? Answer, no power.

no-connection-to-electric-with-receptical-no-power-credit-dbstalk-posted-cuttingedgeblog-mhpronews-com-

Image credit, DBStalk.

If you have a football player who misses that long pass down field by an inch, and there is no defender able to catch him, how many points do you score?  Zero.

photo-credit-newyork-dailynews-wide-reciever-misses-pass-by-inch-posted-cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-com-

Photo credit: New York Daily News.

The point is that some things may be ever-so-close, but still no payoff. Still no victory cigar.

Does that mean you quit?  Of course not. What it means is that the professional in sports, marketing or sales must make that modest adjustment.  Stay focused on the prize. Close is…close...

Part of the value in having a third-party expert consultant or coach is objectivity.  We take our own advice here. We have the leading – the #1 – platforms of their kinds in MH, but from time to time, we’ll get a third party to give us a good look and render professional feedback.  That keeps us focused on our own advancement.  To do otherwise is what Brits call penny wise and pound foolish!  You can stingy yourself into bankruptcy.  Sadly, I’ve seen people in MH do exactly that, fail to invest in what makes their businesses advance.

When I come to a location or place of business –  or consult by phone and web –  with a firm like yours, we bring decades of experience to the table.   That means we can often spot-at-a-glance what needs to be adjusted.

Many in MH are in a sea of possible prospects! They are swimming with individuals, couples or families who want what you have to offer:

  • in a land-lease MH Community,
  • as an MH or Modular retailer or with,
  • financial or other services.

What is needed may be modest.  But that tweak, that extra-inch may be keeping you from a gold mine. We know firms spending huge sums of money, they may ‘advance,’ but how far are they actually moving the needle?  By contrast, we’ve learned the fine art of squeezing every dime, and making it hollar ‘dollar!’

More on this in a featured article in our rapidly-approaching new July issue. Until then, take look at other business-building and protecting  Featured Articles from experts, found on our home page under the Daily Business News modules.

FREE MARKETING TIP: question, what do you have on your site that will bring back current and possible customers or shoppers over and over again? Solution: RSS Feed to MHLivingNews.com (if you are public focused) or MHProNews.com (if you are professional/investor focused).  These are proven traffic building tools, your web guy can install and minutes and will give you free content that brings your clients back.  The RSS feed link to MHLivingNews is here and to MHProNews is here. ##

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156 (1)

L A ‘Tony’ Kovach has become one of the most widely recognized experts in MH marketing, sales and publishing. Click the above for a client review…

 

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Videos, Marketing, Sales and Your Manufactured Housing’s Business’ Bottom Line

June 18th, 2015 No comments

An infographic can be worth a thousand words. This infographic below, courtesy of Syndacast, speaks volumes.

syndacast-infographic-posted-cutting-edge-blog-manufacturedhousing-mhpronews-com-

Image credit: Syndacast. Click the above for full-sized download of the above infographic.

We plan more information on the use of videos for our BIG upcoming July issue! But let me share a few quick points. Some of these facts will surprise readers, but they shouldn’t.

1) While many videos are short (average time for a sample set is 4 minutes, 20 seconds), there are videos online that are 30 minutes or more that have millions of hits.

2) Stop and think! Video viewing is moving online, TV viewing – while still hot – is slipping some compared to online video. TV shows are 30 minutes to over 2 hours on some movies.

3) While video isn’t cheap, it is an amazingly effective investment. Done well, the ROI is amazing. It’s good for the bottom lines of businesses like yours in our MH Industry.

We’ve been testing and doing videos for our clients and for the industry-at-large for years. No one in MH publishing or providing independent marketing services to MH is doing more video than we are, much of it showcased on free MHLivingNews.com. The growth on MHLivingNews of visits and page views is proof that this type of campaign works.  The sales being made by our clients is proof too.

Video is not the only thing, but it is an important tool in the tool chest. We find that a balance of text, images and video is powerful.

knowledge-pays

If you are interested in a topic, any topic, you’ll watch and watch, right? Why should you think that it will be any different for someone who is considering making a purchase of $40,000, $75,000, $100,000 or more?

dennis-raper-chain-saw-artist-sunshine-homes-manufactured-modular-homes-posted-MHLivingNews-cutting-edge-MHProNews-com-

There are lots of ways to tell the Manufactured Housing story using video. This video for Sunshine Homes is one creative form of story telling.

Will a serious viewer watch a good video over 5 minutes? In Wisconsin, they could give you a one word answer.

Youbetcha.

UseVideoManufacturedHomeMarketingSalesManagement-MHProNews-com-

Here is a demo of what is possible with a sound internet strategy. Four of the top 4 page one organic results out of 3.5 million possible results on Google. We provide turn-key services, marketing, sales training, coaching, consulting, copy writing, websites, Video. All geared for Factory built housing pros.

If you are considering doing video in your marketing, or are looking for ways to enhance the performance of your videos, please give me a call or send an email. Your bottom line can benefit from good video. Let us show you how. ##

PS: Download of full-sized infographic above, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

The Mouse that Roared – Media, Marketing, Financing, CFPB and Manufactured Housing Sales

June 16th, 2015 No comments

Pop quiz time. Does financing influence the levels of manufactured housing sales? Of course it does. An objective thinker need not look farther than what happened in the site-built housing market in 2008 for evidence. Choke off lending, and conventional real estate crashed in value. The slow, painful climb back up for housing has in many ways mirrored the return of credit to the market.

Similarly, while manufactured housing sales took a slide after 2008, the return of lending to the market has seen manufactured home sales slowly climb. That climb could be faster if loans being made 2 years ago, before CFPB regulations hit, were still being made today.  There are reasons why there is bi-partisan support for HR 650 – which has already passed the House – and S 682.

mhpronews-new-manufactured-home-shipment-graph-since2008-

Note: MHI has very similar totals to this chart above, which used data provided by MHARR. We provide, You Decide ©

So those who market and sell manufactured homes (MH) ought to and typically do care deeply about what the media, various lobbying groups and others say about manufactured housing or MH home loans. Engaging the media, public policy makers and influencers matters to the bottom lines of home owners and business owners alike, even if for whatever reason some don’t realize it.

As professionals, we should not ignore bad news that unfairly spins the facts about our vital industry. Cheap shots about lending by the ill-informed or agenda driven may paint a dark picture about MH personal property lending. We’re told anecdotally by some that it has not slowed demand, but we also know that it has created negative media and political buzz in DC. These can’t be ignored.

Of course, you can find people who have lost their conventional or MH homes to foreclosure or repossession. Does the fact that some lose their job mean that no one should be hired for work? Hardly!

By similar reasoning, just because a sub-set of buyers sadly loses their homes for whatever cause doesn’t mean that no personal property loans (or site-built housing loans) should be made. Should public policy force renting?  MH lenders, who routinely hold their loan paper, make those loans because far more are successful than fail. Articles like the one linked here reveal that our MH customers are being forced to pick between renting longer, or getting loans at perhaps 3 times higher annual interest rates than an MH lender could make that loan for today.

The Mouse That Roared

The truth well told is powerful. The truth untold is akin to the biblical warning of placing your light under a basket. The mouse that roars in literature might shake up the proverbial mighty lion. David can slay Goliath.

Even when larger organizations or media sources opt to try to place “mobile home loans” (sic) in a bad light – as the Seattle Times, the Center for Public Integrity or non-profit ‘consumer’ groups such as CFED has – we must provide a response for serious researchers and for the staffs of both the House and Senate. Reputation defenders will tell you how important it is to provide the other side of the story.

With the above in mind, please see for yourself how doing “response stories” that set the record straight can rank well in Google searches.

doug-ryan-cfed-corporation-for-enterprise-development-google-image-searchresults-posted-mhpronews-com-

Note to MH Owners, Managers, Pros and Marketers: there are white hat SEO strategies that can get you the kinds of results you see on this page, including with image searches like this one.

Google “Doug Ryan CFED”

As full disclosure, Google searches can change moment by moment, day by day. It can vary according to where you are, or what kind of device is doing the search. We should also add that we employ a white hat SEO strategy.

That said, on the dates and times shown below, the following results were found for the Google searches shown.

Doug-Ryan-CFED-GoogleSearchPage1top-of-fold-saturday6-13-2015-posted-mhpronews-com1j-

Note: ‘above the fold’ means visible when the page loads. You can be page 1 of Google, but still be below the fold (meaning, you must scroll down to see it) as would be true of the page 1 of Google results below

Doug-Ryan-CFED-GoogleSearchPage-below-fold-saturday6-13-2015-posted-mhpronews-com2j-

Doug-Ryan-CFED-GoogleSearchPage-below-fold-saturday6-13-2015-posted-mhpronews-com3j-

All of the above are unpaid search results found on page 1 of Google on a mobile device search on the date and time shown.


Dodd-Frank Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing

Dodd-Frank-ManufacturedHousingFinance-preservingaccesstomanufacturedhousingact-hr650-s682-google-posted-mhpronews-com-

Above the fold has long been used in the newspaper business, but today it can also refer to what is visible when your screen first loads on a given website’s page. What is above the fold matters.  The above is page 1, above the fold, the below is page 1, below the fold.

Dodd-Frank-ManufacturedHousingFinance-preservingaccesstomanufacturedhousingact-hr650-s682-google-posted-mhpronews-com2j-

 

It is easy to see from the above examples why MHProNews – and increasingly, MHLivingNews.com – are being followed by public officials, media, investors and others interested in manufactured housing.  Engaging media, federal or other non-profit organization’s publications with responses pays off over time.  The opposition is motivated!  You must be motivated and do your part too.  When you do, in turn, you can look your peers in the eye and say, please do the same.

MartinLutherKingJr-wikicommons-mhpronews-com-575x431s

Image credit, WikiCommons. Poster Credit, MHProNews.com.

We could do this same type of Google Search exercises on a wide variety of topics relevant to manufactured housing. On some, we will be page 1, #1 above the fold, on others we may still score page 1, but further down the page of organic search results.  

Edward-EverettHale-wikicommons-mhpronews-.575x431b

Image credit, WikiCommons. Poster Credit, MHProNews.com.

The point is that responses do matter!  Some effort is better than no effort. Information like the articles linked below, when shared with your Congressman, U.S. Senators, other public officials, the media etc. can make a difference.  Do your part.  Share the links via email, Facebook or other social media.  ##

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/cfed-and-cfpb-confused-conflicted-friends-of-manufactured-home-owners-and-prospective-buyers/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dodd-frank-and-manufactured-home-financing-the-place-where-good-intentions-and-unintended-consequences-collide/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/sam-landy-umh-ceo-on-dodd-frank-and-the-preserving-access-to-manufactured-housing-act-s-682hr-650/

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/june-2015/138-general-manufactured-housing-industry-topics/9657-don-glisson-jr-ceo-triad-financial-services-on-dodd-frank-hr-650-s-682-and-manufactured-housing-financing

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156 (1)By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

Moving-the-Ball Down-the-Field for Manufactured Housing

June 10th, 2015 No comments

Okay, it isn’t football season (yet…the pre-season is not far off…). Rather than talk about presidential politics, the economy, what it means to you that more people are moving to the country or a plethora of possible topics, we’ll talk about the wisdom of growing manufactured housing. Specifically, how your firm can sustainably expand your marketing reach and profit during these still challenging times, while others grow too.  

Let’s look at moving the ball down the field for manufactured housing at your location, market(s) and state(s).

 

Just Imagine…

You are in a meeting room. The speaker asks a group of industry pros this question. Have you ever had the experience of walking someone – not necessarily a home shopper – enter the living room and kitchen of a nicely decorated modern manufactured home (MH) for the first time?

standing-room-only-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-seminar-room-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

 

How many of you have had that person ‘new’ to today’s MH say words to the effect, “I didn’t know that manufactured homes could be so nice!”

If you’ve been in the industry a while, as I have, odds are good you had that gratifying experience a number of times. When I ask rooms with MHPros that question, almost every hand shoots up.

What does that tell us? Simple. Getting people to see, touch and experience MH is a key step to advancing our industry’s causes, including the cause of selling more homes to future happy home owners.

The Canceled Sale

Let’s ask the reverse question. Do you – or someone you know – on the front lines of MH sales that have experienced a would-be home buyer, who has applied and been approved, only to cancel the sale shortly after the approval?

If you’ve been in the industry even a few months and are or know those in front line MH sales, you know that experience too. The reasons they cancel? It often amounts to stigma, stereotypes or dated (or flat wrong) information, that might have been true 38+ years ago, but is no longer valid today. But the fact that someone got them to change their minds – ‘My mom (dad, fiance, boy friend, girl friend, co-worker, cousin, or _____________ fill in the blank) told me that I should get a regular house, because (_____________fill in the blank on maybe once applicable MH stereotypes).’

Happy Birthday, HUD Code Manufactured Housing!

We are fast approaching the 39th birthday of the HUD Code for manufactured housing taking effect, which occurred on June 15, 1976. How will YOU celebrate that date? What will your association, or company do to celebrate or mark that occasion?

Let’s suggest that manufactured housing must grow again to be more than a boutique or niche industry. Among the reasons home lenders aren’t coming into MH, is that we are too small to attract their attention. If we were 3 times our roughly 65,000 annual new home shipments size and growing, you’d see lenders starting to sit up, take notice and jump in lending on our homes.

The answer to:

  • political
  • zoning
  • finance
  • marketing
  • sales
  • image

are all remarkably similar. Its education. That education can come from story telling. Those stories must come from MH Pros, from the millions of MH Home Owners who like and love their home, from those outside our industry proper but who know us well and respect MH.

Video Story telling to the Rescue!

Some who would NEVER listen to ‘a sales pitch,’ will listen to a video that tells a story. People who would NEVER watch a commercial, will watch an interview.

inside-mh-scott-roberts-roberts-resorts-communities-mobile-manufactured-home-parks-communities-mhpronews-com-

MHPros and investors are flocking to this video interview with Scott Roberts of Roberts Resorts and Communities. When video interviews draw pros and the public in such large numbers, doesn’t it suggest the wisdom of using video interviews to move marketing and sales into larger and more sustainable numbers? Can you spell Y-E-S?

Example links for our info-tainment image/education campaign links…

Rich-Rice-Wally-Comer-AdventureHomes-L.A.TonyKovach-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews-com2-

One of dozens of video interviews drawing thousands weekly, take those thousands, add them up by all of those videos and stories, and you have millions.  Those millions are your potential customers, because we dont’ sell homes.

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/manufactured-home-quality-control-inside-mh-with-brent-bolding-at-sunshine-homes/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/video-commercials-vs-interviews-or-umh-manufactured-home-tours/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dr-clivetty-frank-martinez-home-dover-farms-martin-michigan-inside-mh-video-interview-and-home-tour/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/linda-hazelhoff-associate-broker-berkshire-hathaway-homeservices-kalamazoo-mi-on-modern-manufactured-homes-inside-mh-road-show-video/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dodd-frank-and-manufactured-home-financing-the-place-where-good-intentions-and-unintended-consequences-collide/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/the-tidmore-home-exclusive-video-for-inside-mh/

Is this working? We Provide, You Decide. ©  Some facts.

April 2015 on MHLivingNews.com enjoyed record page views month; Then May doubled April in page views!  At the current pace, there will be over a million annual visits; and growing. We are just getting started!  Clearly, those who are coming, like what they see.

More bottom line focused?

  • We have locations saying they are directly benefiting from the videos on the site; including firms who are not direct participants.
  • Some who haven’t sold a high dollar new home in their MHC in years are now doing so.
  • Sales are rising for those who invest in marketing, education and sales training with us. 

Growing MH sales grows everything the industry touches.  Remember, our mantra and experience is that the site built customer must be won over in stages.  They have cash or good credit because they take their time and think things through.

We’ll cover this more in the days ahead. Until then, you may want to see what Sunshine Home’s CEO John Bostick had to say about the on-the-record, which reflects the thoughts of others who are ‘in’ but not yet shouting it from the rooftops.

MH Image and Education Campaign – Open Letter to the Manufactured and Modular Home Industry

Anyone can link up a video. Videos and articles like the above on MHLivingnews can be posted on your Facebook page, or those links can be part of a blog post. Giant UMH has RSS feed links to MHLivingNews.com on their home page, as do other companies and associations.

One person pulling a heavy load may not budget it much. Two, better, four, easier still and so on. The more we have that pull at this load directly or indirectly, the more rapidly we can get MH Image – and sales – up.  The more Americans who discover our incredible value, the more of their friends will buy too. ##

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-business-building-seminars- (2)

See the kind words shared by the MMHF Chairman, by clicking the photo linked above.

 

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Who should be Manufactured Housing’s Target Audience?

June 4th, 2015 No comments

Let’s begin to answer that headline query with another question; who in America needs housing? If you answered ‘everyone,’ we are taking a step in the right direction.

Let me be clear. We won’t sell everyone. Not yet, anyway! But if we position your sales operation to become a housing option that is respected and considered, you will sell an ever larger part of those dwelling-seekers in your market who are otherwise going to rent, get an existing house, or will buy new construction.

In this recent video, we interview a number of experts and professionals. Among them is a housing inspector, the president of his state’s association. He and others, such as real estate agents who “get it” about MH, are keen on the quality, value and durability of modern manufactured homes. Listen to that experienced housing inspector say in his own words why manufactured housing is a great choice.

are-you-using-attraction-marketing-cutting-edge-manufacturedhomemarketingsalesmanagement-com-

The 6 figure home buyers

Anecdotal evidence suggests a growing number of MH Retailers and Communities are selling 6 figure homes. MH is also attracting more 6 figure income buyers. While it is great to be the dominant player in the lowest cost new housing segment, we are missing the largest part of the housing pie if most or all of MH limits itself only to entry level product.

With the upscale customer in mind, we interviewed this professional couple in the video linked below who could have bought any house in their market. Listen to why they decided on a manufactured home.

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dr-clivetty-frank-martinez-home-dover-farms-martin-michigan-inside-mh-video-interview-and-home-tour/

In our consumer-focused video and publishing work, we share stories and interviews with people that are ‘upscale,’ to make it easier for someone else with a cash or a good income and credit to say, I want to do that too.

In this new article, we see that there were 4.9 million resales last year. There’s over 40 million renters, with 85% of them – says a National Association of Realtors ® study – wanting home ownership.

With our marketing and sales consulting clients, we show proven methods for attracting more cash and good credit customers, and how to successfully engage them in a user-friendly fashion.

who-is-your-target-audience-are-you-selling-enough-of-them-manufacturedhousingmarketingsalesmanagement-mhpronews-com-

Who is YOUR target audience? Who would you like it to be? Do you have a plan to get you there?

We’re told by one of our newest clients that they just finished their best month in years. They sold their most expensive home, that had sat in inventory for years, along with a number of others. Part of the strategy was third-party story telling.

If you want a new result, common sense tells you one must learn to do some things in a new, different and better way. Learn more, here. ##

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156 (1)By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.