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Cash and Good Credit Customers Want EVIDENCE – Why MH Testimonials Matter

June 21st, 2016 No comments

Let’s be candid. You can say all kinds of great things about your business. But what matters more to a retail shopper is a testimonial. Its not that they won’t listen to you, but some studies suggest that the impact of a third party testimonial is 7 times to 8x greater than just your own marketing message.

Here is an actual example from the MH World, in Westville IN.

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Recommendation delivered via LinkedIn. See http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach Let’s note that Tom and the Fath family have done a ton of good work. They were receptive to trying new appraoches, and they embraced them in a positive, professional fashion. Success in any venture that involves multiple people is always a result of good team effort, the Fath family underscores the truth of that statement. The Fath’s executed on a good plan!  Kudos to them.

 

This client is not the only one, there are more!  But they’re among those who’ve discovered what it means to have a total marketing and sales process geared to attracting the site built buyer.  Testimonials and the right kinds of vidoes are just part of that attraction-marketing/sales plan. FYI – a third party testimonial is one done by a third party, not one done as a kind of an ad for the operation in question.  See MHLivingNews.com for more examples.

Keep in mind the average site built buyer has a credit score north of a 720 FICO

Note that the client above historically did retail – they had a separate MH Retail sales center. Now they’re doing only in community sales. Might they go back to doing ‘street retail?’ Time will tell!  But this process is working for retailers, communities others in MH.

Marketing and Sales should dovetail. You already are getting customers who are – what we lovingly call – the MH shopper.

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Using the current seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) from NAR, NAHB and US Census Bureau, new MH is only about 11% of all new single family housing starts. It is only 1% of all new homes and existing, resale homes. That’s sad, but it also is opportunity in disguise. You can really grow your business with the correct systems in place.


But the reality is that the new MH shopper is only 1% of the total of all new and resale home sales in the U.S. Who says? Industry stats – National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).

Here is a powerful consumer testimonial video.

Not all testimonials have to be from consumers. Here’s one from a housing inspector!

The site built customer shops for weeks or months before they reach out to you in a visible way. You have to have a long term engagement strategy. We can show you how that’s done.

The path ahead for YOUR community or for YOUR retail center is to attract and sell more of the site built customers. There may well be more MH shoppers now than 5 years ago. But there are 99 times more conventional housing shoppers than new MH buyers.

Want to grow sales sustainably and profitably in your market(s)? The combination of the right marketing, the right sales system – that’s the key for advancement.

Oh, yes! Speaking of testimonials, check out Wayne Coakley’s article this month on the power of video testimonials. You’ll be glad you did.  ##

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Near capacity crowd gave two thumbs way up for the live presentation on MH Marketing and Sales at the 2016 Tunica MH Show. Video report, click here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

 

 

Boston Globe Editorial on Manufactured and Modular Homes Solving Affordable Housing Crisis, Revisited

June 11th, 2016 No comments

In a Boston Globe  Editorial dated June 1, 2014, one of the nation’s largest newspapers’ digital edition carried the following article, which advocated for manufactured and modular housing to be used in their city.

We’ll share the entire column, under fair use guidelines, and then comment at the end.

Their headline and article (from their page linked here) is found below, between the — dashed lines.

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THE TERM “manufactured housing” tends to invoke a 65-by-12-foot mobile home plopped down in a trailer park. But the industry has evolved to the point that many housing units assembled in factories are indistinguishable in looks and quality from homes built on site. Multi-family, modular homes built to federal safety standards would look especially good in Boston neighborhoods where middle income people are increasingly priced out of the market. The modular building industry cites cost savings of 10 to 20 percent as compared to conventionally built homes. Those savings would open a lot of doors.

Last week, Mayor Walsh vowed to come up with a comprehensive plan to address the city’s chronic lack of middle-income housing. Many officials consider this housing problem to be biggest single threat to Massachusetts’ economy. At a time when manufacturing businesses are growing again, and even pillars of the knowledge economy require livable options for their back-office workers and support staff, the Boston area is almost totally unaffordable to the middle class. Subsidized-housing programs can only do so much. Walsh needs to look at market-driven solutions. A new zoning initiative to identify key spots in Boston neighborhoods for multi-unit developments would be a good start. But in seeking to drive down construction costs, manufactured housing must be encouraged, as well.

Traditionally, the building trades — which were formerly headed by Walsh himself — have pushed hard for so-called stick-built construction over less-expensive manufacturing techniques. Construction workers may well resent the sight of entire walls with doors and windows intact arriving in Allston, Hyde Park, Dorchester, or other Boston neighborhoods on flatbed trucks from out-of-state factories. But there is room for a workable compromise, and Walsh is in a good position to negotiate it: Manufactured homes could be built in Massachusetts factories with unionized labor. Then, as more area communities take advantage of the economies of scale, construction prices would drop even further. The need for new mid-priced units is vast throughout eastern Massachusetts; in the city of Boston itself, some 30,000 of them need to be produced over the next decade just to meet existing demands.

The Walsh administration, like the Menino administration before it, rightly worries that Boston is becoming a bifurcated city where the very rich live in market housing and the very poor live in subsidized units. And once that happens, much of the city’s character goes out the window. The South End, Charlestown, Back Bay, Fenway, and other northern sections of the city are considered beyond reach for families who are not prepared to spend at least $3,500 in rent. In downtown Boston, according to a recent analysis, a family earning $80,000 annually could afford just 1.7 percent of the homes sold.

The price of new housing can be reduced in two ways: By streamlining the approval process and reducing the cost of construction. A concerted effort to rezone Boston’s neighborhoods would ensure that local opposition to multi-unit developments would be resolved before the projects are actually on the table, greatly reducing delays and giving developers and the banks who finance them far greater certainty.

For their part, developers will have to utilize less-expensive construction techniques. Mid-rise construction, for example, is being used increasingly to alleviate housing shortages in cities with high housing costs. The new model calls for the construction of wood-frame, code-compliant buildings of up to five stories on a base of steel and concrete. Choosing wood over steel as the major structural material can represent savings of 10 percent or more in hard costs and significantly reduce construction times, according to industry analysts. And the framing technique is sufficiently versatile to allow for the construction of dozens of housing units on modestly sized sites.

In the early 20th century, triple deckers became the symbol of Boston’s striving middle class. The construction style maximized living space on small, rectangular lots. In the early 21st century, the new symbol of middle class housing could be modular homes or reasonably-priced condos and apartments built in wood-frame structures above retail outlets. It would help preserve middle-class life and keep Boston one of the nation’s most vibrant cities. ##

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I can’t get too deeply into Boston’s politics, the Globe’s editors will have a superior experience in their city than what I might offer, beyond saying that what they describe is rather common in many major U.S. cities. Union labor in often Democratically controlled cities chocking off the prefab/modular/manufactured home options are one reason why housing costs are so high.

But the Globe suggested a solution for that issue.

Land use – zoning related issues – are another factor that drives up housing costs.

While striving to navigate their own realities, the Boston Globe’s editors nailed a number of facts that ought to be carefully considered on this, the 40th anniversary of the birth of federally regulated manufactured housing.

As factory-built home industry pros know, today’s manufactured homes evolved from – but are not – the mobile homes of yesteryear.

Yet as the Globe’s editor’s wisely noted, many think of factory building in terms of those older trailers from roughly the 1930s to the 1950s, and the mobile homes from the 1950s to the mid 1970s. The video below illustrates that evolution, and the original article with that video is found linked here.

Others may have experienced only entry level manufactured housing, which while important to millions, ought to be understood as just one of the ways manufactured homes can be provided to the public, since residential style manufactured homes can rival the looks and quality of conventional housing for about half the price.

The Solution is Hiding in Plain Sight

In cities, suburbs and towns across America, there is a growing need for quality affordable living. Federally regulated and preemptive manufactured housing is an obvious solution for millions, and somewhat more costly modulars could work well in other municipal settings.

The false impressions about those off-site building construction options can be cleared up in part by sharing videos and stories, like those linked on this page and so many others that are found on MHLivingNews.com.

One example of an informed household – an engineer and his professional wife – who opted to buy a manufactured home – illustrates that the trailers of old have evolved, just as bag phones evolved into modern smart phones. See that video linked from the image below.

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Jerry McKibben is an engineer; he and his professional wife decided to buy a residential style manufactured home. That video interview can be seen at this link here, or by clicking the image above.

But other steps need to compliment videos. Factory tours along with tours through residential style neighborhoods that look like other houses but are built in a factory, all of those steps should be part of the process of making manufactured homes the acceptable and embraced choice by home seekers and public officials alike.

Until manufactured housing professionals – in concert with the public officials, housing professionals, forward thinking MH industry leaders and a public that needs to be exposed to the wonders of today’s manufactured housing – pull together and act, tens of billions in economic opportunity are being lost every year.

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Those opportunities would create good jobs, as the Boston Globe correctly points out. It could reduce the pressures on subsidized housing programs too.

Embracing the manufactured and modular home systems of building can restore the American Dream of home ownership that is appealing, eco-friendly and affordable. May the Boston Globe’s thoughtful column cause others across the nation to give this issue some serious thought that leads to action that yields mutual victories for all involved. ##

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Tony Kovach is nation’s leading publisher, consultant, trainer and expert witness leading to the rebirth of safe, appealing, affordable and eco-friendly modern manufactured homes.  Tony is a proud part of the team that publishes MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com, divisions of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.

Profitable, Bottom Line Change for Manufactured Housing Pros

May 18th, 2016 No comments

Change is a constant in life. For the sales professional, management or owners doing what yields the best bottom line results is attractive.

When industry MH and MHC leaders recently talked about attracting more of the site-built market to consider manufactured homes, they were stating the obvious need for manufactured housing to grow from its currently low levels. 

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The latest unsolicited recommendation via Linkedin – Tony has been given  100s of unrequested endoresements for he and his team’s pro-MH growth work.  FYI – Tony stresses that all such success is always a matter of team work – and his team and sponsors do so much to make this work possible.             >>> Our thanks to Mary, and to all the association execs and staff who work hard to advance MH for their members.

Most are happy that MH is growing 8 percent a year average for the last six years, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what MH could be doing.

One big difference between now and the glory days of the roaring 1990s is that manufacturers, retailers and some communities provided sales training for their management and staffs. 

Sure, there was looser credit back then, but when the easy financing dried up, MH sales training was pulled, crashed and so did sales results. 

Loose credit turned out to be a disaster. The answer to growing sales for manufactured housing is obvious. You and you operation have to learn toattract and engage and sell ever-more credit qualified and cash customers.

The video on this page provides a living example of how the right kind of training can yield profitable, bottom line results. ##

Editor’s Note:  To learn more about Tuesdays with Tony, please click here. ###

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

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

 Video, Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: 
www.MHC-MD.com |www.LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

Publisher of
www.MHLivingNews.com
www.MHProNews.com

 

Manufactured Home Financing, Video and Story Telling

January 30th, 2016 No comments

The right types of story telling will increase sales. Marketing and selling a big ticket item like a manufactured home often includes financing. In the Dodd-Frank/CFPB era, there are many things that you as a retailer or community can’t say or do, but that we as trade media can accomplish legitmately as part of an interview video.

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This 3rd party infographic underscores points that we’ve made for years on the Cutting Edge of MH Marketing and Sales blog. Namely that weekly blogging increases traffic, videos increase conversions and inforgraphics or other images also spur bottom line results. Graphic credit, 3-Shocking-Marketing-Stats-2013-credit-jureviciousstudios.

There are also FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions – that come up about manufactured homes, land-lease communities, etc. Those FAQs are best turned into a video. That:

  • saves you time (time is money),
  • can help insure more standardized – properly tailored, legally compliant –  statements,
  • can increase conversions (think more clients, more sales)
  • and can create other visuals that compliment the message.

Such standardized messaging videos can be good for marketing – business to business (B2B), or business to consumers (B2C).

We shot this video interview with Don Glisson Jr., Chairman of Triad Financial Services. As you see, we did this without scripts, teleprompters, etc.

When you look at your marketing activities for 2016, keep in mind that a recent study indicated that conversions (think – more leads, more closings) go up 76% when your prospects see a video involved.

Last thought for today. Many will watch a video, and listen to a message that they would NEVER sit through the same information on a phone call, face to face or other form of outreach.

One of the best parts of what we do with videos is that they are branded as news. Clients can use them on their website(s), emails, TV monitors in an office waiting room, etc.. Because we use it as a news item on MHProNews (B2B) or MHLivingNews (B2C), the exposure is increased, at no added cost.

Ready for a better result in 2016? Give us a call to discuss videos as part of your marketing and sales training budget. ##

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

Tony is the most widely known and respected MH marketing and sales trainer in the U.S.. Tony will be presenting during the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.  The seminars are all on March 22nd, so you have full time on the model homes and exhibits,  see details, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

What’s Your Plan During 2016 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show?

January 14th, 2016 No comments

What are your plans while at the 2016 Louisville MH Show? To catch the latest updates from other companies at the show, see their Corporate Press Releases, linked here.

Beyond that, a quick backgrounder below will be followed by a tip that can boost your business.  You’ll want to make sure you work what follows into your show mix.

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We’ll once more have the “Youngest Exhibitor!” – Tamas (pronounced like TahMash) Kovach (pronounced like CoVatch – a “watch” with a V) at the 2016 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

We will be at Louisville for the 6th straight year, at booth #215.

No less a person than Louisville Show Chair Ron Thomas Sr. has publicly credited and thanked us for our role in bringing the show back from cancellation in 2010, see that kudos and thank you message, linked here.

Along with others, we’re super pleased that the show has advanced so far, so fast in these challenging times. As you think about who are you going to call for professional services, remember – the biggest turn-around in the industry’s recent history was credited to our team’s work.

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Close up of Louisville Show Exhibitor map, MHMarketingSalesManagement – also known as (AKA) MHProLivingNews, MHProNews, MHC-MD.com – is at booth #215.

A Tip for Louisville 2016!

Video is red hot. A recent study suggests that marketers who use video online see a 76% increase in conversions! That said, as noted, MHProNews/MHLivingNews and our marketing and sales operation – MHMarketingSalesManagement.com – will be at booth #215.  We do contracted video, web, marketing, sales training and so much more…

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See the article linked here by 83 Degrees Media (which covers subjects that are so hot, they’re cool) on L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and his team. Soheyla Kovach, Left. Tamas (pronounced Tah Mash) center, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach, right. Photo credit 83 DegreesMedia and Julie Branaman.

We’ll make normally costly video a no brainier for you.  Between 9:30 AM to noon on Wednesday, January 20th and 9:15 AM to 10:45 AM Thursday, January 21. Depending on lines and demand, we may also add time on Friday morning, 9 AM to 10:30 AM. Here’s the simple plan!

Manufactured Home Retailers! MH Communities! MH Brokers!

Video can cost a $1000 per produced minute and up, depending on the level of tech and special effects. We can make you and your community the featured operation in a co-branded video like the one below for our Louisville Show special of only $295.*

You can get a video like the one above at a
special price during the Louisville MH Show.
Stop by booth #215 to learn more or to order your video!

We can make these videos for you, with or without you being in the video.  So there is NO stress or pressure.  If you want to be in the video, we can capture you – and using a green screen – allow us to edit you into your office, model home, or most anything – like the White House, Statute of Liberty – that we can get a high res photo of or video clip!

The Louisville Show Special – our customized basic $295* promo package – includes up to an hour of video editing, which allows us to personalize this video for you and your location!  

So your video would have your location’s name and logo, instead of Elite Homes, as in the example above.  

There are other cool things we can do for that same fee.  

We will also have other packages of vidoes – including on-site work that we could include in our popular Inside MH Road Show – that we will be offering during the L’ville Show at a special price.  If you are planning on video for 2016, don’t shake hands with anyone until you talk to us. You’ll get more for your money, period.

Bring your company check or credit card, come to booth #215 and we can make this happen for YOU and YOUR LOCATION at Louisville 2016.

Looking to outsource or contract services?

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As one of the best known – and most endorsed – marketers and sales coach in all of manufactured housing, we should be your first, last or only call.  What we don’t do, we can point you to others who could likely provide a service you need.  For the fine print on the above, please see below.  We look forward to seeing you at the Louisville Show, booth #215. ##

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

Tony is the most widely known and respected MH marketing and sales trainer in the U.S.. Tony will be presenting on SuperCharged Marketing and Sales during the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, see details, linked here.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

* $295 Video Special Package Includes –

  • Posting on Vimeo (no commercials from third parties)
  • Plus YouTube, with back links that are good for your website’s SEO.
  • For the $295 price, you agree to back link MHLivingNews.com and add an RSS feed to MHLivingNews.com – which gives you consumer-relevant content that can boost your return traffic. Without the RSS feed and link, the price is $395.  You commit to having the feed and backlink up within 30 days of the end of the show. We will create a special page on MHLivingNews.com, with a back-link to your site, once your RSS feed and back-link are in place.
  • Videos are produced on a first come, first served basis.
  • Video package purchasers are getting the use of the video as produced, but all other rights to the content are reserved by our parent company, Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC.
  • ###