Posts Tagged ‘dominate your local market’

The Power of Video for MH!

February 14th, 2014 No comments

StatSpotting cites Cisco as saying that by 2011, half of all traffic on line was video. Half! The second biggest search engine behind Google isn't Yahoo or Bing, it's YouTube! Our industry certainly uses video, which is good. The use ranges from pretty ragged, to some that is top notch.

Like many of you, we've done some low-tech video YouTube, some of which has had impressive results.


Since we partnered with, who has an entire department that does video and other marketing/branding/CRM functions, we've done some new videos that have turned heads. They do a top job on production work.

But don't take my word for it, see this video as an example of what they do.

Worth More Than a 1000 Words

If a picture is worth a thousand words – and we believe in using lots of good quality photos and graphics in marketing and sales – then a good video is worth many times that proverbial 1000 words!

We blog and write about the value of going to events like the recent Louisville Show, or the upcoming Tunica Show or MHI/NCC Congress and Expo. That has value and is proven to attract professionals to the events.

But for those who need 'something more' to 'imagine' why it is good to go to a live event, videos can be a powerful tool.

The same is true for marketing and selling homes.


Imagine doing something like the above to market your homes!

Let's close by inviting you to attend our FREE 'Dominate your local market' seminar at the Tunica Show. We will be in booth 13H, right be the seminar room. A similar presentation was packed at Louisville. Don't miss it. Please check it out, along with all of the other great, free business building educational sessions, linked here.

When you think marketing, today, think and do at least some video. It can pay rich dividends as part of a robust marketing mix! ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: | | Office 863-213-4090

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Advertising 101: Your Attention Please!

May 30th, 2012 No comments

We do all types of articles here on the Cutting Edge blog. From factual to fun. From serious to occasionally a bit whimsical. We may share statistics, proven methods in marketing and sales, and much more. But the common theme is business building, on or off line.

This one is a bit of fun, and maybe just a tad silly. But it underscores one of the most important points about advertising or marketing. You have to get people's attention.

You want your target market to look. Let's see some real examples of what the power of "made you look" can do for you.


I Love My Manufactured Home Issue of My Oh My the Sun


For companies in manufactured housing who retail and communities who sell, our consulting division's proprietary approaches – serious or silly – have boosted traffic and sales. We tell our clients, "If you follow our system, we don't cost, we pay."

Advertiser's here on MHProNews are discovering the power of 'made you look' too.

National companies and regional events have learned that we can drive more business to their doors. Want proof? Check out some of our client testimonials, at this link here.

Getting the attention of your prospective client is the first job.

When you do so in a fashion that helps them to become interested in the value of your product or service, then marketing or advertising has done its job.

Last year, our client Show Ways Unlimited and the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF) used a man eating shark to get attention. It worked. Next year…

…well, you will see what their next promotion will be.

For 5 more free tips on advertising, send me an email at Tell me in your message, what part of the factory built housing industry you are in, your web address and what your target market is. Made you look is the bonus idea we shared above.

Knowing how to get people to look into your product or service is a key for any business. It is how ( became #1 in manufactured housing trade media. Let us help you Dominate Your Local Market too. ##

Posted for
Tim Connor
Business Development
And the new

Haircuts, Hamburgers, Modular and Manufactured Housing

October 16th, 2011 No comments

We can't all give each other haircuts.  We can't all just flip burgers in restaurants.  Check out lines are necessary, but we can't all be in retail stores.  Someone has to produce something!  Producing nations – be it production in agricultural, energy, raw materials as well as goods (i.e.: manufacturing and building) – are historically more powerful, more independent than non-producing nations.

Haircut_wikimedia_commonsSo while you can have "a service economy," in fact, the service economy over time compared to a production economy – all things being equal – will tend to see the producing nation gaining in wealth and power.

To be sure, this is an over-simplification, one designed to make a point.  There are other factors, such as the political system one works in.  Part of what made America great and so rapidly growing after the Revolution was our freedom, relatively lower taxation and less corruption than many other nations. 

The point is that production is necessary for 'the wealth of a nation' and its people!  Sure we need teachers, doctors, nurses and scientists.  We also need people who build homes, buildings, cars, computers, shoes, clothing and those who produce on a farm, ranch, etc., etc..  When we have more people making and producing – intellectual production can count too – then we can actually have more people giving haircuts and hamburgers (service jobs), who can make more money doing it. 

What does this have to do with marketing modular and manufactured housing?  Plenty! As you will see below.

While America has had a long love affair with the automobile, housing is a far more important part of the U.S. economy than cars.  The basics of life are food, clothing and shelter.  While transportation is important, you can transport people in many ways.  By contrast, housing is necessary for survival.

Potential Market Demand for Housing, Factory Built and other

A smart marketer (or business owner/executive) wants to know many things, including the need for the product or service he or she wants to promote.  The marketer also wants to know what the potential demand for the product or service can be.  With that in mind, let's take a look at some facts.

On October 9, 2011, we had 312,387,546 Americans according to the U.S. Census Bureau's population clock. More facts:

        OCTOBER 2011
    One birth every………………………………………………….   8 seconds
    One death every………………………………………………   12 seconds
    One international migrant (net) every……………… 45 seconds
    Net gain of one person every…………………………..  13 seconds

Look at the population patterns since 1980:

    Year.   Population.          %/+

    1980    226,545,805        11.5%
    1990    248,709,873         9.8%
    2000    281,421,906        13.2%
    2010    308,745,538         9.7%

What does all this mean?  By July 1, 2030, the United States Census Bureau says we will have a population of 363,584,435, less current population of 312,387,546 yields a net gain of an estimated 51,196,889

Side_walls_are_constructed_and_Placed_onto_Floor_System wikimdia commons posted on Cutting Edge in Online Marketing Blog


Using the current 2.57 people per household, we will need 19,920,968 new housing units by 2030, PLUS the need for the number of homes that will be retired or lost due to fire, natural disaster, deterioration and similar factors.

If manufactured housing captured an average of 20% of this market need for housing, we would have to build 3,984,194 homes by 2030.  This is roughly what the Industry has averaged in as our housing market share in the past 20 years, so this is not an unrealistic number.

That is 209,694 homes a year.  That's roughly 4 times what we are currently producing! 

We would need to add about 150,000 jobs in factories alone to meet that need.

That would mean whatever your part of the Industry is, you would need to do about 4 times more business, or in the case of manufactured home land lease communities, you would likely be full and adding sites where possible.

Frankly, I believe we should be targeting a lot more than 20% market share.  But my point is even at 'historic' levels, those who survive have the opportunity to thrive.

Problems spell opportunity in disguise

Ladies and Gentlemen, we can't get bogged down in thinking about just the current housing downturn and the forclosure glut the media loves to focus on.  In fact we are awash in opportunity in the housing business in the U.S. alone.  But let's not forget the need for housing in other parts of North and South America. Think about the housing needs of Asia (where 60% of the world's population currently lives), or Africa, Europe,  Oceania and the rest of the world.  We could be shipping homes overseas, IF we get our 'act' together as rapidly as possible.

With incomes down and population rising, American home building – in factories! – offers a huge opportunity.  Energy and other sectors of the economy are important, but we are in some phase of the factory home building industry and we can uniquely able to serve every part of the population.

A smart business professional should think about a two parallel paths to present and future success.

Path 1: A Plan to grow your businesses' share of your location's housing market. 

Plan 2: A Plan to advance the image, acceptance and thus marketing potential of factory built homes.

To summarize, the facts support the reality that housing is heading for a boom.  With so many site builder's decimated and out of business, manufactured and modular construction may be uniquely well poised to take advantage of that coming boom.  300 factories now shuttered in the last 12 years could rapidly be tooled up and re-opened. 

But we have to deal with and implement a marketing and image program in order to achieve that potential!

Path 1 is the subject of our popular Dominate Your Local Market Seminar that was presented at the recent Texas Manufactured Housing Association and New York Housing Association annual meetings.   It is supported by the Attracting More Customers  with Good Credit Seminar that will be presented Wednesday, October 19th at the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association's annual meeting.  If you are planning to attend, please say hello after the presentation and share your feedback.

Path 2 are reason we should be pursing the MH Alliance/Phoenix project, so we can boost sales and improve results now, and continue to do so on into the future.  Read a news story about the project here.

To learn how we can help boost your marketing and business results now, click here.# #

blog post written by
L. A. 'Tony' Kovach


“Detroit and Japan halt mid-sized, SUV and Luxury car production…” & California Dreamin’

October 9th, 2011 No comments

Picture for the next few moments the imaginary headline above. It would cause shock and surprise in the automotive world. The entry level market is nice, but only entry level cars?

Or worse still, what if the following where the headline:


"Lexus blasts Corola, Yarls & Scion"


"Insanity!" we might say, when the high end blasts the entry level, or if the reverse happened, or if any Toyota brand attacked another.


But isn't that something that people advocate in factory built housing on a daily basis?  Which is why we digitally penned "Builders of HUDs and MODs, can they get along?"


Some want to 'focus' on either the entry level or mid/upscale side of our industry only, which is fine for an independent retailer, builder, developer or community to do if they so chose.


But as an industry, we should not abandon one for the other.


I cut my teeth in this industry sellng hundreds of entry level HUDs, often in very down markets – post oil bust Oklahoma in the 1980s – where the team I was privileged to lead sold 196 homes in a year, in a rural town of 4500 souls that was an hour plus drive from Oklahoma City.  That record result during a time when 80% of retailers went out of business put us in what became Automated Builder Magazine's Top 100 Retailers in the U.S., and brought my first big speaking invite which was in Edmonton, Alberta.  More recently, we have had the privilege of marketing the most expense HUD Code homes in a market area, and set sales records doing it.  When I say, most expensive, the new lower priced product at one location was $79,900 for a single section 16×70 and went to $99,700 for a 16×80 single sectional. And the multi-sectionals could sell for $179,900.  We had site fees $300 a month higher than others in the same market. Part of how we did it was ignore the 'competition among HUDs and other land lease communities.  We focused on the site built customer and went after them!


While there were mistakes made by some and things could have been better, the numbers didn't lie.  Modest adjustments could have made this a historic outcome.  As it was, getting a Chicago media reported 75 closed contracts in 90 days, and 212 closed in one year was not bad outcome at all.


We can win at every level – entry, mid or upper end – if we market, serve and sell smarter than we have in the past.  Remember and think, KYP:


  • Know Your Prospect.
  • Know Your Product.
  • Know Your Presentation.


California Dreamin'


In our recent trip to see a client in the aptly nicked-named Golden State, we had the opportunity to see some more upscale product than the standard VOG entry level HUD code home. As noted above, I cut my teeth selling and marketing entry level HUD Code product.  We believe and know we can sell HUDs and MODs that run the gamut from single section entry level HUDs to the "15 box" multi-story Modular Mansion that builder's manager Tom Flynn told me was sold to a doctor in Indiana.


Dream it, Do It credit NASDAQ and Spirit Airlines posted on


Our California trip included tours of various manufactured home community based sales centers.  The staff wee all pleasant and dressed professionally.  We identified ourselves as who we are and had a great conversation.


One particular property we saw was based in a land lease community that been burned out by a wild fire driven by Santa Anna winds some years before.  While this may have created a tragic but naturally caused urban renewal of the property, occupancy has clearly never recovered.  This meant the HUD Code prodcuct on the property was quite new. The setting was residential and visually appealing. In spite of the potential and appeal, with high priced conventional housing the rule in the area, near the community's entrance, perhaps 50% vacancy or more as far as once could see was evident.


Golden West manufactured home in CA land lease community


The right marketing message and sales approach could do wonders in such a fine, appealing property.  Why?  Because site built homes go for a tidy sum, even by Chicagoland standards.


CA HUD Code Manufactured Home in a residential style land lease community


We as companies and as an industry need to do a better job of telling our story, and when we do, such properties can rapidly be filled – yes – even with higher site fees.


The product we saw included Silvercrest Homes by Champion, Skyline Homes and Golden West product.  These homes had residential styling and finishes, high ceilings. upgrade appliances, and numerous special treatments. The homes were well staged. The roof pitches tended to be low, but many of the conventional houses in the area had low roof pitches too. If you blind folded a consumer who hated "mobile homes" and brought them across the threshold, and unmasked them once inside, they would be pleased with the quality and wowed with the price.


Ladies and Gents, that is part of the secret we need to tap into!


The main time in California was spent with a visionary team who have a bold vision for using MODs and upscale, residential HUDs to tap into numerous opportunities in their market.  With everything from modest "back yard homes" to an elegant and expansive multi-module home all on their planned agenda, one can only wish them the best in their pursuit of a noble and achievable dream; the dream of serving others with quality affordable lifestyle creation.


New York and Indiana


Next week, we will be in New York, for my first trip to the Empire State.  It will be good to see Nancy Geer on her home territory. I'm looking forward to observing the New York Housing Association's fine line up of topics and speakers.  For those of you who attend, please say hi after taking part in our Dominate Your Local Market 2 marketing and sales building Workshop.


In Indiana the following week, it will be good to see Mark Bowersox and the IMHA team!  Again, a fine line up of protection and promotion topics to defend and build the business of retailers, communities, builders, developers, lenders and suppliers. Please say hi after my How to Attract More Customers with Good Credit business building workshop.


All of these topics tie together.  We must stand together, be smarter and tell a better story.  We need to realize we have the opportunity for growth, but we have to re-evaluate what we have done, and make positive changes in order to advance once more. # #


(Editor's note: Read unCommon Sense and see the new supporters of the MH Alliance info updates🙂


post written by
L. A. 'Tony' Kovach publisher and marketing director

Looking Back on MHI Congress and the Great Southwest Home Show

May 1st, 2011 No comments

Heading Home from TulsaSaturday, April 30, 2001 — We’re headed home from Tulsa today and I just wanted to share a few thoughts on the final big events of the 2011 show season.

I arrived at MHI Congress and Expo at the Caesar’s Palace Convention Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday and immediately noticed the upbeat atmosphere of this year’s show. Our “Dominate Your Local Market” presentation was attended by an enthusiastic group and the response rate (those wanting more information) was very high.

Walking the show floor on Wednesday and Thursday morning, I spoke with exhibitors at almost every booth and all agreed that they were having a good show, even though everyone’s definition of “a good show” can be unique to their business and their visitors.

Keynotes speakers were very good and feedback from those who attended the sessions was generally very positive.

On Thursday morning, we presented “Engaging the Media Successfully – How to Get Good PR for the Industry,” As panelists, myself and Publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, reporter Matthew Silver and last, but certainly not least, Indiana MHA Executive Director Mark Bowersox led a lively discussion on dealing with the media – print, TV and radio and online alike.

One observation I made was that just 17% of attendees were men. Come on, guys! This is some important stuff. Don’t just send the women to do a job that all of us need to be involved in for the betterment of the industry. I hope to see more men next time out.

Leaving Las Vegas on Thursday, we headed for Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Great Southwest Home Show. This show, in a wonderful indoor facility (QuikTrip Center at Expo Square) in a prime location was an even well worth looking forward to.

Despite the recent outbreaks of tragic weather events in the southern U.S., the turnout was reportedly up from last year.

The layout of the show floor was superb and allowed easy access to all of the homes on display. One and a half days of trade show preceded two and a half days of a public show.

While we didn’t stay for the two final public days, we presented both of our workshops again in Tulsa.

Tony And I presented “Dominate Your Local Market” and although Mark Bowersox and Matthew Silver weren’t with us in Tulsa, their places for the “Engaging the Media Successfully – How to Get Good PR for the Industry,” panel were filed in with a great, informative fill-in by Don Miner of Abernathy Agency. Thanks, Don and great work.

Turnout for the workshops was about the same as when we presented them in Tunica in March and attendees displayed the same high level of enthusiasm as in Louisville, Tunica and Las Vegas.

There are a lot of ways to gauge the success of a workshop at a live show, but by any measure we choose to use, I’d say both Congress and the Great Southwest Home Show were a rousing success for us.