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Posts Tagged ‘factory-built home’

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 But some of the names used are derogatory, outdated and crude; not flattering at all.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.

 

hi-tech-housing-credit-saddle-brook-farms-posted-on-mhpronews.JPG     hi-tech-housing-credit-saddle-brook-farms-posted-on-mhpronews.JPG

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

Start YOUR Free Manufactured Housing Image Campaign, Today!

April 6th, 2013 No comments

We don't require a multi-million dollar national campaign to improve the image of manufactured housing, as nice as it may be to have one. We don't need high dollar Madison Avenue advertising 'gurus' – who don't know our industry – to tell us what we ought to do. We know deep down what needs to be done, even if some may resist it. Improving our image can start in your market with even modest, but valuable steps.

This is my view, but it also happens to reflect what the CEO of high flying UMH, Sam Landy, said:

"People need quality housing at a reasonable price. We provide that. We provide a better product than apartments, townhouses, condo’s and single family homes for our customers. Apartment rents have been increasing. Single family home buyers now need down payments once again.

Given these changes…our sales will be far higher than today’s paltry 50,000 units and may even exceed the old records of three or four hundred thousand shipments per year…I’ve come to the conclusion that we are all responsible for our own marketing. If you want to be a great retailer you have to pay the bill for the marketing. Why should anyone do it for you, and all markets are local anyhow." (Full Sam Landy interview is linked here.)

You may be part of the largest network of manufactured home retailers or communities in the U.S., or the sole proprietor of a modest 'mom and pop' location or anything in between.

You may have longed for a grand TV and multi-media image building campaign, but for whatever reasons, the powers that be did not make it happen. That's all in the past, we have to move on and can so long as you start your own image campaign, now. We can help make some of that happen for you, "free."

Yes, you can.

Yes, in the next few minutes, you will see that it is so easy, you may laugh and wonder why no one has done this before!

Most of the U.S. doesn't have a clue as to how nice a modern manufactured home is, especially how much appeal, quality and value factory builders pack into a residential style HUD Code home.

It is up to retailers, communities and others in Manufactured Housing to show the new reality to the public.

Here is how you do it in YOUR market, as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1, learn to use Craigslist and other similar sites – which are free – the smart way.

Example. Take a multi-sectional or residential style manufactured home you have good quality photos of that has been properly decorated. Place 2-4 of those photos into a very short Craigslist post.

Starting with the summary and headline in Craigslist, you could use something like this:

$73,900 3 Bedroom Builder Must Sell ASAP! Your Town, USA

This is a modern, factory-built home that meets or exceeds all federal construction standards for our market.

"Your lot or ours, one only at this price. Ph XXX-XXX-XXXX."

If you have an MLO number, you could add the words: "Financing available." *

To learn more about modern factory-built homes, go to MHLivingNews.com.

Step 2, keep a post like this going at all times on Craigslist, more than one is better, just make sure they aren't duplicates so you don't get flagged.

The keys are: amazing price (compared to site built) BUT NOT TOO LOW, your phone number and a link to MHLivingNews.com. Don't say too much, less is often more when it comes to lead generation.

Step 3, Patience and persistence! Some home shoppers will have an aha moment early on, some will take repeated exposures and time. Typically, CRM studies suggest it takes some 3-6+ months for good credit customers to make the first contact, because they are shopping carefully. But as more and more housing shoppers stumble onto your offer (because your headline DOESN'T say, 'manufactured home' or 'mobile home,' etc.) some will get curious. Some will eventually reach out, if you treat them properly, some of those will come and buy.

That is how it starts.

The other key to this is that YOU and YOUR location delivery good, honest service and value. Do what you say you will do, so don't over promise, it isn't necessary. More on this and related in a future column.

If you need help with your marketing or training, click here.

Sam Landy's point above is dead on, we have what the public needs in housing! We as manufactured home professionals have to deliver on our potential value. When your location delivers qualify living and what is promised, you will enjoy ever more success.

Some readers will wonder. Why not just use my own company's website for this? Good question!

You can, but there is POWER in having a third party website – independent from your company – to demonstrate and 'prove' the reasons for manufactured and factory built homes. MHLivingNews.com is like a third party endorsement of the manufactured home lifestyle. That is something your website can't easily do solo.

Two of the most powerful and popular pages on the MHLivingNews.com website are our photo gallery and the tornado vs. Manufactured Home video page. Those pages – and so many others that we routinely add to – are not likely on you website. You may not have the time or resources to do all that MHLivingNews does, so just link MHLivingNews.com in your posts, and start the outreach in your market.

MHLivingNews is already getting thousands of page views every month. But Craiglist has millions of page views daily, and many of those are from people seeking a home!

So if even 2% to 5% of every MH Retailer or MH Community location in the country did this simple 1, 2, 3 plan, the traffic would soon be in the ten of thousands. In time that can grow to the hundreds of thousands and then into the millions on MHLivingNews.

A simple 'free' image campaign for YOU and YOUR market! It will spread to others, and everyone in the mix will benefit.

More on this topic later, but you can start this today by taking those 3 easy steps! ##

* While FTC regs seem to permit this, A commentator claiming expertise has suggested that the law on this subject is ambiguous, and it would be prudent to seek specific legal advice before using the words 'financing available,' even if you have an MLO number.

(First Photo Credit: FlickrCC/dislokated, other photos from MHLivingNews.com)

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for April 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

Seasonal Marketing Greetings!

December 19th, 2012 No comments

Do you do seasonal marketing for your factory-built home business? Most retail focused manufactured home operations remember to do 'tax time' promos. But do you also do promotions for Valentines, St. Patrick's, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and others?

You should. There are good reasons why big retailers, home shopping networks and others use seasonal outreaches. Let's look at three:

  • One, it creates a built in sense of urgency that you didn't have to artificially create.
  • Two, it helps others relate to you and your offer on a different level than just your home, community or service.
  • Three, these celebrations are routinely 'feel good times,' so they can often pass along 'feel good' emotions to you for using them.

If you are a business to business instead of business to consumer,, should you still add a seasonal touch to your marketing messages? Short answer, why not?!

Try seasonal marketing. We do it with our clients, you should too.

That said, Merry Christmas to you and all those whom you love! ##

Image Credit: flickrcc keibi merry christmas angel

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

other new stories and 'Purely Political' cartoons 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/

+++

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

5 Minute website self-evaluation

January 30th, 2011 No comments

One of the services we offer is a website review. In a website review, we go over every page of your website and check for any missing elements or erroneous entries that might have a detrimental effect on your Search Engine ranking.

But do you need a full website review? Here’s a short video that will enable you to do a quick evaluation of your own website based on four critical factors. If you find your site coming up short on these, a full website review should be considered. It can save you a lot of lost business in the long-term and lost money in the sort term.

Click here for more information on Website Reviews

Using a piece of paper to market manufactured housing online?

January 20th, 2011 No comments

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show was a rousing success. Exhibitors and attendees alike were in an upbeat mood and pretty much every exhibitor I talked to was happy with the results. This kind os show can put the industry on a positive footing as we head into 2011.

Trade shows are one of those places where one picks up a lot of business cards. I was there with the MHMSM.com crew – Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Business Development Manager Jeff Templeton and Reporter Matthew Silver. We received cards from most of the exhibitors and many of the attendees.

One thing about those cards struck me as rather odd here in 2011. Many had no email address and many more had no website URL. Did they not have a website? Or were they doing the “penny-wise, pound-foolish” thing of using up older cards years after having a website?

Doing some quick calculation, I found that fully 61% of business cards collected at the show had no website address. That’s astonishing. If 61% of exhibitors and attendees have no website, I have little doubt that could be a major contributing factor in the falling sales figures for the past few years.

Email addresses on business cards were better, but not perfect. 10% had no email address.

Your business card is your personal-sized billboard. Using every part of it is in your best interest. Website URL and email are essential pieces of information these days.

Here is what my MHMSM business card looks like:

Bob Stovall's MHMSM Business Card front
Bob Stovall's MHMSM Business Card back

Notice how we used both the front and back of the card to convey our message. Of the cards we collected, only 5% utilized the back of the card for more information.

Business cards were and are part of your offline Social Networking system. You give away both sides when you hand out your business card – use them.

When I began to write this, I was thinking to myself that it was an awfully basic thing to post about. Then I thought about those 61% of business cards that had no email address and the 90% that didn’t use the real estate on the back of the card.

If your cards fit one of these descriptions, think about an immediate update. That little piece of card stock is one of the most important parts of your online marketing strategy.

Adapted from the article Business cards are an online marketing tool at OrangeCat.com