Posts Tagged ‘factory-built housing’

Champion Homebuilder’s Jack Lawless Points the way to Manufactured Housing Sales Growth

October 9th, 2014 No comments

It is axiomatic that proven leaders are more listened to than 'losers,' and for good reasons. You can learn from anyone, we can learn from mistakes (our own or that of others), but performers often inspire others to greater performance. Which is perhaps why the high-flying Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA) had rapidly rising Champion Homebuilders' Jack Lawless as a key morning speaker at their recent annual event in Orlando.

Jack Lawless has significant experience in the building products industry, and while he supplied firms in the past that produced manufactured homes, he is a relative newcomer to direct involvement in factory built housing. That said, FMHA attendees heard how Champion has roughly doubled their market share in HUD Code manufactured homes in the last 4-5 years! We were told how annual sales at Champion went from about $600 million to a roughly a billion annually.


With those kinds of results in MH, do you think Lawless had the room's attention? You bet. Jack's confident, engaging style as he walked among attendees certainly added to the experience.

When one person demonstrates they can double an already large operation in size so rapidly, it should remind us all that we can do similarly with the proper focus.

jack-lawless-champion-homebuilders-florida-manufactured-housing-association-fmha-2014-annual-meeting2-credit=cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews248x139-Let's cut to some of Jack's statements that ought to be in MH marketing and sales organizations minds, goals and play book.

> HUD code MH sales are rising, but Lawless said they are still no where near where they should be. Jack pointed out that automakers have more than doubled their sales from 2006 to 2014. This echoes what many we've interviewed have said.

> Jack said "there are no home runs right now," but if you have a number of singles, you can still score and win.

> If you want to dominate, you want to have a website superior to your competitors in your market area.

There was a lot more, and we hope to bring you some added take-aways in the days ahead.

Kudos to Jim Ayotte, FMHA board, Jack Lawless and the Champion team. This was one of the fine presentations, panel discussions at an energizing and their worthwhile annual event. ##

(Photo credits: MHProNews at the FMHA 2014 Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL)


Buying Time

November 3rd, 2012 No comments

Whenever a business person hires or contracts out a job, they are buying timing. They may not look at it quite that way, but that is the reality. If you own or manage a business which has other people, you know what this means or will feel the light bulb going off over head as you read.

Buying time wisely is one of the keys to success in factory-built housing.

Buying Time Wisely

I've seen even successful companies do some rather odd things when it comes to buying time wisely. For example, what about those operations that hire one or more full time person(s) to do what ought to be a temporary job?

It is often less expensive and more cost effective to contract certain work out. For example, a mom and pop operation that retails homes likely contracts out the move, foundation, installation and utility hookups. That is a wise purchase of contracted time. Until you hit a certain volume of deliveries and installations consistently, it makes no sense to have your own crew.

  • But what about certain management or specialized functions?
  • What about marketing, advertising, web, social media?
  • Can a modest sized operation afford to have a sales trainer on staff?

These and other functions may be best suited for contracted services.

When it comes to leveraging time, think Social Media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc – and your Website as some of the key ways to maximize time leveraging.

Once you've built the right website for your needs, that becomes your 24/7/365 spokesperson! It delivers the same message with precision! Investing in the right social media and Internet marketing pays off in multiple ways. You invest up front, but it pays off for years to come.

Spending Time Wisely

Finally, for yourself and your team, you want them to invest time wisely. A common example of wasted time is sadly in sales. You would not be alone if you have a sales professional who spends only 10-15% of her or his time actually selling. They may spend as much time surfing the web or playing solitaire on the computer than they do trying to make you another sale.

So how do you get the most from your time and that of your team?

Good industry trade media – think – is a priceless resource to many companies large and small, because we provide relevant content for rank and file team members as well as management. Get your associates reading 15 minutes minimum daily!

Professionals and athletes practice and drill in every field. Ours should be no different.

Because we archive stories, you won't run out of worthwhile reading. Anyone can go back for years and read timeless articles on marketing, sales or management, communities, retail, legal, finance, inspirational or other industry relevant topics. Just use the top menu on the home page to explore and navigate all the information you can access freely.

Where to start?

If you want to contract out certain work, but don't know where to start, send us a message or give us a call. Before you waste any more time or money, think of us when you need web, social media, training or other professional needs. Our services are confidential, unless we mutually agree otherwise. If we don't do the type of work you need, we always try to point you in a worthwhile direction to find what fits.

One call or email can start it all. Remember, its about time. Buying time wisely is like buying more money. Yes, you can. ##

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

other new stories and 'Purely Political' cartoons at too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500 or connect with me on Linkedin.


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

21st Century Marketing and Sales

June 18th, 2012 No comments

For those or us old enough to remember, sales was often viewed by millions as something you did to someone, rather than doing something for someone. Sales was seen – and taught – as a kind of manipulation. A person or a company wanted to manipulate their way into a sale, they did it via a process. An example that comes to mind might be the time share industry. Let's take a look, because understanding this principle will be key to the much of what follows. You will see the application and power this can have for the manufactured housing industry. Don't be surprised if an "aha!" moment or two comes your way that will make you or an associate of yours some good money.

Let's start by using the time share example. You get someone into an appointment, often through a promise of a discount at a resort or some gift or a chance at a prize. You then put the prospect through a long sales processes that is virtually choreographed. "You say this, when the prospect says that." Much is scripted.

There are values to scripts and memorization. But one problem is what happens when a person goes off script? What happens when the prospect is to some degree "in the know" as to what you are going to do, as in fact began to happen in the time share Industry? Over time, you dry up your target market, because more and people realize what will happen and so they want no part of it. They either don't come, or they simply "just say no" because they don't want to be manipulated. The wrong intention kills it all.

The above example makes a few key points that at first may seem contradictory to some things we have written and said. Let's take a step back, to understand a key relationship, and then return to the point.

Marketing should set up sales with a prospect, that sums up the goal of marketing. Marketing doesn't sell, it delivers a prospect, and hopefully a steady stream of them. Once you get the prospect, sales takes over. In the modern era of CRM (Customer Relationship Management), prospects may move fluidly in and out of sales and follow up marketing, as with an email campaign to prospects and clients.

But obviously the job of sales professionals is to the MAKE a sale. Many of them!

Some MH Retailers – for example – in their haste to be "unsales-like" and not turn off a prospect, use no sales process. They let the customer wander around open, model homes, hoping they bump into the house they want and magically fall to the floor, open a checkbook and say, "sell me this one!" It can happen, but not often enough. I recall a successful retailer who went from 5 locations to 4, then 3, 2 and 1 doing this. Finally – of course – the last location closed. No system, insufficient sales, overhead far outpaced the sales which took place. They were done.

They had gone from a system, to no system. From success to failure.

But on the other end of the spectrum are those retailers who had a highly scripted process. It was much like a time share sales system in that sense. I am thinking of another example, in another market from the one above. The retailer had good product, somewhat high pricing, did a lot of marketing, had overall good locations (meaning, high traffic spots off major highways in good towns). But as the highly scripted systems became better known, guess what happened? The company I am thinking about in a good state, in better economic times than these are, went from 5 locations, to 4, to 3, then to 1 and done. Their lack of a customer-friendly process made them fail.

As in much of life, the answer is simple. The Solutions are always there if you look for it! Another example or analogy will make the point.

Imagine a professional football team that didn't practice. They had no play book. They had no process for success. How long would a team like that last? Not long! Even great players need a plan! Great players need coaching and play calling. So training is fundamental and a having a process are both critical. The same is true in selling.

Great sales talents realizes their potential precisely through training that is ongoing and routine, just as great teams keep training season after season.

Let's circle back to the top.

The sales process MUST begin with the right intention! If you are trying to manipulate someone, the intention is wrong. Over time then, the sales process that seeks to manipulate will self-destruct.

What works is having a process that is user-friendly for the sales person, and user friendly for the customer.

Now we get to a profound key! Don't sleep, don't snooze, or you will miss it!

Coach Lou Holtz said the following, in his three rules of life:

  • 1) Do what's right
  • 2) Do your best.
  • 3) Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Three questions people ask you (either openly, subconsciously, or often to themselves):

  • 1) Can I trust you?
  • 2) Are you committed?
  • 3) Do you care about me?

When companies, politicians, sales professionals and others get these 6 points down, look out! Good to Great Results wills follow! And so long as such principles are put into place and set in motion for the long run, long term success will follow!

But notice how all 6 points go back to the intention. If you intend to serve, if you want to serve well, you are setting up the other 6 rules. Coach Holtz started simply with, Do What's Right. The Right Intention, the Right Training will yield the Right Results for the customer AND for the company alike!

The 21st century has more ways to communicate than we never would have dreamed about at the dawn of the 20th century. We had person to person, signs, books, newspapers and magazines 100 years ago. So telephones, radio and TV were all on the horizon a century ago. Those innovations were followed by cable, cells, satellite and finally in the 90s we saw the rise of the Internet. Today we see branches of online, with tablets, text and smartphone use, social networking and more.

We have an amazing ways to reach out and touch someone. But how we do what we do is the difference between long term sales success and eventual failure. And in the end, for a big ticket product like a modular or manufactured home, it still comes down to one on one with people.

Factory built housing is an amazing product. Imagine what would happen if you had two cars, both had the same features, but one was 25% less in price than the other. Which would sell more? All things being equal, the less expensive one, right? With the HUD Code you have entry level VOG homes, and you have more 'residential' tape and textured/finished drywall styles of construction. So you can hit a variety of price points and target markets!

Then why doesn't that make a huge difference in manufactured housing sales? Aha! Therein lies a different subject for a different time. Don't worry, we will continue this periodic series.

A closing message. is being branded as the publishing arm of what we do here at Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management ( All 3 of our web address will bring you to the same site.

That said, there is a complementarity but also a distinction between the two.

MHProNews is Industry News, Tips and Views You can Use. (c)

At (= we are doing the contract (think consulting or short, medium or long term outsourced) professional work for companies like yours. MHMSM is Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals. (c)

Think about it. You have to have news and information in order to stay current and be successful in the long run.

You also need professional development for your organization.m this might be done via associations. It can be done via the web, or live for mid-to large sized companies.

Both are essential to long term success!

Here is our link to our current services menu here.

See a copy of our business building, twice weekly emailed news updates sign up for your free emailed newsletter at this link here:

Sign up for that free email here:

And when you're ready to join the ranks of those who make more money by working smarter, not harder, gives us a call or email us. My contact info is below. Years of success in factory-built housing follow in our wake, as testimonials, statistics and letters of reference at prove. The initial consultations are free. The results, priceless. And we mutually commit to confidentially, our process is proprietary.

When you are ready for 21st century results in marketing, sales and management, call, click or connect.##

(Editor's note: see more of Tim's columns in the Words of Wisdom and in our Feature Articles section of See our news by scrolling the center and left side columns on our home page, and keeping up with Tony Kovach's The Masthead blog.)


Posted for
Tim Connor
Business Development
And the new

The best keyword is not always the most desired term

June 13th, 2010 4 comments

Mobile vs. Manufactured HomeOptimizing your website for the best keywords is one of the most important building blocks of your online marketing strategy.

But how we see or describe our business can be very different from how our customers see us. And knowing how our customers see us and search for us online spells the difference between lackluster performance and booming success in our online marketing efforts.

Let’s take one example. “Manufactured homes” used to be called “mobile homes.” The industry has gone to a great deal of effort over the past several years to upgrade it’s image by re-branding with the better descriptive term “manufactured homes” or “manufactured housing.”

But the effort expended hasn’t produced the desired result because the majority of customers still uses the term “mobile home.” And they use that term for single- and multi-section homes, new and old, in a community or on ten acres. I’m sure most retailers and community managers are well aware of this.

A keyword analysis using the Google Keyword Tool reveals that searches in the U.S. on the keyword “mobile homes” out numbers searches for either “manufactured homes” or “modular homes” by a margin of more than 2 to 1.

Term   U.S. Monthly Searches
Manufactured Homes   550,000
Modular Homes   450,000
Mobile Homes   1,220,000

Obviously, ignoring the “mobile homes” keyword could have a large negative effect on the number of potential customers who find you via a search on Google.

In terms of keyword usage, Google users are not much different than users of Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine. So you can expect results to be very similar across the board.

So, how do we continue to seek to upgrade the industry’s image while tapping into the huge numbers for whom “mobile home” is the preferred terminology?

That depends on whether you a manufacturer, retailer, supplier or community owner.

But no matter who you are, the numbers outlined above indicate that we have a ways to go in customers minds to replace the “mobile home” image with the “manufactured home” one.

There’s an old quote that says you can’t break an old habit – you need to replace it with a new habit.

Manufacturers need to keep plugging away at changing the perception. Trade associations need to help, perhaps by running local education programs aimed at consumers with the object of substituting a new habit for the old.

Retailers, suppliers and community managers need to address this issue from the viewpoint of their customers. They need to use the more desired term when communicating with customers, but recognize that to draw the widest range of prospects, some homage must be paid to the term “mobile home.”

This is where “online marketing” shines above all other forms. Your website, email marketing, etc. can be primarily optimized for “manufactured homes” while pages are created specifically for buyers who search using the term “mobile home.” You can even have separate email lists for those who locate you using either term.

After all, who wants to throw away over a million lead opportunities every month?

Once again, this brings us back to MHMSM Solutions, which has the expertise to set this up for you. Taking advantage of every opportunity is how we will thrive as the market improves.