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Posts Tagged ‘gent’

Filling MHC Vacancies and Retailing More Manufactured Homes

June 13th, 2012 No comments

There is only one who can claim to have every answer to every question and problem. That one has a three letter name, God. Ipso facto, that means the rest of us have to struggle along as best as we can with limited knowledge and limited answers. That's okay. Time, trial and error, learning from others who have already learned are among the paths open to any issue or challenge in need of solutions.

We go to experts for solutions on problems with our vehicles. We go to an attorney or accountant when we need one. Ditto doctors, who may send us to specialists if the issue is over the general practitioners head.

Perhaps the only surprise to me in the factory built housing industry is that there aren't more consultants and contract experts that companies turn to for solutions.

But where are the pros who specialize:

I'll give you the answer in a few moments.

But first, let's acknowledge that there are individuals – some with considerable experience – that carry the label (sometimes self-described, sometimes valid) as “experts.” I ran across an article recently on a consultant's blog, not a blog here at MHProNews.com. The gent is an award winning expert and consultant. Here is what he wrote, in his own words (including his typos; the bold alone is added for emphasis):

Like some – to – many of you reading this blog posting, I’m dealing with declining occupancy in a landlease community I own, located a four hour drive from my office. Success there, is improving – to – max physical and economic occupancy. My present distraction? When arriving in town for a property visit, I too often find myself dealing with peripheral matters (e.g. minor repairs, interpersonal networking), rather than concentrating on what it’ll take to reverse course, and get the property back on course to improved occupancy.”

This is refreshing. Here is a community expert that publicly admits, I'm not getting it done on my own property. We knew this to be true from other reports, but to hear it straight from the owner/expert himself is noteworthy indeed.

The expert above goes on in the same column to outline the plan that he teaches, but has not 'fully' implemented himself. Part of what caught my eye here was that his on-site manager is 'trained,' but that apparently hasn't (yet) yielded the desired results of increasing occupancy. FYI and IMHO, the man's ten point list is a pretty good one.

We could talk about another 'expert' that is out there teaching his method for filling vacant home sites, one apparently created over a decade ago. That expert isn't as self-revealing as the one above. This second gent allegedly watched a partnership he was in blow up in a spectacular bankruptcy. Having disappeared from the communities scene for many years after that failure, he re-appeared about 2 years ago, complete with his training materials, website, self-promotion in online posting sites, etc.

By the way, failure can be a fine way to learn, I don't knock it at all. One can learn from success, and we can learn from failure too.

Now, let me compare and contrast the above with the following:

JAR-letter-excerp

The above is an excerpt from a longer letter signed by the president of a well known land-lease portfolio operator. That president asked that we share the letter in full only upon request, so we've blacked out from the above 'clues' as to who the company is. We also have third party references on this same project that confirmed the dramatic turn-around results described in the letter above.

Tony and his associates created and implemented proven, successful systems. Actions speak louder than words.

While the letter above is from a community operator, these systems work in retail – street dealer – manufactured housing sales as well as in land-lease community operations.

My friend Tony had the notable achievement of hitting the top 1% of all manufactured home retailers in the U.S., from a single location in a small town in a depressed market, where he achieved triple digit deliveries a year. During that same time frame, 80% of the others in the business vanished, closed their doors, many forever. Tony achieved those results with (or because of?) good customer satisfaction. Kovach had no BBB complaints, no lawsuits, no letters from a single attorney representing even one retailer customer. Referrals, as the letter above also shows, were the #2 source for all of his new business.

Do you see how this ties in nicely with my theme about the value of word-of-mouth from last week's blog post?

In the Internet era, word of mouth:

  • Can be testimonial letters.
  • Recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • Being 'liked' on Facebook, especially with positive comments being posted.
  • It can be positive PR in an article, newspaper or magazine.
  • Or it can be one person telling another.

All of these and more can be part of 'word of mouth.'

When I came on board here, Tony graciously provided me with a page to 'introduce Tim Connor' as part of the team. Tony has told me many times that he owns a number of my books and CDs, including Soft Sell which he bought some years ago. Having sat in on some of his live training that Tony delivers online, it is obvious that he has taken lessons from here, there and his personal experience and woven it together into a system that works well for new and pre-owned manufactured housing sales to retail customers.

Selling More Homes at Retail and Filling More Vacant Homesites

Sometimes the truth of a matter is looking right at us, and we fail to see it. Think about how rapidly Tony turned this trade media website – MHProNews.com – into the success that it has become today. If you want to sell more homes and fill more sites, who are you going to call?

Would an extra $500,000 hurt you?

I was chatting with a community owner the other day. They have 3 properties and hundreds of home sites, with about 88% physical occupancy, and 82% economic occupancy. Let's say their average site rents for $300 a month. For discussions sake, let's further say he had 100 vacant sites. That's:

  • $30,000 monthly in lost revenue.
  • $360,000 a year in lost income.
  • Increased costs for mowing and other maintenance on the vacant home site

Plus the lost income from the sales of the homes the could be selling. That's a cool half a million dollars, in round numbers, for the example above.

A relatively modest investment in marketing and sales consulting – from a proven performer like Tony and his team – could yield a handsome Return on Investment. Full capacity would be far more lucrative – and much more predictable! – than almost any stock you could name could yield in the same x months it would take to bring those sites to physical and economic occupancy.

On the LATonyKovach.com website I saw an item about an RV retailer that Tony increased his sales from 50 some odd units a year to over 175 annually; that's a 321% increase, that took 8 months to do. RV's aren't

Tony's specialty, manufactured housing is. Perhaps that makes the point.

Times change. Circumstances change. Challenges change. But the ability to study a set of circumstances, see the best way forward, create a plan, adapt it as needed (all plans need tweaking after they are launched) can make all the difference. You go to a doctor for certain needs, who is your Manufactured Housing Marketing and Sales MD? Are you getting your regular business check up?

Tony has brought together a team:

  • Webtech
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • PR
  • Management

that have proven ability to deliver bottom line results. But let me tell you what really struck me. Tony has turned down working with some companies, often after free initial consultations. His philosophy is win-win. If everyone in the mix benefits, then and only then is it a good deal and one worth pursuing.

The same gent I used in the first example above said to a crowded room filled with Industry professionals, as he introduced Tony and a team member to speak, “These guys are the Future of Manufactured Housing!”

Let us make history together. You very graciously bring us to your laptop, smart phone or PC web-browser today and likely other times too. You know we bring you the most Industry News, Tips and Views You Can Use ©.

We can also bring you:

  • The most cost effective websites or website updates. Not from some who does it on the side, or who make know nothing about factory built housing, but from pros who knows the business inside out.
  • Business to Business or Business to Consumer marketing plans.

Want to grow your results? Who are you going to call? ##

Tim Connor
Business Development
MHProNews.com
MHMSM.com
And the new MHLivingNews.com
704-895-1230
tim@mhmsm.com

Progress, Status Quo and Failure

May 22nd, 2012 No comments

We all say that we want to progress or advance in sales and profits. Certainly some companies are selling more new homes in manufactured housing. That means more loans are being closed, more insurance policies are being written, so the whole range of products and services that go into every new manufactured home sales takes place.

But what makes the difference between progress, status quo and failure?

Let's look at five true-to-life examples to answer the question. While these examples are ours, they could apply to other circumstances too. So use the open mind to success, enjoy and profit.

Example of Progress:

A client not only thanked us for the work done and their significantly enhanced results, but they introduced us to another MH company. Not a 2 minute introduction, this was a 45 minute 3 way conversation.

The client heard Tony sharing an idea at a meeting. That lead to a conversation. The conversation led the firm becoming a client. This owner had an open mind. He was curious. He investigated, he listened, he acted.

He profited.

Like many of you, this man was "busy." But he wasn't too busy to learn more to earn more! He made time for what was important. That is the takeaways from this first true tale.

Examples of status quo:

This is perhaps the most common group.

Professionals all tend to run a similar path every day. You follow the same road to and from work. You do things at work similarly too. Is it any surprise when you do the same things the same way, that you keep getting the same results?

By contrast, another gent sent us a message to say thank you. He confessed he was a status quo guy for a long time. But then it happened…

The thank you was first for the insights they gained from reading at MHProNews.com (MHMSM.com), then later from using a specific program and process. A page long message said in part, that he had been in business for decades. He thought he "knew it all." It wasn't until he stopped to consider something new that he was able to advance.

So if you are satisfied, don't change. That is the status quo. But if you are looking for more, be open minded and ready to do more. Then, do what it takes to make that more a reality. The takeaway here is leaners are better earners.

Not every story has a happy ending.

One business owner wanted to grow. They "wanted" to advertise. They invested serious dollars in their operation. Limited on funds, they felt they had to "protect" their resources by "playing it safe." No ads, no growth. They played it so safe, their doors finally closed.

The takeaway from the above is this: the 'safe' center may look safe, but it is the center lines where you find the dead carcasses on the road.

Example of Going Backwards.

The truth is that you typically are advancing or retreating in business. Tony Kovach shared an experience with me of an owner who spoke to him at a large industry meeting. The man described how he had grown tired of all the "fights." Which fights?

"SAFE Act, Dodd-Frank, state and local regulations! I finally got sick of it all." said the owner. "I stopped trying to figure it all out." He turned, and left the meeting.

While we can sympathize, is it any surprise why the occupancy of that community owner declined after he got "tired" of all the "fights?" Note too that the same meeting produced some very motivated attendees.

This takeaway? "You don't tell the fire place, give me warmth and I'll give you wood!" You get out the heat to the measure that you thoughtfully and purposefully put in.

Some tips:

  • Be open to new ideas. The "Know it all" means you can't learn.
  • Keep the bottom line in mind. It is more important to be ready to change directions in a new, better direction than to keep following the same line day after day.
  • Reach out: to peers; network and don't be afraid to hire a professional to get your job done. You wouldn't hesitate to go to a doctor for a medial worry. Why hesitate to hire a professional to help your business?

Progress, the status quo or failure. The choices are yours.##

Posted by:
Tim Connor
Business Development and Ads Manager
MHProNews.com (MHMSM.com) and
MHLivingNews.com
704-895-1230
tim@MHMSM.com