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Posts Tagged ‘home retail’

What Avis, Hertz, Budget and National Rental Car Companies can teach Manufactured Housing

October 26th, 2013 No comments

A recent client-connected trip took me to Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport, so my travels also took me to what looked like their new rental car center. All of the major rental brands were there – Avis, Budget, Hertz, National – plus some that you seldom see or were new to me, such as Fox, Payless and Sikt.

What they all had in common was they were sharing this new, centralized, clean and appealing facility. But doesn't that happen in many airports from coast to coast? Don't we see rental car companies – competitors! – gathered near a location, all side by side?

Why would competitors do that?

Good question, let's look at a few reasons.

  • Easier for customers to find the location
  • Shared (read lower cost, more effective) marketing
  • Shared (lower cost) overhead for this kind of quality facility, which provides a…
  • Better customer experience.

Lessons for MH?

Something similar happens at trade shows, such as the approaching 2014 LouisvilleManufacturedHousingShow.com.

But most trade shows are only a 2½ day event. Where is their a similar cooperative effort the other 362½ days of the year?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Google study, downloadable from the link below, showcases that some 90% of home shoppers are doing some or all of their shopping online. Some research puts that number at 94%, but either way it's high!

http://www.MHProNews.com/home/industry-news/industry-in-focus/6318-why-should-you-target-home-shoppers-online

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Manufactured Home Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Builders, Associations and Suppliers/Vendors of all kinds can each benefit from the obvious concept of having an image/educational web portal that can mimic in cyber-space at a very low cost what the rental car companies do.

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The new ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com has started what time will reveal to be an important step forward for our industry. Attend the free seminar at the 2014 LouisvilleShow.com, to see how YOU can benefit – free or at a low cost – from this ever more popular resource.

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The lessons for manufactured housing from the rental car example are clear. We could sum it up with this acronym, T.E.A.M. = Together Everyone Achieves More. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for October and see the other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

The Thing Needed

September 6th, 2013 No comments

It can be very helpful to go back in time, and compare 'then with now.' The downloadable attachment below has many relevant points, and it was written years before I got into consulting. The points in sharing this are many, and can benefit all with an open mind. One of the points are that the basics – the fundamentals – are among the keys to success, and this article has a number of those fundamentals!

The article attached was first published in the November 1988 issue of what was then call the Mobile/Manufactured Home Merchandiser, later re-named, Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine. While much has changed in technology, terminology, attitudes and styles, it is surprising how some of the basics then are just as true today as when the attached downloadable article was written.

At the time, yours truly was the proud owner of a manufactured home retail center that was growing rapidly, in spite of the economic collapse that had taken place in oil-boom-to-oil-bust Oklahoma. My personal part of the business was marketing and sales – sound familiar? – while others at our center did a very fine job of other necessary functions like bookkeeping and lender relations, service and delivery coordination.

During a time when 80% of the retailers folded then in Oklahoma (sound familiar to the MHIndustry post 1998? Or the MHIndustry post 2008?), humble S&L Homes (we sold repos for S&L's, new and other pre-loved homes) was growing, growing, growing. We hit the top 1% of all retailers in the U.S. our third year in operation, all during a down market when other dealers that were far better established vanished.

Why? How?

Please read the article, because many of the basics then are the same basics today.

Are there differences? Sure – like change “mailers” for “email” or social networking. Change print for the Web. Change TV and radio for YouTube!

The reality is that we can market better today for less, for those who are willing to learn and do it. We can also sell better then than now, for those who are willing to dig in, learn and do.

My road to business ownership was not easy. There was no rich relative, no SBA loan and most of the 'training' came from reading and a handful of seminars, but also boat loads books and audios personally invested in to advance myself.

A tag line came across a public service announcement the other day that applies to all of us.

Learn to read. Read to learn.

That same issue of the Merchandiser had articles from people like Guy Laird (remember him?) and Bill Carr (still active!) that were among the many that I devoured every month. I would have proverbially killed to have had access to all that we share on MHProNews.com monthly, because reading was the path to learning more and earning more.

In my career run up to opening S&L, yours truly managed at 3 retail centers and assisted at a 4th before jumping into ownership.

If you are an owner, encourage your people to learn more. Yes, someday, they may leave you. But in the mean time, you will be earning more and so will they! The good performance of some tends to lift the performance of others.

So the rising tide tends to raise all ships.

If you are an employee or contractor, absolutely make it your business to learn all you can. Read daily (yes, every business day). Go to meetings, attend seminars.

Learn not just from the present, but from the past.

Learn from every mistake. Learn from every success.

Keep a good attitude!

Sure, a smile came when my eyes revealed how much younger I looked in the picture on the last page of the attached article! I wonder what happened to the others in that photo, after the business was profitably sold, we eventually lost track of each other (no email or Facebook then).

What we did as signage then, would not be what I would do as signage today. We'd be talking social networking and lots more online stuff in such an article.

But much of it applies – attire, attitude, training, marketing, sales basics – so much that you may want to read and re-read this, because it covers the fundamentals – the basics of success – quite well. But you can decide that for yourself!

Near the end of the attached article, there is a phrase yours truly typed 25 years ago. Doing what is needed. Doing the things needed is the only pathway to success.

No one will hand it to you. Everyone has to earn it in some form or fashion! Do what is needed, whatever that 'thing' is. It will pave the way to your future. ##

Download the article

Increasing Sales in a Down Market –
Mobile/Manufactured Home Merchandiser, November 1988 – by L. A. Kovach.

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for September and see the other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 815-270-0500 |

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Learning Something New

July 26th, 2013 No comments

It takes commitment to learn something new. The most brilliant coach or the best teacher on the planet can’t help the player or student who is unable or unwilling to try what’s different. Since Motivation is a factor in learning, it can make a difference when you help someone See it Big (SIB). At the same time, it is useful to make something easy enough to understand, which suggests we Keep it Simple. (KIS). Put the two together, and you have trainer Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’ fabled acronym, SIB-KIS.

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Someone I work with likes to say an expression I’m really beginning to like. “We have to get out of our own way, and let the customer buy a home.” Good point! Let’s review some key facts.

  • 10,000 people are retiring daily in the U.S.. Some reports suggest half of these or more are not ‘ready’ for retirement. They need a low cost affordable place to live. Solution? Think, Manufactured Home!
  • Incomes are overall down in America since 2008.
  • There are 2,000,000 U.S. veterans of the recent Middle Eastern wars. Let’s rephrase, there are about 2,000,000 DD214s out there. Solution? Think manufactured home!
  • The U.S. Census Bureau says that manufactured homes on average sell for about half the cost per square foot that conventionally constructed new housing does.
  • The U.S. needs 20,000,000 new housing units to keep up with the current pace of population, based upon U.S. Census Bureau statistics. Incomes down, 85% of the population wants to be a home owner. Solution? Think Manufactured Home!

We have a historic opportunity to sell more homes, but we have to be willing to do what it takes to get those customers to open their eyes and see the amazing product that we offer them.

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As you know, we teach our manufactured home retail and community clients a simple yet profound truth. Let’s remember that The Truth Well Told is Powerful! That truth is that some 85% of the population doesn’t get it about manufactured homes. So we have to help them get past that mental block. We do that by not waving the Manufactured Home flag in their face.

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What do You See? A trailer? Or a Home?

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We have to retrain ourselves – or hire and get the training – to see the incredible value that we present.

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We created Manufactured Home Living News for many reasons, but one is to be a tool for manufactured home professionals to use to open minds. We NEED a third party ‘source’ of information – something that isn’t your website – to point to and thus gain or increase your credibility in reaching out to customers who don’t yet get the manufactured home advantages.

Customers will check you on or off their list. They want to find the right home at the right price and/or payment. Odds are, you’ve got that home or can order it for them.

Training – discipline – commitment – See It Big, Keep It Simple.

Let’s learn – or continue to learn – the new ways to attract and sell more customers than we ever have before! ##

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

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com |
Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C
Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking:

MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 815-270-0500 |

Connect on LinkedIN:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach