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Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Manufactured Housing and IGA’s Success Lesson

October 25th, 2014 No comments

Imagine America during the Great Depression. There was virtually no federal social safety net then!

Great-depression-credit-common-wikipedia-posted-on-mhpronews-comWhile there has been suffering in the U.S. in what many call our recent "Great Recession" which began circa 2008, let's be honest. The great Depression days were far worse.

This pair of photos from WikiCommons might help someone not familiar with the Great Depression begin to understand how tough it was then, versus now.

Soup lines, rough housing, jobs were hard to find and low paying.

It was in this sad economic environment – far more challenging than what we've had since 2008 – that IGA was formed. Let's see what lessons for manufactured housing professionals in organizations of any and all sizes the IGA story may hold.

Great-depression-credit-common-wikipedia-posted-on-mhpronews-com-2

Wikipedia states the following about IGA, which is short for Independent Grocers Alliance.

iga-logo-posted-on-mhpronews-com"IGA is a brand of grocery stores active in more than 30 countries. Contrasting with the chain store business model, IGA operates as a franchise through stores that are owned separately from the brand. Many of these stores operate in small town markets and belong to families that manage them. It was founded in the United States as the Independent Grocers Alliance. The headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois."

"IGA was started in May 1926 when a group of 100 independent retailers in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Sharon, Connecticut, led by J. Frank Grimes, organized themselves into a single marketing system. This group quickly expanded, and by the end of the year there were more than 150 IGA retailers. In 1930 there were over 8,000 grocery stores using the IGA name. The company uses the "Hometown Proud Supermarkets" slogan. Today, many IGA grocery stores are still located in smaller cities and towns throughout the United States."

IGA is not the powerhouse today that it once was, for a variety of reasons. But for decades, IGA grew rapidly and often dominated the landscape in the huge grocery business. It provided marketing, savings and other benefits to its associated grocers, so it paid to be a member of IGA.

In manufactured housing today, there are several 'buyers groups' that offer its members specific advantages, including lower costs on homes through volume rebates and/or other discounts.

We also have state and national associations, which offer a different range of benefits that include networking, educational and political lobbying.

What we don't have – yet – is a similar, formal alliance for MH akin to what IGA was for grocers. Thanks to the Internet and modern technology, that can now rapidly change in a way that would benefit all involved.

How can this model be applied to the manufactured housing Industry successfully today?

MHRetailers, MHCommunities, MH Associations, factories and service providers – Come to the Louisville Show in 2015 and see!the-road-to-success-mhpronews-louisville-manufactured-home-show-january21-23-2015

Your operation may be soaring, struggling or somewhere in between. You may be starting up in business, or ready to wide down.

Whatever your status, your business is worth more – duh! – when it is profiting more.

Learn how the successful IGA model can be applied to Manufactured and Modular Home sales at the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. Yours truly will show you how we can grow your business and others, the smart way.

As an MH retailer, community or builder/developer, odds are excellent you can enter the show free.

Please see the Louisville show website for details and to pre-register free. Some 2,500 industry pros came to Louisville in 2014, far more than any other industry event! There are good reasons the crowd keeps growing. We hope you will come and see why the Road to Success starts in Louisville. Free pre-registration link is here. ##

(Great Depression Image Credits: WikiCommons)

l.a.tony_.kovach-publisher-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-mhpronews-com-mhc-md-com-1by L. A. 'Tony' Kovach

Are you Asking the Right Questions?

August 8th, 2014 No comments

Did you know…

  • that professional selling is more than just 'telling?'
  • that in the right circumstances, your prospect wants to be 'sold?'
  • that good selling is not something you do TO someone, it is something you do WITH and FOR someone?
  • that controlling someone in sales is just an illusion?

Even in a society that lacks freedom, people yearn for ways to express themselves! So imagine that in a free society, of course people don't want to feel manipulated into doing something, even if that 'something' might actually be to their benefit.

So as soon as some 'sales person' starts talking, talking, talking before they've

  • asked and listened,
  • asked and listened and
  • asked and listened some more…

what routinely happens is that good prospective clients tune them out. Odds of doing business with them nose-dive. This often leaves the weaker prospect that stays and gets 'sold,' and of course then the challenge is to see how to 'get their deal done.'

listen-credit-ky-olsen-posted-cutting-edge=blog-mhpronews-com-

Image Credit: Ky Olsen

There are organizations in manufactured housing that teach good selling, which is much more than telling.

Good selling is like going to a doctor's office. The doctor – or the MD's staff – has to ask probing questions and then follows those questions up with still more questions, all BEFORE tests are done or a recommendation for treatment is made.

We teach forward thinking professionals to ask the right questions at the right times. Then we suggest the proper marketing that makes the phones ring.

l-a-tony-kovach-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-modern-marketing-mhpronews-com-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com (1)

L. A. “Tony” Kovach presenting to a packed room of MH Professionals.

Change rarely happens over night. But if you are doing the right job – the truly professional way – of marketing and sales in manufactured housing, you will see a steady growth in the number of qualified buyers who will call, come, see, believe and buy from you. Don't worry, you'll still get the credit challenged customers too.

When you learn to engage a cash or good credit customer successfully, you'll realize that selling manufactured homes is a noble profession.

Professionals practice and study, practice and study. Professionals ask questions before making recommendations, correct?

i-do-think-that-a-person-can-adapt-and-change-successfully-into-a-can-do-mindset-provided-he-she-is-willing-to-make-the-commitment-to-learning-jim-clayton(c)2014-life

What would you pay to listen to the industry's self-made billionaire for 45 minutes?
Then would you actively listen – take notes and learn – by
clicking here and watching this two part video?

Shall we close with some OBVIOUS questions?

So where do you go to do your daily reading in MH? And where are you getting your professional training to become a star in manufactured housing? ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

Three Steps to More Sales Comparisons Help or Harm You in Marketing and Sales

August 1st, 2014 No comments

Let's be really basic and candid. People make comparisons. It is part of what we are and do; we compare people, products, services, entertainment, food, politics, religion. You name it, and people make comparisons on it.

lady-shopping-comparing-cans-grocery-aisle-posted-cutting-edge-blog-mhmsm-com-

Photo Credit – WikiCommons.

We also tend to 'judge' or 'discern.' Labels are not just something on a can or jar. Politicians, actors, workers, companies, sales people, specific news or trade media, consultants, experts, products or services…so much of what we think about gets 'labeled.'

We either define ourselves or we allow others to define us. But if we let others define us, how do we re-label, re-define or re-brand? Vivid comparisons are part of the equation.

site-built-houses-moor-ok-ef5-tornado-did-worse-than-manufactured-home-credit-ok4-posted-cutting-edge-blogmhpronews-com-.png

Moore, OK and nearby area tornado damage 2013.

Tornadoes, hurricanes and high winds are subjects manufactured housing takes it on the chin for daily in the minds of those who consider housing options. 'Gee, I'd love the price-point of a manufactured home, but they are blown away by the first strong wind.'

Really? Who says? Was the right information provided so a more accurate comparison could be made?

Learning how to address the tornado-hurricane-high-winds-topic the correct way is huge. Frankly, a big element is about making the correct comparisons. See the side by side photo above.

google-images=credit=hurricane-wind-test-cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-com-

We showed this screen capture from Google Images on the Masthead Blog earlier this week. Every picture but the last one above came from either this MHProNews site or our new public-image-education-focused sister site, MHLivingNews.com.

Notice how we make comparisons?

The far more expensive site built house is losing its roof, while the lowest priced new manufactured home in that market is seeing a bit of skirting flapping.

The site built roof failed because the roof tore away, but on the manufactured home where the roof pulled loose it was because of an improper add on, which tore away first and that pulled the roof off the home like a giant para-sail.

FYI, NBC reported that it's add-ons which – in a post-storm study – where responsible for 80% of the home severely damaged or destroyed. The MH's would have been okay, had the add-on been done properly, or had it not been there at all.

No one wants to be caught in a tornado or hurricane. Look again at the top two photos. If you had to be in one of those flattened houses or the manufactured home which rolled over – and neither one had a basement – which would you rather be in? The decimated site built houses, or the manufactured home that got rolled, but is structurally so durable it's mostly intact?

Enlightened Self Interest! A Voluntary "Mutual Benefit Society"

There are reasons why you should want to send your customers, your shoppers and everyone you know to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. There, we are gathering and telling the good news about manufactured homes. We are debunking the myths, or outdated stereotypes. When you and your team know that site backwards and forwards, and then use it at the right time with customers, you will sell more homes. It's a no-brainer.

Three Steps to Your Organization's or Career's Advancement

1) Daily reading. Not just you, but your all of your team mates too. Don't think 'they aren't smart enough,' or 'they aren't motivated enough.' Peopleignorance-costs-knowledge-pays-cutting-edge-blog-mhmsm-com- want to take pride in their work! What they don't know, will cost you money. Period.

A minimum of 15 minutes daily here, and no less than 7 minutes a day on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, will at the end of a year be proven to advance your results and profits. Invest more time, if possible!

On our public site, you should read articles and view videos a number of times, once today, again in a week, etc. Why? So that when a topic comes up, you know immediately which story or stories to go to with your prospect or customers.

rss-feed-free-vector-icon-cutting-edge-blog-mhmsm-com-

RSS feed symbol.

2) RSS and links speed your success. We love links, and you should want to give them! We already have very good search engine positioning, but YOU want us to have the BEST possible, every time. Why? You want ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com to come up in a home shopper search. You want your customers 'pre-sold' or mostly sold. We don't sell houses, we tell stories. We let YOU sell houses!

    An RSS feed to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com is important to YOUR sales. We are the industry's best public image and education site. See this Masthead for examples of how an RSS feed can boost your site performance too.

    money-bag-wikicommons-cutting-edge-blog-mhmsm-com-

    Unlock the money bag.
    Comparisons and the 3 Steps suggested
    can help.

    3) Invest Your Money Wisely! One and two above are "free." This one is about where you spend or invest your dollars. When you realize that you need:

      • Marketing
      • Sales training
      • Consulting
      • Website upgrades or a new website
      • Research or copy writing
      • Videos
      • Advertising…

      When you have a need, turn to us or to one of our writers or sponsors. When we win, we can do more. When you win, we win too. Think of this as a voluntary Mutual Benefit Society.

      Let's close with a request that you share via your social networking – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. AND by email this link below. It puts idea #1 above in action.

      http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/nbc-news-today-show-manufactured-home-performs-better-than-conventional-housing-construction-in-ibhs-hurricane-wind-tests/

      Then go to Reddit, sign in and comment on this link!

      http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/2c6ey1/todays_manufactured_housing_is_not_your/

      Reddit gets millions of visits. The higher that link goes, the more people will discover the truth about MH and will decide to buy. What goes around, will come around to you.

      So please do your part to make this go viral!

      Speaking of Linkedin, my thanks to all who connect with me on LinkedIn, provide an endorsement and share good words about our work to others.

      When you support our sponsors and support us, we are more able to benefit you. It really is that simple. There are a lot of fine industry sites out there, but the thousand of pros who come here daily make us realize that we compare well to anything else remotely like us. Hey, that's a comparison 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 

      “Whether you Think You Can or Think You Can’t, You’re Right” – Henry Ford

      July 30th, 2014 No comments

      You know the drill. First, it's “that sounds too good to be true.” Or maybe it's “okay, that might work in XYZ's market, but that would never work here.” When I hear that, pardon me, but I can't help but think about all the similar stuff Henry Ford must have heard about his automobile! Or the Wright Brothers before they made that first, famous airplane flight at Kity Hawk, NC! Any number of things sounded “too good to be true” before someone actually did it.

      Whether You Think You Can or Think You Can't You're right.png

      Isn't it Obvious?

      1-dutch-champ-207-mc41-kit2-posted-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-

      To get different results, you have to do things differently. Duh, right? At the same time, it is interesting how often a possible new client – in B2B or B2C marketing, sales, web, advertising, etc. – says something like: “I've tried that before with XYZ sales trainer and it didn't help us.” Or “I tried advertising with ABC, and it did nothing for me.”

      5-dutch-champ-207-mc41-foyer-posted-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com

      First of all, the failure of one is not the failure of all!

      Next, even those who've failed before, may succeed the next time. Sometimes failure leads to success – like Thomas Edison's famous 10,000 failures before he succeeded at making the light bulb – when a sound plan is followed by persistence.

      Manufactured Housing is a great product! Communities are a good option for many! Advertising is something that millions of companies do successfully, are you telling me that only Manufactured Housing ads can't work?

      A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who

      stops a clock to save time.” – Henry Ford.

      End Self-Doubts or Self-Limits to Advance

      When you first start a new sport, game or job, you may initially get a poor or even a terrible result. It feels uncomfortable and you or an associate may feel awkward, self-conscious or embarrassed. Don't sweat that small stuff. What separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls is maturity! You have to keep doing what you are trying to master, precisely until it IS mastered!

      I'm good with selling manufactured homes at almost any price point. I've personally never sold a million dollar MH, but we've successfully marketed and sold many in the 6 figure range, while in the same market someone else might be trying to give away a lower cost house and is having trouble doing it.

      Want to sell more entry level manufactured homes? Okay, there is a way to do that well.

      Want to sell more upscale, residential style manufactured homes, well, there is a process for that and it means you have to attract and sell the site-built buyer who has cash or good credit. You don't sell the well qualified buyer – let's say shopping for a Mercedes Benz – the same way you do a Yugo or today's lowest cost Chevy, Ford or Dodge.

      We've worked with operations in many states and markets, and when the right resources and attitudes are put into place, you will get the right results. That may take some time, just like learning a new sport or game may take some time to master. But it is worth mastering!

      When you don't get the right result at first at a doctor, do you quit, go back or find another MD?

      We all need partners, mentors, coaches and experts. If you have a financial planner for investments, but don't have an industry marketing and sales pro for your business, something is wrong! Remember, what the can do genius types say…

      “Whether you Think You Can or Think You Can't, You're Right” – Henry Ford. ##

      Marketing Coca Cola: the Real Story behind the Real Thing and Manufactured Housing 

      June 25th, 2014 No comments

      It's an iconic brand found in over 200 countries around the world. For its first five years in existence, the formula included tiny amounts of cocaine. It was the original 'energy drink,' no wonder the short name for this product is "Coke."

      For decades, Coca Cola held a wide lead over any other 'like' product. But the famous "Pepsi Challenge" gave them such a serious run for their money, that Coke's senior leadership did what was later seen as unthinkable, they changed the formula.

      "New Coke" was born.

      It was widely seen as one of the most bone-headed moves in corporate history.

      In record time, the public clamor brought the return of "Classic Coke." What many forget is that in short order, Coca Cola was #1 again.

      In more recent years, sugary drinks are under assault. "It's the Evil Thing" say health critics. What happened?

      Coke's CEO said they were; "Slow. Not innovative and we lost our way."

      Lessons for Manufactured Housing?

      Those words by Coke's president should be etched into every manufactured housing professional's brain. It's a recipe for weakness, even for a world leading product like Coke! Before continuing, let's share CNBC's broadcast on the subject of Coca Cola's marketing and sales success.

      Since it is true that a failure to innovate and be in tune with the market can be costly even to a major global brand such as Coca Cola, what does it mean to an owner, executive, manager or sales leader in manufactured housing? Do you see the point?

      We can't afford the kind of mistakes that Coke can.

      Creating Positive Associations

      Coca Cola invests mega bucks not only in marketing their product, but also in understanding consumer psychology. They deliberately want to inspire emotions and establish positive associations in the minds and feelings of their customers.

      This Coke commercial originally aired in 1971. Even though it is over 40 years old, it has had about 1.5 million visits on YouTube since it was posted 5 years ago.

      Do you see all the 'feel good' that is going on in this promotion? Do you see the emotional connections they are seeking to establish with consumers?

      Lessons for Manufactured Housing Pros

      First, our industry must invest more in marketing, period. That investment ought to take place at the location, corporate, state and national levels.

      Next, consider what Ken Segall of Apple marketing fame told us in his exclusive article for MHProNews,

      Marketing and the Power of Love

      We tell our clients and the live audiences at corporate or association events that ours is a complex, unique situation. Very few products face the challenges we do, but that is precisely why we have enhanced opportunities!

      We must address heart issues as well as mind issues in our marketing and sales presentations.

      It isn't enough for us to 'brand' a product, part of our problem is that we HAVE been branded, and negatively so! Therefore, we must UN-Brand and Re-Brand our products!

      There are sound reasons why we used in our original logo and tag line these words, “Innovation, Information and Inspiration for Industry Professionals.”

      As a unique industry, we need equally unique solutions.

      On our MHC-MD.com site, you see dozens of quotes which include the names of the professionals who shared the comments. Each of these highlights certain needs, skills and results we've demonstrated over the years in driving results for clients in communities, retail, finance and other segments of the MH Industry.

      So what we preach here isn't theory, it is proven in practice.

      Even with all the head winds, Manufactured Housing is rising. But we could be doing so much more!

      It begins with belief. An attitude. “Inspiration” if you will!

      Then it must proceed to some innovations, because the same methods are sure to achieve the same results. If you want new, better results, then you must be willing to innovate!

      Finally, information is needed on both the B2B and B2C levels that ties the inspiration and innovation together.

      Think again about what Coke's CEO said a few years back, they were slow, lost their way and failed to innovate. Today, Coca Cola's leaders are responding to the new challenges to their product. When Pepsi challenged them, they tried something new, and even though it 'failed,' that 'failure' actually led to the successful rebirth of “Classic Coke.”

      There are plenty of lessons for manufactured housing to be found in the story of the Real Thing. Because we have the Real Thing for Quality Living, and it just happens to be affordable. Good for us…

      …when we put those advantages to work!

      Go sell something! ##

      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