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Posts Tagged ‘HUD-Code’

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.

jack-lawless-champion-homebuilders-florida-manufactured-housing-association-fmha-2014-annual-meeting-credit=cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-397x293-

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)

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com75x75-By LATonyKovach.com

Manufactured Housing facts from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Report

September 3rd, 2014 No comments

The following information comes to us from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), forwarded from various state executive directors and MHI.

We estimate that in 2014 the average price of new manufactured homes (including the cost of lot development) is $53,230 for single homes and $100,259 for double homes. Increasing the price of new single manufactured homes by $1,000 will disqualify 347,901 households from being able to afford these homes. Similarly, if the price of new double manufactured home rises by $1,000, 315,385 households will be priced out of the market. The effects are NOT cumulative, since they are based on the same income distribution of all US households. These are NOT effects on sales, rather only on ability to qualify for a mortgage.

Our new manufactured home prices are based on the average sale prices for single and double new manufactured homes reported by The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). They are further adjusted for inflation and additional costs of lot development. The inflation factor is the increase in new manufactured home prices from 2012 to 2013 as reported by the MHI. The lot development cost adjustment is based on the NAHB survey of construction costs.

NATALIA SINIAVSKAIA, Ph.D.
Housing Policy Economist
Survey and Housing Policy Research

National Association of Home Builders
1201 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005”

While some voices have made hay out of this report to show that even the home builders agree that price hikes of every $1000 leave hundreds of thousands of potential MH or other home buyers behind, let's flip this for a few moments.

Let's focus on this: “We estimate that in 2014 the average price of new manufactured homes (including the cost of lot development) $53,230 for single homes and $100,259 for double homes.

Using the $53,230 loan amount, a 4% FHA loan for a land/home purchase, at 30 years term the principle and interest (taxes, escrows, other costs not figured into this calculation) would be approximately $269.71 (before you object, yes, some lenders do make and FHA allows for FHA Title II loans on single section homes, the multi-sectional restriction is an overlay that some lenders impose).

Using the same idea as above applied to the multi-sectional with home-site numbers ($100,259) from NAHB's study yields a $478.64 monthly payment (disclaimer again, principle, interest only). This is clearly 'affordable' housing!

Both the GAO in their recent report, and Fannie Mae in a previous study, indicate similar payments that reflect the fact that manufactured housing is the most affordable permanent (as opposed to RVs or other seasonal) homes on the market today.

fanniemae-2011-chart1-affordable-manufactured-housing-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-362x430

FYI, credit studies suggest that some 58% of the U.S. has a credit score that is at or above a 692 FICO, as the chart above from Experian and Money-zine reports.

credit-score-chart-courtesy-of-Money-zine-cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-

When you look at the facts here and consider the satisfaction and affordability suggested by the recently published Foremost Insurance study, or the CNBC discussion on a potential 5 to 6 million Americans who could be buying a home, and a picture of the industry's strong upside potential comes into sharp focus.

But, Tony, I'm not seeing those 692 credit scores at my location!” some say.

Sorry, but that my friends and MH Industry colleagues, is because the wrong kind of sales and marketing approach is being used! “Damaged credit OK” advertising brings you exactly that, and if you don't use those sorts of ads, so many in our industry have for so many decades that this is embedded into the psyche of millions of credit challenged customers. Remember these lyrics… Trailers, for sale or rent, rooms to let for 50c…

When you learn how to attract and sell the site built home buyer, you will get more of that as time goes on.

When you and more in the MH Industry mature to the point that we are selling good homes that are appealing AND affordable, you'll see more sales to cash and good credit customers, and more sales of new MH and MODs. That's a fact and I'm sticking with it! ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com75x75-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

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

Someone’s Floor is someone else’s Ceiling…

February 20th, 2013 No comments

An article was emailed to me that caught my eye. In sharing this, let me tee it up by confessing that one of my favorite writer's is Nadeen Green, the attorney who writes for us and uses the moniker, “The Fair Housing Lady.” As the moniker implies, her specialty is Fair Housing Law, but she makes a dry legal subject lively with stories, interesting spins on a topic, humor and much, much more. Nadeen writes for the apartment industry (example below, ForRent) too, and a headline to one of her articles served as a reminder to me that our Industry ought to be drumming early and often with a key target market.

In training sessions with our clients, we talk about the fact that 'you don't share a wall, ceiling or floor' with a manufactured home. Technically, with MODs or even with HUD Code manufactured homes, you can build multi-family housing. But retailers and manufactured home communities are busier selling to the public at large vs. to developers. So it is a safe bet that most of the retail clients are going to be single family housing customers.

With apartments at or near capacity and with many markets experiencing rising rental rates, the timing is very good to market to those apartment dwellers!

  • Make a check list of all the factors that yield a favorable comparison between us and the apartment housing option.
  • Compare notes with your team members.
  • Then, boil those down to high impact power phrases!

In marketing and in sales, always do a 360 degree look. See things from:

  • Your target market's perspective. That includes the other options they may have. In this case, apartments.
  • Your company's perspective. Owners and team members have similar, but also different perspectives.
  • Your perspective. If you think through the above carefully, you can craft a plan that fits for others and will reward you in the process. That is how you get to 'yes,' that is how you get to 'win-win.'

In closing this column for today, let's mention that be it Nadeen Green, or any of our other authors, you can go to the home page and use the search tool at the top right to find more columns. Or you can jump to our search page. If you really want to be 'high tech,' open up a Google tab (or your favorite search engine) and type in

MHPronews.com + "Nadeen Green"

or any other author's name in the quotes, example “Tim Connor” and you'll see a string of very focused results.

We hope to see you in Tunica for our free marketing and sales “how to” workshop: Attracting More Customers With Cash or Good Credit. The techniques we use – when properly applied – will drive new business to retailers, communities, developers and those who serve them. We will also be in Booth 9 in the Hallway, right next to the business building seminar room. That's it for today! ##

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

Pinterest Tips for Cutting Edge MHers

August 19th, 2012 No comments

Pinterest is one of the hottest trends in social networking. You don't want to overlook this as you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or others. Because Pinterest is primarily visual, it can be a great way to expose more people to the value of manufactured housing.

One, pick homes that are nicely landscaped to pin.

Two, use homes that have been properly staged or decorated and show those interior photos as well.

Three, in your profile, use your face, not a logo. People want to connect with a person first. Many companies today want a 'face' for their marketing!

Four, cross link your Pinterest page(s) with your other social networks.

Five, think about your terminology! If you use a word like 'mobile home' – because of the high SEO value, make it a teaching moment if it is in fact a HUD Code manufactured home built since June 15, 1976. For example, let's say you were using a residential style manufactured home as a pin, like the photo shown below.

mh

You might say something like this:

"This is not your grandma's 'mobile home!'. In fact is it a modern manufactured home, which looks and lives as good or better than conventional houses, is greener by design and can cost 25% or more less."

Pinterest is a tool that marketers of factory built homes need to be using in their business to public out reach. But make it subtle, showing other interests.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

When you do so, you will connect with more people and will have more of an influence on the public at large.

As they say on Pinterest, "Happy Pinning!" #

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
LATonyKovach.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