Archive

Posts Tagged ‘image building’

The Power of MHV Recaps

May 6th, 2015 No comments

We’ve finished a whirlwind of activity related to videos, marketing and image building in the last month and a half since the Tunica MH Show. Actually, going back to the Louisville Show, we’ve been beyond busy with tools and resources that drive more MH business for our clients. To get a good feel of the image and education campaign underway there, please click on the image below.

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One of the great things you can do when you have lots of video interviews, is to do a “recap video.” The mainstream media is using sound bites and recaps all the time. Some politicians have learned to speak in sound bites, knowing how the ‘game is played,’ and thus feeding the media what they are looking for already.


Recaps can be a great way to tease the full interviews that are coming. They can also capture in a short period of time lots of ideas and information. Why shouldn’t MH pros learn these and other lessons and apply them?



This is a video linked above we did in association with our buddies at ManufacturedHomes.com. So that everyone is clear, our operation and theirs are two distinct companies, we don’t own them, nor do they own us. That said, we think they are way cool, nice guys and enjoy working with them!

Please check out the video recap above and then take a look at this Featured Article, below. Call or email for your marketing, web, sales or video related questions and needs. ##

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156 (1)By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

See what others say, click the link on the photo or above.

 

 

Sparks Wrap up the Discussion of the Future of the Land Lease Business Model, National Communities Council 2013 Fall Leadership Forum

October 20th, 2013 No comments

Each of the panels and presenters at the 2013 National Communities Council (NCC) inaugural 2013 Fall Leadership Forum offered multiple take-aways which properly applied could have been worth more than the price of admission.

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Randy Rowe (l), Gary McDaniel, Joe Stegmayer, Stephen Braun (r)

For this column, we will focus on a very focused segment of the final panel discussion – The Future of the Land Lease Business Model – which featured Randy Rowe, Green Courte Partners (GCP), Gary McDaniel of Yes! Communities, Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries and Stephen Braun of Hometown America.

Don Westphal commented during the discussion that manufactured housing is “….the only industry that succeeded in spite of itself.”

Joe Stegmayer commented on the importance of sales training and product knowledge.

Since marketing, image and branding where among the topics at the NCC Fall Forum, certainly Don's and Joe's comments could have easily been applied to what is often the lack of a proper implementation of marketing and sales training in our industry. Does this cost our industry and land lease communities business?

A number of Industry Voices guest blog posts last month answered that question with a strong “yes.”

The subject of national MH Industry image campaign came up near the end of the panel discussion. Cavco Chairman and CEO Joe Stegmayer stated that “We would be willing to support” such a campaign.

Randy Rowe is a long time proponent of an image building and other professionalism enhancing efforts, as is showcased in this exclusive interview, linked here.

Green Courte's Chairman underscored that ½ of a percent or somewhat more of industry new home shipment revenues could fund a campaign that would rival the size of the highly successful GoRVing campaign, which is about $18 million a year.

Gary McDaniel said he disagreed.

Such a campaign, he argued, “Won't do much for us.”

McDaniel's offered up a common argument made by those who oppose such an effort, by saying that local, community level marketing and good business practices would do more for our industry than an image building effort would do.

Yes! Communities McDaniel's went on to say that if someone wants to call our homes a “mobile home,” then “God bless them.”

“A clean, affordable and safe place to live,” said McDaniel, “rather than respectability,” is what our industry's traditional home buyers seek.

To this comment Randy Rowe dove in with the comment, that while respecting McDaniel's, “I strongly disagree.”

Rowe pointed out that just getting around the “trailer moniker is huge.” “These are great homes,” Rowe said, built in a “temperature controlled environment.”

GCP's Chairman Rowe clearly expressed his conviction that we as an industry would attract more customers including those who are financially more affluent customers by improving our industry's image.

Beyond the NCC Fall Forum thinking

MHProNews has long supported the need for enhanced professionalism, including image building. This includes sales training which GMHA's Jay Hamilton said in this guest column was crucial, combined with image building.

Drew Chairman Leigh Abrams took a position very much akin to that of Randy Rowe in his interview, linked on his name above.

While we would whole heatedly agree with Randy Rowe's position – that a full fledged image campaign has strong merit and value to build the future of land lease communities and the industry at large – the nuance noted above has an echo in Gary McDaniel's call for sound professional performance at the local level.

We'd also take the editorial view that manufactured housing doesn't have to invest 10 million or more to get some benefit from image building. Image can be improved subtly but surely and at a low cost via online efforts, which other presenters at the NCC forum pointed out.

It is precisely with that thought which motivated the launch last summer of ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. We are already generating leads for pros via that platform that attract customers who may not have considered the manufactured housing option otherwise.

The Industry In Focus Report on the study by NAR and Google on Why You Should Target Home Shoppers Online clearly underscores the value of doing such online image building efforts.

Sam Landy of UMH Properties fame stated in his interview linked on his name that he sees how the industry could rise to 300,000 to 400,000 shipments again. Image building is part of the key!

UMH and CU Factory Built Lending are among those early supporters for this online image building effort.

Until the industry is willing to invest millions, a small fraction of that and the 3 easy steps found on the download linked at the end of the article here would turn ManufacturedHomeLivingNews into a significant force fueling more sales, could improve our political clout and improve the image for communities and our industry at large.

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Those interested in “lighting candles” are encouraged to sound off or contact us at the number or email below. We are better off when we advance our image and professionalism together. ##

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 

Manufactured Housing Institute – Suppliers Division – Product Placement Project

October 6th, 2013 No comments

At the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) annual meeting, the Suppliers Division voted in favor of doing a creative MH industry image building project that would use Product Placement in videos.

Video is hot online. The number two search engine right behind Google is YouTube! You can find YouTube videos on seemingly countless subjects. The MHI Suppliers Division vote was a strong endorsement for using a spin-off of an idea Eddie Hicks suggested here on MHProNews some years ago.

Here are the basics of the concept:

A volunteer committee – including newly elected Suppliers Division board member L. A. 'Tony' Kovach as a point man, with support from MHI's Lois Starkey and Cheryl Beard – will reach out to state associations with the idea of identifying the following:

  • A school of performing arts (likely a college or trade school, but might be a specialized high school) for volunteers who would like experiencemanufactured-home-community-by-lake-credit-wikicommons-posted-on-mhpronews-com.jpg at doing video projects that would involve acting, filming and editing.
  • Short stories would be scripted ("story boarded") that would favorably use manufactured homes as an important element in each video.
  • Drama, humor, "reality," "news," "documentary" or other forms of story telling could all be used. The common element would be to showcase the appeal of manufactured home living in a favorable light.
  • For example, it might include a story or report set in a development or at a manufactured home land lease community, inside a real home in an appealing neighborhood.
  • Even one star communities could be showcased favorably compared to other older, low cost housing options (example, older apartments) by taking a positive spin on story telling and product placement.
  • Sponsors would be identified who would support the modest costs of the project.
  • Besides placing the videos on YouTube or a site like Vimeo, the videos would be embedded and showcased on the ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com website for distribution and promotion.
  • A YouTube Channel would be created for this project.
  • Additional industry volunteers who would like to serve on the Product Placement Video Project committee to advance this effort would be welcome.
  • As the project advances, other MHI divisions or factory built housing industry corporate involvement would be welcome.

It should be noted that this is the start of a work in progress, and the ideas above can easily be adapted at this early stage. So NOW is the time to get involved!

By creating mutual victories for all involved, quality engaging videos could be created that would showcase our industry favorably while providing practical, real world experience for the performing artists who would volunteer. Once produced, those videos can be used for many years to come.

Should we identify more than one school, contests might be held that would award some recognition to those who did the best in some category, a manufactured housing video version of the Emmy Awards.

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Who knows? Perhaps we could through a project like this fuel the career of video producers, actors or actresses!

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The videos may be useful with public officials, as well as marketing and educational efforts that can sell more homes and thus the products and services that would go along with more manufactured home sales.

As noted, the concepts are in their infancy, so your input and that of others in the factory built home industry input is encouraged and welcome.

By showing people how you cook, clean, eat, live and love the same in a manufactured home as in other housing options and how you can do so with –

  • lower costs,
  • lower energy use and
  • less maintenance costs than standard housing

– we can break down some of the barriers that are currently holding our industry back.

Please feel free to contact us with your interest and support! Working together, we can make this and other good efforts happen. Thank you. ##

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 

Seeing is believing!

August 11th, 2013 No comments

As of this writing, visitors have over 10,000 views of our dramatic video of a manufactured home hit by a tornado and high winds. You can find it at this link:

http://ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com/dramatic-video-of-a-manufactured-home-hit-by-a-tornado-and-high-winds/

Self-described industry newcomer Kendal Guzman just posted the following comment on the video:

This is so cool. I had no idea they were so well built.
I just started working for a large dealership of manufactured home.
I will show this to all my customers!”

Naturally, it would be better if the video had 10,000,000 views instead of 10,000 in about 14 months. That said, not too many manufactured home videos hit 10,000 views! You can ‘like’ and comment on the video at this link

Please notice the comments from skeptics, but also the replies we provided! You won’t convince everyone, certainly not every time, but if you sway some, that’s a victory for all involved.

We’ve had clients and others who have used this video in a way similar to what Kendal says he plans to do. What we recommend is not to raise the tornado issue, but when it does come up, that is the time to take the right prospect to the page on MHLivingNews.com linked.

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Too many people are using ‘seeing is believing’ in reverse. They see or hear something negative about manufactured homes from others. That’s why it is CRITICAL with certain buyers and shoppers that there be a positive, pro-industry resource geared for the public. That’s what ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com is for – positive image building that can drive sales.

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Hi-Tech looking MOD posted on MHLivingNews

Stop Being STATIC

A static website is proven to be less of a draw for return visitors than one that is routinely adding new info.

With that in mind, while we appreciate it when your webmaster provides a link to MHLivingNews.com from your site, far better is to end the static nature of your site by adding a visible RSS feed! Here is the link:

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/feed/

Articles on factory building will help your visitors get past the negativity that is out there, due to a lack of balanced facts.

Speaking of hot videos, why not help people get past their hang ups about single section manufactured homes? The video linked on this page has been HOT since we’ve posted it, at the link below:

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/whats-in-a-name-the-cube-home/

Like us!

Besides liking our video linked above, please don’t forget to like us on FB; scroll to the bottom right of the MHLivingNews.com page to find our Facebook link.

The more that you and others ‘like,’ share and promote MHLivingNews, the better it will be for the industry. We will be planning live and web based events to show you how this site is being used TODAY to sell more homes in local markets. You too can be a part of what will increasingly become over time a game-changing, image enhancing effort.

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Factory building on display every day!
Click the link above…
…and have others you know see to believe too.

Remember, seeing is believing. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red HotFeatured Articles for August 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 

Graphics! Worth a Thousand Words!

July 19th, 2013 No comments

A good picture, video or graphic truly is worth a thousand words in your marketing effort. As an example, when we use an article that has words only, they are well read. But when we use an article with graphics, the results are routinely elevated. Keep that and what follows in mind when YOU do an update on your website, business card or other literature handouts.

It has been a few years now since we first started promoting the use of QR Codes with our clients. Millions of smart phones have downloaded aps that will read these quick response (QR) codes. It can turn an ordinary business card into something that jumps out at you! Some of the factories are using them as a small hand out that leads clients and prospects to far more robust online information than a handout could provide. If they are doing it, why not you and your firm?

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We practice what we preach here! So the above is a look at how one of my business cards looks.

As a quick segue on the business card topic, notice how we use both sides of the business card? While some companies want to leave the back blank for hand written notes, I'd far rather drive home a message and – if needed – make any hand written note shorter! Try the business card with QR Codes, you'll learn to like it a lot.

Graphics That Grab

We get neither praise nor blame for the graphics on some of our clients, which often provide their desired graphics to us. As an example of a graphic that draws the eye is this one from the Louisville Show's 2014 promotion. FYI, you can click on the graphic below to take you to the latest update on the 2014 Louisville Show plans!

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Boosting the Industry's Image

Most of us drive a vehicle, eat at restaurants and shop. As part of the plan for boosting the Industry's image via the ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com website, we plan to offer business cards and bumper stickers that will have QR Codes embedded into them. With the business card, on one side can be your company or location's info and the Image Building will be on the other side!money-louisville-show-2014(3).jpg

You can do this yourself with the following QR Code:

Why not try it! Hold your smart phone with the QR Code reader ap open over the image above. You could also have fun and email that image to your friends that you want to influence. People are curious about

qr-code-manufactured-home-living-news-.png

Our Industry must define itself, or others will continue to define us to our detriment. We must also educate our team's members. Let's be honest, sometimes they are – regrettably – not true believers in our industry's product either.

We are experiencing a nice surge – as in 400% growth in less than a month! – on MHLivingNews.com. The more that pros like you promote MHLivingNews.com, the faster our industry's image will rise.

You know the saying, we are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Be a part of the solution. Don't wait for someone else to do it for you, this is something we can each make an impact on – and that impact will be in your market!

As you make that impact on our industry's and your image, think graphics that grab on your website, business card and other hand outs. You'll be glad you did. ##

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

L. 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