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Posts Tagged ‘image campaign’

300,000 Shipments in 2013!

July 12th, 2013 No comments

When the report came in that shipments in RVs topped 144,000 by May of 2013, it made me sit up just a bit more. I reached out for more insights to Tim DeWitt, Executive Director of Michigan Manufactured Housing as well as the RV & Campground Association and Self Storage Association of Michigan. He pointed me to an article on Woodall’s and a video interview, which we’ve posted below. The bottom line is that due in large measure to the GoRVing coalition, shipments for the RV industry – in THIS economy – are expected to hit 300,000. Before the GoRVing image campaign, the shipment levels where about half that 15 years ago, during a much more robust economy. Manufactured housing pros! Is this sinking in?

The RV industry is the envy of boating, fishing – and ought to be – of our industry. Actually, most pros in fact privately agree that we have long needed the same sort of thing. After all, who pays for the campaign? Consumers, when they buy an RV that has a campaign fee embedded into its cost.

We are getting some hands going up in the air, offering to support our online MHLivingNews.com image building effort. The forward thinkers “get it.” As so often happens, Leaders will tend to benefit first.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) tells us that 94% of housing shoppers are spending some, most or all of their initial research online. So our online image building platform is a common sense first step!

The roots of this GoRVing campaign run deep. As Tim DeWitt told me, the RV business is attracting discretionary income buyers, people with good credit scores and/or the cash in the bank needed to write the check to pay for units that may run $300,000 or more.

As executives at a major manufactured home community operator told us, this is needed and long overdue.

We have a great product, it only makes sense to keep the U.S.A.’s best kept new home secret, not a secret any longer!

Traffic SPIKING at MHLivingNews

Growth month-over month is around the 400% increase range on MHLivingNews. Some of the top read articles for the month include: 

manufactured-home-garage-credit-aia-insurance-posted-manufactured-home-living-news-.jpg

and

But what’s exciting to see is that there are a lot of page views per visit, which means that visitors like what they see. They aren’t just ‘bouncing’ off the site.

Cost Effective!

Our industry doesn’t have millions of dollars in an account, waiting to invest in a full blown mimic of the GoRVing campaign. So in our case with Manufactured Housing, let’s start with what we have on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.

Contact us for ways to make this effort pay for you and your operation, regardless of size or locale. We are already experiencing retailers and communities who are using the site to help them attract and sell more homes. The rapid traffic rise on our site is clearly from consumers and pros alike.

mhlivingnews-ipad-ver2.0b- (1).png

If RV’s can ship 300,000 units this year, during a year when manufactured housing may hit 60,000 shipments, that tells me that we ought to be doing ever so much more. RVs have five times our shipment level! Yet RVs are usually discretionary, housing is a necessity.

What is our potential, with the right marketing effort for manufactured housing?

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) projects single family housing starts of about 600,000 for the U.S.. That’s ten to one for us, and we have the better price points, are statistically safer and more energy efficient?

Is this a wake up call? It ought to be!

We need not abandon the starter home market, but we can grow and go after the ‘residential’ home buyer PLUS the ‘entry level’ consumer too.

We will return to this theme in the days ahead. Your comments and inquiries are welcome. See what other industry pros have said at this link here. ##

300,000 shipments in 2013? Come on!

http://www.woodallscm.com/2013/07/video-rvia-exec-touts-go-rving-campaign/

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

The new Manufactured Home Living Image Campaign

June 7th, 2013 No comments

tony-kovach.jpgThe early feedback on our new image building resource is in. So far, all of it has been very positive!

Examples of actual comments:

  • "I like it. I like it so much, that I plan to steal some ideas"…from the new site and use it.
  • "Very impressive. This keeps getting better and better."
  • "The original site was OK, but too much work to find content. This new version is easy to navigate and visually appealing. It makes me want to come back and look more."

We have had some questions and comments too, all of which are appreciated, and all of whom still very much liked this site. Yours comments and suggestions are welcome too. For those who want to see what the original, version 1.0 of the site looked like, click here.

Version 2.0 of ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com – aka MHLivingNews.com – is linked above here.

There are a number of ways you can get involved in this Image Building Campaign.

They range from free no-brainers to pay to play and be featured on the site!

mhlivingnews-ipad-ver2_0b- (1).png

The paid options are all low cost, but more important, can drive business to your business that will pay. All of this will pay off for the industry, because improving the image will help our home owners along with all those dedicated pros in our industry

Quick Facts:

  • We already have the first retailer – that we know about – who has set up an RSS feed on his site to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com RSS and/or a hot link are a no-brainer.
  • We already have our first sponsors for the site, with more welcome.
  • We will provide opportunities for any legitimate MH Industry retailers, community, developer, manufacturer, lender or other product/service providers to have low cost pages and link backs. During the introductory phase, those who buy a page will have it on our site for the next 5 years (some common sense restrictions apply).
  • We will welcome and encourage association involvement in this project in ways that will be mutually beneficial. Association members or executives, please feel free to call 815-270-0500 or email me tony@mhmsm.com or latonyk@gmail.com, thanks!

In the days ahead, we will give you a more detailed tour of the ManufacturedHomeLivingNews site, the concepts and how we will continue to add to it in the days ahead. But lets pencil out a few quick points.

Target Audience

  • The general public.
  • Public officials (image building will help win more efforts with them too).
  • Current manufactured home owners and land lease community residents, because they can become our industrys promoters, if we are wise. They want to feel good about where they live! Give them a tool they can share with their friends, family, co-workers and associates, and they will share it for their own good reasons!
  • Industry members. Use this as a closing tool when needed. Example, the video about tornadoes and manufactured housing has already closed business for a forward thinking sales pro at their community.

A top executive at vertically integrated company told me this recently. Tony, we follow up on all our leads. So we know that we lose more business not to others in manufactured housing, but to people buying a conventional, site built house.

That is one of many reasons the industry needs this website!

We will continually add content to this new site, similar to how we have done it for the past 3½ years here on MHProNews.com. Adding content is one of the many ways that we will keep visitors coming back.

Manufacturers, Retailers and Communities are all welcome to submit an appropriately decorated featured home. For more information, please click here.

We will also showcase for readers how even lower end or older mobile homes are a legitimate, value option. Over time, our featured articles, homes and videos will deal with all of the common objections that skeptical prospects and the public have. We will also update the video with a bigger, better version 2.0 of that tool, a sponsor(s) for that video update are welcome.

Just Do It

Youve asked for it. Youve got it. Now, learn to use it and run with it!

Pass the word onto your team mates and to anyone you know. Here is a starting how to use this New Business and Image Building “free” tip article. Your questions and feedback by phone or email are welcome. ##

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

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

Start YOUR Free Manufactured Housing Image Campaign, Today!

April 6th, 2013 No comments

We don't require a multi-million dollar national campaign to improve the image of manufactured housing, as nice as it may be to have one. We don't need high dollar Madison Avenue advertising 'gurus' – who don't know our industry – to tell us what we ought to do. We know deep down what needs to be done, even if some may resist it. Improving our image can start in your market with even modest, but valuable steps.

This is my view, but it also happens to reflect what the CEO of high flying UMH, Sam Landy, said:

"People need quality housing at a reasonable price. We provide that. We provide a better product than apartments, townhouses, condo’s and single family homes for our customers. Apartment rents have been increasing. Single family home buyers now need down payments once again.

Given these changes…our sales will be far higher than today’s paltry 50,000 units and may even exceed the old records of three or four hundred thousand shipments per year…I’ve come to the conclusion that we are all responsible for our own marketing. If you want to be a great retailer you have to pay the bill for the marketing. Why should anyone do it for you, and all markets are local anyhow." (Full Sam Landy interview is linked here.)

You may be part of the largest network of manufactured home retailers or communities in the U.S., or the sole proprietor of a modest 'mom and pop' location or anything in between.

You may have longed for a grand TV and multi-media image building campaign, but for whatever reasons, the powers that be did not make it happen. That's all in the past, we have to move on and can so long as you start your own image campaign, now. We can help make some of that happen for you, "free."

Yes, you can.

Yes, in the next few minutes, you will see that it is so easy, you may laugh and wonder why no one has done this before!

Most of the U.S. doesn't have a clue as to how nice a modern manufactured home is, especially how much appeal, quality and value factory builders pack into a residential style HUD Code home.

It is up to retailers, communities and others in Manufactured Housing to show the new reality to the public.

Here is how you do it in YOUR market, as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1, learn to use Craigslist and other similar sites – which are free – the smart way.

Example. Take a multi-sectional or residential style manufactured home you have good quality photos of that has been properly decorated. Place 2-4 of those photos into a very short Craigslist post.

Starting with the summary and headline in Craigslist, you could use something like this:

$73,900 3 Bedroom Builder Must Sell ASAP! Your Town, USA

This is a modern, factory-built home that meets or exceeds all federal construction standards for our market.

"Your lot or ours, one only at this price. Ph XXX-XXX-XXXX."

If you have an MLO number, you could add the words: "Financing available." *

To learn more about modern factory-built homes, go to MHLivingNews.com.

Step 2, keep a post like this going at all times on Craigslist, more than one is better, just make sure they aren't duplicates so you don't get flagged.

The keys are: amazing price (compared to site built) BUT NOT TOO LOW, your phone number and a link to MHLivingNews.com. Don't say too much, less is often more when it comes to lead generation.

Step 3, Patience and persistence! Some home shoppers will have an aha moment early on, some will take repeated exposures and time. Typically, CRM studies suggest it takes some 3-6+ months for good credit customers to make the first contact, because they are shopping carefully. But as more and more housing shoppers stumble onto your offer (because your headline DOESN'T say, 'manufactured home' or 'mobile home,' etc.) some will get curious. Some will eventually reach out, if you treat them properly, some of those will come and buy.

That is how it starts.

The other key to this is that YOU and YOUR location delivery good, honest service and value. Do what you say you will do, so don't over promise, it isn't necessary. More on this and related in a future column.

If you need help with your marketing or training, click here.

Sam Landy's point above is dead on, we have what the public needs in housing! We as manufactured home professionals have to deliver on our potential value. When your location delivers qualify living and what is promised, you will enjoy ever more success.

Some readers will wonder. Why not just use my own company's website for this? Good question!

You can, but there is POWER in having a third party website – independent from your company – to demonstrate and 'prove' the reasons for manufactured and factory built homes. MHLivingNews.com is like a third party endorsement of the manufactured home lifestyle. That is something your website can't easily do solo.

Two of the most powerful and popular pages on the MHLivingNews.com website are our photo gallery and the tornado vs. Manufactured Home video page. Those pages – and so many others that we routinely add to – are not likely on you website. You may not have the time or resources to do all that MHLivingNews does, so just link MHLivingNews.com in your posts, and start the outreach in your market.

MHLivingNews is already getting thousands of page views every month. But Craiglist has millions of page views daily, and many of those are from people seeking a home!

So if even 2% to 5% of every MH Retailer or MH Community location in the country did this simple 1, 2, 3 plan, the traffic would soon be in the ten of thousands. In time that can grow to the hundreds of thousands and then into the millions on MHLivingNews.

A simple 'free' image campaign for YOU and YOUR market! It will spread to others, and everyone in the mix will benefit.

More on this topic later, but you can start this today by taking those 3 easy steps! ##

* While FTC regs seem to permit this, A commentator claiming expertise has suggested that the law on this subject is ambiguous, and it would be prudent to seek specific legal advice before using the words 'financing available,' even if you have an MLO number.

(First Photo Credit: FlickrCC/dislokated, other photos from MHLivingNews.com)

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