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In the SM Era, Do I still need a Website?

May 2nd, 2013 No comments

We are in a Social Media (SM) era. Facebook has over a billion users, and continues to add to their numbers. LinkedIn has hit 200 hundred million members world-wide. You can have your own YouTube Channel. With these, Twitter and so many other SM sites – all available free – do you still need a website?

The answer may be right in front of you. You are on our MHProNews.com website, we need one even though we use all of the SM named and more. But for some businesses, it may be possible to skip having a website, and still stay effective.

Hypothetical Example of a No Website Business

popular logos posted on MHProNewsIf you are the owner of a 15 site manufactured home community that is full and has a waiting list, you can easily make the case that the use of a cross section of SM sites is all you would need for someone to find you on a Google, Bing or Yahoo search.

But let's say the manufactured home community is 75 sites, not 15. You have 10 vacant "pads" and have been losing occupancy. You have 2 homes for sale and a vacant rental unit. Could you still make it by using SM alone? Or could you make it with a page on MHVillage.com, plus these SM sites?

In such a scenario, the odds are excellent that you need your own website.

But we would recommend that you have the SM sites and MHVillage.com as "Google bait" to boost the SEO appeal of your site, to advance the visibility and to act as a focal point to connect all your SM resources.

What kind of website?

Stating the obvious, every company, and each location for a company, is different.

There are many types of web platforms available starting from the so-called "freebie" you can get with your Internet service provider, to the high 5, 6 or even 7 figure web-tech investments made by those in the factory built housing arena. There are operations who spend more making a single studio quality video than someone else will spend on their entire internet marketing presence.

Through our WebTech service division, we are routinely building, servicing and doing proposals for companies online. While 1 size does not fit all – for example, an e-commerce site with tight security is different than what a typical retailer, community or service provider usually needs – still a common recommendation we make is to use a CMS platform.

CMS

CMS is short for Content Management System. I built my first website back in the 1990s, using hand coded HTML. While we and our team's web designer still do some hand-coding, the far better approach for most is a dynamic CMS system!

Take a look at MHC-MD.com or the LouisvilleShow.com websites as two examples or modern CMS platforms.

mhc-md.comThese can be customized to fit almost any business. Once built, they are easy to maintain. Some clients want us to do their updates, but for the majority, you can be taught in an hour or so how to do the basic updates, thus keeping your website maintenance costs low!

My associates or I could change the slider images out on the Louisville or MHC-MD.com websites rapidly, and make the site look dramatically different. In fact, when we start the warm up to the Louisville Show for 2014, you can count on the fact that we will do a number of updates to the site.

With your SM pointing to a CMS style website, you can dramatically improve your SEO.

What's your Budget for websites?

As noted before, you can in theory get 'free' resources or those that are very low up front costs. But often the look is dated, and since studies show that people surfing online decide in 5-10 seconds if they will stay on your site once they land there, it is important to make that first 5-10 seconds a visually good experience!

So to do a quality CMS platform that looks modern and can be maintained by the client, you are normally looking at a range of options, examples:

  • in the low 4 figures range (over $1000 to under $4000).
  • But for some big operations, and depending on the security, ecommerce of other kinds of solutions needed, you can jump to 5 figures (over $10,000) or more.
  • I've talked to operations in our industry that are spending $100,000 to $500,000 a year on IT/Webtech.
  • We do coaching classes with those on budgets under $1000, to help you 'do it yourself' without being all on your own with no one to turn to.

If you:

  • don't have a website,
  • don't know how to make your social media pay,
  • or you want to do an update on your current website,

a number of companies – ours included – will give you a free initial consultation.

To wrap this up, the bottom line is that some today can indeed make it with no website, but for the vast majority, having an website that is integrated with your social media and e-marketing is a must. ##

Editor's note: Social media icons graphic courtesy of Forbes.

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

Can you legally and morally earn money from the sale of a competitors home?

January 2nd, 2013 No comments

Short answer, yes you can!

This isn't hypothetical, it is real and it is happening right now today. You can learn how to do it too, if you are heading to the event described below.

Every day Realtors earn a commission by selling a home they do not own. Everyone in a closed deal routinely walks away happy. Now MH Pros can do that too!  Not someday, today.  It will be my pleasure to introduce Dan Rinzema at a FREE seminar at the Louisville Show as he explains this system that MH Pros are already profiting from.

This is one of many profit building events at the Money Tree Seminars taking place at Louisville on Wed Jan 23rd.  This will be The First Time this presentation is being made. Will your competitors be there? Odds are good some will be, you should be too, so don't miss it!

No kidding, this one seminar could be worth the entire trip for those looking to grow their business, profits and sales.  'Game changer' is tossed about loosely by many these days, but if you are in the room, you will see why the Money Tree seminar team wanted Dan to present on this option.

This no brainer option could be the next big boost for pros like you and the manufactured housing industry in general.

What do you need to sell more homes? Answer: The Best Third Party Financing

The TOP manufactured home lenders in the U.S. will share the stage to give you a rapid-fire look at their latest programs to help you sell more homes!  This presentation was standing room only in 2012. You and your peers will want to come again to see the 'legally compliant' programs in the post Dodd-Frank/CFPB's regulations being issued in January 2013.  

Lender's programs are ever changing. This is the first major presentation in the country in 2013. As finance pro Dick Ernst has said, 'there is plenty of capacity' for our industry's lenders to make more loans. Learn how to tap all those lending opportunities so you can profit more in 2013. Don't miss it!

Ask the Experts

We tested this panel out in Iowa in November, and it was a big hit with the community owner/operators and retailers who experienced it! Don't just take my word for it, ask Joe Kelly and the packed room of attendees at their 65th annual event.

Are you a Community owner? Do you have legal questions?  One of the nations top – high powered – attorney's – Rob Coldren of HK&C Law will be a headliner on this panel.

Rob Coldren and his firm are in the trenches daily on MHC issues, winning many of those battles you read about in our Daily Business News or in other publications, cable and broadcast stations.  Rob's presence alone would be worth the entire trip to Louisville!

Are you a retailer or community that sells or leases homes?  Do you have a location that is struggling for occupancy or sales? Do you have head aches that turn into wallet aches in your marketing or sales?  Do you have internet marketing needs or issues? Seasoned MH retailer (as in achieved the 'top 1% in the U.S. in MH Retail sales) and MHC-MD.com's very own L A 'Tony' Kovach will be on the panel to answer your questions.

Are you trying to manage your leads more effectively to close more sales?  Do you need to maximize your profits from sales you are already making?  Chad Carr will be on our panel to answer your questions on topics like this and more as part of our panel.

All of this is just the opening day! There is far more to see and do, don't miss a minute of it. Learn more about ALL of the Money Tree seminars, dates and times at this link. Download the brochure on that page and then look at page two of the brochure for more information.

Literally tons of reasons…

There are literally tons of SOLID reasons to make your travel plans NOW to come to the Louisville Show and stay for the run of the show.

When you have 39 homes – Mod and Manufactured Homes – on display, you will see the newest models, community series homes and also those proven to turn inventory into cash for pros like you.  I'd guesstimate there will be 1,157,000 pounds if new homes on display, or a whopping 585 tons of homes!

Many communities and retailers have learned that the time to buy and sell new homes is now. No better place to see dozens of the latest homes, all under one climate controlled roof.

New and True Products and Services

There will be some 80 exhibitors at the Louisville Show with products and services designed to:

A) Save You Money

B) Make You Money.

C) Protect Your Business

Do you see why we call it 'the Money Tree?!'

Your Connection for Business and Industry Growth

Let's consider a theoretical situation. What if you and your business were the ONLY business in the U.S. in factory built housing that was making a profit. OK, good for you, but in time, you would fail because there wouldn't be enough success out there to sustain the Industry.

The point is that you and your business is interconnected with the Industry. The ideal is for YOU to succeed and for OTHERS to succeed along with you. This is the wisdom of the 'rising tide raising all boats.'

If you are a retailer, you may not have thought about this, but your success is tied to the success of that manufactured home community down the road. Community owner/operators, if that retailer down the road is successful – even if neither of you have been doing business with each other – you indirectly benefit as well.

Association members tend to better understand and “get it” about this connection. Not only should you go to Louisville, but you should encourage your peers – and yes – your competitors to go. Circle back to the Imagine This! topic about profiting from your competitors sales. No better place than in Louisville for them to hear about it.

As Easy as 1, 2 and 3

1) We all have a stake in the success of the Industry and so should all want to make the outreach for new blood a re laity.

2) If you are a retailer, maybe you've wondered why MH Communities have weathered the storm better than so many retailers have?

3) If you want that banker or investor you know to better understand manufactured housing, there is a place to do that too.

Introduction to Manufactured Home Opportunities Day is!

See why the Clayton Family of Home Builders, CU Factory Built Lending, MHI, the NCC, HK&C Law and 21st Mortgage are among those who have seen value in this business building event. Please check it out and share the link.

Don't miss Louisville Show 2013. The Show is back, it will be bigger and better than 2012 when over 1,500 pros like you attended. Registrations are up over 2012! We will be at booth #115, in the seminars, walking homes and exhibits. We hope to see you there.

So whether you want to learn how to make more money

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

Buying Time

November 3rd, 2012 No comments

Whenever a business person hires or contracts out a job, they are buying timing. They may not look at it quite that way, but that is the reality. If you own or manage a business which has other people, you know what this means or will feel the light bulb going off over head as you read.

Buying time wisely is one of the keys to success in factory-built housing.

Buying Time Wisely

I've seen even successful companies do some rather odd things when it comes to buying time wisely. For example, what about those operations that hire one or more full time person(s) to do what ought to be a temporary job?

It is often less expensive and more cost effective to contract certain work out. For example, a mom and pop operation that retails homes likely contracts out the move, foundation, installation and utility hookups. That is a wise purchase of contracted time. Until you hit a certain volume of deliveries and installations consistently, it makes no sense to have your own crew.

  • But what about certain management or specialized functions?
  • What about marketing, advertising, web, social media?
  • Can a modest sized operation afford to have a sales trainer on staff?

These and other functions may be best suited for contracted services.

When it comes to leveraging time, think Social Media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc – and your Website as some of the key ways to maximize time leveraging.

Once you've built the right website for your needs, that becomes your 24/7/365 spokesperson! It delivers the same message with precision! Investing in the right social media and Internet marketing pays off in multiple ways. You invest up front, but it pays off for years to come.

Spending Time Wisely

Finally, for yourself and your team, you want them to invest time wisely. A common example of wasted time is sadly in sales. You would not be alone if you have a sales professional who spends only 10-15% of her or his time actually selling. They may spend as much time surfing the web or playing solitaire on the computer than they do trying to make you another sale.

So how do you get the most from your time and that of your team?

Good industry trade media – think MHProNews.com – is a priceless resource to many companies large and small, because we provide relevant content for rank and file team members as well as management. Get your associates reading 15 minutes minimum daily!

Professionals and athletes practice and drill in every field. Ours should be no different.

Because we archive stories, you won't run out of worthwhile reading. Anyone can go back for years and read timeless articles on marketing, sales or management, communities, retail, legal, finance, inspirational or other industry relevant topics. Just use the top menu on the home page to explore and navigate all the information you can access freely.

Where to start?

If you want to contract out certain work, but don't know where to start, send us a message or give us a call. Before you waste any more time or money, think of us when you need web, social media, training or other professional needs. Our services are confidential, unless we mutually agree otherwise. If we don't do the type of work you need, we always try to point you in a worthwhile direction to find what fits.

One call or email can start it all. Remember, its about time. Buying time wisely is like buying more money. Yes, you can. ##

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

other new stories and 'Purely Political' cartoons 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

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

Social Networking ripples can cause much bigger effects for manufactured housing

October 21st, 2010 1 comment

I live in Danville, Kentucky – a town of about 15,000 that has been named “one of America’s Best Small Towns.” As charming as our little town is, every so often a trip to the “big city” is in order. What this has to do with manufactured, or any factory-built housing will become apparent. This past Sunday was my wife’s birthday. We decided to go for dinner at Sutton’s Italian Restaurant in Lexington, KY. Sutton’s is a client of mine (we did their website) and this was their new location. I really like to keep up with what my client’s are doing as having knowledge of their operations helps me do a better job of marketing for them.

We ordered some wine, recommended by owner Gordon Lewis, a locally produced Merlot from Jean Farris Wineries. Notice how the locally-sourced product was the one recommended. It was a very good wine, the best Merlot I have ever had – and I’m NOT a big Merlot fan normally.

So far, so good. It’s the next succession of events that I wanted to point out. We ordered an appetizer. One of our favorites in Italian restaurants is calamari with marinara sauce, so we decided to go for that. Well, the calamari was super! It mixed in was a special treat. Banana peppers (peperoncini) which had been sliced into rings like the calamari and fried along with them. Exceptional.

So I took out my iPhone and photographed our half-finished plate and posted it on Facebook. Within minutes, a friend who didn’t know of the restaurant’s new location asked me where they were.

He’ll be checking out the new location shortly with his entire family. Now, my question is… how much benefit will Sutton’s receive from a picture, a caption and about a minute that it took me to post it to Facebook? Five people will eat there as a direct result. How many more read the post, now know the new location and will find their way there over the next few weeks?

And what’s it worth if they like it, return and tell their friends?

Even if the restaurant has no idea where those customers originated, they benefit from that small bit of social networking. It happens that Sutton’s has a Facebook page of their own, so those reading my post can easily find them on Facebook. And or course, their Facebook page has a link to their website.

So round and round it goes, a small ripple in the pond of information creates a much larger result. Sutton’s pays their employees who then spend the money in the local economy and the additive value of a dollar spent adds to Lexington’s GDP.

More ripples in our various ponds are what will get the economy moving again on a local, national and global basis. It’s not hard. Go make a ripple today, even a small one. It will will multiply as the circle widens.

And don’t forget to post every new thing your business does on your website, your blog, your Facebook page, your LinkedIn status and tweet it on Twitter to boot. Have a new home on your lot or in your community? Install a new home? Performed some community service? Hire a new sales person, customer service rep or installer. Each of those is a small stone causing a small ripple that grows and grows and…

Need to make changes to your website content?

September 1st, 2010 No comments

I love it when simple products do a job extraordinarily well. In a recent blog post, Refreshing Your Manufactured Housing website – why?, we covered some of the reasons why now may be the time to update your online information. If you haven’t read it, of have forgotten it, read it again.

In the July issue of MHMSM.com, Maria Cucchiara of All Seasons Communications wrote Six Reasons to Update Your Current MH Website, which explained why an updated website is a necessity. Again, read it or re-read it – there is wisdom in Maria’s words.

All well and good. All commercial websites need to be refreshed every few years or their effectiveness starts to fade. And that is a job for a web design professional. If that’s where you find yourself, call us.

But what about those little changes that need to be made from time to time? You know the ones… a changed price or phone number. Adding a feature to a bullet list. Adding or deleting a dated sentence…

If your’s is a small to medium operation, you may not want to call your web developer every time one of those pops up. If you hired an amateur – or a part-time developer – you may have to wait a long time to get the change made – if ever. They may have simply disappeared or gone out of business.

What if there was a way to make it easy for anyone in your office who can create a simple Word doc to make those little updates for you? Think that could save you some time and money? You bet it could!

If we had built your website, you probably wouldn’t be facing this problem right now because it would be built on a platform that allows you to make simple updates.

But even if your website was built using static pages, the ability to edit sections of your site can be added even now.

And if you can use Microsoft Word®, you can use the simple WYSIWYG interface that can be installed on your website using the files you use now, and keeping the “look and feel” of your current site – the design.

There is more information on this on the Update Your Own Website page at OrangeCat.net. If you are in the position where you or an employee need to make some updates to your website, this may be the answer.

And we’ve been doing this since 1996, so we’ve never vanished on any client.