Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Land Lease’

Hard Truths and Dominating Your Local Market

March 8th, 2014 No comments

If a business routinely treats their customers like dirt, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that sooner or later, that business will suffer and likely be forced to sell out to someone more savvy or close.

If a business owner treats its staff with disrespect, it is self evident that even in a tough economy and job market, the staffers will sooner or later find their way to a better place. In the mean time, can the disrespected staffers be expected to perform their best for the owner who maligns them?

If you are an association leader and don't get along well with people who have a differing view point than you do – alienating some, losing some members and creating avoidable adversaries along the way – would it be a surprise if the results of such an association leader would be slim at best?

There are a number of hard truths that every professional person must face. The above are so obvious, that they are shared to make a point. The hard truth is that 4 years into our industry's recovery from the bottom hit in 2009, we are faced with yet another wave of challenges.

But as John F. Kennedy wisely said, “When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

written-chinese-crisis-composed-two-characters-one-represents-danger-the-ot ... -opportunity-john-f-kennedy-copyright-2013-lifestyle-factory-homes.jpg

Brutal Winter and CFPB Regulations

The combination of a brutal winter up north and new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulations represents a genuine crisis for some in our industry. Don't get me wrong, some will come through this profiting more than they did before. Some are doing well in the very areas that others are struggling. But others will fail or will have to hand over the keys to their business to someone else, likely at a distressed price.

marty-lavin-jd-manufactured-home-community-owner-on-board-spy-sea-.jpg

One of the more successful professionals in our industry – Marty Lavin, JD – who has been:

  • in retail with an operation that sold 5,000 homes a year
  • operated a manufactured housing finance firm that originated more loans than some of the chattel lenders we have today
  • survived a big downturn in the land-lease communities business, and still successfully owns and operates to this day
  • is an industry attorney who dealt with some of the biggest names in our industry and the likes of mortgage giants, Fannie and Freddie

said to me in his 6 million dollar list price 72' boat, “Tony, the problem is not the product!” (more from Marty Lavin, linked here).

We have a great home, at an incredible value. We have not done the sales training and marketing needed to grow the business. Who says? The likes of former Fleetwood manager and current state association executive Jay Hamilton:

We are an industry that for years has desired the best for our industry representatives, our customers and our distribution system but for all these years have been hesitant to:

  • invest financially in training our people,
  • marketing our product's image,
  • updating our technology,
  • improving our delivery system, etc..

Manufacturers and Retailers have made some bold attempts at the previously listed task but always fail to follow through because they don’t see immediate profits from marketing or training programs. 

We are an industry that has the need for all of our profits to be immediate. Future growth and maturation always loses out to the need for immediate results and immediate profits. 

jay-hamiltong-executive-director-georgia-manufactured-housing-association-gmha-posted-mhpronews-com(1).jpgUntil we are willing to train our people well, invest in technology, invest in customer service, invest $ in creating a brand image with the understanding that is will cost a percentage of our industry profits and will not necessarily produce immediate results we are doomed to keep repeating our same mistakes over and over.

Thank You,
C. Jay Hamilton
Executive Director
Georgia Manufactured Housing Association

At the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, I'll be presenting on the topic of Dominating Your Local Market, version 2.0. A variation on this topic drew praise and a standing room only attendance at the Louisville Show.

You'll also have the opportunity to get the latest in

  • Manufactured Home financing, including information from lenders not present at Louisville
  • Commercial Land Lease Community Financing, both moderated by Dick Ernst of FinmarkUSA.com
  • Manufactured Home Community Lessons Learned Panel Discussion, moderated by Jenny Hodge
  • The Importance of CRM for your Retail or Community sales operation, a panel discussion

and more!

standing-room-only-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-seminar-room-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-.png

If you're marketing fails to attract enough of the good credit customers who are third party financeable or cash buyers in significant numbers, in the Dodd-Frank/CFPB era, you may not make it.

Learn more about what you need to do differently in today's market, at the free panel discussions and seminars linked above at the rapidly approaching Tunica Show.

You won't find these same topics all in one place at one event anywhere else in the U.S. at this time, so don't miss this opportunity. More information on the free business building seminars at the 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show is linked here. ##

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 

Selling $2,000 – $20,000 “Mobile Homes” vs. Selling $40,000 – $200,000+ Factory Built Homes

January 5th, 2014 No comments

It is amazing that so many in the manufactured housing industry are stuck selling homes priced under $30,000. Don't get me wrong! Any sale that fills a vacant home/site or moves another home out of a street retailer's inventory is good. But until the majority of communities and retailers learn how to selling homes priced from $40,000 to $200,000 plus, our industry will continue new home production levels at historic lows.

Is there a way to sell more “residential” style homes without abandoning the pre-owned and entry level VOG homes most sell? Yes there is!

We know from real world experiences from coast to coast and border to border that factory built homes can compete head to head with conventional construction. Nor are we or are clients the only ones! There are operations that 'get good' at attracting customer who have good credit or who can write the check for a nice 'residential style' manufactured or modular home.

Bottom Feeding or Going for the Gold?

The Harvard study on rental housing, 10,000+ baby boomers retiring daily and the need for 20,000,000 new housing units by 2030 are all factors that point to a huge opportunity for a manufactured housing industry slowly coming back up to some 60,000 new home shipments per year.

Our experience shows that by reaching out to a broader mix of customers – not abandoning the lowest rungs on the housing ladder while reaching out with appropriate marketing to the better qualified customers – can work!

In his exclusive interview MHProNews.com, A Cup of Coffee with…Rick Rand, the award winning community owner/operator referenced 'bottom feeding.' This was a reference more to credit worthiness, and was not meant to be a put down to anyone, but rather points to the fact that so many in our industry fail to attract the more credit worthy customers. As more CFPB regulations kick in during January 2014, the need for retailers and communities to attract better credit customers or those who can pay cash becomes ever more clear.

In the interview with Hall of Fame inductee and highly successful independent retailer Mike Evans, training is part of the key that makes for their success.

At the 2014 Louisville Show, a number of seminars will be presented that are geared towards introducing communities, retailers and builder developers to facts and systems that work today to improve image, attract better qualified customers and sell more homes.

The traffic on the Louisville Show website tells us that the #1 page being accessed after the home page is the seminar page! Industry pros are pre-registering to attend the show in record numbers post 2010, and the seminars are expected to be robustly attended.

The map to the seminar rooms at the fabulous Kentucky Exhibition Center (KEC) is shown below.

seminar_locations_map-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-2014-posted-cutting-edge-blog=mhpronews-com-.png

At the Louisville Show, on Wed at 11:10 AM, immediately after the finance seminar, we will present a FREE session introducing some of our free, low cost or good ROI ways to improve image and grow results.

l-a-tony-kovach-dominate-your-locale-market-seminar-louisville-show-cutting-edge-blog-mhpronews-com-.png           manufactured-home-seminar-l-a-tony-kovach-cutting-edge-blog-.jp.jpg

You won't learn all our proven methods in less than an hour, but you will discover more than enough ways to improve and grow your business!

Don't take my word for it, see for yourself why we've received literally hundreds of Linkedin endorsements and dozens of recommendations over the years. See for yourself at the page linked above or throughout the MHC-MD.com website.

Then on Thursday, if you are in the MHC business, make sure you attend the Lesson's Learned session lead by MHC veterans! You can learn more at this link, and we will announce more details on that days ahead.

Financing you can use TODAY, Marketing and Sales tips and MHC insights from proven pros, all this and more awaits you at the 2014 Louisville Show…just 2 weeks away! Mark your calendars, change your plans, don't let the weather scare you away from the indoor comfort of the most popular venue in manufactured housing in 2013!

Selling $2,000 to $20,000 homes is easy. Discover at the seminar above insights into our proprietary system that we use to market and sell the $40,000 – $200,000 plus homes, including high end homes in land lease communities!

When we are not in the seminar room, you will find me/our team at booth #115, right by the main entry doors. Please do stop by to say hi, and you can collect something special that can help you grow your results in 2014. ##

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
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 

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.

/randy-rowe-r-green-courte-partners-chairman-gary-mcdaniels-yes-communities-joe-stegmayer-cavco-stephen-bruan-hometown-america-mhpronews-cutting-edge-blog- (1).jpg

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.

star-light-credit-wikicommons-posted-on-mhpronews-com.jpg

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

state-capital-credit-wikicommons-posted-on-mhpronews-com.jpg

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 

Who’s Missing?

June 20th, 2013 No comments

PresenterPro and Nancy Geer from the New York Housing Association both reminded me recently that a picture is worth a thousand words.

back-to-basics-heart-beat-credit-presenterpro-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-We are regrettably living in an era of decline for tens of millions of Americans. Most of us would rather see the robust economy of the 1990s vs. the anemic one we have today.

But in an era of 'back to basics,' visionary manufactured housing pros could and should position your career, location or organization for booming growth, regardless of what the economy in general is doing. After all, we sell affordable homes!

Some MH Community owners and Retailers tell me they have plenty of customers, all they need is 'more financing.'

For some, those can be code words for 'We need to find a way to get a 550 credit score bought with 5% down.'

Let's be real, that ain't happening.

Would you loan millions (or billions) of your own, hard earned money that way? In the CFPB era, you are even less likely to do so.  Because only a 'captive finance' lender would make such a loan, unless there is a very large equity in the purchase.

We need to ask some basic questions, like…

Who's missing?

What's missing from our MH Industry's picture?who-is-missing-credit-presenterpro-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-

Besides over two decades in MH retailing and community infill projects, I've spent the better part of three years doing various marketing and salesmanagement/consulting projects in the RV business. The clientele difference between RVs and MHs is often like night and day.

The average credit score in the U.S. hovers around 692, which with a modest down payment and proper debt-to-income (DTI) levels can be readily financed on a manufactured home. RVs routinely draw 700+ credit scores. So why does manufactured housing draw the 500s?

Who's missing?

For MH, the millions of gals and guys with good credit!

Where are those millions of potential home owners who have the good credit could or pay cash for our manufactured homes? Why are they missing in such great numbers from our retail sales centers and land lease communities? You can answer it in a word.

Image

The RV Industry has its positive GoRVing image building and marketing campaign. You couldn't pry that out of the RV Industry's hands if you wanted to, they love it because they know the bottom line value of their image campaign!

Manufactured housing pros have long known we need an image campaign too.

With the National Association of Realtors (NAR) telling us that some 94% of home shoppers are looking for their next housing option online, having an online image campaign is an utter no-brainer!

We don't have "a" story to tell. We have LOTS of great stories to share!

ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com will answer the unasked questions millions have about modern manufactured homes. With pictures, videos and words, the new image and education site will tell the visual story of today's factory built home industry.

Let me invite you:

  • to see the plan for "what's next."faces-collage-credit-presenterpro-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-
  • To see at a glance why the new image building website can be a useful tool to attract those who are missing from our retail centers and land lease manufactured home communities.
  • To learn how you can earn more, not some day, today.

Frankly, we need more than just pretty photos and videos, but we have what we need beyond the eye candy available today too!

For long term sales success, we must balance:

> Committed, forward looking professionals.

> Industry Associations.

> Financing for personal property and 'fee simple' mortgage loans.

> Trade media that keeps you informed and feeds you the news, professional insights and tips needed to navigate challenges.

> And now, the start of an Image Building resource with MHLivingNews.com!

Finance expert Dick Ernst reminded attendees at events in Louisville and Texas that we have the financing needed available to sell more homes, so long as we attract more of the customers who have good credit.

Keep what we have, but add more qualified buyers

We are not saying that we should abandon the customers who we serve with rentals, captive finance or other 'get me done' services that made 'buy here, pay here' auto dealers successful.

We are saying that the auto industry attracts Good Credit and Cash buyers! There are DOZENS of models of cars, each of which outsell annually all of the production of manufactured housing combined.

So if autos and RVs can attract more customers with cash or good credit, when realtors and builders do it effectively too, then we must commit to doing what it takes to get more of those qualified buyers!

See the comments from Industry pros in favor of this plan in the links that follow.

> Improving Manufactured Housing Image to Increase Sales

> Williams, Allen and others give Thumbs Up.

> Manufactured Housing Professionals, Is Image Everything?

Ask yourself. Who's Missing? Ask yourself. How do we attract those missing? Even with respect to importance of getting the passage of HR 1779, wouldn't we do better in DC with a tool to create a better image?

You know the answers.

Image isn't everything, but it is an important thing!

This is Simple.

As more pros share the website ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com with past customers and everyone they know, thousands upon thousands can discover the real value of manufactured homes today.

Start now by showing your sales and leasing associates the website. Let them see the photos, videos and articles that will answer the questions which keep people from buying a manufactured home.

key-good-credit-presenterpro-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-comLet them see the plan for What's Next on MHLivingNews.com.

Manufactured housing has known for years who's missing. More of the customers with the cash and good credit. Image isn't everything, but it is a key that will unlock the door to more sales to cash and credit worthy customers.

Sign up for emails here that will announce our free upcoming webinar to learn more to earn more, by using the power of ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. Make this a regular resource available you share daily to bring in more customers with cash or good credit.

mhpronews-newsline-email-manufactured-home-professional-news-_001

                         Above is how our twice weekly emailed news, tips and views updates look.

Space on our webinars are limited, so sign up yourself and have your team sign up too for the emails; then watch our Spotlight for the schedule to get your webinar time. ##

(Image credit for first three above: PresenterPro)

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/

+++

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford