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Posts Tagged ‘manufactured home community’

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!

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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 

Va Va Va Va Voom! Volumes of Videos!

December 21st, 2013 No comments

Park the Stress. Discover the Lending Available Now for 2014. Prepare for Year 4 of the Manufactured Housing Comeback!

Let's Va Va Va Va Volumes of Video Voom, all about Louisville 2014.

48 Hot New Models! Dozens of Leading Exhibitors! Seminars, Networking, More!

An Adventure Mod!

When is the last time you saw a Dutch!

Finished Drywall Fleetwood! *

Manufactured Home Community Series Giles! *

More Videos to come!

Or check out the Louisville Show, 2014 website for more information or to be one of the thousands who will "go Louisville" where "Show Me The Money!" lives. Our industry colleagues at ManufacturedHomes.com will be in booth #503 – please thank them for these fine videos and check 'em out!

Also, please come see us at MHC-MD.com, ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com will be in booth #115, right by the main entry into the exhibit hall.

We hope to See YOU in Louisville, where you will find plenty of VaVaVaVoom! ## 

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

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.

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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

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