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The Mouse that Roared – Media, Marketing, Financing, CFPB and Manufactured Housing Sales

June 16th, 2015 No comments

Pop quiz time. Does financing influence the levels of manufactured housing sales? Of course it does. An objective thinker need not look farther than what happened in the site-built housing market in 2008 for evidence. Choke off lending, and conventional real estate crashed in value. The slow, painful climb back up for housing has in many ways mirrored the return of credit to the market.

Similarly, while manufactured housing sales took a slide after 2008, the return of lending to the market has seen manufactured home sales slowly climb. That climb could be faster if loans being made 2 years ago, before CFPB regulations hit, were still being made today.  There are reasons why there is bi-partisan support for HR 650 – which has already passed the House – and S 682.

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Note: MHI has very similar totals to this chart above, which used data provided by MHARR. We provide, You Decide ©

So those who market and sell manufactured homes (MH) ought to and typically do care deeply about what the media, various lobbying groups and others say about manufactured housing or MH home loans. Engaging the media, public policy makers and influencers matters to the bottom lines of home owners and business owners alike, even if for whatever reason some don’t realize it.

As professionals, we should not ignore bad news that unfairly spins the facts about our vital industry. Cheap shots about lending by the ill-informed or agenda driven may paint a dark picture about MH personal property lending. We’re told anecdotally by some that it has not slowed demand, but we also know that it has created negative media and political buzz in DC. These can’t be ignored.

Of course, you can find people who have lost their conventional or MH homes to foreclosure or repossession. Does the fact that some lose their job mean that no one should be hired for work? Hardly!

By similar reasoning, just because a sub-set of buyers sadly loses their homes for whatever cause doesn’t mean that no personal property loans (or site-built housing loans) should be made. Should public policy force renting?  MH lenders, who routinely hold their loan paper, make those loans because far more are successful than fail. Articles like the one linked here reveal that our MH customers are being forced to pick between renting longer, or getting loans at perhaps 3 times higher annual interest rates than an MH lender could make that loan for today.

The Mouse That Roared

The truth well told is powerful. The truth untold is akin to the biblical warning of placing your light under a basket. The mouse that roars in literature might shake up the proverbial mighty lion. David can slay Goliath.

Even when larger organizations or media sources opt to try to place “mobile home loans” (sic) in a bad light – as the Seattle Times, the Center for Public Integrity or non-profit ‘consumer’ groups such as CFED has – we must provide a response for serious researchers and for the staffs of both the House and Senate. Reputation defenders will tell you how important it is to provide the other side of the story.

With the above in mind, please see for yourself how doing “response stories” that set the record straight can rank well in Google searches.

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Note to MH Owners, Managers, Pros and Marketers: there are white hat SEO strategies that can get you the kinds of results you see on this page, including with image searches like this one.

Google “Doug Ryan CFED”

As full disclosure, Google searches can change moment by moment, day by day. It can vary according to where you are, or what kind of device is doing the search. We should also add that we employ a white hat SEO strategy.

That said, on the dates and times shown below, the following results were found for the Google searches shown.

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Note: ‘above the fold’ means visible when the page loads. You can be page 1 of Google, but still be below the fold (meaning, you must scroll down to see it) as would be true of the page 1 of Google results below

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All of the above are unpaid search results found on page 1 of Google on a mobile device search on the date and time shown.


Dodd-Frank Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing

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Above the fold has long been used in the newspaper business, but today it can also refer to what is visible when your screen first loads on a given website’s page. What is above the fold matters.  The above is page 1, above the fold, the below is page 1, below the fold.

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It is easy to see from the above examples why MHProNews – and increasingly, MHLivingNews.com – are being followed by public officials, media, investors and others interested in manufactured housing.  Engaging media, federal or other non-profit organization’s publications with responses pays off over time.  The opposition is motivated!  You must be motivated and do your part too.  When you do, in turn, you can look your peers in the eye and say, please do the same.

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Image credit, WikiCommons. Poster Credit, MHProNews.com.

We could do this same type of Google Search exercises on a wide variety of topics relevant to manufactured housing. On some, we will be page 1, #1 above the fold, on others we may still score page 1, but further down the page of organic search results.  

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Image credit, WikiCommons. Poster Credit, MHProNews.com.

The point is that responses do matter!  Some effort is better than no effort. Information like the articles linked below, when shared with your Congressman, U.S. Senators, other public officials, the media etc. can make a difference.  Do your part.  Share the links via email, Facebook or other social media.  ##

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/cfed-and-cfpb-confused-conflicted-friends-of-manufactured-home-owners-and-prospective-buyers/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dodd-frank-and-manufactured-home-financing-the-place-where-good-intentions-and-unintended-consequences-collide/

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/sam-landy-umh-ceo-on-dodd-frank-and-the-preserving-access-to-manufactured-housing-act-s-682hr-650/

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/june-2015/138-general-manufactured-housing-industry-topics/9657-don-glisson-jr-ceo-triad-financial-services-on-dodd-frank-hr-650-s-682-and-manufactured-housing-financing

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

Netflix Killing HBO, TV = a MH Marketing Opportunity

April 19th, 2015 No comments

Re/code and Business Insider recently broadened the competitive look between Netflix and HBO, with these provocative headlines.

Image Credit - Google-netflix

Image Credit – Google.

This is hardly a new thought. Cable has been killing broadcast TV for years. Now, the Internet is transforming video viewing too. Recall this article from last year?

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/march-2015/7118-youtube-says-90-of-web-will-be-video-manufactured-home-videos-with-news-interviews-that-move-infuse-and-amuse

Broadcast TV has been dying, or morphing into cable. Cable is under assault from streaming or webcast programming. Technology is changing entertainment and marketing alike.

What this means is that there are growing opportunities to create a channel that is focused on manufactured and modular homes as an appealing and affordable solution.

On MHLivingNews.com, we’ve been setting the stage for a Manufactured Home Living Video Channel. There are lots of ways to tell the MH story. Let’s consider a few.

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Olga Pecanac tells her story during an engaging video interview,
and she shares her take on modern MH.

Let’s expose them to MH home and lifestyle through story telling, done via:

  1. By talking to those people who don’t currently own a MH. Show them the home, then get their feedback on the home afterward. Olga Pecanac is one such story.

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/olga-pecanac-olgas-place-westville-indiana-inside-mh-road-show-video-interview/

  1. By talking to those who already live in a manufactured home and enjoy their lifestyle.

  1. By talking to those who are professionals – in and out of MH – who know modern MH well, respect it and are happy to tell others why these are quality, appealing and affordable homes.

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On ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, you’ll find an ever growing array of videos and articles where people who know MH are interviewed. Make sure your team sees these. Make sure they pass it onto others.

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Person to person or social media are great ways to spread a message. Video is ‘taking over’ a growing share of the internet. We are teaming up with forward thinking companies who see the value of creating a channel that educates the public and as a result, will cause a growing number to turn to MH.

We will spell out and showcase more in the days ahead the many ways we work with companies small, medium and large to grow their business and thus to grow their results. It reminds me of a program done in WV years ago. Retailers teamed up to boost the MH image. Those who didn’t participate in the program benefited too, by about 15%. But those who were a direct part of the program grew 5x more than those didn’t invest!

It pays to invest in the future of MH image and education. More in the days ahead. ##

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-business-building-seminars- (1)

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach with a live audience, showing the principles of attracting and selilng more customers with Cash or Good Credit.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

2015: The Five Legged Stool for More Manufactured Home Sales

January 7th, 2015 No comments

Let's go back to basics. Let's look at the obvious things that you need to have more manufactured home (MH) sales in 2015.

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  1. New homes. Used is grand, but often hard to get and costly to update. To sell more homes, you need to see, compare, inventory and sell more new MHs.

  1. Marketing. Did you know that the average credit score in the U.S. is over 700? Yep. Do you know that many site built houses are all cash sales? Yes again. Want to sell more homes in 2015? Learn to attract more customers with cash or good credit.

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  1. Professional Sales Systems. If you had all the sales you wanted, you wouldn't be reading this column. Want to sell more homes? You need to make sure your sales team is made up of well trained team members. Good appliance and electronics sales people get 300 hours of professional sales training a year. How does that compare to your operation? Enough said on this bullet for now.

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  1. Financing. Obviously needed! Why not learn the latest on the various plans and lenders available at the rapidly approaching Louisville Manufactured Housing Show?! Odds are good that there is more lending out there than you are using or know.

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  1. Happy Customers. There is nothing more important than happy home owners. There are few things more important than building relationships between your business and other housing pros in your market. They need us, even if they don't yet know it.

Come to the Seminars – linked here – that are free to most MH pros. Come see me at booth #115 and/or on the show floor or in the Seminar room. MMHF increased space 30%, so we can accommodate the standing room only crowds of last year. Want to grow in 2015? Make these 5 legged stool basics part of your basics. Come to L'ville, you'll see what some 2,500 MH pros did in 2014. ##

latonykovach-com-brushed-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com75x75-By LATonyKovach.com

Unique Perspectives Can Provide YOU with Unique Results!

December 17th, 2014 No comments

Sorry if this sounds immodest, but we have an unfair advantage – but that means you could have an unfair advantage too. Let me first say that someone could – in theory – ignore the news, not read and still be a success. In fact, there were some well known cases of that in the early- to mid-20th Century. But in the internet era – when government impacts your business, and so do markets and other factors – can you ignore the news, without taking increased risk? The combination of information and the right marketing and sales systems – properly applied – can yield terrific results. Because we work day by day with MHPros PLUS stay in touch with the news border to border and coast to coast, we have advantages others simply don't have. But you can have them too…

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That lead in is supposed to make you think that as a marketing and sales manager, owner or professional, you have to have at least some degree of facts and information – news – to support and guide your efforts. For example, this week in our Daily Business News blog, we covered a story about an MHC operator who sees a huge new market opportunity. Want to know more? Click here. Another story we covered was about the top 10 things home owners and housing shoppers want. Do you think knowing what they are thinking might be useful to you as a marketer or sales professional? Of course!

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Credit: llenrock.

An MHC operator looking for commercial financing? Are you into the CMBS what one of the GSEs has done that might be good for your business? The DBN linked here may have your answer – and the above graphic might help too! On the Masthead, you'll find aMastheadn amazing what if story! If you want to grow your business, and open your mind to what's possible, better surf on over and read The MH Impossible Dream? I don't know how sales pros can work without inspiration. To my knowledge, we have the industry's first and still only INspiration blog, written with the factory built housing pro in mind. Join the thousands who are IN with INspiration.

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I won't say finally, because if you look at the home page – sloooooooooooooowly looking over all the Industry News Tips and Views Pros can Use © – you'll see TONS of Featured articles that can be very helpful for your business! Knowledge is potential power. Protect your attitude (thus the need for Inspiration). Feed the mind (the need for useful information). Then, get training and marketing that makes you and your team SING from the Hymnal of Great Results! Need help? Please check out what others say about our work on Marketing and Sales and give me a call. Until next time, make it a GRRRRR8 day! ## By LATonyK.

6 million Reasons Manufactured Housing Sales Should Grow Now

November 15th, 2014 No comments

Here on the Cutting Edge of Manufactured Home Marketing and Sales blog, we tend to focus on topics that can drive more business for retailers, communities, developers – and by implication – those producers, lenders and vendors who serve them. Today, we'll look at 6 million FACTS the should all point to why manufactured housing (MH) should grow to levels 5 to 10 times what they currently are.

  • Realtors ® are complaining that there is a shortage of affordable homes in their market.
  • In some markets, conventional resale housing is being sold within days of being listed by a Realtor ®.
  • The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) for existing housing (think house/condo/townhouse etc. resales) for 2014 is over 5 million.
  • The SAAR for multi-family and single family new housing for 2014 is over one million units.
  • That's over 6 million total housing units in 2014. Rents keep rising. So too conventional housing prices. These are all FACTs.
  • And yet our manufactured housing product – which is appealing, less costly and greener – is going to finish 2014 under 70,000 new homes shipped?

Whether You Think You Can or Think You Can't You're right (1) (1)

Before you give yourself, your association or business an EXCUSE as to why you can accept such a pathetically low sales volume, remember too that RVs – which have a smaller target audience than MH and a higher cost per square foot – outsells MH by about 5 to 1 in 2014.

Before you accept an EXCUSE – like "lack of lending" – just remember that every specialty lender we have in MH has said publicly there is "no lack of capacity" for them to originate more MH loans!

Even U.S. Bank. – which just announced they are exiting MH direct lending – is doing so in part because of low loan volume. If there were another zero behind new MH sales levels, don't you think they'd be staying in the business?

Part of the problem in our industry is a "Lack of Vision" in MH of Biblical proportions.

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The Industry must do better, meaning

YOUR Business or Association must do better!

In our paid training sessions for clients, we begin with the fundamentals, things like Attitude and Perceptions. The mind must be willing to accept the reality that we can sell more, before you will in fact sell and do more. If you think "I can't sell more because…" then you are right.

Any old excuse can do the trick.

Some people don't see what they don't want to see. Others don't see because of old habits, or a plethora of other causes.emelio-labrador-flickrcreativecommons=credit-posted-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-mhpronews-com-300x200- Which is why each of us often need help, we all need at times someone else to remove the blinders so we can see what we are missing.

As part of our training sessions for clients', we often do recruiting and training of of new sales people, women and men new to our MH industry. We can take a motivated, open minded person and coach them into selling more homes than people with many years of more experience in MH do. Why?

Because of the facts in the U.S. Housing market. Don't get me wrong, the current MH sales people often improve too, when they see just how reasonable it is for them to do something different to get a better result.

The point is that – veteran or newbie – anyone motivated to do more, willing to learn more can. We have the right product with manufactured housing and the right time for it. The fact that we have to work smarter to sell more, well, its worth it.

See and Hear for Yourself!

If you are an association or business executive, leader, owner or manager, come to the 2015 Louisville Show. Attend our free seminars on improving new business development via marketing and sales based in the real world, not the "I can't world."spaceshoe-flickrcreativecommons-posted-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-366x275- 1 Listen to a guest we will bring who will tell you how our common sense system is rapidly improving their MH sales.

They are not alone.

If there is a hunger burning inside you to sell more, do more, profit more, you'll be at the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, the single best attended event in the U.S. in MH! if you've not been to the KEC and the Louisville Show lately, it is All Indoors, for your shopping, networking and educational comfort!

Remember, there are some 6 million reasons your business should grow. Let's be honest, there are actually more than 6 million, because that number is how many housing units will be built or sold this year.

Will you fight for the crumbs, or join the crowd looking for the bigger piece of the pie? See you in Louisville in January 2015? ##

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(Image credits: Top – Wikicommons, next 3, FlickrCreativeCommons)

by L.A. “Tony” Kovach.