Posts Tagged ‘’

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.


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! 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!

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 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

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 Make this a regular resource available you share daily to bring in more customers with cash or good credit.


                         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 too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500 or connect with me on Linkedin.


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

Memorable Destination and Launching Pad

February 23rd, 2013 1 comment

What if your business became a desired destination? Or what if your location was viewed as 'a launching pad' for fun and adventure? Have you ever heard about selling the sizzle, instead of the steak?

As an example, in my recent trip to Washington, DC, I had the option of flying out of Chicago's O'Hare (ORD) or Milwaukee's MKE airport. I chose MKE – Mitchell – for a variety of reasons.

Airports are a destination as well as a via point to elsewhere. They have often become mini-malls and restaurant rows. MKE has added some elements of a museum, artwork and other interesting and fun features to make coming to their airport more desirable.

It started with Long Term Parking

Airport parking at MKE offers four primary options, my choice was the long term 'super saver' parking (a good 50% less than ORD). The shuttle driver appeared as if on cue. Robert, the driver in the photo, proceeded to entertain us all (7 or so on that ride) with riddles, directions, suggestions, humor and good service.

We learned Robert had a 96 out of of 100 on his last job evaluation. He was good, so I believe it! Robert enjoys what he does, and it showed.

When I got inside the terminal, I spotted a table tennis (ping pong, anyone?) table! Two college-age looking guys (Tate, left; Mark, right) were playing. It has been YEARS since I played.

But what the heck? If I lost, they'd never see me again! If I won…hmm…

…I asked to play the winner, who turned out to be Tate, who had won by 10 over his buddy Mark.

Since Tate was smoking me with even gentle serves and returns during the warm up, which lasted about 120 seconds, he showed the zeal of youth. "Are you warmed up enough?"

Sure, was my reply.

What did I have to lose?

My pin-holder grip, learned during my own college days from a South Korean student, has the occasional advantage of laying on some spin. The pin-holder is also pretty potent when a ball floated into smash position!

When I first walked up, it was only Tate, Mark and myself. But as the middle age guy – that was moi! – started to mount up the score, a small crowd gathered as we played…

By the end of the game, the once empty wall across from the PGA shop was lined with spectators. Tate was periodically muttering to himself about letting himself get 'shaken,' 'surprised' and such.

The final was 21 to 12, with the short guy in the hat (Tate, left; Tony, right) prevailing.

I asked one of those spectators to take the photo shown. Tate was a good sport, we shook hands and I yielded the table, not wanting to tempt fate (after all, Tate was closing the gap in the second half).

None of this would have happened at O'Hare!

So what is the point?

The point is this. I'm doing in this column what millions do daily on Facebook, Twitter, via email, text or verbally. Sharing the day's experience! Someone will read this someday, and will select flights out of MKE vs. ORD as a result of my story and photos.

The lesson? Make the experience with your company memorable!

If you retail manufactured or modular homes, make the experience of coming to your community, development or retail center a good one. No matter what they decide, let them have a good time while you strive to show them why your offer is the place they should call home.

Our businesses and homes are destinations. They can become the launching pad for fun for people! Make the experience memorable, and more people will beat a path to your door. ##

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

other new stories at too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500 or connect with me on Linkedin.


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

Someone’s Floor is someone else’s Ceiling…

February 20th, 2013 No comments

An article was emailed to me that caught my eye. In sharing this, let me tee it up by confessing that one of my favorite writer's is Nadeen Green, the attorney who writes for us and uses the moniker, “The Fair Housing Lady.” As the moniker implies, her specialty is Fair Housing Law, but she makes a dry legal subject lively with stories, interesting spins on a topic, humor and much, much more. Nadeen writes for the apartment industry (example below, ForRent) too, and a headline to one of her articles served as a reminder to me that our Industry ought to be drumming early and often with a key target market.

In training sessions with our clients, we talk about the fact that 'you don't share a wall, ceiling or floor' with a manufactured home. Technically, with MODs or even with HUD Code manufactured homes, you can build multi-family housing. But retailers and manufactured home communities are busier selling to the public at large vs. to developers. So it is a safe bet that most of the retail clients are going to be single family housing customers.

With apartments at or near capacity and with many markets experiencing rising rental rates, the timing is very good to market to those apartment dwellers!

  • Make a check list of all the factors that yield a favorable comparison between us and the apartment housing option.
  • Compare notes with your team members.
  • Then, boil those down to high impact power phrases!

In marketing and in sales, always do a 360 degree look. See things from:

  • Your target market's perspective. That includes the other options they may have. In this case, apartments.
  • Your company's perspective. Owners and team members have similar, but also different perspectives.
  • Your perspective. If you think through the above carefully, you can craft a plan that fits for others and will reward you in the process. That is how you get to 'yes,' that is how you get to 'win-win.'

In closing this column for today, let's mention that be it Nadeen Green, or any of our other authors, you can go to the home page and use the search tool at the top right to find more columns. Or you can jump to our search page. If you really want to be 'high tech,' open up a Google tab (or your favorite search engine) and type in + "Nadeen Green"

or any other author's name in the quotes, example “Tim Connor” and you'll see a string of very focused results.

We hope to see you in Tunica for our free marketing and sales “how to” workshop: Attracting More Customers With Cash or Good Credit. The techniques we use – when properly applied – will drive new business to retailers, communities, developers and those who serve them. We will also be in Booth 9 in the Hallway, right next to the business building seminar room. That's it for today! ##

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

other new stories at too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500 or connect with me on Linkedin.


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

Corporate Culture and Productivity

February 15th, 2013 No comments

To tee up this discussion, imagine a tree that you are about to plant. The soil you are about to plant the tree in is highly arid and/or acidic. The tree might survive, if enough nutrients and water are provided, but without those it is more likely to wither and die. Even with the proper nutrients and H2O, the odds for thriving are diminished because of poor soil conditions. But in the right soil – with the right nutrients, sunlight and water – that tree will thrive.

That is a good analogy for corporate culture. Is your corporate culture dry? Is it acidic? Is is it dark, too hot or toxic? If so, then don't be surprised if even a potential super star will wither and die in such an environment. What survives in that kind of 'arid' conditions is just what survives in a desert – a prickly cactus!

Looking back a few years, some may wonder why MHProNews created the INspiration blog, why we have the Words of Wisdom by Tim Connor or Featured Articles from writers like Zig Ziglar or Greg McClanahan. The answer in part is that good input enhances good output.

The reverse is the old computer programer's axiom of GIGO; Garbage In, Garbage Out.


Solution orientation, problem solving with a positive goal in mind, these are critical for the advancement of a career, a location, a company or an industry. There was a void in our industry and rather than gripe about it, we sought to provide the solution. We walked the talk.

I'm fine with those souls that point out the problems and then explore those hurdles to see how they can be overcome and capitalized upon. I'm not so keen on those who point out the problems, but are not willing to make the positive effort and sacrifice needed for arriving at a good solution. Anyone can gripe and moan. It takes someone special to solve and build!

As an example, for some, the 'image issue' is only going to be fixed when millions of dollars are spent on high visibility advertising on television as part of a long term, national campaign. It would be fine if such a budget existed, but it doesn't. So does that mean that we simply endure our circumstances?

No! It means we do what we can in our local market to improve the image, set an example for others to follow and then someday it will dawn upon enough leaders that we should indeed invest in our future via an image campaign at the state, regional or national levels. Those who change the local soil conditions will – like those who create a good corporate culture – reap the rewards sooner. We see this time and again with our clientswho make the effort to improve their image, who train their team to do more and thus they reap the results.

If you want to maximize the good for your location, create a healthy corporate culture.

A good culture will cause those who are not so prickly to want to stay around and they will do more and better. It pays off. Encourage your team members to spend 15 minutes a day reading positive, uplifting, goal and solution oriented reading. You don't shower or brush your teeth just once a month! You need to inspire and challenge the mind daily too. Those who do, advance further and faster. Enough said for today! ##

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

other new stories at too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500 or connect with me on Linkedin.


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


November 14th, 2012 No comments

At the recent Iowa Manufactured Housing Association 65th annual event, business management guru Chad Carr made a number of great points. Among them was the fact that the wise business owner who has more than just himself in his company must 'always be recruiting.' Let's look at that 'always be recruiting' concept for your sales force, management and other team member consideration.

What is recruiting? defines recruting as:

  • a newly enlisted or drafted member of the armed forces.
  • a new member of a group, organization, or the like.
  • a fresh supply of something.

In this case, we are focused on the second definition. The BusinessDictionary defines it this way:

The process of identifying and hiring the best-qualified candidate (from within or outside of an organization) for a job vacancy, in a most timely and cost effective manner.

Now the point that Chad made was more forward thinking. Let me bring it to life with a real world example. Recruit even when you don't have an immediate need!

An example in Always be Recruiting

Some years ago, I was doing a marketing and sales management consulting project for an RV retailer. They were already a good company, our goal was to imake them better at marketing, sales and thus increase profits. In less than 6 months. they went from the top 20 in their busy state to the top 10 out of 500 'similar' companies.

How was that accomplished?

In part through good recruiting.

We did not have any vacancy in sales. But it was obvious to me that a new spark could be helpful for a sales team that was already good, but needed to go to the next level. Against that backdrop, here is the story.

I was shopping for a new mattress, which took me to a specialty retailer. I was greeted by a gent who was obviously a true professional.

  • He did a fine meet and greet.
  • He qualified me.
  • He knew how to demonstrate his product based on the inputs and observations being made.
  • He knew how to ask for the order.

I could say more, but you get the picture. The man was terrific at what he did.

After making the purchase – a much nicer mattress than I originally had in mind – I segued into the recuriting question. Are you open to new opportunities? Short answer, “yes.” I asked him to provide a resume (always do that), set up a time for an interview (always do that too). Then following that, I gave him an overview into the exciting world of the RV business.

Please note that he had no experience in 'big ticket sales' at a level beyond what he had been doing with this mattress company for many years.

In time, he was offered a job. I trained him. He rapidly became a star at towable RV sales too.

Lesson 1:
Always be looking for Talent.

Lesson 2:
They don't have to be from your industry.

Sometimes, it is easier to teach someone new to your industry than to find someone 'experienced' and get them to learn a new system. Does it take longer? Sometimes, yes. Is it worth it? Sure can be!

I could have used many examples of recruiting into MH, but wanted to share this example for a specific reason. You see, this man was African-American.

At that point in time, in a huge metropolitan market we were doing business, I knew of no other blacks in sales. About 2 or 3 months after I started him, and well into the point where he was often at or near the top of that retail center in sales, he came up to me and said,

Tony, I've learned that I'm the only black in (name of city) selling RVs. Why didn't you say something about that on the front end?”

I smiled and we talked about it. Would it have scared him off if he knew? Wasn't what mattered that he had the skill, made the commitment to give it his best and that the combination of factors assured his success? He smiled back and agreed. Would I do that every time in a similar circumstance? Nope; that sort of thing is case by case. If I had the slightest doubt, I would have handled it differently.

Lesson 3:
People Skills and Systems

That gent – and he truly fit the term gentleman – was disc pined, friendly without being over the top, professional and used a sales process before he was taught the one I developed for that retail center. There are certain things you look for in recruiting. He had all the keys to success.

Lesson 4:
Burn the Boats!

Something else that this man had. He understood – because we discussed it during the interview – that if he left the company he had been with for many years, there was no turning back. He had to 'burn the boats,' as William the Conqueror did when the Normans invaded England in 1066. It was victory or death for William and the Normans!

In the case of my recruit, he was a family man with bills to pay. Failure was not an option!

He knew he could make more money with us selling RVs, if, if, IF he did what was necessary. He wanted to better himself. He made the leap.

He listened, learned, did what he had to do and sold up a storm. He did his phone follow ups. He became one of the best.

Another benefit for that client of mine was this. As this new man proved that the system I was training worked, it was that much easier for the rest of the team to continue to buy into the system too!

To be candid, I've seen it backfire. But that is another story, maybe another featured article or post for another time.

The moral of the story is, always be recruiting. But always do it with a keen eye to the skills that are needed.

Lesson 5:

The Value of Real Training.

There is one more key lesson here and it was implied at the Iowa meeting by both Chad and me. It is that good training pays off. What if someone had recruited that same gent from the mattress world, and not trained him?

Last I heard, if you go to work for Best Buy, you spend two weeks in training for your product before you talk to customers, which in some departments may sell for under $20, $50, or $100 dollars.

Similarly, when you go to work for Holiday Inn, you spend 2 weeks in training before you talk to the first customer or take your first live call at the front desk. That room may start for under $100 a night, but they invest two weeks before turning a new person loose with a customer!

Personally, I do training differently than they do (not knocking them, just stating the fact. We blend training with live customer experiences).

But the point is that you have to have a formal training process. All success is predicated on a system that can be duplicated. Once you invent the light bulb – or anything else – you have to turn that knowledge into a readily repeatable system.

Always be recruiting. Always be training your new and existing team. Great athletes train every week, right along side the rookies! We need to do that too. When you do that, you will see the payoff for them and for your business unit, location and company.

Need a user friendly and customer friendly marketing, sales or training program that works when applied in today's world? Send me a message or give me a call. Check out this link for many testimonials in our MH Industry of success achieved through smarter marketing, sales, training and management systems. ##

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

other new stories and 'Purely Political' cartoons at too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500 or connect with me on Linkedin.


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