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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.

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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 

Cave Man

October 21st, 2012 2 comments

Most of us are familiar with "man caves." You know, those rooms dominated by a flat screen TV where the guy hangs out to watch football, other sporting events or a movie while eating and drinking in the comfort of his home. But how many today think about the "Cave Man," in the context of communications, marketing and the related bottom line connection?

Before written or visual communications there was verbal communication. Those motivated enough could find the pictorial drawings on cave walls that were perhaps the earliest form of non-verbal communication. Where there some back then who thought that drawing or painting on cave walls would not catch on?

Fast forward from cave drawings through time to writing on parchments, carving or painting on wood, creating statues of stone, canvas painting, hand written books, stained glass used as religious or decorative communication, the printing press, mail, typewriters, radio, TV and the Internet. It seems clear we have – and still use – many forms of visual and audio communications.

So why do some today hesitate to embrace the latest forms of communications and marketing? Why do some go too far the other way, using only Facebook, tweets and texts as if all else was un-cool and thus not worthy of use?

What you need depends in good measure in where you are and how robust your business is. Is your business or organization missing something? If so, what are you doing about it? Who are you going to call to fix it, someone who doesn't know manufactured or factory built housing? Or someone that "gets it" our industry AND can help you get what you need and want online too?

I've met individuals who are – or once were – successes in retail, communities, installation or other aspects of the manufactured housing industry. Some of them resist embracing what is new. They might scoff at the cave man of thousands of years ago, but not realize that they have no reason to fear the modern forms of communication that could return their business or professional life to good financial health.

It is rare today to find a HUD Code or modular home retailer who doesn't use the Internet. But there are way too many who have a website that is 3-5 years old – or older! – and their website looks it. They may not stop and think that their website is the first – and perhaps only – impression they will make to a prospect who has good credit or could pay cash for a home. Retailers have to consider that such a good prospect may only briefly look once – statistically as brief as 5 seconds – at their website and then check that retailer on or off their list. All in those first few seconds; all because of the initial look and feel of their website.

Think about this fact. A good website may pay for itself in the very first sale. Doesn't that make having a good website a no-brainer??

It is sadly fairly common that manufactured home community owners have no web-presence of their own. They may be listed on someone else's website or online yellow pages. But they have no web presence that proclaims in a modern fashion why someone should call them vs. the other nearby community operator who has a great website. Then those souls with an older or no web presence wonder why they have vacancy issues…

If this is someone you know, take heart, take heed and do what others are doing!

When the parent body and management of the Louisville Show decided to have a website made, they turned to us to give them a modern look and a good presentation. Take a look at the link to the LouisvilleManufacturedHousingShow.com – then kindly return to finish this article.

Who you are in business is projected by your web presence; or lack thereof.

There is nothing wrong with having a man cave, but if you are not in step with the latest online marketing, then good business strongly tells us to step into the present!

Think about how hard it is to find that drawing made by a cave man, unless you find it online! If you do find that cave drawing, are you impressed enough to go see it in person?

Your web presence may be more important than your curb appeal. Some 94% of all home shoppers are online today hunting for their next home before they go and see an actual house, builder, retailer or neighborhood. 94%! Are you catching how important that could be for your business or that of a colleague of yours who may be struggling?

If you are fortunate and up to date online, but you have a friend or colleague in the business who needs help, please send them the link to this article.

If you have a great web presence but lack a social media campaign, that's important too! On any such marketing need, give us a call or send us a message. We know what that 'cousin of a friend' doesn't about both the Internet and the Industry.

Man caves can be cool. But don't be seen as a cave man by prospective customers who can afford to buy from you! ##

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

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

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

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

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

LATonyKovach.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

http://pinterest.com/latonyk/manufactured-home-lifestyle/

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

Christmas Flashmob!!! Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas”

December 23rd, 2010 No comments

SantaMore than 300 dancers performed to Mariah Careys All I Want For Christmas, at Carousel Center, a mall in Syracuse, NY. With just 1 rehearsal these dancers created this amazing stunt!

Almost 800,000 views on YouTube. When it comes to marketing, it pays to “Think Different.” Merry Christmas everybody!