Posts Tagged ‘Prefab homes’

Obstacles and Adversity

September 18th, 2012 No comments

In business, a professional facing adversity or obstacles has to make a choice. He has to go over, under, around or through the challenge OR be stymied. There is the old truism, winners never quit and quitters never win. This is true in marketing and sales of manufactured, modular and prefab homes. Our opportunities are huge, but so are the obstacles. What to do?

First, let me suggest that to overcome any obstacle or adversity, a few things are needed:

  • One must be willing to face and overcome the challenge. Here is where inspirational quotes can be helpful. "Everything of value is found on the other side of obstacles and adversity. Peak performers know this and make a habit of overcoming them." – Mike Moore.
  • Planning and preparation. Hundreds of millions recently watched the Olympics, where athletes and their coaches prepared for years for events that would be over in just minutes! Athletics and sports ought to teach us and inspire us to be the best at our vocation or business. Owners and executives must think, inspiration and training for peak performance. As part of that in our business, reading is fundamental. Model good reading for your team and encourage it.
  • Execute and adapt. In business, like in sports, you need a game plan. But just as the game plan needs to be adapted, so too you must be prepared to adapt in business too. When it comes to marketing, you must measure results. If the results aren't there or what you think is possible, you have to adapt the message until it resonates with your target audience. All marketing is test marketing. Test, adapt and refine.

Direct and Indirect marketing

Almost all marketing and advertising you see in our factory built homenindustry today is what I would call "direct" marketing. An example of direct marketing is to say, 'Here is this delicious Big Mac, on sale for a limited time, so come and get it! '

That works with people who are open minded to a McDonald's hamburger. McDonald's has a big audience. But I'm afraid that most people never consider the value of indirect marketing.

An example of indirect marketing is the method used for years to recruit of Amway

Distributors. Many of the most successful Amway distributors didn't invite people to 'come and see the Circles!' or to learn how to sell soap and other household goods. Rather, they said some variation of this. 'We have a friend who is in business and is doing well. Why not come over for a cup of coffee, and let's sit down and listen to what he has to say?'

Indirect marketing is potentially the biggest tool we have to grow your business. Why? Because perhaps 80-85% of our potential audience doesn't seriously consider factory built housing as an option. As soon as you say, "manufactured home" that 80-85% that are closed minded may tune out the rest of your message that follows. I've seen gorgeous TV commercials done by respected companies in our industry. What do they attract? 'The mobile home customer.' Why?

Because when we say 'manufactured home,' the words 'mobile home' may pop into the minds of our audience.

That is an obstacle, but behind it lies the big reward. When a client company or location learns how to market and sell both using the direct and indirect methods, you can watch traffic and closing rise dramatically.

We have learned through years or experience that indirect marketing MUST be coupled with solid sales training, or it will frustrate rather than succeed. It requires the commitment of top management as well as the buy in of the sales team that is executing the drill.

One of the most successful manufactured home communities in the country was filled with hundreds of homes using a system that was effectively an indirect marketing approach.

Another location that used both indirect and direct marketing methods went from low single digit results monthly to closings of 20-30 homes a month. Same market, same budget, different approach and results.

There are many ways to successfully market and sell. But the bottom line is whatever methods you chose to use, you have to identify the obstacles and adversities you face. You have to craft a plan that addresses the challenges, using the time, talent and treasure you have available. You have to train, execute and adjust that plan as needed.

Let's close on that Moore quote cited above:

"Everything of value is found on the other side of obstacles and adversity. Peak performers know this and make a habit of overcoming them." ##

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

Haircuts, Hamburgers, Modular and Manufactured Housing

October 16th, 2011 No comments

We can't all give each other haircuts.  We can't all just flip burgers in restaurants.  Check out lines are necessary, but we can't all be in retail stores.  Someone has to produce something!  Producing nations – be it production in agricultural, energy, raw materials as well as goods (i.e.: manufacturing and building) – are historically more powerful, more independent than non-producing nations.

Haircut_wikimedia_commonsSo while you can have "a service economy," in fact, the service economy over time compared to a production economy – all things being equal – will tend to see the producing nation gaining in wealth and power.

To be sure, this is an over-simplification, one designed to make a point.  There are other factors, such as the political system one works in.  Part of what made America great and so rapidly growing after the Revolution was our freedom, relatively lower taxation and less corruption than many other nations. 

The point is that production is necessary for 'the wealth of a nation' and its people!  Sure we need teachers, doctors, nurses and scientists.  We also need people who build homes, buildings, cars, computers, shoes, clothing and those who produce on a farm, ranch, etc., etc..  When we have more people making and producing – intellectual production can count too – then we can actually have more people giving haircuts and hamburgers (service jobs), who can make more money doing it. 

What does this have to do with marketing modular and manufactured housing?  Plenty! As you will see below.

While America has had a long love affair with the automobile, housing is a far more important part of the U.S. economy than cars.  The basics of life are food, clothing and shelter.  While transportation is important, you can transport people in many ways.  By contrast, housing is necessary for survival.

Potential Market Demand for Housing, Factory Built and other

A smart marketer (or business owner/executive) wants to know many things, including the need for the product or service he or she wants to promote.  The marketer also wants to know what the potential demand for the product or service can be.  With that in mind, let's take a look at some facts.

On October 9, 2011, we had 312,387,546 Americans according to the U.S. Census Bureau's population clock. More facts:

        OCTOBER 2011
    One birth every………………………………………………….   8 seconds
    One death every………………………………………………   12 seconds
    One international migrant (net) every……………… 45 seconds
    Net gain of one person every…………………………..  13 seconds

Look at the population patterns since 1980:

    Year.   Population.          %/+

    1980    226,545,805        11.5%
    1990    248,709,873         9.8%
    2000    281,421,906        13.2%
    2010    308,745,538         9.7%

What does all this mean?  By July 1, 2030, the United States Census Bureau says we will have a population of 363,584,435, less current population of 312,387,546 yields a net gain of an estimated 51,196,889

Side_walls_are_constructed_and_Placed_onto_Floor_System wikimdia commons posted on Cutting Edge in Online Marketing Blog


Using the current 2.57 people per household, we will need 19,920,968 new housing units by 2030, PLUS the need for the number of homes that will be retired or lost due to fire, natural disaster, deterioration and similar factors.

If manufactured housing captured an average of 20% of this market need for housing, we would have to build 3,984,194 homes by 2030.  This is roughly what the Industry has averaged in as our housing market share in the past 20 years, so this is not an unrealistic number.

That is 209,694 homes a year.  That's roughly 4 times what we are currently producing! 

We would need to add about 150,000 jobs in factories alone to meet that need.

That would mean whatever your part of the Industry is, you would need to do about 4 times more business, or in the case of manufactured home land lease communities, you would likely be full and adding sites where possible.

Frankly, I believe we should be targeting a lot more than 20% market share.  But my point is even at 'historic' levels, those who survive have the opportunity to thrive.

Problems spell opportunity in disguise

Ladies and Gentlemen, we can't get bogged down in thinking about just the current housing downturn and the forclosure glut the media loves to focus on.  In fact we are awash in opportunity in the housing business in the U.S. alone.  But let's not forget the need for housing in other parts of North and South America. Think about the housing needs of Asia (where 60% of the world's population currently lives), or Africa, Europe,  Oceania and the rest of the world.  We could be shipping homes overseas, IF we get our 'act' together as rapidly as possible.

With incomes down and population rising, American home building – in factories! – offers a huge opportunity.  Energy and other sectors of the economy are important, but we are in some phase of the factory home building industry and we can uniquely able to serve every part of the population.

A smart business professional should think about a two parallel paths to present and future success.

Path 1: A Plan to grow your businesses' share of your location's housing market. 

Plan 2: A Plan to advance the image, acceptance and thus marketing potential of factory built homes.

To summarize, the facts support the reality that housing is heading for a boom.  With so many site builder's decimated and out of business, manufactured and modular construction may be uniquely well poised to take advantage of that coming boom.  300 factories now shuttered in the last 12 years could rapidly be tooled up and re-opened. 

But we have to deal with and implement a marketing and image program in order to achieve that potential!

Path 1 is the subject of our popular Dominate Your Local Market Seminar that was presented at the recent Texas Manufactured Housing Association and New York Housing Association annual meetings.   It is supported by the Attracting More Customers  with Good Credit Seminar that will be presented Wednesday, October 19th at the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association's annual meeting.  If you are planning to attend, please say hello after the presentation and share your feedback.

Path 2 are reason we should be pursing the MH Alliance/Phoenix project, so we can boost sales and improve results now, and continue to do so on into the future.  Read a news story about the project here.

To learn how we can help boost your marketing and business results now, click here.# #

blog post written by
L. A. 'Tony' Kovach