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Posts Tagged ‘videos’

Common Sense Will Spur Manufactured Housing In Your Market!

June 17th, 2016 No comments

Let’s state the obvious – advancing the MH industry and your place in it – Its all about good, persuasive storytelling.

This isn’t something we just preach – in collaboration with others in operations like yours – we’ve been practicing it for years.

 

 

Notice how each of these stories advances the MH industry, as well as those specific people and operations in the story?!  Notice in the story below how we correct the misguided notion that a modular builders should trash the HUD Code, or vice-versa.  Each needs to be properly respected, tell the facts well, and both will grow.

 

 

We also feature state and other associations doing good work, which helps promote the professionalism and success of our industry.  

 

 

We feature national issues that harm consumers, businesses and those associations which are working on their behalf.  Notice how this next article and video corrects so much of the errors that the Seattle Times/BuzzFeed/Center for Public Integrity and the PBS NewsHour and others have promoted?  

 

 

Some people think that mobile homes of yesteryear have to be thrown under the bus for manufactured housing to advance.  Nonsense!  What has to happen is good storytelling. Those mobile homes have for decades – and many still do – serve millions well.  Celebrating the good, while tackling real issues – that’s how MH advancement takes place.  

 

 

The next story is one that showcases how an engineer – one who owned a conventional house, and also lived for a time in a mobile home, embraced today’s residential style manufactured home.  Think that makes for a good story?  You bet!

 

 

We could go through dozens of examples like these. In every case, those featured in the report can benefit, but also the industry at large benfits.  This is how mutual victories takes place.  

 

 

Recent reports (examples, like from a manufacturer and a community we’re working with) reflect their sales growth.  We can’t divulge private info, but we can share what they have publicly, like this example here, where a happy client is urging others to do the same as they are doing – and benefiting from.  On LinkedIn, we have hundreds of endorsements, because those who apply what we do benefit and see the value.

 

 

This storytelling method isn’t instant or easy at first,it requires planning and good execution. But it is the proven path that other industries and businesses have followed for years.  

The sooner and better you do this too – hopefully in concert with us, because no one else has the same kind of MH industry promoting MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com platforms – the sooner and the better off you and your business will be.

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Thousands of mainstream media websites have picked up ‘good news’ stories about manufactured homes, modular homes, and mobile home living published on MHLivingNews.com. Of course the public will read, see and increasinly over time, be positively influenced about our MH industry.

And while clients benefit more, the industry at large benefits too. That’s what good storytelling looks like! This approach is fair!  This method is so honest, common sense and this is what mutual victories looks like! ##

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

Tony is the most widely known and respected MH marketing services, video producer and industry consultant, as well as the top MH sales trainer in the U.S.. He and his team publish MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com. He is the host of the popular Inside MH Road Show video series.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com and Inside MH video series.
MHI member, MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –
https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Publisher – MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at MHProNews.com/Subscribe. 

Boston Globe Editorial on Manufactured and Modular Homes Solving Affordable Housing Crisis, Revisited

June 11th, 2016 No comments

In a Boston Globe  Editorial dated June 1, 2014, one of the nation’s largest newspapers’ digital edition carried the following article, which advocated for manufactured and modular housing to be used in their city.

We’ll share the entire column, under fair use guidelines, and then comment at the end.

Their headline and article (from their page linked here) is found below, between the — dashed lines.

—  

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THE TERM “manufactured housing” tends to invoke a 65-by-12-foot mobile home plopped down in a trailer park. But the industry has evolved to the point that many housing units assembled in factories are indistinguishable in looks and quality from homes built on site. Multi-family, modular homes built to federal safety standards would look especially good in Boston neighborhoods where middle income people are increasingly priced out of the market. The modular building industry cites cost savings of 10 to 20 percent as compared to conventionally built homes. Those savings would open a lot of doors.

Last week, Mayor Walsh vowed to come up with a comprehensive plan to address the city’s chronic lack of middle-income housing. Many officials consider this housing problem to be biggest single threat to Massachusetts’ economy. At a time when manufacturing businesses are growing again, and even pillars of the knowledge economy require livable options for their back-office workers and support staff, the Boston area is almost totally unaffordable to the middle class. Subsidized-housing programs can only do so much. Walsh needs to look at market-driven solutions. A new zoning initiative to identify key spots in Boston neighborhoods for multi-unit developments would be a good start. But in seeking to drive down construction costs, manufactured housing must be encouraged, as well.

Traditionally, the building trades — which were formerly headed by Walsh himself — have pushed hard for so-called stick-built construction over less-expensive manufacturing techniques. Construction workers may well resent the sight of entire walls with doors and windows intact arriving in Allston, Hyde Park, Dorchester, or other Boston neighborhoods on flatbed trucks from out-of-state factories. But there is room for a workable compromise, and Walsh is in a good position to negotiate it: Manufactured homes could be built in Massachusetts factories with unionized labor. Then, as more area communities take advantage of the economies of scale, construction prices would drop even further. The need for new mid-priced units is vast throughout eastern Massachusetts; in the city of Boston itself, some 30,000 of them need to be produced over the next decade just to meet existing demands.

The Walsh administration, like the Menino administration before it, rightly worries that Boston is becoming a bifurcated city where the very rich live in market housing and the very poor live in subsidized units. And once that happens, much of the city’s character goes out the window. The South End, Charlestown, Back Bay, Fenway, and other northern sections of the city are considered beyond reach for families who are not prepared to spend at least $3,500 in rent. In downtown Boston, according to a recent analysis, a family earning $80,000 annually could afford just 1.7 percent of the homes sold.

The price of new housing can be reduced in two ways: By streamlining the approval process and reducing the cost of construction. A concerted effort to rezone Boston’s neighborhoods would ensure that local opposition to multi-unit developments would be resolved before the projects are actually on the table, greatly reducing delays and giving developers and the banks who finance them far greater certainty.

For their part, developers will have to utilize less-expensive construction techniques. Mid-rise construction, for example, is being used increasingly to alleviate housing shortages in cities with high housing costs. The new model calls for the construction of wood-frame, code-compliant buildings of up to five stories on a base of steel and concrete. Choosing wood over steel as the major structural material can represent savings of 10 percent or more in hard costs and significantly reduce construction times, according to industry analysts. And the framing technique is sufficiently versatile to allow for the construction of dozens of housing units on modestly sized sites.

In the early 20th century, triple deckers became the symbol of Boston’s striving middle class. The construction style maximized living space on small, rectangular lots. In the early 21st century, the new symbol of middle class housing could be modular homes or reasonably-priced condos and apartments built in wood-frame structures above retail outlets. It would help preserve middle-class life and keep Boston one of the nation’s most vibrant cities. ##

—  

I can’t get too deeply into Boston’s politics, the Globe’s editors will have a superior experience in their city than what I might offer, beyond saying that what they describe is rather common in many major U.S. cities. Union labor in often Democratically controlled cities chocking off the prefab/modular/manufactured home options are one reason why housing costs are so high.

But the Globe suggested a solution for that issue.

Land use – zoning related issues – are another factor that drives up housing costs.

While striving to navigate their own realities, the Boston Globe’s editors nailed a number of facts that ought to be carefully considered on this, the 40th anniversary of the birth of federally regulated manufactured housing.

As factory-built home industry pros know, today’s manufactured homes evolved from – but are not – the mobile homes of yesteryear.

Yet as the Globe’s editor’s wisely noted, many think of factory building in terms of those older trailers from roughly the 1930s to the 1950s, and the mobile homes from the 1950s to the mid 1970s. The video below illustrates that evolution, and the original article with that video is found linked here.

Others may have experienced only entry level manufactured housing, which while important to millions, ought to be understood as just one of the ways manufactured homes can be provided to the public, since residential style manufactured homes can rival the looks and quality of conventional housing for about half the price.

The Solution is Hiding in Plain Sight

In cities, suburbs and towns across America, there is a growing need for quality affordable living. Federally regulated and preemptive manufactured housing is an obvious solution for millions, and somewhat more costly modulars could work well in other municipal settings.

The false impressions about those off-site building construction options can be cleared up in part by sharing videos and stories, like those linked on this page and so many others that are found on MHLivingNews.com.

One example of an informed household – an engineer and his professional wife – who opted to buy a manufactured home – illustrates that the trailers of old have evolved, just as bag phones evolved into modern smart phones. See that video linked from the image below.

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Jerry McKibben is an engineer; he and his professional wife decided to buy a residential style manufactured home. That video interview can be seen at this link here, or by clicking the image above.

But other steps need to compliment videos. Factory tours along with tours through residential style neighborhoods that look like other houses but are built in a factory, all of those steps should be part of the process of making manufactured homes the acceptable and embraced choice by home seekers and public officials alike.

Until manufactured housing professionals – in concert with the public officials, housing professionals, forward thinking MH industry leaders and a public that needs to be exposed to the wonders of today’s manufactured housing – pull together and act, tens of billions in economic opportunity are being lost every year.

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Those opportunities would create good jobs, as the Boston Globe correctly points out. It could reduce the pressures on subsidized housing programs too.

Embracing the manufactured and modular home systems of building can restore the American Dream of home ownership that is appealing, eco-friendly and affordable. May the Boston Globe’s thoughtful column cause others across the nation to give this issue some serious thought that leads to action that yields mutual victories for all involved. ##

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Tony Kovach is nation’s leading publisher, consultant, trainer and expert witness leading to the rebirth of safe, appealing, affordable and eco-friendly modern manufactured homes.  Tony is a proud part of the team that publishes MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com, divisions of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.

Marketing, Sales, Management, Metrics and 2016 Resolutions

January 6th, 2016 No comments

Let’s start with the obvious. This is an MH industry marketing and sales focused blog. And in every new year, owners, managers, associations and those with a fire in their belly who want to improve their front line performance ponder and then resolve to learn and execute ways that improve their bottom lines.

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If you’re in that group, you’ve come to the right place to start 2016.

Improvement begins with an honest assessment. Where you are now, vs. where you want to be.

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Image credit, MHMarketingSalesManagement, LATonyKovach.com

A serious desire for Improvement begins with an admission that things can be better. That means, you must be open to change. You know the old saying, if you keep doing the same things in the same ways, you should expect the same kind of results.

Magic or Metrics?

So this blog isn’t about magic. It’s about measurable realities, and how you can change them for the better.

In sales or business, those stuck in a rut often want ‘more good leads,’ or ‘easier financing.’

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The image above is from the Chicago SunTimes NewsGroup, an article we managed to get into their popular real estate section.  Imagine having a news article that is favorable towards manaufactured housing in a major metro newspaper, can you see how that could be good for a business like yours?  This above was one of the clients and locations we’ve worked with in or near the Chicago Metro. Articles like the above rang their phones hundreds of times from prospects wanting to learn more about today’s manufactured homes.

Work with our clients is routinely done with confidentiality agreements.

What we can point to are very public marketing – including what you are looking at right now. The #1 MH professional publication for the last 5+ years has been MHProNews.com, we are the run-away #1, by a wide margin.

The same is true for ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, which is the Number 1 public and consumer focused image/educational website in America.

Another PUBLIC Example of Tackling a Tough MH Industry Topic

Let me start by saying that Clayton Homes and their affiliates were NOT clients of ours with respect to the example below. We tackled this subject for a variety of reasons, the among them being that we believe the Seattle Times/BuzzFeed attack on Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes and their lenders is an unfair hit piece that harms the industry at large.

It also provides an example of a measurable result.

Below is an example of an actual – think metrics – result from our recent article being picked up by local media outlets across the U.S..

Remember, what follows is an example of an unpaid effort. Imagine the potential of what we can do for operations, professionals and organizations across in MH. Scan the list, click links you want abs then jump to the end for your invite to grow in 2016.

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Our story on the Seattle Times/BuzzFeed attack on Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes and their lenders was picked up by dozens of news and special interests sources, including American Banking News, click link above or here.

Media, Special Interest, Publications and other websites that picked up our take on this Seattle Times/BuzzFeed attack on Buffett and Clayton story:

In goes without saying that as cool as this looks, one such response to a vicious attack story isn’t a campaign. But we are big believers that some POSITIVE, GOOD response to a media attack is better than a weak or no response!

So what you see above and below gives clear examples to objective thinkers. These are food for thought, something to consider, that may inspire ideas as part of a broader campaign for any operation big enough to want to truly market themselves in an area, state or nationally. Internet, social media, email, regular media (Public Relations or PR), SuperCharged Marketing and Sales that attracts customers with cash or good credit – there are lots of things we know, and some or all of them could be tools for you to grow in 2016.

Defining Yourself and Your Operation In Your Market(s)

It bears repeating until it becomes an instictive part of everyone in the MH industry. You either define yourself (in your market), or others will define you. If you allow others to define you, they will often do so to your disadvantage.

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Graphic credit – MHMarketingSalesManagement.com and LATonyKovach.com. To learn more about the E in PEP, click here or the image above.

Others are defining our industry daily, so more MHPros have to step up to the plate and start defining ourselves boldly, honestly and routinely.

In marketing, sales, consulting, content creation, video, education and related management contract services, who is best known and providing the clear cut results? Who else is doing what we do for independent or corporate players?

In 2016, resolve to signficantly – even dramatically – improve what you do.  

We are booking dates for our ever-popular INSIDE MH Road Show – which yields videos like the one above that can be used by the client on their site, as well as getting it on our industry leading website that boosts the MH Image and Education.  While others talk about image or educating the public, we are doing it. You can be a part of that effort, or you can have an entirely different plan.

What’s your resolution?  Is it to grow your results? Just as a fitness coach can help you, we can too, and often its for the same dollars as you are already budgeting for with someone else. We do it a variety of services in collaboration with firms of all sizes.  Because we know the industry, we are your leading resource for marketing and sales services – and success.  

We invite the forward thinkers and doers looking to boost bottom line results to contact and join with us. Come by our booth in Louisville, #115. See us in Tunica.  Can’t wait?  Pick up the phone and call 863-213-4090, email or click the link below to learn more about what others who know first hand say. ##

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNews

Tony is the most widely known and respected MH marketing and sales trainer in the U.S.. Tony will be presenting on SuperCharging Your Marketing and Sales for 2016, during the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, see details, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Integrating, Marketing Sales and PEP

October 10th, 2015 No comments

The MH Industry’s ongoing need for an integrated approach to marketing, sales and PEP was on full display during the NY Housing Association’s annual meeting. As is common in association functions, legal and legislative updates, business meetings and event sponsors were on the agenda. New homes were available for members and the pubic to tour. Breakfast, lunch, reception, dinner and awards provided lots of opportunities for networking among members and guests. Nancy Geer and company did a fine job, as they so routinely do.

Yours truly was featured for the marketing and sales speaker.

pep-protect-educate-promote-posted-om-mhpronews-comIdeally, marketing and sales are not about exaggeration or manipulation. The truth well told is the best marketing and sales approach you can have.

Associations routinely attract the best, plus those who seek to improve their performance.  That makes for a good audience for someone like me.

As a related report dramatically demonstrated, part of my presentation to the members anticipated the practical challenges that can arise from public officials.

Challenges to the industry’s image – which impacts your sales results – can also come from the media, academia or other sources.

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The higher volume MH decades are a reminder
of what is possible today.  When other operations of your size successfully
do what we do, teach and preach, that means you can too.
Graphic credit, Ross Kinzler, WHA.

 The facts from my power point shared at the New York Housing Alliance’s meeting are all proof of the amazing potential for our product.  But that potential will not fall into your lap!  Like silver or gold, it must be mined.  But mining this can be easier and more profitable than a silver or gold mine, because everyone needs a quality place to live.

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Marketing does not take place in a vacuumWhat makes MH different than almost any product of service you can name, is how widely misunderstood it is.

Let’s rephrase that point to underscore it.  With a car, boat, RV, cell, clothing, house or apartment, you have broad acceptance.

By contrast, the MH marketer’s job is complicated by the lack of a positive, broad acceptance by the public.

We have a great value, but most people are stuck in 30-50 year old stereotypes or believe things that may have once been true, but are not true of MH today.

Challenges are Opportunity in Disguise

Thus there is a crying need for an MH trade media that provides a healthy, proper respect for MH Homeowners, experts and professionals who know the product best, and who can say why they love their homes or the MH product.

When public officials have a better sense of how and why so many MH owners love their homes, that’s good for those owners, local MH businesses as well as the broader industry.

When public officials begin to grasp that the affordable housing crisis can be solved via the proper understanding of unsubsidized MH, they are more likely to get out of the way, and let MH pros do their jobs properly.

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Graphic above from Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

The Public Official’s Vantage Point

 

Think about this fact. Officials are most often contacted by those who have a complaint. Human nature says that over time, that can tend to skew for an official the reality of how MH serves millions of people so very well.

But the reality is millions of MH owners love their homes.  The report we published, linked here, shows how few complaints there are today on HUD Code homes, in a perfect world, that should be the headline!

A similar negative bias can happen with the media.

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“If it bleeds, it leads.” Reporters tend to

report bad news. Graphic credit – LifeAsAHuman.

For example, when the only stories a reporter tends to cover are the old pre-HUD code mobile homes that burn down, you as media might be shocked that today’s manufactured homes (MH) are proven safer against fires than a site built house is.

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Education and promotion of the new realities must become a standard part of all that you as an MH pro should do.

When you are part of the promotion and education, you’ll sell more homes too.

Fix the Image though Education, Or Fight More Battles

The industry has only a Hobson’s choice; to fight those stigmas and outdated tales with the truth or face ever more regulatory and media hurdles.

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What better way to tell that story than via videos with those who know the homes, because they live in one?

Or what better way can you start to change the image with public officials than by showing an interview with an independent house inspector who has inspected thousands of houses, and hundreds of HUD Code MH, and then says that MH is consistently better built than a conventional house is?

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Or why not showcase an interview with the top public official who was in charge of the HUD Code home program, extolling the virtues and value of MH!

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Third Part Validation

Anyone in sales knows the value of good referrals and positive third party messages. That’s one reason why social media is so popular.

It is also why businesses loves to get positive media coverage.

What our operation has done is establish a new foundation for businesses – and thus the industry’s – rebirth.  Our work doesn’t take place in a vacuum either.  Good association efforts are ideally a book end and complement to what good trade media does.  Associations play a key role, which our work in turn supports through compelling truth telling.

In a perfect world, good trade associations support the trade media, and the trade media showcases the important work that associations are doing.

Automotive, RV, tech or other trade media begins with an often unstated but implied premise that the product or service they are covering has value!  It’s not a secret, it’s a given.  Journalists understand that and it is not an issue.

Precisely because trade media is independent of other firms or associations, media will look at them in that light.  Thus trade media can influence the conversation as media.

What has been widely lacking for MH prior to MHLivingNews/MHProNews, is a strong combination of pro-Industry trade media, as well as pro-consumer coverage that highlights all that is good about MH.  We cover bad news too, but we also cover the positive stories that public officals, the media and the general public need to see and hear.

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With the complete package of supportive trade media, plus professional marketing and sales training, you can end up with SuperCharged results for your bottom line.

Stop and Think

People tend to begin the buying process with a mix of interest and skepticism. They want the result, but may not yet be sure of the specific home or firm that they want to do business with. Or they may be curious about MH, but are not yet ‘sold.’

What our marketing and sales training does is create a supportive backdrop to everything else that you as a community operator or retailer, builder, etc. do.

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Once a perspective likes you, your location, home, etc. and have an interest, if they search for news on Manufactured Home Living, our website pops up as a support to all else that you do.

That can and already does routinely make a difference with a consumer on the fence.

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It can also make a difference with public officials and other media. When news outlets such as Reuters picks up a positive story about MH from MHLivingNews – that carries weight.

What you and all industry pros need is to work with us to scale that kind of positive outcome!

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The more people who discover MHLivingNews.com, the more homes there will be sold. That’s good for the buyer, the industry and public officials.

That’s good for pros like you.

So when you need:

  • A website,
  • Videos,
  • Marketing,
  • Sales recruiting,
  • Sales Training,
  • Consulting, etc…

…who are you going to call?

Why not call the only operation in all of manufactured housing that provides you with the background and foreground support that you and everyone in MH needs!

That’s what we do, day by day, making it better for you to be in this great MH industry. We are better off working together.

Associations, you and us are all better off when we’re working together, it’s good for the consumer, the industry and you. That’s the facts! We’re sticking with it. ##

LATonyKovachPresentingIndustryMembers-MHProNewsBy L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Words Matter – Mobile, Trailer vs. Manufactured Home Marketing, Sales and Management

September 20th, 2015 No comments

Every savvy marketer knows that your choice of words matter. Any thinking, successful sales pro should knows that too. It stands to reason that management should also be aware of that reality.  Sadly, we see widespread evidence that much if not most of MH fails to grasp a truth uttered by no less a figure than real estate and manufactured home community mogul, Sam Zell.

“Pencil head, it’s not a trailer park.” – Sam Zell

Let’s press on and say, when an MH pro calls our industry’s homes “mobile homes,” they are making a mistake. Yet across the spectrum, we see players of all sizes make the same excuse the media often does.  ‘People say mobile homes, a number of my customers say ‘trailer house,’ why should I correct my customers?  Why shouldn’t I just go with the flow?’

Because words matter.  Facts matter.  Image matters.

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Change always occurs, every moment of every day. The question is, will you embrace change or get run over by it? To see and hear great insights from Jim Clayton, check out the in depth video interview we did with him, linked here.

When we do out Inside MH Road Show, we often have home owners who struggle with that same issue.  They tell us off camera, they ‘don’t want to be known as “trailer trash.”’

Ok. Then correct your usage of words. We in MH ought to support and lead that effort.

There are people with weak will and weak minds.  I trust that doesn’t include you, because only those looking to advance – which requires will and intellect – are going to read this.

Before we start an interview, I routinely chat with the person that will be on camera with me as the videographer is setting up. One day, a man was saying mobile home this, mobile home that.

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Want to understand your customer base better? Check out videos like this one with Dave Cavinder, real interviews with real MH home owners.

I asked him (Dave) a question. If you had to sell your home, which do you think would bring you more money?  Calling your residence a

  • Trailer house
  • Mobile home or
  • Manufactured home?

For virtually all of the interview, that man who spent his whole life saying mobile home began to say, Manufactured Home. By the way, the interview was delightful, a real hoot!  Check it out, linked here.

There is a code difference, which means there is a legal difference, with a manufactured home.  We have built no mobile homes in the U.S. since June 15, 1976. You Don’t have to sacrifice SEO to use the right terminology! When you elevate our industry, your lift location and your self up when you properly say ‘manufactured home.’  The short version?

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To see the exclusive insights and comments for MH Pros from Sam Zell, Point of the Spear and You’ve Got to Have Confidence, click here.

“Pencil head, it’s not a trailer park.” – Sam Zell, Chairman, ELS

Attend one of our upcoming marketing and sales seminars, New York is up next.  If your team needs a speaker or trainer, discover why we get such high ratings from those who work with us.  If the bottom line matters, and it does, you’ll be glad you did. ##

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.