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Sunshine Homes to Unveil Next Gen Tech for Home Shoppers at 2017 Louisville Show

January 17th, 2017 Comments off
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Sunshine Homes logo is their intellectual property, and is provided here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews.com.

3D Virtual tours have become a next-generation standard in digital real estate marketing.  So much so, that millions of conventional house, condo or townhouse buyers have come to expect them.

Considering the fact that new and ‘existing’ (pre-owned) site-built houses out-sell manufactured homes by millions of units annually,” said veteran industry consultant and trade publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, “factory-built housing professionals who haven’t already bought into this new technology should take a first or second look.”

brad-nelms-manufacturedhomes-com-credit-mhpronews-comSources tell the Daily Business News that Sunshine Homes will be unveiling their new iPad kiosks at the 2017 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

MHProNews is told that Sunshine’s branded iPad kiosks will be provided to select independent retailers/communities after the event.

Those iPad kiosks will clearly set a sales person showing a qualified customer 3D images apart from those sales agents who are only showing a prospect a photo copy of a floor plan,” said Brad Nelms, with ManufacturedHomes.com.

With the Sunshine Homes branded iPad kiosk, Manufactured Home Retailers and Community professionals can provide a visually rich and engaging 3D virtual tour of dozens of models that are available,” Nelms said.

That can be done at the fraction of the cost of more complex systems,” Nelms said. 

This next-gen system extends any retailer or community’s impact and options for demanding buyers. Regardless of the number of models you normally stock, this technology allows you to effectively demo other floorplans and designs that aren’t currently in your inventory.  It’s a total no-brainer for retailers, and home shoppers love it.

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From Sunshine Homes website, provided under fair use guidelines.

Building on a Tradition of Service

Sunshine Homes has a long-standing tradition – dating back to their founding in 1971 –  as one of the industry’s most successful independent producers of residential-style, Energy Star ® rated manufactured and modular homes.

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Jerri Lynn Campbell.

They’re the best,” said Jerri Lynn Campbell, an award-winning retailer at Southern Colonel Homes.  The Campbells themselves own a Sunshine Home. Her husband George told MHProNews that Sunshine Homes gives their retailers unparalleled service, and does the same for their retail home buyers.

Sunshine Homes gives an independent every opportunity to succeed,” another Sunshine retailer said in a video interview. View that MH veteran’s comments, linked here.

What is Affordable Varies By Customer

Affordability obviously varies by customer, their income level, and ability to pay for or finance a home,” Kovach said. “One reason we periodically publish articles that point out that the rich, famous and screen stars are buying upscale manufactured homes (see a recent millionaires and manufactured home report, linked here) is because that opens the eyes of other potential buyers at every income level.”  

“But another reason is that there are actually more well-qualified buyers than there are those with weak or poor credit.  Once more, the proof is in the numbers,” said Kovach, a multiple award-winning industry veteran, who is a nominee for the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

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Good credit is far more common than bad credit, says Kovach – and this graphic by Value Penguin is one of hundreds of such charts that prove it. “RVs outsell manufactured homes by 5 to 1, and yet that is an optional purchase for most RV buyers. Manufactured homes serve a basic human need, quality affordable homes. So why do RV dealers see so much good credit, and manufactured home sellers see so much poor credit? It’s due to the kind of marketing and customers being attracted,” Kovach said. 

There were over 5 million existing real estate home sales in 2016.  There were over 500,000 new single family site-built houses sold vs. some 80,000 new manufactured homes. Those better qualified buyers tend to shop with realtors, builders, and by owners. So manufactured housing sellers see a disproportionate number of prospects who have trouble getting financed.”

“What Sunshine is doing is providing independent retailers and communities with the tools that normally only major corporations offer,” said Nelms. “They are leveling the playing field for independents, by offering their retailers, builder/developers and communities tools and professional coaching that help motivated sellers reach more and better qualified customers.

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New single family home sales in 2016.  Credits, Trading Economics, based upon U.S. Census Bureau Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rates (SAAR).

Tight Conventional House Inventories Spell Opportunity

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Stan Posey, Sales Manager, Sunshine Homes.

In an new article by Stan Posey, sales manager at Sunshine Homes, quoted Myles Udland, writing for Business Insider.  Udland said, Earlier…we wrote at length about the decline in US housing inventory being, in effect, the next crisis for the housing market.

Udland said, “the lowest price points in the market are being disproportionately affected, preventing millennials from buying homes and pushing up rent inflation.”

That challenge for real estate agents and housing shoppers spells opportunity for those MH retailers and communities who specifically target and prepare for engaging those conventional buyers.

Those better-qualified buyers often interact differently than less-qualified customers, who are often looking for the cheapest house on the market, which may happen to be built in a factory. See Posey’s new article that spells out the ways Sunshine Homes supports independents, so they can tap into more of those cash and good credit buyer opportunities, at this link here.

Is there a place for entry level, ‘shade-and-shelter’ product that attracts entry-level customers? Of course,” says Nelms.  “But the biggest future growth potential is in the residential style manufactured homes, and that’s what Sunshine specializes in.”

We’ve worked with several retailers and communities who now sell more upscale, tape-and-textured model homes – and at a better margin – than they do VOG, ‘shade-and-shelter’ product,” Kovach said. ” If you are a community operator, do you want that well-qualified resident or the one that is just barely able to qualify?”

“If you keep doing the same thing, the same way, well – you know you’ll get the same type of results,” said Nelms. Growth comes from embracing new and proven methods, without throwing out what already works.”

Exaggerated Claims?

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Image credit, Better Business Bureau (BBB), provided under fair use guidelines.

Are glowing videos and reports about service by Sunshine Homes to their retailers and home owners exaggerated?

Not according to the to findings of the independent Better Business Bureau, which gives Red Bay, AL based Sunshine Homes their top rating, A+.

The family-owned and operated firm has sold over 88,000 homes through a network of independent dealers that operate in protected territories in about half of the United States.

The Sunshine Homes model home display, including their new, branded, iPad kiosks, are located next to the exhibitor booths, to the left of the main show floor entrance, see map and arrow below. ##

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Gary Dobbs, l, Lindsey Bostick, c, John Bostick, r, with Sunshine Homes at a ball game.

Related:

For a recent article on attracting Millennials, including insights from Sunshine Homes’ Lindsey Bostick, click here.

For a Cup of Coffee with John Bostick, owner and president of Sunshine Homes, click here.

For a Cup of Coffee with Lindsey Bostick, click here.

(Image credits are as shown.)

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Resident Councilman leads charge for new law that Manufactured Home Community Owners, Industry Professionals say Harms All

August 29th, 2016 2 comments
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Dover councilman Fred Neil stands in his front yard in north Dover. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

It started last fall when we issued a permit to allow a manufactured home on a regular single-family lot,” said Ann Marie Townshend, director of Dover’s Planning and Community Development. “It got some people upset so we fixed the definition of single-family dwellings so that couldn’t happen again,” reported Mike Finney for the DelawareStateNews.

The “…story out of Dover, DE is yet another example of a blatant agenda and discrimination against our industry,” manufactured home veteran Brad Nelms told MHProNews. “More importantly, this is discrimination against affordable housing and the individuals who live in manufactured or pre-fabricated homes.”

Finney states the city of Dover reportedly recognized that their mobile and manufactured home ordinance was outdated in terminology and in other ways, so an updated 20-page revision of standards and verbiage known as Ordinance #2026-16 was enacted for Dover.

Townshend said the process began in Nov. 2015 and was passed unanimously by the members of city

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Ann Marie Townshend.

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Marty Lavin, JD.

council at their Aug. 8, 2016 meeting. Attorney and award-winning manufactured housing professional Marty Lavin pointed to Dover’s ordinance as an example of how “the HUD Code has become a deadly “discrimination code,” especially as it applies to manufactured home financing. But it doesn’t end there.”

As most MH industry professionals know, “the HUD Code” are the strict, federally preemptive standards that govern manufactured housing’s construction and safety standards; the trailer house era and mobile home days are decades in the rear-view mirror.

Dover Councilman Fred Neil, a resident of Wild Meadows, active adult manufactured home community near the Dover International Speedway, described the ordinance this way, “It’s a licensing law, and while it’s only $25 per home on a lot, the fact is if [the community owners] don’t do what they have to do, you can lift their license and put them out of business.”

Finney said Neil believes the now-required annual licensing of manufactured and mobile homes will improve things for residents.

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This street view of Wild Meadows reflects what many modern manufactured homes look like, with not a single mobile home visible in this picture; image credit, Google Maps.

New Regulation – helpful or harmful in the long run?

A Daily Business News brief in April, 2015 reported that the location’s operator, December Corporation, was denied a site fee increase under the rent justification law, which the company said was necessary to do more than ordinary improvements and maintenance at Wild Meadows.

The experience of rent control in California may provide clues to what’s coming in Dover.

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Doug Johnson, credit, Western Manufactured Home Communities.

Doug Johnson, of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association – which represents manufactured home communities and mobile home park owners in various issues and legal disputes – opposes rent control. “It’s very complicated and it pits the owners against the residents,” Johnson said. “We don’t believe rent control works — it raises mobile home prices and is expensive for the taxpayer.”

Government imposed regulations and fees are leading contributors to why California is the most expensive place to live in

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Sheila Dey, Executive Director, Western Manufactured Home Communities, photo credit, PublicCEO.

the U.S., placing homeownership out of reach for many middle-class Californians,” said Sheila Dey, Executive Director of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMHCA), speaking about a similar scenario, linked here.

 

MHProNews previously reported a case out of Canada, where CBC TV provided a look at an actual example of rent control’s long term impact on manufactured home residents and owners alike.  That video is below.

Meanwhile, for some residents, it’s the fear of the impact of rapid-rent hikes that spark the concerns and calls for rent control.

Insider Report from Delaware

This Fred Neil has been a thorn in our side for 14 years now,” an informed source in Delaware told MHProNews. “He is now a City of Dover councilman and he has also been active on the state-wide tenant association for years.”

The source stated in confidence that there are a handful of communities in the City of Dover, which are in the early stages of planning a legal challenge to the city’s new

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Brad Nelms, MH Industry veteran, photo credit, MHProNews.

ordinance. The tension, it seems, won’t be resolved for either side of the struggle over the new ordinance.

I believe more than anything that these injustices should be motivation for us as an industry to do everything we can to elevate our brand identity,” Nelms, as part of a longer statement on this and a related issue linked here, stated. “If we continue to be complacent, history will continue to repeat itself and we will see more and more zoning laws that harm and hinder our much needed American manufactured home industry.” ##

(Image credits are as shown.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

(Editor’s Note: Matthew Silver is taking some much needed and well-earned time off, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach will be helping fill the Daily Business News role in the interim).

Article submitted by L. A. “Tony” Kovach, to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.