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What’s Your Location’s Potential? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Marketing Sales Meeting

June 25th, 2018 Comments off
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Graphic design by MHProNews.com.

 Every business ought to periodically look at their performance metrics. 

That reality check could be Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annually as well as in units of 3, 5, 10 or even 20 years. 

Then every business, person, and operation should ask themselves, ‘what’s the potential for my business or location?

Among the most common mistakes in MHVille is thinking of “the competition” only in terms of other HUD Code or modular housing operations.  While that’s a significant metric, isn’t the broader housing market’s far larger – and thus bigger opportunities – a more important measure? Aren’t more sales lost to other forms of housing, than manufactured homes?  The obvious  and honest answer is sadly, yes.

 

Limits of Growth?

There are practical or logistical constraints on every operation. A factory, using a hypothetical example, may only be able to produce 14 floors during a 9 hour day. With two full  shifts, could they produce 28 floors? Logistical questions would determine how possible that might be.

A land-lease manufactured home community has specific limitations, based upon how many current or potential home sites it has.

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Get your motor running smoothly and efficiently.  Graphic design by MHProNews.com.

 

A manufactured home retailer has space limitations too. But unlike a community, there are several ways that a creative retailer can overcome space limits to maximize their potential sales.

 

 

Think Win-Win 

Every transaction ought to have mutual victories as its goal.

Some prospective customers reveal early on that they won’t be easily satisfied on price or could be hyper-picky on service. That may be a customer to politely pass on.  

Normal customers know you have to make a profit. Set the correct, candid expectations, and the opportunities for a win-win will follow. With mutual victories, honesty, and good service, referrals are a natural.

 

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Some 75% (+/-) of the manufactured home industry’s websites have design flaws that limit potential sales. That includes some new and fancy looking websites.  If your website is doing the job, click here above to learn more.

 

What’s Your Potential? Cooked in a Squat

Self-limiting thinking or group-think are regrettably common among many in the industry. It takes a special kind of humility – and courage – to ask, what could my business or location achieve?  

That kind of open, honest questioning and willingness to learn new ideas can leads to far higher results and profits. And to us, that always means profits ethically obtained, with happy customers and thus sustainability. 

Often, it is relatively modest adjustments that are needed to move towards tapping your operations or locations potential.  

But sometimes, a serious shakeup is required.

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Need to recruit, motivate, retrain or coach your team to new sales levels? Click here or call the number below to learn more.

What’s your potential?

In broad terms, given the affordable housing crisis, it can be 500% to 1,000% more than the industry currently collectively enjoys.

 

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Facts are facts. They are neutral measures of reality. Once facts and their causes are understood, then the opportunities can be tapped. What the above means is that the typical retailer could potentially be selling 10x (+/-) more homes. a typical market

Want to get there? Give me a call, or send a message. We know the secret sauces for tasty results.

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That’s “Innovation, Information, and Inspiration for Industry Professionals.” (C)  Ready for the next steps?  Click or call. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, management, commentary, and analysis.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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

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Is Your Operation a David vs. a Goliath? 4 Keys to Success, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Marketing and Sales Meeting

June 18th, 2018 Comments off
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The marketplace can get serious. What do you do?

Is your manufactured housing location or operation a small – or even tiny – David fighting a metaphorical Goliath?

 

The featured image above cuts to the chase of the ancient Biblical drama of David and Goliath. Let’s just say that despite the difference in size, plus long odds, David wins.

We don’t advocate beheading a competitor, even if that other firm has a bullseye aimed at you.

That said, most of the businesses in this industry are smaller businesses ‘battling’ in the marketplace against much larger operations. What to do?

 

How is Sustainable Success Achieved?

There are several questions that every owner, manager or investor ought to be asking themselves on a regular basis.

What are the factors that allow a small firm to outperform, or at least level the planting field, against a giant?  Let’s review some of the elements of success selling against a bigger company.

1) Outmaneuver them. Smaller firms can be more nimble. Why not learn something new that allows you to tap a market they are missing?

2) Be more motivated. I’ve personally spent most of my 25+ year manufactured home (MH) career doing what others thought couldn’t be done. That includes working with smaller firms in a given market competing against larger ones. Working with clients, we routinely dramatically raised sales, often outperforming the local giant’s location. If others can do it successfully, that means you can too.

3) Be better informed. First, let me stress that in under a week, we can take a newcomer to Manufactured Housing, and have them outselling many an MH industry veteran. BTW, being informed doesn’t mean you have to know everything to sell something. It is how you use what you know that can set your career and performance apart. Learn the basics, the fundamentals for success, and build on that from now on. I’ve seen MH industry sales veterans bore a buyer to death, and lose a sale they could have made. Use what you know with precision. Which brings us to the next point.

4) Don’t overkill.  A skilled surgeon may use a laser to make a very precise, and tiny cut. Precise use of the right – even limited – information, can yield success. By the way, a veteran who is open to learning new ways still has the advantage over a newbie.  Both the newcomer, and the veteran have potential advantages. Each has obvious shortfalls.

The foundation of all success are the use of good, proven, basic and honest principles. No one sells everyone. When the correct principles are put properly to work, they yield the desired outcome a good percentage of the time.

For example. If you are currently closing 1 in 25, and you raised that closing ratio to 2, 3 or 4 out of 25, you have the jet fuel needed for sustained success.

The bonus for today is point #5.  The right marketing and sales plan, plus honorable discipline.  The other guys must not be doing this, or they’d be selling up a storm, with loads of happy customers.

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Got a budget? Click here or the image above to learn more.

Can you outperform, or at least level the playing field against Goliath? In Wisconsin, those who know would give a one-word answer.

Youbetcha. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, management, commentary, and analysis.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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

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“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

April 7th, 2018 Comments off
RedmondNewMoonTrailerHouseMobileHomeLucyDesiLongLongTrailerMovieStillTailreHouseTraumaDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryRedmondNewMoonTrailerHouseMobileHomeLucyDesiLongLongTrailerMovieStillTailreHouseTraumaDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsMHProNews

A Redmond New Moon mobile home, which today would be part of Champion Homes. Still from the movie, “The Long, Long Trailer.” see clips of the video, below.

Misunderstood.

 

Perhaps no other industry which has a product that boasts 22 million daily users is as misunderstood as the Manufactured Housing Industry in 21st Century America.

DarrenKrolowskiDataCompJLTAssocMHVillageEVPCreditDataComp.

Darren Krolewski, MHV.

At the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Darren Krolewski exemplified the problem, when he told attendees that they can ask some adult about a “manufactured home,” and they often have “no clue what that means.”

Krolewski is not alone in that experience.

Part of that misunderstanding can be captured in the irony – the tragedies – illuminated in the routine misuse by media or others of the words, “trailer house,” and “trailer park.”

For millions, those words are synonymous with “trailer trash.” Not many want to be thought of as trailer trash, one of the last acceptable put-downs of the 21st Century. After interviewing many, often on video, it is clearly an emotional trauma for them.

When tens of millions of potential buyers don’t understand the manufactured home product, of course it’s acceptance as a mainstream form of housing is compromised.

There are opportunities that can arise from that understanding. But to tap them, one must take a fresh look, and begin by clearly grasping the cause before the cure can be understood, or applied.

MHVille’s “Trailer House Trauma” is not the only explanation why so relatively few manufactured homes are being sold today, but it is one of them.

 

Lucy and Desi – Flashback to When a Trailer House Was Classy and Cool

If you’ve ever watched the Lucy and Desi comedy movie, “The Long, Long Trailer” then you realize that when you flashback in time to the early 1950s when that film was produced, it was often upscale people who bought a mobile home or ‘trailer house.’

 

 

The reason it was called a ‘trailer’ is because it could be pulled behind many a car, or pickup, as is often demonstrated in the movie.

Note in the chart below how high the sales levels of mobile homes were in the 1950s through the early 1970s?

Image and understanding aren’t everything, but they are a key part of acceptance.

So, “The Long, Long Trailer movie certainly didn’t hurt the sales of mobile homes.

 

Fast Forward to the 1990s.

Now, hop in your De Lorean, and flash-forward from the 1950s to the 1990s.

The manufactured housing industry was hitting its most recent peak. Several problematic challenges were in motion, including poorly underwritten manufactured home chattel loans. 2 decades later, that’s another problem that still haunts the industry with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Wall Street.

But why?

There was a bigger bloodbath in conventional housing’s varied meltdowns, the most recent and memorable one being the bubble that burst in 2008. Conventional and other lending came back for mainstream homes, why not for manufactured homes?

Part of the reason the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing, rural, and undeserved markets was passed by Congress in 2008 was precisely the “poor paper” image that manufactured home chattel loans unfairly represented. Some independents in the industry realized that they needed Congress to act, to force federally chartered Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) lenders to support America’s most unsubsidized form of affordable home ownership.

After all, isn’t it discriminatory to robustly support mainstream housing, and not give equal opportunity for supporting manufactured homes?

But another issue for manufactured housing in the 1990s was the brewing “image issue.”

It was exacerbated when President Bill Clinton’s advisor James Carville, as a red herring on that administration’s simmering sex scandals, quipped “Drag a $100 bill through a trailer park, you never know what you will find.”

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” James Carville, Clinton Strategist

That comment by Carville went viral.

It’s haunted the industry ever since. In hindsight, one might ask, why didn’t the industry respond?

Carville’s calculated comment was a clearly bigoted, prejudicial statement that targeted the millions of Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-code manufactured homes (MH) — and by extension — the industry that serves them.  Not addressing the slander was arguably a mistake.

In the 1990s, the RV Industry – which began to separate from the MH industry during the mobile home (MH) era – launched and sustained since then their “Go RVing” image campaign. The manufactured housing (MH) tested marketing campaigns at times and regions, like ones done in California, or the Pacific Northwest. But those efforts were not sustained. Nor was there ever a coordinated, national MH campaign in the days when the industry’s producers were flush with cash.

So, the RV production chart reflects the fact that towable and motorized recreational vehicles (RVs) outsell manufactured homes today by more than 5 to 1. Yet RVs cost far more per square foot than even the higher priced manufactured homes. RVs are for most a luxury item, with many RVs not necessarily used for full-time living.  To rephrase, the Go RVing campaign has worked.

But that doesn’t imply that the same would work for manufactured housing.  That said, doing nothing is also not acceptable.

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RVs are but one reminder than manufactured housing (MH) is nowhere near its potential.

 

 

Me Too?” Cures and Opportunities Begin with Understanding

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The above is a collage of some images from Ken Corbin’s presentation at the manufactured housing industry’s 5 State Event in Deadwood, SD. There’s been over 10,000 retailers lost since the 1990s, said Corbin. That’s “the 10,000 drop.” Graphic by Corbin used with permission.

Former Clayton manager and retailer, Ken Corbin told MH professionals in Tunica, “don’t be a me too” seller in the manufactured home industry. To be more successful than others, one must stand out from the crowd.

Ken’s correct on not being a “me too” point — if greater success is the goal — then Ken’s point is true.

But more than that, one must first understand the causes of what’s kept manufactured housing rising since 2009, but still at historically low levels. It’s common sense that the cure comes after a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

This article looks at measurable data points and troubling facts that almost no one in the industry today mentions, much less addresses.

The “Trailer House Trauma” is far from the only challenge, but it is a real one.  Those willing to stand out from the pack are those who are willing to do the research or hire the talent needed to gain a similar understanding that successful investors like Warren Buffett have routinely done.

Give the man his due, Buffett does his home work.  He says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day.

What’s Next?

This is part one of a periodic series on the true state of the manufactured housing industry after the first quarter of 2018.

Some related data points and reports are found linked after the Related Reports header, further below.

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Trailers could be pulled by a properly equipped car or pickup truck. Mobile homes became heavier, wider, and long enough to require special equipment and a trained driver. Manufactured housing is routinely far heavier still, wider, and moving them properly takes heavy equipment and a skilled driver.

As a closing note for today, while being “misunderstood” and the “Trailer House Trauma” is a problem, but it’s also an opportunity in disguise for potentially hundreds of industry companies of all sizes.

Manufacturers, retailers, communities, lenders, vendors and other service providers are all able to benefit from the proper localized, targeted marketing and customer engagement approaches.  Those methods must be based upon reality, as opposed to wishful thinking.  They must be sustainable, or else they will fail.

Hundreds of thousands of affordable homes are needed every year in the U.S. What other sector of the multi-trillion-dollar housing industry has so much upside potential?  Can you name any?

“Starting” Dip in Home Sales, New Crisis Says Housing Experts

 

RV and National Association of Realtors (NAR) data are clear indicators that with the proper capital, planning, team, motivation, and execution, manufactured housing industry professionals can turn their own image around on a localized basis.  RV dealers and real estate firms invest in their success.  Half a million RVs in 2017, plus over 5 million resale housing units for the NAR in 2017 are proof that it pays off.

 

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Sadly, very few understand the connection between understanding the challenges, which can then lead to profitable solutions.  But that too is an opportunity in disguise, for those who reject being another ‘me too,’ and embrace the notion that success requires thoughtful change.

Case studies our consulting operation has done with those who put in the effort and resources have seen solid, positive results. To learn more, note the second related report, linked below. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

Understand, Plan, and Execute – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

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Consulting, Marketing, Video, Recruiting, and Training Resources

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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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

 

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“Scientia Potentia Est” Monday Morning Sales Meeting

February 12th, 2018 Comments off

ScientiaPotentiaEstKnowledgeIsPowerKnowledgeisPotentialPowerMondayMorningSalesMeeting

Scientia potentia est,” is a maxim from Latin translated as ‘knowledge is power,’ or ‘knowledge is potential power.’ In the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, one of those 7 habits is ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood.’

 

Understanding and knowledge, these are widely understood as critical for professional success.

Knowledge knows no political or other bias. I’m as happy to learn from someone who thinks differently than one who believed every single thing the same as I do. Facts matter. Your biggest competitor or enemy may know something you need to know.

That said, truths are also eternal. Some claim ethics can change; that’s nonsense. People may ignore or keep ethical principles, but truths such as honesty, integrity, keeping one’s word, etc. – those are timeless and necessary in a sustainable business.

That said, several weeks ago, we had a post where rivals POTUS Donald Trump and Warren Buffett agreed on a principle. What is their success tip?  It pays to know all that you can about your profession, or a subject that impacts your career or business.  The two are opposing forces in politics today, but they agree on that point. Interesting, isn’t it?

If manufactured or modular housing is your career, it pays to know all that you can about it.  That kind of knowledge does evolve, but ethical professional principles are still eternal.

ItsUnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouveBeenPlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballHallFameMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

What hall of famer Mickey Mantle said about baseball applies to manufactured housing too.

But if you did one thing that would transform your profession and success, what would it be? More knowledge. Scientia potentia est.An ever deeper understanding.  The willingness to learn, and keep on learning about your career and industry.

If you added to that another success principle, what would that be? In a word? Discipline.

It takes a balance of motivation, confidence, and humility to be sustainably successful. Knowledge with discipline are part of that process.

If you aren’t today where you want to be, guess what? Others before and after you have been at the same age and success (or lack thereof), and later turned their career or business around. For example, Colonel Sanders and Ray Kroc weren’t spring chickens when they found their niche.  But Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s are global brands today.

Kroc stumbled upon McDonald’s. He was open-minded enough, disciplined enough, to learn and do something similar, yet new to what he was doing before.

LATonyKovachPresenting%StateConvDeadwoodSDKenCorbinCommentManufacturedHousingIndustryEventDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry Today

When I was younger I stumbled across the manufactured home industry. It wasn’t on my radar.  My then-new career began in the retail side of the business, but evolved over time.

But all that went before my new career in manufactured housing proved useful.  Time in as an award winner in the restaurant business, time as an award winning insurance agent, etc.

The manufactured home retailer I first worked for had nada as a training program. Zilch. Here are the keys, there’s the inventory price sheet, here are the credit aps, a receipt book for deposits, and your purchase agreement. Here are the keys to the houses. Maybe 3 minutes. “We take ups in a strict rotation,” and  “Go get ‘em tiger.”

So, I read and listened to all that I could about selling, especially big ticket sales.  I observed what others did, discerning what worked well, or avoided what went badly. When I discovered the MH Merchandiser Magazine, I read it and read it some more. All that I learned, day by day, was applied to manufactured housing.

 

“It’s the Man…”

My personal study, motivation, and grit set me apart from others hired at the same time. I sold quite a lot – writing up my very first prospect – and kept at it.  I was promoted quickly into a lot managers roll. That lot I was assigned to started to roll after my arrival there. The location was the same (no difference before or after my arrival), the inventory had the same brands and kinds of homes, no different inventory after I arrived than before. As a later mentor once explained to me, “It’s the Man, not the Land.”

Once you learn how to do X, then you look anew, and say, ‘how can that be refined until we achieve X plus 1, 3, 5, 10, etc…’

I left that first employer’s firm for another and then another. That third company taught me a few valuable lessons, which in hindsight seemed simple, but at the time, were pure gold.  Example, got a lot full of prospects?  Find the ones that “are ready, willing. and able to buy.

After a few years of managing for others, I was ready for my own business. It wasn’t a one-man band, others were involved. Because success is routinely a matter of team work, I like to use the expression “we” to describe that reality.

We opened at a terrible economic time, but we reasoned that good times or bad, people need affordable homes. So after a few weeks of initial struggles, prayer and persistence paid off.  3 cash buyers in one week, on top of the comparatively slower processing time on financed deals written, made the difference. Once the corner was turned, we never looked back, other than to give thanks.

When we’d recruit sales people, we looked for souls with no manufactured home background. Some had never worked outside of the home. We trained them in a simple yet profound system. In days, we could take a newcomer, and have a newbie selling as many homes in a month as some rival sales centers did with a team of seasoned sales veterans.  Ethics and principles, discipline and motivation all mattered. “Scientia potentia est.

While the system we developed adapted with technology, the basics are still the same. Others outside of the MH industry use a similar system. But other than those we’ve taught via our current consulting, recruiting, training and business development services, to this day, we not met anyone in MH doing something quite the same as what we do.

Simple yet robust. Happy customers, happy staff.  It works.

I’ve used that system in MH Communities and in MH Retail at locations we coached from border to border. It works.

But it all started with research, and study. “Scientia potentia est.

ProperPlanningUnderstandingMotivationDisciplineTimeTalentTreasureExecutionPreventsPoorPerformanceLATonyKovachManufacturedHomeMarketingSalesManagement

Your Turn?

Now, it’s your turn.

You can’t sustainably thrive in this industry without the qualities mentioned above of study, ethics, and discipline. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been near locations over the years where con types sold a bunch of homes by ‘jigging’ deals, and lying through their teeth to customers.

For example, I recall a developer in Texas who sold a bunch of homes like that (i.e: unethically), using FHA loans. All the talk in Texas at the time was how those guys were making a bunch of money. Only one problem. In time, he and others ended up getting charged with violations of federal law, and where sentenced – 5 to 10 in a federal pen.

Was it worth it, what they did, and how it ended up?

Clearly, not.

You don’t have to lie, cheat, or mislead people to sell a lot of homes. Quite the opposite is true.  You want honesty, that attracts good, well qualified buyers, who will send their friends.

I’ve toured offices were people had bibles on their desks – when that bible meant something to them. But in other offices I’ve visited, where a bible was a mere prop as part of their con. The same could be said about those who wear a cross, etc.

There are some who never wear or have any obvious outward sign of faith or morals, but who were so clear moved by their faith to do what’s right, that a neon sign could not have made it any more clear.  It wasn’t words, it was their deeds that were powerfully inescapable.

That sales center I owned never had a single retail customer’s attorney call, much less a law suit.  We did what we said we’d do, and documented everything promised.  We became #76 in the nation, the top 1./2 of 1 percent, per third parties, only 3 years after it was opened. At the time there were 10,000 retailers in the country. We were based in a fairly small town of 4,500 souls, about an hour’s drive into the biggest city. There were some big names in the industry that came to say they wanted to back an expansion of our operation into other states and locations. Lenders told us our repo rate was lower than competitors (I didn’t know until that lender said that to me, that lenders tracked a retailers or communities repossessions rates).

That retail center (dealership, in those days) was profitably sold instead of expanding as others wanted me to do. I moved onto consulting, spent some time doing RVs and trade shows, but always circled back to manufactured housing. We’d contract out management to a location, hands-on, not just coaching. There were boat loads learned from each of those other experiences.

At my retail center, we hit 30 sales one summer month, at a time when 80 percent of the other retailers in the same state folded up. “Its the man, and the plan, not the land.” We did even better with some of our better equipped clients. Later, as noted above, I worked with land lease manufactured home communities, long before others saw that pattern about to rise.

Each – retail center or communities – can have their own benefits.

standing-room-only-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-seminar-room-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-

Standing Room Only presentations by L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

The overarching point of the above is that reading, learning, experience, ethics, were all foundational.

You can’t possibly achieve your potential in this industry without devoting a heavy dose of reading and the right kind of viewing.

Professional coaching helps, because it gives you new eyes that can quickly spot what is working well, and objectively sees what needs improvement. We all need doctors, attorneys, tax advisers, etc. Consultants are just as useful, if not more so, because the right consultant can grow your bottom line with more happy customers. Our success to failure rate is extraordinary, so the ROI is good. By the way, the success rate we’ve learned is predicated on a simple principle.  Will you and your team listen, learn, and apply what your taught?  Our MH system simply works, every time it is used. Period.

We disagree with Mr. Buffett and his political or some of business methods, as many of our readers know. But he’s 100 percent correct on the value of reading, research, and study. That’s priceless. “Scientia potentia est.

Buffett’s also correct that knowledge is how you reduce risks.

 

Success in MHVille Today…

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Standing room only presentations by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

You can’t possibly navigate the manufactured home industry today without understanding how it really ticks. I’ve spoken personally with those who’ve experienced the kinds of tactics we’ve reported on in articles like the second one linked below.

Invest one day, not an hour, a day, in reading not just the original posts linked below, but each of the links from the post. Watch that Kevin Clayton video interview first, then do the reading.  Once you finish the reading, watch that Kevin Clayton video again. Do this on an evening, a weekend, or other day off. You must be focused, so you don’t want to be distracted.

Warren Buffett is right about this too.  Most won’t invest the time.  That means that those who do, benefit, while others miss out.

You can’t achieve your potential, even in the best of systems, when you don’t fully understand your industry. Read the first article and the linked state association letter.  It may not seem to have anything to do with sales, but it has everything to do with understanding how the industry works today.

 

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

 

Then read the following post, and please do so in the following fashion.

 

Was the Urban Institute Misled, Duped, or Part of a Manufactured Housing Industry Scam?

 

  • Watch the Kevin Clayton video, and take notes.
  • Then read the related articles, and take notes.
  • Then watch that Clayton video, one more time, taking more notes.
  • Then, re-read the letter from that association that quit MHI.

Do those things, take a fresh look at the industry around you.  Odds are really good that your understanding of manufactured housing will likely change forever.

Do that, and your ability to profit and obtain sustainable success with ethics held high in this industry will likely change forever too.

Scentia Potentia Est. Knowledge is potential power. The potential once tapped, with discipline and ethics simply works. ## (Marketing, sales, management, coaching, consulting, training, tips.)

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ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-575x235By L. A. “Tony” Kovach, award-winning consulting, publisher, web, video, recruiting, sales training, business development service provider.

MHLivingNews.com MHProNews.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Self-Eval, Team Performance Evaluation – Manufactured Housing’s Monday Morning Sales Meeting

January 29th, 2018 Comments off

AssessPerformanceEvaluationManufacturedHomeMarketinSalesManagementDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

There are some retail and community locations that are a true ‘one-man band,’ where manufactured home sales (and/or leases) are performed by a single person, and everything else is contacted out.

Then there are the more common locations where a team of professionals are at work.

 

Both types of locations – single person, or a multi-person team – have a need for objective assessments; otherwise known as performance evaluations.

One of the most common complaints heard from sales professionals in our industry nationally is this.  “We need more good leads.”

The emphasis is on the word, “good.”  It’s one way of saying, yeah, we get internet leads, call-ins and walk-ins all right.  But there are not enough good prospects.’

When you dig deeper, probing those statements with questions, one discovers that the sales professional:

  • may not be doing a great job on following up on most leads,
  • may not be doing a great job on qualifying those leads that he or she gets,
  • may be spending a lot of time (often, most time on the job) doing non-productive activities with respect to sales – meaning time wasters that fail to develop more sales,
  • CRM is not present, or is used hit-and-miss,
  • that the professional’s candid definition for “a good lead” amounts to someone that walks in the door, and is begging to be written up, and just happens to have good credit and the down payment or cash,

and the list could go on.

There are many elements to having a successful sales professional. Periodic evaluations are an important tool to making sure that the standards that your firm has are being met.

Beginning with having the proper motivation and attitude, are questions that an owner, executive, or manager must answer about every team, and each location.  These must be ‘the cold, hard, sometimes brutal facts,’ not a white wash or a feel good.

There are numerous evaluation systems and services (including those services performed by our own factory-built home industry’s services firm).

If you are in do-it-yourself mode, begin with this.

1)    Look at your market.  See how what population base you have within your targeted trade area.

2)    How good a job are you/your team doing at generating leads from qualified housing seekers?

3)    Do you/your team have the ability or a system to take a housing shopper, who may not yet be considering a manufactured home (MH), and create interest in the MH product?

4)    Are you depending on luck, or do you have a plan that is being measured, analyzed and truly adhered to, including performance evaluations?

An ongoing problem in the factory-built home industry at large is that expectations are often too low. Those expectations are based upon How many leads or walk-ins occur, rather than setting a higher standard that asks – how do we get more of the residential housing market to consider doing business with us, here?

Reality Checks

Numerous industry pros agree that 500,000 or more new home sales a year are possible.  Accepting that premise, if the industry finished 2017 with 92,000 (+/-) new home sales, that means that the average sales location could grow by over 500 percent.

What Zillow and other third-party research reveals is that only a tiny fraction of those looking for housing even consider a manufactured home.

A Look at Today’s Home Buyer, Analyzing Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report

What MHVillage statistics reveal is that only a tiny fraction of those who consider a manufactured home are buying.

Facts Matter! Improving Your Manufactured Home Location(s) Conversion Ratios, Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Then, what an honest evaluation of many locations reveals is that there is a:

  • lack of standards,
  • discipline, and
  • education/training,
  • motivation,
  • in short – systems that routinely result in sales to customers who end up very satisfied and will refer other customers.

Opportunities in Disguise

All of the above are wake-up calls.

All of these are problems that are actually opportunities in disguise.

A recent caller asked about opening a new location.  After a few minutes of discussion, it was easily determined that their current location was far from being as productive as it could be.  Why not save a bundle, and improve your current performance?  Once the current location is humming, then and only then consider adding an additional office/sales center.

Assessments

Your:

  • office,
  • model homes,
  • if you are a community or development – the curb appeal,
  • website,
  • other marketing efforts,
  • and most important of all – your people and yourself – are all among the what needs to be evaluated routinely and their performance needs to be assessed.

You can only manage what you measure.

CoachingAdvisingTrainingSkillsMotivationDevelopmentWordCloudHandMarkingSalesManageemntConsultingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIf you aren’t objectively assessing all of the above, including your people, the odds are excellent that you’re missing out on dozens of possible sold customers monthly in a typical market area.

It is almost certain, based upon national numbers and experience, that your location could increase sales by several hundred percent in a profitable, sustainable fashion.  Again, if the industry could do 500,000 vs. 92k annually, that implies growth potential that is over 5x the current level.

When you realize that over 8 million new housing units are needed nationally, that means that dozens to thousands of new housing units are needed in the market area.

Those who are exceeding the industry’s average growth rate are doing exactly that – they’re taking a new look with fresh eyes at what’s possible.

Have the wisdom and courage to take that new look at what’s wrong and what right, and then allow the facts to guide you into making the needed adjustments that better allows you to meet those housing needs in your market(s).

Do the Math

You do the math on what X number of more home sales monthly can mean for your bottom line.

When you realize what is being lost, it often becomes easy to justify the investment in having a third party evaluate, and then coach, recruit and train as needed. To learn more, click here. ## (Business and professional development, marketing, sales, and management.)

NOTICE: for professional business development, training, coaching and other consulting services tailored for manufactured home retailers, communities, investors, producers…click here.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Powerful Takeaways from Automotive, RVs for Manufactured Home Professionals, Monday Morning Sales Meeting

December 4th, 2017 Comments off

MondayMorningSalesMeetingManufacturedHomeMarketingSalesCoachingDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Today’s Monday Morning Sales Meeting (MMSM) offers lessons, that similar to last week’s, are simple yet profound.

There will be 3 actionable takeaways.

We’ll use as a starting example the automotive world. We’ll begin with a series of facts, and then, make the point relevant for manufactured housing professionals.

Examples

There’s a car dealer out of Tampa whose ads are heard on the radio here in Lakeland, FL (about an hour’s drive).

Last week, that operation announced how many vehicles, total units, they will have sold at retail in 2017.

The total will be around 38,000 cars, trucks, SUVs, and other automotive vehicle types.

Think about that number. One operation, Tampa metro, 38,000 units.

Manufactured housing is projected to finish 2017 with some 92,000 (+/-) total new HUD Code homes. So, realize that one metro automotive operation’s total this year is more than 1/3 of the total number of units for all new manufactured homes that shipped nationally in the same year.

Stating the obvious, cars aren’t manufactured homes.  Neither are towable and motorized RVs.  But the RV business is a luxury item for most buyers, and they outsell manufactured homes – and housing is a necessity – by some 5 to 1.  Millions of vehicles have a similar price and/or payment to retailed manufactured homes.

State of the Manufactured Home Industry, Comparing RV vs. MH Data

Takeaway #1.  Manufactured Home Professionals ought to be humble, coachable – and motivated – enough to admit that they can sell far more than they’re currently doing. That’s a fact that can be demonstrated many different ways, as in the examples above.

Don’t believe it?

Then ICYMI, you need to go back to the MH industry sales and marketing facts 16 minute video seminar shared by award-winning industry veteran, Barry Noffsinger on the page linked below.

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$

Setting Higher Goals, That Make You Stretch

There are entire books written on the power of the mind; on the power of positive thinking and affirmations.

They’re useful.

That’s said, it’s a fallacy to believe that positive thinking alone is enough.  The can-do optimist, when he sees the rain, or knows rainfall is in the forecast, takes an umbrella.  If positive thinking alone truly worked, there would be no poverty, crime, war, or any of the host of challenges that face our world today.

Feel good thoughts, not backed by appropriate action, amounts to wishful thinking.

As an MH pro correctly said in a recent meeting, “hope is not a plan.”

Hope, and positive thoughts are potentially good. But hope requires the proper discipline, understanding, resources, a plan – and the right execution.

Zig Ziglar is among those legends in sales who said that it takes thirty days of daily repetition to start forming a new habit.

MotivationGetsYouStartedHabitGetsYouThereZigZiglarManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Wise Ben Franklin observed that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. How do you use your 24?

Takeaway #2. Properly Manage Your Time, Talent & Treasure

Don’t Misunderstand This Following Example!

Some, for example, diligently post on social media. That can be good, and done properly, it may produce positive results.

But are you measuring the results of your social media — or any other effort — weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually? Is X – whatever X happens to be, social media work or anything else – bringing you the results you need?

You can only manage what you measure.

And you can’t manage to a goal that you

  • haven’t set,
  • is too low, or
  • is too high

based upon circumstances, resources, talent, and so on.

Goals must inspire, and stretch. But goals must also be achievable, or they will frustrate people.  No human without other resources can jump to the moon.  But the able-bodied can walk up the stairs, and go ever higher, one properly measured step at a time.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) recently dumbed down the annual shipment chart, shown below. Ask them “why?”

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsFEMAManufacturedHomesNotMobileHomesTrailersIndustryResearchReportsDataMHProNews

Because here is the historically used shipment chart.  Notice that MHI’s new one shows much lower top line totals? Doesn’t that’s lower expectations?  Why do that?

MobileManufacturedHomeAnnualShipments1959-2012CalculatedRisk-DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchReportsMHProNews

Instead, every motivated industry pro must think. What is possible?

average-shipment-per-decade-manufactured-home-posted-on-mhpronews-com-d

Barry Noffsinger and others have said that sales skills have weakened in manufactured housing since the 1990s. It isn’t just the tighter credit standards, it is weaker sales and marketing approaches, and a lack of proper education that attracts more qualified buyers. Graphic from WHA/Ross Kinzler.

We spent a significant amount of digital time in November laying out the true state of the manufactured housing industry, so that people would KNOW what the potential could be.

castleInSkyPixabayManufacturedHousingIndustyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-575x312

When the nation needs 8 million housing units right now, and pros connected to the tech giants are saying that only factory home building can close that gap – site builders can’t achieve the needed totals – that means we have an opportunity to hit historic highs.  We need that second, historically used graphic, to remind professionals that MH once approached nearly 600,000 new homes shipped in a year.

If that was done 4 decades ago, why can’t that be achieved and surpassed today?

That 8 million housing unit potential means multiple billions dollar operations are coming to the conclusion MHProNews has touted – and this consultant has stated – for years. We as an industry can do half a million or more new home sales a year.  It won’t happen overnight, but 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home sales could be accomplished with the proper resources in say 24 months (+/-).

“EveryAdversityEveryFailureEveryHeartacheCarriesSeedOfEqualGreaterbenefitNapoleonHillMastheadblogMHProNews-768x516

What that Means to Your Location(s)

That would mean 500% or more growth rate.

That means if you are currently selling 4 homes a month, you could be doing 20 with the proper adjustments.

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

WhetherYouThinkYouCanOrThinkYouCantYoureRightHenryFordTonyKovachMastheadCommentaryMHProNewsGraphicStock

Belief and the basics are the foundation for success.

Virtually every personal email I’ve sent for years has that message below my contact information.

If you were in Texas, – the top manufactured housing producer and seller in the country – that one Tampa auto dealer is outselling every community, every retailer in your state, combined.

There’s no one in MHVille who could achieve that kind of result in a single metro area’s sales centers as those Tampa dealerships do. Bear in mind he’s not the largest in automotive dealer in the country.

Towable and motorized RVs outsell MH by about 5 to 1.

You could realistically increase your performance – not instantly, but over time, say in the course of a year or so – by 500%.

Takeaway #3 – Odds are Your Sales Could Skyrocket with the Proper Understanding, Execution

What does that require?

First. The belief. Think about that Henry Ford quote, above, and another one further below.
Second, the discipline.
Third, honesty with yourself and others on your team.
Fourth, putting the proper steps and resources in place to make it happen.
Fifth, follow-through – the correct execution.

Wishing alone will never achieve that 500% rise in sales.

But the proper motivation, discipline and investments of time, talent and treasure can achieve that goal, profitably and sustainably, with happy customers.  No strong-arm tactics are needed.

In fact, while we teach sales professionals to ‘ask for the order,’ we discourage strong arming customers. Look at what happened to Palm Harbor Homes, after years of pushy sales tactics finally caught up with them. They weren’t the first.  Do you think they’ll be the last giant to fold?

PalmHarborHomesBankruptcy2010DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We encourage you to begin with something easy, and achievable, that may seem unrelated. But it is totally related and vitally important for long-term, sustained success and career satisfaction.

ProperPlanningUnderstandingMotivationDisciplineTimeTalentTreasureExecutionPreventsPoorPerformanceLATonyKovachManufacturedHomeMarketingSalesManagement

 

You and your team should begin with last week’s lesson, and make that lesson a total habit. You start right away. It’s linked below.

Monday Morning Sales Meeting, What Warren Buffett & President Donald Trump Profitably Agree On

You must feed and care for your mind, the same as you feed and care for your body, and nourish your soul.

obstacles-are-those-frightful-things-you-see-when-you-take-your-eyes-off-the-goal-henry-ford-MHProNewslifestylefactoryhomes

Bonus Takeaway

As a closing thought for this session, the best any location I managed/coached was 50 housing units from a single location in a month.  Not bad. Sadly, sometimes when people achieve that kind of relatively lofty level for MH, they think they’ve arrived. We had a principled disagreement with the company involved, and I wished them well after we failed to come to agree on next steps that could have taken them higher, and more sustainably.

That location maintained that level of sales for some time, but they later fell into serious and utterly avoidable problems.  One this writer predicted would happen, but that company turned a deaf ear.

But the real story is that rise to 50 homes was accomplished in a market with depressed conditions.

We took a weak location, doing only single digits in deliveries, and in a few months, it became a marketing and sales machine, capable of doing 50 homes a month results.

We’ve accomplished similar results in communities as well as for retailers.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach/

So, there are realistic limits, logistical limits, to what your location(s) are capable of achieving.

Experience teaches only the teachable.

ExperienceTeachesOnlyTheTeachableAldusHuxleyBrainyQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are only two kinds of experience; your own and someone else’s experience. The fastest way to grow is to rely on successful experiences from others, and leverage their proven, successful experiences at your location(s).

But experience tells me and all who will listen that many locations are doing only a small fraction of what they’re capable of achieving.  What are your vacant sites, or lost sales costing you?

Need professional help? Click here, and email or call the phone number on the page linked.

Until you reach out, please follow last week’s tip faithfully! Applying that tip has the power to change you from the Inside Out.  That’s how all real change takes place.

Here’s to learning how to attract and sell more happy customers! ## (Manufactured Housing Business Development, facts, analysis, commentary.)

Notes, Related and Contact:

1) Some things require repetition until it becomes habitual. If you have not yet memorized/made a habit of last week’s Monday Morning Sales Meeting (MMSM), start at the link below.

Monday Morning Sales Meeting, What Warren Buffett & President Donald Trump Profitably Agree On

2) Marketing/Sales/Closing Tools! After you’ve read/re-read last week’s MMSM, read these two linked articles. Learn how and when to properly share those links.

Elvis & Priscilla Presley Honeymooned in this Mobile Home

Researchers Shake Up American Dream? Rent vs. Buy, Ken Johnson, Florida Atlantic University, Exclusive to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews

3) Need marketing, sales, consulting or business development services? Learn More to Earn More, Email or Call – click here.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach – one of the most endorsed, politically incorrect, reality-goals-solution-oriented, and popular leaders in manufactured housing today.