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Beautiful Dreamers, Looks vs. Results? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

July 9th, 2018 No comments

 

BeuatifulDreamersOnlineMarketingLooksVsResultsManufacturedHomeMarketingSalesManagementMHProNews

We will start by “setting the table” or “teeing up” today’s topic with a series of thought provoking facts.

 

Then, we’ll dive into the reality-based action steps for today’s marketing and sales theme.

As hard to imagine as it may be to someone in the year 2018,  

      there are still hundreds of operations in manufactured housing (MH) that have no website of their own.
      Then, there are thousands of websites in manufactured housing that range from the ugly to the stunningly cool and attractive.

Some websites are well organized, or even appealing. But the evidence reflects that they still don’t do the job that the MH retailer, community, production or listing websites are supposed to do.

What’s the goal of a website? 

Attract more well qualified buyers, so that more sales can be made. Lead generation. In the case of a specialized product or service, it may also include the ability to take the order online.

Our focus in this column are websites that are designed to support the sale of more manufactured homes to qualified buyers.

Marketing and sales are complementary, but different.  

Some marketers we’ve spoken with have complained that the leads they generate don’t get proper follow up. That’s a sales and management issue, and won’t be covered in this column, but it’s worth mentioning.

Today’s spotlight is about understanding how well, or poorly, a company or location’s website does in attracting qualified homebuyers. 

 

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When prospective customers come to your website, are they finding what they are looking for? because they have a beautiful dream they want to fulfill. But they also have questions. Are they ‘bouncing’ at a high rate? If so, that is a red flag for a possible design and/or marketing issue. Other red flags include low conversion rates.

 

Examples – Reality Checks  

First, let’s note that we don’t give out specific client information without mutual agreement. But we can generically tell true stories.  

That said, let’s consider the following.

Customers who had visited new home retailing locations – which can include, Manufactured Home Communities (MHC) – were getting follow up calls. 

Of course, some of those prospects had purchased or made other housing choices elsewhere. No one sells every guest. 

What do you suppose was the most common choice, when they didn’t buy from an MH client company? 

Hint: it wasn’t other MH competitors.  

Rather, they were those who chose some form of conventional housing.

That was true in location after location, in various parts of the country. Think about that when you consider your own follow ups.  Isn’t that true for your location too?

It should be a big topic in our industry, and in your location’s meeting discussions.  Because our approach closes that gap, but nothing closes it completely.  

Here’s another troubling factoid.

There are several states were MH shipments are flat, or dropping. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis? See that related report, linked below. Again, that’s a symptom of several issues, which won’t all be covered in this article.  The website and related marketing remains our focus today.

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Keep an Open Mind, to Grow Sales 

I’ve talked to some very bright and successful people in MHVille who hear or read a few words, and then mistakenly think that they get it.

Rephrased, some skim, and then jump to conclusions. We’re all guilty of it at times, but when someone is looking to increase sales, an open, questioning mind which is keen on detail is essential.

If most MH professionals understood all of the internal and external issues keeping the industry from achieving record sales, then MH industry companies would adjust their marketing (and sales) approaches.  Our secret sauce has proven to grow sales, often by several hundred percent, at locations that learn and apply them properly. 

By contrast, more of the same marketing will logically only yield more of the same results.

Some misunderstand the importance and value of fact checks and critiques. There’s a big difference between a blind criticism (trying to tear someone or something down), and critique/analysis.

 

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Objective analysis and critique are essentially for growing a location’s sales, and thus the industry to its potential.

Facts are what they are, and ought to be discerned to be understood. 

Having set the table, let’s see the realities of website performance. 

 

DevelopInspirationalDissatisfactionRearrangeYourAttitudesAndConvertFailureOneDayIntoSuccessAnotherWClementstoneQuoteAZMHProNews

All sales and marketing are localized.  National numbers should be understood in the light of the reality that they are thousands of local results added together. Raise location results, and better national results follow. Objective Analysis is the start of growth. One must understand the problem, and its causes, in order to truly understand the possible solution. Every serious grower prunes trees and shrubs. The plan for tomorrow starts with reality checks from yesterday and today.

 

Big Industry Names, Facts, but Modest Results?

MHVillage thoughtfully provides their websites statistics. For the purpose of this article, let’s accept their and two other industry companies claims at face value.

 

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Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews. Once more, this isn’t a slam on MHVillage.  Rather it is a look at what their vexing data tells an operation like yours. The conversion ratios are a fraction of a single percent. Marketers tell MHProNews it is far better in conventional real estate.

Here’s what MHVillage says their results are for 2017.  

If the average website visitor discovered there what they thought they wanted, then the conversion statistics at MHVillage would be dramatically different. That’s self evident, right? If shoppers got the answers they were seeking, then more sales would occur.

The same point applies to sales at giant Clayton,  or #3 Cavco, which for a few years their own published data reveals that both firm’s are growing at a slower pace than the industry at large.

Clayton has reportedly closed about 100 of their own retail centers in roughly 7-8 years.  Think about that fact. With a cool looking website, tons of quality videos, and an affordable housing crisis, they still closed 100 sales centers?

 

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Well over 75% of the industry’s websites have design flaws that limit potential sales. Click here or above to learn more.

 

Marketing Takeaways 

1) An operation can be large, successful, or even monopolistic. They can have access to boat loads of cash. That doesn’t mean that they have all the answers.

2) Some independents outsell the giants in specific locations. So that suggests, it can happen elsewhere.

3) But set aside others in MHVille entirely. If manufactured homes has the lower price, comparable quality, and lower payments, why aren’t hundreds of thousands of more new homes being sold every year?

4) Part of the answer is an operation’s website. Prospective customers must not be finding what they are looking for, or it is self-evident that more sales would be made. 

5) A home shopper may or may not have a set of questions they want answered. But they most certainly have them. If prospects were finding the answers they wanted on a company’s website, there would be more calls, walk-ins, and sales of more homes.

Industry professionals must come to grips with some simple truths.

The first is found in the graphic below.

IfPrettyPicturesVideosAloneWereEnoughMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews1

Learn more about the above, linked here.

  • The right kind of website matters.
  • The right kind of videos matter.
  • Then, he right kind of training and follow up process matters.
  • Finally, the right kind of hiring process matters. 

There are some very successful people who could be wildly more successful, if they just set aside their pride, ego, fear, habits, or whatever else is holding them back.

The facts like those above don’t lie. Some can try to explain them away.  But facts are facts.

No one sells everyone. 

But for those who invest in the right kind of marketing and sales systems, the results are astonishing.

When the industry is capable of doing 500% to 1,000% more in sales, rephrased, that means hundreds of locations could be doing 5 to 10 times more sales.

I’ve seen (and worked with) simple locations that sell rings around fancy ones, and vice versa. 

Education, education, and more education pays.

But more than that, third party education is what’s needed.

Whatever you say or do about your own business is still you saying it.  There are reasons other industry’s support their trade media. Because whatever is published there, that’s third party info.

I’m not saying we have the absolute prettiest websites. But MHProNews and MHLivingNews are #1 in their respective categories for good reasons.  It isn’t always about pure looks, people have to find what it is they are looking for, or they will bounce out.

How your website appears may be secondary to your success. Education and your website(s), done correctly, can be huge steps to sustainable success with more happy customers.

Closing thought for today. How many websites do you have? If the answer is only one, plus your social media, odds are good that you’re missing out on more sales. 

Got a budget for growth and more ROI? Ready for next steps?  Click or call. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, management, commentary, and analysis.)

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

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach.

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:

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.


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Related Reports:

Winners and Losers, 5 Midwestern States, Manufactured Home Shipment Breakdown

 

 

Wheat, Chaff, and the Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

July 2nd, 2018 Comments off
WheatChaffMondayMorningManufacturdHomeSalesMarketingMeetingDailyBUisnessNewsMHproNews

Too many in the industry have been looking for short cuts and magic bullets for decades. How is that working out? Wheat and Chaff, think long term, without ignoring the short term. 

Billions of humans depend on wheat as an important part of their nutritional needs. But chaff?

 

Succeed Equine says, “feeding chaff with your horse’s concentrated feeds is all about increasing chewing time. Along with free choice hay or turnout on quality pasture, this is a great way to help your horse avoid serious digestive issues like gastric and colonic ulcers, hindgut acidosis, and colic.”

The ancient expression of separating wheat from chaff is meant to symbolize what is or isn’t fit for people to eat or use. But even chaff can have a purpose.

To tee this topic up, this writer has shared before that when I began selling HUD Code manufactured homes in the 1980s, it was my first time selling a big ticket item. I’d been successful at selling insurance (award winner), later was a rapidly rising rocket in membership sales (quickly promoted to management), and prior to those did well at history and writing (multiple award winner, plus academic recognitions). Motivation wasn’t lacking.

But I had not yet found my ‘calling.’

I stumbled upon manufactured homes and this industry by accident. Traveling eastbound on I240 in the Southside of Oklahoma City, this writer took the off-ramp one exit too soon (I was looking for I-35), ever do that?

It was a mistake that turned into something great.

That “wrong exit” led me to discovering for the first time what was then still called then “mobile home row,” one of the most intense manufactured housing (MH) sales environments in the entire U.S.

SolitaireHomesUniversalHomesSouthShieldsBldOKCOKmanufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBUisnessNewsMHproNews433South Shields Blvd. in OKC, OK today is a mere shadow of its MH Industry glory days. Back then at its peak, there were some 52 sales centers (“dealerships”) on a three mile stretch of Shields Blvd. There were over 200 retail sales people, plus their managers and owners, competing for every customer. Most pros  today don’t know what intense intra-industry retail competition is.

Working on commissions, you had to learn how to sell. It was do or die. Having been instantly fascinated by the manufactured homes on each side of Shields, I was determined to get into the industry.  I got a job at the first company that I applied to.

But in manufactured housing at the company I was hired by, as well as at many others then or today, there was no formal training program.

Then and now, most companies do little or nothing beyond the basics of the paperwork.  There was no one willing to explain how someone attracts and sells well qualified customers. Those with weak, bad or no credit pour onto sales centers and communities, right?  Then and now, it’s about attracting and selling the well qualified buyers is where the magic takes place.

The guy who hired me at that lot on Shields had the same name as a current executive staffer at MHI. Here was his training program.

Here’s the keys (to the inventory), our price sheet (with low/high pricing), here’s the purchase agreement, and here’s the credit ap. Go get “em Tiger!”

SinkorSwimNotTheMostEffectiveTrainingProgramManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

That literally was the training. So you wandered the inventory on your own, and tried to observe whatever you could, because it was sink or swim.

 

The Wheat and Chaff

With that backdrop, I dug in on my own, using a wheat and chaff approach.

  • What did other sales people do that seemed to work?
  • What did others do that made no sense to me, and didn’t work?
  • Every single sales encounter, I was told in the insurance business, was a learning experience.
  • I read a lot, listened to audio by Zig Ziglar and others, and applied what I learned to manufactured housing.

I wrote up my very first manufactured home customer, and was off to the races. Having started with selling “singles,” I was soon promoted to be the sales manager of our “double-wides” (more properly, multi-sectionals) sales center.  But it was personal study, personal motivation – not some team or corporate training – that made that possible.

Wheat and chaff was a key concept that got me there, and far beyond.

This writer may disagree with someone on 85% of what they think, say, or do. But it is always in my mind to see whatever I can learn from someone, even someone I may have little in common with. The lesson to be learned is often what not to do.  For example, I strongly disagree with the strategic moat plan of one Warren Buffett, as it tends towards monopoly, which is arguably bad for all. But there are some Buffett quotes that I find useful and insightful.  Wheat and chaff.

Keep what’s good, which is the wheat. Toss the chaff aside, which at best might be used as filler for something else.

SeparateWheatfromChaffValuablefromWorthlessDictionaryManufacturedHOusingINdsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

It’s a valuable principle that can be applied to anybody, or any group.

That may seem like a simple lesson, but it is the basics that are often the most powerful.  That willingness to learn from anyone, and the value of separating the wheat from the chaff is priceless.

Here’s a related bonus.

Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t prejudge. When it comes to reading, don’t skim. Read and listen for understanding. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” my better-half wisely quoted Steven Covey yesterday. All seven of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People are mondo.

7HabitsofHighlyEffectivePeopleStevenCoveyPinterestManufacturedHousingIndustryDaiyBusinessNewsMHproNews

There are lots of people in the world with limited motivation, and who have closed minds. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things the mind must close on. I believe in the law of gravity, so should everyone. I don’t have an open mind about cliffs or ledges in a high-rise. So common sense is crucial. There are some realities you must close your mind on, because they are dangerous, or a waste of time.

But beyond gravity and some true laws like it, there is much to be learned by using the wheat and chaff approach.

The motivation to continually learn, combined with that wheat and chaff approach, are huge.  Because you may stumble across something you didn’t know, precisely because your mind was open to it.  Much like this writer stumbled across manufactured housing, and have now successfully served in this industry for over a quarter of a century since then.

I might only use a tiny fraction of what I know when working with a retail customer. So it’s not about flooding a customer with information, to prove how smart you are.  Knowing what to say, what to ask, generally in what sequence, that’s a matter of a formal training program – that clients pay us to do.

Gratis, I’ll say, learn and never stop. Read as much as you can that is related to your industry every day.

I’ve sold and managed the sales of thousands of mostly HUD Code manufactured homes. We’ve had operations that did 20, 30 or even as many as 50 new home sales delivered in a single month. There are nice plaques, letters, and plenty of framed recognition for those who like such things. From the 80s to the late 2010s, I’ve done mostly MH, but took a few years to discover the RV and trade show business, where I did well too.  Those later two were all part of a wider plan to make manufactured housing greater than ever, by helping the industry understand and achieve its true potential.

Wheat and chaff. Read as much as you can every day. Watch videos, especially on MHLivingNews.com as much as you can every day. 30 minutes should be the minimum, 1-2 hours daily is still just a fraction of what Warren Buffett says is one of his most important habits. Reading, virtually anyone can do that, right? Before becoming President, Donald Trump was right is saying you have to know as much as you can about a business and the forces that influence and impacts your profession. Be open to the wheat from both of those success stories.

Read for understanding. Separate the wheat from the chaff. Reject failed notions, like socialism, which is the nearly the polar opposite of free enterprise.  Free enterprise – the truly American way – once unleased, can make manufactured housing more successful than ever before.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.

As an industry, back when there were fewer regulations, the industry nearly achieved 600,000 new home shipments in a year, for two years running. The population was smaller then.  The needs are greater today. Don’t get me wrong, some regulations on quality and the consumer protections are useful. But over-regulations and excessive taxes are both proven killers.

But the point is, with the correct methods – using wheat and chaff thinking, motivation and discipline – the typical location could grow 500% to 1,000% in sales. That can be done with happy customers, ethically, and sustainably.

Wheat and chaff, lessons learned.

Wheat and chaff. Learn, earn, return. Enough said for today. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, management, commentary, and analysis.)

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

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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Truth or Consequences – Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

June 4th, 2018 Comments off

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There are many times in dealing with prospects that a sales person, or a selling community manager, faces a decision. It can be summed up like this. Should I tell the truth, or should I shard the truth, or even tell a lie?  What if telling the truth might cost me the sale?

 

The Scenario

A qualified customer is asking one or more specific questions.  Or they are assuming something that is wrong, and you can tell that’s the case.

Some possible examples:

   perhaps it’s about a community guideline, or
   maybe it’s about appreciation or depreciation of manufactured homes.
   Or it could be that a customer wants to do something like add-on to the structure of the home – perhaps a garage – and it will be an attached garage, which can change the load-bearing on that wall, and can in theory impact the structural design of the home. BTW, HUD has specific rules on this bullet. 

What do you do?

  • Do you tell the truth?
  • Do you wing it, if you don’t know the answer?
  • Or do you shade the truth, or perhaps even outright lie, hoping to make a sale?

The solution ought to be simple. You should tell the truth, the best way possible, and as you know it. If you don’t know the details to a question, you should admit that, and find someone in that office or by phone ASAP who can answer the prospects inquiry.  We like to say, “The Truth Well Told is Powerful.” ©

The alternative to the truth, a falsehood, a half-truth, or ignoring a challenging truth is often the beginning of a huge mess. It simply isn’t worth it.

There are savvy ways to communicate an unpleasant reality that you may suspect that a prospect doesn’t want to hear. But they need to hear it.

The good news is that there are always ways to say the unpleasant, where you still have a legitimate opportunity to earn a prospect’s business. There are too many possibilities to cover – and it can’t be done in a single post.  Besides, those are the kinds of things that companies hire us to game plan, coach, and teach. For those who need that coaching, and have a budget, please click here. 

 

Truth or Consequences

There was a pair of TV shows that date back decades ago that dealt with this theme.

To Tell the Truth” was one TV game show, and “Truth or Consequences” was the other.

Coach Lou Holtz has been one of the most amazing coaches in football. That’s about as competitive a profession as you will find. There was always opportunities to do things the wrong way during a game, and have hopes that it will pay off.  He was successful, doing things the correct way.  I recall one year when a team he was coaching was up against a team I was rooting for; and I didn’t know much about Lou Holtz at that time.  He had benched two players for violating a team rule. He did that before the big game.  Virtually everyone thought his team would lose with those guys, but without them, it was certain he would fail.  Long story short, he pulled of one of the biggest upsets in that game, and he did so by doing the right things.

Holtz was and is a man of deep faith and moral convictions.  He used the following rules shown in the framed quotes below. These rules are absolutely suited for the sales and marketing of manufactured homes (MH).  When selling homes, we reduced everything to writing, and what was written we did, what was not written, we did not do. Clear. Simple. Honest. We made those points clear to customers, all before they signed. We got tons of referrals by doing what was right. We advise our coaching/training clients to the same with their prospects today, all as part of a broader system, of course.

 

DoRIghtDoYourBestTreatOthersLikeYouWantToBeTreatedTrustYouCommittedDoYouCareLouHoltz-MastheadMHProNews

There can seem to be a short term cost to honesty at times. But a reputation for candor builds trust. Trust can be a critical foundation for a career or a business.

As an anecdotal point, we still face the same challenge of telling the truth as we know it, or ignoring the truth. We face that decision with essentially every article we do on MHLivingNews, and on MHProNews. We designed the MHLivingNews website to answer many questions that real-life home shoppers have. For those who link to it, it’s a useful sales and marketing tool. By the way, the content is copyrighted – linking is OK, but it is never cool to take something without written permission.  Even Clayton’s marketing manager. who asked us a few months ago to use some of our content; they did not just take it.  They understand copyright law. By the way, permission was never given for specific reasons, but each case is handled on its own merits. 

The factory-built home industry – which is made up of professionals like yourself – has to come to grips with the huge opportunities, and several unpleasant realities. What may look negative, is often an opportunity in disguise for those who try to do what’s right, each and every time.

The vast majority of the people who consider a manufactured home do not buy one. That’s third party research, not opinion. One of several examples? We’ve referred before to statistics provided by MHVillage. Out of their own co-president’s mouth, they say 25,000,000 people surfed their site, which resulted in 80,000 sales last year worth a total of $3 billion dollars. It’s quite impressive sounding. They are number one in that part of what they do (we blow them away in engagement of publishing, and in other areas too – that’s another story for another time).  

But the point here is simple data, what it means, and it is painful.  It is also very much tied to Truth or Consequences.

Most consumers have questions. Because most don’t find the answers they want about MH, they don’t buy a manufactured home, not one MHVillage, nor from industry giant Clayton Homes, or from anyone else. The proof is self evident, and is found in the industry’s new home shipping statistics.

But that is an opportunity in disguise.

MHVillageLogoDataStatisticsManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Over 99 percent of those who surfed their site didn’t buy a home there, and they are the biggest in the industry at what they do. That sounds bad – and this is not a slam or a put down. It’s their own facts. The point is that means there is huge room for improvement. Shoppers have questions. If they aren’t comfortable, and they have a choice, they will buy elsewhere. Learn to deal with your prospects real issues, and you will sell more homes. The rest are details and commentary.

Sunshine Homes CEO John Bostick says, “Easy doesn’t pay well.” The easy way is often the wrong way.

But the good news is this. Look at the reverse of those MHVillage statistics. It’s a HUGE invitation to learn how to engage those prospects. Once you learn how that’s correctly done, and make it a habit, then that habit which at first seems hard becomes second nature.  Second nature becomes easier. 

Be willing to pay the price. If you have the time now read the 7Ts, do so. If you don’t have he time now, make time later.

7 Surprising Keys to Unlock Manufactured Housing Industry Sales Success

Invest the time, talent and treasure – plus the other 7Ts – into yourself, your team, your location(s), and your career. Once you make them a habit, you will never regret it. 

 

The Wrap up on Truth or Consequences

To wrap up the headline topic, tell the truth. Deception, can prove costly. The Truth doesn’t always pay on the spot.  But over time, the truth well told absolutely pays off. 

A quick story will make the point.

I personally had a HUD Code manufactured home customer who I didn’t sell, but I shared with that couple a tough-for-them-to-swallow truth. They didn’t buy from me, but they did buy a manufactured home from someone else.

Of course, I was disappointed, but when I learned during the follow up call what happened, I wished them the best.  I also encouraged them to consider sending me their friends. A few months later, I had a referral from that family. They told me their story. They got a pleasant sounding lie from another sales person, and they bought from that liar.  But as often happens with liars, the lie was discovered after a while. Who go the referral?  I did, and others beside that one. 

The truth doesn’t always pay on the spot, but the truth well told, with the other 7Ts — does over time pay a rich reward.  Enough said for today on this topic. ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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

InvestInYourselfAndInYourBizManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Time, talent, treasure. Put your money, as we do, where your mouth is.  Need professional services?  Please consider calling us.  Nobody does it better in MHVille, no one.  Click here to learn more

Related References:

Life Hack Success Tip-Any Pro Can Do This-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Is it Better to Be Candid, or a Kiss-Up? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

What are the FACTS about Manufactured Housing Industry Traffic vs. Real Estate? MHVillage, MHProNews, Manufactured Housing Institute Data

‘You Are Either Clayton Homes, or You’re Not’ – Monday Morning MH Sales Meeting

IfPrettyPicturesVideosAloneWereEnoughMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews1

Learn more about the above, linked here.

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Code of Conduct – Good or Bad News, and Home Selling – Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

May 28th, 2018 Comments off

StopCodeofConductPxStoryBlocksManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x315

To do a good job of marketing and selling, one must first have a sense of the broader, and local market elements. We’ll share some examples today that are essential for a marketing or sales professional in manufactured housing to understand in order to be effective with qualified prospects. We note that in all of our coaching sessions, good ethics and customer satisfaction must be understood as the given background, and the goal must be for the good of all.

 

Crain’s Detroit published a story that explained just how far manufactured housing nosedived in their state from the peak of 1998, until the recovery from the bottom hit in 2009 began in 2010. While it has positive elements, that report also raises questions for a savvy shopper or investor.

The Urban Institute did a report in January on manufactured homes, which was largely positive for the manufactured home industry, at least by mainstream news standards.

Several mainstream media (MSM) outlets have been spotlighting the need to protect manufactured home communities from destruction, because they are so important for affordable housing.  We’ll plan to spotlight one of those, sent to us as a news tip, hopefully this week here on the Daily Business News

The first takeaway is that there are some positive news stories carried by MSM and by third party researchers. These are examples of the kinds of stories industry professionals should prefer to see more of – and it is in part, up to pros like you – to make that happen in your market(s).

That said, the sad reality is that beyond press releases, most media coverage about our industry tend to be negative. Ignoring that reality costs the industry billions of dollars a year in new HUD Code manufactured home sales.  That means, mostly negative media coverage likely costs your location millions of dollars a year in additional manufactured home sales that your business would otherwise make.

The two screenshots of Google search results below are recent examples. See for yourself the ratio of bad news to good news stories.

 

ManufacturedHomeIndustryMembersDeclineTakeSidesRossvilleParkOwnerChatanoogaTimeFreePressManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

There are times when none of the top 8 to 15 MSM news stories about MH are positive. Do you think that pattern impacts home buyers?  The third story from the top, above, is linked here.

2018-05-27_1331MobileHomeGoogleNewsMobileHomeSearchDailyBusinessNewsMondayMOrningSalesMeetingMHProNews

Let’s be clear. A large percentage of the time that we at MHProNews engage with the mainstream media, the reporter will use better terminology, and will try to work in some of what was said. Reporters are people, they usually want to be fair. Are there exceptions? Sure, but many will strive to get some balance into their report. For MHVille, more balanced reporting represents progress, every time it is done.

That in a nutshell explains a significant part of why manufactured home (MH) sales are still at historic lows, in spite of a raging affordable housing crisis.  But for the savvy MH marketer, that’s opportunity in disguise. Keep in mind that the MH Industry squandered a historic opportunity in the late 90s and early 2000s.  We’re being given another such moment in history.  Let’s make the most of it, shall we?

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A savvy, visionary MH marketer sees the problematic trend since 2000 as opportunity in disguise.  To tap that opportunity requires work, but the reward is significantly higher levels of new home sales that result in happy customers.

 

Story Telling, Defining Yourself, Media Engagement, and Code of Conduct 

To tee this up, as a volume retailer for many years with happy homeowners, I never waited for someone else to define my business or my products. I didn’t wait for an association, a manufacturer or anyone else to do what our team could do best.

That’s not to say that associations, builders or other third parties can’t play a role. Indeed, they can and should.  But I didn’t hold my breath, waiting for that to happen. 

Because if you or I’m waiting for someone else to define and boost business, what if they delay? What if they do a poor job?

We set sales records, and hit the top ½ of 1 percent of all retailers in the nation by making things happen.  We synergized with others, as much as possible, but we also did what we needed to do, come rain or shine.  

So, akin to what Sam Landy, president and CEO of UMH Properties told MHProNews, we did our own marketing. It was wildly successful, and that occurred during tough times when dozens of new home retailers in our state vanished. 

The are many beautiful aspects to manufactured housing.  One such point – if you make it appealing in your market(s) – is this. Affordability is always going to have a clientele. Nor does affordability have to be the lowest rung on the ladder client. Good times, or bad times, a motivated retailer, community, developer, or producer, can sell, sell, sell. They can do so honorably, with good CSI, and happy homeowners who send their friends.   

After my first few years in the manufactured home business, I learned by trial end error how to successfully engage the media. Do that in your market, and forge that habit.

 

Example

Here’s an example of a radio show I was recently invited to do. This was for a regional talk radio station, so imagine this in your market.

AffordableMobileHOmesNotWelcomeinBozemanMT1450AMTomEgelhoffOpenForBusinessSmallBusinessExpertManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice that the topic sounded negative. Indeed, in one sense, it was, but it was dealing with a local reality. Don’t run from tough topics! Dive in! Push back with the facts, and the truth properly told! Make a difference!

This part of the radio show is about 20 minutes on air, with maybe half of that – near the middle – included me.  If you listen carefully, every caller had something good to say about manufactured homes. Even though the others on the air may have misused the terminology, I hit key points using the correct industry lingo, while also explaining briefly the industry’s evolution, and appeal to all economic groups.

Click the arrow to play back the audio.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Make a habit of using the correct terminology. Encourage your team to learn it and use it too. It pays.  

I’ve never stopped reading or learning about the industry, and how it fit into the broader housing market. We use that with our coaching clients, and with publishing.

Rephrased, we practice what we preach. 

Why? In the long run, it works best. Short-term thinking produces short-term results.  

 

Code of Conduct

The mainstream media story linked here makes an important point, and this is one that associations can, and ought to play a useful role in.  

jay-hamiltong-executive-director-georgia-manufactured-housing-association-gmha-posted-mhpronews-com1-1

Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

Jay Hamilton, of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) would not make a specific comment to that media about a specified series of bad-news stories that involve one or more members. But he did speak to the reporter (a plus), and Hamilton explained to the reporter what the GMHA’s ethical principles are (another plus).

Hamilton spoke about the GMHA’s code of conduct for members. That’s something members stipulate to, when they join the association. 

When a code of conduct is enforced in the way the GMHA executive director outlined, arguably that would make it clear to readers that the majority of the industry – or at least that membership organization – care about honest business practices.

That in turn is good for honorable association members.

But if an association fails to take action against a member that crosses a line who won’t repent, its arguably harmful to all.  

The code of conduct should be rigorously enforced, regardless of who it is. 

Mistakes happen. Corrections can and should be made. When they aren’t, let the members or board vote to expel an unrepentant offender for cause. If that became a habit, anywhere that took place would – over time – would likely see more sales growth among member companies.  Because consumers want ethical companies to do business with.

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-575x235

 

Do your best. Don’t wait for others. If you are part of an association, and bad news strikes about a member who won’t repent or do right by their customers, press for an enforcement of the code of conduct. Enough said for today. ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related References:

Life Hack Success Tip-Any Pro Can Do This-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Is it Better to Be Candid, or a Kiss-Up? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

What are the FACTS about Manufactured Housing Industry Traffic vs. Real Estate? MHVillage, MHProNews, Manufactured Housing Institute Data

‘You Are Either Clayton Homes, or You’re Not’ – Monday Morning MH Sales Meeting

 

InvestInYourselfAndInYourBizManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Time, talent, treasure. Why not put your money, as we do, where your mouth is?

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Life Hack Success Tip-Any Pro Can Do This-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

May 21st, 2018 Comments off

CharlieMungerWarrenBuffettDonaldTrumpLifeHackSuccessTipManufacturedHousingINdustryMondayMorningsalesMeetingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews520x310

Today is going to be DIFFERENT.

 

Open your minds for something simple, yet profoundly effective for those who dare embrace it.

It’s a Success Tip that Warren Buffett’s over half-a-century partner Charlie Munger believes in and practices.

It’s this.

Reading for understanding.

Reading, and being able to admit that you were mistaken about something.

Reading with an open mind, looking for the opportunity, the gem that the reading is bringing to you.

When MHProNews first launched, our URL – the base web address – was and remains MHMarketingSalesManagement.com. Marketing, Selling, and Management are at the core elements of any successful enterprise.

We encouraged readers almost a decade ago to devote 15 minutes a day to reading. That was back before we introduced the industry’s first and still only Daily Business News, which is this module or blog within our broader trade media website.

Today, the goal should not be for 15 minutes a day. That isn’t nearly enough to keep up with your industry and the world that impacts your industry. An hour a day is the minimum.

You can split that hour-a-day of reading and viewing into 10-to-15 minute segments. You can do it all at once. How, where and when you invest that hourly daily has a lot of flexibility.

Watch the video, and see what Munger does.

Charlie Munger is a billionaire. He is the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate that dominates much of manufactured housing. Munger takes reading with him, everywhere he goes. For example, he shows up early for meetings, and is reading before and after the meeting.

So Munger is wasting no time! He is reading during what for others might be down-time!

If you are reading and viewing at least an hour a day on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com – and you do so for a deep understanding – that habit will transform your career, and your professional life.

That hour-daily habit would likely lead to improvements in every other area of you life too.

 

Foundational For Success

We don’t hide the fact that we believe in faith, flag, family, fellowship, and free enterprise. We celebrate what each of those words represent, because each are and should be cherished ideals.

DonGlissonJrCEOTriadFinancialServicesDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndsutryMHProNewsDon Glisson, Jr. – the president of Triad Financial Group – told me a few years after we launched that he thought we were crazy to start MHProNews when we did. It was late 2009. The industry had just neared the finish of its worst year in over 50 years.  He said that as he publicly congratulated for our success in becoming the most popular trade publication in the industry’s history.

Third-party statistics prove that we are still the industry’s leader in trade media, by a country mile. MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © is more than a tag line.

That’s a mission we are committed to, in order to help industry pros and investors like you become all that you can be.

We practice what we preach.

We read and read, then we write what the evidence tells us we should know, which then suggests which way to go.

In our consulting, professional business development services, marketing and sales coaching, it is all based upon observations, evidence, feedback, real world experiences, and ongoing refinement.

IfPrettyPicturesVideosAloneWereEnoughMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews1

Learn more about the above, linked here.

For a time, we trusted the ‘industry leaders’ to a certain degree. But we admit that on some things, the industry’s leaders were mistaken in what they said and did. To the degree we listened, we were off.

The evidence of why the industry’s so-called ‘leaders’ have been wrong is in the chart below.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are reasons why manufactured housing slid from 372,000 plus shipments in 1998, to under 50,000 shipments in 2009. Understanding what caused that, and navigating the realities of what the MH slide while America’s affordable housing crisis grew are fundamental.  Understanding the opportunities and the obstacles can make anyone with the time, talent and treasure commitments a success in this amazing industry.

If what those leaders wanted us all to do was so dang smart, why did the manufactured housing rumble and tumble as fat as it did?

When the nation has an affordable housing crisis, why will there only be about 100,000 new manufactured homes built this year?

The answers for that and more are found in reading for understanding.

 

The Trumpian View

Donald J. Trump has a similar belief to Munger’s and Buffett’s in this respect. The billionaire builder and businessman turned populist President of the United States (POTUS) believes this.  It pays to know all that you can about something that impacts your profession.

That Trumpian view is more than reading.  But it includes reading, plus viewing, asking questions, and listening to the answers. It requires the search for understanding.

Reading and viewing here and on MHLivingNews.com an hour a day. Every day. Do that for a year. Then, a year from now, tell me in an email, call, or other message what that practice did to make your professional life more profitable and effective.

Take that challenge.

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger didn’t say it. But another successful business guru did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours daily. Wow…but look were that got him.

Read for understanding, no less than one hour a day. Enough said for today. ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related References:

Is it Better to Be Candid, or a Kiss-Up? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

What are the FACTS about Manufactured Housing Industry Traffic vs. Real Estate? MHVillage, MHProNews, Manufactured Housing Institute Data

‘You Are Either Clayton Homes, or You’re Not’ – Monday Morning MH Sales Meeting

 

InvestInYourselfAndInYourBizManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Time, talent, treasure. Why not put your money, as we do, where your mouth is? 

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Is it Better to Be Candid, or a Kiss-Up? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

May 14th, 2018 Comments off

CandidOrKissUpMondayMorningManufacturedHousingSalesMarketingMeeting

Sales professionals and leasing agents in manufactured housing get faced with a daily choice.

 

It could be phrased like this.

Is it better to be a ‘Kiss Up,’ or ‘Candid? ‘

To be sure, someone can be both honest and polite.

But to allow someone to believe something that isn’t true, when you have the opportunity to clear an issue up, is a disservice to guests, clients, colleagues – and in time – it can impact your company’s reputation.

In real world sales scenarios from border to border, I’ve sadly witnessed some manufactured home pros who were not candid when they needed to be.

I’ve also seen sales pros that were not motivated enough.

Coach Lou Holtz did amazing things during his career. Here are some rules he believed in.

 

DoRIghtDoYourBestTreatOthersLikeYouWantToBeTreatedTrustYouCommittedDoYouCareLouHoltz-MastheadMHProNews

There can seem to be a short term cost to honesty at times. But a reputation for candor builds trust. Trust can be a critical foundation for a career or a business.

For those who may be tempted to believe that there is a conflict between ethics and success, don’t let Hollywood or anyone else fool you.

TheTimeIsALwaysRightToDoWhatisRightDrMartinLutherKingJrDailBusi8nessNewsMHProNEws

Spot on.

Moral principles in business – and in life – matter.

If you can tell it like it is, politely, do so.  But there are times that one has to be blunt, in order to convey a fact to a prospect or team member that could harm others if it isn’t known in a timely manner.  Enough said on this for today. ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related References:

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

What are the FACTS about Manufactured Housing Industry Traffic vs. Real Estate? MHVillage, MHProNews, Manufactured Housing Institute Data

 

 

InvestInYourselfAndInYourBizManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Time, talent, treasure. Why not put your money, as we do, where your mouth is?

 

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

May 7th, 2018 Comments off

LessoonFromMostHatedInAmericaStyleorSubstanceManufacturedHousingIndustryDialyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

Buckle up for what may be the most important topic so far this year, for this session of the Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales and Marketing Meeting about “Style or Substance.”  Executive summary?  Style matters, but properly understood, the industry evidence demonstrates that substance is proven to matter more.  The “most hated” is part of the proof, but all of it will matter to bottom-line focused executives, investors, sales/marketing pros, and owners.

 

A few quick examples will tee up the topic.

We get data, research as well as traffic reports from third parties and from our own servers.  That data tells us a lot about the manufactured home industry in general. That data and report don’t have – or need – your name, but they give us a variety of insights that are useful.

We also get – and welcome – comments and questions from readers across the spectrum.  Then, there are real–world client experiences. That combination of data, feedback and experience are powerful.

Some calls, messages, questions, and comments are sincere, others have an agenda. It’s part of life, it is whatever it is.

9 ½ years ago, when we launched what we call today MHProNews, the industry was at a low ebb. What was needed by most pros then, is different than what is needed by firms of all sizes today.

Then, the industry’s professionals needed to get back a measure of self-confidence and hope in the future.  Then, some fact-based ‘cheer leading’ was more important.

In 2009, the industry had hit its historic low point, having essentially collapsed. What do you call it when you go from 372,000+ shipments in 1998, to under 50,000 in 2009?

We won’t go deeply today into the pivotal years of 2003 or 2009. The year 2003 was when Berkshire Hathaway entered the manufactured housing industry, and 2009 was the year that 21st Mortgage issued their letters1 to independents that for some time restricted their credit to those buying Clayton Homes products.

When credit was tight, the result was predictable. It tipped a number of businesses, out of business2 and grew Clayton’s footprint in the process.

We will only say today what Warren Buffett does.  Namely that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. Or what MHI award winning industry veteran Marty Lavin says, pay more attention to what people do than what they say, and follow the money.

FactsDetailsMatterScrabbleLettersManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Examples of Style

There is style. We give credit where its due. Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) events have some style. Their emails have a style. Their website has a style. Their video promotions of Clayton, Next Step and two other brands have a style.

We won’t say there’s no substance to the above; but we’ll note that the information MHI often provides their readers is arguably tweaked (spun?) to suit their purpose.

Their own association members have contested some of the data that they put forth as fact.3  What MHI said the year before on advertorials on cost savings for manufactured homes was contradicted the next year by data on their website.  What’s up with that?

Rephrasing, you have to be an expert that closely falls the details to spot inconsistent and inaccurate MHI information.

MHI Style? Yes. But their traffic reports per third party Alexa – and Amazon brand – says they have a sky-high bounce rate4.  For non-techies, a high bounce rate means people see what they see, and then leave.  MHI averages one page per visit, says Alexa. By the way, in fairness their traffic is probably a bit more than that, but because of fractional rounding, Alexa may make it look a touch lower than it is.  MHI video views are low too.

We could say something similar about style with respect to the industry’s giant, Clayton Homes. There is a massive amount of “Made” (their marketing agency) style.

Clayton, per Alexa4, has about double the engagement of MHI. But that’s still low compared to conventional housing.

That fact-driven report, with much more, is linked here5.

The point for manufactured home marketers and sellers?

Style is nice, but online, people vote with time and page-views.  You don’t get lower than 1 page view per visit, which is what MHI is rated by Alexa.  The page views are about double that for giant and high-budget Clayton Homes.

OnlineVoteTimePagesScrabbleTilesDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMarketingSalesMangementMHProNEws

Facts matter.  As nice as style is, style alone isn’t king.  Recall that we’ve previously documented that Clayton’s total sales are growing at a slower percentage pace than the industry at large is.  Interesting, isn’t it?

What does this mean to a marketer?  That the giants aren’t invincible. David slew Goliath.  But David had the right strategy.  David used rock-hard substance, delivered with precision.

 

More Evidence of Substance over Style

MHProNews is not without its own style. But if you scratch past the surface, there’s meat on the bones here.  Thus our page views and engagements are about 6 times higher, per Webalizer, than MHI gets per Alexa. By the way, that makes our engagement about double what a mainstream news site averages. All that tells us the content – the substance – here is what professionals crave.

SundayMorningManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsWeeklyHeadlineNewsRecap4.29.2018to5.6.2018

MHProNews home page, Sunday morning, 5.6.2018.

We’re evidence and fact driven.  But what do actual readers say?

Here’s an example from yesterday from an award-winning manufactured housing industry veteran reader, who said:

I do stay away from politics… great way to make enemies.  However you need to speak your mind when asked and whatever you say you should believe in.   You are to be admired for taking a stance and position and backing it up.  One sided is not the way to go.  Good for you!”

Here’s what a Clayton content marketing manager said in late 2017:

As a thought leader in the manufactured housing industry, I would like to ask for permission to hyperlink to and properly cite content on your website. Here at Clayton, we enjoy and appreciate all of the content that the Manufactured Home Living News has to offer.” 6

BTW, if this was about bragging, we’d stop here.  The point is that content – substance – matters.  There’s more needed to create clarity.

Substance matters to everyone, certainly it matters to your target audience.  Clayton understands that, and one reason we get feedback from top people in the industry as well as from other size levels in the business is precisely because the content – the substance – created here on MHProNews or on MHLivingNews matter.

MHLivingNews5.8.2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manufactured Home Living News home page on 5.7.2018. Content – substance – along with style = results.

Those two messages from industry pros are just 2 of thousands of examples of how substance triumphs over style, but let’s show you more and how this can apply to your business and location.

We have detractors. Guess what? The industry has boat loads of detractors!

Who has more experience at dealing with detractors in a way that is measurably effective? If data matters, the MH professional audience votes for us hands down over what MHI and their surrogates put out.  The facts matter.  Substance matters. If we need a little thicker skin now that 2 years ago, it is what it is.

 

The Lesson from the Most Hated Man in America 

Opinions are a dime a dozen.

The truth can be staring someone in the face, and because we all have free will, we can opt to ignore that truth. To understand – really, truly understand – manufactured housing (or any other issue) Inside and Out, one must be evidence and fact driven.

Opinions may be interesting, or even exciting.  But facts and results are what thinking people want.  Businesses care about bottom lines, not hype.

There’s also an absolute need to invest the time needed to get the facts right.

It is no secret we editorially disagree with Warren Buffett’s politics, for example. But there’s no denying Mr. Buffett’s business success. What does he teach you or me? Plenty, if you pay attention, read, watch and listen.

One, Buffett reads. He’s not about surface issues. He wants to understand.

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Warren Buffett didn’t say it, but another successful business guru did. Don’t be superficial. Dig deeply for the facts.  Be open to something new.  Do you want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day. Wow…but look were that got him.

Buffett bets only on things he believes are a high probability of succeeding.

My fellow professionals, Buffett bet billions on manufactured housing because he believes in it. During a growing affordable housing crisis manufactured homes are a “no-brainer.”

But Buffett is also – arguably – monopolistic. He’s not your friend, he’s your competitor.

The same is true for Jeff Bezos, or Mark Zuckerberg, or other mega giants.  They are your or someone’s competition. That “Moat” principle of Buffett’s (see videos on the page, linked here7– is deemed by others as a monopolistic principle* that’s proven to work.  That moat and the related principles create a trend line.

Or a Clayton manager messaged me, “what’s wrong with crushing your competition?”  That’s what Buffett’s moat, capital and other policies can yield, crushing the competition.

That Berkshire trend-line will crush you or almost any business in a field that Buffett operates in, given enough time. Keep in mind that MHI is a nonprofit Buffett tool.   That MHI tool is arguably working precisely as they want it to. The proof is that those key salaried staff got raises and bonuses9.  Bonuses, for what?  Did Preserving Access get passed?  Did MHI try to get Pam Danner out at HUD?  MHI’s own EVP said no.10

If I was wrong on MHI working just as the Buffett/Berkshire brands want it to, then surely Tim Williams and Kevin Clayton would have fired people at MHI by now, for failure to deliver on their promises to the industry at large. We’ll say “alleged” on all of this, so that we don’t get a letter from them or MHI.

Then, we’ll point you to the linked evidence.

Spend enough time with an open mind, you’ll see the truth for yourself.  The facts and evidence matter.

Who’s the most hated man in America? Easy. The President of the United States (POTUS), Donald J. Trump. He’s upsetting several apple carts. He’s not playing by their politically correct rules. Mr. Trump is despised by numbers, but the evidence suggests that he is loved by even more than the many who’ve been convinced to hate him.

Style? Yes, POTUS has one, though his style may not be your style.

Substance? Yes. Don’t believe those trying to convince you that he’s brainless, because it demonstrably false. Agree or disagree with POTUS, like or dislike Mr. Trump’s manners or style.  But even some of the president’s detractors are starting to admit that he’s driven more positive national and international change in 15 months than some presidents did in 8 years.

Controversial Style, yes. But that Style has Substance.

We at MHProNews are controversial only because people got locked into certain habits.

Mr. Buffett has said it. He counts on habits controlling you. He doesn’t have to know you, he knows the raw data and the history.

To win in manufactured housing today, you need the right plan. Yes, style matters.

Substance properly presented matters more.

The audience here at MHProNews dwarfs MHI’s. See the proof at the link above or below. Our audience is bigger than a year ago, not by a little, but by a lot.  Their ‘negative whispers’ campaign hasn’t blunted our audience.

In a sense, we had no choice to pivot on style at MHProNews, because if Goliath is going after you, you have to fight back (yes, they started it). We’ve always believed in principles and evidence. But we determined it was better to change the style somewhat – towards more fact-checking – plus a sharper focus on research and results.

You and thousands of others that come here daily have responded. Thank you.

The president is followed by most everyone in politics, many in business and economics. They’re reading the tea leaves.

The same is true on MHProNews.  MHI, Knoxville, all of the major hubs of the industry from FL to MI, IL, TX or CA and other markets and magnets check in. We know because they tell us, but even if they didn’t say a word, geo-data tells us too.  Again, we don’t see you, but we do have data on where the readers come from.

All of this matters to marketers.

 

POTUS and Manufactured Housing Profits

Every rally POTUS Trump holds, combined with the data of those who support him on air or cable, is all that you, I – or anyone with common sense – needs to know as to his honest ‘poll’ numbers.

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and a host of others all dominate or have an edge in their space and time slots.  Why?  Because more want that content – that substance – over the style of the others. What more needs be said about the president’s popularity?

In MHVille, we have the audience.  The third party data doesn’t lie.

In MHVille, we have the secret sauce that’s proven to attract and close more business.  That Clayton marketing exec knows it, and others do too.

Look again at the facts, which a competitor’s buddy suggested that we do. Glad he did. We’re not afraid of the facts.

 

Fear or Complacency Can Be Lethal 

Don’t be afraid, or complacent.

If you’re an independent and you are complacent, the Berkshire Hathaway trend lines will kill you’re business, given enough time. Buffett’s is betting billions on it.  Don’t forget, Buffett’s in more than just manufactured home production, home or floorplan lending, and retail.  They are in community lending. They are in insurance.  They are in components and supplies. What aren’t they in?

Don’t say communities, because there is talk…

…and plenty of action tied to communities.

So, if you are willing to listen and learn something new to grow your business and secure your future and that of your kids or corporate successors – and you aren’t afraid of a little controversy – call or message us.  You can call or message me personally.

The facts don’t lie.

Growth rates for clients that start and stick with our process generate some 250 percent to 800 percent more sales.  250-800% growth is proof.  There are those who start and don’t follow through. Quitters don’t grow (duh).  So please don’t be one of those quitters.  We tell clients up front, before we charge a dime, that  change is necessary. We don’t know what change will be needed at your location(s) until we see it first hand.  That’s part of the magic.

Odds are, you’re doing most things right.  But if you aren’t outselling real estate or conventional housing in your market, then you aren’t doing all that you can. Don’t bother calling me if you aren’t willing and eager to learn and make honest, ethical fact-based changes which will attract better qualified buyers who will be happy with their homes.

Style is nice and useful.  But Substance, Facts and Performance all Matter More.

B2B, B2C, or both, call or message to learn more. The facts don’t lie. ##  (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Footnotes and References:

Only footnote 6 above isn’t hot-linked.  That info, is found below.

6: We italicized Manufactured Home Living News for clarity, but in the original message the same words were not in italics.  Here’s the screen capture.

ClaytonHomesContentManagerPermissiontoUseMHLivingNewsContentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHPronnews

InvestInYourselfAndInYourBizManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Time, talent, treasure. Why not put your money, as we do, where your mouth is? 

 

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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