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Sugary Sweet Reports on Manufactured Housing Industry

September 24th, 2018 Comments off

 

SugarySweetReportsonManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

You don’t have to be a doctor of dentist to realize that a person who relies on a diet of sugar, sweets, and fails to balance or brush will end up with rotten teeth and other health issues.

 

That is an analogy for manufactured housing professionals to ponder.

Businesses and industries use baselines, market-share, and other metrics that are fact-based. That data is used to determine how healthy – or not – a business or industry actually is.

Certainly, one metric is dollars and cents. How profitable is a business?  By the way, this is today’s Monday Morning MH Sales/Marketing meeting post.

Rising profits are obviously good. But a ‘sugar high’ can feel good for a while too. It is only later that the health issues manifest themselves.

Profits may be rising, and that’s good.  But if other metrics signal an imbalance or problem, then part of those profits ought to be allocated toward treating underlying issues that keep a business from rising even higher.

Figure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

Above and below are industry metrics that must be considered, and then applied to your local market(s) and business interests.

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This is a flashback to over a year ago, the data has shifted slightly higher, but the principles still hold. http://www.mhpronews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/a-executive-summary-400-words-manufactured-housing-industry-obstacles-and-billions-in-opportunities

 

At the MHEC meeting, one of the discussions was reportedly about the “unconstitutional taking” of property. It’s a subject that the Daily Business News on MHProNews on that very topic. Where are the others in trade publishing on that or other vexing issues?

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

From the outset, MHProNews has spotlighted good news, but also problem areas and how those can be dealt with. Reality is based on facts, not mere wishes, hopes, and day dreams that lack substance.

At the local, state, or federal level there are challenges. Those challenges exist outside of the industry, as well as inside.

Ignoring reality may have delayed consequences, but like that analogy of a diet of sugar, those health – and business – outcomes eventually surface.

Let’s be blunt. There are controversial topics we cover that no one else in MHVille has or will touch. Perhaps in time, others in the industry’s trade media will realize that the world won’t end if they tackle real issues with something more than sugar-coating?

 

Cost and Benefit

There is a cost to even fact and evidence-based publishing, when it raises issues that are unpopular in certain quarters.

But benefits exist too.

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Click here or the above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

Readership on the site is more than double what it was a year ago. We were already the number one trade media, but that has expanded.

From big, to medium, or small organizations in manufactured housing, readers want a meal, not just candy. People may or may not agree with a perspective. But they know we have laid out facts, evidence and give others a chance to input too.

Leadership for your business can get a similar result. In fact, there is good evidence from our consulting and business development service clients that diving into tough topics is precisely what we’ll qualify consumers and B2B decision makers want.

Keep candy for desert. Brush your intellectual teeth after you’ve consumed some sweet sounding stuff elsewhere.

A sponsor recently said that some “may not realize the power of your platform.” It was a nice compliment to MHProNews/ MHLivingNews.  But the reality is that it has always been, and will always be a collaboration. Sponsors, clients, feedback, tips from industry pros, and our own team’s work meld together to make this possible.

As we’re preparing to publish this, we’ve had a written response from the mayor in the town in the story linked below.

 

Anti-MH Bigotry, Prejudice, and Possibly Illegal Action on Display in Manufactured Housing’s Birthplace?

 

There are absolutely times when polite and pleasant behavior are merited.  There are other times when only vigorous push-back will work.

The shipment chart and comparisons to RVs or other industries are the only evidence-based reasons that are needed to realize that while the industry is ‘recovering,’ it is doing so far too slowly.  In most markets, sustainable, ethical increases in sales of 500% to 1000% (+/-) in new manufactured home sales ought to be possible.

The results are actionable intelligence and insights that leaders, managers, and investors can benefit from. Or as our tag line says, “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © See related reports and links, below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

(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:
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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:

“Family Owned,” a Formula for Outperforming “Big Boys,” Monday Morning MH Marketing Sales Meeting

 

Sustainable Success. Your Best MH Investment? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales and Marketing Meeting

 

Becoming a Standout Performer, Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

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

July 9th, 2018 Comments off

 

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.

 

IfIHadAnHourToSolveAProblemIdSpend55MinutesThinkingAboutthePRoblemAnd5MinutesThinkingAboutsolutionsAlbertEinsteinquoteMHProNews

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. 

 

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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

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Related Reports:

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

 

 

BMO Dims Sun

July 12th, 2012 Comments off

Benzinga reports Wed. July 11 BMO Capital Markets downgraded Sun Communities, Inc. to market perform from outperform and repeated its $45.00 target. Benzinga compliments Sun on its balance sheet metrics, dividend coverage, and net operating income (NOI), and notes its affordable housing option continues to thrive. Sun (NYSE: SUI) closed at $45.16 July 10, and at $44.64 yesterday. MHProNews knows that Sun, based in Southfield, Michigan, is one of the largest owners and operators of MHCs in the nation.

(Photo credit: Sun Communities, Inc.)