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Not Panicking, even when in Deep Trouble

February 18th, 2014 No comments

Tony,

I just bought a single section home, 20' x 72', three levels.

SpySea-TransomML&amp_PL 001.JPGBut it is not an MH, it's a motor yacht, the Spy Sea. We live on it in Miami Beach during the winter. As I found out recently, the most simple acts in life can have life-altering consequences. Careful! The below episode is one such occurrence.

I think I had two closings Feb 13th. First on the 72' Tecnomarine Italia Pilot House Motor Yacht, Spy Sea, and almost closed on my life. We closed the purchase of the boat in the early afternoon and my wife Pat and I went to be on the boat.

Around 6 pm, Pat had gone to the car to bring our dog over. It was very rough at Sunset Harbor Marina in Miami Beach where the boat was berthed, almost gale force winds blowing. The boat was really moving around, being pushed away from the dock. After following Pat, in trying to get back onto the boat, all I remember is starting to take a very long step from the concrete dock to the boat's swim platform, then next, being in the water, at the transom with my head above the water, not how I got there.

I don't remember hitting the water or going under, which I must have, or anything else about the fall.

I could swim, but was struggling, bogged down by wet sweat pants and shirt, and had taken several bad hits to my legs, my shoulder, and worse, had very badly banged my head, temple and ear. There was no way to get out of the water, no ladders and the boat's transom was high above my reach. I was alone and in trouble. No one was around or saw me fall.

I was struggling holding on to the trim tabs on the transom waiting for Pat's return, as there is no dock ladder there to get out of the water.

Finally, after several minutes, Pat returned to find me in the water, far below her. She quickly beckoned a passing lady who threw me a rope. The rope was behind a locked gate and Pat couldn't get to it. 

I grabbed the rope and the lady steered me towards the boat next over. The captain of that boat finally lowered his hydraulic swim platform to water level so I could get on. I was bleeding pretty badly from a chopped up ear and head bang. I was so wozzy I could barely stand.

I have no recollection of what happened that sent me into the water, but know I was taking a very long step to the swim platform from the dock and didn't make it. My front foot must have slipped on the side of the swim platform, and I must have tumbled in to the water. Then I hit my head and body against something hard, probably the concrete wall behind me or swim platform (less likely).

Why I didn't get knocked out and go under, I do not know. Had that happened, no one would have known what happened to me, as no one saw me fall. Pat would have assumed I was off visiting. Geezuz!

Only the gods saved me to be with my wife on our new boat.

Its the little unexpected occurrences that happen in life that can be big life changers. I dodged a bullet. Just wasn't my time yet, but it was close. Can I take any solace? I never panicked though I knew I was potentially in deep trouble. ##

marty-lavin-posted-on-mhpronewsMARTIN V. (“Marty”) LAVIN
attorney, consultant & expert witness
350 Main Street Suite 100
BURLINGTON, VERMONT 05401-3413
802-660-8888 off / 802-238-7777 cell
marty@martylavin.com

Nov. 2013-May 2014 Address
C/O Bill Bird Haulover Marina
10800 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33154

9 Reasons Why You Need CRM

January 15th, 2014 No comments

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is nothing new; it’s been around since the days of the Rolodex. Tickler files, ledgers, manifests, and even the ‘little black book‘ are relationship management tools that date back for centuries. But CRM has never been more important to closing sales than it is today.

Unless you do business on a very low scale (or work for only one or two clients) you are wasting precious time and missing sales opportunities if you’re not putting a CRM system to work for you. Here are 9 reasons why you need an effective CRM in your business:

Speed

Face it – the bulk of your leads and new customers likely come from online advertising – your website, directories, etc. If your customers find you on the web, they expect you to do business at the speed of the web, i.e., instantaneously. An effective CRM system should capture leads from online sources and send a response to new inquiries instantly and automatically.

The Fallibility of Memory

“The weakest ink is better than the strongest memory,” so the saying goes. And it’s true. Today’s sales professional is just too busy – and the workplace too hectic – to rely on memory alone to follow up with potential buyers. Without a single, organized place to record all client data, you will end up missing important communications – and losing sales. If you’ve ever grabbed whatever piece of paper is handy to record notes from an incoming phone call (and then lost or thrown away that paper as trash), then you know why you need a better system.

Awareness

Once you’ve attracted and recorded a new lead, you need a means to nurture their interest and remain front of mind with them. An effective CRM system will prompt you to keep in touch with prospects with relevant communications that address their key interests. Really good CRM systems will allow you to automate much of this process, including emails, phone calls, letters or post cards, and appointments. The goal: encourage a face to face meeting in your sales center.

Response

Nothing says “your not important; I don’t care” like failing to respond to a prospect’s question. Or not following up with them in a personal way. Or forgetting their name or the model or lot they’re interest in. An effective CRM system keeps all that information handy and accessible by computer, tablet or smart phone, and alerts you when you to appointments, incoming emails, or when it’s time to follow up with a phone call. And really good CRM systems allow you to store all relevant files – letters, plans, photos, etc., in the same place, so you always have every piece of information you need at your fingertips.

Management

So far, we’ve given valid reasons why every salesperson should use a CRM system. But it doesn’t stop there. If you manage a sales team, you need to know what opportunities are in the pipeline, which prospects are the most likely to close quickly, and what you can do to help move those urgent sales forward. You also need to see that every prospect is being properly followed up with by the sales consultant, and to give additional training and help where it’s needed. An effective CRM allows you to accomplish all that, and more.

Reports and Projections

What are your most effective lead sources and ROI from advertising? What are your projected sales (units and/or dollar volume) for the next month, quarter, and year? What is the average closing rate for your sales team? For individual salespeople? What is your average closing time, from initial contact to close? An effective CRM answers those questions and allows you to better manage your sales team, your advertising and your cash flow.

Service

Because your CRM program allows you to schedule appointments, tasks and alerts, you’ll be able to keep up with service calls or punch lists quickly, without ever worrying that an important call with fall through the cracks. Do you do annual maintenance, reviews, maintenance or renewals? Schedule these in your CRM, with alerts 30-days prior to the scheduled date to send notifications to customers and/or service agents. A really good CRM will automate these notifications and communications so you won’t have to.

Referrals

It should be the goal of every sales group to increase referral sales. A good goal is 30% – 40% of total sales. How do you reach that? By keeping in touch, servicing and nurturing existing customers or tenants. Every effective Customer Loyalty or retention program is powered by a CRM system. A CRM program will allow you to include past customers in any marketing events, such as open houses, seminars, or home shows, as well as send cards or congratulations on move-in anniversaries, for holidays, etc. A really good CRM will allow you to automate all of these processes, including alerts and email notifications, so that everything takes place seamlessly and without staff time to schedule.

Connectivity

While stand-alone CRM systems can provide all of the above, many will also connect and share data with other programs, such as your accounting program, inbound lead sources, rent or tenant management system, or point of sale program. This connectivity expands the value of a CRM to keep all customer data, from lead source to rent history, all in one place, saving time and avoiding ‘multi-system chaos’ that stifles use and frustrates business owners/managers.

So, there you have 9 good reasons to stop using that old, outdated spreadsheet or restrictive paper system and step up to a CRM system that will save you time, streamline your sales and marketing processes, and make your team more effective in closing more new and referral sales.

You should check out additional reasons to consider CRM at this story by Jason Brady linked below:

Start the Year off Right!

l-a-tony-kovach-scott-stroud-jason-brady-mhpronews-com1.jpg

Want to learn more? Then, join discussion moderator L. A. “Tony” Kovach, Jason Brady from ManufacturedHomes.com and me at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show on Wednesday, January 23 at 9:30am SHARP for a special panel presentation on CRM for the Housing Industry. Go to this link at the www.TheLouisvilleShow.com site for details. ##

scott-stroud-posted-mhpronews-com-industry-voices-.jpgScott Stroud
180 Enchanted Dr.
Somerset, KY  42503
p. 606.677.04547

email:  sstroud@builderradio.com

(Editor's Note: The entire business building seminar lineup for the Louisville Show is linked here. It is currently the hottest page on their site, immediately after the home page!)

HUD’s William Matchneer Speaks at MHI’s Winter Meeting

February 4th, 2010 No comments

William Matchneer, HUD’s Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Affairs and Manufactured Housing addressed over 100 members at MHI’s Winter Meeting on February 2 in Savannah, Georgia. Matchneer outlined the Department’s priorities for the manufactured housing program in 2010 as follows:

  • The long awaited proposed rule on the new Title I loan insurance will be published within the next few weeks.
  • A Manufactured Housing Lenders Summit hosted by FHA Commissioner David Stevens and Congressman Joe Donnelly (D-IN) will be held to find solutions to the financing issues affecting this industry.
  • Action will be taken to protect preemption of the HUD code by publishing a proposed rule on the changes recommended by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) and it would be in the industry’s best interest for this to be on a three year cycle of code changes consistent with other nationally recognized building codes.
  • Changes to the MHCC by-laws and rules as prescribed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act were finalized to improve the MHCC process.
  • Efforts will continue in working with manufacturers to provide technical assistance to update manufacturing plant quality assurance manuals. He emphasized that HUD is not viewing these actions as an enforcement issue, but rather an opportunity for HUD to serve as a resource to assist manufacturers in putting updated quality assurance procedures in place.
  • A proposed rule to Manufacturer Inspection and Certification Requirements and Primary Inspection Agency responsibilities (24 CFR Part 3282 Subparts E and H) will be published by this Summer.
  • Serious and thoughtful review of all comments submitted to HUD in response to its proposed rulemaking on the SAFE Act will be made. Matchneer encouraged everyone to submit comments to the proposed rule by February 16.
  • The non-career administrator position will not be filled in the next few months due to budget constraints. He assured members that we have an excellent industry advocate in FHA Commissioner David Stevens who is a highly regarded official. Matchneer is the industry’s point person at HUD. He knows how critical these issues are to the industry and is there to help. He encouraged members to continue to work through the MHI staff with which he has a great working relationship.

Other topics discussed at the Winter Meeting were weather radios, Energy Star Tax Credit extender legislation, pre-1976 replacement home legislation, FEMA emergency housing and financing issues. The two-day meeting concluded with a meeting of the MHI Board of Directors. Resolutions were passed on the SAFE Act and federal preemption. MHI will be working hard during the upcoming months on these critical regulatory and legislative issues.

MHI is the the preeminent national trade association for manufactured and modular housing industries, representing all segments of the industries before Congress and the Federal government. From its Washington, D.C. area headquarters, MHI actively works to promote fair laws and regulation for all MHI members and the industry. For more information on MHI, visit www.manufacturedhousing.org.