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Reply to Danny Ghorbani’s, “Sobering Wake Up Call…” – “MHARR Report and Analysis “

August 14th, 2014 2 comments

(Editor's note, the following is in reply to a public message sent from Danny Ghorbani's email at MHARR, linked here, that was critical of Bill Matchneer, JD, and some recent HUD action. Since the factory named had the issue corrected, that plant's name was edited out.  Other views are welcome.)

Plants are certified (licensed to build homes) by HUD based on the strength of their quality control (QC) programs. That’s what the regs say and that’s always been the practice. All I did was make sure plants continued to maintain the level of QC the regs require and let them know that HUD could suspend or revoke the certification if the QC falls below a certain point.

This change in program emphasis was motivated by a series of homes that was shipped from a ——– plant in California with no flue connections. Several families were nearly asphyxiated. The only real complaints came from Danny.

I mostly got compliments and thanks from manufacturers who not only saw real improvements in their products but in employee morale as well.

MHI knows it’s the right way to go, as does Pam Danner, with whom I’ve had several conversations on the subject. ##

Bill-Matchneer-mhpronews-com-75x75Bill Matchneer

(Editor's Note, you can see our latest interview A Second Cup of Coffee withBill Matchneer,” at the link shown.)

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!)

You Might Be a Redneck!

December 12th, 2013 No comments

You might be a redneck if: It never occurred to you to
be offended by the phrase, 'One nation, under God..'

You might be a redneck if: You've never protested about seeing
the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a redneck if: You still say ' Christmas'
instead of 'Winter Festival.'

You might be a redneck if: You bow your head when
someone prays.

You might be a redneck if: You stand and place your
hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem

You might be a redneck if: You treat our armed forces
veterans with great respect, and always have.

You might be a redneck if: You've never burned an
American flag, nor intend to.

You might be a redneck if: You know what you believe
and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You might be a redneck if: You respect your elders and
raised your kids to do the same.

You might be a redneck if: You'd give your last dollar to
a friend.

You might be a redneck if you are tired of government overreach, such as ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, the SAFE Act, CFPB and an alphabet soup of federal agencies that want to throttle our businesses or run our personal lives.

You might be a redneck if you've read this far, and you've nodded in agreement more than half the time. When I read some of the above from an article that had no author's name, and I added the last ones which impact manufactured housing home owners, professionals and the rest of our country too.

God Bless America! ##
Submitted by Larry Hahn

ObamaCare: A Different Perspective

December 5th, 2013 No comments

As a retailer for over 30 years and having operated 15 or so locations, I have lost a few sales per year per dealership due to potential buyers having filed personal bankruptcies in the prior 7-14 years.  Most were due to un-insured medical expenses.

A 2007 Harvard study bears me out.  "Half of U.S. bankruptcies, affecting 2 million people annually, were attributable to illness or medical bills." An article by CNN in '09 raises that percentage to 60%.  Medically related bankruptcies have been rising steadily, up from 8% in 1981 (Businessweek).

ObamaCare – with all it's flaws – is designed to eliminate medical bankruptcy by insuring all without exemptions or caps for catastrophic illness.  What is so bad about that concept?

Just think what 3 -5 more sales per year per retailer would add up to, nationally! 

On top of that, all the site builders would also sell more homes.  Every non-commercial real estate agent would sell more existing homes and their sellers could buy a new home!

Multiply all this out, and you have thousands upon thousands of homes built and sold plus the jobs they create, and the trickle down effect on suppliers, lenders, etc.

It is just a fact that ObamaCare – if tweaked and successful – will be good for housing. I don't care about Olive Garden, I care about the Manufactured Housing Industry! 

Dodd/Frank is the looming disaster for housing, not ObamaCare.

frank-woody-republic-manufactured-homes-texas-credit-azlenews-posted-mhpronews-industry-voices-guest-blog-.pngFrank Woody, Owner
Republic Homes
Texas

(Editor's Note1: Frank Woody (r). Photo Credit azlenews. Frank is too modest to do this himself, so we are posting this for him! Weatherford Police Chief Manning presents an award to Frank Woody for going above and beyond to help law enforcement by providing them a place to conduct training.)

(Editor's Note2: this commentary by Frank Woody came as his 'reply' to the article linked below. His comments above are published at his request.)

http://www.MHProNews.com/home/industry-news/industry-in-focus/6659-dodd-frank-fix-hr-1779-preserving-access-to-manufactured-housing-act-of-2013-achieves-growing-bi-partisan-support- )

Liberty

July 17th, 2012 No comments

I read Tony Kovach's recent Masthead blog post with some fascination. Because the upcoming elections are on my mind too. Many of us feel that we are watching something slip away. Many of us want to make sure that we continue what was started in 2010, when the House or Representatives was retaken by 'tea party conservatives'.

Lady-Liberty-mhmsm

I did a post on LinkedIn recently, asking questions about the impact of the Nanny State on manufactured housing professionals. Here are a pair of the statements, quoted below verbatim, with the initials of the person who made the comment:

The industry is, I agree, significantly over-regulated. Often intentionally, exemplified with the number and types of superfluous disclosures to prospective residents our legislature seeks to add, and also as the unintended consequence of legislation targeting others (SAFE Act as to sale of park owned homes, Red Flags, Safeguard Rules, Patriot Act, etc.)” TD

The problem is that sometimes we get what we "wish for" – the HUD Code. Many manufacturers in the industry wanted HUD regulation to avoid regulation by each state. Tony is correct – the largest shipment year was 1974 – the year before the HUD Code, but, there were other factors at work as well.KR

Here are some quotes from historic leaders and masters on this subject of Liberty.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Ben Franklin

If we are together nothing is impossible, if we are divided all Will Fail.” Winston Churchill

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” Thomas Jefferson

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person by person.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” George Washington

Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.” John F. Kennedy

To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

The history of freedom is never really written by chance but by choice.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Lincoln Union Forces MHProNews

We have so many things that can inspire us Americans. One of the countless examples is Abraham Lincoln, who suffered defeat after defeat in his personal career, only to keep coming back through dogged persistence to accomplish his goal.

Lincoln is famous for three reasons one his election in 1860, two his struggle to hold the Union together in the Civil War. But Lincoln is also famous that his life was riddled with failure and he overcame it time and time again. Here is just a small sampling of his failures;

1831 Failed in business

1832 Lost his job

1836 Had a nervous breakdown in bed for 6 months

1843 – Ran for Congress and lost

1848 Ran for re-election to Congress and lost

1858 Ran for US Senate and lost

1860 Ran for President and won.

The question – how many failures can you endure and carry on? The answer that Abraham Lincoln gave with us with his life example is to keep on keeping on until you accomplish that worthwhile goal.

Great things can be accomplished by team work. Pulling together can happen professionally as well as politically. That is why associations and parties exist. One thing is certain, "United, we Stand. Divided, we fall."

There is no need for perfect unity, nor is it possible. America became free of England not because everyone stood together! They became free because enough stood together to make it happen. Some say that perhaps 1/3 of the people were engaged in the effort and supported independence.

So don't think that just because there is opposition that we are thus 'doomed to fail.' YOU be a part of the solution. Gather others of like mind. Share the truth well, and some will accept it. That is how you get 'enough.'

The same can be true for us now as it was for the American Rebels at the time of the Revolution, as we work to reverse a long string of legal and regulatory setbacks to our liberties. We can do it. We are Americans. Amer-I-CAN.

The economic times give manufactured housing professionals an in unprecedented opportunity. Lower incomes means more people than ever before are looking for affordable quality homes in America. But we won't accomplish it unless we get some regulatory and legal hurdles out of the way.

This is the election that we had better work hard to win. If you haven't already seen and shared this political cartoon linked here, please check it out and send it to your mailing list.

http://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/2012-06-25-16-14-30/purely-political/37-the-5-facts-for-voters-to-consider

Doing so can do two amazing things. One, it can get more people thinking and engaged.

Two, it can get more people looking at the manufactured home lifestyle in a positive way.

Those are two things that can help you and your business. Together, Let's do this! Liberty – personal freedom – is worth working for, always. ##

Posted for
Tim Connor

Marketing & Sales,Website,AdvertisingandMHSpeakerTrainer– Manager

MHProNews.com = The MHIndustry's#1 News, Tips and View you can Use© resource.

MHLivingNews.com = Free resource to enhance MH HomeOwner Satisfaction and MH Image Building

Upgrading Your Community – Introduction to a New Series

April 4th, 2010 1 comment

by Chrissy Jackson

Chrissy Jackson photoCommunities are the enduring segment of the manufactured housing industry. As such, we community owners bear the brunt of the reputation – good or bad – that’s floating around the media and in the minds of the public. Communities age, they look tired, infrastructure wears out, new homes become larger and no longer fit on some of the older homesites and so on. We all know the many elements and challenges that this segment of the industry faces.

As a community owner or manager, it’s up to you to not only maintain your community, but to make it look as bright and shiny new as possible, while taking advantage of the maturing features that bring so much benefit to your residents.

How to do that? Glad you asked! There’s a series of articles coming that will walk you through upgrading your community – inside out – starting right here at www.MHMSM.com. Each month for the next eight months, we’ll look at a different part of the upgrade process and how to accomplish it while preserving the unique charms of your older community.

One of the other benefits of this series of articles is that community owners/managers of not-so-old communities can pick up tips for upgrades, too. Don’t wait until your entire community needs a facelift… start early using Chrissy Jackson’s tips.

Chrissy

Chrissy Jackson
President, Chrissy Jackson & Associates, Inc.
President, Florida Writers Association, Inc.
Vice President, Florida Writers Foundation, Inc.
P. O. Box 66069
St. Pete Beach, FL 33736-6069


Chrissy Jackson logo

Chrissy Jackson bio

Services & publications specifically designed for the needs of the manufactured housing industry.

Chrissy began her career as a Community Manager in 1980 with a 200-site manufactured home community in a rural area of Florida. Over the next 16 years, she was responsible for communities ranging from 125 sites in economically distressed areas to larger, country club type developments with over 800 sites, including many with sales operations.

In 1997, she created and headed the Chrissy Jackson Seminar Division of Steiner Communities. This venue enabled Chrissy to then provide property management seminars and training across the country for state association conventions and private property management conferences.

In May of 1999, Chrissy joined the staff of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) as Director of Training and Community Resources. She remains the principal trainer for the Manufactured Housing Educational Institute’s (MHEI) accreditation programs and other courses. These include the Professional Housing Consultant (PHC) course, the Crisis Communication courses, and the Play it Safe Disaster Preparedness Seminar. Chrissy Jackson also served as a professional resource available to the members of MHI’s National Communities Council.

She currently conducts private training sessions and workshops at regional or national employee conferences, and provides advisory services. Chrissy has been a presenter for the National Manufactured Housing Congress in Las Vegas, Nevada, for several years.

An internationally recognized author, she has been writing handbooks on community management since the early 1990’s. She has also written monthly columns for The Journal, Manufactured Housing Today, Manufactured Housing Professional News, The Merchandiser and Community Management (industry trade publications). In addition, she has penned guest articles for other newsletters, magazines and industry publications.

To reach Chrissy, write to Chrissy Jackson at P. O. Box 66069, St. Pete Beach, Fl 33736-6069. Or email chrissyj@earthlink.net. More information can also be found at www.chrissy-jackson.com.