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Posts Tagged ‘salesperson’

MHI 2013 Annual Meeting Recap

October 10th, 2013 No comments

IMHA Executive Director Mark Bowersox attended the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) annual meeting held September 28 – October 1 in Carlsbad, CA. As with most recent industry meetings, speakers and conversations at the event were focused on the impact of the Dodd-Frank consumer protection legislation and reforming the CFPB’s upcoming regulations. MHI and other industry representatives continue to work with the CFBP on three key areas:

Exemption for manufactured housing appraisal requirements

Based on the most recent rules issued by the CFPB loans on all new manufactured homes, regardless of whether or not they included land, are exempt from the appraisal requirement. Loans on existing manufactured homes, not including land, are also exempt from the appraisal requirements. Additionally, all mobile homes (pre-HUD code) home loans are exempt. The CFPB’s rule solidifying these exemptions is still pending. When finalized the rule will go into effect in January.

Key rule clarifications and exclusions

Loan originator compensation guidelines issued by the CFPB this summer provide the industry with key exclusions from the points and fees calculation that lenders must perform and clarifies certain activities that retail sales staff can engage in without being defined as loan originators.

Manufactured home sales price is excluded from the points and fees definition and does not have to be included in calculations performed by lenders unless a creditor has knowledge that the sales price includes compensation for loan origination activities.

 

Retail sales commissions paid to employees is excluded from points and fees calculation requirements unless the salesperson is receiving compensation from a lender for loan origination activities.

According to MHI, activities that do not classify a retailer or its sales personnel as loan originators include:

  • Providing or making available general information about creditors and loan originators that may offer financing for manufactured housing
  • Gathering or collecting supporting information or documentation on behalf of a consumer for inclusion in a credit application
  • Providing general credit application instructions so that a consumer can complete it themselves
  • Financing the sale of no more than three homes in a year.

Activities that will make a retail employee be considered a loan originator include:

  • Filling out a credit application for a customer
  • Discussing particular credit terms with a customer
  • Directing or influencing a customer to select a particular lender or creditor

MHI continues to seek from the CFPB to provide further clarification on what activities retailers can engage in without being defined as loan originators.

MHI is still working with the CFPB and various consumer interest groups on the need to revise the upcoming High Cost Mortgage Loan triggers for manufactured home loans. IMHA will continue to be engaged on this issue, along with MHI and other interested parties. ##

mark-bowersox-imha-posted-industry-voices-guest-blog-mhpronews.com-75x75pxl-.pngMark Bowersox
Executive Director
Indiana Manufactured Housing Association
Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council
3210 Rand Road
Indianapolis, IN  46241

(Editor's Note: You can find more info on the LO Comp Rule and HOEPA from DJ Pendelton's article published in the Industry In Focus Reports module, linked here.

 

You can also find Mark Bowersox's “It's Now or Never” featured article, linked here. )

The Lack of Sales Training in the Manufactured Housing Industry

August 20th, 2013 No comments

Tony, in your LinkedIn Discussion, you asked the question, “Are manufactured housing pros today truly 'trained' to sell new MHs?

Unfortunately, the answer is (for the most part), “No.”

When the tidal wave of a slowing economy, a major downturn in housing starts, an skyrocketing number of foreclosures and lower site-built mortgage interest rates hit, we saw the biggest sales collapse that I can remember in over 20 years in and around the industry.

It's sad, but when most companies experience lower sales, the FIRST thing that goes are the things they list as "nice to have" items, like training.

Great companies invest in MORE training during economic downturns, to ensure that they have the best chance of selling to every Client that walks through the door. IBM is a great example of this.

The training that DOES occur is typically in-house training, where companies are most likely to become myopic in their view of the industry. And, when this happens they revert to teaching the things that worked in the past, which they find aren't effective in TODAY's market; which also reinforces the idea that “training doesn’t help.”

This is a HUGE problem, because today’s market is dramatically different than the industry of yesteryear.

Today:

OVER 90% OF ALL HOME-BUYERS (Including Manufactured Housing Clients) DO THE MAJORITY OF THEIR SHOPPING ON THE WEB! 

And virtually 100% of the BEST BUYERS shop via the Web.

Most dealers don't seem to be aware of this – or if they ARE – they don’t know how to use the Internet to attract the attention of the best buyers.

If they don't have a compelling marketing message – if their website and associated social media sites aren't professional and appealing – then potential Clients see that dealership as amateurish, and never "convert" (that is, click through and ask to be contacted by a salesperson), much less visit that sales center.

When a good buyer DOES contact a dealership, the sales professionals have to know how to use multiple modes of communication to engage that Client.

They have to be professional, credible, and competent on the phone; with email; and with social media to create a "three-dimensional" relationship with the customer.

When the Client believes they've found a credible company, sales professional, and the right home, THEN they will come to the sales center to COMPLETE the purchase process. This means that sales and marketing are now a combined effort and that…

THE SALES PROCESS HAS CHANGED IN A MAJOR WAY!

Whether the industry wants to believe it or not, this has become a Web-Driven market, and sales professionals have to be good at using the tools and techniques that work in this new environment.

Training that addresses these and many other changes in our marketplace is virtually non-existent; and most of the training that IS available is dated and out of step with today's market.

In addition, most manufacturers and/or dealers are exceedingly reluctant to invest in training.

The manufacturers that have big backlogs believe that if they build a better, cheaper product, that they will ALWAYS have a big backlog.

Those that DON'T have big backlogs think that PRODUCT is the answer – not training.

They believe the problem is that they haven't found the winning combination of features, benefits, and price point. Therefore their efforts and money are invested in product development, not sales force development.

They don't understand how important it is to invest in Web-based marketing and associated training.

The net result of this is that many existing retailers will suffer and die on the vine, and new ones will come and go. And, when the next big downturn hits the industry, manufacturers and retailers alike will be poorly-prepared to deal with it, because they will not have invested in the single most powerful marketing and sales tools in existence:

  • A strong digital media marketing presence
  • And great sales training to build the skills needed to bring great prospects in off the Web; and then to convert the sale, once they have the Client on-site.

I love this industry! It provides housing for a socio-economic group that will always need affordable, good quality, energy-efficient, attractive housing.

But the industry continues doing the same things it's always done – even though the market has changed in a dramatic way.

There was a good book written by Spencer Johnson in 1998, "Who moved my cheese…" The theme of the book (a shifting marketplace) strikes at the heart of the manufactured housing industry today.

My greatest hope is that a few manufacturers & dealerships will recognize the need for major change, and will invest in both Web-based marketing AND in modern, market-relevant sales training; both of which would help the industry increase its share of the housing market. ##

jim-carpenter-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-75x75-.jpgJim Carpenter,
The Carpenter Consulting Group,
previously with Oakcreek Homes

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing

April 24th, 2012 4 comments

The manufactured housing industry has been confronted with the most serious challenge to its existence in its history in the form of the Dodd-Frank bill. Supporters of the bill failed to take into consideration that, as written, the Dodd Frank bill effectively eliminates chattel (home-only) financing for loans under approximately $78,000. The bill essentially lumps chattel lending criteria in with the same real estate lending restrictions, thus ignoring the higher cost of funds for home-only loans. As the loan amount declines, and the higher cost of funds plus the fixed costs of making a loan effectively kick home-only loans into the predatory lending category once the loan amount hits some $78,000.

H.R. 3849 is a proposed bill that has been introduced into the House of Representatives by Indiana's Congressman Joe Donnelly and Tennessee's Congressman Stephen Fincher. The bill is aptly titled the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing ActIn addition to limiting the impact on manufactured chattel loans from the restrictions described above that were introduced by the Dodd-Frank bill, the proposed H.R. 3849 would exempt manufactured housing salespeople that are not deriving income from the proposed financing the salesperson is trying to arrange.

Oklahoma was the second state after Mississippi to have its entire congressional delegation signed on as co-sponsors of HR 3849. I was able to help secure the backing of Oklahoma's congressional delegation through meetings with either each of our congressmen, or with their staff member with responsibility for housing issues. The following points were helpful in securing their support:

  • Manufactured housing is not only the most affordable housing available in the United States, our production capabilities are the most efficient in the world for the production of entry level housing.
  • The manufactured housing industry although monitored by HUD, is self-funded through label fee payments to HUD. How many functions of the federal government have no financial drain on the government's resources?
  • Failure to act will eliminate the financing options for all potential purchasers in the very lowest economic sector of our market, those people trying to purchase homes under $78,000. Our industry's average loan is $58,000. The single-wide market would essentially be destroyed.
  • Failure to act will eliminate all financing options for about half of the existing 8.8 million manufactured home owners who may try to sell their homes, so they also have an incentive to contact their congressman and senators.
  • Your congressman should be receptive to our industry's message. You do need to get in front of him or her. Getting to Washington, D.C. may be cost prohibitive, but getting to the congressional offices in each of your home states should be doable.

A pressing need at the moment is to find a Democratic senator to help roll out a senate version of H.R. 3849. Senator Tom Coburn (R, OK) has agreed co-sponsor the bill on the Senate as long as we have a Democratic co-sponsor who has the approval of Senator Harry Reid for the roll out. Please inform me if that occurs and I will inform Senator Coburn. # #

Post submitted by MH Retailer

Doug Gorman

HomeMart, Tulsa, OK

doug@homemart.us

(Editor's Note: the link to the online resources above were added for your convenience. You can find your elected representatives at this link here. You can pass along a free 'third party' resource for manufactured home owners and residents to consider and engage on this issue at this link here. Our thanks to Doug Gorman for the column and for his years of ongoing volunteerism and service in manufactured housing. Others are encouraged to comment or share their own Industry Voices Guest Column about this or other topics of Manufactured Housing Industry interest. You can submit a column by emailing tony@mhmsm.com with the words Industry Voices Guest Column submission in the subject line.)