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by Michael DuPure

(Editor's Intro: Mike's high volume sales performance has worked in both the retail and community based sales operations. We're pleased to have him back from last month, if you want to enhance your sales and missed his previous articles, check it out in our archives!)

Mike DuPure photoCompanies and trainers talk about good referral business, and try to keep the sales team aware of the fact that word of mouth is some of the best advertising. By all accounts it most definitely is valuable! On the home retailing side of the MH Community business, the most obvious referral is of course one's present residents. Through the years, I've seen that good internal Customer Service is important - and in the electronic age today - it is essential. But there is another source of referral business that is often overlooked…

Too many in the community business ignore or avoid the needs of those residents who are selling their manufactured homes, seeing it as a loss to be avoided. Most of the time it is a life change that prompts their decision: some unfortunate family tragedy, unemployment, a new job, another child on the way, divorce, illness, a death in the family or some other reason forcing a move and the start of a new page in life. Whatever the case, in a well run community, perhaps 90% of the residents loved being there. Thus they deserve better treatment from sales and community management - yes, even when they are leaving us! Besides, the exiting resident is just as much a possible source for referral business as the incoming or existing residents are!

When giving good customer service, we must walk the walk and talk the talk ALL the time. Brokered home sales should be picking up! By treating the existing resident like gold, whether they've been with your location for 2 years or 20 years, you are opening up opportunities for sales to that departing resident's circle of influence that is still going to be in your area!

The exiting resident's interests needs to be accommodated in the best possible way, just as much as you should treat the prospective client who is considering purchasing a new home. In all sincerity, we should all remember this: "Coming or Going, You're all Valuable to Me!"

In areas where brokers from outside your MH Community are active, those brokers come in, list and sell ANY resident they can, operating on the theory - coming or going - the client is valuable! Okay, then think about both the revenue stream AND the good will stream you get when you treat everyone like gold, regardless if they are moving in or moving out!

Earlier, I mentioned how in the electronic age, good customer service is more important than ever. For those who are mentally stuck in the pre-internet past, you may not realize how devastatingly easy an upset customer or resident can tar and feather you and your firm online. I've seen businesses and communities that in a Google or Yahoo search have multiple negative comments next to their 1 star rated report. People no longer have to call the Better Business Bureau, they can simply go online and post a comment about your business, next to your search, on their Facebook or Twitter pages, or any number of other ways.

But think! The reverse is also true! If you give great service, your client is thanking you, why not ask them for that good rating? Why not ask them to give you a letter of reference? Why not post that letter of reference online, at your website, Facebook page, etc.? Getting good references are EASY when you give good service, because then you can easily ASK for the reference, and what are they likely to say after you've treated them so well?

A while back, at a location that I had recently arrived at, I took a resident that I didn't sell, and sat down to listen to their service concerns. I did my best to resolve it, even though it wasn't my client (and thus wasn't my commission). This once unhappy resident became utterly delighted in short order, their issues were resolved with a "let me see what I can do, thank you for your residency" and a smile! Once happy, it was easy to ask for a letter of reference. The letter the lady wrote was simply aglow with praise, as if she had been given great service from day one.

Now if that is possible with a client who starts out upset, IMAGINE what YOU can do with the client who is coming in fresh, and you are the one that is in control of their total experience!

With these basic points in mind, let's look at the following strategy for those "coming or going."

First list all resident's homes. Don't just list it to keep them on the hook, list them with the idea that you are going to help them sell it!

Remember (and if necessary, remind them) that we already know them and their home better than some outside service. Then, get them involved in the selling process. Give them tips on preparing the home for showing it at its best.

Now, with this added inventory, new prospects who are calling in have an even wider and more diversified selection available to them! You as the sales person have more opportunities to help them sell!

The resident who is leaving and is in a positive frame of mind is just as valuable as the new resident who is coming in. Just the other day, I contacted a resident that had their home listed with an outside dealer which expired. She was discouraged. Well, I explained to her that my community manager had described all the remodeling she had done in their home. She asked me how much to advertise and list the home. I said nothing, we did it all at no charge, and only took our commission when the home was sold. She was quite amazed at the positive attitude she was getting and all this good attention to her and her needs. She asked, why do you care so much, when you know that I am moving? I told her you've been a long time resident here with us in her beautiful home for a long time and we definitely have appreciated her as a resident. This lady promptly began spreading the word…and you know the result!

Need I say any more?

Treat them ALL like gold, and you'll never regret it! "Coming or Going, You're all Valuable to Me"

Mike DuPure photoMichael K. DuPure, Sales Manager for Michigan based Choice Properties, is an 11 year veteran of the Manufactured Home industry, plus years of other sales and management experience. As noted last month, Mr. DuPure was a catalyst in a 3 man sales team that closed 75 Manufactured Home contracts in 90 days! That impressive result occurred not years ago, in some heady boom era, but in 2009 - during this long 'housing bust' and in a downward spiraling market. Mike has sold in MH and modular home retail sales and in manufactured home community based sales environments. He has not only set sales records for the firms he works for, but has also ignited record sales for the teams he has worked with. You can contact Mike via his comment post box below this column. Post your comments, questions and feedback below - and don't be surprised if Mr. DuPure personally responds to your statements and inquiries!

Daily Business News Briefs

North Carolina County Suggests Removing MH Age Restriction

North Carolina County Suggests Removing MH Age Restriction

The Greene County Planning Board in North Carolina, after reconsidering the county’s manufactured home (MH) ordinance which restricts homes being brought into the county to no more than 15 years old, has removed the restriction and recommended the decision to the county commissioners. A North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in 2009...

02 Sep 2014

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Skyline Trades Down as Nasdaq Moves up Modestly; Dow and S&P Slip

Skyline Trades Down as Nasdaq Moves up Modestly; Dow and S&P Slip

In today’s trading on Wall Street following the Labor Day holiday, the Dow and S&P slipped modestly, while the Nasdaq made a minor advance, and tracked stocks closed mixed. However, Skyline Corp. (SKY) dropped -9.17 percent to 3.17, a decline of -0.32 points in the largest fall of stocks we follow, while UMH Properties, Inc. […]...

02 Sep 2014

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Capital Square Realty Acquires three MHCs

Capital Square Realty Acquires three MHCs

MHProNews has been informed by virtual-strategy.com an affiliate of Capital Square Realty Advisors, LLC has acquired three manufactured housing communities consisting of 1,141 home sites in Indiana and Ohio. The largest community is Timberbrook in Bristol, Indiana with 567 homesites set on 103 acres. Woodlake-Summerdale, located in Yoder, IN is...

02 Sep 2014

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Work Stops on Massive Modular Housing Project in Big Apple; Ratner, Skanska…

Work Stops on Massive Modular Housing Project in Big Apple; Ratner, Skanska at Odds

Following a series of stories MHProNews  posted regarding the development of the 32-story, modular housing project by Forest City Ratner and construction partner Skanska intended for Brooklyn’s Barclay Center, work has come to a halt in a bitter dispute over tens of millions of dollars in cost overruns. Skanska idled 157 workers in the ...

02 Sep 2014

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Michigan MH Residents Prepare for Summer Storms

Michigan MH Residents Prepare for Summer Storms

The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) reminds occupants of system-built homes that potentially damaging summer wind and rain storms are at their peak and residents should ensure that roofs are in good condition and rainwater is directed away from the foundations. While manufactured homes (MH) are built to strict federal standards...

02 Sep 2014

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New Home Sales Fall Second Consecutive Month

New Home Sales Fall Second Consecutive Month

According to numbers released by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U. S. Census Bureau, sales of newly-built single-family homes dropped 2.4 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 412,000 units in July. Initially, according to the National Association of Home builders (NAHB), sales fell 8.1 percent in...

02 Sep 2014

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Modular Multifamily to Rise in Michigan

Modular Multifamily to Rise in Michigan

The Lansing (Mich.) City Council has approved plans for developer Harry Hepler to build 200 modular apartments on the city’s northside, as lansingstatejournal.com informs MHProNews. Summit Street Development LLC has received a conditional use permit to build housing on the property that is zoned heavy industrial. Mr. Hepler says Metro Flats...

02 Sep 2014

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Modular Workforce Housing Planned in Mississippi

Modular Workforce Housing Planned in Mississippi

The possibility of up to seven billion barrels of oil in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation in southwest Mississippi and central Louisiana has led the McComb (Miss.) Board of Selectmen to vote in favor of annexing 40 acres for the construction of a 535-unit modular workforce community. Shale Lodge will include a cafeteria, laundry and […]...

01 Sep 2014

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Hoarding along with dozens of cats found at home in MHC

Hoarding along with dozens of cats found at home in MHC

“Is there an unwritten rule that every third MHCommunity has someone who hoards and/or has a bunch of cats?” quipped manufactured home industry consultant and publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. The comment flowed from the discovery of dozens of cats seized from the Niagara Mobile Home Park in Newfane, NY. “The stench coming from a […]...

01 Sep 2014

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Manufactured Housing’s Labor Day 2014

Manufactured Housing’s Labor Day 2014

Wikipedia says: “Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and […]...

01 Sep 2014

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William ‘Bill’ Steenberg, Award winning Steenberg Homes founder, Passage

William ‘Bill’ Steenberg, Award winning Steenberg Homes founder, Passage

William “Bill” Steenberg died Sunday, August 24, 2014, in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, after a short, courageous battle with cancer. His fiance Wendy was by his side when he passed away. Bill’s children, Julie, Shelly, and Jeffrey and his granddaughter, Miranda, visited a couple weeks earlier in Florida.  Bill founded and owned ...

01 Sep 2014

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Featured Articles and Reports - September 2014 Vol. 5 No. 12

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UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

by L.A. "Tony" Kovach Years before Palm Harbor Homes went into bankruptcy and eventually ended up with Cavco Industries, Palm Harbor ran TV ads showing beautiful, “residential style” manufactured homes. Read more

MARKETING

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

by Nadeen Green, JD Many if not most manufactured housing folks truly make the effort to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act and are well aware of the need to... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

by C. William Dahlin, JD  As reported by major media outlets, a 6.0 earthquake hit Northern California  in late August on a Sunday. Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Pool and Spa Safety

Pool and Spa Safety

by Kathleen Bianculli While the end of summer is drawing near and pools in some areas will be closed for the season, in many areas of the country the pool never... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Do…

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Don'ts

by Nadeen Green, JD While a rose may smell sweet no matter what it may be called, names are in fact labels. Using the wrong label when you market your senior... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step P…

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step Program!

by Jerry Bretton In our previous report on SUN, we mentioned that Mountainside Financial has been making loans on manufactured and mobile homes for 14 years. Read more

FINANCING

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

by Ron D'Ambra Let's start by saying that, from a business perspective, MORE government involvement is not always viewed as a good thing. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

by Sam Landy Dear Friends, UMH Properties and Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (MNR) sponsor The Open Space Pace at Freehold Raceway September 20, 2014. The event begins with a 10:00 am parade of... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.) Sheila S. Dey, JDExecutive DirectorWestern Manufactured Housing Communities Association Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

by Dennis Hill We could name more than 5 reasons why manufacturers and exhibiting companies as well 5 reasons why attendees from the ranks of retailers, communities, builder developers, installers and... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories …

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

by L. A. “Tony' Kovach We will demonstrate that the cost of not selling more homes is always high.  Capital is tied up in your inventory, location, general overhead, personnel, marketing,... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Lead, manage or get out of the way

Lead, manage or get out of the way

by Tim Connor, CSP The world is changing at the speed of light. Everything is being touched by this accelerated pace of change. No person, entity, industry, profession, and no part... Read more

MANAGEMENT

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words = Enhanced Manufacture…

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words =  Enhanced Manufactured Housing  Professional Success Infographic

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach We'll share an infographic that explains in 4 easy steps how any MH Industry professional can learn more to earn more. Here is the infographic... Read more

MANAGEMENT

ZigOn Qualities of Success

ZigOn Qualities of Success

by Zig Ziglar Dr. William "Bill" Ross was truly one of a kind and was known for his sense of humor and his zest for life. He had exuberance for... Read more

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

by Tim Connor, CSP There are four significant areas when it comes to consistent high sales performance. They are: Self-image and self-esteem. Read more

SALES

Upcoming Events

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MHLIVINGNEWS.COM FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK

Classifieds

Press Releases

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is filling up fast and early!

Attendees, mark your calanders now, pre-registration will open on October 1, 2014. Exhibitors, Reserve your space now.  See download linked here.

the MHMSM Team 02 Sep 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Cl…

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Class of 2014 into RV/MH Hall of Fame

(Back row l-r) Thomas "Tom" L. Kern, Style Crest Enterprises; Ed Evans, EPM; Gary McDaniel, YES! Communities ; Richard "Dick" King, King Insurance (second row row l-r) Barry Cole, Manufactured Housing Insurance Services; Bob Livingston, Good Sam; John D Roba, Roba and Associates (front row l-r) Mrs. James F Shields. accepting on behalf of her husband,James F Shields (deceased), Pan Pacific RV Centers; Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices and Peter B Orthwein, Thor Industries. ELKHART, Ind., August 5. 2014 -- The Class of 2014 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) last night in Elkhart, Indiana, in a gala ceremony before a record breaking crowd of more than 440 family members, friends, and colleagues from across the country. The Class of 2014 includes: Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices;...

the MHMSM Team 05 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Ne…

Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Newport Pacific – Successfully Gaining Acceptance for Super Energy Saving, Green Manufactured Homes

Learn more at the article linked here, or by calling Steve Lefler, Vice President of Modular Lifestyles, Inc., a division of Newport Pacific Family of Companies at Ph. (888) 437-4587. Email steve@modularlifestyles.com. Steve is a Dual DRE and HCD Salesperson. Advanced Green Building Professional. CEC Solar Wind Retailer/Installer. http://www.modularlifestyles.com ##

the MHMSM Team 01 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire America…

Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire American Land Lease Manufactured Housing Portfolio from Green Courte Partners for $1.32 Billion

Increases Sun Communities' portfolio to 245 communities totaling nearly 90,000 sites in 29 states with a combined enterprise value of approximately $5.1 billion Southfield, MI, July 30, 2014 - Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI) (the "Company") today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio (the "ALL portfolio") from Green Courte Partners, LLC ("GCP") sponsored funds. The ALL portfolio consists of 59 manufactured home communities, including those acquired from American Land Lease, Inc. by GCP in 2009. The communities comprise over 19,000 sites in eleven states, including nearly 11,000 sites located in Florida. Over 14,000 sites, or 73%, of the ALL portfolio are age-restricted.  In connection with this transaction, the Company will assume GCP's right to acquire an additional manufactured home community pursuant to a binding purchase...

the MHMSM Team 31 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Fra…

Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Frank compliant non-MLO, MLO SUN Manufactured/Mobile Home Direct Loans and Refinancing

Using online articles, banner ads and video, Mountainside Financial is announcing the launch of the evolution of their direct lending platform promotion. As a division of San Antonio Credit Union (SACU), Mountainside has a unique 14 year history of making direct to consumer loans on manufactured and mobile homes. Direct loans are often done in "partnership" with brokers, communities, Realtors ®, other housing professionals and manufactured home retailers who refer consumers to them. Anthony Ducharme, Direct Channel Manager for Mountainside, explained how they created their new SUN System with Manufactured Home Professionals in mind who needed a compliant process to navigate SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank regulations enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "If you've been originating your own loans, talk to us. If you want to have a legally complaint...

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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