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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

Zeman Expands its Reach into Florida

Zeman Expands its Reach into Florida

Chicago-based Zeman Homes, which bills itself as one of the largest privately-owned owners of manufactured home communities (MHC) in the nation, has purchased a 43-acre site near Naples, Florida zoned for a 273 home MHC site. The company recently acquired the 55+ community Caribbean Park, according to what MHProNews has been told. Although terms...

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Pending Home Sales Slip April to May

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Following a three-month climb, the pending home sales index slipped 3.7 percent from April to May, to 110.8, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 2.6 percent higher than expected, but a 0.2 percent decrease from may 2015. With 100 being a healthy number, the index has not fallen year-over-year since Aug. 2014. Nevertheless,...

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Skyline Outshines other MH-related Stocks; Dow Regains 235 Point

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July 2, 2016 – the Manufactured Housing rEvolution!

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At the depth of the Obama-era great recession, Ron Thomas Sr. – MMHF Chairman and RV MH Hall of Fame founder of Rona Homes – said that the industry needed to stop comparing its performance to the peak of 1998; rather, Thomas suggested that MH Professionals must look at 2009-2010 years as the new baseline. […]...

30 Jun 2016

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Manufactured Homes Damaged in Moving to other Sites

Manufactured Homes Damaged in Moving to other Sites

Following up on a story abut the closing of Odd’s Mobile Home Park in Minot, North Dakota and the subsequent moving of the 31 homes, as MHProNews posted June 3, 2016, minotdailynews reports that problems arose in the moving and re-siting of some of the homes. The city, which bought the property and paid for […]...

30 Jun 2016

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KY City Restricts Placement of Manufactured Homes

KY City Restricts Placement of Manufactured Homes

The city of Catlettsburg, Kentucky has adopted an ordinance that restricts factory-built homes to manufactured home communities (MHCs) within the city limits, according to what marketplace.dailyindependent tells MHProNews. However, any such home sited outside of an MHC as of March 15, 2011 is grandfathered in, and if it becomes damaged or...

30 Jun 2016

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Tony Prevatte Chosen to Head NC MH Association

Tony Prevatte Chosen to Head NC MH Association

MHProNews has learned from robesonian that Tony Prevatte, owner of Prevatte Home Sales in Lumberton, NC has been elected president of the North Carolina Manufactured and Modular Homebuilder’s Association’s board of directors. A 45-year veteran of the modular housing industry, Prevatte will guide the 18-member board of directors as it...

30 Jun 2016

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Trade Group for Manufactured Housing Falling Short on its Purported Mission

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While Lesli Gooch, Senior VP of Government Affairs for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the industry’s largest trade group, says MHI has been trying to being in more lenders to the MH market for years, MHI board member L. A. “Tony” Kovach responds, “How does one explain the repeated failures by MHI staff to embrace […]...

30 Jun 2016

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Dow, Several MH-related Stocks Recover from Two Day Loss

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29 Jun 2016

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Northpoint Commercial Finance Expands

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A diversified finance company that provides flexible inventory lending and floor plan financing solutions, Northpoint Commercial Finance has hired two new Directors of Business Development to its Field Sales Organization. With a strong background in floor plan financing, and 20 years overall in financial services, Richard Derbonne comes to the...

29 Jun 2016

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Construction Employment Lack may Impact Overall Economy

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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said earlier this month unfilled construction positions remain at a post-recession high of 200,000, and could possibly impact the larger economy, according to to the latest labor report from the Associated General Contractors of America, says constructiondive. NAHB’s survey addressed nine...

29 Jun 2016

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New Sponsors

Featured Articles and Reports - June 2016 Vol. 7 No. 9

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by Matthew Silver Steve Sinovic, writing in abqjournal, says sales of manufactured home sales are up, a popular and affordable housing choice for New Mexicans, some eighteen percent of whom live in... NSP_READMORE

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Clayton Home Building Group Selects Birmingham for Inaugural Home Show

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Why has MHI Issued a News Release on DOE Proposals Prior to the Rule Being …

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UMH Community Hosting Baseball Legend “Doc” Gooden; UMH Chair to Present a…

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CFPB Director Cordray tells Whistleblower to have her Attorneys “Back Down”…

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Drew Hits New Stock High; Equity LifeStyle Properties Declares Dividend

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Why Richard "Dick" Jennison and Lesli Gooch at MHI Should Resign or Go

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Press Releases

Northpoint Commercial Finance Expands Fi…

Northpoint Commercial Finance Expands Field Sales Organization

Alpharetta, GA, June 26, 2016 – Two new Directors of Business Development have joined Northpoint Commercial Finance’s Field Sales Organization. Northpoint is a diversified finance company that provides flexible inventory lending and floor plan financing solutions. With a highly successful background in floor plan financing, Richard Derbonne will lead development efforts in Texas and Oklahoma. Derbonne joins the Northpoint team from GE Franchise Finance with deep experience gained over more than 20 years in financial services. Previously, Derbonne held senior sales and management positions with such companies as Transamerica, Bombardier, First Horizon National and GE Commercial Distribution Finance.   Based in North Carolina, Greg Nash will lead development efforts in the eastern states of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. He brings more than 25 years of floor plan financing experience...

the MHMSM Team 28 Jun 2016 Corporate Press Releases

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Northpoint Commercial Finance Provides I…

Northpoint Commercial Finance Provides Inventory Finance Program for  O’Rourke Sales Company Dealers

Winston-Salem, NC, May 15, 2016 – Northpoint Commercial Finance (“Northpoint”) continues to expand its partnerships with Nationwide Marketing Group (“Nationwide”) members through a new program for O’Rourke Sales Company (“O’Rourke”) dealers. Northpoint is a diversified finance company that provides flexible inventory lending and floorplan financing solutions, and Nationwide is North America’s largest buying and marketing organization. Headquartered in Davenport, Iowa with seven locations across the country, O’Rourke is a national distribution and fulfillment company for electronics and appliances across multiple sales channels, including premium and incentive, e-commerce, military exchanges, and both independent and national retailers. “We are pleased to begin our new relationship with Northpoint," said Jeff O'Rourke, CEO of O'Rourke Sales.  "We know they understand our dealers' priorities and financing requirements, and we feel it is crucial to give our dealers...

the MHMSM Team 17 Jun 2016 Corporate Press Releases

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