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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

TV ad buys down, Online Digital Media Up, Marketers say

TV ad buys down, Online Digital Media Up, Marketers say

In a trend with implications for manufactured homes and other housing marketers, the U.S. TV industry has seen its first big drop in ad buys since the great recession of 2009. More is being allocated to internet based strategies, FT  tells MHProNews. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported on this trend, which according to Media […]...

28 Aug 2014

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“What Recovery?” Unemployed ask Federal Reserve at posh Jackson Hole confer…

“What Recovery?” Unemployed ask Federal Reserve at posh Jackson Hole conference

  Unemployment is a factor in home purchases that industry leaders such as Cavco Industries Chairman and CEO, Joe Stegmayer, cites as a reason for the current level of home buying. While millions have reportedly given up on finding work, others have taken their case public, with a recent example at the Federal Reserve’s Jackson […]...

28 Aug 2014

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Nimby Leading Loss of Affordable Housing? County buys MHC to close it

Nimby Leading Loss of Affordable Housing? County buys MHC to close it

De Kalb County, Illinois purchased to close “flood prone” Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park in Sycamore, the Daily Chronicle tells MHProNews. “I don’t have much of a choice, because we’re in a flood plain and I can’t fix houses,” the property owner, Frank Santoro said. “I have to accept what they are going to gi...

28 Aug 2014

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Heckaman Homes – A+ with BBB – celebrates 45 years and 20,000+ systems buil…

Heckaman Homes – A+ with BBB – celebrates 45 years and 20,000+ systems built homes

Founded in 1969, Nappanee, Indiana based systems builder, Heckaman Homes has surpassed the 20,000 homes produced milestone. Rated A+ by the local Better Business Bureau (BBB), Heckaman was purchased by Craftech Building Systems Inc. in 1986. President John Mahnken “Started on the production line 25 years ago,” says Jeff Tanner, sales manager. Unl...

28 Aug 2014

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U.S. Markets Down, Skyline leads gainers while MH Composite slides

U.S. Markets Down, Skyline leads gainers while MH Composite slides

Twitter’s CEO sounded off on Snapchat’s 10 billion dollar valuation not being “absurd,” on a day that saw a modest retreat in U.S. exchanges. Dow 17,102.31 -4.39 (-0.03%). Nasdaq 4,564.85 -5.79 (-0.13%). S&P 500 1,997.83 -2.19 (-0.11%). Yahoo! Finance’s Manufactured Housing Composite Value: 848.7, today’s change: -0....

27 Aug 2014

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CNBC says 5 to 6 Million Renting Should Own – Affordability = Credit Access…

CNBC says 5 to 6 Million Renting Should Own – Affordability = Credit Access, Rates Price

Tim Rood with the Collingwood Group was part of a CNBC discussion that pointed to factors that manufactured home professionals relate to: the many – and often competing – dynamics that cause someone to buy a home or stay in a rental. Elements such as price and interest rates, CNBC’s Diana Olick  tells MHProNews,  along […]...

27 Aug 2014

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Mobile Home Energy Makeover Contest Winner, Timely Tips

Mobile Home Energy Makeover Contest Winner, Timely Tips

Manufactured home owner Connie Jeffries, a home health aid and member of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative, won an energy efficiency makeover for her house, ECT Coop tells MHProNews. “They’ve already installed the new roof, windows, water heater, patio door and the geothermal heat pump system,” Jefferies said. “My son has asthma so this is going [&#8...

27 Aug 2014

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Canadian Housing experts divided – soft landing or continued house price gr…

Canadian Housing experts divided – soft landing or continued house price growth?

Teranet-National house price index continued to rise in July. The index tracks single family home sales in 11 major cities, and is up 4.9% year over year and 4.1% year to date. “On the same day, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation [CMHC] predicted the Canadian housing market would experience a gradual slowing, or soft […]...

27 Aug 2014

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Market Tech Talk – iPhone 6 Housing Hot, Best Buy, Not

Market Tech Talk – iPhone 6 Housing Hot, Best Buy, Not

Two weeks to the expected release date of the iPhone 6, and the shake, rattle and (death?) roll of Best Buy were among the headline grabbers that Marketwatch  touts to MHProNews. Housing is widely seen as looking up, and so went the markets overall today too. Dow 17,124.63 +47.76 +0.28%. Nasdaq 4,573.90 +16.55 +0.36%. S&P […]...

26 Aug 2014

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Boomers are Zoomers, Kevin Clayton says in latest PR Image Campaign announc…

Boomers are Zoomers, Kevin Clayton says in latest PR Image Campaign announcement

“Our customer research has revealed to us that this generation wants a home designed for entertaining and hobbies,” Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton Homes, says to MHProNews. “In fact, contrary to what some might think, this generation of retirees is very active and social. That is why they are referred to as...

26 Aug 2014

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Triangle Investor Doubles Manufactured Home Community Portfolio, buying 4 M…

Triangle Investor Doubles Manufactured Home Community Portfolio, buying 4 MHCs

Cary NC based Affordable Communities Group (ACG) president Mike Conlon announced they have purchased 4 more manufactured home communities (MHCs). ACG has bought 16 land lease communities so far in 2014, totaling 1,700 total home sites, bizjournals  tells MHProNews. “What has happened is that a lot of park owners are in their late 60s to […]...

26 Aug 2014

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Featured Articles and Reports - August 2014 Vol. 5 No. 11

Prev Next Page:

Enhanced Manufactured and Modular Home Marketing and Sales Results

Enhanced Manufactured and Modular Home Marketing and Sales Results

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach American companies spend 2 billion a year on training. So why don't more manufactured and modular home (MH) retailers and communities invest properly in sales training? Read more

MARKETING

Bacon is so popular!

Bacon is so popular!

by Nadeen Green, JD Yes, indeed bacon is popular. An entire culture has been developed around this pork product in America, and once limited to breakfast and cheeseburgers, bacon has now... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Architects Have a Duty of Care to Future Buyers of Condominiums for Neglig…

Architects Have a Duty of Care to Future Buyers of  Condominiums for Negligent Design

by Bill Dahlin, Esq. On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the case entitled Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

A New Strategy for Community Owners

A New Strategy for Community Owners

by Steven Lefler Our society has labeled housing for as long as I can remember. I grew up believing “Site Built Homes” typically register in people minds to be “better built,”... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

The Impact of a 1.3 Billion Dollar Manufactured Home Communities Acquisitio…

The Impact of a 1.3 Billion Dollar Manufactured Home Communities Acquisition

by L. A. 'Tony' Kovach We've been reporting off and on for the past few months about rumors and tips that suggested that a deal in the $500 million to the... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

July, 1960 Popular Mechanics highlights Evolution of the Travel Trailer

July, 1960 Popular Mechanics highlights Evolution of the Travel Trailer

By Paul Bradley In a 1960 article titled, “Trailers Join the Country Club,” Popular Mechanics described the evolution of the travel trailer this way: “All this started years ago when people with... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

CFPB Proposes New HMDA Requirements: Changes Exemption Threshold and Incre…

CFPB Proposes New HMDA Requirements:  Changes Exemption Threshold and Increases Required Disclosures

by D. J. Pendleton, JD On July 24, the CFPB published a proposed rule that, if later adopted, would change the reporting requirements for those who provide loans to purchase homes. Read more

FINANCING

The Lessons of Valdez - Some things are out of Whack!

The Lessons of Valdez - Some things are out of Whack!

by Ron Thomas, Sr. Let me start this topic with a strong statement. Although I am not what some might call an “environmentalist,” I do appreciate all of the efforts that... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

2015 Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Trade Show Updates

2015 Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Trade Show Updates

by Dennis Hill We keep getting calls from industry professionals and others regarding the Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows for 2015. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

An Opportune Moment

An Opportune Moment

by Bob Vahsholtz The road ahead is hard—the opportunities boundless. The whole housing industry is on the rocks, and the nation’s economy festers. The world is mired in debt; our most... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Tim Connor

A Cup of Coffee with… Tim Connor

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.) Tim ConnorCEO of Connor Resource GroupDavidson, NC. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Second Cup of Coffee with...Bill Matchneer

A Second Cup of Coffee with...Bill Matchneer

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, what you've done in the federal government as it relates to manufactured housing and where you currently hang your hat). Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Paul Bradley

A Cup of Coffee with… Paul Bradley

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.) Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA, LLC, Concord, NH. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Tech Talk! Don't You Hate - Viagra, Cialis or Zyrtec links - appearing on y…

Tech Talk! Don't You Hate - Viagra, Cialis or Zyrtec links - appearing on your  web browser or smart hand-held device? A Tech Fix Tip!

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach It is often NOT what you think! Not many self-respecting webmaster wants to plug certain drugs or other products on their website. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Wind Speed and Add-Ons to Manufactured Housing – Response to the NBC News …

Wind Speed and Add-Ons to Manufactured Housing  – Response to the NBC News Today Show report of testing by IBHS

by Ron D'Ambra After reviewing the NBC Today presentation, one could conclude that without question, of  course the roof would blow off when the carport roof failed, because they compromised the... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Strategic planning vs. strategic doing

Strategic planning vs. strategic doing

by Tim Connor, CSP Strategic planning is a vital management function. Over the years I have worked with a number of corporations facilitating their strategic planning events as well as following... Read more

MANAGEMENT

ZigOn Employment Security

ZigOn Employment Security

by Zig Ziglar We frequently hear that "people refuse to change because change is stressful." I would like to suggest that not to change is even more stressful because the world... Read more

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Who is your competition?

Who is your competition?

by Tim Connor, CSP There is a tendency for many salespeople to see their competition as only those businesses selling a similar product, service or idea. In other words, salespeople selling... Read more

SALES

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MHLIVINGNEWS.COM FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK

Classifieds

Press Releases

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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Call for Nominations for the RV/MH Hall …

Call for Nominations for the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2015

ELKHART, Ind., -- The RV/MH Hall of Fame Selection Committee has issued a call for nominations for the Class of 2015. Darryl Searer, Hall president, said, "The Hall welcomes nominations from all RV and manufactured housing sectors -- manufacturers, dealers, campgrounds, housing communities, suppliers, user groups, trade media, associations, etc -- for the class of 2015 and beyond. "The nomination guidelines and forms available online atwww.rvmhhalloffame.org/pages/nominations.cfm." According to the guidelines, anyone can nominate a person to the Hall of Fame that meets the eligibility requirements. The only people who may not be considered are those who currently serve on the Hall's Selection Committee. To be eligible the nominee must be, or have been, an active participant in any segment of the recreation vehicle, campground or manufactured housing industries for a minimum of 25 years....

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Southwest Region Manufactured Home Commu…

Southwest Region Manufactured Home Communities Showing Rent and Occupancy Growth, Outpacing National Average, According to JLT & Associates’ 14-Year Market Summary Report

Grand Rapids, Michigan – JLT & Associates (JLT), the nation’s #1 market research company for the manufactured housing industry, today announced a 14-year summary report of its manufactured home community rent surveys for 6 Southwest markets. Recognized as the industry standard for manufactured home community market analysis for over 20 years, JLT Rent Surveys provide detailed research and information on communities located in 72 markets throughout the United States, including the latest rent trends and statistics, marketing programs and a variety of other useful management insights. The most recent JLT Rent Surveys for the Southwest region cover 261 manufactured home communities encompassing 69,728 homesites in Albuquerque, Greater Kansas City, Greater Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tucson and Salt Lake City. This summary report is based on rent and occupancy trends from 2000 to 2014. Findings...

the MHMSM Team 01 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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