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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

Modular Smart Home Controlled by Smart Phone

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A modular home being tested in Germany is controlled totally by a smart phone, generates enough energy from solar panels on the roof to power houses on either side and can be assembled in one day. At the end of the test, B10, as the house is known, will be deconstructed and 100 percent recycled […]...

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Patrick Industries Finalizes Acquisition of Structural Composites

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Elkhart, Indiana-based Patrick Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:PATK) has completed its acquisition of Structural Composites of Indiana, Inc. (SCI). Based in Ligonier, IN, SCI manufactures fiberglass components for the recreational vehicle (RV) and other industrial markets, according to prnewswire. The net purchase price of $20 million was funded by the...

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Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 Tumble on Fears of Rate Hike

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All three major indices fell over one percent in today’s trading as concerns grew over the impending rise in the interest rate, although it is not definite when the increase will hit. Meanwhile, Time Warner stock rose 7.26 percent on word Charter Communications intends to buy the conglomerate for $55 billion, and the Vatican bank […]...

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Georgia Senator Introduces Measure to Harness CFPB

Georgia Senator Introduces Measure to Harness CFPB

U. S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) has introduced legislation to make the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) more accountable by bringing it under the Congressional appropriations process and thereby give it Congressional oversight, according to nationalmortgageprofessional. The CFPB is currently under the Federal Reserve which is beyond...

26 May 2015

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Manufactured Home Owners have One Year to Move

Manufactured Home Owners have One Year to Move

The residents of Firwood Lane Mobile Home Park in Kirkland received notice they have one year to move from their 32 homesite manufactured home community (MHC) as the result of a change in ownership. The new owners, PSW Real Estate, intend to built 19 new homes valued at $700,000 to $800,000 in this city located […]...

26 May 2015

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Modular Containers Spreading to Multiple Uses

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While 90 shipping containers have been repurposed to make the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum, Sudan, and 86 containers have created the eight-story Travelodge Uxbridge Central Hotel in London, they are being reinvented in the Tampa Bay (FL) area as modular taverns and restaurants. Tampa architect Brandon Hicks has designed a...

25 May 2015

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Manufactured Housing Component Supplier Patrick Splitting Stock

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Component supplier to the manufactured housing (MH) and recreational vehicle (RV) industries, Patrick Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:PATK) stock will split 3-2 on the morning of Monday, June 1, 2015, according to what dakotafinancialnews tells americanbankingnews. Shares will be issued to stockholders following the close of the market Friday, May 29....

25 May 2015

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Old Manufactured Homes and Tiny Homes address the Florida Homeless

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In an attempt to help house the homeless and low-income residents of Bithlo, Florida, outside Orlando, Tim McKinney, CEO of United Global Outreach (UGO) has designed a 456 square-foot tiny home that can be assembled with a screwdriver and wrench, meets current hurricane standards, and has a 40-year warranty on the roof and siding. Each […]...

25 May 2015

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U. S. Stock Markets Closed Today

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25 May 2015

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Drew President Unloads Shares

Drew President Unloads Shares

MHProNews has learned Drew Industries, Inc. (NYSE:DW) President Scott T. Mereness sold 3,803 shares of company stock at $63.50 a share for a total value of $241,490.50, as disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It was not immediately known how many shares Mereness continues to hold. In addition, Drew Chairman...

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3D Structure offers Quick and Economical Assemblage during Catastrophe

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Featured Articles and Reports - April 2015 Vol. 6 No. 8

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The Language Of Rentals

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COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

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by Nadeen Green, JD One of my blog mentors recently suggested to me that I break from the tradition often followed by those of us who teach fair housing. NSP_READMORE

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

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The Rules for Innovation—Part 2

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Alternate Construction...Who Knows Why?

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Partners in Progress - Agents for Positive Change - The MH Alliance

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Let purpose be your touchstone

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Press Releases

RV/MH Museum Unveils Historic Shasta Exh…

RV/MH Museum Unveils Historic Shasta Exhibit

ELKHART, Ind. -- The RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum's newest exhibit features a retrospective on the evolution of the iconic Shasta brand of travel trailers, according to Darryl Searer, president, RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall).  The display includes a 1954 Shasta that's been in the museum's inventory for years and a 2015 reissue of a 1961 Shasta Airflyte 16sc, courtesy of Mick Ferkey, owner of Greeneway RV, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and a member of the RV/MH Hall of Fame board of directors. While the reissue of a 1961 Shasta Airflyte 16sc has the look and style of the 1960s model, it is fully equipped with modern features and appliances, including a full bath. Searer noted, "Shasta has a rich heritage and is the industry's longest producer of RVs.  The brand has been...

the MHMSM Team 19 May 2015 Corporate Press Releases

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Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Financi…

Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Financing: The Place Where Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences Collide

"The path to home ownership lay before him, smooth and attainable as never before. All Eric Powell had to do was secure a small loan. He had a steady job, a decent credit score and a wife who happened to work for a bank: What could possibly go wrong?" WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will take up a measure that may determine whether millions of low- to moderate-income consumers will be able to buy or sell modestly priced homes. The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650 and S 682) addresses the unintended consequences of the Dodd-Frank Act, passed to protect consumers in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis. According to former Congressman Barney Frank, the act's co-sponsor, Dodd-Frank was never intended to apply to manufactured housing. Yet the...

the MHMSM Team 19 May 2015 Corporate Press Releases

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10,000th home made secure and affordable…

10,000th home made secure and affordable through resident ownership movement

For Immediate Release May 1, 2015 Contact: Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA, LLC (603) 848-3254 CONCORD, N.H. — In less than seven years, ROC USA® has built on a proven strategy of resident ownership in New Hampshire manufactured home communities and scaled it across the country, transforming communities and building a network of 10,000 secure and affordable homes with partners in 14 states. ROC USA is a nonprofit social venture dedicated to making quality resident ownership of manufactured home communities (aka “mobile home parks”) possible nationwide. It works to provide democratic homeowner organizations with the opportunity, training and financing to purchase and manage their communities. Founding President Paul Bradley said ROC USA strengthens the local ownership of communities with the scaled resources and efficiencies of a national organization, coupled with the regional support of a...

the MHMSM Team 04 May 2015 Corporate Press Releases

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RV/MH Heritage Foundation Acquires Manuf…

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Acquires Manufactured Home on Display at the RV/MH Museum

ELKHART, Ind., - Thanks to several generous donations, the manufactured home on display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Indiana, is now owned by the RV/MH Heritage Foundation (Foundation), according to Foundation President Darryl Searer.  The home was originally erected and donated by Fairmont Homes for a period of one year for the purpose of showing visitors to the museum the evolution of mobile homes of the early to mid-20th century to today's modern affordable manufactured homes.  Since it was opened to the public in late 2013 it has been toured by thousands of visitors to the museum. As the clock was counting down to the end of the year when the home would have been removed by Fairmont Homes, Jim Shea, president of Fairmont Homes, offered to let the Foundation acquire...

Soheyla Kovach 01 Mar 2015 Corporate Press Releases

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FREE Educational Seminars Are Scheduled …

FREE Educational Seminars Are Scheduled for the  2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show!

These seminars were a major HIT at the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. MHPros from Coast to Coast and Canada came... ...they praised the practical information for their businesses. We expanded seminar room space 30%, and still filled it! Come see why... Wednesday March 25th, 2015 Wednesday 8:30 AM to 9:45 AM. Lisa Tyler from Walden University and other MH Experts will be speaking on reasons why Realtors ®, investors, MH veterans and other housing professionals should be joining the ranks of profitably advancing America's most affordable new home construction. Opportunities in Modern MH. This will be a fast paced panel presentation, with Q&A planned. Wednesday 10 AM – 11 AM. Super-Charged Marketing! Dominate your area with savvy Marketing! Learn how to sell more homes and how MHCs can fill more vacant sites. Attract more customers with cash and good credit....

the MHMSM Team 25 Jan 2015 Corporate Press Releases

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Bill Matchneer, Dick Jennison and Ron Th…

Bill Matchneer, Dick Jennison and Ron Thomas Sr. to address Louisville Show attendees

MHProNews  has confirmed that attorney Bill Matchneer, previously with HUD and the CFPB, will be addressing the attendees of the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. So too will Richard "Dick" Jennison, MHI's current President and CEO. MH community and street retail Hall of Famer, Ron Thomas, Sr. - who is also the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF) Chairman - will speak on financing and MH growth related topics, rounding out what promises to be a faced paced opening hour to the seminars on Wednesday morning. The doors will open at 8:15 AM on Wednesday at the seminar room so MH Industry professionals can network with peers and colleagues. The session featuring these three industry leaders will begin at 8:45 AM sharp. They will be introduced by one or more of the executive...

the MHMSM Team 12 Jan 2015 Corporate Press Releases

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