MHI Summer Legislative Fly In

Smart industry professionals know that our business has concerns and issues that must be addressed in Washington D.C.. Join the Manufactured Housing Institute for their 2017 Summer Fly-In and make sure your concerns are heard.

From MHI (The Manufactured Housing Institute):

Do You Want Change in Federal Policy for Manufactured Housing?

Join us in Washington, D.C. on June 26-27 at the Hyatt Regency for MHI’s Legislative Fly-In program.

Our story must be heard as Members of Congress consider the many issues that impact our industry. With your participation, we can drown out the misinformation that is being sent to Capitol Hill from those who do not understand the manufactured housing market. We can ensure all Members of Congress understand the importance of manufactured housing as a critical resource for working families and the largest form of unsubsidized affordable housing in the nation.

Let your voice be heard during this two-day program. Visit Congressional offices to advocate for:

-Reducing regulatory burdens to financing for manufactured homes.
-Fighting regulatory overreach by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
-Fostering economic growth by supporting quality, affordable manufactured housing.

The 2017 Legislative Fly-in program includes:

  • Meetings on Capitol Hill with your Members of Congress or their key staff
  • Lunch on the Hill with presentations by Members of Congress
  • Networking with your MHI peers from across the country
  • Briefing sessions on MHI’s legislative priorities
  • Training on lobbying and influencing your elected leaders
  • Tips on continuing relationships with your elected officials once you return home

A complete schedule of events as well as registration details can be found on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s web site.

 

Perfecting Your Home Description

home-descriptionThe description in your listing can make all the difference!

This space is where we invite you to give a detailed description of the home.

Something we see quite a bit on MHVillage is home sellers using the description area to either list additional details (sometimes the same features already selected and listed in the home features section) or enter nothing at all.

We have found that this is simply not as effective as taking the time to give the shopper more information about the home, the community it is within and any other details that might make this home stand out from the crowd.

Here are some examples of actual home descriptions on MHVillage:

Option 1:

    The description has no word limit, yet this seller only included 2 sentences about the home.

Option 2:

 This seller took the time to walk the buyer through the home describing each room!

The difference in these two listings is crystal clear. One of the sellers took the extra steps to really show off what this home has to offer, while the other seems like they tried to list the home as quickly as possible, not really giving much information.

 

It is important to remember, a lot of home buyers are looking at tons of listings and a good number of these buyers are looking at homes in another state. So by giving them more information in your ad, you are setting them up to be interested enough to contact you for a tour, or for even more information. Which is the whole point in advertising in the first place!

 

 

Now, there are plenty of different ways you can use this space from a marketing stand point. You can follow the two examples mentioned in this article or you can write it more in the style of a newspaper article where it’s in paragraph format. Either way you want to be able to give the buyer the experience of walking through the home, noting all of the details that matter to a home owner. We found that the ads where you can tell that the seller took the time to describe the home, keeps buyers interested and eventually gets them to contact the seller.

So, no matter what your style of advertising is, it’s important to share with the buyer why they should consider your home over all of the other options out there. Why not take the time to use this space to your benefit?

We try to give you all of the tools you need to go the extra mile in your advertising, but if you find you have some questions about what features you have on MHVillage, give us a call or an email today! We are happy to help.

 

What’s the Deal?

Big Investors Move to Find Best Deals Before Market Levels

Lakeway Mobile Estates,Bellingham, Wash.

From Bellingham, Wash. to Newnan, Ga., Jon Harrison scans the map for just the right patch of land. He talks to brokers, scours county records and relies on whatever information he can gain from inside sources.

All in the name of finding the prime manufactured home community.

Harrison isn’t looking for his retirement place. He’s not looking for the simple yet ideal coastal getaway for the family. He works for Inspire Communities, not the largest of the community owners, but certainly entrenched in the top quarter of the industry.

A former broker himself, Harrison is in acquisitions, and always is looking for the perfect mix of placement and amenities that can be a great home for 200 hundred residents or more – and no less important, a stellar portfolio addition for the company owners and investors.

Continue reading

Advertise Your Open House on MHVillage

Open-House-MHVillageStart your summer sales strong by advertising your Open Houses on MHVillage.

Are you or your community having an Open House? Open Houses can bring a lot of potential buyers through your door, but they do require a fair amount of work. Make sure you are getting the most foot traffic possible by adverting your event on MHVillage.

Here’s how it works:

Open Houses on MHVillage

You can add an Open House to any of your MHVillage listings for just $2 per day.

We’ll display a bright red banner showing the dates of your event. When buyers click on your listing, we show the times, dates and an additional section for your specific details about the event.

Plus, we move your listing to the top of the page in that area and send an email to buyers who have been watching your listing to let them know about your Open House.

To add an Open House to your home listing:

Your Open House dashboard within your account

Log into your MHVillage account and go to View/Change/Remove Listings section. Click “Add Open House” on any home. You can select the days and times of the event, and when you would like to start advertising it. Your home will appear at the very top of all searches in your home’s area until your open house is finished. Once the event is finished, there is nothing to do. The extra advertising falls off automatically.

If you have questions, please contact our customer service team. We are happy to help!

 

Community Investment, Acquisition (and the future)

community-investment-aquisition

You’ve heard the term “Investment Grade Property”. Increasingly, that label is being applied to entities in the manufactured housing sector.

Investment grade manufactured home communities are hot investment material in today’s market, and MHVillage will shed some light on some of the dynamics at play during the coming weeks.

A general surge in employment, rising home prices – particularly in sizable metro areas – and the largest demographic of aging Americans in our country’s history are all playing into the demand for affordable housing, which has investors of all types eyeing manufactured housing. From massive trusts to the niche investor, mobile home parks and manufactured home communities have become the apple of the eye for many.

Manufactured housing Real Estate Investment Trusts in the U.S. during 2016 posted a return of 28.5 percent, 9.7 percent better than apartment REITs and more than 15 points better than single-family home REITs during the same period.

Continue reading

MHCA MHIA Joint Conference

Please join us at the:

2017 Arizona Manufactured Housing Conference

June 21-23, 2017

Wild Horse Pass, Chandler Arizona

2017 Arizona Manufactured Housing Conference

MHVillage is proud to be be a exhibitor and sponsor at the 2017 MHCA-MHIA Annual Conference. If you are a manufactured housing professional doing business in Arizona, you will want to attend this great event!

 

 

 

Here’s a list of just some of the exciting items on the schedule:

  • Golf Tournament at the Whirlwind Golf Club on June 21
  • Welcome Reception with Musical Entertainment and Silent Auction
  • Keynote by Mark Yost, President of Champion Homes
  • Internet Marketing, by MHVillage’s very own Darren Krolewski!
  • Fair Housing Basics: What You Need to Know w/ attorney Melissa Parham
  • The Hardest Business to Measure is the Business You Lose, by John Underwood
  • Fannie Mae Q & A: Paul Barretto, Fannie Mae
Wild Horse Pass Casino and Hotel

Wild Horse Pass Casino and Hotel

A brochure with an outline for the entire schedule can be found on the Arizona Housing Association website, or you can download it here.

Registration is available at azhousing.org. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Final Input Sought for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced a final request for input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) recently released proposal on Underserved Markets Plans within the “Duty to Serve” program.

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, speaks in Chicago on affordable housing finance initiatives. From left, Paul Mullings, Sr. VP of Single-Family Strategic Business Initiatives for Freddie Mac; Russ Cross, regional manager for community outreach with Wells Fargo, and Sandra Thompson, deputy director in the Division of Housing Mission and Goals for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

FHFA, the regulator of Fannie and Freddie tasked with enforcing the “Duty to Serve” provision, issued a final implementation rule on Dec. 13, 2016 mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The statute requires the Enterprises to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

The rule requires each Enterprise to adopt a three-year Underserved Markets Plan to fulfill this mandate.  FHFA requests public input on the proposed plans through its dedicated web page by July 10, 2017.

It is anticipated that implementation of “Duty to Serve” provisions will create more financing options for potential home buyers, which also would be a benefit for the housing sector, including the manufactured housing industry.

“I strongly encourage stakeholders to submit feedback on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s proposed ‘Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans,'” said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt.  “FHFA will evaluate stakeholder input as part of our review process to ensure that the plans help the Enterprises meet their statutory obligations in a safe and sound manner.”

Each Enterprise will update their “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan” after reviewing public input and FHFA feedback. Each Enterprise’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan must receive a non-objection from FHFA before becoming effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The objectives in the proposed and final plans may be subject to change based on factors including public input, FHFA comments, compliance with the Enterprises’ Charter Acts, safety and soundness considerations, and market or economic conditions.

Florida Rent, Occupancy Continues Growth

JLT Florida Market ReportsMHVillage parent company Datacomp, publisher of JLT Market Reports and the nation’s #1 market data company for the manufactured housing industry, has made available a 17-year summary report of its manufactured home community rent surveys for 32 Florida markets.

For the seventh consecutive year, occupancy rates for Florida “All Ages” manufactured home communities increased. As of May 2017, the occupancy rate for All Ages communities is 91 percent, up 2.4 percent compared with May 2016.  The national average for All Ages communities as of December 2016 was 90 percent.

For the fifth consecutive year, occupancy rates for Florida “55+” communities increased. As of May 2017, the occupancy rate is 95 percent, up 1.2 percent compared with May 2016. The national average for 55+ communities as of December 2016 is 94 percent.

As of May 2017, Florida ranks 11th for average occupancy in All Ages manufactured home communities out of the 131 regions in which JLT rent surveys are published. Of the 20 regions that include 55+ communities, Florida ranks sixth for average occupancy among this segment.

Average rents in All Ages Florida manufactured home communities continued to increase for the 17th consecutive year.

Florida Manufactured Home Community

In May 2017, the average adjusted rent in All Ages communities increased by 3.6 percent to $497, which is consistent with the average annual compounded increase of 3.5 percent during the last 17 years. In comparison, the national average adjusted rent for All Ages communities increased 2.9 percent to $477, as of December 2016.

The average adjusted rent among 55+ communities in May 2017 increased by 3.6 percent to $498. In contrast, the national average adjusted rent for 55+ communities increased 2.9 percent to $507, as of December 2016.

Florida manufactured home community rents ranked sixth out of 23 regions tracked by JLT for All Ages communities as of May 2017, and seventh out of 20 regions for 55+ communities.

Recognized as the industry standard for manufactured home community market analysis for more than 20 years, JLT Market Reports provide detailed research and information on communities located in 131 markets throughout the United States, including the latest rent trends and statistics, marketing programs and a variety of other useful management insights.

Energy is Up at MHI Congress & Expo in Las Vegas

MHI Congress and ExpoIt was a stellar year at the Manufactured Housing Institute’s Congress & Expo in Las Vegas. Five of us from MHVillage attended the show this year, along with about 1,200 others, representing the biggest turnout in a decade.

“That’s proof that the industry is back, it’s healthy, and it’s growing,” MHI President and CEO Dick Jennison said, adding that year-over-year shipments to date are up 17 percent.

There was plenty of discussion about financing mechanisms, a conversation that runs right up to Washington D.C., where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in talks with multiple levels of government oversight to provide greater access to personal property, or “chattel”, loans that feed manufactured home sales.

The Congress & Expo was held at Caesar’s Palace, May 2-5.

MHVillage Booth at the 2017 MHI Congress & Expo

MHVillage team members talk with attendees at our booth in the Caesar’s Palace exhibit hall at the MHI Congress & Expo.

MHVillage had a front and center spot in the exhibit hall, greeting longtime account holders and advertisers, as well as gaining new ones.

“We get about 45 to 50 leads a month from MHVillage. We do a lot of business with MHVillage, and it helps,” said James Reitzner, who owns manufactured home communities in Wisconsin and Northern Michigan. “About 45 percent of our leads come from MHVillage.”

Many of the attendees at this year’s show were investors, who have honed in on the trend toward manufactured housing as growing stock in the affordable housing market, and as a stable and long-term solution to diversify real estate holdings.

“There’s been a lot of movement in the industry,” said Tyler Gordon, of West Partners, an investment group in Carlsbad, Calif. “There’s a lot of consolidation, and eager sellers. It’s a matter of finding the right property to buy, which is why many of us are here.”

The Power of a “Sales Caption”

Are Your Sales Captions as Effective as They Could Be?

sales-captionMHVillage offers a space for a “Sales Caption” on Pro+ Sales Centers, Showcased Communities, Featured Home Listings and Premium Home Listings.

Each one of the above listing types will allow you to enter a sentence that will show above your listing. This is a space for you to offer something that is eye-catching, inviting and will get the customer to click on your add from the search result.

Often, I come across some Showcase Communities or Pro+ Sales Centers in an area that simply are not entering a Sales Caption at all. Then there are the Featured and Premium Listings sellers who enter a caption, but it’s not as effective as it could be.

Actual Sales Caption on MHVillage:

So, while “Best Value”, “Great Community” or “Beautiful New Home” as a sales caption sounds okay, it’s not really all that inviting or unique. Plus, you would be surprised how many times I have looked at a search result on our site and seen basically the same simple caption on all of the listings in an area.

Also: If you have one of the more expensive homes in the area, a sales caption can help you explain why. I mean, if your home is priced significantly higher than others in the area, there is probably good reason. However, browsers might skip the most expensive home – unless there is a caption line explaining why the home is more whether, it be on land, newly renovated, fully furnished or the like.

So how do you ensure you are getting the most out of your captions?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Research: You want your listings to stand out above the rest in your area. So, do a few searches on MHVillage in your area and make sure you aren’t using the same language another seller is using for their home.
  2. Unique Details: Try to find something unique about your ad that you can highlight in the caption. Here are some examples:
    • For a home, something like: “Fully furnished, renovated home, with open floor plan”
    • For a community: “Retirement Community with brand new waterfront homes available”
    • For your Company: “Family owned company, with previously owned homes and new homes in stock!”
  3. Current and Updated: One of the benefits of online advertising is you can update your information at any time. So if you have a sale or an incentive highlighted within the sales caption on a listing, be sure and keep that information updated and current.

This feature really can make the difference for your traffic on our site. It can be the detail that turns a shopper into a buyer!

And, if you you would like assistance updating your sales captions, please feel free to contact our customer service.