Monthly Archives: March 2010

Communicate With Your Buyers Instantly! MHVillage Introduces “Buyer Chat.”

Though they may seem like realm of teenagers, online chat, instant messaging, and text messaging are quickly becoming powerful sales tools in the business world.  These technologies help build relationships between you and your customers, improve communication, and lead to more sales.  How?  Buyers love the low-barrier approach. Being able to quickly ask questions and get information on-the-go has become an important part of our lives.  Online chat, instant messaging and text messaging are here to stay.

Since MHVillage introduced Customer Service Chat in May 2009, we have talked online with thousands of MHVillage shoppers.  Sometimes they have basic questions like just needing a phone number or have a simple question about the site, other times their questions are far more complex. The only common denominator is that you can’t make any assumptions about who is going to want to chat.  We’ve talked from people from all areas of the country, all ages and all types – who are all interested in manufactured housing.

Starting today, you can chat with buyers on MHVillage.com — even if you are away from your computer!

These new tools are now in your MHVillage account.

With our new Buyer Chat feature, buyers can chat with home sellers and community owners via instant messaging on their computer or via text messaging on their mobile device.

While we know that some professionals would be excited to have a “I am interested in this home, when can I come out and see it?” text sent straight to their phone from a buyer, others aren’t ready for that yet.  That is why we have put you in complete control – these new tools are completely optional.  To use Instant Messaging Buyer Chat from your computer, log into your MHVillage account and choose “Sign into MHVillage Chat.”  That will open the Chat window.  Or to chat with buyers when you are away from your computer using your mobile device, simply log into your account and choose “Set up Mobile Text” and let us know when during the day you are available for chat.

Only then, when you are available to chat, will buyers see a friendly “Chat with Seller” button on your listings, communities, and dealerships.

Testing Chat:

Please note, while lots of people talk to themselves, you can’t Chat with yourself.  So, if you would like to see a live demonstration of how Chat can work, please let us know.  We will be happy to walk you through how to log in, set up your account and even do a test chat with you so you can see how it works.

In addition, we are looking for a few volunteers to help us test our mobile chat system.  So far, we have tested mobile chat for Verizon, T-Mobile, and Nextel users. We are looking for testers on other carriers, so let us know if you use a different provider and would like to help us out.

If you have any questions about chat or would like to test it out, give us a chat (www.mhvillage.com/chat.php) or send us at Customer Service an email.  We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Photos Tips from the Pros

Last month we asked you to submit your favorite photo taking tips.  Here are some of our favorites:

Two great tips from Phylis D., Tuscon, AZ:

Tip 1: Light and more light.  Get the lamps on, open the blinds, do the interiors during the day. Then, if necessary, use your photo editor to brighten any that look dark.

Tip 2: Look at the inside and outside from a woman’s perspective – show as much detail as possible.  If there is an awesome cooktop or spa tub, do a close up.

Phylis says: We have now sold 7 homes online using our listing descriptions and our photos.  The buyers never saw the home until they got to Tucson to move in!  No complaints yet!

From Cindy in Kutztown, PA on a quick tip for making your interior shots look better:

Interior pictures can be a challenge, especially the bathrooms because of their size and location. So, I try to take full advantage of the rooms that do take a better picture by always making sure the window treatments are straightened, like mini blinds, curtains, shades, etc. There’s nothing worse than uploading your pictures only to find the blinds are crooked or uneven. It can really make a room look as untidy as a cluttered counter top even though there may be nothing else in the room!

Debbie E. in Indialantic, FL had some great ideas on exterior photos:

When I am taking pictures of homes for sale, I try to get a great picture of the front of the home with not getting to much of the sky in the back ground. I also try to focus on the front of the home. I try to get as much landscape as I can in the picture.  Pictures of homes look so much better with a little color in them, what a great way of adding color by getting the landscape with the flowers and bushes next to the home.

A big MHVillage thank you goes out to these Pros for sharing their top tips with all of us.  To show our appreciation, they’ll be getting some free Premium listings for the month of April.  Don’t forget, for those of you in winter climates, now is the time to take these tips to heart and get out and get some fresh spring photos!

See You In Las Vegas!

Once again, MHVillage will be at the National Congress for Manufactured and Modular Housing in Las Vegas, NV, this April 13th – 15th.  If you are going to be attending this great event, stop by our booth and say hello!  Also, make sure you check out the class we’ll be giving on social networking:

Thursday, April 15
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Boost Home Sales with Social Networking
Did you know that Facebook is the 4th most visited website in the world, or that 75% of U.S. adults are active on social networking sites? Our site-built competitors have already discovered the power of social networking websites and tools to find more prospects and close more sales at substantially reduced costs.  Now you can too!  Find out how easy and inexpensive it is to develop a social networking strategy to increase occupancy rates and home sales for your community.  Speaker – Dan Rinzema, MHVillage/Datacomp