Monthly Archives: July 2011

Three Easy Steps to Powerful Home Listings that Sell, Part 1

Did you know certain manufactured home listings on MHVillage are far more likely to be looked at by buyers than others?  We recently discovered that there are some listings that always catch buyers’ eyes – even compared to similarly priced, nearby homes.

These high-performing power listings weren’t always the first ones in the list, or the cheapest, or even the fanciest homes.  However, they do have three special listing details all in common – and here’s the best part – these details can be added to any home listing – regardless of the home!  In this three part series we are going to discuss each of these details, why they matter, and how they can triple your listing’s visitors.

Part 1 – The Compelling Thumbnail

On MHVillage the Thumbnail Photo is the first impression buyers get of your home.  When someone does a search on www.mhvillage.com, they’ll get a list of manufactured homes for sale and rent in their area.  The thumbnail is the only photo they see in that search.  Here’s an example:

The screen capture below is from search we did on our test server (with made-up listings) for the zip code 49548. This search found 41 homes, but here we are only showing the first one. The Thumbnail Photo is the picture of the house on the left.

Why Does the Thumbnail Photo Matter?

For buyers searching through a long list of homes for sale, the Thumbnail Photo is their first real impression of the home – and we all know how important first impressions are!  A great thumbnail will get those buyers to click on the listing to learn more and see all the other photos of the home.

Our research shows that top performing home listing will have ALL of the following in their Thumbnail Photo:

This is a  great example of an eye catching Thumbnail Photo.

  • Frontal view of the home taken slightly from one side. The front of your home is the most important, however, most homes look flattened out if taken directly from the front.  A shot slightly to one side will be more flattering.
  • The home must fill the frame. Try to add too much landscaping and the home will turn into a tiny dot in the middle of a green square. Save the great landscaping or home settings for other photos.  Your first photo should feature the home only.
  • Remove all clutter. The home must present simple, solid shapes. Remove all trash cans, toys, cars, etc, and take the photo from an angle that is the least “busy.”
  • Bright sunlight on the front of the home.This is one of the easiest ideas to understand but one of the hardest to do in practice. Why? Because you might have to make two or three trips at a specific time of day before you will get the best lighting for your home, but only full sun will create the darks, lights, and rich colors that remain crisp when a photo is shrunk down to thumbnail size.

The Thumbnail Photo in our example follows ALL the rules listed above. We can clearly see the garage, green grass, paved driveway, covered porch, and roof line. Everything about this thumbnail invites buyers to “click through” and learn more.

Creating/Editing Your Own Thumbnail Photos on MHVillage:

The Thumbnail Photo is automatically created by MHVillage from your first photo. You can always choose which of your photos you want to be the Thumbnail by changing (or adding) the top photo.  Here’s how:

  1. Log into your MHVillage account with your email address and password.
  2. On the left side of your account screen, click “View/Change/Remove Listings”
  3. Scroll down to your listing of interest. On the right side of that listing click “Edit Photos”
  4. Your thumbnail is the top photo on the left of the page.
  5. You can change that photo by dragging one of the lower photos to the top position.  Or you can also upload a new one by clicking the big “Add Photos” button.

Note: only Featured and Premium listings have Thumbnail Photos. If you have a Basic listing, consider upgrading to one of the other listing types to create a Thumbnail.

  1. Log into your MHVillage account with your email address and password.
  2. On the left side of your logged in screen, click “View/Change/Remove Listings”
  3. Scroll down to your listing of interest. On the right side of that listing click “Enhance Listing”
  4. Near the top of the page select either “Featured Package” or “Premium Package”
  5. Your Thumbnail will automatically be created for you!

Creating a compelling Thumbnail Photo is just the first of three tasks to create high-performing listings. Stay tuned for Part 2!  We’ll tell you what else our research shows about buyer behavior – and how to use that information to your advantage.

July Open House Sale!


In order to help you have a strong summer sales season, MHVillage is having a:

Buy One Day, Get One Day Free Special on All Open Houses!

Regularly $1.00 per day, for every day you promote your Open House in July, MHVillage will add another day free, reducing the cost to just $0.50 per day.

For example, for only $3.00, your Open House could spend 6 days on the top of the Premium listing section with a big, bright, and bold Open House sign that can’t be missed. Having an Open House next weekend? Advertise it all week for just $3.50!

How does advertising your Open House on MHVillage work?

It is simple. Log into your account and go to View/Change/Remove Listings section. Just click “Add Open House” on any home. Your home will appear at the very top of all searches in your home’s area until your open house is finished.

No Adcode is needed for this promotion! The discount will be applied automatically. This special ends on July 31st.