December is the perfect time of year to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. Every day the MHVillage team is working hard, continuing to make MHVillage the best site in the industry for buying, selling or renting manufactured homes. Over the past year we’ve made hundreds of updates and improvements, some big, some small. We’re constantly adding new services, products and tools to help you sell your homes. Let’s take a look at just a few of the updates the year had to offer:
Easier Searches for Buyers –
Our #1 goal is to bring buyers to your doorstep, so we are making it easier than ever for them to find your homes. In some areas of the country there are so many homes for sale that it can be difficult for a buyer to hunt through them. For example, as of this writing, there are 599 homes for sale in Mesa, Arizona alone!
So, we’ve added new easy-to-use tools on the search results page that lets buyers sort the homes by Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Location (Family Community, Senior Community or Private Property,) as well as important features like whether the listings have Photos, the Communities allow Pets and homes that have been recently listed. On Community Search Results they can look for communities with pools, clubhouses and pet allowances, as well as communities with homes for sale or rent, those that have photos, and 55+ versus All Ages Communities. This ability for buyers to narrow their searches down to exactly what they are looking for means better leads for you!
In addition to driving more traffic to your homes, we’re also giving out more leads! On MHVillage we have a “Find a Broker” Lead program. Buyers who haven’t quite found the home they are looking for on the site can request help from local brokers. These leads are not affiliated with any particular home, community or company, and we used to offer them for sale. This year we decided to give them free to all Pro+ account members. (If you need help insuring you are getting these leads, please give us a call. We’re happy to help.)
Set Your Own Lead Requirements –
As mentioned, we want you to get the most leads possible, so our online contact forms only require a first name and email address. Of course if the buyer also provides a mailing address or phone number, we save that into their account and provide it with the lead, but we keep the initial requirements low. Some of you have requested the ability to require more information. You asked and we listened! Now on your Lead Option page (located within your account,) you can choose how much information to require. You can choose to require Last Name, Phone Number and/or Mailing Address in addition to First Name and Email.
A Downloadable Spreadsheet of Your Leads –
Another request we had was for a way to easily create a spreadsheet of the leads you receive from MHVillage. Leads are emailed to you, but we’ve also added a tool to let you put them all in a spreadsheet. Located at the bottom of your Leads page, there is now a link that will automatically create a spreadsheet for you.
Better Statistical Information –
This year also brought a number of improvements to your account Statistics Page. We’ve added calendars and charts to help you easily track web statistics for your homes, communities and company. Recently we’ve also begun tracking the number of printouts, so you can see how many people are printing out information off of MHVillage about your properties.
Increased Visibility on Rentals and New Homes –
As you know, one of our 2011 goals at MHVillage was to make it even easier for buyers to find the exact home they’re looking for. The quicker they find the home they want – the better leads you’ll get! One improvement was to make it simple for renters to find manufactured homes in their area available for rent. We have also increased the visibility of new homes located at retailer sales centers. Now in each city, homes on Sales Centers have their own section. Buyers looking to place homes on lots, or their own property, can easily find homes ready to go.
Market Service Areas –
Speaking of new homes at Sales Centers, we’ve also given you the ability to define your sales territory. This year we introduced Market Service Areas (MSA). Most buyers on MHVillage search for homes by address. With sited homes, this makes sense, but of course, new homes and homes at Sales Centers can be delivered to anywhere in the area. This is where MSAs come in. MSAs are predefined areas that determine where your homes and Sales Centers appear in searches. Pro+ accounts automatically start with a 30 mile radius and Pro accounts have a 20 miles. A MSA insures that your homes show up, not just where your sales lot is, but in searches surrounding your area. If you deliver homes to larger areas, we also offer Silver and Gold upgrades that will let you expand your radius.
A List of Manufactured Home Transporters –
MHVillage is the nation’s largest marketplace for buying, selling and renting manufactured homes, so naturally, we’ve had requests for information about Transporters. Using State Association lists and other resources, we’ve created a list of Manufactured Home Transporters by state. If your company moves manufactured homes, let us know – we’ll add you to the list!
Easy Tool to Update Multiple Communities –
If you own or manage multiple communities, you may have Site Leasing Specials that you want to update each month. For those of you that have more than one community, we’ve created an easy tool to update your Sales Contact information, Site Leasing Specials, and Special Financing Programs. (Note: if all your communities are not in your account, please let us know, we’ll be happy to take care of that for you.)
Search Engine Optimization –
SEO is a fairly commonly used phrase amongst website developers. What it means for us is a constant tweaking of the entire website so it attracts the most visitors. This is something you probably won’t notice on the site, as it mostly happens behind the scenes, but our staff is constantly working directly with companies like Google to insure that MHVillage receives the most visitors and web traffic.
These are just a few of the updates we’ve done to MHVillage, there are plenty more to come in 2012! Have a great idea for the site? Just email us and let us know!
Plus, keep an eye on this newsletter for next month’s edition. We’ll crunch all the numbers and take a look at 2011 web traffic and visitor counts. Stay tuned!