Monthly Archives: July 2012

Southeast Community Owner’s Symposium

As a professional in the Manufactured Home industry it will come as no surprise to you that our industry suffers from an image problem.  We’ve all talked a lot about it, but little has actually been done about it.  That’s why you’ll want to be at a meeting of Community Owners in the southeast where, among other important topics, a new grassroots image advertising campaign will be unveiled.

If you are a community owner in the Southeast and are interested in changing our industry’s image, you should seriously consider attending this meeting on August 29th in Atlanta.

For all the details, go to: http://www.seco12.org/

The June Statistics Are In!

June Sales Results

Last month, MHVillage.com received 1,552,954 visits from folks searching for manufactured homes and communities.  That is over one million visits to our site – in one month! There have been 9,825,073 visits year to date – and we are only half way through the year.  While it is true that times are tough out there, both for home buyers and for our industry, people continue to need quality, affordable housing.  MHVillage is helping millions of people in their quest for home ownership.

Getting folks to the site and helping them search for manufactured homes and communities isn’t enough, however.  In order to help you be successful, we need to help buyers and sellers connect.  We’re constantly updating our site to make it even easier for buyers to contact you.  Last month we sent out 44,796 sales leads!  So far this year, sales leads we sent reached a total of 282,072.  (Please note that those leads are all electronic leads – that number does not take into consideration the estimated 40,000 phone inquires that we generate each month.)

And of course, the process isn’t complete unless the manufactured and mobile home listings on MHVillage then become sales! Last month, users reported 6,719 homes sold just in the month June.  That is an increase of 830 home sales over May!  Year to date, there have been 34,128 homes on MHVillage marked as sold, nationwide.

Are you getting your share of the leads and home sales?  If not, give our customer service team a call at 800/327-2158.  We will be happy to give your account a custom, personalized, review to make sure you are getting the most out of your MHVillage account.

Calling All Community Owners and Managers

Let me ask you a question. Do your community photos look like this?

Or maybe, this:

In case you are wondering, yes indeed, those are Polaroid photos.  And yes, these are two actual community’s photos on MHVillage.  If you own, operate or manage a community, do yourself a favor.  Go to www.mhvillage.com right now and do a search for your community. With over 35,000 communities on MHVillage, your community is probably already on the site.  Updating community photos is free, and if you need assistance, just click the Contact Us tab on MHVillage – we are happy to help.

Happy Selling!

Dawn

The Benefits of Features

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Last month I wrote about some some simple steps you can do to get the best leads from your online advertising. The idea is simple: the more complete your listings are, the more the prospect knows about the home.  The more the buyer knows about the home, the more likely they are to buy.  As mentioned, great photos and detailed descriptions are key to a powerful listing.  Here’s another one – and it’s even easier!

Include All the Home’s Features in the Listing

Features are simply the physical aspects of the home.  Here are some examples:

Entering a listing onto MHVillage.com – just click to add the home’s features.

  • Decks
  • Garages
  • Carports
  • Storage Sheds
  • Gutters
  • Shutters
  • Patios
  • Thermopane Windows
  • Air Conditioning Units
  • Fireplaces
  • Pantries
  • Skylights
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Cathedral Ceilings
  • Walk-in Closets
  • Appliances
  • and so on…

MHVillage.com makes it incredibly easy to add the home’s features to a listing – it is literally just a click of your mouse. As you are entering your home listing on MHVillage, just click on the features to display them to your ad.

Think it doesn’t matter?  Well, let’s take a look at two examples.  Both of these homes are in the same city, zip code and both are in senior communities.

Home on top – 2009 Skyline 28 x 56 $75,000

Home on the bottom – 2003 Skyline 28 x 52 $74,900

Now, which home is more appealing?

Or, think of it this way: though good photos are essential, there are some things that photos can’t capture.  It might show if appliances are in the home, but it can’t say if they are included.  Photos also aren’t likely to show things like ceiling fans, skylights and cathedral ceilings (unless you spend a lot of time with your camera up in the air!) A great photo will show if a home has a fireplace, but isn’t likely to show if it has air conditioning. Even if the manufactured home you are selling is pretty stripped down, you can still indicate the type of walls, siding and ceiling.

To sum up, just put yourself in a buyer’s shoes.  What is going to get you closer to calling on a home?  As a buyer, if you can picture the home in your mind, you are that much closer to knowing if it is the right one for you, and if it is the right one – you’ll pick up that phone.

Happy selling!

Dawn

Why Photos and Videos Matter in Your Marketing

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

I just read a great article on ClickZ by Liana Evans about using photos and videos in your marketing.  The article is: Integrating Images and Videos Into Your Marketing Strategy and here’s a quick excerpt that caught my eye:

Images and videos help pull your audience in to read through all of your content, rather than making them bored and clicking away. This type of media also is a signal to the viewer about what the content is generally about; if the images are engaging to them, they are going to stay on your content for a lot longer and will likely click through to see what else you have.

(Click here to read the rest of the article on ClickZ.)

I couldn’t agree more.  If we could give all our users just one piece of advice to get the most (and best qualified) leads, it would be this: put good photos of your homes in every listing. It’s the first, (and easiest,) step you should take to increase your leads.

However, the author in the above article doesn’t just mention photos, she also talks about video and pdfs with text.  Here’s how MHVillage can help:

  • Add photos to all your listings.  (2 are always free and included with your Basic listings, add 4 photos to a Featured listing or Unlimited photos to a Premium listings)
  • Make sure your first photo is the best photo.  On Featured and Premium listings, this will be your thumbnail when people are searching the site.  (Check out this article: Three Easy Steps to Powerful Listings that Sell for a detailed explanation of why this matters – and can get you up to three times more leads if done well.)
  • Add a salesperson photo.  Real Estate agents have known it for years – you are not only selling a manufactured home, you also are selling yourself.  Every Professional listing on MHVillage can include a sales person photo on their home listings.
  • Add a link to your video tours – available on all Premium listings.
  • Upload a floor plan of the home – it’s free!  A floor plan helps buyers walk through the home in their mind.  All MHVillage listings include a spot to add a floor plan and adding one makes a difference to how people see your home.
  • Have great photos of your community.  Again, you can have 2 photos for free on any community, Showcase it to add more.
  • Attach a pdf of the community’s brochure to your Showcased community for potential residents to download.
  • Video tours aren’t just for homes – you can also add them to your Showcased community.
  • Add logos to community pages and company profiles – available for Showcased communities and Pro+ accounts.
  • And don’t forget to have all of these things on your own website!  Encourage home buyers to click from our site over to yours by adding website links to your listings, community and company pages.

Images and videos don’t just describe one particular home – they encourage people to view all the properties you have to offer.  Maybe the first home they click on isn’t exactly what they are looking for but, if you engage them with good information, they’ll be far more likely to click and see what else you have.

Adding photos, videos, links and floor plans to your MHVillage listings is easy.  If you can add an attachment to an email or post a photo on Facebook,  you have the skills to enhance your listings.  Of course, if you need help, just let us know.  We will be happy to walk you through it!