BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
So, I have written before about the sheer numbers of people visiting MHVillage. Community managers – did you know that one of the first things they look at is your community?
Where do all these buyers come from?
Let’s start with a common question. “How do buyers find MHVillage?” The answer is simple: they find us the same way you find something online: by using Google or other search engines. Of course, some come from word of mouth, direct advertising and other methods, but the majority find us simply by looking. We work hard to insure that MHVillage is among the top results of common searches in order to bring home buyers to our site to see your homes and communities.
People do different kinds of searches. Sometimes they are looking for homes for sale or rent in their city, state or zip code, but many times they are looking specifically for your community – and they come to MHVillage to find it. Although we hear every day about people who are relocating and using MHVillage to search for manufactured homes in other cities, most buyers are looking for homes that are fairly near to where they currently live. They probably already know something about the nearby communities and have a rough idea of where they might like to live. They are using our site to get more information and see what homes are available.
If they want to know about my community, why don’t they just stop into the office and ask me?
Think about the last time you bought a car. When you were thinking about buying, did you ever drive through a car dealership on Sunday when you knew it was closed? Did you ever research car models online and read the reviews? Shopping online is somewhat similar. Obviously MHVillage doesn’t have reviews, but we do offer buyers a ton of information that they want to know – some of which is essential, like pet policy information. Shopping online gives buyers a starting place… from the comfort of their own home.
Won’t they shop my own website?
Absolutely! Buyers shop online in a lot of different ways. That is why you should know exactly what they are seeing. Here’s a couple of tests – pretend you are a buyer. Do some searches on Google and look for your own community. Then take a look at the top sites that come up. Chances are, MHVillage is going to be one of those sites. Check all the sites – are they showing your community to its advantage?
I don’t like the way my community looks on MHVillage, can I change it?
Of course! In fact, here is a list of things you should fix right away:
- Make sure the address is correct. Some communities have different mailing addresses from their physical location. Remember, you want buyers to find you – so make it easy on them.
- Is your community Age Restricted? This is one of those essential pieces of information every community should have filled out on MHVillage.
- Update how many vacant sites you have. This tells potential residents if you have spaces available for new homes.
- Pet policy – if someone has a 200lb mastiff, is that okay? What if they have 5 cats? Let buyers know from the start if they are likely to be approved.
- Update your community photos. Remember, the photos they see online leave an impression. You can add two photos of your community to MHVillage for free.
- Add your email address. Having great information online is no good if they don’t have any way to contact you. MHVillage has an easy form buyers can use – but we need your email address on file to send them to you.
There is no cost to update any of these – and they can make a huge difference in how your community looks to online buyers.
If you are really looking to attract potential residents, we also offer “Showcasing.” A Showcased community will let you do all of the following:
- Advertise your community’s features like planned social activities, fitness centers, shuffleboard courts and more.
- Write a custom description of your community and all the nearby area has to offer.
- Describe site leasing, financing or other promotional programs you offer.
- Add a link to a virtual tour of your community.
- Upload a brochure that buyers can download from MHVillage.
- Add your phone number, so buyers can call you directly.
- Upload as many photos of your community as you like – it is unlimited.
- Add a link to your community’s website. We’ll send potential residents right to your site.
One other quick thing to note – to view basic communities on MHVillage, buyers need create an account and log in. With Showcased communities, they can see your information right away – with or without an account. (Cost to Showcase starts at $16.00 per month.)
Does all this really matter?
Numbers speak louder than words, so I will leave you with this. One of our top performing Florida communities was viewed on MHVillage.com 39,768 times in January alone – and received 520 leads from MHVillage. That is over 16 leads a day!
Yes, it matters.
Let us know if you would like help getting started. We are happy to help!