BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
If you have been following this blog you know that I am writing a series about common marketing mistakes that I see on MHVillage. For those of you not in the loop, here are the first two in the series:
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Today’s tip costs no extra money and practically no extra time. In fact, it is so easy, I’m surprised to be writing about it, and yet, I see it being missed on a regular basis. I’m going to show you examples from MHVillage, but this tip is true no matter where you advertise your manufactured homes for sale. It’s simple:
Tell People What They Want To Know
When you are entering a home listing on MHVillage, we first ask the basics about the home – where it is located, what you are selling (or renting) the home for, the number of beds and baths and so on. Once you’ve entered that, the next section is all about the Features of the home. Occasionally, I see this left blank.
Here’s a list of just some of the items they’re missing:
- Roof type
- Siding type
- Trim color
- Storage shed
- Ceiling type
- Interior wall type
- Heating type
- Appliances that stay with the home
While every home is different, and not all have sheds, decks or patios, there is something in this list that can be filled out for every home. We’ve even made it as easy as possible – the form is a series of check boxes, drop downs and radio buttons so you can quickly just click and select.
Let’s take a look at some examples. Here are two screen shots of the Features section on two different homes:
These are from home listings that are currently live on our site. Both homes are in the same senior community.
Obviously one listing has a lot more information than the other. But let’s talk marketing – why does it matter? And how does this effect your home leads?
Step back a moment and think about internet shoppers. Why do they shop online? What are they looking for?
When people shop online, whether it is for manufactured homes or digital cameras or a local gym, what they want is information. The more information they have, the better chance you have to sell. Good information not only makes your listings more appealing, it also increases their effectiveness. In other words, good information means not only more leads, but better leads.
Here’s how it works: take the digital camera for an example. While people don’t always buy homes online the way they do cameras, (although we hear regularly from customers who have sold their homes, site unseen, to relocating buyers,) there are a lot of similarities. If you were considering purchasing a nice digital camera, what’s one of the first things you might do? Go online and look at your options! What if all you saw was a photo and price? No information about zoom, lenses, or other features? Would you call the seller to find out more? Would you drive out to the electronics store to check it out for yourself? Or, would you click your back button and look for a different camera?
The same thing works with homes. Skipping this section might save you a small amount of time, but you’ll lose potential customers. On the other hand, what if when you were looking at the camera, it included this:
- 16 effective megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor
- 3-inch TFT color LCD with wide viewing angle
- DIGIC 4 image processor
- 720p HD video in stereo sound with a dedicated movie button
- 24mm wide-angle lens with powerful 30x optical zoom and optical Image Stabilizer
- 30x Optical Zoom and 24mm Wide-Angle lens with Optical Image Stabilizer
- DIGIC 4 Image Processor
- 3.0-inch LCD with 461,000 dots
- Enhanced Zoom Framing Assist button aids in tracking and capturing subjects during super telephoto photography
- High Speed AF
If those are features you are looking for, this ad will catch your attention and perhaps start the buying process. – and that’s exactly what you want to have happen with home listings! Here’s the best part – the people you attract with an informative listing have already started to sell themselves. They already know it meets their needs. And if the home doesn’t meet their needs? Those are not people who would buy anyway! You save yourself time by narrowing down leads to the very best ones.
Quick note: What about color? Do people really choose their home based on color? Some do, but that isn’t the point. Most people shopping for homes love to do drive-bys. Drive-bys are your friend – if the customer likes what they see, the next step is calling you. Listing the color makes it easy for them to find the home!
The full menu of Features is available on every home listing type on MHVillage – Basic, Featured and Premium. You can edit, update and change this section at any time. Need help? Just email us and let us know – we are happy to assist!