Monthly Archives: December 2013

MHI – 2014 Legistlative Conference and Winter Meeting

Industry Announcement:

2014-Annual_MeetingOn February 9-11, 2013 at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, VA/Washington, D.C. MHI will be hosting their Legislative Conference and Winter Meeting. Here are additional details about the meeting from MHI:

During the opening session of MHI’s Legislative Conference and Winter Meeting on February 10th, participants will be joined by nationally renowned political expert, Charlie Cook. Charlie Cook has been called “the Picasso of election analysis” by the Wall Street Journal. For more than two decades he has been Washington’s most trusted—and most accurate—voice on all things political, whether it’s the outcome of Congressional, Gubernatorial, or Presidential election. As Editor and Publisher of The Cook Political Report and a political analyst for the National Journal, his insights are a direct line to the heart of politics.

Join MHI and your industry colleagues to for the unique opportunity to hear Charlie Cook’s political expertise, first hand!

During Monday’s lunch, attendees will hear from Dave Stevens, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Prior to assuming this position, Stevens served as the Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Your presence and voice on Capitol Hill is critical to reach out to the Members of the 113th Congress on issues of utmost importance to the industry and its future:

  • Dodd-Frank Reform and CFPB Rule Implementation
  • Efforts to Reform the GSEs and the Housing Finance Market
  • Department of Energy Standards for Energy Efficiency of Manufactured Homes
  • Extension of Key Manufactured Housing Tax Credits
  • Oversight of the Federal Manufactured Housing Program

Additional information and online registration is available on the MHI website: www.manufacturedhousing.org

Seminar: How to Advertise, Market and Sell Homes Successfully and Legally in 2014

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSERishel Consulting Group

If you are attending the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show this month, plan on arriving early – there is a seminar the day before that you won’t want to miss! Rishel Consulting Group is offering an educational seminar on how to How to Advertise, Market and Sell Homes Successfully and Legally in 2014.

From the Rishel Consulting Group:

This program is designed to teach sales personnel and community managers what they need to know and what to say to close home sales in this post SAFE Act world. Sales people will learn how to navigate the tricky waters of the SAFE Act exclusions and the related activities of advertising, marketing, steering, and in dealing effectively with outside and captive lenders.

In a single day, you will learn exactly how to close prospective buyers legally and effectively, while learning valuable insights into the thinking of the underwriters who approve and turn down their customers for loans.

All of this is done with a combination of educational techniques proven to be both effective and practical. We start by teaching the background and meanings of the laws and regulations, then follow up with specific strategies and solutions that allow them to sell using credit without violating any laws. There are question and answer sessions at the end of each segment, and, when appropriate, live-time role playing by each participant under the guidance of our experienced personnel.

You’ll learn from nationally recognized instructors:

  • Ken Rishel
  • Donna Rishel, CCO
  • Dennis Ohnstad
  • Bill Carr, RainMaker
  • John Ace Underwood
  • Ed Hicks
  • Chad Carr, RainMaker

For more details, click here to download an informational pdf about the seminar, or call 217-899-9268 to register.

Quick! Web Traffic is Set To Climb, Don’t Miss It!

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEsales chart going up

Did you know the most magical time of the year is almost here? No, I am not talking about the holidays – I am talking about the Two Weeks of Web Traffic! You don’t know about the Two Weeks of Web Traffic? Gather ’round, and let me fill you in –

The Two Weeks of Web Traffic

Each year we see a particular trend in website traffic. Starting the day after Christmas, web traffic on MHVillage starts to ramp up. Over the next two weeks, the traffic on the website will increase to over and above the highest traffic day in the previous summer.

Let’s break that down a little – “Web traffic” is simply a term for people using, shopping and browsing MHVillage. So, take the busiest day last summer, when web traffic was at its peak, (we were hitting over 50,000 people per day in July and August,) and starting Dec. 26th we’ll see the daily traffic ramp up to over and above that number during those two weeks following Christmas.

Notice that I keep using the word “ramp.” That’s not by accident. This isn’t a traffic spike, it doesn’t shoot up and then shoot back down. It literally begins to ramp up and set the baseline for the rest of the year. Nor is this a one time thing, this has happened every single year since we started MHVillage in 2004. In fact, each November our tech department does a review of our servers and technical systems, just to make sure that we are ready for the massive increase in traffic!

What’s Going On? Who Are All These Home Buyers on MHVillage?

The Buyer Life Cycle (Click to Enlarge)

The Buyer Life Cycle (Click to Enlarge)

In the manufactured home industry, much like in the Real Estate industry, we tend to think of spring as the time to buy. That may be true, but what that doesn’t take into account is the buying cycle. People don’t decide to buy a home one day and pick one out the next. Typically there is a several month lead time between deciding that it’s time to move and actually making an offer on a home. During those months they are researching properties, and the number one place they look? Online.

Every single day events happen cause people to reconsider where they live: children move out, parents move in, divorce, death, marriage and separation. People get new jobs and raises, and others get laid off. They have to relocate, decide to go to a warmer climate or simply become tired of their neighbors. Even on Christmas Day there are people standing in their living rooms thinking, “I’m not spending another Christmas in this house!” All sorts of things happen, but the holidays act as a bottleneck. Starting in the fall and through Christmas Day, web traffic is a bit sluggish. It doesn’t disappear entirely, (In November we were still averaging 30-40,000 people each day – there were even thousands of people shopping on Thanksgiving!) but it slows down. Once the holidays are over, literally starting on December 26th, people resume their home searches.

How Does This Increase in Traffic Effect You?

To use a surfing analogy, the best time to catch a wave is at the beginning. While it is tempting to sit back and relax through the next week, that’s the last thing you want to do. Now is the time review all of your online marketing. Do an audit of your MHVillage advertising: Are your listings up to date? Have you added a link to your website from MHVillage? Are phone numbers and email addresses correct?

In the next week, here are 5 things you should do on MHVillage:

    1. Make sure your entire inventory is online. I suggest this one a lot, but it is for a simple reason: more home listings = more leads. Remember, Basic listings are free, so it doesn’t cost you anything to get all your homes up and online. (Learn more here.)
    2. Make your Sales Center page Pro+. This one will cost you a little extra if you don’t already have a Pro+ account, (Pro+ accounts are $20 more a month than our standard Pro account.) Once you’ve upgraded your account, add a link to your website. This will not only allow the MHVillage buyers to click over to your site, it will also help in how your company website shows in Google searches. (Learn more here.)
    3. If you have a Community, make it a Showcase. Again, this will cost a bit, (Showcasing starts at $16.) but you want to look your best to all the buyers. Also, home shoppers do not need to log in to view Showcased communities, so that means more people are going to see your information. (Learn more here.)
    4. Review your own website. Once you’ve put links to your site from MHVillage on your listings, Sales Center page and Community, click over and look at your website as a buyer would. Is your website up to date? Is the contact information easy to find? Is there an online form for them to get more information?
    5. Take advantage of our Branding sale. We’ve got a great sale going on right now with 50% off Professional branding for the life of the listing. For just $1.00 you can completely dominate your listings, removing all other ads and adding all your own information. (Learn more here.)

Remember – there is never a contract on MHVillage. We only charge you for the services you use. So feel free to upgrade for a few months, get the boost in traffic and ride the sales wave until spring. You can downgrade at anytime. Need help? Let us know! We can assist your company and make sure you are ready for the two weeks of web traffic!

Announcing the MHVillage Branding Sale!

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Sale Tags

Four Star Homes on MHVillage.com

Four Star Homes on MHVillage.com

Earlier this week I posted an article about Professionally Branding your homes. Today I have great news! Now through January 31st, you can add Branding to any listing for 50% off the price!

Here’s how it works: Branding is usually an additional $2.00 per home, per month. However, during the sale, we’ve discounted the price to just $1.00. The best part is that you’ll receive that sales price on the listing until you remove it!

Branding your listings means that you can remove all the ads from your home listings and replace them with: information about your company, your company logo, a sales person photo, driving directions to your office, your office hours, additional ways for buyers to contact you and a link to your website! It doesn’t take any additional work, just one click and we take care of the rest for you.

From my article earlier in the week, here is a quick review on how Branding works:

When you are entering your listing, just click the Brand My Listing check box. We’ll automatically remove the Google ads and fill in the column to the right of the listing with your information. To get the most out of your Branding your listings, here are a few tips:

  • The top slot is your Sales Person photo. You upload the sales person in the Contact section of the listing. As you can see on the example on the right, Integrity Mobile Homes uses a photo of their sales office. You can use a personal sales photo or another photo in this slot.
  • The second slot is specifically for your logo.  MHVillage automatically pulls it in from your Sales Center page. Your Sales Center is the page buyers see when they do a search on MHV for dealers and retailers. (Want to see what your Sales Center looks like to buyers? Click here and search for your company. Don’t like what you see? Read on…)
  • The information below your company logo also comes from your Sales Center page. As you can see, MHVillage pulls in your business hours, driving directions, phone number, website and more. This is one of the many reasons it makes sense to insure that your Sales Center on MHVillage is complete and up-to-date. I’ve written step by step instructions for how to update it here: Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities: Your Sales Center Page.
  • The final section will pull in up to four of your other listings. Make sure you have all your inventory listed, and have a great photo of each home.

If you need help, just let us know – we’ll be happy to walk you through it. Want to see Professional Branding in action? Here’s another example of a Branded listing from a Professional on MHVillage:

Davis Homes on MHVillage.com

Davis Homes on MHVillage.com (Click to enlarge)

2014 National Congress and Expo

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Have you put the 2014 National Congress and Expo on your calendar for next year? It will be held April 29 – May 1, 2014 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. MHVillage is a Silver Sponsor this year and we will be there in Booth 601. We’d love for you to stop by. (By the way – if you were thinking about exhibiting, but hadn’t registered yet, you’ll want to make plans right away, booth spaces are filling up fast!)

The National Congress and Expo is always a wonderful event and opportunity to meet people in our industry. We hope to see you there!

 

National Congress and Expo Sponsors

Your Brand, Your Listings

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEBranding example

Did you know that with one click you can add your company logo, your sales photo, customized information about your company, additional contact fields (including a link to your website), and a photo gallery of your homes to every MHVillage listing? Our Professional Branding replaces the standard Google ads with your company information and only costs $2.00.

Here’s how it works:

When you are entering your listing, just click the Brand My Listing box. We’ll automatically remove the Google ads and fill in the column to the right of the listing with your information. To get the most out of your Branding your listings, here are a few tips:

  • The top slot is your Sales Person photo. You upload the sales person in the Contact section of the listing. As you can see on the example on the right, Integrity Mobile Homes uses a photo of their sales office. You can use a personal sales photo or another photo in this slot.
  • The second slot is specifically for your logo.  MHVillage automatically pulls it in from your Sales Center page. Your Sales Center is the page buyers see when they do a search on MHV for dealrers and retailers. (Want to see what your Sales Center looks like to buyers? Click here and search for your company. Don’t like what you see? Read on…)
  • The information below your company logo also comes from your Sales Center page. As you can see, MHVillage pulls in your business hours, driving directions, phone number, website and more. This is one of the many reasons it makes sense to insure that your Sales Center on MHVillage is complete and up-to-date. I’ve written step by step instructions for how to update it here: Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities: Your Sales Center Page.
  • The final section will pull in up to four of your other listings. Make sure you have all your inventory listed, and have a great photo of each home.

If you need help, just let us know – we’ll be happy to walk you through it. Want to see Professional Branding in action? Here’s another example of a Branded listing:

 

Branded Listing Example

 

Louisville Manufactured Housing Show 2014

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Once again, MHVillage will be exhibiting at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. The show opens to attendees on January 22, 2014 and runs through Friday, January 24th. This is a great opportunity to view new manufactured homes and network with professionals throughout our industry. To learn more about and register to attend, go to: louisvillemanufacturedhousingshow.com

Here is a list of the exhibitors so far, be sure and check the show site for updates and additional information:

Manufacturer ExhibitorsLouisville Man Housing Show

Adventure Homes
Appalachia
CMH/Family of Brands
Clayton/Middlebury
Giles Industries
Norris
Schult/Middlebury
TRUmh
Commodore Homes
Dutch Homes
Fairmont Homes
Fleetwood Homes
Fortune Homes
Halls
Harmony Homes
Hart Housing
Manufactured Housing Enterprises
Maynardville
Ritz-Craft
Redman Homes
Rutledge
Skyline Corporation

Kentucky Exposition Center

Kentucky Exposition Center

Supplier Exhibitors

21st Mortgage Corporation
ABT Water Management
Alliance Credit LLC
Alan Tye & Associates
American Insurance Alliance LLC
Atwood Mobile Products LLC
Blevins, Inc.
Cascade Financial Service
Crowne Homes by Premiere Structures
Construction Solutions/Dryer Vent Boxes
Country Place Mortgage
CU Factory Built Lending
Cutting Systems, Inc
DMA Skirting
Donald C. Westphal Associates
Dura-Bilt Products, Inc.
Electric Eel Manufacturing
Electrolux Major Appliance
Equity Trust Realty
Everlock Systems
First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation
Flexawn, Inc
Harbor Floor Products/N Tech Industries
Heritage Distributing
Illinois Manufactured Housing Association
Indiana Manufactured Housing Association
Jamie’s Interiors
Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute
Kentucky Code Officials
Louisiana – Pacific Building Products
Manufactured Housing Institute (NCC)
MHRE Group
MHPronews.com
MHVillage.com
MHWC
Michigan Manufactured Housing Association
Minute Man Products
Mobile Tire and Axle
Mountain Side Financial
NADAguide
Net-Wired Inc
NORDYNE
NTA, Inc.
Ohio Manufactured Housing Association
Oliver Technologies
Ott Distributing
PolyVulc USA
Premier Home Mortgage
Professional Warranty Service Corporation
Rainmaker Software
Rent Manager
R-CO Products
R E Michel Company Inc.
Rustique Enterprises
RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum & Library
Seisco International Limited
Shaw Industries/Wingate Carpets
Style Crest
Tennessee Manufactured Housing Association
Tie Down Engineering
Tink Translift
Triad Financial Services
US Bank Manufactured Housing Finance
Whitley Mobile Home, Inc.
Wisconsin Housing Alliance
Wolfpack Chassis