Monthly Archives: January 2014

Review Your Online Presence – Three Simple Steps

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEonline homes for sale

As we round out the end of January, I have one question for you:

Are you ready for 2014 manufactured home buyers?

As we ramp up into spring, now is the time to review your company online. How does your company website look? Is it easy to find? Are your home listings online? If you own a community, can potential residents find information about it online as well? As for why it matters, take a look at this quote from Google:

Real estate professionals know that their customers are uber-connected and informed. Nine in 10 home buyers today rely on the internet as one of their primary research sources, and 52 percent turn to the web as their first step. In fact, real estate related searches on Google.com grew 22% year-over-year. Additionally, approximately one-fifth of real estate related searches happen on mobile devices, and Google real estate related searches on mobile devices grew 120% year-over-year from 2011 to 2012.

(Source: The Digital House Hunt, Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate)

There are a number of simple first steps you can do right now to get started:

Do Your Own Google Searches –

Did you know that 69% of home shoppers who take action on a website begin their research with a local term, i.e. “Mobile Homes for Sale in Miami”? on a search engine?* Remember, many buyers might not know the name of your company (yet) but they know where they want to live. Do some searches – does your website come up? If not, adding links to your site on other webpages might help. Here’s how to do it on MHVillage:

Missed Marketing Opportunity – Link to Your Website

Critique Your Website –

Take a look at your website. Is it up-to-date? Better yet, ask a trusted friend who has never seen your site to look it over. Is it easy to find information? Can buyers contact you through the site?

If you don’t have a website, did you know MHVillage offers a customizable webpage that displays your listings for you? You can even create your own web address. Here’s how:

Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities – Your Sales Center on MHVillage

Don’t Forget Mobile!

Did you know that 89% of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine at the onset and throughout their research?** Have you checked how your website looks on a smart phone? The MHVillage mobile website for buyers receives over 6,000 views per day. Grab a smart phone and take a look. Some sites look great on phones, others don’t. While you are at it, make sure people can easily click links and navigate through your site on their phone. Things that work great on desktop computers don’t always translate well to mobile.

The Take-away:

Spend a little time acting like a buyer. If you were looking to buy a manufactured home in your area, what would you do? What would you look for? Remember, the internet is constantly changing and more and more people are using it. In fact, real estate related searches on Google.com have grown 253% in the past 4 years!* The web is just as popular with people looking for manufactured homes – there are now 50,000 people on MHVillage per day! Take a little time to look at your online presence now and it will pay off this spring!

 

*Source: The Digital House Hunt, Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate
**Source: Google & Compete Home Shopper Mobile Survey, 2012

Manufactured Housing Trade Shows

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
The MHVillage Booth in Louisville. Click the image above to see more photos from the show on our Facebook page.

The MHVillage Booth in Louisville. Click the image above to see more photos from the show on our Facebook page.

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show of 2014 was a huge success! It was great having the opportunity to see and talk to so many members of our industry.

The show was busy and there was a lot to see, including manufacturer exhibits by:

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

So many beautiful homes on display

So many beautiful homes on display

Hope to see you at Louisville 2015!

A Quick and Easy Way to Customize Your Listings

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Here’s a Missed Marketing Opportunity: the Sales Person Photo. You can add a photo or company logo in the contact information of every MHVillage listing. It’s a quick and easy way to customize your listings!

Why Add a Sales Person Photo?NW Home Buyers

I have a Real Estate Agent friend who has said for years: “you are not just selling the home, you are selling yourself.” We know that some of our very best customers come from referrals and word of mouth. When you successfully sell a home to someone and leave them feeling great about the transaction, you have the potential to be referred to their friends, family and neighbors. Using personalization like Sales Person Photos and distinctive logos help people remember you.

Frank HooverSavvy web marketers also know that people love photos. In fact, one of the main things buyers go to see when they come to MHVillage is the photos of available homes. Photos of yourself or your sales office on your home listings not only personalize them, but also help you stand out from the competition. Branding on the web is important. There is a lot of information out there, and as a buyer it’s easy to forget the details. The more branding you can do, the better.

Blue CarpetSpeaking of branding, your Sales Person Photo also makes a big difference in how your listings look if you are using our Branding product. To put it simply, Branding a Listing means remove all other advertisements and replacing it with your information – your other listings, your company information, even an additional website link. You can get more information on how to Brand your listings here: Your Brand, Your Listings and learn more about our Branding sale (running through the end of this month only!) here: Announcing the MHVillage Branding Sale!

Tri-County Home TeamHow Much Does It Cost?

It’s free. This is a feature that is included with every listing. As you are putting in the listing, when you get to the Contact information, just upload the photo – just like you would a home photo.

What if You Don’t Have a Photo of Yourself?

You have a few options:Premier Home Brokers

  1. Take a photo with your phone. The Sales Contact Photo is a small thumbnail, so it doesn’t have to be high-resolution. You can use a free website like picmonkey.com to do a little cropping and editing, and you are good to go!
  2. Some companies use photos of their sales office, for example see the sample of Integrity Mobile Homes below. This is a good second option.
  3. Use a second logo. If your company has different logos you can use one on your Pro+ Sales Center page and another as your Sales Contact. Note: If you are using our Branding Product, you’ll want two different logos in these two spots for the best effect. Feel free to contact us if you need help with this.

Sid DavisThings You Should Know:

  • This is a small thumbnail photo. Keep your photos simple.
  • Uploading business cards or logos with a lot of text in this area does not work well. The text will be far too small to read.
  • Have multiple salespeople in your office? Not a problem! You can load up a different Sales Person Photo on each listing.

If you need assistance with this, or any other aspect of your home listings on MHVillage, please let us know. We are always happy to help!

Sales contact photo

JLT & Associates Merges with Datacomp and MHVillage

Industry Announcement:JLT & Associates

From John Turzer:

As a new year begins I am excited to announce that JLT & Associates is merging its resources, skills, and market research expertise with two well-known and respected industry leaders: Datacomp and MHVillage.

Datacomp Appraisal LogoDatacomp, the industry’s oldest and largest national manufactured home appraisal company, has been appraising manufactured homes in communities since 1987. Datacomp has gathered substantial data about both home values and the amenities and features of the nation’s manufactured home communities. Datacomp also manages and operates MHI’s Community Attributes System (MHICAS), the industry’s most comprehensive database of community attributes and information.

MHVillage Registered 2012-11-2MHVillage is the premier Internet advertising and marketing website for manufactured homes in Land Lease Communities. In 2013 they recorded nearly 20,000,000 visits to MHVillage.com! MHVillage also collects and aggregates large amounts of market data about the homes that its customers are selling or renting and about the communities and markets where those homes are located.

As the nations’s #1 market research company for the manufactured housing industry, JLT & Associates provides timely and accurate management reports on investment grade manufactured home communities in seventy-two primary manufactured home markets nationwide. Since its inception in 1995, JLT reports have been used by community owners, developers, lenders, appraisers, management companies, and real estate brokers nationwide and are recognized as the industry standard for market analysis.

Together JLT, MHVillage, and Datacomp have the expertise and capability to provide our industry with market research and intelligence for manufactured home communities that up to now has simply not been possible. In the coming months we will be using our combined skills, resources, and market data to significantly expand the scope and the value of the JLT Rent Surveys. But to do that, we will need your help.

Over the years my best ideas for improving the rent surveys to better meet your needs have come from you. During the next several months we will be asking you what additional market research and information you would like to see included in our rent surveys.  In spite of the current regulatory and other concerns, we believe a new era is dawning for our industry. We believe that accurate, timely research and widely available market intelligence will be critical for our industry to compete, grow, and prosper in the coming years.  Please let us know how we can best meet your needs.

I thank you for your business over past years, and I wish you a Happy and very successful 2014!

Sincerely,

John Turzer

PS. A special thanks to Roderick Knoll of Manufactured Housing Resources Group who assisted us in forming this partnership.