Monthly Archives: May 2017

Final Input Sought for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced a final request for input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) recently released proposal on Underserved Markets Plans within the “Duty to Serve” program.

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, speaks in Chicago on affordable housing finance initiatives. From left, Paul Mullings, Sr. VP of Single-Family Strategic Business Initiatives for Freddie Mac; Russ Cross, regional manager for community outreach with Wells Fargo, and Sandra Thompson, deputy director in the Division of Housing Mission and Goals for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

FHFA, the regulator of Fannie and Freddie tasked with enforcing the “Duty to Serve” provision, issued a final implementation rule on Dec. 13, 2016 mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The statute requires the Enterprises to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

The rule requires each Enterprise to adopt a three-year Underserved Markets Plan to fulfill this mandate.  FHFA requests public input on the proposed plans through its dedicated web page by July 10, 2017.

It is anticipated that implementation of “Duty to Serve” provisions will create more financing options for potential home buyers, which also would be a benefit for the housing sector, including the manufactured housing industry.

“I strongly encourage stakeholders to submit feedback on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s proposed ‘Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans,'” said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt.  “FHFA will evaluate stakeholder input as part of our review process to ensure that the plans help the Enterprises meet their statutory obligations in a safe and sound manner.”

Each Enterprise will update their “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan” after reviewing public input and FHFA feedback. Each Enterprise’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan must receive a non-objection from FHFA before becoming effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The objectives in the proposed and final plans may be subject to change based on factors including public input, FHFA comments, compliance with the Enterprises’ Charter Acts, safety and soundness considerations, and market or economic conditions.

Florida Rent, Occupancy Continues Growth

JLT Florida Market ReportsMHVillage parent company Datacomp, publisher of JLT Market Reports and the nation’s #1 market data company for the manufactured housing industry, has made available a 17-year summary report of its manufactured home community rent surveys for 32 Florida markets.

For the seventh consecutive year, occupancy rates for Florida “All Ages” manufactured home communities increased. As of May 2017, the occupancy rate for All Ages communities is 91 percent, up 2.4 percent compared with May 2016.  The national average for All Ages communities as of December 2016 was 90 percent.

For the fifth consecutive year, occupancy rates for Florida “55+” communities increased. As of May 2017, the occupancy rate is 95 percent, up 1.2 percent compared with May 2016. The national average for 55+ communities as of December 2016 is 94 percent.

As of May 2017, Florida ranks 11th for average occupancy in All Ages manufactured home communities out of the 131 regions in which JLT rent surveys are published. Of the 20 regions that include 55+ communities, Florida ranks sixth for average occupancy among this segment.

Average rents in All Ages Florida manufactured home communities continued to increase for the 17th consecutive year.

Florida Manufactured Home Community

In May 2017, the average adjusted rent in All Ages communities increased by 3.6 percent to $497, which is consistent with the average annual compounded increase of 3.5 percent during the last 17 years. In comparison, the national average adjusted rent for All Ages communities increased 2.9 percent to $477, as of December 2016.

The average adjusted rent among 55+ communities in May 2017 increased by 3.6 percent to $498. In contrast, the national average adjusted rent for 55+ communities increased 2.9 percent to $507, as of December 2016.

Florida manufactured home community rents ranked sixth out of 23 regions tracked by JLT for All Ages communities as of May 2017, and seventh out of 20 regions for 55+ communities.

Recognized as the industry standard for manufactured home community market analysis for more than 20 years, JLT Market Reports provide detailed research and information on communities located in 131 markets throughout the United States, including the latest rent trends and statistics, marketing programs and a variety of other useful management insights.

Energy is Up at MHI Congress & Expo in Las Vegas

MHI Congress and ExpoIt was a stellar year at the Manufactured Housing Institute’s Congress & Expo in Las Vegas. Five of us from MHVillage attended the show this year, along with about 1,200 others, representing the biggest turnout in a decade.

“That’s proof that the industry is back, it’s healthy, and it’s growing,” MHI President and CEO Dick Jennison said, adding that year-over-year shipments to date are up 17 percent.

There was plenty of discussion about financing mechanisms, a conversation that runs right up to Washington D.C., where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in talks with multiple levels of government oversight to provide greater access to personal property, or “chattel”, loans that feed manufactured home sales.

The Congress & Expo was held at Caesar’s Palace, May 2-5.

MHVillage Booth at the 2017 MHI Congress & Expo

MHVillage team members talk with attendees at our booth in the Caesar’s Palace exhibit hall at the MHI Congress & Expo.

MHVillage had a front and center spot in the exhibit hall, greeting longtime account holders and advertisers, as well as gaining new ones.

“We get about 45 to 50 leads a month from MHVillage. We do a lot of business with MHVillage, and it helps,” said James Reitzner, who owns manufactured home communities in Wisconsin and Northern Michigan. “About 45 percent of our leads come from MHVillage.”

Many of the attendees at this year’s show were investors, who have honed in on the trend toward manufactured housing as growing stock in the affordable housing market, and as a stable and long-term solution to diversify real estate holdings.

“There’s been a lot of movement in the industry,” said Tyler Gordon, of West Partners, an investment group in Carlsbad, Calif. “There’s a lot of consolidation, and eager sellers. It’s a matter of finding the right property to buy, which is why many of us are here.”

The Power of a “Sales Caption”

Are Your Sales Captions as Effective as They Could Be?

sales-captionMHVillage offers a space for a “Sales Caption” on Pro+ Sales Centers, Showcased Communities, Featured Home Listings and Premium Home Listings.

Each one of the above listing types will allow you to enter a sentence that will show above your listing. This is a space for you to offer something that is eye-catching, inviting and will get the customer to click on your add from the search result.

Often, I come across some Showcase Communities or Pro+ Sales Centers in an area that simply are not entering a Sales Caption at all. Then there are the Featured and Premium Listings sellers who enter a caption, but it’s not as effective as it could be.

Actual Sales Caption on MHVillage:

So, while “Best Value”, “Great Community” or “Beautiful New Home” as a sales caption sounds okay, it’s not really all that inviting or unique. Plus, you would be surprised how many times I have looked at a search result on our site and seen basically the same simple caption on all of the listings in an area.

Also: If you have one of the more expensive homes in the area, a sales caption can help you explain why. I mean, if your home is priced significantly higher than others in the area, there is probably good reason. However, browsers might skip the most expensive home – unless there is a caption line explaining why the home is more whether, it be on land, newly renovated, fully furnished or the like.

So how do you ensure you are getting the most out of your captions?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Research: You want your listings to stand out above the rest in your area. So, do a few searches on MHVillage in your area and make sure you aren’t using the same language another seller is using for their home.
  2. Unique Details: Try to find something unique about your ad that you can highlight in the caption. Here are some examples:
    • For a home, something like: “Fully furnished, renovated home, with open floor plan”
    • For a community: “Retirement Community with brand new waterfront homes available”
    • For your Company: “Family owned company, with previously owned homes and new homes in stock!”
  3. Current and Updated: One of the benefits of online advertising is you can update your information at any time. So if you have a sale or an incentive highlighted within the sales caption on a listing, be sure and keep that information updated and current.

This feature really can make the difference for your traffic on our site. It can be the detail that turns a shopper into a buyer!

And, if you you would like assistance updating your sales captions, please feel free to contact our customer service.

New Text Feature on MHVillage

MHVillage Offers Sales Professionals New Text Feature to Improve Lead Response Time

MHVfastLeadsIf you’ve been in the sales profession for any amount of time, you understand that key factors in closing a deal include being the first to talk with a potential customer, and ensuring the original response time for a query is as short as possible.

MHVfastLead™ is yet another resource available for MHVillage.com advertisers who want better communication with potential customers.

Professional account holders receive a text message when there is a new sales lead from the site, allowing industry professionals the opportunity for a more immediate response than alerts sent via email, particularly when you’re out in a community.

Enable text lead notifications at no additional charge with a simple change of settings within your account dashboard. First login, then click “Update Your Account Information” on the right side of the page. Days of the week and hours of each day can be designated for receipt of text messages on sales leads from the site.

Easy-to-Use Day & Time Configuration for MHVtextLead

MHVillage recently unveiled the new service, in BETA form, during the 2017 MHI Congress & Expo in Las Vegas.

Here are a few bits of information we considered during the development of MHVfastLead.

  • The odds of making a successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when a contact attempt occurs within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes
  • Odds of the lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes
  • 43 percent of sales go to the sales professional who was first to respond
  • The odds of a call resulting in a contact with a lead decreases by 10 times within the first hour following lead notification

MHVfastLead text notification works on Android and Apple devices.

The Sales Lead Comes Straight to Your Phone with a Quick Link for Vital Information

Email lead notifications will continue uninterrupted regardless of participation in the MHVfastLead program. Leads received via text will provide the advertiser with an alert that includes the date and time of the inquiry, the name of the interested person and a reminder link for location and details on the home being considered.

So, now you can contact that hot lead, even while they’re still browsing MHVillage. Be the first to register for MHVfastLead, and be the first to land that sale!

Datacomp Releases 2017 Rent and Occupancy Reports for FL Markets

Datacomp Releases 2017 JLT Manufactured Home Community Rent and Occupancy Reports for Florida Markets

jlt-market-2017-florida-market-reportsDatacomp, publisher of JLT Market Reports and the nation’s #1 provider of market data for the manufactured housing industry, today announced the publication of its May 2017 manufactured home community rent and occupancy reports for 31 markets in the state of Florida, now including Bay, Escambia and Leon counties.

Recognized as the industry standard for manufactured home community market analysis for more than 20 years, JLT Market Reports provide detailed research and information on communities located in 130 major housing markets throughout the United States, including the latest rent trends and statistics, marketing programs and a variety of other useful management insights.

Datacomp’s manufactured housing market data published in the May 2017 JLT Market Reports includes many of the major markets for mobile homes in Florida. Together, these manufactured home rent and occupancy reports track 752 “All Ages” and “55+” communities encompassing a total of 208,881 homesites.

Each JLT manufactured home community rent and occupancy report published by Datacomp includes detailed information about investment grade communities in the major markets, including number of homesites, occupancy rates, average mobile home community rents and increases, community amenities, vacant sites, and repossessed and inventory homes.

JLT Market Reports also include management insights that rank communities by number of homesites, occupancy rates and highest to lowest rents. Detailed reports show trends in each market with a comparison of May 2017 rents and occupancy rates to May 2016, as well as a historical recap of rents and occupancy from 1996 to present date in most markets.

The May 2017 JLT Market Reports for Florida are available for purchase and immediate download online at the Datacomp JLT Market Report website at http://www.datacompusa.com/JLT, or they may be ordered by phone in electronic or printed editions at 800.588.5426. Each fully updated report for mobile home communities is a comprehensive look at investment grade properties within a market, enabling owners and managers, lenders, appraisers, brokers, and other organizations to effectively benchmark those communities and make informed decisions.

About JLT Market Reports
For more than 20 years, countless professionals have trusted JLT Market Reports for timely and accurate management reports on land lease manufactured home communities. JLT Market Reports are currently published for 90 markets nationwide and are recognized as the industry standard for manufactured housing industry data. In 2014, JLT & Associates merged its resources, skills and expertise with Datacomp, the industry’s oldest and largest national manufactured home appraisal company and number one provider of market data for the manufactured housing industry, and MHVillage, the premier website for advertising mobile homes for rent and sale nationwide.

Congrats to the 2017 National Industry Award Winners!

MHVillage would like to send a huge congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 National Industry Awards! We were honored to be a sponsor of the Congress and Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing, and were in attendance when these awards were presented.

Here are a few of the winners:

MHI National Awards

  • Manufacturer of the Year: Three Plants or More: Clayton Home Building Group, Maryville, TN
  • Manufacturer of the Year: Two Plants or Less: Adventure Homes LLC, Garrett, IN
  • National Lender of the Year: 21st Mortgage Corporation, Knoxville, TN
  • Regional Lender of the Year: Cascade Financial Services, LLC, Gilbert, AZ
  • Floor Plan Lender of the Year: 21st Mortgage Corporation, Knoxville, TN
  • Manufactured Home Community Operator of the Year: YES! Communities, Denver, CO
  • Manufactured Home Community Lender of the Year: Wells Fargo Bank, Carlsbad, CA
  • Manufactured Home Community Broker of the Year: ARA Newmark MHC Group, Denver, CO
  • Supplier of the Year: Style Crest, Inc., Fremont, OH

Land-Lease Community of the Year Awards

  • Northeast/Mid-Atlantic: Port Royal Village, Belle Vernon, PA
  • South: Eagle Creek, Tyler, TX
  • Midwest: Millstone Pond, Lenox, MI
  • West: Kloshe Illahee, Federal Way, WA

Manufactured Home Design

  • New Single-Section Manufactured Home Design: Astro Single Section 1A135A by Commodore Homes of Pennsylvania
  • New Single-Section Manufactured Home Design: Balboa Island Series Cedar Ridge by Clayton Sacramento
  • New Manufactured Home Design (Small Home) 320-600 Square Feet: The Vista by Champion Home Builders, Inc.
  • New Manufactured Home Design: 1800 Square Feet or Less: Kingsbrook Contempo Series Model KB-66 by Champion Home Builders, Inc.
  • New Manufactured Home Design: Over 1800 Square Feet: Diamond Springs by Clayton Sacramento

A complete list of winners, plus photos and more information can be found on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s website.

Mobile Homes & Mobile Phones

Smart Phones. Smart Watches. Tablets. Etc….

We have been watching the consumer market trends when it comes to online shopping and there has been a huge spike in the use of mobile devices being on our site over the last few years.

The numbers above are from last year and it’s only growing higher, because let’s be honest, we all use our phones for practically everything now. If not to check our email or social media outlets, it’s to look for a good place to eat for dinner that night, or send a quick text to the friend you are meeting.

Let’s also remember that online shopping is taking over too. Buyers are not only shopping for clothing, home goods and power tools, they are shopping for their next home via their phone as well!

98% of home buyers found mobile devices to be valuable tools in the home search process.

So, how do you ensure you and your company are ready for this trend?

Make sure your website and your online content are mobile friendly.

These days most website development companies or platforms include the mobile version, but if you are having your website designed or maintained by a professional company then you will want to check with them to insure your site looks great on mobile devices too.

MHVillage has been working on this the last few years by launching our MHVillage App for professionals (if you haven’t tried it yet, you should!) and our site now offers mobile friendly services to home shoppers and buyers.

Also, remember that while the design of your site and its capabilities with mobile devices is important, your content is key too. Making sure your phone numbers, website and email contacts are up to date is essential. Another big one is keeping your home descriptions and photos current. Out of date information can turn off online shoppers.

Finally, If you have any questions or would like more assistance with your home, company or community listings on MHVillage, we are here to help, so don’t hesitate to give us a call!