Category Archives: Uncategorized

Marketing to the Retirement-Age Consumer

 

The marketing and advertising world is ever changing, and something we hear quite a bit is that you have to keep on top of the next generation, making sure everything is new, exciting and changing with the time.

While these are important factors, in our industry it’s also important to maintain and customize your advertising to the generations that are looking to retire!

Some key details about your community, your home, or the area your home is located can be ideal for a retirement-age buyer. Here are some items you want to be sure to include:

Is your community an “Age Restricted” community?

Some communities require their home owners to be 55+ in an effort to maintain an environment suitable for this demographic. This is important to add to your community listing and your home listing. It is also helpful to note if your community allows exceptions to this rule.

Does your community allow Pets?

Not only do you want to include in your advertisements if the community allows pets, but it is helpful to detail specific restrictions. Some allow cats but not dogs. Some allow cats and dogs but only certain breeds or dogs of a certain weight. All of these details are incredibly important since no one wants to leave behind their furry family member!

Is the home accessible?

Some homes have modifications added to allow more accessibility for an individual who has a disability. If your home or the community has any specific features that would be helpful or useful for someone in this position be sure and include this in the description.

What is the community like?

We all have our own idea of what our “perfect” retirement environment would be. Is your community on the waterfront with access to fishing, or walks through a wooded path? Or maybe your community is a social one with planned activities and a game room. Either way letting the buyer know what the atmosphere of the community provides can be essential.

What is the area like?

Similar to the including details about the community, accessibility to grocery stores, shopping malls, cultural events and other local attractions are great details to provide your buyer.

While these tips might sound simple to include, they can make the difference in turning that interested shopper into a buyer!

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.

The National Congress & Expo!

 

This event offers everything from educational programs and special events to network opportunities with the best professionals in the industry. This event is a great way for you to gain the knowledge and resources necessary to excel in today’s housing marketplace.

Feeling lucky?

Stop by the booth to roll the dice for a promotional credit!

While you’re there, speak with one of our professionals to see how we can help your business reach new heights in 2017!

 

See you Vegas!

Save The Date: May 17th IMHA 2017 Conference in IL!

MHVillage is excited to speak at the

2017 Annual Conference & Membership Meeting!

May 17, 2017 in Rosemont, IL

  • Don’t miss this opportunity to have your company associated with this event, which will have:

    • Targeted and informative seminars
    • Networking opportunities
    • The latest products and services
    • Fun!
  • Meet decision makers in the Illinois MH Industry and display your products and services.

    Contact  IMHA for registration details.

Hope to see you there!

-MHVillage Team

 

Meet us in Las Vegas!

2017 National Congress & Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing
 Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV – May 2-4, 2017

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MHVillage will be at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for the 2017 Congress and Expo this May. Get in on this opportunity to gain the tools you need to expand your business and network with other professionals!

Highlights of this event include workshops, seminars, networking opportunities, awards, and the Trade Show Exhibit Hall.

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Your Congress & Expo registration fee includes:
  • Access to over 100 exhibit spaces in the Exhibit Hall
  • Awards Luncheon
  • Coffee breaks throughout each morning
  • Tuesday Welcome Reception in Exhibit Hall
  • Wednesday Breakfast and Opening General Session
  • Wednesday Networking Reception in the Exhibit
  • Wednesday and Thursday Educational Workshops
  • Thursday Breakfast and General Session in the Exhibit Hall
Additional activities for a fee:
Monday May 1st: 13th Annual Oliver Technologies, Inc. Gold Open
Tuesday May 2nd: MHI-NCC Spring Forum and Developing with Manufactured Housing Seminar

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If you are interested in reserving an exhibit space, sponsorship opportunities, or the National Industry Awards competition, please visit http://www.congressandexpo.com.

Click here to make your hotel reservations online or contact Caesars Palace by calling 866-227-5944. Be sure to ask for the MHI Congress & Expo room block or mention our code SCMHI7.
The deadline for the early-bird rate of $199 per night plus tax is March 31, 2017.

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For more information, please visit http://www.congressandexpo.com/.

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Sponsors and exhibitors of this event:

congress

Louisville Tradeshow and Branding Sale

It’s trade show season and next up is the:

MHVillage is excited to network with our customers and and experience all of the new resources, homes and products our industry has to offer.

Show Information: 

For over 50 years, The Louisville Show has distinguished itself as the midwest’s premier event for manufactured housing professionals. As the industry’s largest indoor manufactured housing show, The Louisville Show brings the latest products, services and technology together for more than 1,500 industry professionals representing in excess of 600 companies. Whether you are a community owner or operator, retailer, builder/developer, supplier, or other industry professional, The Louisville Show is the most significant event of the year to observe industry trends, increase your knowledge and network with fellow industry professionals.

The 2017 Louisville Show will treat you to a spectacular array of NEW HOMES, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES. Whatever your inventory requires, you’re likely to find the most exciting single-section and system-built homes. It will be a feast for the eyes for all of you, with endless possibilities and combinations. It’s also an excellent opportunity to cut great deals; be the first to see new product/home introductions; talk with R&D and marketing execs; compare prices, service, and follow-through…and network with industry professionals.

For more information about the show and how you can attend visit their website: http://thelouisvilleshow.com/

in other news, we are half way through our Branding Sale on MHVillage!

If you didn’t get a chance to list homes and add this feature, you still have time! 

As our gift, you can list homes on the site and then apply the Branding feature free of charge until Feb 28th. After this date the Branding will return to it’s standard pricing. So if you have home inventory you need to list, add them today and then apply the Branding to experience this product with no additional cost until the end of February!

As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter MHVillage experiences a substantial traffic increase in January and then it sets the baseline for the rest of the year.

So list your homes, apply the Branding and enjoy the ride.

See you in Louisville!

‘Tis The Season for Giving & Traffic!

Our Holiday gift this year is Free Branding for New Home Listings until Feb 28th!        (Good on ANY Home Listing that is added to the site).

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This is the perfect time to update your Sales Center Page. Then as you list your homes apply our Branding feature via the option provided in the listing process.

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This feature (normally $3.00 per home per month) lets you remove all other ads from any new listing and it replaces that space on the page with information automatically pulled from your Sales Center Page. It also shows a link to your website in that area and links to your other listings.

Your account is already set up with this gift, so no need for an AdCode or special link.

All you need to do is list your homes now and apply Branding so you can get the best bang for your buck as our traffic increases throughout  January!

So why is this the perfect time? Starting December 26th, web traffic on MHVillage starts to ramp up! 

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In this time the traffic on the site will increase to over and above the highest traffic day in the previous summer!

Just like in any other shopping medium consumers will form their own patterns and trends.     As we all know, shopping malls, movie theaters and restaurants all see a huge boost the week up to and during the holiday season. Over at MHVillage we see this same increase the weeks following the holiday season!

Now, we are not implying that December 26th everyone is online looking for their next mobile home. We mean that consistently, traffic increases from that date and then stays that way as we welcome the new year.

Also, 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.

Another fun fact? This happens every single year! So much so, that internally our technical department starts gearing up for this increase in November to be sure we are ready.

So the next question is, are YOU ready? 

One of the benefits of the housing market being slower during the holidays, is it can give you time to gear up for the increase in your business too. This when you can be sure you are staffed properly and any home or community maintenance or necessary documentation can be updated and ready to go for your customers. Also, it’s the perfect time to be sure that your online marketing it updated and ready too!

Speaking of online marketing, 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.
    2. Make your Sales Center page Pro+. This one will cost you a little extra if you don’t already have a Pro+ account. Once you’ve upgraded your account, be sure and add a link to your logos and 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.
    3. If you have a Community, make it a Showcase. Again, this will cost a bit,  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.
    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 Free Branding until Feb 28th for the homes you add to the site. When you apply this you can completely dominate your listings, removing all other ads and adding all your own information.

As always, If you have any questions give us a call!