Tag Archives: homes online

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!

Effective Marketing Strategies for the Web (Webinar)

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Recently I had the honor of presenting at the joint MHCA and MHIA 2015 Conference. It was a wonderful event! When I returned to the office, I made a recording of the presentation for those of you who are outside of Arizona or unable to attend. Want to learn how to create home listings for the web that will get you the best leads? Want to learn the number one thing that buyers click on? Grab a cup of coffee and a notebook and get the inside scoop:

Thank you, once again, to MHCA and MHIA for being such wonderful hosts.
MHCA MHIA logos

MHVillage User Data (Infographic)

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Did you know that 33.5% of MHVillage users are between the ages of 25-34? Or that if all the homes sold on MHVillage were lined up end to end, it could almost go across the United States twice? We put together this great infographic on MHVillage User Data for the 2014 National Congress and Expo. Take a look!

MHVillage Infographic page 2

 

MHVillage Infographic

 

Click the image above to enlarge, or you can click to download a pdf copy.

Join Me at the Illinois 2014 Annual Meeting on May 8th & 9th

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEIMHA-LOGO

Are you in located in the Midwest? Join me at the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association Annual Meeting on May 8th & 9th! The meeting will be packed with educational seminars and networking opportunities. On Friday, I’ll be giving a seminar with an overview of MHVillage and Simple Tips and Techniques for Online Sales.

Check out the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association website for additional information and registration:

2014 Annual Meeting
May 8th and 9th, 2014
Par-A-Dice Hotel & Casino
East Peoria, IL


ABOUT DAWN HIGHHOUSE:

Dawn HighhouseDawn Highhouse has been a part of the manufactured housing industry for 15 years. First with Datacomp Appraisal Services, and then joining the MHVillage.com team. MHVillage has over 54,000 visitors per day and is the largest website for buying and selling manufactured homes in the industry.

As Vice President of Customer Care, she handles marketing, social media campaigns, creates web content, and runs the customer service team. She is the editor and chief web content provider for the MHVillage newsletters which are emailed to over 40,000 recipients each month. Dawn has given seminars on marketing and sales techniques to industry professionals across the country.

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

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!

Are You Losing Leads?

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEBusinessman Handshake

Here are some frightening statistics:

U.S. businesses spend billions of dollars generating sales leads only to lose more than 70 percent of them simply because they don’t make contact quickly enough, according to one study.

But that’s not the only way they’re losing out on opportunities, says Brandon Stuerke, president of Advisors Edge Marketing, a specialist in marketing strategy and automation for financial advisors and other professionals.

“A study of more than 600 companies by Dr. James Oldroyd of MIT found that the odds of a lead entering the sales process were 21 times greater if the business made contact within 5 minutes of generating the lead versus contact in 30 minutes,” Stuerke says. “Another study, this one by the Harvard Business Review, found that the average response time by businesses to a generated lead is 42 hours – and that’s just for responses that occurred within 30 days.”

The excerpt above comes from an article on www.realtor.com – the emphasis is mine. I wish I could tell you this didn’t happen in our industry, but the truth is, I hear this complaint all the time. Home buyers who are on MHVillage, actively looking to purchase a home call us directly in desperation. “I’m really interested in home XYZ,” they say, “but I can’t get anyone to call me back.” This breaks my heart.

Think of your leads like a pint of Hagan Daaz ice cream: wonderful, but also very perishable. Would you leave ice cream you’ve paid for sitting on the kitchen counter for a few days? Of course not! Leads, particularly internet leads, are just as perishable. Every moment that lead sits without being taken care of, it loses value. You’ve spent a lot of time and effort into your marketing, now’s the time to make it pay off!

Here at MHVillage, we send out roughly 50,000 leads per month to our Professional users. To get the most out of those leads, you need to respond quickly. Here’s why:

The First Contact Creates a Bond

People are always a little afraid of the unknown. The quicker you can reach out to the buyer and create a bond, whether it is through email or via the phone, the quicker you start to build a relationship. Buyers are much more inclined to work with someone they know, and the sooner you get your foot in the door, the better.

Compare and Contrast

When buyers shop online, they start by finding something that fits their needs. Once they have that first one, they begin comparison shopping, but they always compare new finds to old ones. “Is Home B better than Home A?” and so on. If you are the first seller to respond to their inquiry, you have the opportunity to cement your home in the top position.

Text messaging Business ManBuild Customer Loyalty – Before They Buy

A quick response is a sign of great customer service. Show your buyer that you are there for them by answering their questions right away. If they have to wait too long to hear from you, they’ll start to feel neglected.

Out of Site, Out of Mind

The minute someone clicks away from your ad, they begin to forget the details. Buyers might contact sellers of several homes in one night, but by the next morning, they’ll have a hard time keeping them all straight. Are you selling the white house on the north side of town or the gray one on the south? Is it the one with the garage, or the carport and the shed? The closer you can get to them when your homes are fresh in their minds, the better.

Modern technology offers a number of great tools for helping you handle your incoming leads efficiently and effectively:

Buyers are Going Mobile, You Should Too

At a recent state association meeting, one of our clients came up to me and told me how he turns 75% of his MHVillage leads into sales contacts – he calls them immediately. This gentleman had a simple system: the leads went to an email on his phone, and his goal was to call them back within 5 minutes – preferably while they were still looking at the home online! He’s smart – in the article quoted above, that 5 minute marker is an important one. Here’s a quick tip – have an email account dedicated to your sales correspondence only. (That way when you see an email come in, you know it is from a buyer and you won’t have to wade through the tons of daily spam and other nonessential email we all get in our day-to-day accounts.) Have that email on your phone so you are ready to respond instantly.

Route Calls Effectively

There are a lot of options in phone systems these days. You can route calls to your cell, to your home and even to your email. If your office system won’t support this, take a look at some of the free and low-cost systems out there, like Google Voice. With Google Voice you can have a specialized phone number for leads and have it ring multiple phones at once. You can have voicemails be shared among several phones, and you can even reply to calls with text.

Emails: If You Can’t Respond in Person, Have Your Computer Do It for You

Obviously, a personal response is better than a canned response, but a canned response is better than none at all. Most email systems will let you sent up an automatic reply.  You can craft the equivalent of a professional voice mail message that provides your company name, your business hours, driving directions, link to your website, phone number and a promise that someone will get back to them the very next day.

Check Your Spam Folders

We keep a complete copy of all your leads in your MHVillage account.

We keep a complete copy of all your leads in your MHVillage account.

If you use a public email system like Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL, know that these companies try to keep their users from receiving Spam. While that effort is appreciated, it means you can lose leads if they wind up in the wrong folder. In fact, Gmail recently changed its settings to where some important emails might have ended up in the wrong place. If you do lose one, don’t worry! MHVillage always keeps a copy of all your leads in your account.

Creating a Sales Strategy

Here’s a few more tips and tools for creating a powerful sales strategy. (Click on the links for more information about each one.)

  1. Start with good, solid information online. Make sure your company and community information is up-to-date and has good contact information.
  2. If you have your own website, increase web traffic by linking it with MHVillage.
  3. List your entire home inventory online to create the widest marketing net.
  4. Use all the tools in your MHVillage account to make powerful home listings. (Here, Here, and Here)
  5. Now that you have a powerful marketing presence, set your benchmarks and goals for lead follow up. (Use technology where you can to make things easier.)
  6. Sell those homes!

 

Smart Phone Shoppers – And Why it Matters to You

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

89% of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine at the onset and throughout their research.

Mobile applications are used by 68% of new home shoppers at the onset and throughout their research.

(Source: Google & Compete Home Shopper Mobile Survey, 2012)
Where Shoppers use their mobile devices

(click to enlarge)

More and more, people are using their smart phones to shop for homes. What are they doing on their phones? Well, according to Google and Compete.com they:

  • Read general home information (51%)
  • Get directions to visit a home (48%)
  • Compare prices (44%)
  • Compare features (35%)
  • Search a listing company’s inventory (35%)
  • Call a listing company (28%)
  • Locate a listing agent (21%)
  • Read reviews (21%)
  • Research mortgage financing (20%)
  • Contact a listing agent, other than by calling (18%)
  • Watch an online video about a home (16%)
  • Other (3%)

MHVillage has a mobile app designed for buyers shopping for homes. Approximately 7,000 people a day look for manufactured housing using our mobile site. There is a huge market of home buyers looking for manufactured housing using their mobile devices; let’s see how the items above specifically impact your sales.

Read General Home Information

I’ve written about this before, but home descriptions matter. Let me give you two examples of homes that are on the site right now.

House One:

BEAUTIFUL VIEWS WITH WELL MAINTAINED MANUFACTURED HOME WITH GARAGE. LOCATED IN A 5 STAR COMMUNITY. PRICE TO SELL HAVE TO SEE TO BELIEVE CALL XXX-XXX-XXXX

House Two:

This beautiful home has over $60,000 in upgrades. tile floors throughout, tile counters, additional tiled & lighting above & below plant shelves in living room, bedroom & bath. Every room has fans & are wired for phones & Internet except baths, dining room & kitchen. This house is handicap friendly with raised toilets, vanities and an entrance ramp. A hobby room off the master with 7 cabinets & 3 banks of drawers.  5 cabinets in the Laundry room with tile counters. The master bedroom has a huge walk in closet and the master shower is tiled to the ceiling. The spacious kitchen is a cooks kitchen!!  Built for entertaining!!  Extended counter, massive amount of cabinets with all tile counters (great for a buffet), access to corner cabinets with double entry and new faucet.  There is a water softener & RO system. The garage is 34ft with 14 ceiling to floor cabinets and workbench. Extra outlets in the garage, house & good sized extra room. An extra area for the BBQ has been poured and front steps have been added. It has sun screens all around and also has a mountain view.

Both of these homes are in the same manufactured home community, but one of them gives the home shopper more of what they are looking for. Not only does the description in House Two give more information about the property, it also tells a great story. House Two is a home – it’s a place to cook up a great buffet dinner with the extended family or spend nice evenings grilling outdoors. These are the things that sell people on a home.

Get Directions to Visit a Home

On MHVillage, we make it easy for buyers to find your homes. Our website is designed for location-based searches. In fact, did you know that on the MHVillage mobile app, we have a button that buyers can click to “View Nearby Homes”? It uses their current location and pulls in all the surrounding homes, so if a home buyer is out driving around looking at neighborhoods, they can instantly see what is available in their area.

Compare Prices

It is probably not a big surprise that home owners compare prices. The best way to handle price comparisons is not to change the price of the home, the best way is to offer a better home. This is where creating good, solid home listings pay off – photos, descriptions, and caption lines, these can help you show buyers why your home is the best deal in the neighborhood. (For more information read: Three Easy Steps to Powerful LIstings That Sell, Part Three – The Right Price)

Compare Features

Do I sound like a broken record when I say I’ve written about this before? MHVillage makes it easy to showcase your home’s features – and it’s free. Learn how here: Missed Marketing Opportunity – Don’t Forget the Features!

Search a Company’s Inventory

Ahem: Missed Marketing Opportunity – One Simple Step to Getting More Leads

(Note: if you have your own website and are having a hard time keeping your inventory on it and up to date, let us know. If you have over 50 listings, we have a simple product called an i-Frame that will let you enter your homes on MHVillage and have them automatically update on your own website.)

Call a Listing Company and Locate an Agent

Here’s another reason to make sure that your company’s information is up-to-date. The best place to do that on MHVillage is on your Sales Center page. (Read about your Sales Center here.) If you are a Real Estate agent and help people sell their homes, be sure and add that information to your Company description! We get calls everyday from homeowners looking for a professional who can them sell their home.

Watch an Online Video About a Home

More and more people are expecting video tours. They are easy to do, you can upload them to YouTube and your own website. MHVillage offers a special link on Premium homes and Showcased communities so you can upload your video links on our site as well.

Putting It All Together

So, what does this tell you? That today’s shoppers aren’t predictable. Some shop with desktop computers, some on their phones. (Some will use both.) Some while shop while at home, some while at work, and some while eating dinner in a restaurant. There are buyers who will want to call you, others will prefer email. Your best bet? Use the tips and techniques in this newsletter to create the best listings you can – the more powerful the listings, the better the leads. If you need help, contact us and we’ll help you make the most out of your MHVillage account.

 

Are You Ready for Vacation Home Shoppers?

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
Park Place in Sebastian, Florida. I'm in Michigan as I write this and this photo makes me want to hop on a plane!

Park Place in Sebastian, Florida. This looks like heaven to a Michigander like me.

As the weather starts to get colder in the Norther climates, people start thinking about vacation properties. If you are located in a warm weather state, did you know that: 56% of vacation home buyers start their home search online and 93% of vacation home shoppers use the internet during their home search?*

In other words, well over half of the people who start thinking about vacation properties start their search by looking online, and almost all of them use the internet at sometime during their search! That’s why if you have manufactured homes in communities frequented by out-of-state (or out of country) vacationers, you need to have all your home listings online. Not only that, but you need to make sure that all your community data is up to date and looking it’s best.

Here are five quick tips to draw the attention of Vacation Shoppers:

  • Make sure all your inventory is online. Vacationers will have to travel to purchase a home, and they are going to be more likely to go to places where they can see as many options as possible in a single trip. Having more homes available makes you more attractive than your competitors.
  • Of course vacationers want different from things than year round residents. Make sure your community and your homes on MHVillage list rental and site leasing specials, promotions, special events, and other opportunities.
  • Have vacant sites in your community? Turn that into a selling point! Now is the time to include in your community description that buyers can purchase the perfect home and have it placed in the community of their dreams – yours!
  • Do a quick survey of your photos on MHVillage. If possible, get photos with blue skies and sunshine – something the Northern climates are starting to lack. Include photos of shuffleboard courts, pools, tennis courts, golf courses and anything else that would draw in people looking to relax and have a good time. Photos of landscaping showing flowers and palm trees are also winners.
  • Take a look at your Caption lines, do they have a call to action for vacation home buyers? There is a great article on how to write captions lines on this newsletter (Missed Marketing Opportunities – Caption Lines) take a look at that, and then craft Captions that draw folks from out-of-state. (Hint: Heated Pool, Resident Activities, and Beautiful Ocean Breezes)

If you have any questions about updating your community or home listings on MHVillage.com, please let us know. We are always happy to walk you through the site!

 

*Source: The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate

Missed Marketing Opportunity – One Simple Tip To Getting More Leads

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

I travel a far amount speaking to Professionals in the Manufactured Housing industry all across the US. (Just last week I had the honor to be a guest speaker and exhibitor at the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association Meeting in Champaign/Urbana.) One of the questions that comes up over and over again is a simple one: How do I get more leads?

Currently I am writing a series on how to increase the number of sales leads – and the effectiveness – from your online advertising with MHVillage. I’ll be sharing with you some of the same simple tips and tools that I talk about at meetings around the country. Last week I wrote Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities – Your Sales Center on MHVillage. This week I’m giving you the easiest tip of all on how to get more leads:

Make Sure Your Entire Inventory is on MHVillage.

At first glance, this might look like a sales pitch for MHVillage – but remember – unlimited Basic listings are included in your Pro or Pro+ account at no additional charge. So, if you are already listing some of your homes on MHVillage, adding another 2, 20 or even 50 home listings doesn’t cost you a penny more. Now, let’s talk about why it matters:

It’s All In The Numbers

Let’s just start with the basics – the more home listings you have, the bigger piece of your market you have, which means the more leads you will get. For example: say you do a search on MHVillage for homes for sale in your area and there are 30 listings. If 3 of them are yours, you have 10 percent of the market. In this case, the market being all the possible homes that buyers will click on and view. Let’s say that you have additional 10 listings that you haven’t added. If you enter them, your percentage jumps to over 32.5%. The only cost is time, (and I will have some tips on that a little later in the article.)

Of course, this assumes that all listings have an equal chance of being clicked on. We know that isn’t true – some listings are more desirable than others. So maybe a shortcut would be to just list your most desirable homes, right? Wrong.

There is a Buyer for Every Home

This home was recently marked as Sold on MHVillage

This home was recently marked as Sold on MHVillage

Some professionals list only their “best” homes. But what is ” the best” listing? The best looking, the highest priced, the one with the best location? How do you define best? If there was only one home buyer a day on MHVillage, or if every home shopper had the exact same needs, family size and income, it might be simple to define “best”. However, there are 46,000 people shopping for manufactured homes a day on MHVillage. Forty six thousand people that each have their own criteria for selecting the perfect home.

This home was recently marked as sold on MHVillage.

So was this one.

There are buyers looking for retirement properties, handyman specials, second homes, bargains, gated communities, homes for their children, homes for their parents… in other words, there are thousands of different customers looking for different manufactured homes. What may not appeal to you, might be just the ticket for someone else.

The point is simple – by listing your entire inventory you are giving shoppers the maximum choice when it comes to buying the right home.

Homes Being Remodeled

I’ve also heard from professionals who wait to list their pre-owned homes until they have been completely remodeled. This is a missed marketing opportunity. The fact that a home is being remodeled should be a huge selling point. What better time to run a promotion? Here’s an idea: Basic listings come with two photos. Take one photo of the outside and one of the interior, including the paint buckets, ladders and ripped up carpet. In the description of the home offer a special deal if they purchase by a certain date and they can even help pick out the paint colors! If the home doesn’t sell by that date, your listing is already up and ready to go – you can easily update it with new photos and a new description.

The More Inventory You Have, The Better You Look

Just last week, I wrote about how to improve the look of your Sales Center page. This is the page that shows your company information to home buyers searching for Professionals in their area. (Want to see your Sales Center? You can do a search for sales centers on MHVillage here.) We do some fairly sophisticated algorithms to determine the sort order of Sales Centers in a given area. One of the biggest factors is whether you are a Pro+ or Pro account, (Pro+ accounts are always sorted towards the top) but another factor is the number of homes you have for sale. Each home within in certain geographic area gives you a number of “points.” Obviously upgraded homes, (Featured and Premium listings) give the most points, but Basic listings do contribute to your ranking. So, putting all your homes on MHVillage helps push your company page towards the top.

This tool is on your account home page on MHVillage.

This tool is on your account home page on MHVillage.

Quick Sales Tip: Did you know that within your account, under the Listing Management section, there is a nifty tool for printing a list of all your homes for sale or rent? It makes a great handout to buyers or inventory control sheet to be used in the office. It’s a free tool we offer to all MHVillage Professionals.

Too Busy To List All Your Homes? Clone Them Instead!

Here’s another great little tool in your account – you can “Clone” removed listings and save yourself some time. Some communities have the luxury of having a portfolio of homes that are very similar – even down to the Manufacturer and Model, but even if your homes are quite different from one another, you can still take advantage of the Clone tool.

Once you click Removed, you can "Clone" any of your Removed homes.

Once you click Removed, you can “Clone” any of your Removed homes.

From within your account go to the Edit Listings link. In the section above the listings, click Removed. That will give you a list of all the homes you have removed from the site. Just click the “Clone” link on the home most similar to your new listing. That’s it! It will instantly make a duplicate copy. Then, you can go through and update your new listing with the correct address, details and photos. Details like financing promotions and your contact information will already be filled in and correct. It can help you build a home listing fast.

So, Why Not Cheat?

You might be thinking to yourself, with all these benefits, why not “pad” your listings a bit? Let me caution against that – state regulatory agencies come down pretty hard on false advertising, and they are starting to wise up to internet marketing. Keep yourself on the right side of the laws of your state and you won’t run into trouble. We’ve seen some states handing out big fines for small infractions and we don’t want that to happen to you. Our advice? Always play it safe.

What if I Only Have One or Two Listings?

If you only have a few listings in a given area, then my advice to you is to make sure they are at the Premium level. Premium listings cost just $8 a month more per home, but they move your home listings out of the back of the pack and onto the first page. In many busy areas, where there are hundreds of homes for sale and rent, you may not even get noticed if you aren’t on the first page, so the small extra cost is worth it.

The Take Away:

You put a lot of time and effort into your marketing strategies. Naturally, you want to get the most out of them. Making sure that your entire portfolio of home listings is available to be found by home buyers, renters and potential residents is the best way to get the maximum number of leads.