Tag Archives: leads

New Feature: The MHVFastLead

Have you checked out the latest feature on MHVillage?

The MHVFastLead!

MHVFastLead sends you a text instantly when you get a lead.

Lead response time is essential. With this new feature you can respond to customers almost instantly – and hopefully while they are still looking at your ad!

You can customize when you receive alerts. You choose the days and time of day you want text notifications of leads sent to your phone.

Check out this video for more information on how to start using this feature:

 

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!

Text Leads from MHVillage Mobile!

Did you know that over 50% of the million plus home buyers that shop MHVillage.com each month do so with their phones? That’s why you’ll see regular updates to the mobile version of our website – we want to make sure those buyers are finding your homes as easily as possible!

We are always looking for ways to make it easier for buyers to contact you. We’ve recently added a new feature to the site – text leads! These leads aren’t texted to you, you will see all leads in your email as you always have. Text leads simply allow home buyers who are on their phones to open their text app and request more information, quickly and easily. (Check out the animation below.)

Here’s another great benefit of text leads – every lead you get through text includes the customer’s cell phone number. That’s a powerful tool when getting in touch with buyers!

If you have questions or would like to know more on how to optimize your home listings, email our Customer Service team. We’re happy to help!

text-seller-animated-slide-whole

Learn All About MHVillage Pay Per Click Ads

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Looking for ways to boost your leads and web traffic? You can easily create custom, targeted campaigns on MHVillage using our PPC (Pay Per Click) ads. Check out this short [1.29 min.] video to learn more:

(BONUS: Watch until the end for a special promotion we are running for new PPC ads in month of June!)

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.

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!

October Results on MHVillage

MHV-OctoberResults

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

As we round out November, we’re looking back at a very positive October. Even though the kids are back in school and people are thinking about the holidays, web traffic continues to be strong and, even better, web leads are up! (Are you getting the web leads and traffic you are looking for? If not, we can help! Give us a call and we can go over your account with you and help you take advantage of all the benefits MHVillage has to offer. Or read my Missed Marketing Opportunities series to find some simple ways to make your listings more attractive to home buyers.)

Check out the October sales results on MHVillage:

Website Visits

October 2013 – 1,631,101

Year to Date – 16,686,705

October generated slightly fewer web visits than September, though both months had over 1.6 million visits. In fact, we are well on the way of having 19 to 20 million web visits in 2013! Keep in mind when you look at these numbers that MHVillage.com has information on manufactured and mobile homes only, so these numbers show the power of our industry and how many people are searching for affordable living solutions.

Sales Leads

October 2013 – 52,132

Year to Date – 586,199

Though web visits were slightly lower this month than last, sales leads were up! In September we sent 47,050 leads out to sellers like yourself, last month we sent over 52,000. The upshot? People shopping MHVillage are serious about buying homes. They aren’t just browsing, they are also calling, emailing and asking for more information. Most importantly, they are also buying. You can see that in this number –

Homes Sold

October 2013 – 5,053

Year to Date – 50,656

Over 50,000 manufactured homes that were advertised on MHVillage were marked as sold in the first 10 months of the year! And just because we are in the holiday season, don’t think that now is the time to slow down. In fact, December 26th is traditionally an incredibly high traffic day on MHVillage, kicking off a great new year! If you want to take advantage of this spike in traffic, use the next 6 weeks to get all your inventory online (Read “One Simple Step to Getting More Leads” to learn why this is important), make sure your company information on MHVillage is up to date (Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities – Your Sales Center on MHVillage) and make sure your company website is linked on MHVillage. (Link to Your Web Site!) Don’t wait until spring – now is the time you want to get ready.

Missed Marketing Opportunity – Caption Your Photos

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

Did you know that there is a simple way to make every one of your home photos more enticing… and it has nothing to do with a camera? It’s simple, requires no additional technology and it’s free. It’s a tool in your MHVillage account, and you’re probably not using it. I’m talking about:

Photo Captions

Example of adding a photo caption. (Click to enlarge)

Example of adding a photo caption. (Click to enlarge)

What is a photo caption? It’s phrase or short sentence that you can add to your MHVillage listings to describe each and every photo. Sadly, it is also a Missed Marketing Opportunity. Captions are easy to add and can quickly point out things that buyers might otherwise miss. Though a photo might be worth a thousand words, a good caption highlights the best parts!

Every time you add a photo to your home listings or to your community on MHVillage there is a field for adding a caption. Far too often I see these fields left blank, or when they are filled in, they are labeled with something that is obvious from the photo. Not having a good caption won’t hurt your listing, but adding just a few words can really help your listing. And remember what I always say – better listings, better leads!

Want to make your photos shine? Instead of labeling an exterior photo “Front of house” how about: “Great school district,” “Big corner lot,” or “New roof”? Use the caption line to give the buyer more information, and more reasons to call. Here’s some ways to use your photo captions:

  • Talk about features that might not be obvious from the photo, i.e. “Recently painted walls”
  • Paint a story for your buyer. On a photo of a patio, for example, “Perfect spot for a grill!”
  • Highlight current promotions, “Includes flat screen tv”
  • Add a call to action, “This will sell fast!”
  • Add appeal to the home “Open floor plan”, “Cozy home”, “Move right in!”
  • And don’t forget… you can put captions on your community photos too!

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.