Tag Archives: mobile homes for rent

5 Rules for Turning Internet Leads into Mobile Home Sales

Internet customers are a little different than face to face customers.  On one hand, they expect to get information fast (they are used to finding whatever they need with a click of a button,) but on the other hand, internet shoppers are usually much earlier in the home buying process, so they can take longer to close. When you are dealing with internet leads you need both speed and patience.

Here are five rules to help you close that sale:

1. Respond to leads immediately.
As mentioned, internet shoppers want information instantly.  Of course you can’t be sitting at your computer 24/7, but there are ways you can increase your response time:

  1. Check your email regularly.  We’ve had professionals tell us they didn’t know they had offers on their homes simply because they forgot which email account they were having leads sent to – and didn’t check it!
  2. Use your phone.  Many modern cell phones will alert you when you have emails and let you check them right on your phone.
  3. Make time every day to respond to leads.  Below we’ll give you tips on how to do it fast and easily, but in order for internet leads to help you sell, you have to make sure you are following up right away.

Tip: Did you know that MHVillage lets you put multiple email addresses in your listings?  Your leads can go to your office email and your personal email, if you wish – or to multiple people in the office.  Whatever you want!

2. Respond even to “bad” leads.
As all of us know, sales are all about building relationships.  Just because you don’t have exactly what the customer wants, doesn’t mean you can’t help them.  Even just letting people know you have alternate options available or will keep an eye out for them, can start the conversation.

Here’s a great example we saw last week:

A browser using MHVillage sent an email to community asking about renting a manufactured home.  This is a community that doesn’t rent their homes.

The community manager could have just said, “We don’t have rental homes.” and ended the conversation.  Instead they said, “While we don’t have rental homes available right now, we do have a great rent-to-own program.” That opened the door for a sale.

Tip: Keep an open mind – just because you don’t have what they are looking for today, doesn’t mean they can’t become a customer tomorrow.  Look at every lead as a sales opportunity.

3. Have email responses ready to go

You’ll find that a lot of your leads are pretty similar – many internet home buyers ask the same kinds of questions. Have professional, articulate lead responses pre-written for your most common questions.  Make sure that all responses include your name, your company name, phone number and website address.  Having pre-responses ready to go will save you time and energy.  It also ensures that every response is clear, well written and says exactly what you want it to say.

Tip: There are a number of ways you can make pre-written emails.  One is to have your responses written in a word processing document so you can just quick cut and paste into your email.  Another is to use a text replacement program that lets you type in a few characters and it will replace them with a phrase or sentence.  For example, typing in “thnx” would generate “Thank you very much for your inquiry today, I am happy to answer your questions.”  Here are a couple free text replacement programs you can download off the internet:

4. Make sure you customize your lead responses –

Having pre-written responses are a great way to save time, but can sound a bit like a form letter.  To guard against this, customize each response.  For example, once you have your pre-written response, make it more personal by using the lead’s first name in the salutation and reference what they are looking for and where the lead come from.  Here’s an example of an opening response:

Dear (name),

Thank you for requesting more information on the home at (address) that you found on (lead source.)  I am happy to answer questions for you on that mobile home.

You can easily cut and paste something like this into an email, but then customize to fit the lead.

Tip: Don’t just hit reply on a lead.  If you are getting the lead from a source like MHVillage, it is likely that there will be information in the email that is designed for your eyes only.  You will make a better impression if that information isn’t included in the email.

5. Have a professional email address for leads –

If you are a working professional in the manufactured home industry, you need a professional email.  Using a personal email address to respond to leads does not inspire confidence, especially if that email address is something like: hotdoglover07@aol.com, redskinsfan1969@msn.com or    billysgramma@yahoo.com. (Don’t laugh, these are slightly modified email addresses of actual professional email addresses.)  When you are responding to internet leads, use an email that includes your company name.  There are many companies that will let you create free or low cost email accounts.

Tip: Remember Rule#1.  If you do create a new email address, be sure and remember to check it regularly!

How to Get Community Resident Leads

You may know TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) but at MHVillage we have TISATAFL – there Is such a thing as free Leads.

This manufactured home community has filled in their email address in their community information. The Request Brochure and Email Community button show up automatically.  All leads that come from these links are free.

Did you know that MHVillage provides free sales leads to communities?  If you own or manage a manufactured home park, you can get resident leads from MHVillage – that’s right, free.  I know, I know, what’s the catch? Simple: you need to make sure you tell us where to send them!

All you have to do is enter an email address in the community information.  That’s it – we’ll take care of the rest!  When we have an email on file for your community, the lead generating links automatically appear on your profile page.  You don’t have to do any additional work.

No Email address on file.

Last month over 21,900 people searched MHVillage for community information.  People use the site to look for homes for sale and rent, search for vacant sites, research pet policies and more.  When they have questions, they want to contact the communities directly.  These are all fantastic leads to help you fill sites and sell homes, but all too many community managers don’t take the time to update their information on MHVillage.  When that happens, these opportunities are lost.

For those communities that are updated and have an email on file, we send out a ton of leads – over 4,000 last month alone!

So, how do I put my email address in?

This toolbox is located under the photos on your community page. Just click the Edit Community link.

Just go to your community on MHVillage and click the Edit Community button.  Once you verify that you are the owner or manager (note: you must be the owner or manager to make updates) you can make any changes you need to.  Add in the email address and while you are there, make sure that your vacant sites and other information is all up-to-date.

But what if I use a Broker to sell my mobile homes?

No problem!  You can put in whatever information you want.  You are welcome to have a different email address on the community than you have in your account.  Have multiple communities?  You get to choose – have all the leads sent to one email or, put a different email address for each location, it is totally up to you.

My community is full, why bother?

It’s worth updating your information because MHVillage has become the #1 place for people looking for information on mobile home parks and manufactured home communities.  Even if you community is full, wouldn’t you like to have a list of interested residents waiting to get in?  All it takes is a few minutes on MHVillage.

2009 In Review – Another Great Year!

January is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the past year.  It may surprise you to learn that despite all the dire predictions about the economy of 2009, traffic of interested home buyers on MHVillage continued to grow.  In fact, there were 5,239,483 visits to MHVillage in 2009 – that’s up 23% from 2008! Each year more and more people use the internet to start their search for homes, and those looking for manufactured housing start on MHVillage.

In addition to record amounts of browsers on the site, there were hundreds of upgrades and additions to MHVillage over 2009.  We’ve added a number of new services, products and tools to help you sell your homes.  Let’s take a look at just a few of what the year had to offer:

  • A New MHVillage Look – January 2009 brought a whole new streamlined appearance to MHVillage.  Some of the many improvements were slide-shows for home photos, larger floor plans, and more call to action email links on listings and communities.  We also made it easier to list homes, add photos and update company information.
  • Unlimited photos for Premium listings

  • Unlimited Photos on Premium Listings – Premium listings used to have a maximum of 10 photos. In 2009 we made it Unlimited!  Remember – buyers love to see photos of homes!
  • Bold, Italics and other Text Tools Added to Home Descriptions – No more cut and paste! We added new tools so you can write your perfect home descriptions and highlight your sales promotions right on MHV.
  • Phone Numbers for Showcased Communities – In February 2009 phone numbers began to display on Showcased communities.  Now these communities could start getting calls directly from MHVillage browsers who wanted to know more about their homes.
  • Track “Email a Friend” Statistics – Ever wonder how many times someone emails a friend or family member about your listings?  If they do it through MHVillage, we now track how many of those emails are being sent right on your statistics page.
  • Free Internet Marketing Kit – We want you to succeed online, so we added great articles and information about internet marketing to your Pro account.  Just download them straight from your Pro account – for free!
  • MHVillage on Facebook – We started our Facebook page in May, by the end of 2009 MHVillage had 175 fans.  Every week we have comments from folks interested in manufactured housing.  We’ve also added a number of tools right on your listings and communities so you can add them to your own Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites.
  • Chat with MHVillage – Have a question?  Need some help?  Just click the new chat icon in the upper left corner of most pages on MHV.  Now with just a click of that button you can quickly contact a customer service person when you need one.

    New Amenities Added to Showcased Communities

  • New Expanded Features on Showcased Communities – Want to really show your community off to its full advantage?  We added all these to Showcased communities:  Planned Social Activities, Gated, On site Staff, Waterfront, Boat/RV Storage. Fitness Center, Laundry Facilities, Library, Billiards, Golf Course, Shuffleboard, Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball, Bocce Ball, Horseshoes, Whirlpool, Sauna, or a Spa.  Log in and just check the ones that describe your community.
  • Communities Can Now Upload Their Brochure – As easy as adding a photo, Showcased communities can now also upload their sales brochure.
  • Homes for Rent Navigation Tools Added – Easier searches added to the web site so people can find available rental homes.
  • Listing Compliance – Per the request of some of our California Professionals, we’ve made the serial number more visible and added a field for a Department of Housing number.  Not sure what the regulations are in your state?  Be sure and check with your state manufactured housing association or regulators of sales in your state.
  • Contact Your Fans on MHVillage

  • “Watch This” on MHVillage – Added at the end of 2009, the new “Watch This” system allows home buyers to keep track of homes, communities, or retail locations and be automatically notified via email when they are updated.  Plus, you can now send messages to your fans at any time by logging in and clicking the “Talk To Your Fans” link.

These are just a few of the updates we’ve done to MHVillage, there are plenty more to come in 2010! Have a great idea for the site? Just email us and let us know!

Is Your Community Up-to-Date?

In the last 30 days, over 146,000 people used MHVillage to get details on communities they were interested in. Make sure your community profile is up to date – the wrong information could turn buyers away! For example, a recent survey found that almost half of residents of manufactured homes have a cat or a dog.* Have you made sure your pet restrictions are listed on MHVillage? Go to MHVillage today to ensure that buyers get the best – and the right – information about you.

* (Foremost Insurance, 2008)