Tag Archives: sales effectiveness

Perfecting Your Home Description

home-descriptionThe description in your listing can make all the difference!

This space is where we invite you to give a detailed description of the home.

Something we see quite a bit on MHVillage is home sellers using the description area to either list additional details (sometimes the same features already selected and listed in the home features section) or enter nothing at all.

We have found that this is simply not as effective as taking the time to give the shopper more information about the home, the community it is within and any other details that might make this home stand out from the crowd.

Here are some examples of actual home descriptions on MHVillage:

Option 1:

    The description has no word limit, yet this seller only included 2 sentences about the home.

Option 2:

 This seller took the time to walk the buyer through the home describing each room!

The difference in these two listings is crystal clear. One of the sellers took the extra steps to really show off what this home has to offer, while the other seems like they tried to list the home as quickly as possible, not really giving much information.

 

It is important to remember, a lot of home buyers are looking at tons of listings and a good number of these buyers are looking at homes in another state. So by giving them more information in your ad, you are setting them up to be interested enough to contact you for a tour, or for even more information. Which is the whole point in advertising in the first place!

 

 

Now, there are plenty of different ways you can use this space from a marketing stand point. You can follow the two examples mentioned in this article or you can write it more in the style of a newspaper article where it’s in paragraph format. Either way you want to be able to give the buyer the experience of walking through the home, noting all of the details that matter to a home owner. We found that the ads where you can tell that the seller took the time to describe the home, keeps buyers interested and eventually gets them to contact the seller.

So, no matter what your style of advertising is, it’s important to share with the buyer why they should consider your home over all of the other options out there. Why not take the time to use this space to your benefit?

We try to give you all of the tools you need to go the extra mile in your advertising, but if you find you have some questions about what features you have on MHVillage, give us a call or an email today! We are happy to help.

 

Check Your Statistics on MHVillage at Any Time

Monitoring your leads and other vital information is the perfect way to ensure you are advertising your home, company or community at the level that will provide the most exposure to our consumers.

Within your account we offer a few different ways for you to see how your ads are performing on our site.

If you are a professional, you can log into your account and from your account page, select the “Account Statistics” option to see the overview of all of your stats, and then break them down by advertisement type (Listings, Sales Center, Community).

 

Both professionals and individuals can see the statistics for a specific home in their account by choosing the “Edit Listing” or the “View/Change Listing” option from the account page, then to the right of the home of interest click the “Statistics” option.

When looking at the graph it’s important to note the Views and the Searches.

The view count will tell you how many page views your ad received and the search count will tell you how many searches your ad appeared in. By reviewing both you can get a feel for how many consumers in your area are searching, and then how many of them chose your ad.

It’s also important to note that when we count your page views we do not count when you are looking at your ads and we also only count each customer one time per day.

Thank you for using MHVillage, if you have any additional questions please let us know!

Join us at the Louisville Show 2016!

Louisville Manufactured Housing ShowMHVillage and Datacomp will be exhibiting at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show Jan. 20-22. Stop by and see us at Booth 213!

In addition, there are two educational opportunities to meet us:

Internet Marketing in 2016 and Beyond – Dawn Highhouse, MHVillage

Wednesday 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM: Seminars will kick off with a particularly timely discussion on how to navigate and take full advantage of the new marketplace of mobile devices being used increasingly by more and more consumers. This seminar will examine the Internet marketing trends that are redefining consumer expectations and how you can capitalize on them to earn more business in 2016 and beyond.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade – Profiting from the New MH Appraisal Rules – Darren Krolewski, Datacomp

Thursday 10 AM to 11 AM: “Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Profiting from the New Appraisal Rules” will help you understand how these new rules apply to manufactured home loans and how the industry is complying with them. One of the nation’s largest, independent providers of market-based manufactured home appraisals will explain the impact of these new rules and demonstrate how these new regulatory requirements can help you sell more homes.

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show will once again be held at the Kentucky Exposistion Center. To learn more about this event or to register, go to: www.louisvillemanufacturedhousingshows.com

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2016 MANUFACTURER EXHIBITORS

*New Exhibitors

Adventure Homes
*All American Homes Display
Clayton Home Building Group
Clayton Maynardville
Clayton Middlebury
Clayton Wakarusa
TruMH
Champion Homes (Atlantic)
Champion Homes (Topeka)
Commodore Homes
Deer Valley Homebuilders, Inc
Dutch Homes
Fairmont Homes, Inc
Fleetwood Homes, Inc.
Fortune Homes
*Franklin Homes
Harmony Homes
*Kabco Builders, Inc.
*Legacy Housing of Georgia
Manufactured Housing Enterprises, Inc.
*Platinum Homes. LLC
Redman Homes
*Sunshine Homes, Inc
Skyline Corporation

2016 SERVICE & SUPPLIER EXHIBITORS

*New Exhibitors

*2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
21st Mortgage Corporation
ABT Water Management
Alliance Credit LLC
American Insurance Alliance, LLC
AmRent, Inc
*Apex Billing Systems
*Bella Core Surfacing Systems, LLC
Bennett Truck Transport, LLC
Blevins Inc
*Capitol Supply Service
Cascade Financial Services
*Cordell International, Inc
Country Place Mortgage
C U Factory Built Lending
Cutting Systems Inc.
*DEHCO
Dometic/Atwood
Donald C. Westphal Associates, LLC
Dura-Bilt Products, Inc
Electric Eel Manufacturing
Everlock Systems
General Supply Inc.
Harbor Floor Products/N Tech Industries
Heritage Distributing, Inc
HomeCarePlus
Illinois Manufactured Housing Association
Indiana Manufactured Housing Association
Jaime’s Interiors, Inc
Kentucky Code Officials
Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute
Louisiana Pacific Building Products
Manufactured Housing Institute (NCC)
MHVillage
MHLivingNews.com/MHProNews.com/MHC-MD.com
MHWC
MHRE
Michigan Manufactured Housing Association
Minute Man Products, Inc.
Mountainside Financial
NADAguides
Net-Wired Inc
Next Step Network
Nortek Global HVAC
Northpoint Commercial Finance
NTA, Inc
Ohio Manufactured Housing Association
Oliver Technologies
Parklane Finance
PayLease
Performance Equity Partners, Inc
*PFS Corporation
*Purchasing Platform
R-Co Products Inc
Rain Maker Software
R.E Michel Company Inc
*Remote Trax
Rent Manager
Rustique Enterprises, Inc
RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum & Library
*Sedco Pier
Shaw Industries
Style Crest, Inc
Sunlight Creations
Tennessee Manufactured Housing Association
Tie Down Engineering, Inc
Tink/Translift
Triad Financial Services
Trust Company Bank
*Universal Utilities, Inc
*Utility Data Solutions
*Viking Enterprises
Whitley Mobile Home, Inc
Wisconsin Housing Alliance
Zoeller Company

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.

March Milestone: Over One Million MHVillage Visitors!

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

MHVillage and our family of sites hit an important milestone –
Over One Million Unique Visitors in March!

To put this into context, the population of the United States is 316,128,839. Approximately 250,000,000 of those are over the age of 18.

So, in March 1 in 250 adults in the US visited our websites.

You can bet we are celebrating!

Where Do All These People Come From?

Crowd of peopleFirst of all, let me breakdown “MHVillage and our family of sites.” You already know MHVillage. MHVillage is our flagship site and is the most widely used and recognized website in the Manufactured Housing Industry. We also have several other websites. Our family of sites include:

MHVillage.com

Mobilehomes-for-sale

Mobilehomes-for-rent

Senior-Retirement-Living

ManufacturedHomeFloorPlans.

Why so many websites? We use them to reach different audiences, try out new web tools, and implement new marketing techniques. For example,we recently launched a new phone friendly look on Mobilehomes-for-sale. We take the best of the ideas and successes and bring them back to MHVillage.

The majority of people find us by searching Google or other search engines. There is also a large percent (33.5%) that already know our site and type in the address directly. We also get traffic from social media, email campaigns, paid advertisements and other sources.

Who Are These Folks?

New vs Returning Users

New and Returning Visitors over the last 30 days.

Here’s an interesting fact about the million plus people that came to MHVillage last month: there is an almost perfect split between returning users and new visitors to the site. As you can see in this chart, 50.4% of visitors to our site are brand new, while 49.6% are returning. This tells us that once people have found MHVillage, they come back again and again. We also know that the average user looks at 8.64 pages per session. So, people spend quite a bit of time browsing communities and manufactured home listings!

The Future

There were 1,000,392 people on the MHVillage family of sites in March. All of them were interested in manufactured homes. We are reaching our goal to help manufactured home buyers and sellers connect. And we are not resting on our laurels, we have much more in store for the year ahead! Keep an eye on this newsletter to learn more in the upcoming months!

Note: want to learn more? Stop by Booth 601 at the National Congress and Expo in Las Vegas later this month! Or, follow along on Twitter @MHVillage #NatCongressLV

 

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!

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.

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.