Tag Archives: selling homes

What is the “Talk To Your Fans Feature” on MHVillage?

talk-to-your-fansMHVillage helps you talk to the customers who have shown interest in your listings!

This is called the “Talk To Your Fans” feature

As you know, our website offers a number of advertising tools to home sellers, community managers and retailers. We also offer shopping tools for home buyers on the site. Home shoppers can set up alerts and save listings they are interested in to their accounts.

 

So who are your “Fans”?

Home buyers have two different ways to become a fan of a listing, community or retail sales center.

1. While searching MHVillage, they can directly click the “Like” option. That saves the listing, community or retail sales center to their account.

2. They can also create an “Ideal Home Search” alert, which will make them a fan of any listing that matches their criteria, (even homes listed after the alert is created).

Once a customer is a “Fan” certain events will trigger automatic updates:

  • Seller lowers the price
  • Photos are updated
  • Description is updated
  • Open House is added
  • Home is marked as “SOLD”
  • Homes are added to the Community or Sales Center

When any of these happen, MHVillage send them an automatic email letting them know.

You can email your Fans directly through the “Talk To Your Fans” tool!

Want to reach out to people who have expressed interest in homes in your area? Here’s how to do it:

 

Click “Talk to your Fans.” This feature is located on your account page to the right side.

 

 

 

 

 

Select which fans you wish to reach out to. You can choose fans of a particular home, or all your fans all at once.

Here you can send an email directly to your interested buyers. There is space for additional information about the home or any buyer incentives you might be offering.

 

 

 

 

The Talk to your Fans tool is incredibly useful since it gives you the opportunity to reach your consumer base directly. This allows you an added opportunity to connect with them and hopefully sell them their next home!

If you have any questions about the Talk to your Fans tool – or anything in your account – send us an email. We are happy to help!

 

Michigan Home Shipments

New-Home-ShipmentsMichigan receives large numbers of new home shipments

OKEMOS, Mich. — According to reports from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Michigan ranks fifth in the nation in new home shipments for the first quarter of 2017, with 1,261 new homes shipped, an increase of nearly 80 percent from the 702 shipments recorded in the first quarter of 2016.

“Our members are seeing interest and sales of new homes like they haven’t experienced in almost a decade,” said Darren Ing, director, Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA).

For comparison, in 1996, Michigan received more than 12,000 new home shipments; in 2010 325 new homes were delivered to the state.

“The Michigan market has come back tremendously over the past years and communities are playing a large role in that,” said Tim Kuhn, sales manager for Clayton Homes.

One MMHA member in particular — AJR Development — is especially pleased with the renewed interest in manufactured homes.

“In 2017, we licensed a 90-site expansion called Emerald Park in our flagship community, Ridgewood, located in Milford, Michigan. We opened in May of 2017 with more than 20 lots pre-sold. Demand remains very strong and we are seeing double digit monthly home sales in the $85,000-$100,000 range,” said Jerry Ruggirello, managing member, AJR Development.

Reverberations of increased sales go beyond community expansions. For example, HomeFirst, in Birmingham, Mich., needed to hire more people. “As a result of the large increases in traffic across our entire portfolio, we added three home specialist staff to our sales offices to meet the demands of the incoming traffic,” said Danya Mallard, vice president of sales and marketing for HomeFirst.

“With the level of quality product being presented by manufacturers, we expect interest and sales to continue to grow,” Ing said.

MMHA is dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of manufactured and modular home living, connecting people interested in finding a community or home with its members. The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) is one of Michigan’s oldest trade associations, founded in 1941. MMHA is a nonprofit association representing the manufactured home industry in Michigan. MMHA works to improve the image of manufactured and modular housing by educating consumers, media and government about the quality, affordability, design and beauty of the homes. For more information, visit the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association at www.michhome.org. Contact MMHA by mail at 2222 Association Drive, Okemos, MI 48864-5978 or by phone at (517) 349.3300.

Press Release Provided By:
All Seasons Communications
Gretchen A. Monette, gmonette@allseasonscommunications.com
Phone: (586) 752.6381

Marketing to the Retirement-Age Consumer

 

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

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

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

Is your community an “Age Restricted” community?

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

Does your community allow Pets?

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

Is the home accessible?

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

What is the community like?

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

What is the area like?

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

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

Final Input Sought for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced a final request for input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) recently released proposal on Underserved Markets Plans within the “Duty to Serve” program.

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, speaks in Chicago on affordable housing finance initiatives. From left, Paul Mullings, Sr. VP of Single-Family Strategic Business Initiatives for Freddie Mac; Russ Cross, regional manager for community outreach with Wells Fargo, and Sandra Thompson, deputy director in the Division of Housing Mission and Goals for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

FHFA, the regulator of Fannie and Freddie tasked with enforcing the “Duty to Serve” provision, issued a final implementation rule on Dec. 13, 2016 mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The statute requires the Enterprises to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

The rule requires each Enterprise to adopt a three-year Underserved Markets Plan to fulfill this mandate.  FHFA requests public input on the proposed plans through its dedicated web page by July 10, 2017.

It is anticipated that implementation of “Duty to Serve” provisions will create more financing options for potential home buyers, which also would be a benefit for the housing sector, including the manufactured housing industry.

“I strongly encourage stakeholders to submit feedback on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s proposed ‘Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans,'” said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt.  “FHFA will evaluate stakeholder input as part of our review process to ensure that the plans help the Enterprises meet their statutory obligations in a safe and sound manner.”

Each Enterprise will update their “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan” after reviewing public input and FHFA feedback. Each Enterprise’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan must receive a non-objection from FHFA before becoming effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The objectives in the proposed and final plans may be subject to change based on factors including public input, FHFA comments, compliance with the Enterprises’ Charter Acts, safety and soundness considerations, and market or economic conditions.

The Power of a “Sales Caption”

Are Your Sales Captions as Effective as They Could Be?

sales-captionMHVillage offers a space for a “Sales Caption” on Pro+ Sales Centers, Showcased Communities, Featured Home Listings and Premium Home Listings.

Each one of the above listing types will allow you to enter a sentence that will show above your listing. This is a space for you to offer something that is eye-catching, inviting and will get the customer to click on your add from the search result.

Often, I come across some Showcase Communities or Pro+ Sales Centers in an area that simply are not entering a Sales Caption at all. Then there are the Featured and Premium Listings sellers who enter a caption, but it’s not as effective as it could be.

Actual Sales Caption on MHVillage:

So, while “Best Value”, “Great Community” or “Beautiful New Home” as a sales caption sounds okay, it’s not really all that inviting or unique. Plus, you would be surprised how many times I have looked at a search result on our site and seen basically the same simple caption on all of the listings in an area.

Also: If you have one of the more expensive homes in the area, a sales caption can help you explain why. I mean, if your home is priced significantly higher than others in the area, there is probably good reason. However, browsers might skip the most expensive home – unless there is a caption line explaining why the home is more whether, it be on land, newly renovated, fully furnished or the like.

So how do you ensure you are getting the most out of your captions?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Research: You want your listings to stand out above the rest in your area. So, do a few searches on MHVillage in your area and make sure you aren’t using the same language another seller is using for their home.
  2. Unique Details: Try to find something unique about your ad that you can highlight in the caption. Here are some examples:
    • For a home, something like: “Fully furnished, renovated home, with open floor plan”
    • For a community: “Retirement Community with brand new waterfront homes available”
    • For your Company: “Family owned company, with previously owned homes and new homes in stock!”
  3. Current and Updated: One of the benefits of online advertising is you can update your information at any time. So if you have a sale or an incentive highlighted within the sales caption on a listing, be sure and keep that information updated and current.

This feature really can make the difference for your traffic on our site. It can be the detail that turns a shopper into a buyer!

And, if you you would like assistance updating your sales captions, please feel free to contact our customer service.

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!

MHVillage Listing Home App

MHVillage Listing AppIf you are a professional in the Manufactured Housing industry, MHVillage has created a special app just for you. Find us in the App Store or on Google Play today!

A number of members expressed a need for an easier way to list homes while in the field. They wanted to be able to enter the listing information while walking through the home, easily upload photos from any phone, and be able to add and remove listings from the road! In response, we created the MHVillage listing app.

Managing your listings right from your phone.

Managing your listings right from your phone.

This free app will let you manage your home inventory right from your phone. You can easily create new listings, edit existing listings and remove homes that have sold.

Over Half of MHVillage Traffic is on Mobile

Over 50% of the people shopping for homes on MHVillage are doing so through their phones. We are constantly working on our mobile interface to make it easier for those shoppers to contact you. We currently have a programming team working on making that process simple and effective.

We also wanted to give you, the MHVillage Professional, powerful tools that you can use on your phone. To check out our app, either head over to iTunes or Google Play to download. We would love to hear your comments and suggestions as we further develop these tools, so please, let us know what you think!

Champion Opens New KY Production Facility

Good news from Champion Home Builders!

Champion Home Builders, Inc. to open new Kentucky Production Facility

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 3.34.11 PMTROY, Mich., May 4, 2016  – Champion Home Builders, Inc., a leader in the manufactured housing industry and one of the largest modular homebuilders in North America, is expanding its production capabilities with a new facility opening late summer in Benton, Kentucky.

The move allows Champion to:

  • Better serve customers with a wider variety of cost-effective homes.
  • Increase capacity to meet growing demand.
  • Provide product to customers that the company currently does not reach.
  • Offer greater convenience to customers.
  • Extend available designs and price points to both manufactured housing communities and private property owners in Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.

“Our new Benton facility isn’t powered simply by Champion’s continued growth and expansion plans,” said Champion CEO Keith Anderson. “It also feeds off of the increasing success our customers are having with the Dresden, Tennessee, product.”

Just as Champion’s manufacturing process streamlines homebuilding, the Benton facility will help the 63-year-old company realize greater efficacy in their sales model.

The plant in Benton will focus solely on manufacturing; the company’s Dresden site — which also includes production facilities — will handle business responsibilities (such as sales, service and accounting), as well as comprehensive employee training programs.

“Though the distance between the two cities is just a little over 50 miles, they’ll be as inextricably linked as next-door neighbors,” said Champion Sales Manager Tandy Roberson. “It’s all about efficiency, which we’d like to think is a Champion hallmark.”

Another hallmark for the homebuilding company: a skilled workforce. While many of today’s manufacturers face talent shortfalls, Champion feels it can buck that trend in Benton, where the company anticipates many strong candidates for the 150 jobs its facility will inject into the local economy.

“Our Tennessee location has shown us what we can expect from workers in the region: skill, dedication and an uncompromising work ethic,” said Champion General Manager Thomas Stoneburner. “Those men and women will help us deliver wonderfully designed, value-engineered homes that are as attractive as they are livable.”

Along with the deserved thank you to the people of both Benton and Dresden, Anderson cited another group as making Champion’s expansion possible.

“We owe a great deal to our customers for their continued support,” he said. “Thanks to our sales growth — spurred in no small part by our success in Tennessee — we’re building a great future for our company, employees and all those who can proudly say their home is a Champion.”

About Champion Home Builders
Founded in 1953, Champion specializes in a wide variety of manufactured, modular and park model homes, as well as modular buildings for the multi-family, hospitality, senior and workforce housing sectors. Champion started as a single manufacturing facility in rural Michigan and grew to offer factory-built housing and other structures throughout the U.S., United Kingdom and western Canada. The company operates 28 manufacturing facilities throughout North America and Europe, and employs more than 4,200 people worldwide.

For more information on Champion Home Builders, visit www.ChampionHomes.com.

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!)

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