Tag Archives: social networking

Adding a Profile Picture to Your Listings

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE

According to LinkedIn your LinkedIn profile is 14x more likely to be viewed simply by adding a profile photo. Did you know you can also add a profile photo to your MHVillage listings?

You can upload your profile photo in the Contact section of your MHVillage listing.

Real Estate Professionals have known for years that you are not just selling the home, you are also selling yourself. Adding a profile picture is a great way to personalize your listings on MHVillage. You can upload your profile photo in the Contact section of your home listings – and to make it easier, we store that photo for you, so you only need to upload it once.

Need help getting a great profile picture? LinkedIn has created a simple slideshow that walks you through the process of how to take your own:

 

MHVillage Sales Pro

Profile Photos – an effective way to brand yourself on every listing on MHVillage.

Looking for even more ways to Brand and Customize your home listings on MHVillage? Download this White Paper on MHVillage Branding.

Or, check out this short video (less than 2 minutes!) on Branding Your Homes on MHVillage.

Have any questions? Send us an email – we are happy to help!

Use MHVillage to Get More Likes on Facebook

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEFacebook Infographic

Did you know that there is an easy way to invite buyers browsing MHVillage to like your Facebook page? There are over 50,000 people on MHVillage every day. By inviting them to like your company page on Facebook, you can continue to engage these motivated home buyers.

The process is simple:

  • Log into your account on MHVillage
  • Click “Edit Sales Center Information”
  • Click “Add a link to your Facebook page”
  • Copy in the link to your Facebook page and click “OK”

Add Facebook

That’s all it takes!

Please note that in order to add your Facebook page, you must have a Pro+ account on MHVillage. If you don’t already have a Pro+ account, the website will walk you through the process to upgrade and then you’ll be able to add your link.

Haven’t created a company Facebook page yet? Here are some reasons you might want to look into it:

According to recent research by Postling, nearly 80% of real estate agents are using Facebook to market their practice and properties.

“Social media has definitely become the wave of the future for real estate advertising,” says Melissa Savenko, a RE/MAX Commonwealth realtor in Richmond, VA’s affluent Fan District. “I use Facebook to promote my listings, to market open houses and to notify other agents and the public about price drops and additional incentives. In this economy, I think many agents have embraced the social media world to promote their brand and their listings because it is free, easy and efficient.”

In addition to offering cost-effective methods of promoting properties, Facebook also offers a range of new opportunities to grow and cultivate a robust community of prospective buyers and sellers.

(For more great tips, read the rest of this article: 5 Best Practices For Real Estate Pros on Facebook on mashable.com)

Facebook link on MHVillage

Get Facebook followers with your MHVillage account

Also be sure to follow MHVillage on Facebook – we’d love to see you there!

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Eight Missed Marketing Opportunities – Your Sales Center on MHVillage

BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSEEdit Your Sales Center

Over the next few months I’m going to be running a “Missed Marketing Opportunities” series here on our blog. In this series I will highlight many of the powerful sales tools we offer at MHVillage. Because Manufactured Housing Professionals are busy, and MHVillage has so much to offer, some of these tools get missed – resulting in missed marketing opportunities. While some of the tools I will be writing about have additional costs, others will be free and already included in your account. In all cases, they are simple and easy to use and can make a big difference in your internet marketing.

Your Sales Center Page

What is a Sales Center page? It’s a webpage within MHVillage that works like your own personal website. It contains your homes (and only your homes) as well as a description of your company and contact information. If you are a community operator it also contains a link to your communities. It can be searched by buyers looking for retailers in their area. Monthly Pro accounts on MHVillage are $29.95, Pro+ accounts are $49.95. Both accounts come with a Sales Center page, although some of the advanced features are only available with a Pro+ account.

Let’s take a look at how the sales center page looks like within your account:

This sample shows how to enter Sales Center information within your account.

This sample shows how to enter Sales Center information within your account. (Click to enlarge)

1.) Your Own URL Website Address

Did you know you can create your own website address within MHVillage? From in your account, just click just click the little yellow pencils to make changes to any of the information. In this case, Sample Homes Co. created a website link with their company name. Now they can tell their customers shopping MHVillage to just go to samplehomesco.mhvillage.com and their buyers will see all of Sample Home’s inventory and only their inventory. If you don’t have a company website, this is a great way to jump-start your internet marketing. If you do have a company website, Pro+ accounts can add a link to it, driving MHVillage traffic to their site. (See #5, below)

2.) Logos

Add Your Logo

Click the Add Your Logo to upload your graphics or photos. This is available to Pro+ users, Pro users can upgrade to access this feature.

Most Professionals have invested a lot of time and money in creating their brand and their logo. They’re important parts of their marketing strategy. Pro+ accounts can customize their sales center by adding up to two logos or photos. My suggestion is to make the most of these two spots! The top logo is perfect for a long banner. If you already have a website, the banner from your own site looks great here. Otherwise, a simple graphic with your company name in your colors can look professional and clean. The side logo is the best spot for block style logos or photos. I’ve also seen Professionals use spot for a photo of the entrance to the community or of their sales center.

3.) Company Information

Buyers need to know how to contact you. I am amazed at how many people don’t fill in their hours or driving directions for walk in traffic. Your phone number and mailing address also go here. Again, clicking the small yellow pencils allows you to update and change any of the information.

4.) Facebook Link

Does your company have a Facebook page? Here is a way to get more traffic to it! Pro+ accounts can send interested buyers directly to their company’s Facebook page.

5.) Website Link

Pro+ users can also add a link directly to their own company website. MHVillage has 46,000 shoppers a day on the site – send some of that traffic to your site using this link!

6.) Company Description

Here’s where you can really sell your company. What makes your company unique? Are you a family run company that has been in business for years? Do you offer financing or have Spanish-speaking sales people? Do you have a reputation for great customer service? Here’s where you can add all that information. Both Pro and Pro+ accounts can add descriptions of their companies in this spot. We also offer bold, italics and spell-check to make sure you look your best!

7.) Search Results Caption

Pro+ users – make sure you add a Caption line! Caption lines show on the search results and pull buyers to click on your company. Let’s take a look at an actual Pro+ account on MHVillage. Here is the top result in search for Retailers in Las Vegas, NV:

Las Vegas Retailers

See how Tropicana Palms has uploaded a great photo and is using the caption line to draw buyers in? This is a great example of making the company very enticing to home buyers.

One More Suggestion:

Do a search for retailers in your area on MHVillage. How does your company look? Here’s how our Sample Homes Co. looks to home buyers:

This sample shows how you can use MHVillage tools to increase the effectiveness of your internet marketing.

Have a community? We’ll automatically add it in a tab next to your home listings.

Our sample is customized and optimized for web traffic. It is a great landing page for people using Google or other search engines to find manufactured home retailers and it says a lot about the company. Is your sales center page doing the same?

If you need help entering your company’s information and making it look it’s best, please send us an email. We are happy to set up a time to do a phone appointment and review your account with you.

Check us out on Facebook

Did you know that MHVillage is on Facebook?   Each week we keep you updated on the hottest industry news, upcoming manufactured housing events and recent updates to the MHV website.  We get comments all the time – even from buyers looking to buy mobile homes!  Take a look now and follow our Facebook page to see the latest.  (Note: You don’t have to have an account to see the page.)

MHVillage Makes it Easy to Post on Facebook and Twitter

In February, Facebook announced that it had over 4 million users. (Mashable.com)

Twitter users are sending 600 tweets per second. (Twitter.com)

In other words, the number of people using social networking just continues to skyrocket.  If your company has a Facebook or Twitter account, MHVillage gives you a number of ways to easily post your listing, company or community information with just a few clicks.  As you may know, with social networking, the key is to add good information to your page on a consistent basis.  It doesn’t have to be daily (At MHVillage we update our Facebook page 2-3 times a week.) but it should be done regularly.  Here are some ways we give you to make it easier:

The Actions toolbox on a manufactured home listing on MHVillage. Click "Share" to add it to Facebook, Twitter or Delicious.

Handy Tools Right on the Listing

On every listing, community and company on MHVillage, there is an “Actions Toolbox.”  Click the “Share” button to post to Facebook, Twitter or Delicious.

This is a great way to remind people of manufactured homes you have available or to announce special sales promotions!

Post New Homes for Sale, Open Houses or Announce Your Sales – NEW!

Now we make it even easier – When you add a listing to MHVillage, hold an open house, mark your home as sale pending, or mark your home as sold you will have the option to post that information to your Facebook or Twitter page!  Already Kim Woodruff from Jensen Communities used the new feature:

I have just recently updated 2 listings and after I hit “checkout” it asks me if I want to post to the Facebook or Twitter page.  I have done it.

That is a great idea!!!

– Kim

Glad you liked it, Kim!

Poll: How Do You Chat?

Recently MHVillage announced a new system for chatting with buyers through our website or through text messages direct to your phone.  Now we are ready to put together Version 2!  In this next iteration, we are looking at giving you the option to use Instant Messaging to chat with buyers through a third party chat program.  What we would like to know is: how do you chat?  Do you keep up-to-date with Facebook or MSN Messanger?  Let us know!

[polldaddy poll=3133050]

Communicate With Your Buyers Instantly! MHVillage Introduces “Buyer Chat.”

Though they may seem like realm of teenagers, online chat, instant messaging, and text messaging are quickly becoming powerful sales tools in the business world.  These technologies help build relationships between you and your customers, improve communication, and lead to more sales.  How?  Buyers love the low-barrier approach. Being able to quickly ask questions and get information on-the-go has become an important part of our lives.  Online chat, instant messaging and text messaging are here to stay.

Since MHVillage introduced Customer Service Chat in May 2009, we have talked online with thousands of MHVillage shoppers.  Sometimes they have basic questions like just needing a phone number or have a simple question about the site, other times their questions are far more complex. The only common denominator is that you can’t make any assumptions about who is going to want to chat.  We’ve talked from people from all areas of the country, all ages and all types – who are all interested in manufactured housing.

Starting today, you can chat with buyers on MHVillage.com — even if you are away from your computer!

These new tools are now in your MHVillage account.

With our new Buyer Chat feature, buyers can chat with home sellers and community owners via instant messaging on their computer or via text messaging on their mobile device.

While we know that some professionals would be excited to have a “I am interested in this home, when can I come out and see it?” text sent straight to their phone from a buyer, others aren’t ready for that yet.  That is why we have put you in complete control – these new tools are completely optional.  To use Instant Messaging Buyer Chat from your computer, log into your MHVillage account and choose “Sign into MHVillage Chat.”  That will open the Chat window.  Or to chat with buyers when you are away from your computer using your mobile device, simply log into your account and choose “Set up Mobile Text” and let us know when during the day you are available for chat.

Only then, when you are available to chat, will buyers see a friendly “Chat with Seller” button on your listings, communities, and dealerships.

Testing Chat:

Please note, while lots of people talk to themselves, you can’t Chat with yourself.  So, if you would like to see a live demonstration of how Chat can work, please let us know.  We will be happy to walk you through how to log in, set up your account and even do a test chat with you so you can see how it works.

In addition, we are looking for a few volunteers to help us test our mobile chat system.  So far, we have tested mobile chat for Verizon, T-Mobile, and Nextel users. We are looking for testers on other carriers, so let us know if you use a different provider and would like to help us out.

If you have any questions about chat or would like to test it out, give us a chat (www.mhvillage.com/chat.php) or send us at Customer Service an email.  We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

See You In Las Vegas!

Once again, MHVillage will be at the National Congress for Manufactured and Modular Housing in Las Vegas, NV, this April 13th – 15th.  If you are going to be attending this great event, stop by our booth and say hello!  Also, make sure you check out the class we’ll be giving on social networking:

Thursday, April 15
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Boost Home Sales with Social Networking
Did you know that Facebook is the 4th most visited website in the world, or that 75% of U.S. adults are active on social networking sites? Our site-built competitors have already discovered the power of social networking websites and tools to find more prospects and close more sales at substantially reduced costs.  Now you can too!  Find out how easy and inexpensive it is to develop a social networking strategy to increase occupancy rates and home sales for your community.  Speaker – Dan Rinzema, MHVillage/Datacomp

Make Social Networking Work for You!

Did you know that:

  • Facebook is now the fourth most visited website in the world. (TechCrunch 2009)
  • 75% of US on-line adults are active on-line social participators. (Forrester, 2008)
  • Users put great trust in their social networks. One-half of respondents said they considered information shared on their networks when making a decision. (eMarketer, October 2009)
  • 90% of buyers now start their home search process on the Internet. (NAR Nov. 2009)

If you are not using online social networking tools, I understand. They can seem confusing and complicated, but in today’s world, they are creating too many great sales opportunities to ignore.

Not that long ago there were only a few ways to contact potential home buyers – you could send out direct mail, have on location sales events, use very expensive classified or display newspaper ads, or even start cold calling and “dialing for dollars.” All are expensive and time consuming. The beauty of social networking is that it allows you to connect with potential customers easily, again and again, and at a very low cost.

Social networking is defined as any web service that “promotes interaction between people who share a common interest.” Examples include chat, instant messaging, email, video and photo sharing, blogging, electronic newsletters and so on. It allows people to share information electronically, (including sales promotions, open houses, recent listings, special offers and more) with prospects who are already interested.

Social networking is much less expensive and far more targeted than traditional marketing. For instance, what would you pay to be able to open the newspaper to your circled classified ad and put it right on the kitchen table of someone who you knew was already interested in buying a manufactured home? Using social networking sites and tools you can, and at almost no cost!

The key is to use social networking tools to link all your individual marketing campaigns into one large marketing net in order to capture as many prospects as possible from as many angles possible.

One example is to add a link on your company’s website inviting prospects to join your Facebook page. You do have a Facebook page, right? Then use the tools on MHVillage to quickly and easily post all of your listings to your Facebook and other social networking pages so that those prospects are regularly notified when new listings become available. By the way, the MHVillage Facebook page receives messages just about every day from prospects interested in manufactured homes. It really does work!

If you’re still using classified newspaper ads, make sure to add a link to your online home listings. Classified ads are expensive, but at least they can send prospects to your full page MHVillage listing, which includes much greater detail and all your color photos. Once at MHVillage, your prospect can then easily view and track your listing with our new Social Networking tool called “Watch This”.

“Watch This” allows buyers to track and follow homes on MHVillage with just one click by becoming “Fans” of your listings (or your community or company). We’ll automatically notify your “Fans” of any changes to your listings such as new photos, open houses, or price reductions, and you can send emails directly to your fans as well – all at no cost.

Another great example of creating a marketing net is a community manager who holds a weekend sales event with open houses on five homes in his community. He does all the traditional open house signs and takes out ads in his local paper. However, in his ads he goes one step further and includes the MHVillage listing numbers of his homes so that prospects can easily view the additional color photos and detailed descriptions of his homes and his community. In addition, two weeks before the event he posts the event and the listings to his Facebook page, and he places MHVillage Open House notifications on his listings, so they display at the very top of web search results. This also triggers MHVillage to instantly notify all of his “Fans” of the big event. He even follows up by sending a reminder email to those Fans the day before the open house.

The results are outstanding. A record number of prospects show up on-site. Not only locals, but several families from well over 100 miles away who are planning to relocate to the area and already searching on the internet. Three of the five homes are actually sold that weekend, and he’s personally met five additional qualified prospects. Coordinating all the marketing activities and tying them together with the Social Networking tools was the key to success.

Our prospects are using the Internet and they’re using their Social Networks to shop for homes. Our competitors in the site-built world have adapted and have a large head start on us. Social Networking tools are effective at increasing sales and are available at costs far less than traditional print advertising. Ignore them at your own risk.