The MH Industry’s ongoing need for an integrated approach to marketing, sales and PEP was on full display during the NY Housing Association’s annual meeting. As is common in association functions, legal and legislative updates, business meetings and event sponsors were on the agenda. New homes were available for members and the pubic to tour. Breakfast, lunch, reception, dinner and awards provided lots of opportunities for networking among members and guests. Nancy Geer and company did a fine job, as they so routinely do.
Yours truly was featured for the marketing and sales speaker.
Associations routinely attract the best, plus those who seek to improve their performance. That makes for a good audience for someone like me.
As a related report dramatically demonstrated, part of my presentation to the members anticipated the practical challenges that can arise from public officials.
Challenges to the industry’s image – which impacts your sales results – can also come from the media, academia or other sources.
The higher volume MH decades are a reminder
of what is possible today. When other operations of your size successfully
do what we do, teach and preach, that means you can too.
Graphic credit, Ross Kinzler, WHA.
The facts from my power point shared at the New York Housing Alliance’s meeting are all proof of the amazing potential for our product. But that potential will not fall into your lap! Like silver or gold, it must be mined. But mining this can be easier and more profitable than a silver or gold mine, because everyone needs a quality place to live.
Marketing does not take place in a vacuum. What makes MH different than almost any product of service you can name, is how widely misunderstood it is.
Let’s rephrase that point to underscore it. With a car, boat, RV, cell, clothing, house or apartment, you have broad acceptance.
By contrast, the MH marketer’s job is complicated by the lack of a positive, broad acceptance by the public.
We have a great value, but most people are stuck in 30-50 year old stereotypes or believe things that may have once been true, but are not true of MH today.
Challenges are Opportunity in Disguise
Thus there is a crying need for an MH trade media that provides a healthy, proper respect for MH Homeowners, experts and professionals who know the product best, and who can say why they love their homes or the MH product.
When public officials have a better sense of how and why so many MH owners love their homes, that’s good for those owners, local MH businesses as well as the broader industry.
When public officials begin to grasp that the affordable housing crisis can be solved via the proper understanding of unsubsidized MH, they are more likely to get out of the way, and let MH pros do their jobs properly.
Graphic above from Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
The Public Official’s Vantage Point
Think about this fact. Officials are most often contacted by those who have a complaint. Human nature says that over time, that can tend to skew for an official the reality of how MH serves millions of people so very well.
But the reality is millions of MH owners love their homes. The report we published, linked here, shows how few complaints there are today on HUD Code homes, in a perfect world, that should be the headline!
A similar negative bias can happen with the media.
“If it bleeds, it leads.” Reporters tend to
report bad news. Graphic credit – LifeAsAHuman.
For example, when the only stories a reporter tends to cover are the old pre-HUD code mobile homes that burn down, you as media might be shocked that today’s manufactured homes (MH) are proven safer against fires than a site built house is.
Education and promotion of the new realities must become a standard part of all that you as an MH pro should do.
When you are part of the promotion and education, you’ll sell more homes too.
Fix the Image though Education, Or Fight More Battles
The industry has only a Hobson’s choice; to fight those stigmas and outdated tales with the truth or face ever more regulatory and media hurdles.
What better way to tell that story than via videos with those who know the homes, because they live in one?
Or what better way can you start to change the image with public officials than by showing an interview with an independent house inspector who has inspected thousands of houses, and hundreds of HUD Code MH, and then says that MH is consistently better built than a conventional house is?
Or why not showcase an interview with the top public official who was in charge of the HUD Code home program, extolling the virtues and value of MH!
Third Part Validation
Anyone in sales knows the value of good referrals and positive third party messages. That’s one reason why social media is so popular.
It is also why businesses loves to get positive media coverage.
What our operation has done is establish a new foundation for businesses – and thus the industry’s – rebirth. Our work doesn’t take place in a vacuum either. Good association efforts are ideally a book end and complement to what good trade media does. Associations play a key role, which our work in turn supports through compelling truth telling.
In a perfect world, good trade associations support the trade media, and the trade media showcases the important work that associations are doing.
Automotive, RV, tech or other trade media begins with an often unstated but implied premise that the product or service they are covering has value! It’s not a secret, it’s a given. Journalists understand that and it is not an issue.
Precisely because trade media is independent of other firms or associations, media will look at them in that light. Thus trade media can influence the conversation as media.
What has been widely lacking for MH prior to MHLivingNews/MHProNews, is a strong combination of pro-Industry trade media, as well as pro-consumer coverage that highlights all that is good about MH. We cover bad news too, but we also cover the positive stories that public officals, the media and the general public need to see and hear.
With the complete package of supportive trade media, plus professional marketing and sales training, you can end up with SuperCharged results for your bottom line.
Stop and Think…
People tend to begin the buying process with a mix of interest and skepticism. They want the result, but may not yet be sure of the specific home or firm that they want to do business with. Or they may be curious about MH, but are not yet ‘sold.’
What our marketing and sales training does is create a supportive backdrop to everything else that you as a community operator or retailer, builder, etc. do.
Once a perspective likes you, your location, home, etc. and have an interest, if they search for news on Manufactured Home Living, our website pops up as a support to all else that you do.
That can and already does routinely make a difference with a consumer on the fence.
It can also make a difference with public officials and other media. When news outlets such as Reuters picks up a positive story about MH from MHLivingNews – that carries weight.
What you and all industry pros need is to work with us to scale that kind of positive outcome!
The more people who discover MHLivingNews.com, the more homes there will be sold. That’s good for the buyer, the industry and public officials.
That’s good for pros like you.
So when you need:
- A website,
- Sales recruiting,
- Sales Training,
- Consulting, etc…
…who are you going to call?
Why not call the only operation in all of manufactured housing that provides you with the background and foreground support that you and everyone in MH needs!
That’s what we do, day by day, making it better for you to be in this great MH industry. We are better off working together.
Associations, you and us are all better off when we’re working together, it’s good for the consumer, the industry and you. That’s the facts! We’re sticking with it. ##