One of the things my husband Tony and I like doing together is merchandising – staging – a home. That’s fun, not a pitch – because there are plenty of pros in MH decorating that you should call before us.
But let’s tell a quick story from this woman’s viewpoint, that can help you sell more manufactured and modular homes.
Some 90 percent of the public, per third party research and sources, that can’t imagine what an empty home looks like furnished.
That’s why good staging – merchandising – is important.
Like millions of other women in America, I love shopping. Online or in stores, shopping is a pleasure.
But observing what retail store merchandisers do can be – for the observant and motivated manufactured housing professional – a routine source of useful inspiration and information. That’s especially true for those who wants to sell more homes.
I’ve not been to nearly the number of states and locations as Tony has for business. But in a variety of locations, we’ve both seen more homes in various stages of merchandising than the vast majority of Americans. Tony occasionally reminds me that over the years, he’s been to 47 states. Plus, he’s toured manufactured home locations in Canada too. He says the Canadian manufactured and modular homes are impressive. The point is he’s been to locations from coast to coast, border to border, and beyond.
Anyone who’s work takes them to multiple communities or retail centers knows this. There are some locales – pardon me – that look like the a page out of the Grapes of Wrath. They may or might not be a step above the look of the Salvation Army stores in merchandising. Not knocking it, because every kind of retail outlet has an audience, or it wouldn’t be in business.
So it is what it is.
But there’s also MHVille retailers and communities that are merchandising like you might see at retail stores such as Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Macy’s. Even Kohl’s or Belk has a different, classier look than Burlington Coat Factory does. Again, not knocking less expensive stores, but that’s all to help you visualize and grasp the following point.
Tony snapped some pics while our family was shopping Saturday. The merchandising sets a tone in a store. The store’s merchandising – and pricing – also tends to attract a certain type of clientele.
In the emerging Trump economy, malls and retailers in several markets are making a comeback.
Sears/Kmart may still be in trouble, but other retail-connected sales and stocks are rising. Even Amazon is putting kiosks in malls now. With the change in sales tax online, and more money for businesses to invest due to tax cuts, its common sense to expect some level of bump in retail, at least for a time.
Now, apply those lessons to MH retail and communities. For those who have the budget and can afford to make the investment, good merchandising – good decorating and displays – pays off.
If you don’t have a budget for staging, at a minimum, you should make sure that your model homes and the sales display surrounding your models are neat and clean.
A properly staged home, combined with the right sales and marketing, will routinely sell faster and for more money. That’s why so many factories invest in décor for a manufactured home trade show.
If you take an entry level, mid-range or upscale home – and all other things being equal – the well-staged home sells faster and for more than an empty or poorly staged one.
This Labor Day or later on, as you shop, ask yourself honestly this question. What does your MH merchandising say and attract? What does your MH marketing or sales methods say and attract?
Sunshine Homes is an example of good merchandising and staging. In the video below, you’ll see a blend of interviewing, but also brief clips of staged homes, or homes being built.
That’s a powerful mix for attracting and selling well qualified customers.
To get more turns every year at retail, the right combination of training, motivation, marketing, merchandising, sales, and follow though pays rich dividends. Want to learn more? Click this link here. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
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