There are some retail and community locations that are a true ‘one-man band,’ where manufactured home sales (and/or leases) are performed by a single person, and everything else is contacted out.
Then there are the more common locations where a team of professionals are at work.
Both types of locations – single person, or a multi-person team – have a need for objective assessments; otherwise known as performance evaluations.
One of the most common complaints heard from sales professionals in our industry nationally is this. “We need more good leads.”
The emphasis is on the word, “good.” It’s one way of saying, ‘yeah, we get internet leads, call-ins and walk-ins all right. But there are not enough good prospects.’
When you dig deeper, probing those statements with questions, one discovers that the sales professional:
- may not be doing a great job on following up on most leads,
- may not be doing a great job on qualifying those leads that he or she gets,
- may be spending a lot of time (often, most time on the job) doing non-productive activities with respect to sales – meaning time wasters that fail to develop more sales,
- CRM is not present, or is used hit-and-miss,
- that the professional’s candid definition for “a good lead” amounts to someone that walks in the door, and is begging to be written up, and just happens to have good credit and the down payment or cash,
and the list could go on.
There are many elements to having a successful sales professional. Periodic evaluations are an important tool to making sure that the standards that your firm has are being met.
Beginning with having the proper motivation and attitude, are questions that an owner, executive, or manager must answer about every team, and each location. These must be ‘the cold, hard, sometimes brutal facts,’ not a white wash or a feel good.
There are numerous evaluation systems and services (including those services performed by our own factory-built home industry’s services firm).
If you are in do-it-yourself mode, begin with this.
1) Look at your market. See how what population base you have within your targeted trade area.
2) How good a job are you/your team doing at generating leads from qualified housing seekers?
3) Do you/your team have the ability or a system to take a housing shopper, who may not yet be considering a manufactured home (MH), and create interest in the MH product?
4) Are you depending on luck, or do you have a plan that is being measured, analyzed and truly adhered to, including performance evaluations?
An ongoing problem in the factory-built home industry at large is that expectations are often too low. Those expectations are based upon How many leads or walk-ins occur, rather than setting a higher standard that asks – how do we get more of the residential housing market to consider doing business with us, here?
Numerous industry pros agree that 500,000 or more new home sales a year are possible. Accepting that premise, if the industry finished 2017 with 92,000 (+/-) new home sales, that means that the average sales location could grow by over 500 percent.
What Zillow and other third-party research reveals is that only a tiny fraction of those looking for housing even consider a manufactured home.
A Look at Today’s Home Buyer, Analyzing Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
” For more than a decade, Zillow® has been helping millions of Americans do their homework.” With those words, begins Zillow Group’s Forward to their “CONSUMER HOUSING TRENDS REPORT 2016.” Perhaps unwittingly, many of the facts Zillow’s interesting and in-depth housing report on consumer desires brings forth, indirectly point to reasons why manufactured housing could be growing at an ever-faster rate than the double-digit growth it is already enjoying .
What MHVillage statistics reveal is that only a tiny fraction of those who consider a manufactured home are buying.
Then, what an honest evaluation of many locations reveals is that there is a:
- lack of standards,
- discipline, and
- in short – systems that routinely result in sales to customers who end up very satisfied and will refer other customers.
Opportunities in Disguise
All of the above are wake-up calls.
All of these are problems that are actually opportunities in disguise.
A recent caller asked about opening a new location. After a few minutes of discussion, it was easily determined that their current location was far from being as productive as it could be. Why not save a bundle, and improve your current performance? Once the current location is humming, then and only then consider adding an additional office/sales center.
- model homes,
- if you are a community or development – the curb appeal,
- other marketing efforts,
- and most important of all – your people and yourself – are all among the what needs to be evaluated routinely and their performance needs to be assessed.
You can only manage what you measure.
If you aren’t objectively assessing all of the above, including your people, the odds are excellent that you’re missing out on dozens of possible sold customers monthly in a typical market area.
It is almost certain, based upon national numbers and experience, that your location could increase sales by several hundred percent in a profitable, sustainable fashion. Again, if the industry could do 500,000 vs. 92k annually, that implies growth potential that is over 5x the current level.
When you realize that over 8 million new housing units are needed nationally, that means that dozens to thousands of new housing units are needed in the market area.
Those who are exceeding the industry’s average growth rate are doing exactly that – they’re taking a new look with fresh eyes at what’s possible.
Have the wisdom and courage to take that new look at what’s wrong and what right, and then allow the facts to guide you into making the needed adjustments that better allows you to meet those housing needs in your market(s).
Do the Math
You do the math on what X number of more home sales monthly can mean for your bottom line.
When you realize what is being lost, it often becomes easy to justify the investment in having a third party evaluate, and then coach, recruit and train as needed. To learn more, click here. ## (Business and professional development, marketing, sales, and management.)
NOTICE: for professional business development, training, coaching and other consulting services tailored for manufactured home retailers, communities, investors, producers…click here.
(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.