An independent manufactured home retailer has made mainstream news with a media outlet that is part of the USA Today family of media brands. For whatever reasons, that retailer only sells new homes built by members of the independent producer’s trade group, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).
According to an article in the Naples Daily News, part of the USA Today family of newspapers, Estero, FL based LeeCorp Homes was recently named as the top retailer of manufactured homes in Florida.
Rephrased, that claim means that they are outselling Clayton Homes in Florida, or any other retailer in that state.
“Our company has played an integral role in shaping the landscape of quality, custom-designed manufactured housing in Southwest Florida over 35 years,” said Chris Lee, president of LeeCorp Homes, “The key to our success lies in our ability to oversee every aspect of the homebuilding process, from customized design to permitting to installation and final move-in.”
Florida has been the #3 seller of manufactured housing in recent years. LeeCorp Homes sells new HUD Code manufactured homes built by Jacobsen Homes and ScotBilt Homes. Both of those producers are members of MHARR, according to federal and other sources.
Rephrased, based on the report, the accomplishment by LeeCorp Homes is quite impressive. Why? Because there are vertically integrated operations in the same state – including Clayton Homes – that LeeCorp Homes is outselling.
Independent retailers of manufactured homes, take heart.
According to their website and the Naples Daily News, “LCH Enterprises of Southwest Florida, LeeCorp’s construction and engineering sister company, was created in 2005 to implement turn-key packages including installation and completion of each new home. The company expanded its operation to include a second sales center in North Port to serve customers in the Port Charlotte, North Port, Venice, Englewood, Nokomis, Osprey and various areas.”
On this date, the firm enjoys a BBB rating of A+
Interesting MH Industry Takeaways?
It should be noted that LeeCorp Homes has used advertorials, besides other marketing methods.
“As with many forms of marketing, there are arguably good, bad, or mediocre uses for advertorials,” said manufactured home industry consultant and MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “Our critiques of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) uses of advertorials is NOT about the generic use of that medium of marketing. Rather, we’ve objected to what is arguably misinformation or problematic statements or claims that MHI has made using StatePoint or other advertorials. There are times we’ve used factually accurate advertorials that rocked for specific clients.”
What Tony Kovach is explaining is that advertorials are only as good as the content that goes in them. His critiques of MHI advertorials are many, including the obvious point that despite their claims, they clearly haven’t moved the needle on new manufactured home shipments nationally.
“That said,” Tony Kovach elaborated, “often the best option – when possible – is getting authentic news coverage, rather than advertorials. For that matter, our MHLivingNews platform has proven valuable for specific clients. But on MHLivingNews, we do authentic interviews, not scripted or staged videos. The public can often discern the difference between what’s real and what’s faked.”
Customers interviewed on MHLivingNews are not paid to participate, they do so because they want to share their experiences with manufactured homes, the community that they live in, and those that sold them there home. On one occasion, a meal and fuel cost was offered, in order to get a group of customers to participate in a focus group. But there was not real monetary compensation made with that landmark focus group.
Tony Kovach is the co-founder of MHProNews, which rapidly became the most read trade media in all of manufactured housing. He also co-founded MHLivingNews, which is the arguably the #1 educational resource for consumers and others who are interested in learning more facts about manufactured home living. He’s been cited by mainstream media on numerous occasions over the years as an industry expert, including being noted in the first footnote of the 2018 research by the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR) 2018 report on manufactured homes.
“We’ve often been able to get our clients mainstream media coverage in authentic ways,” Tony Kovach said. “We do that in part by framing a topic in a manner that strikes a mainstream news source as relevant to their audience. But if that doesn’t work, advertorials and numerous other options are certainly a viable alternative.”
Consistency and Third Party Authenticated
“Another key to credibility in marketing is consistency. Sadly, MHI has published paid-for information via press releases and/or advertorials that have purportedly proven to contradict their own previously stated claims,” Tony Kovach explained. “We make a point of referencing a third-party information as often as possible. That too ads to credibility. Furthermore, unlike some bloggers or publishers in our industry’s trade media, that seem to have no problem making periodic claims without evidence. Or as bad, using information or phrases as their own that actually originally came from another source they’ve seen, heard, or read.”
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The Bottom Line About this Florida Based Firm?
LeeCorp Homes ought to feel good and is hereby applauded for accomplishing the results stated in the Naples Daily News, and for their fine BBB rating.
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