Welcome – The Masthead February 2010

February 12th, 2010 No comments

The INdustry has been waiting for it!

The time is NOW!

1. We lead off this month with our Red Carpet Introduction and Invitation to the Virtual Louisville Housing Show©! Details will be found at the links below.

2. Our second and final set of TRENDS 2010 Surveys are also available this month. See what these INdustry voices have to say about their views on the Industry today and looking ahead.

3. You asked for it! You’ve got it. We will call your attention to the following items:

Corporate Press Releases. New Products, Company news, PR type information as opposed to a feature article. New and Exclusively yours from www.MHMSM.com

Virtual Louisville Housing Show i

Ready for the future of Manufactured Housing Wholesale and Retail Marketing? Read web guru Bob Stovall’s: Virtual Louisville Housing Show – the Future is Now!

Virtual Louisville Housing Show ii

For those who want more details like: Who, What, When, Where and Why read Tony Kovach’s Virtual Louisville Housing Show – Truth, Technology, Trumpets, Timing and The Turn-around!

Sales Management

Tim Connor returns with eye opening common sense look at a key to boosting your bottom line: Ever computed what your lost sales are costing you?

Lead Management

Chad Carr joins us for the first of a series on the critical value of a prospect lead management with his: Best Practice – Prospect Management

Amy Bliss of Wisconsin Housing Alliance fame brings us this delightful must read look at Fundraising and “Friend Raising” Benefits – Industry FUNd Raising and Image Building

Management: Rewards and Results

See why dozens of industry firms and associations call on famed author and speaker Tim Connor, who will show you the roadmap with You Get The Behavior You Reward.

Industry: Growing Or Shrinking?

Jerry Bennett signs in with a challenging topic, with his article Resurrection or Demise of Manufactured Housing– it’s up to us.

Motivational

America’s Motivator, Zig Ziglar joins MHMSM.com for the first of a series with: Zig On… Pa-ZIG-ative Thinking

Sales Support

Heather Vela returns this month with a column that addresses an issue we’ve all encountered: The Front Desk and You: Proper Etiquette and Providing Sales Support

Process Analysis and Design

Shawn Mullins provides us with an engineer’s perspective on problem solving for the INdustry with his thought provoking contribution: Operational Benefits of Process Analysis and Design: It’s Not Just for Engineering Types

Sales Keys

Popular Rachael Biermann shares her perennial insights with: It starts with the sales staff 6 traits every salesperson should possess

Merchandising Magic

Everyone’s favorite Lifestylist, Suzanne Felber, tells us why “I only decorate those homes that I want to sell.”

The ABCs of Fair Housing

Esquire, Nadeen Green, will dazzle you with her rhythms and rhymes with her: FAIR HOUSING IS AS EASY AS ABC, LET’S DO IT WITH SOME POETRY! Part One (A – M)

Our Designer says it is Pop Quiz Time

Think you know Manufactured Housing well? Industry design pro Kent Sticher will keep you guessing with Riddle Me This…

Maximized Marketing ROI

Doug Chasick returns this month with the technological solution for great ROI with his article: Getting the Best Marketing Results… Build Your Cash Flow and Increase the Value of Your Business

Learning To Lead

Internships and Volunteers! Love the MH INdustry or Want to Learn and Lead? by the MHMSM.com team

Social Networking for Professionals

Come see why some 80% of employers are doing it: LinkedIn and the Manufactured Housing Industry: True Confessions! by L. A. “Tony” Kovach, MHM.

Sprucing Up your Image

Industry veteran and guru Don Westphal starts the first of a series of columns on Upgrading your Image… Getting Started.

Teaming Up For More Sales

Susan Frost returns with her latest insights on navigating towards more closed sales with: Can the “Factory Built Industry” help homebuyers and real estate business professionals during an economic decline?

Selling Success

Giving your Best is what its all about for returning Mike DuPure with his Quality of the Sale

Share Your Coffee Break Time

The things you always wanted to know about how Internet Gurus grow up and end up in manufactured housing revealed… A Cup of Coffee with… Bob Stovall

The Intersection where Marketing Meets Sales

Marketer L. A. “Tony” Kovach share this guidance on: GPS This Navigational trio yields Manufactured Housing Marketing Magic.

TRENDS 2010

Eddie Hicks

Beth Monicatti Blank

Deb Leonard

Tim Siahatgar

Shawn Mullins

Greg McClanahan

Tony Kovach

Karen Blake

Tim Saville

And more…

21 more TRENDS 2010 Survey results at this link.

— The Blog You Say! —

Finally, don’t forget our Red HOT BLOGS! Weekly updates bring Thousands of Industry pros – who can’t be wrong for coming! Tim Connor, Bob Stovall and Tony Kovach will dazzle and delight you weekly… sometimes, even more often! Our Industry Voices blog features industry leaders on issues important to al of us. So check in often.

Okay, one more request. As you read an article that you like, don’t hesitate to show your appreciation to the author by posting feedback under their article or blog post, or emailing in your thoughts to latonyk@gmail.com You can click on the bubble to comment.

BONUS! If you register and log in, you’ll get notified of all comments after yours.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


Virtual Louisville Housing Show

February 7th, 2010 8 comments

The name practically says it all.  Take the best of the past. Unite that with today’s technology and marketing.  Offer every segment of manufactured housing a well deserved boost towards a brighter future! Announcing the Virtual Louisville Housing Show ©!

Kentucky Expo Center In Louisville, previous home to the venerable Louisville Manufactured Housing show. The new Virtual Louisville Housing Show © will create better results for less and with greater ease for all.

The Virtual Louisville Housing Show © will be a new vehicle used to create a sustainable business model for wholesale and  retail manufactured housing sales.  Financial, insurance, suppliers, support and all other segments of manufactured housing are invited to ‘exhibit!’  All industry members are invited to attend – and unlike the past – today’s technology can literally make that possible. Modular and pre-fab home building are naturally welcome too for…THE Factory Built Housing HOME Show!”

Associations, marketing firms and others with INdustry INtersts will be provided robust opportunities to participate.  Here comes YOUR Red Carpet treatment!

www.MHMSM.com presents Your Red Carpet to Royal Manufactured Housing Sales in 2010

www.MHMSM.com presents Your Red Carpet to royal Manufactured Housing Sales in 2010

More information will be found in the new February 2010 issue of www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com coming online later this week.  For now we will say:

  • More customers for all segments of the INdustry, wholesale and retail
  • Dramatically lower costs,
  • Higher ROI,
  • Regionalized INdustry image building,
  • Exhibiting,
  • Social,
  • Educational, inspirational and other presentations,
  • Fun
  • Time savings
  • Speaking opportunities
  • and More!

The time for the INdustry Turnaround is NOW.

You are reading about it here first and exclusively.  The  Manufactured Housing INdustry’s road ahead for the 2010 Turn-around will include the Virtual Louisville Housing Show ©.

Projected Rising Sales Curve for Manufactured Housing in 2010

Projected Rising Sales Curve for Manufactured Housing in 2010

For more info on the Virtual Louisville Housing Show©, see the MHMSM Home Page

Stay tuned and be a part of this bright future!##

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


You are not Alone

February 1st, 2010 No comments

When you are here, you are not alone.

Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management.com or www.MHMSM.com

You are Not Alone! Fly farther, faster and higher with www.MHMSM.com

Whether this is your 1st visit here or your 31st, you are not alone.

Whether you are a one person operation, mid sized organization or part of one of the largest firms in the factory built housing Industry, you are not alone.

Whether you are an owner, executive, association leader, manager, sales, staffer or support; when you are here, you are not alone.

Others like you are here too: writing, reading, commenting, learning and positioning themselves for a brighter future! Seeking to enhance your PR, biz to biz marketing within the industry? You are not alone.

So no matter whom you are or what you do with or for the Industry, when you are here you are not alone! Before you finish this blog post, you are going to see one or more reasons why you should come here often and why you should invite and bring your associates along for this encouraging ride too.

MHMarketingSalesManagement.com logo

Original goal = 10,000

This website was launched some 105 days ago. When we unveiled the Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal in mid-October 2009, we had a short term goal. We wanted to attract enough visitors to attain 10,000 page views (PV) in a month and we hoped we could achieve that goal sometime in the first quarter of 2010. If, IF we were really, really successful at attracting Industry Professional’s interest – we wanted to achieve that 10,000 PV goal by February 2010.

Instead…

November 2009 Urchin Report www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com

November 2009 Urchin Report www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com

(see footnote 1)

…as the chart above demonstrates, we blew past that goal in November 2009, our first full month of operation, because you are not alone!

Some said, our traffic would go down in December…after all, it was ‘the holiday season’ and people would be too busy with Christmas parties, gift buying, travel plans, plus all their work and other worries to logon to and read a new Industry trade magazine. Well those who said that were wrong…

Urchin Report December 2009 on Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management.com Magazine

Urchin Report December 2009 on Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management.com Magazine

…because here, you are Not Alone!

In December 2009, as the chart above shows, we exceeded 30,000 PV! We grew almost 150% during the busy holiday season. Why? Thanks to our writers, thanks to our readers, thanks to new names, faces and new ideas to move the industry ahead, thanks to those who forward our emails…because here at www.MHMSM.com, you are not alone!

Almost giddy with the excitement of such a positive response from Industry Professionals like you, we set a new goal: to attain 50,000 page views by April 2010. After all, how could we keep up with nearly a 50% growth rate pace? Well, you proved US wrong, because…

January 2010 Urchin Report Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management

January 2010 Urchin Report Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management

You are not alone!

187.2% Growth

Let’s put this in context: How would YOU like to have 149.56% growth and then follow it up with 187.2% growth?! If you were a factory, how would you like to go from building 30 units in December 2009, to 55 before January 2010 was even done? Sure – you’d want to do more, but you’d be MOTIVATED by the growth.

Industry leaders, managers to rank and file are logging on and letting us know that they like what they get with www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com – or www.MHMSM.com for short. If you are new here, take 10 and tour our feature articles, our robust Industry News, the Photo Gallery and much, much more.

Online, people vote with their browsers, and Industry member browsers have helped make us the largest Industry Trade Journal less than 4 months after we’ve launched!

You’ll see below reasons why this IS – or can be – Important to YOU and YOUR organization.

The Hits Just keep on Coming…

So we are clear with those less web savvy, sometimes you hear about a ‘hit count’ on a website – a hit count can be a misleading figure, because a single page view often yields multiple hits on that one page view. In other words, we don’t use hits as a measure of traffic because hits ‘inflate’ the numbers. For an example, the hit count from January 1 to January 30 at 9:30 PM was 358,885 while the page views (shown above) for the same period was 55,160. See the chart below compared to the one above.

January 2010 Hit chart - from Urchin Report - Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management Magazine

January 2010 Hit chart - from Urchin Report - Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management Magazine

FYI – we also know that we’ve had a growing number of ‘unique visitors’ a week, so that each visitor sees an average of about 4.5 pages per visit before logging off. In the most recent week, we are averaging over 3,500 unique visitors per week, that’s over 15,000 monthly and growing. So we not only have the most content – we are far and away the largest INdustry trade journal – we also have more traffic from INdustry pros too…and are growing rapidly! Now all the factory built housing Industry trade journals – us included – could potentially reach thousands more than what we already do. There are those who still don’t know us, so this is just the start, but as the charts reveal, it is a FAST start with solid results!

Okay, impressive! But what does this mean for me and my enterprise?

Glad you asked…

We are going to address later items like retail lead generation for our registered users and other advances that www.MHMSM.com will provide exclusively to our readers/users.

But initially, we will take a few moments to explain in some detail why this rapid growth is important and potentially very good for you. There are many reasons, some or all may apply to you. Those that don’t apply to your may still apply to a friend or colleague of yours, so let’s start with an analogy.

If you are hungry, want to go out to eat and are looking for a good restaurant, one ‘clue’ that it is ‘good’ can be word of mouth. But another one is a simple test…is it busy? If the restaurant is open and is busy, that’s usually a pretty good clue that the food and service are good, or people wouldn’t be there in great numbers!

Similarly, if you are hungry for news and views, if you are hungry and looking for new ideas, proven concepts by successful pros, industry news reports, a way to get your message out to others in the industry – do you want to go where things are dead or dying, or where things are BUSY, and growing BUSIER!

INdustry News and Views You can Use
24/7/365

Don’t be an Industry outsider – be an INdustry INsider!

Here, YOU are Not Alone!

In the INternet age, people vote with their web browsers. Some experts say people who surf into a website decide in an average of 7 seconds if they’ll surf it or move on. Imagine, just 7 seconds to make a good impression, or you’ve blown it! So when people come by the THOUSANDs every week to www.MHMSM.com – Industry Pros like YOU – it means there is something worth coming for here…

    • MH Industry News – the most you’ll find anywhere, and it is updated daily 24/7/365.
    • National Associations News & Events – MHI and MHARR, updated shortly after they send it out, you’ll see it live on our website.
    • State Association News and Events. A growing number of states are sharing their news with your biggest and best source for Industry News, www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com or www.MHMSM.com for short. All states – all North American Industry Factory Built Housing Associations! – are invited. If your state isn’t shown – yet – please contact/remind them and ask them to send their news and events here to reach that wider audience. It is a fine way to let non-association members see the value of the meetings, training and education a good association offers! In other words, use www.MHMSM.com as your free Association-friendly marketing tool.
    • MH Finance and Housing Industry News.

‘Do it Yourselfer’ vs. ‘Hiring it Done’

Some of us are do-it-yourselfers. Give a do-it-yourselfer a ‘how to’ book or article, and they are off to the races to see if they can make it happen on their own.

Others want to hire a job done by someone that’s done it before – they have the resources and are willing to invest them to accelerate their growth process and/or to provide coaching for their team. At www.MHMSM.com, you’ll have the opportunity to hire many of the pros you are reading tips and ideas from, or you can take the do-it-yourself route. Either way, you and your associates are the winner.

Positive Team Input vs. Negative Team Input

It is a proven fact that people are surfing the web at work. Studies have suggested, for example, that people search online more for a new place to live during their work hours than during their off duty time. Be it during a coffee break, lunch break down time – or whatever time – you and your people are doing many things online from your office. Why not encourage your team to surf and read www.MHMSM.com articles or blog posts? If you read Tim Connor, Bob Stovall, Greg McClanahan, Zig Ziglar (Zig is joining our ranks for writers – starting in February!) Sue Frost, Tim Saville, Mike DuPure Suzanne Felber, Dave Reynolds, Beth Monicatti Blank, Rachael Biermann or any of our regular or periodic writers, you’ll see diversity of topics, but one very common thread… a ‘can do,’ positive, solution orientation! Positive in, positive out! That’s a whole lot better than GIGO – garbage in and garbage out.

Free Training, Motivation and Discussion Starters

Okay. You can formulate your policies about internet use. But how about attracting those team members to an INdustry website that teaches or reinforces sound basics, and/or shares with them new skills, and has a positive INdustry goal orientation! It is common sense that you want your team members surfing a site like this, and that is why some owners and managers have emailed us saying:

  • ‘I forward your messages out to our entire team’ or
  • • ‘I print your articles, copy and pass them out to our office to read and discuss.’

Those are good ideas from our readers.

Why not use articles or blog posts as periodic meeting tools, and discussion starters! Encourage your team to read in advance, letting them know there will be a discussion. Over time, they’ll get ‘hooked’ on this themselves. Who is the winner? They are, for getting stronger in their jobs. Your company is, for having team members who are reading so they will be leading in their area and market!

Who is the winner? Everyone involved! “You are not Alone!”

The only ‘losers’ are those who don’t plug in and logon. They can fix that too, and it is free.

Writers, Advertisers, Sponsors and Marketers

Do you have a message or an idea that you want to share with the Industry at large, or with segments of the Industry? What is the faster, more powerful medium – print or online? We want to present this idea with some caution…because we have tremendous respect for the remaining print journals in our Industry. The two print leaders have been around for 30 or 40+ years. We believe they deserve your support!

At the same time, there is the old saying about:

“Don’t Put ALL your eggs into one basket.”

Print has certain fundamental limitations that the Internet doesn’t have. www.MHMSM.com has more than double the content then the largest industry print publication. There are reasons why newspapers and magazines have ‘gone digital’ over the years, even if they may not have quite figured out how to make both print and digital work together profitably. If you need facts, we’ll provide some below and then finish up with a roaring bang!

The chart above – courtesy of the Pew Center for People & the Press – tells us what we already know: more people get their news online than from print media. Many once powerful print media publications are in bankruptcy, and some will doubtlessly fail and cease to exist. In a phrase, print media is dying. In an even more recent study, in December of 2009, according to techcrunch.com

But Yahoo has been in the news business since 1996, Google since December 2008. So Google has roared ahead FAST. The moral of the story, or the message is that focused online publications and news sources can rapidly grab center stage. That is what has happened at www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com

In the Manufactured Housing Industry, Modern Homes and the Manufactured Home Merchandiser Magazines have sadly fallen by the wayside, along with a smaller industry publisher. Digital media is the wave of the future, so are you still placing all or the bulk of your industry professional focused advertising, PR and such with print media?

The solution?

It just make sense to go with the largest and fastest growing INdustry publication www.MHMSM.com If you want to write, advertise, promote a discussion or event, bring it here AND to your other outlets. You’ll find a warm reception here and if you need ideas on how to get your message out, you can’t come to a better place within the INdustry. Here YOU are Not Alone!

For advertisers and marketers, you’ll find many advantages here, lower rates (by a country mile) and much higher click through rates than even very tech savvy performers than Yahoo-the Chicago SunTimes Newsgroups offers! If you want to advertise or market, please contact one of our Zone Marketing Managers for more details, or go to our advertising page. If you want to write an article, please submit your articles via email to me at latonyk@gmail.com

  • Growth Strategies
  • Business Building Tools and Resources
  • “How To”
  • Training
  • Motivation
  • News & Views
  • Instant Feedback available from Industry professionals via posted comments.
  • Image building via Publication and/or via our Contests (photo gallery submissions, writing, etc.): Ever walk into a restaurant or store and seen an article about them posted? Ever seen an award framed? What does this do for that business? Create interest and add to their credibility! In some world, ‘publish or perish’ is the rule. Yes, being published or winning an award can over time yield business for you too!

Tools to boost your Retail Business.

Through the “How To” articles and resources already available here, readers can begin the process of using success strategies that have proven their worth ‘in the trenches’ of the INdustry. Those are here now, one big reason, You are Not Alone!

In the coming weeks, we will roll out a pair of NEW programs – NEW Initiatives! – that will have the power to increase sales for registered users. Yes, BOTTOM LINE PROFITS or added REVENUE for YOUR business or organization! These will be available only to registered users. Registration here is free. A real common sense reason why, you are not alone…

Frankly, the faster our growth, the sooner we can roll those programs out. We already share a sincere ‘thank you’ to all who are passing along our web address, printing out articles, forwarding our emails to others. But if we have more growth – faster – you’ll see strategies that we know can sell more new homes and other products, thus boosting
the sale of everything that goes along with home sales and services!

We will provide a new vehicle, a new set of resources – exclusively to those who are signed up – that will enhance our Industry’s Image with the home buying public. It will generate retail leads. You don’t want to open your doors to a quiet office; you want to have that busy restaurant effect – where retail client emails are coming in with phone calls and customers arriving at YOUR place of business or organization! Want more profits and revenues for your enterprise? You are not alone.

Want to work together to increase sales and industry growth?

You are not alone!

Thank you for being a part of the story for the rebirth of our Great INdustry. Thank you for sharing our web address, or forwarding our blog posts, articles or emails. If you haven’t already signed up, please do so, it is free and just takes a few moments. Your emails are not shared or sold to others. Thank you for helping us, help you. Together, we are not alone!

The investment is so basic, a little time well spent! Working together – INdustry readers, writers and sponsors – we can grow as an INdustry once again! Learning the lessons from the past, using new tools, resources and proven ideas, we can build a brighter future where…

you are not Alone!##

Footnote 1. Website statistic charts above were generated by Urchin Report. Highlights and comments on charts have been added by www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com team members.

Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management.com or www.MHMSM.com

You are Not Alone! Fly farther, faster and higher with www.MHMSM.com

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


Victory is won not in miles but in inches…

January 28th, 2010 No comments

“Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.” ~ Louis L’Amour

“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” ~ Dale Carnegie

“Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are legitimate. They are trying to take you airborne, above the clouds, above the storms, if you only let them.” ~ William James

• Positive thoughts are not enough. There have to be positive feelings and positive actions.

• The difference between can and cannot are only three letters. Three letters that determine your life’s direction.

• Reading inspiring quotes uplifts the mind.

• Positive and negative are directions. Which direction do you choose?…

…Remez Sasson Quotes

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” ~ Helen Keller

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

—-

As INdividuals and as an INdustry, we face many very real challenges. We also face unprecedented opportunities. Here at Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management Magazine, we seek to make Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals more than a tag line, we work to make it a reality.

It is by working together, by sharing SOLUTIONS and PROVEN ideas that we can being the turn around process for one and all. Please resolve TODAY to reach out to at least one industry pro with a positive message: one of your own team members, someone you know down the road or across the country by email. Reach out to at least one public or elected official at least once each week. Reach out to your local media and people of influence at least every other week.  If you do this, it won’t take long for you and the industry to see the difference.

“Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.” ~ Louis L’Amour##

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


A Call To Action

January 24th, 2010 14 comments

If you are in any way connected to the housing industry or its suppliers, this message is of importance to you. If you care about approximately 2,000,000 Haitians without homes, or 10% unemployment in the U.S. and rising, this matters to you. If you’d like to see your tax dollars or charitable donations create jobs here in America – and yes, abroad too – here is your chance to ACT.

This blog post will presuppose that you’ve read the post on Haitian Disaster Relief and American Factory Built Housing: Crisis Meets Opportunity:

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/haitian-disaster-relief-and-american-factory-built-housing-crisis-meets-opportunity

Records numbers logged on last Monday, and many replied to that post a week ago, with reader comments overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal or some variation of it. Thousands came here last week, so if we mobilize those thousands with thousands more – if we ACT! – we can make the difference!

Take 10 to understand the issue – then reach out to policy makers – then follow that up by reaching out to your Industry Connections and Associations who can likewise influence policy makers. If enough housing professionals repeat that chain of events, a ‘good idea’ can become a reality. That ‘good idea’ will in turn benefit you and others!

A rough estimate of 10 billion dollars could put thousands back to work building housing instead of tents for those 2,000,000 Haitians. Properly invested, that 10 billion could build 400,000 strong yet modest dwellings, transport and install them. Compare that to passing out billions for unemployment checks, which makes more sense? Would we rather put Americans back to work, and let American know-how team up with Haitian labor installing those homes; or would we rather see waves of refugees coming to our shores as so often happens after political or economic disasters overseas? How long will 2 million people live in tents 710 miles from Miami, Florida?

Compare 10 billion in ‘Homes for Haitians’ built by American modular, pre-fab and manufactured home producers to the 20 billion or so spent in a single year by U.S. foreign aid programs in 2008. Hmmm…sending 20 billion plus dollars overseas, or building 400,000 homes in America, shipping and installing them to homeless Haitians…for half that cost!

Or think about this: “U.S. taxpayers may be on the hook for as much as $23.7 trillion to bolster the economy and bail out financial companies,” said Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. That TARP money related quote comes from Bloomberg, July 20 2009.

That 10 billion pales in comparison to the banking, insurance and auto bail outs, doesn’t it? Instead of ‘paying for past mistakes,’ let’s pay for homes that put our people back to work! Let’s use a fraction of those dollars to pay for modular and manufactured home producers to build homes for Haitians that will help people in both countries!

A brief survey reveals there are 3 potential sources for the funds to pay for putting America’s factory built housing resources to work building homes for refugees. They include:

  1. Charitable organizations
  2. International organizations
  3. The U.S. Government

Please contact your state and national housing associations. A list can be found at: http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/associations-directory Call or email them on this topic and tell them how you feel. They can organize this sort of effort.

Then, why not contact the church or charitable organization you’ve given money to for Haitian relief? Let them in on this common sense plan. If enough charities here from enough of you, they can act and can also influence policy makers. It is a common sense, natural connection for this crisis.

But don’t stop there.

Contact your representative and U.S. Senators – you can go to a website like: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml plug in your zip code and get links to email or call your U.S. Senators and Representative. Since President Obama promised jobs last year in Elkhart, IN – in a focal point of manufactured home construction – let him act on his words. The president also promised not to abandon the Haitian people in their hour of need. So contact the president on this topic too. The White House contact is found in that same link above.

The Alternative?

Nothing on the horizon today can put American housing factories, their workers and suppliers back to work faster than this would. While the headlines on Haiti are still in the news, this is the time to respond to a Call for ACTION.

Contact your connections with the Industry. Please, pass this link along,

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/a-call-to-action/

and having acted yourself, you can ask them to act too. You forward jokes, news and views…forward this too!!

There are give-aways and bailouts. But then there are savvy moves that could save us billions more than we’d invest in such a project. As taxpayers, we should have a SAY in how our tax dollars are spent! What would the result be for inaction in Haiti? Will we spend billions more down the road for troops to police their streets to quell unrest when millions get tired of living in tents? Would we rather spend money on unemployment here and there? Would it make more sense to keep Haitian families together and working in their own land, than have them end up on our shores in large numbers? Let Haitian labor learn from skilled American’s how to install the homes we could build for them and the let Haitian’s be part of the process to rebuild their native land!

Do you see how it just makes sense to invest tax and charitable money with the local component, supplier, transporters and factory built housing manufacturer instead?

“A dollar spent at a locally owned store is usually spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community. From $1.00, you create $5.00 to $14.00 in value within that community.” ~ Tim Mitchell, first cited in E-magazine.

The argument is made that spending with a local firm is better than a national one, but let’s be clear, it would be better to spend dollars now in America building houses in our modular, pre-fab and manufactured housing factories than the alternatives. Let’s build and ship American housing, which will recirculate in our local economies. 10 billion invested wisely in such a plan could house the Haitians. Or it will be spent in the blink of an eye in a military ‘police action’ there, or in unemployment and relief spending here and there.

Doing the Math

Manufactured housing, modular housing, pre-fab and panelized home builders – all factory-built home makers – could rapidly tool up to build strong, modest “Homes for Haitians.” Do the math. $10,000,000,000 (10 billion) divided by a U.S. Population estimated at 308,545,701 would cost $32.41 per person to make this project a reality. You may have already donated more than that to Haitian relief!

Let’s not miss another key point.

The Potential for Positive Media

As noted in the first blog post on this topic – properly handled – the possible PR benefits could be priceless to our industry! Imagine images of American producers building these homes – happy Haitians receiving and working at installing them – that could get Americans thinking about American modular and manufactured housing in a positive light, which they should! Positive media coverage could drive large numbers of Americans to manufactured home, pre-fab and modular housing retail centers to check out what our industry does today. That too would ripple through the economy in positive ways! We could use that opportunity to educate millions of American’s to the appeal, quality and the savings that they are looking for in these challenging times!

Let’s build homes and opportunities, not bullets or bailouts. Strong, modest dwellings for Haitians would return factory built housing workers and their suppliers back to work in the U.S. and Canada, which in turn allows our citizens to keep or buy our homes here.

Nature abhors a vacuum. How often have political or bureaucratic policies or inaction hurt our industry? Isn’t it long overdue for us to rally around a cause that can BOOST our Industry instead of harming it? Let’s fill the need for housing in Haiti, and use that to catapult ourselves into a turn-around decade for our Industry starting now in 2010!

The manufactured housing industry directly employees perhaps half a million people in the U.S., not counting thousands of more Canadian workers similarly engaged. Pre-fab and modular home producers’ employ still more. Those jobs influence other component and service providers. We don’t build homes at the www.MHMSM.com trade journal, but we believe that everyone connected with the Housing Industry has a vested interest in making sure our factories and their suppliers return to work sooner than later.

Just think: if only 1 out of 10 connected with the Industry contacted Congress and the White House, the odds of action would rise dramatically. There are companies in this industry that could influence this American Factory-Built Homes for Haitians plans almost solo if they mobilized their people! From individuals, to small or large organizations, 50,000 calls or emails would be huge. Heck, there are tons of YouTube videos out there with more hits than we would need!

The bottom line is that this is DOABLE – if you do your modest part today.

Please, make your voice one of those needed to move this concept ahead! Once you do, pass this request on!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml Tell Congress, tell the White House, tell your associations you’d like to see ACTION.

There are five motivators – Pride, Profit, Love, Need and Fear. Pick the motivator(s) you need to move YOU to ACTION, and then please pass this Call to Action it on!

Once the headlines on Haiti fade, so will this opportunity. Let’s not look back and say that we failed to try. ##

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


Haitian Disaster Relief and American Factory Built Housing: Crisis meets Opportunity?

January 17th, 2010 50 comments

The Haitian situation has been on my mind, as it is on so many these days. Since I first heard about it, the following thoughts occurred to me, and it would be good for Industry members to consider and respond to these:
1. Tents – like those being sent in ShelterBoxes – are ok for temporary quarters, but the Haitians will need more substantial shelter going forward very soon.

2. The American factory built housing industry is uniquely positioned to create and build the needed more substantial housing units. The benefits to the Haitians is obvious. The potential Industry benefits to this concept are many.

3. Some time back, Automated Builder Magazine reported on emergency shelter housing units that could be assembled on site in a matter of hours. Very low cost, a few thousand dollars per unit is what I recall. Depending on the skill sets available and the working conditions on the ground in Haiti, American factory builders could either panelize such emergency housing units for site assembly in Haiti, or could pre-fab these emergency shelter units to be shipped whole and placed on location for use.

4. MHI and MHARR could refine and then lead the charge for such an effort, knowing that the effort that would put thousands of Americans skilled in factory assembly back to work. After all, President Obama stood in Elkhart and promised American jobs there…what an opportunity to have him deliver on that promise of jobs and get people properly sheltered in Haiti too. Properly shared and implemented, American know how and our can-do spirit could get global publicity – and part of that focus would be on American factory building!

5. Properly handling the publicity side, this could and should be clearly distinctive from modular and manufactured homes, but the ‘credit’ for the solution could go to the American factory built housing Industry. In other words, it could lead to not just dollars and jobs, but good PR. I can imagine an industry leader standing up in front of the media’s cameras and microphones, proposing this solution and saying something like this:

“American factory built housing is uniquely able to build high-end multi-level luxury homes, incredible quality and appealing homes for millions in the middle class and our industry is able to rapidly provide disaster relief for situations such as Haiti’s. If the emergency assistance agencies handle this properly – we could shelter and save countless lives during the recovery phase – while providing much needed jobs for Americans right now.”


…all while showing great photos or videos OF the high end mods, the quality HUD Code homes and the disaster relief units that could be provided for Haiti.

6. Governmental, international and private relief agencies such as the CRS or Red Cross could pay for them. The feedback of the Red Cross and others in implementation of this concept would be valuable.

7. As an important footnote, if it the transport issue is doable, those FEMA units in storage could be shipped to Haiti. Instead of hurting the industry by dumping them back on the U.S. market through some auction, let those FEMA units be used as it was intended – for disaster relief. I did a test post on Linkedin the other day, and it immediately got an “Amen” from another industry member. One source suggested to me that some military aircraft and shipping is capable of moving those FEMA units to Haiti.
I’d like to invite Industry Leaders or Industry Members to sound off on this urgent topic, either by posting their comments below, or if you want to develop your own solution proposal, you can send me a post for our new Industry Voices blog at latonyk@gmail.com. We’ll provide you with the space on our new Industry Voices blog if you provide the writing.

There are doubtlessly details that would need to be worked out on this subject. The caveat that Ross Kinsler of Wisconsin Housing Alliance fame made during the Katrina disaster certainly applies here: we’d want the construction of these emergency shelter units to be clearly identified as NOT being HUD Code Manufactured Homes. We would want the Publicity of this effort to be rapidly and well thought out on the front end, and let’s get some Industry leader(s) to lead the charge, support them, and encourage the press conferences to let the industry both aid in this fashion and to get some much needed PR for our efforts.

Tent’s are okay for a few days, but the relief effort for Haitians need a stronger and more secure structure. Let’s put our American modular and manufactured housing factories back to work building emergency shelters for this effort, and if possible let’s ship FEMA units overseas where they can do some good and prevent another issue for our industry. ##

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


Fear

January 15th, 2010 2 comments

“…put your family’s financial future behind operating a retail location in today’s economic climate. You will find that fear will quickly become your constant companion if not a driving force.”

The above is a snippet posted anonymously in reply to an article in the January issue on finance. The point made above will no doubt resonate with many today. With a host of challenges that threaten retailers, suppliers, MHC operators, manufacturers and others in our industry and beyond, fear is indeed a ‘constant companion if not a driving force.’

In Susan Frost’s article, Is there financing for today’s manufactured homebuyer? which drew the posted reply above, she stated in part:


Fear is a driving force. Fear can cripple action; and, action is the very first requirement to the success of any activity. If the secondary market fears loss… they pull back. If a borrower fears they will miss a better deal…they pull back. If we fear there are no solutions…we will pull back. Our greatest fear is fear itself. Now more than ever, it’s important that we try (like the eagle) to head into the storm and rise above the situation and take a comprehensive look at the real issues that we face in our every day practice. Only then can we begin to identify possible solutions for developing more business.“
(Note: highlighting and bold added above for emphasis).

It is self evident that lending in America has dramatically changed, especially in the last 24 months. It is also likely that as tough as lending is, that those still in business have found SOME level of lending to access; wholesale and retail. Obviously, Ms. Frost’ s mortgage firm is still operating because it is still placing mortgages.

Lending may come from self-finance, as many in the MHC business offer, it may come from some government backed program, or a well qualified client who can get conventional money or has cash, but to the degree that someone is still in business it means that some degree of solution has been found.

As Sue suggested, the essence of wise marketing and its companion sales effort is to ‘read’ the scenario one is in and then to devise marketing and sales approaches that address your unique set of circumstances. The obvious key is adapting to your conditions successfully. That is Path One. The parallel path, Path Two is to work to create more avenues of lending, either through elected officials, association efforts, researching and developing out-reaches for new sources of credit, etc. Work both paths! Path One keeps you going, Path Two leads to new solutions going forward.

In a sense, both Sue Frost and this anonymous writer’s posted reply agree on this: Fear is indeed a powerful motivator! Sue is correct in saying, it can paralyze or it can be harnessed to drive one ahead, to face the fear, to embrace the problems and pains and overcome it.

All of us have faced a fear at some point in our lives, some of us many, many times. Professionally speaking – we can run from our fears, or face them. In the 1980s it was popular to say, we must chose between ‘fight, flight or deal with it.’

People I personally know or do marketing for have each had to face the problems – the fears – of the financial/economic climate. As challenging as it may be to step back emotionally, to step back from one’s fear, and read the situation with new eyes – objectively – that’s precisely what must be done. IF you are too close to the issue, bring in a friend or trusted associate. Get another set of eyes looking at your issue. If your circumstances permit, bring in an outsider if you don’t have someone you know to ask. But by moving beyond fear to action, by marketing/selling your way using what you have now, by using the solution(s) and options that fits your scenario, you and your clients become the winner.

And take that anger, that frustration and direct it towards those who created this mess! Let your elected representatives in Washington know that you are tired of the excuses and the delays!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

They passed billions in bailouts to get lending moving! You know the list of frustrations, take a few minutes and sound off to them! Make that part of Path Two.

Finally, look at what those who are successful – yes, successful – in this business climate in our industry. See what they are doing. As much as you can, mimic what works today by those making it, or see if there is some way ‘to go one better’ than what you are seeing the successful ones do.

Ms. Frost’s message was one of hope and encouragement. Editorially and professionally speaking that is what www.MHMSM.com is all about. Frost proposed some good options, while not claiming to be exhaustive on the subject. All of us want to see lending move back to ‘better’ times. Yet the realities of the day must be dealt with.

Lending and the fear factor. We can ‘fight, flight or deal with it.’ ##

====================> If you’ve not read these posts yet, please check out the following links <===================

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/positives-in-positives-out/

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/the-view-from-the-trenches/<====== A current marketing/retailing success interview story

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/optimist-vs-pessimist/

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/excuses/

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090