Volume Buyers

Keeping you informed and updated!

2014 posts in review

I think that 2014 was a year of adjustment for us in our industry.   In review, here are the articles that I have written this year.

-Google Analytics- A program through Google that can help track the traffic on your site

-December HUD-code Home Shipments- December 2013 shipments were up 14% from December 2012

-National Congress & Expo for Manufactured & Modular Housing

-2014 National Industry Awards

-February HUD-code Home Shipments- February 2014 shipments were up 5.9% from February 2013

-Baby Boomers- There are 76 million baby boomers to date and how they will affect our industry

-Marketing Funnel & Social Media- A funnel approach to capturing customers and keep them engaged longer

-Manufacturedhomes.com- A site that allows potential homebuyers to get information about financing, purchasing, construction and where to find dealerships in their area.

-Tiny House/Park Model Trend- Stats about how this new trend is affecting the housing industry

-Mortgage Discrimination- Mortgage Denial for women on maternity leave

-2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

December 16, 2014 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

The Show will be held in Louisville, KY on January 21st, 22nd, & 23rd!    Click here for more information about the show!

Here is the Seminar Schedule:

Wed 10 AM – 11 AM. Manufactured home financing (personal property and “land/home” lending). The CFPB’s regulations will be in place by the time of the Louisville Show, and finance expert and moderator Dick Enrst of FinmarkUSA.com will lead a panel made up of the top Industry Lenders on current financing available. “Complying and Surviving with Dodd-Frank rules in Manufactured Home Lending. ”If you sell or lease homes anywhere in the United States, don’t miss discussion! It may be worth the entire trip to Louisville!

 Wed 11:10 AM – 12 noon. Modern Marketing that sells more homes and fills more vacant home sites! Learn free and low cost Tools, Resources and Methods available today to improve the image of our Industry and how YOU and YOUR operation can use them to drive more customers with cash or good credit to your sales center or community. Presented by MH marketing and sales veteran, LATonyKovach.com.

 Thursday 10 AM – 11 AM. Lesson’s Learned: A Panel Discussion by Manufactured Home Community Owners and Professionals on Proven Ways to Improve Your MHC and Bottom Line Performance. Get tips from seasoned pros who have profited in large, medium and small MHC operations. Something for every size community operator, don’t miss it!

 Thursday 11:10 AM to 12 noon. Manufactured Home Land Lease Community Commercial Lending Panel. Some 5 of the top MHC commercial lenders and brokers will be on hand for this always popular interactive discussion! Moderated by Dick Ernst of FinmarkUSA.com

December 10, 2014 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mortgage Discrimination

Our in house finance consultant, DeAnna Trask, was passing an article around the office about mortgage denial for women on maternity leave. Click here for the article. I found the article very interesting and I didn’t think it had been an issue in the past but, this year there have been 16 incidents with at least three institutions. Some cases the lenders either denied the loan all together or stopped working on it. On October 9th, HUD settled with Wells Fargo for $5 million, which is the largest settlement of its kind.

“Wells Fargo settled with HUD to resolve allegations that it discriminated against pregnant women, women on maternity leave, or women who recently gave birth by making loans unavailable based on sex and familial status; or by forcing women applicants to sacrifice their maternity leave and return to work prior to closing on their loans; and by making discriminatory statements to and against women who were pregnant or who had recently given birth.”  Click here to read the whole article.

One of the biggest problems regarding this type of discrimination is the lack of education.    The changes to Dodd Frank, the SAFE act and other federal law changes have greatly impacted and regulated our industry.  Tyna-Minet Anderson, vice president at Mortgage Educators and Compliance, said that underwriters and mortgage insures do not take the same training which many lead to a knowledge gap and fair lending.  HUD reported 30 cases of discrimination in 2010, 40 in 2011, 50 in 2012, and 40 in 2013.

I asked DeAnna to give us some insight on what we can do as dealerships to protect our deals and customers.  Here is what she had to say:

As a dealer, if you have a customer that is pregnant, you need to be aware of how this has worked in the real world.  If you’re doing an end loan, you could run into special underwriting guidelines that only pertain to women on maternity leave.   If the woman goes out on maternity leave before the deal is closed, an underwriter could do the following:

  1. Refuse to count her income because she is on leave, effectively declining the loan.
  2. Refuse to acknowledge that being on family medical leave does not mean that you’re unemployed.
  3. Decline the loan altogether and make them resubmit when she goes back to work.
  4. Or, put the loan on hold until she is back to work and has 30 days of paystubs.

All of these actions have been standard practice in the past.  However, all of these actions violate the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Financial Information | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tiny House/ Park Model Trend

Tiny House/ Park Model Trend

Over the past couple of months I have noticed a growing trend with tiny houses.  Although I don’t think that all housing trends can translate into sales within our industry but I think that this trend might.  HGTV has several shows like “Small Space, Big Style” and shows about tiny houses from 110 sq. ft. up to 1,000 sq. ft.  They showcase homeowners that have made the most out of the limited space they have.   A growing number of people, whether young or older, are starting to appreciate the smaller living space.  Here are some stats I found:

–  68% of tiny house people have no mortgage compared to 29.3% of all U.S homeowners

–  55% of tiny house people have more savings than the average American, with a median of $10,972 in the bank

–  The average tiny house is 186 sq. ft. while the standard U.S home takes up nearly 2,100 sq. ft. That adds up to nearly 11.3 tiny houses!

–  Approximately 2 out of 5 tiny house owners are over 50 years of age

–  More women own tiny houses than men

These stats were taken from The Tiny Life.  The site offers an explanation of what the “Tiny House Movement” means and links to other “tiny house” blogs & websites.

Our industry offers park models as a version of “tiny houses” that we can sell!  I attended Titan & Commodore fall shows several weeks ago.   Both of the plants had a park model on display and they were perfect examples of how organized and efficient “tiny houses” can be.  I did some research on Athens Park Homes and Cavco Park Models & Cabins.  Both brands offer many different floor plans and options which include porch models, front kitchens, movable islands, wood interior accents, log siding etc.  Titan offers two complete series of Athens Park Homes and Cavco also offers two different series.  If you have time please check out their websites.  Click here for Athens Park Homes & click here for Cavco Park Models & Cabins.

October 2, 2014 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ManufacturedHomes.com

                 A couple of months ago, while doing some research online about our industry, I came across manufacturedhomes.com.   The site allows for potential homebuyers to search dealerships within a certain radius of where they are located.  It also allows homebuyers to view floor plans and search them based on the number of bedrooms & bathrooms, sq. ft. & modular or manufactured.   The site also offers the homebuyer additional information about purchasing, financing, construction, warranty and insurance. 

               When the homebuyer clicks on “Manufactured Home Lenders”, under the “Discover” tab, it gives them information about several lenders.  Several of the lenders that they have listed are ones VBI members have been dealing with: Cascade Loans, C U Factory Built Lending, Triad Financial Services, and 21st Mortgage.  Under each financial company the website offers the homebuyer more information about the company, and their contact information.

               Under the “Feed” tab the homebuyer can look at a blog, videos and manufactured home tours.  Currently the site has 4 manufacturers listed:  Magnolia Homes, Kit Home Builders West, Kabco Builders and Sunshine Homes.

               I requested a dealer success marketing package with information about lead generation, lead and client management, and task and event management.  They offer the dealerships an organized way to keep track of your potential homebuyers.  Larry Higgins from Love Homes stated that he likes the site and he is receiving 1 or 2 leads a day.  Love Homes currently has 65 floor plans listed all from Eagle River Homes. 

               In today’s market a large majority of homebuyers start their search online, this may be a useful tool for your company – https://www.manufacturedhomes.com

 

August 23, 2014 Posted by | General Information | Leave a comment

Marketing Funnel & Social Media

I recently attended a presentation about Marketing Funnels & Social Media by Ebb Walton from Nancy Marshall Communications.  The presentation was hosted by Tracy O’Clair from TOCmedia.  Click here to check out the TOCmedia website.   I thought I would share with you some notes I took from the presentation.

The definition of a Marketing Funnel is a holistic approach to marketing that creates well-prepared prospects ready to spend their money with you.  Please see the image below.  In our industry follow-up with the customer is so important because the process of deciding to buy a home could take several months.  This funnel allows us to capture the customer and allows for extended engagement. 

Picture1

Here are 5 bullet points of a well-prepared prospect

– Aware of ALL of their needs

– Understand your differentiation and benefits

– Know, like and trust your business

– Self select as customers

– Take action to fulfill their needs with you

One of the most important steps is to make sure that your company is being seen and considered.  It is important to have effective advertising such as social media, digital advertising and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Other important factors to consider is how the customer views you vs. the competitor, which is what Chris Nicely covered during his presentation to us in April.    

The second step to the funnel is lead capture. There are several different ways to capture the customer information. For example, through a website inquiry, a message on your Facebook page or your salesperson captured their name, phone number and address from someone who came on your lot.

The third step is to keep the communication between you and the customer open. They suggested that after the first interaction, the salesperson sends follow up emails on the 3rd, 8th & 13th day. Please use those emails to educate the customer about your product, promotions or upcoming events. Be very careful not to repeat information in the email which could lead to the customer getting frustrated and feeling pressured to purchase.

The fourth step means you have successfully gained the customers respect and trust and they are prepared to make their home purchase through you!

The fifth step is brand advocacy. Hopefully the customer has had a great buying experience through you and is willing to advocate for you. This could be through a customer testimonial that you can advertise on your Facebook page, website or make a commercial out of it.

The final step is to repeat this process! Send post-purchase follow up emails to customers, send monthly email campaigns, and update your Facebook page

July 10, 2014 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby Boomers

A Baby Boomer is someone who was born between 1946 to 1964.  To date, there are roughly 76 million boomers which is equivalent to 1 in 4 Americans. Boomers have very strong buying power and could really sway the housing market, because of their large buying power.  Kathleen Howley wrote an article for the Bloomberg (click here for the full story) discussing the record sales the housing industry is seeing.  Although this article features stick built homes in Oregon & Utah, this could directly affect our industry.   A majority of these boomers bought homes during the 80’s and 90’s, and with the price of real estate constantly growing, this has left them with a great return on their investment.  Boomers would rather pay cash for a home then be bogged down by a mortgage.

The Manufactured & Modular industry would be ideal for Baby boomers who are looking for custom homes at an affordable price.  We offer a way for them to uniquely design the floor plan and features that they want in their home.  I refer back to the presentation that Chris Nicely discussed with us at our last meeting.  Our industry can offer wide hallways, 360 degree bathrooms, smooth transition flooring, no step showers, grab bars, 36″ doors and no low or high appliances.  Even if boomers are up to date with all the technology today, they still want to touch and feel the product they are going to buy. It’s important to show these features in some of your display homes.  Don’t forget to display brand names!  Boomers still want luxurious products and rely on known brands; this also includes “Made in America.”  Here are four points to consider attracting baby boomers – capitalizing on nostalgia, avoiding stereotypes, emphasizing the product’s benefits, and considering product features that will make Manufactured & Modular homes the smart choice!

June 5, 2014 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

February 2014 HUD-code Home Shipments

The report has been released for February 2014 new manufactured home sales. 4,359 new manufactured homes were shipped in February 2014 which is up 5.9 percent from February 2013.  The total floors that were shipped were 6,706 which was an increase of 7.9 percent in comparison to February 2013.

The SAAR or seasonally adjusted annual rate of shipments was 61,881 in February 2014.  These numbers are down 2.5 percent from the adjusted rate of 63,457 in January 2014.

The number of plants that are reporting production in February 2014 was 123, and the number of active corporations was 46, both unchanged from the number in January 2014.

*The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations in shipments and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 National Industry Awards

The 2014 National Industry Awards were presented to the recipients at an awards luncheon on April 30th at the National Congress & Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing. 

“These award winners are leading the way in providing outstanding products, value, customer service, creative solutions and state of the art homes that today’s homebuyers desire. They are being recognized today for their leadership, vision and dedication in enhancing and moving the manufactured and modular housing industries forward,” said MHI President & CEO Richard Jennison.

LAND-LEASE COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR AWARDS
(Northeast/Mid-Atlantic) – The Fairways at Mays Landing, Mays Landing, NJ
(South) – Schalamar Creek Golf & Country Club, Lakeland, FL
(Midwest) – WeatherStone Village, Kalamazoo, MI
(West) – Prairie Greens, Frederick, CO

RETAIL SALES CENTER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
(Northeast/Mid-Atlantic) – Oakwood Homes, Glen Allen, VA
(South) – Synergy Homes, Statesville, NC
(Midwest) – Clayton Homes, Georgetown, KY
(West) – Advantage Homes, San Jose, CA

DESIGN AWARDS
Manufactured Home Design
-New Single-Section Manufactured Home Design (Production) – Cavco/Durango “Superstition Views”
-New Manufactured Home Design – 1800 SF or Less (Production) – CMH Manufacturing, Sacramento “Balboa Island 2440 Jade”
-New Manufactured Home Design – Over 1800 SF (Production) – CMH Manufacturing, Sacramento “Balboa Island 3005 Sapphire”
-New Single Section Manufactured Housing Design (Concept) – Fleetwood Homes, Inc. “Eagle 18662R”

Modular Design
-New Modular Home Design – 2200 SF or Less (Production) – R-Anell Housing Group, LLC “Extreme Value Series Model 850 – Wrap Porch”
-New Modular Home Design – Over 2200 SF (Production) – CMH Manufacturing, Sacramento “Gray’s Crossing”
-New Modular Multifamily or Duplex Design (Production) – Clayton Commercial Buildings “Hempstead Lofts”
-New Modular Home Design – 2200 SF or Less (Concept) – CMH Manufacturing, Sacramento “The Palo Alto”
-New Modular Home Design – Over 2200 SF (Concept) – CMH Manufacturing, Sacramento “New Vine Homes”
-New Manufactured Home Design – 1800 SF or Less (Concept) – CMH Manufacturing, Sacramento “Hedgehouse”
-New Manufactured Home Design – Over 1800 SF (Concept) – Fleetwood Homes, Inc. “Metropolitan 30603M”

NATIONAL AWARDS

Manufacturer of the Year – Cavco Industries, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
National Lender of the Year – 21st Mortgage Corporation, Knoxville, TN
Regional Lender of the Year – CU Factory Built Lending, San Antonio, TX
Floor Plan Lender of the Year – 21st Mortgage Corporation, Knoxville, TN
Manufactured Home Community Operator of the Year – YES! Communities, Denver, CO
Manufactured Home Community Lender of the Year – Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital, Carlsbad, CA
Manufactured Home Community Broker of the Year – ARA National MHC Group, Denver, CO
Supplier of the Year – Style Crest, Inc., Fremont, OH

For information about entering the 2015 National Industry Awards competition or about this year’s awards, contact Cheryl Berard at 703-558-0668 or via e-mail at cheryl@mfghome.org.

 

 

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 National Congress & Expo for Manufactured & Modular Housing

The 2014 Congress & Expo will be held on April 29 – May 1, 2014 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Exhibitors include mortgage lenders, insurance services, and appraisal services. Don’t miss out on seeing 21st Mortgage, Champion Home Builders, Clayton Homes, CU Factory Built Lending, GE Capital Real Estate, Keystone Commercial Capital, Triad Financial Services, U.S Bank and Wells Fargo. Attendees will be able to partake in top quality educational programs, networking events and listen to keynote speakers.    Attendees also won’t want to miss the highly acclaimed annual NCC Spring Forum presented by the MHI National Communities Council.  Click here to register!

March 18, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment