Volume Buyers

Keeping you informed and updated!

Manufactured Home Shipments

Again we are seeing an increase in housing sales.  Nationwide this year’s year to date is 19.3% higher than last year with unit sales increasing by 5,249 homes.  Overall the housing market is looking good, and we are beginning to be able to take advantage of it.

Maine and Connecticut, +97.4% and +188.2%respectivly, are the two states that have seen the biggest increase in manufactured housing shipments as the housing and job market stabilization is finally planting roots on the Northeastern coast.

Some in the Midwest such as the Dakotas and Wyoming have seen a decrease in manufactured housing sales but this is mostly due to the seasonal and volatile nature of jobs in the Oil industry.  The drop in sales in this region is more reflective of the Oil industry than it is the housing industry.

Overall sales are up nationally and I’ve spoken with several bankers and realtors from my area expressing that the flood of foreclosures that had been on the market has begun to dry up and property values are on the rise.  Due to the rising property values and the shrinking inventory of existing homes in the housing market, new buyers are being forced to either site-build or turn to manufactured housing as a way of becoming homeowners or purchasing their next home.

Advertisements

July 26, 2016 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 ways you don’t want to enable buyers to abuse you

Fred Ashforth, sales coordinator at Titan Homes, found this article and was sharing it with his co-workers. The article was then brought to my attention by my sales rep, Ron Major, at our Open House last weekend.  I discussed it with my team this morning at my sales meeting. I thought I would share it with all of you! Have a great weekend!

From Close the Deal: Smart Moves for Selling by Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman©2000

 

  1. Don’t give buyers free consulting.

Yes, buys should get all the information they need to make an informed buying decision. They shouldn’t, however, “pick your brain” or let you serve as an unpaid consultant. You can help buyers discover that you can help them solve their problem. Don’t show them how until they become customers.

 

  1. Don’t prepare detailed, costly proposals without assurance that the proposal will receive serious consideration.

Buyers should receive a written proposal if they ask for one. Some buyers ask for one after a decision has been made, just to get multiple bids. Don’t play the game. Get a guarantee that the proposal will be reviewed fairly.

 

  1. Don’t allow you and your proposal to travel up and down the buyer’s organizational hierarchy.

In your up-front contract, clarify the buyer’s decision-making process. Get an agreement that each presentation you make will be followed by a mutually agreed upon action by the buyer. Stick to your position.

 

  1. Don’t tolerate open-ended indecisiveness.

If buyers think you’ll hang around indefinitely, they are in no hurry to make a decision. Extract an up-front agreement on some length of the buying cycle. If time starts to drag, impose the limit.

 

  1. Don’t let your products or services be demeaned.

Some buyers will minimize what you do and what you sell. If you allow that to pass without a challenge, you’re reinforcing the notion that you’re just another salesperson with a product no better than anyone else’s. If you don’t show respect for your product, and company, who will?

 

  1. Don’t let your company or coworkers be demeaned.

Be open and candid in accepting responsibility for past failures. At the same time stand up for the integrity, competence and commitment of your team. Buyers who demean your people to your face are saying even more to others behind your back. Be sure they have the facts about any situation s they claim to have knowledge of. Defend the honor of the good people who work in your company. Your loyalty will not be lost on buyers.

 

  1. Don’t enable buyers to put you in ethical or legal dilemmas.

Should you bend over backwards to get a sale? Certainly. Should you marshal all the resources at your disposal to make the buyer happy? You bet. But don’t ever let that mean that you compromise your integrity or sell your soul.

 

April 15, 2016 Posted by | General Information, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling to Millennials

The housing industry is now onto its next big wave of potential consumers, the Millennials.  The Millennial population (87 million) is the largest generation in America cruising over the Baby Boomers (78 million).  Currently 65% of Millennials are over the age of 25 and have become financially stable yet a very small percentage has purchased a home.  So why, why is it so difficult to sell a home to a Millennial?  Let’s avoid talking about how the economy isn’t phenomenal and how student debt is hurting the middle class and young Americans.  About 31 million Millennials are unfit for home buying because of financial instability, but what about the other 56 million, what are we missing?

One of the most distinct features of the Millennials is they are extremely cautions buyers.  Millennials have grown up during an economic crisis centered on housing and just about every one of them is connected to someone who felt the negative effects of home ownership.  The best approach to counteract this fear of mortgages is to stress that home prices and interest rates are at a low point, making now the safest time to buy.

Another feature of Millennials that separates them from generations before is that being a home owner just doesn’t carry the same significance as it did with their parents and grandparents.  Being a home owner no longer acts as a symbol of status, it is not a badge of accomplishment to Millennials and it generally is not viewed as the gateway to building a family and creating an identity.  If anything Millennials see home ownership as a burdensome commitment.  When selling a home to a Millennial, especially if it is a first home, help them keep in perspective that this does not have to be a forever home and that they do not have to be tied to this decision forever.

Having a quick turnaround on answering questions for Millennials is also incredibly important when making a sale.  Millennials have grown up in a world of instantaneousness.  Do not wait to give the customer gratification.  If a customer asks a question, do not keep them waiting, even if you don’t have an answer for them yet.  Always respond.  Saying, “Hello, I don’t have a solid update yet but I’m looking into this for you” is much better than leaving them waiting.  Also, if you are breaking into the world of Social Media marketing and correspondence with customers make sure you know how to use it.  If you are not an expert with Facebook, Twitter, or other Social Media platforms, either get some practice beforehand or stay away from it.

Most Millennials are eco-friendly and conscientious about their impact on the environment.  When selling new homes highlight the eco-friendly features they have.  If a home has energy efficient appliances, high insulation values, or specialized windows, make a big deal out of it.  Never underestimate the importance of such features to Millennials.  Highlighting these features could steer them away from the drafty existing home market altogether.  Along with energy efficiency, make sure the home has plenty of energy or rather, plenty of outlets.  Most Millennials are not looking for a ton of flair and extravagant designs in their homes, if you provide them with a simple, open concept floorplan that is loaded with outlets so that they can keep their devices charged up and mobile throughout the home, your customer will provide all the flair necessary.

With some practice and a bit of understanding of the Millennial mentality selling to Millennials will begin to feel like selling to all other consumers.  Recognize the need of the consumer, find the product that fits the need, and introduce the product.  The sales methods stay the same, the sales pitches need to change.

March 10, 2016 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby Boomers, Millennials, Retirement and Student Debt

Looking at home ownership and the economy as a whole we can begin to see several key entities that are going to play major roles in the near future.  These entities are the Baby Boomers, Millennials, retirement, and student debt.  These four factors, if not prepared for could begin a major decline in housing and economic activity.  However, as with any obstacle, proper planning could make a potentially harmful situation beneficial.

First, let’s look at the housing market and see how these factors will play their separate but intertwining roles.  Baby Boomers make up the largest portion of home owners in America and as they are growing older the side effects of aging are leaving the Baby Boomers looking to downsize.  Some will stay in their homes but the trend has been showing that most wont.  So what is happening to these large empty homes?  At first glance it would seem likely that Millennials would swoop in and buy these recently vacated homes, but this is not the case.  Millennials are a very spending concise generation, mostly because of student debt.  Student debt is now at 1.3 Trillion and is the largest source of personal debt in this country.  Since 1989, also the year home ownership began its decline in America, the tuition for a four-year degree has risen 1200% while the purchasing power of the minimum wage dollar has dropped 25%.  Carrying this type of debt and trying to also juggle a median price home mortgage leaves the dream of home ownership in the dust for most Millennials.

How do millennials offset this issue?  What we’ve seen is that most millennials choose urban living and renting over homeownership and being land owners.  This trend has freed millennials from putting themselves into greater long-term debt, but lacking homeownership is hurting net worth potential and killing the middle class.  Affordable housing has been a hot topic issue in our nation, but affordable housing will not save us.  We need affordable home ownership.  Manufactured housing has proven to be an affordable alternative to site-built homes while having the equity building power that renters will never be able to take advantage of.

Moving on to the economy, Baby Boomers are retiring at a ferocious rate and as they do their disposable income is in decline.  We’ve already seen the Millennials are a spending conscious generation and as baby boomers hold 80% of the American wealth, they are also the largest portion of our consumer spending.  As they retire, and their disposable income declines, so will their propensity to spend.  Interest rates, supply, demand, trade tariffs, domestic policy, foreign policy, all of these have effects on the economy and how it performs, however 70% of economic function is based on the consumers desire to spend.  With one generation retiring and losing disposable income and another generation too burdened with debt to spend there needs to be some form of relief to keep people borrowing and keep people spending.  Affordable home ownership is a viable solution, and manufactured housing is affordable home ownership’s saving grace.

August 1, 2015 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saving the Middle Class

Affordable Housing has been a hot-topic issue since before the housing crisis and has become even more of a burning issue since the fall out.  Affordable Housing has always had its share of the housing market but demand is on the rise.  Overall home purchases are down for the ninth straight year in a row and home ownership has dropped to 65%, the lowest it has been since 1995.

Since the housing crisis there has been a strong trend toward apartment rentals, friends rooming together, and moving back in with mom and dad.  The percentage of 25-35 year olds living with their parents is at 36%. This was a slow and steady trend for the least four decades that jumped from 32% to 34% in just the two years of the 2007-2009 recession, and reached its peak in 2012.

Bill Matchneer, a lawyer and former council member for the CFPB, states that manufactured housing is a dire need in the affordable housing market and that its increase in market share is inevitable.  As most of us know the mobile home industry has had a stigma against it from historical quality issues and the disparity of land leased communities.  Due to the HUD code, set in place in 1976 and revised in 1994, the quality standard of manufactured homes has taken tremendous strides in both structural and environmental impact quality.  Bill Matchneer is quoted, “The modern manufactured home is equivalent to site-built at about half the price”.  On the topic of land lease communities, Paul Bradley of ROC USA and organizations like it are helping to increase the quality and appraisal value of homes in land lease communities by assisting residents in the purchase of the community.  ROC USA consults with residents, helping them to form a co-op to purchase the community as well as lending the co-op the necessary funds to purchase at affordable rates.  These co-ops are also given some preferential treatment such as being allowed the first offer when their community is put up for sale.  Studies have shown that communities owned by residents have higher property value, more stable rental fees, and maintain a higher quality of living than their counterparts.  Megan Neff of NextStep, an organization that works through a channel of non-profits, is also helping to increase structural and lending quality by creating a connection between the needs of buyers and the vision of manufacturers.

Datacomp Appraisal Systems, having conducted an appraisal study comparing manufactured homes to site-built homes, came to the conclusion that the old adage of “location, location, location” equally applies to both housing categories.  Datacomp, with no bias toward either industry stated, “When properly sited and maintained, manufactured homes will appreciate at the same rate as other homes in surrounding neighborhoods”.  This revelation of appraisal values is important to understand as the majority of middle-class wealth is comprised of home ownership.  Studies from the Federal Reserve show that homeownership is the cornerstone of middle-class wealth.  The average middle-class home owner has a net-worth of $194,000.00 about 36x that of their renting counterparts who have an average net-worth of $5,400.00.

This information poses some serious questions about the manufactured housing industry.  The first and most obvious question is, “Can manufactured homes save home ownership?”  The second question, only visible when examining what home ownership in America truly represents, “Can manufactured homes save the middle-class?”

June 3, 2015 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

December 2013 HUD-code Home Shipments

The report has been released for December 2013 new manufactured home sales. 4,005 new manufactured homes were shipped in December of 2013 which is up 14.0 percent from December 2012.  The total floors that were shipped were 6,289 which was an increase of 15.1 percent in comparison to December 2012.

The SAAR or seasonally adjusted annual rate of shipments was 60,956 in December 2013.  These numbers are down 0.2 percent from the adjusted rate of 61,074 in November 2013.

The number of plants that are reporting production in December 2013 was 123, one up from prior month and the number of active corporations was 46, unchanged from the number in November 2013.

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

February 21, 2014 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

June 2013 HUD-code Home Shipments

The report has been released for June 2013 new manufactured home sales. 5,347 new manufactured homes were shipped in June of 2013 which is up 6.2 percent from June 2012.  Good news all around because increases were up across the board including both single and multi-section home shipments in comparison to June 2012.  The total floors that were shipped were 8,299 which was an increase of 4.7 percent in comparison to June 2012.

The SAAR or seasonally adjusted annual rate of shipments was 55,493 in June 2013.  These numbers are down 9.8 percent from the adjusted rate of 61,536 in May 2013.

The number of plants that are reporting production in June 2013 was 122 and number of active corporations was 46, both unchanged from the prior month.

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

August 31, 2013 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 2013 HUD-code Home Shipments

The report has been release for January 2013 new manufactured home sales.  4,190 new manufactured homes were shipped in January of 2013 which is up 6.2 percents from January 2012.  Good news all around because increases were up across the board including both single and multi-section home shipments in comparison to January 2012.  The total floors that were shipped were 6,417 which was an increase of 7.5 percent in comparison to January 2012.

The SAAR or seasonally adjusted annual rate of shipments was 63,588 in January 2013.  These numbers are up 19.4 percent from the adjusted rate in December 2012.

The number of plants that are reporting production in January 2013 was 123 and number of active corporations was 45.  These numbers have not increased nor decreased from December of 2012.

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

March 28, 2013 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why is the Manufactured Housing Industry Great?

I wanted to give you all a brief synopsis of a great piece that I recently read.  The piece was written by Thayer Long who was the former President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute.

One of my favorite statements he made was, “Since 1989, manufactured housing industry has accounted for 21% of all new homes sold.  Citizens can realize the American Dream of owning their own home at an affordable price, without sacrificing quality or the level of amenities they desire” (Long, 2011).  What a beautiful way to capture the manufactured housing industry in just two sentences.

Three more subsections of the piece really capture the focus of the industry as a whole.  I chose the statements that best capture the sections.  If you would to read the piece in its entirety click here.

1) We are thinking about the customer

“Customers are what make factories operate, they keep sales centers open, and communities occupied.  We have done a good job in building homes and creating lifestyles and value to keep customers satisfied and coming back. Satisfied and happy customers are the best way to build a good “national” image” (Long, 2011).

2) We are learning from the past

“I believe the industry has done a very good job in advancing new methods and technologies to build our homes, and has been very disciplined in not returning to a system of lending that puts customers in difficult situations” (Long, 2011).

3) We are embracing change

“The industry has undergone rapid transformation in the past few years to rise to the challenges of a tougher economy, and industry members are always changing how they do business to increase their value proposition. The partnerships that are being forged by different business units in these difficult times are a testament to the resolve members have to
survive” (Long, 2011).

Overall, this is a great article that captures the present look and feel to the manufactured housing industry.

December 8, 2011 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , | Leave a comment