Volume Buyers

Keeping you informed and updated!

MHI National Industry Awards

Click here to go to the MHI website for more information.

Here are the following awards categories:

  • Land-Lease Community of the Year (includes four regions of the country)
  • Retail Sales Center of the Year (includes four regions of the country)
  • Design Awards for Manufactured and Modular Housing – includes production home award categories by square footage and a Small Home Award
  • Manufactured or Modular Home Interior Design/Home Merchandising – includes two categories – Manufactured or Modular Home Interior Design (located at a Retail Sale Center, a model home in a land-lease community, or an interior design by a manufacturer) and Land-Lease Community Clubhouse Interior Design (New Construction or Renovation)

 


Step 1 – Register on the site

To enter an awards category, you must register in the online awards system by clicking on the ‘Register’ link on the top of the page.  If you have already registered on the site, please login to manage your entry information.

Step 2 – Submit your entries.

You can submit multiple entries, upload all required entry materials for judging, and pay your entry fees through this online awards system.  The deadline for entries, fees and materials is March 24, 2017.

Award winners will be notifed by April 19, 2017.

Awards will be presented at the 2017 National Industry Awards Luncheon on May 3, 2017 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada during the 2017 National Congress & Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing.  For more information on the 2017 National Congress & Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing being held on May 2-4, 2017 at Caesars Palace please visit www.congressandexpo.com.

February 10, 2017 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crisis: A Balancing Act

When trying to make decisions and predictions for the future on a large scale it is often best to observe how similar decisions have affected a smaller sample system.  For instance, our Nation is facing a potential housing crisis if the wrong decisions are made, and looking at Washington State as a smaller sample of what may happen to the entire country will give us some insight on how decisions we make now could generate a negative surprise in the future.

Right now we are facing a dilemma between preserving the environment and preserving affordable housing.  We have to protect land from development in order to have sustainable wildlife, national parks, and farming, but we also have to continue access to developable lands to keep land and housing costs from driving people into homelessness.  If we look at Washington State’s battle with this issue we can see how the scales can tip over time.

In 1990 the state of Washington began discussions on the “Growth Management Act” because the state had a booming population and there were concerns that it would outgrow its available resources.  The “Growth Management Act” was put into place in 1994 and has been great at preserving Washington’s natural lands.  In 1994 7,332 manufactured homes were placed in Washington State.  In 2013 661 were placed, a 91% decline in 20 years.  This is because the preservation of lands, which in and of itself is a good thing, is causing the state to have exponentially increasing land and home prices.  According to a recent study (4-2016) the median price for a home in Washington State increased by 11% over the previous twelve months.  Land and housing is a very important commodity and manufactured home communities can play a key role in sustaining a practical and affordable means to house hard working Americans.

It is important to preserve lands and keep America’s resources plentiful, but we also need to think of how today’s decisions can impact the future.  We were founded on the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, but sometimes we get in our own way.

June 4, 2016 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling Homes To A Generation of Perpetual Children

Over 32% of 18-34 year old’s in the largest generation our country has ever produced somehow cannot seem to move out of their parent’s house.  Let me repeat that for clarification, millennials are the largest generation America has ever produced.  They are not simply the largest now because baby boomers are on the decline, millennials are a larger group right now than baby boomers were at their peak.  If this massive group of people is waiting so long to branch out onto their own, what impact does this trend have on the housing market?

Is there anything you are doing right now to account for this shift?  Is marketing toward this age group even an effective way to manage your time and resources?  During my career with home sales I have found myself in a couple of different selling positions.  Position one, I am trying to convince a customer to buy my house instead of my competitor’s. Position two, I am trying to convince a customer to buy my house instead of rent an apartment.  Position three, I have already sunk the deal and am just trying to sell up and cross sell price driving options.  In all three of these positions I am selling to a customer who is actively shopping for a home, at no point am I trying to sell to someone who is uninterested or unable to buy my product.

Is this the key to the dilemma?  Should we just stop trying to pull 20 year olds out of the basement and focus on people 30 and above?  There is still a large portion of the 18-34 age group that are potential home buyers and they will come to us when they are ready to purchase a home, but maybe it is not in our best interest to try to find them.  Eventually 18 year olds will be 35 and enter the age group of home buying should we just hang tight and focus on them when they are ready?

June 4, 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

Modular Homes

In a recent article Ken Reinard of Professional Building Systems gave his take on the new growth being seen in the manufactured housing industry, and more specifically, Modulars.  Reinard said that over the past five years he has struggled to keep full employment for PBS’s work force and that the opening of a sister plant specializing in multi-family housing is what helped keep PBS floating during the over half decade of debacle left behind from the housing meltdown.  Reinard said that he is seeing people buying single family homes again, and this is apparent in PBS’s need to begin hiring fulltime positions for their single family plant.

Growth in the manufactured housing market is in large part due to a better economic position for most middle class Americans and to more favorable lending terms.  Further growth in Modulars is due to its own specific reasons, being the age of consumption for millennials, consumer education, and affordability.  While Singlewide and Doublewide consumers still consist of the same two groups of people that they always have, young people of low income and elderly people of fixed income, Modulars are beginning to break into new groups of consumers.

Thanks to increased affordability consumers who traditionally were looking into higher end double-wides are now breaking into the Modular scene and thanks to strategic marketing and consumer education, people who had the funds to buy an existing home or hire someone to site build are heading toward Modulars because they understand that they are getting similar and often better quality in a Modular but for 20%-30% less in costs.  All things considered the entire manufactured housing industry is seeing a period of growth, but Modulars are growing at an increased rate because they have been able to pull would-be site built and Doublewide customers away from those options.

How are you positioning yourself in the Modular home market?

Click here to read the full article

February 19, 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

4,942 New HUD-Code Homes Shipped in January 2015

In January 2015, 4,942 new manufactured homes were shipped, an increase of 14.7 percent from January 2014. The trend reflected gains across the board, with shipments of single section homes up by 28.8 percent compared with the same month last year, and shipments of the multi-section homes showed an increase of 4.1 percent. Total floors shipped in January 2015 were 7,567, an increase of 10.8 percent compared with January 2014.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 70,837 in January 2015, down 0.7 percent from the adjusted rate of 71,347 in December 2014. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

The number of plants reporting production in January 2015 was 121 and the number of active corporations was 38, both down from the numbers in December 2014.

Information provided by MHI

March 25, 2015 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