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Tips on Manufactured Home Sales For Industry Professionals

L. A. Tony Kovach
 


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Are you new in manufactured home (MH) sales? Or perhaps you are in a sales slump? The following tips are basics - but they describe some of what to do, and what not to do!

Let's make this really simple. We sell affordable housing. Apples to apples, new to new, used to used, we will be priced under site built homes - all the time. New site built homes in our upper midwest area start at around $100-120 per square foot for the ‘home only’ part of the purchase. By comparison, a new MH home will be around $55-$65 per square foot. We can sell nice preowned MH homes in the $25-$35 per square foot range. In short, we save people money!

People make decisions in part by comparisons like the ones above. We have to supply them the information they need to make those comparisons. It is good for us to not only to give people printed or web based information, but we still have to feed it back and be able to sincerely re-enforce such messages and comparisons to our customers ourselves! Remember, if they hear a message more than once, they tend to believe it more. Besides, it is all the truth!!!

Principles:

  • Smile. Be friendly. We don't have to kiss their . . . you know what's. . . but we do need to treat people well and with respect. Honesty goes a long way.
  • Don't over promise, or under deliver.
  • Don't ever, ever, ever lie. It doesn't make for a long term career, nor does it lead to customer satisfaction or referrals.
  • If you don't know, tell them, but also get back with them in a timely fashion.
  • Remember, we have the best housing option available!
  • Document everything in the sale. A part of every contract must be the statement that if it isn't in writing, they don't get it. If someone has ‘shopped a lot’ there is a tendency to ‘blur’ conversations, unintentionally, but it still has to be dealt with. By setting the right and proper expectation going in, they won't be disappointed on the ownership side of the fence.
  • If we are including the cost of something else, a deck, landscaping, carport, garage, or storage building, we must describe it and hopefully show a picture of it, so that there are no unhappy customers at the end of the sales process. Again, set the right expectation!

    Qualifying prospects properly is important. Qualifying is putting the right person in the right home to fit their budget and needs. For example, there is no point in showing the biggest multi-section home (a. k. a. “double wide") to someone that can barely afford the least expensive single section home you have!

    If you do show the bigger home, it should be with the proper statements in advance: "We know that this is beyond your budget today, Mr. and Mrs. Home Buyer. But if you get the home that I showed you now, make good payments on it, then perhaps over time you can trade it in on for a larger or nicer home like this one. Of course, you should have the extra income you would need to afford it. "

    Way too many people in MH sales show homes that people can't buy. They end up buying a home from someone who did qualify them and put them in the right home for their needs and budget.

    Get the name and number of everyone you talk to - be it by phone or in person.

    Don't set fuzzy appointments, set a real time and date to meet. Try to set appointments on the quarter hour an appointment for 3:15 tomorrow afternoon is much more likely to show up, than ''I'll see you sometime tomorrow afternoon!" Get a phone number to call them in case you need to reset, and give them a phone number to call them if they need to reset the appointment. This will make a huge difference in how professional you appear to them, and also it will result in more people who buy from you!

    Know your homes. Know which one offers what sized rooms and features. Make sure your models are neat and presentable. We adjust the mini blinds in every home, to block out some light, but angle it enough to let some light in. Every mind blind in the home was set the same. This gives the homes a subtle ‘neat’ appearance. We place carpeting in the entrance of every door to the home, to let people wipe their feet off on, and this keeps our homes cleaner too!

    Doing these little things this way, there was a simple yet clear message that we cared about the model homes. They will respect them more too, and are more likely to buy.

    Let's review. Remember, we sell affordable housing! Be friendly. Qualify. Be able to make helpful comparisons. Always get their name(s) and contact information. Set real appointments. Know your homes.

    Finally, find out what ad or referral source they learned about your company. Know your website's message. Study! Reading or listening to training items like this often, especially as your are learning. Remember, if you TRULY want to be a career professional, you have to study and practice, just like any other professionals do!

    Be PROUD of what we offer, because we sell a basic necessity of life. We are fortunate - blessed! - to offer good homes for good people!!!

    L. A. “Tony" Kovach is a speaker at Jerry “Mr. Mobile Home" Hoganson's MobileWealth.com Seminar and specializes in MH Community operations. Tony has been named to two different ‘Who's Who’ among American Executives lists Tony Kovach has been published in a number of newspapers, magazines and MH industry trade journals, including This Rock, Infinity Press, Manufactured Home Merchandiser Magazine and Automated Builder Magazine. Kovach is the web founder of the http://www.abcsoffaith.com website.

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