More of ‘What’s So Hard AAbout Doing This?’
What’s So Hard About Doing This? Part II.
Part I? Scroll Back One Week in the Blog Archives at this website!
Turns out, not surprisingly, we’re not the only ones who underperform.
“I (almost) give up! Guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when the manager of a WAWA Dairy Store in Blakeselle, PA brushed off a (my) suggestion that would’ve boosted her location’s business volume”
Minutes earlier, I’d exited I-80 and bought regular unleaded gasoline for $3.09/gallon ($3.00/gallon if I’d paid cash) from a local Exxon station. Angered at the predatorily high price of the gas, I purposed not to buy my lunch there, so drove less than a mile to the local WAWA store. Pulling into the parking lot, I was shocked to see their regular unleaded gas was selling for $2.75/gallon! I’d just overspent at least $5.00 on a tank of gas! As I paid for lunch, I asked to speak to the store manager, and told her:
“If you posted a sign at the interstate exit down the street, announcing your $2.75/gallon gas price, you’d get a whole lot more business – considering your competitor of charging 34 cents more per gallon.” Her response? “Oh, we’re WAWA, everybody knows us, we don’t need no sign.” Geesh.
I suppose one could say ‘That’s the difference, sometimes, between an employee and someone with skin (i.e. equity interest) in the game’ of business. But I think it’s more than that. It also has to do with making it a point to be on one’s game (e.g. Ready to perform!) at all times one is expected to sell and lease; and, being open to new marketing and promotion ideas as well!
How does the just related experience apply to selling manufactured homes and
leasing rental homesites? Well, here’s the drill…
A prospective homebuyer/site lessee pulls up and parks their car in front of your on or off – site MHRetail salescenter, hopefully in a space designated with an attractive sign that reads: RESERVED FOR FUTURE RESIDENT! As they get out of their vehicle and head into the Information Center, GET MOTIVATED and put a SMILE on your face and into your voice! Be prepared for ‘the performance of your life’!
As the prospect(s) walk in the door, don’t stay seated, GET UP and walk across the room, meeting them halfway, with an outstretched hand, and (again) SMILE on your face and in your voice! WELCOME them to the Information Center, introduce yourself, and ask their name(s) – and call them by name throughout the presentation and product demonstration. It’s an especially ‘good & timely move’ to then offer refreshment of some sort: something cold and refreshng in a hot climate; something warm or hot on a cold day. Now’s a good time to ask prospect(s) to complete a Guest Card, or you – as sales/leasing consultant, fill it in. That decision is simply a matter of personal style. Then, use the card, and the information contained on it, it to facilitate the sales/leasing presentation, since the card contains their housing needs, wants, etc… Speaking of Guest Cards, here’s a unique one ‘free for the asking’*: the dual purpose Visitor Information & Visitor Response card, perforated in the middle. Use the Information half as the aforementioned Guest Card, give Response half to prospect when they leave the Information Center – whether they bought a home or not, as it asks them to ‘grade’ the property and sales/leasing performance; then mail it back to the property or home office.
Qualify the interested prospect! Is the desired home (size, features, configuration) available now, or must it be ordered? Does prospect have the ability to purchase the needed/wanted home and, if sited in a landlease (nee manufactured home) community, pay the monthly site rent and related household expenses? The easiest way to measure this critical set of circumstances, whether for a land & home transaction; or, again, in the LLCommunity setting, is to use the ‘Ah Ha & Uh Oh! Form, also ‘free for the asking’*. And, as was pointed out in Part I of this two part series on manufactured housing sales & rental homesite leasing, be very careful NOT to Discriminate. Always remember and respect the seven protected classes of citizenry.*
Assuming homebuying interest is high and prospect is qualified to buy, Demonstrate the appropriate product! This means walking through new and resale homes in inventory and already on – site in the LLCommunity. Ideally, homes are skirted, steps/porches in place –if required, climate controlled, and as I’ve noticed of late, attractively landscaped with shrubs and flowers planted, in season, out in front of the home! Do your ‘homes for sale’ have those, and more, selling features in place? And while it pains me to remind you of this, ensure the appropriate Formaldehyde Warning Poster is in place, usually in the kitchen of the home. As a frequent Mystery Shopper, ‘that is not always the case’, hence a risky (regulatory = $ fine) state of affairs. Anyway, it’s not enough to unlock a model or new home’s front door and turn the prospect loose! It’s important to accompany the prospect through the home, pointing out, sometimes even demonstrating features along the way. And here’s an important tip: Vacuum carpets in model homes every workday! Why? Not only keeps them clean, but more importantly, obliterates traffic patterns that form as person after person walks the same or similar paths throughout the house. And, it’s usually a good idea to have floor plans and other sales literature available somewhere in the show house. One more timely tip: Have deodorizers in place in these homes, to mask or counter unpleasant odors. Done demonstrating one or more homes? Assuming prospect is still highly interested, and certainly ‘qualified’ to buy, invite them back to the Information Center to complete the paperwork to buy the home and lease a homesite in the LLCommunity! Most sales/leasing consultants do NOT effect this key critical step! Do you?
Well, there you have it. The basics of on – site sales and homesite leasing. Sure, there’re fine points not yet covered here, but I’m certain you ‘get the idea’. Have salescenter sales/leasing suggestions you’d like to share with readers of this blog? Let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org or respond directly to this blog posting.
In last week’s blog posting, I mentioned a FREE resource designed to teach sales and leasing consultants how to enhance their personal security when working alone in an Information Center. If interested in receiving this list of ’10 Helpful Steps to Manager & Leasing Consultant Safety’, contact PMN Publishing.*
So, how did the Open Discussion Among New England LLCommunity Owners, turn out? Excellent. Nearly two dozen convened on – site at Dave Piper’s Cranberry Village LLCommunity in Middleboro, MA. Representatives were present from Hometown America, ROC – USA, along with numerous small owners/operators. Program began at 10AM and ended after 1PM. Many local issues, including ‘local rent control’ were discussed, as well as national matters pertaining to the S.A.F.E. Act, and sad results of the 2 June 2010 Manufactured Housing Finance Roundtable in Elkhart, IN.
This gathering turned out to be a helpful precursor to the Grand ‘Once & For All! Tour being planned for seven U.S. regions during year 2011. These will be 1 ½ day sessions comprised of a healthy, challenging mix of information (‘State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class’); unity & motivation = join Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) as direct dues – paying members, especially the National Communities Council (‘NCC’); communication (i.e. Print & online resources available from the newly formed CONSORTIUM); education (re: ‘captive finance’ and ‘captive insurance’ and ‘other matters); and much more. There’s even talk of adding a second day for registrants who want to ‘stay over’ or have local on – site managers participate in the day long Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) professional property management and certification class.
If you’d like the Grand ‘Once & For All! Tour to come to your geographic area or specific city, and are willing to assist with planning and facilitating the program, please let this blogger know ASAP! We’re negotiating with a national hotel chain to use their facilities exclusively, so will need to identify the seven regions soon, e.g. New England, Mid – Atlantic states, Southeast, Upper Midwest, Lower Midwest, West, Pacific Northwest. And sponsors of this Fall’s 19th annual International Networking Roundtable will be given ‘first opportunity’ to sign onto this historic initiative, and have their product/service message taken nationwide during these sessions.
Due to space limitations, I’m unable to ‘tell you complete news stories’ in this weekly blog posting. For ‘the rest of the stories’, subscribe to the Allen Letter professional journal for $134.95/year – and receive a FREE copy of the 21st annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLCommunity Owners/operators Throughout North America!’).* AND, if interested in attending the 19th annual International Networking Roundtable in Phoenix, AZ. @ 15 – 17 September 2010, register at this blog’s website or phone (317) 346-7156. And while on the phone, order a copy of the recently released Manufactured Housing $$$ Primer!, subtitled: ‘Almost Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Chattel (personal property) Finance’
To request ‘free copies’ of the Guest Card and Ah Ha & Uh Oh! Forms cited in this blog, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.
Seven protected classes? Think: Realtors Can Really Sell Housing Fast Now, using the first letter of each of those seven words to remind one of Race, Creed, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial status, Nationality.
George Allen, Realtor®, CPPM®Emeritus, MHM
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247