Monday, June 26, 2017

Are you ready to build a home for a Millennial?

Marketing and selling modular homes will never be the same. The old ‘tried and true’ sales methods simply will not work on them.

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Consider the mounting evidence: Millennials now make up the largest generational block in the U.S. and hold about $1.3 trillion in annual buying power. By 2020, they’ll comprise 50% of the U.S. workforce. Simply put, ignoring the sales opportunities millennials afford is a very bad idea.

“There are 80 million of them. Besides traditional housing that you’ve always sold, the Millennial will be looking for Tiny Houses, ADU’s, container homes (because they are rage on social media) and unique condo and apartment arrangements.

Gone are the days when a simple “Buy Now!” sales pitch worked for this market.

Millennials have grown up with those types of ad continually bombarded in their senses, and they’re tired of it.

Don’t sell to them outright. You need to convince them why, in a way that benefits them greatly, and without looking like a blatant product placement from their favorite TV series.

For example, attempt to sell to them by showing them the environment and social benefits of buying a modular home. Smaller carbon footprint, sustainable materials and energy conservation just to name a couple. 58% of Millennials say they look more favorable on products that are environmentally friendly.

This is a way for you to drive sales without directly saying “Buy now” anywhere in your marketing or sales process.

Skip the TV and radio – millennials hardly pay attention or even use those anymore. A lot of them don’t even have cable, using KODI to watch movies that are still in theatres and shows on HBO, Showtime, etc, for free. If you don’t know what KODI is, you may not be prepared to properly market to a Millennial.

They’re more than likely tuned into their phones or devices, browsing the Internet for hours on end, and that’s your best avenue for reaching them.

Millennials grew up in the age of websites and social networking including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, online shops, etc. Trying to reach their eyeballs with yesterday’s marketing techniques is a total waste of your time and money.

This doesn’t mean that meeting them in real time isn’t necessary. Quite the opposite. They want to meet you and you absolutely need to meet them. There may not be as many meetings during the sales and building processes as you’ve had in the past but face to face meetings are still a must.

For general lines of questions or quick inquiries, keep your WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook Messenger lines open. You can also utilize social media for this, as well as the private message options that can be found on various platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

Emails and phone calls are reserved for more lengthy transactions, business-related matters, longer inquiries (such as reporting or detailing problems) or those concerning personal information.

In-person inquiries are mostly used as a last resort by millennials and be reserved for important meetings.


Millennials are quite busy and always shifting from one activity to another. Holding them longer than they want to will bore them and will render your marketing and sales efforts unimportant for them. This is not to say, however, that they are attention-deficit. They’ll only pay attention to what they want to, in the right medium.

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Only 26% are married, 33% of them have four year college degrees and over 50% of them have ”logo” coffee cups. Who would have thought?

They’ll also fact-check what you’re telling them regardless of what you tell them, so it’s almost a wasted effort trying to explain everything rather than letting them have the natural curiosity to explore. Your goal is to convince them why they need you to be their builder in the least amount of time it takes, but leave out the heavier, more detailed information for the face to face meetings so you don’t waste your time, and theirs. Don’t go into a whole spiel about your homes unless you’re sure they’re more than ready to listen until the end.

Don’t try using ‘smoke and mirror’ or jargon filled marketing techniques. Millennials have a great tendency to fact-check, whether you want them to or not. They’ll scour the Internet to learn more about what you are trying to sell to them so they aren’t caught in any surprises that they might not like – and if they are, millennials are more than willing to spread the word about it.

Unlike Gen X’ers or Boomers, this Generation listens and reads quite well and if you are caught in puffing or misleading them, they will not only tell eleven of their friends, they will tell all thousand of their social media friends!

Don’t try too hard to relate to them – they can figure it out. Millennials want real, down-to-earth people who can truly connect with them and give them the truth.

In short, they want authenticity to counteract their skepticism. Be consistent and transparent with whatever you tell them about your goods or services, and if their fact-checking reveals that you were right, they will be more eager to listen the next time.

If you have been observing things that millennials have trended over the years in social media, you’ll see how many of these are because millennials felt strongly about them. Millennials’ emotions are one of the ruling factors for their engagement tendencies. Make them laugh, make them cry, give them something that will have an impact on their beliefs and their world.

Impressing millennials requires you to act as the guiding point in regards to both your business and how it relates to their lives. They want to know that you can hear them, you can acknowledge their problems, and solve it for them.

Acting like an expert who has the solutions to their housing needs will let you develop a relationship with them, and ultimately makes you a trustworthy business in their judgment.

Create content about your homes and the benefits of owning one from you. Always be ready to answer what they are asking you and do it quickly. Open their eyes to problems they never knew they had and present your solution afterwards.

These methods allow you to establish yourself as a person they can approach when they are confused and will let them remember you more.

The sad reality about millennials is that they’re always stereotyped. They have short attention spans, are always glued to their phones, entitled, etc.

Removing your preconceived notion of millennial traits may be your greatest tickets to having success in selling them new modular homes.

With millennials quickly entering the workforce, you may have some under your wing as well. Ask them what ways appeal to them, and coordinate with it accordingly. After all, they are the next generation who are already making huge impacts with the purchasing market and will continue to do so for the next years.

They are your next big market!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

PA Modular Home Builder Unveils Brand New Model Home

River Valley Builders, has opened a new model home and design center at 10 Paramount Road, Selinsgrove, PA across from Selinsgrove Ford.


Owner and modular home designer Daniel Stimely, a native of Lewistown who now lives in the Selinsgrove area with his family, has been in the modular home industry for more than 32 years. Stimely uses his modular building and design experience to help the customer obtain the home of their dreams while keeping their budget in mind.
Dan Stimely, owner, River Valley Builders
“We have many things to offer a potential new home buyer like complete customization of design and brand name products as well as the speed to complete a home in less time without sacrificing quality,” says Stimely. “Whether you are looking for a modest home or a home with all the upgrades, River Valley Builders can meet your needs.”
The new model home features a custom tile master bath, quartz countertops, hardwood flooring and exterior stonework to show a potential new home buyer the many options available through River Valley Builders.
Modular homes can be more affordable because of shorter build times, are energy efficient to save on monthly expenses and because they are built in a factory they can reduce delays caused by weather to cut down on build costs.
Stimely says, “We wanted to build this model home and design center to get more exposure to the Selinsgrove area and show the quality of our brand.”

River Valley Builders serves customers throughout the multi-county central Pennsylvania area. The model home is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., noon to 4pm on Sunday and other times by appointment.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Westchester Homes’ New Video Right on Target

Westchester Modular Homes has just produced a new video for marketing its homes to new home buyers.

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What makes this video different from most other factories’ videos is the frankness that John Colucci, the VP of Sales for Westchester, brings to buying a modular home.

He does tell buyers that going modular, especially going with Westchester, will give them a stronger home with good materials, a greener home as well as an energy efficient home. And all this is done in approximately half the construction time as a site built home.

Enjoy their latest marketing video:

Europe's Tallest Modular Tower Almost Completed

Construction of B2 BKLYN, the tallest modular tower ever attempted in the US was at a standstill after developer Forest City Ratner Companies and construction company Skanska USA sued each other.

Today B2, the modular tower located at 461 Dean Street, next to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, is completed and open. However the total project got bad press almost from the start. Unions sought to block it, building tolerances were off and a dispute between the developer and the builder stopped it for quite some time.

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But things work a little different “across the pond” in London. With London’s growth pushing the city skyward, news that a 28-story student dormitory is nearing completion won’t grab many people’s attention.

However once you look closely at the Apex House structure you will notice that it a real modular commercial modular work of art.

According to Rory Bergin, an architect with the UK firm HTA Design, which designed the project, the building exemplifies the economical and environmental advantages of this style of construction. The volumetric assembly style has been called “scaled-up Lego bricks,” and offers a speedy, cost-effective way to add dense, vertical housing to cities.

Assembled at the Vision Modular Systems factory in Bedford, 15 miles outside of the capital—every individual room was pre-made, with furniture and decorations as well as the bed and closet already installed before it left the assembly line—the 560-room student dorm was built a year faster than a similar-sized structure using traditional methods, and is now the tallest modular tower in Europe.
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After the concrete core was put together on site in the London borough of Brent, modules, or “boxes,” were trucked in and then assembled atop a concrete base, with a facade of glass-reinforced concrete panels added for the final touch. Up to 60 boxes were added per week. After the final floor was placed in April, the building is on track to open for the new school year in September.
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Factory assembly not only accelerates construction, but offers a number of environmental benefits. By centralizing production, travel and delivery time of the completed modules, carbon emissions from transportation are cut.

Factory quality control enables the builders to standardize and achieve tighter building envelopes, allowing for more energy-efficient units. The building and construction waste from this project was one-tenth that of typical construction site construction. The construction noise in the neighborhood is also reduced. There are many aspects of modular that bring benefits that normally aren’t considered with standard building criteria.”
Eventually European factories will crack the 30- and even 40-story barrier.

In the US, modular steel construction is making major inroads into bigger and taller buildings. The residential/commercial wood framed modular factories are also pushing deeper into site construction’s commercial business with big projects already completed and even bigger ones in the planning stage.

With all this happening in Europe one has to wonder why commercial steel modular factories like Markline and DeLuxe recently closed their doors.

Maybe the US isn’t quite as advanced as other countries when it comes to large modular towers.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Modular Home Builder Blog Earns 2016 Constant Contact All Star Award

"I was just named a Constant Contact All Star for 2016. I want to thank my subscribers for reading and responding to my emails!"

Recognized Among Top 10 Percent of Customers Driving Powerful Email Marketing Results

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Gary Fleisher’s Modular Home Builder Blog been named a 2016 All Star Award winner by Constant Contact, part of the Endurance International Group, Inc.’s family of brands and the trusted marketing advisor to hundreds of thousands of small organizations worldwide.

The annual award recognizes the most successful 10 percent of Constant Contact’s customer base, based on their significant achievements using email marketing to engage their customer base and drive results for their organization during the prior year.

Small businesses and nonprofits using Constant Contact’s email marketing tools are eligible for this award. Criteria used to select this year’s All Stars included the following during 2016:

  • Level of engagement with email campaigns
  • Open, bounce, and click-through rates
  • Use of social sharing features
  • Use of mailing list sign-up tools
  • Use of reporting tools

“Email marketing continues to deliver the highest returns of any marketing channel. Yet its ability to engage customers, drive awareness, boost sales, and increase donations isn’t always a given. It requires a balance of best practices and relevant content delivered through a powerful email marketing engine,” said Jamie Waldinger, Senior Director Corporate Development & Strategy, Constant Contact. “This year’s All Stars embody that balance and we laud Modcoach’s achievements with this All Star Award.”   

About Constant Contact
Constant Contact, an Endurance International Group company and a leader in email marketing since 1995, provides hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world with the online marketing tools, resources, and personalized coaching they need to grow their business. For more information, visit: http://www.constantcontact.com.

About Endurance International Group

Endurance International Group (em)Powers millions of small businesses worldwide with products and technology to vitalize their online web presence, email marketing, mobile business solutions, and more. The Endurance family of brands includes: Constant Contact, Bluehost, HostGator, iPage, Domain.com, BigRock, SiteBuilder and SinglePlatform, among others. Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, Endurance employs more than 4,000 people across the United States, Brazil, India and the Netherlands. For more information, visit: www.endurance.com.

Champion Quickly Becoming the Leader in Modular Hotel Production

The sleek new gray, aluminum-clad building at 3435 Main St. doesn’t look anything like its nearby midtown Kansas City properties, which are typically made of older brick.
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But that exterior hides something even more different inside. For a first in the Kansas City area, an apartment building was constructed by joining and stacking prefabricated modular units.

Eighty apartment units, on the market for about $800 to $1,300 per month depending on size, promise another unusual feature: super quiet living spaces.

Each “pod,” assembled by Champion Home Builders in York, Neb., and shipped separately, was built with double insulation on the top, bottom and sides. Stacked side by side or on top of each other, that creates four layers of insulation plus two feet of dead space between modules.

Units in the new 3435 Main apartments were assembled after being prefabricated in Nebraska, shipped to Kansas City, and stacked/attached together before the "skin" exterior was put on the building.

The result: “premium seclusion from your neighbors,” according to the developers.




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Google’s Moffett Field Modular Apartment Plan Hailed as Housing Crisis Fix


With rental costs skyrocketing and homes out of reach for many, Google has hit on a solution that may help it attract workers to the crushingly expensive Bay Area.

The tech giant plans to buy 300 units of modular housing to serve as temporary employee accommodations on its planned “Bay View” campus at NASA’s Moffett Field, according to a source familiar with the plan.

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Experts heralded the move as not only good for Google, but as a potential template for others to follow as the high cost of construction combined with expensive real estate make affordable housing hard to come by.

Google’s move with prefabricated units is seen as a small but promising step toward solving the region’s housing crisis.

“That’s definitely a really great start,” said Wayne Chen, city of Mountain View housing and neighborhood services manager. “Any time we can find innovative ways to address the housing crisis is an opportunity that we really welcome.”

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The Bay View project, which has been in the works for several years but plagued by delays, will consist of three large office buildings totaling about 600,000 square feet, according to a site assessment issued by NASA in July. It’s unclear when the project will be completed.

Google, which recently said it was finding it easier to hire people in Seattle than in the Bay Area because of this region’s sky-high housing costs, plans apartment-style, modular units at the Bay View campus. The company is also planning two additional campuses, massive developments in San Jose and Mountain View.

The Mountain View search giant declined to provide details about its plan. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the project will cost $25 million to $30 million, and that Factory OS of Vallejo will build the units.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Can’t Stop Now, I’m Too Darn Busy

When the home building industry is having a great year, most builders are too busy working with prospective buyers, new buyers and doing warranty work with past buyers to worry much about next month or next year.

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What we tend to forget is the roller coaster our industry rides decade after decade.

When times are good like it is now, new prospects always want to talk, the clients always buy within two meetings, the orders are flowing to the factory, and the stress is down except for you have far more business than can manage without having to do too much work from home.

However. do not let complacency become your business partner!

There are things you should be doing on a monthly basis to ensure the housing roller coaster you are on keeps going up and never goes back down for an extended period of time. Here are three things you should be doing every month, especially when business is good.

1. Never Ever Stop Networking.
While the modular housing market are good today that could change due to factors that are entirely out of your control. Networking creates a business buffer by exposing you to new modular people and new experiences that you would have missed out on. The best part is that if you are doing great in sales you are able to network without the stress of needing to find a sale. Everyone you meet can become a long range prospect and not a short term target.

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2. Never Stop Reading
Since business is so good take the time to learn how to increase your expertise in an area of your operation that is lagging. Attend a Modcoach seminar or go to an industry focused conference, like the ones from the MHBA and the BSC, that can add an additional line of business allowing you to get deeper into the wallet of your client. The value of the knowledge today may be minimal but as your business grows and factors change you may not have the time to dedicate to adding new knowledge points. Take advantage and do it now.

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3. Volunteer Your Services

When you take the time to give of yourself you build relationships that long lasting and go beyond the day to day business activities you would normally engage. Helping by joining a committee for either the BSC or the MHBA. Whether it is mentoring to a new person in selling and building modular homes or swinging a hammer at a constriction site the intrinsic value is still there. Studies have shown that people who volunteer are happier and healthier than those who do not volunteer. Finally, there are many instances where relationships formed through volunteer connections can also lead to business success.

So while things are going well and the time is available, do some things that will pay long term dividends for you and your business.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Dickinson Homes Unveils Very Popular IRC Tiny House

Dickinson Homes, located in Kingsford, MI, thought you would be good idea to build a real IRC modular “tiny home” in a modular factory.  

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Their Aspen design has a full living and kitchen along with bedroom and a bathroom with laundry.  

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It is built to set on a permanent basement or crawlspace as they are constructed to the regular residential building code.  Since they opened this model in March their walk in, Internet and phone traffic has significantly increased.

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The Aspen is our 601 s.f. take on the tiny home concept. Modern details with a monopitch roof and large window spaces. Open living room, full size kitchen, bedroom, bathroom (w/ washer & dryer) all under a pitched ceiling covered in western red cedar T&G.

Several factories have built ‘no wheel’ Tiny Houses so far and the last I heard they are getting orders from home buyers and builders.