Friday, July 8, 2011

BUSINESS OWNERS DON'T UNDERSTAND MODULAR HOUSING

During the past few weeks I've been the guest at 2 Business to Business (B2B) meetings in my area.  When I introduced myself to the other business people at the meetings, I was surprised that most people really didn't understand modular housing .



So during the wrap up "Meet and Greet" after the meal I started talking to anyone that would listen to me explain modular housing and how it is the best way to build new homes.  To open the discussion I asked two questions.

Can you name a modular home factory?  Are you sitting down?  Of the 30 +/- people that I asked, only 2 could name a factory.  Both named Champion Homes.  There is a Clayton Homes lot near us and a small local modular home factory but their names never came up.  Yes, there was a home builder at each meeting but they couldn't name a factory either.

Then I asked if they would consider living in a modular home?  A couple of them understood what modular houses are compared to manufactured homes and said they would.  The vast majority said that they couldn't see themselves living in a trailer.  OUCH!

Armed with those responses, I have come to a conclusion.  The modular housing industry has never marketed itself and probably never will.  There is no individual factory doing any kind of regional or national advertising. 

When times get tough, the modular housing industry pulls back and builds commercial.  With the exception of a couple of factories spread out across the US, most factories build both residential and commercial modules.   If all the factories would contribute to a national marketing effort, I'll bet modular would start to be considered as an alternative to site built housing.

Or we could just sit still and let the economy continue to kill off our factories, one by one without any fight, only a whimper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Coach -- and your conclusion was a surprise to you!! Shame on you. I gave you a lot more credit in knowing how the industry operates. They never have and never will have an industry recognition program aimed toward the retail buyer. WHY? Because they do not deal with retail buyers; do not consider expenditure of money to retail market in their best interests even though their distribution network and their financial well being is in the hands of builders who in turn must market and sell to the RETAIL market.
The reason for their attitude is the modular industry has always been and continues to be a function of the overall housing market. When it is good the industry does their 5% market share. When it is bad they are the first to suffer and the last to recuperate due to their lack of marketing knowledge or willingness to market their products.
I feel sorry for all the employees of these modular companies but not all that sorry for the owners as they are doing nothing to help themselves. I am waiting to be proven wrong by some of them demonstrating their marketing endeavors over the past two years.