Thursday, February 14, 2013

Modular Housing is Tired of Being Housing's Niche Market

What’s wrong with being a niche market? If that niche is 3-5% of the total new homes built in the US every year, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Now that the housing market “appears” to be going in the right direction for a change, maybe the modular home factories that have always built single family residences and small multi-family projects can get back to profitably doing that again.

We build houses. Modular houses. Green and energy efficient houses. We build some of the best damn houses in the US but who knows about us? Sure, every modular home factory has a website and most have some sort of social media presence but there is nothing organized about it.

The Master of Niche Marketing
I challenge every single modular home factory owner, the management and sales staffs and every modular home builder to point to one positive piece of PR that has been released about the modular home industry in the past 2 years that has run nationally. If we left it up to the national organizations like the NAHB or the MBSA, we would all be like Baby stuck in the corner and you know what Johnny said in Dirty Dancing;  “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

Isn’t that the way the organizations that are supposed to be our champions treat us? We are just another Baby to them. No organized national exposure. No national marketing plan.  No nothin’.

We are a niche market with a vast audience of new home buyers begging to learn about us but what do they really see when they look for us. They see the Blu Homes of the prefab west coast gang representing us. They compare us to mobile homes. Hell, even those used shipping containers converted to housing get more press than we do.

It’s time for the largest niche market in housing to wake up and begin beating our drums. Slow and steady until the sound is heard by every man and woman looking to buy a new home. Maybe Blu Homes will give the industry a spare couple of millions from their marketing war chest to help the other boys and girls buy some national exposure.

We are modular housing. We are the best housing choice and we don’t want to remain a niche entity much longer. Stick builders can be our niche market!

5 comments:

Kelly Dunn said...

Hey Coach, there you go again on your soapbox but this time you've got my attention and approval. I've been reading your articles for over 2 years and even though I sometimes disagree with your viewpoint, for the most part you are absolutely correct.
Keep up the good work. Please accept my first donation as a way of showing you that I support your efforts to make modular housing the choice of home buyers.

Jay Miller said...

Hi Coach,

Apple took technology that was available to any computer maker and turned it into a must-have product.

The much derided Blu Homes makes ugly houses, but they make the process more akin to buying a car. I find that business model very intruiging.

What if some smart Modular MFG partners with various brand names and makes a set of regionally styled homes that people can purchase like a car?

Oooh, the Jones's just bought an X home. It's so open yet comfortable and efficient. The X engineers have thought of every tiny detail!

Until you can reach an Apple level of brand recognition, then modular is just another way to build the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Coach,
The hard reality is modular is simply a construction method whose popularity rises or falls based upon the cost and availability of local labor and materials needed to build a home.

Anonymous said...

modular rises and falls based upon a developers ability to see past the way the business has been conducted for generations and embrace an IRR approach to business. labor, material, speed, simplicity, lesser GCs , fewer change orders...too many to list.

Modular Homes said...

You are right dear, but the needs of the customers are not always same.It may vary with time as well as that of the money and requirement. You can see more for modular homes.