One good thing about the mobile home park business is that there is always plenty of demand. But to complete home sales, you have to take control of that demand and convert it into deals done. In this Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast, we will review the top five ways to boost your home sales – right now and at virtually no cost.
Episode 316: The Top Five Ways To Boost Your Home Sales Right Now Transcript
We all know that a vacant lot is worth nothing, yet an occupied mobile home park lot is worth anywhere from probably 30 to as much as $100,000 of space. This is Frank Rolfe with The Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast. We're gonna talk about the top five ways to quickly fill some of your lots. Now, if you've got some homes sitting in lots that are gathering dust, not getting it out the door, or if you are selling homes but wanna do it at a more rapid pace, these are five things you can do immediately that cost very little money, and they are extremely effective.
The first one is to have a rollover sales person. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, here's what happens. Typically in most mobile home parks, your manager is not really very effective at answering the telephone. Even if you tell them it's a very high priority, other things always seem to get in the way, and one primary cause is they don't really like to answer the phone anyway. So it's easy for them to rationalize, "Well, I had to go walk around the property", or "I had to go meet with this customer about their payment", and of course, that's not entirely true. Sometimes they're sitting there, they just elect not to answer it. But nevertheless, every time the phone rings and no one answers it, you lose that potential sale. And it can be crippling. Now, you definitely should be porting your phone number through Who's Calling, every park should do that no matter what they have going on, whether they have vacant homes or no homes. Because you wanna know how your manager is performing as far as answering the phone and what they say to people.
But when you're trying to sell homes, it's even more critical, because every time that phone rings and goes unanswered, then you don't know that might have been the ultimate buyer of that home, that might be someone calling to say they'll take the home, and they'll even pay in all cash. So you can't really afford to have that happen. And at the same time, we have to acknowledge that many of our managers are not professional sales people. They don't actually enjoy that function, and other than getting homes out the door it's not even in a critical part of their job description. So what you need to do is you need to set it up such that after say three or four rings, if the manager does not answer the phone, the phone then forwards again to another person, and that person is basically your role over sales person.
Now they can handle, if you have a portfolio of parks, they can handle the phones for all of the parks, but even if you just have one park, you'll still be money ahead to find someone who likes to answer the phone, who likes the concept of selling, and let them answer it for you, because even if they only do a 50% good job, it's still a whole lot better than 0%. Now, who could the roll over salesperson be? Well, if you've got a number of parks, it could be an actual paid employee that gets paid well, but if you just have one park, it could be almost anyone, it could be someone else who lives in that mobile home park, it could be yourself, friends and family whoever you want it to be, because someone answering that phone, that's really what's critical. The customer is still gonna have to go out and look at the home, they're still gonna have to ponder it, if they wanna buy it, they'll probably have to apply for a loan with a lender. But what's critical is unless you get that phone answered, then none of those other steps will happen.
The next thing you can do is being open nights and weekends. Now any park would be better off closed on Monday and open on Saturday. Why? Because if you really think about it, most of your customers, if they're gonna look at buying that home, they're gonna wanna go out and see that home after work, they're gonna wanna go out there when they can go out there with their spouse or whoever else they want to have look at it and make that decision with them. And typically that precludes normal business hours, which are 9:00 to 5:00, basically. Unfortunately, that's when most managers want to be in the office is 9:00 to 5:00, the exact right moment that you're never gonna get much sold. So instead, you need to have your park open, your office, if you have homes to sell, at least maybe one night a week later, and definitely a Saturday or a Sunday, because that will really give your sales a boost. If you're saying, "Well, I have some homes here and I want to sell them and they're not going out the door quickly", I guarantee you, if you are open at least on a weekend day, and at least one night a week, it will make a huge difference. You're gonna capture all those customers that prior gave up and thought, "Well, I'm not even gonna look there, because their hours are so impossible for me to make. It's so in practical to think I can get there during the day when I've got my job going on."
It'll really be a game changer for you. The third item is just to have standard showing hours, just have someone in the park unlock the homes at a certain point of the day and then lock them back again at a later time in the day. This eliminates all of the problems of trying to coordinate the customer, with your manager on the showings. It also is a key component, if you will have a rollover salesperson, so that they don't have to try and coordinate either, they just know that the park homes are always available to see every day from let's say, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and you have someone that unlock those homes in 11:00 and close them again again at 5:00. If you wanna go even longer, that's fine too.
0:05:41.0 Frank Rolfe: If you wanna extend those on to Saturday and even Sunday, that's also okay. The key item you're getting is not only having a standardized, always open house availability, but most importantly, you don't have to coordinate with the manager. When the customer calls, you don't have to say, "Oh, you wanna come by Tuesday at 3:00. Let me check into that and I'll get back to you." See that just wasted a bunch of time, kinda killed the enthusiasm of the customer. Who knows you may never talk to them again. So instead, just have the shortcut of having standard open house hours. It'll make your life a whole lot easier.
Next, you need to establish any potential price reductions in advance, so you don't have to waste a lot of time with the manager calling you or whoever their higher authority is to get the discount approved. Let's say you've got some mobile homes in your park that you wanna sell for $60,000, that's what you decide is the correct price for those. And someone comes in and says, "Oh, I like this home. But here's the deal, I'll give you $56,000 for it." Do you take it or do you don't?
Well, if your manager doesn't know, here's how it would have to work, they'd say, "Oh well, I don't know if we can do that or not. Let me talk to the home office and I'll get back to you." and let's say the customer is sitting there right now, a checkbook in hand because they just got an inheritance or they just got some kind of settlement. They have the money right there, maybe they just sold their house and they're downsizing into a mobile home. Well, you're gonna blow it. When they can't say, "Okay, yeah, we'll take it." Because there's gonna be a delay, maybe it's gonna roll things back for a day. Within that one day period, they probably went down the street and bought at a different property, which knew in advance if they could take it or not. So don't wait until you get that offer. Don't think, well, I don't wanna give the manager any idea and we can go any lower, because then they won't fight as hard. The problem is you're going to lose the customer in doing that. These customers don't often price shop effectively, and they don't follow up very well, so you need to know your discounts in advance.
Finally, it's very important considering the fact that most mobile home park owners sell the homes that they bring into the part through some kind of lender, whether it's 21st Mortgage, Performance Equity Partner, Triad, Zippy, whatever the case may be, the customer to pull off that borrowing, to create that mortgage, they're gonna have to provide some information to the lender, and where a lot of deals fall apart is not because the customer doesn't want the home, and not because they can't afford the home, and not because they don't have the credit to get the home, they simply need a little extra nudge or push to get the job done. It's a real pain in the rear to have to go away and get your W-2 and your income tax, and all these different things, the ledger is going to require. That little list of documentation, which they have, but it's just a big pain.
Now, you probably remember back to high school, you had homework assignments, you didn't much like to do, maybe it was a book report and you kept procrastinating on the book report, and then sometimes you start to rationalize why it was smart to be procrastinating on the book report. The same thing occurs with customers, when you give them homework to do that they don't really want to do, by and large, what they'll do is they just won't do it. And if you can be that little grain of sand that creates the pearl, if you can have your manager be the person who kind of holds their hand through the process for them just to obtain the items that are needed, it can make all the difference in the world.
There's no question that when the manager is an active participant in helping them gather things together and giving them a little extra shove towards getting in the application, that that can have a very, very meaningful difference in how things turn out for you. Now, the five things I just mentioned to you, what's the total cost of those? Well, nearly nothing. On the rollover sales person, you'd have to go ahead and line somebody up, but that doesn't have to be a very high cost kind of job, they're not gonna rack up hours and hours and hours of answering the phone. And on being open nights and weekends that doesn't cost you anything, just all through the hours that the office is open such that you still fall into the mandatory number of hours you already have set aside for the managers pay and set up standard showing hours that's not hard. You just have someone go and unlock the homes and lock them back at a certain time, that's not too tough.
Establishing the price reductions, that's just a little strategy, little thought, just a discussion. And then having the manager follow up with the customer, on getting that application in again, there's no cost involved in that. So all of these five items are basically free or nearly free. These are all things you can take action on right now, and it can have huge benefits to the homes that you need to get sold. This is Frank Rolfe of The Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast. I hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.