The retail sale of manufactured homes is transforming and the pace of change has been accelerated by the pandemic. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have had to modify their business practices as prospective customers stopped coming to their stores. The transition to online retail selling became a reality with more consumers leveraging existing technology to research and begin the process of buying a manufactured home. Industry expert, Ramsey Cohen with Clayton Homes shared his insights in a recent LearnMH webinar to help today’s retailers and community owners increase their sales.
While the pandemic accelerated the move to digital marketing, the momentum and technology were already in process. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, tools like Go-Pro and drones, and video-conferencing apps like Zoom enabled the transition to virtual retailing. However, the fundamentals of customer service and engagement remain the same. Successful retailers understand that these tools enable customer interaction during a time when in-person engagement isn’t possible.
With the pandemic fading and the country continuing to normalize, Ramsey doesn’t see these tools going away. As the Millennial generation surpasses the Baby Boomers, Gen Z begins entering the homebuying age, understanding the drivers and ways to communicate have become even more critical. Today’s homebuyer wants to be informed prior to visiting a retailer. Having an informative web page is a must, but social media drives traffic and is itself an important information resource.
However, it’s not just about having a good web page and social media presence; content and managing visual assets are critical. 3-D virtual tours, videos, and interactive images are only as good as how they are rendered and positioned. For example, staging the home for the consumer to visualize themselves living in it makes the difference between a sale and a walkthrough. Millennials and Gen Z want to know as much about the quality, energy efficiency, and value of the homes as possible. Ramsey advised that retailers shouldn’t shy away from showing the delivery, installation, and on-site completion of manufactured homes. “We should be proud of the quality of our product and address the stigma by showing how they are built, transported, installed, and transformed into a home”. The new buyer is interested in the process itself, and not deterred by outdated stereotypes.
For more informative insights, you can view the complete replay of our discussion, “Leverage Visual Assets to Increase Sales,” with Ramsey Cohen.
Our next webinar will be on Thursday, July 29th at 11:00 AM PST / 2:00 PM EST. The topic of discussion will be, “The Truth About Manufactured Home Communities.” Register now to save your spot!