Marketing Question (Long) - Posted by Joe Ponce

Posted by Tony-VA on November 06, 2000 at 14:17:55:

Hey Joe,

You will find slumps from time to time. My calls from buyers have slowed as well. I anticipated this, believing it to be due to the time of year. It certainly could be weather related as well.

During slow times like this, I find that it also means greater buying bargains for us as others are experiencing the same problem.

I try and hold off buying until late January. I found a number of great deals this past January. The homes had set unsold all through the holidays. Winter set in and people got cabin feaver. I bought these homes with some added holding costs built in so as to heat the homes to prevent pipes from bursting and to make them show better. I also build in an extra couple months of lot rent holding costs, just in case.

I find that my market loves Rapid Refund tax returns. Buyers who previously could only put down a few hundred dollars, can now afford a couple thousand!

Long story short…like any other business it will have some peaks and valleys. I have never seen “Will Finance” fail in my market. Stick with it and weather the storm but keep those creative ideas rolling. Do Not take a slump as an excuse to relaxe. We cannot tell when slumps will end. Get creative in the meantime.

Best Wishes,


Marketing Question (Long) - Posted by Joe Ponce

Posted by Joe Ponce on November 06, 2000 at 11:15:20:

I have a question on marketing some of the mobile homes I have. All has been going very well up until about a few weeks ago. I am trying to figure out what the reason is for the slump in buyers. If it is something I am doing, I want to fix it ASAP.

Here is the situation: I currently have 3 mobile homes to sell set up in parks in the area. I am running the standard Will Finance, 1985, 3/2, By Owner, No Banks Regd, $ (Price), Phone. This ad has always pulled a significant number of calls up until the last few weeks.

There may be some reasons for this. Any feedback is appreciated:

  1. It has been raining here almost constantly for the last few weeks. Do any of the rest of you see a correlation between this and reduced interest in ads? It seems it might.

  2. The holiday season is approaching. Perhaps people are waiting to move until the holidays are over. Maybe folks are saving for gifts and not for mobile homes.

  3. It is possible that the public is used to seeing the same structure of my ad? Maybe they have assumed that I am like any other dealer and not offering any bargain.

There are a large number of dealers that use some very creative classified ads to attract buyers. An example of one that runs consistently is:

Wife Left Ugly Husband
His loss is your gain

Trying to get through these ads to the buyers is quite a challenge.

Should I sit tight and wait, change the ad, maybe place terms in the ad?

I guess I am wondering if you folks that have been doing this for a few years are noticing a pattern between weather/time of year and interest?

Suggestions are most welcome!


Joe Ponce

The market is wacked! - Posted by Karl (OH)

Posted by Karl (OH) on November 08, 2000 at 22:20:50:

Hey Joe,

I haven?t been through one complete year?s cycle yet, but I have noticed something about my ads. I ran the old ?I buy sell and finance MHs? ad for six months or so. Got a ton of calls at first, then calls slowly fell down to a trickle by the end of summer. When I changed my ad to ?Will finance, this home here, that home there,? the phone started ringing again. I think some ads just go stale after awhile.

I think I?m going to change the wording of my ads every other week or so, and see if it makes a difference. I?ve had times where I get no calls from ads, yet business was good in my parks, and vise versa.

When I first started last January, I got some cash buyers and several big down payment buyers because of tax returns. I?m going bargain shopping at the end of November into December, will sit on them for a month, and wait for Uncle Sam to help me sell homes next year. (If no one ever hears from me again, my plan didn?t work).

Karl Kleiner

Re: Marketing Question (Long) - Posted by Dave(WI)

Posted by Dave(WI) on November 06, 2000 at 22:27:48:

I’m going through the same slump myself. I’ve had 3 MH’s I’ve been trying to sell. Finally, closed on 1 last week, now have 2 to go.

I have to agree that the time of the year has a lot to due with this. About 95% of my buyers are renters and the number of leases that expire at this time of the year tends to decrease.

In these times, I just have to market a little smarter and become a bit more creative.

Try posting flyers at laundrymats, grocery stores, apartment complexes, etc. Mailing flyers to other residents in the MH Parks offering $100 for the ability to pick their new neighbors.

Just remember this is only temporary. We’ll both get through this slow time.