On this episode of The Mobile Home Park Lawyer, Ferd interviews Ken Corbin. Ferd and Ken provide us with expert sales tips for selling homes fast. Ken gives us his best advice and shares his opinions on what he thinks the next five years will look like for the MHP business.
“I want to help someone to sell more homes, fill more spaces. I look at what I call the three Ps, which are people, process, and promotion. Those are the three key elements that any owner-operators should be looking at.”
0:00 – Intro
0:47 – Ken tells us about his background and how he got into MHP
2:39 – Ferd ask Ken to share some tips and advice from his sales training
2:59 – Ken speaks about the three Ps; People, Process and Promotion
6:53 – Ken recommends his clients to increase their price by 5% automatically so that you’re ahead of the ball game
7:54 – Ken shares his views and opinions of what the next five years will look like in the industry
12:46 – Ken advises you to show tenants you’re willing to improve their environment and the value of their community so that a subtle rent increase will be fine
15:42 – Ken talks about product, and attracting the right people to your homes
21:59 – Ken gives some great sales advice of asking your potential homeowners to “describe your perfect home” and “tell me what you’re trying to accomplish.”
24:06 – Ken advises you to create an obligation to your client. Ask the client what type of car they have and ask them what their favorite soft drink is. Have some waiting for them to differentiate you from your competition
27:12 – Ken reinforces the saying “little things make big things happen”
29:59 – Ferd mentions how you should always say your clients name. Many studies have shown people’s favorite word is their first name.
32:34 – Ken shares some final advice; don’t over-buy your product, have simply signage, name your models
FIND | KEN CORBIN:
Phone: (740) 819-3096
Ferd Niemann: Welcome back mobile home park nation. Ferd Niemann here again today with another episode. Got a great guest for us today this guy has been in the industry a long time, lots of knowledge, you know, owner-operator experience, expert on sales, national speaker, national author, one of the faces of the industry. I’ve read several of his articles in MH insiders from the magazine before actually realized this is the same guy, I was talking to at one point, but excited to have him on. Please welcome my guest, Ken Corbin. Ken, thanks for coming on.
Ken Corbin: Ferd, it’s my pleasure to join you. I’m really, really looking forward to working with you on this podcast.
Ferd Niemann: Me too, man, me too well, most of my guests, I say tell us about yourself, because nobody knows who they are, but in your case, people probably know you. But in case they don’t maybe give us a little bit more on your background and how you’ve kind of worked throughout the years in the MH industry.
Ken Corbin: Sure I started actually, about 40 years ago started in the business, began working with a group out of California. That was at that point in time Clayton Williams in Sherwood, no relation to Jim Clayton, they were the largest park owners in the country. And they had a number of communities from California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, and then down into Florida. And they had recruited me because I had done such a good job in actual sales of homes on a retail basis. And I began working with them and going across the country where they had a number of parks that had large vacancies, I set up retail operations, and absolutely fell in love with the community end of the business. And since then have owned retail operations, have been involved with obviously communities as well. And continue to do that. Now, I’ve sold all my businesses, now do training and consulting a lot with Park owners, developers, some retailers, as well as working with all the major state associations across the country. I’ve been fortunate enough to now work in every one of the 48 continental United States. And as well as actually doing a little bit of work up in Canada, one day hope to do some work in Hawaii, because there are actually a few homes in Hawaii that would be a great job. You and I Ferd, we will go out there together, we’ll make it a JB on that one.
Ferd Niemann: That’s a good idea. Yeah, you tell me I need a lawyer and we get this to be an all-expense paid vacation. That would be great. Well, I’m particularly interested today to hear more about the sales training that you do. Because I know some of my clients have told me they use you. And they’ve been very impressed with your sales training and just your whole professionalism, the culture you bring to the process. So not to give away all your secret sauce, but you can share some tips and walk us through what that process looks like. I think that’d be really helpful for our audience.
Ken Corbin: Well, I think to begin with, when we think about communities that are looking to fill spaces, and I always talk about one of the keys is I want to help someone to sell more homes, fill more spaces, I look at what I call the three p’s, which are people, process, and promotion. Those are the three key elements that any owner-operators should be looking at. And then we got to look at them in chronological order of importance. Now the least important in my perspective is promotion. That’s one of the simplest things to do. And we’ll talk about promotion a little bit. The second most important thing are the people. And then finally, the process. The thing that we have to inherently understand and learn is that people don’t run communities, processes run communities and what people do, as you well know, Ferd is people run the process. So the first thing that I like to see in place is a consistent well understood, well-thought-out, and regimented process for communities to operate at maximum efficiency. If we can do that we can plugin as needed, the people. As you mentioned, I’ve got clients, joint clients that you have in and I have, and that’s been a big thing for them to understand. And one of the other pieces of course, we’re going to add in is the product. Product today has become a real challenge. Because of all the manufacturers that are at this point in time, they’re way behind in production. You know, the newest concern is resin, because of the storms that hit the South East. So that is in addition to the COVID crisis to lumber issues. Hell, there’s drywall, there’s insulation.
Ferd Niemann: If I can jump in that brings up the fifth P, right? That’s price.
Ken Corbin: Exactly. Price.
Ferd Niemann: What you can sell, how you can move it, it is definitely one of the key factors here.
Ken Corbin: Exactly. And the hardest thing today is to determine how we’re going to price a product. I had a client call me the other evening. And he said, my goodness, I ordered a home a month ago. And that same home, that single section home that I ordered a month ago that I’ve priced out to people is now coming offline, and the home is $4,000 more than I priced it a month ago, what do I do? And I said, you just got to be careful, you don’t want to go too premature on your pricing, not knowing how volatile as it is today. And to be very honest with you based on the futures, I see that volatility, probably extending through, believe it or not the end of summer.
Ferd Niemann: I agree, and I’ve been waiting on two emails back from manufacturers now. And I’m like, I bought 25 homes from one sales rep last year, I was like, hey, can I get a home, he said, Ferd, I got guys that are making 100 per order, and I can’t get them a home. I was like, you got to be kidding me. You know, it’s the supply chain challenges. And then the pricing I hear the last home I just sold that happened to me. This home was in process for like three or four months, and the price went up like $6000. And I’d already had a deal with the customer and they already been approved by the bank. I had to eat $6,000. So it’s like, you know with everything, the pricing, and you got to price to your market. If I priced these homes at their new cost, I can’t sell this. So now I just, we just bought a park recently, we budgeted $5,000 a loss on every single sale.
Ken Corbin: That’s almost what you have to do today.
Ferd Niemann: Raising more capital, it’s still worth it in the long run to get the valuation of the infill lots, but it’s not a fun way to do business loosing $5000 a sale. But it is a calculated decision.
Ken Corbin: One of the things that I’m recommending to clients today is go ahead and automatically increase your price by 5%. And then as you see the new increases, so you’re ahead of the ballgame, and as the new increases are coming in, you just continue to increase. And let your customers know, you know, this is as volatile as it’s going to be for the next number of months. Again, I’m thinking through the end of summer, and hopefully, if the COVID thing can get under control which we’re all hoping for, that’ll be somewhat of a blessing. But it’s going to be a challenge for a time to come.
Ferd Niemann: Certainly. I know that’s obviously one key area of forecasting for the industry, what are your other views, and I’m going to get back to your 3Ps in a minute. While we’re on this lane, what do you see macro-level for the industry? We obviously have a ton of new players, ton of new capital. What are your views on the next one to five years in the industry?
Ken Corbin: Well, I think number one, we’re going to see a continued growth internally. There’s not going to be as many new communities as we would like to see the ones that are going to come about and we’re beginning to see this in certain pockets across the country, where the communities that are being built today are more of the lifestyle type communities being geared more towards, I won’t call them seniors, but we’ll call them empty-nesters where the people are saying, you know, maybe they’re still working, they want a nice home. They want a garage, we’re seeing a big play on garages. And we’re seeing nicer instead of single-section homes. We’re seeing more and more of the double-wides of the sectional homes. And I think as that and we talked about a couple clients of mine, that’s been a recent trend as I’ve told them, instead of just focusing on that typical, inexpensive as cheap as you can get three-bedroom, two-bath 14 X 17 or 16 X 18 start marketing these double wides or sectional homes and watch what happens. And now their phones and their social media is blowing up for people wanting that lifestyle. So yeah, I see a tremendous increase in activity. I agree with you on the cap rates, those are going to continue to be compressed. But if we do a good job in working with our governmental agencies, and we’re able to build some new communities, I see small subdivisions, I see condo-type communities, more and more empty nesters. The millennials, the boomers, you know the boomers are aging, healthcare is having us you know live longer. And you know, we don’t want that big house. No, we don’t want the big house anymore. Maybe we want a home in the upper Midwest one down in Arizona or down in Florida. And so yeah, it’s a huge opportunity. The mom and pops Ferd, there’s fewer and fewer of those, we’re seeing more and more of the corporate, we’re seeing the acquisitions, we’re seeing the young people coming in. Biggest concern I see though, is don’t become too aggressive, you become too aggressive. And I think you’ll begin to see some states and governmental agencies implement some rent controls, we’ve got to be cognizant of that.
Ferd Niemann: Yeah, I have some similar views on that. We are not that aggressive on our initial rent rates, but we’re in some markets where the guys are and I’m like, you’re going to ruin it forever for everybody’s and one of them de Moines, one where increase the rent by I think it went from like $250 to $600 overnight lot rent. I was just like, all you’re doing is putting a target on your back. And, you know, what’s wrong with you know, a reasonable rent rates every year? You know, that’s definitely a concern of mine. Because I know, like you, I watch for that stuff and listen to it best I can. Positive news on that, I think is Illinois and Iowa, both been trying to have been talking about rent control for quite some time, and hasn’t gone anywhere. Now federally, there’s a more progressive White House. And that sort of things are going to get more attention, I think. But obviously, rent controls typically done at the lower level. And it’s frankly, it’s failed in every works been tried in the history of mankind, it is still the cheapest. So hopefully sensible minds will realize rent control has unintended consequences if you will, and that’ll keep it out. But yeah, I’m with you, being aggressive on rent increases is a short-term sugar rush, but it’s bad long-term for the industry in general.
Ken Corbin: Well, you know, one thing I do see, and I don’t think the residents mind so much the rental increases, and I’ve got some clients that have done a really good job in going in, and starting to do some great work astatically at the communities, so the residents can see, hey, you know, they’re serious about helping to increase the value of our homes. So by increasing the value of our community by making those improvements, I don’t mind paying a little bit more rent. But as a new owner coming in and just haphazardly raising rents with no justification whatsoever, as far as they’re concerned, you know, they’re not concerned about cap rates, they want to know, you know, how much is my rent going to be not next month, but a year from now? And if you’re going to be aggressive, and what am I going to do? I might try to find another place to move to. So yeah, show the intent, especially the people that are coming in the large groups, show the intent to your residence, that you’re serious about improving not only the value of the community, but subsequently the value of their home. And those subtle, I’ll use the subtle increases are going to be fine. And they’ll totally understand. And they’ll accept it. And they’ll expect it at the same time.
Ferd Niemann: Yeah, I agree completely. Good way to do it. Well, I want to get back to you, you were talking about the three Ps, five I don’t know if we’ll get to six, or seven, but at least to three, I agree with your comment on the process. And the thing I like about having good processes and systems is it makes people replaceable. And I don’t mean that in a rude way or don’t care for my staff. But when you have, back when I was in Jackson County, I had about 75 staff. And I remember one guy, he was irreplaceable. And this guy, he’s like, no, I’m the only one that knows how to do this. And it was IT-related, it was sort of important. And he’s like, I don’t want to train anybody else. And I said, No, I’m not going to let that happen. Because if you get hit by a bus, we’re all screwed. I said, you can’t do that. I said, and I am not going to hold let you hold me hostage every time you asked for a raise I said, here’s what you got to do, buddy, is you need to train your replacement in the next 60 days or I’m going to fire you, I’m going to fire you on my timeline, as opposed to during billing season, I’m not threatening, I don’t want to make you worthless. I want you to have trained other people so you can use your intellect to go do bigger, better, higher tax, I’m not trying to get rid of you. And in getting that through his head took some time, but ultimately, this is better for the organization. But that was just one example. But you know, making the people less important than the process and then you’ve described it, you have processes then most because people can fit into the pyramid if you will, and just you know the military is really good at this. If somebody gets shot, the next guy picks up the rifle and knows what to do. The person is not as important as the mission as the process.
Ken Corbin: I could not agree with you more Ferd. That is absolutely on track. You know, we always have to look at it from my perspective, it’s not a question of if someone’s going to be leaving you as an employee, it’s a question of when. So just accept the fact they are going to leave. Because if they become a great manager for you, there’s going to be a lot of people knocking at their door, trying to steal them away from you. And they’re going to possibly consider the grass is greener on the other side. Now, if they do leave, hopefully, they’ll come back. But when they leave, you have to be prepared and have someone in your back pocket that you can, as you mentioned, simply plugin, and continue your operation. So of course, there’s going to be a few bumps in the road. But if you have those processes in place, you’ll be great. We’ll talk about the product if you’d like a little bit. This product, the mixers of product. And what I try to do is when I’m working with a community, I say, Okay, what are you trying to attract? My opinion is, when it comes to the inexpensive homes, no matter how cheap, you want to go, and I’ll use the word cheap. There is going to be someone out there, that’s going to be advertising that exact same home cheaper than you are. So if you want to go the cheap route, there’s a couple things you have to take into consideration. Number one is the people that you’re going to be attracting, if you go after that low-end homebuyer, you’re going to get that type of buyer, the type of buyer, that’s going to be harder to get financing, more difficult for them to secure their down payment, you’re going to have a heck of a time getting all the various loan conditions put together. And when you finally get them in the home, they’re going to spend all their money for the down payment, they’re going to be living paycheck to paycheck, and you’re going to have probably some issues down the road from with them paying the rent, especially as we begin to increase our rents.
Ferd Niemann: I’m coming up the list of people that are in my communities that fit this description. Everything you’re saying is very wise.
Ken Corbin: Those people I say, are basically one paycheck away from being homeless. And that’s what they are. The majority of our residents in your typical blue-collar community are living from paycheck to paycheck. And, you know, if we continue to raise the rents, what we have to do, and there’s no question we have to do that if we’re going to continue to offer the services and make our intrinsic value continue to rise, we have to do that. So one of the things that I’m really focusing on nowadays is telling people begin to upgrade your community, buy a little bit better home. So instead of having that one large slice of the pie that everybody’s going after, that inexpensive, lower-priced, entry-level home, go for that smaller slice of the pie that nobody’s going after. And begin to attract that better buyer. Then take that home that you’re bringing in and make it absolutely perfect. You and I Ferd and our viewers and our listeners you know we go to manufactured home shows and I work with a lot of manufacturers. The typical manufacturer is going to spend just under $10,000 declaring and staging a single wide mobile home or manufactured home at a home show. They’re going to do $15,000 to $18,000 on a nice sectional home. And what do we do? We go to these home shows, we see these incredible homes and then we bring them in. Maybe we plug them in, and we show a couple of lights. We show just terrible if any furniture, all the stickers are still on all the appliances you go to open up the refrigerator door and that’s the first thing people are going to do, they want to open up the refrigerator door and it’s still taped shut. No, I see this all the time. You open up the dishwasher and all the packing material is in there. I would much rather have a community take one or two homes that they have brought in and make them absolutely perfect. Heat them in the winter, cool them in the summer, staging with a single switch so when you’re going up to the home, if you don’t have the air on, you have a switch at the deck not fiberglass steps but at a deck. You flick that switch on and all the lights come on in the home the fans are going so when you walk in that first impression that potential homeowner is seeing something warm, inviting, and friendly. And then when you leave the home, just hit that switch, and all the main lights and fans go off. It’s just one of the little things that we look at. But I cannot stress the importance of making, you’ll get more value, you’ll obviously get more value, and you’ll be able to get a better price. And most importantly, you’re going to be attracting a better home.
Ferd Niemann: Great tips for sure. One additional thing I mentioned, my dad was a realtor. And one thing he would do, and we’ve trained ourselves to have to do is even you describe the home being perfect upon entry is we will before we walk in the home, we will tell them about a key feature of the home, even pop it up like oh, wait till you see the master bath in this place. It’s got a Jacuzzi tub like you’ve never seen. And then you walk in, then they see that they see the Jacuzzi tub. And they’re like, it’s just like you said, great. And then on the way out, we say instead of saying Do you like it? And they go, how was school? Fine. Don’t ask yes or no questions if you want to be a good conversationalist. So you ask them, tell me what your favorite features were about this home? Tell me how what about this home makes you feel like you can bring your family here, things like that. And then start to glorify and they are like, well, my husband and I would love to have the extra bathroom and the access to double sink or, oh, I can see my kids playing in that laundry room, or playing in that playroom, etc. So that’s a little before and after we do in addition to trying to get up the homes prepped and primed, as far as staging and everything like that.
Ken Corbin: Let me add something to that. And you mentioned something about closed probe, you know, you tell a child, you know, clean your room and I never want to see it dirty again, you know, or when a customer comes in, you say what are you looking for? A single wide or double wide? How many bedrooms, how many baths? You know, they’re using all these clothes probes. What I stress to clients is, you’re going to find, I am going to grab a notebook here, what they do is they’re going to have a customer walk in the door and they grab the closest notebook or a legal pad and they flip to the next open page, right? Take a clipboard, I use what is called a customer specification sheet. And I show the customers and I say this is a customer specification sheet. What it’s intended is to help me to help you find the perfect home that you and your family can fall in love with. And I’m going to be writing things down as we’re talking. But the first question I’m going to ask you is really simple. Describe your dream home and leave that open probe hanging out. And they’ll begin to talk to you another great question is, tell me what you’re trying to accomplish. And they’ll begin to tell you, you know, we’re in a big house now, we’re thinking about downsizing, we want to cut the utility bills, or we’re in a smaller home, and we need a bigger home. And we want to be in a good school district. And you begin to just listen to what they’re saying. And you’re writing everything down just like you told them you were going to do. Because no one else that they’ve talked to, has taken that keen and sincere interest in what they’re trying to accomplish, in describing what they want in their dream home. You do that Ferd and I can assure you price will still be important but not nearly as important as it would have been had you not taking the interest in trying to help them.
Ferd Niemann: That’s great stuff. I mean, I think what it sounds like you’re describing as being a good listener, and everybody loves talking about themselves, their story, their views, and you’re giving them that opportunity. And as a result, you’re building rapport.
Ken Corbin: Two other quick things I can tell you that I recommend is, of course we try to create what is called obligation. And that starts with a telephone call, you’ll have frequently, a customer will call a community and say, Well, I want to come by, and you’ll make an appointment. One thing that a client of mine does this, they say, Great. We’re going to set you up a time. What day? Friday, Saturday? Great, morning or afternoon? Afternoon, terrific. What time in the afternoon? I have one and I have three available. They give you a specific time. And the last thing you say to them is, you know, I want to make sure that everybody knows when you’re arriving. What type of car do you drive? I drive a Ford Explorer. Okay, May I ask what color it is, so I know when you arrive that you’re here. It’s red. Great, John and Mary I got you down for Saturday at two o’clock, you’ll be arriving in your red Ford Explorer. It’s just a little thing that they remember that you asked. And when you pull up, you say, oh, John and Mary, I see you drove up in your Ford Explorer. Another small little thing is asking them before you hang up, what type of soft drink or soda do you like? Maybe you like cokes? And the reason I’m asking is I’m going to the store and I’ve got to do some shopping. I’m going to get some soft drinks, and you like Coke? Great. I’ll pick up a couple of cokes. And if you don’t mind, I’ll bring them along. Regular coke or Diet Coke? Well, she likes diet, I like regular, great, I’ll get one of each. It’s just the small things that you’re doing to differentiate yourself from your competiting communities down the road.
Ferd Niemann: That’s great. That’s great stuff, Ken. That reminds me I was telling my team yesterday some people on the team have said things always like, we did the big things right. We all have little things fall through the cracks. And I said I can’t disagree with that. And I got it from John Wooden here, you know, the all-time great basketball coach. And he had Bill Walton, all these superstars on the team. And they won the national title of the year before, they’re going to win the national this year. And you know what he did every single year, the first thing in the first practice?
Ken Corbin: Taught them how to tie their shoes.
Ferd Niemann: Taught them how to put on their socks.
Ken Corbin: And their socks on.
Ferd Niemann: And it’s a little thing, but he taught them how to put the socks on just right, in a certain way. So they didn’t get friction, and they didn’t rub so you can get blisters. Because you get blisters and you have to miss a game or miss a couple plays of the game, free throw, it’s going to impact a big thing. That’s the big free throw at the end of the game. So he said if you do the little things perfect first time every time, the big things would kind of fall in place too. And you are describing some of these little things, the little things build rapport, little things set you apart and the big things the customer is their dream home.
Ken Corbin: Yep, John Wooden used to say little things make big things happen. That was one of his favorite sayings and his pyramid of success. Oh, yeah. Anybody listening or watching this program, Ferd and I will strongly recommend that you read and listen, anything you can get on John Wooden because he wasn’t just a great basketball coach, he did a lot of training and speaking and talking to business leaders around the world, as you mentioned, yeah, he’s a great guy. Let’s talk about dress a little bit if you don’t mind. One thing I really stress is the use of a name tag. I don’t care if you’re wearing you know, jeans, and if you are wearing jeans, clean jeans, nothing fried, nothing tattered. But wear a name tag. And then people always say well, okay, what should it say? Basically, you want your first name at very large. So in my case, I might have it Ken and under the bottom, maybe ABC community but Ken and then people say well, where does a name tag go? And I ask people, they’ll say, well, it goes right here, you know, over my heart, No, your name tag goes on the opposite side. Because if you’re already shaking your head because you know, in our hemisphere, we shake hands. And as we shake hands with our right hand, we move in. And what happens is it’s easier for that name tag to be seen. It’s a name tag, it’s one less thing the customer has to think about. Because you’re generally going to say your name one time, you’re going to say hey, I’m Ferd Neiman or I’m Ken Corbin. They may want to ask you a question after that. And maybe they’re used to using your name and they can’t remember who the heck you are. So all that does is a simple reminder. Plus, when you do your follow-up with them, you’ll continue to not only use their name, but they’ll remember what your name is as well. So you know, don’t overdress, certainly don’t underdressed. The common thing that I hear is I want to dress just like my customer. No, you want to dress basically just one step up. I’m not asking you to wear you know, a long sleeve dress shirt and khaki pants and you don’t want to look like Jim Harbaugh with your khaki pants from the University of Michigan. Or you don’t want to have, you could wear tennis shoes, make sure they’re clean. They’re neat, you know, but just look somewhat professional, wear a nice name tag, keep the office looking good, make it user-friendly, and you’ll do just fine. But keep those processes in place.
Ferd Niemann: That’s great stuff. One thing that I want to add you touched on briefly there is, say their name. Because I think in every language, there’s been some studies that the number one favorite word, in your language is your first name. And it’s something psychological, hey, Ken, nice to see you, Ken What is your dream home Ken? You repeat their name three times, in the first 30 seconds, don’t make it awkward, but kind of do it, you know, subliminally almost, and they like you more. And then you also are training yourself to remember their name, I took a memory class at one point. And that was one of the tips was, you know, say their name three times. But you know, and then you inherently can remember it better. And then later, I do like in the restaurant and listen to the waiter or waitress, and their name is Ken, hey, thanks again Ken. Hey Ken, can I get some more water? Or can I get some salt and they are kind of like, it puts dignity, frankly, treating them with dignity, like, you know, because some people going to go don’t care, it is just a waiter, you know, his job is to serve me. But if you treat them better, they feel better. They do better, right? It’s the same thing goes, it’s an all sales. Frankly, it is in all interpersonal relationships.
Ken Corbin: I got to tell you the story you mentioned about the waiter. Most people don’t know what the acronym for tip is when you’re giving a tip. Tip stands for to ensure promptness. My mentor years ago told me this and I’ve done it. He said next time you go to a restaurant, kind of determine how much your bill is going to be and when the waiter or the waitress comes in and take your order, you say, you know, I don’t know, if you know, the word tip is actually an acronym and you say, you know, that means to ensure promptness. Now I anticipate my bill is going to be about $30. And I feel, if I get really good service, I’m going to pay a 20% tip. So if you don’t mind, Bill, I say your name is Bill. Bill, I’m going to pay you that 20% right now. Is that okay? Yeah. You pay them upfront that 20% and I guarantee you Ferd, you’re going to have the best service better than anybody else that that waiter or waitress is serving tables.
Ferd Niemann: That’s great. I didn’t know that. I’ve never heard it.
Ken Corbin: That is what it stands for, to ensure promptness. My mentor Summers White taught me that years and years ago and I’ve used it and it works.
Ferd Niemann: That’s great. Great. Ken, this is lots of good information. Before we part what other, do you got any tips or tricks or maybe a horror story to help people avoid that we can share with the audience before we jump.
Ken Corbin: Well don’t overbuy your product even though the product right now is hard to get. When I say overbuy, don’t buy nine or 10 of the exact same home. Whatever you do mix match your homes, mix your colors. You never truly will absolutely know what your home buyers are going to be looking forward to buy. So mix up two bedrooms, three bedrooms, you can actually see about flipping some floor plans around definitely on the outside talked about colors, elevations, the outside of the homes, do a lot of homes, what we call coach lights. In the front of the homes have two lights, one on each side of that front window. And I strongly recommend that you consider leaving those lights on at night. Some people are using solar spots down from the ground that come on at dusk and will shine up to the front window. It’s just something nice, simple signage. Don’t do anything complicated when I say simple, you know you don’t need to put slogans on your signage. A sign is intended to let people know Ferd that you’ve arrived. When you go to a McDonald’s or $1 General It doesn’t say McDonald’s, www.mcdonald’s.com and then list their phone number, there’s the sign for McDonald’s. So keep your signage simple. It just lets them know that you’ve arrived and then final thing I would strongly recommend name your models, put names on them cutesy names that are unique to your market to your area rather than 3WXRL, you know just don’t use the standard, use something unique to name the houses that people can remember.
Ferd Niemann: My dad just told me that. I’ve never done that. Honestly, my dad just bought some homes from a dealer, some used homes and then they put, I think he put a woman’s name on all the home, I liked the Eleanor, you know, I like the Darling. Because you remember, I know it’s number 117 lot, but nobody else knows that’s the Eleanor.
Ken Corbin: If your listeners are in the south or the southeast, name some of your models after racetracks like the Darlington or the Poconos, the buyers and depending on your market that love race, love NASCAR, you don’t name it after driver because they have this thing about the driver. Racetracks are fine. You know you can call it the Charlotte, you know, whatever.
Ferd Niemann: That is good. I’ve never really been a race fan.
Ken Corbin: Neither am I …
Ferd Niemann: I went to one with my dad. But I had a friend who was a big, I think was Kurt Busch, my friend used to drink beer, he used to drink. But Kurt Busch ended up getting sponsored by Miller Lite. He literally just said, Well, I’m drinking Miller Lite now. I am like you switch the beer you’ve been drinking for years because your drivers got a different sponsor. He’s like, Well, yeah, I’m like, wow, you get really pumped up about this guy. So anyway, yeah, that’s a great idea about it. Especially with racetracks and not racecar drivers. Hey Ken, before we part, where can people find you? How can they reach you after this?
Ken Corbin: Well, real simple. My website is quite simple. It’s www.callkencorbin.com. Also on there they can see the link to the manufactured home show. And of course Ferd you’ve been on my podcast, I have over 70 interviews that we’ve done from people in the industry from suppliers, manufacturers, community owners, retailers, lenders, and so on. You can also call me, my number is 740-819-3096. Would love to talk to any of your listeners to hear any suggestions, comments, questions, be happy to help them in any way that I can.
Ferd Niemann: Alright, thanks, Ken. Appreciate it.
Ken Corbin: My pleasure.
Ferd Niemann: Bye now.