Sunday, August 30, 2015

Video From Modular Builder Almost Gets It Right

I feature a lot of videos on this blog. Some are good and present a message that every modular builder and factory could use to enhance their business while others are just so bad that I feel that it is my duty and obligation to point out how stupid they make our industry look.

This video falls into the former category. While not one of my favorites it does show the reasons a multi-unit investor or developer should go modular. It is produced by JAG Construction and Development but the website for it is

What I like about it is the presentation. It lays out a lot of facts about the advantages of modular construction to developers. What I don't like about it is the presentation.

Instead of just a bunch of static PowerPoint pages it could have been made better with some video of actual multi-story, multi-unit modular buildings being constructed. The narrator, while pleasant enough, is a little dry. Turn the volume off and you still get the message.

Overall, the video is very nice and my hat is off to JAG Construction for producing it.

It could be basis for an improved video with little effort by builders and factories everywhere and make a great marketing tool to send to commercial investors and developers.

If someone takes me up on the challenge of remaking this good video and turning it into a great video, send it to me and I'll feature it here.


Harris - Finish Werks said...

Two Words: MBIA and SCALE

When more builders and factories join, the marketing budget increases. When the marketing budget increases, the quality of videos goes up. When a quality video is viewed nationally, everyone wins.

As a builder I am not a movie maker. As an association, MBIA is not a builder, but it can be our movie maker.


Anonymous said...

I agree that the MBA could and maybe should produce a higher quality video regarding the advantages and rationale for building modular to promote its use and integration into residential and commercial construction nationally.

However, all real estate and construction is local so individual developers/builders need to develop there own campaigns using the various social media tools to promote their companies and the use of modular designs and features in the construction process.

Actually, many of the factories produce high quality videos and have very good websites that consistently place high on search engine pages but these do not translate to the critical call to action that should be incorporated into your own local website.

Harris - Finish Werks said...

Thanks, Anonymous. You revealed my mistake: I meant to reference MHBA, and not MBIA (Maryland Building Industry Association, of which we're also active members).

You also reveal the multiple tasks at hand:

1. Consumer awareness about the difference between manufactured and modular - the single most prevalent problem we face as an industry. Aside from Blu Homes, Bensonwood Homes, any maybe a tiny handful of others, we all use the basic code-built wood-framed construction methods. This has little to do with the local flavor we all must promote in our brands/builds, but everything to do with a national campaign to stop would-be home buyers from associating mobile with modular.

2. Small builder branding. This is what I think you're referring to. And I agree: What I do and what my competitor does are entirely different and can only be spelled through brand identity and differentiation. Our focus is on high-performance homes. I can imagine a well-produced video tour of one of our builds parked at YouTube and linked to our website really driving credibility.

But I also know that with Maryland's terrible modular market share, our web traffic and phone calls would increase if we could eliminate the mobile home stigma from the gitgo.

Anonymous said...

We both incorrectly use the wrong identifier for the MHBA. Thanks for the correction.
As to your points:
1. Consumer awareness - until and unless the manufactured home producers stop identifying their product as being produced in a systems built modular factory no amount of consumer awareness videos will change the perception. What will change the perception is linkage to the expanded use of modular for commercial construction of multi-family; student housing; churches; and multi-story which is not done by the manufactured housing side. Tied to this issue is the willingness of us as an industry to prompt ourselves as a commodity not as a value alternative by all types of messaging about $$ savings over site building. In many areas of the country we are not the low cost alternative for housing or the low cost alternative for entry level affordable housing.

2. Branding - as independent builders we each must find the niche or one or two things that can identify us in the mind of the consumer in our local area as the value choice for their new home. Things will really get interesting if a national like Lennar begins to use modular or system built modules for their town home or apartment home communities in their rental markets. Even better if any of the nationals decided to promote senior cluster communities with 750-900 sq ft modular homes a la the Katrina cottages.

Harris - you've found a niche and an anchor identity use all of the social media avenues you can to effectively own a bigger market share. Best wishes.