Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Why Can’t Johnny Build Homes?

On January 28th there will be a Builder Round Table in Lewisburg, PA of top modular home builders from all over the East Coast and New England where, for the first time, builders that buy from different factories will discuss the future of modular housing.

Hosted by yours truly, Modcoach, and sponsored by the MHBA, with no modular factory people present, it should be an enlightening meeting.

There are still a few seats available and please consider joining us.  Click Here for details and reservations. You do not have to be an MHBA member to attend.

I have been asked what the topics will be and truthfully I have no idea. The topics will evolve naturally during the Round Table just like it did for the Factory Round Table where the factory leaders decided that the best way to help their builders was to join together in promoting and marketing modular housing to new home buyers that have either never thought of modular or have misconceptions.

But if I had a voice in this, and I don’t, I can think of a couple of topics that could be addressed; training and marketing. Hopefully many builders will want to join with the factories in planning a marketing strategy. The MHBA has already begun putting together committees for this purpose based on what the factory owners decided and is waiting until the Round Table on the 28th to add builders.

Discussions about training modular home builders has been a popular topic for decades with factory management saying “Why should I train a new builder and then watch as another factory steals them?”

There’s a lot of truth in that but it is very shortsighted.

How many ‘new to modular’ builders approach a factory today asking to become a modular builder? So few that you could count the number on one hand and not use all your fingers. That is so wrong. If we are going to grow our industry, we have to grow our builder base with new people wanting to build modular homes.

With Corporate layoffs comes opportunities for the Franchise people. For example, Johnny, with his MBA, was laid off from his 6 figure income job and decides now would be a good time to try something new. He looks at all the franchises available and finds House of Bread, a bakery franchise that will teach him how to bake bread, market it, sell it and handle all the bookkeeping for only $300,000 plus royalties and fees. What a friggin’ bargain!

Give a ‘new to modular’ builder this type of training on how to build, market, sell along with bookkeeping skills and we could recruit dozens, if not hundreds of new modular home builders over the next decade. And we can make it so affordable for Johnny to do that he wouldn’t have to cash in his entire nest egg.

Just a Modcoach thought!

Now you’ve heard my pitch and now it’s time for you, the modular home builder, to take a few minutes and register for the January 28th Builder Round Table in Lewisburg, PA and become part of making the future of modular housing bright and profitable.

Or you could just sit in your office and continue to bitch about how bad things are and do nothing to help yourself. Your choice.


Anonymous said...

“Why should I train a new builder and then watch as another factory steals them?”

Any modular plant CEO or manager with this short sighted vision should resign immediately.

If your prices are competitive and in line with the market for the value, sales assistance for quotes and answers promptly done, production and deliveries on schedule, and your follow up factory service for defects and adjustments seamless and timely you won't lose the builder. The same issues apply for builders as the same applies to builders with the end consumer.

If you are losing builders take a look at your operation and if they are a price point builder then they will be closing their doors before yours anyway.

Anonymous said...

It is time for the factories and the builder network to cease and desist with the 20-25% savings BS over site built homes. Selling modular like car salesmen is a huge turnoff. Maybe sitting on a carrier at the plant we can lay claim to the point but with taxes, fees, transport, set, and crane costs we are equal to or even slightly above building on site in the public's perception.

Promoting low price encourages the consumer to continue to compare modular to its early beginnings as manufactured. There are value points that are all positive to building modular yet we promote them as after thoughts not selling points. Otherwise we make it easy for the NAHB guy down the street to use our points against us.