Because Value Wins…………
This may be a strange thing to say, but this horrible economy and worse housing market is proving to be a very good thing for our business. It used to be we have 50 visitors a week to our sales lot and we would say for every 25 visitors 3 will be people you work with and 1 might prove to be a customer. Right now if we have 20 customers in a week it is a good week. But the ratio of customers has changed dramatically. Why is that? Because in hard times you don’t see a lot of people dreaming unrealistically and the people who are dreaming of a new home are smart, educated people, looking for real value.
I was a sight builder long before I started building Modular (System built Homes) and it was not an easy transition to make. As builders our egos often influence our business sense. When you are doing really high end custom homes you start to see yourself as above more price conscious housing and for years that was all modular homes were. I will not bore you with the whole story but my first exposure to modular s was when someone I knew made a huge mistake and asked me to bail them out. They bought a modular home, just the house part then after giving a deposit and signing a contract realized they were in way over their heads in getting it built. So I reluctantly agreed to help them with clear expectations that I could do it but I was not going to be able to shine this pig and make it look like one of the houses I built. Well I was wrong. It was not a pig, in fact it was way more house then I could have built them for what they paid. That was what peaked my curiosity. A few years later I became a full time Systems home builder (modular) because I have always believed the public is smart, the public sees real value, and the public buys real value, and I knew, after years in the building business the homes have VALUE. Tons of it.
Here is one of my famous analogies that always has people nodding there head. Kia and Hyundai came into the American auto market and had very little success at first. They were Cheap cars and you got what you paid for right? Nobody wanted to own them because driving one screamed you were cheap. That was the only reason anyone would buy them right? Time proved that wrong. Now there seems to be more new Hyundia’s and Kia’s on the road then any other brand of new car. A similar thing happened in the late 70’s when to Jap car makers introduced cars in the US. Honda and Toyota, ever heard of them?
So how does this transition happen, easy, build a better product and sell it for less money and eventually the market will figure it out all by themselves. I think that is what is happening with our business right now.
The people who are building new homes in this market, are conservative people, who have saved their pennies, they do not make impulse purchases or get fooled by flash with no substance. They make smart decisions with their money and always buy value. Let’s hope I am right.