What's in a Name? A lot if it's a Manufactured Home Community or Mobile Park. Nothing is more disconcerting than approaching a nice manufactured home community and seeing that the name on the sign is “Roll-a-Coach” or “Mobile Heaven”. If it is not bad enough that the industry is constantly battling the stigma of being lesser quality housing, let's just beat our customers over the head with their shame by giving their community a name that screams “substandard humans found here”. Why can't we name communities with the same care as our brothers the apartment owners? What's the deal?
All manufactured home communities need a respectable name. If your property does not currently have one, please consider an immediate renaming. You are embarrassing the rest of us.
Naming Your Manufactured Home Community & Mobile Park
Here's how to successfully name a manufactured home community:
First ask your self this question – What is your community's greatest asset? See if you can find a name that includes this benefit. That way, every time you say the name to a customer or dealer you will be subliminally selling the property.
For example, if your property has beautiful oak trees, include “Oak Tree” in the name. If it is in the prestigious Norman school district, include “Norman” in the name. Surely, every property has at least one big selling point. Out in a rural area? How about “Country Vista”? Can't think of even one selling point on your community? Call me, I'm sure we can come up with something.
Big Second – Can you spell the word “Estates”? Good. Then slam this word on the end of the name or phrase above. For example “Oak Tree Estates”, or “Norman Estates”. Or reverse it and think The Estates of Norman”. Sound classy? That's the whole point. If you look at the name of all new subdivisions in your market, you will see that they all contain the word “estates”. Maybe it has way too much overexposure, but it just gives customers the feeling that they are living in a place that has some degree of desirability and respectability.
Why Is The Name So Important?
Why should you bother? If you haven't noticed, even the worst apartment complexes in the world have classy names. Why? Because the name helps sell the tenant on moving in. Would you rather live in “Pine Tree Estates” or “Big Wheel”? Well, so would your customer. Why do you think it is acceptable to stick an embarrassing moniker on their fragile self confidence? Would you like to be a kid going to school, telling your friends you live at “Grandpa's Shack”?
There are many financial reasons that are compelling. First of all, the prouder tenants are of where they live, the more likely they are to keep their homes and yards looking good. This “pride of ownership” will impress current and future tenants and help keep your tenant retention high. In addition, a good name will help impress bankers looking to refinance your property, as well as future buyers. It's hard to put an exact figure on how valuable a name is, but it's a safe bet that it could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in the right applications. It certainly can't help but to make any property more valuable.
And best of all – It's Free! It costs no more to have a nice, attractive name than to have a horrible, repellant one. Sure, you will have to redo the sign out front but isn't that sign ready for a facelift anyway? And telling the retailers you've changed your name is only going to elicit cheers particularly if they have been embarrassed saying it to customers. You would be amazed at what a new name can do for you. If your property has long been associated with drugs and crime, a new name can give it a new lease on life. Nothing can change your image faster than pretending it's not the same property that has the bad reputation.
When you look at all of the improvements you can do to your manufactured home community paving roads, building parks, planting flowers, re-plastering the pool nothing has more bang for the buck than changing the name. If there is only one change you could make to increase value with the lowest cost, changing the name should be on the top of your list.
So How Do You Name Your Manufactured Home Community & Mobile Park?
Once you have decided upon the ideal name, there are several simple steps to make it a reality.
- Change all of your marketing materials to reflect the new name. This includes your advertising, brochures at dealers, stationary everything. Anything that has the old name on it should be thrown away, so that someone does not make a mistake and use it.
- Meet with the city your property is located in and make them aware of the change. You will want to tell every department, from planning and zoning to code enforcement. Even the Chamber of Commerce.
- Inform 911 of the change. You do not want a problem with a tenant calling 911 and the responders getting confused as to the location of the call.
- Change the signage for the property. Many times, new signage is needed anyway. Those parks that have a 4×8 sheet of plywood for a sign should consider spending a few extra bucks for a better quality, longer-lasting option. Routed PVC is terrific, but even vinyl on aluminum (as found at most Fast Sign shops) is superior to paint on plywood.
- Send a letter to the tenants informing of the change. They will normally be delighted at the sudden attention they are getting, and thrilled that the old, nasty name is gone.
There is no better investment in both time and money than renaming your manufactured home community. The process is simple, the cost low, and the results substantial. So unless you have a great name, and a great reputation behind it, you should immediately give thought to a new one. “Out with the old, in with the new” may need to be your motto for your property. If the name you currently have is not helping, but rather hurting, your business, then don't hold back from fixing that problem. It's probably going to be the best money you ever spent.