Modular homes are taking a while to catch on with buyers, but the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA) wants to boost that effort. The association’s Consumer Awareness Program (CAP) is “the only industry-wide, collaborative marketing program for the modular home builder network,” says Tom Hardiman, executive director of the Modular Home Builders Association.
The collaborative marketing approach involves sharing information and resources among builders, manufacturers, consumers, and the MHBA to broaden and increase brand awareness for the home building industry and to educate consumers. Creating a mutually beneficial relationship among buyers, builders, and the MHBA is one of the program’s key features.
Builders taking part in CAP have access to the CAP Dashboard, a tool that tracks website traffic, information requests, and page views. Builders are also able to promote their homes via the CAP online gallery and can gain access to updated CAP marketing materials.
Through CAP, the MHBA is focusing on educating homebuyers about the benefits of modular homes. The website provides a variety of resources, including sample floor plans, a tool for finding local modular builders, and an option to request an estimate for a home. In turn, such user activity is later quantified and made accessible to modular builders.
MHBA manufacturer members voluntarily add $10 per module (box or floor) to builder invoices for each new home. According to Hardiman, this adds roughly $40 to $50 to the total cost of a typical 2,500-square-foot home. The added funds are then allocated to the MHBA for program funding.
To promote transparency, the MHBA includes a separate line item in its board-reviewed financial statements for all CAP revenue and expenses. CAP activities are presented at the MHBA’s annual business meeting. Hardiman says that about half of all 28 MHBA member manufacturers currently remit funds to the MHBA each month. Moving forward, the organization is looking for more member engagement.
“Many of our members are regional home builders without large marketing budgets,” Hardiman says. “By collaborating with MHBA, builders can use professionally developed messaging, rather than hiring their own PR firm.”