Just One Word Will Change Your Customer Service

resident relations, property management, property management company, manufactured home, resident services One of the first things we learn as children is our name. It’s our identity. It’s often the first thing someone knows about us. When someone uses our name, we feel connected.

At Newby Management, the first of our Three Steps of Service states: “Always use a warm and sincere greeting. Use a person’s name if and when possible.” We covered the importance of using a warm and sincere greeting, and today we will discuss the importance of using a person’s name.

Imagine you go to a local coffee shop for the first time. The owner introduces himself, chats with you and makes you a latte. The next time you go in, the owner remembers your name and drink order. You’ll likely leave that coffee shop feeling very positive about your experience. You’ll feel appreciated as a person and as a customer.

We train our team members to use people’s names when possible because it not only encourages good customer service, it also encourages compassion. The simple act of using someone’s name can make their entire experience with you more positive. This is especially true if they are coming in to voice a complaint. When you use their name, they will feel as though they are important and that their issue will be addressed.

Remembering resident names may feel like a challenge if you’re bad with names. We have a few tips to help you start getting those names down.

  1. Repeat their name out loud. For example, if they say their name is Jerry you can say “It’s nice to meet you, Jerry.”
  2. Write their name down.
  3. Associate their name with a picture or another person. Have you ever met someone and they said “Well, I won’t forget your name! It’s my dad’s name.” Think of a way to associate their name with something already in your memory.
  4. Stay focused on the person as you interact and continue to use their name throughout the conversation.
  5. Write down a small fact you learned about them next to their name, like “Jerry, from Ohio with two dogs.”

It’s easy to forget the importance of using someone’s name. In fact, it’s one of the most important resident relations tips we can give. If you’ve never been good at remembering names take it one person at a time. You’ll start seeing a difference in the way you interact with people right away!

How to Track Resident Satisfaction in Your Manufactured Home Community

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Happy Residents are the Key to Successful Communities.

Happy residents can make or break a community. After all, even in this digital age, word of mouth is still the best marketing tool. In fact, most people now turn to online groups and forums for advice rather than advertising, marketing, friends or relatives.

For a manufactured home community owner or operator, this is more important than ever. Resident satisfaction should not only be measured, but evaluated on a yearly basis. It should be done with a tested tool, such as the Insight Track Survey (TM), which was developed by Newby Management and the University of Florida.

As a property management company, we measure our success on a number of factors, but one of the biggest is resident satisfaction. Each year, our team sends out postcards to residents in each of our communities across Florida, giving them a code to sign in anonymously to an online survey.

From there, we ask residents to indicate on a scale from 1-10 how satisfied they are with several aspects of the community, including:

  • Community Appearance
  • Community Management
  • How Safe They Feel
  • The Value They Receive
  • The Amenities They Enjoy
  • Whether They Would Recommend the Community to a Friend
  • Space for Free-form Comments
Our team works diligently to complete the surveys in February while our winter visitors are still here. This gives us as many responses as possible so we can analyze trends and look for actionable items. It allows us to work with manufactured home community operators to improve their communities in ways that will matter most to residents.
Today more than ever, residents expect a quality experience. This is especially true for residents who are looking for adult living communities. These are not the retirees of the past. The expect a wide range of activities that vary from bingo and shuffleboard. They are younger, more vibrant and more technology-friendly. For adults 55+, a community should be an experience, not just a place to live.
For the younger generation, they are looking more and more to non-traditional housing. In the past, young adults generally didn’t consider the idea of living in a manufactured home. Today, they are seen as viable and affordable housing options for a generation that is struggling to enter the housing market.
As we watch the manufactured housing industry grow and change, it’s important to stay on top of what consumers want. As manufactured home community owners and operators, we understand that finding the time to assess these trends can be daunting. That’s why we developed and utilize the Insight Track Survey (TM) on a yearly basis to help our communities be as successful as possible.
The attainment of our approach can be seen in our current resident satisfaction. At Rolling Greens, a 55+ golf community in Ocala, Florida, residents are happier than ever. With the help of ownership, we have taken on numerous capital improvements to the community, including a new clubhouse, new pools, better roads, tree trimming and new 2016 model homes.
“We think Rolling Greens is the nicest manufactured home community in the Ocala area, “said Phyllis & Bob A, Rolling Greens residents.  “Many upgrades to the facilities have been completed & are continuing to be made. New homes now are offered, older homes are being updated, & the old deteriorated homes are being removed. We’re very happy we bought a home here.”
Comments like these can be found at our communities across the state. Stay tuned this month as we discuss the different ways we handle resident relations at Newby Management. If you’re interested in our other property management services, please email us at info@NewbyManagement.com. We look forward to making better communities together.

Manufactured Homes Fare Irma Better Than Expected

Hurricane Irma, Manufactured Homes, Manufactured Home’s Safety, Manufactured Homes HUD, Manufactrued Homes Hurricane, Mobile Homes Hurricane Irma, Mobile Homes after Hurricane Irma
Post-Irma Tree Clean Up in Edgewater, FL.

Manufactured homes are considered among America’s most vulnerable housing, so it’s no surprise that owners were concerned for their assets during the storm.

There are 850,000 manufactured homes in Florida, more than any other state, and most fared well during the storm, sustaining only minor damages.

While many are surprised by this fact, manufactured home professionals are not. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, manufactured housing codes were updated to make homes safer during natural disasters.

For example, manufactured home regulations added over-roof anchors  post-Andrew. This update is expected to have saved many homes during the most recent hurricane to strike Florida. Previously, most homes were only secured by connecting the frame to a rod buried in the ground.

Today, HUD codes for manufactured homes in hurricane zones are equivalent to the current standards for regional and national site-built codes. Manufactured homes are constructed to withstand wind speeds of 150 miles per hour in Wind Zone 2 and 163 miles per hour in Wind Zone 3, based on standards from the 2010 International Building Code.

This means modern manufactured homes are constructed to hold up in a Category 5 hurricane. Additionally, federal regulations for manufactured homes require design and quality assurance professionals during construction. Each home must also have a label certifying it has been designed, constructed, tested and inspected to comply with federal standards, which site-built homes do not require.

With the improvements in both manufactured home safety, and how they are built, it’s no surprise that they fared better than expected during Hurricane Irma. Although the media frenzy expected all homes to be destroyed, manufactured homes fared similar to site-built homes.

Working to end the stigma towards manufactured homes is an important part of the industry. As we change people’s long-held beliefs on manufactured home quality, safety and design, we can start to revolutonalize the way people buy homes.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane in Your Manufactured Home

Property Management Florida, Manufactured Home Property Management, RV Property Management, Hurricane PreparednessFlorida is days away from one of the largest hurricanes on record making landfall in the sunshine state. Hurricane Irma is recorded as a Category 5 Hurricane, one of the strongest in history, and although its path is unknown, Florida is still a target. Right now, the state is urging residents to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

If you live in a manufactured home, preparation is key. Here is a checklist of items you should check on your home today:

  • Ensure your manufactured home has secure anchors and tie-downs as required by Florida law.
  • Make sure your address is clearly marked on your home.
  • Purchase plywood, shutters, plastic sheeting and nails to secure your home.
  • Review your insurance and document your home, along with your valuables.
  • Gather all outdoor furniture and decorations and move them to a safe indoor location. Tie it down or bring it in!
  • Check the skirting and roof on your home and make sure any loose pieces are secure. 
  • Trim dead or broken branches from trees.
  • Get your disaster kit ready with items like flashlights, batteries, radios and more. Check out USA Today’s Hurricane Kit recommendations.
  • Get out cash and fill up your tanks now.
  • Refill any prescriptions. 
  • Have an evaucation plan- if your area is evacuated please leave!

At Newby Management, our team has NEAT (Newby Emergency Action Team), which mobilizes after a natural disaster. NEAT was formed in 2005 to respond to disasters that may occur in our communities.

These disasters include hurricanes, fire, tornadoes, flooding and terrorism. The goal for NEAT at the community level is to equip community management to be prepared to deal with disasters when they happen within their communities in a professional and organized manner, that will help protect people and property. In this way, we are serving the residents and meeting their needs.

Our team is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma and working with our communities and team members to keep everyone safe. Please take this time to prepare, and stay tuned to the local news to watch progress as the storm nears.