Setting the Right Tone and Why

 

Fun and friends at Camelot East in Sarasota.

Community managers often set the tone for the mood of their communities. This phenomenon can be observed in other business environments as well, where the front line management often sets the tone. These subtle atmospheric influences can be noted in other social scenarios such as churches and schools.  Pretty much anywhere that people come together as groups we can see this underlying trend. resident relations, serving residents, manufactured home community, 55+ community Florida, property management, manufactured home property management, RV property Management

Something unique to note about community relations, in particular, is that if the manager of a community is perceived as warm and friendly there are likely to be happy and satisfied residents. There are some theories behind this, and they all involve the give and take of relationships.  In a community setting, the manager will often find themselves in delicate role balancing relationships, rules, and conflict.

Relationships are important. Even in the animal world, there are many kinds of animals that appear to be engaged in friendship and deep connections to one another.  This bonding is often essential to survival.  The animals with the strongest social networks tend to live the longest. It is also notable that for people that connection is also a factor in health and longevity.

 

As humans we bond over food, through laughter, singing, dancing, telling stories and empathizing with one another. So why then is it so hard to make new friends as an adult? We deeply need connection, yet as we age at times we find ourselves sometimes isolated.  As you get older, making friends is more challenging than the days of running up to some random kid on the playground and becoming an instant BFF.  Here are some of the reasons it is staunchly more difficult as an adult.

•More obligations
•Meeting fewer people
•Exhaustion
•Fear of the unknown

What do you look for in a new friend? Think about how much of what you think makes a good friend is representative of yourself?  Many of us make friends with people that have similar interests and connections.  Joining a club, volunteering, engaging in activities are great ways to meet new people.  Perhaps you already are part of a community but are not finding it easy to meet others.  Here are some helpful things to consider.

•Look for common interests
•Be consistent
•Radiate joy
•Be Welcoming

Most of us have some fear of rejection. Yes, even the bravest of extroverts. Let’s look at the list closer. When we find things in common, it is easier to strike up a conversation.  Be welcoming and be consistent. Show up at the same events, shop at the same time of day.  Let yourself become a familiar face.  Create a routine, where you immerse yourself in your environment.  It takes more than just being present though, radiate joy.  Give the first smile or quick wave.   Think of some leading questions that give an opportunity for thoughtful answers.  Avoid being negative or gossiping, as those can leave a bad taste in the mouth of a potential friend.

If you are a community manager reading this, take an introspective look at the kind of environment you are creating within your community.   Do you instinctively smile and warmly greet guests, even when you are inundated with work issues and other conflicts.  Do you encourage your residents to gather by hosting events?  Events can be simple as coffee and walking clubs.  Do you encourage residents to solve problems with one another, rather than listening as they spew negativity and gossip about others?   Many times, the community manager can help resolve conflict and create new friendships by focusing on handling the conflict right at the source.  Often a small misunderstanding not handled effectively can lead to great woes.  Remind yourself that as the community manager you are setting the tone for your community, and that has immense relational repercussions or can be deeply rewarding when done well.

Baby Boomers Challenge the Status Quo Even in Retirement

You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old. ~ George Burns

The way Americans are thinking about retirement is creating ripples of dramatic changes leading to a paradigm shift affecting policy, politics, behavior and the social fibers of our nation. As Baby Boomers reach the age of retirement many new challenges and opportunities are emerging.

Boomers are a diverse population, yet as a generality, Boomers do share some common ground with each other: Strong work ethic, self-assured, competitive, resourceful, disciplined, team-oriented. Boomers tend to have incredible focus on meeting their goals.  It is no wonder that investors, retailers and even property managers are taking notice of the unique opportunities presented during this fundamental shift about the way American’s think of retirement.

10,000+ Baby Boomers are retiring daily, with that number increasing yearly. Life expectancy is longer than ever before. Boomers are arriving at retirement with expectations.  Many of these coming of age folks want to enjoy their retirement years and anticipate spending the wealth they’ve accumulated, and taking a more leisurely pace in life.  Alarmingly, in contrast, others have not saved enough, or have had their investments shaken by unstable economic conditions leaving some Boomers to anticipate working well into their golden years.

Love is the greatest gift that one generation can leave to another. ~ Richard Garnett

Retirement brings both relief and obstacles to the lives of Boomers. Boomers have been at the helm of their families, during their working years balancing career and family. Not surprisingly, many of this generation are arriving at retirement while still playing a vital role in the lives of their children and grandchildren, but many are also now needed as caretakers for aging parents.  Some Boomers are choosing to purchase neighboring homes for their aging parents or move them closer, but with the peace of mind of a care facility to assist with the more physical aspects of caring for a loved one.

new manufactured homes, new mobile homes, mobile homes for sale, 2017 mobile homes, newby realty, property management
Downsizing can make retirement more enjoyable. Less house, but more home!

Another way that Boomers are addressing the challenges of retirement is by downsizing and purchasing affordable housing. Moving to Florida is a bucket list dream for many.  Some Boomers opt to become snowbirds and enjoy the best of both worlds. The cost to live in Florida is comparable or lower than many other places in the nation.  Florida has a lower tax rate and does not have a state tax which makes it quite enticing.

In the manufactured housing industry owners and investors know that they can offer some prime advantages to new retirees beyond just the economics.   There has been considerable reinvestment in communities.  It is clear that retirees want to enjoy their free time.  Clubhouses, shuffleboard courts, billiards, and heated pools have become the standard.  Retirees want to remain active.  Tennis courts, pickleball, lap lanes in pools, and fitness centers have become very desirable amenities. Some larger     communities even have golf courses, saunas, restaurants and more.

Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years. ~ Ausonius

Community managers know that retirement is a social time.   Planned activities are often a deciding factor for Boomers when choosing which community to settle into and call home.  Many have moved south for the warm, sunny weather and the Florida lifestyle, leaving behind family and friends. This can be an overwhelming transition for some, but community living has advantages when it comes to staying active and making friends.  As newcomers join activities, residents tend to be welcoming and their common interests create strong ties.  They often report these new relationships feel like extended family and lifelong friendships have been created.

No doubt that even in retirement the Baby Boomers continue to be a generation that has changed our nation. Baby Boomers continue to redefine retirement.  Aging is no longer about growing old gracefully, it is about living more, new beginnings, and chasing passions.  And who is more qualified to challenge the status quo than the Baby Boomer generation?

The good life is a process, not a state of being. ~ Carl Rogers