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:
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.
If we’re being honest, most of America has a negative opinion of mobile homes. It’s understandable because there’s more negative news coverage than positive, and most people don’t know how the industry has progressed.
For those of us who do, mobile homes are more than just alternative dwellings. They are lifestyles that offer us everything we wanted in a home and more. These 6 mobile home bloggers will help change the way you look at mobile homes.
Country Chic Makeover
Don’t miss these stunning photos of a renovated 1 bedroom, 2 bathroom single wide home. This retired couple knew they wanted to downsize and when they decided on a mobile home, they knew a major renovation was in store. From gaudy wallpaper to green counters, they turned this single wide mobile home in a beautiful haven.
When this couple retired, they sold their large home and had to move into their “spare digs”. Kim wasn’t thrilled with the idea of living in a mobile home, unhappily referred to as a trailer. The before and after pictures will blow your mind as they create a space that’s unique, fresh, bright and modern.
This young couple was tired of renting, so they decided to “screw convention”. They purchased a smaller 750 square foot home and worked to make it their own. It has a definite unique and hipster vibe, but the clean lines with white and pops of color make it a fun space. Check out the awesome transformation and find out how mobile homes are for everyone.
This isn’t a makeover story, but it’s nice to see a family living on a beautiful farm in their cozy mobile home. This family has lots of animals and has a nice little Etsy shop, too. You can follow their adventures and see the big lifestyle you can live in a mobile home.
See how this couple is making a double wide mobile home their own one project at a time. Watch as they learn and love on their adventure. The best part of their blog is that they are trying to help others who want to renovate their mobile homes as well.
Thinking of moving into a retirement community? Then you might be wondering how the 55+ rule actually works. We’re giving you a run down on how the law applies to you.
If you’re looking at retirement communities they are probably consider 55 and over communities. For some people, this is a great option for retirement. For others, it can be an issue if they have people younger than 55 living with them.
In Florida 55+ communities there is a federal law that governs all our age-restricted communities. According to this law, at least 80 percent of the occupied units must have at least one resident who is 55 years of age or older.
Anyone else living in the home can be no younger than the minimum age established for the community. Most commonly, that age is 45. This means that no one in the community can be younger than 45.
Now, this does not meant that you can’t have people younger than the minimum age visit. If your grandchildren come down, most communities will allow guests of any age for up to 15 days 2 times per year.
In general, you’ll find that 55+ communities are active, exciting and full of new friends. There are lots of options across the nation, so you’ll have to research to see what’s best for you. We can get you started with great homes for sale in our communities across the state of Florida. Visit www.NewbyRealty.com to see what’s available.
It’s almost spring, and you might be looking for ways to spruce up your home. Whether you just moved in or you’ve lived there for years, here are some quick ways to give your home the perfect mini makeover.
PRETTY PLANTS, PLEASE!
Bringing some plants into your home can give it a breath of fresh air. Place them in nice vases or pots to add a pop of color. Just check to make sure they are plants that will do well indoors. If you’re looking for less of a commitment, try bringing home a nice bouquet of flowers instead.
SNUG AS A BUG!
Adding a nice area rug can change the entire feel of a room. Look online for different ways to position area rugs around the furniture in your house. Doing a little rearranging can make a room feel more open, more bright or more spacious.
LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE!
Getting a new lampshade or a new lamp will make your old room feel like new. Try purchasing a different light bulb as well that doesn’t have a yellow tint to it for a brighter feel. If you have the money you can spring for a new light entirely. You can get something that will serve as an accent piece for the entire room.
HANG IT UP!
Put up some shelves to display all your unique treasures. You can create your own shelves for a nice DIY project, or buy them to start decorating faster. Use fun colors to brighten up the room or display pretty books.
ADD SOME COLOR!
You don’t have to paint a whole room to make a huge difference. Choose a wall in your home and pick out a rich or fun color. These are called accent walls and they really help make a space look special and put together.
Look around and see how you can brighten up a room in your house for spring!
Each morning, one of our community managers tours his community in a golf cart to see if any resident’s haven’t picked up their newspaper. Why does he do this? It’s a simple act that goes a long way in anticipating resident’s needs.
At Newby Management, this is one of our Three Steps of Service: “Anticipate and meet resident needs. Know your community family well enough to provide service even before they ask.” This means that you should pay extra attention to the sick elderly resident’s home. A paper left on the driveway for them could be a lot more serious than for other residents.
Getting to know your community is an essential part of being able to anticipate needs. For sick or elderly residents, a newspaper on the driveway could signal a need for help. For other residents, it could simply mean that they are out of town or on an early morning walk.
Anticipating needs comes in all shapes and sizes, from offering ice cream bars to residents at the pool to helping an elderly resident with home repairs. For instance, if resident’s love hanging out at the pool, but the furniture is old and rickety it might be time to consider purchasing new pool furniture. Also, we use the taller comfort pool furniture when possible. Waiting to make changes until residents have started complaining or have stopped coming to the pool entirely is too late.
Small acts of service can mean the difference between good customer service and great customer service. Finding new ways to serve residents should be exciting, and it’s the job of all team members to keep it that way.
Every team member should make it a priority to anticipate resident needs. Empower your team members to act on opportunities to go above and beyond for residents. This could mean stopping to help a resident locate a nearby service or walking with a resident to show them where the library is located.
If you host a weekly staff meeting, encourage your team members to share what they have done to meet resident’s needs. This will not only offer you an opportunity to praise them, but it will also give other team members good ideas. Be sure to encourage team members when they are engaging in excellent customer service.
At Newby Management, our team is constantly striving to serve our residents in new ways. We train our team members to take initiative, to anticipate resident needs and to create great communities. In fact, at a recent meeting we came up with tons of ways our community managers are already putting these theories into play.
How do your manufactured home communities anticipate resident needs?
Learn How.There’s nothing better than buying a brand new home. One that’s never been lived in before, one that is only yours, one that you will create beautiful memories in. But you might find yourself missing some of that charm that older homes have. Today’s new manufactured homes have lots of charming features, but adding your own personal touches can truly make your house feel like a home. We’ve scoured the web for some quick and cost-effective ways you can add some character to your new construction manufactured home.
THE DOOR- There’s something so quaint about a red front door (or any bright pop of color you like). It can add so much style and character to your home, and it’s an easy fix! You only need to paint the front, and it’s easy to spray paint the handle and knocker if they end up clashing with your new color. But you don’t have to stop there! You can replace other doors in your home too with neat antique finds or even paint those as well. Just remember, you can always donate doors or other fixtures you replace to Habitat for Humanity or other organizations. Learn How.
THE CABINETS- Painting your cabinets can transform your entire kitchen. Decide what look you want to go for and then choose a color that fits. Today, most cabinets in new manufactured homes are solid wood, which means they will be easy to paint. As you can see in the picture above, the cabinets are newer and look nice, but the people wanted a cleaner white cabinet. Learn How.
THE HARDWARE- This is a really easy and super cheap fix. You can change out the hardware in the kitchen, on doors, in the bathroom and anywhere else you see fit! Once you’ve decided on colors for the cabinets you can change out the fixtures to match. The picture above shows a great concept that someone did, which includes painted cabinets and stylish gold fixtures. Learn How.
THE EXTRA ROOM- Many new construction homes come with dens or offices that don’t have doors. We love the idea of putting a large sliding farmhouse door in the entrance of your den or office. It will make it so the space can be separated if someone is working or visiting your home, but can also be left open during normal days to get the house a light and open feel. Learn How.
THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES- You might find that your new construction home doesn’t have unique storage options. It may be lacking custom built-ins with character and charm that make homes feel, well, homey. Pinterest is full of ideas to convert everything from doors and closets to amazing nooks perfect for storage or displaying your favorite pieces. It can add some special features to your home that will make it feel custom-built. Learn How.
THE BATHROOM- After you’re done painting counters and upgrading fixtures, you can give your mirror a face lift with this easy idea. Buy some stylish trim, and use it to build a beautiful frame for your mirror.It will have your bathroom looking luxurious in no time. But, you won’t want to miss this next tip, because it can help add an extra pop to your newly framed mirror. Learn How.
THE LIGHTS- People have not purchased homes over something as simple as light fixtures.In this situation, you have two options. You can either paint your light fixtures to match your style, or you can buy new ones. As we suggested above, remember you can always donate this fixtures to Habitat for Humanity, or a similar organization, so they aren’t going to waste! You can see in the photo above how that light fixture went from drab to fab with an easy fix! Learn How.
If your mobile home community doesn’t have a website, you’re losing residents. This digital age calls for more than just a run-of-the-mill website. You need something that can be accessed on a number of different platforms, something that is responsive and image-heavy. Something that will get people to visit and to stay on your website. Still not convinced? Here are the 6 reasons your mobile home community needs a website ASAP.
You can’t be available to your customers 24/7, but your website can. It’s somewhere they can go to find out information about your mobile home community and what it offers. If your website has enough information, they will likely stay to learn more about your community. They can also send an email, visit your social media accounts or call and leave a message to connect with you outside business hours.
2. Saves Time
How many times do you answer the same question over the phone? What’s lot rent? Do you allow pets? Do you have a pool? Is your mobile home community 55+? When your website is informative, it helps save you time by answering potential residents common questions before they call. It will also help give people an idea of the community and help them make better decisions when they are looking for real estate in your community. Most importantly, it will free up your team to speak with people who are more like to become residents.
Mobile home communities today that don’t have a website lack a certain amount of credibility. Unless people are familiar with your community already, they are much less likely to pick up the phone and call if you don’t have a website. A well-done, professional website will give you the credibility your community needs to bring in potential residents and help the current ones stay informed.
While there is still a lot of benefit to traditional media advertising, having a website instantly sets you up as a global player, so people all over the world can learn about your community. Whether it’s people in your town or people several states away, your website will be accessible to them at any time on any device. This is a great investment and one that will give you a great start in the digital age of advertising. By providing great information on your website, you will get visitors for less than what you’d pay for traditional advertising.
Customers today aren’t going to drive around looking for your mobile home community. In fact, customers of all ages are more likely to turn to the internet than the TV or any type of traditional media. They want to convenience of turning on their computer, cell phone or tablet and being able to research what they want quickly and effectively. If your website is well-done, informative and responsive, you’ll find that more customers are willing to do business with you.
Not sure where to begin with your website? Contact Newby Management! We provide IT services for mobile home and RV communities. Check it out on our services page.
New constructions are all the craze. Everyone wants a dazzling new home with all the bells and whistles, but that comes at a cost. So, what if you could get a brand new home with everything you want for a fraction of the cost?
Brand new manufactured homes are perfect for families, active retirees and everyone in between. We’re going to tell you what you need to know about new construction manufactured homes. 1. Lots of Floor Plans
You can choose from tons of floor plans that will accommodate your needs. There’s homes with 1 or 2 bedrooms all the way up to 5 or more. You can find a split level home plan or one with all the bedrooms on the same side. It’s all up to you! 2. Home Warranty
Having warranties is great, but what if your home came with one? Many new manufactured homes come with a warranty that could over a year. You’ll have great peace of mind knowing that your home is protected. This is a benefit you won’t get with older homes. 3. Go Green
Today, many new manufactured homes aren’t just built in an energy efficient way, they are built with green materials too. That means you are reducing your carbon footprint just by owning a home you love. In fact, manufactured homes tend to produce 30-40% less waste than site-built homes. That’s a great thing for the environment.
More and more lenders are starting to offer mortgages for manufactured homes. New manufactured homes are often even easier to finance than older homes. This is giving more people the opportunity to buy a wonderful and affordable home.
5. Stylish and Sleek
We love the look of new manufactured homes. Depending on your price point, you could have a number of stylish upgrades from wood floors and granite counters to stainless steel appliances and crown molding. Many new homes have large open floor plans that are great for entertaining loved ones. These homes are made for people to live and love well.
Selling your home used to be about curb appeal. People want to drive up to a home and feel proud, they want to imagine themselves living there. Today, most home searches begin online, so curb appeal has become “pic appeal”. Does your mobile home have it?
Most people are not professional photographers and don’t have much more than a cell phone camera to take pictures. But using these tips, we hope you can give your mobile home the curb appeal it needs to sell fast! 1. Less is More!
People want to imagine themselves in the home. They can’t do that if your home is cluttered and dirty. Try to make the home look as open and clean as possible, this will help when you have showings as well. Remove or tidy up most of the personal items like pictures of family or knick-knacs. It’s nice to show a personal touch, but don’t let it take over the room!
2. Let the Sunshine In!
Natural light will do wonders for your photos. Open up your blinds and turn on the lights in the home before taking pictures. Make sure it’s a nice sunny day outside so your pictures look bright and airy instead of gloomy. 3. What’s Your Angle?
Let’s talk about where you should stand:
For rooms, take pictures standing in the doorway. Try to get several photos if the room is large so people can see it from multiple angles.
Don’t forget to take photos of closets, etc.
Take exterior pictures at an angle, rather than standing in front of the mobile home. This gives people depth and lets them see the home better.
When it doubt, photograph it! Remember though, people want to see your mobile home, not what you have inside ti! They want to picture their own things there.
If possible, use a level surface or a tripod to take your pictures. The last thing you want is for your lines to appear sideways!
4. Get Low!
Professionals won’t want you to know this little secret, but be sure to get low. Kneel down and take pictures below eye level for more professional looking photos. It makes the room look bigger and gives people a great view. Some pros say about 40 inches off the ground will make your pictures look magazine ready!
5. People, Places and Things!
Try to keep pets, people and things out of the images as well. Make sure your pets and family members are in a different room as you’re taking pictures! When you take a picture in the mirror, be sure to check the shot to see if you’re visible!
What do goals look like? Sometimes they are big, other times small, but whatever form they take on, goals are a great way to keep your company moving in a positive direction. One goal we focus on at Newby Management is achieving 100 percent occupancy in our communities.
Successful performance in there areas creates a platform for achieving 100 percent occupancy. As with most things, this requires more than a magic formula on operations or checking items off on a list. It all begins with adopting and owning the mindset that 100 percent occupancy is achievable.
A focused goal and deliberate set of actions or tasks will move you closer than you were before making it a goal. When the whole team is focused on this goal it is amazing how the thoughts and decision making processes change. All decisions have to be held up to the goal. For example how does this decision impact the goal? Does the action support or subtract from the goal?
Operators adopting such a goal need to make sure that there proper financial support for the goal? Should there be a serious investment in the amenity package? Is there deferred maintenance? Are the residents happy enough to refer other residents?
The entire team operating with one corporate focus moves a community closer to 100 percent occupancy. Decide today to make 100 percent occupancy a goal.