The Three C’s that Will Change the Way You Hire

Ruth Hall, a treasured Newby Manaement team member who retired after 21 years of service.

What makes a good team member? At Newby Management, our team is carefully selected based on three primary principles for hiring. When you follow these principles, you’ll find that your team is more engaged, more teachable and more willing to grow with the company.

In hiring, there’s a common phrase “we hire people for what they know, and fire them for who they are.” When we value skills over spirits, we’re making a huge mistake. That’s why the Three C’s + 1 of Hiring are so important- Character, Chemistry, Competency and a Spirit of Charging. Too often, team members are primarily chosen based on competency, but that doesn’t create the best team possible. We’re going to show you how Newby Management hires the right team member for the right position.

CHARACTER: At Newby Management, there’s a culture based around Christ-like service. Our team is helpful, caring, thoughtful and giving. It’s a team that comes together in times of happiness and crisis to stand before the Lord in prayer, to lift each other up and to help out those in need. You’ll find people stepping up to take action without being asked to help other team members. They embody the culture of Newby Management, which helps all team members work well together from the start.

CHEMISTRY: As discussed above, it’s important that a team member fit with the culture of your company. At Newby Management, we do a series of interviews and personality tests to ensure that each new team member has the right chemistry to gel with our current team. This involves looking at their character and spirit and learning about who they are as a person, which is a vital step in the hiring process.

COMPETENCY: This is often the most valued trait when hiring a new team member. At Newby Management, competency is important, but when we find a team member who’s chemistry and character fits, we try to look for a position that will suite them. Sometimes it’s a different position than the one they applied for, sometimes it’s a position that doesn’t exist yet. When people have the skill sets they need to succeed, we look for the +1 of the Three C’s: a Spirit of Charging.

SPIRIT OF CHARGING: Does a team member take initiative to get the job done? These team members take charge and will go above and beyond the call of duty, pioneering new phases and new ventures that help move the company forward. They are always looking for new opportunities and creating them.

At Newby Management, our HR department takes the Three C’s +1 into account and then starts the process of determining the specific gifts and talents of the candidate. Our current team has a depth of service that you won’t find anywhere else in the industry.

Are you interested in learning more about how to hire the right team members for the right positions in your manufactured home or RV community? Check out our website, learn more about our team and contact us to see how we can help!

Recovering in Manufactured Home Communities Post-Hurricane Irma

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Post-Irma Tree Clean Up in Edgewater, FL.

On September 4, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida as one of the strongest hurricanes in history pummeled toward the state.

Just four days later, hundreds of thousands of Floridians across the state were under evacuation, making it the state’s largest evacuation on record. Among many of the mandatory evacuations were residents in manufactured homes, which are considered to be highly susceptible to strong winds.

Hurricane Irma was the first time in Newby Management’s history to have every community in the portfolio effected by one hurricane. While some communities had minimal damage, all were effected.

At the beginning of the hurricane season, each community has a packet available for residents. It features shelter listings, a list of items to take during an evacuation and evacuation routes so that residents have a plan.

The Newby Management corporate team began preparations for Hurricane Irma nearly a week prior to landfall. The team watched updates, double checked supplies, and made sure the team had evacuation plans.

3 days out, the Newby Management Emergeny Action (NEAT) was mobilized to begin prepping communities. NEAT  was formed in 2005, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Charley.

NEAT is a first response team to check on resident safety and property damage after a disaster like weather, fire, flood, terrorism, and violence. Over the past 11 years, the NEAT team has been deployed 15 times to assist our communities across Florida.

Tpyically, counties issue mandatory evacuations for RV and mobile home communities at least two days prior to a hurricane. While some residents choose to stay, all team members are required to evacuate.

At the home office in Ellenton, the entire team comes together to discuss NEAT deployment strategies for recovery after Irma. Because Irma was so large, our team had to be ready to head to almost any part of Florida following the storm.

There were four teams ready to go to the worst hit areas. From the home office, Newby Management had the CEO, president, IT, regional managers, marketing and training teams, along with the chaplain with boots on the ground for recovery.

As Irma made landfall in Florida, our plans changed with the storm. Todd Newby, the president, and the regional managers stayed in contact to keep the team updated. Once regional managers began hearing from the communities, the latest deployment plans were put into action.

Irma made landfall in many of our communities through Saturday night and into Sunday. Some of the NEAT team was ready to respond as quickly as Monday afternoon.

From Tuesday through the following Monday, there were teams from the home office and sister communities in Lakeland, Fort Myers and east coast areas. Most of he communities had resident volunteers who helped each other, as well as assisted in the clean-up of common areas.

It was a blessing to see our team members and residents come together and serve each other following the hurricane. In one community, there was a couple who couldn’t do physical work, so they grilled hamburgers. In another community, there was a resident who rode around giving out coffee and doubts.

Thanks to the efforts of NEAT, the team and residents, within a week of the hurricane you’d never know there was a disaster in most communities. There are still repairs in some, but largely the communities fared well. The amazing response of the team helped keep everyone safe and make recovery easier for all.

Learn more about NEAT and how Newby Management assists our communities in times of disaster.

How to Sell Your Mobile Home Fast

For most the goal when selling a home is to do it quickly and for the highest possible asking price.  While you cannot control the market, you can control some variables that will help you get the best results.
LOOK AT YOUR CURB APPEAL
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The outside of your home is the first impression potential buyers see when considering your home.  A few simple things that can easily boost curb appeal can go a long way in catching a buyer’s eye.   Be sure your welcome mat is welcoming (aka clean, not dingy or faded).   Weed your flower garden, and add fresh mulch or rocks. Consider planting some colorful flowers that will catch a buyer’s eye, or putting some potted plants near your entry way.
Some other things to consider for the outside of your home.  What is the condition of your home’s exterior?  If you have gutters, are they cleaned out?  Do you need to update your paint job or perhaps even just the trim?  Consider power washing the home’s exterior, sidewalks, drive way and decking.  Check the rails leading into your home to make sure they are secure.  A wobbly railing, while it is an easy fix, can be a deterrent or worse harm a potential buyer.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
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Have a bright, uncluttered entrance way.   Many LED lightbulbs on the market today are not only energy efficient, but also pleasantly bright.  Buyers want the entry area to feel spacious and clean.  Remove unnecessary items such as shoes, jackets, and umbrellas.   Keep the floor swept/vacuumed.  If your home has a tiled floor, be sure to evaluate the grout.  Does it need to be cleaned?   Or repaired?  What is the condition of your carpet?  Countertops?  Appliances?   Repairs can impact your bottom line, but there are some you should consider, because they will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
Normally, one should want their home to be a reflection of themselves, however when trying to sell your home, you want buyers to be able to imagine the home as their own.   What does this mean for you?  Remove your personal memorabilia.  Pack away your family photos, take the magnets off the front of your refrigerator.  Repaint your interior if you do not already have neutral wall colors.
Consider renting a storage shed to help declutter and neutralize your home.   Excessive furniture can make a home feel cramped.  Clean out your closets, even if it means packing away the majority of your clothing.  The same technique applies to linen and coat closets, your pantry and any other storage areas including often overlooked areas like your kitchen countertops.   When selling a home, less is more.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
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We often do not notice the smell of our own home, because we are used to its fragrance.  Visitors however, notice the smell right away.  Consider having a neutral smelling air freshener to help neutralize the smell of your home.  Another alternative, if you have time before a showing is to drop some slice and bake cookies in your oven.  These will give a pleasant aroma that is not overwhelming for most visitors.  They also would look nice on a decorative plate on your countertop after they are baked.
If you have a cat, be sure the litter box is scooped daily.  Likewise, bathe your pooch often while you are trying to sell your home.   Look closely around your home; you may need to take a lint roller to your furniture to remove pet hair.  You might need to dust more often.
Another consideration for pet owners when selling a home is to make sure they are not out and about during a showing.  Not only is this is for the safety of your pets, but also for the comfort of your potential buyer.  If at all possible, the ideal situation would be to not have any pets home during a showing.
CLOSING THE DEAL
Selling a home can take time, but a little effort can go a long way to getting your home sold.   As you wait for that potential buyer to make an offer, relax and enjoy the work you have put into your home to get it ready for the market.  The right buyer will come along, soon enough.

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.

5 Mobile Home Myths You Still Believe

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We all know the stigmas associated with mobile homes. Here’s the thing, most of these aren’t true anymore. There’s a huge difference between parks of the past and parks of today. Today, we’re going to debunk 5 myths that you’ve heard about mobile homes that just aren’t true.

1. Manufactured Homes are More Prone to Fires
Manufactured homes get a bad rap for being fire-prone. In fact, the media seems to just love writing about them catching on fire. This, combined with the idea that mobile homes are more likely to catch fire makes people believe it must be true. Today, the fire resistance provisions of the HUD code have strict standards for fire retardation and smoke generation materials, large windows in bedrooms, smoke alarms and at least two exterior doors which must be separate from each other and reachable without having to pass through other doors that can be locked. On the other hand, site-built homes do not have such strict requirements. The truth is, fires can happen anywhere and today’s mobile homes are no more at risk for fires than comparable site-built homes.

2. Manufactured Homes Are Poorly Constructed 
Many people seem to believe that manufactured homes aren’t constructed as well as site-built homes. In reality, site-built and manufactured homes are built out of the same materials, just not at the same locations. Although they aren’t built at their final location, manufactured homes are sturdy and follow the same and often stricter HUD building codes than site-built homes. Many of our renovated homes include features such as cherry wood cabinets, granite counters, stainless steel appliances and more. These homes exude both quality and beauty.

3. Manufactured Home Communities Aren’t Nice
The truth is, a few places give manufactured home communities a bad name. There are definitely some manufactured home community operators who care more about profits and let an aging community fall to the wayside. However, you’ll also find a great deal of community managers like Newby Management who places great importance in capital improvements and putting people before profits. For example, in our premier communities like Camelot Lakes, Camelot East and Rolling Greens we are currently working on big capital improvements that will benefit the entire community. We also are always working to update the home inventory. There are many operators and managers who take the time to ensure that communities are kept up-to-date and beautiful for residents to enjoy.

4. Manufactured Homes Don’t Appreciate
Like site-built homes, appreciation depends on a lot of factors. The reality is that some homes appreciate and others do not, no matter what type of home it is. Appreciation factors depend on some of the following:

  • The housing market in which the home is located, will have a significant impact on the future value of the home.
  • The community in which the home is located, has a similarly significant impact on the home’s future value.
  • The initial price paid for the home.
  • The age of the home.
  • The inflation rate.
  • The availability and cost of community sites, which reflects the supply and demand influences on the home’s value.
  • The extent of an organized resale network, where an organized network will usually result in homes selling for a higher price than in markets without such an organized network.
Any home that comes out on the positive end of these factors is likely to appreciate, whether the home is manufactured or built on site. If you’re hoping your manufactured home will appreciate over time, consider the factors listed above when making your purchase.
 
5. Manufactured Homes Are For People With Financial Issues
When mobile homes first came into the market they were used as quick, cheap housing for people in need. Eventually this style of home broke into the mainstream market and became what we know today. When this happened, HUD standards, quality standards and societal standards were placed on manufactured homes. Today, there is hardly any difference between a site-built home and a manufactured home. The quality of manufactured homes, along with the price, make them an amazing affordable housing option. However, they are no longer only a housing option for people with financial troubles. More and more they are becoming smart decisions for people looking to own a home without getting into a ton of debt.

 

Why Does a Property Management Company Have a Aerial Drone Camera?

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Photos. Videos. They are the new mediums, quickly taking the place of words and stories. It’s how people share information, how people see the world. Think of the newest social media platforms like Instagram and SnapChat. They revolve around pictures and videos that tell a story. So, why does a property management company have an Aerial Drone Camera? To tell your story.

Whether you own a manufactured home community, or invest in one, you likely want to promote the community. But today’s seniors aren’t looking for just any manufactured home community. They are looking for something with life, vibrancy and activities. They want to be sold a lifestyle. That’s what we do.
Our corporate photographer has over a decade of experience capturing the beauty in moments and scenery. We hired him to our team in 2014 to showcase our communities in a unique way. Once he started to produce beautiful still imagery, we got the wild idea to create professional videos.
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Enter the Phantom 3 Professional Drone, a  state-of-the-art, light-weight , multi-functional integrated aircraft and camera. With this new technology, our marketing team can produce high-definition aerial videos and photos that take the viewer above and beyond. Normally, these would cost your community thousands of dollars with planning, production, editing and promotion. At Newby Management, we have the in-house capability to handle all of this for you.
We will assess your manufactured home community and determine the perfect promotional video. Our in-house marketing team then comes together to create a voice over and shot list. Jake Bibler, our corporate photographer, then goes out and shoots the footage. So far, we have created promotional material for several communities that feature sweeping shots, creative videography and stunning photography.
Once the video is finished and approved by you, we promote it on various social media platforms. Our in-house web developer also adds the video to your website so viewers can watch it directly from your page. If you wish, we can also promote the video through pay-per-click advertising to reach even more viewers in your demographic.
To see promotional videos we’ve created using the Phantom 3 Professional Drone, please visit the links below:
To learn more about Newby Management and our services, please visit us online at www.NewbyManagmenet.com. 

Use This One Simple Trick for Better Customer Service at Your Property Management Company

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Todd Newby, Newby Management President, serving residents at a BBQ.

What’s better than walking into a room full of people who are happy to see you? At Newby Management, that feeling has permeated our corporate lifestyle. The first of our three steps of service says “Always use a warm and sincere greeting. Use a person’s name if and when possible.”

Warm welcomes can take on different forms, whether it’s welcoming a new member to our team or a potential resident into our communities. When welcoming a new team member, we work to ensure they feel part of our work family. Employees want to feel valued and appreciated. This includes factors like proper training, introduction to key team members and follow-through on future questions. From this a tight-knit team is built.
These team members then go on to become the face of the community in which they work. They are often a potential resident or guest’s first impression. Within the communities, warm welcomes are especially important. Part of our culture is to use warm and sincere greetings, using names when possible. These small acts go a long way in making people feel important and valued.
At the community level, Newby Management encourages community managers to focus on residents when they come into the office. This means stopping work for the moment and focusing on the resident. The resident will feel their concerns are important and heard. They can see and feel when greetings are not warm and sincere. Often times, their mood will be reflected in our own. If you begin with a light and cherry attitude, they are likely to do the same.
These same principles apply when a team member leaves the company as well. If the parting is done under amicable circumstances, we always strive to offer fond farewells to our team members. Whether it’s words of encouragement, taking them to lunch or having a goodbye party, simple acts go a long way.
When residents or guests leave our office, we make sure to offer them a fond farewell! They will remember that you took the time to give them a little extra customer service.
You can probably see a pattern by now. The impression you give someone is lasting, and their feelings about you will live on long past their specific memories. For instance, in 2011 our team went to the Florida Aquarium for our annual Christmas party. As is customary, we personally thanked the kitchen crew and staff. Even though that was several years ago they still remember our company because of that small act.
Using warm welcomes and fond farewells is a part of our corporate culture that bridges the gap between people. It’s one that reminds us the value of all people in all circumstances.  It helps us stop in our busy lives to thank and care for the people around us in a personal way, and that makes all the difference in the world. 

 

Are You Protecting Your Mobile Home Community’s Assets?

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Camelot East, a 55+ Newby Management Community in Sarasota, Florida.

What’s the best way to protect your community’s assets? Empower your team memebrs!

It’s a mantra you’ll hear countless times at Newby Management. It holds true in a variety of circumstances and often proves to be invaluable in the workplace, especially when it comes to protecting your assets in a manufactured home community or RV resort.

Number 10 in our 10 Basics for all team members states “Protecting the assets of your community is the responsibility of every team member.” Whether it’s the community/resort manager or someone on the maintenance crew, everyone should feel empowered to protect the assets.

Empowering your team members to take responsibility for the community’s assets means first making them feel part of a team. People who feel valued by their employers often take more responsibility and pride in their positions than people who don’t. Invested employees notice cracks in the walls or issues when the checkbook is being balanced.

In essence, these team members feel like the community/resort finances are their own and treat the assets as they would their home. As a management company, it’s why we value every member of our team, treating them all with the respect and dignity they deserve.

You’ll often see that our business philosophy boils down to respect, compassion and care. Successfully managing a community/resort isn’t about the bottom line, it’s about the people. When you find ways to meet the needs of your team members and residents, you’ll see that the bottom line comes up to meet you, rather than you always having to chase it down. As a famous author once said “Profits are a lagging indicator of how well the customer is taken care of”.

There’s so much that goes into protecting your community/resort assets, both the tangible and intangible ones. In the end, your team members play an important and integral role in how well assets are protected. At Newby Management, our accounts payable team member often says that she treats the company’s money like her own. She monitors each dollar that goes out, checks for consistencies and always follows through when something doesn’t seem right.

That kind of dedication and attention to detail comes from team members who feel valued and important. They see themselves as key players on the team and take initiative when problems arise. They are self-starters and ambassadors of their positions. Through them, problems are addressed and solved in a timely manner.

Ask yourself, would a team member in your manufactured home community or RV resort feel the power and responsibility to take action if they noticed an issue with an asset in the community? Would they have the drive and the concern to make the issue known? Would they feel they could handle the issue on their own?

Remember, when you’re managing a mobile home community or RV resort, you should always put people first. The results will always pay off in the end. This is a concept we can say we’ve seen hold true again and again in our business, and it likely will in yours too.

This One Idea Will Change The Way You Interact with Residents

resident relations, serving residents, manufactured home community, 55+ community Florida, property management, manufactured home property management, RV property ManagementEach 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?

Why Manufactured Home Communities Need Involved Management

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Tim Newby, CEO of Newby Management, serves residents cake at Camelot Lakes during their annual Summer BBQ.

A manufactured home community can seem like a business investment. It can be easy to forget that each community is a living, breathing entity that has its own individual character and personality. There isn’t a magical formula for managing manufactured home communities, and that’s why you need a hands-on property management company.

At Newby Management, we have been serving manufactured home and RV communities for 40 years. This has given us the experience we need to foster communities where people love to live. We know what works and what doesn’t, and we’re always trying to better ourselves as a company.

We have set certain standards for ourselves, like being close to our communities. This allows us the benefit of face-to-face interaction on a regular basis. It means being able to respond quickly in the event of crisis. It means being present and knowledgeable on all aspects of the community. A property management company who wasn’t readily available would not be able to accomplish this.

As manufactured home community property managers, being onsite means you can be aware of problems and address them proactively. You won’t have to wait for something to be in disrepair before you hear about it. If the pool looks dirty or the bushes need to be trimmed you’ll be  able to take the steps necessary to correct the problem.

This hands-on approach is carried out daily by regional managers who oversee specific communities and make regular onsite visits. They become familiar with each of their communities, the residents and the specific issues and concerns that each community might face. It’s this level of customized care that sets Newby Management apart from other companies.

Hands-off management companies will often try to apply a one-size-fits-all solution to each community. While these solutions may act as a band-aid for the community in the short term, they will not address the long-term needs of the community as a whole.

Having an involved management company sometimes means that every team member helps resolve issues that may arise within a community. At the community level, our team members have personal relationships with our corporate staff that makes it easy for them to handle everyday problems with ease. Plus, the community managers can speak directly to the person who can handle their specific issue.

As a Christian company, we also pay special attention to the needs of both our team members and residents. This often means going above and beyond to offer specialized service and care. Whether it’s prayers, our chaplaincy program or something more, we strive to provide personal care to our communities.

Managing manufactured home communities requires knowledge of a constantly changing product, the most important aspect of which is people. It’s requires sensitivity, availability and a strong business sense. These are all strengthened and added to when a hands-on management company is present.

How do you handle the demands of your manufactured home community?