Why does Newby Management do Strawberry Socials?

resident relations, serving residents, manufactured home community, mobile home community, rv community
The delicious strawberry desserts.

As February rolls around, strawberries are coming into season. We here at Newby Management are getting ready for our beloved Strawberry Socials.  We are preparing to undertake 30 different Strawberry Socials all across the state of  Florida and will travel hundreds of miles to serve our residents. This might leave some of you wondering why Newby Management does Strawberry Socials.

Here at Newby Management, Strawberry Socials are a tradition that stretches back many years, starting in our founder’s childhood.  Martin Newby grew up farming in Iowa.  At the end of the season, his parents would invite the neighbors over, who brought homemade ice cream, and they would share their home grown strawberries. Just like that, the first Newby Strawberry Social commenced on a front lawn in Iowa.

Once Martin started Newby Management, he was always looking for great ways to provide exceptional customer service to the residents. Thinking back to his years in Iowa, he sought to recreate the Strawberry Socials of his youth.  Now, all these years later, we still continue to serve strawberries to our residents. We here at Newby Management have a Strawberry Social season. Every year we look forward to engaging with our residents and serving delicious strawberry shortcakes that have been perfected over the years.

Secrets to Using Strawberries in Customer Service

resident relations, serving residents, manufactured home community, mobile home community, rv community
The delicious strawberry desserts.

How can you use strawberries to serve your customers? That’s easy! Top them with shortcake, whipped cream, and our favorite, ice cream.

At Newby Management, Strawberry Socials are a tradition that has continued for almost 30 years, hailing all the way back to our founder’s childhood. Martin Newby grew up on a farm in Iowa. Along with the normal crops, they also grew potatoes, cabbage, sweet corn and 3 1/2 acres of strawberries.

At the end of the season, his mom and dad had the idea to invite the neighbors to bring homemade ice cream and they would supply the delicious strawberries. The birth of the first Strawberry Social was enjoyed by some 200 people on the front lawn of the farm.

As an adult in business, Martin was always looking for ways to provide extraordinary customer service to his customers. As he researched, providing a quality experience for consumers was a good place to start. Thinking back to his teen years on the farm, he remembered the Strawberry Socials with fondness. He felt these could be recreated for all residents.

Today, these Strawberry Socials are a point of fun and excitement in our communities. Residents gather together to laugh, fellowship and share life together. These aren’t any strawberry desserts either. It all starts with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream, topped with a decadent piece of shortcake, followed with a large scoop of strawberries and finished with a dollop of whipped cream.

Newby Management team members head across the state during the months of February and March to help serve up these delicious deserts to residents. It’s a sweet way to give back to our residents through service.

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 residents 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?

5 Ideas to Serve Residents in Your Manufactured Home Community

Serving your residents is important. At Newby Management, it’s one of the most important things we do. If you’re at a loss for how to serve residents in your manufactured home community, here at 5 ways our team members go above and beyond in our communities.

1. Holiday Cheer
mobile home property management, manufactured home property management, holiday cheer, resident relations, serving residents

The holidays are fast approaching, and as they do we are gearing up for spreading some holiday cheer to our residents. Each year, we pack food bags full of non-perishable items for the needy families in our communities. It’s a simple act, but it helps alleviate some of the stress that comes with the holidays. We also deliver poinsettias to families who could use a little cheer. These are great ideas to begin implementing in your own communities.

2. Involve Residents
resident relations, serving residents, manufactured home communities, rv communities

 

When things are happening in your community, it can be tempting to limit your resident’s knowledge on the topic. At Newby Management, we encourage resident involvement in community issues and happenings. Not only does it help residents feel at ease when changes are being made, it also helps them feel involved. In one of our communities, Camelot Lakes, the team members held a pre-construction party to help prepare residents for what was to come. It was a great way to answer questions and give residents a good feeling about the future.

3. Consider Your Surroundings
Property Management Florida, Manufactured Home Property Management, RV Property Management, Hurricane Preparedness

What do we mean by this? Think of the state in which your communities are built. Does it snow? Does it rain a lot? What unique challenges does your state face? In Florida, our manufactured home communities are susceptible to hurricanes. That’s why Newby Management established the Newby Management Emergency Action Team (NEAT) 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.

4. Establish a Servant Heart
serving residents, resident relations, manufactured home communities, rv communities

At Newby Management, we try to encourage all our team members to establish a servant’s heart. This is the most consistent way to serve residents. Having a servant’s heart means serving others without expectations. For example, we don’t serve our residents with the expectation that they never have complaints, refer us new residents or bring baked goods to the office. We do it out of humility, love and respect for those we are called to serve. When you consider serving a blessing, it becomes something you want to do, instead of something you have to do.

5. Do Random Acts of Kindness

manufactured home communities, mobile home communities, serving residents, resident relations

We serve our residents in some many ways every day. Many of them are tangible and business-related. These are expected and required of a management company. What’s unexpected is going above and beyond in service and care. Random acts of kindness are so special because most times they’ll never be traced back to you. When they are, you can remind people to pay it forward. Do you know of a lonely resident’s birthday? Drop a card in their mailbox. See a resident with a really nicely manicured lawn? Stop by a let them know! Have a resident who is always offering to help out? Send them a thank you note. These simple acts are great ways to serve residents, but are also great ways to find yourself doing a lot more smiling.

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!

Giving Back to Manufactured Home Community Residents Through BBQs

CLEA-20140909-181207-2The smell of barbecue chicken wafts through the summer air. It’s a smell that creates memories and brings them back for residents at Newby Management communities. For the residents, it’s about more than a BBQ, it’s a time to connect with friends, to relax and to enjoy their community.

For the Newby Management corporate team, the Summer BBQ’s are about living out one of the company’s core values: Servanthood. It states: “With Jesus as our example, we will strive to graciously serve our customers, investors, and fellow team members to the highest level possible. Each of us agrees to be accountable to a higher authority.”

Each summer, team members from the corporate office travel across the state with a grill in tow to

10559804_461369880669282_2086564993997153052_n

serve up grilled chicken, potato salad, beans, dinner roll and a large cake. Themes create a fun and exciting atmosphere, different years have featured fiestas, the 70s and more!

As you can imagine, a lot of logistics go into a BBQ for an entire community! In some larger communities, our team may cook over 400 pieces of chicken.  This means we start at dawn and turn the grill four times!

You definitely won’t go away hungry from one of our shindigs either. We give very specific instructions to local butchers on how to quarter the chicken so each serving is huge. That’s right! We not only serve big pieces of chicken, but we also use local butchers near the community we’re serving.

10517982_514553335312557_2918630772009030190_nWhen a resident comes through our line, they can be assured that we temp tested the chicken before it leaves the grill, so we can be sure it’s cooked thoroughly. Then comes the fun part: deciding whether you want light or dark meat. Delicious! You can get a piece plain or drenched in Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce.

We love summertime because it means an opportunity to serve our residents and give back to our communities with a good old-fashioned southern BBQ. To our team, these are times of great fellowship and fun. They are a time to create new memories and reflect on past memories. They are a time to remind our residents that we are on their side. And of course, we can’t forget the delicious food!

Do you want to learn more about Newby Management? Visit us online at www.NewbyManagement.com.