Each year we gather together with all of our staff and we reward our team members for the great job that they do throughout the year. Traditionally, we have a picnic with games, craft activities, and fellowship. This year we sadly had to cancel our awards picnic due to the current global pandemic.
However, we still wanted to celebrate our team members who are working hard to keep their communities running and safe in this time. In early April, we got together as a team and were all able virtually assemble through a video conference. From Houston to Tallahassee to Fort Myers, all of our team members were able to join our meeting and celebrate with us. This was a much needed break from the social isolation that we had been enduring. We were able to recognize our team members, especially those who went above and beyond in 2019. Some of those recognized with awards for their outstanding work include: Craig Graves of Quail Hollow for New Homes Sold and Re-Sales, Sal Fatzie of Palm Terrace for PKO’s Sold, Chris Thompson of Magnolia Village for Most Outstanding Land-Lease Community, Mark Lind of Caribbean Isles for Most Outstanding Resident-Owned Community, Doug Roper of Winterset RV Resort for Most Outstanding RV Community, and the much coveted President’s Award went to Tom and LaDonna Campbell of Jetstream RV Resort. Although we missed out on our typical picnic of food, games, and fellowship, it was still great to be able to connect in this difficult time.
Thank you to all our Team Members for the dedication and hard work shown in 2019. We are so blessed with our Newby Team and are anticipating a great 2020! We hope to see everyone in person at next year’s award picnic!
Now that we are in June, the start of the 2019 hurricane season is here. This season has been predicted to be less active than 2018 but it is still predicted to be above average. This should not be cause for panic but should be a call to make sure that we are prepared for when a hurricane does hit.
For those who have not
experienced a hurricane, it is a large storm system that can create flooding,
heavy winds, and torrential rain. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June
1st through November 30th and tends to be most active in September.
So how do you prepare for one of
these huge storms? Well there are some steps that you can take now to make sure
you are ready for when a hurricane does form so you are prepared.
One of the first things that you can do is find out what evacuation zone your home is in. Manufactured Housing communities are almost always Zone A. This means they are the first to receive evacuation notices. If you are ordered to evacuate, donot stay in your home. Listen to your local authorities.
Second, you need to figure out where you will be evacuating to. When hurricane Irma swept through Florida, many did not plan where they were evacuating to. Some were stranded in rest stops and stuck on the road or in hotels where they had to weather the storm. Do not let this happen to you. Find a storm shelter to evacuate to or somewhere else safe.
Gather needed supplies such as medications, cash and food items. It would be a good idea to have at least three days of supplies no matter where you ride out the storm. Supplies will be limited in the days immediately following the storm. Once debris is cleared, supplies will be more available.
These are just some small steps
that can be taken today to make sure you have a plan and are prepared for when
a hurricane is heading this way. There are more steps that need to be taken
when a hurricane has formed and is on the way. Look for more tips on our blog
for how to prepare as the storm is coming.
For more tips on hurricane preparedness you can take a look at Ready.gov.
When many of us think about manufactured homes, we think of run down mobile homes that are not that appealing to the eye. Those are the homes of the past. Now in 2019, manufactured homes are built to look and feel like their site built rivals. Manufactured homes are built to HUD code and are built to specific wind zones standards. Let’s take a look at some of the beautiful features of these new homes.
Great Curb Appeal
Many older manufactured homes featured aluminum siding and they did not have the warm inviting feeling that many of their site built companions had. Today’s manufactured homes, like the one above, feature vinyl siding that gives the look and feel of a site built home. Many of the homes also have built on porches that you can spend pleasant afternoons enjoying the Florida Sunshine.
Many of today’s manufactured homes feature beautiful kitchens. These kitchens can feature islands, farmhouse sinks and almost anything else that you can find in a site built home. The kitchen above features a nice open plan with black appliances, contrasted by cream cabinets with a nice backsplash to blend it all together! If you order a manufactured home today, you can design the kitchen just the way you would like it.
Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans are rising in popularity. The same is true for manufactured homes. For those living in smaller homes, these open floor plans are perfect for entertaining! These homes generally feature the family room and kitchen in one large great room, much like the home in the picture.
Where are homes going?
As we move towards the age of the internet, manufactured homes are also moving that way. Clayton homes introduced its NXT Homes series that features a smart thermostat and video door bell. As home technology changes, the manufactured housing industry evolves with it.
Want to look at more new homes?
Newby Realty has many new homes available through out the state of Florida. You can visit their website to see these many different new homes. www.NewbyRealty.com
Last week Newby Management got together at Gamble plantation in Ellenton, FL so that we could recognize our team members who go above and beyond. Team members traveled from as far as Tallahassee to fellowship with one another. Our picnic began with games like corn hole, can slam, bean bag baseball, jumbo checkers and others.
After everyone had arrived, the organized activities began and team members got to choose from doing a paint along or laser tag. The paint along was a beautiful Americana painting enjoyed by all. Those who chose Laser Tag did battle on a field with many different bunkers on it. They played different games and scenarios.
After the organized activities, everyone had worked up quite an appetite. We had a great meal catered by C&K BBQ in Parrish Florida. There was a selection of green beans, potatoes, ribs, pulled pork, and smoked chicken. The meal was delicious and the time team members spent together was wonderful.
To wrap up our time together, our team members were presented with awards including Most Homes Sold, Excellence in Stewardship, Super Support, Humanitarian, Social Media Ambassador, Manager Plus, Outstanding Community, and the coveted President’s Award. Our Outstanding Communities were Hawaiian Village, Fiesta Grove and Tropicana Co-Op. We are proud to announce that Janet Johnson, our Director of HR, won the President’s Award this year. Team members make our communities great places to live. They are the reason we have been able to stay in business for over 40 years. Everyone had a great day of fellowship and celebration with team members across the state. We ended the day praying together and everyone traveled back to their communities.
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.
A truck with three pallets pulls up. The pallets are filled with nearly 4,000 food items. Newby Management team members begin to file in and out of the building unloading boxes ranging from peanut butter to cans of soup. They place each food item in its assigned spot, in what is normally the conference room but today it looks more like an assembly line. The food is then broken out of it’s packaging to pack into food bags. After all the food is unloaded, one by one each team member of the corporate staff walks around the table assembling bags of food. The whole process takes the team members a little under an hour. After all the packing has taken place there are 143 bags that are packed and ready to go out to residents.
These food bags will now go out into more than 20 communities throughout the state from Tallahassee to Fort Myers. Each bag will be personally delivered by a corporate team member to the communities. Inside each bag there is food that will go to a resident in need.
The Monday after a Thanksgiving weekend, Newby Management takes the time to pack food for those who have a hard time during the holiday season. In packing these bags Newby Management lives out its statement of purpose. “Sharing the Love of Christ, While Providing Unique Management Services for the Manufactured Housing Industry.”
Do you ever wonder where time has gone? If you are like most people then you know that there never seems to be enough time. Serious study has been devoted by efficiency experts to find the best ways to make the most use of our time. We will discuss time management. Some of the solutions are no-brainers, yet sometimes it is less obvious moments that cause a loss in productivity.
If you are naturally inclined to live a busy, fast-paced life you might notice that a rigid schedule can maintain order and enhance productivity. The predictable and planned often do lead to accomplishing goals. Yet when the unexpected occurs such as traffic, sickness, childcare glitches then you can suddenly find yourself feeling overwhelmed and off track.
It seems to be an oxymoron when trying to be more productive to hear someone say take time to relax. There is something to be said for taking a well-deserved vacation, or simpler moments in the work day to go on a short walk. Unfortunately, today’s fast-paced society has given a green light to go and go as fast as you can, all day, every day. This ‘Type A’ living can be detrimental to your health. Taking breaks has been proven to reduce the stress that puts you at medical risk.
Another thing to consider are the things that steal time. In this modern age, we are in constant contact with the world. We wear smartwatches, carry cell phones, and travel with tablets and laptops. We are connected 24/7. Checking emails and surfing social media can easily rob our time. The next time you are in a public place look at those nearby. More often than naught, they will be looking at their phones not engaging with each other. In the workplace being ultra-connected can be counterproductive. Avoid distractions by scheduling blocks of time to interact with emails, texts, and social media.
There are other less obvious things that interfere with productivity. Be aware of when you work best, and save more challenging tasks for that time of day whenever possible. When we try to do things outside of our body’s natural rhythm, we can find it harder to stay focused. Keep in mind creature comforts have an impact, such as getting enough sleep or being hungry.
Good record keeping is essential to working more effectively. For many people, untidy work areas and clutter can create mental blocks. If you find yourself procrastinating or searching for lost items, take a look around your physical and digital workspace. Start each morning or end each day with reorganizing and decluttering your desk. If you lack inspiration, just spend a few moments searching for ideas on Pinterest. By doing this you will quickly see that some people have too much time on their hands. Although joking aside, there are many great ideas to save time and money.
Finally, we make it to the obvious productivity tool: the list. There are endless ways to create a good to-do list. A popular way of list making is to create a priority matrix. By dividing tasks into 4 quadrants it is easy to prioritize. The labels can vary, but usually gives each square a status like: do now, do later, urgent, or not urgent. Once you have a list, is there anything that can be delegated to someone else? Decide which things can be broken down into smaller tasks.
At Newby Management we value strong work ethic, but also value serving others. These two ideals are well paired together, yet sometimes clash when we are swamped with work. During these moments you may feel compelled to keep at a work task. It is easy to find yourself annoyed at having to direct focus to a resident coming in simply to chat. It is in these moments that your response can have an immense impact on the way you are perceived in your community. Think about the Bible story of Mary and Martha. Jesus put emphasis on knowing when it is important to lavish in the social rather than focusing solely on the tasks at hand. While there are moments that you cannot have a conversation, the way that is conveyed by your body language will speak volumes about your character.
The heat of summer is sizzling upon us. In a couple of weeks, we will officially declare it summer and kick off our summer BBQ season. At Newby, we love hosting chicken BBQs. The reasons we choose summertime for the BBQs is that during the summer our parks have a slower, more laid-back atmosphere. We tend to plan renovations, improvements, and things that sometimes require our residents to be more flexible. The BBQs are a simple way to say thank you.
We also like to think of it as a temptation to get our snowbird friends to stay a bit longer, though they seem to prefer going home for the season. We will keep trying though! A tradition that our residents may not realize is that the summer BBQ season is also the kick off of employee training. We gather our managers and give them an opportunity to fellowship and learn together. They meet all day and the topics vary from year to year but cover the essentials of managing with excellence. Sometimes the summer training includes specific tips for hosting a BBQ experience. This might include teaching where to buy the meat and how to prepare the meat and sides. Last year, it even led to a baked beans contest amongst the communities.
White and dark meat are BBQ staples. If you prefer plain chicken, sure it will be good, but if you have enthusiastic taste buds, try having some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce on your chicken. You will not walk away hungry. There will be beans, potato salad, dinner rolls and well-portioned slices of cake.
Over the years, the themes of the BBQ have paved the way for cakes to become just as elaborate. It is almost an unspoken competition to have the most unique themed cake. By the way, the cake cutting has also become somewhat of an art form. It might seem like they are joking when you hear someone being asked if they are qualified to cut the cake, but it is always asked with a hint of seriousness.
As you can imagine, a lot of logistics go into planning multiple BBQs across the state of Florida. Team members from the corporate office tow the grill to each community and work alongside the community manager to host this delicious chicken feast. 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!
While the BBQs are indeed delicious, we use these as opportunity to serve and express our gratitude for the people living in our communities. Servanthood is one of the core values at Newby Management. We are looking forward to another year of BBQs!
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.
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.
•Meeting fewer people
•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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?