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!
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.
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!
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 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?
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.
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!
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.
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.