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.
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?
Everyone knows how difficult it is to keep your finances in order. Sometimes it can feel like all you’re ever doing is waiting for the next bill. In manufactured home and RV communities, you can get overwhelmed and behind before you know it.
The idea of hiring a property management company to handle your finances when they feel threatened might seem daunting. In fact, you might feel like it’s counter intuitive if anything. Handing something over to another company as crucial as your finances is a big step, but it can make a difference in your community. Take a moment to look over the questions below to assess whether you should consider hiring a property management company in your community.
Do you have the need for timely, accurate and comprehensive financial reporting?
Do you need a more detailed explanation of the financial health of your community?
Do you have special reporting needs for partners or lenders that require more than the typical monthly reports?
Are collections and resident ledgers a challenge?
Would an automatic payment system help your cash flow?
Are payables too time consuming?
Are you missing out on discounts from vendors and contractors because you are not part of a larger group?
At Newby Management, our accounts will handle your money as if it were their own. They personally invest in the outcome of your financials as they provide excellent customer service and financial reporting.
When you make your requests know our accounting team will meet them consistently. Our financial service package can be customized to meet the unique needs or your manufactured home or RV community. Unlike other property management companies, you’ll have the comfort of direct access to the account who handles your finances on a day-to-day basis. Here are some of the services our accountants provide:
On-Time Payment Processing
Professional Financial Reporting
Manage/Reconcile Bank Accounts
Learn more about Newby Management and the manufactured home property management solutions they provide by visiting www.NewbyManagement.com.
If you ever talk to someone who loves where they live you’ll often hear the same thing. They love the community! For many people living miles from family, the friends surrounding them become their loved ones.
Fostering this feeling in your manufactured home communities and RV Resorts is so important. These communities aren’t just houses in close proximity, for many they represent home, family and a sense of belonging. But communities like this don’t just happen, they are built over years and become neighborhoods sharing experiences, laughter and love.
At Newby Management, we believe this sense of community is one of the most important aspects of managing manufactured home communities and RV Resorts. As such, we wanted to give you five ways to help your residents get involved in your community.
1. HOST MONTHLY EVENTS
Each month, plan several events that will bring the residents of your community together. Whether it’s something small, like coffee and donuts, or something bigger like a potluck, your residents will enjoy getting to meet each other. Each event will begin to feel more and more like a family reunion.
2. USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Today, communities are built in person and online. If you’re hosting monthly events in your manufactured home community, let people know about it! Get your residents talking on social media, whether you’re asking them to share pictures or use a certain hashtag. Eventually you’ll have a community of people who love promoting you! Plus, if your community caters to snowbirds they can stay involved during the summer months, too.
3. CREATE SOCIAL CLUBS
When people move into your community, screen them for their interests. Create a form that lets people select the type of things they like to do. For example, photography, knitting, running, woodworking, etc. Then you can give your new resident information on others in the community who like the same thing, what time social clubs meet and how to best get involved. Some people are too shy to find people who like the same things they do, so this gives them a head start!
4. CREATE BUZZ
If you’re hosting an event in your community, make sure to create some buzz. Pass out flyers, hang banners and get people talking. When people come into your office remind them about the event and tell them to bring a friend. Use social media to help your cause. If you’re excited about the events going on other people are going to get excited too! Once word gets around you’re more likely to have a full house.
5. ENGAGE THE LONERS
Sometimes people will come to events but will sit by themselves. Engage these people, talk to them about their interests, see if they filled out an interest sheet. If not, have them do one. Introduce them to people at the event with similar interests. Try to help them engage with the community around them. Sometimes shy people just need a little budge to become the social butterfly!
At Newby Management, we believe strongly in the power of community. We strive to promote a sense of fun, friendship and fellowship for all our residents. That’s part of why we host strawberry socials in the spring and chicken BBQs in the summer. We love to see our residents get together and have good times! How do you promote resident involvement in your manufactured home community?
There are many types of mobile home and RV communities, from land owned and land leased, to family-friendly and 55+. And it’s important to remember that each community has different goals and needs. Today, we will discuss some of the considerations you should have for each community.
ALL AGE COMMUNITIES
All-age communities are made up of families, singles and seniors.
Amenities should appeal to families: playground, basketball hoop, etc for children.
Amenities should also appeal to seniors: shuffleboard, pool, exercise for seniors.
Offices may consider later hours so residents can stop in after work or on Saturday.
Collections may be tougher because of other demands on income.
Community-wide activities may be poorly attended as residents are mobile and seek outside events.
Seniors are looking for quite, active-adult communities with like-minded people.
Amenities could include shuffleboard, bocce ball, pool, tennis, pickleball, etc.
Offices are usually open during the day as many retired seniors are around.
Collections are generally easier at these communities.
Community activities are better attended as seniors may not want to travel outside for events.
Church services often take place on the premises.
Today’s seniors are much more active and are looking for more than just a community, they are searching for a lifestyle.
They want more amenities and more events than ever before that cater to their active lifestyles.
RV communities appeal to people who prefer short-term stays. It may be for a season, three months, several weeks or just days.
Management is more like a hospitality industry, much like hotels whose residents are transient.
Some guests return annually, some don’t.
Amenities need to entertain while guests visit: swimming pool, basketball, tennis, shuffleboard, cook outs.
Collections are easy as most are done in advance.
Check-in can be after-hours or weekends so staffing properly is important.
RVers usually feel like part of a community, so hosting fun events is a great way to get guests to feel connected to your resort and want to come back!
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.
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.