This year, we were able to resume to our annual BBQ and Awards Ceremony! We were so happy to be able to see and be with our employees, who came from all across the state of Florida. We were able to give out awards, enjoy board games, painting, laser tag, and some great BBQ.
Although the last year has been a tough one, our employees maintained their good attitudes and excellence in the workplace. We wanted to provide a time away for our employees to relax and enjoy fellowshipping with other staff members. We also wanted to publicly thank and recognize them for all the hard work and dedication they exhibited throughout the difficult year of 2020.
A number of awards were given out to our much deserving staff highlighting their Excellence in Stewardship, Super Support, being a Social Media Ambassador, and many more. Quail Hollow, managed by Lisa Graves, came away with The Most Outstanding Land-Lease community, while Clarice Campbell and her community, Tropicana Co-Op in Fort Myers, won The Most Outstanding Resident-Owned Community. The Most Outstanding RV Community was awarded to Bayhead in Tallahassee and their manager Doreen Wallace. For the greatly coveted President’s Award, corporate staff members Adam Pike, Director of Training, and Brenda Richter, Account Controller, were awarded for all of their hard work and long hours that were put into 2020.
To see more pictures from the BBQ and Awards ceremony, check out the album on our Facebook page.
Thank you all for the dedication and hard work shown in 2020. We are so blessed with our Newby Team and are anticipating a great 2021!
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.”
Remember your grandma’s mobile home park? Nothing to do, rickety houses lining disheveled streets. Today’s four and five star manufactured home communities are a far cry from those, and investors are taking notice.
These communities offer green spaces, amenities and high-end homes that offer the convenience of single-family homes without the cost. From fitness centers and clubhouses, to activities and luxury swimming pools, these communities are becoming more and more attractive to investors. In business terms, they offer stable returns, long-term occupants, and a relatively low capital cost to maintain the properties.
The financial risk is relatively low as well. Second only to self-storage, these communities have one of the lowest rates of default. It also has the second-highest net operating income growth, making manufactured home communities very attractive to both mom-and-pop, along with large investors.
Speaking of mom-and-pop, they make finding a manufactured home community for purchase difficult. The stability of the asset encourages long-term ownership, and the assets are often kept in the family. Still, investors in the market can often find a distressed property with 50% occupancy in need of repairs and community spaces. Besides mom and pop owners, large companies own a majority of the parks in the Untied States. Sun Communities, Equity Lifestyle Properties and RHP Properties are the top three owners, with a combined ownership of 200,000 sites.
An increased demand for manufactured housing from baby boomers and young families has encouraged lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to announce an increase in manufactured housing production goals. The average cost of a manufactured home, minus land, is $70,600, compared to nearly $300k for a single-family home, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute.
Due to their affordability, manufactured housing falls outside of the institutional lending limit caps set for Fannie and Freddie. Interest rates have remained low, and borrowers have the option to shop around for the load terms that best suit the mobile home community, and the market. Because of this, borrowers benefit from a competitive product with a low interest rate, and a good return in a low-risk environment.
In the meantime, demand for manufactured homes continues to rise, leaving investors on the market searching for the next good deal.
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?
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?
Rows of Cherrios lined the walls and boxes of food filled the conference room. For one day, the team members at Newby Management turned into a food packing assembly line. As holiday music plays, team members gather to serve residents. For some team members, like Kelly Horalek, a corporate office accountant, this is her favorite day of the year.
At the holidays especially, we notice the needs of people around us. At Newby Management, the team noticed that some residents were struggling to feed their families, something that becomes especially difficult around Christmas. That was when they started delivering holiday food bags to residents in their communities who needed an extra hand.
This year the corporate office team packed an astounding 1,500 pounds of nonperishable food. It’s the kind of food most people take for granted, like peanut butter and jelly or oatmeal. But for some families, those staple items will go a long way.
138 bags were given away in total. The bags are personally delivered by a corporate team member, so the residents aren’t just getting food, they are getting encouragement too. While some residents need food care packages, others just need a bit of holiday cheer. For residents who had a difficult year, the team delivered fresh poinsettias to their homes. It’s just a simple reminder that they are being thought about during the holidays.
Serving residents in your mobile home community during the holidays can take on many different forms. Whether you do something big or something small, know that it can go a long way to boosting morale in your community. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to meet people where they are and love them.
Merry Christmas, from everyone at Newby Management.
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!
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!
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.
Repeat their name out loud. For example, if they say their name is Jerry you can say “It’s nice to meet you, Jerry.”
Write their name down.
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.
Stay focused on the person as you interact and continue to use their name throughout the conversation.
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!