2017-09-07 / Business News

Jeff Arnold

Chief operating officer of The United Group of Companies Inc.


Jeff Arnold Jeff Arnold Technology a key player in running 55+ communities

WHO AM I?

NAME: Jeff Arnold

TITLE AND COMPANY: Chief operating officer of The United Group of Companies Inc.

YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 3 ½ years.

YEARS IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA: I’ve been working in Southwest Florida since I began working at The United Group of Companies 3½ years ago.

NATURE OF BUSINESS: The United Group of Companies is a real estate development company. Our main focus in Florida has been developing and managing +55 independent senior living communities.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in business management from Stephen F. Austin University

HOMETOWN: Houston, Texas

What is the most significant change you’ve seen in your industry over the last year?

There has been a much higher demand for maintenance-free living, especially in places like Southwest Florida, which is a very active region in the country. Adults want to stay active and social, but owning a home can become too much of a burden. They’re quickly discovering the perks and convenience of a maintenance-free lifestyle.

What improvements, innovations or changes do you foresee in your industry?

The industry as a whole should experience a steady increase in development due to the baby boomer generation entering retirement age and who inevitably downsize to a more accessible and maintenance free option. It will be important to cater to the baby boomers’ needs and interests; they’ve provided so much for our country and future generations, it’s the least we can do.

Name the top three elements or practices that have been absolutely critical in the success of your business?

• Having the right staff – in our case, selecting and developing staff members who have a true sense of purpose, who enjoy working with seniors, and who have excellent customer service skills

• Marketing – being able to successfully market your properties and your services is critical to their success

• Technology – using the right tools to bring efficiencies and enhancements to our daily lives

What’s your superpower?

I never lose a game of Texas Hold’em.

How is social media impacting your industry or business this year? What’s in store for 2018?

Social media has played an important role in promoting our brands and showcasing our properties. We’re able to micro-target certain demographics and communities, so we know our message is connecting with the right people. Since implementing a unique social media strategy for all of our properties, we’ve experienced a significant increase in traffic at our communities, and we look forward to expanding our network even further.

Facebook? Twitter? Etc…

Our properties are active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and The United Group has specific guidelines and requirements for all three social media websites, which are reviewed every month. Our properties document all of the exciting activities and programs they host, which help adult children, whose parents reside at our properties, stay engaged and updated on their lives.

How are you using technology to improve your business?

We rely on technology and new innovations every day in our business. From equipping our maintenance teams with mobile technology that creates more efficiencies in their day, to utilizing online leasing and e-signatures, to simplifying and streamlining our accounting systems, technology is a key player in our abilities to be successful.

How do you find inspiration in today’s business climate?

It’s fulfilling to serve our senior community and give back to a generation that worked hard, protected us, and raised strong families. They deserve to live their lives in comfort, surrounded by good friends and neighbors with plenty of activities at their fingertips, and that’s exactly what The United Group offers.

Who is a mentor to you within the industry?

The United Group of Companies Inc. President and CEO Michael Uccellini has taught me so much about what I know in this industry. He’s ambitious, he’s talented, and he treats his employees with respect. He is an excellent role model for everyone in our company.

What wise words would you tell young people entering the work force today?

Never stop learning. Find something you’re passionate about and work hard and try to be the best at it. Always push yourself, be a team player, and remember there’s no growth in the “comfort zone.” ¦

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