So You Bought a Boarding Facility: Introducing Yourself to Existing Boarders

Excitement, fear and anticipation are all feelings new owners experience when taking over a boarding facility. After signing the last piece of paperwork, it’s time to meet the existing boarders.

Holli McMahon owned and ran a boarding facility in Salem, Oregon for more than 11 years. Before she took over, the seller told the boarders about the transition. Then, within two days of moving in, she set up a meet and greet.

McMahon believes the get-together provided an effective and helpful way for people to form healthy relationships. It also allowed everyone to ask questions and learn about her expectations. If given the chance, she’d make introductions the same way.

“For the most part everybody was super excited that we had plans to implement new things,” she says.

[Read more: So You Bought a Boarding Facility series]

Jodie (owner) and Bailie Corless (manager) are a mother-daughter team at Shingle Mill Stables in Sandpoint, Idaho. They both boarded at the stable before taking over and Bailie believes this made the transition process easier.

“It wasn’t too terrible since I was riding and friends with most of the people keeping their horses here…” she says. “It was more of an exciting time.”

Since personal relationships already existed, Bailie and Jodie made time for personal conversations with established boarders to inform them about the transition.

“Bailie and I were already very active with the barn and the boarders, so they all knew us and it was a pretty natural transition.” Jodie says.

Whether a new owner is well-known at a facility or brand new, open communication with boarders will help set everyone up for success and make the transition process easier. 

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