It’s especially important if you’re a landlord in a tough neighborhood.
Why? Because by doing so, by default, you’ll end up practicing many of the best habits of highly effective landlords.
As a savvy investor, you want to do more than just watch for signs of neighborhood decline. You want to control as many variables as possible.
Supporting or championing a NNO celebration directly in front of your rental will definitely help you create a “nice neighborhood” image. And that ultimately leads to more demand for your rental and higher rents for you.
Here are a few tips to help you organize a National Night Out event
1. Start organizing in early June. This will give you plenty of time to get your thoughts together without burning yourself out. It also give you time to get a permit to block off your street for the party.
2. Start passing out flyers and approaching sponsors immediately after the Fourth of July. Wait until after Independence Day to give people a chance to focus on your event without feeling overwhelmed or getting confused.
2017 UPDATE: We now create posters and attached them to trees and to the backside of stop signs. We also pass out blank poster boards to the kids on the block and encourage them to make and hang their own posters.
Getting others involved, no matter how small the task, is our strategy for getting residents to own this annual event.
3. Use a sponsorship letter to get donations from local businesses. You’ll be surprised how eager local small businesses will be to associate with your event. We were able to use this sponsorship letter to get donations from a local grocery store, restaurants, fitness trainer, wedding photographer, and screen printing company, plus several landlords made $40 cash donations as well.
4. Schedule games that help people mingle. We loosely followed this schedule of events so there was plenty of opportunities for shy neighbors to interact. People may be in the habit of seeing each other and not speaking. Give them an easy way to break the ice. Use donated prizes as incentives/bribes to get people to participate.
2017 UPDATE: We are going to add 9 Square in the Air this year. I’m creating the frame out of 2-inch PVC and it’s a DIY project for sure. But since we can use it year after year, the upfront investment will be worth it.
5. Get a DJ or designate a Master/Mistress of Ceremonies. In 2012, our DJ cancelled without notice and we really missed not having the ability to direct the group’s attention and assist with transitions. We got the job done, but it wasn’t as smooth as we’d liked. I’ve made sure to never let that happen again.
Music set the atmosphere and helps people know something different is happening. I now hire a DJ – no more volunteers.
The take away lessons
National Night Out is effective, no matter who organizes it. Since landlords stand to capture additional equity and cash flow when their block becomes the place to be – it only makes sense for us to take the lead.
Yes, all of this does take effort, but it takes more energy to organize a candle light vigil after something tragic happens. Parties prevent tragedies. Give them a try.
Check out the full strategy with Building Wealth with Inner City Rentals: Success the Catalytic Landlord Way
Other great NNO tips can found at: