Join me as we analyze McKellar Newsom’s article that I found on a popular real estate investment forum. In Crime Proof Your Properties: Lessons from a Gang Threat she outlines some best practices for securing a rental against burglars.


I really like the way Ms. Newsom didn’t wait to be a victim. She didn’t cross her fingers and hope someone else would come along to fix the issues that affect her investment. She assumed responsibility and the rest is history.


I wanted to extrapolate on her premise to illustrate that more profits are at hand if she continued on to help crime proof the surrounding area.


For this exercise, let’s examine her actions, extract the effective ingredients, and apply them to the area surrounding her duplex.  We should end up with a predictable method for deterring crime and making the entire block nicer (meaning more profitable to investors).


Here’s the break out:


Steps to Protect Inner City Rental Why Method was Effective Steps to Protect
the Block
  •   Installed an alarm system with external siren and then tested it (very   savvy, proactive tactic).


  •   Installed motion detecting security lighting
Criminals don’t   like witnesses or people reporting them to the police.
  • Establish a contact phone/email list, Facebook group, some quick communication method.
  • Establish good group communications with local law enforcement.
  • Make it public knowledge that your block works closely with authorities.
  • Installed security gates


  • Caged in copper-rich piping and coils
Criminals move towards   the easiest opportunity. Lazy thieves will likely not even test the devices;   they will be deterred simply by the presence.
  • Pay attention to the visual clues on your block. Trash-free streets and maintained landscaping go a long way to keeping your block safe.
  • Your front yard must show that you care and help neighbors do the same.
  •   Decided to fight back and   committed the resources
When someone takes   charge and implements an effective deterrent plan, petty crime clears out.*
  •   Commit to your block’s   improvement. Commit to make small, yet effective, community investments over time. Doing so creates compounding benefits that overwhelm the Resistance.

* Petty crimes enable more serious crimes. Discouraging petty crimes is a safe way to reduce all crimes.


It is not difficult to understand why McKellar got her desired results; she implemented tried-and-tested preemptive measures IN ADDITION TO normal good management principles.


And that is the key to being a successful inner city landlord.  Neighborhood-wide preemptive measures need to be implemented IN ADDITION TO properly managing your own investment.


I congratulate McKellar and others who venture into tough neighborhoods to improve the housing stock. And I want to encourage them not to stop at their property lines but continue to maximize their investment’s potential by engaging the neighboring owners and working to better the entire block.


It’s easy to do so. Just start practicing the 8 Habits of Highly Effective Inner City Landlords. These simple and inexpensive “habits” create ripples that reshape the surroundings and create orderly community.


Here’s an example how small things, hospitality and bowls of chilli, can change a neighborhood. Note the mechanics and ask “why couldn’t a landlord help the process along?” Being a catalyst for neighborhood restoration might be the most lucrative thing an inner city landlord could do.


So let me connect the dots. If you want to increase inner city profits, you should help the community IN ADDITION TO practicing standard management principles. If you don’t know how to start, just start by practicing the 8 Habits. You’ll eventually end up with a crime proofed community that has higher appraisal values and stronger cash flows.