Here I am again trying to decide how best to improve the property with limited funds.  I’ve had my heart set on landscaping the front yard, but I’m getting too many reports of an increasing number of people figuring out how to bypass my front gate.  The residents depend on me to restrict access and I’m clearly failing them.  Arguably both projects would make the complex safer (a well-kept yard indicates the property owner is alert, engaged, and not the easiest sucker on the block).  I can even reason that landscaping first would help keep vacancies low and, in turn, help finance the gate replacement.  However, the phrase “the worse time to replace the gates is after something bad has happened” is ringing in my head.


Transformational landlords don’t back down from challenges or settle for the status quo.  As Seth Godin says our job is to create the status quo.  A lack of money cannot be an excuse for a lack of imagination.  I challenged myself to figure out how to make some significant front yard improvements and install tamper-proof gates.  It’s a little scary, but I’m going to put myself out there and proclaim that I will get the front yard fully landscaped by the end of 2011. It is possible to plant a couple of bushes and a little ground cover each month or build out the irrigation a little at a time.   It may be the hardest way to landscape, but it is financially doable.   The gates… they must go in immediately.


Years ago, while reading a business coaching book by Brian Tracy, I learned the principle of incremental improvement.    (You can watch a short video of  Brian Tracy describing this principle click here) Adapting the principle for innercity landlording, one would say that if you focus on improving your apartment and consistently make small improvements, you can easily improve your property and possibly ignite a movement that improves your block as well.  So this is my plan.  I’ll let you know how it goes.


It is encouraging to hear stories of how others have successfully completed projects despite road blocks.  Please share your story and what was instrumental in helping you. Thanks!

Fore more information on inner city landlording and other landlord tips, take a look at my other articles:

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