Here’s a surprisingly simple way to increase the value of your rental property: get to know the neighbourhood!
The more involved you are, the easier it is to find areas of the community that you can help improve. Understanding and supporting the neighbourhood you serve will also encourage others to show pride in where they live.
Organise a neighbourhood clean-up: If you have problem spots like a place where people dump tires and trash, rally a group and tackle that first. If your neighbourhood is clean, make it even better by planting flowers or a community garden. Be sure to provide water and refreshments, and encourage people to mingle!
Attend events: Try everything from Neighborhood Association meetings to block parties to book clubs to supper clubs. If you can’t find any events that already exist, start your own club or regular gathering, and post flyers or invite neighbours personally. The goal is to attend a variety of events so you can meet a cross-section of neighbours.
Socialise online: Many neighbourhoods use Facebook, Twitter to share information about concerns, community news and events. For the extrovert, posting on these sites is a great way to create a presence in the online community. For the more introverted, reading and commenting on others’ posts might be an easy way to stay involved in a subtle way.
Go to church: You may already be a member
Volunteer your time: Many neighbourhoods have community centres, children’s centre and local non-profit organisations where you can get involved. Test out a few before you commit. Once you find one you like, you can keep it casual and help at events, or dig in and, perhaps, join the board of directors.
Talk to the local kids: Here’s an idea for getting to know your rental community: hang out with the kids! Young people often know a lot about their neighbourhood. Kids often have wonderful insight into their favourite neighbours — and what they love about where they live.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of being part of a larger community than where you personally live. Expand your social sphere to include the neighbourhood of renters you are serving. To help manage your time and involvement, commit one day or one week per month for community activities. Mark, it on your calendar and stick to it!