Last modified on June 30th, 2016
By Elizabeth Millar
With the summer solstice just weeks behind us it’s time to kick off the start of summer. What better way to do that than by celebrating the Fourth of July holiday? It’s time to gather up your friends, fire up your grill, and enjoy an explosive firework show. We hold these truths to be self evident at AppFolio. We also know there are a handful of things that come along with this holiday (especially when it falls on a three-day weekend) that can be tough for a property manager to prepare for. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out this upcoming Independence Day for your renters, while also keeping your properties (and residents) safe.
What are some common risks around the 4th of July?
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday, but it’s also important to remind tenants to use common sense and keep your property—and the neighbor’s property—safe. By taking some precautionary measures, the Fourth of July can feel less like a work day for you and more like a vacation.
Here are a few leading causes of concern for the holiday weekend, and what you can do to prevent them:
Noise Complaints – People can be a little rowdy on the 4th…some people get too rowdy. To avoid noise complaints, post notices in your common areas or mailboxes, or text your residents a reminder of your quiet hours. Warn against loud music in outside areas, or gatherings of too many people.
Pools – In warmer states, July 4th is a prime time for a dip in the property pool. If swimming is an option, make sure signs are up (maybe add a few extra) that reinforce safety rules and regulations.
Fireworks – Fireworks are against the law in many states and can be incredibly dangerous to your property and the surrounding areas, posing a large fire risk in more arid climates—they are also frightening to many household pets. Not only can they be illegal, but they also pose a huge risk for bodily injury. Clearly communicate to your residents what the law is in their area and the risk associated with fireworks to prevent potential dangers.
Barbecues – Combine fireworks with open flame barbecues and you have an even greater risk during the typically dry time of July. This can be particularly threatening in multifamily housing, where risk for property damage is greatest. Proper safety measures and common sense must be exercised to ensure the grill is operated safely. Putting up signs about the fire danger associated with barbecues or simply engaging in a conversation with your renters curbs the chances of an incident.
Above all, ask your renters to be safe and courteous to their neighbors, and have a plan (and an extinguisher) in case you need to put out any literal fires. A friendly email to renters providing safety guidelines and rules—as well as potential consequences if broken—goes a long way.
How can property managers maximize success [and fun] on the 4th of July?
While the Fourth of July can be a stressful and busy day for many property managers, it can also be a marvelous time for business and should be fun. Capitalize on the opportunities that the Fourth of July provides by familiarizing yourself with some of these ideas:
Resident Retention – Spirits are high throughout the holidays and reminding tenants how much you value their business through a small note can really hit home. Keep your renters happy and feeling appreciated by dropping off a “Happy 4th of July!” card in their mailbox or shoot them an email or text. Depending on the size of your property and budget, you could even come up with a small gift, like a gift card or themed cookies, to say thanks.
Marketing Possibilities – The holiday is a great excuse for a barbecue, and what better way to attract potential clients than through their stomachs? Offering prospective renters a selection of July 4th fare at a red-white-and-blue open house will make the entire experience more enjoyable, more delicious, and more successful. Moreover, it’s a great time to offer a discount for closing those on-the-fence deals. Take advantage of people’s good moods and spending attitude by providing a discount and getting a decision to fill any vacancies.
Independence Day presents an opportunity to keep your renters happy and increase your revenue. Take the time to prevent the risks and maximize the benefits on the front end. You’ll relish in your newfound free time and can use it to celebrate the holiday the way you want while your business thrives!
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!