Parking Lot on our Lot

Just call me Donna Trump, cause I went and got all entrepreneurial on y’all and started making some m-o-n-e-y. Yeah, the Trump has got me beat, but I think the man would be proud of all the scheming I’ve been doing this past week. See every fall around our house is a magical time. We live 3-blocks away from the biggest college stadium in the land … THE BIG HOUSE. Not yo house, not yo momma’s house, the BIG house. Now, it just turns out that everyone and their brother is looking for a place to park come game day, so our little lot of land gets turned into a parking lot every football Saturday.

Like this.

Parking Cars for Football

We moved in mid-October last year, so we were kind of dabbling in the parking game back then. This year, it’s all business. I even made a business plan. He he. No seriously, I did. And it goes like this:

Jay is your friendly chauffeur service attendant, Malcolm is the manager, and I’m the business consultant. We all take our jobs very seriously. I, I probably take my job the most serious. Malcolm may have me beat though, close call. Let me set the scene. Our neighbors have been doing this car parking thing for years (decades!) and we are the newbies on the block, so had to up the anty, show them we mean business.

The first week we were out there parking cars, I kept seeing all the football-mobiles flying by us and going straight down to the neighbors. Now they’re 3 houses down from us. My tried and true real estate mantra was failing me here. Our location was better, so why were they getting all the cars.

Ann Arbor Westside Football Parking

Now we typically go out in the yard 3-4 hours before the game starts, to park anyone that wants to tailgate before the game (I mean, don’t we all want to tailgate?). When it was 2-hours before the game and we had ONE car and they had, well, way more than that, I was about ready to put up a blockade in the street to stop this nonsense. But then, it started to dawn on me. They had something we did not. They had brand loyalty. These people wanted to go to our neighbors house to park because they knew them. And they liked them.

Now as each car flew by my house, the wheels in my noggin kept on a’ spinning and I came up with, wait for it, y’all ready for this? Business cards! We had to start out with some business cards, right? Essential first piece of networking.

Calling Cards for Networking

While Jay was parking cars the first week, I was down in the basement making these babies. Instead of just taking the 20 billz every time someone wants to park with us, I decided the key to the peoples hearts was through their wallets, isn’t it always? 😉 So, I started a loyalty program! Park (5) times, get $5 off. We punch the card each time, and make them feel all thrifty and supa fine about selecting our abode to park at. Like using a coupon for something you get at the grocery store every week. Zing, zing, zingggaaa.

I also made them cookies. I thought that would help with getting them all on the same page, too.

Best Tailgating Food

So, confession. The first week did not go well. It went bad, actually. Turns out, this little green plot of land between the sidewalk and our house. Can’t park there, city code, they’ll tow your car and not even feel bad about it. We legit had a meter maid come up looking all o-fficial and firmly ask us where the keys to these vehicles were. Umm, ahhhh, not here, officer, sir.

  No Parking Zone Ann Arbor

He then informed us that we’d have to move them, or he was going to have to tow them, and oh, by the way, here is a $50 ticket. BLAST. So we BEGGED him not to tow the cars (I mean talk about awkward, someone hands ya 20 bucks, and you gotta explain to them you got their car impounded…) and he let us know that if he had to come back, and if the cars were still there, he’d have to tow them then. Gah. Thank our lucky stars in the sky above that man didn’t come back, but let’s just say, our first week could have gone a wee bit better. 😉

Second week, we were all ready and organized. It was a night game (Notre Dame) and it started at 8pm. Our small little city lot was full of 15 cars by 5pm. Whoa. Since everything got a little crazy town (at our busiest, we had 3-4 cars lined up while we parked another), I devised a little system to keep track of everyone’s keys.

How to Make Money on a Football Saturday

Jay just started throwing all the keys in his pocket, which gave me a small heart attack, since I lose things in my pocket. This system worked really well, cause we had to move cars a lot. I.E. Dude that is parked in the garage showing up an hour before kick-off, which means having to move like 8 cars. Oye.

Do you like the sign I made. I may or may have had two people tell me they parked at our pad cause they liked my sign. I’m blushing. I always knew I should have been a teacher – mad scissor skillz. I kid you not, my hubby told me I should have my own show like Martha Stewart when we saw me crafting away. That made me lol.

Also – do you see the little rain guard Jay made for the sign. He he. Always thinking.

Football Parking Tailgate

Overall, we are pretty pumped about our new strategy to get some extra dolla bills flowing through this joint. We don’t make a ton each week, but it’s enough to knock out a project or two! In fact, we already started on the first one – built-ins for the basement. EEEKKK. Get excited!

P.S. Now that Jay has his trusty nail gun, I can pretty much convince him to single handedly do any wood working project I put my mind to. Usually, it takes two hands to convince him, so this is progress.