By: Wendy Dessler
The days of bringing baked goods to new neighbors are in the past. Now, breaking the ice can be downright intimidating, especially in an apartment community. Everyone wants to have a strong relationship with their neighbors. Who else can you rely on to watch over your home when you’re out for the weekend? Good neighbors make our lives easier, and it helps everyone feel like part of a community.
Whether you’ve been in your apartment community for years or you’re just moving in, you might need some extra help finding the best way to introduce yourself. Yes, it can be awkward at first, but there are easy ways to make it less intimidating. Are you ready to make a change and turn your neighbors into people you feel confident running into in the hallways?
This is the easiest way to meet people, but also the most often overlooked. How often do you walk between your apartment and your car looking at nothing other than your phone screen? Put that phone away and be aware of your surroundings. Not only is this a great habit to get into in everyday life, but it gives you the chance to meet people.
Smile as you pass people in the hallway. Introduce yourself, and let them know where you live. You don’t have to take up any more time than that, but your neighbor will remember your friendly hello going forward. This is how you start breaking down those walls.
This is the digital age, so it’s no wonder neighbors have taken to social media. With the NextDoor app, you can be sure you’re only seeing posts for the people immediately near you. While connecting online isn’t a substitute for real-life interaction, it is a great way to put names to faces. If you have any questions or ideas for the community, this can be a great space to ask.
Neighborhood events are the perfect chance to actually meet people. Not only do they sometimes involve free food (yum!), but you’re likely to run into someone new. Be active at these events, and ask the community if you can bring baked goods or a food dish to share. Food will always make people eager to talk to you. These events are designed to bring the community together. Don’t keep putting off Friday Night Socials and holiday feasts.
Finally, one of the best ways to meet your neighbors on the right terms is to be a good member of the community. Every apartment community has a set of rules, most of which are for the peace and respect of everyone who lives there. Nobody likes the neighbor who blasts music until 2 am or the person who always leaves trash outside their door.
The same goes for your property manager. Many property managers also live on-site, and this is a great way to get to know them when you see them out during the day or at events. However, never impose your questions or concerns on a property manager after hours when they’re no longer on duty.
Another common problem is renting your apartment through Airbnb when you’re not in town. This might seem like a good way to make extra cash, but it exposes your community to unknown tenants. Your property managers might be alerted through a service like Rentbelly, so it’s never worth the risk.
Following the rules might not get you very far on its own, but without it, you’ll have the hardest time making a good impression on your neighbors. The more you can learn to respect the rules, the more pleasant your community will be as a whole. As long as you smile, put yourself out there, and are an asset to the community, your neighbors will welcome you.