Working in real estate means meeting lots of people who tell you about their property and their property dreams. Those that tell you about their property often refer to their neighbours. Some have unhappy memories but most relate stories of neighbours who are cheerful, friendly and helpful. In this day and age, neighbours are as important, or perhaps more important than they have been in the past.
The rapid growth in our cities has seen our neighbourhoods change, shifting to a higher density than in the past. Our lives have become busier and activities increasingly take us away from the home. Likewise, local shops have been replaced by shopping malls or internet purchases, meaning where we once may have regularly bumped into a neighbour or too, we now rarely see them.
Housing developments are built and sold on the promise of the communities they build, but these differ from the communities our parents knew. Developments now build communities with outside spaces for walking and playing, as the backyard is not seen as attractive as it once was, and apartments with balconies rather than gardens are commonplace.
Where once neighbours would have met over back yard fences, perhaps returning the balls their children had inadvertently hit too far, a local park now serves as that community hub where the kids play and parents meet and get to know each other.
Despite this, some things haven’t changed. The qualities of a good neighbour remain the same. A willingness to make introductions, a friendly nature and the ability to be both trusting and helpful are still key.
When a new neighbour arrives, a knock on the door and a friendly welcome can go a long way to creating a community that looks out for each other. If you are new to an area, and you are comfortable doing so, being the one to say hello first lets people know you are willing to be friendly.