Even though the Internet keeps us more connected than ever before, many Americans don’t know who their neighbors are. That’s often the case with condominiums, where people can find themselves insulated from others without even trying. Here’s a little secret: there are some great people in the building just waiting for you to meet them. How do you go about it? Here are some ideas:
- Say something, Anything. Resolve to set aside a week during which you say hello to everyone you meet on the property and also try to engage them in conversation.
- Cook or bake with your door open. A way that students in dorms make friends is to leave their doors open so it’s easier for them to meet people. It’s a little different in a condominium, but you can still open up your front door while baking cookies, then offer them to passersby
- Have a “garage” sale.You probably have a handful of items that you don’t need. Instead of getting rid of them, post them in a public space along with a date and time, then pull out those items to show people during your event. Even if you don’t sell anything, you’ll make a few new acquaintances.
- Do your chores outside. There are some common areas where you can pull up a chair and knock out those tasks. Whether it’s catching up on emails or other chores, you’re more likely to meet your neighbors if you’re visible to them.
- Attend condo events. Maybe you’re not into morning yoga or evening board meetings. Just show up and try it out. You may learn something or find a new activity to enjoy – or maybe strike up a friendship with someone who is just as ambivalent as you are!
- Get help from the animal kingdom. Walking your dog around the building will guarantee plenty of encounters with neighbors. Have a friendly cat or more exotic animal? Introduce your four-legged friend to others. You’ll definitely be remembered by your fellow residents.
- Put up a “comment board.” Hang a whiteboard and post something on it. Leave a marker so people can post their responses. Not only will you get valuable insights, but maybe a chance encounter.
- Trade coffee for information. If you’ve chatted with a particular person a couple of times, try this: tell them that you’re new to the building and would like to learn the “inside scoop” – then offer to spring for coffee in exchange for this intel. Think about it: who’s going to turn down free stuff?
- Host a get together. You don’t have to go all out with a lavish spread and entertainment. Open up your condo for a Friday happy hour, a watch party, or something along those lines. Post an open invite on your floor or slip invitations into mailboxes. Then have some fun with your neighbors!
- Go online to reach out to locals. There are probably online groups that cater to your area, so start posting on these sites. You’re bound to run across someone in your building who knows the hours of the local coffee shop or where to buy the cheapest gas. This gives you the opportunity to make a virtual acquaintance which could then progress into a real-world friendship.
You’ll soon be able to connect with fellow residents on our new Building Residents online portal. We’ll keep you posted about its progress and the portal launch date. Even if your neighbors don’t become your best friends, they can still provide you with the support and peace of mind that comes with being part of a community. So get out there and start meeting your condo-mates!