Living in the city can be great. There’s so much diversity, energy and things happening. Sometimes however, it can also be a bit lonely being surrounded by so many people but not knowing any of them.
Trips in your elevator can often feel awkward as people painstakingly keep silent and avoid eye contact until they escape out the door.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
It is possible to build your body corporate into something that is more than just organising levies and maintenance and instead is a thriving social hub.
The Benefits of Building a Community
Those awkward hallway passes will be a thing of the past if you actually know your neighbour’s name. This will makee life in your block a friendlier and more social experience for everyone.
If you can get to know your neighbour and form a respectful relationship, you are less likely to run into problems like noise complaints, invasion of space and untidy common spaces.
Safety and Security
Building a relationship with other residents means you will look out for one another. Neighbours are a great resource to keep watch on your property while you go on holiday. You will always have someone nearby to leave a key with.
Getting to know your neighbours can be a great way to meet new people who share common interests with you. If you find yourself at a loose end, feeling lonely or bored, or just want to make a new friend, you will always have someone next door.
Emergencies and Back-up Supplies
Forgotten to turn the lights off? Call the neighbour. Need some sugar? Someone to watch the dog? Check with Katy from apartment five. Having neighbours who you can turn to in time of need is an invaluable resource.
When you enter an apartment complex you can tell almost immediately when the residents are cohesive. In a cohesive community, not only will the residents smile and greet each other but most likely the the premises will also be kept clean and orderly.
People in a community environment tend to take more pride in their surroundings, which will show in the overall appearance of your building.
Things You Can Do to Start Building a Community
Create a Facebook page
A good place to start is by creating your own website or Facebook page. Someone will have to volunteer to run it and that takes time and effort. You will also need to create and enforce strict rules of engagements as people interact differently on the internet and may express themselves differently.
Use the Facebook page to discuss issues relating to the building or complex and the neighbourhood or just share helpful info. Remind the community that the page is only for positivity and community building. Complaints still need to follow regular procedures.
Create a Social Sub-Committee
Propose to your strata committee the creation of a Social Sub-Committee for people to be elected to. Use this sub-committee to organise in-house events, for example a monthly potluck. Remember to invite both renters and owners — and let everyone know they bring a friend along so they don’t feel nervous
Start a book or movie club or have a weekend collective binge-watch of favourite cult TV show
Set up a bookshelf on common property where people can leave old books they’ve read and take others they haven’t.
Local Restaurant Residents’ Night
Get a local restaurant to have a residents’ night with a special menu for locals who dine at a shared table.
Especially great for connecting retirees – or anyone else who needs to get out more – with dogs that need another daily walk or cats that just need company.
Play dates for Mums & Dads
Arrange play dates with other children in the complex. The kids will make a friend and maybe you will too.
It won’t happen unless you try!
Building communities doesn’t happen overnight – but it doesn’t happen at all if you don’t even try.
Getting to know your neighbours and living as a community can be a great experience.
After all, you never know who might end up being more than just a neighbour!
Give some of these suggestions a try at your apartment community. A stronger sense of community benefits everyone.
So next time you see that neighbour you always avoid, give them a smile, say hello and introduce yourself.