How to find and create community in your neighbourhood

The importance of community on our mental health is huge – did you know research into positive psychology found the strength of our personal relationships has far bigger impact on our satisfaction with life than our income? A sense of belonging adds meaning to your life and one of the best (and most convenient!) places to find this is with people who live nearby.

The accessibility of social media and the ‘stay home’ messaging of COVID-19 made the process of making real life friends a little trickier, so if you’re feeling isolated right now you are absolutely not alone. However, D Residential Group has the best community and we are here to give you some hope and ideas on how to create the same for you.

If you’re new to your ‘hood or yet to find your local tribe, we have come up with our favourite ways to create community wherever you live.

  1. Take your hobby outside the home

We were all for online workouts and YouTube teaching us to play the guitar while in isolation, but whatever you’re interested in – there’s a group for that! Joining a local gym was life changing for our director Diana Patrascu, who found her people at the BBR gyms in Jolimont and Claremont, so get fit and friends from your nearest fitness centre (endorphins make people happy and chatty!). If you’d prefer something slower like yoga or music, find a local studio or choir and join people who love practising what you do.

  • Seek out local community groups via your council

The council website is a great place to start for information on local hotspots like community centres and libraries plus details on upcoming events. From music festivals to author talks, barista courses or farmers’ markets – trust us, there is something for everyone. Once you take the first step, you’ll never look back.

  • Host a welcome to the neighbourhood drinks
    Once you’ve settled into your new home, invite your nearest neighbours for a housewarming drink. Put on a few snacks, make it super casual and get to know a bit more about those who live around you. If you’ve been in the ‘hood for a while and yet to know the first names of your neighbours (no judgement – but you have some work to do!), host a Sunday afternoon drinks ‘just because’.

  • Head to the nearest dog park or get outdoors
    If you have a dog, you have the easiest route ever to the land of new friends. Head to the local park and start up some small talk (what breed, how old, what’s his/her name just roll of the tongue!) with fellow dog owners. If you don’t have a pet, spend some time in your garden tending to your plants or even reading the paper – it’s a great way to regularly see your neighbours passing by.

  • Get some good opening lines and just say hi
    We are social creatures in property management and used to having regular conversations with new people. If the thought of striking up a convo with someone new makes your blood run cold, here are some of our favourite opening lines to get you going. Always start with a quick introduction “Hi, I’m Sarah from apartment or house number 31…” then try;

“I love what you’ve done with your lawn/roses/pot plants – how do you get them looking like that?”

“I’ve been craving pizza/Mexican/Japanese, have you got any recommendations of the best place nearby?”
“Where’s the best coffee around here?”

Most people love to be helpful, so asking for any advice is usually a great place to start. Take note of whether they’re in a rush or not – if they’re dashing out the door, probably not the best time to rope them into a chat!

We can’t all live on Ramsay Street, especially as Neighbours is in its last year, but community feels can be found in any location if you’re willing to put in a little effort. If you’re struggling in your current place, maybe it’s time for a new neighbourhood all together. Give Diana a call on 0402 888 550 and she’ll be able to help find the perfect place for you.

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