Regardless of whether you are a renter or a real estate investor, knowing your neighbors creates a safer home environment and a sense of community that keeps our neighborhoods and communities here in D.C. vibrant—even in the midst of a crisis or pandemic.
Beyond safety, there are other benefits to knowing (and loving) our neighbor. The slow decline in the care and connectedness of our rental communities and the loss of long-term homeownership impacts our neighborhoods beyond the obvious.
At EJF Real Estate Services, we want to explore some of the changes taking place in the D.C. area in today's article—whether you live in single-family homes, rowhomes, or a condo for rent in D.C.—and what you can do to make them positive.
Neighborhoods Are Less Cohesive Than Before
It has become clear that most neighbors are less likely to spend time together or even know each other's names than in previous generations.
While this may be chalked up to a worry about who those neighbors are, your neighbors are, ironically, some of the people who can help you feel safer in your home. The more you know your neighbors, the easier it becomes to take appropriate precautions to prevent home invasions and theft—especially in a busy area like D.C., where people are constantly out and about as part of their career.
If you're an investor with D.C. rowhomes for rent or a condo for rent in D.C., ensuring that your renters feel a sense of community where they live is crucial to building these kinds of bonds.
Addressing and Knowing Neighbors Helps Improve Safety
Many Americans these days don't do some of the simplest things to prevent crime in their homes—even if there has been an uptick in security camera purchases and video doorbells. 38% of Americans don't tell a neighbor that they are going out of town, which is a simple way to have someone notice if any unusual activity is happening in a home—whether it's a rental or not.
Other Americans leave a house key outdoors in a hiding spot (19%), allow items to pile up in their mailboxes (12%), and leave doors and windows unlocked (8%). These choices are small risks on their own, but they make it easier for a determined burglar to get into your D.C. rowhomes for rent to wreak havoc.
While this emphasizes the need for property owners to add inclusions for renters insurance into your lease, some of this can be avoided simply by fostering a sense of community spirit where renters feel as relevant as long-term homeowners.
Basic Neighborly Behavior Adds Value
Getting to know neighbors may seem daunting at first, but it actually makes many people more comfortable over time. When residents in your condo for rent in D.C. know their neighbors, they report a greater likelihood to stay in their homes long-term, leading to renewals for you as a property owner and better knowledge and information-sharing about crime in the area. This creates a sense of confidence that they are safer due to others keeping an eye on the whole neighborhood.
When you are a rental property owner in our area, getting your residents to get to know their neighbors may start with you getting to know those who live near your property.
If you can introduce them warmly and foster a positive connection, you make your residents more at home—and help them feel that the neighborhood is safe and welcoming. It's a valuable choice that can really have an impact when the lease is up for renewal, and it even helps make settling into the rules of your community that much easier.
Use Neighbors as a Draw for Your Investment Properties
You don't have to tell your renters that every neighbor must be their new best friend; most of the benefits of neighborly behavior come from very rare, simple interactions that are imbued with warmth and goodwill.
These are the kinds of connections that make neighbors, for instance, more likely to ask each other to tone down a conversation rather than just calling law enforcement—saving everyone the hassle and frustration of police interaction. When neighbors communicate, a lot of frustration can be resolved quickly and clearly through mutual respect, which is a benefit to both the property owner and to the community at large.
When you know that excellent neighbors live next door to your D.C. rowhomes for rent, including the mention of a vibrant community in your listing can appeal to people's need for a sense of home.
If you need assistance with listing your investment properties or simply need an experienced expert to take on day-to-day management, EJF Real Estate Services is here to help! Reach out to us to take advantage of our insight for your rental homes or for the needs of your association.