We’re not in Mayberry anymore. Gone are the days when everyone in the neighborhood knew each other and casually dropped by with a pie and local gossip. In fact, most of us don’t know more than 30% of our neighbors by name.
As Millennial homeowners slowly become the majority, the old rules of neighborly etiquette no longer work. Showing up unexpectedly at a neighbor’s doorstep, baked goods or not, is a surefire way to scare a Millennial. But that doesn’t mean folks are no longer friendly.
Always Text First
If there’s one rule that governs Millennial homeowner etiquette, it’s this. Always, always text before dropping by. That’s true if you’re trying to get to know people in your territory as well as if you’re checking in on your clients.
Cold calling and door-to-door simply won’t fly with Millennials, who are likely to pretend not to be home if a stranger appears unannounced.
Connect on Social Media
Although they might live next door to each other, Millennial neighbors are more likely to interact on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram than face to face. In fact, there are specialized apps like Nextdoor that specifically aim to help neighbors connect online.
Many neighborhoods also have unofficial Facebook groups to discuss things like crime, lost pets, or yard sales.
Although loud neighbors have always been an issue, the acceptable level of noise in a Millennial-heavy neighborhood is different than you might think. Millennials are not, in fact, in their early twenties anymore. They’re mid-20s to mid-30s, and for the most part they aren’t party animals.
They’re more likely to be sensitive to early morning yard maintenance or other loud disturbances, and they’re masters of the passive-aggressive note instead of having a direct confrontation.
Skip the Baked Goods
The Millennial generation is more conscious than ever about allergens to peanuts and dairy, as well as dietary bugbears like gluten. While it was common to bring a plate of fresh-baked cookies to greet a new neighbor, that practice is falling by the wayside.
Respect Privacy Above All Else
Millennial homeowners are more private–even territorial, than previous generations. They may not want to chat with their neighbors over a shared fence. Nor do they want to get waylaid by the mailbox every afternoon.
If that’s the case, all you can do is respect their wishes. No amount of niceness or perseverance will change their minds.