Do you consider yourself a good neighbor? According to a recent study by the Community Associations Institute, 99% of Americans do!

But what does it mean to be a good neighbor? According to the survey, and as reported in REALTOR Magazine Onlline, it means “Being quiet, friendly, respecting your neighbor’s privacy, and cleaning up after your pet” – all fairly simple qualifications. Bonus points if you have a dog, as 83% of respondents said walking their dog helped break the ice within their neighborhood.

As real estate professionals, we always strive to help our buyers find these friendly, welcoming neighborhoods. But for us, being a good neighbor goes far beyond waving as people drive by and inviting the family next door over for a cookout. It means being a good neighbor to the entire community by giving back and staying connected. As we enter the holiday season, challenge yourself to give back in a personal way, for example, by hosting a free seminar for first-time buyers or organizing a neighborhood toy drive for worthy organizations, like our favorite, the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Stay connected by personally delivering holiday treats to other local small businesses – maybe even something baked by a new or favorite bakery in town.

What other ways to you strive to be a good neighbor throughout the year? Tell us in the comments below!