Blog : Technology

NextHome Realty Select expands with third location

NextHome Realty Select expands with third location

Curtis Siever

Pleasanton, CA — December 7, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our latest addition to the franchise, NextHome Realty Select – Front Royal Branch. This brokerage is the fourth NextHome franchised location in the state of Virginia.

The Front Royal location will be owned and operated by 24-year real estate veteran, Curtis Siever. The brokerage will provide residential real estate, new construction sales, land sales, and lot development services to the areas of Winchester, Front Royal, Woodstock, Linden, and the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Siever and his team also serve the West Virginia Eastern Panhandle which offers many growth possibilities.

“The Front Royal branch is almost like a homecoming,” said Siever. At the recent grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony, Front Royal Mayor Tharpe congratulated Siever on returning to the city and opening a business on the revitalized Main Street. The local chamber of commerce was on hand along with 75 other business owners, town council members, fellow REALTORS®, and past clients to open the new location.

The town of Front Royal is located 90 minutes west of Washington DC and is home to nearly 15,000 residents. The newest office location is 30 miles south of the first NextHome Realty Select office in Winchester, VA and 30 miles from the Woodstock, VA branch.

Opening his third office just a week after announcing his Woodstock branch office, Siever says the quality of his trusted agents gave him the confidence to continue his area expansion.

Opening his first NextHome office in 2016, Siever started with only one agent and has since built his REALTOR® base to over 25 agents in just over 2 years. The reason for this growth is the collaborative and open policy he has implemented with all of his agents.

Originally from Front Royal, Siever was licensed in 1994 and started his career with Weichert Realtors. His brother, Terry, was the owner of a successful real estate construction business. Blue Ridge Construction created beautiful homes but needed someone to market and sell these properties. Siever was the perfect person to provide that service.

The early years of his career were spent selling homes in the Front Royal and Linden areas to many clients moving from the Northern Virginia and DC area. Siever also had a desire to build new construction homes and managed a construction company from 2003 to 2008, building 35 new homes.

Over the next two decades, Siever leveraged his new construction sales background to create an incredibly successful real estate sales career. Averaging over 40 transactions yearly, Siever consistently ranks as one of the top producers in his area.

In early 2016, Siever felt the need to follow his passion of not only helping those in need of real estate services. He wanted to help mentor and lead agents and felt it was the right time to open his own brokerage. Siever attained his broker’s license and began looking for a franchise that would best help him deliver services and technology to his brokerage.

“I found NextHome through a simple Google search,” recalled Siever. “I was hooked on the website and found myself researching the company pretty thoroughly before reaching out to (NextHome’s Vice President of Sales) Charis Moreno.”

While he was pretty sure he was moving forward with NextHome, it was his visit to the NextHome Conference in May of 2016 that sealed the deal for him.

“Spending time with the entire NextHome leadership team in Nashville really helped me understand the quality of the company,” said Siever. “In speaking with (NextHome’s Chief Executive Officer) James Dwiggins, I found his business knowledge to be exceptional, but it was his sincerity of wanting to see me succeed as a broker that made me confident that NextHome was the right choice for me.”

When not selling real estate, Siever enjoys spending time with his wife, Donna. After three years together, the couple were wed in the spring of 2016. The couple enjoy spending time traveling and spending time with Siever’s daughter, Amanda.Please join us in congratulating Curtis and the rest of the team at NextHome Realty Select on their third NextHome location!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome and Realty World Northern CA & NV Raise $20,000 for Victims of California Wildfire

NextHome and Realty World Northern CA & NV Raise $20,000 for Victims of California Wildfire

In November, massive wildfires ripped through Northern and Southern California, stealing lives, displacing people and completely uprooting hundreds of thousands of residents. With our corporate headquarters so close to the devastation, we were personally witnessing the destruction these wildfires were bestowing upon so many people. After receiving an influx of inquiries from our members across the nation looking to help, we knew that something had to be done.

The first step was to identify a nonprofit – The Oroville Hope Center – which had boots on the ground supporting thousands of displaced victims. When we asked how our company could help, The Hope Center shared a list of needed items, with gift cards and financial support being at the top of the list.

In order to allow our members across the country the opportunity to be involved in supporting The Hope Center and the victims of the Camp Fire in Butte County, we set up a GoFundMe page. Within days, we had nearly reached our goal, allowing The Hope Center to purchase gift cards to local grocery stores, gas stations and convenience marts for families who have lost everything.

In addition to raising funds for The Hope Center’s relief efforts, it was important for our team to visit the nonprofit and support however else we could. The following members of the NextHome and Realty World Northern CA franchise network made a trip to Oroville to deliver the $20,000 raised and volunteer time to assist victims continuing to rebuild their lives:

  • James Dwiggins, CEO, NextHome and Realty World Northern CA & NV
  • Imran Poladi, Vice President, NextHome and Realty World Northern CA & NV
  • Melia Campbell, Broker/Owner, NextHome Campbell Realty, Marysville, CA
  • Cory Gold, Broker/Owner, NextHome Cornerstone Real Estate, Davis, CA
  • Mark Wisterman, Broker/Owner, Realty World – Best Realty, Oroville, CA
  • Casey Smyth, Broker/Owner, NextHome North Valley Realty, Chico, CA
  • Kelli Smyth, Agent, NextHome North Valley Realty, Chico, CA
  • Jacob Darr, Broker/Owner, NextHome North Valley Realty, Chico, CA

Although the team was overwhelmed by appreciation from The Oroville Hope Center staff, it was evident that the work to rebuild has just begun. This $20,000 has allowed the organization to supply hundreds of gift cards to families during this incredibly trying time. But in order to keep supporting this community, it is going to require so much more time, money and resources.

Please consider visiting our GoFundMe page to donate additional funds to support families who need us more than ever: https://www.gofundme.com/nexthome-helping-camp-fire

Real Estate Pro with a Heart of Gold

Real Estate Pro with a Heart of Gold

Hard times have a way of making their way into people’s lives. In some cases, these struggles lead individuals to succumb to defeat, while in others, create a fire that pushes them beyond their limits.

Erica Stietenroth, a NextHome real estate agent in Houston, found success despite the curveballs real estate threw in her direction.

It wasn’t always this way for Erica though. Before NextHome, her journey as a new real estate agent was an uphill climb, even more so when the recession abruptly ascended. During this time, Erica struggled to make it through hardships in a market filled with skepticism in purchasing new homes and deals falling through. It took a toll on her business and thus, trickled down into her personal and financial life.

This downturn in her career created a stressful financial situation for her household, which resulted in cutting back on as many resources as possible in an attempt to make ends meet. It was Erica’s ambition and obstinate determination that did not let her see the darkest of these times. It also did not cause her to stray away from the real estate industry.

In 2017, Erica joined the NextHome family after she was recruited by a broker who spotted her immense potential – Robyn Jones with NextHome Real Estate Place. In the same year, she pounded the pavement resulting in 29 closed transactions and was able to salvage her mindset and the direction of her career. This year, Erica has closed 45 transactions and was recognized by the Houston Association of REALTORS® Young Professional Network as one of the Top 20 Under 40 Rising Stars in Real Estate.

“The ability to align myself with the right people has been the key to my success,” Erica said. Another key to her business growth? Referrals from former clients and her extensive, nationwide REALTOR® network.

Despite her appetite for success, there is one thing Erica finds equally, if not more, important – her family. Currently residing in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, this 39-year-old is wise in knowing money is not everything. Having found balance in her career and personal life, Erica is an individual who overcame losing faith in the industry through persistence and ended up exceeding her own expectations.

We are proud to have Erica as a NextHomie and hope others find inspiration in her unwavering drive and dedication to professionalism.

NextHome Realty Select expands with new location

NextHome Realty Select expands with new location

Curtis Siever

Pleasanton, CA — November 29, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our latest addition to the franchise, NextHome Realty Select – Woodstock Branch. This brokerage is the third NextHome franchised location in the state of Virginia.

The Woodstock-based location will be owned and operated by 24-year real estate veteran, Curtis Siever. The brokerage will provide residential real estate, new construction sales, land sales, and lot development services to the areas of Winchester, Front Royal, Woodstock, Stephens City, and the remainder of the northern Shenandoah Valley.

The town of Woodstock is located 90 minutes west of Washington DC and is home to nearly 6,000 residents. The new office location is 30 miles southwest of the first NextHome Realty Select office in Winchester, VA.

Since opening his first NextHome brokerage in 2016, Curtis and his leadership team have grown to more than 25 agents.

Originally from Fort Royal, Curtis was licensed in 1994 and started his career with Weichert Realtors. His brother, Terry, was the owner of a successful real estate construction business. Blue Ridge Construction created beautiful homes, but needed someone to market and sell these properties. Curtis was the perfect person to provide that service.

Over the next two decades, Curtis leveraged his new construction sales background to create an incredibly successful real estate sales career. Averaging over 40 transactions yearly, Curtis consistently ranks as one of the top producers in his area.

In early 2016, Curtis felt the need to follow his passion of not only helping those in need of real estate services. He wanted to help mentor and lead agents and felt it was the right time to open his own brokerage. Curtis attained his broker’s license and began looking for a franchise that would best help him deliver services and technology to his brokerage.

“I found NextHome through a simple Google search,” recalled Curtis. “I was hooked on the website and found myself researching the company pretty thoroughly before reaching out to (NextHome’s Vice President of Sales) Charis Moreno.”

While he was pretty sure he was moving forward with NextHome, it was his visit to the NextHome Conference in May of 2016 that sealed the deal for him.

“Spending time with the entire NextHome leadership team in Nashville really helped me understand the quality of the company,” said Curtis. “In speaking with (NextHome’s Chief Executive Officer) James Dwiggins, I found his business knowledge to be exceptional, but it was his sincerity of wanting to see me succeed as a broker that made me confident NextHome was the right choice for me.”

When not selling real estate, Curtis enjoys spending time with his wife, Donna. The couple enjoy traveling and spending time with Curtis’s daughter, Amanda.

Please join us in congratulating Curtis and the rest of the team at NextHome Realty Select – Woodstock Branch on their second NextHome location!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Run Your Own Race

Run Your Own Race

This November marked my 14th year attending the National Association of REALTORS® Conference and Expo. I spent the first 11 as one of the 1,000+ vendors peddling product as REALTORS® go from booth to booth, trick or treating for tchotchkes and the next shiny piece of technology that promises to change their business forever. It is only the last three years I have been on the franchisor side, searching for speakers who inspire and share the latest real estate trends. Attending usually results in lots of lobby meetings, networking with today’s influencers and reminiscing of yesterday’s newsmakers. It’s also interesting to see the many real estate legislators, councils, and state reps debating and lobbying for their own political gain and the protection of those they were elected to serve. While it is an exhausting five days, NAR Annual is guaranteed to be anything but boring!

What I found most fascinating is we, as an industry, seem to be reacting to our fear of people, companies, and technology rather than moving our industry forward. The world around us is changing and evolving at a pace that we are scientifically not able to adapt with. This is a fact. It is said that 65 percent of kindergarteners today will end up in careers that don’t even exist yet. Ten years ago, the title “Social Media Manager” or “Mobile App Developer” would have been an imaginary job. Today, we cannot imagine waking up without checking our notifications or snapping photos for social media or using apps that remind us when to stand up at work, how to get places, how our stocks are doing, and so much more! As a society, we have become dependent on technology to do the simplest things. So why do we as an industry keep circling and repurposing the same topics and fears year after year?

We are all consumers. I would even go as far as saying 10:10 of us could not go one week without internet/WiFi connection. And find me one REALTOR® in our industry who is not happy about the progression of things like email, paperless contracts, UBER, Netflix, iTunes, Alexa, 3D tours, or Amazon. Why do we accept and welcome change and progress in every aspect of our life but fight it in our own industry? As if the buyers and sellers of real estate are not the same?

So while the real estate industry is still sorting out some version of “How do we take our data back? When will Zillow become a brokerage? Are iBuyers the next disruptors? Should we consolidate the MLSs (or remain 690 too many)? Does responding to leads in under 5 minutes result in more business?” and so on… NextHome will celebrate the fact that we are opening an average of almost 3 offices and adding more than 50 NextHomies each week. We will continue to refine our systems to make them better and more competitive. We will continue to expand beyond the boundaries of what everyone says is possible while delivering the very best experience to our franchisees, so they can extend it to their agents who can then extend it to their clients.

What was my greatest takeaway from this year’s NAR Annual? Run your own race, love those running it with you, and do not get lost in the noise. Do not become complacent or stagnant and stop worrying about what your competition is doing. This is a journey with a lot of pit stops and the scenery is changing fast. If you keep pressing forward and moving your business to the next destination, you will open yourself to a world you never knew was possible.

Ready to take your journey to the NEXT level?

How Community Service Can Help Real Estate Professionals

How Community Service Can Help Real Estate Professionals

Real estate professionals play a unique role in the community and are in a great position to get more involved with charitable and community-based service organizations. Not only does it feel wonderful to work for a worthy cause, but it is also a great way to network with people who share a passion for the community where you live and work. Here’s how to make the most of it.

They say one of the best things you can do for yourself is to do something for someone else. That is especially true if you are a real estate professional doing a service project in your community. It feels good, it relieves stress and infuses you with positivity. As a real estate professional, you have a unique role in the community. You come in and out of the lives of so many residents. The more relationships you have, the broader your business becomes. The more your community pulls together, the stronger the community becomes. It’s a win all around. It is also good to associate your name with causes you believe in.

Network with people who share your passion for your community

Charitable projects are a great bonding experience for people who want to improve their community. Serving this cause speaks volumes about your belief in your community being a great place to live. Plus, it gives you something else to talk about other than business.

What you can do: Find creative ways to leverage your philanthropic role in the community.

Looking for your next charitable activity? In addition to volunteering for an established organization such as the local Rotary Club chapter, here are some ideas that have worked well for other real estate professionals.

1. The quality of the schools in any community is an important benefit to local families. Why not support the local schools and teachers by organizing a school supply donation drive? It’s a great way to attract people to your office.

2.  Do the furry citizens in your community have a place in your heart? Organize a donation drive for pet supplies for a local animal shelter or organize a donation drive for their medical needs.

3.  A great way to support or partner with local businesses-—organize a charitable gathering at a local restaurant with proceeds benefitting your charity of choice. Add a table of silent auction prizes donated by other local businesses. Come up with a catchy name, i.e. “Brunch for Books” supports a local library, “Happy Hour to Support Happy Kids” provides scholarships to a local Arts Camp or an After-School Program.

4. Sponsor a walk or run for a cause, such as for cancer awareness or a local children’s hospital. Be sure to include donation opportunities for people who don’t attend the race.

5. Tie into the home theme by serving on the board of a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen.

6. Tie with the moving theme by co-sponsoring a charitable garage sale or rummage sale. Sometimes these are organized by a local church or community center. You can mention it on your marketing materials and they can mention you on theirs.

7. Offer to donate a portion of your commission to your favorite local cause, whether that might be an animal shelter or a program for kids with disabilities. This is a great way to differentiate yourself and create awareness on social media. This is a successful technique for some realtors in creating buzz and helps encourage referrals.

8. Find a cause that benefits your business AND your community directly—historic preservation, walkable communities, affordable housing or sustainable economies.

What it can do for you: Supporting a deserving cause can also support your business.

While your main goal is likely to help a great cause, there are added benefits for your business to consider, too, including the following:

1. Networking with other people involved in the charitable effort helps build your sphere of influence. This is especially important for newer realtors just starting to build their customer base.

2.  Building awareness, especially on social media. Supporting a charitable cause helps your business brand and your personal brand stand for something.

3. Having the ability to support local causes reinforces your business success. People like to work with successful people.

4.  Having a philanthropic presence strengthens your community ties.

5.  More and more, younger people are involved in activism — and they are the next generation of homebuyers.

Choose the charitable option that suits you best and enjoy the good that comes of it.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.

NextHome launches 50th franchised location in Florida

NextHome launches 50th franchised location in Florida

Pleasanton, CA — November 15, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Atlantic Coast. The brokerage represents the 50th location opened in the state of Florida for the NextHome franchise. Based in Palm City, NextHome Atlantic Coast will be owned by broker/owner and top-producing REALTOR® Daniel Wade.

The brokerage will provide real estate services such as single-family residential sales, first-time home buyers, vacation and second homes, relocation, rehab and resale property listings, investment sales, luxury purchase and sales for the cities of Palm City, Stuart, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Sewall’s Point, Port St. Lucie, and the rest of Martin County.

Located 30 minutes north of West Palm Beach, Palm City is home to just over 20,000 residents and is part of the Port St. Lucie Metropolitan Area.

Daniel has been in real estate since 2005 when he started with a local real estate brokerage, H&R Properties. Keeping an eye on the economy, Daniel saw the shift in 2006 and positioned himself to adapt to this changing sales market. Providing services such as short sale listings and foreclosure sales, he was able to assist clients in a market when many others were leaving the real estate industry.

In 2006, Daniel moved to Prudential Realty and from 2006 through 2012, he remained one of the top producers in the office.

In September of 2012, Daniel moved to the local RE/MAX office and over the next six years, he was always in the top 25% of the 60+ agent office.

While helping clients, Daniel also wanted to assist other agents who were looking for leadership and guidance in their own business. After mulling the idea of moving into management, Daniel found it a better choice to go out on his own and open a brokerage.

“As I began researching real estate franchise brands, I ended up talking to a local broker who was seriously looking into NextHome,” recalled Daniel. “After hearing the broker was going in a different direction, I jumped at the chance to open my local NextHome brokerage.”

Daniel knows NextHome Atlantic Coast will be an innovative company in the local market.

“I think both agents and clients will find our brokerage to be much more advanced as a real estate resource than they have come to expect locally,” said Daniel.

When not selling real estate, Daniel gives back in a big way. He has involved himself in religious education for years and currently volunteers as a teacher for 5th graders at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. He also serves as an Ambassador for the Palm City Chamber of Commerce.

Daniel and his wife, Marcia, have been together for five years and have a three-year-old son, Marcel.

Please join us in congratulating Daniel and the rest of the team at NextHome Atlantic Coast on the opening of their new NextHome office in Palm City, FL!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome launches a new North Carolina franchisee

NextHome launches a new North Carolina franchisee

Cindy and Dom DePaola

Pleasanton, CA — November 13, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Providence. The brokerage represents the 16th location opened in the state of North Carolina for the NextHome franchise.

Based in Matthews, NextHome Providence will be owned by broker/owner Cindy DePaola and her husband, Dominick. As the Broker in Charge, Cindy will focus on running the day-to-day operations and the sales division, while Dom will handle all back-office operations, accounting, and recruiting new talent for the company.

The brokerage will provide real estate services such as single-family residential sales, first-time home buyers, townhomes, relocation, rehab and resale property listings, investment sales, luxury purchase and sales, and land sales for buyers and sellers for the cities of Matthews, Weddington, Waxhaw, Indian Trail, Monroe, Wingate, Marvin, and the remainder of the greater Charlotte area.

A suburb of Charlotte, the town of Matthews is home to nearly 30,000 residents.

Licensed in real estate since 2007, Cindy started as a REALTOR® in the state of Florida with Premier Group GMAC. When the DePaola family relocated to North Carolina for Dom’s job with Time Warner (now known as Charter), Cindy got her North Carolina real estate license in 2016 and worked for Keller Williams Union County.

Cindy built a very strong individual business, but Dom encouraged her to open their own franchised brokerage. Initially reluctant and not wanting to overextend herself and jeopardize her service level with her clients, Dom showed her NextHome and asked her opinion about what she thought.

“Dom found NextHome in early 2018 and the franchise really wowed me,” said Cindy. “I told him I really loved what the company could offer us if we owned our own franchised location.”

“I should have known better because Dom said to me, ‘I’m glad you like it because I signed an agreement for us as a NextHome franchisee!’” she added with a laugh.

Cindy and Dom really loved the unique branding and how easy the company was to integrate all technology into their existing business.

Cindy says the NextHome Providence difference will be the top-notch marketing NextHome agents will be able to offer their clients.

“The highly visible branding is so different than what is already out there in the real estate space and we definitely stand out versus our competitors,” said Cindy.

When not selling real estate, Cindy and Dom have a passion for volunteering. They volunteer for PTA, as well as local non-profit organizations such as Schools Out Lunch, where backpacks full of food are given out weekly to local families in need.

Dom and Cindy have been married for 18 years and are constantly trying to get their sixteen-year-old son, Dom III, to spend time with his parents.

Please join us in congratulating Cindy, Dom and the rest of the team at NextHome Providence on the opening of their new NextHome office in Matthews, NC!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Residential Realty opens in Maryland

NextHome Residential Realty opens in Maryland

Joe Holland

Pleasanton, CA — November 9, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Residential Realty. The brokerage represents the second location opened in the state of Maryland for the NextHome franchise.

Based in Ellicott City, NextHome Residential Realty will be owned by top-producing REALTOR® Joe Holland. Leading one of the most productive teams in the area, Joe is making the transition to owning a brokerage while still servicing his clientele.

The brokerage will provide real estate services such as single-family residential sales, first-time home buyers, townhomes, relocation, rehab and resale property listings, investment sales, luxury purchase and sales, and land sales for buyers and sellers for the cities of Ellicott City, Elkridge, Columbia and the counties of Howard, Anne Arundel, and Carroll.

Located 30 minutes west of Baltimore, Ellicott City is home to more than 65,000 residents. Known for its historic district, Ellicott City has the oldest surviving train station in the nation. Built in 1830, the station was the terminus of the original Baltimore & Ohio Railroad line.

Joe comes from a law enforcement background and investigations. He started as a real estate investor in 2000 and over the next eight years, he bought more than 25 homes to fix and flip.

He attained his real estate license in 2003 and worked part time at the local RE/MAX office.

In 2013, after nearly ten years at RE/MAX, Joe moved his very successful business to Keller Williams Realty, where he stepped in as part of a large real estate team. In 2016, Joe went out on his own and built his own team – The Holland Home Team of Keller Williams Integrity.

Joe and his team sold nearly $15 million annually in a market where the average sales price of a home is in the $350,000 range. But even with great sales numbers, Joe knew he wanted to eventually own his own real estate brokerage.

“I was always motivated to open my own brokerage,” said Joe. “I knew it was the right time for me to open a brokerage and offer services to our community other brokerages were not focusing on. I also knew that I wanted to franchise with a company that had the technology in place so I wouldn’t have to build a platform from scratch. NextHome had everything I wanted for my company.”

Joe is proud to share the NextHome Residential Realty difference with residents, as well as local agents looking for a better brokerage to work at.

“Clients can expect one-on-one personalized service complete with top-notch marketing,” said Joe. “Agents can expect a brokerage that will provide all the tools, world-class technology, and personalized business support needed for agents to provide great client service for 2018 and beyond.”

When not selling real estate, Joe volunteers his time with the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. His love for animals has drawn him to giving back and helping in his local community. Joe also enjoys traveling to the tropics, boating and fishing.

Please join us in congratulating Joe and the rest of the team at NextHome Residential Realty on the opening of their new NextHome office in Ellicott City, MD!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

7 Qualities of a Good Neighbor

7 Qualities of a Good Neighbor

Win and woo your next-door friends with a little neighborly know-how.

If you want good neighbors, you’ll first have to become one yourself. Master these seven techniques, and even you (yes, you!) can win the approval of your entire neighborhood.

1. Good neighbors bring cookies

Whether you’re new in town or haven’t kept in touch, a delivery of freshly baked goods is a perfect way to break the ice and let neighbors know that you’re thinking of them.

If cookies can keep Santa returning year after year with a bag full of loot, then surely they can train your neighbors to do your bidding. Consider the following scenario.

“Honey, somebody’s robbing the neighbor’s house again.”
“Wait, Janet. The ones who brought cookies yesterday?”
“Exactly. This time I’ll call the cops.”

2. Good neighbors rarely gossip

If your neighbor seems to know the dirt on everyone within a two-block radius, you can count on them to keep tabs on your personal life as well.

The next time Nosy Nellie gleefully describes the contents of the Rickenbacker’s trash again, move the conversation along by refocusing the conversation on her. “So, what are you growing in your garden this year?”

You aren’t in high school anymore, so preserve relationships with your neighbors and avoid the gratuitous gab fests.

3. Good neighbors share phone numbers

For such a connected age, you should really question why you don’t have your neighbors’ phone numbers. After all, what if they receive your package by mistake? What if the house floods while you’re on vacation? Worse yet, what if you need a babysitter?

If you feel uncomfortable bringing it up, ask during one of your cookie deliveries (you are following rule number one, right?) or right before a trip. Jot down your name, number and email address on a piece of paper and ask if your neighbor is comfortable sharing theirs.

 

4. Good neighbors help before they’re asked

The neighbor who says, “Let me know if you need anything,” probably isn’t going to help whenever you actually need something. You, on the other hand, are a good neighbor and genuinely want to help out.

To get ahead of the meaningless small talk, anticipate their needs. If they have kids and you’re comfortable babysitting, tell them up front. If they’re clearly struggling to mow the lawn during a heat wave, ask for the best time to stop by with your lawnmower.

5. Good neighbors are tidy

Even if you lack self-respect, respect the sensitive tastes of others and clean up your act.

Keep the ironic lawn ornaments to a minimum. Keep trash receptacles hidden in the side yard, or better yet, the garage.

Whenever you’ve finished gardening or landscaping for the day, put away your tools and bags of unused mulch. Rake the leaves and clean up grass clippings and all the other stuff your dad used to bug you about.

And if it’s not too much trouble, pressure wash and paint your house periodically.

6. Good neighbors mow the lawn

An unkempt and weedy lawn is embarrassing for your neighbors, so it should be embarrassing for you as well. Keeping it mowed every week or two is a good start, but it will take more than that to win the approval of the locals.

Trim the edge of your lawn regularly, fertilize on schedule and keep weeds to a minimum. Keep your foundation plantings simple, neatly trimmed and topped off with mulch.

If your neighborhood allows it, go the no-lawn method by planting swaths of low-maintenance, drought-tolerant ground covers. Crucially, don’t overdo it on the sprinklers — especially when it’s raining.

7. Good neighbors communicate

That old “good fences make good neighbors” quote had to come up at some point, right? A good neighbor must respect boundaries. That said, they should also be crossed when the fences themselves start losing pickets and falling over in a storm.

Even if it’s technically their fence, you might not be happy with the shoddy workmanship and resentment that you’ll have to live with when they get around to fixing it themselves.

Address shared interests like fences, drainage ditches and troublesome trees ahead of time so that you can work out a plan that both parties can agree to.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring cookies.

 

For more helpful tips, visit the Zillow blog.