How to be a Good Neighbor

good neighbor

One of Greg Walker’s members owns a daycare, and recently a CrossFit gym opened next door. But they did nothing to soundproof the walls.

“I’m walking into [the daycare] because my kid goes there, and I own a CrossFit gym and I’m like this is crazy. How can the property manager allow them to do it?” explained Walker, the owner of CrossFit Golden in Golden, Colorado. “They have a very bad relationship with the daycare. They’re not trying to meet in the middle.”

Being a good neighbor is paramount to business, said Walker. Located in an office park – zoned for flex use, so either industrial or office space can occupy it – there are about 100 other businesses CrossFit Golden shares its space with. While there isn’t much regulation in terms of noise, Walker explained how they still try to communicate with and overcome issues brought up by their neighbors.

Dealing with Noise Complaints

After moving to a new location in the same business complex, Walker was met with a great neighbor on one side and a not so happy neighbor on the other. In fact, he said daily noise complaint were filed against CrossFit Golden.

“I would try to go over there and work with them on it – could we put in a white noise machine – things like that, trying to work with them as much as I could,” said Walker. “We’d go to the other side and turn up the music to a certain level that we wanted, and they would be like, ‘Oh that’s too loud’ and then try to meet in the middle. But it was very difficult with that, and as much as we tried, they became such a nuisance of emails that the property manager sided in our favor.”

Going the Extra Mile

Knowing who your neighbor is, what they do and if it’s worth the headache/cost to operate your business in that spot is key before moving into any space. But being friendly, communicative and aware can also go a long way in being a good neighbor.

For example, when Walker’s nice neighbor, Vincent, has top clients come in for meetings, he will let CrossFit Golden know a week in advance. Walker will reconfigure their programming so on the day of the meeting they aren’t doing something like Grace which involves a lot of weight dropping. He also said he’ll deliver freebies to Vincent, or shared how once they sent a care package with swag to Vincent’’s sister who does CrossFit in France. “That was such a small thing, and when we’ve had issues with the neighbor on the otherside, Vincent has come to bat for us, saying these guys are great and they don’t create that much noise, so he’s really helped with getting the property manager on our good side,” said Walker.

Even small things like giving businesses in the complex a discount on membership, or making sure to block-off parking spots of neighbors during the annual Christmas party, can go a long way. Ultimately, Walker said the better of a relationship you have with your neighbors, the smoother ride it’s going to be. “Just be friendly with them,” said Walker. “It’ll come back to benefit you in the long run.”

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.
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