For agents today, a key growth driver is online real estate with businesses that are offering new products even as other companies are jumping on the bandwagon to tap the stream of potential revenue.
According to a report by Housingwire.com, new sites like Nextdoor are a sign of the times. The site is a social network for neighborhoods that recently took the wraps off a new section for real estate in its mobile application in 10 major markets nationwide, including Atlanta, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego and Sacramento.
With more than 150,000 neighborhoods in the U.S. using Nextdoor, yours likely already has a presence on the site. You should explore the different sections to see what your neighbors are posting. They might mainly post when they have free stuff they’re getting rid of or when they’re looking for plumber recommendations, or your neighborhood might organize community events through Nextdoor.
According to Nextdoor co-founder and CEO Nirav Tolia, even though the company added a real estate section, it isn’t setting its sights on real estate listings.
“One of our big priorities has been establishing our business model. We looked at where we had both existing demand from the marketplace as well as demand from our members. Real estate was an absolute natural. We already had a lot of agents create pages without marketing or branding.”
Since it debuted in 2011, the application has grown to include more than 150,000 neighborhoods nationwide with private online communities for their communities. Tolia said they can exchange local advice and recommendations, pose questions and even get to know each other.
“From the very beginning, some of the most popular neighborhood conversations on Nextdoor have been about homes for sale and the local real estate market. The launch of our new real estate category makes it easy for neighbors to easily find listings for nearby homes for sale and identify and connect with the most recommended real estate professionals in their local area.”
The application isn’t a threat to agents’ business. Instead, it can be another tool in the toolbox to help an agent compete and keep clients informed. And Tolia even noted the company doesn’t think of itself as a real estate company. For the agents, he said that it provides the opportunity to establish an authentic relationship early on.
“We think of ourselves as local company. It’s really not about listings. There are thousands of websites that do listings better than we do.”