The Definitive Guide to Nextdoor for Real Estate Agents
To stay relevant and meaningfully engage with prospective clients, it’s important for agents to embrace where their audience is. With both Youtube and Instagram achieving 1 billion active users per month according to most recent numbers, it’s clear that, arguably spurred by the popularity of Facebook, other social media platforms that were once new players are now standard fare for consumers that want to stay connected. To reach these consumers and ultimately, potential clients, agents should stay abreast of current social platforms to meet audiences in the places they’re spending their time.
Nextdoor is one such platform continuing to gain adoption. And with 200,000 active neighborhoods on the social networking site, it’s of innate interest to agents -- that’s a lot of potential home buyers and sellers! However, for years, there was no real way for real estate professionals to advertise on the social networking site -- agents and brokers could only join as a personal member of the community they lived in, and they were forbidden from posting real estate listings to the main neighborhood news feed from their personal accounts.
But, in 2017, Nextdoor launched a new real estate section. The dedicated section allows users to discover local listings and talk directly with agents. While still only available in select markets, Nextdoor for Real Estate opens up a word of possibilities for agents to interact with homeowners, share market knowledge and promote listings in new locations where they don’t necessarily have a residential address.
With Nextdoor for Real Estate, agents have the ability to own a business account for their real estate profession as well as a personal account associated with their residential address. Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of business and personal accounts for agents, and how agents can utilize all of Nextdoor’s features to their ultimate advantage when connecting with prospective clients.
Nextdoor for Agents: Business Profile
Similar to a business Facebook page, agents can create an official Local Page on Nextdoor to display their information, collect recommendations, and respond to comments and questions. While creating this page is necessary to advertise on Nextdoor, agents also have the option to only create the free business page, though the page won’t have reach outside of their own neighborhood.
Advertising options allow agents to cast a far wider net, reaching users in neighborhoods throughout the country. The two advertising options available for agents with a Local Page are Branded Listings & Neighborhood Sponsorships.
Branded Listings are for seller agents who want to increase credibility by adding personal branding alongside their listings. Nextdoor receives and displays listings from brokerages, MLS relationships, and other third party companies, which are shown in the real estate section section of a user’s page. The listing agent’s name and contact information will appear on the listing whether it’s branded or not, but with Branded Listings, the agent’s name, picture, bio preview, recommendations, and a button for a member to ask a question are included, increasing reach and visibility while giving homeowners that are actively looking at homes an easy way to connect and build relationships with agents.
Pros of Branded Listings:
- Increases brand reach to multiple neighborhoods.
- Serves as a means for agents to share expert knowledge and build trust.
- Prospects can contact an agent directly from the listing to get market insight.
Cons of Branded Listings:
- Only available to agents connected through a brokerage, MLS or third party company.
- Agents cannot upload their own listings.
- Only available in select markets.
Neighborhood Sponsorships allow agents to place advertisements in specific neighborhoods, targeting their ideal prospective home buyers or sellers, as long as Nextdoor for Real Estate is in that market. Ad placements for Neighborhood Sponsors appear twice a month in the Real Estate section in users’ Digest emails (which displays all of the day’s updates in that neighborhood,) the Real Estate section itself, and in the general Nextdoor newsfeed. Most significantly, Neighborhood Sponsors are given the ability to post relevant information in the neighborhood newsfeed -- newsfeeds that are private to that neighborhood only. Users can then respond to the post with comments or questions, making the agent a go-to expert in that neighborhood.
Pros of Neighborhood Sponsorships:
- Increases brand reach, builds a trustworthy reputation, and fosters positive relationships in targeted neighborhoods.
- Places agent advertisements in various locations throughout the site.
- Allows agents to engage with homeowners in a more personal way, by posting relevant information directly to neighborhood newsfeeds in the ZIPs they sponsor.
Cons of Neighborhood Sponsorships:
- Can only post to neighborhood feeds a limited number of times per month.
- Not exclusive. Other agents can become Neighborhood Sponsors in the same ZIP. When a neighborhood has multiple Sponsors, ads are displayed on a rotating basis.
- Only available in select markets.
Nextdoor for Agents: Personal Profile
Just like in the old days, agents still have the ability to create a personal profile that is linked to their residential address. The main con is that agents can only create personal accounts in the area associated with their own address, and they are not allowed to post real estate listings to the main newsfeed from their personal accounts. Listing agents can add an open house event to the neighborhood calendar, but not to the newsfeed.
… And that’s it. An agent using a personal Nextdoor account, is simply a neighbor. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still use that profile to their benefit -- in many ways, a personal Nextdoor account may be the key to forging lasting relationships that reap rewards over time.
While they can’t post listings, agents can be the go-to neighborhood expert when it comes to the market, school districts, and community events. Instead of trying to promote services, it’s all about being a genuinely good community member. Agents should start conversations with their neighbors about topics that are relevant to the whole community, such as a block party, a new pool or hiking trail, or an event going on at the community center. P.S. -- Speaking of that block party, agents should take the lead and host one themselves!
And, if the agent’s neighborhood isn’t yet on Nextdoor? They have the opportunity to get things started! Creating a neighborhood on Nextdoor is easy, and as the Founding Member, agents can invite others in to expand the neighborhood’s member base. This is a marketing opportunity in and of itself -- to grow the neighborhood, agents can:
Utilize Facebook business pages to invite neighbors to the new Nextdoor community. Only people with verified addresses can join, so agents won’t have any illegitimate Facebook followers as part of the neighborhood.
Print flyers and hand them out to neighbors (yep, door to door!) inviting them to join. Agents should be sure to speak to the benefit that this will have for the whole community -- that they’ll be joining a network of individuals who can help each other out -- lost dog, anyone? -- in a private forum. Agents should remember to put their website and contact information on the flyer!
Send real estate postcards to homeowners in their zip code to introduce themselves. As they connect with neighbors, agents can increase the frequency of communication. We recommend a semi-annual real estate direct mail campaign to stay in front of potential buyers and sellers in the neighborhood, offering relevant information and a few ways to get in touch. QuantumDigital’s AutoMail Plus allows agents to schedule postcards for an entire year in a matter of minutes. Just select the design, the frequency, and the neighborhood, and AutoMail will send postcards with a link to a free online marketing report that provides recipients with information specific to the neighborhood. Neighbors get useful information -- and with online lead tracking, agents get real-time updates on who’s interested, so they can follow up appropriately.
So, should agents create Nextdoor business profiles to advertise and reach larger numbers of prospects, or take advantage of personal profiles to build lasting relationships with a select group? We say… why not both? Agents have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by taking full advantage of all of Nextdoor’s capabilities, and focusing on only one of the offered profiles means agents are likely to miss out on all of the opportunities available. By utilizing these opportunities to connect, agents will be sharing relevant, useful information with prospective clients while cultivating meaningful, lasting relationships -- leading to results as well as positive word-of-mouth referrals that will continue to build growing client bases.
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