Nextdoor, a social network that covers more than 100,000 U.S. neighborhoods, is rolling out a listing search tool and allowing agents to buy ads on the site in a handful of markets. The new features will offer yet another pay-to-play pathway for real estate agents to new business and mark the latest push by a tech heavyweight into the industry, coming on the heels of signs that Amazon is preparing an agent referral service.
Nextdoor, which has raised over $210 million and has been valued at $1.1 billion, is testing the program in markets including the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Portland, Phoenix, greater Atlanta and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Real estate agents and brokers can sign up to pre-register for ads and eventually surface their listings on Nextdoor. In pilot markets, users can click over to a real estate section to view listings in their neighborhood.
Listing details pages show price, property descriptions, photos and nearby listings. They also may display an ad for the home’s listing agent. “This is one of the paid products real estate agents can participate in,” nextdoor.com says. “This makes it easy for members to reach out to a listing agent and learn more about some of the agents who sell homes in their local community.” The ads include an “Ask a question” button and can show endorsements by neighbors. The real estate section appears to source listings directly from brokers at the moment, rather than through syndicators. “At this early stage, we’re only inviting brokerages to participate,” the website says. “Get in on the ground level by sharing this form with your broker and our team will follow up with next steps.”
In contrast to ads that appear on major search portals, it looks like agents can only buy ads on their own listings. In addition, Nextdoor is also allowing agents in select markets to buy ads that show up in local users’ news feeds, daily emails and parts of its real estate section (including the top of listing search results pages).
To purchase Nextdoor’s real estate ads, professionals must first create or claim a Nextdoor “Local Page” — which can represent either an individual or a business. Nextdoor advises racking up recommendations from clients and friends on local pages, so the endorsements can be noted in or appear alongside ads. Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia has previously hinted at plans to introduce real estate content and advertising, in part due to the tens of thousands of inquiries from agents about marketing opportunities.
“It’s information all readily available from MLSs; it’s easy to get hold of — so we are thinking about, how do we match that content with the best real estate agents in the area,” Tolia previously told Inman. “We are not talking about, ‘here’s a house for sale,’ but ‘here’s the agent, here are some suggestions from agents who can help you buy.’”
Nextdoor communications spokesperson Kelsey Grady said that “anyone who is interested in learning more about Nextdoor for real estate should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org,” and by press time declined to elaborate further.
- Inman News, July 14, 2017