If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re already marketing on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. But have you considered a more local approach?
Nextdoor is a social media platform that helps people stay connected with others in their neighborhood—and only their neighborhood. Users need to either be invited or provide proof of their physical address. Once signed up, they can discuss local issues and events, and even swap recommendations for businesses and contractors.
According to Nextdoor, 89 percent of US neighborhoods are currently represented on the service, with homeowners accounting for 72 percent of its users. Unsurprisingly, the platform has proven especially popular among real estate agents.
Though marketing on Nextdoor isn’t quite as straightforward as Facebook, there are still some great opportunities to be had. Here are a few ways you can use Nextdoor to build relationships and promote listings in your own community.
Network with your neighbors.
If you’ve been struggling to come up with organic ways to meet the rest of your community, this platform might be your answer. Nextdoor is a great tool for getting to know your neighbors on a personal level, without needing to go door to door. This is great, because it gets your name and face out into the neighborhood from the comfort of your computer or mobile device.
However, there is a catch: Nextdoor has very strict rules about self-promotion, which you can read in full here. The bottom line is that you can’t explicitly promote your services in most sections of the site—not unless you’ve paid for the privilege (more on that below). You can, however, add value by sharing resources with your neighbors, which will make them think of you the next time they have a question.
Luckily, there is one exception to this rule. If someone in your neighborhood is looking to buy or sell and wants recommendations, you’re allowed to offer your services. You can also create a business page, making it easier for past customers to recommend you to their circle, while opening up the possibility of paid advertising. Speaking of which…
Become a Neighborhood Sponsor.
Traditionally, advertising on Nextdoor has been mostly limited to larger, national businesses. However, this is beginning to change. Since 2017, the platform has been adding real estate sections to many of its neighborhoods. And, in areas where these sections have been added, a limited number of agents have a special opportunity to sign on as a Neighborhood Sponsor.
For a monthly fee (which varies by neighborhood), posts from Neighborhood Sponsors get prominent placement in not only the real estate section but also in the general news section of the site, as well as in email blasts. Plus, users are encouraged to ask sponsors questions about their community, which provides a huge opportunity for relationship marketers to woo prospects.
Unfortunately, the Neighborhood Sponsor slot is only available to five agents in any given neighborhood. So, if you’re looking to become one, you might consider jumping on this opportunity as soon as possible.
Add branding to your listings.
While the odds are somewhat against you snagging one of those coveted Neighborhood Sponsor spots, that doesn’t mean you can’t market in other ways. If your neighborhood has a real estate section, you’ll find it pre-populated with listings from local brokerages, as well as from multiple listing services.
Good news: if your listing has been posted to Nextdoor, it already contains your name and contact information. But you can also pay for what the platform calls a “Branded Listing,” which allows you to attach a photo, a short bio, and an “ask a question” button. Though you may not want the added expense, paying for branding can help your listings stand apart from the rest.
Regardless of which of these approaches you choose, at the end of the day, the goal is to use this specialized platform to become a familiar face in your neighborhood—leaving you top of mind with the people who will, with a little nurturing, become your loyal customers for decades to come.