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Nextdoor might just transform the way we buy and sell homes

By Mike Wheatley | February 2, 2015

Have you looked at your neighborhood's Nextdoor posts? If not, you could be missing out on some very important classifieds, crime and safety announcements, lost and found posts, and recommendations that are relevant to your community.


Nextdoor is a closed social networking system and forum that allows you to learn about your neighbors and participate in discussions that are only viewable by others who live in your neighborhood.

A Private Social Network

Nextdoor allows you to socialize with your neighbors while keeping posts inclusive and private. The app only gives people access to your neighborhood messages if they are actually residents of your neighborhood.

So how exactly does Nextdoor verify who lives in your neighborhood? They don't just admit any old user into the closed network - this company makes sure that they are a legitimate neighborhood resident first. You can verify your address using several methods, including your phone number or by entering a special code on a postcard that they mail to you. Once you verify your address, then you can start viewing and posting localized messages, and you can even connect with nearby neighborhoods. The ability to view other neighborhood posts makes this invaluable for homeowners who are thinking about buying property in nearby areas.

The Value for Property Buyers or Sellers

Nextdoor could be a game changer for those looking to sell or buy properties. It can help residents get a better idea of the unique activities, culture, and opportunities in a new community. Law enforcement officials have even partnered up with Nextdoor to provide up-to-the-minute announcements regarding crime and safety. This information can dramatically change the way we think about neighborhood values and relocation incentives.

A Bird's Eye View

So what kinds of posts will you find on a typical Neighborhood page? Well, the Crime and Safety posts can give you a clear idea of community incidents, as reported by actual residents. You can also view announcements placed by local police and fire departments. Nextdoor's Crime and Safety posts might be able to give you a better sense of a neighborhood than plain old crime statistics by law enforcement agencies. In fact, Nextdoor has become so popular, that some public agencies have already started using this app to post important community updates and emergency notifications.

The general neighborhood discussion posts can help you learn more about a location's culture. For example, families might be drawn to areas that post frequently about free movie nights, library activities, pop-up markets, and community gardens. These announcements can help foster a strong sense of community, and help newcomers socialize and get adjusted to their new neighborhood.

Building Ongoing Connections

Nextdoor also provides residents with the opportunity to connect based on group interest. This gives the app a miniature Meetup feel - you might be able to connect with other neighbors who enjoy dog-walking together. Or if you're looking for local volunteer participation, Nextdoor groups can be a great way to recruit nearby talent. Users could post public or closed groups for church functions, charity drives, and other community efforts to a neighborhood page.

New homeowners, do you hate feeling like the new kids on the block? Well, your own personal profile also becomes a valuable introductory resource on Nextdoor. You can volunteer information about your own personal interests and skills, such as "Computer savvy," or "Dog lover." Your neighbors can see this information, and then come to you for assistance with their technology or dog-walking needs. This exchange of information helps neighbors learn about the strengths of their own community's resources. New homeowners can quickly learn about their neighbors' interests and skill sets, which can open new doors to conversations, housewarming parties, and collaborations.

Ultimately, you have precise control over what people see on your profile. So if these settings sound too obtrusive, you can always fine-tune your privacy settings to just include your name and general neighborhood.

Property sellers can use Nextdoor to gain inspiration for their listings, by noting the positive aspects of their vibrant local community. And recent property buyers can settle into their new neighborhoods faster by connecting with other users via Nextdoor posts and reading about their local area. It is likely that Nextdoor will become extremely relevant in the future of real estate.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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