Nextdoor launches real estate section in Bay Area and other cities

Bay Area residents looking to buy a new home or strike up a conversation with a local real estate agent now have another resource: Nextdoor.

On Tuesday, the private social network for neighbors said it was launching a real estate section in 10 markets, including the San Francisco Bay Area.

The section, which previously was being piloted, also will be available in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento and San Diego.

“I think the real estate section is another way for people to consume locally relevant content,” said Ali Jafari, Nextdoor’s vice president of business development, in an interview.

It also allows real estate agents to interact with neighbors — who may or may not be looking to buy a home immediately — in a more “authentic way,” he said.

Real estate agents can give advice if users have questions about home-improvement projects, he said, such as kitchen remodeling or landscaping.

Pointing to research by the National Association of Realtors, Jafari noted that referrals — including from neighbors — help drive business to real estate agents. Many sellers also turn to social media to find agents.

The tech firm is allowing real estate agents or brokers to sponsor real estate content in a particular zip code. Nextdoor doesn’t disclose the price for sponsorship, but the prices vary depending on the area.

The new section comes as the competition for housing heats up in the Bay Area and home prices continue to rise. The median price of a single-family home in the Bay Area during June was $779,000, up 9.7 percent from a year earlier, real estate information service CoreLogic reported in July.

But Nextdoor is also competing with other real estate sites such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. Facebook, which has 2 billion users, also has an ad product for real estate brokers and agents to promote home listings on the social network.

Jafari said that interacting with agents on real estate sites is often “transactional” because people are going there to search for a new home. Nextdoor users might use the real estate section to get a sense of the value of the homes in their neighborhood, find the availability of open houses or get advice from a real estate agent.

Users also will be able to see how many people recommended a real estate agent.

And real estate is a popular topic on Nextdoor in the United States. The company said tens of thousands of conversations about real estate happen daily.

Nearly 25,000 real estate agents have set up local pages on the social network, more than any other profession, according to Nextdoor.

Nextdoor, which also has a partnership with this news organization to provide local news to neighborhood group members, is available in more than 150,000 neighborhoods nationwide.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/08/08/nextdoor-launches-real-estate-section-in-bay-area-and-other-cities/

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