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Does NextDoor.com "Neighborhood Sponsor" Fly High or Fall Flat?


What is it?

Most real estate professionals have heard about and probably even participate in the social network, NextDoor.com. This site is being used by 80% of the neighborhoods in the U.S. according to a recent Tech Crunch article. If you’re not familiar with the burgeoning tech company, check out our previous article which explains what they do by clicking here.

Now NextDoor is offering real estate agents an opportunity to advertise on their platform, which is an excellent opportunity for great exposure. What could be more neighborhood centric than the real estate itself? And who loves to be in the middle of that conversation? You do, of course!

So does this new platform have value for you? How does it work? Breakthrough Broker did a little digging and want to share our findings with you.

How does it work?

Real estate agents can now become a “Neighborhood Sponsor” which is a fancy way of saying that you can purchase advertisements that will be displayed on the NextDoor website based on zip code areas. These advertisements are not exclusive, so you may be sharing that zip code with as many as five other agents.

Note that you must live in a neighborhood to be able to be a member of that network. In other words, only neighbors can post and view in their neighborhood feed. Becoming a Neighborhood Sponsor DOES NOT allow you to participate in the news feed within your purchased zip code. So, if you were hoping to finally read all the gossip in your farm area or post and comment, unfortunately this is not your solution.

Once you’ve purchased your zip code area, your name and photo will begin to appear in the news feed next to listings, like the image below.



NextDoor also has a Real Estate tab which opens a home search map of available listings. Your sponsored image and contact information will appear at the top of this page.



To get started, set up your NextDoor.com business page, similar to Facebook Business pages, before you purchase any zip codes. NextDoor also allows agents to purchase “Branded Listings”, placing you as the prominent agent on your own personal listings and presumably remove sponsored neighborhood advertisements from other agents.

Does it work?

As with any advertising or lead gen source, it’s completely subjective. It would be irresponsible of us to express an opinion or make a recommendation here. We did however get a small amount of feedback from some agents who were using the platform. Here’s what they told me. [Maria, I think it might be cool to put this into a conversation type format. Or something that people feel is really authentic. Maybe just these images? What do you think?][I think we need to obscure last names but not Eric’s last name of course]



Also, one agent sent me a more detailed explanation of their experience and his opinion. Here it is un-edited, with the exception of some names being obscured for privacy.

Eric,

We were very early adopters of NextDoor. Eric and his team at TRIBUS were able to get our listing feed sent over to NextDoor, which has been helping drive traffic back over to the brokerage site. We also sponsored 3 zip codes for 4 or 5 months, but didn’t get a single lead. I had call recording and link tracking set up so we know for a fact the results were nonexistent. Originally, it showed we’d be exclusive agents and the cost per impression was to be around $.01; however, in the second month, that went away. Now we’re seeing costs per impression of $.08, which includes the weekend emails and banner in the Real Estate section and occasionally in the main feed.
Customer support is absolutely terrible. There are advertising features that don’t currently function and [they] do not understand their own product. They’ve acknowledged issues with the way properties are displayed, address searches, ability to claim listings, and even simple things like uploading your profile photo.

In short, I’d encourage brokerages to put their listings there because why not? It’s free additional exposure and currently they’re linking back to the brokerages websites.

But, I absolutely would not recommend any agent advertise on NextDoor. They could achieve much better results with Google PPC, Facebook advertising, or any of the major portals.

In all fairness this is a pretty small sample size so it would be a mistake to rule this opportunity out based solely on these comments. However, I also know these agents are professionals and I hold their opinion pretty high.

Conclusion

As real estate pros, we are always searching for strong referral sources to build our businesses. One of the most neglected referral streams is often our own neighborhoods. You know the feeling of coming home after a long day of meetings, showings, and paperwork, just to see the home three doors down has a “For Sale” sign in the yard, and it’s not yours! That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach, thinking “What the &^$%? Why didn’t they call me?” I know it sucks, I’ve been there.

So, would advertising on NextDoor help avoid this frustrating situation? The answer is definitely maybe! “Definitely maybe” is a joke by the way.

It seems like it would make more sense to purchase the zip code that included your own neighborhood. That would be the most valuable opportunity as opposed to advertising in areas where you don’t have many relationships. Consider this, if you combined door knocking, open houses, and being an awesome neighbor who is friendly and goes out of their way to meet people, it seems like having your name and face on NextDoor.com in your OWN neighborhood would even further build your reputation as the go-to agent.

We’d love to know your experience and thoughts on NextDoor.com sponsored neighborhoods. Leave your comments in the Facebook comment stream below.