It’s undeniable that social media has allowed people to connect around the world, but what about in their own backyard? Long gone are the days of simply driving around to find an early Saturday yard sale or putting up fliers for lost pets on light posts.
We’ve had some users fearful of the use of a social media app, but have no fear – this powerful tool allows you to be involved right from the privacy of your home!
What is Nextdoor?
This social media app enables users to ask their neighbors questions, get recommendations and share news, replacing the old word-of-mouth grapevine. Once you sign-up, you’ll be introduced mainly to people in your immediate proximity and have a “hub” of updates relating to your neighborhood and surrounding areas.
Your hub will show information pertaining to user posts like:
- Local business recommendations
- Items for sale
- Local events
- Lost and found
- Yard sales
- Crime reporting and safety information
- Requests for advice with home-related issues
How does it work?
By downloading Nextdoor through your phone or your computer, you’ll be able to browse at your own pace! There is an option to have notifications sent to you via e-mail or push alerts on mobile, but it is not required.
The best part of Nextdoor is it is truly hyperlocal! You can browse and view other neighborhoods but you can not post, comment, or read private posts in that neighborhood unless you are a verified member of that neighborhood. This is to ensure that conversations pertaining to HOAs or neighborhoods remain between those who live there.
There are two ways to verify your address on Nextdoor:
- You can put your address into the app to receive an invitation letter in the mail. Once you receive it, you can confirm a short code that will connect and approve your address.
- By entering your phone number, you will receive a text code to enter into the app. The address must match your phone plan’s billing address.
Once you’re verified, you can start posting! The feed works similarly to other social media where you can browse posts and comment — but only in your specific neighborhood page. One of our favorite features is the ability to join groups of interests (like a board game meet-up).
What is Nextdoor best used for?
Local Business Support: Nextdoor is a great way to promote your business or shop locally. Many businesses use this platform to stay connected with their audience or promote sales/services. During the pandemic, businesses were able to discuss their policies and information on delivery/take-out.
Recommendations, Advice, Help: Nextdoor offers a true digital community based with the promise of local results. Asking for recommendations for restaurants, salons, home improvements, schools, etc. is a common practice on the app that yields a lot of advice or opinions. Conversely, the heart of a community is its people. Donations and requests for help commonly connect people with the resources they may need such as help moving something or a ride to a job interview.
Prospective Buyer’s First Glimpse: If you’re thinking of purchasing a home in a neighborhood, you will be able to get a “sneak peek”! You’ll be able to see nearby businesses and read posts from your future neighbors – as long as the post is set for “Anyone” to read. While it should not be your only choice in looking at homes, it is crucial to also take a glimpse at the community you’ll hopefully be engaged in once you move!
Is there concerns for Nextdoor?
Nextdoor is just like any other social media network. Unfortunately, many use the site as a platform for their complaints, problems, pushing political beliefs and trolling.
While you can get useful information on the app from neighbors, you can also see the worst in them. Gossip, drama, and petty complaints like grilling too early or leaving a pick-up curbside for far too long can frustrate as well as discourage activity. These are the most common, but it is easy to scroll by and ignore.
Scams can also be an issue. It is always important to never hire someone under the table for jobs like home renovations without seeing their licenses or having referrals. Nextdoor makes it easy to refer, but it is up to the user to do additional research on who they hire.
Politics and misinformation run rampant like any social media channel, so it is in your best interest to not rely on this platform for updates. Nextdoor strives to provide the community the means to grow and stay connected.
The Bottom Line
While it has its good and bad moments, Nextdoor is a resource that many homeowners have come to rely on for neighborhood information and local resources. This may help make the process easier during the research phase of moving into a new area, but nothing works best like our NSB Homes team. Our team of 3rd Generation NSB Locals know the market and can help guide you to a neighborhood that will meet your expectations. Contact one of our staff members today to get started!