The online real estate industry is on fire, as businesses in the industry keep announcing new growth initiatives right as other companies announce they want in on the untapped potential.

Nextdoor, a social network for neighborhoods, is included in this, recently launching a new section for real estate in its mobile application in ten major markets across the United States.

Those markets include: the greater Atlanta area, Austin, San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, and San Diego.

The added section is meant to serve as a way for neighbors and real estate professionals to connect regarding a variety of real estate topics, including local property listings and real estate market trends.

In an interview with HousingWire, Nirav Tolia, co-founder and CEO of Nextdoor, expanded on the company’s endeavor into real estate, explaining that while it added a real estate section, this doesn’t mean the company is looking to take over the world of real estate listings.

Instead, Nextdoor plans to use this added section to keep doing what it does best—connecting people.

Tolia explained in the interview that the real estate section grew out of an existing demand for it.

“One of our big priorities has been establishing our business model,” he said. “We looked at where we had both existing demand from the marketplace as well as demand from our members. Real estate was an absolute natural. We already had a lot of agents create pages without marketing or branding.”

The application launched in 2011 and now more than 150,000 neighborhoods across the country have created private online communities for their communities where they can ask questions, get to know one another, and exchange local advice and recommendations.

“From the very beginning, some of the most popular neighborhood conversations on Nextdoor have been about homes for sale and the local real estate market,” said Tolia. “The launch of our new real estate category makes it easy for neighbors to easily find listings for nearby homes for sale and identify and connect with the most recommended real estate professionals in their local area.”

Tolia said that they would never refer to themselves as a real estate company. “We think of ourselves as local company. It’s really not about listings. There are thousands of websites that do listings better than we do,” he said.

Instead, for neighbors who want to have conversations about who is the best agent or how they improve the value of their home, “That’s where we think Nextdoor really shines,” he said.  

And, for the agents, he added that it provides the opportunity to establish an authentic relationship early on. 

Ultimately he stated that they are making it as easy as possible to connect to a real estate agent and establish a place to have those conversations about housing. 

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