Sarah Friar, speaking at ICNY 2024, shares her take on how agents can use the neighborhood-level social media platform to excel in business and community.

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Growing up in Northern Ireland, Sarah Friar’s parents were often at the center of valuable local information about their community.

Friar’s mom, a nurse, and dad, a personnel manager at the local mill, fielded and shepherded information from workers and residents in their community during a tumultuous time for the small country.

They were, she said, “Nextdoor before Nextdoor existed.”

After working in engineering, banking and finance, in 2018, Friar became CEO of a social media platform that now boasts 85 million verified users who share and post tips, insights, questions and complaints to an audience that’s geographically targeted to their neighborhood.

“We are a for-profit business, but we are all about ‘How do you create a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on?’” Friar said on Thursday, the third and final day of Inman Connect New York.

The Nextdoor ecosystem now includes friends and neighbors throughout the country, which represents an opportunity for real estate agents.

Agents can grow their business by being a part of that neighborhood through having a presence on the app, Friar said.

“We’re perfect for all of you because we are the neighborhood,” Friar said. “What I love about real estate agents, Realtors, is you are the new community activists. You are the people who care most about your communities.”

She said agents could benefit from being pillars of the community simply by logging into the app and engaging with their neighbors.

“The best way for a local business, you’re a local business, to win on a place like Nextdoor, is to not always be selling,” Friar said. “Give them the information you know. A new mover moves into town. What’s the best place for coffee in the morning? What’s the must-go play park if you’ve got young kids? What’s the thing to avoid at all costs?”

“You all know the best, and in some ways the worst, the thing to avoid,” she said. “Be there. Be that expert. Post, comment, reply, show up.”

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