As neighbors navigate through the coronavirus pandemic, Nextdoor has identified five phases of the Rise of Local.
The neighborhood has taken on a whole new meaning in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, we conducted research to understand how neighborhoods are coping with this pandemic, what the trending topics are, and—most importantly—how we can best support you. We found that neighborhoods are moving through five “phases,” united by kindness and a commitment to all things local. Let’s take a look.
Phase 1: Rely on Neighbors for Support
Kindness is not just cool again, it’s essential. When shelter-in-place mandates first began, neighbors on Nextdoor knew it was time to come together. Since February, there has been a 140% increase of meaningful connections among neighbors, from sending private messages to engaging in group conversations. Neighbors are turning to each other for information about supplies, local businesses, and public services. Over a third of members have shared essential resources with one another, showing that neighbors now play a more important role in their lives.
As many have lost their jobs, people are finding work with neighbors. Thirty four percent of neighbors are more likely to hire their neighbors for jobs around the home, and mentions of work such as lawn service have increased significantly.
Phase 2: Reinvest in Home and Self
With all this time at home, neighbors are thinking of ways to improve both themselves and their abode. Routines have changed as members have resorted to at-home workouts and DIY haircuts. In fact, many of these trends are here to stay–27% of people plan to continue working at home after the outbreak and 24% are happy with their home haircut.
Although transactions on Nextdoor’s For Sale & Free dipped at the beginning of the crisis, neighbor-to-neighbor selling has now returned and remains at elevated levels with the most popular items related to working from home: monitors, office chairs, and desks. It’s clear that neighbors are investing in their homes for the long term, especially for work.
Phase 3: Reconnect with Community
After months of sheltering in place, the need for connection is strong. The mental health toll is staggering, with 83% of people reporting that they are feeling overwhelmingly isolated from friends and family. At the same time, parents felt more involved with their children, and communities pulled together to check in on their neighbor.
We know that local businesses are the cornerstone of thriving neighborhoods, and people are eager to return: 72% of members say they plan to frequent local businesses more often as we come out on the other side.
Phase 4: Rethink Business as Usual
Local businesses are not only crucial to the economy, but key gathering places for people to connect. But what are people missing the most? We found that major U.S. cities were either primarily “Bar & Restaurant” cities, or “Salon & Spa” cities. Members in New York are eager for happy hours, while those in Dallas would rather head straight to the hair salon.
To stay afloat during these challenging times, businesses have had to get creative. 30% of local businesses have pivoted and changed the original products and services they offer. Neighbors have continued to support these businesses through the purchase of gift cards, curbside pickup or delivery, and organizing fundraisers. In return, many local businesses are giving back whatever they can to help frontline workers, local charities, and neighbors in need.
Phase 5: Remain Loyal to Local
In the final phase, conversations have shifted towards the “next normal” with an emphasis on local. The trend of helping one another remains at the foundation of neighborhoods. Neighbors are cultivating a kinder world by organizing nightly claps for healthcare workers, leaving colorful chalk art creations, setting up neighborhood scavenger hunts, and more.
Despite these tough times, the #StrengthInNeighbors endures: 84% of Nextdoor members feel they have a neighbor they can rely on. As communities reopen, neighbors are remaining optimistic and doubling down on their commitment to their neighborhood.
Source: Polls and internal Nextdoor data from 2020. View the full #NextdoorInsights report here.
Note: for up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19), refer to official sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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