Well they warned us, the experts said that the economic bubble is bursting, but you’d never know or realize it by looking at the 35,669 active real estate listings, from the last 7 days alone, just in the Los Angeles section on Craigslist.com. Real estate listings and thus sales are active and quite well on Craigslist, especially with the real estate listings, which happens to be the No# 3 most popular category on the worlds most popular online classified site. There are more agents that are are realizing the power and value of using Craigslist to reach potential new buyers.
So Who or What is Craigslist?
Craigslist was started back in 1995 by Craig Newmark. When craigslist.com was born, it’s original intent was to help people find affordable housing or rent in the San Francisco area. Now craigslist has become the single most popular online classifieds site on the internet, with over 20 million visitors monthly and growing rapidly. Craigslist currently features over 300 available cities scattered across 35 countries for posting free ads. Everyday, online seekers come looking to either buy, sell, trade or lease property. Real estate agents can capitalize on this targeted traffic by posting their free ads and answering ads from people seeking homes. It truly has become a real estate agents dream marketing tool.
So How Do You Get Started
Real Estate Agents who are interested in using Craigslist can do so by going to the site and choosing the city or cities they want to post in. First, do some research on other ads in your area and that will give you an idea of the different types of property listings, as well as what your competitors are posting. The huge real estate section on Craigslist.com is divided into different sections to redirect visitor traffic to specific areas, including: single rooms & shares, apartments or houses for rent, house swap, office or commercial space, storage rental, real estate for sale, sublets and vacation rentals. The best thing about craigslist as mentioned, posting an ad is completely free (except New York City), which has just started a $10 charge for rental listings. Once you know where you want to post your ad, create either a single ad for ‘hot properties’ or a combination of ads listing all your available real estate properties for that area.
How To Create an Ad
Ads of Craigslist are easy to create as they are primarily text, thus requiring no graphic design or html experience. Your ad should obviously be descriptive including contact info and photos. Images of the property has been proven to increase response by over 200%, so be sure you include pictures that really help highlight the property. You are able to easily upload images during the posting process.
How To Post Your Ad
Posting an ad on Craigslist is as simple as picking the city, choosing the proper category, then selecting ‘post’, at the top right hand corner and entering your real estate listing into the form. Make sure you come up with a good relevant title to get the potential clients attention. Your ad should also feature specific key phrases that people may be searching for when looking for the area of the property, features of the house, etc. Once you’ve entered your text into the form and uploaded your images, you’ll need to enter an e-mail address or just keep it anonymous. Then submit, review and wait for the confirmation link in your e-mail to publish the ad.
Reposting, Multi-Posting and Auto-Posting
Once your ad is published, your ad will remain on the Craigslist site for 7 to 45 days, depending on the selected city. Your listing staying on the first page is important, but since you can only post the ad in one city every 48 hours, that may become a problem. However, to can get around this by creating multiple ads for the same property, by using slightly different text or by using a different e-mail address for each ad. To be successful, you’ll need to re-post the ad at least every 48 hours as new online buyers are looking for listings. To automate the re-posting process, there is auto-posting services out there, or you can purchase software programs for that purpose. But keep in mind that these types of programs are not exactly approved by Craigslist, but nonetheless are widely used and are highly effective. Also realize buyers on the internet are turned off by spam, and craigslist is no different, so make sure to only post your property just once a day, per city per category. This will ensure you will get great ad placement without coming off as a desperate or overly aggressive spammy seller.
Hopefully you realize that using Craigslist is easy and an affordable way to reach new customers. This is only a taste of what real estate agents or anyone else who has anything to sell or promote can do on Craigslist. As Craigslist gains in popularity, you can take advantage of your creativity and experiment with ‘out of the box ideas’ as it has an instant audience and the posting of ads only takes your effort.