Have you ever surfed the classifieds on craigslist and wondered if posting an ad about your property would be worth your time and effort? The following are some tips to help get your property get noticed on craigslist amongst a sea of other posters. But first, let's cover the basics…
According to Wikipedia, craigslist [all lowercase on purpose] is a centralized network of online urban communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories) and forums sorted by various topics.
It was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark for the San Francisco Bay Area and has grown rapidly worldwide. It serves over 5 billion page views per month, putting it in 34th place overall among web sites world wide, 9th place overall among web sites in the United States (per Alexa.com on December 29, 2006), to 10 million unique visitors. With over 10 million new classified ads each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over 500,000 new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world.
The craigslist website states that more than 25 million people visit craigslist each month in search of information, services and to post on the discussion boards. Craigslist users self-publish more than 20 million new classified ads [that are largely free!] each month, on more 450 craigslist sites in all 50 US states, and over 50 countries. See craigslist for yourself at http://www.craigslist.com/.
Create a craiglist account before posting an adThere are two ways to post ads on craigslist – one is a straight posting by selecting the POST link on the category page that you are visiting, the other is to first create and login to your craigslist account and then select the POST link on a craigslist category page. We highly recommend the second method because when you are logged into craigslist, your posts will go live instantly and you have a dashboard on your account that will allow you to view all your active, expired and [god forbid] flagged ads.
Targeting your craigslist ad
Where do you do the majority of business? Try to post your ad on craigslist in the area that is closest to your working zone. It works just like ActiveRain and the search engine rankings, you don't need to be the most popular on the entire website to receive great business leads, you just need to be in the most relevant areas for your service. If you are realtor in Chicago, don't post only under real estate services in Chicago – select the part of Chicago that you know best and have the most listings in.
Writing your craigslist ad
Your headline is your 5-second billboard to entice a web visitor to read your ad. So make sure you write a headline that is 1. relevant to what you are offering and 2. don't mislead the reader. Ads that start off with silly titles like "I'm the best realtor ever" or "Now is a smart time to buy" aren't going to get you anywhere. "Full-service real estate team specializing in condos" is much more likely to garner inquiries from prospects that are worth your time and energy.
Give the reader something they didn't know before
Besides just tooting your own horn, try adding content to your ad that differentiates you from the gaggle of realtors competing for buyers and sellers in your hometown. One great way to do that is after your ad defines the specifics of your business and contact info, insert some of the expert advice that you have in your local market – perhaps even some of your ActiveRain blog content, along with a link back to your website or blogs. The easiest way to establish yourself as an expert in your local real estate market is to share your knowledge, and a free ad on Craigslist is one highly visible place where you can do that.
We've taken our blogs from ActiveRain and posted them as ads for Landlord2Landlord on all the major Craigslist cities – and we've had great success so far. Check one out and let us know what you think:http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/rts/399433856.html. We'd also like to hear from you if you find the others in major cities like Atlanta, San Diego, Las Vegas and Washington DC.
Be a good craigslist citizen
Craigslist is a largely free service with a rabid fan base who take it seriously. So don't mislead or give false information in your craigslist ad in an attempt to lure people into responding to you. That's a great way to get banned from the service, permanently! Also, please don't spam the ad space. By that we mean, don't post the same ad over multiple times in different categories – craigslist monitors ad content and if they see the same ad in more than one place, they will take it down and might ban you. Also, make sure you post your ad in the category that is relevant to your service. If you are offering real estate services, for example, post your ad under Services – Real Estate, NOT Housing – Real Estate for Sale. That's just common courtesy for web visitors, keep your content relevant to the category that it is posted in.
Good luck in your craigslist postings!
Additional Resources - Landlord2Landlord publishes articles from real estate-related professionals on our website and in our monthly eNewsletter as an educational resource for our clients and website visitors – landlords, property owners and rental property managers. If we publish your article on our website, we will gladly include your byline and contact information. Articles should be relevant to our audience, and include the tags that you would use when posting here on ActiveRain.
Contributing authors also receive a permanent link on our resource directory at http://www.landlord2landlord.com/HelpfulLinks.aspx.