For years I have used Craigslist to advertise all of my listings, both for sale and for rent. I have also often posted my real estate services in the "services" section. A recent study showed that nearly a third of real estate buyers us Craigslist!
Recently my account was put on hold, after many attempts to correct the problem with nothing but form letters from Craigslist I opened a new account. Within a few weeks that account was also put "on hold" with no notice or explaination.
Frustrated, I tried again to contact Craigslist; even posting questions to there Facebook page... Nothing, just some more form letters from Craigslist. So I took yet another one of my email addresses and opened yet another Craigslist account.
One of the problems with having a Craiglist account "on hold" is if you sell or rent the property you cannot get it to remove the ad from Craigslist! That not only poses a problem with potential buyers or renters, but if the property expired and is listed with another agent, you may have an ethics violation by advertising someone elses listing.
I was concerned, I didn't want to lose yet another CL account so I decided to do some research on the issue. I found that CL had imposed new guidelines including allowing you to post only one ad to any one catagory in any 48 hour span. The reasons seems to be (as we all know) the scammers that are so prevalent on Craigslist. The real estate and rental section is one of the largest sources of scams on Craigslist. Most every real estate agent or property manager has had someone steal their listing and offer it cheaper asking prospectives for personal information or getting them to send them money.
To add insult to injury, Craigslist actually prohibits you from posting a link to a "commercial" web site!
The problem with this plan is if I have 50 listings I can only advertise one of them every two days! That poses a problem for me because up until now CL has been one my largest sources of renters and buyers. Another issue with CL is that real estate is a cut-throat business and apart from agents stealing signs and trying to steal clients and listings, they (shock) have also been known to "flag" or mark other agents ads on CL as Spam to limit their ability to market. I know hard to believe huh!
My marketing plan said on Tuesdays I would post all available properties to Craigslist. I use hundreds of websites and do very well with some of them, but CL has been a HUGE source of traffic and a very successful source for renters.
I'm a premier agent on Zillow so I get pretty good traffic from that also, but it does not compare to what CL was providing.
I've posted on AR before how my marketing plan works, it is extensive and somewhat exhausting, but the sites include:
Lands Of America - (hundreds of sites)
Raytown Real Estate
Facebook - Turn-Key Properties
Facebook - Bates County Real Estate
Entrepreneur Magazine had an excellent article on marketing on Craigslist, that spelled out many of the do's and dont's of the site. With nearly TEN MILLION users a month Craigslist is a vital part of any advertising campaign.
Not only are you restricted by the account you use, but it has also been suggested that CL may be paying attention to you IP address and if many ads are posted from the same IP, you may get booted from Craigslist for that also!
Not sure what the answer is, but it is clear that my old marketing plan will not work with the new guidelines, my website traffic is off by about 30% and Backpage is not the solution, I literally get no traffic from Back Page, while my listings on CL have traditionally brought upwards to two thousand visitors per month, that number is now down to less than 200!