Craigslist doesn't work anymore! Any suggestions?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with EverSand Realty Group

About a year or so ago, my husband and I use to place our listings on Craigslist and it was the best lead generator ever.  We managed an office and every day the phones would ring like crazy.  No matter how much our company would spend on newspaper advertising the only calls we got were "Craigslist".  Not to mention the numerous email inquiries. 

But like everything in life, society started abusing and misusing it.  Now, all we get every morning are dozens of solicitations for other websites and scams.  WOW, it's really sad how "people" just can't utilize a good thing without ruining it. As the site became more and more popular for Realtors to post, it slowly went down hill. 

It's actually dangerous to have a new agent post on Craigslist because they must be trained now on how to spot a virus or scam, and delete without opening.  Every morning we'd wake up to 30 or more emails, and you can see that they were all done at the same time but with different names (stolen of coarse to make it look like a legitimate inquiry).

What also hurt the effectiveness of Craigslist was something my old Broker started to do.  He found out that it was working so well for us, so he made it mandatory for every secretary in every office to post dozens of ads every morning.  Well, if you know how craigslist works, the more posts put on, the lower your post goes on the visible list. 

Needless to say, legitamate buyers and sellers must have gotten so disgusted by the scams also, and started going elsewhere to find home ads.  it's very dissappointing that another GOOD thing has gone down the drain.

So I would love any suggestions anyone might have for a site (or sites) where we could get the phones to ring again.  We've searched high and low, and we use most of the well known RE sites, but none work the way Craigslist did.

Thanks in Advance for any ideas!

Posted by

Sandra Nixon

EverSand Realty Group



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 02/13/2010 11:54 PM
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Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I'm going to re-blog this because you have some very legitimate concerns. I, however, post rental listings DAILY to our local CL and I FLAG SCAM posts directly to CL using the FEEDBACK option with the ad address....If you watermark your photos AND have a link to a legitimate website, your listing have much more value and the "long tail" which is important!!!

Feb 13, 2010 11:53 PM #1
Sacramento Grapevine
SacramentoGrapevine - Roseville, CA

Try these,  they are getting over 1,000,000 hits per month.

Feb 14, 2010 12:05 AM #2
Clason Whitney
Coldwell Banker Pro West Real Estate - Medford, OR
"Your Proactive, Trusted Real Estate Advisor"

I agree on Craigslist being watered down but still advertise on there because so many people still use it, you will be found and get leads from there.  I just picked up a buyer lead a few weeks ago from that sight.

Feb 14, 2010 12:33 AM #3
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Does anyone know if the grapevine sites are just for California - I am so tired of the dr from the UK who wants to rent my place sight unseen w/ cash back each month and could I rent him a Mercedes too?

Feb 14, 2010 12:52 AM #4
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist

Our overall results on Craigslist has continued to decrease except for the country listings with acreage.

Feb 14, 2010 01:02 AM #5
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I most things, now you have to deal with alot of spam on CL...however, since it is still free and great exposure, why not place your listings 2-3 times a week to keep them fresh? 

Feb 14, 2010 01:49 AM #6
Tom Noonan


I note that you said the "phones rang like crazy" Then you talk about virus and scams...

You can make good Craigslist Ads that make the phone ring and design the ad so that they have to copy and paste the email (not Craiglist reply) to contact you.


The scams are 99% computer programs so they will not waste time copying and pasting as they never look at the ad in the 1st place.  Yu can writ you email as Sandy AT and only a human will email you.


I use to use Postlets to create my ads but finally realized I was missing out on So much!

Lack Of Branding (ads look like Postlets NOT me)

Too time consuming

Waste of prime space on ads (top of ad) waste valuable space for year built, HOA, parking ect

Headlines dont stand out, etc etc

I tried this software WebAds For Real Estate that is Faster and way better and got MORE responces from my ads! If you want better response from Craigslist you need better ads!

* Ads should incorporate your BRANDING by using the look and feel of your website

* Photos with Captions

* Consistent layout and look

* Enough detail (not too much!) to get the phone to ring.

I found this great software that does all that and more, check it out they have a free trial download here

Mar 16, 2010 10:54 PM #7
Coco Tan
Coldwell Banker - San Jose, CA
Coco Tan

Have you tried RedFin??  The majority of people that show up for open houses say they saw my listing on RedFin and Craigslist.  Also, I have a separate email that I use specifically to post Craigslist ads, and I have my assistants sort through the mess.

Apr 14, 2010 08:24 AM #8
It Slides Both Ways
We are a legitamate green energy corporation that has branches all over the US, and we help businesses cut their electric bills in half. We use CL to hire salespeople and contractors in many cities, but they keep deleting our ads for some reason and won't even respond to our emails. My feeling is that there must be something else going on.
Jun 12, 2010 06:00 AM #9
Doug Gore

First let me say that I agree with Craigslist being a great place to post your ads. It is also very true that you must be very careful in what emails you open. In very short order it is easy to spot the scams though.


I personally like Craigslist........But, I will ask that you consider giving your local Grapevine a try. Yes I am biased as I own the Grapevine Communities as a whole but lets look at the fact that every Grapevine Community is locally owned and operated. Grapevine Communities are trying to connect you on a local level and with your help.....Your local Grapevine Owner can give you what you seek.

Just my two cents here; we all know Craigslist is king and gets 4,000,000,000 hits per second....:} and your local Grapevine does not compare....yet. To my understanding, Craigslist receives around 80 million new classified ads each month and has under 30 employees to deal with all of the shams and scams. Help your local Grapevine Owner and in the end you will be helping yourselves.......You see, that local owner will always support you and will be able to quickly respond to shams and scams on the local level. Grapevine Communities also has a built in system for banning people that do not comply with the rules. Grapevine Communities are also family friendly and don't allow the adult ads or content.....:}

I truly don't want to just be giving a "Grapevine Pitch" here.......These are local owners that are trying to support you and your business.

For an interactive map of all of our communities you can visit

There are many that will still show up as "For Sale" and you can still post ads on them. Although there will be no local owner on there just yet you would still get the benefit of the free ad and all of the built in SEO. could buy the local community and find out all of the great benefits to being a local owner..........:}

Jul 31, 2010 12:51 AM #10
Don Tiller   It hits off of the Facebook community and it has has awesome pre-post auto-inquiry so there is no spam posting and all responses are reviewed.... it's Craigslist refined.

Sep 28, 2012 09:33 AM #11
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