Craigslist Account on Hold? - New Rules!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Turn-Key Properties LLC, Missouri and Kansas Real Estate

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.

I knew that they were cracking down on the porn and prostitution services and "personal" ads, but I sell real estate and rental property not perversion!

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:

Active Rain
Back Page
Lands Of America - (hundreds of sites)
Bates County
Turn-Key Properties
Raytown Real Estate
Tiffany Houses
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!



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence 11/22/2010 12:21 PM
  2. Jon Gosche 05/24/2014 01:27 AM
ActiveRain Community
Kansas City Rainers
Silent Majority
Kansas City Real Estate Network
Raytown Real Estate
Bates County Real Estate
internet traffic
real estate
advertising listings
accounty on hold
craigslist account

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Jay Schmitt
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg Real Estate Agent

Thanks for sharing your story. I am lucky that I haven't had any problems yet.

Nov 20, 2010 04:18 PM #10
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

CL definitely is a pain in the arse.  There are work arounds however.  You seem like the kind of guy who can find them.  ;-)

Nov 20, 2010 06:51 PM #18
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Ben - thanks for sharing, I have mixed feelings about CL and often wonder whether it is worth elevated bp.

Nov 21, 2010 03:02 AM #19

CL is disappointing.  I tried to post one ad to writing services, just one, but now my account is on hold, and my ad really was for my services to writer blogs for individuals and businesses.  I saw two ads in the same day from another writing service, and in the spot where you are supposed to write the city name, they had put their web address.  They also used graphics and a web address in their content body, yet they are not flagged? Are these people connected to someone inside at CL? 

Dec 07, 2010 03:28 AM #20
Nancy Carroll

Hi Ben, 

Great article! I, too, was using craigslist rather successfully for some of my online marketing campaigns. My account was put on hold.  Despite contacts via email and phone (no live person, except press 4 for law enforcement), craigslist has not budged. Their business restrictions are becoming narrower and narrower. I'm marketing in other venues now, as craigslist seems to be morphing into an anti-business model, unless you want to sell a couch. 

Any other suggestions? Backpage is quite underwhelming. 

Aug 03, 2011 09:54 AM #21
David Anderson

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These days everyone complain that their accounts ask for phone verification constantly.

Our accounts won’t ask you for phone verification.

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Oct 26, 2011 03:42 PM #22

I'm so glad to have found your blog in a google search! I use CL for my online job posting car ads for a small local business, but this week CL put my account on hold. Since I only use Craigslist and Backpage for classifieds that's half of my job gone! I also post on Facebook and Twitter, but those are just to get the word out. I can't get paid if I don't work, and I can't post as many effective ads if CL keeps putting me on hold. I'm going to open a new account, but knowing the information you share here, I'm worried that won't be safe for long. If you figure out a method for dealing with this problem, please let me know! Thanks!

Nov 18, 2011 07:04 AM #23

Craigslist is not the only site online. ClassifiedsEarth does not require PVA accounts and is much better. It integrates with my Facebook and Twitter account. I love it.

Nov 26, 2011 02:25 PM #24

CL has become too big for its own britches.  They condone and encourage flagging and chose to do nothing about it.  Penalizing the person that gets flagges is dumb but that is their model.  I do hope someone else comes along with a paid site that replaces Craig

Apr 13, 2012 02:38 PM #25
Soulutions Real Estate
Casa Blanca, CA

MY CL account is also on hold. I only post REal Estate ads. I have about 20 ads. Thi si s very disturbing. I sent them two emails all I get is a generic answer and for account on hold it says open another account.

Aug 08, 2013 10:25 AM #26
Craigslist Account

After all I got this interesting article, this is my hobby to surf on internet for various subjects. I notice this, only professional bloggers maintain quality of content. I am redirected here from <a href="">delete craigslist account</a> web page.


Sep 18, 2013 07:36 PM #27

Here in NW Arkansas, the real estate market is picking up.

Our agents use "Fifteen Secrets that STOP Craigslist Flaggers"


If it's still around, that shows you all kinds of helpful stuff.


+ Doug

Nov 15, 2013 06:58 AM #29

Advertising on craigslist has never been easier. Just use to post MLS listings directly to craigslist automatically.

Dec 01, 2013 12:26 AM #32
I am having the same problem!! It is a little worse for me because I am new agent, and that was pretty much all of my leads and a great lead source!! I am so confused on what to do or fix it , if anyone knows a way to handle this problem please share!!!!
Apr 22, 2014 12:50 AM #46
I love how noone has yet mentioned or asked how long is this "HOLD"??? Does it ever get re-instated or is your account on HOLD forever????
May 20, 2014 12:55 AM #47
Orchid Girl

Try also It is a new website, so you won't find a lot of ads on there yet, but I have given up on CL and am willing to try any new website.

Thank you for the list that you provided.

Feb 11, 2016 03:45 AM #48

To answer Drew, the hold seems to last "forever." My Craigslist account has been on hold for about five years now, I'd say. As with other respondents here, attempts to get "help" have been met with nothing but form e-mails.

Feb 21, 2016 12:48 AM #49

I am on Hold, and I am not a serial lister. I only listed some cell phones about 3 years ago, and maybe one or two other things for friends, that were not REAL ESTATE, and I was just getting rid of STUFF. How do I get rid of my HOLD classification?

Mar 15, 2016 09:06 AM #50
Sham Rock

Yes this all post is very well. i like this all article. i am agree with you.
i am writing (About Craigslist) for post.
To attract a customer, you need to craft a perfect ad, how about online ad posting the recent trend that has revolutionized advertisement industry. CLPS is making its presence felt in the craigslist ad posting industry since 2008. The idea was conceived to change the face of advertising and more importantly to open new avenues of reaching out to a customer who are going digital with each passing day. It’s going to be 8 years, and we have successfully helped our clients reach out to the people and helped them gain more leads by routing the traffic to their site. We take pride in stating that in our tenure of 8 years we successfully posted ads in many cities and section of craigslist and foresee to continue the same legacy in the coming years. Know more here
CLPS is a 360-degree marketing firm that helps you with latest strategies and solutions for current advancing technology. In this short tenure, we have served many companies and have worked at par with their expectations. Apart from craigslist ad posting, we also cater to back page, flagging and version number.

Apr 23, 2016 06:19 PM #51
Nicholas bernier

For some reason my account has been put on hold but I know I haven't done anything wrong. I need my account, what can I do?

Jul 08, 2016 12:25 PM #52
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