|Craigslist Advertising for Real Estate Agents – The Rules have Changed – by Dana Sparks|
In November 2013, Craigslist changed the rules and it is no longer possible for Real Estate Agents to post “enhanced listings” as a way to generate leads by driving traffic to their agent websites. As an agent, you used to use embedded HTML code to get a prospect to click on your Craigslist add & automatically be taken to your website or to a lead-generating landing page. Additionally, Craigslist has eliminated live links in your agent posting. You used to be able to reference a link & tell the consumer to “click here” for more information on the listing you were promoting. Craigslist has also limited the number of photos you may use in your posting – eliminating the enticement of consumers with tons of photos. You may also not automatically post to Craigslist via Postlets, RealBird, Listings to Leads or vFlyer.
So, is Craigslist still a viable method for generating leads? Of course! It is still FREE and tons of consumers still search Craigslist daily to purchase everything… including Real Estate! You must go back to the basics of marketing: Use compelling copy, great enticing photos and a compelling call to action to entice the consumer to copy and paste your information to get to your website. Additionally, use affiliated services (VisualTour & VoicePad) to your advantage in conjunction with your Craigslist marketing
When you have a VisualTour account, one of the concierge services this company provides for Maximum One agents is a Craigslist ad placement that complies with their new advertising guidelines.
Market listings on Craigslist using your VoicePad Maximum One phone number (678-264-0659) so that when a consumer calls that phone number for information, they will receive the information they are seeking and you will capture their number so that you may provide your services to them. When the customer calls through the Voicepad number on one of your listings, you will automatically receive that lead. If you choose to market a HUD listing or a new construction listing (with the Seller’s permission of course) then you simply go into your personal voicepad account & create an ID number for the property that is not your listing that you are advertising on Craigslist. Then in your Craigslist ad, you include the voicepad phone number and the property ID number you just created!
Spell Out Your Links
To avoid having your ad pulled by Craigslist, spell out your links in your ad. For example, “For more information and to see more houses you may like, please visit www dot MaximumOneATL dot com.
Use a unique headline, be specific in the description, create a sense of urgency and provide some useful information rather than stereotypical “salesy” talk.
Use the best photo possible of the property. You must use the photos along with the unique description to get the consumer to leave Craigslist and check out the house on your website.
Give the potential lead the instructions how to get to you! Since you can no longer use clickable links, you must tell the consumer: “Copy & paste this link to …… “(see interior photos, get the latest pricing information, schedule a showing, etc.) Also give the reader your contact information: “Call or text me at ______.” or “Email me at _________.”
The Good News
The good news is that consumers actually LIKE these changes that Craigslist has made! They no longer feel “fooled” or “spammed” by feeling they were clicking on a video only to be swept away to an agent’s website. More prospects are searching earnestly in Craigslist again to Buy & Sell real estate. Additionally you may still post HUD homes in Craigslist with the proper disclosures. The great news is that as long as you have the Seller’s permission, you may also post new construction homes on Craigslist and attract the clientele looking for those properties!
There are several viable alternatives you may use to prospect for business. The VoicePad Mobile Site is a phenomenal way to get prospects to “search like an agent.” Use Visual Tour videos of properties that your clients see or on your listing appointments or neighborhoods. These tours are branded with your name & contact information & consumers LOVE to post these on their Facebook pages & Twitter accounts! There are also places to post such as Kijiji, Postlets, and claim your listings on Trulia & Zillow & answer consumer questions on those sites.
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and take the FREE Lead Generation CE class through Maximum One Realtors!
For more specific information on the changes to Craigslist, click this link for an article by“MarketLeader: Craigslist Real Estate Listing Changes”