Despite numerous changes to its terms of use, a large number of agents have been able to consistently generate real estate leads on Craigslist by using the following system for formatting and posting ads.  To reveal this system in its entirety, we will examine effective post formatting, how to abide by Craigslist’s terms of use, ad content, and posting frequency.

Craigslist Post Formatting

To generate real estate leads on Craigslist, agents routinely post ads marketing their listings for sale.  As of November 2013, Craigslist began deactivating hyperlinks to other websites that often led the public to detailed descriptions of the properties on agents’ websites where they could capture leads and follow up.  So instead of using hyperlinks to drive traffic to their website, agents simply instruct users to “For more information about this home please text (555)123-4567.”  Once a prospective client texts the agent with the inquiry, the agent responds by texting back: “Please provide your email address so that I can send you a link to a detailed property description with photos.”  Now the agent has obtained the lead’s mobile number and email address and can properly follow-up with the prospective client.  The info-graphic below provides more recent changes to Craigslist’s terms of use for agents to consider when crafting their ads:

Real Estate Leads on Craigslist 2014

Craigslist Ad Content

Agents that develop real estate leads on Craigslist understand that an ad’s headline is crucial for generating interest. Craigslist is littered with headlines that contain too many property specifics like “1234 Main St – 4 BR, 2 Bath w/ pool $200,000” that may not match the particular criteria that individual users are looking for in a home.  The key is to attract as much interest to the ad as possible, so headlines that contain location-specific content like “Meadowbrook Home for Sale” are preferred. The body of the post should should contain a some attractive photos of the home that makes people want to see more.  The ad’s content should contain some of the basic property information, the agent’s name, and the call to action mentioned above inviting users to text for more details.  Do not include a home’s price in the ad so that users are more likely to inquire for more information.  In the following video, top producing agent Gary White explains his system for generating real estate leads on Craigslist.

Posting Frequency

The lifespan of Craigslist ads can very depending on the number of competing posts in different geographic locations.  In large metropolitan cities ads may only be visible for 5 days, while in smaller towns they may show up for 50 days.  As a result, agents must elect to either repost or renew their ads regularly.  Although reposting ads can be time consuming, it can be done with unlimited frequency and the freedom to alter headline content.  Remember that generating real estate leads on Craigslist is a numbers game, so the more frequent the posts equals more leads received.  Craigslist also allows agents to renew ads 48 hours after the original post for up to 30 days.  This method is often preferable since it can be accomplished with ease from a mobile phone. Although this system has been proven to generate real estate leads on Craigslist, very few leads amount to commission income without an effective lead follow-up system in place. So it is essential that each lead captured be included in a lead database management system to enable agents to systematically contact these prospective clients by telephone, mail and email over time.

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