The other day, one of the guys I work with asked me: “How do you sell your houses?”
He was surprised by the absurdity of my answer. When you asked the question, I was referring to both my wholesale real estate deals and my retail fix and spin deals.
The answer, “I sell most of my houses on Craigslist.”
This may not come as a surprise if you already sell houses on Craigslist. Lots of real estate investors sell wholesale deals all the time, but what about retail deals – those inevitably renovated homes that I have listed with my agent, are also being sold through Craigslist?
The answer is: “I think so.” I have no way of testing it, but every time I write a crafty ad, I tend to get a show or two on that property within the next two days. It could be a coincidence that I post the ad and an agent just passed their client around the same time or I get shows as a result of my posts.
When retail clients are searching for their next home purchase, they don’t just sit around these days waiting for their agent to provide them with listings to choose from. They go online and search countless websites from Craigslist to Zillow or Trulia to a countless number of famous sites with smart real states property dealers like DDP Property. However, the IDX systems that most agents use to post to many of the smaller sites, Craigslist is a single website that restricts many of those multiple auto-posting programs. So there are several tips that help your Craigslist ad get more exposure.
Here are 8 tips for running effective Craigslist ads
1. Attract the attention of publication titles. Write a catchy headline in the post title and use the “specific location” area for an additional marketing message. Your goal here is to GET ATTENTION.
You can add the actual specific location within the ad body as it will appear in the search results for your location if they use the search function.
I’d rather have someone click on my ad and read it AND THEN decide that the house is not in the right place. I want you to see my photos and give me the opportunity to convince you that maybe you want to live in my house for sale.
The questions are GREAT to attract attention, along with a combination of lower letters and UPPER CASE. One of my best performing titles is: Looking for a PERFECTLY RENOVATED home?
If you are looking for a recently renovated home , you are inclined to click on my ad.
In the section specific location, I can add devices included or renewal of range high to cause someone to search for something specific to click on my ad. If no one clicks on your ad, you are not marketing your property effectively.
2. Renew the ads every 48 hours. People searching Craigslist rarely go beyond the first page or two of the listings. Keep your ad fresh and relevant.
3. Post 2 ads for each property, one day apart. The idea is that you can renew the one you wrote on Monday first thing on Wednesday and renew the second ad you wrote on Tuesday morning. That way, you will always have an ad for each property in today’s posts.
4. There is no phone number. In my wholesale offers on Craigslist, you will always find my number, but when I am posting one of my fixed retail offers I don’t post any phone numbers. I always have them listed in the MLS, so I direct readers to “See the photos, write down the address and CALL YOUR AGENT NOW AND SCHEDULE A SHOWING.” Real estate agents are better equipped and more patient than I am when it comes to rating Craigslist buyers. I’d rather pay commissions than try to educate consumers myself. Agents are good at it, and the retail shopper struggle is where they bring me the most value.
5. Images. Don’t even bother placing an ad without photos. For the record, I sold my first deal (in 2006 when the market was booming) without photos, but these days ads without photos ARE NOT ADDRESSED. People LOVE looking at photos (Think Facebook or Instagram).
6. Time. Try to post your ad when there are people on the site. It seems to me that the early hours of the morning (5:00 am-6:00pm) and at night (6:00 pm to 10:00 pm) are effective hours. Weekends produce better home shopping traffic than weekdays.
7. Less is more. I generally write my postings in one-sentence paragraphs with double spaces. (I like this)Doing this makes it easier for the brain, with its short attention span, to read my ads.It’s easier for the search engine since they only want to see photos anyway.I keep my ads to 14 sentences or less.
8. Link to your property. If you have a special page created for your property, as many agents do, copy and paste the link to that property page in your listing. The property page will have your agent’s information and they can work with the buyers that the ads can generate. With the new Craigslist restrictions, posts are no longer available. Now you need to hone your ability to create great ads on the Craigslist platform. Links in ads are no longer clickable. Now I put my link with the copy and paste instructions included.
Below is an example of how I post a link on Craigslist Ad
To see more offers, go to
The new restrictions have greatly reduced the volume of easy traffic than previously produced posts, however, I still received traffic with that “instruction” method. Those who do visit are more likely to be qualified prospects with this restricted method.
Every home I sell is listed in MLS with RE Agents and Craigslist. Both have produced abundant results in my real estate business over the years and I will continue to use both. My agents have access to IDX systems that list my homes on 40 to 50 property sites, and they generate results periodically, but Craigslist has been the most beneficial for my business.