The Ghosts of Craigslist Past

For the past 3 years or so, I have been helping my clients post ads for their listings and real estate services on Craigslist, and in the beginning it was a lovely service to offer.  They were getting great leads without having to pay a dime.  Sure, it took some time to put together and post the ads, but it was great to be able to tell a client that I can get them leads without additional ad costs.  It was also the perfect opportunity for companies like ours to develop products to help clients post ads more effectively on Craigslist.

And that’s just what we did.  We spent months developing a product that would combine online listing flyers with USP (unique selling proposition)  ads to generate the maximum amount of traffic to the website.  It was wonderfully complex and would surly be the most innovative thing to hit the market.

After a stellar launch, there was more interest in it than any other product we had put out before. Our clients were extremely excited about it and new business was coming in as a result.  And then………. the ghosts came (insert scary music here).

Ghosting is when your ad appears to be accepted by Craigslist, but is not actually posted to the list of ads.  You will receive a confirmation email from Craigslist saying your ad was accepted, and the link will direct you to what looks like a successfully posted ad online, but if you search for it on the list it wont show up.  The ad is there, but can’t be seen by anyone. It is a “ghost”.

I still think there are benefits to posting ads on Craiglist simply because it gets a massive amount of traffic on a daily basis.  Should you build your business around it?  Definitely not. And it is always dangerous to rely on one method of advertising (especially when it’s free).It can be very easy to get sucked into trying to “game the system” when your time could be better used elsewhere.

But, there are still some great ways for real estate agents to advertise on Craigslist.

Just yesterday I recorded a webinar specifically on this and what you can do to avoid the ghosting issues.  Click here to access the Craigslist webinar video.

I also recommend the following quick tips to those who want to successfully post on Craigslist:

  1. Make sure you have a strong headline. The most effective headlines within Craigslist contain the geographic Area, unique type of home (fixer upper, foreclosure/Distress, luxury etc.) and the type of prospect (first time buyer, investor, home seller etc.)
  2. If you plan to post more than once a day, create multiple accounts.  You will also need multiple phone numbers for verification purposes
  3. Use images for your ads instead of .html.
  4. Try posting in the “Real Estate Services” category rather than “Real Estate For Sale”, especially if you are offering a free list of homes, real estate reports or an online home evaluation.

The bottom line: Blocking, ghosting and flagging are not unique to real estate advertisers. They are problems that have become widespread among all Craigslist users, whether they are spammers, legitimate businesses or innocent individuals. It can be even more frustrating because the conditions that cause these problems are not consistent from city to city.  And Craigslist seems to be firm in its refusal to openly deal with the matter.

In the end, the most I can do is try to address the Craigslist needs of our members and remain committed to helping them succeed. And as Ray Parker once sang in that mildly popular 80’s tune “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts”.

Kristie Filion

1-800-361-9527 ext. 1100

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Leverage Your Listings With Mobile Marketing

Case Study #1 – SMS Success (Bob Cenk)
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In this Success Story report, Kristie Filion looks at Property Listing Signs and SMS Sign Riders, and speaks to SuccessWebsite® member Bob Cenk about using them to create not only a dramatic increase in business, but a massive boost in exposure and influence in your marketplace. The report covers:
• Why it’s important to check out your competition

• What other agents using SMS are doing poorly, and how to take advantage

• The elements of a successful property sign and SMS rider

• SOLD riders and a brilliant new idea for using them

• Follow-up strategies to reduce hang ups and convert leads

• Using SMS to impress in listing presentations

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VIDEO: How To Generate High Quality Leads Using FREE Text Messaging

An in-depth introduction to the Text Messaging features now available to SuccessWebsite subscribers – ABSOLUTELY FREE!

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A short intro to the SMS features of the SuccessWebsite system.

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Impress your Seller prospects with a website completely dedicated to their listing!

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What Agents Like You Are Saying About The SuccessWebsite® Solution

It is amazing how may leads I have generated in the last 6 months. My plate is completely full and I understand the POWER of lead generation. I now generate enough leads to feed 5 agents and I continue to grow every month. I take a nice referral fee and can continue to focus on increasing my lead generation and coaching skills. I will never pump the breaks. I am up to 160 Leads per month and plan to get to 500 per month by the end of the year.

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New York

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Charles Graef

SuccessWebsite is GREAT!!! It’s the trend today and if you don’t have it in Real Estate you’ll eventually be changing careers in the future.

I’ve just used “CraigList” to advertise my listings and another 20 listings from a couple of co-workers; and now I get to show up at the closing table for their listings too. I sold 2 houses on Monday and just signed for another one Tuesday, and have a chance to do a 4th one today, while I’m picking up more clients in the process. It’s free to advertise this way and know how much busier I will be once my ads hit the local newspapers.

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I never knew the market was so good, until I had my SuccessWebsite set up for me. I recommend it to anyone who wants to be successful in selling Real Estate.

Gary Bredeson

Just to let you know that since I started using SuccessWebsite along with the proper coaching from the Craig Proctor’s Team, I have generated almost 200 leads in about 6 weeks.

Pascal Elysée

Québec, Canada

Best website in Real Estate. Has worked well for me for more that 6 years.

Wally Dufrat
Ontario, Canada

The websites you provide me, branded and less branded, work flawlessly with my Google Pay per Click ads and my sign ads. Now with the text messaging service I am state of the art! The recently added feature of the drip campaign and the lead tracking system has enabled me to reduce my expenses by eliminating other data management web based systems. SuccessWebsite is a one stop solution!

Congrats and thanks.

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British Columbia, Canada

We have had your websites for 1 1/2 years now and cannot imagine real estate life without them. Our buyers and sellers are impressed with the many features and the multitude of FREE information that our websites provide. We were generating so many leads that we had to “turn down the volume” for a while just to catch up. Thanks for always looking out for us, always providing more services, and for staying on the cutting edge constantly. We are life-long fans.

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Ontario, Canada

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Interview with Stephen Raitt – Part 3: The 30 Day Trial

Steve lists all of the tools included and the amount of training provided during and after the 30 Day Free Trial period.

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