It’s a given that you place your brokerage listings on your website and enter them into your local multiple-listing service to gain visibility and get buyers. Maybe your agents also use other online platforms to showcase listings. But one place many brokers and agents undervalue is the use of Craigslist as yet another place to visibly saturate the internet with your listings.
Craigslist has been around for over 20 years. It’s reliable and widely used with over 60 billion monthly users and 50 billion page views a month. For a free way to get in front of a potentially different segment of buyers, posting on Craigslist is a solid tactic to add to your marketing arsenal.
As with everything related to online marketing, there is a right way and a wrong way to use Craigslist. To help your listings stand out in the sea of 80 million Craigslist classified ads, here are a few of best practices:
1. Add An Odd Number In Your Heading
Headings matter. In fact, recent studies of social media show that most online users share a post because of a compelling heading. Sharing a post is one thing, but actually reading it is another. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CRM), “Odd numbers in list posts have a click-through rate 20% higher than even-number lists.” Be creative around your odd-number usage to gain the most clicks and don’t just write “3-bedroom house for sale” as the heading. That’s what everyone else is writing, and you need to stand out among the slew of other home sales ads. Try “3 reasons you should come to this open house on July 7”.
2. Catch Viewers’ Attention With a Visual
Chute and Digiday’s visual marketing report found that an eye-catching visual is at least 20% more effective than text, with a chart or infographic preferable. Naturally, your visuals will be quality photos of the rooms and outside of the property, not focused on any one thing. But it may be interesting to do an infographic of what this listing has over others in the area.
Remove and date and time stamp and keep the home photos no more than 600 pixels wide for easy loading or potential buyers will get impatient and move on. Craigslist enlarges the first photo you upload and shows it with the heading. That first photo should be chosen for its high impact on buyers. The remaining photos will be displayed only when a viewer clicks on the heading to open the home posting.
3. Showcase Features as a List
Viewers want an easy, bite-size way to learn about a home’s features. Put features or other special attractions in a bulleted list for easy viewing breaking it up with subheadings, such as interior/exterior or kids/adults. Too much text is a distraction and will scare away viewers.
4. Post Sunday and Monday
Between the real estate organization Rent Juice and the authors of “Cracking the Craigslist Code”, it appears that Sunday and Monday mornings are the optimal days for posting ads based on collective studies of over 800,000 Craigslist real estate postings. Best hours are between 10:00 a.m. and noon or 5:00 p.m.
5. Keep Your Ad On Top
As anyone who has used Craigslist knows, your ad eventually gets buried in the feed by newer ads that come in later. The further down this long list it gets, the less attention it gets. It’s important that you have a regular schedule of reposting your listings so they stay current and on top. Craigslist has limits on how many times you can repost and so a best practice is to repost your listing every 48 hours. If you do it that way it’s just a button push inside your Craigslist account. Doing it this way requires a minimal investment in time and keeps your property front and center every day.
Using Craigslist to Market Homes
Getting your listings out there is not always easy and can be costly. Craigslist provides a simple, effective and affordable way to market a home, especially when using the correct real estate marketing strategies for the platform.
This is just one of many marketing channels you can leverage in real estate. With so many options, it can be confusing to know where to start or what’s most effective. If you think your business could benefit from information-sharing and coaching on real estate marketing strategies, consider teaming up with Weichert. Your affiliation plugs you in to a host of programs, services and peer networking to power your business and allows you to provide more to your agents. For more information on proven marketing tools and strategies to help grow your brokerage, consider becoming a Weichert Affiliate. Go to weichertfranchise.com or call 877-746-2067.