The hot topic of the day in real estate seems to be internet lead generation, Craigslist in particular. This is fueled in part by a Keller Williams convention that I attended in which there were several panels on this very subject. Lori Ballen, a mega Keller Williams agent from Las Vegas, taught on most of these panels. Not only was I fortunate enough to attend, but she graciously allowed me a video interview even though she’d been wearing high heels all day and had another panel to teach in 45 minutes!
Previously, I had used Postlets ads for Craigslist and while they were pretty, they got zero results. The first time I heard of getting great results for real estate ads on Craigslist was from Ben Kinney. I was skeptical and just thought that it was our market, but I gave them a shot. Surprisingly, we started getting hits from just one photo, a few words, and a link.
Other real estate trainers have jumped on the bandwagon, such as Darin Persinger and Jonathan Rivera. Many agents swear by their Craigslist ads and get most of their leads from them. Lori posts 400 ads a day; yet in the hot Las Vegas market it is a necessity in order for the ads to be seen.
How in the world does one post 400 ads a DAY to Craigslist? Lori uses a product called Market Leader which is an add-on to the Keller Williams product eEdge. (She also uses the add-on Realty Generator which I am not familiar with, but I believe it is for teams.) I received an email which stated Century 21 will be partnering with Market Leader as well. [wdsm_ad id=”1566″]
I struggled with the concept. I can tell which ads are from Market Leader and I’m sure the general public will be able to tell the difference sooner if not later. But I reasoned that if it works, we should try it.
I do not post 400 ads a day. As an admin working 40 hours a week there is too much else to do that I am hired to do, so I have been posting approximately 12 per day, although on the days I renew, I have been known to do 60! I have also posted some on weekends as well, and I do plan to up my game and post more once I get the hang of it.
The ads that get clicked are the ones with catchy titles. This is not rocket science. It has been taught for a long time, but many agents are taking the lazy way out and letting Market Leader choose their generic titles for them, like “5 BR 5 Bath in Louisville KY!” So this is how I am making our Craigslist ads stand out.
Problems with Craigslist
Craigslist does not come without its problems. The number one complaint I hear is that people’s ads are getting ghosted. This means that your ad shows up for you, but not anyone else. A way to see if your ad has been ghosted is to go to your category and the ad you just placed is not there within 15 minutes, it probably won’t be.
Another deterrent is when you start to place more and more ads, Craigslist will stop and make you enter a code that they send to you over the phone. The problem is, this code is sent to the phone number that that account is under. If that number happens to be an office number that is shared by several, and you are at home, you cannot have this number forwarded to your home so you cannot access the code.
Make your own conclusions
The buzz seems to be Quality, or Quantity? I personally think it is a hybrid of the two after experimenting with it. You must have a catchy title. You must have one photo that makes them want to see more. And it is strongly recommended that the site you link to has some sort of lead capture. However, consumers are smart, and they will tire of seeing a bunch of ads that look and sound alike.
So be catchy, put some of your own flair into the ads, and post as frequently as time allows!
(Angie wrote a great post about this subject on The Craigslist 2 Step Lead Generation Made Simple if you missed it. )
What do you think?