Are you familiar with Craigslist.org? A simple way to describe it would be the biggest garage sale in the world. Or maybe the New York Times of online classified ads. Sixteen years after being launched, this bare bones website still ranks #4 on the list of most popular websites in the world and draws in about 160 million unique visitors per month. As a real estate investment seller or buyer, you’re crazy if you don’t at least consider the potential market out there.
While your mileage might certainly vary, we recently stumbled across a real estate pro who tested the lead generating power of Craigslist and ended up with 987 unique visitors to his website, 40 leads, and 5 appointments over the course of a single week. Sounds pretty good, right? Here’s what he did.
During the week in question, this gentleman posted 30 ads for specific listings he had. The ads were for five different properties to which he devoted six ads each. We can already hear the shrieks of dismay, “But I’m not a copywriter!” Calm down. It’s not that complicated to create a short ad that draws enough attention to get a few clicks. The general goal is to raise enough curiosity with the headline and text to get a potential buyer to move his finger fractionally and depress that mouse button.
Don’t overthink it. Simply follow the outline below to create your own Criagslist property ads.
1. Price – leave it blank so people don’t automatically dismiss the property as too expensive or too cheap.
2. Headline – don’t lie but get creative with your wording. Try something like “Country Living at its Best” or Below Market Rancher.” The phrase “motivated seller” usually gets people excited too.
3. Body – use the body of the ad to drive home your call to action, which is simply a fancy way to say, “Get them to click on your website link!” List the perks. Make it sound too good to ignore.
4. Picture – tons of ads on Craigslist don’t bother to include a picture. Right away, you catapult yourself to the upper echelon by posting a nice picture with the listing. Notice we said “nice” picture. A blurry, badly framed shot of questionable paint schemes won’t cut it.
5. Tag – end the ad with something like this: For more photos and virtual tour visit (link to your website).
That’s all there is to it. All it costs to test this real estate marketing strategy is a little bit of your time because, in case you didn’t know it, Craigslist has always been free to use.
The Commercial Investing Center Team
Flickr / InfoMofo