Craigslist guide to Real Estate Leads

Written by
David Albanese

Craigslist guide to Real Estate Leads

Written by
David Albanese

Craigslist guide to Real Estate Leads

Written by
David Albanese

Here are the 10 steps for getting real estate leads from Craigslist:

1. Create a Craigslist Account

You can post your listings on Craigslist without an account, but it makes it easier to confirm, edit, and renew posts if you are logged in to the platform. To create an account, go to Craiglist.org, then click on “my account” on the left side of the homepage. Enter your email address, and click “Create account.”

Once you submit your email address, Craigslist will send you an email to complete the registration. Click on the link in the email and create a new password as directed on the screen. Finally, click “Select Password.”

Once you create an account, log in to access your personal user dashboard. This lets you view and manage active and inactive posts. You can view your posts by date, status, location, and other criteria; you can also search your posts for specific text. Most importantly, you can modify and save post drafts.

Craiglist Screen Shot

2. Choose a Posting Category

Posting real estate listings on Craigslist is simple and free. To do so, find the Craigslist board for your market on the homepage, then click on “Post to Classifieds” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Once there, choose the “housing offered” option and select “real estate – by broker” and click “continue.” This will ensure your listing shows up under the “real estate for sale” portion of the Craigslist general “housing” category.

Screen Shot From Craigslist

3. Agree to Craigslist’s Real Estate Posting Guidelines

Once you choose the type of ad you want to post, you will see a screen detailing Craigslist’s real estate-specific guidelines. These enumerate all listing requirements, namely that each post be for a single, specific, and currently available property. Additional details for what can and cannot be added to these posts will be included as well. Read through the requirements and click “I will abide by these guidelines” in order to advance through the posting process.

Craigslist Screenshot

4. Add Listing Title, Location & Description

After agreeing to Craigslist’s guidelines, Craigslist will prompt you to draft the title and body of your ad using a simple form with no HTML styling. You can also add a specific location, though this is optional. There are many ways to approach ad creation, though to maximize your chances of capturing a real estate buyer lead, you should use engaging copy, include a clear call to action, and add trackable contact information.

Here are the top tips for creating an effective listing post on Craigslist:

  • Make your title compelling: Instead of just using the property’s address as the title, include something engaging, like “Beautiful Bungalow Within Walking Distance of Downtown.”
  • Include the full address: Only the posting title, postal code, posting body, and email address fields are required, but it’s helpful to include the specific location so Craigslist can help you locate the listing on an interactive map.
  • Add neighborhood information: Make the most of your Craigslist post by using the body to highlight interesting and valuable information, like neighborhood shopping offerings, school districts, walkability scores, and anything else that might compel someone to contact you for more information.
  • Create a clear call to action (CTA): Add a strong CTA at the end of the body copy so leads are more likely to contact you for more information; use specific tracking numbers or codes so you know where leads are coming from.If you want to take advantage of Craigslist’s advertising opportunities but don’t have the time or inclination to write copy, consider hiring a freelancer. Fiverr is an online community of freelancers you can hire to perform a variety of tasks for as little as $5. Click here to find a freelancer perfect for your needs.

If you want to take advantage of Craigslist’s advertising opportunities but don’t have the time or inclination to write copy, consider hiring a freelancer. Fiverr is an online community of freelancers you can hire to perform a variety of tasks for as little as $5. Click here to find a freelancer perfect for your needs.

Craigslist Screenshot


5. Add Listing & License Details

Further down the same page, add listing details like price, square footage, accessibility, housing type, laundry facilities, parking options, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can also add upcoming open house information, as shown in the screenshot below. This information is not required, however; you can leave these fields blank and have clients contact you directly.

Screenshot From Craigslist


If you are a licensed real estate agent or broker, be sure to add your license number for reference. This instills a great deal of confidence and makes it clear you are representing an actual property. Once you have added both listing and license information, click “continue.”

6. Add a Map of Your Listing

After you draft a catchy title and add a property description, Craigslist guides you through the process of a creating a map for your listing address. Providing an accurate map gives leads the ability to easily locate your house, decide if it’s in an appealing neighborhood, and drive by to see if they’re interested.

First, add the street address, the closest cross street, city, and postal code of your listing property. Then, drag and drop the pin on the interactive map to identify the exact location of your listing. Click “continue” when you are finished.

Craigslist Screenshot

7. Add High-Quality Listing Photos

On the following page, you will be prompted to add photos to your listing—a critical part of every listing post and key to showcasing your property’s best features. Click on the “Add images” button to add up to 24 professional property images—and make sure they are high-resolution (300 dpi) and in JPG, GIF, or PNG format.

If you want to optimize your listing photos for Craigslist, try BoxBrownie.com’s photo editing services. Beyond standard photo correction and enhancement services, BoxBrownie.com also offers virtual staging so you can show potential leads what the home will look like fully furnished. Click here for more information about BoxBrownie’s services.

When you are finished adding photos, click “done with images.”

8. Review Draft of Post & Publish

After you add listing information, a map, and photos, Craigslist’s posting tool provides a draft of the complete ad for you to review. If the ad is accurate, click “publish” in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Once you request publication, you will receive an email from Craigslist asking you to confirm that you want to publish your listing. Simply click the link in the email and follow Craigslist’s prompts to confirm publication.

9.Example

Here's an example tips and tricks for buyers agents or new agents who don't have listings to get the phones ringing with motivated and ready buyers. Get permission from listing agents in your office who you know are not running Craigslist ads and post up some of their listings, use their approved mls photos, don't waste time getting the original photos, use windows snipping tool to quickly save the photos and crop out the mls logo. Use the listing agent’s mls marketing remarks since its not a good idea to input any of your own unless approved by the listing agent. Also identify the listing agents who are still listing flips, there’s not as many as before but they are still out there, they usually are not running Craigslist ads, get their permission to run some ads to help them get buyers, they will be more than happy to allow you to post some ads. You’ll also want to double up on lead gen opportunities form these listing agents by holding open houses for them.... 

Follow this simple plan and you'll have endless buyer leads...


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David Albanese Real Estate 

Broker Associate Lic# 01781946

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