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 Getting More Craigslist Calls
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Tue, Sep 18th, 2007 10:49 pm

This is a continuation of several other posts...

To get people to call you from Craigslist you have to have something to advertise.  My real estate team is buyer oriented and we generally only carry a few listings (I think by weeks end we'll have 10 active listings).

A great ad will generate 3-4 calls on Day 1 tops, less on Day 2 and 3 and my average is around 2 calls per ad per day.  So to generate more calls I go to the less tech savvy agents in our company who carry a lot of listings but don't have their own buyer's agents and offer to advertise their listings for them as long as I can retain the leads.  The agents LOVE it because they can show their seller they are giving them really cool internet advertising and don't actually have to know what Craigslist is themselves.

So despite the fact that we only have 10 listings, right now I have 45 active postings online and last month I generated 626 calls to my IVR system!

To keep the calls coming in, I posted 15 on Day 1, 15 on Day 2 and 15 on Day 3 (with a 4th day off).  Then on Day 5, I delete and repost Day 1 again.

Yesterday was my off day.  We still had 26 total calls with 3 from a print ad, 1 from a brochure box and 22 from Craigslist and Backpage.

Because it takes a while to create the HTML posting templates, I've been slowly adding other agent's listngs.  My goal is to get to 60-80 so I'm posting 15-20 every day with no days off.

That brings me to Craigslist's spam policy...

Post too many in one hour and you may get held up as spam (they will cue you to be manually reviewed and that can take 3-4 hours).  I've been told the magic number is 5, but I've done 7-8 and not had a problem.  So, do a few posts, do something else, then come back and post more later.

Post the same ad to multiple categories or multiple cities and you can get flagged as spam and have your account banned (absolutely don't post the same ad twice anywhere).

Don't try to get around this by creating multiple user accounts because Craigslist is one ahead of you.  They log your computer's IP address, so when the same IP starts using too many different accounts it raises a spam flag.

Put your broker's information toward the top of each ad.  Their system "reads" the ads and I've had ads flagged because it couldn't find the broker's info (which is why it's now always at the top) and a "no payments for six months" ad got flagged for Fair Housing Violation (the ad was 100% legal, but I obviously touched a hot button somehow).

FYI, there's no use trying to complain if you've been wrongly flagged for spam because no one reads those e-mails...

Lastly, this is a time consuming task and it seems like an ideal thing to outsource to India for 20 cents a post.  Unfortunately I've read they will block that based on the user being in a different country than the post.

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in tech sales which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director. In 2011, he launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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