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 IVR and Craigslist
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Mon, Sep 10th, 2007 11:04 pm

Was asked by another agent what I'm doing with Craigslist to generate IVR calls.  Here's the scoop.

I currently repost every ad on a 3-4 day cycle (and post on Backpage every other time).  Your needs may vary depending on how popular Craigslist is where you live.  However posting more than once every 3 days can get you flagged as a spammer so don't try it.  In fact, if you haven't used Craigslist before, read their rules on posting first and follow them to the letter.

I then format my ad so people are directed to call a recorded audio tour on an 800 number (or call us directly and talk to us in person).  I do not include the price because if the person doesn't have a reason to call, they won't.  It also makes it easier for me to keep all my ads managed amd up to date.

If you haven't used a call capture system before, the 800 number will e-mail and text you the phone number that just called your phone system and the extension they listened to within seconds of them hanging up.

Because they called your business first it is legal to do a courtesy follow up call.

Also, the system gives you 5 extension numbers per recorded tour so you can track what ad or website is generating the phone calls.  That's how I know Craigslist gives me 25-50% of the phone calls on Day 2 that I had on Day 1 and maybe 5% of the Day 1 calls on Day 3 because I know which calls came from that site.

Holding back key information also encourages a lot of people to email as well which allows you to ask for the showings.  We captured 3 showings just last week.

If someone complains about the price not being in the ad, point out that prices (and availability) change every day and these ads can be in cyberspace with wrong prices for months or years (especially when sites like Oodle "scrape" the Craigslist ads for their own sites and you have no ability to change those ads).

I also post as many photos as I can because they capture people's attention and keep them on the posting longer.  My postings are in an HTML format with up to 25 photos and also include buttons for signing up to receive relocation kits, using my IDX service, etc.  I'm in the process of greatly expanding this because if they don't want to see or know more about the home, maybe they will want to contact me for something else.

It's amazing to see how many of the calls are from relo candidates.  I'm working on a way to determine just how many of the relo internet leads are coming from this, but we have had internet sign ups who say that's how they ended up on our site.

 

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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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