During the marketing portion of our training, one of the most important topics that I thoroughly cover is the posting of Craigslist ads for apartments. Craigslist is an incredibly advantageous marketing tool, because not only is it effective, but most importantly, it is absolutely free!
There are many more complicated layers to posting ads on Craigslist than just simply logging-on in the morning and posting an ad and being done with it. I always harp on the fact that Craigslist will only be as beneficial as you make it, in that posting one time a day is basically a complete waste of time. This statement is especially true if your property is located in a large city where Craigslist is a widely used apartment marketing tool, such as Los Angeles, where on average, there are 30,000 apartment postings PER DAY! Although this is an extreme example, if one were to post only one ad in the morning, that ad would be pushed back to page 4 or 5 within the hour. With this being said it is most beneficial to post multiple ads throughout the day in order to get a gauge on response time in terms of when most people are searching for apartments on Craigslist in your area. Post an ad first thing in the morning, one at lunch, another at mid-afternoon and one right before leaving the office. This will allow for a stronger presence on Craigslist, therefore increasing the likelihood of an individual stumbling across your ad.
Once you’ve established the number of ads that you are going to aim to post on a daily basis, then it comes down to how exactly you are going to draw attention to your particular posts. Scrolling through a full page of Craigslist ads can be quite nauseating, because there are 100 posts on each page with all of the titles looking remotely identical. With this being said the best thing one can do is scroll through a page of ads and figure out ways to make a title unique. Simply typing a title stating a phrase like “Apartment For Rent” in normal caps is not exactly what I would classify as an attention getter. Make the title something that will stand out and change the font up a bit to an attention grabber, like all caps. “DOWNTOWN LIVING AT ITS FINEST” will certainly present a higher likelihood of getting clicked on than the previous example I used, because it is a statement that will stand out amongst all of the listings.
As equally important as the title, if not more so, is the attachment of pictures to your listing. I will say right now as someone that not only teaches others how to post on Craigslist, but also as a Craigslist user, I WILL NOT click on a posting if there are not pictures attached. Pictures are literally the only way to make a listing unique, in that without them, the listing is just a description that is probably very similar to every other ad that one could possibly click on. When I am looking for any merchandise on Craigslist, I typically bypass all of the words in the description and scroll straight down to the bottom to see what the product looks like. The pictures really and truly make the ad and I can guarantee you that if you were to post the exact same ad using different contact names, one with pictures and one without, no one would call after seeing the ad without pictures over the ad with.
These are just some easy steps to take in order to increase the odds of receiving traffic from a Craigslist ad. Just keep in mind that all it takes is one phone call from an ad leading to a lease to make the five minutes it takes to post the ad completely worth it.