How can real estate wholesalers get better results from Craigslist marketing?
Craigslist remains one of the best ways for wholesalers to market their real estate. However, the level of results investors get vary significantly. There are issues with Craigslist marketing, but it still works. So what can you do to get more of what you want from this platform, and increase the ROI on your efforts?
1. Photos: There are so many Craigslist ads for real estate that investors are only hurting themselves if they don’t include photos. Real estate photography, for that matter, can go a long way in selling a property. People will only invest their time in looking at ads that give them enough info to make a decision. How else are they expected to follow through with your ad? Include as many high quality photos as you can, and you will see interest increase.
2. Categories: More experienced real estate marketers use as many categories as they can. Think about how you inject yourself into more categories. Think apts/housing, housing wanted, real estate for sale, rooms wanted, vacation rentals, temporary housing, jobs, household, services, discussion forums, community, and more. Go through each category and think about how you can post there. The more times you show up, the more likely you are to meet more prospects.
3. Trust: The biggest challenge with Craigslist is the lack of trust. People already have a healthy distrust of Realtors and real estate brokers. Adding Craigslist to the equation only dampens trust with ambiguity. Yet, one of the most significant ways that real estate investors do themselves an injustice on Craigslist is with ghost ads: fake photos that just take users to websites without any real listings. People are tired of their information being farmed. Yes, this can offer the promise of automation. However, if you aren’t automating any leads, then what’s the point? Why not just let people contact you through your ads? Be real and authentic.
4. Lower Barriers: Consumers, and even aspiring investors, are still paranoid and fearful of how difficult the process of buying property is. They have been slammed with negativity for at least seven years. Do what you can to reduce those mental barriers. Are you offering seller financing? Do you have lender contacts that you know will offer attractive financing on this property?
5. Reply: As crazy as it sounds, one of the biggest challenges individuals face today is real estate advertisers that don’t reply to leads. Very few bother. Not only does this mean you are wasting your time advertising, but it also means that hopeful homebuyers and sellers just get burned out with wasting their time and being ignored. You really never know who is on the other end. Attention and contacts are priceless, so don’t take them for granted. Even if this deal doesn’t look like a good match, do your best to reply. They might surprise you.
6. Follow Up: Maybe your current inventory isn’t a match, or they aren’t quite ready the first time you connect. Don’t give up, follow up. Follow up regularly with new opportunities, and be sure to nurture them. Put every lead you can into a long-term follow up lead nurturing and automated marketing system. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals either. Get email addresses, phone numbers, and social media profiles to tap each contact’s full sphere of connections, and follow up with them in their preferred medium.
7. Delegate: Craigslist marketing isn’t very hard, but it does take up some time. You can throw up a handful of ads each day in just a few minutes. However, if you really want to maximize results, it is going to take more time. Delegate ad creation to a freelance writer, posting to a virtual assistant, and response to an assistant that can evaluate and screen leads for you.
Craigslist marketing is still a powerful tool for real estate marketers. However, there is a lot that can be done to boost results, performance and ROI for those willing to make the effort. Have you had any great successes with online classified ads? What has and hasn’t worked for you?