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Multifamily Insider Top 10 Craigslist Hints by Daisy Nguyen | International Residential Real Estate Investors Association
Monday November 20th 2017

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Multifamily Insider Top 10 Craigslist Hints by Daisy Nguyen

Our readers will enjoy this blog from Multifamily Insiders:

Here are the TOP 10 Things You Need to Know to Maximize Your Craigslist Ads for your Apartment Community:

  1. Generally, web traffic is highest during the week, especially during working hours of 8:00AM – 5:00PM. For the apartment industry on Craigslist, the highest traffic day is actually on SUNDAY. According to Yield Technologies, their RENTSENTINEL product, a web-based application that manages posting content for rental properties, they have noticed that Sunday’s see much less posting activity for apartments than any other day of the week. Couple that with higher traffic, and your posting efforts will get the biggest audience with less competition! (SUNDAYS have the HIGHEST average views/ad than any other day for our apartment industry!) This is true of every portfolio class, geographic location or market segment.
  2. Although Craiglist is “free,” there are TONS of different services available that can help you manage your content, produce “snazzier” looking ads, track traffic, provide analytics, and MORE – OH MY! Some more common ones include RENTSENTINEL and POSTLETS. Depending on your needs and preferences, these may work for you, are pretty affordable, and provide lots of extra’s to help you maximize your craigslist ads. There are TONS of other services available – if you know of some additional ones, leave a link in the COMMENTS section of this blog post and share with everyone! OR Leave a comment about your experience with the services listed here.
  3. PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES! – And not just any old snapshot – make sure to have good lighting, take pictures of clean, rent ready or model units – try to make an positive impression that gets your target market to pick up the phone and call you! Don’t turn them off with the wrong picture.
  4. Many people ask me, “what generates more traffic? The traditional organic craigslist ads or the jazzed up ones with hyperlinks, pictures, formatting, etc?” The answer is that they BOTH work. The key to a successful craiglist campaign is VARIETY. Switch it up between your traditional craigslist ads and fancier ones.
  5. Speaking of VARIETY, switch up your posts! Make sure you have an ad targeted specifically to attract your 1 bedroom renters, or your pet lovers, or one to attract roommates, or one to highlight the fact that you are near a bus route, etc! Be sure to keep within fair housing rules, but there is nothing that says you can’t switch up your ads and highlight specific features. Variety is the spice of life, and so it is with apartments on craigslist!
  6. Speaking of PETS, whether your building is pet-friendly or does NOT allow pets, there IS a specific market for THAT! Make sure to have a specific ad targeted towards your pet lovers (for those apartment communities that accept pets) or ones that specifically state that you do NOT allow pets. Believe it or not, there are those people who look specifically for pet-free buildings, due to allergies, conditions, fear, etc. If you are targeting pet-owners, be sure to use the Craigslist “Meow” and “Woof” options to state you are pet friendly, in addition to including this information in your title/content.
  7. And since we are drilling down on specific life style choices, a choice that is becoming increasingly popular in apartment searches is “smoke free apartment.” There are new organizations promoting living smoke-free popping up everyday. Here in Minnesota, one that is making quite a splash is LIVESMOKEFREE. Make sure to include those words for the craigslist search engines (as well as all other search engines) to pick up!
  8. While we are on the topic of search engines, make sure to include search engine friendly terms in your ad! If you are near a bus-line, post that. If you are near shopping/retail, make sure to mention the shopping or retail center name. If you are in a highly sought-after school district, name the school district or even better, name the schools. If you are nears parks, name the parks. People search for apartments based on their lifestyle choices, and if those choices are based upon transportation, schools, shopping, food, retail, etc – YOU will get picked up in their search, and your competition might get buried in the masses….
  9. Another question I get asked constantly – “how often should I post?” From my perspective, it’s not a matter of “how often,” but more importantly, CONSISTENCY. According to Eric Broughton of Yield Company’s RentSentinel product, ”the most important global trend is for communities to post their available units on a consistent basis, don’t take a day off from posting an available unit, your competitors aren’t.  Equally important is respecting the craigslist community and not posting multiple ads in a short period of time.  Never post more than 1 ad in the same hour, and never post for the same unit type more than once in 24 hours.  Our analytics show that following these simple rules will provide far greater results than someone that spams a region with multiple ads over and over again.”
  10. And lastly, and MOST importantly, be a good Craigslist Citizen. Common sense folks! Pay attention to things such as knowing the Craigslist Terms of Use, posting only available Units/Unit Types, not over-posting (never more than 1 ad per hour and 8 total ads in a day – this is for LARGE sites – many of you may not have larger enough sites, where posting every other day is more than enough), and posting to only one category and region at a time.  As an industry we can all be more effective and increase our traffic if we use the craigslist environment for which it was intended which is bringing renters and landlords together in an open marketplace. Let’s not ruin the “free” part of craigslist, by over-doing it. In some regions, and some industries, craigslist DOES impose fees. (See Craigslist FactSheet.)

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5 Responses to “Multifamily Insider Top 10 Craigslist Hints by Daisy Nguyen”

  1. [New blog]: Multifamily Insider Top 10 Craigslist Hints by Daisy Nguyen http://bit.ly/doDqDH

  2. 1#PET LOVERS says:

    Multifamily Insider Top 10 Craigslist Hints by Daisy Nguyen …: Make sure you have an ad targeted specifically to… http://bit.ly/b0BoDO

  3. That’s cool. I’m from LA and see the same thing. Anyway, I’m gonna back tomorrow.

  4. Zep Cleaner says:

    I really enjoyed this post. You describe this topic very well. I really love your blog and I will definetly bookmark it! Keep up the super posts! :)

  5. Hey! Congrats. That was a fascinating article. I am ready to hear more about this fascinating subject. Bye. Greetings from Pennard. Bob Perry, Work New York, 65 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007

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