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Top 10 Online Classified Hints | International Residential Real Estate Investors Association
Monday January 22nd 2018

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Top 10 Online Classified Hints

This list of 10 online classified hints found on Multifamily Insiders by John Stepleton at Property Marketing Gurus are great tips for any rental property manager.

By now everyone knows the importance of having an effective online classified strategy as part of your property marketing efforts.   For many communities, advertising on sites like Craigslist make up a significant share of the total prospect traffic for the property (over 50% in some cases).  But how do you know if you are getting the most from your online classified advertising effort?

Over the last year we’ve been collecting a lot of data and helping our clients make the most of their online advertising.  Since the first of this year we’ve looked at over 60,000 ads, and have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.  Here are the Top 10 Tips for optimizing your online classified campaigns:

  1. Get analytics.  Sign up now for software that allows you to see what’s happening inside Craigslist.  We recommend RentSentinel for the most robust analytic tools in the industry.
  2. Content is King!  Find what works & get the attention of your audience.  Start with your titles – make them interesting and change them up as frequently as you can.  Our favorite title is “Seeing is believing”.  Great titles can generate 2x the number of views within Craigslist.
  3. When you post your ads is important.  Target the time and day of the week that are most productive.  It may be difficult to post around your busy schedule, but it can mean the difference between 3 or more times the views and leads.
  4. Good pictures.  It’s not enough to get people to open your ad – if you have horrible pictures they could be half as likely to click through.  Pay professionals to take property photos. It will set you apart from the rest.
  5. Consistency.  Some people feel they need to flood sites to ensure enough people see their ads, when honestly, consistency is the key.  Post your available units daily and don’t skip a day.  Remember, weekends are the most productive days for apartment searches.
  6. Identify your core marketing message.  Ask your current residents what they love about your community and transform that into your marketing message.  Rather than rely on “sparkling pool” or “state-of-the-art fitness center”, use the more boring, however significant, “washers and dryers” to sell your property.
  7. Plain ads work better.  Although they look nice professionally formatted, those ads don’t generate the same volume of leads.  Visitors go to Craigslist expecting a consistent experience – not a corporate sales job.
  8. Test your pricing.  Not all changes in prices have an effect on your traffic.  If you’re using an analytical tool like RentSentinel you can test the change in views and leads for different prices.  The results just may surprise you.
  9. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!  Remember, sites like Craigslist are a free service and are provided based on a spirit of use.  Don’t over post your apartments, and always list units that you have available.
  10. Answer the call.  It doesn’t do much good to put all that time and energy into this effort if your staff doesn’t answer the call.  We recommend you use a third party call center like Level One to answer your initial leasing calls.

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6 Responses to “Top 10 Online Classified Hints”

  1. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

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  4. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

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