Beginner’s Guide To Generating Seller Leads With Craigslist
Many new and seasoned investors struggle with generating seller leads for their business. With so many different strategies it’s hard to choose just where to focus time and effort on. As we go forward in time more and more homeowners are flocking to the internet looking for easy ways to sell their house. This is why Craigslist has become such an awesome tool for generating seller leads online.
Craigslist is the most popular online classified ads website on the internet. People use it every day for things like selling used furniture, searching for jobs, and tons of other things. But most importantly, it’s great for investors to find motivated seller leads.
Why Use Craigslist
Craigslist is a go to website for homeowners to go online to list their house for sale or rent. That’s what makes it a great way to actively generate new seller leads. In this post I will be outlining a simple step-by-step guide for effectively generating seller leads with Craigslist.
Step 1: Getting Started
The first thing you will need to do is create your Craigslist account. You can do this by going to account.craigslist.org. A huge tip when creating your account is to not use your main email address. I recommend that you make yourself a brand new gmail account specifically for Craigslist. If you don’t want to have to login to multiple email accounts, you can set the new one to forward your main email address.
After you have setup your account, go ahead and go to our Craigslist Seller Lead Ad Templates. You will want to save the images on your computer. You will also want to create a new Google doc and copy and paste the ads to the doc. Make sure to replace the dummy text with your business information.
Some of the ad images will need to be edited. You can use programs like canva.com to add your phone number and name to the pictures.
Once you’ve got your ads all setup, its time to get started.
Step 2: Where To Post Your Ads
When posting to Craigslist you will need to be very strategic. Randomly placing ads everywhere on Craigslist will come across as spammy and will most likely lead to getting your posts getting flagged and removed. There’s really only one sections we will be posting ads to. That section is the housing section of Craigslist. And yes, that’s pretty obvious to most.
Inside of the housing section the two main sub-categories we will put most of our focus on is ‘real estate for sale – by owner’ and ‘real estate wanted’. There are a few more sub-categories you can also focus on, but let’s just focus on these two for now.
Step 3: When To Post
I understand that most us have extremely busy schedules. For that reason alone you have some serious room for opportunity. Most investors will be posting their Craigslist ads when it’s convenient ‘for them’. Not us though. In order to truly get the best results from your efforts we need to make sure we post at the absolute best times.
There’s 3 times of the day I recommend posting. In the morning before work, during lunch time, and in the afternoon around five to six. This is when most people will be online. This does seem like it can be very time consuming, but I will show you how doing this will take less than a couple of minutes after our initial setup.
Quick Initial Posting Strategy
When you first create your account, you won’t be posting 3 ads right away. We will need to build our account up. If we start posting tons of ads as soon as we create our account, it could send signals to Craigslist telling them we are spammers. I recommend when you first create your account to post once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
After your first week you can start posting your 3 ads a day. Remember to try and post at prime times. After about a week you will notice your ads will start to have a ‘Renew’ option. This is when things start getting a lot easier. If you continue to post ads and stick to it, you’ll soon be able to simple renew your ads every day and it should only take up a few minutes of your time.
We have officially covered where to post and when to post. Now we are going to cover actually creating an ad and how to effectively do it.
Step 4: Posting To Craigslist
Now it’s finally time to start posting your ads. Hopefully by now you have edited the templates so that they are ready for you to start copying and pasting. First thing you’ll want to do is head to accounts.craigslist.org and login to your account.
Once logged in, you should see a small section for you to start posting. It is important to make sure that you are posting in the right city. You can tell which city you’re posting in by looking at the url to see which city name is right before craigslist.org.
A second place to post is on the home page. To post from the home page click on the ‘Post to Classifieds’ button. This will take you to a page that lets you choose which topic you would like to post in to. If you remember from before we will be posting in two different categories: ‘real estate for sale – by owner’ and ‘real estate wanted’.
For your first post it really does not matter. So, let’s just go ahead and choose housing wanted for our example.
When you click housing wanted, it will send you to the second step. Next, you will select the real estate wanted category. Now we are at the ad section. Go ahead and copy and paste your edited ad template into the matching sections. There are a few more fields you can fill in and here is what I normally put in them.
Specific location – Here I like to put one of four different options:
- Your city name
- The county name of where you invest
- City name area. For example Los Angeles Area
Postal code – Here you can simply put the zip code that you primarily focus on.
Phone number – This is not required but I always like to put our business phone number there. It makes it easier for more leads to give us a call.
Once you’ve entered all the required information, go ahead and click on the continue button.
The last two steps are very simple. You will first confirm your chosen location, and lastly upload your ad image.
Step 5: Rinse and Repeat
You have finally created your first ad on Craigslist. Now it’s time to post your second, third, and so on. Remember, for the first week it’s important to only post 2 times a day. Use the 8 different ad templates to make your posts, and try to change them up a bit. Mix different ad images with different ad templates. Also try to change the verbiage of the ads every time you post so it does not seem like your posting the same ad over and over. Hopefully this guide helps you generate as many leads as possible, and if you have any questions make sure to leave us a comment below.