Connect with foreclosure buyers on Craigslist

Advertising on Craigslist requires smarmy headlines that bait attention-deficit buyers to stop, look and click.

So why bother listing on a never-ending scroll of regional classifieds?\ Two words: instantaneous response.

“In one weekend, I posted two open house ads for two properties and got 300 visits back to the client’s site,” John Pruitt, PropertyMinder iMarketing Consultant, says.

Craigslist patrons are diehard bargain hunters. Chances are, they’re not working with a REALTOR®. And foreclosured properties are real estate deals (or steals) in a buyer’s market.

Capitalizing on this frenzy (and increasing your bottom line) requires aggressive ad display. Lure visitors back to your real estate website with pictures. “If a prospect wants property specs, he’ll have to click on links in your ad,” Pruitt says.

The goal is to drive Internet consumers back to the your PropertyMinder website. More traffic increases search engine results rankings on Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

What works: aggressive display with a strong call to action.

Red headlines, yellow highlighting, writing in all caps (i.e. shouting) are all tricks of the trade that succeed in grabbing a prospect and focusing his attention on what you have to offer.

It’s easy to make fun of these ads, but they’re widely used because they can convince visitors to take action. Tabloid headlines arrest our attention, if only for sensationalism.

Just ask Jeffrey DeJesus of RE/MAX Westlake Investments: “My website traffic has increased from 100 to 1,000 visitors per day — with only 12 listings on Craigslist.” DeJesus, a long-time PropertyMinder client, specializes in auctions, bank owned properties, foreclosures and shortsales.

Fact: Pitching like a used-car salesman increases click-through rate.

Loss-leader advertising

Have you seen those ads in for properties that are listed for well below what you’d expect to pay? For example, “$105000 Bank Foreclosures (Hayward/Castro Valley).” The ad, though, features four pictures of different properties. Of note, the advertiser concealed the exact location and details of each individual property.

And for $105,000, there’s zero ‘pix appeal‘. But agents aren’t necessarily trying to sell these fixer-uppers (to be polite). It’s the ‘ol bait-and-switch scheme….

With no info, a visitor must contact the REALTOR® directly (or visit their real estate website). Once on an agent’s website, potential buyers are more than likely to click-through various properties (or do an integrated MLS search). Bingo!  PropertyMinder collects and stores data about all client activities. This technology gauges buyer motivation. A broker can then suggest relevant listings that match their search criteria.

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