Craigslist Flag War! What is it good for? Location location location..

Joe Metz, a Realtor® that uses the PropertyMinder AccelerAgent Real Estate Website, recently asked me for assistance in one of his real estate Marketing efforts. Joe places ads for REO or foreclosure properties on Craigslist every week. These ads had drawn the attention of someone who began flagging and removing them from Craigslist. This is the basics of what I found through my research. I slightly modified Joe’s ads and told him to be thankful for the flags.

Craigslist is a free online classified listings service. Since it is free, it has a high amount of traffic and Craigslist does not directly moderate such an amazing flow of advertising. Craigslist gave their community the ability to self-regulate it’s advertisers through a flag system. Flagging is a Craigslist function that an ad reader can exercise on a specific ad. As a reader of a Craigslist ad, you can flag the ad for spam/over post, miscategorization or prohibited. In theory, this means that you posted the same thing more than once, you posted in the wrong category or territory or you posted something that are against the terms of service. What happens in reality though is that you can be flagged for no reason at all. There is a growing cult of people who flag ads in an area they claim as their own, flag ads that they feel catch too much attention and even flag ads of specific real estate agents or persons. I’ve done some flagging experiments on Craigslist and found that it takes about five flags from different computers to get an ad removed. This process took me about three to five minutes to accomplish on one ad. If I go and replace the exact same ad back into Craigslist though, it can be removed after only one flag.

If you find you are the target of a flagger, don’t retaliate or even waste effort to find out who the person is. With some minor modifications to your advertisement, you can make your repost time effortless and put a continued workload on the flagger. What I helped Joe with was to ad a simple quote at the end of his advertisement. When Joe reposts his ads now, there is a different quote at the bottom of the ad. This simple and small change means that to flag any ad of Joe’s will take a few minutes of effort per ad. Joe can now repost all those ads only taking 30 seconds each.

Other assistance I gave Joe to shorten his posting time was to have him use the free account system that Craigslist has to create his own account and then to bookmark the posting page for the area he is interested in. Now when Joe gets flagged, all he has to do is come up with a new quote, open his saved text file of the ads that were flagged, modify the quote on all of them (you can use the same quote on all the flagged ads) and then open up his bookmarked page to the Craigslist Posting section.

I told Joe to be thankful for the flags because they improved his visibility. A Craigslist ad posted in a high volume area can fall off of page 1 in less than half a day. You cannot recycle your ad sooner than two days to get it back up to the top of page one where it has the most visibility. If an ad is flagged and removed, you will be re-posting it back to the top of page one. Joe had been experiencing a greater traffic to his ads which was quantifiable through the statistics page of his PropertyMinder AccelerAgent Website and new leads in his Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Joe links his ads back to his real estate website for lead capture purposes.

There are many automatic ways to post to Craigslist and some real estate offices will even post on Craigslist for their agents. I am against most of these methods because the efforts made are more about selling the property and very little about selling the real estate agent. This help is for the agent who takes the marketing efforts onto themselves to insure the lead capture of more buyer’s by their real estate website. If you are letting some other service do your Craigslist advertising and other advertising for you, you could be missing a great opportunity to expand your business. The PropertyMinder TECH-MAR Clinic is designed to help real estate agents with new marketing techniques to fit the ever changing and various internet marketing channels. From tech savvy to clueless, the PropertyMinder TECH-MAR Clinic can help you find extra leads through insuring that all your online marketing and lead generation efforts always channel back to your real estate website. If you would like to be a real estate success story, look into joining the PropertyMinder TECH-MAR Clinic today.

One Response to “Craigslist Flag War! What is it good for? Location location location..”

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