Craigslist Looks Toward Charging for Apartment Ads in Major Metros

With reports out that Craigslist will seek to begin charging for apartment advertising, owners large and small alike should pay close attention. Keep in mind that Craigslist began charging for brokered NYC listings ($10 per post) in 2006. What has been found is that the number of illegitimate listings was reduced allowing consumers a more efficient search experience.  Most experts see the top 25 metro areas being brought to the pay per listing for apartments and a full nationwide conversion within 3 years. If a pay per post model were implemented Craigslist would still be a major part of multifamily advertising with still lower comparative costs than other sources.

See some thoughts below on proper Craigslist posting strategies, which only become more important if they begin charging:

  • Time Your Post Properly - Many times this would be in early evening as people are getting home from work or on weekends. Try posting a couple of times in each time slot to see what works best where you are.
  • Title is Key - Be specific and informative. Posts like “”Come Today Move In Tomorrow” far underperform those like ” Spacious 2 Bedroom Upscale Living”.
  • Frequency – The larger the market, the more times you will need to post to get a response. Watch the amount of similar postings carefully as you may violate the “Terms of Use” spam policy.
  • Watch out for the Ghost - When violating Craigslist “Terms of Use” via  over posting or other means, they will employ a ghosting strategy. Essentially it will seem to you like the post is active, but the only one that can see it will be you. If you are not getting a proper response to a posting, check from a computer on another ip address to see if your ad actually posted.

Source: Justin Verner, Sperry Van Ness|RealSite Commercial Group