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4 Ways to Get Seller Real Estate Leads from Craigslist

Craigslist can be a great source of seller leads, but it’s not as easy as just spamming ads and waiting for the sellers to come to you. Here are five of the best ways to harvest high-quality seller leads from the online marketplace site.
Craigslist can be a great source of seller leads, but it’s not as easy as just spamming ads and waiting for the sellers to come to you. Here are five of the best ways to harvest high-quality seller leads from the online marketplace site.

One of the most challenging aspects of being a real estate agent is finding high-quality seller leads. You’re competing against other real estate agents to connect with potential clients, win their trust, and convince them you’re the best agent to quickly get maximum value for their property.

A great place to find leads is Craigslist if you use the right strategies to stand out from the pack. Without further ado, here are five tips that will give you the best chance of getting quality sellers leads from Craigslist.

Contact Expired FSBO Listings

Craigslist is full of ads by sellers who had ideas about saving on commissions by selling their home as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) listing. Ironically, this latter group can actually be a pretty good source of leads.

These FSBO sellers often have a hard time selling their homes, which can languish on the market for months, undermarketed and poorly presented, before being quietly withdrawn. Contacting these sellers through their old Craigslist ads can often be fruitful, though keep in mind that they may have already been contacted by other agents.

The best approach to use with these sellers is to use data and hard statistics to make your case, rather than an emotional sales approach. For example, citing the statistics that only 3% of FSBO listings sell within the seller’s ideal timeframe, and only 18% receive the desired price, while agents routinely get sellers up to 125% of a property’s market value, can make a powerful case on your behalf.

Make Sure Your Ads Are Visible and Varied

Craigslist is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on the planet, and the way it works in any given category is that the newest ads show up at the top of the page. The site is searchable, and some users will definitely use the search box to find exactly what they’re looking for, but many just look at the first, most recently posted page of ads.

While most of your home listing ads are an attempt to find buyers, don’t forget that your Craigslist ads can attract sellers as well. While checking their own home listing, a seller can see how professional your home description is and lead them to contact you to sell their home as well.

Savvy Craiglist users post more than once a day, to maximize their visibility. Experts suggest a morning post, a midday post, and a dinnertime post, so that their ads have the best chance of being on the front page of posts during these peak times.

However, be careful to not post too frequently, especially if you’re recycling the same ads, or Craigslist will block your account as a spammer.

Be Easy to Contact

Writing persuasive copy for your listings is important, but make sure that once you’ve piqued the lead’s interest, you give them ample opportunity to actually get in touch with you. Include your phone number, email, and website in all your listing. Actively invite sellers to reach out even though they’re not interested in buying the house in the listing.

Seem Like a Real Person

Many ads on Craigslist are impersonal cut-and-paste jobs that are closer to spam than actual advertisements. Make sure you differentiate yourself from these posts by bringing a personal touch to your Craigslist listings.

Write your copy in a conversational, relaxed tone, and read it out loud before posting to make sure it sounds natural. Include your name and your company’s name, and don’t be afraid to let signs of your personality come through. Making a genuine personal connection is the most effective way to entice and attract a potential seller lead.

If you’re a real estate agent looking to rustle up more leads, Clever Real Estate provides its Partner Agents with vetted leads for zero upfront costs. Since we’ve already screened these leads to make sure they’re high quality, they’ll take less work to close. Intrigued? Contact us today to hear more about the many benefits of becoming a Partner Agent!


Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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