almost since its birth. The platform allows for the free posting of almost anything.  But to get real estate leads from Craigslist one needs to follow a system for publishing ads. Unfortunately, a few spammers (…ok maybe a TON of spammers) have made it pretty easy to get blown up on Craigslist.  You can really easily fail at generating leads there now as a Realtor. So, we’re going to outline the effective process to format and publish the best ads.  This will all help you get real estate leads from Craigslist.  And keep you from getting banned, flagged, or ruining Craigslist as a lead generation platform for you.

Tip #1 to get real estate leads from Craigslist:

Craigslist Post Formatting

The primarily way to get real estate leads from craigslist agents post various ads about their properties for sale.  Before, Realtors could include a link to their IDX listing but recently Craigslist has started removing all URLS, emails, and phone numbers from posts.  Instead, they make users click the contact tab on the top of the posting. This means agents wanting to get real estate leads from craigslist have to instruct users by including calls to action like:

For more information about this property please call/text the number above


To see more images and read additional information text the number above

Then, agents can reply to the clients by asking for an additional means of contact. If they contact you via phone, ask them to provide an email address so that I can send you a link that describes the property in detail.

Now, you should have all the information needed to properly follow up.  This method complies with Craigslists terms and should help you to get real estate leads from Craigslist.  This infographic should help you understand some of the changes when it comes to posting on Craigslist:

get real estate leads from craigslist

Tip #2 To Get Real Estate Leads From Craigslist

Craigslist Real Estate Ad Content And Heading

If your headline sucks, your post won’t get read.  Take an honest look at this:

craigslist examples generating real estate leads from craigslist

The posts that stand out paint a story about the property.  These headlines inspire (..ok maybe inspires is taking it too far. It is Craigslist after all..) you to click on the text.  Agents looking to get leads have to learn how to stand out from the crowd.  “4732 BORING Ave – 1 BR w Fence $500,000” is a terrible headline. It’s boring and also could turn of a large percentage of your audience.

How many people say they are going to buy a 6 BR 4 Bath home but then settle for something else? A lot!  People don’t know what they want. They could love your home. But if your headline doesn’t fit with what they think they want. They won’t give your home a second chance.  The key is to be attractive and to say as little as possible about the actual specs.

Then, the main section of the post should contain tons of attractive photos and maybe a link to a video walk through. You should be using real estate copywriting to make it get people to contact you.  Finally, your ad should contain your name and a call to action.   A pro tip is to not include the home’s price.  This is something that will get people to ask you questions.

Tip #3 to get real estate leads from Craigslist

Posting Frequency

***This part varies depending on your location…

Craigslist ads disappear very quickly in populous areas.  Thus, you need to re-post them frequently.  The catch here is that you can’t re-post them too often or you’ll be seen as a spammer. Do you see the issue?

As a professional, you have to draw your own line and decide how far you are going to take re-posting.  In big cities, your ad will disappear almost completely in about 5 days.  For smaller areas it could last up to 60 days.  Thus, monitor your ads and decide when you think it’s appropriate to repost.  Craigslist is really a numbers game. So being on the first page really helps. But you can’t always be there otherwise you’ll be seen as a spammer. So trend carefully.

Secondly, Craigslist allows Realtors to renew the ad for up to 30 days.  After that you’ll need to rewrite the entire ad.  Be sure to followup with all these leads. As very few leads will close themselves ?

1. Avoid Terrible Times Of Day

When would you most likely visit Craigslist? Better yet: when would your BEST client have time to visit Craigslist?  That’s when you should be posting.  In fact, post 15 minutes before that and you’ll be right under their finger tips.


Need some tips? Research shows that Craigslist is most visited in the mornings between 8:30am and 9am.  This is just before work.

Traffic then dies off before picking up again for lunch.

Nighttime traffic is a little less predictable and changes with the seasons. I’ve seen the best results during the daytime.

2. DON’T Be A Bore

Craigslist is noisier than a Wedding Party.  You have to stand out in order to be seen at all.  Read our tips on Real Estate Copywriting here.

You’ll experience tons of success writing ads that resonate with peoples feelings.  Ask yourself:

What do these people really want?

Once you know the answer to that question, give them that.  Grab their attention by striking their heart.

3. Calls To Action

Want a tip? Write 10 calls to action on a sheet of paper before writing any other part of the ad. Figure out exactly what you want the people who will see your post to do.

Figure that out before you write anything else.

Here are some examples:

  • Want to know the price of this stunning property? Text us at: [phone number]
  • Are you excited to see more? Email us through the contact button for more amazing images

You can’t assume people will know what to do next.  People want you to tell them exactly the next step to take in the process. Adding calls to action will help you get real estate leads from Craigslist.

4. No lead capture trap


How many of your website visitors turn into leads? My guess would be 1-5%.

If you’re sending these Craigslist inquires to your regular website, you are wasting opportunity.  Unbranded websites or single property squeeze pages convert people 15-35%. This means you get more value for your time and money.

Go here if you want to learn how to setup a real estate website on wordpress.

5. Not Putting It On The Calendar

If you actually want to get real estate leads from Craigslist, commit to it. Put the posting and re-posting dates on your calendar. Then follow through with them.

You’ll see much better results from this method.