Craigslist Marketing Basics

Craigslist is the small real estate investor’s dream come true. It is ideal place to find investment properties, materials for renovating properties, and even sell your renovated properties. Millions of people search Craigslist daily. Best of all, it’s completely free to list items for sale, and you can list items all over the world. All you need is a Craigslist marketing plan.

Before you do anything else, you need to know Craigslist’s posting guidelines. They have rules, and they take them seriously. For example, you cannot post the same advertisement within 48 hours, and you cannot spam people through their system. This is all explained on their website. Follow the rules because Craigslist users are quick to flag advertisements that don’t follow the set guidelines.

Like any successful marketing strategy, Craigslist marketing must be targeted to the people most likely to buy a property from you. Fortunately, Craigslist made this very easy for you: just choose the city (and nearby cities) where the property is located. You can also advertise a property in an area where you know recent buyers have lived. Just make sure you create different advertisements for each city.
The ad itself doesn’t have to be flashy or contain much HTML. In fact, the most effective ads on Craigslist are the ones with simple text and photographs. All you really need to do is give detailed information about the property and upload a few good photographs. Make sure you include keywords, like the property’s location and property type. Search results are listed first by the date and then by keywords.

Your Craigslist marketing plan isn’t complete without a way to build credibility and trust. You do this by becoming a member of the Craigslist community. Users prefer to buy and sell to people who are part of the community rather than those who just use the free advertising for their own profit. The website’s forums are extremely active, and it’s the perfect place for you to interact with potential clients and fellow investors.

I've Listed On Craigs List

I have to say that Craigslists works. I just recently bought a SFR, asked my friends what they think I could rent the home for, most of them said 1000-1100. I put it on Craigslist and in 1 week I had it rented out for 1400. I love it. I would recommend it to anyone.

how to post on craigs

how to post on craigs list,is it free?

It is free

Craigslist is free to post. The posting lasts 7 days and you can not repost the same ad more than once during the 7 days. Once your posting expires you can have it reloaded for another seven days if needed. Hope that helps.

thanks it did

thanks it did

Craigs List

Lambchop's picture

I feel like Bill and I are on the information highway with all that you have, Dean, and Craigs's awesome!!! Thank you so much for all this and more. We keep finding new things.

Craiglist is Awesome!!

Yes, I have to agree. I have used Craiglist to find just about anything. I found my handyman there who is fixing my first deal.

New and can't wait to start making money

It has always been my dream to get involve in real estate, but with bad credit , I have lots of doubts.

first home

i just bought a 4 bedroom house site unseen, iam almost scared to see what i bought. my plan may include doing the same thing,sell without touching the home by means of advertise.what do you think or do you have some ideas.


Rina's picture

Courageous move! Tell us the details!



Anitarny's picture

I dont think I could do that one, but do your research and place an ad tha would pick out the great features of the home, perhaps a fireplace, large lot, spa/sauna, bay windows. Let it sell itself and make it so appealing that like you , whoever looks at it will just KNOW its too good of a deal to pass up.

Getting Involved Takes Action!

aerospaceman's picture

I agree that taking action gets you involved but here is the my dilema. I am very new here and I would like to be involved, but...I live in low income state housing in Spokane Washington under the SNAP Program. There is a clause that prohibits real estate deals so you get trapped and I have been unemployed for a time. I'm so embarrassed and feel defeated. I want to take action, I need a support structure and coming up from the bottom with bad credit...all this is very bad. I would like some feedback and some help to get started or a way out of my situation to help my family. I read the story about the man with five kids and I have seven children in a blended family. I could do this if I could figure out a way.

taking action

Anitarny's picture

Welcome to the site.

Have to read Dean's book yet? If not then you need to start there. If you look in the upper left corner of this page you will see this will give you a head start on getting started as an REI but you need to READ. Read everything.

Then read the forum on here. They are packed with lots of great info and answers to most of your questions. I hope this helps and I wish you well.

Little Secret:

Elena M's picture

Hey folks!!
You can post the same ad within a 48 hour period if you use a different email account. I've done it many many times when I want my ads to stand out each day and not get lost in the sea of ads. Other posters do the same, I'm sure you've all seen them.... ;D


How are you going to find buyers to flip a house to in this terrible market??


Rina's picture

There have been a lot of posts about Craigslist in the forums. Thought I'd pull this article back up front. I guess I'd never really thought about the last paragraph much. Thank you, dgadmin.

Craigslist postings

moonbeam101's picture

Hello everyone!

I'd read about real estate investing from other courses but was always left with unanswered questions. Dean's book fills in the gaps. I'm a little nervous though. I'll get over it with time... Anyway, Craigslist is a great place to earn money. I've used it for over 3 years. I'd buy and resell all the time. Now I'm gonna try it with real estate. So far I've found many homes and a good money source to help me get pass my unemployment and bad credit barriers. The only thing I have to do is find the property information, prospective seller's contact, and a buyer for a quick sell. I'm almost finished with Dean's book but I'm getting a little nervous. How do I get over this small but paralyzing mind set? Thank you for input.

I understand it all except for...

randyblair's picture to secure a buyer.

I've just posted to Craigslist forums to seek out other investors for Assignment of Contracts. (I work third shift, have a bankruptcy on my record, hence bad credit.)

Am I on the right track?

It seems to make more sense to me to secure relationships with buyers FIRST before going out and finding properties to sell. I live in the Metro Detroit area, and you can pick up a house with a smile and hearty handshake, so finding them is not hard at all.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Reply to "randyblair" :

This is my first attempt to impart my $.02! From what I see, You have not received any reply's on your post.I am new at all this myself, and I keep getting lost by clicking on different links and topics. This old spounge is still soaking up all the input.I know your situation and can relate to it, as i'm sure many others can! For Both our sakes,and all the rest! I do hope you "ARE" on the right track! I do agree that you should have a choice of investers willing to buy! Even better if you can get them to all be searching for the same criteria. ie: REO,FHA,Rent to Lease, etc... With (X) amount of bdr and bath, multi unit, etc. This is only my idea and not from Deans book, But! This will show you what type of real estate to look for on that {Handshake and smile}that you mentioned. Then you can submit the home to ALL the investers on your list simlstionusly, in the form of an Auction letting... Them! get the assign amount to the Max they think they can get it for and still make Their profit?? I havn,t visited Craigslist yet, but I'll be going their when my website is finished, so I have a place for them to reply. Hope this was helpful. I'll be looking for when your online or checking if you have a journal. One more thing you can do is to start by Passing it off to the invester for a Finders fee I think it's probably 1% to 3% that you get at closing. Use That money to pay down your debt. When you think that all the cards are stacked against you and all is hopeless, the Bible has two words to remember "But God"

Thanks for the information

Indiana-Joe's picture

Thanks for posting the information about the Craigslist site. I believe it is useful to use every available resource. Especially the free resources are some of the best. Thanks for sharing such relevant information. Believe and Achieve! Smiling


I agree that Craigslist is a great site. My problem is that I am not getting any responses from my ads. Does anyone have a good ad that they are using and getting responses from and what part of Craigslist do you put your ads in.

I am looking for investors so I was wondering if someone has a good ad that is working and where on Craigslist do you put it.

Any input would be appreciated.


thebossspringsteenfan's picture

Craigslist is the best! You get to search properties and advertise your properties for FREE! Find buyers, find tenants, everything free, free, free! And it does work.


Jeremy...HOW does it work...

randyblair's picture secure BUYERS?

I can throw a rock out my back door and find a good deal to purchase. But I have nobody to sell to.

Any ideas?

Where do you post mostly in Craiglists

OkieUnix's picture


I like to know where on craiglist can you post.
I had one that came back to me as posting being remove as it didn't follow guidelines.

From reading it, I don't think I broken any guidelines but none the less it happen.

I'll try and post again.


Trying to get sellers to respond to craigslist ads

Hi everyone, I have been trying to get sellers to respond to my Craigslist ads and I have gotten absolutely zero response from it, not even people calling in to my 800 number. I've tried everything I can think of from placing matter of fact ads, to copies of the ads Dean suggests in his book, and I relist everyday, and just nothing. Am I doing something wrong? Can someone please give me some more insight into this, and tell me some specifics on things that have worked for them? Thanks!


AA213's picture

Hello everyone,i use criagslist on a regular basis to sell and purchase items.
best of all its free
im getting ready to search for buyers for my buyers list right now.
Then i will post an ad for more !!!

Trying to get more buyers on Craigslist

ttjudge's picture

I have submitted a number of ads on Craig's List but haven't received many prospectives buyers yet. I am working now to change up the ads a bit to see what happens.

I have gotten a number of solicitations of realtors and people wanting to assist me with lease options. I will try submitting a number of different ghost ads and see what happens.

NExts SteP

Trump Jr.'s picture

Ok, I have read Deans book and have tons of buyers. I have a lot of bird dogging properties that are not mind. How can i places my buyers in a house of there dreams?

First, Do I tell them that they have to get approve first?

Second, after the first step which form to pull off the site?

Thirdly, Do I need a RE Attorney & Mortgage broker? example: some guy said if i was doing this without license it could be a fine?

Fourth, What to say or give to the agent or owner or bank to get paid for selling their house on the market.

next step

I would be very grateful if you could give me an idea on how you got your buyers. I have been trying for a couple of months and getting nowhere. I have not even been able to get a realtor to work with me. The standard answer seems to be that wholesale buying is against ethics. I need to keep looking, and I refuse to give up, but if I can get some good prospects for buyers, maybe I can by-pass the realtor for the first couple of bird dog deals to get started.
If you could give me some clues I would really be very happy.
Thank you

"....have tons of buyers."

SirJohn's picture

Good Morning,
You never mentioned how you accomplished this. Lots of us here are trying to master the art of locating wholesale buyers here on Craigslist with no success. So, here's the did you do this? What kind of ad? What did it say? Example of the TEXT please. Looking forward to your reply. Have a wonderful day.

I love Craigslist and many others...They make my Business sooo!!

Craigslist... the magical and the most powerful automated, creative way to market your business investment. "WOW" this, still is and continuos to be the greatest marketing business tool of all. "CRAIGSLIST TRACKER" is the TRUE FOUNDATION of your automated communication devise at your finger tips.... SPEED, GRAPHICS, CHARTS, etc......"The Sky is the limit on this one" TALK ABOUT GOING NATION WIDE!!!!!!!!! Build anything you want! Create anything you want! Make it happen to create a better world and help make a difference in every aspect for everyone. "AMAZING"
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