How to Get Real Estate Leads Through Craigslist


The question of how to get real estate leads from Craigslist is one that most real estate agents ask. As most agents realize, each real estate listing requires different approaches for different prospective clients.

Digital marketing statistics show that having a large and readily updated lead database will increase your number of warm and hot leads, i.e., prospective clients who have a high likelihood of wanting to do business with you.

In this article, we discuss certain aspects of real estate leads via Craigslist:

  • The various pros and cons of advertising.
  • Tried and trusted techniques for marketing, e.g., posting ads.
  • Alternative approaches for digital marketing.
  • What to look out for.

What Is Craigslist and How Does It Work?

Craigslist began as an email listserv in 1995 and became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. It has become a go-to favorite for many users. Listing real estate on Craigslist continues to be popular for real estate agents endeavoring to generate leads.

Craigslist allows the real estate agent to create an account and start posting ads for free to attract prospective clients. Once the agent lists property specifics, they can add attractive photos of the home and create a compelling call-to-action (CTA) clickable button that solicits an action from the user. Generally, within 48 hours the agent should start receiving interest from prospective clients (leads). Find out more about how to post on craigslist here.

How to Get Real Estate Leads From Craigslist

Craigslist lead generation is a straightforward process. While it’s as simple as creating an account and posting your ad, knowing how to get the most out of those ads is important for a successful Craigslist campaign. Note the how-tos of posting a real estate ad on Craigslist:

Create an Account

The first step towards becoming a Craigslist real estate agent starts by opening a Craigslist account. Once you create an account, be sure to include detailed descriptions of the properties, as you’ll need them for the next few steps.

Craigslist is a great place for capturing leads—include, then, many different listings, descriptions, and pictures. And be sure to mention your agent’s website, as it will allow you the opportunity to show a neater, more aesthetically pleasing version of your listing.

Note: Many know how to join Craigslist but may not consider their terms and conditions of not giving any links to any pages outside of their platform.

Format Your Ad Post

Using the Craigslist real estate listing tool is also straightforward. Being able to entice potential clients means you need to pay careful attention to your post formatting.

There are certain aspects of a post—beyond the home’s price range (which you should avoid posting)—that help to make your post more alluring, such as good ad content, a functional call-to-action button, and attractive photos of the home.

Note some useful tips for formatting, followed by the best real estate and other lead generation companies:

High-Quality Images

The best Craigslist real estate ads tend to have high-quality images that are clear, detailed, and easy to discern. Most users tend to use a PC; so, make sure that you’re using resolutions of at least 1928×1080 or higher.

Attractive Photos

Attractive photos of the home will likely generate more interest and lead from your ad. Consider hiring a photographer to secure professional and stylish images, ensuring the visibility of property specifics. Of all the Craigslist real estate ads that work, ones with attractive photos tend to work best.

No People Images

Content marketing statistics show that when you’re formatting your ads, be sure that there are no people included in the photos of your property listings. You want the attention of potential leads to be on your property, not on people.

No Graphics

While you might want to advertise your agent’s site or business in your ad, Craigslist’s terms of use state that you cannot display any such logos or designs in your photos. It’s best to keep logos and all other professional brandings on a separate image file—when you want to create brand awareness. This is one of the most important Craigslist advertising tips, as people tend to do it quite often.

No Hyperlinks

Deactivate hyperlinks on your Craigslist ads. These can get you into trouble with the platform, due to malware and viruses. Your agent’s name and number should be listed instead. You can check out some examples of Craigslist real estate ad templates online before you start listing your ads.

Use a Scroll-Stopper as Primary Image

There are many freelance websites to choose from, such as Fiverr, that offer good work for reasonable prices, especially when it comes to photography. Consider using a photographer, even if it costs a little extra. It’s good to be certain that you’re acquiring good, high-quality images.

Finding the right images for your Craigslist posting body means choosing images that immediately catch the attention of enquiring clientele and ensures location-specific content. Pair your ad’s headline with the photo, so that the initial impression lives up to your property’s description.

When managing houses for sale, include a Just Sold notification if a listing has been sold. Keep the ad up for two or three days after the notification to continue to promote what types of property you offer.

Many may ask: what is the best time to post on social media? The best times to post on craigslist are from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m, Friday through Sunday. Be sure to update your Craigslist posts every day to garner more traffic.

Eye-Catching Headlines

One of the unwritten Craigslist guidelines is to write eye-catching headlines. Be certain to write according to the recommended guidelines for the Craigslist terms of use—nothing profane or too excessive. You’ll also want to include as many specifics as possible, such as:

  • Listings for sale, rent, or long-term leasing.
  • Your address (street, number, zip code).
  • Practical details about the home (bathrooms, bedrooms, notable features, area advantages).
  • Style of architecture and decor.

With your eye-catching Craigslist headlines, write a good call-to-action and use the best grammar checker app available.

General Directions

When you’re posting an ad on Craigslist, keep directions simple to read and easy to follow. Stick to detailing main routes and exits, rather than lengthy sentences describing routes. This makes for better ad content.

You’ll want to include a link to Google Maps, showcasing the exact location of the property. This is important in the process of learning how to promote craigslist ads. This is also ideal for creating an effective lead follow-up system, as people can scout out the area before coming for a viewing.

Don’t Link Your Website

The best way to advertise your business on Craigslist is not by placing your link everywhere. This violates the rules for posting on Craigslist and will cause your ad to be removed.

You can include your agent’s name and number on the real estate listing, as well as the company you work for. This is the best way to get the most out of your craigslist real estate advertising, without violating the terms and conditions.

Include Call-To-Action (CTA) Button

When uploading your contact details onto Craigslist, enter them into the correct area to automatically generate a call-to-action button. This will help capture potential clientele and convert leads while maintaining a professional ad.

When accompanied by your company logo, a call-to-action button can help sway prospective clients, especially real estate to leads craigslist.

Consider reviewing your post formatting to ensure that it’s clear as to whether you’re selling as an independent broker, a company, or as a sole mandate. This is essential, as you’ll learn how to attract a certain kind of clientele and develop an effective lead follow-up system.

Use a good Craigslist posting body example to locate the proper place to put your details. This ensures that any potential leads will be able to easily contact you, without any hassle.

Write Your Content

When formatting ads, incorporate the Triangle Method—a B2B sales system that uncovers the reason for clients making a purchasing decision. This will aid you in getting the necessary information across quickly and in an easy-to-read form.

When writing your summaries for your ads, list the best highlights of the property and the most significant and attractive aspects of the area. You should aim to promote your brand and portfolio highlights when presenting craigslist ads for real estate investors, as investors are more likely to be looking at your previous sales more than at you as a potential client.

When listing your property, pay attention to how you post various features in your post format. Utilize simple ways to illustrate your information, such as using:

  • Lists;
  • Images of tables with property info;
  • Bold fonts.

And remember to repost Craigslist ad, daily.

List your agent’s name and only disclose the price when the property matches that type of quick sale. Sometimes withholding the price prompts some degree of curiosity. This can also be how to get real estate leads from Craigslist if you’re interested in generating leads for your lead base. Leads, themselves, can be a valuable asset.

Structuring your posts in such a way that attracts more leads will allow you to upsell properties at a later stage. This also tends to create a lot of real estate buyer leads on Craigslist.

Other Craigslist Advertising Tips

When using Craigslist to list properties, you can always gain more traffic or listings by:

  • Frequently Posting. (Consider how long before a Craigslist post shows up.)
  • Posting in the mornings and late evenings;
  • Including an informative and descriptive title.

Craigslist has a strong and loyal following of those who are always looking for a good deal. It can, however, be an untrustworthy platform to the unlearned.

Here are a few tips on how to post real estate ads on craigslist:

Create a Separate Post for Each Ad

When marketing anything on Craigslist, list each posting, separately. This means creating a new ad for each post and individually posting them. It’s good to have a sense of uniformity between posts to create a strong sense of brand awareness. This is also important for how to get real estate leads from craigslist.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s always a good idea to upload and re-post every day. Post scheduling and timing also play a timeous role in maintaining your Craigslist account.

Don’t Post Too Frequently

Whether you’re creating ads for listings or simply trying to captivate interest from a prospective client base, understanding the best time to publish posts and the time frame between them is important.

How does craigslist work when considering the best time to publish posts? It’s best to repost or renew them every 48 hours, which will give your post enough time to be accessible to the broader network on Craigslist. This, however, only applies if you’re reposting ads, which means creating a new post and reuploading it or deleting the previous ad to re-upload a new copy of it.

Renew Your Ad

Renewing ads is a lot simpler than dealing with the usual process of re-uploading your posts. By simply following the ‘manage link’ on your original post email, you can manually republish your post to reappear at the top of the newsfeed. This will keep the ad running for 30 days. Repeat the process for a longer-lasting presentation.

Best Times for Posting on Craigslist

Taking note of the peak traffic hours of websites is important to get the most out of them. While coming up with creative real estate lead generation ideas is important, knowing when to time your posts is equally important. It’s also imperative in determining your posting frequency and what rhythm works best for you. The best times for posting on Craigslist are from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m, Friday through Sunday. But some also upload regularly during the week.

‘Just Sold’ Listings

Craigslist does not allow ‘Just Sold’ listings, as it violates their terms and conditions. Therefore, when trying to learn how to sell real estate on Craigslist, it’s important to build a portfolio of closed contracts on another platform for each sale.


Craigslist has been around for many years and is still regarded as a good place to get leads for real estate. Whether you’re an independent agent or a company, we have listed simple and effective ways of how to get real estate leads from Craigslist. We’ve also stressed the importance of understanding the nature of the site you’re using, with its guidelines and policies. It’s important to:

  • Write detailed descriptions of the properties.
  • Publish clear, high-quality images.
  • Create a strong call-to-action button.
  • Format posts correctly.
  • Publish regular posts and renew posts frequently.

It’s also important to learn how to find real estate buyers on craigslist, as regular users of the site are familiar with scams—learning how to accurately position yourself can be a challenge.


How do I promote Craigslist ads?

There are ways to promote your ad via payments to boost your ranking. You can also find ways to manually renew or repost your ads. This helps to rank the ads a little higher in the feed and keep them active.

How long before a Craigslist post shows up?

A Craigslist ad takes around 10 to 20 minutes to upload. It is also subject to review by the company to ensure everything is in order. The best way to validate that your post has been published is to manually check.

Is Craigslist free?

Yes. Craigslist is free to sign up for and use. There is, however, a fee for commercial property listings, costing $3.00 to 5.00 per listing.

What is a posting body on Craigslist?

The posting body on Craigslist allows you to upload all the photos you need, along with the main text for your ad. It’s an important part of how to get real estate leads from craigslist.

How do I find real estate buyers on Craigslist?

People who are interested in buying property will look for specific trust signals to confirm whether a property listing or realtor looks legitimate. Follow the guidelines listed in this article to understand the best methods through which to pick up high-quality leads.


Alex is an IT wizz gone SEO gone fire-juggler. We’re not even joking. When he isn’t researching why one personal loan is better than the other and which piece of hardware you should buy next, he’s rollerblading or selling homes (because he does that, too, the smarty-pants).

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