Free and paid online classified ads listings are one of the best and cheapest ways to sell your investment properties. In fact, over 80% of people start their real estate search online. The trick is to make sure those people see your ad before anyone else’s. My favorite two online classified sites are www.Craigslist.com and www.Backpage.com
Here are my top 8 tips for making sure your creative real estate marketing ads are seen:
1. Keep your AD at the top of the listings. Craigslist, the big daddy of classified ads allows you to re-post an ad every 48 hours. This may be enough to keep you at the top of the list. If your area isn’t very active, reposting every 48 hours may be overkill and you might look a little… shall we say… desperate. Get a feel for how fast the listings get “pushed down” below the first page and post accordingly. If you have to, set up multiple accounts and have multiple ads created that way you can post more often without worrying about being “ghosted”.
Ghosting is where Craigslist.com acts like they are going to place your ad live online, when in fact no one but you will ever see your ad. It is super shady and a big frustration to guerrilla marketers trying to keep their ads in the best positions.
2. ALWAYS USE PICTURES! If you’re not selling a particular property, then choose a representative picture of the types of properties you do sell. If you’re selling 3/2 slab ranches, don’t use a picture of a 10,000 square foot McMansion.
Pictures & Videos sell a property, especially if you are marketing to a retail buyer. Investors don’t care as much about how a property looks, but many investors want an exterior shot so they can see the roofline (maybe they avoid any houses with a flat or near flat roof), or they only buy concrete block and not stick built or vice versa. Pictures let them know a few things about the property at a glance. In some cases investors will just skip over your ad if it doesn’t have pictures attached!
3. HTML ads are pretty, but TEXT ONLY ads work too!. But if you are using a text only ad, stay away from “Realtor” words when you’re dealing with investors. Investors don’t care if a house is charming or cozy. “Lots of potential” sounds like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Investors want to know what needs to be fixed, what the approximate cost of the rehab is and what the after-repaired value is. “Lots of potential” tells an investor nothing that he needs to actually know. If it didn’t have potential, it wouldn’t be a deal.
I do however suggest that you create a paragraph or two of optimized text that describe your property or service. Don’t clutter the ad with text, but definitely focus your ad around a localized keyword phrase such as “Searching For Discounted Phoenix, Arizona Real Estate?” Then write a paragraph or two about “HOW” you can help other investors find discounted properties in Arizona.
4. Have a clear call to action at the end of your ad. Make sure you instruct the reader on what to do next. Give them several ways to contact you including your phone number, email, and website (facebook page will work). Double and triple check everything for typos. A sample call to action would be “Visit www.CodyBuysHouses.com" to get an all CA$H offer on your Arizona property within 24 hours!"
5. Put the property address in the ad. Real Estate Investors do their due diligence before they go out to see a house. Putting the address in the ad allows them to check the county property appraiser’s office as well as hit Google Earth to “see” the property. It will also cut down on time-consuming calls for you. Some investors won’t work certain areas or will buy everything they can in a certain area.
Retail buyers will also want to know where the property is located. They might not be savvy enough to look up a property in the public records, but they will want to know the neighborhood and perhaps drive by before contacting you. The address helps your prospects self-select.
6. Put the price in the price slot and make sure it’s right. Too many people will put in $152 instead of $152,000. People buy houses on price and they search within a specific range. You want your property to come up in the proper searches.
7. Always put the number of bedrooms and baths in an ad. Number of bedrooms is a search function in Craigslist and other sites and again, it helps your target market qualify the house. If there’s an easy way to make another bathroom, put that in the text of your ad, especially if the house only has one bathroom.
8. Make your headline standout. You can use icons in your title. We’ve come a long way from the basic “[email protected]@k” that people used five years ago. Nowadays you can use arrows, sunbursts, and all sorts of icons ☼ ♛ ► ▆ •• ◄ ★ to catch people’s eye. Use the word “Investors” and/or “wholesale deal” in the title. You are trying to catch the eye of your target market so use words that they identify with. (Though “Attention: Cheap Bastard” might be a bit of a stretch.)
So there you have it... my very own Top 8 Tips For Posting Real Estate Investing Classified Ads Online. Using online classified ads is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to generate cash buyer and motivated seller leads and for selling investment property online. But you want to make sure you don’t get lost in the sauce. Follow these 8 tips to make sure your real estate investor ads are effective and start moving properties today.