UPDATE (1/29/14): Back in November, Craigslist began rolling out changes to its HTML posting guidelines. These changes had the immediate result of impacting ad response and upsetting a whole lot of real estate agents …
The team at Properties Online acted quickly, as you no doubt noticed, to get a new version of our handy HTML Flyer Builder up and running, one that met all of Craigslist’s new guidelines and restrictions. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you, make sure you’re aware of the new version and that you’re using it to quickly and easily promote your listings. Because its use and benefits don’t stop at Craigslist posting – you can use the handy Flyer Builder to add listing data to emails, blogs, other online classified sites and more.
Craigslist’s guidelines mean you can no longer include image or formatting tags in your HTML. Our new text only flyer is the answer – and the same time saver it was before. The Flyer Builder works by generating a snippet of HTML code that then dynamically pulls all your listing details, property photos and your contact information. You can then easily cut and paste your data into Craigslist, or other online classified sites, such as Backpage or Ebay.
Please let us know if you have any questions about our HTML Flyer Builder! We’d love to help.
Craigslist has recently made changes to its posting guidelines, specifically around what HTML tags are allowed in their sales categories. These new rules, while not yet rolled out nationally, appear to be headed that way. The Craigslist changes are having a dramatic effect on the real estate industry, because images and links posted using HTML code or the use of images to link to external pages do not work post-change.
Craigslist’s new guidelines say: “Please note IMG, FONT, TABLE, DIV, and SPAN tags are no longer supported in the for sale categories. Please use CL image upload for images.”
What does this mean for you?
It means that the beautifully designed flyer templates, rich in graphic content, will no longer work on Craigslist. However, the team at Properties Online has worked quickly to formulate a solution. Though photos and the formatting have had to be removed as a result of Craigslist’s new guidelines, the new system is still a time saver for you as an agent. For now, we recommend uploading only one photo to encourage more clicks to the property site.
It’s been said that Craigslist has made this move that inconveniences so many in an effort to level the playing field for sellers. Although these changes many cause some some headaches as everyone adjusts, there is an upside. This is an opportunity to encourage quality. Having a professional landing page or individual property site to drive traffic to is more important than ever.
For now, the ability to add full links to your Craigslist ads remains, so making sure you have a strong web presence where you can send viewers is critical. It’s important to note that Craigslist appears to be phasing out hyperlinks. But, as long as you include a full URL, links are still accepted under the new guidelines. So while you can’t say: “See more of 555 Main Street here,” you can say: “Find out more about 555 Main Street by visiting the property’s website at http://www.555MainStreet.com.” Having a property address domain name is more important than ever.
Please note, however, as of November 7th there have been reports of all outbound links being stripped. We will continue to monitor this situation and make timely updates.
Another negative consequence caused by the recent changes will affect the flyer statistics that were provided by Properties Online. These stats were collected by using an image tag to show how many times the flyer was viewed and clicked. With the removal of the image tags, this feature will no longer work. This is very unfortunate, and we think it will ultimately hurt Craigslist’s usage and credibility. Not being able to track results could lead to less ad posting on Craigslist, which has already had its share of controversy surrounding the real estate industry.
Most agents can tell you first hand about a property that was originally listed for sale and then reposted as a rental by someone hoping to take advantage of an unsuspecting tenant. Despite the number of scam artists that post fake ads to Craigslist on a daily basis, traffic to the site remains strong.
Removing the ability to control how your ad appears on Craigslist is a business decision that has us wondering what they are thinking over there in Craigslistville. Do you agree?
Let us know what you think about this new move by Craigslist — better yet, let them know: Craigslist Phone: 800-664-0633, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.