New Craigslist Changes Affect Real Estate Ads

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.

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ORIGINAL POST:

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: help@craigslist.org.

By Jess Maria

Jessica Maria is an avid business and lifestyle writer on subjects ranging from technology to real estate to immigration. Her work has appeared in magazines in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the UAE. She lives in California’s wine country, with her husband and two young sons.

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14 Comments on "New Craigslist Changes Affect Real Estate Ads"

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edwindandt
Guest

do you have an update regarding the outbound link?

TimSnlcc
Guest

edwindandt for now you can use cllink.org or replace “craigslist” in your address bar with “cllink” it allows you to click on links. I heard a rumor that there is something that is being built to go around this update but i haven’t heard the details.

awcmir
Guest

Hello Edwin,
We have no new updates on changes to Craigslist.

REI-Free-Classifieds
Guest

REI Free Classifieds accommodates Postlets,
vFlyer and other HTML-generated templates, or you can use your own HTML.Also link friendly.Not for retail homes, but great for the real
estate investment community.

taylorkorrin
Guest

depending on your area you might not have been forced into the new format. Our aea has been for wo weeks now. Postlets and HTML don’t work anymore.

HayleyL
Guest

I would recommend that everyone check out Househappy.org––it’s a free, user-generated real estate platform for anyone to post and search property for sale.

SCAutomotive
Guest

I’m very surprised that craigslist users are still coming to my site even though the website URLS are no longer hyperlinked in my posts. Apparently they’re not too lazy to copy and paste the URL.
A benefit to this (if its permanent) is that google’s search engine recognizes these craigslist referred visits as direct visits which should increase my websites search engine ranking.

SCAutomotive
Guest

HayleyL Thats actually a really cool site. Minimal yet affective.

propsonline
Guest

Our new little html flyer “TEXT ONLY”  seems to be working well. Craigslist did stop all outgoing hyperlinks – but having the property address domain name makes it really easy for the user to copy and paste that into their browser. If anyone has ideas on how to make the new simple text version better – we are all ears 😉

propsonline
Guest

SCAutomotive That’s great to hear (read)!

propsonline
Guest

HayleyL Thanks for your comment and tip.

propsonline
Guest

REI-Free-Classifieds Thanks for the info!

propsonline
Guest

edwindandt Craigslist did nix the out bound hyperlinks so we updated the TEXT ONLY flyer to invite the user to visit the property website highlighting the property’s domain name. Let me know if you have any other questions.

foradds
Guest

They have a plugin for all browsers that enables links on craigslist. activatelinks dot com

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