6 Ways Apartment Leasing Teams Can Avoid Ghosting on Craigslist

As a website that prospects regularly visit when looking for new apartments, Craigslist is undeniably an essential channel for multifamily property managers. However, it may not seem so “free” when leasing agents spend time posting only for the post to be flagged or deleted by Craigslist — a practice known as “ghosting.” (And Knock knows a thing or two about how to help leasing teams save time.) 

We’ve pulled together some helpful information on how to stop your posts from being ghosted. Please keep in mind these are just tips and there are no guarantees — but this will give you the best shot of having your posts seen by prospects!

A quick note: Things to be aware of when it comes to Craigslist flagging and moderation

  • There is a very active moderation community on Craigslist. These are Craigslist users that review posts, looking for any content that (they perceive) violates the terms of use
  • There are paid services that specialize in flagging posts (their goal is to flag competitors’ posts so only their customers’ content is left!).
  • Craigslist utilizes its own manual and automated moderation tools. The exact methods they use are private but see tips below.
  • There is a wide belief that users who have their posts flagged and removed have a lower flagging threshold in the future. This makes it very important to prevent getting flagged.

Follow these 6 suggestions to avoid your Craigslist apartment posts being flagged

1. Don’t post the same/similar unit more than once per 48 hours

You are only able to post to the same city/category once every 48 hours for the same item. If the price range on two or more units is close or identical, it could be perceived as posting the same item.

2. Don’t post repetitive content. This includes:

The same body text, including a description or special. You should also avoid posting the same set of photos; just rearrange the photo orders, and don’t use more than 8-10.

3. Don’t promote your community, instead promote your unit

Craigslist is a marketplace to buy and sell, not advertise. So, if posts aren’t specific in what they are selling or if there is a “bait and switch,” meaning the picture featured isn’t of the actual unit or amenities available, a post may get flagged for removal.

4. Don’t use spammy or salesy words

While such language doesn’t violate Craigslist’s Terms of Use, spammy language is often cited as a reason for community moderators to flag posts. An example of this would be “World’s Best Apartment Complex.” If you’re unsure as to whether your post contains “spammy” language, think about whether it would land in the “Spam” or “Promotions” folders if it were an email.

5. Don’t leave out key information

While there are no rules on what is required in a post(other than what is required in the posting process), community moderators often flag posts that are not descriptive of the item (unit) being offered. When posting a unit, be sure to include — at the very least — price, square footage, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, along with photos. 

6. Don’t over-stylize your posts

This includes using multiple font sizes, bold fonts, underlined fonts, italics, and unnecessary capitalization. Stylizing posts doesn’t violate Craigslist’s Terms of Use, but over-stylized in these ways may be perceived as coming from a template, which may attract more scrutiny.

Conclusion

Following these six steps will give you the best chance of your posts being seen by prospects looking for their new home. If you want to learn more about how to better optimize Craigslist content to improve conversion within the channel, check out our post on how to Up Your Craigslist Game.

Discover how Knock can help you build a high-performing team with more insights like these.