6 Ways to Avoid Ghosting on Craigslist

It is undeniable that Craigslist is an essential channel for multifamily property managers because it is a free channel that prospects regularly visit as they look for new apartments. However, it may not seem so “free” when leasing agent time is spent posting and that post is flagged or deleted by Craigslist – a practice known as “ghosting.” When a post is ghosted, your ad will be visible from your account but will be hidden from public view.

Unfortunately, when it comes to posting to Craigslist, there are many things completely outside of anyone’s control. Ghosting happens to be one of them, but we have pulled together some helpful information on how to avoid this. Please keep in mind these are just tips and there are no guarantees – but this will give you the best shot of your posts being seen by prospects!

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

  • There is a very active moderation community on CL. These are Craigslist users that review posts, looking for any content that (they perceive) violates the Craigslist terms of use: https://www.craigslist.org/about/terms.of.use
  • There are paid services that specialize in flagging posts (their goal is to flag all posts so only their customer’s posts are the only ones left!)
  • Craigslist utilizes their 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 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 is close / identical, it could be perceived as posting the same item.

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

The same body of the ad, including a description or special. You should also avoid posting the same set of photos. Just re-arrange 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, ads that aren’t specific in what they are selling, or if there is a “bait and switch”, a post may get flagged for removal.

4) Don’t use spammy or salesy words

While such language doesn’t violate Craigslist Terms of Use, spammy language is often cited as a reason for community moderators to flag posts.

5) Don’t leave out key information

While there are no rules on what is required in an ad (other than what is required in the posting process), community moderators often flag posts that are not descriptive of the item (unit) being offered.

6) Don’t over-stylize your ads

This includes using multiple font sizes, bold fonts, underlined fonts, italics, and unnecessary capitalization. While stylizing ads doesn’t violate Craigslist Terms of Use, over-stylized posts 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 a new apartment. 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 for 2019.

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