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Busted By The Cops For Using Craigslist To Sell Real Estate?

  • Posted by Vince Villegas
  • April 28, 2012 5:07:02 PM MDT
If you have heard that you can't generate great leads and make lots of money from using Craigslist in your business, don't believe it. There are some KEY REASONS why Craigslist will not work for you (or anyone for that matter). So, avoid these five "Craigslist cardinal mistakes," and you can use it as one of your go-to sources of consistent high quality leads and sales month after month like clockwork.

Did you hear that a real estate agent was actually busted by the cops for using Craigslist to market his listings?

A coaching client of mine told me that this is the reason he couldn't use Craigslist in his real estate business -- because he heard that someone in his town was busted by the cops for using Craigslist

"Really?" I asked him. "Why did he get busted?"

(I mean, is it really ILLEGAL to use Craigslist?)

The truth is no, it's not illegal :-)

I dug a little further and got the real scoop...

Turns out that what kept this client of mine from using Craigslist all this time was the fact that someone got in trouble for selling a house on Craigslist he didn't have any right to sell (it wasn't his listing, he wasn't an agent, and he ran a fake ad just to collect deposits and steal people's money)

SHOCKING REVELATION: Stealing and fraud are always illegal and will tend to get you busted by the cops.

The lesson here? 

If you have "heard" that you can't generate great leads and make lots of money from using Craigslist in your business, don't believe it!

I can tell you from my personal experience that not only is Craigslist legal, but it works AMAZINGLY and CONSISTENTLY to bring me 3-6 sales every single month.

There are some KEY REASONS why Craigslist will not work for you (or anyone for that matter).  So, avoid these five "Craigslist cardinal mistakes," and you can use it as one of your go-to sources of consistent high quality leads and sales month after month like clockwork.

Craigslist Cardinal Mistake #1 - You Buy Into The "Everyone" Mistake: A big trap that so many real estate agents fall into is believing the "hype" about different types of marketing -- and Craigslist advertising is no exception.  They will hear other agents tell them that they've tried it and it doesn't work, or hear from other agents that "everyone" is doing Craigslist ads a certainlay, and they just believe it or follow it. 

There are a lot of things that people do WRONG when it comes to advertising, and often it comes from following what "everyone" else is doing (or saying is the way to do it).  Think about it though.  If you are doing what "everyone" is doing, when so many are not getting any kind of good results from it, are you really surprised that you are getting similar results when you follow their lead?!  So the first mistake you want to avoid is being too fast to get on the "everyone" train.  NOT doing what "everyone" is doing should be a goal for you - it is the beginning to you becoming a leader in your market.

Craigslist Cardinal Mistake #2 - Using Craigslist To Hand Out Your Business Card: If this blog achieves nothing else, I hope it will be to get you to STOP sending people to your "business card website" in your Craigslist ads!  So many real estate agents use what I call a "business card website," which is a website that usually contains your name, picture, contact information and your listings.  You do not want to post ads on Craigslist that send people to a site like this.  Why?  Because your goal is not to sell from these ads, but to generate high quality leads from them!  So you want to be sure you have something of high value that you provide on your website that entices your prospects to opt-in, I call this kind of website a “lead magnet” site.

Craigslist Cardinal Mistake #3 - Utilizing the "More Is Better" Approach: A lot of real estate agents believe that if one Craigslist ad is good, then two (or often twenty) is better.  I agree with half of this thought process.  I am a big proponent of creating multiple ads (in fact, I would strongly encourage you to do so), BUT you do not want to post all of those ads all at once!  Break them up so that they are posted at different times throughout the day, when your prospects are actually searching Craigslist.  This will be MUCH more effective.

Craigslist Cardinal Mistake #4 - Using Craigslist to Sell: I bet you are you thinking, "Wait!  I thought the whole point of running ads was to generate sales!"  It is . . . eventually.  You do not, however, want to try and sell anything in your Craigslist ads.  This is a critical mindset shift you need to make if you want your Craigslist ads to lead to consistent high quality leads and sales.   The objective of your Craigslist ads is not to sell anything.  It is to create value (by pointing people to your lead magnet website), and to gather their contact information so that you can personally convert them to a client.

Craigslist Cardinal Mistake #5 - Thinking Too Small: Using Craigslist (and Craigslist ads) as a regular part of your business should be thought of as a MAJOR and IMPORTANT component to your marketing plan, with the ability to generate a huge amount of consistent high quality leads and consistent sales for you month after month.  Too many people don't really believe that this is possible, and thus don't give it the time or energy it deserves.  The great thing is that once you DO this, it can become systematized and not take much time at all, but until you BELIEVE and act accordingly, you will not see the incredible results that are possible from using Craigslist ads. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and I would like to thank everyone who read my most recent articles and for the hundreds of comments, emails and letters.  As a loyal reader to CrackerJack Agent, and as a fun thing to do, I have a cool gift I would like to give you - - no strings attached!  Check it out by going to: 


Vince Villegas is an Associate Broker with Keller Williams Realty; he has been licensed since 2002.  After 6 straight years of doing business the “old fashion way” and killing himself working 90+ hours a week, Villegas finally hit the wall in 2008 and went from selling 56 homes in 2007 to just 8 by October 2008. It was than he faced the scariest decision in his life …either get out of the business or find a better way.   He of course chose to find a better way; it was then he began his journey to understand the principles of long-term business success.  In 2010, after uncovering the secrets of a successful business, Villegas finished #49 in Sales for Coldwell Banker North America and climbed to #27 in Sales by May 2011 (Villegas joined Keller Williams in August 2011) all while working an average 5 hours per week.   Agents across North America have been taking note of his success and began seeking his knowledge, today we at CrackerJack Agent are honored to have him sharing his advice and knowledge with our readers.  In the spirit of our new platform – CrackerJack Agent - Villegas has offered a complementary gift for our readers, you can claim your gift by going to:

  • Vince Villegas
    Vince Villegas Thanks for reading this article!
    May 30, 2012
  • Mary Beth  Brennan
    Mary Beth Brennan This is a great way to spread the word. It's a policy that agents in my area are to disclose their status thus posting License# with every CL post. Risk Management should always be priority. Now we have open house thieves......urg.
    May 30, 2012
  • Vince Villegas
    Vince Villegas Mary Beth, what is an open house thief?
    May 31, 2012
  • Mary Beth  Brennan
    Mary Beth Brennan People are targeting open houses and taking Jewelry and prescription drugs. We are talking about taking I.D. at the door now.
    May 31, 2012