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Craigslist Paid Me $236,757.00!

  • Posted by Vince Villegas
  • January 19, 2012 3:22:04 AM MST
  • 1 comment
Take it from someone who tried ALL of the "usual tricks" on Craigslist with little success. Craigslist can be one of the biggest assets in your marketing arsenal, once you start using it to its best potential.

Craigslist earned me $236,757.00 in commissions in just 18 months... Seriously

On top of that…

My market is in mid-Michigan, where the  average listing price is around $97,000.00.  So I'm not dealing in million dollar homes here.

That makes that $236,757.00 a pretty HUGE number -- especially when you consider my "marketing costs" to generate it was ZERO.

I am not telling you this to impress you, but rather to impress upon you that using Craigslist correctly is literally the key to putting multiple sales -- and thousands of dollars in your pocket -- every single month.

Why so much, and how did this happen?

Well, first let me tell you one important piece of information.  When I first started using Craigslist, I was getting virtually NO leads (or really poor quality leads), and getting few to no sales from it.  I almost gave up on it -- but at that time, money was tight which meant my ad budget was extra small.  So I decided that I had to figure out how to make Craigslist work for me.

After a lot of trial and error (and several Craigslist accounts being shut down), I finally figured it out.  I finally figured out what I was doing wrong, and what really worked. 

If you have been trying to use Craigslist and are struggling to generate quality leads and sales consistently month after month with it, then here are some tips that will help you change your Craigslist fortunes in a hurry.

  • Change Your Overall Objective: Most people post Craigslist ads with one objective (and one objective only) -- to make sales.  While you certainly WILL make sales -- and lots of them in fact -- when you use Craigslist successfully, you do not want your main goal when writing and posting ads to be to sell anything.  Your main objective when using Craigslist (and in fact in ALL of your real estate marketing) should be to grow your list.  You want to think bigger picture than any individual sale.  You want to think about developing a relationship with people.  This is a change in overall focus you want to make right NOW. 
  • Change Your Identity: Now that we know we don't want to be selling any particular property in our ad, and that our goal with Craigslist is to grow your list, the next thing you want to do is to change who YOU are in your ads.  No, I don't mean that you need to change your name or who you are.  Instead, I mean that you want to position yourself totally differently than most Realtors do in your Craigslist ad.  You are not Joe (or Jane) Real Estate Agent who is trying to sell these five properties.  You are Joe (or Jane) Real Estate Agent, top expert in your market and someone who has a lot of helpful information for people.  What you offer people is not a sales pitch, but great information that will make them want to click on your ad and find out more.  Doing this develops a relationship and a trust with the people on your list.  Remember that what you really are is not a Realtor, but a marketer!
  • Change What You Offer: So now that you know that you are going to position yourself as an expert with great information, what do you offer in your Craigslist ads if not homes for sale?  You want to create what are called "lead magnets" and have them available to people on a lead magnet website for anyone who clicks on your ads.  What this means is that you want to create something of value to your prospects -- something that truly will be helpful to them.  Maybe you offer them tips on things that buyers should avoid, or how to navigate a short sale or how to find great deals and the hottest listings.  Whatever you offer, just be sure that you make it available on a website that will capture their information so that you can contact them in the future.

Putting these major shifts in mindset into practice will immediately change the results you see when using Craigslist.  Take it from someone who tried ALL of the "usual tricks" on Craigslist with little success.  Craigslist can be one of the biggest assets in your marketing arsenal, once you start using it to its best potential!

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:

If you enjoyed this article click here to follow me at (must be logged in). 


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 fashioned 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:

1 comment
  • Vince Villegas
    Vince Villegas Thanks for taking the time to check out this article! I'll personally answer any questions you may have about how to make Craigslist successful for you.
    January 30, 2012