Craigslist Account on Hold? - New Rules!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Turn-Key Properties LLC, Missouri and Kansas Real Estate

For years I have used Craigslist to advertise all of my listings, both for sale and for rent. I have also often posted my real estate services in the "services" section. A  recent study showed that nearly a third of real estate buyers us Craigslist!

Recently my account was put on hold, after many attempts to correct the problem with nothing but form letters from Craigslist I opened a new account. Within a few weeks that account was also put "on hold" with no notice or explaination.

Frustrated, I tried again to contact Craigslist; even posting questions to there Facebook page... Nothing, just some more form letters from Craigslist. So I took yet another one of my email addresses and opened yet another Craigslist account.

I knew that they were cracking down on the porn and prostitution services and "personal" ads, but I sell real estate and rental property not perversion!

One of the problems with having a Craiglist account "on hold" is if you sell or rent the property you cannot get it to remove the ad from Craigslist! That not only poses a problem with potential buyers or renters, but if the property expired and is listed with another agent, you may have an ethics violation by advertising someone elses listing.

I was concerned, I didn't want to lose yet another CL account so I decided to do some research on the issue. I found that CL had imposed new guidelines including allowing you to post only one ad to any one catagory in any 48 hour span. The reasons seems to be (as we all know) the scammers that are so prevalent on Craigslist. The real estate and rental section is one of the largest sources of scams on Craigslist. Most every real estate agent or property manager has had someone steal their listing and offer it cheaper asking prospectives for personal information or getting them to send them money.

To add insult to injury, Craigslist actually prohibits you from posting a link to a "commercial" web site!

The problem with this plan is if I have 50 listings I can only advertise one of them every two days! That poses a problem for me because up until now CL has been one my largest sources of renters and buyers. Another issue with CL is that real estate is a cut-throat business and apart from agents stealing signs and trying to steal clients and listings, they (shock) have also been known to "flag" or mark other agents ads on CL as Spam to limit their ability to market. I know hard to believe huh!

My marketing plan said on Tuesdays I would post all available properties to Craigslist. I use hundreds of websites and do very well with some of them, but CL has been a HUGE source of traffic and a very successful source for renters.

I'm a premier agent on Zillow so I get pretty good traffic from that also, but it does not compare to what CL was providing.

I've posted on AR before how my marketing plan works, it is extensive and somewhat exhausting, but the sites include:

Active Rain
Craigslist
Back Page
Lands Of America - (hundreds of sites)
Zillow
Postlets
Loopnet
Costar
Xcelligent
Bates County
Turn-Key Properties
Raytown Real Estate
Tiffany Houses
Twitter
Facebook - Turn-Key Properties
Facebook - Bates County Real Estate

Entrepreneur Magazine had an excellent article on marketing on Craigslist, that spelled out many of the do's and dont's of the site. With nearly TEN MILLION users a month Craigslist is a vital part of any advertising campaign.

Not only are you restricted by the account you use, but it has also been suggested that CL may be paying attention to you IP address and if many ads are posted from the same IP, you may get booted from Craigslist for that also!

Not sure what the answer is, but it is clear that my old marketing plan will not work with the new guidelines, my website traffic is off by about 30% and Backpage is not the solution, I literally get no traffic from Back Page, while my listings on CL have traditionally brought upwards to two thousand visitors per month, that number is now down to less than 200!

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Fred Griffin 11/22/2010 08:21 PM
  2. Jon Gosche 05/24/2014 08:27 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
Silent Majority
Raytown Real Estate
Kansas City Real Estate Network
Kansas City Rainers
Bates County Real Estate
Tags:
marketing
real estate
craigslist account
accounty on hold
advertising listings
internet traffic
advertising
backpage
craigslist

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Rainmaker
88,037
Scott Petersen
Client First, Realtors - Canton, MI - Canton, MI

Is Craiglist cancelling your account because of the volume.. or are they stopping all RE from Agents?

Nov 20, 2010 09:00 PM #5
Rainmaker
52,381
Sandra J. Steele
Wise Choice Properties, Sedona/Verde Valley Branch - Cottonwood, AZ
Integrity, Knowledge and years of experience!!!

I understand that there is a lot of idenity theft that occurs from entering info on cl

Nov 20, 2010 09:02 PM #6
Anonymous
Anonymous

Thanks alot for sharing yor experience with C/L. I was not aware of the problems you highlighted.

Nov 20, 2010 09:36 PM #7
Rainmaker
76,901
Ben Edsall
Turn-Key Properties LLC, Missouri and Kansas Real Estate - Kansas City, MO

Thanks for commenting, I don't know exactly when they implemented these restrictions, they have been making a lot of changes lately.

They (CL) are under attack from several sources, some say they allow or promote human trafficking, prostitution and other crimes.

I have emailed CL repeatedly, not only about these issues but to suggest they allow paid accounts. Indeed they do allow paid accounts in some cities, but even those accounts are limited and I've now found that when I post certain types of real estate ads, they require phone verification. I enter my cell phone, they send me a code to type in.

Oddly, if you register an account, you are even more limited in what you can post!

It may very well be that I have a competitor who is flagging my posts and getting my accounts shut down.

As for emailing CL, they do not respond, all you ever get in return is a form letter. Believe me I've tried it many, many times. Heck; if they won't even respond to inquiries on their FB page, they certainly won't respond to the thousands of emails they must get from advertisers.

Yes, Craigslist is free and I appreciate that, but if they would allow paid accounts this problem could be avoided. For one thing they could impose a fine or penalty for violating rules. For another they could be making a heck of a lot of money!

With that money they could certainly hire more screeners to police the scammers and the frauds. Ten Million users a month is a powerful tool to attract paying advertisers.

 

Nov 20, 2010 10:29 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,292,807
John Pusa
Sellstate Pacific Realty - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Ben - Thank you for sharing a very helpful blog about new rules at craigslist. Excellent information.

Nov 21, 2010 12:06 AM #9
Rainer
290,227
Jay Schmitt
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg Real Estate Agent

Thanks for sharing your story. I am lucky that I haven't had any problems yet.

Nov 21, 2010 12:18 AM #10
Rainmaker
396,327
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

CL definitely is a pain in the arse.  There are work arounds however.  You seem like the kind of guy who can find them.  ;-)

Nov 21, 2010 02:51 AM #18
Rainmaker
563,876
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Ben - thanks for sharing, I have mixed feelings about CL and often wonder whether it is worth elevated bp.

Nov 21, 2010 11:02 AM #19
Anonymous
tom

CL is disappointing.  I tried to post one ad to writing services, just one, but now my account is on hold, and my ad really was for my services to writer blogs for individuals and businesses.  I saw two ads in the same day from another writing service, and in the spot where you are supposed to write the city name, they had put their web address.  They also used graphics and a web address in their content body, yet they are not flagged? Are these people connected to someone inside at CL? 

Dec 07, 2010 11:28 AM #20
Anonymous
Nancy Carroll

Hi Ben, 

Great article! I, too, was using craigslist rather successfully for some of my online marketing campaigns. My account was put on hold.  Despite contacts via email and phone (no live person, except press 4 for law enforcement), craigslist has not budged. Their business restrictions are becoming narrower and narrower. I'm marketing in other venues now, as craigslist seems to be morphing into an anti-business model, unless you want to sell a couch. 

Any other suggestions? Backpage is quite underwhelming. 

Aug 03, 2011 04:54 PM #21
Anonymous
David Anderson

I am offering Craigslist Phone Verified Accounts (PVAs) for $3 per account.

Our accounts are made using GEO-IPs, your area IPs.

They are associated with your area phone numbers.

Because of which they have the best quality.

We follow all Craigslist posting guidelines while making them.

Because of which our accounts works for 3 months (at least).

You can post in any city and state or any category.

These days everyone complain that their accounts ask for phone verification constantly.

Our accounts won’t ask you for phone verification.

You won’t see any of your ads getting ghosted or flagged.

Bad accounts would be replaced in 24 hours.

Remember good quality accounts enable you to post maximum no. of ads.

If you want to set up accounts yourself, we can provide you phone numbers.

We provide phone numbers from any city or state.

Online assistance is available 24x7 so we can also help you post.

We can give you presentation on your screen so you can learn more.

This presentation will teach you how to change your IP and much more.

We reply quickly to all your problems and call you!

You can email us at angelisticthoughts@yahoo.com

<a href="http://www.angelpvas.com">Make sure you visit our website</a>

Oct 26, 2011 10:42 PM #22
Anonymous
Donelle

I'm so glad to have found your blog in a google search! I use CL for my online job posting car ads for a small local business, but this week CL put my account on hold. Since I only use Craigslist and Backpage for classifieds that's half of my job gone! I also post on Facebook and Twitter, but those are just to get the word out. I can't get paid if I don't work, and I can't post as many effective ads if CL keeps putting me on hold. I'm going to open a new account, but knowing the information you share here, I'm worried that won't be safe for long. If you figure out a method for dealing with this problem, please let me know! Thanks!

Nov 18, 2011 03:04 PM #23
Anonymous
Jim

Craigslist is not the only site online. ClassifiedsEarth does not require PVA accounts and is much better. It integrates with my Facebook and Twitter account. I love it.

Nov 26, 2011 10:25 PM #24
Anonymous
lyn

CL has become too big for its own britches.  They condone and encourage flagging and chose to do nothing about it.  Penalizing the person that gets flagges is dumb but that is their model.  I do hope someone else comes along with a paid site that replaces Craig

Apr 13, 2012 09:38 PM #25
Rainmaker
618,692
Solutions Real Estate
Solutions Real Estate - Gilbert, AZ

MY CL account is also on hold. I only post REal Estate ads. I have about 20 ads. Thi si s very disturbing. I sent them two emails all I get is a generic answer and for account on hold it says open another account.

Aug 08, 2013 05:25 PM #26
Anonymous
Craigslist Account

After all I got this interesting article, this is my hobby to surf on internet for various subjects. I notice this, only professional bloggers maintain quality of content. I am redirected here from <a href="http://www.ny-craigslist.com/2013/03/how-do-i-deactiveate-my-account.html">delete craigslist account</a> web page.

 

Sep 19, 2013 02:36 AM #27
Anonymous
Doug

Here in NW Arkansas, the real estate market is picking up.

Our agents use "Fifteen Secrets that STOP Craigslist Flaggers"

 

If it's still around, that shows you all kinds of helpful stuff.

 

+ Doug

Nov 15, 2013 02:58 PM #29
Anonymous
mls2cl

Advertising on craigslist has never been easier. Just use http://mls2cl.com to post MLS listings directly to craigslist automatically.

Dec 01, 2013 08:26 AM #32
Anonymous
csams
I am having the same problem!! It is a little worse for me because I am new agent, and that was pretty much all of my leads and a great lead source!! I am so confused on what to do or fix it , if anyone knows a way to handle this problem please share!!!!
Apr 22, 2014 07:50 AM #46
Anonymous
drew
I love how noone has yet mentioned or asked how long is this "HOLD"??? Does it ever get re-instated or is your account on HOLD forever????
May 20, 2014 07:55 AM #47
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