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How the New Craigslist Changes Affect Real Estate Ads

November 13 2013

This post comes to us from the Properties Online blog:

proponline craigslist changesCraigslist has recently made changes to its posting guidelines, specifically around what HTML tags are allowed in their sales categories. These new rules, while not yet rolled out nationally, appear to be headed that way. The Craigslist changes are having a dramatic effect on the real estate industry, because images and links posted using HTML code or the use of images to link to external pages do not work post-change.

Craigslist's new guidelines say: "Please note IMG, FONT, TABLE, DIV, and SPAN tags are no longer supported in the for sale categories. Please use CL image upload for images."

What does this mean for you?

It means that the beautifully designed flyer templates, rich in graphic content, will no longer work on Craigslist. Though photos and the formatting have had to be removed as a result of Craigslist's new guidelines, the new system is still a time saver for you as an agent. For now, we recommend uploading only one photo to encourage more clicks to the property site.

It's been said that Craigslist has made this move that inconveniences so many in an effort to level the playing field for sellers. Although these changes many cause some some headaches as everyone adjusts, there is an upside. This is an opportunity to encourage quality. Having a professional landing page or individual property site to drive traffic to is more important than ever.

For now, the ability to add full links to your Craigslist ads remains, so making sure you have a strong web presence where you can send viewers is critical. It's important to note that Craigslist appears to be phasing out hyperlinks. But, as long as you include a full URL, links are still accepted under the new guidelines. So while you can't say: "See more of 555 Main Street here," you can say: "Find out more about 555 Main Street by visiting the property's website at www.555MainStreet.com." Having a property address domain name is more important than ever.

Please note, however, as of November 7th there have been reports of all outbound links being stripped. We will continue to monitor this situation and make timely updates.

Most agents can tell you first hand about a property that was originally listed for sale and then reposted as a rental by someone hoping to take advantage of an unsuspecting tenant. Despite the number of scam artists that post fake ads to Craigslist on a daily basis, traffic to the site remains strong.

Removing the ability to control how your ad appears on Craigslist is a business decision that has us wondering what they are thinking over there in Craigslistville. Do you agree?

Let us know what you think about this new move by Craigslist — better yet, let them know: Craigslist Phone: 800-664-0633Email: [email protected].

To view the original article, visit the Properties Online blogProperties Online blog.